Chapter 116: The Rumor
“Your attack clearly lacks penetrative force.”
“Don’t use that poison unless you want to send yourself to the hospital.”
“Adjust your posture and bend your knees to lower your center of balance.”
Professor Macabre was walking around her students while giving out helpful pointers on how to improve their poison manipulation techniques.
She was quite satisfied with the results of the current training camp so far as only three out of the ten students in her session had been eliminated.
This number was already much better than the previous years.
The hybrid girl Sophie in particular was her favourite student.
Professor Macabre was no stranger to the rumors that the former commander Duke Peterlor had sired a child with an alien race but she was simply curious rather than disgusted.
Regardless of the differing opinions on his character, no one could mock the great duke’s achievements in battle.
His ingenious tactics, personal strength and discipline won battle after battle against the Earth Federation’s enemies.
It was clear that his retirement had left a gaping hole in the upper echelons in the army that no one seemed to be able to fill.
Sophie concentrated as a thin wisp of poison gas circled around her palm in a counterclockwise motion.
The rest of the reddish-brown poison inside the vial soon flowed out of the container and joined the wisp.
Sophie exhaled gently as the cloud of gas rotated faster and faster until it resembled a miniature hurricane.
The cloud of gas shot directly forward and pierced the target dummy with frighteningly strong accuracy.
The target sizzled as the corrosive poison directly melted the areas where the gas had touched.
Her impressive achievements caused Sophie to feel a bit cocky, but her teacher soon burst her bubble of joy.
“Sixty percent of that poison attack leaked into the surrounding area,” Professor Macabre spoke sternly.
There were two main purposes to this exercise. The first purpose was to increase the strength and accuracy of the students when manipulating poisons on the battlefield.
The more important purpose was to control the leakage of poison attacks into the nearby environment.
Poison cultivators had a poor reputation as the less skilled members would launch attacks that would affect friend and foe alike.
In the Imperial Army there was a strict standard for poison cultivators to maintain as no one wanted an ally whose attacks would hurt them as well.
To use your qi to control every molecule of a poison gas so it does not diffuse into the surroundings was quite difficult.
Even Sophie who was the top student could only manage to control forty percent with her best efforts.
She was not disappointed by her apparent failure as years of working hard while being labelled as trash gave her a strong will.
Failure was nothing more than the stones building the road to success.
“Hey new bestie! Can you tell me how you can control your gas so well?” a puzzle voice spoke up from behind Sophie’s shoulder.
“Me as well please,” came another voice in a much softer tone.
Sophie turned around to see a Servie girl fluttering her wings gently while staring at her with starry eyes.
A hybrid boy with two bone-like wings was also not far behind. Unlike the Servie girl, he was looking at the ground to avoid Sophie’s gaze.
“Celestia and Rafessa…. what a surprise,” Sophie rolled her eyes and teased the duo gently.
Sophie had naturally gotten closer to her fellow classmates during the training camp and she was surprised to find out that she was quite popular!
She was on pretty good terms with Celestia who was well known as a girl with a love for gossip and rumors.
Celestia never spread malicious rumors or gossip personally but she loved to pick up information and share it with her friends.
Thanks to her, Sophie now knew some shocking secrets about the cough… cough…. private life of certain amorous students.
Somehow this troublesome Servie even had news about the scandals among the deans at Zrudread University and which assistants in the training camp were developing feelings for one another.
Sophie just had to bow down in admiration at her talent.
Forget cultivation…. this girl clearly was better suited for entertainment news!
Rafessa on the other hand, they were not particularly close, and he only seemed to approach her when he wanted help.
He kept to himself and did not interact with his other classmates, so Sophie figured that he probably had a timid personality.
At least she finally got his name after a week had passed.
“I wrapped my qi around the outer surface of the gas cloud,” Sophie demonstrated by opening up a new vial and pushing the smoke upwards.
An invisible force was coating the gas and it moved in a uniform direction until it hovered slowly over her palm.
“Then I followed the professor’s example and rotated it to build up momentum,” she explained.
The poison gas started to spin in a familiar pattern but an expression of dissatisfaction could be seen on Sophie’s face.
She could tell that while spinning the gas, tiny particles were breaking away and spreading out into the surroundings.
“I think we need to coat every molecule with our qi but that is definitely going to take a lot of practice.”
Rafessa nodded politely and said a few words of thanks before disappearing to the back of the class.
Celestia cheerfully spoke once the hybrid boy had left,
“Sophie you are a freaking lifesaver. I’m almost tempted to kiss you!” Celestia flew closer while puffing out her lips.
She was brushed aside immediately by Sophie.
“Just kidding. We all know that you only have eyes for that princess Cleo.” Celestia seemed unbothered by the rejection and zipped closer with an expression full of anticipation.
Sophie was trying to focus but the eager fairy staring at her intensely was disrupting her concentration.
“Fine…. what gossip do you want to share,” Sophie sighed in resignation. She wasn’t making much progress so taking a small break wouldn’t hurt.
Celestia quickly turned her head around to see if Professor Macabre was paying them any attention.
Their teacher was currently helping out some students at the back of the class so now was as good a time as any.
“One of my sources told me……