It wasn't long before Ling Lan arrived at the mission location. Frankly, if you didn't look closely, it would be impossible to see where it was, because the entire Mecha Street was filled with people. The ground wasn't visible no matter which end you looked at. However, Ling Lan's eyes were sharp. She noticed that at the entrance of one particular shop, the children were lined up and entering one at a time, and so she knew she had found the right place.
Ling Lan did not choose to jump down, for she suspected that if she tried to cut the line right then, it would definitely incite the rage of the crowd. If that happened, no matter how adept she was at fighting, she would still be beaten up by all the students like a rat crossing the street 1 . So she laid flat on the roof, and peeked over the eaves to look down. As she expected, the third storey had windows.
That being so, she positioned herself, and then, hanging down with her feet hooked on the eaves, she managed to touch the windows of the third storey. Right now, Ling Lan only hoped that the glass wouldn't be anything insane like bulletproof glass or tempered glass.
She tapped on the panes lightly, and the glass produced a crisp and clear sound — it should just be regular glass. Ling Lan decisively clenched her fist and threw a heavy punch. A crisp 'bang!' rang out, and there was now a hole in the glass. Ling Lan continued to rain several more blows at the window until all the glass had been shattered.
Ling Lan's savage method was noticed by the students below, and a furor broke out among the students waiting on the street. They had never even considered such a violent way of entering a shophouse. Quite a few of the students were mentally chiding themselves — if they had only known of this method earlier, then they wouldn't have had to wait so patiently in line for so long.
Ling Lan paid no mind to the envy-jealousy-hate of the students below. She loosened the grip of her legs, both hands grabbing on tightly to the window frame, and nimbly flipped herself from outside the window into the shop.
But when Ling Lan got a better look at the scene inside the shop, she was instantly depressed. Because, of all the places she could enter from, she had coincidentally entered the room where the portal to the test was located. As a result, she was immediately caught red-handed by the instructors posted there to maintain order.
An elderly instructor with a white beard pointed a trembling finger at her and raged, "Who are you? From which grade? How can you be so disrespectful?!" Ling Lan was wearing the red uniform specific to the special classes, so it went without saying that he was one of those prideful princes. The only question was which grade he was from.
Ling Lan swiftly took a look around the room, and found that other than the one angry old teacher in front of her, the other teachers, especially those of the younger generation, weren't as angry as she would have expected. Some were even smiling slightly with a trace of approval in their gazes.
Eh? This action of hers was obviously going against the established order of things, and may even create chaos and confusion — why weren't the instructors offended? Why would they even approve ? Ling Lan abruptly remembered that this was a world where the strongest survive, where everything was decided through strength. Was intelligence also considered a type of strength? Did the academy openly announce this legacy mission, but never really intended for the children to enter the test under normal pathways? So, this method of hers which would seem so rebellious and off the beaten track in her previous world ... was actually considered a display of intelligence here?
Ling Lan did not linger on the idea, letting it sweep by without thinking any more of it. This was because she needed to respond properly to the instructor; the academy placed top priority in respecting one's teachers and honouring the truth, and Ling Lan had no intentions of flouting this tradition.
"Good day, teacher. I am Ling Lan of grade 2 Class-A." Ling Lan's calm self-introduction caused some of the teachers to break out into laughter. This child showed no hint of shame for being caught doing something wrong — his expression was closer to that of an innocent babe's.
"Even if you are a child from Class-A, one of the most excellent of students within the academy, I will submit a complaint to the school administration on your horrible behaviour and make them take away your right to be in Class-A." Ling Lan's easy attitude without any sign of repentance had thoroughly enraged the already angry old teacher.
The old teacher's words made the younger teachers around him smile bitterly, silently shaking their heads. This elderly teacher was infamous within the academy for being mule-headed. Right was right, wrong was wrong, no ifs and buts about it — he was a stubborn old fogey who would show no mercy. It was for this very reason that the academy administration had put him in charge of keeping order here. They were hoping he would be able to frighten some of the academy's more unruly students with his sternness and keep them in check. Who knew that before he could have a chance to frighten those naughty students, he would already clash with an intelligent child with unorthodox thinking?
The younger instructors were all glum — if this old teacher weren't here, they would have just let Ling Lan go ahead and take the test already! It couldn't be helped. They just really liked this sort of student who was willing to leap out of the box, and who was filled with limitless potential.
Ling Lan was also extremely troubled. She kneaded her forehead, thinking about how she could solve this problem. It wasn't that she was really afraid that the elderly teacher would complain, but rather, she felt that it would be wrong to make this old man with a head full of white hair angry.
After a beat of silence, Ling Lan opened her mouth to ask, "May I know who is the owner of this shop?"
A young man was sitting on a sofa by the side talking quietly with another young man in military uniform as they watched events unfold. Hearing the question of the child who broke the window, he hurriedly raised his hand and said, "That's me. I'm over here." With a smile on his face, he waited with interest to see what Ling Lan would do next.
Seeing the young man's intrigued expression, Ling Lan's heart settled. With a slight bow of her head, she said sincerely, "I'm sorry I broke your shop's window pane! May I know how much it would cost to install a new one? I will pay for it."
"It's fine, it's fine, it's just a small glass pane," said the young man, still smiling, casually refusing Ling Lan's offer.
But Ling Lan insisted, "I did it, so I will take responsibility. The academy has taught us before that we should not run away from our responsibilities."
Ling Lan's words caused all the teachers present to nod their heads silently — even the angered elderly instructor was stroking his white beard in gratification, and the harsh expression on his face gentled considerably.
An impressive child! A sharp glint flashed through the eyes of the young soldier beside the young man. Defusing the elderly instructor's rage with just a few short sentences; he could already predict that this case would end peacefully.
"Haha, what if this piece of glass is very expensive? I know well that you scout academy students don't have much money here," said the young man with a mischievous smirk. It seemed like the young man just wanted to mess around with Ling Lan on purpose. At the same time, he was subtly reminding Ling Lan that she shouldn't make promises so quickly before she had all the information.
With a shake of her wrist, Ling Lan sent the small item in her hand flying through the air straight towards the young man. This movement was extremely sudden, but the young man was not at all flustered. He calmly reached out his right hand and easily caught the item.
This sharp and clean catch caused Ling Lan's brows to lift up slightly; looks like the owner of this shop was more than he seemed. Ling Lan kept her surprise lidded as a smirk appeared on her face. "This is a fragment of that glass of yours. It would be easy enough to find a device to assess its components. We students of the scout academy are protected by the scout academy ... I believe that Big Brother wouldn't want to offend the scout academy, right?"
Every student who studied at the scout academy would receive the academy's protection. Any adult who tried to cheat or deceive the students would certainly draw the frenzied vengeance of the scout academy.
The way Ling Lan looked at the young man, just as if he were an idiot, made the young soldier beside him chuckle, while the young man couldn't help but hide his face behind a hand, speechless. He just hadn't been able to stop himself from teasing this cute little boy a little — did the boy have to retaliate so fiercely? Actually being looked down upon by a 7 year old child ... Boo hoo hoo, he didn't want to live anymore.
The elderly instructor's face, which had already gentled completely by this time, actually smiled a little at this speech of Ling Lan's, nodding all the while. So this child wasn't an unruly and naughty child — he was very clear on what was right and wrong in the bigger picture, and was also a responsible child. He really wasn't a bad child at all ... looks like he couldn't treat him too harshly now, to avoid hurting the child's development ...
Unknowingly, the elderly instructor's thoughts had been changed by Ling Lan's performance.
"Alright, just giving me 500 Federation virtual coins will do." The young man could only give an amount that was lower than the market rate by 30%. Ling Lan naturally didn't refuse the other's kind intentions and stupidly insist on paying the so-called correct price just to prove how noble she was.
That done, Ling Lan packed away her contempt, her expression turning earnest as she thanked the young man. This caused the young man's spirits to brighten instantly, and he once again felt like this child before him was just too adorable.
Boo hoo hoo, he must definitely propose to his girlfriend as soon as possible so they could consummate their marriage and have a plump little baby next year as cute as this child before him ...
Ling Lan swiftly transferred the requested gold coins to the young man, and the case of the broken window was settled just like that. Then, she walked over to stand in front of the elderly instructor and said seriously, "Thank you, teacher, for your guidance."
These words of Ling Lan finally moved the old instructor. The children these days were all very rebellious, and would usually hold a grudge against their teachers when rebuked, rather than be grateful for it. Yet, the elderly instructor could see very clearly that Ling Lan was sincere when she thanked him. Ling Lan's current demeanour made the old instructor unable to maintain his initial sternness, so he only said gruffly, "Remember, there's no next time."
Eh?! Was this still that merciless stubborn old fogey they all knew? All of the other instructors were extremely surprised that the elderly instructor would let Ling Lan off so easily 2 . They had initially thought that the elderly instructor would personally go all the way to the disciplinary department to make a complaint. Who would have guessed that the end of the matter would be this 'all thunder but no rain' type of result?
A smile hung on the corners of the young soldier's lips as he looked at Ling Lan's face which was dripping with sincerity. What a perfect finishing blow! Who knew that after leaving the academy for over a decade, another aberrantly exceptional child would appear ... Lin Lan ... Lin 3 ? Linn 4 ? Ling 5 ? The child's surname and that of the prodigy of his time actually sounded the same. What a coincidence ... could it be that it was the same Ling?
At this thought, the young soldier's expression dimmed. When he looked at Ling Lan once more, his gaze carried a trace of prayer, hoping that this stunningly intelligent child would be able to grow up safely. He hoped that the child would not end up like his old classmate, who had lost his wings to some sinister plot eight years ago before he could fully shine his brightest ...
The old instructor ignored the shock on the other instructors' faces. He scoffed in his heart: "Did you all really think I was senile and blinded by old age? That I wouldn't be able to see this child's brilliance? Being hard on him would have just been to prevent him from walking down the wrong path due to his overwhelming intellect. But this child really handled this matter well. He completely captured my weak points, making me unable to continue being stern. Oh, how perfectly he did it ..."
A trace of worry appeared on the elderly instructor's face, along with some quiet satisfaction; his feelings were mixed. This child would either grow up to become a hero, or an outlaw — who knew what path he would choose in the future ...
Seeing that the case of the broken window had been settled favourably, the teacher in charge of calling the students to enter the test did not continue to call on the next student. Instead, he indicated for Ling Lan to come over and gave him some time to prepare as he waited to be transported through the portal for the test.a common enemy I love the original phrase here, which literally translates to 'lift a cane up high but put it down gently', but I just couldn't find a way to make it fit naturally. >.< The soldier is thinking of the wrong character for Ling Lan's surname here. Another wrong surname with the same sound, but a different character from the first. Finally got it right.