Mom is calling me, but I wasn´t finished just yet. While heavily sweating I went through the forms of karate I could remember. It wasn´t much since I only learned Karate for three years and the highest rank was inside the yellow one, but it works wonders for my fitness. I probably won´t use these forms in battle, but the low stance of the first few forms gives my lower body great endurance, which is very important since every punch will start in my feet and not only in my shoulder. There are arts, that do that actually, Wing Chun for example is using only the arms for many fast, but weak punches. That wouldn´t be an issue in my old world, but here everyone is a giant and use the blessings to further improve their bodies. And I didn´t train in Wing Chun at all. I did try it out, but that was all. The movies were great though. My expertise was actually in techniques that used the lever principle or pressure points to inflict pain. Nothing fancy like in those Chinese movies though. I could mainly support my throws or submission techniques with a little bit of pain. Actually, my family suffered quite a bit when I was younger. I practiced those pressure points on them and my little brother even gained quite the pain tolerance. I knew one or two more dangerous techniques, but I am a coward and never ever practiced them. Far too dangerous for my taste.
Mom called me again and she sounded a little bit impatient.
I knew I wouldn´t be there soon, but...
"Arn! It is time for Erwin's training! If you don´t go I will..."
When she called me for the third time her voice was quite angry. I know she wouldn´t actually be angry with me, but she would punish me and I wouldn´t like that. At all. In the last week, she punished me only two times, but an all-out sparring session with her isn´t what I would call easy. So I moved my feet as fast as I could and in a matter of seconds, I stood before her.
"I´m here, mom."
Smiling at her and trying to sound completely innocent. She just threw an exhausted look at me.
"Move your feet to Erwin already! And next time..."
I interrupted her and ran away while she shouted the rest of the sentence at my running figure. She would always say that...
My feet carried me towards Erwin´s training ground in the middle of the village. Almost two weeks have gone by, while I trained with Erwin and at home, I trained alone or went into the forest to train my stamina and reaction time. Basically, I tried to run as fast as I could through the most difficult terrain. Over stick and stone and a few other obstacles while trying to avoid deers, wolves, bears, and other aggressive animals. Sometimes I think this world turned every animal crazy and aggressive. It is ridiculous being chased by a herd of rabbits who try to take a bit out of me.
That reminds me... I wanted to ask Elder Irvin, the healing guy if the animals also benefit from the blessing of those gods. It would make sense in my eyes, since - if the stories are true - every living being was made as a representation of one or more of those gods. So equal creation myth equals equal magical powers, right? Someone remind me to ask him those questions because I will probably forget them.
While running towards Erwins location I tried out my parkour skills. That means taking the direct route over anything and anybody. I started doing this a few days ago and earned quite a few complaints, which my mother had to stop. The hard way. I could hear their cries of pain till my home. And when mom returned she mumbled something about being too nice to them. I really like how she has my back even though I can understand them. Imagine you are walking through the street and someone uses your shoulder as a means to reach the next roof. Quite impolite... wouldn´t you say?
Reaching the place where Erwin waits I stopped and calmed my breathing. Everyone except for Athala, Ing, and Anaz was already waiting impatiently to start training.
I saluted him and earned quite a few irritated looks from everyone.
"I am not old!"
He looked quite irritated at my nice and proper greeting.
"Sure, sure. So what will we do today?"
I looked around and felt a bit irritated. I thought I was late, so why are there missing that many? I could have trained a bit more...
Why is Erwin looking that disappointed at me and shaking his head? I know I am not up to your strength standards, but... come on! I do my best, you know?
"Hey! Little one! Why won´t you dance for us a bit? Entertain us a bit!"
Zawit said while grinning the most obnoxious smile somebody could smile looking at the others while probably trying to be funny. And sadly... it worked. Somehow those guys like that kind of joke.
"Don´t say that, Zawit!"
Donar couldn´t help, but join the fray to impress Zawit.
"She doesn´t have the figure to be entertaining!"
While they basically died laughing once again I could just smile and shake my head. You know... last time I kicked your ass. Well, I kicked your face, but you know what I mean, right? Damn, that was a hard face...
While they laughed uncontrollably and I reminisced in my past victory the rest finally arrived.
Erwin bellowed, but you know Erwin you look amused too, don´t you?
"Today is the last day before the next tournament!"
Right... The tournament will happen every two weeks in order to supply us kids with close combat experience. Or with torture as I would say. Wouldn´t every half year be enough? Or every month? That would definitely be enough, but no! We have to fight each other every two weeks just like our parents do. It is simply madness! And my mom told me to be at least in the tenth place! And that was after some hard negotiation! She wanted me to be in at least fifth place! Madness I say! Madness!
"So today we will learn a bit about the gods and our people."
Storytime it is... It is sometimes interesting, simply because I really need time to think about my faith and if those gods are actually gods and if I should accept their blessing and so on. I am still quite confused about that after all and I simply didn´t have the time to think about these things.
"Can you tell us about the little people?"
Athala interrupted Erwin, who seemed like he wanted to start a long and predictable tale about one of our many meatheaded heroes. He looked at Athala thoughtfully.
"What do you want to hear?"
He looked like he already knew what she would ask, but that would be quite surprising for one of them. Okay, I really need to stop being so condescending... they aren´t stupid, just meatheaded...
"I heard there was a battle..."
Yeah, there always are some battles between our people and the little people. Seems like they are quite stubborn. So why the sudden interest in those suicidal people?
"... and we lost a village."
So I´m using Grammarly now for the last chapter and this one.
But it is always giving me four points in sadness...