Chapter 4 - Seeing The Unseen
Being blind and an orphan were Jason′s only disadvantages which many classmates used to make fun of him as he was intelligent, diligent, and ambitious, placing him above everyone else at every theoretical exam.
His other senses were exceptionally defined and Jason could survive within Artes-city, he lived in.
But in the age of martial arts and soulbonds, Jason was seen as a parasite, because he couldn ’t even defend himself against the weakest ranked beast.
He had to rely on others in order to survive once a beast breakout occurs.
The only thing Jason had, were credits.
However, credits were almost useless to him as he couldn ’t do much with them.
Jason ’s living expenses were marginal as he had a cheap and smelly apartment and no appetite since years ago.
He could probably live his whole life without lifting a finger, but that wasn ’t what he wanted.
Jason ’s dearest wish was to see something and to work hard to prevent anyone making fun of him ever again.
Another important thing he wanted was to find out who killed his mother.
Jason wasn ’t sure what he would do with this information but he wanted to know if this mysterious heir was apologetic to have killed someone ’s loved ones or if he didn ’t care at all about poor families ’ losses.
Thinking about his mother Jason was once again reminded, that his mother told him something important before she died.
Due to her special eyes, she understood Jason′s situation somehow as she went through a similar situation.
After testing a few things she told Jason, that he might be able to see sometime in the future.
His optic nerves weren ’t malfunctioning; rather there was a blockade preventing the transfer of information and energy from the brain to the eye and the opposite direction.
Inside his eyeballs were empty marble-like orbs which were normally filled with mana like it was in his mother ’s case.
However, Jason ’s were completely empty and thus he couldn ’t see anything at all.
When Jason was 4 years old he asked his mother why he couldn ’t see and his mother told him that there was an empty and lonely marble behind each of his eyes.
They wanted some friends and had tofill them with the shining particles that were present everywhere.
She showed his son the flow of mana by inserting some of it into Jason and continued her explaining that the mana had to gather inside the marbles so they wouldn ’t be unhappy anymore.
When the marbles would be filled mana Jason would be able to see.
The young Jason was determined to gather this mana inside the ’marbles ’ inside his eye to make them happy again.
Unknowingly Jason started to feel the mana around him extremely early on and he led it inside the marbles every day for hours over the course of years.
In the beginning, he controlled it crudely into his eyes which would hurt a little bit and his mother supported him diligently.
After the first few tries, Jason′s precision was getting better and better and he didn′t need his mother′s support anymore
Jason was diligent and trusted his mother more than anyone else so he continued to lead the mana and fill the marbles inside his eyeballs for almost ten years now.
Normally youths at the average age of 10 children would start feeling the flow of mana and start gathering it to strengthen themselves and improve the rank of their mana core to gather more of it and strengthen themselves.
Every living being holds a mana core or something similar somewhere on their body while almost all humans had their mana core at the abdomen.
While humans are born with a mana core, wild beasts have to form them over a long period of time until they reach the rank of a magical beast.
The first few commonly known beast ranks are Wild-Awakened-Evolved-Unblemished-Magical.
Wild beasts are extremely weak and comparable to the weakest rank of the human ranks also called Novice.
Jason ’s blindness which was his disadvantage had a disguised usage, as his other senses were exceptionally distinct.
He began to feel mana at the tender age of four due to his mother′s story and the exceptional senses he had.
Jason had a 6 years advantage over the average children to strengthen himself and improve his mana core but he used the mana he sensed to gather it somewhere else in order to to be able to see.
His mana core rank was still at the lowest possible rank, also called the 1st Novice rank while his brethren were already around the 8th Novice rank and extremely close to the Adept rank which would enhance their mana core and strength multiple times.
Almost 10 years passed and Jason never stopped using mana for something else as his eyes which made his body and mana core size weaker than everyone else around him.
One′s control over mana and sensing ability was an indicator of how fast one would be able to increase the mana core ranking by absorbing and refining mana into it.
After the Novice rank came the Adept rank and after that, the Expert rank followed suit.
While the Novice rank was roughly comparable to wild beast ranks, the Adept and Expert ranks were slightly weaker compared to the awakened and evolved ranks because the strength of beasts increased slightly more than a human ’s constitution.
After 10 years of hard work, Jason noticed that the marbles inside his eyes were almost completely filled and it would only take a few days until he achieved his long-desired dream.
His middle school days were also almost over as only a few weeks were left.
At the end of middle school, everyone would get to from their first soulbond contract after they awoke their soul.
The age of 13 to 14 years was the perfect time to awake one soul and after the soul-awakening finished, the hierarchy system began its work, dividing talented people and human trash in order to give prodigies a perfect nurturing
Soul bounds were extremely important because one could get elemental abilities from them and even a part of their physical strength would be shared with the master according to the master ’s soul.
With a good soulbond, one could be stronger than an awakened beast while being at the Adept rank which was normally weaker than awakened ranked beasts.
One would get tested about their soul energy, the size of one ’s soul indicating the number of contracts one could form, and which type of soul one had or rather said the affinity the soul was drawn to.
As previously mentioned not every human was compatible with each beast.
There were a few different types of souls such as elemental souls with fire, water, earth, wind, and so on.
Most elemental souls had only one element while some rarer ones had two elements.
Prodigies had 3 or more while souls with up to 5 or more elements were called God′s Children.
Having 5 elements also indicated that one could form a contract with at least five beasts as each element would accept at least one Beast.
That however doesn′t mean that a single element could only hold one contract.
But it was more likely that a single elemental soul was weaker than a soul with many elements.
There were also physical souls that allowed humans to hold non-elemental beasts like goblins, orcs, trolls, minotaurs, and many more.
Physical souls would increase the shared percentage of strength even more compared to elemental souls as non-elemental soulbonds wouldn′t provide any elemental ability.
It could be double the amount or even more.
The first contract one would form, was also said to be the most important one, as one would share one ’s whole life with the soulbond.
If it died, your soul would be partially destroyed while it would take a long time to regenerate.
Getting a soulbond in middle school was important as the first contracted beast were either caught cubs, eggs, or younglings from beast breeders.
The first soulbond contract would either be an egg or a very young cub as it was the easiest to gain their trust and improve one ’s physique slowly as one would get stronger with the beast ’s maturity.
If Jason ranked first place in the C-grade city Artes, he was living in, he would have the chance to pick a beast as the first one which was what he wanted in the beginning.
Furthermore, he would have the chance to enter a decent High-school, which was even more important.
But this wasn ’t easy as Artes city, Jason was living in and had more than 10 million citizens and almost 250 thousand middle school graduates this year due to the still increased benefits for giving birth since one would receive from the government.
After the Cataclysm humanity lost 99% of its population but after the baby boom started around 50 years ago caused by the benefits the government distributed, the population reached officially more than 30 billion some time ago.
The number was probably higher but the high death stroll, birth rate, and unknown numbers made the calculation more difficult.
Jason lived on one of the smaller islands called Astrix which was already overpopulated by not only beasts but also humans as it was one of the smallest and cheapest islands to live on.
Over 300 million humans lived on Astrix and the number was still growing.
The island had 3 permanent rifts connecting it with other planets and planes.
While one permanent rift was situated in the ocean close to the island the other two permanent rifts were connected to low-grade worlds with magical beasts as the strongest ranked beast.
Canir was a huge continent compared to Astrix and the other islands, where most people lived on.
It had enough space for humans but they were threatened by wildlife and it was impossible to live in the wilderness without the support of strong individuals but the most threatening known fact was, that there were many wars in recent years on Canir against the invading intelligent races that began to cross the ocean.
On their home grounds and after 300 years of advancement, humanity was fortunately at least able to defend themselves on Canir.
Some cities were huge and crowded due to their safety while lower graded cities were surrounded by low graded wild zones turning them into a safe victinity.
Cities were protected by advanced defense measures like mana domes and it is difficult for beasts to invade these spheres without getting noticed by anyone.
Nevertheless, nobody could ensure one′s safety outside a city as even the weakest wild zones were said to be overpopulated by wild-beasts.
Not even the tiniest spot outside cities could be described as completely safe and most areas with dense and overgrowing wildlife were completely abandoned by humanity.
Before the mana outbreak occurred almost every corner on the land was explored but now, not even half of Canir was explored while the islands had only a few large areas that were way too dangerous for the humans living there
Jason wanted to be the first out of the bunch of middle school graduates but he would need to master the theoretical exam and the practical exam which was impossible for him to exceed in.
The last test was also called the martial arts exam and it was Jason ’s weakest grade as he was beaten up every time in school
Receiving 0 points at the most important exam would be devastating and would result in him ending as one of the last ones to pick a beast to form a contract with and only a minuscule chance to enter a decent high school.
But right now Jason didn ’t care about these tests at all as he focused the mana around him to gather inside his eyeballs.
Obtaining a decent soulbond was important but at the moment, his eyesight was even more important for Jason.
He believed that it was the right decision to finish one step after another and even if Jason started to train his body and mana core right now, it would almost be useless to break into the second or third Novice rank as it was still way weaker than anyone else.
But being able to see would change almost everything, which was what Jason believed and relied on.
Going home the same way as every day with his cane in the left hand, Jason needed almost an hour to arrive at home, if one could call it that.
It was a small room with a bed, a fridge, and it was connected to a small bathroom.
The worst, however, was, that it smelled and it felt filthy but Jason felt like the same on his inside since his mother died so it was quite comfortable.
Maybe he would lease a different apartment once he would be able to see, but that was something to think of later.
Sitting down on the bed, Jason continued gathering mana inside his eyes like every day until late at night when his belly growled.
Opening the fridge he found out that it was almost empty after feeling around the inside.
Jason used the AI of his smartphone to deliver him some bread loaves, sausages, and so on.
As it was set to arrive the next morning, Jason washed up and took his clothes off, and went into the bed to sleep.
*A few days later*
It was the weekend and Jason sat on his bet gathering the mana around him.
He felt that today was the day he has waited for years and it was the first time for Jason to be excited again, as his heart thumped loudly.
The ’marbles ’ inside his eyeballs were filled to the brim and Jason ’s eye and optic nerves began to itch uncontrollably, making him feel extremely uncomfortable.
Suddenly it felt as if thousands of paper-thin but also razor-sharp needles penetrated his eyes and the optic nerves and blood began to flow out of his eyes.
It almost looked like Jason was insane, as he cried out in pain with blood dripping out of his eyes.
The pain was almost unbearable and Jason suffered pain he had never felt before but he had to endure it.
Seconds….. Minutes….. After hours passed the pain decreased slowly.
He didn ’t know how much time exactly passed but Jason felt extremely exhausted.
His eyes which were previously closed due to the pain, slowly opened and Jason ’s previous lifeless eyes were replaced by two brightly shining and vigorous golden eyes flickering in the darkness.
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