Currently, I have three immediate goals.
First, to tirelessly train and make both myself and Stella as strong as possible.
Second, to learn Healing Magic.
Third, if possible, to not make Stella a hero.
That’s the three.
The first one is going well.
I wake up around 5 a.m. and start with basic physical exercises like weightlifting and jogging.
After that, I practiced with the wooden sword I received from Stella’s father to recreate the sword techniques I used in my dreams.
By around 8 a.m., Stella wakes up and joins in the training, and we immediately engage in mock battles as future heroes.
The swordsmanship I’m aiming for is valuable because experience in fighting strong opponents matters the most.
As for Stella, she’s visibly frustrated for losing to me at the moment, and I can see her improving at an incredible speed every day.
By defeating her, my own sword skills also rapidly improve; it’s a virtuous cycle where I get stronger by having Stella as a stepping stone.
The path ahead is long, but I feel like I’m getting closer to my envisioned end goal.
Things are going smoothly.
By the way, I’ve told Stella a vague outline of my dream.
She was skeptical, but she said, “I don’t want to die,” and is putting her all into training, which is good.
I think 80% of her motivation is frustration.
The remaining 20% is, well, 10% is not wanting to die, and I’m not sure about the last 10%.
She muttered something like, “I won’t die until I’ve done something with Allan. . . . . .!”, but I wonder what that means.
Does she mean she can’t die until she’s torn me to pieces?
The second goal is, well, it’s coming along.
After training and after Stella leaves, I study magic for as long as I can concentrate.
My mom patiently teaches me, but apparently, I have no talent. She said it would be a miracle if I catch up to her, a third-rate healer, even after three years.
My motivation might wane, but I endure it through sheer grit.
I tell myself that this is necessary, and work hard.
After I honestly told my mom that I need to be strong to protect Stella, for some reason, her enthusiasm for teaching me went through the roof.
My muscle-bound father watches us with a pleased look, which is kind of annoying.
Regarding the third goal, honestly, I think it’s a long shot.
Three years from now, according to my dream, demons will attack this village, and Stella will awaken as a hero to defeat them.
But that’s a one-way ticket to death.
I plan to avoid this fate by making both Stella and myself stronger, but I also think that if she doesn’t become a hero, she won’t die.
If Stella doesn’t become a hero, this world might be overrun and destroyed by demons.
I don’t want that to happen, but if it comes to weighing the world against Stella, I’d choose Stella without hesitation.
So, there must be an option to not awaken Stella as a hero and not send her into battle.
As for the fate of the world, let someone else handle it.
Don’t worry, Stella isn’t the only one with Hero’s Divine Protection; there might be another hero somewhere who didn’t awaken in my dream.
Even if there isn’t, I managed to defeat the Demon King in my dreams through sheer effort.
If the highly talented Holy Warriors are willing to risk death, things will work out.
Anyway, I have no intention of willingly sending my precious childhood friend to her death!
In that case, I’d prefer not to awaken Stella if possible.
To do that, she can’t be allowed to fight in the demon invasion three years from now.
That said, there’s no one in this village capable of standing up to demons. Even if we rush to the town to ask for help, no one will listen to nonsense based on a child’s dream.
In fact, when I told my dad and mom, they just gave me a wry smile.
So, the only option is for me to defeat the demons myself.
It’s reckless to think that a 10-year-old kid without divine protection can beat demons, who even the lowest grunts possess divine protection.
But still, I’m going to do it.
If it’s to avoid that future, to protect Stella, I’ll risk my life as much as it takes.
Fortunately, I remember the exact time when they’ll attack.
I still don’t know if it will really happen like in the dream. . . . . .but if it does, bring it on.
I’ll kill them.
“Hey, hey, don’t get too excited.”
So, for the first step to counter the demons, we’re now at the nearest town’s weapon shop.
To fight demons, you need appropriate weapons.
The cheap weapons we’ve bought in the village for hunting small monsters will shatter in one hit.
Only Awakened Stella or a Holy Warrior could defeat demons with such weapons.
Even if it was my peak time in the dream, I couldn’t do it.
So, we’ve come here today to buy a weapon capable of killing demons.
We recently celebrated my birthday, so we used the excuse of buying a birthday present to get Stella’s dad to bring us to town.
My dad and mom couldn’t come because they were dealing with some issues with farming.
It doesn’t really matter.
In fact, having him with us is more convenient.
Stella’s dad is a kind-looking uncle with a slightly receding hairline, and he seems like he might splurge a little if Stella begs him.
I’ll just ride on that.
However, even with the birthday money and uncle’s support, along with the allowance I’ve brought, we’re still woefully short of funds.
All we can afford is another cheap sword.
Weapons are expensive, after all.
So, our best bet is to look for a discounted weapon that’s practically being given away.
“Otou-san! Buy that magic sword!”
“Uh, well. . . . . .it’s a bit out of my price range. . . . . .”
Ignoring Stella, who’s making uncle uncomfortable, I walk around the store.
Although it might not look like it, I have reasonable confidence in identifying good weapons.
It’s all based on the knowledge from my dream, though.
In that dream, I went through intense training after swearing revenge, so I used up weapons quickly.
Until I found my ultimate weapon in a certain labyrinth, I went through countless replacements.
Meaning, I had a lot of opportunities to touch various weapons.
I’ll rely on the intuition I honed there to find a good weapon!
However, conveniently finding such a discounted masterpiece is easier said than done. . . . . .
I’ve found it!
What caught my eye was a small sword placed alone in a corner of the store.
It’s shorter than a regular sword, a type called a short sword.
When I took it in my hands and unsheathed it, it felt incredibly natural.
Moreover, the vibration I felt from the blade was unmistakably that of a great sword.
It might be a bit too big for me now, but it should fit perfectly when I turn 10.
And this short sword only costs one gold coin!
I don’t even need a loan from uncle; it’s the exact amount with my birthday money and allowance.
What a steal.
“Shopkeeper, why is this sword so cheap?”
“Hm? Ah, well, it seems to have been used by a unique swordsman who dual-wielded a regular sword and a short sword. That swordsman died in a labyrinth, and the adventuring party that found his belongings sold them here. The regular sword sold quickly, but not many people use short swords and it’s considered bad luck, so only this one was left. We’ve had to continually lower the price.”
That’s the answer I got from a young shop assistant who looked like an apprentice in the area.
Indeed, it does carry bad luck.
Even though the general rule is that what you find in the labyrinth is yours to keep, it’s unsettling that it was sold off so readily. Moreover, only the companion sword was sold while this one was discarded like trash. It’s as if the sword itself is cursed, not just the resentment of the original owner.
Adventurers and soldiers, who risk their lives, do tend to care about these things.
No wonder it was left unsold.
I, however, don’t care about that.
As long as the weapon is strong and usable, everything else is secondary.
Even the ultimate weapon of my dreams was a cursed blade imbued with dark attributes.
“I’ll take it. Please ring it up.”
“Uh. . . . . .are you sure? I hate to say it as the seller, but I wouldn’t recommend it.”
So, handing over all the money I had, I acquired the problematic short sword with a storied history.
The name engraved on the blade reads [Onryomaru].
※𝐓𝐋: 𝐕𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐒𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐢𝐭
It sounds ironic.
But it was a good purchase.
By the way, Stella couldn’t find a weapon other than a magic sword that piqued her interest, so she’d already moved to the restaurant across the way and was having lunch.
Quite bold of her to eat something delicious right in front of me, especially after I had spent all my allowance.
“Give me a bite of that!”
“No way! Besides, that would be like an indirect kiss!”
Like I care!
I’ll take it by force if I have to!
Just as it seemed a fierce struggle was about to ensue, Uncle, who Stella had forcibly dragged along, treated me to some food. So, let’s call it a truce for now.
That was a close call.
And thank you, Uncle.
I won’t forget this favor.
After finishing the plans, on the way back from town.
“I’m going to the restroom for a moment. Do you want to come?”
After such an exchange, while worrying about the bladder that seemed about to burst from the excruciating body blow, I moved away from the two and entered the forest, deviating from the main road.
And then, right after taking care of business, I unexpectedly encountered someone else.
“Grrrrrr. . . . . .”
While emitting a groan, the enormous wolf monster, Lonely Wolf, gazes at me.
Around our village, it’s the strongest monster.
It’s a monster that armed adults could somehow drive away.
The dream where I could defeat this creature by myself was just before hearing the news of Stella’s passing.
Naturally, a child can’t handle it alone.
Encountering it while going to do my business by chance, it’s beyond bad luck.
But it’s convenient for me.
Let’s consider it a test for my new partner.
Lonely Wolf, which sees me as prey, launches a biting attack.
I bend at the waist to avoid its jaw and move forward, thrusting Onryomaru into the neck of the Lonely Wolf.
The Lonely Wolf, whose throat was torn apart due to its own charge, starts bleeding.
But it’s shallow.
Blocked by its tough fur, the blade’s penetration is superficial, even though I used the momentum from the charge.
It’s clear that a child’s strength won’t be enough to cut through this creature.
Instead, Onryomaru’s sharpness is impressive, even if it caused some damage.
Sorry for grabbing you before washing my hands.
However, being unilaterally damaged has eliminated the Lonely Wolf’s contempt.
It now recognizes me as an enemy and keeps its distance, waiting for an opportunity.
Then, it comes down with its full force, striking with claws far swifter and stronger than its previous bite.
Even with divine protection, an inexperienced person who is careless might be defeated.
Moreover, it’s an attack that a 7-year-old without divine protection can’t handle.
That’s why this is a good opportunity to test this technique in actual combat.
“Ultimate Killing Sword.”
In my dream, the swordsmanship I perfected to defeat the Demon King, the ultimate foe.
Seven Deadly Swords, which made me the ultimate killer.
I unleash its first secret technique.
The deadly sword that is both the foundation and the ultimate goal of all.
That secret technique beheads Lonely Wolf, and it dies with a fierce expression, although I can’t tell from a wolf’s face.
As its head separates from its body and falls to the ground, it still bears the intent of the attack, serving as proof that it was cut without understanding what happened.
I sheathe my sword while remaining vigilant of my surroundings.
The test cut was a great success.
I also tested the secret technique, and most importantly, I was able to defeat the Lonely Wolf with a child’s body.
I am undoubtedly growing.
If I continue to grow like this, I might be able to fight against demons.
Just confirming that is a significant gain.
While offering gratitude and a silent prayer to the Lonely Wolf, which brought me such a great harvest, I drag its carcass to sell its claws, fangs, and fur.
Stella says, “As expected, you’re my rival!” with a triumphant expression, and Uncle is horrified.
Even though he’s horrified, Uncle scolds me, saying, “In such situations, call for help first!” and proceeds to disassemble the Lonely Wolf on the spot.
Lonely Wolf becomes a valuable source of income for our family and Stella’s family, and wolf meat becomes our snack.
In many ways, it was a feast.
So with all that said, we spent our days experiencing occasional troubles and events.
Time flew by, and we turned 10 years old.
This year is a year of destiny.
The fight to resist that destiny was finally about to begin.