Chapter 27 Second
Seeing Robert charge away like a tank before his eyes, Fang Xingjian tried to evaluate his stats.
'My strength attribute is 36, and in our exchange earlier this guy showed a strength of 40 or higher. And most likely, that wasn't even his full strength.
'Plus when I pierced his vest before, my weapon seemed to be blocked by a layer of something... Is that the extraordinary strength gained from the first job transition?'
Seeing that Fang Xingjian was still following behind him, Robert laughed coldly and said, "Haha! Why? Are you still thinking of overtaking me? Do you still not understand the gap between one who has gone through the first job transition and one who hasn't? Rascal, I can crush you to death with only one of my fingers!"
He was running at an extreme speed and talking loudly at the same time, but despite his display of such profound physical strength, he still looked composed.
Fang Xingjian did not say anything, but followed behind at a distance of about one hundred meters, neither accelerating nor retreating.
Robert's eyes gleamed, and he started to increase his speed. However, he soon realised that Fang Xingjian did not care at all for his provocation. When he increased his speed Fang Xingjian would follow, and when he slowed down so would Fang Xingjian, all the while maintaining the one hundred meter distance, getting neither closer nor further away from him.
'This rascal.' A tinge of a smile appeared in the corner of Robert's mouth.
During the Prefectural Selection, examinees were not allowed to directly attack other people in order to eliminate them. The most they could do was to provoke them verbally, or collide against them while running. The reason why Robert had purposely knocked into Fang Xingjian earlier was to mess up his rhythm and to waste his physical strength, so that he himself would get a better advantage in the following two stages, thus setting a better foundation for his own success. After all, the following two rounds did not test one's attributes, so his advantage as one who had gone through the first transition would be much weaker.
The reason why a Warrior like him, who had already been through the first transition, attended the Prefectural Selection was for the sake of the Regional Selection to follow. It was highly possible that a person such as Fang Xingjian, who was obviously a guy with plenty of potential, would be a threat to him in the second and third stages.
However, it was obvious that Fang Xingjian had no thoughts of confronting a person who had been through the first job transition straight on. He was clearly planning to vie only for second place in the first stage.
Robert knew that if he were to pester the opponent again, he would then be wasting his own physical strength, and messing up his own rhythms. There would only be disadvantages instead of advantages. Therefore, he threw Fang Xingjian a few more glances and gave him a meaningful smile before moving ahead in his own rhythm.
"Hmph, count yourself smart.
"From now on, don't get any closer to me than one hundred meters. If not, I'll cripple you."
Fang Xingjian stared at Robert coldly, a killing aura flashing in his eyes, but did not say anything. It was not the time to give in to spur of the moment actions.
About twelve kilometers away from the drill grounds, at the entrance of the Kirst Royal Academy, the red-haired Knight Hogan was yawning. Beside him was another examiner for the Prefectural Selection. This time around, it was Kirst Royal Academy's physical instructor. A level 19 Knight who had gone through the first transition, Dick.
This physical instructor was bald, and was wearing light attire. Be it his physique or his looks, he only gave off the feeling of being plain and simple.
Looking at the yawning Hogan, he raised his brows, saying, "To be able to run twelve kilometers within ten minutes, one must have acquired at least 20 points each in terms of strength, agility and endurance. Most likely, only about 10% of the examinees will be able to pass this test."
Strength was related to the level of resistance met when one's muscles were working, agility was directly proportional to the muscles' rate of contraction, and endurance was represented by the level of endurance one's muscles and blood vessels had. In a long distance running competition, one had to have all three attributes well-developed in order to come out among the top few.
The fitness instructor Dick continued, "I heard that this time around, Fei Yang Knight Academy, Tresia Knight Academy, Shadow Moon Academy and the Aristocrat Academy have each sent a representative. Even the leader of the Tyrant Fist Dojo has disbanded his dojo.
"Seems that the results for this term will be quite good, and that there might be a few talents who can advance to the Regional Selection. By then, not only us, even the City Lord and the Headmaster would have a much better performance assessment."
The Empire placed great emphasis on the selection of Knights. The training and social culture of each prefecture were taken seriously, and the performance assessments of officials everywhere would be affected by the number of Knights selected from their district each year.
Hogan said, sluggishly, "It's not that easy to advance. Have you forgotten the Prefectural Selection two years ago? There were two monsters who were even stronger than the two of us, but they were still completely wiped out.
"That was because there were too many monsters participating in the same term.
"And I've heard that Kaunitz has mastered all of Tresia's basic sword techniques, and has even gone to train at The School of Sword Arts in an attempt to gain the 'Sword Specialist' speciality.
"Since he was able to achieve so much at his age, we can have high expectations of him. He might be able to go through the second transition in the near future." Dick was obviously well-informed regarding this term's few seeded examinees.
"And for Shadow Moon Academy's Boris, it's said that he was born with three specialities, and that he is a genius amongst geniuses.
"Fei Yang's Barbara isn't too bad either. There are quite a few teachers who have set their sights on her and who wish to take her in as their disciple.
"And Ferdinand. He is the City Lord's nephew, and has been under Aristocrat Academy's careful nurture since young. It's said that their Department of Spear Arts has already planned out the route for his first job transition and for his development.
"After training for a few years, they will all have the chance to get through the Regional Selections."
"No one can be certain of the things in the future." Hogan suddenly fixed his gaze and said, "Someone's here. This was faster than I had expected."
"First place will naturally go to Robert." Dick slightly squinted his eyes, and was also able to see the figure a few hundred meters away from them dashing in their direction. But when he saw the black spot behind the figure, he was slightly stunned, "Oh? To think that someone could stay so close behind him? It seems that someone has been holding back their actual ability.
"Is it Kaunitz? Barbara? Ferdinand or Boris?"
Under Dick and Hogan's astonished gazes, Robert passed through the gates of the Royal Academy in a few strides, and the staff went up to record his name, number and results.
When they saw Fang Xingjian, all of them were shocked.
"Where did this guy come from?" Dick asked in astonishment.
"You'll find out soon." Hogan smiled. "Dick, according to what you said earlier, you think that Kaunitz, Robert and the others would take the top five places this time around, and that it's them who have the potential to advance from the Regional Selection in the nearby future? I beg to differ. I feel that compared to them, this fellow is even more promising."
Dick had never thought that he would be slapped in the face by reality after his previous confident speech and that he would even be teased by Hogan. His face turned black as he said, "This just proves His Majesty's success in making the world a better place, and the prominence of our Kirst's training culture.
"So of course it's better if there are as many geniuses as possible. How I wish that a few more geniuses would appear and give me slaps in the face!"
Saying that, he suddenly turned around and said, "But the Prefectural Selection does not merely test one's attributes. The crux lies in one's potential and talent. Although he might able to gain second place with his physical strength, it doesn't mean that his talent and potential will surpass those of Kaunitz and the others, and it doesn't mean that he really is a talent.
"In terms of natural abilities, I feel that Kaunitz and the others are more promising."
Dick appeared simple and straightforward, but from his words, one could tell that he actually thought things through quite well, and that he was not one to be trifled with. Indeed, this was the case. Coming from an aristocratic family, he tended to be brutal and unscrupulous in order to reach his goal, yet he also knew when to retreat.