386 The Youth Of Supernatural 1
Riveting Night nodded towards the 1,000 members of the trainees under her care. They were all beaten and battered, looking like they had walked through a cyclone and lived to tell the tale, but their expressions were lit up in pride and glee at their own accomplishment.
Within 1 day of entering the game, they had all climbed to level 10!
Of course, when one remembered that Draco had not only done the same, but even reached level 52 in mere hours, it really dampened this accomplishment to the point where it became insignificant…
Luckily, these fellows were unaware! Thank the stars for that, or their contentment at their prowess would devolve into stage 10 depression.
"Not bad. You all managed to survive and actually pass my second test. You only have your leader to thank for that." She said as her ever-dark hood turned to face the brown-skinned archer.
Tunder Power bowed with respect. "Nothing but my bare minimum duty."
Riveting Night chuckled lightly. "Is it? I think you all know the answer to that."
The silence held on for a few moments due to the awkwardness between the two parties. They had ostracized this fellow during their shared time in Supernatural and he in turn had looked down upon them for their relatively pampered upbringing. Nevertheless, he had helped them all to pass this test and they had temporarily come together seamlessly.
As they always say, nothing could bring humans together like a common enemy. All past feuds would be put aside and new bonds would be created in the heat of battle, forged through honor and valor not even decades of training could stand against the power of Nakama.
However, once that enemy was eventually defeated, what happened then? New feuds would be created or old feuds would be unearthed and resumed. After all, humans just couldn't live without some form of conflict.
If we couldn't tear apart an enemy, why not tear apart a friend?
Such was the situation of this group. While fighting against hordes of monsters, they had created a large-scale raid party and fought the endless waves off systematically and with great skill.
In the heat of battle, they had listened to Tunder's sharp commands fueled by his monstrous insight, which led to great results. They had quickly gotten a rudimentary grasp on skills, how to use them, and what to do when they were on cooldown.
They had also gotten a better idea of their stamina or mana, despite those bars not being visibly represented in Update 1. As was normal with humans, especially elite ones, their rate of adaptation was terrifying.
It had taken then a full day of almost endless fighting, rotating their people in order to conserve stamina, mana, and prevent death, but they had done it, and they were proud of it.
Riveting Night wasn't proud of them though, as her standards were high as the heavens. However, she cut them some slack, at least among plebeian players, their achievement was pretty good.
In fact, she quietly let the mounting tension between them build, watching on coldly as they hesitated to do the obvious. The more time they wasted, the colder and more murderous her aura became until they all began to sweat.
They knew what they had to do, but pride and unwillingness existed on both sides. And as they continued to waste time, their Lady Boss looked to be on the verge of sending them home, meaning an end to their adventure here, no matter what achievement they might have made.
Eventually, one of the other groups stepped forward. He was a tall fellow with sharp brows, a thin nose, and almond-like eyes, which made him quite feminine in looks, or if not so, at least a supreme pretty boy that would be everyone's lover in jail.
He was the second-best member of their group, and the one who had spoken back to Riveting Night earlier. Despite his looks, he was quite a feisty and headstrong person, always believing himself to be right and superior to all others.
Yet today, the unthinkable happened. He faced Tunder, the man he had fought against for most of their teen to adult lives as he sought to destroy the fellow's prestige to raise his own, and bowed.
"I am sorry, Brother Ilverios. For everything."
His apology was short and seemingly incompetent, but there was a lot of baggage between the two that was covered in this short apology to the point that Tunder was left dazed beyond comprehension.
Furthermore, after seeing the most opinionated of them all bow his head to Tunder one by one the rest followed along. They all copied the same apology style, but their sincerity was valid.
Tunder Power felt many emotions course through his head and chest at that moment. He had no idea why they were doing this, and what had changed between them.
Of course, a person like Tunder would have a hard time seeing the scenario clearly as an involved party, but Riveting Night - despite her lack of knowledge on the inner workings and drama of this group - as a bystander could see it clearly.
Before, they had all seen Tunder as a loner, an outcast. Sure, he might be talented and been blessed keen insight, but they too were talents not seen easily, the best of the young generation.
He had been a mere rival to them. A stepping stone they would eventually overcome in time thanks to their backgrounds in the organization.
However, after taking charge today, they had come to respect his sharp mind and keen eye, as well as his immense talent and skill. They no longer saw him as an outcast, but as a leader, someone wise and skilled enough for them to obey on the battlefield.
As such, it was relatively easy for them to break their hesitation and bow their heads. Now, it was up to the Tunder fellow to make the wise choice.
Riveting Night turned to watch him with cold amusement, wondering how he would respond. Spurn them and create a rift so deep that no second chance would ever fix it? Or accept them and forgo the life of a loner and become a leader, which - unfortunately - went against his true nature?
To them, this was a pinnacle moment in their lives that would decide their way forward. To Riveting Night, it was a melodrama that was a tier above most she had seen before, which merely piqued her interest.
Tunder Power came down from his shock and gazed at the fellows before him silently. He might not be a bystander, but his sharp wit was able to allow him to pierce the veil and see what this all entailed.
He sighed internally at this sight. From his early adulthood till just a few seconds ago, he had always fantasized about this moment, when he would make them all eat their words and bow their heads in shame for the treatment he had wrongfully suffered.
He had thought up various scenarios for when that time arrived. Whether he might be wicked and reject their apology, forgive everything and accept their loyalty, stay cold by ignoring them altogether or act cruel by pretending to accept it, only to stab them in the back as revenge at an opportune moment.
So many possible outcomes he had thought up, yet his carefully crafted plans fled his mind in the heat of the moment. Instead, he found himself just following the motions of what he truly wanted to so at this point in time.
"Brothers and sisters, please raise your heads. Even though we had a rough patch for a while, we are ultimately still the lifeblood of our organization, making us family in the end. Extended as it may be, it is a bond nonetheless, and squabbles are normal in such relationships."
"As far as I know, it was just mutual dislike and rivalry, not intense hate or utter derision. It was also never close to killing intent or murderous plans. There is no serious grudge between us, so I have no intention of maintaining the status quo anymore."
Tunder Power spoke his mind slowly, and his mates rose to their proper positions. Yet, there was only a slight smile on their faces, neither contentment nor ecstasy, which surprised Riveting Night and Tunder.
"We know what you're going to say next. Even though you've forgiven us and want to wipe the slate, you cannot lead us for whatever reason?" A relatively attractive girl of the bunch said, who happened to be the third most talented, right after the pretty boy.
Tunder was startled, but smiled wryly and nodded. "Pretty much. As much as leading my own group feels great, especially a group so full of talent and skill that everything is smooth, I'd much rather prefer striking out alone… I'm sorry."
The pretty boy laughed. "Well, it came from your mouth. Since that's the case, no one can say I'm power-hungry for declaring myself the de-facto leader! Haha!"
Tunder was left speechless by this guy. So, it turned out that his angle was to claim leadership by cessation…
However, Tunder smiled and patted him on his shoulder. "If anyone can lead this group, it'll be you Sosato."
Sosato's laughter stopped as his expression became complex. He just nodded lightly to Tunder Power and clapped him on the back as well.
As the air of camaraderie, new friendships, and brotherhood rang in the air, a silent clap pulled them out of their little zone as they remembered where they were… and who they were with.
"Lovely. Absolutely lovely. I hope the drama has come to an end? Or would you all like me to wait further while you share your backstories and goals to the tune of sad music?" Riveting Night asked coldly, her suffocatingly evil aura pressing down on the group.
Their terror and horror rose greatly as they realized their folly, but they had been too caught up in the moment to realize it. Daring to ignore a Superior Lady while she was magnanimously training them… just how foolish had they been?
However, Riveting Night's momentum subsided as she simply faced away from the group. "Follow me. It's about time we returned to see the progress of your lesser talented fellows."
The 1,000 trainees shared a look and sighed with relief. To describe Riveting Night's aura as chilling was a joke. It was like that feeling when your house was pitch black and you could hear footsteps pressing on the wood of your bedroom while you cowered under the sheets, knowing that something must be out there in the dark and slowly approaching where you lay.
They hurriedly followed after Riveting Night as they traversed the Field Zones they had already cleared. Even though they were no longer harangued by monsters as Riveting Night had used some form of a repellent scroll, they were still chilled to see the masses of them lurking just out of sight.
Even with their Rank 1 class just acquired since most of them were between level 10-13, enough mosquitoes could drain a Dragon to death of his blood. Fighting against this horde would NOT be as fun as it was before.
In fact, the trainees realized that Riveting Night must have done something to limit the number of monsters, because those that they could see now were more than 5 times what they had faced before.
Soon enough, they returned to the Opdia's Marsh Field Zone where their group had started out from. There, Riveting Night and her elite group saw the rest of the groups arranged behind their respective instructors.
They also reacted when they saw Riveting Night appear with the final batch. The instructors, who were Rina, Boyd, Kiran, Cobra, Uno, Loving Aunt, Warm Spring… and Panty King as well as Wee Cunt…?
Fuck, what were those two clowns doing here? One was a basic member and the other an advanced one. They were far off from core members, so how had they managed to tag-along and even net themselves the positions as trainers?
No, fuck, how good was their training anyway? Did they just regale the members with lewd or foolish stories while they lazed about? Or did they actually instruct them with meaningful lessons and a hard hand?
Clearly, Riveting Night was confident enough in them to give them such a post and not even check up on them when she arrived, leaving everyone not a part of Umbra speechless…