At the fitness center.
“I never thought I would be able to fight you again so soon!” Mars says excited.
Mars and I are heading towards the dumbbell section while Austin is helping Kenny and Clementine to re-register, since those two weren’t present for more than half a year.
“Don’t get too excited. I primarily came here to test something and to get my lazy mates back into daily training,” I tell him.
“However, after testing how much your strength has increased, there should still be enough time for some spars,” he argues.
“Well, if there’s some time left…,” I respond.
I look around and soon find what I have been searching for.
“Try lifting this,” I demand pointing on a pair of dumbbells.
He lifts the first.
“Woah, this is easy… 100 pounds maybe?”
He lifts the second.
“That one’s a bit heavier… 1000 pounds, right?” he asks.
He gives me a questioning gaze.
I tell him to lay them down again and reach out for the first one.
Before coming here, 100 pounds was the perfect weight for me to train with. It was less than other top fighters trained with, but it was still way above the average person.
I slowly lift it up.
‘This is… so light!’
I wonder if I can also pick up the 1000 pounds one. Last time it didn’t move a inch, what’s to be expected under normal circumstances.
I take the second one with my right hand.
The dumbbell isn’t moving.
I take my left hand.
Slowly, with all my strength I lift it up.
I make an excited sound.
Less than two seconds later I drop it down.
“Whew, I’m surprised. Last time I couldn’t even move it,” I explain with excitement in my eyes.
“Hmm… try lifting it with both your hands,” he tells me.
I slowly lift it.
Two seconds later I drop it.
“Weird, there’s not much difference,” I say.
Mars begins smiling.
Not a kind smile though. Not an evil smile either.
He begins talking, “You’re quite lucky. You just need to fight to become stronger. But too bad for you, it’s not as comfortable as it sounds.”
“So it really is like that…,” I grin, “I really get stronger from suffering.”
His smile is not kind nor evil, but full of excitement.
“Whenever a part of mine is healed, it is improved,” I conclude.
He nods excited.
“Want me to test it out right now?” he asks and points at my right arm.
I grin, “Let’s go to the arena.”
We head towards the arena with a smug smile on our faces.
At the arena.
Snow is training with Austin again.
“Austin, where the heck are the others?”
He points at the spectators.
“What? How dare they lazy around!” I complain.
“You don’t want me to train you, but he’s fine or what?” Snow complains.
I ignore her and grin,
“Those motherf*ckers are gonna regret taking their captain’s orders too lightly.”
“What are you gonna do about them? It’s not like you can force them. Even Teach couldn’t.”
“Don’t ignore me!” Snow complains, “I’m even stronger than him!”
Her white hair sparkles beautifully in the white floodlights.
I ignore her.
“Missions,” I answer, “I’ll force them to fight for their life on missions. Then they will beg to become stronger.”
They stare at me stunned.
“M-Missions?” Austin and Snow ask scared.
“Missions? OMG Bro, you’re the best! No, Teach is the best for allowing us to go on missions!” Mars says rejoicing.
“Sadly we’ll have to wait until I loose at the tournament, but that means we can still prepare over the next few days,” I explain.
“Some days won’t be enough. You’re still too weak,” Austin argues.
I laugh, “Some days are enough, look at this.”
I nod towards Mars and stretch out my right arm.
His swings his sword back.
‘I will show them my awesome ability making me stronger by healing,’ I think proudly.
And then he swings it at my right arm, fully cutting it off.
I fall on my knees.
Austin shouts at him, “How could you…”
“D-Don’t worry, I’m fine.” I say while coughing up blood, “I just wanted to confirm my most recent discovery. Just wait some sec and you will see.”
‘It hurts, dammit. I’m going to loose my consciousness like that…’
It hurts way more than when my left arm got cut off in the match. It’s still way less than when my heart got burned out, but I was at least able to continue fighing when he cut off my left arm.
So why can’t I even keep my eyes open now?
I open my eyes.
“Awake again?” I hear Kenny asking.
I recognize the stained sofa I’m laying on.
I look at my arm.
It is fully healed.
I move it.
“F*ck, it still hurts like shit,” I complain.
I look around.
Only Kenny is here.
“You had better get going. Your third match is starting in an hour,” Kenny tells me.
“One hour? That means I slept all night. I guess my self hurting method isn’t very efficient…
But as long as I can fight real fights where I have to put my life on the line, I can increase my strength, experience and fame at the same time,” I determine proudly.
“Whatever, just don’t accidentally kill yourself.”
I laugh, “Don’t worry, I’m not gonna jump down a bridge to strengthen my head.
I’m gonna jump down to strengthen my legs.”
For the first time Kenny smiles.
“You are crazy,” he says.
“I hope big brother Fumio comes back soon. I’m certain you two will get along very well.”