Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sword Art Online Volume 09 - Alicization Beginning

Prologue

Grasping the axe.

Swinging upwards.

Striking down.

It might be just those actions, but if the mind was distracted even slightly, the reaction from the hard bark would bounce back relentlessly to both arms. Breathing, timing, speed, shifting of body weight, all of them must be perfectly controlled from the beginning, transmitting the hidden power from the heavy blade of the axe to the tree, producing a pleasant, clear, high-pitched sound.

While he could understand the theory well, actually doing it wasn’t that simple. Eugeo was given this task in the spring when he was ten, and it would be the second coming of summer since then, yet he could only get that pleasant feedback once out of ten swings. He was told by fellow axe users that his predecessor Garitta-jiisan always hit the bull’s eye, and even though he didn’t show his fatigue after brandishing the heavy axe, but after merely fifty times Eugeo’s hands went numb, his shoulders became sore, and he could no longer lift up his arms.

“Forty...... three! Forty...... four!”

He counted with his loudest voice to push himself while striking the axe on the great tree’s trunk, the sweat gushing out caused his eyes to blur, his hands became slippery, and his accuracy continually decreased. Partly due to his desperation, he grasped the woodcutting axe tightly and brandished it over his body.

“Forty...... nine! Fif......t......y!!”

His last strike was a big deviation from his usual skill, it hit the bark a distance away from the deep cut on the trunk, producing an ear-splitting metallic sound. Due to the reaction which was as if it could make a spark come out of his eyes, Eugeo dropped the axe, staggered a few steps back, then sat down on the thick moss.

While he repeated his rough breathing, he heard a voice mixed with laughter from his right.

“The good sound came out three out of fifty times. So the total is, erm, forty-one huh. It seems today’s Siral water is your treat, Eugeo.”

The owner of the voice, who was lying down slightly further away, was a young boy of a similar age. Eugeo didn’t reply immediately, but fumbled for the leather water canteen then picked it up. He greedily drank the water, which had become completely warm. After he became comfortable he closed it with the hard cork, then said,  “Hmn, yours is only forty-three, isn’t it? I’ll catch up soon anyway.

Here, it’s your turn...... Kirito.”
“Yeah yeah.”


To continue reading, you can download the file here!