Volume 2 – Bloom of the Other Shore Flower, Chapter 7: Virtual Combat
Once the truck entered the city, it made a beeline towards the eastern district where a large abandoned factory was located. It was the ideal place for conducting any kind of shady business and was also where the Blackflow City’s underground arena was located. This was also where most of the disputes among the ten or so towns and villages surrounding Blackflow City was settled by force.
The one pulling the strings behind this underground arena was rumored to be one of the big shots in the imperial expeditionary army. Within the sphere of the Evernight Continent’s imperial forces, the expeditionary forces were peerless, massive ancient creatures and the real emperor of these lands, which was why no one dared to act recklessly here in the underground battleground.
The abandoned factories in Blackflow City were each over ten meters in height and took up several square kilometers. Five blocks of large factories were lined up neatly, broad and imposing. These enormous creatures that were built using steel alloy and concrete had weathered the flames of war countless times, yet still stood steadfast. Purely looking at the scale of these factories, the Empire’s former golden days of industrialization could be seen.
However, after humanity’s research in origin power and the development of the technique to refine black crystals from the black stones, this combination of black stones and steam that represented the first generation of power generation gradually stopped advancing and never had another scientific breakthrough.
The second generation of energy technology that imitates the energy of origin power via the release of black crystal energy was termed Origin-based Kinetics. However, this kind of technology was limited in many environments, especially so in the lower continents far away from the sun and its planetary belt. As the currently highest grade of propulsive power in the Empire, it was as a matter of course included in the ranks of strategic resources and was extremely strictly regulated.
Of course, the true hindrance for utilizing black crystal technology was still the cost.
Installing the equipment to generate origin power was too expensive; the amount it took to obtain a set of engine tanks was enough to buy an entire Lighthouse Town. Even though Evernight as a whole was not worth much whether it was in terms of land or human lives, a small town was still nothing to sneeze at. Also, these were essentially contraband items, and once they left the upper continent, the price would increase a few times over.
Qianye wrapped his windbreaker tightly around himself and followed Sir Zhao and his party into the underground arena. He was responsible for the virtual fight, where it was a test of combat skill, and not meant to be bloody. If it were the usual fight, it would have been enough with just a virtual battle. However, this was a show with huge bets placed, and there was a need to add a couple more bloody scenes to the fight.
Dressed formally, Sir Zhao walked to the left side of the arena as he pleased, and sat in the middle of a sofa placed there. He lit a cigar, and with his eyes half-closed, regarded the opponent on the opposite side.
Opposite him sat a middle-aged man. His densely tattooed arms were exposed, wearing an expression of dark ruthlessness. The lapels of his robe were left open, revealing a chest full of scars.
The arena was estimated to have a few hundred seats, and it was almost full.
There were still a couple of box seats above, with the clearest view of the battlegrounds below. The box seats were installed with one-way glass where the people inside could see the outside, but not the other way around. These box seats were reserved for the dignitaries, and it was said that the owner of the underground arena would occasionally drop by to watch the battles. However, only the high-level battles would draw in a big shot like him in. A fight like this between villages on the other hand would not.
Once it was time, a bell rang in the battleground below, and three judges silently entered the stage. They were expressionless, emanating a murderous aura that would not dissipate, and they were all rank two Fighters! These judges were also in charge of maintaining order.
The central figure carried a special gun at his waist, and the origin power patterned on the gun could be seen clearly. With the origin power gun in his hand, the judges would have a guarantee on their authority.
Qianye cast a sweeping glance at the three judges before lowering his gaze, standing behind Sir Zhao silently. Based on Qianye’s evaluation, those three judges had the ability to cleanly finish off the people from both sides.
On the premise that Qianye did not make a move, of course.
At this time, a judge announced loudly, “The battle begins.”
Sir Zhao exhaled a ring of smoke before revealing a wicked smile, saying, “Tiger Yan, since you dared to make such a huge bet, how about seeing some blood first?”
Tiger Yan suddenly laughed, raucous and deafening, before he slammed one hand into his thigh. “Some blood? That’s great! I love to see blood! Don’t be peeing in your pants later, Zhao! For those who dare to challenge me, Tiger Yan, daddy here will hack off your limbs and throw you into a shithole, and have you screaming for a few days before you croak!”
Sir Zhao exhaled smoke again, leisurely saying, “Many want me dead, it’s just a pity that I’m still well and alive, yet those guys have vanished off the face of the earth. Oh, who knows, it may not be long before you too vanish mysteriously. Who’s to say?”
Tiger Yan continued to sneer maliciously, the scars on his chest trembling and twisting as he said, “Fine! I’d like to see if you can make me disappear! Which of you is going down first to chop off this Zhao kid’s claws?”
The two burly men behind Tiger Yan slowly got up and walked down to the arena. Their steps were steady, their faces were expressionless, and their hands were covered in calluses. One look and it was evident that they were mass murderers, savages with hearts of stone.
Seeing the two, Qianye’s heart sank a little. These two individuals obviously had the aura and bloodlust of soldiers, and it was likely that they were the elite veterans of the imperial expeditionary forces.
Qianye’s gaze immediately locked onto the person behind Tiger Yan before lowering it.
He was an ordinary looking man of about thirty years of age, with shaved, bristly hair. Other than his gaze that was sharper than a knife, he did not appear to have any other unique points. However, Qianye noticed that he was only sitting on half of the stool, his waist upright, legs slightly apart with hands on his knees, and as steady as a rock, a posture obviously belonging to a skilled person in the army.
He seemed to have sensed Qianye’s gaze and lifted his eyes to glance at Qianye, but he did not notice anything. Under the torment of the blood of darkness, Qianye underwent a considerably huge change from his temperament to his appearance. He currently appeared like a delicate man, without a trace of bloodlust and cold ruthlessness belonging to an elite member of the Red Scorpion Corps.
Sir Zhao looked at the two burly men in the arena below, and the corner of his eye twitched slightly. His hand hovered in the air before he signaled to the arena and said, “Dice them!”
Two combatants who traveled in the same truck as Qianye stood up, entered the arena, picked an opponent, and began facing off.
When the bell rang three times, all four pulled out their weapons at the same time and lunged at their opponent!
The bloody battle permitted the use of daggers, gloves, and any other short knife weaponry. On Sir Zhao’s side, one used a sawtooth dagger while the other wielded a set of double daggers. The two people on Tiger Yan’s side both used military style triangular bayonets.
All four were rank one Fighters who far surpassed an average person whether it was in terms of power or speed, and the instant they engaged in battle, blood would start splattering in all directions!
The combatant with the double daggers wielded them as swiftly as the wind, and inflicted over ten wounds on his opponent in the blink of an eye. However, the burly man protected his vitals and charged forward, ruthlessly plunging the bayonet into his opponent’s heart. The tip of the bayonet emerged from his back!
A killing strike!
This was clearly the military style. Qianye’s heart skipped a beat, then calmed down.
It was fortunate that the other opponent of Sir Zhao’s subordinate was not particularly skilled. He seized the moment when his opponent daringly lunged, throwing his dagger and cleanly severing off the man’s arm. Then, with movements as swift as the wind, he twisted and broke the opponents four limbs before snapping the burly man’s neck and winning the round.
This man was actually an expert at unarmed combat, yet he did not show his skill. Conversely, he wielded a dagger on the stage, misleading his opponent who actually lunged at him to fight in close quarter combat which cost him dearly. It could be seen that this subordinate of Sir Zhao was extremely ruthless and cunning.
The corner of both Tiger Yan and Sir Zhao’s eyes twitched. Skilled fighters were not easy to find, and to attract one was costly. With both sides currently suffering a loss, it was naturally a pain beyond description.
Tiger Yan snorted and said, “Surnamed Zhao, count yourself lucky! Now it’s one on one, so the winner will be decided by virtual combat!”
Sir Zhao appeared a lot more relaxed as he smiled and said, “You obviously know I have a skilled one here, yet you still have the guts to use virtual combat to decide the outcome? I think you’ve grown old and muddled, so just hand over your territory!”
Tiger Yan glanced at Qianye and sneered maliciously, “You taking me for a kid? You’re not the only one with someone skilled virtual combat! Instructor Liu, teach that whelp a lesson!”
The ordinary looking man stood and walked to one end of the arena. His steps were steady, his movements minimal and refined, and the distance of each step was aligned with his shoulders, yet another typical trait of the Empire’s military style.
“Could it really be the army’s combat instructor? I wonder which corps of the expeditionary army he’s from,” Qianye thought silently. He removed his long coat, walked to the other end of the arena. and stood on a round stage.
Two workers activated the power switch, and instantaneously, an enormous power shortage dimmed the whole arena’s lights before gradually returning to normal.
A fluorescent jade green screen slowly rose from the stage below Qianye’s feet, enclosing him. Once the fluorescent screen lifted, a fighter composed of green rays of light also appeared in the middle of the battleground at the same time. Since the man was also standing on a stage opposite him, the arena similarly had another virtual fighter.
This virtual combat system was a product built by the Empire using origin power generation technology. It was able to fully capture the movements of the participants on stage and synchronize them with the virtual fighters. The entire physical statistics of both combatants were identical to their virtual fighters.
The earliest design of the virtual combat system was originally intended to research lethal battle techniques. Should these kinds of skills be put to use during real battles, it would kill or at least maim upon contact, which conversely prevented any effective research. Also, with a completely identical virtual fighter in terms of physical statistics and the ability to create an entirely fair environment for both parties, it served as a platform to train and polish battle skills.
The virtual combat system had existed for five hundred years and has since trained countless highly skilled experts for the empire. To this day, it has been spread across the land, to every corner under the human rule, where even Blackflow City had a set, though a basic version. It was said that the highest quality virtual combat system could even have simulations beyond military battles.
Due to the extensive use of the virtual combat system, the dark races managed to snatch the blueprints despite paying a high price for it four hundred years ago and began to build a virtual combat system that suited them. Once again, both races stood at the same starting line.
Qianye clenched his fists, and the virtual fighter on stage also clenched his fists at the same time. Both virtual fighters approached closer, striking a punch at each other. Qianye felt the reverberation of the origin power’s force field feedback, and his heart lurched slightly. Opposite him, the man similarly sported a solemn face as he regarded Qianye.
The exchange of blows was a routine verification of the virtual combat system. Qianye gestured to the judge with his hand, indicating that his system was functioning normally and that they could start.
The two virtual fighters began to slowly circle each other as if it were a real battle. During his time in the Red Scorpion Corps, Qianye familiarized himself with the virtual combat system until it was ingrained in his bones. If his opponent were truly an instructor of the expeditionary forces, even if he were a retired basic military instructor, he would not lack experience with the virtual combat system.
The two circled each other probingly, and suddenly, both lunged at each other viciously at the same time!
Instructor Liu’s movements were minimal and direct, his strikes bold and large. Whether it was a punch or a kick, they were infused with the intent to cause damage, solely relying on speed and strength to obtain victory without any petty tricks.
This was also the military combat style, appearing simplistic, but realizing its extreme difficulty in handling during battle. This Instructor Liu’s style was as steady as a mountain, and he had a wealth of experience in battle, with few openings between his transitions in advancing and retreating. Even if there were any minute openings, it was compensated by the virtual combat system’s feedback lag, making it hard to take advantage of.
Most of the audience present knew a little about battle techniques, and they could immediately see something interesting brewing, leading to loud cheers.
In the box seats, someone started to seriously take note of this battle.
I know I stated that I was going to China with mommychu to visit grannychu and was hoping to return sometime June or so, but mommychu struck again, pushing our flight to June 1st. My trip to China is also now extended from June to the middle of July. Due to this trip, the planned double daily month releases for MEN will now be even more delayed. They WILL still come out after my trip though! Any regular chapters for every one of our series will still be coming out when I’m there (MEN 7, ATG 7, SR *TBD by Patreon*). I will try my best to get them out according to schedule, but if any chapters are missed due to chinachu problems, all of them will be made up when I get home.
I know some people do not read the chapter posts in their haste to read the chapter so I’ll be leaving this message at the bottom of each chapter as a reminder!