SETP Vol. 2 Short Story

Digital Version Short Story – A Certain Day’s Memory

When did it happen again?

<<To swing the sword…is painful, right?>>

A long time ago, when I still spoke my mind honestly.

<<What’s gotten into you, mentor?>>

I was talking with my mentor who was sitting on the ground next to me.

White hair, a rarity in this world.

Hair white like snow over an expression that seemed somewhat lost, entranced.

I felt that my mentor’s first question had a certain motive, so while asking the reason why he asked it, I also answered it.

<<…not really, it’s not painful.>>

My mentor did not say anything and simply smiled wryly.

<<You don’t need to act tough. Because that feeling is not wrong, not at all.>>

A wasteland extended before our eyes.

My mentor continued, while looking at the sky painted by the sunset.

<<Nothing good happens even if you can swing a sword. But in this world, if you don’t have the means to resist, everything is taken away from you. And look at the results.>>

My mentor’s expression darkened, and he laughed bitterly.

<<At first, I too had my doubts about swinging a sword. I despised it, avoided it. But I continued resisting, struggling, and those feelings vanished over time.>>

He then placed a hand on the sword at his side— 

<<—this world is really filled with sadness.>>

<<Sadness?>>

My mentor’s lips turned slightly.

<<Yes, that’s right. Sadness…***, don’t you think that having to rely on a sword so much is a really sad thing?>>

The smell stuck to my nose for years. The smell of metal, rust, flesh, dried soil stained red.

Those were all created by the sword. I had experienced them directly too, so I couldn’t say anything in response to my mentor’s words.

<<…I…>>

I think that…

Simple words, but I couldn’t even utter them. Because I knew that even if I talked about my ideals, nothing would change.

I was lost in such thought when a large, warm hand rubbed my head.

<<***, you’re easy to read so I taught you to laugh all the time. I taught you to hide. But I never told you to discard those feelings, or that they were wrong.>>

His hand still on my head, my mentor continued.

<<Your way of thinking is right, ***. It just doesn’t fit this world.>>

You picked the wrong world to be born in.

My mentor and the others said it all the time.

<<If you swing the sword, you can’t help but look only at painful things. That is reality. But if you think about it in another way, there are things you could save only because you kept swinging the sword.>>

<<…I know that already.>>

I had been protected all that time.

So I would never deny those words. I had no intention to.

<<You don’t need to think of swinging the sword as something evil. Even if you think difficult thoughts like that, you’ll just make things hard for yourself.>>

My mentor’s words sounded like they came from experience.

<<If you hate the sword, just toss it away when everything’s over. That’s all there is to it. No one decided that you have to live with your sword forever anyway.>>

Those words inspired a dream of the future in me.

I saw myself living in ordinary peace, with my mentor and the others.

<<Now we are forced to swing our swords, but such a day will definitely come.>>

I didn’t utter a word, but my mentor seemed to have read my thoughts.

<<Will it, really?>>

<<Sure. One day, you’ll see— >>


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