Qiu Si looked upon the 42 remaining people before hm. "Firstly, I have to congratulate you bunch of rookies. You're slightly better than the rookies outside. But that's only because you understand the value of hard work just a little bit better than them! Rest today. Tomorrow, your training begins anew. Now… And… attention! And… dismissed!"
The 42 people in the great hall sported haggard faces. Even Achilles himself could not have endured such hardships with an unchanging face.
A human's control over their own body was quite strong, but to handle a mech in addition to it was an extra burden.
The moment Qiu Si gave the command for dismissal, the portly Luo Fei sat down heavily on the floor.
"Oh, God. This torture is both physical and mental. Finally it's over."
"Fatty, I last saw you a few days ago, and it looks like you've put on weight again. Looks like you still have deep, untapped potential, eh."
Those nearby could not resist throwing a few jabs. No one expected such harsh training from the get-go. To think that so many people had been directly eliminated… they must not have anticipated the unforgiving training either.
All kinds of protests and outcries fell on deaf ears. IG's rules were rules.
At the same time, those remaining understood that here, Qiu Si was God. Life and death all fell within the palm of his hand, and nobody was above the rules.
Achilles looked at Lie Xin, who returned his gaze coolly. The competition between the two had begun to intensify.
Lear seemed to be out of sorts.
Again, Wang Zheng had qualified with a respectable result, and he was beginning to attract attention. This was clearly not beginner's luck - Ares College's elite soldier had suddenly displayed considerable ability.
Lie Xin was intrigued. She really wanted to get Zhang Runan on her side.
Meanwhile, Achilles' team had people flocking to it. He already had nine on his team, and with the addition of Taros, only two slots remained, and choices were limited.
Lie Xin's side was doing fairy well. Lie Guang, Raston, Carl, Lin Ruofeng, and Ma Hong made up a six-person team, with six more seats waiting to be filled.
With this wave of eliminations, everyone understood that a good leader was essential to last until the main competition.
As for Lear, his reputation had fallen a little, to the point where even Luo Fei was beginning to reconsider his options. The Moon team clearly did not need him, and Achilles did not look upon him with favor either. But perhaps Lie Xin was of a different mind.
"Leader Lie Xin, I wonder if your team is looking for a runner?" Luo Fei asked boldly. Fatty was being rather thick-skinned - Lear's reputation was not completely gone, after all.
Lear paused briefly, his shoulders shaking. But he did not turn back. He was the former champion, but no one was heeding him.
Lie Xin surveyed the simpering fatso in front of her mildly. She was, in fact, short on numbers, but she would rather run short than have a burden to the team.
The other team members had also begun to look over. Everyone knew that things were coming to a head and was sensitive to the way the wind blew. They knew that a wrong choice could destroy their chances, so they tended towards caution. Who would think that this fatty would boldly approach Lie Xin from the get-go? Could he really think so highly of her?
Lie Xin did not speak. There was no need to. At her side, Lin Ruofeng said smilingly, "Luo Fei, we welcome all requests to join our team. But of course, you have to prove that you can pull your own weight, right?"
What Lin Ruofeng really wanted to say, however, was, "Weren't you following Lear? Now that his star has fallen, you're abandoning ship? Who would want a deserter like you?"
Luo Fei scratched his head, eyeing the Moon team. "I got rid of Atos. I'm not sure if that's enough proof for you. I'm not too sure about what the higher-ups are thinking either, to bring back an eliminated participant."
At that moment, the hall erupted into a heated discussion. This fatty Luo Fei was vicious to shame Atos publicly. Everyone had been wondering who had eliminated Atos. Nobody would have imagined that it was this cowardly fatty, or that he would reveal this in front of the Moon team.
Achilles' face remained expressionless, but his eyes burned with anger. Meanwhile, Atos had already rolled up his sleeves and was about to walk over, but found himself blocked by Taros, who shook his head slightly. "There will be plenty of chances for reckoning."
Lie Xin smiled. At first she did not want this fatty, but Martians admired those with guts the most.
"You got some guts to dare to insult the Sun God."
"Keke, I might not have other strong points, but I'm not afraid of death, and I have courage. That's why I only choose to associate with the strong. I wonder if Team Leader Lie Xin counts herself among one of those?" Fatty's smile was unabashed. He had made himself clear. He would be loyal to someone capable, but if one was inept, then they have no right to expect loyalty from their followers.
"Direct. I like it. From now on, Luo Fei is a member of my team. If anyone resents this, they can look for me directly." Lie Xin's words were directed at Atos. "Good luck only comes once."
Atos was livid with anger, but Achilles held him back with a smile. "Lie Xin, are you prepared?"
Behind his simple question was a mountain of pressure directed at Lie Xin. Although she had been prepared, but his aura still intimidated her. However, she would never back down.
"Achilles, our showdown is simply a matter of time. Let's just begin now so we won't be confused as to who's the boss in the future."
Lie Xin would not back down one inch. Both teams began to come forth as well, in preparation for a fight.
"I accept your challenge. I hope you do not disappoint me. Also… fat kid. You got guts, but your luck might not be that good."
Achilles had clearly marked Luo Fei, and matters would not be laid to rest so easily.
The Moon team took the lead and left. Their confrontation would be no meaningless scuffle on the streets, but a contest in the upcoming qualifications to see who was stronger in ability, intellect, and maneuvers.
The ghost of a smile hung on the corner of Fatty's lips. The corner of Atos' mouth similarly twitched.
Lear, who had been leaning on a wall in the corner, shook his head. Children playing house.
"Taros, I misunderstood you. My apologies. If I can be of any use to you in the future, please feel free to ask. I will not decline, on my honor as a man!"
In the past few days, Atos had been unagreeable towards Taros. The others were in no good position to interfere. After all, Taros was only an outsider. But now Atos had clarified, and it was clear that it had all been a misunderstanding. A new sense of good feeling had emerged among the Moon side.
"From now on, Taros is our comrade. Let's all trust each other and help one another out!"
Achilles said. Lie Xin's challenge was but a small matter on his mind. It gave him an excuse to act, without being called out for bullying women.
"Damn, this is all one big show. That fatty is really thick, huh? To publicly call out the Moon team… I think Atos is ready to eat his heart," Yuan Ye quipped.
"These two are really swaggering about, as if the team leaders could only be chosen from them. Tch, based on what!?" Zhang Shan was unwilling to submit.
"It can't be helped. From the start, we accompanied the prince in his studies. Lear was worthy of our hopes, but he's always been too proud and aloof. It's a fault of Earthlings. Eh, I'm not talking about you guys. I'm just saying he doesn't get along well with people. Otherwise, we would have a chance too," Yuan Ye said.