Well then, according to our schedule, today was our day off. Or so I told Daniela the previous day. We would spend the day in whatever way we liked.
And so I made my way to Chief’s smithy.
“Chief, you here?”
“Asagi! You sure took your time!”
Aragira appeared from the forge, steam blowing off of him.
“I came to get my weapons.”
“Aye, here it is. A steel sword, crafted by an expert. This one won’t break so easily, so you can flail away to your heart’s content.”
“Oh, but I prefer technique. I will make the most delicate cuts.”
We bantered like that for a bit before I handed Chief my order card and accepted the sword. It was slightly heavier than my previous one. Until now, I had chosen iron swords that were identical in weight, but not anymore. It was time to evolve. I would just have to adjust to this one. That was my goal, after all. I needed to be able to wield both light and heavy weapons.
“Thank you. Mind if I take a look?”
Chief only thrusts his jaw out in assent. I nod and pull it from its sheath. It was magnificent. A double-edged blade with a beautiful silver color. Unlike his apprentice’s swords, this one had his mark on the handguard. The emblem showed a sword and a hammer.
“That is the proof that I, Aragira forged it.”
Of course. This proved that it was from Aragira’s shop. I felt a sense of pride when I heard this. I moved away from the front counter and made sure that there was no one close by so I could test it. Vertically, horizontally. I swing, but it never feels like it’s out of my control. This must mean that I had advanced quite a bit. That was a relief. I did not want to be a slave to my skills.
I sheath the sword and hang it on my belt. Then I return to the counter to thank Chief.
“Thank you so much. It’s a good sword.”
“Why wouldn’t it be! Also, this one’s on the house.”
He took out a short sword from under the counter. It resembled the steel sword. Both in design and the fact that it was made by him.
“It’s a steel short sword. You’d hate to have to carry an iron one now, wouldn’t you?”
“Thank you… I’m glad I got you to make this.”
“Is that not right! Is that not the truth!”
He smiled and clubs me on the shoulder. I barely stop my knees from buckling and smile back through gritted teeth.
“That being said, I’ve heard the story. They say you’ve got your hands on some ancient elven weapons.”
“Ah, so you know?”
“It’s become a little rumor around here.”
We had only just returned and yet the story had spread everywhere. People sure liked to talk.
“We were camping out in the forest until yesterday. The weapons were hidden in a little room inside some ruins we happened upon.”
“Ohhh…and where are they?”
“I’m keeping them at the guild house. I wasn’t exactly going to carry them around with me.”
“Bah, I was looking forward to seeing them.”
His shoulders slumped with disappointment. But he quickly moved on from it and began to ask questions with intense curiosity.
“So how sharp were they?”
“I haven’t tested them.”
His shoulders slumped with disappointment. There was something a little amusing about seeing such a mass of power looking depressed.
“I haven’t even mastered using a sword yet, and also, I was waiting for my order with you, Chief.”
I say and pat the steel sword on my belt. He looks at me with an expression that was a mix of disappointment and delight.
“…Indeed. That’s what I like about you, Asagi. Weapons are to be used, not to be used by. These will save you.”
I nod and look at the sword. It was necessary in order for this part-timer to survive in this world. I was reminded of that reality once again, and with that sobering thought, I left Chief’s smithy.