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The greedy black sword
“Woah, the sword spoke!”
I dropped the black sword, surprised that it had suddenly spoken. The shopkeeper who had been negotiating with other customers stared at me, narrowing his eyes. It seemed as though he was saying that if I could not buy anything then I should hurry up and leave.
But I had other matters on mind. What is this… A talking ― I had never heard of a sword with a soul before. Speaking of which, it had probably used my mind-reading skill as a medium to talk, yet there was no doubt that this black sword had the will of a human being.
For now, I decided to examine it with the <Appraisal> skill.
・Greed form: One-handed sword
Huh? That’s it? Other weapons showed information such as endurance and attack power, however, this black sword had nothing apart from a name and form. I stared at the mysterious black sword. Dusty and stained with oil grease, it looked dirty, just like me.
Especially since it too had been treated like garbage.
Thinking about this, I felt a sense of affinity with it. The voice earlier had definitely said, “Buy me…” right?
Although it had spoken in an imposing tone, I felt that it was not malicious. If it had intended to harm me, it would have done so when I had touched it earlier.
Then, there should be no problem if I touched it once again. With determination, I grasped the black sword. And then came the voice even more clearly than before.
“I thought you’d run away, but you’re quite interesting. Now, what will you do? Will you buy me?” (TLN: The black sword always uses an arrogant/commanding tone and refers to himself as “ore-sama”, just something to keep in mind from this point forward.)
I looked around at the other trashy weapons. It seemed this black sword, Greed, was the only sword I would be able to use properly. If I considered it as a sword with a chat function, it should do well enough.
“I’ll buy you. I feel like we’re similar.”
“I see… Then, pay that fatty over there. Every time I see the face of that scum, I feel nauseous.”
Carrying Greed, I went over and placed two silver coins on the counter in front of the shopkeeper. Still talking to the other customer, he simply glanced sideways at the money to confirm the price, then urged me away as though driving a dog or cat out of his stall.
He was an unpleasant shopkeeper to the very end. There was no need for him to tell me, I was leaving anyway. As if I would ever come again!
In an attempt to clean up Greed, I took out a rag from my pocket and wiped the sword. Despite this, the grime remained stubborn. Perhaps it would be possible with soap, but… I had no more money.
“I’m counting on you, Greed.”
“Very well, this may be luck. Or perhaps it is fate… I will stay with you till the end. So, what is your name?”
Speaking of which, I had yet to tell him.
“I am Fate Graphite.”
“Hm, I will remember it. What now, Fate?”
What came now had been determined last night.
“I acquired a weapon. You understand, right?”
“Yes, monster hunting!”
Immediately, I travelled from the Commercial District to the kingdom’s southern gate with my new inanimate buddy, Greed. The southern gate was made for large amounts of merchandise to pass, and hence was much larger than the other three gates. It was wide enough for ten wagons lined side by side to travel through.
Exiting from here, there was a place called Goblin Meadow just ahead. This was where goblins resided, attacking wagons as they passed and stealing food. They had the lowest strength for demons, perfect for beginner warriors to train against.
The thing I needed to be most careful about was that they hid in the grass to attack. There were stories of warriors who saw a lone goblin and tried to strike, only to find themselves surrounded and killed by goblins who had been hiding in the grass. Hence, there was a saying that went, “If you see one goblin, assume there are a hundred of them.” I had heard these tales from a drunk old warrior at the tavern. I never thought they would be useful one day.
Now that I had joined the warrior forces, the first gateway to success was goblin hunting. One-handed sword technique attack skill! With this, I should be able to defeat goblins.
And then, eat their souls and make them my own power.
As I dodged the wagons and headed to the south gate, I saw many people gathering around, all equipped with weapons. It seemed that this was a popular meeting place for monster hunting parties. A party, huh…sounds nice. As a person who was bullied in my hometown village, something like this had been impossible. Even here, being enslaved by Rafal, there had been no opportunity to make close friends.
Fighting together, encouraging each other in times of difficulty, and crying together when sad. My deceased father told me stories about these parties of heroes and as a youth, I listened to them with shining eyes.
“Wouldn’t that be nice… having friends.”
I muttered this to myself thoughtlessly. Then, Greed said,
“I’m here aren’t I?”
Except, you were an inanimate object. What I wanted was a living friend. I thought this was a large enough difference. Alright, I needed to raise my spirits and enter the world of warriors. Everything seemed fine now, I was no longer someone who had nothing. I had skills to attack monsters with. Surely I could and would be accepted into the warrior circle.
As I was thinking this, a male warrior who looked to be about my age called out.
“With a sword like that, you must be a fighter. How about it, want to join me?”
“Would that be okay?!”
I became excited and my tension soared. I was someone who had almost never experienced being needed by other people before. Being told that my power was wanted, I could not help but feel happy.
“Ah, I was troubled since my usual fighting buddy isn’t here. By the way, what level are you?”
“Yes, I’m level 1!”
Hearing this, he pulled a strained expression. After mentioning that he had some business to tend to while scratching his head, he left. Eh… Somehow, a strange sense of emptiness remained. At this, Greed spoke.
“Fate, give it up. Even with attack skills, you’re still just a level 1. You might die in a fight. If it was you, would you want to join up with a weak guy?”
I was startled by this. Having felt very strong after gaining a Gluttony status and skills, I had forgotten that I only just reached the startline. Since I had no other experience apart from being treated like trash so far, I had yet to understand the ordinary view of life.
“I was cocky wasn’t I?”
“Exactly that. Besides, it is not good to expose your “Gluttony” skill, so give up on finding a party. Also, you should use your Concealment skill to hide everything except your One-handed Sword Technique. That is all I have to say.”
“…Why is that?”
I had yet to talk about my Gluttony skills so how did it know? At this, Greed laughed fearlessly.
“That is because you and I are alike. Well, you’ll understand soon enough.”
Having spoken in his pretentious tone, Greed settled into silence. Although I was worried about his words, he was not wrong. The Gluttony skill was unusually powerful and if other warriors were to find out about it, the result would not bear well for me.
For example, if they knew that it could take power from a defeated opponent, then they may try to steal my ability. Killing me while I was still weak… it was likely. I traced my thoughts to Rafal. Well, it is possible that there are others like him.
Safety first, and it seemed the only way for that was to hunt alone with Greed until I gained enough power to defend myself. First of all, goblin hunting.