Blacksmith Volume 1 chapter 17
Every morning at 5:00 AM, my body wakes up naturally .
This is a habit I’ve developed ever since I was a kid, so I could get up and finish my morning run .
After a light jog around campus, I headed towards the cafeteria .
My plate was filled to the brim with food .
The mess hall lady is really nice .
I would’ve just called out ‘Seconds please’ with a smile, and taken a large amount of rice if I wanted more though .
I learnt how to eat in moderation at home .
Mother always had to cook enough for father, myself, and my two younger brothers all by herself .
Anyways the school food really exceeded my expectations for what I thought it’d be like .
Its delicious, but I still think I’ll miss mother’s home cooking in about a month or so .
Although I already thought I was an adult mentally, I guess I needed to be away from home to realize this childish side to myself, huh?
I guess this means father sent me here because he thought that it would be a good experience for me, even if was only a little bit .
When I left the house, my father and my brothers sent me off themselves without showing too much concern .
I was only going to be gone for about three years, I didn’t want anything like a grand departure anyways, so that was fine .
Though mother was filled with tears in her eyes when she saw me off .
She also gave me a gift, saying that I should use it so I wouldn’t embarrass myself when I tried to make new friends
And without even saying ‘thank you’ one month ago, I left my house .
In retrospect, I’m feeling a little regret over that .
I think that if it was the me of now I could’ve said my thanks to her .
Since before I never even considered such things necessary .
Though now I can think clearly .
I guess this is what people would call a ‘growth in character’ .
I don’t know if my mother’s gift had any effect, but I was still able to make a friend .
Honestly I didn’t think I’d be able to make a friend this quickly .
With that said, I think he’s the kind of guy that you could remain friends with for life .
If I could find at least one thing to cherish over my three years away, everything would be worth it .
Those were my thoughts as I traveled to the school .
However, my thoughts have changed a bit from then .
I want to find something I can devote my life to at this school .
Yes, I want that, but in addition to that I also want to enjoy my school life as much as I can, just because I can .
My friend’s name is Kururi .
At first I thought his figure tempering a sword was a little scary, but he actually turned out to be quite gentle .
I felt a lot of new feelings when I was with him .
When he finished eating the sheep with me, he even shed tears of happiness, though he didn’t eat as greedily as my brothers did as we grew up together .
I think it’s good to have a big appetite .
I often find him reading books .
If one were to judge him on first impressions, they would just think that he was the son of some unreliable nobles, but those rumours and reality are quite different .
His hands are similar to mine, in how they’re covered in calluses that could’ve only been developed by swinging a sword everyday .
Both his upper and lower body are well developed, while he also seems quite proficient with magic .
You know, sometimes I see the First Prince Arc around the school, and just by looking at him, I can feel that if we ever fought while holding nothing back, I would definitely lose .
I get the same feeling from Kururi whenever I see him .
He would be a formidable opponent if we ever had to fight .
Harbouring feelings like that towards friends might be rude, but I think he’ll forgive me for just this much .
I still haven’t met with the resident of apartment 1-3, but that’s okay .
I think that being able to meet with Kururi and my other friends was lucky enough .
‘The seasoning they used for today’s meal is a bit dark . ’
I thought about such things as ate I breakfast .
The food Mom always cooked at home had a lighter taste, so I always ate my fill .
Oops, I’m reminding myself of her again, I’m going to get homesick at this rate .
Anyways, there’s another friend who I used to get a bad feeling from when I saw him .
He’s a friend who goes to Kururi’s apartment every day .
He suddenly asked if he could become Kururi’s apprentice, and I couldn’t help but be wary of a guy who suddenly draws near someone just because they said they ‘want to get stronger’ .
He’s short, his body’s slim, and he has a high pitched voice .
With an appearance that could be easily compared to a woman, he suddenly blurted out that he wanted to be as strong as Kururi and asked to be his apprentice .
He gave off a bad first impression, so I didn’t want to get too close to him, the fact that he looks like he’s capable of magic is really bothersome .
But after a while, weirdly enough, when I got a good look at him his face reminded me of my mother’s .
My younger brothers took after my mom too, so it almost felt like one of my brothers came here to commute with me .
Unfortunately, because of him I’m often reminded of my mother .
After I finished my meal one of the mess hall ladies suddenly asked:
“Did you have a good meal?”
‘Of course’, isn’t the best answer here .
I’m thankful, but I’m not very good at speaking with people like them .
Once I left the mess hall the sun had already started to rise .
Just a couple more days until the entrance ceremony .
So like usual, let’s go to Kururi’s apartment today as well .
“Morning Vaine, wow you’re up early . ”
On my way to apartment 1-1, I met with Kururi outside .
“It’s not that strange, I’m always awake at this time . ”
“Well~ There’s a reason why I’m up . You see, I smithed an amazing sword last night! It’s probably my best work yet!”
His face looked really fatigued .
But more powerful than that was his excitement that seemed just to ooze out of him .
It was obvious just from the tone of his voice .
“You going somewhere?”
“Ah yeah, I’m going to go and test the new sword . ”
The sword Kururi was holding was certainly a treasure .
I’m not really that interested in swords themselves, but I couldn’t help but get fascinated by its beauty .
I was even a bit jealous of him .
“Are you going to hunt demons?”
“Yup, to the west there are a few small monsters lurking about and since there’s no real risk there, it’s the perfect place to try this out . ”
His face became brighter yet again .
He must really want to test it .
“Do you want to come Vaine?”
“No, I have my own training schedule to stick to . ”
“Is that so… Sorry if it sounded like I was pressing you into it . ”
“Don’t worry about it . ”
After we finished our conversation, Kururi left with a little quickness to his steps .
I ended up in front of his apartment ten minutes later than usual .
I guess I’ll just sit in front of the door and wait for now .
“Did he forget his house key?”
My eyes were closed, so I didn’t even notice him until I heard his voice .
He was walking over here at a steady pace .
“You’re wrong, but now that you’re here let’s go start our training . ”
“Ah, understood . ”
Crossy tried opening the door to Kururi’s apartment .
“Oops, looks like Kururi-dono isn’t here yet, does this mean you were waiting for him outside?”
He sent a glance towards me .
Again, his face overlapped with my mother’s for an instant .
“I wasn’t, Kururi is out on an errand, so today we’re training in my apartment . ”
When I said that, Crossy suddenly drew back .
His eyebrows wrinkled together all of a sudden .
“I can’t go to such a dangerous place! Its way too different if we’re alone!”
“Don’t shout so loud in the morning . My apartment’s structure might not be the same as Kururi’s but there’s no danger . ”
“Not that kind of danger! It’s something else! Don’t take me to a strange place like that alone!”
His words are kind of harsh, aren’t they?
I wonder why he’s so wary . I’m going to help train him but that’s it .
“Nothing strange will occur, don’t worry . ”
“Really? Swear that nothing strange will happen!”
“I swear . We’re only going to train . ”
Crossy went silent . I guess he still doesn’t trust me, I can feel the distance between us .
“If something happens… I’ll die trying to kill you . ”
“It’s impossible for you to kill me . ”
“Shut up! Take me seriously for once!”
While grumbling curses and such we finally entered my apartment .
Now we can finally start training .
Like usual, we stretched our bodies first .
This guy’s motor reflexes aren’t half bad .
He’s also a quick study .
Although most people aren’t very flexible, after only a week he can already do all the difficult stretches, he must have a pretty good body .
For the final stretches I was going to help him out, but he knocked my hand away .
“Hey, watch where you’re touching!”
“I was just going to lean on you to help you stretch . ”
“Still, don’t . ”
With a little resistance, I was able to confirm all that I needed .
“You developed the bases quicker than I thought . Now we can start focusing completely on body building . ”
“Really?! Then I’m counting on you, okay?”
Crossy said so happily .
He likes to train, I guess .
I guess I understand, I was also happy when father allowed me to hold a sword for the first time .
He’s probably feeling the same way .
If he’s really feeling what I felt, then if I do the same thing my father did with me, we’ll get closer right?
“First, we’re going to build up stamina through running . ”
“Okay . ”
“…is what I was going to say, but since it looks like you’re progressing quickly, let’s do some special training . ”
“Okay… wait what?”
To Crossy who looked a bit confused, I passed him a wooden sword from my bag .
“Its special training . It’s a house tradition that still works to this day . ”
“Will it help me get stronger?”
“You’re a bit impatient, but yes as time goes on you’ll get stronger . Now, you just need to follow my instructions . ”
“Okay… I understand . ”
“Now, come with me to the garden . ”
Clenching my sword, I headed towards the garden .
The moment I found out the dorm had a garden I chose an apartment on the first floor .
Once again I’m grateful I live on floor one .
Once we were in the yard I took off my shirt since it’d just get sweaty after this .
We’ll swing our swords and sweat together this way .
I have good memories doing this with my father .
“What are you doing?! I knew you’d do something strange!!”
Crossy cried out .
“You should take your clothes off too, and then we’ll start our training . ”
“Like hell I will!!”
He screamed while swinging his sword towards my head, thankfully I was able to dodge in time .
To swing a sword that quickly without hesitation, as I thought he’s well suited for sword play .
“You swore nothing strange would happen!”
“This isn’t strange . I felt like we got off to a bad start, so in order to strengthen our bond we’ll work off a sweat together, this is just skinship . ”
“That may be so, but I still want to wear my clothes!”
I don’t have any feelings of discontent .
I’ve already become friends with Kururi by sharing my favorite sheep, but I also wanted to become friends with Crossy, and make good memories together .
Kururi said it might be impossible to become friends with everyone, maybe he was right .
“Look, I won’t take my clothes off, but I’ll keep swinging the sword with you until you’re satisfied . Is this okay?”
It took me a bit to realize what Crossy had said .
Once upon a time, there was something my mother told me .
My home was one shared with my three brothers, where we devoted a lot of time to the sword .
Therefore we grew up without any people we could really call ‘friends’, but we didn’t have any ‘enemies’ either .
Born to the same house, we all chose to walk the path of swordsmanship .
“In the world there are many people who have a different mindset from yours, and just so you know, your mother here is one of them . ”
So this was the thing that my mother talked about .
The words she said that day were resounding in me .
One more time, let’s give trying to be friends another shot .
I thought the people mother talked about might be humans that thought differently .
No, not ‘might’, but probably .
If we’re not both enjoying it, we might not be able to become true friends that enjoy each other’s company .
After looking at Crossy’s stern face, I couldn’t believe I just stomped over those feelings this entire time .
“Okay, then let’s start . ”
“Leave it to me . ”
“Well, once I start swinging, tell me if there’s anything wrong . ”
“No problem . ”
Crossy started swinging the sword .
As I checked him over, I didn’t see any particular problems .
He wasn’t making any amateur mistakes .
If there was anything to point out, it would be how his thin body was .
Even his legs look a little thin .
I’m not sure whether this could be a problem or not .
At the very least I want him to put on some muscle .
I grabbed his thigh… it feels almost as thin as his arm .
“So you would do something strange! Touching someone’s inner thigh out of nowhere!”
“Try to gain at least 20 kg of weight . ”
Calculating from his physique, it looks like he’ll need at least this much .
“Don’t worry, if we just increase the amount you eat every meal, you’ll be ready in about half a year . Oh, and how much do you weigh anyway?”
“Don’t just ask about someone’s weight like its natural!”