- "Forged from failure."
Yongqi Zuko (ヨング•ズコ , Yongki Zuko), currently known as Clara (クララ, Kurara), is a swordsman from the country of Wano, currently working as one of the primary guards of Longinus princesses. She was born into a highly acclaimed family of swordsmen in Wano, expected to be a boy and when she was born was given the masculine name Zuko, meaning "failure" as an offense to her birth. Because of the general misogynism of the country, Zuko was ignored in favor her brother Zihao, though she was still taught the same caliber of swordsmanship from her accepting uncle.
As she aged her prowess grew and so did tensions with the rest of her family. When Zuko was seventeen she stole the heirloom of her family, the Hada Hada no Mi, meant as a gift for her brother when he came of age. After consuming the fruit and becoming a Shattering Human, Zuko fled Wano, taking on the less ethnically conspicuous name Clara (クララ, Kurara). For a while she struggled to control her new power, finding that she could not use any blade without breaking it. She sought after a blade resistant to her power, making her way to Dressrosa, meeting the blacksmith Dravolos Ashraf who was able to forge her a blade known as Tianbain (涯•空と海, Hate; Sora to Umi lit. Horizon; Sky and Sea), forged of the legendary metal Ustokos.
After receiving her new tool, Clara was able to master her new talents as a gladiator in the Coliseum on the fifth of Dressrosa's outlying islands. She quickly rose the ranks, garnering an unbelievable record and a stem of dominating victories. It was this that won her the interest of the King herself, Longinus Niu. Shortly after a violent interaction between the two, Clara was appointed to her current position as the protector of Niu's daughters, more particularly affiliated with Longinus Nyssa, additionally gaining the epithet of The Red King's Blade (赤王刃, Aka-ō Ha)
Befitting of her status, Clara is intimidating in overall appearance, radiating an air of strength. She is devoid of facial expressions, with straight posture and a strong physique, which alongside the deadly glinting blade at her side, ensures her status as a warrior. She is also noted to be stoically beautiful, like a statue in a garden.
Her hair is a stunning attribute; long, soft, straight, and shimmering with a healthy gleam. It is often held back into a tight ponytail, short bangs frame both the left side of her face as well as falling over her forehead, parted to the right. It is a rare sight to behold, but in some situations, when Clara wears her hair down it falls all the way to her the ridge of her hips. Her eyes are thin and slanted, a major indicator of her country of origin. They are an eerie shade of sea-green set with steel resolve. The complimentary contrast in shade between her hair and eyes is striking if not hauntingly gorgeous, catching the gaze of many around her, including Princess Nyssa.
She has an overall ovaline facial structure, with prominent cheekbones, a strong jaw and a small button nose and eyes framed by thin, expressive brows. Her face almost always rests in a neutral expression, only the slightest emotions shown through the raise of one eyebrow, crinkle of her nose, or the narrowing of her eyes to name the more common. Clara stands straight, with perfect posture to reach a relatively average height of 5'8. While unfeminine in behavior, She possesses an hourglass figure, with a large bust and wide hips. Her body is in a peak state of physical fitness, noticeable muscle packed beneath her pale skin.
Clara's body is not unmarred, with a variety of scars across her back. Some are older than others, though the quantity is vast, all made by cruel knife cuts in various patterns across the skin. These are gifts of her family, a permanent reminder beyond her name of how little she was to them. The other more significant marks are on her neck from recent wounds inflicted by Zihou. The scars consist of circular puncture marks, four on left side and one on the right from when he attempted to kill her by piercing her neck with his own hand, enhanced by his Zuba Zuba no Mi. After this incident, she was left unable to speak for six weeks as her throat and vocal chords healed. When she regained her voice, her tone became raspy and gravel-like.
Clara has a relatively plain wardrobe, emphasizing comfort and mobility above style, though she is most often seen in uniform. Her uniform consists of soft, breathable long-sleeved tunic. It is an oddly fashioned piece of fabric, with no sewing done to the single piece. Clara dons it like a jacket, a black undershirt underneath before the sleeves and back. The front is placed across her chest and secured with small toggles on her right side. The tunic is dark purple, with lighter piping on the neck, front piece, and sleeves. The uniform is completed by a pair of tight yet mobile black leggings, ankle length black boots and a double-wrapped lavender sash around her waist that holds Tianbain in place. In her free time outside of guarding, Clara often wears outfits similar to her uniform, loose tops, leggings, and boots, with the occasional addition of a jacket.
Personality and Traits Edit
- Main article: Longinus Niu
- Main article: Longinus Nyssa
- Main article: Longinus Antoinetta
- "Family. Mutilating family. That is something that cannot be ignored."
- —Clara to Avelina.
- Main article: Longinus Avelina
- Main article: Longinus Judas
Natural Abilities Edit
Ways of Combat Edit
Hand-to-Hand Combat Edit
Clara has been trained in a special combination of martial arts by her uncle since she was a child. Not only did he built her strength and skill as a swordsman, but he supplied her his devastating combination of martial arts, to protect herself without a weapon as well. Clara's style stems mainly from Wing Chun, a form of combat that primarily utilizes striking, maximizing her own strength and efficiency of energy. Beyond this, she utilizes the striking and movement techniques of Leopard Kung Fu, joint locks stemming from Chin Na, as well as aggressive mentality and barrage-style attacks reminiscent of Xing Yi Quan. The teachings of these components have given Clara an unpredictable and fast-paced style of combat, prioritizing speed and the natural amplification of force through proper bodily movements.
First is her positioning, staying on the outside of the opponent to limit their mobility, making it more difficult for them to strike her. Her stance is narrow, keeping her elbows close to the body, arms are positioned across the centerline. This makes it readily easy to block attacks or place quick blows to the susceptible points on her foe's body. It is compared to bamboo, firm and flexible, used to strike then redirect or deflect her enemies strikes before countering once more. Wing Chun has taught Clara awareness of her own body, ensuring that her body is relaxed to avoid unnecessary muscle tension that would waste her energy and increase fatigue. By keeping her limbs relaxed, Clara is capable of striking quicker and more efficiently, using positioning of her body, such as the rotation of her hips or positioning of her elbows to bolster power.
Her strikes are aimed at the center of the body, attacking vital points such as the eyes, nose, throat, neck, solar plexus, stomach, pelvis, and groin. By targeting these positions she is capable of transmitting force more effectively and doing more damage per strike. Clara uses multiple types of punches. Most commonly, she strikes with a straight punch, using the rotation of her hip and a lowered elbow to generate as much force as possible. Almost as frequently, is the Leopard Fist, appearing as a half-opened fist. It is used to strike either with her knuckles or the flat of her palm.  Both of these strikes are quick and direct, making them difficult to block whole still applying maximum strength. She will occasionally utilize uppercuts or hooks as well.
Kicks are generally aimed at the lower half of the body, using side kicks, roundhouse kicks, and sweeps, to knock foes off balance or to break their legs. Typically, Clara fights at complete close range, but will also occasionally implement front kicks or shovel kicks when at a longer distance. Her elbows and knees are used as well, delivered in a manner that generates as much power as possible, further diversifying her capabilities. Clara also incorporates three varieties of joint locks, to control and lock an opponent's muscles and joints to incapacitate them. The first is Fen Jin, bending the body to tear muscles and snap tendons. Cuo Gu to dislocate joints and break bones. Lastly is Bi Qi, using strikes to the solar plexus as well as chokeholds to prevent them from inhaling, causing muscle contraction. 
Clara's style of combat is incredibly versatile, with quick advances and strikes to in a close range. She is quick and brutal, her strikes strung together into a chain of devastating attacks. Her goal is to neutralize the opponent as quickly as she can, overwhelming them with her brutal arsenal of attacks. Although her strikes are devastatingly powerful, they are also uncommitted. This means that if the technique fails to connect, her position and balance are not affected because of her stance and movement, allowing her to quickly flow into another attack. While she does possess exceptional strength, Clara mainly relies on her overwhelming speed and use of tactics, using as her movements and positioning to overwhelm her foes. While she is not known for her prowess with her fists, Clara is still more than capable of dishing out debilitating damage.
- Leopard Leap (, ):
- Echo Fist (, ):
One of Clara's most defining traits is the blade, Tianbain, at her waist and her deadly talent with said weapon. Alongside empty hand martial arts training, Clara's uncle honed her talent with the Dao, first strengthening her body with basic training in stance, physical conditioning, and footwork. From there, he began to teach her the fluid and energy efficient form of swordplay, Daoshu, specializing in flowing cuts and devastating linked attacks. By the age of eleven, Clara had considerable mastery over the single-bladed Daoshu and began the process of learning the difficult dual-bladed style Shuangdao, learning how to simultaneously wield two Dao in a fast-paced rotating nearly unpenetrable style. Both styles are incredibly fluid, moving in a manner so artistic it could be likened to a devastating offensive dance.
Like all martial arts, every aspect of her abilities stems from her practiced stance. Clara's posture is rooted, quite similar to her Wing Chun positioning, with the elbows close to the body and shoulder blades settled and dropped. Her weight is primarily balanced, slightly putting more weight on her back foot. In a resting stance, her blade is commonly held at a 70° angle to cover as much area as possible over her head and chest. This posture gives her explosive speed and strength from her core for swift strikes, using the rotation of her shoulders and hips to naturally increase the force of the blade. Her footwork is exceptional, movements light and quick. She covers ground quickly, aggressively sliding past her opponent's defense to incapacitate them or quickly maneuvering out of the way of impending danger.
Daoshu is focused on the constant flow of the body, shifting flawlessly between offense and defense in a never-ending rhythm. Clara is always in motion, drawing power from her entire body for maximum force. By using the fluid movement of her hips, legs, and shoulders she is able to drastically increase the force of her swings, maximizing the potential of her strikes. Typically her blade flows in swift figure eight patterns, guarding her entire body while making it easy to attack. One of the principles of Daoshu is titled Chan. By relaxing her hands and letting her blade's own weight carry the motion, her sword(s) rapidly spin through her grip. This technique naturally generates force and is carried out from the shoulder, elbow, or wrist, each generating variable-sized rotations to confuse opponents, quickly block, and lash into strikes.
Her defense is impressive, with established muscle memory for blocks and counters and an instinctual response for intercepting any attacks aimed at her. She absorbs the energy of opposing strikes by sinking into her hips or redirecting the flow of energy by deflecting the opponent's weapon to either side. The sword usually stays at a higher angle, defending the most space possible, though when attacks are aimed to at her lower body she can easily block by relaxing her wrist, the blade rolling downward to defend. She uses a variety of techniques: Gun and Bi, parrying to the left and right respectively. Jie, is blocking with the edge of the blade, Lan, deflecting with the flat edge of the broadsword. Finally is Liao, or the yielding block. By yielding to the momentum of the opponent's strike, Clara is capable of flowing into a variety of counterattacks.
One of Clara's most prominent defensive-to-offensive techniques is known as Headwrapping or the "Garland of Flowers" and is arguably one of her two signature skills within her style of swordplay. This technique involves dropping the weapon's tip downward, rolling it over towards her shoulder to block an oppositional strike before bringing it around the back of her body, taking a step forward and using the momentum of her shoulder and hip twisting to increase force as she cuts past the foe's defenses. This movement is close and concise and can be performed instantly from either side of her head as well as with either blade should she be using Shuangdao.
She has devastating offensive capabilities and techniques, changing directions instantly to slip past her opponent's defenses. It is quick and stunning, implementing a flowing string of techniques that roll from her movements into powerful strikes. Her most common technique is the broad Kan, cutting through foes, typically begun by the deft rotation of her blade. She also implements Pi, chopping downward from above, Mo, slicing from her side or upward diagonally, Tiao, an upward flicking motion using the tip of the weapon to cut into her foes. Though it is not frequent Clara has an incredibly forceful Zha thrust, stabbing with the blade horizontal to slip between the ribs of her opponent.
Beyond the basic techniques, Clara has also mastered techniques such as "Plucking the Peach." By moving forward into their strike before sidestepping, Clara can slip her blade between the opponent's blade and their body to strike them, while the same angle of the blade makes it difficult for her opponent to target her. Clara also blends both swordsmanship and hand-to-hand combat, getting close to her opponent before placing her free hand on their wrist to disable their arm while they continue the attack. She is also known for the technique, "Bending the Bamboo." It stems from a headwrap, before she steps in, bending around the side of her foe to push the pommel of her blade into the pressure point on the back of their neck, drawing them around by the rotation of her body before forcing them into submission.
Although Clara's overarching style with both styles, Daoshu and Shuangdao, are very similar, utilizing constant flowing movements, rotation, and linked attacks. When fighting with Tianbain in its entirety, her offhand supports the blade, fortifying defense and further strengthening her attacks. Shuangdao is quite possibly Clara's trump card and signature aspect of her swordplay. While using the two halves, Xiao and Hai her dexterity, speed, and focus is exemplified. Her blades are constantly moving in either in sync or contrasting each other, covering a wide range in area. The blades mimic a flower, with constantly flowing and spinning in a variety of defensive and offensive techniques. One of the blades is always ready to defend while the other simultaneously strikes, switching back in forth in a variety of motions. She swings with all of her body, capable of implementing headwraps and thrusts while using two blades as well as one.
Her swordplay is spectacularly unique, rotating and utilizing the blades in a deadly fashion. Her incredible dedication to her training and practice of the art has honed her into a wicked deadly dancer, clearing the battlefield in a matter of dedicated strokes. Her talent has been proved as she held the title of champion on Dressrosa's eighth outlying island for three years. She is capable of dispatching several opponents at once, staving them off with the rapid rotations of her blades. Clara's skill is undeniable, shown even more prominent in her status as a guard to the King, entitled by the epithet Red King's Blade (赤王刃, Aka-ō Ha), a testament to her showstopping capabilities as a weapon of the King.
- Flying Slash Attack (飛ぶ斬撃, Tobu Zangeki):
- Air Split (, ):
Physical Prowess Edit
Assorted Others Edit
Devil Fruit Edit
Tianbain (涯•空と海, Hate; Sora to Umi lit. Horizon; Sky and Sea) is one of the more bizarre and obscure swords in existence, often surprising those who see it in action for the first time. Forged by the blacksmith, Dravolos Ashraf, it is of incredible caliber. Clara commissioned Ashraf to forge the sword after destroying another one of his blades with her unstable Hada Hada no Mi. He then jokingly told her that if she wished for an indestructible blade, she would have to find the legendary meteorite metal Ustokos, the only material besides Seastone that is immune to Clara's shattering ability. Much to his own surprise, that is exactly what she did and as such, Ash kept his end of the deal and designed an unreplicable weapon to be used by Clara.
Tianbain is not actually a single blade, but two Dao, stylized and constructed in such a way that they perfectly match, capable of being used as one weapon or as two halves of a singular deadly whole. The two halves are respectively titled Xiao (空, Sora lit Sky) and Hai (海, Umi lit Sea) when used separately, though these are parts of one whole, thus when together they are Tianbain, named for the place where Sky meets Sea. Tianbain is crafted completely out of Ustokos, an ore of legends, known for its phenomenal durability. This unearthly metal possesses a haunting dark steel-blue color with lighter flecks of silver that shimmer when they reflect light.
The blades are moderately curved and primarily single-edged, with a few inches of the leading back edge sharpened as well, making them reasonably effective at piercing attacks, however slashing is where Tianbain excels. The hilts are canted, curving in the opposite direction as the blade for superb handling, as well as tightly wrapped in purple cording. The guards are specially-shaped into a semi-circle form on each one, allowing the two blades to come together as one and be sheathed in a single scabbard.
To most, it seems absurd that these two weapons would be able to fit so perfectly together, and rightly so, as for most metals, it is improbable. However, in this case, is it possible because of the unique metal used to make them. Tianbain is incredibly durable, possessing hardness equal or greater than diamond. In addition, the metal possesses great resistance to both temperature and corrosion, making Clara's Tainbain potentially indestructible. Ustokos is quite unique, as it possesses no ferromagntic movement to any material but itself. This innate process is why the two halves of Tainbain are able to fit together so flawlessly, forming a single, slightly wider blade out of its halves. Because of the high self-attractive properties of the material, it is difficult for most to separate Xiao and Hai, requiring incredible strength on Clara's part, showcased as she separates the halves without strain in the midst of combat.
Tianbain is one of Clara's most treasured possessions, a key component to her style of combat and usage of her Devil Fruit. She values the blades almost as highly as she does the Royal Family, meticulously taking care of them by polishing the blades or tightening the fabric covering on the hilt. She has yet to have the need to sharpen the blades because of their composition. Though no price has been confirmed by Clara for how much she spent on these blades, it is estimated that their monetary value is near 46,000,000.
- Clara's appearance is based on Lyndis from Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken.
- She could be considered an AU counterpart of one of the author titular characters on FTF, Lyn Zolga.
- However as her concept has been developed, few similarities remain, the major ones being general style of fighting and her sword.
- Her birth name translates to Courage, Failure in Chinese.
- Only Nyssa has seen Clara laugh.
- In terms of effort, to write Clara's "Ways of Combat" it took the combined span of 3 days of research and notetaking (one on hand-to-hand, two on swordplay) and 3 days of writing to get it onto the page.
- Her swordsmanship section has no references because my mode of research was long ass videotaped lessons that let's be real, no one is going to watch.