"Have you ever had to bear the pain of outliving your friends? Your family? Your one true love? Yes? Then you are truly blessed. You have lived to witness the life of another fellow creature. You experienced everything they experienced. Listened to every tale they could tell. Shared everything you could share with them. Their ideal is complete in your soul. No imperfections. No holes. No regrets. No. Do not regret. Regret is for those who have already passed on. Do not spend the rest of your fleeting days worrying of what might have been. Relish what has been as everything that is. I speak to you, the Lone Survivor. The warrior of purity. Do not regret for a moment that you are alive. To give your life is honorable. To continue living is to ensure that honor can be passed on to future generations. Either way, you served your loved ones to your fullest. Regret nothing. Live." I read that passage everyday. The time of day doesn't matter. At the break of dawn, before lunch, right before crashing for the night after an exhausting day. It doesn't matter. I like to remind myself that I'm nothing more than a fluke. A cosmic joke. That passage, and the rest of the book it comes from, was written for me. Ling Tzu's The Tao of the Lone Survivor. She wrote it five years before meeting me. Before she even knew I existed. But the moment she saw me all those years ago, her eyes lit up and she handed me a copy of the book. "For you," was all she said. Over the years, she slowly explained to me what each passage meant. With each major battle she would turn the page and explain to me its significance. There was only one last page before the final battle. I had to read that one alone and make my own meaning out of it. Nearly 20 years after that day, I still have no answer to the passage. I understand it fully. I know its meaning. I just can't live up to its standards. I don't regret fighting. I don't regret fleeing in the aftermath. I don't regret hiding the truth. I don't regret giving my position over to someone who now wants to destroy everything I fought to preserve. I only regret never saying "Thank you" to that young girl that handed me that book all those years ago.
Sword Master: Ultimate
"All blades are dual-edged. The first edge is the edge of tradition. The motions. The technique. The steel. The sweat. The blood. The final strike before you die." I once came close to death. At the hands of a man named Ramius. His technique was perfect. I stood in awe as I watched his feet flow across the battlefield. Each turn, each stroke, each breath calculated to precision. As his blade sunk into my chest I could do nothing but smile... and send my own blade into his. We continued our battle, ignoring our wounds, never allowing our blades to touch the flesh of the other again as the battle raged on. When tradition clashes with tradition, there is no breaking point. The ways of the past are set in stone, just as the blade is forged into its deadly form. His technique was alien to me, just as mine was undoubtedly alien to him. It didn't matter. Not that day. Form and training meant nothing. All that mattered was the tradition of our warfare and the fact that we both carried out this honor through our blades. "This edge is the duller of the two." Neither one of us gave way. Our blood mingled on the war-stained ground, more of it resting upon the rocks below than in our bodies. I smiled at Ramius, knowing that our techniques would likely be the downfall of both of us. He didn't smile back. He merely returned my gaze. His eyes piercing into my soul right before we both blacked out. I saw him one last time. At the fall of Allemyn. Fighting his own men. I joined the battle... moments too late. He fell to his knees right as I approached his position. He looked at me with those same warrior eyes as his soul escaped into the darkness of death. "No matter how sharp Tradition is, it is never sharp enough to deliver the final blow."
Force of Will: Ultimate
"The second edge is instinct. The fury. The anger. The fear. The merciful blow. The final stroke. Your enemy's death." I knew she was dead. The screams coming from behind the doors. The look across Rakeshena's face. Wetting her lips with her tongue. Twirling her blade in her hand like a locke of hair. One. Two. Three. She was dead. Within those three seconds, a lifetime of anguish, fury, and regret were released. Never saying good bye to my parents. Never saving that starving child on the battlefield. Never smelling the flowers on Hullin before it was vanquished. Every emotion within my being channeled through my katana. Nothing differed in my technique. The tradition remained, only tempered with the instinct and soul of the one who wielded the blade. Rakeshena fell to the ground. No scream. No tears. Nothing to remind me of her passions that flowed through her own blade. She died just as I wished to die. Without a single thought of this life remaining within her. Perhaps that is why she died and I remained. She fulfilled her destiny. I still had one regret remaining after my blade exited her body. If I had known Ling Tzu was still alive behind those doors, holding on to her last breath to use it for me, perhaps it would have been me lying on the floor of that day.
Immunity: Super Speed
"The hummingbird flies with a speed we all can admire. And the beauty of its short life is to be pondered. But which do you prefer? To be the object of beauty, or the one to admire the beauty and savor it for years to come?" I spoke to my current students once about the art of drawing the blade. El-Ko spoke of speed and grace. Madeleine spoke of patience and awareness. Tymora spoke of merely assuring you were the first one to strike. Always. I smiled at Tymora, knowing she was too great a warrior to sacrifice to the Universe as I was sacrificed.
Slicing Attack: Standard
- Area Affect
- Ranged and Melee Attack
"They say the warrior's soul is his blade. If this is true then a warrior's soul, no matter its intent, will always be destructive. A warrior can never win a war if the war's goal is to achieve peace." I never spoke to Ling Tzu about my art. We spoke of literature. We spoke of history. We spoke of philosophy. We spoke of the future. But we never spoke of war, or the ways in which we both killed so that others could live on. Why should we when we can talk of everything we fight for? The sword was not my life. I was not a samurai. I was only a man. It was only a blade. On the battlefield, we were merely instruments to ensure that everything Ling and I spoke about would still exist the next time we could speak. I wish I could say the same was true today.