The wooden sword was frighteningly huge.
Although it was shaped like a normal sword, even an adult would struggle to connect their thumb and index finger while grasping it.
The young boy had been swinging the wooden sword for almost an hour now.
His fist strength had been depleted long ago. All he could do now was to use his fingers to barely hold.
The boy used his last drop of energy to swing the wooden sword once again, marking his 2000th swing.
After the swing was completed, he fell onto his back and cursed his daily routine.
“I’m gonna die..."
By now he had completely lost track of how many times this phrase had been uttered. He looked up at the sky, still out of breath.
Even though the world was huge and wide, the only family that made an 11 year-old child go through dreadful training, such as the one the boy had gone through, was probably the Cornelius family.
It was a fact that amongst all the royals the boy had met while working with his father, none had training such as his. The literature work and trainings their tutors set them only seemed like child’s play to him.
"I see... you’re going to die. It was such a short life. Bard, my son, have fun in heaven."
"That’s not something a mother should be saying, damn it!"
Bard barely dodged the arrow-like spear that seemed to rain down from the heavens. The spear landed where Bard had just been, making an enormous ringing sound.
Following his instincts, Bard jumped up immediately.
Had he not dodged, the attack would have taken his life. . Bard felt something cold rise up his back, as he roared.
"ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME!?"
"Hey, you can still move? You’re young, you shouldn’t be slacking off."
"I would have died if I didn’t move!!"
Magotte, his mother, completely ignored the angry roar her son let out, and whipped her hair.
Within the beastly laugh, there was surely a drop of love towards Bard, however, the love that could be seen was shown through the eyes of her husband, Ignis.
Of course, through the eyes of Bard, this laugh only seemed to foreshadow the deadly training he was about to experience.
"Come on! What’s wrong? If you don’t hurry up and get ready, I won’t hesitate!"
"I’m gonna die! I’m really gonna die this time!"
Magotte mercilessly attacked the worn out Bard with her wooden sword. Her wooden sword was as thick as Bard’s, and, if struck at a critical point, could be lethal.
In order to survive, Bard held back his tears, and dealt with all of Magotte’s attacks.
Bard was having difficulty holding onto the huge wooden sword, as his strength was almost gone.
If he lost his grip and dropped the sword, he would have to receive Magotte’s attacks with his body alone.
Bard had many broken bones and bruises because of Magotte’s relentless strikes. It was actually quite astonishing that Bard was still alive.
The reason why they used a thick wooden sword was simply to get used to the weight and the impact of a real sword. However, in order to withstand this you must be able to relax and loosen your body until moment of the impact.
No matter how much energy you had, it's impossible to continue gripping the sword with full strength through the entire battle.
Having understood that he will never win the battle of pure strength, Bard focuses on eluding the incoming strikes.If a sudden mistake was made, Bard would receive a merciless strike.
"That’s right, use your pinky finger as your focus point and convert your grip strength directly to elude the attacks."
"There is zero persuasiveness from your words! You’re having too much fun out of this!!"
"Hahaha! Don’t say that. This is just some mother and son time."
"In what world does the mother almost kill the son during this ‘mother and son time’?”
An instance of negligence leading to certain death was a traditional scene of morning training in the Cornelius family.
Bard used the last drop of energy he had in order to grip the wooden sword. Soon after, the training ended.
"Man, how amazing it is to be alive..."
He gazed up at the sky, his heart full of graciousness, as he had managed to survive another day.
"Here is your drink, Young-Master."
"Thank you, Sei-nee"
Bard chugged the lemon water given by a maid, whose golden brown hair shone beautifully in the sunlight. It was as if the sourness of the cold lemon ran through his entire worn-out body.
After giving an old-man-like chug of the water, Bard awkwardly returned the cup to Seirun. Seirun, although two years older, had always been his childhood friend.
When Seirun received the cup, she made a small grin, and asked, much in the manner of an older sister talking to a younger brother,
"Would you like another one?"
Magotte watched the two having a happy conversation, and narrowed her eyes.
To those who did not know Magotte, it may have seemed like she was giving a vicious glare.
---But that is something better off not saying.
"This is really nice...I never thought there would be something so fun, aside from fighting in a war."
To be able to watch her son grow up strongly, filled her with excitement.
The two reminded Magotte of her journey from a mercenary to a countess.
A huge forest area lied between the border of the Haurelia Kingdom and the eastern side of the Mauricia Kingdom. This forest area was ruled by the Cornelius family.
Although this area was lacking in farmland, it possessed abundant forests, minerals and water resources.
However, because it is located on the border, due to various geopolitical reasons, military tax goes above the roof and thus, the citizens were very poor.
Ignis, the current leader of the Cornelius family, was a 35 year-old man with virility. In his young days, he was infamous for his beauty, and known throughout the kingdom with his magnetism. At the age of 23, he met his destiny.
The name of the destiny is Magotte--a mercenary.
The relationship with the Haurelia Kingdom worsened, and there were many military conflicts. This was when Magotte was hired to the Cornelius army.
Her swift silver hair with violet eyes, her astonishing spear wielding skills, and her physical enhancement ability, was enough for the whole battlefield to recognize the blooming flower.
It was all because of her that Ignis was able to gather enough courage to defeat a great general and the Selby Marquis Army, which was the main force within the Kingdom of Haurelia.
The Silver Flash Magotte, that was what they called her.
It was said that the army of Haurelia would be scared when they heard that name, likening her to a devil.
When the news got out that she was moving to a different war scene, many generals wanted to recruit her to their army. The Kingdom of Haurelia tried to recruit her to their army, while the Kingdom of Mauricia desperately tried to get her to stay.
Ignis’ actions were completely unexpected to everyone who heard it.
She was confident of her appearances.There were many offers to marry into noble families, as a single woman, rather than a mercenary. Needless to say, those men all lost either their lives or something very important as a man.
Even then, it was unexpected to say the least, that a noble, would ask directly for a marriage.
She, the mercenary who lived her life carving out a path of blood, did not expect that an idiot nobleman would ask for marriage.
It was the absolute truth however, that Ignis fell in love with Magotte.
When Ignis saw Magotte rushing through the battlefield, he instantly fell in love with her.
Since there was a need to keep Magotte from leaving the area of Cornelius, Ignis figured it would be a great chance.
Of course as a result, the family and its retainers were in an uproar about the proposal, and the reputation of Cornelius family fell to rock bottom of the noble society.
Ignis, with precious noble blood, was trying to marry a mercenary that came from who knows where.
It was a given fact that from this point on, the Cornelius family would be given the cold shoulder at any social parties at the kingdom.
Magotte knew this fact, and felt something for Ignis, who took on this huge risk for his family.
However, she couldn’t see herself as a countess in a noble family.
Thus she decided to offer an idea to Ignis.
The well known ‘Husband and Wife huntdown’.
It was a tradition to compete with the number of animals hunted in a day, with whoever winning having to do whatever the winner wishes.
Magotte’s skills were peerless amongst all others, but Ignis’ skills were known to be the best within the knights, as his fame as a warrior was well-known throughout the land.
The two hunted until dawn. Then, something odd occurred.
Magotte’s arrows missed for the first time.
At this point, they had both hunted the same number. It was important to make use of the last remaining time.
Overjoyed, Ignis shot his arrow, but it also missed and landed in a nearby grass.
They both took one more shot, but, unbelievably, they missed again.
This was something unbelievable to the two, as they were both confident in their hunting skills.
The two sensed the divine words.
All because the animals they were chasing were bird couples.
They thought that God was telling us to become together.
Once they made the decision, their actions were as decisive as a warrior. .
They threatened the opposing family members and kidnapped an archbishop, just to show their marriage off to the public.
Furthermore, using Magotte’s connections from back when she was a mercenary, they even brought the King to the wedding, making it practically impossible for anyone to oppose anymore.
And so, Magotte was officially accepted as the countess of the Cornelius family.
The next year, they were blessed with a new baby boy.
The beautiful boy, who might turn out to be a player in the future like Ignis (even though he is completely henpecked now) was named Bard.
Although it is true that Magotte used to be a mercenary, there was a reason behind training Bard this harshly.
Normally, it was difficult to give such training to kids this young, who may not understand reasons behind occurrences.
This was because kids do not show interest to things that they do not understand, and they couldn’t gain any skills through training.
Thus, it is difficult for kids with high absorption of knowledge, with potential to grow, to have an effective training.
However, in Bard’s case, there was no need to worry.
His knowledge level went way beyond that of an average adult.
An unbelievable tale arrived at the Cornelius family around 6 years ago.
Compared to normal babies, Bard’s body grew faster, however, he had difficulties learning words.
Although, he sometimes spoke an incomprehensible language randomly, as if he had just remembered something.
He normally acted fine, but when he was sick, or when he felt a huge mental shock, such actions occurred.
At the age of 5, during spring, he got a critical infection through a bruise he made.
In a coma with a high fever, Bard saw a very, very, long dream.
A dream long enough to fulfill one man’s lifetime.
After 2 full months, on the verge of death, the first thing he said was...
“What the hell?”
This phase was not used in the official language of the continent of Aurelia, which was a part of the Kingdom of Mauricia.It was phrased in Japanese, a language no man in this world should know.
Oka Masaharu was the name of a man in one of Bard’s previous lives.
He was at an educational institute, known as high school, when one day, he lost his life.
The last thing he remembered was walking on the sidewalk, on the way to an University entrance exam.
He was either stabbed in the heart, or was hit by a truck, as cliché as it sounds...
Although the word ‘truck’ did not ring a bell for Magotte, the only thing he knew was that he died without knowing what caused it.
There was another problematic thing… more than one personality had reincarnated within Bard’s mind.
The doctor said that it was a miracle, as his brain was able to withstand the overload of information 3 minds brought.
Magotte guessed that it was because his young brain was able to hold his low ego personality.
Knowing such truth, Magotte decided to train Bard's mind and body.
In order to recall the personality of Bard, she tried to stimulate its life senses, such as pain, suffering, exhaustion and most importantly, the will to live.
However this hellish training gave unexpected results, as the last personality that awakened was the one who lived his lifetime as a soldier.
As Bard got stronger and stronger, Magotte felt unwillingly excited.
She was sure that at this rate, her son would definitely become the strongest warrior in the kingdom.
“Although it is rare for it to come out now, that was, an interesting personality of its own...Oka Sanai Sadatoshi.”
It was a definite truth that the memory of this soldier, who lived to the age of 70, had a huge impact on Bard’s soldier skills.
Although it seemed like the skills were from a country that lacked in magical powers, the moves were very logical and practical.
He apparently died of age, and out of the 3 personalities, he was the most mature, and least egoistic man.
However Sanai’s certain fetish, which would definitely affect Bard’s life, is something Magotte does not know yet.
On the other hand, Masaharu’s condition known as the chuunibyou is something that any young boy would go through. However, in his case, it might be a little bit over the roof.
“If I could reincarnate, I would definitely use some knowledge cheating.”
Masaharu must be the only high school student who uses such reasoning to surf over wikipedia and encyclopedia.
It was not as though the reality was too much to handle.
He had above-average marks in tests, and he was not extremely frail either. In fact, he was a frontline member of the basketball team.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that he had a fulfilling student lifetime.
But if there was a chance to go to a different world…
If I awakened a super power…
...such thoughts would always be inside Masaharu’s mind.
“A mayonnaise is a must...but if I could maybe bring my computer”
Masaharu’s laptop had a special folder, in which a huge amount of information, with medical, scientific, and nutritional knowledge is packed.
He knew however, that he must throw such foolish thoughts away sooner or later.
As one enters the university, their choices would be narrowed, and as one searches for a job, it would be like gouging out an eye from a live horse.
That type of ‘what if…’ doesn’t exist in the real world.
Masaharu fully understood how cruel and dreamless reality was.
Thus, at least for now, he wanted to stay inside a sweet dream of happiness.
Beast ears are justice, cheating is a man’s dream.
With an astonishing adventure and a teammate who you can rely on, there is nothing more you need.
“Which is better...dog ears or cat ears…?”
Dog ears have such aimable looks and a loyal stance, while the cat ears have elegance that no other animals have and the ambivalence just like a tsundere.
Realizing how deeply rotten he was with the chuunibyou thoughts, he closed his eyes and continued walking.
The loud noises the busy street gave off drifted to his ears. .
The sound of shoes clicking on the ground, traffic lights beeping, and the sound of lifeless vehicles’ exhaustion.
Masaharu’s vision of the beast ears in such reality were just about to complete…
With a sound similar to turning off a T.V, , Masaharu’s thoughts terminated.
Before the eyes of a bedridden man, was a beautiful rain of cherry blossom petals.
From the cherry blossom tree planted under the watchtower of the Inawashiro castle, to the west, you could see the surface of the Inawashiro Lake, one of the largest lakes in Japan.
This entire area was entrusted to one old samurai’s hand, as he was the leader of Aizugamou family as well as the follower of path of sage.
The man’s name was Oka Sanai Sadatoshi.
A samurai who lived his life in the battlefield until the age of 70.
Spending his life mostly in a war, Sanai decided to make the next advancement of Osaka Castle as his deathbed.
However with the internal discord within the family, the leader, the Gamou family was assigned as the guardians of Edo Castle. With this, the chance for the old samurai to receive the spotlight faded.
It was as though something that supported him to this point just disappeared.
As he laid on his side, he decided to let fate take him.
The log-like arm, that was once able to cut down numerous enemies, was now weakened, and the pages that told of the old samurai slowly yellowed and became a thing of the past.
There was no place for Sanai on a land with no war.
Sanai realized his death was near, and decided to share his wealth with his lord and acquaintances.
He was known as a miser, and his wealth amounted to a great fortune, easily reaching over 30,000ryo.
Knowing his death was near, Sanai freely shared it all.
To all those who knew of Sanai, his manliness was something unexpected.
"(I had always saved up money in order to be a part of war, just how a samurai should. It was my determination. However, from now on, in a world where there is now war, there will be something different.)" (Sanai)
An unforgettable scene rose as he shut his eyes.
On the other side of the famous scene at Sekigahara, in order to gain dominion over Oshu, there was another scene at a small village in the northeastern area.
The fight where ‘Dokuganryu’ Date Masamune advanced towards Fukushima, ruled by the ‘Army God’ Uesugi Kenshin is the ‘Battle of Matsukawa’
The Uesugi army, at a number disadvantage, used brave wandering samurais to fight against the Date army.
Within the Uesugi chivalry, there was a sight of Sanai, with his spear, defeating the Date soldiers one by one.
“What do you know, there is finally someone here with backbone.”
Those with clear eyes would instantly recognize the famous horse and the equally famous samurai on its back, who was stroking his spear.
With plain armor, imbalanced with the horse, Sanai thought he found a great target to raise his fame.
Some say ‘unity of rider and horse’, as to a trooper, their horse is as important as their life, more than any armor.
Anyone who is capable of controlling such famous horse must be a well known samurai.
To the sound of beating drums, Sanai rushed through the field with his horse.
That was his unforgettable regrettable memory.
The owner of the famous horse was the infamous Masamune himself. Unfortunately, this is something he realized far into the future.
"(If only I had known that, I never would've let him escape!)" (Sanai)
“Sir Masamune, prepare yourself!!”
That’s right, I will not let him escape this time.
Even if I have to offer my life, I will surely take his life.
“...Sir, are you alright? Sir?”
A page brought medicine to the bedridden master, the survivor of the Sengoku era.
Oka Sanai grins in satisfaction as he slowly breathes.
Until his last breath, the samurai who had spent most of his life in war, dreamt of himself rushing through the battlefield.