With these words, the three months of hell started for the kids.
Each day, they would have to run around 50 kilometers before being given tasks like chopping wood or carrying water. Each day until the evening was spent like this, beating and battering their bodies until each of them really did cry for their mothers and fathers.
If it weren't for the period of time in the Energised Training Chamber(ETC) afterwards, mostly all of them would have given up.
The time was spent breathing and absorbing Ether using the same technique told by Elenav before. The difference was that the feeling of being overburdened by Ether getting accumulated in their lungs did not occur again. This was because each day, they tired out the body by pushing it to its limit. The cells which were in a very fatigued state seemed to soak in the extracted substance much more easily. Thus, with each breath, whatever was left behind in the lungs effectively made its way throughout the body.
The ETC was used in groups. The high-grade group had to spend the least time inside before being given some time to rest. The mid-grade group spend a little more time but still had some time to rest. The low-grade group though, had no time to rest. They spent 2 hours inside unlike the others who spent 30 minutes and 1 hour respectively. Right after, they had to rush to fight training.
All of their training was overseen by Elenav. In fight training, he taught them a basic set of martial arts which focused the most on stability. One had to first learn to stand on their feet and be able to dodge before even thinking of throwing a punch or kick, he said.
There were poles 3 feet off the ground on which the kids had to balance. After an hour of this, in which falling meant a ton of pain accompanied by the others laughing as one climbed back up, they would be taught how to move their body to dodge, punch or kick. These were the only three moves taught.
Towards the end, a rubber figurine would be placed on which they would practice their skills.
Daneel loved this part the most. He avidly listened to each and word said by the instructor and practiced on the rubber figurines longer than anyone else. The feeling of growing stronger day by day was so addictive that he woke up each day with a smile.
Although the time in the ETC was rejuvenating, it still required a lot of focus and determination to be able to beat up their bodies day by day. Added to this was the pressure of sparring.
Daneel had gone into the sparring competition with full confidence due to all the extra training he had done. Instead, he was mercilessly beaten into the ground by the pudgy kid who was quickly losing all of his fat.
Daneel's technique had been excellent and even Elenav had complimented him that he was among the top in understanding the techniques taught and making them his own.
He had even managed to dodge most of the kid's punches, but just one stray punch had landed in his stomach blocking his flow.
New to situations like these, it took time to get back the ability to dodge. The kid though did not give him that time and continuously rained down punches on him, making him admit defeat. There was no point in getting gravely injured in a spar, after all. Unlike fabled heroes who never knelt in defeat no matter what, Daneel knew that sometimes, losing and taking a step back was the best thing to do. This ideology came from the combined experiences of both of his lives so far.
In the end, he was 16th. The workload increased, but Daneel greeted it with open arms as a way to get stronger.
Each time he felt like giving up, he remembered his fathers face on the long days when they had nothing to eat. He remembered his mother's hands which were so blistered from all the work that she had to be fed by his father. He remembered being powerless, unable to help them or himself.
These feelings spurred him on. They made him shout and scream in defiance. They made him rebel against all the pain that tried to squash him into the ground.
"I shall not give up!"
Day by day, week by week his strength and technique both increased by leaps and bounds.
Towards the end of the 3 months, there was a noticeable change in Daneel. Most of the baby fat was gone to be replaced by tanned lines of masculinity. His body had put on some muscle and he was no longer the thin kid he had been before due to the hearty meals given by the training hall.
It was the 90th day since the training had started. Finally, he heard the voice that he had been waiting for.
[System has detected changes in Host's body. Would you like the Host's description to be refreshed?]
"Yes", Daneel replied, excited to see quantitatively the gains he had made.
[Host status refreshing.
Updated Host status:
Condition: Hidden injuries detected
Level Progression: 27%
EXP Points: 20
Faction Points: 1]
Daneel couldn't help but be disappointed. All that hard work had only resulted in a 12% progression? He had gotten 15% from just a few missions!
It seemed that the effects of having a low grade body really were harsh. The same period of training would result in at least 4 times more progress in someone with a high-grade body as compared to one with a low-grade one.
Thankfully, he had the system. He could simply complete missions to increase progression and even gain techniques by just looking! Perking up, he asked the system to give details about the technique that had taken so long to develop.
[System Absorption Technique-1(SAT-1) developed. New feature: Absorption Technique Deployment has been added to the system due to the confluence of all resources to develop the new technique.
Body potential is decided by the pathways in the human body which allow and facilitate the transportation of energy to various body parts for smelting i.e body refining. At birth, the size of these pathways is decided. Larger pathways result in high body potential, which in turn results in faster energy transport and thus faster training with less time and energy needed, as absorbed energy would be almost fully utilized instead of being exhaled. With smaller pathways, more time and energy is needed as with each round of absorption, a lot of energy absorbed would be exhaled.
SAT-1 allows the system to monitor and control the energy absorbed to effect not only the components of the body but also the pathways. These pathways are unable to be sensed by the human mind, hence are not targeted when body refining. Also, live monitoring by the system will result in more effective tempering of the body as energy can be spread evenly after analyzing the level of tempering of each component of the body. This will additionally result in the hidden injuries detected slowly healing.]
Daneel felt his head reeling from the dump of information. After analyzing it all with repetitions, he understood that it was these pathways which decided potential. Now, with the help of the system, he could increase their size to increase his potential.
Apprehensively, he voiced the question that he had been dreading to ask: "What are the side effects?".
If increasing potential meant turning into a monster, then Daneel would really have a tough decision to make.