“Really? I’m down for that,” Shui said to Bartholomew and Steph as we walked in.
“Time already? I’ll message you both later,” Bartholomew said, noticing us enter.
“Sounds good to me,” Shui responded, sipping water from his bottle.
“Bye!” Steph waved good-bye to the water elemental user.
Shui was sociable as always. Bartholomew made sense to me since the man was pretty open unlike Lionel. Steph was a surprise though. I didn’t expect her to warm up so fast to the water elemental user. I was curious about they were planning.
“Hey Tomo! How’s your training been so far?” Shui glanced over at the piece of paper Tess handed him.
“Kinda rough. Luckily, I had a bit of a break with Jen. I’m guessing you planned for that, Tess?” I watched her flip through the contents of the man’s clipboard.
“It was a possibility. If your condition remained optimal after the first three sessions, I would have swapped this training with the previous one. I’m flexible, Tomo,” Tess answered.
I should have known Tess wouldn’t take it easy on me. However, I was glad to hear the Gatekeeper did care about us despite her stoic expression. There was a knock on the door and En walked in. He was in much worse shape than when I first saw him a couple of hours ago. Small bandages covered both sides of his cheeks. Black strips of kinesio tape adorned his upper right shoulder and extended down toward the man’s chest. The dual elemental user’s lips were cut up too.
“Zhang, you look terrible. I thought Tomo would be what you look like now. Sorry, no offense of course,” he commented, staring at his kinesio tape.
“I don’t mind at all, Shui. What happened?” I bit into an energy bar Tess handed me.
“Messed up and got caught in Feng’s trap holds. I crashed into Darryl during our spar too. Tess said I’m still good to go,” he revealed, wincing when moving his left arm.
“Tess, are you just saying that or is he really fine?” I questioned the woman’s motives.
“Zhang passed a comprehensive check. He exhibits no signs of any serious damage nor is in danger,” Tess assured me.
“Okay, I’ll take your word for it. Tess, we ready to go here?” I caught the drink she threw at me.
“Yes, you can proceed,” she answered, departing the room.
Shui wore a striped tank top with medium, green horizontal lines running across it. He wore black workout capri shorts, a wide yellow line running down the side, with white cuffs just beneath his knee. His running shoes were black with a blue interior and matching colored soles.
“What’s the first thing you want to go over?” I asked him, stretching out my legs.
“Healing. Super helpful especially after seeing what Zhang’s gone through,” Shui decided, snapping his fingers and a pool of water developed beneath my feet.
How strange, the water didn’t seep through my shoes at all. Steam rose up, striking my face. It was just the right temperature, really soothing. The small aches and pains disappeared, leaving me refreshed in the end. Shui, why have you hidden this from me for so long?
“Pretty relaxing, huh? Suppose to be like a little hot spring. Um, just remember you can’t use it over and over again. It’s like Zhang’s flames, only heals small stuff, not as strong as Feng’s or Long’s regeneration,” Shui explained, snapping his fingers again and evaporated the water he formed.
“Did you do something with the water?” I wiped away my dripping sweat.
“You can make it burn someone. Check it out,” Shui replied, pointing at a practice dummy.
Bursts of steam struck It and cracked the plastic arms. A red blotch appeared on its hand and wrist. Brutal, this was on the level of Jen’s burns.
“Wow, pretty bad. Ever suffer a burn like that before?” I touched my own arm.
“A few times while cooking but not like that ever,” Shui answered.
“No. I can barely cook, Tomo, so never had a chance to experience that,” En revealed.
“You can also use steam for cover and make them sweat at the same time,” Shui said and whistled a popular song tune.
Steam enveloped the entire room and the room temperature skyrocketed. My entire shirt became drenched in sweat and I couldn’t see anything. I heard footsteps but couldn’t pinpoint the direction. This was getting unbearable. Ten seconds later, the steam vanished, and the surroundings cooled down. Too suffocating, pretty much the same as sitting in a car on a hot day with the window closed. Shui appeared fine though as he handed En and me water.
“You can control your body temperature so you’re fine but everyone else isn’t,” Shui said, showing me the steps.
“That was just as bad as one of Feng’s extreme training,” En remarked, drinking more water.
Continuing with the theme of heat, Shui demonstrated how to raise a person’s internal temperature, resulting in fever-like symptoms. It could also trigger a heatstroke as well. He mentioned with Kisai’s magic, hyperpyrexia occurred when paired with the man’s “viral” injection.
“Hyper… what?” En reacted with total confusion.
Honestly, I have no idea either. I recalled Tess bringing it up in one of her lectures. No doubt I would learn more about it in Tess’ post training report. Unlike hyperthermia, this was triggered internally. That’s all I could recall.
“Zhang, I’m with you. Tess wrote it down in my notes. Probably didn’t even pronounce it right,” Shui revealed, showing his clipboard to us.
The next topic was snow. Shui’s face lit up as he talked about it. Oh yeah, he reacted the same way when we were in that snowy dimension where Jacque awakened. I understood why since it barely ever snowed here. The last real snow was about five years back. These were just a light dusting and isolated flurries in the past few years.
He created a snow layer, and En walked through, showing off his lack of mobility in it. Shui added an ice layer underneath it, further hindering an opponent’s movement. The man also demonstrated how melted snow caused slippery conditions. The dual elemental user only remained on his feet because of his electrical powers.
“Snow’s pretty but also dangerous. I hope it actually snows this year,” Shui remarked.
“If you can heat things up with the steam, then you must be able to lower the temperature too, right?” I kicked at the remaining snow, regretting my decision after my shoe bounced off of it.
“Yep! You can trap them in a big blizzard and freeze ‘em,” Shui confirmed.
“You’re not going to do that to En, right?” I worried about how much more he could endure.
“Course not! Watch this,” Shui advised, creating a mini one near the training dummy.
If trapped inside or even near it, an opponent’s visibility was reduced to nothing. Any previous snow already formed would be sucked in and end up piling on the target. Like Jen’s arrow, it also caused hypothermia.
“Oh, there’s this little cool thing you can do too,” Shui said, clapping his hands in excitement.
The large amount of snow left on the ground morphed into multiple snowman. En summoned his blade and slashed at his friend. A snowman popped up in front of the water elemental user, shielding him from the attack. His blade became jammed in snowman’s head. Ice encased the blade, traveling upward toward the wielder’s hand. A burst of flame shot out from the En’s hand, allowing him to extricate his weapon and avoid the ice. Another snowman appeared behind the swordsman, ramming itself into him. En fell to the ground, hitting his face on chunks of hard snow.
“Shoot! Sorry about that Zhang,” Shui apologized, helping his friend up.
“I’m good,” En said, rubbing his nose.
“En, your flames, they’re weaker than before,” I commented, observing decreased levels on his fire magic.
“I’m pretty burnt out. Oh, didn’t even to make a joke there,” En answered, smiling after realizing his play on words.
Shui then explained how I could shift the snow into hail, raining down chunks of ice onto an opponent. The size and firmness of the hailstone were adjustable too.
“I’m guessing that’s it for snow,” I said, thanking En after he handed me a cup of water.
“I think we’ve gone through everything Tess wanted. Rain is the next thing,” Shui said.
Small raindrops fell down, striking my face and arms. Seconds later, ice formed on my skin. Shui then increased the intensity, turning it into a cold downpour. My clothes became drenched and I shivered. The ice cut into my skin and I started bleeding.
“Okay, let’s warm ya back up!” Shui snapped and a warm steam melted away the ice and restored my body temperature.
“So just normal stuff with rain, huh?” I was impressed by the drying time of my clothes.
“Yeah, nothing too fancy. But, there are a couple of cool combos you can do. I’ll go over it later with Zhang’s help,” Shui answered.
“Oh, could we go over “drowning”? Jen showed it to me earlier. How does it work for you?” I asked, watching En eat a piece of candy.
“Good timing! Waves are next so it’s a good time for that,” Shui replied.
He generated a mini tsunami, large amounts of water crashing towards me. I was swept away, crashing into the wall with a thud. The water continued surging at me and I couldn’t breathe. Oh, a literal drowning. I thought it would resemble Jen’s but this sense. It moved an opponent away from me and inflicted damage too. All of the water evaporated, turning into a comforting steam.
“With all that water, you can transform it into burning steam and trap ‘em in it,” Shui said, helping me back up to my feet.
“There’s no other way to do it besides that little tsunami?” I coughed out water.
“You can also put them in an ice cube and fill it up with water too,” Shui replied, demonstrating it on the training dummy.
“Kinda brutal,” I commented, watching the ice shatter and the training dummy slam to the ground with a thud.
“Tess is the one who taught me it,” Shui revealed.
I practiced shooting water streams at the training dummy, starting off with one before transitioning to multiple ones. Shui showed me other methods of flooding an enemy besides the tsunami. Thirty minutes later, the training dummy was in tatters, broken pieces of plastic scattering the ground.
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