Pulse Reading (2)
"Phew......" Lorist let out a long sigh and raised his head to look towards the large sandglass hanging from the roof of the hall. This intricate and complicated contraption is the staple product of the Teribo Kingdom and it is said that not more than 100 units are produced each year with each one selling for up to 1000 gold Fordes. The sandglass operates quite niftily by exploiting gravity and magnetism with the it automatically tipping over when all the sand on the upper compartment has completely flowed to the lower compartment.
Beside the sandglass were two glass tubes of unequal sizes with the larger one filled with a distinct red liquid and having twelve markings on the outside. Every time the sandglass tips over, the liquid fills up in the larger tube by 1 marking's worth to indicate the passing of an hour and resets once the sandglass tips over when the liquid indicator is at the 12-hour mark. The smaller glass tube has 6 segments with each one representing 10 minutes.
The sandglass hanging high up in the hall was originally a present from all the students and staff of the Yellow Ribbon Academy to their academy head for his 60th birthday. Having been installed in the great hall, it has now been bought over by the Dawn Academy along with the rest of the school's property.
Lorist secretly laughed in his heart every time he saw the timekeeping sandglass that was given to the academy head at his 60th birthday. In Chinese culture, it is considered a taboo to give a timekeeping device of any kind to an elderly person as it could represent sending a person off to his or her afterlife. Coincidentally, the academy head who had received this sandglass had passed away half a year after receiving that gift. Maybe I should give Academy Head Levins something similar for his birthday as well?
The female Iron ranked instructor by Lorist's side placed a name list on the table and said, "We're finally done assigning the students to their respective groups."
Lorist stopped daydreaming and nodded, "It's already four in the afternoon. Everyone should take a short break and regroup half an hour later for a meeting to discuss the regimens and activities for the students. Instructor Anfya, arrange and organize the student name lists and give one to each student of every group. Just like the last time, leave some space after their names for remarks."
Anfya nodded and instructed two other female instructors to start copying the name lists by hand.
"Hey, Yuriy, get me something to drink. I really don't feel like getting up..." Lorist had asked his good friend Yuriy to help him out for this year's Battle Force awakening course as well.
Just as Lorist was filling up his cup and preparing to have a chat with his friend, a middle-aged man who was dressed quite extravagantly entered the hall and approached Lorist before politely asking, "Is this the instructor team of the Battle Force awakening course?"
Instructor Hughes replied, "Yes, is there anything you need?"
The middle-aged went outside the hall and shouted, "Master, it is indeed this place. You can come off the carriage now."
What's going on? Lorist and the other instructors looked towards the door and saw the middle-aged man walk back, followed behind by a fat, stocky fellow. That fellow wasn't just big-boned, he was truly filled with fat all over his body; his arm itself was as thick as Lorist's upper thigh. The stocky man walked so slowly and breathed heavily every few steps, making Lorist sincerely fear for his condition as he looked like he was about to collapse at any moment.
That middle-aged man returned to Instructor Hughes and took out a student identification document before saying, "Excuse me, my young master here is a new student for the Battle Force awakening course. As it is a little convenient for him given his body, he has arrived a little late. I hope you will understand."
Wait, what? Isn't the total amount of students for the awakening course only 879 people? Why has another one appeared out of nowhere? How did he even pass the academy entrance test with a figure like that?
Instructor Hughes looked at the documents and gave Lorist a bitter smile. Lorist took the documents over and thought, Sol, this really is a genuine identification document and it even came with a letter addressed to me. The letter forthrightly stated that the fat youth was called Dorsedaus and he was the sole heir of one of the highest authorities in the Forde Trade Union, the Peterson family. Aged 18 this year, his father was also an alumnus of the Dawn Academy. The Peterson house was one of the academy's largest sponsors who contributed up to 10000 gold Fordes every year.
Given that Dorsedaus was the eldest son of the President of the Peterson Merchant Group, he had been spoiled by his parents and ended up in the state he was today. Having felt that being in that condition wouldn't be good for his son in the long run, President Peterson started worrying about how his son would be able to inherit the family business one day.
However, he started worrying too late. When he decided that his son should start cutting down his weight and instructed his family butler to only give him 3 meals a day as opposed to 5 meals he normally had as well as decrease the serving of each meal by half, within but a day, his son threw a huge tantrum and caused the president's several wives to complain to him and added a few more dishes to his son's meals.
Not knowing what to do, he hired a Blademaster and hoped that he would help his son awaken his Battle Force. President Peterson thought that if his son managed to awaken his Battle Force, he would be able to slim down naturally as he continued training in it. While the plan itself was rather sound, within but a month, the Blademaster he hired had come up to him and told him that it was quite impossible for his son to be able to awaken his Battle Force given his physique. He spoke quite candidly and even said that what flowed in his son's veins wasn't blood but pure fat and oil! In the end, he warned the president that his son would not have more than 3 years left to live should he continue to eat away with abandon and refuse to slim down.
The president was frantic and started racking his brains for a solution for his son's problem. It was at that time when he heard about Lorist's reputation as a Gold ranked Battle Force instructor as well as the success he had with his Battle Force awakening courses. The president was convinced that this would be the method to help his son slim down. Elated, he hurriedly got into contact with the academy head and got his son signed up for the course right away.
In the letter, Academy Head Levins described the condition Dorsedaus was in and requested Lorist to help the president out with this issue. For his son, the president was even willing to add 5000 gold Fordes to the yearly sponsorship he has been providing to the academy! The academy head stressed that no matter what, Lorist had to find a way to help the president out. He even promised that as long as President Peterson's request was fulfilled, he would even award the instructor team as much as 1000 gold Fordes.
Sol, this old bastard is giving me even more trouble... Sheesh, this is a Battle Force awakening course, not a weight loss class! Without first shedding all his fat, how would that fatty even be able to awaken his Battle Force? Sigh, I guess I can't be too harsh on that old bastard since the Peterson family is indeed a large benefactor of the academy and it would be quite difficult for him to turn down their earnest request.
Lorist kept the letter and said to the middle-aged man, "Let him come over here and place his hand on the pillow. I'll examine his body condition."
The fatty approached and curled up his sleeve as instructed and placed his hand on the pillow with his wrist facing upwards. Whoa, this is no hand! It's a pig's feet! Look at it, it's even glistening with a layer of oil on top! Lorist sighed and stretched out his hand with three fingers extended and started reading the fatty's pulse.
Huh? Where is his artery? Lorist lightly pressed downward but he couldn't feel a thing. Does he have too much fat? Lorist furrowed his brows and pressed down even harder and finally felt a very slight and weak pulse.
After a moment, Lorist retracted his hand and gave a long sigh as he shook his head. The middle-aged man asked anxiously, "Mister Instructor, how's the condition of my young master's body?"
Lorist mulled about with a gloomy expression before asking, "Are you the family butler?"
"Ah, yes. I am the second butler of the Peterson house who's in charge of all the young master's personal needs," replied the man.
"I believe you are not the right person to make this decision. It's better if you ask the president to come over himself. Your young master first needs to lose all that fat before he can attempt to awaken his Battle Force. His body's condition is already bad enough. If he doesn't start losing weight, he'll only have a few years to live at most," Lorist said as he looked at the fatty. However, that fat kid was practically unfazed by Lorist's conclusion and thought that Lorist was purposely exaggerating his condition and trying to scare him.
The middle-aged man however was genuinely shocked as Lorist wasn't the first to have said something like that. While the Blademaster they hired had come to the same verdict, it was a confidential matter and hadn't been leaked anywhere outside the house. The fact that Lorist came to the same conclusion signified how serious the matter was. "The head of the house is presently having some tea, I'll go invite him over immediately."
The middle-aged man quickly ran out of the hall and left in the carriage.
Without much delay, President Peterson was brought there and he looked at Lorist with an eagle-like expression. "So, you are Norton Lorist, the famed dual Gold ranked instructor of the academy, Instructor Locke?"
Lorist took a deep breath as he didn't expect President Peterson, one of the most influential people in the Forde Trade Union, was a Gold ranked expert. Even though he dressed simply and had a pleasant face and looked no different from the usual kind old man and didn't wear a Battle Force badge, Lorist could feel a faint pressuring aura emanating from that man's body. Lorist had only felt this aura from another Gold ranked instructor, Instructor Claude before.
Looking at President Peterson, Lorist calmly said, "Good afternoon, President Peterson. I'm indeed Instructor Locke. I have invited you over to discuss the matter of your son. He has to start losing fat no matter what, not because he has to do that in order to awaken his Battle Force, but also for the sake of his life and it doesn't look like he has much time to do it. I'd like to know your opinion on this matter. Are you going to have him lose weight before having him enroll here, or do you want him to join the class straight away and do that before he awakens his Battle Force?"
President Peterson was surprised at what Lorist had just said and asked agitatedly, "Do you have a way for my son to lose weight and awaken his Battle Force?"
"Well, I do, but the young master will have to suffer quite a bit for a long time, at least half a year," nodded Lorist.
"Ah......" President Peterson thought to himself whether Lorist was lying to him. Last time, I brought my son to the most famous herbalist in Morante City and he said that it would take at least three years for my son to slim down... Half a year sounds rather short in comparison.
"What do you mean by suffering? Will he have any danger to his life?" asked the President.
"To others, things like restricting caloric intake and doing physical training might be normal. But for the young master, it will be nothing short of torture. And, to ensure that the young master completes the training regimen set for him every day, I might have to resort to some rather unpleasant, maybe even humiliating measures and some minor injuries or wounds will be inflicted. But I can assure you that there is absolutely no risk to his life whatsoever," explained Lorist.
"If President Peterson can trust us with it, I'll need you to sign an agreement that states that the family members of the young master would not be allowed to interfere with the training process at all. While you can have someone oversee the whole thing, you are not allowed to have any objections or opinions to how we treat the young master. Once the agreement is breached, please take full responsibility for your son as we will no longer continue with his training program and send him back to you," Lorist stressed.
"This..." President Peterson started hesitating. After all, that was his flesh and blood that he had so meticulously spoiled ever since his birth who had not weathered any sort of hardship. He felt that the moment he agreed to Lorist's conditions, his son would form some kind of enmity towards him.
"I see that you love your son a lot. Maybe you should have him lose weight before letting him enroll in the Battle Force awakening course," said Lorist relaxedly. This was the most convenient solution as the instructor team did not have to be troubled with Dorsedaus's matters.
"No, I'll put him in your care. I hope you don't disappoint me," President Peterson said, having made his decision.
"Um, are you sure you don't want to think this over?" Lorist asked, dejected.
"There's no need. Let's handle it your way," said the president resolutely as he waved his hand.
"Well, alright. Please come over to sign the agreement as well as settle some other matters relating to the young master's enrollment. Given his unique condition, we might have to ask for additional fees," Lorist said. It looks like the following days will be troubling.
"I only have to sign the agreement, right? Have him arrange everything else. He will make sure you have what you need," said the president as he pointed to the middle-aged butler and beckoned him to come over. "Bill, from this day onward, you will be stationed here and help Instructor Locke here with anything he needs. Also, you are only allowed to monitor the young master and cannot interact with him whatsoever without first consulting the instructor, understood?"
"Yes, master," replied the man respectfully.
Having signed the agreement, the president let out a breath of relief. "Instructor Locke, my precious son has never left his home before nor experienced any sort of hardship. Now, I'm handing him to you. I hope you can try to ease him into the process and not be too harsh on him right away......"
Lorist paused for a while before saying, "Sometimes, the love of the parents can be harmful to the child......"
After a while, President Peterson finally said, "Since I've agreed to let you decide whatever's best for him, I guess I shouldn't worry too much. If you really can help him awaken his Battle Force within a year, I will personally reward you with 1000 gold Fordes."
The instructors watching by the side all gasped.
Lorist merely shook his head and said, "I can't guarantee anything at the moment. That will come after we have him slim down."
The breathing of the instructors nearby intensified.
"President Peterson, please trust our work ethic. Since we've accepted the task of training your son, we will definitely do the best in our power..."
"As long as his Battle Force gets awakened, I will give all of you 3000 gold Fordes!" interrupted the president, unwilling to back down until he hears some kind of promise.
Lorist could feel all the instructors behind shaking in their feet, including even Instructors Hughes and Anfya. Only Instructor Marlin still retained his calm.
"Alright, I'll do my best. Please rest assured," said Lorist, finally nodding his head.
Currently, all the instructors were having a meeting.
"Group 1 has a total of 352 students and their conditions are mostly fine. Most of them are healthy and have great circulation. With the usual training method and some boosts from herbal medicines, they will definitely be able to awaken their Battle Force within a month. Instructor Marlin, I'm sure you're more familiar with large scale group training sessions like this given your experience in training new recruits in the city garrison. I'll be handing the group to you. Pick four instructors to help you out as well, is that okay?"
"No problem Instructor Locke," replied Marlin with a smile.
"Group 2 has 175 students who don't have any problems with their bodies either, but they are still undergoing puberty, so their circulation won't be at their best for the moment. Monitor these students for the time being and make sure they receive sufficient nutrition and training to boost their condition. I need someone patient to handle this class for the next three to four months to come before they attempt to awaken their Battle Force. Everyone, who do you think is the most suited for this group?" Lorist said.
Quickly, a Silver ranked instructor called Thorheim was nominated by the rest of the instructors and he picked two other instructors as well as two assistant instructors to be in charge of Group 2.
Lorist looked at the name list again and said, "Group 3 has 236 commoner students whose main problem is their lack of nutrition. Instructor Yuriy, you've done the same thing before the last time so I believe you know how to handle this class. I'll be assigning this group to you."
Yuriy nodded and picked two instructors and assistant instructors respectively to manage the group.
"Group 4 has 116 noble students. Apart from 5 who have incurred injuries that have harmed their condition, the rest of them have experienced intercourse while they were still too young and has harmed their internal energy greatly and will require a long time to train and nourish their bodies to heal the damage. This group will be handled by Instructor Hughes with Instructor Anfya assisting him, is that alright?" Lorist looked towards the two instructors who nodded their heads in agreement.
"Instructor Anfya, I'll leave the collaboration effort with the herbalists to you. Make sure each student consumes the internal energy recovery medicine every day without fail," Lorist instructed.
"I understand, Instructor Locke. I'll make sure to chase them to the ends of hell if that's what I need to do," promised Instructor Anfya.
"The last class only consists of one student who has absolutely no problems with nutrition given his excessive eating. Before awakening his Battle Force, he has to lose at least two-thirds of his body weight. This student will be handled by me and the rest of the instructors and assistants. That's all. We'll be starting tomorrow so feel free to discuss among yourselves about your student groups."
Lorist then waved towards the middle-aged man who was sitting in a corner. "Butler Bill, please come over here. I'm afraid i have to trouble you with something......"