"Go back and rest well. If we are called to gather at 3am tomorrow, it should be the last of the high-intensity field training. Make sure to be in your best state, as it concerns both your placement in the next phase and allocation of resources."
Russell explained all this to Emily with a smile.
Hearing this, Emily nodded and followed him as they headed back. Once she was in her room, she lay down on the small, hard plank bed and quickly entered the world of dreams. Even if she did not currently feel tired, one of the necessary skills an assassin needed was to be able to use any spare time possible to recuperate one's energy and spirit.
At 3am the next morning, everyone gathered in the training grounds. Just as Russell had said, they were to undergo a high intensity field training. The iron faces arranged everyone in four echelons according to their previous strength rankings, before setting off in different ways.
Emily was assigned to the second echelon, surprising her slightly. Although she had improved extremely quickly throughout the entire course of training, she had originally believed that she would be sent to the third echelon.
From the first echelon, Russell glanced over with a gentle smile of congratulations and the intent of encouraging her to continue working hard.
Seeing this, Emily nodded slightly. The feeling of one's hard work being acknowledged was one of the greatest reasons as to why she could continue enduring in such an extremely intense environment. As of now, her intentions had already changed from simply wishing to become stronger into a feeling of necessity!
Ten minutes after the first echelon had set off, the second echelon where Emily was in began to set off too. Everyone was outfitted with over 20kg of combat equipment. Being an assassin family that had been preserved through inheritance, their requirements for an assassin was much, much higher than others. Although they didn't require one to excel in all aspects, everyone had to be well versed at the very least. One could be an extremist in certain aspects, though one still needed to possess a middle standard for all other aspects.
An assassin was a weapon, not a one time disposable good.
With thoughts like this, survival was always the number one priority. The special high intensity field training was conceived from this concept. The training method was extremely simple, purely running!
As long as one could run quickly, one would always be faster than others when fleeing. When in pursuit, one would also be able to have more stamina and speed. In life or death situations, one would possess an additional degree of explosiveness.
Naturally, this training did not consist of only running while carrying a load. Half an hour after leaving the camp grounds, everyone would enter the first phase of exhaustion. Intense rumbles would ring out from behind. Following suit, those at the back of the group would shriek out in throat tearing fashion, as ten iron faces appeared, pursuing them from behind.
This was not a joke, it was true combat. Emily noticed a member who was running too slowly and watched as they were grabbed by the iron face and thrust into the air. With one movement, the member's right hand was ripped off!
Blood and flesh splattered everywhere, with miserable shrieks reverberating in everyone's ears. Such a scene had already become the norm during training yet feelings of shock still erupted from Emily's heart. She had always believed that she was well prepared, and insisted on this to herself. However, whenever such a scene appeared, her resolve fluctuated.
Forcefully suppressing the nauseating feeling erupting within her, Emily clenched her teeth tightly.
Everyone increased their speed crazily, as the originally organized group instantly became incomparably chaotic.
Emily also increased her pace in response. Nevertheless, she was not safe from danger, as an iron face had clearly set his sights on her. Overtaking a few members of the second echelon, he did not show the slightest intent of taking action towards them as he rushed straight towards her.
Emily sensed that she was being targeted, as the incoming aura was icy cold while a feeling of death began to take root within her heart. This iron face was earnestly trying to kill her, and would absolutely not show the slightest bit of mercy! She did not wish to lose her hands and legs should he catch up to her.
What should I do? Continue to increase speed and run away?
This path was considerably spacious. If she was to continue running, there would be no obstructions. Although she was extremely confident about her speed, the problem lay in her endurance. If she was to continue running away at such a pace, she would lost the ability to counterattack without and her opponent would not even need to take action.
However, could she stop and fight? She would definitely be targeted by the other iron faces if she was to do so. Being targeted by one was already perilous, if she was to attract eve more attention, that would truly be seeking death.
With a flash, she unleashed her Shadow Steps as she immediately left the main path, hurtling towards the uneven mountainous road. As her feet flickered, she instantly distanced herself further from the iron face.
Without the slightest bit of hesitation, the iron face flashed as he followed suit and unleashed his own Shadow Steps, continuing to pursue her. This made Emily's heart sink, as she confirmed her situation of being targeted. However, she also breathed in relief as the other iron faces showed no intent of leaving the main group to pursue her, directing their chase towards the other members.
As the mountainous road steepened, Emily felt the increase in energy consumption. Turning around to take a peek, she noticed the iron face was a dozen metres behind as he continued in his staunch pursuit.
With his speed though, a dozen metres on a mountainous road would only be a matter of a few seconds. As the road continued to grow steeper, Emily began to have an environment she could work with. If they were in a face to face situation, she would definitely be no match for the iron face. Those iron faces in charge of training were battle hardened assassins that had experienced hundreds and hundreds of battles.
However, launching a counterattack in such an environment and pursuit was not impossible for an assassin.
All of a sudden, Emily leapt into the air. Suspended in the air for a brief instance, she quickly spun around and swung her blade towards a large tree. With a bang, the giant tree split in half, toppling over and heading straight towards the iron face.
The iron face clearly slowed his speed for a beat. Instead of slowing down and evading as Emily had anticipated, he increased his pace!
Facing the incoming giant tree, the iron face appeared just like a knife's edge. Bang! The tree was sliced into two once more, as each half fell away from the iron face and tumbled down the mountain. As for the iron face, he continued to pursue Emily with neither an increase nor decrease in speed, his imposing aura surged out like a flood.
Unable to evade any longer, the dozen metres instantly shrunk to ten metres. At this instant, Emily stopped running and light shone furiously from her entire body. Within the fiery brilliance, two daggers were tossed into the air. As the light blossomed, the daggers shot towards the iron face like meteors streaking through the skies.
Even against Emily's fire attribute special ability, the iron face still have no intent of evading. Increasing his momentum, he pressed on forward as if he was a rampaging beast.
Emily could already feel the stifling pressure brought by the iron face. Not only did this person want to break her legs and arms, he wanted her dead!
You only live once! (YOLO)
Emily could feel the murderous intent in the atmosphere. This was completely different from the killing intent present in the training, a feeling that could absolutely not be felt during the competition grounds earlier. This caused her entire body and heart to tremble.Was this the true face of death?
You Only Live Once!
Yet, Emily did not howl in anger. She was an assassin! Calm down! Control every muscle and bend your knees slightly! Since an assassin should meet a fight head on, let's fight it out!
Emily was sent flying with a single strike. Nevertheless, this was not due only to the iron face's strength, as Emily also utilized her own power. At any given moment, an assassin should never be obsessed about pursuing strength. Although the iron face gave off an extremely suppressive aura, he had also given up on the strong points of an assassin. Using pressure to suppress people? One just had to be unafraid.
However, Emily still felt as though something was not quite right. Despite that, she did not have time to examine this feeling of hers, as regardless of what was wrong, it was not as important as surviving the attacks that the iron face was unleashing.
Descending from high up in the sky, Emily continued to use her fire attribute special ability to obstruct the iron face's pursuit. Despite her attempts, however, the iron face was like a ferocious, berserk beast, rushing straight towards her with his aura continually surging higher.
A second clash, a third clash. At this moment. Emily began to feel trauma in her lungs with her internal organs possibly being shifted around already. Her throat was now filled with a bloody taste. Nevertheless, before she was able to process this, blood gushed out. The iron face started his fourth charge.
However, this was the time!
This time, Emily neither retreated nor relied on her opponent's force. Instead, she met the attack head on with her Flaming Lotus Dance blossoming into the most splendid blaze.
Emily flew up within the blaze, even though pain radiated across all of the bones in her entire body. Yet, the iron face simply stood still, not moving a single inch. As his face mask cracked open, blood gushed out from within.
A large mouthful of blood spurted out from Emily as she lay on the ground. Although one's recovery would be extremely slow in such a position, she needed to suppress the injuries that she had sustained. Living was still her first priority!
One could only erupt with such might at the edge of life and death. This was a truly lethal Flaming Lotus Dance.
As Emily was having thoughts about the fight, she suddenly realised the reason for feeling that something was not quite right. That iron face was extremely powerful, yet… his murderous intent was insufficient.
With extreme difficulty, Emily braced herself and stood up. That was when the mask of the iron face shattered and fell off.
A familiar face appeared right before her very eyes!
Instantly, Emily became petrified, with all blood draining from her face. Tears streamed uncontrollably from her eyes. Regardless of how difficult the training was, she was able to endure. She wasn't afraid of death, yet… why must this happen?!
Why must this happen?!
Within the OP, Barran appeared to have been infected by the brother king phenomena, as he became increasingly high spirited the more he lost. It was extremely hard for him to find even the slight feeling of being comfortable. At the same time, he could feel himself improving, which made him not want to waste even a single second. Although such actions caused Wang Zhong and Scarlet, who were watching from the outside, to feel that he did not have the proper comprehension of the entire purpose of training in the OP.
As Wang Zhong and Scarlet continued their conversation, they both felt that time had passed extremely quickly. Regardless of how small the topic was, the two of them would always be able to discuss it endlessly. Furthermore, such a process came rather naturally as they were able to provoke each others' thoughts with their comments.
Unknowingly, time had already elapsed deep into the night, and it was extremely late when they both reached their dormitories.
Regardless of how fervent the discussions were in the Skylink, there was not much in his fight that was worthwhile for Wang Zhong to reminisce upon. While people might be engrossed over the so-called learning and details, to him it was just the feeling of pursuing the fire attribute special ability, differing from the complicated thoughts that others have deduced.
He felt that the mysterious Sovereign of Flames had a favorable impression of him to a certain degree, especially during their last meeting. Whenever Wang Zhong thought back to this, he had always felt that a seed of change had buried in him during that moment. To him, the pursuit of the feeling of flames was merely just an enticement. If not, regardless of the level of comprehension he had towards his fire attribute special ability, he would not become that tired just by the pure combat between two fire attribute special abilities. Even if his soul was truly as special as what Aiolos had said before, it was absolutely not to such a degree.
This had happened to more than his fire attribute special ability. He increasingly felt that the strength of his soul was already not quite compatible with his body. Perhaps he might not have been able to sense it in the hyperdimension or the OP, however, upon returning to reality, those feelings were more pronounced. This would undoubtedly be a big disadvantage for him in the upcoming CHF.
In fact, not only had his special training with Barran been going well in the past few days, even Barran's fights in the OP today had been good. Although Wang Zhong did not voice it out loud, he was feeling slightly worried in his heart. It was not that there had been no improvement, rather the rate of improvement was just too slow. Not only Barran, as Scarlet, Milami and even the group of third year seniors have been working hard. Yet, the truth was that their rate of growth was slow.
During this period of time, Old Greene had also been able to chat with him a few times. From the occasional conversations with Scarlet, he could vaguely confirm that the Eastern area legislative assembly had been extremely dissatisfied with Tianjing City's situation for the past few years. They had lost the face of being a famous school, and had devoured resources while not being able to deliver. There was already veiled criticism of Old Greene being the headmaster of Tianjing Academy, and there was a possibility of him losing his rice bowl due to the people's complaints. This was no joke, as Greene's family was not considered an aristocratic family, rather an elite one that had once produced outstanding soldiers, scientists and management geniuses. Although the Federation had relied precisely on such families to continue its existence, they were undoubtedly unable to influence the parliament.
Unless, they were really able to achieve something outstanding in this CHF.
Previously, Wang Zhong's wish to participate in the CHF stemmed from an emotionally charged promised that he had made. However, as captain he carried the hopes of his squad members, Old Greene and even the entire academy. As the days continued to pass by, Wang Zhong would occasionally feel the extreme weight resting on his shoulders. This had long surpassed the stage of being a personal matter.
Indeed, Grai was extremely strong to the point that even Wang Zhong was completely unable to see the limits of his capabilities. In every single fight that he had previously been in, including the 1 vs 2 against the Saxon Academy, Wang Zhong had always felt that Grai had been holding back. This was a fellow that was extremely hard to get an accurate weigh in on. As of now, Wang Zhong felt that he could have a little anticipation for Emily, who had made her decision to return to her family. However, this did not mean that Wang Zhong felt all of these were enough. One had to consider what kind of opponents one would face in the future.
During the most recent period of time, the various news articles about the CHF began to increase in number as the OP officials and the Federation released introductions of squads and members participating in this event. Just as everyone had predicted, there were even shadows of the elites from the ten great families of the Federation showing themselves here. In the original CHF district rankings, the participation of the super elites from those great families might not have caused an earth-shattering effect, however, in this CHF, the previous strongest four participants might not even be able to enter the top 16 places.
This was the only news that everyone was able to see. With his Rank A clearance, Wang Zhong was able to see more detail and obtain an even greater understanding.
It could be said that although this CHF was a competition between academies, it was more about the competitiveness between the various great families. This was the event that those who truly had power had accumulated their strength to participate in. The hundred year celebration during the CHF was very likely to be accompanied by changes and transformations in the parliament and the economic structure. Competitions involving benefit always needed to have rules, and thus the various great families had without a doubt agreed tacitly on the CHF being the battleground. Thus, the importance and influence of this CHF have far, far exceeded appearance that the general public could see on the surface.