NBAA Vol. 5 Chapter 4 Part 1
The arena went silent. No one understood what was going on. One moment they saw the young boy approach the bear and the next, the bear was sliced cleanly in half.
“What… What was that?”
“How was the Blood Bear defeated? What?”
“Is it… dead?”
“I don’t understand… It didn’t appear to be dead when Reito approached it…”
The young girl announcer was just as confused as everyone else.
“Hey, hey!!! What?”
Shun, watching from the front row of the battle arena, was able to perceive Reito’s motions. He was able to see Reito cleanly slice the bear in half – it gave him goosebumps.
“Impossible… That little shit!? How did that little brat…!?” Despite his harsh words, Shun was smiling on the inside. You would have thought the young boy had experienced ten lifetimes the way he fought. He was both terrified and fascinated.
“Maria… how did you not hear that this guy was in the city?” he mumbled to himself, staring at the boy with the glowing red pupils.
“Why would you hide him… I don’t care, but…” Shun smiled and stood up from his seat. The spectators around him were suspicious of him. He left the arena, ignoring their glances.
“After the battle, I bet he’s gonna come out from there… I should wait and talk to him.”
He burnt Reito’s face into his memory and waited for him by the arena exit.
Shun wasn’t the only one who was watching Reito’s actions.
Another Sword Master, who was a young girl, had been blowing a raspberry at him.
“Hehe… He seems interesting. He’s got my attention.”
She slowly got up and left the stands.
She ran through on the road that led to a corridor on the outside of the stands only to bump into Shun.
“Hey… Oh, it’s you.”
“Well, hello there.”
“Ngh… I don’t have time to talk to you. Get out of my way!”
“That’s my line. I don’t have time to play today. Why don’t you get lost?!”
Shun glared at the young girl, unable to hide his disgust. The young girl looked at him coldly before letting out a small sigh. She talked to the blue gem installed in her rapier.
“We can’t do it now. It’ll stand out too much… But, it’ll be our turn soon.”
She petted the rapier as if she was a mom doting on her precious child.
Reito and Mina went back to the Waiting Room after winning the battle. A woman greeted them at the reception.
She looked taken aback and presented them with a tray that had the main prize and extra prizes on it.
“Wow… We did it!!”
“Wow… We also get quite a lot of prize money!”
Reito and Mina took the small bag of prize money and Crimson Magic Stone. Reito put the stone on his magic ring and Mina carefully fastened the bag of money on her hip. The two of them had achieved their goal.
Reito asked the receptionist, “That was surprisingly easy. Am I allowed to participate again?”
“Unfortunately not… Once you win one time, you’ll have to wait a fixed period before participating again.”
“What? Why didn’t you tell us that in the first place.”
“My apologies… I should have explained better.”
The woman lowered her head and apologized. She didn’t forget the explanation, she just didn’t think they would win everything and didn’t bother to explain it. She didn’t think she’d need to.
“The Crimson Stone strengthens pyromagic, right?”
Reito asked and Mina nodded, saying, “Yep! It also doesn’t break as easily as normal magic stones. It’s like a gem and is very beautiful.”
She looked like she wanted the stone as an accessory.
A lot happened in the fight, but he was glad to get a chance to review his fighting strategy and said thank you to Mina.
“Thank you. You helped me a lot. I think I got a little stronger because of you.”
“Wh-, What? Really? Don’t make me blush. That attack you did on the Blood Bear was awesome. I didn’t see it happen.”
Mina complimented Reito, but Reito was only able to do that because of a bad memory he had.
Mina was a little confused, but she told him something she remembered, “Reito, are you free? Would you like to eat lunch with me?”
“Lunch… I’m sorry, I have four starving pets at home. I gotta get back.”
“What? Reito-kun have pets? What kind of pets?”
“A wolf, two slimes, and a mermaid.”
“What!? I said pets.”
Kotomin wasn’t technically a pet, but he gave her food when he fed Ullr and the slimes, and he played with her in much the same way, so she was not that different from a pet.
“Mi-chan, do you have any pets?”
“I don’t know about that nickname… Pets… I want to own a pet, but it’s hard to find time to take care of them properly as an adventurer.”
“But, if you don’t mind, I’d like to come over and feed Ullr sometime. I love dogs.”
“Because you’re like a dog yourself?”
“What does that mean!?”
“Because you’re a cute girl.”
“Um… Don’t make me blush!”
Reito was only half joking, but she did have dog-like ears, and she looked like a tail would suit her. After accepting her offer to feed Ullr someday, he left the arena.
“Well then, I’m going home. My dog has got to be hungry.”
“Thank you so much for everything today!! Let’s fight together again soon!”
They waved goodbye to each other as he rushed down the hall to leave the battlegrounds from the front entrance. He heard someone shouting.
He heard the voice coming from behind a door that had a plate reading “Employees Only.”
He heard something breaking. Reito was suspicious and moved to the door to check it out.
“Shit… When you fail, we lose big-time money! What the hell was that battle? How did that brat win?”
Hearing the words ‘battle’ and ‘brat,’ Reito figured they must have been talking about him and he checked to see if anyone was following him before using “Stealth” and “Soundless Walk” to eavesdrop. It appeared he was shouting at an employee of the arena. He figured it must have been the monster tamer of the arena.
Between the singles and the doubles, three people managed to win!! One of them was a master swordsman too. He made a real mess of the Singles.
“But, but… Didn’t we end up making a bunch of money from the spectator’s bets on that brat?”
“Yes, that’s right. I can’t believe that brat managed to survive… He won so easily that everyone is going to think there was some cheating going on. We even made his final opponent a blood bear.”
“But, that blood bear was…”
“I don’t want to hear any excuses!! Shit… We are out of crimson stones now. We need to get a new prize…If it’s something too cheap, no one will want to fight.”
Reito heard some footsteps approaching the door from the inside. It appeared the person who was getting yelled at was about to come out.
Reito stayed hidden and a few seconds later, the door opened. The yelled-at person walked away on the opposite side of the corridor.
“I feel like I saw the dark underbelly of the arena… That being said, who was the one controlling the blood bear?”
『It was a necromancer, but he’s a full-time magician employed by the arena.』
『Full-time? A necromancer?』
『Not all necromancers are the kind of criminals you’ve run into.』
Reito was convinced by what Airis told him. He just assumed all necromancers were bad people. But, technically manipulating the corpses of dead monsters wasn’t a crime.
“Well then, I gotta get back…”
Reito walked toward the exit before Airis said, 『Oh, wait a minute. Don’t exit out the front door. You should use the Employees Only exit to leave.』
『The Employees Only exit?』
『An obnoxious person is waiting for you at the front door. Just follow my lead and don’t release your “Stealth” and “Soundless Walk” skills until we get out.』
Reito followed Airis’s advice and opened the Employees Only door, and went inside.
Just a moment ago, he perceived multiple bodies in the room, but he didn’t see anybody.
“Where… am I?”
『This is the room where they keep the monsters they use in battle. Do you see the staircase that leads to the basement? If you go down there, you will find a cage where they keep the monsters. When there’s a battle, the Monster Tamers come down here and bring them out.』
“That sounds annoying.”
Reito felt sympathy for the Monster Tamers and continued down the corridor to the exit. He managed to get outside without being spotted by anybody. He succeeded in slipping out of the Battlegrounds without incident and rushed home.
“Oh!! Hey, you!! I saw you in that battle! That was awesome!!”
“Next time, you should try doing Singles!!”
A handful of passers-by called out to Reito. They seemed to be spectators from the battlegrounds.
He was waving at people without giving it any thought before he spotted a familiar armored figure.
“Phew… I was about to get banned from that arena. Might have overdone things…”
The armored man (assuming he’s a man from his voice) mumbled to himself as he walked. The passers-by tried not to look at him and kept their distance.”
“Woah, is that the Swordmaster of Destruction!?”
“Ahh!! He’s gonna crush me.”
“Ahh, it’s just the old man of Destruction.”
Reito overheard the conversation, and it seemed like the majority of the people were afraid of him.
Reito felt like he had heard the title Swordmaster of Destruction. It must have been an employee at the battlegrounds who said it. It must have been the man who won the singles.
The man carried an onyx broadsword on his back. On the flip side of the sword, there was a unique engraving.
Reito realized it was the exact engraving as the one on the holy sword Caledfwlch.
“Is that… a holy sword?”
『Correct. The sword he’s carrying is as powerful as Caledfwlch. It’s the holy sword “Durandal.”』
Airis’s words rang out through Reito’s brain. He was dumbfounded by the armored figure bearing his holy sword for all to see.
The man known as the Swordmaster of Destruction mumbled himself as he trudged along. Reito did not chase after him and went straight home instead. He had a feeling that it would be troublesome to get involved with that guy.