Walking in slowly, Samarra Inari writes her name with a light pen up in the air. She turns to face the class and smiles brightly at the students in front of her. "Hello class, my name is Samarra Inari. Welcome to Combat Tactics. To tell you a little bit about myself, I am current the guild master of Koma Inu and I specialize in Summoning Magic and Lightning Magic. I am the head of Head of Magic here, so I am sure I will see all of you when you become fourth years and choose a mentor to study magic. I am pleased to be able to teach a class here, so I hope to give you a good understanding of basic individual combat strategy and the basic principles of defensive tactic and misdirection." Pulling out a list of students in her class she looks it over and continues her introduction. "So, why don't you all tell me about yourself?"
Amber stands up from her desk, a sweet smile on her face. "I'm Amber Sade. I grew up in Hargeon, and I use a little bit of Water Magic. "I'm very excited to begin training under so many powerful mages from Koma Inu, especially Ms. Inari herself." She sits down after her introduction, nervously twiddling her thumbs beneath her desk. Hopefully, her introduction had enough information, or wasn't too lengthy.
Nora stands up straight, a dead serious look on her face. "I am Nora Ashbel. Future head of the Ashbel family, sworn to protect and serve all those who reside within the boarders of Fiore. I have chosen to come here to one day become strong enough to honor the title I have been entrusted with." Nora said gripping the hilt of her sword tightly. " I have come here in hopes of one day defeating you, Miss Inari. Once I have been successful in that task I will know that my training is complete and that I can return home with honor. So I warn you now, out of respect and because it is only proper to do so, to watch your back." Nora said before bowing respectfully and sitting back down.
"The name is Alexander Alastair." spoke a young man as he stood up. He was sitting in the front of the class, alongside few other students. "Born and raised in Magnolia, I want to become the best Celestial Spirit Mage this world has ever seen!" he continued as he smiled gently. He simply bowed and sat back down. His keys made a clinging sound and he was slightly embaressed.
Kaitō analyzed the classroom and his new classmates, carefully studying the environment. After all, he had to at least put up with these new faces for the next twelve months, he had to know what he was getting himself into. He deduced, 'This class is not one of foolishness, but one of purpose. The students are quietly seated because they are prepared and eager to learn. This school is one that cares not about image and likability, but one that is more concerned about the knowledge we receive. I've noticed that. Their eagerness to answer is quite, for the lack of better words, intriguing. He chose to participate in the act, like the rest of his classmates and started talking. "Meikyū, Kaitō Meikyū. Born to the Meikyū household in Bosco. Perhaps you have heard of them; I guess you have to given that the entire Meikyū main family and the branches were killed three years ago. It made quite the headline. I am what you call a Rōnin and I am only here because I was asked to. I am a swordsman but unlike some of the pathetic wannabe swordsmen, I do not rely on magic; my skills are enough to cut my enemies down. Will that be all?" he said in a rather proud and cold tone.
Rayden was picking his nails in the back of the class. He was wearing ripped jeans and a rumpled, unbuttoned white collared shirt. He gruffly said to Sammara, "You know me." The rebellious teen didn't even bother to stand up to greet her.
"Well it is lovely to meet all of you, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors, and I hope this class will help you along the way. Now to begin the lesson for today." Samarra says with a smile, she then activates her light pen and writes 'Offensive Tactic: Indirect Approach'. "We will begin with a tactic that can be easily employed during a fight to prevent your own exhaustion and secure a victory. This can be used in solo combat as well as team battles, and relies on disrupting an enemies equilibrium and using the path of least resistance to guarantee an attack that will land."
Samarra pulls out a projection lacrima from her bag and activates it to reveal a video of two mages fighting. It was clear to see that one mage easily overpowered the other in terms of brute strength and reinforced armor, his attacks seem to rely on powerful punches, while the smaller mage used swift concentrated blows. "As you can see from this demonstration, the mage on the right has a clear advantage in this physical fight; having an overall greater strength and steel plated armor to protect him from his opponents blows." She paused the video and looked over the class. "The indirect approach again relies on upset an opponents equilibrium and taking the path of least resistance for an attack."
She plays the video to the end, as she commentates, "As you can see, this video shows that the smaller mage uses the larger's own momentum against him to direct a seemingly devastating punch past his body; causing the larger to become off balance. Delivering a swift kick to the back, the larger mage cannot counter this attack due to the weight of his armor, thus bringing him crashing into the ground. Now obviously disrupting an enemies equilibrium does not always mean in the literal sense of getting them off balance. This can be anything from disrupting an attack pattern, or separating an opponent's team to prevent coordinated attacks."
Shutting down the lacrima and her pen she smiles brightly at the class. "Now, in order to test your understanding of this strategy. I want you to break into two groups for a mock-battle. This will be a debate style activity where you will have fifteen minutes to devise a plan with your group. Your fight takes place in a dense forest, where team A has sensed the approaching team B and has begun to plan an attack. Both teams will be required to detail their means of using an indirect approach, and how they would counter it. Team A will start the debate, with Amber and Alexander. Team B will retort, with Rayden and Nora. Your time starts now."
"And I am supposed to sit this one out, aren't I? Alright. Children, have fun while I get my daily dose of judgmental look from yet another person. You think that I killed my parents, too? Don't you? You're wrong, Ms. Inari. I might be cruel but I am a warrior at heart and a warrior does not harm his own." Kaitō says out of anger. He couldn't believe that his new teacher refused to acknowledge him on the very first day. HIM out of all these pathetic newbies. It was beyond insulting; he however, managed to control himself and sat down with his eyes closed, counting. "100, 99, 98, 97, 96, 95..." he counted in order to calm himself.
"I apologize Kaito, you came in late so I did not have checked on my roll sheet. You may go with Team B. And I understand that you have been through a lot, but that is no right to disrupt my class. You are projecting your thoughts onto me, when I do not believe in, or validate, any of your accusations. I do not think you killed your parents. Now if you wish to discuss this more, you can meet me after class." Samarra said with a stern tone, yet her smile on her face suggested that she was unfazed by the child's outburst.
Rayden sneered. "Looks like we're just a big team or weirdos aren't we. Murderer, amnesiac and a hardass. Tch figures."' Rayden stood giving Kaito a once-over. "Wow, what a tough guy. Already carrying a blade."
Amber closely watched the video, making careful note of every move the smaller person made. This was obviously something that would work in her favor eventually because of her stature, and getting to test it out was going to be exciting. Slipping out of her desk, she hops over to her new partner, Alexander, and pulls a desk over so they are facing each other. "This is all about upsetting the balance, right?" She says, jumping right into the topic for the sake of saving time, which was limited as it was. "They are a trio, so already we are at a technical disadvantage. However, while there is strength in numbers, there is a greater chance for miscommunication. With at least one troubled partner in their midst, they are already going to have a hard time." She glances over to the other group, carefully measuring them up. "In terms of raw muscle power, they appear to weigh us out. But, that just gives us more opportunity to surprise them, right?" She says, smiling brightly. She conjures up a small bit of water, then separated it into five separate pegs, to represent each student. "You said you use Celestial Spirit Magic, right? So that means we could potentially look like a small group, and then suddenly have greater numbers than them." After that, she makes two more pegs, adding it to the group who had only two to begin with. "What do you think?" She asks, peering up from her work. "I mean, unless you had something else in mind," she says, hoping that she hadn't taken too much control of the conversation.
Amazed by the girl's, Alexander's jaw dropped. He had a similar plan in mind, hoping to outrun the oposing team in terms of number with his celestial spirits. After about 10 seconds, he decided to share some of his thoughts. "Perhaps setting of a trap could go in out favour." he spoke in a somewhat quite tone. "As Lady Inari said, we know they're coming for us, and we're located in a forest. Perhaps if one of us created a distraction, the opposing team would simply decide to follow the runner. The hidden one should then ambush the trio from behind, allowing him to stealthy take down at least one of them. Then we'd be on firm ground." he finished as he looked at the water pegs. The downside of not having a caster magic.. thought the young mage as he took out his key-ring. Pointing at two golden ones, he said "These ones, that's us." Putting three silver keys in between the golden ones, he said "These are team B.". "It's seems more logical for you to be the runner" says Alexander as he moved her key forward, repeating the action with the three silver keys. "because then I could summon two spirits" he puts on two silver keys in front of his golden one "and ambush them from behind." he finished proudly as he started assembling his keys back. He put up his right hand in hopes that Amber would high-five him for the tactic.
Amber nods enthusiastically, following up by smacking her hand against his in a high-five. "That sounds great! Being that we're in a forest, getting their attention will be pretty easy as long as I move and make a lot of noise. Just keep a careful watch on your surroundings as well, and don't let your keys out of your sight. They all seem to be more than capable of stealing the keys, and I imagine they'll do it to win. This will probably determine the head of the class as well as future partnerships, so let's work hard to show Ms. Inari our strength," Amber says, a gentle smile on her face.
"I wouldn't worry that much about the keys if I were you." said the young celestial mage as he put his right hand over the keys. In matter of seconds, Alexander created a purple magic circle that seemingly absorbed the keys, leaving the table empty. "Requip. Works pretty well with Holder Magic." he said with a slight smile.
Rayden groaned, he didn't remember much of the battle but he had an idea. "Alright, tough guy, You're our main force, Nora I don't know what you do but hangout and support him. I can teleport so I'll draw them out as well as scout from all angles." Rayden took a breath, than continued speaking. "That Alexander kid uses Celestial Spirit Magic. He probably is planning to lure one of use out and use his Celestial Spirits to take them out. I'll play into his bait. I can move faster than and possibly steal his keys, then he cannot summon them or use his magic. Then the rest of us can take on Amber. Does anyone know what magic she uses?" Rayden looked at his teammates. As much as he disliked them already, he wanted to win.
Kaitō nodded his head in agreement with his teammate as he approved of the idea. "Good, the basics are clear. Now here's the problem, while you may label me as the tough guy and think I am all brutish and all, let me be honest with you. I specialize in speed, dexterity and precision not strength. All we need to do to disable that kid is take away his keys and sweep him off his feet, literally. As for Amber, if you didn't notice during the introductions, she made sure to include a nifty little detail about herself; she's a water-mage and that can be very bad unless we have a lightning mage. From the looks of it, Ms. Nora here is too busy playing dress up. That Samurai outfit is ridiculous, girl. Might wanna loose those gauntlets and arm guards; they'll only slow you down. The skirt however, might serve as a good distraction given that we are teenagers but we really don't know if they are perverts. Which leaves us with one problem, how do we deal with Amber and given that we have a larger team, I am pretty sure they're going to use the "disrupt their balance" tactic which only means we have to stick together and coordinate our attacks. If we screw this up, we lose. I am sure the Samurai-cosplayer here knows what losing for a warrior means. On a scale of one to ten, how willing are you to hit me? We can make them think that we already are in a disagreement and cause them to rush their plan. They are teenagers, of course they are going to make mistakes and rush things. Don't we all?"
Nora sneered. "You speak ill of my armor but I'm genuinely surprised that you can even move. The weight of your ego must be nearly unbearable. You're arrogant with an attitude to boot. People with personalities like that aren't known to last very long. Now down to business. I specialize in fire magic but I'm also able to perform wind and summoning magic as well. That'll give us an extra pair of hands to deal with our buddies over in team A, and yes one of my summons is a master of lightning magic. I'd suggest that Blondy over here, since as he mentioned, can teleport. That he deal with Alex. Despite my disadvantage against Amber, I'm sure that She'll be no match for me, you and, my summon. If you can put some of that 'speed and precision' to good use that is." Nora said.
Kaitō turned his head looking at Nora with a cheeky smile. "You maybe a dull blade but you know just where to make the cut, don't you? Just throwing it out there, I can use a bit of light magic. So I can use it to blind Amber for enough time for you to summon whatever you are summoning and then we can attack her. So, what do you say? Any problems? No? Okay." He added.
Seeing that both groups were busy discussing their teams plans for the debate, Samarra takes a look at the clock. "This is your five minute warning. Please agree on a plan and choose your main speaker for the debate."
"This guy is our main speaker!" Kaitō exclaimed, pointing towards Rayden. To everyone's surprise, he walks up to Rayden, patting him on his back. "You got this and trust me, if we lose, you're as good as dead. You get that? Good" he whispers to Rayden, making sure nobody overhears him.
"Kaitō do not threaten me." Rayden said standing then turned to the rest of his group. "By the way, you are all in the presence of a Heavenly Lightning God Slayer. So I can take care of both of them on my own, without your help."
"Why don't the two of you stop flexing your bravados? I swear, the air around the two of you completely reaks of testosterone fueled stupidity. It's disgusting." Nora said, arms crossed.
Rayden grumbled. "Yeah whatever. I can handle water girl, but I'm also the only one fast enough to pick the Celestial Mage's pockets. So what's the plan."
"I thought we made it clear. You and I create a drama, causing them to rush their plans and attack us head on. You teleport out, grab the keys and hit the kid. Nora distracts Amber and buys me enough time to cast the light spell and blind her. She summons her thing. Final attack. We win and stop bragging, man. It's not cute anymore." Kaitō said with an awestruck e expression that etched on his face.
"I got that, I just gotta tell you, that I could do it without you, but since this is a 'team' project, I'll comply, got it Toughie and Gauntlets?" Rayden finished. His body seemed to twitch left and right, repeating as he spoke.
"Just gotta tell us?. Oh, please. At this point you're just talking to hear the sound of your own voice. We get it already, you're the ultra powerful badass. I mean, how could we not know, you feel the need to mention it every five seconds.." Nora said mockingly. " And a piece of advice for both of you next time you decide to brag about yourselves, don't. It makes you sound insecure. If you're really all you say you are, others will brag for you." Nora said.
"Are you deaf? The bell rang twenty seconds ago. TING! TING! TING! Let's go people. Don't know about you blondie but I am done listening to our cutthroat pixie friend. We got the advantage. I'd prefer if we put that to use."
Amber looks between her and Alexander for a moment, trying to decide who would be the speaker. "Since I start it how about I go?" She asks, and with no objection from the boy, she stands, waiting until the final signal is given that signifies the beginning of the debate.
"Alright class, settle down. Your time is up. Team A will begin with their side of the debate, than Team B may respond. You will then both have one turn after that to counter the others response And secure a victory." Samarra says, and then nods towards team A for them to begin.
Amber takes a deep breath in, then turns to Rayden, staring at him directly, unafraid. Her green eyes glow with determination as she begins the debate. "Alexander and I are located within the forest and sense the oncoming trio. I separate from my group, heading towards them, but slightly to the east, making a loud commotion and moving sporadically to gain their attention. Alexander will use this time to sneak away and summon at least two spirits. As I am alone, Team B would take this as an easy opportunity to diminish our numbers further, and strike. Alexander and his spirits will then come up and surround the group, but staying silent and hidden. While I'm in the center of their formation from their initial attack, Alexander will work with his spirits and pull one of their members away, quickly putting them out of the fight. During this, I will lash out in a short, powerful burst of water which will distract the other two from Alexander's move. After this, Alexander and I will be on equal ground in terms of team numbers, but we will also have the Celestial Spirits on our side at this point as well." Amber nods slightly to Alexander, a proud smile on her face for explaining their plan without messing up or missing a beat.
Rayden rebuttled straight away, "Since I am a Heavenly Lightning God Slayer. I can teleport, therefore in our attack I shall teleport around the area and track Alexander. I will be able to steal his keys and or incapitate him on the spot. Meanwhile Nora and Kaito will attack Amber. Nora has a summon that can use lightning attacks incase I am not there to help fry Amber. Kaito will be watching out for the possibility that I fail my attack on Alexander, and also helping Nora attack Amber." Rayden smiled, looking back at his teammates.
Amber shook her head, as though she were a disappointed in Rayden's rebuttal. "Attacking Alexander head on by yourself would be a severe mistake. Alexander and I were already aware of your approach, as Ms. Inari stated, and had prepared beforehand, so stealing his keys will make no difference as his spirits will already be summoned. Once you get close enough, Alexander will incapacitate you with the help of his spirits, aiding in our plan from the beginning to get the teams on even ground in terms of members. After you are finished with, he will come to my aid and assist me in taking down the remaining members of your team, continuing with our plan from the start and sweeping either Kaito or Nora away with the stealth tactic. If Kaito is waiting to come to your aid after your failure, he will be the one who is swept, leaving Nora alone. With at least four of us against her, dominant magic or not, she will be outnumbered, and frustrated from being outmaneuvered not only once but twice. Her attacks will most likely be made out of that frustration, allowing us to calmly and swiftly dispatch the final member of your team without losing a single one of our members." Finishing with a definitive nod, she crosses her arms over her chest. She looks at Rayden with confidence exuding from a mere look, not to mention her posture and devious smirk.
Rayden smirked. "Taking away his keys was a precautionary measure to make sure he didn't summon anymore, despite that, I'm guessing that I could easily dodge his spirit buddies. I say guess only because you neglected to say what spirits he summoned. Considering he summoned two, i'll just take my chances that one of them isn't a zodiac key. Let's say that somehow he was able to take me down, there's no way I wouldn't take at least one of his spirits with me and throw those keys somewhere, taking just long enough for Nora and Kaito to take you out. Leaving Kaito, Nora, and her summon with only two to deal with."
All of a sudden the door to the classroom slams open revealing a short girl with deep red hair and a sword strapped to the side. The students recognized her as Malina Sakari .She seemed have a worried look on her face. "Am I late?!". And if things couldn't get worse, a blonde haired boy slammed into her on accident. Books flew onto the floor and slid in front of the teacher. The boy snapped his fingers, making a archive screen appear showing the time. He said "Were late by 33 minutes and 24 seconds". The boy stood up and introduced himself as Alfred Unik .
Nora rested her chin in her palm as she leaned forward in her desk, watching the commotion unfolding before her. " What a welcome interruption, wouldn't you agree?, Kaito?." Nora asked.
Crossing his arms, Kaitō yawned and turned his neck, looking at Nora. "Ha ha, very funny. If we are going to do the entire buddy thing, call me Kai."
Amber whips around, looking as the door bursts open to reveal her roommate, Malina. In her surprise, her mouth drops open, and she watches as Alfred tumbles in after her, causing all the books and papers within their grasp to go flying in every direction. Once she gains control over her facial expression, she begins to hurriedly pick up the things that got thrown her way. "I can't believe you were this late Malina! I told you to leave early in case anything happened. What did happen?" She says, quickly shoving all the redhaired girls belongings back in her hands. Or at least, she hopes their Malina's and not Alfred's.
"Malina, Alfred, you are far too late. You will get no credit for participation today and be required to stay after class to make up the lesson. Now to finish up the debate." Samarra says as she addresses the whole class. "Now based on the scenarios and retorts each team gave, I must say the winner of this mock battle is Amber and Alexander. Although I do feel they did not take into account of their opponent and their ability to overwhelm the power of a silver key spirit; they were the only team who did apply the lesson into their battle plan. They upset the equilibrium of their opponent by planning on seperating their formation as well as working on a psychological level. But I applaud both teams on their debate and I hope that your teamwork will improve as the class continues."
Malina gives a thumbs up to Amber with a smile on her face. Malina goes to sit down at an empty desk along with Alfred.
Nora leaned back in her chair. " How could we have incorporated the lesson?. They had already split up, so it's not like we could have split them up any more than that. Amber hadn't mentioned any direct attacks, she only said that Alex would take out Kaito and Rayden and then her and Alex would regroup and take care of me. There was nothing to really counter there. We sent out, and it pains me to say this, strongest member to take care of the guy who could increase their teams numbers while me and Kaito took out their loner. You could argue that Rayden throwing the keys away would disrupt their plan and throw them off balance because their plan called for Alex to regroup with Amber, but would he really leave his keys behind?. We used every advantage to its fullest potential. We had overwhelming numbers, speed, and strength. How did we lose, Miss Inari?"
Smiling politely at the inquisitive child Samarra speaks up, so that the whole class could hear. "The lesson was about using the path of least resistance to ensure an attack. Team A incorporated this by first ensuring that they were not outnumbered. They then focused on staying out of sight until they were prepared to attack. Yes she didn't mention any direct attacks, but the name of the lesson was 'indirect approach' after all. Like I said before, team A did not consider the strength of their enemy, which could overwhelm them; but team B's approach was a more offensive direct attack on a firm defensive stance due to the fact that team A already knew of theirs opponents location. I will not disagree and say that you countered the best you could, but you took more of a direct attack approach that relied on your teams strength. I believe if I were in your position I would have seen that their team had a celestial spirit user and would have focused all attacks on them. For once you knock over the King in chess, it does not matter how many pieces you continue to take. Once the main force that provides additional bodies to their unit is out, it would have been easy for your team to take the remaining Mage without suffering severe damages."
Looking at the time and the wall Samarra realizes they have gone over their hour by a few minutes and begins to quickly finish up her lesson. "Alright class it seems as if our time is up for today. Malina, Alfred, please come with me to my office where I will review the lesson briefly with you. Now you all have a bit of homework to do." Samarra says as a small groan can be heard in the class. " I would like you all to divide up into two teams among yourselves. Next class we will be covering offensive tactics still, but doing a real life mock up of various ambush tactics as well as introducing a pincer maneuver. I want you all to brainstorm how today's lesson, indirect tactics, is a valuable move when setting an ambush. We will pick up our lesson there. Hope you all have a wonderful day, class dismissed."
Malina and Alfred walked into Miss Inari's office as instructed. When they sat down, Malina immediately apologized, "Sorry Miss Inari! Alfred and I were in the library picking up books for this class from Mr. T! We didn't know we would be that late!". Alfred just nodded his head as she spoke.