296 what one wants to protect

 I'll just finish the sword. It's my first shortsword. I'm not sure if I should go with the mass-produced or the high-end model, but I'm going with the high-end.
 Whenever I hammer, something sparkly scatters with the magic power. According to Riddy, it is "a kind of residue of magic power that has failed to enter the sword" and can only be seen if you are not used to handling magic power.
 Rikke said, "I can see my master's a little better these days. You may be able to see it clearly in the near future.

 Whether it was the skill of pouring the iron (in casting, the skill of casting also affects the finished product) or the nature of the mold, I was able to proceed with the finishing work rather easily. After quenching and wrapping the handle with leather, the work was completed by attaching the blade.
 Normally, I would do the blade attachments all at once, but this time I decided to finish only one of them.
 As a result, it turned out to be a "good" model among the high-end models, but since it is not a custom-made one, it should be fine.
 However, I am proud to say that the result is quite good even for myself. If I were to wholesale this sword by itself, I might charge 1.5 times the usual price.
 I held up the sword I had just completed. The sword glistens orange in the flames of the fireplace and furnace.

It's finished. Oh, but not the scabbard.

 When he showed the finished product to Anne, she stopped making the mold and looked at the sword with her characteristic glittering eyes.

I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to do this.
Yes. I poured the iron into the mold you made and finished the sword from there.
May I hold it?

 Anne asks me cautiously. I glanced at her. I glanced at He-Ren, who was watching our exchange and nodded softly when she noticed my gaze.

It's okay.

 I said, and Anne wiped her hands on a piece of cloth and reached for her sword. She wiped her hands on a piece of cloth and reached for the sword. It was not the first time she had picked up a sword, considering she had picked up a two-handed sword, but she was as cautious as if she were picking up a sword for the first time in her life.


 When she lifted the sword, Anne made a very cute noise. Her eyes became even brighter.
 I thought she was like a child who got the toy she wanted. Perhaps it's only while she's holed up like this that she's able to completely forget her position as the 7th Empress.
 It's almost the same for Diana, only while she's here, she can act not as the Countess of Amur, but as a member of the Eizo Workshop family. But once she is outside, she can't ignore her position, whether she wants to or not.
 So, sooner or later, and I don't know in what way, but when Anne leaves this place, the title will follow her again.

 It would be nice if a little bit of "always" could save her mind from this situation. I couldn't help but think of that as I watched her discussing the sword with Helen.