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6/10 Reika is just Mana with Extra Steps

JWaldman Jun 13th, 2019 67 Never
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  1. Ser Artaghh would steadily hover away from the bustling square of Dawn once more, puffing away idly on his corn cob pipe as he led his son along through the winding trees and mountainous crags west of the city proper into the overgrown forest. as they passed by the muddy river strait and coast occupied by a firepit extinguished long, long ago, the knight commander would wistfully turn his gaze to the long dead flame, his eye holding upon its place as if he saw the remnants of merriment long past, the wisps of spirits long gone.
  2.  
  3. Shaking his head out of the depressive muck it had found itself in, the bald knight would follow the river's coastline past the burnt out camp of his youth, thirty years prior. Sifting and sidling past overgrown trees and shrubbery that had long blocked the pathway forth, the commander would finally lead Feth to a narrow strait of muddy coastline with a perfect view of the entire lake. A serene slice of nature away from citylife, accented by two roaring waterfalls that steadily flowed down the mountain's side into the vast body of liquid before them in a cycle of endless replenishment.
  4.  
  5. Pacing past the waterfall as he gestured for his Oscuri son to take a seat upon the ground. His remaining eye would scan the nearby treeline with an ethereal glow of his pupil, sifting through the dense fold of lumber for the right size, shape, and density Ser Artaghh would require for the training session at hand. It wouldn't due if they were too light, too thin, too easy to manage. It would be no training at all.
  6.  
  7. Finally, a spark of light would flicker in the commander's eye as he found two perfect subjects, phasing forth out of the mortal realm before a ringing slash and crunch of splinters echoed forth across the waters and mountains in a cacophony of swordsplay. After a bit of steady falling, two great oak trees that must individually weigh a few tons each collapsed directly behind the waterfall's reach with a resounding thwack. Fifteen feet tall, at least three feet thick, and incredibly heavy.
  8.  
  9. "Alrigh', I've le' the dramatic tension'a this trainin' build long enoug'. Feth, ma dear son, I'd like ye'ta guess why we're here, an' wha' we're doin' wit' these fallen trees."
  10.  
  11.  
  12. (Artaghh)
  13. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  14.  Feth follows his father to the waterfall out west. They hadn't trained in some time together, and today was as perfect as could be. Without anything to do in Dawn.
  15.  
  16. Arriving to the waterfall he'd come to a stop and looks up. High above fell the water ahead of them. After he'd continue forward before coming to another stop underneath the arch. Seating himself on the land there and looking to his father.
  17.  
  18. "So why ar--"
  19.  
  20. He started and stopped qucikly as he watches his father destroy the base of two enormous trees. Both fall behind the reach of the waterfall, only a few feet away from him. He adjusts himself on the ground for his body to face them, then looks back to his father.
  21.  
  22. "Guess what we're doing here, and with these trees?" Er… Are we practicing with our strength against these big trees, and are just here because you did that as a kid?"
  23. (Feth Vishkar)
  24. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  25.  Ser Artaghh would flash his missing toothed smile to his young son as he swiftly ruffled his brown hair, the tousled youth looking much like Artaghh had at his age. Long before he'd walked the path of a soldier, long before Dawn. Taking a long, contemplative puff from his corn cob pipe as his gaze turned, the minty cloud of smoke would be released towards the lake's horizon as he barked out in cheerful laughter.
  26.  
  27. "Yer half righ'. I did come here as a kid, or close enoug' to one. I was twenty an' one when I marched int'a Dawn lookin' half a fool, an' thrice a beggar. These woods were where I camped wit' ma companions, where I began ma trainin' upon joinin' the legion to master the blade, the fangs'a energy."
  28.  
  29. Approaching the first of the two logs with another bark of laughter, Ser Artaghh would kneel down beside its base, trailing his burn scarred fingers up the first two feet of the lumber before tapping a spot right at the center width of the two foot length, raising his hand back while balling and unballing his fist around the everpresent burning of his palm's skin. A reminder of the occultic flames he'd given his body to in the defense of a city that proceeded to blow itself up out of spite.
  30.  
  31. The irony was palpable.
  32.  
  33. The knight would inhale deeply as he widened and straightened the digits of his right hand, hovering over the spot he had marked near the base of the tree as mana began to gather upon the tips of his fingers. Ethereal energy crackled between the five digits as the dense, rich blue of the ethereal coalesced upon each digit, small nails of hyper condensed energy no larger than a common crown or penny.
  34.  
  35. Releasing his breath as his eye suddenly widened, the commander would release a grunt of exertion as he planted all five of his fingers forcefully into the wooden, the searing energy blackening the lumber as his hand seemed to sink to the palm within the fallen tree like warm butter on a hot summer's day. With a swift removal, five smoking, finger formed holes sat neatly in a line upon the wood, perfect for a firm grip if one was foolish enough to try and lift two tons of wood casually.
  36.  
  37. The knight would dust of his hands with a sigh of satisfaction before beginning to roll the log over, beginning the process of moving it in such a position that his freshly formed grip within the lumber was now entirely covered by the dirt below, parallel to the ground to a key.
  38.  
  39. "Strength wit'ou' dexterity is brutish, useless. If ye' tried'ta make those holes in this tree wit' sheer force, ye'd crack the timber an' likely shatter a hollow in it. Useless fer a trainin' implement. Similarly, if ye' have precision wit'ou' strengt', ye'll jus' sTub yer fingersagains' the wood an' likely chip a nail. Nae fun. Many say one who walks the path'a the blade mus' choose one or the o'er. Might or precision. Bu' bot' are key, bot' are necessary'ta be a master swordsman. Go on, spread yer fingers an inch apart, harness yer cracklin' reika. Try'ta make those holes as I did wit'ou' crackin' the wood."
  40.  
  41.  
  42. (Artaghh)
  43. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  44.  "Behe…"
  45.  
  46. The boy chuckles to himself lightly as his father messes with his hair. After he'd come to find out the significance of this location. His father had come here decades ago, with his friends and for his own training.
  47.  
  48. Training that lead to him being the mighty Eternal of today.
  49.  
  50. He'd nod at the explanation and continues to follow his father with his gaze as he steps away. They stand by the trees, readying their hand for something. Then there is the energy that comes to life around their digits alone. And with a breath...
  51.  
  52. They strike into the timber, fingers first, until their palm sinks into the hollowness. A clean cut into the tree using only their condensed energy and their hand. A powerful one too. And then an explanation of the lesson here.
  53.  
  54. "Precision and strength together to master using the sword... Alright."
  55.  
  56. Feth takes a step forward to the other tree laying nearby. Following in his dad's lead, he'd lean to the tree and tap at the center of the wood. Feeling the strength of the oak and the hollowness that lies beneath. Then his hand pulls back, flattening and being engulfed with energy.
  57.  
  58. The energy that forms around his hand is wild. But with it being thinned around his hand alone, he thought it to be able to work. With enough force, quickness, and knowing exactly where he wanted to affect it should. Right?
  59.  
  60. He sends his hand forward. Each finger thrusted into the wood and his palm following in, but midway through there develops cracks. He'd been quick and powerful in striking, but his precision affected.
  61.  
  62. "Urr! I thought I was careful enough!"
  63. (Feth Vishkar)
  64. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  65.  Ser Artaghh would bark out in hearty laughter at his son's enthusiastic attempts, smilingly warmly as he let young Feth go to work on the tree's frame without any immediate guidance. Even failures were valuable if they taught something, and a hands on attempt at the effort without the commander babying the Oscuri would aid far more in his growth. The commander would his burn scarred, bandaged arms over the black plate of his cuirass with a chuckle, flicking at the bindings that held it upon his frame as the armor clattered to the ground in a resounding clank.
  66.  
  67. "A fine firs' effort! Bu', ye' los' focus, an' so the strength'a yer blow dispersed across the wood in a wave'a kinetic energy. Tha' is the cracks my boy, they are a visual display'a yer ability'a concentrated yer energy. Ye' mus' maintain its density as ye' lunge yer fangs'a mana forth int'athe tree's oaken flesh, visualize each'a yer fingers as if they were the points'a a needle, the very tip barely visible, so tiny ye' mus' squint'a see it. Focus all'a tha' energy on those tiny points."
  68.  
  69. The commander would return once more to his own log, still flatfaced after being turned over by the bald knight. Gesturing for his son to watch as Artaghh displayed the effort far slower, the mithril paladin would steadily raise his palm before himself before widening out his fingers, a wisp of energy barely visible upon the tips of each. Yet, they'd grow brighter and denser as time passed, energy gathered within their miniscule forms. Their size, however, did not shift beyond the miniscule wisps.
  70.  
  71. When the ethereal mana crackled with overwhelming density once more, Ser Artaghh would place his palm once more two feet above the fallen tree's base, gesturing to Feth to watch as with ethereal swiftness, Artaghh would thrust his fingers forth straight too fast to allow any misdirection, the scent of smoked wood trailing once more into the air as five crispy, perfectly digit sized holes now sat in the other side of the tree.
  72.  
  73. Slowly rolling the fallen log upon its side, the point of the finger holes now became more clear for Feth. Ten holes in total, five on each side, perfect for anyone mad enough to try and firmly grip and entire tree, to lift it up and swing it about with reckless abandon like some ogre from a tall tale. Yet, no one would be crazy enough to do that as a pastime.
  74.  
  75. Right?
  76.  
  77. (Artaghh)
  78. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  79. Feth Vishkar says, "Hm..."
  80.  Feth stares down at the cracked wood of the tree. It had spreaded from the initial point of impact. The reason such had happened being explained as the waves from the kinetic energy released into the tree. He nods.
  81.  
  82. "So only focusing on those points, then the rest will go smoothly?"
  83.  
  84. Looking over to his father doing another demonstration, he focuses on the energy gathering at the ends of his finger. While not huge, there is power held within them. A growing energy in the wisps that could compare even to a larger mass.
  85.  
  86. He then looks back to the forest, with the explanation and second showing fresh in mind. His right hand rises again and flattens out. Each finger separates and curls the tiniest bits to point downwards. Then comes the energy.
  87.  
  88. Following the example his father gives him, he first creates the smallest of wisps at the ends of his fingers. They don't go far and being kept at such a size are easy to control. Unlike the wildness of the energy which previous coated his whole hand. And to those wisps does he channel more rieka.
  89.  
  90. The wisps grow stronger and remain stable.
  91.  
  92. And then does his hand dive to the tree again! Each finger sinks into the bark of the tree without any resistance. The power is there. And then comes the rest of his hand which follows in-- but there comes small cracks still. A slight error, but aside from such he'd succeeded.
  93.  
  94. "Er! Again!"
  95. (Feth Vishkar)
  96. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  97.  Ser Artaghh would nod in approval to his son as he watched his endeavors, a deep sense of pride burning in his chest as he saw his child's already adept ability with energy at such a young age. Azrael's blessing was strong with the boy, and with certainty he would exceed the commander's might before long. Such was what every father dreamed of seeing of their son.
  98.  
  99. Gripping the two, freshly burnt handles in the two fallen oak tree, the bald swordsman's musculature would expand forth with condense might and energy in a vibrant ignition of the mystic energies, the mithril paladin briefly shimmering translucently before his strained muscles returned fully to the living realm. With a heave and steady grunt from Ser Artaghh, he'd lift the fallen tree int the air before gripping it with both hands ungainly as one might grip a broad greatsword, though the makeshift handles and obscene weight of the tree would make it a poor choice of weapon in true combat.
  100.  
  101. No, this was for training.
  102.  
  103. With a steady breathe, Ser Artaghh would turn towards the coast away from his son, allowing Feth to finish his work as he stared up at the distant moon that shone above the lake shore. With a grit of his teeth, the knight would begin to repeatedly swinging with careful, practice strokes of the blade, two hands gripped carefully upon the burn holes of the grip so as not to accidently break the commander's fingers. A misstep, a slip of one's perception or dexterous fingers, and pain would be certain.
  104.  
  105. "Ye' an' I will each do one thousan' strokes wit' our new trainin' implements, an' then we shall figh' on this tiny lil' coast beside the waterfalls wit'm. Good fer buildin' arm strength, aye, especially if ye' weight yerself further wit' boulders or weighted plates, bu' ir's also a trainin'a yer senses, ye'mus' be fully focused upon yer new "blade" to avoid injury wit' each'a yer strokes. No matter how tired ye' get."
  106.  
  107. Ser Artaghh would return to silence, beginning the steady process of doing the first of his thousand, almost as if challenging his son to defeat him in the race despite his own starting lead. What a dad.
  108.  
  109. (Artaghh)
  110. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  111. "So much closer..."
  112.  
  113. The boy admires the punctures and cracks he'd made. Despite being unable to create the perfect opening as his father had, he saw progress compared to earlier. A sign of progression. And he was to make another attempt.
  114.  
  115. But then does he hear the loud rustling and cracks of the other nearby fallen tree. He looks over to find his father carrying the tree above him, holding it by the two marks they'd made like handles. Then he begins to swing the tree about!
  116.  
  117. "Bahaha! Using the tree as a sword? Even I wouldn't have thought about that kind of training dad!"
  118.  
  119. He laughs for a short moment as he watches his father, until he feels the call of a challenge. They were getting in their swings while he was still standing around. He quickly runs over to the tree, needing to still make two perfect handles for himself.
  120.  
  121. And repeating the earlier process, with his progress made?
  122.  
  123. He does so! And he'd quickly be engulfed in an aura of full energy after with his circuits pumping full of rieka. The tree is picked up with a loud roar coming from the boy as he does so. He had much more difficulty in handling the tree than his dad, but..
  124.  
  125. He begins the swings! His veins and muscles bulging as he does so!
  126. (Feth Vishkar)
  127. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  128. Ser Artaghh would continue his thousand strokes, having not glanced back at Feth as to ensure he understand the gravity of the challenge at hand. He'd swung a good hundred times before the lad had even put holes in them. The race was on! With vigor, the commander would continue to swing with precise, sweeping strokes of the two ton tree, his aura of rich blue, dense mana flowing about his burn scarred, half metal frame against the the ethereal luminescence of moonlight.
  129.  
  130. And so father and son swung trees for a good hour, each straining heave of the fallen oak exerting a wheeze from the aged, long wounded swordsman. Yet, while his vitality was not quite as sharp as his younger days, Ser Artaghh's might never faded. Each swing came easy for the spectral mystic, his muscles doubly reinforced by the energies of the mundane and spirit realms. Yet, almost as if willfully, the commander would trail behind his son's pace steadily, allowing them to overtake him in the very end with a few strokes difference, winning the challenge and defeating his father.
  131.  
  132. 'Bahahahah! Fine work my boy. Ye' will be a titan of legend in no time. Trainin' like these is good fer breakin' yer limits, masterin' the mundane energies by pushin' yer physicality, yer entire musculature an' circuitry beyon' their limits. Often ye' mus' put your mind an' body alike through countless trials to sharpen yerself, the same as ye' would a blade. Ye' mus' be in sovereign command'a bot'a master yer energy, master yer REIKA!"
  133.  
  134. Without any further delay, Ser Artaghh would assume a swordsman's stance before lunging forth with a mighty overhead swing of the great tree trunk. His arms expanded to thrice their normal mass as the bald paladin's biceps surged with supernatural might, before in one great, slamming motion the commander would smash the oak tree's trunk down towards his Oscuri son, giving him no time to recover from the hours of training. He had but a few seconds to respond.
  135.  
  136. Do or die kiddo.
  137. (Artaghh)
  138. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  139.  He wins the competition!
  140.  
  141. The small difference in strokes is enough for him to claim victory. He'd allow for the bottom of the tree to fall to the ground as he takes a rest. Heavy breathes escaping him. While his father had slowed for him, he'd still gave so much effort.
  142.  
  143. "Bahaha! I hear you dad!"
  144.  
  145. Training with the trees had truly pushed his body and allowed him to learn more about the control of energy. A great lesson. His father was teaching him small but crucial things with every teaching session he brought the boy out on.
  146.  
  147. Feth thinks on what he'd learned as he regains his breath. Things were peaceful again, until he sees his father preparing to swing at him with the tree! He picks his tree up with difficulty and readies it, but...
  148.  
  149. Upon collision there is a loud cracking coming from both tree before half of his is broken off. The force behind the swing and the strength of their oak was stronger than the resilience of his tree by itself. Hundreds of splinters scatter about, and some finding themselves in him.
  150.  
  151. "Ow! Dad!"
  152.  
  153. He yells out in slight pain and irritation and allows the rest of the tree within his grasp to drop. Instead he goes out to pick the many splinters lodged in his skin. And as he does so?
  154.  
  155. "Ah! I just remembered Freya is having class today! I have to get back to Dawn! Come on, dad!"
  156. (Feth Vishkar)
  157. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  158.  Artaghh says, "Right, right."
  159.  Ser Artaghh would release the tree with a bark of laughter, wheezing lightly from his lungs with pained amusement as he allowed the oak to tumble to the ground before approaching his son with a missing toothed grin upon his face. For his first visit to the waterfalls, he'd done splendidly. He'd aid Feth in removing the splinters from his hand with a careful glance of his remaining eye, shaking his head as he ruffled the Oscuri boy's hair with a shake of his head.
  160.  
  161. "Aye, les' head home. Dunnae wan' ye'ta miss yer schoolin'. Remember wha' ye' have learned here today Feth, ye' will need it when ye' forge yer own style'a swordplay wit' mastery'a the rift. I know ye' have it in you my son, ye've go' yer mother an' I's potential ten fold. Ye' will be the light tha' Dawn requires'ta preserve its sanctity, a symbol'a strength an' peace. A knight in shinin' armor. I believe in you, my boy."
  162.  
  163. The knight of the Green Hill would firmly embrace his son in a swift bear hug of fatherly affection before releasing the lad, leading the pair back towards the bustling square of DAwn with a steady, content puff of his corn cob pipe. It was a fine evening.
  164.  
  165.  
  166. (Artaghh)
  167. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  168.  
  169. Artaghh says, "Tha' concludes yer trainin' fer the day Feth."
  170. Artaghh says, "Ye' did fine."
  171.  
  172.  Ser Artaghh would smiled fondly as he watched his young son depart with his plethora of companions, his sore, bandaged arms crossing over the black plate of his cuirass as he whistled a jolly tune before hovering forth over towards his garden. Gripping his trusty watering can with a sigh of exhaustion, the commander would think upon the time he had shared with his Oscuri child this evening.
  173.  
  174. The basics he'd explained to Feth had rung true, one needed precise application and immense force to achieve the apex of swordsmanship. He'd focused so heavily upon creating an attack of overwhelming strength in the name of defending his city and protecting the fresh saplings of Dawn, he'd looked over a very simple principle that could have aided him so well.
  175.  
  176. The knight would open and close his burn scarred right palm as his one eye hung upon its center, tiny spheres of mystic energy coalescing almost as embers to a flame before the dense mana slowly wreathed around his fist. Condensing the precise amount of mana usually meant not blowing yourself up, but Ser Artaghh thought this day that perhaps it was precisely the action of precisely blowing yourself up that he'd require for this smashing blow, this symbol of Dawn's might.
  177.  
  178. well, his fist at least. Not like they could get much more burnt.
  179.  
  180. Ser Artaghh would snap himself out of his sudden introspective daze, glancing down towards the soil beneath him with a tired smile and a shake of his head. It was a theory to explore another day, he'd found his inspiration already. Teaching his son had taught him something in turn, beyond the value of which his beloved child held to his heart.
  181.  
  182. When things seemed complicated, get back to the basics.
  183. (Artaghh)
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