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Chapter 711: Sword and Personality
Translator: imperfectluck Editor: Kurisu
In this fresh spring, I kept heading south in the warm weather as flowers bloomed… well, if the blood spilled from the dead counted as flowers blooming.
Every time I arrived in a new area, it would either already be at war, or currently preparing for war. Either an army would be gathering for defense, or an army would have already been sent out.
The first year after the demon wave's explosive arrival brought spring rain along with news that the entire world had sunk into war.
Large-scale dimensional invasions were taking place. The Demon Lords had finished gathering their armies. Wars were now taking place everywhere, greatly fatiguing the Holy Church.
Yet, I was on a vacation…
Yep, I was indeed searching for Karwenz everywhere that I went, but I had yet to find any better clues. The thieves guild, adventurers guild, and even the fairies who seemed to be everywhere were all unable to give me direct intelligence on Karwenz.
I even tried to make a deal with the dark cultists, using them to communicate with their Demon Lords and Evil G.o.ds. All I learned was that Karwenz and his personal followers were still mysteriously missing.
Since I was now traveling with my "sister-in-law" Leona, I couldn't move about as freely as before. A the very least, I needed to prepare a relatively comfortable horse-drawn carriage for her as she was pregnant.
Of course, she still wasn't showing anything yet, nor did her pregnancy affect her movements. She even insisted on riding her own horse… but in the end, I managed to convince her to ride the horse-drawn carriage.
Then, on a moonless night, I achieved my goal in dissecting Leona…
Ahem, at the very least, she didn't notice a thing by the next day, so let's just pretend that nothing happened.
Her bloodline was normal. There was such a minute amount of divine power that it could be ignored.
Her physical body was normal. The strength of her muscles and organs was within normal limits.
Her condition for giving birth was good. The unborn child's data was normal. It was expected that Leona would give birth nine months from now… Erm, since I had already dissected Leona, I figured I might as well check how things were for her, since my skills were far superior to any quack doctor's.
As for Leona's soul… I was unable to find anything special about it. If I wanted to do a deeper inspection, I would have to open up her soul, but that would make it almost impossible to put her back together again.
In the end, I could only temporarily come to the conclusion that Leona had just a very normal divine bloodline.
At most, Leona was quite hardworking and somewhat skilled, as well as courageous and lucky, which managed to help her accomplish some things. She was still quite far from being the typical "harem protagonist" of a typical hero's story.
As for her being the reincarnation of some G.o.d or demon, I hadn't discovered any divine soul traits apart from s.h.i.+rvan's. That meant Leona was just a divine bloodline descendant who was slightly special.
"If I had to describe her, she's just an ordinary person who worked hard. Could it be that I actually misinterpreted the situation?"
Since I had no guarantee of being able to put her back together again if I opened up her soul, I could only helplessly let things be for now.
Still, my opinion of Leona had greatly improved after spending some time with her.
Originally, I'd thought that she was yet another foolish girl who had been scammed by Karwenz. I thought that she would be the type with large b.r.e.a.s.t.s but no brain. Maybe she had some strength, but she would lack regular intelligence as well as emotional intelligence. Yet, Leona gradually proved to me that my impression of her had been wrong.
"I believe that the true worth of the G.o.ds is to guide us humans to do good. Rather than listening to empty moral teachings, the n.o.bles always have at least some basic moral limits because they're afraid of falling into the River Styx after death and not having any Divine Kingdom accept their souls if they do too much evil," Leona stated.
As a saintess, she actually had quite a good understanding of religion, which was quite rare for someone of her position.
"Perhaps you've misunderstood the teachings of our Church of Sword and Thunder. Our G.o.d s.h.i.+rvan managed to ascend to G.o.dhood with his sword techniques. He was a pure swordsman. He has always taught us to work hard at self-cultivation and improving ourselves, and to use a strong physical body to host a perfect soul."
Oh my. Leona really was religious after all. She even tried to teach me about her church.
"I have also read your novel before. Many thoughts written in it caused me to self-reflect so much. I've always wanted to meet you before, but I never expected that I would meet you in such a situation…" Leona caressed her stomach gently with a sad expression. Meanwhile, I was hesitating because…
"It's so rare to meet one of your fans. Aren't you going to ask which novel of yours she read?"
"I'm too scared and don't dare to ask." I couldn't even retort to Harloys' comment. I had written far too many ridiculous things before, to the point where I didn't dare to ask what Leona had read of mine.
It would be fine if she read something normal such as my theories on pure Holy Light or h.e.l.l's power of judgement. It would also be fine if she had read something like "The Master Thief" which was akin to a job cla.s.s guide. But if she instead read something rated R-18+ of mine… I recalled how I had written many stories involving mega harem conflicts and male harem protagonists who would have countless miracle opportunities all for the sake of scamming more money. I decided to let such dark history of mine be forever buried in the darkness.
Ahem, getting back on topic, Leona also had her own opinions on military and political affairs. She could even comment a little on the continent's overall situation. This was quite something indeed.
We were in Eich, not my original world of Earth. While information was extremely easy to come by back on Earth, here you would have to gather information with your own efforts. Just being able to mention international affairs meant that she typically paid attention to such things.
It really wouldn't be easy for Leona to accomplish this, both being a woman and in a church.
Thus, I became even more curious how her heart had been conquered by Karwenz in less than a month…
Don't even mention something like love at first sight to me. What veteran would actually still be so pure? Leona was already someone strong enough to be called a grandmaster. She had probably seen plenty of men over the years, including plenty of silver-tongued playboys.
I tried to ask her in a roundabout manner, and that was how she answered me.
"My G.o.d s.h.i.+rvan's experience says that the sword is like the person, and that swordsmans.h.i.+p comes from the heart. If the sword is straight, the heart will also be straight…"
I then pretty much understood. Leona was yet another person who had fallen into a pitfall due to family teachings… Forget about listening to all this chicken soup! I really didn't want to talk about "the sword is like the person" or other such ways of thinking.
Even b.a.s.t.a.r.ds who were murderers and thieves were capable of becoming Sword Saints, you know?
Leona became somewhat angered when she saw that I didn't care one bit about what she said.
She then forced me to practice swordsmans.h.i.+p with her. At first, I was just playing around, but then I discovered that Leona really was quite skilled at swordsmans.h.i.+p. She had become a Sword Saint for at least seven or eight years by now.
And so, I got slightly serious.
Considering her current condition, it would be bullying her far too much to use my full Strength stat. I simply displayed my pure sword techniques without actually injuring her.
Despite holding back, Leona's sword was knocked away after 23 seconds… Well, this was because I was still holding back. If I had gotten truly serious, it would have been easy to knock away her sword within three attacks.
Leona stood there in stunned disbelief at such a result.
When I proudly looked at Leona, preparing to give swordsmans.h.i.+p advice to this "junior" of mine, Leona suddenly sighed unexpectedly.
"…Your Highness Roland, you must have no luck with women. No ordinary person will be able to tolerate your personality."
"Paha! Wonderfully said! …Ahhhh! Roland, you're just taking your anger out on me! I shall return!"
I instantly tossed away the silly cat on my head that was snickering at me. Her shrill screams still remained behind in the air.
Wasn't this the equivalent of cursing me to remain single? However, it would be far too unbecoming of me to worry about such a thing with a junior of mine.
"I'm not angry, I'm not angry…"
I took a deep breath and then squeezed out a smile. However, Leona backed away two steps as if she was scared by something truly frightening.
Soon, she calmed down and gave me an explanation.
"Judging by how swordsmans.h.i.+p can express individual personality… Roan, er, Karwenz is the exact opposite of you, although both of you have amazing swordsmans.h.i.+p that's beyond a normal level of understanding. There's actually two people in the world with such high swordsmans.h.i.+p skills? I wonder how the Red Lotus Sword Saint and Phoenix Sword Saint compare…"
This pregnant woman had a bright red expression and was so excited that she seemed just like a young teenaged girl as she continuously talked about swordsmans.h.i.+p.
I managed to restore her to her senses with a light cough. "Ahem."
"I'm sorry… that b.a.s.t.a.r.d's swordsmans.h.i.+p feels like… like the vast sky itself. It's impossible to know what he's thinking, or what his swordsmans.h.i.+p is, yet his swordsmans.h.i.+p has its own system that's completely natural and pure. It's even purer and more brilliant than the endless stars…"
I was now certain that Leona was probably Karwenz's fan far more than being my fan.
"Sorry… Perhaps you don't believe me, but I can indeed sense his character from his swordsmans.h.i.+p. Although that b.a.s.t.a.r.d deceived me, he's someone truly sincere. His heart and sword are both incredibly pure. He will do anything that he wants. Nothing can possibly stop him. He loves this world. He loves this world more than anyone. His purity and strong emotions are truly so mesmerizing…"
I was doing my best to help her recover her senses. She was truly a star wors.h.i.+per who easily went into a manic state of wors.h.i.+p. No wonder she had been deceived so easily by Karwenz. If I kept coughing like this, I would probably need some cough drops!
"…His sword comes from his instinct and his heart. His sword is the display of his very nature. As for your sword… Your swordsmans.h.i.+p is the purest form of artificiality."
Leona sunk into a mesmerized state again as she kept describing my swordsmans.h.i.+p. But unlike the red blush from earlier that made her seem like a teenaged girl, she now had unconcealed loathing.
"Every sword move originates from one of the most basic sword techniques. Every sword move is limited by countless rules. Every sword move is calculating and scheming. Aren't you tired?"
"Hahahaha!" I instantly turned around and kicked away the silly cat who had returned some time ago and started laughing while rolling on the ground when hearing this.
"Although the basic concept of using sword techniques is to attack the enemy's weakness to gain an advantage, you are probably the only person in the world who can take things to such an extent. You carry out every rule perfectly. You perfectly force your enemy into making a mistake. You perfectly make others want to vomit…"
Leona's mouth then really started twitching as if she did want to vomit.
I understood. Leona really was someone addicted to the study of swordsmans.h.i.+p… And then, she really did vomit! Hey, this was probably because she was pregnant, and not something related to me!
I wasn't angry at all, honest! But, let's just say, if her explanation didn't satisfy me… I would dissect her again.
"The sword reflects the person. With such swordsmans.h.i.+p, you should be incredibly selfish, selfish to the point of ignoring all the rules of the world. You must be incredibly arrogant, arrogant to the point of always following the rules you set for yourself. You must be incredibly obsessed, obsessed to the point of believing that the world should operate by your own rules. It's just as if, as if…"
"He's a tyrant!" Harloys exclaimed.
"That's right, a tyrant! That's the word I'm looking for. You are a born tyrant. Incredible selfishness and rule with incredible arrogance. How can any normal woman possibly withstand such a personality?"
I glanced at the silly cat who had now returned and was under my foot. Harloys was currently lifting up a sign that said "10 out of 10 points!" It seemed that Harloys was highly satisfied with Leona's a.s.sessment of me…
My mouth was now twitching. Why did all of this sound like Karwenz was on the side of justice, while I was the big bad of the story?
"I'm clearly a good person…" I muttered… in a low voice, because even I didn't believe it.
"Actually, this is so accurate. If only you and Karwenz had swapped places back then, with him being a Holy Knight and you going to fight the demons, it would likely now be Abyss Prince Roland and Strongest Holy Knight Karwenz now. Not only that, both of you would be even better at those roles. The slyest and most vicious Demon Lord of all versus the sunny and bright Child of Holy Light…"
The silly cat unhesitatingly spread salt on my wounds. Had I forgotten to feed her cat food or something recently…?
"…However, such a hypothetical is useless to begin with. Personalities are personalities. Standpoints are standpoints. You're currently standing here on this side. Do you regret it?"
Although I would perhaps feel pain and sorrow about the past, did I regret? I had taken every step myself and tried my very best. What would I want to regret?
Regret? What a joke.
"Even if you asked Karwenz, he would probably respond in the same way. Since neither of you regret things, then why worry about such things?"
I nodded and then shook my head.
"…He hasn't even evolved to the point of knowing what regret is. But right now, I really do hope that he will regret."