Chapter 4 - The Cursed Demon Slaying Swo ...

Chapter 4 - The Cursed Demon Slaying Sword

May 08, 2022

"Gee, what am I supposed to do with this," Ai held an ore in her hand, lying on the porch, looking at the two siblings together under the moonlight.

She knew that she got special treatment but didn't know how special. They all got a Katana that could kill Demons, but these Katana's weren't permanent.

Only once they passed did they get their Katana, made from the ore they chose from the others, and she chose it, but she already had her sword.

"Nothing. Keep it to yourself," Urokodaki sat beside her, putting a teacup for her and Kanao.

She gave Kanao the cup, who scooted closer to her, and took hers, thanking him for the tea. She watched Nezuko, and Urokodaki noticed that "Won't ask? You must have noticed that, right?"

"Is that something someone has to notice? Wasn't it obvious from the start?" Ai smiled, taking a sip of the tea.

"You don't have anything to say about that?"

"Should I? Don't you know what my nature is?"

"This and that are different."

"Not so much. In a way, my humanity has won, and she's still fighting for hers. I'll cheer her on," Ai said, glancing towards Kanao, wondering what she thought of the situation, but she never replied or spoke about it.

The following day, she and Kanao took their leave, going towards the house of the Stone Breathing Cultivator, and this time it only took her two weeks to learn before she moved on, learning the other two basic styles over the next month and traveling.

The only style left was the Flame Style, but this time she wasn't going to a Cultivator, but the current Flame Hashira or so she was told by Kanao.

"The swordsmiths are highly curious about your weapon and sought the permission of Master to study it. But Master can't give such permission so he asks of you that if you want if you don't mind, you can visit the Swordsmiths Village. The Flame Hashira is there, protecting the Village, and you can learn Flame Breathing Technique there."

"Oh," Ai over to the sword's hilt on her back, smiling, "I don't mind. Rather, it seems fun, the idea that the Flame Hashira'd teach me. I heard much about him."

Kanao nodded, and they started their journey towards the Swordsmith's village. Since the Swordsmith's village was hidden, no one knew where it was. They had a protective measure for all your senses, no matter which one, and they carried the two.

The traveling took them two weeks to reach the Swordsmith's village and hours to enter. The Village wasn't big, but it was covered by the trees and hills, filled with Swordsmiths that made the Nichirin Sword for the Corps and provided significant support to the Demon Slayers.

It could be said that Demon Slayers wouldn't be Demon Slayers without the Nichirin Sword that the Smiths created for them.

"What…are you sniffing?" Kanao tilted her head, looking at Ai, who had a flush on her cheeks.

"Hot springs! I love hot springs, and I can smell them!"

"You have been to a hot spring before? Then you would enjoy the ones here. They heal wounds, burns, constipation, gout, muscle pain, joint pain, etc."

The person who guided them all the way took them to the chief house, bowing as they took their leave.

Ai excitedly went inside to show them the sword and then go to the hot spring, but she gravely misunderstood the zeal these swordsmiths had.

The moment she took the first step in, her face was hit by the loud road, noise, cheering at her arrival. No, the sword's arrival, and then the crowd, like animals, rushed over, ready to crush everything in the way, and took the sword, throwing her out of the room.

She fell back on her butt, hearing their discussion, "Amazing! Look at this color! It is the natural color of the material!"

"Ohhhh~!!!! This is heavenly craftsmanship!!"

"Two souls created this? Truly otherworldly, there is so much we could learn from this!"

"Make sure to note everything about it, every little detail, especially this crisscross pattern of scarlet and turquoise on the hilt. It's the Demons! I want to know what the color represents! Figure out anything you can!"

"Hehehe," Ai let out a hollow laugh, standing up, before she went to the hot spring with Kanao. She took a dip in the warm water, feeling her fatigue wash away.

The fatigue she felt wasn't only from traveling but more. It was because of the nightmares she had been having recently. The nightmares about being a demon, about chasing someone, about killing. The feeling of the claw going through the chest, the arms that were torn apart, the scream, everything.

When she chose this, she had an inkling that it would happen. It didn't scare her or worry her since she was ready to pay the price. If it meant remembering the lives, she was about to take. She wouldn't have done this in her world, but in this one that wasn't her own, she wanted to remember every life she took, even if it were the Demons who deserved to die.

Her eyes got heavier and heavier, and when she felt she was about to fall, two soft palms cupped her cheeks, pulling her head out of the water.

Ai looked at Kanao, blinking, gently speaking, hesitating, "Don't…die. If you are tired…rest."

"Tired," Ai closed her eyes, smiling, pulling Kanao's hands away from her cheek, "How can I rest? My journey is still beginning. I want to get stronger, as fast as I can, to kill him, the one that is the Source of Demons, and free everyone, once and for all."

Kanao glanced away in the distance, nodding, "I believe you…."

"Huh….Awww~~!!" Ai jumped on Kanao, hugging her tightly, "Kanao believes in me?! That means so much!"

Kanao tried to pull away in embarrassment but couldn't pull away because of the tight grip that Ai had on her. Not until Ai willingly let go of her.

The two of them got dressed and Ai, but when they reached the end of the road and were about to enter further inside the village, a voice caused their footsteps to stop.

"You are the Ai Senju that I heard so much about."

Kanao looked at the person that called out, the one who was leaning against the tree and bowed forward in respect. But the guy just waved his hand, grinning, standing in front of Ai, looking into her eyes with a wide grin plastered on his lips, "I am Kyojuro Rengoku! And I will be teaching you Flame Breathing Technique!"

Ai gazed at him in a daze, smiling, "You are like the breath of fresh air, just like the spring's wind."

"Hahaha, you think? Flattery will not make me go easy on you."

AI grinned, "It's not flattery if it's true, but I thank you for taking time out of your precious schedule to teach me."

Rengoku gestured with his hand for her to walk and then walked with her, narrowing his eyes, "I heard you have already mastered the other Four Breathing Techniques?"

"Yes, but they aren't as helpful as one would think. I need to abruptly stop one style and start the other to change. It leaves me wide open for about 30 seconds to one minute. There is no way a Demon will give me time for that."

"Haha, yes, that does happen. This is why most people, even the Hashira Master, only one. But others are like you too; they too saw the path they wanted to walk, Mastered the Basic Paths, and moved to their own. But many were stuck at this stage, never to be able to find their path."

"Hehehe, I have a secret weapon that others did not," Ai confidently said, but Rengoku was still doubtful.

Kanao held onto Ai's long sleeve of the yellow kimono, "Ai can do it."

Ai pulled Kano closer, draping her hands over her, holding her, "See, even Kanao says so!"

Rengoku stopped his footsteps, and she stopped hers too, only to see him walk a few steps forward and turn around to face her, "Then show me."

Ai slowly blinked, looking at the clearing in the forest that surrounded the Swordsmith Village and then Rengoku. She tilted her head, with her hands still over Kanao's shoulder, hugging her from behind, "But I don't have my sword."

Rengoku slowly blinked, unsure, looking at Ai's back, realizing, "Oh. Ohhh, right."

The two of them watched each other in the awkward air before Rengoku burst out laughing, "Hahahahaha, so I made a fool of myself. Very well, you can rest today, and tomorrow we get your Katana and get right to the training part."

AI chuckled, "Yes, sir!"

Kanao watched the two of them, darting their eyes between the two, tilting her head in confusion.

That night, Ai had much better sleep, but while she was sleeping peacefully, the Swordsmiths that had even touched the sword couldn't take a five-minute power nap without the Nightmares attacking them.

By the morning, when Ai wanted to ask them if she could get her sword back, she found that it was in the middle of the room, pierced into the ground. All the other swordsmiths were on the room's edges, surrounding it but not going close to it.

Their eyes were fixed on her when she entered the room, looking at so many people wearing the Tengu Mask before standing in front of the chief, who was much shorter than others in height, "Chief?"

"Child, do you wish to wield that cursed blade? It will be the End of You. One day, you'd be too tired from these nightmares, and the Demon you come across will be tricky, and then, you'd be dead for sure."

Ai scratched her cheek, "I have thought of that scenario many times. But…if that is the Fate I end up with because of my choices, then so be it. I chose to do this…and I don't want to give up because it's hard."

"That's going too far! Wielding that sword is simply suicide!"

Ai crouched in front of the sword, wrapping her fingers around its hilt, "Then, it'd be a death and life that I chose."

"Moreover, it's not just the nightmares, you know. There are times when I dream of the happy lives they had as the human, the moments when they were happy, and there couldn't be any bigger motivator," Ai grinned brightly, putting the broadsword on her back, as her smile lessened and she narrowed her eyes, "Above all, there are times I get to see him."

"Him?" The chief asked, having come to an answer before he even asked it.

"The Demon King, and the moment he turned them into Demons. I get to have a good look at him, and there are times when he talks to himself, thinking no one would remember that. I am sure, one of these Demons, the ones that I killed, they'd have the memory of him slipping, saying something that is bound to give me an edge."

Like others who saw her in awe, the chief sighed and nodded, "Very well, then. We will prepare for you a sword that is the same as the one on your back, down to its weight. Use that one to practice, and use this one only and only when you are about to fight a Demon. If you agree to those terms, you will be allowed to leave this village. Till then, you'll be staying here."

"Well, I can't reject that kindness, can I?" Ai bowed towards him, thanking him, "Thank you for your kindness."

"Heard that, boys! You better get to work! I want the best replica possible! Not a gram, more or less!"


Ai watched them rush out in zeal, ready to make the sword with their notes, and she walked out of the room, going directly to the training ground. Instead, the clearing where Rengoku took her yesterday.

She stayed still for a minute or two, and Rengoku appeared before her with a smile on his lips, "Are you ready?"

Ai raised her hand, wrapping her fingers around the hilt, "Yes, please teach me."

"Then come," Rengoku blitzed forward, lowering his speed more than enough for Ai to react and raise her sword, colliding with it. The two of them started exchanging blows, with Rengoku using the First Three Forms of Fire Breathing and Ai using all forms of Water Breathing, and then Rengoku shouted for her to change.

She started using the Stone Breathing, changing the battlefield from the ground to the air, throwing stones at him, only for them to be melted by Rengoku's flames.

When Rengoku shouted change again, she moved onto Wind Breathing, slashing continuously to form a horizontal cyclone. Only for it to be cut apart by Rengoku, but she took the chance to jump up, using the Four Form, "Rising Dust Storm!"

She unleased several slashes below towards Rengoku, and it was something that Rengoku avoided, appearing behind her, slamming his leg towards her waist.

Much to his surprise, the sword pivoted, blocking the kick, and Ai used the chance to rotate, trying to kick Rengoku in the face, only to be blocked by his forearm.

"Hahahaha! Well done!! That was brilliant! Change!"

Ai sucked in a deep breath, changing the style of her breathing, "Thunder Breathing – Alternate First Form."

It was different from any breathing that Rengoku had seen; he could hear the chirping of birds starting to sound on the blade as it was covered in blue lightning. She blitzed straight forward, "Chidori!"

She pierced forward, and Rengoku made a solemn face, using all his power to swing his sword, without any form, stopping her in the place, dispersing the Chidori.

He let out a smile of approval, "That is your style?"

"Could say that," Ai gasped for breath as sweat covered her body, "But it takes a lot…."

"I can see that a powerful technique; I can't wait to see other styles," Rengoku grinned, "But I saw what I wanted to see. Let's start teaching you the Flame Breathing Technique."

"Yes," Ai wiped the sweat from her cheeks and forehead, holding a smile on her lips.

She barely thought that she should get her journal to take down the notes, but it was already in front of her face. She blinked, looking up at Kanao, who gave her the journal, and she took it, thanking her, "Thank you."

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