[Translator – Niel]
[Proofreader – DVN-L ]
I had a strange dream that day.
I was nothing more than an unremarkable villager, but for some reason, I remembered the life of a swordsman in my dream. A life that was bound by edged steel, longing to “slay the stars” someday.
My head throbbed as a dull pain slowly seeped in, crawling its way to my brain. An intense headache followed by a sudden surge of memories roused me to consciousness.
The swordsman I saw in my dream longed for strength.
The word “strongest” seemed too cliche, but he earnestly yearned for it from the bottom of his heart.
One who kept pursuing his longing, he was an overly simple-minded swordsman. And by the deed of “Slaying the Stars,” he tried to show the world that he was indeed the strongest of them all.
The night sky was shrouded in darkness.
The sparsely scattered stars, which shone ever so brightly, reflected so beautifully in my eyes that it made me want to put them in my treasure chest.
But no one could lay their hands on them.
No, not even the primal instinct to reach for it sufficed to the fact that they were out of reach and were indeed unattainable.
Thus, the swordsman had pondered.
“If I slay such stars, won’t I be able to prove the strength of my sword to everyone?”
And so, the swordsman, who never doubted that it was the right thing to do, made "Star Slaying" his guiding principle and thirsted for it as if he were dying.
Under the clear, pale blue sky that stretched out forever, he swung his sword single-mindedly.
He continued to look for worthy opponents that could be of nourishment to his journey.
Those words could be said to be the core of the swordsman’s life that I had dreamt of. And not knowing why, it came out of my mouth unconsciously.
Strangely enough, I couldn’t seem to forget them.
It was as if they were stuck deep within my heart.
Those two words gave me a strange, familiar feeling. A hope and longing I had never felt before.
I spent my everyday life doing the exact same routine.
Perhaps I was just fed up living the life of a common villager and hadn’t been aware of it. So much so that my words were filled with passion that I had never felt before.
My throat quivered as I tried to put together my words in a hoarse voice.
There was a sense of discomfort due to the headache, but the more I focused on the words “Star Slaying”, the less the pain I felt. And an endless yearning followed suit.
“This is freaking amazing!!!”
With a gleam in my eyes, I jumped to my feet, praising the swordsman who had wielded his sword in my dream.
Even though he had ultimately failed to achieve his goal of slaying the stars, he still undoubtedly had lived a bright life.
His world was so dazzling that it captivated me.
I was filled with hope.
“That was awesome…”
"Slaying the Stars" was a feat that even a swordsman of his caliber could not reach.
I, on this day, at this very moment, yearned from the bottom of my heart for a way of living that continued to strive for such a goal.
For someone like me who had been idly living my life as a mere villager, the swordsman’s way of living seemed like a star that was too dazzling for me.
And yet, it made me want to reach for it.
It was such a jewel of a thing.
“But a swordsman, huh…”
I’m just a mere villager.
An unremarkable villager, just like any other.
And I dream of being a swordsman?
I soon realized that it was a desire that I was not worthy of.
“…No, but even so I—”
I shook my head left and right in an attempt to shake off my earlier thoughts, even though I knew they were unworthy.
“I want to try.”
I wasn’t sure if the present me could even swing a sword properly, let alone slay a star.
After all, I'm just a villager.
Just an ordinary villager.
I was born in a place where I might never even have the chance to wield a sword. And even if I were to aim for it, I would only feel insecure.
However, I had acquired memories that I could learn from in order to become a "Star Slayer".
The memories of the swordsman known as the “Sword Demon”, one that I admired.
“I just don’t want to have any regrets.”
I couldn't dismiss the dream as something I had nothing to do with.
The vivid scenes of life that I saw in my dream would never fade.
Countless fierce battles fought to the death until it became impossible to count.
A series of rivals who polished each other's skills by fighting one another.
I felt inexplicably ashamed of myself, wasting my life away as a mere villager in a place like this.
It felt stupid.
I didn't want my one and only life to end as a common villager's life.
When the world shines, life burns.
When I became aware of the fact that I could lead a very bright life depending on how I chose to live, turning back was no longer an option to me.
There was no other way but to move forward.
And if I, like that swordsman, were to aspire to be a "Star Slayer", I would have to be at least as skilled or even better than him before I could even start to consider it.
His skill with the sword was unmatched.
Followed by his expertise in hand-to-hand combat, he had built a strong sense of intuition that must have been developed over his years of experience.
Without acquiring all those skills, I wouldn’t be able to stand in the same pit that the swordsman was standing in.
That's why I wanted to know what it would take to become a "Star Slayer." To understand it deeply and engrave it in my mind.
“Rather than doing the same thing over and over every day, this would definitely be more fun.”
Eat, sleep, tend the field.
The life led by the swordsman who had dreamt of being a "Star Slayer" was far more enjoyable than living a life like this. I could say that without any second thought.
“That’s why… I’m going to do it.”
It was as if I was swearing an oath to someone.
After putting my emotions into words, filled with hopes and expectations, I let them out.
“…I’ll do it, no. I’m going to try and do it.”
My youthful mouth twitched in joy as I said the words with a delighted look on my face.
“Someday, all the stars that float in the sky…”
Toward the unattainable stars that seemed to be out of reach regardless of how hard I tried, I arrogantly proclaimed:
“I’ll slay them all.”
On the night of my eighth birthday, I found something worth living for.
A longing that existed so far away.
For some reason, after that day, I felt as if the world reflected in my eyes began to shine.
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