Chapter 33:

Exordium

The Consequence of Saving the World


I didn’t realise how amazed I looked until I saw my reflection on the blade. It wasn’t exactly a large weapon. Looking at the handle, it seemed like it was meant to be wielded in one hand. The grip and the guard were intricately designed inviting a sense of majesty to itself.Bookmark here

What really caught my attention was the blade itself. A groove ran along the spine of the blade, giving the appearance of a thin, but long knife.Bookmark here

“Exordium—so this was the sword that slew the Demon Lord, huh,” I thought to myself. As if to dispel those thoughts, both Remus and Sereya started to laugh at the same time. Bookmark here

“Remus, stop!” her hand covered her mouth in an attempt to stifle her laughter, only to fail miserably, “He’s gonna think that it’s actually a legendary sword!” Bookmark here

Remus concurred, “Aite aite! Let’s stop messin’ with the poor kid.”Bookmark here

“Wait, so is this Hanasuke’s sword or not?” I was getting a bit annoyed at this point.Bookmark here

“It is, it is,” Remus began to playfully tap the flat of the blade onto the palm of his other hand, “It’s just that if you told anyone else that this was the sword of Hero Evansmith, they’re gonna call you a con artist.”Bookmark here

Sereya added, “This was a sword you used in your adventurer days, loooong before you were a Hero, Evan.”Bookmark here

“Then, was this a strong weapon or not?” my doubts poured in ever since they tried to pull a fast one on me. Also, the fact that Hanasuke decided to switch to a different weapon seemed to hint at me that Exordium was inferior.Bookmark here

“Hah! Look at you, kid! You think you’re strong enough to wield a strong weapon?”Bookmark here

Before I could respond, Sereya elbowed him.Bookmark here

“Ow, okay okay. This was the first-ever rare item you got after we cleared our first dungeon together!” a gentle smile was painted along his jaw as fond memories lit up in his mind, “It wasn’t that sharp or magically enchanted or anythin’, but it’s great for beginners ‘cause it’s almost impossible to break and it’s pretty low maintenance—good for killin’ random mobs, not so good for killin’ demons.” Bookmark here

“I see—wait,” a new thought interrupted my current one, “why were you keeping Hanasuke’s sword?”Bookmark here

“Because kid, every time you got a new weapon and grew tired of your old one, you gave it to good ol’ me. Only you’ll treat my Blessin’ as unlimited inventory space.”Bookmark here

Sereya chimed in, “But that was a smart idea though. Look at Exordium. It’s been years and no sign of rust or dust as well. I almost forgot that you could actually be useful, Remus.”Bookmark here

“Watch it princess, or I’ll spit in ya drink.”Bookmark here

Oh yeah, what happened to—Bookmark here

“Sorry! Make way, make way!” the waitress returned with a keg in her hands. Bookmark here

The three of us leaned back from the table as she placed the keg by the side of the table with a loud thump. For someone with such a small build, being able to carry that weight is pretty impressive.Bookmark here

“Here’s your cup, sir,” after quickly filling the empty mug that was hung on the tap of the keg, she handed it to me.Bookmark here

“Thanks,” I replied. The waitress responded with a nod, before hurrying back to the kitchen. Seemed like she calmed down a bit.Bookmark here

Remus and Sereya were both looking at the waitress, making sure that no one else was around us before continuing. It was strange how there was no one else coming into the bar. Bookmark here

Oh well. No use worrying about that. The bitterness in my drink attacked my throat briefly, but it felt a lot more refreshing than whatever I was taking back in the infirmary.Bookmark here

“Where was I?” Remus asked before continuing, “Ah right, I also got you a present, princess.”Bookmark here

“Mhmm,” Sereya lazily leaned forward towards the table, her hand supporting the side of her head. Her attitude was both a mix of curiosity, doubt and a little bit of cheekiness.Bookmark here

Stretching out his arm, another sword materialised out of thin air, his gloved hand firmly around its grip as it fully took shape. At the same time, I paid attention to Sereya’s expression. Her eyebrows shot up as a wolf whistle left her lips. Of all the things I expected her to say or do, I expected that the least.Bookmark here

With the flick of a wrist, Remus sent the weapon spinning several times in the air before catching the tip of the blade with nothing but his thumb and index finger. He moved the hilt of the sword closer to Sereya, beckoning her to take it.Bookmark here

Compared to Exordium, this sword was a lot simpler in design. There were no engravings from the guard down. The blade was about the same length, but broader. If you asked me, the sword seemed pretty ordinary, but Sereya’s expression begged to differ.Bookmark here

“It’s called a Messer,” Remus commented as she took the weapon in hand.Bookmark here

She got up from her seat, eyes glued to the blade as she examined it thoroughly.Bookmark here

Remus added, “I figured you wouldn’t want anythin’ enchanted or monster-grade, so that’s the best common sword I could get my hands on.”Bookmark here

After giving it a few test swings in the air, the swordswoman asked, “May I?”Bookmark here

“It’s all yours, princess.”Bookmark here

Sereya took a step back from the table. She held the hilt of the Messer near her cheek in some sort of stance, ready to attack. I steeled myself, waiting to see what she’ll do.Bookmark here

The moment never came.Bookmark here

“Oooh! It’s pretty sharp,” excitedly, she sat back down, leaving me baffled.Bookmark here

“What just happened?”Bookmark here

“Oh, you didn’t see it, kid? Look at her drink,” Remus shot a mischievous look towards her mug.Bookmark here

I didn’t get it. It was only when I took a double-take and compared it to the mug in Remus’s hand did I realised the difference. There was a clear horizontal line across Sereya’s mug that went against the grain of the wood. Something was off, so I got up to look and there was still liquid inside. She had somehow cleanly sliced through her mug without spilling anything!Bookmark here

I slowly slumped back to my seat and quickly took a swig of my ale to drown out my disbelief.Bookmark here

“Do me a favour, kid. It was a pain gettin’ this particular Messer, so keep an eye out on the princess, would ya? She has a habit of breaking her toys, ya see."Bookmark here

I thought Sereya would retort, but instead, she was all smiles, “The weight distribution is just nice and I love the false edge, too! Thanks Remus!”Bookmark here

I thought her response was unexpected, but it was nothing compared to his. Remus had a look of abject terror on his face, confusing the hell out of me.Bookmark here

It was when I saw a few thin, short strands of his red hair falling onto his nose did it started to click for me.Bookmark here

“The hell you cuttin’ at me for?!” Remus got up from his seat, the veins on his face doing their best not to pop.Bookmark here

With puppy eyes, Sereya answered, “She has a habit of breaking her toys, ya see.”Bookmark here

I nearly spat out my drink. She was definitely gifted at mimicking his voice.Bookmark here

“Wouldn’t it regenerate anyways?” I questioned in an attempt to mask my laughter.Bookmark here

“That ain’t how my Blessin’ works!”Bookmark here

“Despite how he looks, he still trims his hair and cuts his nails like a good boy,” Sereya added, her attention back to admiring the sword in her hand.Bookmark here

“Do you want that sword or not?” defeated, he resorted to threats.Bookmark here

Setting the sword down beside her, she replied “Aw, let’s not spoil the mood for Evan here, mkay?” lifting up her mug, she yelled, “Cheers!”Bookmark here

“Cheers.”Bookmark here

“Cheers.”Bookmark here

The three of us clinked our cups together—Sereya excitedly, Remus dejectedly and myself, just passively observing the two of them. Honestly, I did feel a bit left out. The two of them had this bizarre chemistry that I wished I could share in just a little. Bookmark here

“REMUSSSS!”Bookmark here

My heart jumped. It was a high-pitched shriek from outside the bar, the kind a mother does to her child when she’s about to whoop their ass.Bookmark here

“Ah crap,” the target of the scream downed his ale.Bookmark here

That was when I saw—by the entrance of the bar—Melyeze, drenched in sweat and panting heavily.Bookmark here

“Don’t let me drag your a—oh hey, Lady Sereya, hi!”Bookmark here

Her persona changed faster than light. At one moment she looked like an ogre, then at the next, she was demurely adjusting her hair.Bookmark here

“Hi Melyeze, here to pick up your boy?” Sereya greeted her as she sipped on her drink.Bookmark here

“Just doing my job, hehe! Excuse my rudeness, Lady Sereya,” as she turned to face Remus, her expression darkened once more, “Seems like your paycheck’s a bit too much, huh?”Bookmark here

“Paycheck?” my day couldn’t get any more confusing.Bookmark here

“Oh I haven’t told you yet,” Sereya explained, “In exchange for overlooking the mess he caused you, the Adradian military hired Remus to work as a combat instructor. He reports directly to Melyeze.”Bookmark here

That must be awkward. On the plus side, at least he wasn’t hurting anyone.Bookmark here

Remus got up, adjusting his belt, “Sorry ladies, but duty calls,” wait—did he call me a lady?Bookmark here

As he was about to leave the bar, he turned around, “Have a safe trip you two. Don’t get too naughty. Oh and kid, catch.”Bookmark here

As he materialised Exordium, he tossed it into the air towards me! I raised my hands in a panic. It was too dangerous, there was no way I was gonna catch it!Bookmark here

I held my hands out, trying to shield it from my face as I hoped for the best. To my relief, Sereya caught it like the Hero she was.Bookmark here

“Bye Lady Sereya! Sorry we couldn’t see you two off tomorrow!” Melyeze waved at us, “Also, Evan, don’t you dare lay a finger on Lady Sereya.”Bookmark here

Sereya replied, “Don’t worry, Melyeze,” in a much softer voice, she continued, “I’m pretty sure it’ll be the other way round.”Bookmark here

Other way round? What did she mean?Bookmark here

“Well, shall we get going too, Evan?”Bookmark here

Puzzled, I just went along with her suggestion. As I got up from my seat, she grabbed both swords by their handles.Bookmark here

“Uh, I can take mine, you know?”Bookmark here

“And bring it with you into the infirmary? Patience, mister swordmaster.”Bookmark here

Ugh, so that’s where we were going. Couldn’t tomorrow arrive any sooner?Bookmark here

Bookmarked
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