I Will Save You – Part 05
Hikaru returned to the hotel later that night and woke up early the next morning.
He didn’t get enough sleep, and the fatigue from walking all over the place yesterday hadn’t been alleviated, but time was limited.
“I made the right choice in moving to a hotel. I can relax in my own room, and my body feels a lot more comfortable on a bed.”
He had never stayed in a hotel once when he was in Japan. He didn’t expect to have to stay in one in a different world. Needless to say, there weren’t any modular bathrooms, vending machines in the corridor, laundromats, and pay-per-view card machines that you would find in budget hotels in Japan.
The catgirl waved at him. “Have a great day!”
Hikaru wondered if she was here 24/7, but decided it was really none of his concern.
He was about to head for breakfast when…
Not again. The hotdog stand owner was staring at him today too.
“It’s 30 gilans.”
“Your hotdog better be good this time.”
It had red ketchup and yellow mustard with no grains.
Here goes nothing… Hikaru took a bite.
His eyes grew wide.
“W-Well?! How’s the taste?!”
“Why’s the ketchup watery?! It’s not even slightly sour!”
The hotdog tasted exceedingly bland. While fully disappointed, he already bought it. After finishing it, Hikaru left the hotdog stand. The vendor’s shoulders sagged despondently, a sullen look on his face.
Hikaru made his way outside town, not the Adventurers’ Guild. He knew what he had to do.
“First I need money.”
It was always good to have money. He would need some to hide Lavia after rescuing her.
The problem was: it was the king that pinned the murder on her. While it was only her guess, Hikaru thought it held considerable weight.
After all, it was a Count that was killed. The murder of one of the top ten influential people in the kingdom of Ponsonia. The culprit was identified in just two to three days. Lavia couldn’t have confessed to it herself, so it must’ve been someone’s idea—someone from those ten people.
“It doesn’t really matter who I’m up against, though.”
Hikaru actually had a chance to succeed. It would all come down to his preparations in the next three days, and one of those was to make some money.
And the fastest way to make money was to hunt Red-Horned Rabbits.
Fifteen minutes after leaving town, Hikaru spotted one. One thrust from his Dagger of Strength took the creature’s life away. He felt a lot less guilt than yesterday.
I guess it’s all about getting used to it.
He stared at the bloody dagger, its blade covered in fat. He wiped it off with a rag.
The same probably applies to killing humans. And you need to have a strong mind to control yourself.
Because of his blunder last night, he considered killing the knights. He had a lot of time to think about it since then, and after much pondering, he imposed a few rules on himself.
1. If he concluded that someone must be killed, then he would do it without hesitation.
2. He should be fully prepared before Stealth infiltrations. There was no such thing as being too prepared.
3. Perform simulations of plans. He would not use the words “play it by the ear”.
This was where his Stealth Skill came in. It was perfect for gathering information without much risk. How could he not put it to good use?
“It’s my best weapon, after all.”
As soon as he killed his third Red-Horned Rabbit for the day, his body started burning on the inside.
A chilling sensation surged within him that made him just want to run.
“This is… the same sensation from when I killed the Count.”
Ten seconds later, it settled down. Hikaru opened his Soul Board.
Age: 15 | Rank: 5 | 1
“I knew it. My soul’s rank increased.”
Back then, he thought it was elation from committing murder, but apparently not. He didn’t know how many living things he had to kill before his rank increased, though.
From what he’d gathered so far, beginner adventurers in their teens had a rank below ten. Those in their twenties had ranks between ten and twenty and people in their thirties had at most twenty-five.
So Unken’s 51 was quite high. The higher the rank, the harder it would be to rank up, most likely.
“So even killing Red-Horned Rabbits increases one’s rank, huh? I wonder how much higher I can go in a short time…”
Besides earning money, Hikaru thought of other things to do in the next two days: gather information about the adventurers guarding Lavia during the transport and leveling up.
Ranking up gave points, and one point alone was quite potent.
“I’ve already decided to put the first point on this.”
Hikaru navigated through his Soul Board.
Hikaru’s sack with two Red-Horned Rabbits was already too heavy for him. He struggled to carry one that didn’t have its innards removed. But going to the guild and back every time he killed one would take too much time. Increasing his Strength was an efficient shortcut.
The Red-Horned Rabbit he killed just now was short and round, as big as two watermelons put together. Yet he managed to lift it with just one hand.
“It’s light… holy cow… That was just one point.”
He recalled Zelnenko’s Soul Board which had 3 points in Strength. Freya mentioned he was quite strong. It made sense now.
“Unken had 9 points I think… Uh, now’s not the time to think about that. Let’s head back.”
It was already nearing noon. Carrying three Red-Horned Rabbits, Hikaru headed back to town.
The gatekeeper stopped him to check his sack and was surprised. Shocked, even. Hikaru told him that someone taught him how to efficiently hunt rabbits, which was enough to convince the gatekeeper.
Hikaru remembered his idea of bringing a present to the guard who stood up for him. The guard was overjoyed when he gave him one of the Red-Horned Rabbits. He said he would make stew out of it with his colleagues. Apparently, the meat was quite delicious and would usually only be served during huge celebrations.
He had one less rabbit now, but he gained an ally, a guard that managed the gate. The best thing to do was not to engage, but if he wanted to rescue Lavia, having the guard on his side wouldn’t hurt.
After having lunch at a food stall, Hikaru carried the sack with the two Red-Horned Rabbits to the guild.
On entering the guild, Hikaru’s ears caught the voices of young people. He spotted a bunch of teenage adventurers. Five of them, two boys and three girls. They were having fun scanning the bulletin board for commissions.
A party, huh? Definitely not for me.
Stealth would be difficult to use in a party. The other party members wouldn’t be able to see him.
If I was reincarnated differently, would I have chosen a different Skill?
“A party of kids from the sticks, apparently”
“Oh, the sticks, you say? Someone with experience should teach them stuff, then.”
“There’s about ten other people who are thinking the same thing. Hehehe.”
A few adventurers approached the kids’ party.
Looks like they’re up to something again. The adventurers in this place are a bunch of thugs. Maybe that’s why Freya keeps turning them down over and over again.
Letting out a sigh, Hikaru made his way to the counter—to where Gloria was. Freya’s shift was already over.
“Hello. If it isn’t Mr. Hikaru.”
“Can you please call old man Unken for me? And you should pay attention to those kids. They might fall victim to the games of those seasoned adventurers.”
“Thank you for the advice. Yes…” Gloria shot them a glance. The kids and older men were having a friendly conversation—on the surface, that is. “I’ll keep an eye on them. So why do you want to see Sir Unken?”
“He said he would personally assess the goods.”
“Okay. Please wait a moment.”
Gloria’s tone was as cool as usual, but there was a gleam deep in her eyes. She seemed to have an idea what was inside the sack.
Can’t let my guard down around this woman.
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