Chapter 10. Part 4.
After I successfully ruined her mood I approached the guards and tested my affinity with the weapons they had. Aside from water magic, my other talent was with the rapier, I was already long aware of that.
I figured I’d leave the rapier for last though. Right now I was more curious about a certain sword that stuck out from the other weapons. When I went over to the guard with the sword in hand, he presented the sheathed sword to me. He dutifully informed me it was called the Star Cleaving Sword. When I pulled it out of the sheath I marveled a bit over its beauty. It was a shame that when I firmly held onto the hilt and waved it about a few times, nothing out of the ordinary happened. As expected, there was no external reaction to me. However, from within the sword, I felt a strange sense of loneliness and depression. It was like it had suffered some sort of traumatic event recently that left it heart broken. Right when I sheathed it, I vaguely discerned a feminine voice crying beside my ear that said, ‘be wary of humans.’
Whether it was just my imagination or not, I wasn’t entirely certain. I continued testing out weapons as normal to not give anything away.
After I went through the other weapons one by one, it was as expected, I had no affinity with them. When I finally went over to a guard holding onto the rapier, the moment I touched it, a bright light emitted from the body of the blade. The rapier seemingly acknowledged me as its master.
From what I heard from the guard, it was a mid grade weapon spirit. The guard further explained that the only weapon above it within their kingdom was the high grade sword spirit of the depressed Star Cleaving Sword I tested first.
When I asked the guard about the Star Cleaving Sword and about it’s most recent master, the guard just brushed me off. He shooed me away and said it was none of my business if I had no affinity with it.
There really were way too many warning signs for me to feel comfortable here. After an hour passed by, almost everyone had tested their affinity with weapons and elemental magic. There were only two people remaining who had not tested their affinity with the sword. Of course, it was Kenji and Muko who’d been dragged along with him the entire time. Kenji had decent affinities with all weapons while Muko had none in the end.
“Don’t worry Muko, I’m sure you’re bound to have some talent with the sword. The sword spirit probably communicated with the other weapon spirits that you’re destined to be its master.”
He had his right arm wrapped around Muko’s neck like he was some sort of good guy encouraging his buddy who’d failed every examination in school. Of course, when Muko hesitantly grabbed the sword, there was not even the faintest sliver of a reaction from it. With all hope lost, he resignedly handed it over to Kenji in dreadful dismay over his immense combat deficiencies. As soon as Kenji took it from Muko’s hand, a black and white luster emitted from the sword’s blade in front of all the guards' shocked faces. I looked on at the stereotypical sight completely unimpressed, but it seemed the guards couldn’t believe their eyes.
“I-i-it looks like it has acknowledged you as it’s master... for the time being.”
The last part of the guard’s words left me with my suspicions, but it was not my job to point out the strangeness to his remark.
Of course, Muko sunk further into despair after he’d been compared to Kenji the entire time. Kenji only made things worse for Muko the entire way, thanks to him everyone’s eyes were constantly drawn towards this highly contrasting duo. Muko’s lacking ability was emphasized the most when he stood next to Kenji.
“Don’t mind, don’t mind it. Like Rina said, even you surely have an ability, you’ve just got to find it.”
Of course looking at the guards in the area, their disdain towards Muko was as clear as day and night. I could reveal his ability, but it’s not like I owe him anything. Besides that, revealing his ability might not be what’s best for him anyways. It was also uncertain whether that half elf really knew about his ability, so why should I go out of my way to make everyone aware of it?
“Kenji, he’s always been useless since we were kids. You should stop pampering him all the time.”
The bulky Otoko was the first to take a shot at Muko while the four eyes, Doku, who’d pushed up his glasses, snobbishly kept his silence with discernible disdain in his eyes. I’d rather not get involved with their little sausage fest over there so I resolved myself to keep my distance from their little group.
Overall, Kenji seemed like the idiotic oblivious type, completely unable to read the atmosphere. He also appeared to be the one that kept their strange little group together. He didn’t really stand out much from the crowd like his oddball peers, but it felt lIke without him, they would have never stuck together after being summoned to this world.
“Kenji, why did you so readily agree to aid the king? Don’t you realize it would be putting all our lives in danger?”
It seemed although the four eyes’ personality wasn’t the best, he at least had a brain in his head; much unlike the other three in their group that just willingly went with the flow.
“I don’t really get the difficult things, but we’ve got you Doku, the brains, Otoko the brawns, me the playmaker, and Moku the… joker? Yeah, that’s right, Moku, the unpredictable wild card that could flip a crisis on its head.”
I was unable to stop all the muscles in my body from tensing up. Those were by far the cringiest lines I’d heard from him up until this point. I actually had the instinct to nearly spill my guts. There’s no way I knew these kids back then. No, wait a minute. What if I did and this kid was like this back then and it was so cringy that I filtered it out of my memories?
“Oh that’s right, we also have Akua, the damsel in distress.”
Oi. Should I teach these youngsters a lesson after all? Isn’t this brat a bit too damn cocky? No, why am I being included in their group anyways? Keep me out of your damn group!
“Kenji, if you meant her over there, she herself indicated she did not know us and even stated she wasn’t the person we knew. Can you please stop being delusional and think with your head instead of your heart?”
You meant dick, right?
But yeah Doku, my thoughts exactly.
“Doku, you should stop trying to fight it, I know you had a crush on Akua back then too. Why not be honest with your feelings and just show you’re happy to reunite with her again?”
Eh? What? No thank you.
“Kenji, you’re an idiot. That girl is dead to me.”
Right. Right. Once again, my thoughts exactly.
“Oh? Should I remind you about how you bawled your eyes out when she first disappeared? Also, it was only after she left that you dyed streaks of your hair dark blue, right? Just admit it, the only reason you grew to like the colour blue was because of her back then.”
“Are you an idiot? I always liked the colour blue.”
The more I heard the more I wanted to escape far away from this hell hole.
“Don’t lie, don’t lie. Back then your favourite ranger was red. It was only after Akua disappeared you liked the blue ranger.”
“There was no such thing.”
“Hahaha, it’s like Kenji said, Doku, even I was aware you liked her too.”
“Shut up Otoko, don’t think I don’t know why you started working out so much. It was only after that time when we were kids when Akua mentioned how bodybuilders looked cool that you started working out and joining all sorts of athletic clubs.”
“You too Kenji, you’re no better! Don’t even get me started, back then we watched a movie in class and there was a jack of all trades character that mastered all weapons, wasn’t it Akua that said you were similar to him? She also said the way of the sword was somewhat romantic. You then took up kendo and later learned about all sorts of weapons didn’t you?”
If I ever said any of those idiotic things, please kill me now.
“Eh? Hahaha. Doku, isn’t your memory a bit off? I took up kendo to learn self defense. It definitely wasn’t for that reason or anything.”
Ah. That’s not very convincing when you’re peeking in my direction discretely like that. Wait, actually, there’s no way I really said stuff like that as a kid, right? It really must be someone else they’re talking about after all. Yes, definitely someone else.
Ugh. If I were liked by guys like this in the past… it’s honestly too embarrassing to think about it.
“So, Miss Akua said things like that in the past?”
“Yeah, yeah. She did, she did. She was super popular with all the guys back then too.”
“Heeeeh, I never would have imagined.”
At some point that sneaky water shrine maiden, Umi, had snuck her way over to Kenji’s group. She masterfully mixed in naturally without my notice and started gossiping about me.
“Umi, get your ass back over here.”
“Uuuuuu. But it’s such a rare opportunity to learn about Akua’s childhood.”
“They’re talking about a different Akua. It’s definitely not me. It’s just someone they’ve mistaken me for that might resemble me a bit.”
“But what if on the off chance they’re not?”
“It’s a different person! A different person! Do you understand?”
Somehow, not long after arriving in this world, forget about the demon lord, I was already exhausted and mentally drained before we’d even had our first low level mob encounter.
“Hohoho, it’s good to be young.”
At some point the king had joined in on their gossip about me.
“Right, let me tell you all about it my good man, king. Back then Akua actually cried because she was the only one in our group of five who couldn’t pee while standing up.”
“Is that so? Back when I was still just a little prince, I used to play such games as well.”
How the hell did it get to this! Ugh, this is getting more and more embarrassing. When they finally finished their small talk, the king brought an end to my unexpected trial by fire from the past. No, it wasn’t my past. It was definitely some unrelated woman similarly named Akua.
Haaaah. I really had to admit though, the one thing Kenji had going for him was his social ability that allowed him to warm up to anyone quickly. Even the king was caught up in his pace and listened attentively to their stories while I suffered several indirect critical blows to my dignity in the process. Was he getting some payback on me for the shrine maidens earlier comments about him?
No, he doesn’t look devious enough to do something like that. In the end, I could only reconfirm that he was just an oblivious, good for nothing, idiot with nothing better to do.
The king excused us after he explained what was to come in the following days. We’d be given a few days to grow accustomed to life here before our training formally commenced. The king also took the time to announce the three people who would take on positions as our instructors.
The first was that half elf Rina, the second was someone named Kurotsuki who was dressed in all black. He had the appearance of an assassin. The last was a priest named Seth. It seemed the three of them would be in charge of guiding us in battle magic, close combat with weapons, and lastly support magic respectively. We were first informed about how they were all part of the former hero’s party. They also explained to us how they’d thwarted the nefarious plot of the last summoned hero. Apparently, the last hero they summoned succumbed to temptations of demonic whispers and plotted to usurp the throne.
Of course, when I thought about the warning the high grade sword spirit in the Star Cleaving Sword passed on to me, I wouldn’t just blindly believe such a story.
Eventually, the king took his leave and we were each taken to rooms within the castle where we would spend the next few days resting. They stated that three days from now we would be brought by the instructors into the dungeon beneath the city to train. I had my own thoughts on the matter though. I didn’t really want to stick around for their little kiddy training. I was already level 150 and there was no way I’d really act buddy buddy with them and go about killing low level trash mobs.
Those three were in no way worthy to be my instructors either. So I figured I’d venture deeper into the dungeon where they wouldn’t be able to find me.
I’ll also take the shrine maidens with me if they want to go. They’re all level 100, there’s no need for them to waste their time training here unless they actually want to get along with that group of novice summoned heroes. Well, I’ll leave the final decision on what they want to do up to them. They’re all mature enough to know how to take care of themselves by now.
From what I saw today alone, the strongest person I came across in the castle was level 80. That person appeared to be the king’s secret bodyguard. He never showed his face to any of the newly summoned heroes though and it seemed his only duty was to protect the king from the shadows. I luckily didn’t draw his attention and it seems he didn’t see through my level either. That half elf was only level 50, but I shouldn’t underestimate someone just because their level appeared low.
Even the strongest person could potentially die to someone weaker than them if they were too careless.
Looking around the room I was assigned, I found it was rather luxurious. There was a chandelier powered by a mana crystal, centered in the room, that hung down from the ceiling. A bed positioned at the far right corner of the room. A desk with a chair on the left side beside a finely crafted dresser to store clothes. To my right in front of the bed was a bookshelf filled with all sorts of different reading material related to this world. There was even an open balcony with a large sliding window at the far end of the room to look out over the surprisingly still bustling capital city below.
It was already dark outside, so there were countless stars glittering high up in the night sky above the city. What I found most interesting was how active the streets were even at this late hour. If you really focused into the distance you could see women pulling wandering men on the streets into their humble abode. I suppose the citizens who lived close to the castle aimed to snag big fish with bloated pockets.
Taking in all the peculiar sights, it really didn’t feel like a city fearing the threat of a demon lord that was soon to descend upon them.
Since it was already late, I figured it was about time I got some much needed beauty sleep. I stripped off the blue one piece I was provided and dived under the snuggly soft blanket before I quickly dozed off into the world of dreams.