Chapter 171 – The Intent of a Drunkard
"Welcome to our Tianjing Heroic Soul Academy, esteemed Headmaster Bradley and students of Adolf Academy," Headmaster Greene greeted with a grin as he came forward to welcome the incoming guests.
Headmaster Bradley shook hands with Headmaster Greene with a faint smile on his face. "There's no need for you to be so polite, my old classmate! Having the opportunity to undergo an exchange with Eastern China's most well established school is an honour for Adolf Academy," Headmaster Bradley replied with a light chuckle.
For one who had achieved the ranking of third last year, saying that it was their honour to have an exchange with the tenth placing was something no one would believe. To do so was akin to slapping them on the face. Yet, Headmaster Bradley had said it with such politeness, as though it was a phrase said commonly out of courtesy. Unable to bear such embarrassment, Headmaster Greene's face turned slightly red as he coughed softly.
As Bradley, Deputy Headmaster Moore, Professor Thor and Headmaster Greene were all old friends, they greeted each other warmly. At the same time, Greene took the opportunity to to introduce some of the teachers from the academy. Based on the way Bradley held himself, it was obvious that he was well versed in the subtle arts of social interactions. He chatted and joked with the groups of teachers in a humble manner, creating an easy-going and carefree atmosphere.
"Are Headmaster Greene and the headmaster of Adolf friends? They seem really close," Emily asked out of curiosity in a hushed voice.
"They used to be classmates when they both attended the senior military officer research class. Dean Thor attended that same class as well," Scarlet answered. The friendship between the two was the most probable reason for Adolf Academy's willingness to attend.
"Our Tianjing Academy is quite extraordinary. We have produced many outstanding professors and headmasters."
"It’s not just professors and headmasters that have passed through these halls. Many high ranking officials in the military have also originated from this academy. In the past, it was undeniable that Tianjing Heroic Soul Academy was the undisputed pinnacle of the Eastern China Region," Hymin said with a shrug, "The current batch along with the previous few intakes have caused the prestige of the academy to plummet."
Upon hearing her words, everyone around could not help but feel embarrassed and was left speechless.
Greene and Bradley had excused themselves from the others and were at a corner of the hall engaged in their own conversation.
"Are those the students your academy is sending to participate in the competition?" Bradley asked as his gaze roamed over Wang Zhong and the rest with unbridled interest. "It seems that my old classmate has more courage than even I do to even dare sending such a young squadron to an important competition. If it were me, I'm afraid that I would have long since suffered from a heart attack."
"Being young has its perks. Besides, participating in such a huge competition would temper the young ones who tend to be reckless. It would reap a lot of benefits should they learn from this experience."
"My old classmate, the way you said that make you sound like a hypocrite," Bradley replied. Coming to a halt, Bradley faced Greene with a faint smile on his face. "I've heard from the grapevine that you've expelled a third name student by the name of Reeves. He used to be the captain of your squadron, right? Could this be the reason behind your decision in sending those second years and freshmen to represent Tianjing in the competition?"
The previously amicable atmosphere suddenly became tense. In order to advance to the next stage of the competition, Reeves, along with Adams and his group, had resorted to underhanded tactics to maliciously harm their competitors. They even went as far as plotting the murder of their opponents. This was not something the academy can simply overlook and would leave a black mark on the academy’s reputation.
Greene, however, did not attempt to cover this up. In fact, he even went the extra mile to report this incident to the higher ups. Therefore, it was not strange for Bradley to know about this matter. But to raise this matter suddenly….there must be a reason behind this.
Stopping in his tracks, Greene shot a glare at Bradley.
"Don't over think things, old friend. If it was any other person, I would not have asked in such a forthright manner. Considering our relationship, let's not waste time on useless pleasantries," Bradley explained with a chuckle. With a pat on Greene's shoulders, he continued on and said, "Our Adolf academy and Tianjing Academy are neighbours, and are close enough to be considered as family. Why else would I waste valuable time that can be used to train my squadron on an exchange when the CHF is around the corner?"
Though he did not outrightly accused others, and have even mentioned how they were like a "family", the intent behind his words were clearly understood.
Who do you, Tianjing Academy, think you are? You, who were ranked in the tenth place in last year's regionals, are simply just trash! I have brought my third place team to undergo an exchange with such filth! This is such a waste of time!
However, his words did not induce rage in those who heard his words. Instead, all Greene could feel was embarrassment for it was the truth. When one fails to live up to one's expectations, no amount of words would do any good.
Disregarding the fact that Bradley had made such a veiled insult, even if he were to outrightly scold Greene, Greene would have to bite his tongue and accept the lashing. For this is what it means to be placed in the tenth position; you're nothing but trash.
Unable to hold it in, two of the Adolf Academy students started to laugh in a mocking manner.
Greene, however, maintained his composure. He knew Bradley all too well. Bradley had always been smooth with his words. He would not do something if it held no benefit for him, much less taking the time to come all the way down to simply mock and ridicule Greene. Every action he took, every word he said had a reason behind them.
As such, Greene waited patiently for his intent to become clear.
Indeed, the main purpose of his visit came to light as he continued on to say, "However, as a reason of Reeve's departure, the standards of the current third years in Tianjing Academy should have dropped significantly."
With a smirk on his face, he suddenly changed the topic at hand. "Ah yes, old classmate of mine," he asked in an innocent tone. "How are those students that you have sent over to the Elite Rail Forces last year faring?"
"That's a pity! Those four reserved quotas are now wasted," Bradley exclaimed while shaking his head. "I was quite fond of that Reeves of yours. To think that he no longer is part of your academy. Tsk tsk. Old classmate, why don't you pass some of your quota over to us, Adolf Academy? It just so happen that I do have quite a couple of third years that have potential."
"You are aware that our academy was only allocated two quotas, which makes it hard to give our students the chance to shine. How about this then. Consider the transfer of quotas as a loan. When your academy have sufficient third years with potential and you require the quotas, I, Bradley, would definitely transfer the quotas over! Old classmate, you have to help me out here. Treat it as compensation for the students that have taken time off their training to go for this exchange."
It was at this point that Wang Zhong and the rest finally understood Bradley's goals. When academies engage in an exchange, the key goal is to cultivate mutual respect for each other while learning together regardless of their individual strengths. However, this was used by that old fellow as a foothold to blackmail Headmaster Greene to attain benefits for their academy.
The eyes of a couple of students from Adolf Academy lit up upon hearing Bradley's words. Headmaster Bradley had simply voiced out the thoughts they themselves held! It would explain why he would waste so much time to undergo an exchange with such a useless academy. It seems that the headmaster always had incredible foresight! The CHF pales in comparison to the Elite Rail Forces. After all, with Adolf Academy's standards, it would be hardpressed for them to entered into the top sixteen in the CHF. Without acquiring sufficient fame and reputation, this is the easiest way for them to increase their quota.
When Bradley had accepted the exchange with no hesitation, doubt began to surface in Greene.
Bradley was not one to help others in times of need. He definitely was up to something.
Look's like it was true! Yesterday, before Adolf Academy's arrival, Bradley had informed Greene that there were some matters that he wanted to discuss and those matters had to wait till he arrived. At that point of time, Greene had assumed that he was mentally prepared for things to come. For the purpose of helping the students involved in the exchange, he would be willing to pay any price that Bradley demanded. Never in his wildest dreams did he thought that Bradley would be aiming for the reserved quotas that Tianjing Academy possessed for the Elite Rail Forces!