The very next morning, Enoch, Ruby, and Mark all met up at the fields once again early in the morning. It was just early in the morning and it was quite cold. When the three of them breathed out, they could see their breaths.
"It's so cold!" Ruby shivered , her arms were wrapped around herself, as if trying to keep herself warm. Even from a short distance away, once could clearly see the goosebumps that had formed on her arm. Mark was shivering along with her. Enoch could feel the coolness of the air biting onto his skin, although he wasn't shivering. He was circulating heat around his body using magic, making sure that he stayed warmed. It was a relatively basic spell for him, but for some others, it would be a mid level spell. However, he had further enhanced it so its efficiency was at its peak, so he could maintain it for long periods of time.
However, after waiting for an hour, he was drained of mana and began to shiver, but their leader wasn't there yet! 'This bastard! Is he going to be forever late?!' They all thought to themselves as they continued waiting, Ruby and Mark were freezeing the death while Enoch could feel the cold as well. Fortunately as the sun went up, the air around them started heating up slightly, making them feel the warm sunlight on their skin was a blessing.
After waiting for four full hours, Michael finally entered the fields. Even worse, he was yawning as if he just woke up. "Yawn! Sorry folks, I forgot to wake up and forgot you kids were here until just a while ago." He said as he put his arms out to stretch. Meanwhile the three children in front of him were on the verge of rushing at him to kill him. If looks could kill, Michael would've long been dead already.
Ruby was the person who voiced out their complaints, "Why are so you late?!" She was clearly unhappy. Michael gave her a nonchalant look and shrug, "I told you, I just woke up just now. My bad!" He said to them.
Ruby looked like she had more to say, but she stopped herself and only stomped her feet in frustration. This was, after all, their party leader, and a platinum ranked hero. A platinum ranked hero was a top tier hero! They were simply people who had the greatest prestige and honor just under the diamond ranked heroes. So even if she had complaints, she couldn't very well lash out at their leader, who was a platinum ranked hero.
"Anyways," Michael looked at the three kids in front of him and then crossed his arms, "Now that I'm here, I'm going to give you guys a test."
The three kids frowned, Mark then spoke up. "B-but didn't we just recently complete a test to graduate? What kind of test is this?" Michael laughed, "That was merely a written test to graduate to become bronze ranked heroes. However, in my eyes, bronze ranked heroes are not real heroes. Do you know why?"
Without waiting for them to answer, Michael's relaxed face turned serious, "It's because of experience."
"Bronze ranked heroes are initiate heroes who are under training. In the eyes of heroes, the ranking of bronze means you're just an apprentice, not even a real hero. You so-called heroes who just graduated the academy have never experienced the terror and tribulation of a real battle. A battle where you put your life on the line. In fact, even in battle, you kids cannot hold your own.
"All the academy teaches you is theory, but you've never fought in real, live combat yourself. So, it is imperative that I test you."
Suddenly, the air around Michael turned formidable, as he let off a pressure that left Ruby and Mark feeling incredibly tense. Enoch could feel the pressure on him, but he resisted it. "What kind of test is it?" He asked after readjusting his mindset for a moment.
Michael laughed, "This is a simple test. Since I've been talking about live combat, naturally I'll test you on your live combat skills." After he said that, he patted himself on the test. "I just need you to hit me once. Once clean hit to pass the test. The first person who does it will join my party, while the other two will lose their qualifications of being a hero." Michael sneered, "We don't need untalented trash here!"
"W-what?" Mark exclaimed in surprise, "Lose qualifications of being a hero? Y-you can do that?"
"Of course, as a platinum ranked hero, and the party leader, I naturally have such rights. I don't need wastrels in my party." Michael said casually, "Of course, you're going to need to come at me with the will to kill, otherwise you'll never pass the test."
Michael looked at the three kids in front of him, "Use whatever means necessary, as long as you get the first clean hit on me, you pass.
"Test starts now!"
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