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Severing Time Space – Train Til You Drop

Train Til You Drop

“Fifty-four… fifty-five… fifty-six… huff… huff…”

rWu Jian’s arms strained as he did pushups. He was resting his weight on his knuckles as he lowered his torso, held position for several seconds, then lifted himself back up. It was a process he repeated over and over.

rHis hands, arms, and legs stung as the cold air froze the sweat forming along his skin. Winter might have ended, but that did not mean the temperature had changed much. Zahn City was located at a relatively high elevation, so even though Spring had technically begun, it would be at least another few weeks before the weather became easier to bear.

rAs if to emphasize this point, white powder remained on the ground, sparse though it was.

r“Fifty-seven… fifty-eight… huff… fifty-nine…”

rAnother reason for the temperature might also be due to the time. It was early in the morning. The sun was just beginning its climb into the eastern sky, but even with its appearance, the forest they were in remained dark. The trees kept sunlight from reaching this place, save the sparse geometric sprinkles of light caused by the sun peeking in through the canopy.

r“Sixty… sixty-one… haaaah… sixty… two…”

rTwigs and rocks scraped against Wu Jian’s knuckles, causing bursts of sharp discomfort to travel from his hands up his arms. He was lucky they didn’t bleed anymore. His first month of training like this had been harsh, not only because it was during winter, but also because he kept getting cut. His blood had become thoroughly soaked into this section of the forest. But now his skin had formed hard calluses that protected his hands to an extent.

r“Sixty… three… si-sixty… four… sixty… five…”

rSweat poured from his body in rivulets, caking his training gi to his skin, as the muscles in his triceps, shoulders, and chest burned. Pushups were obviously one of the most straightforward methods of exercising and detailed in the scrolls Grandpa Son had given them. There were several different kinds of push-ups, and Wu Jian began every morning doing at least one variation alongside his other exercises.

r“Sixty… six… sixty… se… seven… sixty… eight…”

rWu Jian was not the only person exercising that morning, of course, as Wu Meiying was also doing exercises, but hers were wholly different from his. While his exercises were all about strengthening the body through tearing and restoring muscles with explosive bursts of energy, Wu Meiying’s exercises relied on slowly building strength through stretches and training the core muscles.

rWhat she did looked a lot more graceful than what he was doing. He was a little envious of how she appeared like a beautiful swan as she went through the motions, but he knew their exercises were different because their styles of combat would diverge as time went on. Wu Meiying would eventually begin learning combat meant specifically for those with slighter figures.

r“Sixty-nine… haaaah! Haaaaah! Haaaah! Just… one… more… seventy…!”

rAfter finishing his set of seventy, Wu Jian collapsed stomach first onto the ground. This was the most he could do at this point in time. It had increased from a month ago when the most he could do was five. Seventy seemed like a vast improvement, but he still didn’t think he was growing stronger fast enough.

rWu Jian was motivated to continue and didn’t stay down for long. He caught his second wind and moved into his next set of exercises, which included doing dips between two branches, squats, lunges, jumping jacks, hanging sit-ups (he hung upside down from the branches by his feet), pull-ups, and a variety of other workouts. By the time he was done, his lungs were burning, his muscles felt like they were on fire, and his body was drenched in sweat.

r“All done?” asked Wu Meiying.

rWu Jian felt slightly jealous as the girl stood easily in place, not even breathing heavily. A light sheen of sweat had formed around her forehead and neck, her hair had been tied into a ponytail that caused it to trail behind her like a glossy black whip, and her clothes seemed a bit damp, but that only made her look prettier than usual. There was something he found captivating about seeing her like this.

rWhy does she look so pretty after she exercises, while I look like something a magical beast dragged in? How is that even fair?

r“Y-yeah,” he said, his own breathing ragged.

r“In that case, let’s do some light stretches and then go for a run,” Wu Meiying suggested.

rWu Jian grimaced. “All right.”

rWu Jian and Wu Meiying stretched their arms, legs, back, and other muscles to limber up, then began running through the forest. They didn’t maintain a simple jogging pace either. The scroll they had on running said that to build up endurance and speed, they needed to run in intervals. Every minute, they sprinted as hard as they could for thirty seconds, then slowed down for a minute, and then sprinted for another thirty seconds. It was a process that repeated itself for nearly an hour. By the time they were done, even Wu Meiying looked like she was going to collapse from exhaustion.

rHe felt vindicated seeing her like this.

rJust a little.

r“Ugh… water… I need water… what did we do… haaah… haaah… with our canister?” asked Wu Meiying.

r“It’s… over here…”

rWu Jian grabbed the water canister and handed it to Wu Meiying. It was just a simple animal skin flask filled with refreshingly cool water taken from a nearby stream. All the water flowing down from the nearby Twin Fang Mountains was incredibly pure. Wu Jian had heard someone say it was because a monk who reached the Deva Realm had cast a spell on the mountain that purified it, but who knew if that was true.

rOnce she had her fill, Wu Meiying handed the flask back to Wu Jian, who chugged for several seconds before releasing the flask from his mouth with a content sigh.

rWith their exercises finished, the two sank to the forest floor and sat back to back. They were both exhausted.

r“This is so hard,” Wu Jian said as he leaned his head back. His hands were pressed against the cold dirt. The last bits of snow melted under his hands, which emitted an intense heat. His body felt like it was both burning and freezing at the same time.

r“It is, but we’re getting stronger. I can feel it,” Wu Meiying said. “You’ve become a lot stronger now than you were before.”

r“Father’s pills helped a lot. I wouldn’t be nearly as strong now if it wasn’t for those,” Wu Jian admitted.

rThe Bone Hardening Pills that Father had given him had already been used up near the beginning half of this month, but they had already done their job. Wu Jian’s bones were harder than steel. He was certain they wouldn’t break again even if Wu Yong hit him with all his strength.

rOf course, he had no desire to test this theory.

r“Yes. They did. But that’s not the only reason for your swift improvement,” Wu Meiying chided as if he was forgetting the most important thing. “Your determination to get stronger is the biggest factor. You have never trained this hard before. You only did the bare minimum required, but now you’re putting your all into this training. It’s inspiring to see.”

rThere was always something odd about the way Wu Meiying praised him. It felt like she was an older person encouraging someone many years her junior. However, Wu Jian was not the type to look too deeply into these sort of insights—not where Wu Meiying was concerned. He instead basked in the feelings her words inspired.

r“Thank you,” he said. Then he sighed, stood up, and turned around, extending his hand. “Since our training is done for the day, I guess we should head back… we should probably wash ourselves before going to breakfast.”

r“You’re right.” Wu Meiying smiled as she accepted his hand and let him pull her up. “It wouldn’t do for us to smell so rank when we go to the dining hall.”

r

Chapter end

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