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A note from Jsar

The first four chapters have been heavily edited as of today May 11, 2021.   If you've already read them, it won't change much to go back.   A few details were left mysterious to play out in later chapters, a few were made more clear.  Hopefully, it's a smoother introduction for everyone going forward!

To those of you who have signed up to Patreon when there is nothing worth signing up for.  You are my hero, I will have to find a way to thank you for your faith.

"Master Chiro, I beg you. Let me do anything else. For months I have made these plates day in and day out. I dream about these things! Show mercy, anything else, just for a day!"

"Nooo!" Toril yelled, "Two more days, I would have won." Chiro's oldest son broke down into false sobbing a few feet away. He was naturally a stern man, approaching 30, and the false cry looked very odd in him. The younger, Terance, started laughing loudly, a much more natural look on the young man who had just passed 20. Both children took after their father, being a few inches over six feet, and were built for the forge. Chiro just smirked and shook his head at his son's actions.

Terance set his tools down at his workstation and walked over to the confused boy. "There may have been a bet, or two, placed on how long it would be till you cracked on punishment detail."

"Toril there now gets to finish making plates until there's enough to complete the suit you're on." Terance said with a grin, "which would have been my fate had been my fate if you had lasted those two more days he cried about, so thank you! Follow me." Terance walked out of the forge and motioned for him to follow.

"You were betting on my sanity?" Quan said incredulously as he followed.

"No, not at all. Well, maybe a little. Mostly just when you would beg for mercy. Good job, by the way, we had to redo and up the bet a few times."

He led them clear across the house to a yard on the other side of it. Several women worked there before frames, where they used cords to connect the metal shards Quan had made. A bucket beside each frame and several buckets were wanting to take their place. At the end, they were coating it in a material that helped bind it and present a solid surface.

"Over the last few months, you made enough for us to create one hundred suits of armour. It's long, tedious work, and we are so glad you took to the task with enthusiasm. Some of these are going to the sect, but most to the army."

He continued walking and opened the door to a small building no larger than a gazebo," but this is what should really interest you." Terance stood back to reveal a full suit of armour finished in black and blues. 'Well, that's beautiful," breathed Quan.

"And yours!" Exclaimed Terance. "I will make the final size adjustments."

"Really? That's incredible. It looks amazing." Quan said again.

"It's pretty basic armour, to be honest," Terance noted. "It's good for early core users. We were able to make it more flexible and easier to wear than standard armour because it will draw on your Ki to enhance its strength so you won't lose that protection. But it doesn't have any enchantments or element affinities that better armour has."

'Still, It's solid for your level, and father decided if you were going to last this long on punishment duty, you should have a reward. I think you actually impressed him after whatever you did to make him mad."

'You don't know?" Quan looked at him in surprise.

Terance shook his head. "Nah, dad's not the type to gossip. A man's mistakes are his own, he'd say."

Quan looked back to the armour and asked thoughtfully. "Terance, armour isn't used in competitions, is it? I've never seen one of our patrols in full armour either."

"True," Terance said.

"Shit." Quan said, looking at the armour with slightly less favour.

 

~

 

โ€œThe three most important weapons are the spear, the sword, and the bow." Asha declared as she motioned to the walls around her. They were in what looked like an armoury to Quan instead of outside in the training yard. Weapons adorned every wall. Rhuk Khan and Zinta sauntered in behind them as they followed at their heels everywhere.

He slowly turned around the room as he walked to the center on the polished wooden floor and asked, "Is this another thing where I need to learn everything?" There were a few dozen variations he could see.

"No, it would be wise to have a basic understanding of everything here. I will try and give you that. Each core weapon has several variations, and we will find the one best suited to you and attempt to have you master your chosen type and style. Knowing the basics of those you are not proficient in is wise so that you will know what to expect when facing each weapon."

"The spear," Asha spun a simple spear in her hands and executed a series of strikes. "Is the true weapon of war. It has range, it kills and in the hands of a master controls the battlefield."

"The sword," Asha tossed the spear and drew her sword in a single motion. "Is the civilized weapon of officers and nobles. Mastering it is an art and a sign of status. In some circles, your ability to use the sword is the only thing you would be judged for, after your cultivation level.

"The bow," Asha said after sheathing her blade. "Kills and wounds more than the other two combined if utilized properly. Stupidly, many look down on it. It lacks the intimate personal touch many are looking for."

Quan considered her words. "You have conflicting goals. Survival vs challenging yourself to advance. So what will we start on?"

"An hour each every afternoon on each weapon until I am satisfied," Asha answered.

"Have you ever been satisfied?" Quan asked.

Asha grinned but didn't respond to that. Instead, she said, "Let's find you a sword. Take each down and try them until you find the one that speaks to you. "

He scanned the many swords. Far more varied than he had expected. He saw blades that, on earth, were never used in any Eastern cultures he knew of. There were Greatswords as long as himself. Short and long swords stood beside what looked like katanas. More exotic weapons and blades were spread among them all.

He tried them all while the cubs wrestled between his feet. He tried swords he could barely lift even with his cultivation. He looked at swords with hooks built in various unique ways meant to share or catch the opponent. Calvary blades he had no interest in. There was a sword so thin and flexible it could wrap around his waist until he infused it with Ki to straighten it. The light sword moved like lightning in his hands, but he couldn't imagine blocking another blade with it.

In the end, he found himself down to two choices. What looked to him like a classic longsword or the legendary katana. The longsword was slightly longer but heavier and had both edges honed to a sharp edge. While the Katana was a bit shorter at three and a half feet, with a slight curve to its single cutting edge."I can see reasons to take either. What do you recommend?" He asked his master. "I'm not sure how cultivation changes the little understanding I have of blades." Rukh Khan reached up to bat at the hilts while he considered his choices.

"Both are good choices. Between those two blades, I would ask, speed or power?" Asha questioned.

"Speed." Quan said after a moment's thought.

"There is no answer here. Time and circumstances always matter and cannot be predicted. You must have faith in your training that you will have the skill to meet whatever comes."

Quan nodded. "No, speed it's. Power shall come from my ki."

"The Katana it is. Now let's show you how to hold it.'

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Jsar

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Allister Hale ago

"Speed!"

"Excelent, let us train with the slower option."

    Skylark8 ago

    Eh, draw is faster. Stabby stab is slower though.

    (I would have gone with Stabby stab.)

      Nautilus ago

      The katana only has a single edge to strike with, this means you cant swing in the opposite direction after your initial strike. Also I don't see why the katana would be able to be drawn faster.

      Skylark8 ago

      The draws themselves would be about the same speed, I think. It's just that the katana's draw is also an attack, whereas the long sword will need to be positioned after draw, and then used to attack.

      If you want to backswing, twist your forearm.

      Nautilus ago

      what exactly stops you from using Iaijutsu with a longsword, also with the longsword you can do a backswing without having to awkwardly twist your forearm in the middle of battle

      Allister Hale ago

      Compared to a long sword its a bit shorter and better tapered for a quick draw, further quick draw techniques were developed for the katana that, to my knowledge were never developed for european weapons.

      during the age of discovery europeans noted how quickly a trained swordsman could draw a katana

      Skylark8 ago

      You are pulling a long sword straight out of the scabbard. The only swing you can get is after it's cleared said scabbard, when your arm is already (partially, at least) extended. That would mean that all of the swing would come from the wrist. Not a lot of power in the wrist.

      Also, imagine swinging a sword in front of you. No, seriously, stick your arm out and swing it. I find that no matter which way I swing, my thumb want to follow my palm. (Side palm? What is that called?). In other words, I naturally twist my forearm for all of my swings. I can go the other way, but it feels weird.

      Nautilus ago

      well in europe, there was no need to draw a sword in under a second, you see someone who is an enemy from a distance and you have your sword drawn already, so the europeans probably wouldn't need to draw a sword quickly. I have no clue why katanas have a quick draw technique at all, in close quarters I suppose it might be useful.

      you could just make a sheath for the longsword that splits along the bottom to allow the sword to go from sheathed immediately into and upward swing. But yeah, I suppose you can draw a katana faster, by a bit

      Nautilus ago

      You are pulling a long sword straight out of the scabbard. The only swing you can get is after it's cleared said scabbard, when your arm is already (partially, at least) extended. That would mean that all of the swing would come from the wrist. Not a lot of power in the wrist.

      doesn't the katana have that exact same problem?

      Allister Hale ago

      As i understand things, samurai were, militarily, mounted archers first, swordsmen second. drawing a side arm quickly in a pitched battle is a useful ability

      Skylark8 ago

      Yep, just watched a video on it, you right.

      Yamez ago

      Longsword can also cut on the draw. It's not like it magically loses its edge until it is drawn and a position is assumed. Everything you can do with the Katana, you can do with the Longsword excelt maybe throw the pommel :D

      Allister Hale ago

      not really, longswords are longer than katanas, the typical sword that peoplecall a longsword is a two handed weapon as a result of its length while by comparison due to its higher weight for size, the katana is a two handed sword for its weight, though it can be considered as a hand and a half because it can be weilded one handed, though as a result of the weight it is more taxing on ones stamina to weild it this way compared to as a two handed weapon.

      Again though theese are my understandings as a practitioner of the internet school of swordsmanship

      Yamez ago

      Longswords are quite light and can be wielded with one hand with little difficulty. The reason they are not is because it is better to use two hands and they were generally used by the class of people who could afford full armour--thus negating the need for a shield and opening up their other hand. Furthermore, more armour and no shield means more wrestling and grappling techniques, which the technique books for longsword stress.

      Allister Hale ago

      I knew that by weight, longswords are about as heavy as many shorter swords, thus my distinction of light for size.

      The fact that they were warswords, that is weilded in heavy armor, is likely another reason why draw techniques for longswords were not developed. As a primary weapon there would be little reason someone would start a battl with it sheathed.

      Yamez ago

      But there are draw techniques for longswords....

      Allister Hale ago

      Ah, i didn't take "Long Swords can also cut on the draw." to mean there were special techniques developed for doing so.

      Would you happen to know how contemporary the later styles of longsword are to Katana? I know that eupore was already in the age of discovery and using pike and shot tactics in warfare, by the time japanese swordsmanship was commented on by westerners

      Nautilus ago

      Longswords and Katanas are nearly the same weight, the longsword may feel heavier due to physics though. to me, cutting on the draw just seems impractical, perhaps defending from a sword while drawing your own would work. But swordfighting pretty much involves your whole body in an actual fight, it's pretty fun to watch two people in full plate go at it against each other, kicking, swinging, grabbing, punching. Im sure that changes when cultivators fight, but that is never explored very much so it is probably just going to be sword exchanges.

      how contemporary the later styles of longsword are to Katana?

      do you mean how do they compare? I think Katanas hold a sharper edge because of how they are forged, and longswords are probably tougher because of how they are forged. considering Japan's lack of a lot of resources that are on the land, metal wasnt something you'd see a lot, so they didn't need to worry about gettting through armor with their weapons, they just had to worry about cutting flesh.

      Allister Hale ago

      no, i meant contemporary, as in from the same or similar time period. I know that as gunpowder weapons developed alot of the bladed weapons became more ornamental, shrinking in size and such.

      I knew that the majority of western swords were the same weight at roughly five pounds, I wasn't aware of any specifics on the katana, though i had heard it was heavy compared to western swords of a similar length, though that could have been in reference to it balance ratherthan mass is i am calling everything to mind properly.

      Neat to get all this info, considering i have largely learb=ned of swords by osmosis rather than through focused study

      Nautilus ago

      Longswords and Katanas both weigh in at around 3lbs, some longswords may be about 4 lbs at the heavier end and 2.4 at the lighter end, katanas would weigh in at 3.3lbs at the higher end, and 2.4lbs at the lower end as well. this is from me looking up the average weight on wikipedia and should be taken with a grain of salt

      It is probably the balance of a katana that makes it feel heavier, center of mass and all that, the pommel on a longsword is meant to balance that.

      no, i meant contemporary, as in from the same or similar time period.

      then your sentence should look more like "how do contemporary longswords and Katanas compare?" it is an adjective. practically, there is no way to really compare, longswords have become more ornemental collections with perhaps a few enthusiasts sparring with them, whereas katanas are now more of an artform than anything else(so far as I have seen). Theoretically, I would say that with only the wielding a sword, the katana user would win, if they had armor, the longsword user would win. The fighting style is almost completely different as far as I can tell so there wouldn't be much competition if either sword fought to their respective strengths.

      Allister Hale ago

      I wasn't asking about how they would compare today, i was asking about how they would have compared at the time when euopeans first encountered japan.

      In a historical context contemporary refers to being of the same period

      Nautilus ago

      yes I know, and I told you what I thought would happen if contemporary swordsmen from both Europe and Japan fought. I am not confused as to what you meant by contemporary, I was pointing out that you did not use the word as an adjective, as it should be used.

      I said without armor a person trained to actually fight with a katana, like a samurai, would likely win, whereas with armor a knight in full plate with a longsword would likely win against a samurai.

      Yamez ago

      European steel was quite excellent by the time longswords were at their peak, and held an edge very well. I don't think one could say that a katana held and edge better or worse than a longsword. Even the soft-core technique used to give flexibility to katana's was simply unnecessary for european swords since the higher purity and carbon content of the steels used in Europe meant that their swords (by that time) behaved much like a spring and had great flexibility while also holding an edge. Both traditions managed to make a functional weapon, but longswords were longer and tougher as well as being more widespread since swords were not illegal to the general population.

    kao ago

    I was hoping for speed he'd go with daggers!! Lots of anime characters used daggers to good effect. My fave is Bell Cranel dagger:

    Hestia knife's hieroglyphs | Anime Amino

Elaborate ago

A bit of a shame, since you don't often see Cultivators with longswords. Still, since he's learning the spear and bow too, he can get piercing power from one of them. Maybe get a huge bow - crossbow? - for piercing armour, and get a spear-type fit for blocking, controlling space, and fighting multiple opponents.

Elaborate ago

Quan nodded. "No, speed it's. Power shall come from my ki."

<- sounds off. Perhaps better as:

Quan nodded. "I've made up my mind. Power shall come from my ki."

MadHat3r ago

It makes me kinda sad to see the character fall into tropes in weapon choice, especially when he just before argued with a slightly more speed over power oriented sword and decided against it, citing that he "couldn't imagine himself blocking another blade" it. I'm sorry but a katana isn't supposed to block another sword, even a katana, thats how you break those shits.

The long sword is objectively the better choice between the two, and if you really wanna stick with eastern themes then a Jian still would work significantly better.

Ok, rant over, just hate the internets obsession with that damn sword

    C-Logos ago

    Indeed. The legendary folds of the katana were only necessary because tamahagane is such utterly shit-tier ore.

     

    If you have the choice of cavalry saber, longsword, or katana ... You choose the saber for speed, and the longsword for reach and power.

    The katana not at all out of those three.  The things can't even penetrate steel armor, and are slower than a saber.

    Jsar ago

    I never imagined people would re-act so strongly to the katana. I wish I'd included tomorrow's chapter at the end of this one now.

    Hmmmm early release or let people get riled up.

EmpireofTrust ago

Damn it, you teased me author I thought this would be the first non weeb isekai.

Using the reverse stroke for armoured opponents heads and half swording for enclosed areas to surprise the poor slashy katana people.

    Nautilus ago

    I feel like with the super sharp swords in cultivation novels, half swording would no longer work

      pyrak ago

      Super sharp, super durable, super user speed, super user strength all combined. Also super durable users as well. Super strength also allows for heavier weapons.

      Sinep ago

      Yup, with super force. The ideal weapon would be blunts weapons.

      pyrak ago

      That depends on several factors, namely material strength.

      Sinep ago

      With a blunt weapon u can apply ur super strenght easily. Meanwhile with a sword, u can't deal more damage since ur dmg output = the slash dmg. U don't deal more dmg by cutting a limb faster or more cleanly. Meanwhile u deal more dmg by hitting with a cudgel with more strenght.

      pyrak ago

      Do you not know how physics works? It's a matter of distribution of force. The smaller the point of contact the more force you can apply and thus the more damage you can deal. If you're able to make a super durable club or a super durable sword of the same durability, if you want to kill your opponents, you're going to want the sword because the edge allows you to hit with more precise force. Of course if you know yourey dealing with armored (with plates) foes then having something not a sword might be better because you need something to deliver blunt force to cave the armor in (a mace or hammer for example) or punch through with a pick (often found on the reverse side of a war hammer).

      Largely it boils down to being dependent on several factors related to the wielder's capabilities and what sort of materials are available.

      EmpireofTrust ago

      In a tunnel, a corridor or other tight quarters like jungles where there is no room for your slashy weapon then a short spear is much more useable(ie short swording).

      Sinep ago

      U said it yourself, blunt weapon are better against armored foes yet they are still efficient against non armored ones. Meanwhile swords are useless against armor.

Brett Majeske ago

Edit suggestions:

*"You were betting on my sanity?" Quan said incredulously as he followed.

Just a note, true katanas and classic Europen longswords are almost identical in weight. The katana's design is actually the result of the inferior iron availible in Japan, that requires better technique to produce an equal quality weapon.

Bulwark ago

Thanks for the chapter ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Have to admit, while I know the katana isn't a great sword I still love it. It just looks so badass.

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