The Beginning After The End - Chapter 26 - Partners In Crime
We had been currently just finished eating breakfast with the Twin Horns party., who The group had chosen a rather modest inn full of lively chatter. As they conversed while eating breakfast, while my Mother was currently busy wiping off the remains of food chunks bits of food that had managed to escape my sister’s mouth off of her.
“Kuu!” Sylvie hopped up onto the table, with her head held high. Even without her mentally transmitting, everyone was able to make out that, ’I’m enough to protect Papa!’, everyone was able to tell that that’s what she was thinking.
“Sylviee! Come here~!” My sister waggled a piece of meat in front of Sylvie, tempting my legendary dragon bond, who instantly began to drooling like a starving puppy, right before she leapt into my sister’s arms.
When I saw this, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the thought of Sylvie wagging her tail at a bandit smart enough to simply lure her away with a piece of meat.
Apparently my father’s ex-party members had just finished a dungeon exploration with several other parties, so they had some free time before their next mission or quest. Thus, it wasn’t really a matter of if they had the time, but rather if any of them wanted to.
Adam, who was spoke up first while polishing the tip of his spear, was the first to speak up., “Babysitting doesn’t really fit my style, so I’ll pass on this. Besides, I feel like, with my personality, Arthur might kill me in my sleep one day.”
Despite the joke, my father responded with a solemn nod. He knew what kind of temperament Adam had, and in-turn knew that they weren’t likely to get along with each other.
“I was hoping that Durden or Helen would accompany Arthur. Honestly, although I can’t offer much, but Alice and I are more than willing to compensate you guys in whatever way we can if you do this.”
“Don’t talk like that, Rey, we’re all family here. I, for one. would love to accompany him and watch him grow, anyhow,” the gentle giant responded, his narrow eyes becoming even smaller as he smiled.
“Durden is right. You, of all people, should know that we aren’t doing this for the money. Besides, we managed to get quite a bit of treasures off from of our last dungeon raid.” Helen said, shaking her head.
Suddenly, a silent hand shot up, making everyone at the table turn to look.
“I would like to volunteer.”
“J-Jasmine? You, you want to go with Arthur?” Angela sputtered, looking at her brusque companion in shock.
Angela had made it clear about how eager she was to accompany me, but I felt like Angela would be a greater source of danger than any of the possible threats of an adventurer. I tried to lightly hint that she might not be the most suitable but even I was surprised that Jasmine would take the initiative to accompany me.
“Hmm… Logically speaking, Jasmine is the most suitable person to protect Arthur. Durden only specializes in offensive area of effect spells. Although II do want to go with Arthur too, but I feel that maybe I’m probably not the most suitable person since protecting someone isn’t really my strong suit.” Helen just scratches her head.
“Jasmine, are you really okay with going along with Arthur?” my mother asked, concerned.
Giving my mother a determined look, she looked at my mother with a determined gaze as she nodded firmly in response.
“Pfft! The lady says she wants to go, let her go. She’s the only Augmenter among us that has an elemental affinity! She just reached the dark yellow stage last year, and coupled with her wind attribute, I think she’d be the best suited.” Adam said after a let out a chuckle as he leaned back on his chair.
“Hmm… For Arthur’s safety, I guess I’ll just have to step down from this. It’s a pity though.” Durden just scratched his head, clearly disappointed.
“Sorry, Durden, I know how much you care about Arthur.” My father put an arm on the large mage’s shoulder.
“Maybe I’ll join the Twin Horns on a dungeon raid in the future!” I exclaimed. Durden just smiled at this, giving me a nod as he tousled my hair. The rest of the Twin Horns chuckled merrily as we finished up our conversation.
It was decided that, in a week’s time, I would go with Jasmine to the Adventurer’s Guild and register myself. I’ would automatically start off as ant the E class adventurer after passing a simple test and could, depending on how well I do on any missions or on quests I take, raise my class accordingly.
Getting back home, I spotted Lilia downstairs —meditating— right as when a maid was gently placed a cup of water by her side.
“Uu… Lily no fair! Training without me!” My sister rushed past my side and plopped down into a comfortable sitting position to start her mana manipulation training as well.
As far as I could tell, it would take the both of them a few more years to actually form a mana core, but at the pace that Lilia was going, it was easy to imagine that she’ would awaken around the average time most children did.
On the other hand, Ellie didn’t have the patience for training, and grew bored after an hour or two, so it would take her a lot longer. That’s fine though, I wouldn’t want her to become a mage too early, as; she would attract too much unwanted attention. I’ would be proud if she could simply can form a mana core by the age of nine or ten.
Putting away my jacket, I turned back to face my father, who was still making his way up the stairs. “Dad, can we go to the Auction House again? I’d like to pick out a sword? We never had the chance to after the incident, and I’ve wanted to start practicing.”
“Yeah, I have a few things I need to tell my team there anyway. We’ll ask the carriage driver to stay for a little bit, so go wash up.”
Both Lilia’s father and mother were already waiting for us at their auction house. It was my first time seeing either of them after the incident so I was faced with another long string of questions from the two of them regarding my health. After much coaxing and reassuring them that I was fine, we finally went inside. I could tell that Vincent had been less than thrilled by the treatment the King had shown regarding this incident, but at this point, just like how the King felt towards me, I only felt apathy towards the man. It was clear that he had not put me into any sort of consideration besides that of a less-than-insignificant child, which suited me just fine for now.
The King’s representative had told us that night that both the augmenter that had attacked me and Sebastian had been stripped of their nobility. Vincent merely scoffed when my father told him this, though.
Rolling his eyes, the auction house owner spat out that their sentencing was nothing but comforting lies. “Bah! Men like them… as soon as they get their wrists slapped, and they just take a relaxing break for a bit, they’ll It won’t be long before they’ll have their positions back.”
I noticed my father tightly clenching his fists, but these sort of politics were all too familiar to me.
Father went off with Vincent to meet the guards, while Tabitha took our carriage back to take care of Lilia, leaving me with only Sylvie search for a sword.
Perched on my head, my bond curiously looked around the cluttered storage hall, littered with vaguely sorted crates and shelves of miscellaneous goods. Vincent had told me that the Helstea Auction House stored a lot of goods, most from different merchants and adventurers, and others from remote places, including the Dwarf Kingdom.
There had been almost no business transactions done with elves ever since the war over a neutral territory had reached a stalemate. Over the years, relations between the two races were said to have gotten better, to the point of even having a friendly tournament, but it would be a slow process before the enmity is actually ceased. This was a pity since elf weapons, which were comparatively lighter and thinner, would’ve been perfect for someone of my physique.
Something I had learned while living with the Eralith family in Elenoir was that, while both weapons and armors forged by dwarves were considered the highest class because of the race’s innate mastery in the field, elves had their specialties in bows as well as conjurer staffs and wands.
Most of the enchanted weapons were bid during the event yesterday, so the only things left were regular weapons that would eventually be sold in stalls, which was fine for me; I wasn’t looking for anything special, just dependable.
Peering through the endless rows of shelves and racks, I picked out a few to test. It didn’t take long before I stuffed it back on the shelf it came from, malcontent by the crude workmanship of the swords. The balance between the blade and the grip had all been off and were shaped sloppily with no mind for executing all but simple swings or thrusts.
I didn’t think of myself as overly nitpicky, but after hours of scouring through the room, it was clear that my taste in swords had become too particular.
Sylvie, growing bored of the repeated actions of removing a sword, swinging it a few times, and unhappily putting it back in place, hopped off my head and began having her own little adventure.
I treaded deeper into the large storage hall, passing the shelves and racks of the more appealing blades on display and arriving at a section where sheathed swords were simply crammed in barrels.
One thing I noticed about the swords in this world was that they fell into a couple of categories:
There were the large swords, either the wide heavy swords, or the long claymores. Many warriors and offensive augmenters preferred these behemoths because of the raw power that could be generated through a single swing, but others considered the weapons savage and unrefined.
The more balanced swords, seen most commonly used by knights and adventurers alike, were the broadswords. These were generally wielded with one hand, coupled with a shield in the other, but there are two-handed varieties. These swords provided the most balanced and versatile performances and were the standard swords to begin learning swordsmanship.
The last category of swords were the lighter and thinner blades. Weapons like sabers, curved single-edged swords—which my world called katanas— and rapiers as well as daggers all fell into this category. Sabers, katanas, and rapiers were focused on speed and precision while daggers were often used as a concealed weapon or dual-wielded for more versatile and acrobatic styles of fighting.
Even if the weapons here were second rate, the inner swordsman in me couldn’t help but bubble in excitement.
However, it didn’t take long for that bubble to pop. Letting out a defeated sigh from my fruitless search for a sword, I mindlessly swung the plain short sword I had picked out earlier and barely deemed acceptable. I would have to settle for this sword if I couldn’t find anything else.
Giving up on the search for a better sword, I made my way into the miscellaneous section where they held different types of weapons. I could see various unique, albeit inefficient, weapons that looked like they were designed by a child.
Navigating through the aisles, I couldn’t help but laugh aloud as I came across something very similar to what my world called nunchucks. There was even a morning star that was so heavy that, even after augmenting myself with mana, I struggled to lift it off the ground.
“Whew! Looks like a dead end Sylv.” I sat down on the ground, leaning against a gigantic shield as Sylvie continued to trot about.
Suddenly, Sylvie let out an eager chirp.
Making my way towards my bond, I spotted Sylv digging through a pile of weapons. A cloud of dust soon encompassed us as Sylvie continued searching for something.
Making another excited squeak, she used her front paw to point at an unremarkable black rod.
It was less than a meter in length and just looked like some sort of walking cane.
“This wasn’t what I was looking for Sylv,” I sighed, but she hopped to me, nudging me toward the black stick.
Relenting, I walked over and picked it up, surprised by the weight of the rod that looked much thinner now that it was in my hand.
While it seemed to be made of some kind of polished wood, it weighed a lot more than just a simple walking stick.
Holding it up, I took a closer look, inspecting the rod more carefully.
The stick had a matte coat to it, not reflecting any light at all, while the whole rod was smooth to the touch.
While unnoticeable at first, I could see intricate indentations that formed a design throughout the pole, but other than that, I couldn’t’ find anything special about it.
Sylvie continued gazing at the rod in my hands, her golden eyes twinkling as if she had found a national treasure.
Finding nothing remarkable about it, I tried swinging it.
It felt good.
The weight was distributed in a way where it was balanced like a sword, even more so than the short sword I picked out as a backup. Taking another swing made me confident that this rod’s balance was too purposeful for it to be just used as a walking stick or a staff.
Excitement growing inside me once more, I willed mana into my eyes. I had hoped to notice something with enhanced vision and my hopes came to light. t was so faint that I only noticed it after reinforced mana into my eyes; even then, I was only able to spot it because I was looking for it.
Even more faint than the indentation markings over the pole, was a small line that seemed to separate two parts of the stick.
This was a sword!
I immediately tried to pry the sword out of its scabbard, but it wouldn’t budge. Even with my body reinforced with mana, I wasn’t able to muster the strength to pull it out.
Don’t tell me this was some sort of Excalibur that I had to be worthy of…
Pushing away the silly though, I infused fire attribute mana into the sword, but still, no use.
After half an hour had passed, I realize that elemental attribute mana was not the answer.
…No way… what if…
I activated Dragon Will. I didn’t use its power but simply infused the Will into the sword. And, despite all of the previous struggle to pry the sword out, a light tug was all it took for the sword to glide out of its sheath.