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Fanalis Strength [B to A Spec Training]

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Ayero

Ayero
Ω-Tier
Ω-Tier
(Note: This doesn't start in the barracks, but it's gonna get there)


Nearly a month had passed after Ayero had set foot into Reim territory. While venture to the capital hadn’t been the least bit boring, the Fanalis woman began to notice that she now saw her homeland in a different light. Perhaps it was due to the foreign invasion, but every time she turned her eyes to the bustling streets of the capital or the gentle rolling hills of the surround countryside, she felt a sort of nostalgic pride. What was confusing was that she didn’t have much to base this feeling off of. The first 13 years of her life were spent in isolation with her family as well as several others, nestled in a tiny mountain valley village. Twice a year her father and a handful of other men from the village would make the journey to the nearest city, trading trinkets and crafts created by their wives and children for supplies. It was a meager living, what little money her family had was stretched in in trying to support nearly a dozen children.

The image of a scared little girl comes to mind, hastily preparing herself to leave the only home she’d ever known. Ayero often finds her mind lapsing back to this image, each time feeling less connected to the nervous child on that night nearly ten years ago. She had been desperate for her own identity, craving the kind of growth only exposure to the outside world could provide. She’d return to her family poised as a confident, strong adult bringing news of her brother’s apparent freedom. She didn’t know if they’d be angry or sad at her still for disappearing, but she hoped they’d forgive her.

A small smile plays on her lips as the blade of her talwar comes in contact with the wooden dummy. To be family is to forgive, and the thought of it warms her heart. Sliding her sword from the deep cut she’d made with a fluid motion, she delivers another swift strike. The wood splits apart cleanly, the top half of the dummy landing on the hardened dirt ground with a dull thud. She never imagined that being back in Reim would give her so much energy.

She digs her heel into the ground before performing a spinning leap, swinging her sword toward the next target. A small frown pulls at her lips when she realizes that the talwar was not placed properly so as to strike the dummy in a way that would deal the most damage. She can feel a strange shift in both the dummy and the weapon the moment her blade makes contact, eyes drawn to the point of contact between the two. Dark brown eyes widen in surprise as a sharp crack fractures along the side of the blade in a diagonal pattern, shattering the steel blade of the curved sword into several pieces. ”What?” The woman can only stare dumbly at the broken weapon before leaning down to retrieve the pieces of steel that spend its life defending her against countless enemies. Sighing in frustration, the Fanalis woman scratches at her head before mumbling something about cheap metal. A bit disappointed that she had lost her fighter’s high, Ayero departs from the training grounds to head back into the city and find herself a good weapon smith.

~


”Miss Ayero! New goods just in from Balbadd! Have a look, won’t you? Before they’re all gone, hahaha!”


A roadside merchant she’d made friends with upon her arrival in the city calls out to her from his stall, waving exuberantly from behind the crowd of eager customers clustering at his counter. The man had a friendly and open nature about him and was the type of person to make quick friends with most people. He also had a fierce love for his country and didn’t take to well to the Kou intruders, going so far as to turn away business from eastern immigrants.


”I’m afraid I don’t have the extra money to spare today, Leonardo.”

She calls back to the merchant with a laugh, holding up one of the broken pieces of steel as she steps closer to carry on the conversation without shouting across the marketplace.


”Ah, broke that sword of yours, did you?” Leonardo frowns as she nods in affirmation. ”You alright? Didn’t get hurt now?” Shaking her head, Ayero sighs before putting on a small smile.


”I’m fine, Leonardo. My blade shattered while I was training. I’d rather have it break during training than in a battle with some thugs.” The Fanalis chuckles while scratching at the back of her head. ”Do you know a good weapon smith?”


”’Course I do!” The old merchant exclaimed, puffing out his chest as he placed a hand on her shoulder. Pointing with his other hand, he directs her further down the street.


”Keep going straight, about a mile down the road you’ll come across the smithing quarter on your right. Ask for Raphael DiPasqua, best man in the business!” With a heavy yet affectionate slap to her shoulder, the man sends her on her way down the road after she thanks him, promising to come visit and see his new merchandise after she finishes her business with the weapon smith.

The walk was short and pleasant. Ayero was surprised at the amount of people that recognized her and who she had recognized in return, waving to them as she passed by. The people of Reim seemed more open to those of Fanalis descent than most places she had been before, seeing as how the red headed warriors weren’t all that uncommon, even making up the country’s beloved Fanalis Corps. Perhaps they were kind to her because she was fellow citizen of Reim during a tumultuous time of invasion, a time where people of the same nationality tended to rally around each other united by their pride and love for their homeland. Even if that was the case, their kind-heartedness towards her had softened her heart and instilled a feeling of belonging within it.

[1007/2000]


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Ayero

Ayero
Ω-Tier
Ω-Tier
”I’m here to see Raphael DiPasqua.”


She addresses the young apprentice in DiPasqua’s tent with a polite tone. The boy looks up from the piece of metal he was sharpening to nod quickly at the woman before hurrying off to retrieve his master.

After about 15 minutes of waiting, the master of weaponry, Raphael DiPasqua appears before her. An older, short man with a bald head and a bushy grey beard tromps out from one the other connecting tents.


”Master DiPasqua, it’s an honor to meet—“ Ayero closes her eyes and brings a hand to her heart, nodding her head down in a sort of mock bow that was used to greet someone of higher status.


”What do you want, girl? And make it snappy, I haven’t got all day, you know!” Crossing bony arms over his chest, DiPasqua taps his foot impatiently on the ground while squinting up at the woman.


”O-oh. Right, yes. You see, I broke my blade earlier today…” She holds up the broken pieces of steel as proof. Quick as lightning, the old man snatches what remained of the blade from her hands and holds up a piece to his squinted gaze for inspection.


”Bah! No wonder it broke. This thing’s been practically eaten away! I’d be surprised if you could even cut anything with it.” He waves a piece of metal around, pointing to the nicks and ridges lining the blade from years of battle.


”I, uh…I see. Is there a chance that you could—“


”Of course I could! But it’ll cost you. My weapons aren’t cheap, and don’t think that I’ll be giving you a discount just because you’re a woman!”


”Uh…” Ayero rubs at the back of her head, never intending to try and haggle with the man and certainly wouldn’t now. ”…okay?”


”Feh! You’re not too bright, are you?” Visibly annoyed with her response, DiPasqua retrieves a blade from the wall of the tent where it was hanging on display. Tossing it over to the woman, he watches as the startled halfling reaches out to catch it. ”Now, show me what you can do. And if you break this one, you’ll be paying double!”


”Show you my…moves?” She blinks, staring down at the blade in confusion. It was similar to her talwar, only this one was slightly shorter and a little more curved at the end. ”Right here? In the tent?” She gestures with the blade in her hand.


”Show me your sword style! How else am I supposed to figure out what type of blade is most suitable for you? And yes right here, but be careful about it!” The man huffs, crossing his arms over his chest once again with an impatient gaze towards the Fanalis.


”What? What, no. I didn’t come here for a new weapon entirely, I need something similar to what I’m used to.” She points to the blade in her hand and musters up a small smile. ”Something like this. How much is it?”


”THAT’S NOT FOR YOU!” The man snarls, waving his arms at her. ”All of my weapons are custom made for a reason. I craft my blades to best support their user’s natural strengths and fighting style. You won’t reach your potential with that!”


Taken aback by his sudden outburst, Ayero nods meekly and steadies herself, sword hand outstretched beside her as she prepares to show DiPasqua her style of handling a blade.


~


The man said nothing for nearly half an hour, perched on a stool as he stared at Ayero with a discerning eye and a hand on his chin. He’d practically startled her out of her skin when he barked at her that he’d seen enough and shood her out of his tent hastily, telling her to come back in a week. When wondered aloud what she was going to do to pass the time, the man suggested she go to the coliseum and fight with her bare hands. A bark of laughter followed shortly after as he closed the tent flaps and returned to his craft.


[1687/2000]


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Ayero

Ayero
Ω-Tier
Ω-Tier
After spending a day being bored to death at the room at the inn, Ayero decides to actually take the weapon smith’s advice and head for the barracks of the coliseum after hearing that they were generally open to anyone who wanted a sparring partner. She was an adult half-blooded Fanalis after all, surely she’d be able to find someone willing to trade blows with her in hand to hand combat.

Surely enough she found her first opponent quickly, a young full-blooded Fanalis man who seemed to be around her age. He introduced himself as Nico, a gladiator in training. The pair seemed decently matched, though Nico’s physical strength was greater than her own, Ayero had the advantage of the speed her less bulky frame had allowed her to move at and a bit more experience in battle than her opponent. After a while the match ended in a draw and Nico excused himself to go fetch some water. Sitting down and rubbing at her sore feet and legs, Ayero is approached by a middle-aged man who had caught the fight out of the corner of his eyes. He had called himself Utor, a Fanalis like herself and offered to train with her after seeing her fight with the younger Fanalis man.

Utor signaled for her to go first and she accepted, opening with several sharp blows of her fists. Side stepping them all as if they were barely even there, Utor grabs her wrist with surprising strength and pulls her toward him delivering a knee to her stomach while releasing her wrist at the same time. The resulting motions send the halfling flying, landing on the concrete ground with a heavy thud. Coughing from the impact, she scrambles to her feet and charges at Utor, sending a flurry of kicks and punches his way. The man swiftly dodges or blocks her attacks where he’s not quick enough, tossing her aside with another strong kick.

Grunting, Ayero pushes herself up from the ground once more into a sitting position and rests an elbow on her knee as she pants. Approaching her with his hands clasped behind his back, Utor speaks calmly to her.


”Tell me what you’re doing wrong.”


”Huh?” Ayero emits a confused noise between gasping for breath. ”What do you mean? You’re just too strong. A half-Fanalis isn’t much of a match for an experienced pureblood Fanalis, I guess.” She shrugs, grunting as she stands to her feet.


”You’re wrong. I’m not a pureblooded Fanalis. We’ve the same amount of Fanalis blood in us both.” Utor stares down at her bewildered expression.


”You introduced yourself as a Fanalis. I assumed you meant that you were a full blood, not a half blood like me...but then, why are your blows so much stronger than mine? And you block my own like they were that of a child!” She exclaims, looking up at the man with earnest yet confused eyes.


”I am a Fanalis, and so are you. While it’s true that we’ve less blood than some of our brethren, thinking of yourself as only half won’t help you reach your potential. You’re subconsciously holding yourself back.” Blinking up at him, Ayero’s face scrunches up at the thought of her holding back her own strength, something she didn’t consider as a possibility. Wiping the the corner of her mouth with her wrist, she smiles confidently.


”Alright. Let’s go again!” She clenches her fist, eager to go another round with Utor. But the man only shakes his head.


”No, rest for this evening and think about what I said. Come back tomorrow if you’ve figured it out.” With a light nod in her direction, Utor departs from the barracks leaving Ayero with mixed feelings.

Ayero returned to the coliseum barracks bright and early the next morning. She’d done as Utor had instructed and thought about what he’d mentioned on the strength of the Fanalis. She didn’t like the idea of being held back from becoming strong, and with this resolve wanted to challenge Utor again and prove to him that she could harness the strength of her heritage just as well as he could. After going a few rounds with Nico, the half-Fanalis man appears and watches their last quietly form the sidelines. Catching sight of the man, Ayero waves her arms to signal for the match to be paused and bounds over to Utor.


”I spent all of last night thinking about what you said.” She announces, holding out her arms as if to signal that she’d come to some sort of conclusion. After staring into her eyes for a few moment, Utor nods silently and assumes a fighting stance.

Their sparring goes even worse than it had the day before, if that’s even possible. Collapsed onto the ground, Ayero groans and fans at her face with her hand. She’d become overheated from expending too much energy trying to pack all of her strength into her moves as well as dodge and counter Utor’s. But the man had no mercy, and it seemed as if he was holding back yesterday.

~


”I don’t get it…” She grumbles, a hand cast dramatically over her face. It had been nearly a week, and still she wasn’t any closer to landing a decent hit on Utor. Peeking out from between her fingers, she spies said man hovering above her.


”Why are you afraid?” He asks simply, a curious lit to his voice.


”Afraid?” Ayero pushes herself to her elbows, her brow creased in irritation. ”I’m not afraid of you.”


”You’re afraid of your own strength. I saw it during our training, you were more hesitant today than yesterday. Which is probably why it hurts more.” He casts a somewhat pitying look to the woman’s bruised body. ”You are a Fanalis.”


[2000+/2000]


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Ayero

Ayero
Ω-Tier
Ω-Tier
”I don’t know what that man is talking about…” Ayero mumbles to herself while rubbing at her aching back as she makes her way out of the barracks and into Reim’s dark streets. She’d insisted on spending the entire day at the coliseum, hoping that she’d somehow unlock the secret to tapping into her strength. She’d resigned herself to getting some rest when the other fighters began to clear out, figuring that maybe after a good long sleep she’d figure it out.

After traveling several blocks, the sound of footsteps reaches her ears. Multiple footsteps belonging to multiple people, and they were closing in rapidly on her. Eyes narrowing, Ayero reaches for the blade at her waist only to grasp at air. Her eyes shoot down to her waist with a surprised blink and she realizes for the first time that she’s without her trusty sword.


”And what do we have here, wandering the streets alone at night?” Taking advantage of the woman’s momentary distraction, a large hand shoots out to grasp her wrists and pull her into the air. She’s brought face to face with a large Fanalis man, his friends emerging from the shadowed alleyway behind them. Struggling weakly in his grasp, Ayero gives the man a hard look.


”Let me go.” Her voice is thick with warning to which her assailant merely laughs.


”Listen to a little thing like you, ordering me around. You look like a Fanalis, but you’re clearly not a pureblood. I’m not even holding onto you that tightly! Go ahead, squirm all you want, girl!” With a booming laugh, the man shakes her from side to side, snickering as he watches her breasts bounce in their metal breastplate with a lecherous eye. His companions surround them, snickering and jeering at the exhausted woman in their friend’s grip. A flush of irritation and embarrassment at allowing herself to fall into a situation like this spreads across her cheeks as she tries to look anywhere but at the Fanalis man’s face. She can’t help but think at how badly she would have beaten these men if she had her blade with her, cursing herself for not pushing DiPasqua into letting her purchase something the day she had approached him. She had taken up the blade as a mean of defense initially, despite the fact that she could outmuscle any ordinary human. But she’d always felt a bit lacking in her physical strength compared to her full blooded brethren and had thus resigned herself to becoming skilled with a blade rather than rely on kicks and punches to defend herself and make her coin.

Perhaps it was desperation, but Utor’s words entered her mind again. Had she been limiting herself this entire time? She didn’t like the thought of it, but for the first time she truly considered the idea that she was holding herself back from obtaining the true strength of a Fanalis, pure blood or not. Opening her eyes, she stares directly at the Fanalis man who’s face is just inches away from her own, resolve hardening dark brown irises.


”I am a Fanalis! She snarls, jerking her wrist roughly from the man’s grip. Her hands catch his wrists, twisting them until she hears the sickening crack of bone. With a surprised yell, the man stumbles backwards slightly and tries to grasp at his broken wrists. Turning toward the other men, Ayero’s teeth bare themselves in a grin as she cracks her knuckles.

~


”I am a Fanalis.” She repeats, standing over the broken body of the man who dared to attack her, to insult her. Stretching her arms over her head, she cracks her neck and surveys the damage she had done. The bodies of thugs were scattered all around her, heavily bruised and bleeding from her outburst of sudden strength. Inhaling deeply, she steps over their bodies and continues on her way back to the inn.

Tomorrow she was due to visit DiPasqua, excited to see what sort of blade he had forged for her. Though she discovered tonight that she was capable of more than she had previously thought, she grew to love handling a sword. But Utor’s lesson helped to cement her identity and strength as a Fanalis

[Exit]


Training Simple Block I [500+/500]


Stamina: [140/160]

Spoiler:
Name: Simple Block I
Tier: C
Cost: 20 Stamina
Weapon Type: Body
Class: Defensive
Range: Close
Duration: 1 post
Cool-Down: 3 posts
Description: Using her armored gloves, Ayero raises her arms to defend herself from an incoming attack at 15 m/s. The block can defend against 1 B-tier, 2 C-tier or 4 D-Tier attacks before breaking.


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