Volume 8, Chapter 6: Zhuyu’s Early Days

Memory Dive 6: Harsh Training

Time Period Unknown

“Kyoi, that’s crazy,” Zhuyu said, shaking his head, pointing at the horde of enemies beneath them.

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He wore a gray hoodie and dark blue dress pants. Kyoi smiled in response and stood back, arms crossed, not willing to compromise.

“Oh really? If you’re not going on your own, then I’ll have to force you. Remember our contract? If you don’t fulfill it, you will not be in for a pleasant time,” Kyoi intimidated him.

“Kyoi, I’m grateful you saved us, but this is crazy. There’s no way I can win. I don’t have any experience dealing with opponents like that,” Zhuyu refused, shaking his head.

“Too bad,” Kyoi stated, shoving Zhuyu downward.

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This was madness, although probably not for her standards. Zhuyu’s face displayed shock, but he recovered quickly. The enemies clamored around him, shouting out in excitement. Zhuyu clutched his back, now serious.

“Awesome, just freaking awesome,” Zhuyu muttered, glancing around.

The enemies blocked him in, cutting off all escape paths. They appeared human, but something felt off about them. I inspected their faces, pinpointing the discrepancy. Were these puppets made in the image of humans?

“Let’s see what he can do,” Kyoi said, crossing her arms.

Zhuyu attempted to disarm an enemy but failed. Another enemy caught him, slashing his arm. A huge red gash ran down his left arm and I expected it to heal. However, blood continued flowing out, and the wound didn’t close up. Were his regenerative abilities not active yet?

“Damn it,” Zhuyu grunted, sidestepping an enemy.

Zhuyu’s movements were unrefined. At this rate, the enemies would overwhelm him. So this was what he was like early on. I felt better about my own progress, seeing this. He finally obtained a weapon, but his swings were awkward. The injuries he sustained increased, but didn’t impact his tenacity. Eventually, the gash from earlier healed, still red from the blood.

“Not bad, hanging in there for so long. Are you good enough to win?” Kyoi shouted from above.

I didn’t agree with Kyoi’s training methods but understood her reasoning. Zhuyu was out leveled by all the enemies, yet continued fighting without quitting. He wasn’t Kisai though. Zhuyu knocked down one enemy, grabbing another by the neck. He hauled them over to a rock, slamming its head down. The hero’s breathing grew ragged and he dropped his weapon. Still the man fought on, kicking a puppet in the knee, and stomping on their leg. Once he completed that attack, one of his opponents knocked him to the ground. This was hopeless. I’m surprised he displayed so much grit. Kyoi would probably come down and rescue him eventually right?

Zhuyu rolled away, standing back up again, legs unsteady. He struggled to retrieve his weapon from the floor, but took out one enemy, before sustaining a hit to the stomach. Zhuyu clawed at the ground, glancing at the sky. Clouds rolled in with a loud rumble. The sky turned gray and ominous. Multiple thunder booms filled the area, causing some enemies to retreat. I expected an epic attack, but only one lightning bolt struck the area. It knocked a few enemies back, but the majority continued swarming toward Zhuyu.

“That’s enough. You need a lot of work, but it’s passable for now,” Kyoi said, finally making her way down, slashing through enemies with ease.

Zhuyu crawled on his knees toward a medium sized rock, leaning himself against it. His breathing finally returned to normal, but the injuries still remained. They healed at a slow rate, still serious enough to deter him from fighting any further. Kyoi slammed her sword down, flames pouring out. It engulfed all hostiles, burning them to a crisp. When the flames died out, there wasn’t charred flesh, but nasty looking plastic.

“Zhuyu, up you go!” Kyoi hoisted him up from the ground.

“Damn…. that really hurt. I am never….,” Zhuyu coughed in pain.

“You met my expectations, isn’t that great?” Kyoi grinned.

“Yeah, sure is,” Zhuyu answered, too tired to care.

“You’ll be ready in no time to fight things like that. I’ll take good care of you to make sure of that,” Kyoi threatened, lending him her shoulder.

“It’s fine. I can walk by myself,” Zhuyu insisted.

“If you say so. Your friend, En, was it? He’s next in line for training. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it more with a friend by your side,” Kyoi said.

“I already what I was in for the moment I signed your contract,” Zhuyu admitted.

“That’s good. Keep on listening and you’ll be strong in no time,” Kyoi said, smiling.

MIND DIVE 6 END


“Long didn’t start out strong as you can see. Nor did Zhang. Both practiced quite a bit to arrive at where they are today,” Kyoi said, shaking my shoulder.

“Kisai’s the exception, though, isn’t he?” I commented.

“Jin, you know how he is. Able to pick up things faster than everyone else. It’s no surprise he beat a high ranking monster in his first few battles. Don’t emulate Jin, it’ll make things worse for you,” Kyoi advised.

“Wasn’t planning to, I’m not that crazy. Still, never expected Zhuyu to be that bad. I assumed everyone started off with a bang,” I remarked.

“That does occur from time to time. If you truly want to see mastery, Tess’ origins are ridiculous. Her accomplishments make Jin’s look like child’s play,” Kyoi revealed.

“Like I should expect anything else. When’s your stop, Kyoi?” I asked.

“I get off at the same stop as you. Same transfer too,” Kyoi replied.

“Do you all happen to live near each other?” I asked.

“Not at alI. I live farther away from Long than Jin,” Kyoi dismissed my claim.

“I just assumed that since Shan and Ichaival live close to him. Have you ever been to Tess’ house?” I questioned.

“Several times and it’s an interesting household. You really should visit. Although, I suspect she’ll summon you there soon,” Kyoi replied.

“Figures, oh, that’s not gonna be fun,” I agreed.

Kyoi and I spoke about various other things. Her stop was earlier than mine, after our shared transfer. I felt I knew her a little better now. She was still scary, but at least, not completely crazy. Now with Ko, I wasn’t sure. Did I just attract crazy people? Whatever, the weekend was here, and I could finally take a brief break from studying.

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