Ling Lan was shocked, "Could it be that our dad had already reached imperial level?" Heavens, their old man was just too abnormal!
Little Four's expression was sullen. Couldn't Boss take a more adventurous guess?!
The moody Little Four did not answer Ling Lan directly, but merely read the contents of a military report he had found to her. "The Federation originally had 12 god-class operators, but 8 years ago, they unexpectedly lost one of them, the youngest god-class operator of the Federation. That god-class operator had lost his life in a death tunnel on the evening of the day he was deployed to the enemy nation ..."
8 years ago? Death tunnel? What a coincidence — dying on the same year and the same place as her old man ... Ling Lan's brows furrowed. Little Four wouldn't have brought up unrelated things in their conversation; could it be that this had something to do with her dad?
Before Ling Lan could figure it out, Little Four tacked on a sentence that made Ling Lan blank out. "The mecha of that god-class operator, is named !"
After a long while, Ling Lan asked shakily, "You're saying that ... that god-class operator is Ling Xiao?"
Little Four nodded. "Yes, the only person to have advanced to god-class operator status in the Federation in the last 10 years, also the youngest ever in history to achieve that status — this person is Ling Xiao."
"Lies!" yelled Ling Lan suddenly.
Little Four was taken aback. He had not expected that Ling Lan's reaction would be so dramatic, even outright rejecting this news.
"If he really were a god-class operator, then how could he have been deployed? Didn't you say that, imperial levels and above were not allowed to be deployed randomly? Plus, aren't god-class mecha the Federation's ultimate weapons? Such a formidable weapon — how could the person who controlled one die so easily?"
Seated within the rabbit mecha, Ling Lan involuntarily clenched her fists tightly. If Ling Xiao had been weaker, Ling Lan could still have accepted him dying just like that. But the Ling Xiao being described by Little Four was just too strong. Such a powerful man dying so simply — she just found it a little hilarious and unbelievable.
"According to the top-secret files I found within the military, our dad only used 6 years to ascend from ace operator to god-class operator status. Successfully advancing to imperial operator status in Star Calendar Year 4725, then successfully advancing to god-class operator status in Star Calendar Year 4728. However, from the moment dad became an imperial operator, this information had been sealed by the military. Around that time, the military probably already had plans to hide dad's real status and deploy him to fight the enemy nation.
"So, that year when dad was deployed, he did so under the identity of an ace operator. This was also why dad only had the military rank of major general. If he had gone as a god-class operator, he would at least have gotten the military rank of general." Little Four's tone was regretful. If Ling Xiao had passed away with the rank of general, the resources Ling Lan inherited would have been much more substantial.
The innocent and simple-minded Little Four didn't consider the fact that if things really panned out as he thought, the people who would set their eyes on those resources wouldn't just be the small Ling elite family. It was highly likely that greater forces would be drawn as well; at that point, Ling Lan may very well have lost the right to inherit completely.
Little Four's regrets only lasted for a moment. He moved on to say, "The Federation was initially planning to pull a fast one by deploying Ling Xiao into battle, hoping to uproot our historical enemy, the Twilight Empire, in one stroke. However, for some unknown reason, the upper ranks of the military sent down the order for Ling Xiao to lead a fleet through the death tunnel to sneak behind the enemy nation, in preparation for a pincer attack ... unexpectedly, the fleet encountered violent energy turbulence from deep within the death tunnel and lost their lives."
"It's really so coincidental!" At this moment, a trace of an ice-cold smile hung on Ling Lan's lips, causing chills to run through Little Four's heart. It turned out that, subconsciously, Ling Lan had begun to emit the killing intent she had amassed in the learning space.
"Yup, it's so coincidental that it's suspicious. In fact, there was indeed something wrong with the military command, and the energy turbulence within the death tunnel wasn't formed naturally as well." Little Four centred himself and continued to tell Ling Lan what he had found.
Little Four's searching capabilities were undoubtedly powerful, proving that he was truly the virtual god he claimed to be. Of course, Little Four was also putting in so much effort because Ling Xiao was now his daddy as well. He had to find out all he could about his daddy so that if anyone asked him about it in future, he would be able to give a proper answer. Still, he had not expected that this serious search of his would actually turn up some problems.
"Looks like, this was a plot targeting my dad." Ling Lan fully believed in Little Four's abilities. If Little Four said there was a problem, then there must certainly be a problem. Moreover, Ling Lan too had thought from the start that all these coincidences stacking up together was unlikely to truly be coincidence.
"Yes, I can confirm that, our daddy really did die from a sinister plot," said Little Four decisively. "Originally, the complete annihilation of Ling Xiao's fleet had struck a heavy blow on the morale of the Federation. However, the military acted quickly. They immediately announced Ling Xiao's status as a god-class operator, along with the reason for his death. They claimed that he was killed by a plot of the Twilight Empire — this caused the fighting between the Federation and the Twilight Empire to escalate immediately, until it truly reached the point where there wouldn't be peace till one side was defeated. Now, the fighting has been going on for 8 years, and there are still no signs of stopping. There have already been countless deaths and injuries of the military on both sides."
Ling Lan was rather surprised. "Why would dad's death cause such an outcome?"
Little Four sighed, "Boss, you don't understand the position god-class operators have within the hearts of the Federation soldiers. God-class operators are like gods to military staff, and Ling Xiao was the youngest one. His victories spurred the excitement of all the soldiers — it could be said that Ling Xiao was the idol of the entire military. Also, because Ling Xiao was the youngest of the god-class operators, he had much more potential and room to grow than the other god-class operators. It was almost certain that he would have become the guardian deity of the Federation for the next forty to fifty years.
"Think about it. Their guardian deity was sacrificed to an underhanded plot of the enemy nation — how could the soldiers of the Federation just let it rest? So they could only continue to fight endlessly until one of the countries no longer has the ability to fight."
Listening till this point, Ling Lan descended into deep thought. She recalled how when others had fought over her right to inherit, the military had chosen to just stand by and watch. Then she thought about when she was ambushed on her way to school. And then, there was her father's legacy mission — he had set up so many obstacles and tricks, just so he could narrow down the selection and find her ... she felt like she understood things a bit better now. The people within the upper ranks of the military who had caused Ling Xiao's death had not loosened their monitoring of the Ling family; it seemed that they did not want to see anyone from the Ling family appear in the military world.
"Little Four, looks like we need to find the people in the upper ranks of the military who killed my dad," said Ling Lan with an icy smile.
"Ah? Why?" Little Four didn't understand.
"For one, Ling Xiao's blood flows within this body of mine, and I am also learning from Ling Xiao's legacy. Whether it's a life debt, or a mentorship debt, I need to avenge Ling Xiao. I cannot just allow him to die senselessly.
"Secondly, in these 8 years, I believe the other has been monitoring us all this while. The moment we stand out a little in the military world, the other will definitely not hesitate to kill us off. I don't wish to live with this hidden knife hanging over our heads."
Ling Lan's words drew Little Four's bitter anger towards a common enemy. He immediately said, "Don't worry, Boss, leave the virtual world to me." Little Four recalled the monitoring of the legacy mission, and reminded himself again and again that he needed to be more careful than careful — he must not reveal any openings that could bring the threat of death to his boss.
Right after that, Little Four tacked on worriedly, "But, that person still hasn't been exposed till now. Being able to kill dad without anyone finding out about them, they must be a skilled schemer. Can we beat him?" Little Four didn't think his boss was the type that plotted well.
"If I can't do it alone, I'll just have to find a few helpers." Ling Lan smiled coldly. Initially, she had not wanted to be a boss, but reality was forcing her to become one even if she didn't want to. How could she go up against some military bigwigs without having some helpers on her side?
That's right, Ling Lan's sights were now set on Han Jijyun. Ling Lan had full confidence in her fighting skills — if she just worked at it, though she couldn't guarantee she'd reach god-class level, getting to ace or imperial level was still possible. However, when it came to plotting and scheming, Ling Lan was at a loss, while the opponent was a master at it. Therefore, she could only seek external help. Now, of the few followers by her side, only Han Jijyun's intelligence was clearly a head above the others, and recently, that intelligence was gradually moving towards the side of cunning and slyness.
It looked like she would have to push things a little more, and make Han Jijyun become even more sly and cunning ... that's what Ling Lan was thinking.
After making this decision, Ling Lan pushed the matter aside. After all, it was still too early to look for the opponent; Ling Lan wouldn't rush to seek out the other's tracks now while her own wings were still developing.
Temporarily setting the matter aside, Ling Lan started to study the controls of the rabbit mecha seriously, slowly experimenting with making the mecha walk. After all, this was the very first step of controlling mecha. Have you ever seen a mecha that couldn't walk, but which could hack at someone with a knife?
Alright, the 'walk' of bestial mecha was more like jumps and leaps, especially for a rabbit. The hind legs were designed to be much stouter than the forelegs, so Ling Lan would first have to learn how to get the hind legs to spring. Luckily, Ling Lan need only control it with her fingers, so there was no discomfort in trying to adapt.
After stumbling and face-planting a couple of times, Ling Lan finally grasped hold of the ability to move the rabbit mecha. Of course, she still could not get the mecha to hop in a straight line just yet. Watching as her mecha jumped left and right, but never in a straight line, Ling Lan sweatdropped.
Just like that, Ling Lan immersed herself in mecha training. By the time Little Four nudged her back to awareness of her surroundings, it was already time to log off.
Because Ling Lan had Little Four to cover for her, she logged off directly at the mecha training hall. Strolling out of the login pod, she took a quick shower and then went downstairs.
In the dining room, Lan Luofeng was humming as she set out dishes on the table. Of course, these dishes were all prepared by the servants; Lan Luofeng was a young mistress of a noble family who had led a pampered life — the most she could do was fry an egg, and even then the quality was not guaranteed ... it could very well be undercooked or overcooked.
Seeing Ling Lan come down, Lan Luofeng smiled. "My baby, if you still hadn't come down, I was about to go up and call you."
There was nothing Ling Lan could say in response to this. Previously, there had been several times when she had been forced offline by Lan Luofeng's persistent pestering. Her mum was the type of person that wouldn't give up before she achieved her goal. Trying to match her in terms of patience, Ling Lan didn't think much of her odds.
Ling Lan and Lan Luofeng ate together as usual. Ling Lan had only taken a few bites when she could not help but ask, "Mum, did you know that dad was a god-class operator?"
Lan Luofeng nodded, "I knew. Why?"
"Why didn't you tell me?" asked Ling Lan moodily.