“Magical… Girls?” Shelly said shocked as she held her head in her hands. “And i’ll have to fight them?”
“Well, it MAY be one of your duties later on.” Vivian said as she waited for Shelly to recover from her shock before walking ahead. “Also, we aren’t entirely sure if that’s how they are actually called, but if we base ourselves in your culture, then we believe that to be the case.”
“…But… Fighting girls?” Shelly said, feeling a bit a bit disturbed. “And… It sounds like they are… What, ten years old?” Even if she was willing to accept the idea of magic and such, fighting girls who were barely of age was something she couldn’t exactly accept.
“Well, they aren’t exactly harmless either.” Vivian said with a wry smile as she picked up a ring from her pocket and showed it to the Leviathan.
Shelly looked curiously at the ring, and once it projected an image upon the wall, she wasn’t that surprised anymore. It took her a moment for her to understand that it was the picture of the city-center. However, it was died in a strange green coloration that looked woefully unreal.
However, it took it but a moment for the entire imagery to change, as a blue streak of light flashed across the sky and landed on the building, instantly disintegrating its whole mid-section into smithereens, making it crumble into pieces.
However, just as fast as the streak of blue hit the building, it came flying out of it towards a vague winged figure that stood on the very edge of the imagery. Following the streak of blues, tens of small white spheres followed along as it flew towards the figure, and once the blue streak came to a halt right before the figure, one of the spheres expanded rapidly into a large magical circle, releasing a massive white laser that crossed the space between them in the blink of an eye.
The figure dodged the laser while moving in closer to the blue being and trying to ram into it.
Roughly thirty exchanges of the flying being and the blue streak occurred as they flew around the city, darting around the streets and in between the buildings. From time to time, one would land a hit and send the other one flying, but they’d quickly recover and go back to the duel.
During one particularly fierce exchange, the flying being used some kind of dark sphere to attack, but the blue streak flew backwards with ease before sliding towards the back of the creature and expanding the second sphere of light, except that this time, a massive explosion instead of a laser came from the circle, getting the other creature into the blast and throwing it through a building and into the ground.
After a brief moment of stillness, the blue streak turned towards the image and sent one single beam towards it, ending the recording.
Needless to say, the blue streak was a girl in a blue outfit and the other being was the monster who had just been carried away a few seconds ago. While she couldn’t exactly make out the details thanks to the distance of the image, Shelly managed to understand at least that much.
“…That doesn’t looks healthy at all.” She commented dryly while recalling the buildings who were razed during the exchanges. “I sincerely don’t know what’s worse. The fact that you showed me such an insane and inhuman battle between a monster and a girl… Or the fact that i actually managed to keep up with what had happened.” She sighed in exhaustion. After all, the battle was so fast and intense, that by the end of it, the first building was still only halfway into collapsing.
“Well, as we said before, the basic specs of a leviathan is pretty much on the upper tiers, even in our world.” The siren commented as she stored the ring away. “By the way, that video was from a few weeks ago, and they had around two or three other encounters after that.” She said with a smile. “So, as you can see, Troubador is more than used to taking a beating.”
“…That was from a few weeks ago?” Shelly said surprised while looking back at where the creature had been taken to. “And he still got beaten two or three times AFTER that?”
“And, to be honest, he’s probably a bit more fragile than you if we go by sheer physical resistance.” Vivian added. “Gargoyles, while usually pretty resistant, are still not on the highest tier there. They are more on the strong-arm type.” Vivian once again went back to walking forward as Shelly kept up with her.
“I see…” The Leviathan nodded weakly while thinking about something else a bit absent mindedly. “…I’m not sure if i should ask this but…”
”The girls are fine.” Vivian quickly calmed her down, seeing as Shelly sighed in relief. “From what we managed to analyze from the traces of their magic, we believe that those aren’t exactly their actual bodies, but an astral projection of them.” She explained briefly. “Basically, any damage done to that body is quickly recovered, and it doesn’t carry to their actual bodies, or, if it does, it’s nothing more than a simple exhaustion once their transformation wears off.”
“That’s a relief.” Shelly heaved a sigh as if a weight had been removed from her shoulders.
“That means you can beat them up completely without worries.”
“There was no need to word it that way.” Shelly stared a hole into Vivian, who giggled amused.
“Well, jokes aside, it’s not like we’d hurt some girls for no good reasons you know?” Vivian commented with a brief smile. “In a way, you could say that they are only doing their job. We aren’t monsters to mindlessly hurt some girls just because they are doing what they think it’s right, you know?”
“Can i comment on you guys actually look like monsters?” As she said that, she pointed at a random open door where some kind of green goblin was sitting on a table reading some documents.
“…You know what i meant.” Vivian replied awkwardly while stopping before a door. “Anyway, here we are.”
As she opened the door, any doubt that Shelly still had about this place being bigger on the inside than what it was outside were completely blown away, as an indoor all-in-one training ground of sorts expanded before her. Having a small ‘open air’ gym, a shooting range, a few boxing and martial arts rings, an olympic pool AND a track for running.
While the Leviathan made a silly expression taking in the scene before her, it took her a moment to finally notice that they weren’t alone in there. A few monsters were doing some exercises, such as a gryphon running on the track, a four-armed headless giant was lifting some weight and even a mermaid was swimming on the pool and so forth.
Noticing that the duo had entered on the room, they stopped their exercises to peek at the newcomers, and noticing that Shelly was someone new, they all quickly had their attentions grabbed.
The first one to approach was the gryphon that had been running around the track. It unfurled its wings and quickly took flight while approaching the two.
“Heya Vivian!” It said, its voice sounding like a higher pitched version of a young man’s voice. “And I take you are a newbie? Name’s Kake-Shrika.”
“Ah, yeah, i just joined today.” Shelly replied after recovering from the shock. “I’m Mi… Erm… Shelly…” For a moment she thought of extending her hand, but stopped herself when she noticed that the gryphon had no way of taking it, being a quadrupedal monster and all. “Ahh… Still have to get used to this name.”
Kake replied with an amused chirp of sorts before turning to the siren.
“Speaking of newbies… Where’s the human that was supposed to start working here today?” He asked curious. “There was that whole commotion when he came in, but haven’t heard anything about him since.”
“Well… You were talking to him. Well… Her.” Vivian said with an awkward smile.
For a good moment Kake stared blankly at Vivian, then turned his eagle-shaped head towards Shelly, the beak open in shock.
Then, he started laughing loudly to the point that he even fell to the ground. A vein popped up on Shelly’s temple as she held back the desire to teach the winged fellow a lesson. Noticing this, Vivian quickly cleared her throat so as to get the attention of the duo.
“Anyway, as you can see, Shelly here isn’t used to her body too much, so I decided to give her a chance to get used to it here.” Vivian explained.
“Aah… I see.” Kake said with a nod. “I guess it … Hehe… Makes sense. Needing to get used to the body and all.”
“Oh, that sound terrible.” Another voice echoed, getting Shelly’s attention. Turning towards the source, she met with the eyes of a young emerald-haired beauty wearing a bikini. It took her a moment to recognize her as the mermaid she had seen in the pool. “I’m Luna, and if there’s anything i can help you, just ask me, okay?” She said while staring at Shelly worriedly. Being caught by surprise by this sudden interaction, Shelly took a moment to chose her words.
“Ah… It’s… Not that bad to be honest.” She said awkwardly while shaking her head. “It wasn’t as bad as i expected to be honest… At least until now.” She added with a frown.
“I see… Still, do know that i’ll help you as I can, okay?” The mermaid said while holding onto Shelly’s hand and looking at her worriedly.
“Good, because we’ll need your help later today, Luna.” Vivian said with a smile, making the mermaid turn to her curious. “Shelly here has an affinity for water, so once her focus finishes attuning, could you give her a few pointers?”
“Oh. Sure!” She said with a smile before frowning slightly. “Except… That i’m scheduled to go on a mission to the sea in a couple of hours.”
“There’s no problem. Shelly here will most likely have to spend the night in the dorm today.” Vivian explained. “You’ll have all the night to drill the basics into her.”
“Oh, then leave it to me.” Luna replied with a smile. “I always wondered how it feels to have a roommate!”
“Shouldn’t you be worried about sleeping with a strange person in your room?” Shelly asked surprised. “I mean, you do reckon I was a man just a couple of minutes ago, right?”
“But, how can i worry with something like that when you are going through such a difficult situation?” She asked with sincere confusion and worry.
“…Are you half angel or something like that?” Shelly asked in sheer shock at the good will the mermaid was showing, who replied with an awkward smile.
“Surprisingly enough, She’s one hundred percent mermaid.” Kake said with amusement. “Not that we don’t understand why you asked that. She is a bit too good for her own… Well… Good.” Kake chuckled amused for a moment. “Well, on the bright side, you’ll probably enjoy knowing that her bathtub is probably the size of a small pool.”
“Errmm… Why would i enjoy knowing that?” Shelly asked confused.
“Well… That’s…” Kake started confused, but soon stopped himself with an amused smirk. “You’ll find out yourself.”
While Shelly was confused about the talk, the thought that she’d have to take a bath sooner or later crossed her mind, and a shiver went down her spine. But before she could go back to contemplating her grim future, the ground trembled slightly as the giant approached them.
Stopping to check on the newcomer, Shelly noticed something that was slightly off about him. At first she had thought it was some sort of giant, but she quickly changed her mind once he approached them. While he was still pretty big, probably almost towering at two and something meters even without a head, the body looked like anything but organic.
Instead, looking at it closely, it resembled more like large pieces of stone gathered together than an actual flesh and bones body.
The giant raised its hand towards her in a greeting once it approached the group that had been chatting. As the trio turned towards him and said their greetings, Shelly felt a strange sensation across her body, coming from the creature. While she had absolutely no idea what this sensation was, she knew for sure that it was coming from the stone giant before her. However, before she had the chance to figure out what it could be, the feeling was gone, and she noticed they were all looking at her.
“…ly can’t understand mana resonance just yet.” Vivian said with an awkward smile while turning towards the absent-minded Shelly. “Shelly, this is Huvrur. He’s a Geocore.”
“Ah… Nice to meet you.” Shelly quickly replied with a nod.
“Well, Huvrur here can’t speak like us, so he can’t do his introduction.” Kake said once Shelly looked at the giant curiously.
“He uses a special manner of communication we call Resonance.” Luna explained. “You probably can’t understand it right now, but once your foci finish their attunement, you’ll most likely understand him better.”
“Think of it as a magic-based radio.” Vivian interjected, receiving a positive reaction from Shelly. “Anyway, Geocores, to put it simply, is kind of a mix between an earth elemental and a slime. The body you see here is but a shell, and his actual self is a crystal in the middle of everything.” She said with a smile. “He’ll be your sparring partner later.”
“…You do know the whole talk about martial artist breaking stones with their fists is only for the professionals and slash or con artist, right?” Shelly said in a blunt monotone.
“You’ll understand it sooner or later.” Vivian waved it off. “Anyway, he’s also the one responsible for this training facility, so if there’s anything you’ll need later, you can just ask him.”
“Okay. I’ll be counting on you then.” Shelly said, to which Huvur replied with a thumbs up from his two right arms.
“With that said, i guess that we should start on getting you used to your new body, right?” Vivian said as she turned to Huvur. “We need to have an idea of her limits. Anything good for that?”
The giant took on a pensive stance at her words, crossing two of his arms while using the remaining two to scratch the place where his head would be and rest it on his hips. Feeling slightly amused by the scene, she followed him as he turned back towards the gym while making a motion for her to follow.
Luna and Kake both gave their goodbyes to the Leviathan as they went back to do their own training.
Once the giant, or rather, Geocore reached the gym part of the complex, he approached a corner where a bunch of weights and dumbbells were all gathered, and after rummaging around for a bit, he came back with a ominous black glass-looking dumbbell.
He offered the small object to Shelly and then turned towards Vivian. Once again the Leviathan felt that strange sensation and guessed it might be the resonance they were speaking about earlier.
“He said that you should do some basic lifting…” The siren explained before stopping for a moment, listening to him again. “Ah. I see. Meanwhile, we will infuse the dumbell with our magic, so it’ll start getting heavier and heavier as the time passes.”
Shelly nodded before quickly weighting the dumbbell in her hand, trying to get an idea on its weight. However, all that she could pick up was that it was really light. So light that she didn’t even know how light it was.
Seeing no reason to refuse, as it was a good way to get a grasp on her own strength, the Leviathan nodded before taking a deep breath and lightly tightening her grip on the dumbbell.
She started the exercise, lifting her forearm until the dumbbell touched her shoulder and then bringing it back down. However, before she could do the second repetition, Huvrur got her attention by beckoning her. She turned to him curiously and saw as he picked up a heavy bench-lifting weight and made the same exercise as she did. However, after the first set, he also raised the weight above his head in a straight manner. Only then did he bring down his hand in a wide arc at the front of his body.
While the Leviathan was left curious about the reason for such strange routine, she simply shrugged and followed his actions.
The first set of the exercise went on without any problem, however, as she went back to the resting position, she noticed Vivian holding a small black gem in her hands while focusing profoundly.
Taking notice of that, she once again repeated the motion, and for the first ten or so times, she couldn’t even feel any difference. However, as the time went on, she noticed the dumbbell felt a bit heavier than before.
It was still a far cry from being considered heavy, but she still felt impressed by the clear difference in weight.
By the twentieth repetition, she was still lifting it with ease, even if the weight had become a lot more noticeable. However, she felt she was still a bit far from her limits. On the other hand, Vivian looked like she was getting tired as she held onto the gem.
After doing such repetitive action for a bit, her mind slipped into automated mode, giving her the time to do some thinking without worries. On one hand, she was amazed at how easily she had gotten used to this whole idea. On the other, she was still feeling a bit uncomfortable with her new body. Not in the meaning that the body moved strangely or felt incompatible. In fact, it was eerily easy to move this new body of hers. However, the sensation of moving with it was still throwing her slightly off. Perharps it was the different muscle structure, or even the shape of her body and how it rubbed against the clothes.
The fact that this exercise made a certain part of her upper body jiggle slightly didn’t exactly help either. Holding back a blush as she recalled how she had been violated when the girls first put the bra on her, she, much to her own horror, started considering whether she should request for a sports bra.
She quickly purged the thought as she tried to focus back on the exercise.
By the fortieth time, her arm was fatigued by the repeated movement, but she felt that the weight had finally reached the ideal proportion. Just heavy enough to be an actual challenge. On the other hand…
“Isn’t it better for me to stop?” Shelly asked when she saw Vivian breathing heavily, but she simply shook her head.
“He said… To go… Until you can’t lift…” She said exhaustively before closing her eyes again.
Shelly looked at her in worry for a moment, but nodded weakly before continuing.
Only once she reached the fiftieth repetition that she finally became unable to lift the small weight. While she felt that a bigger part of the reason was the fatigue rather than the weight itself, she still decided to stop there. Looking at Huvrur who had been silently watching the scene all this time, he understood her message and extended his hand.
She slowly raised her hand towards the Geocore and let the weight hover slightly above his hand. She hesitated for a moment, but upon seeing him give her the thumb-up with a free hand, she finally released the weight.
It splendidly crushed the geocore’s hand and fell to the ground in an almost straight trajectory, creating a decent sized crater near their feet and cracks that ran for at least a couple of meters from the impact point. With a noise loud enough to echo through the entire training room, it was no wonder that everyone stopped to look at what had happened..
“…Ermm… Sorry?” Shelly said while staring worriedly at the now gone Geocore’s hand.
Shelly’s shoulder slumped as she strolled around the training room lost in thought. She was tired, extremely so, however, none of it was physical exhaustion. When it came down to it, her body was perfectly fine. Instead it was the mental exhaustion that had taken her over.
Looking down at her hand, she opened and closed it a few times as she recalled the results of her first test.
Three and a half tons. That was how much the tiny dumbbell had weighed in her hand. Or at least that was how much Huvrur estimated after seeing his hand break down like it was nothing. Well, at least he could easily reform it using the debris created by the crater, but it was still a worrisome incident for Shelly.
However, it didn’t just stop there. While she went to the other exercise machines, which had been enchanted to be able to take on a bit more punishment than usual, according to Vivian, she managed to easily lift the entire weight-set when it came to leg exercises, with even Huvrur clinging to the weight to add a bit more to the total.
After that, they went to the martial arts tatami for a couple of spars. For safety, Huvrur removed his main body from the armor, revealing it to be a chest-sized yellow crystal that would stand within the body most of the time.
Without exception, Shelly manage to break his body every time they fought. They did try to use some dummy weapons for a couple of times, but they were completely busted before even the first time they’d make contact.
Then, came some running exercises on the tracks. The results… Well, the series of feet-sized holes that she left as she ran and the pieces of ripped rubber that once was her sneakers spread around the track are a good enough way to explain what happened.
She sighed loudly as she reached a wall and leaned against it. Finally noticing how out of this world her body was, she couldn’t help but wonder what exactly was going to happen later.
“..ly. Shelly! Dear!”
A sudden voice made her snap back to reality. Noticing that she had been staring into the nothingness for some time, she slapped herself awake before looking around in search for the source of the voice, only to find Luna a bit above her.
“Ah, good. You woke up.” The mermaid said as she smiled kindly.
“Ah, sorry about that. What happened?” Shelly asked while standing up
“Alunxa and Amy came here to see you.” The mermaid said as she pointed back. “They are up there calling for you, but you weren’t listening, so i came here.”
“Ah.Thank you Luna.” Shelly said before frowning as a detail came into her view. “Erm… Why are you flying?” She asked, noticing that the mermaid had her legs turned back into the long fish-fin and was hovering a bit above her.
“Hmm? I’m not flying.” The mermaid said confused.
“Then how are you up there?” She asked confused.
“I’m swimming, dear.” She explained with a smile.
“Swimming?” Shelly asked confused. “In the air?”
“…Oh my. You didn’t notice?” The mermaid said surprised before looking around. Following her gaze, Shelly took a quick glance around herself, finally noticing the odd place where she was. The walls were way closer than where she had been in the training field, and they were all covered in tiles instead of being solid. “We are in the pool, dear.” The mermaid said.
“…Huh?” The leviathan said confused.
“You walked in here when you were thinking, didn’t you notice?” She said worriedly while approaching Shelly.
“…Huh? No, wait, how could this be a pool? I’m breathing, talking and moving just as usual! See?” Shelly said as she waved her hand around then did a short hop. However, instead of simply falling back down, she felt herself floating lightly. “…This is embarrassing.” She said, hanging her head down embarrassedly.
“Oh my…” The mermaid said with a slight hint of amusement in her tone. “leviathans are aquatic creatures just like us. So it’s no wonder that you’d feel at home in the water just as much as in the air, you know?”
“…I’m feeling really silly right now.” Shelly said while avoiding her glance. “Can we just get going and ignore this happened?”
Seeing the mermaid who was giggling while making her way out of the pool, Shelly heaved a sigh before swimming after her. However, as soon as she noticed that her wet clothes were clinging tightly to her body now, she became even redder while hoping that this wouldn’t happen again.