63 Chapter 9: Conditioning Training on a Terrifying Scale
After going through the door Joshua found himself in another wide open plane room with nothing but a sofa and a couple of chairs around. At this point he assumed these rooms were probably the systems idea of individual waiting areas. Joshua walked over and sat down on the sofa before putting his bags down next to his feet and then he leaned back and closed his eyes. While waiting he started to think about all the changes that were happening in his life and the problems he would be facing ahead of him. Considering the first part of the second phase was a ten year long exploration journey where it was probably in their best interest to kill a monster big enough and strong enough to tear down sky scrapers like small trees, Joshua was starting to think the second portion may be even more challenging. It would have to be something that was harder to accomplish than taking down one of the large boss class haze monsters based off of all the information that was given to him.
Joshua sighed and started to put those thoughts aside when he heard another door emerge near him and the handle twist signaling someone was entering. When Joshua opened his eyes and turned to look at who was entering the room he saw Thoren make his way inside before walking over towards him. "Alright kid you got all your stuff ready to go?" Thoren asked.
"Everything I'll need for a while, but how long will I be gone before I can come back and visit my family?" Joshua asked rising to meet the man.
"Well for the most part throughout your training you will be spending your time living with Marlow, while Ysildea and I will come over to train you some more in different things you will need to know about. She will help you learn how to correctly control and manipulate aura while I'll be giving you more general information on the things you will need to know going forward." Thoren said while scratching his beard. "You can use your free time to visit your family and we'll give you full days off every now and then, just don't expect too many early on with Marlow trying to whip you into shape. You can also use your free time to study at the learning centers on other things you are interested in, probably end up finding out what supporter job you want going forward that way."
"Alright that's good to know. Well then let's get started I don't want to fall too far behind the others." Joshua said getting a grin from Thoren in return.
"Oh trust me kid, you will have no problems catching up with them. I'm expecting you to catch up with us in the future let alone the other people of your home world. Though I'm surprised this little planet of yours has so many interesting talents on it, I'm looking forward to see what you all can accomplish in the future." Thoren said before turning and pressing a few buttons into a screen that he used the system to put up in front of him. When he was finished another door appeared in front of them, but it had a different design from the others showing that it lead to a place that wasn't a normal plainly designed room. "Through that door Marlow will be waiting for you to start the conditioning training. You will be staying there through out these next few years. Good Luck Joshua we're all looking forward to seeing you become powerful so don't you dare waste our time kid."
Joshua nodded before twisting the handle and pushing the door open. He was met with another strong light before he found himself standing in a completely different environment. The door lead him to a place that all in all looked amazing. It was a large plain that had lots of space and was surrounded by a forest at the edges. In the distance Joshua could see a large waterfall that fell into a river stream that moved off into the forest out of view. The plain was covered in ankle high grass that blew lazily in the small breeze that rolled over the area occasionally. The only sign of any unnatural things in the area was the large hut to the side of the plain that looked just large enough for one person to live in peacefully.
Taking in a deep breath Joshua was mesmerized by the things the system could do as he knew everything in front of him was created by the system. If this were a real planet then he would have gotten here through a portal instead of a door. That was something he had taken notice of earlier when the girls had to step through a portal to get back down to earth instead of walk through a door. Joshua made his way over towards the hut so he could put his stuff away in his new living space for the next few years. By the time he was finished he heard the popping sound that he now figured must have been the alert noise for whenever a door appeared nearby and walked outside to see Marlow looking around with a smile on his face.
"Oh you're already here. Good, then we can get things started right away without any trouble." Marlow said before he swiped his arm and pulled out four small bands and one large one that he seemed to twirl around in the air effortlessly. "You seem to already be in some sort of training wear so let's get things going. The quicker we can get you to peak condition the faster we can get you learning the cool stuff, so put these things on. The four small ones go on your arms and legs while the big one goes around your waist."
Joshua followed his instructions and grabbed the bands and put them on before Marlow took out some weird control looking thing and pressed a button that caused all of the bands he put on to suddenly gain several pounds of weight. Each arm had gained around twenty pounds while each leg had gained thirty. The band around his stomach was probably around sixty based off of the weight he was feeling. Joshua sagged for a split second at the added weight before straightening out and looking towards Marlow questioningly. "Weights? Really?" Joshua asked. "Based off all the cool stuff you guys have going with this system I was expecting something a little more…well advanced."
"Oh please not everything has to be over the top. The weights are already fairly advanced themselves. With this remote I can add as much weight to them as I want going forward." Marlow said while giving Joshua a hard pat on the shoulder that almost knocked him off balance. "From this point on those bands won't be coming off any time soon. You will wear them everywhere you go and you will even have them on in your sleep. We'll have that body of yours in the greatest shape a level one can get to by the end of the first couple of weeks. Now stick to my pace and try to keep up. We're going to be jogging until you drop."
Right after he finished explaining things Marlow immediately took off at a decent pace that took Joshua off guard, but he quickly caught up to him even though the weights took a bit of time to get use too. Soon he found himself jogging alongside Marlow at a pace that most people would do during a marathon. At first Joshua was able to keep up no problem, but after half an hour of running at that pace the strain was starting to wear down on him. When he was starting to think things couldn't get any worse Marlow smiled and clicked a button on the little controller in his hands that added another five pounds each to the weight bands on Joshua's body. Joshua nearly stumbled and fell over, but caught himself and pushed through trying to keep pace with Marlow.
Marlow simply smiled at his efforts and continued to move at the same speed forcing Joshua to put even more effort in keeping up with the added weights. For the next hour and a half Joshua was tortured as they continued to run around the open space with Marlow adding another five pounds after every half hour. Finally Joshua's body couldn't handle the strain anymore and fell over face first on to the ground. He was so tired that it took almost every ounce of his will to roll over on to his back and look up at the sky. He was breathing harshly and wasn't even willing to lift up one of his arms to wipe the sweat out of his face. At this point his whole body felt like jelly and all his strength had been spent.
"Not bad for a first run." Marlow said as he walked over and stood over Joshua while smiling down at him. "By the end of it you were carrying around 260 pounds while jogging for the last half hour yet you didn't fall over. Looks like your will is nothing to look down on. Most people I train this early don't even make it an hour before falling over."
"Is this…how all the…training is going to go?" Joshua asked while having to take deep breaths between his words.
"For the most part yes." Marlow responded with what looked like a sadistic smile. "Your body is already growing stronger from this little exercise alone. Remember with the leveling system it is far easier to grow stronger early on. Putting a strain on your body will only make the process even faster. Now time to get you healed up for the next exercise." Marlow said before waiving his hands over Joshua causing his body to shine brightly for a moment. Joshua was shocked as all the exhaustion he had built up had faded away alongside the light.
"What the hell was that?" Joshua asked in surprise as he stood up with little effort. Although his body and clothes were still covered in sweat all of the aching pain was now gone. His muscles seemed ready for more punishment as he was able to flex them without feeling any pain.
"Although my role is primarily a tank sense I am a guardian after all, we do actually have the ability to learn some healing spells. Not as much as a healing job of course, but enough for me to keep a level one like you on your feet." Marlow said with a smile before clicking the remote a couple more times causing the overall weight on Joshua to rise another fifty pounds. "Now on to the next exercise. This one won't involve much movement like the last one, but will instead work on hardening your body." He started walking away and Joshua quickly followed after him even though it felt like he had the weight of a rather large football player on his shoulders. It didn't take the two of them long to reach their destination as they stood in front of the waterfall that continued to crash large amounts of water onto the river next to them.
"So what's the plan here?" Joshua asked looking a bit confused at why they needed to come to a waterfall. It might be good for meditation or something, but he didn't see how this was going to help his physical fitness.
"You will be standing on that rock there under the waterfall and taking a beating for the next couple of hours." Marlow said with a grin as he thumped a fist against Joshua's chest in a friendly way. "Oh and don't worry about getting too banged up. I'll be keeping watch and heal you whenever things start to get too hard for you."
Joshua simply shook his head in disbelief for a second before sighing and moving through the river over towards the rock. Luckily the water wasn't too deep and only came up to his waist in the current area, but even wading through it was a chore with all the weights on his body. Joshua struggled to pull himself up on the rock as the water crashed onto him making it rather challenging. When he was finally able to stand straight against the cascading water he grit his teeth at the pain all over his body from the constant stream of water slamming into him. After only five minutes of struggling he was already about to fall over when a flash of light covered his body and gave him his strength back. For the next two hours he stood under that waterfall for longer and longer durations between each time he was healed. By the time Marlow had called him over for the next exercise he was able to stand under the waterfall for twenty minutes straight.
"Now the next exercise will be more of a balancing act and will be another two hour session. So far you've been doing great. Only two more exercises to go before you can take a break for the day." Marlow said gaining a nod from Joshua in return. They made their way into the forest and came upon a small area filled with tall thin pillars that Marlow immediately hopped up on to. He was balancing himself on the slightly swaying wooden pillar with one leg before turning back to Joshua. "For the next exercise you will attempt to balance on these pillars while avoiding any thing I throw at you at the same time. You can expect to fall on your ass quite a few times"
Joshua simply nodded before climbing up a thicker stone pillar before stepping on to one of the swaying wooden pillars. It took him a while to get use to the shifting motions beneath him as he slowly made his way into the field of pillars that caused him to constantly shift his balance. Just as he was getting used to it a wooden sword was tossed at him that he tried to avoid, but the shift of the pillars under his feet caused him to fall to the ground below. He grunted as he picked himself up before climbing back up and going through the process over and over again. After a couple hours of this he was still having tons of trouble with the exercise, but at least he was able to dodge a few wooden swords before falling by the end of the two hour period.
"Alright that's enough of that. Now to our last exercise." Marlow said before jumping down and moving over to a bit of an open space. He swiped his had causing a small portal to appear before pulling out a large sword that seemed to be the same design as the scale sword, but was far less elaborate and extremely dull. He handed the sword over to Joshua with one arm and Joshua tried to grab on to it, but when Marlow let go all of the weight of the sword almost caused him to drop it or fall over. He struggled to move the heavy sword into a simple stance and looked towards Marlow questioningly. "Now for the last exercise all you're going to do is swing that hundred pound sword repeatedly for the next couple hours."
Joshua got himself into a simple position to make overhead swings directly in front and quietly started to get to work. For the next two hours he kept swinging the heavy sword and tried to keep the same pace. Whenever he started to slow down or looked like he was going to pass out from the strain Marlow gave him a heal and encouraged him to continue. When all was said and done and the two hours were over Joshua dropped the sword and fell over onto his back and looked up towards the darkening sky.
"Good job kid." Marlow said as he walked into view. "That's one day done. You'll need to rest your body properly to get the most out of the training so I'm going to let that exhaustion stick around overnight. Then will do this all again right after breakfast tomorrow." He said with a grin before creating a door and walking through it leaving Joshua on his own with his thoughts. Joshua simply closed his eyes and nearly fell asleep right there on the spot. For the next two weeks he would be constantly put through this hellish training.