Tempest of the Battlefield Chapter 36
Miao Xiu cracked his knuckles as threats tumbled out from between his teeth, "Would you like to be a cripple or a vegetable?"
They knew that Miao Xiu's student profile was already filled with previous records of violent conduct, one more serious offense, and he might be expelled from school. Leveraging on that, the five second-year students ignored the fear that tickled at the back of their mind and closed in on Miao Xiu.
Many classmates had been anticipating a fight as soon as Miao Xiu walked in. The promise of confrontation riled them up, and they quickly formed a circle around the five students, waiting for a show to start.
"Hold! All of you!" a deep and raspy voice echoed inside of the gym. The second-year students disengaged from Miao Xiu as soon as they turned toward the speaker and there stood Gadus, the number one fighter of all second-year students.
"Would you dare to spar with me instead?" Gadus asked Miao Xiu.
Miao Xiu's gut turned at the question, he was aware of Gadus's strength. But if Miao Xiu had felt threatened, he did not wear it on his face.
"I would love to, and I have always admired your Tactics of the Star Shift."
Tactics of the Star Shift was an advanced tactic that was meant for the elite students. No one in the second-year would be able to yield more power from it than Gades.
Another voice rose out of the speculators: "Why the fuss? Senseless fighting would only hurt our morale. If you two want to spar, you can perhaps arrange it at another time?" There were very few students in the entire school who would dare to interrupt Miao Xiu and Gadus, even fewer among the first-year students.
Annoyed by the interruption, Miao Xiu turned his head towards the source of the voice, ready to utter a curse. But as soon as he saw the speaker, he choked back his anger, and the curse slurred into a barely audible grunt.
Gadus cracked a smile. "Patroclus, what brings you here?"
"What a strange question. I am one of the students of our academy, am I not?"
"Pfft… you two catch up." Miao Xiu dodged an exchange of glances with Patroclus and scurried off. He knew the fight was over.
Patroclus was the No. 1 fighter among the first-year students, and perhaps among all the students of Starry Sky Academy. He bore a prestigious family name that had been passed down by heroic ancestors.
Patroclus Dower, the direct descendant of Rilangalos Dower, was indisputably the brightest star of the Starry Sky. When the news of his entrance to Starry Sky was first made public, the principal of the Light Ray Academy, a rival of Starry Sky, had turned green with envy.
"It seems that Miao Xiu has learned to fear your strength the hard way; look at how quickly he runs away." Gadus smiled broadly, seeing Miao Xiu fleeing quietly had made him feel good.
"You have overestimated me. Miao Xiu is a tougher nut to crack than you think."
"Yea, yea, if you say so. Anyhow, would you be interested in joining me in the gym? Perhaps you would be even so kind as to point out where I should improve my technique?" Although Gadus was the number one fighter among second-year students, he didn't dare to be uncouth with Patroclus, whose power needed no further proof other than the fact that a pompous trouble-maker such as Miao Xiu had shriveled in his presence.
A smile appeared on Patroclus's elegant, if not slightly feminine, face. "That's very nice of you to invite me, fellow brother, but I need to go to the library to retrieve some documents, perhaps next time."
Gadus shrugged and let the matter rest. Like most exceptionally talented students, Patroclus was better to be left alone when he wished to be so.
Many great houses of the Moon had crumbled under the constant political turmoil, but not the Dowers. They had since risen to become the dominant power on the Moon. They guarded the Tactics of the Deva King, one of the most powerful tactics, created by General Rilangalos Dower, and also one of the most difficult to master. Even if the Dower family had failed to protect its content, the tactics itself had a built-in fail-safe in the form of its nearly impossible xinfa .
It can be cultivated only by one who was perfect both physically and psychologically, such as Rilangalos himself. Any infinitesimal flaw in either department would render the practitioner into a deranged state.
Even though the Dowers had gained the reputation as the House of the Perfect Humans, the risk of cultivating the Tactics of the Deva King had caused each generation to approach their ancestral secret with extreme caution. For two consecutive generations, the Dowers had failed to produce a successor who was worthy of the tactics... until now.
Despite the expectation of two entire generations of house members weighing on his shoulders, Patroclus never let it slow him down and had always been a happy-go-lucky kind of guy.
"Let's roll; we are no match for him."
"Gadus, are you for serious?"
"No kidding, Gadus, he doesn't even look that strong."
Gadus flashed a sly smile on his face and said, "Don't mistake ignorance for bliss. No one knows how strong he is, and I don't even have the slightest interest in finding out," Gandus's words spoke loudly to the strength of Patroclus that was hidden behind that meek appearance.
Wang Tong didn't wake up until noon on the weekend. It was a perfect time for him to recharge after losing many nights of sleep to the monthly test. Although the preparation for the test had been arduous, he felt happy that it was finally over. He checked the sky-net anticipating a message and sighed after finding that there were none. He drew a few large gulps of fresh morning air and started to get ready for the day.
In addition to studying, practicing the tactics remained a major component of Wang Tong's day. Mr. Wannabe had reminded him of the importance of improving his physical strength in addition to the EMF strength, for it would greatly complement his fighting style. And as far as TPA match goes, losing a match because of lacking physical strength would be even more humiliating than losing because of EMF.
After cleaning himself up, Wang Tong picked up some cheap fast food at the school's cafeteria, which might not satisfy as a normal meal for ones born with a silver spoon in their mouth, but to Wang Tong, it had always been a tantalizing feast.
"My lady, the weather looks good, why don't you go out and seize the day?"
"I still have homework to finish."
Ma Xiaoru wore a white sweatshirt and lolled on the sofa in her private mansion that hovered above the city of Shangjin. She glanced at the sky-net from time to time, anticipating a message.
"Idiot, why wouldn't you take the initiative and ask me out on the weekend?"
Far below Ma Xiaoru's mansion, in a squalid corner of the city, Wang Tong entered his favorite VR café, the DREAM-HEAVEN. As he turned on terminal number five, he was astonished to see the large number of participants online.
It was the day the IPA and TPA players mingled together. The day that had a special meaning for both leagues. The IPA players, equipped with METAL suits that were useless in real-life but overpowered in the PA system, had an unfair advantage over TPA players. While the TPA players were eager to observe a great variety of tier six or higher METAL suits wore by the IPA players.
However, should the TPA players decide to experience the power of the IPA METAL suits at first hand, they might have to pay dearly. A few TPA players had tried, but their catastrophic defeats had deterred other TPA players. Therefore, it was rare to see a fight between the two different leagues. After all, none of the players wanted to embarrass themselves by losing to fanboys.
TL note: Soul energy and human emotions are intrinsically bonded. Many fighters take advantage of the bond by manipulating their mood to facilitate the progress of their cultivation. This method is referred to as "xinfa" - the way of the heart.