Also, why did he have to keep tapping his fingers? Didn't he know that all that noise would interfere with her thinking process?
Wait ... tapping noises? Ling Lan suddenly recalled something Lan Luofeng had mentioned before. When her mum had first met her dad, she had been attracted by the noise her dad had made by tapping on a table. It was because of that that they had gotten to know each other, and their love story had taken off and became unstoppable ...
Back then, her mum had been a fresh-faced 16 year old maiden who had just graduated from a scout academy. As she hadn't been particularly talented and didn't have good potential, she hadn't managed to get into any of the major military schools of the Federation. However, Lan Luofeng had dreamed of being in the military since young, so she had decisively signed up to serve as a foot soldier, finally succeeding in becoming a common starship JMC 1 female trooper.
After 3 months of training for new recruits, her mum had been assigned to the starship fleet belonging to her dad, finally becoming the second mainship's JMC.
Subsequently, whenever Lan Luofeng had gone out to eat with the other female troopers of the same rank, she would find that no matter where they sat, some mecha fighters would appear by their side. Among them was a young man, who seemed to be their team leader. He appeared especially handsome and powerful, drawing the admiration of many of the female troopers.
However, the sense of hierarchy within the military camps was very strong. Even the most average mecha fighter held the military rank of second lieutenant, not to mention one at captain level. Meanwhile, they were merely some common female troopers of the lowest possible rank. They just didn't have the right to initiate conversation with a mecha fighter. They could only fantasize every day that these mecha fighters would one day greet them first ... Many girls had been willing to become soldiers, largely for the purpose of reeling in a rich and promising husband.
Lan Luofeng was the only girl who didn't think anything of this. She was still very young and hadn't become interested in love yet, which was why she was rather slow when it came to these things. However, even so, Lan Luofeng had also been surprised sometimes, wondering why she would run into that mecha officer so often — no matter where she sat, she would bump into him.
Back when she had first heard the story, Ling Lan had known right away that it was because her dad had already started crushing on her mum. That's why he was using this sort of 'serendipitous meeting' method to increase her mum's impression of him ... he had really been quite desperate.
Just like that, a month had passed by in fits and starts. Then one day, Lan Luofeng had 'unfortunately' ended up alone. The other JMCs in her class had been sent out to carry out various competition missions for the various divisions of the Federation, because the mecha fighter confrontation event had been drawn by the second mainship. Consequently, the second mainship had sent out the main force of their mecha battle squad, and the JMCs in charge of those mecha had to go with them. In the end, only three JMCs were left on the second mainship. Every class of JMCs had had to leave a member behind on duty; Lan Luofeng's class had left the youngest member of their class, Lan Luofeng, behind.
And so when it was time to eat, Lan Luofeng could only go eat by herself. Just as she had sat down to begin her meal, someone suddenly sat down across from her. It was that young and handsome mecha officer who kept bumping into her whom she still didn't know.
Lan Luofeng found it strange that the other would choose to sit at her dining table when there were so many other empty seats and tables around. However, they were in a public canteen — anyone could freely choose where they wanted to sit. Despite the strangeness, Lan Luofeng didn't think too much about it and just continued to eat her food.
Naturally, Ling Xiao, who had worked so hard to create this opportunity, was unwilling to retreat without attempting anything. Let it be known that for the sake of getting some time alone with Lan Luofeng, he had cracked his head to squeeze out every ounce of ingenuity he had. He had purposely volunteered his unit for the mecha confrontation event mission, just so he could send away all those annoying JMCs hanging around.
Yet, he had never gotten to know a girl before, so he was at a loss on what to do next. In the end, he had clumsily chosen to attract Lan Luofeng's attention by making noise.
So, Ling Xiao had used his fingers to knock on the surface of the table lightly. Three long two short. Pause. Followed by another three long two short. Just like that, he started tapping out a consistent rhythm. At first, Lan Luofeng had found it strange, and then her attention had been captured, curious. When she saw that no one else was looking, she quietly asked Ling Xiao what he was doing with this rhythmic tapping.
Smiling, Ling Xiao told Lan Luofeng all the information he had prepared beforehand. Apparently, this kind of knocking was a type of code, called the Duomo code. It was a type of secret code shared between a JMC and the mecha fighter they were responsible for. Back during the warring period, there had been an incident where the communications channel connecting a JMC and their mecha had been hacked and deciphered ... in the end, the enemy had used the information gained from this hacking to set up an ambush, resulting in the complete destruction of an entire mecha troop. Later, a JMC named Duomo had thought up this method of communication. Using the code he thought up, he had helped his mecha fighter to escape the enemy's ambush again and again, completing their missions successfully to return safely.
From then onwards, every JMC would create their own unique Duomo code, to prevent a similar situation from happening ever again.
As a JMC, Lan Luofeng was naturally very interested in this sort of code. She sincerely requested to learn more about this code, but Ling Xiao seemed rather reluctant to say more. However, under Lan Luofeng's repeated pleading, he finally agreed, making Lan Luofeng feel extremely grateful.
Listening to the story up till this point, Ling Lan could only sigh at her mum's naïveté. Her dad had obviously been putting on an act to reel her mum in. Still, her mum couldn't be blamed for getting hooked so easily — her dad had clearly grasped her mum's vital point. Any dutiful JMC with ambition would not be able to resist this temptation. All she could say was that her old man had just been too shameless.
Whenever Lan Luofeng told the story, at this point, she would hold her face in her hands and sigh dreamily. She would marvel at the fact that Ling Lan's dad and her were just so meant to be — because, in their following conversations, she had found out that Ling Xiao was also a mecha fighter of the second mainship, and on top of that, he was one of the mecha fighters she was responsible for. But Ling Xiao later told her that he had known she was the one from the very beginning. Her voice had been different from anyone else's — soft and sweet, so very comfortable to listen to. His heart had imprinted on it from the very moment he had first heard her speak.
When Lan Luofeng told Ling Lan this, Ling Lan couldn't help but stifle a grin. She just knew that her dad had harboured impure intentions, and it looked like he had a voice kink as well.
After spending time alone together, just the two of them, for about half a month, the temperature of their feelings rose quickly. The two of them then agreed to become an exclusive JMC and mecha fighter pair, and together they created a Duomo code that belonged only to them.
Of course, this Duomo code hadn't yet found its way to the battlefield when, after the other JMCs returned, it had begun to be used frequently by them in daily life. Because they were afraid the other JMCs would find out about the two of them (it was primarily Lan Luofeng who was shy — who asked her to be the youngest and yet be the first one to get a boyfriend?), so every time they wanted to date, Ling Xiao would sit at the table beside Lan Luofeng's during meal times and rap on the table with his fingers. In their code, he would tell her where and when to meet, and regardless of whether Lan Luofeng was free, she would always rap back in their code to tell Ling Xiao if she would meet him or not.
At this point of the story, Ling Lan was really speechless. Could this still be considered dating? Why did it seem more like undercover spies trying to meet up? Still, Ling Lan was glad for her mum. Her first love had been so perfect that she had directly gotten married to her dad. It was just unfortunate that her dad had died young ... this should be blamed on this current world, full of war and strife, no peace in sight.
In order to make her mum happy, Ling Lan had expressed great interest in their Duomo code and said that she wanted to learn it. Hearing this, Lan Luofeng had been overjoyed, and had passed everything about this Duomo code belonging to her and Ling Xiao on to Ling Lan.
Thinking back on this, Ling Lan began listening closely to Ling Xiao's tapping sounds. One long two short, three long one short, two long one short, four continuous short taps ... Ling Xiao's tapping was very systematic. Four distinctly different sound sections, representing four syllables — posepro kento? kento posepro? token propose? It was 'proposal token' 2 !
Ugh. Dad, how much did you love mum, really? Ling Lan thought back on all the tests she had gone through thus far; they all had something to do with her mother to some extent.
Frankly, Ling Lan was wrongly blaming Ling Xiao. Even before Ling Xiao had left for the death tunnel, he had had a premonition that something would go wrong. However, a military order was absolute — he couldn't not go. So, before he had left, he had condensed his spirit energy to create this legacy mission, in hopes that his child would be able to obtain his legacy.
Still, he knew very well that the upper ranks of the military were greedy for the way he had managed to advance to legendary operator status. Thus, he had not given the legacy mission directly to Lan Luofeng, but had chosen to submit it to his direct superior instead. He had been afraid that Lan Luofeng and Ling Lan would have gotten into trouble for the treasure they possessed, and be targeted and killed by those avaricious people who would do anything to get their hands on his legacy.
However, Ling Xiao had also known, that submitting it to his superior might mean that this legacy would never reach the hands of his child either. Thus, he had made further arrangements. He left a message for the old dean of the Central Scout Academy, hoping that once his child Ling Lan entered the scout academy, the dean would submit a request to the military on his behalf to get the legacy back. So that the old dean would put his back into it, Ling Xiao had agreed to release this legacy to the entire Central Scout Academy. Any child who could pass his tests would be able to obtain his legacy.
Ling Xiao had worked so hard to arrange all this — naturally, he didn't want anyone else to obtain his legacy. So, when creating the contents of the test, he had used a progressive advancement method, which would slowly eliminate any outsiders.
In the first round of tests, he had used the foundational combat arts of the scout academy, to give the impression that he was judging all the children equally. Although this set of combat arts was pretty much general knowledge, this round could successfully exclude all adults. He had set it to be a mirroring test, not just for testing purposes, but also to immediately chase out anyone whose body size exceeded 1.6 metres, eliminating almost all adults. This had caused all the fighters of the military who attempted the mission to fail in the very first round.
Of course, if Ling Lan had grown up before making contact with this legacy mission, she would also have been chased out and wouldn't have been able to obtain the legacy. However, Ling Xiao's legacy was only effective when practised at age 10 and below. After the age of 13, there was basically no chance of training according to the legacy anymore anyway. Ling Xiao could only hope that Ling Lan would be able to enter the legacy tests before she exceeded the age limit.
After ensuring that only children would be able to proceed, Ling Xiao had revealed his true intention from the second round onwards, by using the killing arts of the Ling family loyalists. This move pretty much killed all chances of any other children entering the following rounds of testing. Of course, if the military really wanted to, they could still find a way to get hold of the Ling family loyalists' killing arts and assist other children to enter the third round.
Therefore, in the third round, Ling Xiao had chosen to use a secret base only known to him and Lan Luofeng. Only Lan Luofeng would know how that lovely valley came to be.
Within the military camp, when did they ever have the chance to go out and see those beautiful sceneries? Even if they had entered the virtual world, they would have been stuck inside the 7th Division's world. In order to make Lan Luofeng happy, Ling Xiao had brought her into his mecha