NBAA Vol. 7 Chapter 1 Part 1

CHAPTER 1

“Thank you for your patience! We will now have the last match of the day! From the west gate, here comes Luna, the Black and Silver Swordsman!”

“Woooooo!!” 

A loud cheer echoed through the arena, and at the same time, the doors of the arena slowly opened, revealing Reito disguised as Luna. A young boy named Reito, who had what was considered a “loser’s job,” had received a request from a merchant named Ferris to participate in an event called the “Battle Tournament. He agreed to the request, but disguised himself as an imaginary girl named “Luna” to avoid unnecessary rumors being spread about him.

Word had gotten around that Luna, the Black and Silver Swordsman, had defeated Shun, one of the “Swordmasters,” at the tournament. Most of the spectators in the arena that day were there to see her. No Swordmaster had ever been defeated in the Battle Tournament, so there was a lot of hype surrounding the match. 

“Next up is the Lich coming out of the east gate. What’s that? Several soldiers are carrying it in a cage!” 

The door to the east gate opened. About ten Beastman soldiers emerged from the gate. They were carrying a cage in which a humanoid creature, concealed by a robe, was restrained by chain links.

The crowd let out a collective groan as the creature was brought into the arena.

 “No way… they really brought one of those.”

“So it’s a lich… what a terrifying sight.” 

It was rumored in the crowd that Reito’s opponent this time was the strongest of the undead – a Lich.

Reito had already been informed of the Lich, so he wasn’t surprised.

As the soldiers lowered the cage to the ground, a man who appeared to be their captain raised his voice. 

“Okay… unlock the door when I give you the signal! Be ready to run at a moment’s notice!”

“Sir, yes sir!”

“Understood.” 

At that moment, one of the soldiers approached Lich, who was standing motionless in his cage, as if looking into something. 

“It’s really not moving. Is it even alive? Wait, it was dead to begin with…”

“Idiot! Don’t you dare go near it!” 

The captain shouted in panic, but it was too late. The chained lich rose and quickly approached the soldier, its blood-red eyes gleaming through the crack in its robe. 

“Aaaaaaah!” 

The lich slammed into the cage with such force that its robe shifted, exposing its skeletal form. 

“EEK!?”

“Get back!” 

The soldier cried in terror as the lich’s looming human skull came into view. In his panic, he tried to flee, but the Lich quickly unfastened his arm and grabbed the longsword hanging from the soldier’s waist.

“Woah!”

“No, no! Don’t let it have the sword…”

“Ngh… Ahhhhh!!” 

A bloodcurdling scream echoed through the arena.

In an instant, the lich’s longsword sliced through the cage. Blood splattered as the soldier outside met a grim fate. 

“Oh, no!”

“EEK!”

“Run!!” 

The slashed soldier screamed and rolled to the ground. At the sight of the lich, the other soldiers rushed away from the cage and fled through the gate.

The fallen soldier quickly got up and ran after them through the gate. Fortunately, he was only slashed on the surface of his skin folds and managed to survive.

However, after completely destroying the cage, the lich broke the chains wrapped around its body and tore off its robe before escaping outside. The crowd screamed at the sight, and the adventurers in the front rows tried to move to ready their weapons, but before they could, Reito stood in the Lich’s way with his Extermination Blade drawn.

 “Ngh!!”

“Greee!?”

“Woah!” 

He deflected the Lich’s sword with his own Extermination Blade, breaking the blade as the Lich tried to attack the soldiers. The soldiers rushed out immediately, and the east gate was closed by the time all the soldiers had made it to safety.

After taking in the scene, Reito turned to confront the lich. At first glance, it appeared to be a mere animated skeleton, but a palpable aura of dark magic emanated from its form.

After drawing his Extermination Blade, Reito also drew his Reflection Sword and readied it.

 “So this is a Lich.”

“…”

The Lich’s eyes glowed red, and looked at Reito as if it was watching him. Its behavior made Reito curious.

Meanwhile, the announcer, Rabby, signaled for the match to begin. 

“Yes, suddenly there was bloodshed! But the match will not be stopped! The game will now begin!”

“Shut uuuuuupppp!”

The Lich shouted in response to Rabby’s voice. Its voice was bloodcurdling, but it was definitely a human voice.

Unlike typical corpse puppets, Liches retained some knowledge and memories from their previous lives, allowing them to speak human languages even with bodies made of nothing but bones. It remained a mystery how they could speak without the presence of skin, muscle, or a tongue.

The Lich clothed itself in dark magic, transformed, and wrapped itself in a human-like skin.

 “I HATE YOU. I WILL KILL YOU!!”

“What the…!” 

The dark magic not only generated her skin, but eventually her hair and clothes as well. Then, a black-haired female swordswoman appeared in front of Reito. 

“A female swordsman?”

“I’ll kill you… I’ll kill all of you!”

“Even what she says…” 

Except for the fact that her entire body was pitch black, the Lich’s appearance was completely human. Reito was visibly disturbed as he realized that such immense magical power had been channeled to manifest a human form.

Recognizing a fleeting thought in the back of his mind that he could perform such feats if he mastered magic, Reito quickly drew his dual swords. The surreal sight before him made him momentarily forget the strategy he had previously devised.

Seizing the opportunity, the Lich who had transformed into a swordsman made the first move. 

“COME HERE!!”

“What the… Ngh!?” 

The Lich stretched out her arm, grabbed Reito’s Extermination Blade with her bare hand, and tried to snatch it away from him with her terrifying grip. Reito immediately activated his Limit Boost skill, increasing his physical abilities to the limit, and tried to wrestle it away from her. 

“Let it go!!”

“Aah!!”

“What!?” 

Despite using all of his physical strength, Reito was no match for the Lich. With a single hand, the Lich effortlessly grabbed the Extermination Blade and threw Reito aside. The overwhelming force rendered Reito defenseless, causing him to fall to the ground and lose his grip on the Extermination Blade. 

“Gaaahhh…!”

“AAAAHHHH!!”

“Shit… Ngh!?” 

The Lich took the Extermination Blade from Reito, lifted it with one hand, and swung it with great force at Reito, who fell to the ground. As Reito quickly rolled over to avoid the attack, the blade of the broadsword plunged deeply into the ground.

Unexpectedly stripped of his weapon, Reito managed to get some distance as he grabbed the Reflection Sword to shield his aching body. 

“Spin!!”

“Damn!!”

“This is… this is a tremendous sight! It’s a tremendous sight!” 

As the Lich approached, swinging the Extermination Blade he had pulled from the ground, Reito activated his Shrink Ground skill to dodge the attack.

The Lich, who may have wielded a broadsword before her death or may have simply transformed into a talented female swordsman, skillfully manipulated Reito’s Extermination Blade and repeated the attack.

The lich approached with increasing speed and power with each turn. To counter this, Reito channeled crimson magical power through his hands.

Although missing an attack would be fatal, Reito decided that he would lose a chance to win if he retreated at this point, so he activated his “Observing Eye” skill to track his opponent’s movements. 

“There it is!!”

“NGH!?”

Reito activated his “Interception” skill against the broadsword blade that was swung at him, and he deflected the Extermination Blade that was coming at him with the blade of the Reflection Sword.

The “Spin” technique was powerful, but the action itself was monotonous and had large gaps. Reito took advantage of this weakness to break his opponent’s stance. 

“HAAA!!”

“NGH!?” 

Reito held the Reflection Sword against his opponent’s body. The blade of the Reflection Sword, which has the ability to repel magic, sliced through the magic power covering the lich and slashed the skeletal part inside.

Dark magic overflowed as blood gushed from the wound, and the lich retreated with a look of fear on her face. 

“Ouch… What the hell is that sword?!”

“Come on… Don’t touch people’s swords with your filthy hands!”

“Oh!?”

Reito brought his right hand forward and concentrated his mind to activate the ” Iceclad Sword” to create an ice broadsword. The spectators were stunned by the sight.

On the other hand, the Lich frowned and held up her own sword.

“This magic… you’re not a swordsman, are you?”

“You’re surprisingly talkative… but I don’t owe you an answer!”

“Woah!?”

With the ice broadsword and the reflection sword, Reito launched rapid attacks.

The difference in physical abilities between him and Lich was obvious, and he would not be safe if he was attacked again. He decided not to give his opponent time to attack.

Reito caused a ” Hyper Vibration” in the blade of the ice broadsword and then unleashed the ” Shippuken” combat technique.

“HAA!!”

“AUGH!?”

The Lich parried Reito’s blow with the Extermination Blade, but was blown away by the impact.

However, the hilt of the ice broadsword also developed a crack. The sword was not really a big sword, just a chunk of ice, so it was not as strong as a sword of the same size.

There was another factor that contributed to the crack. During his earlier attack, Reito had activated the Gravity Strike Blade. This technique involved channeling magic power into one’s hand to manipulate gravity. If a weapon wasn’t made of a material with high magical resistance, it wouldn’t be able to withstand the force of the Gravity Strike Blade and would be shattered.

“I have to get my Extermination Blade back… I can’t use this sword anymore.” 

Reito muttered calmly to himself, then discarded the ice broadsword he had created with the “Iceclad Sword” skill. He then focused on his left hand and thrust his palm forward, praying for success.

Reito summoned the only holy magic he could use besides recovery magic. 

“Photosphere!!”

“What is that…?” 

The Lich looked doubtfully at the small ball of light that appeared in Reito’s palm.

Nevertheless, he called up the Enchantment Boost auxiliary spell and poured in a large amount of holy magic. 

“Take that… HAAA!!”

“Graahhhhh!?”

The next moment, a ball of light imbued with magical power burst like a balloon popping.

A tremendous flash of light flooded from the inside of the sphere and covered the lich.

The photosphere was elementary magic, but it had a holy attribute that could dispel darkness. The light, amplified to its maximum by the Enchantment Boost, dispelled the black magic that formed the lich’s body.

The powerful light of the bolt forced all onlookers to close their eyes. Of course, Reito himself was blinded, but even with his eyelids closed, his Mind’s Eye ability allowed him to sense his surroundings.

Reito grabbed his Reflection Sword and used his Mind’s Eye to approach the Lich and slash through her arm.

“Unsheathe!”

“Gaaaah!”

The Lich let go of the Extermination Blade with a scream of pain.

Reito grabbed the Extermination Blade stuck in the ground and swung it at the Lich with the force of pulling it out. 

“Gale Strike!!”

“Aggaah!” 

The attack struck the Lich, who had reverted to skeletal form, shattering its spine and shattering it into pieces.

However, the spectators, blinded by the flash of light, were unable to see the scene. 

“What the hell?”

“I can’t see!”

“What the hell is going on…!” 

As confusion echoed around him, Reito, having regained his weapon, reverted to his dual sword style. Readying his Reflection Sword and Extermination Blade, he faced the Lich.

However, the Lich did not get up after rolling on the ground, and the red light floating in the eye sockets of its skull had disappeared.

At that moment, Reito finally realized that the unpleasant feeling of intimidation that had clung to him was gone. 

“Did she win?”

“Oof… I can, f-, finally see! What is this? Before we knew it, the Lich was defeated! Did Luna win while we were blinded by the light?”

“What the hell?”

“Hey, you’ve got to be kidding me! I didn’t see anything!”

“Is the game over?” 

The spectators who had missed the spectacle of Reito (Luna) knocking down his opponent began to voice their displeasure.

On the other hand, Reito himself breathed a sigh of relief, ignoring the boos.

During the exchange of blades, Reito was reminded of the Lich’s overwhelming physical strength and even suffered the loss of his own weapon. He managed to take the opportunity to fight back, but there was no doubt that it was a razor-thin victory.

It was easy to imagine that the Lich was even more powerful in her lifetime than she was now. It seemed to Reito that he could only win by exploiting the Lich’s weakness, and that there would not be much difference in their pure swordsmanship. 

“I thought I was going to die… that lich was much stronger than a battle golem. But I won!”

After glancing at the motionless Lich, Reito sheathed his weapon, eager to leave the stage. Even though the battle was brief, it had mentally drained him. He resolved to retire to the waiting room immediately for some much-needed rest.

– But such a wish was never granted.

A woman’s voice rang out from behind Reito as he began to walk towards the west gate.

 “Where… are you going…?”

“Ngh…”

“I’M… NOT DONE WITH YOU!!!”


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