Chapter 205: Increasing Clarity on the Potential of Group Battle Tactics

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

At the beginning, the outcomes of the Heavenly Peak’s implementation of the group battle tactics were hardly desirable.

This was primarily attributable to the fact that most disciples were already used to a one-versus-one type of combat. Even when they were all attacking the same target, everyone was simply minding their own business when they did so. Everyone focused on their own attacks, and they hardly concerned themselves with timing and coordinating their attacks with the people around them.

Naturally, they would lend a helping hand during an emergency, but regular teamwork only extended so far. As for battle formations, rotation of offensive and defensive roles, flanking attacks, nobody had heard of these things before.

Jun Xiaomo knew that it was practically impossible to imbibe her martial brothers with these tactics the same within a short span of three days. Furthermore, such knowledge was useless if it remained as head knowledge. It was only when they internalized these practices through combat experience that it would become something that they could wield as an advantage in battle.

Thus, Jun Xiaomo thought about it and decided to split her martial brothers up into five teams of four, depending on their individual combat styles.

Then, within each of these smaller teams, each person would attempt to work their way through the exact style of combat that synergized best with the rest of his teammates. At the same time, they would work on entrusting their backs to each other as well.

That’s right. The most important tenet of such group battle tactics was trust.

Trust in the fact that their teammates would be able to defeat their opponents, and trust in the fact that their teammates would cover their backs. It was only through the foundation of such trust that the team could build solidarity and become one complete, functioning unit like that of an impregnable war machine.

The most fortuitous thing about their present circumstances was the fact that the Heavenly Peak disciples never lacked trust for each other. The only thing that they lacked was combat experience and practice on their timing and coordination.

“Little Lang! Cover martial brother Chen’s back!”

“Martial brother Hua, take a few steps back and use long-ranged spells instead. Leave the short-ranged attacks to martial brother Qing!”

“Martial brother Wen, use your ice spells to help martial brother Huan block the attacks…”

It could be said that Jun Xiaomo was the person most worn-out by those few battles. Not only did she have to observe the conditions of each and every single team out there, she would even have to yell out and instruct them on how they could better adjust or tweak their approaches and combat styles to improve their combat efficacy.

After every battle, the Heavenly Peak would always huddle together for a short debrief on the things that they had learnt and the things that could be improved on, as well as to discuss how they could better improve their coordination with each other. At the same time, Jun Xiaomo would take the opportunity to teach some of the applicable knowledge that she had gleaned from the manuscripts in her previous life.

It had to be said that the mortal world was truly well-researched into the discipline of group battle tactics despite their lack of cultivation abilities. Her martial brothers would invariably find themselves enlightened about the situation whenever Jun Xiaomo disclosed a small nugget of wisdom to address their difficulties.

Jun Xiaomo had come across a phrase in the past that had stuck with her ever since –

“No nugget of wisdom can give rise to results overnight. Only arduous practice and fine-tuning begets complete internalization and instinctual utilization.”

Jun Xiaomo completely agreed with such a philosophy. Thus, she had never expected any of her martial brothers to become masters of group battle tactics overnight. In her mind, it sufficed that the implementation of group battle tactics allowed them to increase their combat efficacy ever so slightly so that they could best utilize the remainder of their time within the competition grounds.

But, as much as their implementation of the group battle tactics was a good distance away from being considered even passable in Jun Xiaomo’s eyes, the rate of improvement of their combat efficacy was undoubtedly terrifying in the eyes of the audience.

When the first swamp monster appeared, Jun Xiaomo and the rest had expended an incredible amount of effort over three incense sticks of time before they defeated that monster.

When the second swamp monster appeared, and this was also the first time that Jun Xiaomo had implemented group battle tactics, they spent five incense sticks of time before they managed to claim victory. This was largely due to the fac that they were still unfamiliar with the concept of group battle tactics and they still lacked experienced. Three martial brothers even sustained light injuries in the process. At that time, several members of the audience began to doubt what Jun Xiaomo was trying to do.

When the third swamp monster appeared, Jun Xiaomo and the rest continued to implement their group battle tactics. Despite the growing suspicions among the audience members for what Jun Xiaomo was doing, the Heavenly Peak disciples were unaware of such matters and were thus unfazed and unaffected by all of these. This time, it took them four and a half incense sticks of time before they claimed victory. Furthermore, only two martial brothers sustained light injuries.

On the fourth attempt, they only used four incense sticks of time, and only one martial brother sustained light injuries.

On the fifth attempt…

Just like that, they continued to lure out the swamp monsters and battle with them to hone their skills, and they would have a short debrief between battles to collect their thoughts and discuss what could be improved. Then, they would attempt to implement these tactics in the next battle, adjust their combat styles to best synergize with their teammates, and improve on their combat rhythm and tempo.

The accumulation of experience from each battle gave rise to incredible results.

Several members within the audience were initially of the view that the Heavenly Peak disciples must have lost their minds. Otherwise, why else would they be interested in the things of the mortal world? In their eyes, those without a spiritual root or talent for cultivation were relegated to living the rest of their lives as mere mortals, and the wisdom of these mere mortals could hardly be mentioned in the same breath as the wisdom of cultivators.

Thus, they looked down on such philosophies and disciplines of the mortal world.

When Jun Xiaomo and the rest first set out clumsily honing their group battle tactics, these audience members earnestly shifted their attention away from the Heavenly Peak disciples and focused their minds on observing the other teams. They firmly believed that the Heavenly Peak disciples were wasting their time and effort. The time spent honing these skills were far better spent attempting to locate and dig up the priceless treasures hidden by the organizing committee beforehand and accumulating more points for themselves.

But after six hours had elapsed and these disbelieving audience members turned their attention back to the Heavenly Peak disciples to check on them once more, they were completely taken aback.

Jun Xiaomo and the rest had managed to subdue and dispose of a secondary-tier, fifth-grade swamp monster in only two and a half incense sticks of time! How could they possibly be so quick?!

At the very least, the observers knew that if they had sent their disciples of the same cultivation levels to battle against that swamp monster, there was no way they would be able to dispose of it within such a short period of time.

Thus, they finally began to realize the veracity of what Jun Xiaomo had propounded earlier.

In the booth beside where the panel of referees was located, a group of stern-looking old men sat elegantly at their seats as they calmly observed the proceedings on the water screen without a single ripple in their eyes.

Even though nobody was able to sense the depths of these old men’s cultivation level, not a single person dared to treat these people lightly. This was because everyone knew the status of the old men seated in the booth beside the panel of referees – they were none other than the sect elders from Greater Sects. They had attended these competitions with the sole purpose of earmarking their next Chosen Disciples.

Every single Secondary Sect, without exception, sincerely desired that their disciples would be earmarked as Chosen Disciples by the sect elders here. It was both their disciple’s personal glory as well as their sect’s glory if they were chosen as such.

“That little gal isn’t too shabby. Her ideas are rather fresh.” Just then, one of the Greater Sect’s sect elders turned to another sect elder beside him as he remarked.

His gaze was transfixed on Jun Xiaomo within the water screen.

The other sect elder beside him nodded his head in agreement, “It’s a pity that her cultivation level is a little bit on the low side.”

The first sect elder smiled, but he refrained from commenting on that.

Moments later, the first sect elder unhurriedly added, “Let’s keep watching. Perhaps she might surprise us even more later one?”

Wei Gaolang was completely unaware that his abilities had improved by leaps and bounds over the course of the last few battles. The only thing he knew was the fact that his coordination with his martial brothers had improved dramatically, and their synergies made the battles increasingly more enjoyable for him.

At the start, he was at a complete loss as to what he had to do, and Jun Xiaomo had to constantly remind him of what he ought to do next. But now, Jun Xiaomo no longer had to remind him of what had to be done. He knew roughly when the best time to strike was; when the best time to pull back and adopt a defensive posture was; and most of all he knew when to coordinate with his other teammates to impede and restrain the movement of the swamp monsters.

This was a type of combat intuition that he had developed over the last six hours.

Truth be told, he was truly incredibly nervous when the group battles had just become. He was afraid that he would become the burden to all his martial brothers and sisters and drag them down. This was particularly so after the incident with the Crescentfell Sect disciples, when he had concluded of his own volition that he was the “worst teammate” to have in these group battles.

Thus, while he blamed himself, he sincerely prayed that there was a way of allowing his abilities to increase overnight so that he would not be such a burden to his martial brothers and sisters any longer.

That said, he knew that this was nothing more than an impossible dream.

But Jun Xiaomo’s group battle tactics allowed this impossible dream to turn into reality. His personal abilities remained pretty much the same, but the implementation of group battle tactics had allowed him to maximize his full potential and become an asset to the team. He had now truly become a part of the whole. Although this part looked to be slightly weak and lacking at times, his team would still be incomplete without it.

In fact, as his abilities flourished, Wei Gaolang even found himself blocking a strike on Chen Feiyu’s behalf in one instance, thereby allowing Chen Feiyu to wholeheartedly focus his mind on delivering a fatal blow to the swamp monster. When that happened, Wei Gaolang cheered for himself in his heart – Beautifully done!

That said, Chen Feiyu walked over to him and patted his shoulder, giving credit where it was due, “Well done! Thanks, martial brother Wei.” At that time, Wei Gaolang’s face blossomed with a wide, radiant grin.

If the Heavenly Peak disciples continued disposing of swamp monsters at the rate they were going, their final standing might not be too shabby, even if they failed to take the top spot.

To the audience, it was rather impressive that a team with such low average cultivation levels were well on their way to obtaining decent results. They believed that the Heavenly Peak disciples should be content with where they were headed.

But the Heavenly Peak disciples were never fated to calmly and uneventfully rack up points just like that. Having busied themselves honing their group battle tactics for seven whole hours, the Heavenly Peak disciples were just about to take a break when a “dark cloud” seemed to overshadow them.

The Heavenly Peak disciples had already whipped out their dry rations and were about to tuck in when this “dark cloud” suddenly appeared. Thus, everyone immediately turned to look in the direction that it appeared from.

“My goodness! What the hell is this?!” Wei Gaolang’s eyes widened as he pointed in the “dark cloud” in astonishment. Thud. The dry rations in his hands flopped over and landed neatly on the ground.

Upon closer examination, this was not a dark cloud at all – it was a hazy shadow formed by innumerable blood-red feelers flailing about. These feelers were incredibly dense and each of them appeared to have a life of its own as it whipped about. It was a goosebumps-inducing sight.

Shortly afterwards, they heard a cry coming out a short distance away, “He-…help…help us…”

Wei Gaolang looked at the quickly approaching cloud of feelers, and his first reaction was to turn tail and run. But as soon as he heard the cry for help, he hesitated.

He lifted his head and looked expectantly towards Jun Xiaomo and Chen Feiyu, wondering what their decision would be.

Jun Xiaomo raised her eyebrows as she remarked, “Martial brother, what are you looking at me for? Didn’t we say that you would make the call the next time we encountered such a situation?”

“Haa--?! Do…do you really want me to decide now…” Wei Gaolang stammered.

“Do you think we were joking earlier?” Jun Xiaomo chuckled as she responded with another question.

Wei Gaolang looked pleadingly at Chen Feiyu, but Chen Feiyu simply shook his head, indicating that he was not going to make a decision on Wei Gaolang’s behalf.

He looked into the distance at the cultivators running towards them with pale faces and disheveled appearances as they yelled for help at the top of their lungs, Wei Gaolang struggled with himself for a moment. Then, he shut his eyes with some measure of resignation as he gritted his teeth –

“Then…let’s save them!”

After speaking, he sighed in his heart, yet he only felt the guilt in his heart towards his martial brothers and sister only seemed to burgeon even more.

Had he chosen wrongly again this time? Would his decision cause his martial brothers and sisters to be dragged through immense danger, only to rescue some ingrates once more?

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