Chapter 125: Training (2)
On the second day, Su Chen, Cloud Leopard, and Wang Doushan woke up together and headed for the training grounds.
The training grounds were not within the Hidden Dragon Institute but within the Thousand Ashes Gorge.
Based on what Si Mingli had said, all of the students needed to head out early in the morning and arrive before sundown to construct their own tents.
In actuality, the training had already begun.
Reaching the Thousand Ashes Gorge in a single day was not an easy task. It was quite a long trek, but there were also many Vicious Beasts along the way.
Team Bright had taken two whole days to reach the location in the past.
Because of this, students needed the ability to avoid confrontation much more than raw combat strength if they wanted to reach the training grounds in a single day.
Without a doubt, Cloud Leopard was extremely talented in this regard.
No Vicious Beast could evade his detection.
The three of them moved at a rapid pace, charging through Falling Eagle Mountain without even stopping. Finally, they arrived at the training grounds in 8th, 9th, and 10th place. The only reason they hadn’t gotten there first was because the fatty Wang Doushan had slowed them down. After cultivating Devouring the Heavens, his combat ability had greatly increased, but his speed had been adversely affected as a result.
In that sense, the fatty was better suited for stage battles than for real combat.
As one of the first people to arrive, Su Chen and the others had a lot of freedom to choose where to set up their tent.
The Thousand Ashes Gorge was next to a lake and surrounded by mountains. The scenery was beautiful, but Vicious Beasts were everywhere. The best location to set up a tent allowed a team to avoid danger to the greatest degree.
The three of them each chose a good location for themselves, pulled out a tent and frame from their Origin Rings, and set up their campgrounds. As the other students continued to arrive, the Thousand Ashes Gorge began to fill with the sound of laughter and chatter.
Nightfall had arrived by the time the last student arrived.
A brawny, male silhouette, clearly that of an Instructor, appeared and said in a booming voice, “I am Yu Chengjiao, your commander. Truth be told, you lot have greatly disappointed me. Perhaps you think that you are elite, but in my eyes you are all worthless from head to toe. I would rather command a platoon of common troops than this group of so-called geniuses. Twenty five of you were late to a simple rendezvous exercise…… everyone who was late will have to complete the Mountain-Carrying Punishment.”
As he spoke, he upended his palm, and twenty five students flew into the air. It was precisely the aforementioned twenty five latecomers.
The moment those twenty five people emerged from the ranks, twenty five poles with buckets attached to the sides flew forwards, landing on them. Even with their strength, this group of students felt their knees almost buckle under the load. Smoke swirled within the buckets attached to the poles. This smoke was actually a type of refined stone. Even though it assumed the form of smoke, it was incredibly heavy. It took one hundred bulls to hold up one of these loads, and the punishment was worthy of its name.
The twenty five latecomers were faced with the Mountain-Carrying Punishment. They needed to bear this load for two hours, whether they were sitting or walking as a kind of tempering. Undoubtedly, this left a bitter taste in their mouths.
But the others wouldn’t get off much better.
Because in the following days, they were going to be trained by Commander Yu Chengjiao.
Yu Chengjiao’s training methods were simple yet brutal. He first split everyone into teams of three, then forced them to battle amongst each other within the nearby forests.
Those who lost would need to endure the Mountain-Carrying Punishment, while those who were victorious would continue to do battle until they lost.
Quite simply, everyone would eventually be punished. What differed was that those who were victorious could avoid the Mountain-Carrying Punishment for longer because everyone finished the Mountain-Carrying Punishment all at once.
Under these kinds of circumstances, individual strength was not as important as teamwork. Not only did they have to be strong, but they also needed to cooperate with and compensate for their teammates’ strengths and weaknesses.
The teams were drawn at random, with Yu Chengjiao randomly selecting people to be part of teams.
Because of this, Su Chen was separated from Cloud Leopard and Wang Doushan.
He was teamed up with two random students, and the three-man team entered the first battle of the training stage.
Su Chen’s trio was victorious in its first match, but they were defeated in the second match. Almost instantly, a crushing weight landed on Su Chen’s shoulders.
Su Chen felt his body almost crumple underneath the massive weight.
At that moment, he heard a voice say, “Gather your Qi in your Middle Sea and nourish the Warm Springs……”
It was Yu Chengjiao’s voice.
Su Chen kept his surprise in check and followed Yu Chengjiao’s instruction. Immediately, he felt as if the burden on his back had somehow become lighter.
He instantly understood with some surprise that the Mountain-Carrying Punishment was also a form of cultivation. What Yu Chengjiao had taught him was a body-tempering technique that could increase his strength, using the heavy weight as a cultivation aid. It took half as much time to get double the effect. Since it had gotten easier, Su Chen began to control his breathing.
Even so, when the Mountain-Carrying Punishment ended, he was so tired that his muscles felt like jelly. Unfortunately, he wasn’t allowed to collapse to the ground.
Punishment was punishment. Even though it had the effect of tempering his physical body, it was still meant as discipline. There were many other ways of tempering himself, and there wasn’t necessarily a need to use this method.
If he wanted to avoid this punishment in the future, the best way to do so would be to survive longer in tomorrow’s battles. Better cooperation and teamwork was necessary if he wanted to be victorious.
Perhaps this was what the instructors were trying to show the students.
Survival and success within the ruins would require a great deal of cooperation and teamwork.
Thus, after the day’s training exercise ended, all of the teams began to spend time with each other, identifying each person’s strengths and weaknesses to prepare for the next day of battle.
Dusk was when the students studied. Other instructors gathered the students based on the specialties they had selected and instructed them.
Everyone spent the first day either journeying, battling, studying, or discussing.
Su Chen originally thought that he could find an opportunity to talk with Gu Qingluo, but the truth was that he hadn’t even had the opportunity to think about her ever since the training had begun.
After lots of discussion and investigation, the three-person teams decided on their battle plans for the next day, and the instructors finally let them rest.
But on the second day, a new set of rules left everyone dumbfounded.
The previous three-person teams had been dissolved. Everyone needed to form a new team that was composed of five people.
Yu Chengjiao said, “No one knows what will happen within the ruins. Some ruins have the ability to teleport people. If that’s the case, you may not end up with other people once you enter. This means that you will need to be able to form a team quickly with anyone regardless of who you run into, and you must be able to do so quickly and effectively. Thus, your teams will not be set, and the number of people in each team will not be set either. You must be able to quickly adapt to the strengths of any individual and respond accordingly. In addition, I can assign you a mission at any time and in any place, and you must rely on your own strength to complete these missions.”
As he spoke, Yu Chengjiao waved his hand and said, “Today’s mission is for every team to bring back a Rainbow Mirage Pheasant. As long as you can bring one back before dinner, you will have completed the mission. But if you are unable to bring one back, prepare to be punished. Don’t worry, it won’t be the Mountain-Carrying Punishment today.”
He laughed and then said with a grating tone, “It will be Thunder Punishment.”
As the name implied, Thunder Punishment involved using electricity to torment others. It definitely was not more comfortable than the Mountain-Carrying Punishment, and everyone felt a chill go down their spines when they heard that name.
“Oh, right, I almost forgot to add one thing,” Yu Chengjiao said. “The Thousand Ashes Gorge did not originally contain Rainbow Mirage Pheasants; the Hidden Dragon Institute had to release some here. After the pheasants are released, they will run all over the place. Whether they are still within the Thousand Ashes Gorge, I cannot say. Most importantly…… we have only released fifteen pheasants. In other words, of the twenty teams here, at least five will not be able to complete the mission, period.”
Everyone glanced at each other and then suddenly began yelling as they charged forwards.
As he watched the students charge madly, Yu Chengjiao let out a sinister laugh.