Ashley tried his best to allay Rin's worries. However, despite his insistence that he would be just fine by the end of the spring vacation, Rin had trouble believing him. It was pretty much impossible by today's scientific standards to evaluate Ashley's potential, so attempting to compare him to others by conventional means was also an exercise in frustration. It would make it very easy for others to think that he was weak. At first glance, this would be quite accurate. Noriaki had much more control over his heat controlling powers and had a lot more combat experience.
The best phrase to describe Ashley from an outsider's point of view would be that a newborn calf did not fear the tiger. Fortunately, Ashley possessed Nemea's consciousness and had attained Ether Resonance, allowing him to gain a distinct advantage over anyone in his current level. Furthermore, he practiced the <Goddess Weaving Technique> which improved his physical constitution and ether sensitivity at an alarming rate. Ashley still needed to weave the Fairy Energy into his tendons and bones to gain full mastery over the technique. He would dedicate the rest of his vacation to doing so.
Four days remained before the end of spring vacation, and Ashley dare not slack off. He knew that Noriaki was incredibly powerful by high school student standards. He would not be able to have a group of students under his direct control and neither would he have a powerful influence as a student without this type of combat power. Sitting cross-legged on his bed, Ashley continued to strengthen himself through the interlocking of Fairy Energy with his genetic molecular makeup. At this time, Nemea began to explain the finer points of the technique.
<Goddess Weaving Technique> was very important to practice not only for the benefits of strengthening the physical body and directly modifying the human's genetic makeup, but it also increased the person's sensitivity to ether in the air. It was basically the equivalent of turning the person into a living ether flower. More rural areas less affected by industrialization and technology would undoubtedly have purer ether in the air, though it wasn't that bad in urban areas due to purifying technology.
However, the focal point of the <Goddess Weaving Technique> was to weave the internal energy directly into the body after injection of it via mental control. This would lead to a fusion of the internal energy with the organs and nerves of the human body, thus increasing its capability and unlocking a new potential. The effect of the technique depended on the type of energy the practitioner created through Ether Resonance. In Ashley's case, he had 100% synchronization rate due to the fact he produced Fairy Energy, which was very similar to the energy which Nemea herself produced.
Two days passed by and Ashley had already finished enhancing his tendons with Nemea's guidance, who praised him for his tenacious will. It was tempered by many years of suffering under those who looked down on him originally as an old one. Over time, as his bones were also tempered by the injection of the Fairy Energy, Ashley's body structure began to change more prominently, much like mutation. Ashley began to feel legitimate, physical pain for the first time as he heard his bones begin to crackle.
He realized thanks to Nemea's explanation that his bones were undergoing a form of tempering and metamorphosis. The Fairy Energy was forcefully slicing away the impurities and weaknesses which caused immense pain, as he was still in the pinnacle stages of the Ether Nourishment stage, his body was not actually at the point where he could easily withstand the pain. He gnashed his teeth and started to feel his body toughening up but at the same time becoming slimmer.
After about an hour of trying to endure such excruciating pain, Ashley flopped backwards on his bed as he felt the Fairy Energy pumping through his veins and spreading throughout every fiber of his being. At the same time, he could feel the ether in his skin very easily, as if a cool breeze was wafting over his form. After recovering his composure, he was able to stand up and go over to look at himself in the mirror. At this point it could be safe to say that his appearance transitioned into that of a girl's, and that it could even be considered inappropriate to wear the boys school uniform.
Out of curiosity, Ashley still took the time to feel if he was still 'equipped' down there, and after confirming this was the case, he heard Nemea's laugh in his mind. "You don't need to worry. It's just a physical enhancement, after all."
Ashley cracked his knuckles and could feel his entire body surging with a newfound power. Though at the moment he did not know how to control ether at an external level just yet, it was safe to assume he could get away with saying he had an enhancement power that made him incredibly charming, though that was merely just a smoke-screen to conceal the fact the real benefits of the <Goddess Weaving Technique> were immense physical enhancement and highly increased sensitivity to ether.
"I will get you this time, Noriaki." Ashley softly muttered to himself.
At the same time, unknown to Ashley, Nemea was making some preparations of her own.
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