NBAA Vol. 6 Chapter 5 Part 4

“…and that’s why I’m here to get your opinion,” Reito said to Dain.

“I was wondering why you came to see me out of the blue… And what the hell was the Battle Association thinking about having you fight a lich!”

Reito sought out Dain, a dark sorcerer, hoping to glean some advice given Dain’s familiarity with dark magic and demons. After hearing Reito’s tale about the impending battle with the lich, Dain was visibly taken aback. He turned a serious gaze towards Reito, understanding the gravity of the situation laid before him.

“Reito, do you have any idea how dangerous a lich is? They’re nothing to sneeze at.”

“Do you know a lot about liches?”

“I sure do… I’ve seen one firsthand. When I was still under Bal’s care, I saw a lich made from the corpse of a mage. It destroyed an entire village on its own, so Bal and I went to take it down.”

Accompanied by Bal, who was still an adventurer at the time, Dain went to defeat the “lich” that had attacked the village. He himself was only an escort and did not participate in the battle, but he visited the village to see how powerful the lich was. However, the lich they encountered boasted extremely powerful magic, and Bal was wounded deeply during the fight to defeat it.

“I was really scared at the time. Bal, who I had thought was invincible, was injured and straddled the line between life and death for three days. She somehow survived, but she was wounded so deeply that she could not be active as an adventurer for a while.”

“You’re talking about our Bal, right?”

“I know Reito is strong. From my point of view, I don’t think there is that much difference between you and Bal in her prime. So if the lich I saw is stronger than the lich you’ve been assigned as an opponent for your match, even you might not be able to defeat him… You need to be careful.”

“I understand. I’ll be on high alert.”

Seeing Dain’s seriously concerned expression, Reito nodded and was reminded once again of the lich’s terrifying nature. He decided to ask Dain about the characteristics of the lich as observed through his own eyes.

“As far as I know, the magic that the lich generates is always dark magic. For example, in the case of the lich I saw, who was a sorcerer before he was born, if he used fire magic, it turned into ‘black fire,’ and if it used lightning, it turned into ‘black lightning. And he never used holy magic. In fact, he was weak against light. He hated the light of day.”

“I see… Damn, that’s why they made it a night match.”

Reito had figured out why his match was scheduled to be held at night, and calmly recalled that the Rotten Dragon also suffered from just being exposed to sunlight. Necromancer creatures were characterized by their weakness to strong light, and Dead Man’s Puppets were no exception.

“Light is their weak point, so magic like the ‘Photosphere’ might work. Also, be careful with dark magic. It has the opposite effect. If you strike them with dark magic, they will likely absorb it.”

“I can’t use dark magic, so that’s not a problem.”

“Well, yeah, I know… Sorry, but that’s about all I’ve got on liches.”

“No, no. You’ve given me a great idea. Thank you.”

Having gleaned insights about the lich’s traits, Reito formulated a strategy with Dain’s assistance. Discovering that the undead demons were vulnerable to “light” was a significant revelation. Now equipped with a countermeasure against the lich, Reito expressed his gratitude to Dain and decided to head back home to rest and recuperate. With a farewell, he left Dain’s place and made his way back, feeling a step closer to being prepared for the upcoming confrontation.

『Airis.』

『Have you come up with any good strategies?』

『Yeah, actually…』

As he headed back to the inn, he communicated with Airis, informing her of the strategy he had devised. She concurred with Reito’s proposal and agreed to the plan.

『I see… I think you can manage that. But be careful, because you still don’t know how powerful your opponent will be.』

『I know. I’m sleeping with Hitomin as my pillow tomorrow night…』

『Hey! Don’t pick favorites!』

After the communication, Reito returned home and went to bed early to prepare for tomorrow’s game.

~

Early morning the next day, Reito visited the Dalton Trading Company and received his Extermination Blade with the Magic Marks engraved on it. It seemed that the modification of the magic sword was carried out successfully without incident, and he decided to practice magic swordsmanship in the training grounds of the trading company.

“Are these… Magic Marks? It doesn’t look much different on the outside…”

“Well, there’s nothing spectacular about them,” he said. “But it’s a magic sword now. I mean, do you even know how to use a magic sword?”

“This is the first time I’ve tried using one.”

At Goyle’s explanation, Reito turned his gaze to the Extermination Blade with the engraved marks and prepared to activate the magic sword while Ferris, Alice, and Grohl observed.

In this world, a magic sword could channel magical power through its blade, thereby imbuing it with magical properties. The “Gravity Blade,” which Reito had already mastered, fell into this category. However, in the case of the Gravity Blade, it was activated as a skill, so it continued to consume magical power while it was in effect. Consequently, the magical effect would persist as long as he had stamina, but it drained a lot of his energy.

A typical magic sword was a weapon inscribed with a Magic Mark that housed magical power, and in this case, its effectiveness was proportional to the amount of magical power channeled into it. For instance, if a substantial amount of magical power was infused initially, the initial effect would be pronounced, and the magical power would not be depleted at the moment of infusion. However, as time progresses, the effect of the magical power diminishes and eventually vanishes entirely. Incidentally, the ability to channel magical power could only be utilized by those who held the profession of magician.

However, for ordinary individuals, unlike Reito who had learned the auxiliary magic “Enchantment Boost,” mastering the ability to channel magical power through their body to the sword independently was crucial. For example, Shun, who had engaged Reito in battle the other day, activated his magic sword by utilizing spirit magic and harnessing the power of a wind spirit. However, for typical individuals, managing a magic sword was unfeasible without acquiring the skill to channel magical power which would require a lot of time.

In addition, Reito had never handled a magic sword with an attribute other than earth magic. Therefore, this would be the first time for him to use a magic sword with other attributes. With everyone watching, Reito held out his palm and activated the “Enchantment Boost” auxiliary magic, sending magical power into the air.

“Okay… let’s start with the fire attribute for now.”

“Wow!”

The moment Reito channeled fire magic into the Extermination Blade with his palm pressed against it in front of the four of them, flames enveloped the blade of the Extermination Blade. Everyone shouted in wonder at the sight, and Reito nodded his head in satisfaction.

“Okay, it worked. But how long will it last for?”

“Shall I time it?”

“Yes, please.”

Alice lifted the clock off the wall and held it out in front of Reito. Counting the second hand, she precisely measured the time it took for the flames in the sword to extinguish. Exactly one minute later, the flames emitted from the blade of the sword disappeared, and immediately Goyle looked at the broadsword and nodded in admiration.

“The blade hasn’t melted at all… Its magic resistance is also amazing.”

If a magic sword was made of a non-magical metal, the blade would naturally be heavily burdened, and the blade would be damaged. Therefore, the use of a magic sword was only possible with a highly magic resistant material.

“Next we’ll see what each attribute does.”

Reito channeled the magical power of different attributes into the sword sequentially. When infusing the wind attribute, a tornado enveloped the sword, resembling the effect on Shun’s magic sword; with the lightning attribute, an electric current surged through the blade; the water attribute caused the blade surface to freeze; and the earth attribute cloaked the sword with red gravity magic akin to Reito’s ‘Gravity Blade’ skill. Reito was able to lightly channel magic power into the blade, with no significant fluctuation in the magic produced.

“I’m impressed… I didn’t think you could really handle the magic of all five attributes.”

“That’s unusual, even for a magician. A normal sorcerer should be limited to three or four attributes at most…”

“I didn’t realize that he was so skilled and talented as a magician as well…”

“I’m proud of you, Mr. Reito. Keep up the good work, and I’ll be counting on you for today’s match.”

“Hmmm…”

One after another, the people in the training hall expressed their admiration for Reito’s ability to put the power of each attribute’s magic into the Extermination Blade, but Reito himself was curious about the Extermination Blade and wondered which magic attribute he had the highest affinity with.

“I think I’m most suited to Earth magic.”

The modification of the blade to adamantite had rendered the application of the “Gravity Blade” tech skill on the Extermination Blade impossible. Consequently, Reito had acquired a new ability termed “Gravity Strike Blade.” However, courtesy of Goyle’s assistance, he managed to channel the magic of the earth attribute into the adamantite blade, reinstating the gravity magic within the blade as before. Moreover, he retained the capability to wield magic swords of other attributes, now with the flexibility to utilize them diversely depending on the situation.

“It would have been nice if it could also channel Holy magic.”

“I’m sorry, that’s beyond my skill set. But, as an apology, please accept this.”

“This?”

It would have been reassuring to be able to handle a magic sword with the holy attribute in the match against the lich, but at Reito’s muttering, Goyle took out a purple crystal ball. Ferris was surprised to see it, and the other two looked at him as if they were also flustered.

“Hey, where did you steal that from?!”

“Don’t talk nonsense! This is my personal property. Take it… as a token of my gratitude for allowing me to treat a weapon that is no less than a legendary holy sword.”

“Hah… what a beautiful magic stone.”

“The magic stone is called Purple Lightning Stone. Just by holding it, it increases the power of lightning magic.”

“This is too much for me…”

“Don’t worry about it. I can only use Earth magic, so there’s no reason I should have it… I once received it as compensation instead of money for a commission, but I forgot to pawn it off.”

While Reito was surprised at the unexpected gift, it also meant that he now had a magic stone that strengthened every magic except for Dark attribute magic. Reito thanked Goyle and put it on his magic ring.

“Okay… now I just need to ensure my magic sword is in good shape before the match.”

“I see… Well, you can use this training ground as you wish. If there is anything you desire, we can get it for you. Just ask Alice.”

“At your command,” Alice added.

“Thank you very much. But I’m ready to go now.”

“So the match is at night… the perfect time to take on the undead. The damn Battle Association. What were they thinking using the undead for a spectacle so carelessly?”

A look of heartfelt disdain crossed Grohl’s face, and the others nodded in agreement. It wasn’t unusual for the Battle Association to have people fight demons. However, when it came to Dead Man’s Puppets, these beings possessed a pre-death consciousness or, to put it harshly, were “humans” resurrected in a half-baked state. Reito sighed to himself, pondering if the time had come yet again for him to take a human life with his own hands, even if his opponent was a Dead Man’s Puppet.

“But I do feel a little sorry for the puppets.”

“Huh?”

“It’s kind of sad, you know? You force them to come back to life, and the people you bring back to life die of their own accord. They come back to this world, but they develop such hatred for the living that their personalities collapse, and they can’t help but kill them, whether they are their relatives or their lovers. When you think about it, it’s very tragic…”

“If there is any way to save the puppets, it is to end their lives again. They are victims, too, no doubt.”

“Yes, that’s true…”

Reito thought about Ferris and Alice’s comments, and although he did not know what kind of Dead Man’s Puppet the lich that he was about to fight was, he was sure that it was suffering from being alive. Given that, he wondered if defeating it with his own hands would actually be a relief for his opponent.

(Maybe Aria also felt that way…)

Reito recalled the facial expression Aria had before she passed away. She had a peaceful smile on her face despite the loss of her life. Reito did not know the answer to the question of what Aria was thinking and why she challenged him to a fight. But perhaps she, too, was struggling to live and thought that being killed by someone else would save her.

(And yet…)

Whatever the circumstances of Aria’s life, Reito wanted her to live. He wanted her to stay by his side forever. But even as he thought about that, it did not change the fact that she was dead.

(I can’t imagine thinking of death… as salvation)

Reito had felt sympathy for the notion of an existence that could only find solace in death, and at the same time, he had wondered if there truly was no other way. However, reality had not been so kind.

(I can’t think about it)

Focusing solely on securing a victory in the upcoming match for the time being, Reito gripped his Extermination Blade and shifted his attention to the anti-magic sword. There was nothing more unsettling than facing an unknown adversary. He devoted himself to rigorous practice with his magic sword, striving to drown out his anxiety through relentless training.

As evening approached, Reito, having finally completed disguising himself as “Luna,” and headed to the arena before the start of the final match of the tournament. Normally, the arena didn’t host night matches, but on this occasion, a special ceremony was conducted to commence the match at the beginning of the night. Rumors of a showdown between the “Black and Silver Swordsman” and the formidable “Dead Man’s Puppet” captured by the Hailstorm Guild had already spread throughout Adventure City, and a sizable crowd had gathered, queuing up before the match even began.

Reito was shown to a special waiting room, and this time, no one was allowed in the room so he could concentrate. He sat in silence with his eyelids closed to unify his mind until it was time for the match to start.

“Phew… It’s so quiet when you’re alone…”

Reito realized that he was less likely to act alone than before. After leaving the Forest of the Abyss, he had somehow made friends and often worked together to solve various problems. This time, however, he had to overcome the problem by himself and could not ask for help from others.

“Aria, am I getting stronger?”

As if calling out to Aria, who taught him swordsmanship, Reito muttered and stared at the shards of the glass vial of recovery medicine she gave him when he was a child. It was the one he had taken off her person after her death – he was unable to throw it away.

He stared at the shard and looked at his own face reflected on the surface. He noticed that the eye of the one without the eye patch was glowing “red,” as if he had somehow become excited, and he wrapped the shard in his palm.

“Well… here we go.”

His sharpened senses alerted him to the sound of soldiers’ footsteps approaching from the outside, and Reito closed his eyelids to suppress his excitement.

He returned to his usual blue eyes and stood in front of the door, equipped with his Extermination Blade and an anti-mirror sword.

◆◆◆

At the same time, in the royal castle of the Baltros Kingdom, Sakura, the queen, was looking out the window at the scenery. Although she was in her room, she was wearing nothing but a blanket.

The queen was silently staring out, perhaps thinking about something. A man approached her from behind and slowly embraced her.

“What do you have in mind? My queen.”

“Oh my… impious to embrace the wife of the master you are to serve.”

“What are you on about… you are the only master I serve.”

“Hehe. I guess you’re right.”

The queen smiled at the man who embraced her and then stared out the window again.

The man who hugged her was Midoru, the great general and most powerful general of the Baltros Kingdom.

The rain was pouring down on the kingdom. Now, even if they made any loud noises, it was unlikely anyone would hear them outside the room.

“Midoru, do you think that girl will do well?”

“That girl? You mean the novice Swordmaster?”

“Hehehe. What do you make of her?”

“She sure is strong. She has inherited her father’s blood. It seems like you have a sweet spot for her.”

“I’ll be fine. If that girl wants to fulfill her long-cherished desire, I won’t stand against her.”

Staring at her face reflected in the window, Queen Sakura smiled bewitchingly.

Midoru was the most powerful general in all of the kingdom, and despite that, the look on her face sent chills down his spine.

NBAA Volume 6 End~


←Previous  |  Next→