Kaede's Last Memory and Minor Updates

Sylviane's Concept Artwork by Hachi-Hana - still WIP

As typical for end-of-volume time, I go around making tons of edits. A comment by Kemm reminded me that Daybreak always had an awkward exposition (something beta-reader Himeko used to tell me a lot) so I went back to make edits to chapters 1-3. Not much change a reader wouldn't know already, except -- I added a bit more detail for Kaede's last memory before waking up in Hyperion. A reader once complaining that they had to wait until volume 3's first chapter before receiving any information about what Kaede was like on Earth, so...

Beginning of Kaede POV in Volume 1, Chapter 2:

Kaede had never felt this tired after waking up from a nap. His entire body was felt sore and extraordinarily weak. It took exertion just to push against the bedcovers, with barely a sliver of his usual strength.

[ Wait a sec... when did I fall asleep? ]

It had been a tiring week. Kaede had been a member of his high school's athletics festival planning committee, and this year the timing overlapped with an archery tournament that he would be attending. He had been staying late every day to make sure that his previous years of experience would be passed down to his successor, all while joining the morning training sessions at the Kyūdō Archery Club as one of its senior members. Combined with the schoolwork that a 12th-grader still had to finish, it left Kaede with many late nights where he could squeeze in six hours of sleep at best.

It didn't help that his sister's family had fallen sick, prompting his Japanese mother to fly to Vladivostok to care for them. His father -- like most Russian men -- was useless at housework, so Kaede had to wake up even earlier every morning to prepare breakfast.

Today was one such morning, and Kaede's last memory had been laying on the couch as he waited for the clock to strike seven.

[ It was only half an hour before I needed to meet up with others and leave for the archery tournament. ]

The fear that he had overslept lit up his mind in a flash. His eyes sprang open, his arms reaching out by force of habit in search of his smartphone, only to promptly freeze as realization came.

[ Where the heck am I? ]

In the words of Kadi: "reading Kaede/he is so wrong." XD

Also updated:

  • Synopsis - since as people note, vol1 is very different from vol2-3 in tone, and I wanted to hint a bit at that here. Still can't decided if that last line (The Dawn of Enlightenment is upon Hyperion) is excessive or not, thoughts appreciated ^^
  • Character List - broken down by countries

Lastly: added Edith's character stats for fun -- unlike the main characters, she has a very combat-focused build.

Edith-Estellise is the primary support character in volume 3 and was rather fun to design -- she has insanely high stats, able to kill just about any other character with one common swipe of her sword, or destroy entire squadrons in a fly-by with her Tempest Blade feat. Her character traits include 6 of the 7 Heavenly Virtues (not to be confused with the 7 Traditional Christian Virtues), missing only Patience. Furthermore, she has many of the high-prerequisite end-of-chain abilities such as Critical Mastery, Beacon of Inspiration, Peerless Orator, and Righteous Fervor, as well as three unique abilities (Aurora Blade, Ardent Conviction, and Lux Aeterna) and two artifact-grade equipment (Sword of Charity + Saint's Lily). She even has a 'tragic past' backstory!

In other words, she's pretty much a 'Mary Sue' who should be the 'Hero' in many fantasy stories (or at least the 'wise old man' who trains the hero)... except she also has the hugely detrimental 'Zealous' trait.

Says something about how I work character roles~

~ Aorii

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13 thoughts on “Kaede's Last Memory and Minor Updates

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  1. Leecher5515

    Just saying it's fine if we don't know what Kaede was like on earth and it's perfectly fine too use flashbacks for that kind of thing rather than trying to cram a full character into a paragraph. It's not really important that we know who she was and if it is we can find out when she's struggling with something that goes against who she used to be. It's part of character development and too many mediocre stories start off that way that people expect to learn everything, or else it's a "plot hole." Anyway you developed your character and we learned more about him as it became relevant to the story, maybe you did it well, but did adding a longer description of Kaedes last memory actually add anything to the story?

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      Interesting point. Vol1 was paced in such a way that flashbacks didn't fit in very well. But I see you're right in that this scene doesn't add that much more to the story. The only thing it reinforces strongly is Kaede's "mature/overachiever" mentality as a high schooler -- which can be glimpsed from several other parts but, not as easily.
      The one important detail I never clarified in vol1 was that Kaede never had a very 'masculine' personality to begin with. Sure it can be read from between the lines but for some readers it seems to really throw them off.

      Reply
  2. Arcane

    Regarding 'The Dawn of Enlightenment is upon Hyperion'

    I think what's important here is word choice and what you envision the end-state to be. To me, enlightenment would mean the denizens of Hyperion will gain a deeper understanding of the Universe or at least their world eg: significantly more knowledge and understanding of the Worldwalkers, the inner workings of magic, truth of the world(s), etc.

    Or on the other hand, there is change and revolution eg: social, geopolitical, technological. Your focus at the end is what is important here; there is maybe even a better word than 'Enlightenment' or 'Revolution' out there.

    As always, looking forward to vol4 ^^

    Reply
      1. Arcane

        Ah, I wasn't aware it was a direct reference to that era. Makes a lot more sense now!

        Reply
      2. al'Thor

        Hi!
        This makes it clearer to me. I'm not a native english speaker, so I did not know it could also mean this.
        Either way, I think it is too much.
        I go with the philosophy of showing rather than telling wherever I can and I would prefer this here as well.
        Just "Dawn is upon Hyperion" is more than enough in my opinion. Let the reader puzzle out for themself what dawns upon Hyperion. Maybe have Kaede remark about the enlightenment age sometimes.

        Thank you for all your hard work on this!

        Reply
        1. AoriiAorii Post author

          You're absolutely correct... which is actually why I'm troubled by this.
          It's always better to show than tell, but a synopsis is meant to serve as a hook telling people 'if you're interested in these topics, this might be for you'. Well, 'Enlightenment' is a theme that takes Daybreak a long time to truly get into and show (since it's such a complicated issue).

          Reply
  3. WinterRED

    Always interesting to see the tidbits that occur between fully fleshed out chapters of the novel. Not a lot of authors (that I've come across) tend to show their thinking process and character development, but yours is quite enjoyable to read. Very excited for the coming chapters as well. I've very much enjoyed the Northmen/Caliphate invasion arc, but I'm also looking forward to Kaide's (and maybe Pascal's) eventual journey to the other various unique cultures of Hyperion. In particular, the Republic and Dawn Imperium will be great since I have a feeling that Kaide may be meeting some more legendary figures in these two nations; figures that she may well recognize from her love of history.

    Also, great work Hachi-Hana with the art! Of all the characters described, I've always had the most trouble visualizing Slyv. Spent hours agonizing over what exactly a "daughter of a backwater baron" might look like, and never really understood what exactly a plum coloured mop might entail. I think you've done a pretty good job of capturing some of the key points of the princess, so keep up the great work!

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      Thanks~
      Unfortunately for your hopes, we'll be staying in Rhin-Lotharingie for a while. Hopefully I can do this nation and its various cultures justice. Research has been hard since there's not a great deal of info about Gaul before the Roman conquest.
      And yeah I myself thought Hachi really captured the 'a little pretty but otherwise common' image of Sylv

      Reply
  4. Zatman

    It's amazing how detailed your world building is for the story

    Also may I ask what happened to krytyk? havent seen an update from him in a while now

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      He left a comment on this site earlier today so... clearly present and just busy P=

      Reply
  5. Hachi

    *looks at Edith's stats*
    "...she has insanely high stats, able to kill just about any other character with one common swipe of her sword, or destroy entire squadrons in a fly-by with her Tempest Blade feat."
    0_____0 *is now terrified of Edith*

    I had no idea she was 34! I always thought she was in her mid-late twenties for some reason >__< The 'Mary Sue' of the story lol (I love that "she even has a 'tragic past' backstory!" you know your audience well.)

    I imagine what "The Dawn of Enlightenment is upon Hyperion" would look like if Daybreak were a physical book. Just that one line on a completely black page in white, italicized ink at the very end. I think it would make quite an impact! Doesn't seem excessive, and it fits well in the synopsis! (I still think it could make a really good last page of the novel too but that's just me, it's fine where it is lol) ^^

    Also, I like the new little insert that expands on Kaede before he was transported to Hyperion as a girl. Poor guy had a lot on his plate, now she has it turned up to Hardcore difficulty.

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      Copypasta from my 'ages' cheat sheet (only a rough guideline since you know, ppl vary ^^):

      Appearance: actual age
      0-15: normal
      16-20: 16-25 (x2)
      21-30: 26-75 (x5)
      31-35: 76-95 (x4)
      36-40: 96-110 (x3)
      40-50: 111-130 (x2)
      51+X: 131+X

      I've never actually settled on Edith's age, but she had to be at least 30 since she fought in the last war.

      I originally thought that v1ch3 (Kaede reminiscing atop the Dorm Keep) would drop enough hints about what she was like in the old world -- that she was bit of an overachiever going to a 1st rate university. But it didn't really hit for most people SO, here we go =D

      Reply