When the new wielder drew her, Tetsuko felt it.
Even without seeing what happened around her, she knew.
The Noble man she didn’t like was gone. In his place was someone ready to fight.
It’s like a completely different man, the soul in the blade thought.
If she could, she would be smiling.
Tetsuko felt the thirst for battle, for blood all around her.
As she opened her eyes and looked around, she realized everyone here was ready to fight.
No… they’re not only ready… they want to fight, want to cross blades… They want to crush their enemies.
She was a blacksmith first. Only then she was a fighter.
But even Tetsuko could feel it in the air.
She closed her eyes and concentrated.
It was faint, almost a whisper, but she felt the stream.
Inside the soldiers, there was the same energy as hers.
Though weak in most in that camp, the flow was red, warm and constant.
They’re out for blood… But whose?
Whom will they fight against?
Could it be… the rest of Fael’s people?
Even though the young warrior was their only connection, Tetsuko didn’t want the Tribes of the Forest to be exterminated.
But if these soldiers are after them, what could a sword do?
The nobleman looked around.
The same person who had given Tetsuko to the Lord came running.
“My lord Alonso,” the advisor said, bowing.
“Do you have any information about the bandits’ lair, Enrique?”
“Yes, sir. They have been hiding in a small forest southwest of here. They were disguising as merchants and robbing far away from their lair. But one of their victims followed them. He informed us, and our scouts have confirmed,” the advisor informed.
The Lord nodded and hummed in approval.
“Excellent. We need to attack as soon as we can. I can’t take this camp anymore. Are the troops ready?” Alonso asked, and the advisor said a short and strong yes. “Excellent. Then tell them to start marching.”
It didn’t take long for the troops to depart after the Lord’s order.
In the back of the column and well protected from every side, was Alonso.
In his waist, loose inside that sheath that was too big, was Tetsuko.
The sword had no more blood in her, but she could feel something tingling inside her.
She didn’t enjoy these kinds of fights when she was human.
Whenever her Lord went to fight somewhere far away and needed to bring a blacksmith, she refused.
I belong in a forge, not in a camp, she used to say every time.
But now she didn’t mind the frenzy of an army battling.
In fact, she wanted one. She wanted to be used.
That’s what a sword is made for.
She looked up at the man who would use her.
Except for the hairstyle, he looked as noble as any samurai from her old world.
But even if he maintained his noble expression, he couldn’t hide it from his sword.
He’s itching to use me, Tetsuko thought.
It was plain from the way his energy circled inside him.
Hopefully he’ll have the chance to use me instead of letting me rust here.
But Tetsuko’s wish would take long to happen.
Despite the bandit’s lair being close, they had to go around the mountain.
That was the only way to avoid being detected too soon.
The problem was, the march around the mountains wasn’t easy.
The rain from that morning made the ground slippery.
The horses couldn’t go fast. Neither the foot soldiers.
And that took its toll on everyone.
When they left the camp, there was a bloodlust mixed with the wish to bring justice.
The soldiers wanted to encounter and killed one of the bandits’ groups that had thrown the Kingdom into chaos.
But that was before.
Now, the thirst for blood and justice had given room to fear and doubt.
From the bits of conversations Tetsuko could hear, those bandits they would face were amongst the worse in the Kingdom.
The bandits were fierce, organized and cunning.
And the worst of all, they were united under their leader.
That seemed to worry the soldiers more than their reputation.
Tetsuko understood why.
These soldiers are used to bandits fleeing when they realize the battle is lost, thought Tetsuko. Kinda like in my old world.
But this group seem as if they would keep fighting to the very end. All for this leader of them.
The soul in the sword didn’t need to think much how the fight would turn.
If their leader is someone who can inspire loyalty from such kind, it’ll be a hard battle.
If Tetsuko still had a mouth, she would be pressing her lips in excitement.
Even her energy reacted to her, flowing faster without her notice.
And then, at last, they passed the mountain.
From there, it was a clear downhill to the forest.
Soon the bandits’ sentries were within their sights.
“Don’t stop!” the Lord shouted when the sentries soared their horns.
Alonso drew Tetsuko and pointed her to the forest.
“There’s your enemy! The people responsible for all the chaos on our land! Kill them! Kill them all!”
Inflamed by their commander’s words, the mounted soldiers ran ahead, brandishing their swords, spears or axes.
The foot soldiers didn’t stay behind. They followed the horses as fast as they could, their screams filling and awakening the entire forest.
Even the Lord pressed his horse forward.
Tetsuko was not exempt from the situation.
If she was still human, she would be barely breathing and pressing her lips.
But the bandits were better than the former blacksmith could imagine.
Despite the short warning, she could see many people appearing among the trees.
Before the army could reach the forest, the bandits had formed their defensive line.
But that made no difference for the soldiers.
They pressed on.
And then, with a crashing sound, both groups collided.
Blades crossed blades.
Axes break shields.
Spears pierced armors.
At Tetsuko was amongst all that.
Despite being in the rear end, Alonso was not except from the battle.
Every bandit that passed by the soldiers around him, died at his hand.
Or better yet, died by Tetsuko’s sharp edge.
She could cut anything and anyone.
Tetsuko felt her energy stirring with each soul she took.