This article, Exploration into history: Training of the Shuhankage, is property of Cold hard steel.

James, the Shuhankage of Kabegakure, or the HQ of the Guardians, was doing paper work in his office when his assistant walked in and gave him a letter and backed out of the room. James opened it up to reveal its contents, which were mostly data about the conditions of the captains and current info. He skimmed down the line: Ean- out looking for artifacts, Scarr- representing the Guardians in a worldwide tournament, Jenifer- traveling, Jacob- fighting with resistance troops in southern Luminos, Wasa- vacationing in the drylands of Pyros hunting giant Kangaroos, old man Hollister- on his own hunting season, and Megan was training in the mountains. Wow, These people are working pretty hard. I guess it's been a while since I myself was out there increasing my strength and stamina. James spun in his special chair and looked out his window dozens of stories up out into the horizon. Maybe I should get out there. Dump all of this on Parren, thought James as he eyed the large stack of paper that came with running a fairly large business. James then got up and walked to his dorm room on th other side of town, packed enough for a few months and went to Parren and said "There's a large stack of legal and business documents on my desk in my office, I was being thoughtful and left it as a present." James left Parren to groan and trudge to the only office building in the HQ. He walked to the gates and waited for them to open (after giving proper id and telling the guards to be on the lookout and that he was going to go out for a while, no idea when he'll be coming back)and lept out into the open world.

Okay, where to go, where to go... ah, the old training grounds back at my old village. That would do good for his sword skills, at least. James arrived and looked around to see no one and put his things down and took his sword out, practicing his technique and precision for about a day, taking a break every meal or so. When he began the next day, he started to back his attacks with magic, accidentally creating a gouge in the earth after a miscalculated swing. He then realized how little power he put into that attack and then looked at the effect. He decided then and there what he was going to do that month.

The Product of Research

Before starting, James went to the archives in the village he was training by and looked up old magic techniques to see if he had missed something back when he first started. He went through the majority of the books and continued to find nothing until he happened across a book on the finer ways to control magic in ways other than just spells. This information was on how to strengthen a weapon's endurance and power far past its original limits. The illustration provided showed the flow of magic going out for a miniscule amount of space and then turning back on the blade, thus sharpening it. If this was done flawlessly, it would cut most alloys, even some barriers without using huge amounts of magic. James decided to test this theory out in the mountains close to the village. He arrived in the foothills, full of rock and boulders perfect for this type of exercise. He drew his sword and focused a small amount of energy into the handle, traveling up the blade to the edge. James then swung as quickly as the wind flies and cleanly cut a six-foot boulder in half. He continued on a little rampage until his arm was sore and took a break. If that technique increases the cutting abilities of a sword, then what could increase the destructive abilities... maybe just blasting magic from the sword's edge right before a hit? James contemplated the differentials and stood up, walked to a boulder that was still intact and swung. The effect was like an explosive, the sword smashed the rock apart into chunks, sending parts flying everywhere. James swatted away a piece of rock that came at his face and felt a slight drained feeling, apparently that technique was not well advised because of its recklessness.

After taking a break, drinking some water and eating a bit, James decided to research farther into the book he was reading to find more information on controlling magic the way he did. He checked out the book from the archives and looked at its cover. He noticed a layer of leather sewn on and some strange language peeking out from under the artificial cover. He scanned it sent the under picture to Sam and waited for the picture to process. In the mean time he began to read.

James opened to page one and read the intorduction: If one would assume that the techniques and spells normally cast and performed by today's magic users were of inferior caliber, then the reader would have been reading this book to increase knowledge or strength, hopefully the former. Inside will be found the history of scientific magic and the theories that accompany it and the proper use and execution of said techniques. It is my wish that whomever reads this shall grow in intelligence and become versed in the ways of scientific magic. --E.C. Wils

Looks like a book Sam would read... Thought James. He continued to scan the pages for knowledge, learning things even he in his thirty or so years of demon hunting hadn't known until he opened the pages of this book.

Stepping on an Ant Without Crushing it

James had learned so much out of reading only a chapter of the book, including more detailed directions on compression of magic. Apparently, with enough control, one could sharpen a blade or increase its destructive power. To sharpen it, magic had to be compressed and sharpened into a fine edge, almost like paper at the end. This not only strengthened the weapon, it gave it the ability to cut anything. Opposing this is not focusing the magic and causing a destructive force to surround the weapon, almost like tiny, powerful explosions happening constantly. If he could liberaly use this easily, then that would be extremely effective in battle.

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