"From this point on, I will be responsible for everything you do. Everything I say is an order. Here, orders must be carried out. I do not care about where you come from or what your background is like. Do not come and tell me who you are or who your family members are. In my eyes, you are all tiny birds who have never seen what the world is like. More accurately, you are all garbage going through reformation. Garbage only needs to know one thing - obey, obey, and obey. Do you understand?"
Qiu Si was very direct. He had always been stern in speech. Given how he was verbally abusive, many people's faces immediately changed. After all, they were all elites from their respective countries and were not ready for such abuse.
"Head Instructor, I object. We are elites from the Solar System and represent the highest standard. We are not little birds and certainly not garbage!"
Dong Xiaosa stood and spoke impolitely. Given his nasty temper, if that person was not the head instructor, Xiaosa would have left long ago. Even the general treated them courteously, sohow could the head instructor be so disrespectful?
Qiu Si's zombie-like face became even more stern. "If I say you are garbage, then you are garbage. Here, everything I say is law. You will comply. From this point in, whoever dares to doubt my orders will be immediately eliminated!"
Qiu Si glared at Xiaosa. Milo immediately pulled Xiaosa away.
Clearly, Qiu Si was not joking. Atos had gone through a lot of trouble to be "revived" and was already under a lot of pressure from the Eight Stars. If they continued to oppose the head instructor and got eliminated, they would be a laughing stock.
Achilles stole a glance at Dong Xiaosa. Dong Xiaosa, after having cooled down, promptly took a seat.
At this moment, Achilles was fairly unhappy since he did not expect to spend his summer break with such a bunch of naïve and proud individuals.
Dong Xiaosa's adrenaline faded and he started to notice people around him mocking him.
Although there were many people who shared his dissatisfaction, none of them were as rash as he was.
"Head Instructor, I was wrong!"
Dong Xiaosa was not an idiot. He immediately offered an earnest apology in a bid to maintain the image of himself as a responsible soldier.
Qiu Si nodded. "In the future, if you have problems, you may raise your hand. Only after you have obtained my approval may you speak. Everyone rise. Attention, turn right and run!"
Qiu Si brought everyone to the parade square. There was a number of mecha positioned in front of everyone, but everyone seemed disappointed.
What the heck… how could they be so torn and tattered…
All of the mecha were the Bata Type V. This was the lowest possible grade of mech. The soldiers were mainly elites from the Solar System, so they had even operated the highest quality mecha. How could they train with these pieces of junk?
"Training will now begin. You have a simple task. You will depart from here and make your way to the second section of the Gil base. The mecha have already been pre-set. If you do not reach your destination within five days, you will be eliminated," said Qiu Si.
At this point, yet another person - Lie Guang - raised his hand.
"Head Instructor, is it just people who need to reach the destination?" asked Lie Guang.
"Idiot, both the mech and the person must reach it together. As a mech pilot, if you lose your mech, you might as well die. Little birds, you have wasted yet another two minutes. Depart immediately!"
Following Qiu Si's booming voice, everyone scrambled towards the Bata Vs. They tried to take closer looks to pick the better ones, since picking a bad one would spell trouble.
Training on Earth was too barbaric. There was no room for reason. However, everyone knew that the three stages of the training were set by Earth, Mars, and the Moon respectively to guarantee a baseline level of fairness. In a foreign territory, it was best to behave to avoid any chance of being eliminated.
Masasi and the rest started making their moves. Achilles clearly had some foresight. Once his men had adapted to the situation, they got into the mood quickly and did not need to be whipped.
Lie Guang and the rest had qualified for this competition by merit. On the other hand, Atos was eliminated before being allowed to enter. Although this was in line with the rules, there was still some stigma associated with a person who was entering the contest for the second time.
Wang Zheng immediately picked a mech. The mech itself had no problems. No matter how damaged its exterior looked, its core functions were indeed all tested to be in working condition.
Everyone picked a mech. These base models were easier to operate. To these elites, it was not even a challenge.
The mecha all started up. The main operating system displaying the map started up… From their current location to the base, there were many routes. Some of them were winding, some involved underdeveloped danger zones. One had to decide on one's route. The shortest route was about 400 kilometers.
Under these circumstances, also considering that the Bata had a speed limit, the most important consideration was that this mech was designed not for transport but for war.
It was necessary to ensure that about 100 kilometers was covered each day since accidents were bound to happen in the desert.
Everyone was equipped with a safety button for emergencies. However, once activated, one would immediately be eliminated. On top of that, it would take at least an hour before the rescue team arrived.
This is not an environment for war. It was just travelling.
72 mecha would be going to travel through the harshness of the desert.
But to these experienced mech pilots, just what sort of challenge could it pose?
The mech pilots were all well acquainted with the road. This was no big deal. Besides, since this was Earth's mech, it was not too difficult.
"Boss, which route should we pick? There are so many choices."
"Milo, go make some calculations," said Achilles.
To him, this was not a problem. However, the desert was still a foreign environment. It would truly be lucky to avoid any accidents in the desert. Since accidents were bound to happen, considering that he had to bring a team, the route he chose would have to be stable.
Milo immediately evaluated all possible routes. The shortest route need not be the best. Out of the ten routes the military gave, eight or nine of them had problems. In this foreign territory, simply advancing without planning would be inviting trouble.
"We can go by route C. Distance wise, it is not the closest; however, we will get to pass through two oases. We need to start conserving water starting now."
Every mech was stocked with biscuits and water. In such a hostile environment, it was still important to be careful with rations.
In the face of mother nature, humans inevitably found themselves as tiny and insignificant. Surviving the desert would be no easy feat.
Wang Zheng and his team also left. They did not allow any additional people in their team. If there were too many people, it would slow the team down. Under these circumstances, people tended to choose people within their social circles in order to ensure reliability in times of need.
Lear went alone on the route. On the other hand, Luo Fei found and stuck with another team with his oratorical skills,
The Lie family had a strong team. With the addition of Lie Guang, as well as Raston's announcement, Lie Xin's became the second strongest team. On the other hand, Lear and Taros became less outstanding. In particular, Lear, who was in the spotlight initially, eventually demonstrated only average performance.
Wang Zheng and the rest operated their mecha through the desert. They were not silly. After all, these four people had come in desert vehicles and hence had a basic awareness of the challenges of the desert. It was not comfortable, and using a mech under these physical conditions was very taxing. In no time, fatigue started to set in. On top of that, the heat was driving people crazy.
"Gosh, who came up with this training? We will be killed by the heat before we even reach the destination."
"Wang Zheng, we cannot go on like this. I am afraid that that we need to plan our time."
"It is too taxing to do anything in this midday heat. It takes too much energy."
"We just started, so our bodies should be in fairly good shape. Let us rest in three hours."
Said Wang Zheng.
"Sure, I think we could even use the nights to travel and rest in the day."
"Let's go, let us show these people the results of our training!"
Zhang Shan was extremely self-assured. He had not squandered this summer break away. Instead, he had kept his body in top condition, so he was sure that he was second to none in endurance.
In this regard, the girls suffered a little more. However, Meng Tian was the best at enduring the heat with her ability, and Zhang Runan's physical constitution was fairly strong, hence she also had an advantage.
In no time, everyone stopped speaking. Even speaking took a lot of physical energy. In the desert, one just faced an endless swarth of sand. There was no end in sight. Without signs, one had no choice but to gauge their direction and continue pressing on.
Wang Zheng chose route D, which was arguably the safest route.
During the break, the four of them quickly stepped out of the mecha. It had been said that the higher-end mecha were very comfortable. However, sadly, they were only using ordinary mecha. Even though Zhang Shan enjoyed pushing his body during training, he felt like he was in an oven and was not as motivated. The air was dry and he was drenched in sweat. It was unbearable.
After drinking water in large gulps, Zhang Shan could not help but to curse. "God d*mn, we will be dried to death before we even arrive at our destination. What kind of training is this? Shouldn't we be using real knives and guns?"
Wang Zheng laughed. "Please don't complain. Given that we can't change our circumstances, we just have to learn to adapt."
"Indeed. Life is like being castrated. If you can't resist, you just have to accept it, haha," said Zhang Shan with a laugh.
"Zhang Shan, watch your language!" said Zhang Runan with a glare.
"Haha, sorry, I forgot that there were two ladies among us."
The four hid in the shadows of the mecha for a short break before entering the mecha again to resume training. Their speed had clearly decreased, reflecting how both their mental and physical states were being put to the test.
This was what every trainee had to endure. In contrast to Demon Island, the desert was the true hell. In comparison, Demon Island was really a sort of paradise. There were flora and fauna, whereas here… there was only sand.
Meng Ao watched the constantly moving green dot on screen. He was responsible for designing this segment. To these young soldiers, it certainly was quite a challenge.
Perhaps they were already sufficiently prepared for individual battles, but they were still lacking in this aspect. IG selections were increasingly challenging. It was not just demonstrating one's proficiency in mecha battles but also a more holistic form of preparation that would allow them to get a good score in Aslan, thereby earning glory for the Solar System.