Chapter 247: Extreme Excitation
After fifteen minutes, their bodies hardly knew how to handle the sensation. Once a person’s limitations were reached, they had no more control over how it reacted.
People started to collapse.
The moment someone fell, a second steel needle was quickly jabbed in to their thorax. They would subsequently be thrown to the side, and blasted with an arc of electricity that caused them to seize up.
It was a stark visual that helped keep the others in place – none dared break rank, as they didn’t want to be the next pin-cushion. There was a sense of hard determination hanging over the training field.
Eventually it was Tan Lingyun who was the last to fall. As before, she was not exempt from the punishment. Another steel rod jutted from her, as she twitched and jerked.
Errant arcs of golden electricity danced every which direction. The students didn’t even have enough energy to scream or protest their treatment.
One after another the students came to. Up to their neck in boiling water…
It was almost an exact copy of their morning routine, but for the fact that lunch was replaced with dinner.
It was assumed, for the most part, that after dinner they would be given some respite. It was a false assumption, though, as after eating they simply went right back to the field and practiced with the razors again. Followed by horse stance. Which inevitably concluded with steel needles, lightning strikes and boiling water.
This time they didn’t snap out of it. One by one they were plucked from the water like corpses and deposited in their beds. By the time their unconscious forms were finally given quarter, it was late in to the night.
Lan Jue, too, rested upon his bed in exhaustion. Hua Li stood at his back. Soothing waves of power infused Lan Jue through Hua Li’s hands, which were lightly pressed against his shoulders. The water element coursed through him like a cleansing rain.
Lan Jue had used about eighty percent of his energy reserves today, and that was after relying on the phylactery stone to help him recover. More than his power, though, he felt as though the vitality had been drained out of him.
From the outside it might have appeared easy – stab a kid, shock a kid and so forth – but in fact he had had to pay very close attention to every one of the students through the entire process. He was responsible for their well-being, and had to ensure the motivation they were using to improve their Disciplines didn’t cause any permanent damage. He had to be ready – at a moment’s notice – to spring in to action and protect them.
By the end of the day, he was physically and mentally exhausted.
Chu Cheng sat at his side, idly sipping a glass of brandy.
“I’m pretty sure every one of these kids are having very pleasant dreams of murdering you,” he said. “Today was just as bad as what we experienced all those years ago. Heh, I’d love to see their faces if they knew just the medicines cost as much as an a-ranked power gem. I was impressed with them today, really. Good quality students. With sufficient time I think every one of them could be Sovereigns. A few of them even have a chance at God-ranked.”
Hua Li chimed in. “A-Jue took a beating today as well. It aint so easy being the bad guy! It’d certainly be a surprise how much these methods take out of every body. But unfortunately they’ll never know – it’d affect their improvement.”
Chu Cheng nodded. “And for the next three days, the most important thing is that they stick to it. We’ll see what happens then.”
Hua Li smirked at his friend. “Without me here, you’d probably already have a few who couldn’t hash it. Don’t worry about them, with me here there won’t be a problem.”
Lan Jue opened his eyes, but didn’t look at either of his companions. “Yeah, with A-Li here it’s a big help. The stimulation we’re giving here may not be as beneficial as the Fantascia Genetica decoction, but between A-Li and I the difference isn’t that large.”
With a shrug, Chu Cheng took another sip of brandy. “Suddenly I’m feeling like helping you isn’t in our best interest. I’m from the North, and Hua Li’s a Westerner!”
“Don’t give me that,” Lan Jue muttered, shooting his friend a disdainful glance. “You think I don’t know you’re trying to be all sneaky and steal my training regimen?”
Chu Cheng laughed. “What would be the point? I don’t have your bioelectric Discipline, so the results would be sub-par. It’d have to be replaced with the North’s specialty – merging man with machine.”
Lan Jue shook his head. “I figured you had a plan, from the beginning. The East, the North, the West… in the end these internal disputes they bicker over don’t mean a thing. I have no interest in any of that. My concern is the future, when we inevitably run in to things we never even knew we had to protect ourselves from. The survival of the human race is the only goal.”
Chu Cheng’s rarely encountered serious face met Lan Jue’s assertions. “You’re absolutely right. I verified it with the family last night. The second reconnaissance fleet we sent has vanished, and likely has encountered some trouble. We’re assembling a third party now – this time a large scale sweep and clear, I’m told. We’ve even repositioned two bastions to face the last known location of the monster planets. We’re ready, on emergency alert. We’ve also let the other two Alliances know.”
Hua Li was in agreement. “I’ve also been monitoring the Poseidon group intelligence reports, and they confirm it as well. Everything’s calm on the surface, but there’s a lot happening under wraps. Arms production has ramped up, and the scuffles between the North and the East have died down. Now it’s come down to the wire, and the decision-makers have finally decided to work together. Truth be told I’m taking notes throughout this process as well, and plan to use them for my own family once this is done. Sorry A-Jue.”
Lan Jue simply shook his head. “There’s nothing to be sorry about. This whole process is the brainchild of the three of us, anyway. Besides, I’m only too anxious to spread this, and improve humanity’s chances as much as possible.”
“How long do you plan to continue at this pace,” Hua Li asked.
“Three days,” Lan Jue replied. “That should be about the limit to what they can bear. Any longer than that and I’m afraid there might be – unpredictable consequences.”
“You’re actually doing three days, eh?” Chu Cheng shivered. They’d originally only planned for one day of this sort of treatment.
Lan Jue explained. “I made the determination after watching them today. They’re endurance is a lot better than I’d originally expected. Such being the case, we need to make sure they reach their limit. Now I say three days, but not everyone’s going to make it that far. We’ll need to watch every one of them very carefully, pay attention to their physical state. If we can break them all the way down, they’ll rise up that much quicker.”
Hua Li nodded. “It’ll certainly show us their willpower and potential. Those are the two basis for a person’s strength.”
Just then, Lan Jue’s communicator rang.
“Boss, Jin Tao’s up.”
“Good,” he replied, “send him here tomorrow morning. We’ll see how much of the decoction he managed to absorb, and what effect it’s had.”
Hua Li’s eyes flashed. “I’m very curious myself. Fantascia Genetica, your Eastern medicines, and our power combined on one subject. It’ll be very interesting to see where he ultimately ends up, and how quickly.”
The thought brought a grin to Lan Jue’s face. “I’m anxious as well. Anxious to see how this little psychopath reacts. Looks like we’ve got fifty-one students, now.”