Arifureta From Commonplace to World’s Strongest compete edition

Summoned to Another World with a Commonplace Class

-based job. The

rest of his classmates all had combat-based jobs, and he highly doubted his particular

job would be of much use in battle.

Daisuke Hiyama grinned wickedly as he hollered out to Hajime,

”Hey Nagumo. Don tell me you seriously got a non-combat job? Hows a blacksmith

gonna fight monsters? Hey Meld, is this Synergist or whatever a rare job? ”

”No, not particularly. One in every ten people has the class. In fact, all of the craftsmen

the kingdom employs have the job. ”

”Gimme a break, Nagumo. You
e gonna fight with something like that? ” Hiyama folded

his arms provocatively as he said those words. As Hajime looked around, he could see

that most of his classmates, the boys especially, were all laughing at him.

”Who knows. You never know until you try. ”

”Show us your stats then, if you
e so confident. They better be way high to make up

for your shitty job. ”

Hiyama had most likely already guessed Hajimes stats from Captain Melds

expression, but he simply wanted an excuse to bully Hajime some more. He possessed

quite a nasty personality. His three flunkies all jeered at Hajime as well. They were the

kind of stereotypical thugs that bullied the weak and groveled before the mighty. Their

actions were so clearly malicious that Kaori and Shizuku both glared at them, eyes full

of disdain.

Despite how smitten they were with her, none of them seemed to realize she disliked

such bullying. Hajime lazily handed his plate over to Hiyama.

When he saw the stats engraved on it, Hiyama burst out laughing. He passed the plate

down to his other underlings and they all sneered or laughed at Hajime as well.

”Bwahahaha… What the hell, man! You
e like totally average! Actually, 10s exactly

average, so I bet there are even some babies out there stronger than you! ”

”Hyahahaha, youve gotta be kidding me! This guys not even gonna last ten minutes!

Hed die so fast that you couldn even use him as a meat shield! ”

Unable to stand it any longer, Kaori opened her mouth to give them a piece of her mind.

But before she could get out a single word, someone else began yelling at them. That

someone was Aiko-sensei.

”Hey! Stop laughing at him! I won allow anyone to laugh at their classmates on my

watch! As a teacher, I absolutely will not condone it! Now return Nagumo-kuns plate

this instant! ”

The boys were all taken aback by how much anger was visible in Aiko-senseis small

frame. They hurriedly returned Hajimes plate in order to avoid her wrath. Aiko-sensei

turned to Hajime and gave him an encouraging pat on the shoulder.

”Nagumo-kun, don worry about your job! Look, I got a non-combat job too! And aside

from my job, most of my stats are pretty average too! You
e not alone! ”

Aiko-sensei then showed her pink colored plate to Hajime with a ”Here, look! ”

Hatayama Aiko Age: 25 Female Level: 1

Job: Farmer

Strength: 5

Vitality: 10

Defense: 10

Agility: 5

Magic: 100

Magic Defense: 10

Skills: Soil Management — Soil Restoration — Large-scale Cultivation — Enhanced

Fertilization — Selective Breeding — Plant Appraisal — Fertilizer Production —

Mixed Breeding — Auto Harvesting — Fermentation Proficiency — Wide-area

Temperature Control — Farming Barrier — Fertile Rain — Language Comprehension.

Hajimes eyes resembled a dead fishs once he finished reading Aikos plate.

”Huh? Whats wrong, Nagumo-kun!? ” Aiko asked as she shook Hajime back and forth.

It was true that her overall stats were low, and that she did not possess a combat class,

but her exceptional magic stat and large number of skills meant that she would reach

the level of other heroes with just a little training. And lest everyone forget, an army

marches on its stomach. Aiko-senseis job was nothing like Hajimes. His was so

commonplace that there were myriad others who were more proficient in it. In other

words, even Aiko-sensei was plenty overpowered.

Hajime felt doubly betrayed for getting his hopes up even a little.

”Oh my, Ai-chan, that was the final nail in the coffin… ”

”N-Nagumo-kun! Are you alright!? ”

Shizuku smiled sadly as she watched Hajime shut down, while Kaori worriedly ran

over to him. Aiko-sensei tilted her head in confusion. As always, she tried her best, but

ended up being completely unhelpful. The students smiled at her unchanging

ditziness. Aiko-sensei had managed to achieve her initial goal of preventing Hajimes

bullying, but he still smiled emptily as he thought of the difficulties that lay ahead, and

the treatment he would definitely receive.

Two weeks had passed since Hajime was labeled the weakest and most useless

member of the class. He was currently in the library using the break time he had

between training sessions to investigate something. In his hands was a book labeled

”Monsters of the Northern Continent, a Picture Book. ” As its name suggested, it was a

picture book about monsters.

As for why he was reading such a book, that was because he had not grown at all after

two weeks of training. In fact, the past two weeks had only served to highlight how

pathetically weak he was. Hoping to cover his physical deficiencies with knowledge,

Hajime spent most of his free time in the library.

He perused the picture book for a while before suddenly breathing out a sigh and

throwing it down on the desk. The librarian happened to be passing by right as he did

that, so Hajime was met with a glowering stare.

Hajime jumped, as he was clearly startled, and hurriedly apologized. The librarians

angry glare implied that he wouldn tolerate it happening a second time. What on

earth am I doing? Hajime thought with a sigh.

Hajime suddenly took out his status plate and stared at it, his hands resting on his


Hajime Nagumo Age: 17 Male Level: 2

Job: Synergist

Strength: 12

Vitality: 12

Defense: 12

Agility: 12

Magic: 12

Magic Defense: 12

Skills: Transmute — Language Comprehension

That was all the growth he had to show after two weeks of harsh training. I can even

say Ive gotten much stronger! Hajime screamed internally. For comparison, Koukis

stats had grown at an astronomical rate.

Kouki Amanogawa Age: 17 Male Level: 10

Job: Hero

Strength: 200

Vitality: 200

Defense: 200

Agility: 200

Magic: 200

Magic Defense: 200

Skills: Elemental Affinity — Elemental Resistance — Physical Resistance — Advanced

Sorcery — Swordsmanship — Superhuman Strength — Armor Proficiency —

Foresight — Increased Mana Recovery — Detect Presence — Detect Magic — Limit

Break — Language Comprehension

His growth rate was roughly five times as fast as Hajimes. And to make matters worse,

Hajime had discovered he had no real affinity for magic.

What exactly did having no magical affinity mean? Well, it had to do with how magic

functioned in this world. In the world of Tortus, magic functioned in a very specific

manner. By chanting an incantation, one could transfer their mana into a magic circle,

and the spell inscribed within that circle would activate, thus casting magic. It was

impossible for anyone to directly manipulate their mana, so each spell needed its own

corresponding magic circle.

Additionally, the length of an incantation was directly proportional to how much mana

one could pour into a magic circle, so the effectiveness of a spell was directly

proportional to the amount of mana used to cast it. And the more complicated a spell

was, or the larger an area of effect it had, the more inscriptions needed in the magic

circle to complete the spell. Which naturally meant that the magic circle itself needed

to be larger too.

For comparison, the standard fireball spell that appeared in most RPGs and the like

normally required a magic circle about ten centimeters in diameter. Every spell

needed the basic inscriptions for the element, strength, range, span, and magic

absorption (the amount of mana someone needed to provide the magic circle in order

to activate the spell). If one wanted to add additional parameters such as length the

spell is maintained, then extra inscriptions were needed for that as well.

There was, however, an exception to this rule. And that exception was magical affinity.

Magical affinity was basically a measure of how well ones natural constitution

allowed them to shorten inscriptions. For example, someone with an affinity for the

fire element would no longer need to add the element portion of the inscription to

their spell as long as it was a fire-based one. People with an aptitude for something

were able to use a mental image to take the place of the inscription. They didn need

to carve the inscription anywhere into the magic circle. By simply imagining flames

while chanting the spell, they were capable of adding the fire element to it.

Most people had some level of magical affinity, which meant that the above mentioned

ten centimeter magic circle would generally be smaller. However, Hajime had

absolutely no affinity for magic whatsoever, meaning that on top of inscriptions for

the basic five properties, he had to include inscriptions for the trajectory, spread, and

even conclusion for each of his spells. For him, the standard fireball spell required a

magic circle two meters in diameter, making magic completely impractical in combat.

On a somewhat related topic, magic circles came in two different types. The more

common of the two were magic circles drawn onto a special kind of disposable paper.

The other type were magic circles carved into specific minerals. The former allowed

for many different variations of spells, but they burned out after one use and their

power was generally on the low side. On the other hand, the latter were bulky and

limited in the spells they could cast, but they were reusable and far more powerful

than their paper counterparts. The staves Ishtar and the other priests carried all had

mineral-type magic circles engraved into them.

Because of his low stats, close combat was impossible, and because of his lack of

magical affinity, he could not rely on magic either. The only skill his job had provided

him, Transmute, simply allowed him to transform the shape of various ores, or forge

them together into alloys. It was effectively useless. He was also told there were no

useful artifacts for Synergists, and was simply given a pair of gloves with related magic

circles inscribed into it.

After a lot of training, he was finally able to make pitfalls and protrusions in the

ground, and the more he trained, the larger he was able to make their sizes, but… he

had to be in direct contact with the target to activate them. Running up in front of an

enemy and then squatting down to put his hands on the ground was no better than

suicide, so even those skills were of no real help to him in combat.

Over the past two weeks, Hajime had come to be treated as a complete waste of space

by his classmates. He had attempted to increase his knowledge as a last ditch attempt

to somehow become useful, but even that prospect seemed to have dim hopes, so he

sighed more and more frequently as time went on.

If Im going to be useless around here, I might as well just go out on a journey or

something, Hajime thought as he stared out the library window. He had reached the

end of his rope. Hajime had spent the last two weeks devoting himself more than

anyone else to the lectures they were being given about the world, spending all his

time thinking of where to go.

Im thinking the land of demi-humans would probably be best… I can really say Ive

been to another world if I haven even seen a single pair of animal ears. But supposedly

their territory is really deep within the sea of trees. And they
e apparently discriminated

against everywhere, so aside from a few slaves, you don really see many of them outside

their homeland.

According to what Hajime had learned so far, the demi-humans were harshly

discriminated against, so they lived deep within the Haltina Woods to avoid contact

with other people. They were supposedly discriminated against because they didn

possess any mana.

Legend stated that starting with Ehit, each of the gods shaped the very foundations of

the world with magic. The magic everyone used now was supposedly a deteriorated

version of the power the gods once held. For that reason, it was common belief that

magic itself was a gift from the gods. Of course, said belief was strengthened by the

fact that the Holy Church preached it as the truth. Because of that, demi-humans, who

didn possess mana and were unable to use magic, were seen as wicked creatures

whod been abandoned by the gods.

This had naturally led Hajime to question, ”But what about monsters? ” However, it

seemed that monsters were simply thought of as natural disasters, so no one

considered them creatures who had received ”Gods blessing ” or anything along those

lines, and they were seen as nothing more than wild beasts. What a convenient

interpretation, Hajime thought, clearly disgusted.

Even worse, though the demons all worshiped a god different from the humans ”Lord

Ehit, ” they too discriminated against the demi-humans.

Demons supposedly had a far higher magical affinity than humans, so they were able

to cast spells with much shorter incantations and smaller magic circles than them.

They resided in the center of the southern continent, in the demon kingdom of

Garland. Though few in number, it seemed that even children in the kingdom were

capable of wielding powerful offensive magic. So, in a way, every single citizen of the

kingdom was a soldier.

The humans of this world saw the demons who worshiped a different god as their

mortal foes, thanks to the teachings of the Holy Church, and despised the demihumans as godless vermin. And apparently the demons were no better. Though he

couldn be sure, Hajime guessed the demi-humans just wanted to be left alone. It

made sense considering how exclusive the other two groups seemed to be.

Hmm, if navigating the huge sea of trees seems impossible, then maybe I should try for

the western ocean instead? If Im remembering right, theres a city called Erisen that sits

by the sea. If I can get my fill of animal ears, then I at least want to see some mermaids.

Fantasy creatures like those are every mans dream. Plus, I want to see what the

seafoods like in this world.

The coastal city of Erisen was home to a group of demi-humans known as seamen, and

rested on the shores of the western ocean. They were the only group of demi-humans

that the kingdom sheltered. The reason being that the city produced about 80% of the

kingdoms seafood. Such a practical reason.

What happened to them being a godless race? Hajime had thought sarcastically when

he had first heard about them.

But in order to get to the western sea from his location, one first had to cross the Gruen

Desert. Two important locations that were used as waypoint markers for traders in

the desert were the oasis Dukedom of Ankaji and the Grand Gruen Volcano. And the

Grand Gruen Volcano was one of the seven labyrinths of the world.

The seven labyrinths referred to the seven highly dangerous locations scattered

throughout the world. To the southwest of the Heiligh Kingdom, between the capital

and the Gruen Desert, lay another one of them, the Great Orcus Labyrinth. The

previously mentioned Haltina Woods was also another one of these labyrinths.

Though they were called the seven labyrinths, in truth, only three of them had ever

been documented. The rest were places that were believed to exist due to evidence

provided in ancient books and other such manuscripts.

Though their existence had not been confirmed, theyd still been provisionally marked

on maps. The Reisen Gorge that divided the northern and southern continents was

one such place, while the Frost Caverns that lay in the Schnee Snow Fields was another

potential candidate.

I probably won be able to make it across that desert… In that case, the only way Ill ever

get to see demi-humans is if I go to the empire and see the slaves they have, but Im not

sure I could bear to see those poor animal ears suffering as slaves. The empire hed

referred to was the Hoelscher Empire. It was a country that had been formed three

hundred years ago, during one of the larger wars between the humans and demons. It

had been formed by a certain mercenary group, and was a militaristic country that

boasted a large population of adventurers and mercenaries. They held to the doctrine

that might makes right, and were a country of rather unsavory repute.

Its citizens believed in using everything they could to further their own ends, whether

that meant demi-human slaves or anything else, so the slave trade flourished there.

The empire lay to the east of the kingdom, and sandwiched between them was the

independent merchant republic, Fuhren. As the name suggested, they were a neutral

city that didn rely on either country for support. Being a merchant republic, they

boasted a vast amount of wealth, and the flow of money played heavily into their

politics. It was also what allowed them to remain neutral. It was said that anything

ones heart desired could be bought in that city, such was its economic clout.

Haaah, but if I ever want to get back home, I can just run away… Wait, crap, its almost

time for training! Realizing that he was simply trying to avert his eyes from reality,

Hajime shook his head and quickly left the library so as to not be late for training. It

was only a short distance from the library to the palace, but the bustle of the capital

could be seen even in such a short trek. The voices of merchants hawking their wares

mingled with the happy laughter of playing children and the angry scolding of their

parents. The capital was a quaint, peaceful city.

Since it doesn look like a wars going to break out anytime soon, maybe I can just

convince them to send me back… Hajime dreamed of the impossible as he walked back

to the palace. Hed just wanted to avoid thinking about the despair that awaited him

once he arrived.

When he arrived at the training grounds, Hajime found a few other students already

there, chatting with each other or getting some early practice in. It looked like he had

arrived surprisingly early. Hajime decided to pass the time doing a bit of practice of

his own, so he took out the slender longsword hed been given.

As he did, he felt a sudden impact hit him square in the back and he stumbled a few

steps forward. He managed to avoid falling, but chills ran down his spine as he saw

how close he had been to impaling himself on a drawn sword. He frowned as he turned

back and saw the usual group of four all wearing the same obnoxious expression.

As always, Daisuke Hiyama was standing behind him, together with the rest of the

Petty Four, as Hajime liked to call them. Ever since theyd started training, the four of

them had taken every opportunity they could to bully Hajime. They were half the

reason he found training so depressing, with the other half being how pathetic his

stats were.

”Yo, Nagumo. What are you doing? You know that swords totally useless in your hands

anyway, right? I mean, come on, you
e a total weakling! ”

”Hey man, thats going too far. I mean, you
e totally right though, Hiyama… Gyahaha! ”

”Why do you even bother coming to training every day? Id be way too embarrassed if

I were you! ”

”Hey, Daisuke. Hes just so pitiful… Don you think we should help him out with his

training a little? ” Hiyama and the others laughed hysterically, as if Shinji had actually

said something funny.

”Huh? Come on, Shinji, don you think you
e being a bit too nice to him? Well, Im a

nice guy too, so I guess I don mind helping out. ”

”Yeah, that sounds like a great idea. Im also a super nice guy, so Ill pitch in. Man, you

better thank us, Nagumo. We
e taking out some of our precious time to help out a

weakling like you. ” They put their arms around Hajimes shoulders in a false gesture

of kindness and dragged him away to an inconspicuous location. Most of his

classmates noticed, but they pretended not to see anything.

”Oh no, Im fine by myself. You don have to waste your time on me. ” Hajime tried to

refuse, though he knew it was pointless.

”Huh!? Here I am going out of my way to train your sorry ass and this is what I get? I

can believe you! You should be on your knees thanking me! ”

As he said that, Hiyama punched Hajime in the side, hard. Hajime groaned in pain as

he felt Hiyamas fist sink into his soft flank. Hiyamas group had steadily been getting

more and more violent with him as of late. While it mightve been natural for

hormone-driven boys in puberty to go mad with power once they got their hands on

some, that made it no easier for the one who had to bear the brunt of their lapse in

sanity. Though it was not as if there was anything Hajime could do to fight back. All he

could do was grit his teeth and try to bear it.

Eventually, they brought him all the way to a secluded corner of the training grounds

that couldn be easily seen, then Hiyama thrust Hajime down to the ground.

”Come on, get up. Its time for some fun training. ” Hiyama, Nakano, Saitou, and Kondou

all surrounded Hajime at those words. Hajime bit his lip in frustration as he stood up.

”Guah!? ”

He felt something crash into his back as soon as he rose to his feet. Saitou had hit him

with the sheath of his sword. He flew forward, groaning in pain, and was met with

another attack.

”Hey now, you can sleep there. Youll get burned if you do! Incinerate all that stands

in my path — Fireball. ”

Nakano unleashed a fireball at Hajime. As the impact hed just received made it

impossible for him to get back up right away, Hajime frantically rolled to the side,

barely avoiding the incoming fireball. However, Saitou had predicted Hajime would

dodge, so hed cast another spell in his direction.

”Rend my foes O wind — Wind Sphere. ” The clod of hardened wind hit Hajime just as

he was getting up, which made him double over in pain as he was blown back. He

collapsed to the ground once more, throwing up.

The magic they had cast were all low-level spells with simple incantations. But even

weak magic like that hit as hard as a pro boxers punch. The reason even their weak

spells hit so hard was because of their magical affinities combined with the rare

artifacts they had received from the king.

”Tch, I can believe you
e so weak. Are you even trying, Nagumo? ” Hiyama lazily

kicked Hajime in the stomach as he said that. Hajime desperately tried to keep his

stomach from emptying itself entirely.

The lynching disguised as ”training ” continued for a while longer. Hajime bit his lip,

cursing his own powerlessness. Maybe he should have fought back, even if he knew

he was too weak to truly achieve anything.

But Hajime had always been averse to violence. He even had trouble really hating

people. Hed always folded when cornered into a situation that seemed as if it might

devolve into a fight. Always believing that it would end eventually as long as he could

put up with it. And that bearing it was always better than fighting back. Some people

thought him kind for it, while others simply saw him as a loser. Hajime himself wasn

sure which he was.

Around the time the pain had grown nearly unbearable, Hajime suddenly heard a girls

angry voice.

”What do you think you
e doing!? ”

Hiyama and the others paled when they heard that voice. It was only natural. After all,

it belonged to the girl they were all smitten with, Kaori. And not just her. Shizuku,

Kouki, and Ryutarou were all with her.

”Umm, please don misunderstand anything. We were just helping Hajime with his

training… ”

”Nagumo-kun! ”

Kaori ignored Hiyamas excuses and ran over to Hajime, who was huddled on the

ground, coughing. Hiyama and the others had ceased to matter at all to Kaori when

she saw the state Hajime was in.

”Training, huh? Wouldn you say that was a bit too one-sided to be called training? ”

Shizuku uttered those words in an icy tone.

”We were just… ”

”Save your breath. No matter how unfit for battle Nagumo-kun may be, hes still our

classmate. Make sure you don do it again, ” Kouki calmly interjected.

”If youve got time to be messing around, then work on your own damn skills instead! ”

Ryutarou bellowed.

Hiyama and everyone else started giving different excuses as they smiled awkwardly

and beat a hasty retreat. Kaori cast some healing magic on Hajime, and he gradually

felt the pain recede.

”Th-Thank you, Shirasaki-san. You saved me. ”

Hajime smiled painfully and Kaori shook her head at his words, her eyes filled with


”Do they always do things like that to you? If so, Ill… ” Kaori glared angrily in the

direction Hiyama and the others ran off to, but Hajime hurriedly stopped her.

”No, no, its not always this bad! Im fine, really, so please don mind me! ”

”But… ”

Kaori didn seem fully convinced, so Hajime smiled and said, ”Im fine, really. ” At those

words, Kaori reluctantly gave in.

”Nagumo-kun, if anything else happens, please, for Kaoris sake too, tell us right away. ”

Shizuku said that with a sidelong glance at Kaori, a strained expression on her face all

the while. Hajime was about to thank her for her concern, but the resident hero had

to go and ruin the mood.

”But you know, Nagumo, you need to put in some effort of your own. Youll never grow

strong if you keep using your weakness as an excuse. Ive been hearing that you

spending all your time in the library when we
e not training. If I was in your shoes,

Id spend every spare moment training to get stronger. I really think you need to start

taking this more seriously, Nagumo. Don you think Hiyama and the others might have

done this because they were trying to fix that frivolous attitude of yours? ”

No matter what Hajime did, Kouki always interpreted it like that. Hajime was

dumbstruck for a moment before he remembered that Amanogawa-kun was the kind

of person who believed that all people were inherently good, and filtered everything

he saw through that world view.

To Kouki, it was actually unthinkable on a fundamental level that humans could be so

cruel. If that was how he saw everything, then it stood to reason that he believed there

was a proper reason behind all cruel acts. ”Maybe the problem was with the person

they were attacking! ” was a natural conclusion to draw with that kind of mindset.

Koukis words contained no real ill will. His warnings toward Hajime were actually

sincere, in fact. That was why Hajime no longer possessed the strength to even try and

correct Kouki. Besides, it was pointless to say anything to someone so convinced of

their own righteousness.

Shizuku knew that as well, so she put a hand over her mouth to stifle a sigh before

apologizing to Hajime.

”Sorry about that. Kouki at least means well. ”

”Ahaha, yeah, I know. Don worry about it. ” Hajime smiled and replied with the same

reassuring words he always did. He slowly stood up, brushing the dust off his clothes.

”Anyway, its almost time for training to start. Shall we head back? ” They all walked

back to the training grounds together at Hajimes insistence. Kaori kept shooting him

worried glances, but Hajime pretended not to notice. As a man, it felt somewhat wrong

to let himself be doted on by a girl the same age.

As they returned to the training grounds, Hajime breathed a sigh for the umpteenth

time that day. The road ahead certainly looked grim for him.

Normally the students were given free time after training until dinner, but Captain

Meld held them back after training had ended on that day. The students all looked at

him curiously, and once he had their attention, he proclaimed loudly,

”Tomorrow, as part of your practical training, we will be going on an expedition to the

Great Orcus Labyrinth. Ill prepare all the necessary equipment you guys will need, but

don think this is going to be anything like the monster hunts youve been going on

outside the capital! You guys better prepare yourselves! Get as much rest as possible

tonight so you
e ready! Thats all, dismissed! ” He kept his announcement brief, then

left right after he had delivered it.

Hajime stood at the end of the line of chattering students and looked up at the sky.

Very grim indeed.

The Great Orcus Labyrinth. It was a massive dungeon said to span a hundred floors.

As it was one of the seven great labyrinths, the deeper one went, the stronger the

monsters they faced. Despite the dangers, it was a very popular training spot for

adventurers, mercenaries, and new troops alike. The main reasons for that were

because it was easy enough to measure the relative strength of the monsters one

would have to face based on the floor they were on, and that the mana crystals

contained within the monsters were of a higher quality than the ones harvested from

monsters on the surface.

A mana crystal was the core of a monster; it was what made a monster a monster. The

more powerful a monster, the bigger and purer a mana crystal it held inside. Mana

crystals were an important component in magic circles. A magic circle only needed to

be drawn to be able to cast the spell inscribed within, but it would have reduced

effectiveness without powdered mana crystals used in the engraving of the circle. In

fact, it would only be one third as powerful.

Mana crystals allowed for more efficient transferal of mana, which was why they

improved effectiveness so much. In addition, most commonplace magical tools used

mana crystals as a power source. Because they were used by the common folk and not

just the military, mana crystals were always in rather high demand.

However, monsters that possessed high quality mana crystals were also capable of

using powerful specialized magic. It was specialized because while they had large

quantities of mana, monsters were incapable of using magic circles or chants, meaning

that they could only ever use a single type of spell. Still, being able to unleash that spell

without needing a magic circle or incantation was a powerful asset. It was the number

one reason one could never let their guard down when fighting a monster.

Hajime and the others arrived in the outpost town of Horaud, together with Captain

Meld and a few of his knights. It was a small town that primarily existed to service the

adventurers who traveled there wishing to challenge the Great Orcus Labyrinth. As

the labyrinth was also used as a training arena for new soldiers, the kingdom

maintained a state-run inn at the town, which was where the students were all staying.

Hajime was glad to see a normal room for once, and happily dived into his bed with a

relieved sigh. Every other room had at least two people in it, but Hajime had one all

for himself.

”Wow, lucky me, ” Hajime muttered, somewhat disappointed. He did feel a little lonely

being in a room alone, after all.

Tomorrow they would all enter the labyrinth. The plan was to go no further than floor

twenty, which according to Captain Meld was still high enough that the knights would

be able to protect him. All Hajime could say in response were apologies for how much

of a burden he was. He honestly wouldve preferred if they left him behind and went

on by themselves… but he didn have the courage to say that to Captain Meld,

considering the atmosphere and all.

Hajime started reading the picture book he had borrowed that described some of the

monsters that inhabited the lower levels of the dungeon. After a while, however, he

decided he would need as much rest as he could get, so he planted himself down in

bed despite the early hour. The skills hed developed in school to allow him to sleep in

any situation still worked even in another world.

But just as he was dozing off, he heard a knock on his door that broke him out of his

stupor. Though he had mentioned it was still a little early, that had meant early for

him, who was used to pulling back to back all-nighters. It was actually quite late for

the people of Tortus. Suspecting the unexpected late night visitor might be Hiyama

and the others, Hajime tensed up. However, his fears vanished when he heard the voice

on the other side of the door.

”Nagumo-kun, are you awake? Its me, Shirasaki. Can we talk for a bit? ”

What on earth? Hajime stiffened up for a second before hurriedly rushing over to the

door. He quickly unbolted and opened his door. Standing on the other side was Kaori,

wearing nothing but a cardigan over her pure white negligee.

”…What in tarnation? ”

”Huh? ” Hajime was so shocked that he unintentionally slipped into an odd accent for

a moment there. Kaori looked at him blankly, so she must not have heard him right.

Hajime composed himself as best he could and asked what she wanted while trying to

avoid looking at her as much as possible. As much of a 2D advocate as he mightve

been, Hajime was still a teenage boy. Kaoris appearance was a bit too stimulating for


”Ah, umm, its nothing. Anyway, whats up? Do you have a message for me or

something? ”

”No. I was hoping we could talk for a bit, Nagumo-kun… But I guess Im being a bother,

aren I? ”

”…Come on in. ” Hajime asked what he thought was the most likely reason for Kaoris

appearance, but she bluntly refused and gave a most unexpected reply. And she had

asked him with such pleading puppy dog eyes too. The combination was super

effective! Before he knew it, Hajime had already thrown the door wide and invited

Kaori in.

”Thanks! ” Kaori happily stepped inside without any hesitation, then sat down at the

table by the window.

Still somewhat confused, Hajime began reflexively brewing her some tea. Brewing

might have been a bit of an overstatement, however, as it was just some crappy black

tea he made by dumping some teabags into a pot of water. He made enough tea for the

both of them and offered Kaori a cup. Once the tea had been served, he sat down across

from her.

”Thank you. ” Despite the terrible quality of the tea, Kaori still accepted it graciously.

She gently brought the cup to her lips, and the moonlight illuminated her figure as she

did. Her black hair glowed faintly in the silver light, wreathing her in a halo. She looked

almost like an angel.

Hajime stared, captivated in a purely platonic manner by her mysterious aura. He

finally returned to his senses after Kaori put the cup down with a clink. In an attempt

to calm himself down, Hajime downed his cup of crappy black tea in one big gulp. He

choked a little as the deluge of liquid poured down his throat. Well, that was rather


Kaori chuckled as she saw him sputter. In order to distract himself from the

embarrassment, Hajime quickly started talking.

”So, what was it you wanted to talk to me about? The dungeon trip tomorrow? ” Kaori

nodded in affirmation, and her smile was replaced by an unbelievably grave


”I want you… to stay here when we go to the labyrinth tomorrow. Ill convince the

instructors and the rest of our classmates, so please, don go! ” Kaori grew more and

more heated as she spoke, and by the end she was leaning forward into Hajime,

pleading with him.

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