The second test was a battle between group formations. They had to compete with each other through the twelve formations that they had trained. It required each individual's cooperation and the leader's accurate decisions.
"I have taught you enough. It's all up to you now. Is that clear?!"
Each instructor gave their final words to their respective groups. Beginning a few days ago, each group was led by their group leaders to practice the formations. Instructors were not that involved in the latter part of the training.
"Before we go onto the next test, we will choose who to fight through the lottery."
Left Guardian Lee Hameng spoke on the stage.
"As I explained earlier, First to fourth, fifth to eighth, ninth to twentieth four groups will pick from the lottery to choose which group to compete against."
He explained how the test was going to progress three days ago already. As the leaders got up onto the stage, students began to mumble to themselves.
"The leaders of the second and third group changed!"
"They changed too!"
The second and third groups had changed leaders. Other than Chun Muyeon from the Wise Clan in the first group, and the 72nd cadet in the fourth group, the second and third groups had different group leaders.
"Hmph. Two only?"
Hameng, however, didn't look surprised. Soon, the battle was decided between the four groups.
[First versus third. Second versus fourth.]
The first and fourth group shouted excitedly. As it had been decided, Hameng shouted, "Next! Leaders from the fifth to eighth group, please come up!"
The leaders of each group quickly came up onto the stage. People mumbled as the two groups had also exchanged leaders. The eighth group also had a different leader.
Hameng looked intrigued. He thought the leader of the 8th group wouldn't have changed since it was Prince Chun Mukeum, but it had changed to an unexpected individual.
It was the black tag #7, Chun Yeowun. And the leader of the fifth group, Chun Wonryou of the Lust Clan was also shocked by this change.
'I warned him so much! Fool!'
She cursed at Mukeum. On the other hand, Yeowun couldn't believe what had happened. He didn't think he would be chosen as the leader just up until last night.
Last night, near the end of afternoon training, many groups left to practice for the upcoming test. Some groups did not do it since they were concerned that the other groups would peek at their tactics, and the 8th group was one of such groups. Chun Mukeum, who did not lack in potential as the group leader, already decided on the tactics and dismissed his group early.
And when Mukeum was going to train his martial arts in a remote area, someone called him.
"Oh, it's you."
It was Chun Wonryou from the Lust Clan. Mukeum tried to walk past her, but Wonryoy quickly hustled over, blocking his way.
"What are you doing?"
"I called you. Can you at least stop to ask why?"
Unlike Chun Yeowun, the princes of six clans knew each other and interacted with one another quite often.
"What. What do you want to say?"
"Ugh, you and your arrogance."
Chun Wonryou sighed and Mukeum responded grumpily.
"I thought you said the Loyal Clan is stupid?"
He still remembered the day he faced Yeowun at the entrance to the dorm.
"Hah sure, okay. I'll make this short. Listen up."
She didn't like how Mukeum was acting, but she thought she needed to say it and pulled up her sleeves to show the linen wrapped around her arm. Mukeum asked, "Did you get hurt?"
AS far as Mukeum knew, no one else could hurt her other than the princes from the six clans.
"I was training alone and someone ambushed me."
"You? Ambushed? Who in the right mind would do such a thing?"
Chun Wonryou was weaker than the princes from the six clans, but she was still much more powerful than any of the other students at the academy.
"The attacker covered their face. I don't know who it is."
"Whatever. So you were hurt by some puny coward?"
"I warned you. I never lowered my guard."
She was in the middle of her training, so she was well ready. Yet, the attacker was equal to or perhaps more powerful than the princes of the six clans.
"So, you were hurt so you're telling me to be careful?"
"If the attacker came for me, they might attack you too. We are in the same competing group."
"You know that the four groups will compete with each other, right?"
"We can always choose the lottery with all of the groups. Why do you think we are limited to four groups?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Gosh. Try thinking for once. If you narrow it down to four groups, then you can guess which group you might be fighting against!"
Mukeum then thought for a second and said, "You mean that by spilling information, the academy is forcing each group to attack another group leader?"
"Well, you really are stupid. Yeah. If the leader is out of formation, it will be hard for that group to compete."
Chun Wonryou guessed that Lee Hameng had intentionally shared the information, thus making the groups attempt to attack another group leader. And her guess came true when she was attacked the other night.
"Well, tomorrow's the day of the test, so don't take the chance to go train alone. I don't want to see any princes getting expelled after the second test and bring shame to us all."
She could have ignored it, but she came to warn him for old time's sake. Mukeum nodded. And when she left, Mukeum heeded her warning and took Jahyun with him to practice. Near midnight, Chun Yeowun finished his simulation training and was on the way back.
'Ugh, I still have a lot more to go.'
Unlike what he was saying, he now had the ability to defeat the avatar about 60% of the time. He hadn't yet reached his goal to win easily, but he was now more used to using his blade skills. When he was going down to head back, he heard the sounds of a fight breaking out.
After hearing the short scream, he ran toward the source. When he got there, there was one figure slumped down on the ground and another one fighting someone else off. It was too dark in the forest to make out who was who.
'Nano. Turn on night vision mode.'
[Activating night vision mode on the user's sight.]
The light exposure on Yeowun's eyes increased immediately and he was able to see everything clearly.
The one who was being attacked while barely fending the attacker off with wounds was Chun Mukeum. He was fighting a masked man, but the man looked very powerful. He was pressing onto Mukeum with a powerful attack.
Mukeum's right leg was injured, but he was holding off quite well. However, it was just a matter of time. As expected, Mukeum tried to take several steps back, but he fell down after losing energy in his leg.
The man then charged to stab Mukeum's left leg and Yeowun shouted, "STOP!"
He didn't like Mukeum, but he couldn't bear to lose the group leader the day before the test and charged in. The man then stopped and swung the sword at Yeowun. However, Yeowun could see everything clearly so he got down to avoid the sword and struck the masked man's stomach with his blade skill.
After he touched the stomach, the masked man quickly retreated to put some distance between them. Yeowun became surprised.
'He retreated the moment I touched him.'
It was hard to guess who powerful the man was. The man narrowed his eyes as he glared at Chun Yeowun and turned away to flee. Chun Yeowun thought of chasing after him, but gave up. Mukeum was on the ground, and another student was also on the ground with blood dripping down from the head.
"Hey, are you okay?"
"Peasant? Dammit how did I get attacked by some masked man!"
'Should I just leave him here?'
Yeowun shook away his thoughts and helped Chun Mukeum and the other student quickly return to the dorm. Students of the 8th group fell silent with serious expressions as they saw their leader and another member with critical al wounds. The student whose head was bleeding was Jahyun. As he wiped the blood off Jahyun's head, he asked Nano, 'Is he okay?'
[Scanning the wounded entity.]
The doctor was out of the office right now, so he could only rely on Nano.
[Found cut made from a sword. 4cm in length, 2mm in depth. Requires cleaning of the wound and sewing of the cut.]
Contrary to his concern, the wound wasn't all that bad. The problem was with Chun Mukeum.
"Hah.. hah dammit!"
He was holding onto his right thigh as blood poured out. His face was also pale from losing too much blood.
"Call an instructor!"
Hu Bong quickly ran out of the room at Yeowun's order. Soon, an instructor came and began treating Mukeum's wound, but it was pretty bad.
"He won't be able to walk for a while."
The students' expressions turned grim. Chun Wonryou's warning had become a reality.