It was worth it.
Regardless of whether they won or lost the upcoming group battle, regardless of who ended up with the recommendations, Headmaster Greene felt it was all worth it. It wasn't scary to be weak. But if the hearts of everyone no longer felt honor or glory for the academy, then that would be the most frightening them and something he wouldn't be able to face!
Furthermore, today's squadron was not filled with weaklings!
Wang Zhong and the others in the squadron felt somewhat emotional. The voices of those singing the song had more of an impact to one's heart than the mindless cheers and shouts of the audience. They were attracted to the song and ended up joining them, their soft voices adding to the chorus.
Opposite them, the five people representing Adolf Academy stayed extremely silent. The entire academy taking the initiative to sing their school song in high voices as a method of cheering their team on was something they'd experienced in the larger competitions. They could feel the strands of energy from the crowd converging together, giving them a feeling of pressure from its intensity. It was a pressure that came from fighting the opponent in their home territory!
This was really home territory. Compared to all that rubbish previously said by the people who were easily swayed in the stands during the solo matches, or those shouts and curses and abusive cries, the current emotions were completely different. It was an invisible pressure that pressed against them in waves. Adolf Academy's students began to feel a bit weighed down by all of this, their hearts heavy.
This was Tianjing's home territory superiority!
When the singing voices finally stopped, and the entire arena quieted down, the crowd didn't restart their clamoring of noises. There wasn't even any of that previous exaggerated display of emotions.
Headmaster Greene stood, then immediately sounded the starting bell of the match!
"Go!" Cecil roared in a deep voice.
"Barran, protect our group's formation!" Wang Zhong started with individual orders.
Any knowledgeable person would know that this was the commander's job. Barran was indeed their double-edged sword. When he got back up after experiencing a fall, he really did become stronger in certain aspects. But he had some obvious weaknesses as well.
Wang Zhong had to let him display his strong points while covering his weak ones. This fellow wasn't suited for any complicated thoughts. Usually, a single sentence would be enough.
Group battle competitions had different modes, one of which was to place a flag in a predetermined position within the two sides' starting place. The area around the flag represented the team's controlled zone. If the other team managed to occupy this zone for more than five minutes, then they would win the group battle.
If complicated terrain was used as the battlefield, this kind of combat became very interesting as one could rely on various techniques or methods to steal the flag, obstruct opponents, or even use petty acts. It displayed the strength of both teams in various aspects such as communications and strategies.
But Tianjing was quite limited in providing such a scene. It didn't possess such overly complicated battlefields, and this was the norm for the majority of academies. If Tianjing were to truly do so, then they would have to create a battlefield that would take up an area between the size of an entire street to around half the city. As such, group battles were usually confined to a small arena and fixed to more simpler methods of combat.
The lineups set up by the two sides could be understood with a single glance. It was impossible for them to simply steal the flag. After all, it was rather useless to do so. The way to win was to stay around the opposite flag for five minutes. If one were to do so, then the opposing team could just target them and wipe the person out to create a five versus four situation.
There was naturally no meaning to being so petty. It was a five versus five, so if they wanted to win it was best to just directly beat all five of their opponents.
While a group battle within the arena lacked variation, it did provide a more emotional confrontation.
The arena itself had an area of around two hundred square meters. It was roughly the size of a soccer field from the old era. A red and green flag was placed to the east and west side of the arena respectively. Both squadron's five-person formation was rapidly formed before rushing forward. Neither intended to pettily defend their own flag. The transformation of each of their combat formations immediately showed off their unique traits.
Tianjing had a 2:3 formation with their two long-ranged fighters standing around twenty meters behind their front lines. The front lines had Barran in the center with Emily to his left and Grai on the far right, a six-seven meter distance between each of them.
Like Adolf had analyzed, this formation was done standardly and relied more on balance. With their safe distance, the two long-ranged fighters could guarantee proper backup and provide the greatest support. Their front lines also wasn't weak and the most tyrannical aspect of it all was its sustainability in combat.
Adolf appeared with their 1:3:1 formation. Their only mid-ranged fighter, Simon, stood fifteen meters behind his group. The middle vanguard had Qi Lian Shan in the center with Cecil to his left and Bernie, who had yet to appear in the competition, to the far right. From the looks of it, they wanted to have Bernie restrain Emily and Cecil against Grai, whose performance had been the most terrifying in the solo matches.
Elena, on the other hand, was away from the squadron and moving from the left. This showed her intention of flanking Tianjing to launch a sneak-attack on their two long-ranged fighters. This was a commonly used method in group battles of destroying the rear first.
The two sides rapidly grew closer before Scarlet fired the first shot. She used a gun, which had more range than a cannon, and was probing the substitute heavy soldier, Qi Lian Shan. When her ice crystal bullets hit that firm shield, however, it didn't even cause the thing to sway. Her frost effect could still be displayed on the shield, but it didn't have any effect on her opponent's movements. Furthermore, Qi Lian Shan quickly dispelled the frost effect with his soul power. All of this showed that the substitute was both calm and collected, not an easy target for her.
Following Scarlet's shots, Adolf started to move. Elena rapidly shot forward as Grai rushed forward from the right. Her goal was clearly pointed toward Wang Zhong and Scarlet who stood at the back.
She thought Grai would come over and stop her, to keep her from running over in order to protect the back lines. It was the duty of any front liner to move up and prevent assassins from penetrating the back. But unexpectedly, Grai completely disregarded her, as though he hadn't even seen the action she'd taken. Rather, he continued his rush forward and maintained the squadron's original combat formation.
Elena was dumbstruck. This team's captain had actually guessed their plan?
You want to slice up senior Wang Zhong? I wish you all the best. Yep, let's just maintain this formation! Grai was, in fact, thinking such a thing.
Since she failed to lure him in, Elena's brain short-circuited for a bit. She didn't know whether to continue heading toward her opponent's back lines or try to block Grai according to the original strategy.
Grai is being too unreasonable, she thought. She wanted to turn around and roar violently, "Oi! I'm going to chop at your back lines! Are you blind!?"
Luckily, Cecil's reaction was fast enough. Whether it was that their strategy had been seen through, or that they had extreme confidence toward Wang Zhong and Scarlet, there was no choice left for him. Time grew fleeting in such a situation!
"Go!" roared Cecil. His entire group began to furiously exhibit their strength!
Qi Lian Shan gave a muffled roar as he suddenly increased the speed of his charge. He rushed at Barran with high speed. To his left, Bernie had also dashed ten meters forward to rush at Emily.
The most critical point was Cecil, who had crossed the ten-meter gap with lightning speed. He sent a single slash toward Grai. Like a swallow, Elena turned from the back to sneak-attack Grai from behind. Even Simon, who stood twenty meters away, had his cannon pointed directly at Grai!
Their goal was Grai! Were they trying to concentrate their fire and deal with Grai?
Bang, bang, bang~
Scarlet's shots provided support in an instant, but the nimble Elena easily evaded them. Their encirclement had been accomplished in the blink of an eye!