After they were done eating, they began their journey. When they arrived at the meeting place, there were already quite some people standing around with their own teams, all with their guards up. Although they were planning to strike the Queen's Nest together, they were all rivals, so it was impossible to be unwary. After all, many were eliminated due to internal conflicts.
The Eight Stars observed quietly. They had well predicted this situation and did not care about much as long as they achieved their goal. Amongst all the people here, the Eight Stars had no real opponent. Only the unusually united Martians had a thing or two, but as Martians, they often acted rashly, and that character flaw was easy to target.
Fatty Luo Fei popped out of nowhere and showed up beside Wang Zheng. "Student Wang, we meet again! This time I'm going to stick with you guys no matter what! These have been some really difficult days. Look at me, don't you think I've lost weight?"
Zhang Shan roared in laughter. "Lost weight? My foot! Why do I think you've grown even fatter than before?"
"Nonsense. I've obviously slimmed down," Luo Fei said, rubbing his tummy.
Yuan Ye looked curiously at the Fatty. "It's you again, fatso! How come you haven't been disqualified?"
Fatty sulked and raised his wristband. "I wish I had been eliminated! I've even thought of pressing the button myself, but the thing is, my boss had warned that he'd break my limbs if I threw in the towel and that he would break a limb each time he saw me. He said I am to look for people to protect me if I can't make it alone."
"What a character your boss has! Ha! Fret not, I will protect you," Yuan Ye claimed, pumping his chest as a sign of manliness and stealing a glance at Zhang Runan.
"That's great! Alright, I'm coming with you guys. Oh yeah, you'll be able to make it through to day four, right? If I don't make it to day four, I'll still receive a good fix from my boss." Luo Fei grinned from eye to eye, but his doubtful tone angered Yuan Ye.
"Wow. King Lear is harsh, eh? He really sees himself as a master of slaves, eh?"
"Heh. It's alright, it's alright."
By then, almost everyone had arrived. Those who were not there clearly had no interest in actively launching an attack. Survival was key.
Atos from the Eight Stars stepped right out. "Everyone here's an elite, so I'll cut to the chase. It is not our style to just defend. We from the Moon are stepping up to lead. We've gathered all of you to launch a strike on the Zergs' nest. Destroying the Queen Zerg will naturally break down the whole colony."
The crowd glared. A strike was the common goal that had brought them together, but the leader would take the biggest credit and be given the most points.
Milo smiled and stepped out. Under such circumstances, a woman's speech would seem more amicable. "I know what all your worries are. Even though we say the Moon is leading the strike, it's in fact a consensus we
have all come to, and the credit goes equally to everyone. As for the number of points that will eventually be allocated to each individual, the highest score will definitely go to the one who kills the Queen Zerg. We trust that those watching from above will make their own judgement. We are only wasting time here if we are wishy-washy about this."
The Martian team evidently had a discussion beforehand. The team leader stepped out. Lin Ruofeng, Lie Xin's most reliable helper. "The Martian team will partake in this."
Lin Ruofeng was an atypical Martian. He had a different air of confidence and grace, and even those who disliked him thought that he was Queen Lie's lackey.
"That's right. Whoever kills the Queen Zerg shall naturally get the most points."
"However, we Martians have a suggestion to make," Lin Ruofeng said.
Milo nodded. "Senior Lin Ruofeng, what is the suggestion of Mars Victory College?"
"Martians are not separated by our institutions. My suggestion is also everyone else's suggestion," Lin Ruofeng said, smiling.
The 16 students from Mars nodded their heads in unison. They came from three different academies, but on Mars, the Lie Family was their absolute leader, and as one of Lie Xin's men, Lin Ruofeng was naturally their representative here.
"I have misspoken. Please tell us what your suggestion is." Milo smiled back. It was a little test, and it seemed like the Martians' unity was not dissolvable.
Lin Ruofeng looked around. "There are 15 of you from the Moon, and with the 16 of us from Mars, it is enough for the strike. In terms of military tactics, quality comes above quantity. Moreover, this will be a dangerous trip. Incapable individuals coming on the trip would not only get themselves killed but would also burden the whole team. Hence, it would be best if we could all prove sufficient capabilities."
All around, the major institutions turned sullen. Some had indeed worried that they'd become bait for the Zergs, but who would have known that the tyrant Martians would not even allow them to do so?
Having been here for more than two days, everyone was keen to put on a fight. The Zergs were not as ferocious as thought to be, and killing the Queen Zerg would undoubtedly give them a huge amount of bonus points. While it seemed like no one was watching, they were definitely being surveilled by someone above.
The Eight Stars' Dong Xiaosa took a step forward. "Everybody, even though Lin Ruofeng's words sound ugly, they are not illogical. Quality over quantity. Plus, if there are too many of us, it'll be more likely for the Zergs to surround us. I believe no one here would like to die in a colony of a few thousand Zergs. So, we have to recruit the best of the best. Those who would like to come with us on the strike will have to meet our requirements."
"The nest's location is still unclear, right?"
At this point, what Zhang Shan hated most was being put through tests. He was a late bloomer, so what? Give him some time and whatever Moon and whatever stars would be trampled over by him. In fact, it was amazing how Zhang Shan had gotten to this level with mere months of training. Nobody had considered that as a problem, but almost everyone present had received training from a young age.
"Hehe. No need to worry about that. I believe everyone has a certain level of understanding of Demon Island. A freshwater lake sits right in the middle of the island, and those of us from Moon think that the Queen's nest is somewhere near the lake. This is one of the Zergs' characteristics. Also, our search has led us to conclude that the population of the Zergs in caves nearer to the lake is denser than those elsewhere." Atos had prepared for this speech. He went on to explain how the Queen Zerg required water when it laid eggs, which was why the lake was the most suitable place to produce Zergs.
Lin Ruofeng nodded. "We also found a large number of caves by the lake and planned to clear them out. The Queen's nest should be somewhere nearby. It's likely to be in the southern area of the lake."
"Even though the Zergs' activities are weaker during the day, their bodies are able to absorb the sun's energy, so there is a tendency for them to face the Sun. So we think that there is a high likelihood for it to be in the South." Milo nodded.
At this point, Wang Zheng smilingly stepped forward and said, "Can I say something?"
Lin Ruofeng glanced at Wang Zheng and grinned. "My apologies, but Earthlings are not within the scope of consideration."
Masasi of the Eight Stars frowned and spoke abruptly. "What do you have in mind, Wang Zheng? Feel free to speak your mind. We are all gathered here with the same goal in mind, and the more inputs, the better. No harm even if you say anything wrong."
Lin Ruofeng squinted and smiled mockingly.
Wang Zheng gently nodded. "I think the nest is by the sea."
Zhang Shan slapped his forehead. Wanting to participate was good, but spouting nonsense was not. It was basic junior high knowledge that Zergs disliked seawater. How could the Queen's nest possibly be by the sea?
Meng Tian's lips moved, but she did not speak. She looked doubtful. Wang Zheng did not seem like the type who would speak without thinking.
Zhang Runan remained nonchalant. She was okay with whatever arrangement was made.
Yuan Ye, too, slapped his forehead. He wanted to speak, but he quickly remembered that he had just eaten Wang Zheng's food. He owed Wang Zheng one.
The others were not so polite. The Martians were first to burst out laughing.
"HAHA! Not the best joke I've heard all year, but definitely the best I've heard this month."
"How could anyone manage to tell a joke in such a serious time?"
"Looks like someone left his brain at home."
"Well, he's an Earthling, an odd talent, so you can't use normal logic."
The Eight Stars could not hold back either. Atos chuckled softly. "Masasi, this is the Wang Zheng you were concerned about? Wowing the crowd to attract certain people's attention?"
Masasi shrugged. He was speechless. But then again, his eyebrows furrowed. His instincts told him that Wang Zheng would not resort to lowly tricks like that for attention.
Milo looked serious. "Maybe he's looking for an out."
But this was just a minor interruption. Nobody paid attention to what Wang Zheng had said. Instead, they began a serious discussion on how to form the most elite team.
16 Martians and 15 Moon people. They needed another 9 to form an elite troop of 40. There was a total of 86 people gathered here, which meant 46 of them had to be entirely excluded.
But there was not much of a way. The Mars and Moon together indeed formed the main part of the team. For the other military schools, only their respective leaders could make the cut. The rest of them would definitely be brushed away.
Milo was put in charge of the final stage of recruitment. She picked the strongest person each from the nine most influential colleges. It seemed like she was trying to give everybody a fair chance and at the same time involve the best of them all.
The team was just formed when Wang Zheng suddenly laughed and said, "I maintain the same position as before. The nest is by the sea. Ares College intends to form a team to launch an attack. Those interested are welcome to join us."
Atos smiled. "What a clever little trick."
Their movements here were bound to be watched by someone up above. Those who did not take any action would definitely receive a poor grade. Since they were not chosen to be part of the team to attack the central lake, forming another team and going in a different direction would not leave any bad impression even if it was the wrong way. Right and wrong was one thing, but action and inaction were different stories altogether.
They were all clever people, and most people thought the same. When they heard Wang Zheng's call, some of those who didn't make it into the elite of 40 crowded over. Taking action would definitely give them some extra points.
Still, there were many who remained unmoved. They did not think in the same way. They believed that if they could think of it, those who were watching them would have thought of it long ago. This would be blatantly putting on a show, and nobody could be sure that those up there would not disapprove. Since they weren't chosen to be in the elite team, they should just make surviving their main goal. If they were to do anything for bonus points, it would be to kill Zergs on the perimeter to diverge their attention and make it easier for the elite team.
Every man had their own opinion, especially all these bright people present. But clever people often overthought things.