Chapter 75 – Another World
"There is still the greater half of a year left! I will do my best to squeeze out every drop of your potential, letting you experience true pain and terror. I will even let you guys face death directly! Do not expect mercy from me; those who do will shame the academy and, in my eyes, they won't be given pity even if they die! Only those who genuinely put in their sweat, tears, and blood will be able to cast their heroic soul!
"Those who fear pain, difficulties, weariness, or death, the path back to the city is over there! Hurry up and disappear!" Grace suddenly raised the volume of her voice as she shouted, "Does everyone understand?!"
"Understood!" Everyone shouted. Without any hesitation, everyone chose to stay.
"Louder, you group of wastes!"
"UNDERSTOOD!" Everyone tore their throats to roar this aloud.
"Did you guys not eat? Shout louder for me!"
"UN! DER!! STOOD!!!"
Everyone shouted until even their necks were red.
Just by thinking of her ear-piercing words, they were all filled with anger, fighting spirit, and boiling blood!
Fuck your third class! Fuck your sheep!
Tianjing Heroic Soul Academy is the best!
Grace then said coldly said, "Now, everyone get in the vehicles for me. Now!"
Although the brainwashing from Miss Grace was very successful, the mood of the students were still rather heavy-hearted. After they entered the giant steel monstrosities, though, it gradually turned better.
The advent of rune technology had brought about great transformations. An example of this would be the armed railway that travelled between cities and was powered by energy collected from runes. Yet, the usage of these runes required rune-powered magnetic tracks, and the transport system within the cities were largely old-era technology.
Since the process of integrating rune tech into everyday life still had a long way to go, fossil fuels were still used as a resource, and transitioned to become a regulated resource. If they hadn't traded with other empires in recent years, then the students wouldn't even have had the qualifications to use it.
Grace's mouth may be ruthless, but she still allowed them to sit in such transportation. She was like a fairy maiden who was cold on the outside, yet warm on the inside. The previous participants had to run.
It couldn't not be said that while this kind of all-terrain vehicle from the old era lacked combat power, it was too cool. The gigantic wheels travelling across the ground made one's blood race.
When the armoured vehicle that Grace sat in started to move, the rough, rumbling roar of the engine sounded out, giving the students a new, odd, and exciting feeling.
There were three vehicles available there. While Grace sat in the armoured one, the training group participating students sat in the all-terrain vehicles.
"Teacher Grace is too awesome!" a student said with a low voice and excited expression. "I heard that these kind of cross-country, oil guzzling, heavy vehicles are specialties of the frontline army and special forces. For Teacher Grace to have access to these three vehicles… tut tut. Just sitting in this thing makes me feel like a boss!"
"We were only just told that this was training and that we shouldn't play around, yet look at you. In just the blink of an eye, you're already infatuated with the armoured vehicle…"
A hoarse rumbling resounded from the engine of the cross-country armoured vehicle. The sound brought with it a powerful metallic sensation, like it was an iron and steel monster. Everyone felt that this was novel and exciting. If not for Grace's admonitions earlier, the words of which were still ringing in their ears, then this group of brats would've already been filled to the brim with joy. Even now, they already couldn't resist looking around in all directions.
The welfare that the Federation provided to its army was excellent. Army vehicles were given special privileges wherever it went, especially when it was something like these two large types. Although they were old, the strength and noise of the motor lent it power. Those at an 80-100 meters distance from the group would give way as they neared the incomparably expansive walls of Tianjing City.
A super wall encircled the city. It was 5 kilometers long and 20 meters tall. At the center of the wall was an electric network, forming the external defense of Tianjing City. It consisted of electronic monitoring, sentry posts, and patrolling forces..
A hundred years of history went into this defensive perimeter construction. It had been demolished, rebuilt, and repaired countless times. Much of it had disappeared into the annals of history, but there were a few remnants left of its story surviving till now.
Rust, bloodstains, and various burnt marks formed a ghastly sight. Still, a great many areas looked brand new. It was said that Tianjing City once suffered a beast tide around forty years ago. It had almost toppled the walls over, and traces of the large-scale repairs done then could still be seen now.
As the group passed through the pair of gigantic steel doors, they could see a myriad of names carved into them.
Wang Xue Man, Gu Bo, Chrolos, Elroy…
Everyone's expressions were filled with respect as they faced the names of these heroes. A person who had lived within Tianjing City wouldn't ever forget their contributions.
Tianjing Heroic Soul Academy had also been a main force during the defence against the beast tide. During that battle, the mortality rate within the academy had reached 60%. The names carved here could still be heard within the academy, repeated in detail in order to motivate generation after generation of students. In this new world, only genuine heroes could gain the respect of the people!
This one wall separated the two worlds.
Not far outside the city was a large slum. The squad of vehicles didn't avoid this civilian area and instead, followed the armoured vehicle as it stormed through the slums.
Since everyone in the vehicles were students, only those that came from other cities by way of armed trains, the main path, would know of these slums. Others only knew of them through rumours.
"Fuck, it's the rumoured second world!" Terrence was unable to restrain himself and choked the words out. This made the rest unable to resist staring out their vehicle.
Despite only being a few kilometers away from Tianjing City's high walls, most of the people living inside wouldn't ever have a real chance of visiting this place in their entire life. As such, the basic understanding students had of the slums stopped at a simple introduction given through textbooks.
Compared to the happiness and prosperity within the city walls, the slums were, simply put, a living hell.
These densely-packed short tents were filled with an overpowering amount of smoke that filled the sky. One could see starving, skinny refugees. Corpses were left exposed on the ground, but no one seemed to care about them.
This was the shadow of the Freedom Federation's prosperity, present in every city. They were a group formed by those with no identity, those with debt, criminals, or exiles due to the mutations within their body.
It was a completely different world to what was inside the city walls. Even within the Freedom Federation, the concept of the strong preying upon the weak was still unchanged.
"Look, that little guy has three legs. The pus and ulcers on his body look so disgusting," a student said, staring with big eyes.
"There's one on my side with a tumor on its neck. It's like it has two heads."
Mutated humans were existences that were treated like monsters and were thoroughly banished from society. Some were a result of radiation exposure, others from dimension energy exposure. Within the Freedom Federation system, these kinds of people would be exiled, never to be left inside the city. Cities only accepted humans and new humans. This was the basic line for preserving a foundation that was both orderly and normal looking.
Human rights organizations within the Federation had tried appealing for the use of rune technology to aid these deformed people. They were still humans and had a right to live. Yet, these sorts of appeals were weak as those who pushed for it wished for the richer cities to be the ones to step forward shoulder this burden.
In reality, the Federation itself was faced with numerous problems as survival was still the largest issue that all powers faced in this world.
The old era had already left and would never return.