༺ Demon Sword (1) ༻
Aisha was at a loss for words.
Why did the person who was all smiles until now, suddenly change her attitude like that? Maybe this woman had her heart broken?
As she was thinking that, Renee warned her again.
“Don’t get interested in Vera. Because Vera will leave ‘with me’ soon.”
I wasn’t even interested.
What is she even saying about me having an interest in the escort? If anything, the atmosphere around him is gloomy, he makes me nervous, and worst of all…
‘Does he even have furry ears?’
Why would I be interested in someone with no hair on their ears?
Aisha was furious. It was due to the fact that she was being painted as a freak who likes those without hair on their ears, as well as the sudden outburst of rage directed at her.
However, in the midst of her rage, a question crossed her mind…
‘…Do you genuinely like him?’
No way, you aren’t kidding and really do like him? Someone without furry ears? How did your tastes develop in such a way that you could like someone like that?
“Why don’t you say something?”
Renee raised her chin.
Aisha began to stutter because she was unsure of how to respond. Her pride was hurt by the thought that she might lose the argument if it continued. So, she gave such a reply.
With a mischievous smile on her lips.
“Well, don’t you know that it’s useless even if you listen to that man?”
“Wh- What are you saying?!”
Ahhhhh! Renee screamed inwardly.
Her face was bright red and her shoulders were shaking.
Aisha felt that she had taken control of the conversation, and then repeated what an old mercenary captain had habitually said.
“How can a person live on just home-cooked meals? They should eat out as well as at home!”
Honestly, she didn’t really understand what he meant, but Aisha clearly remembered that the older sister who was always following the old mercenary captain would get angry when he said this.
Surely, that blind woman will get angry too.
Aisha’s thoughts weren’t mistaken.
Renee stopped dead in her tracks, looking as though she had been hit on the back of her head with a hammer.
Renee was speechless.
Renee wasn’t so dumbfounded that she couldn’t even understand the meaning behind Aisha’s words.
When judging from the context of the conversation, she would be the source of that home-cooked meal, and eating out would be done with Aisha.
That’s right. Aisha was now declaring war on her, a statement indicating that she will steal Vera away.
A voice full of rage.
Aisha tilted her head in response.
‘What’s with her all of a sudden?’
It was natural that Aisha didn’t know why Renee was infuriated, since she had spouted those words without thinking.
Meanwhile, Renee’s imagination conjured yet another despairing scene.
Vera had turned his back to her and was walking further into the distance. There was a small woman with perked up cat ears by his side. And that woman who Renee had only seen from behind had finally turned her head around, and then spoke with a mocking smile.
Renee’s shoulders shuddered.
Her head was hot and her emotions were boiling.
It was too unfair! Renee had only ever held his hand, and still hadn’t been able to hug or kiss him, so why was she trying to steal Vera away from her?
It was almost enough to make her cry; no, the tears were already flowing.
One might ask why she was crying over something like this, but Renee wouldn’t have any words to offer as an answer.
It was different from her encounter with the elves. Even if it was purely her own delusions before, this time her opponent was openly declaring war against her.
Furthermore, Aisha was older and her words carried a sense of experience in them.
It was a crisis in the midst of a crisis.
Renee let out a muffled sob.
As a result, a panicked expression settled across Aisha’s face.
Suddenly, Aisha forgot about her anger and fell into a state of panic. She didn’t know what to do when Renee was about to burst into tears.
“Hey, hey… Why are you crying?”
“Huu… Ku… Hu…”
Tears welled up in Renee’s eyes and snot was dripping from her nose.
That’s what emotions are by nature. If you cross the line, it becomes impossible to respond in a way that demonstrates rational judgment or thoughts.
The same was true of Renee’s current situation. It wasn’t because of Aisha’s provocation that Renee was about to burst into tears.
It was her anxiety over their relationship that had not made any progress for over 3 years. The sudden appearance of Aisha, a potential threat to her love life, only contributed to her emotional turmoil. Renee also felt resentment towards herself because she couldn’t refute anything. The culmination of all these issues resulted in Renee’s emotions reaching a breaking point.
The growing resentment began to eat away at Renee. She tried to convince herself that crying would be the same as conceding defeat, but her body refused to listen. Immediately after, Renee completely burst into tears.
Aisha was completely flustered as she began to comfort Renee.
A strange situation where Renee was crying and Aisha was the one comforting her.
The painful and unsightly scene finally came to an end when Norn, feeling the awkward tension between the two, stood up and brought Dovan and Vera with him.
It was only after the whole situation was over that Renee found out the truth. Aisha was actually a 12-year-old kid.
In the blacksmith’s forge some time later.
Dovan heaved a deep sigh with a face riddled with exhaustion and said to Vera.
“I apologize. My apprentice is childish, so we should stop here for today.”
“…No, it’s fine.”
Vera responded to Dovan’s apology while staring dazedly into the air for no apparent reason.
It was because of the scene still playing in his head.
The appearance of Renee with a runny nose as she was crying her heart out, talking in a voice full of sorrow.
– You know, cheating is bad!!! W-W-waaaa!!!
Vera was unaware of the situation as he had arrived late, but when he saw Renee saying such things, he had a rare thought where he couldn’t help but think, ‘Why is she like this?’
It was a truly disrespectful thought, but… No matter how much he thought about it, it wasn’t without reason.
Vera closed his eyes shut.
“…Let’s finish discussing the commission.”
There was an awkward atmosphere between the two.
An empty room in Dovan’s house.
In the room prepared for the occasional guests, Renee wrapped herself tightly in a blanket on the bed and weakly groaned.
Renee firmly shut her eyes while underneath the blanket, her face bright red with shame.
It was only after her head slightly cooled off that she realized.
‘With a 12-year-old kid…’
A genuine argument. No, it would have been better if that was all.
‘Lost. I lost…’
She even lost. She fell for a child’s provocation and threw a tantrum.
In the midst of her growing sense of humiliation and shame, Renee recalled the resolution she had made in the past.
Let’s die with honor instead of living a disgraceful life. Renee’s tongue stuck out from between her lips.
However, Renee didn’t have the courage to truly die. All she could do was squirm around and twist her body in shame.
As Renee twisted and turned, the rolled up blanket continued to move.
In the midst of her wriggling, Renee’s body suddenly trembled at the scene that emerged in her mind.
– You know, cheating is bad!!! W-W-Waaaa!!!
Why did she do that? Why did something tragic have to happen because she couldn’t bear the moment?
There was a surge of shame, like she had been struck by a tsunami. What followed was anger directed towards herself.
Renee couldn’t bear it any longer.
There was no response.
After confirming that she was alone in the room with only a speck of her sanity remaining, with a ‘Bang!’ Renee kicked the blanket with all her might.
Renee was in despair today as well at the fact that she didn’t possess the power to turn back time.
Vera marveled as he looked at the samples Dovan brought out.
‘A master blacksmith.’
He could tell at a glance.
‘A level that can compete with even the Imperial Meisters.’
The caliber of the swords taken out as mere ‘samples’ were far beyond the general category.
It wasn’t just about the perfection of a simple sword.
Vera felt the same sensation as when he wielded swords forged by those called ‘master blacksmiths’ from this sword.
The sparkling of the sword’s surface, the straight center, and center of gravity felt when holding the sword by the hilt. There was a distinct individuality that could only be described as stubbornness, all of which clearly conveyed that the sword had been forged by an individual of the same quality.
That was what this sword felt like.
Dovan was a blacksmith of the highest level who was able to engrave the creator’s individuality into the sword.
“How is the sword?”
Vera answered while staring attentively at Dovan.
‘Did I know such a skilled blacksmith?’
He found it strange that he had never heard of Dovan in his previous life.
Vera was serious about armaments of war. It was his personal obstinacy that refused to lose to anyone in terms of armaments. As a result, Vera created a ‘blacklist’ of every master blacksmiths on the continent, then personally pursued and captured them.
From the Meisters of the Empire to the Dwarves of the East to the Magical Engineers of the Mage Tower.
Even now, among the countless names of the blacksmiths inscribed in Vera’s head, the name Dovan was not there.
There was only one conceivable assumption.
Dovan was already dead by the time Vera began actively searching for accomplished blacksmiths.
If there were such a brilliant blacksmith, they would be protected and sought after on a national scale. But why has there been no such movement?
As Vera’s complexion darkened from the emerging worries, Dovan spoke.
“I believe the customer is aware, but smelting Froden into a sword is a very lengthy process. In addition, once it has been smelted and molded, it takes twice as long to melt again. It’s imperative that we establish a clear direction from the start because of this.”
Dovan stopped speaking for a moment and looked at Vera. He gestured towards the swords on display before continuing.
“These samples possess the specifications I’m most confident in. Please choose one that best fits your preference.”
The doubts in Vera’s head dissipated and he nodded his head in response to Dovan.
‘An immediate answer won’t arrive right away.’
The best course of action at this time was to observe Dovan and identify the exact details surrounding his death.
After arriving at that conclusion, Vera began to inspect the swords on display again, contemplating each requirement.
Vera was drawing each sword into the air, considering each of the sword’s length, width, center of gravity, and so on. He soon narrowed his eyes after discovering a sword tucked in a corner of the room.
‘Is that also a sample?’
As he was thinking that, Vera tried approaching the sword.
“Oh, not that.”
Dovan hurriedly stopped Vera.
Dovan motioned the wheelchair with a ‘Squeak,’ as he headed towards the sword and continued speaking.
“I forgot to clean up beforehand. I apologize, but this one is still incomplete.”
“Well, this is a rather embarrassing sight to show. This sword didn’t feel quite right as I was forging it, but I forgot to dispose of it in my fit of anger.”
He said that with an embarrassed smile.
Dovan grabbed the hilt of the sword and drew it.
Vera widened his eyes at the sword that had finally been revealed.
The word incomplete didn’t suit the sword that emerged. It already seemed like a finished work of art.
A thin obsidian blade with a slim sword guard, and a fairly long handle extending at the end.
“A master blacksmith should not be driven by such weak ambitions. My goal is to create the greatest masterpiece of this lifetime. I, too, harbor such desires, but… this sword falls short of my expectations.”
Vera couldn’t concentrate on the words Dovan uttered with a hearty laugh.
It was because he already recognized what that sword was.
That sword Dovan referred to as incomplete was the same sword Aisha would wield in the future—the Demon Sword.
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