Category Archives: Arifureta

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[Vol 1] Chapter 7 – Wretched Malice



The death throes of the Behemoth resounded over the entire area, the stone bridge was crumbling with a huge rattling noise. And then…… Hajime disappeared into the abyss along with the rubble. That scene played for Kaori in slow motion, filling her with despair.

Last night’s event went through her mind repeatedly. In the room illuminated by the moonlight, she sat there and chatted with Hajime while drinking the black tea imitation prepared by Hajime, which even as a compliment, could not be considered delicious. That was the first time they had talked seriously with each other. Uneased due to her nightmares, she paid a sudden visit to Hajime. Even though Hajime was considerably surprised, he still listened to her earnestly, and before she knew it, her uneasiness was gone.

Only after returning to her room in a jubilant mood did she notice how boldly she was dressed and writhed in shame. When she recalled that Hajime didn’t have any particular reaction, she became disappointed as she wondered if she was lacking in appeal. Her roommate, Shizuku, was surprised when she caught Kaori making all sorts of funny expressions by herself, which will probably become her dark history.

That night, the most important thing was the promise she made to “protect Hajime”. It was a promise proposed by Hajime to relieve Kaori of her anxiety. The memory of Hajime disappearing into the abyss right before her very eyes kept lingering in her mind.

Somewhere in the distance, a scream could be heard. When Kaori noticed that the voice belonged to her, she grimaced as she was quickly brought back to reality.

“Let me go! I have to go to Nagumo-kun! I promised! I will… I said I will protect him! Let me go!”

Towards Kaori who looked like she was about to jump after him, Shizuku and Kouki desperately held her back. While thinking “How could such a slender body possess so much strength?”, they continued to restrain her.

If she kept struggling like this, she might injure herself. Nevertheless, they could not just let her go. If they released her, she would definitely jump off the cliff. She did not have a shadow of her usual calmness, looking completely frantic. No, it might be more appropriate to say that she had a pained expression.

“Kaori! You can’t! Kaori!”

Because Shizuku could understand Kaori’s current feelings, she could not find the right words to say. All she could do was call out her name desperately.

“Kaori! Are you also trying to die? It’s already too late for Nagumo! Calm down! You’ll hurt yourself!”

Kouki tried his best to show Kaori how worried he was. However, this was not the right place and time to say something like this to the already confused Kaori.

“What do you mean “too late”? Nagumo-kun is not dead yet! I have to go, he is surely seeking for help!”

He fell from the cliff into that bottomless abyss. No matter who looked at the situation, it was already hopeless for Nagumo Hajime. However, the Kaori now did not have the composure to accept this reality. If they said too much, she would only talk back and then exert herself even more. Ryutaro and the other students also did not know what to do as they just stood around, unable to speak.

At that moment, Commander Meld walked over and wordlessly struck the back of Kaori’s neck. She jerked for a moment before she lost consciousness. Kouki held the weary Kaori and glared at Commander Meld. Before he was able to complain, Shizuku seized the opportunity and bowed towards the commander.

“I’m sorry. Thank you very much.”

“Please stop it…… Save your gratitude for later. We won’t let another person die. We will devote our full strength to make sure you leave this Dungeon safely…… I’ll leave her to you.”

“You don’t even need to ask.”

Seeing the commander leave, Kouki who wasn’t able to say anything revealed an unhappy expression. Shizuku received Kaori and told Kouki.

“Since we couldn’t stop her, the commander had to do it. You understand, right? We don’t have much time. Before her cries starts to affect everyone’s spirit, or before she has a mental breakdown, it was necessary to stop her…… Look, you have to open the path, at least until everyone get out of here…… This is what Nagumo-kun would have said.”

Accepting Shizuku’s words, Kouki nodded.

“You are right, let’s go!”

Seeing a fellow classmate die in front of their eyes, had left a deep impression in all the students’ minds. Everyone had a blank expression as they looked towards where the bridge used to be. There were even some who said “I’ve had enough of this already!” and slumped on the ground. Just like Hajime had exclaimed, the group needs a leader right now. Kouki raised his voice towards his classmates.

“Everyone! Right now, just think about how to return alive. We are withdrawing!”

The students moved sluggishly in response to his words. The magic formations were still active, and the numbers of Skeletons Soldiers continued to increase. It would be reckless to continue fighting with their current mental state. It was also unnecessary. Kouki shouted with all his might and urged his classmates to escape. Commander Meld and the knights were also trying to encourage the students.

Eventually, everyone escaped by the stairs.

The stairs to the upper level was long. It was so dark that they could not see anything as they continued to climb upward. They felt like they had already climbed more than thirty floors, even their magically enhanced bodies also began to feel weary. Due to the injuries from the battle earlier, the long and gloomy stairs only made the students even more dejected. Just as Commander Meld was considering taking a short break, a huge wall that was engraved with a magic circle finally appeared ahead of them.

The students started to regain their vitality. Commander Meld and the knights quickly approached the wall and started to investigate it. They did not forget to use the Fair Scope. From their investigation, the chance of it being a trap was very unlikely. It seemed like the purpose of the engraved magic circle was to move the wall in front of them. Commander Meld started to chant and poured magic power into the magic circle. As a result, just like the hidden door in a ninja’s house, the rock wall rotated with a rumbling sound to reveal a path that leads to the room behind it.

Beyond the door was the room on 20th floor where they originally came from.

“We got back?”

“Did we get back?”

“We’re back… we’re really back…”

A sigh of relief escaped from the students in succession. There were a few that burst into tears and others who were embracing each other. Kouki and his party immediately sat on the ground after passing through the wall. However, they were still in a Dungeon. Even if they were low level, they did not know where a magic beast would appear from. They had to escape from the Dungeon before they completely snap from all that tension.

Suppressing his feeling of wanting to let everyone rest, Commander Meld hardened his heart and made the students stand up.

“All of you! Don’t just sit there! You won’t be able to get back if you start relaxing here! Try to avoid combat with the magic beasts as much as possible, we have to escape as quickly as possible. Just endure it for a little longer!”

The students’ protests of wanting to take a little break was silenced by a glare from Commander Meld. The students staggeredly stood up. Kouki endured his fatigue and took the lead. Centering around the knights, they fought as little as possible as they made their way towards the entrance in one go.

Finally, they arrived at the 1st floor and saw the nostalgic receptionist. They had obviously not even spent one day in the dungeon, yet many people felt like it has been a long time since they last passed through here.

This time, the students revealed genuinely relieved expressions. There were even students who sprawled out in front of the square, overjoyed that they were still alive. However, a group of students – Shizuku, who was still carrying the unconscious Kaori, Kouki, Ryutaro, Eri, Suzu, and the girl Hajime saved – had dark looks on their faces.

Commander Meld made a report at the reception area while keeping a sidelong glance at this group of students. The new trap they discovered on the 20th floor was too dangerous. Although the stone bridge had collapsed, they didn’t know if the trap was still active, hence the need to report it.

Additionally, Hajime’s death must also be reported. Commander Meld was having a hard time preventing his sadness from showing. But even then, he couldn’t help but let out a sigh.

~~~~~~~~~~

After the group returned to Holward, they dejectedly returned to their rooms. There were a few students who were discussing, but the majority of them had already fallen into a deep sleep.

And then there was Hiyama Daisuke. He left the inn by himself and was sitting at an inconspicuous corner of the town, hugging his knees. His face was buried between his knees, unmoving. If his fellow classmates saw him like this, it would seem like he was at a loss. But in reality……

“He, Hehehe. I-It was his fault! For a small fry… h-he got carried away… i-it was divine punishment. It was not my fault… it was for Shirasaki’s sake… that small fry… is no longer a concern… I’m not wrong… hehehe.”

With his dark grin and clouded eyes, he tried to justify himself.

The fireball that veered off course and hit Hajime was indeed casted by Hiyama. When he was contemplating between escaping to the stairs or rescuing Hajime, the memory of Hajime and Kaori’s night rendezvous emerged in his mind, and Hiyama heard a devil’s whispers. “If it’s now, nobody will even notice if you kill him~” At that moment, he sold his soul to the devil.

In order to not get exposed, Hiyama timed his shot very carefully and casted a homing fireball which hit Hajime. In that chaotic barrage, it would be very difficult to determine who casted what. Besides, Hiyama’s aptitude was with wind. It was impossible to tell it was him without any evidence. Hiyama said these to himself as he revealed a dark smile.

Just at this time, someone called out to him from behind.

“Sigh~ so it really was you. The first student who committed homicide in another world…… you are quite capable~”

“W-Who?”

Hiyama backed away in a panic. The one who hailed him was a fellow classmate.

“W-Why are you at this place……”

“Don’t worry about the minor details. Rather than that… Murderer-san? How do you feel now? How does it feel to kill a love rival in the midst of all the confusion?”

That person lightly laughed, as if having just watched a comedy. Although Hiyama did it on his own accord, one of their classmate did die after all, yet this person was acting like nothing happened. Until a moment ago, that person had a shocked and weary expression like the rest of the students. But now it has been completely wiped off this person’s face.

“Is this…… your true nature?”

The stunned Hiyama muttered out. A condescending scoff could be heard from the person.

“Nature? It is nothing that exaggerated. Isn’t it common for people to put on different masks? More importantly… what would happen if I spread this to everyone? Especially… if she heard it……”

“——!? S-Such a thing… No one would believe it… there is also…”

“No evidence? In other words, you don’t believe I can persuade them? Do you think the words of a certain desperate guy at that time will be convincing?”

Hiyama was cornered. It was like these words were used to make a fool out of an already weakened mouse. No one would have expected that this fellow was such a person, it would have been more believable if someone had told him that this person had split personalities. The person looked down at Daisuke with a sadistic expression that sent chills throughout his body.

“What do you want?”

“Oh? That was unexpected. It seemed like I was threatening you, isn’t it? Fufu. It’s not like I want something from you right now. For now, all you have to do is to obey me and become my subordinate.”

“T-That is……”

That was essentially the same thing as a slave declaration. As expected, Hiyama hesitated. Of course, he wanted to refuse, but if he did, then this fellow would mercilessly spread the rumor about his deeds. Hiyama who was at a loss started having this kind of murky thoughts, “I might as well get rid of……” However, this person had already anticipated this happening and decided to tempt him.

“Don’t you want Shirasaki Kaori?”

“——!? W-What did you say?”

Hiyama’s murky thoughts were blown away instantly, staring wide-eyed at that person. This individual smirked at Hiyama’s stunned visage, and continued to tempt him.

“If you follow me… I guarantee she will be yours. I was planning to offer this to Nagumo-kun, but…… you killed him. That’s fine, you might be more suited for what I have in store. Since there was no harm done, why don’t we just forget about it?”

“…What’s your objective? What do you hope to accomplish!”

Faced with such a baffling situation, Hiyama let out a panicked voice.

“Fufu, it has nothing to do with you. Well, let’s just say I am looking for something… So? What’s your answer?”

Hiyama felt irritated at how that person had been looking at him like he was an idiot, furthermore, that person easily changed characters and Hiyama felt intense fear towards of this transformation. Anyway, he did not have much of a choice in this matter, so with a defeated look, he nodded.

“…I’ll obey.”

“Ahahahahahaha, marvellous! I don’t want to accuse my classmate after all! Well, shall we let’s get along, Murderer-san? Hahahahahaha.”

That person returned to the inn while laughing happily, Hiyama watched that person’s back as he softly let out a “Damn……”

Hiyama wanted to forget about it, but regardless of how he denied it, that scene will never be forgotten; The expression Kaori had when Hajime fell into the abyss. It was impossible to find the words to describe her feelings then……

Right now, all the students were exhausted and slept like logs. After they calmed down and understood the reality of Hajime’s death, they could easily discern Kaori’s feelings. Kaori never did take care of Hajime simply out of goodwill. Moreover, just looking at Kaori’s haggard face, they would unconsciously think of the cause. Hiyama’s careless act put him in a dangerous situation.

In order to secure his place, he must conduct himself well. Hiyama had already crossed that line, it was impossible for him to stop now. If he followed that person’s orders, the possibility that he had thought was gone – it was still possible to make Kaori his.

“Heh-heh, i-it will be alright. Everything will go well. I didn’t do anything wrong…”

Burying his face between his knees again, Hiyama muttered to himself. This time, there was no one who bothered him.



References

  1. N/a

[Vol 1] Chapter 6 – Behemoth



A magic circle emitting crimson light suddenly emerged on both ends of the bridge. On one side of the path, the magic circle was about ten meter wide. The magic circles on the path to the stairs at the other side were only about one meter wide, but there were several of them.

Within the numerous small magic circles, a horde of sword wielding skeleton army emerged. Their empty eye sockets were emitting crimson light similar to that of the magic circle, and the eyeballs-like radiance looked all around. Their numbers already increased to the hundreds, and they are still increasing.

However, compared with the hundreds of skeleton army, the one at the other side of the bridge felt worst, Hajime had this kind of feeling. What came out from the ten meter wide magic circle was a ten meter tall four-legged beast, it was wearing something that looked like a helmet, this kind of magic beast appeared. If compared to any animal Hajime knew of, the closest would be a Triceratops. However, it had many other additional factors, such as the eyes that gave off crimson light, the sharp claws, the fangs that sounded like clang of metals when they collided, and the blazing horn that extended from the helmet……

When Commander Meld muttered “Behemoth” to himself, that Behemoth took a deep breath and let out a deafening roar.

“Gurua~a~a~aaaaa!!”

“——!?”

The roar caused Commander Meld to return to his senses, he quickly started to issue commands to everyone.

“Alan! Lead the students to the stair and break through those Skeleton Soldiers! Kyle, Ivan, Gale! I need you guys to make a barrier as big as you can! We need to stop that monster here! Kouki, hurry and get to the stairs with the others!”

“Wait a moment, Meld-san! We’ll fight too! Isn’t that dinosaur-like monster the most dangerous? We’ll also……”

“Fool! If that’s really a Behemoth, you guys won’t stand a chance at your current state! That monster is a magic beast from 65th floor. A long time ago, even the adventurer that was once known as the “strongest” was unable to defeat this monster! Just make a run for it! I can’t let you guys die!”

Although Kouki faltered for a moment after seeing Commander Meld’s grave expression, he still stood his ground with, “I can’t just abandon you guys!” When Kouki was about to say, “Let’s think of a way to let everyone escape safely”, the Behemoth let out a roar and started to charge at them.

At this rate, the students who were retreating would get trampled to death. But the Hairihi Kingdom’s strongest military force summoned a multi-layered barrier to prevent this from happening.

“Repel all Malice and Enmity, Absolute Providence from the Son of God, Herein a Sanctuary, The Enemy of God Shall Not Pass, 【Absolute Virtue】”

The magical circle for this spell was drew on a two meter square paper of the highest quality, and the incantation was made up of four phrases. In addition to that, three people were required to cast it. The barrier could only provide absolute defense for one minute. The pure white semi-spherical barrier stopped the Behemoth’s charge!

The moment the Behemoth clashed with the barrier, a terrifying shockwave erupted from between them. Everything under the Behemoth’s feet were pulverized, and despite how the entire bridge was made out of stones, it was shaking violently. The retreating students let out a scream and tumbled in succession.

The Skeleton Soldiers were magic beasts that showed up on the 38th floor. They were clearly different from the magic beasts they had encountered so far. In front of them was the skeleton army that made one’s blood run cold, and behind them was that terrifying aura that pressed in constantly. The students were in a state of panic.

Ignoring the formation, they recklessly rushed towards the stairs. A member of the knight, Alan, tried to calm them down desperately, but no one listened due to the imminent terror. One of the female students was pushed from behind and fell down. She groaned as she lifted her head, just to see a Skeleton Soldier who had lifted the sword over its head.

“Ah!”

At the same time she let out a scream, the sword was swung down towards her head. She thought she was going to die at that moment, but the ground under the Skeleton Solider’s feet suddenly swelled up. Losing its balance, the trajectory of the blade missed the girl and struck the ground instead. Following that, the upheaval continued like a wave towards the end of the bridge, tripping up many Skeleton Soldiers along the way. This caused some of the soldiers to fall into the abyss.

Two meter off the edge of the bridge was the silhouette of Hajime who exhaled heavily. He continuously used transmutation on the ground. He used the logic of a slide to throw the magic beasts off the bridge. Unaware, his proficiency in transmuting got better because he constantly used it on the whole journey. The range of his transmuting also seemed to have increased.

While chewing the Magic Recovery Pill, Hajime quickly approached the female student that fell down. He helped the girl up with the hand that was equipped with the transmutation glove. Hajime spoke to the still stunned girl with a smile.

“Hurry, keep going. It’s alright, if you calm down these skeletons are nothing. Because except for me, everyone else is a cheat!” The female student was unable to take her eyes off Hajime who pounded his chest full confidence, the next moment she replied with an energetic “Thank you” and dashed off.

Hajime had ruined the surrounding Skeleton Soldiers’ footing and had them detained, he took that moment to survey the battlefield. Everyone was in a state of panic, they brandished their weapons carelessly, and even the magics were in disorder. At this rate, it was highly likely that someone would die. Although Knight Alan was desperately trying to bring them under control, it was not going well. During this time, more reinforcements came for the Skeleton Soldiers through the new magic circles.

“What do we do now…… We need a powerful leader…… someone with the power to open the path…… Amanogawa-kun!”

Hajime started to sprint towards the direction of Kouki’s party.

Behemoth was still repeatedly charging at the barrier. A powerful shockwave was produced every time it collided with the barrier, the stone bridge creaked due to the pressure. There were already cracks on the barrier, it was only a matter of time before it gave in. Commander Meld also joined to reinforce the barrier, but it was like a cup of water on a burning cart of firewood.

“Ah, crap! It won’t hold for much longer! Kouki, hurry and retreat! You guys go too!”

“No! I will not abandon Commander Meld and the knights! We must all return alive!”

“Ku, to be so egotistical at this moment…”

Commander Meld’s expression was as if he just ate a bitter worm. In such a narrow space, it would be very difficult to avoid the Behemoth’s rush. Therefore, the best option was to run away before the barrier became ineffective. But such a subtle opportunity could only be grasped by someone experienced, it was highly unlike for Kouki and his party to have such an insight.

While explaining the situation as briefly as possible, Commander Meld urged them to retreat. But Kouki did not take his advice and refused to “abandon” them. Besides, from the look in Kouki’s eyes, he wanted to challenge the Behemoth. He believed if it was him, he might be able to overpower the Behemoth.

It couldn’t be helped, he was still too young. He was overestimating himself a little too much. Commander Meld had showered them with so much praise to maintain their confidence, but it seemed to have produced the opposite of the desired result.

“Kouki! Let’s retreat as Commander Meld said!”

Shizuku, who understood the situation, quickly admonished Kouki and grabbed his arm.

“Sigh~ This is not the first time Kouki is being unreasonable! I’ll back you up!”

“Ryutaro…… Thank you.”

Ryutaro’s statement just fueled Kouki’s enthusiasm even more. Shizuku clicked her tongue at that.

“Are you drunk?! Try to understand the situation! You big idiot!”

“Shizuku-chan……”

As Shizuku was getting impatient, Kaori got more anxious. At this time, a boy jumped in front of Kouki.

“Amanogaka-kun!”

“Huh? Nagumo!?”

“Nagumo-kun!?”

As everyone was surprised, Hajime was doing his best to explain the situation by waving his hands.

“Hurry up and retreat! Everyone can’t make it without you! Hurry!”

“What are you saying all of a sudden? What are you even doing in a place like this? This is not a place you should be! Just leave this to us, Nagumo you…”

“This is not the time to be saying that kind of thing!”

It was a fact that he couldn’t be regarded as part of the fighting force, Kouki urged Hajime to retreat but he was interrupted by Hajime who never showed any kind of retaliation before. Kouki’s impression of Hajime was a honest guy who always forced a bitter smile at everything that was said to him. There was too much discrepancy that made him unable to move.

“Can you not see what is going on?! Everyone is in a panic! Just because the team leader is missing!”

Hajime grabbed Kouki’s shirt with one hand and pointed over there with his other hand. In the direction he pointed at, his classmates were surrounded by Skeleton Soldiers and running all over the place. It seemed like they had never been trained before and fought haphazardly. Since they were so inefficient they were being overwhelmed by the reinforcements. As a result, they were still unable to break through until now. Although they were able to preserve their life due to their out of norm stats, it was only a matter of time.

“A power that can break through them is necessary! A power that can erase the fear in everyone’s hearts is also necessary! And the only one who can do it is our team leader, Amanogawa-kun! Don’t just look in front of you, look at what’s going on behind you too!”

Kouki was dumbstruck as he saw his classmates in such a chaotic situation, after shaking his head in admonition, he nodded towards Hajime.

“Ahh, I understand. I’ll go over there immediately! Commander Meld! I’m sorry!?”

“Goooo-!”

“Sorry, I’ll retreat first.” The moment Kouki turned around and said this to Commander Meld, the barrier finally fell along with Commander Meld’s howl. The raging shockwave assaulted Hajime and the others directly. Hajime quickly stepped forward and transmuted a wall, but it was easily blown away. However, he was able to weaken the shock wave. The whirling dust was blown away by Behemoth’s roar.

On the ground was the groaning Commander Meld and three knights. Their body was unable to move due to the after-effect of the shockwave. Behind Commander Meld and the knights, Kouki and his party had also fallen to the ground, but they got up quickly. Looks like Hajime’s wall was effective.

“Ku…… Ryutaro, Shizuku, can you buy me some time?”

As Kouki asked them, he walked towards the two who still seemed like they were in pain. Since Commander Meld had been disabled, it was up to them to do something.

“I guess we don’t have a choice!”

“……I’ll try to think of something!”

Both of them suddenly assaulted the Behemoth.

“Kaori, start healing Commander Meld and his men!”

“En!”

Kaori moved according to Kouki’s instruction. Hajime already got beside Commander Meld. In order to not get caught up in the aftermath of the battle, he quickly conjured a stone wall. Although it seemed nothing more than paper wall to the Behemoth, it was still better than nothing. Kouki began to chant in order to unleash his big skill.

“Divine will! Perish everything that is evil with your light! The breath of God! Blow away the ominous clouds and purify this world! The mercy of God! Forgive all my sins with this strike! 【Heaven’s Might】!”

An aurora gushed out from the Holy Sword after the chant. The skill was similar to the 【Soaring Flash】, but it’s power was on a completely different level. The aurora gouged the bridge as it shot towards the Behemoth, shaking the bridge with its might. After the chant, Ryutaro and Shizuku had already cleared out. However, the two were extremely exhausted. They suffered a considerable amount of damage in such a short period of time.

The bombardment of light hit the Behemoth directly. Light had painted that area white. The intense vibration caused cracks to appear on the bridge.

“With this…… Haa~ Haa~”

“Hmph! As expected, shouldn’t we have done this earlier?”

“Hu… It’s just that……”

Ryutaro and Shizuku returned to Kouki’s side. Kouki breathed heavily after using such an enormous amount of magic power. That skill earlier was Kouki’s trump card. His remaining magic power were almost used up. Behind them, Commander Meld and the fallen knights stood up after they got patched up.

Not long later, when the light and the dust settled down, in that place…… was an unscathed Behemoth. The beast sent a death glare at Kouki and growled. After that, it raised its head, the horn on its head began to glow red-hot and emitted a high-pitched sound like that of fingernails scraping the glass. Following that, the helmet ignited like a lava.

“Don’t just stand there! Move!”

Commander Meld’s voice helped Kouki’s party to regain their senses. The Behemoth soon began to dash forward, and then it jumped towards Kouki. The red-hot helmet fell towards them like a meteor.

Even though they jumped sideways immediately, the shock-wave caused by the impact still blew them away. They rolled on the ground with rumbling sound, when they finally stopped, they had wounds all over their body. Commander Meld, who finally regained his movement, rushed over. The other knights were still being treated by Kaori. The Behemoth’s horns were stuck on the bridge. After bracing its leg, the Behemoth pulled it out.

“All of you, get up!”

All he got in response were groans. They were probably paralyzed by the same shock-wave that the Commander and the knights received earlier. It seemed like they received considerable damage to the internal organs. Commander Meld turned his head around to call out to Kaori. What got into his line of sight instead was Hajime’s figure.

“Boy! Carry Kouki and retreat with Kaori!”

The commander gave Hajime such instructions. Kouki, only take Kouki along with him. That instruction indicated that it would be great even if only Kouki was able to get away, it was probably that kind of wish. Commander Meld clenched his teeth and prepared his shield. He planned to put his life on the line to hold back the beast.

Hajime looked at the commander who were prepared for certain death, and proposed a plan. This may be the only way to save everyone from this situation. However, it was too silly, the chances succeeding was also very low. It would put Hajime in the most dangerous position. Commander Meld hesitated, but the Behemoth already got into battle mode. Its helmet started to sizzle red-hot again. They had no time.

“……Can you do it?”

“I can definitely do it.”

Hajime looked at Commander Meld with resolute gaze. Seeing Hajime like this, a smile emerged on Commander Meld’s face.

“I didn’t expect we would entrust our lives up to you, I ask of you to save everyone. Therefore…… We’ll leave the rest to you!”

“Yes!”

Commander Meld walked towards the Behemoth after saying these. He released a simple spell to provoke it. Looking at how the Behemoth was targeting Kouki earlier, it seemed to have a habit of baring its teeth at those attacking it.

Commander Meld firmly fixed his gaze on the Behemoth. After that, it pointed its red-hot helmet at Commander Meld, it suddenly charged and took a leap. Commander Meld intended to provoke it till the last moment, he stood there confidently. At that moment, a small incantation could be heard.

“Disperse, 【Wind Wall】”

He jumped backward and chanted simultaneously. Following closely, the Behemoth landed at the area where Commander Meld was previously stationed at. The 【Wind Wall】 was able to deflect the shock-wave and debris from the impact. Since the Behemoth’s attack pattern was simple, it was still possible to avoid it. But if he was to dodge while protecting Kouki’s party at the same time, they might be completely annihilated.

Again, the Behemoth’s horns were stuck on the bridge. Hajime quickly threw himself into the fray. The remnants of the blazing heat burned his skin, but Hajime endured the pain and began to chant. He only had to chant the name, it was the most simple and only spell in his possession.

“【Transmutation】!”

The Behemoth’s movement to pull its head out from the stone was stopped. Even if it smashed the stone in the surrounding, Hajime would continue to transmute new stone. Bracing its legs, the Behemoth was going to forcefully pull its head out, but Hajime transmuted around the foot this time. While it was struggling, the head sunk another one meter into the ground due to transmutation. The Behemoth’s power was so terrifying, cracks would appear the moment he let up for a brief second. It wanted to escape, but it was stopped by Hajime’s transmutation every time. In the end, the Behemoth’s entire head was buried underground, it was quite a silly figure.

In the meantime, Kaori and the recovered knights gathered everyone together, they attempted to carry Kouki’s party back. At the skeleton soldier’s side, it seemed like some students had regained their composure and started to cooperate with each other. The reason for the recovery was because of the girl Hajime saved earlier. It was an inconspicuous contribution from Hajime.

“Wait! Nagumo-kun is still over there!”

Facing Commander Meld who urged them to retreat, Kaori protested fiercely.

“That is the boy’s battle! We are going to break through the Skeleton Soldiers and unfold an all-out magic attack after we secured a safety zone! Of course, the boy will retreat during that time! We will hold up the Behemoth with magics until the boy get back, then we will retreat to the upper level.”

“Then, I’ll stay and help!”

“That’s out of the question! ‘Let Kaori retreat and heal Kouki’ That’s what he said!”

“But!”

Kaori who still wanted to say something came to a pause after receiving Commander Meld’s sermon.

“Don’t let the boy’s effort be in vain!!!”

“——!?”

Including Commander Meld, the one with the highest firepower was without a doubt Kouki. If she did not use her healing magic to recover him, they may not have sufficient firepower to stop the Behemoth when the time comes. That is why it is necessary for her to heal Kouki while retreating. By the time Hajime exhausted his magic power and couldn’t use transmutation anymore, the Behemoth will start to move.

“Breath of Heaven, Fill to the brim, Purify and Heal, 【Heaven’s Blessing】”

Kaori was crying, but even so she continued to chant. A pale light engulfed Kouki, this is a magic that heal physical wounds and recover magic power at the same time. Commander Meld placed a hand on Kaori’s shoulder and nodded. Kaori also nodded in response, then she turned her head again to look at Hajime who continued to cast 【Transmutation】 desperately. After that, Commander Meld carried Kouki onto his shoulder and retreated. Shizuku and Ryutaro were carried by the knights.

~~~~~~~~~

The numbers of Skeleton Soldier was still increasing, the quantity already exceeded two hundred. The side that led to the stairs was crammed with Skeleton Soldiers. However, in a sense it might be a good thing. If there was a gap, the students would try to push through and get themselves surrounded. As a matter of fact, when there were only a hundred of them, the students were caught up in a dangerous situation.

Despite that, there was no casualty, it was all thanks to the knights. It was not an exaggeration to say that they were desperately protecting the students with their own lives. As a result, they are now covered all over with cuts and bruises.

The increasing numbers of the Magic Beasts led to great panic, the students even forgot to use their magic, they only waved their spears and swords recklessly. Under this kind of circumstances, if they lost the knights’ support, they would fall apart in matter of minutes.

Despair struck the students who came to realize it. The girl that Hajime saved earlier appealed to them, the minority of the students fought bravely in a group, but they were almost at their limits, they have an expression that looked like they were about to cry. Just when everyone thought it was already too late……

“【Soaring Flash】!”

A pure-white slash cuts right through the ranks of the Skeleton Soldiers, and then it exploded. The Skeleton Soldiers that were pushed to the side edges of the bridge fell into the abyss. After the slash, the Skeleton Soldiers fell like an avalanche. The students saw the path that led to the upper level. That was their only salvation, the only thing that drives them to brandish their swords!

“Everyone! Don’t give up, I’ll open up a path!”

He spewed those lines as 【Soaring Flash】 tore through the enemies. The charisma displayed Kouki raised the students’ morale.

“Guys! What have you been doing this whole time? Remember the training! Organize into groups at once! You fools!”

The appearance of the commander that everyone relied on and the skill that knocked down the enemies, the unparalleled 【Soaring Flash】. As well as that normally reliable voice, when all of these came together, the declining morale resurrected immediately. Their body were no longer feeling numb and their mind cleared up. But in reality, it was the effects of Kaori’s magic, the Calm Mind magic. To a certain extend, when the relaxation magic was combined with Kouki’s performance, it was super effective!

Everyone with high aptitude for healing magic began to treat the wounded. Those with high aptitude for magic began the chants for powerful magic at the rear. Those with high defensive power served as vanguards. Instead of attacking, they focused more on defending.

The knights who recovered also join the fray, then the signal for their counterattack was ignited. They launched their cheat-like magic and martial arts which descended upon the enemies like a surging wave. The enemies were wiped out at an astonishing rate, they had finally passed the spawning rate of the Magic Beasts.

Soon, the path to the stairs opened up.

“Everyone advance! We must secure the open space in front of the stairs!”

Kouki started to run as soon as he shouted. The fully recovered Ryutaro and Shizuku followed closely behind. They cut through the encircling Skeleton Soldier like a hot knife through butter. Finally, they broke through the besiegement. Behind them, the Skeleton Soldiers wanted to enclose the path to the stairs again, but they were scattered by Kouki’s magic.

The classmates revealed an astonished expression, it was only natural. The stairs was just before their eyes, it was only to be expected that they wanted to get to a safety zone at once.

“Everyone, wait! We must help Nagumo-kun! He has been suppressing that monster by himself all this time!”

Hearing Kaori’s words, the classmates exposed a doubtful expression. They thought it was impossible, after all, Hajime was tagged as an “incompetence”. However, when the perplexed classmates looked over at the bridge, Hajime was really there.

“What the, what is going on there?”

“That demon’s… upper body was buried?”

Facing the students who were filled with doubts, Commander Meld issued the orders.

“That’s right! That boy suppressed the monster by himself to let us retreat! Vanguards! You guys deal with the Skeleton Soldiers! Rear guards! Prepare your long-range magic! The boy’s magic power will exhaust any time soon, attack simultaneously the moment he starts to run! We must stop the Behemoth!”

The students braced themselves when the voice resounded, but there were no lack of people among them who looked at the direction of the stairs reluctantly. You can’t blame them, they just had a near death experience. Even one second was fine, they wanted to get to safety as soon as possible, that was only natural. However, when Commander Meld shouted to hurry up, they no longer hesitated and returned to the battlefield. Among them was Hiyama Daisuke. Since all of this was caused by him, Hiyama was really terrified, he wanted to get away from this place as soon as possible.

However, the scene from that day suddenly flashed in his mind. It was the day before they entered the dungeon, the event that occurred when they were staying in Holward. He was tossing and turning restlessly in the bed due to anxiety, so Hiyama went out to get some fresh air after going to the toilet. After he calmed down by feeling cool and refreshing breeze, he was going to return to his room. However, he saw Kaori in her negligee along the way. This was the first time he had seen Kaori in such a state, so he instinctively hid and held his breath. Kaori passed by without noticing him.

Hiyama was interested and followed her, until she stopped in front of a certain room and knocked. The one appeared on the other side of the door was…… Hajime. Hiyama blanked out. He liked Kaori, but he thought that he was not good enough for her. When comparing himself to Kouki, he felt like he was way out of his league, so he gave up.

However, Hajime was different a different story. He was inferior to him, at least Hiyama thought so. So it was ridiculous to find Hajime always in the presence of Kaori. ‘If that’s the case, aren’t I good enough?’ Hiyama was wondering if he had gone crazy while thinking of something like that. But Hiyama seriously thought like that, his resentment towards Hajime continued to accumulate, it was already to the point of hatred. He probably wanted to win over Kaori by using the Grantz Crystal, that’s why he was getting impatient.

Hiyama remembered all that, and looked at Hajime who was suppressing the Behemoth all by himself. At the same time, the figure of Kaori praying for him entered his line of sight…… a dark smile gradually bloomed on his face.

~~~~~~~~

Just at this time, Hajime felt his magic power running out, and he had ran out of recovery pills. He quickly shot a glance backward and noticed that everyone had already retreated. They already got into formation and preparing to chant. The Behemoth was still struggling, if he stopped transmuting like this, it would probably struggle for a few more seconds. During this time, he had to pull some distance. The bead of sweat from his forehead entered his eye. He was extremely nervous, the thumping sound from his heart had never stopped until now. Hajime was trying to find the perfect opportunity to retreat.

At the same time when dozens of cracks appeared, Hajime used the last of his 【Transmutation】 to restrain the Behemoth. After that, Hajime started to sprint.

Five seconds after Hajime started to run, the ground splits open. The Behemoth crushed the ground and let out a roar as it stood up. That angry look in its eyes was unlikely to be mistaken. It began to scan the surrounding for the enemy that humiliated it —— Hajime entered its vision. Again, the Behemoth let out a roar, even louder than before. In order to catch up to Hajime, it began to store up power in its four limbs.

However, in the next moment, every kind of magic attacks arrived in succession. It was like shooting stars in the night sky, multi-colored magics bombarded the Behemoth. Although they were unable to deal any damage, they were able to stop it from advancing.

I can do it! Hajime was convinced, he lowered his head and dashed while taking care not to fall. Honestly speaking, it doesn’t feel that good with all those lethal spells passing over his head. However, he believed those cheats wouldn’t make that kind of low-level mistake. He continued to run, he should have pulled thirty meter apart from the Behemoth. Hajime instinctively loosened his cheek. However, just at this time, his expression froze.

Among the endless stream of spells, one fireball bent slightly…… It was shot towards Hajime’s direction. This was clearly aimed at him.

(Why!?)

Doubt, bewilderment, and astonishment all ran through his brain, Hajime was stunned. Even though he stopped and slid on the ground immediately, that fireball still struck the ground right in front of him. He was blown back the way he came from by the shock-wave. Although he avoided a direct hit and didn’t suffer from any internal injuries, his semicircular canal was damaged. His sense of balance was thrown into disorder.

He stood up and took a few steps unsteadily, but…… it was impossible for the Behemoth to be suppressed by the shots forever. After Hajime got up —— the roar reverberated from behind —— Hajime couldn’t help but turn his head around to look. For the third time its horns started to glow red-hot, the Behemoth firmly fixed its gaze on Hajime. After that, it raised its shield-like red-hot head, and charged towards Hajime.

The unsteady head, hazy vision, and looming Behemoth; His classmates in the distance had anxious expressions, they let out a sad call and furious roar.

Hajime mustered the last ounce of his strength to jump away. After that, the furious waves of attack landed on the bridge. Behemoth’s attack shook the entire bridge. With this point as the epicenter, terrifying cracks began to spread. The bridge let out a crunching sound.

And finally…… the bridge collapsed.

After bearing that kind of powerful attacks repeatedly, the bridge finally gave in.

“Guaaa!?”

The Behemoth let out a cry, and desperately used its claw to scratch the slanted rock bridge. However, the place it was clinging to also collapsed. In the end, the Behemoth fell into the bottomless abyss. The Behemoth’s death throes was still resounding.

Hajime crawled on the ground and wanted to escape somehow, but every place that he could reach fell one after another.

(Ah, this is bad……)

While thinking like that, he turned his gaze towards his classmates at the opposite side. Hajime saw it —— Kaori was being held back by Kouki and Shizuku. As for the other classmates, some had pale face, while others were covering eyes or mouth. Meld and the Knights also had a mortifying expression.

And then, the scaffold that held Hajime finally crumbled. Hajime fell into the abyss while looking upwards. He stretched his hand towards the light that gradually became dimmer……



References

  1. N/a

[Vol 1] Chapter 5 – Trap



Right now, Hajime and the rest of his class gathered in front of the entrance to the 【Orcus Great Dungeon】.

Hajime had imagined a dark gloomy entrance, but instead he found something that looked like museum. It even had a reception desk at the side of the entrance. A uniformed big sister with beautiful smile was inspecting the people who entered and left the dungeon. In brief, their work here was to inspect the Status Plate, and record the number of people who entered and left the dungeon to accurately pinpoint the death toll. With the war nearing, this was the method they adopted to avoid more casualties than necessary.

On the plaza near the entrance, there were many stalls lined up. All the shop owners were trying to promote their own goods. It was like a festival. This place was a popular area to earn money because people would naturally gather here. There were many foolish people who challenged the dungeon haughtily, which ended with them losing their life. The dungeon’s back alleys also seemed to attract criminal activities. However, with the war coming, they didn’t want to have any internal conflicts, so the Adventurer Guild and Kingdom worked together with a common goal in mind. The venue beside the entrance was a place where the materials were traded. The treasures obtained by the adventurers would be exchanged for money there.

While the class was looking around like country bumpkins, they followed behind Commander Meld like ducklings following their mother.

~~~~~~~~~~~

The inside of the Dungeon was totally different to the bustling of the outside. There was no lamp at the five meter wide passage, yet it was emitting a dim light, it was possible to see to some extent even without any illumination magic or torches. It seemed like a lot of special green stones were buried in the walls, one could excavate a huge vein of these green stones from 【Orcus Great Dungeon】.

The party organized into ranks and pressed forward. For a while, nothing of interest happened until they advanced into a certain hall. This hall was dome shaped and the ceiling looked to be around 7-8 meter high. Then, in front of the party that seemed to be looking for treasures in the circular hall, gray fluffy balls gushed out from the crevices in the wall.

“Okay, Kouki’s group, step forward. Everyone else fall back! Follow the instructions you received before setting off! Get ready! These Magic Beasts are called Ratmen. Their movement is quick, but they are not very strong. Just stay calm.”

Just like he said, the Ratmen ran over with considerable speed. Their scarlet eyes shone eerily from their gray matted heads. Their name suited them. The Ratman was a very fitting name, their outward appearance looked very similar to a rat…… They were bipedal Magic Beasts and had a muscular upper body. As if to show off their six packs and chest muscle, those parts were not covered by hair.

The front-line was comprised of Kouki and his party. When Shizuku, who was in his party, saw the enemy, her face stiffened up. The Ratman gave off a creepy feeling. Kouki, Shizuku, and Ryutaro intercepted the charging Ratman. Meanwhile, two girls that were close to Kaori started to chant. The girls were Nakamura Eri, a glasses-wearing girl, and her friend Taniguchi Suzu the energetic loli. They were preparing to invoke their magic, staying in the formation like they were taught.

Kouki wielded his cross-shaped sword with unfathomable speed. He quickly made short work of the few enemies. His sword was one of the divine artifacts that was given to him by Hairihi Kingdom, the 【Holy Sword】. The sword had a light attribute. Any enemies caught in the light that the sword produced would be weakened, and it also automatically strengthened its wielder. Even if it was called a “Holy” sword, it certainly had some troublesome abilities.

Ryutaro’s class was a “Fist Fighter”, so he used gauntlets and shin guards as his equipment. These were also divine artifacts, they could produce shock-waves, and the power was definitely not lacking in any way. Ryutaro took an imposing stance and did not let any enemy get past him with beautiful kicks and punches. Though he was unarmed, he played the role of a heavy armored tank.

Shizuku, like the Samurai girl she was, her class was “Swordswoman”. She took a battojutsu ⌈1⌋ stance and drew her sword that looked like a Shamshir. ⌈2⌋ All the enemies were cut in an instant. That agile movement caused the knights to sighs in admiration.

While Hajime and other students were fascinated by the battle, a chant resounded.

”Swirling Dark Flames, Incinerate My Enemies, Return them to the Earth as Ashes, 【Spiral Flame】.”

Three people simultaneously launched the spiraling flames which engulfed the Ratmen. The Ratmen let out a death cry as the flames turned them to ashes.

By the time they noticed, all the Ratmen in the hall were wiped out. The other students didn’t get a turn. It seemed like the enemies on the first level were too weak for Kouki’s party.

“Ahhh~ good job! Next time you guys give it a try, but don’t lower your guard!”

While facing the outstanding students, Commander Meld smiled bitterly as he warned the group not to let up. However, after successfully subduing Magic Beasts for the first time, it was unavoidable for them to feel excited. The student’s faces broke out into smiles. Commander Meld just shrugged his shoulders and said, “It can’t be helped.”

“Anyway, good job on your performance this time, don’t forget to retrieve the Magic Stone. But still, wasn’t that a bit overkill just now?”

Commander Meld was clearly admonishing the rear-support, the girls in Kaori’s group knew they overdid it and began to blush.

There were no particular problems from there onwards, they took turns in battles, and made their way to the lower levels smoothly. Eventually, they arrived at the 20th floor, which is the mark of a first-class adventurer. The highest level explored was the 65th floor, but this achievement was accomplished by adventurers over 100 years ago. Getting to the 40th level now is considered the work of an Elite Adventurer. Any who passed the 20th level were considered first-class. Since all the students were cheats, they easily broke through to the 20th level, even if they did not have much battle experience.

However, traps were the scariest feature of a dungeon. In some instances, the traps were lethal. Fair Scope was the best countermeasure against traps. This is a gadget that detected traps by perceiving the flow of magic. As most traps in the dungeons use magic, the Fair Scope can detect more than 80% of the traps. However, the detecting range was somewhat narrow, so in order to progress smoothly, experience or information was needed.

As they quickly breezed through the floors, the Knights could only focus on guiding them. However, Commander Meld strongly admonished them; They were not to move about randomly in places that haven’t been confirmed for traps.

“Alright, you guys. From this point on, not only will there be other types of Magic Beasts, but they will work together to attack us. Do not get careless just because it had been easy so far! The training for today will end after we clear the 20th floor! Get fired up!”

Commander Meld’s voice was very low but it resounded clearly. Up to this point, Hajime had not done anything in particular. Once, he practiced on a Magic Beast that the knights had weakened. He created a pitfall on the ground, and skewered the dog-like Magic Beast that fell into the trap. That was all he did. Basically, there was no chance for him to get involved in the group battle, he just stood behind the cover provided by the knights. It was pretty pathetic. Even so, his magic power still improved by repeatedly using his “Synergy” skill in combat, therefore it was not meaningless. His magic power was raised by two points, so actual combat was still very beneficial.

(But still, I’m totally a parasite player, sigh……)

Again, a weakened Magic Beast was thrown to Hajime by the Knights. When it approached, Hajime transmuted the ground and let out a sigh. Its abdomen was skewered by the sharp sword in the pothole, it doesn’t seem like it will be able anymore.

(Well, it seems like my precision with transmutation has gone up…… Let’s do it one step at a time……)

Hajime consumed a magic replenishing pill as he wiped the sweat off his brow. Hajime had not noticed, but there were several knights that were impressed with him.

To be honest, the knights did not expect anything from him in the beginning. However, since the battle was well-off, they paid a little attention to Hajime who had nothing to do at the back, and pushed a few Magic Beasts to him. Of course, the Magic Beasts were weakened beforehand.

The knights had assumed Hajime would fight with his sword, despite not knowing how to swing a sword. Instead, Hajime effectively sealed off the opponent’s movements with transmutation, and stabbed them to death in the end. He brought down the Magic Beasts with a strategy that the Knights had never seen before. “Synergist” was considered a crafting class, that was a common knowledge. Therefore, they had never thought of using the transmutation skill like that in combat.

Since he did not have anything else, Hajime’s only weapon was his transmutation skill. He figured that if he could manipulate minerals, why couldn’t he manipulate the ground too? He came up with this strategy while thinking about such a thing. Since he was surrounded by so many strong people, he felt his all-out effort was useless. This was the first public exhibition of his tactic. After making a fool of himself in the combat training at the outskirts of the capital, he came up with this tactic.

They stopped for a short rest. Hajime who looked forward occasionally and made eye contact with Kaori. She looked towards Hajime and smiled at him. Kaori seemed to be keeping an eye on him after last night’s declaration to “protect” him. This caused Hajime to be embarrassed and broke the eye contact. Her expression sulked slightly at that. Shizuku who had been observing what was going on wore a wry smile on her face, then she asked in a quiet voice.

“Kaori, why are you two constantly looking at each other? Thinking about a romantic comedy in the dungeon, are you?”

Kaori blushed at the teasing and refuted Shizuku angrily.

“Mou-! Shizuku-chan! Don’t say strange things! I was just wondering if Nagumo-kun was alright. That’s all!”

The romantic comedy was already in full swing with that remark, because Kaori began to sulk for real. Shizuku kept her mouth shut, but the laughter in her eyes indicated that it was a fact. After seeing that, Kaori puffed her cheeks and muttered in a low voice, “Seriously!”

Hajime kept casting sidelong glances at them, but he suddenly felt a gaze that made him straighten his backbone. The unpleasant gaze was filled with negative emotions. To date, Hajime had felt similar stares in the classroom, but this feeling he get from this gaze was incomparably deep and heavy.

It was not the first time today that he felt that gaze. Since the morning he had felt someone staring. When he tried to locate the stare, this feeling would disappear. This had happened repeatedly since the morning, Hajime was already getting tired of it.

(I wonder what it is…… did I do something? ……I was trying hard despite being an incompetence…… Could that be the reason? Don’t joke around! Who’s the scoundrel? ……Sigh~)

Hajime let out a deep sigh. He started getting the bad premonition Kaori had mentioned.

The party continued to explore the 20th floor. Each level of the dungeon was several kilometer square. It would normally take dozens of people up to one month to map out all the unknown areas. Currently, up to forty seven levels have been mapped properly, so it was not that easy to get lost. There was also little concern that they would get caught in traps.

The innermost room of the 20th level had a very complicated geographical feature. The walls were protruding like a stalactite cave and icicle-like rocks formed around the room. The stairs to the 21st floor were just ahead of this room. If they reached that point, the training would be done for the day. In ancient times, they were able to wield teleportation magic, but in this current age, such means were impossible. They had to head back the old fashion way. The party relaxed slightly, since the walls were protruding they couldn’t spread out and had to advance in a column.

At this time, Kouki’s party and Commander Meld whom were at the front stopped. The surprised classmates also got into their fighting stance with confused look. Clearly, they encountered some Magic Beasts.

“They’re camouflaged! Make sure to pay attention to your surroundings!”

Commander Meld advised them. After that, the wall suddenly rose and discolored. The body that was camouflaged was now dark brown, and the creature that appeared stood on two legs. It raised its chest and started to pound on it like a drum. It seemed like a Gorilla-type Magic Beast with chameleon’s camouflage ability.

“They’re Rockmounts! Be careful of their arms, they are strong!”

Commander Meld’s voice reverberated in the cave-like room. The Rockmount beside Kouki’s party threw itself at them. Ryutaro’s fist was able to reflect the powerful arm of the Rockmount. Kouki and Shizuku tried to surround the beast, but they could not get into position due to the influence of the terrain.

When the Rockmount felt that it could not get past Ryutaro, it bent its body downward and inhaled a deep breath. After that…

“GuGaGaGaaaaa——!!”

It let out an intense roar like this, which caused the whole room to shake.

“Gu!?”

“Uwa!?”

“Kya!?”

A shock ran through their bodies, it did not damage them, but paralyzed them instead. This was the Rockmount’s unique magic【Intimidating Roar】. The roar carried a magic that caused temporary paralysis.

Kouki and vanguards took the roar almost point-blank, causing them to freeze momentarily. The Rockmount took this chance to slip to the side. It lifted a boulder and threw it at the rear guards with a beautiful shot-put throw! The rock flew over the vanguards, towards Kaori and the rest.

Kaori and her teammates readied the magic staves in their hands to intercept the boulder. There was not enough room to dodge. However, the moment they were going to activate their magic, they froze when they noticed what was thrown them.

The boulder that was thrown at them was in fact another Rockmount. As it neared Kaori’s group, it did a stunning rotation and spread its arms out. It almost seemed to be calling out to Kaori as it performed a Lupin Dive.⌈3⌋ Strangely, its eyes were bloodshot and its breathing was rough. Kaori, Eri, and Suzu unintentionally screamed and stopped their magic.

“Hey! What are you doing? This is a battle!”

In a hurry, Commander Meld leapt out to intercept the Rockmount that was swooping down fast. “S-sorry.” The girls apologized like this, but the negative feeling was still there. Their face had turned pale.

There was a youngster who got mad at such a situation. It was our hero, Amanogawa Kouki.

“*******…… You dare treat them like that…… I won’t forgive you!”

Kouki seemed to have misunderstood the girls’ disgust as fear for their impending death. ‘You dare to frighten the girls like that!’ Kouki got a little angry due to his misunderstanding. His Holy Sword seemed to shine in response to his feelings.

“Myriad of Soaring Wings, Reach the Heavens, 【Soaring Flash】!”

“Ah, you idiot, stop it now!”

Ignoring Commander Meld’s voice, Kouki brandished his sword over his head and swung it down in one motion. His chant had made the sword emit an intense light, and the slash released a blade of light. Drawing a curve, the light bisected the Rockmount without encountering any resistance. The blade of light continued on until it destroyed the wall beyond.

Debris lightly fell from the damaged wall. Kouki exhaled and gave the girls a sparkling smile. He had defeated the monster that scared them. It’s alright now! Commander Meld approached him with a smile and smacked him.

“Ow!?”

“You fool. I understand how you feel, but you shouldn’t use a skill like that in such a narrow place! If the tunnel collapsed, what are you going to do?”

Facing Commander Meld’s vehement rebuke, Kouki could only lower his head. The girls approached him with a wry smile and tried to comfort him. At that moment, the collapsed wall caught Kaori’s attention.

“……Eh? What is that? It’s sparkling……?”

Hearing this, everyone looked at the wall Kaori was pointing at. Blooming on the wall were minerals that radiated pale light. It was like a crystal covered in indicolite. The girls were enchanted by the beautiful sight of the crystals.

“Hoh~ That’s Grantz Crystal. One this big in size is rare.”

When talking about Grantz Crystal, it was an ore that looked like a jewel. The crystal did not have any special effects, but its gorgeous and sparkling appearance was popular among the ladyship. Rings, earrings, pendants, and other jewelries processed from these crystal are very well received. It was one of the top three choices as proposal rings.

“Lovely……”

Hearing Commander Meld’s simple explanation, Kaori’s cheeks blushed. She took a glance at Hajime without anyone noticing. However, Shizuku was the only ones who noticed this.

“If that’s the case, we should retrieve it!”

The one who said that and abruptly moved toward it was Hiyama. He approached the wall that was embedded with Grantz Crystal, and climbed up with sounds of tiny rocks falling. Commander Meld shouted in panic.

“Hey-! Don’t just do what you want! We haven’t confirmed if it’s safe!”

However, Hiyama pretended not to hear and finally arrived in front of the crystal. Commander Meld chased after Hiyama to stop him. At that moment, one of the knight finished his analysis with the Fair Scope. And then his face turned pale.

“Commander! It’s a trap!”

“Tsu!?”

However their warnings came a little too late. The moment Hiyama touched the Grantz Crystal, magic circle started to spread from the crystal. The trap was set for people who became so fascinated with the crystal that they would touch it carelessly. Beautiful mushroom tend to be poisonous. It’s the way of the world.

In a blink of an eye, the magic circle spread throughout the whole room, and it gradually became brighter. It was like a replication of the magic that summoned them.

“Withdraw! Get out of the room this instant!”

At Commander Meld’s command, everyone started to run towards the exit…… but they weren’t fast enough. When the light filled the room, everyone momentary felt a floating sensation. Following that, they were slammed onto the ground with a thud.

Everyone let out a groan due to their sore butt, Hajime looked at the surrounding, most of his classmates were stroking their butt like him. Commander Meld, the knights, Kouki, and the vanguards quickly stood up and observed their surroundings. Seems like the magic earlier was a teleportation magic. A magic that the modern day mage couldn’t even use was casted with ease, the magic from the Age of God was truly worthy to be called a cheat.

They were all transferred onto a huge bridge made of stone. It was about hundred meter in length. The ceiling looked to be about twenty meter tall. There was no river underneath the bridge, there was only a bottomless abyss. If they fell, it would probably feel like falling into hell.

The width of the bridge was about ten meter, but let’s not say the handrails, even the edge was rounded. If you slipped there would be nothing to grab on to, and you would fall head-first. The group was right in the middle of the bridge. On both sides of the bridge, they could see a stairway that led to the upper level. After confirming it, Commander Meld issued the orders with a grim expression.

“You guys, get up immediately! Go towards the stairs. Hurry!”

Hearing the thunderous orders from Commander Meld, the students who were on the ground got up immediately. However, the dungeon’s trap was not only at this level, it wouldn’t let them escape so easily. Magic Beasts emerged from the magic circles that appeared on both sides of the bridge. A huge Magic Beast appeared on one side of the passage. The other passage had a large amount of monsters.

At this time, Commander Meld stared at the huge Magic Beast with blank expression, his mumbles was transmitted loud and clear.

“This couldn’t be…… a Behemoth……?”



References


  1.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batt%C5%8Djutsu 
  2.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamshir 
  3.  I don’t know all the details behind the lupin dive but it apparently derived from a guy named Lupin who dived at girls with perverted intention, thus the Lupin Dive

[Vol 1] Chapter 4 – A Chat Under the Moonlight



【Orcus Great Dungeon】

This was a huge labyrinth that consisted of hundred floors. As one of the Seven Great Dungeons, the lower you go, the stronger the Magic Beasts become. Even so, this dungeon was a very popular place for mercenaries and adventurers. It was also a great training ground for new recruits; That was because it was easy to judge the strength of the Magic Beasts in accordance to the dungeon floor. Moreover, the Magic Beasts in the dungeons also possessed higher quality Magic Stone in their body compared to the Magic Beasts in the wilderness.

The Magic Stone is the core that provides power to the Magic Beast. The stronger the Magic Beast, the higher quality the core is. These Magic Stones are used as raw materials to make the magic circles. The magic circle could be activated as long as it was completed, but the effect was only one-third when comparing the magic circle drawn by oneself to the magic circle drawn by using Magic Stone Powder.

In brief, using Magic Stones could effectively improve the efficiency of magic. In addition, the magic tools used in everyday life were also powered by Magic Stones. There was a very high demand for these Magic Stones; It was essential for both the armies and everyday life.

By the way, powerful Magic Beasts with high quality Magic Stone can use inherent magic. Inherent Magic does not require incantation and magic circles. It is the only spell the Magic Beast can use, the same species of Magic Beast will not be able to use all sort of spells even if they possesses magic power. But in place of that, the Magic Beast doesn’t require incantation and magic circles to perform the spell. This is the biggest reason one cannot be negligent when confronting the Magic Beast.

Commander Meld led a group of knights, and brought the students to their temporary lodging at small town of 【Holward】. The adventurers who wished to challenge 【Orcus Great Dungeon】 would stay here. Tonight, they were going to stay at an inn managed by the Kingdom, which was exclusive for the new recruits.

Hajime, who had not seen a normal room in a long time, lie down on the bed and let out a breath, “Whew~”. All the rooms were designed for two people, but only Hajime got a room to himself. “Well, at least I can relax this way.” Hajime did not let that bother him and muttered as such. He wasn’t lonely and what not, not at all……

Tomorrow is the day they will challenge the dungeon. It seems like they will only challenge up to the twentieth floors. This way, even someone as weak as Hajime will be useful. This is what the commander said with his own mouth.

As for Hajime, other than feeling sorry for being a burden, he really had nothing else to say. Rather, it was definitely the better choice to just leave him at the capital city…… The timid Hajime also did not say anything after reading the atmosphere around him.

Hajime took a moment to read the Magic Beasts illustrated handbook he borrowed. However, in order to let his tired body rest for a while, he decided to sleep earlier. The sleeping skill he perfected in his school life displayed its full potential in another world.

However, when Hajime was about to doze off, he heard someone knock on his door. For Hajime who frequently pulled all nighters in Japan, it was still early, but it was already very late for Tortus. The dubious person that would pay visit at this time of the night, could it be Hiyama?! Hajime was a little worried when he thought about it.

However, he eased up after hearing the voice.

“Nagumo-kun, are you still awake? It’s me, Shirasaki. Can I bother you for a moment?”

Seriously? Hajime froze for a moment and hastily proceeded towards the door. After fetching the key and opening the door, Kaori stood there with a snow-white negligee on. She was wearing an unbuttoned sweater over the negligee.

“……Why is this happening?”

“Eh?”

When presented with such a scene, Hajime unexpectedly switched to Kansai dialect and performed a Tsukkomi. ⌈1⌋ Kaori was puzzled since she couldn’t understand. Hajime quickly pulled himself together, he tried not to stare at Kaori too much, and only hear what she had to say. Although he didn’t have too much interest in the 3D world, he was still an adolescent boy. The current appearance of Kaori was slightly too stimulating.

“Ah~ No, it’s nothing. En, what’s the matter? Did you have something to tell me?”

“No. I just…… wanted to talk with Hajime-kun. Am I bothering you after all?”

“…………Come in.”

He anticipated the most probable question, but it was quickly shot down by Kaori’s provocative nature. Moreover, Kaori’s upturned eyes was so explosive. It’s super effective! By the time he noticed, he already opened the door and invited her into the room.

“En!”

Kaori entered the room happily without any precaution.

She sat on the chair near the window. Hajime unconsciously prepared the tea while still being slightly confused. Though it was really just putting something like a tea bag into the cup. Something similar to black tea was made using this kind of stuff. He prepared enough for both of them and handed a cup to Kaori. After that, Hajime sat on the chair directly in front of her.

“Thank you.”

Kaori happily accepted the black tea imitation and took a sip. The moonlight that shone through the window illuminated her. It seemed like there was a halo around her glossy black hair, she looked like an angel. Without any lustful desires, Hajime was fascinated by Kaori’s purity. He recovered himself when he heard Kaori place down her cup. Hajime drank the black tea imitation in one breath. He choked a little as he drank too fast. How embarrassing…

Seeing Hajime like that, Kaori giggled. Hajime quickly struck a conversation to hide his embarrassment.

“So, are you here to discuss about the plan for tomorrow?”

To Hajime’s question, Kaori nodded her head. Her smile earlier was like a lie as it changed into a heavy expression.

“About the trip to the dungeon tomorrow…… I wish Nagumo-kun can stay in the town. I will persuade the instructors and classmates. So, please!”

She leaned over as she pleaded Hajime. Hajime was perplexed. Even if Hajime was a burden, wasn’t this a little too much?

“En…… You are right, I know I am a burden…… I should really stay here. Even if you don’t say it, I……”

“You’re wrong! It’s not because you’re a burden!”

Kaori tried to clear up the misunderstanding. Maybe she was being too hasty. She put her hand on her chest and took a deep breath. After she calmed down, “It was too sudden, I’m sorry” she apologized like this.

“I just had a very bad feeling. When I fell asleep earlier…… I had a dream…… it was about Nagumo-kun…… When I called out to you, you didn’t even notice…… Even when I run, I couldn’t catch up…… In the end……”

She seemed afraid to speak the rest. Wanting to hear the rest, Hajime urged her to continue.

“What happened in the end?”

Kaori bit her lips, she had a teary expression on her face.

“……Disappeared……”

“……I see.”

They sat in silence for a while. Hajime looked at Kaori, who was still hanging her head. It was a really ominous dream, but it was just a dream. With just that, they wouldn’t permit him to stay. If such a thing was allowed, the criticism he received from the classmates will surely intensify. If such a thing happened, he really would not be welcomed anymore. He had no choice but to go.

To reassure Kaori, Hajime started to speak as gently as possible.

“A dream is just a dream, Shirasaki-san. This time, we have Commander Meld and his veteran knights accompanying us. There are also a lot of strong people like Kouki coming with us. Rather, our whole class is amazing. I actually feel sorry for our enemies. I am very weak, in more ways than one, isn’t that why you have such a dream?”

While listening to Hajime, Kaori looked at him with an anxious expression.

“I-if you’re still worried, then……”

“……Then?”

Hajime was a little embarrassed, but he still stood perfectly straight and looked into Kaori’s eyes.

“Will you protect me?”

“Eh?”

As a man, saying something as embarrassing as this still affected his pride. His face already became red due to shame. The room was illuminated by the moonlight, he could see Kaori’s appearance very clearly.

“Shirasaki-san is a healer right? Healer was a class that had an innate talent for healing magic. No matter what happened…… As long as Shirasaki-san is around, you can heal me even if I get heavily wounded. Will you protect me with this power? If so, I believe I’ll be fine.”

He fixed his gaze on Kaori and said these, the current situation does not permit him to break eye contact. Hajime desperately endured the shame and prevented his body from writhing.

The biggest cause of a person’s insecurity was the unknown, Hajime had heard of these kind of thing before. Kaori was probably worried about what could possibly attack Hajime. In that case, perhaps he could ease her mind by convincing her that they could handle all the unknown dangers that were thrown at them.

“You never change, Najumo-kun.”

“?”

Hajime made a doubtful expression as Kaori said that. Kaori giggled after seeing that expression.

“Nagumo-kun, you probably thought we first met in high school right? But, I knew you since the second year of middle school.”

This revelation caused Hajime to widen his eyes in shock. He quickly searched through his memories, but he couldn’t recall the meeting. Hajime groaned as he thought of this, and it caused Kaori to giggle again.

“It was a one-sided meeting. The first time I saw you, you were prostrating. I didn’t dare believe what I saw.”

“P-prostrating?”

To be seen in such an embarrassing state! His body writhed again but for a different reason this time. Where and when did she see him in such a position? Just where? He frantically searched his memories. Facing Hajime who was making all kind of expressions, Kaori continued to speak.

“En, you were surrounded by shady-looking people. Even when they spit at you, poured their drinks on you, or stepped on you… you did not stop kneeling. Before long, they left appalled.”

“T-that is, I showed such an unsightly sight……”

Hajime felt like dying a little. She saw a scene that was just as bad as his dark history of Chuunibyou. ⌈2⌋ Only a humorless smile emerged. It was the same humorless smile that emerged when he discovered his mother had found the hidden stash of Ero Doujinshi3⌋ and placed them neatly on his bookshelf.

However, Kaori just gave him a gentle look. One that was free from contempt and ridicule.

“No, it wasn’t unsightly. Rather, when I saw you like that, I thought you were a very strong and kind person.”

“……Ha?”

Hajime couldn’t believe what he heard.

(That’s not the kind of impression someone would get. Could it be, Shirasaki had a special fetish for that?!)

Hajime thought of something very rude.

“I mean, Nagumo-kun, you did it for the sake of a granny and her grandson.”

When she said that, Hajime finally remembered something. Indeed, there was such an incident during his middle school years.

It started when the little boy accidently bumped into the delinquents and dirtied their clothes with his Takoyaki. ⌈4⌋ The little boy started to cry while the delinquents angrily shouted at the granny. The granny cowered in fear. They were in a very difficult situation.

Originally, Hajime who was just passing through by chance wanted to ignore it. He saw the granny took out a few notes —— perhaps it was the price to quell the quarrel. After receiving those, the delinquent demanded for more in a threatening manner. In the end, Hajime’s body moved on its own after they took the purse by force.

He had never fought in his life before. The Chuunibyou’s certain kill techniques could only be used at home. It couldn’t be helped, his only choice was to use the eye-catching prostration technique. Prostrating in the public, it was very embarrassing for both parties involved. It would be better to say just staying around them would be unbearable. It went just as planned, the delinquents had left.

“Strong people would have solved it easily with violence. If Kouki was involved, he would surely knock down the opponent…… But I don’t think there are many people who would help others even when they were not strong; Especially someone that would prostrate themselves for the sake of others…… In fact, I was really scared at that time…… I just used the excuse that I was not as strong as Shizuku. I didn’t do anything and hoped someone would stand up for them.”

“Shirasaki-san……”

“Therefore, Hajime-kun is the strongest person in my heart. After entering high school, I was really so happy to see you…… I wanted to become like you, and get to know many things about you. But Hajime-kun was always sleeping……”

“Ahaha, Sorry about that.”

He finally figured out the reason why Kaori cared about him so much, Hajime was a little embarrassed to be evaluated so highly by Kaori. He just bashfully forced a somewhat awkward smile.

“Therefore, to ease my worries, I’ll make sure Hajime-kun don’t do anything crazy in the dungeon like when you faced the delinquents……But, en”

Kaori looked at Hajime with determination.

“I will protect you, Nagumo-kun.”

Hajime accepted her determination. He looked straight at her, and nodded.

“Thank you.”

Immediately after, Hajime smiled wryly. The role of the man and woman was totally reversed. Without a doubt, Kaori was playing the hero while Hajime was playing the damsel in distress. As a man, he found it hard to accept, but he could only force a smile.

They chatted for a while, then Kaori returned to her room. While Hajime was laying on the bed, he thought over many things. No matter what, he must find a way to clear his bad reputation. It did not sit so well with him to be protected by the female lead. Hajime fell asleep with renewed determination.

~~~~~~~~~~

Very late at night, when Kaori left Hajime’s room and headed back to her room, nobody noticed someone was silently staring at Kaori’s back. That person had a really twisted expression, nobody knew of this matter either.



References

[Vol 1] Chapter 3 – Bullying the Weakest



Two weeks had passed since the fact that Hajime was the weakest was made known to everyone.

Currently, Hajime was using his break time from training to check out the Royal Library. On his hand was a large handbook titled “Illustrated Handbook of Northern Continent’s Magic Beasts”. The reason why Hajime was reading this book, was because after these two weeks of training, he had realized that he was even more useless than he had imagined himself to be. However, he could utilize knowledge and wisdom to compensate for his lack of strength. Thus, he had decided to utilize his break time from training to increase his knowledge.

“Haiii~” Hajime let out a sigh after reading the handbook for quite some time, then he threw it onto the table. “Bang! Boom!” The sound startled a librarian who just happened to pass by, causing the librarian to glare at Hajime.

Hajime was also surprised as he hurriedly apologized to the librarian. “Be careful next time!” the librarian continued to glare at Hajime. Hajime could not help but lament in his heart “What the heck am I doing?” and yet again letting out another deep sigh.

Hajime slowly took out his Status plate as he rested his cheek on the palm and glanced at it.

Nagumo Hajime 17 Year old Male
Class: Synergist Level: 2
Strength: 12 Vitality: 12
Resistance: 12 Agility: 12
Magic Power: 12 Magic Resistance: 12
Skills:
Transmutation • Language Comprehension

This was the result of Hajime’s hard training for the past two weeks. Ridiculous! Naturally, he was ridiculing his own results. By the way, let’s take a look at Kouki’s stats.

Amanogawa Kouki 17 Year old Male
Class: Hero Level: 10
Strength: 200 Vitality: 200
Resistance: 200 Agility: 200
Magic Power: 200 Magic Resistance: 200
Skills:
All Elemental Aptitude • All Elemental Resistance • Physical Resistance • Complex Magic • Swordplay • Herculean Strength • Ground Shrink • Foresight • High Speed Magic Recovery • Presence Perception • Magic Perception • Limit Break • Language Comprehension

His growth rate was about five times of Hajime’s. Moreover, Hajime had also realized that he did not have aptitude for magic. What’s the deal with having no magic affinity? Let’s start by explaining the concept of magic in this world.

The process of utilizing magic in Tortus was by channeling magic power from one’s body into a magic circle by means of an incantation, which would then activate the magic spells. There was no way to directly activate the spells with magic power, one must construct the corresponding magic circles to cast the respective spells.

Also, the magic power that was channeled into the magic circle would increase in proportion to the incantation time. The scale of the magic circle would magnify in accordance to the complexity of the spell, which will inevitably lead the magic circle itself to become larger.

For example, the 【Fireball】 attack which was a signature magic spell in RPG would require a 20 cm wide magic circle. Basic techniques such as attribute, power, range, scope, and magic absorption (The method to channel the magic power in one’s body) were required. Other things such as inductivity and sustained duration were also required for the spells, which would end up increasing the scale of the magic circle.

On the other hand, there are exceptions to these concepts. That is one’s aptitude. Basically aptitude means that some people with unique body constitution could leave out some formulas when using magic spells. For example, a person with the fire-type aptitude will not require to write the attribute section of the magic formula. Instead, one can rely on imagination to make-up for this omission. Instead of writing the attribute section, one can just imagine the fire while chanting the incantation, which will then bring out the fire attribute in the spell.

Most people will have some sort of aptitude, and the aforementioned 20 cm diameter of magic circle is an estimate for an average person. In Hajime’s case, he does not have any aptitude. Other than the five basic techniques, he still had to add in the speed, trajectory, diffusion rate, control rate, and such meticulous techniques. Thus, Hajime required a magic circle close to 2 meter wide to launch a 【Fireball】 spell. This would not be practical in a real-combat scenario.

There are two ways to engrave the magic circle; By using a special kind of paper which can only be used one time and metal engravings which can be used multiple times. The former has a wide versatility, but can only be used once and its strength will also decrease. The latter can be used several times and still retain its strength, but its magic spell cannot be changed and it is bulky. The priests and Ishtar all wields staffs which contains the metal engravings.

Well, in short, it was not practical for close combat, especially if the person did not have an aptitude. For the “Synergist” class, it could only separate or create compounds, other than manufacturing purpose, it was useless. There was also no divine artifact that was helpful for transmutation. Hajime only received a pair of gloves with transmutation magic circle carved on it. Well, was there any point in making pitfalls and traps? Even if Hajime could do it on the ground, the scale would be a little too big…… He would become an easy target in combat.

During these two weeks, Hajime’s classmates had labelled him as worthless. There was nothing he could do about it, except accumulating knowledge…… His future was bleak and the only thing that increased recently was his unceasing sighs.

“Bah, might as well just go out and travel.” While thinking like this, Hajime peered through the library’s window, and gazed at the blue sky outside. In the end, he began to give his future a serious thought, recollecting all of the knowledge he had painstakingly gathered in the past two weeks. Hajime sunk into a deep thought.

(That’s it, I should go to the demi-human’s country. A mystical world without kemonomimi is simply out of question…… However they were located deep in the “Sea of Trees”~. Because of the discriminatory attitude towards the demi-humans, the only ones outside of the forest were the slaves.)

According to Hajime’s knowledge, the demi-humans were discriminated and holed up deep in the 【Haltina Sea of Trees】 that spread across the North and South on the East side of the continent. Why were they being discriminated? It was because they did not possess any magic power.

According to the legends, during the age of Gods, this world was created by God Ehit and his apostles using ancient magic. The magic that was used in this age was a degraded version of the ancient magic. Therefore, magic was admired by everybody as it was a gift from the Gods. Of course, these were all teachings from the Saint’s Church.

Because of this notion, the demi-human which could not use any magic was viewed by humans as an evil race abandoned by the Gods. Then, what about the magic beasts? It is said that magic beasts are a race that brings about disaster and does not have the blessings from the God. They are just a vermin. Hajime was aghast at this kind of over-generalised perception the humans had.

Other than that, even though the demons worshipped a different God from the “Ehit-sama” which the Saint’s Church worshipped, their view of demi-humans was the same as the humans’. In addition, every demons have high magic aptitude, they require a much shorter incantations than the humans, and a tiny magic circle possesses enormous firepower.

Humans — Because of the difference in the Gods they worshipped — affirmed the demons as their enemies (Saint’s Church’s teachings) and discriminated the demi-humans who were not loved by Gods. Demons are the same as the humans. Not much is known about the demi-human race, but they probably should feel the same way? All the races are really exclusive.

(If getting to the “Sea of Trees” is impossible, then maybe I should go to the West Sea? Indeed, there should be a maritime city called Elisen. If I can’t see a kemonomimi then I want to see mermaids. Mermaids are a man’s romance. And I also want to eat the seafood there.)

【The Maritime City Elisen】 is located at the coast of the West Sea and known as the seafaring demi-human’s city. This was the only tribe of the demi-humans that received the protection of the kingdom. The reason was because this city supplied 80% of the seafood and marine-related materials to the Northern Continent’s markets. There were no other reasons. What happened to the self-righteous discrimination? Hajime was disgusted at this kind of reasoning.

After passing through the Western Sea, one will reach the 【Gruen Great Desert】. In this desert, there is the trading transit, which also served as an important oasis, the 【Dukedom of Ancadi】, there was also the 【Grand Gruen Volcano】. This 【Grand Gruen Volcano】 is one of the Seven Great Dungeons.

The Seven Great Dungeons were few of the most dangerous zones in this world. There was one dungeon located at the Southwest of the Hairihi kingdom, and 【Great Orcus Dungeon】 which was located at the center of Gruen Great Desert. In addition, the previously mentioned 【Haltina Sea of Trees】 was another one of the Seven Great Dungeons. They mentioned Seven Great Dungeons, and yet only three were mentioned, that was because the other dungeons were only briefly mentioned in the Ancient Recordings, their exact locations had not been confirmed yet.

Tentatively, there were speculations of the Great Dungeons in certain places. Such as the 【Raisen Great Canyon】 which cuts across the North to South of the continent, and the 【Schnee Snowfield】 in the snowy Southern region of the continent.

(Desert is still impossible after all… If that is the case, I can only look at the slaves in the Empire… I still don’t have the confidence that I will be able to maintain my calm while looking at kemomimi who were treated as slaves.)

Empire refers to the Herrlicht Empire. This nation was founded by a group of mercenaries during a large-scale war against the demons 300 years ago. This is a military nation which employs numerous powerful mercenaries and adventurers. This nation is ruled by the supremacy of strength, which is quite a dark nation.

The people of this nation do not care so much about the affairs of the demi-humans or other matters, they will just use anything that is of use to them. That is why there are so many slave-traders who deal with demi-human slaves.

The empire is located between the Hairihi Kingdom and the 【Neutral Commercial City of Fhuren】. As the name implies, 【Fhuren】 was an independent trading city which remained neutral. This country was managed properly, by utilizing its economic power to the limit, it was able to maintain its neutrality. One can get anything they want in this city, it was not known as the commerce center for nothing.

(Sigh~ In the end, I cannot run away if I want to return home. Ah, shoot, it’s time for training!)

In the end, the only way to escape from reality is to shake one’s head. Realizing it was almost time for training, Hajime ran out of the library in a hurry. The road to the Royal Palace was just a short distance, however, it was flooded with cheers and bustle from the Royal Capital. The sound of merchants touting their wares, the sound children playing around, and the sound of elders reprimanding their overexcited child, it was a very peaceful day.

(Seems like I really can’t return home without participating in the war~)

Faced with the upcoming depressing period, Hajime escaped reality by indulging himself in unrealistic dream.

~~~~~~~~~

When Hajime reached the training ground, there were already students there chatting happily while doing some independent training. It seemed like Hajime had arrived earlier than expected. Hajime retrieved a western-style sword which was given to him and also started his own free practice.

Suddenly, Hajime felt an attack from his back and hurriedly took a step forward. When he saw the unsheathed sword that just swept past, he broke into cold sweat. He frowned as he saw the face he was expecting to see, he couldn’t help but show an annoyed expression. As expected, it was Hiyama Daisuke and his gang the Bastards Four (the nickname Hajime had for them). Every time, they would try to create trouble for Hajime during the period before the training commenced. They were half of the reason why Hajime was so depressed during training. (The other half was because of his incompetence)

“Yo, Nagumo, what are you doing? There is no meaning with you carrying that sword, you are so useless after all~”

“Hey, Hiyama that was overboard! Even if that is the truth, you don’t have to say it out~ Wehehehehe”

“Why do you come for every training! If it was me, I would have been too ashamed of myself! Heh-heh-heh”

“Ah, Daisuke, since that fellow is so pitiful, why don’t let him train with us?”

Hiyama and the rest were laughing like madman, was there any meaning to this?

“Ah? Hey hey, Shinji, aren’t you being too nice? Oh, actually I am also a nice guy, let’s train together~”

“Oh oh, good idea. We are super nice. We are willing to spend our precious time to help this incompetent fellow~. Nagumo~ you must be grateful, right?”

After saying their piece, Hiyama and gang was all smiles as they brought Hajime to a secluded place shoulder to shoulder. Moreover, the classmates who noticed this scene also turned a blind eye to it.

“No, I am alright being alone, you can leave me by my lonesome self.”

As such, Hajime tried to reject tactfully.

“Ha? We are going out of the way to train the useless you, and yet you were saying this to us? You are being unreasonable. You just need to remain silent, and say ‘thank you’ afterwards. Just that sentence will be enough!”

As Hiyama said that, he hit Hajime in the side. “Urgh!” Hajime let out a groan as his face distorted in pain. Hajime did not remember that they were those type of people who would easily resort to violence. However when adolescence boys were suddenly granted such huge power, it was only natural for them to be deeply engrossed. As thus, they were unable to restrain themselves from targeting Hajime. Hajime who had no power to resist, could only clench his teeth and bear with it.

Not long later, they arrived at an isolated corner of the training ground. Hiyama sent Hajime flying with a violent punch.

“Hey, get up quickly. Isn’t this a happy training period?”

Hiyama, Nakano, Saito, and Kondo then surrounded Hajime. Hajime gritted his teeth and stood up unwillingly.

“Gua!?”

At that moment, Kondo used his sheathed sword to hit Hajime on his back. Hajime let out a scream as he fell forward, and even more attacks were added on.

“Hey, why are you sleeping? It’s going to burn~ Burn my target, 【Fireball】”

Nakano launched a fireball. Hajime who was unable to get up from the floor due to the pain on his back desperately rolled around to avoid the spell. However, as if it was already planned, Saito casted another spell.

“Slice my target, 【Windball】”

Hajime who just stood up was hit by the windball in the stomach, and was sent flying by the wind. Hajime let out a “Bleeegh” sound as he throw up some gastric fluid while squatting. The magic itself was just a simple 10 cm wide magic. Even if that was the case, it still had the power of a professional boxer’s punch. The main reason for such power was due to their high aptitude, the other reason was because the medium they used were the Divine Artifacts given by the Kingdom. Otherwise, their attacks would be even weaker than the fire used in cooking or a cool breeze.

“Hey, you are too weak. Nagumo-chan~ can’t you put in some effort?”

With that, Hiyama kicked Hajime who was still crouching in the stomach. Hajime did his best to prevent himself from puking. The lynching which was disguised as training also continued for a period of time. Hajime clenched his teeth to bear the pain while he lamented why was he the only one who was so weak. Even if he was no match for them, he could at least counter-attack. However, since young, Hajime was never good at dealing with conflicts. Whenever there was a conflict between Hajime and the others, only he would get hurt. He believed that if he took a step back, the conflict would eventually come to end, which was much better than quarreling.

Some people said such actions of Hajime was very kind while others said Hajime was just a coward. Hajime himself also didn’t know which was he classified as. When the pain was getting unbearable, an angry girl’s voice suddenly rang out.

“What are you all doing!?”

When the ******* Four heard that voice, their faces revealed a dreaded expression. It was only natural. That girl was Hiyama’s crush, Kaori. However, it was not just Kaori, even Shizuku, Kouki, and Ryutaro came too.

“ No, please do not misunderstand. We were just helping Nagumo with his special training…”

“Nagumo-kun!”

Kaori ignored Hiyama’s explanation as she ran beside Hajime who was still squatting and coughing non-stop. The moment she saw Hajime, everything else did not matter to her.

“Special training? Then this was a really one-sided training.”

“No, this is…”

“I don’t care about your excuses. Among the classmates, Nagumo-kun is not suited for combat. This kind of incident should not happen again.”

“If you have so much free time, you should use it to train yourself and get stronger.”

Seeing the situation, Hiyama and the others let out an awkward laughter as they left in a hurry. Under Kaori’s healing magic, Hajime’s injuries were gradually recovering.

“T-thank you Shirasaki-san. I’m saved.”

Looking at Hajime’s bitter smile, Kaori shook her head as she teared up.

“Has this been always happening? If that’s the case, I…”

For some reason, Kaori was glaring at the direction which Hiyama and his gang left in, Hajime hurriedly tried to stop her.

“No, it is not always like this! It’s alright, I am fine!”

“But…”

Even so, Kaori looked like she was still unable to accept it, Hajime reassured her with another smile. Finally, Kaori relented.

“Nagumo-kun, if there is anything just feel free to tell me. If not, you can also talk to Kaori.”

Shizuku forced a smile as she cast a sidelong glance at Kaori who had an agonized expression, and Hajime also expressed his thanks to her. However, pouring cold water here was also the Hero’s ⌈1⌋ talent.

“But, Nagumo should work harder too. Excuses will not help you become stronger. I have heard that during the break time, you are always in the library. I suppose that should stop now. If I was you, I will spend every moment of my free time training to become stronger. Nagumo, you should also be more serious, otherwise, Hiyama and his gang might bully you again.”

How could Hajime explain his way out? Hajime stood there half-dazed as he listened. Ah~ ah~ seriously, Amanogawa was a person who believed in the good of others, so he thought that everybody would act out of kindness. This was why he gave such an advice to Hajime. Hajime couldn’t help but force a smile. In Amanogawa’s line of thoughts, there is no evil in humanity. He thought that those people had a reason behind their actions. It was surely not because of the other person involved! He had this kind of thought process.

Furthermore, Kouki did not have any malice behind his words, he was seriously advising Hajime to be more serious. Hajime was already exhausted and did not have any energy to resolve the misunderstanding. He thought it would be useless to correct Kouki who had such a strong sense of justice.

Shizuku who understood the situation covered her face and heaved a sigh, she apologised to Hajime in a low voice.

“I’m sorry, Kouki did not have any ill intentions.”

“Ahaha… En, I know, so it’s fine.”

Hajime replied with a smile as he got up and dusted off his dirty clothes.

“Look, training has already started. Let’s go?”

Under Hajime’s urging, everybody returned to the training grounds. Kaori was still concerned about Hajime, but Hajime kept feigning ignorance. As expected, as a man, he did not want to reveal his weak side to a fellow female classmate.

On the way back to the training ground, Hajime kept sighing. His future looked bleak.

~~~~~~~~~

Usually after the training ended, they would have free time till dinner time. However this time, Commander Meld held everybody back for an announcement. The students were wondering what was going on as Commander Meld used a deep voice to announce.

“From tomorrow onward, we will be conducting our practical training in Orcus Great Dungeon. All the necessary equipment will be prepared by us, I want to use the Magic Beasts outside the capital as practice target. More importantly, get your spirits up! Have a good rest tonight! Dismiss!”

He quickly conveyed the important announcement like this. Amongst the hustling and bustling of the students, Hajime sat at the end as he looked up at the sky.

(…My future looks really bleak.)



References


  1. Silva: You know what it means, who else can it be other than Kouki? 

[Vol 1] Chapter 2 – Status Plate



After they decided to participate in the war, Hajime and the rest must learn the arts of battle. Regardless of how much hidden potential they possessed, they were originally regular high school students from the peaceful Japan. It would be impossible to fight Magic Beasts and Demons all of a sudden.

However, this kind of situation was within expectation, Ishtar said Hajime and the rest would receive a drill at 【Hairihi Kingdom】 ⌈1⌋ located at the foot of this 【Sacred Mountain】. The kingdom had a very close relationship with the Saint’s Church. According to rumor, the founder of this country, Sharm Byrne, was the descendant of the God of Creation, Ehit, the only god they worshiped. The country was backed by the Church, so their strong relationship was understandable.

In order to descend the mountain and go to Hairihi Kingdom, Hajime and the rest left from the main gate of the Saint’s Church. The Saint’s Church seems to be located at the summit of the 【Sacred Mountain】. In short, after they passed through the majestic church gates, the sea of clouds stretched as far as the eyes could see. They did not feel any difficulty in breathing that was often associated with high altitude. As a result, they also didn’t notice that they were on a high mountain until a moment ago. Perhaps they had already adjusted the living environment with magic. The brilliant reflection of the sun, the glorious sea of clouds, and the clear blue sky, in the face of these magnificent scene, Hajime and the rest were bewitched.

Ishtar who carried himself with pride urged them to proceed. Eventually a white circular pedestal surrounded by fences came into their view. Passing through the beautiful corridor that was made of the same material as seen in the cathedral, they were being urged like this until they got onto the pedestal.

There was a huge magic circle carved on the pedestal. On the other side of the fence was a sea of clouds, so the majority of the students gathered in the center while looking around timidly. Ishtar seemed to be chanting something.

「The path of guidance, opens for the faithful. ‘Heavenly Path’」

At the same time, the magic circle under their foot began to glint with a resplendent light. After that, the pedestal started to move like a cable car, it moved diagonally towards the ground. Clearly, the ‘chant’ just now activated the magic circle that was engraved on the pedestal. This was precisely a pedestal-shaped cable car. In a sense, seeing ‘magic’ for the first time made the students excited. They also caused an uproar when the pedestal entered the sea of clouds.

Not long later, they passed through the sea of clouds and could finally see the ground. Underneath them was a big town, no, what they saw was a nation. The building that was standing on the hillside seemed to be a huge castle and radially spreading downwards was the castle town. This was the Hairihi Kingdom’s capital city. The tower and imperial palace were connected by a corridor in the sky, it seemed like the pedestal will keep going until it reach the tower.

Hajime laughed at the sarcastic and superb performance they were putting on. The ‘Apostle of God’ descended from the heavens by passing through the sea of clouds, it was precisely that kind of image. From the look of it, the church’s believer will view anyone like them who had a relationship with the church as divine existences, it wasn’t without reason.

Hajime couldn’t help but think of the pre-war Japan; During the time when religion and politics were closely tied together. As well as how this kind of thing would bring about all sorts of tragedy later on. All in all, a supernatural power that could influence another world truly existed in this world, and as the name implied, this world was centered around the “Will of God”.

The possibility of them returning home, and the fate of this world was all in the hands of god. While overlooking the capital city that gradually became clearer, Hajime suppressed the uneasiness he felt in his heart. In any case, he will do anything he can do. Hajime clenched his fist, and held his breath, then he took a step down from the pedestal.

~~~~~~~~~

After arriving at the Imperial Palace, Hajime and the rest were guided to the throne room on a straight path. They walked through a corridor with decorations not inferior to the church. Along the way, they had a brief encounter with people who dressed up like knights, or government officials, they also passed by some maids, but all of them looked over here with the same admiring or respecting expression. It must be because they already had a certain degree of understanding regarding the identity of Hajime and the rest.

Hajime felt uncomfortable, so he sneakily walked behind the back of the group.

Finally, they arrived in front of a huge and beautiful double door with exquisite craftsmanship. On both sides of the door, two soldiers stood at attention. They loudly declared the arrival of Ishtar and the Hero’s party. Without even waiting for a reply, they opened the door.

Ishtar just leisurely entered like it was the most natural thing to do. Apart from Kouki and a few others, most of the students passed through the door while trembling with fear.

After entering the doorway, there was a red carpet that extended all the way to the luxurious throne. A middle aged man with dignified and domineering aura stood in front of the throne and waited for them. The woman beside him was believed to be the queen. Next to her was a 10 year old youngster with blonde hair and blue eyes. Another 14 to 15 year old beautiful young lady was next to him. After that, there were approximately thirty people lined up on both sides of the red carpet. On the left side were people adorned with military armor. On the right side were people who looked like government officials.

Ishtar made Hajime’s group stop in front of the throne, while he himself proceeded next to the King. After that, the King respectfully received the hand that was extended, and lightly kissed it. Apparently, the Pope had a higher position here. At this moment, Hajime was convinced; The whole country was centered around the ‘God’. He sighed inwardly at that.

After that, it was the self-introduction. The King’s name was Eric S. B. Hairihi, the Queen was probably ⌈2⌋ called Luaria. The blond haired youngster was Prince Randell, and the princess was called Liliana. ⌈3⌋ After that, the prime minister, knight commander, and other people with high status also introduced themselves. The youngster’s gaze seemed to be drawn towards Kaori. Apparently, Kaori’s charm was also effective in another world.

After this, they were called together for an evening meal, and were able to enjoy this world’s cuisine. The outer appearance seemed like that of the Earth’s Western-style food. They would occasionally be served food with pink dressing and drinks that radiated with seven colors, it was very delicious.

Prince Randell kept finding an opportunity to speak with Kaori, the boys in the class looked at this situation anxiously. As for Hajime, he couldn’t help but possess a very small expectation that they would point the spearhead at His Highness ⌈4⌋, though, it might be out of question for a 10-year-old boy……

In the imperial palace, they would be provided with shelter, food, and clothing, they were also introduced to the military instructors. The instructors were handpicked from the Knights, and Imperial Court Mages. This would allow them to develop friendships for the forthcoming war.

They were disbanded after the evening meal, each person was led to their own room. Hajime was not the only one amazed by the bed that had a canopy over it. Staying in such a luxurious room, Hajime was unable to calm down. It had been such a tiring day, he felt as if his entire body was melting. After he leapt onto the bed like a fish, his consciousness slowly drifted off.

~~~~~~~~~

The next day; Training and lectures started immediately.

First, each of the students were given a 12 cm x 7 cm silver plate. The students looked at the plates curiously. Knight Commander Meld Loggins personally started to explain.

He once thought, “Would we be training together with the Knight Commander” kind of thing. From the look of things, entrusting the “Hero’s Party” to some half-baked instructor was out of question, or so it seems. Commander Meld just laughed heartily, he was saved since he could push all the responsibility to the Vice Commander! So it should be fine. However, it was impossible for Vice Commander-san to be fine with it……

“Alright, did everyone get one? These plates are called the Status Plates. As the name implies, these plates will show your status in numerical value. It is the most reliable identity card. As long as you have this, it doesn’t matter even if you become a lost child. Any questions regarding the aforementioned?”

Meld spoke in a very carefree manner. He had an unconstrained and big-hearted nature, “We will be comrade-in-arms from now on, what’s the point of using honorific! Just talk with the other knights as you normally would.” And so they were given a word of advice like this.

It was better for Hajime and the rest if the atmosphere was more relaxed, being addressed politely by an elder would only make them feel uncomfortable.

“There is a magic circle carved on one side of the plate. Use a needle to pierce your finger, and drip a drop of your blood there. Then the owner of that plate will be registered. Once the word “Display Status” shows up, you will be able to view your own status. Ahh, you want to hear the theory? I don’t know that kind of thing. This is some kind of divine artifact from the age of God. ”

“Divine Artifact?”

Hearing an unfamiliar word such as the divine artifact, Kouki raised a question.

“Divine artifacts are powerful tools that cannot be recreated with modern means. Legend says they were created by the God and his kin during the age of God. The status plate is the only divine artifacts that can be reproduced, it is the only divine artifact that has been spread worldwide since the ancient times. In normal circumstances, a divine artifact would be treated as a national treasure, but this one was also distributed to the generally public. Because it is such a convenient identity card.”

So that is the case, the students nodded in understanding and frowned as they pierced their fingers with the needle. Then they smeared their blood on the magic circle. As a result, the magic circle flickered with a faint radiance for a split second. Hajime did the same and smeared his blood on the plate. When he looked at the surface, as a result……

Nagumo Hajime 17 Year old Male
Class: Synergist Level: 1
Strength: 10 Vitality: 10
Resistance: 10 Agility: 10
Magic Power: 10 Magic Resistance: 10
Skills:
Transmutation • Language Comprehension

The stats were displayed. Looking at his own status, he felt as if he had become a character in a game. The other students were also unable to take their eyes off the Status Plates. Commander Meld continued to explain about the Status Plate.

“Did everyone see it? May I start the explanation now? First, let us go over the “level”, shall we? The level will increase when your other stats increased. The max level for a human is 100. In other words, you can think of level as a way to judge a person’s potential. Level 100, that signify one has reached the pinnacle of mankind’s full potential. No such person really exist though.” ⌈5

It seems like the stats does not increase after leveling up like in the games. ⌈6

“Training everyday will naturally increase your stats, the use of magic and magic tools can also make the stats increase. In addition, the other stats of those with high magic power will naturally be above average too. Although we don’t know the whole detail, it is believed that magic power would subconsciously improve the body’s performance. One last thing, you all can look forward to the equipment you will be using in the future. After all, the national treasury will open its door for the heroes who are going to save the nation!”

From what Commander Meld had said, their stats can increase by many folds without having to fight Magic Beasts. Nevertheless, they still need to steadily polish their skills.

“Next, shall we go over the “Class”? Simply put, that is your “talent”, it is interlinked with the “skills” displayed at the bottom of your Status Plate. Within the domain of the classes, the skills can exhibit unparallelled talent. It is very rare for people to possess a class.

The classes can be divided into two category: combatant and noncombatant. A combatant only shows up in one out of thousand people with classes. In some circumstances, there might only be one out of ten thousand. Noncombatant only shows up in one out of hundred people. Out of those noncombatant, there might be one out of ten with a rare class. Most of the noncombatant are production staff.”

Hajime took a look at his stats, and indeed, “Synergist” was written in the Class column. Apparently, his talent seemed to be “Transmutation”. Well, according to what they heard from Ishtar, Hajime and the rest came from a higher ranked world, so their specs should be much higher than the people of Tortus. This kind of situation should only be natural. While thinking like this, Hajime couldn’t help but lift the corners of his mouth. If people were to say he has a talent, of course he will be very happy. However, after hearing Commander Meld’s following words, his joyful feeling was blown away, the annoying sweats started to break out.

“After that is… everyone’s stats is as you have seen. Normally the stats are around 10 when you are at level 1. Well, you guys should have several times higher than that! So enviable! Ah, please report the contents on your status plate to me. This is so we can develop a training regimen that fits each of you.”

In this world, the average stats of a level 1 is around 10. Hajime’s stats is a beautiful series of 10s. He wiped off the annoying sweat and was in a totally confused state.

(Ehh~? No matter how you look at it, the values are so average…… aren’t they so beautifully average? Aren’t I supposed to be a cheat? I’m n-n-n-not? ……Other than me, is everyone the same? As expected, it probably has no significant meaning in the beginning……)

Clinging to that hope, Hajime timidly looked at his surrounding. Everyone’s face was gleaming with radiance, none of them were breaking out in cold sweat like Hajime.

After Commander Meld stopped talking, Kouki was the first to step forward to report his status. His status was……

Amanogawa Kouki 17 Year old Male
Class: Hero Level: 1
Strength: 100 Vitality: 100
Resistance: 100 Agility: 100
Magic Power: 100 Magic Resistance: 100
Skills:
All Elemental Aptitude • All Elemental Resistance • Physical Resistance • Complex Magic • Swordplay • Herculean Strength • Ground Shrink • Foresight • High Speed Magic Recovery • Presence Perception • Magic Perception • Limit Break • Language Comprehension

He was practically the incarnation of cheat.

“Hou~ Truly worthy of Hero-sama. Level 1 already has three digits value…… I’m a little shocked. Even the skills are not the common two or three…… this guy is out of the norm! Seems very reliable!”

“No way~ Ahaha……”

After receiving the commander’s words of praise, Kouki scratches his head bashfully. By the way, the commander was level 62. His average stats was around 300, and his strength was considered top-notch in this world. However, Kouki was only level 1 and already had close to one-third of his stats. With this growth rate, surpassing him with ease was only a matter of time.

By the way, the skills seemed to be an innate talent, there was no means to improve them. The only exception was “Derivation Skill.” This was the outcome from polishing one’s skill for many years, this was the skill one could acquire after “stepping over” the so-called wall. In simple terms, it was a skill that you never had before, but one day, you suddenly grasped the essence of the skill and improved your proficiency.

In the eye of the others, Kouki was special, not only did he has a cheat-like stats, for some reason this guy also had a combatant class…… Hajime gazed at the “Synergist” written in the status column, even after racking his brain, he couldn’t associate it with a combatant class. He only had two skills, and moreover, one of them was the default “language comprehension” skill. In other words, he only had one skill in reality. Hajime gradually revealed a dry smile. According to the sequence, it was finally his turn to reveal the Status Plate to Commander Meld.

Until now, Commander Meld was smiling ear to ear from seeing all those out of norm stats. He was happy to have received so many super powerful comrade-in-arms. “Eh?” The commander’s smiling expression froze as he groaned. Meanwhile, he muttered, “Did I see wrongly?” and tapped the Status Plate a few times. Following that, he held it up to the light, and after staring at it for a while, he returned the plate to Hajime with a very subtle expression.

“Ah… um… How to say this, you see… this Synergist is a crafting profession. It’s very convenient for forging ironware……”

Commander Meld was tongue-tied when describing the class to Hajime. The boys who viewed Hajime as a thorn in their side would certainly jump at this opportunity to make fun of him. The crafting profession was clearly a non-combatant class. All his classmates had combat classes, the possibility of Hajime being useless in the future battles was very high.

While grinning, Hiyama Daisuke screamed out.

“Hey hey, Nagumo. Could it be, you got a non-combatant class? How can a crafting profession fight? Meld-san, is this class rare?”

“…… No, one person would have this class out of every 10 blacksmith. All the craftsmen employed by the country had this class.”

“Hey hey, Nagumo~ How are you going to fight like this?”

Hiyama threw his arm around Hajime’s shoulder, it felt very irritating. If you look around at the students, the boys in particular were laughing at his misfortune.

“Sa~a, How would I know if I don’t give it a try.”

“Oh my! Let us see your stats then. Even if the class is trash, you still have great stats, right~?”

Hajime could already guess the result was not very reassuring from Meld’s expression just now, but Hiyama still wanted to hear it no matter what, he really had a rotten personality. His three lackeys also joined the fray. They were the kind of lowlifes that would curry the favor of the strong and bully the weak. In fact, Kaori, Shizuku, and many others exposed an unhappy expression at this kind of behavior.

(He’s clearly in love with Kaori, why didn’t he notice anything?)

While thinking that kind of thing, Hajime casually handed the Status Plate to him.

After looking at the content of Hajime’s Status Plate, Hiyama bursted out in laughter. Following that, Saito and the others also jeered at Hajime after seeing the content of the Status Plate that was passed to them.

“Puhahahahahahaha~ What is this! This is completely the standard of an ordinary person!”

“Kyahahahahahahaha~ more precisely speaking, his average stats is 10, he might be even weaker than a children in this region~”

Hih~hihihihi~ No way! This guy will immediately die! Maybe he can be a bit useful as meat shield!”

Kaori angrily approached the students that were mocking Hajime. However, before she got there, someone else let out a voice filled with anger. It was Aiko-sensei.

“Kora-! What are you guys laughing at? Laughing at your fellow classmate is something teacher will never allow! En, teacher will absolutely not allow it! Quickly return Nagumo-kun’s Status Plate!”

Aiko-sensei tried to express her anger as well as she could with her tiny body. Perhaps they were overpowered by this hardly complacent aura, they returned the Status Plate to Hajime unwillingly.

Aiko-sensei turned around to face Hajime and tried to cheer him up by patting his shoulders.

“Nagumo-kun, don’t mind it at all. Teacher is also a non-combatant. (Her voice wavered for a moment) Just like my class, my stats are also average. So Nagumo-kun, you don’t need to worry about being the only one in this kind of situation!”

While saying “Look!”, Aiko-sensei showed Hajime her Status Plate.

Hatakeyama Aiko 25 Year old Female
Class: Agriculturalist Level: 1
Strength: 5 Vitality: 10
Resistance: 10 Agility: 5
Magic Power: 100 Magic Resistance: 10
Skills:
Soil Management • Soil Restoration • Wide-Range Cultivation • Growth Stimulation • Selective Breeding • Plant Appraisal • Fertilizer Production • Mixed Breeding • Auto Harvest • Fermentation Operation • Wide-Range Temperature Adjustment • Farm Enhancement • Harvest Rain • Language Comprehension

Hajime looked at the distant with dead-fish eyes.

“Ehh~? What’s the matter? Nagumo-kun!” Aiko-sensei asked as she exerted her strength to shake Hajime. Indeed, her overall stats was on the low side, and it was obvious at a glance that her class was noncombatant, but…… her Magic Power was already comparable to the Hero. She also had quite a number of skills. Food supply is a big problem in wars. Unlike Hajime, she possessed an extremely outstanding class as replacement. In other words, Aiko-sensei was good enough to be considered a cheat.

Hajime who was a little expectant that he was not the only one, received a much deeper wound.

“Ara Ara, Ai-chan delivered the final blow……”

“Na-Nagumo-kun! Are you okay?”

Seeing Hajime’s reaction, Shizuku smiled bitterly. Kaori ran in front of him and asked anxiously. “Ehh~?” Aiko-sensei just tilted her head in confusion, but the students just used a warm gaze to look at the clueless her.

Anyway, her goal to stop the bullying had been achieved, but this kind of concern also caused his confidence to drop to rock bottom. It seemed like Hajime’s future prospect was not that bright, his face was painted with a dry smile.



References


  1. I really wanted to translate this as “Harry Kingdom” 
  2. Don’t ask why “probably”, that’s what the raw says. My guess is that her name is probably too hard to pronoun :P 
  3. I have no idea where Japtem get the 2nd Princess Maribelle, it ain’t in the Chinese fan translation nor the Japanese raw… 
  4.  TLN: Not literally pointing a weapon at the prince, but he wished they would direct their jealousy towards a different target. 
  5.  When all goes wrong, blame the Author. 
  6.  TLC: Um… yea, I know it doesn’t make sense, but I can’t find a better way to translate this. It means your level only goes up after your stats increase, not the other way round. 

[Vol 1] Chapter 1 – Summoned to Another World



Hajime stood there with his hands protecting the face and had both eyes closed, but when he heard the rustling noise, he slowly opened his eyes

Hajime surveyed his surroundings dumbfoundedly. The first thing that came into sight was the giant mural. The mural was about ten meter in width, depicting an androgynous person with long golden hair and a faint smile, in front of an aureole. The background portrayed the grassy plains, lakes and mountains, and the person had both hands extended out, as if embracing them all. It was a beautiful mural, an amazing mural. But, for some reason Hajime felt a sense of coldness from the person in the drawing.

After carefully surveying his surrounding, he found that they seemed to be in a huge hall. He assumed the hall was made out of marble. The whole building was emitting a beautiful luster. The building that was constructed by laying glossy white stones on top of one another, was supported by huge pillars with delicate designs, and the ceiling was in a dome shape. The whole place naturally looked like a cathedral and had a very solemn atmosphere.

It seemed like Hajime and the others were located in the deepest part of the building, on top of a pedestal that was higher than the surrounding area. Hajime looked around, he could only see his classmates with the same dumbfounded expression as him. Apparently, all the students that were present in the classroom at that time was caught in this situation.

Hajime turned around to watch, and as expected, Kaori’s confused figure was there. She did not seem to be injured, so Hajime felt relieved.

After that, perhaps looking for an explanation, everyone gradually shifted their attention to the people around the pedestal. That’s right, Hajime and his classmates were not the only ones in this hall. There were at least thirty people that had both hands crossed in front of their chest, and kneeled as if they were praying. All of them wore a white robe that was embroidered with gold, and they had a staff right next to them. The tip of the staves spread out like a fan, and in place of the ring, several pieces of circular disks hung on top of it.

Among them, an old man around the age of 70 stepped forward, his attire was extremely luxurious even among the white-robed group. He wore a 30 cm tall and delicate thing that looked like an original wizard hat. However, that old man had a domineering aura around him, looking at the wrinkles on his face, as well as his sophisticated eyes, even if people say he was only 50 years old, none would doubt it.

At the same time the staff in his hand was making a “Shing! Shing!” sound, the old man spoke to them with a clear and calming voice that was fitting of his appearance.

“Welcome to Tortus, Hero-sama and his companion. We were expecting you. I am the currently appointed Pope of the Saint’s Church, you may address me as Ishtar Lombard. Let’s get along from now on, no need to exchange conventional greetings.”

After he introduced himself, the old man called Ishtar revealed a smile that was often associated with nice elderly people.

~~~~~~~~~

Right now, the place that Hajime and the rest had moved to, had a few ten meter long dining tables lined up side by side. Several great halls they passed by before also had the same kind of dining tables. This hall was just as gorgeous as with the rest, even an amateur could understand; the furnitures, the decorative paintings, the murals, and everything here were the artisan’s supreme masterpiece. Perhaps, this place was used to take a meal or hold a meeting. In the seats of honor were Hatakeyama Aiko-sensei and Kouki’s group of four. After that, the other students took their seats in sequence, Hajime sat at the last spot.

Nobody caused much disturbance as they were guided until here, perhaps their minds were still unable to keep up with reality. Ishtar started to explain the situation, perhaps it was due to the existence of the charismatic Kouki that everyone was able to remain calm. Being surrounded by the students who looked more like the teacher, Aiko-sensei was getting teary-eyed.

When everyone was seated, with amazing timing, the maids entered with pushing carts. That’s right, real maids! These were the genuine maids in every man’s dream, the bishoujo maids! Under this kind of circumstances, the male students were spurred on by their burning desires, most of them fixed their gaze on the maids. However, the girls were sending cold glares at them.

Hajime also couldn’t help but look at the maid that came to serve him… but for some reason he felt a chill down his spine, Hajime promptly set his line of sight straight ahead. At the direction the icy gaze was coming from, Kaori was fixing her gaze on Hajime with a smile from ear to ear for some reason. But of course, Hajime did not notice this.

Ishtar started his explanation after confirming that everyone had received their drinks.

“That… I’m sure you are all confused. I will explain the situation first, I ask of everyone to listen to everything I had to say until the end.”

The words that came out of Ishtar after that were really too fantasy-like, none had any idea of what he was talking about. To put it briefly, first, this world was called Tortus. After that, Tortus was more or less divided into three major races. Humans, Demons, and Demi-humans. The Humans ruled over the northern area. The Demons ruled over the southern area. The Demi-humans lived quietly in the wilderness to the east.

Among these, the war between the Humans and Demons have been ongoing for several centuries. The Demons were inferior in numbers compared to the Humans, but each individual Demons possessed formidable strength, only because of that were they able to contend against the large quantity of Humans. Both sides have not been engaged in a large-scale war over the past few decades, but something abnormal had been taking place in recently. It was the deployment of Magic Beasts by the Demons.

Magic Beasts, they were believed to be existences that transformed from wild animals after absorbing magic power into their body. It was unknown whether they could be classified as a living creature or not. However, each and every one of them could use powerful unique magic, these vermin are strong and ferocious.

Until now, they were always relying on their instinct, the people that can actually tame them are almost nonexistent. Even if they could be tamed, the tamer could only control one or two at most. And this common sense was completely overthrown by the Demons. This signify that the Humans no longer held the advantage in numbers. In other words, the Human race was now facing a crisis.

“The one who has summoned you here was ‘Ehit-sama’. He is the Protector God that we Humans worship, the one and only god in the Saint’s Church. He is the Supreme God that created this world. Perhaps Ehit-sama had already noticed. If this continues, the Humans will face extinction. You had been summoned to prevent this outcome. The world you come from is ranked higher than ours, every one of you here should possess exceptional power in this world without a doubt. Before the summon took place, Ehit-sama passed down an oracle; You are the “salvation” that he sent to us. You must bring out your innate powers, by the will of Ehit-sama, overthrow the Demons, and save us mankind!”

Ishtar currently had an absent-minded expression, perhaps he was recalling the time when he heard the oracle. Just as Ishtar had said, more than 90% of the Humans are the followers of the Saint’s Church. Every time, those who heard the oracle was without a doubt someone with huge influence in the Saint’s Church.

He didn’t doubt the “Will of God”, far more than that, he was unable to contain his joy. Hajime felt this world was unreasonably twisted and the sense of crisis that couldn’t be described with words. Suddenly, the person who stood up to protest appeared.

It was Aiko-sensei.

“Please don’t joke around! In the end, all you want is for these children to participate in a war! That kind of thing is absolutely out of question! En, as a teacher, I will absolutely not allow such a thing! Let us go back immediately! Surely, their families must be worried! What you are doing now is merely kidnapping!”

Aiko-sensei who was panting in anger was only 25 years old. She was a very popular social studies teacher. Her petite body was approximately 1.5 meter tall, she had a baby face, and her hair was done in a bob cut. The students couldn’t refrain from smiling recalling the figure of Aiko-sensei who was rushing about all over the place for their sake. Many students wished to protect her after seeing the work hard she did for her students, even though the majority of her efforts were in vain. The students often called her Ai-chan, but if they called her as such in front of the person herself, she would get angry.

This time too, she was angered by the unreasonable summoning, and stood up against it. “Ahh~ Ai-chan is trying her best again……” There were students who were looking at Aiko-sensei talk back to Ishtar with a fuzzy feeling. However, the following words from Ishtar froze them.

“I understand how you’re feeling. However…… It is impossible for you to return now.”

Silence filled the halls. It was as if there was an ice-cold pressure pressing down on them. Everyone gazed at Ishtar with a questioning expression.

“I-impossible…… W-what did you just say? If you can summon us, you should be able to send us back!?”

Aiko-sensei cry out loud.

“As I said earlier, it was Ehit-sama that summoned you. We humans do not have the ability to use magic that interferes with another world. Therefore, whether or not you can return is up to Ehit-sama to decide.”

“T-that is……”

Aiko-sensei lost her strength and slumped down on the chair. The students in the surrounding also started to make a ruckus.

“No way!? We really cannot go back anymore?”

“No! Anything but this, let me return!”

“Don’t even joke about the war! What the hell!”

“Why, why, why……”

The students started to panic. On the other hand, Hajime was pretty composed, only because he was an Otaku, he had read about many situations like this before. He had anticipated a few patterns, but this was not the worst thing that could happen, thus he was a lot calmer than the other students. Incidentally, one of the worst pattern was being summoned as a slave.

When everyone was in a difficult situation, Ishtar didn’t have the intention to open his mouth to calm the masses, he only watched the calmly. No, Hajime could feel there was a hint of contempt behind that calm expression. Ishtar was probably thinking why would they be unhappy to be selected by Ehit-sama.

When everyone was still panicking, Kouki stood up and slammed the table with a bang. At the same time the students were astonished by the sound, they fixed their gaze on Kouki. When he confirmed that he had everyone’s attention, Kouki began to talk.

“Everyone, it is meaningless to make so much ruckus in front of Ishtar-san. He also had no other choice…… W-what I mean is, let’s fight. It is a fact that the humans of this world are facing a crisis. Ignoring their pleas for help after knowing all this, I cannot do it. Moreover, since we were summoned here to save the mankind, we may be able to return after this is all over…… Ishtar-san, isn’t that right?”

“That’s right. Ehit-sama will definitely answer the wishes of the Saviors.”

“We all have special powers right? I’ve indeed felt an unfathomable power surging up within me since coming to this world.”

“En, that’s right. Roughly, each of you should possess powers that are several times to a few dozen times more powerful than the people of this world.”

“En, in that case, I’ll fight. I’ll save the people, and then we can all go home. Regardless of the world or everyone here, I will save them all!”

Kouki clenched his fist tightly as he made this kind of declaration, while pointlessly exposing shiny teeth. However, just at this moment, his charismatic leadership finally took effect. The students who had given up all hope earlier, gradually regained their calmness and vigor. They were looking at Kouki with sparkling eyes, that was the expression one would reveal when they found hope in despair. Half of the female students sent feverish glances at him.

“Ah damn, once you put it like that. It would be worrisome to let you go alone…… I’ll also fight.”

“Ryutaro……”

“You are not the only one here…… I can’t watch this any longer…… I’ll fight too.”

“Shizuku……”

“Eh, u-um, if Shizuku is going, I’ll also try my best!”

“Kaori……”

The usual group of four were in favor with Kouki. After that, the rest of the classmates also expressed their approval and went with the flow. Aiko-sensei shouted “Noo~” with teary eyes, but her tears was powerless in the face of the mood set by Kouki.

As a result, the entire student body will be participating in the war. Perhaps the students did not truly understand what it meant to go to war. Perhaps it was a means to escape reality and prevent their minds from breaking apart. While thinking these kind of things, Hajime secretly observed Ishtar, and saw him expose a very satisfied expression on his face.

Hajime noticed how Ishtar was secretly observing Kouki while explaining the circumstances. He predicted what kind of action that he would take. When he talked about the tragedy that befalls mankind, it was easy to understand Kouki’s reaction due to his strong sense of justice. After that, he specifically emphasized the cruelty of the Demons. Perhaps Ishtar had already seen through everything, he could tell who had the most influence in this group.

This should only come as natural for the elder of the world’s largest religion, they are people one should be careful with. Hajime added Ishtar as someone to be careful of in his head.



References

  1. N/a

[Vol 1] Prologue



In the darkness, the only source of light was shrinking at a rapid pace. He involuntarily stretched his hand upwards, yet he wasn’t able to grasp anything. The dreadful feeling of falling into an endless abyss caused his nether region to tighten. Nagumo Hajime’s expression twisted due to fear as he gazed at the light that gradually faded away.

Currently, Hajime is falling into a bottomless abyss. The only source of visible light came from the surface. While exploring the labyrinth, Hajime fell into a huge rift valley, he kept falling, until he fell into a place where the light could not reach. While surrounded by darkness, Hajime could hear the sound of the wind. At the same time, he could also see a revolving lantern rotating. ⌈1

As a Japanese person, if he was to convey his delusion and hope since coming to this world, the inequality he experienced since then, and the inequality he is currently experiencing now, is a little too much to take in.

~~~~~~~

Monday, that is the beginning of the most melancholy day of the week. Most people would sigh upon thinking about the beginning of a new week, while recalling the paradise that is yesterday.

Nagumo Hajime was not an exception either. However, Hajime’s situation was not as simple, it was because the school was a bad place that caused his mood to sullen. Just as usual, when the bell was about to ring, Hajime dragged his tired body to the classroom door and pushed it open.

At that moment, most of the male students in the classroom clicked their tongues, and glared at him with a scornful look. The female students also didn’t expose any friendly expressions. It was fine even if they acted cold and detached towards him, but some were clearly looking at him with contempt.

Hajime tried to ignore them, and walked towards his own seat. However, there would always be a meddlesome and talkative guy beside him.

“Yo, nasty otaku! Did you stay up all night to play games again? Was it an erotic game?”

“Ew, soo gross~ Playing erotic game for the whole night is really so disgusting~”

What did they find so funny for them to burst into a loud laughter? The one who started ridiculing him was Hiyama Daisuke, he was the one who started harassing Hajime everyday as if it was his homework. The three idiots laughing next to him were Saito Yoshiki, Kondo Reiichi, and Nakano Shinji. Overall, it was these four people who frequently harassed Hajime.

As Hiyama had said, Hajime was an otaku. Even though he was called nasty, it doesn’t mean his actions and appearance were terrible to behold. His short hair was neatly trimmed, there was not a hint of bed hair. He also didn’t have any mental problem, even though he didn’t actively participate in community campaign, his honest appearance does not give rise to the feeling of disgust. He was merely fond of things like figures, mangas, novels, movies, and games.

The criticism otakus received from the average people was indeed very strong, but it was only to the degree of mockery, it won’t give rise to any hostility. In any case, why were the male students in the entire class despised him? That was because of her.

“Good morning, Nagumo-kun! Almost late as usual, you should come earlier next time.”

One female student smiled happily as she walked beside Hajime. In this class, no, in this entire school, those who were on friendly term with Hajime was only a few minority, and they were the root cause that gave rise to the situation a moment ago.

This girl was called Shirasaki Kaori, she was one of the two goddesses in the school. Regardless of male and female, she was extremely popular due to her beauty. Her gorgeous black hair reached up to her waist, her big droopy eyes revealed a hint of gentleness, and her tiny nose aligned perfectly with her pink-colored lips.

She always wear a big smile and share a strong sense of responsibility, she knows how to take care of other people. She was always relied on by her classmates, she didn’t abhor anyone, and treated everyone with equal sincerity. She possessed a maturity unlike that of a high school student.

So, why would someone like Kaori always cared about Hajime?

Due to the influence of pulling an all-night, Hajime frequently dozed off in class. Because of this, he was thought of as an irresponsible student (Even though his grade was average). Kaori who naturally liked to take care of other people always minded about him.

In that case, if only Hajime were to pay attention in class, or if he was a handsome guy, then they would have been able to tolerate Kaori caring about him. But unfortunately, Hajime’s appearance was only average, and with his motto of “hobby comes first”, it was hard to picture him improve for the better.

For a person such as Hajime to be able to get close to Kaori, most of the male students were unable to accept it, and kept wondering why only that guy! It was more simple for the female students, it was because he was wasting Kaori’s efforts. They were only unhappy that he did not try to change his attitude towards the classes.

“Ah, good morning Shirasaki-san.”

Eh— What’s with this murderous aura?! Under the silent gaze of everyone, Hajime could only smile bitterly as he replied Shirasaki.

Following that, Kaori wore a very joyful expression. Why did she reveal that kind of expression?! Even more piercing gazes were directed at Hajime, which caused him to break out in cold sweat. Hajime always felt this was impossible, why would the most beautiful girl in the school care so much about him? Hajime already knew, for Kaori to treat him so well, other than her nature, there must be some other reason.

However, Hajime had never thought that she possesses any romantic feeling for him. Hajime had this kind of mindset; for the purpose of his hobby, he was willing to give up a lot of things. Appearance, achievement, and sports, he was mediocre in all aspect. On the other hand, she was always surrounded by so many good-looking guys, thus, her action was very inconceivable.

In short, he had to pay attention not to nurture the storm of murderous gaze! In his heart, he already knew, the moment he opened his mouth to speak, he will not be able to avoid the forced labor in the gym.

As if everything was just as planned, when their conversation came to an end, three people approached them. The 「good-looking guys」 mentioned just a moment ago were also included among them.

“Nagumo-kun, good morning, isn’t this hard on you everyday?”

“Kaori, looking after him again? Seriously, Kaori is too kind.”

“That unenthusiastic guy, it’s useless no matter what you say to him.”

The only one who greeted him among the three was a girl called Yaegashi Shizuku, she was Kaori’s best friend. The long black hair tied in a ponytail was her trademark. Her slit and delicate eyes were sharp, but gentleness also leaked out from within. Thus, rather than ice-cold, it would be better to say that she was elegant. Her height was around 172 cm, she could be considered tall among the girls. Her body posture and imposing temperament automatically made people associate her with samurai.

In fact, her parents owned the Yaegashi Fencing Dojo. Shizuku herself had been undefeatable in any kendo convention since elementary school. She once accepted a magazine interview as the modern day beautiful swordswoman. She was also frequently followed by diehard fans. The younger schoolgirl would use passionate eyes to gaze at her, and call her “onee-sama”. Shizuku couldn’t help but twitch her lips after hearing their way of addressing her every time, this was a scene that could be seen frequently.

Next, the one who spoke to Kaori with a somewhat self-important line was called Amanogawa Kouki. Living up to his heroic name, he was handsome, had outstanding grades, and a superhuman who was good in all kind of sports. He had a fluffy dark brown hair and gentle eyes, his height was close to 180 cm, and his body was slender yet toned. Kouki was kind to everyone, and had a strong sense of justice (He gets hot-headed easily). He was the student of Yaegashi Fencing Dojo since elementary school, and was a national level athlete like Shizuku, they were childhood friend. There were at least a few dozen of girls who had fallen for him, but since he was always together with Shizuku and Kaori, a lot of girls were unable to bring themselves to confess to him.

Despite all that, he still gets a confession at least more than twice per month. He was only able to become popular thanks to all his hard work.

The last one who spoke with a ridiculing tone was a male student called Sakagami Ryutaro, Kouki’s best friend. Under his trimmed hair was a pair of keen and cheerful eyes, he was about 190 cm tall, and had a bear-like physique. He doesn’t seem to pay much attention to details, even his brain seemed like it was made out of muscles.

Ryutaro was a hardworking, determined, and hot-blooded person, that’s why he dislike someone like Hajime who came to school to sleep and his unmotivated appearance. After shooting a glance at Hajime, he just snorted with his nose, and completely ignored him.

“Good morning, Yaegashi-san, Amanogawa-kun, Sakagami-kun. Haha, meh, this can be considered you reap what you sow, it can’t be helped.”

Hajime laughed bitterly as he returned their greetings. ‘Who gave you the right to speak with Yaegashi-san, huh?!’ After the greetings, he could clearly feel many line of sights pricking at him. Shizuku also possessed a popularity not losing to that of Kaori.

“Since you understand your own conduct, why not try to fix it? Until when are you going to stop taking advantage of Kaori’s kindness. Kaori can’t take care of you forever.”

Kouki gave Hajime a word of advice. From Kouki’s perspective, Kaori’s kind-intention was wasted on a dishonorable student like Hajime.

Hajime really wanted to retort, “I didn’t act like a spoiled child! I’d rather her leave me alone!” But if he did, he might get into trouble with her fan club later. Kouki gets hot-headed easily, it was useless to retort when the person himself firmly believed he was in the right. This was the reason Hajime didn’t say anything.

Moreover, even if people asked him to “change”, Hajime still didn’t hesitate to center his life around his hobby. That was because his father was a game creator, and his mother was a shoujo mangaka, he had plans to go get part-time job at his father’s company or his mother’s workshop.

He already obtained the appropriate skills, it perfectly aligned with his hobby. This is Hajime’s standard of life, so no matter what anyone else says, he didn’t feel the need to change his way of life. If only Kaori did not concern herself with him, he would have lived a peaceful and ordinary student life.

“No way~ Ahaha……”

Therefore, Hajime tried to shrug it off with a laugh. However, just as usual, our goddess dropped a bomb without even being aware of the situation.

“Kouki-kun, What are you saying? I… I was just talking with Nagumo-kun?”

The classroom became very noisy, the male students gnashed their teeth, and stared at Hajime with malicious intent. Hiyama and the other three even discussed where they should take Hajime for a beating during lunch break.

“Sigh… Seriously, Kaori is too kind.”

Clearly, Kouki had misunderstood Kaori’s intention. A perfect superhuman, it was due to this reason that he hadn’t the slightest doubt of his own shortcoming, this is really so troublesome~ Hajime wanted to escape reality and turned his attention to the blue sky outside of the classroom.

“……Sorry about that, but those two don’t have any bad intention……”

Shizuku who had the complete grasp of the situation secretly apologized to Hajime. On the other hand, Hajime just shrugged as if there’s nothing he can do about it, and forced a smile.

Just as they were talking about this, the bell that signaled the first class had resounded, as the teacher entered the classroom.

Perhaps the teacher was already used to the atmosphere in the class, she didn’t say anything and immediately took the morning attendance.

After that, the class started like usual, and as it should be, Hajime also set out on a journey towards the dream world.

Kaori looked at that kind of Hajime with a smile, Shizuku exposed a bitter smile while thinking he was also a big-shot in a sense, the male students clicked their tongues, the female students looked at him with disgust.

~~~~~~~

Sensing the clamor in the classroom, Hajime’s consciousness gradually returned. Since he often dozed off in class, his body remembered the time to get up. Judging from his feeling, it seemed to be lunch break already.

Hajime raised his face from the desk, and took around ten seconds to take out his daily item — the lunchbox. After surveying his surroundings, since some of the students had darted to the canteen to buy their lunch, the number of people in the classroom decreased a lot. Even so, majority of the students had a lunchbox like Hajime, so there were still two-third of the students remaining in the classroom. Moreover, the fourth period just ended a moment ago, so their social studies teacher, Hatakeyama Aiko (25 Year Old), was still at her desk discussing something with a few students.

————Gobble! Gobble! Gobble! ⌈2

Amazingly, Hajime finished his lunch in merely ten seconds. After replenishing his empty stomach, Hajime decided to lie on his desk and sleep for a while. However, our goddess (to Hajime, she seemed more like a demon) didn’t let him do as such. She giggled and sat beside Hajime.

Hajime inwardly moaned, “How terrible”. He would occasionally feel muddle-headed on Monday, if it was any other day, he would go to some unnoticeable place to take a nap before Kaori had a chance to talk to him. However, two consecutive sleepless night made him feel very sleepy.

“Nagumo-kun, how rare is it to see you in class. Having your lunch? Why not come and eat with us?”

A dangerous aura flooded the classroom once more, Hajime kept complaining in his heart. This is so troublesome, can’t you just leave me alone?

He couldn’t understand her intentions.

Hajime tried to refuse, “Ah~ Thank you for the invitation, Shirasaki-san. But I already finish eating, why don’t you go have your lunch with Amanogawa and the others?”

As he said so, Hajime lightly fluttered the plastic bag that was used to wrap the lunch, it was like a mummy that had its interior drained. If he refused, he would also receive ridicule from other people, they would think, “Who do you think you are to reject Shirasaki’s invitation!” The lunch break would probably become very unbearable. However, this degree of refusal was meaningless to the goddess who immediately pressed on.

“Eh! Only that much for lunch? You need to have a proper meal! I will share some with you!”

(Please spare me! For my sake! Please pay attention to the surrounding atmosphere!)

The pressure from the surrounding and the cold sweat at his back increased over time, just at this time, his savior arrived, it was Kouki and his group.

“Kaori, let’s go eat together, Nagumo doesn’t seem like he had enough sleep. Do you think I will allow a sleepyhead like him to eat Kaori’s delicious homemade food?”

Kouki revealed a bright smile while spitting out some nauseating line, but the handsome guy’s smile and nauseating line didn’t seem to have any effect on Kaori who was naturally airhead.

“Eh? Why do I need to get Kouki’s permission?”

“Pfft…” Hearing Kaori’s words, Shizuku couldn’t help but restrain herself from laughing. Kouki forced a smile, and tried to play it off. As a result, four of the most popular students gathered around Hajime’s seat. This was a fact that cannot be changed, the pressure from the gazes was also very unlikely to weaken.

Hajime heaved a sigh and complained in his heart.

(Enough already, why can’t these four people be summoned to another world? No matter how you look at this group of four, they seemed like someone who would be involved in this kind of event…… The god, the witch, or whoever from an alternate world, please summon them away~~)

In order to escape from reality, Hajime indulged himself in his delusions of another world, he forced a smile like usual and prepared to get away from here, but just when he got up…… he was unable to move.

In front of Hajime, a pure white circle with complex design appeared just under Kouki’s foot. Very soon, all the students around also noticed this abnormal situation. Everyone’s attention was attracted by those brilliant patterns, they gazed at the thing that looked like a magic circle.

At the same time the magic circle was getting brighter, it instantly expanded to the size of an entire classroom. The abnormal situation gradually expanded under his own foot. The students let out a wail after their stiff body gradually relaxed. Aiko-sensei who had been staying in the classroom until now immediately shouted, “Everyone! Leave the classroom!” However, just at the same time, the magic circle’s light flickered as if it was about to explode.

After a few seconds or perhaps a few minutes, when that classroom which was enveloped by the snow white radiance returned to its original state, nobody was left in the classroom anymore. The chairs that fell on the ground, the lunchbox that was left open with half of the food remaining, the messy chopsticks and plastic bottles, all the classroom utensils were there, but not a single soul could be seen. This event — High School Students Spirited Away During the Daytime — caused huge uproar all over the world, but that is a story for another time.



References


  1.  Idiom: Seeing your entire life flash in you mind like seeing a revolving lantern rotating. 
  2.  TLN: The sound of eating is so loud……