Taking a step back, Gary was a little startled at the sudden request. In the first place he never expected to see Xin, and when he did see her, he often fumbled his words or found it hard to speak.
So, to hear this, he was really fumbling now.
"I fight.. me me.. fight.. you." Gary said, struggling to get his words out.
"Yes." Xin replied. "Gary, I've seen how strong you are. How strong you have become and how you beat the others. At the moment, everyone says that I'm rank 1 in this place, but is that really the case?
"How can I say I'm rank 1, when I haven't gone against you?"
Rankings were never something Gary cared about since coming into the AFA. Because in his head, his dreams were too small in the first place. Just getting into the AFA was a dream, getting this far, and being a part of the AFC.
He didn't have any goals, when it came to the AFC or AFA, but it wasn't the same for Xin.
'Is facing Xin a good idea?' Gary thought. 'I have to admit, I am interested in how strong she is, but if she lost what would it mean to her?'
Gary knew he had improved by leaps and bounds since fighting the Scatterbugs. Even if the two were to fight before, Gary perhaps might have lost but only by a little, now though he felt like it was almost unfair.
On top of that, due to the night sky still being out he had the advantage of his class. Although he could limit himself while fighting Xin, she was skillful enough to know that he was holding back. For Gary to put up a fight, he would be unable to hold back.
Because of all of these reasons, he eventually came up with an answer.
"I'm sorry Xin but I don't think I can."
It was clear that this wasn't the answer she was expecting and from the look in her eyes, and her tensed up body, it was almost as if she was angry.
"Why? Is it because you like me?" Xin replied. "Do you really think that I'm going to be thankful to you, for being a gentleman and not fighting me? You know I'm not that type of person."
"It's not that." Gary replied, he was trying to think of a way to explain himself, without revealing his secret, he looked to the ground unable to look Xin in the eye, and realising this, she herself realised that maybe she had jumped the gun.
"I'm sorry I was a little annoyed at you and let my anger come out." Xin explained. "You see, Gary you're amazing, I still remember you when I met you at school. You're so strong and you keep growing stronger.
"You know, for me I have a big reason for being here, for joining the AFC, but for you. I somewhat felt like you were only here because of me. At first I thought it was sweet, but then It started to make me feel strange.
"You managed to get here, just on those feelings alone. Is that how you are so strong? Then, does that mean that my own resolve is weaker, or is it just the fact that you're so much more talented than me?
"I'm sure this might even be something that you can't answer yourself, so I wanted to learn through fighting against you. I thought I might get my answer that way. You should know that before the assessment of the academy students, the debut students will have their first match.
"After that, we will be shipped to clubs, or professional teams, to work on climbing the AFC, which also means, I won't be here anymore, that's why I wanted to fight you, just before I left." Xin explained.
There was a lot in what Xin said, and although some of it was partly true, not all of it was. Gary did come to the academy because of Xin but there were other reasons, and as for why he got stronger, it was because he was carrying a lot of weight.
The weight of the Howlers gang, the weight of his friends, and the weight of his family. There was a lot riding on Gary's strength, and even now it was why he needed to continue to grow stronger.
"Xin, I'm not good at explaining things so I want you to do something." Gary held up his hand, as if he was going for a high five and placed it in the air. "I want you to transform and use all your strength and do whatever you can to move my hand from its position."
Xin didn't understand the point of this, but she decided to go along with it anyway, she placed her hand against his, and the two of them were now touching. She first just tried to push using her strength but there was no movement at all from Gary.
Then, using her whole body weight she pushed it in, but again there was nothing.
'What is this, my strength is not weak so why can't I move his arm?' Xin thought.
Holding it in place, she decided to take things a bit more seriously, there was a little spark in her eye, before she shifted her feet, moving it in a motion, twisted her hip and pushed in one go as hard as she could against Gary's hand.
It was with such force that on a normal person it would have sent them flying across the field, but with Gary nothing had happened and his hand was still left there in place.
"I know this is nothing compared to a real fight and you're more skillful than me. I have no idea what your Altered form is, and there's never a sure win in any fight, but with this strength I have, right now I don't even know how to control it properly."
Hearing Gary, Xin started to think about the fight she had seen him in, how out of control he was at the time.
"The last person I would want to hurt, is you." Gary explained.
Xin couldn't help but smile as she heard this.
"Well I guess, that just means I have to get so strong that you don't worry about that." Xin smiled.
The two of them continued to talk after that, about school life, the troubles they both had and a little about their family, but they left the matter of fighting each other behind.
It was nice, for the two of them, to just enjoy speaking to each other like so. When they split ways, Gary continued his lessons, but he wasn't as chatty with the others as he usually would be, he was quite diligent at studying and it was the first time the others had seen him like this.
Then came the end of the day, as Gary was ready to head back to his dorm room, Izzy had stopped him before doing so. She stood in the hallway, twiddling with her fingers while looking at the floor.
"Is something wrong, is it the bite mark?" Gary asked worriedly.
"No, no it's not that." Izzy replied even though the bite mark was bothering her, but that wasn't the reason why she was here. "I'm sorry, but I wanted to ask you this all day, but I couldn't find the right time and I have to now.
"It's my parents, they want to meet you."