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Chapter 40 – Joint Struggle

On the last day, Aaron decided to teach me sword techniques.

However, it was only the basics since time was limited. Stance, swinging the sword, defending, he taught me the ancestral style that had been passed down to him.



[Your stance is too wide. Bend your knees a little more and lower your posture.]

[Is it like this? ]

[U~nn. Not like that]

Aaron showed me the actual stance in front of me. I thought that it’s the same…..Disallowing even a slightest difference, Aaron uncompromisingly taught me the finer details of the stance.

That said, I personally thought that my swordsmanship had considerably improved. Aaron himself told me that I look more like a human than a goblin now. Well, considering I’ve only been swinging my sword carelessly all these time, nothing’s wrong with telling me that I’m no better than that of a goblin.


By learning proper swordsmanship, the sword indeed handled so much more reasonably than before.


Following Aaron’s example, I tried to adjust myself to the stance once more.

[What about now? ]

[Hmm, much better. Try lowering the sword a little.]

This bit was fairly hard to control. I slightly lowered the tip of my sword down.

[There. Let your body memorize this posture.]

[Yes]

Aaron returned his sword to its sheath after feeling satisfied with my progress.

[This is the end, it was only for 3 short days, but I was able to give you some guidance. You may not be qualified as a real swordsman yet, but I already taught you the basic. It’s up to you to train it everyday after this. If you aim for the top, you’ll find this experience to be useful in the future.]

[Thank you very much!]

And with that, I learned the basic of a proper style. I was exhausted because other than the period needed for sleep and eat, I poured every little time I had these past 3 days for training. Aaron who had taught me should’ve also felt tired. But he didn’t show it when I looked at him…. He’s truly a Sword Saint.

He said that the king had ordained Aaron with Sword Saint title long ago. Sword Saint is a prestigious title only given to those who has made an exceptional contribution to the kingdom over the years, by making numerous military achievements and successes in monster subjugation.


However, Aaron himself insisted that he’s not qualified to be given the Sword Saint title. That, most likely because he lost his irreplaceable family in exchange for that title. He truly loved them, that he still blamed himself for not being able to protect them in the end. He even came to hate his past self for unyieldingly chasing after the path of the sword.


Aaron smiled at me while wiping the sweats on his forehead.

[Well well, you will leave tomorrow morning, yes? It’ll be lonely again here]

[Yes, I have something that I really have to do]

[Gallia……that place is even more terrible now. But I suppose it’s useless to tell you not to go there]

I had told Aaron that I’m heading to Gallia some time ago. He was surprised, but quickly regained his composure. It made sense that a warrior should make Gallia their final goal.


The border of Gallia is overflowing with monsters, so it’s the best hunting ground for warrior who seeks for large bounty. However, the risk of losing life is also high. It’s the high risk but high return kind of thing.

After all, to earn more than enough money to spend for the rest of their lifetime is the wish of almost every warriors


[Fate, let me tell you one thing. If perhaps, you go to Gallia due to someone else, then stop. In that place where Tenryu dances in the sky, life is a but a fleeting object. Over there, you can only fight to protect your own life. You should never attempt to protect others]

[Even so I……]

[Moreover, you seem to be no good at fighting while protecting others. ……That is all I want to tell you]

Aaron walked toward the well in order to wash away the sweats from training me.

In those silence, those back looked somewhat lonely. Perhaps, he is worried that I will die in Gallia.

Although it’s only for 3 days, Aaron did make me his disciple. But I understand, that it will be shameful of me if I already feel happy just from having been able to scratch on the surface of swordsmanship..

Also, at the end of the day, it’s the disciple duty to follow the path of their mentor.

Greed called out to me through 《Mind Reading》 skill.

『To meet such a rare warrior in this age……. Be even stronger. That’s the only way for you to thank him』

[Even if you didn’t tell me, I will]

=====

I ate my dinner together with Aaron and Myne. Myne, as usual, had a disinterested look on her face while she kept chewing the food. Is the food not good? As for me the vegetables and cookies are delicious without flaw!

[Myne, why is it that you don’t seem to enjoy the food?]

[Oh, it’s because I can’t taste it……anything I ate tasted the same.]

[I see]

I didn’t know that. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have said that it was delicious every single time I ate my meals.

[Fate no need to worry. This is something I’ve chosen fo myself]

Perhaps it’s related to her Wrath skill. But I don’t want to pursue the topic. After all, this is the farewell dinner with Aaron. I’ll only ruin the mood if I asked for Myne’s story.

Aaron then said in admiration.

[Myne seems to be a complete warrior. Behaviour, attitude……everything are exceptionally sharp. I personally think that she has gone a long way.]

Myne turned to Aaron and spoke to him for the first time.

[Aaron has good eyes. I’ll remember your name. In a thousand years or so, Aaron should be able to match me]

[Hahaha, 1000 years is it……? That’s a very long time. Especially for someone as old as me.]

[That can’t be helped. It’s the limit of a human]

Ee!? The way she said it, it’s as if she isn’t a human herself. But no matter how I see it, doesn’t she look just like a human girl?

That question swimming on my head, Aaron didn’t seem to care about it.

Perhaps he sensed something extraordinary from Myne. But it wasn’t something bad, since Aaron had a somewhat accepted her presence here.

[Can I ask Myne one thing? ]

[Fine]

Aaron set aside his meal on the table, and asked Myne.

[50 years ago, when a huge horde of monsters appeared east from here, I saw you with this very same appearance you have are now. You still look the same as you were in that battle. Who are you really? ]

[I……am a ghost that is not allowed to die. The person Aaron saw was really me. But as far as I remember, it wasn’t such a big battle]

[I see, for you it wasn’t really a big battle. ……the gap really is too wide]

Aaron looked up as he said so. As if he’s reliving that battle from 50 years ago.

And then he smiled.

[At this old age, to think I met with such a wonder……makes me want to live longer. My apology to interrupt the meal. Come now, eat to your heart contend. Feel free to get extra serving, hahahaha]

While leaving aside that topic, Aaron and Myne began to continue to eat silently. I simply couldn’t keep up with those two….

What concerned me was that [a ghost that is not allowed to die] part. Is she an immortal, or is she simply a long-lived being? Since she is acquaintanced with Greed, she may have lived for a very long time.

While I was thinking about that, the Gluttony skill started to become wild. I had forcefully stayed on semi-starving state for two days straight. If this goes on, I might go into full starvation state shortly.

I’ve gone past the limit. I interrupted my meal, and told Aaron.

[Although the meal is good and all……I feel like, I……I want to go hunting for monster a little. Aren’t there some monsters lurking at the castle on the west?]

[What’s wrong?  Your face looks terrible]

I told Aaron while keeping Gluttony skill a secret, saying that something is urging me to kill some monsters. He had no reason to doubt me, thus believed the story.

Apparently, when he found out that my eye had suddenly turned red, he thought that I was under some sort of a curse,

[Ho, so it put that kind of urge in your heart. It’s indeed troublesome]

[I’ve gotten used to it a little, but I guess it wasn’t really enough yet]

[And to relieve it, you want to go to that castle……]

[Yes]

After entering semi-starving state, I became aware that a very tasty smell was flowing from that fortress. Apparently there is a strong monster lurking there.

Yesterday, when I asked Aaron about it, he told me that something impure had resided there.

[There is a powerful crown tier monster over there. Most of the monsters that attack this village also originated from there.]

[I’ve heard about that yesterday……But I wonder why you haven’t gone to cut the trouble on its root? ]

Yesterday he won’t tell me about this, but today Aaron is different.

After looking at the picture on the shelf, he closed his eyes for a while. Then slowly told me.

[It was, the castle where I used to live in. ……and my family still remained there]

Right…. So the old castle belonged to Aaron. And his family had died there. But what did he mean with that last sentence?

Aaron continued on to answer my curiosity.

[The crown tier monster that lurked within the castle, was a Lich Lord titled Harbinger of Death. It can manipulate the dead at will. In other words, my wife, son……and the people of the castle, it uses them as a shield, thus rendering me unable to lay a hand on it]

Aaron looked at the picture of his family gloomily. Then, he turned toward me and stared straight at me.

[Fate coming here might be a sign . This is my last chance to break off from the past]

[I’ll guide you to the old castle. I know what I have to do. Do you mind if I come along? ]

[Of course not. Aaron’s presence will be encouraging for me]

[I thank you for that. Now then, shall we go?]

Me and Aaron got ourselves ready.

Meanwhile, Myne is still silently eating her meal. Perhaps, she doesn’t feel like coming along.

While equipping his gears, Aaron asked Myne.

[Pardon me, but I want you to protect this village from monsters while I’m away. Can you please do that? ]

[Fine. In exchange for that, 5 gold]

To request for money at time like this… I was about to protest, but Aaron stopped me.

[It’s considerably cheap to be able to hire a warrior of your calibre for 5 gold. The old castle had quite plenty of savings. Not to mention 5 gold, I’m willing to pay 50 gold after I successfully return]

[Ou, understood. I’ll do my best]

A smile bloomed on Myne’s previously expressionless face. Aaron’s proposal may sounded enticing since she’s raising money for her village. Getting excited, she started to wave her axe around. That’s dangerous….can you do that on outside, please?

Myne called out to me before I got out of the house.

[Don’t you dare dying on that place. I still need Fate for my purpose]

[It’ll be alright, I won’t die until I reach Gallia]

[Good then]

Sent off by Myne, me and Aaron headed out to the old castle that was visible on the west.

=====


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