Chapter 8 – Fighting Against An Electric Eel

  • by lemuel moo

After our discussion ended, Gale, Hideki, Sunny, and I journeyed toward Zeel’s motorcycle shop.

We walked along the same shortcut that Sunny took to go home to survey the place where a mysterious assailant attacked sunny. That path was just a mud trail surrounded by thick vegetation and trees, and it was some distance away from the nearest building or road. It was the sort of place where a girl should never walk alone at night.

Since there were so many of us walking with Sunny today, I doubt the assailant would be stupid enough to reveal itself.

We arrived at the motorbike shop, and it was a breathtaking sight.

It was a great and sophisticated garage with three levels and many customized motorbikes on display! It looked like a massive vending machine that dispenses motorcycles instead of drinks! Every bike was neatly arranged in rows and labeled in each floor. Youths all around our age were hustling and bustling like a busy production line, doing repairs and customization on the vehicles while a few clients were observing how they worked on it!

I’m not too familiar with motorbikes since it had never occurred to me that I should ever get one, but motorcycles on display had a mass variety of color variations, highly-polished shiny steel and I couldn’t tell if it was a dealership or a repair shop!

I asked. ”Wow… how old is your brother, Sunny?”

”He’s eighteen, only three years older than you.”

I had no idea an eighteen-year-old individual could own such a great garage.

Sunny continued. ”My brother stopped school to work on this since he was twelve. We were orphaned early and to raise money for our livelihood, and he learned the ins and outs of a motorbike from a master. I’m only able to attend Aelfsige Academy because of his love and hard work.

All these workers we have are actually delinquents that my brother picked up on the streets. He taught them the craft and gave them the reason to start an honest life properly.”

I saw Zeel in a different light at that very moment. I was embarrassed for ever thinking negatively about him! As we were all visibly moved by Sunny’s story and stopped walking, one of the workers called out to Sunny.

”Hey Sunny? Why are you just standing there?”

”We are looking for my brother. Where is he?” Sunny replied.

”He is at the training ground at the moment.”

Sunny then led us toward the back of the garage. Hideki couldn’t resist a question to Sunny.

”You have a training ground as well?!”

”It isn’t easy for us to survive without learning how to fight when we first started the garage. Gangs and criminal organizations tend to pick on the weak, so my brother taught what he knew about fighting to the workers here,” Sunny answered.

The training ground was a simple open space with concrete flooring and some weapon racks on the side. It was quite a letdown considering how awesome the garage looked, but it was understandable the motorbike shop had to be the priority. Zeel was standing in the midst of it as he was eagerly anticipating us.

”Are you ready Gale? Show me your resolve that you will protect my little sister for me.”

Upon hearing that, Hideki stepped up instead.

”I spoke to Gale, and I want to apologize for everything if I have upset you. I want to protect your little sister in Gale’s stead.”

Zeel looked unconvinced as he peered from top to bottom at Hideki. ”I don’t exactly trust you that much…”

Those words pierced Hideki’s heart, and he was understandably embarrassed. Hideki wasn’t trying to be presumptuous by wanting to protect Sunny but apparently with the incident at Yildirim Woods, and then with Satori, Zeel did not have a good impression of him.

Zeel continued to address Hideki though. ”…However, I did want to fight with you though. Do you want to have a round with me before my fight with Gale?”

Sensing that this could be a chance to redeem himself, Hideki unsheathed his sword and readied himself.

“I’m ready when you are.”

Sunny, Gale and I stood at the side in response.

Zeel unwrapped part of the chains around his arm, and it was clear that he was going to use them as a whip. He then cloaked himself with electricity and the sparks were seen as the chains rubbed against the floor. I really didn’t like Hideki’s odds of winning, and Gale was impressed with Zeel.

”Zeel is gifted from birth to have a high amount of vitality and stamina than others. Even though his breathing techniques are rough on the edges, the amount of energy he was able to muster and the level of electricity he generates is insanely strong. Something must have happened to him while he was growing up which enabled him to generate this much electricity.”

Sunny nodded in response to Gale’s comments.

”It is as you said. My brother was struck by lightning while running across the field in a storm once when he was five. Luckily, he was saved by a master martial artist. The master martial artist had said that he did not die due to his high vitality and stamina. After he woke up, he somehow was able to convert his energy into electrical currents through a breathing technique.”

“… Your brother is a rare gifted talent that we do not see very often. Zeel seemed to be born with a tremendous amount of energy from birth. Thus he was naturally resistant to electricity. When your brother was struck by lightning, his body must have reacted to the danger, which causes his energy to adapt to the bolt and he made electricity his strength.

If he focused on martial arts from young, he would be at least the top one hundred fighters in the world now.”

While Gale was still speaking, the match between Zeel and Hideki had already begun. Hideki knew that he shouldn’t touch the chains recklessly, so he used his [Mizushima Waterfall Slash] to generate sword energy projectiles for long-range attacks.

Zeel smirked.

“Heh, I haven’t seen long-range slashing attacks for a while.”

Zeel whipped the projectiles into nonexistence with his chains and then closed his distance towards Hideki. As Hideki was within striking distance from Zeel, Hideki immediately used his [Thousand Waves Of Fury] to attack Zeel and Zeel countered with a web of chain attacks toward Hideki.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. What is Hideki doing?! Why is he using his best technique that early?!

Gale looked at me as if he could read my thoughts.

“The difference in power between them is very evident. Hideki will never get a clean hit with his long-range slash attacks when Zeel wraps himself with electricity and chains. His attacks are too weak to penetrate through.

Hideki knew he would lose in the battle of endurance, so his trump card is his techniques, where he will try to land a clean hit if he could get the better of Zeel regarding precision and accuracy.”

Hideki cloaked his katana with energy to resist the electric currents from Zeel’s chains as he pressed forward towards Zeel, with the latter showing no signs of fear. We could see Zeel smiling to himself as he launched a barrage of whip attacks against Hideki in response.

Zeel enjoyed the fight, and he was in attack mode.

However, Zeel’s whips were messy while Hideki’s slashes were calculated with precision. Hideki managed to deflect each wave of chains away from himself, and he weaved through the maze of chains toward Zeel. I never knew Hideki’s techniques were so polished and he managed to slash at Hideki’s body when the labyrinth of chains looked so daunting!

Threatened by Hideki’s attacks, Zeel increased his output of power that flowed through his chains and body. However, Zeel was undeterred with Hideki’s attacks, and he lunged forward while blocking the impending slash with his left arm. The sound of metal exploded with sparks flying all over the place and Hideki’s attempted to follow up with another slash.

Zeel then quickly launched a counter-attack right hook towards Hideki and Hideki parried the impending blow with his blade. However, the impact from Zeel’s fist was too strong, and he flew a good distance back before crashing on to the ground!

Hideki was not hit directly, and I thought he could continue, but as Hideki was picking himself up, I noticed he was trembling uncontrollably! Small instances of static electricity were enveloping his arm. Thus it was clear that he was affected by the electric currents that came from Zeel’s punch!

Zeel saw that Hideki was struggling and ended the match. “… That’s enough. You are in no shape of continuing this fight with me, and I will not leave my sister’s protection over to you.”

Zeel began reeling in his chains in before Hideki could even respond, but Hideki knew he was already outclassed in strength and the injuries created by electricity made him feel numb to his sword. If Hideki continued, more of his weaknesses would be exposed. Thus he sheathed his sword and walked towards us silently.

I was concerned about Hideki’s injuries, but there was nothing I could do since it wasn’t visible.

“…Are you alright? Do you need water?”

Hideki looked at me with a sad countenance. He was disappointed over his loss and not only was his arms trembling, his pride as a swordsman suffered wounds as well.

“I’m alright, Clere.”

It was Gale’s turn to fight. Gale picked up a wooden sword from his bag and walked on to the training ground without a care in the world.

“Wooden sword?! Come on Gale. I will crush it into pieces with no time.”

Gale smiled at Zeel’s exasperation.

“Let’s see about that.”

I was also appalled that Gale was going to use a wooden sword to battle! From my own experience, I felt pretty helpless with a wooden brush against the assassin with her giant steel claws,  so why on earth was Gale using a wooden sword?!

“Gale, I can lend you my custom-made brush and — “

“That’s not necessary. This wooden sword is more than enough.”

What on earth are you basing your confidence on, Gale?!

Zeel then moved into his battle stance, seemingly ready for Gale.

“Don’t disappoint me, Gale! I expect a good fight, and I want to see your resolve in keeping your word that you would protect my sister.”

“Certainly.”

Sunny refereed the fight and stood forward. When Sunny screamed ‘fight!’, Gale disappeared and came crashing from above with a furious slash against Zeel! I was amazed at how quickly Gale could switch from a neutral stance into attacks in an instance!

“Whoa!”

Zeel could not help but gasp in awe of his opponent’s speed! He immediately blocked the slash with his arms covered with chains and the sound of metal clashing with Gale’s slashes thundered across the training ground! I could feel the impact as the ground cracked at where Zeel was standing! Zeel could not hide his shocked face, and he immediately distanced himself from Gale!

“…What the hell?! If I weren’t alert and used all my strength to block, I would have been cut!”

It was only a simple slash from Gale, but everyone knew at that moment that Gale was several notches better than Zeel.

“Damn you, Gale! Are you looking down on me by using a wooden sword?!”

“Wood does not conduct electricity, so I think I am doing my best against your weakness.”

“Stop fooling around! You cloaked your wooden sword with your energy to prevent it from breaking, and yet you can slash with such an impact! If you had used a regular sword, my chains would have been broken! Your sword techniques are clearly above the charts!”

A good sword’s edge would sharpen the user’s slash attacks exponentially since the energy would take the form and the sharpness of the weapon when fighters imbue them with their power. However, with a wooden sword, Gale had to reinforce the wooden sword with toughness and then further cloak the edge of his wooden sword with the power to sharpen it! A wooden sword would waste so much more energy than a regular sword and Gale clearly could have broken Zeel’s chains if he used my custom-made brush instead!

“…W-What on earth is he?! H-How can he be that good with a sword?!”

Hideki was clearly shaken because his expertise was swordplay and being touted as a talent all his life, he could not fathom the reason behind Gale’s strength! Hideki’s pride plunged further as he looked at the broken concrete floor and Gale.

However, Sunny was very excited at Gale’s excellence!

“W-Wow! Raine’s brother is amazing! Go, Gale!”

“Hey, Sis! You are supposed to cheer for me! I’m your brother!”

Sunny stuck out her tongue at Zeel. “Bleh! I cheer to whoever I want to, Brother!”

Zeel was infuriated at Sunny’s response!

Zeel turned to Gale and said. “Looks like I cannot take it easy with you, Gale! How could you snatch my sister’s heart away in front of me?!”

Visible electric currents were emanating from Zeel’s body and chains as Zeel steeled his resolve to fight back. It was so overwhelming that our skin tingled as the atmosphere was being electrified with currents!

Zeel’s speed shot up dramatically to match Gale’s pace, and he unleashed a series of whip attacks towards Gale. Gale dodged a few chains in quick succession without using his weapon, but one of the chains managed to wrap itself around the wooden sword all the way to the hilt.

“ARGGHH!”

Zeel immediately unleashed a tremendous amount of current through his chains, and the currents somehow managed to reach Gale and shocked him! As I looked, the chain wasn’t touching Gale’s hand!

I was also utterly amazed at the amount of power Zeel was producing because the electric currents were visible and Gale was screaming at the top of his voice! I didn’t know why Gale was being electrocuted, so I turned to Sunny for an explanation.

“Isn’t wood supposed to be effective against electricity?! Why is Gale being electrocuted now?!”

“My brother oscillates his power between electricity and a person’s regular energy. He can use his energy as a conduit to extend a pathway for his electricity at a limited distance, thus even though the chains did not touch Gale, my brother’s energy did, and then the electric currents shocked Gale!”

In other words, Zeel could convert electricity currents to regular energy back and forth at will and if he could extend his electricity in a limited distance even without a conductor!

The electrocution brought Gale down to one of his knees, but Gale managed to gather his strength and shook the chains off with a swing. He then fired a sword energy projectile towards Zeel to force him to retreat as he tried to recover his posture.

Zeel gave Gale a perplexed look. “…Gale, there is something wrong with your body. Why are there eighteen needles within you which conduct electricity?”

Gale looked up and took a breath to recover himself before replying. He certainly took damage from the electrocution and beads of sweat were all over his head from the pain.

Gale asked. “…You can trace what happens in another person’s body with your electricity?!”

“Yeah! My electricity can discover the depths of a person’s energy and estimate how strong he is. I was trying to discover the limits of your strength, but those eighteen needles within you prevented me from doing so. Nevertheless, since those needles conduct electricity, you are suffering multiple times more than an average person!”

Needles are in Gale’s body?! What does that mean? Wait, Mom taught me about such needles before…

I asked Gale. “Are those silver training needles? I know of a lost training method where one could inject himself with silver needles on various points of the body. The purpose of the needles is to exert tremendous pressure and act as resistance to the user when he is channeling energy. This is akin to how a regular person would train with weights!”

Gale sighed at my explanation. He seemed like he didn’t want his training secrets to be exposed.

“Yup. I grew up with these needles in my body since I was five.”

Zeel was getting very annoyed because Gale was apparently giving him an unfair advantage with those needles.

“How long will you continue to look down on me! Why didn’t you remove those needles before we fight?!”

“I can’t casually remove these needles! They only work when you train or fight with them in your body, and I have been fighting like this for the past ten years!” Gale protested.

However, I interjected immediately.

“But my Mom said that a person who uses this technique to train becomes very weak as though he is like a regular untrained person and will not have any ability to fight since he will not be able to use his energy freely! How are you even able to fight now?! Furthermore, practitioners of this training method usually would hide — “

Gale suddenly interrupted my discourse and said. “Let’s finish our fight, Zeel! We ain’t got all day!”

Stupid Gale! Why are you so secretive again and interrupt my explanation! I swear I will uncover all your secrets in the name of my family!

As Gale and Zeel readied themselves to fight again, Hideki turned to me to ask more about what I had explained.

“Is this training method that great?”

I nodded and replied.

“It came from a genius line of physicians who are reputed to have a great lifespan. I’m talking about an average of one hundred and fifty years! They are nicknamed the ‘Turtle Hermits’ as a result of their accomplishments. The user of this training method would gain at least ten times the regular amount of energy than if he trained normally!

However, the incredible downside to this training is that you become completely weak and unable to fight as long as the needles are in you since you would have too much difficulty using your energy to gather strength. My Mom said she would have gotten someone to train me in these needles if it did not come with this fatal flaw. The user is supposed to train his breathing techniques for ten years in secret and avoid combat, but Gale is fighting before our very eyes right now!”

It makes no sense! He is so overwhelming in his fight against Zeel right now that this popular theory is practically being thrown out of the window!

Moreover, Gale took covert operations from my Mom since five years old! How is he able to fight then? Wait… Aunt May! Aunt May is Gale’s trainer, so there must be something that she must have done to enable Gale to fight!

I must meet this Aunt May in person to find out more!

Zeel did not dare to approach Gale and opted to whip Gale with his chains from a distance. As Zeel’s attack should have weakened Gale’s senses and speed, Zeel felt it should be safe to cover the entire training ground with his chain attacks to end the battle quickly!

Gale stomped at the ground in response, cracked it, and big chunks of debris floated up from the impact. With a wave of his arm, Gale sent those piles of rubble flying towards Zeel with his energy. Piles of debris began colliding with the chains and thus softened Zeel’s aggression by a considerable margin!

“You are strong in strength and stamina, but your techniques need a lot of polishing, Zeel!”

Gale suddenly disappeared into the midst of the debris and used them as a screen. Zeel tried to maneuver his chains to block Gale, but the piles of rubble kept colliding with his chains, which prevented Zeel from wielding his chains with ease and he could not stop Gale’s advances!

In just a few seconds, Gale closed his distance with Zeel within striking distance, and Zeel panicked. Zeel hurriedly threw a series of punches towards Gale, but Gale negated them individually with equal force, using the tip of his sword and pushed those punches away swiftly, thus overwhelming Zeel with precision, power, and speed!

After all the punches were successfully deflected away, the tip of Gale’s sword finally reached an inch away from Zeel’s neck, and Zeel froze instantaneously.

“Give up?”

Zeel retracted his chains and electric power in resignation. “You win. You’re amazing, man.”

Sunny leaped for joy. “YAY! Gale won! He is my bodyguard now!”

Sunny suddenly jumped onto the training ground and hugged Gale from the front! Gale was so surprised, and he fell backward onto the floor with Sunny on top of him!

“I will be in your care now Gale!”

Sunny leaned forward and kissed Gale on the cheeks! Gale’s face became red instantaneously from embarrassment and struggled to resist Sunny!

What is she doing?! Gale is my official bodyguard!

I yelled. “Sunny?! Get off him right now!

Come on Gale, shouldn’t you push her away?!”

“…I-I can’t! I am weak to girls remember?!” Gale stammered.

I wasn’t having Gale’s lame excuse. “What do you mean you can’t?! Are you taking advantage of the fact that Sunny is all over you?! You like to be embraced by a girl, isn’t it! YOU PERVERT!”

“N-NO! That’s not it! See! I don’t have the strength to resist!”

Gale held Sunny’s shoulders and attempted to push her away from his body, but Sunny just stared at Gale for a moment before giggling.

“You are not using much strength you know? You like me that much?”

“That’s not it! I’m not joking here! I don’t have the strength to push you away!” Gale said.

Zeel was observing and thought for a moment.

“Let’s do some arm wrestling for a test.”

Zeel motioned one of his workers to get us a table for arm wrestling. With Sunny on one side and Gale on the other, they positioned themselves for the match.

“I’m going to send a weak current into Gale’s body and trace if he is fooling around, or if he is serious. We will know if he can or cannot exert his strength against girls.”

“Sounds like a plan. Let’s do it!”

Gale was reluctant, but I was not giving him a chance to escape from this test. Gale and Sunny then readied themselves before I began the countdown to start the arm wrestling match.

“Three, two, one, and begin!”

Gale mustered all his strength and attempted to push for victory, but Sunny stared blankly at Gale as though she could hardly feel any resistance from Gale.

“Really?! Is this all you have got?!”

Zeel was looking very surprised as well while his hand was on the back of Gale’s neck. Zeel was transferring a tiny electrical current through and monitored how Gale’s body was responding to this arm wrestling challenge.

“Gale’s body, his muscles are completely tensed up! He is showing all the signs that he is trying hard, but no energy is gathering, and his body is not allowing him to muster any strength!

Gale, you really have a weird body!”

Sunny pushed down Gale’s arm with ease, and the match ended. I could not help but glare at Gale at the outcome.

“How are you so strong and yet so stupidly weak towards girls at the same time?! I don’t get it!”

Gale shrugged sheepishly as Sunny licked her lips seductively at Gale.

“That means… I can eat you at any time, Gale!”

Darn it! We opened a can of worms with this experiment!

Zeel put his hand on Gale’s shoulder and asked. “Wait a minute, Gale! How the hell are you going to protect my sister?! You are stronger than me, but Satori is a girl!”

We took a moment to brief Zeel that someone might be impersonating Satori and we planned to capture the mysterious assailant instead. Afterward, Gale reached into his pocket and picked out a piece of chocolate to explain how he was going to circumvent his weakness if he faced the assailant.

“This is the medicine mixed with some chocolate that can suppress my weakness for five minutes. I can only use them once every twenty-four hours, and I will be at my peak to fight when the need arises.”

Sunny gave a sly grin.

“Kehehehe… To eat you, I just have to take that candy away from you, eh?”

“NO YOU DON’T! Stop eyeing my bodyguard like that!” I yelled.

I now understood that I had to be a fifty-percent bodyguard to Gale before he gets eaten by girls.

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