Thank you Derrick Porter for contributing to the patron!
"Finally, it feels good to have all of you gathered together."
Nik observed with a smile as his gaze swept past Tanjiro, Zenitsu, Inosuke, Rei, Aoi, Saya and Kanao. By now, he had forcefully established his authority as the group's instructor whether the group itself agreed or not. Their approval mattered little to the self-indulgent Incubus. From left to right, Nik paced in front of the group slowly while allowing the light from the waning sun to sprinkle over the group.
As his gaze matched Saya's bespectacled one's, she averted her face with a crimson tinge on her cheeks while her lips puckering into a wronged pout as her body itself showed a defensive posture with her toes pointing in and her arms in front of her body. Nik examined the changes with a satisfied heart and continued forward to match Aoi's ever determined gaze. With her arms beside her waist and her body as straight as an arrow, Aoi seemed to be the only one that could possibly surpass Tanjiro in the will to train.
Next, no matter how much Rei tried, Nik could still observe the occasional quivers passing through the orange-haired girl's knees. But the lady stood her ground and refused to kneel in face of impending training. It looked like she would soon require another massage session, Nik mused silently before giving the silent Kanao and Tanjiro's group a cursory glance. Kanao kept her serene smile, something she picked from Shinobu and showed no expressive emotion on her face. No anger, no apparent happiness, no fear, no indignation, no jealousy.
In short, Kanao was a doll. Inexpressive in the best of her abilities.
"Alright. All of you in the group has already been accustomed to the Breathing Techniques. Some hold more experience under their belt while others have just started the breathing technique a few days back."
Nik gazed at Saya and Aoi for the latter part. While Aoi had finally managed to learn the entirety of Breath of Water due to Nik's self-hypnosis therapy, mastering the skill was a whole different matter and even if Aoi contributes a major part of her life to the technique, persistence can only get a person closer to the destination. To fully master the technique, Aoi would not only require luck, but also a lot of actual battle experience to even step on the path of Continuous Focus Breathing.
Even though Aoi, in reality, wasn't talented in any of the five basic elemental breathing technique, Nik reckoned that he merely didn't discover Aoi's true affinity. Every single person has an affinity to elements. Some rarer than others, holds the affinity to elements unimaginable by society. At least, this is what Nik theorised.
Meanwhile, Saya had managed to grasp the Breath of Fire rather easily. No self-hypnosis therapy was required and she had finally taken her first step towards the path of becoming a strong woman as a whole. With her mother alive and turned into a demon, Saya's thoughts regarding the complete extermination of demons had already taken a massive hit. Finally, Saya was able to witness the grey area of the society when her own loved ones were included.
With a clap, Nik attracted everyone's attention and replied somberly.
"Tanjiro, Inosuke and Zenitsu. From this point forward, you will train with Ray when he arrives." It was best that Nik maintained his distance from the trio. Who know what nightmarish things they might say accidentally. While Zenitsu let out a relieved sigh, Tanjiro was anything but happy with the decision.
"But Nik-san! I want to train and grow stronger together with all of them."
"Tamaboko Gonpanchiro is saying right! Nikkoni!"
Inosuke flared and misspoke both, Tanjiro's and Nik's name in a rowdy manner before unsheathing both of his jagged blades.
"Trying to keep me away from training? I'll rip all of your faces out!!"
Cackling, Inosuke jumped while spiralling his body with his arms stretched outwards, morphing himself into a whirlwind of blades. The attack came as sudden as Nik kicked from the side right on top of Inosuke's head, shooting him right into a tree, destroying an unfortunate product of nature as damage.
"He is an idiot!"
Zenitsu cursed under his breath as Nik looked at Tanjiro with a serious expression.
"Believe me, Ray wouldn't appreciate the fact that I taught you something without him knowing."
Of course, that was a lie, too. Nik just didn't want the entire group under Ray's clutches to interact that much with him. It was quite a disgusting and demeaning thought, Nik understood the fact, but now, this is what he truly wanted and he will get things done in his own manner.
Tanjiro muttered with a defeated sigh escaping his lips as he nodded in understanding before picking up the unconscious Inosuke. Of course, Zenitsu simply couldn't hide the giddiness from his steps and at this moment, Aoi finally spoke up.
"Why would you bring them here only to send them back?"
"I didn't bring them, the three of them tagged alongside Kanao, remember?"
Nik pointed out before taking a deep breath.
"Anyway. The point of this exercise is simple, to make your body accustomed to your Breathing Techniques. Aoi, Saya, you two will start practicing the sword techniques alongside the breathing technique.
Remember, you will only stop when you feel like giving up, not before and not after, even if your body cannot hold it any longer."
Saying so, Nik once again extended his Pheromonal Domain around the entire group, making their bodies visibly relaxed as they eyes Nik with a stunned expression. Even though making Aoi and Saya go over their limits seemed quite exaggerated, in essence, the physical wear and tear due to the breathing technique can be easily healed, but once the duo gets accustomed to breaking past their limits, Nik reckoned that their mentality regarding real-life situation may also shift.
At present, he couldn't provide the duo with real-life battle experience, something that Nik thought to be overrated. But finally, he reckoned that he himself hasn't truly faced any life-threatening situation. Not that he could remember. So, adding a stubborn quality to their mindset may improve their entire experience once they face any difficult event.
With two of them already assigned to their tasks, Nik faced the twitchy Rei and Kanao.
'Kanao has already achieved Continuous Focus Breathing Technique while Rei is already at the verge of mastering the craft... The physical stats will take a long time to raise and their sword techniques may already be better than mine.'
Nik thought silently. The techniques themselves did not account for strength, but experience. As enjoyable the feeling of overpowering an obstacle, in the face of equal opponents is, experience and tactics are all that matters. Even if Nik wanted to, he couldn't raise his own skills easily, and that is the reason he liked punching things instead of using a sword.
The act of punching is far easier.
You just punch...
"How about this..." Nik finally thought of a certain skill that only he possessed and smiled broadly, "I'll teach you this."
Nik extended his hand and willed a burst of fire to form around his arm without destroying his clothes and morph into a flaming blade without any hilt. Much to Nik's satisfaction, he found ripples of incredulity in Kanao's wide eyes while Rei looked at Nik's flaming arm with a hungry expression.
Of course, learning the concept that has stumped the pillars was easier said than done and Nik could achieve this due to his extraordinary origins. A fact, Nik hid from Rei and Kanao sensibly. After all, instead of making them go through similar sparring sessions again and again, Nik felt that helping them walk the path to the next step may allow the duo to get their horizons broadened.
He planned to invite them to the destined orgy...
The sun quickly set with the four ladies soaked in sweat. A domain of musky scent seemed to be surrounding the four girls as they lowered their head in embarrassment until they reached their establishment, quickly took their spare clothes and shot for the onsen with a speed that made Nik realise that the girls still had a lot of energy left within themselves. Of course, Saya gave Elizabeth's hut a brief look before joining the group.
Smiling, Nik took a slow pace towards the onsen, his intentions bright as day To Peek, only to run into a smiling Shinobu, who waited on the steps leading to the onsen.
"Nik? Fancy meeting you here... after all, this is a woman's only region. Public and male onsen is to the right, remember?"
Skipping through the steps with her hands behind her back and a playful smile touching her lips, Shinobu paced around Nik with a soft 'hum' leaking through her lips.
"Ah, is that so... I guess...
I am more interested in a woman's anatomy than a man's. This expedition is purely for research purposes."
Nik smiled and waited for Shinobu to walk around him completely before she stopped in front of him with her eyebrows raised in amus.e.m.e.nt.
"Some might try to make excuses and escape... but, no, you just have to worm your way into the onsen, right?"
With her torso leaning forward, Shinobu eyes Nik carefully only for him to take a step forward and having her lips taken in a rowdy manner.
"You don't want me to continue my research?" Nik questioned softly as Shinobu retreated with a heavy blush on her face, "Does that mean you want to volunteer?"
Nik asked while smiling as innocently as he could imagine himself to be.
Oh, that's right, he thought himself to be a peace-loving saint, so of course, his smile was nothing short to blinding.
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