|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3092 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1461 words|
Saying that, Mira took a step forward and took out the sword wrapped in cloth. It was the sword one of Chimera Clauzen’s heads had used as the basis for a spirit sword. Since the sword had Gregor’s signature engraved on it, Mira had come all this way to ask him about it.
「A sword? But why would a spellcaster want to show me a sword? If you want me to appraise it then bad luck, I’m too busy now.」
Gregor did not seem very interested in it, pushing it away. All Gregor wanted was to make swords for those worthy of having them.
「Now, now, don’t say that before you’ve seen it. I’m sure it’ll look familiar to you.」
Not minding Gregor’s disinterested attitude, Mira began undoing the cloth covering the sword. First the hilt became visible, then the crossguard, and lastly the blade was revealed. It was a magnificent sword.
「That’s… how did you come to possess that?」
As soon as he saw it, Gregor’s attitude changed. His brows knit together and he glared at Mira.
「Ohh, I knew you had seen it before.」
Mira prodded him further, making Gregor narrow his eyes before looking at the sword with a longing expression.
「Of course. It’s a sword I made.」
As soon as Gregor uttered those words, Emera let out a surprised shriek and ran over to the sword, looking at it from very close up. But then she felt Gregor’s and Mira’s disapproving stares on her and retreated. It had been confirmed Gregor was the maker of the sword. That meant the next question would have even more weight.
「Could you tell me who you made this sword for then?」
Gregor’s swords were highly customized, always made with every small measure in mind, making sure they would feel at home in their owner’s hands. They were good swords so anyone would be able to use them successfully, but only the original owner could utilize them to their fullest. And considering this sword came from one of Chimera Clauzen’s head, it did not make much sense for him to use a sword that felt inferior in his hand compared to others. That meant the man Mira had found at the end of the Mirage Maze was most likely the original owner of the sword, and Gregor had to be very familiar with him.
「And what do you gain by knowing? What’s your goal with all this?」
As he spoke, Gregor turned a sharp look to Mira, almost as if his eyes were holding a dagger next to her throat. No decent workmen would ever leak their customer information, the only exception being when there was a more important reason behind it. Mira was fully aware of that. Looking straight into Gregor’s eyes, Mira held the sword by its hilt, lifting the blade between their eyes as she grinned.
「To snuff out Chimera’s head.」
She gently rotated the sword to reveal her eyes glinting more sharply than the blade. Chimera Clauzen being referred to as simply Chimera was common. And Gregor had heard about them before, from conversations with adventurers he knew. They were the group constantly harming spirits.
Usually workmen like him had little contact with spirits, unlike warriors and adventurers. But when one wanted to enhance their work to its fullest, interaction with spirits was required. The blessing of certain spirits could greatly enhance one’s abilities to judge their creations after all. In his long life as a swordsmith, Gregor had obtained the blessing of a couple of such spirits, so he held them in high esteem. Chimera Clauzen’s actions were thus inexcusable for him.
「Tell me more.」
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Gregor sat on a nearby chair and crossed his arms, waiting for Mira to speak.
With a short reply, Mira placed the sword in the stand in front of Gregor and explained how she obtained it. How she fought one of Chimera Clauzen’s heads in the Mirage Maze, who was a necromancer using that sword as well as wearing armor made with shadow spirit arms. The man had escaped after the fight, but Mira believed the sword could be a clue to his identity, so she had come to ask Gregor. Mira explained all of that as quickly as she could.
Hearing all that, he barely uttered a word and took the sword from the stand. Looking at the blade, he heaved a long sigh and closed his eyes as he reminisced about the past. After a while he slowly opened his eyes and returned the sword to the stand with a pained expression, sitting heavily on the chair again and crossing his arms, his eyes staring blankly at the air as he began to speak.
「This sword’s owner is called Gregorius. He’s my son.」
As he spoke, his eyes seemed to turn from those of a skilled smith to those of an average old man traversing his memories. The tone of his voice sounded almost like a confession as he narrated his past. He had made the sword thirty years ago, for his son Gregorius who had just been instated as the second in command of the archeological research committee of Ozstein.
Gregorius was a necromancer, so as a spellcaster he was unable to use the fighting spirit of warriors, so swords were merely for decoration or self defense for him. There was a fundamental difference between him and how warriors relied on swords for their life. For Gregor, people who thought of swords that way were not worthy of possessing one. But there was only one time he went against that belief. The only time in his career as smith he made a sword for self-protection rather than daily use. And that sword was now in Mira’s hands.
「So he’s still alive…」
Muttering that, he looked at the sword in the stand, his eyes showing a hint of fatherly relief. Some years after the archeological research committee was founded, they all disappeared together with a group of guards in some historic ruins. Later investigations found only a handful of corpses from the members, while the rest had never been found. But now one of them, Gregorius, had resurfaced as a head of Chimera Clauzen. Even if he had never actually seen him, the sword was proof enough for Gregor. The scuffs and small reparations made on the sword could have been only caused by his son.
「But to think that he’s now…」
Many thoughts swirling in his head, he drooped his shoulders and stood up. 「I’m sorry but I’ll take the day off」 he said as he went on unsteady steps to lie down on a simple bed. His long lost son he had thought was dead had become one of the leaders of a group harming spirits. As a father, that was probably a very harsh revelation. Realizing that much, Mira took a glance at the sword on the stand and turned around, 「Thank you for your time」 she said before walking away.
「Mira, you obtained that sword fair and square, right? Shouldn’t we take it with us?」
Since Gregor was taking the day off, Emera had nothing left to do there either. She followed Mira, but looked at the sword left on the stand with regret as she asked in a whisper.
「I’ve obtained everything I needed from it, so I have no reason to take it.」
Mira had absolutely no interest in Gregor’s only self defense sword, but Emera kept looking behind with regret until they reached the door. Gregor’s swords were made entirely to the user’s measurements and habits, so it could be hard for someone else to get much advantage from them.
But they still had value outside their usability. They were treated as works of art. Like the long history and beauty behind the Mona Lisa, the thorough workmanship of one person to make the perfect sword had a lot of value. So while the actual owners of those swords almost never parted ways with them, collectors throughout the continent would go in a frenzy whenever one was on sale. Emera calculated that even that self defense sword could easily get auctioned for more than a hundred million Rils. Yet Mira left it behind saying she simply had no use for it anymore. To Emera, that sounded like she was not right in the head.
「I guess some things never change.」
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Mira might not be crazy, but that was something Emera could imagine her saying. She had already seen a glimpse of that side of Mira when they fought together in the past after all.