Chapter 15: Mathematics
A few days had passed since Lea's last match, and Lea was back to working at the gym. Every member at the gym already knew of Hilda's success at becoming the MSNABF champion. That motivated everyone to work hard and reach the same heights as Hilda. Everything was calm at the gym, until Lea was called to Alonso's office. Once Lea entered the office, she noticed that Hilda, Alinda, and Salena were already sitting on the couches, and waiting for Lea. Everyone in the room greeted Lea.
"Morning, everyone." Lea greeted back.
"How are you today?" asked Alonso.
"I'm feeling better after a few days of rest," answered Lea. She went to the doctor before and was told that she simply needed to rest.
"Glad to hear that."
"By the way, what's going on?" asked Lea after seeing everyone in the room. It was unusual for everyone to be in the office at the same time, so it made Lea wonder about it.
"We actually learned about your next opponent." Informed Alinda.
"And since you guys never tell us right away, we decided to see it for ourselves," said Salena with fake indignation, but she still hoped that they would let her know beforehand.
"I really don't have much to do, so I just tagged along," said Hilda, who sounded nonchalantly, but she was curious on the inside.
"That pretty much sums it up, as to why they are here," said Alonso, who wished that they were actually training instead of getting distracted, but decided to let it go, just once.
"Um, okay," said Lea. She tried to find a seat and found it besides Hilda.
"As Alinda said, we got some information of your next opponent, who is in the semi-finals of this tournament. Her name is Tania Wilson, and as far as we have seen, she's an out-boxer with quite the skills." Amazement could be heard in Alonso's voice.
"Do we have any videos of her matches?"
"Of course, let's watch it." Alonso started the DVD. It showed another match in the tournament, first showing a Lamia with messy ear-length, light-chestnut hair, hazel eyes, and light brown skin color. She was fit, her body showed that she possessed enough strength to cause damage, but it didn't seemed resilient. Her opponent was a rough-looking boxer, with nearly shaved head, olive skin, and sharp green eyes.
"So, which one is Tania?" asked Lea.
"Believe it or not, it's the first Lamia," answered Alonso. That didn't surprise Lea. She had been surprised more than enough with her previous opponents, so she was ready for any type of boxer.
The match started with Tania approaching her opponent carefully, while the other boxer approached with no caution. Both boxers got closer with their guard up, but Tania tried to keep her distance from her opponent. The other boxer noticed that and charged in. Tania tried to keep the opponent at a distance with some left jabs. The opponent guarded from the attacks and started to close in, but Tania started to slide away from the opponent. The opponent tried to attack Tania with some jabs, but they were blocked by Tania, who retaliated with a jab of her own. It hit the opponent in the face, but it didn't seem to cause serious damage and she pressed forward. A right straight was thrown at Tania, but she quickly slid back and the punch didn't hit. Then, Tania followed the punch as it was been pulled back and threw a right punch. The punch hit, and it looked like it caused damage because the opponent actually staggered back. Tania moved into an in-fight distance and her opponent threw a left hook at Tania's head. Tania ducked the punch, and stood up with a left uppercut to the opponent's chin. The punch missed because the opponent leaned back and threw a right hook. Tania moved back and retaliated with two left jabs to the opponent's face. The opponent slid back in an attempt to recover from the attack, but Tania didn't allow that and moved forward. Her opponent tried to stop Tania with a left jab, but Tania stopped at the right distance to avoid getting hit. Then, she rushed in with a right straight, which landed on her opponent's face. Tania tried to take the momentum and threw a short left jab, causing the opponent to guard her face. It turned out to be a feint and Tania rushed in with a right uppercut, precisely to the opponent's solar plexus. It caused her opponent to drop her guard and Tania took the opportunity to throw a left hook at the opponent's temple. All the punches landed, but her opponent hanged on to consciousness and tried to defend herself with a left hook. Tania moved with the punch and ended to the opponent's right side. From that position, Tania landed a right straight on the opponent's temple, causing her opponent to get shaky. Tania was very close to winning by KO, so her opponent tightened her guard. Tania simply started to throw jabs at her opponent. Jab after jab, it didn't seem to really do any type of damage. The first round ended with Tania having the lead, and the second one went the same way, with Tania gaining the upper hand. By the third round, the opponent had her face swollen and showing signs of exhaustion, while Tania seemed to be in perfect condition. In that round, Tania started the fight with jabs to the opponent's face. The opponent was too tired to respond and got hit. The opponent tried to protect her head, leaving her body exposed. Tania took the chance to strike the solar plexus and sent her opponent to the mat. From there, the referee counted all the way to ten and ended the match in Tania's favor.
Everyone in the office was amazed by Tania's skill and complete control of the match.
"She's…strong, very strong," said Lea.
"That she is. Most of her fights were won by KO, with a few wins by decision. It is well noted that she has tremendous intelligence," said Alonso, who had to admit that it was a good record.
"Is she a counter-puncher?"
"This is different from a counter-puncher," said Alinda, who got deep in thought. "A counter-puncher relies on using the strength of the opponent, like me for example. What I saw in Tania was different, she may have studied her opponent in the first round, but she didn't necessarily learn the timings to use counters."
"Then, what did she learned?"
"As far as I could see, she was just gathering information to make a plan of attack."
"That would explain why she was so offensive at the end, she knew she made enough damage to KO her opponent," said Hilda in a serious manner.
"The movements, the attacks, the areas, they were all precise," said Alonso, who had to watch the video several times to notice that.
"Like an assassin." Salena cheerfully added to the conversation.
"More like a genius." Corrected Alinda, and she had to admit that it was impressive.
"Either way, she's not invincible, even a genius like her can be beaten. I already have some ideas on how to deal with her." Informed Alonso.
"Really? How?" asked Lea, who was glad to hear that Alonso already had a plan.
"I'll let you know later, so go and do your normal workouts, but be ready. I'm going to add something new to it."
"I'm ready." Alonso could see that.
"Okay, let's get started." Alonso turned the TV off and everyone left the office to do their respective workouts, while Hilda went home because she was still resting from her previous match. Once Lea was ready to get started, she approached Alonso.
"I'm ready, coach," said Lea with determination.
"Good, now go and lay on your back." After Alonso said that, Lea did as asked. "Yup, like that, now raise your upper body on your neck." Lea didn't question anything and did as told. "For starters, stay like that for 40 seconds." Alonso pulled out a sports timer and started it. Lea held her upper body through the 40 seconds. "Good, rest up for 10 seconds and we will do this again."
"So we're working on my neck?" asked Lea while resting.
"Yup, a strong neck will help you resist damage from punches. You may have to rush in to get at your best range, but it means getting into a barrage of attacks. Therefore, you need to have more resistance to avoid getting knocked down."
"Sounds like a good plan." Lea always believed in the coach.
"There's another reason for why I want you to have more resistance."
"Really, what's that?" Lea returned to doing her new workout.
"Since she's an out-boxer, she might attack you from a distance, so you know what that means." Alonso's explanation made Lea think. Lea quickly realized what Alonso was talking about.
"I can use the Spear Strike."
"Exactly, but after seeing her fight at close range, she might stick to you to prevent that, so you have to force her away from you."
"Okay." With the plan already in place, Lea continued with her workout. Unfortunately, she knew that it wouldn't be an easy match, so she needed to be ready for anything.
At another gym, Tania was seen doing weights, starting with 20 pounds in each hand. While her body was training, she was making mental simulations and formulating battle plans in her mind. Tania was so focused in her thoughts, that she didn't notice her coach talking to her.
"Hey, Tania, Tania." Called a male voice. Tania didn't respond, so he moved in front of Tania and called her once again. "Tania!" Tania finally responded to the call.
"Huh? What?" asked Tania, who was surprised and confused at the same time.
"You finally answer, what's gotten into you?" A male Vanara asked with concern. He had light golden brown hair, light brown eyes, and olive skin tone.
Vanaras were half-human, half monkeys, who were believed in the Hindu epics to be creatures with godly powers, capable of shape shifting and other supernatural powers. They looked pretty close to humans, except for a few things, like the tail, the ears, and the hand-looking feet. In ancient times, they lived closely to humans because it was easier for them to disguise themselves as humans. That was the only reason people believed them to have shape shifting powers. Some areas hunted them down to make them slaves or, as some documents indicated, pets. In modern times, they live all over the world, doing all sorts of jobs.
"Sorry, coach, I was going through my many, many simulations on how to fight my next opponent, Specter. As we have seen, she's a very powerful opponent, capable of defeating someone like the hard-hitting and resilient Luisa, or the flexible and quick Karen. Very strong, very scary, she makes quite the challenge, quite the test," said Tania with a nearly expressionless face. She spoke fast, but the coach understood her because he had gotten used to it.
"Yeah yeah, I know, I still don't like the way you put it, but if it helps you in winning matches, then I can't complain." The Vanara's discontent was showing on his face.
"Don't worry, Aaron, I have made plans for her, calculated everything from her, but watching videos isn't enough, I need to fight the real Specter, need to calculate the real problem, need to have the precise numbers, no rounding up, not imaginary ones."
"Okay, but remember this, even tests can have trick questions in them."
"Do not worry, this test has no tricks, very straightforward, one must simply calculate, read the problem carefully, understand the problem, gather data, calculate, and solve the problem." There were times when Aaron wondered about Tania's ability to talk so fast without taking a breather.
"All right, now that we got that out of the way, why don't you take a rest? You get so lost in your thoughts that you sometimes forget when to take a break." There were times that her thoughts made her clumsy, like the time she hit a door on her way out.
"All right, good idea, I'll do that, right now." After Tania said that, she put the weights down and simply stayed on the bench. Aaron believed that she was going to keep thinking. With no other business with her, Aaron decided to take his leave.
"I keep wondering why you picked up a brutal sport like boxing, if you could have become something bigger than this with that intellect of yours."
It had been around a year since Tania started to box. The first impression that she gave, was that of a strange Lamia who didn't look like she could take down a five-year old. That impression was blown away when Tania fought her first sparring match. They found out that she was a genius, someone with the mind that could rival the very own Albert Einstein, maybe even smarter than him. She could calculate speed, distance, angle, and everything else about her opponents in less than a minute, maybe in 20 seconds. It turned out that Tania was a Math genius, which explained her ability to make such quick calculations and battle plans. Tania was a peculiar Lamia. She was capable of quick thinking and a fast learner, which also made her plan her entire speech. That explained her ability to talk so quickly. Even with that intellect, she never thought of others as foolish or slow, she simply knew that she thought differently than them. Unfortunately, not everyone thought the same way, making it difficult for her to make friends, which she didn't have in her school days. The teachers were a different story. They were all marveled by her intelligence, giving her perfect scores in her grades. That made her parents very happy because they knew that she could become someone in her life. It wasn't enough for Tania because she didn't feel the feeling of accomplishment, of success. She knew that gaining perfect scores was something to be proud of, but it felt dull to her. One day, while sliding back home from shopping, she slid by a boxing gym, which had a sparring match between two boxers. It got her attention, so she started to watch from the outside, watching every punch and movement. She quickly started to calculate the reach of each boxer, their speed, everything. After one of the boxers won the match, she was amazed by it, she felt the challenge in the boxing match. Tania went home, went straight to her room, and started to watch boxing videos in her computer. After Tania watched boxers win matches and championships, she imagined herself in their places. She could imagine the challenge of the match, the applause from the crowd, the accomplishment of a life time. On that day, she decided to become a boxer, which her parents weren't so happy about, but they had never seen her so enthusiastic about anything before. Even if they said no, she would keep the idea in mind. She was known to be somewhat stubborn, which was on rare occasions. Eventually, they decided to let her go to the gym and hoped that she would leave it soon or retire early in life. Since then, she had been considered a genius in the boxing world, many people started to consider her the champion of the tournament. Unfortunately, Lea was getting in Tania's way, and there was no other option, but to defeat her.
There was only two weeks left before the match and Lea's workout to strengthen the neck had paid off. It could be easy to notice the tough muscles in the neck. It made everyone believe that she could take a bat to the head and she could still keep fighting. Fortunately, it wasn't buff enough to make her look too big, but it was enough to show strength. While training, she was told that she had a visitor, but they didn't know who it was. If it was Julie, they would have known, since they have seen her before.
"I wonder who it is," thought Lea. As she slid to the directed person, she started to realize who it was. "Zora!?" Said Lea in surprise.
"Hello, Lea, how are you?" asked the Werebat journalist, who gave Lea a smile.
"I-I'm fine, h-how did you find me?"
"I remember the first gym that you joined, so I just needed to get the directions."
"Oh, okay. So…what brings you here?"
"I just wanted to hear some comments from the rising seeds in this tournament, starting with you." As Zora answered the question, she started to pull out a recorder from a pocket in her pants. She was wearing blue jeans with a sky-blue shirt, and black gloves. "What do you think of your opponent who has the reputation of being a genius?"
"Genius? I didn't know she had that reputation, but I know that she's a strong boxer." Calmly answered Lea, but she wasn't used to been interviewed, so she felt a little awkward.
"So, are you confident that you can defeat her?"
"Well, all I can do is keep working hard and put everything I have worked for in the match." Lea sounded timid.
"That's quite a humble response, but doesn't sound like you would lose."
"I believe in the coach and my training, I know I can beat her if I work hard enough." Zora could hear that Lea had complete faith in Alonso.
"No arrogance or overconfidence, you sound like a true sportswoman. Do you feel confident enough to say that you're going to win this tournament?" After hearing the question, Lea seemed to get serious and lost herself in her own thoughts. She looked at the floor and answered.
"I have no choice, I can't lose after coming this far." Zora knew when it was starting to get personal, so she decided to stop with her questions and put away the recorder.
"Thanks for taking some of your time for me." That got Lea's attention.
"Oh, uh, it's nothing, I was about to take a break anyways," answered Lea in a polite way.
"You know, you're not the same Lea that I remember. I remember you been quiet the troublemaker and pretty much the definition of arrogance and greed." After Zora finished saying that, Hilda arrived at the gym. They could see that she went to do her roadwork.
"Hey, lass." Hilda greeted Lea before she noticed the guest. Hilda had to admit it, the guest was quite beautiful. "Well, hello there, are you a friend of the lass here?" Hilda tried to sound flattering, but it didn't seem to work well.
"I'm actually a journalist, and I came here to hear Lea's opinion about her next opponent," answered Zora with a professional tone in her voice. After hearing Zora using Lea's, Hilda got serious.
"How do you know her name?" asked Hilda with an intimidating voice.
"I actually remembered her the moment I saw her," answered Zora without showing any signs of fear. Lea didn't like where it was going, so she decided to help calm things down.
"It's okay, Hilda, it's just an arrangement that we have. She will keep my name a secret as long as I let her interview me first." While Lea was saying that, she stood in front of Hilda. Lea's eyes pleading Hilda to calm down, but it didn't seem to be enough.
"So she blackmailed you," said Hilda with a frown on her face and tried to get in Zora's face, but Lea stopped her.
"No no…Well, okay, she did, but she didn't seem to have any ulterior motives." Lea looked at Zora, who had a perplexed face.
"Wait, are you two friends?" asked Zora.
"Is that a problem?" asked Hilda.
"No no, of course not. Is just…I thought Lea didn't get along with the other members, especially with you. As far as I knew, Lea's attitude was quite…hard to deal with, so I thought that you would have hard feelings against her."
"All was forgiven a long time now," answered Hilda with a smile as she rubbed Lea's head. The display seemed to soften Zora.
"I see. Please believe me when I say that I had no intention of causing Lea any sort of trouble. I just needed to get a story, since that's the only way for me to make a living. Since Lea was a previous champion, I thought I could get one from her. Considering her past, I thought I wouldn't get one, without forcing her to. Sorry if I caused problems." Zora was completely sincere about her apology, and Hilda seemed to believe her because she started to calm down.
"Well, if the she's fine with it, then I'm fine with it too."
"She's actually a nice person." Zora started to feel more respect for Hilda.
"Now, how about we celebrate this with a cup of coffee with me? My treat of course."
"And now, she ruins it. You're quiet persistent, is the national champion always trying to flirt with women?" Zora's contempt was showing on her face.
"Only with beautiful women such as yourself," answered Hilda while continuing with her flirting.
"Okay, I was thinking of getting an interview from you, but I changed my mind. See you later, Lea, and good luck on your next match."
"Take care, Zora," answered Lea and Zora started to head to the door. Hilda didn't let that discourage her and started to follow Zora.
"Want me to walk you home?" asked Hilda, who tried to sound like a proper person.
"You don't have legs," said Zora, who wasn't falling for such a gentry move from Hilda.
"Slide, walk, the point is still the same."
"No thank you, I can fly." Once Zora was outside, she opened her wings, started to flap them, lifted herself off the ground, and flew away. Hilda stood outside of the gym, watching Zora fly away, and Lea slid towards Hilda to stand beside her.
"I don't think she likes you that much," said Lea, who didn't like it when people thought badly of Hilda, especially when she was actually a good person.
"Oh, don't worry about it. Persistence always gets you results. Besides, I'm sure she'll warm up to me when she gets to know me." Responded Hilda with a playful smile.
"So, you don't flirt with women all the time?"
"Oh no, she got that right, but there's a reason why I do that."
"Really? What's that?"
"Don't worry about it, lass. Besides, you have enough on your end to worry about." Hilda rubbed Lea's head.
"What do you mean?"
"You'll find out some other time. Now, let's go back in, we still have some work to do."
"Oh, okay." They both went into the gym and resumed their training.
The next day, Lea was taking the day off, and decided to make a phone call to Julie. Lea promised to Jenny that she would try to visit more often, but she got busy preparing for her next match. Once Lea dialed the number, the phone started to ring, and kept ringing for a few more moments, until Julie answered.
"Hey, Lea, how are you?" Greeted Julie with her usual cheerfulness.
"Hello, I'm doing well, I just wanted to know if I could go and visit," said Lea.
"Of course, I'm still working, but I should be done in a little while. I might be done by the time you get here."
"Oh, okay. Then, I'll head there right now."
"Okay, see you later."
"See you." They both hanged up and Lea prepared to leave. Since it was at Julie's place, she decided to dress with her usual cargo pants, a t-shirt, and a sleeveless vest with a hood. On the first day that Zora found out about Lea, Lea started wearing hoods more frequently, to avoid anyone else recognizing her. Lea took the bus and simply waited until the bus reached her destination, or as close as it could get. Once she got off the bus, Lea slid towards the house, and went in. Before she could start asking around about Julie, she heard someone calling her name.
"Lea!" Said a familiar, little girl's voice and Lea looked towards the source of the voice. Lea only got a glimpse of Jenny, before she started running straight to Lea and jumped towards her. Jenny jumped so high that she easily reached Lea's chest level, and grabbed Lea in a hug, which Lea returned by hugging back. After that, Jenny looked at Lea. "You came back." Jenny had a smile on her face.
"Hey, Jenny, how have you been?" asked Lea while smiling back at Jenny.
"I've been good, why did it take you so long to come back?"
"I'm sorry, I've been busy with something, but I have the whole day, so what do you want to do?" Before Jenny could answer, Julie walked up to them.
"Actually, she has some homework to do and we were just about to do it," said Julie with a smile. She had a book, a notebook, and writing material in one arm.
"Hey, Julie, is good to see you." Lea put the girl down.
"It's good to see you too." Julie walked to Lea and gave her a hug. Lea seemed to be getting used to it because she returned the hug. After a few moments, they let go of each other.
"Wait, homework? Is she doing okay?" Lea started to worry because she knew that school could get difficult.
"Don't worry, she's doing okay, there's just some things that she's having problems with, nothing serious. Besides, I always try to help the kids whenever I can with their school work." Julie put her hands on her hips and lifted her head, feeling proud for helping the kids.
"That's amazing. You do that while maintaining this house," said Lea in wonder.
"Yeah, it makes me wish to help them more than working behind a desk." The thought made Julie's shoulder slump a little.
"Well, I wasn't that good at school, but I could try to help." Lea started to rub her head, feeling a little embarrassed after revealing that.
"Well, it's just simple math problems, nothing too serious. Come on, we can talk while I help Jenny with her work." That lifted Lea's mood.
"Sounds good for me." After that, they started to head to the stairs, but Lea knew that the second floor had the bedrooms and the office. Once they reach them, they go downstairs, which would be a first for Lea. "Where are we going?"
"To the library," answered Julie.
"You have a library downstairs?"
"Yup." They reach the bottom of the stairs and move towards the end of the corridor, which splits into two corridors, one going left and the other going right. They go to the right, and Lea could see that there were three different doors, but they enter the first one, and into the library. The place had shelves and bookcases filled with books, many of them for children. Others were encyclopedias and reference books, the library had many books of many categories. On one half of the library, where chairs and tables, where some kids were sitting to either read or work on something. To the left of the door, was a desk, where they see Nick, who was busy reading a book of his own. He notice the trio arriving at the library and took his eyes away from the book to look at them.
"Well, hello there. Hey, Lea, it's been a while." Greeted Nick with a friendly smile.
"Hey, Nick, how have you been?" Said Lea, who was happy that the old lizardman was doing well.
"I'm still alive and kicking, as you can see. What brings you guys here?"
"We're going to help Jenny with her homework," answered Julie.
"Well, don't let me keep you, stay as long as you need to," said Nick.
"Thanks, Nick. Okay, let's go to that table." Julie pointed to a nearby table and the trio head to it to take a seat. Once seated, Julie put the book down and gave it to Jenny, who opened it to the assigned page. It was mostly simple math, with additions and subtractions. Jenny didn't complain, but they could see that Jenny would prefer to do something else than her homework.
"I know how you feel, Jenny, I didn't like doing my homework either, but it's for your own good to know these things," said Lea.
"I know, but it's so boring," answered Jenny with a pout on her face.
"Don't be sad, we can play with Lea once you're done with your homework, okay?" Suggested Julie and Jenny liked the idea.
"Okay." After that, Jenny started to work on her math problems. While Jenny was working on her math problems, Julie and Lea started to have some small talk, wondering what the other has been up to. Lea simply mentioned how busy she had been at the gym, never mentioning anything about her matches. Julie said that she had been doing nothing special and everything in the house was going well. Lea and Julie kept their conversation going, until Jenny called for Julie's attention.
"Excuse me, Julie," said Jenny, hoping that she wasn't interrupting something important.
"Oh, do you need help?" asked Julie. She knew that Jenny would only call for help.
"Yeah, in this part." Jenny pointed to the part of the book where it was showing some division problems.
"Division? I thought it was only addition and subtractions," said Lea, who didn't expect Jenny to be dealing with something like that.
"Oh no, it may not look like it since she's actually very quiet, but she's really smart. Look at these problems," said Julie, and she pointed to the mentioned addition and subtractions problems. To Lea's surprise, some of the math problems were more advanced than she thought it would be.
"She can actually do this without any help? If she's asking for help now, it must be something insanely high leveled for her." Lea looked at the problem that Jenny was having problems with. It was an easy problem for Lea, but she didn't expect a kid at Jenny's age to be able to solve it. "That's pretty impressive, you're pretty impressive, Jenny." Lea looked at Jenny in amazement.
"Thanks, but I'm having problems with these ones," said Jenny, who started to point out the problems. "I'm trying to do them, but I don't understand them, and I try to read the explanation, but it's too confusing." Both Lea and Julie could see that Jenny was falling under the pressure of the problem.
"It's okay, Jenny, come here," said Julie. She tried to calm Jenny using a soothing voice, and then, Julie grabbed Jenny in a hug. The move seemed to work because Jenny returned the hug and smiled at Julie. "Now, let me help you with it." Julie started to explain how to do the problem, and Jenny paid close attention. Lea considered it a cute scene.
"Was it something new for you?" asked Lea.
"Not really, the teacher explained it really well, I just didn't expect it to get more difficult," answered Jenny.
"It's alright, I also fell for this kind of stuff, but I wasn't that much into it. Of course, I tried my best to do it right, but in the end, my parents tended to help me out."
After that, Jenny continued with her homework and finished with Julie's help. Once they were done, they went to Jenny's room to put her stuff away and went to the backyard to play with the other kids. After playing for a while, they stopped to eat lunch. Julie and Lea took the opportunity to eat together, along with Jenny. After the meal, they spent more time with the kids, but some of them went to their rooms after a while, and the rest wanted to watch movies with Lea and Julie. Lea didn't have any problem with it, even if the movies were made for kids. It was decided that they would watch them at Julie's room, which Julie had no problem with. When everyone reached Julie's room, the kids took a seat on the floor. Lea and Julie took a seat on the bed with some of the smaller kids. By the time they finished with the third movie, it was already starting to get dark, so the kids decided to go to their rooms. They didn't go to sleep just yet, but they wanted to spend some time for themselves. After the last of the kids was gone, Julie spoke to Lea.
"Say, what if we watch something more to our age?" Julie didn't mind cartoons, but preferred something different.
"Okay, what do you have in mind?" Lea was curious to know Julie's taste in movies. When Lea gave her answer, Julie went to the TV's furniture and opened the small doors, revealing a lot of movies.
"Well, I got some action movies, sci-fi movies, comedy, whatever you like."
"It's okay, you can pick the movie."
"Okay, let's watch this one. I haven't seen this one yet." Julie showed the mentioned movie.
"Too busy to watch them?"
"Yup." With that said, Julie put the movie and played it.
"Where do you get these movies? Gifts?"
"Well, when a staff member goes to buy movies, I ask them to buy some for me, with my money, of course." After that, they watched the movie, which Lea liked, even if the ending was predictable. After that, Lea watched the clock and said.
"Uh oh, it's getting late. I better hurry if I want to reach the gym at a good time." Lea started to get up from the bed.
"Don't worry, I can take you."
"If it's not a bother."
"Of course not, come on." They leave Julie's room and get to Julie's car. Once they arrive at the gym, Lea got out of the car, said her goodbyes to Julie, and went into the gym. The gym was closed for the night, so she simply headed to her apartment, ate something for dinner, took a shower, put on her pajamas, and headed to bed.
The next day, Lea was working with Alonso on the mitts.
"That's it, keep punching, don't stop punching, every moment you stop punching, your giving Tania time to plan an escape," said Alonso and went quiet as Lea kept punching. Suddenly, Alonso put the mitt to the right side of his body. "Here!" As Alonso prepared to take the punch, Lea threw a Liver Blow to the mitt on Alonso's body. The sound it made would make anyone cringe and believe that taking one of those body blows could break a rib or two. "Good, one of these punches would stop Tania in her movements, but you can't charge in so quickly. Put the pressure on her. Keep it coming until you see an opportunity. Then, punch with all you got and stop her from moving. It would make it easier to take her on in an in-fight."
"Isn't she going to be ready for this? She's called the 'genius' for something." Questioned Lea.
"Technique and intelligence, these are important parts in boxing, but even these do not make a boxer invincible. All of that can be defeated with determination and hard work. Now, rest up for a little while, and we'll get back to your training." Alonso took the mitts off and walked away to help other boxers.
"Okay." Lea took off her gloves and slid to a bench. While resting, Hilda approached Lea.
"Hey, lass, can I ask you something?" asked Hilda, who sounded eager.
"Yeah, of course," answered Lea.
"Great, great, do you know if Zora is coming any time soon?"
"Not really, why do you ask?"
"Come on, lass, you know I'm interested on her, and you seem to be the closest to her." Hilda's eyes were accusing Lea of hiding something.
"Sorry, Hilda, she never tells me when she's coming." Lea tried to be as sincere as possible, and Hilda could see that Lea was telling the truth.
"That sucks. I could have tried to ask her out." Hilda looked saddened.
"Not this again." They heard a voice behind Hilda and they turned to the source, which turned out to be Alinda, who looked annoyed.
"What do you mean by, 'not this again'?" Hilda started to feel a little insulted.
"You fool around with women, but you never keep a relationship, they're mostly just one night stands."
"At least I have some fun every once in a while, I bet you're still a virgin." Hilda gave Alinda a mocking grin.
"T-that's not the point here. Remember the last time you tried to have a relationship, but got dumped."
"You got dumped?" asked Lea, who got surprised by that new information.
"A long time ago," answered Hilda, who looked bothered.
"A time that would live in infamy, she came to the gym with such an awful mood that no one wanted to spar with her. The only one brave enough to work with her was the coach himself, and let me tell you, I don't want a repeat of that," said Alinda.
"It wasn't that bad." Hilda thought that Alinda was exaggerating.
"Not that bad?! I think five people left the gym because of you."
"Well, the past is in the past, let's enjoy the now. Besides, there's someone here who has it the worst." Hilda gave a suspicious smile to Alinda.
"I'm fine as it is. She has to support her family, so she doesn't have time for relationships."
"You could help her with that, and imagine if you two were together. Going to the movies, eat at a fancy restaurant, and imagine where it would lead." While Hilda was saying that, she put her left arm around Alinda and they turned around.
"I-I don't know what you're talking about." Alinda turned her face away from Hilda, in an attempt to hide a blush.
"She's quiet cheerful and straight-forward, but it might be a disguise to hide a wild beast in bed," said Hilda as they looked at the mentioned Lamia at the other side of the gym, working on the heavy bag. Alinda tried to avoid it, but her face started to get even redder. "And so, you should just tell her how you feel."
"It's not that simple." Alinda sounded a little depressed.
"Yes it is."
"Because you're used to it." Responded Alinda as she looked back at Hilda.
"Maybe, but listen, if you don't say something quick, someone else will and you're going to regret not saying a word." Alinda seemed to think about it.
"I don't know. I need to be ready for it." Alinda didn't seem convinced.
"Of course, but remember, we're here to support you, right, Lea?" asked Hilda to the Lamia behind them.
"I…don't know what you were talking about, but yeah, you can count on me," said Lea.
"See, so take your time, get your courage, and go ask her out," said Hilda.
"You know, you're right, I should just go and ask her," said Alinda, and Hilda could see that Alinda was determined to do it.
"That's the spirit, now go get her, lass." Hilda let go of Alinda and the little Lamia slid straight to Salena. "Well, now that she's off my back, are you sure Zora isn't coming today?" Said Hilda as she turned towards Lea.
"Did you just say that to make her leave?" asked Lea, and she was suspecting a yes.
"Kind of, but I tried to help her out, look," said Hilda as she pointed at Alinda, who approached Salena. They seem to get into a small conversation, which ended too quickly in Hilda's opinion. Alinda went back to Lea and Hilda with a face that was hard to read. "So…how did it go?" Alinda let her shoulders fall, let out a big sigh, and said.
"I ended up asking how she was doing and when was her next match. When I tried to say what I wanted, I just felt too nervous and left." Alinda was looking more depressed than before.
"Whoa, well…uh," said Hilda, who didn't know what to say.
"I-It's okay Alinda, I'm sure you'll get another chance, just don't give up, okay?" Said Lea, who was eagerly trying to cheer Alinda up.
"What makes you think I will give up? I have been trying for a long time. I can't just let it end here," answered Alinda, which brought relief to Lea and Hilda, knowing that Alinda wouldn't let it bring her down forever.
"That's the spirit, you can try another time," said Hilda with a smile, and gave a few light pats on Alinda's back.
"Hey, chica, how long are you going to be talking there, we need to keep training," said Alonso.
"Oh, sorry, sir. See you guys later," said Lea. She got up from the bench, put her gloves on, and slid back into the ring. With Lea gone, Hilda and Alinda decided to do the same and prepared for any future fights.