NBAA Vol. 6 Chapter 4 Part 5
“Lady Luna is…!?”
“You’re up there!!” the swordsman shouted.
Hanzo looked around in panic when she saw that Reito had disappeared, but immediately, the masked swordsman looked up into the sky and spotted Reito floating there. His Reflection Sword repelled the tornado released by the swordsman, but it still did not completely protect him, and he was sent flying up into the sky.
“Don’t think you can get away that easy!”
“Wait a minute! Do me the honor of telling me if you are really going to kill Luna!”
Hanzo tried to stop the swordsman when she saw the swordsman generate another tornado from the blade of his longsword. But his opponent, perhaps losing his cool in the excitement, carelessly shot a crescent-shaped wind blade at the airborne Reito.
Unable to maneuver effectively in the air, Reito, having lost his Extermination Blade, extended his left palm and resorted to using magic.
Reito created wind to move his body floating through the air to another location. He narrowly dodged the wind slash unleashed by the swordsman just in time.
The swordsman swung his sword repeatedly and released a wind blade as Reito descended through the air.
In order to prevent the slash from coming at him, Reito held out his palm and created an Ice Shield for the first time in a while.
“You think that can stop my attack!?”
The swordsman relentlessly unleashed crescent-shaped wind blasts from his blade at Reito, who had conjured an ice shield in mid-air using the “Ice Block” magic. Spirit magic synergized better with wind magic compared to regular magic, making it challenging to counter with conventional spells. Each time a wind blade struck his ice shield, Reito felt a jolt.
“Damn… Enchantment Boost!!”
“What is that? What does this mean? The ice shield created by Reito has changed color!”
When the “Enchantment Boost” spell sent water-based magic into the “Ice Shield,” the cracked shield was repaired, and the ice turned a deeper shade of blue. The swordsman recklessly continued his attack, but the strengthened shield repelled his windblade.
“Did you just… I see. That’s how it works.”
“Damn, why won’t it break?”
By continuing to send magic power with “Enchantment Boost,” the ice shield was continuously restored and, in fact, had been noticeably strengthened. The characteristics of “Enchantment Boost” were “the ability to manipulate magic of each attribute” and “strengthening magic by continuously sending magic power,” and unlike “Magic Boost,” there was no limit to the magic power that could be sent. In other words, as long as the magic power lasted, it could be used indefinitely.
Reito took out the recovery medicine that Dain had given him and drank it. It restored his magic power, and he fixed his “Ice Shield” in the air. The ice created by the “Ice Block” magic could be manipulated at will.
He used his “Ice Shield” as a foothold, gripped his Reflection Sword, and activated his “Heavy Strike Sword” to release red magic power from his hand.
Lowering his “Ice Shield” at once, Reito approached the swordsman on the ground. His opponent, perhaps determining that a half-hearted attack would not work, cloaked his blade in a “tornado” as he had done earlier and held his sword out.
The masked swordsman was the first to draw his sword, unleashing a tornado from his blade. Meanwhile, Reito, approaching from the air, gripped his Reflection Sword, fixed the “Ice Block” in the air, and, remembering yesterday’s match with Daigo, unleashed the “Gale Strike” battle technique that was based on the “Strike Blade” technique he had learned from Bal.
“Woah woah woah woah!”
Reito’s eyes glowed red, and his body was cloaked in crimson magic power. The blade of the Reflection Sword swung down with such force that the tremendous pressure turned into a shockwave that swept away the tornado released from the ground and blew away the swordsman.
The shockwave from above blasted the masked swordsman to the outer wall of the arena, hitting his body hard against the wall. In doing so, his mask came off before he fell. Although he had already vaguely recognized the voice, Reito muttered his name when he saw his face.
“That’s enough! The winner is Luna!”
The spectators could not describe what they had just witnessed, and Reito himself could not comprehend what he had done. But all he knew was that he had won, and he landed slowly on the ground with a sigh of relief.
“Oof… this sucks.”
“Allow me the honor of saying that was excellent…”
“You don’t have to talk about honor in every sentence…”
Hanzo applauded in disbelief. But Reito wanted to rest more than words of praise.
Reito yanked his Extermination Blade out of the ground.
In doing so, Reito’s body droops weakly.
Hanzo braced him. She lent her shoulder to Reito.
“Ugh… sorry, I just met you today… You’re a good girl. Won’t you marry my grandson?” Reito asked deliriously.
“Don’t mention it, grandma… What am I saying? It is a tradition in my village that sworn enemies can become friends when the battle is over if you allow me the honor,” Hanzo said.
“We’ll have to see.”
Hanzo tried to escort Reito to the waiting room. Shun, disguised in a mask, was also carried into the infirmary by an attendant.
“That was quite the incredible fight. I never thought you could defeat his magic sword technique… Lady Luna is a human, and yet you can also handle spirit magic?”
“I also have elf blood in me, but I don’t think I’m ready for spirit magic yet… Hanzo’s last sword technique was also amazing. You know, that one like the captain* of the third division uses…” (T/N: Bleach reference probably)
“I don’t know what you are talking about. But I mastered ‘Serenity’ a while ago. It consumes a lot of your concentration and spirit, but all of my family members can handle that level of swordsmanship if I have the honor of telling you all this.”
“Are you serious? That’s one hell of a family…”
Hanzo’s words made Reito realize how fearsome Japanese swordsmen are and reminded him that Kagemaru, who was from the same country as her, was also quite skilled.
“Is this Serenity a battle skill or a tech skill?”
“To be precise, it is a unique skill developed from the skill ‘Concentration.’ I spent five years learning it, but it is a rare ability that ordinary swordsmen are said to have to spend ten years to learn, if I have the honor of saying so.”
“I see… If I may have the honor of saying so,” Reito joked.
“You don’t have to talk about honor with me.”
After receiving her explanation, Reito wondered if he, too, could learn the “Serenity” ability, but from what he heard, it seemed difficult, and he gave up trying to learn it. It might be possible to learn it, but it was too much to learn during the tournament. Airis didn’t chime in to say anything, meaning it was likely impossible.
“Hanzo… No, can I call you Han-chan?”
“Of course, I don’t mind, please do me the honor, but… I didn’t expect us to get so chummy.”
“Why do you talk so much about honor? By the way, do you know Mr. Shinobi?”
“Oh! We are not acquaintances or anything…”
Reito stopped Hanzo from talking and looked ahead. His “Detect Presence” and “Magic Detection” skills were activated, and he could see that someone was approaching from the passage ahead. Moreover, it was not a patrolling soldier or a participant in the tournament. The other party was clearly radiating a murderous intent.
“If you’ll do me the honor of letting me know what’s going on…”
“Han-chan stay back and… ngh.”
“I will not stand back. I am the one who…”
The sound of footsteps approaching echoed from the passage around the bend, and Hanzo reached for the hilt of her sword. It was unclear who was approaching, but Reito leaned his body against the wall and drew his Reflection Sword, trying to get himself into a fighting stance, but his strength was too diminished to allow him to.
“Who are you? Do me the honor of coming out!!”
When Hanzo yelled at the person present in the corridor, the footsteps ceased to echo, and the person stopped in front of the turn. If the person was in the occupation of an assassin, he could have activated his “Soundless Walk” ability to get closer. It was unlikely they were an assassin.
“He messed up.”
“You… what is that mask?”
A tall man wearing a mask with beast ears and a tail characteristic of Beastmen appeared. At his waist was a two-handed sword.
The man drew his sword, typically a two-handed weapon, yet he skillfully wielded it with just one hand, directing it at Hanzo.
“Get out of my way! I have no use for you!”
“Do me the honor of telling me what you’re doing! Are you going after Lady Luna?”
“I’m not going to answer… if you’re in my way, I’ll show no mercy!”
Reito let out a sigh at the beastman, who held up his weapon. It was dangerous to fight with a fatigued body, but Hanzo would be in danger if she continued to fight like this. He knew how strong she was, but the swordsman in front of her was clearly of a different caliber. This opponent radiated an intimidation that far surpassed Shun’s.
“You will do me the honor of backing down, Lady Luna! I will cut down any coward who attacks an exhausted opponent after a match!”
“Ngh… That hurts.”
At the word “coward,” the Beastman swordsman got upset for a moment, and the blade of the sword held in Hanzo’s hand shook. Hanzo saw this and readied her sword. She, too, was still tired from the match, so she took a chance to land a single blow.
The swordsman concentrated and was about to slice at Hanzo before she drew her sword from her scabbard to intercept him.
The Beastman swordsman backed away from Hanzo, who slashed at him while drawing her sword from its scabbard. Hanzo gripped the sword she drew and thrust it toward her opponent’s mask.
Hanzo’s attack was swifter than the swordsman had anticipated. He attempted to dodge the blade by twisting his upper body, but couldn’t completely evade it, resulting in a scratch on his mask. Seizing the opportunity with Hanzo’s blade extended, the swordsman raised his right leg and delivered a powerful kick to her abdomen.
“Hanzo! Damn it… move!”
Reito released his ‘Chain’ at Hanzo’s opponent.
A chain emitting a silvery glow tried to entangle the beastman swordsman, but he evaded it by leaping backward.
“What the heck is this?”
While moving the chain like a living snake, Reito activated “Enchantment Boost” and sent lightning magic into the Chain. Although he could have electrocuted his opponent if he touched the Chain even for a moment, the swordsman, displaying the athletic abilities peculiar to Beastmen, slipped into the corridor to avoid the attack.
“No way… I won’t miss this time!”
“Wait… Damn it.”
“Phew… You did me the honor of saving me.”
Perhaps alarmed by the sacred weapon used by Reito, the beastman decided that he was at a disadvantage in a corridor where escape was limited, and he fled the scene. Hanzo breathed a sigh of relief at the sight, holding her abdomen, while Reito collapsed to his knees as his magical power was further drained.
“Will you do me the honor of telling me if you’re alright?”
“Hard to say I’m okay… but I’m alive.”
“Do me the honor of lending me your shoulder… That man is quite skilled.”
Hanzo pressed her abdomen. There was no doubt that her ribs were cracked.
She retrieved her own sword, which had fallen to the ground, and approached Reito, wobbling on her feet.
“The man… who was just in front of you was definitely trying to kill Lady Luna, wasn’t he? Do you have any idea who it was if you’ll do me the honor of telling me?”
“All this talk about honor…”
“What did you do that people would hate you so much?”
There were many people in the Baltros Kingdom, the former Empire, the Hazuki family, and many others who did not take kindly to Reito’s presence and were after his life. But he couldn’t remember any swordsman besides Shun having a grudge against him.
“Is Han-chan’s tummy okay?”
“To tell you the truth, it hurts a little, that it does, but I can manage it if I take a recovery medicine if you’ll do me the honor.”
“I wish I could just use magic to heal you…”
The auxiliary magic of “Ultra Recovery Boost,” which was still unfamiliar to Reito, consumed a large amount of magical power and was too dangerous to use when the user was exhausted. Increasing his dexterity level would increase his performance and decrease the amount of magical power consumed. Still, as expected, increasing his level in such a short time was impossible.
(I need to prepare more recovery pills for times like this… I guess I haven’t saved enough because I can use recovery magic.)
Reito regretted that he didn’t stock up on recovery medicine, even though it was overpriced, and vowed to be better prepared next time.
He gave Hanzo a shoulder to lean on, and when they arrived at the waiting room, the other friends who had been waiting for Reito were surprised to see them – and welcomed them.