Chapter 83 Team building excercises
Joseph looked over and nodded at the three people already engaged in their training. Having a self healing tank would help them improve immensely. Especially without having to wait for any healers they had employed. Some tanks in other teams needed three of them at once and had to wait for their mana to recover in between attacking sessions. ‘We’ll still probably need one or two occasionally if the others fight against each other. Considering her rather slow healing speed...’ he thought and continued explaining his idea to the two people in front of him.
“So your metal manipulation skill only applies to metal you have claimed for yourself?” he asked to clarify and nodded at the confirming response. “You can change the trajectory of the needles though so we’ll work with that. Just try to manipulate them more and more as you attack Claire.” he said and switched to the woman.
“Your defensive runes can help out Ilea and the team immensely. Both of you try to work on your mobility and casting speed. You need to be able to maneuver around the battlefield. Kyrian try to make shields with your metal if at all possible to defend against Claire’s offensive runes and explosive magic. The resistances will help as well. Call for Ilea once the damage gets too extensive.” he finished and the two looked at each other and walked away to start their training.
Joseph himself claimed the other half of the hall and started to work.
Another strike of lightning completely broke through her defensive shroud and made her teeth clatter together. The pain was dull and manageable but would ever so slightly help with her Pain Tolerance skill though Ilea wasn’t quite sure how much leveling that skill would benefit her in the future considering she could deactivate her pain perception already.
The headache had stayed the same as she healed her mind while the damage was being done. Hunter Recovery really showed it’s power in the difference between healing her own body compared to others. All three people in their group were benefiting heavily from the training method until Joseph called for them again a little over an hour after they had started.
Ilea decided to check her notifications later as soon as she would be back in her apartment. “I hope the training was efficient for all of you. Now for suggestions from your side please wait for after the four hours.” he said and motioned for the group to follow. The other side of the hall had changed quite significantly in the meantime.
The flat ground had changed into a nearly natural looking formation of rocks, hills and even small ponds filled with water. Cover against ranged attacks and trenches for covered advances had been added and all of it done by Joseph. Ilea determined it to be some sort of hobby for the man as a seemingly unnecessary amount of detail went into the creations. It certainly looked lovely, that much was easily admitted.
“Now for the next part Ilea and Trian, please continue to bout as at the start. One attacks and one defends, switch after twenty minutes or decide on your own time.” he said and she looked towards Trian. He nodded her way and walked to the empty part of the hall. They would not need any cover to fight.
‘Let’s see if his boasting was justified...’ Ilea thought and smiled. Her buffs came active as she walked behind the man.
“I attack first, ready?” he asked as he teleported away, now facing her. She answered with a gesture, telling him to start.
The loud lightning attacks started already twenty seconds after he had dismissed them, making Joseph happy about his new team’s drive. ‘Already miles ahead of the last one...’ he thought and looked towards the three members in front of him.
“Alright, you three will fight each other however you see fit inside the prepared area. Everything is allowed and I will be watching you. Start.” he said and was glad to see them quickly run towards cover.
“Does the ash actually disturb your vision? Because if not I’ll use it here...” Ilea said as she sidestepped another flash of red lightning. The ground splintered a little at the raw power of the impact, though the only noticeable thing to Ilea was the mana and health she lost through his vampyrism abilities.
‘Aren’t vampires supposed to be something a bit different than that?’ she asked herself as more and more lightning attacks were side stepped.
“It disturbs my vision though I can track your whereabouts vaguely with my draining abilities.” the man supplied her and continued attacking. This went on for quite some time until Ilea decided a switch was needed. She simply started using her Ash Surge ability and advanced on the man with her Blink skill. He quickly caught on and went on the defensive, still trying to get in the occasional attack just like when they had fought earlier.
Ilea was more and more convinced that the man was a similarly strong foe as the elfs had been. ‘Though there is nobody here who can help me fight against swords and other weapons...’ she thought as she finally managed to catch the man again, landing a punch on his back.
The fight was stopped by Ilea twenty minutes later as she had run out of mana. Trian seemed annoyed but didn’t comment on it as she went into meditation, getting back her resources. Under ten minutes later they were back at it and continued. The attacking, dodging and teleporting fused into one as the two combatants synchronized more and more, each trying to find weaknesses in the other’s approach.
Three more pauses later, one of them initiated by Trian, they were stopped by Joseph. The four hours of team fighting were apparently over.
“Alright, I hope you got used to each other a little. You will continue with team tactics with Claire here. You are all rather promising and I hope to hear you all will be alive for many years to come. Now does anybody have suggestions for trainings?” he asked, looking to the group.
“I think Ilea can train with me for a while tomorrow. Kyrian and Eve can benefit a lot from facing each other in an environment as provided by you.” Claire said “I also think Trian should face Kyrian. The metal defenses he managed today should be quite formidable against lightning.” she said. Joseph looked around though nobody else seemed to have anything to add.
“Great, then I will see you all tomorrow. Would you prefer morning or noon?” Joseph asked.
“Noon.” Ilea said immediately.
“Same.” Eve said and Claire confirmed as well.
“That’s settled then. Good luck on the lesson.” Joseph said and left the hall.
The group stood a little forlorn in the middle of the hall after Joseph had left. They didn’t really know each other other than what kind of general abilities they had. Though fighting against someone certainly formed a certain and very special bond, it didn’t let one know about the food preferences of the other.
“What does he get out of it?” Ilea asked, looking towards where Joseph had left. She didn’t really see a reason for someone at his level to teach them. Only question marks had shown themselves when she had identified him.
“He moves up the ladder. Being higher up in the guild will lead to more resources and influence. Without the added danger of getting them yourself.” Claire explained helpfully while Trian chuckled.
“You’re bloody uneducated for someone that strong.” he said though it didn’t provoke a reaction out of Ilea. She hadn’t exactly hit the books since coming to Elos and even then felt like she knew quite a bit for the time she’d been there.
“Stop insulting people.” Eve said and received a hard glare from the man.
“She at least can pull her weight. I admit that this group is miles ahead of the useless mutts from the first group presented to me but you really aren’t the shining star here. If you feel like challenging me then we can do so right here right now.” Trian said but Eve didn’t relent to his glare. Ilea chuckled then and clapped.
“We’re getting along then, that’s great. I’m sorry noble boy but I think you’d babble on the ground pretty quickly when she starts humming.” Ilea said, smirking at the man and winking towards Eve.
“Please, we have the next hour to discuss team tactics.” Claire interjected rather quietly compared to the others who had been talking.
“You didn’t tell me why you cried yet? Is it just because women do that sometimes?” Trian ignored Claire completely and looked towards Ilea again.
She smiled at him though her eyes were cold. “Can you show him Kyrian?” Ilea asked, still looking towards Trian.
“No...y...you are acting immature. Claire is going to talk about strategies so stop it, please.” Kyrian said, quickly taking the edge off Ilea. She felt a little embarrassed at the outburst but calmed down again quickly. Trian will learn soon enough.
“Well I for one will be skipping the team tactics instructions for the first couple weeks. I’ve been educated on the subject for years and likely know more about it than any of you. Teach them the basics so we can go into more advanced things later on will you.” Trian said to Claire and flashed his right hand, which was sporting a beautiful black ring.
His red and black coat that had been bloodied and lightly damaged was replaced with a clean one in a flash as he grinned at his teammates. “I’ll join at some point if this team proves to be worth it.” he said and walked to the door, leaving them behind.
“Arrogant ass...is he even allowed to do that?” Eve commented, obviously annoyed by the man’s behavior.
“The class is mandatory so we could report him. I don’t think that would be wise though.” Claire said.
“I agree. He does seem to be rather p..powerful, both in personal and political strength.” Kyrian said and nodded to Claire’s comment.
“You guys are afraid of him?” Eve said, with a perplexed expression. Claire looked away but Kyrian met her gaze.
“He might not be easy to deal with but he d..did not hinder our training.” he told her, but it didn’t quite seem to convince her.
“Nah, I hate the guy. And I won’t stand next to him when we’re facing any actual danger.” Eve said, crossing her arms in front of her.
“Give it some time.” Ilea interjected “At least let me exploit his strength for my training.” she said and smiled. The joking comment seemed to calm Eve a little as her expression softened.
“Ok, though I swear I’ll kill him if he goes too far.” Eve said without a hint of sarcasm. Ilea reminded herself that she was among the elite now. People who for one reason or the other got to the level of strength they possessed now.
“Don’t worry, I’ll have your back if he goes as far as endangering us.” Ilea said and shrugged, looking towards the teacher of their next class.
‘So I kind of did get my college education. Though I didn’t expect myself to be a sports student...’ she smiled and nodded to Claire.
The next hour passed in a flash. Claire was a good teacher and seemed really informed when it came to tactics and compositions of teams. She said she’d only cover some basics today and explained to them the fighting strategies most commonly used with adventurers, guards of cities or nobles and even some monsters.
It seemed to Ilea that both Eve and Kyrian were lacking in this department as well and all of them could benefit. She had some vague ideas about the whole setup of adventurer teams but a lot of it was new to her. Claire finished with the promise to go into their own team and their roles on the next day’s lesson.
“I think we’re out of time though and the monster knowledge class starts soon.” Claire said. “Any questions you might have please ask me tomorrow.”
The others thanked her for the lesson and followed her towards the next one. Claire seemed to be the only one informed about its location and the general time table of their days. Ilea was quite fine with that, something more she didn’t have to worry about.
“Hey Eve...” Ilea looked over to the woman while they were ascending with the elevator. “Were you in my room recently?” her eyes were cold as she gazed at the woman though a light grin tugged on her lips. “And perhaps in the city...rescuing a girl from some men of questionable morality? Hmm?” Eve returned her gaze with a smile.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about Ilea.” she said and that was that. Ilea decided not to smash her into the moving walls next to them as a part of her mind was demanding her to do. Simply because she didn’t want to antagonize a team member. ‘I’ll probably have enough opportunity in the next training sessions...’ she thought, turning her gaze away from the woman. She wasn’t a hundred percent sure it had been Eve but it was damn close. She knew her now though and her Hunter’s Sight would likely pick up on it.
The four ascended another elevator after coming out in Viscera. Ilea quickly glanced at the wall with all the available classes and frowned. “Claire, am I too late to apply for any other classes?” she asked, a little annoyed at the possibility.
“What...” Claire said and looked towards Ilea “… sorry, I didn’t hear you there.” Ilea repeated her question and got a reassuring answer. “No you can apply whenever. Some classes aren’t visited often, I mean what swordsman at level 200 would take a swordsmanship I class? They will find a teacher though as long as you pay or if you have two other people, at least that’s what I remember.” Claire explained.
“Great, gonna check them out later then. I can cancel too whenever I want right?” Claire nodded to her question and the group went back into silence, ascending with the elevator that didn’t seem to have an end to its journey.
“What are you g… going to take?” Kyrian suddenly asked, right before the platform came to an abrupt stop. They walked out while Ilea answered his question.
“I’m not sure yet to be honest. Probably archery at some point, it seems fun. Are you going to take any?” Ilea said.
“Fun? I d… don’t understand.” Kyrian said, shaking his head slowly. “I will take classes related to my classes… my classes you know?” he explained and Ilea nodded, signaling her understanding.
‘Maybe I should do that too...though I don’t see how that would help much. There’s not a lot to understand here...I punch things and they die.’ she thought and shrugged, deciding to at least take a look at the possibilities. She could cancel them immediately if it wasn’t anything useful and with her money she was in the opposite position than a debt ridden student on earth would have been. At least in some countries.
They walked through stone hallways, decorated quite similarly as her apartment had been. It gave the whole place a very high class feeling, reminding Ilea again that she had joined quite the prestigious institution. One of the doors was chosen by Claire and the group entered.
There were tables and some chairs in the room and even a blackboard. ‘I’m trapped in an anime aren’t I...’ Ilea thought as she checked her hair, glad to find it had not changed into a bright blue or red.
“Are you our teacher again?” Eve asked Claire though the latter seemed to be as uninformed as the rest about the absence of their teacher.
“When does it start?” Ilea asked before she saw someone advance through her sphere. “Nevermind, someone’s coming.” she informed the others and moments later the door to the room opened. A man walked in and Ilea immediately locked eyes with him.
“Hey I know you!” she said and got a smirk in response. “Forgot your name though, you’re a teacher?” she asked.
“Indeed I am, name’s Liam. You’re the new girl from the bar...with the impressive drinking capabilities.” he told her and she smiled back at him.
“I have a fast metabolism.” she simply stated and sat down on one of the chairs. The others listened with varied interest while the man called Liam unpacked his bag.
“So I’m assuming you’re Ilea, the tank?” he asked and moved on, not getting a denying response. “Claire the tactician teacher, Kyrian the influencer and Eve the influencer. Got it right?” again there was no response.
“You seem like a quiet bunch. The noble didn’t chose to show up huh? Well it wouldn’t be the first time for their breed. You’re not gonna learn about them in this class though. Monster knowledge.” he stated and paused, turning around and writing the term onto the board.
“Everyone here is level 200 and above. Everyone here has a lot of fighting experience and has probably killed or has nearly been killed several times before. So why are you having this as a mandatory class? Any ideas?” he asked, sitting down on the table at the front of the room.
“Because we were probably lucky.” Ilea said, thinking back on the many encounters she’s had with different monsters and people. Had she encountered something with a shield like the Praetorian’s, she would probably not be sitting here in this classroom.
The man looked at her with an understanding gaze and nodded. “You’re right. Though to say it in a different way, there’s a high chance that each of you has found a dungeon or other place to kill something your abilities gave you an edge over. I myself have the ability to poison things, stumbled upon and poisoned one of the only water sources near the Isanna desert. At least near the village I lived. Only did it in the night and nearly nobody of the village died.” he got up and continued talking.
“Though many other things died and I got a massive boost at a rather young age. It gave me an edge and let me continue to use this tactic without having to face a single enemy.” he paused. “I’m not saying all of you are like that. Though out of the people coming here at level 200 there are many who share similar stories. People who legitimately and slowly worked their way up to 200 likely are too involved in their cities, countries or noblehouses to come here in the first place. Or they have a team already. For everyone else and some outliers, there’s the hand. I, am here to teach you about monsters you might not be able to poison.”