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In the end, Ling Lan couldn't take Little Four's incessant whining, so she had no choice but to let him take the remaining 100,000 battle points she had saved for emergencies to invest. Of course, Ling Lan warned him beforehand that if he lost the battle points, she would pull down his pants and give him a good spanking, lifting the ban on domestic violence this once.

Little Four naturally sniffed at this, thinking that Ling Lan's threat would never have a chance to happen. In his words — have you ever seen a god lose money? What? You said yes? Then you must definitely be a retard!

Ling Lan definitely did not want to be called a retard, so, after she gave the 100,000 battle points to Little Four, she gave the matter no more thought. Of course, Ling Lan was mentally prepared — if the battle points were really lost, then she would make Little Four take a little risk and transfer some credits in from the outside world to repay the debt. As a boss, she needed to be accountable to her followers, after all.

After Ling Lan had settled all the real-world matters, she continued to focus on training up her mecha control. Time was slowly ticking by, getting closer to the final deadline, but Ling Lan just couldn't break past the critical 3-minute line. In other words, Ling Lan had pushed till she could use her highest hand speed without making any control errors, but unfortunately, her time had stopped around 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Even in her best condition, her best results were only infinitely nearing 3 minutes 20 seconds — the distance to 3 minutes was just too far away ...

Once control hits a critical threshold, it was virtually impossible to improve the time needed by even just one second. Ling Lan could almost predict the failure of this mission already; the memories of numbing pain of her body being electrocuted reared up from the depths of her mind, and she couldn't help but tremble a little.

Ling Lan became more and more anxious, which negatively impacted her training results in her following sessions. This feeling was just like when she had reached a bottleneck previously with her father's hand speed training. Ling Lan thought to herself — could this really already be her limit? Was she actually unsuited for piloting mecha?

This mental state of Ling Lan was unsuitable for mecha control training; the picky learning space ruthlessly kicked Ling Lan out of the training area.

Little Four, who had been busy earning battle points, sensed his boss's glum mood, and quickly put down what he was doing to come and ask her why. When he heard that she had encountered a bottleneck once again, he again suggested taking Ling Lan to the outside virtual world for a trip for a change of pace.

Ling Lan felt that just staying in the mission space wouldn't solve her problem anyway, and her training results recently had just been getting worse and worse — she might as well go outside for a bit. Then, she recalled that it was only after she had first learned some mecha control in the outside virtual world that the learning space's mecha course had been unlocked. Perhaps the answer to her breakthrough would also be in outside virtual world.

Just like that, Ling Lan and Little Four once again returned to the place where they had logged off the first time, inside the mecha training hall.

However, at this time today, there were quite a few newbies training at the mecha training hall. Inside the room Ling Lan had selected, there were also seven to eight bestial mecha practising their basic movements. There were powerful agile fierce bestial mecha, such as a panther, a tiger, and a lion, as well as tough offensive type mecha with sharp horns or protrusions, such as a porcupine, a stegosaurus, and a rhinoceros. Of course, there were also nimble scout type mecha, such as a wolf and a fox.

They were all in the middle of practising the basic movements of their mecha. Some were doing like Ling Lan previously, stumbling around; this was obviously their first time here, making them the newbies of newbie operators. There were also some who had trained for some time, who displayed a certain level of control, marking them as older newbies.

The moment Ling Lan entered the room, most of the bestial mecha inside stopped moving or slowed down. This was because Ling Lan's mecha was the extremely rare rabbit mecha, highly uncommon on the market. On top of that, the resting state action Ling Lan had set was just too adorable — the rabbit was nibbling at the red carrot held between its forelegs, head twitching slightly. Its cute appearance coupled with its cute actions naturally drew the crowd's attention.

Ling Lan had set the resting action of the mecha this way on a whim. Originally, she had thought that this action would never be seen by anyone else, and so had purposely set it to be cuter for her own entertainment. But she hadn't known that her first visit to the mecha training hall had been a special circumstance. Back then, most people had been drawn away to watch the mecha fight in the battle stadium, so there hadn't been many people staying behind to practise in the hall. Thus, she had ended up being the only person in the room.

Although Ling Lan was rather surprised that there were so many mecha training together here, she didn't really think too much about it. Though the resting action of the rabbit mecha was rather adorably silly, no one would be able to tell who was operating it anyway. Ling Lan did not think that she would be so unlucky to get a rabbit mecha again when she used her real identity to log on in the future ...

In the training hall, there was one cheetah mecha which completely ignored Ling Lan's arrival. His actions remained the same as he continued to go about his training systematically and meticulously. Ling Lan's attention was quickly drawn to the other, because he was controlling that mecha perfectly. Whether it was running, jumping, leaping, or pouncing, every movement was clean and precise. When executed in sequence, the actions were agile and flowed smoothly, bringing an aesthetic beauty where power merged flawlessly with speed. This even gave Ling Lan the illusion that the mecha before her was no longer a mecha, but actually a real live giant cheetah.

Ling Lan's attention also drew Little Four's attention. He surreptitiously looked in on the operator of the cheetah mecha, and upon seeing that familiar figure, he couldn't help but exclaim in surprise, shaking Ling Lan from her mesmerised stupor. "What happened? Little Four?"

Little Four said excitedly, "Haha, Boss, we've bumped into an acquaintance. Guess who the operator inside the cheetah mecha is?"

"How would I know? This is only my second time in this virtual world, so I don't really know that many people ... could it be someone from real life?" mused Ling Lan, rubbing her chin.

"No, we met this person on our last trip, Boss. You even talked to the other. Here's a hint: the other is very dangerous ..." said Little Four with a cheeky grin, shaking his right index finger.

Ling Lan figured it out abruptly. "That hacker with spectre abilities?" He had been the only one who fit the definition of dangerous.

"Haha, Boss, you got it! It's him. Who knew his mecha control is also so good ... but why is he still practising basic mecha control here? Could it be that his age isn't as old as we thought?" said Little Four, wondering. Back then, although the man had concealed his appearance, he had given off an impression of being a mature adult. Could it be that they had been fooled?

"What, is there an age limit for someone to learn basic mecha control?" asked Ling Lan curiously.

"Well, no, there isn't. It's just that most learners are around age 13 to 16; even the oldest wouldn't be as old as 18. That's why I find it a little odd. The feeling that man gave us is that he should already be over 20, right?" replied Little Four. "But then he's a hacker-evolved spectre, so it could be that he had manipulated his aura."

"If only Boss had let me investigate his real appearance, then we wouldn't have been fooled." Little Four still seemed to still hold some resentment over the matter.

"Leave it, let's avoid trouble if we can. He has nothing to do with us, why should we know so much about him?" Ling Lan then reassured Little Four, "Still, this person's mecha control skills are really impressive. Looks like I should go reference the control methods of some mecha experts. Perhaps then I'll be able to find some inspiration to break through."

Ling Lan felt that she had been building a car in a sealed room for too long. Training on her own day after day, she had taken many of the control moves for granted, becoming set in her ways. Especially after seeing the way the cheetah mecha operator controlled his mecha, Ling Lan deeply realised that she still had some unnecessary frills for some of her moves — she had overcomplicated things a little.

"Oh, it looks like he's going to take the basic movement assessment mission now. Let's go see." Little Four didn't wait for Ling Lan's response, dragging Ling Lan and her mecha along to follow the other into the assessment mission's space.

"Is it alright for us to just enter like this?" asked Ling Lan somewhat worriedly as she glanced at the cheetah mecha who was preparing to take the assessment. After all, the other was an evolved spectre who could kill brainwaves. If the other had already set it so that viewing was restricted, wouldn't their barging in here be taken as an outright challenge? If things took a turn for the worst, heads would roll.

"No worries, this type of assessment mission is open for public viewing. Anyone can choose to watch. Many people like to watch others take the assessment before taking the assessment themselves so that they can absorb some experience," said Little Four breezily.

Little Four's answer let Ling Lan relax completely. She then took a look around, and noticed that she was the only one here observing. This made her suspect whether Little Four had just been shooting off his mouth again ...

However, seeing the other ignore her presence, Ling Lan decided that it wouldn't hurt. Even if Little Four had been lying to her, she had no way to go out anymore anyway because the assessment mission had already started.

Inside the assessment mission, the entire space was filled with all kinds of messy and disorganised obstacles. The cheetah mecha was weaving among the obstacles, no trace of hesitation or awkwardness in its movements. All of its actions flowed naturally, no observable kinks at all.

Just as Ling Lan was thinking that the other would easily pass the mission this time, the initially stationary obstacles began to move irregularly. This sudden change shocked Ling Lan, and also flustered the cheetah mecha operator.

A rock column suddenly burst out of the ground — the cheetah mecha had just leapt into the air, and it looked like he was about to collide with the column. Right then, the cheetah mecha twisted so that its four limbs could spring off the rock column, and with this force, the mecha's body was sent leaping in another direction, nicely evading a collision with the column.

Ling Lan's high-strung nerves eased slightly, but the following situation made her heart rise into her throat again. It turned out that the cheetah mecha had not escaped from danger yet — though it had changed directions, a giant rock was hurtling towards him from the other direction.

The operator of the cheetah mecha was very calm. He controlled the mecha to shift movements in mid-air; the mecha's four limbs shuddered twice in the air and then stepped firmly on the giant rock. Borrowing this force, it bounced back, once again dodging a potentially dangerous collision.

acting in a way divorced from reality
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