NBAA Vol. 5 Chapter 1 Part 4
Reito and crew left the cave inside the waterfall to head for his mansion which was located deep in the forest. He finally returned to that place where he was born and spent so many years living for the first time in four and a half years. From the intel Airis had given him, no one was living there, and the groundskeeper had long since disappeared.
Reito gave his friends a tour of his house.
“This is my home. No one’s in it at the moment.”
“You lived in this luxurious of a mansion? I had heard about it before, but… You really are royalty,” Dain commented.
“I can’t believe this mansion was just sitting in the middle of the forest…” Gonzo was surprised.
“Wow… It’s sooo big!” Kotomin added.
Reito had mixed feelings about the situation, but there was no safer place in the forest than this one. There were rotten and barrier stones to prevent any monsters from sneaking in, so there was no chance they would be attacked.
“I’m going to open the door, so just wait a sec.”
In the past, they would have had to jump the iron fence or use the “Change Shape” skill to bend the metal lattices to sneak in, but this time he opened the door of the gate with his key.
“Alright, come inside.”
“Excuse me,” Kotomin said as she entered.
“Let me get by,” Gonzo followed.
“Is it really okay to stay here? It is the Kingdom’s property, right?” Dain questioned.
“I don’t think I need permission to enter my own house…”
His friends went inside before he closed the gate.
There were a few magical creatures that would have been able to break through the iron gate easily, but the magic stones protecting the mansion’s perimeter would prevent any creature from trying. The mansion was originally built so important kingdom personnel could hide away or take refuge. As such, the defense measures were thorough.
No one was living there at the moment, but that was partly because Reito ran away from the place as a child. The groundskeepers were all suspected of aiding in Reito’s flight. They were called in and interrogated by the Royal Capital. There are skills in this world to see through lies, so they weren’t tortured or anything of the sort.
But, the fact they let a child slip through their hands led to dismissal from their posts. They had a similarly “unsavory” class status like Reito, so it was difficult for them to find other jobs. Some of them ended up homeless. Others were rehired by Reito’s mother, Aira, to be a groundskeeper for her the marquess under her care. The marquess was her close friend, and so Aira thought it would be suitable.
“I can’t believe it’s been four and a half years since I’ve left… Home sweet home,” Reito muttered as he stared at the flower bed.
The flower bed had completely withered away, and there was nothing but weeds left behind, but it was the flower bed that he and a maid named Aria had taken care of for so long. He learned his “Cultivation” skills and gained knowledge of medicinal herbs through that. He felt sad the plants he had so carefully tended to had died.
“I used to practice swinging my sword here every day,” Reito said as he approached the well near the flowerbed. He would wash away his sweat with the well water after training with Aria. There was no groundskeeper, so it was considerably run down, but nonetheless, his memories came rushing back to him.
He noticed a wooden sword on the ground and picked it up.
“I used to train with Aria back in the day… I can’t believe it’s so small.”
He only had memories of the time he spent with Aria. He felt like she would show up at any moment to welcome him back home. Of course, there was no chance of that.
“I’m back,” he said unconsciously, even though no one was there. The mansion’s interior wasn’t very run down, and it felt like Aira or Aria still lived there.
“Oh, were you playing outside today also?”
“Little boy!! It’s study time!!”
Reito imagined Aira and Aria greeting him, and he could feel tears well up.
“Reito, it’s okay to cry when you’re sad.”
“Thank you, but I’m alright.”
“Don’t hold back,” Gonzo added.
“I can’t imagine what you feel like… But, cheer up…” Dain added.
Gonzo and Dain added their own consoling words. The slime moved to Reito’s shoulder as if to say, “Don’t worry. Don’t cry.”
Reito smiled at his friends’ reactions. He remembered that he had made some good friends in his little time in this world.
“Ahh, speaking of which… There should be a weapons cellar somewhere around here. Let me check if there’s anything good.”
“A weapons cellar? Why do you have that in a mansion… I guess if a place like exists in the first place, it’s no surprise it would have a weapons cellar too,” Dain thought.
“Everyone, do as you please. As long as you don’t leave the grounds, you should be safe anywhere you go.”
“Got it,” Gonzo confirmed.
“I’m going to bathe in the well.”
“I’ll just wander around randomly then,” Dain said.
“Ahh, one last thing, don’t take anything from the mansion off the premises.”
“I, I know that!!” Dain said, startled.
“Also, the black door is off limits. There are things I don’t want you to see…”
“Don’t want us to see? Like, pee-stains on your childhood futon?”
There was a secret library behind the black door in the mansion. It was the library of a former important Kingdom personnel member who was assassinated. It was a place where the “Dark Secrets” of the kingdom were stored. There was a chance the library had been transported away in the time Reito had been gone. But, to be safe, he wanted to make sure no other humans approached it.
He left everyone in the living room and headed for the weapons cellar. In the past, Aria made sure no one entered the library and weapons cellar in the past, but now that she was not here, it should be easily accessible.
Reito approached the door of the cellar and then communicated with Airis.
『Woof!! Oh… you said my name normally. I thought you were going to address me like a dog.』
『In that case, don’t say “Woof!!” say “Arf!!”』
『Arf!! What kind of a specification is that?』
Reito cut the chit-chat and asked her about the weapons cellar.
『If I open the door, will anything explode? Will any blades come flying at me?』
『This mansion is too important to have any traps that could result in a fire. I’m surprised that you’re coming back here. It might be a good opportunity for you.』
『What do you mean?』
『There’s a certain weapon hidden in this mansion. The person who hid it was the assassinated kingdom personnel member.』
『Hold up!? You’re saying someone was murdered in my mansion!? That’s the first time I’ve heard anything about it!!』
『Yes, it’s true. This home was a place set aside for members of the royal family to hide away. The Kingdom murders people who inconvenience them.』
『I didn’t want to know that, to be honest!!』
Airis ignored Reito and continued, 『After you broke out of here, all the items stored in the mansion were taken elsewhere. However, this mansion has a secret compartment that even members of the royal family don’t know about.』
『There was another member of the royal family who had an undesirable occupation just like you. That person realized he would be killed in the near future, so he hid the sacred treasure he stole from the Kingdom here.』
『I can’t believe that happened… What was his job?』
『He was a beginner magician. It’s a profession that can only use beginner magic like you. It was considered an unfavorable profession at the time, but as time has passed, it is now considered a more favorable one.』
『Huh. Who would have guessed things would change like that with time?』
『Yes. The man got help from his only ally in the royal retainers and managed to bring the sacred treasure here. After he hid the treasure, he was murdered.』
『It sucks that he was killed after all that effort,』 Reito felt pity for the aristocrat in the story, but he wanted to know more about the sacred treasure.
He asked Airis, 『But, I wish you had told me about that kind of incredible weapon sooner. Shouldn’t we have taken it when left the mansion?』
『I could have told you… But it wasn’t something you weren’t ready for at the time, so I stayed quiet. Also, the hidden place is troublesome to get to. I don’t think you would have been able to get there at the time.』
『What? There’s a place that’s that dangerous in this mansion?』
Reito explored every nook and cranny of the mansion since he was a baby. He had no idea there was anywhere so dangerous in the mansion.
『Okay. Let’s get to the point. Where is the sacred treasure?』
『I’m not sure if it’s something you need right now, though. It might be convenient to have, but that’s about all. It’s not hidden in the weapons cellar. It’s in the garden.』
『The garden?』 Reito was surprised but hit on where it might be.
『Ah, it must be buried.』
『YES!! It’s hidden under the surface,』 Airis confirmed.
There is a beginner magic known as “Earth Block.” It enables you to modify to surface of the earth – it was possible they dug quite the deep hole using it.
Only beginner magicians could use the beginner magic that hid the sacred treasure, so Reito figured that there was no doubt he used it to bury it.
『There is a flowerbed in the garden, right? It was grown to function as a landmark for the murdered member of the royal family. He put it in a sturdy safe and buried it in the ground.』
『That makes sense… If it’s underground, it must be far under the surface.』
『That’s right. Only people who can use “Earth Block” at a high level would be able to dig it up. It’s roughly 100 meters below the surface.』
『I see… Now I know why I never found it as a child.』
When he was a child, he was often accompanied by Aria, so he had little free time. He would only have been able to dig it up during the night, but even then, he wouldn’t have had the magical capabilities to do so. Further, even if he had managed to dig up the sacred treasure, Aria would have suspected something was going on. And then he would have had to hide it in another place.
Reito understood why Airis never told him about it. He asked another question.
『What is the sacred treasure called?』
『It’s called a “chain.” It’s a tool for binding people.』
『It is made out of an alloy called Flame Metal. It used to have a small cross-shaped dagger attached on it, so you could use it both to bind people and protect yourself. If you send magic into the chain, you can use it as you please.』
『However, it takes quite a lot of magic to use it. That’s why it’s been stored away as the royal family’s treasure…』
Reito closed communications and left the weapons cellar, heading for the garden behind the mansion.
The garden’s flowerbed was in poor shape, but the fruit trees Aira had taken such dear care of were still in good shape.
Reito put his palm on the tree.
“I’m back…” he whispered. A fruit fell from the tree.
Reito caught it before it hit the ground. He smiled in surprise.
“You’re saying welcome back, huh? Thank you… Ahh! Sour!?”
He bit into the tree, but it was much more acidic than he remembered.
Reito frowned and approached the flowerbed. He put his ground on the dirt where only weeds grew and used a magic skill.
After saying the incantation, a fissure formed in the flower bed. The earth to the sides of his palms began to swell up. A hole was forming between them.
Reito continued using his magic to dig the whole.
“Ngh… This is really tough!!”
『Keep going! You’re about 50 meters away.』
He drew on his elf-blood magical aptitude to give him the strength to continue. Even for a Support Magician like him, 100 meters was quite the feat. If he lost concentration even in the slightest, all the soil would go back to how it was.
Reito kept controlling his magic to the best of his abilities. Before long, he had created a pile of dirt that had surpassed the height of the mansion.
He spotted something strange at the bottom of the pit.
“That must be it!?”
『That’s right!! That’s the safe with the sacred treasure in it!!』
Reito retrieved the safe before restoring the flowerbed to how it was before.
Reito succeeded in getting the sacred treasure. He was able to do it because of the tree stones given to him by the dryad. Thanks to the boost in earth property magic, he was able to dig significantly faster than usual.
“Okay… Let’s open this up.”
He put his palms on the safe and used his high-speed shape change to unlock it and open the lid.
“This is the sacred treasure?”
A glittering silver chain was stored inside. It looked like an ordinary chain, but just as Airis had informed him, there was a cross-shaped dagger on the end of it.
“It just looks like an ordinary chain… How do you use it?”
『As I said, you need magic to make full use of that “chain.” Why not try using “Gravity Blade” with it since that’s a very comfortable skill for you.』
“I get it.”
Reito wrapped the chain around his left arm and aimed it at the tree. After setting his sights, he sent magical energy through the chain.
The chain moved following Reito’s command the dagger at the end of the chain launched toward the tree.
Reito intended to wrap the tree with the chain, so he was surprised at what ended up happening.
“AHH!? The tree my mother took so much care of.”
『Calm down. It’s not like Aira is here. She won’t get mad at you.』
“That’s true, but… I still feel bad.”
『Oh, wait a second. Try using “Recovery Boost.”』
The only recovery magic that Reito was capable of using was called “Recovery Boost,” and you had to be at an extremely close distance or touching the person to make it work. He was too far away from the fruit tree to use it.
Airis answered Reito’s question, 『Try conducting it through the chain. That specific sacred treasure has a high affinity with holy magic, so you should be able to conduct magic through the chain and into the dagger to recover the tree.』
“Okay… I feel like you’re talking more than usual. I used to have to open communications for you to talk.”
『I have managed to grasp the wavelength of your soul. I might be able to take a physical form sometime soon.』
“Like, into a skeleton?”
『Why the hell would you say, “skeleton?” I would be like a cute fairy or something. Not that it’s possible anywa… But still!』
Reito sent the “Recovery Boost” through his left arm and into the Chain as they made small talk.
The chain started glowing, and the daggered tree started glowing as well. The magic appeared to be working.
“Wow, this is convenient. Let’s name it the Holy Chain.”
『Something feels risky about that name, but… use it as you please.』
“Wow, awesome! It’s moving so much!!”
Reito had operated a number of chains using his “Change Shape” skill, but the chain wrapped around his left arm moved itself in accordance with his will. He wasn’t sure what the principle was, but the length of the chain would also extended automatically. The longer the chain was, the more magic energy he would burn, but as a general rule, it should come in handy. He would also be able to float in mid-air using it, preventing any possible fall damage in the future.
“This is awesome. I’m gonna show it off.”
He was satisfied with his new sacred treasure, and he was about to return to the mansion.
But then he realized he was curious about what was in the safe. He hadn’t taken a proper look.
“What is this?”
There was a picture left behind in the safe. Unlike on earth, there was no camera in this world, so it surprised Reito that this object existed.
The picture was of a group of boys Reito didn’t recognize.
『That’s a picture of a group of formerly summoned heroes. One of them brought a camera with them to this world, and they took it as a memento.』
“The murdered member of the aristocracy had some connections with the heroes?”
『That’s right. It feels like a waste to just throw it away. How about you take it?』
“Good idea. I’ll put it away with storage magic. Alright, let me show off my Chain to everyone. Look at this! It’s cool, right? Tell me you love it!”
『You’re acting infantile for the first in a while… Maybe because you’re back home.』
Reito went back to his friends and was going to brag about his new sacred treasure. It was time for him to eat, so he used his “Cooking” skill to whip something up.