Mura barely got to step away before one particular Fairy Tail Wizard had his eyes on the shorter Guildmaster’s request. He turned his head to spot Vandrad who didn’t waste a second to explain the very true meaning of increasing muscle. At that point, it was clear to the shaman that Vandrad wanted to fulfill his request, and merely by being reminded of said Energy Mage’s build, Mura’s eyes began to shine softly. A light of hope beamed through him with Vandrad as his savior, his guide to an evolution.
… He made it sound a lot. Like a lot. Mura would have to transform not only his body, but also his mind to grasp the fruits of such a drive. How long would it take, then? Or would that matter?
No, no, no! He shouldn’t ask questions like that! He clenched his fists terribly harsh, for he tried to shake away quite a habit of his - not taking routine-like things as seriously at first. Man, he felt like a 13-year old again in this state. His gaze was locked onto Vandrad all the time, his eyebrows sharp and his face pointy with will, willing to accept what was going to happen and what he had to do in order to break out of his shota-like identity. Hearing that Vandrad would willingly train him out of gratitude for what the guild had done for him only fueled the shaman’s desire to begin right away. While Vandrad may have talked to him from a professional standpoint, Mura took everything he said to heart as he would any Fairy Tail Mage.
“… Yessir!” Mura replied, a phrase he had previously only said to none other than the late, previous Guildmaster Heero. Man, this feeling brought him back to his novice days in the guild, constantly put on a table with past guildmates to learn about Fiore, the country’s cultures, currencies and other practical things like how to approach and take requests from people and papers, on top of all the physical and spiritual training that he received under Master Kanix, Eris, Ezreal and the others. Mura followed Vandrad intently while thinking back to those days.
… Dietary plan? Wait, did this mean that Mura would have to, perhaps, take a break from sashimi? Pempura? Udon? Ramen? Yakitori? White rice? Rice balls? Unagi? That would be a difficult habit to break… but hey, old habits were best broken by substitution with new habits. He just hoped that… well, that he would stick to it. While he thought that, who knew what his subconsciousness would do.
At the training room upstairs, Vandrad made it clear to him that this was going to be rough and that he wouldn’t hold Mura’s hand like a pedagogue. Morning training was set at seven in the morning, and evening training was - clear to Mura’s deduction - at seven in the evening. He could remember that by heart - if he didn’t have that ability, then he wouldn’t be a shrewd Guildmaster, would he? He felt confident that he could push through and gain from Vandrad’s training schedule, reminding himself that it wasn’t the first time that he had trained ever. It was still the same core principle.
Push through the pain and ache, and you will be rewarded.
As Mura was pointed towards the center of the training room, he walked towards it obediently. Vandrad informed him that they would spar at one point to check his development, but the first work that Mura was going to do was… a hundred push-ups. Something he hadn’t done before, shockingly.
“Ooooooooooooooooooooh! This brings back memories~!” Kyuken’s ghostly, samurai voice echoed as the blue spirit ball head dazzled around Mura, “I almost want to join, but… I think it’d be cheating if we merged bodies. You’re training your body, not your magic.”
“And you’re also a ghost…” Mura replied before laying on his stomach and planting his hands on the floor to push himself up. The first ten push-ups took way less than a second per push-up, while the next batch of 10 push-ups took about half a second. The next 20 push-ups took about a second per push-up.
“Wait, Mura, aren’t you faster than thi-“
“O-Oh, yeah, that’s right! By the gods, how reliant you’ve been on that… barely noticed it.”
He wanted to look like an adult now. He wasn’t going to be a short manboy any longer. He was going to put effort into upping his compatibility with Zirconis. All of those reasons backed him up along the push-ups, motivating him to continue. Sweat began slowly trickling down as the last 40 push-ups required a little while. It was starting to go slower and slower… around the 60th push-up, Mura felt his arms lock. It was as if they begged him to take a break-
They wouldn’t take a break when fighting demons and monsters! They would never take a break when the guild was under attack, or when he was swinging Harusame! They hadn’t taken a break before, so they weren’t going to take a break now!
His teeth grinding against each other could be heard as he pushed on, excruciatingly. The few drops of sweat became lines of bodily liquids escaping his skin like a shower, but he pushed on. At that point, he had forgotten to count, but he kept on and didn’t want to shockingly disappoint himself. He was more willing to go beyond the 100th mark than stop at, like, 99.
Down there he was, the Wizard Saint of Fortitude, without aid of a drop of magic, clinging to life and to the pride he held dear to himself.