A large group of youths approached a certain room, there were many people close to the walls acting as guards. Before they were let in everyone was searched thoroughly. The atmosphere was tense as everyone was searched, no one knew what the fuss was all about they were just ordered to come here by the top brass.
These people were the two hundred Qi condensation expedition participants that were chosen through the tournament. The oldest one from them was twenty, while the youngest was Zhang Xue that was fifteen. Everyone here was devoted to the clan, no one with a shifty character would actually come this far. All of the people that valued their life more than they valued their clan, were already thinking about what they would do when the expedition probably failed again. It wouldn’t be hard to leave the city on the pretense of a journey or business and just wait it out, some people like that were already packing up.
After everyone went through the check they were guided further into another room, there were a lot of stairs going down. They went further into the inner sanctum and into places not many people had been before. They were led into the dimensional regalia room, Zhang Jin was already waiting for everyone. Zhang Dong could give partial ownership to his magical treasure, he was kind of the administrator who could give moderator spots to other cultivators.
The medallion was hidden in the middle of the room, without giving off any immortal treasure fluctuations no one would be able to tell that the dimensional treasure was there. Most would just assume that the whole room was the portal to the separate small dimension. Everyone had already been given the finger poke of pain to the forehead by Zhang Dong while he was passing down the cultivation knowledge a few days ago. He would give an update about that a month later, but for now, he wanted to focus on his cultivation progress while everyone else did the same.
“Everyone gather up, anything that will happen in these next two months can not leave this room, is that understood?”
“YES, GRAND ELDER!”
Everyone responded while shouting out loud, but thanks to the silencing formations nothing could be heard outside. Zhang Jin looked at the promising youths in front of him, his heart started hurting as he knew that he was sending these poor children to a place they would probably never return from. He was hoping that somehow his grandson could pull off a miracle as he did before, but he was a special case, these youths were far, far weaker.
“I won’t bore you with a long speech, but know this. A crisis can be an opportunity in disguise! Now go train well and train hard, the Zhang Clan is depending on your success.”
Zhang Jin waved his hand, the youths in the room could detect a vortex forming in the middle of the room. They were all prompted toward it by the grand elder and started vanishing into the pocket dimension one after another. After everyone was in, the old man gave out a sigh and returned upstairs. He had other things to tend to, there were many things to prepare like what he would do to protect the city while his grandson was outside. Even if he returned victoriously, some enemies might try to pull a fast one while the strongest cultivator from the city is away.
“It’s always the old farts like me that are left in the end…”
The grand elder wouldn’t be taking part in the training, he was just there to let people in and out. The twenty formation establishments officers were already in the pocket dimension getting ready to introduce themselves to their squad of ten. They would be responsible for their formation training along with some helpers to do the dirty work. There was only one problem with the teams, Zhang Jie demanded to have her kids in the same squad. She whined her motion to her grandpa, he had the freedom in choosing as their Patriarch left it to him.
There was a conflict of interest if you had a close family member in places like the military. Others might see their comrades in arms getting preferential treatment which might lower the morale or cause fights. It was slightly different here though, as this was a clan where everyone was kind of related. There were cousins and siblings everywhere though most of the ties run quite thin. After some deliberation, Zhang Jin agreed.
A crowd soon appeared, the cultivators looked around in astonishment none of them had ever been to a pocket dimension before. Their eyes scanned the surroundings, there wasn’t that much in here besides the big building but they could also see other training areas getting set up. They could see some training dummies for close combat and long combat practice. Some spots were devoid of grass and they had symbols written down on the ground, these were to aid people in their formation training, helping them remember the spots they were supposed to stand in.
There were some impromptu tents set up, with things like ‘Armory’ or ‘Cafeteria’ written on it. There wasn’t much time to construct a proper building and the large ‘dorm’ in the middle only had space for the living quarters and nothing besides that. The twenty officers greeted their soldiers as they entered, the juniors quickly straightening up as they saw their elders.
“Listen up everyone, when you hear your name you will go to your assigned team. You will be given further instructions by your team’s lieutenant.”
The youths looked at each other, one of them raised a hand after the elder was done talking. The elder in question gave a nod, letting the junior speak out.
“Um, excuse me elder Zhi… what’s a lieutenant?”
The people here didn’t really have any military ranks, what did you need an army for if one guy could just bulldoze through a city. The clans mostly took the form of the soldiers and they had their inner family ties and rankings, the sects had all the outer and inner disciple designations. There was no organized military structure around here, most cities were self-sufficient city-states with the clans acting as the lords or kings.
“Lieutenants are leaders of a platoon.”
Zhang Zhi replied while his eyebrow twitched a bit, but he just saw more confusion in the youth’s eyes.
“A platoon is a team of cultivators acting as a unit…”
He tried to recall what the Patriarch said while he was giving them the orders, he just gave them some unique names and divided them into smaller teams. Also for some reason he wanted to be called ‘General Dong’ instead of the Patriarch, he couldn’t really argue with the man though. They also received new robes, these were some state of the art garments as he could feel the flow of spiritual energy, these were clearly earth grade treasures.
“Your lieutenant will explain everything to you in detail later, just follow the instructions. I’ll begin calling out names for my platoon first then.”
People started getting called out, if Matt was here he would probably get dizzy from all the similar-sounding names. Soon enough Zhang Jie stepped out and started gathering her own group. Zhang Xue and Liu were a part of it, besides that there were twin 18-year old girls named Zhang Mii and Zhang Yuu. There was a chubby fellow by the name Zhang Hong, a tall burly looking male with a beard that looked older than he actually was, called Zhang Peng. 𝗶𝚗𝘯re𝐚d. 𝑐𝗼𝙢
Besides those six there were four more youths, the first one Zhang Tai he was a bit special as he was the person that scored the highest in the tournament. He looked like your average young master with a resting bitch face, he was already scoffing at his team members. The second one was Zhang Teng, his face was a bit elongated making him look like a snake, he was also grinning constantly. The third person was called Zhang Ai, she had a more mature vibe than the other girls in the group with a body to match. The last person was a small looking youth by the name Zhang Bao he looked very meek, with his neck long hair covering up his eyes.
This would be the 9th Platoon, they ranged from the youngest Zhang Xue to the oldest Zhang Peng that was already twenty. Zhang Jie looked at the group of kids, she was ordered to help them train with the help of some other clan members. She was still apprehensive about her kids coming along, but at least she would be there with them if something happened.
“Well then young ones, first its time to gather your equipment.”
Zhang Jie followed the instructions and went with the kids to the armory tent. In there they could get their ‘battle robes’ and weapons, as they arrived they were already the 9th team there. They could see people leaving the tent carrying some things, there weren’t enough spatial rings for everyone so they had to carry their gear manually.
“Oh, that’s some good stuff…”
Zhang Teng mentioned while grinning as he checked out some of the things the other juniors were carrying out, no one was actually wearing the robes just yet. After going inside they started receiving their gear, everyone got excited as they felt the mortal grade energy radiation coming off the robes. Though they were a bit skeptical about the designs, they looked at the ominous-looking masks, not sure if they were safe to use.
“You’ll find these magical robes to be quite high quality, they are very resistant and don’t get in the way at all.”
The quartermaster chimed in, while everyone was looking at the presented items. The kids could also pick out a perfect grade common weapon for themselves if they needed one, but most of them already had theirs. On from the twins chuckled while putting on the mask, quite curious about the features it had.
“Hey, hey Mii? how do I look!”
The helmet looked like a front mask at first, but when you placed it closer to your face it would envelop the entire head from all sides. The girl shrieked out a bit as the helmet shut itself around her head, but noticed that it didn’t impend her vision at all. The eyes shined a bit with an azure light as she looked around. She could already tell that it enhanced her optical senses in various ways.
“Yuu… you look funny…”
Zhang Mii snickered to herself while her twin looked around while wearing the new item. She also wanted to try it out, but before she could do so she heard a loud snort.
“Knock it off you two, just take the magical items and be quiet.”
It was Zhang Tai, annoyed by how the way these clan members of his were acting, this wasn’t a place for kids to be playing. He just grabbed the robe and helmet and left the tent, bumping into Zhang Bao on his way out and making him fall onto his butt.
“Watch were you are going, hmph!”
He held his nose up high and headed to the large building in the middle of the closed of space, they were told to do that after they were done with picking up the gear. Zhang Liu helped the shorter clan member up to his feet, a bit dejected how that other senior brother was acting.
“Don’t mind him, Senior brother Tai is like that… but you can count on his skills.”
Zhang Liu didn’t want to admit it, but he was weaker than that senior brother of his. Even with his new master’s skills he still needed to catch up. But with the Patriarch upgrading everyone’s skills as well, he might have a harder time doing that now. The others stopped playing around after that, everyone grabbed their items while Zhang Jie hurried them on as well. She needed to show them their rooms and then brief them in on the training schedule.
The twins were staying in one room, while Xue and Ai were together in another one. The muscular youth ended up with the stuck up Zhang Tai, Liu shared his room with the chubby brother. That left Peng and Bao in the last room, the smaller youth was a bit scared of the snake-like youth that kept staring at him with a giant grin on his face all the time. Training would be starting soon, so everyone was ordered to change into their new robes and meet outside. They would mostly be training in the new body refining art and the formations, besides their regular cultivation techniques. The boot camp was finally on its way!
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