Chapter 194 – Final Dignity
As atmosphere between the two became more carefree, feelings began to stir in the hearts of the two. Having worked so hard together, placing their trust in each other to achieve such a huge victory had made them emotional. Coupled with the fact that they had quite a bit of alcohol and they were under the such a beautiful night sky shimmering with millions of stars, the atmosphere was the epitome of romance.
Suddenly, before their eyes, a black figure emerged, ruining the moment.
"I apologise for the interruption." said the black figure that stood before them.
Aided by the faint rays of moonlight, Wang Zhong and Scarlet managed to identify the newcomer.
"Cecil?" Scarlet spoke out in surprise. It would be hardpressed to call meeting at such a place in a middle of the night a coincidence.
Cecil neither responded nor even give Scarlet so much as a glance. He knew that his appearance was suddenly. However, at this very moment, he couldn't be bothered to offer an explanation to her.
Today, Adolf Academy had lost everything. Not only had they lost the two recommendation quotas and the allocated resources for their academy, their confidence had been completely shattered!
Cecil had felt the oppressive silence from his squadron since the moment they had walked out of the Tianjing Academy today.
Upon returning to their resting room, Elena had started crying and Qi Lianshan did nothing but lowered his head. Even Simon, Berney and Rosenberger, who were rowdy and carefree, were tacitum with tears streaming down their faces. Adonis, who typically announced "I'm a genius" all the time, had also turned completely mute. Cecil would rather withstand Adonis's irritating need to proclaim his superiority than to watch him turn into a coward who was unable to raise his head up.
Adolf had lost before. When they had lost to Copperfield, all of them had had the drive to improve themselves. All of them had wanted to train bitterly before fighting again in the upcoming year, with no tears of despair on their faces!
However, today, the squadron seemed like it was unravelling at its seams. The squadron had once endured countless barrages from their enemies and had still remained standing, just like a sturdily built fortress. And yet, today's loss had left them in despair, eroding away at their confidence and destabilizing the squadron from the insides!
There was no one to blame but him. From the mistakes made in the lineup for the solo battles to the final strategic mistake in the group battle, it was all the responsibility of him, the captain. However, now wasn't the time to keep harping on it.
This year, Adolf still had a very way ahead of them, as there's still the CHF that they had to face. Therefore, he was willing to do anything to bring back the dignity his squadron once had, no matter how shameless or contemptible it was! He had to make sure his squadron regain the confidence they had lost!
With that in mind, he had approached Wang Zhong. The vast majority of the people had only seen Barran's bravery and ferocity and Grai's imposing strength. However, only the people directly involved in the situation would understand that Wang Zhong was the true mastermind that had led Tianjing to victory. It was his strategies and lineups that left nothing to chance and his constant barrage of arrows in the group battles that had gifted Tianjing the victory they had achieved over Adolf!
If it any other occasion, Cecil would absolutely not use such a method to "bully" an archer. However, in this current situation…
"I wish to engage in a solo match with you." Cecil spoke out with calm and firm gaze. No hint of emotions bled into his words, only resolve and determination could be seen from unquestionable gaze. "As long as you accept this matter, you can set any condition you so wish."
Upon hearing his words, Scarlet immediately burst into laughter. "Captain Cecil, are you joking with us?" replied Scarlet. "We've won. If you still wish to compare notes with us, you can go and find Headmaster Greene instead.I remember hearing Headmaster Bradley saying that comparing of notes is something that's very serious and shouldn't be taken lightly."
Unable to contain his emotions, Cecil's face turned slightly red. Nevertheless, in the cover of the night, none of them noticed it.
If the only one who lost today was him, Cecil would be more than willing to turn around and leave. However, his goal wasn't simply honor or dignity. Purposefully ignoring Scarlet, he locked his gaze tightly at Wang Zhong and said, "Captain Wang Zhong, what are your thoughts about this request?"
Scarlet could faintly discern the smile that was slowly creeping its way onto Wang Zhong's face. No matter how intelligent a man can be, in front of a lady, he would not want to appear inferior when confronted in a direct challenge. Scarlet was truly afraid that Wang Zhong would lose his cool and agree to such an unreasonable request. As such, she wanted to intervene and give her opinion on the matter at hand.
However, before she could do so, Wang Zhong had replied, "Let's give it a go. It just so happens that I've yet to have my fill for today.""
Both Scarlet and Cecil were left flabbergasted for a short instant, as both of them had not expected for this fellow to accept the challenge in such a straightforward manner. What? You have yet to have your fill? What does that even mean?…
Faint doubt and confusion began to surface in Cecil's eyes. "What condition will you set?" asked Cecil, the trepidation evident in his voice.
"There's no need for any conditions." replied Wang Zhong as he shook his head. "I've already gotten what I wanted from you guys."
Indeed. Today, Wang Zhong had brought the squad together and had put his theories to the test. Although Wang Zhong may had appeared carefree during the match, as though he had everything under his control, he was in fact quite nervous. However, he had managed to place his emotions to the side and focused on the task at hand as he knew that he had picked the right course of action.
However, his decisions were only excellent on paper and had to be put to the test in a real life situation for any practical knowledge to be gained. Wang Zhong had read many outstanding literature, which led to him publishing a number of revolutionary theses. He had learnt from those hot-blooded teens and had placed himself in the shoes of those fighting in group battles in large competitions. He had formulated numerous lineups and formations he would use and then compare them to the strategies and arrangements used by well-known teams. From this, he had found many ideas that he had not thought of before, which expanded his knowledge in the battlegrounds and honed his tactical abilities.
However, that was all in theory and was simply just the combination of thoughts and knowledge he had obtained from readings. It wasn't to say that he lacked knowledge or confidence. Rather, he had not yet tested his strategies in real combat and hence could only be considered to be an armchair strategist.
Today, that had all changed. Adolf had given him proof about his abilities. It was hard for people to imagine the importance this match was to Wang Zhong. This was the most quintessential step turn his theories into reality. During the ten years in the dream world, what Wang Zhong did the most was to engage in numerous hypothetical situations and simulations with Simba. If the OP system had become the way to help Wang Zhong prove and test his personal combat skills and techniques, the match against Adolf was the way for Wang Zhong to prove his theories about the group fundamentals.
Furthermore, Adolf had even helped him "reanimate" Barran. He had accomplished all he had hoped for, and had unexpectedly achieved them with just one competition. A squadron as strong as Cecil was something that Wang Zhong needed. On a whole. This competition has given Wang Zhong his honor, dignity and fighting spirit back. This was something that can only be aroused by a suitable opponent.
Just like that, he gave a faint smile as he looked towards Cecil.
After a long while, Cecil took a deep breath and replied, "Regardless of anything, you've gained my respect. Perhaps, we can be friends after this. Now…let's find a suitable battleground!"
When two men had decided to duke it out, all women could do is just stand by the sides and watch.
Regardless of whether Wang Zhong was too polite or rash to accept the duel, Scarlet decided to not do anything unnecessary, as it would be redundant to do so. Having already made his mind up, Wang Zhong wasn't the type that would easily change his decisions.
Perhaps he wanted to show off his astonishing cross wheels? Yet, it would be somewhat difficult to do it against a person of a level like Cecil. Additionally, pulling off a fanciful technique would depend on the type of the opponent one faced. However, Cecil might be a very good opponent to test it out.
Thinking along this line, Scarlet could only help out in Wang Zhong's decision. "I know of a suitable place for a duel," mentioned Scarlet, "Follow me."
The three of them arrived at the training grounds of the Black Rose Society. The blue glow emitting from the screen strapped to Scarlet's wrist appeared clear and bright within the dark night. Sweeping the screen across the frame of the jet black door, a stripe filled with words appeared before their eyes.
"Honored President Scarlet. Welcome back."
As the black frame lit up, a robotic welcome voice rang out before the big doors of the Black Rose Society started to open slowly.