Chapter 26: Worth Fighting For
The sword unsheathes from the scabbard without any form of resistance to reveal the blade.
I can’t help but gulp as I set my eyes on this masterwork too perfect to be called an ordinary sword.
The blade didn’t seem like a katana to me, as it wasn’t curved at all and was double-edged. In fact, I couldn’t see the markings for where the edge was shaved down into a blade, as if this whole piece was one big edge while the tip curved into a sharp point towards the center of the blade. The shape was that of a very thin, very narrow sword that was weighted perfectly in my hand, but what made it breathtaking was the component and color.
It was a very light, translucent teal green color that almost seemed to generate a luster of its own. It was a stark contrast to the matte black sheathe and handle, making it appear all the more radiant. The whole blade was semitransparent as I could see my finger through the other side, making me question whether it was sturdy enough to be used.
I gulped once more. Even in my old world, I didn’t wield something as perfect as this. What are the chances that I would find a sword meant for Beast Tamers in the back alley of this storage place.
Looking at Sylvie, I ask how she knew this was special.
‘I don’t know~ I just thought it was pretty!’ was what she said while she kyu’d, tilting her little head.
Taking a closer look at the blade, I can see a small engraving near the grip.
“Dawn’s Ballad W.K. IV”
As soon as I muttered that name, my right hand that was gripping the sword burned, making me reflexively let go of the sword.
I look down to see that I had a gash across my palm while blood was stained on the handle.
“Kuu!” ‘Are you okay Papa?’ Sylvie trotted next to me, pawing my leg, concerned.
I recall that some extraordinarily valuable staffs and wands had the ability to bond with a single user, allowing better manipulation of mana between the weapon and master, but I’ve never heard of a sword doing that.
Picking up the sword, I ponder over the man who’s initial was W.K. IV, when I notice that the blade shrank in length a little. After a couple swings, I was in awe of how optimal the size was for my body’s physique as of now.
Who was W.K. and how was he capable of forging such a sword?
I realize how much time has passed when I hear my father’s faint voice calling for me. Quickly sheathing my new sword, I run back to where my father was, Sylvie hitching a ride on top of my head. On the way back, I made sure to pick up the short sword I chose for back up.
“Did you see anything you liked?” Vincent, who was next to my father, asked.
I nodded, holding up the short sword to him, “I found this sword and after a couple of swings, I really liked it. Can I take this one?”
Vincent takes the sword from my hand, drawing the sword from its scabbard. “Hmmm, not the best quality sword but it is solid and won’t break easily. Rey, what do you think?”
My father takes a hold of the sword and takes a couple of swings. “The balance is not the best but I think it’ll be good enough. What’s that stick your holding though?”
I just shrug, trying to not make a big deal out of it. “Uncle Vincent, I found this really sturdy stick in the way back! Do you mind if I also take this back home to practice with?”
“Ah that old thing! I remember one of my merchants telling me how some shady old man just gave it to him, mumbling something about finding its master. We got a couple of our inspectors to check if there’s anything special about it, but it’s just a sturdy, hard cane. It’s been gathering dust here so if you think it’ll do you some good, go ahead and take it.” Vincent puts a hand on my shoulder.
****Kingdom of Elenoir****
TESSIA ERALITH’S POV:
“Haaaaaaaaaaa….” I let out an exaggerated sigh as I lean my head in the palm of both hands, looking out the window from my room.
I can’t help but be annoyed. How dare he! Stupid Art!
I kick the wall in frustration.
“Ouch!” Stupid Art! This was his fault too!
I’m cradling my aching foot as I feel tears well up in my eyes.
I just got back from Elder Rinia’s house. I had to guilt trip her into letting me spy… I mean make sure Art was doing okay.
I guess I should be happy that he’s with his family and everything but doesn’t he miss me? He looks too happy! And who’s that girl!? Isn’t Art a little bit TOO nice to her? He’s even teaching that seductress how to manipulate mana! He didn’t even bother teaching me!
That Arthur… When I get my hands on him, I’m going to give him a piece of my…sigh… who am I kidding, I just want to see him.
It’s been a couple of months since he left but after getting used to seeing him everyday, it feels like years. Maybe I should’ve treated him more nicely while he was here.
I cringe as I remember all of the times I physically abused him.
But that’s not my fault! It’s his fault for being such a thickheaded idiot!
Mama and Papa were happy Feyrith, the noble brat who messed with Art, and his sister were able to place in the top 5 during the competition, but I couldn’t care less. It was just a show to show off our strength to the humans and dwarves anyway.
Grandpa said that the actual Continental Tournament (That’s what the humans decided to call it) would happen every 5 years from now on. Does that mean that would be the next time I would be able to see Art? I have to wait a whole 5 years?
“Uuu….” This sucks. The only thing that keeps my mind off of Art is training. My goal is to become stronger than Arthur. The next time we meet, I want to surprise him by how much I’ve grown. Maybe then he’ll see me in a different light.
Stupid Arthur… Even though he’s younger than me, he treats me like a kid.
Even though I’m the older one…
I hold up the water filled orb that Elder Rinia made for me as a present. She was able to capture a scene and integrate it into the orb of water so that it constantly showed Arthur’s face.
“Uu…. Dummy” I can’t help but pout as I poke the cheek of Arthur’s image.
*THUMP* “Young one, I have good…”
“Eeek! GRANDPA! What did I say about knocking?!” I quickly try to hide the orb behind me but Grandpa just gives me a sly grin.
“I see you’re using that orb well kukuku.”
“STUPID GRANDPA!!!!” I can feel my cheeks and ears turn bright red.
“BAHAHAHA! Don’t mind don’t mind! I would rather enjoy having Arthur as a grandson-in-law anyhow! But isn’t it a little too early for that now?” He keeps teasing.
I just turn away from Grandpa, trying to hide my embarrassment, not knowing how to respond to his teasing.
“Don’t pout now! I got some good news for you little one.” I turn my head slightly just to notify him that I was listening.
“Hahaha! Now… what if I said that you can have the chance to attend the same school that Arthur will be attending later on?”
My body spins back towards Grandpa instantly before he even finished speaking.
“Really Grandpa?! Uuu… You’re not lying to me right?” I grab Grandpa’s sleeve and tug it hard.
“Kukuku…. Did you tell her, Father?” I see Mama and Papa come into the room, smiling.
I turn to them, “Mama! Papa! Is it true? I can go to school with Arthur?”
“Haha~ calm down Tess.” My mother sits besides me, patting my head.
“Your Grandfather has close ties with the current Director of Xyrus Academy. He got in contact with her recently and she was excitedly telling your Grandfather about how there will be a genius Quadra-Elemental Augmenter attending her school in three years time.” My father adds in.
Grandpa just laughs, “BAHAHAHA who else besides Arthur is a Quadra-Elemental Augmenter! I instantly knew, but of course I didn’t say anything about me training him. Fufu~ I plan on surprising her with that later on.”
“Why is he waiting 3 years before going to school? Isn’t he more than fit to go now?” I ask, but my excitement keeps me from hiding my smile.
“She said something about him wanting to be an Adventurer.” Grandpa just says.
Mother holds my hand and gives me a smile, “The important part is that, this gives us enough time. We’re currently still trying to negotiate terms to have a trial run for the integration of the younger generation of the elves and dwarves to attend Xyrus Academy. The King of Sapin agreed that the only way to start mending our relationship was by allowing the younger generation to form bonds with each other.”
“Little one, you better train hard! Arthur chose to become an Adventurer before going to school to get some real experience in fighting as well as go to school at a more normal age to try and fit in with his peers. He’s going to be popular, so if you don’t snatch, some other lucky girl will.” Grandpa shoots me an evil wink.
“Father, I think that’s enough of teasing Tess now. Look, she’s about to cry!” My father just shakes his head helplessly. I could tell my father has mixed feelings about his precious daughter being taken away from him.
****Kingdom of Sapin****
ARTHUR LEYWIN’S POV:
““““““““HAPPY BIRTHDAY ARTHUR!!!””””””””
The whole Helstea house is decorated as Vincent and his family as well as my own family and the Twin Horns congratulate me on finally turning 9.
“Thank you all for taking care of me until now!” I give a deep bow as Sylvie copies me, bowing her small head.
The dinner was amazing as the chefs went all out tonight. My mother made sure to include some of my favorite dishes, some of which she made herself.
The table was pleasantly loud, as Adam made loud jokes and made fun of some of the members with their embarrassing moments while exploring the dungeon.
“Adam, you seem to forget the time when a horned mole snuck up under you while you were taking a piss in the dungeon. As I recall, you got so scared you landed straight on your back, peeing on yourself like a fountain.” Jasmine coolly said while she was sipping her tea, not even bothering to look at the petrified Adam
“PFFFT! I spit out my food as I try to control my laughter.” My father just straight up laughed at him while pointing his finger, almost falling off his chair. Even Vincent was holding in his belly to try and keep from laughing.
“NOOOO!! Y-You!! I thought no one was awake when that happened?!” Adam’s face turned ghostly pale and his shoulders slump at his utter defeat while the women were just shaking their heads in embarrassment at the male’s behavior.
All in all, everyone was having a great time. Ellie chimed in, telling us about her adventures in learning how to read and write, trying to be a part of the grown up conversations as well, while Lilia just giggled and agreed.
After dinner, everyone migrated to the living room where the fireplace was.
“Happy Birthday again Son. This present is from your mother and I, and of course Ellie as well.” My father handed me a package wrapped in cloth while Mother was holding back Ellie who was trying to unwrap the present herself.
Opening it, I see a fingerless glove meant only for my left hand. It was black and simple but embedded on the top of the glove were 3 white stones.
“Your father hunted the material for the glove and I imbued my healing spells unto those three white stones. Each of the stones carries a single use spell. I’m sure it’ll be useful to have some safety measures while you go out on missions.” My mother looks at me with sad smile. I can tell she still wasn’t ready to send me off.
“Thanks Mom, Dad, Ellie, I love it. This’ll be really useful for me.” I give each of my family members a big hug. Putting on the glove, I could tell how sturdy the material was, not to mention that the three healing spells would be extremely useful in a tight situation.
“Ahem! Next is us!” Vincent pulls out a small. He dramatically gets down on one knee and opens the box. Inside the box were two silver rings, one plain, and one with a small clear gem.
Uhh…. Where is he going with this?
“Honey! Stop teasing the boy!” Tabitha smacks Vincent’s shoulder while he holds in his laughter.
“Okay okay! Arthur, this is more of a present for your family than you but I’m sure you’ll appreciate it as well.”
“This ring” Vincent pulls out the plain ring, “Is what you will be wearing, while this ring,” He hands the gemmed ring to my mother, “Is what your mother will be wearing.”
Tabitha continues on for him, “Alice, while Arthur is wearing the ring, you’ll be able to tell whether he’s okay or not. The plain ring is able to keep tabs on the mana circulation that naturally flows in a mage’s body. If the natural mana flow stops, the ring you’re holding, Alice, will glow red and emit a high pitched sound.”
“We thought really hard on what Arthur may need during his time as an Adventurer but Lilia was actually the one that brought up the possibility of giving a present that’ll help him and his family. Unfortunately the rings can’t do much more than that but I thought this will bring you some peace of mind Alice, Rey.” Vincent shrugs his shoulders.
My mother tears up while clutching unto the ring. “Oh Tabitha, Lilia, thank you!” She hugs the both of them in a tight embrace. “Thank you Vincent,” She gives Vincent a deep bow while he was shaking his hands, saying how this was nothing much.
I couldn’t help but smile, looking at my mother.
If this ring can free my family from constantly worrying about me, then this was the best gift I could ask for, but there was worry in my mind at the psychological presence wearing the ring would have on my mother; she’d be constantly checking it.
“Well how are we going to beat that guys?” Adam chimes in. My guardian angel Durden walks towards me, handing me a roll of parchment
“You see, we also thought along the same lines as the Helstea family. We couldn’t really think of what to give the little monster so we decided on this!” Adam waves his arm in a dramatic manner.
“Those two scrolls are sound transmission scrolls! I’m not going to elaborate on how expensive this was, because it was EXTREMELY expen…OUCH!” Jasmine smacks Adam on the head.
“Cough! Anyways! With this, you now have a one-time source of communication. Just infuse mana into the scroll Arthur, and you’ll be able to send a message to the other scroll. After the holder of the other scroll receives it, Mama Leywin, she can then send the reply! After the reply is sent and the other person listens to it, the parchment will then turn to ashes! TADA! You’re welcome!” Adam gives a dramatic bow.
The members of the Twin Horns were all taking turns smacking Adam’s egotistical performance but they give my family a warm smile.
I could tell my mother and father’s moods turn a whole lot better knowing that they won’t be sending their son off to who knows where without knowing how he was doing and what would become of him.
I give each of the Twin Horns and the Helstea family a hug, thanking them for the presents. Lilia turned beet red while Tabitha just giggled at her.
Honestly, I already had what I needed, but the ring and scroll will be an invaluable source of comfort for my family, which I was worried about the most.
Soon after, my parent’s ex party members all left to go back to their inn. The Helstea family went back upstairs when Lilia started dozing off, tired from the long day, leaving me with just my parents. Ellie was asleep while cuddling the snoring Sylvie. I was already all packed up, prepared to leave tomorrow morning; meeting up with Jasmine in front of the house. Tonight would be the last chance to have a real talk before I leave.
“Tomorrow is the big day Son. Are you excited?” My father clasped my shoulders. My father’s eyes were a little red as I could see him holding back some tears.
My mother didn’t fight her emotions and just gave me a big hug while crying.
“I’ll be fine Mom, Dad. I promise I’ll try to be back home every chance I get. If anything happens, you’ll be able to know.”
After talking about my life and the dangers of an Adventurer, my parents ushered me back into my room. I plopped into bed and stared at the ceiling, Sylvie asleep next to me. I had family and now, I had people who loved me. I had people that cared about me for who I am, not for the position I had. It’s a nice feeling and I don’t want to give it up. I’ll fight for it and make sure to treasure this emotion that I was devoid of in my previous world. For that, I need to better myself. More so than when I was a King.