SETP Vol. 1 Chapter 13

Chapter 13 – Twisted Love

 

<<Come at me like you want to kill me. I have no intention of dying, of course, but if you manage to kill me, it will mean that there is nothing left for me to teach you, ***. Ah, but if I can’t feel any clear killing intent I’m going to break about four of your limbs, okay?>>

<<Four are all the limbs I have….!!>>

Despite his gentle looks, he was terribly strict. If I was ever asked what kind of person my mentor was, I would reply like that. 

As usual, my mentor pointed his sword at me and told me to come kill him.

<<I think that, surprisingly enough, you do have the potential to kill me, ***. You need to master your “Spada” first, though.>>

<<…yeah, when you’re old and wobbly, right? No way I can kill you now!>>

My mentor always made fun of me. One time he told me that when he turned 100 years old we could finally have a proper battle. That time I was so angry I didn’t talk with him for the whole day.

His personality was simply horrible. The expressions he showed at that time, however, looked so happy, so excited, that I ended up forgiving him, no matter how angry I was. I was probably brainwashed by my mentor, after all.

<<There you go again, saying can’t do this, can’t do that.>>

<<Ugh>>

<<It’s a fact that you’re weak, ***. But that’s only because you lack experience.>>

My mentor then looked up at the sky. A sky the color of lead, covered by clouds.

<<It’s cloudy today. Your ‘Spada’ can’t be used to the fullest without shadows, without sunlight. Is that really true?>>

<<I can still use ‘Spada’ with only my own shadow…if I try using it with other shadows I can’t adjust them, I mean, I can’t control them well.>>

<<I wonder about that? There might be a way to control those too.>>

<<If there was one, I’d want to know it too…>>

<<That’s the point.>>

<<…what?>>

I couldn’t understand what my mentor was getting at.

<<In other words, numbers and experience build confidence. What you need is not to be so sheepish, but experience.>>

<<Well, sorry for being sheepish…>>

I was scolded for saying, again, that I couldn’t do something. What was so wrong about saying you couldn’t do something you really couldn’t do?

<<Okay then, shall we start?>>

My mentor laughed, happy, excited. Then, the phrase he always said when we trained.

<<Try to kill me, ***.>>

.

“….phew.”

I exhaled, to calm myself down. Even so, my lips trembled. My heart beat faster, my heartbeat was too noisy. My “Spada” kept rattling.

“…..”

I knew that my mentor wanted to die. Sometimes he hinted at the fact that something happened in his past, but I never learned the details.

I want to die, but I can’t. He was a strange person, thinking about things like this.

My reason to swing the sword was to survive. As time passed, however, it changed little by little.

“….finally.”

My mentor gave everything to me. How could I pay him back? What I came up with was…

To give him peace. To kill him.

What sort of twisted love is this?

I can tell now. I want to see my mentor and everyone. I want to talk to them, to have fun and do stupid things like we used to.

My mentor probably had other people he felt the same way towards too. But in the end, my mentor died before I could pay him back.

“I can finally show you…”

I didn’t stop, though. In order to live. In order to show him that I could kill him, if we ever met again in the other world. I continued wielding my sword, hoping to hear my mentor tell me <<you sure did your best>>. Because of the twisted love born within me in that world. 

Even if the person before me is not really my mentor.

Believing that my mentor is watching me, from wherever he was, I spoke. I looked at my “Spada” and laughed.

“This time I will really kill you.”

The hilt of my “Spada” makes a grinding sound because of the force of my grip.

“…you see, I thought about it.”

As soon as I spoke, the cage of swords around us dissipated, as if melting away into the air. At the same time, from my shadow, from the shadows of the clouds in the sky, from any and all shadows black swords rose to float in midair.

.

100, 200, 300, 400, 500

“……!!”

Idies was speechless before such an unreal scene. The moment the swords started floating, she realized. Those swords all had a will. They moved according to their master’s orders.

A heavy atmosphere completely filled the area, showering it with indiscriminate killing intent, concentrated to the max. Enough killing intent to make hair stand on end. Definitely not something you would ever point at a loved one. 

Because of that, Idies visibly shook. Her secret technique, “Phantoms”, was supposed to show the target the person they wanted to meet the most, the person dearest to them. Idies used it often during assassination missions.

This time, she felt that she shouldn’t use it. Even so, no matter how crazy her opponent seemed, she thought he would still have human emotions in him. And this was the result.

Swords, swords, swords, as far as the eye could see. Her mouth wouldn’t move. If she didn’t say anything, however, she couldn’t calm herself down. She couldn’t keep her composure.

“…a…are you a…monster…!?”

.

“<<All shadows are under my control>>”

My head felt like it was going to split. I’d definitely gone overboard. The moment I relaxed, I might even faint. Even so, I did not stop my “Spada”.

Even if the magic tool I borrowed from King Afillis cracked under the pressure, I would not stop. That’s how excited I felt.

“If one sword can’t kill, then two. If two can’t, then three.”

I look at the countless swords floating all around us.

“I thought that ten thousand swords could kill my mentor. But…”

The “Spada” I created at the cost of placing a heavy burden on my body was not meant to kill my mentor. For me, the time spent with my mentor was more important than anything. If anything got in the way, even in the smallest way, I would remove such an obstacle with no hesitation.

“That would be meaningless.”

My lingering regrets could only be cleared through the sword.

.

The swords floating in the sky turned, all at the same time, aiming at the soldiers engaged in some sort of preparations in the back. Idies realized what I was going to do before anyone else. As well as the fact that she couldn’t stop it.

“Kill, Spada.”

As soon as my words were spoken, the darkness-colored swords rained down and struck. The soldiers died, one after the other, under the rain of black meteors. It was a scene right out of hell.

.

A dozen seconds after my “Spada” stopped raining down, what was my mentor until seconds before trembled. I quickly understood the reason why. I felt the dull sound of something collapsing.

“Ah…gah…”

The order I gave my “Spada” was to eliminate all those who stood in the way of my duel with my mentor. In other words…

“So that’s how it was.”

I somehow felt it. Even so, I couldn’t forget that nostalgic sensation. I ended up hoping that it really was my mentor. At that moment, I already knew that it wasn’t really him, though.

“Three, huh.”

Idies Farizard, illusion user and swordsman. Three of the swords that rained down had stabbed her.

“Pretty few, considering how close you were to me. You got lucky.”

My “Spada” were probably tricked by the illusions until the end, believing the mentor to be the real one.

“Hel….p….”

Idies, crawled on the ground and begged for me to help her. She was losing massive quantities of blood: anyone would understand that there was no hope for her. I ignored her plea, however, and spoke.

“You were too confident in your abilities.”

As soon as you realized that you couldn’t match me in pure fighting ability, you should have run. Your illusion abilities, however, prevented you from doing so. If you weren’t so arrogant, things could have concluded differently. Though it was pointless to think about now.

Maybe because Idies showed me my mentor, I remembered a conversation we had vividly.

.

<<Mentor, why don’t you use your bloodline technique?>>

I only saw my mentor use his bloodline technique twice in my whole life. What actually happened and what it actually was, however, were a mystery even now. When he trained me or faced my “Spada”, my mentor fought with only his body and his blade. He was the complete opposite of me, as I always used my “Spada”.

<<Because bloodline techniques are, in a way, gifts we got randomly. So I don’t rely on them.>>

Thus I don’t use mine. So spoke my mentor.

<<In the end what you can really trust is what you spent so much time polishing. For me it’s my sword, so I rely on my sword. If you sit on the laurels of your bloodline technique, you’ll end up losing many things, like I did.>>

So ***, make sure you carry a sword that is not your “Spada” too.

<<…whoops, I guess I shouldn’t have said that. Anyway, never be arrogant about your abilities.>>

<<Isn’t not using your abilities being arrogant too, though?>>

My mentor looked lost for a second, then laughed loudly.

<<Hahaha!! Hahahahaha!!! That’s interesting, ***! Indeed, that’s a kind of arrogance too. But you should say that only when you become good enough to wound me. With your current abilities, I can’t deal with you seriously…>>

Even if my mentor was being arrogant, at the time I couldn’t even scratch him.

<<But I don’t want you to die, mentor.>>

Since I used my bloodline technique so often, I knew well how powerful it could be. Since my mentor didn’t use his, I thought that he was wishing to die. I felt that he would leave me and was afraid.

<<…even if I die as a result of that, I’m not going to make excuses. If there is someone my sword can’t match, I don’t think a mere bloodline ability could help much anyway. If I die, I die, that’s it.>> 

My mentor was strong. Overwhelmingly strong. I thought that if he used his bloodline technique he might become pretty much invincible, but he didn’t share my opinion.

<<I’ll probably laugh as I pass out, thinking that I should have trained more.>>

.

“You were too arrogant. That’s the cause of your defeat. A sword wielder shouldn’t beg for their life!”

Swordsman is another word for killer. Because of that, we must always be prepared for our lives to be taken. We must accept it with composure.

Is this a difference in values?

If I had to die, I wanted to do so in a cool way. I wanted to laugh as I went, like my mentor did. I would never think of putting up such a shameful act to survive. Not in the past, not now.

Now that I wielded my sword for the sake of others, I could go with a smile. I somehow felt it. Thus I couldn’t understand her.

“Farewell.”

I give her my last greeting in a monotone and swing down my “Spada”.

“Prideless swordsman.”

The sword drew an arc through her body.

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