"Wow! Julie, your skin is so white."
"Imari's pretty white too."
"Yeah, but the difference's too big."
"But Imari's got bigger this than me."
"Really? Hyah! Don't touch me there~"
Noah sat near the table with a bitter look, he drank tea while listening to the unsettling sounds coming from the bathroom.
"It's a two-room unit, why do I have to live in this unit too? What is the school thinking?"
Noah already returned to the dorm unit reserved for Imari, Julie, and Noah.
The sky outside is already dark. The illumination in their home came from the lamps within their house.
The facilities and dormitories on the campus are high-quality.
The wide area comes as a given. Even so, there are well-designed bathrooms, heaters, television, decked-out furniture, and of course, bunkbeds.
Ignoring the bunk beds, the dorm unit they were staying can easily house three people.
Granted, once the arrangement became coed, the narrative changed.
More importantly, the two roommates are exceedingly beautiful. One of them knows what shame is but quickly forgets about it because she's bubbly and ditzy. The other one is even more dangerous as she has no self-awareness of the difference in physique between males and females.
Here's the evidence, though Noah is in the room, the girls were having a blast in the bathroom. They were clearly not hiding their voices. It's almost like they forgot Noah's here.
"How am I supposed to survive a week like this?"
Noah sighed. He tried to distract himself by recalling Usa-sensei's announcements.
There are ranks among Exceeds. The students, including Noah, found out about Exceed ranks in the class today.
Noah is intrigued by this revelation. If there are ranks for Astar Marks, does that mean the sublimation ritual will increase his current Blaze to a higher stage? Will his body get upgraded with each ritual? Actually, he didn't care about the physical augmentations. His body is already superhuman after dozens of rounds of doping using the Gastrea virus. Any further upgrades would be marginal at best. Noah cares more about mental enhancement. He didn't get a lot of chances to improve this aspect.
He can enhance his mental state and magic powers with the Astar Mark.
This is good news to him.
"I think I know where Limit came from."
Astar Mark had enhancing effects.
It's like how he reversed the Blaze's supposed manifestation of the soul wherein his weapons got turned into spiritual weapons. The enhancing effects must have been reversed to downgrade.
Noah's Astar Mark is still rank I. The downgrade effect couldn't take place, his body's unique physique also reject any negative influences so the debilitative effects wouldn't have occurred no matter what.
Even so, the contradiction between this effect and his body gave birth to Limit. This is a mutated ability where Noah can restrict his own powers while growing stronger by giving himself a burden. Since it would end with Noah growing stronger at the end of the exercise, it didn't fall under the debuff region that would be automatically rejected by his body.
Of course, had the Astar mark not clashed with his unique physique, the mutation wouldn't have taken place.
"All the Astar Marks we have are at rank I?"
Noah thought about Limit's effect. It allowed him to adjust his stats downwards, going no higher than what other Exceeds at Rank I can do. Magic power is also completely sealed as Exceeds can't use magic. The sealed power would also grow stronger under this sealed state.
He's not operating at full capacity all the time anyway, why not store his freakish powers away while they grow stronger?
Limit is extremely beneficial in this regard.
He limited his parameters to an Exceed Rank I level.
Externally, he's no stronger than other Rank I Exceeds.
However, battle experience, techniques, and intuition can't be sealed away by Limit.
With these qualitative features going for Noah, he isn't someone a normal Rank I exceed can take down.
The bathroom door opened.
Imari's panicked voice came from the bathroom. Noah subconsciously turned around to see something that almost caused him to spit out the tea in his mouth.
First, he saw immaculate porcelain white legs. Then, as his gaze shifted upwards, he saw Julie in all her glory. Because she had just come out of the bath, her thin clothes stuck to her skin, accentuating her lithe figure and the slight bumps near her chest.
Because Julie messed up her buttons, He could see her beautiful pale skin.
Other than that, Julie's not wearing anything else.
Exactly, Julie's only wearing a shirt. A girl that caused students to gasp in shock at her beauty dressed scantily like this, how can Noah be calm?
Because Imari tried to stop Julie from coming out of the bathroom like this, she couldn't put on any clothes, she came out of the bathroom with only a towel covering the bare minimum.
He can see everything: Julie's exposed legs, shoulders, and skin. Imari's bountiful jugs threatened to burst out of her towel, her smooth arms, legs, and shoulders were also exposed. Noah's head went dizzy.
Imari glanced at Noah, she dragged Julie back with a red face.
"Dummy! Dummy! Dummy! Why did you rush out of the bathroom looking like this?!"
Julie tilted her head in confusion.
"Is there something wrong with my sleepwear?"
"It's super problematic!"
Imari dragged Julie back while dodging Noah's gaze.
"Go back and change into something else!"
Imari's sudden tug staggered Julie. She fell down.
In her panic, she pulled Imari's bath towel off.
Julie fell butt-first to the floor. A towel slowly descended onto her head.
Imari froze up while her eyes widened to an unprecedented level.
Noah saw her white skin and the pretty pink toppings of her divine mountains that can enchant anyone. His heart stopped throbbing for two seconds. The world turned silent as the mood became heavy with silence.
Noah stood up like a robot. He walked away from Julie who is still on the ground, went past Imari who turned into a statue. He opened the door and he exited that place, closing the door shut on his way out.
A shriek came from within the room.