The tiny speck of light was getting bigger and bigger... Its brightness kept increasing, causing Derrick to madly squint. He had been underground for several months, even forgetting the warmth of the sun. Soon, he heard birds singing and the wind howling. He couldn't help but smile.

He was finally outside. The sky was blue and there were barely any clouds. He observed his surroundings and tried to find visual references that he could have seen somewhere before. However, he couldn't see anything but a thick forest that seemed limitless.

"Come out Io. We're going to do some recon!"

The eagle-bat subserviently came out of his shadow and lowered its wing. After taking off, they finally realized how big the forest was. It covered every parcel of land they could see and eliminated any type of bearing. With nothing to base their decision, they took a random direction and headed out.

A few days went by until they finally saw signs of life. In the endless vegetation, there was a bit of smoke. They had finally discovered a village. After a few moments of reflection, Derrick realized he couldn't approach it while mounting Io and decided to land further away to avoid causing a commotion. He definitely needed their help to reach the nearest town.

After storing his armor and hiding Io back in his shadow, he proceeded in their direction. He had also smeared mud all over his face to pretend he was a lost adventurer. Even though he was only 16 years old, his stature exuded an aura of warfare, making him seem quite experienced. His plan was foolproof, or so he thought.

When he arrived at their gate, he pretended to be in a weakened state and 'fell' to the ground, mumbling for help.

"Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis!"

The guard present kept yelling this sentence and was clearly suspicious of anything coming out of those woods. That's when Derrick realized he had forgotten something crucial : the language. He didn't know where he was and couldn't understand a thing, so his best bet was to exaggerate his demise and not answer anything.

[Would you like to learn the Yuko language? It will take 1 hour!]

The prompt rang out in Derricks' mind and surprised him. He immediately accepted and didn't move. He had to hold on during that time as to not blow his cover. The necromancer wouldn't be able to use his Adventurer's alibi if he couldn't even speak their language.

The burly armed man kept calling Derrick, to no avail. After a few minutes, he cautiously proceeded forward and started probing Derrick with his spear. When he saw that there was no reaction, he called for help.

The gate of the village opened and 6 people came out. There were 5 well-built soldiers and a beautiful middle-aged woman. They questioned the guard and carefully made their way to Derrick. From their responses, it was easy to tell that they were frightened by the newcomer.

The woman started evaluating Derrick's condition and after a few minutes, she ordered the soldiers to take him inside. He was brought in a small hut where they laid him on a bed. There was a soldier standing guard outside.

[Language Learned!]

Derrick was delighted. He absolutely hated being powerless and ignorant. As such, he started paying attention to the conversation outside between the woman and what seemed to be the leader of the village. They were discussing whether to help him or not, which made Derrick frown. He couldn't be thrown out until he knew where he was.

He started using Appraisal on the nearest people to see if they were strong and ended up being disappointed. Everyone was slightly above average, and they barely had any skills. There were only 2 interesting individuals, and they were the woman and the village chief. She had a Novice Healing skill, and he had a Novice Strengthening skill. However, this also meant that if they chose to kick him out, he would stop pretending and get what the information he wanted.

After a few minutes, they both entered the hut and glared at Derrick before the village chief started questioning him.

"Who are you and what are you doing here?"

Derrick kept acting as if he was gravely injured and muttered.

"My name's Derrick Tarlin... I'm a lost Adventurer... Please help me..."

His acting skills were rough, but they seemed to do the trick as the chief lowered his guard. The village was in a very remote location and it was not the first time he had encountered lost Adventurers, even if they were extremely rare. Seizing the opportunity, Derrick immediately asked where he was.

"You're in the Akata village at the border between the Serichi and Krakow Kingdoms. Are you from there?"

Derrick was startled. He had absolutely no clue as to where he was. He had never even heard of this place in his previous life as he paid no attention to politics of any sort.

"Yes, I'm from the Serichi Kingdom..."

After weakly answering the question, Derrick's gaze landed on the woman that had remained silent, and he asked for their names.

"My name's Lacha and this is Gregor. We are both respectively from the Serichi and Krakow Kingdoms. May I know from which town you come from? Maybe I can help you"

Lacha was clearly testing Derrick because she did not trust him. When she had evaluated him, she hadn't found anything wrong and was quite doubtful of his motives. She also knew the various towns in the surrounding area, which would allow her to verify his story. She was clearly a cunning woman.

Derrick's heart sank. He couldn't give an answer at all and realized his cover was blown. Sensing that something was wrong, Gregor's gaze turned cold, and he unleashed his aura.

"Ah... I never thought we'd have to do this... To be honest, I only want information on how to get to the nearest town. I don't want to hurt you"

Derrick had gotten up from the bed, and he was standing in front of them. He tried cleaning himself up the best he could, but only ended up making it worse.

"Who are you really?"

Lacha and Gregor had assumed fighting postures and even though Lacha was a healer, she was also proficient in hand-to-hand combat. However, they didn't know that they were like ants in front of Derrick.

"My name's really Derrick, however I'm not an Adventurer... But I'm..."

Before he could finish his sentence, Lacha and Gregor launched towards him, trying to catch him by surprise. They knew no ordinary person could survive in the forest, so they decided on using a sneak attack. Derrick harrumphed and his eyes grew cold. Dark aura suddenly exploded from his body...


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