And regardless of who would win, that promised match would merely be an exchange of notes. Now, however, the core intent behind the match had already changed. If Tianjing were to lose in this situation, then they wouldn't be able to raise their heads and face others anymore.
Based on the current situation and the opponent he was picking a fight with, one could argue he had no reason to go to such extremes.
Laura was the sole exception to this line of thought. Even Leo, who had looked at Wang Zhong with great interest, seemed dumbfounded by his proposal. But while he was surprised, he also felt this was becoming more and more interesting to watch.
A faint smile appeared on Paul's face.
"Good!" Sully spoke in an extremely casual fashion as he said, "Someone come and get four of our squadmates here! We'll go and accompany this Tianjing Squadron for some fun."
Leo couldn't hold it in any longer and let out a sigh. Paul is still as gentlemanly as ever. If I were in his shoes I would probably be quite prejudiced. Be it toward Tianjing Academy or Wang Zhong, he wouldn't have accepted a match with their squadron. This was too much of a lethal taste, and it didn't help that Wang Zhong was quite impulsive. He didn't leave behind any way out! Or… did he actually have a trump card in hand?.
There was no doubt that the card Paul had played was extremely beautiful. If he won then no one would be able to say he'd bullied Tianjing. But on the off chance the Saxon Squadron had lost, then he could attribute it to him having not participated, thus leaving himself a face-saving path.
It was, after all, true that Tianjing had defeated Adolf not so long ago. This was actually one of the reasons why none of the other squadrons were willing to compare notes with them. Other than Copperfield, Austin(1), and Saxon(2) who all had elite squadrons with standings in the higher rankings, the other squadrons couldn't truly puff out their chests and proclaim with 100 percent certainty that they could come out victorious against Tianjing. Furthermore, if they did win then it wouldn't truly be anything spectacular. Losing, however, would result in them falling into a deep ditch, throwing away all semblance of face at the same time.
"Hmm." With a gentle laugh, Wang Zhong rubbed his chin thoughtfully before saying, "Then for the sake of equality, I too shall not enter."
Other than Laura, who almost burst out into laughter, the rest of the audience turned completely speechless.
Sully rolled his eyes at those words. This fellow was really both narcissistic and blind! We're Saxong Academy, the boss of the Eastern Area! You guys were tenth place last year! Our captain was being humble toward you, yet you turn it right back and refuse it! Equality and all this talk? Fuck your mother's brains!
If you want to be pretentious, at least have the strength to back it up brother!
Paul almost burst into laughter.
Doesn't this waste have any understanding of the situation he is in?
As one who followed the rule 'an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth', Paul viewed Wang Zhong's emergence the past few days as a threat that wasted his own future prospects. This made Paul hate him to the core. Even though he was able to make contact with Calderon afterward and even represent Saxon Squadron in signing an agreement for mutual assistance, Paul's hatred never lessened.
Some people would hold a grudge their entire lifetime.
After all, if he didn't have a tacit understanding with Sully, would the latter really dare to act so rampantly and provoke the Tianjing Squadron?
Even if Wang Zhong didn't bring up the match, Sully would definitely have taken some opportunity to do so!
"Haha. This is just a comparison of notes. Let's follow what Captain Wang Zhong just said." Paul smiled while waving a hand. "Will you require time to prepare?"
"No need. Our Tianjing Squadron is prepared to enter combat at any time," came Wang Zhong's reply.
They were gonna fight! They were really gonna fight!
News began to circulate about the match between the Tianjing Squadron and Saxon Squadron. It only took a half hour for this information to make the rounds within Copperfield Academy.
There was usually no such thing as having concealed fights or a quiet exchanging of notes between the various academy squadrons. Students in Copperfield were allowed to view whichever matches they wished, especially if the number of celebrity participants in specific squadrons was on the high end. Therefore, when such fights happened there would usually be a large crowd arriving to join in the fun, so long as there was no class happening at the same time. In fact, the number of people watching was usually quite high, though this meant a few hundred at most.
But it was a completely different story this time!
Known as one of the strongest academies around, Saxon had actually accepted a mutual confrontation with Tianjing Academy, the lowest ranking squadron present in this special class!
To those students bored to death by the bitter curriculum yet found it hard to get access to any form of entertainment that wasn't meaningless, this strange and question-worthy match that erupted out of nowhere made them feel extremely interested.
As such, the news spread like wildfire and lit up the entire Copperfield Academy.
It was evening at the moment and almost everyone had finished their lessons and were heading back, only to hear this news spread around. All of the students immediately rushed over with bated breaths.
"Tianjing Academy versus Saxon Academy! I heard the losing squadron has to strip naked and run around the academy three times!"
"What nonsense! There are quite a few girls in Tianjing Academy's Squadron. Naked your sister! People with common sense won't think such a thing, alright? Rather, I heard the two captains have placed bets around 10,000 each!"
"Another load of nonsense! It's definitely impossible for them to gamble with money. I heard someone from Tianjing had been beaten by Sully. These two guys here are just taking advantage of the hype to mess around with people. The squadron that loses just has to kowtow a hundred times!"
"Regardless of what exactly they've bet, is Tianjing retarded? They're challenging Saxon! That's a strong squadron not much weaker than our own Copperfield Squadron!"
Over ten thousand students made their way toward Copperfield Academy's group battle arena. Very quickly the entrance became jam-packed with people.
After all, this was the land of the Fight-loving Copperfields.
The arena itself was amply spaced, revealed through the several hills dotting it and the large pool of water that sat right in the middle. Several changeable obstructions were also available, installed in various parts of the arena. Above was a clear skylink hologram floating in mid-air, a display of both sides' statistics shown. This would later change and allow for the latest reactions to the match taking place.
Although the match had been decided at the very last minute, it seemed Copperfield Academy's efficiency was quite high. Once it circulated past the student body, it seemed anyone with free time had already arrived shortly after the battle was confirmed. Naturally, the main show here was Saxon as they were considered an overlord of the Eastern Area.
Currently, the buzzing and droning of voices filled the arena. Honestly though, anyone with the slightest bit of understanding toward the numerous squadrons would realize this wasn't an even match at all.
"The strength of a squadron doesn't depend on some randomly powerful freshmen popping up out of nowhere, not unless they're sanctuary division experts like All-Mouthy King. Obviously, Tianjing doesn't have this. As for their victory over Adolf, it could just be that Adolf has degenerated by too much."
"Right. They're just ranked third in a small part of the Eastern Area. In that fight they also had a 4:3 score. Saxon isn't a squadron that a waste like Adolf can compare to."
"Haha. Don't talk about others like that. Just enjoy the liveliness and soak in the joy. Speaking of which, what exactly did the two squads bet on? I feel this is the most important thing."
"This sister is here to see some handsome boys! Ah~! Look, it's Galen! Boys in glasses are the most gentle!"
"No, Captain Paul is the definition of handsome. Look at that gentlemanly aura he gives off just sitting there!"
"His figure is also very good. Look at the slender fingers of St. Paul! Oh my god, I feel like I could play with them all year round! How can he even be compared to that gorilla?"
"Fuck you all and your stupid aesthetic sense! It's clearly Captain Leo who's the most manly!" With eyes radiating an intense flame, this fat girl weighing over 150 kg and holding a bag of popcorn rushed to the front row and stared directly at Leo. Her howls could be heard even through the din around her as she shouted, "Captain Leo! I love you! Kyaaaah~! You're the most handsome of them all!"
Burnel Barton who stood beside Leo couldn't help but snicker at the proclamation of adoration. In response, Leo hammered down on his head. As for the fat girl, she was still in her fan-crazed state and continued to shriek, "That method of beating people up is so handsome! So manly! Please go out with my, Captain Leo!"
"How rare Leo! There is finally someone willing to profess to you! As a hot-blooded man, you should definitely meet this beautiful lady's request head on!" Unable to hold it in any longer, Galen said while chuckling.
To the side, Paul sat with a faint smile, an atmosphere of relaxation permeating from him. While he didn't think much of it, those of Tianjing should realize the disparity between the two sides in the eyes of others, right? This kind of invisible pressure was much stronger than a simple 'Good Luck' cheering spouted by their opponents. As he thought about this, Paul couldn't help but turn to look at Wang Zhong.
Wang Zhong was also present in this viewing gallery, Laura unexpectedly by his side. In fact, ever since he had appeared, it seemed as though Laura had been following behind him like a shadow. It gave off the feeling that they were very familiar with each other.
"Wang Zhong, is it really fine for you to sit out? Although Saxon is quite irksome, they do have the strength to back it up." With excitement in her eyes, Laura looked at Wang Zhong like she had found an extremely interesting toy.
"Rubbing his nose, Wang Zhong simply said, "You will have to wait and see, Captain Laura."
"Oh? So confident. Then I guess I will have to keep my eyes open and wait with anticipation." She really didn't know where Wang Zhong got all this confidence from.
A brilliant light flashed within Paul's eyes as he watched this. He doesn't seem to take this seriously at all. Does it mean he's completely given up? Or are his five participating squadmates just complete wastes?
Paul wanted to know who would have the last laugh between them.
"They're coming out!" Someone shouted this just as the one of the two groups of five walked out of the preparation area.
Group battles under the name of an exchange of notes was naturally different from those of an official match. There wasn't a need to use official rules for one, so the two groups could immediately start fighting upon entering the arena.
When Sully and his group appeared, a wave of cheers rose from the audience. As the squadron that ranked third in last year's Eastern Area regionals, Saxon had many chances to showcase themselves in various forms of official competitions. This celebrity effect made it so that the squadron was recognizable to seemingly everyone present. Any single member of Saxon that stepped forward would have their name, occupation, and various other special traits recognized immediately.
Vice-captain Sully. Second year student. Super assassin with the wind attribute. An absolute genius-type participant and a previous contender for Freshman King of the Eastern Area. His powerful assistance with Paul gave the squadron the chance to rush to third place in the Eastern Area.
Tamil. Third year student. One of the main assassins of Saxon and the final member of the squadron's Three Great Figures. Although he didn't appear in the spotlight much and seemed completely average and ordinary looking within Saxon Academy, he began to reveal the tip of his abilities at the start of the year. Not only did he have an incomparably firm foundation in the assassin basics, but he was a top level expert in traps, scouting, and counter-intelligence.
Yan Dong. Feng Zhan. Third year students. These double assassins of Saxon possessed extremely compatible combination techniques. The two together was said to not be any weaker than Paul, the strongest member, when launching a pincer attack. They joined the squadron at the same time as Paul and have always been one of the main assassins of Saxon Academy. A portion of the squadron's Spectral Dance Formation, one which shook the Federation, used these two as the core.
Lastly was Manlu. Third year student. He was the only substitute present in the squadron. With a pair of black-rimmed spectacles, uncommon for assassins, he was noted as the sixth-best member of the squadron. Being a jack-of-all-trades, he was most suited for pairing up with anyone in the squadron.
"They sent out such a strong formation. Although Paul isn't participating, this formation can still be considered about 80-90 percent of their full strength." Leo smiled as he continued, "Although Saxon made it look like an easy match, they are actually quite earnest toward this match."
"That is natural. Showing contempt for their opponent is just another combat tactic while showing high regard for them is more proper. Paul, that fellow, won't make such a low-level mistake." Galen pushed up his glasses. "In comparison, it's easier to guess Tianjing's lineup. Captain Wang Zhong is not participating, while that injured heavy soldier, Barran, won't as well. If we include the one with the healing special ability, then there are only six people left to choose from this nine-person squadron. Just kick one out and it's done."
"Speaking of which, the number of people in the Tianjing Squadron really is too few. Their choices for a fight is quite limited. Oh, but they have lots of girls!" Captain Andy from Leon Academy chuckled heartily as he spoke. "Look, they're coming out too!"
These captains from the other squadrons continued chat at leisure, giving no regard to some specific others around them. Laura was sizing Wang Zhong up as this happened, but only got an emotionless expression for her troubles. Can it be he doesn't even want to refute these words? This made Laura feel a bit worried for him. This patient character was too similar to an elder's.
As for what he really though, Wang Zhong was indeed indifferent to their thoughts. It wasn't due to him having good patience, however, but because he was extremely clear as to his current situation. Trying to diffuse the remarks would just make him seem even more of a weakling. In the end it would be best to just duke it out.
The Tianjing Squadron finally entered the arena. What awaited them, however, was complete silence.
Initially, the audience had an extremely weak impression of the Tianjing Squadron. Other than the various squadrons who attended the lessons with them, the rest of the Copperfield student body hadn't seen any members of the Tianjing Squadron.
But what was there to expect? This was a mere tenth place squadron in the A Region of the Eastern Area. It was also Tianjing, a logistics location that listed combat capabilities as secondary. The audience wouldn't have felt shocked if a pile of weirdos or monsters appeared from there, but…
The one walking at the front of this group of five was Grai.
"This male student…" Every female student in the arena was stunned silent.
It was a degree of handsomeness that shook the soul and dug deep into one's bones!
If Galen was considered a handsome man and Paul as a lady-killer, then the term 'handsome' couldn't be used any longer to describe Grai. He had just entered the arena but instantly became the Prince Charming of every girl's most perfect dream!
That tall and straight posture, that handsome and elegant face, that aura he casually emitted and the dazzling smile present on his lips! The most important thing was the way he held himself as he walked out. With hands swinging each step, he gave off the aura of an incomparably dignified prince. One needed more than three generations of successors to nurture such an aura!
In comparison, the legendary Four Young of Yanjing, the OP's most distinguished brothers, and even the legendary Prince Solomon of the Kaiser Empire who was said to have shocked the Federation with his handsomeness, all of them seemed to turn to waste before Grai!
Unable to hold it in any longer, Laura turned and said, "Wang Zhong, where did you find such a handsome freshman?"
Student Wang Zhong was speechless. Grai really did seem to plough through everything wherever he went… was he really that handsome? Luckily, it seemed Laura hadn't turned into a love-struck fool so he didn't develop a headache.
Following Grai were the other four members of the participating Tianjing Squadron. Dressed in the silver uniform of Tianjing Academy, Scarlet, Milami, Emily, and Lily… each of them instantly made the male counterparts of Copperfield Academy erupt with blazing hot feelings.
"That girl's chest is really not small…" As they stared at Milami's chest, a few began to salivate. "Her facial features are also quite good!"
"Fuck! I like that little loli! Such an adorable look! Who is that loli!?"
"The one at the front is Scarlet, right? I heard she's the granddaughter of Tianjing Academy's Headmaster Greene! Other than her chest being a bit smaller, I feel she's on the same level as our Goddess Laura!"
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