Kirito would totally love the picture to the left.(Read on for more details)
Alright, this is a multi function post. It is here to 1. See how many people actually read Rondo(and came to this site), and 2. Attract people to this site. For the other project.
By the way, this post is scheduled to be posted on BT on the 22nd. I'm gonna sit back and relax until then.(and catch up. I'm behind on a "few" things.)
Leave comments if you found this site!(especially on your own)
Rondo of the Transient Sword: Part 9
It couldn't be said that it was my first time seeing something like a girl's tears up close.
However, the source of the tears back then was my sister Suguha, and even then most of them, around ninety percent of those were from long ago, most of them stories from around the time we were in kindergarten or elementary school. The last time i saw her tears, was three months before I was trapped in this death game, when she lost in the early stages of the kendo prefectural tournament, where she let her tears flow in regret in the corner of the garden. I didn't say anything then, as I just held out a sucking type Ice-cream taken out from the convenience store bag with my right hand.
As a summary, my proficiency in my «Skill at responding to crying girls» was almost zero, so I was in no condition to make a choice. In fact, I wanted to praise myself for not running away.
That said, objectively looking at this situation, freezing in the spot while asuna was beside me looking down as teardrops dropped from her face, it showed how very pathetic I was. Either moving or speaking should be fine, but i did not have sucking type ice cream in my storage to take out, and as Asuna was crying, I was hesitant to guess what words to speak.
With the sword which was her main weapon breaking in front of her eyes, obviously she would be shocked by what happened. Even if it were me, if the Anneal Blade on my back were to disappear, something would probably come slowly and steadily from my eyes too.
However ―― I honestly did not think that Asuna was «That Type». That referred to a person who treated their sword like a part of their body, being very fond of it, and sometimes even talked to it...... In other words, a person like me.
I thought Asuna prefered the exact opposite, her sword had the only purpose of being for combat, for example, if a slightly strong sword dropped from a monster, she was the type of person who would immediately discard her current sword for it. This is because, the first time I met her, she had bought rapiers from a dungeon store, and didn't bother maintaining them as she used them disposably.
Since that time, about one week had passed. In just seven days, something made Asuna's policy change a hundred and eighty degrees ――
No, there was no need to worry about whatever the reason was for that now. She had just lost her one and only partner of seven days, and was crying. And I could understand her feelings. Then, isn't this enough?
"......That was too bad."
I muttered that again, and Asuna's small back shook. Her Avatar now gave a feeling of being delicate, like a doll.
"But...... well. It might be cold of me to say this...... If Asuna wants to continue to clear this death game on the front lines of battle, your weapon must be constantly updated to the latest one often. Even if the strengthening earlier was successful, the Wind Fleuret cannot be used on the third floor. Even my Anneal Blade will have to be changed after reaching the first city on the fourth floor. An MMO......no, an RPG, this is the kind of game it is."
I didn't know how comforting those words were, but this was the best I could do.
Asuna did not react for a while after my mouth was closed, but soon weakly sounded words came from within the hood.
"I......Don't like that."
Her right hand lightly clasped the leather skirt above her knees.
"......Always, I thought of a sword being just a tool......no, just polygonal data. I thought that my own skill and resolution were the only strength in this world. However...... on the first floor, during the time I used the Wind Fleuret that you chose......although it was frustrating, I was deeply moved. It was as light as a feather, and seemed to be attracted to any spot I target...... It was as if the sword had its own will, as if it was helping me......"
Her wet cheeks trembled, and her lips gave off an unclear smile. I thought that, at this time, with this expression, this was the most beautiful face Asuna I had seen.
"......I thought I would be alright if I was with this child. I would always fight with this child. Even if the strengthening failed, I promised that I would not throw it away. For the sake of those swords that I had used like disposables at first, I would cherish it forever...... I had even made a promise, but............"
New tears began to fall on the skirt, making a soft sound, and then disappeared quickly. In this world, there was no traces of anything that disappeared. The sword, monsters......and even players.
Asuna shook her head gently, and whispered in a voice I almost couldn't hear.
"It is as you said, if a sword is not replaced in succession...... I would no longer want to continue further. After all...... isn't it sad? Working hard together...... fighting, surviving...... and after all that, is soon cast aside......"
At Asuna's words, I had a had an out of place flashback here.
A black framed children's bicycle. With twenty inch tyres and six gear stages. On the day I attended elementary school, I chose and bought it myself. I had treated that junior MTB extra special. I would pump air in every week, and if it got wet in the rain I would wipe it dry and maintain it by putting oil to the driving unit. Although borrowing my father's car's chemical for repelling water on the frame was going too far.
Thanks to that the bicycle was still sparklingly shiny after three years, or should that be considered a catastrophe ―― As to be expected, I outgrew it, and although I went to buy a new 24 inch tyre one, I had planned to keep my cherished one, unfortunately it was sentenced to be passed down to a male relative of mine.
As I was only in my third year in elementary school, I do not remember if I put up any resistance in the past. If so, I must have insisted on getting a new bike, and in the end, even asked the old man in the familiar bicycle shop to hide it.
And then the old man had said. ''I will now transfer this machine's soul to the new bike.'' As I stood there watching in amazement, the old man took out a hexagonal wrench, then removed the right crank's fixing bolt in no time at all, then said impressively."This screw is the most important screw in all the screws of a bike. So if we put it in a new bike, the machine's soul would also move ―― "
As expected, I now know that that was merely a method for dealing with children, but even though that was the case, the saddlebag of the 26 inch tyre bike that i was riding now still had the two bolts belonging to the previous bikes.
And while recalling that episode, I told Asuna.
"Even if it is time to part with the sword, there is a method to take the soul along with you."
The rapier user's face lifted slightly, and I showed two outstretched fingers.
"Furthermore, there is two. The first is, using the sword with insufficient specs and turning it back into ingots, then using that as material to create a new sword. The other is to simply continue to keep the old sword in the storage. Both methods has its demerits, but, that is why it has meaning, I think."
"Firstly, if you turn them back to ingots, then when a monster drops a strong sword, your willpower will be tested. If you switch to the dropped weapon, the «Lineage» will be broken. Although turning the dropped weapon into ingots and using it together to make a new sword is fine. …… Of course, continuing to keep in in the storage would put reduce the capacity. This will also take considerable willpower when it comes to obtaining dungeon items, yet they can't hold any more. ―― Either way, the practical pro-players would laugh at this nonsense."
At that point i closed my mouth, Asuna seemed to be thinking while looking downwards, then cleared up the tears on her face with her fingers and said.
"…… Which method do you use……?"
"I prefer the ingot method, but that's a rather broad interpretation……. Aside from swords, as I also use it for Armor and accessories."
Giving a nod, the rapier user smiled once again. Although her smile now is clearer than the previous smile, it was obvious that her sadness remained.
"…… If only we could obtain ingots from the pieces of a broken sword……"
At that kind of muttering, I could only nod deeply. Asuna's first sword that connected to her heart had already disappeared without leaving a shard. There was no way to regain that soul…….
As I fell silent again, the rapier user sighed and said.
Despite asking her to repeat, she did not say the same words again, instead Asuna stretched out her legs in front of her before standing up as she got off the bench.
"It's getting late. Let's get back to the inn. ―― Tomorrow, you are going to help me buy a sword, right?"
"A……aaaah, of course"
I nodded, and quickly stood up.
"Umm……ah, I'll accompany you to the inn"
Asuna shook her head slightly at that offer.
"I don't feel like going back to Marome, so I'll stay in Urbus today. There's an inn just here."
Looking around, it was true that there was a signboard with the words【ＩＮＮ】 faintly glowing just up the street. come to think of it, it was too dangerous to leave town after losing your main weapon. Staying here today, and finding a sword in Urbus' market tomorrow is fine.
I nodded, and accompanied her along the twenty meter walk to the inn, and watched as Asuna checked in. She waved as she headed up for the second storey, and we parted for tonight. As expected, i didn't have the courage to say that i wanted to stay here in the same inn.
Besides, I had one more thing to do tonight.
Walking along the road, I headed south once more ―― and started walking quickly towards Urbus's eastern square.