The essence of Munenori Yagyu burns within the Life Giving Sword. Legend goes his was soul branded into his own sword at the request of his son, Munefuyu, after he died. The purpose for that was to preserve his teachings through the sword as it passed down through the generations to come. However, the sword was stolen and has been in the possession of various factions since then, which is why the Yagyu fell from their prestigious status among the other schools. The latest faction known to have the sword in their possession is the Disciplinary Committee of the Kashima Art Institute.
- The sword binds consciousness with its wielder, the only way to break the connection is to kill the wielder.
- Wielders of the sword take on the mantle of Life Giver. A title which derives from Munenori's perspective on swordsmanship
- Sharp enough to cut through most material and can even harm metahumans and supernatural beings.
- Extremely durable, in fact, it's unbreakable.
- The wielder of the sword has access to all of Munenori's advanced sword techniques, including the ones he didn't write down in his treatise.
- The Life Giving Sword is pure, it can never be tainted. However, the sword can be wielded by impure souls and all of it's positive effects can be exploited.
As a life giver, one's conscience melds with Munenori's and both their mental aptitude and physiology change. They may transcend many of the laws of physics that bind humans and other material beings. The following are known enhancements to a life giver.
"No matter how many secret techniques you have learned, if your mind lingers on a single thing in battle, you will die. Never allow your mind to dwell on any one thing - not the opponent, yourself, or your sword.” - Munenori Yagyu
- The mind becomes free from distracting thoughts, the life giver is granted immunity to mental attacks of any kind and possesses the precognitive ability to sense danger. The mind's eye is open and the life giver may see through deception and darkness.
Katsujin-Ken (The Life Giving Sword)
“The sword that strikes down evil is the sword that gives life.” - Munenori Yagyu
- Life is good. Intention to destroy life is evil. To protect life is to give life. To give life is to breathe the ameliorative wind into the soul of the sword's wielder, bestowing upon them metahuman physiology and increasing their overall vitality as well.
- Life givers may heal as they cut (see death dealing blade for more information).
- life givers may also invoke the essence of Munenori's spirit. This is a power-up that can be triggered by near death injury or voluntarily, not many life givers have been able to invoke the essence voluntarily, however.
“It is easy to kill someone with a slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down.” - Munenori Yagyu
- As life giver, one's biology changes. With increased speed and reflexes, the life giver may parry, counter, dodge or even send an opponents greatest attacks, including magic or energy. This is further improved by the life giver's already enhanced awareness.
Satsujin-Ken (The Death Dealing Blade)
"The death-dealing sword is the sword which is poised to strike first. Thus, the sword which is not poised to strike is called the life-giving sword." - Munenori Yagyu
- Life givers may drain the life force of whomever or whatever they choose to cut, in turn they may heal any injuries inflicted upon themselves.
- Life givers using the techniques of death dealing tend to strike at an opponents weak points, for example their wrists, which may render them incapable of holding their weapons or may render them immobile.
Muto (No Sword)
“The art of fighting without a sword is not a simple compiling of techniques designed to wrest a sword away, but it is the art of using whatever means necessary to prevail in such a fight. If you can engage an armed opponent and take his weapon from him to use as your own, then you should be able to use anything at hand as a weapon also. Even a simple fan can be deadly against a sword in the hands of one so skilled. This is the real essence of the art.” - Munenori Yagyu.
- The divine essence bestowed upon the Life Giver is released and their true potential pours out.
- Unmitigated physiological attributes, magic and energy.
- A protective barrier of energy constantly radiates from the Life Giver, protecting them from all forms of attack.
- The no sword technique makes a life giver just as dangerous when unarmed.
Chastity Cherish, The Life Giver
Chastity is an 18 year-old exchange student to the Kashima Art Institute and a member of its Disciplinary Committee. Her stoicism has earned her a reputation for being cold and heartless, and when she's irked she usually lets her sword do the snapping instead of her mouth. Aside from her personality, her achievements and status at the institution are quite prevalent. At the age of 13 she was invited into the Disciplinary Committee after defeating the school's former martial arts champion during its annual tournament. Since then she had continuously reigned over the competition for 5 years, setting the school's record of consecutive defenses. The accomplishment earned her a top position in the committee. Her incredible prowess and swordsmanship had also earned her the privilege to wield the Life Giving Sword; a privilege she's seemingly content with. So after having defended her title for 5 years, and acquiring the famous sword, Chastity has officially retired from the tournament at the beginning of the year. The coveted title is now up for grabs. Away from academics and school politics, Chastity is involved with some shady dealings that the Disciplinary Committee secretly carry out for the Leadership Council.
Chastity's powers originally derive from the martial skills (see skills below) she has learned at the school's Kashima Shrine Academy, but with the Life Giving Sword in her possession she has been endowed with even more powers. (See endowments above for more information)
- Peak human attributes (at base)
- Ki-enhanced atrributes
- Yagyū Shinkage-ryū Heihou: As a practitioner of Yagyu swordsmanship, Chastity's fighting style is more subtle and rooted in counter-strikes and quick attacks. By practicing this style she almost never finds herself worn out.
- Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu & Aikido: Two Japanese martial arts centered around defense rather than offense with the latter of the two incorporating a deeper emphasis on blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on.
- Heijoshin: The practice of keeping the mind calm at all times. Ever since first entering into the Kashima Shrine Academy, Chastity has proven herself to be a natural in this art.
- Shunpo: Chastity is a practitioner of shunpo, or lightning step, and though she isn't the strongest at the school, the utilization of speed give more momentum behind every swing of her sword, which allows her to deal great damage.
- Kido: Along with her counterpart, Antoine, Chastity incorporates the practice of kido into her repertoire of skills and is one of the foremost practitioners of the art at the institute.