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Right now, Innu was experiencing a sensation he had never felt before. His legs weren't listening to him. They were moving on their own, and no matter how much his brain commanded them to stop what they were doing, they weren’t listening.
‘What the crap is this?!’ Innu screamed internally. ‘No, I have to keep calm, there has to be a way out of this. After all, Blake managed to pass, and so did a bunch of others. If I fail at the first test, doesn’t that mean everything I went through, everything that I learned… all the pain, all the training, and suffering was for nothing?’
Edvard could see it Innu's bottom was heading downward, and there was almost no sign of resistance at all. In this case, it meant that the student would fail.
‘I won't be beaten by this!’ Innu refused to give up. All the pressure in his body felt like it was rising to the top of his head. The veins on his neck were showing as he tensed up, and he wasn't even taking in a breath of air.
Forcing his body, he bit down on the bottom of his lip until blood started to flow. At the same time, Innu clenched his hands so hard that his fingernails dug into the palm of his hand.
"I'm sorry, but I'm not following your order… sir!" Innu shouted out. His legs spread out in a sumo stance. It looked comical, yet it was enough to prevent his bottom from touching the floor.
Everyone heard his angry shout, and as they saw the teenager still standing, a smile spread across their faces. Despite the grunts and struggles of pain that he endured, Innu had managed to pass the challenge in a way that none of the others had been able to.
So far, it seemed to vary in terms of struggling - either they would get through it with ease, with a little bit of struggling like Blake, or there would be no resistance at all. Seeing someone like Innu pass in this unusual way filled them with hope for their own challenge.
Edvard placed his glasses back on and looked at Innu in front of him. He could see the blood drip from his hands onto the ground and down from his lip. He hadn't even wiped it away.
‘Did he just overcome the influence power with sheer will?’ Edvard thought. ‘I’m certain that adjusted the level of Influence to match those in the room, so I guess it would be possible, but to have such strength, he is a special one.’
Edvard then went close to Innu and placed his hand on his shoulder. He was the first Hunter he had done this to.
"Congratulations, you pass," Edvard said, placing his hand on the teenager's shoulder. Innu felt a rush of elation, particularly since he was the only one to receive such open praise from their leader. Lost in his joy, he didn't even notice the other giving him a quick sniff before pulling away. "You should "That was the strangest test I’ve ever experienced," Innu noted, as he sat down next to Blake. "Is that something that all the five-star Hunters learn or something?"
clean yourself up," Edvard continued, "Follow Fang and he'll get you patched up. Blood is not a pretty sight."
With Innu passing, he and Blake gave each other a thumbs up, and all those who passed were following Fang into another area. In that area, they noticed several people who didn't look like Hunters. They were wearing peculiar nurse outfits with white masks covering their faces.
The two weren’t sure if it was a coincidence, but all of them were women. Without asking any questions, one of them went towards Innu and started patching him up.
The room was somewhat like a locker room at a gym, with several benches for people to sit on, and they waited and waited for others to join them.
"That was the strangest test I’ve ever experienced," Innu noted, as he sat down next to Blake. "Is that something that all the five-star Hunters learn or something?"
Blake shrugged his shoulders. "That was the first time I experienced that myself. It was like I lost control of my whole body."
Innu was happy to hear that Blake had a similar experience to his. He would have been disheartened if he hadn't, but it was still clear that Blake had gotten through it easier than him. Just as he opened his mouth to ask more question, another Hunter walked past.
"Oh, hey, you're that guy that screamed at the top of his lungs, right?" The Hunter looked to be in his twenties. He had a clean face free of scars or marks, and his hair was swept back and brown. With such a clean face, Innu was actually reminded of Kai a bit, which immediately gave him a knee-jerk reaction not to trust this guy too much.
"Ah, yeah, that was me. The assessment was a bit harder than what I thought," Innu nervously laughed.
"Hard?" The man replied. "Well, I was here to check out the competition, but if you thought that was hard, then I guess there's no hope for you. Blake, I look forward to seeing who is the better of us two."
With just those words, the young man walked off and carried on, annoying a few other people as well…com
"Who was that jerk?" Innu asked.
"He's called Rad. He's a two-star Hunter. I don't know why, but it seems like he has always been trying to compete with me," Blake answered.
"Probably because he's scared of you. I mean, you are pretty skillful," Innu stated.
"So are you, Innu. Unlike me, you haven’t been trained to be an Altered Hunter from a young age, and yet you have won the acknowledgement of Ashen," Blake encouraged him.
For some reason, after the last assessment, he felt a bit disheartened and didn't believe that fully, but there was his trump card, the skill he had learned from Ashen that he wasn't allowed to show anyone.
"Anyway, I wonder what the next assessment will be?"
Edvard was talking to a few of the four-star Hunters. Their assessment would happen another time, so for today, he had asked them to help him set up the next stage for Blake, Innu and the others. After explaining everything, Edvard called out one of the four-star hunters to talk to them in private.
"I want you to do me a favour," Edvard whispered. "Keep an eye on the black-skinned boy with blonde hair. He has the smell of a mutt on him."
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