Chapter 107: The First Challenge
“Come on maggots this is your last chance,” Instructor Selvon placed his hands behind his back and continued to stare intensely at the rest of the students.
“Anyone? Any brave souls?” he asked one more time.
Sophie could see Astrid in the distance try to open her mouth to talk but she was immediately silenced by Qiana who pinched her furiously.
Selvon waited until a few more minutes had passed before speaking once more,
“The first challenge is going to be a simple one as I am feeling in a good mood tonight. All you have to do is pick a partner and run laps around the camp.”
“Each team will be ranked based on the furthest distance travelled and the unlucky teams at the bottom may face elimination.”
Cleo frowned as this challenge would be heavily biased towards physically gifted cultivators or those who trained in body enhancement techniques.
Being a mech controller meant that her mental force was quite impressive but in terms of physique…. she was quite average.
She was not the only one with concerns as other students whispered among themselves.
No one expected that the very first night of the training camp would begin the elimination process.
Selvon observed the confident smirks on some of the more athletic students’ faces and could not help but suppress a laugh.
Did these greenhorns truly think this test was only about endurance and strength?
“Are you maggots waiting for a fucking invitation? Move your asses now!” Instructor Selvon roared.
Forty-nine teams would consist of two members with the exception of one team that would have three since a certain student was currently in the infirmary.
The assistants at his side moved towards the crowd of students with their tablets to register the teams.
“My beautiful consort, will you escort me through this harsh trial?” Cleo gently teased Sophie as they went to register.
“Of course, darling, but I would like a special reward later,” Sophie’s eyes gleamed as she leaned closer and whispered in Cleo’s ear.
Cleo immediately flushed bright red as she did not expect her innocent girlfriend to make such a suggestive response.
Sophie was slowly getting used to Cleo’s habit of teasing and was now able to respond with some flirting of her own.
The duo giggled and appeared more relaxed than the other students who had tense expressions on their faces as they moved around trying to pick a suitable teammate.
Many students were still choosing their partners so the assistant closest to Sophie was currently unoccupied.
They approached the friendly looking Mendolesa warrior who was meticulously checking the list of students on his tablet.
“Names please,” he spoke in a bored tone as they came closer.
“Sophie Peterlor and Cleo Sisrelis,” Sophie replied.
The Mendolesa warrior typed out their names on his tablet and handed two tracker pins to Sophie and Cleo.
“Your team number is twenty. Go to the entrance of the camp and wait for the rest of the teams,” he pointed in a certain direction and started to help the next team that arrived.
Cleo pinned the tracker at the side of her hip with practised ease and helped Sophie put the tracker on as she was less familiar with the technology.
They were not the first team to arrive at the entrance of the camp and more than a few teams were waiting patiently while chatting among themselves.
“Man, my wings are going to freaking hurt after flying lap after lap,” a Servie complained to her partner.
They were both dressed in mini uniforms with special holes for their translucent wings and their fairy- like appearances.
Servies had multi coloured eyes that sparkled like jewels with pale almost translucent skin that made them seem like fragile porcelain dolls.
Sophie secretly thought that they were very cute.
“I just hate that we had to wake up at midnight. Couldn’t we just do this in the morning?” Sophie joined the conversation with a friendly smile.
“Right! And the lack of access to the virtual net is killing me,” the other Servie girl was happy to talk to another student about her suffering.
“I just started watching a new soap opera and I can’t binge it anymore!”
“My name is Misha, and this is my partner Hazel,” she introduced herself.
“Hi! I’m Sophie and this is my girlfriend Cleo,” Sophie replied.
Cleo gave a polite nod towards the two Servies.
“You guys are cute together,” Hazel shot a look of envy towards the pair.
Sophie could not spot Qiana or Astrid, so she spent some time talking to her new acquaintances.
Maybe it was because she was no longer in the toxic environment of the high noble society on Gaia as Sophie found herself more confident in starting conversations with new people.
Plus, it was a big help to have Cleo at her side.
Hazel and Misha did not possess the high enough mana talent to warrant a spot at Mer University, but their other cultivation techniques were impressive enough to be offered a spot at Zrudread University.
Misha specialized in hidden weapons and needles while Hazel spent most of her time mastering ice qi techniques.
The bleeping noise echoed around the camp as Instructor Selvon once again placed a megaphone to his lips.
“Is this a fucking vacation? Any student not at the entrance in three minutes will be directly eliminated!”
The remaining students hurriedly grouped up with any other candidates who were available and soon the entrance to the camp started to get crowded.
“Is that the last team?” Selvon asked one of the assistants.
“Yes sir,” came the prompt response.
“Alright maggots. Start to run!” Selvon bellowed.
The length of the entire circumference of the camp was about five kilometers which seemed like an easy task for cultivators.
The problem was that no one knew how many laps they had to run.
Misha and Hazel waved goodbye before soaring into the air and zipping ahead.
The Mendolesa warriors got on all fours and started to run like a pack of wolves while the humanoid students also dashed forward without hesitation.
“No need to waste our energy by running fast,” Cleo whispered, and Sophie nodded in agreement.
The other students seemed to treat this challenge as a sprint when it was more akin to a marathon in Sophie’s opinion.
Sophie bent her knees and started to breath deeply as she opened her meridians to allow qi to flow through her body channels.
The familiar rush of power was almost addicting, and her golden eyes started to flicker with a scarlet hue.
“Let’s do this.”