2 Leo Lock

Buzz.

As a low notification sounded out from the side of the driver, the public bus found an empty spot and parked by the side of the road. Someone had clicked the button beside their seat so they could get off the bus.

"Alright, you can get down now."

The driver turned his head back to check the passenger who wanted to get off, a slight surprise appeared on his face. He only realized the passenger had already left by the time he got out of his daze, quickly getting the bus on the road once again.

As the bus left, the young passenger crossed the street, as eyes kept turning towards him. A slight frown appeared on his face as he quickened his steps.

'I should have brought the other lens as well…'

He was already used to people getting intrigued by him. After all, he was one of the people who had a rare case of heterochromia, his right eye was green while the left one was blue, it could be said that they caught too much attention.

As it usually attracted curious gazes, he had bought a pair of colored lenses that was the opposite of his own eyes so that he could color match them instead. However, he had to take off the only lens he had today in the case that crazy guy reported the color of his eyes that were visible under the mask.

{The police have reported that they had finally managed to catch the 'Slasher' who has been responsible for three recent kidnapping and mutilation incidents. A hint that we managed to exclusively obtain revealed that he was already caught by the time the police arrived, also having his face covered by a smiling cat mask, just like the 'Stabber' that was caught a few months ago!...}

Having reached the bookstore after crossing the street, the loud voice of the television that the store owner was watching caused the young man with special eyes to relax his frown, letting out a small sigh.

'Phew, they managed to take him in without problems.'

He walked towards the closest book wardrobe, searching for new books as he decided to limit his new hobby as much as possible, it was simply too nerve-racking to maintain it.

'Perhaps I should spend more time at the gym.'

Even as he tried to divert his attention from the point, he felt excited deep inside. He had managed to catch a psycho criminal that would have plagued the city for a while, all of that was possible thanks to the application of his special ability.

'If only I didn't feel the need to read at every second…'

"Oh, Leo! You are back again to get more books?"

The young man whose name was Leo Lock, turned his face slightly to face the store owner who called to him.

"Yeah!"

To the people around Leo, including his family and schoolmates, he was just a normal guy whose only abnormal point was his special eyes, but in reality, his abnormality didn't stop at that, it was just that only he knew about it.

In fact, if one paid enough attention to certain points, they could also realize a part of it. After all, it all started when he strangely started reading at the age of three even though he could barely talk. After a few months, he started speaking fluently as if he had been taught by a specialized teacher, his parents were especially happy for having such an intelligent child.

As years went by, his main interest remained was still reading, other than doing his 'responsibilities' like homework or chores, he spent all his free time reading, barely making any friends or building any kind of 'human' relation.

Of course, to others, while this could count as abnormal, they would view it in a negative light, believing he was a born introvert who likes to bury his head in pages.

"Hah, are you sure you didn't finish all the books in the store already?"

However, that wasn't the case for him. To him, reading was something he was instinctively attracted to, once he touched his very first book, he couldn't stop reading whenever he could. It felt very magical to him, and that wasn't an exaggeration at all.

It was truly magical that whatever book he read stayed forever in his memory without blurring till this point in his age. Just this point could have easily given him a chance of being the top scorer of his school, but that wasn't just it.

Just like he could memorize a whole book by reading it once, he would also receive a part of the 'experience' of that book, receiving some of the book's mainly described skills or research topics.

For example, reading a series of surgical books could give him the knowledge and ability to perform the surgery that all the book series focused on, he wouldn't have full confidence in doing so, but he would more or less have the practical skills to perform it. That was the case with all the forms that books came in, whether that be physical or electronic.

Both special points seemed to be very practical, but their effect was faint if it wasn't stacked. Either way, Leo didn't bother using them for something like scoring the top spot or proclaiming himself as a one-of-a-kind genius. He was simply fascinated by the 'reading' part itself, laying low whenever possible.

"Well, I'm just trying my luck in the book donating section to see if anyone dropped a book that I missed…"

He himself didn't know why he was special in this way either. At one point, those who he told about his experience such as his parents told him he might simply have a photographic memory. At another, he thought that maybe this was what it meant to be talented and pick up stuff easily. After all, he simply learned advanced stuff faster than normal people his age, but soon, he quickly pushed these thoughts away.

"Knock yourself out I guess."

Straightening his head back, Leo quickly browsed through the books that people threw in the book store since they no longer needed them before his hand suddenly stopped at one book.

'It all started with you I guess.'

The book had a bright red cover, the words 'A Study In Scarlet' were printed in bold. This was the first book that allowed him to reach a certain understanding of his special ability.

Even though he was only ten at that time, Leo could clearly remember his shock the day after he finished reading it!

The feeling was very faint, but he realized he actually received a part of Sherlock Holmes's deductive reasoning, he couldn't let go of details he noticed, deducting some points based on them, he wasn't right about more than 20% of his deductions, but that wasn't his limit.

After finishing the whole 'Sherlock Holmes' series of books, Leo could confidently say that he was at least half as accurate as Holmes. This was clearly supernatural, even if it was at a low level.

Not only was deductive reasoning a fictional ability, but even its realistic explanation was based on a mental disease as well as years of practice. Receiving a nerfed version of such an ability just by reading a series of books finally convinced him that he was really 'special'.

"Oh, it's a novel I haven't read."

Leo had long put 'A Study In Scarlet' back as he continued flipping till he found something he hadn't read yet. A smile surfaced on his face as he walked towards the counter to say goodbye to the store owner.

'There's still nothing that can compare to the pleasure of reading.'

Originally, once Leo confirmed how special he was, he was certainly excited. He believed that this world might be similar to some of the novels he read, people in these novels would awaken varying superpowers, evolving society further.

Unfortunately, that thought seemed to be nothing but a fantasy. The world was as normal as it could be, nothing especially shocking such as a human awakening or an otherworld interaction took place.

Furthermore, as he grew older, he realized that he was running out of books, even though he read in more than ten languages. Leo simply had to try out other hobbies to cut his reading time to a sustainable minimum.

He wasn't worried about money as the various skills he got from reading could generate enough funds for his reading addiction, but he was worried that there wouldn't be any more written text for him to even buy thanks to his reading speed…

'Chasing Criminals definitely doesn't cut it.'

Other than spending a few hours at the gym, no other hobby seemed to stick with him. He was at the end of his rope that he decided to employ his deductive reasoning to chase difficult criminals.

{It's said that whoever caught the 'Slasher' and left that mask, had also left his usual 'evidence tutorial' file so that the 'Slasher' could be confirmed as the preparator. A few analysts are already starting to wonder about the identity of the person behind the smiling cat mask…}

'Maintaining such a high-risk hobby isn't possible…'

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