As usual, Florance arrived at the Karaz's mansion in the middle of the afternoon.
A guard at the entrance noticed the young maiden and politely greeted her. "Good afternoon miss Delayni."
"Good afternoon." Florance replied with a warm smile on her face. "Where is the young master?"
Without batting an eye, the guard answered. "The young master is in the backyard."
"207... 208... 209... 210" Zaran was doing inclined pushups, his feet on a bench, his body moving all the way down and back up again on every count. His muscular chest was bare and glistening with sweat. Prior to inclined pushups he had done multiple other exercises, including normal pushups, crunches, various weight-lifting exercises as well as some running. The muscle groups that he had not done exercises for today, he would touch upon tomorrow.
Even though he was usually slumped up in research, cultivation or magic studies, he still reserved one and a half hour a day purely for working out. He usually did it in the mornings right after he woke up, but he hadn't had the time for it today. Not only did the work out increase his physical strength, but more muscles meant more cells, which in return meant more place to store mana.Even if it was only a little bit more place to store mana, every little bit helped. Getting fat was another option but how imagining himself as a fat swordsman... He just could not do it. The notion alone was ridiculous to him.
At this moment Florance entered the backyard and upon noticing Zaran's bare body, her face flushed a bright red. She had never seen a man naked before and now there was a half naked man in front of her. How could she not turn bright red?
"G-G-Good afternoon." Florance stammered.
"235... 236... 237." Zaran hadn't heard her and tirelessly continued his pushups.
Sighing, Florance took a seat on one of the other benches and waited for Zaran to finish. While at first she looked away to not have to see his body, her curiosity took the better of her and her gaze wandered over to him.
"250!" Zaran yelled as he pushed with all his might, the sheer power of the push causing his body to raise all the way up so that he was standing straight on the bench. He cracked his neck and then jumped down the bench.
Seeing Zaran's toned body, Florance turned even redder while she simultaneously was taken aback and she was roaring to herself in her own mind. WHY IS THIS GUY SO UNUSUAL! Not only does he work out, but he has worked out to the point of being muscular? What the hell!
It was very rare for mages to work out. Between their cultivation, practising spells, their research or studying magic, there was very little time for any other stuff in their lives. Those that spent too much time on anything besides magic, were doomed to not become one of the powerhouses of their time. It had never been any different.
This was exactly why Florance was so taken aback. Zaran was incredibly smart, seeing from how he could remember things from a single glance, but he still exercised? Florance just could not figure out why Zaran would waste his time with this.
Still, he does look quite good. Florance thought, something that didn't help reduce the colour of her bright-red face.
Only after cracking his neck did Zaran notice Florance. "Oh... hey Florance! I didn't hear you enter the backyard..." Then he paused as he saw how bright-red Florance was and decided to tease her a little. "Like what you see?"
"As if!" Florance rebuked. She paused a little, played with her fingers and shyly said. "Well... yes."
Zaran let out a content grin and walked to the mansion's back door, "I am going to wash up, I will be back before you know it."
Days flowed like a river and Zaran quickly caught up on the previous school year.
"I guess today is the last day we see each other every day huh?" Zaran remarked near the end of their tutoring session.
A sad expression appeared on Florance face and she silently swallowed. "Yeah... I've enjoyed these past two months though. As much as you can annoy me at times with your endless teasing... I will really miss this time spent together."
"I have enjoyed these past two months too. But our little meetings do not have to end if you don't want them to end." Zaran said with a warm smile.
Florance face flushed red. She bit her lip and shyly whispered. "Wouldn't that be the same as dating?"
Zaran brought his face closer to hers, so close that only a centimeter was separating their lips. "Is that what you want?" After saying that he gently placed a kiss on her lips.
Stunned, Florance sat there for a few seconds before she realized what had just happened. Her face flushed a bright tomato red and she turned her face away from Zaran. Her heart started to beat rapidly and her emotions were in a mess due to Zaran yet again. Her brain started to think at rapid speed and she was close to torturing herself with her own thoughts. Why does he always make me feel like this. Is he serious or just playing again? I can't get a grip on him! What should I do... What should I say? If I say that it is all what I want and more... Would I have fallen for one of his ploys again? No wait... he shouldn't joke about that right? right?
"I... It's all I want." Florance finally said. Her hands were clasped around each other and her nails were digging into her skin to the point of drawing blood. A small bite mark had appeared on her lower lip and a small stream of blood trickled down her chin.
Zaran warmly smiled, pulled her in his embrace and kissed her.
Time passed and eventually the two of them married and after the two of them traveled all around the world on various adventures, one of which resulted in them saving the world from being torn apart, they started a family of their own.
The technique Zaran had created was passed on to both Florance and their children and became an heirloom within their family.