Chapter 26 - The Vow

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Tetsuko didn't dislike watching the blacksmith work.

It's interesting to watch how a fellow blacksmith works. The only ones I've ever watched was father, and my disciple...

Tetsuko loved the sound of metal on metal, the hot air of the forge, the smell. But what she loved left her with mixed feelings.

Despite her extreme frustration for not being able to strike the metal herself, it was the closest she could ever be from a forge ever again.

If I could ever hold a hammer again, the soul in the sword thought. But she dismissed those feelings. I'm no longer a blacksmith... I'm a sword now...

A barbaric sword, no less...

She sighed in frustration in her head. Even if I lament, it won't change, she thought, turning her attention to the blacksmith again.

He's not so bad... Despite his lack of skill, his weapons are sharp... but they'll break too soon due to the poor metal...

However, even if Tetsuko loved the forge, she wanted it to grow quiet and empty.

Because after everyone left, Nicolas would come.

Ever since their deal, the former Sword of the King had been coming to the weapons deposit in the dead of the night. That was when Dale's energy was weaker, and her new wielder had his soul back.

Four times Nicolas had cut his flesh with her edge, and Tetsuko still struggled to devour that twisted and powerful energy.

According to the bandit, Dale couldn't control that energy because she hadn't drunk his blood.

I know Nicolas said that, but it feels as if Lucky Chaos is inside my soul... lurking at the edge of my mind... waiting...

But right now, Tetsuko could do nothing to dismiss the sensation.

At least that confirmed... The soul in the sword knew now was through the wine Otto had acquired the energy.

But Nicolas hadn't confirmed. He couldn't. Despite his control, if he said too much, Dale would find out.

The brief window of time he was completely free of Dale was already growing smaller each night.

Lucky Chaos is already aware something is happening... but he's not sure...

What was worse, under Dale's control, Nicolas was forced to order another scabbard for her, capping her senses.

Nicolas wanted to leave her out of it, but the soul in the sword knew it would only make the noble more suspicious.

And with Otto here, Dale has another set of eyes...

Since Tetsuko couldn't do much, she focused her energy on something else.

She had been analyzing that twisted energy she had been eating every night.

Even before she ate it, she could tell it was deep, almost evil.

After she probed it, she realized it was at a whole different level.

It's like I'm entering into furnace...

Even so, she tried to manipulate that energy, just as she used the heat to manipulate metal.

The little energy she could control impressed her.

When Tetsuko used her own energy, she fell from the shelf.

When she used a speckle of the twisted energy, she vibrated so much the shelf came down.

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