NBAA Vol. 5 Chapter 4 Part 3
Reito used his storage magic to pull out the blade he made from Adamantite. Nao pulled out two swords which glittered like a rainbow.
“Wait, is that made of Fire Gold?”
“Yeah, my other sword broke… so I refurbished it.”
“…You’re embezzling funds from your new troupe.”
“N-, No!! I bought this with my own spending money,” Nao flusteredly denied Reito’s claim. She was suspicious of Reito’s sword too.
She composed herself, and the two faced off, swords at the ready. Reito clutched his broadsword, and Nao had her two blades in hand. She looked different somehow.
She must have used some sort of skill to boost her strength because her muscles had swollen up. It was the first time Reito had seen that skill.
He also used magic to boost his strength. “Physical Reinforcement.”
“Are you ready?”
Nao made the first move. She brandished her sword and spun her body.
Nao used Reito’s favorite move, “Spin,” on him.
“Don’t even try!!”
He parried the attack with his extermination blade. She smiled and floated in the air, swinging her sword from above.
Reito dodged the attack, but the rapid-fire attacks had broken his posture.
He tried to regain his composure, but she wouldn’t relent.
Reito swung at Nao, who was in mid-air, but she used her two swords to dodge the attack and continued spinning before landing on the ground. She was as lightweight as a beastman, and Reito couldn’t hide his struggle. She smirked.
“How you like them apples? I’m pretty good, right?”
“I’m pretty surprised, to be honest. Alright, I’m not holding back anymore.”
Reito planted his foot into the ground and swung his sword with every muscle in his body. He used the “Strike Blade” skill that Bal had taught him to swing at a terrifying speed. If the swing had landed, the fight would have been settled.
“That’s not all!!”
Reito was planning his follow-up attack so Nao could do nothing but concentrate on dodging the attacks.
The fight would be over if she didn’t manage to dodge the attack. Reito delivered attack after attack that should have been the “Final Blow.”
Nao dodged the attack coming head-on so fast it left behind a blur. Reito peeled his eyes while Nao swung at him.
Reito managed to vanish before Nao’s blades could strike his neck, and he put his Extermination Blade toward her neck from behind. It was as if he had teleported, and Nao couldn’t hide her surprise. She realized that she had lost.
“I think you mean I win,” Reito said.
“Um, yeah… But how did you just do that!? How did you get behind me…”
“I used a skill called ‘Shrink Ground.’ It’s a combination of ‘Leap’ and ‘Stealth,’ I think.”
“I see… I feel like Ms. Aira used it back in the day.
It was Nao’s first time seeing ‘Shrink Ground.’” Of course, few people could use the skill, so her reaction was natural.
But, Reito was also about her Boost skill, “You also used a new skill – boost. What was that?”
“Hmm? Ohh… Boost is a Martial Artist skill. It was hard to learn, but it’s handy.”
According to her, it was a skill that let the user increase their movement speed and was backward compatible with the “Swift Legs” skill that Reito had also memorized. It was a skill she had learned by chance when she had been practicing running every day. She’s not quite sure how she picked it up.
“I can boost my speed many times over for a moment, and my opponent’s move looks slower while I’m using it. So, I thought I completely understood your movements… I didn’t think you would be able to disappear and reappear behind me…”
“I see. That’s different from Shrink Ground… It seems hard to learn.”
“I still didn’t think a magician would be able to beat me… I guess I should be praising you. You’re outstanding, Reito.”
Nao gave Reito his praises. Reito was surprised she so gracefully accepted her defeat, but he also realized he needed to train more after the fight.
“I wonder if our skills are different because of the weapons we use.”
“Of course. Using a Broadsword versus a dual sword will make a big difference in battle. You didn’t know that?”
“I know. I was just saying.”
Even though it was the same group of battle skills, it made sense that the kinds of weapons made their movements different. For example, with the simple skill of “Helmet Smasher,” which entails swinging a sword down on someone, it would be very different depending on the kind of weapon. You just use all your strength for longswords and broadswords, but for Nao’s dual sword technique, you have to bring the swords in at an angle from the left and the right. There’s a difference in the impact of the force.
For dual swords, the number of moves increases, but the force in each hand is lesser. For longswords and broadswords, there are fewer moves, but you can put all your strength into one sword.
“I heard you learned how to fight from Bal. But you fight very differently,” Reito said.
“I only learned the basics from her… I didn’t copy her style. I am jealous of you in that sense.”
Nao wasn’t able to copy Bal as she had Giant’s blood in her and could handle more intense and larger-scale swordcraft. She was jealous that she couldn’t use a broadsword like Reito.
“Now that you say that, what did you need? You said you need to report something to me.”
“That’s right… I need to tell you something. Let’s go inside and talk.”
“…Got it. Ullr, keep watch.”
Nao looked around. Reito had Ullr keep a watch on the garden, sensing Nao’s concern.
The two of them headed inside his house before Nao pulled out a golden magic stone from her pocket and put it on the table, waving her palm over it.
“Release,” she said, and a vortex of black magical energy appeared above the stone.
Nao faced her palm at the stone, and a wooden box popped out of the energy cloud. She quickly grabbed it.
“Phew… That was close.”
“But, the stone has a crack in it.”
She was using a storage stone with the same magical capabilities as his storage magic. It might seem convenient at first class, but compared to storage magic, there are more weight limitations and quantity limitations. However, it was a cheap and replenishable item. It is one of the reasons Support Magicians are treated with disdain.
Nao was sad, “Ah man. I just bought a new one, and now I’ve gotta buy another. Anyway, that doesn’t matter!! Take this!”
“Try opening it.”
Reito stared, puzzled, at the wooden box Nao gave him. He felt like he had seen it somewhere before.
He thought about it before realizing it was the same shape as a wooden box Aira had given him as a child.
He heard the lid open.
“…It’s a Holy Light Stone only permitted for use by members of the royal family.”
Inside the wooden box was a gem that looked like a diamond. It was a tremendously rare stone. It was a magical crystal called a gem that had been processed and called a Holy Light Stone.
Usually, only members of the Baltros Royal Family would be allowed to possess it. Reito looked suspiciously at Nao. She grabbed his shoulders in firm resolution.
“This is my Holy Light Stone. I’m going to entrust you with it for a while.
“The Holy Light Stone is a national treasure, but also a dangerous stone with tremendous power. We must avoid it falling into the hands of the queen. That’s why I want you to take it.”
Reito couldn’t hide his confusion at the sudden request.
Nao continued with a stern expression on her face.
“The only people permitted to carry the Holy Light Stone are the King, the Queen, and those in line for the royal throne. I am only allowed to possess it because I used to be in line for the throne six years ago.”
“Six years ago…”
“Yes. Before they had another child, I had succession rights.”
When the Baltros Kingdom’s heir turns ten, they must perform the Ceremony of Royal Succession. Nao had done that ceremony before the current heir was born.
The queen was opposed to her performing the ceremony, but they had no male heirs, so Nao was next in line. She was given the Holy Light Stone as proof of having undergone the ceremony.
However, the queen realized she was pregnant a few days after the ceremony. While Nao did have the right to succession, the queen thought her son was the rightful heir to the throne.
There were those who supported Nao’s ascension to the throne, but they were a minority.
Consequently, until the King’s son was old enough to undergo the Ceremony of Royal Succession, they would have to wait, and Nao would remain the legal successor. If nothing happened before the prince turned 10, he would undergo the ceremony and be proclaimed the royal heir.
Nao looked bitter. “I wonder if the King really wants the other son to be the royal heir – although he would never say anything about it. It’s just I don’t want their son to be the heir. The queen will use him to rule the kingdom.”
“Is she really that dangerous? I’ve never met her…”
“I never want you to meet her…”
Nao looked quite serious, so Reito didn’t question it.
Reito put the Holy Light Stone in another dimension using his Storage Magic.
“Anyway, I understand. I’ll take the stone. What should I do if the Kingdom asks for it back?”
“As long as the prince doesn’t undergo the ceremony, it’s fine. Even if he’s the King, he can’t break the rules of succession. If we can’t resolve the issue in four years, we’ll be done for.”
Once the Prince in the Royal Capital underwent the ceremony, Nao would lose all inheritance rights, and the stone would be taken away. They needed to prevent the queen’s plot, so Maria and Nao had been preparing something.
“Anyway, sorry for the heavy story… Will you ever come back to the Royal Capital? I know it’s dangerous now, but I’d like you to see Aira.”
“Ah, that’s right, my mother is in the royal capital… Did you talk to Maria-Sama about it?”
“Maria-Sama doesn’t feel right… Anyway, she said she was happy to know that Aira was safe.”
“Can you see mother, Nao? Did you tell her…”
“No, sorry… Before reporting to Aira, I left the Royal Capital. Because of the Rotten Dragon incident, everyone knows my name, so there’s been more support for me ascending to the royal throne.”
“Of course, I don’t want the royal throne. I just want to stop the current prince from becoming the king. It’s too dangerous for me to stay in the royal capital. I’m afraid of getting got by an assassin.”
“It’s alright. I’ve got a bodyguard named Shinobi following me. He’s excellent… I want to fight him one time.”
After the Rotten Dragon incident, Nao and Maria spent some time in the Royal Capital. Shinobi had kept guard and turned away several assassins from the queen. You need an assassin to fight assassins, and he was the best man for the job, so Maria had him stay with Nao.
“That was a long story. I’m going to head back now… If you need anything from me, come to the Hailstorm guild. I’m using it as my headquarters to recruit members.”
“Got it. Stay safe.”
“Yeah. Watch out for the Holy Light Stone.”
Nao finished her story and left. After staying for so long, there was a chance an assassin might be waiting for her somewhere.
Nao was straddling her white horse as she waved at Reito.
“Take care! See you soon.”
She looked like a gallant knight on her horse. Reito saw her off and knew she was in quite a tricky situation as he watched her leave. They wanted to help her, but he was also banished from the kingdom and couldn’t make any big waves… This is old news.
“…Speaking of which, where are Kotomin and them? Maybe she was caught by a fisherman? She might be on a plate being served up right now…”
“Oh, you’re safe.”
Kotomin had a large basket of fish on her back and had just gotten back home. Behind her were Suramin and Hitomin. They appeared to have been very successful in fishing, and she handed the basket to Reito.
“Keep this somewhere.”
“I feel like you’re using my storage magic as a refrigerator.”
After defeating the Rotten Dragon, Reito had passed level 60, and his Storage Magic capacity had significantly increased. He wouldn’t have any trouble storing the fish.
Reito tried to put the basket away before feeling something in the bottom of it.
“Hey, what’s this? Kotomin, what’s in the basket? You went to the river, right? How many fish did you get?”
“I might have gone a little too far.”
“…I guess we’ll have takoyaki today.”
He was dumbfounded by how carefree Kotomin was and started preparing lunch.