Enough was enough!
He had already expended enough in terms of effort, ability, and manner. It seemed like his envisioned dream was not about to become a reality. In that case, he had to use raw strength to beat them into submission. Just as Atos had said, these people were too overconfident in their strength.
Thump, thump, thump…
Some fell directly to the floor. Some were barely standing but unable to move even an inch. Achilles alone took them all on.
The Eight Stars of the Moon needed but to stand behind the Sun God. Taros was especially surprised. He knew that Achilles was strong, but he did not expect him to have grown so fast in the few years apart.
To crush people with pure energy was something that only C-rank and above abilities could accomplish.
Meng Tian's face was white as a sheet. This heavy pressure emitting from Achilles' eyes could only be withstood by Ability X users, and then only for a short while. She would soon succumb as well. Her body shook as she felt the strength ebb from her body.
Zhang Runan held on a little longer than Meng Tian, but it took all she had to simply protect herself.
The only ones who remained calm were Lear, Lie Xin, Raston, and a few others. However, they too were temporarily stumped as to how to proceed.
They were clear as to what Achilles' move meant.
Regardless of their rank or Ability X, all were helpless before Achilles' power!
Achilles twitched a finger. BANG!
The fearsome energy changed its current. An invisible strength crushed them with the power of a tsunami.
Raston and Lie Xin's gazes wavered. Even defending against it took a lot of energy. Achilles was hailed as the Sun God precisely because he had this profound ability to back the name.
People were beginning to see Achilles differently. In the military, the strongest were deserving of respect, and they were no exception. This, this was the real Achilles. The previous training, as the Moon people said, was truly paltry and meaningless. This was an insurmountable difference.
Lear's expression changed. If things continued as they were, then Achilles would really draw the popular sentiment. His fist moved slightly, ready to act.
Suddenly, laughter broke in the air. It was Wang Zheng. He had overestimated Achilles' temperament. Flexing his strength seemed like a cool move, but few here would be moved. Childish.
One, two, three steps, Wang Zheng advanced towards Achilles. The chair legs dragged on the floor with a hiss of friction.
BOOM. The silver light from Achilles' eyes became even more intense.
The energy volume blazed forth, stronger than before.
Everyone suddenly realized that their bodies were free. Achilles was concentrating all his power directly on Wang Zheng!
At this moment, there was an intangible energy between Achilles and Wang Zheng. It formed into silver spots in which the energy levels had condensed. Achilles really wanted Wang Zheng to be crushed before him.
BOOM. The entire energy vortex was rushing towards Wang Zheng.
In this instant, Lie Xin, Lie Guang, Raston, Lear, Taros, and even Achilles himself flinched. If they had been in Wang Zheng's predicament, they too would have collapsed to the energy vortex.
But Wang Zheng just stood there smiling.
He actually threw the chair!
Under the pressure of an ability user, standing alone required enormous energy, let alone throwing a chair.
With this move, Wang Zheng had finally made an impression on them.
To actually be able to attack as he wished under Achilles' immense energy pressure.
The chair exploded a meter away from Achilles, but the condensed aura dissipated with a burst as well. Everyone heaved a collective sigh of relief and breathed again.
Achilles was frowning. "You're an ability user?!"
Everyone had always thought that Wang Zheng had not awakened and simply had strong foundations. This was also a psychological advantage that they had always held over him.
Yet with this move, they felt apprehension grip them anew. His expression had frozen. He hadn't acknowledged Wang Zheng as a rival and had treated his better scores lightly because Wang Zheng was not an Ability X user.
A non-Ability X fighter, regardless of performance, could only be a member but never a leader. With this forgiving attitude, he had hoped to win some hearts. After all, Ares College had a few who showed promise. If he could use them, they would be a big help, at least in stabilizing his hold on Earth.
But things had changed.
He had not batted an eyelid in the face of Achilles' energy suppression and had dissipated it with ease. Could he be an Ability X user of equal rank?
That was impossible!
Achilles' eyes were bright. Their gazes met, and Achilles realized that his energy ability was useless against his opponent.
His energy ability was substantial and powerful. He had to be an Ability X user, or else he could not have withstood it.
This Wang Zheng was really someone who was more than meets the eye.
Things had really taken a new turn.
"Whoever wants to be a leader has to have the ability of a leader. No one who made it here is weak. Everybody's eyes are bright. Just because you think you can be leader doesn't guarantee you that. C rank Ability X users are not invincible."
Wang Zheng stated mildly.
In truth, Wang Zheng was faking it a little here, but it would not hurt to put a scare in them. He was guessing that Achilles' ability C-rank, and although his energy suppression was merely a display of his energy powers and not his Ability X, Wang Zheng had guessed right. Given Achilles' personality, he would not show his true strength here… If he gave ground here, it would be enough to start an open war. It was not much.
Although he had been exposed, Achilles retracted his energy. "Very well, that should be how things are as well. But Earth has been unfair. This regulation is unreasonable. As a military student and a participant in IG qualifications, to disqualify mine and Lie Xin's contestant statuses over a small fight was too heavy-handed."
Wang Zheng shrugged. "I agree. But I'm not the instructor."
Achilles had not expected Wang Zheng to concur. He had thought he would find some other rebuttal.
Seeing Achilles' astonishment, Wang Zheng smiled. "I wish that those around me become as strong as they can. Only then can the Solar System Federation break through. Whatever moves we have should be saved for use against Aslan. To use it against our own is no talent at all."
"Well said!" Achilles extended a thumbs up to Wang Zheng while facing Lear.
To play such tricks during IG training was too petty and a waste of time and energy.
Lear's face was unchanging. Lie Xin was moved as well and stepped forward. "This is why the Solar System has been faring poorly all these years. We're too busy fighting amongst ourselves. If Qiu Si was here, he would disqualify us all for what just happened."
Lie Xin spoke resolutely. Things had gotten out of hand previously, but she had to hand it to this pretty boy Wang Zheng. He was not what she expected.
"We can collectively bring this matter up to the instructors. Truth be told, regardless of whoever leads and becomes official members in the end, we all hope for the strongest leader to take charge," Wang Zheng said.
"Hey, hey, Wang Zheng. Why does it seem like you're singing your own praise? You as a leader? I refuse to acknowledge you," Taros spat maliciously. He could not stand the likes of Wang Zheng, who was assuming authority.
Wang Zheng looked at Taros without changing his expression. "As I said, whoever has the ability should be leader. Whether you like the person, or will acknowledge the person, is irrelevant." He then looked at Atos. "This is but a small chastisement. Fights between men with a quarrel are common, but boundaries should be respected. If that happens again, not even God can save you."
Wang Zheng's words were filled with casual arrogance. He did not even acknowledge Atos.
Meng Ao was watching quietly from the side. He was aware of Qiu Si's little games. The Cronos family's arm was long. He had not intervened, as he was curious to how these youths would solve the problem.
There were indeed a few calm ones among them, but the one that surprised him the most was Wang Zheng.
That guy was actually an Ability X user. He had fooled them for a long while. He must have awakened late. And that Zhang Shan as well. It was a series of unexpected good fortune.
While watching the scene in front of him, Meng Ao gestured. A young major saluted crisply and went over. This iteration of IG seemed like a small matter, but in actuality, it also symbolized a revolutionary turn for the Solar System military.
They had to reinvent themselves, or else they would be stuck forever. It was difficult for the older generation to change now, but the newer generation was highly flexible.
Wang Zheng's suggestion was met with general approval. They were still divided into their three factions, and although Mars and Moon had been eliminated, Earth alone held no persuasive power.
At this moment, an unknown young officer approached. "Assemble."
"My name is Zhang Jingqi. Instructor Qiu Si had to leave to attend to matters. From now on, I will be in charge of your training."
"Sir!" Milo raised her hand. It was easier for girls to be heard.
"Speak," Zhang Jingqi said.
"Although we made some errors previously, we do not feel that this should disqualify Achilles and Lie Xin from the leadership contest. We are willing to accept punishment, but not to be excepted from the responsibility and contest."
Milo had spoken well.
Zhang Jingqi smiled. Atos still glowered as the medical attendants took him away. Wang Zheng was unconcerned. Some people were just like dogs; they had to be beaten to learn.
"Everybody's training results are recorded. Earth is a simple place. Whoever scores the best receives the nomination. At present, Wang Zheng ranks first, Lear second, Achilles third, and Lie Xin fourth. The rest are rather significantly far behind, but you four have a chance. In the training to come, whoever can pull ahead will be Earth's chosen leader candidate."
Both the Moon and Mars factions were a little surprised. Nobody had expected such a reasonable change in tone. This was inconceivable. Earth had always been rigid, especially in the key matters, but they actually…
"For real?" Milo asked doubtfully.
He was possibly tickled by Milo's cute expression. "Of course. But the training to follow will only be tougher. This time around, the IG leader will be the best. No other factor will be allowed to affect this.
Everyone cheered, their fighting spirit galvanized. In truth, the time they had spent under Qiu Si had been meaningless. They were unafraid of hard times - after all, they had all emerged out of the first phase - but mental torture was unwanted.