People Call the Dungeon the Forest of Deception – Part 03

They started walking. The hotdog was too spicy for Hikaru, so he returned it to the vendor. Lavia was full from the one sandwich.

“This is no big deal!” the man cried as he finished the rest.

“I’ll show you around town,” Hikaru said.

“Okay,” Lavia replied.

Hikaru used Group Cloaking as much as possible while walking down the streets.

“That’s Dodorono’s Armor Workshop, where I bought your clothes. It’s an armor shop, but they sell casual clothes as well.”

“So that’s an armor shop…!”

“The owner’s a dwarf with a screw loose.”

“A dwarf!”

“And that’s where I got my dagger, Leniwood’s Weapon Workshop.”

“So that’s a weapon shop…!”

“The owner is an elf… who’s also a bit nuts.”

“An elf!”

Lavia would have the chance to enter the stores one of these days, but for now it was best to keep her out of the public eye until the heat regarding her disappearance died down.

“And that’s the Adventurers’ Guild.”



“I’ve dreamed about this place…”

You even dreamed about it?



“I’m so glad to be alive…”

She must’ve really wanted to be an adventurer that bad.

“If I went in there, people would say something like ‘What’s a kid doing in here?’ right?”

“Yes, it happens.”

Hikaru wondered if this world had the same clichés.

“We’ll go in next time to gather information.”

“I can go in there?!”

“Well, I make a living by being an adventurer. People will know soon that I’m working with you. It would be strange if I didn’t bring you to the guild at all.”

“I want to go inside!”

“Yes, next time.”

“Next time…” Lavia looked like a dejected puppy.

“I-In a few days.”

Her face lit up. “Okay.”

That’s not fair. When you smile like that, it makes me want to take you in there now.

Hikaru needed more information first before he could do that. He just had to fight off the urge for today.

“That’s about it for now.”

They had been walking all morning, buying clothes, underwear, and daily necessities for Lavia. They bought sandwiches from a bakery known for its delicious bread.

They sat down on a bench and started eating. The bread was soft and sweet, the best bread they had eaten in the past few days.

“Are we going around town some more?” Lavia asked.

“No, I think that’s it for the places I wanted to show you. There’s something I want to do later in the afternoon. Wanna go outside town?”

“We’re going adventuring?!”

“Uh, more like preparations for an adventure.” Hikaru scratched his cheek. “I want to see how powerful your magic is.”

The early summer sun was shining bright. Outside the town, the muggy smell of earth and grass permeated the air. Hikaru wondered if he should buy clothes with brighter colors. Adventurers who didn’t have a permanent residence or base of operations were said to buy secondhand clothes and switched attires between summer and winter. It was common to do so because of the market for used clothes.

I think back in the old days of Japan, people would pawn off their kotatsu and cotton clothes in the spring.

Hikaru was currently wearing a Night Wolf overall made by Dodorono. Both the top and bottom were black. The cloth he wore over it blocked direct sunlight, but if it got any hotter, he would need lighter clothes.

“There are a lot of monsters outside, right?” Lavia asked, her eyes darting around.

Because of the proximity to Pond, traffic was heavy on the highway—from wagons carrying goods, travelers, adventurers on horseback. Hikaru and Lavia got off the road, waded through the grassy field, crested a gently-sloping hill, and arrived at an area not directly visible from the highway.

All around them were plains dotted with shrubs. There were insects and birds, but no monsters. Even if one showed up, there were plenty of places to hide, and once hidden, Hikaru could just use Group Cloaking to flee.

“Hikaru, how far do these plains go?”

“About a day on horseback.”

“That big? Wow…”

A breeze whistled between them. It felt nice.

“What do we do now?” Lavia asked. “Use magic?”

“Before that, I’d like to see your Soul Card, if that’s okay.”

“Of course.”

【Soul Card】
【Registration】 Pongee-elka Temple, Kingdom of Ponsonia
【Religious Services】Sun God Festival (6)

It was different from the Adventurers’ Guild card. Hikaru’s card looked like this:

【Adventurers’ Guild Card】
【Registration】Pond Adventurers’ Guild, Kingdom of Ponsonia
【Blessing】Stealth God: Bearer of Darkness

Hikaru noticed something on Lavia’s card.

“Your name…”

Lavia’s family name, Morgstadt, was gone. She stared at her Soul Card for a while.

“Because I’m free now,” she said.


She was free from her family, from her father.

“So why did you want to see my card?” Lavia asked.

“I wanted to see what you got under Blessing. What’s this Religious Services before it?”

“I think it’s the number of times you donate to the festival.”


“When you donate to the temple’s annual festival, they record it on your Soul Card. They say the Sun God will hear your prayers.”

A person received the grace of a god through their card’s Blessings without any middleman. There was no entity that would grant you bonuses for giving donations.

“Uh, I think…”

“It’s probably just a money-making scheme,” Lavia said.

“So you knew.”

“Of course. The Church’s high-ranking officials are fat and wear fine clothes.”

The organization was clearly rotten on the inside.

“What kind of Blessings do you have?” Hikaru asked. “You don’t have anything selected right now.”

“Um… Hikaru?”


“Please don’t get weirded out.”

Lavia picked up a stone and started writing on the ground.

【Common Elemental Magic User God: Basic Elemental Mage】7

【Wide Area Noble Blood Relief God: Noblesse】7

【Magic Principle Creation God: Challenger of Magic Principles】5

【Flame Elemental Magic God: Flame Magus】4

These Blessings granted the user the power of the corresponding god, and the fewer the characters, the more powerful it was. Freya told Hikaru that four-character Blessings would make you a high-ranked adventurer. Three characters were extremely rare, two legendary, and one was mythical. Needless to say, these characters were not based on Japanese kanji, but the language in this world.

The person who created the card systems was apparently someone with the Blessing of the Wisdom God.

“Something like that,” Lavia said.

Hikaru studied the writing, nodding to himself.

“What does Magic Principle mean?”

“That’s what got your attention?”

“I’m just curious.”

Lavia’s Soul Board went like this:

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

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

She had two points on Magic Principle. Roland had decent knowledge on magic, but most of it was gained through self-study. As such, it was unorganized and lacking in places. On the other hand, it was remarkable how he managed to study magic thoroughly on his own.

“To be honest, I don’t know much about it either,” Lavia said. “My magic just developed on its own.”

“On its own? What do you mean?”

“Before I explain, would you look at my magic?”

Hikaru nodded. That was why he brought her here today in the first place.

“Sure. Go ahead.”

Magic mostly referred to elemental magic. It was believed that elementals were the backbone of this world—that they made up nature in this world. On the Soul Board, there was Elemental Affinity, which was further categorized into Fire, Air, Earth, and Water. It was presumed that there existed an elemental for each element.

Using one’s own mana to manipulate the power of the elementals and bring about supernatural phenomena—that was elemental magic.

There was also healing magic, which Paula used. It involved expending one’s own mana to directly manipulate someone’s natural healing power and amplify it.

“O’ Elementals, heed my call. With the primordial flame, incinerate!”

The use of elemental magic required an incantation. This was apparently in a written agreement between elementals and humans back in ancient times, and it was believed to be absolute.

Hikaru, however, questioned it. On the Soul Board, there was Magic Creation under Elemental Affinity, so he thought that perhaps the agreement wasn’t entirely absolute. But that was a different matter altogether.

As soon as Lavia finished reciting the incantation, a ball of fire about three meters in diameter materialized above her and dropped in front of them. It was hot enough that Hikaru could feel his skin getting seared.

The moment it touched the ground, the flames burst like a popped water balloon. Heated air climbed rapidly, sucking the air around like a vacuum, and a pillar of flames rose like a swirling vortex, about five meters high.

And then the flames vanished. The grass was unscathed, except where the flames initially erupted. Weeds filled with water had been reduced completely to ashes. Smoke filled the air.

“This is Fire Breath,” Lavia said apologetically. “It’s a basic fire spell.” She seemed like a child rebuked for doing something wrong.

“Incredible. I’ve imagined it to be this powerful, but it’s still surprising to see for real.”

“You’ve imagined it?”


Lavia had five points on Fire Elemental Affinity. The Rank C adventurer Nogusa had four points on Sword and three points on Earth. Unken, the national hero, had six points on Short Sword. With all that in mind, it was safe to assume that five points was quite a significant number.

There was, of course, the possibility that the power levels for Weapon Mastery and Elemental Affinity were measured differently.

“So you’re not afraid of me?” Lavia asked. “You don’t fear me?”

“Of course not.”

Lavia put a hand on her chest and let out a long breath.

“Thank goodness. I was actually really nervous, worried that if you saw my powers, you’d leave me.”

“That won’t happen. But I understand how you feel. When I told you about my ability, I was scared too.”

“You mean the Soul Board?”

“Yeah. It’s a power beyond human understanding. Maybe we’re just alike.”

Lavia held Hikaru’s hands tight and rested her head against his chest. Her cap fell.

“I’m glad you were the one who saved me. You don’t fear me, and you won’t leave me. Right?”

“I won’t. I promise.”


She looked at him with moist eyes. Hikaru felt the urge to give her a kiss.

“Someone’s coming,” Hikaru said. “They might’ve seen the magic you used. Let’s get out of here.”

Hikaru activated Group Cloaking, and they left.

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