As the airship belonging to an aristocratic group drew closer to the group, Scarlett began explaining her plan to the other contestants present. She kept it as summarized as possible as they had little to no time to properly go over anything solid.
"...and that's it. Bloody brilliant isn't it?" Scarlett concluded before complimenting her own idea, the other contestants however didn't share this same enthusiasm.
"No, not brilliant. What it is is complete and utter madness. Your plan will end badly for all of us. Let's just escape, I doubt they'll pursue us for long." Lucas was the first to voice his dislike towards Scarlett's plan and immediately suggested they retreat instead.
"I agree with him, this plan of yours will have grave consequences if carried out. A retreat in this case would be more appropriate." Mirai was quick to agree with Lucas on the matter of retreating. Sharla who was next to her didn't hesitate in nodding her head at Mirai's words, making her stance on the matter very clear.
That made three people who now disagreed with Scarlett. Before she could try explaining further, Jagu released an annoyed growl and turned towards the approaching airship.
"You other races are so pathetic, you would sooner chose to run away than to fight back? I was told the journey is where the best of the best prove themselves. What message will I be showing to my people if I run away because I fear a bunch of privileged fledgelings?! Tsk, run if you will, I support this plan." For the first time since they met him, Jagu had expressed his views on a matter seriously and without hesitation.
Most Komi were known for their pride and Jagu was no different. To him, running because he didn't want to offend whatever family the aristocrats on the approaching airship belonged to was beyond pathetic.
"For the record, I couldn't care less what you all think of my plan. It only needs these three to be a success, so what will it be? Will you let the world know you aren't to be trifled with or are you going to bend over and spread your lovely cheeks for the empire's brats?" Scarlett dismissed Lucas and Mirai's opinions before turning towards Jagu, Jin and Aron and asking them what they'd do.
"Your plan is easy enough to carry out, even without it I had no plans of backing down." Jin stepped forward with his arms crossed and a confident smile before turning his head to Aron, the only one who was yet to voice his stand among the three of them.
"My stance on the matter should already be clear." Aron replied with a smile on his face as he looked at the others seemingly ready to fight. 'These so called aristocrats are considered superior, I need to confirm wether they possess strength or it's just for show. Worst case scenario, I've got a few meat shields I can use to cover my escape.'
After reaching that conclusion, Aron, Jagu and Jin walked closer towards the descending airship while the others stayed behind observing what would happen.
"Psst, mind helping me out with something shorty?" As Aron and the others walked away, Scarlett turned to Oxin and whispered slyly.
"Well...." She replied in an unsure tone but Scarlett maintained her smile.
At the same time, Aron, Jagu and Jin had come to a halt and only looked up at the descending airship. Jagu in particular didn't seem keen on waiting and stepped forward before crouching down.
"Enough of all this waiting, let me just finish this quickly." Jagu declared before pressing his legs and hands hard against the ground.
The ground shook slightly and displayed cracks on the areas where he had placed his legs and hands. Next his already large muscles tensed up before he suddenly launched himself up into the air. All this happened in less than a second and caused everyone observing to look on keenly.
Jagu had managed to launch himself several meters into the air and was getting close to the airship but just as he was about to get within a hundred meter radius of it, a bright blue barrier appeared and brought his ascension to a halt.
'"What the-" Jagu muttered before crossing his hands over his face. His body slammed into the barrier with tremendous force but the barrier stood strong and instead caused Jagu to bounce off it's surface, violently sending him back to the ground with even more force.
The sound of Jagu making impact with the ground was a loud one. The impact was so strong that Jagu's body created a small crater in the process, despite all this however Jagu soon stood up completely unharmed.
"Tsk, those bastards aren't even willing to fight head on!" Jagu cursed loudly before preparing to attack again.
"Oie big guy!you won't be able to break through that barrier, it absorbs whatever energy is thrown it's way before sending it back twofold. You don't have the precision needed to break it with brute force alone." Scarlett pointed out loudly towards Jagu who only growled, clearly annoyed by that revelation.
"Calm down, if you show you're capable of constantly withstanding the force from that barrier they'll know you're strong and the plan will fall apart. Let them think they are superior for now, you'll be able to crush them in a moment." Aron pointed out causing Jagu to release a sigh before smiling at the airship above.
"When you put it like that, fine. Let them come." Jagu replied to Aron before standing with his arms crossed.
Meanwhile on the airship above, three figures stood on the deck observing Aron and the other contestants through a magic projection of their own.
They all wore confident expressions on their faces as they watched Jagu be repelled by their barrier. As they enjoyed this scene, another figure approached them from behind slowly and cleared his throat before speaking in a humble tone.
"Uhm, all the contestants are ready as you instructed Lord Benjamin." A young looking man bowed his head before declaring in a low and respectable tone towards one of the three figures on the deck.
"Good, then let's show those commoners just how large the gap between us truly is." The one addressed as Benjamin declared before stroking his short blonde hair back while showing a sly smile. 𝙗𝒆𝙙𝙣𝒐𝙫𝙚𝒍.𝒄𝒐𝒎
"But Sir, those contestants down there are the best scoring non-aristocratic contestants. Is it wise to fight them?" The young man questioned in a worried tone. However Benjamin only frowned at the young man before slapping him straight in the face.
"Are you saying me? Benjamin De Rugh, the first born son of one of the most prosperous middle class families in all of Ettenheim will fail to take out a few commoners who scored well during their screening? I advise you to watch your words, I took you under my wing and gave you a chance to raise your low class family to prominence, don't test me." Benjamin threatened in a serious tone towards the young man who slowly backed away fearfully.
Soon after this, the airship descended even closer to the ground before a large platform extended from it. Benjamin along with two other well dressed figures by his side descended this platform while looking in Aron's direction. After they descended, numerous other figures began to descend from the platform.
"So many..." Lucas who watched from afar near Mirai and Sharla muttered in a worried tone.
"Unlike us who are selected through talent, most aristocrats simply pay for participation in the journey, most of their airships house contestants numbering a hundred." Scarlett crossed her arms and explained in an annoyed manner as she looked at the large group that gathered in front of Aron, Jin and Jagu.
"Choosing to face off against the aristocrats was a mistake from the start, now they'll learn that the hard way. Let's leave before getting caught up in this." Sharla pointed out in an uncaring tone while Scarlett remained looking confident.
"You've got one thing right, someone is definitely about to learn a lesson the hard way." Scarlett stated before shifting her gaze to the scene ahead.
Said scene was now Benjamin, who was seemingly the leader or atleast the most respected of the group standing a few feet away from Aron, Jagu and Jin who faced the group of around one hundred and fifty contestants without a hint of worry on their faces.
"I must hand it to you lot, you're either very brave or very stupid for not escaping when you had the chance. But to be the top group among the commoners, you must be at least capable to some extent so I extend this offer to you, swear allegiance to me and I promise you a smooth transition during the journey." Benjamin offered with a sly smile on his face but received only silence from Aron, Jagu and Jin.
"It can only be humans who can be this arrogant despite being weak. And here I thought I'd have a challenge at the very least." Jagu growled in disgust as he lost interest in Benjamin and his group, Jin and Aron shared a similar sentiment as they both showed disinterested looks.
"They aren't even worth using my weapon on *sigh*" Jin declared in a dejected manner as he sheathed his sword.
These actions and remarks were all very insulting to Benjamin and his group. Not only had they ignored his offer but they looked down on him as unworthy of fighting.
"You will pay for your foolish actions yo-" He declared as he reached out to unsheathe his sword. But before he could do so, a loud bang was heard and Benjamin's body fell to the ground in an instant.
Everyone's eyes widened and they looked towards Aron who had one of his arcane guns drawn with an annoyed expression on his face.
"You're this weak yet you actually dared to aim for my life? Are you mocking me? Is all this a twisted joke?" Aron muttered as his eyes began to turn bloodshot and minuscule beast like features began to rise. The bloodlust of his wills was surfacing...