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
- 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~