25. A Small Cute Thing
“Even though it was brought here with great pains, what did you do to it?”
Old Sleigstar laughs loudly after looking at my face that changes from red to blue.
“Ernea, calm down.”
Although Mistral consoles me, I couldn’t calm down at all.
“Gahahaha, don’t jump to conclusion so hastily.”
“That’s right. Ernea is misunderstanding it.”
Uuhh, what do you mean with I’m misunderstanding it! Old Sleigstar just said himself this is the spirit tree we’ve been taking care of. He didn’t use a branch of that sapling to make this wooden sword. That means he used its trunk, doesn’t it!?
“Kekeke, that’s where you are misunderstanding.”
Old Sleigstar pinches the wooden sword as he releases a fond sigh. He picks it up and stabs it into the moss-covered ground.
I don’t understand what he is doing, so I just tilt my head and focus on his actions.
The moment he stabs the wooden sword into the ground, it starts to emit drops of faint, emerald green, light. The sword’s handle becomes longer and thicker while the branches creating the guard lengthen and increase in quantity.
To my surprise, the wooden sword transforms into the sapling from my memories.
“We didn’t make the sword by shaving the sapling. We merely change its appearance with old man’s secret technique. That’s why, if you stab it into the ground, it will return to its original appearance.”
“Uuu, please say those things from the start!”
Mistral makes a wry smile towards my teary expression.
“Certainly, neither Mistral nor one’s self desire to upset you to such an extend.”
“I should have told you beforehand. I’m sorry, Ernea.”
Old Sleigstar and Mistral scratch their heads in apology at the same time.
The sapling also shakes its leaves, as if wanting to comfort me.
Finishing his explanation and apology, Old Sleigstar pulls the sapling from the ground.
Its roots also regrew properly. A tiny bit of soil remains attached to the short roots.
The sapling then reverts back into being a wooden sword. To be able to change its appearance, what an amazing secret technique. As expected from an ancient old dragon, I guess.
“Now, come receive it.”
I personally receive the wooden sword of the sapling from Old Sleigstar this time.
“One’s self grants you this sword. You have to take care of it.”
“Yes, I will.”
Of course, I will take care of it. This is a mysterious tree, and it looks pretty cute too.
“Then, I will explain more about this sword.”
Old Sleigstar nods in satisfaction after hearing my reply and start to tell me about the sword in detail.
“As you can see, this sword is originally the young spirit tree. The spirit tree grows by nourishing itself through the dragon. However, more than transforming into a sword, it grows by obtaining nourishment from the dragon pulse in the ground. Therefore, thou must provide it with dragon spirit least it withers.”
That’s right. Since it is a living thing, it needs food to survive.
But then, letting it grow in the ground should be the best choice.
“After this, thou can supply the sword with the dragon spirit refined through thou’s meditation.”
“Then, I should just pour dragon spirit into the wooden sword sapling, right?”
“Indeed, by supplying it with thy’s dragon spirit, thou will be raising the young spirit tree.”
“Uwahh, how amazing. Raising a life with my life, huh? Even though this is an important duty, somehow I feel excited!”
Looking at my disposition, Old Sleigstar smiles.
“Like how one’s self did before, if thou stab it into the ground, it will revert to its original appearance. However, digging up the roots and pulling it out will be difficult for thy. Should it continue to grow, it shall become much larger.”
That’s right. At the moment, it’s just a sapling. It was easily pulled since the puller was the ancient dragon, Old Sleigstar.
The dragon spirit I’ll be supplying to it will help it grow. It will reach a point where neither Mistral nor I will be able to pull it out anymore.
“However, if it stays as a sword, there won’t be any troubles with the secret technique as long as thy keeps supplying it with dragon spirit. But on the day thy finds a suitable place for it to spend its life, thy should plant it there if possible.”
“Yeah, one day I will plant this child in a proper place.”
‘Until then, please endure as a sword, okay?’ I say in my mind while tenderly stroking the wooden sword.
After that, I feel as though something different from wind brushes through near my ears.
“Even if this is now a wooden sword, it is also a spirit tree. This is far more solid than any weapon. Furthermore, since thy will be filling it with dragon spirit, thy should definitely use it in combat.”
Mistral also leans in and strokes the wooden sword.
“Is that so… Then with this, I finally obtained a weapon, eh!”
The medium sword that I bought with the money saved by my family after much hardship was thrown away by Old Sleigstar. For many months and years… Maybe not that long, but for a considerably long time, I didn’t have a weapon.
I feel a happy now that I won’t have to borrow a weapon anymore. The teachers will stop giving me those piecing stares whenever we go practice at the ruins.
“From now on, please take care of me!”
I spontaneously greet the wooden sword.
Old Sleigstar and Mistral give me a similar smile after that.
With that, it becomes my daily routine to meditate, practice the Dragon Blade Dance technique, and before going home, have a contest with Mistral.
Ah, but it’s different from the usual.
I’ve been absorbing more dragon spirit whenever I meditate now in order to feed the sapling wooden sword.
The weird thing is, every time I cross my legs and start meditating, I feel a tiny life force from the wooden sword I place over my thighs. Then when I pour dragon spirit into it, I can feel something happily dancing around me.
Also, for some reason, I’ve been told to hold the sword with my left hand.
The foundation of the Dragon Blade Dance is to wield a sword in each hand, so I’m confused why I should hold it in my left. Since I’m right-handed, I want to hold it with my right hand, though.
Therefore, every time I practice the Dragon Blade Dance or having a contest with Mistral, I search for a handy piece of firewood to wield in my right hand.
By the way, during the ruin investigation, I kept to the basics and wielded a medium sword in my right hand.
I’ve been carrying the sapling wooden sword everywhere after obtaining it.
Just like always, I’m still denounced as a foolish child at school.
Regardless, I’ve finally obtained my own weapon. Its appearance is just an unrefined wooden sword. Moreover, I don’t brandish it during combat practice. Instead, I just continue my meditation. That’s why, it can’t be helped if everyone thinks of me as such.
Just like I predicted, the hero Ristia and his happy companions take a leave of absence from school due to becoming busier.
Ruiseine, who often groups with Kiri, Inea, and Ristia is alone and talks to me more often.
“So, when will you tell me the details about that secret medicine?”
Ruiseine’s question makes me panic. I had promised to tell her a few details about medicine a while back, but since I haven’t asked Old Sleigstar about how much information I can share with others, I am lost for words.
Ruiseine smiles upon seeing my turmoil.
“One day, you have to tell me, okay!”
After that, Ruiseine doesn’t ask me about it anymore.
Ruiseine is just as kind as I thought.
Yep, only Ruiseine tells me my wooden sword is cute.
The three leaves attached to the branches serving as sword’s guard combined with the ivy wrapped around it is very cute.
For Ruiseine to understand this cuteness means she is pretty good.
With that, summer passes and autumn approaches.
I get an invitation from the Long Eared Tribe’s chief that reside hidden in the Dragon’s Forest.
I haven’t heard from them since that matter in the forest, but back then Kari-san did say he would invite me one day.
My daily life is quite ordinary, but since I’ve been busy everyday, I had totally forgotten about it.
“I will go together with you.”
I head to the Long Eared Tribe’s village together with Mistral.
As we advance through the forest, I feel my heart pounding. I wonder what the village of the Long Eared Tribe is like?
To reach the Long Eared Tribe’s village, certain procedures that need to be followed within the forest.
Mistral explains them to me as we walk so that I can come alone in the future.
First, find an ancient tree inside the forest. Walk around it three times in circle.
Then, walk to the west.
A small pond will come into view. Circle around it once.
Afterwards, a road will appear where you started. Advance forward to that road.
“After that, we’ll reach the village of the Long Eared Tribe?”
I am surprised to discover that it is unexpectedly simple.
“If you know the procedure, naturally it will be easy. Usually, hardly anyone will walk around that ancient tree three times. Furthermore, that tree carries a curse that makes people lose their way. Except for those accepted by the Long Eared Tribe, people will get lost even if they know the procedure.”
“Fuuun. Is that so?”
Now that she mentioned it, there’s no way someone will randomly walk around an old tree three times, then go to the pond in the west and walk around it once. Not to say, with the curse of losing way, even if they know how to get to the village, pointless, eh?
Even if someone leaks the procedures, everyone will struggle trying to get in.
While talking to Mistral, our surroundings becomes a field of colorful flowers.
In front of us lays a village.
It is neither surrounded by a barrier of any sort, nor does it have a gate.
At the end of the flower field is a row of wooden house. That is definitely the village.
The gaps between the houses are many folds wider than the ones in the royal capital. I can see a lot of people passing by between them.
One of them seems to notice us and dashes further into the village.
Seeing that, I become nervous.
I often hear that the Long Eared Tribe is an exclusive tribe. Therefore, even if I was invited to visit, I’m still somewhat nervous.
They won’t tell me that I’m actually uninvited and force the human tribe to leave, right?
As I take nervous steps towards the village, a group comes out to meet us.
It seems like the village is even bigger than I thought. I’m shocked at seeing a number that exceeds my expectations.
How many tens of residents are there here? Each one of them is of the Long Eared Tribe, huh?
I murmur to Mistral who walks beside me.
“Fufufu, what a warm welcome. Surely today will be a very exciting day.”
Mistral gives me a smile and walks forward through the flower field.
“You have come.”
The villager who greets us from the front row is Kari-san.
He has his usual sharp look, but there is also a smile on his face.
“Good afternoon. Please take care of me today.”
“Good afternoon. This is the gift from the old man.”
After we greet him, Mistral hands over an ancient vase to Kari-san.
I wonder if the drops of tree spirit I collected are inside that vase. I’ve been collecting drops of morning dew from the leaves of the tree spirit very carefully. Even though it is ordinary water, it should be very delicious.
I always drink it at the moss-covered plaza, but it seems to be something extremely valuable. It is something valuable enough to serve as a gift for the Long Eared Tribe, afterall.
“I thank you for this. We all gratefully accept it.”
Kari-san looks very happy, and accepts the ancient vase.
“Then, today we are hosting a festival. Please come join us.”
Mistral and I are thus guided into the village.
So today is the Long Eared Tribe’s festival. I wonder what sort of festival it will be?
As it is my first time visiting the village of Long Eared Tribe’s, I look around with great interest as we walk.
All of the houses are made of wood. Most houses in the royal capital are made by stone, so wooden house are very rare to see. Different from the cold sensation those stone houses give, the wooden houses here give a warm impression.
Most of the house are bungalows, but they’re not very big. They are just very open, to the point that one property is not only almost lacking an outer wall, but the interior of the house is almost completely on display.
The road isn’t paved with stones either. It’s a bare path that has been worn down through repeated usage.
There are a lot of trees inside the village. In places that won’t become a hindrance for the houses and roads grows an abundance of flowers.
This is surely a natural and peaceful village. It’s as if a mystical world from the stories of legends unveils before my eyes.
T/N: Hello, this is the translator here. I never translate this kind of novel before, so this is a new experience for me! I try to make the novel as natural as possible, but if you find anything wrong/weird, please do tell me at the comments! (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و✧
For now my update schedule for this novel is every Wednesday and Sunday, so the next chapter will be up at the next Wednesday! Please look forward to it!!
E/N: Quick editor’s note. Even though our generous translator says every Wednesday and Saturday, I might not be able to keep up and end up releasing them a day or two late. Sorry~