191 The Gap
Captain Cao experienced the hellish drill for a first since his last drill when he just entered the military. Hellish was the right choice of word for this level of the drill. If when he entered the military was a level 3 hellish drill, then this was a level 9 hellish drill.
They ran non-stop from one village to another village. Of course, it was not they did not have a rest, but the rest was barely– No, the rest was simply not enough. They barely stabilized the breathing before they were forced to follow the elite squad to run.
At first, they were simply running, but when they started attacking the Level 2 Ogre Village, they had to join the fight as well. Of course, the fight was not that hard or even life-threatening since what they had to face was one or three stage-1 ogres at the maximum. Everything else was slaughtered by the elite squad in no time before they had to run to the next village.
His subordinates were complaining about the lack of rest, but when they heard that they would be left behind if they took the rest more than the time given to them. That meant they would not be able to gain Skill Point.
Even though most of them were not aware of the use of the skill point, they knew the importance of it. It was something that was normally hard to get even as a reward. Captain Cao and the new recruit forced themselves to follow despite not knowing the reason why they had to rush it.
[You have destroyed Level 3 Ogre Village!]
[You acquired 3 Skill Points!]
This was the twentieth Level 3 Ogre Village. Captain Cao had reached his limit as the ogre was getting tougher to kill too. The Tarriors were much better, they just ran out of breath. The moment the notification rang in their heads, they immediately sat down and straightened their strained legs.
"I… am glad… don't have my armor… and shield…" Fan Rui sprawled on the ground. Bathing in the morning sunlight, his mouth was opening and closing like a koi out of the water. The thought of bringing a few kilos of armor and shield brought horror to everyone.
"Why are we rushing it, anyway? Is this another test for us?" A soldier that sat close to the two voiced his thoughts. That was what everyone wanted to know, including Fan Rui.
"No, we are racing against time. Have you heard about the 9-hour cycle?" While stabilizing their breath, Wei Xi came to them, "You have twenty minutes to rest! We will attack the last village of the ogre after twenty minutes,"
When the soldiers heard that, they were relieved. Before they could only get five minutes of rest before they had to run again. This time they got twenty minutes before the final battle.
Usually, Wei Xi would leave after announcing the rest time. This time he walked toward Cao Yuntai. Under the soldier's gaze, a set of armor and a shield appeared in his hand. He put the bronze-colored plate armor and shield in front of Cao Yuntai.
"This is your equipment, we are going to fight for real, get ready to face stage-2 ogres!" The next announcement caused the soldiers to tense slightly.
"Man! You are a monster! It's three hours of running and it's as if nothing for you," Cao Yuntai admired his friend while picking up the armor.
[Bronze Plate Armor]
Bonus Attribute: +20 Vitality
Bonus Attribute: +20 Vitality
The equipment was much better than the one Lin Duan gave to them. The one Lin Duan gave was Tier F equipment while they got Tier E+ equipment by joining the empire.
"Haha, I am still nothing compared to my Boss!" Wei Xi just laughed at the compliment, "Nah, if you are a monster, then our Boss is the Boss Monster!" As soon as Cao Yuntai finished his words, a cold voice rebuked him, "Watch your words! He is not a monster!"
Everyone looked toward the voice, Li Na was the one who spoke. Fan Rui flinched back that the cute and petite girl could be this cold. The girl looked scary enough when she was angry, added with the five meters tall bear in the background, it was enough to intimidate the soldier, including Captain Cao.
He broke into a cold sweat, not expecting the girl would be angry over this.
"Hehe, calm down girl. He was complimenting Boss, it was just a metaphor to praise Boss," Wei Xi immediately meddled while winking his right eye to Cao Yuntai, "A-ah, yes. That was a compliment that the Boss is so strong,"
Li Na snorted, "There many choices of words aside from monster to compliment," she then turned away, continuing to distribute the armor and the shield.
"Hah, I just joined yesterday, and here I am already offending one superior," he regarded Li Na as his superior since the girl had a special power. Someone within her caliber was not just a normal Tarrior.
"She's actually kind, but you should be careful if you want to make a joke about Boss. She's one and the other one is him," he pointed at Lu An who always followed Tang Shaoyang, "Li Na will just let you be with a scold, but you may get a punch if he finds you 'disrespect' the Boss," Wei Xi grinned as he tapped his friend's shoulder.
"He and Li Na adore the Boss more than anyone else, just be careful around them," That was the last piece of advice from Wei Xi before he distributed the armor and the shield.
Captain Cao nudged Fan Rui who had his eyes locked on Li Na, "I advise you to give up, young'un. She has her eyes on our Boss, don't try to compete with someone you could never win! There are many other fishes in the sea!"
"Why? Boss already has two stunning beauties on his side–" Captain Cao cut in before the young man who did not want to give up could finish his words, "And that girl could be his third, that red-haired beauty there could be fourth!" He pointed at Liang Suyin who was conversing with the other girls.
Liang Suyin was a mature beauty type like Zhang Mengyao and Kang Xue. For a woman, she fell into their Boss's type, staying away from her might be the best choice for them. A large breast, white-milky face, and long legs, a complete package he could say.
"Unless if you think you can bear our Boss, then you may try," when he finished those words, a disappointed sigh could be heard from the soldiers behind him. It was normal for the soldiers to fantasize a beauty, but better not cross the line, he thought.
"Let's talk about the 9-hour cycle, I thought you want to know why we are in a rush?" Captain Cao immediately shifted the topic.
Twenty minutes later…
Captain Cao stood in the front, they were ready to attack the Ogre Capital. He stood and cast [Basic Detection] to find what he would fight.
[Ogre Tribe Capital]
Lord: Stage-6 Three-Headed Ogre
Population: 600x Stage-2 Ogre Warriors, 300x Stage-3 Ogre Champions, 75x Stage-4 Two-Headed Ogres, 7x Stage-5 Two-Headed Ogre Breakers
Cao Yuntai sucked a cold breath when he saw the information. So far, the strongest ogre he fought was Stage-3 Ogre Champion. He never met the stage-4 ogre and stage-5 ogre, let alone stage-5 ogre.
The list made him nervous, even the easy-going Fan Rui got nervous, "Can we win the battle?" He questioned himself.
While they were nervous, their Boss did not share the same emotion. Captain Cao and the ex-soldiers saw a bear and a man charged toward the capital. This led Captain Cao to confusion, 'Huh!? Aren't we attacking together? Why don't Wei Xi or General Zhang commence the attack?'
He was confused but soon he got the answer. An explosion sounded, and the older man immediately looked forward. Two watchtowers were blown away, it did not stop there as two big paws made of blue fire smashed to the remaining two watchtowers.
Four watchtowers disappeared from their sight, burned and destroyed. It was as if the show was not over yet, he saw the ground split, causing the gate to collapse. Less than ten seconds, the seemingly firm defense was collapsed by a pair of a man and a bear. The bear and the man charged into the Ogre Capital.
"You should give up, Young Man! You can't win against your rival," Cao Yuntai did not forget to nudge the dejected Fan Rui.
After that, General Zhang led the force to enter the capital. While charging forward, Cao Yuntai saw the young man called Lu An flashed, his movement was too fast to see with the naked eyes.
'Should not joke about Boss in front of him, noted,' the captain secretly remained himself.
Cao Yuntai led his men in a formation. As soon as they entered the capital, they were greeted by a swarm of stage-2 ogres. However, he did not see Lu An, the bear, and the Boss.
"Shield Up!" Everyone followed his order, "Thrust!" They thrust the spear forward, "Advance!" The second line advanced and thrust their spears forward, "Push!" Then the front line pushed the ogre with their shields, "Advance!" The second line advanced.
Captain Cao repeated the formation, and fortunately, the swarm was not that strong. They kept advancing, killing the ogres while pushing the swarm back.
Cao Yuntai thought this would become a long battle since stage-4 ogre, stage-5 ogre, and stage-6 ogre were involved. But those thoughts did not last long when he heard a notification five minutes after they entered the battle.
[You have destroyed Ogre Capital!]
[You acquired 20 Skill Points!]
Once again, Captain Cao realized the gap between them and their Boss was akin to sky and earth, "But we made the right choice," he mumbled.