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July 2018 Grim Tales Update 1

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July 2018 PPGD Update 1

Read the rest of the comics at Snafu-Comics


Fanfic Recommendation 70

My Fanfics :

Boruto: The Unknown Daughter 1

Boruto: The Unknown Daughter 2

Calling Card 19

Rabbit of the Moon 12

Rabbit of the Moon 13


Fanfics that I have found interesting and have recently been updated:


Ashes of the Past 269 – 273

A Pokemon Fanfic

Summary: Time travel, based on the Anime.  So, the world ended. That’s bad news. Who best to get to fix it? Well, there is this guy with a track record in world saving…  Not entirely serious. T rating may be overdoing it.


Locked Away 58

A Pokemon Fanfic

Summary: Follows coma theory: Ash wakes up from a ten year coma to realize that all of his adventures were only a figment of his imagination; but he questions if they were more than that. Everything has changed in ten years, and he must put back all the shattered pieces while he embarks on a new journey to save the world and himself. Pokeshipping


Path of the King 44 – 46
A FSN Fanfic

Summary: “With swords that aren’t yours, with skills that aren’t yours, for dreams that aren’t yours. Your entire existence is a lie!” – “Then I’ll show you that even fake dreams can become reality.” A different choice, a different path, a different FATE. Shirou/Multi.

A Young Justice Fanfic

Summary: An SI with an Orange Ring ends up in the Young Justice Universe and seeks to advance humanity through advance technology and magic.

 


Rabbit of the Moon: Chapter 13 [DanMachi/Bloodborne]

Chapter 13: The Hunt Resumes

“Nonononono!” Bell stood up, spinning on his boots and stirring the dirt underfoot as he searched for the headstone that had led him home before. It was nowhere to be found on the hill of flowering moonlight, where Bell and the Doll stood alone. He was trapped in the Hunter’s Dream again. The moment he realized that, he collapsed onto his knees. “Not again.”

The Plain Doll regarded his misery with a passive expression as she crouched down, joining him there. “Why do you despair, Good Hunter? Was your respite not pleasant?”

“Why am I back here?” Bell asked. He knew that died for a second time in his world. Killed by the Silverback after he chased a cloaked thief. It was an inelegant death, brought about by his blade breaking under the weight of the metal-backed fist and finished by crushing for a second time. But why did he have to be here again?

“This night, this dream will not end unless you hunt, as the countless hunters who came before you have, Good Hunter,” she told him. It could have been reproaching, but her tone made it seem as though she were trying to gently encourage him to pursue the task.

Bell still shook head at the thought of having to go through the Hunt again and again, until he heard the Little Ones clamoring. Arriving in a group, they bore his weapons that had been left behind upon his death. His broken Saw Cleaver still stained with his own blood and the Hunter’s Pistol that had been lost. They were it. They were his ticket out of this nightmare.

“Take me back!” he begged them, falling over to the point of bowing. “Please!”

The Messengers, in contrast to their usual behavior, only seemed to be able to regretfully shake their heads and make noises that were indecipherable to Bell.

“The Dream holds firmly to you with shackles they cannot break,” the Doll told him. “Should it not will your return, they cannot contest it. For they draw nourishment from the Dream itself, of the echoes that ripple throughout it and the wisdom that becomes a part of it with each hunter’s passing. They are bound to its will as well.”

She spoke as though this place had a will of its own. Bell couldn’t find it in him to doubt it, because he didn’t know anything about it. He didn’t know how he originally got here, or why he constantly returned when he died, tethered to it. He didn’t know anything, except that it was expecting him to continue to search for a way to end the scourge of the beasts.

But he’d tried that. He’d followed those words of advice from Eileen, using them as a guideline as he slew the beasts he crossed, seeking it to bring an end to the night. He tried learning from the Healing Church, who hosted prior hunts according to Gilbert, only for the gates to Cathedral Ward to remain closed and silent to his pleas. He’d suffered three additional deaths in the process of doing so, the memory still engrained within his mind.

I can’t go through all of that again.” His voice came out hoarse as he admitted his weakness. His last hunt, the pain and suffering, had been for nothing. Now she was telling him to do it again. The very thought drove his fingers planted in the dirt to dig in as they clenched into fists. “I just can’t do all of that again.”

“But you must, Good Hunter.” Her serene voice was backed by cool, artificial fingers that brushed the tears that began streaming down his cheeks. “For only once the night has come to an end, will you truly awaken in the waking world. And then this dream will be nothing more than a distant memory that will fade one day.”

The choice was ultimately out of his hands. Either he hunted and found his way back to Hestia, or he stayed here in this moonlit haven meant for hunters. It was the same thing he’d been told time and time again: A hunter must hunt.

“Come now,” she said, rising to her feet. Her hand extended outwards to the workshop resting at the top of the hill. “Gehrman has awakened. I am sure he will be able to guide you.”

Reluctantly gazing up at the Doll, with the moon hanging high behind him and casting its celestial light down on the hillside of flowers, Bell grasped his broken Saw Cleaver and Hunter’s Pistol in hand. Crying about how unfair it was wouldn’t get him any closer to returning to his world and leaving this nightmare behind. So, he rose up and made his way up the flowered slope to the workshop.

It was there he found the wheelchair-bound old hunter, awake. “You’ve returned.”

“I went home,” Bell said. “I went home after killing a large Beast unlike any other I’d seen, and I tried to leave it all behind. But I died again and ended up here again.”

Gehrman only chuckled softly. “I cannot fault you for doing so. Many would have liked to do the same. But there is no escape, and even a reprieve is but for a fleeting moment, unless you finish the Hunt.”

“…I need to know how to get into Cathedral Ward then,” he said. “I tried going through the main gates, but it was locked.”

“That gate remains locked during the time of the Hunt, I’m afraid…” Aged eyes looked up to the map that Bell copied it into the notebook he’d left behind. “Your best bet is to try and reach it through Oedon Chapel, if the main gate is blocked. There’s a lock, but hunters come and go through it enough that it may be opened, or they’ll at least have a key.”

It was as close to a plan as he had, so Bell would see if the Messengers could retrieve his notebook and the other things he’d left behind that were suited for this world. Like the lighter, the blood vial injector, and the hand lantern. Maybe even his armor that had been newly bought.

“Your weapon seems to have broken,” the older man said, wheeling closer to take a look at it. “It was an older piece, and those can only last so long during the hunt, I’ll admit. But rarely have I seen the metal break so badly.”

“The monsters I fought back in my world have pretty tough hides,” Bell said. Minotaurs and Silverbacks were both Level 2 category monsters. He’d mostly relied on brute strength to force the teeth in, so he probably had been pushing his luck all things considered. “The fact that it had held up as long as had was more of a miracle than anything.”

“Ah, I suppose so considering you never repaired it, did you?” White-hair shifted as he shook his head at the question. “Well, fortunately for you, in this Dream one’s weapons are never truly broken if you have the echoes to repair it. Though I suspect if these beasts of your homeland are hardy enough to wear it down to this extent, you’ll need better armaments or to fortify them into being stronger. You’ll have to make use of materials taken from beasts to do so.”

“What kind?” Bell asked. If it was anything like the drops he normally got, then he could grasp the concept well enough.

“The blood of beasts and those taken by the scourge is an interesting thing,” Gehrman explained as he gestured for him to place the broken weapon on the workshop table. “Echoes sometime course through droplets that have yet to dry, but sometimes you’ll find when they die their blood solidifies into a shard called a Bloodstone, or a crystal called a Blood Gem. Hunters use these to make their weapons stronger to slay greater beasts.”

“Why do they form in the blood?” The monsters in his world at least had the excuse of the magic from the magic stones concentrated into the body parts left behind, which was why they remained upon the removal of the magic stone.

The veteran of the Hunt only shrugged. “I was only a mere hunter, not one who deals with blood ministration or a scholar, so I cannot answer why. I can say that they’ll look like either white bits of bone with a weaving pattern, or oddly shaped crystals. Just bring whatever you find to me and I’ll identify which ones we can use to fortify your weapons, so that they can handle the strain of whatever beast you face. Also, keep an eye out for a tool that’s used to embed the gems into an imprint that forms on the weapon as well.”

Bell grimaced. If they formed on the bodies of the beasts he slew and the dead, that meant he’d have to go back and scavenge the corpses that he’d left behind. If they were still there. More than likely, he would have to kill them again unless time had decided to progress, rather than rewind…

He really didn’t want to have to kill the Cleric Beast he’d killed before again. Not when he was lacking a weapon meant to fight something that size. He looked to see his Saw Spear on the storage box. It had a longer reach than the Saw Cleaver, but he got the feeling it wasn’t meant for something that size either, whether a beast or monsters like the Silverback.

“What about a weapon meant to kill something larger?” Bell asked, picking up the elongated serrated weapon. Heavy, solid steel meant for thrusting would be better, a sword or something more like it that could pierce through to the magic stone or heart to kill it.

“Those who came before you took what was left when they did,” Gehrman said. “If you need something else, scavenge any ones that can still be used off dead hunters or through the Messengers. Being the odd things that they are, metal badges seem to stir up memories within them that they can then seek out for echoes. However, you don’t look like you have much experience in wielding such a thing.”

“I don’t,” he admitted. He’d always considered it before becoming an adventurer, on the path to be a hero. But he’d never held a sword before, let alone used one.

“Worry not, young hunter, for that is what the Doll is for,” he said. “The echoes of the fallen can grant you finesse of the hands and deftness in foot, making you more skillful for the sake of the Hunt. Likewise, they can increase the tinge of your blood so that the bullets they dye can do further harm. And, if you ever run out, you can also make more by solidifying your own fresh blood in an act of will once it leaves your body.”

“They can improve dexterity too, huh?” That was his lowest status next to Magic, last he checked. And that one he couldn’t improve until he got an actual spell, if Bell remembered right. “Is there anything else I need to know?”

“I’m sure the rest will come with the night, as you hunt the beasts and their ilk. If you find something that has to do with the Hunt but do not know what it is, you can also bring it to me. But, aside from that…” The veteran rubbed his chin in thought a bit more before he continued. “There’s also the runes, but that tool has been lost for some time and I doubt you’ll easily come by the strange symbols. Few do.”

“Okay.” Bell looked down to the teeth of his Saw Spear. He’d worked on cleaning it, but it still had the faint scent blood it. Soon it’d be rich in the color to match, a thought that left him more bothered than anything since it would be covered with squalid blood once again through his hands.

That in mind, he bid Gehrman farewell for the moment and then stepped outside to see the Doll standing at the base of the stairs. Left of her, the Little Ones had taken to a birdbath that was filled with a shaded liquid of some kind. He approached them to ask if they could bring him his backpack and armor from his world, so he could hunt the beasts.

They did so, and soon he was clad in the purchased armor that seemed like solidified moonlight. It wouldn’t hamper him during the hunt, being light. And if it withstood even a single swipe of a claw then it had done its job.

His belt and pouch were next, containing the blood vials and quicksilver bullets. He attached the hand lantern attached to the left side of the belt, and syringe injector holster to the right. The latter hadn’t seen use, as he wasn’t a fan of jabbing it into his thigh when he could drink the blood straight, but if the need came up the option was there.

After a moment of deciding between whether to use Iosefka’s vial or a standard one, he loaded a standard vial into it. Hers was special, considering that she was a doctor, and not easily replaced. It would be best to save it for a real emergency, like one would a High Potion.

His backpack for collecting the materials was last, from which he pulled out the badge he’d gotten on the Great Bridge. He didn’t know if it fell off the Cleric Beast at some point, or if it had been left behind. But what he’d taken on a whim would now serve to stir up the memories of the Little Ones, whatever that meant.

He presented it to the ones in the bath. “You can use this, right?”

They clamored over it, thin and emaciated fingers embracing it tight. The shiny bobble held more meaning to them than one would think possible as they dunked it into the bottom of the bath. Then the waters rippled, a light haze steaming up, and Bell could make out items within it.

There were two weapons beneath of the surface—one that looked to a massive hammer with the hilt of a sword, and the other a different kind of firearm. But when he reached down to take them and disturbed the water, the images vanished. His fingers only brushed the badge at the bottom of the fountain.

“I don’t suppose I have enough of these echoes within me to claim them either?” Bell asked as he pulled back his hand, whereupon the memories of two weapons housed within it returned. It had to be due to how they could just move between worlds somehow, even if he didn’t know why.

They shook their heads and hands. A regretful ‘No’ again. There was only one solution for all his problems, it seemed.  He sighed through flared nostrils before turning to the headstone that would lead him back to Yharnam.

Back to the Hunt.

[R-M]

The moment he finished praying at the headstone, Bell resurfaced at the Central Yharnam lamp. He could have went to the one where the Cleric Beast had been, admittedly. But since he had to find materials to upgrade his weapon, along finding a potential new one, he figured it would be easier to retrace his footsteps from here.

Find the weird things that could useful first. Then find his way to Cathedral Ward. That was the plan.

Along the way he met with Gilbert again. The sickly man told Bell that he should go through the aqueducts to reach the place where Gehrman had directed him. Bell knew of the place, as it was where he had gotten his Saw Spear. However, Gilbert gave Bell a warning that there were two entrances, so he would have to check them both.

He went to the aqueducts through the alley entrance first, climbing down the ladder until wood creaked beneath his feet. It was aged. Some of the boards were broken, and there was nothing that would prevent a straight drop off the ledge to the bottom of the canal below. He spotted some men who had already begun their transformation into beasts that walked on two legs, wielding torches and weapons as they patrolled the stone walkways next to it.

Bell killed them the moment he dropped down onto the walkways. Not because he was eager, or because he needed the Blood Echoes. But because there was no other choice. The moment they spotted him, their weapons tried to find his way into their flesh with the same ease as the Saw Spear found theirs.

Blood painted his shirt and armor as the corpse of the last one dropped down to feed the giant rats that festered in the water. The sound of flesh being torn into, the squelches of their bodies being devoured with a ravenous zeal, was more than he could stand. He let them clamor around the corpse before he did a plunging attack that impaled one through the head for a clean kill and then focused on the rest.

The last one put up more of a fight, lunging for Bell with chipped teeth that forced him to back off to near the edge of a deeper drop to the canals below. Water splashed as his boots kicked the grimy fluid around until he saw an opening as it lunged for him again. He brought the serrated teeth around in a wide arc and caught its underbelly, tearing it open and adding visceral fluid into the slurry they were wading in.

Splish. Splish.

The fact that the water was being audibly displaced behind him was what saved Bell from getting killed by another beastman that was sneaking up on him with a spear raised. The spearhead clanged as it hit his chest-plate, backed by inhuman strength that left Bell staggering. It had been going for his heart, which would have been a killing blow had he not been wearing the armor. Reflex then kicked in as the head of the spear shot out again for his forehead, leaving him to pivot on his foot and twist his body as he whipped his Saw Spear around in a diagonal stroke.

Dark blood was left behind to mix with the tainted fluids below as the beastman was opened up with a thin gash from hip to shoulder. It was shallow though, leaving it capable of maneuvering around. It now warily made a half-circle with the spear facing him, waiting for an opening as it splashed the water around noisily—

Ngh!?

—then came the pain, a searing, jagged thing that dug into his tendon and nearly brought him to his knees as he lashed out at the source of pain with the Saw Spear in hand. The sharpened tip and bloodied teeth tore through the spine of the last rat that had yet to die, despite its belly being opened up, truly killing it.

That was when the beastman went for the kill with his spear again, a thrust for the head once more. Unable to pull his leg free without tearing through the tendon entirely, it forced Bell to bring the serrated teeth around again in defense. The moment the iron shaft of the spear met the serrated teeth, the beastman parried away the Saw Spear and brought its other claw around.

AGGHH!!” There was a flash of searing, hot pain as crimson eclipsed the left side of Bell’s face. It forced a wet shout out of his mouth as blood clogged his nose and throat. He would have doubled over in agony and fell down rolling if not for spotting the beastman pouncing forward with his remaining eye, invigorated by the scent of fresh blood—

BLAM!!

—and letting out a single shot that barked from the wide mouth of his Hunter’s Pistol, quicksilver bullet mixed with blood giving it enough stopping power to drop the beastman to its knees. The riposte that followed had Bell thrusting his hand out, bones breaking open as it was buried in wet heat, forced through the rib cage and wedged inside just above the heart.

A normal man would have gone into shock, but the beastman was still functional. Beasthood made it resilient and vicious enough to still try to fight back. It brought its bloodied claws for his throat, trying to tear it out before its heart could be taken.

But Bell was ready for it this time. The protector on his left forearm met the claws, backed by adrenaline to hold it off as his embedded hand wrapped around its heart in a crushing grip. Then he pulled and tore it right out with all the strength he could muster.

The beastman wailed a final death throe as it was thrown back. Blood flowed as the thick arteries around the heart were severed, pouring out of the deep furrow while bone stuck out past the hide and hair. It fell over the edge of the drop into the canals, landing among a group of drowned and rotting corpse with their elongated bodies covered in glistening, gangrenous flesh. They promptly woke and clamored over the fresh beast corpse that had just been delivered, proving that his intuition the last time had been wise.

Injured, panting, and hand wrapped around what felt like pulped fruit until it dropped from his grasp, Bell limped over to where a corpse was strewn out. Then he collapsed with his back against the wall next to it, whimpering as stinging agony encompassed his leg and sticky blood flowed down the side of his face to soak his shirt beneath it. His head was going light, vision swimming. Ne…ed…vial…

Fumbling fingers reached for the blood vial injector to be safe. The needle plunged into the thigh of his wounded leg, and a press of the thumb forced sweet relief into the limb. Tainted fluid was expelled before the severed muscles and blood vessels knitted shut. A second vial hastily followed, taken through the lips and ingested to restore his face and bring vision back into his left eye.

Coughing as the healing blood finished going down his throat, Bell set the empty vials on the ground and tried to start wiping the rest off his face, only for him to notice that the sleeve he intended to use was already covered in beast’s blood. He let his head fall back, venting the frustration with a deep exhale as he undid his forearm protector on the other arm so that he could use the clean fabric beneath it. When he was done, he looked over to the corpse next to him to see if it had any more vials to replace the two he’d used.

There were none to be found on the dead hunter, only broken glass nearby that was suspiciously empty. His weapon was nowhere to be found either, likely knocked over the edge and into the waters below. As for his death, it seemed to be from a single puncture wound to the head, likely from the spear-using beastman Bell just killed.

If I hadn’t turned around then, would I have been killed the same way? Bell couldn’t help but wonder as his fingers ran over the material of the dead hunter’s garb. They didn’t retain blood like his current clothes. And they were largely intact, likely due to the fact that the kill had been done efficiently. They were salvageable.

…It took him a while to convince himself. He added facts in, like walking around while soaked in blood, in a city that had countless things that seemed to be out for him because of it, bode ill for his chances of survival otherwise. That if he was going to be a hunter he should look the part.

But, in the end, it still didn’t sit well with him about stealing the clothes off a dead man’s body before retrieving his weapons.

[R-M]

“Oh, are you a hunter?” The four words stalled Bell before he could pass through a set of iron gates that were now opened.

He had changed his clothes, putting on the dead man’s coat and boots and gloves and hat. They were worn and in need of a wash, but they were warm and did well in repelling the yellowish-fluid that made up the rotted corpses’ blood as he continued his journey through the waters and to the ladder leading out of that side of the canal. He didn’t dare go through the other side of the canals again, near where he’d found the Saw Spear, until he had more Molotovs considering how much of a pain to kill the ones on this side had been.

Bell thought he was hallucinating again. Like when he’d ran into another corpse below, just past the bridge. It had been guarded by Carrion Crows, slouching against an iron fence next to a row of coffins.

After killing the loud, vicious birds, a near-silent cracking sound came from the head of the corpse and a silvery mist leaked out of it. The gas seemed almost alive as it writhed outwards, practically crawling out in the form of… well, he wanted to call it a slug, but it was more of a wisp or an outline, ethereal in presence and form.

Allured and intrigued by the sight of it, he moved to pick it up. But the moment he touched it, the misty phantasm vanished. Disappeared in the blink of an eye as a gentle wiggling sensation in his skull left him scratching his head until it settled down, and Bell went along his way.

“You’re a hunter, aren’t you?” asked the young, feminine voice again from the nearby window, where a lit lamp burned incense. He could make out a small outline from behind the iron bars that covered the windows, tinted to hide the person behind it. “I know that smell from auntie Eileen.”

“You know Eileen?” Bell asked, his voice was half-muffled by the bandana covering his mouth.

The silhouette shifted. “Yes. I-I see her every now and again when she comes to talk to daddy and granddad. It doesn’t smell nearly as strong on her, but she said it was the scent of a hunter.”

Bell figured he shouldn’t be surprised that people who lived here had met others who smelled the scent that only Hestia and a few others could smell in his own world. Eileen said that she had been like him at some point in the past. Likewise, the Doll said countless hunters passed through as well. He lowered the bandana covering his face and removed the cap so that he could properly addressed the young-sounding girl. “Yeah, I’m a hunter.”

“Then, will you look for my mum?” she asked. “Daddy’s a hunter, like you, but he didn’t come home when he was supposed to. Mum went to find him before he met with granddad, but she hasn’t come back either. Now I’m alone and scared, and the incense are running low…”

Bell felt a heavy weight fall into his stomach. He’d seen so many corpses scattered already. What if they’d been among the dead? For all he knew, he was wearing her father’s clothes as of now.

He was horrified to even entertain the thought. But, at the same time, he knew what it was to be alone, waiting in an empty home for someone who wouldn’t come back. So, he had to at least check to see so that he could tell her.

“I’ll look for her,” Bell said. “What does she look like? And what’s her name?”

“Thank you!” Her silhouette jumped up. “My mum’s name is Viola. She’s wearing a pretty black dress and has blonde hair. Oh, and a big and beautiful brooch with a red gem inside of it that Daddy got for her. They’re the same shade as your eyes, actually.”

A small, fleeting sense of relief came over him. He hadn’t seen any corpses like that. There was a chance that she was still safe. “What about your father? If she went looking for him, I’m guessing there was somewhere she’d check?”

“Yes. Daddy’s name is Gascoigne, and he would meet up with granddad in a place called the Tomb of Oedon. It’s near an old chapel, a different one than the church daddy used to work with until I was born. She may have gone there in search of him.”

“I’m heading that way now, so I’ll go look for them both,” he told her, again feeling some relief as he recalled the shade who’d helped him slay the Cleric Beast. Even if it had been a dead-end, he wouldn’t have beaten it without the help. The least he could do is help reunite their family. “Just stay here until I get back.”

“Wait,” the young girl called out as he moved to leave. She raised the window halfway, giving Bell a view of her white nightdress as she then managed to slip a tiny box through the gap in the bars for him to take. “If you find my mum, give her this music box. It plays one of daddy’s favorite songs, to help him remember when he forgets us.”

Bell removed the glove on his right hand, so he didn’t get any grime on it. The metal box fit in it, but it had a bit of weight to it. Flipping open the lid revealed there was aged paper fixed to the underside, but he couldn’t make out any of the words in the native script. So, he closed it and then slipped it into his backpack. “I’ll be sure to get it to her, so sit tight and keep your window shut and locked to be safe.”

“I will,” she told him. “You be careful out there too, mister hunter.”

 


Image

June 2018 Grim Tales Update 2

Read the rest of the comics at Snafu-Comics


Rabbit of the Moon: Chapter 12 [DanMachi/Bloodborne]

Chapter 12: Return to the Dream

And the Hunt awaits your presence once more…

Bell found himself staring up at the moon as those words whispered in his ears on the wind, unable to move. Unable to think.

A scent that he couldn’t comprehend permeated the air. Celestial in nature. Thickening to the point of suffocating as the luminous white orb hanging in the night sky seemed so close that the glimmering moonlight reflected in his unwavering gaze.

The alluring face of the moon eclipsed his vision until he couldn’t see where it began and ended, and he was unable to look away even if he wanted to. The ivory rays themselves were like countless, tender hands grasping his head. Refusing to let him turn away, refusing to let him ignore the orb of night that seemed to swallow up the distance between Heaven and Earth just for him—

“Bell?”

—only to vanish as the night sky was replaced with solid stone. The moonlight that had been radiating down, leaving him awash in its silvery rays, turned to artificial magic-stone lights. The irrefutable presence that loomed over him now took the form of a round face, sapphire eyes gazing into his own with a concerned frown.

Hestia. His Goddess. Entrancing in a different way than… what exactly?

Bell sat up, rising on the couch and turning so that his feet touched the ground. Blinking. His head felt misty and tired. Adrift somehow. “Was I sleeping?”

Hestia took a seat next to him on the couch. “I thought you were, but your eyes were open and distant.” Fingers soft as silk reached up to brush his forehead. “Were you having a nightmare?”

“I…” He tried to find words. But the memory had already slipped from his mind. Gone like mist that evaporated in the morning light. He brought his hands to his eyes and rubbed them. “I’m not sure. I don’t even remember when I fell asleep.”

The way her frown deepened showed that answer didn’t please her at all. “Just in case, we’ll see Miach about getting you some sleeping medicine. I know he makes some that can bring about a dreamless sleep.”

“I’ll be fine,” he said. “I just need to get up and move around today. That’s all.”

Hestia’s expression softened upon hearing that. “Just wait a little longer for my sake, Bell. Hephaestus told me that she would have one of her children available soon to form a party with you. Then you can go back in the Dungeon without worrying me so much.”

It had been a few days now since the Banquet of the Gods. Her proposal wasn’t exactly rejected by the two. But there were complications involved.

In the case of Take’s children, they operated as a group and had tactics, so introducing Bell into their cohesion might complicate things. And his children had to work hard given that they were also poor, on top of supporting an orphanage back in their home country. So, while he stated he could see if he could arrange something, Hestia had to admit that it would likely interfere with his own Familia’s survival unless Bell took up a role like a Supporter.

Hestia didn’t think Bell would settle for that. He wanted to be an Adventurer after all. And, while she could beg him to do so, she would be trampling on his dream more than she already had. Besides, having him be a Supporter meant that Bell would receive less valis than he would earn on his own and hamstring Take’s income as well.

It was different in the case of Hephaestus. She had several children who wanted to travel further down in the Dungeon, in order to reach Level 2. That way they could gain the Blacksmithing Developmental Ability.

But Bell had only been doing this for around two weeks, so naturally most people wouldn’t think he had that kind of ability. Hephaestus wouldn’t just order one of them to put up with Bell for Hestia’s sake, so she had to find children willing to work with someone who didn’t have nearly as much time or experience as them. That was easier said than done without exerting more pressure than she was comfortable with.

In both cases, it was a matter of Bell not appearing experienced enough. Hestia’s words that he could pull his own weight weren’t enough. While Bell could prove that he was more than capable enough, it would take time to reach that point. So, in a worst-case scenario, Hestia really might have to let him go back into the Dungeon on his own.

Still, I should find something for him to do… Oh, right! Her pigtails shot up in excitement as an idea came to mind when she remembered what today was. “You know, I have today off work and there’s a festival going on, meaning there’s a lot of food vendors and game booths out.”

Bell was naturally surprised, since he hadn’t been in the city long. “There are?”

“Yep!” Hestia hopped up onto her feet and extended her hand for him to take. “Since you need to get out, how about you and I spend the entire day together?”

A festival with just the two of us, huh? Between both of their jobs, they rarely spent time together outside of this homely little room. So how could he refuse the offer to spend time together as a Familia? “Of course.”

“Then let’s go have a lot of fun,” Hestia said before her expression bloomed into a radiant smile while their fingers intertwined. It carried a warm affection within it.

It was almost enough to make the lethargy in his mind melt away until Bell abruptly felt like he was being watched again, leaving him snap his head around for the source. Then he remembered it was just the two of them there and was left wondering if the lack of sleep really was getting to him. He shook his head in an attempt to clear it before getting dressed for their adventure outside.

In order to get to the Monster Feria, also known as the Monsterphilia,  they needed to head down the road so that they got back onto the Main Street. From there, they could head straight to the far east side of the city. That was where the festival was being held, at the colosseum, but since it was going to be busy they would likely have to forgo a Tax cart and instead go on foot.

White-hair! Over here, meow!

It just so happened that, while on the West Main, Hestia stopped them when she heard someone calling for him. “Bell, I think that girl is calling you.”

“Huh?” He looked over to see that there was a catgirl in one of the waitress uniforms for the Hostess of Fertility, waving for him to come over with her ears pointed up. Since it would have been rude to ignore her, he hurried over. “Sorry, I didn’t hear you!”

“Mya, it’s no good if kids don’t go to bed on time,” she told him after looking him over. Then she turned to Hestia and gave her a polite bow, as was etiquette Bell suspected. “Oh, you must be his Goddess. It’s nice to meet you, meow.”

“Good morning,” Hestia said, approaching her. “How do you know Bell?”

“This is the place I told you about,” Bell answered in her place. “The place with the really good food.”

“Myama will be glad to hear it.” She then produced a coin purse and handed it over to Bell. “Syr needs this. Can you give it to her, meow?”

Bell eyed it for a moment. It was a purse that definitely suited a girl, and he could picture her holding it. But he wasn’t exactly sure where to find her in the first place. “Uh…”

“Arnya, if you’re going to make a request you should at least make it as clear as possible,” said a new waitress as she appeared from behind the catgirl. It was the elfess who had chased Bell down that night to return his belongings. “Good morning, Mister Cranel and Miss Goddess. My apologies for her calling you out so early.”

“It’s not a problem, but what’s this about Syr?” he asked. “Is she not here?”

“She has the day off and went to the Monster Feria for the opening event, but she left her purse here. The rest of us are preparing to open up for the day so, if it isn’t too much trouble, could you return it to her if you see her?”

“We were heading in that direction, but the festival itself is pretty active from what I’ve heard,” Hestia said. “Will we be able to find her?”

“She just left, so I’m sure white-hair can find her.” Arnya flashed Bell a smile. “Right, meow?”

If they have that much faith in me then I’ll try. Besides, Bell knew what it was like to be walking around in a big city like this with practically no money to your name. It had been like that when he had first arrived, and there was no point in making her walk back to get it if necessary.

He turned back to Hestia and said, “Sorry, but I really should give this back to her.”

Black twin-tails swayed as Hestia shook her head. She liked the fact that he was a good boy. “I don’t mind since we have the entire day. Besides, if this Syr person is a friend of yours, we should help if we can.”

[R-M]

Eina was one of several other members of the Guild currently outside of the colosseum for the sake of the festival, acting as informants to the citizens as well as assisting the Ganesha Familia in whatever way possible to make it a success.

By far, the biggest and most important event was the monster taming that was already underway beyond the massive stone walls that rose to towering heights. As things stood, it was a unique experience that came once a year for the citizens of Orario, who likely had scant few encounters with monsters in their lives. Because, even though the Dungeon was located within the labyrinth, the average person would never set foot into it and thus had far less exposure to monsters than those who made a living out of it.

Eina was not a fan of the idea that monsters were brought out of the Dungeon for taming during the festival. Monsters, especially Dungeon-born ones, were terrifying beings who existed to kill without regard for anything but their baser instincts. She’d filed enough reports on dead adventurers to know that having even one aboveground and unchecked would spell a huge problem.

But it was not her call to make. Instead, it was that of her superiors. They were the ones who decided the Monsterphilia was necessary for the citizens, because it gave them a chance to view adventurers in a more romanticized light.

Not all adventurers were friendly. Not all people were friendly. It was the way things were in general, that the experiences and personalities of the individual determined how they acted with others. The problem was that supermortals with strength above that of the norm naturally went by their own rules, so long as it didn’t fringe on the rules of their Familia.

Maybe they decide they don’t want to pay a tab, or maybe tempers flare and a fight breaks out. The difference in strength between an ordinary citizen and an adventurer meant they couldn’t raise a hand to them and needed someone to complain to. They needed someone to deal with problems that arose, which was what the Guild existed for. So they had to manage both the frustrations of the citizens and the adventurers, trying to placate both.

That was what the festival was for. Citizens would see these highly publicized adventurers putting on a show for their amusement and think to themselves that maybe these were the norm and the ones that caused them problems were the outliers. At least until enough time passed and the next year came around, where they would do it again.

Even now, a skilled Tamer was elegantly in the process of taming one of the monsters in a show of charisma and skill. It painted the scene as a mortal dominating a monster, making it submit without seriously raising a hand or slaughtering it for its magic stone, as was ordinary. An extravagant way of undercutting the actual dangers of the profession, setting a standard for the unaware that adventurers had class and dignity.

Eina didn’t exactly blame the Ganesha Familia for giving people the wrong impression of just how dangerous both monsters and the job were. They were merely doing it at the request of the Guild in the first place, who approved and managed it. But it would have consequences later on, when those who saw them tried to replicate their feats and have their dreams, and possibly their lives, dashed.

She took a deep breath, not at all satisfied that the reservations she had about the festival, until she spotted a familiar bed of white hair and ruby eyes scouring the crowd. She hadn’t seen him in days, so a part of her had been worried that something happened to him. Seeing him in the distance, still alive, was enough for now to put on a smile on her face as she called out on him. “Bell!”

His name being called attracted the eyes of not him but the smaller girl at his side. The divine aura that was leaking out, naturally present to all the Gods and Goddesses, made it clear what she was. The relatively smaller goddess tugged on his sleeve to grab his attention and pointed to her.

Bell then spotted her, his mouth moving in a familiar enough way that Eina could make out that he was referring to her as his Advisor, and then walked over. “Miss Eina, I didn’t know you’d be out here.”

“The Guild has set aside a good deal of staff for the festival, so I’m currently acting as someone who helps guest find their way inside of the stadium,” she explained, taking in his appearance. He looked tired. Slight bags around his eyes that wouldn’t be out of place for someone four times his age. “Are you not sleeping well, Bell?”

“I’ll be fine,” he said. “I’m sorry I haven’t been by lately. My goddess wants me to start working with others and forming a party before I start going deeper into the Dungeon.”

That bit of news actually made her somewhat happy. Rather than risking himself, if he worked with others his chances of survival increased drastically. “That’s excellent. Would you like for me to a make a posting for it through the Guild? I can’t guarantee when you’ll meet someone, but I’m sure eventually someone will apply.”

“I’ve already gone out of my way to arrange for that,” Hestia said, approaching them. “But, if you’re acting as an usher, then can we ask if you’ve seen a specific person?”

“There have been a lot of people who have come and gone, so I’ll need you to be specific.”

Bell recalled Syr’s appearance. “She’s a human girl with hair and matching eyes that are sort of ash-colored. She left her wallet behind at her workplace, but we were told she came this way not too long ago.”

Eina placed a hand on her chin in thought. There had been a lot of people, but the hair and eye color on a human were rare enough that if she had seen her then she would have remembered. Not to mention that if she had lost her wallet then she either would have doubled back and ran into them or she would have went elsewhere, since there was an admission fee to the main event.

“I can’t say that I have seen her, I’m afraid—” She was cut off when someone violently pushed past Bell, splitting him and his Goddess apart while knocking them onto the ground. She crouched down to help the two up while turning back to the figure. “Hey, apologize to them this instance!”

The figure, wearing a black cloak of all things at this time of day, turned around and smirked. Then he held up what looked to be a woman’s pouch. He tossed it up and down in his hand twice before running off to the southwest.

Bell’s eyes widened with realization before he rose to his feet. “That’s Syr’s!”

“Bell, wait!” His Goddess tried to grab him before he could give chase, but he moved faster than Eina thought would be possible for an adventurer who only started out a short time ago. Despite that, the thief moved just as quickly, and both cleared the plaza of the stadium in short order.

“Are you alright ma’am?” Eina asked, helping Hestia to her feet. She couldn’t believe that someone would so blatantly steal in front of her, wearing something so conspicuous. “I’ll have someone go after them right away.”

She didn’t have the chance before shouts of monsters being on the loose reached her ears less than a minute later.

[R-M]

Bell may have been tired, but the spike of adrenaline that coursed through his system as he gave chase after the cloaked thief helped offset that. It was enough to keep his mind focused on the present. That was the only reason he didn’t lose track of the thief, as whoever it was had to at least have been a high-end Level 1 as he ditched the Main Street for the alleyways. It was an intricate network full of twists and turns, where it would be so easy for Bell to lose track of them if he didn’t stay on top of them.

He didn’t know why the thief had chosen to take Syr’s wallet, but he knew he had to get it back. He would have probably left it to someone else if it had just been his money that was taken. But that had been entrusted to him by the others at the Hostess of Fertility, who put their faith in him to get it to her.

So he continued giving chase after the thief until they eventually left the web of alleyways and came into a plaza that was surrounded by rising buildings that seemed to be piled on top of one another. Bell hadn’t been in the city for long, but even he knew of this place. A maze within the city in itself, a manmade labyrinth that touched the city wall—Daedalus Street.

If he lost them here, he’d never find the thief again. But the thief didn’t seem to have any interest in continuing their chase at this point. They instead opted to drop the wallet onto the ground in the center of the district’s plaza and then, with a flourish of their cloak, disappear in the blink of an eye, leaving Bell there alone and confused until he felt that sensation again, like he was being watched.

Bell looked around once again for the source but didn’t find a single person in the plaza. It was starting to make him feel paranoid. So, he picked up Syr’s belongings, intent on getting out of there right away—

GRRAAHHH!

—only for something massive to come leaping down from over the perimeter of the buildings. It landed onto the ground in front of Bell with a thunderous crash that cratered the stone beneath them. The force alone had been enough to blow him off his feet, and Bell bounced backwards while slamming his head into the ground before coming to a stop several feet away.

Ngh…” Bell’s head was pounding now as he forced himself to look up, whereupon he spotted pure muscle wrapped up in a cloak of white fur and a silver mane of hair falling down its back that glinted in the light. Thick arms and legs tensed with rage as they pounded at a steel plate that was fixed over its chest. Metal knuckles and manacles with chains clanked and rattled as it glared down at him with red eyes hidden behind a visor.

Miss Eina had told Bell of some of the monsters on the lower floors, as a warning for him not to venture deeper. This was one from the deeper floors, around the Eleventh Floor. A Silverback that had somehow gotten all the way to the surface was in front of him, murderous and animalistic intention fixed on him.

How had no one noticed this thing running around? That question loitered in his mind until he saw the massive primate rushing for him with a primal gait that was faster than it had any right to be. He barely had time to roll out of the way as it closed the distance with upraised arms and then brought both its massive fists down with the intention of crushing him.

The ground shook. Stone was upturned. Jagged bits of displaced rock were sent flying outwards to pelt Bell as he got back to his feet and considered his options.

The first was that he could run. He didn’t know where the monster came from, but he was unarmed and unarmored. In the city filled with more adventurers than any other in the world, chances were he’d run into someone capable of dealing with it.

But if he fled while it was attacking him then someone innocent could be hurt. More so if it chased him while the festival was going on. He could possibly get away, but only if he were willing to sacrifice people he didn’t know. And, while he may have had his dreams of being a hero tested, battered by the time he spent in that nightmare, that was something he just couldn’t do.

I have to kill it. Bell envisioned the Hunter’s Mark in the back of his mind and called forth the Little Ones across the boundaries of this world and the Hunter’s Dream. “Please, bring me my weapons!”

GYRAAH!” His declaration carried the intention to fight, and so the Silverback responded with a roar in acceptance of his challenge. What drove it was unknown to the young adventurer, but whatever it was that keyed him onto Bell now took firm root. It would not stop until he was crushed, and with another quick gait it moved to do so.

This time, on his feet, Bell sidestepped the initial slam of the monster’s fist as it brought the right one down. But there was no time to remain stationary as it then swung the arm outwards to knock him back. Bell leapt back while bringing his own arms up to shield his chest and head, whereupon the chains that were still attached to its manacles caught him in glancing.

The thick steel that was meant to keep it bound was dense enough that he could feel the lashing it gave his forearms and felt its sting. But fortunately, his arms didn’t break from such a passing strike, even if they throbbed and he could tell it was likely to bruise. He could still fight then.

Bell’s ears then caught the unintelligible voices of the Little Ones answering his plea as a ripple in space formed just behind him. They emerged from the nearest building, sticking out of it horizontally with the Saw Cleaver and Hunter’s Pistol in hand. In a conjoined effort, the grouping of Messengers tossed them towards Bell with as much strength as their emaciated arms could muster.

Well-worn wood wrapped in fresh bandages for a grip met one hand while the curved grip shaped to fit comfortably filled the other. Both set of fingers wrapped around them tight before Bell rolled once more out of the way as the Silverback attacked with another punch that blew open the wall with a spray of stone dust.

Screams bellowed out from within. Someone’s home had just been broken into. Collateral damage in its attempt to kill Bell.

I have to lure it the center! He turned his back to the monster, presenting an opening despite his fear. Then he ran towards the center of the plaza and lure it that way, bringing the fight into safer territory.

The Silverback took the bait. Corded muscles in its lower legs released like a coiled spring and sent it forward. It lunged for Bell with its hand outstretched, intent on wrapping those stout fingers around his body to crush him like ripe fruit.

The young adventurer threw himself to the side, getting away with only his leg being clipped in escaping the fingers as they closed into a fist. The Silverback’s momentum carried it forward a little further, into the center of the plaza. It’s back was to Bell, so he rushed in with the Saw Cleaver to hack away at it.

The last he checked his Strength had just made it to E-rank after the War Shadows, even higher than before he fought the Minotaur with the Doll’s update. It had been just enough for his saw’s teeth to tear rents into its flesh deep enough for him to get its magic stone free somehow. Yet, now he couldn’t even manage to dig it past the hide beneath the silver fur before he gripped it with both hands and tensed his own muscles that seemed heavy with exhaustion to rip the metal out through the side.

The Silverback snarled as crimson ran free from a tear in its flesh, blood vessels above its thick muscles torn open so that they could start dotting that white fur with its blood. Retaliation followed. It began to move forward, pounding its strong fists down over and over again.

Bell raised the pistol loaded with a Quicksilver Bullet and fired, hoping the stopping power would be enough to halt it.  The sound of caged thunder was drowned by the shattering of earth, the faint pinging of the bullet hitting metal that either guarded its eyes or chest barely reaching his ears. Then Silverback finished its rampage with a double-hammer strike that hit the ground hard enough that it blew Bell off his feet before he could get out of range.

Ah…ahh…” Bell struggled for breath as haze of pain permeated his body, blood pounding beneath his skull as he got back onto his feet. Then he made out the glint of metal from the knuckles on the Silverback’s fist as it readied to strike. He moved to dodge, but he couldn’t.

His legs felt like they had gone to liquid. His insides felt like they were shaking from the previous hit without it even touching him directly. He couldn’t dodge like this, so he brought the Saw Cleaver’s flat around to act as a shield and braced it with his other hand to withstand the impact—

CRUNCH!! KRIK!! The sound of splintering wood and fracturing iron followed. Then came pain, a sharp and jagged thing that dug into his flesh along with a heavy weight that carried him further until Bell hit the ground a final time. Agony took on a tangible form as he struggled to breathe, only to feel something sharp tearing him apart.

With his vision blurred he looked down to see that the Saw Cleaver had been broken. The butcher’s weapon was embedded within his chest diagonally with the broken handle a little distance away. His pistol was nowhere to be found, lost on impact as something hot and wet bubbled up in his throat while crimson seeped out of his flesh around the wound and soaked his shirt.

The blood, with its scent thick, glossed over his mind as the Silverback approached slowly, as if giving him time to realize that he’d been won over before it came to deliver the killing blow. His weapons hadn’t been enough. They had broken, and his body had followed suit.

He struggled to move but couldn’t as the strength had left his body. He couldn’t even speak as blood bubbling up in his throat drowned any words that could have slipped from the orifice. With tears stinging his eyes while his vision dimmed on the sight of the Silverback raising up its fist once again, Bell realized he was going to die again and could only apologize to Hestia silently. Goddess… I’m sorry…

Then, for a second time, a fist descended. For a second time, there was a moment of pain amidst the spreading numbness, followed by the absence of every other sensation. For a second time, he woke to find himself laying amidst the moonlit flowers in bloom that were strewn over the hillside.

There, he was greeted by a sincere and serene voice that said, “Welcome Home, Good Hunter.”


The Origins of the Pyromancy Flame (Dark Souls Lore)

Source: Here

I’m a bit of an oddball and need to know how things work from a lore perspective when it comes to media I like, despite not being exceedingly scientific in nature. Like, in the case of Dark Souls, we have Pyromancies—a form of magic that uses an item called a Pyromancy Flame in order to conjure fire-based.  But, while the game goes into details on the Witch of Izalith being the “Godmother of Pyromancy,” it never really explains where the pyromancy flames you can use come from.

I personally believe that the pyromancy flame is the internal fire that burns within Demons, a species within the series linked to Flame of Chaos, and that pyromancers have learned how to harness, channel, and split the flame so that they can wield it for themselves. I’ll be explaining why I think that and support that theory with evidence based off details found within the game via talking to NPCs, item descriptions, and some reference to others who delved in the lore elsewhere.

Heads-up as a warning, there will be spoilers for the entire franchise. So, you probably shouldn’t read this unless you’ve already played the games, watched lore videos, or your curiosity deems it worth the risk. If you’re cool with that, then read on.

And if you like the theory, then feel free to share it wherever you feel it best with a link back.

 


The Extinction of Fire Sorcery & Birth of Pyromancy

Source: Here

You’ve all seen the opening cutscene. In the beginning, there were dragons that lived forever and suddenly the First Flame popped into existence in whatever place that the Four Lords originally dwelled in. The Witch of Izalith found the Life Soul within it, through which she learned to cast a form of sorcery known as Fire Sorcery, as explained in the Izalith Catalyst’s description:

Catalyst of the Witch of Izalith of long ago, when her daughters were still flame witches, before they were engulfed by the Chaos Flame. Before the birth of pyromancy, their wands were mediums for sorcery, but knowledge of this flame sorcery has long since vanished.

Fire Sorcery itself was cast using catalysts, much like the sorceries that you can use in the middle of the games themselves. Despite Seath the Scaleless being considered the “Grandfather of all Sorceries,” it’s more likely he was the one who pioneered the most common ones found in the setting, while we see the Witch and her daughters raining storms of fire upon the Everlasting Dragons nests in the opening before then. And this form of magic was probably used only by them until the First Flame started to fade and she got the idea to use her magic to replicate the effect of it using her own Lord Soul.

The key thing to note here is that Fire Sorcery itself is largely considered an extinct form of magic by the time Dark Souls comes around, and has been succeeded by pyromancy. However, the last actual practitioner of the Fire Arts, as they are also known as, was the Demon Firesage. His item drop (Demon’s Catalyst) gives the description below:

Demon catalyst formed from Izalith molten rock. Can be used as fire weapon. The Demon Firesage was the first demon, and the last master of the original fire arts before the Witch of Izalith was engulfed by Chaos, creating pyromancy.

Now, this catalyst’s lore makes it clear that we’ve been getting some bad information in regards to being told that the Witch’s attempts at creating a second First Flame resulted in the Bed of Chaos being formed, engulfing her and her daughters, and giving birth to demons. This description alone contradicts that. There was a demon around who was capable of learning sorcery from the Witch of Izalith before she was engulfed.

At this point, I want to give credit to Hawkshaw, a youtuber who has done a video on Demons in Dark Souls. It gave me the insight to understand that there was a period where the Flame of Chaos was stable and still around, capable of giving birth to demons while the Witch was rational in mind. Her engulfment likely came from a more emotional aspect than anything, a devotion to the demonic and rejection of her ties to Gwyn.

Regarding Fire Sorcery, the fact that it went extinct is not because no one left alive can use it again. It’s more than likely that she decided not to pass that knowledge on because the Witch deemed it no longer worth teaching. After all, why bother with learning extensive sorceries when pyromancy itself was easier to use while a war is going on?

We know that Gwyn didn’t like that the demons sprung up from the Witch of Izalith’s attempt at creating her own First Flame. More so when you consider she succeeded. The Flame of Chaos is like the First Flame, in that it can be rekindled much like Gwyn does for the First Flame later on. That’s the purpose of the Demon Prince, to play the role of a Champion of Ash in Dark Souls III.

So there was a war going on between the demons and Gwyn’s forces, and time was likely of the essence. Sorceries requires knowledge to learn in-universe, and you need a high amount of aptitude for the more complex spells. Big Hat Logan states it best if you have less than 15 in intelligence:

I am afraid that you are unable to learn sorcery. The basic framework, you see. It cannot be taught.

It takes a relatively higher amount of knowledge to use sorceries (10 points). And with a fledgling race of creatures on the verge of a war against a faction who helped decimate the Everlasting Dragons, the Witch knew she didn’t have time to teach them. So rather than going off something that required advanced knowledge, she opted to teach them instead how to utilize the power that the demons shared due to their link with the Flame of Chaos.

Flames have been harvested as a source of power in Dark Souls since the beginning. The First Flame’s Lord Souls gave them the strength to topple the dragons. The Profaned Flame gave Pontiff Sulyvahn a power source that he could draw from along with the fire witches. Using their connection to the Flame of Chaos, the Witch gave her children the means to fight back, since they harbored the flames inside of them.

This was the birth of pyromancy, in my opinion.

 


Developing Pyromancy

Source: Here

Now, you’ll notice that my theory brings up an issue—Quelana, the only daughter of the witch who managed to escape the engulfment, or so she states. Quelana is largely known as being the “Mother of Pyromancy” to the outside world. After all, she was the one who taught Salaman, who established the Great Swamp around 200 years prior to Dark Souls and spread the teachings of pyromancy. However, she stated that she fled from her sisters and her mother when the engulfment happened, so… why is the Daughter of Chaos capable of using it?

She uses pyromancy instead of Fire Sorcery, despite the fact she drops a catalyst afterwards meaning she was capable. It’s because she also fought in this war, alongside most of her sisters, and thus took to using pyromancy. Which means that, while Quelana might be the one who helped create pyromancies, she didn’t do it alone. It was a family effort.

Quelana eventually faked her death—leaving her clothes on a corpse for Ceaseless Discharge to mourn, she took what she knew and left it all behind. It is possible she’s a disembodied soul who only a select few can see, but considering you can fight actual ghosts, she can be attacked by other enemies, and she can be poisoned, there’s some disconnect here. Even if that did happen, she ultimately left Izalith behind.

So here we have the initial divergence for pyromancy—Izalith developed spells that were capable of greater destructive power, Chaos Pyromancies. The Daughter of Chaos and Xanthous King Jeremiah are the only two who knew it in Dark Souls. That means it’s likely that only those who studied tomes or under the tutelage of these two would have access to it in the future—gaining the ability to do more damage by calling up fire meant to manipulate lava.

Quelana, meanwhile, went her own way to teach Salaman, who would become known as the Master Pyromancer. She would later learn to ascend her pyromancy flame instead of developing more destructive spells, likely gaining an understanding of how to enhance it after studying it on her own behalf. But until then, she taught Salaman most of the pyromancies she knew and her teachings—namely, that one should seek the knowledge of the flames, but also fear the flame and not become arrogant, lest they be consumed.

These would become part of the Great Swamp’s teachings when Salaman established it at some point and took on multiple pupils—likely having learned to divide the pyromancy flame from his teacher—with Carmina being the most accomplished pupil. Rather than focus on the pure destructive power of the flames, they would become one with nature and thus learn to have faith in the flames along with the knowledge to use it. That would lead to them learning how to use the pyromancy flame to realize the full potential of the caster, developing spells that internalized the power—Flash Sweat, Iron Flesh, and Power Within, are examples of this:

Pyromancy of Carmina, who harnessed the power of flame to actualize the inner-self. Intense sweating reduces flame damage.

Carmina, the most accomplished pupil of Salaman the Master Pyromancer, pioneered new directions for the art of pyromancy.

However, they avoided anything that gave way to excessive power that went against their teaching about being consumed. This is likely why Power Within was kept secret after its creation. However, their teachings didn’t remain solely in the Great Swamp by the time of Dark Souls.

One pyromancer wandered into Oolacile and was taken by the Abyss. He managed to gain enough insight into the darkness to create a pyromancy that used it as a weapon—Black Flame. It would later be rediscovered in Dark Souls III, which states the following:

Pyromancy discovered by grave wardens after High Lord Wolnir fell to the Abyss.

Creates a giant, black flame in hand.

Black flames born from the Abyss bear no shadow. They are said to be the impenetrable fires of humanity.

Eingyi at some point developed Poison Mist and Toxic Mist, which were seen as heretical. He was exiled as a result, finding his way to Izalith and running into the Fair Lady, whereupon she cured him of his poisoning. He later taught at least one person Poison Mist, as their corpse has it on the body in Blighttown, and it is later passed on via the Great Swamp Pyromancy Tome, despite the fact that he was exiled because of it.

In Dark Souls III, Fire Surge is considered a lost Pyromancy that Cornyx restored. But it existed in the original Dark Souls, within the Painted World of Ariamis and in the possession of a non-hostile enemy. It is likely that this was the creator of the pyromancy, since it has this tidbit of information:

Not all pyromancy originates in the Great Swamp. One hear rumors of unknown pyromancers inhabiting various lands, and this spell is the work of one such outlander.

Likewise, Acid Surge is also found in the Painted World in Dark Souls. But unlike Fire Surge, it persisted throughout history. Carthus of the Sands, a kingdom ruled by High Lord Wolnir that eventually fell into the Abyss, used not only this spell, but their own unique ones. As the Carthus Pyromancy Tome describes:

Carthus pyromancies developed in isolation from other forms, explaining their divergent evolution.

In addition, we know there was a sect of Desert Sorceress’ in the land of Jugo that took up residence in Earthen Peak. Their time passed, but by the end of the world at least one of their descendants—Desert Pyromancer Zoey—survived and carried with her a pyromancy exclusive to them, Flame Fan:

Pyromancy of Zoey, descendant of the desert pyromancers.

Use repeatedly to brush the fan left and right.

Zoey possessed true beauty, as did all the desert pyromancers, but hers did not poison, and so she became the unassuming queen of the feeble ones.

 

By the time of Dark Souls III, things are nearing their end. But new pyromancies had been created, such as Warmth. And, up to the very end, even more can be created by transposing the souls of those who possessed certain skills or knowledge. These are gained due to the transposition basically extracting the essence of the soul and then coalescing it down to something tangible.

So pyromancy developed from the moment of its creation to the very end of the Dark Souls world, with different variations coming into existence as it spread around—despite the fact that it had a bad reputation as being simple and the art of savages.

 


Flames of Demons

Source: Here

Like I mentioned before, I believe that the source of the pyromancy flame stems from demons. There’s two specific factors that led me to that conclusion: Witch’s Locks & Demon’s Scar.

Witch’s Locks is a whip made from the black hair of a daughter of the Witch, imbued with the essence of fire. The same fire that consumed the Witch herself. There’s only one daughter that we know who has long black hair, and that’s Quelaag. Unlike the Daughter of Chaos, she merged with a demon and gained the power of fire that can scale with Humanity (as her weapon explains), which is likely the reason that the war broke out in the first place.

As for the Demon’s Scar, it is a weapon made from transposing the Soul of the Demon Prince, which has the following description:

This chaotic thing, the last flame kindled by the demon prince, is shaped like the claw marks of a demon.

It is both a fiery bladed weapon and pyromancy flame.

It is both a fiery blade and a pyromancy flame. Demons are linked to the Flame of Chaos in the same way that humans are linked to the First Flame, albeit naturally rather than Gwyn’s tampering. As stated in the Soul of the Demon Prince:

The demons, birthed from a common Chaos, share almost everything between them, even the pride of their prince, and his near-faded flame.

So that the last demon standing may rekindle it.

So naturally this means that all demons are connected to the Flame of Chaos, with the internal flame being a medium through which they can express its power. I think of it as being like roots that link from the Flame of Chaos, spreading out to each demon when they were born but all of them linked to it, and this connection persists whether to demon is alive or not if the flame is extracted, which can be seen in how ordinary weapons can be imbued with the power of the flames through Fire Gems and Chaos Gems in Dark Souls III.

In the case of Fire Gems, the only one that’s a guaranteed drop is from a demon that’s known to be dying. It’s flame doesn’t burn as brightly, but the second one you kill offers up its soul and thus it can be transposed to two weapons that can also unleash fire: Demon’s Greataxe and Demon’s Fist. Fire Gems can likewise infuse weapons with inherent fire, but it doesn’t scale.

In the case of Chaos Gems, it can be obtained from demons capable of wielding pyromancy spells, the Demon Clerics, demons who are closer to the Chaos Flame and can cast pyromancies. The gems themselves not only imbue a weapon with flames but are capable of scaling with Faith and Intelligence. The weapon born from the Soul of the Old Demon King also scales with the Faith and Intelligence.

Because pyromancy flames scale with Faith and Intelligence as well, it shows a strong link between pyromancies, demons, and the flame that connects them. The Demon’s Scar is made from the last flame that is kindled from the Flame of Chaos, and thus in itself it should be the ultimate pyromancy flame. So regular pyromancy flames are essentially the flames taken from demons and then spread out into a form usable for humans—as Laurentius of the Great Swamp explained the following:

A pyromancer’s flame is a part of his own body. The flame develops right along with his skill. … When I gave you that flame, I gave you a part of myself. Please take good care of it.

Most likely, Quelana taught Salaman how to connect with the flame that she produced, nurturing it until she could split it off into another one for him. Even though the pyromancy flame can produce flames on its own, as the pyromancer gains knowledge and faith in the flame, it grows in strength. The flame itself is alive in that aspect, and thus it can be changed as well.

Quelana learned how to draw upon her own latent power to enhance the flame. Likely this is due her own nature, as she is not a human but an entirely different species and managed to find a way to infuse that into the flame. It could even be a piece of the Life Soul if the Witch of Izalith split it among her daughters like Gwyn did with his own soul, before it was warped into the Flame of Chaos.

 


Conclusion

Source: Here

To reiterate, in my opinion, the Pyromancy Flames originally stemmed from demons and their link to the Flame of Chaos. The Witch and her daughters pioneered it originally for war against Gwyn, but they lost. And, while most of them were locked away beneath Izalith, Quelana passed the knowledge to a human, Salaman.

From there, it spread until it could be found all over the world. Gaining more uses that the Witch could have dreamed and persisted until the very end of the cycle, even outlasting her children by the very end. But, it’s a theory I thought of based on a lot of evidence and if this article has been informative, feel free to spread it around with a link.

###

Thank you for reading.


The First Steps – 4.06

New chapter of Wands and Vials.

Wands and Vials

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The gate with the emblem of our family peaked in the center before us, arching downwards and then rising again to meet the columns that they were attached to at the hinges. Spellstone lanterns that radiated a somber light topped the column, attached to the stone fence that stretched around the perimeter of the manor. It was high enough that it obscured the green lawn that stretched between the entrance and the gateway, only broken up by a stone path with guiding lights leading to the end of the pathway where the estate laid.

As I stood there for a moment and stared at the emblem of feathers in motion, as if blown by the wind, the words of Alice’s mother came to mind. Twenty years ago was around the time that Grandfather died along with his eldest son, if I remember correctly. Father became the head of…

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June 2018 Grim Tales Update 1

Read the rest of the comics at Snafu-Comics


Calling Card (Psyren x FSN -Nasuverse): Arc 4 – Chapter 19

Chapter 19

“Why my place specifically?”

I ask the obvious question for clarity. After all, if I’m going to tell them I don’t want them there, I need a plausible reason for it. So, it’d be better to get all the facts first.

“Well, your place is also as big as Tohsaka’s—”

“Bigger,” I say, correcting her.

Ayako goes along with it, if only to appease me. “—bigger than Tohsaka’s, it’s closer, and we don’t have to worry about being overseen or overheard if it’s done while your sister is heading the Archery Club’s practice. It’s the best place to both train them up and discuss things while the Temple is off-limits with the brothers gone, and without heading all the way out to Neko’s place.”

Well, she’s not wrong. The manor can easily fit all of us inside and, with the Old Worm long dead, we can practice in private for the most part. The additional time may prove beneficial, given we don’t know when we’ll be pulled back into the future either.

That and I’m sure it’d be thrown back in my face that I was acting hypocritical after telling them to make sacrifices for their training. Besides, I can use the opportunity to try and steer the training in a different direction since I’m calling the shots. An experimental approach to go along with the established ones.

“Okay,” I say, sitting forward. If there’s no getting out of it then I might as well dictate the rules. Resting my elbows on my desk and folding my hands in front of my mouth, I continue. “If you can agree to my terms, I’ll go along with it.”

Her brows rise in curiosity. “Name them.”

“First, we need to run it by Sakura. We don’t know how long it’ll take, and I don’t want her walking in while we have them tied to a chair and gagged like you had us.”

Makidera nearly chokes on her snack with a look of pure shock on her face. In contrast, Saegusa’s eyes are cast down at the table while there’s a red blush painting her face. Between them, Himuro is staring with a half-puzzled gaze. It’s clearly not something they expected to hear this morning.

“It makes more sense in context for their training, and it won’t apply for you three,” Ayako assures them. She follows with a slight glare towards me. ‘You worded it that way on purpose, didn’t you?

I only shrug and continue on. “Anyway, you and I will tell her that we’re doing a study session at my home. Since the newcomers and I missed yesterday due to being incapacitated, she’ll buy it if we tell her that you want to try and catch us all up.”

It honestly didn’t matter as far as getting her permission went. In terms of authority in the household, I call the shots. However, we have enough issues and Ayako has some level of trust from Sakura when it comes to keeping me in check. So if she’s vouching that it’s her idea, then Sakura won’t be needlessly worried now or in the future when we use this… study club as an alibi for psychicer business.

Ayako nods in approval. It’s a completely rational course of action, so there’s no reason to lobby against it. “Okay. What else?”

“Second, no one is allowed to wander around besides the areas I tell them to. I am a private person by nature and there are some things that need to stay private. If anyone violates that, no matter who they are, then whatever goodwill I’ve shown will disappear and everyone leaves. Understood?”

The rule is for obvious reasons. The Library and Basement are locked up when not in use, but psychic powers make opening them up a breeze. Since there’s no oversight and I can’t watch them all, I need to stress that the consequences will be dire.

Consent is given to varying degrees from all of them. Not surprising, considering my goodwill is why these five are still alive and not something they’d easily to throw away for curiosity. That’s good enough for now.

I move onto the final condition. “Last is that we divide up the training into rotations between the three of us. I think we’ll cover more ground that way and neither of them will feel pressured about the progress of the others.”

I really hated that Gotou managed to get ahead of me during Burst training. That frustration did not help the situation and, if I hadn’t managed to get Telepathy out of it while he couldn’t, there might’ve been some issues working with him so well in the future. Or at least to the extent that we had.

These three have known each other since their First Year so the chance is minimal that there will be long-term issues. But better safe than sorry. Not to mention it I’ll only have to deal with one of them at a time, meaning that I can test different approaches when it comes to Trance training to expand my options.

Ayako closes her eyes and tilts her head in thought as she sips her drink. Considering it. Then she nods. “Okay, no harm in that either.”

Excellent. “Then I’ll handle the basics of Trance, while you handle Rise, and Gotou handles Burst.”

“Why me?” Gotou asks. He sounds surprised by his role, no doubt expecting to handle Rise instead.

I count off my reasons with my fingers. “Rise is the field where they’ll get the most use in terms of immediate survivability, so we need the most experienced teacher. Mitsuzuri has more control than either of us, so she can minimize the chance of accidentally injuring one of them while the Student President isn’t available. And, while I’m the best Trance user so I have to be the one to teach it, you caught onto Burst faster than I did.”

He still seems reluctant but nods his head slowly in agreement. “Fine.”

Ayako follows suit. “Fair enough. We’ll go with your approach and see where it leads.”

That settled, I address the Track Trio. “I’ll need an hour or so to make sure everything is in order after we discuss things with Sakura, so you three use that time to handle the matter of your club attendance. Mitsuzuri knows how to get to my place after that. Oh, and bring your own Lunch.”

[-Break-]

I need the hour to go through every room of the manor and make sure that there’s nothing that could give away the fact that we were more than a wealthy family that had been around for a few centuries.

The Makiri came to Fuyuki and established themselves as one of the families that reside in the Foreigner’s District after it had been built in the late 1800s, after the country’s isolation policy was forcibly made to change. It’s possible that the Old Worm managed to sneak into the country before then. But he wouldn’t have been able to have the manor built to his specifications until the influx of foreign blood allowed him to buy the land and have the construction done.

Even so, he had the manor built so that sunlight couldn’t enter inside easily despite the number of windows. Only lanterns and later artificial lights provide illumination. Things that wouldn’t degrade his form quicker and leave him constantly hiding down in the worm pit below.

The building itself is large enough that there are entire rooms that haven’t been used since I was a child. Those rooms may have once been used to house guests or the like, but now their opulence was left to be buried beneath dust and time since we got rid of the housekeepers as an unnecessary expense. No sense in cleaning them if they weren’t going to be used.

I don’t bother checking Sakura’s room before I shut the door to it. No one should go into her room under any circumstances, but she does have a right to privacy. And it wasn’t as though she had something to hide. After all, she has no interest in magecraft.

Besides, of the guests coming over, only Gotou would be tempted by the mundane secrets of a woman’s room. And if he had the guts to do that then he would have braved asking Himuro out already instead of trying to get on her good side and winding up involved in all of this. Not that it hasn’t proven helpful for my long-term survival, so I guess I’ll call it a fair trade-off.

My room, on the other hand, requires a little work to be presentable. It’s not as clean as it could be, given my frequent night terrors and the latest bout of health issues I’ve been going through. But, just in case one of them is stupid enough to tempt fate, I won’t have to gouge out their eyes to hide the shame now.

I make sure to place a particular book inside the nightstand drawer, a bookmark between the pages to mark my progress. It’s the Old Worm’s journal from over a century back. Given he’s been involved with the Einzbern for some time now, I’m hoping it has the location of where their main castle is. It’s probably unnecessary, since it’s in German and I doubt any them could read a letter of it even if they trespassed into my room, but better safe than sorry.

I lock up the Library next. A good number of the books are in languages other than Japanese, so it probably isn’t necessary either in hindsight. The others are pretty ignorant of the world outside of Fuyuki, after all, and even I can’t read the Church Slavonic text that trace back to our family roots in Russia. But again, better than them discovering something they shouldn’t.

The Basement… is a nonfactor. Since Zouken’s death, it hasn’t been unlocked at all. Neither I, the manor’s owner, nor Sakura have any business with it anymore as neither of us has the desire or ability to continue the Art. It died when he died.

Once I finish the rest of the preparations, I change my clothes to more casual wear and head outside to wait for the others. The autumn wind blows and scatters brightly-colored leaves as I lean against the left column. It doesn’t take them too long to arrive after that.

Ayako leads the front and Gotou follows next to her, a bag from the bakery in Miyama in his hand. Makidera is behind them, looking upset as she rants to Himuro about something I don’t care about while flailing a plastic bag with what I presume to be take-out. Saegusa follows behind them last while holding a handmade lunch box.

Ayako approaches the gate and greets me. “Sorry we kept you waiting, Shinji.”

“I’ll let it slide since we managed to convince Sakura without any problems and will have plenty of time.” Though, to be honest Sakura didn’t argue against going to Emiya’s place, and he was apparently entertaining Fujimura tonight as well. So that works for us.

Gotou whistles as he looks up at the manor. “You could probably fit our entire class in here.”

I scoff at the suggestion. “I suppose it wouldn’t be a problem in the context of having too little space or need of supervision, but I’m not fond of guests. Emiya’s place would probably be better suited for that sort of thing.”

“Oh yeah, it’s a traditional manor, isn’t it?” Ayako muses. “The kind that has a wide-open courtyard and tatami with sliding doors. The type of place where you’d stay to feel like you took a step back in time.”

Saegusa tilts her head slightly at the description. “That sounds sort of like Maki-chan’s home.”

Makidera tenses up as we all look at her, bringing her hand to her face and covering it to an extent. It almost seems like something she’s not proud of. “My family just so happens to have a place that they got a long time ago and transformed into a store that sells traditional kimonos and stuff. It’s not that great.”

Saegusa didn’t see it that way though. “But I think you look really elegant while dressed in traditional clothes. It really suits you.”

“…I can’t see it,” Gotou says. “I mean, the Black Panther of Homurahara in a kimono is just difficult to process.”

I agree with him. Not for a lack of effort on my part. But the thought of the energetic monkey dressing regally in a high-class kimono is just… beyond my ability to rationalize. And that’s saying something considering all I’ve seen.

“It surprisingly works on her,” Himuro vouches. “I had her model for me once for a portrait that turned out well.”

“Is that so?” Ayako puts on a cheeky smile as she faces Makidera. “Then I think I might stop by and check out the selection. Maybe you can help me pick something out?”

“…It’s not like I dress like that because I want to,” she states, fist clenched as she looks away embarrassed. There’s some actual resentment in her voice. “I have to dress like that at home because my family is strict. The only time I get to wear the clothes I want is when I’m heading out for track or casual stuff, and that’s because it’s impractical to wear one during then.”

Surprisingly, Ayako’s expression changes from teasing to sympathetic. “My family has a long history when it comes to martial arts, so I don’t think that we’re different in that aspect. They’re pretty strict when it comes to things other than that for me and my brother, so if not for the fact that Issei’s brother vouches for me I wouldn’t have nearly as much free time as I do. Though, I’m pretty sure that my place is smaller than yours from the sound of it.”

“You guys have it tougher than me,” Gotou admits. He’s rubbing the back of his neck as if ashamed of that fact. “I mean, I just live in a 2LDK place closer to the residential area and my folks have ordinary jobs, so I don’t really have anything I can or can’t do as far as rules go.”

“A three-bedroom in my case, but it’s the same for me,” Saegusa adds with a nervous chuckle. “I guess we’re just typical then.”

…Huh, she’s right. Myself, a wealthy bourgeois. Himuro, the daughter of the mayor. Ayako, the daughter of a line of martial artists. Makidera, the daughter of famous merchants. Whereas these two are just… normal.

Well, as normal as a group of time-travelers with psychic powers can get. I stand up straight and push open the iron gate. “As riveting as this conversation is, we should get inside since we’ll need about six hours to feel everyone out. Follow me.”

I lead them through the front door and through the corridors to avoid one of them getting lost. If you aren’t used to the place it can get pretty confusing. Or so Emiya told me before our estrangement. I’ve lived here my entire life, so I know the place like the back of my hand and lead them all to the Dining Room first.

“This’ll be where you can eat when you get a break in the training, or before you start with Burst or Trance training with Gotou or myself.”

“What about before Rise training?” Ayako asks. Not surprising given she’s handling that lesson.

“You won’t have an issue, since you won’t be the one straining yourself. But its best if whoever you’ll be teaching don’t since Rise is the most strenuous physically and you don’t want to try that on a full stomach. By the way, Makidera will be the first one there.”

She gives me an incredulous look, remembering this morning no doubt. It pleases me. “Why do I have to do Rise first?”

“You would be working out with the Track Club around now under normal circumstances, right?”

“…Yeah,” she mutters under her breath.

“Then, since you’ve been doing that for the last three years, it’s likely a habit. I don’t think that you’d be able to sit still long enough to handle getting down Burst or Trance while so restless. So it’d be better to have you burn off all that excess energy, eat, and then focus on one of the other two while you’re digesting. I mean, don’t you do the same thing during your practice while pushing the other members of the club hard enough to leave them in tears?”

Nnn…” I can tell from the look on her face she wants to come up with an excuse, but it’d be unfair to not push the expectations she places on others on herself. So she follows the group in silence until we enter the Parlor next.

I open the thick curtains, giving them view of the backyard. The tree and bushes are dense since the Old Worm had cultivated them to house his insects. It’d serve to give them some privacy. “You can take that door by the clock to get to the backyard. Our property extends for some distance and there’s an opening in the greenery behind the tree-line. It’ll be a good training ground for one-on-one practicing.”

I take the time to float a message to Ayako as well. ‘Mitsuzuri, you’ll be able to push her the furthest because of how competitive she is and her own work ethic. Use that to your advantage, because the other two probably won’t have that same level of stamina.

She nods. “Okay.”

That established, I lean over to a table that’s in the middle of the room, wood with curved legs, and pick up a group of fifteen cards set out from the deck. “The parlor itself will be used for Burst training. From what we’ve seen so far, Telekinesis manifests in either the creation of constructs or manipulating the physical object directly. But given the trouble I had with the former, I thought I’d present the chance to explore both with playing cards since they’re light and malleable.”

Since I managed to pull that chain trick in the future, and was stuck unable to move for a day, I had the time to better grasp how to use Telekinesis. Rather than attempting to make a construct like Ayako, it was simpler for me to saturate the object. Then I could visual how I want it to react—programming it, for lack of a better term.

Holding them between my hand, I breathe slowly and concentrate my own Burst ability into them. The process of construction and rules are established in my mind and then impregnate that energy saturating the cards. Finished, I extend my hand out to put on a show.

The cards flew off to the table. Six formed a group of three triangles to create the foundation. Two formed shelves. Four more formed the second floor.  One formed the second shelf. Two formed the roof. A house of cards standing in the middle of the table, still saturated with some of the energy I dumped into them.

“Gotou. Knock it down with yours.”

He blinks before realizing where I’m going with this. Then he pulls the same trick he did when we were tied up, forming a simple construct ball that hit the house of cards. They naturally topple over before flying back up into a neat pile in the center of the table as the rest of the energy is expended.

Satisfied, I turn to Himuro and address her next. “Start small with just getting a card to move from a distance and expand from that when you get comfortable with it. If you feel you’re getting a headache then stop and just wait for it to settle. Likewise, Gotou has a trip on you, so he can put any theories you might want to test into practice better than your current ability if you explain it to him.”

Himuro briefly adjusts her glasses as she observes the cards, her mind no doubt working out the basics of what I’ve done. She’s smart enough to probably work things out on her own, so I don’t think she’ll need nearly as much handholding as the other two. A student who’ll be quicker on the uptake will help warm Gotou up for the others in his role as a first-time instructor.

And, well, he likes her for some reason. So if I reward him for saving me by allowing him to spend time with her, it might help him get over his issues quicker.  If not, I still tried.

Last, I face the third member of the group. “Saegusa, you’re with me first. We’ll be heading to a study on the other side of the manor, further away from here since you’ll need silence to be able to concentrate. During that time, I’ll mostly communicate with you through telepathy, so you can get used to it. It’s not as physically strenuous as Rise or as taxing as Burst, but it’s essential to survival so you’ll have to focus. Understand?”

She consents with a nod and as determined of a face she can make. “Yes, Matou-san. I’ll do my best.”

“That’s all I ask.” Realistically speaking, regardless of what ability she gains, Saegusa’s a liability in direct combat due to how meek she is. I get the feeling she’d break if she had to kill anything during the next trip, so I’ll work her into a supporting role for the time being.

Looking at the grandfather clock, I take into account the time. If they have Lunch now, then we can begin around to 1:30 PM. “Okay, everyone who’s going to eat now feel free to do so. In thirty-minutes we get to training.”