One versus five.
Everyone was stunned as they understood what Rhode meant. In other words, each one of them had to defeat the whole team by themselves? Was this even possible? Not only the newbies like Joey and Randolf were nervous, but even the usually confident Marlene was also taken aback.
However, Rhode had put in a lot of considerations in laying out such conditions.
Although the elites of the mercenary groups presented an aggressive and domineering presence, those were only the thoughts of the natives. In fact, in Rhode's eyes, the elites weren't even worth a mention. Just look at Kavos and Shauna. Their abilities weren't superior, but they were still mercenary group leaders, weren't they? Besides, it was common to have mercenary group leaders with Shauna's and Kavos' standards. From this, the so-called elites were only third or fourth grade of their standards.
Of course, according to Rhode's perspective as a player, these ordinary mercenaries were worth a dozen of EXP while the elites were only worth slightly more. The mercenary group leaders were about 100 EXP. The elites from huge mercenary groups like the Burning Blade were worth 70 to 80 EXP. On the contrary, the elites from guilds attending the Midsummer Festival would provide hundreds of EXP while their leaders would be in the range of thousands...
The difference was huge.
As long as Rhode's mercenaries weren't clumsy during battles, they could take on three of the elites at the same time without any pressure. If the battle was to face opponents one by one, then there wouldn't be a problem in defeating all five of them. In the game, Rhode had participated in the Midsummer Festival and knew the abilities of the guild elites, which was why he suggested this. If Marlene and the others could defeat five of them each, there wouldn't be any issues even in the actual Midsummer Festival.
"I understand, Mr. Rhode. I will do it."
Marlene was the first to respond. The pride of the noble family was undoubtedly embedded in her body language. No matter what, Marlene would never lower her head to these mercenaries. The prideful bloodline in her body definitely wouldn't allow such humiliations.
"Don't worry, Leader. There's no problem for Anne at all!"
Anne waved her clenched little fist in midair.
"Me too... Mr .Rhode, I can do it."
Although Lize wasn't too confident, she eventually plucked up her courage.
Unlike the three young ladies, Joey and Randolf weren't as experienced. They felt nervous after hearing Rhode's request. But, how could they say no after the three young ladies had pledged?
That was impossible.
Rhode nodded with satisfaction after hearing everyone's agreement.
"So then, I shall arrange your order of appearance... Marlene, you're first up. Lize, you're second. Joey and Randolf, third and fourth. Anne, you will be the last. Understood?"
Rhode had his reasons for such arrangements. According to his observations, Marlene was the best in adapting in intense scenarios and could easily display her abilities. Considering the relationship between Marlene and Lize, as a pair of close friends, if Marlene was able to perform outstandingly, it would definitely influence Lize to perform better. As for Joey and Randolf on the third and fourth positions, both of them would have already gotten used to the atmosphere by then. Furthermore, if the young ladies before them performed well, it would be a form of motivation for them. Lastly, Rhode placed Anne in the last position after considering her outgoing and carefree nature. With her personality, she would surely be anxious to jump into the competition and get straight into business. He had purposely placed her at the last to gather her emotions and unleash them all at once.
However, this was only intheory. No matter what, Rhode needed to observe their performances first.
Everyone nodded in agreement. As Rhode dismissed them, he turned around and gestured to someone lurking by the corridor. Shortly after, Old Walker stepped in with a face of doubt and helplessness.
"Kid, what exactly are you planning that you gotta act so mysteriously? You said you had something to find me for but you didn't let me in on it... I was actually interested in seeing how those little fellas would perform..."
"Don't worry, that's not a problem, old man."
Rhode wasn't mindful toward Old Walker's grumbles. He gestured his hand and asked.
"Are those guys ready?"
"Yes. They're a trustworthy bunch and everything is according to your instructions. Alright, it's time for you to let me in on it."
Rhode nodded in satisfaction and afterwards moved closer to Old Walker, softening his tone.
"After the match begins in awhile, I need you to..."
Rhode spoke softer and softer. At the same time, Old Walker's brows increasingly wrinkled. After Rhode finished his sentence, Old Walker's face was filled with astonishment.
"Kid, what exactly are you up to? What in the world..."
"Since this is just a warm-up, we should make them learn the various situations. Don't worry about it; no one will know its you if I don't mention about it. Go on, old man, now is the time for you to stand out. And don't think of it as finding trouble for them... This competition is also a warm-up match for you as well."
Old Walker shot Rhode a dubious look, not knowing what the latter meant. Then, he turned around and left. Rhode shifted his attention to the entrance of the colosseum and headed there.
The ice-cold passageway was filled with pitch-black blood stains. This was once the most popular venue within Deep Stone City, but it had been vacant for a long time. Activities like beast battles came from the North and once swept up a storm in the continent under the Light Dragon. However, due to its goriness, it was eventually stopped and the colosseums built for such battles were therefore abandoned. If it weren't for the warm-up matches, no one would ever recall this place.
But, this time, city owner Klautz was rather supportive. Not only did he approve of all applications from the Mercenary Association, but he had also sent men to do a thorough clean up of this broken establishment. After this news spread, many civilians flocked over in anticipation.
Although this was only an ordinary competition and was far from the lively crowd in the Midsummer Festival, most civilians were still interested as they lacked the time and finances to travel into Golden City and participate in the Midsummer Festival. Moreover, they weren't too interested in the battles between guilds compared to their local mercenary groups. Since this competition was organised by the Mercenary Association and within their own city, the whole Deep Stone City instantly turned lively and bustling with noises. The whole colosseum was filled up with people. This scene surprised the Sereck and the elderly president. They considered the possibility of organising such events every year to trigger growth in Paphield's financial state and the Mercenary Association's reputation...
As Rhode exited the passageway, he clearly witnessed the entire colosseum. Under the burning flames, crowds were seen all over the stage and bustling with noises. Apart from Rhode who had fought in world gaming competitions, anyone would shiver at the sight of such a crowd. It was still alright for Marlene, but Lize and the others were already as pale as a sheet. This might be the first time they encountered such a scene...
"Yo, Master, you're finally here."
Gillian waved to Rhode and held onto the shaking Lapis at the same time. If it weren't for Gillian, perhaps Lapis would've already escaped due to extreme anxiety and fear.
Rhode glanced at his mercenaries. Everyone appeared fine. At least they weren't in as terrible astate as Lapis.
However, how well could they perform under pressure?
Rhode narrowed his eyes at this thought.
The bugle horns sounded deeply and echoed throughout the underground. Everyone stuck their chest out and stood up straight.
The test was about to begin.