Grai was also feeling slightly excited, Under Hymin's encouragement, he had even sung some of the folk songs he had learnt during his backpacking trip in the northern regions. Truthfully speaking, everyone did not understand why he, with the level of strength he possessed, had chosen Tianjing 1 year ago. In everyone's eyes, he seemed to not pay particular attention to anything, with a warm and gentle smile forever being plastered on his face. Nevertheless, this was obviously a good matter, as Tianjing would be able to have one more person other than Wang Zhong to rely on to advance within the final competition. After all, Wang Zhong excels in theoretical knowledge...However, there won't be any opportunity for him to show his strong points in the final competition. Being the strongest and most stable member of the Tianjing squadron, the presence of Grai had already entered the eyes and hearts of all his squadron members.
Besides happiness, there was naturally pressure that came from other sources.
The greater the hope, the greater the disappoint if it fails. That was something that Wang Zhong, the second years and freshmen have not experienced before. However, the third years like Colby and Lily had experienced such feelings for more than 2 occasions. During both of them, confidence had always brimmed in their hearts before being squashed by disappointment. In fact, that confidence had already left their hearts since their last participation in a combat competition.
If not for them meeting Wang Zhong and this current Tianjing squadron, Colby and the other third years would already be considering their future paths after their graduation. Deep down with their hearts, they have already been worn down by the losses and defeated they had suffered. However, due to those feelings of disappointment coupled with the even better situation their Tianjing squadron was currently in, a sliver of hope for a miracle happening appeared in their hearts. It was due to this sliver of anticipation that caused them to be even more nervous and apprehensive than before.
Without a doubt, them qualifying the final competition was an opportunity and honour for the Tianjing squadron. However, there was an extremely likely possibility for them to be nailed on the pillar of shame. If they were to do anything that would result in the loss of face, they would be doing so towards the entire world. After all, the whole final competition of the CHF will be broadcasted live across the globe. All of the teachers in the various Federation Academies, higher-ups, various governmental departments, citizens and most importantly their parents and neighbours of Tianjing City would be watching them. One could become an overnight celebrity by showing an astonishing performance, or become a laughing stock for everyone. The final competition was all about the head to head clash of might. If matters like Barran's slip up appears once again in the final competition, it might very well lead to an extremely ugly destruction of a squadron, not just an ugly D rank score.
However, this clearly was the troubles of only a handful of people who were considering greater things in their minds. Being cautious and mindful when handling matters were the habits of the weak, something that Ma Dong, Malami, Hymin and the other were long to used to. If not for the ban on alcohol consumption in the armoured train, Ma Dong would likely have shouted "Brother Fortune, let me accompany you" and chug an entire bottle down. The atmosphere of happiness and elation filled the entirety of the train, with expressions of excitement being plastered on everyone's faces. Clearly, it was not the right time yet to consider how tough the final competition would be, as one would have to know one's next opponent first.
Although they had obtained at the station in midnight, there was already a massive crowd of people waiting at the Stuart railway station. However, everyone stood in a neat and orderly fashion, with groups of 5 people standing in a line. One person per group was holding up a card with the names of the various participating squadrons printed on them.
These were the welcoming staff from the CHF committee. Unlike the opening ceremony, every single squadron now had their personal welcoming group that was formed by the five people welcoming them. They were here to offer a personal service for the squadrons, as well as to do their best to make sure that the elites of the CHF were taken care to the utmost degree.
The little team in charge of servicing the Tianjing squadron was headed by a slightly chubby middle age male by the name of Richie. His comical and happiness filled expression that was ever so present on his face caused the Tianjing squadron to feel incomparably relaxed.
All of their luggage was fastened with tags imprinted with their individual names before being pushed away on carts at the very first moment. A drizzle was present at the train station when they had arrived. However, even the few steps between the train carriage and the platform were completely sheltered by people holding up umbrellas to shelter them from the rain. A lengthened buggy capable of sitting 18 people was waiting for them, with soft and gentle music playing from its speakers. Even the arranged place of stay wasn't the same as the hotel where many squadrons had lived together. They were driven to the townhouse by the family gardens of the Stuart Family. Upon entering the house, slippers have already been prepared for them, while a roaring fire was present in the fireplace of the great hall, instantly sweeping away the cold for the rainy weather outside. Also present in the great hall was a super large projection screen that was able to connect to the Skylink to watch anything you so desired.
There were ready to eat food present on the dining table, with hot, steaming water already prepared in the bathtubs present in each room. In fact, the goose downing filled beds were already warmed up with hot water bottles...
No only Colby, Barran and those hillbillies, but even Ma Dong with his various experiences and Emily felt what it means to be thoughtfully serviced. How was this a temporary accommodation that's allocated to them! This was absolutely just like the warm houses prepared by the most attentive mothers!
The hundred over squadrons were all arranged to stay in such perfect accommodations, causing people to sigh in admiration. Indeed, the Stuart Family were so wealthy they appeared to be printing money. The power and wealth of the number 1 family of the federation was something that no one could compare to.
The day's worth of travel didn't bring about any exhaustion for the Tianjing squadron. On the contrary, they were even more excited. Due to the various amenities provided in the room like the hot water baths, everyone did feel any intent to sleep. What's more, they still had a whole day off tomorrow to relax. Regardless of the tumultuous travel across icy plains and the nerve-wracking selections in Grozny City, everyone wasn't able to properly relax themselves during this period of time. In Ma Dong's words, "It would absolutely be a crime to not properly relaxing in such a comfortable environment." However, such thoughts were immediately dispelled by Wang Zhong. It wasn't to say that he forbid anyone from relaxing, but that this was absolutely not the time for them to so do.
He did not understand why Stuart would arrange them to stay in such an environment. This place was too, too comfortable, and would lead to a state that was completely not suitable for people that were awaiting combat.
Stuart Academy, the host of the CHF.
Although they were in the vicinity of their houses, all of the members of the Stuart squadron were all staying in the villa arranged for their accommodation, indicative of their unified spirit. Their villa was brightly lit, though no noise could be heard, as everyone was doing their own personal matters in their allocated rooms. Carolyn had just ended her few seconds of absentmindedness. Being the young mistress of the host family, her present status wasn't just that of an ordinary participant. In fact, she honestly had been too busy dealing with many matters. It was only until she had gotten into bed did she get the time to take a glance at the results of the captain arena.
Truthfully speaking, she had only glanced through those highlights of the 2nd elimination round, as there was indeed nothing that really needed her attention and care. She would not waste her effort to pay attention to the 1 or 2 geniuses that have emerged from some small squadron. However, that wasn't the case for the captain arena. Being the bellwether for the younger generation, she was all too clear the importance of an outstanding leader and commander was to a squadron.
The ability that could let a bunch of birds turn into a flock possessed far more of a threat than the emergence of 1 or 2 geniuses from a small squadron. More importantly, compared to the strength of an individual, an outstanding leader was someone that the Federation and the various aristocratic families lacked the most. This was right in line with her previous judgement about Wang Zhong. If he only knew how to fight, he would only just be a slightly stronger expert. No more, and just that. What's more, in the aspect of combat prowess, how could he match up the "hired thugs" the 10 great aristocratic families have nurtured? Although the propaganda about All Mouthy King was broadcasted by the Federation with any restraint, everyone knew that it was impossible for there to be a second All Mouthy King emerging out.
She had initially expected to see familiar names for the top 3 places for the captain arena. However, she had only gotten half of it right.