Morning of Bickering
The next morning, Lakshman woke up early for his regular training. Ever since he began training at Darian’s training centre, he trained early in the morning. He did this by swinging his swords from a hundred to nine-hundred times.
That morning, he woke up with a wide yawn. When he looked to the side, he saw Ondine sleeping peacefully with a cute expression. Smiling at that sight, he got out of bed and headed over to wash his face. Then he headed over to where he trained with his sword.
“It’s been a while, master.”
When Lakshman came out after washing his face, he was met with a familiar person. This was someone that was with him for a long time and fought with him in many fights. This person is also known to have lived longer than eight-thousand years. The person is none other than Tetra.
“Ah! Tetra,” he said happily as he was genially pleased to see her.
She was not smiling. Instead, she was frowning up at him. Then she abruptly turned around and began walking away. Startled by her actions, he chased after her while speaking to her.
“H-Hey, Tetra! What’s wrong? Hey! I’m talk to you here, stop ignoring me!”
“I’m not talking to you, master,” she said as she continued to walk away.
“Huh? Why?” he asked as if he could not believe his ears.
Tetra suddenly stopped and turned around to face him with an angry expression on her face. Then she said “Lately, I’m left out on a lot of things! Even when you went up against those nasty guys from yesterday, you didn’t bother to take me along! Tell me, master! Are you ignoring me?!”
He was alarmed by her words and looked at her with a panicked expression on his face. While panicking, he fidgeted with his hands and looked around nervously.
As he continued to be nervous, she angrily shouted “Tell me, master! Don’t I mean anything to you?! After all the fights and battles we’ve been through together, am I nothing to you now that you’ve found your own strength to rely on?!”
“No, that’s not it…” Lakshman said and then hesitated for a moment. As if he found something puzzling, he wore a puzzled expression on his face and looked at her. Then he asked “Wait… what? What do you mean by me having my own strength instead of relying on you?”
“Ah…!” Tetra said and she half-opened her mouth in surprise.
He narrowed his eyes and looked at her sternly and she backed away slightly.
“Tetra…!” he said in a stern voice.
“U-U-Um… Master, I—!”
“So you were the one lending me all that strength whenever I fought.”
“N-No, master! You’re mistaken!” she said pleadingly.
He sighed and clapped his hand on his face. Then, while eying her, he said “Instead of doing that, why don’t you help me get stronger? Don’t you want me to strong or did you want me to rely on you completely?”
“I…” Tetra began and hesitated.
She was looking really nervous by his words. In fear of getting into trouble, she began looking elsewhere to avoid making eye contact with him. He eyed sternly for a moment. Then he smiled and extended his right hand towards her.
“Come on, Tetra. I need to do my morning training and you know I can’t train without you,” he said before winking her.
She looked up at him in amazement and immediately hugged onto his extended hand happily.
“Yes, master!” she said happily.
Together, they made their way to the back of the training centre. Once they stepped outside, the cool wind ruffled their hairs and skin. Feeling the wind, they sighed deeply contently.
Just then, they suddenly heard a huffing sound from nearby. Curious what the sounds were, they went around the stand separating the different sections. That was when they came upon a man doing push-ups on the ground.
The man was shirtless and wore a strange assortment of clothes from his waist down. He has long black hair that fell down to his waist and a monkey tail poking out from his behind. That person was previously known as Mumble, but as of yesterday became known as Rumble.
Rumble was pushing up and down on the ground with his forefinger. As he pushed up and down with each rhythm, he spoke the number of times he was doing it for.
“Eight-thousand-and-ninety-eight, eight-thousand-and-ninety-nine, nine-thousand, nine-thousand-and-one…!”
At that moment Lakshman, hearing Rumble’s push-up count, suddenly shouted “Holy! Push-ups over nine-thousand!”
Hearing his voice, Rumble stopped his activity and quickly sat upright. Then he turned around and, seeing who it was, smiled at them.
“Lakshman and Tetra, good morning to the both of you,” he said in a pleasant voice.
“Good morning, Rumble,” Tetra said as she returned the smile while Lakshman was very shocked to reply.
Rumble turned to look at Lakshman’s shocked expression and raised an eyebrow. Then he asked “What’s the matter with you, Lakshman? Why did you suddenly become stiff as a rock?”
At his words, Lakshman was suddenly brought back to reality. He shook his head to shake away the cloudiness and said “Well… You did do over nine-thousand push-ups! Even I can’t do that many yet!”
Rumble laughed and said “That’s because you’re still getting stronger. Remember, you don’t get strong overnight. It’s a daily learning process and only later you’ll see its results!”
“Oh…!” Lakshman said and nodded in understanding.
After that, the two of them began to train separately. Tetra transformed into the Phoenix Blade and he began swinging with it. Rumble was lashing out fists at incredible speed while constantly moving. His movement was so quick it looked like he was flashing on and off from view.
Then they sparred with each other for Lakshman’s training. It was clear that Lakshman was no match for Rumble. Lakshman did not feel down, but instead felt excitement at the thought of becoming as strong as Rumble and Darian.
Once the training was over, they washed themselves by throwing water over each other. Then they used dry cloth to dry themselves. Once they were refreshed, they began to walk back inside for morning breakfast as the training centre opened up for the day.
“By the way, Rumble. I was wondering where you got those clothes you’re wearing,” Lakshman asked curiously.
“These clothes?” Rumble asked and he indicated his garments. When Lakshman nodded, he said “Gi or usually referred to as Keikogi. Its warrior clothing that the monkey clan wear as a custom. You won’t find that many humans or members of other races wearing these.”
“Oh! Now it makes sense, but is it comfortable wearing them? They look a bit restricting…” Lakshman said hesitantly.
Hearing those words, Rumble laughed and said “If they were uncomfortable, I wouldn’t be wearing them in the first place! I like these clothing, but people have their preferences.”
After laughing, Lakshman said “So you’re really from the Beast race, the monkey clan.”
“Yes, I’m from the Monkaggy clan of the Beast race. What? Is there something wrong with it?”
“No! There’s nothing wrong! It’s just that you’re the first person from the Beast race that looks almost human. It’s only your monkey tail and the strange clothes you’re wearing that make you so different.”
Rumble chuckled while shaking his head. Just then, they reached the place and found Darian, Ondine and Marilia waiting for them.
“Master, where did you go so early in the morning? You weren’t at the usual place and I got so worried!” Ondine said anxiously and looked sternly at him.
Lakshman opened his mouth to respond when Tetra suddenly interjected.
“Don’t be so rude to master, Ondine! Master’s been training all morning while you’re sleeping like a princess!”
Ondine’s hair stood on end at those words and she immediately retailed by saying “Oh?! Tetra! I didn’t notice you were here! Sorry I forgot about you, but you can’t blame me when you hardly appeared in the past few months!”
Ondine thought it would hurt Tetra’s feelings. However, looked coolly back at her and smiled before saying “My lack of appearance just proves how devoted I am to my master than you!”
“Why you…?!” Ondine said in an angry voice.
As the two girls stared at each other, Lakshman looked between them anxiously. He knew them and knew both of them are really strong. Fearing an outburst of attacks and destruction, he quickly intervened.
“Ondine, Tetra, stop! Stop arguing when it’s so early in the morning!”
“I-I’m sorry, master!” Ondine and Tetra quickly said in unison in response to his words. Then they looked at each other and said “We’ll settle this later in the day!”
“Hey!” Lakshman said in annoyance.
Watching this spectacle unfold before them, the others began to laugh. Lakshman, Ondine and Tetra looked at them in embarrassment at suddenly realising they were not alone.
“I never get tired of watching you three bicker. It’s almost like witnessing a husband struggling to keep his two wives together!” Darian said with a snigger.
“H-Husband…?! Wives…?” Ondine and Tetra said together nervously.
They were looking nervous when their eyes met. At that moment, their expression s became solid and then turned away with a loud “Hmph!”
While everyone ate their food, there was one that did not touch his plate. After being referred to being a ‘husband’, he felt uncomfortable to eat. For some reason, that word gave him a strange feeling he could not understand.
He sighed and muttered “What kind of way is this to begin the morning…?”