So far, Hikaru had nine job classes.
Assassination God: Night Stalker2
Stealth God: Darkness Wanderer2
Throwing God: Dead Shot2
Chaos God: Eye of the Storm3
Woods Strolling God: Forest Walker4
Labyrinth Exploring God: Dungeon Walker4
Heaven Searching God: Sinner4
Dull Town Night Burglar God: Town Thief6
City, Town, and Village People Rescue God: Civilian10
And now he had two more:
Wide Area Detection God: Grand Sonar4
Lower Class Heaven’s Messenger: Lesser Angel5
Hikaru barely took any breaks in his journey from Borderzard to Satin Elka. He planned to test his new classes once things settled down, and now the chance had come.
He could tell what Grand Sonar was. It probably appeared when he maxed out his Detection Expansion. He’d experienced the power of the Skill firsthand. Now it was time to set his job class to Grand Sonar and activate Mana Detection.
Hikaru groaned from the overwhelming headache, as though his head was going to split. As always, too much information entered his brain. But the radius was still the same—one kilometer.
「It’s still the same… What gives? Wait…」
He noticed he could narrow down the scope of his sonar.
He got up from the bed and focused his mind ahead. As it turned out, only information from up ahead came to him. A person cooking in the kitchen, a stray dog in the back alley, a carriage passing by, a kid taking a bath… The amount of information lessened, easing the pain he felt.
「This is extremely handy.」
Up until now, useless information—even from above and below—was compressed and sent to his brain. Now he could activate it for a longer period. And instead of an intense headache, his head felt just a bit hot.
He felt omnipotent knowing where everyone was at a wide range. Blood started dripping from his nose. He hurriedly deactivated his Mana Detection after getting too carried away.
「I need more practice. Man, this is stupid. Who gets a nosebleed? I’m glad Lavia is not around to see this. Moving on.」
Wiping the blood off with a cloth, Hikaru lay down on the bed once more.
「What’s this Lesser Angel thing? A low-class angel?」
He set his job class to Lesser Angel, but nothing happened. No halo on top of his head, or wings on his back. A trumpet didn’t appear in his hands either. He couldn’t feel anything holy.
「Why did this class appear anyway? If there’s a lower class, then that means there’s a middle class, and advanced class.」
He had no idea why it appeared at all. His Soul Board didn’t have anything related to angels either. While he maxed out Detection Expansion, no derivative Skill popped up.
「All right, I got nothing. I wonder if there’s some place where they study job classes. Or maybe there’s a book out there that compiles all known classes. I should check once I get back to the academy.」
A long time had passed since the development of the soul card system. There should be books about job classes somewhere. He set aside the issue for now, and thought about his next move.
「Why did the Four Stars have to give me troubling information…」
Hikaru let out a long sigh and closed his eyes. He needed a nap for his plans tonight.
Margrave Grugschilt’s domain was located adjacent to Forestia. As such, winter season came early. Still, snow probably wouldn’t start falling until about a month later. But the night was still chilly. Firewood was already burning in the hearth a little earlier than usual.
Only a few residences in Satin Elka could afford such luxury. One of them was Margrave Grugschilt, governing lord of the town.
「It’s been a while, Lawrence.」
「I’m glad to see you well, Lord Grugschilt. And…」
The captain glanced at the man standing by the hearth. A slender old man. He only saw him a few times before, but the aura of the man now was clearly different from the one in his memories.
「Sir Gafrasti N. Valves.」
Gafrasti was staying at Grugschilt’s place. Lawrence came, knowing he was here. The captain thought he was a high-strung scholar, but he seemed relaxed as he stared at Lawrence, wisdom in his eyes.
That woman beside him has a strange air to her… Lawrence thought.
Apparently the woman protecting Gafrasti was not from this kingdom. She was probably just a bodyguard, seeing as Grugschilt didn’t introduce her.
「I don’t go by that name anymore. Right now, I’m Gafrasti G. Poelnxinia.」
After questioning the legitimacy of the current throne, Gafrasti incurred the wrath of the king and turned to Grugschilt for help. The Margrave believed the historian’s claims and was still protecting him until now. That was the extent of Lawrence’s knowledge on the current situation.
Lawrence hesitated when he received the letter from the Margrave inviting him over. After mulling it over, he came.
「I heard you came alone.」
Grugschilt watched Lawrence carefully. He had a fine beard, his hair, streaked with gray, tied to the back. The man had protected the border for years. He always fought in the frontlines during wartime. While he didn’t possess the brute strength that Lawrence had, his presence was just as commanding.
「Yes, Sir.」Lawrence politely answered.
Grugschilt was twice as old as Lawrence. The captain himself had trained with the Margrave’s army in the past.
「Mobilizing the whole Order would draw attention. And alone it’ll only take me three to four days to come and go back.」
「Also you’re much stronger when you don’t have anyone else to protect.」
「I simply prioritized mobility.」
Like Grugschilt pointed out, even if Lawrence was surrounded by enemies, he could deal with them alone. If other knights accompanied him, it would be difficult to ensure everyone made it out alive. That is, of course, if the Margrave was an enemy.
「Let us get to the main issue, Lord Grugschilt. Convince me that Sir Gafrasti’s claims are indeed true.」
The Margrave glanced at Gafrasti, who nodded slowly.
With his Stealth activated, Hikaru listened in on the three men’s conversation. There were four of them in the room, but Aglaia van Houtens was focused on guard duty and showed no signs of joining the conversation.
Gafrasti produced Poelnxinia’s family tree and began explaining. He talked fluently. The parchment itself reacted magically to the blood of the royal family. It was enough to convince anyone. Lawrence’s serious expression didn’t change, but he was quiet. He was probably only half-convinced—no, he came here with eighty percent doubt. But now he was astonished by the credibility of Gafrasti’s claims.
The old man sure has changed…
Hikaru was surprised at Gafrasti’s change as well. The historian’s body looked thin, but he exuded an air of royalty.
Hikaru recalled a book he read back in Japan. Not everyone could become the prime minister of Japan, the man on top of the government. But there were times when someone incompetent took the position. Yet as soon as they became Prime Minister, their aura changed, so to speak.
A position turns a person into someone who fit such a position.
This is getting more and more complicated…
Hikaru’s plan was to enter the kingdom, punch the king in the face, and threaten—rather, convince him not to lay a hand on Lavia ever again. But he changed his mind after talking with the Four Stars of the East.
According to Selyse, Ponsonia was in a state of chaos. The faction opposed to the current throne was growing in strength. A rift had formed in the government, with Margrave Grugschilt at its head. And at the eye of this storm was none other than Gafrasti N. Valves.
The assassination of Count Morgstad was also a major reason why things turned out this way. The Count strongly supported the current king. With his death, the balance of power between the nobility collapsed, and many sided with the Margrave, hoping to turn the tables around.
They make it sound like this is all my fault… Although I am somewhat responsible.
If a civil war broke out, the ordinary citizens would bear the burden. Hikaru couldn’t pretend that the matter didn’t concern him, so he travelled all the way to Satin Elka. He wanted to know what the Margrave’s plan was for this kingdom.
I won’t go as far as stopping a civil war, but I have to at least do my part so I can sleep peacefully at night.
Gafrasti had just finished explaining. Lawrence had gone silent for a while now.
Does this mean the Captain of the Order is now on their side? In that case, the king’s in danger. Or put it another way, the conflict will be over quick. I guess old man Gafrasti will become king, then? Hmm… Hikaru folded his arms, thinking.
Grugschilt opened his mouth to speak. What he said next shocked Hikaru.
「Lawrence. This is also vengeance for his death.」
「I didn’t know you were still hung up on that, Sir.」
「Why, of course I am. I would’ve foiled their plot if I stayed with him. We wouldn’t have lost such a young, gifted man.」
The Margrave heaved a deep sigh. His heavy feelings of regret suddenly made him look ten years older.
「Viscount Zaracia wouldn’t have died. His son who was studying the art of crossing worlds… Roland, was it? I heard he went missing. I wanted to put him under my protection.」