[Translator – Niel]
[Proofreader – DVN-L ]
It was a memory from the past, and so it flashed before my mind.
* * * * *
“—You’ve already gone sick in the head, you know? Day after day, you always spout ‘Star-Slaying’ this, ‘Star-Slaying’ that. Have you become a complete idiot? Huh?”
There laid an endless wilderness.
Scarcely a few hours before, the sky above the battlefield, which had been roaring unceasingly, was now engulfed with darkness and tinted with the eerie sunset.
“I guess so, yeah.”
The other swordsman right beside him could only let out a little laugh, saying so.
“No matter how you look at it, nothing about your dream is within reason… There is just no way you could prove something that insane, let alone actually being able to achieve it.”
Say anything you want— he said.
The swordsman never sought to be understood, which had never changed, nor would it ever be.
“Even I myself wouldn’t know that unless I try and do it. Whether or not I’m truly deranged for my dream, I’m just another obsessed person in your eyes.”
Though, he wouldn’t deny that it was indeed still beyond reason.
He made his own decision about what he thought was right, and so that was enough reason to devote himself to that path.
He neither seeks sympathy, nor understanding.
Not compassion, much less cooperation, any of that.
It didn’t matter what anyone else thought of him, the swordsman concluded.
“…Heh. It’s completely late for you, you know?”
“Are promises really that important to you?”
“Of course they are.”
He said so without even a moment’s hesitation.
The man looked up at the sky, without the slightest intention of heeding the opinions of others, and then grumbled about how helpless he really was.
“…Even at a young age when I couldn’t even fully understand the reason for things, I sure had a really big mouth. When it’s the only promise I can make to people who are already gone in this world, how can I not try and fulfill it?”
“You’re too disciplined for your own good.”
“You’ll understand someday.”
—Even if I were to die like this, I wouldn't be afraid. And it’s because… I have □□□□* with me. I’m not afraid, and I’m not going to be afraid. Even if I die, I'll become a star and watch □□□□ afar, from a very special seat.
*PR note: This is intentionally blank and has not been revealed yet.
“Having someone look me straight in the eye like that, I wouldn't be able to refuse. It’s unsightly, and I cannot show such disgrace like that. So even if it takes me a lifetime, I will try to slay the stars… No. If this life didn’t suffice, the next one would. And if that still didn’t work, then I will make it so the next one definitely will.”
Even though it was a mere jest from childhood, he believed in it wholeheartedly.
…Even if it could cost it his life, be it a boastful, impossible feat, he had to make it come true.
Hence the reason why he never ceased to declare his dream of slaying the stars, and the reason why it became the root of a swordsman who was never understood.
“…You’re a nutjob, after all. How could a sane person declare something like that with such honest, straightforward eyes?”
—A curse rather than an illness, to be more exact.
From the other man’s perspective, the resolve and determination found in the swordsman’s eyes were unmistakably genuine.
But the gleam in his eyes was so dangerous that he could not be said to be in his right mind.
“Well, it’s not like I don’t understand your point. Because indeed, it’s more than crazy to even consider the idea of slaying the stars.”
But he had already decided to do it.
No matter at what cost, he had already decided to prove that he could indeed slay the stars.
He swore an oath. At that very time, in that very place.
The swordsman himself affirmed it.
As an ordinary swordsman who had the option to simply deny that dream and continue living as he had before, he chose to be pretentious and put on airs.
He, of all people, had to crush the option of being just an ordinary person.
So no matter what, he couldn’t turn his back on that decision.
[Translator – Ramen ]
[Proofreader – DVN-L ]
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“But I just have to slay the stars, and that’s all there to it.”
“And so you’re proclaiming the same, single crap to drive yourself like an idiot who only has one thing in his mind?”
“I wonder about that.”
“…Hah. How long do you think we’ve known each other already?”
“You have a point…”
They were very close friends.
Most things could be fully comprehended by one another without any need for words, and so, the swordsman came up with a notion.
“…Just like a blade that smites reality into my fevered delusions again and again, cutting my confidence to shreds, calling myself a ‘Star Slayer’ is just perfect for me.”
And so he declared.
“I am laughed at, scoffed upon, and made fun of for attempting to achieve such a tremendous feat. But, that’s precisely why I must take it upon myself and still call myself one.”
In other words, the fact that he was laughed at meant that he was far from the "strongest" that anyone could recognize, not to mention the fact that he was still far from slaying the stars.
“What’s your point?”
“Let’s see… I am not, and will not be a ‘Star Slayer’ because I slew the stars. I am a ‘Star Slayer; because I’m striving to slay the stars.”
“…Jeez. I still don’t know the difference even if you tell me that.”
Explain it in simpler terms, or so the man demanded as he soon lost composure.
He knew that the swordsman with whom he exchanged words was a difficult person to deal with, and so he decided to just give up and laugh at his friend’s very trait.
There was only one reason why the man chose to stick with the foolish swordsman, and it was simply because he couldn’t leave him alone.
Though, he never spoke of it, nor planned to do so, as he promised to carry those very words to his death.
However, the man undeniably realized another thing… and that was the swordsman would never be able to achieve his dream of slaying the stars, but that didn’t stop him from devoting his life to someone who was desperately trying to be someone that they couldn’t.
The way he poured his heart and soul into his efforts to achieve his dream was ridiculous, unsightly, pathetic, far more fragile than his slim, delicate arms… and yet, inexplicably precious.
“While we’re busy chit-chattering like this, it seems like we had some visitors around.”
An endless wilderness where ashes fluttered in the air.
Over the vast ground of the battlefield.
“They seem to have researched us very well. I was wondering why they didn’t step in, then I realized that they had a magician lurking in the rear. They want to avoid close-quarter combat at all cost, huh?”
The distance was several hundred meters.
Just enough to barely recognize a pea-sized silhouette and a slightly large magic circle painted in the sky.
“Say, what should we do— ‘Star Slayer?’”
You can worry about it all you want, but we do not have the time nor the luxury to do so. The man said with a nervous smile.
“Have you ever seen a night filled with shooting stars?”
“Those things are absurd, you know? They know that human legs can’t keep up with them, yet they just fall from the sky as fast as they like.”
Knowing that it couldn’t be done, I wanted to slay them in one way or another somehow, he said.
“I thought I would attempt to slay the falling stars in the sky, but it proved much more difficult than it seemed. Unless you know the exact location where they would fall, slaying them would be completely impossible.”
“Now, now, now. That’s a pretty logical opinion coming from you.”
“That’s why I decided to just make the stars fall myself in response.”
“…I take it back. I forgot we were talking about you here, I can’t expect the slightest room of you wavering from your principles.”
“If my sword can’t reach them, I have to somehow find a means of attacking that doesn’t necessarily need one, let alone me directly slashing through it.”
“…What do you plan to do?”
“Just as I told you, I’m going to rain the shooting stars down myself…”
* * * * *
“…A night filled with shooting stars?”
“It’s something of a spectacle to see. Countless stars falling down in the darkness of the night at blinding speeds, which us humans can’t even fathom to react to.”
I had never actually seen a sight of a night filled with shooting stars with my own eyes, but my memory had a recollection of it nonetheless.
“…What the hell does that have to do with anything?”
“If you can’t get close to them, just beat them to the distance they’re headed to. There’s no rule that says a swordsman has to get close in order to slay their enemy.”
Therefore— I, too, decided to slay through my target by raining stars.
“…I see what you mean. But if that’s the case, why didn’t you do just that in the first place?”
“You sure know how to hit a sore spot.”
“Of course. If I were in your shoes, I would’ve done it as soon as I sensed something wrong the first time I approached the Jabberwock.”
A moment of silence passed through.
“To tell you the truth, I'm hopelessly lacking in confidence in that very technique.”
I exposed my genuine feelings.
And after prefacing my response with how I didn’t know what the end result would be…
“Well, I’ll give it a try anyway. At any rate, we’re in a town where one must use whatever is available in order to survive— Minaura. I know it's an inadequate memory to use right now, but there's no such thing as an exception anymore.”
“…Huh? What are you talking about?”
Siva furrowed his brow, but I cut him off without giving the slightest bit of explanation.
And on the occasion that I actually did, we would be here all day.
“Also, I have something to apologize about in advance.”
The technique that I was about to perform imitates a night filled with shooting stars.
A ‘Star Slaying’ technique developed by a lone swordsman who once wished to slice through and slay the countless stars that endlessly flowed past the sky.
“If by any chance that my technique worked out, you could also suffer a little bit of damage yourself.”
I decided to apologize in advance, being aware of what was going to happen.
“…Oh, is that it? If that’s the case, you don’t need to worry about me. I’m not so weak to fall down after one attack.”
“That’s true, too.”
I already knew Siva’s capabilities.
And so I let out a light laugh, thinking that I was worrying for nothing, given that the technique I was about to do was no more than an inferior imitation of the original one.
“I’ll take your word for it and give it a try, then.”
One solution immediately came to mind.
And in order to create a foothold, I chanted my magic out loud.
『 —Sword: Creation 』
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