Chapter 66: The meeting before the match
Inside the quiet, secret training field of Holy Dawn Academy, a burst of rapid, oppressive sounds suddenly exploded out.
This sound seemed just like someone striking a wooden pile without cease, at an extremely astounding speed.
However, in the clearing inside the forest where this sound actually originated from, thirteen huge wooden piles stood, tightly wrapped in ropes. These thirteen huge wooden piles all tightly leaned against each other, just like thirteen soldiers sticking tightly together, the row of them forming a wall.
Ayrin stood on one end of this wall.
The strength of his body gave off the feeling of an explosion with every punch he struck, while the thirteen wooden piles rumbled loudly at the same time.
Compared to ten days ago when Ayrin first perfected his use of the “Crown of Ice and Snow”, even Ayrin himself could perceive the growth in power inside every tiny molecule in his body.
His explosiveness was even more under the control of his will.
Back then, when he struck these thirteen wooden pile with all his explosiveness, his strength could only penetrate to the ninth wooden pile at most, but now, he could already instantly cause formidable vibrations in the thirteen wooden piles all at the same time.
The one arcane skill Carter taught him, the “Crown of Ice and Snow,” was an arcane skill that first burst out with the power of arcane particles, then superimposed it with physical strength. He had no idea what level the secret skills “Evil Flaming Eye” and “Crown of Ice and Snow” that Ciaran and Carter taught him were at, but he could clearly feel that Evil Flaming Eye's advantage lay in disturbing the opponent's neurons and making them hallucinate, whereas “Crown of Ice and Snow” was an arcane skill that pursued pure violent destructiveness. It was stronger when it came to pure power!
That was why, teacher Carter might always look like an amiable person who never offended anyone, but he still was an elite teacher, he really had some skill to show for it!
Ayrin was full of spirit.
He shouted loudly all of a sudden, and ran in a panic out of the secret training field.
Tomorrow was already the day of the official match of the Hegemonic Cup of Starry Skies Braves!
Carter told him when he finished his training last night that today, he had to head over to the body training complex number three, and attend the school team's pre-match meeting. He'd been secretly training here all along before that, so this meeting was the first time he officially meet face to face with the other members of the team. On top of that, Carter was also going to explain some characteristics about the members of team Divine Shield and provide the final pre-match coaching!
But Ayrin was already used to always coming here for his training. After waking up early in the morning, he actually forgot about this matter, and directly came here. The teacher in charge of this secret training field should also be ignorant of Carter's plans, and he'd let him enter after registering his name just as usual, without offering any reminder.
When he remembered about it, it was already close to the time Carter set for the meeting, and the most important thing was, he promised Carter not to reveal any strength before entering the tournament field. He simply couldn't run fast inside the academy!
So he could only hurry to the body training complex in an awkward half-running half-walking motion.
“Why isn't Ayrin here yet?”
Carter held a small notebook and frowned inside the body training complex number three where many tools dedicated to training where piled.
Other than Ayrin, the other members of the school team had all arrived a long time ago already.
“The time is past already, why don't we start first?” The tall and sturdy Gerrin probed a question.
He was the oldest one in the entire Holy Dawn team, and the one who'd participated in the greatest number of matches. The teachers in charge of the team before had always paid a lot of attention to the team's discipline and the notion of time. This was the reason why he said these words, and he also noticed that Ender, Skol, and the other old team members were already subconsciously exposing looks of dissatisfaction.
“Let's wait a little more.” Carter glanced at the closed doors and said without hesitation, “He wouldn't be late without good reason.”
“He's not strict at all.”
“So easy-going... Can he really lead us to victory?”
“Ayrin's natural talent seems very astonishing, but he's after all a freshman who can't condense arcane particles yet, why does it look like he's putting special emphasis on him?”
Several old members of the team didn't manifest any objection, but an unhappy feeling unconsciously arose in their hearts.
Time passed by minute by minute, second by second.
The five minutes Carter talked about were soon about to expire when all of a sudden, bang! Someone firmly pushed open the metal doors of the body training complex. Ayrin's gloomy face appeared in everyone's line of sight. When he noticed Carter and the other team members in a corner of this building, Ayrin shouted, “Sorry, teacher Carter, I ran off to train again, I forgot when I woke up this morning...”
“Don't forget something like this in the future! We'd be truly done for if you missed the actual match!”
Carter sternly interrupted Ayrin's words. “Close the door, come here.”
Ayrin closed the door, ashamed, and trotted in front of Carter.
He saw that, apart from the team members who fought against Southern Monsoon Academy last time, Rogrid and Bora were also there.
But he didn't know the other four team members who passed the selection.
Carter didn't introduce the team members either, he cut straight to the chase.
“Our Holy Dawn Academy will be opposed to Divine Shield Academy tomorrow. According to the information at our disposal, apart from the captain Ivan and the vice-captain Charlotte, the other three members of team Divine Shield should be selected from Sierre, Brook, Sulay, and Bessa.”
“There's no information whatsoever about Ivan. A teacher from clan Lannister took him in and gave him private lessons not long after he started his training as a freshman. Now he's already become a formal Lannister battlemaster. He should be an arcane master with a special bloodline.”
“Charlotte became a battlemaster of clan Lannister in her second year. Her blood is part elven and part barbarian, so she's a monstrous combination of both power and speed. Her main arcane skill is a certain “Heavy Ions,” it's a special body skill that allows her body to become countless times heavier many times during battle. This way, some impact-type arcane skills might be entirely useless against her. Her attack skill is also very special, it's Divine Shield Academy's “War Soul Link.” The combination of arcane particles and arcane power shapes a metal soul-linked war avatar that can be sustained for over three minutes at least. She can control this war avatar with her spiritual strength, the power of the war avatar is much stronger than ordinary arcane skills.”
“Sierre comes from clan Daniel in our St. Lauren, his strongest arcane skill is “Rapid Fire Puffs.” He can continuously puff out flame bullets, he can puff out sixty flame bullets in one go before his arcane particles run out.”
“Brook has ordinary human blood, but he belongs to those with very good natural aptitude among human bloodlines. He Awakened at twelve already. His notable skill is “Iron Skin,” it belongs to the outstanding strength and resistance types.”
“Sulay has very little beastman blood. He can't achieve Wild Transformation, but his nimbleness and his dodging are both particularly good. His notable arcane skill is “Revolving Ice Blade.” Three ice blades will continuously revolve around his body and attack his opponent. When they go back to his hands, he'll add the power of his arcane particles to them and toss them back out. When facing him, you have to confront the attacks coming from himself and from these three constantly flying ice blades.”
“Bessa belongs to clan Boromen from the Gorland mountain area. 'Water Snake' and 'Snake Body' are her notable skills. The snakes formed by the combination of her arcane particles and her arcane power are much more troublesome than genuine vipers. Her “Snake Body” can allow her to twist her body into every kind of weird posture, and the most critical thing is, many blows will just glance and glide by her without exerting their effects.”
Apart from Chris and Ayrin who seemed extremely enraptured when listening, their expressions not all that different, Gerrin and the other members of the school team all turned paled, cold sweat emerging on their backs.
Even discarding Ivan and Charlotte, people who certainly belonged to the level of monsters that only Chris could possibly contend against, any of the other four members of Divine Shield Academy's team made their hearts shiver in fright, giving them the feeling they couldn't win no matter what.
“Against our school, Divine Shield Academy will very possibly use the same tactics as Southern Monsoon Academy. Perhaps they will put Charlotte in first or second position and let her handle the other members of our team, forcing a confrontation with Chris.”
Carter obviously already discerned the thoughts of these team members, but he said very straightforwardly, “The tactics will be more effective for them though, because Charlotte is stronger than anyone in team Southern Monsoon. For a team like Divine Shield who has the absolute strength to fight their way into the great national tournament, any of the other members of their team will be stronger than the other members in team Southern Monsoon.”
Gerrin sucked in a deep breath and asked Carter, “How do we setup our lineup?”
He was keenly aware that in a situation where the global strength of the team was a little inferior, the only small hope for victory was to establish a counter lineup, as well as every member of the starting five having a clear-cut idea of their own roles and duties, as well as firmly fulfilling them.
“I already made preparation to counter them in the everyday training regimes I arranged for each of you. Before the match tomorrow, I will inspect your conditions for one last time, and finally hand over the list of five.” Carter looked at everyone. “Before going on stage, I will tell the one going out to fight what they should do during the fight, alone and face to face. The goal of calling this pre-match meeting this time isn't to draw up any lineup depending on the latest news. It's already too late to do it at such a time! My goal for the meeting this time is to let every one of you have the confidence that we'll definitely win. If no mishap happens, tomorrow, we will take this match!”
Shocked and incredulous eyes filled this body training complex. Almost everyone wondered if they heard wrong.
“I'm dead serious.”
Carter looked at everyone and seriously nodded his head. “As long as you have the conviction we will win, I can guarantee that in our next match, we'll be stronger than before, we'll even have secret weapons.”
Confidence was of course something very important.
People with absolute confidence who didn't panic in the middle of a fight would often be more excited, perform better in the match compared to usual, becoming the type of arcane masters born for battles and competitions.
Everyone understood that Carter wanted them to be more confident, and fight as they usually would.
“Teacher, I have words I want to say to you and Ayrin alone, is that possible?”
At the tail end of the meeting, one of the old members of the team, Ender, suddenly mustered his courage and said these words.
After sending everyone else away, Carter gently watched Ender in this deserted body training complex and asked, “Ender, there's only me and Ayrin here now, what on earth do you want to say?”
“Teacher, during the meeting, your eyes often subconsciously stopped on Ayrin. Also, judging from his lateness, you seem to care especially about Ayrin. That's why, teacher, I feel that you're planning to let Ayrin fight tomorrow! It even gives me the feeling you're putting some of our hopes on him.” Ender clenched his teeth and said, “I know you might be very disappointed by what us old team members showed in the previous round, but I hope you won't be led astray by something like performance during the selection. You're the teacher in charge of the team. Any error in judgment will lead to failure in the entire competition. I don't think that us old team members are unable to match up to a freshman like Ayrin. That's why, teacher, if you really want to let him go on stage, I hope you'll let me have a fight against him. I will prove it to you.”
“You're still too young, you're looking down too much on me. Or maybe I could say that you simply have no understanding about the abilities of elite teachers in Holy Dawn Academy.” Carter smiled, and threw a glance at Ayrin who stood there on one side like an obedient child. “Since that's the case, Ayrin, you and him go at it.”
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