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Chapter 42

Miss Helen’s Training

I grabbed a quick bite to eat from some roadside vendors while making my way back to the academy. I arrived at the training fields next to the illusion arena ten minutes before 1 p.m. I was early, that should hopefully make a good impression. I started to look around and saw Teacher Sven walking towards me.

“Hello Mark, are you here to train?”

“Yes teacher Sven. I am to meet my mentor Miss Helen here at 2 p.m. for a training session.”

“Did you say Miss Helen?”

“Yes teacher Sven. She is to be my personal mentor in melee combat.”

“Well good luck with that lad, and I hope you survive.”

What did he mean by that, and why is he moving away from me so quickly? It’s like he just found out I was infected with the plague or something. I turn around and see a grinning Miss Helen behind me.

“Hello Miss Helen. It is good to see you. Should we get started?”

“Oh yes Mark we shall. I will have you whipped into shape in no time at all.”

I was a little nervous at this point because when she said whipped into shape she somehow materialized a whip and snapped it while she said it.

“Um, what would you like me to do first ma’am.”

That’s it, don’t lose your cool and play it easy.

“Well before I can start teaching you I need to find out what your limits are. Only then can I design a schedule of training that will help you break through those limits. So first thing we are going to do is go for a little run.”

Why does her smile suddenly look sadistic? What happened to the nice and generous Miss Helen that fed me and took me around shopping?

“Now Mark start running and don’t stop until you collapse. If you stop before then my little friend here (she patted her whip) will encourage you to continue.”

Oh no, what have I gotten myself into. I took off and Miss Helen was right behind me encouraging me every once in while too not slow down. By encouraging I mean whipping and swearing. It is like she is two different people. Dr. Jekyll and Miss Helen. She is the poster child for bi-polar disorder. Enough thinking I have to run faster. That whip hurts. A little over 2 hours later and somehow back at the training ground. Honestly, I have no idea how we got here. I know we did at least one lap around the city and went through numerous streets, but somehow right when I could run no more and collapsed we had run back onto the academy grounds. Helen is scary good at this training thing.

The next hour was Miss Helen “demonstrating” how weak my hand to hand skills were. Translation, she beat me black and blue. Thinking everything was over I started to stagger off, but no now she wanted to see my new weapons and how I would use them. Thus another hour of cause Mark pain while pretending it is training began. If I did not know that she would be able to catch me and beat me into the ground I would have tried to escape. Finally, Helen decided she had tortured me enough and I staggered over to a nearby bench and just collapsed on it. An indeterminate amount of time later I had regained enough self-awareness to teleport myself home and managed to eat and drink a little before collapsing once again in my room.

Note to self. I need to feed my tree mana in the mornings BEFORE I get beat to death in the afternoons. There is no way in heck that I can physically move myself out to my tree of life and feed it mana right now. I know why I got so many pitying looks when I told people that I was going to be trained by Miss Helen. Why didn’t anyone tell me? I can’t even switch teachers, mostly because I am afraid Miss Helen would find me and punish me somehow. Calm down Mark today was just a day to show you who was boss. She can’t be this bad very day can she?

Besides today is Friday. I don’t even have to go back until Monday. I can use this weekend to recover and start towards my first dungeon. That was the last coherent thought I had and sweet oblivion overtook my consciousness. I did not wake up until almost noon the next day. Everything hurt. I mean I am a bug, how is it even possible for my exoskeleton shell to hurt. That woman is evil. I stumbled my way through breakfast which was actually now lunch due to my waking up so late and then teleported out to my tree of life. I relaxed my body against the tree and started pouring mana into it. My cycle of mana and rest went on for the rest of the day. By that night my tree had gained another eight or nine meters in height and I was feeling better.

Tomorrow would be some last minute maintenance and checking around the embassy, another session with the tree and then sleep. I would set out in the morning after 2 hours of mana feeding on Monday morning towards the nearest dungeon on the headmaster’s list. I would set up a teleport point and then be back for the next round of Miss Helen’s abuse in the afternoon.

The rest of the weekend went surprisingly smoothly. The tree of life gained another 5 meters of height on Sunday and the growth was definitely slowing down. Monday morning rolled around soon enough and I found myself jogging East towards my first dungeon clearing assignment. I managed to get what I estimated to be halfway there before I decided I better find a teleport point and get back. I could not be late for my training. If Miss Helen was that brutal when I was on time I shudder to think what would happen to me if I was late.

I picked some very prominent landmarks and then teleported straight to the training grounds. I was just about to eat the lunch that I had packed into my inventory when I heard the voice.

“Oh good Mark you are early. That means we will be able to get a little more practice in today.”

Did I screw up. Was coming early the wrong move to make. I can’t escape now so I will just have to live with the consequences.

“Good afternoon Miss Helen. What is the schedule for today?”

“Well after seeing your performance last week I have decided to make each day different. Mondays will be hand to hand combat training. Wednesday will be weapons training. Finally, Fridays will be general fitness training. That should give you the weekends to recover enough to continue the next week.”

I shuddered after hearing this.

“How long will this training continue Miss Helen? I do need to travel occasionally for dungeons the headmaster assigned me.”

“I do realize that you are primarily a caster at heart so I know you will never dedicate yourself fully to the martial way. So I have decided with the headmaster’s approval that you can stop each of my training sessions when you reach a specific goal or milestone.”

“I see Miss Helen, and what would these end goals be? I think I should know so I have something to strive for.”

“Very good Mark, enthusiasm and goal setting is very important. You can stop hand to hand training when you can beat a level 175 monk class in the illusion arena. You can stop the weapon training when you beat a level 200 warrior in the illusion arena. Finally, you can end your physical training when you accomplish the other two conditions.”

“I assume that magic is forbidden in these contests.”

“Of course Mark. It would not be a test of your skills if you can use your magic.”

It was at that point in my short reincarnated life that I realized I was doomed. There was one small ray of hope at the end of this painful tunnel though. If I survived this training I would be a whole lot closer to my ultimate goal of revenge. I mean if I can defeat high level opponents in melee combat when my true specialty lies in magic than my fighting ability should be top notch. I wonder if I can even reach Miss Helen’s goals. Oh well I have the feeling that I really don’t even have a say in it. It seems like I will either finish or die trying.

The next three and a half hours were a study in pain. It seems that Miss Helen believes that beating me to death will teach me something. Just before I collapsed she stopped the beating and started to show me what she called poses. Poses seemed to be this world’s equivalent of katas or stances in martial arts. Shouldn’t she have taught me these before beating me half to death? I dutifully paid attention and committed them to memory. The faster I learned these the faster I could stop the one sided beatings. The hard part was that Miss Helen could only show me the bi-pedal stances. I would have to figure out the changes needed for my Thri-Keen form myself. I am going to have to practice twice as long, as I will need to learn both sets for when I switch bodies.

Miss Helen eventually released me from practice and I immediately teleported to my tree of life. I needed to feed it and think about my scheduling for the future. I started to transfer my mana and took a seat underneath the tree. It seems that I will need to practice probably an hour in Thri-Keen form and an hour in humanoid form to learn these poses. I am assuming that Wednesday’s training will be similar. That means that four hours each day should be spent in training. If I start at six a.m. and stop at 10 a.m. that would give me two hours to travel on Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s. That means I could do actual dungeon dives on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s and the weekend.

I may be here at the academy longer than I thought unless I could speed up practice time or speed up dungeon runs. Well I can fly, but I was hoping not to show off that ability. It looks like I am going to have to use it now if I want to be able to get everywhere I need to be and accomplish all I need to do. With my immediate future planned I felt much better and finished my meditation and transfer of mana to the tree of life. I think I will start my plant shaping of this guy when it reaches 50 meters tall. Wait a second, I can’t actually practice the humanoid poses until I have a secure base to keep the humanoid body in. Think Mark, I can just use the old tree house until I have plant shaped one here.

I spent the next day travelling and dungeon diving into my first one star dungeon. I was able to clear this low level dungeon completely in only 2 hours. Well this may change a few things. I can probably finish off the one through three star dungeons rather quickly and slowly work my way through the next sets when I am ready. I immediately set out for the next one star dungeon and traveled until later than I probably should have considering that I had Miss Helen’s training the next day.

I was correct in my prediction about Wednesday’s training it was a repeat of Monday. Miss Helen beat me half to death with weapons this time and then used the last half hour to show me some tricks and poses. This means that my schedule planning is probably going to work. I managed to teleport my beaten body to the tree and resumed transferring as I planned just a bit more. As long as I survive Friday’s training I should have my schedule for the future figured out.

Other than being even more exhausted than Monday and Wednesday, Friday’s training was about what I expected. My plans should work and my new routine for training will start on Monday. This weekend I will knock out another one star dungeon, create a new humanoid body, and just prepare. I think I will actually go for a wood elf body as my humanoid counterpart for training. If everything else has been fairly accurate than the stereotype of the flexibility of the elves should hold true also. I am hoping this flexibility will help with learning the poses Miss Helen shows me.

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About the author

tenqui

Bio: Older Science Teacher who after years of hearing, "You read so much maybe you should write a book.", decided to do just that.
Just having fun and learning how to put my ideas into a format that others can understand and enjoy.

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