Chapter 8:

Chapter 8: A Dirty Reset

Re: Sword Emperor


The sword felt heavy, it felt heavy and slippery. He didn’t need to use it to know that when he slashes with it, it would be the sloppiest slash he did in a long, long time.

I already noticed that something was weird the moment I went back in time, but this confirms everything. My reflexes, my muscle memory, it is gone...

Shesmu first noticed that something happened to his body when he used his laptop to check on the time. At that time, he felt that something was out of place when he noticed his unusual behavior, only to ultimately toss all of those worries away.

For a second, Shesmu didn’t know what to do. He felt lost, powerless, and helpless. His mind was blank, and his face was grim. All sound no longer reached him, he was alone in a deep dark ocean, his eyes threatening to close.

“Heyo”

“Young’un!”

“Are you okay?!”

From the overwhelming silence, Shesmu was shook back into reality. Looking at his left, he was greeted by the scarred smiling face of the middle-aged man.

“Did the sword scare you? Don’t worry, it will be even scarier to your opponent.” He then paused for a bit before continuing. “But if holding this sword is that overwhelming to you, maybe you should rethink your decision to be a warrior. You can always go through the purification ritual at the church and you can choose another profession. We can go there together if you want to,” seeing the wide smile Leonard was giving him, Shesmu felt bad for worrying the man. For a second, he forgot about all the pain that the realization brought to him and focused on the present.

Focus Mark, focus! Don’t waste this new shot at life that was given to you. For now, the only thing that matters is to keep moving forward!

“No,” Shesmu plainly said.

To his remark, Leonard raised an eyebrow.

Shesmu stood up, his back straight and his eyes looking forward.

“No, it is not necessary. I’m going to be a warrior.”

To his firm declaration, Leonard gave a big smile before saying in his obnoxiously loud voice.

“I like that! Haha! Your determination to be a warrior fired up my spirit too. You’re going to become a fine Swordsman, I can already tell!”

After a loud laugh and his iconic greeting pat to the back, Leonard finally became serious.

“Well, we already had our fun, now it is time for me to show you the basics of a warrior. What I will show are the basic skills that every holder of the warrior class should master, so look attentively.”

Leonard then summoned a training dummy in front of him, before materializing a sword in his hand too. The sword he materialized looked the same as the one he gave Shesmu, prompting the latter to think that this was the only type of sword these instructors could summon.

“First of all, I’ll show you how a normal slash looks like.”

Leonard took a deep breath in as he raised his sword towards his back. His eyes then focused, and in the blink of an eye, Leonard slashed diagonally at the training dummy. In less than a fraction of a second, Leonard slashed and went back to his fighting position. A number appeared above the fighting dummy glowing blue, 900, showing the damage that the dummy took from Leonard’s slash. He then took a deep breath out before looking at Shesmu and saying.

“This is a normal slash, now let me show you an empowered one.”

However, Shesmu just half heard those words. His focus was still on the training dummy that has just been slashed. He could barely see Leonard move, let alone his slash. He already knew that his reflexes were gone, but for even his kinetic vision to deteriorate this much. Surprises just kept piling up for Shesmu, and they weren’t good ones.

But Shesmu didn’t dwell on these worries for long. When he first started playing Ashes of Gods, he couldn’t even see the instructor move, let alone his slash. That means that at least some things carried over the time jump. Maybe his predictive abilities, or maybe just some of his knowledge that is ingrained in his subconsciousness made him look at where he needs to look without him actually reacting to anything. Whatever the case may be, Shesmu knew that his starting point is still higher than in his past life, much much higher if you consider his knowledge about quests, mechanics, and classes. There is no reason for him to fret, he already reached such heights in his past life without anyone’s help, what now when he has such a massive lead over everyone else?

As he said those words, Leonard went back to his fighting position before continuing his explanation.

“Now, it gets a bit complicated. You need to free your mind, let out all distracting thoughts and think only one thing: “Empowered Slash”. It needs to be imprinted in your brain, your soul even. Only then will the skill activate and your inner power heed your call. Here, watch and learn.”

Assuming the same position as before, with his sword behind his back, Leonard’s sword glowed red. The previously dull looking sword emanated an air of danger and sharpness. Leonard slashed swiftly, leaving a red afterimage as the trail of his sword. This time, the number that appeared on top of the dummy was glowing red and looked much bigger and more imposing than when Leonard did a normal slash with his sword. But maybe, most surprising of all, was that the damage reached 3000, more than 3 times that of Leonard’s normal attack.

Shesmu wasn’t surprised at all by the insane damage outputted by the instructor. This kind of damage was actually below the standards of any decent Tier 2 player. Shesmu attributed this underwhelming performance to the sword Leonard was using.

As Leonard finished his speech, a red notification reached Shesmu. At the far upper-left of his vision was his Hp and Energy bar and next to them was small plus sign. This plus sign had a red exclamation mark next to it blinking. Focusing on the plus sign, multiple tabs appeared in front of Shesmu. Selecting the Skill tab, a table appeared in front of him.

Looking at the basic description of the skill, Shesmu just casually closed all of the tabs. It’s not as if he didn’t already every information that was present there.

Bringing Shesmu out of his reverie, Leonard continued explaining.

“Here, now that I have shown you how the mighty empowered slash looks like, try your hand at it and see how things go.”

Leonard then took a step back to leave room for Shesmu to hack and slash at the training dummy to his heart’s content. Shesmu then took a step forward, holding his sword with two hands.

Let’s start with a simple empowered slash.

Thinking those words in his head, Shesmu then thought.

Empowered slash!

Shesmu felt parts his body heat up, especially his arms and abdomens. Weird green energy invisible to the naked eye went through his stomach and then reached his hands before seeping into his sword. Shesmu’s sword glowed bright green before his hands automatically slashed the training dummy. The damage the dummy incurred was but a pitiful 50.

Looking at his damage, Shesmu wasn’t disappointed or anything. This was the damage of a standard Empowered Slash. Sure there were ways to make it do even more damage, but this isn’t what Shesmu was worried about at the moment. What concerned him was something more fundamental, a technique that he considered his bread and butter with how flexible it was.

If this does not work, then I really don’t know what to say.

Shesmu readied his stance, his sword at the level of his forehead, then he slashed. It was a normal, diagonal two-handed slash, and if someone had seen it, he wouldn’t think twice about it. But just as the sword was about to get into contact with the training dummy. Shesmu thought.

Empowered… Slash!

Immediately, that weird green energy surged from his stomach to his arms, then to his sword. Glinting with that familiar green light, Shesmu’s sword slashed the neck of the training dummy. Above the dummy, a big red 90 appeared.

If anyone was in Shesmu’s shoes, they would be overjoyed at the sight of such an incredibly high damage. It was almost double the normal empowered slash! However, Shesmu’s face was gloomy. It was even grimmer than when he touched a sword for the first time in this new life. He bit his lower lip, and he bit it so hard for it to bleed. Shesmu was frustrated, his anger and frustration gnawed at his heart faster than a thousand ant. As the droplet of blood dripped down his face and fell down, Shesmu thought.

Even this move? Even this one move I do not get to keep?

But even as his thoughts were that of a man who has given up, the light in his eyes told otherwise.

If, life, you’re going to be like that, then so be it. I will take whatever bullshit you throw at my feet, and crush it!

Shesmu
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