The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin (Novel) Chapter 7 - 8

C7 - 8

The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin Chapter 7

Chapter 7. The Master of the Demon Sword (1)

It’s been two weeks since my sister returned to the academy.

She visited merely to check in without any special purpose so she left right after seeing our father, who was stationed at the frontlines.

Still, she didn’t come empty-handed. To Kranz, who lay ill, she brought a precious bear’s gallbladder, wishing him a speedy recovery.

The gallbladder of a polar bear, coveted for its restorative properties…

Well, I received a gift as well… though…

“Ugh, the smell! I still can’t get used to it!”

Emily clamped her nose shut as soon as she set down the plate.

A reddish liquid bubbled and brewed, its mere appearance enough to upset one’s stomach.

But I, undaunted, picked up the spoon.

“Master, do you really find this tasty?”

“Do you think I’m eating this because it tastes good?”

“But still, even if Miss Ellis gave it to you as a gift… I’m sorry, Master! I’ll step out for a moment!”

Overcome, Emily held her mouth and fled the dining room.

Alone, I began to empty the plate, suppressing my frustration.

The taste was tolerable, although the smell suggested otherwise.

Having eaten worse before, I didn’t make a fuss like Emily had.

The gift from my sister was none other than the blood of a hellhound.

This demonic creature’s essence hailed from the Limia Valley, a front-line region.

There’s a superstition on the continent that consuming the blood of demonic creatures drastically enhances human physical abilities.

Though it’s a superstition born from the rarity of such creatures and the robustness of frontier knights, astonishingly, it’s not just a myth.

The strength of demonkind comes partly from their diet—eating these creatures, just as we would eat cows or pigs.

However, the nutrients in demonic beasts, like hellhounds, are so rich and bountiful that even a small amount can bring immense growth.

That’s the main reason I wish to go to the frontier—to consume the flesh and blood of these creatures and enhance my physical strength.

From my past life and now, this was the shortest route to gaining power.

Plus, since the world still considers this knowledge a mere superstition, it’s like a blue ocean opportunity for me.

Yet looking at this…

I peered at the blood on my spoon.

It had the distinct, biting, and sticky taste of hellhound blood, just as I recalled from my past life.

Ellis, my sister, tended to believe in superstitions readily.

She’d buy into anything claiming health benefits without verifying its truth, to the extent where I first thought she’d been swindled with this blood.

Even so, to think that hellhound blood circulated in the black market…

Are they not taking demonic creatures seriously enough?

As much as I was doubtful about it, after I tried it, it wasn’t a scam.

I knew the taste of hellhound blood.

I had even eaten its flesh several times.

Based on those experiences, this was definitely pure hellhound essence.

I had never imagined that blood from demonic beings was actively being traded, possibly supplied by someone connected to the frontlines.

It was a matter that couldn’t be overlooked, and I decided to inquire further into it.

Having finished my meal, I stood up.

“Where are you off to, Master?”

Emily entered at a most inconvenient time.

“Just going for a walk.”

“Are you headed to the back hills again? If you’re planning to practice swordsmanship, wouldn’t the training grounds be better?”

“I’m going for physical exercise. Have something nice and cool ready for me when I return.”

Emily waved her hand, bidding me to be cautious.

I hoped she’d prepare something actually edible.

Leaving the manor, I crossed the back garden and entered the forest path leading up the mountain.

I had waited two weeks for this moment.

All my previous attempts had been foiled by Yulken’s surveillance, but today, due to his regular reports, even he was elsewhere.

In other words, at this moment, there were no eyes on me.

I couldn’t waste this golden opportunity.

After an hour’s climb up the mountain…

I arrived near a vast plateau at its peak.

It felt strange returning here after such a long time.

This was where I hid away to escape everyone’s gaze when I was being treated as an outcast at home.

But back then, I was unaware…

Unaware that an incredible treasure was hidden beneath…

I gently shut my eyes, sensing the surrounding energies.

The natural flow of mana converged to one spot.

There lay what I sought.

Twenty paces north, then a sharp left for ten steps, and finally two large steps towards one o’clock…

Once I pinpointed its location, I headed straight there.

The deserted expanse gave no indication of anything hidden.

Yet my eyes perceived the truth.

Beneath where I stood, a space rich with swirling mana.

Without hesitation, I placed my hand on the ground.

-Wooong

I channeled my internal mana into the earth.

“…Hmm.”

The reaction was weak.

I guess I needed to pour in more mana.

-Wooong

Still no response?

It’s proving trickier than expected.

If I were an earth mage, I would’ve opened it with ease. Is this because of my differing elements?

Even with the maximum amount of mana, the ground just trembled faintly with no other signs of change.

It seemed I had reached my limit.

But that didn’t mean I was out of options.

Once more, I aligned my hand with the ground.

-Swish!

A black aura flowed through my hand into the soil, merging with the previously transferred mana, creating a resonance and a different vibration than before.

I stepped back to watch the unfolding change.

-Kugugung!

The ground cracked open, veins spreading across it like a blood network, and when it couldn’t hold any longer, it collapsed dramatically.

Once the dust cleared, stairways emerged beneath the broken ground.

I descended the stairs without a moment’s pause.

At the end of the staircase was a long corridor, surprisingly clear though no light should’ve penetrated this underground space.

I felt mana still flowing throughout the corridor.

At the point where the mana ceased, there must be something that pulls and gathers it.

A different feeling from the last visit came over me.

Like rediscovering a long-forgotten toy.

In simple terms, this place was a temple.

Now buried beneath the ground and fallen to ruin, it once hosted an altar for the god of light, Lumerendel.

Why was such a sacred site behind my house?

Pure coincidence.

After the Divine Demon War 300 years ago, all historical records were erased. There’s no trace of the past.

Whether such a temple is behind a house or an outhouse, it’s irrelevant.

Just a forgotten fragment of history, with no one but me knowing of its existence now.

After about ten minutes…

A golden radiance flickered from the corridor’s end.

Approaching it, the brightness intensified as mana surged around it.

In sight at last.

The master of this temple.

An altar made of silver surrounded by two flights of stairs, and at its heart, a brilliant golden sword shining with an undying light—like a sun beaming with life.

It had an intoxicating vibrancy of a living aura that felt like a sonnet in the air.

But to me, it was nothing but loathing.

Holy Sword Durandal.

A legendary relic graced with the blessings of the god Lumerendel; only the saviors who could extract life’s warm light from the cold darkness were worthy to wield it.

Saviors, my foot…

It was likely for traitors who only knew how to stab others in the back.

Ah, but I was stabbed squarely in the chest, so perhaps not in the back after all?

Regardless, how could I look upon this sword fondly?

In a past life, the one who wielded this sword was none other than Aschelle Vert.

Hence, it was the blade that pierced my heart, making me lose everything I had built and denying my very purpose in life.

How could I welcome it with open arms?

I felt myself souring with old thoughts, better to focus on the task and get out.

Otherwise, I might just die, suffocated by this wretched aura.

I bypassed the sword, heading to where its shadow fell.

Regretfully, my goal wasn’t the sword.

I could’ve pulled it, but what use would it have, especially with my small stature? Plus, it being so brightly glaring only hurts my eyes.

Above all, it’s the weapon that struck down my heart; why should I have any need for it?

It’s better to avoid what’s unclean.

We naturally gravitate toward the familiar.

That’s precisely what I was searching for.

The shadow cast by the holy altar stretched long behind it.

Where there’s light, there will always be darkness following.

This was a law of nature since the dawn of creation.

But the ignorant chase only the light, ignoring the shadows.

Just look at this temple—it’s evident everywhere.

Though the world has changed, humanity remains the same.

Standing atop the lengthy shadow, I crouched down and placed my hands onto it.

-Woong

The shadow of the holy sword spun like a whirlpool.

It morphed freely, resembling a human figure.

Then, after a moment, the shadow stretched out, pointing towards a specific direction.

There, at its end, a strange black door now stood where none had been before.

-Creeak

I opened the door as if entering a familiar room and stepped inside.

Beyond lay utter darkness, filled with a thick mist rising from unknown origins.

In the center was another altar, similar to the one that held the holy sword, but the feelings it evoked were distinct, comforting.

The smile on my face grew as I bathed in the sensation.

Moving through the mist, I came face to face with another weapon lying atop the altar.

A short dagger with a purple blade emanating a sinister aura.

Without hesitation, I grasped its hilt.

-Kugugung

The surroundings resonated powerfully—no cause for alarm.

Where there’s a treasure, there’s often a guardian.

The same went for this dagger, its guard being quite the welcome entity for me.

[Giggle, giggle, giggle…]

An unsettling feminine laugh filled the space.

Soon, a strange fog swirled through the room, engulfing both the dagger and myself.

A mysterious black soul emerged from the weapon, shifting into a bewitching woman with flowing black hair.

[Ah! How long has it been since I last tasted the outside air? It’s exhilarating!]

The woman, taking a deep breath, soon noticed my presence—her grasp upon the hilt.

[What’s this, a fledgling? A child? Are you the one who woke me?]

“As you can see…” I replied, entirely unbothered.

[Kyaha! Such a young lad, fearless, quite adorable, isn’t it? Do you even comprehend what you’ve done? Do you know what happens when you wake me?]

“That this dagger is mine?”

[Wrong! It’s not the dagger but your body that is mine! Kyahaha!]

The spirit, licking her lips, soared upwards and dived swiftly, attempting to engulf me.

Hmm…

I wasn’t quite so unprepared in my past life.

-Catch

[Ack!]

Smoothly, I twisted her neck in my grip.

Her sharp nails seemed poised to scratch me apart, but they only flailed uselessly at the air.

“Should you really be biting your owner?”

Her panicked gaze met my smiling face.

--------------------

The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin Chapter 8

Episode 8: The Master of the Demon Sword (2)

August 12, 999th year of the Age of Creation.

We successfully expelled the army of the demon world that had occupied Belias.

However, contrary to expectations, their forces were incredibly strong, and the morale of the allied forces that experienced this was quite low.

In the pressing situation not knowing when the demon world army might invade again, the humans felt the limits of their power and finally raised the necessity for sacred artifacts of the gods.

Although everything was erased from the continent due to the Great War between demons and gods 300 years ago, some unerased traces still remained in various places.

Humans gathered these scant pieces of information and soon uncovered the truth that relics of a bygone era imbued with divine power were hidden across the continent.

Of those, the most needed was undoubtedly the holy sword Durandal, blessed by the protection of the God of Light, Lumen Del.

Due to the demons’ vulnerability to light, the power of Lumen Del was potentially fatal to them, so finding Durandal was imperative.

The problem was that no one knew where the sword lay dormant.

It could only be assumed to be somewhere in the western part of the continent where the Temple of Light was presumed to have been.

In the end, I found it.

Purely by chance.

It was during a survey of the area around Belias, which we had reclaimed from the demon lord’s forces, that I suddenly felt the urge to visit the mansion’s back mountain.

I wanted to soothe my weary mind and body after the battles with the demons and organize my thoughts, but lo and behold?

Upon reaching the summit and laying flat on the grass, I sensed something was off.

The flow of mana in my surroundings was abnormal.

It felt as though something deep beneath the mountain was sucking in the energy from the area.

Something that I had not noticed when I was a snotty-nosed kid, I was now certain lay underneath this mountain.

Could it be that the legendary holy sword was right here?

With a feeling of perhaps, I gathered people to check, and certainly enough, it was revealed that the Temple of Light with the holy sword slumbered beneath the mountain.

A breathtaking coincidence indeed.

It didn’t matter who found it—Aschel took the sword.

No one objected, and it seemed only natural that he should possess it.

I felt the same.

It was never a sword intended for my use, and I never thought myself worthy.

I was simply relieved that we could find it, even by chance.

But it didn’t end there.

I had completed my goal of recovering the holy sword and was about to leave, when I felt an indescribable power seeping out from behind the pedestal where the sword was inserted.

Just as shadows are cast where there is light.

Yet no one pays attention to those shadows.

Another power that was hidden in the shadow of the holy sword, coexisting.

Drawn by that power, I alone sought out the temple and eventually discovered the chamber of the demon sword, which remained alongside the holy sword.

The demon sword I found, Ceyram, was a sword that governed the world’s dark energies, along with the holy sword Durandal.

Only those who discover the truth in endless darkness could possess this other divine artifact.

The black gem embedded in the hilt seemed to lure me, begging to be drawn.

Led by the temptation, I drew the sword, and at that moment, my destiny was once again transformed.

* * *

[You, you?! What in the world are you? How can you dare to touch my body?]

“Don’t pretend you don’t know. Isn’t there only one reason why this situation is even possible?”

The demon sword embedded in the pedestal, connected to the black-haired woman by a mist of black fog.

She wasn’t a living creature but a spiritual entity that absolutely couldn’t be physically grasped.

However, my hands were firmly grabbing her throat.

Which meant that I had a special power to control her.

[Why, why does the energy of ‘Aer’ emanate from you, boy? Don’t tell me, you are his successor?]

“I was a successor… still am, to be accurate.”

[A successor… What does that even mean? I can clearly see the brand he carved into you!]

Honestly, my current state is tough to define with certainty.

Though she doesn’t know it and becomes angry, what can I do?

I am merely stating the obvious truth.

“Let’s keep it simple, Ceyram. It’s annoying to explain this and that in a situation where I’m not even sure myself. How about you just follow me quietly?”

Her brow furrowed deeply.

[Has the imbecile’s spirit finally escaped? Hey, kid! You keep pushing your luck, and you might truly die……]

“Darkness Technique 9th Form: Demon Sword Control.”

[Argh!]

Flicking my finger to release the chant, the one who had been snarking at me clutched her head in agony.

[Ah, ahgh……]

Soon after, she sat down on the ground, struggling to breathe heavily.

– Whoosh –

As I drew the sword from the pedestal, Ceyram separated from the mist and transformed into a perfectly human figure.

“Sorry, I haven’t done it in a while and couldn’t control my strength…”

I apologized, thinking it might have been too much.

Even as she covered her face, she yelled at me.

[You, you brat! If you hurt women like that, you won’t live long, got it?]

Indeed, if her spirit wasn’t strong, she couldn’t be my cherished sword.

I refrained from flicking my finger again out of mercy.

The woman’s identity was the soul indwelt in the demon sword Ceyram.

In other words, she’s the living personality of this sword.

“By now, there’s no need for more proof, right? It’s within your purpose of existence to follow Aer’s successor. Won’t you take my hand and leave with me?”

Gasping for breath, she abruptly stood up.

Sitting cheekily upon the pedestal, she scanned my entire body with haughty eyes.

[That’s how you actually look, right?]

I nodded.

I mean, it’s not wrong, is it?

[Outwardly, you’re a greenhorn no more than 10 years old, but why does your inside feel so complete? You leave no room for me to wedge myself in, do you?]

People are not always as they appear on the outside.

If there’s one thing my past life taught me painfully, it’s that truth.

Reflected in the sword in my hand was the figure of the 10-year-old boy I currently am.

On the other side, the face of my previous life, filled with regret at the moment before death.

Which one can truly be said to be me?

There’s no need to deny either.

In the end, they are both me.

“Let me explain briefly. I’m someone who has already died once.”

[Someone who has died once?]

Her eyes widened in surprise.

“To put it simply, a regression, perhaps? Though I died a sudden death by betrayal in my previous life, I was swept up by a phenomenon I don’t understand and returned to the past. During that life, I received Aer’s choice and fought battles with you.”

[Are you telling me to believe that?]

“Does it make sense for a greenhorn to control you?”

Ceyram started to hesitate in speech.

Truly, it’s not a story one can believe just by hearing it once.

However, if we assume my words to be truthful, my current situation of controlling a divine artifact also defines itself clearly.

After briefly contemplating, Ceyram asked again.

[What is your name?]

“Sian, Sian Vert…”

[A name I’ve never heard or seen before. You were chosen by Aer?]

“Yes. Otherwise, we couldn’t be having this conversation right now.”

The biggest reason why the incompetent me from my previous life could control Ceyram.

It was due to some god’s blessing.

Aer, the God of Black Mist, who was even shunned in the divine realms.

The very person who turned my life completely upside down.

[Well, even if he’s an oddball, he wouldn’t be foolish enough to choose a snotty kid…]

Actions speak louder than a hundred words.

She can’t just dismiss my words as mere nonsense.

She must clearly feel his energy emanating from me at this moment, in addition to the secret techniques I showed her earlier…

[But, I’m confused? If you can control me with just a finger snap, it looks like you’ve already mastered all of his powers, so what did you do in your past life to die so early?]

That hits a sore spot.

But now there’s nothing that needs to be hidden.

“Nothing much. Just betrayed by someone I trusted.”

[Betrayal? Ah~ so you got stabbed in the back? Quite a disgraceful end for the master of the demonic sword, right? But then, there’s no trade against betrayal – what could you, a human, do about it~?]

She laughed mockingly, waving her hand, then spoke sternly.

[But remember this: Whether you’ve regressed or whatever, I don’t care. If I see even the slightest hint of feebleness or weakness in you, I’ll consume you on the spot! Got it?]

Ceyram’s finger skimmed my lips.

I tried to reassure her, but her personality shows, doesn’t it?

My calm heart fluttered slightly at the provocation that wasn’t just a tease.

I responded with a smile, showing no hint of the stir within.

“I can assure you, there’s nobody else in this land who can handle you properly…”

[Ah? On what basis do you say so? Such a great person, why did he die early…?]

– Snap!

My empty left hand caught her hair in an instant.

Unable to resist, Ceyram was now at eye level with me.

“So, climb down a bit, Ceyram. A divine artifact can’t just be hovering around the kitchen slicing meat, right?”

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m giving her advice with an infinitely merciful smile.

Definitely not a warning or a threat.

Isn’t that clear from the ever-smiling expression on my face?

[Only time will tell… if you’ll satisfy me as a worthy master!]

Ceyram also responded with a piqued smile.

Just as expected of my cherished sword.

[But, you know…]

Suddenly, her brow furrowed in annoyance.

Something seemed to greatly offend her.

[Is that idiot still out there?]

“The idiot?”

As I looked back, light from the holy sword entered through the open temple door.

In this empty temple, there was nothing else that could be referred to as an idiot but that thing.

I stepped outside, holding Ceyram in my arms.

Having just come out of the darkness, the light of Durandal seemed even brighter than before.

[Wow! So it’s still here, sleeping? Hasn’t its owner appeared yet?]

Ceyram asked in curiosity upon seeing the holy sword.

“Maybe it would be better if they never appeared…”

I considered destroying it right there, but then shook my head at the thought that would probably bring a lot of trouble.

Ceyram watched me intently, then suddenly spoke.

[The one from your past life who betrayed you, is that idiot the owner of this holy sword?]

For a moment, my insides twitched, but I didn’t let it show.

Turning away, I asked softly, “Why do you think so?”

[You don’t seem to be the type to scowl at a holy sword unless it’s you, throughout all history. It’s written all over your face, ‘This is the enemy of my past life’; how could I not notice unless I’m a fool?]

I tried to have a poker face, but I can’t imagine it was that obvious.

That demonstrates the extent of my hatred for this sword and its owner.

“Looks like seasoning isn’t wasted on the elderly, huh?”

[Cmon, faking indifference. So, are you planning revenge on the owner of the holy sword in this life?]

“No, that wouldn’t be enough.”

I felt a renewed energy in my previously hesitant heart.

Standing before Ceyram, I walked defiantly towards the holy sword.

– Bang!

With a loud noise, the holy sword tilted to one side.

– Bang! Bang! Bang!

The sword, embedded deeply in the pedestal, did not come out easily.

After several kicks, the holy sword finally fell from the pedestal and tumbled onto the floor.

Whether that sword’s owner appears or who takes it doesn’t matter to me anymore.

A bringer of life’s light?

I am one who thoroughly knows the true face of that so-called savior.

Why would I, knowing all this, serve this sword and its owner again?

What I desire is not revenge, but submission.

[……?!]

Ceyram, who had been quietly observing, was shocked.

“Isn’t this how it should be?”

By now, my feet were trampling the luminous blade of the holy sword.

The golden gem embedded in the hilt seemed to resent me as it looked on.

The true savior does not borrow the strength of others.

– Plink –

Without much force, the gem easily fell off.

At the same time, the lustrous radiance of the holy sword was reduced by half.

I pocketed the gem.

[What are you planning to do with that?]

Ceyram asked, her expression filled with curiosity.

“Who knows? Can’t do much right now, but won’t it be interesting later?”

Would they come begging me for that gem, or would they fight with all their might to snatch it away?

Whatever it may be, it’s an interesting development for me.

If it’s the latter, it would be even more exciting…

(To be continued in the next chapter)

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