He saw the improvements of these students. From their current standing, most of them had not slacked off and had made preparations for battle.
In terms of quality, this batch was indubitably the best in recent years. However, it was still not enough, and they had room for improvement!
Meng Ao, Lie Wuqing, and Drachmach all definitely did not slack off. The situation was great. They had gathered intelligence about the battlefield from multiple sources and somehow managed to get their hands on footage of how their foes were preparing for war. More importantly, they even had intel on the Arbiter Republic's training…
After going through the intel, Ao Meng and the rest's lax attitudes quickly evaporated. They were not being merciless enough!
The first step was to change the trainees entirely.
"Heck, what kind of hellish training is this? I thought I was dying." Edison was on the brink of madness.
He was a fighter, but his strengths lied elsewhere. Although his combat abilities were fine, he paled in comparison to others.
"We've only just begun. Stop complaining. After all, you are representing Caragal." La De laughed.
Edison was an electrical engineer and specialist. Amongst those in the training course, he was second to none and was important to the team. However, regardless of his expertise, he still had to ensure he possessed the fundamentals.
Lie Xin stood on the shoulder of the Bata and stared into the distance. Her lean body became even more attractive under the sun. She smiled. "Looks like the special training is starting to get interesting. I heard that the three generals were excited by the training scenario, so it is not going to be easy for us."
Depending on the environment, life could be extremely treacherous. For example, the Norton Star had a gravitational pull five times the norm and could easily wear out a good half of the training squad.
"Rest time is over, move out!"
Lie Xin jumped down from the mech. She had no qualms with being the leader. "Surely you can't be worse than a woman," she remarked.
The crowd was stirred. As elites, there was no way they wanted to be despised by women.
It was difficult for the mecha to advance in the desert, and they seemed insignificantly small.
The first day had passed. Everyone seemed to have sustained a fair speed and demonstrated their mastery of the fundamentals. However, this was just the beginning. The real test had yet to come.
Pretty much all the teams chose to avoid the coldest and warmest periods of the desert. They strategically chose their rest periods. However, there were also teams who were rather extreme, proceeding even at high noon and in the wee hours of the night, only occasionally taking breaks when they felt tired.
Wang Zheng's team was soon met with problems. When they were resting at night, due to the lack of light and Zhang Shan's fatigue, they knocked over a water bottle and lost scarce, precious water.
Zhang Shan started to get frustrated. Without water in the desert, one was essentially waiting to die.
"D*mn, what should I do now?!" Zhang Shan's grasped his head with a look of distraught.
Meng Tian and Zhang Runan were also helpless. Although they were fairly tolerant towards the heat, they exhausted more energy than men. By the end of the day, Meng Tian was clearly exhausted, and her Ability X was not enough to help her. Among the four, perhaps Wang Zheng and Zhang Runan were in the best shape.
"Drink piss; otherwise, you won't be able to endure this," said Zhang Runan unflinchingly.
Zhang Shan felt his stomach revolting. "Manly Sister, don't joke. I'd rather die."
"You think I'm joking?" asked Zhang Runan coldly. Zhang Shan ultimately struggled to accept his situation, wondering how he could commit such a mistake at this crucial moment.
Zhang Shan started to tremble in the cold.
"The supplies the military gave us are clearly not enough. Even if we find an oasis, we may not find water. We either need to split our supplies or die together."
Said Zhang Runan, who sounded like she had cooled down slightly. Zhang Shan finally began to realize the gravity of his mistake.
Zhang Shan grit his teeth. "I won't be a burden to you all. I can endure this."
Zhang Runan said, "I am only getting you in the zone. Actually, you can get water in the desert."
At the place where the water was split, she dug a hole and placed the water bottle inside. At the top of the bottle, Runan placed a layer of unknown material and sealed the edges of the bottle.
Zhang Shan stared blankly, "This…"
"The most simple method to obtain water. Now sleep."
The three were not stupid and quickly understood Zhang Runan's rationale to warn Zhang Shan and get him in the zone.
However, they never would have thought that Zhang Runan would be this prepared for the desert.
"You are the best!" Zhang Shan cheered.
The four were all tired and quickly fell into slumber. Given that the rest of the desert was extremely cold, they could only sleep in their mecha.
After three hours, their alarms rang and the four quickly woke up. None of them complained about weariness, since that would only affect morale and seemed childish. They should all be prepared for this.
Zhang Shan swept away the sand and carefully removed his bottle from the hole. It was filled with water.
"Guys, you are amazing, you are basically familiar with all the life hacks!" said Zhang Shan with a tone of admiration.
Zhang Runan shrugged her shoulders. "I just briefly read up about how to get food and water in the desert before setting off, that is all."
Zhang Runan was always so nonchalant, whereas Zhang Shan continued to lick her boots.
"Move out!" shouted Wang Zheng with vigor. To him, this was still tolerable. Resting helped him to recover and minimize sweating.
Compared to his previous training, this was not too physically strenuous to him. However, facing the strains of the desert was indeed a new experience.
Completing a distance of 100 kilometers within 24 hours was a basic military requirement, so no one dared to complain.
However, in the desert, it was not only the sand, but also the volatility of the weather. Facing bad weather was truly the most dangerous.
For three days, Wang Zheng maintained a very decent military pace. Thanks to Zhang Runan's method of obtaining water in the desert, they had been able to maintain an advantage by sustaining their water supplies. As they would be arriving at the oasis soon, the four of them could not help but increased their pace.
They did not rush recklessly; they cautiously balanced the need for stability and safety as they strived to arrive at their destination.
"Haha, just another ten kilometers and we will arrive at the oasis! I want to drink and eat loads!" cheered Zhang Shan.
Since the destination was an oasis, there had to be food and water there. There should be cacti or even coconuts since this place had been redeveloped.
With these thoughts in mind, the team was motivated to press on.
"Yuan Ye, I cannot go on. We gotta rest," said Song Li.
"What's wrong? Just a little more and we will be at the oasis," encouraged Yuan Ye.
"Look at the weather, a sandstorm is about to hit. Besides, I have a premonition that there is something wrong ahead. I can't really explain it, but let us stop for a bit," said Song Li.
Yuan Ye hesitated and said, "Sure. Besides, we are not in too much of a hurry. Let's rest for a bit."
He trusted Song Li's intuition. Before danger struck, one's intuition would warn them. Although it may not be always accurate, trusting intuition was preferred as it might be better to err on the side of caution.
Wang Zheng's group felt the same. "The skies do not look too good. Looks like a sandstorm is coming."
Said Zhang Runan. Wang Zheng felt that the environment was rather unsettling.
"I don't think we can proceed. Let us stop for here. Everyone, keep within a radius of 50 meters," said Wang Zheng.
With a mecha, there was nothing to fear about a sandstorm; one just had to wait until the sandstorm is over. This could very well be one of the unique experiences of being in a desert.
After settling down for about half an hour, the skies started to get visibly yellower. From the distance, a swirl of sand could be seen coming towards them.
Regarding this natural phenomena, the four of them had their curiosities aroused by the marvels of mother nature. After all, they had spent most of their lives in cities, so they had only seen a sandstorms in class or in a movie.
The actual experience was entirely different. There was a sense of awe, wonder, and also pride as human technology offered them the protection they needed against the strength of mother nature.
Within a few minutes, the sandstorm engulfed the four mecha. The winds were viciously strong and their surroundings were all dark. There was only the sound of sand hitting against the mecha. The four mecha stood unshaken by the sand. Zhang Shan hummed a happy tune, much like how as a kid, one would be assured by the comfort of being indoors during a storm.
"Well, we are pretty lucky to experience such natural phenomena."
"Let's chat; otherwise, it will get boring."
Under these circumstances, even if there was no raging sandstorm, being in a mecha felt particularly comfortable.
"Chat about what?"
"Wang Zheng, how's your training? Haven't you awakened your ability? You should use your ability more; how else will you improve?" said Zhang Shan.
The four switched on their video chat. Wang Zheng smiled painfully. "You think I don't want to? My body barely keeps up. However, for the sake of everyone, I will do my best and keep on moving."
"What, you have such strength and yet you can't keep up? Your growth is pretty good. Use your ability and help me warp to a faraway place instead."
"Wang Zheng, I think you are more like a fountain. You need to tap into your potential and harness it, find the real method. Actually, these circumstances are pretty common. Many people find that they have awakened but are not aware of what their actual ability is," Meng Tian said. After all, as a member of Academy X , she could not be compared to the other three.
"Gosh, there is even such a thing? If I cannot feel it, doesn't it mean that I never will? asked Zhang Shan curiously.
Wang Zheng smiled. "That's probably not the case. I am afraid to use it. My body will definitely be unable to take it."
"You must be exaggerating. Meng Tian once said that warping causes a strain on me, but even I can handle it. Given your monstrous capabilities, you should be fine.
"This is a feeling, and it should be fairly accurate. Wantonly using my Ability X will definitely cause other issues to arise," said Wang Zheng as he smiled sheepishly. After receiving help from so many people who tried to help him, he arrived at some understanding of his Ability X. His ability was different from the rest, and he was unable to control it.
At that point, being too strong was not a good thing.
If he lost control using his ability in the first phase, he could have died.
The sounds of the wind started to weaken and the skies were starting to clear. There was indeed something comforting about witnessing the skies clear.
There was a warm feeling in one's heart.
However, at this moment, there was a tremor and a weird sound.
… the surface was sinking.
"This is not good; it's quicksand. Run!" shouted Zhang Runan as soon as she got a grasp of the situation outside.