NBAA Vol. 4 Chapter 1 Part 2
Gonzo approached the Gargoyle and kicked it from the front.
The Gargoyle managed to stop the kick with both hands.
“Did it just stop me!?”
Everyone got ready to fight.
Reito started communicating with Airis, 『Airis!!』
『This is really annoying, huh? The core of the Gargoyle was integrated into that mud figure. It appears to have become conscious.』
『Are you serious!? But, how is it moving even though I destroyed the core!?』
『Gargoyle cores have regenerative abilities. Even the tiniest shred of the core can regenerate itself.』
『Why didn’t you tell me that before!!』
『My apologies. Further, the Gargoyle gets stronger and stronger every time you destroy the core.』
After finishing communications with Airis, Reito used his Storage Magic and pulled out his Extermination Blade.
“Everyone, get back!! I’m gonna blow it up!!”
“Understood!!” Gonzo said before Reito approached the figure, sword in hand.
He tried to use Stark Blade, but the Mud Figure had leaped over his head.
“Did it just fly?”
“What in the!?”
The Mud Figure landed and fixed Kotomin as its target, breaking out into a sprint.
Everyone moved to try and save Kotomin when she gave an order to Suramin.
“Suramin, ‘Water Gun!!’”
“Purupuru!!” Suramin sprayed a large amount of water from her mouth with great force. Who knows where all that water was being stored.
The ice on the mud figure began to melt, and its mud body started to fall apart.
“How did you?” Reito was surprised but was happy to see the core exposed.”
“There it is!! There’s the core!!”
“Leave it up to me!!” Erina said, readying her crossbow and firing an arrow.
The arrow managed to expel the core from the figure’s melted body.
Ullr ran ahead and caught the core in his mouth before biting down.”
“Ullr!! Don’t eat food off the floor!!”
“You weren’t trying to eat it, right? I’m sorry, forgive me.
Ullr drew up to Reito and put the core into the palm of his hand.
Reito petted Ullr and looked at the broken core.
He noticed the shard was still squirming and was stunned. He wrapped it in his hand.
A crimson bulb of red magic seeped through his hands, destroying the shard until it was no more than a powder.
Checking that the remainder of the shard wasn’t moving, Reito drew a sigh of relief.
“Phew, I didn’t think it would come back to life.”
“The Gargoyle has a much higher regenerative power than the Golem. I’m sorry. I should have told you.”
“It’s not your fault, Gon-chan. It was just an unfortunate accident.”
Dain gave his two cents. “Maybe, but you’re the one who caused this accident in the first place, Reito.”
“That’s true. I’m sorry to have troubled everyone.”
“You’re hopeless… I’ve got no choice but to forgive you,” Dain replied.
Reito kept an eye on the remainder of the Gargoyle Core in the palm of his hand. It appeared to be useless, so he was going to throw it away, but all of a sudden, Kotomin put Hitomin out before him.
“Reito, she seems to want that.”
“The remains of the core?”
“Purupuru…” Hitomin vacuumed up the powder of the core from Reito’s palm.
Hitomin’s body turned red.
Reito was surprised by the transformation.
Dain remembered something. “Now that you mention it, Slimes also like Magic Stones in addition to water. I believe she just inhaled the Gargoyle’s core just now.”
“Wait, is Hitomin going to become a Gargoyle!!”
“I’ve heard the only difference is the color of the body changes.”
“Oh, heh. Well, it’s easier to tell her apart from Suramin now.”
The blue and red slimes on Kotomin’s shoulders began to bounce. Now you could tell them apart from each other.
Just then, two women came along to the sparring ground.
“What was all that noise about!! We are in the middle of a meeting!!”
“You’re one to talk. Your dumbass couldn’t think of any good plan, so you just suggested subjugating everyone!!”
“Oh, it’s Bal and aunt? Maria?!”
The Black Tiger and Hailstorm Guildmasters Maria and Bal came along.
Maria looked like she had mixed feelings about being called “aunt.”
“Please call me Miss Aunt or something. What was this noise about, then?”
Before Reito could answer, the Dragon Fang Guildmaster, Gigan, appeared.
“Gonzo! So you were here this whole time?”
Reito was going to explain when Maria held her hand out toward the remains of the mud figure.
“Was this created with magic? Was this your doing, Reito?”
“What!? How did you know?”
“So, you are good at magic, unlike my sister. The kind of magic seems to be different too. This magic stone was the core of a Golem, no wait, Gargoyle, right?”
“Wow!? How did you know all that?” Erina was the surprised one this time.
Maria looked at Erina and narrowed her eyes.
“Are you by chance, Erina? You’re the girl who is Princess Tina’s guard, right? Why are you here?”
Maria was puzzled by her presence.
“Uh, um… Long time no see,” she said, bowing her head.
Reito was surprised that Maria knew Erina and asked, “Are you two acquaintances?”
“Uh, no… It would be disrespectful to say that I’m an acquaintance of Maria of House Hazuki.”
“Don’t mention that name. My sister and I have no intention of returning to that house.”
Maria froze when the word, House Hazuki, came up. Reito noticed she was looking at him and got flustered. Suramin and HItomin were trembling from her expression of wrath, and they hid behind Gonzo’s back with Kotomin and Dain.
Dain was chattering his teeth loudly in fear.
“Dain, you’re overreacting!!” Reito poked fun.
“What else am I going to do? Why aren’t you afraid?”
“I’m used to scary things,” Reito said before Maria turned her sights to Dain.
“I feel like I’ve seen this child somewhere. Wasn’t your name Kunugi?”
“Who? Not even close!! I am Dain from Gollum.”
“Ah, I remember you. I handed you over to your Guild a long time ago,” Maria said before releasing a massive laugh. “That’s right. You’re the bastard who ran away from my Guild!”
Gonzo spoke with Gigan before talking with Reito, “Reito, I heard the news from my Master. I can’t believe you managed to bruise Master’s herculean body! Incredible!”
“Gonzo, this guy is a real strong rival. We’ve both gotta get better.”
“Too formal,” Gigan replied.
After hearing about his remarkable feat, the two slimes on Kotomin’s shoulder moved to Reito’s shoulder.
“So, what is all this noise about? Did you mess something up?” Bal asked.
“No, there was a bit of a scuffle… We defeated a Gargoyle and a Golem dummy.”
“I don’t remember us having any Golems or Gargoyles at this sparring ground. This was your doing, right?”
“Putting that aside, we have something we need to talk to you about. Do you mind?” Maria said.
“I don’t mind.”
Maria managed to skillfully change the topic. Reito was able to avoid a lecture from Bal.
Reito gave a nod of gratitude to Maria, and she winked in return.
She looked up at the ceiling and clapped her hands.
“Shinobi, come here.”
On cue, somebody fell down from the ceiling, landing near Maria.
“Woah!? Who are you?”
“When did you…!?”
Dain and Gonzo were surprised. Reito had already heard from Erina and Kotomin that they were following him, so he assumed it must have been that person.
“Allow me to introduce him. This is Shinobi. He belongs to our Guild. Say hello!”
“Hello, I call myself Shinobi Kagemaru. It’s a pleasure.”
He bowed his head. He was a 6-foot tall man with black hair. He was clad in black from head to toe. The bottom half of his face was covered with a black cloth, but from the part that could be seen, it was clear he was a handsome fellow.
“I’m sorry. Shinobi is deathly afraid of people. That’s why he speaks a little strange.”
“Who the hell is this? First I heard of him,” Bal said in suspicion.
Gigan raised his eyebrows in disapproval.
“When you say Shinobi, do you mean he is the Japanese Ninja?”
“That’s right. He is visiting us from Japan.”
“Wow, he’s pretty handsome. But, I like younger guys,” Erina said, disappointed.
Her actual age was over 70 years old.
“Hold up, everyone here is younger than you, though,” Reito coldly pointed out.
“So, you have been following us for quite some time, right?”
“That’s right. You can call me Kagemaru. Only Lord Maria can call me Shinobi.”
“Shinobi, that’s my nephew?”
“…My sincerest apologies.”
“It’s okay… I’m sorry. I was afraid for my members, so I had him follow you guys as a guard.”
“I see,” it was just as Reito had expected. Shinobi appeared to be an equal match for the Vampire Gain and was equipped with incredible secret abilities. There was no doubt he could take Reito’s life if need be.
Maria continued talking, “Shinobi is my underling and the most skilled adventurer I have. But, his mission this time may have been too difficult.”
“Mission?” Reito asked before Maria explained further.
“I was planning to keep it a secret, but it’s no use now. Some assassins we sent to scope out the rotten dragon returned yesterday. But, before they could get to the Rotten Dragon, they were attacked by a swarm of Undead and dispersed.”
“Undead? Did they pay a visit to a graveyard or something?”
Gigan answered in place of Maria, “Of course not. At present, a large number of Undead are appearing in the grasslands. They are there to protect the Rotten Dragon — wandering around the Mountain Village.”
Bal added, “The Undead can detect the presence of living creatures. No matter how specialized the assassin is at his job, they will always be noticed by those bastards. I told them to give up on the surveying mission…”
“To be precise, it is a job that requires both speed and secrecy. It would be no problem for you, right, Shinobi?” Maria said.
“Understood,” Kagemaru nodded at Maria’s words. Bal seemed unsure, but she also wanted to survey the enemies, so she didn’t object.
“But, if Kagemaru were to be noticed by the undead….”
“It’s no problem. I’ll just run away.”
“His legs are like those of a magical horse. He would be just as fast as that White Wolf over there.”
“You wanna race?” Kagemaru challenged.
The two glared at each other.
Reito ignored the two of them and asked about how Nao was doing. She was the princess of the Baltros Kingdom and had been injured by a Rotten Dragon.
“Bal… How is Nao doing?”
“I can’t tell you everything is okay. Her body has healed, but she hasn’t opened her eyes yet. Go see her. You’re her acquaintance, right?”
Maria had a complicated expression on her face. She knew that Reito and Nao were step-siblings, and she didn’t want the two of them to interact.
『Airis, how can we save Nao?』
『She can’t open her eyes because of psych damage. If it were a physical problem, we could solve it. But there’s nothing that can be done about mental damage. We just have to wait until she can get back on her feet.』
『What a shame.』
『The swarm of the Undead is the more urgent problem at hand. It appears that Kirau is gathering the other Necromancers and is planning to send a great force of the Undead to the city with the Rotten Dragon.』
『They are newly revived Undead, so the adventurers in this town should be able to handle it. The bigger problem is that of the underlings of the former empire who have snuck into the city. We’ve got to do something about them, or we’ll be in big trouble. Let’s put a stop to them now.』
『You mean, we should murder them?』
『 That’s jumping the gun a bit. It would be better to bring them back to the Guild and interrogate them. We should just apprehend them for now. You have a lot on your plate right now, so it might be good to borrow the strength of your friends. You should be able to do it in that case.』
He ended communications. It looks like it would be up to them to stop the underlings creeping into the city.
“Erina, I’m sorry, but could you call in the elves who went to find Raikofu?”
Raikofu is the elf-man who tried to trick Reito before. He was put in jail temporarily before escaping. His whereabouts were now unknown.
“Huh? What’s going on?”
“I have a favor I need from them. Kotomin, Suramin, Hitomin, and Ullr, I need your help.”
The four of them tilted their heads.
Reito also asked for help from Gonzo and Dain, “I need help from you two as well.”
“What are you talking about? What do you need?” Dain replied.
“I can help, but…” Gonzo said.
Bal gave a sharp look at him, “Are you trying to slip off somewhere? What are you planning to mess up this time?”
“I have something I need to take care of.”
“Fine. But don’t overdo it.”
Bal respected the determined expression on Reito’s face.
She didn’t know if anybody else had noticed his drive yet.
Just as Reito was about to take everyone out of the building with him, Maria shouted, “Take this with you!!”
She continued, “It’s from your mother… Never let go of it.”
Maria offered a bronze hairpiece. It was the hairpiece that Reito’s mother had gotten from his father when she was young. This one hairpiece had quite the story behind it.
The hairpiece meant something to Maria as well. He wasn’t sure if it was okay for him to accept such an item. Maria forced it into his hands.
“Give this to your mother one day. That’s a promise.”
Reito quietly nodded and grasped the hairpiece. He left the sparring ground to hunt for Empire spies with his friends.