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Original Work Re;Blade

Discussion in 'Fanfics and Stories' started by phmoura, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. phmoura

    phmoura Registered User

    下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member

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    Hi everyone.
    I just posted the prologue and the first chapter of my new web novel and I'd like to post here as well.
    It's an Isekai, but with a more mature feeling.
    I'll be updating every Tuesday. Hope you like it.
    Description:
    Tetsuko was a blacksmith.
    Ever since she could remember, her life revolved around swords. And when she died, she became one.

    Prologue
    The handle of the sword shone red under the pale light. The blood dripped from the guard to the ground. Drop by drop, the grass became tainted with a dark red.

    The earth drank blood, its thirst voracious and never satisfied.

    The crows circled high in the sky, their screeches and the sound of their wings flapping reaching down to the earth. But even the animals didn’t dare to approach yet.

    The pale setting sun hidden by clouds cast shadows over the battlefields

    Amidst the countless bodies, there was a sword. Piercing through a woman and stricken on the ground.

    And then a voice echoed inside that blade.

    Where am I…?



    Chapter 1 - The Blacksmith
    Sparks flew every time the woman struck the sword with the hammer, illuminating her hard and empty face.

    She barely breathed as she brought the tool down again and again, too focused to care about anything else besides the sword before her.

    With the right eye closed, the woman showed no emotion as she worked on the blade. But that was for those who didn’t know her.

    Behind the pale open eye, there was a burning passion. A passion so strong she lost track of time whenever she worked.

    There was no hunger. There was no exhaustion. There was no sleep.

    There was only the sword she was creating.

    The rhythmic sound of metal against metal filled her soul. That was enough for her.

    It didn’t matter how the sword would be used. Either to kill or to protect.

    A blacksmith should make the weapon, not tell how it should be used, her father used to say when he was alive.

    As long as she could breathe, as long as she could move, she would make a sword.

    As long as she could make a sword, she had a reason to live.

    Because that whom she was. A blacksmith.

    Her hands never stopped, always striking the lump of metal, which in a few hours would be a sword, in the same rhythm.

    Her hands only stopped when she heard a sound. It was faint and should not be enough make her stop. But she hated that sound too much to keep going.

    Without taking her eye from the crude blade, she listened.

    A gun, she knew when she recognized the second gunshot followed by a scream.

    She squeezed the tool and the yet to be weapon hard, her hands trembling. She closed her left eye, breathing slowly to calm her rage.

    When the trembling stopped, she stood up and opened her right eye. With the still hot and glowing metal in one hand and the tool in another, she left her forge towards the sound of the hated gunshots.

    “Tetsuko!” a voice echoed throughout her property. “Come out!”

    “Take responsibility for what you’ve done!” another person shouted.

    Tetsuko closed her eye and snorted. With those words, she knew whom it was and what they wanted. Without hesitating, the woman went down the small hill where her forge was towards the main house, towards the angry voices.

    Three men she didn’t recognize stood side by side in the backyard. But she barely paid any attention to them. All her focus was on the weapons they all carried.

    “Guns,” she let out a low whisper full of rage.

    A barbarian and uncivilized tool, she thought before turning her attention to the one in the middle. His clothes were covered in blood. They must’ve killed my guards… with those damn guns… Without noticing, she clutched the hammer with more strength.

    “I’m Tetsuko,” she said, coming out of her hiding place.

    They turned already pointing the guns at her. But they didn’t shoot the woman at sight.

    She gave a long and hard silent stared at those weapons, feeling the rage boiling inside her. Those barbaric tools won’t replace swords… Even if the naked blade had no handled, she clutched the almost finish katana so hard her fingers hurt and the knuckles lost its color.

    “What’s your business with me?”

    “To make you pay!” the one covered in blood screamed, raising his weapon at eye level. The wick of his gun was already lit.

    The blacksmith stared at the muzzles pointed at her. Even at gunpoint, Tetsuko didn’t change her behavior. “Pay for what?”

    “For what…?”

    The one on her right looked at her as if he could not believe her words. But even if his voice faltered, Tetsuko could tell there was rage almost as strong as her inside him.

    He grabbed the gun with so much force his hands trembled, but even so, he still kept the aim in her direction.

    “For destroying our village! For destroying our lives!”

    She looked at each man with her good eye. They had lost everything and were ready to kill her, even if they hesitated.

    “I may be guilty of many things, but destroying a village isn’t one of them,” she said in the same low and unfazed tone.

    “How… can you say that after… after selling those swords… to them?” He could barely speak due to his hatred of the woman.

    Tetsuko let out a heavy sigh as she closed her eye. As I thought. They were attacked by people who had my weapons and now blame me… Pathetic.

    “I’ll say it again. I have not destroyed any village,” she said in a now harsh voice. There was no regret or sorrow in the woman. “I’m a blacksmith. I only make swords. If you want one, tell me. I’ll forge a blade for you. But if you’ve come for revenge, you came to the wrong place.”

    “If you hadn’t… sold those swords… my daughter… she… she’d still be alive!” the one in the left shouted. He closed his eyes and turned his head, the tears falling. But even in that state, he still held the gun in Tetsuko direction.

    “I don’t remember swinging that sword,” Tetsuko said, not bothering to hide her indifference. “I won’t apologize, for I have done you no harm. You just want someone to blame and put your anger and sorrow ‘cause you can’t take revenge on the real people who’ve hurt you. Pathetic.”

    It was too much for the man on the right. He raised his gun, aimed at her and pulled the trigger. But he trembled so much he missed the shot by far.

    The smell of gunpowder filled the air. The sound of the gunshot echoed and died, scaring some birds from a tree.

    She tried to keep her anger under her control, but the smell of gunpowder was too strong. The sound was still ringing in her ears. I really hate guns.

    With an empty face, the blacksmith tapped her chest right on top of her heart with the now warm hammer. The metal burned her a slightly through the leather, but she showed no sign of pain. Instead, her good eye shone with rage.

    “Next time, aim it right here. ‘Cause if you miss, you’ll be the one with a hole in your chest,” she said in the same cold and indifferent voice.

    Even if she didn’t notice herself, she smiled. Not a happy or a superior one. A simple smile, with her mouth closed. But that seemed to terrify those men before her.

    For an instant, no one moved. There was only silence filling the backyard of the blacksmith’s house.

    The men stared at her, paralyzed by fear or rage. But even so, they never lowered their guns, the barrel of the weapons pointing at her all the time.

    Tetsuko stood still, waiting for an opening to strike.

    A light rain began to fall.

    The hot blade in her hand hissed and smoked as the drops of water touched it, but she didn’t take her eyes off her enemies.

    It was only for a brief instant, but the men took their eyes from her to look at the sword.

    In that moment as fast as a blink of the eye, the blacksmith wasn’t under their aim.

    Tetsuko didn’t waste the chance. She lowered her body and ran as fast as she could towards them.

    The man in the middle was the first to react. He raised the gun and aimed at her head. But before he could pull the trigger, Tetsuko threw her hammer with all her strength.

    It was enough to make him missed the shot. When the tool smashed at the gun, the weapon flew from his hands and hit him in the face. The peasant fell backward, holding his bleeding nose and mouth.

    Before he too could pull the trigger, Tetsuko swung her unfinished blade at the man on her left.

    Out of reflex, he blocked the attack with his gun. Sparks flew when metal hit metal.

    Tetsuko pressed on. He couldn’t win against a blacksmith’s raw strength and took a step back.

    The woman slid her blade on the weapon so the hot metal touched his fingers.

    The man tried to withstand, clenching his teeth to hold his scream. But soon he let go of the gun, his voice of pain filling the backyard.

    The blacksmith kicked him between the legs. As he fell, she slashed at his neck. Damn it… this blade is too blunt, she thought, clicking her tongue when she realized the attack was too shallow to kill him right away.

    But Tetsuko had no time to finish the job him with a blunt blade.

    The last man standing had missed the first shot, but he was already preparing the next.

    She ran towards him, but before he was within her blade’s reach, he turned the gun on her without taking aim and closed his eyes.

    With a scream, he pulled the trigger.

    This time he didn’t miss.

    Shit! Tetsuko clenched her teeth to stop her scream. She didn’t need to look to know; the hot pain was enough. The small metal ball had taken some fingers off her right hand.

    Fuck! The pressed her maimed hand against her chest, the blood spreading on her clothes. Fuck… Despite the pain, there was something else in her mind. Even like this, I can still make swords with my other hand!

    Even during a fight for her life, she was a blacksmith above all.

    Ignoring her pain, Tetsuko thrust the end of the unfinished sword down the man’s open mouth. He finally stopped screaming as the blade pierced the back of his head.

    The unfinished blade broke when she tried to pull it. Damn it. She turned the weapon to see both sides to see the damages. Even I can’t fix this anymore, Tetsuko thought.

    Then she felt something behind her, but it was too late to react.

    By the time she turned around, the first man she had taken down was already standing up, the muzzle of that hated gun aimed at her.

    Tetsuko ran and swung what was left of her sword, but before the broken blade could reach him, he pulled the trigger. The small metal ball hit the blacksmith right in the stomach.

    The pain small at first, but soon it spread, along with a strange coldness. She took a step back, touching the wound with her still whole hand. Blood soaked her clothes, fingers and the sword. She stared at her red hand.

    The man didn’t waste the chance. As she used the broken blade to keep standing, he prepared the next shot.

    Tetsuko looked as he poured the gunpowder into the barrel. She felt the hatred filling her. It was enough to ignore her pain

    She lurched at him with her arm stretched. She fell on top of him, the broken end of the blade piercing him in the throat.

    But the blow was too shallow, so the blacksmith attacked again, stabbing him in the throat over and over.

    Only when the pain was too much, only when she could no longer move her arm, she stopped.

    She sat on top of the man who shot her, out of air. She tried to breathe, but each time it hurt.

    Tetsuko had no strength left, but even so, she refused to let go of her broken weapon.

    If she did, she would die. Because there was an enemy still alive.

    As she thought of him, the last man stood up. He touched his bleeding neck with his burned fingers. He was in pain, but even so, he still raised his gun.

    Tetsuko didn’t know why, but she smiled. Not the normal one she had when she was happy. A faint one.

    But that smile brought fear to the man’s heart. She could tell by his eyes.

    Without ever taking his eyes from her, he pulled the trigger. But nothing happened. Terror filled his face as he realized he hadn’t prepared the next shot.

    She forced herself to stand up. With the rest of her strength, she dragged herself towards him as fast as she could.

    The man looked between the gun and the woman he hated and blamed for everything. He threw the gin at Tetsuko.

    Out of reflex, she raised her hand to block it, but it was her right hand, her mutilated hand.

    She screamed in pain and closed what was left of her fingers.

    In that time, the man ran past her.

    Tetsuko turned around to see him cutting himself as he pulled the broken sword out of his friend’s mouth.

    With the broken piece, he faced her.

    With tears in his eyes, he screamed and jumped at her.

    Tetsuko raised the rest of the broken blade to block it, but it slipped through her bloodied fingers. Shit!

    She raised her hand out of reflex.

    Even blunt, the blade cut through bone and flesh.

    First, she saw her fingers falling slowly before her eyes. Then she felt the pain.

    The next instant, the man drove the end of broken blade on her chest again and again.

    The blacksmith fell to the ground, her blood tainting the grass.

    Out of breath, the man stood up and stared at her.

    He didn’t smile in triumph. He didn’t show any joy. His expression was empty as he looked at the woman he blamed for destroying his village.

    Tetsuko stared back at him, and they both knew she wouldn’t make it.

    Even if he didn’t finish the job, it was only a matter of time until her life ended.

    But for some reason, instead of hate or rage, she laughed. It was low at first, but soon her voice grew and fill the yard.

    “Those guns…” She coughed blood and then showed a wild smile. “Those guns… didn’t kill me…” She stared at the man with triumph in her eyes.

    He opened his mouth, but no words came out of him. He just stood there, with an expression of shock, shaking his head.

    “You should… be happy… This is what… you wanted… your pointless and… empty revenge…” She tried to breathe, but the pain was spreading across her body was too much. But even so, she still laughed and smiled. “But… I’m the… one who… won…”

    “You’re a monster…” He finally found his voice, taking a step back, afraid of the dying woman. “There’s something wrong with you… you have no remorse for the deaths you cause and—”

    “All I do is… make the swords…” She interrupted him, coughing more blood, but her smile never faded. “A sword that… beat those… damn guns…”

    She laughed louder than ever.

    “Monster… You’re a monster…” The man took another step back, tripping over his dead friend.

    “Tell them. Tell the entire world those guns didn’t kill me!” she shouted with all the strength she had left. “Tell the world I met my death by my own sword. Only a Muramasa blade, only my blade could kill me!”

    As the rain became stronger, the dying blacksmith laughter echoed louder.
     
    riki likes this.
  2. riki

    riki Storyteller

    伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member

    Mangahelper

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    Nice story! I like the concept and I'm curious about what will happen next. What will Tetsuko's role be now that she's inside the sword? She can't do much in her situation, but will she have any influence on the other characters? Can't wait to find out.
     
    phmoura likes this.
  3. phmoura

    phmoura Registered User

    下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member

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    Thanks.
    Even though she'll become a sword, her soul remains. So all her knowledge as a warrior remains. That can help those who can listen
    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 13, 2018, Original Post Date: Mar 7, 2018 ---
    Tetsuko died laughing. But she wasn't allowed to move on.
    Where is she?

    Chapter 02
    So that’s how I died, Tetsuko thought, letting the reality sink into her mind. I’m dead…

    A sensation of emptiness filled her soul. I was stupid and too careless… whenever I see a gun, I lose my mind… If I only had left my forge with a finished blade… Damn… there was still so much I wanted to do…

    I always wanted the chance to use that foreign metal again… To let my hands and mind do whatever they wanted with that.

    I still remember those spikes that girl brought… that was an amazing metal… so different from the ones we had… Just the memory of making that sword… How many times did I dream of putting that blade against a barbarian sword?

    But now I never will… Damn it… why did I have to die so soon?

    No matter how much she mourned, there was no changing the reality.

    The blacksmith known as Tetsuko had died.

    Then how can I still think? Where am I?

    She looked around. At once she knew where she was.

    A battlefield… Tetsuko had seen too many to not recognize one. But even for her, it was a brutal scene. As far as she could see, it had been a massacre.

    Looks like I fell into the world of humans again…

    Most of the dead around her share the same traits; they wore no armor, their weapons were of poor metal or even made of wood, and they had a dark green paint over their faces.

    Tetsuko reached out to check the closest weapon, but she couldn’t move. She couldn’t feel her body.

    She tried to raise at least her hand, but realized she had no arm. She looked down, and instead of her body, there was a sword.

    A long, thin, one-handed, double-edged sword. The handle was big enough to swing with both hands if needed and there were no writings or ornaments anywhere.

    I became a sword… a barbarian sword…

    The words echoed in her mind, followed by silence. The next moment, she burst into a laugh.

    I spent my entire life making swords. I dedicated my entire life to the blades. I even abandoned the happiness of a woman to remain on the path of a blacksmith! And now I became a sword in the afterlife!

    It took a while until she stopped laughing.

    Guess what father used to say was true; a blacksmith does put their souls into their work. And someone somehow put mine soul into this blade… too bad it had to be a barbarian sword…

    I wonder if I ever did that too?

    After a few moments thinking, she gave up. It won’t lead me anywhere, she thought, sighing in her mind.

    The woman, no, the sword didn’t know what to feel. Guess it was my destiny… turning into a blade…

    But it’s strange… Even without eyes, she could see the death around her. Even without ears, she could hear the crows in the sky. Even without a nose, she could smell the stench of blood.

    Even without a body, she still had her senses.

    Knowing she wouldn’t reach an answer no matter how much she tried, Tetsuko gave up. She turned her attention to her new body.

    This blade is well made, the blacksmith inside her soul thought somewhat grudgingly.

    Despite being a Japanese sword maker, she couldn’t help but admire the foreign ones. Even with the battle around, there’s not a single chip or scratch along the edges. And the metal… it’s a strange alloy…

    But that wasn’t what caught her attention. There was something inside the metal, inside her.

    I feel something strange coming from it… from my new body… like a faint stream…

    No matter how much she tried, she couldn’t figure out what it was. But she could definitely feel it.

    It was a sort of flow running through the metal. It’s like there’s an energy running inside me, both warm and cold…

    Tetsuko concentrated on that flow, trying to control it, to redirect it…

    But no matter how much she tried, nothing happened.

    Giving up, Tetsuko continued to examine her new body, her sight run along the blade, the blacksmith in her analyzing every inch of the sword.

    Only then she noticed; her tip was piercing someone.

    When she saw the familiar face of the cadaver she stabbed in the gut, she felt a feeling of emptiness overtaking her.

    Me… I’m stabbing myself…

    But it can’t be me, she thought after a while.

    The dead woman whose corpses Tetsuko’s new body stabbed was taller, with a slightly darker skin and a beautiful long red hair.

    Her face looks like mine… almost identical, actually… but I don’t think this woman was a blacksmith too… there’s no sign of it. On her skin, nor her hands… She was a hunter or a warrior…

    But Tetsuko ended up on her face.

    Why does this woman have my face?

    A low groan caught Tetsuko’s attention.

    Underneath one of the piles of dead bodies, something moved. The top cadaver rolled over and a hand appeared, the fingers bloody and dirty.

    With great effort, the hand pushed and pulled until the owner was free.

    The short man wore the same clothes as most of the dead around him. There was some trace of paint on his face, but most was gone due to blood, dirt, and sweat.

    The man panted. Just the effort of standing seemed too much for him. Even so, he looked around, his face full of pain at first. But the moment he saw his surroundings, sorrow filled his eyes.

    He dragged himself through the battlefield, turning his head in every direction in the hope of finding anyone else still alive.

    He spoke something, but Tetsuko didn’t understand him.

    What language is he speaking? That’s not Japanese.

    Then finally his eyes found Tetsuko.

    But when he saw the dead body pierced by the blade, the pain disappeared from his face and was replaced by a desolation.

    The former blacksmith knew at once. He loved this woman.

    Tears rolled down the man’s face as he dragged himself towards her.

    Ignoring his pain, he tried to pull Tetsuko out of the woman, but he had no strength. The sword didn’t move at all.

    Giving up, he sat next to the woman. With great care, he lifted her head as much as he could.

    “Lia… Hey, Lia… talk to me… please… let me hear your sweet voice singing again… like the old times… please…” He spoke through his tears, caressing the woman’s face with a thumb.

    But Tetsuko knew no matter how many times he called the woman he loved, she would never talk to him, she would never open her eyes again.

    I can’t feel that faint stream of energy flowing inside her…

    Then Tetsuko realized something. I just understood him. But why? When he was talking before, I didn’t… Was it because he touched me?

    The man kissed the woman on the forehead, his tears falling on her.

    He closed his eyes embraced her head gently, crying even more.

    Even when there was no more voice in his cry, Tetsuko could feel his pain.

    After a long time, after he accepted the truth, the tears finally stopped.

    He couldn’t cry anymore. He was an empty man now.

    There was only grieve in those red and swollen eyes.

    The rest of the world didn’t matter any more. There was only the woman he loved.

    The man gently put the woman named Lia on the ground again.

    Careful to avoid the blade, he picked up her arms and crossed them over her chest.

    He stood where he was for a long time, watching the face of the woman he loved.

    Then, when only the sound of the crows on the sky could be heard, a distant laughter tore through the silence.

    The man took his eyes from the woman and turned towards the sound.

    The voice grew louder. Then it was joined by another, also full of a joy that didn’t match the deaths on the field.

    The man looked at Lia and then at the sword.

    His face lost the trace of sorrow. His breathing became stronger and deeper as the rage filled the man.

    “Sleep well, dear,” he whispered, kissing the woman on the forehead. “I’ll finish what we started and then I’ll meet you.”

    He forced himself to stand up. When he stopped panting, he closed his eyes and reached out for the sword.

    The moment his fingers closed around the handle, Tetsuko, the soul inside the blade, felt a jolt.

    The energy inside her reacted to the man’s grip. It became warmer, faster.

    I can sense it in him too… he has a similar energy flowing inside him…

    But at the same time, she knew once one thing; that man was also important to the woman who shared the same face and fate as her.

    I don’t know your name, boy, but this woman, Lia, wanted you to live. She’d never want you to join her later. Don’t do it, she tried to tell him, but her voice belonged only to her.

    Damn it… I kept my senses, but I can’t speak to him.

    She tried to concentrate on the energy inside her, to control and pour some of it into his hand.

    It made no difference; even if her energy reacted to his grip, she still couldn’t control it.

    Though she didn’t know his name, Tetsuko felt sorry for him.

    Because of that, she wanted to stop him, to oppose him as he pulled her out of Lia’s body.

    But there was nothing she could do except watch.

    The young man was exhausted and in pain.

    It was clear on his pale face.

    And yet he found strength with each step he took towards the voices.

    On a little rock formation, there were the four men who could laugh on the battlefield.

    His steps became faster and faster until he was running towards them.

    “I’ll kill you all!” he screamed to them, putting Tetsuko before him.

    Fool, Tetsuko thought, closing the eyes she no longer had. You should’ve taken advantage and attack from behind.

    But she knew he would never do that. Even if she had never seen the young man, something inside her knew he would never use or do something so low as to attack from behind.

    He’s a fool. An honest fool who’d never use dirty tricks…

    As the men turned to him, Tetsuko realized.

    This boy will die. To her surprise, the thought saddened her a little.

    “Hey, look. Someone’s still alive,” the man who was laughing said, running his hand through his short hair.

    “Not alive, just moving,” another one answered, shaking his head. “And it’s the traitor.”

    “You should’ve just played dead and used the chance to escape,” the bold one said.

    “Yeah. You just lost your chance to live, traitor.”

    As the laughs roared, Tetsuko felt the boy tightening his grip around her handle. He bit his lips and breathed hard through his nose.

    “A member… of the Forest tribe… would never escape,” the young man managed to scream, positioning the sword before him.

    Three of them laughed, but the fourth only closed his eyes and shook his head.

    “So you chose death over a future, Fael,” he said in a grave voice. “Even if you’re a traitor, it’s sad that we have to take the life of a fellow countryman.”

    “A fellow countryman?” Despite his hard expression, the rage boiled inside him.

    Tetsuko could feel it. The energy inside him was flowing out of control. If he used that, could he get stronger? Could he win?

    “We’re not countryman! You, the kingdom has never helped us. Not even when we were dying!”

    The man showed a sorrowful expression. “It’s a shame you feel that way…”

    “Captain, let us take care of him,” the bold one said.

    “There’s no need for you dirty your blade any further.”

    The moment he finished talking, he drew his weapon, followed by the other two. The metal of their armor clinked as they stood up to face the young man.

    Only the captain remained as he was.

    Fael lowered his sword and ran towards them.

    Foolish boy, Tetsuko thought. She was a blacksmith, not a swordswoman, but she also knew how to fight.

    A blacksmith who can use their own work isn’t a blacksmith at all, he father used to say when he was alive. Only by knowing how to use a sword, you can make one.

    So Tetsuko knew how to judge people’s strength to some degree.

    Fael, listen to my voice, listen to your sword. Even if you’re around the same level, rushing towards many enemies without a plan will only lead to your death, Tetsuko thought, trying to convey her feelings through her energy.

    But once again, nothing happened. Her voice never reached him.

    Tetsuko could only watch as the boy swung her with all the strength he had left.

    The man with short hair raised his ax to block.

    The former human braced herself for the pain.

    But when metal collided against metal, she felt nothing.

    It didn’t hurt me, Tetsuko realized with some surprise. Guess since I’m a weapon, I was made to slash and attack and kill… this kind of thing shouldn’t hurt… to some degree…

    Short hair swung his weapon towards Fael.

    The boy avoided by taking a step forward.

    He slammed his shoulder into his enemy with all his weight.

    He’s more used to fighting than he seems… To not take a step back before an enemy like that, Tetsuko thought as she watched both men fell together on the ground.

    Before Short hair could do anything, Fael used both hands to thrust Tetsuko at the man’s gut.

    The screams filled the battlefield. Once more the earth drank down the blood, it’s thirst unquenchable.

    And it wouldn’t be the last time.

    “How dare you!” one of his comrades shouted, bringing his hammer down on the boy.

    Fael rolled to sideways to escape death and stood up with the sword in hands.

    Idiot! Behind you, Tetsuko screamed into her soul when the third man attacked him from behind with a scream.

    She didn’t know if he had heard her or not, but Fael ducked, his head escaping the blade for inches.

    He jumped backward, slamming his head on the man’s chin.

    Bold fell in pain, the blood spilling from his mouth as a piece of his tongue flew in the air.

    Fael didn’t waste time and swung Tetsuko at the man, aiming at his neck.

    He couldn’t avoid in time, the blade slashing his throat.

    Panting and soaked in blood that wasn’t his, Fael turned to the enemy with the hammer.

    The man swung his heavy weapon towards the boy.

    It’s a faint! Don’t block! Charge, once again Tetsuko screamed when she realized what the enemy planned.

    Instead of blocking or dodging, Fael took a step forward. He thrust Tetsuko at the man’s neck.

    Hammer moved out of the way, but the sword pierced him on the chest. Even if he wore an armor, it could do nothing against Tetsuko’s sharpness.

    He screamed and fell, letting go of his weapon to try to stop the bleeding with his hands.

    Incredible… This boy’s stronger than I’d imagined, Tetsuko thought, turning her vision to look at her wielder’s face.

    No… it’s not that he’s stronger… he has simply given up surviving… He’s focusing everything he has left in his attacks and abandon any defense.

    Panting even more, Fael turned to the captain, who until now only watched.

    The tall man closed his eyes, his face showing a somber expression.

    But when he opened them again, there was no sorrow in him anymore.

    He stopped seeing a fellow countryman.

    All he could only see an enemy he had to kill. For the sake of his country.

    But even under that stare, under that killing intent, Fael didn’t hesitate.

    All the boy did was raise his sword towards his last enemy.

    Even if she no longer had a mouth, Tetsuko felt herself smiling.

    He’s a cornered beast who’ll fight to his last breath…

    Someone that’s worthy of wielding a sword like me.
    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 20, 2018 ---
    Tetsuko became a sword, but is there anything she can as a blade?

    Chapter 3
    Fael barely managed to keep standing. Each breath hurt him.

    Tetsuko could feel his pain as he tightened his grip on the handle.

    Around him were the corpses of the man he had killed. No one could say he still had something to do.

    Even so, he refused to back down; he refused to bend his knees.

    Not as long as his enemy was still breathing.

    Stabbing the sword in the earth, he used the sword as support, never taking his eyes off the warrior.

    Incredible, the soul inside the sword thought, staring the dead. Even though the boy’s given up his defense… to be able to kill three enemies like this and still stand…

    “I’ll… make… you pay… for all… this…” Fael managed to whisper.

    Despite barely having any strength left, he gripped the handle of Tetsuko harder and stared a shadow walking in his direction.

    The shadow only grew with each step. Only when a cloud blocked the pale sun, Tetsuko realized it was a woman.

    She’s much stronger than the others, the blacksmith realized.

    “I’m impressed a no-name forest dweller managed to kill my men,” she said in a low voice. “It’s an insult to them, but my orders are to ask for the traitor to surrender before resort to taking your life.

    “Surrender and then what? Even if I was allowed to live, how could I?” Fael found strength as he screamed. “How could I live in a world without Lia?”

    The warrior sighed.

    “Believe it or not, I do not ravish the idea of killing fellow countrymen, however traitorous your people might be.”

    “Again, with the… countrymen…” Despite his pain, Fael showed a dark smile. “Your people never helped us. And now send soldiers to kill us… and you say you don’t like the idea of killing countrymen?”

    “We had to do this because you betrayed our king,” the woman said in a cold voice, but Tetsuko saw her tightening her fists.

    “Betray your king?”

    “You allowed enemies to enter our territory.”

    Fael took a deep breath and ignored all the pain in his body.

    “Your enemies! Not ours! We asked for help, for reinforcements. But the army didn’t even listen to us. So why should’ve we give our lives for your king?”

    The woman closed her eyes and bit her lips.

    “It’s true… There’s been a lot of problems lately… Other fights prevented us from offering any help at the time… But if you had fought for your king, none of—”

    “Not our king! He was never our king!”

    The energy inside him was a turmoil. His pain and rage mixed in that stream

    So that’s how he can still stand, Tetsuko realized.

    Grievous and sorrow crossed the woman’s face.

    “Guess you’ll never surrender,” she said, drawing her long two-handed sword.

    “For my friends who died, I could never.”

    Fael pulled Tetsuko out of the ground and raised towards his enemy.

    Surrender, boy, the sword wanted to say. She’s much stronger than those men. You’ll die for nothing.

    Once again her voice never reached him.

    But even if it did, she knew it would make no difference.

    The turmoil inside him had ceased.

    Instead of the rage and pain mixing, the energy had become calm and steady.

    His entire being was focused on one thing; to kill the warrior before him.

    He’s ready to die. He’s using the last of his life here, Tetsuko realized.

    Even if she could, she would not tell him to surrender.

    Is there any way I can help him?

    But before she could think of anything, Fael ran towards the woman.

    The young man jumped, putting all his weight to strike her from above.

    Fool! Look how tall she is! You should aim lower!

    She blocked with ease, sparks flying when the blades met. The next moment, she swung the massive sword.

    Fael managed to block but was flew backward with the impact.

    With her strength and that sword, there’s no way he can parry for much time, Tetsuko realized with one collision. I’ll die… break.

    But the young man didn’t waste time.

    The moment he landed, he used the impulse to lurch himself forwards.

    When the swordswoman was within range, Fael stretched his arms, wanting to pierce her stomach.

    Instead of defending or redirecting the attack, the woman spun her body to avoid the blade.

    Get away! Tetsuko screamed the moment she realized the faint.

    The woman continued the spin and used the momentum to throw her put her weight on the sword.

    Despite her size, the blade was fast, almost a blur.

    Fael raised Tetsuko and jumped forwards to avoid the attack.

    The tip of her sword slashed at his back, but the would wasn’t so deep.

    The surprised crossed the woman’s face. But it was only for a moment.

    The next instant, her eyes became empty as she began her relentless attacks.

    Each strike was precise and deadly.

    Even though she was tall and strong, she was a swordswoman who relied on skill, not on brutal strength.

    Despite knowing her voice wasn’t reaching him, Tetsuko couldn’t help but scream. Head! Throat! Gut! Lung!

    Even if Fael couldn’t listen to Tetsuko, he managed to dodge or block all the attacks.

    But that took its toll.

    If the young man was already tired from the previous fight, now he was exhausted.

    Tetsuko could feel it. Little by little, she was becoming heavier and heavier for his arms.

    He won’t endure for much longer, the sword knew. The only way to survive is to yield.

    But… she glanced at his face. There’s no way he’ll do that… This fight will only end with death.

    The warrior began attacking again, aiming to drive the two-handed sword through Fael’s heart once more.

    The young man took a deep breath.

    Instead of avoid, dodge, block or redirect that heavy sword, Fael ran towards the strike.

    At once Tetsuko knew what he was thinking. Don’t!

    She tried to brace herself for the impact, but it never happened.

    Instead of using the sword to create an opening, Fael shifted his body.

    He took the blow with his body but avoided his heart.

    He only did that in order to attack the woman on the neck.

    The warrior widened her eyes.

    But the next moment, as the blood ran down Tetsuko and dripped into the ground, there was no life in her anymore.

    They both fell to the ground.

    Tetsuko didn’t need to see; she knew his wound was fatal.

    Fool… It’s impressive that you managed to kill her… anyone should praise you… but you could’ve chosen to live, she thought, closing the eyes she no longer had.

    “I… know,” he managed to whisper in a heavy voice. With great effort, he looked at his sword. “But what… kind of… life…?”

    Tetsuko stared back at him. You can hear me…?

    “Yeah… since… the middle… of the fight…” He showed a smile, the blood running down the corner of his mouth. “If not for you, I’d have died much sooner.”

    Fool… What difference does it make? You’re still dying anyway, she thought in an empty voice. Even if he was her wielder, even if she didn’t want him to die, she didn’t mourn his death. Killing her won’t change the fact that your people lost the fight.

    “Yes… you’re right… but now… they’ll see that we… aren’t to be taken lightly…”

    Fool… all this, your life, those deaths… for a message… If she could, Tetsuko would shake her head. A meaningless death.

    “My death… has meaning… if I can protect the future of my people… this way… I can…”

    Despite the pain and blood, he showed an expression full of determination.

    “The kingdom will listen to us now… But there’s one thing…”

    What?

    “My life… I…”

    He coughed blood and closed his eyes. He endured the pain and turned to his sword once again.

    “Can you listen to my story?”

    Tetsuko stared at him.

    I’ll grant my wielder final wish and listen to the life and death of Fael
     
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  4. riki

    riki Storyteller

    伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member

    Mangahelper

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    Thanks for the update! The fight scene was very enjoyable to read although it was sad that Fael died. I'm intrigued by his background so I can't wait to learn more about it.
     
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  5. phmoura

    phmoura Registered User

    下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member

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    Chapter 4
    Fire and death spread through the forest. The screams of fear and pain filled and cut the air.

    Even from the hidden and safe cave of the Forest Tribes, everyone could hear.

    Those screams filled and echoed on stone walls, growing even louder, as if the cries came from the cave itself.

    As if a monster could appear and kill them all.

    Fael trembled and cried.

    He hugged his head, covering his ears.

    It made no difference. He still could hear the screams. His body didn’t stop shaking.

    The boy felt in his soul. Their forest no longer belonged to them.

    Why… why is this happening…? Why now…? We should be celebrating… This should be a time of joy… like always…

    The boy cried even louder.

    The elder woman by his side pulled him and a girl closer, hugging both her grandchildren.

    Fael knew his grandmother wanted to comfort him with words, to say that everything would be okay.

    But even she couldn’t bring herself to say those words.

    She was just as scared as him.

    The boy wrapped his arms tiny around her, trying to find the usual comfort he felt from the elder woman.

    He found it, but not enough to quell his fears.

    The girl, unlike Fael, didn’t tremble nor cry.

    She showed no reaction as her grandmother embraced her tighter.

    Faela had her eyes closed, her face hard and tense.

    The only thing she appeared to do was barely breathe.

    But the boy knew better. He knew what his sister was doing.

    She was concentrating, listening to any sound near the cave.

    Despite being a year younger than Fael, she clutched their father’s old Spear Boar’s tusk spear with both hands, ready to use if anyone of the invaders found the hidden cave.

    Unlike Fael, Faela had the talent with weapons. A talent as a warrior.

    From a young age, everyone recognized her skill.

    She was destined to fight, to protect.

    She was destined to have her named told by the Forest Tribes’ Keepers of the History.

    If not for Faela, I… we’d all be dead, the boy thought, trembling even more with the memory.

    He turned to his sister, staring at that hard face, trying to find even a little of courage she had.

    He wanted to hug her, to silently thank her for saving them when their world began to crumble.

    But he stopped himself.

    She needs to concentrate right now… I can’t get in her way… She can’t be disturbed… She’ll save us… just like before…

    Every men and women, old and young, everyone who belonged to the Forest Tribes knew what to do in case of trouble.

    And when all the birds flew, and their screeches filled the air, everyone could tell there was something wrong.

    In an instant, everyone knew that whatever scared the birds, did not belong to the forest.

    Even if they didn’t know what caused the disturbance, they knew it could be dangerous.

    From the youngest to the eldest, everyone was on the alert, ready to do whatever they had.

    The too old and too young to fight would hide in the cave.

    The men and women who could use weapons would protect those who couldn’t until they were safe. Then they would join the other warriors and hunt whatever disturbed the forest.

    After the warrior group was divided, each one proceeded with their task.

    Fael and Faela said goodbye to their parents and followed their grandma.

    Each branch they stepped, each rock they kicked, each sound that happened around them, scared them.

    Don’t think, the boy said to himself. Don’t think… or you’ll panic

    Fael tried to imitate his younger sister and control his breathing, but he failed.

    He had trouble breathing. It was too hard to breathe deep.

    After a long walk that seemed to last forever, they were almost near the cave.

    Then they heard something unnatural.

    It didn’t come from the huge group of young and old. Nor from the warriors escorting them.

    The sound was something rarely heard in that forest.

    But even then, they recognized the sound of metal.

    Fael tried to listen to the source, but the sound seemed to come from every direction, as if tried to surround them.

    As if trying to drown them.

    The warriors ready themselves, raising their stone axes or spears.

    Then the sound stopped suddenly.

    The forest became unusually quiet.

    Then the invaders appeared from between the trees.

    The warriors advanced to fight and protect.

    War cries and other screams filled the forest.

    In the mists of the confusion, someone yelled them to run.

    Those who didn’t freeze out of fear obeyed.

    Fael didn’t. He tried, but his legs refused to move.

    In the confusion, he let go off his grandmother’s hand.

    His breathing became even shallower and faster.

    He was about to faint.

    I can’t… I’ll die… He knew that, but even so, he couldn’t bring himself to run.

    Then his sister pushed him hard and he began to walk, almost tripping on his rigid legs.

    Somehow, he was running towards the cave with everyone else.

    When he looked back, he realized his sister was no longer behind him.

    But before he could scream for her, he reached the cave with the others.

    But they weren’t alone.

    Two of the invaders had followed them.

    Fael trembled too much to do anything. Even run away.

    He fell backward, staring the cloth masks they wore, trying to look into the eyes of the people who had invaded their forest.

    He could only see death in them.

    One of them raised a curved metal blade, ready to strike the closest elderly man.

    But before the invader brought the weapon down, something struck the warrior on the neck.

    A spear made of wood.

    But it wasn’t any spear.

    The tip was made of a Spear Boar’s tusk.

    The mask fell, revealing a woman. She fell forwards, gasping for air as the blood spilled from her mouth.

    The other invader looked around, searching for whoever had thrown the spear, his curved blade ready in hand.

    Then, out of the shadows of a tree, Faela appeared.

    She stared at the invader with cold eyes, her hand behind her back.

    Despite being only a little girl, the man was wary.

    Time passed and all they did was stare at each other.

    Then Faela ran and threw a rock on his head.

    The invader easily avoided the rock.

    But what Faela wanted was to retrieve her spear.

    The man realized and the swung sword at her.

    The girl grabbed her weapon and used all her strength to redirect the blade towards a root.

    Even though she panted, her plan had worked. His weapon was stuck.

    Without wasting any time, she stabbed him in the throat.

    Before the tusk reached him, he let go of his weapon, jumping backward.

    He hadn’t even landed when he pulled two daggers, racing towards Faela the moment his feet touched the earth.

    But despite the sheer difference in strength, none of his attacks worked. The blades never reached the little girl.

    Faela was too fast.

    But none of her attacks made any harm in him.

    When she slapped the butt of the spear on his wrist to knock the weapon off his hand, it made no difference.

    It was as if nothing had struck him.

    I have to do something, Fael thought when his mind worked again.

    Despite her speed, Faela was panting already, while the man didn’t seem tired at all.

    I need to help her…

    In a moment of braveness, Fael picked a rock, the same one his sister had thrown and the mn had avoided.

    He squeezed the rock in his hands so much it hurt, so much his hand lost all color, he threw it at the invader.

    It hit him on the cloth mask, but it didn’t harm him at all.

    But it was enough to make the man look at the boy for an instant, the anger flashing in those eyes.

    That brief instant was enough.

    Faela disappeared from sight.

    When she appeared again, she was on top of a tree.

    She jumped, aiming the end of the spear at the man’s head.

    Even if he was much stronger than she, there was nothing he could do to change the direction of the weapon.

    Not when it had her entire weight behind it.

    The Spear Boar’s tusk pierced him in the face.

    With its hardness, it easily penetrated the skull.

    His blood spilled and covered the girl.

    She panted and barely seemed able to stand.

    But she was unharmed.

    Thanks to Faela, they were safe.

    Their grandmother rushed to the girl, gently leading the girl to the cave.

    Faela made no sign she noticed the elder woman near her.

    Her face was blank and red.

    The rest of the group was already inside, breathing out in relief when their grandmother had informed them what had happened.

    Then they all waited for the horn of the Forest Tribe to echo through the forest.

    But the safe sign never came.

    They spend the night in the cave, in either fear or resign to their fate.

    Neither siblings slept that night.

    Fael was too scared to sleep. He was afraid to close his eyes and find everyone dead when he opened them again. That is, if he could open them again.

    Faela stood in the same place, guarding the entrance of the cave, clutching the spear so hard her knuckles had lost its color.

    But as morning came and no sign appeared, they decided to leave the cave.

    The distance to the village was as long as the other night.

    Despite the sun shining in the sky, it made no difference in diminishing their fears.

    Then they finally reached the village.

    Only to find out there was no more village.

    Everything was either burned or destroyed.

    The dead filled the place, so many it was hard to spot the earth.

    Both invaders and people from the Forest Tribes lie dead.

    Mom… dad…

    The siblings ran across the field of death, desperately looking for the faces of their parents,

    Neither knew if they wanted to find, and yet they searched.

    And they did.

    On the far side of the village, surrounded by seventeen invaders wearing the same cloth masks, they found their parents.

    Both with many cuts and stab wounds, but still holding their weapons.

    The boy fell to his knees, crying into his hands.

    The girl stood where she was, the tears falling silently.

    They grandma appeared.

    She cried too, hugging the siblings as she had done all night.

    The Forest Tribes had to pick up the pieces.

    They had to rebuild the village, their lives, everything.

    In a world without many loved ones, without their parents.



    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 3, 2018, Original Post Date: Mar 27, 2018 ---
    Chapter 5
    The horn echoed through the forest, loud and deep.

    Fael stopped what he was doing and closed his eyes to listen to the echoes.

    He recognized the horn that was so much like a howl of a beast.

    “It’s the sign,” he said to his friends, barely containing his excitement. “The sign of the first Spear Boar after winter. Even if it’s later than usual, the Hunt will begin!”

    “Calm down, Fael,” his friend said, turning towards the sound. “I know you just wanna win another Hunt and marry Lia, but it’s a lot later than every year. It might not be the Spear Boar sign…”

    “Yeah, something might have happened to them in the mountains during this winter,” another one said.

    “It’s not the first time this happens…”

    “I’ve seen hunters around near the mountain,” Lia said, her face grieve. “They said that the peasants are fleeing to the cities. Thanks to that, the food stocks are getting so low there are people willing to risk hunting Spear Boars during the winter.”

    “Who’d be crazy enough to hunt them during the winter?”

    “Desperate people.”

    “Guys, guys, I’m sure that horn was to say someone sighted a Spear Boar,” Fael said, shaking his head to his friends. He pricked his ears to try pinpointing the sound.

    Fael led his group towards the sound through the trees, they heard a second horn. And it came from the same direction.

    The young man stopped, feeling his heart sinking and his blood freezing.

    Even without exchanging glances, Fael knew his friends felt the same.

    One horn meant something unusual had happened or a call to make the members of the Forest Tribes gather.

    But two horns meant enemies in the forest.

    Even if that would alert the enemies, it didn’t matter; only they could find the source of the sound in that forest that tricked the senses of those unfamiliar.

    Even fearing what they might find, they went on.

    Enemies? Again…? After so long? With his heart heavy, Fael reached the source of the siren.

    “What is it…?” Fael asked, trying to get to the center of the commotion.

    “Fael…” A younger girl who admired the man averted her eyes.

    Little by little, the people gathered in a circle noticed his arrival and made room for him.

    Then Fael saw.

    In the middle of the circle, there were two dead Spear Boars.

    At a closer look, they had been slashed at the bellies.

    “Who… or what could do this to them?” someone asked.

    No one spoke.

    Fael realized what everyone was thinking. No one from the Forest Tribe would kill a Spear Boar.

    Not after winter, not during the mating season.

    Because if they affected the Boars’ cycle, it would affect the forest and them.

    “Could it be predators? We can’t say it’s enemies for sure…” one person said in a trembling voice.

    Others murmured in agreement, trying to drive the memories of ten years ago from their minds.

    “What kind of predators could kill two Spear Boars at this time, when their wildest?” Lia replied.

    The crowd grew quiet after her words.

    She’s right… There’s no way any predator could’ve killed them at this season… which can only mean…

    “Has anyone find signs of enemies in our forest?” he asked, looking around.

    A girl, no older than fourteen, stepped forward. She held the horn in a hand and clutched something in the other.

    “I-I found this,” she stuttered and trembled as she handed a broken blade to the man.

    Fael held it before his eyes, his face losing its color as he stared at his reflection on the dull blade.

    As the knife passed around, everyone showed the same reaction; fear.

    I’ve seen this before, Fael thought when the little blade reached his hands again.

    The memories he remembered every time he had a nightmare filled his head.

    It’s the same type of weapon…

    He ran a thumb on the edge, feeling the cold from that metal spread filling him.

    After the Great Invasion ten years ago, the Forest Tribes started using metal for the first time in their history.

    Since they couldn’t work the metal, they bought from the kingdom. Swords, knives, shovels, axes and many other metal tools that could be useful to them.

    But that broken piece of blade was curved.

    And no one in the kingdom forged curved blades.

    No one outside the desert.

    It can only mean they’re back… the same people who killed my parents and so many others…

    One by one, the people gathered around the corpses of the animals turned to face west, where the desert stood beyond their forest.

    “We can’t fight them…” a young man said.

    “We’ll be wiped out this time…” a girl cried.

    “We need help…” an older woman spoke.

    The pleas and cries were the same.

    Fael felt the same. Even if he wanted, he could never forget the tragedy ten years ago.

    When the Sand-dwellers wanted to invade the Kingdom marching through the forest.

    They wanted to get the Kingdom off guard.

    However, they never thought they would lose half their strength to the Forest Tribes.

    Thanks to them, the Kingdom managed to organize their forces and fight off the invaders.

    But it was at a great cost.

    We lost so many that time…

    The Forest Tribes barely managed to survive with only the too old and too young.

    And without any help from the Kingdom.

    Fael tried but couldn’t stop the tears.

    Everyone here lost so much…

    I lost my mother and father… and Faela left me too…

    “We need to ask the Kingdom for help this time,” one of the elders, one of the survivors from those days, said.

    “But elder, they won’t get here in time,” a faceless voice replied.

    “And they’ve never helped us,” Lia said, her voice bitter. “Why would they help now?”

    “Even so, we need to ask,” the elder man said in a firmer voice. “Even if they haven’t help, now it concerns them too.

    “We need proof,” Fael said, waking up from his memories. “This blade won’t be enough.”

    “You’re right…”

    “It could be only a stray Sand Eater… It’s hard to tell what any of those people are thinking…”

    “Yeah… you’re right,” one from Fael’s group agreed and more and more people murmured too.

    But before the people got their hopes up, the elder slammed his cane on the ground.

    “We need to find out,” he said in a deep voice that overpowered all others. “If there’s any Sand Raiders are inside our forest, we need to know.”

    With those words, the discussion was over.

    They divided themselves into two groups.

    One would scout the forest and the other would warn the rest of the Forest Tribes the situation and make sure everyone was ready to do their task.

    Fael joined the scout group, which was divided into several smaller and faster groups.

    But they all had the same mission; find proof if there really was invaders in their forest.


     
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