|Author: Tsunose Bun||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3024 characters|
|Translator: Jiro||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1088 words|
Merc had been swinging a wooden sword since morning, as she had no plans to go to Rosemary’s place today.
Usually, she would go to her Master’s place once every two days. And on her days off, she would either practice swordsmanship or Mana Manipulation. Furthermore, she didn’t need to chop any firewood today because she had chopped more than enough the day before.
“Sis, is that fun?”
Just as Merc was taking a short break, Merc’s brother, who was watching her, asked her. His name was Law and he looked like a slightly shorter version of Merc. He was also androgynous, as was usual of children his age.
As he watched Merc, Law sat on the ground with his arms around his knees.
“Hey, Law. This has nothing to do with whether or not you’re having fun. It is one of the things that every warrior must do.”
“Warrior? Are you a warrior, Sis?”
“Strictly speaking I’m a swordsman… However, anyone who fights might be referred to as a warrior. Even so, this will be difficult for your 8-year-old self.”
“That is not true! I’ll join as well!”
Law, who was normally indifferent to Merc swinging her wooden sword or cutting wood, appeared to be unusually active today.
He had stopped coming to see Merc train after declaring his intention to become a teacher. His curiosity today could have sprung from his renewed interest in the sword. Or he was probably thinking about something because his sister had returned home late the day before.
“Here you go. Try not to hurt yourself, okay?”
As soon as Merc handed him the wooden stick, Law’s face tensed up. After all, the stick was loaded with lead on the inside, so it was probably much heavier than it appeared.
“What’s wrong? You won’t be able to cut a single sheet of paper with that posture. Watch out!”
Due to the weight of the wooden stick, Law lost his balance and was about to fall back as he raised it. However, Merc immediately caught him and took back the wooden stick.
“I knew it. It’s way too early for you.”
“B-But, Mom told me that you’ve been doing this since you were five.”
“I began with a manageable level of difficulty and gradually increased it to where I am now. If you really want to learn how to swing a sword, start with a light wood branch.”
“A tree branch? Can I really become stronger using that?”
“Beats me. Why do you want to become strong in the first place?”
Law grew silent at the unexpected question. Perhaps he merely wanted to get stronger for no apparent reason, as is often the case with children his age.
And, as a victim of that endeavor, Merc dropped down on one knee and looked at Law.
“Listen closely, Law. You can do almost anything when you’re strong. And you’ll probably end up doing almost anything. For example, killing someone you don’t like or having things go your way by sacrificing others… You’ll end up doing those things.”
Law refuted, clearly irritated by Merc’s statements. Merc, on the other hand, just giggled to herself since she had done all of those things.
“In that case, it’s fine if you don’t become strong. There’s no reason for you to become strong.”
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Merc’s words left Law speechless. After all, he hadn’t anticipated any of this.
“Law, what was your dream again?”
“My dream? … It’s to become a splendid teacher like Father.”
“That’s right. That’s all you need. Your wish is to wield a teaching pointer, not a sword. So focus your efforts there. You require a different kind of strength than a swordsman.”
“… But, Sis…”
Law finally made up his mind after a long period of twiddling his thumbs and looked up at his sister.
“What will you do when you become strong? Isn’t your dream to become a Healer?”
“… That’s right. My dream is to become a Healer.”
“Then you don’t need to get as strong as well, right? After all, you aren’t a warrior.”
Law’s words were completely correct.
Every single one of his statements was spot on when it came to Merc. So, why was Merc not only swinging her sword and studying Healing, but also learning Magic?
“It’s simple. Healers must have the strength to protect themselves.”
“The strength to protect themselves?”
“That’s right. The better the Healer, the more risk he must face. Naturally, if he joins an adventurer’s party, he will have to fight. If that happens, he can’t just rely on the others to protect him at all times because he can’t fight, can he?”
“… He can’t.”
“Additionally, Healers confront plenty of other challenges. An old acquaintance of mine, a Healer, told me she had been kidnapped by nobles once they discovered her talent at a young age. Thankfully, she was able to escape and began training to protect herself. And before myself3 knew it, she had become a Saintess.”
That woman, come to think of it, she used to get quite irritated when someone called her a Saintess. Well, I suppose that’s why I always called her that…
“Saintess? An acquaintance of yours? A Healer? What is this about, Sis? Who are you talking about? Do I know her? Why did you call yourself ‘myself’?”
Merc became out of touch with her current self as a result of recalling events that were still fresh in her mind. To distract Law, Merc quickly put a grin on her face and began to stroke his head, which was filled with question marks.
“Don’t mind it. It’s nothing. All I wanted to say is that Healers are vulnerable to various threats, and I need the strength to defend myself. However, that is not the case with teachers, am I correct?”
“In fact, Father can’t beat Mother at arm wrestling or arguing. Physical strength isn’t necessary.”
“You’re right… However, I still want to get a little bit stronger.”
Just when Merc believed her brother had given up, he looked up at her with a sad expression on his face.
“It’s because I don’t want to become like Father.”
Merc’s offhand comment reminded her brother of his Father’s defeats to his Mother in arm wrestling as well as in their quarrels4.
Merc felt guilty once she realized she had unwittingly harmed her Father’s dignity.
- Robinxen: This is just me trial running Rousseaurumu’s potential alternative name.
- Robinxen: We still haven’t really reached a consensus regarding Merc’s name. Some people seem fine with it, some prefer alternatives and some don’t like it but don’t like the alternative’s more. We’re at a bit of a stalemate and still working out on how to proceed. So keep commenting your input!
- T/N: Merc refers to herself with 俺 (Ore) here, which is normally used by males, as opposed to 私 (Watashi) which she usually uses, which is gender-neutral and can be used by males and females alike So I decided to use “myself” instead of “I” in this case, as it will be brought up later.
- Robinxen: It’s a fantasy setting, why do people get hung up on this?
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