Reincarnation of the Sword Master - Chapter 4
Chapter 4 – Reincarnation (3)
Translated, Edited and Proofread by : betterdays
He had a gap from the death of his previous life to his new one that had lasted 20 years. What exactly had changed during these 20 years? If one simply thought about it, they would be confused. But since reincarnation itself was not even heard of in either of his two lives, there was nothing strange really nor was there anything normal about it.
But, Asher doubted that there was any special reason for it. He didn’t have some revenge he was unable to fulfill or any grand purpose he failed to reach. He really was satisfied with his previous life. To him, reincarnation seemed not to be luck, but rather it was still unknown.
“Your expression is looking really serious… Are you okay?”, Reika asked hesitantly.
Asher brought his hands to face to feel his jawbone and mouth. They were clenched tightly for some reason.
‘I thought I wasn’t too emotional of a person, but maybe I am?’
Asher smiled lightly.
“My memories are still jumbled up in a mess and it’s still hard to sort them together, but I’m okay with it for now.”
“That’s good to hear. Do you have any more questions?”
“Ah yes, there are two more actually. Your last name is Halvark isn’t it?”
“Yes.”, Reika nodded in response.
It was the same lord of the territory from his previous life. For some odd reason, it brought a little bit of a sense of relief throughout all the new information he was receiving.
“And the second question… How did Inak II die?”
“He went out for a battle of conquest in the West, and died in battle.”
“Is that so…”
Asher muttered to himself with a mixture of emotions. It was the emperor he had taught whole-heartedly in the past before he had started to seriously age. That child was one he taught the sword to and imparted all his knowledge and understanding of the imperial swordsmanship to. But ultimately, it was only because it was the request of his old friend the First Emperor to teach him. Though he taught the child earnestly, he didn’t grow attached to him.
“Thanks, I think that’s all the questions I have for now.”
“If you’re tired then get some rest, I’ll let you take the day off.”
“No I have to uphold my part of the deal as your employee, Miss”
It was said to have been made by Lepenia, the ruler of the North. She was quite popular with the female swordsmen because she was one of the few female heroes of her era. However, the amount of people proficient with the swordsmanship itself that were capable of actually teaching it properly, could be counted on two hands.
People thought the reason it was so difficult to master was because it was a matter of talent. They weren’t completely wrong in that conjecture. The Lepenia Swordsmanship was made for those who master it, to transcend their limitations of a human. There was nothing aside from talent that could allow one to completely master it.
But, there were other reasons as well. It wasn’t just a problem of talent when it came to the learner.
“It would be better to slow down the movement in two of the moves.”
“Which part? Is it slow enough now?”
“This part right here. This is one of the more typical mistakes made with this swordsmanship.”
Reika gently lifted the sword. Recalling Asher’s advice she brought the tip of the sword forwards and it bent smoothly like a snake. It was slower than before, but much more stable. Reika’s eyes widened in disbelief.
“…Really how could this be?! There was no such instruction in the book!”
“Well the creator of the art actually uses a faster speed like the one you were trying to imitate earlier, but their movement speed is way beyond the speed of average people.”
“How do you know that?”
“Uhm… that’s…. Uh…”
Asher stammered since the reason the way the sword art was like that, was because the creator made this swordsmanship whenever they whined while being drunk.
Asher couldn’t possibly say that to some ten year-old girl, so he just laughed it over and avoided directly answering the question.
Nevertheless it was trivial, since Reika smiled brightly and hugged Asher tightly.
“Uh. well.”(TN : Reika used hug… it was super effective!)
There was a gentle smell of perfume lingering in the air that permeated around Asher. He felt both their bodies touch and embrace while noticing the body heat. For some reason he could feel his heart beating loudly.
‘…Are you telling me my mind is still that of an old man’s but my body won’t listen?’
The arousal was too much for the body of a young boy and Asher took her off of him.
“Well most people can’t replicate what you just did since that kind of talent is only found in 1 person out of 100. Only someone as talented like you, young miss, could do something amazing like that.”
Although Asher had no talent in his past life, he still had the eyes to see what those geniuses saw.
“What about you?”
“I am not talented.”
It wasn’t as if he didn’t try to at least learn Lepenia’s swordsmanship at least once. It was just that he couldn’t find the fluidity and move his body naturally in such angles to pull off such movements to match the sophisticated swordsmanship.
In the end, he had only stuck to the imperial swordsmanship and honed it to the heights and limits it was capable of. He hadn’t really improved since he was a young man, but through time and aging he had learned subtle differences he could apply and improvise to make the swordsmanship a bit more capable. But that was it. The swordsmanship itself would not change.
‘No… it couldn’t be different. Could it?’
He was born in a completely new body. Talent was something that was innate within one’s body.
Suddenly, Asher’s heart started to beat with excitement.
He had thought that he had met his limits long ago, and that he would never be able to learn different styles of swordsmanship in earnest. But now? There was a possibility that was never there before. It wasn’t guaranteed he would have any talent. In fact the chances were still slim. However, he started to get excited and anxious. He wanted to swing his sword and see for himself.
‘But, first things first.’
Asher shook his head and calmed himself down a bit. The excitement was still there, but he just cooled his thoughts to think more rationally.
He needed to train this body from the ground up. He wouldn’t even be able to test himself to see if he had any talent until his body was capable.
Asher moved a bit farther away to gather a space around him and swing his sword.
“I felt it from before… Are you really not talented?”
“What do you mean?” Asher responded.
“Your swordsmanship is too disciplined and refined.”
Asher smiled and shrugged his shoulders. Despite his hands being soft and the calluses not visible, his skill remained with him.
“This is just imperial swordsmanship, it’s only used for self-defense”, he calmly stated.
“Ah, you’re right. Wait! What time is it right now?”
“Lunchtime seems to have already passed.”, Asher responded.
“Ah shoot!, I had an appointment! See you later Asher!”
Reika turned and rushed out of the courtyard. Asher looked at her as she left. She was such a cute little kid he thought. He would always have a soft spot for children and smile. But sometimes, he felt like he might have regretted it. Not getting married, having kids and starting a family that is. Would his life have been different?
Asher picked up the sword and brought it in the air. There was nothing to think about, he was not possibly a changeable person by nature. As he thought that the air cracked and split apart with the fierce strike from the sword.
Asher grabbed the wooden sword in his hand. Taking a step back and formulating his stance with a firm grip, he swung widely and then retracted the tip of the sword. Twisting his wrists, he suddenly changed the trajectory in a sharp manner and burst through the air with an edge.
The breeze was forced to split apart into two seams, and the leaves shook wildly in the air around him. Asher smiled slightly at the feeling of light pain in his forearms.
‘Is it starting to reach a basic level of composition?’
Muscles had begun to start taking shape and form slight curves on his body. It was a pretty good result for only a week’s worth of relentless training. It wasn’t even close to his previous bodys’ level of muscle composition but it was ridiculous to even compare the two in the first place.
It was time for Asher to start his work for the day. He crouched down and picked up a fair-looking log from the pile and seated in on top of a tree stump. He then searched for his axe and gripped it in his hands and brought it above his shoulders. Swinging downwards, the log was split clean in two.
‘What a waste of time.’
His total working hours amounted to 10 hours a day.
Compared to other employees on the estate, this was nothing. But it still took up a large portion of the day that he would rather use to train his body.
‘Even when I worked as a measly security guard, I was able to train at least on the job.’
In the first place, as a guard the job’s role would naturally allow him to even train on duty since it was a guard’s position after all. Even though cutting firewood was tedious and he was able to find some time to get a few minutes in, it was not nearly enough.
After adjusting to his body for over a week, he was able to roughly tell how his new body worked.
Asher wasn’t originally hired through the normal process like other employees. He was found abandoned as a child in front of the Lord’s Estate. At that time, the Lord’s first housewife who was unable to give birth to any kids, saw the young abandoned baby known as Asher and wanted to raise him.
After 3 years, the housewife was finally able to give birth to the eldest son and second daughter, but she still cherished Asher. Although the family could not adopt Asher formally due to concerns of the succession process getting entangled, she still raised him like any of her other children. So even after the previous ‘Asher’ was a constant misbehaving problem child, he was still allowed to live at the estate.
Thanks to the job he was given, he was able to earn spending money while still being treated to the public as an employee of the estate and not some illegitimate child. At least that was the hope for it, but people still noticed the special treatment he received.
The Lord’s family were good people after all.
The axe fell through the air once more and split a log in 2 clean halves. The axe lodged itself neatly on the stump below it and Asher clicked his tongue as he wiggled the axe out of the self-inflicted groove.
Asher knew from a physical standpoint, this body was not developed or trained at all. But, it should only have the strength to cleave the logs in two; not go further than that, and even start wedging into the stump.
But yet here he was, seemingly exuding more strength than what was capable. In fact, he was swinging full strength, but he didn’t feel any resistance from the wood. His movement felt unhindered, like a knife flowing through butter.
‘I guess this body is full of new things I have yet to find out about.’
Asher reached out for the last log he needed to cut, but found out that he had already cut all the required firewood for today. Seeing this, he picked up his axe and settled it on his work belt as he descended down the mountain.
As soon as Asher reached the bottom of the mountain and entered the town, he could feel the gazes of others filled with contempt and disgust pointed at him. Asher casually passed by through the town square in the center of the plaza. As he grew older in his past life, he became less sensitive to these kinds of gazes since he could defend himself just fine if anybody tried to act on it. Most kids his age would be frightened, but Asher could care less, since he could defend himself just fine.
“The trash is passing!”
Asher heard a loud voice shout in his direction, which was a bit abnormal since most people wouldn’t have the gall to act so brazenly. It was a young teenager that looked to be around 16 years of age. His rather colorful choice of attire made him look more like an overdressed peacock than a noble.
Asher spoke politely as he bowed respectfully to the teen,
“Hello, Master Luke.”
The eldest son of the Lord, heir to the title in fact. He was able to carry quite a bit of political power at such a young age within his own territory. …And like everybody else in the town, he did not like the existence known as ‘Asher’ at all. Even though he would moderate his behavior at the appropriate times, he held a large amount of disdain for Asher.
Luke came closer and tapped his finger on Asher’s shoulder in a condescending manner.
“I can’t stay too long around you to give you a proper farewell, It just so happens that my eyes hurt when I look at trash so early in the morning. Shouldn’t you know that commoners like you are obviously a sore sight for eyes to somebody like myself?”
The residents listening in, frowned slightly at the arrogant and demeaning words from Luke. However, Luke was too self-obsessed to even notice. He was like a typical, spoiled nobleman; he was ignorant of his people’s well-being and overconfident in his so-called ‘abilities’.
Asher nodded with no disappointment on his face whatsoever.
“I see, I am sorry Master Luke.”
“Even my father is blinded for some reason. I don’t know why our house even bothers to keep someone as pitiful as you.”
“I am grateful for the undeserved grace.”
Asher lowered himself even further and bowed at an almost 90 degree angle. He knew how to deal with these types of people without making a commotion. You just had to act subservient and flower them with words they want to hear. In his past life, he learned the hard way when he let his emotions dictate his actions.
A smile spread across Luke’s face at Asher’s behavior. However, it turned quickly from a normal and gracious smile, to a completely villainous grin.
“Hey garbage, I’ve been hearing an interesting rumor that you’ve been starting to practice the sword! What do you think you can do with it against me, a noble? Are you thinking that you could somehow kill me with that thing, let alone beating me in a duel?”
“I wonder if it is possible indeed, Master Luke.”
“What gibberish! If it wasn’t plotting to kill someone, then why would someone as trash as you even train with the sword? As a gracious noble myself, I can’t bear to even look at your so-called swordsmanship!”
It was clearly a forced situation where Luke wanted to use an excuse to harm Asher. Anybody watching could clearly see that, but they couldn’t say anything against the son of the Lord. The self-proclaimed noble then raised his hand.
“However! I am a generous noble after all, so let’s take a look why don’t we? If you can beat these two next to me, then I won’t hinder you anymore in the future. If you’ve been practicing swordsmanship, then you should be capable of that much at least, shouldn’t you?”
The two lackeys standing next to Luke came forward and drew their swords, pointing them at Asher.
“Young master… I really want to fight right now hehe…”
“Young master, can I kill this one too? Are you sure you can clean it up like you did last time?”
“Just kill him!”, Luke shouted in disgust at the two lackeys and ordered them.
It was clear that Asher, who hadn’t even reached young adulthood, could possibly be a match for two fully-grown men.
One of the men streaked forward with his sword and brought it down towards Asher’s body. Asher brought his sword up with smooth movements and parried the blow as screams echoed in the surroundings from the frightened villagers.
‘I don’t like this at all.’
Asher knew he wouldn’t be a match for them with raw strength so he took the axe out from his belt with his free hand. Flicking his wrist of the hand holding the sword, he re-directed the man’s sword away and brought the handle of the ax up in a sharp motion, slamming the back of it into the lackey’s uvula.
(TLN: the uvula is basically where the Adam’s apple is. What just happened could effectively crush the man’s esophagus.)
“Keep going! What are you doing?”
Luke yelled out in anger seeing one of his lackeys being played for a fool.
The other lackey who was acting leisurely up till now, shouted in anger as he saw his friend get smashed in the throat, rolling on the floor writhing in pain. In response to the incoming threat, Asher twisted the blade of the axe and swung it swiftly, at a speed imperceptible to the watcher’s eyes, at the incoming man’s head on reflex.
The lackey choked up as blood spurted from the incision made by the ax blade lodged in his skull.
The onlookers shouted out with surprise as they looked at the impossible outcome with their eyes wide. Luke was no exception but, he had a slightly different reaction…
Luke stumbled and took a few steps back in utter shock. He couldn’t believe this! How could two grown men be played with like fragile dolls in front of a young boy who was no older than 10 years old or so.
Chapter 4 – Fin