The Undying Mecha Emperor -
Chapter 97 Prey
"WHAT THE HECK? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!" I shouted loudly.
But my voice disappeared completely in the roar of excitement that the rest of the students were giving out.
"No wonder they allowed me to use my special skill! They wanted to bury me under the attacks of a thousand mechas! Evil! Big bro, how can you do this to me!!" I moaned, feeling slightly betrayed.
But deep within me, an indomitable sense of confidence began to bubble up slowly.
I knew that I was extremely strong.
But to have the entire Grand Melee set up in such a way so as to specifically target and bring me down, served as a powerful acknowledgement of my strength by the academy.
I was a special existence, and required special treatment!
"Justin, be careful, alright?" Tes gripped the edge of my sleeve tightly.
"Don't worry, Tes. As you probably already know, I can manifest armor. Don't say five thousand, even fifty thousand practice mechas can't do anything to me!" I assured her confidently.
"Tch. Pride comes before a fall. Don't get careless!" Tes glared at me.
I smiled at her and merely nodded.
Grand Elder Shella had raised her White Phoenix's hand up to call for silence.
"You will be separated into five groups of a thousand students each, and positioned at the four corners of the arena as well as the middle of the arena. Follow the instructions of the Elders and proceed. Thirty minutes will only start once all of you are in position and on my command. Now, go to your starting positions!"
Ten Elders immediately came forward and efficiently divided us into five groups.
Tes and I were part of the group going to the center of the arena.
Of course I would be at the center. How would I get buried by the rest of the students otherwise?
Several huge landjets came and carried us to our designated starting locations.
"Do not leave the circle marking before the Grand Elder's signal. If you take a single step out before that, I will immediately disqualify you." Warned the fierce looking Elder who brought us to our starting location.
"Understood." Came a chorus of replies from the thousand of us.
"One minute to start. Prepare yourselves." Grand Elder Shella called out.
I glanced around me, and saw a thousand nervous faces.
Many of them had their eyes fixed on the mechas ahead of them, aiming to rush out as soon as possible to secure their mechas.
Others from the same group had already clustered together, and prepared to bull through the crowd to reach the heavy and medium mechas near them.
Very few, like me, were looking around and studying the group.
Our eyes met briefly and an unspoken understanding passed between us.
There are a lot of prey, and we'll stay out of each other's way. For now.
"Austin Jeffreys. Kage Tarou." I continued to look around and noted the ones which were in the top thousand.
The Lins, Wangs and Longs weren't in my group. It was probably done on purpose to keep the strongest away from each other until the last moment.
"It doesn't matter. I will mow them down like wheat whenever they show themselves!" I thought to myself.
"Tes, when the signal to start, follow my lead and attack the other students." I whispered softly to her.
"Huh? Attack the other students? Why?" Tes whispered back in surprise.
But not a second later, her mouth turned into an O as she understood my intention.
"Oh… I see." She whispered back.
"Yeah. Why let them get into mechas and become dangerous enemies when we can disable them right away when they are still weak? So… Get their tokens and break them. Make sure you keep your own token safe and secure during this first phase." I whispered into her ear.
Tes giggled uncharacteristically as my breath tickled her ear.
"Okay! Let's do that!" Tes agreed.
"Study them now and take note where they keep their tokens. And if possible, go for the groups first. We need to weaken them as much as possible before they get into their mechas." I said to her as I started to pick my targets.
"Thirty seconds." Came Grand Elder Shella's calm voice.
A few of the kids started to get so nervous that they actually vomited, much to the chagrin of the kids around them who immediately shrank back from them.
"Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six… Five. Four. Three. Two. One. GO!"
Immediately, everyone burst into action!
The roar of excitement rose to a high crescendo as many kids and the two hundred thousand spectators screamed out their exhilaration!
Tes and I dashed out together and began to attack our predetermined targets.
I pulled at the shirt of a weak looking boy in glasses, grabbed the token out of his hands and immediately left him to go after my next target.
"He-hey!! My token!!" He wailed.
I crushed it and flung it away as I reached out to pull at the shirt of a chubby boy right in front of me.
"HEY! WATCH WHERE YOU- MY TOKEN!!" He looked at his token which was already in my hands in horror.
"Two." I thought to myself as I pushed him away and glanced up at the drones.
I quickly flashed them a grin, knowing that my big bro would be watching me.
"You seeing this bro? I'm going to be the champion!" I shouted loudly and punched at a tall boy who was running past me.
He fell down heavily, stunned.
CRACK! Token gone.
"Big brother!!" His three buddies yelled in shock. As one, they charged at me to take revenge for their fallen comrade.
The first one unleashed a powerful right hook at me as the second one slid down to tackle my legs. The third one was even more flamboyant as he leapt up to give me a flying roundhouse kick!
"Hohoho. These four are pretty skilled. Good prey!" I thought happily to myself as I dodged the right hook easily, stepped on the leg of the one tackling me and caught the roundhouse kick with my right hand.
BAM! BAM! BAM!
And a few seconds later…
CRACK! CRACK! CRACK!
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