Here’s the last chapter of the first volume of Re;Blade
Hope you like
Chapter 26 – The Vow
Tetsuko didn’t dislike watching the blacksmith work.
It’s interesting to watch how a fellow blacksmith works. The only ones I’ve ever watched was father, and my disciple…
Tetsuko loved the sound of metal on metal, the hot air of the forge, the smell. But what she loved left her with mixed feelings.
Despite her extreme frustration for not being able to strike the metal herself, it was the closest she could ever be from a forge ever again.
If I could ever hold a hammer again, the soul in the sword thought. But she dismissed those feelings. I’m no longer a blacksmith… I’m a sword now…
A barbaric sword, no less…
She sighed in frustration in her head. Even if I lament, it won’t change, she thought, turning her attention to the blacksmith again.
He’s not so bad… Despite his lack of skill, his weapons are sharp… but they’ll break too soon due to the poor metal…
However, even if Tetsuko loved the forge, she wanted it to grow quiet and empty.
Because after everyone left, Nicolas would come.
Ever since their deal, the former Sword of the King had been coming to the weapons deposit in the dead of the night. That was when Dale’s energy was weaker, and her new wielder had his soul back.
Four times Nicolas had cut his flesh with her edge, and Tetsuko still struggled to devour that twisted and powerful energy.
According to the bandit, Dale couldn’t control that energy because she hadn’t drunk his blood.
I know Nicolas said that, but it feels as if Lucky Chaos is inside my soul… lurking at the edge of my mind… waiting…
But right now, Tetsuko could do nothing to dismiss the sensation.
At least that confirmed… The soul in the sword knew now was through the wine Otto had acquired the energy.
But Nicolas hadn’t confirmed. He couldn’t. Despite his control, if he said too much, Dale would find out.
The brief window of time he was completely free of Dale was already growing smaller each night.
Lucky Chaos is already aware something is happening… but he’s not sure…
What was worse, under Dale’s control, Nicolas was forced to order another scabbard for her, capping her senses.
Nicolas wanted to leave her out of it, but the soul in the sword knew it would only make the noble more suspicious.
And with Otto here, Dale has another set of eyes…
Since Tetsuko couldn’t do much, she focused her energy on something else.
She had been analyzing that twisted energy she had been eating every night.
Even before she ate it, she could tell it was deep, almost evil.
After she probed it, she realized it was at a whole different level.
It’s like I’m entering into furnace…
Even so, she tried to manipulate that energy, just as she used the heat to manipulate metal.
The little energy she could control impressed her.
When Tetsuko used her own energy, she fell from the shelf.
When she used a speckle of the twisted energy, she vibrated so much the shelf came down.
The soul in the sword couldn’t wait to see Nicolas.
Not only for the energy, but also for the sensation of slicing flesh again.
Now that I think about it, it’s been long since I killed someone…
When she realized what she thought, Tetsuko had no idea how to feel.
I’ve become less and less human… But I’m no longer human, anyway…
As she mulled over that, Tetsuko sensed movement outside the weapon’s deposit, though in her scabbard, she couldn’t tell if it was Nicolas.
When the person opened the door, the soul in the sword felt the frustration filling her.
It wasn’t her new wielder.
Tetsuko would have ignored the man if he hadn’t walked towards her.
I know him…
It was the young bandit with short brown hair and a scar across his cheek she had seen in Alonso’s camp.
The traitor… I forgot to ask Nicolas about him…
He stared at her for a long time before picking her. Then he drew the sword slightly.
Tetsuko’s senses returned, though not at its full reach.
The bandit seemed satisfied and sheathed her again, capping her senses.
But that brief moment was enough for her to realize.
He’s not controlled by Dale’s energy… he’s acting under someone else’s orders…
This boy wouldn’t dare touch me unless it was an order from Nicolas… under Dale’s control…
Damn… I don’t know if he’s aware, but Lucky Chaos won’t let me meet Nicolas again… he won’t devour more of his energy…
Inside the scabbard, her own energy began to boil.
Her metal body began to vibrate, making the boy bandit stared at her with fear.
Then she quelled her rage.
Even if I use my energy and make my blade too heavy for him to carry. Or even vibrate so much he couldn’t even touch me, what would I gain with that?
Dale would still make Nicolas put me away…
Tetsuko stared at the young and scared face that carried her as if hugging something precious.
What’s gonna happen to me now…?
As she pondered what to do, the young bandit went to the unguarded pantry.
Food…? Why is he stealing food…?
Intrigued, the soul in the sword just watched.
After he had picked some dried meat and some fruits and stashed in a sack, to Tetsuko’s astonishment, the boy went to the prison.
Is he gonna free Alonso…?
The young man barely breathed, sweating and looking over his shoulders the entire time.
But the corridor and the prison were deserted.
With his hands trembling, he picked up the single torch at the entrance and walked to the furthest cell, where no light could enter.
He knocked softly on the door.
“My lord…?” he whispered before pulling the bar.
The heavy wooden door creaked, the sound echoing like a scream in the silent prison. The boy winced; the smell of feces and rotten fruit had only gotten worse.
“Who…?” a hoarse voice asked from the dark corner the torchlight didn’t reach.
Tetsuko barely recognized the voice. Nor the man.
He’s grown so weak, the soul in the sword thought as she looked at her former wielder.
Alonso’s state was more than deplorable.
His body was thinner and the eyes sunken, the uneven beard covering part of his face, most of the hair brittle.
He winced and closed the eyes when he saw the light. But he didn’t cover his face.
When his eyes grew accustomed to the light, he stared at the young bandit and then his gaze end on the sword.
“So I’m gonna die now,” he said, almost as if that was a relief.
“No, my Lord… I’m g-gonna take you out of here,” the young man whispered. He took some of the food from the sack and offered. “Here. Eat something before we escape.”
The lord looked at the food, the hunger filling in his eyes, his stomach growling. Even so, he didn’t touch the food.
“Who are you…?”
“My Lord, I serve you. When I saw they take you, I pretended to be one of the bandits and mixed with them,” he explained.
Alonso shook his head, not understanding. But the effort seemed too much.
“Please, my Lord. Eat this. I’ll explain in the way,” he urged, almost desperate. “We don’t have time.”
Alonso nodded weakly and took the food. For the first time, the lord lost his composure as he took a generous bite of the dried meat. Then he devoured the entire apple, the juice running down his patchy beard.
It wasn’t enough; his stomach still growled. But it was enough to make him stand up, wobbling on his weakened legs. With the help of the young man, they walked out of the prison.
“This way,” the soldier said when they reached a fork way.
“This place is deserted,” Alonso whispered.
Tetsuko agreed. Even with this sheath, I should’ve been able to sense someone by now…
Despite the escape going well, she couldn’t shake the feeling there was something strange in all this.
If he wants to free Alonso, why would go to the trouble of picking me up? It’s not like I’m a family heirloom… I’m a powerful sword he was lucky enough to buy before anyone else… it doesn’t make any sense…
“Their leaders were in a happy mood this night. They ordered to open the best mead and everyone drank to their hearts’ content,” the soldier explained in a tense whisper. “Even the patrols are drunk right now… it’s the best chance to escape, my lord…”
Why would Dale allow that? It makes no sense…
Even the entrance of the cave was empty and they left the bandits’ lair. They walked on the wild swamp until they reached the shabby dock.
“Careful, my Lord,” the young soldier said as he helped Alonso climb aboard one of the tiny boats.
After the noble was secured, he placed the sword on his feet and pushed the boat, rowing through the devouring and endless darkness that was pushed away by the tiny torch.
The young man was more scared than ever now.
I can’t blame him…
Even in that scabbard, Tetsuko could sense the animal life underneath the surface of the stinky water, lucking closer and closer.
Then, for the first time in that world, the soul in the sword felt fear as many energies came towards them. But there was one in particular that sent a shiver on her metal body.
The huge crocodile…
If it attacks, I could sink to the bottom of this swamp… if this special metal won’t rust, I’ll live here… forever…
As she began to concentrate her energy, to her astonishment, the animal didn’t come in their direction.
The huge crocodile swam around them, biting and pushing away anything that tried to get near them.
Why… it only obeys Nicolas… and Dale by extension…
But before she tried to figure out, a smaller crocodile got past the giant one.
She quickly made her energy swing from one side to the other to make a sound.
The soldier noticed and looked at her.
Alonso was the one to notice the bubbles on water shone by the edge of the rim of light.
He was too weak to shout, and only raised his weak hand.
With fear stamped on his face, the young man drew her at the same time the animal’s head became visible.
He won’t be able to swing me, she realized.
Tetsuko concentrated her energy, making it gather and become denser.
When the boy soldier brought her down, her metal body struck against the nostril of the animal.
But instead of cutting, it smashed its head like a hammer, killing the crocodile with one blow.
The soldier was too scared to notice.
Tetsuko smiled in her head. So it works… Even though she was a sword, if she used her energy, she could smash and crush her enemies.
As a blacksmith, this is outrageous. But as a sword, it’s interesting… and useful.
Alonso was too weak to thank him, but nodded gratefully.
“W-we’ll be out of here soon, my lord,” the boy said, trying to convince himself too.
With the huge crocodile’s protection, they reached the shabby stable and stole one horse for them both; Alonso was too weakened to ride one by himself.
“Thank you… thank you…” the noble said it as they rode away from the swamp.
“You’re my lord, my commander. Anyone would’ve done this,” he said, looking back to make sure no one was following them.
Tetsuko knew that was a lie.
If he’s not under Dale’s order…
But it doesn’t make sense steal me…
Alonso coughed and almost fell from the horse.
“My lord, please, drink this. It’ll help.”
The boy handed him a pouch from inside his pocket.
Alonso took and drank without hesitating.
Tetsuko was too focused on her thoughts to sense. But then she saw the red liquid dripping from the noble’s lips.
The moment she realized, she sensed the seed of the twisted energy growing inside Alonso’s soul.
Shit… now this makes sense…
This escape was all Dale’s plan… Nicolas said he wanted a pawn… but since Alonso prefer to die than to drink the wine, he had to come up with this plan… and now he has a pawn that’s not a prisoner… and even separated me from Nicolas…
But that’s not the problem…
If Alonso is a pawn now, he won’t fight as much… And that’s a problem for me…
If I don’t kill more, I won’t get stronger…
Then she looked at Alonso, feeling the frustration grow.
But even if I refuse, I can’t choose my wielder… not now… not yet…
Tetsuko could only grow with someone, but she had to at least become strong enough to choose who could wield her.
And I will, the soul in the sword vowed to herself.
Thank you for reading the last chapter of the first volume.
Hope you enjoy the story so far
Re;Blade is nowhere near the end, but I’ll take a little break to organize the ideas and improve on a few things. Like the pace and focus more on Tetsuko.
Until then, you can read my other stories