chapter 6. Show of force
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     After a quick breakfast of some jerky and rice. Goku and I headed to the grove of white pines. I haven't seen any wildlife that is dangerous yet, but I stay cautious. Goku and I both have an axe, and he also has his Power pole. Combined with our strength I'm not worried about a head on fight, with anything less than a dinosaur but rather, being ambushed. I trust in Goku's instincts though. 

        I had gotten a piece of cloth for Goku to use for measuring which trees to cut before we left. I cut it to be as long as the diameter of the one in the yard at it's base and told goku that the long end of the cloth needs to be able to wrap around and touch the other end. It can't be less or more. And of course it needs to be straight. I told him how many GG wanted and we split the number both racing to get to 50. We agreed to trim and pull each tree trunk up to GG's. Alone, increasing the difficulty immensely. Trying to move these tree trunks through the woods and up the hill alone will be the true challenge. 

            Goku and I came to silent agreement and burst into action splitting up a bit and heading deeper into the grove. I decide to be smart, and try to make a path of cleared trees to save time. I stop near the edge of the woods by the road. 

            My first tree that meets the requirements is found only a few dozen meters from the road. I waste no time and drop the tree in a lazy ki infused axe swing, and give it a little push the direction I want it to fall.

            I would never take tree cutting so nonchalantly in my previous world, but I'm not there any longer.

            Instead of triming the tree right away, I get a  move on finding my next keeper, and potentially aid myself by finding them before Goku does. 

           I hear a tree falling in the distance, then the sounds of the the limbs being chopped off. With Goku intending to do each tree one at a time. I have the advantage. I fell into a trance measuring diffent trees and, felling the one's that GG asked us for. After my 50th tree I looked back at the pathway I made through the dense grove, and proceeded to trim each tree that is laying on the ground. Just like I did the measuring and felling, I once again fall into a trance of trimming. As I made my way back to the first tree I cut, I see a ragged Goku carrying his axe heading back in the woods for more. He pays me no mind, consumed by the task at  hand.

             I move the center of gravity of the tree trunk, rouse my ki and grab the tree trunk with both hands and lift with my legs. I feel my feet sink into the ground as I quickly hoist the tree onto my shoulder. I weave out of the few trees between the road and begin my first trip uphill alone, balancing a fresh cut tree trunk that's atleast 20 ft, and it can't be less than a thousand lbs resting on my shoulder. 

              I shake off the absurdity of ki, and make first trip up hill. Curious to see how many trees Goku has gotten up here already.

               Fourteen, that nutjob always goes all out. As I make my way back to the grove catching my breath I hear Goku about to exit with his fifteenth tree. I need to step it up or I may lose.

                 With my childish competitive spirit coming out I run into the woods and bring another out soon enough, breathing heavy I move to catch up to Goku who is ahead of me on the road. He sees me gaining on him and increases his speed to prevent me from overtaking him. I manage to arrive dropping my second trunk off seconds after he does, but he is already off speeding down the hill. I follow and do my best to handle my speed on the dirt path.

                   As my trees are closer to the edge than his and also already cut, trimed and ready for pickup. I leave the woods hearing the crash of his next tree. 

    When I see him next I pass him on the road having delivered my third tree. I see the fire in Goku's eye light up as he pushed himself harder upon seeing me. I don't let up and keep him under pressure.

           When I get to my fortieth tree to pick it up and carry it out, Goku is near my position in the woods cutting his next tree. He finnally noticed what I have done to speed up the process. And why I keep gaining on him. As I walk away from his position I pull everything I have out and hustle. I can hear Goku behind me cutting multiple trees down deciding to adopt my strategy.

            I leave the grove and hit the road at jogging speed carrying two logs, my last two logs to win the competition. I hear Goku behind me bursting out of the underbrush carrying two as well. As i run uphill, doing my best to balance the weight out Goku gains some ground in a sprint up to my position before running out of steam again. 

             Neither of us say a word, far to busy grunting under the weight, leverage, and balancing act these logs put us under. It doesn't help that we are taking them uphill at jog, that is slowly turning into sprint as we fight over first place. 

              We see GG at the house with his cart full of bricks behind him. As the final stretch nears, I focus on getting my tree trunks in the area before Goku only to hear the sound of Goku's logs landing in his pile. I stop to see that Goku had thrown his logs over to his stack and beaten me at my own game. Having noticed my expression of defeat, the young Goku revels in his victory hopping around in a fit of contagious laughter.

               GG-" I'm not sure whats going on, but we can use an extra log for the outdoor bath. Hurry up and wash up for lunch, I got us some ducks in town."

              I didn't expect the ducks he was talking about to be Peking duck. if that's even what it's called here. All I know was that the food here is better than Earth. Maybe it's the whole Ki thing making the difference. Yet another mystery of Ki.

                 After lunch, GG brought us outside to show us how to dry the logs with our power. 

                 GG-" I want you both to pick a log and sit by the cut edge like you did yesterday, and summon your Ki, but don't make it have any substance. Just let it come outside your body.

                  Goku's hands are glowing before he even picks out a tree, leaving me in the dust. As I settle down at the base of the tree, I relax and pull forth on my ki once again, to instead of strengthen me, to form that fammiliar golden glow.

                    GG-"Now place your hands on the tree trunk, and push the energy into it. Don't lose your touch with it though. Just extend the energy into the tree as far as you can. Be careful not to give it a form.

           As I placed my hands on the tree trunk a heard a slight sizzling sound, and realized it was the water being boiled by the energy coating my hands.

              GG-" Very good both of you, Goku you can let up a little you have a little too much energy coating your hands."

                Goku nodded and did as GG asked without trouble.

                 GG-"Whenever you are ready extend your Ki into the trunk. Be careful not to do too much too fast. If you don't let the steam to escape slowly you can damage the wood. If you dry it for too long, it may catch fire. 

                Throughout the afternoon Goku and I failed at drying a single log and GG took an inordinate amount of pride in finnaly finding something Goku had trouble with. The main issue was Goku's limited vocabulary. GG had difficulty explaining the more nuanced parts of the technique to Goku in a way he could understand. It was a few hours in when GG gave us the analogy of tea fillling a cup that we both got the mental image needed. 

           Goku's log exploded in shower of splinters and steam so suddenly that I lashed out with my energy as well in panic, doing the same. But in a show of force I watched both our logs explode from a distance as GG held Goku and I in his arms, with our heads over his shoulders. 

             GG-" How about we practice with sticks first."

             When I heard GG say that I knew it was rhetorical, but Goku didn't.

            Goku-" That's incredible! how did you move so fast GG? I barely saw you!"

            And of course, Goku somehow saw  GG during all of that. 

               GG-"let start again with something smaller." 

              An hour later and Goku and I had it down properly. He asked Goku to go fishing for dinner and began to explain to me the different facets of enhancing my eyes and processing speed.

               It turns out that mental enhancing is a more spirit based technique 

               GG-"Enhancing one's perception of the world is crucial skill of any warrior. You must be able to strike when the moment allows. When you do this technique properly it can allow the rest of the ki enhanced abilities to be used to a higher degree. Just like Goku was manipulating his hand so precisely at dinner, or how I reacted as quickly as I did earlier." 

            "Ki is life energy, that comes from the body, but the energy to do this technique is your soul energy, also called mental energy. This is the same energy used for other techniques like telepathy, and to some extent magc. Thankfully there is an easy way to trigger this ability."

            GG pulls out a short tanto out of his sleeves and slashes at me in one fluid motion, unleashing what I imagine to be the aura of death.  As I begin to  think I would get maimed or worse.

              Suddenly, time slows down. The air feels like water as i push myself backwards through it, but not fast enough. So I hit the flat of the blade to my right. Easily able to make such a precise hit, deflecting the strike entirely.

            Once I'm out of immediate danger, time resumes its normal pace and GG says one word.

             GG-"AGAIN!"

             Then keeps attacking in rapid succession. Each swing with that sword is essentially a death sentence and triggers my mind to its fullest. Not allowing me to dodge at all. Instead forcing me to parry each strike to my left or right.

             Once GG finnally pushes me back towards the pile of logs, he once again strikes. This time trying to run me through. I'm ready this time and as my body has adapted to the newfound speed of my mind, it makes sidesteeping the lunge trivial, even if the air feels like I'm pushing through water. The moment I do so though, GG changes the path of the sword midswing. Going from a stabbing motion into a swing. He starts by aiming the cut edge my way with an impossibly fast twist in his wrists. He then plants his forward foot and redirects the sword my way, forcing me to deflect once again. 

              I coat my hand in a glow of energy and attempt to deflect once again, but GG's strike is nothing like the previous ones and is solid, unwavering. Unable to deflect I try to stop it by bring my other hand to task coating it in ki as well. 

           Sandwiched between my Ki coated hands, GG's blade stops getting closer to my body. I'm now being pushed myself by the force of the strike. GG's strike finnally comes to an end when it has pushed me a few feet along the path his sword would have taken had I not interrupted it. As if my weight did nothing to impede him at all.

              GG-"Well done Ryan, you learned that incredibly quickly. You may have some potential with magic and mental abilities considering what you did here today. We will have to get Baba to check your talent. Now take a small break and dry some logs. When Goku comes back, have him do the same. I'll be unloading the bricks and marking out where we will build the cabin."

                  In keeping with his character, Master Gohan keeps us busy, constantly learning. And practicing the techniques. He hasn't taught me the kata's yet, though. Just another thing to add to my plate.

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