Chapter 6: Training Begins
The village leader returned the next morning, she brought with her a change of clothes for Daniel. “Good morning, are you up to getting out and walking around on your own today?” She said with a smile as she put the clothes down on the ground next to his bed. “Yes, I feel great I can’t wait to get up and walk around, and see this village.” Said Daniel with a smirk on his face. She simply smiled at him and left him to change.
It didn’t take long before Daniel was up, he came out of the hut and looked around. After a few minutes of stretching, he decided that he would walk around the city and explore a little bit. Daniel walked around the village for quite some time before he met up with the village leader again. “Hello Sir. Daniel how are you feeling now?” She said as she walked up next to him. “I feel a little tired, but I’m recovering a lot better than I expected. So tell me what do I call you is it just chief or do you have a name that I can call you?” Replied Daniel, she looked over at him as she walked alongside him. “Yes, you could call me chief if you like, but my name is Sophie.” Sophie showed Daniel around the village for the rest of the morning.
The two came to a large building close to the edge of the city, headed inside and to the top. From there they could see everything in the entire city all at once. “I spend most of my time looking over my city, making the choices and decisions it takes to run this city, to keep everyone happy. I brought you here because I know you have more questions for me, but I actually need to get back to work. I have spent enough time walking around with you today, and not doing my work. But I do want to do as much as I can to help you, it’s the least I can do to thank your father for bringing us here.” Said Sophie as she sat down in a chair that faced the outside looking over everything. Then smiled as she began to do her work of managing the city.
As she worked, she began to speak. “So now I’m guessing that you’re wondering about how it is that your father came and went, seeing that there is no possible way he could have climbed back up the waterfall.” Sophie said as she wrote on a piece of paper. “Actually, yes I was just thinking about that. Looking at that waterfall, I know there’s no possible way that anyone could ever climb it. So there has to be another way out of here right?” Daniel said, hoping that she would say yes, it’s over there and just point to an entrance in the wall with the word exit written all over it. But he wasn’t nearly that lucky.
“Yes, there it is, its right under you at the bottom of the lake that the city floats on.” Replied Sophie, Daniel’s eyes followed the waterfall down to the lake quickly. A waterfall that high would certainly dig a very deep hole, which meant the bottom of the lake would be very far down. Too far down for him to actually make it without losing consciousness. Daniel realized quickly that this was the reason they had remained so isolated for generations and generations. If someone by some amazing chance managed to get here and was still alive, there was no way for them to leave. Not only that, but there was no way for them to contact the outside world to get help from anyone.
Daniel leaned on to one of the walls, staring at the waterfall and thinking which would be easier. Trying to get out through the bottom of the lake, which he had no idea how far down it actually went, or to climb a 500-foot waterfall against crushing water.
“There is no possible way that I can swim to the bottom of the lake without dying.” I said to her and paused for her reply, she simply looked over at me with a smirk on her face as if she had just finished laughing at something. Then I realize what she was smacking about it was what I just said. “Well, I mean I would black out before getting to the bottom.”
Sophie didn’t answer me for quite some time, she seemed very focused on her work. “Well yes, that would happen if you try to swim to the bottom of the lake. After all it is over 1000 feet deep at the point where you would need to enter into to get to the surface, and that’s not counting the length of the cave you have to go through in order to get to the surface.” She said as she closed her books and got up from her chair. She turned to him and started to walk to the door, she had a smirk on her face that screamed I know something you don’t. I quickly followed her and caught up before she could reach the door.
She turned to me. “I want you to try and hit me as hard as you possibly can, and don’t hold back because I’m a woman now. Come at me with everything you have, just let me have it, as if I’m your worst enemy.” I was shocked by what she had just said. I didn’t want to try to hit her, but at the same time I didn’t want to disrespect her. So I made a fist, leaned back a little, and then I swung at her.
“Awww Come on, I know that’s not the best you can do. I know you’re still recovering, but you have to have more than that in you.” She said, standing just out of my reach with a condescending smile on her face. I didn’t expect her to be so fast, I thought to myself, I think I better get serious as I prepared myself to sing once again. This time I gave it everything I had, I swung with all my strength as fast as I could and as hard as I could.
It was a swing and a miss.
The third time I was determined to hit her, I pulled my right hand back and swung as hard as I could, with my left hand following right behind it in the opposite direction. This way, even if my right hand missed she would walk directly into my left. I quickly fell forward almost falling on my face, I was punching at the air. She was gone; she wasn’t even in front of me anymore.
Then came a tap on my shoulder. “There you go that was much better than your first two tries. But sadly, you can’t hit me moving so slow, it’s just impossible. Come follow me, I’ll show you our training grounds and you can see firsthand how I dodged your best attempt at hitting me so easily.” Sophie said walking away from me.
I followed her out of the building, and then we walked through the city to the opposite end. Soon we stopped walking at a small field, it was the only thing in the city that I couldn’t see from the building we were in before. The field was about fifty feet long and about twenty feet wide, it looked more like an archery training ground than anything else. I didn’t understand how anyone could do any real training in this field, but I really wanted to know how she pulled off dodging my attacks so easily.
There were a few villages at the training grounds, Sophie walked up to one of them and said something. Then she pointed at the targets, I looked over at them wondering why she was pointing to it. I soon realized why she was as she walked up and stood in front of one of them. Then the villager she was talking to stood behind a stand that was about 5 feet away from the target. He took a bow and arrow off of the stand that was in front of him, pulled the bow back as far as he could, and took aim directly at Sophie’s head. Then let go of the arrow.
The sight shocked and horrified me, there in front of me a villager was shooting an arrow directly at their leaders head. What actually happened shocked me even more; the arrow hit the target dead center of where Sophie’s head should be. Sophie was no longer standing up against the target, but instead she was standing directly in front of the arrow. With a smile on her face waving for me to come over to her.
I was utterly amazed at what just happened, I didn’t even see her move it was so fast. One instance she was standing up against the target with an arrow pointed directly at her head. The next instant she was in front of the arrow untouched and unharmed. I didn’t even have time to think about what to do when I saw the villager let go of the arrow before it was over. I was still shocked by what had just happened, so shocked in fact that I didn’t even move or take my eyes off the area. But Sophie didn’t give me a chance to get my thoughts together. “This is called the Phantom style, it seems as though I am teleporting but in reality I am actually moving faster than the eye can track. This is accomplished because I’m pushing every part of my body to an extreme state that allows us to move in an extremely accelerated manner. However, this can only be maintained for about a hundredth of a second which is enough for us to move out of the way of anything we need to avoid. But it can only be done twice every ten minutes by most of us, but it is extremely useful, even though its usage is limited.” Sophie said, standing right next to me; I had not even seen her move. I turned to her and could see she was tired, she took a deep breath.
“Sorry about that I lost my breath for a second, as I was saying it’s extremely useful, though its usage is limited to the individual’s strength. I have seen the most skilled users vanish and reappear hundreds of feet away in the blink of an eye. Who knows you may even be able to master the skill better than even the best we have here.” She finished talking and held on to me as she took some time to catch her breath.
It would be a few weeks before I would be able to do very much physical activity, but I was determined to learn this Phantom style. “You have to teach me how you do that; I’ll do whatever it takes in order to learn. I know I’m not fully healed yet but I’m ready to start learning now, so how do I start.” I asked Sophie as she led me back to the hut I was staying in. She looked over at me, seeming to study my body from head to toe. “Hmm, I’m not 100 percent sure that you would be able to learn this skill, after all your father wasn’t able to. Nevertheless, I’ll make sure you get a chance to learn and you can try and see if you can actually master it, though I highly doubt it’s possible.” She said. I smiled, I was very happy with her response even if it was very skeptical on her end.
We got back to the hut and before I could ask her what I would need to do first in order to start the training she began to speak. “Before you go asking me what you’re going to have to do in order to learn the Phantom style, I’ll tell you this upfront I can’t teach you. That requires a master far beyond my skill to teach anyone how to use it. So tomorrow I’ll bring the master that taught me with me when I come to visit you in the morning. Until then I want you to relax and get some rest, after all you’re not even as strong as I was when I was a child getting ready to start my training. ” She said smiling at me, giving me a look that made me feel like a weakling.
The next morning she showed up with her master, he was actually quite tall for his people. Almost four and a half feet tall, with long black hair, and very wide blue eyes. He was actually the first person I had seen with blue eyes in this place. He walked up to me, shook my hand and began to speak. “You can call me master, your training will begin in a little while. First thing we will be working on is your ability to focus. Then from there we will build your physical strength, stamina, and speed.” He said sharply in a firm voice.
We left the hut and headed to the outskirts of the city, directly across from the waterfall. I was lost in thought as I looked at the waterfall and began to think about what it would look like glowing. However, I was soon pulled out of that thought, by my new master. “Here is where you will be training from now on, don’t let its beauty distract you it can be a very dangerous place.” I smiled at him for a second as he looked at me with a scorn on his face. It was as though he didn’t even want to look at me must less training me.
“I assume you know how to meditate so I won’t have to teach you how to. Sit facing the waterfall and meditate, you will do that until I think that you’re ready to move on.” He said with a slight hint of anger hidden in his voice, I could tell at this point that he really didn’t want to be around me, but I really didn’t care as long as he taught me what I needed to know. So I sat with my legs crossed and my hands on my knees. I stared at the waterfall for a few minutes and then close my eyes and cleared my mind completely of all thoughts. This was not exactly an easy task to do, after all that’s happened to me lately, but I managed to do it after a few hours.
Day after day, I did the same thing over and over again, meditating then sleeping. I didn’t understand the purpose of meditating so often, but I did as I was told I just wanted to learn how to do what they could do, so I did whatever it took in order to learn. As the days passed it became easier and easier to meditate, soon I was able to meditate for the entire day without moving a single muscle. Yet still my master didn’t think it was good enough. And even though I thought it was good enough to move on to the next level I continue to push myself harder and harder, I push myself to the point where I stayed in that state for almost an entire week. At that point, my master had no choice but to allow me to move on after all I could meditate for much longer than even he could.
“Even though I’m not sure you’re ready to move on, you mastered the art of meditating as much as you can. The next part of your training will be physical. First, we will begin by training your body to be as strong as possible. After that I’ll be training you on endurance and stamina so that you can use that strength for long periods of time without weakening.” This new training would be very difficult like nothing I’d ever done before. I figured I would be lifting weights of some kind to increase my strength, then maybe running to increase my stamina. Well, I was right about the running part anyway.
The training started extremely odd, my so-called master handed me a black rock of some sorts, the size of my palm and it wasn’t that heavy, maybe ten pounds or so. He looked at me and smiled for the first time, and I knew something was wrong. He pointed to the waterfall behind me and as I turned back to look at what he was pointing at the push me. It wasn’t just a simple push; I went flying backwards past the edge of the city and about twenty feet over the water. I splashed into the water, and was instantly pulled down by the rock in my hand. The rock felt as though it weighed a thousand pounds in the water, I couldn’t figure out how it was even possible. It was too heavy for me, I let it go and swam to the surface. As I surfaced, I saw my master pointing back into the water. “What do you think you’re doing, where is the rock I gave you, you better go get it out of the water. Now hurry up and get it back for me.” He yelled out to me with a very sinister smile on his face. I could tell he was enjoying every second of this.
I understood why he was smiling before at that point, it wasn’t because he was finally happy to train me, and it was because the next part of the training was almost impossible. He sat on the shore watching me and laughing as I struggled to get to the bottom of the lake. Hour after hour, I struggle trying harder and harder to get to the lake bottom. I spent the entire day and wasn’t even able to touch the rock at the bottom. I knew he was thoroughly enjoying this, I also knew he expected me to quit by the end of the day. But I was going to make sure and prove him wrong, and then wipe that sinister smile off his face.
I continued at this day after day, it took a very long time, but I was able to reach the bottom. And after a few weeks, I was actually able to pick up the rock and bring it back to the surface. He looked at me with that sinister smile still across his face. I knew the hardest part of training had just begun. “Now it’s time for you to start building up your stamina.” He said as he pointed out a trail that ran around the entire city. “Now you run, run as fast as you can and as long as you can, don’t stop, just keep running.” He said then smiled and walked away.
I ran as fast as I could for as long as I could, day after day I ran the same trail only stopping to eat and sleep. This is by far more exhausted and more physically demanding than anything else I had done in my entire life. Just the fact that I was running continuously for hours on end without resting, and trying to maintain the same speed the whole time.