"Ow, ow, ow…"

"Nathan, are you sure you're ok?"

"Yeah… I'm ok."

Man, my body hurts. Everything is sore, even things I didn't even know could be sore! This is ridiculous!

"Would you like to stop for today, Mr. Nathan?" Anna asked, standing over me as Mizore put her hands on my arms to ease my soreness.

"No, I can keep-"

"No, you can't. He's done for now," Mizore said, interrupting my sentence. She frowned as she kept rubbing my arms with her ice-cold hands.

"Very well," Anna said, returning to her human form. "I suppose it's for the best. We can continue some other time."

"Yeah, thanks," I responded to her. Anna just gave me a smile and walked off, humming to herself.

"Nathan, are you sure this is the best way for you to get control of your powers?" Mizore asked me as soon as we were alone.

"No better way to do it," I tell her while looking up at the sky as I lay on the ground, beaten and bruised. "I need to get a handle on my powers as fast as I can, and Anna is the best way for me to do it. She's trained her whole life. Meanwhile, I just found out about everything a little over a month ago."

"I know… I'm just afraid you're pushing yourself too hard."

'She is right, you know. As much as I encourage what you are doing, youngling, I can't say that you aren't pushing it. Powerful as you may be now, you still have a limit of what you can take.'

Then I'll have to go beyond my limit.

'That is a good way to get yourself killed.'

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.

The day prior…

"Hey, Anna, can I ask you something?" I say to my fellow dragonewt as I helped her move into her new dorm room.

"Of course!" she said with a bright smile. "What can I do for you, Mr. Nathan?"

"Well, I was wondering, can you teach me how to use my powers?"

"Oh? What brought this on?" She set down a box she was carrying. "From what I've heard from your friends and your lovely mate, you seem to have a good grasp of your powers already, Mr. Nathan."

"Yeah, well, that's the thing, really," I say while rubbing the back of my head. "The only time I've ever really had good control of my powers is when I'm pissed the hell off, and not really meaning to call it out. Like when we were down in the dungeons." I looked at my palm, remembering what had almost happened to Mizore right in front of me. "I was so pissed… At the committee, at Kuyou, at… at myself. I wasn't strong enough to prevent that from happening. I wasn't good enough to think that Kuyou and his goons would try something like that. If it wasn't for the fact that I had called on my powers, and went beyond what I had previously thought was my limit, then… then Mizore…"

"Shh, it's ok, Mr. Nathan, I understand," Anna interrupted, gently patting my shoulder with one of her hands while placing her other on the one that I was staring at. "Ms. Mizore told me all about it. You don't have to go into detail about what happened." She then smiled at me. "She also told me that, even though it was scary for her, she knew that you'd end up rescuing her. Her words were "he's protective like that"."

I blushed at this and rubbed the back of my head again, making Anna giggle and retract her hands. Mizore didn't really talk about the incident, understandably. It wasn't exactly something I'd like to remember, either, but obviously worse for her. I never brought it up again to spare her the memory of it. Still, I'm happy that she was able to talk to someone about it.

"So, what is it you had in mind exactly?" Anna asked me as she went to her kitchen, humming to herself.

"Well, I was just thinking that you could just, you know, train me the same way you were," I tell her as I started to set some of her boxes in a corner. "I figure that's the best way, after all."

"You sure about that? I'd have to give you the rough version of it, or rather, the spartan parts of it."

"I don't care. I need to get better with my powers, and if going through some rough training is the way to do it, then fine." Anna peeked out from the kitchenette and smiled softly.

"Well, ok then. We can start tomorrow, if that's ok."

"That's great! Thanks again, Anna. I owe you."

"Don't worry about it!" She giggled as she went back to whatever it was she was doing, so I decided to take my leave for the moment. I walked out of the girls dormitories and headed back to my own.

There, Mizore was waiting for me, laying on her stomach while watching something on my laptop. She kicked her legs back and forth while humming softly before she turned around to look at me, smiling as she sat up and turned around.

"Hello, love," she said before standing, trotting over and hugging me. Chuckling, I returned the favor and hugged her back.

"Hello there, my little snow bunny," I say before kissing her lips.

"Sorry for not asking your permission to use your laptop to watch some shows, but I couldn't help it. Besides, I think I can use them to get better at english for you~."

"You're still on about that, huh?" I asked with a small chuckle, brushing some hair out of her face.

"Of course I am, love. I have to learn in order to meet your family one day, after all." I chuckled again as she smiled up at me. "By the way, how did it go with Anna? Did she agree to help train you?"

"She did, yeah. She said that she would help me out tomorrow, thankfully."

"That's great! What do you think she'll end up training you?"

"Not a single clue. I just told her to train me the same way she was. No telling what that might entail, though."

The following day, I ended up walking out into the woods, wearing some gym shorts and a tank top. Mizore ended up ambushing me and made me give her a piggyback ride to the area where I'm to meet Anna, who was wearing a tank top and some form fitting yoga pants. She smiled and giggled at the sight of me and Mizore.

"You two are so adorable," she said while giggling, Mizore nuzzling against my cheek, which was beet red.

"She isn't the type to leave my side for more than two-seconds," I said with a flat tone, half-joking and half-serious.

"You two are mates. Its understandable that you don't wish to be separated." Mizore just smiled as she climbed off my back finally, and I rolled my shoulders after she did so. Anna looked at me and smiled a bit as she put her hands behind her back. "I'm actually glad that Ms. Mizore came with you, Nathan. I believe she can help you with your training."

"I can?" Mizore asked with a reprised expression on her face, pointing to herself. Anna just giggled a bit before nodding. "You can indeed." She looked at me, calm smile still on her face. "Mr. Nathan, if you could please transform first, we'll get started."

Confused about what she had in mind, but knowing that it's for the purpose of training, I just shrugged and did as she asked. My arms and eyes transformed first, my scales and talons grow out along with my horns. Not gonna lie, the horns growing out of my head felt very weird, almost painful. Soon, I reached the extent of my transformation, the only real change being the heat in my chest. Normally, up until now, that heat was only when I got angry and was being serious a fight. Looking at my hands, I flexed them a bit before nodding and looking at Anna, who was whispering to Mizore.

"Ok, I'm ready," I say to them. Mizore nodded to Anna, who just smiled before Mizore transformed. Quirking an eyebrow, I just watched as Mizore put her ice claws on the ground, making ice build up and up and up until she's made a boulder the size of a sedan. "Ok, Mr. Nathan, carry this," Anna said suddenly, making me snap my head towards her, giving her a look that basically said I thought she was crazy. "What?! I can't lift that!" I say as Mizore finished up making the ice boulder. "Sure you can! You punched out a youko. Surely this will be nothing for you." Damn, I can't beat that logic. I hung my head a bit before feeling a hand on my shoulder. I look off to the side to see Mizore smiling at me, taking her lollipop out of her mouth before kissing my cheek.

"You can do it, my love. I know you can," she says to me before putting her lollipop back into her mouth. Anna just giggled at us before she and Mizore walked over to the boulder. I looked at them confused before they both sat on top of it.

"Come on now, Mr. Nathan. Lift the boulder," Anna said as she crossed her legs. "Are you kidding me?!" I shouted at her, only getting a nod from her AND my little snow bunny! This is what they were whispering about?!

Groaning, I just walked over to the boulder and looked it over. The way I see it, there is no way I'm going to be able to lift this thing at all. The girls looked at me with smiles on their face, making me think they actually expect me to pull this off somehow. I just groaned a bit before bending my knees and gripped the side of icy boulder, my talons making that rather easy. I felt my muscles tense up as I gritted my teeth and tried lifting the boulder up, hardly getting it off of the ground. "There you go, my love," I heard above me as I waddled my way up the path, very, VERY slowly. "You're doing great."

"Then why… does it feel… like I'm not?" I asked while grunting, speaking between each, heavy step I took.

"It's all part of your training, Mr. Nathan," Anna said with a short giggle. "You just have to keep going."

"I feel like my arms are about to pop out of socket here!"

"That's normal. Keep going!"

The girls better be enjoying this! God damn it my muscles are screaming!

'Can't get much worse.'

DON'T YOU FUCKING JINX IT, IFRIT!

You jinxed it…

'How was I to know that you would slip and fall down a hill? At least the girls got off in time.'

No concern about my own well being. I see how it is.

'Quiet.'

"Are you ok, love?" Mizore asked me as I got back up again. I groaned as I rubbed my head and shook it to get some loose dirt out of my hair.

"Yeah, I'm ok. Can't be much worse, really," I commented as Anna walked on over.

"We can try that again later. For now, I believe we should move on to battle training," she stated as she transformed.

"Excuse me?!" I shouted at her with surprise.

"You did say you wished to become stronger, yes? Well, to get stronger, dragons used to do combat almost nonstop. As dragonewts we have to do the same and spare with each other. That's how I was trained."

Ifrit! When were you going to tell me about this?

'Thou did not ask.'

I'm going to kill you!

"Anytime you're ready, Mr. Nathan," Anna said as she put her hands behind her back. I groaned a bit as I just gave up on arguing at this point and transformed, feeling my scales and talons come out as my horns grew as well.

Mizore backed up and gave us a wide berth. I took a deep breath, steam coming out of my nostrils as I exhaled and took a fighting stance. Anna, for her part, didn't really seem all that concerned, a smile on her face, casually flicking her tail behind her as she also kept her hands behind her as well. Is she not taking this seriously? No, she has to be, right? I mean, she was the one who said for the two of us to spare, after all.

Shaking my head, I decided to take the initiative here and charged at her. I geared back my fist and swung at her, only for her to gracefully lean back and spin on her heel until she was at my back.

"Nice try, but your swing was much too wide and full of openings," she stated before sweeping my feet out from under me, making me yell and drop like a rock. "You have a long way to go, Mr. Nathan."

"Don't remind me," I grumbled as I got back up. Anna just smiled again as she stood there calmly while I took up the same position again.

This went on for about an hour or so. I'd try to attack first, but Anna would manage to get behind me one way or the next and knock my sorry ass onto the ground. Finally, I wasn't able to get back up and just laid on the ground, sore all over with dust and dirt covering my clothes. Mizore came over and helped soothe the pain with her icy hands, Anna saying that we were stopping for the day and then headed back to the dorms, leaving me and Mizore alone.

"Are you sure that this is the best way to train?" Mizore asked me while holding her hands on my arms. "I mean, I don't like seeing you getting hurt…"

"Well that goes for me too, Mizore," I tell her while looking up at her. "I couldn't stand seeing you in the position that you were before in the dungeons. I'm going to get stronger to prevent that from ever happening again, my little snow bunny. I promise."

Mizore looked down at me and smiled softly. Taking her lollipop out of her mouth, and leaned down as she kissed me, an act that I happily returned.

"I love you, Nathan, no matter what. You could be a regular human and I'd still wish to be married to you," she told me, making me smile.

"I love you too, Mizore," I told her as she helped me back up. I wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her close to me, making her giggle and put her hand son my chest. "Come on, let's turn in for the day."

She nodded as we started to head back to the dorms.

The next couple of days were about the same story. Anna was training me everyday after school and worked me to the bone everyday. Mizore was there through it all, of course, making sure I didn't push myself too hard. I objected, of course, wishing to push myself beyond my limits, but she was just as persistent. Anna was rather… relentless about my training as well, telling me that I needed to push myself further and further to make sure that she kept me on my toes. And it worked, for the most part, anyway. Kasumi ended up joining in as well.

During the week, Tsukune ended up waking up, thankfully. There was some weird misunderstanding between him and Moka when it came to his transformation into a temporary vampire. Of course, Gin was the one who was the one who got it into Tsukune's head that because Moka kept sucking his blood, he was turning into a vampire himself. After talking however, Moka explained everything and everything was fine, once again.

Well, if you don't count the wrestling team being down one member due to the fact he was DUMB enough to try and pick a fight with Tsukune after he was injected with Moka's blood yet again. Tsukune sent the poor bastard into the railing up on the roof and destroyed one section of the roof, too. Though, honestly, I'm more surprised that he didn't get in trouble for that. Then again, I suppose that in a school of monsters, things like that are expected to happen.

But, whatever. Right now, we're all just gathered in the clubroom chatting up after the recent exams. Poor Tsukune had to go against Ms. Ririko and her infamous "after school lessons". Thankfully, thanks to Moka - again - they were able to take the teach down to size, once again. Strange coincidence how that keeps happening…

Bah, whatever, who cares really. Whatever happens, happens, really.

"What a week," I said as I leaned back in my seat, Mizore making her seat in my lap, sitting sideways while having an arm around my neck.

"I agree, my love," she said while nuzzling the crook of my neck. "With your workouts and everything that happened with Tsukune again, along with the exams, we're all exhausted."

"Yeah, I'm just glad that summer vacation is starting this week," Kasumi said with a bright smile.

"Oh yeah, I forgot about that," I say while looking up at the ceiling. "Wonder what to do during that time…"

"You don't need to worry about that, meow!" Looking towards the doorway, we all saw Ms. Nekonome standing there with her usual bright smile on her face.

"What do you mean, Ms. Nekonome?" Tsukune asked while we all looked at our teacher questionably, the teacher looking at all of us and chuckling softly.

"Well, thanks to the headmasters approval, the newspaper club is going on a field trip! We're all going to the human world for a summer camp!"

"WHAAAATT?!"