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A note from Idlefiber

Editing is boring (-_-) so i think im going to put out another chapter today, i feel like writing

current progress 29k/140k words - pretty much just tweaking/rewording now, so its faster, but... boring

Dante’s Immortality – Chapter 59

“Alright, you’ve slept enough.”

He felt a slight prod and instantly shot up. As soon as he got to his feet, Dante glanced over to Victoria, who had just lightly kicked him with her foot, and praised the Goddess. She hadn’t used that abhorrent vial to wake him up, and for that, he would be eternally grateful. He had already been thoroughly traumatized by its smell.

Victoria looked him over for a moment, likely assessing his condition after three weeks of exhaustion. “We are already going to have a late start today, so let’s not waste time.”

Dante glanced up at the sun as he stretched his incredibly stiff muscles out. It was already around noon, meaning that he had slept for almost an entire day. “I’m ready.” He was quite surprised that she had allowed him to sleep for so long, especially after such a hellish journey.

Victoria nodded. “We’ll start with the first sequence of the Spectral Attunement.”

That name sounded… ominous.

“The Spectral Attunement is my guilds specialty. It is mainly used to fully stretch out the body and increase flexibility, as well as maintain the body physically. Other than strengthening the body, its secondary purpose is to teach the footwork required to work for the guild.”

Stretching out the body or just getting physical exercise was understandable, but he didn’t see why the thing she was talking about would be necessary to learn footwork, no matter how delicate. It also raised the question of what kind of guild Victoria was actually a part of. “Shouldn’t footwork depend on the total amount of Dexterity you have, why would you need to learn the Spectral Attunement first?”

Victoria shrugged. “Dexterity may give you more control over your body, but some things need to be learned, and practiced. It will be easier for you to get an idea if I show you. Watch closely, the first sequence is made up of twenty poses in total.”

Victoria took a step back, then got into a low stance. After that, she began to move, and he was completely dumbfounded as he watched her.

Every movement was unbearably slow and precise, almost as though the air around Victoria was a solid mass that she was forcing herself through. She was twisting her body in ways that sent a shiver down his spine. Contorting herself into impossible poses, then holding them for several seconds before moving to the next.

Some moments were beautiful, but only briefly. When Victoria finally got to a pose, and held it, he would wince.

It was like an incredibly graceful dance that ended in sick torture.

Victoria came to a stop after going through all twenty poses, taking her a full five minutes. Then she turned to him. “Ready to try?”

There was no way he was ‘ready to try’. Clearing his throat, he did his best to sound reasonable. “I don’t think that is going to help me with my footwork.” There was no footwork involved in what she had just done at all. It was more like a sequence of extreme stretches rather than any kind of footwork practice. The only thing he would get out of trying to replicate what she did is dislocated joints.

Victoria rolled her eyes. “The first sequence is just to prepare your body for the other four sequences. Without being able to complete it, you would sustain damage from the other, more advanced sequences.”

More advanced sequences… fuck.

Seeing the look on his face, Victoria continued. “Don’t worry, the first sequence will take you a few months to complete. Today you are only going to learn the first pose. Watch closely, and try to do as I do.”

Victoria got into her low stance, and he followed her example despite his reservations. She began to move, and even though he had nowhere near her grace, he was able to follow her example in a way that he hoped was somewhat close to what was intended.

Victoria’s leg slowly lifted above her head, somehow keeping it perfectly straight in the process. Gritting his teeth, he followed suit. He kept his leg completely straight as he slowly lifted it, making it slightly over the height of his head before he heard a loud pop.

Groaning, Dante toppled to the floor, clutching his thigh. Not even halfway to the first pose, and he was already down.

Victoria walked over and silently stretched out his leg, then pulled him up and began the process over.

Letting out a sigh, he resumed learning the first pose.

 


 

“That’s enough of the Spectral Attunement for the day.”

Hearing her words, he collapsed to the ground in relief. Not only was he completely drenched in sweat, but his leg muscles felt like they were torn apart from attempting to achieve the first pose.

Victoria, who wasn’t tired in the slightest, held out her hand toward him. At first, he wasn’t sure what she was doing, but then he saw the tiny pill in her hand. “Swallow this.”

Taking the pill, he examined it closely. He had seen medicine before, but he had never had the opportunity to consume one. Still, he didn’t eat it. He didn’t trust Victoria nearly enough.

Victoria rolled her eyes, then disappeared before his eyes, reappearing with a dagger held to his throat. “Paranoia will keep you alive, but do not allow it to needlessly hinder you. If I was going to kill you, I would have done it already.”

He recoiled from the cold steel that rested against his throat. Victoria had taken him completely off-guard, and if there hadn’t been a small window of time between when she disappeared and reappeared, he would have thought she had used a skill that was similar to Blink.

Strangely enough, his helplessness in the situation was actually somewhat reassuring. And just further proof that Victoria wasn’t someone that he could afford to piss off. If Victoria’s objective was to kill or capture him, he wouldn’t be able to resist in the slightest.

Dante placed the pill in his mouth and swallowed it. There didn’t seem to be any immediate effects.

Victoria watched him swallow it and nodded in approval. “That is an alchemic pill that will aid your muscles in recovery. In the next week, I will teach you how to properly procure the ingredients required, as well as prepare it.”

His eyebrows rose. Never had he thought that he had swallowed something as priceless as an alchemic pill. They were far more valuable than any regular medicinal pill from an apothecary. “How is that possible without the Alchemist Classification?”

Victoria shrugged. “How do people farm without a Farmer Classification, or how do people swing a sword without a combat Classification? The process may be far more difficult, but never forget that Classifications are just an aid. And while it is true that you will never be able to create alchemic pills that are anywhere near as effective as an Alchemist Classification’s, lesser pills are still useful.”

He had never really thought about it, but the way she explained it made complete sense, and a world of possibilities had just opened up to him.

“Alright, to start, I’ll need to get a solid grasp of your abilities and skill, as well as their limitations. What are the restrictions in regards to the size and shape of your skill that creates swords?”

He thought about how to best answer her. At first, he considered deception. Keeping something hidden in order to use it if he needed to catch her off-guard in the future. But he realized how stupid that would be. If Victoria was really going to train him, he couldn’t afford to restrict himself, especially if it was just on the off chance that he could miraculously stop her if she decided to attack him.

“There is no limit on either size or shape, as long as there is a blade on it. There is a total mass limit of around sixty average sized swords though, so if I don’t break down my created weapons, I won’t be able to make more.”

Victoria rubbed her chin in thought. “And yet you only use swords. Still, it’s interesting… Can you partially breakdown weapons, like turning a sword into a dagger by breaking off part of the blade?”

He opened up his mouth to reply, but didn’t say anything. He couldn’t believe that he hadn’t thought of that. Instead of answering her, he created a regular sized sword in his hand.

Then, he focused on partially destroying the blade of the weapon. It was surprisingly easy. Instead of just cutting his connection to the mana, he just had to manipulate the mana to the part of the weapon that he wanted to keep. The other side would then break apart easily.

There were a few downsides, but they were minor. The first was that he would need to actually hold the weapon to easily mold the mana, which wouldn’t be a big deal as long as he wasn’t using the skill manipulate blade.

The second downside was that the pieces that he broke off would instantly dissipate. Meaning that he could make an existing weapon smaller, but he couldn’t make two weapons from one.

He reported his findings to Victoria, and she nodded.

“Truly an amazingly versatile skill. I already have a feel for your other skill that pushes swords through the air in both speed and range, but are there any other limitations?”

Dante nodded. “Yes, I can’t lift anything that is larger than an average greatsword in mass, and I can only move weapons through the air point first.”

After that, they systematically went through each of his skills. Victoria had a particular interest in his two passives, asking the most questions about the two of them. Unfortunately, she didn’t have any further insight on them that he didn’t have himself.

After running through the mana costs and his current attributes, something he had misgivings about revealing but eventually relented, Victoria was silent for a few minutes. “Your skill set is definitely not one that an apprentice of mine would usually have, but we will just need to improvise a bit… What weapons are you proficient with.”

“Usually, I use two swords, but while I was at the academy, I learned how to fight with a single sword.”

Instead of a reply, Victoria just rubbed her forehead and let out a sigh. It was something that he couldn’t understand, he was quite proud of his progress in swordsmanship during the time spent at the academy.

“Unless you have a skill that is dependent on a sword, they are only useful for pretentious nobles who use it as a status symbol, or mana fodder. Dual wielding two swords is completely moronic altogether.”

The first thing she said made almost no sense based on his prior knowledge, while the second thing she said made absolutely no sense. He couldn’t understand how using two swords could be moronic when it would just mean an extra sword to attack or defend. “Could you elaborate a bit? I don’t see how using a sword could be useless, much less using two… and what is mana fodder?”

Victoria let out a sigh. “Make two swords.” He began creating the two swords, while hoping that Victoria didn’t teach through pain like Archie did. “Mana is a finite resource, especially in battles. No matter the combat Classification, all of them use mana to power their skills.”

Done creating his two swords, Victoria had a dagger appear in her hand. “Attack me.”

Dante moved toward Victoria, and began to attack her with the two swords. But she easily batted his attacks away. “So, because it is a finite resource, mana can be depleted. A common tactic to use, especially during sieges, is to send out weak combatants to expend the opponent’s mana, then send in more valuable combatants when there is less potential threat.”

Victoria continued to hammer his swords away. Every time one even got within range, is was easily knocked away. Initially, he didn’t think much of it, but when he attacked with both – one sword striking toward the dagger, and the other moving directly toward her unprotected body – she would just knock one sword into the path of the other.

“Those weaker combatants are called mana fodder, and they are a key part to any modern army. It is one of the reasons magic Classifications are so heavily sought after in war, their high mana regeneration can easily counter the tactic if there are enough of them.”

After a few minutes, Victoria stopped their light sparring. Leaving him unharmed, which he was more than grateful for. “Now, explain to me why dual wielding two swords is stupid.”

Dante looked down at the two swords in his hand. While it was true that they were useful for versatility and attack variation, Victoria had pointed out a huge weakness that was now obvious. “The swords can easily be tangled with each other.”

Victoria gave an approving smile and a nod. “Exactly. Now, let’s discuss which weapons would actually be viable for you to learn.”

He didn’t know why, but something about Victoria’s approving smile actually gave him a sense of satisfaction. For some reason, it felt like the smile was completely genuine and earned.

Despite his initial doubts, Victoria was a far better teacher than he could have asked for.

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A note from Idlefiber

Side note: ive been watching a lot of youtube videos, for you complainers.  I now have a good grasp on what weapons are actually viable, and why.  And even though i downplay a single sword in this chapter (only slightly to be fair), my new knowlege should make all of you weapon nerds happy - or happier - in the coming future (hopefully).


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Idlefiber

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sincron @sincron ago

thanks for the chapter

Pubeard @Pubeard ago

Thanks for the chapter! :)

Fl1pstre @Fl1pstre ago

lol 2 sec

3rd then lol

EverShadow @EverShadow ago

Thanks for the chapter!

Also, how did you get here so fast?

ulrc @ulrc ago

Nooooooo why no double sword ? Well i understand the need for realism but if he is fast enough strong enough and with great reflex a dual sword welding is not totally stupid

    Idlefiber
    Author

    Idlefiber @Idlefiber ago

    sword + dagger is still viable Tongue ill keep it fun lol

      Killashard
      Premium

      Killashard @Killashard ago

      A sword and a sword-breaker.

      Efflorescence @Efflorescence ago

      A greatsword and a hooked dagger. Going full Abyss Watchers.

      Planner @Planner ago

      Her point is completely irrelevant, she could have made the point that a rock off the ground is superior to his dual-wielding swords with equal validity. She would have needed to limit herself to his equivalent in skill for it to be valid (which she couldn't do).

      Dante is a Blade Dancer, his classification encourages deft manipulation of his blades. That dual-wielding adds complexity in that his blades can become entagled is specifically what the classification should excel at (though, again, not against someone who completely outclasses him).

      As a counter-example, the other noble house-head that killed an entire other noble family in one night (if I'm remembering that right), would it have made any difference if he was dual-wielding, single-wielding, wielding daggers, or even bare-handed (... well, his classification might have some difference for bare-handed..). He so far outclassed them that they all died, regardless of their choice of fighting style.

      S4mur4i1 @S4mur4i1 ago

      I agree that dual wielding is complete vaild style. The limiting factor would be more in weather or not Dante is ambidextrous, because people who dual weild need both hands well. Sepefecily what you would be doing is using one sword too defend yourself while the other hand attacks. The threat of the style isn't two weapons attack. it's that both hands can be use to defend or attack.

Ash Satols @Ash Satols ago

Thx for chap

Well i dont know much about swords or other weapons, but i always liked Dante using two swords (looks cool ya know, even if its said it doesnt work in real combat), hopes he can find his own style(instead of becoming a full blown assassian).

world1324 @world1324 ago

Well even if you use real weapons as reference take into account what would suit him :)
I for example prefer axes, the dane axe to be specific, because i think they are incredible strong in battles. Although a shield and axe were a lot more common, but i dont think either would suit him. smile

Maybe a spear since they are "easy" to learn and one of the most used weapons and most versatile weapons (to be fair most people used a spear because it was easy to learn during war and it didnt cost much, same as a mace).

Also dual sword wielding was uncommon but some manuels had them, most common dual wielding was a sword and a dagger (in later books), since they dont get into the way so easy.
Also there was a rome gladiator category (if i remember right) called Dimachaerus who used two swords.
Miyamoto Musashi a famous warrior from japan used two swords, a longer katana and a shorter one (i have no idea how they are called).
So as long as the weapons are of different lenght it can work.

Now how about a spear as said before but since his agility is high maybe two short swords, or the usual daggers? Dual axes are a chance but here is the same as dual wielding different types of swords its not often seen, although it can be pretty useful, one axe can "grab" the shield of an oponent or their weapon and you strike with the other (the grabing of weapons is a often used tactic with axe).
Some weapons that come into my mind (other than different swords):
War hammer (although it would need a lot more strengh so meh)
Glaive maybe?
Sabre (a type of sword but still)
or my favorit just cause it looks awesome a war scythe.

I really like your story so i just wanted to give some ideas but ... well :)
Maybe you like one of these ^^

    Idlefiber
    Author

    Idlefiber @Idlefiber ago

    so far my thoughts for variations (to keep things interesting)

    double sided glaive - for use against multiple enemies (this one im not sure on viability, its more pure fantasy, but i think would kinda suit the story)

    Glaive could be broken down into spear - easy to use, good against... everything

    sword + dagger - more for just variation, but still viable. The increased range from the sword isnt really needed because of blink

    which is why dual wielding daggers is viable (thinking reverse grip, would be cool, and the extra range from a saber grip isnt needed because blink), and would be the last main option

      SamHaine @SamHaine ago

      The double glaive is a bit much, as there is just no need for it, and the second head would get in the way if and when he wanted to use it in long range. That's why if a polearm had something on the other side then it was something small, like a short spike, or just a simple metal head to better bash teeth in - or the famous ring of the pudao.

      As for dual wielding swords: yeah, mostly a bad idea. There are styles/martial arts out there that pretty much love them (eskrima, for example), but those are specialized uses, with lots of fixed/semi-fixed attack sequences. Mostly only effective against non-armored enemies. Though there is a curious idea that I've been thinking about for a while: dual wielding a really asymetric pair of swords, a fencing blade like a saber or rapier, something light and fast, used mostly alone, as if the second blade wasn't even there most of the time, and some kind of brute in the off hand, say, a falcata or a dussack, to hammer down the rare punishing strike when you see that the opponent showed an opening you want to exploit, or went into a bind foolishly and you just don't feel like playing weak and strong with him.

      Creating a fighting style around blnk is fine, but I'd recommend not relying on it overly, it just leaves too many weak points to be viable. See the dual dagger setup you mentioned: there is just no need for two daggers, especially as when you do go in that close, the control that a free hand offers is just too big an advantage to give up.

      So, for my actual recommendation: as far as I could tell, Dante's main problem is actually damaging his enemies - piercing past their high constitutions. So, give him a rondel for up close: it's an uncomplicated dagger meant for just one thing, stabbing an oppoent that's already somewhat controlled by you. Rondels are meant to be used against full plate armor, you bring the opponent to the ground and give him a good stab. The only fancy thing you need for it is a bit of hand to hand, wrestling and the works, the rondel is only there to finsh the job.

      Mid range I'd recommend a warhammer (an actual one, not those unwieldly oversized mostrosities that fantasy loves so much): the essence of a warhammer is concentrating lots of force into a single small point. It'd need a shield, or something, but effective nontheless.

      Then at last, there are the warhammer's big brothers: gothic poleaxes, crow's beaks, that family. Again, lots of force into a small point. And fun weapons.

      Some additional questions:

      When Dante creates something, is it made out of pure metal? If yes, then you need to realize that his weapons are incredibly bad for his hands/arms: there is no shock absorption, no give of any kind in the handle, you can't even hold it as well as a proper grip. And it plain old fucks up the balance of his blades, making them too heavy with the point of balance too close to his hands. And it would be really bad for any weapon that has a handle, like a polearm: he'd need to hollow it out and maybe add some structural reinforcement in the middle, or they would get prohibitively heavy.

      What about armor? Could Dante create a set of full plate mail as long as each separate piece has a miniscule blade added somewhere? Or chainmail that is made out of sharpened rings (to use as a net, rather than as armor on himself)?

      Could he create a small metal shelter, say somewhat bigger than a coffin, if he keeps the metal thin enough (of course with a single blade on the outside to satisfy the requirement of the skill)?

      Idlefiber
      Author

      Idlefiber @Idlefiber ago

      the main reason i wanted to go glaive is because it would combine well with world essence manipulation, it wouldnt be a standard glaive that has two actual flat blades, more like... a double sided spear. Only to really be used if he was completely surrounded. Of course, this raises massive issues if he wanted to throw/stab someone, instead of some crazy (and cool xD) spin fighting. (The Agi/Dex should also help out.)

      The reason im playing with the idea, is because he can just break off the tip of one side and then boom - its a throwy/staby stick (spear)

      Overall, im pushing toward spear. Not only are they really good, especially in range, but they are also pretty cool if wielded unrealistically (like in a fantasy story xD)

      Which is why i cant do something like a war hammer/poleaxe. Ive given those some thought, but they really wouldnt be fun to read about in the slightest, which is a large factor in a story xD. (people like agile fighters far more than tanky, brute attackers) Their lack of ballance (all the weight being focused at the end) makes them slow, and their attacks lack fluidity (even if effective for bashing helmets)

      Sword/dagger combo is also viable, mostly just for variation though. Think ill be adding some dueling to the story later (with a way to cancel out attributes from classifications).

      Daggers... im still iffy on. As i said, it would mainly be used in conjuction with blink. In regular fights, something like daggers are only used if you are disarmed, but he doesnt really have that problem since he can create weapons.

      As you said, two daggers are a poor choice because you would be unable to grapple in close range, but i was planning on staying away away from that form of fighting altogether because of Blink. Would be more like, quick in, quick out, while avoiding being tangled (with the help of some assassin training of course) and possibly using one of the daggers to deflect/open holes in a guard. (in that situation, two daggers would just be double damage)

      But of course, no one really fights with two knives in real life, ever. Still, im undecided on it.

      Of course, with any of these weapon choices, feel free to convince me based on my arguments xD

       

      For the questions Tongue

      the first one, while it is realistically a problem... it is too much of an issue to address. I could of course chalk it up to his higher consitution, which isnt high enough to counteract those sort of vibrations. I havent addressed the type of metal yet, think im going to make it some form of known mana steal (stregthened when infused with mana) so i can always say it doesnt have a problem of sending vibrations. Also, weight shouldnt be too much of an issue with his strength.

      for the armor/metal shelter. Undecided if ill allow it or not, so im leaving it open ended for now... There are too many broken things that can be done (aside from those two things) that i'd prefer to just leave open ended, or i would have to change the skill fundementally.

      SamHaine @SamHaine ago

      Well, a glaive or a spear are both superior choices as weapons, no doubt about that, but just think about it for a moment: the type of two headed polearm that you are referring to is just as problematic as dual wielding two swords. You give up range, power and adaptability for gaining a secondary mode of attack that proper use of your weapon should make obsolete except in some rare few cases. So here's a picture of a boar spear that gives you a good compromise - actual spearhead only on one side, spike that can stab perfectly well but won't get in the way on the other.

      Taken into account my earlier post, I'd recommend to change the quillons on the above spear, and add something like the head of this war hammer: it could work perfectly well as quillons, in addition to providing an excellent solution to problematically hard foes.

      And I would add a rondel, like this one for example, with a sheath on the main hand side, as these are mostly used with a reverse grip. Good for when an opponent breaks into grappling distance and Dante doesn't have a chance to just Blink away.

      (Do make him learn heavily offensive blinking, please: have him start some stupid big attack like a lunge with his spear tio far away and blink into distance to finish an already started attack.)

      So there is a limit that he can only create metal. How about a wire grip? If he can make complex enough shapes, then have him just wrap the tang in wires, preferably already braided, creating some empty spaces and making it so that the grip has the necessary give.

      Thraydyne @Thraydyne ago

      I like the idea of a glaive type weapon, same as SamHaine I'm not sure about the double sided even though it would look badass.

      I was just thinking something like a sword-spear, kinda like the nameless kings weapon from Dark Souls 3. It can give acceptable range and can also be used to make strong cuts alongside the standard thrusts of a spear.

      world1324 @world1324 ago

      Well if you build an attacking style around blink a spear would be a good idea. As SamHaine said beginning an attack and then finishing it with blink can be extremly strong.
      Well then lets focus on the spear:
      Dont do spin attacks they are mostly useless and if surrounded, maybe let him do a "counterattack" style of fighting. Wait for one to attack block -> counter -> repeat, if they attack as group use higher speed/dex and the range advantage of the spear.
      If he wants throwing weapons how about throwing knives? Easy to conceal and would do the job, he also wont need to abonden his weapon (even if he can make more of them, mana and all). If you really want something like a glaive, maybe use a standard one and give him a "spike" on the other end, so he can still throw it and it wont get in the way, it would also be good against many oponents since he can use stabing attacks and "wide" range attacks with the big blades.
      (https://www.google.at/search?q=glaive&client=firefox-b-ab&dcr=0&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiVjeKGsPnXAhWDb1AKHchsC-kQ_AUICigB&biw=924&bih=538#imgrc=5MUcrJxyQ0cmXM:  ; i have no idea how to post a link otherwise..im new to this cry)

      Now to the dagger, i can mostly add nothing new. Dont dual wield and as said before daggers are used when you are in close range grappling or disarmed. Although most fantasy assasins use it, since you dont want to go that route its pointless.
      What i propose are still the throwing knives just for some "surprise" effect or to take out weaker enemy before the fight, maybe something like:
      When he fights multiple oponnents with only 2-3 strong ones in it and the rest cannonfodder ->focus the strong ones, start with a leap attack (if its a spear) but while you prepare to leap throw 2-3 daggers at the weaker enemys -> blink and finish the attack (or something like this).
      Against strong oponents throwing knifes wont do much i guess, but for these situations, why not? Since he can create them anyway (or store some for later).
      For the "real" dagger if there are heavily armored oponents, i would suggest the same as Samhaine, a rondel or a dagger specialized for stabbing , as a last resort or if they are really near you. (maybe as a surprise attack too)

      A spear-sword can be good too but if its a dec build i would probably go for the spear/glaive just because it suits the "image" more.smile


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