「I have a few things I want to ask you but….
Why don’t you go first, Slava-kun」
While sipping the cocoa that was too sweet for me, Sonya directed her beautiful jade eyes towards me.
I should go first, huh?
Certainly, the questions I have for her are likely to be resolved faster than her’s.
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Her questions are likely related to my identity. And talking about that will likely take a lot of time.
In such a case, allowing me to voice my queries first would be an appropriate decision.
….Well, that being said…the things I want to ask are roughly divided into two things.
Since she insists, let’s ask her the thing that’s been on my mind since just now.
「Then I won’t hold back.
Although Sonya-dono seems to be surprised when looking at my ears, there were many opportunities to see my ears since the beginning.
Only realising it after you take off that mask, could that mask be──」
「Yes, it is as you guessed. This mask has surprisingly good ventilation but, there is no hole for vision.」
Sonya raised the removed mask to show me. The mask seemed to have many holes for ventilation but──
…. Well, it’s as she said, there were none for vision.
I would definitely have noticed if I bothered looking, but I would never have thought that the mask would not have holes for seeing.
However──. If that’s the case, then what was Sonya seeing just now…?
When we first met, she must have spotted our figures without her sight, something which was very much possible. Being living beings, both Cheryl and I emit a presence, and we usually did not go around hiding our presence so to grasp our presence from such is understandable.
Also, another way could’ve been through sensing magic. Particularly effective in battle related scenarios, those used to it, could sense without sight even the most intense of movements. For the sake of gaining such perception, many warriors would practice it.
But──to recognise terrain, this is impossible.
Trees and soil emit no presence. Given as such, it’s impossible to sense the terrain through sensing presence.
If it’s magic, it’s true that there exists some amount of magic in everything, however little. Though it does exist, trees, stones and the like, have such a minute amount of magic that….
What I have heard is that only when one can sense magic to a very high degree will one be able to grasp even the terrain. But, magic of this kind is said to be a lost technique.
Firstly, since the amount of magic emitted is so minute that no matter how perceptive the person is, the range is small.
More than anything else, it takes time. To take a long time to concentrate, to grasp a small area. Such a useless technique can’t be called a technique.
……Therefore, this girl called Sonya, To be able to walk with such agility, without her eyes, is somewhat unusual.
For those who are blind, usually a wooden stick to ascertain any obstructions is necessary to walk but Sonya seems to have no need for such a thing.
In that case──it leads me to wonder….on how she’s seeing.
「Fufu, you’re quite right.
Wearing such a mask, my movements must be unusual.
It is as if──that I could see.」
Wanting to take a look──I looked and saw Sonya’s eye give out a bewitching allure and a chill went down my spine.
This too must have something to do with how she recognises the terrain.
Depending on how one saw it, it was a provocative/lascivious gaze (latter is better I think). But, I could feel no malice in those eyes.──It seems even here, there are strange people.
「If it’s fine, could you tell me how you did it?」
「Sure, I don’t mind.」
I directed my question after regaining my cool from her question that seemed to see right through me.
Don’t hide anything──this was Sonya’s implication, in a somewhat fun manner.2
Anyways, it’s to be appreciated if she’s simply going to answer my questions.
While soothing Cheryl, who was slightly panicked from the heat of the cocoa, I wait for Sonya’s reply.
Looking at us, she smiled gently.
When Cheryl finally settled down, Sonya opened her mouth.
「To speak in simple terms, I used everything except my eyes to feel all sorts of things.」
The meaning behind Sonya’s words took some time for me to digest.
My mind didn’t work too quickly even in my previous life. Well let’s first start with what she said.
Sonya just matter-of-factly said 「I used everything except my eyes to feel all sorts of things」.
What’s everything except my eyes? If she’s talking in terms of the five sense, then…nose, ears──such an abstract answer makes me confused.
As though laughing at my confusion, Sonya continued.
「I wonder if that was a little too broad?
Well to be more precise, it’s the smell and the noise. Feeling the flow of the wind, I can sense the magic emanating from everything──putting all together I can grasp the surroundings.
Sounds and the wind help me tell the distance, smell tells me the form. This world is full of information. If one takes in all that information, then seeing is not impossible. At least in normal life, it wouldn’t look unnatural even with your eyes closed.
Thus if I properly sensed, I would have noticed your ears but, when sensing living things, magic is enough to get a rough sense of the shape and figure.
The reason I mistook you for a human was because the colour and wavelength of your magic is very much similar to that of a human.」
Sonya’s answer was beyond my imagination.
Putting together smell and sound, feeling the flow of wind and magic, is it?
The amount of information that is needed, I could not imagine.
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Eyes would be enough to just look at a person, just what exactly is this girl──
「Sonya is fine. Somehow, towards you, I feel that you are older than I am.
Having said that, to change your manner of speaking at this stage must be tough, so I guess I’m fine with this either ways?」
Now, I wonder what she saw?
At this age, she’s a young elf, yet she possesses such talent.
To even see through me. Bearing such grainy feelings, I continued acting calmly.
「──Aa, I’ll do that.
Then, if Sonya can see with her eyes, then why would you blind yourself?」
「It’s for Skywatching. In order to grasp the air, relying on sight alone is insufficient.
To grasp the air, the direction and strength of the wind, the smell and others are a big hint.
Thus, I sealed my reliance on my sight on a daily basis, in order to train my other senses.」
Though Sonya says it indifferently, it’s likely that the training is a gruesome task.
The slight shadow in her eye was something I didn’t miss.
….Somehow, there seems to be another reason she doesn’t wish to talk about. I won’t continue questioning but, to cause a beautiful young girl to go to such extents──it certainly is an unusual circumstance.
「Then, this was your question?
Other than that, is there anything else?」
It must be something Sonya doesn’t want to talk about further.
Then I won’t ask anymore regarding this issue.
Then──I still have another important question.
「Well, I have one more.
Until now, I have been a martial artist. I came on this trip to begin training on my road as a martial artist──so I heard from my friend that in Natousha, there exists an excellent fighter.
…From what I’ve seen, Sonya doesn’t seem to be that person──what?」
I could feel slight magic, and a behaviour without negligence.
Then, getting close to me without me noticing, a wind like emptiness.
Everything I had seen till now seemed to suggest she focused on dexterity──
While asking my question, I felt that asking about such things was not necessary,
Measuring strength was an important thing as a martial artist. After reaching a certain degree, even without exchanging blows, a martial artist must at least possess such an ability to an extent.
Having discretion, for me who’s aiming to be the strongest, served as a backbone especially as a martial artist.
There had yet to be an opponent that caused my heart to pound with excitement.
Magic was beginning to ooze out from my body.
I can’t restrain my excited heart. To allow me to feel to such an extent, aside from Chester, I had yet to meet in this life.
Although there seems to be no bottom, it should be on par with Alma──or higher.
As though it had never seen the surface, Sonya’s magic was like pure calm spring water, which conversely caused my heart to throb.
Acting as calmly as possible, I withdrew my leaked out magical power.
Oops, that must’ve been too rude.
Though I was invited to her house, to go around provoking a fight.
Realising the unthinkable impoliteness I showed, I lowered my head in fluster.
At the sight of this, Sonya’s face had a different smile, from before.
「No, you don’t need to feel so bad about it.
I too like matches──rather, I welcome such fights.」
In contrast with me who retracted my magic power urgently, this time Sonya’s magic started swelling.
A pure glassy magic began to take shape, mixed with a plain inquisitive colour.
──Since it’s come to this, I guess there’s no need to apologize.
She’s no different from me, is she.
「Excellent fighter──I have no intention to evaluate myself as such but, I have confidence in my fighting ability.
At the very least, in this Natousha, I might be the best, or at least I think so.」
Her narrow smile was no longer gentle, but filled with a curiosity for battle.
For her to show such an expression at such a young age, is something I find largely disagreeable.
With no chance to test out her own powers in daily life, hence taking this chance to wield it at full strength. She was filled with such a joy.
「Then you understand what I’m trying to say?」
「Of course──rather, it’s something I couldn’t even hope for.
When I first met you, the fighting spirit you gave off. I’ve always been interested in it.」
「Then, show me.
Honestly speaking, I’ve also been quite exited from the start.」
Rising from the chair, I release the magic power that I had concealed.
It was a magic power I had been polishing since my previous life. On top of the practice I’ve had in this life, it was a power that far exceeded that of a child.
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Though I had yet to use my full strength, it was at the level where any martial artist looking to gain a reputation should possess──or so I thought.
But, that was at the very best for the outside world.
When I first searched places the light never reached, there was Chester. Then──now this girl, I wonder if she too is an existence that strayed from the path.
I released a torrent of demonic fighting spirit that would make many a martial artist to forfeit at first sight.
Seeing that, Sonya’s slightly shocked face turned quickly into a smile.
「…Incredible. And you’re still not serious yet?
This is really beyond my expectations, I’m beat.」
The cold sweat on her brow reflected her words.
But in that face of despair, there was no resignation.
There, was an expression I was used to.
A face martial artists made when their hearts are shaking from a strong enemy.
If you wish to fight, be quick about it.
As I was about to say that──Sonya stopped me.
Seeing her widespread palms, I swallowed my words.
「I want to immediately──is what I want to say, but it’s about time」
Pointing outside, a troubled smile floated on Sonya’s face.
What── . Oops I realised I’m back to asking questions.
What is this girl? What kind of occupation does she have?
Cheryl said silently as she innocently walked towards the window.
Looking around, the surroundings darkened somehow──small raindrops fell, striking against the windows lighty.
As I thought that──
The sound of shuffling surrounded us, the sound of raindrops singing in unison filled the room through the window.
Each drop held considerable force──the countless raindrops then painted the outside of the window.
The previously brightly shining sun had been covered by the clouds, instead of day, the curtain of rain fell.
Certainly this is──
「Ne, told you. This is something you can only experience when camping.」
Elbows on the table, Sonya’s face perched on her stretched palms, and smiled cheerfully.
Indeed, this is Skywatching──huh.
Sonya said after the the first drop landed on the window.
This is certainly something I did not expect.
「There certainly is some elegance about a deathmatch in the rain, but in any case, I have lost the will to fight.
Though it will likely rain a lot tomorrow, anyhow I’m a free person. If you need someone to talk to, I can help you.」
Her eyes narrowed, like emerald jades forming the crescent moon.
…Truly, an interesting person has appeared.
After I return from the trip, I should give a word of thanks to Chester.
「Now now, have a seat. If you would like, could I get anything to replace the cocoa?」
「Ahaha, you liked it? How about Slava-kun?」
「Iya…I will decline.」
「Alright, I understand. Wait a bit, Cheryl-chan.」
With a mischievous smile due to winning about the prediction about the sky. Sonya disappeared into the kitchen again.
──But, such a heavy rain.
I heard that weather around mountainous regions change easily, but to what extent?
Looking at the pelting rain somewhat happily, she narrowed her eyes slightly.
「Sorry for the wait. Then, now is it my turn to ask questions?
It may be a little long though.」
「Aa, ask away. If I can answer, I shall.」
Sonya who appeared from the kitchen, placed a cocoa in front of where Cheryl had been sitting.
Attracted by the sweet fragrance, Cheryl drifted away from the window.
「Then firstly──Slava-kun. May I ask what kind of existence you are?」
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「Though I don’t mind──it’s quite an absurd story. Whether or not you can believe I don’t know.」
「Don’t worry about that. If it’s not a trained liar, I’m quite skilled in seeing through one’s thoughts.」
「The precedent of sound and magic──?」
「Un, that’s right. So don’t lie, ok?」
She said with a cackling smile, clearly enjoying herself.
──Then, where should I begin the story from?
I think I have quite the strange fate, so I’m puzzled on how to start explaining this.
- TLN: Wandering: I couldn’t find another word to replace it so I just put the original one. Sorami refers to beholding (something) without placing any importance on it. (Extra note: It could be possible that the author intended this but, 空見can also be a buddhist term, symbolising a philosophy close to nihilism) | raltzero: I think “空見” is split into “空[Sky]” and “見[Looking/Viewing]” and by the way, the title is “空見の『目』” if you’re curious. ↩
- TLN: 別に隠す事でもない──言外にそう語るソーニャは、どこか楽しそうであった。 ↩