Chapter 176 – Follow the Order
The voices coming from the audience shrunk by quite a bit. Since they were worried about affecting the morale of the Tianjing Squadron, there was a distinct lack of shouting and cursing being tossed around.
As for Adolf Academy, Cecil intentionally looked towards the zone dedicated to the Tianjing Academy Squadron. He found the second-year captain who was nicknamed 'Bookworm' and smiled faintly. There were many who assumed that the arrangements for a battle lineup was done as a gamble. In reality, this wasn't so. All of the decisions that went into the lineup required rules and necessity behind them.
Cecil held the fight today with very high regards. He didn't care about the strength of Tianjing Academy, but instead paid attention to Adolf Academy's reputation concerning the four previous recommendation quotas. He would definitely obtain them all. In order to prepare, he spent the entire day yesterday researching this squadron through the use of various channels.
Sending Lily out first as the vanguard was inevitable. It was different from the wild guesses that had been flung about by the students, such as Lily being the second strongest expert within Tianjing Academy. Cecil felt there should be at least two people within the squadron that could be considered stronger than her.
Even so, this squadron had only been properly formed three months ago. Lily was the third-year representative within the squadron. Regardless of whether one considered the respect held toward the veteran members of the squadron or because the veterans had some kind of larger right to speak, she being sent out was still their opponent's most definite choice.
But naturally, if his opponent's captain thought through it a bit more deeply and dared to break the norms for the sake of victory, then he could've made another counter to go against Adolf's arrangement. But it seemed Cecil overestimated the intelligence of this bookworm captain, Wang Zhong. Or perhaps his voice and prestige within the squadron wasn't sufficient enough. Regardless, this captain was no longer a threat to Cecil.
This was Cecil's first probe. Not only did he counter the first selected member of Tianjing Academy, he also made a probe against the intelligence of their captain. It was obvious his opponent had failed completely this round.
Currently, Lily and Simon were atop the stage.
Competitions in the real world were obviously different from those hosted inside the OP system. Although the entirety of the competition grounds encompassed a large space, ranged soldiers didn't see this as anything. The lack of obstacles, however, was clearly an advantage for them.
It was a pity that Lily's opponent was Simon, who wasn't an ordinary ranged soldier. He was named the Heavy Soldier Cannoneer and was the nemesis of heavy soldiers. Furthermore, he was the vice-captain of the Adolf Squadron. It was said that this fellow even made Anlor of Copperfield Academy feel like driving his head into a wall. He was the one who made Anlor train bitterly with his ranged flying axes, so one could imagine how powerful he was.
Simon had quite the large physique. If he were to toss away the large and thick cannon in his hands, people would begin to suspect he were a heavy soldier. But he also looked abnormally weird as he had a pair of extremely gentlemanly spectacles resting upon his nose. That large, barbaric physique coupled with such gentlemanly glasses, no matter how one looked at him one could only feel the aura of a gentleman radiating from him.
In comparison, Lily was much more pleasing to the ey. As one of the previous three great soldiers of Tianjing Academy, her extremely fit appearance and unceasing flow of power made her a fusion of absolute strength and beauty. She even seemed to give off a faint fragrance as she passed. Simply based off her appearance, the difference between her and those sweat-covered heavy soldiers was like heaven and earth.
Smiling faintly, Simon gave Lily a small bow. Toward beautiful women, this gentlemanly attitude was definitely a must. Furthermore, yesterday's unbridled behaviour had been instigated for the sake of infuriating Tianjing into making the bet. When one truly spoke about character and personality, Adolf Academy wasn't as unbearable as others assumed.
Lily took a deep breath, then gave a curtsy as she drew her heavy sword. They stood in confrontation.
She would be lying if she said there wasn't any pressure. But she'd experienced such big competitions in the past and she knew that being anxious would just produce undesirable results. Furthermore, she had been comparing notes for two weeks with experts like Wang Zhong and Grai. The result was that she felt she had unknowingly broken through a bottleneck, one that had plagued her for so long. She didn't know if it were enough to bridge the disparity between herself and and an expert like Simon, but her gazed became firmer and more resolute. I'll just do my best!
"You can do it, Senior Sister Lily!"
"That cannon isn't frightening at all! Senior Sister Lily will definitely win!"
"That's right! A heavy sword soldier's mobility and range of attack is much stronger than that of a shield-wielding heavy soldier! We have a chance!"
It was only until the match was about to start that the scattered cheers of the students started to ring out. Even so, the cheers were quickly spurred on by the emotions of the large crowd. They all cheered and shouted words of encouragement. While the fight had yet to start and everything was still unknown, at this moment the roaring of cheers swept through the entire competition grounds. This was Tianjing's home field!
Then, Headmaster Greene personally rang the fight bell. The first match began!
As the bell rang out, Lily made her move.
It was as though wind appeared beneath her feet as she shot off like an arrow leaving its bow. Heavy soldiers excelled at close quarters combat. All she had to do was narrow the distance and the might of the cannon could be properly displayed.
Lily's eruption of speed at the very start of the match made everyone scream involuntarily with excitement and admiration. It wasn't just her speed, even her footwork was different as she avoided moving in a heavy soldier's usual straight dash.
She stared intently at the cannon in Simon's hand. The level of concentration she was currently exerting seemed unthinkable by the previous her and allowed her to make two pre-emptive decisions. With just a change in the direction of her dash, she was easily able to avoid Simon's heavy cannon attack and let them hit empty air. In the blink of an eye the distance between the two had shortened from a hundred meters to just fifty meters!
Her actions astonished Simon. From the recordings of Lily in last year's regionals that he had analyzed with Cecil yesterday, they found that her combat style had been extremely straightforward. Generally speaking, the absolute majority of heavy soldiers would adopt a simple head-on dash. Everyone knew it was hard for a leopard to change its spots.
Even if one ignored the increase in the combat strategies she displayed, she was stilll unexpectedly able to change even the manner and flow of her combat style. Her judgement allowed her to see through the trajectory of the heavy cannon fire and evade them proactively. This was completely unlike the habits of those barbaric heavy soldiers. Furthermore, her movements didn't seem bad at all.
Lily's performance made the students watching erupt into an uncontrollable and thunderous roar. This really allowed them all to vent!
"Senior Sister Lily is simply too beautiful!"
"Shatter his glasses!"
"Adolf Academy will surely lose! Tianjing Academy will definitely win!"
"Our goddess! Our goddess!"
The surrounding atmosphere instantly became roused and feverish. But in the end, after he got over his short instance of astonishment, Simon simply gave a faint smile.
While this beautiful lady was markedly better than how she was in the previous year, it still wouldn't be enough.
Simon's body shook faintly and he fired two cannon shots. They didn't fly directly toward the rapidly approaching Lily, but instead hit the areas near her left and right sides.
Not everyone could fire a cannon everywhere without a care like Sharmie. For regular cannoneers, the accuracy of the shot, a necessity in suppressing enemy mobility, and hindering of vision to counter possible locations to move toward were things that defined how efficient they were.
As the number one cannoneer in the Eastern China Region, Simon indeed lived up to his reputation. When he got serious and changed his attacks to ones that used proper combat techniques, he managed to combine smooth cannon fire with short intervals and accurate deduction of where to strike in order to suppress Lily in just a few seconds.
Lily was able to narrow the gap because he had wrongly estimated her combat style and methods. Since she was the nimble, agile type, he would naturally use a method that countered her.
This blockade of cannon fire had unknowingly created a maze for Lily. He was forcing her to head down the only path he made available for her to follow.