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And you thought we were exaggerating.
Supplementary Power, Concept
Ardor (闘気 (アルダー), Arudā lit. Fighting Spirit) is a metaphysical concept that exists within the Sun Trilogy continuity. While not magical in origin or a supernatural energy per-se, is actually the user's determination and resolve made manifest; granting them capabilities beyond normal. The specific abilities and their strengths displayed by the utilization of Ardor differ from individual to individual and are dependent on a number of factors, such as experience, training, and innate skill. It's a "power" conveyed by positive reinforcement—that is, by belief, either from the fighter's own self-confidence and unstable emotions, or the power of their loved ones cheering them on, or some other ambient effect.
It should be noted that proof of the Ardor power actually existing in reality is shaky at best—it has been referenced throughout history as a possible reason why many heroes were capable of standing to their feet and achieving victory despite all odds. The actual mechanism by which the user's determination or beliefs are transmitted and converted into energy are unclear, and are often inconsistent when attempted to receive an explanation.
The Ardor power is a concept that exists within many beings—whether human or not. It has existed since the beginning of time, dwelling within all whom steel their resolve to fight to protect what they love. It is considered similar to magic in that for a vast majority, it powers them and allows them to trudge on, but yet it is not similar—it's seen as more akin to "life energy"- or rather, the force that powers all living beings made manifest through strong emotions. Essentially, it is described fairly vaguely as "a power brought into the physical realm specifically in response to a threat against something that the user cares about and thus their desire to protect".
When the Ardor power, well, empowers the one in possession of it, it provokes an enormous boost in capabilities all across the board; for example, it gives an ordinary human superhuman abilities like pulverizing steel with their bare hands, striking faster than the speed of sound, launching up to a hundred blows per second- the list goes on. But the more the user's fighting spirit is increased, the more extraordinary the power becomes and the harder it is for the fighter to control. At any rate, the Ardor power is shown to be heavily driven by emotions- and as such, an incredible willpower, or a desperate situation can influence its depth and effects. This means that when sufficiently roused, a fighter can surpass their limits a hundredfold, although without the right awareness, this usually takes the form of a momentary power increase.
Interestingly, despite its ambiguous-at-best existence, it is shown that the Ardor power is capable of affecting supernatural powers such as Magic and Curses—if a fighter's willpower is strong enough, most of the time, regardless of the power being used against them, if a fighter is particularly determined, then they have a small chance of flat-out ignoring the opponent's attack, even though normally, their body could not take it. This spreads to their own powers as well- for example, normally a Fire Magic spell is washed away by Water Magic, but if the fire user is filled with resolve, then their spell can potentially tear straight through the water. It can be used to launch energy-based attacks that can be used to strike targets at long range, or, to defend the user from attacks.
It should be noted that it seems that Soul Metal tends to resonate with the Ardor power- it is said that only those with incredible willpower and determination to protect are capable of donning the Driver Belts which manifest Soul Armour. The Soul Armours seem to run on willpower rather than any supernatural energy- and as such, somebody with amazing amounts of resolve can run over the five minute time limit for the Soul Armours for a brief moment. In addition, it seems that the process of "Assimilation" is tied to willpower, and those with a "burning spirit" are capable of harnessing it for long periods of time. Indeed, when a Soul Armour Knight is supposedly influenced by the Ardor power, they often show undeniable physical alterations—e.g., colour changes, physical growth, new weapon attachments, or abilities they possess at no other time—which in turn can include powers that are all but miraculous, such as healing grievous bodily injury or suspending the laws of physics.
Alter Form (
It can be said that the avatars are not actual, sentient beings- indeed, the strong fighting spirits of those who envision them is what makes them become a living, breathing existence. The Alter Forms, when brought into the current realm through the user's fighting spirit, become an absolute embodiment of the user's burning passion and their ideals- they are part of and extensions of the fighter's souls. Becoming the avatar is quite simple—all one has to do is activate the transformation required; but in any case, becoming one's avatar improves the connection to the universe, even for a bog-standard human, and thus improves the user's fighting skills. The "term" Avatar is first used by Charlotte Merquise in regards to her Dragonar Mode, Blazer Dragoon—this inspires Tsuruko Sejren to pick it up and refer to her Soul Armour, Gaiki as her "avatar"- both are guardian entities of sorts who are extensions of their very beings of different flavours; for one, while Gaiki actually is a guardian entity for Tsuruko, Blazer Dragoon is more symbolic of Charlotte's hybrid genetics- Blazer Dragoon is her dragon half, Charlotte herself is the human half.
There are only five catalysts for the Alter Forms, with each derived from the Chinese myth of the Four Symbols; these are Dragonar Mode, which is equivalent to the Azure Dragon, Panthera Mode, which is the equivalent of the White Tiger, the Espers' Esperize ability which resembles the Vermillion Bird, and the Corpse Shell power which is akin to the Black Tortoise. However, at the center is the Soul Armours, the origin of all these powers, symbolic of the Yellow Dragon of the Center.
An Ardor Aura (闘気表れ (アルダー・オーラ), Arudā Ōra lit. Fighting Spirit Manifestation) is exactly what the term indicates- it is an aura formed in a corporal state; coming about by the exertion of the user's willpower into the atmosphere, releasing a powerful psychological effect that can deeply affect those in the immediate vicinity; holding an enormous amount of pressure more often than not; though it's effect generally varies wildly from person to person. Depending on the level of willpower one possesses, the Ardor Aura can be used as a means to intimidate another individual, or as a preparation for a powerful attack; by charging Ardor into their next attack, a fighter can boost their attack power drastically. The magnitude of the Ardor Aura is determined by many factors, including distance, stamina left, and timing; and through willpower alone, the user's fighting spirit can be used to perform such feats as breaking steel and damaging the ground. The Ardor Aura comes in many different forms, each generally unique to every individual.
- Showtime Spirit (ショータイム・スピリット, Shōtaimu Supiritto): Tsuruko Sejren's Ardor Aura is referred to as her "Showtime Spirit"; something that she believes she inherited from her father; the will to continue to fight for a better future. The Showtime Spirit is represented by an aura in the visage of her Soul Armour, Gaiki, forming around her body as a giant astral projection of sorts. The Showtime Spirit has a high Ardor density- as Tsuruko has shown the ability to use her Ardor Aura to overpower others- and because of her Power of Zero is a part of her fighting spirit and soul, the Showtime Spirit can also reverse the opponent's Ardor Aura (or any type of aura in general) against them. The Showtime Spirit is also visually represented by Tsuruko's eyes beginning to shine red, and if Gaiki is equipped, the visor will begin to glow. This typically happens when Tsuruko is about to make a comeback in the heat of battle, or before unleashing a finishing attack. During her last battle with Amadam, Tsuruko evolves her Showtime Spirit into the Shining Showtime Spirit (シャイニング•ショータイム・スピリット, Shainingu Shōtaimu Supiritto). This Ardor Aura affects Gaiki's G-Circular, taking the form of purple wings composed of flame growing out of Gaiki's exhaust ports; granting Tsuruko the power of flight at high speeds. Gaiki's visor begins to shine golden, and Tsuruko's stats receive an increase all across the board. In both iterations of this special aura, when Tsuruko's powers reach their peak, her fighting spirit takes upon the corporal form of a burning phoenix, similar to her mother's own Ardor Aura.
- Blazing Heart (ブレージング・ハート, Burējingu Hāto): Blazing Heart is the absolute manifestation of Kirika Hotsuin's fighting spirit; it's a power exclusive to her and her alone. Blazing Soul is a new ability awakened by Kirika pushing her fighting spirit to its utmost limits, allowing her Ardor to ascend to an even higher level than ever before. This causes Kirika's aura to manifest in the form of unquenchable scarlet flames that keep rising, while her eyes shine red. In this case, this burning fighting spirit enables Kirika to overpower and subjugate the wills of those weaker than her, allowing her to draw upon the powers of her soul and create a miracle through desire alone. If Kirika harnesses the power of Blazing Heart on a non-human being whose power could be harnessed as an augmentation of her own strength, Kirika's burning fighting spirit can overpower her target's as her willpower asserts itself over the target, stealing and absorbing its power for Kirika's own usage and erasing the target from existence. Essentially, this power is the embodiment of Kirika's will to overcome every obstacle in her way, refusing to bow to anyone.
- Phoenix Pressure (フェニックス・プレッシャー Fenikkusu Puresshā): Phoenix Pressure is the term used to describe Giselle Mercury's Ardor Aura. Very similarly to her daughter's own Ardor Aura, Giselle's fighting spirit takes the corporal form of a burning phoenix that surrounds her entirety, significantly augmenting her attacks. When in battle, Giselle tends to shine with a blazing aura, which can set the surroundings alight and burn almost everything in the immediate vicinity; her sheer willpower manifesting in the form of shining flames. The power of this Ardor Aura can be felt throughout an entire continent when Giselle enters battle- back during the Human-Demon Wars, this sensation was generally a warning signal to enemies.
- King's Aura (絶対王者 (キングズ・オーラ), Kinguzu Ōra lit. Absolute King): The King's Aura is the name of Amadam's Ardor Aura. It appears to be relatively similar to his sister's Phoenix Pressure, as it also manifested a purple, winged monster that appears similar to a phoenix. The King's Aura is extremely powerful, and it is shown to be capable of dominating the auras of others. The King's Aura can deflect numerous attacks directed towards Amadam through mere presence alone- the Ardor Aura stirs fear into the hearts of those who battle Amadam. The King's Aura can be used to negate the opponent's Ardor Aura through appearance alone. However, it cannot negate every aura if the enemy's fighting spirit is greater than Amadam's.
- Azure Howling (アズレ・ハウリング, Azure Hauringu): Azure Howling is the name of Gary Straights' Ardor Aura. When manifested, Gary's fighting spirit takes the corporal form of an azure tiger. Azure Howling has an incredible amount of power behind it, as just by raising his fighting spirit, Gary is capable of utilizing it to devastate the surroundings, leaving very real collateral damage, more often than not altering the terrain to his advantage.
Ardor FieldThe Ardor Field (闘気結界 (アルダー・フィールド), Arudā Fīrudo lit. Fighting Spirit Bounded Field) is a personalized barrier created by Soul Armours when transforming. The Ardor Field is created by concentrating enough fighting spirit within a local area of space. The willpower is shaped and focused into a spherical form for full defensive coverage over the Soul Armour; however, the field itself is not restricted to spherical forms. The field itself can wrap around any shape or size, so long as the necessary amount of particles can form around the surface it was generated/formed over. When the Ardor Field is in use, the fighting spirit manifests in a personalized barrier of any shape- according to the user's will; the fighting spirit is dense enough to resist intense temperatures, and it can physically repel and stop almost any attack for the short duration of time in which it is active.
The Ardor Field surrounds the Soul Armour and reduces the power of any oncoming attacks to zero. When combined with the Soul Armour System's ability to drastically lessen the effects of magic, it enables the user can act freely without fear of the opponent's offensive or defensive capabilities. The Ardor Field does not function only on a sole individual, rather by using the Soul Armour as a base, the barrier effect extends around the vicinity. The range of the coating is dependent upon the reach of the willpower produced by the armour and any magician within that range will suffer an alteration that suppresses their ability to cast magic. However, because the barrier is created through the user's willpower, a weak point is created as the Ardor Field is gradually reduced the further one gets from the user. But even though this effect decays over distance, even at the very edge of its range it will not completely disappear, so from a tactical standpoint it is possible to safely position auxiliary support.
Ardor ClashThe term "Ardor Clash" (闘気波突 (アルダー・クラッシュ), Arudā Kurasshu lit. Fighting Spirits Surging and Colliding) refers to the resultant phenomena when two equally powerful Ardor Auras surge to their greatest limit and collide with one another- these two clashing souls will result in pushing fighting spirit generation capability to unimaginable levels before unleashing those fighting spirit particles, flooding the surrounding area as far as the eye can see with concentrated high-grade Ardor of a rainbow-like hue; to onlookers, it appears as if a second Big Bang had occured, with sparks of light covering everything, flowing overhead and disrupting all sorts of supernatural energies as well as distracting and repelling nearby enemy combatants in a overwhelming particle burst. As a health benefit, people afflicted with any sort of illness will be relieved of their symptoms and/or healed upon exposure to the surge of fighting spirit.
The result of an Ardor Clash allows those involved to enter the mysterious area known as Soulspace (
The surging of Ardor Auras allows those involved to tap into the vast expanse of fighting spirit being scattered during an Ardor Clash in order to make an astral projection of fighting spirit, a significantly augmented version of Ardor Aura. Despite not having been bound by a corporeal form, the projections are capable of doing battle with each other; while the those in Soulspace sort out their differences, the gigantic astral projections fight fiercely, however, it is something merely symbolic to the conversation taking place if those in Soulspace were hostile towards one another. When entering Soulspace, from the outside, it appears as if those sent to the space are rendered completely immobile while fighting spirit particles are being released, leaving them vulnerable to attack from hostile forces.A notable instance of Ardor Clash resulting in the travel to Soulspace is when Tsuruko Sejren fought Charlotte Merquise during the final arc of Daybreak S1. With Charlotte swearing revenge upon her old friend for seemingly betraying her way back when and Tsuruko trying to snap her back to her senses, the clash between Tsuruko's Victorize Kick Version 5 Limit Break and Charlotte's Dragon Slayer's Secret Art, Radiant Dragon Fang caused a massive upsurge of fighting spirit which enveloped the Ancient Area of Four in a rainbow burst, sending the two to Soulspace. While Tsuruko and Charlotte sorted out their differences there, Tsuruko and Charlotte's Ardor Auras manifested to the outside world as gigantic astral projections of a azure phoenix-themed knight with a golden sword and red shield, and a five-headed orange Eastern Dragon with red eyes respectively. These two projections did battle, more symbolic than anything as Tsuruko's hope, the knight, would slay Charlotte's despair, the dragon.
- As you can guess, the Ardor power is a snarky way of describing the tendency of protagonists to become stronger through seemingly nothing more than sheer force of will. It isn't a power itself.
- Tsuruko Sejren in particular lives and breathes the Ardor power.
|Tsuruko Sejren | Giselle Mercury | Gary Straights | Deen Lhant | Excellen Kilekion | Kaguya Kobayashi|
|Joker | Kirika Hotsuin | Alexis Tenjouin | Suzuka Kobayashi | Leanne Rockwell | Charlotte Merquise | Culebre | Abyssion | Chakravartin | Amadam | Níðhöggr | Camilla Straights | Klaus | Signa|
|Sion Kenzaki | Jonas | Marisa Sejren | Kinos Sejren | Alicia Lhant | Velvet Ashdoll|
|Alphonse Sejren | Aigrette Tenjouin | Dzerve Sejren | Hikari Zanna | Mr. E | Ashley Briett|
|Tsuruko Faction | Zodiac Knights | Magic Council | Paranormal Investigation Unit | Allies of Justice | Four Heavenly Kings | Ten Wizard Saints | Amadam's Empire | Preventers|
|Soul Armours | Magius | Hellion | Reionyx | Different Dimensions | Aether | Old World | Zero Effect | Ardor | Deus Machina | Dimension King Style|