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Joonbum felt his breath become heavy with just a few movements. His sweat fell to the ground like rain. He was on his three hundredth push-up. It was an amazing improvement compared to before where he could only do about ten, but now he easily went over three hundred.
He fell to the ground after he barely finished his last push-up and let out a long breath. His heart pounded as he watched the night sky filled with stars.
After he caught his breath, he positioned himself to start doing sit-ups.
The muscles at his abdomen started screaming as he counted over a hundred. When the count went over three hundred, Joonbum used his last remaining strength to do another ten more sit-ups and then laid down. After resting for three minutes, he then moved to the bench press. It was sponsored by King Kong Gym.
Joonbum continued lifting as he hit thirty. His face was red as if it was going to explode and his arm shook helplessly.
“One… more… One…! MORE!”
Joonbum violently dropped the bar down as he struggled to finish his last one. After another three minutes, he moved to another machine. Joonbum did not stop as he moved about the machines and the area was soon filled with the smell of his sweat.
A couple of Ainos who were on watch spoke in admiration.
“Yeah. We can’t even do that. I don’t think he sleeps much either.”
Both of them nodded as they watched Joonbum, but they turned around to see the sun rising up above the forest.
- Joonbum stood up after his last set and drank some water. The feeling of water hydrating his entire body made him feel refreshed. He felt all of his muscles pulsing with energy.
‘I never thought exercise would feel this good.’
A sense of achievement filled him as he finished his sets one by one. He was also satisfied at the change that was happening to his body. When he had cooled down, he started jumping about lightly, then started to take a step.
He started jabbing at the empty space in front of him as the sun started illuminating those around him.
“Joonbum, good morning!”
Joonbum shouted in reply as the women greeted him, smiling.
“Let’s run together!”
The kids who had just woken up shouted and started following Joonbum as he started running. Even the younger ones slowly followed as the older kids ran.
“Me too! Me too!”
Some were crying and some managed to keep up. It was the start of a busy morning.
“That really helps,” Agelie mumbled as she put down the basket where Arowen was sleeping so she could prepare his baby food. Mayze came to her, smiling.
“Yes, mornings have become much easier, thanks to him.”
“I know. It has never been this easy.”
“They like him so much.”
Mornings were always hectic because of the kids. But now, all those kids were following Joonbum around as he was on his routine run. None of the kids managed to keep up as most of them gave up in between and started playing with each other while watching Joonbum run.
Joonbum moved to the sandbag when he was done running to start pounding at it. He quickly threw jabs at the sandbag as if he were fighting a real opponent. Loud punching sounds echoed throughout the fortress.
The kids watched Joonbum punch away at the sandbag with astonished looks on their faces. Joonbum’s jabs sped up as the kids continued to watch. Soon, Joonbum’s punches grew heavier and the sound of the punches changed. Kids watched the change eagerly.
Joonbum continued punching flawlessly as the kids and even some adults watched him.
“Wow, he’s the center of attention now.”
“Yeah, well, they never saw Joonbum training before. Kids like new things.”
Gazlow, who started living in the fortress after the Zyelok hunt, answered Doral who was ranting.
“And that movement looks cool.”
“Yeah, I thought so too. Never thought there was a way to fight without a weapon. I didn’t realize that until he showed me that fighting match video.”
Gazlow mumbled as Doral nodded. Their training only consisted of what was needed for survival.
“Oh, he started kicking.”
The kids started shouting in awe at the same time as Gazlow commented on the movement change. Joonbum was now kicking the sandbag. The sandbag swung violently as Joonbum kicked it using his Taekwondo techniques.
“Joonbum! Teach me!”
“Me too, me too! Hiya!”
The kids gathered around Joonbum as he finished his training. He sat down on the ground while breathing heavily, and his face was pale.
‘Ugh, I overdid it because of the kids.’
“Water! Joonbum, drink some water!”
“Joonbum, here’s a towel. Hehe.”
“Ugh, you stink!”
A kid handed him water and another handed him a towel. There were also other kids who scowled at the smell of his sweat and walked away.
‘Weren’t you just cheering earlier?’
Joonbum grinned. He was sure they would come out to cheer for him again tomorrow.
“Hey! Time to wash up! Come!”
All of the kids ran toward Mrs. Hophran as she shouted. She filled the basin with water.
“It’s your turn, Aimeel.”
The oldest of the kids answered brightly as she started helping wash the other kids. It was the older kids’ job to wash the younger ones. Joonbum watched for a while and then rose up to drink some more water.
He thought about Taesoo as he wiped off his sweat. The timing was too precise to be a coincidence. He didn’t expect that he might come across a chance to use the potion as soon as he found out about its powers. When he heard Taesoo explain what happened, he immediately thought of his healing potion. After he left Taesoo, however, he changed his mind.
He had only met him few times and didn’t know much about him. He even thought that Taesoo was threatening him at first and that there was a chance that he might be a potential danger to him. It was foolish to hand over the potion to such a man.
‘If word of it spreads…’
Joonbum shook his head. He was being careful about all the attention he was getting. This was why he did not deal with all those other BJs who insulted him publicly. If it wasn’t for all the important issues that filled the media, he might have raised suspicions already. If the usage of the healing potion got out, he could not imagine what might happen.
He needed to avoid that from happening. Not only that, what Taesoo wanted was the money to pay for his family’s surgery. So he just needed to pay for the goods Taesoo prepared.
‘Yeah, that will do.’
Joonbum thought about it and made up his mind. He had enough money and was in need of more supplies. Also, he was sure Taesoo would keep his mouth shut so that he could earn money.
‘I am done being a loser.’
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