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02 Jul 2022
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Nino: Stab yourself.

  • Nino: ...!?

  • Nino: It's okay.
  • Nino: I know your foggy mind is panicking,
  • Nino: But listen to the memories of your body instead.
  • Nino: Put your hand over your heart.

  • Nino: The rest will come naturally.
  • Nino: Now, this is what I mean when I say that I'm you too.

Nino: How do you feel?

Although your wound is completely erased, the pain remains.
It's a strange feeling, to suddenly remove the injuries you're still reacting to, leaving yourself hurt from no visible causes at all.

Even though it's a dream, the effects of this pain are quite familiar.

Your grip on the hilt of your sword, the way you halt your thoughts when you face danger, and leave control entirely up to the instincts ingrained in your body.

Not only do you feel pain, but also, some kind of strength.

These are the memories your body has retained, even if your mind has forgotten.
That's right. At the cost of pain, your body gains more power and speed.

Without suffering any injuries, this Fortification might amount to a temporary speed boost, but it seems that the more your body is hurt, the stronger you can be. Then, if you were to hurt yourself to this degree outside of your dreams...

Could you max out your strength?

Well, that's what your body must be conveying here.

Because the pain seems to be an all too familiar feeling to it.

  • Nino: When I was fighting Kaji...
  • Nino: I was able to stop him, to everyone's surprise.
  • Nino: It surprised me too, I didn't believe I could do anything...
  • Nino: Since I was having trouble up until that single decisive moment.
  • Nino: So... was all of that because of you doing this?

  • Don't talk as if you're removed from your own actions.
  • Take credit for what you accomplished.
  • That was all you.
  • You're simply that capable on your own.
  • And did you realize, from how you got the upper hand on your opponent... that hiding the full extent of what an ability can do grants you a great combat advantage?
  • So... besides yourself, no one needs to know what you can do.
  • Not even those three.
  • Besides, isn't it great how self-sufficient you already are?
  • You don't need to rely on the the fickleness of others at all!

  • Nino: You'd do well to stick more to your nature again.
  • Nino: To keep your wariness close, always staying on guard...
  • Nino: Always accounting for every possibility...
  • Nino: No matter how unpleasant you might find it.
  • Nino: That way, nothing can ever get the upper hand on you.
  • Nino: No one is ever allowed that kind of position.

  • Nino: All this power is a part of you...
  • Nino: But lately, you've been ignoring it more and more.
  • Nino: You could accomplish so much...
  • Nino: If only you'd let go of your fear of hurting.
  • Nino: Why are you afraid to go forward?
  • Nino: You don't need them to reassure you,
  • Nino: When you're this capable already.
  • Nino: There's nothing to fear if nothing can even hurt you.

Nino: Remind Nino.

  • Nino: I am you...
  • Nino: And you are me.
  • Nino: This ability is a power for me, for you alone.
  • Nino: Use it only for yourself.
  • Nino: Because, in the end...

Nino: Respond to Nino.

  • Nino: ...I only have myself?

  • Nino: Yeah.
  • Nino: Look again at what made you come this far.

Nino: Look.

Right... haven't you seen this before?
This imagery that previously surfaced in an illusion before you.
Somewhere in your memory, such a sight was stored all along.

Although, in the cavern of illusions, it was a little more... gruesome than this.

Still... why does the sight of yourself appear like this?

  • Nino: You walked into danger on your own.
  • Nino: So you have no right to act like those three do.
  • Nino: Don't forget that again.
  • Nino: If leisure was the goal, then we never would've left.
  • Nino: But we are not like the rest.
  • Nino: Right now, you've got to get out of here.
  • Nino: Or else, we're going to run out of time.

  • Nino: Time...?
  • Nino: What will I run out of time to accomplish?

---/->

  • Kotori: Well... I've got an idea.
  • Kotori: If you'll help, would you hear me out?
  • Solis: Of course.
  • Solis: I promised to listen to your worries all the way through, didn't I.

Solis: Didn't you and Kotori plan to patrol the border to try and catch the assassin? How's that going along?
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Pun Lord
Guest
5 months ago
Reply to  Nights

heroic

Mysteriousmaverick
Guest
5 months ago

Nino: You’re right. You are both very powerful and independent from other people. But you would’ve failed by mentioning your past in the other side on your own without Meimona and you know it. True, she dragged you into a mess, maybe for selfish reasons, attaining your belief and gratitude. But what about Aria, who made an honest emotional plea to Kaji, and ceased his attack? An attack to mention, partly caused due to you not being more cautious, despite knowing about Kaji’s potential capabilities. What about Kaji, who despite falling, helped the Sea-People despite no reward of strength, and gave you advice besides. What about you, who decided to help Five because you once believed in not allowing others to suffer? Did you craft your sword? Did you write the books which helped you learn? Seek whatever goal you may, but be pure.

Mysteriousmaverick
Guest
5 months ago

On another note, Nino had multiple bodies. Some of them were different. To the point of there being female one. Something so out of the ordinary that proves its not paranoid speculation. Also, Taki was right and they deserve a raise. Maybe the reason Nino can gain speed with zero injuries is due to the body rapidly damaging itself but then healing stronger when making muscles explaining the bonus. The fortification upgrade might have affected Five as well, but will Nino want to tell the others? Oh yeah, also, Nino: You may have had a bad past of some sorts, that’s obvious at this point. But for the love of everything good in the world, are you any closer to getting your memories back or your supposed mission either way? Focus!

Mysteriousmaverick
Guest
5 months ago
Reply to  Nights

Well I’ve just doomed us all. Also, the fortification boost explains how Nino saved Aria both when Kotori was threatening her and being able to race to her and throw her out of the hole with Corona. If he was more severely injured than he might have been able to win against her. Also, ye who believe in trust and camraderie, beware. For Nino might manipulate instead of truly trust people and go against your true wishes. And to ye who believe that reflection of Nino is a phantom, know that he is also Nino, even if just another part of him.

VB.Rainer
Guest
VB.Rainer
5 months ago

I called it! Nino's ability boosts himself! And at the cost of trauma. Oh boi.

Also, considering the Phantom's (Yes, that's what I'm calling him, specifically because he doesn't like it) talk with Nino, it seems that the major conflict of Nino's character development is essentially going to be proving and accepting that the Phantom is wrong, even potentially at the cost of his memories.

That he can act "weak."
That he can be afraid of being hurt.
That he doesn't have to hide his abilities and who he is.
That he can be like his friends.
That said friends are there for more than just using him.
That he can afford to let his guard down.
That his powers aren't just for him alone.
And, most of all
That in the end, he has more than just himself.

As for Kotori and Solis, I'll just recommend my answers from previous updates.

Somdudewillson
Guest
Somdudewillson
5 months ago

The phantom is as wrong as could be. In the end, when it is most important, it is yourself that is least trustworthy. It is the self that will let you down. Because the self is singular and finite. You can only learn so many skills, can take only a single action at a time, and think of just one thing at a time. And now, the only significant skill Nino has is combat with a handful of weapons.

Even a jack of all trades & master of none is often better than a master of one, but masters of all trades joined will always surpass either. No matter how strong a warrior, they cannot win a war alone.

To put it non-philosophically: It doesn't matter how good at combat your ability makes you, you still can't sword your memories back or cut away the mystery by swinging hard enough.

VB.Rainer
Guest
VB.Rainer
5 months ago
Reply to  Nights

Can't help but ask though. Just what event stood out to Nino, was so massively impactful on his pre-amnesia self, that he not only became convinced that this mentality was correct, but also that accepting any form of reliance, friendship, or immaturity was inherently a bad thing?
And not only convinced, but made it so ingrained into his psyche that the embodiment of that attitude (The Phantom) stuck around to convince post-amnesia Nino that his method is the only correct one?

Can't wait to find out!

Somdudewillson
Guest
Somdudewillson
4 months ago
Reply to  Nights

As a reader, there is also the question of how genuine the phantom even is. After all, if the amnesia was caused by someONE, who's to say they couldn't also implant a false persona to keep their work from being undone? And this phantom's "advice" is just what a malevolent thoughtform would provide - abandon the course of action that leads most likely to undoing the amnesia, in favor of a futile rush of self-destructiveness likely to leave Nino dead, and therefore unable to interfere.

At least, that's what my train of thought would be in Nino's position — I would immediately doubt any such discouragement given that it is known that my mind has already been tampered with.

Pun Lord
Guest
5 months ago

Solis: Hear her out through the blood and tears.

Kotori: Show him the blood that could be sown.

Hans
Guest
Hans
5 months ago

I sure do love reading about the horror of the reality(?) Nino is experiencing at 3 Am!

The One Guy
Guest
The One Guy
5 months ago

So Nino's ability "fortifies the body." That may explain how it "cured" Five, strengthening her body enough to survive without a soul.

HikLight
Guest
HikLight
2 months ago

Nino vs Smug Nino

^