Volume 4: Chapter 11 – Sacrifice in Crisis
Meng Tian was unaffected by the situation. Lear sat at the side like a gentleman, quietly observing her, but her performance just wasn't as good.
When it was Zeus College's turn, Lear was the only one who achieved full points.
Those who interfered with him felt as though they had been slapped across the face. Yet, Lear didn't react at all.
During the last gathering, Apollo College's students were quite insidious. They had threatened Lear with knives. Although they weren't allowed to harm other competitors, the knife had been placed extremely close to his face. Alas it was of no use…
At this time, only a trace of ridicule flashed across Lear's eyes.
Campana had missed just three shots and was ranked second.
He could finally feel stiff competition awaiting him.
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After the first day of competition, Ares College was completely shoved to a supporting role. Their performance was absolutely miserable. Jiang Bin had fired 50 shots in the shooting competition but missed 30 of them. He had set a new record for the worst possible performance.
By the end, even if one didn't feel ashamed, everyone felt disregarded. It had completely turned into a fight between Lear and Campana. Even Masasi's performance only allowed him to take fourth place.
Before the competition, Masasi had been the centre of attention. Who could have known the result would be so different?
The talent of the average individual on Earth was terrible. However, the cream of the crop hadn't yet reached a point where they would be trampled by those of the Moon. From the beginning, Lear and Campana had never placed Masasi in their sights.
So what if he was an elite from the Moon?
These guests from afar didn't give the organizer, Ares College, any face. After two rounds of competition, Ares College was at the bottom for every event and the disparity between the next place was immense.
One person became famous after one battle and that was Lear Cronus. He managed to easily attain first place for both events while breaking existing records. At the same time he crushed Campana under his foot, it was quite stunning. His performance in the competition caused him to be firmly engraved in the minds of the journalists and military recruitment officers.
Gu Te's face was like leaves swept away by the autumn wind. He could no longer even smile. Although Xiao Fei's theory had caused a large uproar, it had only made the media scrutinize his school even more. Although this was supposed to be a good thing, it ended up causing him more trouble than good.
In the face of competition, feelings were unimportant.
What a military college needed was strength.
Everyone was originally cheering for the home team, but towards the end, everyone felt quite listless and a third left as they could no longer bear to watch what was happening. They were being tyrannically oppressed.
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Ares College was extremely quiet in the evening. Zhang Shan just stared blankly into space. It was too depressing. They had originally planned to show off their abilities during the competition but had instead been crushed. If it was not for Masasi's performance salvaging a scrap of respect for their team, they would have completely lost all face.
It could be said that Gu Te's revival plan had a wrench thrown into it.
"Brother Shan, it's just the first day. There will still be opportunities for a comeback!" Chen Xiu consoled.
Zhang Shan's performance was still acceptable and was in the middle of the pack. Meng Tian also performed comparably. However, the problem was with Ma Xiao and Jiang Bin, they dragged the team down.
Jiang Bin was unfortunately not skilled enough. Although he was considered outstanding normally, during the heat of the moment he was unable to keep up. On the other hand, Ma Xiao was about to graduate. Thus, he was not as disciplined in maintaining his training. A single special training just wasn't sufficient. Furthermore, Ma Xiao lacked that tyrannical aura; to him, he had already lost three years in a row so losing once more didn't mean much.
Zhang Shan slammed his fist heavily against the table. "Damn it all! That bastard Lear is too arrogant. He doesn't even consider us as an opponent!"
"It's not that he doesn't consider you an opponent, just that he doesn't consider anyone to be worthy of his attention. That bastard broke the records for both events in the competition. This is just something we are unable to match up with," Yao Ailun said as he shrugged his shoulders.
"Brother Ailun, don't be discouraged. It is at times like these that we have to support Brother Shan even more!" said Chen Xiu.
Yao Ailun stood up and patted Zhang Shan's shoulder. "I have to speak the truth to a brother. There's nothing exciting about this. The opponents are already so strong during the testing phase, so can you imagine how ferocious they will be when they are in a mech? That bastard is just too strong. This just feels like adults bullying children."
Zhang Shan was extremely depressed. Before the competition, the instructor had said that their current abilities would give them a fighting chance. Yet, that was only in comparison to the previous year's standards. Although they had improved, so had the other academies.
Wang Zheng didn't know what to say. For example, during the shooting competition, it was a competition where one had to shoot under pressure and distractions. Although Zhang Shan was usually quite an accurate shooter, in this situation his performance took a large hit. Compared to the other opponents who performed splendidly, especially Lear, this only showed how skillful they were.
The Skylink rang. It was Zhuo Mu. Zhang Shan was too embarrassed to face his own instructor.
"Wang Zheng, Instructor Zhuo wants you to come as well."
As a team substitute, Wang Zheng sat on the bench watching the entire day. That taste of defeat was a bitter pill to swallow.
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In the training room, all the members had arrived. It was completely silent as everyone hung their heads in shame.
Masasi was the only one with an expressionless face. However, he was still the captain and his team had lost spectacularly. He didn't want to be too eye-catching during the competition but he did not expect the team to perform so badly. Regardless, he was still a member of Ares College and if he lost too badly, he would lose all his radiance.
Although Meng Tian was still as icy as usual, her gaze held a trace of frustration.
Ma Xiao and Jiang Bin seemed quite nonchalant. They were used to it. It was said that repeated abuse would cause one to become numb and this wasn't their first time.
After a period of time, the shame would gradually dissipate. This was their home turf after all and they were still the kings here.
Wang Zheng did not even get the chance to perform today. After a short period of time, Zhuo Mu arrived.
Surprisingly, even though he was furious, Zhuo Mo looked at the group and sighed
"Tomorrow will be the last day I will be teaching at Ares College. Being unable to match up to others is not a humiliation. However, giving up after the first defeat is a sign of weakness. Regardless of the results tomorrow, I hope everyone would be able to demonstrate the full extent of their abilities. Don't have any regrets!"
Zhuo Mu said this all calmly. With such results, he could no longer stay on. Dismissing himself was necessary.
Zhang Shan clenched his fist tightly. He could feel that Zhuo Mu was an excellent instructor during their training period. His iron-blooded soldierly demeanor boosted his morale but he himself had not worked hard enough.
His gaze swept across the team. Even Ma Xiao felt slightly guilty. On the contrary Jiang Bin was completely nonchalant.
"Instructor, during yesterday's testing I injured my leg. I didn't realize it at first but now it hurts. Can I be excused from tomorrow's competition?" Jiang Bin suddenly said. Everyone's gaze washed over him. Bitch, what kind of bullshit injury was he talking about. He was clearly trying to escape.
If it was the previous Zhuo Mu, he would definitely be furious by now. Yet, this time he seemed unwilling to say anything. "One's path is chosen by oneself. You can go. Wang Zheng, do you want to give it a shot?"
The moment he was excused, Jiang Bin rushed out. This entire first day it was as though he was sitting on a pincushion. He had completely lost all face. The second day would only get worse and he was unwilling to suffer to the end.
Wang Zheng saluted smartly. "Yes!"
His voice was extremely excited. Zhuo Mu stared blankly for a moment before shaking his head, "Kid, you will be using a real mech tomorrow. Are you sure you can do it?"
"Reporting to Instructor! I learned how to pilot a mech when I was in the OMG. I think the controls should not be significantly different and I am unafraid of humiliation!" Wang Zheng said directly.
Zhuo Mu gave a bitter smile. Being able to pilot a mech and competing in one were two completely different things. The problem was that the competition mecha had been locked up and could not be used. Else even a few hours of practice in it would be good.
Right now, Wang Zheng was the only choice he had, as the team couldn't be short of any member. Having stage fright was more shameful than losing. If news of this came out, Ares College would lose all respect. If they lost the discipline of a soldier, such a military college should just close down entirely.
They might as well turn the college into a Humanities College.
In fact, some individuals had already suggested doing just that. They would remove the military departments as it could no longer maintain its status as one of the top 3 military colleges.
There were numerous colleges waiting for a spot to vacate and they were willing to take Ares' place.
Zhuo Mu was in no mood to continue admonishing them. There was no use to it. Although Masasi could perform better, he was an outsider and could not fully integrate into the place. It was nonsensical to suggest he would give his heart and soul in competing for Ares College as he had already performed excellently.
The students had left leaving only Zhuo Mu there. He stared at the empty training field, his eyes a little red. He had too many memories of this place. He wanted to do a lot of things but in the end, he accomplished nothing.
It was time for someone else to take his place.
But before that, he would stand proud for his last class.
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Gu Te was also extremely depressed. The moment the competition ended, he received numerous Skylink calls. Some wanted interviews, some wanted to ask questions, and some wanted to express their dissatisfaction.
Losing face was not a problem, but it couldn't be to such an extent.
At times, the greater the expectations, the greater the sense of disappointment. He had great hopes for his little tricks but it brought about even greater disappointment. One trick had chosen to transfer schools, and while the other one had performed admirably, it was insufficient to restore the school from the brink of defeat. What was even more surprising was that the school's standards had actually dropped.
If not for Xiao Fei's scientific results, he would not have known how the situation would have developed. So many years of weakness had finally coalesced and exploded.
The parliament had also organized an emergency meeting. A single principal could not change the situation. Regardless of how brilliant he was, one had to know their limits. Although Gu Te was widely respected in the military and political circles, at this point in time he should voluntarily resign instead of holding on till the end.
Although Xiao Fei's results were great, it would not restore a military college's splendor.
To Gu Te, this was also an extremely tough night. Many times it was harder to hold on than to give up.
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On the second day, although the mecha competition was extremely enticing for the students, not even half the stadium was filled. Yesterday's defeat had sunk in deeply and no one wanted to be abused further today.
Xiao Fei originally wanted to go to the Moon for a meeting at the Sol Federation's Federal Academy of Science since her discovery was undoubtedly the most astonishing one of the year.
However, after yesterday's grievous defeat, she and Marcus put their plans on hold. Regardless of the situation, they were still a part of Ares College.
The moment Xiao Fei appeared, the entire field burst out into applause. Perhaps only Professor Xiao Fei could redeem a shred of the student's dignity.
Zeus and Apollo Colleges' students also stood to applaud her. Xiao Fei's discovery had already been verified by the Sol Federation. Although it was currently being submitted to the Milky Way System for further verification, regardless of the situation this was still something every student looked up to.