The Future of those Daughters
The general maintenance of weapons with enhancements added through sorcery, commonly known as magic weapons, requires expert knowledge and skill.
If it’s just removing the hilt of a sword in order to wash out the blood, then it can be done by an ordinary adventurer. But, to immaculately sharpen weapons and not even leave a single bend or nick in the blade, that is best left to a blacksmith.
Moreover, the numbers of blacksmiths who actually have the necessary experience in working with the precious metals and magical spells to properly maintain a magical weapon are very low, so people come to rely on the dwarves.
“You said that the maintenance on my swords was finished… So, where are they?”
“Oh, jus’ take it.”
The dwarf that bluntly answered Shirley’s question had a magnificent beard that covered his entire chest… Dimros, without taking his eyes off the sword in his hands, nodded his head towards the red and blue straight swords.
They come from a time immemorial. The two pillars of the nation that supported a tyrant’s rule in the age of the gods, these swords that protected this frontier town from the wrath of the dragon king were dug up from the original site of that country’s capital, and their brilliant jewel-like gleam was completely unlike steel.
The protector of the nation《Blue Citadel of the Country Ig-Alima》and the symbol of the nation’s authority 《Red Fortress of the Faith Sul- Sagana》. Shirley gave the two blades with those inscriptions running alone them a light swing, then returned them to the toolbox satisfied.
“Jeez, bringing in such troublesome magical weapons… How’ddya expect me to get any other work done today, eh?”
“I’m paying you, so isn’t it fine?”
“That’s not ta’ point! Do ya have any idea how hard that was ta’ do!?”
If you’re aiming to become a master blacksmith, knowledge of magic is an essential skill. Lately, magical weapons with the magic quality of ‘never breaking in battle’ have become very common and if such a weapon does eventually need to be maintained, a blacksmith needs the skill re-enchant the blade again after re-assembling it.
However, that’s only true for magical weapons with simple effects, when it comes to those rare weapons with multiple effects it is an incredibly delicate job to not adversely tamper with the existing enchantments during sharpening or modifications.
As it stands, maintaining truly top-tier magical weapons is a very difficult process, and takes a lot of time accordingly.
Thanks to Dimros and the other master smiths creating all these weapons, the amount of maintenance they need to do has only increased.
A weapon, once used, will require careful maintenance to keep in working order. That applies to all weapons, even a magical sword with an unbreakable quality.
It doesn’t matter if it can’t ‘break’, if one doesn’t have maintenance done on their sword and it suffers some sort of defect in battle, it won’t be a laughing matter.
During the Dragon War, adventurers had flooded all the blacksmiths, buying weapons and placing requests for maintenance work. Only the toughest craftsman such as Dimros were still on their feet, the rest of them were rocking back and forth in their bedrooms covered in a blanket.
“Dont’cha worry about me, though if ya have me slavin’ away on weapons forged from Orichalcum and Flame Steel that are already nigh indestructible, then ‘ya want me ta’ put even stronger anti-breaking enchantments on ’em, you’re givin’ me a lot o’ work.”
Usually, magical weapons would be made from mithril, a rare but lightweight metal that is conducive to magical power… But, there are ores even rare than mithril that exist in this world, and those are the ones used to create swords that pass down through the ages in legend and song.
Whilst still retaining their strength, these mythic metals are extremely malleable. Like the Flame Steel that is able to absorb formless energy, weapons and armour made from materials like these contain special properties that go far beyond what one can expect from mithril or steel. It takes an incredibly gifted craftsman to maintain such equipment, not to mention smith them.
Therefore, it was inevitable that Dimros is the only blacksmith in this frontier town skilled enough to take care of both Ig-Alima and Sul-Sagana.
“It’s worth the effort. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make sure my weapons won’t break no matter what, right?”
“Yeah, yeah, I know. But ya’ should still take care of ’em better. Usin’ the same weapons to fight against’a dragon for a full day, no matter how good they are, they’ll eventually snap ‘ya know?”
It’s enchantment magic, not some sort of miracle. What’s more, some enemies have the power to break enchantments.
If a monster with that power also happened to be intelligent, it would be a big problem. The dragon king known as Beowulf that Shirley fought had already lost his mind, but that was an exception to the rule, if she had come up against one of the other Dragon Kings it’s possible that the adventurers accompanying her could have suffered far worse casualties.
(I really do still have a long way to go.)
From now on instead of just focusing cutting down the calamity, Shirley reflects seriously on trying to avoid damaging those two blades in the process.
“By the way… What are you doing here, Tio?”
“…I was found out.”
Whilst scratching a cobweb out of her dust-specked hair, one of her beloved daughters emerged from the shadows of the store and Shirley came close to sighing.
Although it may seem like it with Sophie and Tio being so close as sisters, they’re not actually attached at the hip all the time.
When Tio goes out on her own like this, Shirley knows (by watching from a distance) that she often visits places that adventurers tend to frequent, something that leaves her conflicted.
“I don’t really think there’s much for you here and even if there was, I don’t think I’ve given you enough pocket money to buy anything from this place?”
The items displayed along the walls and on shelves are mostly common for adventurers, but they are expensive items for common people. Tio didn’t seem to mind that, though.
“Mm… Looking is free, though.”
“Whilst that’s true… If you just want to go window shopping, why not look at some of the shops selling accessories?”
Tio tilted her head to the side. Apparently, she doesn’t have any interest in accessories like other girls her age.
Instead, she’s more interested in the dark and dusty shop run by a boorish blacksmith. Maybe if she was a teenage boy she wouldn’t mind it too much, but she can’t help but be worried about her ten-year-old girl visiting a place like this.
(If you said you wanted to be an adventurer, what would I do…?)
She’s been even more curious ever since Shirley defeated the dragon king, but was it a good or bad thing that Tio was so interested in adventurers?
Adventurer work is difficult and perilous. Many should count themselves lucky to retire young because of an injury, Shirley knows all too well that many meet far worse fates.
That kind of danger is something Tio should know full well living alongside her sister and Shirley in that inn full of adventurers, listening to their stories with those eyes of hers lit up bright, but yet she still sees something in it that makes her want to follow down that path?
…She’s still deeply concerned about it, but in recent years it’s not something Shirley can deny anymore.
“Besides, I’m not the only one who’s interested.”
“Oh? Mama and Tio?”
An intuition that had been cultivated through many battles. That mother’s daughter sensor had immediately detected the presence of her daughter and she swung around to look, just as Sophie casually walked into the blacksmith’s shop.
“Sophie… Even you?”
“Mm. Recently she’s been really interested in magic wands and stuff.”
“Wait, Tio…!? That was supposed to be a secret!?”
“But, we’ve already been found out.”
And thus, another daughter had arrived. Even the honour student Sophie seems to be deeply interested in adventurers nowadays, maybe it’s inevitable that she’d share interests with her twin she’s with so often?
Just like Tio, Sophie also grew up immersed in the stories of adventurers, though she instead loved reading about them in her picture books. Therefore, even though Sophie has a bit more of a fashionable air about her, she still has a strangely idealized view of the rough and tumble Adventurer’s Guild.
In reality, the Adventurer’s Guild is full of scoundrels and ruffians, but Shirley is worried her daughter might lump her in with them by association if she told them about it, so she could never say anything.
“Listen here, you two. I’ll tell you this right now; Being an adventurer isn’t some easy profession that you can jump into so simply, and just what exactly is so good about all these adventurers you’re so interested in any way?”
Still, it’s a mother’s duty to remonstrate with her daughters. Even if they hate her for it, she would sooner give them a stern warning now and deal with that than see them hurt or killed.
“Yeah… I know what you mean, mama.”
But, the daughters she loves so much seem to accept her reasoning.
“I mean, those adventurers in the inn just get drunk and fight each other over everything.”
“One of them tried to start dancing with all his clothes off at the feast before, and got beaten up by a female adventurer.”
That unfriendly Shirley had never introduced her daughters to the adventurers at the inn, but for better or worse they seemed to have left an impression all the same.
Drinking and quarrelling completely out in the open, no matter if they were men or women it was easy to see them like deadbeat fathers.
(More importantly, I’ll have to make sure to find and have some words with the pervert who took his clothes off in front of my daughters.)
Shirley seriously noted it down in her mind.
“And I’ve never seen it, but I understand that being an adventurer is dangerous.”
“Then, why? You should think of working in the city instead where it’s much safer.”
As their mother looked down on the two from above, Sophie and Tio looked back at her earnestly.
Even though it’s a slightly embarrassing and difficult thing to say, they answer her.
“When I asked the adventurers, they said that the world outside was so beautiful… I think that if I could see something like that with mama, I’d be really happy.”
The sound leaked out of her mouth unintentionally. The oasis that with a spring that sparkles like a jewel in the sandy desert of the far southwest, the ruined city that hangs in the heavens only connected to the earth by a single huge length of vine, the magnificent temples constructed from crystals and gems by ancient priests in the time of the gods… If her daughters told her that they wanted to explore the mysteries of the past and climb to the stars together with her… She feels a bit faint on her feet.
“Besides that… I want to become strong and cool like mum is.”
Once again, it leaked out. There isn’t a single parent in the world who would be unhappy to be praised by their child. And if it’s a silly doting parent like her, even more so.
Shirley tried not to let it show on her face, but her heart is torn between keeping her daughters safe and letting them choose their own future. Ah… As that conflict swirled inside her, she held a hand over her blushing face and sighed.
“…Honestly, I am against you becoming adventurers. This world isn’t so sweet that you can just wish for happy things like that and they’ll come true.”
“But…” Shirley continued
“Once you two have celebrated your coming of age… If you can prove to me that you’re ready, I will support you with everything that I have.”
Shirley conceded to her daughters’ dreams, with conditions. If they want to jump into such a dangerous profession, they have to scale the wall that their mother will prepare for them – at this, Sophie and Tio’s faces lit up.
“Really!? You’re sure!?”
“Just… Just remember, you haven’t passed yet. So don’t do anything unreasonable like trying to fight monsters until you are adults.”
“…Then, what can we do to pass?”
“Please think about that on your own. That itself is one of the challenges.”
Knowledge is power. If they can prove to Shirley that they can become adventurers who will always put their own safety first, then as a mother she might just be able to accept it.
“However, from now on I forbid you to enter the blacksmith’s shop without me with you.”
” “Ehh…” ”
“You won’t get me to budge on this. What would happen if a weapon fell and you got hurt?”
Sophie and Tio are still children. There are certain places where she has to be absolutely firm for their own good.
“Then, since mum is here, can I still have a look around?”
“If you’re heading off for a job then we’ll just leave…”
“…No, it’s fine, I’ve already finished my business for the day.”
As soon as she said it, both of her girls picked up a weapon. No matter what she might say those two are still an adventurer’s daughters, so it almost seems natural that they’d frolic and play amongst the weapons and armour as if they were in a toy store, but when she thinks about those girls’ wishes coming true she doesn’t feel quite as conflicted as she did before.
Watching Sophie and Tio having fun with the weapons and imagining their future together, she suddenly remembered Canary’s words.
――――Learn to enjoy your adventures, girl.
A private family adventure, just between mother and daughters, that definitely seems like something truly enjoyable.
The next generation of adventurers, not even Shirley’s eyes can see what the future truly has in store for her two daughters… That being the case, for their sake, Shirley will be the first obstacle in their way.
Whether or not they could overcome the Demonic White Sword and achieve their dreams, time would tell.
I adjust Dimros’ accent to make him sound sillier everytime he shows up.