Face of Eternity : The Star and the Rose
As predicted, her stew was really bad. Filing though. Maybe it was because it took away my appetite.
Somehow it managed to give me energy. I could feel myself jolting with power, so I had to stand up and dance around.
“Hiya!” I chopped at the air, then kicked my feet! “YAAH!”
Indena eyed me, shaking her head and tapping her finger on the table.
“You're so bad at karate, it makes me sick. And I swear that’s not the soup talking.”
“That's mean!” I pointed to her. “I’m super good at karate.”
“Okay…” she stood out of her seat, then posed in front of me in a ready stance. “If you're so good, hit me.”
Easy. This was a small room, and she had nowhere to go.
I ran up to her and thrust my fist forward, but she…was gone?
My gaze tilted backward. She was right behind me now. How did she do that?
I chopped backwards, and now she was behind me again.
“No fair!” I shouted. “You’re cheating with magic!”
“I’m not even using magic. Your form sucks, and you're too slow.”
She was harsh. But now that I think about it, she did seem really good at martial arts, especially since she did such a good job at fighting monsters all on her own.
Indena offered to give me some training, since she thought I was a disgrace to the art. How rude could she get?!
“No!” I folded my arms and pouted. “You’re mean. I don’t want to train with you.”
“Fine. Then stop using karate.”
I wasn’t going to stop because she asked. I had a world to protect one day. Learning karate would be my duty! Part of it, anyways.
“Why do you even want to use karate? You think you can fight?”
“I have to learn it so I can protect the World. One day, I’ll have to help humanity fight off darkness.”
Just like my ancestors, just like dad programmed. They did the same thing long ago, and now it was my turn to take their place.
“Fight off darkness?” She sighed, then smiled for some reason. “Now I wanna’ train you even more.”
“Just because.” That wasn't much of a reason from her. “Listen, you’ve got a lot of potential. You just act like martial arts is fun. Fighting isn’t fun, it’s work. Each swing of your fist is either going to hurt, or protect. Make sure you learn the difference.”
She took my arm, then started to walk me outside. My sensors were picking up a few monsters nearby. You could see them just a little ways away.
“Let's get you started with the basics. Show me your ready stance."
I took on a pose, and she kept adjusting my body position until I was in the proper form.
“Make sure to breathe out whenever you make a sudden motion. Watch me…”
She showed me some of her techniques. They looked cool, but I was struggling to take everything in all at once until…
-New ability unlocked!-
-Copycat Fightcraft now available-
Wow, what the heck was that? It looked like a passive skill of some kind.
In video game terms, passive skills were things that were always active without needing to reactivate them. They were usually class skills, or racial traits that you get as you level up. I guess this just unlocked because I was focusing really hard on Indena’s motions and skills. I wish these prerequisites were actually written down, otherwise I’d have to just unlock skills at random.
The HELP tab explained what this passive did. Copycat was a skill that allowed my body to watch someone perform an action, and mimic it exactly. It’s the ultimate learning by watching. The downside was that at my current level and age, I could only take in about 7% efficiency, which meant I’d need to practice on my own to perfect whatever I took in.
I guess Copycat wasn’t just limited to fighting or martial arts, since I also had the magecraft version, but this version was all about fisticuffs.
Indena performed this crazy cool maneuver by flipping herself off a tree and kicking an acorn off a branch. My body scanned the movement she did, and now I could do it too!
There was an acorn on a different tree, much lower down then Indena’s attempt. Perfect for me to try.
I ran up to the tree, then I jumped onto it. My feet kicked off and I sure did flip around, a few…actually.
It was more like I jumped on the tree, then kicked off and tumbled down a small hill. I didn't do it right at all!
“What the…?” She helped me stand up. “It took me weeks to figure out how to flip off a tree. You did it on your first try.”
“Yeah, but I didn't do it right and hurt myself.” This was probably the part where she made fun of me for failing.
“Good. Learn from that pain. You don’t wanna’ get hurt again, right? So keep trying until you do it right.”
Stunning words from someone so blunt. I felt encouraged, if not a little prideful to keep practicing.
Needless to say, we moved onto something else so we'd have time for another training exercise. She wanted to get me some actual combat experience.
There were some Lizzarats prowling around, they looked smaller than the ones we faced before, so Indena was confident that I could take them on.
“So, here’s what you have to do. Use this form I show you and punch out those monsters."
As a demonstration, she whistled one over and it jumped after her.
She readied herself and struck it out of the air with a punch! That was a one shot kill!
I don't think I could one shot the monster, but I gave it a go anyway.
One of the Lizzarat noticed me, and scurried over with a squeaky battle cry. My nerves tensed up as he approached.
My fist reeled back, preparing to strike at just the right moment. With the calculations from my head, I thrust forward my fist at just the right time to hit the Lizzarat!
He bounced back a little, rolling like a little curled up ball. Then he popped back up into an aggressive position and squeaked again!
"Not bad. Give it more power."
More power? Alright…
I gave it another punch! This time wasn't any different from the last.
"Don't pull your punches. You've got white knuckles. Let's turn em' red."
My next try was pretty much the same. It was pathetic.
After a few more tries, Indena decided to put the monster out of its misery with a fireball.
Her expression was hard to read. She usually looks pretty angry, but right now there was a mix of curiosity.
"Good job." She nodded.
"But, I didn't defeat it."
"What, you think life just hands you success? Fail as much as you want. Just learn why you failed, so you can win when it matters."
Despite how mean she could get, I felt pretty encouraged to learn more from her. I was going to be a karate master if I kept training like this!