This started with Shawnji writing up summaries of the prequel novel that was packaged with the limited edition releases of Ys IX: Monstrum Nox on Discord. I had approached him at one point to ask if he wanted a place to host his summaries that wasn’t in a Discord server’s backlog.
In the beginning notes, Shawnji states that there may be more complete translations of parts of this- as this happens, I will see about updating them here, as well.
With this, I present to you the collection of Shawnji’s summaries of the Ys IX Prequel Novel. Enjoy!
Ys IX Prequel -A Dragon Sword Lost-
Yet another day of travel through the lands of Ispani has ended for Adol and Dogi, who have set up camp for the night as usual. Fresh meat, provided by the wild beasts they hunted down earlier in the evening sits stewing over the fire. In order to remove the gamey flavor, they add a few herbs and some spices they have on hand to provide the dish with a bit of flavoring, and the two sit down to enjoy a meal full of raw, outdoorsy flavor.
Bellies now full, Dogi opts to lay down for a bit, while Adol takes a moment to write in his journal. He pulls his sword from its scabbard and the moon reflects off the blade’s surface, shimmering a whitish-silvery hue. A pale light pours out from the jewel in the center of the hilt. The sight is even more profoundly beautiful when the blade is bathed in moonlight as it is now.
This is Adol’s beloved sword – Caliocerion. It had seen him through numerous travails ever since he obtained it during his time in Altago. The blade is characterized by the special type of synthesis used to manufacture it, along with the moon gem embedded within; which lends it a mysterious power. Not only is it well-tuned for attacking, but also for penetrating defenses, and dealing broad-sided blows as well. It is a rare specimen of a sword.
He gently polishes it with a whetstone, oils it, and then wipes it clean with wool. One could likely get away with simply wiping the blood from the blade after a battle, but that would not do for Adol. No, he was far too meticulous for that.
“You seem really invested in that,” Dogi notes, seemingly just as invested himself.
“Yeah, I suppose I am.”
A typical short response from Adol who, having now finished polishing, waves the sword gently through the air with a satisfied look on his face. Though he had never shirked taking care of his weapons, it was a fact that he had recently become much more intense about it than he ever had been before. The truth is that this is but one of many legendary swords that Adol has found during the course of his adventures. However, it’s as if some irresistible force always intervenes to snatch away not only the sword but all of his other equipment as well. He’s well aware that being an adventurer involves incurring a certain amount of risk and accidents will happen, but for this kind of thing to happen every single time? At this point, even Adol himself has begun to wonder if maybe he’s cursed.
And so tonight, he makes himself a vow:
“That’s why I’m not gonna’ lose it! Not this time!”
Adol and Dogi are walking along through the wilderness when Adol suddenly hears the howling of a pack of wolves and what sounds like a frightened human voice. He races off in that direction, with Dogi following right behind. Once there, he finds a girl surrounded by the wolves, but he swiftly dispatches several of them. The rest run off; intimidated by his battle prowess.
Adol tries to offer to help the girl up, but instead of being grateful, she’s upset with him for interrupting her. Turns out she’s a blacksmith by the name of Cecilica Kensia, and she was testing out a new suit of armor. Dogi and Adol both remark on how strange it is that she would literally throw herself to the wolves to do so, at which point she mentions that she’s been in a bit of a slump lately and feels like she’s lost her touch as a blacksmith, so she’s been pushing herself harder lately.
At any rate, they clear the air over Adol’s interference (he apologizes profusely), and slowly warm up to each other as they continue to talk. She offers to look at their weapons, and Adol pulls out his Caliocerion. She goes completely nuts over it and starts thoroughly inspecting it, becoming particularly entranced by the pulsating jewel in the center.
She tries to offer Adol increasingly larger amounts of money for it, and each time he refuses. He informs her that money isn’t the issue, which she takes entirely the wrong way and decides it’s her body he’s after… She goes on to literally offer herself to him right then and there because she’s just that dedicated to her blacksmithing.
The misunderstanding only gets worse, as she asks for Dogi to go somewhere else while they ‘do the deed’ to which Dogi agrees to immediately. Adol calls out for him to wait, which then leads to her thinking that his goal was for both of them to have their way with her at the same time. She begins to cry because she’s still a virgin and she doesn’t want her first time to be with two men at once, but Dogi steps back in to say that he’s good, and the two of them should go at it alone. She thanks him and they spark up a weird friendship through this.
Adol, finally having had enough, tells him to stop joking around, and Dogi admits that he was just enjoying seeing how she’d react if he played into it. The whole matter gets cleared up and Cecilica, now realizing her mistake, blushes up a storm while naturally blaming Adol for the whole thing.
After she cools down, she asks him why he won’t sell her the sword, to which he explains that it saw him through a lot of difficult situations when he was in Altago, and therefore is basically like a comrade to him. She seems to have finally given up, so Adol and Dogi start to pack up and head on their way. However, after hiking along for a bit, they realize that she’s basically stalking them. She makes it clear that she has no intention of giving up on the sword, so Dogi welcomes her to join them. Adol tries to warn her that he has no intention of ever giving it up, but she states very boldly that eventually his adventuring will lead him to an early grave and she’ll be right there to pluck the sword from his dead body. With that, they set off together towards the next town along their way.
Night has fallen and the trio is sitting around the campfire eating dinner. Cecilica is waxing poetic over the food. Dogi comments on the fact that she seems to have a pretty big appetite, and she replies that a growing blacksmith needs fuel for all the hammer swinging she’s going to be doing. She mentions that she’s impressed with how many fish he was able to wrangle up for them; but he corrects her, noting that the only thing he actually managed to catch was a single runt of a fish. Adol was the one who caught all the other fish. Not only that, but he was the one who prepared the soup she liked so well. She’s impressed at his versatility, but he shrugs it off as something that just comes from all of his experiences adventuring, while also referencing a particular case where he was castaway on an island for several months that helped him develop his cooking skills. (I should note that the author enjoys pointing out how often Cecilica is stuffing her face throughout this scene.)
They spend three days on the road together like this, with Cecilica always looking forward to Adol allowing her to clean and polish Caliocerion after meals; before eventually making it to town. They spend the night at the inn, sell off what they found from hunting and gathering, and wander around doing their own thing for a while.
One night, the three of them are having dinner together at a bar. Cecilica turns out to be a real food critic, and slyly notes that Adol’s cooking was better than what they’re currently having. Dogi asks her what’s up with the new get-up she has on. Up until this point, she’d been wearing a hefty set of armor, but now she’s dressed a lot more elegantly and is apparently lookin’ pretty hot (according to our narrator). She says that this is how she normally dresses, and the armor was just business; admitting that she already sold it off. This leads the others to believe that she used the money she got from that to buy this nice new outfit she has, but she shocks the two of them by stating that she made it herself and often makes clothes as a hobby of sorts. Adol makes the observation that this is why her armor designs aren’t just about function, but form too. Clearly thrilled at Adol’s observation, she continues to regale the boys with her feelings on the artistry of blacksmithing well into the evening.
One of the guys mentions that they’re going to be leaving town tomorrow, and Cecilica asks them where they’re headed to. Dogi lets her know that they don’t really have a particular destination in mind, but the general plan is to eventually get through Ispani and make it to Gllia. Cecilica seems taken aback a bit at hearing that. Dogi notices her reaction to the name and asks if she’s been there before, to which she says, “Yes, before it became a province of the Romun Empire.” They talk a bit about how the Romun Empire has it out for Adol, although he notes that he never set out to make enemies. Cecilica states that she heard a rumor about Gllia as well. Apparently, there’s a city named Balduq in the Eltlingen area that has a massive prison within the city limits. She continues to list off the things she’s heard about it: “Vendors who’ve traveled there say there are monsters in the city,” “There are dangerous ruins buried deep within the prison walls,” and “Once you go in, you never come out again.” Naturally, all of this piques Adol’s interest greatly. Dogi tries to talk him out of it, while Adol tries to make out like he’d never want to go there; but, of course, he clearly does. Dogi then decides to bring up some rumors that he heard about an island where there’s a monstrous bird that can lift a whole cow in its talons, and fly above the clouds with a single flap of its wings. Cecilica laughs at this, thinking there’s no way something like that could be real, but Adol on the other hand takes it very seriously, bringing up their encounters with “Ancient Species”. Cecilica is like, “What the heck is that?” Dogi simply calls them fearsome creatures, but he and Adol make it clear to her that they’ll likely never show up in her neck of the woods, and they drop the subject after that.
Cecilica asks Adol if he brought back any rumors to share from town, but the best he can come up with is something about mountain bandits and she’s not impressed with either the topic or the dryness of his delivery. He lets out a sigh, and then changes the subject; asking her where she’s planning to go after this. She states that she doesn’t really have a goal in mind either, and Dogi posits the idea that maybe she’s planning to be a wandering blacksmith, hoping to be renowned by future generations by leaving pieces of her work here and there on her travels. She makes it clear that she wants to train all over the world because each country offers different types of materials and ways of forging them that she wouldn’t be able to study anywhere else, and her real goal is to learn all of it so that she can one day become the greatest blacksmith of all time. Dogi is quite impressed and wants to celebrate with more beer, but she’s less than enthused, going on to say that it’s no big deal and she’s just carrying on the legacy of her father. Turns out the Kensia name is quite famous among blacksmiths. Her father was blessed with great talent, and considered a master of his trade. Cecilica doesn’t seem terribly happy when discussing all this, though.
At this point, Adol starts to get a little more talkative. He says that she reminds him of himself, in that his father was a traveling author, who would go to distant lands and write about the things he saw there, while also collecting various literary works along the way. He says that he taught him everything he knew about the outside world, and even goes so far as to say that becoming an adventurer is likely due to his father’s influence. Adol then says that, “Children have a natural tendency to look up to and want to emulate their fathers.” (The book at this point states, “Adol purposefully left out the part about, ‘until they start to get rebellious.”) With this, Cecilica seems to loosen up a bit again and demands that Adol drink more, but he refuses. Meanwhile, Dogi keeps right on pouring for himself; paying no mind to the two of them.
Adol escorts his drunken friend, Dogi, back to the inn; and although he’d like to drop into bed himself, he doesn’t want to leave Cecilica to fend for herself back at the bar. When he gets back, he finds her slumped over a table, looking totally plastered. He starts to suggest that she’s been drinking too much, but then she reminds him that she doesn’t drink (albeit through very slurred speech). He remembers that Dogi drank all the booze they had and wonders how she could have gotten this way but then realizes that the appetizers she’d been eating all night were soaked in a local cider. Each region has a different type that’s made from popular fruits in that area, and Dogi always looks forward to finding out how the local dishes prepared in it will taste. This is the first time that Adol’s ever seen someone get hammered just from eating said dishes, though…
He asks the bartender for a glass of water and sits down next to Cecilica, who begins to demand that he give her his sword. He refuses, so she says, “Well, at least let me polish it if you’re not gonna’ give it to me.” And he’s like, “Nope, you’re not in any condition to be handling sharp objects.” She assumes that this is because he’s treating her like a kid (instead of her obvious drunkenness) and starts railing into him about it. He swiftly swaps her tray of cider-soaked beans for the glass of water. She emphasizes to him that she’s an adult, citing the fact that she was “accosted” by a certain red-haired bastard as proof of her womanhood. “Are you referring to me?” Adol states, his expression turning sheepish. Ignoring him, she continues on, “I’ll have you know that I’m a proficient blacksmith. In fact, I already sold all my wares in the market today.”
“Yeah, I suppose you did.”
“Sold… ‘em all…”
“Yup, that’s great.”
This continues for a bit with Adol giving half-hearted replies to her comments, until suddenly she starts to wail out loudly, bursting into tears. The whole place stares at Adol, and few people can be heard accusing him of doing something to make her cry. The narrator notes that even the great adventurer, Adol Christin, is helpless in the face of a crying woman. He makes his best effort to calm her down and finally they’re able to start conversing, albeit through choked-back tears.
Cecilica reveals to Adol that when she was selling her wares, she wasn’t really getting any takers, but as soon as she revealed to them that she was heir to the Kensia family legacy, they bought everything she had. Adol tries to reassure her that it’s not just because of her family name that they sold so well, but because they were so well made. However, she says that if that were really the case, they would have wanted to buy them before she ever mentioned her family name. Adol, believing (quite rightly so) that he has developed a very keen eye for weapons and armor, reassures her that she should have confidence in her work. She calms down a bit, but still shakes her head in dismissal of his claim, saying that she’s nowhere near the level of someone like her father or whoever it was that forged Adol’s Caliocerion. Internally, he realizes that she’s right, but believes she’s being too hard on herself; however, he chooses to stay quiet and waits for her to continue. She gets more and more depressed, not knowing how she can ever live up to the high bar she’s set for herself or how she should proceed; mentioning that she’ll never be able to see her father again until she can achieve that level.
Adol, now finally piecing together the source of her troubles, asks her if something happened between her and her father. She had stated earlier in their conversation that he traveled around the world at one point in his life, but now she lets Adol know that he actually left home a second time after that. The day before he left, he told her that he had taught her everything she needed to know about blacksmithing; and that was the last she ever saw of him. Adol audibly wonders if maybe he lost his life on the journey, but since she’s seen his wares for sale at various auctions, she doesn’t believe that to be the case. She thinks that part of the reason she can’t catch up with him is because he doesn’t want to meet her, and she assumes this is because she’s not good enough for him to accept her. This feeling became the catalyst that led to her wanting to become the greatest blacksmith in the world because she thinks this is the only way to get his attention and force him to seek her out instead of her always chasing after him. However, she still can’t seem to attain that hidden something that would lead to her being able to craft a truly remarkable weapon like Adol’s, even after all the time she’s spent honing her craft. He reflects back on how she mentioned that she was in a “slump” the first time they met and realizes that this is what she was referring to. Talking only to herself now, she reiterates how she’s not good enough and will never see her father again.
Adol, being the type of man that he is, states that he’ll help her find her father. She asks him why he’d offer to do such a thing, to which he states that he doesn’t really have a good reason other than the fact that he doesn’t feel like he can leave her be to face this task on her own when he knows how hard she’s been trying. She starts to cry again, getting upset at herself for confessing her situation and simultaneously flustered by Adol’s words to the point that she’s getting very red in the face and has to turn the other way to keep him from seeing. She tries to act tough. “Why are you always acting so kind to people you barely know? Don’t you have any sense?”
“Yeah, I get that a lot…” he retorts.
She double-checks with him to make sure he’s serious about his offer, but even though Adol’s reassurance is comforting, she states that she doesn’t actually want him to help her find her father. She meant what she said about trying to become a better blacksmith in order to get his attention. He smiles and says that he’ll be cheering her on all the way if that’s what she really wants to do, which gets her all flustered again for a moment. After that, she says she wants him to help her with her training. Confused, he asks her how he can do that considering he doesn’t know the first thing about blacksmithing. Cecilica then stands up, points a finger at Adol, and proclaims that he’s going to be the one testing out her new hardware for her.
Adol, Dogi, and Cecilica leave the town a day later than they’d originally planned since she wanted to spend another day there making some new weapons and armor for Adol to test out. Our red-haired leader apologizes to Dogi for changing their plans up, but Dogi is totally on board with helping Cecilica out. As part of Adol’s promise to help her, they’ve elected to wander through the mountains rather than follow the mountain path they were originally going to take.
Cecilica is extremely excited to have someone as skilled as Adol testing out her equipment since she knows that he’ll be able to put it through its paces better than she could herself. She runs ahead of Adol and Dogi, who are only trailing behind by virtue of all of the new equipment she made that they’re carrying around for her. She herself is wearing a very thin armor made of leather, which she feels very confident is more durable than most metal armor. Dogi and Adol warn her not to run too far ahead since there will likely be beasts on the prowl.
They arrive at an area that a local hunter advised would be suitable for what they were planning, and they begin getting set up. Dogi and Cecilica hide in some bushes so that they can observe Adol’s performance. They agreed beforehand to pop out and intervene if things get too crazy, but Dogi assured Cecilica that it more than likely wouldn’t be necessary.
Adol stands out in an open area and sets fire to some special herbs that are supposed to draw in his opponents with the smell they produce while burning. It works, and a bear more than three melye tall leaps out in front of him. Adol can immediately tell that this particular bear is an Ere-Gali Bear, which is only native to the central part of Eresia. They’re omnivorous, but typically won’t attack humans unless they are carrying some type of prey with them, or they catch wind of a particular smell; in which case they become ferociously predatory. The bear proceeds to knock down a thick tree with almost no effort. This is all according to plan, though. They crafted this scenario specifically because this bear is supposed to be so powerful that its blows can break through solid rock, making it perfect for testing Cecilica’s armor for durability. It’s also not a particularly agile bear, so if things go awry, it shouldn’t be too difficult for Adol to remove himself from harm’s way.
Unexpectedly, another dark shadow emerges from their surroundings, revealing itself to be yet another Ere-Gali Bear. Cecilica almost lets out a scream, but Dogi is quick enough to cover her mouth before she can alert the bears to their presence. They hadn’t counted on two bears. The whole point of using this bear for the test was because of how poorly it maneuvers, but two of them at the same time would be another story. Cecilica asks Dogi if they should intervene or call the whole thing off and run, but Dogi seems to think nothing of it. At that moment, she gets yet another shock, as a third, towering bear comes lumbering toward Adol while he’s still busy maintaining his distance from the first two. She suspects that this must be their leader, and starts to yell out that they should retreat; but before she can Adol loudly declares that it’s no problem and he’s going for it. Cecilica thinks this situation is far beyond what they needed to test for, but his confidence relaxes her a bit and she hunkers down with Dogi to observe the battle.
The bears have Adol in a pincer attack, almost like they’d planned it that way, and even though our three protagonists agreed that he would only use his shield rather than attacking, the size of these things is intimidating even for him. The first bear lashes out in a flash, but Adol is able to redirect the bear’s attack past him with the shield rather than try to hold his ground head-on. The next bear moves in to attack, but Adol nimbly backsteps and evades it. The third bear approaches much like the first one did, but Adol parries the attack perfectly. Cecilica is extremely impressed and it doesn’t go unnoticed by Adol, despite being pretty busily locked in battle at the moment. Adol eventually pulls back and checks the condition of the shield. It stood up really well in the face of all that, so now he decides that rather than redirect the attacks, he’s going to take them at full force.
He blocks the first bear’s attack with ease, although it knocks him back a few feet. The second one attacks from above. This time, Adol realizes he can’t change his stance in time to block it, and elects to evade instead. The blow hits the ground with such force that it leaves a huge gaping hole, proving that the rumors about these bears were true. That isn’t the end, however, as the third and largest bear was waiting for this opportunity to strike while Adol was off-balance. He swings, and Adol swaps the shield to his other hand to block it. The block was successful, but the impact sends him flying backwards about 10 melye. He checks the shield for damage, and beyond a few dents here and there it’s neither warped nor broken. Cecilica and Dogi, having heard the massive clang, look towards Adol to see him holding the shield aloft; indicating that the first part of the test is finished. Cecilica uses a mirror to flash some light back towards him to let him know they got the message without alerting the bears.
The next part of the test was actually happening at the same time as the first. Adol had on a set of armor as well, and they wanted to test its range of movement. Cecilica seems to think that, based on how effortlessly he flitted around the battlefield, there was no issue at all; however, Adol signals that it was a slightly rough around the edges. She seems frustrated with the result, but determines to figure out the problem once this is all over. She signals back to him again and Adol proceeds to prep for the third phase of the test by taking off the parts of the armor that were getting in his way. He then draws out the new sword that she made for him. She was loath to make something that she knew couldn’t live up to Caliocerion, but realized it was necessary for the final part of the test.
In order to test the weapon’s endurance, Adol would finally engage the bears in full combat. Cecilica now begins to realize that this is the first time that she’s ever really seen Adol fight. The previous times, she was either in peril and not really fully cognizant of what was happening, or he was mostly using defensive tactics. The narrator describes it from her point of view as being, in a word, beautiful. They go on to reference sword dancing, which interweaves swordplay with traditional dance; only to then abruptly state that Adol’s fighting style is nothing like this. The motions aren’t meant to be elegant; but they are calculated, methodical, and controlled. There is no wasted movement. All of this is in service of one thing: winning the fight. Cecilica realizes why her armor would only get in his way at this point, but what really surprises her is how well he seems to “understand” the sword that she gave him. He knows it better than even she does. He knows what timing, distance, angle, and positioning will be most effective. Its like the sword is an extension of his body; as natural as moving an arm or a leg for him.
As a blacksmith, Cecilica can appreciate the grandeur of what she’s seeing. This isn’t a fighting style developed by some great line of swordsmen, this is Adol’s own style, developed from years of traveling from place to place, seeking out adventure… and finding it. There is no greater performance she could have asked for. Words escape her, and all she can do now is look on in wonderment.
Adol, Dogi, and Cecilica are sitting around the campfire reflecting on his fight with the three Ere-Gali Bears earlier in the day. The first two bears had been eliminated almost instantaneously, and despite the virtually inexhaustible strength of the third bear that they suspected was the pack leader, a well-placed blow to the neck brought him down just like the others. Having to field dress the huge beast after the fact might actually have been more strenuous than the fight itself.
The narrator takes a little time here to discuss how valuable every part of a bear is. This is particularly true of Ere-Gali bears, since the lustrous quality and pattern of their coat makes it highly sought after. Their claws and teeth can be used for various types of equipment and as raw materials for forging. Their liver and gall bladder are often used for medicinal purposes, but apparently it took our trio quite a long time to remove them properly without damaging them. Having spent so much time on it, they decided to just set up camp for the night and have bear meat for dinner. However, preparing bear can be a bit complex, as it involves steaming it rather than frying it, since it has a very powerful odor that needs to be dealt with. A good number of spices are typically employed as well to help cover up said smell and the meat is then brought to a simmer. After that, the lid is removed and several wild vegetables are added to the mix.
The fragrance has caught Cecilica’s nose, and she’s starting to get impatient. Thankfully, it’s almost ready. Surprisingly, she struggles for a minute to find the words to describe the dish, before finally settling on “explosive.” Dogi heartily agrees, before adding that it goes beyond explosive to “eruptive” (i.e. like a volcano). Adol audibly wonders what they’re on about, but then Cecilica starts up into a long-winded speech about how explosive the flavor is, how the spices seem almost diametrically opposed to the flavor of the meat, yet somehow the whole thing comes together perfectly, and so on and so forth. At the end of this diatribe, she chastises Adol for not understanding how good the food is (even though he’s the one that made it). She and Dogi go whole hog on the stew, and Adol adds some more meat to the pot while reminding them that they don’t have to gorge themselves. They have way more than enough meat, after all.
After the meal, Adol and Cecilica sit down to review their findings from earlier. The shield didn’t seem to be a problem, but the armor still needed some work. Adol tells her that he was impressed with how sturdy it was in spite of its light weight, but the joints felt so stiff that it encumbered his movements. She admits that she based her design on observations she made while watching soldiers training, and while it would probably work great in that capacity, she acknowledges that it wouldn’t give someone like Adol the freedom of movement he needs. He goes on to mention that the sword was actually extremely light and easy to use; but almost too easy. He thinks she can afford to make it a little heavier in the center so that the blows it delivers will carry more weight. She notes that she hadn’t really considered that angle, and the two of them continue this discussion while Dogi snores away in the background.
It’s getting late and Cecilica is trying to get to sleep, but she just can’t seem to for some reason. She looks over at Adol, who is keeping watch at the moment, and thinks back to what she saw earlier in his fight with the bears. She had suspected that he was something of a talented swordsman, but she never guessed that he was at such an incredibly high level; especially when he seems like the kind of person who’s so polite and obliging that he would get trampled over in day-to-day life. However, when he’s in a fight, it’s the total opposite, and she’s impressed with his bravery and intensity.
She starts to think about how impressive he looked when he was fighting, but quickly buries any feelings for him that might be brewing. Instead, she focuses on how watching him might have given her a glimpse of that “something” that she’s been missing, and decides that she finally knows what she has to do. She closes her eyes again and drifts off to sleep.
As the days go on, they continue to perform the same cycle over and over again: The group sets course for the next town over, Cecilica rents a place to perform her blacksmithing, and then they set back out again to let Adol test her equipment. Eventually, a month has passed since Adol and Dogi first met Cecilica, and one morning she greets them with something unexpected.
“Thank you two for everything you’ve done for me, but I’m afraid this is where we part ways.”
Naturally, Adol and Dogi are a bit bewildered by her announcement. She tells them that she’s done pretty much all the testing she can, and figured this was the best time for them to split up. Adol states that it’s all a bit too sudden, and a pained expression crosses her face for a moment at hearing him say this. She meekly states that spending time with them has just been too fun and distracting for her, and she won’t have the resolve to do what she needs to do unless she goes it on her own. The two of them quickly come around and understand her feelings. Dogi smiles and jokes that her confession was uncharacteristically cute, while Adol simply lets her know how much she’ll be missed. She turns her head the other way and tries to act tough, telling them not to misunderstand and that her only regret is that she won’t have a “test subject” for her work anymore. Adol sees right through her, but keeps it to himself. They all sit in sad silence for a minute before she finally speaks, telling them how grateful she is for everything they’ve done for her, and how she wishes she could have made them something that lives up to those feelings of appreciation. Dogi quickly rebukes her, saying that she did plenty to help them along the way and that it wasn’t all about them helping her. Adol also chimes in to tell her that no thanks are necessary, and that he was just doing what any good traveling partner would do. Still, she gives them a few small pieces of her work, while insisting that it’s only a partial payment. She stands upright with both feet planted shoulder-width apart, pointing her finger directly at them, and proclaiming, “I, Cecilica Kensia, swear that I’m going to make you something incredible someday!! Make sure you remember my name!!”
“Actually, it might be harder for us to forget it.”
“We would never forget you.”
With that, the trio becomes a duo again, and Cecilica starts out on the opposing path from where the boys are headed. As she walks, she reflects on how hard it was for her to leave them behind, but she feels strongly that it was necessary. Turns out that she also wasn’t entirely truthful earlier. She had plenty more tests that she would have liked to continued doing, and it would have helped her identify and correct a lot of minor engineering problems with her work. However, as time went on, she realized that Adol was being far kinder to her with his feedback than he needed to be. She knew that she wasn’t capable of making something that would meet up with his standards and he just didn’t want to disappoint her.
As she continues down the mountain path ahead of her, she vows to herself to find that “something’ she’s been missing and become a master blacksmith by the time she sees him again.
Cecilica awakes suddenly; finding herself in a very unfamiliar environment. The room is lined with stone walls and there are wooden boxes and boards strewn about. She tries her best to remember what circumstances led to her ending up in such a place.
She had said her goodbyes to Adol and Dogi and was on her way down the mountain path. However, not very far into the journey, she heard someone call out to her.
“Well hey there, girlie!”
For a half-second, she thought it might be Dogi, but quickly realized the voice lacked his upbeat and genial tone. This sounded much more irritable and malicious.
“May I help you?”
She didn’t really want to engage with whoever this was, but something felt off, and she decided that she had no choice but to respond.
“You’re in our territory now! If you want get past… Actually, if you want to get out of here at all, you’d better fork over all the money you have!”
As if prompted by this statement, several figures revealed themselves from the surrounding tree lines. There were roughly ten of them – all carrying weapons. Cecilica’s first impulse, being a blacksmith, was utter disgust at the poor quality of their equipment; however she quickly snapped out of it and realized that these were the mountain bandits Adol had heard rumors about.
“And if I pay you, you’ll let me through?”
She clearly understood the danger she was in, but managed to keep her cool in the moment without letting any fear show on her face.
“You’re better off handing it over without a fuss, miss; assuming you care about your safety, that is.”
She took a moment to evaluate the situation, and realized that as long as she gave them the money, she probably wasn’t in any real danger. From their cheap weapons to the way they carried themselves, they practically oozed “small-fry.” Still, she wasn’t in a position to fight or run from them, so she decided it was best to follow their orders. She had started to pull out the money when suddenly one of the bandits piped up:
“Hold on a sec, boss!”
“Yeah, I think this girlie here’s from noble blood!”
The one they referred to as “boss” looked surprised; almost as surprised as Cecilica was mortified.
“I suppose it’d be a right waste to let this one go for just a few pieces of gold then, wouldn’t it? Not when we can put a ransom on her pretty little head and be set for life!”
Even as the other bandits called out in agreement, Cecilica knew how misguided their enthusiasm was. While her father was certainly renowned, they had never been nobles; and besides that, how would they contact him when she didn’t even know where he was herself?
“No, wait, this is a misunderstand—”
“Hold your tongue, girl! Ya’ think you can fool me?! Jus’ look at that fancy outfit you’ve got on!”
She looked down to see the regal-looking coat lined with Ele-Gali bear fur. She had taken so much pride in how she was able to repurpose its fur into such a magnificent piece. She had even offered to make coats for Adol and Dogi, but they had refused, telling her that fancy clothing like that wasn’t really their style. She very quickly realized that, even though to her it was just something she threw together, it made her look far wealthier than she was. She began to stammer out an explanation, but knew they would never believe her.
Having recalled everything she could, Cecilica’s focus returns to the present where she is locked up in a room that’s one-part jail cell and one-part storage shed. She lets out a heavy sigh at how little fortune seems to favor her. It would have been bad enough for them to have simply taken all of her money, but then to be dragged back to their base on top of it? While one would normally be thinking about how they got here, or what they should be doing next to get out this situation; Cecilica can’t seem to think about anything other than how much time she’s wasting by being detained here, how much she needs her father’s validation, and all the work she still needs to put into honing her craft. It’s as though she’s doing all she can to avoid the reality of the situation.
Out of nowhere, she remembers something her father had said to her once when she was in training:
“That piece you made is way too ‘by-the-book.’”
She still doesn’t really know what he meant by that, but she had vowed to drag the answer out of him the next time they met.
“…But now I might never get the chance.”
Her own unconsciously uttered words startle her, and she averts her eyes to the floor in an effort to push these needless thoughts out of her head; but in that moment she’s also reminded of the stark reality of her situation. The bandits will undoubtedly realize their mistake in time, but she knows how unlikely it is that they’ll simply let her go once they find out.
She takes a moment to assess the cavernous room she’s being held in. The door is made from several wooden logs and bound loosely with chains. It looks like it was a rush job. If she had her mallet, she could probably break it down in one fell swoop, but the bandits had taken all of her personal belongings, so that wouldn’t be an option. She begins to wonder if she’ll ever even get to hold that mallet again. Once the bandits realize they won’t be getting their ransom money, what will they do? Will they attack her in a blind rage? Kill her? Do other unsavory things?
Cecilica begins to lose hope. Never again will she forge a sword, shield, or suit of armor; nor have the opportunity to see her father again. She falls to her knees and trembles as she becomes more and more overwhelmed by her own thoughts. Before she knows it, the tears have started to flow like raindrops; and there is no stopping them. If only Adol were here… He’d save her from this place. But no matter how sweet the fantasy, she knows that reality would never be so kind to her.
Suddenly, a clamor rings out near the center of the hideout. Cecilica can hear yelling, thunderous footsteps, and the clanging of metal. It’s almost as if… as if someone were storming the base!
“Could it really be him?!” she wonders aloud, “Of course, there’s no way that would–,”
The wall behind her suddenly collapses into rubble; and a large, imposing figure gradually comes into view.
“Hey there, girl! How you holdin’ up?”
Cecilica’s eyes go white with shock.
“Wishing it were Adol, huh?”
“N-No, I just… Wait a minute! What are you doing here?! Like, literally, how did you physically DO it?! That wall just…. exploded!”
“Haha!! They don’t call me “The Wall-Crusher” for nothin’! That measly thing was like punching through a sheet of paper!”
He holds his fist up proudly. Cecilica, finding herself totally at a loss for words, tries her hardest to figure out what the hell his body is made out of to be capable of such a feat, but quickly realizes this isn’t the time or place to ask such hard-hitting questions.
“If you’re wondering about Adol, don’t fret, he’s here too. He decided his job was to create a distraction by charging in right through the front gate.”
She looks towards the door, eyes still moist from the tears as she imagines Adol fighting his way through their ranks.
“Which is all the more reason why we need to hurry up and get the hell outta’ here!”
The two of them dash off into the cavern exposed by the newly uncovered hole in the wall.
“Dogi, how did you know that I’d been captured?”
“Funny thing is, after we split up, Adol just burst out of nowhere yelling, ‘I forgot!! I wanted to ask her something!!’ and then dashed off after you.”
“He forgot to ask me something?”
“He said he wanted to know your dad’s name.”
“Now that you mention it, I guess I never did tell him.”
Their conversation continues as they run hurriedly through the dark corridors of the cavern.
“After a while, he eventually stumbled upon some of your blacksmithing tools. They’d been thrown off to the side of the road.”
“THEY THREW MY TOOLS AWAY!?!?”
“No worries. We nabbed ‘em all for ya’!”
Dogi hands Ceciica her things, and she wraps her arms tightly around them in a warm embrace.
“My babies!! Mama missed you soooo much! Those filthy bandits wouldn’t know real value if it bit them! These tools would sell for more than the best weapons and armor in the region!”
“Um, anyway… Adol and I decided to search the area, stumbled on a bunch of tracks, and that ended up leading us to this cave.”
“I see. Sounds like you two are really handy at reconnaissance.”
“I dunno’ about that, but at the very least I can tell you that Adol has a knack for getting to the bottom of things. We’ve been through all kinds of ruins and mazes, yet he blows through them like they’re nothing.”
They’d been running through the caverns for a while now, turning the occasional corner here and there, but the exit was still nowhere in sight.
“What’s the deal with this cave?”
“Based on what he’d heard back in town, Adol figures that the bandits set up camp here in these caverns pretty recently.”
“Yeah. I mean, you can tell it was swarming with beasts at one point just by looking at some of the markings on the walls.”
“And just how big would you say these beasts were?”
“Bigger than an Ere-Gali bear, most likely.”
Cecilica is totally drawn in by the conversation.
“Does that mean the bandits cleared them all out?”
“Nah, those markings are several years old by now. They just got lucky and stumbled on it when it was already empty.”
“Not that I have any business saying this after being captured, but… what a bunch of small-fry.”
Dogi and Cecilica continued to chit-chat like this for a long time, until finally at long-last, they arrived at the exit.
After making it outside of the cave, they find themselves on a small hillside. Interestingly enough, the cave must have wrapped around itself, because they can see the entrance to just below them. They also happen to spot a lone red-haired figure fighting a swarm of bandits.
“There’s so many of them.”
The bandits seem to be literally pouring out of the entrance to the cave, looking to number at least twice that of the group that had captured Cecilica. Yet, here was Adol, fending the lot of them off by himself.
“These guys may be small-fry, but there sure are a lot of ‘em.”
“They’re like a bunch of cockroaches.”
Dogi and Cecilica don’t mince words when it comes to their lot.
“Yo, Adol! I got her out! Think it’s about time we make a run for it!”
Adol looks up and upon seeing that Cecilica is safe, his expression lightens for a split-second before quickly turning his attention back to the bandits that are steadily swarming him.
“There are too many of them! You two go on ahead!”
Adol’s words prompt them to look at each other in hesitation.
“Dogi, get down there and help him!”
“I mean… If I do that, you’ll be totally defenseless up here by yourself.”
He seems very troubled about what to do, but Cecilica decides to speak up.
“I’ll be fine. There’s no way any of them will try and scale their way up here.”
She was right of course. Going down the hillside would be one thing; but given how steep it is, getting back up would be a wholly different matter altogether.
“I hear ya’. Just be careful, alright? And yell for me if anybody gets close!”
She nods, and Dogi immediately bounds down the slope, his notable heft making his descent a speedy one, and the force of his impact hitting like a tank, sending bandits flying in all directions. Cecilica can’t help but admire him a little.
“He’s so tough and burly. What exactly is he made of, anyway?”
She returns her gaze to Adol. It’s at this point when she realizes a grave error on her part. She must have spent roughly 20 days having him run tests for her, but every time she had asked him to use a sword that she made for him. Never once had she asked him to use his own sword – Caliocerion. This would be her first time to really see him make use of it in a real fight, and she found herself again overwhelmed by the spectacle.
The bandits fall one by one with a flash of his blade. Regardless of whether his attackers come from the front, behind, or even both sides; Adol nimbly evades their blows as if he already knew they were coming. His sword finds its mark numerous times in a matter of seconds, and in spite of how dire a situation like this might normally seem; neither Adol, nor those observing him, have any doubts about how this fight will end. Indeed, it seems as though it was meant to play out like this from the start; his god-like movement ability clearly illustrating the vast gap between him and his opponents.
However, what is also clear is that every one of the bandits is still breathing. In spite of how difficult it must be making the battle for him, Adol is deliberately handicapping himself so that he can avoid taking lives. The level of skill on display is not lost on Cecilica.
“He must have only been able to use a fraction of his true abilities with the swords I made for him.”
Realizing the gap between Caliocerion and her own work, an unwitting smile begins to form on Cecilica’s face. In spite of how frustrating the situation should be for her, it’s oddly impossible for her to subdue it.
When she had watched Adol fight before, she knew he had a deep understanding of any sword he wielded; and observing him fight like this had helped her make more progress in her blacksmithing than she had in a long time. However, it hadn’t been enough to help her find that missing “something” she was lacking. But at last, seeing him like this, she has reached the last step of her journey. It’s not just that he understands the sword – it’s that the sword understands him.
She realizes there is an inherent ridiculousness to such a statement, but Cecilica can think of no better way to put it into words. It goes right where he wants it to. It moves at the speed he wants it to. It cuts through his target with the exact amount of resistance he wants it to. It’s like the sword itself is responding to Adol’s needs.
Thinking back to the first time she ever saw Caliocerion, she was clearly impressed with it; and assumed that no normal swordsman would be able to wield it. She was convinced of that now more than ever, in fact. This sword, Caliocerion… belongs with Adol. Naturally, using such a remarkable weapon requires a great degree of prowess, but it fits him in a way that it never would someone else. It matches his personality, his abilities, and his habits. Even if there were another swordsman out there who was just as skilled as he is, they wouldn’t be able to use it as effortlessly as he does.
Cecilica finally understood what her father had said all those years ago.
“This is what he meant about being too ‘by-the-book.’”
Every weapon or piece of armor she’d crafted up until now, she had done with the mindset that it should look and feel exactly the same no matter who bought it. She believed that if she put her all into it, then she could produce something that anyone could use. To put it another way, she was trying to make something that she could mass produce. She had never considered that perhaps it was better to make each piece specific to the individual. At most, she might try to match the customer’s build or size; but nothing beyond that. If selling a lot of weapons and armor was the end goal, then one might even consider that the right approach. That would be “by-the-book,” after all.
A weapon’s functionality is important, but it’s more than that. You have to envision the person who’s going to wield it. Will they be able to handle it to its full potential? Will it be able to draw out their own potential? Are they a good fit for each other? If that’s the case, then it doesn’t matter how many you can sell. Sure, maybe there’ll be someone out there that can use a mass-produced weapon to great effect, but there also might be someone who simply sees it as a defective product. This must be it. This must be the key to reaching that high level she’s been yearning for.
Cecilica is thrilled to no end at having finally found her answer, however—
“The first thing I have to worry about is getting out of this mess.”
She looks back down at the ongoing battle, and just as Dogi had noted earlier, the bandits aren’t particularly strong. Clearly none of them are a match for the combined strength of Dogi and Adol together. However, what they lack in strength they make up for in numbers; the plan being to eventually overwhelm them. Capable though the duo may be, they aren’t inexhaustible. She needed to come up with a way to get them out of there.
“These guys really are like cockroaches.”
After scoping out the area, Cecilica suddenly remembers something and pulls her mallet out of her bag. She starts to tap on the ground beneath her, finds another spot, taps again, and so on for a few minutes until eventually—
“This is it!”
Raising the mallet over her head, she smiles from ear to ear before bringing it down with the all the force that her years of training as a blacksmith can muster. A moment later, a crack begins to run from the spot she hit and several seconds after that, a large portion of the nearby rock-facing breaks away and begins to tumble down the hill.
Cecilica was a full-fledged blacksmith, and had never been able to simply rely on metals and ores that she had in stock; often going out and harvesting them herself. This was particularly true when she was in need of rare materials, and the experience helped her develop a lot of knowledge and skill when it came to mining. For her, it was easy to tell the difference between a sturdy foundation and a fragile one. This is why it was such a simple task for her to find a brittle layer of bedrock, apply a heavy shock to it, and thereby cause a full-on collapse.
“Adol! Dogi! You might want to get out of the way!”
The bandits suddenly find themselves being assaulted by falling rocks and debris. It wasn’t on a large enough scale to reduce their numbers, but that had never been her goal. As the debris falls, the bandits are forced to give up some ground, creating a path through which Dogi and Adol can escape; and the abundance of rocks makes the hillside much more scalable than it was previously. Cecilica waves her arms furiously in the air.
“Now’s your chance! Hurry and get up here!”
All they would have to do now is climb up to her and the three of them could escape. There was no need to stay and fight the rest. They wave back to her and begin making their way up the rocks. Just then, a strange look comes over Adol’s face. A moment later, that same look is now on Dogi’s face as well. It wasn’t just the two of them either; the entire swarm of bandits is now completely fixated on Cecilica. Or, it might be more accurate to say, on what’s directly above her.
A large, dark shadow begins to fall on her location; as though a large swath of clouds were blotting out the sun. In an instant, an enormous presence passes over her with incredible speed; and that combined with its huge mass creates a burst of wind so powerful that it completely topples her over.
Shocked at what just happened, Cecilica manages to get back on her feet; but the image that awaits her upon standing is far and away more shocking still.
“It’s a… bird?”
It was a fitting word to use based purely on the creature’s general appearance, but the sheer mass of the thing made it seem like a far less than adequate description. Its wingspan was at least 10 merai, and its beak was larger than any greatsword or lance. Suddenly she remembers the rumor that Dogi had relayed to them back at the bar about the “Monstrous bird that can lift a whole cow in its talons, and fly above the clouds with a single flap of its wings.”
“It can’t be… It actually exists?”
The beast lets out an ear-piercing cry, flies back toward the hill, and drops to the ground with such force that several bandits are blown in all directions from the impact. But it doesn’t stop there, the giant bird continues to assault them by stabbing at them with its beak, clawing at them with its talons, and occasionally blowing them around with fierce gusts of wind from its powerful wings. The bandits find themselves completely unable to fight back, and they fall one by one. Adol and Dogi aren’t spared from the monster’s fury either, but being quite accustomed to this sort of thing, they are able to evade its attacks.
“W-What… Why is this happening…?”
Cecilica, standing stunned atop the hillside, seems at a loss for words in the face of the terrifying spectacle before her. Unfortunately, the situation is about to take an even worse turn than she expects. Having caused its fair share of havoc, the bird spreads its wings and flies up into the sky. However, as soon as they assume it’s going to leave, it turns around and appears to be aiming itself specifically towards the top of the hill where Cecilica is.
Having realized that she’s being targeted, Cecilica suddenly goes stiff with fear.
She can hear Adol, but the confusion keeps her from processing what he’s saying. Her legs seize up. With this beast’s eyes glaring at her as though she were its next meal, her body is running entirely on instinct.
“I’ve got to get out of here!” she thinks to herself, but her legs simply won’t listen. While true that she doesn’t have the strength of Adol or Dogi, and any attempts to flee might certainly be futile in the end; she doesn’t even have the wherewithal to process that much right now, and things are only about to progress from bad to worse.
There was that shrill cry again. Cecilica, head aching, and off-balance realizes that it sounds a lot closer than it did the last time. A moment later, she looks up to see the monster directly before her.
“Is it going to kill me?”
It was still too early to say. She finds herself clutched in its giant talons as the beast maintains its altitude high above the ground, attempting to fly off. This was in spite of the fact that the bandits had unthinkingly begun to launch an assault on it. She realizes very quickly that if it manages to escape with her, it’s only a matter of time before she’ll meet her untimely end.
“I really do have the worst luck. I finally figured out what I need to do, and now I’m going to die without ever getting the chance to attempt it.”
She turns her eyes to the ground, and sees a tiny person-like shape far below, with hair red as fire – Adol. He is desperately chasing after the giant bird, but Cecilica knows it’s to no avail. It’s obvious that even he wouldn’t be able to land a blow on the creature from so far away.
“Come to think of it, I never got to pay Adol back for all that he did for me. I suppose that’s just one final thing for me to regret.”
He slowly shrinks out of view as they get farther and farther away. Adol, perhaps having finally realized how impossible it would be for him to catch up, stops sprinting after them. He clenches his hand around the hilt of his sword, Caliocerion, and draws it from the scabbard. His stance is different this time, holding the blade up higher than usual. Attacking the monster from this distance is not an option, and at this rate, Cecilica will be lost forever if he doesn’t do something. In the face of such a hopeless situation, Adol does the only thing he can do…
…he throws the sword.
This is not a weapon meant for throwing, but Adol treats it like he would a lance or any other thrown weapon, and it hurtles towards his target. In true mystical-blade fashion, it flows through the air in a near-perfect straight line before sinking deep into the bird’s wing near the joint.
The blade cuts deep, and the giant beast begins to severely lose its balance, although not enough to cause it to fall from the sky completely. The shock and pain is just enough for it to loosen its grip on what it was holding, which now comes tumbling down from the sky.
Not having time to celebrate her sudden release from captivity, Cecilica lets out a wail as she finds herself careening toward the ground at high-speed. Just before she lands, Adol snatches her out of the air, cradling her in his arms. He then carries her behind a nearby rock facing where they’ll both be out of sight. The beast searches around for its foe, circling the area several times; but unable to find anything, it spreads its wings and flies off far into the distance.
Around this time, Cecilica is finally starting to regain her senses; however, rather than relief, her expression is one of anger.
“Adol, how could you!?”
She points towards the giant bird that is slowly fading away in the distance as tears form in the corners of her eyes.
“There was nothing else I could do.”
“But… But… That was Caliocerion!”
Adol throwing his sword had succeeded as a last resort, and Cecilica had been saved, but the blade was now stuck in the monster’s body and would disappear along with it.
“I can’t believe it happened again…”
A sad expression falls over Adol’s face for a moment. However, he looks at Cecilica and quickly sparks a smile again.
“Well, all that really matters is that you’re safe.”
“It’s not okay!! It was so important to you! It fit you so perfectly! It was your partner that saw you through thick and thin! You even said you would never give it up…”
Unable to hold back any longer, Cecilica begins crying softly.
“Swords are made for battle, but they’re more than that. They’re also for protecting what’s most important to us. If a sword becomes more valuable to you than something that precious, then it was never a sword worth having.”
As Adol spoke these words of comfort to her, his smile seemed as bright as the sun. Where did this man come from? A man that would throw away his blade, the very essence of life to a swordsman, without a second thought just to save the life of someone he barely knew? No… She knows it’s precisely because of the kind of man he is that the sword will always be a part of him. The blade had probably chosen him in the first place because of that.
Happiness, sadness, regret, frustration… Unable to put the multitude of feelings into words, all Cecilica could do was let her emotions flow; crying even louder than before.
Dogi, who had only now arrived on the scene, was amazed to find that Adol had once again managed to bring yet another girl to tears.
The sun hasn’t risen yet, but Adol, Dogi, and Cecilica are sitting around a table at the local pub. Dogi takes a swig of whatever he’s drinking and starts to speak.
“I heard the mountain bandits disbanded.”
After their numbers being devastated by the run-in with Adol and the bird-monster, it had become impossible for them to keep their band of thieves together. Cecilica, seemingly unaffected by her experience, responds with indifference.
“Well, you reap what you sow.”
It appears that she’s already gotten over the whole thing.
“I actually read up on that giant bird afterwards, and what I found was pretty interesting.”
The topic piques Dogi and Cecilica’s interest.
“Well, the first thing is its name; which is ancient in and of itself. They call it, ‘Eral-Groll.’”
“That’s a mouthful.”
“Can’t we just stick with ‘monster-bird’?”
“Yeah, that’s fine.”
The three of them have apparently decided to settle on “monster-bird.”
“Anyway, as you probably already figured out, the cave that the bandits made their hideout in was originally a nest.”
“That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense though, does it? That’s not the kind of creature that lives in a cave. I mean, this a bird we’re talking about! Not only was it huge, but how was it supposed to fly in a space that tight?”
“Turns out that their young aren’t able to fly, and because their wings take so long to grow, most of their early life is spent walking around on two legs. In that sense, the tunnels were probably a perfect fit for them.”
“That makes sense.”
“Although I bet their young are still bigger than most bears.”
Adol continues on following Dogi’s supposition.
“Once they get older and their wings begin to grow enough, they finally leave the cave and migrate somewhere else.”
“Which is what gave the bandits the opportunity to convert the cave into their base.”
“But if that’s the case, then why did it come back?”
“I can’t say for sure, but maybe it needed to return in order to lay its eggs? Regardless, after years of being away, seeing its nest being violently destroyed probably sent it into a rage and that’s why it wanted to wipe them out.”
“Does that mean the whole reason it grabbed me is because I was the one who caused the rockfall and it wanted revenge?”
“That’s possible, but I kind of think there was another reason.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, it probably has more to do with the fact that their main food source is Ere-Gali bears.”
“Y-You mean that–!?”
“—Yeah. Because you were wearing that fur coat, it probably thought you were food.”
“I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS THING DID IT TO ME TWICE!!”
“Calm down, will ‘ya?”
“I don’t know how it happened, but somewhere along the line I think I learned how to make cursed clothing…”
The three of them continued to chatter like this for a long while, just as they always had; and before they knew it, the sun had finally risen.
“Alright then, I guess it’s time I got going.”
Cecilica stands up from her seat and begins to gather her things.
“Leaving already, huh?”
“—Don’t you say another word!”
Adol’s mouth quickly snaps shut as Cecilica lets out a sigh.
“We just got done saying our goodbyes the other day, so no matter what you say, I don’t really think I’ll really get a sense of closure.”
The three of them stand in awkward silence for a moment.
“However, I will say this…”
She strikes a familiar pose for the third time since they met; her left hand on her hip, her right hand outstretched, and her finger pointing directly at Adol.
“Be prepared, Adol Christin! The next time we meet, I’m going to make you a sword that outshines even Caliocerion!”
Cecilica, filled with pride and determination, smiles bigger than Adol and Dogi had ever seen her smile before.
“I’ll be looking forward to it.”
And with that, the blacksmith Cecilica Kensia, now with a newfound purpose in her heart and her sights set higher than ever before, begins her journey anew.
Dogi heads into the weapon shop to find Adol holding a new sword that he just purchased for himself.
“C’mon, Adol… The short sword again?”
“That’s all they had.”
“Would it have killed you to get the lady to make you one before she left?”
“Nah, it doesn’t bother me. I’m used to it.”
Indeed. Adol was very accustomed to setting out armed with nothing but a short sword; and with it, the feeling that he was on the precipice of starting another grand new adventure.
However, this particular short sword would not remain long in his possession, for even he was unaware of the fate that would shortly befall him…