Chapter 116 – Glasses boy feels like he can’t keep going without drinking
I didn’t even need to ask what evolution was, as Roda already started talking on his own.
“First things first, there is a difference between growing a Gift and evolving it, and that’s something all assassins need to learn about at some point.
“That said, if something doesn’t make sense to you, feel free to ask for clarification.
“By the way, how about a drink?” Roda asked.
“No, I’d prefer if you continued talking.” I replied.
“Before anything else, I should note that I don’t need a reply from now on. You have the choice of leaving things unconfirmed and vague.
“I do not wish to ask about the details of your Gift. Not everything in this world needs to be clear for things to work out.
“By the way, how about a drink?” Roda asked again.
I denied it again, so Roda continued.
“Let’s use your Glasses as an easy-to-understand example.
“As far as I know, your Glasses probably have a power that allows you to see things in different ways.
“As you have used this ability more and tried exploring its limits further, this power has grown and allowed you to see more things in detail.
“But that’s still fundamentally within the basic domains of what the abilities of the Glasses are. That’s not evolution, it’s growth.
“Evolution is about developing a completely different use for your Gift. Something beyond what people would assume or expect that you could do.
“The fact that you can use the Gifts of other people is definitely proof that your Gift has evolved. Nobody would associate Glasses with the ability of using someone else’s Gift.
“This kind of tricky way of using one’s Gift… That’s what evolution looks like.
“By the way, would you like a drink?” Roda asked.
A tricky way of using a Gift, huh?
I politely declined the alcohol and started thinking about it.
Growth and evolution of a Gift… Usage beyond what one would assume or expect of it…
A tricky method of using a Gift.
“I believe you have already understood how one thing might have led to the other.
“Because your basic capabilities with your Glasses have grown, you became able to do more things with it, right?
“What you were able to do at first and what you are able to do now… Those things are proof of your growth, and those things are what led to the evolution.” Roda explained.
He then finished drinking his cup of sake, ate a few roasted beans that he brought, then refilled his cup.
“In the first place, Gifts are things that each person will keep for life. They’re a core part of what makes us individuals.
“Due to that, it may be hard to figure out what exactly you can and can’t do with your Gift. It may even take your whole life for you to fully understand it.
“Just like how your own mind and body grow and evolve with time, so does your Gift. It requires time.
“Therefore, you must understand that you still have a long way to go.
“How many years have passed since you started using your Gift? Or rather, how many months?
“It hasn’t even been three months, has it?” Roda asked me, but I stayed silent and didn’t reply.
“From my point of view, you haven’t mastered even 10% of your Gift. It’s too early for you to try mastering the Gifts of others.
“Attempting that is like lamenting that the seed you planted yesterday has yet to sprout, you know?
“Don’t rush it. You need to take it slowly and try different things out.” Roda told me.
I see… He might be right on that.
It has been less than half a year since I started using Glasses, and I feel like there are still plenty of things that I have yet to discover about this Gift.
Maybe it’s just like what Roda said. I may have yet to draw even 10% of my Gift’s true potential.
Thanks to Sorichika, who became my master and taught me, I was able to do a lot more than what I used to be able to.
But perhaps, that was just the starting point.
Evolution, huh…? Yeah, I can see what he means.
Essentially… “I can’t simply use the copied Gift as is, right?” I asked.
It’s not about strength.
It’s not that simple.
I need to come up with different ideas. Fundamentally different ways of using those Gifts.
Just as I have found out a different way to use my Glasses, which allowed me to start unlocking its full potential.
Only if I do that, will the replicated Gifts grow and evolve. Only then, will I be able to get the effects that I want.
I don’t need a Gift that is strong at its core. What I need is to understand how to grow and evolve the Gifts in order to draw out their full power.
I can’t simply use them. I have to make them mine.
“Also, it’s important to remember that duplicated Gifts are fundamentally inferior in effectiveness and power when compared to the original.
“The ability to reproduce someone else’s Gift is rare, but not unheard of. I’m sure you have heard about it happening in the past too.
“By the way, would you like a drink?” Roda asked me.
He is correct that I did hear about it before… And no, I don’t need the drink.
When I was training with Sorichika, I did read a book that contained details about a Gift that could copy others.
It is a rare and not well-known Gift, but it existed before. A Gift with the power to copy other Gifts.
I learned about it for the first time after reading that book. Until then, I had never heard of it.
And the book did mention that copied abilities tend to be extremely inferior to the originals, which is why important people tend to not value this Gift much.
It’s not the kind of thing that was used to make someone spectacularly successful or famous. It was just a unique kind of Gift that was written off in a book as a half-baked Gift that is hard to use.
And that was pretty much my only contact with this kind of ability until I properly understood my Glasses.
The problem with this kind of Gift is that the copies are inferior to the originals.
So, when I figured out what I could do with my Glasses, I immediately decided to try it out with a simple experiment.
I sought a child in town with an ability that would be constantly activated even if they weren’t aware of it. Hit Correction.
Then, I gave a bit of money to that child, and in exchange asked him to try using his non-dominant hand to try throwing a stone at a tree 10 times.
And under the same conditions, with the copied Hit Correction active, I tried doing the same.
I hit 3 stones out of 10.
The child hit 8 stones out of 10.
Three throws and eight throws.
The conditions weren’t the exact same, and the amount of tries was small.
In theory, this shouldn’t be to guarantee the results.
However, I judged that the difference in effectiveness between me and the child was too great for two people who were using the same Gift.
So, even with this small sample, I concluded that the duplicated Gift was fundamentally inferior to the original one.
“Since one cannot fully reproduce the power of the original Gift, and the copy is just a fundamentally inferior version, it’s possible that the power of the copied version may never improve even as you grow the Gift.
“So, perhaps what you seek can be obtained from evolution instead.” Roda told me.
I think I can agree with this idea.
“And I suppose you don’t know a way to work directly on figuring out how to evolve Gifts?” I asked.
“I don’t. Only you, the user, can properly understand them.” Roda replied.
… I guess that can’t be helped.
“So, how about it? Did you get your answer?” Roda asked me.
Mmm… My answer?
“Not exactly, but I think I found the right direction to think towards.” I replied.
Roda laughed, “Is that so? Then it’s alright.
“I don’t know what exactly you can do, so I can’t give you any specific tips.
“So, how about a drink?”
“I don’t want it… By the way, there is something that has been bothering me.” I started saying.
To be honest, I didn’t really want to hear the answer to the question I had yet to ask, because it felt like I’d be asking for my weaknesses to be exposed.
But I think it’s about time that I asked.
I need to know it. My own shortcomings.
“Am I easy to read? How can you understand what I’m thinking?” I asked Roda.
I’m remembering the time when I was invited to the mansion of the Leavant family in the royal capital… I think that was the first time people actively laughed at me.
It feels like the assassins can read my thoughts.
Roda understood that I was asking about Full Impact just now.
I had been thinking of them as ‘people with great instincts’ and tried to not worry too much about it, but… When he can read me at this level, then this can’t just be it.
There is something else there… And I think it’s not something that they are doing, but more like a problem with me.
“Oh, that. Coming to think of it, I was told that you made Weiss laugh when he invited you to his mansion in the royal capital.
“I can understand how he felt at that time alright.” Roda giggled.
… I was certainly laughed at in that day. By Weiss, and the other old assassins that were there in that room.
“To be honest, you’re actually quite difficult to read. Very much so.
“It’s honestly hard to believe that you were able to obtain an unchanging facial expression and an unbreakable posture at such a young age.
“However… It’s not your facial expression that is easy to read. And you’re also not showing any emotions that are easy to understand.
“What we can read, are your actions.” Roda told me.
“You’re too rational. You go straight ahead with a clear goal in mind, seeking out the best results.
“You were worried about the lack of firepower.
“Full Impact is a Gift that became available to you after the subjugation of the Obsidian Wolf.
“Since you now had the opportunity to solve your problem, you immediately decided to put it to work.
“However, you didn’t get the results you wanted. You were troubled about it, yet you couldn’t figure out what was the problem, so you decided to ask for help.
“That’s basically how it was, wasn’t it?
“If you try analyzing your own course of actions, wouldn’t you agree that you always try choosing the most-efficient method available to you?” Roda asked me.
… Yeah. I agree.
“Is this bad?” I asked.
“Not at all. Or rather, it’s more like an unexpected downside that comes from your excellence.
“You’re a hunter. When you go to hunting grounds, you need to always be focused. If you get lost for even a moment, the prey might escape, or even put you in danger.
“It’s a space that allows no hesitation or to waste any time.
“By the way, how about a drink?
“No good? Well, alright.
“In any case, when you’re at the hunting grounds, you need to be precise.
“You find a prey, quickly decide on a course of action and immediately start working on executing it.
“You choose the best option without any hesitation, so as to not let the prey escape.
“That’s just how you naturally act at this point.” Roda told me.
Yeah… That was how I was taught to act for sure.
“I said earlier that it was an unexpected downside, but it might actually be strange to refer to this as a downside.
“Because you’re not choosing the wrong actions.
“Or rather, you continuously choose the best correct answer, time and time again.
“However, from our point of view, this is just way too easy to read.
“We know that you’re always going to aim for the ideal path. The shortest and most efficient one.” Roda told me.
Oh… I see? So that’s how it is?
“It’s not surprise that you made Weiss and the others laugh back in the capital.
“They were already thinking about it. What would be the action that you could choose, that would have the highest chance of letting you escape?
“That’s just the nature of an assassin. We need to predict the behavior of our prey and act around it.
“By the way, would you like a drink?” Roda asked me.
He is being quite persistent with these invitations to drink alcohol…
I’m getting a bit embarrassed already. It’s a bit too much, but I don’t want to drink alcohol. I’d rather not go through that anymore.
… But was my behavior really that easy to understand? I was trying to conceal my intentions, but it seems like it didn’t work at all.
“Everyone in that room… Well, everyone except Cherry, they were all thinking about it, you know?
“That the best way to escape would be to take Cherry hostage.
“And you reached the same conclusion that they were all thinking about.
“I don’t know if you actually tried doing it, but you definitely decided that it was the ideal course of action, didn’t you?
“When they realized how much we’re alike, they couldn’t help laughing about it.” Roda told me while laughing himself.
… I’m hurt though. Hearing that I was read this thoroughly…
“I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but…
“When you prepare to do something, your already small presence and quiet breathing become even smaller and quieter.
“This is usually what one would do right before they launch an attack. It’s the time when one is at their most dangerous state. The time when you need to be most careful with them.
“In hunting terms, it would be the moment when you unleash your bloodlust. The moment when the prey has the best chance of sensing you. It’s the most important moment of the hunt.
“And you’re already quite good at suppressing this bloodlust. It’s no longer something you need to actively try to suppress, but more like a conditioned reflex.
“We’re really similar. You act in the same way that we do.
“That’s why they laughed. Because you have already been acting like an assassin since even before you started your training.” Roda explained.
… I don’t know how to react to all that.
It’s just… A bit embarrassing.
I mean, I really thought I was hiding my thought process better, but… They really saw through everything that I was trying to conceal, didn’t they?
It’s really embarrassing…
“… So, one last question.
“Why have you been insisting so hard in making me drink alcohol this whole time?” I asked.
“I heard you’re funny when you get drunk.
“So, how about it? You feel like you want a drink, don’t you? You feel like you can’t keep going while always rejecting drinks, right? You feel like you really have to drink now, right?
“You don’t need to hesitate. Do tell me if you want it, alright?” Roda told me.
… You guessed it just right!