“Here is the second rule of sword law: a sword is not subtle. It is a naked instrument, hungry for blood. When you grasp its handle, treat it as you would a deadly viper.”
-Ryo ten Ryam
My master set me down at mealtime, and bade me to eat. On the plate lay one noodle.
“Master,” said I, “I am hungry and there is but one noodle on the plate. How will I be full?”
My master drew his sword, and made a cut. “Count,” said he.
“There is one noodle in two halves,” I replied, bewildered, and still hungry.
“Look again. Can you tell one from the other? Look at the ends. Are they not the same?” I looked, and it was as he said. “How many noodles are on the plate now?”
“Two,” I replied. And I ate, and I was full.
Gang Gang Gang Dance.
Draw and be Happy!
I should have realized Meti would find another thing to say than I was expecting.
Also, it seems we now know where these scars came from: http://killsixbilliondemons.com/comic/wielder-of-names-6-111/
Young Meti grasped quite quickly that to follow the path of the sword is to abandon vanity. For this, she is astute. The objection she did voice revealed she merely did not take the implications of this realization far enough.
Namely, that she must endeavor to care for her new sword as a normal woman would care for her hair. A pity, that the former is so much more ugly than the latter. Young Meti was astute, but not terribly wise.
Ironically, a quivering hand, which is most unsuited to cutting, will result in the second most harm to oneself. The most harm to oneself, as we all know, is only incurred when one wields a sword with an unquivering hand against someone else.
Those are really good teacups.
I should expect so, given that they were tribute to the God Empress of 111, 111 worlds.
When you’re the empress of thousands of worlds, you always have the _best_ tea service.
“bitch i might be”
One of the advantages of the noodle industry is that you wake up like this significantly less often.
Not never, of course, because of course the guilds have their squabbles, but it’s definitely a relative perk.
I remember how they said it…
The sword in hand is a tool, one to bring destruction only. Those who practice it, internalize it. Those who life be it, die by it. Once it has become part of you, it will never let you go.
To transcend the art, though, is to find the blade, deep in your heart and cut it away. Having dedicated every waking moment to destruction and death and abandoning the tools, a master internalizes these concepts and turns them upon himself to become the tool, in mind and flesh. Those who life by the sword, die by it. Those who live amond vipers, become one themselves.
Truly, our tools shape us as much as we shape the world with them.
That’s a very roundabout way to say “If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
Ah, just as the old saying goes: “The niece has become the auntie.”
Many cuts on our dear Maya, clearly from her shaving.
Such charming naivete, like that of the precocious inquirer, is refreshing in this time of blood-thirsty gods laughing into the howling dark.
Do Maya and Nyave look familiarly identical or is it just me?
She needs food, water and a liquor.
I don’t know what liquor Maya favors, but after vanquishing an explosive, dark seraph, one is entitled to a flagon of mead or bloodwine, any time they reach my doorstep.
She looks like she’s having a good day
She looks like shes having a good day
I am now convinced that it IS the same hilt (and stub of a blade) from Wielder of Names 6-110. But it has been restored and its empty jewel-socket filled. I like this. This comic is filled with things that speak of predestination, and a student refusing to abandon the weapon her teacher gave her, no matter its problems, speaks to me.
Meti trained Maya by forcing her to grind the rust and imperfections away from that weapon until only the Idea of a Sword remained.
They’ll have to kill me before I’ll die.
Yet she is still not in as bad a state as after she challenged the entire Heretics’ Court to a drinking game.
That degree of rust speaks less of neglect and more of regret… and romanticism.
she’ll get better
in no time
The Law is a cold, harsh thing, Sword Law even more.
The Castle flees.
The Teacups endure.
Giantbone china: for when you want your table-settings to outlive your civilization.
Maya looks incredibly disappointed to be alive.
Perhaps Maya is disappointed to have been numbered among the 108 burning stars, also known as the parade of fools.
A sword is truly useless, for it can only take life.
That is why you use a hammer. Smash both faces and nails.
I claim the firstborn comment for myself. May my position not be challenged except by ritual of VIOLENCE
Angel bro, your position has already been usurped. And not by violence at all. Pity that.
You have activated Abbadon’s trap card:
Apparently, you have been usurped.
I don’t know if it’s intentional, but I like how young Meti kind of looks like Connie from Steven Universe ^^
N…N-Noodles… Bring me noodles.
No. She sacrificed all future noodles until she could judge a child’s haircut.
The implication was supposed to be that Maya was the one asking, in the present.
Did she lose weight?
At least as much as was in those boils on her scalp, and a few pints of blood.
Alright gents, you heard the girl. Time to see how many of our little hell raisers made it out of the party in one piece. Place your bets!
Some of our party goers started the party in more than one piece! But your meaning is plain.
I wager one crate of fine drink ware (refurbished) that 15 party goers remain to continue their pursuit.
I heard from one just freed from slumber
death was just the next adventure.
Into whst he would not answer.
That teacup by the front there looks remarkably intact for everything that has happened. Clearly. it is Jagganoth in a cunning disguise of some sort.
The Pankrator does not normally favor disguises (indeed, why hide when even your fellow black emperors fear you?), but I am told he prefers the guise of a frying pan in such situations.
Teacups! Miraculously intact!
They leave me with hope that more beings than not survived the fall.
“And a lot of tea cups fell, too!”
I wonder if we’ll have the whole Sword Law as we did have the whole Meti’s Sword Manual
Also does that mean Meti was born before the Second Conquest, but not Maya?
I thought it was Maya we see in the flashback/exposition of the Golden Age back in KSBD 3-44
Unless the Second Conquest started peacefully? If the Second Conquest started when Zoss and the Demiurges opened the doors of Throne to the surrounding universes, then maybe adult Maya experienced a bit of that Golden Age before the War occurred.
Meti may have been one of the first generation demiurges who figured out how to cut their way into heaven all their own, explaining the discrepancy. Of course Meti mentions in her sword manual that she was already a century old when she took in an apprentice and already she spoke of her fellows squabbling with each other.
Maya: “Yo kids, I ain’t dead yet. I’m just nappin’.”
“To sleep, perchance to Dream; aye, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may–
Ugh. You two brats again neverMIND.”
The pain of memory. The will to live. Maya may just yet cut us all
“You can’t give her that!’ she screamed. ‘It’s not safe!’
IT’S A SWORD, said the Hogfather. THEY’RE NOT MEANT TO BE SAFE.
‘She’s a child!’ shouted Crumley.
‘What if she cuts herself?’
THAT WILL BE AN IMPORTANT LESSON.”
― Terry Pratchett, Hogfather
Reach heaven through cephalic tetanus.
I was once traversing a treacherous mountain looking to plunder the tombs of the locals’ ancestors when I came across a very strange sight. A group of monks who came to that sacred ground to meditate were arguing with pilgrims from a rival sect over territorial matters.
“Sod off, for these are our praying grounds” I heard the head monk shout at the lead pilgrim, joined by the jeers of his fellow men of peace.
“Shift your cantankerous behinds, you have hogged this spot long enough!” The lead pilgrim screamed back, encouraged by his fellow enlightenment-seekers.
I rolled my eyes at this and returned to exploring the rock-face for the hidden tomb entrances. It required intense focus as there were cliff-vipers hiding in the holes. Unfortunately, the shouting only got more intense.
“Pig-headed heretic defilers! Begone at once!”
“Nazel-gazing old false testifiers! This should be ours!”
Growing frustrated, I clambered up to where both leaders were arguing face to face and beheaded both with a swing of my blade. At once the shouts fell silent as I gestured with my sword.
“Half of you go pray over there,” I said pointing to one side of the sacred grounds , “And the rest of you go pray at the other end. Now be quiet and let me plunder these resting places in peace.”
Rather than listen to my simple solution like rational men, both sides began shouting again. Now united they began hurling rocks as they chased me all the way back down the mountainside.
The lesson here is: to seek true peace is a lie, for nothing unites people liken a common foe. In a world like thus, to live by the path of violence is to find true enlightenment.
I know that pain, Auntie Maya, having an angel explode in your face is never the best start to an evening, but what an entrance!
It would take more than an exploding angel to bring down Auntie Maya. I expect Jagganoth could probably take her, if she were so foolish as to get into that fight, but I wouldn’t put my money on anybody else.
Maya’s Sword of Maybe reminds me of Uther Doul’s sword in The Scar, not least because his was called The Maybe Sword. One of my favorite bits of wordplay in that book is that the sword is called the Mightblade early on, and most readers will generally assume that it is in the sense of “mighty”, rather than the more accurate sense of “might, or might not”.
China’s world-building and wordplay are delectable indeed. Liveman Doul was a very intriguingly crafted character, and his relationship with the Brucolac built great depth in the world beyond Armada and Bas-Lag.
Wasn’t it The Possible Sword? It’s been a while.
I think you’re right. I conflated the names, which is pretty understandable under the circumstances.
Twas named as both “a possible sword” and “the mightblade” on different pages, I believe. So the former is a type, I’d say. The latter…I don’t recall if it was capitalized. It might be a proper name for that sword or not…
I am reminded of the tale of Selar of the Invisible Blade.
“Know that it was written that eyes would never see the blade that could slay me. Thus do the Powers have thier jokes. … You have slain that which was greater than yourselves, but do not be proud.”
– Hohorga, of the blood of the First.
Remove all of the rusted parts of the blade. Rust is not useful for Cutting.
Remove all of the dull parts of the blade. Dullness is not useful for Cutting.
You are now left with a twisted edge and nothing to support it. You have a working sword, but its blade is more air than metal.
Once the edge breaks off, your blade will be all air. If you understand Want, and your Will was sufficient to Cut with the blade before, it will remain a working sword. Since its blade is only air, all air connected to the hilt is part of the blade, and you can now cut your hair with it.
This is the method for forging the Sword of Maybe.
It’s like asking “are we there yet” but with mortality.
I choose to believe that in a manner similar to the warrior who had no name but their vocation and who blocked the ground itself, Maya succeeded in cutting her fall to a more survivable distance.
Is Maya then also destined to find the Armoire of Invincibility?
Is this how she got that fancy head wound?
So… Ryo ten Ryam is saying one should wear sturdy boots and stomp a lot let the sword know you’re coming and give it time to get out of one’s way?
Excellent rule. Being careless with any sharp implement is the quickest way to lose appendages. Along those lines I was always taught if it drops, LET it drop. You try to catch it, you may lose fingers.
“Catch a falling sword”. Had that happen once and managed to not lose any fingers. I still get shivers when I think about how badly it could have turned out…
I was at a Japanese Sword Show in the Bay Area, browsing the awesomeness that abounded. One vendor had a sword on display with a great historical write up, in shira saya with no koshirae, which I read through and admired. The vendor picked it up and offered it to me. I reached out to accept it and the blade slid out of the saya (no habaki to hold it in place). Instinct is to catch something that is falling… which I started to do. Of course it is falling faster than reflexes, so my hand started to close around the first few inches of blade instead of the nakago.
All I felt was a slight tug on the tips of a few fingers and in the web of my thumb ~ kinda like when you get a paper cut, just that wierd “zing” and you know you’ve been cut? It was exactly like that, and I whipped my hand away.
The sword clattered to the table on top of a dozen lesser blades and the entire hall went quiet while EVERYONE turned to look. The vendor knew he had messed up (having offered the blade to me in an unsecured fashion) and sheepishly took back the saya and picked up the blade. My hand was fine…for about 10 seconds, then the blood started oozing out. I spent the next half hour in the restroom getting the bleeding to stop (no thanks to a Japanese gentleman who insisted that repeatedly squeezing the crap out of my fingers was the best way to deal with the bleeding). No stiches required, but the cuts were juuuust deep enough to bleed like a sunofabitch. Oddly enough, in a hall full of a mile’s worth of sharp steel you would think that someone would have packed bandaids.
Beyond tribe, creed, or cause, when one attains proper knowledge of sword-law, one will become eternally miserable. Indeed, every time I see a elderly swordsman, I feel blessed that I would trained in the bow and chakram instead of a true cutting blade.
“No, but I am almost sober, please get me something to drink.”
Hmm… as representative of the 19th Order of the Mechanician’s Guild (and a living chariot o’ the gods, if ya will), let me tell you that metal remembers every abuse. Kinda like one a them icebergs, what you can see is barely a scratch on the surface. But the abuses build up inside until finally something snaps. After that it takes a Master to make it whole again, and maybe not even then.
Still, it’s a shame what that ol’ lady done to her metal, letting it go all cracked and rusty like that. You can tell she really don’t like it none. No sir, she don’t like it, not one little bit.
“Rust never sleeps”
– Bodyman’s Curse
I wonder: did she know the angel would explode, but halved him anyway to protect Our More-or-less Heroes?
Just keeps getting cooler and cooler, and then this recent switch to oval balloons. Really takes away from the rest of the image, doesn’t fit the style.
EVERY single hair from your head.
Including eye brows, lashes, and within your nostrils.
Huh, all the cups around her appear to be fully intact.
“I don’t suppose either of you want to learn sword law, do you? If so, let me tell you. Don’t.”
To borrow from We Need To Talk About Fifty Five: “Is she dead?”–a question that would have been absurd in any other place.
Those teacups are impressive indeed. Three fortnight I slaved, schemed, and killed to steal a single one from the Silar of my cell in the Ink guild, a man by the name of Red Moon Eclipses The Sun (he was called Rojello when his back was turned). Four days and three nights we fought after he discovered my scheme, until i used a pen to open his throat and leave his bloated body to ferment in a vat of ink. As a consequence I received both the position and the possessions of the late Rojello; this was distressing to me, as the Silar is burdened with far too many responsibilities (and perjorative nicknames) to make the exorbitant pay worth the trouble. I quickly shed the position when an offer arose from a rival guild, though circumstances meant I was only able to take essentials with me, as well as a single teacup from Rojello’s extensive collection.
Ironically enough, the cup broke three days afterwards. Reach Heaven Through Violence.
“Ey girl, i ain’t movin’ from here until you find my other shoe.”
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