"Let me see the spear," Syn said, startling Aleister.
He let out an exasperated sigh. "Where did you even wander off to?"
"Nowhere," she answered. "Now, hand it over."
He did as asked. Once in her hands, she examined the spear.
"Is there a problem with it?" Aleister asked when she finished.
She tossed it on to the floor. "It isn't heavy enough. Find a different one."
"Find an even heavier spear? What? Do you think they just grow on trees or something?"
"Not trees, just a tree," she said, twisting her hand open. "But there are many complications that surround the situation."
"Then I'm going to assume I can't receive a weapon from it?"
"Not for a long time."
With rolled eyes, Aleister said, "Then why even bother mentioning it?"
"Because you asked about it," she said. "Now, get yourself a heavier spear."
He groaned and searched through the crate once more. He pulled out every polearm type weapon and placed them onto the ground. There were sixteen in total that he compared.
"This one is the heaviest, but it might actually be too heavy," Aleister said, struggling to move it around. It stood at nine feet tall in order to balance its weight. Even the tallest spears were usually only eight feet tall, making this quite the outlier and even for him, cumbersome to wield.
"Could be heavier, but it's the best you have for now."
"Just because it could be heavier doesn't mean it should be," he whined.
Syn mocked him as she imitated his mouth with her hand. "You will thank me for it later."
"Which is why I obviously didn't ask why you wanted me to use an even heavier one."
"Whatever," she tossed a book at him, that hit him square in the face, "Here you are, this is the Heavenly Ghost King's Forbidden Sundering Technique."
"What?" he said, confused yet excited. He placed his spear on the ground and picked up the book. "Uh, this is Spear Fundamentals One-Zero-One."
"Looks like I grabbed the wrong book."
"Yeah...you go with that," Aleister said. He took some rope out of his bag and spooled two parts of it around the middle top and middle bottom of the pole. This created a strap and allowed him to carry it on his back.
He cleaned up the mess he made and pushed the weapon crate back into storage. He exited the room and witnessed the spar between Myra and Luo Yun.
"The talent between the two of them is quite apparent," Syn observed.
Aleister nodded in agreement. "Even though Luo Yun is being casual about it, she's still doing quite well for someone who only learned how to even hold a sword just a few weeks ago."
"How do you think you stack up against them?"
"Worse than Luo Yun and better than Myra—for now." He paid closer attention to the way she fought. "She's using the same sword fighting techniques dad taught me years back, and I'm sure it extends even further past that, so it might not be too long before she's better than me too."
"Don't want to get left behind, do you?"
"I won't have to worry about that if they accidentally cut each other's arms off," he joked since they used proper weapons instead of training tools.
Aleister didn't respond. Instead, he simply took a seat and flipped the book open. Although written for spears, one could apply the techniques found throughout for all weapons. It started off strong, with as an extremely useful section that contained the discussion about its weaknesses, especially when fighting with a spear in close quarters, coming early.
A spear's primary advantage was its powerful thrust and piercing ability. However, one shouldn't be married to the spearhead as the only way to attack. One needed to remember the existence of the entire weapon shaft, and how it was almost identical to that of a normal polearm's and how one can use the butt to attack. However, expert fighters could still avoid of deflects such attacks and the whole range of motions became complicated, testing the limits of the body. Defending with your spear and striking them with a dagger was the best way to deal with enemies in such a close range. And so, he went back to the weapon crate and grabbed the best dagger he could find.
Alongside the written advice, there were a plethora of drawings and illustrations that detailed the correct posture, movements, and everything in between. Aleister found himself so absorbed into the text, that he only realized how the sun had already begun to set after finishing the text. He flipped the book over and inspected the cover. What captured his intrigue the most was the supposed author. Saint Egethen Swiftheart.
"A saint, huh?" Aleister mused.
"Finished?" Luo Yun asked, his top off, revealing a chiseled body.
"That was only my first read," Aleister stood up and put the book away, "It will take a couple more to memorize everything. That doesn't even include putting everything I've learned into practice."
"Sounds dreadful, " Luo Yun said before he put his hand in front of his mouth, letting out an exaggerated yawn.
Myra walked back into the room with a towel around her neck. Her hair had frizzled up and become wavy from being drenched in sweat.
Aleister waved his hand and left the dojo with Myra close behind.
"You did pretty well for being such a novice," Aleister said.
"T-Thank you," Myra said, flustered. "I didn't realize you watched us."
"I did, but only at the beginning, then I, uh, got distracted."
"Like, what exactly were you reading?"
"A book about the fundamentals of spears and polearms."
Confused, Myra asked, "Oh, from how you talked earlier, I thought you already knew how to like fight with them."
"I do," he clarified. "But it's always good to go over the fundamentals. Besides, the form and technique I learned is what you know. Although dad adapted it for spear use, after going through an actual text about it, I now realize how subpar it was."
"Are you calling my technique inferior?" Myra asked.
Aleister raised an eyebrow; how she responded was quite—unexpected. "Oh, so it's your technique now? Already forgetting about your Master's teachings?"
She stared at him with narrowed eyes.
"It is an inferior technique for spear usage," Aleister said with a smile. "For sword usage, it's almost certainly superior, especially when you consider the fact how much there still is for you to learn."
"I know, I was just joking."
"Please don't, that's my job."
"Sorry," she said, voice sincere.
Aleister rolled his eyes as he explained his own joke. Myra understood it, but did not look amused. Thus, he gave up and just continued to walk in silence until they reached the marketplace.
- United States
A young author writing for fun to expand and use the more creative side of my brain, or something like that. Sorry, not great at introductions.
Going into my second year of college to major in Software Engineering. I plan to become a video game developer someday.
Speaking of video games, my favorite games of all time are: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Explorers of the Sky, Pokemon Black and White 2, Counter-Strike Global Offensive, Runescape (3 and OS), the Phoenix Wright Trilogy, Granblue Fantasy, Beat Saber, Genshin Impact, Modded Minecraft, and Modded Skyrim.
Favorite shows: Code Geass (GOAT), Psych, The Mentalist, House M.d, Red Letter Media's Best of the Worst, Bleach (Tite Kubo is a god don't @ me), One Piece, Tokyo Ghoul/Re (not really the show, more of the manga but I'm not creating a separate section, even though I should), JoJo (is that a motherfucking JoJo reference???)
Favorite movies: Surviving Edged Weapons, The Dark Knight, Infinity War, Shaun of the Dead, Pulp Fiction, Shawshank Redemption, A Clockwork Orange, and One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, the OG Borat movie.
Favorite books: Brandon Sanderson in general, The Wheel of Time Series, Malazan, The Pendragon Series, Martial World, anything by IET, like every trash cultivation novel (sorry I have bad taste), just a lot of stuff, really.
Favorite music: Before I Turn, The Wise Man's Fear, Currents, Architects, Underoath, We Came as Romans, If I Were You, Loathe, Bring Me the Horizon, Invent Animate, Erra, Don Broco, Oh Sleeper, Wolves at the Gate, Forgetting the Memories, Lorna Shore, Darko US, While She Sleeps, and much, much more.