«TN: It was brought to my attention that releasing too many chapters at once breaks the feed, so I’m going to publish a few at a time again. Besides, this chapter felt like a good place to stop»
Montavo recalled a story Phryne read to him a long time ago.
A story about a sword who chose the King.
The person who was able to pull that sword out of the stone would be granted the title of King.
The moment he did, he was transformed into a protagonist.
There were many stories similar to that.
It was probably one of the basic patterns of a story.
Young Montavo read all those stories and longs for it.
— I will some day get my hands on the best sword, too.
That was a transient dream of his youth, and would not normally come true —
But now — the chance to seize the dream was in front of him.
“This sword, for me …”
In the arena grounds, the sword Ghulcyut Kai threw and told him to use stood.
Montavo held his breath in the face of the overwhelming aura the sword possessed.
Now that it’s in front of him he understood, that this was a weapon that surpassed all others in the world.
The materialized mana of the sword wrapped around the blade like a snake.
It scared him.
But he wouldn’t even have a chance of winning against Phryne if he didn’t take this sword.
When the dust from when the sword was thrown in settled, Phryne would sure rush in to attack.
Then before that happens he had to be ready with the sword.
“— I’ll pull it out”
Isn’t it cowardice to be using Kai’s sword, he thought for an instant — but he thought again, no, it’s not
Meeting with Kai was one of Montavo’s experiences.
Then the weapon that Kai told him to use is a part of him too.
Without hesitating, he gripped the handle.
The magic power in the form of a snake coiled around and crept up along Montavo’s arm.
The dense energy made his consciousness faint —
— Riiing …
A bell-like sound brought Montavo’s consciousness back.
It came from the Sacrament Cage hanging on his neck.
The Sacrament Cage vibrated as if encouraging its owner.
It frantically tried to whittle down Ghulcyut’s magic power. Fighting it together with him.
This rare magic item was one that Montavo gained with his own strength.
Because Montavo earnestly proved his strength, his father gave it to his third son.
My life has not entirely been in vain —!
He held his breath and opened his eyes wide.
He didn’t remember living a life that would lose to some sword.
He lived and was treated as dirty.
He lived every day fighting other people like animals.
His masters were Phryne and Kai.
He was raised by the two most excellent swordsmen in the world.
There was no reason for him to lose to the likes of a magic sword.
That definitely won’t happen.
He exhaled and pulled out the sword.
He gripped the handle strongly in both hands and pulled.
Phryne’s sword came in soon after and he parried it away.
The power of the demon sword even threw Phyre’s body back — no she jumped back on her own.
Phryne didn’t show even a speck of agitation seeing her disciple hold a demon sword.
This kind of unexpected thing was surely within Phryne’s expectations.
She had long understood that there’s no such thing as preestablished harmony in a fight.
Phryne jumped in again and again.
Her sword clashed against the demon sword.
Montavo’s thoughts from living as a humand and Phryne’s heart that walked the straight path of the sword butted heads against each other.
They each enhanced each other.
Power and speed rose up without limit.
Eyes could no longer follow.
Sounds came after the sense of touch.
It was a dance free from thought.
Thoughts came after.
Their bodies move half automatically.
The “Self” fused with the world.
The vivid image suddenly appeared in Montavo’s mind.
— An endless expanse of land, forests continuing every which way.
— Great trees with trunks like rocks, and the divine horned creatures that lived there.
— The great sea splashing up spray, galleons plowing over the surface.
— A land covered in sand and the scorching sun.
That was surely the sight Montavo should have seen.
If that day Montavo fulfilled Phryne’s wish and indicted his family — He would have left Coura and travelled the worldand saw these scenery.
Probably, together with the master he healed from poisoning.
“— I wanted to see it …” said Phryne while swinging her sword at high speed, “the sight of bocchan … becoming stronger with the strong people of the world … by your side …”
Large drops of tears fell from her eyes.
“Why … why … why … — why didn’t bocchan choose my story …!”
For the first time, his master’s sword was strained.
Its path wavered.
The deep sadness.
It all reached him.
“Yes … I didn’t choose you. Because I was weak, I didn’t choose you …”
His cheeks became hot.
Seems he was unable to completely block his master sword and was cut.
He was happy.
Now when he looks in a mirror, he will be reminded of her sword.
“— I didn’t choose you … and I have always regretted it”
He disliked her, but he was fond of her.
He disdained her, but he respected her.
And while he hated her, he loved her with his whole heart.
He never forgot about Phryne even for an instant.
“But I have accepted the story of my past where I remained in town — and with that, I’ll redo my story!”
As he put his resolve into words, Montavo swung Ghulcyut down.
He cut apart the story that should have been with the demon sword.
One blow from Ghulcyut struck Phryne’s sword —!
— *Kiiiiii* — ……
The long reverberating sound melted into the night.
Montavo and Phryne were facing each other and heard the sound.
They relished the world’s most beautiful sound with all their five senses.
Letting it infuse into their souls.
— Ah … it’s over …
When the sound stopped — something happened to Phryne’s thin sword.
Her sword was cut in half and fell to the ground.
“— bocchan … no, Montavo. It’s your win”
The moment the match was settled, Montavo stabbed the demon sword on the ground and embraced his master.
She was hard and thin — his poisoned master had no meat on her body.
This hardness was proof of Montavo’s sin.
He had always been running from this.
He was not running.
He was facing her head on.
It was a mistake not to apologize just because he wouldn’t be forgiven.
He dearly, dearly embraced his sin.
Telling the one he threw away, I love you.
“— bocchan, you,” Phryne whispered to his ear, “you have found a wonderful story”
“— ah …”
His master now approved of him as he is.
His body trembled, and tears flowed.
Those were the words he had always wanted to hear.
He had always suffered because he never heard them.
Anguishing every night and every day, always, always —
*sshh*… the chains wrapping his soul disappeared.
“You spinning your own story, it’s so —”
Phryne said that and suddenly kissed Montavo in the mouth.
His master’s lips were very youthful for an old woman —
When their lips parted what he saw was a beautiful woman he’s never seen before.
Gallant and divine.
The woman that was almost like a goddess was wearing silver armor.
He only understood that she was Phryne.
“Montavo, live proudly on this world. — let’s meet again when your time comes”
Phryne said so leaving a beautiful smile — and she turned into sand.
When Phryne kissed Montavo, she transformed into a beautiful woman.
Rejuvenated …? No, that was a complete transformation.
Phryne transformed into something completely different, just like my Mirror.
“Transforming with a kiss … I see, Phryne was an ubakawa 1 heroine”
“Ubakawa …? Ah, yes, that one. Yes, I know that one”
Liu-chan, pretending to know.
“If you already know then I don’t need to explain”
“I’m very sorry I’ll dip myself in boiling water so please teach me”
“Well, no need for the boiling water … — it happens a lot in stories that heroines were transformed into ugly forms. When they fulfilled certain conditions with the Protagonists, they would get their original forms back. Like, being loved, or exchanging a kiss. So the ugly forms they had before getting their beauty back is called the ubakawa”
If Montavo set off on a journey with Phryne — she would certainly have gotten that form back and they’d travel through the world getting all friendly like.
They would probably get married and have children.
Montavo … you have it too good.
However, Montavo didn’t choose Phryne. Which was why she died ugly.
Then only after she died she was able to successfully throw off her disguise.
Because she and Montavo opened their hearts to each other.
— Which means, that just now were the echoes of the story Montavo didn’t choose.
“But then it’s really something like a ghost, huh …”
How did it materialize …?
Who or what gave Phryne a body —
Well, whatever … let’s think about that later. Now, we should —”
Because I have finally obtained what I wanted.
I looked at Montavo who had become strong, collapsed on the ground.
After being given my sword, Montavo splendidly used it.
He won against the trauma that was his “greatest enemy”.
Having received a deep wound from his master’s sword in his face, he gained a “stigmata”
He had also encountered the goddess that was Phryne’s true form 2
I had no complaints with this.
Montavo’s now a fine —
“Congratulations, you’re now a Protagonist”