After a long time, Re;blade is back
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There had been no other attacks after the fight against the crows. However, the town didn’t return to peace. Those two days weren’t to be celebrated. The thick dark green smoke still hung over the city, covering the sky and blocking the sun. It was impossible to tell if it was day or night.
It wasn’t just the city. The smoke covered the surroundings for kilometers. The very few people who had to venture outside their homes needed a torch all the time.
Despite the hard fight, most of the damage had been material. The streets and the houses where the soldiers were fighting the monster crows were reduced to rubble, but in terms of human life, few had been lost. Those hurts and those who lost their houses were staying at the church.
“We avoided a massacre thanks to Balthasar’s weapons,” Faela spoke in a low voice as they patrolled the deserted streets. “If it not for him, this town wouldn’t be here anymore.”
Anna shivered at the idea. The torch she was holding trembled, and so did the shadow cast by it.
As they patrolled, a dog searching through the trash for food dropped something a little too loud. The animal looked at it, hoping they hadn’t attracted too much attention.
Even the animals are afraid of making too much noise…
Faela said nothing, watching the animal until it vanished into the darkness. Then she glanced at the houses. Even though they were alone in the street, she could sense many eyes on them.
Everyone’s watching us from their houses, Tetsuko projected her thoughts to her wielder.
“They can watch all they want,” she spoke in the same low voice, afraid to speak louder and stir something. “Can you sense anyone outside their home?”
There’s no one besides us and the soldiers. Tetsuko had been sensing everything from the moment they left the inn.
“Are you sure? Isn’t the smoke hindering your senses?”
I can’t sense above it, but I can sense the town.
You sound displeased. You wanna fight that badly?
“I’m not a bloodthirsty demon sword like you,” Faela snorted.
I can tell you’re itching to fight. And you just healed your wounds.
“She’s right, master. You shouldn’t be fighting so soon,” Anna added.
“You two make it sound like I go look for it. I’m not a fighting maniac.”
Anna looked at the sword on her master’s waist and sighed. “What do you think, Tetsuko?”
My wielder is an idiot who’d swing me the entire time if she could, even in her sleep.
Anna chuckled. “I don’t have trouble imagining that.”
“Keep joking and I’ll dip you up to the handle in the well to test the water,” Faela said to Tetsuko.
I only need a drop to check if it’s tainted with poison blood.
“Better safe than sorry. You drank too much blood. Maybe your sense of taste is dull.”
I don’t have a tongue.
Despite her threats, when they reached the alley where a well was, she pulled the bucket and only dipped the tip of her blade. “How is it?”
“Like the rest…” Faela grew quiet, thinking.
I don’t think whoever is behind the attacks will do something so soon.
Everything so far felt like a test thought out beforehand. But this smoke probably wasn’t planned. I think the person behind this might be reconsidering their plans. Or maybe the tests are over.
“Either way, they’re planning something big,” Faela finished the thought. “We need to figure out where they are and put an end to this. If we don’t take the initiative, either everyone will die or become a worshiper.
Do you have any idea?
“Maybe,” she muttered, looking down at the sword.
At once, Tetsuko had a bad feeling. I’m not gonna like this…
“We’re so in sync.” Her wielder grinned.
As Faela told her idea, Tetsuko couldn’t help but scowl in her head.
I’ve seen people treating a sword like a prize and letting it gather dust on the wall. I’ve seen people treating swords like tools. I’ve seen people treat swords like they were just big knives. But you are the worse.
“Aren’t you exaggerating a little? I do clean you when you get too dirty.”
If you came to my forge back when I was human, I’d never make a blade for you.
“Lucky I met you as a sword then,” Faela sheathed her sword. “And are you telling me you’re not interested in this?”
Tetsuko said nothing. Despite her blacksmith’s soul rejecting the idea of using a sword like that, her soul as a blade wanted to try. I could become stronger if this works…
I’ll do it, she projected her thoughts to her wielder. To her annoyance, the swordswoman smile widened.
“I knew I could count on you, Tetsuko.”
They headed to the closest bell tower. Thanks to the smoke, it was impossible to see the city from that height and there was no one on it.
Careful to not breathe in the smoke. You wouldn’t turn into a worshiper because I’m here, but you’ll get sick at least, Tetsuko warned.
“Here.” Anna handed her a cloth.
Faela covered her mouth and nose and climbed. When she reached the top, she was careful to not stand. If she did, her head would be at the same level as the smoke.
Tetsuko closed the eyes she didn’t have and concentrated. I don’t know if I can devour any of this. The ancient Celeste is spread throughout the entire smoke. And even if I can do it, I need to be careful and not lose myself, the soul in the sword thought.
Yes, she projected her thoughts to her wielder.
Faela nodded and stabbed her sword against the smoke.
At once, Tetsuko felt the evil energy trying to invade her metal body, to poison her mind and take over her soul. There’s no way any human could withstand something like this. If they survived, they’d become a worshiper for sure.
But I’m not human anymore.
She made her energy flow within herself, circling around the edges of her metal body, delimiting herself from the evil Celeste. Now it’s time.
Just like she did with humans and beasts, she devoured the energy spread around. As she did, the rest of the Celeste rushed towards her, as if trying to overflow and drown her.
I was a blacksmith and now I’m a sword.
I won’t lose myself!
As she devoured and fought to keep her soul intact, more energy rushed towards her.
It was as if a storm was happening and she was at the center.
But it wasn’t only that. As the evil Celeste became part of her, she felt her senses expanding, as if her mind was part of the smoke covering the town.
Tetsuko had no idea how much time had passed, but before she knew, Faela pulled her back.
“Hey, Tetsuko, talk to me. Are you alright?” she asked, concerned.
I’m… okay… Even though she had no lungs, she was panting. The effort was more draining than she imagined. More important than that, I found where the person behind this is.
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