Chapter 3.5: Hero’s struggle
I exit the bathroom wearing my pajama dress. As I step out of the bathroom, I couldn’t help but think, although I’ve been experiencing the same thing for the last few days, the bath in the royal palace is truly on a whole new level compared to the communal bath at the village. Even the soap is so fragrant that it lingers on my skin.
Soon a maid, Sophie, who’d been waiting for me inside the bedroom guided me to the dressing table. She sat me down in front of it as she stood behind me and began brushing my hair.
Training for the day was over and the memory of my defeat at the hands of the Royal Knight had left their marks on my body in the form of fatigue. Though thankfully the bruises have mostly vanished thanks to Maya’s skillful massage and the potion mixed into the bathwater.
As I enjoyed the feeling of Sophie’s careful hands on my hair, I couldn’t help but sigh. It’s been 3 days since Ragna and I started our combat training with the Royal Knights and so far, we couldn’t beat any of them even with the two of us against one knight.
Ragna and I had the experience of sparring against Franc-bro but these Royal Knights are in a whole different league compared to him. I guess it wasn’t mere talk that each of them equaled an A rank adventurers in terms of skill… The maid heard my sigh and gave me a gentle smile through the mirror’s reflection,
“Thank you for your hard work, Miss Marse.”
I felt my expression stiffen as I heard the maid call my name. Miss Marse… No matter how many times I hear it, I can’t get used to it… it just feels rather… wrong. Then again, less than a week ago, nobody in their right mind would have used the title ‘Miss’ for me….
For now, let me introduce myself… My name is Marse, I was born in the village of Barca in the Kingdom of Luminario. My village isn’t that far from the capital, about a little over a week travel by horse.
I lived with my father, a farmer, though I heard that before I was born, he was an adventurer. My mother passed away when I was 3 years old. I don’t have any significant memories of her but I remember she was beautiful.
Up until several weeks ago, I was a normal 17-year-old boy you could find anywhere. I helped in the field, was taught sword-fighting by the local adventurers, had fun with my friends and so on. It all changed the moment when a knight came to our village with a royal decree.
Apparently, the threat of the land ruled by the so-called ‘demon king’ had caused the King to consult the Goddess of Light, Lumina. In response to her people’s distress, she sent something that was supposedly capable of slaying the demon king, a sacred sword.
However, it turned out that the sword could only be pulled by the chosen person. Thus the search for that “chosen person” began and it turned out… that the chosen person… is me.
Now… that wasn’t a problem for me, it would actually be an honor for me to fight for the sake of the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not underestimating the task.. at least I don’t think I am. I know that it is not an easy task, I will be facing a lot of trials and will have to meet many people, whether allies or foes. No, it isn’t the journey itself that I have an issue with….
My problem is with the sacred sword itself. You see, for some reason, being the wielder of the sacred sword also means having to undergo a certain transformation so that the sword’s power won’t end up overwhelming the wielder.
Unfortunately for me, that means having my body magically remodeled into a female. Yes, it seems that in order for me to NOT end up being killed by the sword’s power, the goddess decided to turn me into a girl.
As expected, the first time I realized that I turned into a female, albeit a very pretty one I must admit, I panicked. Maya and Sophie, two of the palace maids, had tried to stop my rampage but somehow ended up on the receiving end of my panic attack instead. I had apologized to them later on and now they’ve become my personal maids for my stay in the palace.
It turns out that the sword gave me more than just a change in gender. The changes also go deeper than just physical. As time passed, I realized that I was starting to get used to being a female… THAT is probably what scares me the most about the transformation.
The first time I realized that more than my appearance had changed was not long after I woke up. Maya and Sophie had put on a dress on me and surprisingly, I didn’t feel as uncomfortable with it as I thought I would be. There was nervousness and embarrassment, yes, but that’s just about it. If anything, it wasn’t until I met Ragna on the way that I was actually embarrassed about it.
Since then, I’ve noticed that I have started to get used to certain aspects of my new body. For one, I’m no longer feel uncomfortable about washing myself and bathroom issues have also largely stopped being an awkward situation, I’m even starting to enjoy having Sophie brush my hair like she is doing right now.
I snapped out of my thought as I heard a familiar sigh from behind me. I moved my eyes slightly to look at Sophie through the reflection in the mirror and saw her sighing as she brushed my hair. Noticing my gaze, the maid smiled awkwardly and she spoke,
“Oh, it’s nothing, Miss Marse… it’s just that no matter how many times I see and feel your hair, I can’t help but wish to have such beautiful hair like yours. The smoothness of it, how it sparkles like gold and how long it is… as a woman, I just can’t help being envious of it.”
Another maid, Maya, who emerged from the adjoining bathroom, carrying a laundry basket decided to chip in as well,
“I know, right? Not to mention how beautiful she is. She looks like a princess out of a fairy tale, doesn’t she? I bet if she wears a dress and attends a ball, she’ll no doubt be the center of attention. No one would ever expect her to be capable of throwing a fully armored knight from one end of the training ground to the other.”
This time Sophie giggled as she replied to her friend,
“Ah, I remember that. I don’t think Sir Marius will ever forget it either. That’ll teach him a lesson for underestimating girls. Last I heard, he still gets shivers down his spine every time Miss’ name is mentioned.”
At the last bit, I couldn’t help but laugh awkwardly at both of them. Truth to be told, the sword also granted me power beyond human capability. Although when I wasn’t using the power that the sword gave me, my physical ability remained about the same as before my transformation.
However, when I used the light’s power given by the sword, my physical ability jumped to super-human standards, I could even lift a rock several times heavier than me with just one hand. Unfortunately, it wasn’t without its drawback as using the power apparently accelerates my transformation.
The knight that the maids mentioned happened to be the second son of an Earl who joined the knight order since he couldn’t be the heir of the Earl house. While he was rather good looking, he was also extremely cocky and vain and relied mostly on his noble position to hit on girls and treated them like they were below him.
He tried to get me to ‘accompany him for the night’ the first time we met. I tried to reject him politely but he didn’t take well to the rejection. When he forcefully tried to pull me, I panicked and accidentally borrowed the power of the sword.
With my strength enhanced by the sword’s power, I sent him flying across the training ground. Fortunately, he wasn’t seriously injured and the other knights took him to the infirmary in time. Last I heard, he’d made a complete recovery within a few days though rumor has it that once the King heard of the incident, he had the knight’s commander to triple his training.
We continued to chat for a while longer before I felt fatigue set in. I yawned as Sophie and Maya looked at me before speaking,
“It seems you’re getting sleepy, Miss. We will excuse ourselves, now. Please have a good rest.”
I nod at them and watched as they walked out the door before heading to bed myself. As I get into the bed, I turned my body so I ended up lying on my side.
Soon, I started shivering despite the warmth of the room. I crossed my arms in an attempt to warm myself up. My body instinctively curled up as tears escaped my eyes and dampened the pillow, my lips trembling as I whimpered.
The truth is… I was afraid… extremely so… The changes I have been expriencing scare me like nothing else had before….. Within the past few days, I experienced so many things and emotions that I never even dreamt of experiencing…
Most of all, I was afraid of how even my sense of self was changing. I was afraid that… I would fall asleep… and find myself as a completely different person… I was afraid of losing my identity…
At the same time, I knew that this is one issue that I couldn’t let anyone know about… not even Ragna. As I slowly closed my eyes, I whispered between my sobs,