Valerie, upon entering the venue became the center of attention, her looks, demeanor, and aura caused many to want to bow down before her. It wasn’t the first time that this had happened and it won’t be the last, ignoring the crowd she looked at each of the other teams at the venue and gave a light sigh.
‘Another pathetic year…’ thought Valerie as she was able to recognize the power levels of her opponents instantly. Similar to Luon’s ability the Eye of Insight, dragons like Valerie naturally have a racial ability called Dragon’s Eye which allowed them to estimate their opponent’s combat levels.
Valerie couldn’t help but sigh when she read that the average level of each team was around combat level 75, except for teams that had humans that is as she could only safely assume that they have NG-Arms to back them up. In an ordinary sense, this number is beyond the average person, even in the military divisions. If the highest combat level of a non-combatant went up to 30, and the ordinary soldiers were averaged to be around 50, then every team she was facing at this moment was equivalent to facing veteran soldiers.
However, to her eyes these numbers were too weak for her, unlike the other teams the average combat level of the members selected at Dragon’s lair was 79, many were only a few steps away from shedding the mortal laws of the universe and gaining power beyond recognition.
Beyond level 80 were people who were able to obtain power equal to or even greater than an army, the higher they went on the scale, the thinner their connection with humanity became. Longevity and strength were proportionally related if the average person only lived for less than a hundred years, how could they associate with someone who lived for thousands of years?
This realm was an authentic behemoth class, the ogres that were around this level were no longer the same as they were known as titans. The Clamaris that Luon had encountered last year had just touched this realm and was overwhelmingly dominant if the average member of Dragon’s lair had a similar level of strength, then how could any team possibly compare?
Valerie thought that although the average level of her opponents was only a few levels higher than last year, it made no difference for her. She wanted to get the battles done with as soon as possible, so she quickly positioned herself and her team where they were prompted to go to.
Luon who had noticed her gaze also secretly evaluated her abilities, unlike the unbalanced version of the skill she uses which all dragons apparently have, he was able to see more details such as skills, equipment, and her status without using the BMPU. Within the large context of information was one notable aspect which truly surprised Luon, her combat level… was at 83.
She was indeed a genius, unlike how the Nexus solar system had chosen their candidates, Valerie was this strong at the tender age of 21, only a year away from being unable to participate due to regulations. Dragons, Demons, Orcs and many other races have a total advantage over natural combative strength compared to humans who were why the team members from Nexus University, without their NG-Arms, were drastically weaker.
In fact, all the average strength of their candidates was 62, and once they equipped their NG-Arms, they barely reached 76 due to their core members being slightly stronger.
“And these are all the teams participating this year! With three teams from each of the 16 battle academies from their respective solar systems, we have a total of 48 different teams! Ah, wait there is a slight miscalculation. It looks like this year there is only one team from Alpha Hideout this year, which means that there is in total 46 teams! Why do you think that is?” said a male announcer as he looked at the female announcer.
“I’ve got news that apparently Alpha Hideout had found some relics from the shattered remains of a battlefield in Sector DX32 and had deployed most of their members to raid the place. It seems that they aren’t too interested in this year’s tournament,” said the female announcer.
“Hahaha, well it was better than last year as they didn’t even bother coming at all. It seems like Alpha Hideout likes to rob other people and indirectly give it back when the Alliance tournament happens, no wonder no one makes too much of a fuss when they come and rob them every year,” said the male announcer.
“Yes, that’s right. In fact, many of the other systems don’t mind the robbing that they would do as they implemented a policy to reimburse most companies 50% of their losses after an inspection. Ah, shouldn’t we talk about this year’s rulings?” said the female announcer.
“Ah, we probably should. Ahem. For all of you uneducated folks out there and for all of you ready for the action. I’ll quickly go through the handicap and rules placed this year!” said the male announcer.
“The matches are managed with a tournament bracket where teams are placed at random using a ballot box. To advance on, each battle academy must win a best out of three against their opponent. With each solar system betting half of their generated resources this year, for being first they will receive half out of the 800 shares from the prize pool, 2nd place will obtain 150 shares out of the pool and …”
As the announcer continued to announce the prizes, Luon frowned, to maintain the production value they needed to rank fourth as the other teams below that were all given only 10% of what they had betted in return. With only 60% of their earnings, how could each solar system make a proper living? Fortunately, the Draco solar system traded and gave away a large portion of their earnings to losing teams to make up for some of their losses.
Going through more regulations, Luon felt that although the point system was quite unbalanced, the advantages that Nexus University, the other teams in the Intergalactic Federation, and the teams from the Aqua Kingdom had over the other battle academies was quite huge. Because of how humans made up the majority of the population and their racial differences between the other superpowers, they were given absolutely no handicap compared to the other teams which were bound by regulations.
The Aqua Kingdom was in the same position since they mainly had an advantage in water it was difficult for them to battle on land. Members of the Ark Judgement Empire were unable to cross the border until 5 minutes were over. For Avalon it was the same except those team members that are Dragons were unable to cross until 40 minutes were over.
How effective was this handicap? Although it does balance the scale quite a bit, it was still nearly impossible to take a dragon head on, even if they were in their human forms. Last year, one of the teams from Heavenly Sanctuary was able to confront Athos Dragsteel head on and was severely beaten several minutes into their fight.
It was difficult for many solar systems even to obtain a place in the top four positions with the existence of the Ark Judgement empire and Avalon occupying the spots. However, it was still possible for the fourth position.
“And I think that’s all there is to know about the rules of the tournament, folks at home I hope I didn’t tire you out. Now without any further ado let’s begin the placement selection, as I call the names of the battle academy can the representatives come to the stage. I will begin with the calling by the rank placements last year, up first, it’s Dragon’s Lair!” said the announcer as the crowd cheered crazily.
Waving her hands Valerie climbed up and onto the stage, and as she does so Luon was still thinking about what the announcer said as he thought to himself, ‘Representative? Did we even decide one?’
He looked at Arisa and Zythos who appeared to have the same thought as him as they looked at each other. Just as they were lost the headmaster who had forgotten entirely about selecting a representative messaged them from a distance, “By the way the representative for us is Arisa, it’s not that you guys wouldn’t do a good job for us. It’s just compared to a dog, and a man wouldn’t a beautiful looking teenage student be better? Especially with our advertisement companies, hopefully, this year the revenue goes up. Anyways… Arisa, make sure to appeal to the crowd.”
Zythos didn’t seem to care about the position, and Luon thought about how troublesome it was for him to climb up and do so, he preferred Arisa to do it instead as it seemed like each team wanted to send their most beautiful representatives to garner favor from the crowd.
Just as they decided who to go up a gasp came from the crowd, realizing something was going on the three looked upon the stage only to see the astonished face of the female representative from Heavenly Sanctuary. They were second to pick their placement and unfortunately, were matched with Dragon’s Lair in the first match… and it was the first match in the entire tournament. The members from the Heavenly Sanctuary grew grim as the other teams rejoiced at their placement. With them out of the picture there were 2 open places in the top 4!
“This! To have the best teams matched in the first battle! Without a doubt the matches from this point on would be intense, isn’t that right,” said the male announcer. The female announcer nodded as she said, “Although Heavenly Sanctuary was always placed second most of the time, whenever they get paired with Dragon’s Lair the matches always become intense. And with the Vortex Containers, there will be tons of carnage this year.”
The male announcer nodded and said to the crowd, “Folks at home, these future matches will be filled with action-packed bloodshed, for the weak hearted I would recommend turning off the program now while you still have the chance! As for the rest of you, let’s get this action going!”
The crowd cheered at the imminent elimination of one of their biggest competitors as the representative from Heavenly Sanctuary woefully went down from the stage. Following after was Lemegeton, and then Sea Emperor Palace, other teams went up and soon enough it was Nexus University turn as they placed 8th last year.
Arisa appealed to the crowd as she got up to receive her placement from the ballot box. They were spotted in the 9th slot, and their opponents had already been decided, it was the 7th placed team, Plana Academia.
Looking over their team members, Luon found that their levels were higher compared to theirs, averaging around level 70. If everyone were to equip their NG-Arms, it should have been an easy victory if it wasn’t for the new trend he encountered online last summer. Bloodlust Mask, a brand new device that has been recently revealed in the past few years originating from the Plana solar system.
Without the flight abilities that the NG-Arms provides the people from the Plana solar system prefer not to be physically restricted with the redundant armor. Yet they still wanted to improve themselves using external devices, this mask was made based on the bloodlust skill that shamans used to enhance their senses and incite the hidden strength hidden within their bodies for a brief amount of time.
If it weren’t for the after effects it would have been popularized by many different solar systems, but the fact that they were using strength beyond what their body can handle caused it only to be used online. Although they would feel bad after using it, the feeling was only falsified if used inside of the Vortex Container.
More teams settled their placements, and the matches soon began, the first match was the most anticipated match between Heavenly Sanctuary and Dragon’s Lair.
And this match ended before even 10 minutes were up. This very fact shocked the audience, the second most powerful school in the universe lost before all the restrictions on Team Dragon’s Lair was removed. It wasn’t because they were weak, their average combat level rating was about 78. Both members on each team were equal in strength, that is, if it weren’t for the fact that not only was Valerie a stronger competitor, but she was an even stronger commander…