Thomas was currently panting like a dog, crumpled in the grass. The regimen that the soldiers were going through couldn't even be called training anymore, pushing some to say that even torture was a better fate.

But he still endured... He had to. He knew that at the end of it all was something that he had never considered in his life... a purpose. Something that would give his miserable life meaning.

He had just finished running 20 kilometers with 30 kilograms of rocks on his back. The addition had been decided by their general after seeing some of them slacking off, earning her the nickname of 'Goddess of Pain'.

Luckily for him, he had already puked out the entirety of his stomach, so he didn't look as unsightly as those near him that resembled corpses nearing death, trying to puke out their very organs.


On the same boulder that dominated the area stood Eloise, verbally whipping the poor souls down below. She had been surprised by the progress they had made, but she knew that praising their efforts would only make them grow conceited and arrogant.

After proving herself and earning their respect, she had taken it upon herself to re-wire their brains to be unbreakable on the battlefield. Mental strength was a quality that severely lacked in many armies on the continent.

Meanwhile, Atta had come to admire the woman and even acknowledge her, dismissing the begging eyes that his ex-soldiers gave him every day.

"You should have listened to me when I tried to train you..."

That was the only thing he could think of when seeing their pitiful states. They looked so wretched that he even had a hard time looking at them.

Once the 160 soldiers finished their hellish run, Eloise's clear and cold voice resounded.

"I've seen some progression, even though you're still well under an acceptable level. To reward you all, we will hold a little tournament..."

When the half-dead soldiers heard that, their ears perked up. A tournament meant a competition that would crown a victor, which would be followed by a prize. Their brains, which were already overwhelmed by pain stimuli, started working overtime trying to figure out what it could be.

For Thomas, this was it. A moment to shine and attract the attention of the higher-ups. He couldn't squander it and his eyes lit up with firmness. Even if he had to drag himself to the finish line, he would win.

Seeing that she had caught the attention of everyone present, Eloise smirked. The training she had conducted so far had only been to build up muscle mass and cardio, two essential attributes for any decent warrior. It had already been seven days since the program started, and she needed to see who were the most promising seeds.

Before leaving to Yamato, Derrick had sent her a message outlining what reform he wanted in the army. He had called it 'Divisions'. Specifically, he wanted to form squads of 10 soldiers headed by one talented man and four platoons containing 4 squads each. These platoons would then be spearheaded by the creme of the crop.

Of course, to avoid the rise of envy and complacence, the soldiers would be able to challenge their leaders once every month, making every position volatile. Derrick had gotten the idea after conquering various villages. After all, the strong were respected by the weak. With a system like this in place, competition would be born and the soldiers' inner potential would be unleashed.

"Listen up because I'll not repeat myself! You will duel one another until only one remains. You will be given wooden sticks as swords, so I don't care how hard you hit each other. Surrendering is allowed, and if I see anyone not adhering to its principle, they'll have to face me afterwards..."

Her aura burst forth and the heart of all the soldiers present fell. The woman was truly terrifying. She then nodded to Atta and stopped speaking, observing the troops.

Atta jumped from the rock and began distributing wooden sticks. They weren't very thick, but they seemed sturdy enough to badly hurt an opponent. When he finished his task, he spoke.

"I'm sure you're all dying to know what the endgame of this whole thing is... For those who'll place between 5th and 21st, the rewards are promotions to Squad Leaders, which is a unit made of 10 soldiers, including yourself. A bronze armor will also be attributed"

Uh? The soldiers were shocked. They had expected gold, but this was even better! They would be part of the chain of command and a bronze armor was something unimaginable for them.

Their previously tired and bloodied bodies suddenly surged with strength, and they were ready to go back at it again. Thomas was also one of those that burned with drive and determination.

However, the ones who were considered the strongest among the group were holding their breaths. What about the top rewards?

"As for the ones placing 1st through 4th, the rewards are promotions to Platoon Leaders, which will be commanding 4 Squads that will be under you. A steel armor will be attributed"

A huge ruckus ensued. Steel armors?! These materials were so costly that they could only dream about them, on top of requiring a skillful blacksmith to work with them. Equipment like this easily went for 50 gold coins a piece. How could they afford to give this so easily?! And to sweeten it all, they would be able to commandeer a large amount of power as they saw fit, under, of course, the orders of their general.

"Now choose any opponent you want to face. The losers will go to the left side while the winners go to the right. If you cheat, you know what awaits you"

While grinning, Atta pointed at Martin, Lucas and Trey, who looked so battered that they were unrecognizable. Everybody seeing the trio violently shivered and all thoughts of shenanigans went out the window.

"One more thing, everything is allowed. The only thing that's prohibited is killing your opponent. May the best win!"

The atmosphere turned heavy and everyone ran towards the weaker soldiers, which constantly cursed their fortune.

"Troy you fucker! I never thought you were someone that would pray on the weak!"

"Hahahaha just blame your mother for giving you a weaker constitution!"

"Shameless bastard!"

Insults rained everywhere on the training grounds that had started taking shape. The former dense vegetation filled with bugs was no more, replaced by a vast plain that would soon accommodate the new Military Quarters.

Thomas, who had a decent build, was chosen by a man named Michael. His stature looked imposing, beating Thomas's height by a full head. His toned muscles also reflected the harsh training they had been going through.

"Come at me small fry, I want to end this quickly"

With contempt rivaling those of the gods, Michael nonchalantly walked forward, ready to crush his opponent.

Thomas remained calm, trying to find a way to deal with the muscled freak. After a few moments, he leaped forward with all his might.

Michael couldn't help but smile. This was too easy for a first round...

"Just surrender... I don't want to hurt you badly"

However, what came next would haunt him forever. When Thomas arrived in his striking range, he half-heartedly swung his stick, sure that it was plenty enough to deal with a weakling, but to his astonishment, Thomas slid underneath him.


With a fast movement, he smashed the stick into his family jewels, making him squeal so loud that everyone turned their gazes in their direction.

While getting up, Thomas looked at the now unconscious big man lying on the floor.

"Everything is allowed, and I intend to win, even if it's by being the most shameless person there is..."


Welcome to this website