Commence Operation – Part 06

Hikaru asked Lavia to re-bind the wound tight. He wasn’t losing as much blood now, but he had to be treated fast, or he would bleed to death.

Tch. I wish I had 8 points on Natural Recovery like that freak.

Fortunately for Hikaru, as soon as they arrived at the settlement, they found a caravan resting.

The merchants had potions for emergencies, a liquid in a vial, containing dissolved magical catalyst. It was filled with Healing Magic.

Hikaru didn’t want to just steal one, so he left a gold coin in exchange for a vial of potion. He poured it on his wound, and it closed up.

He didn’t know how much it cost to ride on the back of a merchant’s wagon from there to Pond, so he didn’t bother paying.

Made it back in one piece.

Hikaru had planned the whole thing carefully, performed numerous simulations in his mind, but in practice, a lot of things could go wrong. Lawrence was the worst example. One mistake and he would’ve died.

Despite all that, Hikaru triumphed. He managed to pull through using a reckless strategy of distracting Lawrence with Lavia’s magic while he attacked from the front.

Lavia was shocked that the soldiers guarding the gate did not notice them at all. She didn’t ask any questions; she simply let Hikaru pull her by the hand into town.

“Oh,” Lavia gasped.

“What’s wrong?” Hikaru asked.

“The handcuffs…”

The mana on the handcuffs had worn off earlier than expected. They couldn’t find a place to dispose of it, so they kept it for now.

Hikaru added three more nights to his stay in the hotel. He entered the room, closed the door, and left Lavia there.

“Stay here,” he said.

“Where are you going?”

“I’ve got some more work to do. It won’t take long.”

Lavia looked like she wanted to say something, but Hikaru left alone.

He went to the Adventurers’ Guild. Freya was there as usual; he asked her about commissions.

“Hmm? You look a little pale,” she said.

“Y-Yeah. I didn’t get much sleep last night,” Hikaru replied.

“Didn’t you go straight back to your place after dinner?”

Her unwanted remark caused a stir among the adventurers. She just revealed that she went out for dinner with Hikaru.

“I went for another round of drinks,” he said.

“What?! No fair! I didn’t drink much, you know.”

“We can go out again sometime.”

“Oh, o-okay.”

Hikaru, still a little out of it, did not realize that he had just invited Freya for a drink. He had never been in a pub or tavern before.

This should be enough, he decided, then left the guild.

He waited for news of Lavia’s disappearance, but no such information came while he was there.

It’s all good. I have an alibi now. I should be fine. I didn’t miss anything. I’m sure. I ran countless simulations, after all. Everything’s good.

Hikaru returned to the hotel after buying food and healing potions, keeping a wary eye on his surroundings.

After closing the door behind him, he let out a long, long sigh. He had done everything he was supposed to do. He wanted to believe that he got all the bases covered. His body went slack; he almost crumpled on the spot.

“We’re safe. We should be fine—ugh.”

Lavia came running and threw herself at him.


“I-I’m sorry. You were gone, and I was scared.”

“Sorry. I just did some finishing touches. We should be good now.”


“Really, really.”

He could finally say that the escape plan was a success.

“I want to use some potion.”

Hikaru pulled away from Lavia and took off his cloak. The healing potion he used earlier only served as first-aid treatment. He rolled up his sleeves, removed the bloody hand towel, and poured the potion on the wound.


It hurt so much that he almost shed tears.

The wound was slowly reacting to the potion. Not only did it stop the bleeding, but it also reconnected severed tissues. It felt itchy.

Hikaru drank the other half of the potion, as it was said to aid in blood production. It tasted like a nasty herb.

It would take a few more hours for him to fully heal, but he had nevertheless learned the true value of Healing Magic and healing potions.

There was only silence for a while now, so he looked over his shoulder. Lavia had her back turned to him.


Her cheeks and ears were red. He wondered why.

“Um, I’ve been wanting to ask,” she said. “Can I make myself disappear by holding your hand? Does it work with sound too?”

“Something like that. It works with sound to an extent, but not loud noises. The people in the next room may or may not hear anything.”

“I see. In that case… I’ll do my best to be quiet.”

“No, I mean you can still speak in whispers—hngh?!”

Lavia grabbed the back of his head and pulled on his hand, drawing their lips together.

Tongue hotter than Hikaru’s own body slipped into his mouth.


What seemed like a long kiss that lasted for minutes probably ended in only seconds. Hikaru panicked; it was all too sudden.

“I told you I’d give you my everything if you rescued me,” Lavia said, her eyes glazed.

She did say that. But something bothered Hikaru more than her current behavior.

“You’re not afraid of me?” he asked.


“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?”

“What I’m saying—”

“I told you. I’d give you my everything if you rescued me. Don’t you remember?”

“…I do.”

“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 felt the world tumble. She must’ve really meant it when she said “everything”.

She accepts me for who I am.

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 accepted everything about him.

“Are you sure you’ll give me your everything?”

Lavia looked at him with upturned eyes. Her 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 way.”

Her words made Hikaru lose all his reason.

They were grimy from the long day on the road, but it didn’t bother them one bit.

They made love far into the night and fell soundly asleep in each other’s arms.

“Life will be rough for you. You may be clever, but you’re also reckless. Someday, somewhere, you might just suddenly die.”

He still remembered her words clearly. It was far from a compliment, but strangely enough, he didn’t feel offended. He was an arrogant boy, but in front of her, in front of Hazuki, his cocky side concealed itself.

“Senpai… I died, like you said.”

I knew it. My hunch is usually right.

“But I came to another world, and I’m somehow managing to survive. I’m still arrogant, though.”

That’s all right.

Smiling, Hazuki just stared at the air without looking at Hikaru.

So far, he had thought.

She seemed so far back then. It felt like he could reach her if he just reached out his hand, but he couldn’t close the distance.

He was content with that. Just being able to watch Hazuki up close, even without touching her, was enough for him. He believed that Hazuki shared the same sentiment.

But you should find…

“What was that? I didn’t quite catch it.”

You should…

“Hazuki-senpai? Hazuki-sen—”

He jumped awake.

Dawn was breaking.

Hikaru realized that his whole body was tense; he let out a deep breath.

He looked puzzled.

Did she ever say that? She wants me to find what?

Deep in thought, Hikaru turned his gaze to the side, to the person sleeping in the same bed with him.

The mansion was the world to me.

It was a little too big for people to live in, yet too small to spend one’s lifetime.

I think that’s why I loved books. I could go anywhere when reading. Of course, even if I could read, there were places I couldn’t imagine.

What’s an ocean? What’s a mountain? Lake? River?

Once they found out about my extraordinary magical gifts, I was forbidden to go outside.

A maid who felt sorry for me taught me a lot of things; how to read, places I hadn’t seen, and what it meant to love someone.

Not long after, she was fired for teaching me unnecessary knowledge. I couldn’t even say goodbye. One day she was just gone, and when I asked about her, they just gave me a curt answer: “She will never see you again.”

I spent my days reading books. I learned that doing unwanted things would only get someone in trouble. Books were only meant to be read. No matter how much I read, it never bothered or hurt anyone. Eventually, I felt my heart wearing down.

Soon I would be used as a weapon.

A dark future was waiting for me.

One rainy night.

A young boy, not much older than me, snuck into our home and killed my father. Strangely enough, I wasn’t scared of him. Afterwards, he rescued me while I was being transported to the capital.

He was like a hero I read about in novels.

I thought I was a heavy burden, but he saved me so easily.

My life, once black and white, rapidly gained color.

I knew Hikaru was hiding something important. But I didn’t mind him not telling me about it. I didn’t doubt him, nor did I stop having faith in him.

He was my savior, my hero who granted me freedom, and the first person I ever loved.

I would give him my all.

I wanted to accept everything about him.

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