Life in Another World with His Stealth Skills (Part 01)
Let us turn back the clock a bit to when the carriage carrying Lavia had just finished its first break and was starting to move again.
Lavia was seated inside the rocking carriage, staring at her own hands on her lap. Hands that were handcuffed. The boy named Hikaru had not returned since then. He said he would save her today because he couldn’t destroy the magic cell. Yet he hadn’t gotten in touch at all and she started to think he only gave her vain hope. That the boy was just sweet-talking her.
There were only three escorts. It would be easy to break through them with numbers. But she didn’t think she was that valuable. Even if there were people who wanted her for her powers, they wouldn’t risk going against the King.
Lavia let out a deep sigh.
「Where I’m from, we have a saying that sighing will make good fortune run away from you.」
「But there are times when you just—」
Lavia gave a start. What was that?
「Don’t raise your voice now or I’ll get busted.」
Sitting there inside the carriage was a boy with black hair and equally black eyes.
「Ah, uh, what?」
「You want to know how I got in here? While I’d love to explain, I still don’t trust you.」
「I’ll tell you everything once you’re completely free and I can trust you. How’s that sound?」
He didn’t have to ask as she had no say in the matter. She was still staring at Hikaru – at the boy who appeared out of nowhere – in disbelief.
This person is my savior.
If there was one thing she believed in, it was that Hikaru would surely rescue her from here.
Hikaru had assumed every possible escort pattern before he executed his plan. What he was really worried about was the key. How many locks were there? How many does he have to unlock before Lavia would be free?
The worst possible scenario he imagined was that the Alchemists Guild’s guildmaster would accompany the convoy. The guildmaster would create a magic cell and go with the convoy to the capital. He would then unlock it there. If that happened, Hikaru would have no other choice but to kill the guildmaster en route to let Lavia escape. Fortunately, he was busy. Hikaru sneaked into the Alchemists Guild to check the guildmaster’s schedule and found out that he would be having dinner with someone today at a restaurant in Pond.
The next worse scenario was if there were multiple keys. For example, they could have two identical keys, one in Pond and one in the capital. In other words, no one had the key during transport. In that case…
· Once Lavia got in the carriage, it would be locked.
· A knight or someone from the mansion would put the key in a safe.
· Hikaru would then steal the key from the safe.
· Run after the convoy.
· Return the key to the safe after Lavia is rescued.
Those were the steps that Hikaru would’ve taken. Fortunately the coachman had the key. It was the best case he could imagine.
One more troublesome possibility would be if Lavia were restrained to the carriage itself, perhaps to a beam or the roof. In this case, Hikaru would need a different key to free her. It would’ve been bad if it were similar to the magic cell, but fortunately the Alchemists Guild guildmaster put on handcuffs that would come off after a certain time. It was a smart method – no need for a key, but still enough to restrain her. Fortune was smiling at Hikaru. All he had to do was get her out and in time the handcuffs could be removed.
Hikaru assumed other scenarios as well. He went over what he had to do for each situation and checked the location of the safe for the key yesterday as well. But in reality things were easier. Only one key was needed and the coachman had it. The driver was always on his seat so it was up to him and his Stealth to do the job.
Hikaru made his way to the dungeon today to see the Alchemists Guild guildmaster put the handcuffs on Lavia. As soon as he knew that the coachman had the key, he immediately headed to the gate. He waited there and as the carriage was being checked by the guard, got on top of the roof and lay down. The solidly-built vehicle didn’t budge at all. For a moment his blood froze as the horse turned around, feeling the sudden added weight.
Then he simply lay sprawled on top until the first rest break was over. The carriage itself was big so even without using his Stealth, the adventurers couldn’t see him. After the first break and the convoy started moving again, he crept up to the coachman, took the keys, and unlocked the carriage. Hikaru already anticipated that with his Stealth and his job class set to Stealth God: Darkness Wanderer, the adventurers wouldn’t see him, but just to be safe, he did all this as a caravan passed by.
And that was how he appeared before Lavia.
「Get a sheet right away to make it look like you’re sleeping. If it’s not enough then stuff in some clothes as well. Wear this too.」
With this trick, even if they peered inside, they would think that everything was fine. The breakout wouldn’t be discovered right away. From Hikaru’s backpack he produced a plain brown cloak to hide the handcuffs.
All right. The problem starts from here.
There was a concerning matter to tackle first before making the escape. Lavia didn’t have the skill Stealth. That was merely his assumption, however.
「Lavia, I have a question, but just continue with what you’re doing.」
「I can do anything if it means you can escape, correct?」
She simply nodded, not even asking what he meant by “anything”. Hikaru too nodded in return. Now he could use her points without worry.
Age: 14 Rank: 6
He almost let out a sound. It’s so unbalanced. Hikaru was not one to talk, though. All the points were allocated towards Magical Power. He had not seen huge numbers like 11 and 5 in even the seasoned adventurers. Only Unken.
I can see why the King would want her power…
High magical power and proficient in fire magic. On top of that, she had an unknown Skill called Magic Principle. Hikaru felt annoyed that he couldn’t read the description on other people’s Soul Boards.
She has no points left so no Stealth for her… This was well within expectations, though.
The name field bothered him. Normally it would read Lavia D. Morgstad, but only Lavia was there. That only meant that deep inside her, she had completely cast aside her family name.
I have no other choice, then.
Hikaru opened his own Soul Board.
Age: 15 Soul Rank: 16
He had ten points available. Hikaru put one point on both Life Obfuscation and Mana Obfuscation.
There’s Group Obfuscation. I knew it.
【Group Obfuscation】Grants Life Obfuscation, Mana Obfuscation, and Imperceptibility to anyone in direct contact with the user’s body. Max: 5. The effect is limited to each respective Skills’ max points.
So basically maxing out Group Cutoff is pointless unless the other three Skills are maxed out as well.
He had two points in Life Obfuscation and Mana Obfuscation at the moment. Even he put three points in Group Obfuscation, the effects would be limited to only two points.
That’s within expectations as well.
He now had eight points left. He added one more point to both Life Obfuscation and Mana Obfuscation and three points on Group Obfuscation.
With this he would be able to grant Lavia with a three-point Stealth Skill. Lavia didn’t have the blessings from a job class, however, as she didn’t have a guild card. He was worried, but he had to believe that it was enough to hide her from sight.
Nogusa’s Life Detection only had one point. Even the national hero Unken only had two points in Obfuscation and a point on Group Obfuscation. Hikaru thought his three points was a safe enough margin. He had taken some measures as well to aid them.
I could use up my remaining three points, but I’d rather save it. All that’s left is…
He checked his guild card. He expected to see a new job class called “Group Obfuscation God” or something, but there was none. Perhaps because he didn’t max it out. But instead there was a new one called “Dull Town Night Burglar God: Town Thief”.
Must be because of all the sneaking I’ve been doing… Well that’s one more reason not to show the job class field to anyone.
In the meantime, Lavia was done with her preparations.
「It’s almost time. Make sure you’re mentally prepared.」
「Can you tell me what’s going to happen next? I think it’ll be much easier to move if I knew the plan.」
「I suppose you’re right. I made it look like the carriage is locked, but it really isn’t so all I have to do is remove the lock and open the door. We’ll go outside together. I’ll put the lock back, then we jump off. After that we hide behind a tree or some bushes by the side of the road.」
「…Will it work?」
「I almost forgot something.」
Hikaru was reluctant to speak, but he had to tell her so he tried to endure the embarrassment.
「While we move, hold my hand and never let go.」he said as he held out his left hand.
Why? Lavia thought. Seeing Hikaru’s cheeks turn a bit red, she blushed as well.
She grasped his hand. Her hand was slender and oh so fragile.
「Hey, Nogusa! Up ahead!」
「What’s this? Someone collapsed?」
「E-Excuse me, Sir. Can you spare some water? I got lost in the forest and just now got out.」
Something unusual occurred outside. It was the last measure Hikaru had taken for good insurance. He had asked Kelbeck of the Thieves Guild to distract the adventurers for a moment. The price was 20,000 gilans. Hikaru wanted to complain about it being a rip-off, but he reluctantly agreed.
Hikaru removed the lock and opened the door, dragging Lavia with him. As he made her stand on the steps, her eyes widened. Adventurers on their horses were riding on both sides. Staying vigilant of the man in the middle of the road, they kept watch of the surroundings as well.
It was a common ambush tactic. The first thing to do was stop the carriage, then attack from both sides. They had not imagined that the subject they were escorting was going to escape. Hikaru immediately climbed up the roof, crept up to the driver, returned the keys, and went back to Lavia. This was the most crucial part. If Lavia was seen, it would all be over. He felt huge relief as he held her hands once more. With the Group Obfuscation, they could escape without being seen.
「Don’t let go.」
As soon as he reattached the lock, Hikaru kicked the foothold and they jumped off, flying in the air. The carriage became distant. Nogusa approached the man that collapsed on the road.
Hikaru surveyed the surroundings before heading to the bushes on the side of the road – opposite from where the collapsed man came. It was only a five-meter distance, but Lavia was tense, feeling like her heart would burst out of her chest.
Why don’t they notice us?
Who is that man?
Why is Hikaru so full of confidence?
Too many questions ran through her mind. They were able to make it to the bushes without being noticed. She had managed to escape.
「…Stay sharp. We’re not out of the woods yet.」
She braced herself. They were still by the highway. The adventurers would turn back immediately as soon as they found out she was gone.
「There’s a settlement about two kilometres back from here. Caravans usually stop there to rest. We’re going to secretly hitch a ride.」
「…It’s quite far.」
「If only a caravan passed by now.」
They wove through the bushes, distancing themselves from Nogusa, before coming back out to the road.
「What’s next? Where will we go with the caravan?」
「You’re going to hide in Pond.」
「Your face is asking why hide in a place that’ll most likely get searched.」
「W-Well, I… But why Pond?」
「Who do you think will get suspected of helping or kidnapping you?」
Lavia pondered the question for a moment.
「…A powerful noble, or perhaps someone from outside the kingdom? But I doubt anyone from outside knows about my abilities.」
「Exactly. So nobles will most certainly be suspected. And Pond is under the direct control of the king so a lot of nobles build their houses there.」
「So Pond will get searched.」
「Since it’s under direct control of the king, he could order the town to be ruthlessly searched. Every noble knows that Pond is not an ideal hiding place and they would assume that the culprit escaped to his own domain. Of course, the town would be roughly searched, but once that’s over, you can hide there safely.」
「Your face is asking how will you get past the gate without being seen. 」
「Am I really that easy to read?」
「I have a way to get you inside unseen, but that’s a secret. I’ll tell you once I trust—」
Hikaru abruptly shut his mouth. Pulling on Lavia’s hand, he dragged her off the road.
They hid behind a small tree.