BOTH Pomona & Danu (~WG, ~BBW, ~BHM)

Dimensions Magazine

Help Support Dimensions Magazine:

lovelymars908

Non-FA WG Writer
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
47
Location
United States
~WG, ~BBW, ~BHM. Science Fantasy. A young, arrogant warrior becomes the reluctant protege of a strict master, and both go through unexpected changes during the apprenticeship.

A/N: This novella will be my official debut in the library and writing community. The narrative is almost out of my comfort zone as I'm learning the ropes of serious character development.

Pomona & Danu

by lovelymars908

Chapter 1.1

The sun was peeking over the horizon while Pomona Bridger was sitting on the edge of her favorite cliff meditating and chanting a prayer to the patron god Theos for good luck. Pomona opened her eyes, sneering at the sunrise as this very day would bring special tidings. She stood up and stretched before planting her two feet firmly on the ground, bent her knees and pushed her elbows back fisting her hands. The girl moved forward with a fist strike and carefully maneuvered leg to a roundhouse kick. Pomona held her leg and turned at another angle. Then, she went out. Pomona released a barrage of kicks, punches and other maneuvers while releasing a burst of her power energy. Her favorite stunt was a series of punches, followed a low sweep kick before releasing a flame blast.

Pomona ended the exercise and resumed watching the sun rising. She then ascended into the air and darting across the cliffs, heading for the Academy of Pontus. The institution was one of many in the world of Delos that specialized in teaching budding Durgas to hone their near-godlike abilities for stability, warfare, and maintain a balanced affinity for life. On this day, a commencement ceremony was for those who were ready to depart the training grounds of Pontus and receive their apprenticeship.

The girl glanced down while flying over the entrance courtyard where plenty of people were gathering within the school premises to attend the graduation ceremony that early morning. She scanned through the crowds of family and other attendees to find her parents. Until she found a blond man and a light brunette woman standing near the large doors.

“Mother, Father,” she called to get their attention.

Rhea and Gabriel looked up to see their daughter approaching them with a bright smile on her face. However, the parents weren’t exactly in the same spirits as her.

Rhea could barely sustain a smile as she looked at her. “Pomona… please go in there and show the masters that you're at least dignified and mindful of what's being offering to you. This should be your day of achievement, not start another fight!”

Gabriel tried his best not to grind teeth and said, “God, at least pretend you’re dignified! And please, girl, do not go in there making fun of your pupils. You're moving upwards and you're still at this.”

As almost clueless as ever, Pomona scoffed their comments and said, “Mother, Father. Don't worry, I'm going to wow the overseers and I'll get out of that circus as soon as possible.”

Rhea didn't say anything while Gabriel cringed at her comment. Pomona walked away while she joined the other students in the school’s foyer where they were preparing for the ceremony. The girl walked down the row of students to find a suitable spot to join. As she was walking, Pomona heard the usual whispers of her peers talking about her. Mostly in the lines, “why is she graduating?” or “I can’t imagine what stupid things she’ll do once she’s out of here”. The girl found a free spot and stood there waiting. Then she turned around to see a familiar face of another student.

“Pomona….” the top student said under his breath.

The girl’s expression turned dark and she looked at him. “Agh, you want to battle again, ‘your highness’?”

“AGHHH! Someone needs to teach you a lesson!” Lachlan said as his hands brighten up with energy and he was ready to plant his fist on Pomona’s face. Some of the students stood back in the upcoming fight while a few cheered on Lachlan. One of the deputy headmasters came by and saw Pomona and Lachlan ready to seemingly kill each other--for the umpteenth time. Soon they were restrained and Pomona had to be moved to the back of the crowd.

The students were led to the outdoor auditorium and arena where the ceremony was to be taken place.

“Students. Reassign into rows of ten!” called out the deputy headmaster.

The students marched into the arena where they were facing the high-standing podium where the school’s headmistress was walking towards. Out came a tall, muscular woman with red hair and brown skin already tense yet composed followed by the academy’s staff and instructors. The audience was seated.

The grand headmistress Rhodopis Tano walked the platform and faced the audience.

“We start this day to give these fine students the highest honor, the rite of passage for their hard work and dedication over their decade-long tutelage here at Pontus. They have displayed the competency and skill to continue their careers for the future in fighting for our world. Without further adieu let’s get on with the proceedings. Students, this should be a proud day and you all earn it.”

The audience clapped and the students cheered.

“Now, as a final act of their achievement, the students will demonstrate the summation of twelve years of training.” Rhodopis clapped her hands.

The student body was filled with excitement as they began to warm up before demonstrating off their skills for one final time. Pomona had been waiting for this moment forever. She only cracked her neck before she shot up into the air and passed through almost all the other graduates while heading straight for the training area. Automatic projectiles were released and aimed for its first oncoming target. The blonde girl just had to begin the display by blasting the projectiles with her blue blast and destroying every single object heading towards them with a single hit. She was happy. But the other students (and definitely not the supervisors) were not. Then, the demonstration moved to the droid portion. The other students scrambled towards for the droids before Pomona would get a chance to destroy them as well.

After a good solid ten minutes into the training droid segment, Lachlan was surrounded by twenty training droids and before he was ready to attack, Pomona just “happily” to destroy them for him. Lachlan just wanted to drop to his knees, but he couldn’t. After enduring four years of being tormented by the competitive and horribly arrogant behavior from his borderline "archrival", Lachlan had enough. His face turned red, his teeth ground against each other, his knuckles turned white, and his eyes and hands emitted his green power energy. He charged towards Pomona with his hands outstretched for her throat.

And they fought.

Lachlan pulled the hardest punches he could throw at Pomona’s face. She parried the last punch and returned him a smashing headbutt that almost sent him into a group of students.

Everyone stopped what they were doing and watched the ongoing fight ensuing within the courtyard. The audience was also watching from the benches, questioning as to what tomfoolery was happening within the courtyard. Rhea and Gabriel were sensing something bad happening already….

Pomona delivered many punches towards Lachlan and blasted him towards a wall with her optical eye beam. The boy got up and flew towards her and grabbed the girl by the arms and flipped her to the ground three times, making dents onto the surface. The girl got up and shot her optical beams. Lachlan put his palms up to deflect them as he slowly walked towards her and smacked her in the face with a punch followed by a roundhouse. The boy grabbed her head and smashed her face towards the hard limestone surface. Then he smacked her head extra hard into the surface and proceeded to drag her as she was buried in the limestone for around seven meters and tossed her at the wall again.

Pomona recovered and bounced towards him before one teacher jumped in front of her by grabbing her fist and holding it with a vice grip. Two other teachers already stopped Lachlan from getting to her.

The girl said, “Let me go! I wanna show that idiot--”

“Bridger! That’s enough!” called out Rhodopis.

Then, another instructor showed up with a pair of stone-like handcuffs that were specifically made for the likes of Durgas. They were bound to Pomona’s hands and she immediately started to struggle, yelling that she wanted to continue her fighting with Lachlan.

Rhodopis turned to the teachers and said, “Take the girl inside.”

“No, I’m not done with--” The headmistress simply headbutted Pomona into silence and she was dragged inside while unconscious.


***

Music was playing loudly throughout every corner of the school later that day. The ceremony went to a gratuitous close with a beautiful show of fireworks and a massive feast followed afterward while the students joined their families and friends among the festivities.

All except Pomona. She was locked within the detention fortress, a rather dark part of the school for young misbehaving Durga brats. She was contained for five hours screaming and yelling, demanding to be released to finish what she claimed to be her well-deserved fight with Lachlan. The guards were trained to ignore cries like that as if it was just air passing through. Though they were secretly wishing the girl would shut her mouth already.

Gabriel and Rhea had their worst fears confirmed once they were told by the administrators after leaving during the middle of the ceremony, so they decided to make last minute arrangements in having a private meeting with Rhodopis.

After another hour, Pomona finally settled down before being eventually detained and was escorted to the intimidating office belonging to Rhodopis. She rolled her eyes once she passed through the doors and everything cute and happy crumbled once her parents and the headmistress were staring right into her eyes with the most “you are going to get it” stare. Pomona, while her hands were still cuffed, furrowed her brow as she was brought near her parents and Rhodopis.

The headmistress said, “Now, Bridger….”

Pomona bit her lip.

“You’re not the only one here who thinks they have all the power in the world and can do whatever they want,” Rhodopis said quietly, “But there is one thing I do not tolerate is those with such heavy egos and make a mockery of the other students! And what made it worst that you attacked Lachlan, the top student! MY top student. However, I shouldn’t be surprised because I almost lost count after fifteen regarding your little fights with him.”

Gabriel said, “Yes… I understand that Lachlan’s parents are also aware of this and they want to get on your case too, Pomona. And what I mean by that, they want to. Beat. You. Into the ground.”

Rhea added, “I have to agree… I saw them bursting out of their seats during the ceremony before the guards stopped them….”

Pomona didn’t say a word, but the thought of Lachlan’s parents wanting to fight in retaliation for her bullying towards their son surprised her.

Rhodopis continued, “And also the fight with the two other students last year. You wanted to show the instructor your improved optical beams and you were also taking over the whole room without letting any other to have their turn. Then, there was the massive argument during one of the weight training classes with one student that escalated into a ‘weight throwing competition’, that almost got few pupils hurt.

“But I digress. In the next few days, there will be the Pairings…. And Bridger, you better listen to me good for what I'm about to tell you.”

“I hope one of the finest trainers amongst the Masters will set her right,” Gabriel said.

“Oh, yes. I already told him and he’s been aware of the situation for the last year and a half. Pomona, I’ll tell you right now that he will NOT go easy on you for one moment during your apprenticeship. Kannas is perfect for students with a huge superiority complex such as yours.” Rhodopis said.

Gabriel added, “He’ll put her in her place and after the four years, she’ll come out a new woman. I guarantee it. Pomona, he’s not going to be pleased when he sees you, in a good way.”

Pomona said, “I can’t wait… I suppose it’s fair since he’s very powerful, I’m guessing.”

Rhodopis nodded, “Powerful, indeed. But that hardly makes him any different than the other Masters. The only critical distinction that sets apart from them is his spartan ways. Once he’s done with you, you’ll be happy he’s your master and he’ll be ecstatic for you being his student. Let’s hope you can be one of amongst his favorites.”

For once Pomona lightened her expression and said, “Do you… mean that, Headmistress?”

“Only hypothetically, Pomona. I’m trusting you with this. Danula is an excellent instructor.”

“Daughter, I’d like to have you know Kannas and I go back. He is one of the top soldiers of the Royal Guard and among the rare top students of Pontus. He used to be my sparring partner in my youth,” Rhea said, “I remember us being more than just friends for a short time.”

The girl almost widened her eyes at the new secret. “Yes, Mother.”

“Pomona, you and your family may go. And prepare yourself when you meet Lord Kannas. When you meet him, it’s going to be hell for you, so woman up!”

***

Pomona and her parents didn’t plan to stay long in on the festivities, but the girl took this chance to meet up with her acquaintances who were willing to tolerate her behavior.

A red-haired girl named Meredith called out when she saw her. “Pomona! What happened? What did they do to you?”

“I had a meeting with the headmistress.” the girl murmured.

The pupils looked at each as if they had “she had it coming” look.

“Wow, what did she say?” said a boy named Typhus.

“I apparently learned the identity of my master. He is Danula Kannas.”

The students looked at each other.

“My goodness, that doesn’t sound good,” Meredith said.

“I agree… I heard Lord Kannas is a pretty difficult teacher to put up with.”

“I’m in deep trouble, yes, but I’ll manage.

Typhus put a hand on Pomona's shoulder, “Well, if he’s going to be hard with you… I can only pray to Theos you’ll survive.”

“Thanks. I think.”

Typhus said, “Now that you said it… I did see Kannas in action once and well… I'm not sure I can call you lucky or unlucky.”

Pomona recoiled herself. Then her father called to her for departure. Typhus and Meredith waved at her, worried about what would happen to Pomona in the coming days.


***

The Pairings was considered an interesting time for graduates as they were carefully watched over by the academy's council as they had to learn and evaluate each student’s strengths, weaknesses, and attributes for them to be paired for the right master and it did take some time to get everything set up.

And unlike most graduates, Pomona was almost not excited about the occasion like she should be and it made her somewhat frustrated. Typhus and Meredith were super excited to meet their masters for the first time but Pomona felt as if she was the only one dreading the introduction of her master.

The graduates attended the school for the occasion. They were all gathered in a special arena-like auditorium that was specifically used for the Pairings proceedings.

Pomona joined with her friends on the risers, watching tentatively as everyone was gladly accepting their new Masters, the people who were standing in a few rows behind Rhodopis and the academy’s council as they called out the student roster. The Durga girl glanced at the rows of masters, wondering if hers was already present.

The list went relatively slow. The suspense really killed the girl. Her feet shook while sitting cross-legged, her upper body essentially trembled while sweat dripped from her forehead.

Calm down, Pomona! Why are you so scared?

She cringed more and more while the names were being called; it felt like something was building in her head, she was reaching a limit she couldn't hold all in anymore.

“Pomona Bridger.”

Pomona almost made a yelp but she took a deep breath and stood up. Meredith put a hand on her shoulder for reassurance. Pomona eased a little. But once she climbed down the risers, she eavesdropped quite a several whispers from the other students with her super-hearing.

“...wonder who Miss Toughness is gonna be paired with it.”

“I hope her Master clobbers her for all I care.”

“The broad has a lot coming to her from how been she's acting.”

All that anxiety decided to waltz out of Pomona's mood and her expression of nervousness was replaced with the smuggest smile she ever pulled in her life. It was appropriate too. She was getting the personal instructor who was in charge of the final stages in honing her natural abilities that were literally gifted from the gods.

These jerks are making doubts about me?! I can't wait to meet Master Kannas so I can show them all I can so be the perfect little student so I can rub it in all their faces!

The youth approached Headmistress Rhodopis, and instead of giving Pomona the usually annoyed frown she always gave when seeing the smug grin slapped on her face, Rhodopis only put on a heartfelt smirk.

Pomona almost raised an eyebrow.

The headmistress moved away from the girl as if something else was coming into view.

The doors opened from behind.

No one was there.

“What is this--” Pomona was cut mid-sentence as she was hit by twin optical blasts. She was thrown almost across the whole arena before skidding on the ground.

The students dropped their mouths, shocked at what just happened. One minute they were making fun of the school jerk, and the next they witnessed what seemed to be an unexpected, potential fight in the making. They simply didn't know what to think, but despite them knowing fully well Pomona deserved it, no one was laughing.

The girl struggled to stand.

“We have a lot of work to do, you stupid girl….” called out a man's voice.

The girl looked up at the person who spoke to her and a rare glimpse of genuine fear appeared on her face once she stared into the intimidating glare of Danula Kannas. His very complexion made him all the more threatening: long, ebony hair and dark bronze skin.

Without moving his facial expression, he said a command more intimidating than even Headmistress Rhodopis would say, “Now, get yourself up. We start your apprenticeship tomorrow morning.”

The girl couldn't believe what just happened, her smug smile was already long gone. She was staring at the most famous and the feared Master in all of Delos and from that point forward, hell already started.
 

lovelymars908

Non-FA WG Writer
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
47
Location
United States
Chapter 1.2

The dread of surviving the first day of tutoring with Master Kannas was probably the worst feeling the girl felt in a very long time. In fact, it was so bad that the girl had apparent difficulty to process so she ended becoming extremely angry. That anger finally manifested from the realization that she got herself handed from a higher authority for the first time. Pomona had to be sent home after the Pairings later that day and was to prepare to move into the private training grounds owned by Danu. And unsurprisingly, Pomona refused to do so. She was enraged, but Rhea and Gabriel were not having it. They had a massive argument within the Saxon family palace belonging to Gabriel only because Rhea didn’t want the nonsense happening at her own palace. In fact, that prompted Rhea to leave.

During the rest of the day and that night was filled with father and daughter screaming and yelling angrily inside and outside the palace. It eventually escalated out of control when Pomona started having a rampage. First, she destroyed her room. Holes were punched into the wall, her bed was broken in two, and the chandelier was scattered everywhere in a million pieces. She then flew out of her window and in a fit of rage she started attacking Gabriel’s palace. She screamed as she blasted at all the windows with her optic beams. She did this for several minutes until almost all the windows were reduced to shards.

Gabriel, not wanting to waste whatever ounce of energy he had left, he grabbed his daughter and held her in a deadly headlock as tight as he could while airborne. Taking a deep breath, Gabriel said very quietly while seething with deep frustration.

“Pomona…”

“AGH! Father! Let me go! You’re hurting my neck!”

“No, girl, I won’t let go. I want you to stop your foolishness and take one moment to feel how much pain you're in while I’m holding your neck. It hurts, doesn’t it?”

Gabriel spent two long minutes holding Pomona’s neck while she struggled to remove his arms off of her. The pressure against her neck wore heavily as she almost felt a bone crack.

“Father…. Please….”

This was the “it's for your own good” speech told by all parental figures since time immemorial. “Listen to me now, child…. This headlock is the start of many that you may endure when your apprenticeship starts up tomorrow. You have only mere hours to straighten yourself out until then. If not, I’ll make sure the next headlock will be the last you feel. Do you understand?!”

“Gaaagghh!! Yes, Father!”

Gabriel released his daughter and left her alone near a broken window as she tried to regain whatever sanity and dignity she had left as her father’s words lingered.


***

The appearance of Danu’s dojo was a large complex of interconnected outdoor halls and courtyards like any other practice ground for Durgas. Elegant, grand, and made of the hardest building material called golden micca that helped design the withstanding of a mighty Durga’s fist. The girl rubbed her sore neck from last night as she entered the gates of the dojo with her travel bag. She looked around the entrance courtyard, expecting to see Danu present for hopefully a warming welcome.

The girl called out, “Master Kannas?”

Silence.

“Master?”

Then, there was a scream. Pomona glanced above and saw Danu darting towards her with fist first. The girl jumped out of the way while Danu released a powerful strike into the ground, forming a massive crater.

“Don't you run away Bridger. This is your first training exercise. Come at me!”

Damn!

Pomona threw her bag at a safe distance and flew towards Danu with her punches. She tackled him by the waist while flying across the dojo before Danu tore her arms away from his waist and slugged her. Pomona fell to the ground, making a small crater upon impact.

“Get up!”

The girl rose up and pounced at Danu with kick ready. She attempted another punch only to be parried and received another punch in the gut. The girl stumbled while holding her midsection from the blow.

Danu held up Pomona’s head by her hair and looked at her. “How ridiculous. You can't even sustain your defenses while you're busy trying to beat your opponent. You need to improve that.”

“Yeah, yeah. Defense needs fixing. How about you slow down so I get my bearings?” Pomona said indignantly.

Danu grimaced at the impatient statement. “Come. We must go discuss the criteria.”

Pomona shrugged off the rude morning exercise and followed the man inside the dojo.

***

The insides of the dojo were almost like a rugged version of the training grounds at the family palaces. The room painted with red wooden walls, and etchings and murals of combat poses and scenes. Danu and Pomona were seated in the middle of the dojo while Danu was looking over the notes of Pomona’s curriculum from Pontus.

“Well, seeing that your energy-based abilities are at top notch, which is good.”

“I spent four hours a day in the energy room perfecting my blasts, extending their range, and aiming for perfect targets.”

“We'll see about that. But like I suspect, your defense needs to be tightened. I saw how you were wanting to into break into a person's face without watching your defenses. It makes your technique almost sloppy.”

Pomona said nothing, obviously getting offended, but didn't show it.

“Other than that… you're almost perfect material for being one of the top students in Pontus… but not like me.”

Pomona felt her eye twitched. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

“As for your curriculum, I'll be teaching you more advanced combat techniques, strategies and some other miscellaneous subjects. But since you think you're so good, I'm going to teach you a few things about humility.”

“Alright…. What do you want me to do?”

“I'll tell you more another time once we break into the lessons.”

“What are your guidelines?”

“Expect to get early up before the dawn.”

Pomona groaned in her head.

“And the daily lessons end until the sun reaches dusk.” Danu continued.

“Am I free to go now?”

“Yes. You may get out of my sight with your idiotic cheek.”

Pomona twisted her lips and stood up to leave.

“Oh, and Pomona?”

“Yes?”

“Go and practice with the defense drones before noon.”

The girl cringed at the thought and went off.


***

The budding warrior traveled through the many courtyards of Danu’s dojo. The sections of the complex were clean and pristine yet worn from years of wear and tear from so much training. Pomona walked through the place until she bumped into a young housekeeper.

“Good morning,” she said.

“Good morning to you… where is the defense room?”

“Down on the left from the hallway behind me.”

“Thank you. Er, what's your name?”

“I'm Matine.”

“Good to meet you.”

“Likewise. Now, excuse me.”

The girl walked off and found the room with the defense droids. Pomona turned them on via the biometric scanner for them to detect a purposeful opponent. The metallic automatons were raised to Durga levels and they all came after her. She made an offensive stand before realizing a defensive stance was needed. The automatons came at her with one of throwing a punch. She blocked it with the side of her hand and blasted it away from her. The girl delivered another punch to a nearby one and crushed its head. Pomona began to sweat while trying to evade the constant barrage of punches and kicks from the training automatons. She moved her head from side to side, she would do backflips or block.

Then there was the shower of heat vision coming from the automatons. Pomona was only to block two pairs while smacking their heads together into dust.

“I HAD ENOUGH OF THIS,” Pomona said with her teeth grinding against one another as she bounced into the air and just blasted the automatons into piles of metallic ash in frustration.


***

Lunch at noon made Pomona realized she needed to fill an empty stomach to shrug off the embarrassing training exercise from earlier. She joined Danu at the dining table where it had a small and simple dinner of rice, beans, a big roasted turkey, and two pitchers of mead and water. Pomona raised her eyebrow, “Um, sir…”

“What is it? If you're asking about the food, I prefer my own meals from back home in Agni. And I'm sorry it's not the lavish kind of cuisine you Freyans are used to.”

Pomona munched into a turkey wing and ate her rice; they were definitely not rich in flavor like steamed eggplants with cheese sauce or wine-infused bolognese, but she almost didn't care since she hardly ate anything but a few food bars for protein before coming to the dojo.

A young servant came by with a plate holding an envelope. “Lord Kannas. A letter has arrived from the academic council.”

“Thank you, Ander.”

Pomona asked, “An academic letter?”

“It's not from Pontus, it's from Frey’s division of the Durgas Community Council.”

“What's going on, if you don't mind me asking?”

“We’re going to a meeting early tomorrow morning for an orientation so that the administrators can inform you on what they expect from you."

"And that is?"

"The council has set up tasks and small jobs from the community for all Durga apprentices and their masters to accomplish. Apprentices like you may be learning to hone your abilities and be better warriors, but you also need to learn to help others on a personal level and build up that commitment."

"So you're saying we won't be just being training in battle?"

"Yes. We will be traveling during your apprenticeship so don't get too comfortable just being in the confines of my dojo.”

“Yes, sir,” Pomona said while trying to sound interested. "So I’m assuming we’re going to skip the morning exercise tomorrow then?”

“Indeed. I don't like being late to important things. Hopefully, that's what your parents instilled in you, no?”

“Right…”

“Good. You are dismissed. Matine, show Pomona her new room.”


***

Pomona followed the servant as they walked down a hall where many guest rooms remained vacant. Matine led the girl into a rather small bedroom compared to her giant one back at both parents' palaces. The room contained a large window with satin curtains, a soft bed, and few pieces of furniture.

“Thanks, Matine. At least some part of the place feels like home--in a new way.”

“I hope it suits your needs.”

Pomona looked around the room again, to give a second thought. She smiled, “It's starting to grow on me. It feels quiet and knowing that I’m going to be fighting basically every day while staying here, I’m going to need it.”

“Certainly. I know Kannas can be very demanding of everyone who trains under him, but he does mean well. I imagine rooms like these are meant to be little havens after a long day’s worth of heavy training. Gives off an air of comfort and relaxation.”

“It's perfect. The last few days have been rough and I need to rest.”

Pomona threw herself on the bed.

Matine said, “Very well. Let me know if you need anything.”

“Okay, may I have something for my neck?”

“Yes, I’ll bring it right over.”

The girl was absolutely right, she needed to rest. The last few days wore her down and left her mentally drained without even realizing it. The graduation. The fight with Lachlan. The argument with her father that left her neck slightly sore, and her first couple hours with her terrifying instructor who she would spend the next four years with. Pomona’s head throbbed, the aftereffects of recent events came rushing to her in full swing. She closed her eyes and tried to sleep, hoping Master Kannas wouldn’t come busting in and dragging her for another training session. She could only hope.
 

lovelymars908

Non-FA WG Writer
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
47
Location
United States
Chapter 2

The first month of the apprenticeship, in Pomona’s opinion, was the worst training she ever done and she stayed true to that. Aside from doing her daily combat training and weightlifting, she had to go out and help the community, by order of the region’s Durga Relations Council. At first, the meeting she and Danu had to attend went perfectly fine, the girl didn’t think much of it at first and accepted it. But all that changed very quickly once meeting up with a farmer and Pomona quickly realized she didn't particularly like helping with menial tasks for the lowly people or just mortals in general, she’d thought it might be a nice break from the physical training but it simply didn't provide the same kind of stimulus or stirring any interest that would warrant as something ‘relaxing’, and quickly became bored with it after her third task.

Doing what she did best, she complained her grievances about it to Danu at the end of a late afternoon weightlifting exercise sometime after the last one.

“Kannas, can I please talk about the...uh community service?”

Danu raised an eyebrow, “About what? The Council didn't seem to mind your initial results with the last three.”

“Yes well, can I be honest with saying that I purely did those tasks purely out of obligation, and not doing what you said? I don't exactly find it fun. Not as fun, dare I say it, not as fun as our training….”

“That’s… almost the opposite I wanted to hear.What else could there be for you to do? I may be here to teach you, but I certainly do not want or need to train you at every single moment of your tutelage. That's not what this apprenticeship is all about.”

“Alright! I don't know what it is…. I have to be honest, I never exactly did something like this before. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I always prefer working on my abilities on my own time or whenever…. Something like helping people on a farm or help in construction something I'd want to do in my spare time. That's commoners’ work! Rather go study in a library than do that!”

Danu did not say a word other than staring at her, not wanting to believe what she just said while trying his best to not look annoyed at her, but never in his years of mastering heard such a stupid statement coming out a student’s mouth. The thought almost made him cringe. Badly. Then, before the conversation couldn't get any more ridiculous Pomona asked one particularly bold question, “When are we going to start going on missions?”

The man let out an exasperated sigh, “Pomona, I’m… deeply surprised at you but in no way, I am not flattered. You have not even broken into a year into the apprenticeship and now you're asking to go on missions? What in Delos do you think missions are easier than helping a farmer? I'll tell you right now it’s not. I understand your frustration but I said before that you need to establish and build ties with those are unable to defend themselves. Plus, you need to build up a habit to help and learn selflessness. There's a reason why the community service division exists.

“I know it isn't particularly fun for you, but try to see the good out of it. And honestly, you should be happy being far away from me and my dojo as possible while doing these tasks. I'm surprised you're not. We Durgas may have natural higher privileges, but I'll be honest that I actually preferred the glimpses of simpler life throughout my own apprenticeship, so I was ecstatic to get to work on a farm or help out a mason. I would be more than happy to leave my lavish backgrounds for lowly surroundings.”

“But… sir… I'm not like you, I'm afraid.”

Danu frowned in minor disappointment and gave it some more thought before saying, “Alright. Listen… We can set up a deal.”

Pomona perked at the offer.

"You survive this next community task and another one, but on one condition: I expect these next two jobs to have glowing reviews once you return. After that, you and I will go somewhere special.”

“Is… it a mission?”

“You will know in good time. Now, you better get going. A farmer needs your help working the fields.”

Seeing this was probably going to a rare chance to get on Danu’s good side and indulge in whatever plan he had in mind for her, Pomona nodded and left the dojo.

***


Those three weeks passed very fast after the fourth job at the farm and the girl was promised a special trip with her master, so this time she had no reason to pass this up and went to her fifth one. This was terribly hard as she had to help out hauling things for construction on a new small monastery but the builders were pleased with her assistance nonetheless, as they claimed a lot of time and effort were cut by a good chunk! Pomona told Danu this second glowing review when she returned to the dojo.

For once a smile spread across Danu’s face. “Well, Pomona, I see that you lived up your side of the bargain and with that, we shall go to Agni together.”

He pulled out two traveling bags right in front of her.

Pomona smiled in return. “What’s going to happen once we get there?”

“I’ll explain the details when we get closer. Let's go, we're leaving now.”

Master and apprentice took only a few moments to prepare their long flight to the country of Agni. They launched high into the air and away from the training grounds, gliding across the sky, quickly passing over the schools, buildings, and palaces in Frigg. They eventually reached the city’s outskirts and entered the Aura Woodlands, a huge forest region that it separates Frey from the outside world. Agni was on the other side of the Woodlands. The duo flew just above the treetops, while green hills rolled over and small mountains stood tall in the far distance away in the background.

After another forty minutes of flying, Pomona decided to go ahead without asking for Danu’s permission once they reached the River Kol that slithered on the opposite side of the Woodlands, while Agni was nearing.

Danu yelled, “Pomona!”

“Would you relax? I'm just going ahead to see anything else we come by.”

Pomona went three miles ahead of Danu and slowed down as she descended towards the surface and floated in midair before lowering herself to the ground to take a breather. She was definitely far enough away from Danu but she was over the river bridge. The young Durga continued walking until she heard a scream with her enhanced hearing from a short distance. She flew towards the source of the cry to see what was happening. A theft was in progress at a campsite as three bandits were helping themselves to the possessions belonging to a family of three they held hostage. Pomona got herself another chance to be useful.

Great, I found a reason to give Kannas and hopefully he will understand why I went ahead. I mean he can't say no to helping on the side!

Pomona hid in a thick group of bushes and watched carefully while the scene was going on. She scanned the situation to see where she could get an opening to subdue the thieves without them hurting the family further. But the strategy was dropped after Pomona realized she was wasting precious time. So she started to move in, alerting the thieves.

“What the hell?” said one of the thieves looking towards the rustling bushes.

“Could be an animal.” said another.

It wasn't. Pomona, with her super speed, snuck passed the bandits knocking them out without them even registering what to do next and they were all over the ground unconscious. The family consisted of a mother and her adolescent son and daughter, were untied by Pomona and they thanked her.

Until…

“Pomona!”

The girl felt a huge string of “oh no, you're dead” feeling when Danu shouted from the distance signifying he was close.

“Thanks!” The daughter called out as she tried to help her mother and brother.

Pomona turned around to see Danu coming into the campsite for the girl.

“Pomona! What are you doing out here? You went far out-”

The mother called out, “Wait! There’s no need to get angry, sir! Your partner helped me and my family from brigands. Please, let me offer something for our gratitude.”

Danu softened his expression and looked at Pomona and said, “Is this true, Bridger?”

“Yes. See? It's always a good idea for one of us to look ahead!” Pomona said as she pointed at the unconscious men nearby.

The mother continued, “If I may interject, we were making our campsite until these hooligans came around.”

Danu pursed his lips. “Pomona…”

The girl winced at the upcoming reprimand.

“I'll give you a pass this time. But remember to not go off too far next time.”

“Please sir, your student was very helpful in taking out the thieves, mind if we make you both dinner for helping my family out?”


***

Later that night, everyone was sitting by the fire under soft cushions as the mother and daughter prepared dinner around the fire with roasting four large freshwater fishes and boiling a big pot of stew. The group took their turn to get their servings while Pomona started talking to pass the time.

“What have you been doing here?”

“Traveling and looking for work. We stopped here for the night until we met the bandits.” the daughter answered.

The son said, “The bigger question we should be asking is what two Durgas are doing over here by the River Kol!”

“I'm training this girl to be a better warrior,” Danu said as he sipped his tea.

“Oh, a student and teacher. How's that going along?” the mother asked.

“It's been a boring month and a half so far.” Pomona murmured while playing with her food.

“Slow. But steady.” Dana said while glaring at her.

The family could already see the dynamics between them, almost imagining the endless arguments during lessons on who's right or who’s wrong. The son turned to Pomona and said, “Hey, uh, I know you think your instructor is giving you a hard time, but I'm sure it'll be worth it in the end.”

“Mm-hmm. Mm…” Pomona moaned while slurping her bowl of stew and savoring the flavor of the unfamiliar meat. “What is this?”

“That's Gosher Stew, it's our family’s recipe of the country’s signature dish.”

“Gosher? Is that an all-mortal country?”

“Yes, we're just traveling to Agni for better work. A few family members, including my husband, are facing troubles ranging from financial problems or are bedridden from an illness.” The mother said.

Danu took a huge spoonful of his portion of the stew before saying, “You’re in luck. I’m from Agni. I know a few sources who may help you out if you need it in the near future if something happens.”

“Thank you! We can keep in touch!”

Pomona was busy slurping her bowl of the stew and smiled at the woman, “Ma’am… this is very good stew. I never had this before. It’s a lot better than what my master’s cook can do, then that's for sure.”

Danu pursed his lips while chewing his stew with the fish.

“Thank you, that really means a lot.” the mother smiled.

Licking her lips, Pomona said, “I wanna know the recipe.”

“I can’t tell you that because it’s a secret family recipe. But the meat is the key. Plus, it’s delicious with warm bread or prepared as dumplings.”

Danu raised his eyebrow. He ate more of the stew and as he chewed on it to savor it more thoroughly, suddenly realizing the flavor of the meat was becoming more and more familiar to him as he masticated.

Pomona said as she grabbed another bowl of the stew, “Hm, now I wished I paid more attention in the kitchen. Do I have permission to practice cooking, Kannas?”

Swallowing, he answered, “Fine, I am here to teach you and I suppose it can extend to anything else. Make sure to have time for it when I’m not around. Those skills may be useful for survival tactics and provisioning if we ever need to get to that stage.”

That became the second thing both master and pupil agreed so far during the first month of their time together. Danu drank the last of his tea before grabbing another serving of Gosher stew, “I have to admit this stew tastes like the soup I used to eat in my childhood. It's tastes just about the same.”

“We don't mind the extra seconds. I have a terrible habit of making too much anyway,” The mother nodded, “And because you both saved my family, so have much as you want.”

The daughter said, “Well, the habit of making ‘too much’ is necessary only because we Gosher people don’t have powers like you Durgas or Heci, so we have to take a lot of nutrients and fuel to keep up with our hectic lifestyle. It’s not made for anyone who isn’t active or eats too much of it in one sitting unless you have a big load ahead of you, and we do stress that last part. But seeing you two are Durgas, I'm certain this is nothing for you.”

“Well, I’m hoping it’ll help you Durgas for tomorrow, seeing you need all the energy you can get. Enjoy it while you can.”

“That we do. Thank you, ma’am.” Pomona said.

The Durgas finished the last of their stew and drowned their dinner with protein shakes.


***

The trip to the Agni capital of Yana went without trouble. Pomona never particularly been to Yana, and she already liked what she was seeing so far! The people there had a hearty, fun-loving and upbeat mood while a few bystanders passed by them with boastful hellos and greetings in the Agni language, Kata. Pomona followed Danu through the crowd of people until they entered the city square where there was an apparent festive mood going amongst its citizens. Colors of red, yellow, orange, and violet decorated the place with many streamers, confetti, and flags. Pomona stayed close to her master as they waded through the happy crowds and boisterous attitudes.

“Um, Master… What’s going on here? What's with the partying?”

“Heh, it's the Celebration of Lights. We party for four days. I… can't forward to miss out on this celebration, other than the most important of exception to excuse my absence.”

“So what does the Celebration of Lights stand for?”

“Just a commemoration for all things joyful and positive, and not to mention our love for stars in the night sky. Come this way.”

The duo walked through the crowds of people in festive moods of dancing, singing, and music playing all over. They got into a crowd of people lining up in irregular rows as they were heading towards the temple Danu never mentioned before.

“What is this place?” Pomona asked.

“We're going to pay our respects for the occasion at the festival temple which is tradition, the place is built and deconstructed every year specifically for this event. We have to wait a bit.” Danu led Pomona into the crowds of people and waited. Pomona looked around as the excited citizens were chatting away while waiting their turn into the temple. Some of them approached Danu, speaking in the local tongue and shook his head. Danu answered.

Not familiar with the language, Pomona asked, “What are they saying?”

“They noticed I’m a Durga and asked me if I wanted to get in front.”

“Oh.”

“I understand they asked, but I personally find it rude to get in front.”

“Good point, sir.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll have our turns.”

Out of nowhere, Pomona’s stomach groaned and suddenly something fairly recent popped into her mind. “Okay, I’m not going to lie… but I want more of that Gosher Stew and because I’m getting hungry, which I’m usually not at this time.”

Her master laughed a little. “Well, you're in luck, my girl. That Gosher stew does taste a little like our most main staple meat, bovuri. It's just a coincidence though, that family may have some relatives here, considering that they were heading this way.” With that said, Danu’s stomach followed suit, aching for an early dinner as well. At least the crowd was moving along, and after they got their turn in the temple, the pair left to find something to eat.

While Pomona was strolling through the marketplace after she and Danu separated to find dinner, she still couldn’t stop thinking about that stew and she knew by now it was so unlike her. It was becoming strange. But she had to get it over with no what. She came across a small tavern where quite a few people were present for the celebration. She could hear customers were drinking while gambling or conversing in merriment. And thanks to her hungry stomach, she could smell the savory buns from just outside the door. The girl entered the tiny tavern and was greeted warmly by an elderly woman and her granddaughter who were behind the counter.

“Good day. I’m new here, so do you have any recommendations?”

“Our specialty is freshly baked bread and meat buns.” the old woman replied.

The granddaughter chimed, “We have quite a few varied recipes for dumplings but I highly recommend the bovuri beef dumplings.”

That's the meat Master mentioned, might as well make him happy. “Alright then, thank you. I’ll take four.”

Pomona gave the ladies four coins and was given four big, steaming round meat buns that could fit in two adult hands with a white, smooth dough shaped like a star wrapped at the top. She thanked the women and left the tavern quite happy with what she received. The girl floated airborne and sat on the edge of a building’s roof. She took a bite and the bun created an explosion in her mouth more powerful than her energy blast! And the taste definitely somewhat familiar, then it hit her. The stew! She savored the flavor and bit more into her bun. Her stomach groaned happily with so much response that demanded more of the bun. The whole bun was eventually stuffed into her belly and it left Pomona more than satisfied.

I better take these to Danu. I'm sure he'll love to have some.

Pomona returned to the city square where she was supposed to wait up for her master. The girl waited for a good long while before she started to get a bit impatient. Then, Danu was walking through the crowds and she immediately noticed he was walking very slowly while holding his stomach and also something in his other hand. The girl was confused. She didn't know whether to smile at her master’s probable moment of ‘weakness’ or just not being intimidating for once OR just sit there like a stunned idiot asking ‘what happened to you’. Danu approached the girl while trying his best to show like nothing happened…. And judging by his expression, he didn't want Pomona to ask.

And so… she asked. “What happened?”

Danu gritted his teeth and then chuckled, “I was going to a family friend's tavern to catch up. I ended up getting distracted by these.”

A bag was revealed and the contents were shown to be large star-shape cakes with a golden texture and they smelled delicious.

Danu said, “Let’s just say that I used to eat these by the baskets in my youth during this time.”

That was enough for Pomona to warrant a laugh. Danu was too flustered and stuffed to glare. “Go on, be amused… what’s this?” Danu reached for Pomona’s bag until she moved it close to here.

“I smell bovuri buns.”

“Oh, are… they a favorite of yours…? ”

“Compared to the star cakes, yes.”

“Well… I bought them for us… I picked them up because you mentioned the meat… and they do taste like Gosher Stew.”

“Only a little. The meats from Gosher and Agni sometimes have the same tastes, coincidentally.”

So, the pair devoured the meat buns before gorging on the delicious-smelling star cakes. Pomona took her first bite out of them, and just like the meat bun, her taste buds exploded yet again. A tiny river of sweet custard cream lightened her tongue, causing the girl to gorge on the whole confection. Then, she had another and another, and then another. Until the bag was empty.

***

The whole city was about to have the main feast later that night as the sky twinkled with numerous stars and almost everyone would get together and eat specially-made food for the Celebration of Lights, so it would be somewhat regrettable for a normal person to eat as much like Pomona and Danu did. Except a normal person was NOT a Durga and was not born with a more durable appetite and quicker capacity to keep more food in. Not many Durgas would really take the advantage of their expansive appetites under normal circumstances so it was common knowledge they’d habitually eat a normal-portioned diet like any mortal.

However, by a random chance granted by the gods, Pomona and her master were going to exploit that… and eat the night the way. All in the name of festivities, which was definitely appropriate for the occasion no less. Danu brought Pomona to a high-class restaurant where Durgas were being catered the finest festival food during the holiday. As the two entered the building, greeters in yellow dresses and a few waitresses came with beaming smiles while holding platters or baskets of star cakes and red apples. Pomona took advantage of the free food and grabbed more of the yellow star cake she fell in love with and started eating them.

They approached a long table filled with other Agnese Durgas who were chatting among themselves and a few men looked towards Danu who definitely seemed familiar with him. A man with velvety red hair approached them and said, “Danu! Welcome back.”

“It's good to be back Aankho, how are you?”

“Everything is good, a new member was added to the family a few months ago.”

“Ah, it's good to hear that, congratulations.”

“How about you? Is this another apprentice you got behind you?”

Pomona peeked from behind nodded while chewing on her twentieth star cake.

Aankho chuckled, “How goes your apprenticeship with this one?”

“It's taking its time, but it's doing wonders.”

“Well, as long as it's a lot better than… the previous ones, you're in the clear.”

“Uh… what do you mean by that, sir?” Pomona heard this, seeing this was her chance to hear about former students Danu never mentioned about.

“It is nothing Pomona.” Danu quickly cut her off, “Why don't you go and speak with Durgas guests your age?”

Seeing this was not the time to argue, she said, “Yes…” Pomona left the men alone.

***

Instead, the girl wasn't particularly in a chatty mood as she was too preoccupied with her eating so she sat alone at a table where she was being waited after eating a basket of star cakes. Pomona asked for another feast of three bovuri buns, which to her surprise, was somewhat bigger than the old woman's dumplings at the family-owned tavern. And this time she was given dipping sauce and some spiced apple slices. She tore through the buns with almost a slight disregard of table etiquette as her newfound hunger was taking her to new levels. From the Gosher Stew to now insanely delicious meat buns, Pomona was slowly satisfying a need for food that strangely came out of nowhere. Who knows what could it be, it could have become sort of an odd comfort for working so hard.

Granted, this whole trip to Agni for the Light Celebration could be just that, a moment of comfort and leisure. And she especially needed it after the first month of apprenticeship. The same could be said for Danu as he was enjoying the occasion and relaxing while being in his homeland for probably the only time out of every year. He most certainly looked a lot calmer during this time around, and it would be smart to not ruin that. Though she did wonder about that quip of the “previous ones” mentioned before. She wanted to know but at the same time, there was a gut feeling she wasn't sure if she really wanted to find out, at least not right away.

As the girl was finishing eating the last of the third bun, she burped. While drinking it off with juice, Danu eventually found her. But when she turned to look at him, a huge stroke of perplexity with a hint of shock twisted Pomona’s chilled expression as she quickly glanced at her teacher before turning back at the table, trying to figure out what she just saw. Without a doubt, Danu was walking with a seemingly bulging gut, although small, that stuck out of his gi top while he was holding two large platters of what seemed to be cocoa truffles and more star cakes.

Pomona faced the other direction and mentally laughed at herself, what has Master been doing while talking with his friend? Then she looked at her own stomach and was shocked to find a quite a significant bit of pudge holding her eating since earlier in the evening. She stifled another burp. Danu took a seat, and he looked mischievous, which was definitely something Pomona never saw before.

“Hehe, Pomona… I wagered Aankho in an eating contest.”

“And how did that go?”

Danu held back a burp--apparently a big one while rubbing his gut that seemed bigger when sitting down.

“He didn't stand a chance. He couldn't finish more than ten cakes. I finished almost thirty-eight. They all said, 'Danula, what is with you? Are you possessed by a glutton spirit?!'... I know this is going to sound extremely odd, but I don't know why us Durgas don't have fun with our appetites.…” Danu started laughing, taking amusement, “Makes us do absurd things I almost never knew we'd do. I can't see a mortal human doing something like this.”

Pomona tried to laugh but couldn't. It felt too awkward and, well, absurd. To make the scene even crazier, her eye slightly twitched as she watched her master took a savage bite out each of the three star cakes in his hand before stuffing them all down like some rabid animal while giggling profusely.
 

lovelymars908

Non-FA WG Writer
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
47
Location
United States
Chapter 3.1

When Pomona and Danu returned home right after the festival, they both agreed to resume training once the aftereffects of their feasting wore off, but that unexpectedly led to a fasting that would last for almost a week because both of them were simply too full or even hungry for that matter to eat anything. The realization really came to full circle that they really overindulged at the celebration, more than they wanted to admit. It still left them rattled, but the initial setting-in numbed down by a sort of line of active awareness and apathy at that point. They knew, but there was no need to dwell on it. However, there was going to be more consequences once this passed. During the "fasting", there was a lack of commands and echoes of combat from the training grounds within the palace, showing that the entire place was an empty complex with vacant rooms and little life.

During a quiet late morning, six days after the celebration, Pomona was in her quarters resting on her bed sideways. Her gut was now smaller but still big, bulging out of her gi. Initially, her belly grew the size of a mother with fully-developed triplets during the celebration, now it only shrunk to just over one-third. She placed her hand on it, it was soft like a deflated cotton pillow. She pressed a finger into her gut, it was no longer filled with food, but it was rather soft and somewhat gelatinous. It was flabby, no longer toned and her strong abdomen was essentially gone. Something significant did happen at the Celebration of Lights, and if this was it, Pomona wasn’t sure how to feel about it. Confused and a little exasperated, yes, but there was something swirling in the back of her mind she couldn't quite understand. She kept reminding herself it was just a party and that eating a lot of food at festivals, though this was more than usual, was supposed to be expected more or less. However, there was one thing that was bothering her…. Pomona was unsure of the insane reason Danu had while acquiring three huge baskets of star cakes and bovuri buns from the Celebration of Lights that happened to remain untouched despite they just consumed dozens of them during the trip. Yes, it was an amazing moment of clarity Durgas could actually eat a lot more than normal humans, but she was quickly beginning to think that there was a reason they didn't necessarily eat more than naught.

The whole occasion was spent eating, only by half. The other time was spent partying and meeting people since Danu had caught up with friends and relatives. But Pomona could barely partake in the festivities because she would be already too full of stars cakes, cocoa truffles, and traditional Agnese food to move around or do anything. Danu apparently didn't do anything on monitoring their binging, as even, he was too distracted by the festival food to stop their excessive gluttony. Once the event was over the pair were so full their shock never ceased everytime they would glance at their bellies bulging out of their clothing…. What made it worse was that other people also noticed it. The constant staring must have been very painful to get through.

About Danu… if there was one thing that Pomona was learning about her master was that he had something of a... wild, vibrant streak she'd never thought seeing from someone like him. But she couldn't get that image of him stuffing three festival pastries into his mouth while laughing, it just made him look absurd. Just seeing that after being stuck with him for almost two months didn’t exactly shattered, but put a huge dent in her perception of him. At least then, Pomona should be relieved that he had something in his personality she could get along with, but it was clear that it would take time to see more of this ‘other' side of Danu.

Pomona got up to change into something, her bulging gut shook while walking. Putting on something suitable for the day such as her training gi became something of a very minor hindrance now as her top could just barely fit her enlarged gut.

“Pomona, it's time,” called Matine as she knocked on the door.

Pomona stepped out and was greeted by the servant.

Like anyone else who saw the apparent bulge, Matine’s eye gravitated towards Pomona’s gut before thinking of something else or forcing her view back to her face, thus making the scene unintentionally awkward. “Danu is waiting for you.”

“Great. I... can't wait to see him.” Pomona said.

Matine, being an ordinary mortal, was sometimes baffled or amazed by the powers Durgas possessed but this was the first time she slowly learned they had bigger appetites than the average human, which she was now warmly introduced to. At first, she didn't know what to think of these two’s newfound attribute after recent events and saw the effects from three days of almost non-stop gorging, it shocked her deeply but it wasn't her place to say anything. She remembered being was this close to fainting when she saw the three baskets Danu brought back. As of now, Matine was still adjusting to this change. She even wondered if she wouldn't have to cook for the next several days, accounting for the three large baskets, though, it seemed unlikely.

Back to Pomona, Matine asked, “Pomona, do you need something for your stomach?”

“Thanks, but I'm alright. It's not hurting like it was before.”

“Very well.”

The girls entered the main hall of the palace where Danu was waiting for them, and yet again Pomona and Matine had the same look on their faces when their eyes directed towards the large bulge that was once a hardened washboard of Agnese abs. The man’s gut was significantly bigger than the girl’s and was only partially hanging out of his gi with his navel barely shown.

Pomona thought We're definitely going to need more clothes in the future it seems.

“Pomona, are you ready to go out?” Danu asked.

“Yes, sir.”

Danu approached the girl and grabbed her hand tightly and led her outside into the training grounds.

“What's with the hand--”

“Don't think I didn't see you staring….”

The girl was about to say something, but she quickly realized what Danu meant…. Then it got a little awkward. “Er, right. Sorry.”

The man let out a chuckle, “Hm, I should have known our recent eating would lead something like this… well, ‘this’.” Danu said as he patted his dark bronze flab of a belly.

Pomona was trying very hard to not make it look more awkward than it already was but she couldn't tell if Danu was being a bit foolish or offended about it.

Danu said, “Anyway… let's train.”

“What?” the girl said surprise.

“Now!” The master yelled as he floated and darted towards the girl as she barely had any time to react to his attack. Pomona was only able to parry one punch but she was smacked and fell across the ground by a heavy punch.

“Hey! You didn’t let me get ready!”

“Pay attention!” Danu came running towards Pomona with his fist first. This time, she had the time to get ready and ran towards him. She parried the punch and grabbed a hold of Danu’s arm and elbowed him in the gut which was not a smart move as he yelped and he was knocked back a few feet from the blow.

Danu winced while clutching his gut, “Is that all you got? Try harder.”

“Gladly.”

The girl readied her fist but in that split moment Danu got up and charged towards her, thus slammed a knee at her gut. She gagged.

“Hey, no fair!” Pomona collapsed to the ground holding her belly. Ugh! Definitely not hitting the gut ever again. Because now it's hurting me.

Danu approached her, helping her up. Pomona and Danu continued their morning sparring, despite the minor setbacks of their bulging guts and hopefully not some spontaneous need to puke something up. Instead of that, Danu was slowly becoming pleased with her progress. He had to give her credit for her saying that she was indeed a hard worker and trying to catch every moment to perfect her skills. However, learning and knowing about her for over a year before the apprenticeship even began, he knew that this “hard-working” aspect may be the case for her behavior as if she was trying to compensate for something. Though he couldn't disagree that the initial tension seemed to be slowly easing off and the girl was growing more a mind to listen to him more often, which was a healthy sign they were heading off to a good start.

Pomona barraged her way at her master as he parried every single punch while she did the same. The girl floated upwards and grabbed the collar of his gi, hoisting him off the ground.

“Getting a little ahead of ourselves, are we?” Danu said while grabbing the girl's leg. That was her mistake. Pomona was tossed to the ground and saw his boot coming down, but rolled over in the nick of time.

“Are we just toying with each other now?” the girl asked.

“You started the gut punch. But yes, let's get on with it.”

“OKAY. That's what I been waiting for!”

The morning sparring started.

After the two engaged in a fierce sparring match, they decided on having an early lunch of sorts, eating two large
bovuri buns and a few star cakes. Thanks to the huge stash of both dishes Danu acquired from the festival, Matine wouldn't need to cook much for the next several passing days. From that point on the daily training regimen had a rather prominent shift in change, with after the morning training, the Durgas would have lunch of two large meat buns and a few star cakes and go back to training for the rest of the day, which now included a few ‘snacks’ in between the sessions at intervals. This quickly became something of a routine. Get up. Morning training. Gorge on lunch. More training with snacking in between. Then, devour dinner before bed. Repeat.

***
 
Last edited:

lovelymars908

Non-FA WG Writer
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
47
Location
United States
Chapter 3.2

As this routine wore on and the party leftovers were depleting more than Danu would have liked, considering he wouldn't have those delicacies again until next year, the two were starting to realize they were heading into an unexpected problem that involved the further inadvertent growth of their bellies and beyond. Once starting out small, it steadily became noticeable fairly quickly, slowly expanding their already large bellies and their growing girth showed early signs in their waists. Having those in-between snacking along with dinner that was now becoming more on average wasn't helping the situation any better.

While that was happening behind the scenes, Danu took note of Pomona’s improvement of defense techniques which was made him happy. So they shifted the lesson plans into optic beams and its integration into close combat, while also including ranged. Both agreed that segment was easy as Pomona already excelled in that area. Hopefully, Danu could be able to bring out unique challenges for her to try.

Aside from all that, there was also a recent development of them receiving a message from Pomona’s parents about a visitation and a check up on her progress. Which hopefully would go fine for both parties.


****

It was raining one morning and Matine was finally able to make them a good breakfast again, which she would find to be gone very shortly. The Durgas gorged on oatmeal, biscuits, vegetables, sausages, fish, and cream puffs almost absentmindedly, taking almost no heed in the manner on how they were inhaling their food without taking any time to even savor every bite into it. Danu inhaling the sausages and gorging on the cream puffs by which Pomona had to snatch a few before all of them would end up in his gut. She also munched on the light and fluffy buttery biscuits and ate her vegetables. They both devoured the fish, chewing at the meat and carelessly discarding the leftover bones and chewed up fishtails on their plates.

Can one not see the problem now?

Their bellies, already bigger than they were weeks before were on the verge of being too much for their tops to handle, and that's not the only thing growing on their bodies. Their chests were beginning to be no longer tone, mostly on Danu’s end, but just barely.

Once Danu drunk almost half a gallon of a morning shake, he said, “Pomona, we need to talk about two things: your parents and… our recent change in routine.”

“And diet.” The girl said as she finished the last of her sixth biscuit.

“Your parents sent a message and they are really hoping for glowing progress once they come here in the next two weeks. Hopefully, you can survive by then?”

“Mother and Father…. Yes, I can handle it. They already know about my skill anyway.”

“True, but I am more certain that they want to see a hopefully gradual change in attitude from you.”

Pomona was almost worried about that but since it was mentioned, she really saw herself loosen up thanks to Danu being his scary, disciplinary self. However, she felt like it was more of a “listen to Danu and stick to his good side, or he'll kill you” kind of reasoning. But alas, Pomona. Not every teacher or master didn't have be an angel or paragon of kindness to their students. Sometimes, a good hard push in the right direction was needed while being just as well-meaning as any other teacher. However, she also realized that Danu couldn't be the strict teacher he was, otherwise the apprenticeship would have probably not been more productive or sustainable for that matter. Truth was that this apprenticeship could only happen by Danu working with her (as he was supposed to) as long as she could make it work. Because if Pomona didn't listen or continued on with her idiotic defiance, her pairing with Danu would have been terminated by now.

Pomona smiled and nodded. “Let's hope so. Maybe they can actually smile for once. And that's all I ever wanted from them.”

Danu said, “They are already proud of you Pomona, but overdoing it and hubris won't bring smiles to anyone as long as you keep bragging about it. You think you can have everyone pay attention to you and adore you, but it doesn't work like that. It will only give all the more reason for them to ignore you, then you won't feel validated. Thus, giving you the incentive to put yourself even higher. You see, it's a vicious cycle and you need to break it. Before it gets worse. As I said, let's hope they approve of your attitude change.”

“Excuse the change in subject, but you wanted to talk about something else?”

Danu’s expression wrinkled, then he blushed. “Pomona, please promise me this. Don't make light of this.”

“Promise.”

Her master took a deep breath and said, “How do you feel about this …?” Danu squeezed a generous grip of his belly, giving Pomona a good full view of his girth.

Pomona almost looked at him dumbfounded. “Well, I don't mean to sound smart sir...but honestly, I don't know how to feel about this. It's not like I haven't been slowed down or anything.”

“You're not? No. I shouldn't act surprised. It's not like we are not capable of dealing with heavier builds, I met a few overweight people like us. I haven't felt slowed down by it either. But Pomona… I think we should keep watch on our food intakes…. Because I don't think this excess in our guts is going away anytime soon. And… between you and me, I'm really craving that Gosher Stew now.”

Pomona’s eyes blinked. “Are you serious?”

“Am I ever not, girl?”

“Are you saying that you're becoming addicted to it?”

Danu hardened his face, “Let’s just say that it's very possible. There's a reason why I've, and including you, been mostly eating the food from the festival. Like I said before, the meat from the buns tastes a little similar to the Gosher meat by coincidence. But the point being is something’s telling me that the Gosher Stew and our little gorging back in Agni really did a number on our eating habits. I think had the stew something to do with it.”

“Well, sir…. You're not the only one who grew to love the Gosher Stew.”

“Hm. I understand the reason why Gosher Stew is made the way it is. Ordinary mortals need to put in just as much work like the rest of us and they need all the energy they can get. For a Durga, we already have nigh-endurance and we don't need to even try getting energy for something like that. It's safe to assume that the nutrients from the dish made our brains interpret them as something extra energy we don't need… and may have started the gaining.”

Pomona felt herself cringing. “Oh… no wonder we ate too much at the festival.”

“I agree that didn't help either.” Danu let out a burp before continuing. “I don’t think this extra girth is going away anytime soon, no matter how much we work out… I think we have to deal with it..”

Now it got serious. For once a serious thought sprouted to Pomona. “Do you think it's because we're not exerting all the energy we do have under normal circumstances?”

“You're… right. I mean, your training is only measured at the mortal condition at its peak, it's only enough for you to sweat, but it's nowhere near enough for both of us to lose the fat. Because if we really worked harder, it would take up a lot of time and exertion to actually use that energy.”

“I agree. No Durga could ever spend a long period of time, and I mean very long until they give out under normal circumstances, it's impossible.”

“In order for them to use that high-level of endurance, they would have to fight a constant battle lasting for days, nonstop and both of us can't do that. That lends itself another reason we haven't shed the weight….”

“So what do you think, Kannas?”

Danu didn't say anything for a moment. He stared at his billowing gut that was so close to show itself out of his top, making it clear there was almost no point of return. He then stood up and said, “Alright. The girth stays.”

“Well, if you feel that way, I'll ask Mother if she can get some Gosher meat imported from the country. One of her cooks may know a few sources.”

“Gosher meat? For the stew? Pardon me on listening to your conversation.” Matine said as she was finishing cleaning a bowl.

“Is there something you like to add Matine?” Danu asked.

“I can't exactly make it well. My mother was so stingy about our family recipe, she didn't even trust me with it but apparently, she had no problem teaching it to my older sisters.”

“So you're telling me you can't make the stew?” Pomona said.

“I can, but it's going take a lot of time for experimentation because there's a certain method on how to make it. In other words, it can't be not delicious. I'm afraid you two are going to deal with skewers and meat buns until then.”

“Matine, I don't think the stew creation is necessary. We will be fine with skewers and meat buns, besides there will be times for us to travel and the hand-held food is more ideal for us.”

“Alright. It can be reserved for dinner, then.” Matine nodded and left.

Pomona started laughing.

“What's so funny?”

“Oh, nothing…. It's just that I actually can't wait for Mother and Father to get here now.”

Even Danu had to laugh at that. He reached for one of the festivals baskets and munched on a star cake despite his stomach aching in protest.
 
Last edited:

lovelymars908

Non-FA WG Writer
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
47
Location
United States
Chapter 4.1

Two weeks later and the day of reckoning had arrived. It also marked the fourth month of the apprenticeship, and Pomona was in a torrent of emotions ranging from happy, nervousness to the apprehension of what was going to come. Gabriel and Rhea were coming to the dojo sometime in the mid-morning that day. Before all of this, Danu even let her practice a little stunt for her parents as a way to show off her improvement but it only lessened her ease slightly. Sometime before the meetup Pomona wasn't as sound as much as she would during the morning sparring session and had to stop. The girl was nervous and anxious, and it grew rapidly as time went on before the meetup. Danu joined her in the middle of the outdoor training circle, placing his hand on Pomona’s knee.

“Pomona, how are you holding up?”

No answer. She was rocking slightly and breathing faster than usual. She didn't understand why this was eating at her so harshly.

Danu said, “Pomona, it's always okay to let your emotions flow. Don't hold back your feelings.”

Gabriel and Rhea were undoubtedly expecting something different and better from the girl than how she acted at the ceremony around four months prior. They were hoping to see a new Pomona in the making. If not... no. The girl didn't want to begin to think on what they would do if they were to happen. The truth was that Pomona was finally starting to get it. Questions ran through her head. What if they thought she was still doing poorly and tell her she had to try harder? What if they just shrugged it off, seeing that nothing changed and leave? But the most pressing question was were they still angry with angry with her? Until this very moment, Pomona didn't realize how much her parents’ approval that was genuine and organic was vital for her confidence and self-growth. She was always so used to seeing her parents annoyed or upset at the way she acted in the past, never taking the time to think of what they thought or giving their opinion. Because she assumed without a second thought that they were proud of everything she did despite them feeling otherwise. Pomona just didn’t see, or possibly care, to reflect their views beyond superficial appraisal. Until now.

If anything, the reason she was overdoing everything because she feared that people wouldn't appreciate her by not having any other unique quality that would stand out. It bore an interesting question: what was a unique quality Pomona had? Her fear only intensified when fully knowing people would realize she had nothing to show for, it only drove her to do be more careless on how she presented herself as time went on; the ceremony being an excellent example. And now she saw the possibility that no matter how much she'd go to impress them, they would never accept. This fear was also directly aimed at her parents. After today it was going to be very different. They may smile for the first time in years! Now that she thought about it, the last time she remembered them smiling when she was younger, the time when her powers began to emerge and reaching major learning milestones. Then something went wrong along the way and that's when the flawed side of her personality began to show up. Truthfully she was always an attention-seeker by nature, wanting to impress everyone around her. That's just how she was. She began working harder than most Durga youth, to the point of withdrawing from her parents to train. Then it was time to leave for Pontus Academy. Oh… There were plenty of fights with her pupils over the years after learning that she wasn't the only one wanting to be great and the competition was fierce. Rhea and Gabriel warned her, but she didn't listen and the fights got rougher.

Then she starting crying silently. A few tears ran off her face while Danu rubbed her shoulders. She needed that. Those tears were her way to take the years of hidden disappointment and stress off, and it felt relieving. Pomona then rubbed her eyes and began to calm down before what was about to happen for the next hour.

“Pomona, stay here while I wait for your parents. You need this moment of silence to yourself.”

“Thank you, sir.”

Danu left Pomona alone in the dojo while he went to the gate to wait on them. After a good forty-five minutes, while waiting quietly, she was sweating slightly and thumping her hands on her hip. Then she heard footsteps and quiet chatting.

Mother. Father.

“Pomona!”

The girl lit up at the mention of her name and saw Rhea.

“Mother, Father. It's so good to see you again!”

“Your father and I have a lot of catching up to do with,” Rhea said as she gave the girl a hug. “And, Danu told us a little on what you have been doing.”

Pomona gulped and nodded as they went inside the dojo.

***

After a long day of Pomona showcasing the culmination of her tutelage in the past four months, everyone retired in the dining room in the palace. The girl was munching on three-star cakes while her parents and Danu were beaming in good spirits over some alcohol at the dining table. They were going over the tutelage.

“Danu, you taught our daughter well,” Gabriel said.

“Indeed. Her combat skills are top-notch as usual, just as expected. And it seems that you curved her attitude well.” Rhea said.

Danu nodded, “Oh, yes. The girl caused some trouble during our first few weeks but she was tamed rather quickly. I had to send her to bed without supper for a few nights. And I was almost this close to snapping her neck a few times when she didn't listen.”

Gabriel said, “Hehe, she has to. Your natural talent of putting those in line and giving discipline is impeccable.”

“Thank you.”

“Seeing that Pomona has been behaving well under your watch and her skills excelling for the rest of the apprenticeship, I have no doubt there won't be any trouble down the line?” Rhea added.

“No.”

Pomona thought for a minute, she remembered the conversation about their dieting. Now was the time. “Mother... If I can make a request….”

“I don't see why not. You already have done well enough to deserve something, ask away.”

Deserve something. Words Pomona rarely hears. “Well, Master Kannas’s servant Matine is in need of supplies of meat from Gosher.”

“Gosher? Hm, yes. I do have a personal chef from there. I'll see if he can send for the meat from there.”

“Thank you, Mother.”

***
 

lovelymars908

Non-FA WG Writer
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
47
Location
United States
Chapter 4.2

The visit didn't go as bad as the girl thought. Pomona finally felt proud of herself that her parents approved of how she was going and that's what she ever wanted from them, a smile. Looking back on it, she could now appreciate on all the hard work she put into it to see that smile. Her respect for Danu really cemented this time. Indeed he was a good teacher with a hard bite but the payoff was worth it in the end. It was only a start, and the family was hoping things would turn around for the better. Just an hour or so before dinner, Pomona found herself in the front hall where Danu was resting. He was seen eating a star cake as always while looking out the window outside. He invited her a seat next to her.

He said, “I really hope this apprenticeship goes well, especially for you, girl. Years ago, previous students of mine didn't have happier reunions with their parents and… well, let's just say it didn't go well during their apprenticeships.”

Past students. That again. Everything about it came rushing back into her head after never thinking of it again since the festival. She almost forgot about it. Treading her words carefully she said, “Okay. So… not ruin the mood, but can you tell me about your other students?”

The man didn't say anything, but Pomona could tell by his change of expression that she almost regretted speaking of it.

“Alright. I'll say this. As bad as you were when we first met, you seem to hold up well so far than the previous apprentices. Let's hope it stays that way.”

Pomona didn't know what to think of this because it was very vague. She was about to say something but a tiny twinge of fear came out of nowhere when he mentioned the “hold up well than the others” bid. Being careful with her words again, she said, “What exactly do you mean, sir?”

Danu didn't answer right away. “Pomona, there were students before you who fared worse than you. Although, I would say that's something for debate because their years in the academy may have been better than yours but I am mostly referring to the problems that started after their apprenticeships.”

Pomona widened her eyes, knowing this was not going to end well.

Danu continued, “There was a boy. His name was Rin. He was one of my first apprentices in my early years of masterhood back in Agni. He was a smart boy, strategic and analytical. I was just a few years older than him and I wasn't nearly as strict back then. But with his intelligence, I was more than happy to learn a few good tips from him! However, like you, he was arrogant and haughty, and along with his intellect, he was almost unbearable compared to you.”

“What happened to Rin?”

“At first people liked Rin. Unlike you, they actually had reason to respect and admire him because of his intelligence. But they soon realize he had a superiority complex and he felt he wanted the best of everything. He even tried to get some other man’s lover, which just tells you how bad this boy was.”

“What about his parents? Did they do anything quell him?”

“They just stopped being parents to him and focused on his other siblings. That enraged him. They got into many fights, most of them were physical. Rin continued on with his behavior as he excelled and he was about to be drafted into Agni’s elite guard until he said something that really set someone off.”

“Oh no…”

“Rin made one of the gravest mistakes a Durga could ever make: proclaiming an equal footing with our ancestors. He wanted to be on the same level as the god of strategic war, Israel. One of the top Durgan war tacticians in the world got extremely offended by him personally.”

“He killed him, didn't he?”

Danu pursed his lips in response and looked out the window.

“They fought. And they fought hard. Rin was beaten into a coma and he never woke up after that. Parents were, of course, hurt and angry over this and never forgave themselves. The tragedy hit me hard especially, considering he was my first apprentice.”

“Danu… I… that's… I don't know what to say.”

“Well, Pomona. Let this be a lesson to you. Humility is more important than trying to be liked by everyone. I don't want the same thing happening to you. Because Rin wasn't the only one who ended up the way he did. If something were to happen to you, I don't think I could ever forgive myself.”

Unexpectedly, Pomona moved over and gave him a heartfelt hug, which was their first. The story about Rin moved her so much, but this was the first time she saw Danu sorrowful and really started to understand. Seeing him like this made her realize how much his job and her well-being truly meant to Danu. If she would go off and do something incredibly stupid that would put her in a deeply regrettable situation like Rin was, she couldn't imagine how much it would break her parents’ and Danu’s hearts. This was her first hit at the brutal reality of belonging to the strongest caste of beings in Delos.

She tried fighting a few tears but they dropped on her face.

“So Pomona, promise me to never go too far. You're too precious to be another wasted loss in this world.”

The girl hung her head but she had this to say, “Um Danu… what you said earlier about Rin and his intelligence… do I have something people would to like about me?”

Danu looked at the girl, his eyes twinkled. “Oh, Pomona… I understand you went through quite an epiphany today.”

“Yes…. I always wanted to impress people but I didn't realize after all this time I was so caught up in doing so I never got discover anything. I guess after the rite of passage I realized this and everything grew worse when I tried harder.”

“Oh, my dear… You're special no matter what, you just have to adopt that mindset. You may feel like you don't have anything at first glance. But you do. You're dedicated to always improving your abilities, that's something all Durgas strive to achieve. Between me and you -- and Rhodopis -- you are one of the best Pontus has ever seen. It's just that no one didn't think so because of your attitude.”

“Thank you, but that's what I'm worried. I don't have any significant qualities, like Rin’s intelligence… Compared to me, it makes me feel ordinary.”

“Pomona, in my opinion, you should not worry about how much you measure your attributes. It's what you do with them is more important and how you feel about them. Learn to be yourself and people will appreciate you. And if you're concerned about self-growth, it’s important to attend to your wishes and self-discoveries on your own accord.”

Be yourself, words that never visited the crevice of her mind. Then Pomona thought of what she said earlier. “UGH… that didn't feel right coming out of my mouth… a Durga being ‘ordinary’.”

Danu cracked out a laugh, “Girl, we may have Herculean strength and speed…. But being direct descendants from the gods of this world does not make our personalities absolute. I met some Durgas who rather read a mountain of books than destroy a real one.”

Pomona laughed along with him, then she moved closer to him as they both watched the moon at the window while Matine was busy placing their meal on the table.

***
 

lovelymars908

Non-FA WG Writer
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
47
Location
United States
Chapter 4.3

Several months went by into with no worry. The place maintained a more upbeat mood, which was far removed from the first days into the apprenticeship. Pomona was more mindful and listened to Danu now. She was starting to appreciate the community tasks a bit more. During that time she finally understood why she didn't like them at first, they felt too easy. But the payoff of seeing commoners happy made her come around for the sake of it. Like her master said, this vital part couldn't be stressed enough in building relationships with those beneath them.

As promised by the requests of Rhea, a load of Gosher meat was brought to the dojo’s kitchen and both master and student couldn't wait to sink their teeth into the delicious meat. And what better time to put that meat to good use. As a side effect, it resumed that same daily routine from before: morning training, a midday meal of two or three big meat buns, and snacking in between training or breaks before dinner in the evening. With all that eating, they grew even bigger bellies and bigger appetites. This went on for the remaining of that first year of apprenticeship.

It wasn't long until concluding their first year together, they had plans for a private, celebratory meal. Matine was happy to oblige but Danu told her they planned to go out. The New Year festival, like all community gatherings, was highly anticipated and everyone made their finest dishes to the best of their abilities. Freyan cuisine was always rich and decadent, maintaining a distinctive culinary attribute that was made for tastes derived from royalty and the elite, even the commoners were no exception. The people of Frey were one of the societies where they held the gods in high-esteem and did their best to please them, even going to far to emulate their standards. By which, that tradition went into their food as well.

On that eve of the new year, the two flew into the capital of Frey. The city glittered in shining lights and burst in a festive mood. The metropolis bustled with joyous life while people were enjoying their time strolling, engaging in feasting, and some gazing at the stars while others were dancing or playing music. The pair entered a banquet hall where everyone ranging from the elite to the commoners were attending a massive dinner feast. The place was decorated in gold and white streamers hanging from the ceiling and sprawled all over the floor. There was a good amount of people, some waved to them while entering. The hall smelled so good that it emitted a savory fragrance that would attract anyone in (which would explain the heavy attendance). Smelling that food already kickstarted their massive appetites. Citizens were eating and drinking at the long tables while veiled dancers were displayed on platforms and musicians played their instruments.

A server greeted and brought them to a special section within the hall where the wealthy and Durgas were being served. Once they were seated, that was when the nonsense started. On this night of feasting Pomona and Danu were not going to hold back. They grabbed anything to bite on that was near them: steamed vegetables (which they drenched in a lot of curds and cheese sauce), mutton, lamb, savory beef buns Danu quickly became fond of, and plenty of sweet tarts with powdered sugar and jam on top. Those dishes were only a quarter of what was about to be devoured very soon…. They consumed other things such as cream horns, cocoa pudding, mutton and cheese wheels, and many other meals. Pomona scooped of pieces of fresh bread into creamy curds, stuffing them in her mouth one by one; then her attention move to lamb ribs. All those tasty delights stuffed inside her large belly, and she paid no heed to how much she was filling it. Her master hoarded an entire roasted hen all to himself... and he was enjoying every bit of it with no problem.

The scene from a server's point of view was initially unusual and somewhat bizarre at first but it quickly escalated into sheer annoyance when the servers had to keep running back in forth to attend them while they also having other patrons who weren't eating nearly as much. The only thing that kept them from making the scenario a bigger embarrassment was that Pomona and Danu were eating in a small private area. If they were eating out in the open in a long table it would have been quite a spectacle, for a lack of a better term. Nonetheless, empty plates and platters started filling their table eventually.

While Danu was eating two mutton legs, he stopped momentarily as a small bout of nauseous started to settle in. It was not a pleasant feeling, it felt like his stomach did a full leap and turned over. Then his head dropped to the table. That made Pomona stopped eat her twentieth-whatever jam tart. She looked at him for a moment, thinking of what to do next.

“Master? Danu?!” She tried waking him then she slowly realized that the man simply passed out from overeating. Theos, Pomona never saw something like this before. Soon the servers entered their corner once again and saw the semi-unconscious Danu with his head on the table, they only sighed knowing that this was only one of a few foolish people who could eat an entire banquet table by themselves. Alas, that was a reality of all festivals that catered an abundance of food. The girl tried to her best to wake him up which took about seven minutes.

When Danu was finally awake, he tried getting up from his seat, but he couldn't. He was stuck between the chair and the table where his girth was obstructing his movement. It didn't help that the chairs were standing near the wall and that didn't leave moving room beyond it. The servers moved the table outwards just enough for the plump Durga to stand. Everyone stood shocked when seeing the huge sack of flesh that was Danu's stomach sitting over his lap. The girl grabbed his thick arm to help him up, though it took some effort. The man wrapped around his arm as his body gyrated slightly against Pomona's. Unfortunately, Danu was holding a hefty belch and released almost in front of the girl's face. Looking at the ominous stacks of plates, the sting of realization told them that they eat too much. Again. The pair decided enough was enough and left for the night.

***
 
Last edited:

lovelymars908

Non-FA WG Writer
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
47
Location
United States
Chapter 4.4

A new year began, more achievements and goals were on the horizon. However, Danu initiated something of a “cool down” period. As much as apprenticeships served to maintain long-term hard work and betterment of skills, there also needed to be room for rest and self-reflection for apprentices before continuing on. With that Pomona gladly decided this period would be spent half of the time in her room and the other half leaving the palace to do her own business. This would give her the time to come up with a few goals of her own with her newfound confidence.

However, something needed to be done about Pomona's and Danu's drastic shifting in diet that still lingering. Pomona and Danu were heading into the realms of beyond overweight and into the inner depths of mild obesity. Thanks to those last remaining six or months after the conference with Rhea and Gabriel, the increased consumption of Gosher meat and just other food, in general, had quickly spiraled out of control. It’s not like it came out of the blue, they just accepted as it is and had to deal with it. Though, since they were growing heavier by the day something needed to be done once the training starts back up again. Because as much as they weren't deterred by their girth, planning was necessary for further adjustments to the combat training to work.

One the third day of the year, Pomona woke up to sounds of pattering rain outside. She burped into her pillow, tasting the faint aftertaste of fish and bread she had for dinner the previous night. She smiled, then leaned up against her pillow, moving her hands over her chin. The girl slowly got out of bed, her girth gyrated slightly within her night clothes and walked to the mirror to check herself. When was the last time I looked at myself? She really got a good look at herself and the extent of her girth was almost amazing to behold. Her stomach was very well sticking out of her shirt which she didn’t bother tucking in anymore since it was just night clothes. But it surely dominated her framing over time. Now Pomona appeared that she really was with fully grown three children and being a portly woman with a plump rear on top of it. Her belly developed a huge fold that separated her midsection and her navel was now gaping hole. Her breasts had some difficulty being held as they too grew around two sizes larger. Her stomach groaned. She poked a finger into the skin, feeling it deep in by only half an inch.

Wonder if Matine has breakfast ready.

The girl stepped into the dining room was empty, and with the kitchen being lit which meant the servant was doing her morning duties.

“Matine?”

“I'm making breakfast already.” The black-haired girl called out.

“Mind if I come in?”

“Not at all. Since Danu isn't awake this early in the morning because of your hiatus, I can get things done on my own time.”

Matine turned around and found the borderline obese Durga stepping into the kitchen. Trying her best to not even think about it, the servant went back to washing the dishes.

“You seem a little slow this morning.”

Matine stopped a bit, twisting her lips. “It's not like I need to rush.”

“I can see you not sounding fine from what I can tell?”

She stopped again and looked at her. “Pomona, can I please be honest with you?”

“Yes, what is it?”

“Alright…. I'm not going to hold back. Ever since the past half year, I've sort of been growing anxious about you and Danu’s dieting and seeing that you two been eating more… I'm worried that I won't keep up with you two! I mean, I have you two ever stopped and see how much you are eating?!”

Pomona shook her head, “Oh no! Matine, you're doing a great job keeping it up. Sure we don't leave a lot of leftovers this time around compared to before, but I, nor Danu, certainly wouldn't expect you to double your load just keep our stomachs full, or fuller honestly speaking. We're Durgas after all, we don't really need more food to keep our bodies functioning than mortals do. From what you saw, we can eat a lot more food than the average human but we don't do it normally, because… why would we? But I definitely think we need to something about our dieting. Hopefully, we can try to cut back on our consumption. But I'm not sure if it can be promised.”

A smile appeared on Matine's face. “Well, hearing this from you, thank you for being honest.”

The blonde girl said, “That Gosher stew really isn't made for people like us.” She patted her stomach. “It's delicious. But not made for us.”

“I know…. I see the effects now.”

“Anyway, you speaking out really helps so I'll try my best to ration any food to save later, so that'll help take the load off of you. I'm not sure if I can say the same for Danu though….”

Marine’s smile wavered a bit when she mentioned Danu. “It's funny. I started working for Danu around nine years ago after I moved from Gosher to find better work, not once did I ever see him overeat or ask for more than what I cooked for him. Well, not until now…. He… uh, really picked up quite the appetite.”

Pomona nodded and before turning to the sink they heard heavy footsteps, followed by a loud belch. It was Danu. “Matine, mind doubling your load for just this morning? Because I'm famished.”

The pair turned around and saw the once toned and muscular Agnese man who morphed into a soft, walking plush of pillowy girth passing by the entrance. Then the girls looked at each other and frowned. The blonde girl said, “I'll help this time. Danu never said no on learning how to cook while I'm here.”

“Let's hope he eats it all fast enough to not notice the drop in quality….”

“Very funny.” Pomona let out an exasperated chuckle as she stood over the bubbling pots of wheat cream.
 

lovelymars908

Non-FA WG Writer
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
47
Location
United States
Chapter 5.1

When Danu said training would resume after doing practically nothing for the last three months, Pomona wanted to groan loudly with every fiber of her being. But she restrained from doing so knowing that all good things must come to an end at some point. Either way, Pomona couldn't help but be a little saddened her little break came to a close. For once, she didn't realize how much that time of leisure was needed for personal reflection and it helped took more stress off her she was unaware of.

Though on the other hand, all that time of borderline laziness seemed to have warped her sense of activity in some way. But that didn't mean she done anything. Pomona spent time at her parents’ homes and reconciling their bonds, telling them everything about what she learned from Danu and her progress. Then there was cooking. She grew fond of being in the kitchen with Matine and to the servant's amazement, her culinary skills were almost uncanny for being just a novice. Danu had no complaints, however, and his full stomach became even fuller! It only helped their bond become stronger and their gluttony grow. Still, rounds of Gosher meat continued to come in from time to time. It was only natural that they kept their thickening appetites in check.

Once getting out to the training grounds that morning before, Pomona had to get into the battle-ready mindset but her thoughts were elsewhere. The girl really couldn't believe just how fat she and Danu have grown. Pomona never ate so much, food was almost like a second life to her now. Both Durgas had comparative girth when they stood at each other on the training ground. She looked down at her stomach and was almost amazed at how huge she was. And when looking at him, he almost looked like a whole new person. There was muscle still, but there was mostly soft plush on him at his arms and his stomach that was becoming well beyond a sack of flesh at this point. Fortunately, his gi was able to contain all the girth, granting the world an… interesting view of it all. Pomona's girth gathered in her stomach and her hips, giving her something of an ancient fertility idol image.

“Alright… let's get into position.” Danu said as he raised his arms into a stance.

Then Pomona sprinted towards her teacher with a round arm ready for a strike. Danu sidestepped but he ended up getting hit in the shoulder, his arm gyrated from being hit. While at her flank, Danu struck a thick elbow attack which made Pomona's figure moved in a gelatinous fashion from the impact.

“Whoa!” Pomona cried when she stumbled backward, her figure wiggling all over from the blow. The girl became extremely confused about what just happened. Danu felt the same way as his mouth twisted in minor embarrassment, slowly coming to what's unfolding. But pushing that aside, they started again.

The sparring turned out not to be very progressive as either of them wanted it to be. When they tried some kicking, every attempt either came up sluggishly and poorly timed or just plain awkward. There were only two or three times that either remotely delivered a kick, by which they were resorted to hitting into a knee strike to the gut. So much for combat coordination. Instead, the sparring had a punching spree, which thankfully wasn’t so bad after breaking into it. The punching elevated into a long string of attacks and parries before stopping.

But towards the end of their training, something unusual happened. At first, Pomona was ready to finish it all off with a barrage of punches and Danu dodged a few times before countering back with a firm strike. The girl stumbled backward, but she charged forward at him. Danu sidestepped but he received a surprise hit to the gut that Pomona would soon regret afterward. Her teacher lost his balance and stumbled over. It happened so fast. He ended up falling on the poor girl as she couldn't move in time. It was a very heavy impact where Danu's girth smooshed all over Pomona as she flailed under him.

Both master and student were plenty fat, but neither had no idea one of them was heavier than the other. That in itself raised a problem.

***

After the mishap that morning, both Danu and Pomona finally grasped the gravity of the situation. They couldn't fight with their bellies being wider than the biggest boulder--or, at least not in the usual manner from before. Point being that they were too fat.

The pair, especially Danu didn’t like accepting this begrudging truth. As they looked back on it having a three-month hiatus was probably not the best choice in leading up to this. This begs the question of what in the world they truly have done during that time of relative inactivity. Did they eat more than they shouldn't already? Where they just complacently lazy and ate to their heart's content through it all? Did they at least meditate? Whatever happened didn't matter now. What mattered now was both master and student had an eating and weight problem that was beginning to impede their performance for the first time. It didn't exactly happen during the initial several months when they were just starting to gain, but them being larger now was starting to show. And again, that hiatus served them no favors.

So later that evening, Pomona and Danu talked it over at dinner. This time, however, what was being served was more moderate than what they had as of late, by Danu's request, showing that this was serious. The girl was so embarrassed about what happened that morning, she couldn't take her mind off it. The way Danu just dropped on her like that. No doubt he felt the same.

“Pomona, I won't sugarcoat this. We have a problem.”

“I can already see that, sir.”

“For once I almost have no idea what we need to do. I… never had done… something like this.”

Then something was coming on to the girl. “Do you think we need to adjust our fighting styles. Master, I don't… think… we can go back to using our original techniques like before. At least not with the extra body weight and all.”

“That's an astute question. However before we try that, I'm thinking that we should… shed this excess weight first? Just to see what happens?”

“Lose... weight?”

Danu spurt out a dry laugh. “I know… it is strange thinking of training through that perspective, but I believe it can be done. How else are we going to lose this girth? It's making us feel sluggish and… I hate saying this, unconditioned, and saying that from being the most powerful mortals is ridiculous!”

Pomona nodded in agreement. “Exercise, right. What do we need to do? Do we need to speak with a physician? A trainer? Or we're better off doing it ourselves?”

Danu didn't answer straight away, deep into thought. “Let's see if we can do it ourselves. If not, I'll find someone at the academy.”

With that said, the pair started their measly dinner of fish, rice, and sweet rolls. It was… indeed a very small and unappetizing meal so unlike the so-called extravagant feasts they had before. Pomona also told Danu about Matine's workload and ability in keeping them fed because of their growing waists demanding more sustenance, causing a vicious cycle of rampant hunger and gaining for the both of them. And more unnecessary work for Matine. It wasn't easy for the Durgas to keep their borderline overstimulated appetites in check, which they learned over the hiatus. Unfortunately, the situation couldn't be helped.

They ate that tiny meal, and while it was delicious as always, they were starving. Four baked fishes, two medium bowls of rice and a few sweet rolls were not enough! Pomona and Danu regretted this.

“That was not the best meal… quantity-wise.” Danu said while trying to ignore the angry storm that was his stomach demanding another seven servings.

“Yes…” Pomona agreed without making further comment.

Matine stepped in sheepishly, saying, “I made a cake today… if you still… want… it…? I'm just asking because I don't want it to go to waste”

The Durgas groaned.

Then Danu asked Matine to bring the cake to them and she did. Pomona knew that she wasn't going to take a bite of it, but Danu was the opposite. If life could grant one boon of extreme indulgence to those with the most restraint and willpower, now was the time for Danu. The honey and poppy seed cake was devoured without mercy and stuffed in his soft gut. Nothing else was said, Pomona didn't chide him for it, she was in no position to. She ended up asking Matine to bring some more food and they ended up eating it all despite planning only having a light meal earlier.

This display of unrestrained gluttony showed it was going to be a lot harder than they thought, but an exercise regimen had to be established soon regardless.

***
 

lovelymars908

Non-FA WG Writer
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
47
Location
United States
Chapter 5.2

Unfortunately, the exercise plan failed miserably. There was something about a Durga trying to lose weight that just didn't feel doable with what their physiology granted them at birth. The first day was hard breaking into. When the pair started the next day after that, they ended up exercising all day almost nonstop and for some strange reason they ended up getting exhausted. So Pomona and Danu decided that this was all new to them and would continue working on it. Which lasted for several days before Danu realized it wasn't working.

For starters, they ended up exerting themselves a little too much after relative inactivity in that three-month hiatus but the biggest problem they learned during the sessions was that they had to really put in the effort to even begin burning the fat off them. Pomona and Danu essentially had to exercise harder than actually fighting, specifically when a Durga was just starting to show visible fatigue to get shed one pound. Danu was shocked that he ended up sweating quite a bit and he hadn't sweat that much in years! Both understood that this wasn't a practical solution, especially while they were needlessly wasting energy and their time.

So like Danu said before, the fat stays. And this time, it wasn't welcomed for once. So the search for assistance began.

***

That day of assistance had finally come when Danu told the girl two potential fighters who were glad to lend a helping to their dilemma.

Pomona admittedly thought she wouldn’t have to go back to the academy again, at least for a while or at the end of her apprenticeship. And she only thought that because after her epiphany with trying to be better than everyone else, it ended up making her feel uneasy to go back there. When they visited the place, Pontus was still the same, although no one was there around this time since everyone ran off with their masters. Usually, the academy had to go through hiatus every few years to prepare and wait out for the next batch of potential students who were eligible to attend. Pontus was one of the most prestigious schools for Durgas after all, and they wanted the best.

Pomona waited for Danu near the entrance of the instructors’ quarters. Then there were footsteps and out came her teacher and to Pomona's surprise and astonishment, two large individuals who were quite larger them. They had coarse black hair and dark skin, signifying that they were indeed from Yemanda.

The girl was astonished, almost impressed.

“Pomona, this is Adele Ezra and Janus Baza, they're friends to one of the teachers here and they so happened to be visiting from Yemanda.”

“Ezra. Baza.” The girl said bowing to them.

“I see that you two need some… kind of specialized help?” Janus asked.

“Yes. We need to relearn our fighting styles because of our… recent gaining.”

The dark-skinned Durgas laughed.

Janus continued, “Of course, Danu only told us a fraction of the story. You must have eaten a load, haven't you?”

Pomona felt her mood downgrade a little and blushed at the assumption. “Yes…”

“Alright then. No need to be ashamed, girl. Things like these happen. Let us see what you are made of.” Adele said.

“Yes, ma'am.”

“Danu and Janus have already sparred. I'd like to see what you can do.”

Everyone went into a nearby ring for sparring.

Once standing in place one side of the fight circle, Pomona went into her fighting stance while a tinge of awkwardness washed over her suddenly. She didn't understand where this was coming from but it was shirked off. Adele went into her stance, by which she slammed one foot down and squatted with her arms stretched out.

The sparring began. Pomona started and she ended up her first mistake with fighting Adele by simply attempting a strike. Instead, the huge woman charged at her with incredible speed with her hands outstretched as if they were ready to wrangle someone. Pomona's punch was ignored and she was knocked down by Adele.

Then they started again. At close range Pomona could see that punches were useless, never mind trying to do any kicking. Adele darted straight at her and picked her up by the waist. The girl yelped in surprise at how she was picked up. She countered back by planting her arms at Adele's shoulders to push down. It took quite a bit of power for the move to counter as Adele slowly kneeled from the girl's tight grip on her. Seeing that she was finally making some progress, Pomona was ready to pat herself on the back but that feeling disappeared when Adele tightened her arms over her back.

“Ahhh!”

That was something that she didn't expect. She countered by made a small blast with her optic beams before striking the woman in the midsection and bounced off her. The larger woman was knocked back, almost falling to the ground before catching herself.

Adele laughed, “There you go! You're learning already!”

Pomona rose an eyebrow before slowly realizing what she meant. Then a smile flicked on her face and the fight continued.

The Durgas charged at each other and out of nowhere Pomona tried the same thing Adele did earlier but she only managed to grab her at the waist, tugging at the wraps of her tunic. And… the most peculiar thing was that her belly was squashed against Adele's. Pomona's fighting spirit gradually extinguished while the longer they keep pushing against each.

Again, Pomona was getting into another awkward situation, though thankfully this time was low-key. Now she wondered how long this was going to last before bursting into laughter.

The sparring prolonged a little longer than expected but it was welcomed anyway that both Danu and Pomona were already learning new things and began the building blocks of reforming their skill sets. Of course, the sparring between Janus and Danu was much more intense from what they had told, but they all got an idea of what needed to be done.

***
“I see now that you two need a major rehaul of your fighting styles,” Adele said while everyone was back at the instructors' quarters.

Pomona gave the statement a few moments of thought before saying, “I… don't like the sound of that.”

“It is what it is, Bridger. You're not going to be as articulate like once before.”

“I… don't--can you explain?”

Danu said, “What Adele means that you have to adjust your fighting style to your figure, not the other way around. It may sound slightly crude, but it sends the truth across.”

Janus added, “It's not like it's impossible but all you need to do is to keep training and relearn. There are some warriors with our current size who have faster reflexes than us. You shouldn't have to worry.”

The girl thought about it some more, “Now that I think about it… I have never used grappling techniques, I just preferred the standard punches and kicking.”

Danu nodded, “That I agree with. I can't say I'm a grappler myself, because, Pomona, I have yet to teach you techniques

“See, that's another thing. With people like us, we can be more… hands-on with our opponents. It is a lot different than your usual brand of fighting, but it is no less right or wrong. Just another way of fighting.”

So, it was settled. Danu and Pomona finally found a way to solve their training problem and all they needed was a new set of eyes, learning a whole new fighting style, and gaining a new perspective on how to approach combat. There was no doubt that this would help them get used to their current figures in the future.

***
 
Last edited:

lovelymars908

Non-FA WG Writer
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
47
Location
United States
Chapter 5.3

A year later, and the midpoint assessment almost caught Pomona by surprise. That past year alone was the best time during the apprenticeship so far that they almost lost track of the time. But it was nothing to fret over because the pair was doing remarkably well for not shrinking their waistlines. What they learned from that failed attempt led them to a new experience that helped them with their training than not.

Them learning how to fight with wider waists was not only more productive, but it opened their eyes to new strategies and techniques they'd never done before while thin and it was more than valuable. During that brief period of cutting back, Pomona was understandably concerned that her skill would lessen in that time during their… “too big” epiphany, but seeing Janus and Adele who was able to provide them guidance, she was more than confident.

And it was enough for Pomona to pass the assessment. The purpose behind it was simply to gauge what every student had learned so far during the four-year apprenticeship and to a lesser extent, give them a feel to what's to come when reaching the post-apprentice test after completing the four years. However, aside from being confident, Pomona was just a little anxious about something else. No one expected her to get big and change the way she fought, but Danu reassured that all they cared about was the results of her training. And they had one year to adjust, experiment, and improve everything they knew since birth. There was nothing to worry about.

***

Pontus looked like its former self again with everyone who graduated returning for the midpoint assessment. Understandably, she was a little anxious about meeting everyone again knowing her past reputation as the school idiot. Well, she wasn't here tell the world that she changed but she just didn't want any trouble. And the irony behind it all that she was the one who used to stir trouble or perpetuate it. It was going to be different when seeing everyone.

She took a deep breath and stepped into the school. Pomona went to the auditorium arena, waited for her name to be called, and took her test. This time, she didn't focus on what the other students thought of her, she didn't even give them a look and walked outside to take the assessment. She met face to face with Headmistress Rhodopis again and the accompanying proctors. The test had three segments: demonstrate unique combat techniques, show their kinetic abilities, and lastly, a personal fight with one of the proctors.

The result?

Rhodopis was pleased. The proctors approved. Once returning to the school halls, the students were indeed shocked that Pomona didn't act like the arrogant perfectionist with too much bravado they were familiar with it. Instead, almost everyone was surprised by the exuberance she showed after it was all done.

One of the students, who was Lachlan, approached. “Alright. Who are you and what happened to Bridger?”

“I'm a better person now. Is that good enough for you, Berk?”

The black-haired boy looked at the girl, examining and noticing the change in her expression. Then he smiled. “Heh… it suits you. Keep it up.”

“You want to fight sometime?”

“Maybe. We just have to make sure my parents aren't around. I'm not sure they have forgiven you since the ceremony.”

"That can be arranged."

Pomona was just relieved that the other students didn't think of her as the school idiot anymore. She had no problem getting used to it.

***
 

lovelymars908

Non-FA WG Writer
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
47
Location
United States
Chapter 5.4

Danu was standing at the gate of his dojo when he saw the girl came walking with a big smile on her face. She passed the test, which means a well-deserved celebratory dinner was happening later that evening.

At this point, the pair grew more comfortable about their hedonism and overeating that was becoming more or less apart of them in some strange way. However, as long as Pomona and Danu were simply having a good time with it while enjoying each other's company, it was no longer an issue and they accepted it as it is. They would eat every single piece of food down to the very last crumb on their plates at the table. Matine already told Danu about her keeping up with their ever-increasing meals and that Pomona was already proficient in the kitchen she gladly contributed to the evening suppers and morning meals almost every day. It helped ease the load on Matine a lot so she was grateful for that. After all, Pomona was a fast learner and a timely cook too.

And to Danu's delight, that only meant a fuller stomach for him and more excess gluttony. Danu let Pomona have the privilege of making big meals for special occasions for holidays or when her parents would come to see how she was doing, or just because he wanted to gorge on more food than needed.

That night of cooking was a furious one. The young women were slaving away making Freyan food, something that Matine only scratched the surface with a few recipes. Freyan food was… not particularly easy to make, with it being so rich in its ingredients. Pomona was able to get a cookbook from a chef back at her mother's palace while she was visiting during the past year. The girl was only a novice, after all, she was already panicking after going over some recipes, wondering why her culture's food was oddly complex!

However, Pomona remained optimistic and went with reasonably simpler dishes. Dinner tonight would be steamed mushrooms with vignette and cheese, a hearty beef stew, butter rolls, and two pomegranate pies. And of course, Matine would make plenty of Gosher meat buns, albeit smaller for a change. Both girls cooked for the two hours, making the place smell like delicious food, which was mostly from the Freyan food. While she was cutting, Pomona never realized how majorly delicious it all smelled throughout her parents’ palaces. Just smelling the melted cheese and seasoned beef stewing in the pot just made her stomach groaned in anticipation and her mouth watered.

Dinner was finally served that evening. Danu was impressed. Hungry and ravenous, but impressed. Freyan food will never cease to impress those who are not native to the diet. Both Pomona and Danu tucked into the beef stew, they slurped the tender beef, the soft vegetables, and the delicious broth mixed with seasonings. Oh, it would have been so much better if it was made with the Gosher, but this time it wasn't. Just regular beef and both agreed that they rarely consumed any other meat. That's why it tasted plenty good especially.

Then they grabbed more stew and eaten with the rolls, and eventually emptied the entire pot and leaving threw rolls. Pomona took her first bite into the steamed mushrooms and while not professional, it did not disappoint her. She took no time to clean her bowl before refilling. Instead of gorging it like before she slowed down to really to see how it came out. It needed work in some places. The mushrooms were just little undercooked as she didn't let them steam long enough; and as much as they tasted good, a different blend of seasoning had to be used for future attempts. Danu agreed too but thought it would taste better with an Agnese blend. Pomona dumped two spoonfuls of wild rice in the mushrooms and they tasted better!

Both of them devoured the rice and mushrooms and Pomona would vow to add this to her culinary repertoire of dishes. Taking a moment before continuing, Pomona asked, “When was the last time we would be actually full by now?”

“Those days are gone,” Danu answered lackadaisically.

“Is… that a bad thing?”

“Good question. But I'm being honest, Pomona, I don't think it matters, even if I probably shouldn't be saying it where our physical health is concerned. It makes me happy, in a way.”

Pomona had to laugh.

“I'm serious!” Danu said, laughing along. “But really, Pomona, I haven't felt this good in years. Seeing this makes me realize I rarely had good times with my students before you, and this is just what I needed. I never thought I said this, but eating--more than naught--has made me happy.”

Pomona smiled, “That's good. I'm just like you, sir. It's making me realize after years of fixating on training, I never made much of an effort to make friends at the academy because of my… 'reputation', but since everyone is warming up to me, I can probably start over with them and bond with them."

Danu put his hand on the girl's, rubbing it. Then to her surprise, Danu stretched his round arm and tore a huge slice of the pomegranate pie and shoved the whole thing in his mouth.

“Hey! Save me some!”

The two started laughing while they continued glutting the remains of the rice, Gosher meat buns, and pie. In the whole tizzy, they consumed everything on the table, and their stomachs groaned with the huge meal in their bellies. Without any care in the world, Danu pushed up his top and his belly was finally let out open for some room. Away from view, Pomona inhaled and suddenly ripped her leggings to let her gut out. Pomona blushed, but there was no shame in it and it felt good regardless. She let out a burp and leaned in her seat, relaxing.
 

lovelymars908

Non-FA WG Writer
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
47
Location
United States
Chapter 6.1

Sometime later, Pomona finally met up with Lachlan again about the sparring arrangement. This was going to be another learning experience for Pomona considering she hasn't fought people not her current size because she's been training with Danu, Adele, and Janus for almost over a year.

So every once in awhile Lachlan and Pomona would do a little sparring and along with the rest of the apprentices as they knew the final test would be coming in less than a year from now. During her sparring sessions at the academy, Pomona really felt good being approached as an actual peer by the other students, and it made her realize it was something she could’ve done while in school. The students no longer chided at her for cockiness or the annoying demeanor she had before; they knew she changed and appreciated her presence for the first time.

Pomona sparred with other young Durgas on the training grounds and interacted with them with no ill. It was a good thing Durgas don’t hold ill towards people. The girl hadn’t realized she was somewhat of an “outcast” during her school years. Those were years she would never get back but the important thing was that everything was different now and it was good. However, it was a lesson that Pomona wasn’t the first arrogant “school idiot” and she wasn’t going to be the last as well.

***

Time went on as the final apprentice test was nearing its date. The apprentices were excited over the whole thing, training long and hard with their masters for the final. It was at this point in time where the students were to figure out what they wanted to do after their tutoring with their masters.

Pomona and her new sparring partner Lachlan were talking about this while after training all day.

“So… Pomona. What are you going to do once the apprenticeship is done?”

The girl was silent for a minute before answering, “I honestly don't know. I thought about helping in the community some more before deciding.”

"I get it. There aren't as many occupations for us Durgas to choose from while we already have so much privilege after all. Though for me, I want to become a mentor.”

“That's great. With you being the star pupil of Pontus, I'm sure parents will love to fight over you have them to teach their children.”

Lachlan laughed, “Probably."

"Honestly, I'm the last person to teach an apprentice because it'll only make me feel like a hypocrite a little bit."

The boy raised his eyebrow. "I understand that you moved past it and Danu knocked some sense into you, but I see what you mean. Mentoring someone is a whole different beast on its own."

"Oh, definitely."

"If you're still wanting to work with people, I suggest looking into joining a guild. They go all over the world and help the commoners.”

“Hm… that… doesn't sound like a bad idea.” Pomona said, seeing that idea appealed to her.

“But I hear that the support guilds are very particular about who they let join. They just don't want anyone in, you have to show them that you're willing to help those beneath us.”

“Hm… now that you mention it, I wonder why there's a huge divide us and mortals.”

“It's just part of human nature, I suppose. They both respect us and fear us. There's nothing stopping us with intermingling with them, but considering we can topple mountains with our bare fists, they have every right to steer clear from us.”

“Right. I used to not like helping the lower and mortal class at first. But it's only because the tasks were too boring.”

“True. I think that goes for every one of us who started out. I didn't like it at first either. I had to help on the farmstead of a cow herder and it was the most dreadfully boring thing I did in my life. But the important thing was that the farmer and his family were happy the job was done. And I felt good making them happy."

“Oh, yes. It's definitely worth it.”

The two begin to stand up. Lachlan wrapped his bag and said, “Oh, Pomona, may I ask you a favor?”

“Yes. Anything.”

“It's my cousin, Morwena.”

“What about her?”

“She's much younger than us, but she's showing a lot of potential for her age.”

“A prodigy?!”

“Yes. As much I and the rest of my family are proud of her, she's the worst person on the planet right now and she needs help!”

“Oh… Theos.”

“Look Pomona, nobody's asking for a fight. My aunt and uncle would kill me--and her--if she began punching another Durga.”

The girl nodded in relief. “Okay. You want me to talk to her, I can do that.”

“No one needs to get hurt. But if she feels a single bit of an incentive to attack, put her in her place.”

***
 

lovelymars908

Non-FA WG Writer
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
47
Location
United States
Chapter 6.2

It wouldn't be until five days later when Pomona would meet Lachlan again. This time, his cousin would be accompanying him. She arrived at the academy training grounds, but Lachlan wasn't there yet. Pomona sat on the ground and waited. After waiting for almost an hour, Pomona heard a bit yelling making her get up and see what was going on. The yelling got louder, she recognized the voice as Lachlan and the voice belonging to a girl.

Lachlan came walking through the entryway holding onto a girl who resembled a bit like him, with the same ebony black hair and pale ivory skin. It was Morwena, and judging by the annoyed look on her face, she did not want to be here.

She said, “Lachlan, I thought we were going to train?”

“Not until you calm down! Here, you're going to have a nice long talk with Pomona Bridger. Pomona, she's all yours!”

Lachlan left the girls alone while hoping it wasn't going to lead to a disaster.

Morwena was only a couple of years younger than Pomona but she had a strong spirit within her. Durgas who developed their powers earlier than usual were considered prodigal, but they were extraordinarily rare. It was considered a good thing too because normal future Durgas who start developing their power tend to be very hard to restrain by not having the mental aptitude and discipline to control them yet. For someone like Morwena, her situation was amplified and would need specialized help earlier than most would require.

Pomona said, “So. Morwena.”

“I don't want to talk, I want to fight. Are we going to spar or not?”

“No."

“But I want to practice to be the best! Can I just do that?"

Pomona's eye twitched at that statement. Those words were painfully familiar, but she stood her ground. “So you want to fight me? You better be careful with who you're picking fights with. It won't end well for you if you keep at it.”

“Okay, what would happen if I fight you ?”

Pomona pursed her lips. "Trust me, you don't! You'd get hurt if you do.”

Morwena, not listening, already threw a punch that was never delivered as Pomona grabbed the younger girl's arm and twisted it. Morwenna screamed and recoiled.

“Now attack me again, and your arm will be broken. Got it?”

“Yes…” the younger girl murmured.

“I didn't hear you.”

“Yes!”

Pomona went to the girl's side, sat on the ground, motioning the girl to do the same. “Sit, I got a story for you.”

“What is it?”

“Promise me this: we can spar after our talk, yes?”

“I… yes…” Morwena said and she joined Pomona on the ground seated.


***

Pomona told Morwena the story of Rin. Once it ended, the girls stood up, the tension between them going away.

“Now, Morwena. If you go off and picking fights with people just to prove you're better than them, you will regret it, or won't have a chance to. That boy Rin lost his life before he could even rethink his actions. I, or your family, don't want you to die just so you can satisfy something petty as your ego. It isn't worth it.”

Morwena looked at Pomona. Her annoyed expression from earlier was gone; she was… conflicted, a little apprehensive, and shocked. Her entire worldview crumbled after hearing the tragedy of Rin. The words "it wasn't worth it" echoed in her head. Picking fights and proving your superiority over others wasn't worth anything to satisfy. Contemplating, Morwena decided to come out with something that no one else knew about and revealed it to Pomona.

Considering she was a prodigy, it was a lot harder for her to control and develop the discipline that also requires maturity that she lacked currently. Understandably, Morwenna grew frustrated over it but had to keep it quiet because her own parents had a lot of pride in having a Durga prodigy which was very rare. Whether or not this was influenced by her parents, Morwena ended up developed the mindset that she was the perfect prodigy and her parents wanted that. However, it ended up being disastrous for the poor girl's mental well-being, so she had to bury those harmful ideas and protrude this image of wanting to be the greatest while hiding her conflict and anguish. To top all of that, she didn't speak to anyone, not even her parents, about her issues because she was scared of how they would react.

It made Morwenna felt good to speak out for the first time and she needed that kind of catharsis, and Pomona emphasized with her immediately. She could relate to everything. While Pomona had different circumstances (and not having the burden of being a prodigy) with her own problems of self-worth being based on her need to impress others, she could totally understand how Morwenna was feeling. Frustrated, angry, lost, and conflicted.

Pomona said, “Morwena, when you go back home to your parents, I want you to talk to your parents and tell them everything how you feel.”

Morwena smiled, and a single tear ran down her face.

The blonde girl smiled while letting out a hand, “Come on. Let's go find your cousin.” Then out of nowhere, Morwena gave her a hug.

With that experience still fresh in her mind, Pomona was content with what she had learned during the last months of her apprenticeship. Of course, she was much more mature, optimistic, and beaming with all of her issues conquered and finding humility. Pomona and Danu put the training in high gear before the final assessment. Danu could never be more pleased with the girl's progress. Learning about the situation with Morwena made Danu smile that Pomona was sending the gift of humility over to others. It showed that she grew into a better person already.

***
 
Last edited:

lovelymars908

Non-FA WG Writer
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
47
Location
United States
Chapter 6.3

Time went along and the future was bright for Pomona when the day of the final assessment had arrived. The sky was clear, the sun was bright, and Pontus Academy was filled with shining apprentices who were ready to leave behind their days of being a student to being fully-fledged warriors from this point forward. Pomona met with her parents Rhea and Gabriel whose faces were beaming with smiles and no longer appearing disappointed or flustered like at the start of the commencement ceremony four years earlier.

“Pomona, this is your last test,” Gabriel said.

“Make us proud, dear,” Rhea said as she smiled.

“I will,” Pomona said while she gave them hugs while her name was called.

The test was passed with flying colors as expected. When Pomona finished the final assessment and Rhodopis and the proctors nodded in approval, even clapping at her excellent performance, she didn't hold back the tears. Rhodopis approached the girl with some final words.

“Pomona. You worked hard these last four years. I told you Danu would have you as his favorite student and you have succeeded. You're no longer that arrogant perfectionist that used to roam the school. You matured so much, and I'm proud of you. I wish you good luck in your future endeavors.”

“Thank you, Headmistress,” Pomona said as she planted her fist over her chest while Rhodopis did the same. Then they hugged.

***

Gabriel wiped his mouth while not being able to steer his eyes away from the peculiar site of empty plates and bowls piled in tall stacks. “How are you two still even alive?!” The man said as he watched the pair start their fifteenth helping while he and Rhea already finished their third plates.

“What's wrong Gabriel?” Rhea asked almost stupidly, knowing fully well that she had the same thoughts as her husband. She just sipped her wine awkwardly, trying to ignore the weirdness happening.

"Look at your daughter's plate, Rhea! You'd get terrible indigestion eating like that, girl!”

“We can eat more than the average human diet! What is else there?” Pomona asked before going back into her soup.

Gabriel couldn't believe the flippant response he just received. As if being able to eat more was the excuse. “Well… yes? But… why would we? It's not like we need to since our bodies don't exhaust energy as mortals do."

“Uh, about that… Mother, can I say that Gosher stew is actually not good for anyone like us?”

The woman scoffed exasperatedly, “What do you mean, Pomona? You were the one who wanted the meat!”

Danu made a hushed laugh.

"Yes, I did. But Danu's servant has a high-calorie recipe for a meat stew and it wrecked our figures! And the food from Agni didn't help either."

"The Gosher stew…? Can you explain?" Gabriel asked.

"Oh no… That stew is usually made by mortal commoners, usually with physically demanding lifestyles… And it has a LOT of calories!" Rhea's face cringed everything was falling into place.

Gabriel continued to look confused and perplexed. Unbelievable, everyone shared a feast of roasted boar, mashed radishes, a full pot of vegetable soup, honey rolls, and pomegranate pie in the banquet hall that night. And Pomona and her teacher managed to consume a good majority of it only for having more food sent to their table.

Rhea twisted her mouth, “What in the world happened while you were training? Are you saying that both of you overeat?"

The table went quiet for a minute. It wasn't too hard to guess at this point that Gabriel and Rhea, mostly Rhea, have been inadvertently enabling their daughter's and her master's overindulgent eating habits during the whole time without even realizing it. Until now, they never bothered to comment or say anything about Pomona's figure because it just wasn't particularly relevant to bring up, and they figured to let it run its course and not think of it. Obviously, the girl was an adult and she had free reign from parental supervision or judgment to whatever she wanted. But not until this very moment, it was starting to worry Gabriel and Rhea.

Danu listened to the conversation while eating at the remains of the roasted pig and a whole platter of honey rolls with icing that oozed off the sides. He didn't have much to say other than, “Yes. You have. And I admit that I was the one revealed the secret… And you both have the right to call me irresponsible, but it is what it is. At least know that we tried to exercise!"

Gabriel and Rhea were just shocked. The girl's father said, "Okay, so what happened with that? It didn't work, as if the answer couldn't be more clear right now..."

Danu shook his head.

Pomona's father grimaced a little, not pleased with the answer. Then he looked at his daughter who was eating a whole pomegranate pie, munching every slice into her chubby mouths.

"Pomona, don't you think you had enough?!"

While not listening to a word of Gabriel's protest, Pomona reached for the glazed honey rolls and she and Danu competed with each other to see who would empty the platter faster.

Gabriel wanted to intervene by snatching the platter from them but Rhea shook her head, making him sit. The poor man groaned loudly knowing that he lost this battle, he simply turned around and leaned his head on a hand figuring out how all of this happened.

“You're the one who let this happen, after all, Rhea.”

Rhea wanted to say something but didn't have the words. Instead, she just looked at the table some entrees were still untouched. Then a sly smile appeared on her face. She grabbed a platter of apple puffs and a roasted hen, pushing them towards Gabriel. He craned his neck around, furrowing his brow and sighing.

“Rhea… Not you too….”

“Oh, come now! It may look absurd, but they're having fun. How about we get on it too since I let this happen after all."

Gabriel stared at his wife dumbfounded. He had to let the whole thing process in his mind before answering. Then it was coming in full circle. Rhea was right that it was absurd, but in the back of his mind, he knew it was too good to pass up despite how insane it waa. Seeing that he was ultimately defeated, a laugh erupted out of him. “Alright, let's continue eating! Might as well devour everything on the tabletop.” Gabriel seized a steamed fish casserole and jam tarts and began stuffing his face.

Now that the parents joined in, everyone managed to the entire table that night.

Fin
 

lovelymars908

Non-FA WG Writer
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
47
Location
United States
Story is now complete. Had an interesting time writing this.

Disclaimer: I won't deny that the last two chapters may look rushed (there was originally three as I merged 5 and 6), but I realized that the main character's issues have been solved by this point, so. I could have added more bits of gaining or gluttony but decided against it. And because endings are hard.

Thank you for reading.
 

Latest posts

Top