A cry of agony sounded right as Wang Chong slew the first tiger. On the other end, Su Hanshan managed to kill a tiger as well.
Unlike Wang Chong, Su Hanshan wasn’t wielding any weapon. With just the strength of his bare fists, he slain a powerful tiger that seemed as large as a small hill.
And not too long after the first kill, just as Wang Chong was turning his gaze over, Su Hanshan’s palm flew outward, sending another eight hundred jin heavy tiger flying with his immense might. Boom! It crashed heavily onto the floor.
“That fellow… What fearsome strength!”
Witnessing this sight, Wang Chong was astonished. Having crossed blows with one of the tigers himself, he had a first-hand experience of how powerful these tigers were. Yet, Su Hanshan was actually able to knock them flying!
Clearly, the other party’s brute strength was far beyond his.
On top of that, judging from his battling style, his Origin Energy seemed to possess an extremely destructive nature. This nature allowed his force to seep into the body of his enemies, destroying them from within.
Thus, even without a weapon in hand, Su Hanshan was capable of killing these tigers. This was evident in how the second tiger was staggering even after climbing to its feet. Clearly, it had suffered immense damage within!
“As expected of the future Tiger of the Battlefield!”
Seeing this sight, Wang Chong suddenly understood why Su Hanshan possessed such astounding prowess in tearing apart army formations from the front.
But this wasn’t the time to be pondering over it. It didn’t take long for Wang Chong to find his hands full again.
A frenzied wind blew from the door, sweeping debris of the smashed tables and chairs into the air. Carried along with this gust of wind was an even denser stench of blood.
Deafening roars reverberated in the air as five massive tigers dashed forward from beyond the door, competing with one another to get the first blood.
“What’s going on? How can there be so many tigers on this mountain?”
Wang Chong was taken aback.
Kunwu, Shenwei, and Longwei were built on the mountains. There were many ferocious beasts and venomous snakes living in the mountain forests, and the north of the capital happened to be the royal family’s hunting ground. Could it be that the tigers there had escaped here?
Wang Chong could instinctively sense that something was amiss.
But he didn’t have the luxury to organize his thoughts to make sense of the situation at the moment. With five tigers leaping straight for him, Wang Chong suddenly found himself facing five opponents of the same level, or perhaps, even a little stronger than him.
This time, with the Wootz steel sword in his hand, Wang Chong didn’t bother dodging. Executing the Single Character Consecutive Slash, he dashed into the group of tigers.
Complementing the Single Character Consecutive Slash with his Hexad Arms Technique had increased the speed at which he could swing the Wootz steel sword up a notch. The innumerable afterimages produced by the blade made it difficult for one to discern the trajectory of the sword.
A cold gleam flashed across, and a crimson glow spilled in the air. With two swift consecutive slashes, two massive tigers were killed. However, in the same period of time, another three tigers had managed to close the distance from Wang Chong, putting him in their attacking range. Each of them struck out with their immense and powerful claws from different directions. If any of those claws were to land on him, his skull would be crushed instantly.
But fortunately, Wang Chong managed to avoid all three of them. The set of movements that made up the Single Character Consecutive Slash was profound, making it difficult for one to even discern whether he was advancing or retreating.
With just a millimeter of difference each, Wang Chong manage to dodge all three of their attacks.
After all three attacks missed, the three tigers flew into a rage. But this time, they didn’t go for Wang Chong but Su Hanshan instead.
“I don’t like anyone interfering in my battles!”
As though knowing what Wang Chong was intending to do, Su Hanshan uttered coldly. The atmosphere suddenly froze. After the other party’s cold words, how could Wang Chong possibly step forward to help him now?
However, Wang Chong didn’t have the time to catch a breather either. Yet another three tigers came flying toward him. Yes, ‘flying’! This time, Wang Chong clearly saw that the tigers didn’t leap in on their own accord. Rather, they were being tossed in by a compelling force from the outside.
Different from the others, when these three tigers landed on the floor, a clear metallic sound echoed in the air.
With the dim illumination from the night sky, Wang Chong could vaguely see that the three tigers were equipped with a thick layer of armor.
How could wild tigers be fitted with heavy armor?
No matter how slow-witted Wang Chong could be, it was apparent that it wasn’t a natural phenomenon that these starving tigers had appeared on the mountain peak today. Someone had intentionally thrown them into their living quarters.
Wang Chong bellowed through gritted teeth, his voice echoing crisply in the night sky. There was only one person here who would do such stuff. In fact, to curb him, the other party even equipped the tigers in sturdy armor.
Wang Chong would never believe that this wasn’t the doing of Zhao Qianqiu.
As expected, as soon as Wang Chong’s voice echoed, a familiar hearty laughter sounded beyond the room.
“Lad, you sure are sharp-witted. However, even though you have noticed me, it doesn’t change a thing at all. I’ve already told you that you’ll be different from the others since you are my student.”
“As my student, no matter what circumstances you are under, you must maintain a high level of wariness to deal with any danger that could be thrown your way, be it whether it is from your enemies or your own allies. This is the first lesson I’ll be teaching you!”
Amidst the darkness, an intense wind blew. Zhao Qianqiu’s hearty laughter sounded exceptionally arrogant. Even though he was discovered, he didn’t feel embarrassed or guilty in the least.
As for whether he would step in to save them, given his response, it was clear that he had no intention of stopping or intervening.
“The training camp is a preparation for your future endeavors on the battlefield. I advise you to get used to the feeling of being surrounded by danger, and that your life is merely hanging by a thread. Right, I forgot to inform you all. The training camps have a death quota as well. This is an edict from the Sage Emperor!”
These words weren’t just directed to Wang Chong. Without a doubt, Wang Chong and Su Hanshan weren’t the only ones affected by this sudden assault.
As soon as Zhao Qianqiu finished his words, the three massive armored beasts before Wang Chong raised their heads simultaneously. Along with another three more ferocious tigers that were just sent in, they stared ravenously at Wang Chong and Su Hanshan.
All six massive tigers pounced out at the same instant, and at the very moment when they left the ground, Wang Chong noticed that these tigers were actually executing a movement technique.
Tigers that were capable of martial arts? Not to mention, they were armored as well!
In that instant, Wang Chong shuddered. Zhao Qianqiu’s means were indeed frightening. To think that he would go to such an extent just to deal with Su Hanshan and him!
Wang Chong would never believe that these tigers weren’t enlightened by some martial arts expert.
These massive tigers had sharp fangs and powerful claws. If one were to be struck by those, one would surely be severely injured. What Zhao Qianqiu said about there being a death quota didn’t seem like a joke at this moment.
Without any time to think, Wang Chong immediately raised his sword and executed the Single Character Consecutive Slash. Just that this time, he didn’t take the initiative to charge at the tigers. Instead, he swiftly retreated backward.
With the arrival of another six tigers—counting in the three that Su Hanshan was currently tangled with—there were a total of nine beasts in the room at the moment.
Zhao Qianqiu was indeed a madman.
Under such circumstances, even though Wang Chong was confident in his own strength, he didn’t dare to face all of them recklessly.
With Wang Chong’s retreat, two of the unarmored tigers immediately rushed to join the melee around Su Hanshan while the remaining four continued charging toward Wang Chong.
Tiger roars could be heard throughout the entire White Tiger Peak. All of the recruits—Wang Chong, Su Hanshan, Zhao Jingdian, Zhuang Zhengping, Chi Weisi, and the others—found themselves plunged into a bitter battle.
“Hehe, your survival depends on yourself. Don’t blame me if you really end up becoming a meal for those tigers.”
At this moment, the fully armored Zhao Qianqiu was currently standing beneath a massive Chinese scholar tree that had a trunk so thick it would take numerous people to form a circle around it.
He stood above a great boulder which was surrounded by a thick layer of fallen leaves.
And before him, a row of cages could be seen.
These cages were forged of Xuan metal, which was renowned for its exceptional sturdiness. However, the dozen metal cages were all been opened, and the beasts that had been inside a moment ago were all tossed into the recruits’ living quarters by Zhao Qianqiu.
Hearing the panicked voices and the sounds of objects shattering in the three rooms, deep pleasure and enjoyment appeared on Zhao Qianqiu’s face.
He had obtained these tigers from the Sage Emperor’s private garden and the military.
In order to ‘educate’ his students, Zhao Qianqiu was unwilling to spare any effort.
“The first thing one has to do when killing others is to avoid being killed. If you aren’t even capable of survival, there is nothing I can teach you about the Art of Commanding. Regardless of how you do it, find some way to live on. This isn’t just a mere test.”
Zhao Qianqiu smiled with contentment as he listened to the intense fighting and the roaring of the tigers in the three rooms.
What he wanted to groom weren’t experts but soldiers who could survive tragic battles.
Ü-Tsang, Eastern and Western Turkic Khaganate, Goguryeo, Abbasid Caliphate, Charax Spasinu, Mengshe Zhao… Only the true elites in the army could sense that the empire was surrounded by danger.
If one couldn’t even survive the assault from a bunch of tigers, it would be even less possible for one to survive the treacherous battlefield. Thus, Zhao Qianqiu wasn’t worried about any deaths occurring at all.
‘Lying beneath a successful general are countless withered corpses’, the path of becoming a marshal was, in truth, a trial of defying death!
Time slowly passed. Zhao Qianqiu continued waiting patiently outside.
A cry of agony sounded from Zhao Jingdian’s room. It didn’t come from Zhao Jingdian but the person who was living with him, the one who had argued vehemently just so to avoid sharing a room with Su Hanshan. He became the very first victim of the tigers.
After which, pained cries rose from Chi Weisi and Zhuang Zhengping’s room as well. Fortunately, it wasn’t the sound a death throe, but still, it seemed like one of them was severely wounded.
Not too long later, some dull groans also sounded from Wang Chong and Su Hanshan’s room.
Hearing all those sounds, Zhao Qianqiu nodded in satisfaction. The tigers that he had gone through great trouble to obtain had displayed their might. Whether his students could survive this night or not would depend on their own capabilities.