Chapter 107: Proved with Blade
Translator: Oneshotwonder Editor: Tehrn
Apache didn't sign up for political experiences, he hardly even cared about the combat experience. He signed up for only one reason: to kill. In most cases, the criminals the special units dealt with were wanted dead or alive, due to their extremely dangerous nature and the heinous crime they committed.
After a year of killing and fighting, he no longer saw the world as a student would, he saw this world as a cold-blooded soldier. In contrary, Hu Yangxuan's green experience made him seem like a baby in the woods.
Apache had won the fight with ease as if it was a child's play.
If not because of the rule of the tournament, he would have suggested Martyrus to leave all of the five fights to him to ensure a total victory.
The score right then was four to four, and the next round was between Cao Yi and Wang Ben.
The consequence of the outcome of this round weighted on both Samantha and Martyrus's heart, since they knew that this round would be the most critical to their final victory. Both of them had excluded the final match between Wang Tong and Apache out of the list of variables in their equation for success since Apache's victory was evident.
Samantha had come to terms with the fact that Apache's experience would out-trump even the power of Ma Xiaoru, let alone Wang Tong.
"Wang Ben, make sure you get this!" Samantha patted the shoulder of Wang Ben.
Wang Ben nodded, he had been expecting this fight for a while; he knew that Cao Yi was the Skyscraper who fought with Einherjar Wannabe and was defeated by the mysterious fighter's, albeit counterfeit, Fist of the Racing Tiger. Therefore, Wang Ben wanted to find out through Cao Yi, as to whose Fist of the Racing Tiger was stronger.
Cao Yi was ready to step into the arena, but he was then called back by Martyrus. The old principal whispered something into Cao Yi's ear.
"Are you sure, Principal?"
"This is a matter of uttermost importance, make sure you follow my instructions," Martyrus answered without hesitation.
Cao Yi nodded, he knew it was wise to not to argue with the old fox. Martyrus had ruled the school with both benevolence and an iron fist; although Apache had been wild and unruly, he had answered Martyrus's call quickly and obediently agreed to partake in this tournament.
Although Cao Yi was still unsure about the instruction he was given, he decided to follow through.
"We are all counting on you now," Hu Yangxuan told Wang Ben. Hu Yangxuan had also registered the unbridgeable gap between Ayrlarng and Apache. He knew Wang Tong was a good fighter, perhaps even as good as himself, but that would not change Wang Tong's inevitable failure like his; he knew that Apache's combat experience would overwhelm Wang Tong. Hu Yangxuan thought that perhaps only the Four Princes of the Confederation would be able to challenge Apache since only they were so overpowered that they could ignore the role "experience" played in a fight.
Ma Xiaoru and Hu Yangxuan were bundles of nerves at the thought of being transferred to Bernabeu. Over the month they had spent at Ayrlarng, they had made friends and had gotten used to the life at Ayrlarng. Ayrlarng had grown on them, and they had felt that they belong to this school as much as the school belonged to them. A sudden departure from this familiar and beloved place would be undoubtedly heartbreaking.
Samantha was also unnerved by the elusive content of Martyrus's whisper. She wondered what trick would the old fox pull out of his bag this time.
Wang Ben was unruffled by this development. He felt confident and energetic; the first fight didn't cost him too much energy, and he was eager to make good use of what was left in him in the fight that he had been expecting for so long.
The judge signaled that the fight had begun.
The responsibility weighed heavily on Cao Yi shoulders. He unsheathed his twin blades strapped to his back and reminded himself to be circumspect. He knew that if he lost this fight, Bernabeu would have lost the tournament.
"I must win!" Cao Yi told himself.
Wang Ben felt satisfied as he watched lights of determination glinted in Cao Yi's eyes.
"Yes, that's the spirit, measure my power with your full strength, and tell me who is stronger, ME or Einherjar Wannabe?" Wang Ben screamed in his mind as he felt the blood rushed into his head.
Wang Ben gritted his teeth and was ready for his opponent to attack at any time, but to his surprise, Cao Yi held the twin blade about his waist and didn't make any move. The two fighters stood still, dragging out the silence.
Samantha suddenly understood Martyrus's trick: he was planning to leverage Cao Yi's advantage of the faster movement to drag the match into a stalemate. Since the victory of next fight was guaranteed to go to Bernabeu, a stalemate would substantially reduce the risk of losing the final victory.
Samantha's heart sank, but she couldn't blame Martyrus for using such a "cheap" method because if she were her in his shoes, she would have done the exact same thing. Fair fights only existed in fantasies, not in real-life.
Wang Ben seemed to have also realized Martyrus's trick, so he decided to be more aggressive and punched at Cao Yi, but he quickly realized that he was too slow.
Apache was impressed by the sheer force of Wang Ben's attack, he lamented over the fact that such a worthy opponent would have to be wasted by a cheap shot. If it were him fighting against Wang Ben, he wouldn't have to be so passive, and the fight would have been more fun.
Cao Yi was one of the exceptional students among the first-year freshmen of Bernabeu. He graduated from a rather unimpressive high school, and with equally unimpressive grades. He was not the kind of student one would expect to rise to become a star. If not for Martyrus, he would still be one of the ordinary no-account, struggling to graduate college. Thanks to Martyrus careful guidance, Cao Yi's had since discovered and released his potential; he had even passed the Level-A survival test, a test that was dreaded by most students.
On second thought, Apache felt that he was not entirely different than Cao Yi. They were both "imperfect" in other's eyes: Cao Yi was too shy and too quiet, and therefore his talent was ignored by most schools; Apache had been a trouble maker, rebellious, and unruly. However, despite their shortcomings, Martyrus had taken them in, treated them like everyone else, and gave them a second chance to grow stronger and to release their potentials. No matter how supercilious Apache was, whenever he spoke with Martyrus, there was always a deep respect in his voice.
Apache seldom received favor from others, and on the rare occasions that he did, he always paid back ten fold. However, he felt that the help he had received from Martyrus was a favor that he would never be able to pay back.
Cao Yi had followed Martyrus's order to the letters. He fought extremely passively if he could be considered fighting at all. With speed on his side, Cao Yi dodged Wang Ben's attack while running around the arena like a nimble monkey.
Wang Ben didn't know how to deal with his opponent other than delivering punches that kept on missing the target. He felt that he was not losing the fight, but neither was he gaining any edge. Wang Ben's fist of the Racing Tiger was powerful, that is if he could hit the target.
Wang Ben was very confident about his endurance in a prolonged fight, but even then he didn't find that he had any advantage over his opponent regarding that aspect.
Although none of Bernabeu's student felt proud of their principal's tactics, they let it ride as they eagerly hoped for the victory.
This turn of event delivered a blow to Ayrlarng's morale. Both Ma Xiaoru and Hu Yangxuan's faces turned black, contemplating unwillingly about the dark future. Should Ayrlarng lose the fight, they would have no option other than transfer to Bernabeu as they had agreed.
"You bet, you pay." Such was life.
"This is absurd! This is... despicable!" Tita and Kyaero protested, but their voices were drawn by the louder and louder cheers from the students of Bernabeu.
Wang Ben didn't give up; instead, he carefully and patiently looked for an opening in his opponent's defense.
Martyrus, on the other hand, relaxed his body into his chair, he knew Cao Yi was a solid fighter, and he seldom made mistakes.
Cao Yi questioned his blind obedience that turned this fight into a cheap shot, but no one paid much attention to Cao Yi's feeling, which was written in plain view on his face.
He despised old fox's strategy and felt that it was a disgrace to an honorable and worthy opponent like Wang Ben. The fight felt like a gone-show to Cao Yi, and although he knew that he had the ability to fight back, all he could do was to drag this fight into a stalemate.
Cao Yi's lucky dodges were in part thanks to his tremendous power. Should anyone who did not possess the same level of strength had tried to mess around with Wang Ben, he or she would have already hammered into pulp under Wang Ben's fists.
The seemingly simple act of dodging attacks was actually very difficult if not suicidal. A simple mistake would force Cao Yi into a dead corner, and all his previous miraculous evasions would end in vain. However, in nearly twenty minutes, Cao Yi did not make even one of such mistakes.
Truth be told, this tournament should not have ended like this for both combatants were top notched and honorable fighters.
Despite his tremendous desire to fight fairly with Wang Ben, Cao Yi continued to carry out his orders, after all, the victory of the tournament was more important than his personal values.
Samantha started to come to terms with the reality. She first felt anxious, then hopeful, and then hopeless. Martyrus had calculated this move very carefully, and he eventually decided to let Cao Yi take on the duty. Even if Cao Yi were not able to score this round, he would still be able to drag this match into a draw.
A few moments had passed, and the same game of mice and cat was still playing in the arena. Apache felt bored, so he closed his eyes to doze off for a while. Although he could not bring himself to agree entirely with the old fox's method, he understood where he came from. Nonetheless, he still lamented over this wasted opportunity of fighting a worthy opponent.
Apache did not care much about the sense of justice and righteousness like he used to. Years of heartless slaughtering had taught him one of the most valuable lessons: becoming indifferent was a small price to pay to grow up.
Only five minutes left until the time was up!
Both Cao Yi and Wang Ben had spent most of their energy, and their moves started to become sluggish. However, both remained adamant in their course. Cao Yi dared not to be less careful and had executed every single move by the book, leaving no weak spots.
Wang Ben had cracked many tough nuts before, but none had been as slippery as Cao Yi. No matter how hard Wang Ben taunted him, Cao Yi didn't rise to the bait once.
Wang Ben felt the pressure as he knew that the game was near its end.
"Hehe, less than two minutes left," Ovlor said as he glanced at his watch. He could not help to marvel at Martyrus's brilliant strategy.
On the other side of the area, students from Ayrlarng looked depressed. None of them had thought that this much-anticipated fight would have consummated in such an anticlimactic end.
Wang Ben suddenly stopped his attack and casually relaxed his fingers and necks, he then said, "Hey you, stop jumping around for a second."
Although slightly annoyed by Wang Ben's obnoxious tone, Cao Yi remained distant with his opponent, fearing that it was another trick to taunt him into a confrontation.
"Martyrus is not as great as most people had told me. He is rather despicable, and same goes with his students."
Wang Ben said as he rolled his eyes at Cao Yi.
The audiences boiled over after they heard the conversation inside the arena. To some degree, Martyrus was a legend at Bernabeu. It was him who had brought the former B-Class school into the A-Class, and some might even say that Bernabeu was not that far behind an S-Class. He was the pride of Bernabeu's teachers and students. He gave students hope, especially those who were struggling to keep up.
Cao Yi could swallow any humiliation Wang Ben throw at him; he figured that it would be the fair price to pay in exchange for a secure victory; however, he could never allow anyone to humiliate his principal.
Having sensed the barely contained anger in Cao Yi's eyes, Wang Ben let the corner of his lips lift a little. "I say Bernabeu should just stay an A-Class, S-Class has no place for cowards like your lot."
Cao Yi turned his face toward Wang Ben, and for the first time, he stood upright in front of his opponent. He grinned, "I know what you are up to. But I can't allow anyone to talk about my principal like that. He is the BEST!"
Cao Yi finally unleashed his GN force and bore down on Wang Ben. Although there was only a minute left on the clock, he simply could not sit and take the insult directed at his beloved principal. Students at Bernabeu regarded their principal with profound respect and with uttermost admiration as if he was their father.
Apache also regained interest in the fight, and he sat up to watch the actions.
The outburst of Cao Yi's GN force had surprised even his classmates as its intensity seemed to rival that of Wang Ben.
No one, except for Martyrus had thought that Cao Yi had possessed such power. An ordinary student might spend three or four hours a day on training, but Cao Yi would spend his entire day in the training room. He had never taken a holiday, neither had he spent any time on entertainment. He followed a very strict routine to ensure enough rest for the next day of training.
Not only he had spent more time on training, but he was also much more focused while doing so; therefore his training was also more intense than other students. The combination of time and intensity eventually had transformed him into a top notch fighter of extraordinary power.
It was Martyrus who had given him the chance to become stronger.
Wang Ben smiled broadly, "Excellent! Prove yourself with your blade!"
Wang Ben channeled his GN force into his clenched fist and delivered a punch that was aimed squarely at his opponent.
This Gong-show finally took a dramatic turn.