I follow him back in relative silence, expecting him to explain the slime in his hand.
“…Shishou?” I ask as we approached the park again
“Yes?” He asks coyly in return
“Why do you have a slime?” I ask plainly a second time
It just had to be a slime, didn’t it? I just can’t handle slimy things. Just knowing that he is going to use it in some way for my training has me tense and on edge.
“Funny story, I was on my way to a well-known monster vendor to see if I could find a good tool for your training, and I came across someone I wasn’t expecting. Seems that friend of yours with the funny hat set up a stall between here and the vendor I was thinking of. I figured your friends must be at least half as interesting as you are if they haven’t run off on you yet, so I checked out her stall. Among other things, she sold monsters as well! Recommended me this little guy that is just perfect for our next exercises.” He explains with a mocking tone that makes it clear he knows what was going on
I’m going to kill her. She set me up. I don’t know how she knew that he was going to be looking for a monster, but she set up her stall there to lure him to buy that slime. This will not go unpunished.
“You still haven’t answered my question. In what way does a slime factor into our training?” I ask with a skeptical look
“Because, this isn’t a slime, it’s a gel. Here, let me give you a little demonstration.” He says while messing around with the slime and a rope
After a while, he manages to hang the slime from a tree branch overhead by an odd crystal that is floating around in its center
“Alright. I’m going to pull this back and let it swing. When it comes at you hit it. Be careful though, it’s fragile.” He says as he motions for me to get in the slimes path
I scowl again as I unhappily oblige.
Is this some training for controlling my strength? I suppose if my body is fighting itself every time I try and punch something that might be necessary. I’ve not tried to hold back properly before though. I’ll try to do as little as possible on this first hit and work my way up if it’s too little.
“Alright, here it comes!” He says as he half throws the slime downward letting it swing quickly at me
The fast speed surprises me. As it is coming much faster I realize that I need to be even more careful about the strength I put in. Half of the force of the blow is going to be supplied by its momentum after all. I hold my fist out in panic, letting the slime simply run into it.
I regret that instantly.
“Demonstration complete,” Shishou says proudly
“I don’t get it,” I say as I try to shake the slime off my hand
Shoop shoop shwooooop
shwoo shwoo shwoo shwoo
“Why won’t it let go?!”
“Oi! Shishou, explain!” I yell out as the slime slowly begins to envelop more of my hand
“First off, I lied. Gels are in no way fragile. In fact, it would take dropping a mountain on one to make it disperse from physical damage. They actually tend to pray on high-level unintelligent beast in the wild because they will slowly engulf anything that touches them carelessly, digesting them at an incredible rate.” He says with a wicked slime staring at the slowly squirming slime
“I don’t care about any of that! It feels disgusting! Get it off!” I frantically yell as I do everything I can to remove it all to no avail
“Secondly, although I enjoy you not questioning my methods too much, you seem to have assumed the purpose of this training incorrectly. Gels instinctively change the consistency of their bodies to become bouncy when subjected to large amounts of force, much more force than most humans or monster could hope to produce.” He says as he removes the slime by striking it off of my hand
Just as he had said, in the instant the slime took the strike its form seemed to go from a ball of snot to a mass of silicone.
“The exercise this time is simple. That slime is going to repeatedly come at you from every angle, and you are going to fend it off with full power attacks. Anything short and it’s going to stick to your hand like just now. Usually, that wouldn’t serve as much of a punishment, but your friend told me that it should suffice, and based on your reaction just now I’m willing to believe it. Well, there are a couple other aspects to it, but it’s better for them to come as a surprise.” He says as he hands me a small weird crystal
“What’s this?” I ask holding the crystal to the sun to see the inside
“It’s an attraction crystal, I’ve fed it mana so that slime should now be pulled towards it.” He says pointing at where the slime landed
Like the horrid ball of nightmares that it is, it wriggled and writhed as it resisted the forces pulling it towards me. As much as I despise the little horror its struggles to escape gave me a moment to prepare, and I appreciate it.
It didn’t take long before the fight against the pull was lost and the slime was sent hurtling at me. To avoid a repeat of last time I prepared to strike it in full force.
“Kuh!” I let out upon being struck hard for some reason in the side
I let out a look of betrayal to the man quickly going from my mentor to worst enemy in response to the strike.
“It wouldn’t really serve the purpose of getting your body used to using both offense and defense if you were just hitting a gel real hard now, would it? Whenever you strike the gel with strength I’m going to hit you with a proportional amount of strength. We are going to keep this training up until your body becomes used to defending when you strike, and hopefully, we can move on from there. Honestly, it’s a bit unorthodox, but so is becoming so insanely powerful in such a short amount of time that the body doesn’t learn to adapt. I’m going with what I can here. Don’t lose focus.” He explains with a shrug calmly
I only just manage to comprehend his last words and strike the slime that had come hurtling at me again.
And just like the previous time Shishou has struck me in turn. Not in the same place either, so I felt as though I was not braced at all for it.
“We will keep this up until your body learns. Don’t think that passing out or quitting will do the job either. If you become unable to defend yourself from that slime or my attacks then I’m simply going to let it devour you. Can’t have a disciple that can’t even stand up against a simple gel after all.” He says with an infuriatingly smug face