Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sword Art Online Volume 11 - Alicization Turning

Chapter 5 - Seal of the Right Eye (5th Month of Human World Calendar 380) 

«Underworld».

That is the name of this world. It is not in the Common Tongue, but in the Sacred Tongue, so most of
its inhabitants live on without realizing the connotations that come with the name.

The «Human World» draws a perfect circle with a diameter of one and a half thousand kilolu right in
the middle of Underworld. Its circumference is surrounded by the «Mountain Range at the Edge» and beyond that, the country of darkness where demi-humans such as goblins and orcs live, «Dark
Territory» continues outwards—that was the common belief, but practically no human can claim to
have seen that with their own eyes.

The Human World was split into four empires and the one that ruled over the north was the «Norlangarth North Empire», with its fertile grasslands, deep forests and many lakes. On the outhern
tip of the empire's fan-shaped circular sector, at the part close to its focal point, was the capital of the
empire, «North Centoria». The other three empires were structured in the exact same manner, so the
four capitals were joined into a single, small disc at the heart of the Human World, collectively called, «Central Centoria».

Once again, at the heart of Centoria, was the lofty white tower of the «Worldwide Central Axiom
Church» that held authority over all four empires, ruling over the Human World with the absolute law; the «Taboo Index», and with the absolute military might; the «Integrity Knights». The structure that boasted of a splendor that almost reached Solus in the sky could be said to be the heart of the Human World, in every sense of the word. In other words, it was likely that it could be said to be the heart of Underworld itself.

This was the form of the world, as understood by Eugeo.

It had already been two years since he had set out on that journey southward with his partner, Kirito,
from the small village of Rulid at the northern tip of the northern empire until the spring of this current year.

And they were given appointments in the guard squadron of the largest city in the northern region,
then they had advanced to the central capital with letters of recommendation personally written by
their commanding officer early in the spring of the previous year. Overcoming the entrance examination for the most prominent swordsman training institution in the empire, «North Centoria
Sword Mastery Academy», and diligently tempering themselves in the one year they had served as
novice trainees, they had even been among the ranks of the top twelve in the promotion examination
at the end of the year.

Those twelve would be appointed not as advanced trainees, but as honor students known as «elite
swordsmen-in-training». They were provided with a dormitory with a connected spacious practice
arena for their exclusive use, and were freed from much of the minor academy regulations, spending
that single year immersed in training for the right to participate in the «Empire Swordsmanship
Tournament», the ultimate goal of all of the academy students.

Going through specialized lessons and swordsmanship tuition, followed by self-practice each day was difficult, but those days were like a dream to Eugeo. If he hadn't met that strange young man named
Kirito two years ago, he would now be living each day swinging an axe to chop wood from day to
night, continuing that «sacred task» until he retired from old age. He was able to proceed towards his goal, associating with the young nobles in the central capital, learning swordsmanship and sacred arts, even if it's a little at a time.

Unlike his fellow students, Eugeo's goal was not merely to emerge as the champion of the «Four
Empires Unity Tournament» and be commissioned as an honorable integrity knight.

It was to become a knight and pass through the door to the Axiom Church's Central Cathedral that
even a first class aristocrat could not step into... to once again meet, Alice Schuberg, a female
childhood friend of his who was taken away to the Cathedral long ago.

He had once given up; the one who had shown him the path towards that wish of his, far, far away,
was his partner, Kirito. They had overcome every obstacle that stood in their way with their combined might over these two years. With Eugeo teaching the various rules to Kirito who had lost his memory, beginning with the Empire Fundamental Law, and Kirito teaching Eugeo his unique swordsmanship, the «Aincrad-style», they had survived to this day with their pace in sync, as though they were brothers... no, twins.


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