An Invitation to Another World – Part 03
“I knew it! That means the one with the “O” is the Vitality Skill Tree screen.”
He moved to the next screen.
There was a triangle, a square, a pentagon, a hexagon, and the last one was Unlabeled. He returned back to the circle.
“There are seven screens in total. If one point is required to unlock, that means a total of seven points for all of them.”
Time was running out.
“Count Morgstadt should be in this town… There.”
The place was in Roland’s memory. The hotel owner had told him about it for no particular reason—that the biggest house in town was Count Morgstadt’s villa.
He knew where the mansion was located, but he needed five minutes—no, ten minutes to get there. Considering what he had to do after that, he had only about ten to fifteen minutes left to spend here.
“Damn it. I don’t have a lot of time to check the Skills! I just have to unlock one for now.”
Leaving it to fate—the one method that Hikaru disliked the most. Unfortunately he had no time to complain right now.
“Unlock Soul Board? Consume 1 point.”
The screen with the double circle opened.
Magic. Hikaru looked into Roland’s memories and found knowledge about magic, but all of it either he learned from his mother or he read from books. Roland himself was not a Mage. Hikaru wasn’t sure if he could use magic with this body, so he decided to set it aside for now.
He moved on to the next Board.
“Unlock Soul Board? Consume 1 point.”
The screen with the triangle opened.
After magical power is strength, huh? Does Weapon Mastery have something to do with using weapons? Sounds like exactly what I need in killing someone…
“Is there even a weapon here?”
Hikaru looked around the room and found a dagger lying on the floor. Though the workmanship was simple, its blade was sharp. It must’ve been the same dagger used to stab Roland. His body already proved how lethal it was.
“I guess this is my only choice for a weapon. But the most crucial thing is whether I can get close to the Count or not.”
It was almost midnight. Normally people refused visitors at this hour. Of course, he would never be allowed to see the man in the first place. All the more so when he was the very person he tried to have killed. Although, Roland’s appearance was already changing to resemble Hikaru himself.
“Even if I have a weapon, I can’t do anything unless I get close to him. I could kill anyone standing in my way, I guess… Nah.”
He wasn’t sure he could commit mass murder.
Next he checked the Board marked with a square.
One stat lit up a lightbulb in Hikaru’s head. Stealth. A Skill that would help him get close to Count Morgstadt without getting noticed.
“Unlock Stealth? Consume 1 point.”
Unlock again. Apparently this one also required a point to open. Upon closer inspection, some fields had the number “0” next to them, while others did not. Hikaru surmised that the ones without any number needed to be unlocked first.
He did not hesitate.
I knew it. By unlocking the Stealth stat, he could now put points on Life Cloaking, Mana Cloaking, and Imperceptibility.
“But what exactly is this Life Cloaking?”
Just then, descriptions appeared on the board.
Life Cloaking — Block Life Detection Skills. Max: 5
Mana Cloaking — Block Magical Power Detection Skills. Max: 5
Imperceptibility — Block Perception Through Sight, Hearing, Smell. Max: 5
Hikaru groaned. He had ten points left. He had decided to go for Stealth. It was clear that the most important part in killing Count Morgstadt was to get close to him. In which case, Stealth was his only option.
The question now was: should he allocate the points he had equally?
“It’s gotta be Perception. There could be watchdogs.”
People say that a dog’s sense of smell is a million to a hundred million times greater than that of humans, and they also have excellent hearing. Dogs exist in this world too, where they are often used as watchdogs.
However, the Detection Skills bothered Hikaru. He searched Roland’s memory, but found nothing related to them. Of course, Roland didn’t know everything, but since the boy had not even heard a single thing about this Skill, Hikaru decided that it was not that big of a deal.
“For now, let’s just put 1 point on Life Cloaking, 1 point on Mana Cloaking, and 5 points on Imperceptibility.”
He entered the numbers.
When a new field appeared, Hikaru couldn’t believe his eyes.
He shuddered at the chilling word. It appeared after he put 5 points in Imperceptibility.
Assassination – When attacking without the target noticing, the attack will have a lethal effect. Max: 3.
This was exactly Hikaru’s goal. He had three points left as well.
“Man, this sounds too good to be true.”
It felt as if his fate was being controlled.
A different thought came to him. As someone who lived in modern Japan, could he kill someone easily? He had never even killed a single animal before.
If he wanted a sure kill… If he wanted to live in this world…
“Thirty-five minutes… Hurry up.”
Hikaru put his remaining 3 points on Assassination.
A new field appeared—Sharpshooter.
If anything, he would have preferred to take this one. It wasn’t like he actually wanted to kill the Count at close range.
“All right. Let’s go.”
With the dagger that stabbed Roland in hand, Hikaru activated his Life Cloaking, Mana Cloaking, Imperceptibility—everything under Stealth. By activate, he only really needed to think about it. Then, the smell, body temperature, something else invisible that was emanating from him vanished. It felt like he’d become transparent. Leaving the room, Hikaru strode through the hotel’s front lobby, but the staff on duty did not even notice that someone had passed by.
Thunder rumbled and lightning crackled. Drops of rain made white splashes as they beat against the cobblestones.
Hikaru was out in the rain without a coat, soaking wet. Soon he arrived at his destination: Count Morgstadt’s villa.
He considered going in through the back, but the door was locked, wasting five minutes of his precious time.
He decided to enter through the front door instead. The main entrance appeared to be unlocked so security could go in and out easily. Under the eaves, he squeezed the water from the bottom of his clothes, then opened the door.
“There was a guest the other day. Some overnight millionaire.”
“Oh, on my day-off?”
A stroke of bad luck. Two servants passed by, but they went on without stopping.
Hikaru was inside, but the two didn’t notice him at all. He couldn’t believe it. How could they not notice him when he practically marched himself right in? He now realized that the three Skills he learned under Stealth were more powerful than he imagined.
The inside of the manor was dark; there weren’t any nightlights. Even with his Stealth, Hikaru opted to creep in through the shadows. He went up the stairs to the third floor.
Two men, who appeared to be guards, were walking toward him. Knights in plain clothes, swords hanging from their waists. Being a nobleman with considerable influence in the kingdom allowed Count Morgstadt to employ knights as guards.
One of the knights stopped.
“Something doesn’t feel right. It might be an intruder.”
The other knight reached for the sword at his waist.
“Where are they?”
One of them crouched down and touched the floor.
“Well, yeah. It’s pouring out there.”
“Did someone return from outside?”
“A knight was sent for an errand to the Alchemists’ Guild. Something about double-checking the mana capacity.”
“Ah, right. Now that you mention it.”
The knight rose back to his feet with a sour look on his face.
“Let’s just finish our rounds and take a nap. I’m too sleepy.”
“I know you hate the Count, but let’s get the job done right, yeah?”
The pair walked away.
Hikaru, standing behind a pillar, breathed a sigh of relief. He thought he was busted.
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