An expression of slight disappointment was etched on Chief Instructor Lu's face. The majority of the members of the elite class had similar looks of disappointment on their faces.
Every single one of them was aware of the magnitude of the test they were about to take. They really needed Luo Yunyang for this sort of test.
"Announce the name list!"
"Gun Wanli, Sun Miaomiao, Yang Yirui… Bai Yuming… and Zhao Buge!"
When the last name was announced, most people turned to look at a feeble-looking young man. This was Zhao Buge, a young man who came from an ordinary family living outside the main cities.
He hadn't made much of a name for himself ever since he had entered the Rising Dragon Army's elite class, but during those few days of training, he had distinguished himself from the crowd.
"Why isn't there any news about our leader yet?" Zhao Buge asked Xu Zhong solemnly instead of showing any delight.
Xu Zhong, who understood what Zhao Buge meant, rubbed his head out of habit. He suddenly heard a cough.
This was a reminder from Chief Instructor Lu. No, perhaps it was a warning.
"We have yet to find Luo Yunyang, but time is of the essence, so we have to hurry and get to Xiping Lake as soon as possible. Listen up, everyone! This matter concerns both the glory of the Rising Dragon Army and your ability to become martial masters."
"If we end up obtaining very little source fluid, then the majority of you will not be able to receive any source fluid at all."
Xu Zhong took a deep breath. "You should all be very aware of the consequences of not having any source fluid! None of you will be able to become a martial master. You won't even have to wait till next year. The majority of you will have to leave with your tails between your legs! Got it?"
Most of the students' expressions turned grave.
"Could Luo Yunyang have heard the news and hidden intentionally because he was too afraid of losing?" a voice blurted out.
The person who had spoken was a member of the elite class. As he said these words, his entire body trembled.
He had still uttered them, though.
The moment he did, Bai Yuming's loud voice was heard. "Chief Instructor Lu, everyone… I feel that there is a high possibility that this is the case. If he's not hiding intentionally, then why aren't we able to find him?"
"I suggest revoking his status as a member of the Rising Dragon Army's elite class!"
A hint of loathing appeared in Chief Instructor Lu's eyes. However, a slim officer standing next to him said dully, "When you put it this way, it actually makes sense."
"How can a Newcomer King not follow orders and leave without a warning for such a long time?"
The student's words resulted in a few scattered comments. Suddenly, Chief Instructor Lu's expression turned much colder.
"Luo Yunyang would never act like a coward!" Qin Feifei retorted loudly. She was the first to step forward. "Do not talk nonsense, unless you have proof!"
"He hasn't appeared in a long time. If he isn't hiding, then maybe he's dead!" Bai Yuming guffawed without restraint.
He had originally had a rather favorable opinion of Qin Feifei. He had thought that this maiden had a unique personality and he would one day get to know her personally. She was the prettiest maiden in this elite class after all.
However, after a while, he had been really disappointed. Qin Feifei had joined Luo Yunyang's group and he realized that she seemed to stick very close to Luo Yunyang. Plus, she actually ignored Bai Yuming's very existence. Or was that her simply being ice-cold?
"Stop it with your nonsense! How could Big Brother Yunyang die?" Qin Feifei's face had turned red.
"If he isn't dead, then he must be hiding. Otherwise, why don't you get him to come out? Chief Instructor Lu is still waiting!" Bai Yuming felt very pleased as he said this.
Luo Yunyang can't come. Let's see what else you will say now!
However, as he was feeling pleased with himself, he realized that the dull expression on Xu Zhong's face had become lively.
What's up with him? Could he have finally realized that I am a rare genius that only appears once in every 100 years? Does he want to bow down before me?
Goosebumps erupted all over Bai Yuming's body at the thought as he started to ponder how he would respond to Xu Zhong's statement. Actually, Bai Yuming was very ordinary, but he was also farsighted.
Before he could even finish preparing what to say, he realized in shock that Xu Zhong and the others were staring into the distance with their eyes blazing.
"It's Luo Yunyang! He has finally returned!"
"Luo Yunyang! Where the hell have you been? I went almost crazy trying to locate you! You bastard! You nearly put me in an early grave!" Xu Zhong was like a whirlwind as he took a big stride forward and shot towards Luo Yunyang. He hadn't even reached him, but his spittle had already started flying.
Luo Yunyang's face was dirty, and his hair was messy. No, this didn't seem like an accurate description. His clothes were worn apart and shabby, but his face was fair, and his skin looked really delicate. His level of exquisiteness seemed to surpass even that of a fair maiden.
As Xu Zhong dashed over, Luo Yunyang moved like a demon and appeared behind Xu Zhong's back. Xu Zhong's spittle hit the ground.
"That damn forest didn't have any signal." Luo Yunyang looked at Xu Zhong innocently. "Didn't you say that we were supposed to have two months of free activities?"
Xu Zhong rubbed his head. He didn't know what to say. Show-off! I did say that, but you can't go two months without meeting me!
"Ha ha! Are you guys distributing source fluid? I hope I'm not late!" When he noticed the number of eyes fixed on him, Luo Yunyang's heart felt a little weak. However, he still maintained his sweet, naive appearance.
Sometimes, acting dumb was very effective.
The looks he received in return weren't what he had expected. What exactly was going on? He had just spoken the truth. Why was everyone staring at him as though they had just seen a ghost?
Xu Zhong quickly solved the problem by informing Luo Yunyang about the current situation. By the time he reached the last part, his spittle was flying all over the place as he snarled, "Luo Yunyang, are you mad? Are you angry..."
"I'm not angry!" Luo Yunyang was actually able to keep his cool.
Xu Zhong felt his knees weaken. He was on the verge of going insane from anger, yet this boy didn't even show any feeling. He looked as if this did not affect him...
Although he was displeased deep down, Xu Zhong still spoke to Luo Yunyang like a senior speaking to a junior. "Don't you feel any loyalty?"
"This isn't a big deal. All we have to do is get it back. Is this worth making your voice hoarse over?" Luo Yunyang patted Xu Zhong's shoulders nonchalantly when he was finished.
He's making so much sense that I'm actually speechless!
"Alright, Luo Yunyang. Return to the ranks. Time is of the essence. We have to hurry to Xiping Lake. Oh, I forgot. If you need any weapons, inform Xu Zhong as soon as possible," Chief Instructor Lu said with a faint smile.
Although Luo Yunyang had arrived a little late, his attitude had made Chief Instructor Lu feel a little more at ease.
They would just get it back!
What was the point of getting angry, when they could just take it back? This was the true character of a man, although it felt like a conventional cliche.
"Big Brother Yunyang! I can rest easier with you here!" Zhao Buge, who was the one who had filled in the last spot, automatically withdrew from the team of 20.
Luo Yunyang patted Zhao Buge's shoulder as he said, "That won't do. You still have to fight alongside me. Deserting the army is forbidden. If we have to push someone out, let's just take out Bai Yuming."
When Bai Yuming, who had gotten extremely worried by Luo Yunyang's sudden appearance, heard Luo Yunyang try to exclude him so brazenly, he clenched his teeth so hard that they almost hurt. He had no way out. He couldn't afford to offend Luo Yunyang after all.
He had improved considerably during the past few days, but facing Luo Yunyang was still a huge step. Luo Yunyang had actually stripped him of his qualifications without saying anything. How could this be?
This was not just a duty, it was also a sort of honor. Plus, he would be able to obtain vast amounts of Rising Dragon Army resources for free.
"Let's not go overboard, Luo Yunyang! I relied on my own strength and abilities to get this spot. Who are you to revoke my right to it?"
When Bai Yuming had said his piece, he felt much calmer. He believed that by saying this, he would be able to hold on to his spot.
"Chief Instructor Lu, Boss Xu, there isn't any rule about not attacking our own during the battle, right? I really hope that I won't carelessly injure my fellow comrade. That would be just too tragic!" Luo Yunyang folded his arms and flashed a bright grin at Bai Yuming.
Bai Yuming's face flushed. He pointed at Luo Yunyang as he said loudly, "Stop bullying me like this! There are always ups and downs in life. A lot of things change in time!"
Everyone's eyes ultimately landed on Chief Instructor Lu. He would get the final say on this matter after all.
Chief Instructor Lu watched Luo Yunyang as he muttered something to himself. Then, he ordered expressionlessly, "Bai Yuming will stay at the base to train!"