Chapter 29: Weapon Master Al
“Al, what do you want for breakfast?”
” … I’m fine with anything.”
“Cheese Toast, Egg Toast, Fried White Fish, Bacon Salad, Pickled Cabbage …”
I continued listing breakfast candidates as I looked at Al’s expression.
Al’s face showed a slight twitch of reaction.
“I see, scrambled egg it is. The beans boiled in tomato that Tanta’s family shared with us would go well as the side dish and also chicken soup.”
His expression was rigid but I could see a little glimmer of expectation he had for the dishes.
I smiled and asked Al to wait in the living room as I head to the kitchen.
I was asked to take care of Al for a short while.
Al’s parents had become the centerpiece for the South Marsh resident’s protest.
For that reason, they were now recuperating in the mansion of the boss of the Half-humans in South Marsh, Big Hawk. Even their treatment was not by Newman from downtown but by a doctor from South Marsh.
“I can understand what they are saying and the indignation they feel. I was injured to that extent after all. However, I do not want my son to be surrounded by a place filled with hatred.”
Al’s father said that to me as he knelt on the ground. The pouch filled with 47 Quarter Peryl silver coins was probably all the money he had saved up.
Lit and I asked him to raise his head and agreed to take care of Al for a while.
Lit woke up late as usual.
She waved energetically but Al didn’t say a word and only lowered his head slightly.
It was better than the very first day.
At first, we couldn’t even communicate with him properly.
His parents were attacked in front of his eyes and he abandoned his parents and ran away. Furthermore, the South Marsh residents were badmouthing the Zoltan residents even though everyone lived in the same area.
To a child like Al, that was enough trauma to cause him to close his heart.
“All right, it’s done.”
The scrambled eggs placed on the table sparkled as the morning sun shined on them through the window. The goodness of an egg first comes from appealing to the eyes. I guess that saying was not an exaggeration.
“Well then, thank you for the meal.”
With Lit seated beside me and Al directly opposite me, we started eating together.
“Lit-san, here I come.”
In the yard, Al faced Lit as they both held blunted shotels for training use.
“Sure, come at me from wherever.”
Lit did not equip two shotels as usual but just one in her right hand. Her left hand was placed on her waist and she raised her right hand above her head in an upper stance.
“When facing a stronger opponent with an upper stance?”
“Middle stance, counterclockwise.”
Al held the shotel in his right hand in a middle stance and slowly moved toward his left, or Lit’s right. Doing so will cause the opponent to restrict their own vision with their right hand.
Perhaps he saw a chance for victory or he succumbed to Lit’s sword pressure, Al dashed forward and aimed a slash at Lit’s right hand.
However, Lit’s sword struck Al’s shoulder with greater speed.
Lit was no longer at the place Al swung at. Lit’s sword perfectly stopped a skin width away from Al’s shoulder and she could have easily crushed his shoulder if she wanted to.
“One more time please!”
Al shouted and Lit nodded with a smile.
I watched the two of them cross swords as I planted new medicinal grass seedlings and seeds in the garden.
I was surprised when the brooding Al asked Lit to teach him the way of the sword.
At first, Lit refused, saying that she did not have beautiful sword techniques to teach others but after seeing Al’s serious look, she agreed to teach him if it was only for the basics.
The weapon Al chose as Weapon Master was the shotel.
The same weapon used by Lit, a unique dual-bladed single-handed sword with an inward curve.
The sword was capable of cutting past the opponent’s defense and it could be used as a regular curved sword by holding it in the opposite orientation.
In a sense, it was a weapon meant for humans or other similarly armed opponents.
Due to its shape, there was a knack for handling it so even I had no confidence in using it.
It was a sword loved and used by swordsmen with backgrounds like Lit who flourished in arenas.
A Weapon Master could become a master in whatever weapon he chooses. In that sense, it might be a better choice to choose a weapon like a shotel compared to easy to use weapons like spears or clubs.
Although there was still a scar in his heart, Al occasionally flashed a smile whenever he was swinging a sword.
Perhaps that was the influence of the Divine Protection of the Weapon Master.
“Although the wound in his heart won’t disappear, the day he returns to his former self seems to be closer.”
In the end, Al never did hit Lit even once but no matter how many times his sword was deflected, he never once dropped his shotel.
After Al had fallen asleep.
Lit and I drank some coffee with an added dash of brandy.
“Thank you, thanks to Lit, Al has become a lot more cheerful.”
“Rather than me, it was the power of his Divine Protection. It looked like he couldn’t help but feel joy from seeing his weapon move the way he wanted.”
Lit could never imagine having such feelings for her own shotel. Of course, as her favorite weapon, she would have some feelings for it but she would never look at her shotel and smile.
“For now, I believe he is working his Divine Protection in a good direction. Although we need to take note of his actions as he is still unstable.”
“Yeah, I noticed too and am monitoring him.”
“Ha~ leaving that aside, I’ve never taught anybody before … I sure hope I don’t show some strange habit.”
Lit sighed and laughed bitterly.
“I think you’re doing great. Furthermore, in the end, it is the skill that matters.”
“That is true but Gaius always said that just knowing how to swing a sword is not enough. There is a philosophy behind the sword. And that philosophy is not taught through the Divine Protection. In the end, I have never once won against Gaius.”
The Captain of the Imperial Guard of the Principality of Logavia and Lit’s Mentor, Gaius, who was murdered by the Asura Demon 『Shisandan』.
By the time we were granted entry into the palace of the Principality of Logavia and had the chance to properly converse with him, he had already become an Asura Demon.
Gaius was the only person Lit, who did as she pleased at that time, respected.
“I wonder if I can convey to Al what Gaius taught me.”
I placed my hand on Lit’s cheek as she sounded worried.
“After all, you’re Lit.”
“What’s with that reasoning.”
Lit sniggered at my encouragement based on unfounded reasoning.
But I meant it. I knew Lit well.
In Lit’s sword and words resided the teachings of a great teacher.
That was why she would definitely be able to teach Al what Gaius taught her in an even better form.
Lit closed her eyes and wrapped both her hands on my right hand placed on her cheek.