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“So far in the past 15 hours a total of 3 teams that have been eliminated and for the teams that had terminated them, they have exceeded the designated score,” Keyral reported. She and two others were sitting down in an empty meeting room that was projecting the scenes down from the surface. Officially they were judges, but the majority of the grading was done from the instructor’s point of view as they monitored their own squadron on whether or not they should be eligible to pass.
“Hm, not bad we may finish this quite earlier than what I expected it would take. What team has the highest amount of points right now?” Felia asked her when she realized at how the pacing of the match was going.
“That would be squadron three who were taught by Instructor Kora. The subjects were all recruited from the planet Fora in our solar system. There are 9 of them in total, 8 of which are still remaining,” Keyral replied to her query.
“They came from outside of the main planet? What’s their background?” Arisa grew curious. Very rarely did they accept people from outside of the main planet into the Nexus solar system and for 9 of them to form their squad.
“They are refugees from the Plana solar system. Several years back they were rescued from a raid of Inzektors that devastated their village. They only survived the ordeal by escaping to the forest and eliminating their pursuers,” Keyral said as she read the report.
“Refugees, huh. Are they clean?” Felia asked as her expression turned grim.
“Very clean,” Keyral replied to her cryptic words. One of the major problems that they had was that the influence of other solar systems has been prominent in their solar system for the last few decades. With the appearance of Vortex Containers, the other solar system attempted numerous times to send spies under the guise of tourists and immigrants that will expose information of the latest technical innovation back to their original solar system.
“How were they able to eliminate the Inzektors that pursued them into the forest?”
“Their abilities helped them accomplish it. Believe it or not but all 9 of them trained in the same school in their village…” Arisa asked another question and to answer her Keyral started to read the report in more detail.
She continued to read the file they have on them, and when she finished the last line Felia asked Arisa, “So who do you think will win this competition?”
“It’s difficult to tell, from the top three teams we can see only 2 prominent ones, as for the other, although they have reached the accomplished goal they suffered too many casualties. It’s hard to say which team would win,” Arisa replied.
“Why don’t you just say Belle’s team is going to win? At least that way you’re promoting and supporting your friend,” Felia said.
Arisa frowned as she replied, “Of course I hope that they can win, but with these odds, it’s quite doubtful.”
Felia gave her a smile as she chuckled and said, “Hmm, favoritism will lead you nowhere in this kind of field, remember this. Alright, let’s just wait and see. I think we’ll be seeing the ending in the next 15 hours.”
Looking at the two exchange words Keyral couldn’t but help smile wryly at these two sisterly bonds despite being cousins. She turned to look at the monitor as she thought, ‘It’s quite a challenge if I say so myself.’
The average combat level of Luon and his team was 68 with Luon being the highest at 71, it was quite high for his age considering that they didn’t have any equipment. However, their opponent’s were no pushover. With an average of 76, his team has to face 8 assassins from the Plana solar system, who were infamous for slaying around 500 high-level Inzektors in 3 nights during their escape in the forest.
The chances of Luon and his team succeeding was very slim.
“That was an easy cleanup, hahaha,” Gizmo proudly said as he gripped the flag and flailed in randomly.
“What should we do with the flag?” Luon asked Angela who was still securing the perimeter.
“We should take it back to our camp while we have the chance after we do we’ll alter our pathing and search for more enemies,” Angela replied.
Luon nodded and after making sure there was no one following they departed back to their headquarters. Belle marked some areas to investigate next on the map where there were more than likely to be enemies at since they had already accomplished the goal by obtaining 110 points Belle thought it would better if their team fought against more opponents to get more points. But the direction Belle wanted them to depart towards was the most dangerous choice they have available, it was towards the center of the island.
Belle argued that time was something that they didn’t have. If they wanted to obtain more points, then they needed to attack the enemy quickly. Especially since enemies are being eliminated as they speak.
However, to that decision, Angela argued that they should still take it slow and proceed with the original plan, but her suggestion was overruled by the number of members who wanted more wealth and by the logic that they have already passed. Angela, Luon, and Gizmo departed once more following Belle’s orders.
The only difference with their second departure was that Angela wasn’t willing to command Luon and Gizmo this time, she said to the two, “Do not underestimate your opponents. From this point on it will be difficult to support each other in these circumstances so maintaining the formation and direction of movement is only a secondary objective. You guys need to prioritize on surviving by yourself, use your keen judgment to decide which action to take.”
Leaving them with those few words they departed just like that.
Sure enough in the next few minutes, they had already begun to encounter their opponent’s. A man wildly ran in the forest as if he was a greenhorn in a first-person shooter game who thought by using speed he could overcome adversity.
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However, all of his actions were merely a guise as when Gizmo started to fire at him, he dodged every bullet with them flying just a few centimeters past his body. After inducing the attack, two more attackers appeared and pushed towards Gizmo’s direction.
Fortunately, before Gizmo would struggle from escaping their assault, Luon managed to distract them with an ambush while Angela appeared out of nowhere and finished them off. It was a repeat of the same maneuver they did earlier, but before they could regain their formation, Angela yelled, “Careful!”
After saying those words, Angela vanished from her spot and replacing her presence was a series of paint bullets coming from a multitude of directions.
“Where are they coming from?!” Luon proclaimed as he managed to bunker down near a spot several tens of meters away from Gizmo.
“I don’t know, I can only see the bullet. I can’t find the target, ” Gizmo said as he ducked his head down, afraid of being hit.
“Listen up you two, the enemy we’re facing against right now have a high level of invisibility. It would be difficult to survive this ordeal unscratched. They aren’t like what we’ve fought against so far. They’re experts, they are fast, stealthy, and there are more of them then there are more of us. We’re at a complete disadvantage,” Angela blatantly stated over their communication system.
“Is there anything we can do?” Gizmo gritted his teeth as he dropped his sniper rifle, compared to Luon and Angela he was at a complete disadvantage.
“There is no way for us to escape, rather there’s no way for you two to escape, and the likelihood of us winning is near impossible. If this was a real battle, we might have been able to use equipment to offset the difference, but this is a paintball match. One shot and you’re out. When I think about it reasonably, they outdid us the moment we were ambushed. Perhaps that weak squad we faced earlier was just a big piece of bait to lure someone out, and we fell for it. The best you guys can do now is to at least take a few of them down with you. I’ll help out a bit, but if the situation turns to the worse, I’ll escape that way we’ll somehow manage on our defense. Here, you’re going to need this more.”
Angela appeared before Gizmo and dropped her rifle in front of him before picking up the sniper rifle and vanishing once more. In the short span when she briefly undid her invisibility a series of paint projectiles shot through her position missing the target as she managed to avoid all of them.
‘Is there anything we can do?’ Luon thought as he cast his mana detection skill, but to no avail, he wasn’t able to detect anything. It may have exposed his location, but Luon didn’t care as they had a rough idea where he was anyway.
“Her order is reasonable, kill before you get killed. This is the perfect time to try out the sensory techniques that you’ve been working on. Focus your senses, try to find them. It shouldn’t be that hard for you,” Thanatos said. Luon nodded before closing his eyes as the surroundings projected in his mind. He wasn’t able to detect the presence of the enemy with the technique as he rebuilt the scene. What he did manage to accomplish was that he was able to identify seven blank spots in the picture, they disabled his senses and reflected in towards the surroundings.
The seven dark spots moved quickly all while encircling their position.
At this moment Gizmo yelled, “Cowards, eat this!”
He stood up and aimlessly shot at his surroundings causing the enemies formation to disperse and adjust to the randomness. Two of the figures stopped their continuous movement and quickly attacked Gizmo, their response was too fast for Gizmo to do anything as he was tagged by the paintball bullets.
His efforts weren’t put to waste, the moment they stopped to shoot Luon stood up from his position and quickly sniped the two before changing his position to the gap he had just opened up.
The bullets were shot around the same time, the response to Luon’s attack was a tad slow as he managed to escape the encirclement using Gizmo’s death.
But before he can escape a bullet from a distance in front of him pinned him down. He couldn’t see the enemy but seeing how accurate the shot was he knew that he shouldn’t make a move that easily.
He was trapped once more as he positioned himself away from the sniper’s line of attack.
With Gizmo out and Angela nowhere to be seen, to the best of his abilities Luon resisted against his mysterious attackers, but to his dismay, he was unable to take another one down before being hit himself. It wasn’t a lethal attack, it hit him in a non-vital area so he would have lived if this was a real battle, but that was enough to judge that he was eliminated in a paintball match. Without a moment to lose his background blurred and Luon was sent directly out of the zone.
The last thing he could see was Angela appearing out of nowhere and eliminating two more of the enemies before vanishing for good.
“Boss, they got 4 of us, our firepower has gone down by half from this assault,” said one of the masked figures.
“That assault wasn’t profitable. Using a fish to get two fishes, it doesn’t help if that fish turns out to be a shark. I guess it’s not easy being a fisherman when the business isn’t that marketable nowadays.”
A feminine voice echoed in their comms. The group of assassins was led by their intelligence officer, and their attack against Luon and others caused their numbers to dwindle. Their leader was the one who pinned Luon with the sniper rifle, it wasn’t that she knew where he was exiting towards, she only positioned herself at where they had arranged the first attackers were at as a precaution. The rest of the members helped by ensuring the enemy weren’t able to escape.
Their strategy backfired when Luon was able to read all of their positions, but his plan was thwarted by their leader’s keen judgment.
“Enough, let’s head back now. Although we’ve cleared all of the targets near our flag, we can’t leave it open for too long, especially with these numbers. The rest of you are on the defensive, I’ll take care of the rest of them.”
“Yes, boss!” The other members quickly departed from the scene, their boss looked towards the direction of where Luon’s base was, even if she didn’t know where exactly it is she decided to leave that area unexplored. It was better not to disturb an injured tiger.