Artaghh's Push Ups 1/21
JWaldman Feb 7th, 2019 (edited) 82 Never
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- Artagh would yawn lazily as he paced steadily across the grass beside the shore, each heavy trudge of his steel sabatons bringing him closer and closer to the nearby fence of the Vishkar estate before he would lean against it with a crack of his neck. Puffing away at the minty gnomish herbs of his good companion Lord Briar, the last of the gnomes, he would look upon the calming waters and think about how much had change in his life in the last year and a half, how much he'd lost and gained.
- Soldiering had been good living. He'd made new friends, found a place and a purpose in society, and grown greatly from his training. He could remember the day he had sworn his oath, nearly two years ago now, when Siro had been able to send him flying without taking a single scratch. He'd been a damned fool barely able to poke a short sword around back then, unfamiliar with any weapon that wasn't a pitch fork, a hoe, or a club. He had never been trained in formal swordplay, and he'd never truly even held a sword til he had bought a cheap one in town with his first pay day.
- It had been Amelie that pushed him to grow further, he thought. The first time he'd faced her in battle, he'd been soldiering only a few months, and she came at him like a hurricane with just her fists. Artagh was knocked around like a child while the Oscuri youth had manhandled him like a grown warrior, not a thirteen year old girl. Yet, she had been kind, laughed with him when it was done with, and watched the frogs. Artagh had determined then his reason to get stronger. She loved battle like he did, danced around him with a blade like a trained performer. He had to get stronger to give her a good fight, one she'd truly enjoy.
- That's truly when the chances had begun. He'd begun his vigorous, deathly training by his camp beside the cliffs, lifting boulders and performing dangerous exercises that pushed and broke every limit, bone, and pain receptor he had in his body. Skin torn, mashed, and peeled. Bones snapped by a fall off the cliff. All struggles Artagh had needed to get through to become the swordsman he was today. It had been a long time since then, he'd faced a young vampire and come out on top, and every day he sharpened his prowess with the great sword he'd used for over a year now.
- But he was still just human. Amelie had said it herself, Oscuri were made for battle like a hoe was made for tilling fields, she'd grown even faster than he had, and every year she matured more into the fiercesome adult she would one day become. Gripping the handle of his blade with two hands, Artagh would puff away at his corn cob pipe as he gazed with determination off at the calm tides of the shore. He would just have to train three times as hard, break his limits even further, and keep pace with her through constant diligence. He was determined not to disappoint her, and Artagh made good on his word.
- Artagh paced calmly back to his camp with determination in his eyes, more prepared than ever to train after his time thinking upon the bench.Pacing towards the nearby cliffs, the swordsman would grip the handle of his blade with two hands before leaping upwards, making rapid, precise, and overwhelmingly powerful cuts into the rocky face of the cliff. After a few moments, a solid, nearly polished rock of granite weighing at least ten tons would sit beside the lake shore camp Artagh had lived at for near two years now.
- Gritting his teeth with a nod and a steady puff of his corn cob pipe, Artagh would ignite in blue flame as the shroud of energy he'd been progressively familiarizing himself with pushed their muscles to his absolute limit. He'd found training in this state not only enhanced his mastery of the mysterious abilities he'd awakened ever since he'd begun breaking his limiters, but enhanced the overall effect of his training by allowing him to do more and more extreme feats.
- With two swift stabs of his great sword, clean handles would exist at a perfect distance for Artagh's armspan upon the ten ton granite cube, allowing the soldier of Dawn some leverage as he squatted carefully, before with a grunt of exertion and the steady beading of sweat on his bald, scarred brow, the great block of stone would slowly lift off the ground, budging an inch a second as Artagh's legs began to shake. He was almost in position, and would a pained scream of sheer exerted muscle, the peasant swordsman would heave the ten ton cube into the air before leaping beneath its falling trajectory, entering the position of a one fingered push up.
- Holding in place, Artagh would steel himself as the stone descended before slamming against his back. He had used the ring finger of his dominant hand to begin the exercise, but even with steeled body, several bones in his digit cracked as ten tons of sheer, dense mineral slammed against his back. Grunting in pain as his vision became shaky from the pain, he would whistle a quiet tune and clear his mind, focusing at the task at hand as he began to slowly lower himself down upon the surface with his injured finger, descending and rising in a steady rhythm as he began to do the first of ten thousand one finger push ups.
- The further Artagh got, the greater the flaming shroud of blue mana seemed to burn, seemingly pushing him to perform the task faster and faster the closer he came to finally giving out and being incapable of continuing, a case that would likely end in Artagh being smothered by ten tons of granite. It did not seem like a pleasant way to die, and the peasant had no plans of making it so. Pushing himself further, an hour would pass before he finally finished his ring finger's set, forcing himself upwards before switching his digit to his right pinky.
- Beginning the first of the next ten thousand push ups, Artagh would hoarsely wheeze as his forehead beaded with sweat, his eyes bloodshot and red from a popped blood vessel as he shakily gazed as his ring finger, seeking that it was near stripped to the bone, purple, and swollen, blood leaking on to the ground in a steady puddle beneath the peasant. Shaking his head as he spit out a glob of resin and mucus, he would steel himself forward as he continued the sets through the night, switching from finger to finger, then hand to hand as the shroud of energy scalded him, pushing him to the frontier of his limits and beyond as he strained his body six tons past the limit of his previous exercise.
- Knuckles digging into the ground, the tweeting of birds in the nearby tree as the pink skys and soft sunlight of dawn peered out over the light foilage, the final set completed as Artagh would hold himself in a plank position with both hands, coughing up bloody mucus for a couple of seconds before heaving a sigh of pained relief. Gripping the two handles behind his back, Artagh would progressively move the ten ton block of stone back onto his back, achieving a standing position once more as he whistled a soft tune. Feeling the soft breeze of the lake shore along his sweaty, blooded face, he would nod quietly and continue his trials.
- Squatting down, Artagh would begin the first of one hundred thousand squats with the stone block, laughing with a smile at the ease of the cool down exercise in comparison to the grueling trial he had undergone the previous evening. Whistling a soft, old timey tune that reminded him of his simpler days on the farm, he would squat away throughout the beginning of afternoon and the end of it, finally nearing the end of his exercise as dusk fell upon the second evening of Artagh's training.
- "Ninety Seven...…..Ninety......eigh……….nine...….ninety.....nine...….HUNDRED THOUSAND!" With a yawp of exerted glee, Artagh would heave the block into the nearby lake with a great splash of water, extinguishing his nearby camp fire and soaking Artagh in cleansing, cooling water as his energy shroud was finally extinguished. Breathing heavily as he collapsed into the dirt, Artagh would lie back against the gras with his back against the luke warm, black steel of the cooking pot, still warm with charcoal, and closed his eyes in relief. He would keep his oath to Dawn, and he would be there for Amelie no matter what came. It was the least he owed her.
- Before long, he would rise, scooping a cup of fresh lake water and a bowl of stewed rabbit and basil, Artagh would hungrily consume firsts, seconds, thirds, fourths, and fifths of the stewing pot until the entire contents of the hearty meal for theoretically multiple people was single handedly demolished by the physically exhausted peasant soldier. Grunting in contentment, Artagh would steadily pace his way back up the mountain to his awaiting bed, the slow climb up the mountain a relaxing, crisp period of half an hour during which the bald warriorcould think about nothing at all, allowing his mind to regain itself as the soreness of his body finally began to set in with the adrenaline of the exercise finally diminished.
- Pacing up sorely to the walkway outside of the Sunlight Hall, he would nod in greeting to Landry, Sieg, Siro, and the collapse into the crater with exhaustion. "Oy lads, how ye' doin'."
- Artagh would steadily strip off his armor as he made his way up the stairs of the Sunlight Hall, pacing sorely towards the back corner of the second floor where his bed awaited him. Peeling the sweat stuck mithril cuirass over his shoulders, he would grunt in pain as the sun burnt skin was irritated viciously by the gesture. Shoving the piece of armor gently under his bed, he would proceed to strip off both of his steel sabatons, then his greaves, and finally his cod piece, leaving him down to his naked body and sweat drenched loincloth.
- Pacing slowly and sorely across the room, Artagh would kneel before the rusty iron water basin, splashing water into his face over and over for a good two to three minutes, scrubbing out the dirt, grime, and blood that had stickily attached itself to his finger and bodily person. With a yawn of pained exhaustion, he would finally stand up, packing his last night's bowl of Gnomish herbs into his corn cob pipe and lighting it, blowing a minty cloud of smoke towards the nearby mirror as he looked over his injuries from his most recent training session.
- His body did not look good. Though his regimen had forged his broad figure into a wall of muscle, all of the skin on Artagh's back was scraped, torn, and sun burnt into a dry, irritated crisp by the persistent grinding and chafing of the ten ton granite block he had used for his exercises. His nails, only having recently regrown from his last training session with the mountain, were cracked and gouged, strips of dead skin lining painfully near the red seems of his remaining nail fiber. His right ring finger was broken in three places, swollen purple and painful to adjust, and his thighs were a bruised sea of dark purple and red from the hundred thousand squats Artagh had done to finish off his training session.
- Blinking his still blood shot eyes, he would stretch them open as he approached the mirror closer, looking into the red coating that the burst blood vessels in each of his eyes had left around his dilated pupils. Spitting out a glob of mucus, Artagh would rinse his mouth with some water, splash himself one last time, and slowly pace his way back towards his bed for a good night time's rest. Sorely sitting down at the edge of the rough linen, he would toss the blanket aside before cracking his back one last time, yawning as he ashed his corn cob pipe before tucking it under his pillow. Pulling the covers over his person, he would find that for the first time in quite a while, he slept like a baby.
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