Commence Operation – Part 03

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. Just continue with what you’re doing.”


“I can do anything if it means setting you free, correct?”


She simply nodded, not even asking what he meant by “anything”. Hikaru nodded in return. Now he could use her points without worry.

【Soul Board】Lavia
Age: 14 | Rank: 6 | 0

【Magical Power】
【Mana Capacity】11
【Magic Principle】2
【Spirit Affinity】


Hikaru almost let out a sound.

It’s so unbalanced. Not that he was one to talk, of course.

All the points were allocated towards Magical Power. He had not seen huge numbers like 11 and 5 even among 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 was annoyed at the fact 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. Morgstadt, but only Lavia was there. That only meant that deep inside her, she had completely cast aside her family name.

All right. Time for plan B.

Hikaru opened his own Soul Board.

【Soul Board】Hikaru
Age: 15 Rank: 16


【Magical Power】

【Muscle Strength】1

【Power Burst】1
【Life Cloaking】1
【Mana Cloaking】1
【Imperceptibility】5 (MAX)
【Assassination】3 (MAX)

【Life Detection】1
【Mana Detection】1

He had ten points available. Hikaru put one point on both Life Cloaking and Mana Cloaking, and a new field appeared.

【Group Cloaking】Grants Life Cloaking, Mana Cloaking, and Imperceptibility to anyone in direct contact with the user’s body. Max: 5. The effect is limited to each respective Skills’ max points.

Aha. Sounds complicated, but basically maxing out Group Cloaking is pointless unless the other three Skills are maxed out as well.

He had two points in Life Cloaking and Mana Cloaking at the moment. Even if he put three points in Group Cloaking, 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 Cloaking and Mana Cloaking and put three points on Group Cloaking.

With this he would be able to grant Lavia a three-point Stealth skill. Lavia didn’t have the buffs from a Blessing, however, as she didn’t have a guild card. Something to be worried about.

Nogusa’s Life Detection only had one point. Even the national hero Unken only had two points on Cloaking and a point on Group Cloaking. Hikaru just had to believe that this was enough.

He had taken other measures for this.

I could use up my remaining three points, but I’m not sure how much difference is between 3 and 4 points, and I might need extra points on Muscle Strength to carry Lavia. For now, I’m saving the points. All that’s left to do is…

Hikaru checked his guild card. He expected to see a new Blessing called “Group Cloaking God” or something, but there was none. Perhaps because he didn’t max it out. Instead there was one called Common 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 Blessing field to anyone.

In the meantime, Lavia finished with her preparations.

“It’s almost time,” Hikaru said. “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 open the door, we go outside, I put the lock back on, we jump off, then hide behind a tree or some bushes by the side of the road.”

“Will it work? There are lookouts.”

“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 held out a hand.

Lavia’s face was asking why, but she didn’t put it into words. Seeing Hikaru’s cheeks turn a bit red, she blushed as well.


She grasped his hand.

Her hand was soft and oh-so fragile.

“Hey, Nogusa! Up ahead!”

“What’s this? Someone collapsed?”

“E-Excuse me, good 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 get someone 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.

“Let’s go.”

Hikaru removed the lock and opened the door, pulling Lavia along with him. As he made her stand on the steps, her eyes widened. Adventurers on their horses were riding on both sides. They kept watch of their surroundings, while staying wary of the man in front of them.

It was a common ambush tactic—stopping a carriage, then attacking from both sides.

They had not imagined that the person they were escorting was going to escape. With Group Cloaking, they could escape without being seen. Even in broad daylight.

“Don’t let go.”


As soon as he reattached the lock, Hikaru jumped off the foothold. They floated in the air, hand-in-hand. The carriage was moving further and further away. The adventurers deployed on either side moved to the front and back of the carriage. Nogusa was approaching the man that collapsed on the road.

They landed on the ground, moved several steps, then stopped.

“Over here.”

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 didn’t the adventurers notice them?

Who was that man lying on the road?

Why was Hikaru so confident?

Too many questions ran through her mind. They were able to make it to the bushes without being noticed. She had managed to escape.

Lavia breathed a sigh of relief.

“Stay alert,” Hikaru said. “We’re not out of the woods yet.”

She stiffened. They were still by the highway. The adventurers would turn back immediately as soon as they found out that she was gone.

“There’s a settlement about two kilometers 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 weaved 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.”


“You’re wondering why hide in a place that’ll most likely get searched.”

“W-Well, I… But why Pond?”

“People searching for you would think: who would help or kidnap 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 royal family, so a lot of nobles build their houses there.”

“So Pond will get searched.”

“No. Since it’s under the direct control of the king, he can have the town searched thoroughly. Every noble knows that it’s not an ideal place to shelter someone. So they would assume that they would flee to their own domain instead. Of course, Pond will be roughly searched, but if we can get through that, Pond will be safe for—”

Hikaru shut his mouth, grabbed Lavia’s hand, and pulled her off the road.



They hid behind a small tree.

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