Chapter 2 - The Sword

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So that's how I died, Tetsuko thought, letting the reality sink into her mind. I'm dead...

A sensation of emptiness filled her soul. I was stupid and too careless... whenever I see a gun, I lose my mind... If I only had left my forge with a finished blade... Damn... there was still so much I wanted to do...

I always wanted the chance to use that foreign metal again... To let my hands and mind do whatever they wanted with that.

I still remember those spikes that girl brought... that was an amazing metal... so different from the ones we had... Just the memory of making that sword... How many times did I dream of putting that blade against a barbarian sword?

But now I never will... Damn it... why did I have to die so soon?

No matter how much she mourned, there was no changing the reality.

The blacksmith known as Tetsuko had died.

Then how can I still think? Where am I?

She looked around. At once she knew where she was.

A battlefield... Tetsuko had seen too many to not recognize one. But even for her, it was a brutal scene. As far as she could see, it had been a massacre.

Looks like I fell into the world of humans again...

Most of the dead around her share the same traits; they wore no armor, their weapons were of poor metal or even made of wood, and they had a dark green paint over their faces.

Tetsuko reached out to check the closest weapon, but she couldn't move. She couldn't feel her body.

She tried to raise at least her hand, but realized she had no arm. She looked down, and instead of her body, there was a sword.

A long, thin, one-handed, double-edged sword. The handle was big enough to swing with both hands if needed and there were no writings or ornaments anywhere.

I became a sword... a barbarian sword...

The words echoed in her mind, followed by silence. The next moment, she burst into a laugh.

I spent my entire life making swords. I dedicated my entire life to the blades. I even abandoned the happiness of a woman to remain on the path of a blacksmith! And now I became a sword in the afterlife!

It took a while until she stopped laughing.

Guess what father used to say was true; a blacksmith does put their souls into their work. And someone somehow put mine soul into this blade... too bad it had to be a barbarian sword...

I wonder if I ever did that too?

After a few moments thinking, she gave up. It won't lead me anywhere, she thought, sighing in her mind.

The woman, no, the sword didn't know what to feel. Guess it was my destiny... turning into a blade...

But it's strange... Even without eyes, she could see the death around her. Even without ears, she could hear the crows in the sky. Even without a nose, she could smell the stench of blood.

Even without a body, she still had her senses.

Knowing she wouldn't reach an answer no matter how much she tried, Tetsuko gave up. She turned her attention to her new body.

This blade is well made, the blacksmith inside her soul thought somewhat grudgingly.

Despite being a Japanese sword maker, she couldn't help but admire the foreign ones. Even with the battle around, there's not a single chip or scratch along the edges. And the metal... it's a strange alloy...

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