“Is Mano sick?”
“I wonder… She seems to just be sleeping.”
“Mano is a lazy-head.”
“Doesn’t anybody around here sleep in every so often?” I ask as I rise from my bed to greet the ones happily having a conversation over me
“Mano’s awake! Yay!” Mana says as she jumps into me gives me a hug
“Sorry to wake you up. Mana wanted to go and play, and I thought it would be rude to take her out without permission.” The princess says with a bow
I was so exhausted when I finally made it back to the Inn yesterday that I really wanted to sleep until noon. I suppose I can’t blame my inability to do so on them entirely though. I woke up instantly when it became morning again today, but I’ve been trying to fall asleep again since then. I don’t really feel any fatigue, but it’s a mental thing.
“That’s fine. I had plans today, and I was worried that she was going to be bored if I dragged her around anyways. Could I trouble you with watching her then?” I ask reciprocating the bow
“Yay! Mana gets to play with Anata!” Mana says with a joyful smile
When did these two get so close?
Before long the two happily trounced off, and I started to get ready for the day. I donned my armor but left most other items that I usually carry with me in my inventory. I’ve only had it for a short time, but I feel a bit naked walking around without my sword.
“Ha! Here at the crack of dawn! You’ll make a fine apprentice yet!” Shishou says with a laugh as I saunter up to him in the park
“And here I find you standing in the exact same place you were when I left. If I didn’t know better I would say you stayed here all night.” I joke
“Hmph! I got a couple hours sleep at least. I trained for a bit after you left to let these old joints loosen up a bit.” He says defensively
Oi, how did you sleep less than I did? What kind of monster are you? Not that I miss the irony of me asking that.
“No use dilly dallying then. Go ahead and show me your guild card.” He says with a more serious tone as he extends his hand towards me
“Guild card?” I ask unsure of his intention
“Yes, your guild card. Surely you got one already if you are entering the tournament.” He clarified in an annoyed tone
Why in the world would he want my guild card?…. Well, whatever I suppose. What harm could it do to show it to him?
I pull it out from my inventory, feigning that it was stored in my pocket.
Despite the fact that I haven’t received any mob exp since the last time I checked my stats, a few of them have gone up. Is it because I’ve been training here? If it is then that’s some horrible conversion ratio. If I had been out killing mobs for the time I was training then I would have double or triple that in extra stats, I can only imagine sending out minions to gather EXP would be even faster.
Whistle “You certainly have some high specs after all don’t you now?” Shishou says while looking at it
“Then to test a little theory of mine, let’s have you complete a few ‘experiments’.” He says as he looks around the park for something
I don’t like that he put emphasis on “experiments”.
“Ah, perfect!” He says as he walks up to a boulder that seems to be mostly buried underground, with just the tip jutting out about 5 feet from the ground
I like even less how excited he is about the prospect of a giant boulder. Should I run?
“Do as much damage to this boulder as you can with your fist alone.” He commands as he jumps on top of the boulder and takes a seat
“With you on top?” I ask raising an eyebrow
“If you can do enough damage for me sitting up here to matter, then I will happily eat what remains of the rock.” He replies with a mocking grin
“Don’t think I won’t hold you to that.” I say casually as I draw back my fist
As I prepare myself to put all the strength I can into my strike I begin to question a few things.
If he has already seen my stats then shouldn’t be basically aware already of what kind of strength I possess? If he were trying to see my technique then it would be a bit redundant considering the Spartan training that we went through last night where he had me attack with my fist alone. Is this just his way of putting me into my place by showing me how powerless I am? If so then I’m not going to take this lightly!
“Haa!” I let out as I put all of the strength I can muster into my fist and strike the boulder square in the center
Cracks form throughout the boulder, and a few pieces even fly off of it with such force that they become implanted in the ground and surrounding trees.
“Hmph, seems I won’t be having stone for lunch today,” Shishou says with an insufferable grin
Despite the cracks making their way all throughout the boulder, and even reaching the place where Shishou sat, he ultimately remains unperturbed as the boulder retains its shape.
So this was an intent to put me down after all?
“Catch.” I hear with no prior warning
It was a rather pointless thing for him to say as well considering the thing he threw at me arrived less than a second after he said it. A large stone about the size of my hand with a sharp edge had come shooting from Shishou into my stomach. The speed that it traveled at was one so fast that I didn’t see it travel at all.
“GUH!” I let out as it strikes me
The blow was so heavy that I felt as though I would lose the contents of my stomach, but in the end, I managed to keep them down. It took what felt like ages for the breath that was knocked out of me to normalize so I could retort.
“Why in the world would you do something like that?!” I yell out with a hoarse voice just barely able to speak
“To make a point. Your stomach, look at it.” He says as he drops down from the rock and looks down at me
I did as he instructed and looked at the place of the impact. Despite the force being great enough to bring me to my knee’s the rock itself didn’t even manage to pierce my armor. I reach under it to feel for broken skin or blood, but I could find neither.
“No wound right? You have some massive stats, and I won’t ask why, but in the end, you’re like a child playing with a sword. Your only dangerous to those with no experience themselves. Your body seems to understand how to apply each stat to you from instinct alone, which is an incredible talent, but it’s not enough.” He explains before turning to the boulder
“Ha!” He lets out quickly before hitting it in the exact same spot I did
The results were so different though that they could be called night and day. As if it had been dust all along and it was simply being released, the stone turned to powder.
“Your body doesn’t know how to apply multiple stats at the same time. It can release a massive amount of power, but it instinctively holds you back to prevent you from taking damage from your own strike. Even at your current level you should still be able to perform a feat like this if you could teach your body how to defend against its own recoil. It’s the same with the hit you took before. Your defense can prevent damage, but your body forgets to put strength behind it to nullify the power behind it. If you could learn to push back against heavy blows than you wouldn’t be reduced to a defenseless sniveling wimp even if you are caught off guard.” He explains turning back to me