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Learning Beast Tactics [Body Manipulation Training C --> B]

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Caelus Valeria

Caelus Valeria
A-Tier
A-Tier
After his intensive training with the Yambala tribe, Caelus wanted nothing more than to lay in his bed and sleep for a year.  But, during those months he had neglected his study of Body Manipulation.  If he didn't keep up all aspects of his training he would inevitably slip backwards into old habits, ruining his progress.  So though his body screamed at him, he stayed in the mountains to practice the basics of Ban's teachings.

When he was learning from Ban, she emphasized the importance of studying other creatures to learn how to better alter his form to accomplish tasks.  At the time this meant looking at pictures in the books in her library, an exercise that he never enjoyed.  Despite Caelus' fathers attempts to instill in him the joy of reading, Caelus always found the activity stifling.  He would much rather learn through doing than reading, a trait his mother passed on to him.  This worked in his favor, as being alone in the mountains afforded him the opportunity to study animals in real life.

But had Caelus actually read the books, he would have known that studying animals in this way was incredibly time consuming, and often bore no actual fruit, a lesson he learned after seeing nothing but birds and squirrels for over a week straight.

"A tracker i am not."  He lamented.

The thought of spending hours in a library grated on him, but as he started the trek back home he suddenly had an idea.




Telleus kneaded his temples.  "So let me get this straight.  Coming off of your greatest victory, you suddenly disappear without telling me to go train in secret in the mountains with wild men for- gosh, how long long has it been?"

"Three months," said Caelus.

"Right.  So for three months you're gallivanting around the mountains, with nothing so much as a note left behind for me, and now that you've come back the first thing you say to me is that you want to watch fights against animals?"  Telleus sighed and slouched against the wall.  "I can find them for you, but i thought you'd be coming back to actually fight.  People are starting to talk.  Not all of it is good talk either."

"This is part of my training.  But i promise, once i'm finished i'll fight anything you can line up for me.  It should only take a few weeks."  Caelus patted his friend and manager on the shoulder.  He did feel bad about leaving without telling Telleus, but he would make sure to make it up to him later.

True to his word, Telleus provided Caelus with the dates of several fights against beasts, ranging from low-risk fights against wolves to the truly dangerous ones against special breeds of tigers or gorillas.  He even managed to get Caelus in to see a fight against Garda, which was usually a sold out event.

Caelus sat as close as he could to the fights, and tried to keep his mindset focused on watching how the animals moved and attacked, resisting the urge to get caught up in the cheering or the action.  He watched how muscles tensed and relaxed, how tendons stretched, how bones rotated and strained, making mental notes of anything he thought might prove important.  And every day after the fights he would return home and attempt to copy those movements with his own body.  Slowly at first, carefully shifting and expanding his muscles to match the correct shapes, and then picking up the pace to perform simple maneuvers.

Watching wolves and dogs sadly had little impact on Caelus' progress.  Their pack tactics outweighed their individual contributions, making their fighting ultimately reliant on sheer numbers and chasing tired opponents.  It did give him some insight into conserving stamina for drawn out fights, as he noted their breathing patterns influenced actions they were about to take.  He made a note to experiment with breathing techniques before moving on.

Fights against single animals proved to be much more informative.  Bears and apes appeared to make excellent use of centrifugal force in their wide swings, and Caelus was able to pick up on how their entire bodies moved to empower a strike.  This was common knowledge for most fighters, putting your back into a punch increased its power several fold, but putting your entire body into a single strike while still remaining grounded was something Caelus had not seen before.  This specific attack was used most often by Garda, a strike that flexed every muscle and put their entire weight behind it, often being powerful enough to send opponents flying into the walls of the arena, cracking the stone in the process.  It took Caelus the entirety of his training to finally execute the attack properly, but when he did he ended up punching a hole right through the stone walkway, and sending a web of cracks up into the walls of his own home.

Large cats had Caelus puzzled for a while.  They managed to keep their entire bodies tensed while appearing relaxed.  This allowed for explosive movement at a moments notice, often at the exact time an opponent lowered their guard.  It wasn't until a fighter landed a strike to the back of a tiger that Caelus noticed how much their core strength was contributing to their fighting.  He had been focusing on the legs of the cats when he should have been looking at their backs and pectorals.  Looking then, he was able to clearly tell when the animal was preparing to strike, and how.  Putting this into practice became a priority for Caelus, learning how to hide his intentions and while simultaneously readying the proper muscle groups.  He focused increasingly on his core and back muscles, shifting them around to find the ideal places to apply tension, increasing the strength of his blows while also minimizing their outward appearance.  This kind of strength training had the added benefit of decreasing his reaction time, a bonus he readily accepted.

Nearly four weeks after he started, Caelus had noticed a significant difference in how he trained and fought.  Watching the animals fight had given him insight on how to better himself, and increase the effectiveness of his Body Manipulation.  Caelus couldn't help thinking Ban would be proud.  Even if he could almost hear her telling him that he would have known this already if he would just read the books!

WC: 1087/1000


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Learning Beast Tactics [Body Manipulation Training C --> B] TEMcyWS

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