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[SP-F15] Peerless Swordsmanship II - Am I Ittou Shura?


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*These events happened before Crozeph joined the current scouting team*

"A master swordsman living in the mountains? no we don't know."
"A quest for katanas? I haven't heard anything."
"Perhaps this isn't the right floor."
"Try our new egg footlong sandwich!"
"The cake is a lie?"

 A very unfruitful travel. This was a waste of time for him, not entirely but he thought it would yield results better than what he expected. He was going by a gut feeling that some kind of hidden quest was in there. The place had the perfect setting for it, a settlement built on a high ground, harsh environment, and mountain that invite challenge to anyone adventurous... or stupid.

He made his way in this floor through a portal and arrived at the main settlement, Lhasri. He wasn't sure where to start so he tried asking some NPCs for quests. Sure enough he was given some meager ones, transport of goods, performing, some trading in shops, hunts for certain kind if meat but none about fighting or rather challenging a master swordsman. Most of them thought he was out of his mind but they quickly dismissed it as Lashri boasts in its culture and a weird one was the least of their business. 

Crozeph saw it too, the food was great (but still not as good as what Yuki makes is what his simping head with think), it was also lively with performances from dancers gliding and spinning while their garments paint vibrant scenery to the tune of the instruments.

Instruments...

He hasn't held one for a few years already, he can still remember his electric guitar and 8 guitar pedals at his house. "Well it might've been a loss in terms of what I want to find but at least I saw some thing I think I needed."

Cro stat.png

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It was a blast for him, even though he's just standing near the railings of the bridge that connected Heavenly Palace to the main settlement. There was no indication of festivities and it seems that people would rather enjoy themselves with their art than bother anyone who looks like they don't want to be bothered. The graceful dances, echoes of melody coming from strings instruments, and the thump and boom of the percussions was something Crozeph missed.

He was a musician, he tagged along with a few friends to learn sound engineering and this was at least a solace from what he was searching and a few things he was thinking. 

"Where is Yuki?"
"I can't be looking like a beginner forever"
"How to I reach Ariel and Baldur's level?"
"What's up with this edgy-looking katana?"

His abilities have always been on par with most players. The thing is, he wanted to at least surpass his current self. Simply being able to survive battles and some lucky Iai landing on enemies wasn't enough. They are progressing with the higher floors, sure enough most enemies will catch up to those who's hitting a wall of their abilities.

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The performances continued, no one is still talking to him aside from the glances and nods from the women dancing and elderly people passing by. A few couples also enjoyed the view and joined with the dancing but not him, crows don't dance... they caw. He liked how everyone expresses their art freely, no puritans to ruin their inspiration and no filthy casuals roaming and commenting nothing but bullshit. He even saw others draw or paint, capturing the vibrant colors of fabric, sunlight, and adding a bit of expressionism in their craft.

As this continued, Crozeph then tried to remember his time while he was a part of a dojo. Where he was dragged by his only close friend.

A dojo with 11 students, he was the lowest ranking and it stayed that way for a long time. Even his friend moved up fast leaving him where he started.

"How could someone be good at footwork but suck at striking?"

 

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"Sensei! why do we even keep him with us? it's been a year and the only thing he can actually do is ashi-sabaki" a guy uttered as he sat beside a man in his mid fifties. He only gave a soft laugh to his student who seemed to have a very competitive attitude. For years his dojo has produced students who are worthy enough to compete but as their teacher he only wanted them to learn the discipline, how they use it in their own lives is their responsibility.

"That is quite rude, he knows how to strike" he replied. He shifted his attention to the boy who sat quietly in a corner, legs crossed. The practice was over and so most of them have been preparing to leave but the boy or rather, the teenager was waiting for someone "my niece brought in an enigmatic fellow, though that is only the perception we have. I do believe he just wants to be by himself" he told his student.

~♫~♫~♪~♫~♫

The tambourines were sounding so exquisite in Crozeph's ears but he can't spend more time listening and watching every performances. He was here to improve, music may be able to calm him but he must find a way to level up his skills "ashi-sabaki huh? I should be able to make something better out of that" he thought.

He began making his way out the Heavenly Palace and proceed to the mountains, maybe a few monster killing might give him better ideas.

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"A stalemate, it would seem that he unknowingly ends it like that"  the old man said, his niece sitting beside him as they both enjoy eating the mochi she brought in his house "then if he continues..." the girl gave a worried look, it was her who dragged him in the dojo, out of good intention to give her friend a bit of a healthy habit. "It's as you think it is, he would never move up his current rank. I myself is impressed but I also don't want to be unfair," he told her.

"But remember this my dear niece, when the time comes that he can no longer ignore that other side of his quietness. Maybe we'll see how strong he is, less stalemate, more desolation."
"You speak funny things uncle, I must've bought bad mochi."
"Perhaps it's the old age creeping in slowly."

~♪~♫~♪

Harsh tundra, reminiscent of floor four but this one boasts of altitude, magnificent towering mountains covered in snow. There was no blizzard but the coldness is enough to freeze anyone's hairy balls. Crozeph had less worries about it, he had <<Survival>> and it kept him in a good condition despite how bone-chilling the place is. He was more concerned about having the high ground, he didn't want to end up like Anakin who tested it and so he tried to find a way where he is not at a disadvantage. 

"A lonely cave somewhere will do just fine" he thought.

There wasn't any caves, how sad but no one can play Despacito in such a place. Crozeph climbed, the terrain slowly elevating and he wasn't liking it. Having terrible footing destroys his style of fighting or maybe this was the test, will he really improve with just testing himself?

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"To believe that one lacks restraint is cruel way to create a prison, a person can never know something until the feeling or the sight arrives"

 

Elevated terrain, just what Crozeph was expecting. He slowly unsheathe his katana and pointed it forward, three enemies and they seem to not like his presence. "A shaman of some sort and a few underlings, this is going to be bad." He kept his eyes on them, it seems that both sides are waiting for the first blood and Crozeph is sure that they'll be the first to draw it. The shaman began growling, face hidden beneath its cloak filled of runic symbols. Two warriors of the same height as him stood in front of it, holding scimitars and bucklers. Quite an uneven playing field but for him it might be a way to figure something out, a starting point. The growl echoed around them while the warriors kept watched like him, ready to attack or defend.

"Three, should take me five minutes to finish."

Crozeph | HP: 720/720 | EN:90/90 | DMG:20 | MIT: 54 | ACC: 4 | EVA: 2 | Phase I | REC: 3 | LD: 1

Frost Shaman | HP: 450/450 | DMG: 124
Eskimo Warrior #1 | HP: 750/450 | DMG: 124
Eskimo Warrior #2 | HP: 750/450 | DMG: 124

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One of the eskimo moved an inch and that was all that he needed. The shaman's eyes widened, he wasn't fast nor did he make a huge leap. They only saw him move at least 3 steps forward and then all of a sudden the shaman's neck was within the reach of his katana. 

Everything felt like in slow motion, with the shaman trying to cast a spell for counter attack and its henchmen aiming at Crozeph's sides. The raven-haired samurai however is already at an advantage. Crozeph thrust his katana forward, piercing the neck of the shaman. It was almost a solid first blood but the spell was already cast, snow hardened and projectiles went crazy. Crozeph deflected some but a few wounded his shoulder. The warriors wasn't able to attack too and that made Crozeph escape the thrusts of their spears.

So far, so good.

ID: 198665 | BD: 8 [success] > 20 + 16 [Fallen] x 12 [Sword art] =  432 damage to Frost Shaman
ID: 198666 | MD: 4 - 2 = 2 [Fail]
ID: 198667 | MD: 5 - 2 = 3 [Fail]
ID: 198668 | MD: 10 [critical] success > 124 + 2 [critical] = 126 - 54 = 72 damage to Crozeph
[Risky] triggered > +2 base damage on next successful roll

Crozeph | HP: 648/720 | EN:80/90 | DMG:20 | MIT: 54 | ACC: 4 | EVA: 2 | Phase I | REC: 3 | LD: 1

Frost Shaman | HP: 18/450 | DMG: 124
Eskimo Warrior #1 | HP: 750/450 | DMG: 124
Eskimo Warrior #2 | HP: 750/450 | DMG: 124

 

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