|Author: Hayaken||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2571 characters|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 909 words|
|Editor(s): Hydra, Liomad|
“Fufufu… It baffles me how you’re able to combat using nothing but raw physical prowess…! Fascinating…!”
“Hahah, what’s so fascinating about that?! All it takes is good food and exercise!!”
Could it be that he possesses a unique training regimen and diet?
“Ooh…? Do you think I could do that too?!”
“Hou…?! Do you wish to become a mass of muscles like me?! Well, I don’t object!”
“……W-, well, indeed, the visual is a bit hard to stomach.”
She allowed herself a brief moment to envision it. The sight, truthfully, was unsettling, irrespective of whether she was in her childlike or regular form. Inglis craved power, but equally important to her was her desire to dress beautifully.
“Hmm, an excessively muscular Glis…hmm…yeah, not cute.”
“Indeed, imagining her with me and Ripple equipped… it’s somewhat unsettling.”
Rafinha and Eris’ expressions matched Inglis’ perfectly.
“Ho ho ho ho ho,” Caraldo, however, simply laughed. His mirth made it even more difficult to decipher his true feelings.
“Yet, as far as I can tell, you have some ability to transform… If so, I can’t deny being interested in giving it a shot…”
“Hahah. Is that your plan, to avoid transforming into a bundle of muscles? Who knows, I might not have reached my final form.”
“You’re interested? Can you keep up, Inglis?”
“Yes— By all means!”
Inglis and Jeldegrīva continued their fierce engagement of fists and kicks amidst the resonating thumps.
“Prepare yourself, behold my form…!”
The Duke of War paused his attack, taking a leap back to create distance between himself and Inglis. His gleeful smile was unmistakable as he gazed at Inglis.
“Ku ku ku ku… To think I would battle in this form…! I owe you my deepest gratitude! Apologies for only showing glimpses of my abilities…! It’s simply who I am…!”
“I empathize with your sentiment. I strive to embody my opponents’ greatest strengths and outdo them…! It’s the optimal path to growth as a warrior. Otherwise, unleashing all my abilities at once would leave me no room for improvement or enjoyment of the fight. That’s why I proceed with caution in every battle — to witness my progress with each fight.”
Inglis’s smile sparked an even brighter one on Jeldegrīva’s face, almost as though he had discovered a kindred spirit.
“You understand me! Precisely, that’s how it is! You have deep insight for such a young girl! I haven’t had this level of fun in DECADES!! HAHAHAHAHA!! Ready yourself, keep your eyes open! UWOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHH!!!”
With a loud crash, Inglis braced herself for Jeldegrīva’s muscles to bulk up even more. Although they did expand for an instant, they began to undulate, squirming and coiling around his limbs, alternately contracting and expanding. The peculiar undulation repeated all over his body — neck, arms, chest, abdomen, legs, feet. The motion was particularly noticeable in his dorsal muscles, which began to stretch and twist, solidifying like bone.
The only way to explain the additional limbs sprouting out was unthinkable. The idea of wings growing from muscle contraction was profoundly bizarre. Perhaps it was misguided to apply the same logic to a Highlander as one would to a human on Midland.
“Quite the convenient body you have there.”
“GAHAHAHAHA!! Train your body enough, and it’s only natural to sprout a wing or two!”
Such a bizarre, yet intriguing phenomenon.
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“Fufufu… You certainly have a unique perspective. I doubt I can emulate that.”
Regardless, other than the growth of the wings, his muscles began to condense and contract even more. His body actually shrank in size, just as he had proclaimed. Like the frames of his newly grown wings, his highly compacted muscles began to harden, covering Jeldegrīva’s entire body in muscle-made armor.
This increased the powerful and oppressive aura he projected, although its source wasn’t as straightforward as Mana or Ether.
“In fact, perhaps our ancestors had wings? Perhaps my rigorous training reactivated dormant traits? We Highlanders are a race known for our technological prowess and cunning…! Obviously, unused features will recede…!”
“I see… With the convenience of Flygear Ports and flygears, one can go about their day without ever using their wings. After all, using one’s own limbs is tiring.”
“We have more convenient methods actually, but you’re right on the mark…! Now, let’s proceed, Inglis…! You’re the first to witness this form…! Ku ku ku ku, even I’m unaware of my current strength! My apologies, but you’ll serve as my test subject…!”
“No need for apologies, I’m equally eager to test it!”
“Thank you! Let’s get going—!”
“NOW HOOOOOLLLDD IT!”
Rafinha interrupted, practically shouting.
Both Inglis and Jeldegrīva turned their puzzled faces towards Rafinha.
“If you continue to fight here, you’ll destroy the castle. Could you please take it outside the town…?!”
Already two walls of the training ground had been reduced to rubble by Inglis and Jeldegrīva’s movements. The shockwaves from their activity had caused cracks and rifts in other places. Even the stone floor bore the scars of their skirmish, with the most noticeable mark being from Jeldegrīva’s impactful landing.
“Oh…! I understand. That wouldn’t be good. Let’s relocate, then. We’ll move outside the town!”
The Duke of War bent down, beckoning Inglis to climb onto his neck. Given the opportunity, she obliged.
“Excuse me then, Lord Jeldegrīva, the Duke of War.”
Inglis hopped onto Jeldegrīva’s shoulders, a gesture reminiscent of how her father Ryuk used to lift her, bringing back a sense of nostalgia.