"Boss, do you want to know that person's real identity? I can go find out!" Little Four's eyes were sparkling, as if he had found some great new toy.
Ling Lan was just about to agree when she suddenly grew cautious and asked, "How are you planning to find out?"
Little Four said excitedly, "Of course by infiltrating the other's spiritual self! Then I'll be able to see the other's true identity."
"Not allowed!" barked Ling Lan fiercely inside the mind-space.
Ling Lan had not forgotten about what had happened within her dad's mission space. Little Four had said then that a strong person's spiritual self would be able to discover him, and may even take control of Little Four to harm him. Who knew if this hacker-evolved spectre would be able to cause some catastrophic damage to Little Four?
"Why?" Little Four was taken aback by Ling Lan's sharp rebuke. Mind you, even when Ling Lan had been applying domestic violence in the past, she had never before treated him so sternly. That scary expression and tone of voice didn't just shock Little Four but also hurt him. He wilted, a depressed expression on his face. He started to wonder if Ling Lan didn't like him anymore, treating him this way.
"First off, we have no conflict with him. Why poke a sleeping tiger? If we anger him, and he decides to come after us, we'll be in a lot of trouble ..."
Little Four was just about to say that he wasn't at all afraid of that, because he could handle everything just fine, but Ling Lan pressed down on his little shoulder at that moment. She said earnestly, "Most importantly, I don't want you, Little Four, to be in danger. If anything happened to you, I would regret it for the rest of my life. So, Little Four, you must promise me. You must protect yourself well, so that you can stay by my side forever and ever, until the day I leave this world ..."
Hearing this little speech by Ling Lan, all of Little Four's sadness and resentment disappeared ... he felt as if his CPU was overloaded — not just that, his core chip was starting to heat up, becoming hotter and hotter, almost reaching critical levels. He should have been frantic and panicked, and tried to find a way to cool his core chip down rapidly ... but, goddammit, he just didn't want to. He even felt that the existence of this heat was truly wondrous — he loved this feeling so much he could die.
Ling Lan saw Little Four's slack and unresponsive face and was afraid he hadn't understood what she had been trying to say. So, with emphasis, she repeated again, "Little Four, listen, I forbid you from going off on your own from now on to investigate the spiritual selves of anyone strong or dangerous. As long as the other leaves us alone, we'll leave them alone too. Remember, you must protect yourself. Didn't you want to be my number one follower? If you don't listen to me, I'll take away your precious number one follower position." Ling Lan decided that a threat was necessary along with the warning to show just how serious she was about this.
At this point, Little Four had already lost all ability to think, but that grand goal of being the number one follower had always been a top priority in his heart, so when he heard Ling Lan's warning threat, he hurriedly nodded obediently, giving up any thought of checking out that man.
He could lose anything else, but that number one follower position must not be lost! This was Little Four's only major ambition ever since he had become aware.
In that case, he would let that man go this time. Still ... Little Four finally returned to normal. His CPU was no longer running on overdrive, and his chip was no longer in danger of shorting. He looked towards the direction where the man had vanished and fiercely swung his fist into the air. He was determined to not let that man hurt his boss, otherwise, even if he had to go against his boss's words, he would still give that man a piece of his mind.
After obtaining Little Four's promise, Ling Lan could finally relax. She waited for a few minutes, then slowly made her way to the designated eating area at the front to look for her seat.
It should be said that looking for a seat in the virtual world was extremely easy — the moment she entered the seating area, a chart of the seating layout automatically appeared before her eyes. A red light was blinking on one of the seats on the chart, while a green dot was gradually moving forwards. Yup, that green dot was herself.
Very quickly, Ling Lan had followed the chart to find her seat. Once she sat down, the chart before her eyes disappeared, and she regained her usual vision.
Ling Lan looked around curiously at the audience around her. A familiar outfit caught her eye, rendering her speechless instantly, curse words pouring out in a torrent inside her mind ... Why was she so unlucky? Actually meeting up once again with this dangerous fellow.
It turned out that Ling Lan's neighbouring seat was occupied by that dangerous man with a mutating mentality who was evolving into a spectre. However, the man's attitude was not bad — when he saw Ling Lan approaching, he nodded slightly in greeting.
"Uh ... hello!" Ling Lan squeezed out a weak smile before turning away moodily.
Even so, Ling Lan wasn't really all that scared inside. Although the other was very dangerous, the two of them were just passing strangers with no bad blood between them; it was unlikely that the other would harm her for no reason.
Furthermore, although Ling Lan had forbidden Little Four from exploring, she knew that if the other tried to do something bad to her, Little Four would definitely counterattack and protect her from getting injured. In addition, Ling Lan was very confident in her own abilities. As long as she could hold off the other's sneak attack at the start, it wouldn't be that easy to harm her afterwards. She was mostly unrivalled within the Central Scout Academy — although she was a little weaker within the virtual world, she wasn't so weak that she would be completely helpless against attack. In short, Ling Lan felt prepared no matter what happened.
Just like that, Ling Lan regained her equilibrium once more and turned to coolly survey the battle stadium.
The battle stadium was large, so large that it was rather frightening. It was a lot like an enlarged version of the basketball stadiums of her previous world, just that the rectangular court in the middle had been changed into a huge circular ring. On all sides were audience stands, packed tightly one level after another. Ling Lan carefully counted and found that there were actually as many as 12 levels from top to bottom. By her estimations, this stadium could hold up to 500,000 audience members — if compared to her previous world, this venue would definitely be considered one of the more massive stadiums. If this building existed in reality, what an enormous structure it would be.
Ling Lan sighed; the architecture of the future was heading more and more towards massive sizes, it seemed. Currently, Ling Lan didn't know that this mecha battle stadium that she found so massive was actually just a small venue in this world. Planet Azure was a third-rate planet, so its capital was also considered a third-rate city — it could only have this sort of small mecha battle stadium.
The capital of a second-rate planet would be able to possess a medium-sized stadium, which could hold 800,000 people. Meanwhile, a first-rate planet could have a large stadium, which could hold 10,000,000 people. As for the capitals of capital planets like Doha, they could have giant stadiums. These stadiums could hold up to 20,000,000 people — now that's what you would really call an enormous structure. All we can say is that the current Ling Lan was really a country bumpkin, having seen very little of the real world thus far.
It wasn't long before the entire stadium was filled with people, a crowd of heads all packed together. Soon, the sound of a bell rang out beside their ears — the sound of this bell was very melodious, sounding more like the tinkling of water than a metal bell.
Following this sound, warm applause broke out across the whole stadium. At the same time, two mecha slowly descended from the skies, making their way down slowly to land on the ground.
One of the mecha was entirely red while the other was a sheet of silver. When Ling Lan focused on any one of the mecha, the image before her eyes would reveal that mecha's basic information. From this, Ling Lan found out that the red mecha was the J6 challenger, while the silver mecha was the J8 recipient of the challenge.
The two mecha belonged to two different categories of mecha. The red mecha was a winged transformer type mecha — its advantage was optimum flexibility in the air, and it could switch freely between a humanoid shape and a pure aviation model — considered a mecha suited for both land and air. Its right arm was equipped with a beam gun, while its left hand was left empty for general use. The sides of its two legs each held one high-alloy dagger, and below its wings were several high-efficiency guided missiles. Of course, this was just standard regulation equipment; as for whether there were any hidden secret weapons, no one could tell.
Concealed weaponry was also a type of strategy in these mecha combat fights, so all mecha would typically have something up their sleeves.
Meanwhile, the silver mecha was a land-based humanoid mecha, extremely agile on land. On its back was a radiation gun, which was a specialised anti-aircraft weapon. In the mecha's right hand was a beam saber and its left hand was similarly empty on standby. All its other equipment were just like the red mecha's, standard regulation weapons.
The two mecha faced each other from a distance, both moving their limbs as they liked; they seemed to be warming up.
Right then, a strange scene suddenly occurred on the match grounds, causing Ling Lan to yell out in surprise.
On the field, the scenery suddenly changed — the normal floorboards swiftly turned into an endless desert. The audience was also whisked away from the stadium into the middle of this desert ... Ling Lan could even feel the scorching heat of the sun on her body, as well as the limitless heat reflected by the sand beneath her feet.
Ling Lan quickly understood that this must be a type of simulation method, creating a realistic desert environment in an instant. Ling Lan still hadn't shaken herself out of the shock of finding herself in a desert when she was blindsided again. Apparently, the red winged transformer mecha had switched into aviation mode while the background was changing into this desert. Now, it was zooming off into the distance, directly becoming a small black dot before disappearing from sight completely. The silver mecha was equally fast — with a few great bounds, it had also disappeared into the dunes in the distance ...
How was she supposed to watch the match if she couldn't see the mecha?
She asked Little Four, but Little Four was just as clueless. He quickly rushed to search for a solution, but just then, a cold voice abruptly rang out from beside her, almost scaring Ling Lan witless. "First time watching a match?"
Ling Lan turned her head. Sure enough, it was the mysterious man with his hidden eyes, ears, and nose who had spoken. Ling Lan was a little startled. She had obviously sensed that the other was very cold, so why would he take the initiative to speak to her?
Still, Ling Lan wasn't so foolish as to refuse someone who was willing to help. "Yes, it's my first time watching this kind of match."
"Focus and say 'selection' in your mind, a menu will appear," the man instructed Ling Lan.
Ling Lan did as he said, and a line of text appeared before her eyes: Please choose the viewing angle you want. 1: God View. 2: Challenger View. 3: Defender View.
Ling Lan didn't know which viewing angle was better, and so decided it would be wiser to ask an old hand at this. Thus, she unreservedly asked the man beside her, "Which viewing angle should I choose?"
"If you want to see an exciting match, choose God view. If you want to know how to operate a mecha or ways to counter, you can choose the other two options." The man was not as aloof and hard to get along with as Ling Lan had feared; he patiently responded to Ling Lan's question.
Ling Lan thought for a moment. She did not know how to operate mecha at all, so it would be a waste to watch from the other two perspectives. She might as well watch the two mechas fight — perhaps it would spark some inspiration for her own combat skills. Thus, she decisively chose God view.
"Thanks." Before making her selection, Ling Lan politely thanked the man beside her.