NBAA Vol. 6 Chapter 1 Part 1
In the Adventurer City of Lunot, the largest adventurer guild is the “Hailstorm” guild house. In it, a man named Shun, a member of Hailstorm and known as one of the “Swordmasters,” was heading to the guildmaster’s office, clearly in a foul mood.
He had taken an interest in the underdog young boy, Reito, and had been lying in wait for Reito to return after his battle in the arena. However, with advice from Airis, who was watching Reito’s activities from the gap between worlds, Reito secretly left the arena without being detected by Shun.
Unaware of such circumstances, Shun had been waiting endlessly for Reito to emerge from the arena. Since Reito never appeared, Shun reluctantly returned to the guild. He immediately went to the guildmaster’s office to directly question Maria, the guildmaster of Hailstorm, who had a grasp on all information concerning the adventurer city.
Shun opened the door to the guildmaster’s office without knocking.
“Hey! Is the lady here?!”
“…What do you need?”
Maria, sitting at her desk working on documents, raised her eyes to look at Shun. As Shun was about to tell her his business, he instantly felt something was off and glared at her. He then realized that the person he was facing was not Maria herself.
“You… you’re Shinobi, aren’t you?!”
“Uh, you noticed quickly.”
As soon as Shun called him “Shinobi,” Maria’s voice changed into that of a man, and her manner of speaking also became completely different.
“Stop using that voice and tone with that appearance! It’s giving me the chills!”
The person standing in front of Shun right now was not Maria, but an assassin named “Shinobi Kagemaru” who belonged to the Hailstorm guild. He used an ability called “Disguise” to perfectly transform into her. At first, Shun was almost fooled, but he had keenly picked up on the subtle differences in their voices.
Feeling inwardly disgusted by Kagemaru’s perfect impersonation of Maria, Shun reluctantly spoke to him.
“If you’re disguised as her… does that mean the lady has slipped away somewhere again?”
“She’s gone to the royal capital this time. She’s not planning to return for at least two weeks.”
“Damn, of all times… Hey, is there a swordsman who became famous in this town while I was away?”
“What do you think this place is? There are countless people like that.”
“Don’t make me laugh! I saw him at the arena! A brat with a red right eye!”
Kagemaru tilted his head at Shun’s words. Shun had known Kagemaru for quite some time. From his reaction, Shun realized that Kagemaru really had no idea about the person he was talking about. However, Kagemaru was actually acquainted with Reito. He just wasn’t aware that Reito had awakened the power of the “Sword Demon” and had turned his right eye red.
As a result, Kagemaru shook his head and replied.
“I’m sorry, but I have no idea who you’re talking about. What’s so special about that guy?”
“No… it’s nothing.”
“It can’t be nothing if you’re this upset. We’re friends, after all, so just tell me.”
At Kagemaru’s urging, Shun reluctantly began to speak.
“…Don’t tell anyone, alright? An incredible kid showed up at the arena. And, he was with an adventurer named Mina from our guild.”
There were others in Hailstorm called “Swordmasters” besides Shun. In order not to let them know about the red-eyed boy—Reito, Shun tried to deceive them by saying only that much. However, Kagemaru didn’t let it pass, and he sharply glared at Shun. Even though he had changed his voice and tone back, Kagemaru still had the same appearance as Maria. Shun felt as if he was being scolded by Maria, and he reluctantly told Kagemaru everything that had happened at the arena.
Upon hearing the entire story, Kagemaru realized that the boy Shun had seen at the arena was Reito. A slight change in Kagemaru’s expression could be seen, but Shun, engrossed in the story, missed his unusual behavior.
“Anyway, that’s why I’m looking for him. Let me know if you get any information.”
“Hold on, what do you plan to do when you find this boy?”
“What do you think? I’m going to challenge him to a fight.”
“…Know your place. Do you intend to disgrace the dignity of the Hailstorm adventurers?”
“Shut up… Lady Maria herself often repeated petty pranks against Bal’s kid, didn’t she?”
Bal was the guildmaster of the adventurer guild “Black Tigers,” to which Reito belonged. After losing her parents, she had been raised by Maria as a surrogate parent.
“According to her, it’s her way of expressing affection.”
“I’d love to see his reaction if we told him that.”
Since Maria was absent and Kagemaru didn’t know any information, there was no further business.
Shun, having said everything he wanted to, stood up and was about to leave the Guild Master’s room. Kagemaru was about to speak up to stop Shun from searching for Reito, but he thought better of it, realizing that nothing he said would stop Shun. Almost all of the adventurers belonging to the Hailstorm guild revered Maria, and Kagemaru was no exception. However, Shun was different. Although he was an adventurer belonging to the Hailstorm guild, his position was somewhat special, and he did not admire Maria as the others did. That was why Kagemaru had stopped himself from saying, “Reito is Maria’s nephew.”
As he was about to silently see Shun off, Shun turned around as if he had remembered something.
“Ah, that’s right… there’s one more thing I wanted to ask. Where did Jannu and Loga go? I haven’t seen them since this morning… Gorai was in the arena as usual.”
Jannu, Loga, and Gorai were fellow Swordmasters like Shun. Kagemaru answered honestly.
“Those two are still here. They are testing each other’s sword skills.”
“I see… So, they don’t know about that kid yet?”
The other Swordmasters didn’t know about the red-eyed boy yet—in other words, there were no obstacles now. Realizing this, Shun grinned.
“…Don’t do anything reckless.”
Seeing Shun’s grin, Kagemaru cautioned him.
No matter what anyone said, Shun’s thoughts wouldn’t change. It was only a matter of time before the rumors of the boy’s success in the arena reached the other Swordmasters. In that case, he would fight the boy before they could take action. Shun strongly vowed in his heart to find that boy by the end of the day.
“Wait for me… you little demon.”
He referred to Reito as a “little demon.”
Shun’s body trembled every time he remembered Reito’s performance in the arena. In his eyes, Reito appeared as a giant ogre in human form.
An ogre was not a particularly rare monster. Shun himself had defeated Red Ogres several times on his own. Nevertheless, the moment Shun saw the ogre’s phantom in Reito, he felt genuine fear.
He believed that he couldn’t overcome this fear, his path as a swordsman would come to an end. With that conviction, Shun set out to find Reito’s whereabouts as soon as possible.
The time was late at night when everyone was fast asleep.
At such an hour, Reito was standing in his own garden. His beloved wolf, Ullr, was by his side, observing as his master diligently practiced to learn a new skill. Reito heard the voice of Airis, the world’s administrator, inside his head.
『It feels like it’s been a while since I last taught you how to learn a skill. Well, I think you’ll be able to learn this one relatively quickly.』
“I’m counting on you, partner.”
Reito said that, then covered his eyes with a cloth and sat down in the center of the garden. Around him, there were the “Photospheres” that he created, with their brightness suppressed. Reito was currently practicing to learn a perception-type skill called “Magic Detection.” It was also the perception ability that he had possessed since the birth of Suramin and Hitomin, his slimes. According to Airis, with training, even Reito could learn it. He had plenty of Skill Points (SP) saved up, so he could learn it immediately if he used those.
However, Airis generally had Reito learn skills on his own if he wanted to acquire them. This was not only to avoid wasting SP, but also because skills learned through self-effort were easier to handle than those learned using SP. When learning skills with SP, it takes time to become accustomed to handling them at first.
Therefore, Airis actively had Reito undergo training when learning skills, especially when it came to ability skills like “Magic Detection.”
“Phew… Doing this reminds me of the time when I learned the ‘Mind’s Eye’ skill in the forest.”
As the blindfolded Reito spoke, Airis replied telepathically.
『That was a tough skill to learn, wasn’t it? Wasn’t it the skill with the longest training period among the skills you’ve learned, Reito-san?』
“Mind’s Eye” is a skill that allows the user to grasp the position of living creatures by sharpening their senses other than vision. Reito also wore a blindfold when learning this skill, and after a long period of training, he finally managed to acquire it. Remembering those days when he was engrossed in training in the forest, Reito tried to locate the photospheres floating in the air, created by his own magic power.
While Reito can freely control anything he creates with magic through his will, he cannot accurately grasp their position when his vision is sealed. Among the perception-type ability skills, Reito has already learned “Detect Presence.” However, this skill only allows him to detect the presence of living creatures, so he cannot perceive objects created with magic.
Meanwhile, the “Detect Magic” skill he was trying to learn this time was, as the name suggests, the ability to sense the presence of magic power. If Reito could grasp the position of the photospheres floating around him, he would naturally be able to learn the skill. Reito sharpened his focus.
『Don’t think about anything. Just concentrate silently. Clear your mind of distractions and sense the magic power that is definitely present around you.』
As Reito listened to Airis’s advice, he unconsciously realized that he was straining his ears. He shook his head and focused his awareness on his sense of touch instead of his hearing. It was pointless to try to capture the soundless photospheres with his sense of hearing. Reito reached out with his palm, trying to find the photospheres by touch.
“No, it’s not here… Oh, it’s over here?”
Ullr tilted his head as he watched his master fumbling around trying to find the photospheres.
However, Reito gradually got closer to the position of the photospheres and finally enveloped a sphere with both hands right in front of Ullr.
“This is it!”
『That’s the spirit. Now try to capture the position of all the photospheres at once.』
Having somewhat gotten the hang of it, Reito turned his body toward the direction where another photosphere was floating. This time, he accurately determined the exact position and collected the photosphere. With each repetition of the training, Reito became better at pinpointing the position of the photospheres and eventually became able to sense magic power completely. The moment he grasped the last photosphere, the skill acquisition screen appeared in his completely dark field of vision.
〈You’ve acquired the Tech Skill: “Detect Magic”〉
Having successfully learned the “Detect Magic” skill, Reito removed his blindfold.
“I managed to learn it relatively easily this time.”
『Well, it’s a skill that any top-class magician would learn, so the difficulty in learning it isn’t that high. With this, you can finally consider yourself a top-class magician.』
『Is that so…』
『But, it’s quite rare for someone at your age to learn ‘Mind’s Eye,’ ‘Detect Presence,’ and ‘Detect Magic’ You should be proud of yourself.』
According to Airis, “Detect Magic” is an ability that every magician above a certain level has mastered. While it’s not a particularly rare skill on its own, there are hardly any people who have also learned the skills “Detect Presence” and “Mind’s Eye,” which are professional skills for assassins. In other words, now that Reito had acquired a full range of detection skills, there were hardly any opponents who could match him in the field of perception. With his current abilities, he could now determine the position of someone with skills on par with Aria, who was once Reito’s caretaker and a top-class assassin.
Although he was a bit tired from the training, Reito was excited to have learned a useful skill for future battles, and his fatigue seemed to have vanished. Airis, concerned about Reito, spoke up.
『Well, are you going to rest for today? You must be tired from working hard at the coliseum, right?』
Reito had been fighting monsters in the coliseum earlier that day. However, he shook his head.
『No, I want to learn that skill. Will you help me?』
『You mean ‘Interception’? Are you sure you’re up for it? Learning this skill is really tough. Even for you, Reito, it won’t be easy to learn.』
『If that’s the case, I want to learn even more… I’m not that young anymore.』
Reito was about to turn fifteen. In this world, there’s a deep relationship between the ease of learning skills and age. To put it simply, once someone turns fifteen, the speed at which they learn skills significantly slows down. There were several skills that Reito wanted to learn before turning fifteen, so he couldn’t afford to waste time.
『Understood. In that case, let’s make use of that person… They’re conveniently approaching us right now. Do you understand the plan?』
『Uh… Are we really doing that?』
『Don’t complain. Now, hurry up and prepare.』
『Alright, alright… I’m not exactly thrilled about this.』
Seeing Reito talking to himself more than usual, Ullr tilted his head again. Reito patted Ullr and activated his storage magic. Then, he took out a fur cloak made from the hide of a monster called “Mamou” that he had defeated when he saved the Elf Princess Tina in the past—