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122 Part 1
Running Away from the Hero 122
To the World of Farming! (4)
#3 Other stories: An old man’s story
A pink-haired girl twisted her body to avoid a silver-haired girl’s attack.
While the evading movement was fluid enough for me to be surprised, the pink-haired girl seemed dissatisfied with it.
“Unnie! Unnie! Since Daddy is asleep, can’t we rest now?”
“No! A bad child has to be scolded!”
“I hate you!”
I could not hide my smile, watching them running everywhere. I would have had cute granddaughters like them if I had not been immersed in my swordsmanship and instead married and had children. However, it was too late to regret anything, as we cannot turn back the past. I had spent my life for my sword and broke ties with my family to get stronger. I had believed that my prowess was everything for my swordsmanship.
A year, a decade, and thirty years passed, and I started being called the Holy Sword rather than my name and was confident that I had been right until I lost the title. I had not imagined that I would lose to a female warrior in her twenties, my title!
I remember my fight with the current Holy Sword now, and we had fought for a week. She had been strong as a swordsman and had powerful magic. However, I was stronger than her, since I had used my sword longer than her age, and that time gave me power as experience.
However, she was stronger than me on one point, and I lost to her because of only that difference. It was a sword! No matter how good the sword’s quality is, it is no use if the user does not have the skills. That was my belief, and I thought any sword would be suitable for a swordsman if he had the skill.
Then, what is a sword? It is a weapon a person used for self-protection according to human history. The individual picked up a sword because humans were weaker than beasts, monsters, and demons. We used tree branches first, and then fixed rocks onto it, which we sharpened by grinding. After humans learned magic, we endowed it onto the sword and used rare metals like mithril to earn more. We can see by going back in history that we used a wooden stick to protect ourselves. Therefore, I thought of a long branch I picked up during a walk as my sword. Something better would be a luxury. I believed I could maintain my title with a stick if I had enough skills! It actually had been realistic, since every challenger fell under my sword until the current Holy Sword came.
However, my sword broke down during my fight with her, who had been the strongest challenger I had met. A stick was a mere stick, no matter how much I strengthened it with magic. No matter how much I was stronger than her, the tables turned on the moment my sword broke down.
I still clearly remember what the current Holy Sword shouted after looking at my sword breaking down. She had said that a mithril sword was the best one could have. I lost just like that, and she took away my title as the Holy Sword.
If only I had fallen because I used too much magic, or I was weaker then her. Even if I had lost to someone with a younger physique, I would not have let go of the sword I had kept with me my entire life. However, the only difference between my loss and her win was the weapon.
I was stronger and knew about the sword more than her! I had lost my title, which had been my lifework, because of a weapon! While I had been wandering without contacting my family to relieve my anxiety, I kept failing to do so and could not pick up my sword even now.
Twenty years passed since then. The previous Holy Sword was no more, and only Steon, who made liquor in a rural village, was left. However, I remembered old memories with regret whenever I drank. It may be more accurate to call it past regrets. Was skill more important for a swordsman, or was a weapon really the priority? Who could answer my question? Would Heaven’s Sword, who was said to have reached the sky with his skills, know the answer? Or would the Noble Sword, the master of the Keshar family, called the greatest swordsman family name of the lands, see the answer?
While I tried to pour beer into an empty glass, the beer keg was already empty. The chicken and potato dishes that my next-door neighbor had made were all gone, and while I felt satisfied, I was still a bit hungry.
Sadly, I was staring at my drunken neighbor Merln lying down and the table with empty dishes when Alice came to me and tilted her head.
“You succeeded in running away.”
“We agreed that I would play with her tomorrow! It’s a secret from Daddy!”
I stroked Alice’s hair without realizing it. She was cute enough now to break a few hearts in the future and also had a lovely character, possibly from Merln’s teachings.
“Yes, Alice, why did you call me?”
“Oh, yes! Do you have something on your mind?”
“Yes, you looked just like you were thinking about a problem as you drank between sighs!”
“You caught me.”
I was a bit embarrassed when I raised my head to see Alice stare at me with worried eyes. I had been sighing enough for a young child like her to notice, and I really felt like I had become an old man.
“Yes, I have something on my mind.”
“Then ask Daddy! He knows everything!”
“Is that so?”
“Yes, my father’s amazing!”
I laughed at Alice, pointing at her father while nodding. I felt a pang of envy at a daughter who had faith in her father and a father who could receive such trust.
“Would I get an answer if I ask Merln about it?”
“Yes! Daddy takes up all sorts of problems since he solves everything that I ask him!”
“I’ll talk to him about this later on.”
That would have been the opportunity. I understood that the weapon had been the important thing because of Alice’s passing statement.
Was I still drunk, or was my hearing awry?
“I was the previous Holy Sword.”
I thought I had heard wrong, but the old man repeated the same thing.
“You…were a Holy Sword?”