Translator: Kell | Editor: Weasalopes
Hikaru switched his job class to Wide Area Detection God: Grand Sonar. He set his Mana Detection to scan his surroundings every second, like a sonar from a submarine. This shouldn’t put too much stress on his brain.
Jointly using both Mana and Life Detection every second would give him more information. But compared to the former which searched in a one-kilometer radius, Life Detection only had a range of a hundred meters.
He could see Katy and Selica on top of the tower with his Mana Detection. No other living beings caught his attention. But he detected a mana reaction up ahead, not from a living thing, but from some sort of a spell. Hikaru braced himself in case of traps.
Hikaru took the lead, while Lavia and Paula followed. The place was wide enough for three of them to walk abreast, but with the poor footing, he had to be in front to check if it was safe. It was damp inside, and water dripped from the cave’s ceiling.
Hikaru lit up the magic lamp hanging by his waist as it started to get dark ten meters in.
「Th-The aren’t any monsters in here, right?」Paula asked.
「No. I don’t sense anything.」
Paula heaved a sigh of relief. To be more accurate, his Detection didn’t sense any monster. If there was something in here with stealth abilities that overpowered his detection skills, they were done for. Then again, no living creature would lay in wait in a cave like this devoid of life.
It might be a good idea to upgrade my Detection some more. My mind tells me there’s nothing lurking around, but I can’t help but feel anxious. I’d feel much safer if I maxed out either Life or Mana Detection.
Mana Detection maxed out at five points and he already had three on it. Hikaru had two points available for use.
But I don’t know about using my skill points up…
He’d rather have points available for use in case of an emergency.
In the end, it all boils down to raising my Soul Rank. Right now, I’m at 42. Selica is over 100, so I can definitely go for three digits.
Hikaru hadn’t seen anyone else with a Rank over a hundred. So far he’d only met a few people over rank 40—Unken, Lawrence, and Selyse.
「It’s a door.」
Hikaru gestured the girls to stop. They had gone quite deep where light couldn’t reach. But the lamp he was carrying showed a metal door ten meters ahead. He drew closer, but couldn’t detect any mana reaction.
Hikaru was silent.
「What’s wrong, Hikaru? Is something bothering you?」
「No… There’s no lock or traps. It’s just an ordinary door. And that bothers me.」
Around the door was a wall, corroded in places, and appeared to be made of mortar just like the buildings in Catford. The wall extended to the breadth of the cave. It even looked as though it sunk into the earth.
Hikaru directed his eyes above. They were most likely directly under the rod they saw earlier.
What’s going on here? he thought. It looks like the cave formed around the door and wall. Wait, what if that rod meant there’s some sort of a pagoda buried here?
That was his assumption at first. But it didn’t make sense to dig a hole, build a pagoda, then bury it after.
Whatever. Let’s just check out what’s inside first.
He opened the door.「What the…?」
What happened next, he didn’t expect.
「Are these magic lamps?!」
The interior of the building turned bright all of a sudden. The light looked similar to the one in the Poelnxinia castle. Was this light produced by holy mana?
「Let’s go inside.」
The inside was shaped like a hexagon about five meters wide. Window frames, a shelf, and table, all made of wood, were painted scarlet, but the coat itself had peeled off in places, and scattered like dust.
Scrolls were neatly placed on the shelf. The table was empty. The room felt like a temple’s library. Hikaru’s nose caught the scent of dead grass.
「That’s strange. From the outside, it looked like this place might collapse any second, but the inside looks orderly.」
「But it also looks weathered.」
Lavia stooped down and touched a bit of scarlet-colored dust on the bare pavement. It looked to be a speck of paint that had come off.
「It’s dry here.」Hikaru said.「Maybe there’s some sort of spell that sucks the moisture out, slowing down the place’s deterioration.」
「That could be the case. There are magic items that can do that. Though they’re mostly used for storage houses.」
Hikaru sensed mana from a corner of the room. It could be the aforementioned magic item. The mana flowing through it was weak. If it ran out now, there was nothing they could do.
「Hikaru-sama, Lavia-san! I can’t read this scroll at all!」
It wasn’t a scroll written in Japanese.
「It looks like an ancient version of this continent’s common language.」Lavia said.
「Can you read it?」Hikaru asked.
「I can’t. But there should be someone studying the language.」
「So if we take it with us, there might be someone out there who could read it.」
Hikaru turned his attention to a corner. There was a set of stairs that went up to the second floor.
「Let’s choose what to take later. I want to check out all the floors first.」
The wooden stairs were steep. Cold sweat trickled down Hikaru’s face as the steps creaked. With one person going up one at a time, though, no problem occurred.
The second floor was furnished with a table and a chair. A thin carpet covered the wooden floor. Vases lined the display shelf. Needless to say, the flowers had long withered away.
「It feels like a living room…」
「That looks like a kitchen.」
A sink was installed right by the wall. Beside it was what appeared to be a cupboard, closed.
「Looks like there’s still a floor upstairs. Let’s check all the floors first. There’s not really anything here on this floor anyway.」
「A living quarter perhaps?」
On the other side of the room was another set of stairs that went up. Each step made the floor creak, so Hikaru proceeded cautiously to the stairs. He took his time going up.
「If this is a five-storied pagoda, this should be the middle floor…」As he poked his head up, he became speechless.
「Wh-What’s wrong, Hikaru-sama?」
He couldn’t say it was unexpected. In his mind, he thought it would be the case. There was nothing beyond the third floor. He was already on the top floor. Considering the height of each floor and how far the rod was, he quickly realized they were in a three-storied pagoda, not a five-storey one.
The top floor was a private room with a bed and a huge desk right beside it. A wooden chair was facing at his direction, and someone was sitting on it.
「Brace yourselves before coming up. There’s a mummy here.」
Hikaru climbed all the way up and faced the mummy five meters away. Its eye sockets were long devoid of light, and only gray hair was left on its head. Completely dried up, it was, no doubt, a mummified human being.
「I think it’s wearing Japanese clothes…」
The mummy seemed to be wearing summer clothes—a shirt and a pair of shorts—with a dazzling sash embroidered with golden threads that had become frayed from the passage of time.
Lavia climbed up the stairs and stood beside Hikaru.「Japa… neeze clothes? Is that something from your country?」
「I think I’ll stay here…」Paula said from downstairs, fear in her voice.
There was a table, a chest with a keyhole, and other stuff in the room, each of fine quality. The owner of the room—most likely the mummy—was probably someone of fairly high status.
The book sitting on the table beside the mummy caught Hikaru’s eyes. He inched closer to the corpse. It didn’t move, of course. The cover bore the words ‘Ota Masaki’s Notebook’ in Japanese.
「I’ll take a look at other things…」Lavia stepped away from Hikaru to give him some space.
Hikaru shot a quick glance at the mummy before opening the notebook.
『I’m thinking of writing down my experience here in this world. I came to this world five years ago. A lot of things happened since then. And although I didn’t want to believe it, it seems I can’t return to Japan.』
「I knew it. This Ota guy is someone who got transported from Japan.」
Hikaru continued reading. Apparently the man was from the late Showa Era. One night during the height of the bubble economy, he went home drunk, tumbled down a slope and died. The next thing he knew, he was in a different world.
After being picked up by villagers in a remote area, he managed to learn this world’s language. He was offered marriage to a villager’s daughter, but he refused, for he had a wife and children in Japan.
Hikaru could glean accounts about the man’s family throughout the notes. He seemed to have had a strong feeling of attachment to Japan—way stronger than that of Hikaru’s and Selica’s.
Ota started writing five years after he arrived here. Some of the words were of different colors. He probably added those after some time had passed. He wrote about the remote village’s warm reception of him, his surprise when he found out magic existed, and how he formulated a new form of spell by applying science. There was a schematic on the magic circuit involved which Hikaru understood a bit thanks to Roland’s knowledge.
The man even wrote about the tengu masks he mass produced since the villagers liked them.
「So you’re the one who made it.」
Hikaru was shocked when he found out from the principal that a hundred of the masks were excavated. Right now, however, he felt something else. Perhaps at first, Ota made a mask out of nostalgia. But was it really something you’d make tons of just because the village loved them? Then again, maybe the times he spent creating them were times he spent reminiscing about Japan.
Now’s not the time to get sentimental. Hikaru shook his head and continued reading.
He cocked his head, puzzled. Here and there, there were words he couldn’t read. Letters, clearly written, yet somehow he couldn’t recognize. It was as if they were censored. Is it the work of a spell? Hikaru wondered, but his Mana Detection didn’t pick anything up.
If, however, a high-level spell was cast on it, then it would make sense for his skill not to detect anything. But there was no point in doing that when the text was written in Japanese, a language that no one could understand in the first place.
『I had a fascinating encounter today. I met XX, a huge X. He was amusing and immediately knew I came from a different world. He was also a XXXX with a duty to uphold. He said I could be one too. Me? A XXXX? Good one.』
『Thanks to XX, I made great progress on my research. The power of XX is astounding, similar to electricity. I might be able to develop wireless communication and build a radio station. An engineer like me can only build such things. This technology might be too advanced for this world, but people should be able to use it in no time.』
Hikaru guessed the last XX to mean holy mana. He knew the word, yet he couldn’t read it. What the heck is going on?
「Wait a sec…」
There was a scribbling on a blank page—a drawing, to be exact, of a baby. Did Ota marry someone and had a baby? But he didn’t read anything like that. If he had a baby, he would surely write it down on the notebook. So what exactly was the drawing referring to?
「Is that a trumpet on his mouth? And a halo on his head…」It reminded him of an angel.
He didn’t need his Instinct for what his mind thought of next. Hikaru took out his guild card and changed his job class to Lower Class Heaven’s Messenger God: Lesser Angel.
『I had a fascinating encounter today. I met Purple Drakon, a huge drakon. He was amusing and immediately knew I came from a different world. He was also a heaven’s messenger with a duty to uphold. He said I could be one too. Me? A heaven’s messenger? Good one.』
『Thanks to Purple Drakon, I made great progress on my research. The power of holy mana is astounding, similar to electricity. I might be able to develop wireless communication and build a radio station. An engineer like me can only build such things. This technology might be too advanced for this world, but people should be able to use it in no time.』
It worked. The censor is gone. I can read it.
So this job class makes me able to read the text? No, that’s not it. Being a Heaven’s Messenger is a gift and a requirement… so one can have access to information about how this world works!
Information was kept confidential and only accessible to select individuals. The word “heaven” brought to mind one of his Skills.
【Heaven Shot】A Skill that reaches the domain of the god that controls divine providence. Lose a part of what makes one human. Max: 5.
It also involved gods—divinity. “Heaven”, “Gods”, “Messenger”. Quickly, information came flying to him. There was also the Purple Drakon that immediately knew that Ota came from a different world.
…You broke my seal. Well done, puny human from another world…
Those were the words of the drakon that came out of the holy mana ball that Hikaru destroyed in Poelnxinia.
Poelnxinia was destroyed by a giant sent by God. Did He do that to save his comrade, the Purple Drakon that was trapped in the holy mana ball?
Everything suddenly started to fall into place. Hikaru continued reading, his conjecture slowly turning into conviction. But his surprise didn’t end there.
『The Purple Drakon said he’ll give me a holy blessing, “Lower Class Heaven’s Messenger”. It apparently has something to do with the soul card. When he told me of its effects, I couldn’t believe my ears. When used, one can demonstrate even more powers from the gods. To sum it up, one can select at most three job classes at a time.』
Hikaru learned the true power of the Lesser Angel class.