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A New Life

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A New Life

Post by Kumo on Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:57 pm

On a ship headed towards the next Island a young man sat in a corner of the deck. He didn’t have a chair so he simply sat on the deck with his right leg propped up and his left extend. His right arm rested on his knee which slightly wrapped around the sword scabbard. His Left hand rested loosely on his left leg. He seemed relaxed, simply enjoying the waves and the sea breeze. Unfortunately, the days of thoughtless relaxation were behind him now. On his home Island of Fiore he had become a wanted man, not because he committed a crime but because of the greed of a few men.
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“Where you headed?” Ikazuchi awoke from his daze and glanced towards the sailor who had spoke before looking back towards the sky. It was an older man who had likely spent his life on the seas. He wasn’t in a mood to talk so he replied simply. “Adventuring.” It was the half truth that he would tell people along his journey. Despite his mannerism expressing that he didn’t wish to carry on a conversation he heard an almost immediate reply. “Oh, so you’re a swordsman?” Hearing the voice Ikazuchi understood that the man he was speaking to was either shameless or dense. “I am, and I am travelling to gain experience with it.” As he spoke he looked the man directly in his eyes ready to carry on the conversation for a bit before escaping.

What surprised him was that the man averted his gaze. Upon closer inspection the man had a slightly rough appearance. Although he had clothes that one would expect of a sailor on a merchant ship, there were scars that couldn’t be hidden on his body as well as a vague hostile feeling being given off. If it wasn’t for the fact that he was aware of the typical merchant’s pickiness in choosing staff he would call this man a pirate. At that moment, as if aware of the observation, the man laughed and spoke out again. “I see, quite the young swordsman… Well, enjoy the voyage.” The abrupt end to the conversation felt strange to Ikazuchi, but he only watched the man walk away.

After the man went back to work Ikazuchi stood up and stared out towards the sea in the direction of Fiore with his sword in hand. The calm expression gradually became a disdainful smile. Had the man not acted so abruptly Ikazuchi wouldn’t have doubted him, however he was sure that there was something strange about the man from his actions. When he finally got on a ship off the island and thought he had a moment to rest, something new appeared before him to stir things back up. Suppressed underneath his calm was unavoidable nervousness. Despite being able to wield a sword better than most, he simply wasn’t strong enough to face stronger foes. In the end, no matter how exquisite the swordsmanship if the strength isn’t enough then it will ultimately be a loss. During what may be his last moments of peace Ikazuchi couldn’t help looking back on the events that brought him here.
________________________________________

Ikazuchi was raised by the man that he also called his teacher. The fact that he was taken in was nothing more than a coincidence as he was picked up in passing through an area ravaged by battle. If his parents were alive then they likely thought that he was dead, and concerning him aside from a name that had been embroidered on the blanket that wrapped him he had no way to distinguish his parents. This made his teacher the only family that he had ever known. He was at most a year old when he was found, so his birthday was considered to be the day he was taken in.

At the age of three his teacher had managed to teach Ikazuchi to read. Slowly Ikazuchi began to grasp at the basic knowledge of magic. It took him seven months to fully understand several books that were passed to him at the time. It was only then that his teacher revealed the magic he would teach. It was an ancient technique to engrave or imprint runes on objects to strengthen and improve the quality of. Like any child he was fascinated with the concept, and simply watching it performed left him enraptured.

Unfortunately, before he could perform magic he must first master the knowledge of the magic itself. In the case of Runic Refinement there are one hundred foundational runes that had to be perfectly memorized. The reason that these runes are called the foundation is that one must arrange them in to various sequences to achieve the best result for different materials. In some cases the combination of two appropriate runes may outmatch ten less appropriate ones. Unlike before he was almost obsessed with obtaining results, and even then a year and five months passed before he understood the runes and the basic knowledge on how to apply them to common materials.

Having just recently turned five his teacher decided it was time to take the final steps to perform the magic. The only condition was that he must forge the weapons to refine personally. Learning to become a proper bladesmith was time consuming and difficult, especially for a young child, but Ikazuchi continued to forge sword after sword for months until the final product was a proper weapon able to be engraved. The time for learning could be considered relatively short after spending half a year. Before this he had produced some lower quality weapons, however this sword was the first that reached a standard that his teacher could approve. After two and a half years of study he could finally perform the magic that had piqued his interest for so long.
__________________________________________

“Not like that you brat!” As those words entered his ears Ikazuchi felt a large hand smack the back of his head. “What do you mean?! It’s exactly how you taught me!” As he snapped back at his teacher he turned his head quickly around to look at the man standing behind him. Almost immediately after turning he felt a sharp pain on his forehead and saw that his teacher had flicked him right between the eyes. “Did you already forget what I taught you? There are without a doubt sequences that are considered standard for different materials, but what about the type of weapon? Those runes are without a doubt for steel, but you should know several others also for steel. Did you not ever wonder why there are so many for one material? That one primarily focuses on the hardness with little effect on the durability and sharpness! How is that suitable for a sword? So, what do you need to look at now, you stinkin’ brat?”

Ikazuchi was stunned hearing all that his teacher had to say. He didn’t think it was possible to master it, but he had believed that he could be confident in the knowledge he had. It was a rude awakening to unable to engrave even a single weapon before being reprimanded. “Teacher is right, I will consider things more carefully before I act in the future.” After speaking, he turned around and contemplated which runes would be most appropriate for this sword. “It can’t be too many runes, or I won’t be able to complete it. I need the fewest runes to achieve what teacher mentioned to the best of my ability…” Unbeknownst to Ikazuchi standing behind him his Teacher wore a satisfied expression watching him grow absorbed in his thoughts. “I got it!” Before his teacher could advise him in any way Ikazuchi immediately began forming new runes of Ethernano.

Initially, his teacher sighed at the energy a child could display. That sigh gradually transitioned into surprise as he watched Ikazuchi perform an action that he didn’t teach or show him. Rather than solely create a basic sequence he layered two ten rune sequences on top of each other to create new runes the specifically catered towards the durability and sharpness of the weapon. It was an intermediate concept that he didn’t intend to teach Ikazuchi for the time being, however the kid had chanced upon the concept himself. “What a good kid..” His voice was soft spoken, inaudible to anyone but himself. In his eyes shone a happiness that was hard to express.

Two hours later Ikazuchi finished the runes, and the sword. He was satisfied to have succeeded with the runes, and couldn’t help but to stare at it. After a few moments spent lost in his self-satisfaction he heard the old voice speak out once again. “Not bad. That sword is yours now.” After a moment of shock Ikazuchi immediately replied. “What do you mean mine? I thought that we sell these weapons?” In return he received uproarious laughter. “Do you really think that you can sell that sword? It’s barely passable for you to use to learn swordsmanship. And that’s only because it’s sharp and pointy!” His teacher’s reply was enough to stun him once again. “Why do I need to learn swordsmanship?!” He hadn’t been surprised about his teacher not approving the weapon, however he never expected to learn swordsmanship. “Listen up brat! To craft the best weapon you must be able to wield one properly!”
_________________________________________

With a daily routine of training Ikazuchi constantly refined his skills over the course of a long fifteen years. His craftsmanship improved steadily as he understood the weapons more thoroughly. As he grew older several things he learned while young were gradually comprehended and put into practice. As a weaponsmith and armorsmith he could be considered very skilled, however due to focusing exclusively on those aspects his skills and understanding didn’t expand outward. What he gained was a strong foundation as a craftsman to build upon in the future. As a swordsman Ikazuchi grew more skilled by the day. Over the years he progressed steadily from the repetitive practice swings to training unique techniques only to recently step onto the true path of a swordsman. Rather than rely on and limit himself to the techniques of the style he progressed towards to essence of the strikes achieving a free and fluid style.

What proved to be the most difficult to improve was his skill with the magic. Alongside the almost endless combinations of runes which could achieve effects of varying strength he also had to slowly train and perfect his understanding and control over ethernano. In the end, even fifteen years isn’t enough time to gain enough experience to master a magic like the Runic Refinement. Ikazuchi’s teacher could only be left full of pride after imparting all of his knowledge to his student. The path ahead could only be paved by experience. Filled with hopes that Ikazuchi wouldn’t have to walk a path filled with bloodshed the old man intended to watch him grow as a craftsman, however after twenty years of peace those hopes could only be crushed.
______________________________________

Two years earlier due to some upper level character taking interest in the crafting techniques displayed by Ikazuchi’s teacher. The weapons he crafted were extremely high quality, and possessed an extreme tolerance for energy. To a normal person that may not matter, however in the hands of a strong individual the weapon was able to show it’s might. Naturally, Ikazuchi’s teacher refused to work for the World Government. It was then that they took matters into their own hands and forcefully apprehended him. At the time Ikazuchi had been out on an errand, but the old man still took him into consideration and went quietly in an attempt to protect his safety. It was only afterwards that he learned that they were also searching for him as well causing the old man to rampage around.

Over the last twenty years of his life Ikazuchi had become aware of his teacher’s name, Isaac. What he only found out that knight was the title the man was known by in his prime. Sword King Isaac, the reason for the nickname from many years ago when he spent time adventuring was put on display that night. Countless men were killed searching for him, however an equal number of injuries were inflicted upon him. Isaac hadn’t cared for his safety, and his strength had deteriorated after so long causing him to gradually be worn down. His goal had been to find Ikazuchi and flee, however he wasn’t able to find him by the time his life was ultimately lost. From that day forward the name of the Sword King once again resurfaced.

As for Ikazuchi, he was a fair distance away when his teacher’s rampage began. Unsure what was happening he took a much longer route to avoid whatever was taking place. He was unaware that the person fighting was his teacher, or what was occurring until later when he watched from the shadows as his teacher was killed. At that moment it felt as if rage was bubbling forth from his marrow. His breathing became labored, his fists sub-consciously clenched, his entire body shook, but it felt as if his mind cooled the longer he looked on. After a few moments the shaking of his body subsided, his hands relaxed, and his breathing steadied. For twenty years he had grown up safely due to the care of one man, and in one night for a reason unknown to him they had taken that man’s life.

After calming himself he turned and left the alley without looking back. Ikazuchi felt almost unbearable sadness due to his loss, anger that felt as if it would burn his soul, and a terrifying calmness that gave him an almost frigid atmosphere. It wasn’t truly cold, however it wouldn’t be strange for a normal person to feel a chill when looking at him. He wished that he could tear apart everyone who had a hand in the death of Isaac, that he could take his body for a proper burial, that he had the strength to make a difference, but he was aware that no matter how many wishes he made there wasn’t any way to change the past.

For the next eight months Ikazuchi was forced to live his life on the run, and in hiding all throughout the island of Fiore. There were subtle changes in his mentality, however he did his best to maintain the belief that not all people would betray him. Unfortunately, time and time again people betrayed his belief forcing him to suffer pursuit almost any time that he encountered others. For a small reward people continued to offer information on him until their greed caused them to attempt to capture him. Before he was frustrated by the fact that people were ruled by their greed, but he had never intended to harm anyone. At least he hadn’t until they appear before him wielding weapons, threatening him, and slandering his Teacher.

It was a group of three men who could at best forcefully swing their swords with decent force. To a bystander it may seem threatening, but with Ikazuchi’s long time experience with the sword it seemed as though these men couldn’t even be passable woodcutters. Due to his focus being primarily on the techniques that his teacher had to pass on he didn’t really develop his strength. Thankfully, among people of similar strength technique is absolute. Taking the initiative Ikazuchi chose to wield his own sword swiftly dispatching the three men in a matter of minutes. Initially he had thought that taking a life would cause some sort of internal conflict, but he was simply unaffected. It felt as if he was simply practicing with his weapon like he had for so long.

After that incident the reward was withdrawn, but a bounty was released. It was a small bounty of only ten thousand. It was meant to attract the attention of the brave fools blinded by greed looking only to make a quick profit. Due to this his encounters with people became less frequent, tense, and more dangerous. That is how Ikazuchi spent the next year and a half until he finally managed to board a ship in an attempt to escape from Fiore for the time being. During these two years in an attempt to increase his strength he constantly experimented with the Runic Refinement his teacher passed on to him to be able to apply it to himself.
______________________________________________

He had thought that he had a chance to leave this place. Ikazuchi had hoped that it was possible to leave and one day return triumphantly to avenge the one person closest to family he ever had. From the moment his conversation with the man had ended he was aware that it would most likely be impossible to achieve that. He had spent a long two years suffering through countless hardships only to be trapped on a boat at sea. If he had succeeded here he could have continued, but now it felt as if the tunnel collapsed just as he saw the light.

Oddly enough, rather than being upset he simply spent his time on the ship watching the others and relaxing. Fatigue gradually caught up to him as the tension faded, and finally Ikazuchi slept with his sword in the same position as before. Without anyone saying it outright, from the time shortly after the man walked away the spot where he remained had be avoided. It was likely that at this moment there were marine ships sailing towards them in order to capture him, but he continued to sleep until the sky started to darken. It was only shortly after he woke up that two ships appeared on the horizon sailing towards the ship Ikazuchi was currently on. Unlike earlier the ship was docked and no one could be seen on the deck. It almost seemed as if he was the only person present on the ship.

Despite being so close to danger Ikazuchi continued to act in a leisurely manner by standing up and stretching slightly. As the two ships anchored at each side Ikazuchi unsheathed his sword and waiting in the center of the deck for the soldiers to board the ship with him. He had become aware of their goal during the last two years and knew that if they could, these men would aim to capture him rather than kill him. Ikazuchi on the other hand would rather die than be captured. Not a single man was willing to approach him after several men became painfully aware of his skill with a sword. Instead, they surrounded him with guns aimed directly at him.

“You all aren’t willing to even let me display my skills in my final moments…” Ikazuchi couldn’t help but to speak before abruptly charging towards the nearest person. Being surrounded was definitely intimidating, however it also displayed their fear towards his swordsmanship as well as their lack of experience. It wouldn’t be possible for them to shoot freely, and the only threat he would face would be from the few who feel threatened. Everyone else would hesitate to fire as there was a high chance of friendly fire. At least that is what should have happened, unfortunately these people were either fearless or stupid. Almost simultaneously everyone opened fire.

At that very same moment the sky instantly darkened, lightning filled the surroundings, and thunder shook the sea. After a quick glance around himself Ikazuchi saw countless bullets wrapped in electricity. For just a moment it felt as if his heart stopped. In the eyes of the others fear could clearly be seen as they observed the recently fired bullets. Some seemed to head towards their target, but a majority were clearly destined for themselves as well as their fellow soldiers.

“Boy, do you want power?” Only a moment had passed when an explosive voice resounded in his ears. “Yes!” Ikazuchi didn’t consider the consequences of his answer, he spoke immediately because he was destined to die if he refused. “Ha, interesting. What is lightning to you then?” The same resounding voice appeared once more, however this time he focused more to realize that the origin wasn’t his surroundings but instead from his mind. “Lightning is power, raw and untamed power which can destroy…” Ikazuchi paused for a moment to see if he heard the voice once more, however it seemed to not be satisfied with that answer so far. “...Lightning is also the power over life. In the slightest of ways the body has electricity manipulating it internally. More than that, lightning is something that I believe represents the punishment of the skies.” As he finished speaking he noticed a golden light appearing in the sky forming a sort of silhouette.

“Not bad, although it isn’t that simple I am content with your answer. I will give you the power you desire so strongly. In exchange for that you will inherit techniques.” As that sentence finished a giant figure formed entirely from lightning descended above Ikazuchi. “The magic which I have to teach is known as the Lightning Dragon Slayer Magic, are you still willing?”

“I am. But why me?” Ikazuchi was more than willing to accept the magic. Like many other he was aware of the rarity of the magic itself. What he was unsure of was why he had been chosen to appear before. “The most important reason is that I am currently only a fragment of will left behind by the Dragon Electra without much longer to exist. Had it not been for you possessing a strong affinity for lightning, I would have never appear here.” It was a very direct answer which caught Ikazuchi off guard. “So, it’s because it’s convenient?” Almost immediately after he received a reply. “Yes, but it’s also interesting.” After that was said there was rumbling laughter in his mind which matched the rumbling thunder in the sky.

“What’s your name?” The Dragon’s voice resounded once more. “Ikazuchi Kumo!” This time as he said his name the lightning in the air seemed to dance slightly. “What a good name! Ikazuchi, accept my magic.” Immediately after that information flooded his mind. It was extremely painful for Ikazuchi to suddenly experience, however he rapidly understood the magic and it’s basic usages. “I don’t have time to slowly teach you, so bear with the pain.” After hearing that statement Ikazuchi could only focus on managing the pain and the information. “If you take it slowly, it will be many years before your body is fully adjusted to the magic. What I am going to do next is speed up that process. To do that you will have to bathe in my lightning.”

Before Ikazuchi could react to that statement the lightning had already struck his body causing him even greater pain. It was pain so great that he wished to pass out or die, yet both were impossible as both his consciousness and life were maintained by Electra. “Feel the lightning flowing through and around you. You and it are one, any lightning that isn’t yours can be made yours. Devour it Ikazuchi!” As if under a spell Ikazuchi acted as instructed and was devouring the lightning despite the pain he felt. Minute changes could be felt all throughout his body. Despite speed of the exchange being rapidly accelerated by Electra, there were still several men watching wide eyed as these mysterious changes took place.

“Not bad, I have been preparing to teach a Dragon Slayer for some time so I have already injected those into your body along with the several other changes which have taken place. That should prevent any uncontrollable changes.” It was a sudden change as Ikazuchi’s body started adjusting the voice continued offering him guidance. “Along with my magic is the only item I prepared for the person I would teach, a Dragon Lacrima.” As that sentence was spoken a lacrima was forcefully added to his body causing another series of sharp pain. “With this, it will be up to you if you are strong in the future. Just remember the name Electra and the origin of your power, doing that will be enough to satisfy me. Now, it’s time for you to go train.” Before Ikazuchi could speak he was wrapped in energy and forcefully launched into the sky to lands unknown.

WC - 4,082

OOC: I am half asleep as I make this post, and also rushing it so please bear with me. I will add color later. Oh, and leaving thread to head towards the tournament.

Kumo

Race : Human (FT)
Class : Genius
Rank : Basic Mage
Power : 5
Strength : 5
Stamina : 5
Speed : 5
Energy : 5
Perception : 5
Energy Speed : 5
Age : 22
Location : Paradise

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