The Fanatical Female Students
Lorist was starting to feel that his villa might not be as big as he had once thought as the attic was already remodeled into the two children's bedroom and the guest room on the second floor was by Potterfang with only one guest room left vacant. The two servant's quarters were occupied used by Kelly and Reidy as well. It seemed that Shadekampf and Patt have no other choice but to stay in the guest room.
He then decided to got to the storeroom on the first floor to move the things within out so that Patt and Shadekampf could each have one room. When Lorist told those two his intentions, they looked at him with a weird gaze and strongly objected to the idea.
Shadekampf said that he was only Lorist's servant and not his guest, so he only needs to sleep on something during the night and didn't need a room of his own since he was going to be following Lorist around all day. With his position and status, if Lorist were to let him stay in the guest room, it would become a huge joke among the nobles if word got out, as there has been no precedent where a noble would let a servant stay in a room on the same floor with the master. He suggested to have a simple mattress or even a rug be placed on the empty space beneath the stairs for him to lie on during the night.
Patt also rejected the offer to stay in the vacant guest room for same reason Shadekampf mentioned. Being the young master's personal bodyguard, he could only stand guard outside the master's room but couldn't stay on the same floor as the master.
Having come from a world where people treated each other as equals, Lorist almost forgot that he is currently living in Grindia where nobles lorded over the common folk. The mercantile atmosphere in Morante City has also made Lorist forget his status as a person of noble descent, leading him to treat Patt and Shadekampf as guests, only to have his offer rejected and be reminded of the difference in status between them.
Lorist was at a little loss when Reidy gave him a satisfying suggestion, "Master, why don't you remove the flower parterre in the yard and set up two wooden huts there?"
"That's a brilliant idea, Reidy. We'll do just that. Go to Supervisor Skali and have her send someone to come work on it as soon as possible. When the construction is completed, pick one of the huts for yourself and let Patt have the other one. Shadekampf will then move into your servant room."
"Okay," said Reidy as he dashed out of the villa and went looking for Skali.
"Master, you don't have to spend any money on us. As long as we have a place to sleep, we'll be fine," said Shadekampf.
"Hehe," laughed Lorist. "I have earned quite a bit lately, you know. Since the both of you have decided to follow me around, then let me handle this my way. Your treatment will also affect the image of the Norton Family. I will treat you the same as how I treat Reidy for now. Every month, you will each receive two gold Fordes. And Patt, I will have someone provide you with the appropriate equipment so you don't have to worry about it."
"Thank you, young master," said Patt candidly.
"Master, aren't you paying us a little too much?" Shadekampf was a little startled as two gold Fordes was equal to six imperial gold coins, or sixty imperial silver coins! When he was working at the Northlands, his salary was only five imperial silvers a month! It had instantly risen by a huge amount!
Lorist merely waved his hand and left no room for negotiation. "That's what you deserve. But make no mistake, your tasks in the coming days will not be easy. Patt, I see that you're already a Three Star Iron rank and can break through to the Silver rank within two to three months. Shadekampf, you haven't been training your Bronze rank Battle Force for quite some time, have you?"
Shadekampf made a difficult expression and said, "Young master, I don't know why but somehow I keep forgetting the major blood circulation paths I've learned... It was already quite a stroke of luck for me to have been able to awaken my Battle Force back in the day. It's not that I don't want to practice it, but I just keep forgetting those paths. The old master has said before that I don't have any talent for Battle Force training and the successful awakening of my Battle Force is wasted on me..."
Like Patt, Potterfang and Shadekampf were both citizens of the Krissen Empire and practiced a standard middle-ranked Battle Force technique taught in the Krissen Imperial Army. It was a technique that allowed one to train to the Silver rank and allowed the practitioners to train further in any other higher-ranked Battle Force regardless of attributes. However, it was much more complicated than most normal Battle Force techniques and even had higher requirements if used to awaken one's Battle Force.
The first reason why Potterfang came over to Morante City was due to the fact that the city allowed anyone to come and go as they wished because of the propaganda of freedom and equality propagated by the Forde Trade Union. It was his intention to let his children have a peaceful and blissful life over here. The other reason was because the standard army Battle Force technique he had trained in had already reached the peak of the Silver rank so he could no longer advance any further. WIth that in mind, he intended to continue working as a mercenary to save up some money and purchase a high-ranked Battle Force manual to break through to the Gold rank.
In Morante City, Potterfang had a much better chance of buying a high-ranked Battle Force manual as in the former Krissen Empire, such techniques were usually monopolized by the nobles. Unless Potterfang managed to serve under a noble family for more than ten years or have some kind of major accomplishment and get a high-ranked Battle Force manual as a reward, there was no way he could get his hands on one there. As such, Potterfang has been taking up some missions day and night to earn money and put his children in Lorist's care.
Lorist smiled and said, "It's alright. I have a much simpler Battle Force manual with me whose major circulation paths are much easier to remember. As long as you train hard for two to three years, it shouldn't be a problem for you to reach the Iron rank."
Lorist was referring to the basic Battle Force technique used by the students of his Battle Force awakening course. It was indeed a rather simple technique that was ideal for beginners who had just managed to awaken their Battle Force.
Shadekampf could only agree hesitantly to continue his training.
Lorist looked at him and said in a serious tone, "Shadekampf, as your young master, I won't tolerate incompetent subordinates. If you don't at least train to the Iron rank I won't keep you by my side. In the future, I will give you a test every three months and every time I see no improvement in your Bronze Battle Force I will decrease your salary. If your salary gets decreased until there isn't any left, then you'll be sacked. Got it?"
"Yes, young master. I will definitely give it my all," promised Shadekampf.
"As for Patt, follow me around for a bit to familiarize yourself with the Dawn Academy. When the wooden huts are complete, you can start training with Reidy. When I have some free time, I'll come up with a training regimen for you to raise your combat potential."
"Yes, master." No matter what Lorist said, Patt agreed right away.
"I think you should stop calling me young master. Just call me Locke. I'm more used to it that way," instructed Lorist.
"Okay, young master Locke," replied Shadekampf and Patt in unison.
First thing in the morning, Lorist got up early and was training as usual in the yard. Howard was exercising according to a routine Lorist had given him that had the effect of enhancing one's fundamental capabilities and physique. Alisa, on the other hand, was still lazing around in bed. Reidy had his own training regimen which also included the eight fundamental sword moves. Lorist had him train along with Shadekampf and Patt.
After finishing his morning training, Lorist could see workers carrying building materials into the yard. When Reidy brought back the contractor the day before, Lorist had him measure the dimensions of the land on which the wooden huts will be built and the contractor said that they could be completed within seven short days as the design of the huts were rather simple. However, the cost for the labor and the materials would cost up to 18 gold Fordes.
Lorist agreed to it without a moment's hesitation.
Now that he had finished the breakfast Kelly had prepared, he left Reidy at the yard to oversee the workers before bringing Shadekampf and Patt around the academy. Quickly, they arrived at the plaza where the Peterson young master, Dorsedaus, was training at.
Sol, I knew that it would be like this, Lorist cursed in his heart.
"Excuse me, please make way. I'm an instructor," said Lorist. Looking emotionlessly at the wave of girls who were all dolled up staring at him with razor sharp glares while moving out of the way, he finally managed to pass through the wave of fanatical female students and made his way to join the other instructors.
"Young master, there are so many girls here that they've filled up the whole plaza! There should be at least a 1000 of them, right?" said Patt. He had never seen so many pretty young girls gathered at the same place at one time. His face was reddened from passing through so many of them for the first time in his life.
Lorist said in an annoyed tone, "All the girls in the academy who think they look somewhat decent are gathered here. Even if they aren't 1000 people, there should be 800 at the very least."
Yuriy then came over. The group of commoner students he was put in charge of had all successfully awakened their Battle Force and were allowed to enjoy their semester break after they familiarized themselves with the basic Battle Force circulation paths. When they return during the start of the semester, they will be taught the fundamentals of training and applying their Battle Force which wasn't a huge problem and normal instructors could be put in charge of it. However, Dorsedaus's training was far more important as it involved the bonus payment all the instructors were going to get. The 3000-gold-Forde bonus promised by President Peterson was far too alluring. Apart from some instructors who were still monitoring students whose Battle Force have not yet been awakened, the other instructors who should have already been allowed to take their vacation came over to work overtime of their own accord.
There were 30-odd instructors and assistant instructors surrounding Peterson Dorsedaus, essentially creating a record high instructor to student ratio that was unprecedented. Then again, there was no other way around that as the instructors had to prevent the fanatical fangirls from interrupting the young master's training.
That's right. The female students that were gathered all over the small plaza were there for the heir of the Peterson family. And each and every one of them had the same daydream, that was to get to know the young master better and form a relationship with him to marry into riches and live the rest of their lives in bliss and enjoy the delicacies, jewelries, dresses as well as inexpendable wealth that came with it. Most of the girls who held that pipe dream were of commoner families.
As for the girls from noble families who were far better dressed than the rest of their peers, they were probably smitten by Dorsedaus's current handsome and dashing look, or the influence and power of the Peterson Family. Or, perhaps they were encouraged by their family elders to accost the young master so that their families may benefit from a relationship with the Petersons. Unlike most other commoner girls, these noble young ladies had at least a couple of bodyguards standing right behind them.
I'm really out of words. I didn't expect for that fatty who's trying to lose weight to end up becoming top grade bodybuilding material... Lorist sighed inwardly.
Not only was it far out of Lorist's expectations, everyone who had seen the young master who couldn't even run a single lap without breathing raggedly months ago were shocked as well. Nobody could have imagined that after shedding all that fat from the hellish training he had endured, he would have such a perfect and magnificent figure beneath.
Dorsedaus was already 190 centimeters in height in the first place; he was taller than Lorist by about 10 centimeters. But at that point, nobody paid any attention to that because of his obese body. But now that he had successfully slimmed down, his height and physique started to shine through. Coupled with the painful training under the threat of the whip for all that time, he had also developed nice muscles all over his body which gave his upper body a perfect inverted triangle shape, much to the envy of many. The two huge lumps of muscle on his arms only served to further display his strength. His skin even had a healthy tan having been training all day outdoors and gleamed and sparkled from the sweat that trickled down all over.
If Dorsedaus were still the fat lump he was a couple of months ago, even if the female students in the academy knew of his wealthy family background, none of them would even bother to give him any attention. But when he had successfully lost all that weight, the female students who passed by the plaza occasionally accidentally caught glimpses of his handsome form as he trained away all day and stayed there to admire his looks.
At first, the instructors didn't mind that much as having a few girls around was quite a pleasing thing. It didn't take long for those instructors to start telling the girls about his impressive family background.
So the man training nonstop in the plaza is actually the future heir of the Peterson Family, which is one of the seven most influential establishments within the Forde Trade Union! He even looks so handsome, bright and cheerful! Oh, he looked me in the eye and smiled! I can't take it anymore! I'm going to faint, thought one of the girls who later became his first fangirl.
In time, the whole academy's female students got to know about Dorsedaus's looks and family background and started gathering around the plaza all dressed up, cheering him on and hoping to gain some of his attention for themselves. Even when one instructor told the girls that the young master was actually doing weight loss exercises and not some kind of strength training, they were all in denial and refused to believe that their prince had any need to lose fat given how he looked now. They even compared Dorsedaus's physique to the instructor's and said that he was the one who needed to lose weight more than the young master and laughed at the belly he had.
Any man would be unable to stand hearing all the praises the fangirls showered on the young master. Some went like, "Oh, he truly is the manliest of men! He's the prince charming of my dreams," while others sounded like, "Look at his magnificent body and muscles! How strong! I really want to jump into his arms and be spoiled by him! Oh... I think I'm drunk with desire...".
Some praises were even more over the top. "Oh the heavens be praised! He is definitely the human incarnation of the Sun God Singwa! Look at his charming smile and deep, complicated gaze... His body radiates nothing but power! It seems that he could shatter a whole mountain with but a huge stomp to the ground..."
Whoa whoa whoa there, young miss... You're talking about a man who only has muscles but not an iota of Battle Force you know, thought Lorist.
"What's with the situation here?" asked Lorist.
Yuriy gave a bitter laugh. "It's like this every day. Most of the instructors are at their breaking point. Why are there so many fanatical female students in the academy?"
"Even I don't know the answer to that... It seems that I have to ask Charade to dispatch someone from the Enforcement Division to maintain the order around here. Also, when overseeing that kid's training, make sure to also be alert and don't let any one of the girls have a chance to get close to him," said Lorist in a worried tone.
"Huh?" Lorist turned to look at Dorsedaus stopping and chatting to a girl who was sitting under a parasol.
"Who's that?" Lorist asked Yuriy. "Why is no instructor punishing him from stopping his training halfway? Where's the whip?"
"That's the daughter of the Morosen Duchy's duke and she bears the title of a princess. Rumor says that their family are quite close to the Petersons and she often stops by to cheer on the young master's training."
"As for the whip..." Yuriy shrugged. "It's in this box. Nobody dares to use it now! Last time when an instructor tried to teach the young master who was slacking off a lesson, he was almost torn apart alive by the fangirls all over! Right now, they have no choice but to politely encourage him to continue training instead of whipping him like they used to."
"Yuriy, bring Shadekampf to the great hall and let him see the basic Battle Force major circulation path diagram and have him memorize and copy it down before letting him train in it for about an hour. This fellow finds it hard to remember his own technique's circulation path and it's a waste of his awakened Battle Force! Just leave the situation here to me," said Lorist as he took the whip from the box and walked over to Dorsedaus followed behind by Patt.
Dorsedaus was chatting away happily with the young princess in front of him and ignoring the warnings of the instructors around him about how he still had ten laps to run. Suddenly, the familiar sound of the whip cracked in the air and a searing pain could be felt by the young master on his back. He turned around only to see Lorist's demonic form standing behind him and instantly balled up on the ground in fear and froze up.
As the crowd around the plaza started to get noisy, the cracking sound of the whip and Lorist's loud roars resounded throughout the place. "How dare you slack off and ignore the instructors! Your training in the afternoon will be doubled and you'll get only half the serving of your lunch for today! If you dare to do this again I'll make sure to starve you for three whole days! Understood?! Now get up and start running!"
After whipping the young master for ten more times, Lorist couldn't help but hear curses sounding from the crowd of fangirls. He turned and looked at their bloodlust-filled gazes as they seemed to want to rush over and tear Lorist into a billion pieces.
Whap! Whap! Whoop! Crisp sounds of the whip cracking once again reverberated in the air. Subsequently, Lorist's deep and clear voice reached the ears of everyone present at the plaza. "If you crazy fangirls dare to interrupt the instructors from conducting the training, then don't blame me for being merciless! I will ensure that the lash from this whip on your faces will remain forever and ruin your looks! Don't forget that the Peterson Family will also make sure your families pay the price for interrupting the young master's training! Who wants to give it a try?!"
Cracks from the ground near Lorist that was caused by his heavy whipping could be seen clearly. The crazed fangirls were finally stunned awake from their trance and looked at those cracks in fear before finally retreating backwards.
If the whip only broke the bones of their hands and legs, they would still be willing to try to enter the sights of the prince of their dreams. However, when Lorist threatened to whip their faces, they started to rethink their actions. After all, there wasn't a point in showing up in front of the prince with a ruined face...
"How dare you treat my Brother Haus like that!" This time, the beautiful princess finally snapped out of the shock and started reprimanding Lorist before telling the bodyguards behind her, "Catch him and make sure you give him a good whipping."
The four Silver ranked bodyguards instantly leaped over. Within but a single moment, two of them fell face first towards the ground. The one who was injured lighter was half kneeling and vomiting with a pained expression on his face while the more heavily injured one was twitching uncontrollably on the ground unconscious. The other two bodyguards were stunned frozen and their eyes finally widened as they recognized who Lorist was.
"Your Highness, that's Iron Locke..."
"It's precisely because he's an Iron rank that I asked you to take care of him! Surely four Silver ranks can handle a measly Iron rank without a problem, right? Huh? What happened to the other two?" said the princess as she noticed the two guards lying on the ground.
"Your Highness, That's Iron Locke the Silver Undefeated. The likes of us are from being able to take him on," replied the bodyguard bitterly. It was evident that the princess only paid attention to the latest fashion trends and gossip going around the noble parties and didn't pay attention to anything else, including the news about Iron Locke's triumph. The bodyguards decided that it was better to not mess with Lorist at all and tried to persuade the princess.
"Hmph..." Since the Silver ranked bodyguards have already admitted that they weren't a match for Lorist, the princess had no choice but to give up the notion and turned haughtily with a humph after giving Lorist a deathly stare and left. The other two bodyguards hurriedly nodded in apology to Lorist before taking their fallen comrades away without delay.
Lorist returned to the instructor group and appeared to be in deep thought as he looked at the young master training hard while ignoring the subtle curses directed at himself from the fangirls at the plaza.
"What are you thinking about?" asked Instructor Marlin as he came over.
"Look at all those fangirls gathered here to see the young master train... If we move the training venue to an indoor training hall and set up a ticket booth, don't you think we'll make tons of money?" mused Lorist.
All the instructors who heard that collapsed on the ground immediately......