Life in Another World with His Stealth Skills (Part Two)
Hikaru held his breath and waited. A tiny pinprick from the distance was running towards them, getting closer. It got bigger and bigger until he could make out what it was. Someone riding a horse.
Just an ordinary rider? No, wait…
Hikaru couldn’t believe his eyes. He didn’t expect this. It was a knight on the horse. His serious expression looked even more stern. East. His horse was galloping towards their direction.
Why? It must have something to do with Lavia… He couldn’t have found out about my plan. East didn’t seem to trust those adventurers. Is that why he’s here? To join the convoy?
Hikaru wanted to click his tongue. If the knight caught up to the carriage, he might check inside. Once they noticed Lavia was gone, they would immediately start searching for her before the two of them could even get back to town.
Of course with his Stealth, they could hide themselves. But that was all they could do. What would they for food? Jill might even mention how Hikaru was asking questions about the Count’s murder.
His plan was to go about his usual routine once he got back. She might ask Hikaru about Lavia’s escape, but she wouldn’t think that someone who came to the guild every day taking requests was behind it.
But if they couldn’t return to town, it would mean a life of wandering from place to place. If they suspected Hikaru, they could also trace him with the guild card. The pair would have no other choice but to flee to a different country.
That in itself wouldn’t be a problem. But Hikaru and Lavia had not travelled great distances before so they didn’t have the know-how either. Lavia, especially, spent her life like a bird in a cage. Her stamina could pose some issues.
Hikaru made up his mind.
I should stop East.
「Stay here and don’t move.」
Hikaru took out his Sun God mask and put it on. He then summoned his Soul Board.
I’m glad I saved three points.
He chose the Physical Strength window, spent a point to unlock Weapon Mastery, and put two points on Throwing.
A point on Strength should give him quite some power and two points on Weapon Mastery would put him on the same level as an advanced user. Even if Hikaru didn’t have much experience in combat, his Skills would grant him the ability to fight.
He had already considered getting Throwing or Bow mastery beforehand. After Assassination there was Sniper. There were a few reasons why he didn’t go for Bow: it would be hard to fight with it in a confined space, he couldn’t attack if he ran out of arrows, and the weapon itself was bulky. With Throwing, he could basically throw anything. For example the rocks sprawled about by his foot. Hikaru picked up a few and stuffed them into his pockets.
I just hope I don’t get a new job class like Robbery God or something…
Irked, he turned his gaze towards the rider coming in fast.
East spurred the horse onward. The behavior of the adventurers weighed heavy on his mind. There were already plenty of things about the whole case that bothered him and now he had to worry about those guys too.
This is all because we couldn’t prevent the Count from getting murdered!
His blunder – the fact that he failed to prevent the murder – was what drove him. He wanted to at least find out the truth.
I know was being unreasonable, but I can undergo investigation in the capital anyway.
He entrusted everything to his fellow knights – the meeting with the investigator and the inquiry – while he rode towards the capital. He knew his actions would be questioned. But he had decided that once the escort job was over, he would go straight to their leader and tell him everything about the case. East’s sense of justice urged him to do what he was doing.
At this speed I should catch up to the carriage soo—
The horse’s right eye got blown off. Neighing, the horse reared. East tried to keep the creature under control, but he got thrown off to the back. Due to the speed he was going, his body slammed to the ground hard. The horse staggered before falling to its side.
「Wh-What just happened?」
He touched his body all around. No bones were broken, but his ribs were fractured. The moment East realized he was attacked, he had already drawn his sword.
Sharp pain stabbed his right hand. A rock hit it at an incredible speed that could break even the bones. He dropped his sword, unable to hold it any longer.
「Hands and knees on the ground. If you do as I say, I’ll let you live.」
「Fool! I’m a knight! Do you know what’ll happen to you if you attack a knight?!」
「I just need— I don’t give a damn. I just want your money.」
「You sound like a kid. Show yourself!」
「You better keep your head cool. I’m the one giving the orders.」
East turned his left palm towards the direction of the voice.
「O’ Spirit, heed my call. With the primordial flame, burn my foe to ashes.」
The ring on his left hand was imbued with fire magic. It was an item lent to knights who couldn’t use magic.
A fireball shot out the size of his hand. Moisture quickly evaporated from the lush bushes before they burst into flames.
「…Did it work?」
Impossible, he thought. The voice came from the other side of the road this time. Teleportation was the only thing he could think of. After all, he didn’t see anyone cross the road.
「Unfortunately, I need you to rest here for a while.」
His unharmed left hand was struck by a rock. Next was his feet. Specifically the tips of his riding boots was hit three times. East was shocked. The tip of the boots was the toughest part and yet the boy managed to rip through it and break his toes by striking them three times at the same spot.
I… can’t run like this. There’s no way I could catch up to the carriage now.
He gritted his teeth in frustration. He couldn’t do a thing now. He couldn’t run after the convoy. The enemy wouldn’t come out of the bushes either.
「I won’t take your life.」
「…Because I’m a noble?」
「Whether you’re a noble or not doesn’t matter to me. I just have a policy to not kill anyone. Now hand over your money.」
「…Unfortunately, I can’t move my hands.」East said sarcastically.「The money’s in my leather bag on my waist.」
「Right. I forgot I smashed your hands.」
The boy returned the sarcasm with a sneer. East had never before suffered such humiliation. His boiling rage made his vision turn red. But he couldn’t do anything.
「Lie down on your face and look away.」
「What, knights are better off dead than suffer disgrace? Is that part of the Royal Order of Knights’ doctrine or something?」
East lay down on his stomach and faced in the opposite direction the voice was coming from. He heard the sound of bushes rustling and footsteps moving toward him.
He felt a lot more power than he had expected. It wasn’t just the two points on Throwing, but the one point on Strength as well. Hikaru was confident he could hit his mark a hundred percent of the time from a distance of ten meters.
Thanks be to my Skill tree.
He was thoroughly impressed by the power of his Stealth as well. Before casting his spell, East had to chant something first which gave Hikaru the chance to move. He slipped out of the bushes and crossed the road, but the knight didn’t see him at all. Though if East already saw him from the start, he wouldn’t be able to use his Stealth, so he had to hide first.
He was now fully aware of the extent of his abilities. With his Stealth, he could overcome almost anything. Hikaru, who was a complete amateur, bested East who had trained for years in combat. It was incredible. It broke the rules.
「I’m taking this.」
On the ground and his face turned away, East cast a sidelong glance at Hikaru, scowling. The boy stood against the light with a Sun God mask on his face. What did he look like to East in that moment?
With a dagger, Hikaru cut the strap of East’s leather bag. It contained quite a sum of money.
「…I had duty I needed to fulfil. 」East said, forcing the words out of his mouth.「Did you see a carriage guarded by three men?」
「What were they doing?」
「They watched their surroundings carefully. I couldn’t make a move on them.」
「So they’re doing their job properly…」East muttered under his breath, somehow relieved.
East wasn’t a bad person. Hikaru knew that. So he lied hoping it would make him feel better.
「…Now just lie down there for a while.」
「Okay, smarty-pants. I can’t get up even if I want to anyway.」
「I see you still have some life in you.」
With a scoff, Hikaru left. He returned to where Lavia was right away and grabbed her hand. Activating his Group Obfuscation Skill, they stepped out onto the road. They had no time to waste.
「…I told you we’re not out of the woods yet.」
「Not that. Thank you for not killing that knight.」
「I did promise to rescue you without killing anyone.」
Hikaru felt her grip tighten.
By the time they arrived at the settlement, the caravan was just starting to move. They got on the back of a wagon and made their way towards Pond. Lavia was surprised the guards at the gate didn’t notice them. Not a word came from her about it as she simply let Hikaru lead her into town.
The handcuffs came off as soon as they got in. The magic seemed to have worn off faster than expected.
Hikaru paid for three more nights for his hotel room. They entered the room, and as soon as he closed the door, he let out a long, deep sigh of relief. He had been feeling on edge all this time.
「We should be safe for now. You can let go of my hand.」
Finally. The escape plan was a success.
「…Can I make myself disappear by holding your hand?」
「Something like that. But it should be fine now. Just don’t be too loud or people from the next room might hear you.」
「I see. In that case… I’ll do my best to be quiet.」
「No, I mean you can still whisper— hngh?!」
Lavia grabbed the back of his head and pulled on his hand, drawing their lips closer to a kiss. A tongue hotter than his own body slid into his mouth.
What seemed like a long kiss that lasted for minutes probably ended in only seconds. Slight panic assailed Hikaru. Lavia was flushing, her eyes glazed.
「I told you I’ll give you my everything if you saved me.」
「Aren’t you scared of me?」
「I appeared inside the carriage from out of nowhere like magic. As you said, I made both of us disappear. I led that knight around by the nose and seriously injured him. I’m that kind of person. I’m not normal.」
「Not normal… Perhaps. So what?」
「So I’m saying—」
「I told you. I’ll give you my everything if you saved me. Don’t you remember?」
「Even if you were a cold-blooded man, a rotten undead, or a monster disguised as a human, I wouldn’t go back on my word.」
Hikaru could feel his heart trembling. She must’ve really meant it when she said “everything”.
In retrospect, Hikaru might have feared the power of the Soul Board. He stayed away from others because of it. He was afraid he’d lose himself in the power and hurt those around him.
But Lavia was different. She would accept everything about him.
「Are you sure you’ll give me your everything?」
Lavia looked at him with upturned eyes, face turned red all the way to her ears.
「I-I heard it hurts the first time… but I’ll try my best to keep quiet. And if possible, I’d like us to hold hands the whole time.」
Seeing her like that, Hikaru lost all reason within him. They were filthy from the long day on the road, but they didn’t mind that at all.
They made love far into the night and fell soundly asleep in each other’s arms.
When Hikaru woke up, he made a decision.
I have found one more goal in this world. I’ll use my Stealth and the Skills from my Soul Board to protect her, he thought, as he watched Lavia sleep peacefully in his arms.