Chapter 24Mature

Simon walked along the worn surface of the Asterius' deck. It was indeed an old ship, as Simon had thought when he first laid eyes upon it, but it was designed by someone who knew his trade far too well. The placement of the runes - Simon was not familiar with the things, as they were primarily used in Valhalla - and the design of the engine suggested years of planning before even attempting a prototype.

Swords had always been Simon's first love. He had learned to make them as a way to get over his past and fell in love with the art, mainly due to his own past as a swordsman. Then he started running into guns and other unfair advantages. So, after finishing his training in blacksmithing, he became apprenticed to a tinkerer and learned the art of engineering. Through that he was able to enhance his swords with devices to even the playing field. This had only increased his love for the things. 

The only reason he had ever became a shipwright was due to a knack he had for it. It was money and so Simon began fixing and working on Airships. They had been interesting, but never really something he loved. 

This ship, though... Simon placed a hand on the railing. He had been working on repairs for this ship. Through Rayna, he had obtained blueprints of the overall design and how things worked. It hadn't taken Simon long to actually love the Asterius. 

It was small, yes. It seemed too ornate to the untrained eye as well... But, it was a work of art. Every part, every little piece of wood and metal, was placed with the upmost thought put into it. Simon was truly amazed by this work of art. It had made him want to make something of his own. 

Which is why he was walking the docks this night. Of course, it was impossible to tell if it was night or day, but Rayna locking herself in her quarters to sleep and the other crewmembers hiding to find their own way to the darkness told Simon it was.

In his hands, Simon held a long blade styled after the long lost western kingdom. It had a long sleek blade with a slight curve. They were fragile, but expertly crafted by using a forging method called folding. Despite their fragile design, Simon found them beautiful. Of course, this one was more than just a blade. 

Inside the blade was a series of tubes connected to many small chambers with turbines. The blade had not been made with folding, as it should have been, but had been molded around the device Simon had invented. The Asterius had it's own forgery next to the engine room, so Simon had no problem making the sword. 

He sliced it through the air as hard as he could with his good arm, listening to the slight crackling it gave off. That would be the turbines generating electricity and sending it through the blade. The good luck to the fragile style of the blade. It fit Simon's feelings about this ship. Beautiful, interesting, yet still unsure of how well it would work.

Freed. That would be this blade's name. 

"That's quite a sword."

Simon forced himself not to turn and assume a defensive stance. Rayna was good at sneaking around, but that would happen when you were hunted by such monstrosities. Simon had heard of their new navigator's recruitment. 

"It's called an Odachi, a certain style of Katana from the lost Western Kingdom." Simon slowly turned and saw that Rayna was in casual wear. Most likely in preparation for going to town. "I have decided it would be best to have a lighter blade for my healing arm." 

To demonstrate this, Simon grabbed Freed with his bad arm and swung it. The arm was still a little stiff, but that doctor had done good work. 

"I thought you used that sword-" she pointed to Highbane, which rest on Simon's back "-with two hands. Trying to overcompensate?"

Simon shook his head. "Of course not." Simon pulled Highban with his good arm and swung it a few times. "A gentleman never says more than he can back up. That would be good luck."

The Iron Viking looked at Simon funny. "Good luck? Don't you mean bad luck?"

Simon shook his head. "Bad luck follows good luck."

Rayna didn't seem to want to waste any more time on the subject so she just shrugged it off and pulled her hood up. "I'm going out. Make sure that doctor doesn't snoop where he shouldn't."

And with that, the woman Simon served disappeared into the darkness. Simon would really have to ask her how she did that. It would be useful for night combat. Damn pistols couldn't see him if he could meld with the shadows. 

Simon shrugged the thought away and sheathed Highbane. He needed to practice with Freed using his bad arm. Rehabilitation was important, after all...

The End

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