Meti’s Sword Manual

The 18 Precepts

10. A man who finds pleasure in the result of cutting is the most hateful, crawling creature there is. A man who finds pleasure in the act of cutting is an artisan.

11. Man always strives to cut man. Therefore he who draws his sword the fastest is the survivor. To pre-empt this, you must live, eat, and shit as a person who has their sword drawn. It doesn’t matter whether your blade, in actuality, is always out of its sheathe, though you will look like an idiot if it is.

12. Consider: The undefeated swordsman must be exceptionally poor.

13. The weak swordsman reserves his sword strokes. He clings excessively to his blade. His footwork is unsteady. His grip is too hard and he is afraid to crack the earth with his step. He has a shallow and wandering gaze, his tongue is sluggish and pale. He refuses to exhale the hot breath of the Flame Immortal.

14. The weak swordsman clings to victory. He thinks of his life, his obligations, the outcome of the battle, his hatred for his opponent, his training, his pride in his mastery. By doing so, he is an imperfect vessel for the terrible fires of Will. He will surely crack. He will not laugh uproariously if he is cleft in two by his opponent’s blade. When his sword is shattered, his hands will be too reserved to tear his enemies’ flesh.

15. The weak swordsman strikes his enemy down and thinks his task done. He relishes in victory. He casts away his sword and returns to his lover. Little does he know his single cut will encircle the world five times and strike him down fifty-fold.

16. The weak swordsman clings to his instrument. It is better you have a sword, but death must lie under your fingernails, if need be. Learn death with your elbows, death with your knees, and death with your thumbs and fingertips. It is said death with the tongue is useful, but I find words too soft an instrument to smash a man’s skull.

17. In manners of terrain, you must learn to cut yourself from it. You must cut even your footprints from it, if need be. Have complete awareness of each crawling thing and each precious flower, each blade of sweet grass and each clod of bitter earth, each beating heart and each being that thrums with love, hope, and admiration. Only then are you qualified to be their annihilator.

18. Excess heat and excess coldness are undesirable. Learn to read the weather.


1. It is said the greatest warrior-kings may sublime violence and forget all they learn about the sword. This is true. But the only true path to kingship lies through regicide.
2. Moreover, only the worst kind of idiot strives to be king.
3. My extreme hope is that some measure of wisdom will penetrate the thick skull of my apprentice. If not, may reading this manual demonstrate your powerful disinterest in it, and may its true value die with me.
4. Reach heaven by violence.