An Invitation to Another World – Part 05

When Hikaru woke up, the sun was already high in the sky. He was parched. He surveyed the surroundings and saw a graveyard. As he wondered what he was doing in a place like this, the events of last night came back to him.

“Right… I’m in a different world.”

The graveyard was deathly quiet. Last night’s rain had completely stopped.

“Ah, damn it. I feel awful.”

He killed a man. It was difficult to feel great.

His body, however, did not care about any of that. His stomach grumbled.

“I guess killing someone doesn’t stop you from getting hungry.”

He slowly rose to his feet. There was a well nearby. He pulled up a tub of water and drank from it, which helped to curb his hunger a bit.

“What now? I’m free, but…”

First of all, he was broke. Anything I could sell… My clothes? There was blood on them.

He couldn’t leave them as they were, so he took off his coat and shirt and washed them. His shirt was left with a hole and a brown blotch, but the coat was a darker color, which helped conceal the bloodstain.

There were two things he needed to do. First, earn money. Second, flee without being suspected of Count Morgstadt’s murder.

“A way to make money… I wonder if there’s anything in Roland’s memories. Hmm?”

Roland’s memories were fuzzier than yesterday. His knowledge remained, but what he experienced, what he felt, his precious memories, were all fading fast. It felt like some stranger’s experiences that Hikaru only heard from rumors. Traces of Roland were gradually leaving his body.

“You dragged me into this place, then left first.”

Hikaru thought back to the boy who vanished last night after thanking him.

With him gone, Hikaru was completely alone. Although the idea of coming back to life and being reincarnated fascinated him at first, right now fear and anxiety gripped him.

“Gotta pull myself together. I decided to live on in this world.”

Browsing Roland’s memories, Hikaru came upon the creation of a Soul Card. Although it sounded similar to Hikaru’s Skill, the Soul Board, a Soul Card was simply an ID.

The Adventurer’s Guild, Merchants’ Guild, and Alchemists’ Guild issued guild cards, while a temple issued soul cards. There were small differences between them since they served different purposes, but they doubled as I.D.s all the same.

The Adventurers’ Guild issued guild cards for free for first-time registrants, while other guilds charged a fee. Nothing expensive, but Hikaru was currently flat broke.

“Where’s the Adventurers’ Guild anyway?”

He left the graveyard and headed downtown. When he spotted a guard on patrol, he subconsciously went off the street and hid in a back alley. He had his Stealth, but he had no desire to test its effectiveness right here and now.

Meanwhile Hikaru went further and further away from the main street. A little down a deserted alley, he spotted a young girl drawing on a wall with some kind of chalk.

All right. Here goes nothing. A suspicious guy talking to a young girl sounds like the start of a court case.

“Excuse me,” Hikaru called. “Do you have a second?”

The young girl jumped at his unusual appearance. He looked like an aristocrat, although tired and grimy.

“It’s all right. I just need directions. Which way is the Adventurers’ Guild?”

“You wanna go to the Adventurers’ Guild?”

“Yeah.”

That seemed to be enough for the girl.

“You go straight down this alley to the main street. Then just go across and keep going straight through another back alley and then you’ll end up on the main street again. Turn right, and after about five minutes of walking, you should see it.”

“Y-You sure know your directions. I’d like to thank you somehow, but unfortunately I don’t have any money with me.”

“It’s fine. You can pay me once you hit it big.”

Quite the spirited girl.

Following the girl’s directions, Hikaru came upon a massive stone building. Laughter and coarse voices of muscular men filled the inside. There were women too, but they were either brawny, or wore dark expressions on their faces. Not your ordinary women.

There were a few groups of young boys and girls present, though they were mostly subjects of the older adventurers’ jokes and teasing.

There was only one receptionist at the counter. She wore a small, silver-fringed hat made of white fabric, a long skirt, and a coat with flared sleeves that buttoned up the front.

Her wavy hair was cut in a short bob. She was a lovely girl with kind eyes. Hikaru guessed she was around high school in terms of age. Not that there were any high schools in this world.

She was going about her duties, accepting quests while ignoring the adventurers trying to engage in idle chatter.

“Aaah!”

She tripped over something, and almost fell. Adventurers were delighted at the sight, probably because her huge breasts jiggled every time.

With his Stealth Skill active, no adventurer noticed Hikaru. Not even one saying, “What’s this? Since when did the adventurers’ guild become a kids’ playground?”

Adventurers crowded around the receptionist in a semi-circle. If you wanted to accept or clear a quest, you would have to squeeze yourself in.

“I found this really nice place the other day…”

“You’re single, right, Freya? Can I take you out to dinner? Just one time please!”

“I climbed to Rank D the other day.”

Hikaru slipped between the adventurers, and once he made it to the front, he turned off his Stealth.

“Can you make me a guild card?”

“Huh?!”

“Where the hell did this kid come from?!”

The receptionist—her name was Freya, apparently—looked surprised as well.

“Oh, uhh…” she stammered.

“I need a guild card,” Hikaru repeated.

“You little brat! Get in line and wait your turn!”

“The fuck do you think you’re doing?!”

Hikaru put on a broad grin. “I didn’t see you guys in line. I’m just asking the guild’s receptionist to do a legitimate task for me. Besides, are you guys really that inconsiderate that you can’t even wait a bit while I have a guild card created?”

“Why, you…”

The adventurers’ faces turned red, but they weren’t stupid enough to lay a hand on him right here.

“Hey.”

“Yeah.”

They exchanged glances and left the building.

Hmm. So they’re going to gang up on me as soon as I leave the guild. So predictable.

There was none left on the counter except Hikaru.

“Um, a-are you sure about that?” Freya asked, concerned.

“Sure about what?”

“Those men beat up a young adventurer the other day.”

You should’ve stopped them, then. Isn’t this the Adventurers’ Guild?

“You don’t have to worry about me. Anyway, can you make me a guild card?”

“Y-Yes, of course. Please put your hand here.”

Freya pulled out a smooth slate from under the counter.

Although made of stone, the surface looked like glass, with geometric shapes and ancient script written inside. It was somewhat similar to the Soul Board, but much more rugged.

Hikaru pressed his palm on it. He thought he saw a glimmer of light inside the glass.

“Mr. Hikaru, is it? It looks like you haven’t been issued a card before.”

Freya was doing something on the device.

It was connected to the same network as the temples’ soul card and scanned a Soul’s Records. Since it read a soul’s records, even if Roland had been issued the card, it wouldn’t have been a problem for Hikaru.

It didn’t take long for the card to be issued.

Adventurers’ Guild Card
【Name】Hikaru
【Registration】Pond Adventurers’ Guild, Kingdom of Ponsonia
【Rank】G
【Blessing】—————

“…Blessing?” Hikaru muttered.

“Huh? You don’t know what that is?”

Roland’s memories did indeed contain information about Blessings, but not in relation to an Adventurers’ guild card.

“Um… I’m not sure how to use it,” Hikaru said.

“Oh, I see. Please put your finger on the card. You will see the Blessings available to you based on your current Soul Record. Selecting a Blessing will enhance your abilities.”

I see. Hikaru nodded.

Roland had little knowledge of these Blessings. This kingdom’s aristocracy believed that nobility was earned through blood, not abilities, thus they took these Blessings for granted. Roland, however, was a researcher.

On the contrary, Blessings were very important for adventurers. For one reason.

“This card displays your Blessing as “xxxGod: xxx”. You know that the fewer the characters in the god’s name, the more powerful the Blessing, right? If you get one with four characters, you’re a top-class adventurer.”

Roland’s card was issued by a temple. It had a slightly different utility.

When Hikaru touched the card with his finger, a drop-down list appeared.

【Assassination God: Night Stalker】2
【Stealth God: Bearer of Darkness】2
【Common Chaos God: Eye of the Storm】3
【Woods Strolling God: Forest Walker】4
【Metropolitan Residents, Townspeople, and Villagers Relief God: Civilian】10

“…I see.”

There’s a bunch of sinister ones here…

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