Chapter 124: Training (1)
The end-of-year competition was finished.
This was just the end of another school year to many people, but this was only the beginning for those who were victorious.
The day after the end-of-year competition concluded, Su Chen and the others were called to the Hidden Dragon Institute’s Goose Cloud Palace.
The palace was already filled with nearly a hundred students by the time they arrived.
Students not part of Su Chen’s year were also present. The strongest students within each year were all gathered here. Everyone also had another similar characteristic: every person here was in the Qi Drawing Realm. Only students below the Blood Boiling Realm were eligible for the Competition for the Ruins.
An elder was standing at the front of the palace and gazing at the assembled crowd. He cleared his throat and said, “Quiet, please!”
The noise in the hall began to slowly die down.
The old man said, “I’m very happy to see you all. The ones standing here today are, without a doubt, the most talented and outstanding disciples the Institute has produced. I am called Si Mingli, and I am delighted to be one of your training instructors. Perhaps some may wonder why a training instructor like me has seemingly appeared out of nowhere; I will address this shortly. We have called you here today to make an announcement. There might be a few among you who are aware of this now, but some still don’t know; in any case, it’s about time for us to make it public anyways.”
As the old man spoke, news of the conflict between Long Sang and the Gravel Lizard Tribe over the Arcana Ruins began to spread. Upon hearing that they were going to enter those ruins, all of the students became incredibly excited.
Si Mingli laughed coldly, “Don’t get so excited yet. I need to remind you all of one thing: the ruins are incredibly dangerous. You all know that the Ferocious Race and the Human Race have always harbored enmity towards each other. The only reason we are willing to call a temporary truce is because we don’t want this matter to blow up. If we elevate hostilities, we will only reap less benefits. However, this doesn’t mean that we will necessarily be peaceful with one another. After entering the ruins, there will definitely be conflict between them and us. Remember, the battles you’ll face aren’t like those in the Refinement Pavilion but true life-or-death battles. We will not show mercy to them, nor will those barbarians show mercy to us. Thus, this mission will require you to put your lives on the line; whether you return alive depends on your ability.”
His words sent a chill into everyone’s hearts.
Si Mingli continued, “Are you afraid? Don’t worry. If you are afraid, there is still time. Only forty people are allowed on this mission, not 100; thus, not everyone here today will be selected to enter the ruins. Among you, another 60 people will be eliminated, and only the remaining 40 will have the right to participate in this expedition as the true elites amongst all of the Institute’s students.
Upon hearing those words, thoughts of retreating began to surface.
Si Mingli said, “Of course, whoever is willing to remain and is able to achieve a service of great merit for the human race will receive corresponding benefits.”
“What kind of benefits?” a student asked.
Normally, this would have been a rude interruption, but in this case it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Si Mingli gently smiled. “Anyone who enters the ruins, regardless of how much they contribute or whether they survive, will receive a 3rd-tier Hero’s Medal. Other benefits will be awarded based on contribution. If someone performs a particularly meritorious service, he or she will be allowed to select a treasure from the Emperor’s storehouses of corresponding value.”
Upon hearing those words, the palace erupted with conversation.
The Hero’s Medal was a unique medal within Long Sang country. Not only did it carry a lot of prestige and weight behind it, but it also gave one many unique privileges.
If Su Chen were to obtain such a medal, the Six Great Clans would need to think twice about targeting him again. Killing him might incite not only Shi Kaihuang but also the Long Sang Army into action.
Because of this, obtaining a Hero’s Medal was never easy.
A 3rd-tier Hero’s Medal was at the lowest tier, but there were still only a handful distributed every year.
The prospect of obtaining a 3rd-tier Hero’s Medal upon entering the ruins, regardless of survival, was enough to cause countless students’ blood to boil.
They could obtain honor and prestige along with actual material benefits.
In addition, this was only the beginning; if they were able to make a significant contribution, they could enter the kingdom’s treasury and become the subject of even more envy and yearning.
There would be great rewards for any heroes.
Forcing people to enter such a dangerous situation wasn’t appropriate. After all, most of these exceptional students were from Bloodline Nobility Clans. Instead, they had basically dangled a fat, juicy carrot before the students to encourage them to go.
Indeed, many students who were originally intending to withdraw were suddenly filled with fighting spirit.
Youths were always filled with anticipation towards the future, but they did not have sufficient experience with the cruelty of reality. It was only natural that the situation had developed to this point with someone leading them around.
Si Mingli seemed quite happy with everyone’s attitude. He laughed, “We will be entering the ruins three months from now. During these three months, it will be my duty to train you. On one hand, I will train you on how to fight in teams, and you will get to know each other’s battle styles. On the other hand, I will be picking out forty of the most outstanding students amongst you all.”
He specifically emphasized the words “the most outstanding”.
With youths, it was sometimes necessary to use prestige in addition to material benefits.
There were even occasions when the former was more effective than the latter.
Indeed, the crowd only grew more and more excited, and their fear of the Ferocious Race had also decreased drastically. Si Mingli borrowed this opportunity to describe the contents of the training and announce that training would begin tomorrow.
The training regimen was split into personal training and regimental activities.
Apart from generally raising a person’s strength, other skills like ruin examination, neutralizing Origin Formations, understanding Arcana Inscriptions, etc. all needed to be taught by specialized instructors. This was to bring the students up to par with the complexities within the ruins. Every student needed to sign up for a special class. In this selection, a student’s learning ability for each of those subjects would be taken into account as well. If two students possessed roughly the same amount of strength but one of those students either had prior experience with or was more talented in a certain subject than the other, then that student would be more likely to be chosen.
Su Chen selected Arcana Inscription Identification. In reality, he was more proficient in Alchemy and Medicine Concoction. However, he had only briefly studied Arcana Inscriptions with an Instructor, while for the latter he was already proficient enough to be considered an Instructor himself.
Cloud Leopard selected Ruins Examination. He was already extremely proficient in concealing himself and scouting out a location, but he did not have much experience doing so in ruins. Nonetheless, selecting this class would allow him to demonstrate what he was good at.
After selecting a special class, everyone returned to their own places to rest.
This was the last night they would spend within their own school residences.
From tomorrow onwards, all of the students would leave their original dormitories and move to the training grounds for three months. During this period of time, all of the students would live together.
This was done so that the students could become more familiar with and come to know each other better, as well as build up a rapport amongst them. They were only going to be able to cooperate in battle if they viewed each other as comrades.
Those who loved to stir up internal strife would definitely be a burden on the battlefield. Getting rid of those people was fine.
Because of this, the first rule of training was that there was to be absolutely no internal battles.
Anyone who dared make trouble for no reason or for something dumb like “I simply found it annoying to look at him” would be exposed to the scorching sun for three days. Bloodline distinctions were even more intensely avoided; it was forbidden to even mention them.
At this moment, everyone was just of the human race – there was no more distinction on difference in bloodline level!