After school, it was time for Rimu to attend the Karate club's training session.
Rimu changed her into the Karate uniform she received 3 days ago and went to train with the other Karate club members. Though, in her case, it was just stamina training. While the others were sparing with their partners, only Rimu was alone practicing with a sandbag.
Kyoko never allowed Rimu to spar against other members, not even once.
"Yaaaah~! Eiyaa~! Haaaa!!"
*PUK! PUK! PUK!*
Rimu repeatedly landed punches and kicks on the sandbag. However, the power was weak, the sound created by the impacts of her strikes were so small that it was considered cute. The sandbag didn't even budge.
"Good! Keep up the hard work, Rimu! 30...! 31...! 32...!"
Nevertheless, Kyoko was satisfied with this result.
The main purpose of this training was to strengthen Rimu's body first, and not her karate. A dull knife had to be sharpened first before it could be used to slash meat. Though, whether it would be pig meat or human meat getting slashed by the knife was not Kyoko's concern.
"Rimu, let's stop here for a bit. Rest for five... No, ten minutes before continuing again!"
"Haah... haah... Yes, Kyoko-shihan!"
With that said, Kyoko left somewhere, leaving Rimu alone.
In that instant, Rimu laid down on the floor, gasping for breath. Right now, her muscles were crying from pain. She felt very tired, even though it hadn't been long since the training had started. This showed how bad her foundations were, and Rimu was not very surprised.
She went through with Kyoko's training without complaint.
'This is still nothing! Persevere, Rimu! You can do it!'
Although her entire body was in pain, the glint in Rimu's eyes still shone brightly.
"Good work, Rimu-chan. Here, your drink."
"Thank you, Fumino..."
Fumino walked over and offered Rimu an energy drink, which Rimu accepted courteously. It was an energy drink that could be bought for ¥100 from any of the vending machines at the school.
The club had many of these drinks stocked in a freezer box. They were bought using the funds provided by the club so Rimu and other members did not have to pay a penny.
Rimu chugged it immediately and felt her throat refreshed.
*Glug glug~* "... Puhaa~~ Ahh, I'm revived!"
Looking at the loli chugging the drink in front of her, Fumino couldn't help but giggle.
For some reason, Rimu's drinking posture was very similar to her uncle's when drinking beers at their family meetings. Uncouth and vulgar. Yet when Rimu did it, it just looked adorable.
However, there was something Fumino couldn't understand.
"Rimu-chan, why are you trying so hard? No offense, but after watching your training, I think you are not suited for this."
The "this" she meant was karate, or more precisely, any sports that required physical activity.
Looking at Rimu's loli punch and her low stamina just now, it was clear how unsuitable she was to this sport. However, she persevered and kept going despite such weakness. What reason did Rimu have to keep going on with this training?
Faced with Fumino's question, Rimu just shrugged.
"Of course, it's for my future. I have ideals that I want to live up to."
Rimu clenched her fists as she said that. Her mind still recalled how fat and ugly her future body was. It was a mystery how such a cute angel would end up looking like a goblina later. In this life, she was determined to not let the future repeat again.
Everything was for the sake of her loli body!
"But, why are you asking?"
"Oh, no reason... I was just curious."
Fumino nodded with a smile on her face. Her impression of this loli considerably improved. It was clear that Rimu's answer resonated with Fumino's mind. She didn't know what "Ideal" that Rimu was speaking of, and she didn't plan to ask about it. Whatever it was, she sincerely wished Rimu could accomplish her goal.
'Ideal... huh? At least she is different than her hateful brother!'
Remembering Riku's face, Fumino could only feel bitter. Her defeat from two years ago was still fresh in her mind.
Two years ago, when both of them were in third grade, Riku was also in the karate club.
Riku learned fast, faster than anyone among their peers. Every time she sparred with him, he always easily counterattacked her strikes, leading to her humiliating defeat. No matter how much Fumino tried, she just couldn't win against him.
With time, the gap between them kept getting bigger and bigger, to the point that she could only unwillingly acknowledge a fact. The fact that Riku was a true prodigy and her talent was just insufficient compared to him.
Nevertheless, not even once did she feel despair. Instead, his existence made her strive even further.
Her feelings at that time were similar to that of a mountain climber eyeing the summit of Mount Everest.
'Despite that, how could he suddenly quit after just a year? How despicable!
How could he run away before I could defeat him?!'
Fumino could only grit her teeth. The target she had always been chasing suddenly left the field just like that, how could she be not angry.
It was clear that this boy had talent, yet he didn't cherish it.
'Hmph! Hmph! I'll make him regret his decision to leave the karate club.
When he is happily indulging in his stagnation, I'll keep improving continuously!
Next time we spar, it will be me who will crush him underneath!'
Fumino was determined.
Not long after, Kyoko walked back while carrying a bag. She emptied the bag and gave the contents to Rimu. It was 4 thin metal plates, similar to the weight alloys installed in her training gibs. However, they felt heavier.
"These are replacement weight alloys for your gibs. I suppose each of your limbs has already adapted to 0.5 kgs, so I brought the ones with 0.75 kgs. Quickly replace them and start the training again."
"...Okay. So, 2 kgs now become 3 kgs..."
Rimu murmured, but she didn't complain and quickly replaced all of the weight alloys in her gibs. The difference in weight was not that obvious and Rimu quickly adapted without much problem.
As for the 0.5 kg alloys, Kyoko reclaimed them and put them away in the bag.
"It's still the same training, hit the sandbag 10 times with each of your limbs in turn, then rests for 5 minutes and continue again. We repeat this until club time is over."
"Yes, Kyoko-shihan... One...! Two...!"
Kyoko nodded approvingly.
Although Rimu's progress was definitely far below Riku's, she had the determination to continue. At least, she hadn't shown any intention of quitting yet.
'This is also a good seedling... Next time I'll just give the replacement alloy without mentioning the weight.
Little by little I'll increase the weight and quietly intensify the training...'
Slowly but surely, Rimu would surpass her own limits continuously, without the person herself even realizing it.
This was also the same training that Kyoko had done in the past. The training that allowed her to punch and bend steel poles with her bare hands. Similarly, although not for long, Riku was also trained with the same method.
What will become of Rimu later, Kyoko kind of felt curious.
She decided to observe for a little while more.