Chapter 8: The Deadly Blade and the Madman
The next day. Jocel finished his knightly duties and headed for the Enchantment Workshop. He knocks, but there is no answer.
Could it be that the Master was consumed by the mysterious power of the sword and had harmed himself, or had even committed suicide. He imagined the worst.
The door is locked, but it’s not very sturdy. I kicked it with all my strength and it opened easily.
“Master, be safe!”
I look around, relieved that I don’t smell blood. There is no sign of Gerhard.
As I carefully proceeded with my hand on the hilt of my sword, I saw something lying at my feet.
It’s Gerhard. He was holding a sword and sighing in his sleep with a happy face. He looked like a child who had taken a liking to a toy. Who would have believed that this is the appearance of the most prestigious and honored spellcaster in the count’s domain.
I was reluctant to wake him up because he was sleeping so comfortably, but then I reconsidered that it would be disloyal to let my elderly mentor catch a cold by letting him sleep on the floor, so I shook him awake.
“Master, please get up. If you want to sleep, please sleep in your bed.”
“… N, oh, Jocel. You’re up early.”
“It’s already past noon.”
Gerhard looked around curiously. It seems that for the first time he noticed that he was sleeping on the floor and that he was holding a sword.
“I don’t remember asking the sun to rise…”
Jocel couldn’t decide whether his master was half asleep or serious.
“Master, that sword….or katana? How is it?”
Gerhard grinned as if he had listened well. He wanted to show off, and if he didn’t show interest, he wouldn’t be qualified to be an spellcaster.
“Do you want to see it?”
“By all means”
Gerhardt stood up, took out a sinister-decorated necklace from the chest of drawers, and handed it to Jocel.
“Wear it. It’s a magical tool with resistance to mental anomalies.”
He tried to say that if he had the strength of a knight, he wouldn’t be deceived by any hallucinations, but the seriousness of his teacher’s expression made Jocel decide to follow him honestly.
It should only be a weapon, a sword enchanted with magic, but Jocel pulled it out of its sheath as if he were opening a cage for a raging beast.
A sweet smell spread throughout the room. No, there was no way the sword could smell like that. This was a hallucination.
It was like lucid dreaming where you realize you are dreaming in a dream. I knew it was a dream, but I couldn’t move.
A beautiful, naked woman appeared before me. She was covered in blood, as if she had a bucket of blood on her head, and was holding the same sword that Jocel was holding.
Is that smile a saint or a merciful mother? The woman raises her sword, but Jocel still cannot move.
The moment I thought I was going to be slashed, I heard the sound of crushing stones. The hallucinations of the woman and her sweet scent dissipated, and the scenery of the dimly lit workshop returned.
Jocel had a blade to his neck. The thought that he had almost killed himself without knowing why made him break out in a cold sweat all over his body.
With trembling hands, he returned the sword to its sheath and checked the necklace to find that the jewel in the center had shattered spectacularly.
A fear of a different nature than the one I had just experienced came over me. He had broken an unimaginably expensive piece of magical equipment. I don’t know exactly how much it cost, but it was not something that a knight could easily pay for.
I was too scared to see how big the shattered jewel was.
“I am sorry, Master. Due to my own inexperience, I have broken the magical equipment you entrusted to me…”
I hand him the sword with an apology. Gerhard’s voice was gentle as he responded.
“Don’t worry about it. For a spellcaster, resistance tools are nothing more than consumables. If you are stingy here, you will die early. I hope you had a good experience.”
“Thank you very much, Master…”
Jocel’s heart was filled with such emotion that he was glad he had followed this man. He decided not to ask the price of the broken jewelry.
“Now, Jocel. What have you been shown?”
A sweet smell, a bloody woman, a feeling like a lucid dream. Gerhard nodded repeatedly and listened as Jocel told him as much detail as he could.
“I have made a terrifying sword myself. Hmmm…..”
He said it was terrifying, but his tone was one of complete enjoyment.
“Master, what kind of magic did you engrave on that sword?”
“It’s a luring charm.””
Basically, when enchanting a weapon with magic, it is common to reduce the weight, improve the sharpness, or add attributes such as fire and ice.
No one would spend the cheapest amount of money to charm an opponent, since charm is meaningless before a fight, but only after the opponent has been cut down.
That is what Gerhard says he did.
“The sword has spoken to me. Engrave your fascination. You have experienced the result of that.”
“Are you saying that the sword itself made the decision?”
“Of course, it is not as if it really spoke. I just felt that way on my own. When you have been a spellcaster for a long time, sometimes you can tell what to do and what is best suited just by looking at a weapon.”
Gerhard smiled darkly and repeatedly drew the sword slightly and then retracted it again.
“If this is the case, even that little boy won’t have any complaints.”
“But it is possible that in the audience chamber, the hero may commit suicide or slay the Count.”
“What’s wrong with that?”
It was Gerhardt who said it lightly. For a while, Jocel did not understand what was being said.
“If there is a problem, it is only a problem…”
“Both me and the hero will be accused of crimes. We will be decapitated side by side. But the bigger the commotion, the more attention will be paid to this sword. It would be a great honor to be an adjunct spellcaster, wouldn’t it? Right?”
I had forgotten, then remembered. That this person was not sane.
Being kind to one’s students and being kind to the world do not always go hand in hand.
It was Jocel who thought that he should at least give a word of advice to the hero.