God of Thieves

by

Kageko

Chapter 5 - First confrontation

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“So that's why there was so much commotion yesterday. They were all scrambling about for treasure.”

“Yeah! You haven’t heard?” Aisha sat up straight as she explained. “Some adventurers were tasked to wipe out a bandit camp in the Kelekona mountains and decided to just blow the whole place up. Turns out, their explosion accidentally uncovered some sort of large cavern. They tried to explore it a bit but, there were skeletons! Lots and lots of them!”

She then took a sip from Kayden’s cup of coffee to wet her lips, and he wasn’t amused.

“So, after seeing the skeletons, those newbie C-rank adventurers—no offense to you—ran away and reported it to the guild. I heard they got a 300 gold bounty from that… Lucky bastards.”

When someone reports the existence of a new dungeon, the adventurer’s guild will reward them with bounties to encourage more people to do so. A dungeon is a lucrative opportunity and there had been private deals made in the past where dungeon locations were exchanged for heaps of gold.

“300 gold, huh? There’re so many things I could buy with that amount of gold.”

“Mm-hmm.” Aisha nodded her head rapidly.

“H-hey! How about joining my party for the dungeon exploration? The guild classified it as a C to B rank dungeon, so we’re gonna need all the manpower we can get.”

Kayden was sorely tempted, especially so after being hit with her signature puppy dog eyes. However, he knew that her party already had a rogue, and joining her party would be like blowing up a bandit camp, which is to say, completely overkill. Thus, he steeled himself and turned to face her.

“I think it’s best for me to look for another party.”

W-what? Why!?”

Aisha looked aghast for some reason, as if she couldn’t comprehend why he would reject her.

“What do you mean why? Isn’t there already a B-ranked rogue in your party? I wouldn’t have contributed anything to the party that the rogue already could. Best I find another party, I can be more helpful and get a better share of the loot that way.”

She looked dispirited and hung her head low. “I-if that’s the case, t-then it’s fine.”

“Glad that’s settled.” Kayden finished his sandwich and dusted the crumbs off himself. He picked up his belongings and left the table, leaving his coffee unfinished. “See you at the dungeon!”

“Where are you going?”

Kayden smiled and waved but didn’t reply.

***

“Haaaaaaah” Kayden sighed in contentment as he further sank into the hot spring. He had just arrived at Honami Hot Springs, a relatively well-known place for baths, and paid the fee of two silver pieces to rent a private room. He wasn’t a fan of the public bathhouse, mostly because of an incident that had happened in the past

He had a full hour’s worth of time and he planned to enjoy every last bit of it. To stave off the boredom, he played with the spell orb. He was perfectly content with simply spinning the orb for an hour, rolling it between his fingers or juggling it. However, it seemed that life had other plans for him…

“SHADOW, I KNOW YOU’RE IN HERE! IT’S TIME TO PAY FOR YOUR CRIMES!”

…It seems that someone had managed to track him here.

‘Did he cast some kind of tracking spell on me?’

Kayden was sure that none of the guards he had faced could use this kind of magic. After all, he did spend a whole week observing and preparing for all kinds of possibilities.

Sighing, he got out of the bath to quickly check the commotion. His wet brown hair stuck to his forehead in clumps as they dripped water all over the marble floor. His arm reached for his shirt which he hung on the door and grabbed a fistful of… nothing.

Wait, what?

Kayden rubbed his eyes to make sure they weren’t playing tricks on him. He could’ve sworn he hung them over the door, like how you’re supposed to…

No way…

The dreaded incident had happened again! Back when he bathed in the public bathhouse, someone had broken into his locker and stolen his clothes!

‘Even with a private room, my clothes still got stolen?’

He wanted to complain to the owner but realized that it wasn’t a good time to do so. He dried himself off with his towel—Thankfully they weren’t stolen—and stood in front of the door. Taking in a deep breath, he resolved himself for what is about to come.

“Invisibility” He muttered, before he quite literally vanished into thin air, the whole process happening in an instant. This was one of the most basic uses of illusion magic, and it was very effective in many situations. He gently pushed open the wooden door, and carefully made his way out to the reception area. On the way, he had to weave through the various customers.

“Oof!”

Kayden winced as he bumped into a kid. His eyes were frantically searching for the warden that managed to track him and he failed to notice someone below his eyesight. Tall people problems, he was sure.

“Mummy! Mummy!” The little girl called out. “There’s an invisible wall here!”

Crap!

“Invisible wall? That must be Shadow! Come out and fight, you coward! Only cowards use petty tricks like hiding! Are you that much of a coward? You’re a coward, aren’t you? Hahahaha. Even the maids in my family have more courage than you!”

Kayden froze, speechless.

‘You could at least have given me a chance to respond…'

***

Matou was going to capture the thief before heading off to Solus academy. Why? There were many reasons.

He looked at his stat page.

[Level: 15]

[Stat points remaining: 2]

Defeating powerful foes, completing quests, or intense training nets him experience points, which increases his level when he obtained enough. Levels were an indicator of how powerful an individual was compared to their race. Yes, you heard it correctly. A level 100 ant is not going to beat a level 5 human. He made a mistake before when he mistook a level 87 butterfly for some kind of hidden expert, pretending to be a butterfly. He was so scared he consulted everybody of this possibility, only for Annie to walk up to it and smack it dead.

He was teased by his family for an entire month.

Leveling up was a massive boon to him, as the system assigns him ‘stat points’, which he could use to either increase his stats or beef up his abilities. He gets assigned one stat point for every level he attains, though it took a higher number of points to upgrade his stronger stats and abilities.

Matou drooled as he thought of getting more levels. He was sure that by the end of his journey, he would become super overpowered, just like those Isekai protagonists in the novels he had read.

“System, where’s that sack of EXP? We need to find him, quick!”

[Locating marked target…]

[Location successfully found!]

[Displaying location…]

A holographic map of Dragonsteel city appeared in front of Matou. Among the various pictures depicting noteworthy places, a blinking red dot appeared at a building marked as ‘Honami Hot Springs’.

‘Hahaha, that idiot is going to get the shock of his life! Serves him right for sneaking into my house!’

Indeed, that was the reason why he could even track this individual. Back then, the system had warned him of a suspicious individual spying on him multiple times at home. He was frightened out of his wits when he first discovered this, and his frequent appearance made him lose sleep. It was also partially this guy’s fault that he mistook a harmless butterfly for a man in disguise.

Thankfully, a notification popped up that ended all of his worries.

[Would you like to place a marker on this target?]

[Yes/No]

For the small price of some mana, he could track the guy all the way to hell!

What a bargain!

He was convinced that the suspicious individual and the museum intruder were the same person as they both shared a similarity, nothing was stolen after they broke in. Matou was absolutely sure that this guy was some pervert that gets off from breaking into places.

Surely someone doesn’t just break into people’s homes for no reason?

As he thought of all this, he eventually arrived at the entrance of Honami Hot Springs. He had never been here before, but he had to admit, it was a cute little place. It looked like the Onsens back on earth, with its tasteful wooden exterior and luxurious trees surrounding the establishment. He could also make out a large thatch roof over the bathing area, and the familiar sight of steam wafting out from the hot springs.

He slammed open the sliding door, shouting out with a voice as loud as he could muster.

“SHADOW, I KNOW YOU’RE IN HERE! IT’S TIME TO PAY FOR YOUR CRIMES!”

A flustered old woman, presumably the owner of this establishment shuffled up to him nervously. “Y-young lord, is there something I can help you with?”

She had immediately recognized the loudmouth as soon as he entered, and years of doing business had made her perceptive to trouble. As much as she wanted to chase him out for disturbing the customers, she knew she had to display a level of respect to the city lord’s son, lest she wanted her business to go under.

She had also recognized the name of the criminal Matou spouted and could guess that a fight was going to break out in her establishment. Before a tragedy would befall upon her business, she was determined to first kick both troublemakers out.

Of course, life doesn’t always go her way. She heard a little girl cry out, “There’s an invisible wall here!” and she almost tore her hair out in frustration. The moment she saw the young lord smirk, she knew her business was done for. She proceeded to hobble out of her establishment, intending to call the wardens as soon as possible.

***

Kayden was screwed.

That was the thought that passed through his mind as soon as his eyes landed on the figure. He recognized the boy and knew things about him that the general public wasn’t aware of. Matou Dragonsteel had always been known to be some sort of unparalleled genius to the public, as the city lord kept boasting about it in front of the citizens during his speeches.

Out of sheer curiosity of the validity of the speeches and maybe to test his own skill at infiltration, he broke into the Dragonsteel estate. Spoiler alert, it was too easy.

What he discovered was that the kid could use all types of elemental magic. ALL of it. It was so shocking that even his mother fainted. And if that wasn’t enough, he could use healing magic too.

And right now, he was shocked again. This kid could use tracking magic too? What kind of preposterous blessings does he have?

Kayden knew it was going to be a tough fight. He was confident in his ability to escape, but the tracking spell would ensure that he would be discovered again. Left with no choice, he grabbed his only weapon, a toothbrush.

He shut his eyes as he focused on wrapping his mana around him. The mana within him swirled intensely before flowing out of him as black tendrils. These tendrils enveloped him and formed a dark-robed figure sporting a black mask with white dots for eyes and a crooked line for teeth. He let his invisibility spell fade and he, Shadow, appeared before his opponent.

He let his mana wrap around his toothbrush, forming the image of a knife. He coughed a bit and faked a deep voice,

“You dared to follow me?” Kayden pointed his knife(toothbrush) menacingly at the boy. “I wouldn’t come any closer if I were you.”

Hope this scares him off.

Matou sniggered.

[System scan was successful!]

[Displaying target info]

Name:

???

Title:

Shadow, the pest of Babylon

Level:

12

 

[Designated threat level: Low]

He pointed his longsword—which he dubbed ‘Star Platinum’—at Shadow.

“I can’t beat the sh*t out of you without getting closer.”

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A note from Kageko

I just realized that the last chapter could be considered as a kind of fanservice. Hope you don't mind.


About the author

Kageko

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