A Returner's Magic Should Be Special

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Ch. 32
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They're all betas
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KEUKKKKK
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@ninjadork
Mod edit: Please put this sort of thing in spoilers.

Last edited 4 mo ago by Zephyrus.

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Mod edit: Please put this sort of thing in spoilers.

Last edited 4 mo ago by Zephyrus.

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Just... a little notice to myself that Pram doesn't have enough strength now as with the same strength he only survived like the quarter of the whole expedition....
And this is sure sh!tty as if this group gets defeated then they also couldn't rise in the ranks...
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@ninjadork Yeah, I much prefer a character be aware of the ramifications of their actions, unintentional evil is a very annoying copout, that's why I couldn't continue reading Overlord.

Last edited 5 mo ago by gaigous.

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This convo was very civil. I like people here
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@ninjadork: Jupp. ?
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@gaigous Gah, I hope not. I already dropped ToDaG after rating it 1/10 near the beginning of the wing-world arc, I'd rather not see that shit happen again. When your character is unintentionally more morally deficient than Guts from Berserk, you've really fucked up.

@Qelix You know what I've found really excellent about this talk? Between the two of us we've taken a decent character with secondary exposure time and developed a more complicated character than most AA+ movies and TV shows ever do; a conflicted person wavering between what D&D would call Lawful Neutral and Lawful Evil. Even if we disagree so strongly that there's a persistent disagreement on some issues, this was worthwhile.
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@ninjadork
*Impaired empathy and remorse
"[...]recall that in the opening placement exams, she gives Desir a rather involved talk about how he should take it easy.[...]"
Well, it was insulting. Hands down. One could even interpret it as trash talking, but I concur with you so far, that it could have been an (awkwardly failed) attempt to show kindness. But then it also was a very, veeery,...., very lackluster attempt. Even for a socially awkward person. So lackluster that I have to ask myself, if it was really genuine or if it has been drilled into her, as part of her noble raising, to show sportsmanship and a noble behavior. (A learned behavior.) She judged him to be one of the weaker new students, while she herself had to be one of to top tier. So it could have been, that after he greeted her with a "Hi..", it was kind of a compulsion. Maybe it was even something else: A nicer, "You're talking to me? Know your place and piss off." in a noble manner, that is.
Sadly my first impression was undefined, as I read it under the suspicion, that she might also have kept her memory. Now I'm very unsure, if was meant genuine friendly or not.

*persistent anti-social behavior
"[...]That requires a pretty heavy level of socialising beforehand,[...]"
Frankly, I didn't see any of that socialising and I also disagree that it must have taken place. What I have seen is a functioning squad that listens to commands and offer opinions. This behavior could steam from everyone acknowledging Adjest as strongest and most intelligent and that it is part of their noble upbringing. (Dog don't eat dog.) Some of her teammates looking slightly worried (most look baffled), when she told them to go, might also be, because there are always some people (I'm looking at you bun-girl), who are kind enough for both sides.
I also didn't see interactions with friends or family. We saw a cold attitude, that in best case might be the result of social awkwardness.
Yet again the socialising could have happened, but it's only a possibility.

*bold, disinhibited, and/or egotistical traits
Nothing definitive on this side here either.

But to counter my own point, that she might have psychopathic traits: There still is her honor as warrior. She walked up to MC + group and declared war. That scene has to be explained with warrior honor and therefore there is at least something, that is hinting empathy within her.

At least we concur on the a "bad way to handle" thing. Geez, Adjest really.

Also. Wall of text again. I'm sorry.

Last edited 5 mo ago by Qelix.

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@Qelix @ninjadork This is a Korean novel adaptation, so give it a couple of volumes, I'm sure all the characters will have become monsters in the name of world salvation :P
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all according to keikaku*

*keikaku means plan
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@Qelix First, I entirely agree with your point that she chose a bad way to handle her loss. There are very, very few situations in life where monofocusing on the defeat of your chosen target is in any way a good idea, and this isn't one of them.

However, I want to deconstruct your points concerning the criteria for psycopathy as a reference to future usage:

*persistent anti-social behavior
*Impaired empathy and remorse
*bold, disinhibited, and/or egotistical traits

The first one is relatively easy to argue against; while she does not talk much where we can see her, this whole exam section demonstrates that she has a good working rapport with her team-mates. They work well together, and trust each other to handle their assigned tasks. That requires a pretty heavy level of socialising beforehand, and is not something that could happen if Adjest was persistently anti-social.

The empathy and remorse bit is actually the easiest to disprove; recall that in the opening placement exams, she gives Desir a rather involved talk about how he should take it easy. While this certainly was delivered in a cold dispassionate manner (it would be reasonable to call it insulting), this is one of the biggest displays of empathy and (maybe) remorse in the whole series up to our current chapter. None of the accusations she labeled against Desir were completely incorrect; he is not particularly outstanding in any physical sense, and everything she'd seen up to that point indicated he didn't have the overwhelming skill to compensate. It's definitely misplaced and awkward as all hell, but it was a real genuine attempt to spare a complete stranger from immense pain and suffering. And the way she delivered it carried substantial hints that she's seen the like before, which is where the possible remorse comes in.

I don't have much of an argument against the character traits bit because all three of those words mean quite different things and it is frequently a fine line between them; her current behavior certainly doesn't stray far from them. However, I would say that until we've seen these traits exhibited consistently in calmer settings, that's still a failed criteria, since we're still in the middle of a combat situation.
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@ninjadork: That's a very solid theory and quite likely what the author is going for her. But first of all, I am sorry, but I meant "psychopathic" not "psychotic". My mistake. You showed how she might have ended up in a situation in which she had no idea how to react to and no one to turn to to ask for advice, followed by a relatable overreaction, as she is inexperienced and thought this is the right way to deal with this.

Yet I still decided to also take the outside view into consideration: A sheltered(?) noble princess, who knows she has real battle power, takes an examination, that pits her against other examinees, and one fellow managed to beat her. That guy is also a commoner. This might have damaged her reputation. Or not. No matter, in both cases her reaction is to focus on that student and instead of digging it out in a more harmless fashion (maybe even in a peaceful one), she decides to strike at him, when she can deal most damage, by thwart his plans to better his standing. Or maybe her timing is irrelevant to her as long as she can strike, but even then she shows no consideration whatsoever. She even goes outside her way and saves her other rivals in that examination to make sure, that guy does not win, even if she defeats him (or not) minutes later. (I don't care, if she has been tasked with that.)
From the outside it seems as a) her pride has been hurt (true), b) she wants to mend that (true) (an egoistic motive, understandable, but egocentric motivated[I'm not an expert in psychology. I'm only throwing some words around in an attempt to communicate my point. Please bear with me/my mistakes. ?]) and c) after she had time to analyses her target, without any empathy, without regard to what or whom she destroys, she goes for the kill with stone cold precision. (defiantly true)
"Psychopathy is traditionally a personality disorder characterized by persistent antisocial behavior, impaired empathy and remorse, and bold, disinhibited, and egotistical traits."

At this point I wouldn't go so far to call her a psychopath, as she really was in a new situation for her, but the fact, that she choose to handle that situation in this way...Damn, that is unsympathetic, nice sword princess to look at or not.

From her perspective there is reason to sympathise with her, but in the end she decided on some quite toxic behavior, so no. Those points are deducted.

@gaigous Well, In real life, I wouldn't associate with a person like that, but in fiction, I almost always prefer a self-serving character over a benevolent one.
Nah, that's cool. Many do and everyone has their taste. ^^

Last edited 5 mo ago by Qelix.

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Okay, for the first place, that is not a longsword. That is a steel paddle with a blade. Second place, Rapiers are not super light weapons. A rapier would weigh about as much as any other one handed sword.

I'm still on team Adjest.
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@Qelix You're not really understanding Adjest's motivations here. It helps in a weird way if you listen to Strangers Like Me when you read this.

Remember, towards the beginning of this series, Desir has one of his mini-thought-monologues where he mentions that he wants to "re-ignite Adjest's competitive streak". So when combined with the prologue, right off the bat we've got an appraisal of Adjest as an extremely serious, goal-oriented person who has both a drive and a commitment to success that is very rare, completely independent of her level of skill.

Next, keep in mind that throughout the whole series up to this point, Adjest has been bored to tears and probably a little sick of all the politicking shenanigans that have been displayed up to now. As a noblewoman of both skill and renown, she spends a majority of every week dealing with people trying to use her for their own ends, even if only in passing

So she's bored, not really challenged to her limits, and suspicious of people trying to play her all the time.

Then, some random commoner schmuck pulls a multi-level RKO out of nowhere; he fights her head on with no pretense of political bullshit, he presents enough of an obstacle that Adjest really commits for the first time in a long time, and then he wins not through force, but by exploiting a weakness that is so completely fucking obvious in hindsight that Adjest has more trouble than she's likely ever had before understanding how she failed so hard. And the cherry on the cake is that this weakness was absolute; not only was it so simple, but addressing it even a tiny bit would have guaranteed her victory.

Now, after spending a decent span of time wrestling with this loss in an environment where she has literally no-one near her who can understand, much less be trusted to help make sense of it all, she decides to deal with it the only way she knows how.

Redouble her efforts and win.

She's not psychotic at all, by any definition. She's a young woman of decent character and uncommon capability growing up in a cut-throat, arguably disfunctional environment. And like most such people, she's over-reacting to her first real exposure to something really, truly NEW.

In short, she's a teenager. Like hundreds of millions of others you'll find anywhere in today's world.

Last edited 5 mo ago by ninjadork.

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@Qelix Well, In real life, I wouldn't associate with a person like that, but in fiction, I almost always prefer a self-serving character over a benevolent one.
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Beta and Alpha......just like Bloom and Weed in Mahouka
both MC is good at analyzing....yep its indeed like Mahouka
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@gaigous: It's a vendetta/rivalry to her, she probably doesn't give two shits about the big picture.
Well, I guess that's the reason, but she still declared a private vendetta against somebody for besting her in a contest your expected to best each other. She is butthurt for being defeated for the first time and wants revenge. Isn't this quite ... well ... psychotic psychopathic? Because he actually has what is needed to defeat her, she tries to obliterate him. You are right and the more I think about it, the more I dislike her.

Last edited 5 mo ago by Qelix.

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@melnyx good lookin out brutha!

Last edited 5 mo ago by firosahoge.

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