However, since Flash had lured Wang Tong's unit closer to his base, Flash was able to reinforce the first unit with another one fresh out of the star-port.
The critical element in successfully pulling off the Art of the Soaring Heaven was to destroy the ground radar early on, and to do that, one needed first to establish dominance in the air.
Because of the similarities in the two players' intentions, the opening had become the most critical stage of the fight. Two of Flash's air units had joined forces and destroyed Wang Tong's unit. However, Wang Tong's reinforcement was already on its way. Also, Wang Tong had also started the construction of stealth units. Therefore, he registered that his first and foremost goal was to uproot Flash's ground radar, so that his stealth units wouldn't be detected.
Wang Tong was convinced that as long as his second fighter jet arrived at the front line, he would be able to regain the air dominance by relying on his superior AMP.
However, what Flash did next had caught everyone by surprise. He ordered the construction of another base instead of focusing on his unit production. Some audiences saw some sense in it, since one base could only provide enough resources to support one radar station. An additional radar station would definitely help during the heat of the battle.
By then, the effect of Flash's delay tactic deployed in the very beginning started to shine. By delaying Wang Tong's production of the stealth units, Flash had gained precious time to build a second base, and therefore, acquired one more ground radar. People finally started to realize that Flash's moves, from the delay tactics to constructing the second base, were inextricably connected, and essential to the ultimate success of the Art of the Soaring Heaven.
Once the second base was built, Flash quickly packed up the entire first base and moved it to the second base, leaving only a sparsely guarded encampment as a ruse. This was a high risk and high reward kind of move. After all, if the secret relocation of the base were detected too soon, Flash would have no choice but to concede his annihilation.
However, Flash's premonitory senses had foretold that Wang Tong would rush his first base with air units while holding back stealth units, an imperative foresight in the success of Flash's poly.
Two minutes later, under the belligerent attacks, Flash's first base was sacked by Wang Tong, and the radar station was destroyed. Suddenly, Flash found himself surrounded by so many stealth units that even his reinforcements would not be able to push the attackers back.
As Flash's defensive line was on the verge of collapsing, a radar signal rang across the battlefield and revealed Wang Tong's hidden units.
Wang Tong's stealth units perished as fast as their shape appeared out of thin air. It was all too late when Wang Tong had finally realized that there was another radar hidden in the second base. The investment in the stealth tech had eaten up Wang Tong's fleet coffer, and by then, he was hard-pressed to scarp even a penny out of his economy.
After pushing the attack back, Flash consolidated his defensive forces and started producing more units. Flash's defensive formation was no less "cheap" than that of Wang Tong, as layers upon layers of defensive measures encircled his two bases without allowing even the smallest blind spot to exist.
Flash had started to play the game on his own terms as he sat back comfortably in his base, focusing on unit upgrades and production. Meanwhile, Wang Tong's economy had been stretched thin by the crippling economy— the side effect of failing the Art of the Soaring Heaven.
To be fair, Flash didn't overcome the Art of the Soaring Heaven in a real sense of overcoming a battle style. However, the fleet battle was not hypercritical debates of fighting techniques on paper; it changed from match to match, as the outcome was affected by the minutest maneuvers. Despite the significant risk Flash had assumed for his strategy, his conviction in his ability to foretell Wang Tong's predicable moves had given him confidence. His meticulous logic had guided him in every step he had taken. However preposterous his strategy might have sounded to other players, he had seen a sliver of hope through the veil of uncertainty.
Thus, Flash had gained a small advantage, and he grasped it firmly in his hand. Although Wang Tong quickly established a second base, his economy and tech progression had fallen far behind Flash.
When the match finally progressed to mid game, Flash sensed the opportunity was ripe for attack. Without bothering himself with a third base, he rushed his units out of the formidable defense into Wang Tong's zone of influence.
In mere minutes after the engagement had broken out, Wang Tong gave up and conceded defeat.
The Perfect Commander had proven his perfection to the whole world once again.
The audiences stood up to cheer for such a marvelous display of skills of both contestants.
Cheers and shouts rose from Capth's campus as students were elated by their schoolmate's victory. Meanwhile, in Ayrlarng, everyone's face became taut as they sensed the looming pressure.
"This was, by far, the most fantastic and suspenseful match that I had ever seen! Unbelievable performance!" As the vice president of the Fleet battle research division, the senior game host heaved a long sigh after his loud praise.
"Indeed. These two players are well above the average ability of students of their age."
The two boys had excelled at every aspect of the fleet battle, and the two hosts suddenly found themselves at a lack of words to praise the two players.
Flash's victory seemed to have happened by chance, but it was the result of careful planning and methodical delivery. Flash had proven to have mastered the art of psychological manipulation and possessing a flawless sense of timing.
After watching the game, all the other players felt a looming sense of pressure as they were shocked by Flash's incredible display of power. They also wondered what Wang Tong felt after experiencing Flash's ability first hand.
Much like the previous round when Wang Tong had stolen the victory from Flash's fingertips using a sneak attack, Flash had returned the favor by deploying an equally deceiving ruse.
Such was the capriciousness of the tide on the battlefield; no one was able to auger the direction of the wind.
On the big screen, Wang Tong seemed to have fallen into deep thoughts.
"Haha, Wang Tong must have already been preparing his victory pose, but who knew that Boss would be able to stun him with two consecutive blows in the face," Kal shouted out as he clapped his hands in excitement.
"Incredible! It looks like Wang Tong has become uncertain. He would learn quickly that it was not that easy to walk out of a devastating defeat as Flash did. " Bisu announced.
Taking the sarcastic undertone out of Kal's comment, he had hit the mark by suggesting that Wang Tong had underestimated his opponent.
Ma Xiaoru was aware that the real-time performance— heavily influenced by psychological conditions—was the wild card that would drastically affect the outcome of fleet combat.
The thought of Wang Tong losing the next round unnerved Ma Xiaoru, as distress etched onto her face. She prayed that Wang Tong would remain level-headed during the next game.
Li Ruoer wasn't sure what to tell Ma Xiaoru, as she too felt helpless in her current situation. Although she was somewhat detached from the significance of the fight, she found herself being helplessly jealous of her infatuated mind.
Everyone was studying Wang Tong's expression as they registered something seemed to be amiss.
A faint smile crept onto Li Shiming's lips as he wagered that Wang Tong's failure in the fleet combat would ultimately affect his performance during the METAL combat as well. Flash had done an excellent job.
Li Shiming knew that Wang Tong's impoverished childhood would have drawn out his eagerness to become famous. Losing the fame and glory that was so close to his grasp ought to discourage him significantly.
Li Shiming was convinced that Flash would win the fifth round, even if Wang Tong were the heir of the legendary Blade Warrior.
"Wang Tong, please enter your simulation room. The match is about to start."
Despite the impatience in referee's tone, Flash waited quietly. Truth be told, he had considered it an honor to fight against Wang Tong.
Wang Tong finally opened his eyes and walked into the simulation room.
The fifth round was about to start.
As soon as the referee announced the start of the match. A series of wild cheers rose among the audiences, who were unable to contain their emotions.
On the screen, the audiences saw that both players had started the game with the Art of the Soaring Heaven.