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File: Claymore_OP_2.jpg (170 KB, 1222x820)
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170 KB JPG
You are Noel Tiberius di Hazaran, formerly the Seventh-ranked warrior in the shadowy Organization. But that life is behind you now, after surviving what was for lack of a more accurate description a suicide mission that set you against two of the strongest monsters in the world. Many of your group did not survive, and those who did have collected in your ancestral stronghold in the mountains of Hazaran.

But right now, you’re more concerned with the present task before you: helping the young warrior Lucia to grow into a warrior who can better keep up with her stronger and more experienced comrades.

“It can be difficult to learn a new technique,” you admit to her, “depending on the technique and the warrior concerned it can be more so or less so. Where I might struggle to get high-speed sheathing correct Valentina or Serana or Helen could get it right the first time. But once you have the muscle memory built it becomes near-instinctive.”

“I remember something that I heard Zoe say once,” Lucia muses, considering your words carefully. “She said that ‘mastery’ is just the result of having done something ten thousand times.”

“It’s the same principle,” you nod. “Only the thing is, if you do something incorrectly ten thousand times all it does is ensure that you will never be able to correct yourself.”

“So you have to get it right in the first place,” Lucia simplifies your words. “That makes sense. So your problem is that you don’t feel you’ve gotten the sheathing movement right yet?”

You nod. “It’s one thing to do a simple movement faster, but I’ve found that approach is really inefficient and difficult to control. A lot of energy is wasted when you flail around like that.”

“So it’s a matter of finding a movement that uses the least possible force and moves the blade as little as possible?”

“That’s right,” you confirm. “I haven’t really found that I need a technique like what I have in mind, so I’ve left it as something of a low priority. But I still find myself considering some possible modifications to the basic principle, from time to time.”

“So, you said that some techniques are harder for some warriors to learn?” she changes the topic.

You were wondering when she would pursue that line of reasoning “I did, yes.”

“What sort of techniques do you think would ‘suit me’, Noel?” she asks.

That may be the first time she’s called you by name, when you pause to think about it. Does that mean she’s growing a bit friendlier towards you? Pushing that question aside, do you even know enough about Lucia to answer her question?

>It’s impossible to say. I really haven’t gotten that good a feel for your fighting style just yet.
>From what I’ve seen you improved your parrying very quickly. That might be something to improve on.
>I could try teaching you a few tricks and see what you pick up on most readily. Other than that I’d be at a loss.
>Other?
>>
>>3567110
>It’s impossible to say. I really haven’t gotten that good a feel for your fighting style just yet.
>I could try teaching you a few tricks and see what you pick up on most readily.
>>
>>3567110
>It’s impossible to say. I really haven’t gotten that good a feel for your fighting style just yet.
>>
>>3567141
>>3567110
This seems good
>>
>>3567110
>It’s impossible to say. I really haven’t gotten that good a feel for your fighting style just yet.
>>
>>3567110
>>3567141
>>
>>3567110
>>It’s impossible to say. I really haven’t gotten that good a feel for your fighting style just yet.
>>I could try teaching you a few tricks and see what you pick up on most readily. Other than that I’d be at a loss.
>>
>>3567110
>It’s impossible to say. I really haven’t gotten that good a feel for your fighting style just yet.
>I could try teaching you a few tricks and see what you pick up on most readily. Other than that I’d be at a loss.
>>
>>3567110
>>3567141
this
>>
>>3567110
“I can’t say for sure,” you admit. “I don’t know enough about your abilities yet, but I suppose I could have you do a few training exercises. See if I can figure out which of them you do the best at, and use that to suggest your own training regimen.”

“You’d do that for me?” she asks.

You nod, unclasping the outer layer of your outfit and tossing it aside so that you can lay on one of two padded mats in the center of the room. “Sure. We’re comrades after all… if we don’t look out for each other, no one will. And I couldn’t sleep well if I knew my comrades weren’t getting the best support they could given our circumstances.”

“For you, that means helping you develop your abilities.”

As Lucia takes the most comfortable spot against a wall that you can find, she makes one final observation for the evening. “No wonder you and Zoe get along.”
>1/2
>>
>>3569313
The next morning you meet with Vigilus at the gate, who passes you a small amulet on a fine golden chain.

WHAT’S THIS?

Vigilus responds first by gesturing for you to put the amulet around your neck, which you do.

UNMISTAKEABLE SIGN THAT YOU’VE EARNED OUR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT.

You glance down at the amulet, turning it between your fingertips. It’s clearly been struck like a coin between two hand-carved dies. One is an intricate design centering around a double-cross of the twin Goddesses Clare and Teresa, with a lion and unicorn rampent to the sides. But on the reverse side is a simpler design, that of a simple raised emblem surrounded by a laurel crown.

MY EMBLEM?

Vigilus nods. INDEED IT IS.

WHY?

BECAUSE OF YOUR ACTIONS THAT DAY, he explains. WHILE YOUR FRIEND SERANA IS LOVELY AS WELL, SHE DID NOT SAVE US FROM A YŌMA.

I SEE.

Vigilus smiles, and gestures widely before signing to you. GO IN PEACE, CLAYMORES.

You bow, and Lucia does the same. Then you take your leave, wandering back along the road. You make good progress before the sun dips low.

“Here,” you insist, stepping off the main path. “As promised.”

“We’re training here?” Lucia asks excitedly.

You nod once. “Yup, that’s right. Now, what should I subject you to...”

>Explain to her the categories of techniques, and see if she is better at athletic abilities or yōki abilities.
>Explain all of the baseline abilities, then test her power, speed, yōki output, and intelligence as best you can.
>Try showing her some practical applications, see which ones she does best at recreating.
>Other?
>>
>>3569355
>>Explain to her the categories of techniques, and see if she is better at athletic abilities or yōki abilities.
>>
>>3569355
>Explain all of the baseline abilities, then test her power, speed, yōki output, and intelligence as best you can.
>>
>>3569355
>>Explain all of the baseline abilities, then test her power, speed, yōki output, and intelligence as best you can.
better start with the basics, that might show which parts she should at least shore up and which she can build upon more easily
>>
>>3569355
>>Try showing her some practical applications, see which ones she does best at recreating.
>>
>>3569355
When did we kill a YOMA for Vigilus?
Wasn't it a human that was a bandit?
Or are we talking about the Guard captain that had a little sister who was eaten by a yoma then impersonated her?
>>
>>3569385
>or are we talking about the Guard captain that had a little sister
This. Dealing with the bandit is something that Vigilus largely keeps mum, because it's still a Claymore fighting a human so it'd be a divisive event to most people.

But he also recognizes that Noel dealt with a youma in the city below, basically on the monastery's doorstep.
>>
>>3569355
>Explain all of the baseline abilities, then test her power, speed, yōki output, and intelligence as best you can.
>>
>>3569355
>Explain all of the baseline abilities, then test her power, speed, yōki output, and intelligence as best you can.
>>
>>3569355
>>Explain all of the baseline abilities, then test her power, speed, yōki output, and intelligence as best you can.
>>
>>3569355
>>Explain to her the categories of techniques, and see if she is better at athletic abilities or yōki abilities.
>>
>>3569355
>>Explain all of the baseline abilities, then test her power, speed, yōki output, and intelligence as best you can.
>>
>>3569355
>baseline
But make sure she diagnoses herself well, thats the first step to finding something you like and do well enough to get good at.
>>
>>3569355
“Well,” you sigh, “I guess I need to ask what your baselines are… not that I expect you to know. Hell, I don’t even know what the Organization thought of me, in the end.”

“Baselines?” Lucia asks curiously. “What do you mean by that?”

“The Organization has seen countless warriors like ourselves,” you explain. “No one knows quite how many. And over the decades they have learned to evaluate the abilities of the warriors they create and train, assigning them rankings which ultimately reflect their total combat potential. These are all reckoned without yōki augmentation, of course, so they don’t tell the full story.”

“Those baselines are six… yōki reserves, agility, physical strength, mental ability, sensory ability, and leadership ability.”

“Why is this the first time I’ve heard about any of that!?” Lucia demands.

“It’s not a broadly known aspect of the Organization’s structure, unlike type determination,” you clarify, accounting for the paucity of information you can share with her compared to how much must exist. “I had to needle and browbeat my former handler into sharing any details about it with me, so even I don’t know much beyond the basics.”

“So, you don’t know what my ‘baselines’ might be?” she asks.

You shake your head. “Only that they’re lower than mine.”

Lucia huffs at you. “Well, that’s lovely.”

“The way it was explained to me is that each warrior’s baselines are given a letter rank,” you quickly add. “With ‘A’ normally being the highest and ‘E’ being the lowest, completely unremarkable. For a single-digit the bare minimum expectation is no score lower than a ‘C’ and most being ‘A’s or ‘B’s.”

“… and low-ranking warriors?” Lucia asks tentatively.

You pause, trying to come up with a diplomatic way of phrasing it. “The average is a ‘C’, and most warriors in the middle ranks usually have one or two abilities that are slightly higher along with one or two that are slightly lower.”

“Lower-ranked warriors usually have correspondingly lower baselines,” you admit. “Were I to guess based solely on your ranking and sparring with you a few times, I would say..."
>1/2
>>
>>3571089
>3d10, best of four
>>
Rolled 1, 2, 10 = 13 (3d10)

>>3571095
>>
Rolled 9, 9, 5 = 23 (3d10)

>>3571095
>>
Rolled 3, 10, 6 = 19 (3d10)

>>3571095
>>
Rolled 6, 5, 10 = 21 (3d10)

>>3571095
>>
>>3571095
Lucia hangs on your verdict.

“Your strongest assets are probably your agility and yōki sensing, which can’t possibly be above a ‘C’. Your other abilities were likely rated as ‘D’ by the Organization.”

She hangs her head, unable or unwilling to speak.

“The upside is that I can’t say I find it likely you have any skills rated an ‘E’, so that’s good,” you continue. “Even if it’s not the answer you wanted to hear, you’re far from hopeless.”

After a few moments, Lucia pushes one last question. “If you had to guess your own...”

“My only ‘C’ would be my strength,” you admit. “At least that’s my guess… my own yōki reserves definitely feel lower than any single-digit I’ve met, more fitting a double-digit. So that would be a ‘B’ at best. But my agility and sensing are definitely ‘A’ rated.”

“And your mental abilities?”

“Probably another ‘B’,” you shrug. “I’m still prone to making rash decisions where my comrades are concerned, and my emotions can get the better of me.”

“Zoe mentioned something about control...” Lucia begins, and you nod in agreement.

“Many warriors with larger reserves of yōki need to be more judicious in how they use it, to the point where some special techniques don’t use it at all. They develop reasonably good control out of necessity… however my control has always been high. If I had to guess I would say my control over my yōki exceeds the highest rank normally possible… an ‘S’ or ‘Special’ rank that makes me more comparable to an Abyssal One than a half-blood warrior.”

“Because of your mother...”

You nod. “Yes. I’d say our half-awakened comrades have improved control over their yōki usage as well, beyond even their own awareness.”

>I would recommend developing speed-based abilities. That’s your natural strong point.
>You can still strengthen your body and sharpen your mind. Bring those up to standard first.
>The stopgap is to use your yōki to improve on your baselines until you train them sufficiently.
>Other?
>>
>>3571163
>>The stopgap is to use your yōki to improve on your baselines until you train them sufficiently.
>>
>>3571163
>The stopgap is to use your yoki to improve your baselines until you train them sufficiently.
>>
>>3571163
>I would recommend developing speed-based abilities. That’s your natural strong point.
>>
>>3571163
>You can still strengthen your body and sharpen your mind. Bring those up to standard first.
>>
>>3571163
>>The stopgap is to use your yōki to improve on your baselines until you train them sufficiently.
>>
>>3571163
>You can still strengthen your body and sharpen your mind. Bring those up to standard first.
>>
>>3571163
>>You can still strengthen your body and sharpen your mind. Bring those up to standard first.
>>
>>3571163
>>You can still strengthen your body and sharpen your mind. Bring those up to standard first.
I'm always in favor of a decent baseline before attempting to specialize.
>>
>>3571163
>You can still strengthen your body and sharpen your mind. Bring those up to standard first.
>>
>>3571163
“What I would do is work to bring your physical abilities and mental acuity up to parity at least with Sabrina’s ability,” you suggest. “Which will be a moving target, as she should be focusing on narrowing the gap with the rest of us.”

“And how do you propose I do that?” Lucia demands.

“There is only one way,” you inform her, gripping your hand tightly. “Our bodies are magnificent, literal works of living art. Capable of extreme exertion with little maintenance and caloric input, all vastly beyond the range of human variation.”

You’ve considered her question before, and the answer is something counter-intuitive to most half-blooded warriors. It’s often believed that your yōki is what makes you special, but in fact there’s something deeper.

“It isn’t our yōki,” you explain, “but those bodies adapted to the presence of yōki within them, that are our greatest combat asset. After, naturally, the ability to sniff out a yōma using our yōki sensing.”

Lucia stares at you in confusion, having taken a seat at the base of a tree. “How’s that? I thought that our rankings were even loosely based of yōki measurements?”

“They partly are,” you admit, “but I figured there must be a reason our baselines are calculated without the effects of yōki manipulation. Consider it this way, with a sword there is one way to make it more effective: to improve the properties of the way in which you strike with it. But with White Fist, both improving the yōki output and improving the physical aspects of my fighting ability lead to improvements in the result.”

“I’m not following you,” Lucia admits with a frown.

“As a warrior, you have combat potential drawn from your yōki utilization,” you continue. “And you have combat potential based on your speed, your strength, and the way you think and analyze your way through an engagement. You can use yōki to achieve some flashy results, but without matching improvements in your physical abilities you’re only getting half as much improvement as you could…”

“Like coming up with a flashy sword technique,” Lucia realizes. “It’s still down to swinging the same sword.”

You nod emphatically. “That’s it exactly!”

“So you’re implying that the best way for me and Sabrina to train would be to stop using yōki?” Lucia continues.

>And we can start sparring at dawn. This is gonna be fun!
>Let’s find you a yōma to kill. No better way to train than a live exercise!
>The best part is we don’t even have to spar for me to put you through Hell.
>Other?
>>
>>3573148
>>The best part is we don’t even have to spar for me to put you through Hell.
HOWEVER
>And we can start sparring at dawn. This is gonna be fun!

NO PAIN
O

G
A
I
N
>>
>>3573154
>>3573148
>And we can start sparring at dawn. This is gonna be fun!
i knew it was only a question of time for this to come up
>>
>>3573148
>And we can start sparring at dawn. This is gonna be fun!
>>
>>3573148
>>And we can start sparring at dawn. This is gonna be fun!

If Noel doesn't clap her hands beside her head like a cute noble girl Imma riot
>>
>>3573148
>>The best part is we don’t even have to spar for me to put you through Hell.
HELL WEEK BABY
>>
>>3573148
>Let’s find you a yōma to kill. No better way to train than a live exercise!
>>
>>3573148
>>3573154
In with this guy
>>
>>3573148
>>3573154
I'm with you, buddy
>>
>>3573154
>>3573185
> Y E S
> E
> S
>>
>>3573148
>And we can start sparring at dawn. This is gonna be fun!
>>
>>3573148
>>The best part is we don’t even have to spar for me to put you through Hell.
>>
>>3573148
>3d10, best of four
>>
Rolled 10, 6, 7 = 23 (3d10)

>>3574662
>>
Rolled 10, 4, 8 = 22 (3d10)

>>3574662
>>
Rolled 9, 1, 10 = 20 (3d10)

>>3574662
>>
Rolled 3, 9, 2 = 14 (3d10)

>>3574662
>>
>>3574662
“I have some bad news for you,” you tell Lucia cheerfully, clapping your hands together. “This is gonna be fun!”

She glances at you with obvious concern. “Why would that be bad...”

“… for me,” you interrupt. “I’m going to have a lot fun running you ragged.”

You find a nearby clearing, and draw a small circle in the dirt with the tip of your sword. Then you set aside your sword, gesturing for Lucia to do the same.

“Here’s how this is going to work,” you tell her. “I’m going to close my eyes and stand within this circle. When you can land a hit on me I’ll consider you ready for the next step.”

“When I can hit you?” Lucia repeats. “With your eyes closed.”

“Yes.”

“And you can’t dodge,” she repeats.

“Only within this circle.”

There’s a long pause. “What’s the catch?”

“Attack me and you’ll see.”

You take two steps, and find yourself in the center of the circle. Then you close your eyes, and slowly reach out to gesture for Lucia to attack you.
>1/2
>>
>>3574747
It’s actually easy at first.

You sidestep, counterpunch, and occasionally respond with a joint lock or a throw that sends Lucia tumbling out of your little circular territory. Within approximately the reach of your arm, you are the sole sovereign and authority.

It feels like it must have been a hundred tries before Lucia doesn’t come again. You open your eyes to find that the sun has set, and Lucia is kneeling in the clearing panting.

After a few seconds, you step out of your circle. “I’ll build a fire.”

“I can keep going...” Lucia protests.

“Resting is as important as effort during intensive training,” you remind her. “Surely Zoe has told you that.”

The moon has risen by the time you return to find Lucia leaning against her sword at the edge of the clearing. You quickly set a fire near her, set amid a few rounded fist-sized stones, and hand her a few plants you collected while you were fetching wood. A few edible mushrooms, some yarrow and burdock, and a handful of wild carrots.

“Eat,” you insist, leaning against your own sword. “You need to recover your strength for tomorrow.”

“I’m not...”

The show of bravado is cut short by Lucia’s traitorous stomach, rumbling audibly in the middle of her denial.

“… hand me a carrot.”

>Advise her to get some rest, you move out tomorrow.
>Advise her to get some rest, you resume training tomorrow and will continue until she makes progress.
>Make a few suggestions for suppressing her yōki.
>Other?
>>
>>3574863
>Advise her to get some rest, you resume training tomorrow and will continue until she makes progress
>Tomorrow, we're going to do it while walking to our destination.
>>
>>3574863
>Advise her to get some rest, you resume training tomorrow and will continue until she makes progress.
>>
>>3574863
>>Make a few suggestions for suppressing her yōki.
>>
>>3574863
>Advise her to get some rest, you resume training tomorrow and will continue until she makes progress.
>>
>>3574874
>>3574863
BUCKLE UP, BUTTERCUP!
>>
>>3574863
>Advise her to get some rest, you resume training tomorrow and will continue until she makes progress.
>>
>>3574863
>Make a few suggestions for suppressing her yōki.
Gonna need to be sneaking around soon. Including other claymores, including the new ones they will be rolling out in a month or a year.
>>
>>3574863
“Take some rest,” you advise her calmly. “We’ll continue in the morning as we travel.”

Lucia doesn’t argue, and practically passes out that instant. You however remain awake for several more hours, munching on some sorrel and watching the fire die low. Occasionally you throw a branch or a clump of fragrant herbs that cast a sweet-smelling smoke around the clearing.
>3d10, best of four
>>
Rolled 3, 5, 10 = 18 (3d10)

>>3577238
>>
Rolled 10, 10, 5 = 25 (3d10)

>>3577238
>>
Rolled 7, 5, 1 = 13 (3d10)

>>3577238
>>
Rolled 3, 4, 1 = 8 (3d10)

>>3577238
>>
>>3577238
In the morning, you wake early and heft your sword over your shoulder and gently rouse Lucia.

“We’re moving out,” you insist quietly. “If we’re going to move and train we need to start early and walk into the night.”

“Awright,” she yawns, stretching her arms wide. “Alright, let’s do it.”

You continue walking, until the sun has come up a little further into the sky. When you cross a bubbling stream on a narrow bridge, you stop midway. Seeing no travelers coming from either direction, you draw your sword.

“Come,” you order, taking a solid midline stance. “Without yōki. When you can keep your yōki suppressed to my satisfaction while still moving you may pass.”

You don’t need to tell her twice. She comes at you immediately, and you parry easily before knocking her backwards. “Your yōki is still palpable. If you’re going to really train your body you need to suppress it even further.”

She attacks a second time, and a third time, with little progress to speak of. Eventually you lower your blade.

“You feel frustrated, don’t you?” you ask her.

“Of course I do!” she snaps for a moment, before glancing down. “Sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.”

You walk towards her, guiding her by the shoulder. “Your response told me what I needed to know. Come here.”

There’s a small highland grove near the bridge in which you take a seat before speaking to her again.

“Please sit.”

She does as you request. “What now?”

“What I want you to do is let your eyes relax,” you instruct her. “Focus on your breathing… four seconds in, hold it for four seconds, four seconds out, wait for four seconds, repeat.”

“How many times do I...”

“Until I tell you to do something different,” you interrupt. “Focus on your breathing. Focus on nothing except for your breathing.”
>2/3
>>
>>3577315
You let her continue doing this for some time, before you speak again.

“Now focus on your body,” you instruct her. “Be aware of muscular tension in your arms, in your back, in your neck. Tense each muscle group in turn, familiarize yourself with that sensation, then relax.”

You give her several more minutes to follow those instructions before issuing a new set. “Now focus entirely on your yōki. It isn’t just something that appears from nowhere, it comes from within your body and suffuses your body. Even now you can feel it, right?”

She nods, but says nothing.

“Now, release your yōki through parts of your body where you feel tension,” you continue. “Then relax again. Familiarize yourself with how each state feels differently, between your natural basic yōki usage in a guarded state and your relaxed state.”

Slowly but surely, Lucia’s yōki signature weakens. It doesn’t disappear entirely, but it’s heavily suppressed… at best you’d call it a ‘trace’ of yōki which many double-digit warriors might fail to detect were they not aware that they should be looking for her.

>That’s excellent progress. Now, let’s get moving again. We need to balance training with progress towards the castle.
>Now, stand. Come at me, but try to maintain that sense of calm and relaxation that helps you reduce your yōki usage.
>Let’s walk like this. Focus on maintaining your low yōki usage despite moving around in a ‘normal’ way.
>Other?
>>
>>3577450

>>Let’s walk like this. Focus on maintaining your low yōki usage despite moving around in a ‘normal’ way.

Walk with me for a bit, won't you?
>>
>>3577450
>>Let’s walk like this. Focus on maintaining your low yōki usage despite moving around in a ‘normal’ way.
>>
>>3577450
>Let’s walk like this. Focus on maintaining your low yōki usage despite moving around in a ‘normal’ way.
>>
>>3577450
>>Let’s walk like this. Focus on maintaining your low yōki usage despite moving around in a ‘normal’ way.
>>
>>3577450
>>Let’s walk like this. Focus on maintaining your low yōki usage despite moving around in a ‘normal’ way.
>>
>>3577458
>>3577480
>>3577522
>>3577559
>>3577568
>>3577450
what they said
>>
>>3577450
>Let’s walk like this. Focus on maintaining your low yōki usage despite moving around in a ‘normal’ way.

Could we fool something into attacking us?



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