A new chapter sponsored by Patreon today, enjoy~
Chapter 1 – The Sword Saint
───The [Orz Forest] was located near the Regal Kingdom. It’s a place overflowing with rich nature, and the forest brought a lot of resources and benefits to the Regal Kingdom.
At the same time, this forest was known throughout the world as one of the dangerous zones.
The danger level was lower than that of the Great Devil’s Nest because the Great Devil’s Nest, where Yuuya lives, had been designated as a super-dangerous zone that was even more dangerous than this forest.
However, because this [Orz Forest] had valuable resources more accessible than the Great Devil’s Nest, many adventurers and others come and go, and the monsters were naturally thinned out, so it was safe for people to live in a city near the forest.
Furthermore, there was one reason why the Regal Kingdom was a safer place now than ever before.
A woman was standing there, surrounded by several monsters. She had a wolf cut of peach-colored hair and slit pink eyes. She was wearing a silver breastplate, a jet-black cloak, and a single sword.
This place was too dangerous for a person to be visiting alone, and even now, the woman was surrounded by a pack of black tigers, a B class monster with black body hair and white stripes.
If it’s a single tiger, an adventurer of B class or higher can defeat it, but the number of black tigers surrounding the woman now numbered over a dozen.
Normally, a party of A-level adventurers or S-level adventurers would be needed to defeat them. However, the black tigers, despite being such dangerous beasts, showed an unusual degree of caution towards the woman in front of them and were reluctant to attack.
Then one of the black tigers became impatient and finally attacked the woman.
But in the next moment… with a clear metallic sound, the head of the black tiger slipped off its body and fell down without knowing the reason. The other black tigers became more cautious because of their companions’ death. Still, their anger at the loss of a companion did not subside, and they finally attacked the woman together.
In spite of the fact that she was being attacked by the deafening roars that would make an ordinary person faint, the woman herself continued to stand there, looking as if nothing had happened.
The black tigers attacked at once, their heads and bodies cut apart in midair, and they fell down.
The pack of black tigers turned into particles of light and left a drop item on the spot. The woman who was attacked quietly gazed at it, and before long, she sheathed the sword in her hand.
“Phew… This isn’t gonna be much of a training session then.”
The woman who said these unbelievable words was the “Sword Saint”───Iris Knowblade, who was currently residing in the Regal Kingdom.
“…I mean, it’s no good because of the things I say…”
Iris let out a big sigh, disgusted with her own words, actions, and thoughts.
“Sigh…I’m the only one of my classmates who hasn’t married yet… and I can’t stop training with my sword… so what am I supposed to do…?”
The strongest and most famous sword saint was worried about her nearing the end of her marriageable age.
Iris has been fascinated with swords ever since she can remember and honed her skills to become a knight eventually. However, the House of Knowblade, where Iris was born, was a great noble family with the title of duke, and Iris’s father did not allow Iris to become a knight.
Therefore, although Iris originally wanted to attend a knight’s school, her father forced her to attend a girls’ school for the daughters of noble families. Naturally, Iris rebelled against her father’s decision. But with the pressure from the Knowblade family, and with the persuasion of those around her, she reluctantly entered the girls’ school.
“I was sent to a girls’ school, but it didn’t mean much to me.”
Suddenly, remembering her old self, Iris sliced through the new monsters that were attacking her. However, Iris does not seem to have pulled out her sword, and only a clear metallic sound echoes.
───Her parents intended for her to enter a girls’ school to learn how to behave like a lady and to prepare her to marry into another noble house or royalty eventually.
But because she was more interested in swords than romance, and because she hadn’t mastered any of the behaviors expected of a noblewoman, her father was unable to find a suitable engagement for his daughter, or even arrange an engagement, with any noble family.
There were even some offers from noblemen who could be a great connection for the Knowblade family, but the Knowblade family would lose their dignity and trust if they sent the inexperienced Iris in marriage, so they tearfully turned down the talks of engagement.
Iris cut down the monsters one after the other, showing a sense of composure that made it hard to believe that she was being attacked by monsters. She was so bizarre that even the monsters even tried to run away, but they could not escape from Iris’s blade.
“I wanted to give up the path of the sword, but there was no proposal for an arranged marriage for me. It’s strange when I think about it… I wonder what the reason for that was…?”
Iris, who was unaware of her parents’ intentions, grew up doing whatever she wanted, even though she was not able to quit the girls’ school halfway through.
However, Iris never abandoned her sword, regardless of the school she attended.
Furthermore, the school she entered was not a normal school, but the prestigious Artemia Girls’ Academy, and the headmistress was a legendary witch who had once worked as an S-class adventurer despite being a noblewoman.
That’s why, even though it’s a girl’s academy, there were classes to learn how to defend oneself, and Iris didn’t neglect to practice voluntarily. As a result, Iris acquired abilities that far exceeded those of her classmates and obtained a power that overwhelmed even the teachers.
Then, the headmaster of the school, who was interested in Iris’ abilities, introduced a certain person to Iris. That person was the former “Sword Saint,” who would become Iris’s master.
“When I think about it now, it’s because of that encounter that I have become the person I am today.”
Recalling her predecessor, the former “Sword Saint,” Iris cut down the fleeing monsters.
───Since her predecessor was also a woman, she took an interest in Iris, who also wanted to pursue the path of the sword. Iris had a talent for swordsmanship, so she officially became an apprentice, and from there, she became even more devoted to swordsmanship.
However, she could not neglect her studies, so she reluctantly continued to attend the girls’ school.
Although she devoted herself entirely to the sword, she was blessed with many friends.
The other students were all girls who were ladylike and seemed to have a hard time with the self-defense classes, but they were surprisingly compatible with Iris. The girls learned self-defense from Iris, and Iris learned how to act like a lady from them.
Gradually, Iris’s mindset began to change. At first, Iris had no interest in anything but swords, but by the time she was about to graduate, she was as interested as any woman in topics such as romance and marriage.
It was common for the fairy-tale existence of a Holy to be feared more than necessary by those around her, but perhaps because she was blessed with the environment of the girl’s academy, Iris was surrounded by many friends, which was unusual for a “Holy.”
And when Iris finally graduated from the academy, her father could do nothing about it, as she had already surpassed her predecessor and taken over the title of “Sword Saint.”
No matter how much influence the Knowblade family had as a duke house, a “Holy” who dealt with the “Evil” enemy of the world was treated with more importance in some countries, so Iris’s father no longer had the power or strength to control Iris’s life.
That’s why Iris’s father had given up on her. He gave up on the idea of marrying Iris off to another family and decided not to interfere with her. This was exactly what Iris had wanted.
However, after graduation, her friends got married one after another, and she became the only single person left in her class. This was when she started to think about marriage for the first time.
However, since she had never been in love before marriage, she had to learn about love first.
“It’s not right… It wasn’t supposed to be like this…!”
Iris had reached the turn of her twenties. In this world, it was normal for people to be married by their early twenties at the latest. Iris had not married, or had even been in a relationship with a man.
“I was approached so many times before, but now no one is talking to me… Why… why has it become like this…?”
Iris stared at the ground in a dark mood.
As Iris said, she was often approached by men when she was a girls’ school student on the street. Even though she was in her late twenties now, there was no way that Iris, with her overwhelming good looks, would not be approached.
But Iris had set conditions for the man she wanted to go out with: he had to be stronger than her, he had to be financially secure, and he had to be good-looking. …She had set these conditions.
That’s why she turned down all the men, who picked her up or approached her directly about an engagement, as they didn’t meet all the requirements. And as a result──no one talked to her anymore as she was unapproachable.
“I-I know I’ve been very strict with my requirements. So now I’ve changed my mind…!”
Iris said this in an impatient tone, making excuses to no one in particular.
Then, behind such a defenseless Iris, a single monster was quietly creeping up on her.
It was a black snake called an “Assassin’s Snake,” a rank A monster with a massive body of up to five meters in length, but its skills had completely shut out the sound and presence as it crept closer.
It was difficult to detect because it used skills to hide even its huge body, and many adventurers had fallen victim to its surprise attacks.
The Assassin Snake quietly and calmly aimed at Iris───.
“───I don’t need a man to be rich or cool; I just want someone stronger than me!”
When the clear metallic sound was heard again, the assassin snake’s neck and torso were split apart, and it died. In Iris’s hand, she was holding onto a sword again.
“I wonder if there is anyone stronger than me…”
Although Iris had completely misjudged which of her conditions should have been loosened, for Iris, wanting someone stronger than herself was unavoidable.
She grew up without knowing about romance, and as she developed delusions of being in love, she longed for a prince who could protect her and save her. Iris could not abandon this fantasy she had once yearned for.
The somewhat disappointing “Sword Saint” Iris was overwhelmingly strong, but she was struggling against a powerful enemy called marriage.