Chapter 56 – Qualifiers 4

“Hahahaha,” laughter came from Bendan and Gizmo after they had heard from their classmates what they were all laughing about. Once Luon and the others were settled back into their seats they asked what was so funny and their classmates told them just to watch the replay of their match.

At first, the first several minutes of the match was relatively dull. Luon was merely doing some construction work while Qi Ren just stood there waiting for their team’s points to pile up. Only after Luon sent Tyron to scout did things change.

Everything was normal until the point where Tyron was almost spotted. The crowd was heavily watching this encounter only to meet an unanticipated outcome. The crowd was thinking whether or not Tyron would get exposed, however, after the encounter, they thought, ‘Holy moly, how long would it take for Tyron to snap.’

And what surprised people the most was that Tyron, despite everyone’s expectations, did not make a noise at all despite being shamed like that. He indeed was a real soldier and understood his priorities. Despite his admirable efforts, it was still a funny scene to see so everyone couldn’t help but laugh. Especially Gizmo and Brendan when they watched the replay.

Luon looked at this part of the battle with a slightly different perspective. When Tyron reported to him that he had eliminated one of the soldiers, he had never said the method on how he did it. Luon had assumed that if he tried hard enough, he could defeat one of them by himself. It was after the fight started did Luon realize the difficulty of eliminating a soldier. Of course, Tyron wouldn’t have told Luon how he did it, after all, it was disgraceful. However, this part of the match was the critical point of their victory. Although, Luon could block one, and Bendan can hold off another, Gizmo, Tyron and the robots wouldn’t be able to handle two heavy soldiers on mounts with just suppressive fire. If they could eliminate the soldiers shortly after engaging in combat, then things would have been much more straightforward.

Luon realized that if he was able to attack the joints while flying in with his NG-Arms accurately, he might have been able to eliminate one of the soldiers in a couple of minutes. At this moment Luon could see his faults, he was over-reliant on gear, magic, and emphasized too much in physical fitness.

What Luon needed the most right now was experience, although he obtained a majority of his combat experience from the second simulation, he had only one simulation worth of fighting experience, and he could only vaguely recall it. As for the rest of the simulations they were scholars, students, engineers and in all of those simulations had one thing in common, they were all loners.

Because Luon had realized that he lacked experience, he did not laugh alongside Bendan and Gizmo, he looked at Tyron with an earnest expression and said, “Don’t mind it too much, without you we wouldn’t have been able to win the match that easily.”

Seeing Luon’s reaction, Tyron’s expressionless face smiled just a little bit. He was depressed that all his classmates and friends were laughing at him, however, after seeing how Luon appreciated his efforts he cheered up a bit.

Luon who noticed his change smiled and looked away, although he felt grateful for Tyron’s help he felt like it was partially his fault for not telling him to do as he pleased fast enough. Luon thought that it was partly his fault he had to suffer this humiliation, so he reigned in his desire to laugh at him. Instead, he began to watch the remaining matches earnestly.

The class battle was really close, their class win rate was about 60% by the time everyone had their turn. The battles didn’t end yet though, once someone lost they were eliminated from the tournament and if there were still teams remaining in one class the matches will continue until one class was eliminated. Because of this, nearly 3/8ths of the teams they started with were removed from the tournament.

When Luon’s team fought their second and third match of the day, they had changed their strategy based on what they had discussed earlier. Although Thomas was in the commander position, Luon called the shots on the front line as they storm through each battle ending the match within the first five minutes. Unlike the first team they fought all the other teams were under geared and with Luon’s improved weaponry and armor, their team completely decimated their foes.

Days like this continue to pass, the class battles continued onwards until only a few classes were remaining, at this point in time there were over a hundred teams left. Class battles were then removed as it no longer mattered, and teams were randomly faced against one another.

Soon enough the top sixteen teams were chosen for a final showdown, with plenty of replay videos each team was allotted a months worth of time to study their opponent’s weaknesses as well as improve one’s strength.

Out of all the teams from Luon’s class only three teams were placed in the top sixteen. Other than Luon’s team, to no surprise was Arisa’s team – Girl’s Union and Zythos’s team – Warbeast made it to the top sixteen. Arisa, Belle, Shizuka, Keyral, and Kiri were all equipped with different NG-Arms and applied a various amount of different tactics causing their opponents to question what kind of move will they make.

Zythos’s team, on the other hand, tactics were similar to what Luon had done with the exception that they left Chester in the commander seat. They stormed their opponents with ease, especially when they revealed that they managed to procure an NG-Arms and distributed the same model to the team.

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Without a doubt, NG-Arms will be a key component to the future matches. Luon needed to equip Gizmo and Tyron with a duplicated set of his NG-Arms, and everyone needed more practice with them.

On the first day of their one month break, they trained their flight maneuvers in the simulated world and found one devastating fact.

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Besides standard flight patterns, they sucked at complicated maneuvers.

Luon who had his NG-Arms the longest crashed into the ground as he questioned himself, ‘Why is this so hard? All we’re doing is the basics of the advanced exercises listed in the manual!’

At this moment, without a teacher to teach them how to use their NG-Arms professionally, Luon and his team except for Thomas was practicing how to fly off of a digital instruction manual that they found online.

As Luon was getting up, he heard a familiar sound of someone crashing beside him. From the debris of the crash landing site, Bendan got up while dusting off the dirt from his clothes and said, “Are you sure we’re doing this right? I know you’re like an expert on reading books, but taking to actual practice is a different story. Don’t we need like a professional instructor?”

Luon looked at Bendan in the eye as he said, “If we had one we wouldn’t be here failing this now would we?”

Bendan appeared confused and asked, “Why don’t we have one? Many teachers know how to use it in school, or we can ask someone from the NG-Arms Training Center.”

Luon sighed as he replied, “It isn’t that easy, if people knew that we’re focusing on NG-Arms then they could figure a way to counter us. Also, can you guarantee that the instructor will teach us without any ill intentions? This is not just a competition about who is stronger than the other, but also a display of how powerful a force is behind each team. From these battles, you can see the hidden political side of society.”

“Hmm, so we can’t just ask anyone to teach us how to use NG-Arms without a chance of being betrayed, then how about we ask your teacher Zekar to teach us? Since he knows a lot about NG-Arms, I’m sure he can teach us how to use it,” said Bendan.

“Do you think that I haven’t tried yet? I asked them, and he told me that it wasn’t in his field of study and that he’s swamped with work. Look, there’s simply no other option than to get better at flying by reading this manual. Words can’t betray you and reading is one of the many different paths to learning, although this is the self-comprehending route, which is the hardest one, it’s still a valid one. If we train hard enough, I’m sure we’ll make it in time for the competition.”

At this moment, Gizmo who wasn’t trying to hard float above the two and said, “I think there’s a way for us to get a teacher that wouldn’t simply betray us out of money.”

Luon looked up to Gizmo and appeared confused. Who wouldn’t want to betray them and leak the information out to those affluent families? People desired fame, money, and security and their instructor could have all of that if he leaked the information out.

Gizmo continued, “Well you know that the underworld isn’t influenced by those great families, and within the pack are a myriad of groups that have suffered by some of their actions and wanted to take revenge on them. Especially against the Mythos clan who shamelessly caused the downfall of many citizens.”

Luon raised his brow and asked, “And you’re saying that one of those factions has professional experienced in using NG-Arms? That’s kind of doubtful especially when it costs so much to get one in real life.”

Gizmo laughed and said, “Why would they need to get one in real life? All they need is one NG-Arms, you’re only familiar with the part of the underworld that does all the trading. However, that is only a part of the underworld. What we’re looking for is an expert from the entertainment part of the underworld.”

“Entertainment?!?” yelled Bendan, he was tired of these faulty exercises, and if he could do something fun while learning how to maneuver the NG-Arms, he was willing to do so.

Luon frowned, he wasn’t too familiar with the underworld, besides trading, so he had no idea what else was there.

Seeing their responses, Gizmo said, “The entertainment part of the underworld is more ruthless than the trading portion, from drugs, gambling, deathmatches, and prostitution, every part of it is scandalous.”

Luon who heard his remark replied, “And you want us to go in such a shady world? Are you sure this will help us get better with using our NG-Arms or are you just looking to play around a for a bit.”

Gizmo gave Luon a mysterious smile as he said, “Of course we’re going to get our NG-Arm handling skills improved, while at the same time we’re going to have a little fun. I assure you that within two weeks we will be experts when it comes down to using the NG-Arms.”

“Fine, I guess we can try it out since you said it will only take us two weeks to get good at using the NG-Arms, but can’t you at least tell us where we’re going? I’m going to double check with Zekar if what your saying is true or not,” replied Luon.

Gizmo laughed as he said, “Sure, sure, of course, you can know where you’re going, and you can definitely tell him as he will also agree that this is the best place to learn how to use the NG-Arms, of course, I heard its free, but at the same time it comes with a high price.”

Gizmo looked at each of his teammates and said, “As a team, we’ll all spend two weeks there, except for Thomas of course, and for what the venue is…”

Gizmo made the biggest smile today as he said, “We’re going to the Zero Delta Center.”

- my thoughts:
The comment section has been a little quiet these days, no matter, I'll just continue to write. Thanks for reading! - ANormRobot
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