Training — Part 1
Editor(s): Speedphoenix, Joker
“Yuki, I wish for you to lend me a greatsword. I desire one capable of withstanding my power, and one that you would not mind losing should I accidentally destroy it.”
“Uhh… sure, I’ve got something like that lying around. But where’s this coming from, all of a sudden?”
He raised a brow in suspicion, but Lefi dismissed his concern with a wave of the hand.
“A mere whim,” she said. “I seek it only for the sake of entertainment.”
“Uh huh… Well, in that case, here. Use this one.”
He pulled a claymore out of his inventory. At first glance, the greyish colour seemed to indicate that it was made of iron, but it was far too lustrous and shiny.
“Is this blade made of adamantite?”
“Yeah, I made it because I was curious to see if something that was made entirely of adamantite would make for a decent weapon,” he explained. “Turns out, the answer is no. Even rarer ores need to be made into alloys if you actually want something decent. That sword’s blade is so dull it’s basically defective. I don’t really mind if you break it, though it shouldn’t really break all that easily anyway. Adamantite is pretty durable.”
“Thank you, Yu—wait… I certainly have no intention of criticizing your hobbies, but is adamantite not incredibly expensive? Does it not cost an excess of this ‘deepee’ resource you speak of to purchase enough of it to forge such a large weapon?” She stared at him suspiciously.
“Y-yeah, but don’t worry. I made sure to farm all the DP I needed myself.” He avoided her eyes, clearly conscious of the extent of his excessive spending.
After another moment of glaring, Lefi eventually heaved a sigh. She knew it wasn’t something he was particularly concerned about. There was no real purpose to his hobby to begin with. He had no intention of ever using anything but Enne.
“I do not find fault with it. I am merely concerned that you are being wasteful. I still recall the instance in which you nearly exhausted your supply of the resource.”
“Uhhhh yeah. I’ll try to keep an eye on the books.”
With a nod, the dragon girl left the room and made her way over to the Wicked Forest.
“There is no merit in this…”
Lefi frowned as she looked at the freshly felled tree she was standing in front of. To say that she had cut it down would be a generous and entirely undeserved overstatement. It was much more accurate to describe her attack as a smash. She had bashed the weapon into the unfortunate plant with such force that it toppled over.
Yuki had mentioned to her that the sword wasn’t exactly the sharpest. But that wasn’t the problem, neither was her lack of technique. She knew that it was something that she could improve with time. The real issue at hand was that tightening her grip on the blade midswing had created a large crack that ran down the length of its handle. Even though adamantite was the toughest metal there was. The mythical material’s legendary durability was well known to all even in spite of the fact that its rarity was second only to that of orichalcum’s.
And yet, she had destroyed it by accident, without even going all out. There was simply no way that such a fragile piece of equipment could have possibly stuck with her throughout the entirety of a fight.
The experiment convinced her that, no matter how good of an idea it seemed, she couldn’t simply grow more powerful by emulating the techniques used by the races. The way of the blade was simply not one meant for someone like her; as far as the dragon was concerned, punching things was more productive.
“I was right to avoid seeking Enne,” she muttered.
Lefi was glad she had used another weapon for the purposes of her experiment. If she had swung the sword girl with all her might, she would have surely crushed her handle in the process as well.
“If I am incapable of using weapons, then I suppose I must resort to magic. It is no matter. I have always preferred to function as a caster to begin with,” she mused. “But my spells are not nearly as effective as they were. Perhaps I would do well to borrow a staff…”
“So what’s with all this weapon testing?” A voice from behind pulled her out of her thoughts. Turning around, she found herself face to face with her husband.
“I-I see that you have chosen to join me.”
“Yeah. I was pretty curious as to what you were doing. Unlike Nell, you’ve never really shown much interest in weapons, so I figured something was up.”
“It is as you say. I have never thought of them as items of interest,” she said. “I must apologize. The blade that you have lent me is damaged. It cracked after a single strike.”
He smiled awkwardly as he put it away.
“So not even adamantite’s tough enough, huh?” He muttered. “Why do you need a weapon in the first place? I still remember you acting all high and mighty about how your claws were the deadliest weapons there were, or something like that.”
“…I suppose there is no purpose in hiding it from you,” she said, after a delay. “The truth, Yuki, is that I cannot revert to my draconic form.”
“It appears that I no longer regard myself as a dragon, but rather, a woman of the races. Use your Analyze skill and observe my titles.”
He spent a moment staring in silence.
“Humanoid Dragon? When’d you get that?”
“It is a recent acquisition. And in truth, an unfortunate one. I am no longer the most powerful entity in this world. Strength itself is something I care little about, but this realm is home to many powerful individuals. If I am to duel one as I am now, then I am likely to lose. That is the reason I now seek to learn the methods I must use to draw out my strength in this form.”
“I see… Well, if something made entirely out of adamantite isn’t working, then I’m pretty sure that nothing even remotely sword-like is going to help.”
“I concur. A bare-handed approach is more likely to be effective.”
“So what exactly is the issue? Can you still deploy your wings? Or is it just that you can’t transform your entire body anymore?”
“An accurate guess. I am capable of morphing my body so long as I retain a human-like frame.” She demonstrated by transforming only her arm.
A moment later, he had already begun touching the claw-tipped, scale-covered appendage. She let down her guard and allowed him to do as he pleased even though it was somewhat ticklish, only to jump a moment later as she suddenly felt something wet—his tongue—touch her scales.
“Whya!? W-what are you doing!?”
“Ay bby, you got deez tight scales. Me likey, eh?”
“C-cease that immediately.”
Repulsed, she smacked him on the head.
“I would prefer that you take this more seriously. It is a matter that bothers me greatly.”
“My bad,” he said, chuckling. “I couldn’t help myself, not after seeing how pretty your scales were.”
“Do you seek to lick everything that you find appealing?”
She glared at him, but it wasn’t all that effective given the faint blush that covered her cheeks.
“I was just messing around, you know, as married couples do.” After another chuckle, he got back on track. “So how do your current scales and claws match up against the ones you have in your dragon form?”
“I suspect that they are identical. The issue lies in output. This form cannot draw out the full extent of my power. It remains present, but at best, I can wield half of it at a time.”
“Hmmm… I guess that kinda means the difference between the two forms is kinda like the difference between a bike engine and a car engine.”
“A byke ennejin and a karr ennejin? Are they objects from your previous life?”
“Yeah. Bikes and cars are both vehicles. Think of them as like, futuristic carriages capable of self propulsion. So the issue, as I see it, is that even though you’ve got the same specs in both forms, one of your super-carriages is being drawn by a horse, but the other is being drawn by a donkey. Even if the two are equally powerful, the horse will always end up being faster because its longer legs let it take longer strides,” he said. “The real question is, why is that a thing in the first place? Aren’t your stats the same in both forms?”
He crossed his arms and furrowed his brow.
“If I am to speak in terms of your example, the donkey is not capable of ingesting as much food as the horse and must stop for additional feeding sessions even if the two are provided with identical amounts of feed,” she explained. “…I must say, I find it rather odd to compare myself to a donkey. It is not what I would refer to as flattering.”
“Alright, then let’s say that the donkey is now a horse, and the old horse is now a fenrir. Good enough?”
“A horse and fenrir are far too disparate. The pair does not serve as an apt comparison. No matter, the precise creatures used to represent my forms are of little significance. All that matters is that, while it remains a simple task to eliminate any common monster, I am no longer capable of standing against greater powers, such as the ancient being we refer to as the Spirit Lord.” She frowned. “This must be corrected. Have you any suggestions?”
“Hmmm…” He raised a hand to his chin, then nodded shortly after. “Yeah, I think I might have a thing or two in mind.”