The Master of the Brave - Chapter 128
Chapter 128 – Trustee
“Mito? You mean Mito the Sword Crafter?” Lug, an old dwarf blacksmith, heard the name and paused for a moment to ask.
On the street overlooking the port of Lyon. Lug had a workshop here where he made the fittings needed for shipbuilding. Today he was making the fittings ordered by a shipbuilder who was a good friend of his when three young humans came to visit him.
“They told me that when the royal palace contacted the village where Mito-san lived, it was through this workshop.”
“Yes… I am from the village where Mito was born, you know? Besides, he is also my great-grandfather. That’s why I’ve sent letters to the village a few times, at the request of the royal court.”
The three young humans were still teenagers, two men and one woman. All three carried swords and appeared to be people who fought for a living. As was usual with Lug, when clients like these came, he had a ready phrase to say to them.
‘No matter how much you ask, I’m not going to have you meet Mito in person. Besides, I haven’t seen Grandpa in decades. I don’t even know if he’s still alive or not in the first place. If you really want to see him, you’ll have to climb the Majil on your own.”
It was easy to find out that Lug was related to the legendary Mito, the Sword Crafter, by asking around in the Adventurers Guild. So, from time to time, he was visited by daredevils who boasted of their skills and wanted him to help them cross the river to duel with Mito.
In any case, a duel with him would be useless.
If he had been in his usual mood, he would have simply brushed them off with a brusque attitude. He wiped the sweat from his forehead with a hand towel and stood up.
From two of the three people, the young man and the girl. Just looking at the way they walked and stood when they entered the workshop made it clear that they showed no breach. The way they carried themselves made it clear that they were not mere strangers to the world.
“Hey, I need to have a little talk with these customers. And just because I’m not here doesn’t mean you guys can slack off.”
Shouting so loudly that it echoed throughout the shop, Lug turned to the three of them and pointed outside.
“Follow me. It’s too noisy to talk in here.”
Lug led the three to a tavern near the workshop. He ordered a malt liquor, and the three ordered a drink with squeezed fruit juice.
“So, what do you want with Grandpa Mito? You seem to be skilled, but from what I can see, it’s not like you’re going to measure your skill, is it?” Lug said as he drank malt liquor from a wooden jug.
And then one of the young men quickly presented something on the wooden table.
It was a gold seal the size of the tip of Lug’s thumb.
“…This is…this looks familiar. It is the proof of the Sword Crafter that grandpa Mito had.”
When Lug was still a child in the village, he used to beg Mito to show it to him. It was the only Sword Crafter’s proof in the world. The golden seal glowing in Mito’s thick palm was still etched in his eyes, even though it had been several decades since he left the village.
“How did you manage to…?”
When Lug looked at the three of them, they all looked on with a grim expression on their faces. In particular, the young man wearing leather armor and dressed as an adventurer looked like he was about to burst into tears.
“It was because of me… because of me… Mito-san…”
“I have left today’s work to my apprentices. We have plenty of time. I’ll listen to the details, okay? By the way, I haven’t introduced myself yet. The name is Lug. I do shipbuilding accessories here in Lyon.”
“I’m Wynn. This is Leticia. And this is Abel.”
Wynn, Leticia and Abel each took the hand that Lug held out to them after saying their names. Wynn then began to explain the last days of Mito.
In a sanctuary built at the end of the cape where the Sarah Ferrule Cathedral was to be built. There hid a path that led to a subway temple that had been sealed deep in the depths of the ocean floor. There, in the midst of a battle with a mage who was trying to revive the ancient God of Destruction, Mito lost his life when he was pierced in the chest while trying to cover Abel.
“I see… Grandpa Mito is dead…”
After hearing Wynn’s explanation and Abel’s sobbing apology, Lug muttered to himself.
“I’m going to be sixty this year, and Grandpa Mito was already called Sword Crafter when I was born.”
“For sixty years?”
“Don’t you know? Grandpa Mito became the Sword Crafter more than eighty years ago.”
The fact that he was called the Sword Crafter for over sixty years took Abel by surprise, and with that, Lug picked up the gold seal on the table.
“In fact, that eighty years is the most that remains of solid evidence that Grandpa Mito has been the Sword Crafter. He had lived so long that he didn’t even knew his own age. It would not be unusual for him to have been the Sword Crafter even for more than eighty years.” When he said that, Lug gave a wry smile. “Anyway, he was so old that he was already a monster, even to his own people…” As he sipped his malt liquor, there was a tinge of pride in his voice as he said this. “I left the village when I was young and set up my workshop here, but by then grandpa had never come down from the mountain. If the old man came off the mountain and ended up losing his life, I’m sure it was because he foresaw something.”
“I will take care of this golden seal. When I meet someone who is worthy of having it as proof that he is a proper Sword Crafter, I will give it to them. Of course, it would be better if I could acquire the strength to be worthy. However, it is also a belonging of Mito-san, so, if the family wants to keep it with them, I will give it to them.”
“No, it’s fine for you to keep it.” At Wynn’s offer, Lug slid the gold seal he had been holding in his hands in front of the young man. “This is the proof of a Sword Crafter. It should be entrusted to the next generation of warriors, not as a relic of a deceased. From the looks of you, I think you are also a good swordsman. I think you are fully qualified to have it.”
As a descendant of Mito the Sword Crafter, Lug had been taught in the art of war by Mito himself as a child. Even through his eyes, he could see that the strength of both Wynn and Leticia was immeasurable.
“I will bring the news of Grandpa Mito’s death to the people of my village. Where is his grave?”
“At the end of the promontory where Sarah Ferrule Cathedral will be built. There is a shrine there. Mito-san’s grave will be cared for by Liara Thane.”
“Liara Thane. The Saint who defeated the Demon King along with the Brave. That is an honor. I’m sure the clan members will be delighted.”
When he said that, Lug suddenly realized. Liara Thane. The Brave she was accompanying as a follower was a human girl, still a child. Lug had caught a glimpse of her once when she visited Lyon.
When the battle against the demons was still fierce, Lug was the organizer of a group of craftsmen who made warships. As a result, he was invited to the Brave’s welcoming ceremony at the royal palace. At that time, the Crown Prince Raul, who had made a name for himself on the continent as a young Sword Saint, challenged Leticia to combat and was defeated.
Even Lug, who had the Sword Crafter in his family, was surprised by the overwhelming swordsmanship of a girl of about ten years old. And the light in the Brave’s eyes that he saw at that moment – which reminded him of an emerald jewel with its strong will – left a strong impression on him. The eyes of the girl sitting in front of Lug had the same color and light as the Brave’s at that moment.
Well… this is the girl from that time. Then she’s even more worthy of being entrusted with Grandpa Mito gold seal. With that in mind, Lug looked at Wynn, who was carefully guarding the gold seal, and said:
“Did you say Wynn? I look forward to the day when your name will be known as the Sword Crafter in the village where my clan and I live.” When he said this, Lug looked at him as if he was sure that day would come.
It was almost dark when they left Lug. The sky was turning red and the shadows on the ground were getting longer and longer. Lug, who had been drinking all the time he had been talking to Wynn, Leticia and Abel, stayed to continue drinking with the apprentices and craftsmen he knew who came to the tavern after work. It seemed to be a drink of condolence for Mito. Lug asked Wynn and the others to join him, but they refused. It was impossible for Wynn and his friends to keep up with the pace at which a dwarf drank.
“He didn’t want to keep the gold seal, did he?” Wynn muttered as he placed the gold seal from his pocket in the palm of his hand.
“Then we need to find someone worthy to bear the title of the Sword Crafter.”
The gold seal was bathed in the setting sun, emitting a slightly reddish glow. It was about the size of the tip of a thumb, but the small lump of gold gave Wynn the impression that it weighed more than it should. The gold seal had a history that had passed through the hands of many warriors, not just Mito.
“Why don’t you just keep the title of Sword Crafter?” Leticia said to Wynn, who was pacing thoughtfully. “I’m sure you’re well qualified to have the gold seal, as Lug said.”
“When Lug-san said I was qualified to have the gold seal, I’m sure he meant Letty, right? I mean, if Letty has it, I’m sure no one will complain.”
“I don’t think anyone’s going to complain either.”
When Wynn said that, Abel nodded.
“I don’t want it. I mean, I don’t want them to impose those kinds of titles on me anymore and call me whatever they want to…” As she said this, Leticia puffed out her cheeks a little to show her displeasure. “All sorts of people I don’t know are going to consider me a monster…”
The Brave, the Princess of the Divine Sword, The Being Closest to God… Even if Leticia had such exaggerated titles, she was actually a delicate girl, with slender shoulders and fragile-looking hips that seemed like they would break if you squeezed them too hard.
“What does it matter what people you don’t even know think of you?”
“I don’t care! I don’t care about those people.”
“What if a skilled swordsman takes it… What if it’s a famous person from the Adventurers or Mercenaries guild?” Abel suggested, crossing his arms. “I’ve heard that some of the adventurers who go north and come back are much stronger than many knights.”
“I see. If so, we should ask Oort-san and perhaps he can introduce us to some of them.”
As successful adventurers who had made their home in the city of Erz, Oort, Louis and Eliza must have been widely known among the adventurers.
“You might want to ask His Highness Raul, the Sword Saint. I’m sure he will have gathered some information about strongmen.”
“That may be. But I still think it’s okay for Onii-chan to have it.”
Leticia muttered to herself, agreeing with Wynn as he put the golden seal in his pocket.