TGL Volume 1, Chapter 0

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“I was the greatest man in the world.

I killed an elder dragon with a single slash of my sword.

I resolved the eternal war between the three factions.

I tamed the untamable creature—the phoenix.

I created a new branch of magic that heralded an age of magicians.

I concocted pills that brought the dead back to life.

I forged the strongest weapons in the world.

I owned the sword of legends—Durandal.

And then, when I was at my peak,

I died.”

-The Godking’s Epitaph

***

Some people say my master was the greatest man in the world: The bards sing of his accomplishments in taverns. The parents tell their children stories of his deeds. The youths in training aspire to be as strong as he was. The people made him into a legend, an undefeatable existence that represented the strength of humanity. But I know that’s all bullshit. Strongest in the world? More like most shameless.

My master was famous for a lot of things, but his crowning achievement as a swordsman was slaying an elder dragon with a single slash. He slew an elder dragon in a single strike. Are you kidding me? People really believe that? He, a two-meter-tall man, slew an elder dragon, a castle-sized, fire-breathing lizard with impenetrable scales, in a single strike. Read that again and tell me that’s not bullshit. I’ll tell you the truth—he didn’t even try to fight it. He hired the demons to make a potion of great strength with a side effect of sleepiness, which he then fed to the dragon. It hasn’t awoken yet, but when it does…, oh boy.

Aside from his (bullshit) achievements in swordsmanship, my master was heralded as a savior of the world because he established peace between the three major factions: the humans, the demons, and the fae. If they knew how he did it, would he still be called a savior? He kidnapped the emperor’s son, the demon lord’s daughter, and the fae queen’s nephew. But wait. Hold on. Isn’t that pretty impressive in itself? No. He lured the three of them with a piece of candy, a puppy, and a trail of shiny coins. Then he threatened to feed them to a dragon unless they signed a peace agreement. By they, I mean the children, not the parents.

But, narrator, why would he do something like that? Doesn’t that make him a real savior? Maybe. I don’t know. I do know he really liked a dessert the fae made called ice cream and wanted to buy it legally. It definitely wasn’t for any magnanimous reason like ending the eternal war or solving world hunger. He was too selfish of a bastard to do something like that.

Amongst the beast tamers, my master was heralded as a god for taming a phoenix. Little do they know, he kidnapped a hatchling and tricked it into a contract with fried phoenix eggs. He fed fried phoenix eggs to a baby phoenix. Do you know how immoral that is? Disregarding the fact that he was unusually good at manipulating children, he practically turned a phoenix into a cannibal. Have you ever heard of Stockholm syndrome? That poor phoenix was a captive.

Abuse of animals aside, my master became a genius magician in the public’s eye. He was a human—a human becoming a genius magician when demons are the kings of magic. How? Simple. He kidnapped the demons’ leading researcher’s daughter and exchanged her for the new branch of magic that was under development. The demons tried to protest, but given my master’s incredible track record, no one believed them.

Famous alchemist? He should be called famous kidnapper. The prodigal child alchemist at the time magically went missing, and my master became a grandmaster at pill making. I wonder what happened. I can tell you it starts with ‘Stockhol’ and ends with ‘yndrome’.

Godly weaponsmith? He blackmailed the dwarven king and bribed the elvish archbishop to create enchanted weapons which he sold under his name.

Owned a legendary sword with the strongest weapon spirit inside of it? That’s the only part that’s true. My name is Durandal. I am that sword.


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