Having made a decision as to what he was going to do, Xue Wei did not waste any more time and went towards the body of youngsters.
As soon as he reached them, he calmly stood in line and observed his surroundings. More and more youngsters appeared and stood on the field in front of the tent camp.
No one spoke to one another; there was complete silence. The only sound that could be heard was the rustling of clothes when the nervous experts shifted their weight from one foot to another as they waited for their turn to be integrated into the army and be told what division they would be placed within.
The day turned to dusk, and the sun started setting, but youngsters were still arriving from all over the Heping Kingdom.
When the sun had completely set, more than two hundred thousand young men and women had gathered in the field, and it was filled to the bursting point.
Xue Wei waited patiently like everyone else. He squinted his eyes as he looked at the many other youngsters surrounding him. There were so many different people waiting for the army camp to open. Some were wearing fine clothes, others were wearing rags, but all of them were cultivators of varying strength.
As the sun set, the stream of youngsters that were arriving slowly died out and everyone seemed to have made it in time for the beginning of their army career, but no one came out to fetch them.
The hours ticked by slowly. The night was passing slowly, but no one dared to speak with each other, as everyone was patiently waiting for the army commanders to come out and greet them.
Soon it was dawn, and the sun once more rose in the sky. It was not before now that there was some sort of movement in the tent camp that they were standing in front of.
A group of two hundred men stepped forward, and in front of them was a small stout man.
Although he was small, no one dared look down on him; he had a menacing air around him that was filled with killing intent, and a long scar on his face made him look sinister.
The man was treated very respectfully by the others, and Xue Wei could instantly determine that he was the commander.
Xue Wei looked straight at him. His eyes were clear and filled with curiosity as to what would happen now, while the majority of the youngsters around him had lowered their heads, unable to look him in the eyes directly.
"Welcome to the Recruitment Camp!" the stout man called out. "I am Commander Chen, I have been leading this Recruitment Camp for the last twenty years and have seen heaven-sent geniuses every single year."
"My job is not to pamper you! My job is to make you into a killing machine that will be able to kill Primordial Beasts in the future!"
"The majority of you will not survive the decade you are in the army, but those who do are often those that have disregarded everything and done all their best in the Recruitment Camp. Follow our rules, and you will have a bigger chance of survival. Follow our training schedule, and you will understand how to fight!"
"Depending on your progress, you will be able to claim better benefits, and everyone is ranked in the group depending on their layer, and their fighting prowess."
"Right now, all of you will be checked by my captains. They will check your bone structure to ensure that you are as old as you claim. After that, you will be placed in a group of others with the same layer of strength as yourself."
"You are allowed to challenge those one layer above you, but be aware – the challenge is deadly!"
"Still, if you have faith in your strength, then it is worth it! The reward is more resources and thus bigger chances at survival!"
"Now get in line!"
Everyone did exactly as they were told, and now voices could be heard from within the group of youngsters. Everyone was excited.
"Xue Wei, do you think that we should challenge the rank above ours?" Shen Mu asked fervently. He had a gleam in his eyes and a rosy color on his cheeks, but Xue Wei shook his head.
"I am going to attempt it, but I would not suggest you do to so," he said honestly. "I have my special physique to save me, but you do not have anything like that. You heard the Commander; the trial is deadly. It is not worth it to risk your life against such odds to join the genius camp."
Shen Mu's enthusiasm lowered a bit as he thought about it, and Luo Zhirou had latched onto his sleeves, her eyes displaying worry. She did not want him to risk his life to join the genius camp.
"We will be here for a year," Xue Wei continued, "In a year, the two of you will make it to the Earth Warrior rank for sure, and then you too can join the Genius Camp. And even do so without risking your lives," Xue Wei persuaded, and Shen Mu seemed to have understood that he was correct as he nodded his head.
The two hundred captains were standing in a line, and the youngsters were heading towards each of these captains. The bones on their arms were checked, and their rank was examined.
After this, each person was moved to a specific location depending on their rank, and then they all just started chatting with one another.
Xue Wei was rather far behind in the line of people, and it was not before the sun stood high in the sky that it was Xue Wei's turn to be examined.
"Name," The captain asked curtly. Xue Wei answered politely, and then he was asked about his age, about his rank, and then the man grabbed his arm.
Xue Wei felt foreign energy entering his body, and the killing intent in his innermost being started roaring and struggling within him.
It was as if it saw the intruding energy as an enemy that needed to be eradicated.
Just as the energy had entered his body, it dissipated just as soon again, and the killing intent within Xue Wei slowly settled, but he was uncomfortable.
The Qi that this captain had been using was different from the Qi that Xue Wei was using. It was completely white, while Xue Wei's had an azure gleam.
Did his strange body also change the quality of his Qi? Xue Wei was in deep thought when the captain called out to him, "Go to your rank. You are at the ninth layer of the Ordinary Warrior rank; there is a group of those, find them on your own."
The captain said nothing else and turned to the next person in line. Each and every one of these captains had to go through more than a thousand people, and thus they wanted them to hurry up as much as possible.
Xue Wei casually walked towards the group of ninth layer Ordinary Warriors. There were a few familiar faces from the banquet, but the majority were unknown.
It did not take long before Luo Zhirou and Shen Mu made their way towards the same group of people, and they smiled to Xue Wei, who was observing what was happening around them.
It took a full day for the people to get split into groups, and once again dusk arrived with the chilled night. They had been forced to be outside one night already, and now they were forced to spend another night outside.
Worst was that many of the youngsters had no drinks or food. Only a few had their dried rations and canteens from their travels towards the recruitment camp.
The experts from the capital were aware of this and had meals with them, but the majority who had been on the road for long were unaware of what had been expected of them.
As the sun rose the second time since arriving at the recruitment camp, the stout commander appeared in front of the groups again.
Looking at the groups, the one with Earth Warriors was the smallest followed by the group of one layered Ordinary Warriors. After them came two layered Ordinary Warriors, third layer Ordinary Warriors, and finally ninth layer Ordinary Warriors.
The fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eight layer were rather large groups with the seventh layer being the biggest of them all.
"Now we will make a few declarations. Those who have broken into the Earth Warrior rank will form our new Genius Camp! If you wish to join the Genius Camp, you have a possibility to do so!"
"You have to be a ninth layer Ordinary Warrior and have the strength of an Earth Warrior. The trial is deadly, and we cannot guarantee your survival. In fact, only one out of ten manages to survive it."
"Now, those who wish to challenge the trial for the Genius Camp, step forward!"
Xue Wei gave a last glance at Shen Mu and Luo Zhirou and saw worry in their eyes before he took a few steps forward and arrived in front of the group alongside another seventeen youngsters.
"So out of around ten thousand, only eighteen has the courage to take this test? Hoh, it seems that this year has quite a few cowards," the commander laughed before his eyes scanned the eighteen youngsters in front of him.
Of these eighteen, there were two women and sixteen men. The women looked like otherworldly fairies, and even Luo Zhirou looked plain next to them, while the men were of different stature.
"Very well then, follow me," the commander ordered as he turned around and walked into the figurative city of tents. The eighteen youngsters dared not wait, and thus they all followed behind him into the camp. Amongst the group, none of them were any that Xue Wei had seen before, and from this, he made quite a few guesses.
The test was truly to see whether or not a person had the same strength as an Earth Warrior. For an average Ordinary Warrior of the ninth layer, that would simply be impossible unless they had something special to rely on, and even those who considered themselves peerless geniuses in the capital understood that the true difference in strength between them and the Earth Warrior rank was too large.
"Well I have the advantage of having fought against an Earth Warrior before," Xue Wei calmed himself. "I know my strength, when pushed to the limits, is equal to a second layer Earth Warrior, so I should be able to pass this trial."
"But as for the others, if they don't have anything to depend on. They will not make it."
Xue Wei had no illusions about the fight in front of him. Although the honor and benefits were really tempting, one had to be alive to benefit from it.
Xue Wei shook his head as he kind of pitied the people who were together with him, yet as soon as the feeling was there, it was replaced by a sudden disregard.
He felt complete disregard for human life and could not even pity their loss of life the slightest. The battlefield was a murderous place. He had already seen much death and murder on the trip, and he felt that his killing intent, his disregard for human lives, and his lack of compassion were constantly growing. He was turning into something that made him feel uncomfortable.
Fortunately, he did not have a long time to contemplate, as they had reached the very center of the tents, and there was a massive arena. The arena was one of the few things that were not made from tents; it was made from stone and seemed to raise itself far above them.
"Welcome to your last stand!" The commander laughed out loud as he rubbed his stomach.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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Betareader: Soultorrent & Norwegian Viking