The Hero of Regression – The Talentless Boy Vows to Protect His Childhood Friend, the Female Hero, This Time Around – Chapter 68

『𝐆𝐨𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐖𝐚𝐫』

“So, what brings you here this time? Outgrown your gear again during your growth spurt?”

“No, it’s this.”

I take out two swords of different sizes from my Magic bag.

The battered Kurotenmaru and Onryomaru, which were damaged in the fight with Dragburn.

Upon unsheathing them and examining the condition of the blades, Dwerk-san grimaced considerably.

“You’ve really put these through the wringer. Were you fighting something that powerful?”

“One of the Four Heavenly Kings. They were incredibly strong.”

“Hmph. At that rate, you’re probably putting strain on your other equipment too. Leave them here, Imina will take care of them.”

“Me?!”

“I appreciate it.”

“So it’s settled that I’m doing it?!”

“Quit your yapping and just do it. You’re not acting very manly.”

“Who’s a man here?! Ugh, fine, I got it. I’ll get it done quickly after finishing my work.”

Thus, Imina-san, who took the equipment from me, exited the room.

That person is a Holy Warrior and a combatant, yet so skilled that she can even handle the basic artisanal work.

I learned how to maintain my own gear from her.

Because with Dwerk-san, the methods were too advanced and incomprehensible.

Well, it’s because of that proficiency that, she’s being worked like a dog, just like the old Rin used to be. . . . . .

Feeling guilty, I silently watch Imina-san leave, and then I take something out from my Magic bag, which was deemed to require no maintenance, and hand it to Dwerk-san.

“Also, these are materials I collected from the defeated Four Heavenly Kings. If they can be used to enhance the weapons, please do.”

“. . . . . .I see.”

Dwerk-san’s eyes sparkle as he examines the fangs, claws, bones, and scales I offered from Dragburn.

It’s terribly rude to say this, but his eyes are full of the same curiosity as those perverts.

Craftsmen, it seems, are all the same at their core.

They only get labeled as weirdos depending on how that core manifests.

“You’ve brought in some incredible materials.

They surpass even those from Demon King’s Army executives brought in by heroes of past generations. Not bad.”

Dwerk-san says, grinning.

So it is.

Materials from Dragburn are even better than those from past Demon King’s Army executives.

Good materials mean the original creature was strong.

Once again, it reaffirms how dangerous the current Demon King’s Army is.

God wasn’t exaggerating when she stamped them as the worst ever.

Troublesome.

But, for now, that’s a good thing.

“Very well. I accept your request. Looks like a job that will get my blood pumping.”

“Thank you.”

Alright.

Now my weapons are taken care of.

Unlike those weirdos, Dwerk-san is a traditional craftsman.

I don’t expect any bizarre modifications.

Probably. Maybe.

Moreover, with this much enthusiasm, he’ll likely finish the work quickly without me even having to say anything.

Just as I’m feeling relieved,

“So, is that blonde girl yours?”

The topic changes abruptly.

It seems he didn’t just let go of what Imina-san said earlier.

His expression hasn’t changed much, but his eyes are laughing, much like a grandfather would.

You were never this kind of character, were you?!

“So, as I was saying, she’s not. . . . . .”

“Hello! Nice to meet you!”

“Hey?!”

Stella?!

You’re really losing your reservation, aren’t you?!

“Hmm. Quite an interesting young lady you are. You have good eyes too.

I like you. Once I’ve reforged the boy’s sword, I’ll make some armor for you.”

“Really?!”

Hey, old man.

It took you about a year to recognize me, yet you acknowledged Stella in an instant.

Not that it’s a bad thing.

It’s a good thing, but. . . . . .that smug look in your eyes makes up about half the reason, and I can’t quite accept that.

“Hey Grandpa! Then make a weapon for me too!”

“Huh? Who the hell are you?”

While I’m grimacing with indescribable emotions, Blade steps forward this time.

Although some of his edge has been dulled from interactions with weirdos, he confronts Dwerk-san with a face still showing little ease.

“I have to become stronger! I can’t stay the way I am now! So, give me a stronger weapon. . . . . .”

“Don’t be ridiculous. Go home, you coward.”

At that moment, a murderous aura dominated the scene.

Despite being an old man supposedly lacking combat power, the extraordinary aura he emitted completely overwhelmed Blade.

This is bad.

This development is extremely bad.

“I only give weapons to those I acknowledge. Know why?

A weapon only shows its true power when wielded by someone worthy.

Just like a kid can’t handle a master-crafted weapon, it’s a waste if someone unworthy uses mine.

I don’t have the whimsical taste to create something just for it to go to waste.”

“So you’re saying I can’t handle your weapons?!”

“That’s exactly what I’m saying.

You’re carrying a perfectly fine greatsword but are quick to rely on other weapons. I don’t like that spineless attitude.

Thinking that having a strong weapon makes you strong is a grave misunderstanding.”

With that disdainful remark, Dwerk-san intensifies his murderous aura.

“You, you’re a Sword Saint, right? Haven’t you spent your life only facing those weaker than you because you’re so talented?”

“What?!”

Ahh, he messed up.

Blade’s face turns pale as his wounds are picked at by words like a knife.

Rin, watching this, is also pale.

“So, you broke against a stronger opponent for the first time and finally started to seriously seek strength?

And your solution is to rely on weapons?

Don’t underestimate me, you damn brat.

Your problem is more than just inexperience. Start from scratch, no, start from zero.”

“Grrrrrr!”

“Ah, Blade-sama?!”

Blade ran away.

His mental state was torn to shreds by the tongue as sharp as the world’s finest craftsmanship, and he fled the scene like a fragile teenager.

Rin hastily chases after him, Stella covers her face with her hands as if she can’t bear to watch, and I silently look up to the heavens.

Just when I thought he was showing signs of recovery thanks to interactions with weirdos, this happens.

A setback after a boost.

He might be beyond help now.

“Sigh, you’re as merciless as ever. I wish you’d choose your subjects for shock therapy more carefully.”

“Huh? Oh, if it isn’t the Elf hag. Didn’t recognize you with that hood on.”

Then, after Blade ran away, Auntie Elle starts talking to Dwerk-san.

From the vibe, they seem to know each other.

Well, they’re both several centuries old.

And both the Elf and Dwarf chiefs, at that.

It’s not surprising that they’ve interacted in their long lives.

“You Dwarf craftsmen always despise us Elves. A necessary disguise, you see.”

“You guys just casually work with Divine Tree to make strong staffs.

No wonder we who painstakingly experiment to craft strong weapons don’t like that.”

“Funny, I often see Dwarf-crafted weapons using Divine Tree twigs.”

“The material is not at fault. You’re still as mouthy as ever, hag.”

At first glance, their relationship might seem tense, but there’s no real animosity between the two during their conversation.

At least, Auntie Elle seems as relaxed as ever, especially when compared to when she’s around the Beast King.

However, Dwerk-san does appear to be slightly uncomfortable.

“So, what do you want?”

“Personally, I have no business with you.

Right now, I’m just a member of this generation’s Hero’s Party, like Al-boy. I came as a companion, that’s all.

But I must say, what happened earlier was questionable.”

“I don’t make a habit of being kind to cowards. Even more so if they’re warriors.”

“Blade-boy is going through a tough time right now. After all, he just lost his brother right before his eyes.”

“So what? War is tragic.

If he can’t get it together because of that, he should just step back.”

“It’s not that simple these days.

When a young person is expected to fight in that condition, you can’t blame me for having a word or two to say about it.”

“Maybe so. But I don’t think I said anything wrong.

If we’re going to keep sending that kid into battle, someone will have to whip him into shape sooner or later.”

“I understand that. That’s why I’m not complaining, just muttering.”

“Hmph. Hey, boy!”

With that, Dwerk-san ends his conversation with Auntie Elle, picks up the sword he had earlier, and sheathes it.

He then tosses it to me.

“What is this. . . . . . .”

“It’s just a newly-forged ordinary sword. Use it as a placeholder until your main weapon is fixed.

Now take it and go.

I’m about to start fixing your companions’ weapons.”

I feel like I just heard something ominous, but let’s just assume it’s my imagination.

I have to assume it’s my imagination.

Given that he’s the world’s greatest craftsman, and there’s no other choice but to trust him, there’s nothing to gain by worrying.

“Thank you.”

I swallowed my desire to retort, bowed my head, and left Dwerk-san’s forge with Stella and Auntie Elle.

The moment the door closed, I heard a sound of destruction, clearly different from normal smithing, but I’m not going to dwell on it.

I trust you, Dwerk-san.

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