Everyone was curious as they looked at this arena. It was large and appeared to have various cages all over it. In these cages were everything from Fierce Beasts to humans. Some of them were Ordinary Warriors; some were Earth Warriors.
There was no one above the ninth layer of the Earth Warrior rank, all of them were here for the sake of being sparring partners, but Xue Wei could not help but feel curious as to what kind of enemy he would face. The only reason they could have been brought here was for the sake of facing off against a real opponent in a life-and-death battle.
As they entered the arena, they found that there was a closed fighting stage in the middle which was caged by a formation that made it impossible to leave without permission from the gatekeeper that controlled the formation.
There were enough seats to house at least twenty thousand observers in the arena, and Xue Wei made a rough count of the cages that exceeded ten thousand given that there were also some located beneath the ground.
"This is the Ring of Trials," the commander introduced the name of the arena, "As soon as you enter the arena, only one will come out again. You can be facing a criminal, a deserter, or a Fierce Beast."
"Of these three categories, the deserters are often the trickiest to deal with as they have already undergone survival training before deciding to flee for their lives."
"After them comes the Fierce Beasts. It needs no explaining, as we all know how dangerous Fierce Beasts are."
"Finally is the group of criminals." the commander laughed as he made a brief explanation as to what kind of criminals there were. "We have rapists, bandits, murderers. All kinds of criminals end up in our cages if they have the right cultivation base and have been sentenced to death."
"We promise these criminals that if they kill ten recruits, they are allowed to be sent to another place where they will live much better than they do here."
"If they die, they get nothing and their bones and flesh will be used to feed the Fierce Beasts in confinement."
"Of all the creatures we have captured, only a tenth are Fierce Beasts, and they are usually saved for the Genius Camp to use to get used to life-and-death battles against their kind."
"So today, you will either encounter a deserter or a criminal. I hope for your sake that you will encounter a criminal, as the deserters are anything but easy to deal with, even for someone above their rank."
His words caused some of the experts present to feel even more worried and uncertain about the decision they had made. Could they truly survive this?
Xue Wei was thrilled. He wanted to fight the opponent as soon as possible; his fighting spirit was rising with each and every word that the commander uttered.
He could also feel his killing intent moving within him, bursting with the desire to leave his body and envelop everyone around him.
The commander glanced at everyone with curiosity to see how his words had affected them. When he saw how some of them were already cowering in the face of such odds, he snorted.
Then his eyes landed on the two women, and he nodded his head and praised them in his mind. They had not changed expression at all, their demeanor as cold and disconnected now as it had been before.
"Well then, go down and line up," the commander ordered with a smile on his lips, and the youngsters dared not say anything as they all rushed down the stairs to the arena grounds.
The first one to arrive was also the first to enter the formation and the stage.
It was a young man. He was either fifteen or sixteen years old, and his body was rather underdeveloped.
Still, he had a confident air about him as he stepped into the arena and Xue Wei frowned when he saw a few of the young man’s movements. They were elusive but not as formidable as the Forbidden Rush movement technique.
"Well done," the commander praised him from the very start. "To have a movement technique and already understand as much as he has, there is a chance that he might succeed!"
Unfortunately, a movement technique alone was not enough to prevail against the criminal he was up against.
He spent all his time fleeing from the attacks, and he found no opportunity to return with an attack of his own, causing him to eventually run out of energy and be decapitated by the criminal.
The next person in line was one of the women. She too floated to the stage as if she was a leaf falling from a tree. Clearly, she too had a movement technique.
"I thought that I was special for having a movement technique," Xue Wei mocked himself, "but it seems that I am not the only one who has one here in the Kingdom of Heping."
Xue Wei observed the fight. This woman was much more aggressive than the young man who had fought previously. She likewise used her movement technique to avoid attacks, but she wielded a sword, and her qi had a frozen attribute to it so whenever she attacked frost appeared on the blade and the criminal.
This frost was not difficult for the criminal to disperse, but he needed to spend some energy to do so. As a result, the woman held the upper hand, though the fight was very bloody, wounds appearing on both competitors, and it was not before the criminal made a mistake that the fight ended with his heart being skewered by the woman.
Panting heavily, she could not avoid gripping her fists tight as she knew that she had now made it. She was a member of the Genius Camp.
After her, the other woman was eager to engage in battle. While the first woman had an ice attribute to her qi, this woman had one of fire. From this alone, one could see just how much of a genius the two women were.
After seeing two women succeed in the trials, others became cocky and overconfident and the challengers died one after another until the only one left was Xue Wei.
So far, no one had encountered a deserter. All of them had been common criminals, and all of them had been at the first layer of the Earth Warrior rank.
Out of those seventeen, only two had succeeded, and now it was time for Xue Wei to give it his all.
The commander had not paid much attention to Xue Wei, as all his focus had been on the two women, but now that he looked at Xue Wei he frowned.
Most people who saw all the blood and gore that they had seen today would have felt bad or nauseous, but when he looked at Xue Wei it seemed as if the young man had become even more energetic, filled with fighting spirit the more death and blood he saw.
"Most will feel sick when seeing this much blood and gore, but it seems it is exciting him instead," the commander frowned. "Some youngsters who get excited by blood turn out to be our biggest enemies, with the rare few becoming our most revered heroes."
Xue Wei could feel the killing intent threatening to burst out from within him, and he rushed to the stage where he was to fight someone else.
Just as he stood on the stage, a malicious grin began spreading on his lips, a grin he could not control, and his hands were shaking slightly from excitement.
It was clear that he was bursting at the seams to begin the battle, and that he would not hesitate to kill his opponent.
"This kid has great potential if he can be molded. His fighting spirit is without a doubt proof of his gallant heart."
Right then, a person appeared on the stage, and the commander sighed. "He is done for." He shook his head in disappointment. "To think that he would encounter a deserter. Even if he has the ability to fight a one layer Earth Warrior, there is a difference between the quality of the two."
The commander did nothing but feel that it was a shame that this youngster would die, but he noticed that one of his subordinates were fidgeting randomly and looking uncomfortable.
"What's wrong?" he asked with a frown. These men had seen death many times, and they had been in beast hordes many a time, but now this fidgeting subordinate of his seemed uncomfortable as if he was watching his own son going into the lion's den.
"You know I got rescued by Primordial Beast Hunter Xiao Lei once before?" he asked tentatively, and the commander nodded his head. Everyone who knew this person had heard the story about when he was saved by the best Primordial Beast Hunter of all time in the Heping Kingdom.
"His nephew. This is his nephew!" he exclaimed afterward, and the face of Commander Chen turned pale, then red, and then pale again.
His eyes bulged out, and his jaw dropped. Everyone in the capital had heard that Xiao Lei adored his nephew more than anything else and that he was a piece of trash that could not cultivate.
"No, it can't be!" he exclaimed with fear in his voice. "He was incapable of cultivating; he cannot be here now!"
"He is the hottest topic of gossip in the capital right now," another person said hesitantly. "He has a special physique. He has trained as a mortal to a ninth layer Ordinary Warrior in half a year. Not only this, the Crown Prince looks at him favorably."
"But most importantly, Xue Wei is the most treasured person for Xiao Lei. Who is to say what he might do if he finds out that he died in the Recruitment Camp?"
Thinking for a moment, the commander cleared his throat. "We cannot change the rules just because of his background," he eventually said, sighing.
"Everyone knows the mortality rate of the Genius Camp test, and this is why so few try it each year. Xiao Lei can blame no one but his nephew for his untimely death."
It was clear that no one thought he would be able to survive the encounter with a deserter.
On the stage, the grin on Xue Wei's face had turned as wide as it could. in an instant, the killing intent erupted from his body without restraint and locked onto the opponent, enveloping him.
To the deserter, it was as if he had been thrown into a bucket of cold water. His hands started trembling, and his mind felt feeble. It was as if he was struggling to stay awake; the cold was so invading that he could not understand what was going on and cold sweat started dripping from his forehead.
On the stands, everyone turned quiet, and a severe expression appeared on the face of the commander.
"This kid... what mountain of corpses has he walked through to acquire such a killing intent? I don't remember hearing about any cases where a lot of people have been killed, so has he been slaughtering Fierce Beasts in the thousands? Or is something else the origin of this intent?"
The commander knew that one was incapable of getting a killing intent without experiencing some terrible things in one's life, usually. To have this killing intent and only be fifteen years old, it showed that Xue Wei was truly special.
"Perhaps he will actually be able to make it through the trial," one of them muttered, but the others were not optimistic.
At the same time, Xue Wei felt like a free beast that had just been released back into the wild. He merged with the Forbidden Rush movement technique and vanished from sight.
Although all the experts of the higher ranks could see his movements, everyone around the Earth Warrior rank had difficulty locating him.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
So sorry about yesterday! I will release 2 chapters today to make up for it.
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Betareader: Soultorrent & Norwegian Viking