Novelists, painters, sculptors, etc… who were in the profession of making something were proud of themselves.
The more confident one was in their skills, the stronger they became, and the same applied to their creations.
They use the saying ‘work is more precious than children’ for no reason.
And the dwarf Vulcanus was the representative of such people.
“That means you can’t hand over a masterpiece which you put your heart and soul into.”
That was why Vulcanus’s masterpieces, the ‘Numbering Swords,’ were only given to Sword Masters.
It was the thought that he couldn’t hand over his kids to complete idiots.
The pride of the blacksmith was that his swords should be in the qualified hands of Sword Masters.
It was an attitude that might sound arrogant at first glance, but no one looked down on Vulcanus.
Because he was one of the best blacksmiths whose skill was unparalleled.
“That was why everyone was surprised. When he gave a Numbering Sword to a swordsman who wasn’t a Sword Master.”
It was 10 years ago.
Vulcanus declared that he had made his 7th, 8th, and 9th Numbering Swords, which turned the world upside down.
Because it was the first time that he showed 3 Numbering Swords at once.
However, more surprising was that all 3 swords were passed on to existences other than Sword Masters.
The public didn’t like that.
They thought that Vulcanus was losing his touch, that he must have sold the swords for a huge sum of money, and that he should no longer be called the representative of blacksmiths.
Even those who never saw the swords insulted him and his work.
Maybe because Vulcanus was a proud man… numerous people admired his stubbornness as much as his skills, so maybe that reaction was natural.
However, 5 years later.
All those who insulted Vulcanus’s choice began to regret their words.
It was because the masters of the 7th, 8th, and 9th Number Swords had risen to the level of Sword Master.
“… that’s exciting.”
“Right! I’m curious too. If they were swordsmen, how did a blacksmith even recognize that they would become Sword Masters? Of course, the three of them had great records, but even then, the status of Sword Master is something only a small number of people can reach!”
At the man’s words, Airn nodded his head.
Definitely a great story.
Even he, who wasn’t very interested in swords, began to take interest. ⁽¹⁾
Unsurprisingly, not just that table, but the tables and swordsmen around were listening to the story.
One of them was Wolfgang, a veteran mercenary, who asked.
“So, these Numbering Swords of his… how does he decide who are the right masters for his swords?”
In an instant, everyone focused.
Yes, actually, that was the important part.
Getting the sword was important, but the most important part was how was it decided?
Vulcanus’s judgment was as if he was saying, ‘You are the next person to rise to the level of Sword Master!’
Some swordsmen wouldn’t want that burden.
Some gulped and waited for the answer.
Fortunately, the man answered.
“From what I’ve heard, it’s going to be a contest.”
“Yes. I didn’t hear him say it… I heard it from one of the disciples. A week from now, the swordsmen, who want the 10th Number Sword, will gather together and be in that contest.”
“How can one participate? And what are the rules?”
“Well, I don’t know that. Since there aren’t many rumors, maybe you should find out?”
The man who was suddenly asked to participate stuttered and answered. (*)
It was understandable.
Anyone who thinks about the opportunity to obtain the best sword on the continent is bound to be overexcited.
All the swordsmen inside of the inn thought of themselves holding that sword.
Some laughed, and some were trembling.
Wolfgang was the same.
“It sounds fun. I think it will be a good experience.”
“I want to participate too.”
The moment Airn Pareira, who had been listening quietly, opened his mouth, the excitement cooled down.
“Come to think of it, if he participates, I won’t have a chance.”
At the words of Wolfgang, the mercenaries realized that they were dreaming.
They couldn’t do anything but dream.
The great background of a Krono Swordsmanship School’s trainee.
A formidable superpower that overwhelmed everyone.
Even though they could try, they wouldn’t be victorious.
“Well, who would dare enter with Airn Pareira…”
“Because of Sir Airn Pareira, we can’t even dream. But besides that, how many swordsmen will come to Derinku?”
“That’s right. I heard that even the gold card mercenaries come to the city from time to time, and the knights from the five western kingdoms too.”
“But I don’t think that even gold card mercenaries or knights can beat Airn…”
“Maybe, Sir Airn is the real master of the 10th sword?”
“Maybe it’s a possibility?”
The air inside the inn changed.
Even if Airn wasn’t thinking of himself as a Sword Master, the current story was interesting.
A swordsmanship contest, where strong men gather to win. Isn’t it a topic that would make one excited?
Even thinking that the person considered the strongest candidate had a small connection to them made the mercenaries proud.
The mercenaries and merchants were even more excited.
Of course, Airn, who heard the story, wasn’t that excited.
“… I’m going to my room.”
“What? Why? We just heard good stories from all over the place.”
“It’s burdensome. It really is. There are many people stronger than…”
Airn spoke with a slightly red face.
He was being sincere.
It was true that he had excellent skills for his age, but that didn’t matter.
He knew it better than anyone else that there were countless people greater than him in the world.
Right now, even those in Krono are stronger than him.
It was unlikely that such a man would get the sword in Derinku.
That was what he thought.
A loud voice resounded from the table in the corner.
“No, I don’t get why Airn Pareira is being praised like that? He can be a Sword Master?”
“He isn’t even a Sword Master. Why can’t you all keep your mouth shut? Don’t you know who is in Derinku right now!”
“Brother, we are here for a good time. Let’s not start an argument.”
“What the hell? You are all talking about someone no one has ever heard of and thinking of him as a candidate.”
“Then who do you think the winner will be? Is a Master really coming?”
“No. From what I’ve heard, no Master is coming. There are some strange rumors, but nothing has spread regarding that.”
“Don’t talk in circles. I asked who you think the winner will be.”
The drunken mercenary who questioned him before stood up and pushed further.
He was next to Trent and someone who praised Airn more than anyone else.
Perhaps he didn’t want to be pushed. The man at the corner table got up and said.
“Charlotte and Victor.”
“What? The strongest twins?”
“Ahh, Charlotte and Victor. Quite a monster they are.”
“Someone you know?”
Airn asked Kuvar.
And he said.
“They are quite a famous duo. They are twin swordsmen, but they are also veteran mercenaries who are rumored to be able to compete with a Sword Master if they both raise their swords.”
Airn was shocked.
He knows how strong a Sword Master is.
It’s because he directly met and talked to Ian and also saw Keira Finn.
‘Of course, they probably couldn’t win against the schoolmaster… maybe Miss Keira could lose?’
No matter how much he thought, Airn thought it was impossible.
If the rumors about the twins were true, it meant that both were superior swordsmen to him.
However, listening to Kuvar’s words, it seemed like there was more.
“That could be an exaggeration. I don’t know much about swords or what kind of existence a Master is.”
“Ah, I see.”
“But it’s true that the twins are strong seeing how the rumors go around. There are so many stories, and many mercenaries respect them.”
Kuvar shared what he knew.
They could subdue a den of demonic monsters, which are difficult to subdue in the countryside, and save a mountain from large monsters…
All of the stories were great.
It was enough to guess what level they were at.
It was because ordinary mercenaries couldn’t even dream of subjugating demons.
“Of course, you are great. Because you saved the escorts from a bandit influenced by Magi.”
“You don’t have to bring that up.”
“Well, I was just stating the truth. You are too humble. Didn’t your sister tell you to walk confidently? I don’t think that’s bad advice.”
“In that sense, how about showing them your skills?”
“I’m talking about the people trying to ignore you.”
Kuvar pointed to some people in the corner.
About ten people, including the man who started the angry outburst.
It was childish, a debate whether Charlotte and Victor were stronger or Airn was stronger.
“Before the fight starts, show them your skills. Then, even those who are corning us will back off.”
“You don’t like it?”
“… no. I’ll do it.”
It wasn’t that he liked it.
However, Airn knew that it would be helpful if he took some kind of action now.
‘At times like this, I really think she’s right.’
In order to avoid disputes, sometimes one needed to show off their skills.
Reflecting on Kirill’s words, Airn Pareira stood up.
Summoning his sword, he hit his fist on it.
Eyes gathered in an instant.
The person who argued about him, the mercenary who was holding his neck, and those who were ready to fight looked at him.
To them, Airn Pareira spoke in an awkward tone.
“Uh, hm, so… calm down, and would you like to watch my swordsmanship outside?”
“Huh. Let’s see. I’m not good at swords, but I have amazing eyes when it comes to it.”
“You don’t have such eyes at all. If it wasn’t for your stupid eyes, and you actually saw what happened. You would know how great Sir Airn is!”
Airn sighed as he looked at the people still arguing.
He remembered what the schoolmaster had said before he left the school.
It’s inevitable to get a lot of attention, so start getting used to it.
‘Right. I have come all the way here, so I need to get through this.’
He nodded his head.
He didn’t intend to break things to show it.
It was then.
Airn thought of Ilya Lindsay’s sword.
The most glamorous sword he had and Judith’s and Bratt’s swords are difficult to show with no opponent.
Making the decision, he summoned his sword again.
As people saw that, exclamations flowed out.
Some even applauded.
Clap clap clap!
“Isn’t he a swordsman?”
Clap! Clap! Clap!
“Is that so? Then what is he?”
“I don’t know. Let’s take a look.”
Clap! Clap! Clap!
“People are still applauding.”
“I know, I know it’s strange, but they should stop….”
Clap clap clap…
People were shocked, so was Airn.
They thought that the clapping would stop, but it continued.
Some even frowned in displeasure.
The reason they didn’t swear was because it was a child who was applauding.
“Woah! That’s so cool.”
“So cool! Very cool!”
A girl in a black dress continued to say it.
It was quite weird to see a young girl, who was barely ten, not afraid of large mercenaries.
Her pale white skin and thick eye makeup didn’t seem appropriate for her age.
After finishing the applause, she moved towards Airn.
Lulu, who was behind him, moved closer and said.
Airn nodded his head.
He wasn’t that well-versed in it, but he knew sorcery, so he could guess the child’s identity.
The girl, who approached him, said.
“This, can’t you give this to Anya?”
“Are you referring to my sword?”
“Yes. I want to give this to my captain.”
She was a child, but she said what she wanted to.
Of course, it wasn’t an acceptable request.
He had no intention of giving it away, but since it was a sword made of sorcery, one couldn’t even lift it.
Neither the powerful Kuvar nor the sorcerer Lulu were able to
“Sorry, but I can’t give this to you.”
“It’s a sword I cherish, and it can’t be lifted.”
“Anya can do it.”
“Anya can do it. Ah! By the way, Anya is my name! So give it. Okay?”
“If you give me the sword, I will give you something you like.”
The girl called Anya put her hand into the air.
Surprise struck the faces of the onlookers.
After a while, a strange thing popped out of the gap.
⁽¹⁾ Swords meaning greatswords, rapiers, etc., not swordsmanship. He’s interested in swordsmanship, obviously.
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