Chapter 12: The End and Beginning of a Dream
Gerhard slurped down a tepid beer in celebration of finishing a tricky job.
This was a region where only poor quality water was available. Everyone, from children to adults, drank beer instead of water. Wine would have been fine, but the monastery had a monopoly on wine production, and it was a bit expensive. Gerhard preferred beer, partly because he didn’t feel good about letting those stinkers make a profit.
“Well, the pale face of the hero was really a masterpiece. That’s it, that’s what I wanted to see, wahaha!”
Gerhard was in a good mood, but Jocel, who was keeping him company, was puzzled as to whether it was really a good idea to put something like that out into the world.
“…… should be here by now.”
When Jocel asked, Gerhard also nodded.
“He will come.”
The hero Ricardo will come to ask about that sword. If he wants to use the sword all by himself, that’s a big deal.
After talking about enchantments for a while, there was a knock on the door that was too violent to be called a knock.
“Gerhard-sama, are you there? It’s Ricardo!”
Giving a wry smile to the young man’s voice, which contained anger and confusion, Gerhard replied as he raised his cup.
“It’s open, come on in.”
The key was destroyed by Jocel just the other day. It is a trivial matter for Gerhard now.
“Gerhard-sama, what is this sword?”
As soon as he entered, Ricardo held out his sword and questioned him.
He’s an impatient man, although I understand the feeling of wanting to say that. Gerhard replied in a deliberately laid-back tone.
“I don’t know how to answer even if you just ask me what.”
“I’m talking about whether this sword is cursed.”
“That kind of thing doesn’t matter”
“Then why is that…!”
Ricardo was speechless. He couldn’t describe the strange experience very well.
“First of all, let me make a correction. It’s not a sword of our country, it’s a sword of a foreign country.”
“A katana, is it?”
“It’s a single-edged blade, and it’s characterized by the wavy crest on the blade. It emphasizes slashing rather than hitting.”
“Do all of those katanas have such eerie powers?”
“No way. I’ve seen a katana several times, and I own one, but I have never wanted to be cut by one. That’s the only thing that’s special about it.”
Gerhard’s sharp gaze fell on Ricardo’s sword. Ricardo gripped the black lacquered scabbard tightly as if he was wary that it might be stolen.
“Beautiful. Really, just too beautiful. It is so beautiful that it disturbs the hearts of all who see it. I was curious, so I enchanted the sword with enchantment magic, and it turned out to be so evil that I couldn’t even touch it.”
“It’s gone, isn’t it!”
Ricardo was getting heated, but Jocel quieted him down and made him sit down. It was rude for an adventurer to speak like that to a magician in the Count’s employ, but Jocel did not blame him, saying that it was clearly his master’s fault.
“If you can’t use it, you can return it. I’ll give you an ordinary sword instead. Hey, my dear hero.”
Ricardo was at a loss for words. No matter how you look at it, that sword is suspicious and dangerous. But he had no desire to give it up.
Gerhard nodded his head in agreement as he looked at Ricardo, who was flustered. He doesn’t want to let go, as a swordsman should be.
“If that sword belongs to you, then I have nothing to say to you. You must put on the magic tool of mental resistance and get used to it by pulling it out a little and putting it back in again and again.”
“…Thank you for your advice.”
“It’s your sword,” Ricardo made up his mind.
If you still want to be the master of that sword, even after understanding its charm and danger, then you have no choice but to do something about it yourself.
“And the bracelet Jocel gave you, give it back.”
“… I thought it was mine.”
“What kind of a drunken madness would compel me to give an expensive magical tool to someone who is not my disciple or anything? Jocel insisted that he did not want to cause a blood feud in the audience chamber, so I had no choice but to lend him the equipment.”
I have a track record of being saved thanks to that bracelet. I would hate to have it taken away from me when I am about to train to resist the temptation of the sword.
I would have said that I would buy it, but the price of mental resistance magic tools was quoted at a very high price.
Gerhard sat up heavily..
“I’m going to ask the Count to meet with me. If you want, I can lend you the bracelet for a while.”
“That’s very kind of you to say, but what in the world do you want?”
Ricardo looked at Jocel, but he silently shook his head. Apparently, Jocel doesn’t know either.
Gerhard said it like it was nothing.
“What, I’m just begging for some time off and a little bit of fun.”
When I asked for a visit, the Count kindly accepted. We just met two hours ago. He was twisting his neck as to what I wanted.
“I would like to take a short break from my role as your exclusive spell caster.”
“What… Are you dissatisfied with your current treatment?”
“No. Your Excellency has given me various interesting jobs, and my own skills have improved. Although I am indebted to you, I have not a single bit of dissatisfaction.”
“The magic sword I created this time is the masterpiece of my lifetime. I cannot offer you anything better than that. Therefore, I would like to re-start my training and re-evaluate myself once again.”
“Hmm, you’re saying that a man like you hasn’t learned enough yet.”
“Enchanting is a lifelong study. I have learned it the hard way.”
Count Zander stroked his chin and pondered for a moment. He said that he could not make a better magic sword than this one. He would no longer have a reward to give to the hero, but he would not be pleased if he gave them something suitable now.
Looking back, I might have forced Gerhard to do too much.
“What about you Ricardo?”
When he called out to him, Ricardo took a step forward.
“I, too, need time to master this sword. I cannot afford to use other magic swords. Or I may have to use this sword for the rest of my life.”
“I’ll let you if you tell me that much ……”
The appended spellcaster and the hero are mutually convinced. If that is the case, it would be tactless for the patron to force them to stay. With a touch of loneliness, the Count concluded so.
“Very well. Gerhard, you may study and work on it for a while. But when you have finished something good, surely come and show it to me.”
“We thank your Excellency for your kindness.”
“From now on, we will pay Ricardo’s rewards in money for a while, okay?”
“Yes, thank you!”
Now Gerhard can escape the daily grind of quotas and devote himself to research as he pleases. To his surprise, he felt lighter. It seems that he was just being stubborn and overdoing it.
“So, without further ado…..”
As Gerhard and the others were about to turn on their heels and leave the room, the Count called out to them as if he had just remembered.
“Ah, that’s right…”
The three men turned around in unison.
“I see that sword is called a katana. I want one too. Would you make something for me, even if it’s light?”
I have the most trouble with requests like that, even if they are light. There is no way that a sword to be presented to a count should be appropriate. Amateurs will say it is fine to be light, out of kindness, but there is nothing that can be skimped on.
It is not necessary to make a magical sword, but it should be more splendid than Ricardo’s sword at a quick glance. Also, since the Count asked for a katana, we must provide him with one.
We must now find craftsmen who can make foreign weapons!
Only just now Gerhard has been asked for his selfishness. He owed me a debt, and I owed him a favor. He could never say no.
“Oh, as you wish, Your Excellency.”
Gerhard had no choice but to answer with a drooping face.