NBAA Vol. 6 Chapter 3 Part 2
“Wow, it’s been a really long time. Ms. Linda and Princess Tina.”
“You can just call me Tina.”
“It has been a long time. Thank you for your help with the Rotten Dragon thing.”
Tina giggled at the formal way he addressed her. Linda bowed her head ostentatiously. It was nice of them to leave the inn and come out of their way to see him. Reito wondered why Linda agreed to such a dangerous trip without a proper envoy.
However, he realized, with someone like Ain with them, no one would dare approach them.
“Hey, hey, Reito-kun…”
“I’m sorry, Tina, but can I talk first?”
Tina, happy to see him for the first time in a long time, tried to talk to him, but Linda stopped her.
“Tina, come to my room.”
Kotomin saw the look on Linda’s face and decided she should probably leave them alone.
Reito braced himself for what Linda was going to say.
Linda bowed her head.
“First of all, please forgive me for this impertinence. Mr. Reito.”
“Can you please stop calling me that? Just Reito is fine.”
“No, I can’t be that way. It is thanks to you that Princess Tina’s life was saved.”
At Linda’s words, Reito tilted his head and wondered why Tina’s name was mentioned. He thought she was talking about when he rescued Tina from Raikofu, an elf-race criminal. But Raikofu wasn’t after her life right?
“What do you mean?”
“As a matter of fact, after returning to the home country, I tortured Raikofu.”
“Given his crimes, execution would normally be a light punishment. However, we questioned his past behavior and tortured him to see if there was something else he was hiding… To our surprise, he had sold important secrets of the Forest Elves to the former Empire.”
Her unexpected words took Reito by surprise. The former Empire was a group that was working in the dark to make the Baltros Kingdom an empire again.
Linda was disheartened that Raikofu had done very problematic things. Raikofu had ties to the old Empire and planned to take over the throne himself after marrying Princess Tina. He even had ambitions to then conquer the Baltros Kingdom.
“It may sound outlandish to you, humans, but it is not impossible. In fact, the current king wants the throne to be passed on to Princess Tina or one of her descendants.”
Reito was astonished. Tina had many other siblings, and by all accounts, Tina was not the type of personality to rule a country.
But there were a lot of circumstances, apparently.
“Just as the Baltros Kingdom basically gives preference to men over women to succeed to the throne, the Four Leaves Kingdom actually requires certain qualifications to become king. Without that qualification, one cannot succeed to the throne.”
“We place the highest value on magical power among the six races. The king is the one who stands at the top of the elf race… In other words, he has to be superior in the power of magic. “And what we excel at is ‘spirit magic.’ Only a person loved by spirits can succeed to the throne.”
It was magic that Aria also used. It was different from ordinary “blast magic,” “elementary magic,” and “auxiliary magic” in that it was unique to the elf tribe. Its power was something that Reito had heard of. However, he was not familiar with the actual details regarding spirit magic.
Reito asked Linda, “What kind of magic is “spirit magic”? I’ve seen it used a few times by an elf who used to be my friend.”
“I see. Let me explain briefly then. First, unlike normal magic, spirit magic consumes very little magic power.”
Usually, when a magician uses magic, he or she converts the magic power in his or her body into the magical power of each attribute. If magic stones or magic crystals are used, a greater effect can be produced.
However, Linda explained that in the case of spirit magic, it can be activated with little or no magical power consumption.
“As the name suggests, spirit magic was strengthened by using the existence of a so-called ‘spirit’. In that respect, it is similar to the ‘Enhancement Boost’ used by Mr. Reito.”
“There are beings in this house that we cannot see. They are called spirits. They are not visible to us, but they certainly exist.”
Linda held her palm out in front of her, and a small whirlpool of wind was generated, like a tornado. It was similar to the “spirit magic” that Aria had shown to Reito as a child.
“Thus, I can even make the wind cling to my body. In this state, I consume almost no magic power. I can continue to generate wind indefinitely if I so desire.”
“Is that different from ‘wind pressure’?”
“Yes, it is… Try using fire magic, your specialty, on my body.”
Linda’s offer stunned him, but he noticed that she had a serious expression on her face.
Reito held up his fingertips and shot a “Fireball” spell at Linda.
Unlike the “Fireballs” handled by ordinary humans, all the elementary magic handled by Reito had reached the limit of proficiency, and although small in scale, it was highly potent.
But just as the fireball was about to touch Linda’s right hand, the sphere of flame was blown away by a strong wind.
“By nature, wind magic was incompatible with fire magic, but wind created by spirit magic can cancel normal fire magic.”
Reito recalled the scene where Aria had blown her own “Fireball”. She had the same explanation as Linda.
“Even I, who am not very good at magic, can do this. The spirit magic is literally activated by borrowing the power of the beings called ‘spirits’. I can draw more power if it is not indoors like this, but outside where there are few obstacles…”
“I can only use wind spirit magic. To be precise, most elves are good at wind spirit magic… By the way, mermaids are good at water spirit magic.”
“Is Kotomin’s recovery magic also spirit magic?”
Remembering that the magic Kotomin usually used was also spirit magic, Reito now realized that even beings other than the elves could handle spirit magic. However, there was no human that Reito knew of who could handle spirit magic.
In other words, there is a strong possibility that there are two types of species, those that can use spirit magic and those that cannot.
“Are there any other races besides elves and mermaids that can handle spirit magic?”
“Dwarves can. They are good at earth magic. However, they do not use spirit magic as a means of attack but use it for blacksmithing work instead. I don’t know a ton about it, but… other races cannot handle spirit magic.”
“I see. That’s too bad…”
“I have heard that people mixed with elf or mermaid blood can handle spirit magic, although it is not very likely. As far as I know, there is no human being who has been capable of handling spirit magic, but… it is possible that Mr. Reito, who is also of the Hazuki family bloodline, could.”
“That’s true. I suppose I have that blood in me.”
His mother, Aira, was born of human and elf parents, and Reito also had a quarter elf blood in his veins. It is possible that he, too, could handle spirit magic, but until now, he had never been able to manipulate the wind like Aria or Linda.
“How does spirit magic work?”
“I am sorry. I cannot explain it. All of us elves have been able to use spirit magic since we were born. Not many of us have reached the level of being able to use it in battle, but anyone can handle it. In our case, we only have to concentrate on commanding the wind.”
Reito recalled that Aria had also invoked magic by uttering commands to the wind.
He also tried it, attempting to wrap the wind around his body, but nothing in particular happened. He wasn’t sure if he didn’t meet the activation conditions, but it definitely didn’t seem as easy to use as elementary magic.
“Also, spirit magic has a condition that it can only be manifested in the presence of spirits.”
“What do you mean?”
“In the case of the wind spirit magic, for example, it cannot be used underwater or in places where flames are burning. It seems that wind spirits do not gather in such places. If it is a water spirit, it can only be used in places where water exists. I have heard that the fire attribute can only be used in places where a certain temperature exists and cannot be used in places like snowy areas. And the existence of lightning spirit magic has not been confirmed yet. It may exist, but there is no way to confirm it.”
“That makes sense.”
It appeared that spirits were beings that were greatly affected by their environment.
For example, even Linda could wield powerful magic in places with great typhoons and storms.
After listening to the reply to his questions, Reito decides to ask the main question.
“I understand most of the spirit magic stuff, but what does that have to do with Tina taking the throne?”
“Princess Tina was born with an enormous amount of magical power. She is able to use magic in ways that are not normally possible. In fact, she once accidentally jumped out of a window when she was a baby.”
“Just before she fell to the ground, Tina-sama activated her spirit magic and slowly landed on the ground, even though she was just a baby. Normally, even the elf tribe can only learn to use magic at the age of five or so. But Tina-sama learned how to fly at the age of one.”
“That’s incredible. But if she’s so good at using magic, why doesn’t she just use magic on a regular basis?”
“Tina’s magic is too strong. Normally, she uses magic tools to suppress her power and rarely uses magic.”
The qualifications for the elf tribe to inherit the throne were enormous magical power and magical talent. And Tina possessed both.
He understood why Tina was recognized as the heir to the throne.
Linda continued her explanation.
“So if Raikofu had married Lady Tina, it is highly likely that he would have ruled from behind the scenes when Lady Tina succeeded to the throne. As a result, thanks to Mr. Reito, his plot was thwarted, but the guy leaked information to the Empire that Princess Tina was the real heir to the throne.”
“Wow…? Are you sure you want to tell me such important information?”
“I am also a close friend of Lady Maria’s. After consulting with her, I have been asked to inform Mr. Reito of this fact as well.”
“Aunt Maria–sister did that…”
Reito learned Tina’s secret, but it didn’t particularly change his relationship with her. He decided to treat her as a friend like he had always done, even if she was the heir of another country.
Reito asked Linda another question.
“By the way, what happened to Raikofu?”
“He was originally supposed to be executed; however, his parents pleaded with us to spare his life so… He will live as a prisoner for at least a hundred years.”
“A hundred years…”
“The sentence is still short. He leaked important national secrets.”
From an elf’s perspective, 100 years would be like a 10 to 20 years for a human. 100 years was quite the tremendous number. A human would have likely perished with such a long sentence even if they were born in prison with the sentence.
Reito was curious how Raikofu came to have connections with the Empire.
“How did Raikofu come in contact with the Empire?”
“As you may recall, he looks down on the human race. Well, during his torture, Raikofu revealed that he was brainwashed by a senior official of the Empire. The brainwashing had him believing the human race were all stupid and that elves should rule the six races.”
“I think that’s the most likely scenario… Our visit to the adventure city at this time was actually also to investigate a former Empire official who had received information from Raikofu.”
Linda’s explanations all made sense to Reito.
Linda was to escort Tina as they continued their investigation into the Empire.
“I’m sure you’ve guessed that the king is interested in Mr. Reito because of the Tina situation. He would very much like to meet with you if you don’t mind…”
“Eh… that’s a bit…”
Reito was taken aback at the idea.
It was nice to hear the king say that he wanted to meet him, but he had to stay low. However, it was probably also a bad idea to refuse the king’s offer.
Airis gave him a recommendation.
『Maria has already informed Linda that Mr. Reito is a royal who has been expelled from the kingdom. If you tell her that you want to avoid any conspicuous behavior because of that, she will understand.』
『Oh, I see… Thank you, Aiemon.』
『I see you’re still annoying.』
After communicating with Airis, Reito convinced Linda after a bit of silence.
“Well… I am from the Baltros lineage. Even though I’m in exile, if the royals knew that I had a meeting with the king of another country…”
“Oh dear, what an oversight. My apologies.”
Linda, remembering his position, was concerned for his safety and hurriedly bowed her head.
While Reito thanked Maria in his heart, he was a little miffed that she had passed the information on to Linda without consulting him.
“Well, that’s all I have to report. I apologize for taking up so much of your time.”
“No, no, thank you very much for all you have taught me.”
“I have one question. How much do you know about the Hazuki family, Mr. Reito?”
“The Hazuki Family?”
The Hazuki family was said to be the three most noble elf families, and Aira and Maria were originally born heirs to the Hazuki family. However, their father’s death brought them into conflict with their own mother, and the two left the Four Leaves Kingdom to become adventurers in human lands. Since then, they have risen to the rank of S-class adventurers. Reito knew that Aira married the king and Maria founded the “Hailstorm” guild.
While he was a prince of the Baltros Kingdom, he was also the blood heir of the Hazuki family. Aira and Maria had no intention of returning to their parents’ house. Reito also had no interest in getting involved. However, according to Linda, there had been recent changes in the Hazuki family.
“Recently, it seems that someone in the Hazuki family has come forward to insist that Maria be summoned as the royal heir. Maria’s reputation was growing because she had established an adventurer’s guild in a short period of time. More importantly, she also contributed to the recent defeat of the ‘Rotten Dragon’.”
“Even though it was me and Nao’s efforts…”
“The world knows, of course, that former S-class adventurer Maria, who was originally highly respected, took the lead in the fight. The influence of the Hailstorm Guild has been increasing more and more. Among the elves, there were many who praised Maria-sama as the Gilded Witch.’”
“The Gilded Witch. That’s kinda cool.”
“But the more Maria’s fame rises, the more the reputation of the Hazuki family, which ousted her, falls. As she spreads her name, there are those who ridicule and mock the Hazuki family for giving up a capable heir to the throne. But the head of the family still has not forgiven the two of them.”
Aira and Maria left home because their mother (whose name, incidentally, was also “Aira”) took the copper hair ornaments that their father, Kyle, had gone to the trouble of giving to them and ordered the servants to dispose of them. However, the servant who was ordered to dispose of the hair ornaments ended up using them as a necklace for the “Crustacean,” a demon used by the elves as a cavalry animal.
Their father, Kyle, attempted to retrieve the necklace from the crustacean for his daughters but was killed by the crustacean, which was hypersensitive to any non-elf beings.
The mother, Aira, believed that he lost his life because her daughters asked Kyle to take back the hair ornaments and the daughters believe that their father would not have died if their mother had not taken away the hair ornaments that their father had given them in the first place
This is how Aira and Maria came to the land of their father in the Baltros Kingdom. Their exceptional talents led them to the profession of adventurers where each of them achieved great success.
Even after nearly twenty years had passed since they had left home, they had no intention of returning to the Hazuki family. Their mother had no intention of getting involved with them either.
However, according to Linda, there are some people in the Hazuki family who have recently been insisting that Maria alone should be invited to join the family and that she should be the successor. Some have come to believe that they should put the past behind them and invite both Maria and Aira to join the family, but their mother, the head of the family, has yet to even contact them.
“Does the Hazuki family know I exist?”
When Reito asked, Linda looked concerned.
“I’m not sure… but if your presence were known, the head of the family would definitely not be pleased. The Hazuki family hates the Baltros Kingdom.”
“The previous head of the family, Lord Leafvein, was defeated by the previous Baltros king. The two countries now have a non-aggression pact, but the Hazuki family, which lost Lord Leafvein, has not forgiven the kingdom. The previous head of the family, Master Glynn, also died in the war with the kingdom.”
The relationship between the Kingdom of Baltros and the Hazuki family is deep-rooted, and the current head of the family does not feel good about the kingdom.
The head of the family also holds a grudge against Aira, who married into the Baltros Kingdom as if the marriage were an affront to her. Moreover, their child, Reito, would be descended from the Hazuki family and the kingdom.
“Has Mr. Reito ever had any contact with the Hazuki family?”
“Anything rings a bell?”
Linda’s question made Reito ponder.
He has been the target of several attempts on his life in the past, but when asked if they were related to the Hazuki family, Reito had no idea. There may have been, but there had been so many attempts on his life that he wasn’t sure what was what anymore.
In the end, Reito shook his head.
“I don’t think so.”
“I see… but please be careful from now on. Maria is trying to hide the secret of your birth as much as possible, but if it is already known, there may be those who will try to take your life.”
Following Linda’s advice, Reito decided to be more careful than ever about his behavior and decided to discuss it with Airis later.
At that point, Linda said as she remembered.
“I must say, I was impressed with your battle the other day. You are more robust than when we last.”
Linda’s statement took Reito by surprise.
He was surprised that she had seen the match; however, he was even more upset that she had recognized him despite him going through the trouble of wearing a disguise. If she could recognize him so easily, what was the point of the disguise?
Then, in a panic, Linda explained the situation with a wave of her hand.
“Maria had told me in advance that you would be taking part in the arena in disguise.”
“What, from my older sister*?” (TN: Reito called his aunt Maria, older sister)
“I heard that if a representative of the Ferris Trading Company was replaced in the match, that person would be Mr. Reito in disguise. Rest assured that only a few people besides myself are aware of this fact.”
“Oh, that’s what you mean… I was surprised.”
Reito was worried that his disguise was too sloppy and that his true identity had been exposed, but he breathed a sigh of relief when he heard Linda’s story. He then thought that Linda, who knew what was going on, would be able to give him some feedback about his fighting style in the match.
Reito decided to ask for advice from her, who seemed to have a lot of experience in combat as an elf guard.
“What did you think of my battle, Linda?”
“What do you mean?”
“Um… Did I seem to have any weaknesses?”
“I can’t give you advice on swords because I’m a martial artist by profession, but if I had to, I’d say that you seem to have more power in your legs.”
“In my legs?”
Reito tilted his head in confusion and looked at his legs. They didn’t seem particularly special.
Linda, who was sitting across from him, stood up and reached for his legs as she approached him.
“Excuse me for a moment.”
“…hmmm, supple, yet well toned, great muscles.”
She nodded her head in admiration as she clasped his legs in her hands, unraveling the muscles as if she was massaging them.
The abruptness of Linda’s action flustered Reito, but she slowly let go of his leg and resumed her explanation.
“What kind of training did you have, Mr. Reito? Your legs are too splendidly muscular for a magician…”
“The way these muscles are built is more akin to a beastman than a human. They are muscles that would never be acquired by simply running.”
“I’m not sure…”
Reito had frequently used his “Leap” skills as a child under the tutelage of Airis.
When he lived in the Forest of the Abyss, he often used this “Leap” skill to jump through trees and catch fast-footed monsters. The effects of this may have been felt in his physical body, Reito thought.
When he explained this, Linda nodded and continued.
“What I found disappointing was that you didn’t use up all of your leg muscles.”
“I wasn’t using my muscles to their fullest?”
“For example, when you swing your sword, you use every muscle in your body to attack, don’t you, Mr. Reito?”
Using a sword with all the muscles in his body is a “sword fighting” technique that he learned from Bal, and Reito was surprised that she had recognized it.
Linda continued to speak.
“Your swordsmanship is brilliant, but you haven’t fully mastered it yet. It’s a shame.”
“Not fully mastered?”
“I’m just making a prediction here, but isn’t that originally a sword technique used by Giants? It may not be a technique that a human can make full use of.”
“Hmmm… when you put it that way.”
Although Bal, who taught him Strike Blade, was human, she had Giant blood in her veins. In fact, she had also mastered battle techniques that only Giants could learn.
In Bal’s case, she was probably able to fully handle the “Strike Blade” technique because of her Giant blood, but it is possible that the technique is inherently unsuitable for a human being like Reito.
When he told Linda this, she nodded approvingly.
“I am sure that the technique of “Strike Blade” is not something that you can handle completely at present. However, the ‘Shippuken’ that you used toward the end was brilliant. Even though you’re a magician, your fist movements were so perfect that I was surprised.”
According to Linda, he was so masterful in his use of battle techniques that she had nothing to complain about.
“Is the ‘Shippuken’ battle skill compatible with my body?”
“’Yes. There is no doubt that… it may have something to do with the fact that Mr. Reito’s body has the muscularity of a beastman.
Reito looked at his fists and tilted his head at the fact that he was praised more for his recently learned “Shippuken” fighting technique than for his long used “Strike Blade” fighting technique. According to Linda, this fighting technique is better suited to his body.
At that moment, a thought flashed through his mind.
“I have some swordsmanship that I’d like Linda to take a look at for a minute. Can you help me?”
“I don’t mind, but may I bring Tina with me? I don’t like taking my eyes off her too much…”