Anyone who could reach the round-of-32 would definitely not be a weakling. In fact, they could be considered as the budding elites in the Federation. Other than the competition, this was a way to establish one's future circle of connections, and this was the best platform to establish relationships with people from the different echelons of society. This was especially so for those squadrons who had lost in the round-of-64; at this point in time, they were the most relaxed people present here.
Everyone was no longer holed up in their various allocated villas. Other than training in the training rooms, there was also a specialized dining hall, which was the place where everyone went to socialise with others. The only caveat was that there was basically no presence of any S rank squadrons in here, causing many people who wanted to make some relations with the 10 great families to feel extremely regretful. Nonetheless, just the food served in this dining hall was already sufficient to attract people. With both specialized nutritionists and chefs, big boss lobsters paired with mutated sea cucumbers, things that money couldn't buy could basically be found everywhere here.
Quite a few of the students from Tianjing Academy group brought along by Qian Duoduo were able to bask in their squadron's limelight and mix along to have the food in this dining hall. All the food served here was completely free and provided for. As long as one had connections to any of the squadrons living in the squadron village and the group didn't exceed 20 people, one could come in and enjoy the meals served here.
Having just concluded their afternoon training, there were 7 to 8 squadrons present, amounting over a hundred people present in the dining hall. At this moment, the majority of the people were discussing the news of the newly opened training facility, causing the atmosphere to become extremely lively.
A 50x gravity room that far, far exceeded the limits of a Cast Soul Stage, and even that of a Heroic Soul Stage, a shooting range that provided the latest systems in bullet correction analysis…
Ma Dong was fiddling with the photos that he had just taken: "Look! Look! This is what a real training facility is supposed to be! When your bro returns to Tianjing, our Prodigy Society will be set up just like this! It'll be exactly the same! At that time, when any fucker comes and harasses our Prodigy Society, we'll let them taste the elegance and flavour of a big shot!"
"Big bro Dong 666666!"
"Big bro Dong! Is your Prodigy Society till lacking errand boys? Please count me in!"
While the few Tianjing students that have hopped along to eat were heckling about, the corner of Qian Duoduo's mouth had started twitching, as he had clearly seen Ma Dong shoot a look over to him while he was talking about renovations. Of course, Qian Duoduo wished to invest more in the Prodigy Society, however, who the fuck would renovate their training facility into the top class one used by Stuart? Bro, even squandering a few million credits won't be enough to cover the costs!
The few squadrons currently having their meals in the dining halls started to laugh upon hearing those words. Over the past few days, Ma Dong has established an ardent relationship with them, thus they were all too familiar with his antics. What's more, there were currently a lot of people who wanted to curry favour with a black horse like Tianjing "It'll cost a heck lot if you really want to renovate to something similar as that. When the renovations for your Prodigy Society's training room is completed, make sure to give us a call, alright! Our group will definitely head over to help you guys cut the red tapes for the best training facility in the eastern region!"
"You flatter me!" replied Ma Dong as he waved his hands in joyful satisfaction. "When that time comes, our great manager Qian will be in charge of the food, drinks, and merry parties! We'll definitely have a long line of trumpets to welcome your arrival, and I guarantee that you'll feel at home, and be entranced by everything you experience there! At that time, you'll only hold big bro Dong in admiration, with no envy left for immortals!"
Hearing Ma Dong's flamboyant words, Qiao Duoduo's mouth was almost about to turn crooked. Bringing the Tianjing student group to Stuart was an utter mistake! A training facility, and me being in charge of accommodation, did he think that the sponsor was his mother?!
While everyone joined in the fun and laughter, an eccentric and sinister voice suddenly rang out from the side.
"So flamboyant, as though you guys have already won the championship huh!"
The merry and joyous atmosphere instantly turned stiff, before the entire dining hall turned quiet. Raising his eyebrow, Ma Dong spoke out. "Yo, which family had let out their mad dog? Biting anyone that it sees? Faster stand up and scram for your big bro Dong."
"Ah, what a character!" yet another strange and sinister voice rang out, clearly indicating that there wasn't only one person trying to smash up this happy atmosphere. "Doesn't amount to much if you're strong if your moral quality is too poor! There's also that loser who had become captain by shamelessly cling onto Scarlet. After becoming famous, he started becoming a toad trying the taste swan's meat by professing to miss Carolyn. This person's not only good at sweet-talking, he's also a king at bullshitting."
The eyes of people who were originally here to soak up the liveliness instantly lit up.
Wang Zhong! Professing his love to Carolyn? Toss away his old flame?
Frankly speaking, the current Tianjing squadron already possessed the qualifications to make many people look at them directly in the eyes. However, this was also something that caused envy and jealousy to surface in many people. Don't assume that the bunch of people in this dining hall were that intimate with Ma Dong, as many of them appeared harmonious, yet were divided at heart. After all, regardless of how strong they were, Tianjing was just a commoner squadron, and not associated with any of the great aristocratic families. When someone around the same level as one were to suddenly excel and stand above everyone, it would always cause waves of discontent to appear in one's heart. Clearly, these words were said by those with jealousy and envy within their hearts.
What's more, people would always gossip, what more when such heavyweight explosive material was tossed out in the open. Even if the authenticity of those words had yet to be verified, there can be no smoke without a fire. Even if it was nonsensical bullshit and plainly fabricated, how many people out there would dare to drag Carolyn into such a scandal?
The mention of Carolyn's name caused rich feelings of curiosity and interest to blossom in the hearts of everyone present. The bustling crowd automatically opened up, revealing the two men before everyone.
Upon seeing those two, a slight frown appeared on Wang Zhong's face.
Lightning Dragon Academy's Casio and Carmell?
During the elimination rounds, the Lightning Dragon Academy had always treated Tianjing as an eyesore. Furthermore, upon the announcement of the combined scores, Casio had even incited the crowd and questioned Wang Zhong's writing qualifications. If not for Mo Xingchen's help, this situation would have escalated into something big. At that moment, he had merely treated this fellow as a clown jumping up and down in an attempt to get people's attention. After the end of the elimination rounds, he felt that he would most likely not have any further interaction with this fellow. However, never did Wang Zhong expect for this fellow to show up here.
Furthermore, the nonsense about Wang Zhong professing his love for Carolyn had caused even Ma Dong to be scared speechless.
Generally speaking, such bullshit would definitely be equated to provoking the Stuart Family. Although taunting while fighting on stage was one thing, such negative news appearing at this place was never good news. Although Wang Zhong could ignore it, Ma Dong was all too clear of what this would lead to, what more the nonsense of tossing his old flame away. This was a typical case of slander. It went without saying that there were many people who were jealous of Wang Zhong. Once such a matter spread, it would still be bad even if the truth was brought to light.
This fellow, Casio, was truly trying to punish Wang Zhong with his words!
In any other scenario, Ma Dong would have definitely exploded in fury. However, at this very moment, he could feel a thick sense of danger heading their way. Had this Casio gone batshit crazy? Why the hell was he always making life difficult for them! There was something fishy about this! All of a sudden, Ma Dong had thought about many matters, and had concluded that if this matter wasn't settled properly, Wang Zhong and the Tianjing squadron would be in deep, deep trouble!
Without waiting for Wang Zhong and the other Tianijng members to respond, the other squadrons present here had already reacted!
Frankly speaking, there were many people here that were waiting to see a joke happen. Be it the Tianjing squadron or All Mouthy King, their commoner status was the factor that has always made people believe and have faith in them. The propaganda machine of the Federation had intentionally shaped them to appear as though they had risen from the commoners, and possessed the undefeated spirit of daring to issue a challenge towards the powers and influences sitting at the top.
However, this factor has come under scrutiny due to the release of this information about Wang Zhong professing his love for Carolyn. Before talking about anything else, such action was basically an undisguised bootlicking of the aristocratic families.
"Is that for real? This brother, where did you obtain this information?"
"Captain Wang Zhong is that bold?"
"Wa! Look's like captain Wang Zhong's not only strong in combat, even his skill with words is exceptional!" Whistling sounds rang out within the dining hall. However, everyone could see that what seemed like joking words contained the underlying intention to fan the flames.
With a snide laugh, Casio said, "As for this, the source of this news is absolutely reliable. However, for the safety of my source, I can't divulge the method in which this news was collected. If you guys don't believe it, you can just ask captain Wang Zhong directly! Ask him if he has professed his love for Carolyn! Naturally, he will definitely not tell you guys!
Everyone proceeded to look at Wang Zhong, with their gossipy hearts having been set ablaze. As this happened, anxiety surged within Ma Dong's heart, as he already knew what Casio was doing! The latter wanted to infuriate Wang Zhong, and once he took action, Wang Zhong would very likely be disqualified from the CHF. However, Ma Dong did not understand exactly what kind of deep-seated hatred Casio had towards their Tianjing squadron to warrant such actions from him! What's more, how the hell did he know about the matter between Wang Zhong and Carolyn?
The truth of the matter was that Wang Zhong and Carolyn had bumped into each other whilst not knowing even the slightest bit about each other's identity. However, after being spun by Casio, the context of the entire matter had completely changed, with him even dragging Scarlet into it.
Despite his gaze remaining calm, a sliver of killing intent was now present in Wang Zhong's eyes. He had yet to get back at Casio for the previous matter, and yet this fellow actually dared to cause trouble at this place.
"Anyone that behaves like you would already be considered to fail at life, captain Casio! Other than slandering others, what else are you able to do? Oh, I know! Lightning Dragon's been eliminated! Oh, that's right, you've also entered the blacklist of the CHF! Any brother or sister from the Grozny City competition region should know about what happened to him! Other than being shameless, there's nothing else to him! Let me ask you, would you know if I'm your father? If you don't know, go home ask your mom! However, she'll definitely not tell you!" said Ma Dong with a laugh.
The entire dining hall erupted into laughter, as there were some people present that have heard about the matter pertaining to Casio's ridiculement towards Wang Zhong. After all, the little story about the Lightning Dragon captain provoking an S rank even though he had no strength had been circulating around for quite some time. However, with them being eliminated, punished and then vanishing without a trace, never did Ma Dong expect for him to suddenly pop up at here. He truly was not willing to stay silent, huh. Furthermore, Tianjing had eliminated the Lightning Dragon during their promotion from the elimination rounds to the final competition, with the latter only lacking a single place from entering the best of 128.
"Additionally, do you really feel that your slander will work after dragging miss Carolyn into it? The Stuart Family will definitely investigate to the bottom of things! There are words that can't be said without reaping the consequences!" a gaze with a warning note contained within shot out from Ma Dong's eyes. He knew that although the Assassin Family did not possess an adequate deterrence, the Stuart Family absolutely did so.
Indeed, even Casio was stunned for a while. Although the other party had said that they would protect him, it involved Carolyn after all. On the off-chance he caused Stuart to become infuriated, there would be no one who could shelter a little bandit like him.
"HA HA! I'm so afraid! Could it be that the Federation doesn't even allow people to speak out? With his results, how was Wang Zhong able to become Tianjing's captain? Isn't it all due to him bootlicking his way up? Was it due to Scarlet giving him the captain position by her own accord? In any way, I dislike people like him! Why can't I say that!"
Fury and indignation had filled his heart, yet he had no way of venting them. What's more, he did not dare to go all out and issue a challenge to Tianjing. At this moment, his other squadron members had already headed back home, with only him and Carmell staying behind. Both of them had arrived at Stuart City for one sole purpose, which was to personally witness Wang Zhong and Tianjing being massacred, with their very own eyes! Upon seeing them being matched up against Bella Dean, Casio's mouth had turned crooked with laughter! Yet the result of the match had instead caused his mouth to turn crooked in anger! It was at that time when that person had found him. It was precisely that person who had given him this information and courage to cause all this trouble!
In the crowd, the people here to soak up the liveliness had already gone HIGH! Frankly speaking, the validity of this news had yet to be confirmed. However, the more they thought about it, the more they could confirm that there was something fishy about this whole matter! At the very least, Wang Zhong did not berate Casio for talking nonsense!
If this news turned out to be true, it would definitely be a super big scoop!
On one side, there was All Mouthy King, the idol of the commoners! On the other side, there was Carolyn Stuart, the future successor of the greatest aristocratic family in the Federation! Furthermore, it was said that she was the future queen of the Federation!
Naturally, the likelihood of this matter being true wasn't very big. However, people who just wanted cause trouble would never blow matters up to the extent what Casio was doing now.
"Apologize!" said Wang Zhong in an indifferent tone, before pointing his finger towards Casio. A strong wave of pressure pressed down on the entire area. It seemed to be a just a moment, but everyone had treated Tianjing as yet another C rank loser. Having removed the halo that surrounded them, those people felt that they could wantonly ridicule Tianjing?!
However, at this present moment, Wang Zhong was a super expert that had defeated the S ranked Bella Dean. Although his voice wasn't loud, it had suppressed the breaths of everyone present in this dining hall.
If Gui Hao was here, or if Carolyn was here, no one would dare to utter such nonsense. Just because it was Wang Zhong here, they could do as they please?
Knowing instantly that Wang Zhong was angry, Ma Dong hastily went and restrained him while saying, "Don't lower yourself to the level of such people."
Casio exchanged glances with Carmell, before both of them burst out in hearty laughter. Both of them knew that Wang Zhong did not act out against them to protect the innocent Scarlet. However, the participants that were still running in the competition were prohibited from engaging in personal fights. If not, there was nothing that could give both of them the guts to dare to come here cause trouble.
"Yo! I'm so scared!" Casio laughed so hard that tears were about to fall from his eyes. "Sorry, sorry my ass! Are you going to beat me? I'm so afraid! Come, come beat me! I, your father is…"
Before he could finish his statement, Wang Zhong's figure disappeared from his original position. In the next second!
Wang Zhong had smashed Casio's head right into the ground, burying it into the earth akin to an onion bulb.
The laughter filling the entire dining hall was instantly stifled, painting a rather weird scenery, with everyone's mouth turning slack-jawed.
He, he really took action? What more, he did so in the faces of so many people?!
The squadron village had strictly prohibited fighting stemming from any kind of conflict or provocation. This was a rule that the CHF officials had reminded over and over again. On one hand, it was for the sake of preventing injuries from happening to the participants before the actual matches. On the other hand, it was also to protect the image of the Federation in official matters. Having dared to bring people to provoke the Tianjing in the dining hall, Casio was never worried about whether the Tianjing people dared to take action against him. It would be nothing more than a war of words! That was the favourite of Casio and Carmell. Come, come, fight! Let's have mutually assured destruction! You're the black horse Tianjing, All Mouthy King! I, on the other hand, have nothing attached to this wretched life of mind! I'm willing to cut my flesh off to drag the emperor off his horse! How would I be afraid of fighting with you?!
The problem was that Wang Zhong had not only taken action, he had also done so in such a vicious manner. Sweeping his gaze out, he shrugged his shoulders while saying, "This is the first time I've seen such a vulgar person. Since he's looking to get beaten, is there anyone else who wants to join him?"
There is an abundance of characters in the species know as humans, with a portion being known as the vulgar and wretch ones. A gentle and conceding taste would only cause them to ask for even more. It's a must to kill one to warn the rest!
"You all are finished! You Tianjing lot are finished!" pulling Casio out of the ground, Carmell cowered in fear while pointing at Wang Zhong and the other Tianjing members, "You dare to take action in here! You all will get disqualified!"
Now, everyone had their eyes trained on Wang Zhong as they thought, ...this was the real goal of Casio. To infuriate Wang Zhong, and let Tianjing and Lightning Dragon get eliminated! This was an absolute case of harming oneself to harm others! However, Casio had a true villain-like character, though Wang Zhong,... should have endured.