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Chapter 6: Shannon who sees Another World

Shannon who sees Another World

... The mansion was one that the Circry family had prepared to seal away their youngest daughter.

The unseeing maiden, [Shannon Circry] knew that all too well.

The decision of the Circry House to hide away their impaired daughter was still on the more decent side of the spectrum.

(The fact that I'm still alive is my fortune, right... but the fact that I was't killed will someday...)

Sitting in the chair of her room, she was looking out of her window.

It was thought that her eyes didn't function, but that wasn't the case.

The world she saw was different.

"It's warm today."

Sunlight streaming in from the window warmed her body.

Because of the loss of her sight, her other senses had grown sharper. And it wasn't just a sharpening at that.

They had been honed enough to make up for what was lost.

The sound of a person's breathing, and their heartbeat let her judge distance.

She just couldn't see, but she could carry out life like normal.

But she intentionally concealed that.

The reason being it was fun. Everyone pitied her, and became negligent, looking down on her impairment. It was too fun.

And...

"It sure is nice to be able to see the flow of Mana. I mean, that pretty much lets me see everything."

Her eyes were able to perceive Mana.

The reason her unseeing eyes were able to gain such an ability is precisely because her blindness caused a [Skill] to manifest.

So not only did her lack of sight hone her other senses, Shannon's eyes even developed a Skill to compensate for them.

She was a girl with what you could call demon eyes.

"Even so, that Lyle man was quite wary of me... he gave off quite a strange feeling. I'd like to drive him out soon."

From the moment Lyle had taken up residence in the place, Shannon had been irritated.

Desiring a life alone with her sister, Lyle's party was in the way.

Especially Lyle, from whom she could see seven different mysterious lights. The sort of Mana she had never seen before made her strengthen her guard.

"Even when it had all fallen together nicely, he has to get in my way..."

It was true that Shannon liked her sister, but more than that, her sister Miranda was her toy.

Having obtained a new power, she became able to sense other peoples' sentiments from their Mana flow.

She had obtained these eyes back when she was still in the imperial capital of Centralle.

It all happened when she saw a single girl.

Even when she shouldn't have been able to see anything, she perceived a massive mass of Mana.

What stood before her was a girl around her own age. Even so, her Mana was larger than anyone else.

The girl was of a Count House, and one that was tied to her own Circry House at that.

That light of Mana looked as if it was simply drawing in all the lights around it... it was beautiful, and yet terrifying. She remembered feeling entranced by the light.

"... Someday, I'll surpass that. As long as I have these eyes."

It was as if some other entity had descended down on the realm of man.

Shannon had tried greeting the girl but she didn't even turn her way.

Shannon was only seen as a frail sightless little girl.

And that was simply mortifying. It's not that she wanted to be loved. However, having that girl not even turn towards her general direction was as if to speak that she didn't even have that much worth to her.

Even so, the reason Shannon held an interest was...

"Ah, I want to break her already, and make her a doll that can't live without me... I think I've gotten quite a bit better by practicing on the servants."

By watching the Mana with her eyes, she slowly became able to control it.

By extending her own, she could throw other people's mana out of order.

Only she could see it, so no one else could notice.

And controlling those she's tainted was what Shannon tried on the servants.

To Shannon, who could never see before, it was a great help towards expanding her own world.

At the same time, dark emotions began to surface.

"My bright and pretty ideal onee-sama... I want to break her. If I do, then I'll be able to surpass that person someday. I'll become that person."

Having seen that person in her own eyes, and having become entranced, her eyes that had been closed for all her life had suddenly awakened in a different sense.

Her amber eyes started to let off a golden light.

"But first I'll have to make onee-sama into a doll. She has to move to my will."

With 'that person' as her goal, to her beloved onee-sama... Miranda, Shannon began to harbor some twisted emotions.

With an expression of ecstasy, Shannon gazed out the window...

-

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-

"So the managed labyrinth was a place like this?"

Damien Valle...

Having accepted the request of one of those counted into the city of scholars' seven great perverts, I stepped into the labyrinth, and whispered to myself.

Unlike the one I encountered in Dalien, thin metal slabs were stuck together and overlapped to form the walls of the maze.

There were some places that gave off a faint light, and I could occasionally see blinking red orbs hung around. The labyrinth they were managing had quite a peculiar atmosphere surrounding it.

"Oy! This one's a dead end!"

"Hey, hurry up and go lower!"

"Dammit! There are no monsters!"

Just with this request, it was possible to peer into the labyrinth, so there were many like us who accepted Damien's request.

But there were too many of them, and the first floor was overflowing with people.

The adventurers who regularly went in to fight monsters seemed perplexed, as they headed deeper into it.

(I see, so it was true that the seven greats' requests cause trouble for the surroundings.)

Novem had been prepared to light the way, but she gave up olong the way.

It's because there were countless other such lights coming from those around us, and moving around wasn't a problem.

"It's more than I imagined."

Novem gave a slight wry smile, and Aria agreed.

"Instead of going all the way out of the city's bounds, I heard the monster encounter rate in here was high, so it was popular, but..."

With a questioning expression on her face, Aria expressed the same opinion I had.

When I used my Skills to confirm the surrounding situation, I found all the monsters had been defeated, and the treasure chests opened. On the map that floated up in my head, there were so many yellow dots that it became hard to make out each individual one.

The Fifth offered some advice.

[When you're using Map, keep it on a magnification where you can make things out. If you try seeing everything, you'll see nothing but signals, and you won't be able to see anything. Also, I think you know this, but...]

I gripped the Jewel.

"Novem, Aria, we'll be turning right at the next fork."

"Yes, Lyle-sama."

"Eh, why? Everyone's turning left there."

Aria didn't seem to be satisfied with my direction, but there was a reason I avoided going left.

It's true that all the monsters had already been defeated.

But it's not just monsters that held hostility.

Mixed in with the mass of yellow, there were some red signals scattered around.

(It isn't just us. They're probably targeting the other adventurers as well.)

Even if they didn't go as far as killing, there were some who would theft and blackmail to take the items the other adventurers had on hand.

Within them, there were some where entire parties gave off a red signal.

The reason we're avoiding those sorts is because we're merely a party of three. What's more, we only have one man among us.

(It really is troublesome to be understaffed.)

At times like these, that would likely draw us into trouble.

I confirmed how congested the traffic was, before telling the others to turn back.

"Let's return for today. It's not like we need to push ourselves to earn, and it will probably calm down soon enough."

"After coming this far, it's a bit of a waste."

When Aria voiced her dissatisfaction, Novem persuaded her.

"While it's true we'll likely encounter monsters if we press on further, when we get beyond underground level five... the deeper you get, the stronger the monsters become, I've heard, so it may be dangerous."

From my point of view, I could already constantly confirm monster locations with Map.

We won't be taken by surprise, and I was confident we could actually use surprise to take down enemies easier.

But saying that wouldn't help my cause, so I stopped myself.

"Anyways, there are too many people. I see, so it really does require management, this one."

The Fifth agreed.

[I'll bet there are ones who would try heading to the deepest chamber, to steal the treasure. When it runs this deep, I can't help but wonder what sort of treasures sleep within.]

The Third also spoke.

[I heard that treasure chests are the reproduction of defeated adventurers' equipment by the labyrinth, but is that true? I've been told the corpses get sucked into it for the labyrinth's Growth, equipment and all, but I want to witness it firsthand.]

The Third sought approval from his surroundings, but the Second drew back.

[... Not happenin'. That ain't happenin'.]

[Eh?]

The Fourth also spoke.

[As if we would want to see something so grotesque.]

[Eh? What?]

It was rare for the Third to seem panicked, but right now, returning was my first priority.

"Well then, let's turn back here."

"You know the path back, right? And wait, give a proper explanation of your Skills already. Just how many can you use?"

As Aria was looking for an explanation, I answered.

"... There are eight in all."

Hearing that, Aria's face stiffened.

Novem was... simply smiling as always.

A voice from the Jewel ignored the Second to Fourth, who were joking around, and called out to me.

It was the Fifth.

[Now then, Lyle.]

I touched the Jewel to answer. When I did, he continued on.

[Come to the conference room tonight. Me and the Sixth as well as the Seventh will teach you our Skills. Let's throw in the Third's as well.]

Hearing that, I was a little surprised.

The Third's and Seventh's Skills, that they wouldn't tell me up to now, would be taught to me all at once.

What's more, two other Skill applications... their second levels as well.

(What is this, all of a sudden. The Fifth is... not that sort of impatient person.)

I found it mysterious, but I decided to follow his orders.

-

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-

Late at night.

When everyone in the mansion had fallen asleep, I sent my consciousness into the Jewel.

While it looked like I was simply sleeping in my bed, only my awareness was brought into the Jewel.

Inside, the ancestors were chatting about various things around the round table.

(I'll bet they can converse in places I can't hear as well.)

While I thought that, I lowered myself into my own seat.

The facilitator, the Fourth looked at he, and clapped his hands thrice to put an end to the idle banter. Everyone quieted down.

[Okay, Lyle has arrived, so we'll start the meeting. Well then, the one who called for you today was the Fifth.]

With his elbow on the table, the Fifth looked at me, and spoke.

[Go teach Lyle your Skills. I'm talking to you, Third and Seventh. From their uses, I don't think the current Lyle will fail at this point.]

A Skill failure was a phenomenon where you overused Skills, and dried up your Mana.

Losing consciousness was the lesser of your worries, and there was a possibility of death.

In the past, when I fought a bandit leader, he had used too many Skills, and blood had erupted from all over his body.

The Third looked at me, and nodded.

[Well why not? But I'll only teach you the fundamental use.]

The Fifth was that was alright, as he turned his eyes to the Seventh.

[... If he's only going to be using it twice a day at most.]

The Seventh placed a restriction on his Skill, but it seems he was going to teach me.

Of these two, it seemed the Third was cruel in nature.

The Sevenths' had an extraordinary nama consumption.

"What sort of Skills do you two have?"

When I asked, the Third smiled as he spoke.

[The Skill name is [Mind]. It's mainly for mental attack and defense. It can also let you show enemies illusions, but if you grow accustom to it, you can bend everyone to your... oh, perhaps going further would be too stimulating for Lyle?]

After saying that much, the Third covered his mouth with his hand.

The surrounding ancestors let out sighs.

The Second drew back.

[You've got quite a bad personality there.]

[Really? It's your turn, Seventh.]

The Third nominated the Seventh.

He stood up, used his Skill, and showed me.

[My Skill is [Box]. A special type Skill. It's convenient, but its mana consumption is extreme, and if you play it poorly, you'll use too much, and lose consciousness.]

The Seventh snapped his fingers, and a magic circle manifested before my eyes.

From it, a bow like a treasure chest emerged.

[The size of the box depends on your Mana. You don't need any Mana to maintain it, but the amount needed to call it is high. Its contents are left in a state with their time stopped, so it excels in storing and preserving.]

It was an exceedingly useful one.

Hearing that, I wondered why he had withheld it, and looked towards him.

There, the Seventh spoke.

[... If you use my Skill once, you can't cancel it halfway through. If you used it carelessly, even death was a possibility. Even if your Mana has increased a little, don't push yourself, Lyle.]

"Y-yes."

While convenient, it seems it was a dangerous one.

Putting off asking about how to use it to later, I turned back to the Fifth.

[Well then, you'll learn the Third and Seventh's Skills in the near future, so let's get into the main topic.]

"The main topic was something else?"

When I looked at the Sixth, he started clearing his throat.

It seems that it was something difficult to say.

Running out of patience, the Fifth...

[Oy, don't act so embarrassed with that large frame of yours. If you don't say it, I'll do it. Because it's related to me as well.]

A talk related to the Fifth?

While I thought that, the Sixth let out a sigh, before speaking up.

[... Lyle, the truth is those Circry siblings resemble my sister.]

The number of siblings the Sixth had surpassed thirty.

With that many, I have suspicions as to whether or not he had any familial affection, but perhaps he's talking about the Sister he got along with.

"Are you going to tell me to care for her like the First did? Well I do plan on looking out for them to some extent."

I said that, but the Sixth shook his head.

[That's one thing, but the main topic is something else.]

(So you mean you planned to say that as well? I'll be troubled if you get any more women around me! He won't tell me to take her as a bride, right? The Fifth and Sixth had mistresses as if it was normal, so their sense of values in that regard are likely different from mine...)

Thinking it was bad to interrupt him, I continued to listen to the Sixth's talk.

[The older sister Miranda is identical to her. Her personality is also similar. [Milleia] was also quite a nice girl.]

As the Sixth reminisced, the Fifth nidded.

[Among my daughters, she was the most docile, and she didn't backtalk, so it was nice and easy.]

What a dry impression.

Is that not a bit of a cruel outlook on your own daughter?

The Sixth continued.

[It's about the younger one, Shannon, but it looks like she has the same eyes as Milleia.]

"... Her eyes?"

I heard that she couldn't see, but it seems the Fifth and Sizth knew something.

And they were going to explain it ot me.

According to the Sixth...

Shannon had demon eyes.

"Demon eyes... is it?"

[With a Skill, she gained a sense of sight she didn't have before. I'll bet she has her own will, but it was probably something intuitive. Have you never heard of it? When you lose a single sense, your other senses sharpen?]

Hearing the Sixth, I remembered reading it in a book, so I nodded.

[Milleia couldn't see, but through her demon eyes, she could see Mana. On top of that, she was able to reproduce the information she got from her other senses in a way similar to vision. Rather than those that saw through their eyes naturally, she could see much better. Additionally, she could even touch the Mana flow invisible to normal eyes. Quite a troublesome power has been passed down. The mischievous girl is abusing Milleia's eyes.]

The Fifth let out a slightly angry voice.

While he says they were that Milleia's, they're likely something Shannon manifested on her own, so perhaps those are his personal thoughts on the matter.

(Could it be that's how much he cared for Milleia-san?)

"... Where's the proof that Shannon had activated a Skill?"

I could somewhat understand what these two were trying to say.

The mysterious experiences we've had since coming to the mansion were things brought forth by Shannon.

The Sixth revealed his evidence.

[When you activated a Skill, her eyes moved. What's more, she even directed them at the Jewel. Milleia was able to immediately tell when someone was using a Skill.]

While I did think it was nice if the girl's mischief came to an end, these two unraveled something beyond my expectations.

With a serious expression, the Fifth...

[Lyle, stop Shannon. If reforming her is impossible... then smash her eyes.]

... Asked me to crush Shannon's eyes.