I’m ending 2022 with my bread and butter; cute, weird enemies to lovers with fantasy elements. Personified swords are so fun.
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Forget Me Not has been polished to a cruel sheen. They always look beautiful, even when they’re covered in blood. No, especially then. From the tip of their blade to their bejeweled hilt, they are every bit the blessed sword of legend. Their master has taken evident care of them, sharpening and oiling after countless battles.
Slaughterer has not had such treatment in some time. Rust colors her dull blade. Her mistress wields her less like a sword and more like an axe these days, one of many symptoms of her despair. She’s lost count of the number of times she’s torn at her clothes, hair, and face after yet another loss to the hero. Even her weapon became a part of her ravings, tossed across the room, acquiring yet another chip on her blade.
Jealousy does not become Slaughterer, but it rises up nonetheless when she encounters Forget Me Not. The spirit sealed within her steel calls out to them as they clash on the battlefield.
“Your cliché existence pains me,” she taunts. “A blessed sword? Were the gods not feeling creative? Why not a mace for once? Or a scythe? Or—”
“—or a butter knife? That would suit you, I think.” Forget Me Not’s voice rings sharp and clear as a bell.
Slaughterer delights in their reply. Forget Me Not always struck her as far too snooty and uptight to engage in banter with the likes of her. She tries not to let as much show in her tone of voice.
Instead, she opts for something coy: “How do you figure? Easy to hold?”
“Incapable of much damage.” Their reply is punctuated by Slaughterer being knocked from her mistress’ grasp.
Though she acquires another triangular divot in her blade thanks to the encounter, Slaughterer cannot find it in her to be upset. It’s nothing personal, after all; they are tools, both of them, made from birth to obey the whims of another. The most freedom they have is the ability to speak to one another, and even that has a lot to do with none of the humans bothering to listen.
Emboldened by their last encounter, Slaughterer makes it a point to speak to Forget Me Not more often. They, in turn, banter back. It’s so fun that she forgets that their masters are trying to kill each other.
“Ah, it’s you! Your blade is so short and thin I mistook you for a toothpick!”
“Silence, you glorified lightning rod!”
She forgets up until she cannot anymore. When her mistress’ swordsmanship, weathered by anger and evil, falls to pieces before Forget Me Not’s master.
The hero takes Slaughterer from her mistress’ cold, dead hands as a war trophy. A pang of sadness ran through her core, but that is all. The woman that wielded her with passion and grace was long gone.
Relief was the primary emotion that washes over her blade when she is hung on the hero’s wall alongside Forget Me Not. They are far more disillusioned with being retired from battle. Though she doesn’t share their concerns, she understands: what’s a sword without a swordsman? They’ve fulfilled their purpose, their heaven-sent mission. Their master is more apt to pick up a hoe than them.
They do not speak to Slaughterer for three days after the war is over. When they do, it is in a soft, measured voice.
“I am ashamed to say that I do not know your name.”
“Slaughterer. It isn’t the most ladylike, I know, but then, neither am I.”
“I suppose you already know mine,” Forget Me Not says with not a little pride.
If Slaughterer had eyes she would roll them. Typical legendary sword.
“No, I forgot.”
The baffled silence prompts her to laugh. After a few seconds, Forget Me Not chuckles, too.
“If I’m to spend the rest of my days rusting on this wall,” they say, too soft for a sharp-edged sword, “I’m glad that it’s with you.”