"Come on," Khan pleaded. "You send trucks to the nearest training camp every day. I only need a ride. I swear I'll shrink and be silent." , Khan had followed his initial plan to ask the soldiers in the Slums a favor. He had reached the nearest station and found people willing to listen to him, but his pleads were leading him nowhere. , "We can't give rides to civilians," The soldier replied. "You can walk or pay someone who owns a car." , "We are in the Slums!" Khan complained. "People barely have food here. Come on. I'm like one hundred and seventy centimeters. I can fit on your lap if I make myself really small." , The soldier shot an angry glance toward Khan, and the latter felt forced to add something to his previous statement. , "Of course, I'd rather not do it," Khan added while lowering his head and wearing his saddest expression. , "Don't try to appeal to my mercy," The soldier replied coldly. "You should go now. You might even reach the training camp in time for the enlistment period if you run for twenty days in a row." , The soldier exploded into a laugh, and his colleagues did the same. They had all stopped working when they noticed that interesting conversation, and they didn't miss the opportunity to mock Khan. , "I didn't want to use this," Khan sighed while a determined expression appeared on his face. , Khan lowered his bag and pulled a can out of it. He lifted it on the soldier's face and made sure that he could read its label. , "This is spicy chicken, my most valuable asset," Khan announced while pulling back the can and holding it between his arms. "I'm willing to give it to you in exchange for the ride." , The soldier watched Khan hugging the can with utmost care. The kid almost appeared to have feelings for that food. , "You should go home now," The soldier sighed while massaging his temples. , "Fine then," Khan said while pulling something else from his bag. "I'm willing to offer you two food cans! The second one is spicy soup." , The soldier didn't know how to answer. He almost felt pity for the kid, but he had no intention to accept the trade. , Khan could see that his bargain wasn't going well, but he didn't give up. He bent to pick a third food can from his backpack, but a tremor suddenly ran down his spine, and his hand shot behind him. , A second soldier, a tall, brawny bald man, had tried to grab Khan's shoulder. Still, Khan had sensed him, and his hand had promptly shot toward him. , Khan slowly turned his head. He had trapped the soldier's wrist in his grasp, and the big man didn't manage to free himself. , A surprised expression appeared on the three of them. The soldiers and Khan didn't expect that show of physical might. , 'When did I become so strong?' Khan wondered, but he suppressed that question for the time being. , That sudden burst of power had given Khan the chance to use a different act. He had enough experience in that field to change his character according to the situation. , "You know," Khan said in a cold voice without letting the soldier go. "I'm the son of a first-level warrior, the same man who barged into the mines only a month ago." , "That man is still in jail," The first soldier replied. "Let go of my companion immediately before I put you in the cell next to him." , "Do you think the jails in the Slums can contain a first-level warrior?" Khan threatened. "He has also been the head of the scientific division of the Global Army. Do you really want to displease such a man?" , Both soldiers started to show hints of concern. Even the other men and women in the station began to ignore the conversation for fear of eventual repercussions. , "Imagine what this man would do when he learns that his only son has lost his chance to enlist because of you," Khan continued. "I wonder how long it will take to rebuild this place." , The soldiers completely fell for Khan's act. His words alone weren't a problem, but they had both read the reports about the incident in the mines. Also, Khan appeared quite threatening in that situation. , Khan was keeping a soldier almost twice his size locked in his grasp. Both men could only use the mana to explain his unnatural strength, which made them even more worried. , "The next truck will depart tonight," The first soldier sighed, giving up on the matter. "You will have to sit among the provisions. Mind you. We will cut your hands if you steal anything." , Khan quickly dropped his cold expression and revealed a smile. He also let go of the soldier behind him who didn't know whether to punish the kid or run away. , "You lost your chance to get two food cans," Khan said while glancing at the hesitant soldier behind him. "I was even willing to add another one!" , The first soldier shook his head and led Khan into a waiting area, where he immediately opened one of his cans and started eating. The man didn't want to start another discussion, so he ignored the kid and went back to work. , 'I guess I should maximize my training time,' Khan thought while glancing at the soldiers in the station. 'I can't trust them, but the previous act should have scared them enough to warn me once the truck is ready.' , Khan inspected his hands. The strength from before had left him speechless. He knew that the workout in the last month and his job in the mines weren't enough to give him that power. , 'The mana did something,' Khan quickly concluded in his mind. 'The visualization technique shouldn't have anything to do with this strength. It can only be the mana core, the forceful acceleration of its flow, or both of them.' , Khan realized how little he knew about the mana and how dangerous that energy was. He had trained for little more than a month, but he could already see significant improvements. , 'Is it like this for everyone?' Khan wondered. 'I might be talented or something. These fast improvements might even come from the quality of the mana core.' , Khan eventually decided to suppress his questions and resume his training. It was pointless to waste those precious hours over doubts that he couldn't solve. The Global Army would soon give him answers anyway. , His focus went on his nape, and a few trails of sweat fell from his forehead while he accelerated the flow of the mana. Khan had gotten the hang of that procedure in the last days, and he had even become used to the tingling sensation that followed it. , "Hey, kid," A soldier eventually interrupted Khan's mediation. , Khan opened his eyes and noticed that the night had already arrived. It was time to leave the Slums, so he didn't hesitate to follow the soldier. , A truck was waiting in front of the station. It was one of the old models that couldn't go higher than ten meters. It even had wheels in case the flying mechanism stopped working. , The transport also looked quite dirty. Mud and terrain covered its wheels and front. It seemed that the truck had needed to move on the ground recently. , 'I hope this thing doesn't kill me before reaching the training camp,' Khan thought before climbing on the truck's back, where a simple fabric covered various cans and some bottles. , 'Why do they even bring so much food back to the training ground,' Khan wondered. 'I thought they were rich there.' , Khan couldn't lose himself in his thoughts because a female voice resounded from the bottom of the container and startled him. , "Our agreement stated that I would have been alone here!" A young-looking girl with red hair and green eyes shouted. , Khan didn't know what to answer, but he didn't stop climbing inside the truck either. He even moved the cans and created an uncomfortable chair under the livid gaze of the girl. , "Change of plans," The soldier replied while sealing the fabric and closing Khan and the girl inside the container. "Don't try to open this while the truck is in the air." , Khan slowly turned toward the girl and took a can from his backpack. An honest smile appeared on his face as he handed the food to his travel companion. , "It's spicy chicken," Khan said in a polite tone. "I can share it if you give me your name." , The girl didn't even bother to reply. She snorted before turning toward her corner of the container and falling silent.

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