Chapter VII – The Exercise

Right after finishing the meals, the three went outside the pantry. Rem nodded at Marybeth asking her to come with them. Outside were the other muscled men along with Dricks and Jimmy.

Dricks and Jimmy met Rem as well as the two other bouncers to Marybeth.

“We should wait for your trainers in the bench,” said Dricks while walking with the kids. Rem saw from afar that the three went straight to the gym a few meters from them.

The gym was located at the opposite of the house. It measured about 20 meters long and 15 meters wide. It was composed of different high-class equipment and materials that can only be seen in gyms with high membership fees. There were also gym trainers assisting the trainees.

Rem and Marybeth sat. He changed his position for him to see what the three were doing. They were patiently completing repetitions of the exercises.

“Rem and Marybeth here,” ordered by someone in a military manner. Rem stood and faced the man. Marybeth did the same.

“Alright! I am Captain Steve Stemper and I will be in charge of your daily morning exercises,” said the man. “You will follow all the things that I wanted.”

Captain Steve Stemper, based on his get-up, was a military official. He was wearing a green tight fit shirt, camouflage pants, and a pair of combat shoes. He was tall and his muscles were bulging through his shirt. His dark black hair was short like those of the members of the Marines. He was white, having thick eyebrows, and not-so-thick facial hair. He also had strong jaw line. Rem thought he looked like an action star.

“Do you understand me?” asked Stemper.

“Sir, yes sir!” said Rem. Marybeth also replied but with a low and calm tone.

“I repeat, do you understand me?” Stemper said with a louder and more commanding voice.

“Sir, yes sir!” the two said and this time louder and more synchronized.

They first started with stretching. The exercises were quite strenuous — jumping jack, pumping, squat thrust, squat thrust and jump, push-up and a lot more. Rem was immediately drained. There were also times that Stemper will ask him to do another set of exercises while Marybeth took a rest.

Rem, at that time, already wanted to quit. However, he got some boost out of embarrassment because Marybeth looked determined in performing the exercises despite she was obviously having hard times.

After a grueling round of exercises, Stemper stopped and let the kids catch their breath. Few minutes after, he asked them to drink water from the nearest water station, which was just a few steps from where they were.

Both Marybeth and Rem rushed to the drinking station and picked a cup. He let her fill her cup first. Then, both of them are gulping like there’s no tomorrow. He finished his cup first and filled it again. He looked at her and she looked back. Both of them laughed.

A few minutes later, Stemper ordered them to a formation.

“Alright! Both of you will take a rest for a few minutes,” said Stemper. “I will be back and we will continue. Understand?!”

“Sir, yes sir!” said the two.

Stemper left.

Rem walked to the nearest bench. Marybeth followed. He sat and punched his aching leg while Marybeth opted to stand. He then looked at her, catching her staring at him. She looked away.

“Take a seat Marybeth,” Rem said. “Or maybe, Beth. What do you think?”

“I prefer Marybeth,” said Marybeth. She sat.

“I won’t back off to this,” said Marybeth. “I will become the most powerful Arkiman to serve Lord Heitzberg.”

Rem breathed deeply.

“This simple exercise won’t stop me!”

Rem then changed his position to take a look at what the three were doing. They were still working out. This time, Tatiana was doing some squats, Dreyford to the bench press and Randolph to the chin-up bar. Tatiana, who was facing the two, winked.

“Alright, kids!” Stemper said after about 30 minutes. This time he was with another man and they were rolling two customized tires. The two men dropped the tires in front of them.

“This is your next exercise,” he said while stepping on one of the tires. “You will flip it until you reach the end, back and forth.”

Based on the estimation of Rem, the distance between them and end portion was about 15 meters. It will take them time to do it. From the looks of the tires, his was heavier.

“Ok let’s do it,” said Rem nodding to Marybeth who returned it with another nod.

“Oh! Wait, wait, wait,” said Stemper stopping the two via their shoulders. He gave them two chicken eggs each.

“I forgot something. You must have to hold this in any way you can. But, don’t put them under your clothing,” Stemper added.

“Flipping the tires is for the strength while the eggs, they are for a presence of mind,” Stemper explained. “Remember, I won’t be giving you time to finish it. It’s not hard to flip the tires with bare hands, but what you have to keep in mind that your main agenda here is to keep the eggs whole.”

“Here’s our deal: a broken egg is back to start. Am I clear soldiers?” said Stemper.

“Sir, yes sir.”

Marybeth tried by slowly flipping the tire around while holding the eggs separately. She was successful to flip the tire for several times. But, as she continuously lost her strength, she crashed an egg.

Rem also did the same strategy. He made further than Marybeth, but as he drew his strength his grip to the eggs loosened. He also failed.

As Rem watched Marybeth, he realized that as she tried to lift the tire, the grip on the egg might become too tight or too loose. He must formulate another plan. He paused while staring at the end point.

Rem then put two eggs on his left hand, carefully lifted the tire using his right. He let it rest on his right knee while sitting like a frog with his hands separately holding the eggs. He took a while to regain his strength and after a few minutes, he brought the eggs on his left hand, lifted the tire onto his right shoulder, took a rest, held the eggs separately using both hands, and turned his back onto the tire. He then just used his upper body to push it for one complete flip.

Stemper gained interest on what Rem was doing and can’t help but smile.

Rem mildly smiled and breathed deeply knowing that he didn’t use too much strength. He carefully repeated his steps and completed the task in an hour.

“Good job, Rem,” Stemper said to Rem while tapping his shoulders. “You can drink water and take a rest. Thanks to you, Marybeth is now on the go.”

Still panting, he saw that Marybeth was indeed also gaining some momentum by using his strategy. She finished the task more than two hours. Stemper gave Marybeth time to drink water and catch her breath.

“Alright soldiers, it’s time for your full morning meal,” Stemper said. “I’ll go back to you guys for your next training. Understand?!”

“Sir, yes sir.”

Stemper left them.

“Thanks to you bro,” said Marybeth with a slight punch on his biceps. “Without your strategy, I might be still there up to now.”

Rem and Marybeth heard a hiss and when they looked to locate who made the sound, they saw the three already waiting for them at the gym.

“Hey kids, how is it going?” asked Dreyford.

“Tiring. Very tiring,” Rem replied.

“Nah! You’ll get over it,” said Randolph. “Come and let’s change our clothes. None of us wanted to eat on a feast while smelling like dirty athletes.”