56 Chapter 55

"Look, what if we change the design?"

"[You want to achieve a sub-species for the scale mail? Not even having achieved Balance Breaker for a month and you're already wanting something different?]"

I pushed myself up off the ground, arm shaking as it was the only thing keeping me from falling on my face. I blew infront of my face to clear a few strands of hair out of my eyes as my arm bent down and my nose just barely touched the ground, only to push myself up again.

"Not a sub-species, I like how the original Scale Mail works, I want to change out it looks, cosmetically." I breathed out, continuing my pushups.

A sub-species, it was a description on sacred gears. Essentially, they can change based on their user's needs and desires, becoming something unique to that current wielder, thus called a 'sub-species'. For instance, if Ddraig's Scail mail, his balance breaker, evolved to grow multiple arms to allow me to wield all my swords, that would be a sub-species of his balance breaker then. It would a specific addition or alteration unique to me across all his wielders.

My eyes looked up towards Ddraig, or rather the Gauntlet sitting on a table with Scathach as she kicked her feet up and was reading one of the spell books I brought with me. The one on Onmyoji arts, she was curious about that particular school of magecraft and wanted to understand it better.

She probably shares similar thoughts with me in this regard, new information is always interesting.

I actually asked her to take Ddraig out, I wanted to see the process by which she did it. And Ddraig enjoyed being out and about sometimes as well, actually being able to have conversations with other people, or just Scathach.

It didn't hurt me any, and why not make my partner happy when I can?

"[What makes you think I can even do that?]" The gem on the gauntlet lit up as his words echoed out.

"You told me some restrictions were 'loosened', I'm just taking a shot in the dark here." Not end of the world if this doesn't work, but may as well see what options I have.

"[That design is iconic, everyone knows it belongs to me!]"

Well, that's not a denial.

"I'm not dissing your look, I'm just saying…..it isn't optimal for me, it's too….bulky."

"[Are you calling me fat?]"

"Yes." I said without hesitation, unable to stop myself from smiling.

"[More weight.]"

"More weight?" Scathach looked up from her book.

"[More weight.]" He confirmed.

Scathach nodded, picking up a large boulder sitting next to her chair and tossed it on the one already weighing down on my back.

"Dick!" I shouted as the weight almost made me collapse. I was about to bring my other hand down to catch myself but –

"Either keep one hand off the ground or you can lose one permanently." Scathach didn't even look up, flipping another page.

Yes ma'am!

"[Oh, take his right, that's the one he uses to –]"

"Shut up you fat dragon!" I quickly cut him off. "I'll paint the boosted gear white and call it divine boosting, don't test me."

"[I dare you.]"

"Boys." Scathach interrupted, not even raising her voice.

"Fine." I calmed down. "But seriously, It's not good if I'm going to be wielding a sword."

"[Whats wrong with it, you did fine against that dragon before.]"

"Please, I could have beat it up with a ladle and the results would have been the same." I rolled my eyes. "It was designed for a brawler, how many wielders of yours were proper martial artists or did more than just punch things harder?"

"[...I hate that you have a point.]" He conceded

Yeah, the vast majority of his previous wielders joined the club of lets punch things as hard as possible. It wasn't particularly their fault, the Boosted Gear lent itself towards that development right from the get-go. Adding on to the fact that almost all his previous wielders started out as mundane humans, they didn't really have any other options at the start.

Sacred gears usually awaken under great stress, not many mundanes are going to take the time to learn something like martial arts or swordsmanship if their lives are being threatened like that. Fastest way to power was the way to go for the majority.

"Look, I'm not trying to remove your style, it will still be similar, just less bulky and more….armorishy.....to be more like actual armor and not like a Gundam. Like the spikes at the elbows? They limit my full range of motion and interfere with my sword. Have you ever heard about elegance in simplicity?"

Don't get me wrong, I actually like how the Balance Breaker looks, but it's just not practical for me. Changing it into something resembling armor-armor is the best course of action. I already have a few thoughts in my head on how to go about it.

"[Fine, I will consider your words…..draw me some sketches and maybe I will change the design.]" Ddraig grumbled.

"I'm sure we can find something you like and will work well with my abilities."

"What are you up to?" Scathach asked.

"Just passed 1300." I replied, pushing myself up.

"You were supposed to do a thousand." She just stared up, blinking.

I shook the rocks off of me with a loud 'thump' and stood up, my arms were sore and I moved them around to get the stiffness out. "meh." I shrugged.

She just shook her head with a small smile on her face. "Well, that is a good warmup I suppose." She reached out and her spear jetted towards her open palm. "Prepare yourself."

I smiled, letting my swords fly out.

***

I leaned back, enjoying the feeling of hot water washing over my entire body. The feeling of my bruises being subsumed under the warmth was something I couldn't quite describe.

There was a hot spring behind teacher's castle...and I apparently just now found out, after being here almost a year because someone didn't tell me!

Bitch!

"How's the water?" I opened my eyes, looking up, unable to keep the surprise off my face.

My teacher stood there, Scathach, right above me…..completely naked.

Error.

Reboot in progress.

"How long do you intend to stare?" She laughed, walking over to the ledge and dipping her feet in.

It would be difficult to describe how beautiful this woman was. And the confidence she walked around under my gaze; she truly did not feel any amount of shyness to be naked infront of me.

"As long as I can." I shot back.

On a side note, that illusion did do her justice.

Her lips curled up, amused at my words. "Perhaps there is hope for you yet." She slid down into the water, allowing her ample cleavage to stay just above the water line.

I have seen heaven, death no longer scares me.

"Are you just here to tease me?" I asked, turning my gaze away, but the image was forever burned into my mind. I doubt any healthy men with a desire for the fairer sex would forget something like that.

"Perhaps it is just a side benefit?" She smirked, scooting closer to me. "Does it…make you uncomfortable?" She said 'shyly', using her arms to push her breasts together. Her eyes locked with mine for a moment before she broke down and started laughing. "You're so similar to Setanta yet so different, he wouldn't have waited even a moment to jump me."

"Don't compare me to that mutt." I scowled. The very epitome of 'every hole is a goal'. I thought with a certain part of my body…often, but I at least had some standards.

"Hmm, shall I also teach you my friendship of the thighs then?" She stood up, looking right at me. "Isn't that what you said before, you were taken by my legs?" She gave a sultry look. "It is my duty to teach you 'everything' I can."

I…..don't know how to answer that question.

I don't think I've ever been in a situation like this before, and I find myself uncertain on how to proceed. I'm no stranger to a woman's touch, but this was just something else.

"I believe I owe you a reward after all." She got close enough to whisper in my ear. "How about it, do you wish to share my bed tonight? You merely have to say the words."

Was she trying to get me to give in? Was it just some sort of game to her?

I was tempted, oh I was I so tempted, but I also had my own pride.

I turned to face her, my hand coming up to gently caress her check, our faces were a breath apart.

Gently, I placed my lips against hers for a brief moment.

"No thank you." I replied, breaking away.

The look on her face was one I would treasure, the look of utter bewilderment at my declaration. Has anyone ever said 'no' to her like this? I'm sure she's used to any man she propositions to practically jump at the chance.

Hell, It took a lot more willpower than I was willing to admit to decline.

Even so, I couldn't help but smile at her dumbfounded expression.

[I'm proud of you.] Ddraig said I got out of the hot springs, leaving my teacher to her own thoughts. [Though I am curious as to why you didn't....you know.]

"Fuck?" I couldn't help but chuckle. "I'm not a child." I said, shaking my head. "But to be honest, I'm not one hundred percent sure myself....I think it just feels kind of cheap, like she wasn't really 'into' it beyond pure fucking, and if we crossed that line..... I don't think I could stop myself from falling, and it would be make our relationship awkward if it was just my one sided affections."

***

Alright, another chapter is out. Sorry for missing yesterday was out and about doing some apartment hunting. The market right now is just so fucking brutal, every place i find has like a billion applicants ahead of me, so frustrating.

Anyways, if you want to support me or read 5 chapters ahead, visit my pat reon.com/Astoryforone

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