Chapter 9 – Sword Lessons Begin
Ashen’s Age: 8 Years Old
I am eight years old now.
When we had that dinner, my first dinner with the entire family, and I have to say that it went in a way that I had never imagined. I also learned that I have no talent for subtlety or deceit. As it turns out, not only did they obviously know that I was practicing magic basically the entire time, and that they had been indeed watching me, a baby, the entire time, but they also knew that I was reincarnated from the start. The only thing they didn’t know was how much of my past life I remembered.
Well, past lives I should say. The Blue Star. That is what they said I had. Apparently I have been reincarnated a dozen or so times before and I this is just the latest instance. Well not quite. The previous Blue Stars did not have any of their past memories, but they did have some latent ones which led them to do some crazy things at an early age.
But I am the odd one.
Is it because the core now has enough magic to retain them?
No. It is not that.
It is because I am not really the Blue Star.
It was Mother. Sara. Sara was the previous Blue Star. I just hijacked it, didn’t I?
Will I need to give it back some day?
Probably not. Sara never knew much magic. Instead, rather than the brainy type, she was firmly in the brawn category. What magic she did use, according to father, she used to strengthen herself as well as to create swords out of magic. Well, in fathers words, ‘She wouldn’t go anywhere without carry a sword around. But you obviously couldn’t bring one around everywhere. To school? To formal functions? So when we forced her to leave the sword at home, she came up with the magic to create a sword at will so that she would always have one at hand. We were so exasperated by that point that we just let her own thing. I mean, the girl with no magic talent suddenly pulling out a magic sword? Come on.”
Magic can be used for strengthening? Form complete magic items from pure magic as a temporary item? That gives me ideas.
I am now watching Mother train.
Blue, my current mother, that is.
It turns out that she was actually the head of a large pirate fleet that operated around the kingdom. It was so powerful that it basically controlled the ocean around the country. The Fleet, as it was called, were made up mostly from former slaves. And they didn’t just limit themselves to the sea. As they grew and got more powerful, they branched out into other areas. Prostitution, banditry, escort protection from banditry, logistic and transport over land and sea, and more. They came to effectively govern half the country!
Father was a childhood friend of hers, and he negotiated with her and the ‘The Fleet’ to integrate their organization into the Kingdom itself. They were all given pardons, and were converted to more official organizations. Many of the organizations were so well run that the country scrapped what they had, and instead used The Fleet as their core.
Policing for rural areas, for example. At first they operated like bandits, but as a way to ensure that only they had control over areas for banditry, they in turn also provided escorts for people and merchants. In time, the banditry portion of their job almost disappeared and they began escorting all the time. Now, under the country, they patrol the roads and provide escorts for a modest fee, employed by the country.
The same thing happened for the Navy. Mother, who was the head of that navy, was forced to retire as part of the agreement. The kingdom feared that if she stayed in that position, she could start a revolution, while they also feared that tearing her down would actually start said revolution. Instead, the solution father came up was marriage into the royal family, ala through him. That lucky devil. But apparently it was mutual, so there is that. Mother still meddles in Fleet affairs, though because as she puts it ‘it is so boring with nothing to do out here’. She still secretly escorts father around the country at times, though.
Mother tells me stories about her past during bedtimes.
So what does she do with all that spare time?
She trains. She fights magical beasts. She trains some more.
To get to the head of such a cutthroat organization, Mother had to be strong. She developed a fighting style called Shipboard Combat to be used in unpredictable and variable conditions.
It is strong. Oh boy is it strong. It is apparently extremely difficult to master, but if done so, will beat down all of the other schools of fighting. Amelia is also a top flight Shipboard Combat sword fighter. Father can use it some, and Mormack can use it as well.
I am still small, so I just sit in the shade, make magic and watch as Blue and her latest disciple, the son of a local knight named Chesney. He is about 17 years old and he is very good. I watch them every day, and sometimes try to imitate them, but… A world of swords and magic, and I can only use half? No fair, no fair.
Wah. I am broken from my thoughts as I look at mother’s face a few centimeter right in front of me.
“Do you want to practice with us?”
“I do. I do, but…”
“You do but…?”
“I am not strong enough, am I? Besides, girls are so much weaker than boys.”
“Oh that is only at first. The more you train, the stronger you will get naturally. That is all. Sara always used to train every day, and she became one of the strongest persons I’ve heard of. Surely you too can do so. Being female only means that you start off weaker than the boys, but that quickly passes if you begin training.”
I can be a magic swordsman after all? If so, that would be awesome.
I jump at the chance.
“Yes, I’ll do it!”
I get off the stoop and follow mother into the courtyard.
“Since you started watching, I knew you would be interested.” mother said with a gleam in her eyes. “Anyone would be interested in swordsmanship!”
“Almost anyone would be interested in swordsmanship.”
I turned around and father was standing in the doorway.
“Blue, while it is fine to begin teaching Ashen swordsmanship, she will need the necessary equipment or she may get hurt.” said Father.
“Oh that’s alright. I already have it here!.”
With that, mother pulled out a sword and a pair of gloves.
“Wah-where did you get those from!?” yelped father.
“From father in law.”
“From father… father….. grr….” said Father.
“Yes, he told me some interesting stories about various things…” smirked mother.
“Var-various things? Like what? Wait, no, I don’t want to know… that shitty old man…”
Is it alright to call the King a shitty old man?
“Anyways, here you go.” said mother as she handed the gear to me. “This was your fathers when he was a child.”
Oooh, father’s equipment. It does seem sturdy and good for royalty. Quite light too… well, father is more of the bookish type, so…
Father held back and stood just inside the doorway and observed the rest.
As a young boy about the age of 17 approached, mother looked up and then held out her arms.
“Ashen, I don’t think I have formally introduced you two yet. This is Chesney, he is the son of the local knight group captain in charge of protecting this area. Chesney, this is my daughter Ashen.”
“Good morning, Chesney. My name is Ashen.” I say.
“Ohh, quite polite isn’t she. Much different than her mother ow~.”
A fist came down upon his head.
“I mean, what a lovely young girl with a lovely young mother.”
“So what is with that?” He pointed to the sword. “Playing around?”
“Ashen is interested in learning swordsmanship, so I thought I’d let her train with us.”
“Train? Isn’t she about 8? She barely knows what a sword is. Don’t you think she is too young? She could hurt herself.”
“She’s fine, she’s fine, I started even younger.”
“Huh?” said both Chesney and I.
“Yes,” said Father from the doorway. “She used to be the leader of a rather rambunctious lot of us before she went on her journey.”
“Hoh, is that so, amazing.”
“Now then, let’s begin the lesson.” said mother.