"Why should I have told you? Would his being a god-class operator affect your life in any way?" Lan Luofeng cast a confused glance at Ling Lan. "Not to mention he has already left us, and even if he were by our side, whether or not he is a god-class operator, what does that have to do with us?"
Ling Lan thought about it and felt that what Lan Luofeng said was correct. Knowing if Ling Xiao was a god-class operator or not really didn't have much impact on her life at all.
Lan Luofeng picked up a mouthful of Ling Lan's favourite side-dish with her chopsticks and placed it in Ling Lan's bowl, and continued to say, "Also, Ling Xiao is just Ling Xiao. He's a normal person, and also my husband, your daddy. Whether he's a god-class operator or not, he's still my husband and your daddy. These two identities will never change."
Lan Luofeng's words caused Ling Lan's body to jerk in realisation, and the restlessness she had felt after finding out that Ling Xiao was a god-class operator abruptly disappeared.
"Also, Baby Lan, don't let your daddy's status influence your choices in the future. You must remember — you are you. You just coincidentally have a father named Ling Xiao, that's all." Lan Luofeng was somewhat worried, afraid that her daughter would choose to do things she didn't like just because of Ling Xiao, like try to become a mecha operator or something. "I hope that you'll choose what you like to do in the future, and not choose out of some obligation or whatever other reason ..."
Lan Luofeng's words caused Ling Lan to look at her mum with new eyes; she felt as if she was getting to know a new side of Lan Luofeng.
Ling Lan reckoned that among all the females that her dad had encountered, her mum was the only one who didn't treat her dad as someone overwhelmingly strong or an idol or perhaps even as a long-term food provider. She had very simply and purely seen him as a regular person to live an average life with. And so, her dad had chosen her mum ... yup, decisively making a move even before her mum had become an adult.
"Thanks, Mum!" said Ling Lan sincerely. She finished off all of the side-dishes that Lan Luofeng had given her and then lifted her head from her bowl to ask, "Mum, say, do you think Dad could still be alive?"
Lan Luofeng's lips bloomed with a radiant smile, and she nodded decisively and said, "Yes, I think your daddy wouldn't die so easily. He's a god-class operator!" Her tone concealed none of her admiration and pride for Ling Xiao.
Ling Lan smiled too then. Since her own mum wished for this, then she would also hold onto this hope as well. Besides, it was just like her mum said — a god-class operator wouldn't just die that easily ...
Ling Lan finished eating and then went with her mum to the field outside to walk off the meal. After that, she returned to a training room to practise several sets of physical skills. In particular, Ling Lan ran through the scout academy's foundational physical skills set at least 10 times, because Ling Xiao had mentioned that this set of physical skills was not as simple as it seemed. It may even be a great help when operating mecha and advancing in the future.
At the end, she took a shower and lay down to sleep. Entering the learning space as usual, she saw Little Four sitting on the ground. There were countless papers piled high beside him, and he was flipping through several more sheets of paper in his hands.
Ling Lan asked curiously, "Little Four, what are you doing?"
Perhaps Little Four had been too engrossed in what he was doing; he was so frightened by Ling Lan's voice that he flung his arms out — the papers in his hands were thrown into the air, and one of them landed on his head.
Little Four quickly pulled down that piece of paper. Seeing Ling Lan grinning at him, as if amused by his panicked performance, Little Four said grumpily, "Boss, why did you have to sneak up on me? You almost scared me to death!"
"Scared you to death? Why? Were you doing something bad?" teased Ling Lan.
Unexpectedly, Little Four's face paled. He quickly reached out and gathered the papers in front of him, pulling them close. Ling Lan looked at him suspiciously and said, "Don't tell me you really were doing something bad?"
Little Four choked out a nervous laugh. "No way! I was just gathering some information, things about Dad and also stuff about mecha."
When Little Four mentioned mecha, he was mumbling somewhat unintelligibly, but Ling Lan's attention had been fully captured by 'things about Dad'. She cautioned Little Four, "Gathering the information may be important, but make sure you stay concealed. Don't let anyone discover you."
Little Four smiled and said, "Relax, Boss!"
"Still ..." Ling Lan pointed at the pile of paper in front of Little Four, "Is this necessary?" Frankly, Little Four could just absorb the information directly into his system procedures — he really didn't have to materialize the information onto these sheets and sheets of white paper.
"Boss, don't you feel that words on paper is classy?" asked Little Four, expression dreamy. "Reading from paper, doesn't it make me seem very intelligent?"
This troublemaking brat — so he's just trying to show off! Ling Lan said huffily, "In that case, you can continue being intelligent. I'm going into the learning space to learn now."
Ling Lan's unimpressed attitude made Little Four feel that there was now a generation gap between him and Boss. Thus, he sulkily waved Ling Lan away, indicating for her to not disturb his work.
Ling Lan could only shake her head silently at Little Four's heartlessness. She sighed to herself, mourning the fact that little brats nowadays were just too spoilt and pampered. She was just about to push open the doors to the physical skills learning area when from the corner of her eye, she noticed a large door to the side. A word had finally appeared on it: Mecha!
Could it be that because she had encountered mecha, the learning space had also activated a mecha course?
Ling Lan's heart heated up and she decisively turned away from the physical skills doorway. Tentatively, she prodded the door labelled 'mecha' and felt it move slightly. It wasn't like before when the door was fused to the wall, completely immovable.
Ling Lan gave the door a hard shove and the door swung open with a bang. She walked inside and saw an endless space. In the near distance, a rugged soldier with a full beard was guffawing boisterously as he watched her approach.
"Haha, Ling Lan, you're finally here!" The soldier's energetic greeting made Ling Lan glance at him cautiously. Could he be a new instructor?
The personalities of the instructors Ling Lan had met so far were all different ... Number One was cold and cool to the extreme, and meant every word he said. Number Five liked to laugh, but was sly and manipulative to the extreme, and was unbelievably perverse, capable of chilling others to the bone. Number Nine was very strict and looked very cold and aloof, but was actually a woman with a soft heart — Ling Lan had received much care from her since the very beginning.
As such, Ling Lan wasn't afraid of stern-faced teachers, but was fearful of those with smiling faces and passionate appearances; she had been traumatized by Number Five's torments ... So, seeing the other's enthusiasm and wide smile, she was instantly on her guard. If by any chance this was another instructor like Number Five, she would definitely be toyed with most terribly.
"Don't think so much. I'm not Number Five. I have no interest in torturing people. Right, I'm your mecha instructor, Number Three. In fact, when you turned 6 years old, I had already wanted to activate the mecha course. But, due to your real-life situation back then, Big Brother Number One refused my request. I had thought that I'd have to wait for another 5 to 6 years before it came up again. Unexpectedly, you activated it yourself after just one year, hahahahahaha ... that's great!" Number Three laughed up at the sky, as if immensely pleased with Ling Lan's choice. Looks like he had really become impatient with waiting.
The laughter finally stopped, but before Ling Lan could ask any questions, Number Three snapped his fingers. A rabbit mecha dropped from the sky, landing directly in front of Ling Lan. Ling Lan could only stare blankly at its familiar appearance. "Why is it this mecha?"
Number Three replied helplessly, "Can't help it, our mecha's controls are somewhat different from those in your world, so we had to let the space assistant gather all the mecha models and controls of this world. So far, the space assistant has only sent in the data for this one mecha. Of course, this is also because you selected this mecha ..."
Ling Lan finally understood why Little Four had had that dodgy look in the hall of the learning space. It turned out that he had secretly sent the stats of the rabbit mecha into the learning space, making it the initiate mecha for her mecha training. Dammit. He knew that she didn't really like the rabbit mecha — couldn't he have changed things a little and brought in some other models?
Of course, Ling Lan was most upset at her own luck. If she had managed to draw a more formidable mecha to begin with, then she wouldn't have to take Number Three's mocking gaze.
Regardless of how gloomy Ling Lan felt, she still had to listen to Instructor Number Three's commands. She got into the cockpit of the rabbit mecha. As expected, the control buttons were the same, no changes whatsoever.
Ling Lan activated the mecha, and the mecha quickly booted up successfully. She then opened the mecha's screen to display the situation outside, but found that the initially vacant and open space had now become an extremely narrow tunnel. By Ling Lan's estimation, the tunnel was just 1.5 times the width of the mecha itself. To successfully make her way through the tunnel, it would require very fine control of the mecha's movement. Additionally, there were also some irregular obstacles within the tunnel — on the floor, and on the walls on both sides — which were probably designed to test a mecha operator's ability to handle the controls to adjust to circumstances.
"Firstly, you'll need to go through obstacle course training. Can you see the numbers on the bottom of the screen?" Number Three's voice rang out beside Ling Lan's ear.
Ling Lan looked at the screen as Instructor Number Three said, and sure enough, on the lower part of the screen, the numbers 03.00.00 were flashing at her, reminding Ling Lan of their existence.
"This is a countdown timer for 3 minutes. You'll need to complete this obstacle course within 3 minutes to pass. And your deadline to complete this mission is just one week." Number Three's tone was tinged with obvious schadenfreude.
F*ck! Teaching her nothing and giving her a mission right off the bat? Instructor Number Three, you're a mecha instructor, not a mission distributor — isn't what you're doing too shameless? Before Ling Lan could give voice to her complaints, the flashing numbers on the lower half of the screen began to count down rapidly.
Ling Lan's eyelid twitched. Abruptly, she found that with the speed of her mecha's jumps, 3 minutes weren't long at all.
At this moment, Number Three's gleeful voice rang out once more, "Oh right, every time you fail an attempt, the system will dole out punishment. You hang in there now!"
Hearing this, Ling Lan frantically operated her mecha. Her fingers flew, actually blowing past the speed limits she had managed to achieve before this ... the system's punishment was not pleasant at all — she really didn't want to experience it ever again.
However, dreams are beautiful but reality is cruel. Ling Lan slammed into a wall for the nth time, and after repeatedly embodying the rabbit in the tale 'waiting for a rabbit by a tree stump', the timer finally hit zero. Overall, she had only managed to jump forward a few metres. Oh, tragic rabbit ... Ling Lan had yet to finish bemoaning the poor rabbit when a wave of numbing pain swept over her body ...In this Chinese parable, a hungry farmer happens to catch a rabbit who slams into a tree while running away in fright. He then wastes his days waiting for more rabbits to come and dash into the tree.