"You… is that true?" Neither of the two could believe their ears. How was this possible!?
"Tianjing auction, Ma Dong." After leaving his reply floating in the air, Wang Zhong simply walked off. It had been something he'd thought of in the last minute and might just give Ma Dong a chance at a great comeback.
Although his business sense was inferior to Ma Dong's, his fundamentals had still been influenced by his friend. With Darwin and Musk's strength, it was impossible for them to not be able to find Ma Dong.
Quickly, the legend of the mysterious Fate Master began to circulate the adventurer base. Naturally, the golden stone slab was privy to just the two higher ups.
Darwin and Musk seemed to leave the hyperdimension at the same time. They tacitly understood they shouldn't reveal this information to others, and the contention for the stone slab would be between the two clans. Neither wanted to increase the number of competitors.
The Eastern Area's group training was finally coming to an end. Wang Zhong, on the other hand, had been incomparably busy during the last few days. After being appoint an official position beside Old Potter, he spent most of his time studying. His understanding of the hyperdimension had been limited to the small portion he'd gathered with his Rank A clearance. Most of this information had been related to the various aspects of the Federation.
This information was incomparably attractive to those with lofty aspirations. Lacking such a foundation was quite dangerous. He'd been able to act as he did in Diamond Base mostly because he'd had some understanding of the adventurer bases and their effect on one's exploration process. His mysterious actions had been built upon this basic foundation, and he was able to pull off his Fate Master persona effectively because of it. Since he'd experienced its effects, Wang Zhong desired more information and began to readily absorb everything he could get his hands on with that Rank A clearance.
An example was the various kinds of black technology. This technology was wide-spread, but the details surrounding them were hard to find. Another example of necessary information were those incredibly concealed families that were no weaker than the Ten Great Clans. There was even information on the Ten Great Divine Weapons of the dark era which had long been assumed to have disappeared.
Wang Zhong was most interested in the location of the Laforgue Infinite Slash Crosswheels. His Rank A clearance managed to access some information, but the only thing available was news surrounding the weapon thirty years ago at an auction before it disappeared once more.
This gargantuan amount of information made Wang Zhong feel intoxicated and drunk. He would regularly go through his skylink with joy, happily daydreaming while inside the research lab. This, of course, made Old Potter feel a bit lost in his anger. He'd originally given the brat his Rank A clearance in order for him to experience the superiority that came from being privileged. What he had hoped and anticipated was for Wang Zhong to gain a strong interest in the more secret black technologies. Who would've thought he'd spend his entire day reading about divine weapons, families, and the hyperdimension… He really was like a young man in this. To actually let such showy and ostentatious-looking things hoodwink him. In what way could those waste be comparable to proper science and technology?
How much better would it have been if he'd spend his free time looking up those legendary figures such as Gullan Grasso. Now that was a legendary and spectacular life! Just the mere thought of it was enough to get Old Potter emotional to the point that his entire body would shake. It had been because he'd read of Gullan Grasso's life in the past that Old Potter dove into the sea of science, unable to extricate himself ever since.
While Old Potter was having such depressing thoughts, he casually agreed to the matter Wang Zhong proposed about heading to Tianjing for his friend's auction.
On one hand, it was really difficult for him to reject the brat when he personally invited him. On the other hand, he'd already made contact with Moore on the Tianjing side, as he was the only one with high level personnel below him from the Federation's Institute of Science inside the East Area's A Region. Along with that, Professor's Moore's attainments in runes was also rather high, and he had agreed to be Old Potter's assistant. This would definitely speed up the overall deduction process for the project. As for the lack of equipment in Tianjing, Old Potter was prepared to bring his entire research lab over.
Naturally, what Old Potter felt was most important was the feeling he got from Wang Zhong. This fellow had been unrestrained before they met, so if he were to be released back to Tianjing he would for sure immediately toss the research away to the nine clouds. Then, this natural intellect would throw himself into the ranks of combat soldiers, something Old Potter regarded as a crime against humanity! But he also couldn't let the brat walk too skewed from the wrong path. What he needed to do was follow alongside the brat and give him both sincere advice and frequent guidance. With enough perseverance he would be able to turn this brat's heart back onto the right track.
Nevertheless, since moving the equipment required time, he could only raise a few requests for Wang Zhong before letting him go back to Tianjing first. He booked two carriages as he accepted Wang Zhong's request, and even brought Laura along. He wasn't being ostentatious about it, which Laura didn't mind, and even forbid Wang Zhong from telling anyone he was going to Tianjing. Not even that friend of his, Ma Dong, would know. This saved him from being disturbed every single day, and it was fine if he were to show up on the day of the auction.
Naturally, his request for Wang Zhong in return was for the fellow to follow up on the improvements to the research.
The last day for the group training arrived, and the rarely-used gathering area was filled with people and staff. Fiona, this rosy-eyed great aunt, gave her final summaries of the group training and commented on the performances of the squadrons, Tianjing naturally included.
There was both praise and criticism for them, with the former toward the squadron's special coordination between members and the latter toward their overall strength. Tianjing's strength, from its captain to its members, didn't even have an average soul power of 150 grassos, and their peak hadn't even reached the maximum 200. Other than Grai, the other members simply didn't possess the qualifications necessary to participate in the CHF. Even if they went, they would simply be eliminated.
The exchanges between the squadrons and the information trades both proceeded without a hitch. Everyone had reached their goals in interacting with the other squadrons and there was every a few cliques formed between elites of different cities. A few of the students even tried to deliberately meet with some of the big-shot families of Copperfield, with everyone having their own plans.
Only Tianjing didn't try as hard in this as everyone would expect. Scarlet did try to maneuver about, but she found people were only interested in herself and not in Tianjing. In the end, however, Saxon's provocation did give Tianjing a chance to showcase themselves so they weren't completely forgotten within the group training.
That transcendent level of coordination between Scarlet and Milami had been too eye-grabbing, but the important part had been their coordination and not their individual strength. An important reason why the two assassins had fallen to the two was because they didn't understand how strong their coordination was. If they used different methods to contend against the two ladies, then they would be able to evade their covering fire more easily.
As for the others, heavy soldier Lily and Emily simply weren't worthy with the level of combat they'd shown. This included Barran who had been easily dealt with by Saxon Vice-captain Sully in their duel. To be frank, this was a squadron in possession of a Super Freshman. This was considered quite the common kind of 'overboard squadron' in the CHF, and none would actually be able to go far. If Paul had participated, then he could have suppressed Grai and the results would have been completely different.
Wang Zhong? He hadn't even entered the arena while there, and he was simply listed as a ranged soldier from the information gathered. Could Tianjing even fight with three ranged soldiers? And if either Milami or Scarlet were taken out of the formation, then it might not even be as good as a proper coordination between the two ladies. In the end, not going up would probably be a good thing for Tianjing.
While the Tianjing Squadron was no longer considered weak in the eyes of others, they definitely didn't possess the requirements for being strong.
There was no disputing this fact, especially after several interactions with the Copperfield Academy. Regardless of Emily and the rest, or even the somewhat eye catching Scarlet and Milami, they could feel the disparity between them, with their overall insufficient strength. Relying on Wang Zhong's group battle strategies and the powerful Grai might allow them to bully those second and third class groups like Adolf or Saxon without Paul. If they were matched up against a truly powerful squadron like Copperfield, however, they would easily shatter into pieces. Without Wang Zhong's and Laura's participation, the three internal matches would all be won by the Copperfield side. They only needed to restrain Grai, and Tiankin would be completely unable to put up any resistance.
With their average standard being their borderline members and their captain being absent all day, the presence of the entire Tianjing squad grew weaker and weaker during group training. Grai was the only one that drew second glances as there truly was no freshman stronger than him this year, or at the very least, not within the entire Eastern Area. Being able to counter the celebrity participant Sully, and even obtain victory in a 1v2 situation was a talent that caused people to sigh in admiration at him. It was a pity that he ended up in Tianjing. If he had entered other squadrons, like Austin Academy, it was truly like a bird shotgun being replaced by a cannon.
Admittedly, squadron cooperation was important although not omnipotent. Essentially speaking, the CHF was an elite competition which would look at everyone's capabilities.
Quite a few squadrons thought about moving Grai into their ranks, as the CHF had not officially started yet and the roster was still modifiable. There were quite a few squadrons that had tossed out olive branches, including some of the big shot families in Copperfield, all of them having various kinds of objectives. All of them were successively rejected by him without a single exception. One look at Grai's temperament and one would know that there was a leviathan standing behind his back. It was extremely understandable for a person like him to not be easily lured. Seeing this, other people could only sigh in helplessness at their lack of fortune compared to Tianjing.
On the return trip to Tianjing, the squad wasn't as relaxed and cheerful. The main reason for this was the few internal matches they had against Copperfield Academy.
Indeed, Wang Zhong's conventional combat strategies could fully allocate and utilize the entirety of Tianjing's strength, such that they were able to defeat Adolf and Saxon's cruel formation. This caused the squad's pride to swell up, however, the internal matches against Copperfield had taught them some lessons.
Their overall strength was imbalanced. They had a strong will to bring about the destruction of the weak, with the weak being unable to protect themselves… being able to recognize their inadequacies was a huge harvest. During the two day journey back, everyone pondered their personal questions and problems. They would undoubtedly need more than just Grai alone if they wanted to advance further in the CHF, with existences of superlevel experts on the level of Divian and Carolyn that brought along giant squadrons possessing strength a level higher than Laura and Paul. In front of such a powerful squadron, Tianjing would not be able to raise even a single finger. No matter what they did, even if they had another Grai, it would be impossible to change the fact that they would die.
Wang Zhong could see the pressured atmosphere of the squad. Nevertheless, he didn't intervene as he had already done what he needed and should do. Wanting the squad to transform entirely wasn't something that could be done by relying on his own mouth. There were many times where being strong and powerful actually hinged on the inner thirst of an individual!
On the second day after their return to Tianjing, Old Potter arrived. His entire journey was kept completely secret in consideration to the fact that Wang Zhong had just arrived yesterday. The Old Potter didn't even contact the latter to inform him of his arrival, only notifying Moore and Greene. With a whole carriage filled with equipment, it was not possible to move it by himself.
Dean Moore and Headmaster Greene headed down early in the morning, both concerned about the Old Potter's arrival this time.
Old Potter's research thesis of living runes was already formally registered in the Federation's Institute of Science. Up till now, however, the information available was only the title, with nobody knowing anything about the contents. This included assistant Moore who had been invited for this research project. Old Potter didn't reveal too many of the details to Moore, only giving an approximation of the situation. The only thing Moore knew was that the topic was huge with an extremely wide range of scope, possibly even affecting the innovation of runic technologies as a whole.
At the very start, Greene and Moore had already attached great importance to this matter, since the latter was also a fanatical researcher while the former knew about the weight of the research. Choosing Tianjing as the location of research felt like millions of Easter eggs had rained down from the sky and landed on Headmaster Greene's head.
Why? Isn't Copperfield better than Tianjing in every way? If it was because of Moore, just a single Skylink message from Old Potter would have ensured that the former would immediately rush over with red eyes. Despite this, the latter had especially brought over his entire set of extremely expensive equipment, all for the sake of preparing a research lab in Tianjing… Is he planning to offer such a huge gift to Tianjing Academy?
Ever since the day he heard the news, Greene had felt slightly dizzy and short of breath. After researching with Moore for another two days, they were still unable to figure out the where exactly the critical element was.
After returning back yesterday, however, Greene managed to hear some interesting things from Scarlet.
"I've heard that Wang Zhong had some special ideas on runic technologies that have gained recognition from Headmaster Potter. During group training sessions, Headmaster Potter would often pull Wang Zhong away to assist his research." Hearing that, Greene had thought, "Could it be due to Wang Zhong?"
With a laugh, Moore replied, "That idea is even more farfetched. Although Wang Zhong has pretty good theoretical knowledge, his attainments on the aspect of runes is too shallow with little depth in his understanding. If he put his heart into research for a few years, it wouldn't be hard for him to obtain some results, however, wanting to be the assistant for the old headmaster with his current standards? That's really far away."
Greene nodded in approval, feeling that this idea was somewhat more reasonable. After listening to Scarlet yesterday, he felt that his students really took things too far from the gossip they heard. Old Potter definitely had other goals for moving his research to Tianjing. In truth, there was no need to make wild guesses as he would be able to see for himself in the near future.
As the two of them chatted, metallic sounds rumbled. Old Potter had arrived.
A special carriage was indeed different. Compared to the one Wang Zhong took which had arrived two days ago, this one had only taken a dozen hours to arrive at Tianjing.
"Ha ha! Greene, Moore! Long time no see!" Old Potter stepped off the carriage in an informal grey shirt, followed by Laura.
"Headmaster Potter! Welcome, welcome!" Greene enthusiastically greeted them before shaking his hands. Being headmasters, they often bumped into each other during large gatherings on some Federation education systems as they were both part of the Eastern Area's A region, although they didn't communicate much. Furthermore, the public's opinion of them both were pretty good. Not only did they recognize each other mutually, they praised and appreciated one another.
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