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Severing Time Space – Puppy Love, Part II

Puppy Love, Part II

“I’m very glad we decided to do some more research on cultivation,” Wu Meiying said in a whisper. “We’re not supposed to learn how to cultivate until much later, but I believe it will help you grow stronger by knowing more now.”

r“Yeah. We should also begin doing those exercises described in the scroll,” Wu Jian said.

rWu Meiying nodded. “Uncle Yōushì has us training with the others, but all he is teaching us right now are forms for the Wu Clan’s martial arts and how to fall properly; they aren’t training your body very well, and I don’t think the Wu Clan’s martial arts suits you.”

r“What martial arts do you think would suit me?” asked Wu Jian.

rWu Meiying’s eyes fluttered. “I’m not sure… but I know… I know it’s not what we’re learning now. You need something… fierce… and powerful… like an ancient dragon tearing apart… the heavens…”

rWu Meiying’s eyes drooped more and more, and she yawned between words. Wu Jian was also feeling tired, so he scooted a little closer, until their foreheads were touching, and slowly closed his eyes. They would have to wake up early tomorrow morning and begin training.

rWu Jian dreamed as he slept. He dreamed of a young boy who fell in love with a beautiful woman. He didn’t know who the woman was. Her face was blurry and he could only make out her silhouette, but the longing he felt in the dream made him think she was somehow important. Something about her also felt familiar, but he couldn’t put his finger on it…

r“Wu Jian. Little Meiying. It’s time to wake up.”

rWu Jian groaned as he opened his eyes. It felt like he had barely gotten any sleep at all, the dream still lingering in his mind’s eye. He blinked several times as his blurry vision swam into focus. Right in front of his face was the slowly waking Wu Meiying, whose long, black eyelashes contrasted wonderfully with her white skin. He took a moment to admire her as he often did when his mind was addled.

r“Are you two going to sleep in bed all day? Come on. It’s time to get up.”

rThen the voice that had woken him spoke again. Wu Jian jerked in shock and turned to find his mother staring at them with an amused smile. For a moment, he was at a loss for words.

r“Mother… um, I-I can explain this,” he said, breaking out into a cold sweat.

rFather had forbidden him and Wu Meiying from sleeping together, but they had disobeyed those orders, and now his mother had walked into his room to catch them fast asleep next to each other. This felt similar to that time he had tried to eat his father’s birthday cake immediately after the head chef had made it. The scolding he had received back then had left him cowering in fear.

r“I’ll bet you can, but there’s no need,” Mother said with a gentle but funny smile.

r“There isn’t?” Wu Jian asked.

r“There isn’t,” Wu Meiying said, sitting up and rubbing her eyes as she yawned. “Because I told Aunty Àiliàn to wake us up this morning.”

r“Why would you do that?” asked Wu Jian.

r“Because we’re going to train, right?” said Wu Meiying with a smile. Then she bowed her head to Mother. “Good morning, Aunty Àiliàn.”

r“Good morning, you two. You know, your father would be furious if he knew you were both still sleeping together,” Mother said.

r“But you won’t tell him, right?” asked Wu Meiying with a knowing smile.

r“You won’t?” Wu Jian tilted his head in bemusement.

rMother shook her head, smile still in place. “I won’t. We will keep this a secret between us… though you will have to stop sleeping together like this after you both turn ten at least. Anyway, now that you are both awake, I’ll take my leave. Breakfast will be served in a couple of hours. Don’t be late.”

rAfter Mother left the room, Wu Jian turned to Wu Meiying, who was rubbing her eyes as she crawled out of the fuuton. She was only wearing her white under dress, but she quickly grabbed her pink hanfu ruqun and began putting it on. Wu Jian walked over and lent her a hand. She smiled at him.

r“You should get dressed in a training gi,” Wu Meiying said.

r“Right.”

rWu Jian had several training gi. All of them were black and white. He chose one and dressed quickly, grabbed a small sack, then followed Wu Meiying outside. They had to be careful when slipping out of the building. Several Wu Clan members were patrolling the courtyard, but they were sneaky and managed to reach a small patch of forest where no one would bother them.

rZahn City was located past a pair of mountains called the Twin Fangs because they looked like a pair of monster fangs. The Wu Clan’s compound was located half an hour’s travel from Zhan City by carriage and close to a heavily forested region. Wu Jian had been told the forest was home to many magical beasts, but he had never seen one of them before. Mist emerged from his mouth as he followed the girl leading him.

r“Did you bring the scrolls with you?” asked Wu Meiying.

r“Of course,” Wu Jian said as he set the sack on the ground and opened it to reveal several scrolls.

r“Then let’s get started.” Wu Meiying grabbed the first scroll marked with the character for one and unfurled it. She studied it for a moment before nodding. “This one talks about the need for endurance and staying limber. It looks like we’ll be doing stretches first, and then going for a run.”

rWu Jian followed along with Wu Meiying as she led them through a series of stretches. Some of them were very simple, but a few were more complex, and Wu Jian found he couldn’t do all of them because he wasn’t limber enough. His saving grace was that there were many Wu Meiying couldn’t do either. That made him feel a little better.

r“Hmmm. I guess we’ll have to work on these for a while before we can do them all perfectly,” Wu Meiying said with a giggle.

r“We’re just not limber enough,” Wu Jian agreed, sighing as he placed his hands on his hips. “Anyway, let’s go on that run.”

r“In that case, let’s do fifteen laps around this clearing,” Wu Meiying suggested.

rWu Jian didn’t know how big this clearing was, but it was definitely big. He thought it might be at least the same size as the Wu Clan’s training hall.

rThey began running around the clearing. Wu Jian started off with a fast run. He wanted to show off how determined he was to get stronger, but this backfired on him when he quickly lost steam, huffing and puffing long before he reached the end of their goal. He had never run like this before. His body simply couldn’t handle it.

r“Urk… haaaah… haaaah… ooooh…”

r“Are you… okay?”

r“No… I feel sick… urp…”

r“That’s because you tried to run at full speed.” Wu Meiying rolled her eyes, smiled, and began rubbing Wu Jian’s back as he knelt over, dry heaving. “Weren’t you listening when I read the scroll? It says we need to start off light and work our way up.”

r“I-I know that, but I just really want to get stronger,” Wu Jian muttered as his cheeks heated up. He thanked the heavens it was so cold he could blame his redness on it instead of embarrassment.

r“Which I am glad for,” Wu Meiying said, voice gentle. “But that’s also why you can’t push yourself too hard yet. You need to build up your strength.”

r“You’re right. I’m sorry,” Wu Jian apologized.

rThey did several more exercises, including pushups, pullups, squats, staggered squats, and numerous other exercises. Wu Jian was unable to do more than a few of each. He felt winded every time they finished one set.

rThe only silver lining he could find was that Wu Meiying also could not finish her exercises. Her face was red with exertion by the time they were done, and just like him, her face was coated in a layer of sweat.

rIt had been dark before, but now light filtered in through the forest, casting shadows in the shape of intertwining branches along the ground. Wu Jian looked up to find the sun had risen sometime during their training.

r“I think that’s enough for today. Let’s wipe off all this sweat and head to the dining hall for breakfast,” Wu Meiying said.

rWu Jian had never heard words more beautiful.

r

Chapter end

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