66.2 The Stone Carver Gild
“I understand your position and circumstances through this letter.”
Gild-san beckons me and invites me into his house. Without hesitating, I enter the house behind him.
The house is quite simple. It isn’t that different from Anemone-san’s back on Dragon’s Peak. It’s furnished with a minimum amount of aged furniture. The floor is bare ground with a sheet of cloth spread over it. As there is only one room, a bed and candle stand have been placed in the same spot.
It isn’t very affluent, even compared to than my house. This place is many times simpler. However, within these modest bearings, a sole object placed over the fireplace was terribly out of place.
A saber? Its long blade is thin and arched. Out of everything here, it’s the only thing of value.
“Well then, for starters, you did well for coming to far off place like this.”
Gild-san scoops out water from a water jug and hands it to me. I thank him and gratefully drink the water.
He’s right, though. Between the southern area of the royal capital where I live and the foremost northern part of the northern area where Gild-san lives is a considerable amount of distance. As such, I enveloped my body with dragon ki and ran to the northern area. If I didn’t have that, I’d be being forced to spend the night here.
Gild-san waits for me to take a breath before continuing.
“Your purpose for coming here was explained in this letter.”
Ah, I never gave him my name.
“Eetto, I am called Ernea Isu. Sorry for the later introduction.”
“Fumu, Ernea? What a good name.
He really is a kind person. What is such a gentle person like this living in the dangerous northern area? What’s going to be hard about receiving something from him?
“You visiting me here with an introduction from the Dragon Princess is so you can be entrusted with it.”
Gild-san picks up the saber from over the fireplace.
Gild-san also picks up a random straight sword that had been placed over the fireplace.
“I cannot unconditionally pass it to you.”
He then passes the straight sword to me.
“Now, let’s have a match. If you can land one strike on me, I’ll bestow you my greatest treasure.”
I accept the straight sword and meet Gild-san’s eyes. I’m bewildered by this sudden development.
“In the letter, it was written that you’re a duel wielder. That’s the one I usually use, but please use it.”
“Since you’re a duel wielder, please use two swords. I’m not so weak that I can’t adapt.”
Gild-san continues to wear his unchanging gentle smile, but his eyes only grow sharper.
“Well, shall we head outside at once? It was written that the deadline is this year. I have no intention of making exceptions for another’s circumstances, so there won’t be enough time if you don’t hurry.”
Just how much was written in that letter? Did it include a detailed description about me? For Gild-san to be saying not even this year will be enough time, is he a master of the sword?
In a fluster, I leave the house.
“There are no other people here. You can fight to your hearts content.”
Gild-san… has already drawn the saber. Its beautiful ripples give a dazzling reflection of the sun’s light.
“Are we really having a match?”
“That’s right. I cannot pass this treasure to some who isn’t worthy. If you can’t win one match against a feeble-minded old man such as myself by the end of the year, then give up on various things.”
My heart freezes. He’s smiling, but his words are severe.
I thought he was a gentle ojii-san and grew negligent.
So, it’s like this? I have to overcome this ojii-san in a match?
Did Old Sleigstar say this would be difficult because he knows this ojii-san will be a strict opponent for the present me?
I have to beat this ojii-san? From what I’ve seen, he looks soft and doesn’t have any force except for the sharpness of his eyes.
“Hey, what’s wrong?”
At Gild-san’s urging, I hold up my weapons in a fluster. In my right hand is the straight sword I’m borrowing while in my left is the wooden spirit tree sword I always use. The straight sword is a bit heavy, but I should be able to wield it in one hand with dragon ki.
Gild-san narrows his eyes at my posture.
“Just as was written in the letter, the Dragon Sword Dance. Which one will you show me?”
With those words, Gild-san steps into my space at once. Since we are dealing with weapons, I had my guard up. I respond to Gild-san’s rush by swinging the straight sword to the side.
It’s a swing filled with dragon ki. With it, I repel Gild-san’s blow.
That’s what I thought as the sword snaps back towards me.
My posture is destroyed, and he thrusts without hesitation. With my feet trying to regain their footing, I fall back without being struck.
Thrust out before my eyes is the tip of the saber. It’s so quick, I’m taken aback.
“Had this been a real battle, you’d be dead.”
I swallow my breath at Gild-san’s strict words.
“What did you come here to do? What kind of resolve did you come with? With halfhearted emotions, you won’t win.”
Gild-san’s ambiance made me negligent. Right, I need to do this seriously. Didn’t Old Sleigstar say this would be difficult and that I don’t have much time?
Gild-san is stronger than he looks. I get a grip on myself and stand up.
“One more time, please.”
This time, I rush him.
T/N: I am guessing on the sword type from its description. The writing suggests it’s a certain type of sword, but I honestly am not sure which kind since the kanji only specifies curved swords. That said, if Gild considers himself feeble-minded, what’s his opinion on the rest of the population??