NBAA Vol. 7 Chapter 2 Part 2

After leaving the waiting room, Gorai walked down the hallway, effortlessly fending off the attempts of the arena’s soldiers to restrain him. His mind replayed the recent match, especially the moment of Reito’s final attack, sending shivers of excitement through him.

“Like that guy back then…”

Gorai could barely contain his laughter as he thought of “him” – the only person who had ever truly pushed him to his limits. As a member of the Hailstorm Guild, Gorai had made a name for himself by defeating various demons and bandits. He soon became known as the “The Swordmaster of Destruction,” a title that implied relentless destruction, which could be considered dishonorable. But Gorai himself was indifferent to such perceptions.

In his early days as a novice adventurer, Gorai had encountered a vampire with the power of a “Sword Demon.” The vampire had given him a fierce fight before finally escaping. Now that he sensed a similar essence of the Sword Demon’s ability in Reito, Gorai was in high spirits.

As he walked enthusiastically, someone approached him.

“Wait.”

“Muh… Oh!!! It’s Shizune!”

Shizune, a girl who, like Reito, was considered a potential nemesis of Gorai, had stopped him in his tracks. Gorai looked at Shizune and exclaimed happily. As Gorai moved towards her, Shizune pulled a blue-bladed longsword from her waist.

“The Gale Sword.”

“Mm?”

In the next instant, the blade struck Gorai’s head, neck, and chest. However, Shizune frowned in frustration. Her long sword, made of Orichalcum capable of slicing through mithril and steel, couldn’t even scratch the armor covering Gorai’s body.

“You… have a tremendous sword speed,” Gorai noted with admiration. “You’ve improved your skills once again.”

“As if… I bet you can’t even dodge my attack.”

“Ha-ha-ha-ha! I won’t even give you the honor of dodging the attack!!”

Gorai laughed at Shizune’s blatant attempts to strike him down and stood in a dignified stance, seemingly unbothered. He did not even draw his weapon, but instead waited with glee to see what Shizune would do next.

“You still act like everything is easy for you… I didn’t like that about you for a while.”

“Well, I’m sorry about that.”

“And the way you think an apology will fix everythingt!”

Shizune held up her long sword, which emitted cold air. The weapon she wielded, “The Four Seasons,” was one of the “Seven Great Demon Swords,” ancient blades forged to counter holy swords. She aimed at Gorai’s chest and delivered a slash, the blade gushing cold air. The snow-like magical power clung to the cut spot, instantly freezing the area. Shizune smiled triumphantly and then thrust her blade at Gorai’s head.

“Aaah!”

“Oops.”

“What?”

Gorai casually caught the sword’s blade with his left hand. Shizune’s eyes widened, not expecting her attack to be stopped. Gorai, unimpressed by the freezing of his arm, released the blade with a disappointed sigh.

“I’m sorry, but you can’t kill me with that magic sword. Come back when you’re stronger.”

“How much more of this… nonsense do I have to endure?”

“Mm-hmm. You’re certainly stronger than when we first met. But it’s not enough.”

Gorai was genuinely impressed by Shizune’s growth. Except for one Swordmaster he knew, no one else could keep up with her. Even so, the current Shizune was not yet able to defeat Gorai.

“Do not be impatient, Shizune. You still have the potential to grow stronger.”

“Shut up! You are the only one I will… kill for sure!”

In front of Shizune’s hateful look, Gorai scratched his head and fell silent. He didn’t know what to say to her, understanding her resentment was inevitable. Engaging in further combat here wasn’t wise. If they were discovered by a member of the Battle Festival, Shizune might lose her chance to participate.

Finally, Gorai made a suggestion.

“If you want to fight me, you have to make it to the finals of the tournament.”

“Fine… I’ll let you go for today.”

Shizune, looking frustrated, sheathed her sword and ran quickly down the hallway. Gorai watched her go, then examined his slashed chest and the arm that had caught the sword. He rubbed the frozen areas together to thaw them.

“Nghhh! It is what it is.”

Now free, Gorai left the arena.

◆◆◆

The day after the match between Luna, the Black and Silver Swordsman, and Lich in the arena, a girl appeared at Reito’s house. Her blue hair fluttered as she stood in front of the entrance.

“I’m here. This is a surprisingly beautiful house. The design is a bit unusual, though…”

At first she knocked, but when she received no answer, she wondered if Reito was out. However, when she noticed some noise coming from the courtyard, she decided to enter without hesitation.

“Hahaha… hey, don’t go in there.”

“Yannn… Reito, not there…”

“Hey, don’t lick me in the weirdest places…!”

“Ngh…!?”

Shizune was surprised to hear voices from outside. Two voices – one male, one female. She thought they might be doing something untoward, but when she used her “Detect Presence” skill, she detected multiple presences in the garden.

“What is he doing…? I’m sensing some non-human signs.”

Sizune activated her “Mind’s Eye” skill as she closed her eyes and peered around the corner of the building to see what was happening in the garden. Unlike Reito, who needed several seconds of concentration to use his “Mind’s Eye” skill, Shizune was able to activate hers instantly.

Then she saw Reito playing with a wolf, a slime, and a girl from the mermaid tribe. Shizune let out an involuntary sigh at the carefree scene. She thought he was a bit too lax, even in his own house.

“I really don’t know about this guy… but who else can I turn to?”

Shizune glanced at her magic sword at her waist, moved to the corner of the building, and briefly harbored a killing intent towards Reito, curious to see if he would detect it. But Reito showed no sign of awareness.

“If he’s unaware of my presence here, he’s not worth asking for help.”

With a sigh, Shizune turned on her heel.

“Phew… what a disappointment.”

“Who are you?”

“Aah!”

Startled by Reito’s sudden appearance from around the corner of the building, Shizune screamed. Reito, with the slime Hitomin on his head, tilted his head puzzled to see her on his property.  

“Who is this? Oh, if you’re here to sell newspapers, I’m not interested. Besides, we don’t have a TV, so we don’t need a collection service!”

“Oh, when did you…?”

“I’m quite confident in my mobility skills.”

Reito had actually noticed her presence even before Shizune unleashed her killing intent. Unsure of her intentions, he had pretended to be engrossed in playing with his pets while observing her actions. When Shizune unleashed her deadly energy, Reito quickly used his “Shrink Ground” skill to appear before her, catching her off guard.


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