Just as Lu Xiaolong was beating himself up mentally, a cool voice suddenly rang out by his ear, "The basics are very important. We haven't mastered them fully yet, which is why we cannot graduate and leave."
Lu Xiaolong jerked his head up and saw that it was the cheetah mecha who had replied. Gratefulness surged in his heart — so not all gods were cold and aloof; this cheetah mecha operator was obviously a friendly person.
In reality, Lu Xiaolong was completely wrong. The cheetah mecha hadn't planned to answer Lu Xiaolong's question to begin with, but because the rabbit mecha had signalled him to do so with that glance and bob of its head, the cheetah mecha had no choice but to reply.
After several consecutive months of hanging out together, even though they hardly spoke to one another, a strange sense of rapport had been born between them. With just a look or a small motion, they could just tell what the other meant. Thus, the rabbit mecha's previous glance and head bob had let the cheetah mecha operator understand completely what the other was asking.
"But ... you are both already so strong. How could it be that you've still not mastered basic control?" Lu Xiaolong just couldn't understand. If these results wasn't proof that they had mastered the basics, then did it mean that those of them who had graduated by just achieving the passing line were basically unfit to operate mecha?
"Are we strong? Aren't there about 100 other stronger people in front of us?" The cheetah mecha operator's voice had a trace of self-mocking, as if unsatisfied with their current results.
This statement by the cheetah mecha operator made the rabbit mecha turn to glance at him once more. Its gaze was clearly questioning — when had they become a group?
This made the cheetah mecha operator snicker a little internally. It really was rather unbelievable — the two of them had only had one actual conversation. Their subsequent meetings had been coincidental when they happened to meet up in the training room. They really weren't that close, but there was just this indescribable rapport between the two of them.
Of course, part of this serendipity was due to his own initiative. Ever since their only conversation, he had always used his spiritual strength to locate the other's position, and then pretended to have entered the same room to train by coincidence.
However, he truly was fated to meet up with the other. Many times, the rabbit mecha arrived after him, but still somehow found its way into the training room he was in. (At this moment, Little Four was laughing gleefully up at the heavens: What? You think the magistrates are the only ones allowed to burn down houses, while the common people are forbidden even to light lamps? Who can beat me, Little Four, in this virtual realm?)
Perhaps the heavens were being kind to him, the gods and spirits giving a peerless prodigy like him their blessing in the form of this assistance from an unexpected quarter.
He hadn't dismissed Ling Lan's words, which was why he changed his original plan to graduate and leave, choosing to remain here in the mecha training hall to hone his basic mecha control instead. On top of that, he also put in more effort into training up the scout academy basics physical skills. He figured that since it was also a foundational skill set, basic physical skills should be similarly important.
Reality proved that his assumptions were not wrong. In the end, he could thoroughly sense the benefits honing his foundations had brought to him. In the real world, his initially weak and sickly body was slowly recovering, while in the virtual world, his mecha control had broken through several limits, causing his results to improve in leaps and bounds.
As intelligent as he was, he had long figured out that the rabbit mecha had intentionally revealed those things to him in their only conversation. Perhaps the both of them being mecha prodigies in their own right had sparked some mutual care, so the other had been willing to reveal some of his own secrets of mecha control to him. This secret was very likely an exclusive secret belonging to the other's sect. Otherwise, out of the many mecha operators out there, why were there so few who viewed basic control with such importance? Thus, he would carve this great kindness into his heart.
Of course, he had no way to repay this kindness just yet — in fact, he didn't even dare to reveal his true identity to the other right now. Before he was fully in control of his own destiny, he needed to keep a low profile, otherwise it would be spitting on all that his grandfather had done for him.
He knew very well that, due to that reading of his Four Pillars of Destiny, his grandfather had hidden all information on his true potential, purposefully announcing his mediocrity instead. In the end, his grandfather had even used the excuse of his potential being too average to exile him to the distant planet Azure. All of this was to protect him, to keep him out of the crosshairs of the rich and powerful elite.
But he was still indignant about it. He wasn't willing to just choose to escape passively — he wanted to become strong, and then stand at the pinnacle of this world, able to laugh at all the buffeting storms and winds. Yes, he wanted to master his own destiny — he wanted to change that prophesized destined finale!
The cheetah mecha was involuntarily drawn into his own thoughts. Meanwhile, due to the other's words, Lu Xiaolong had lost all of his initial urgency to leave the training hall. He believed that if the god had said so and was doing so, then it must really mean that the basics were very important. Without even having to think about it, he hurriedly sent a message to his two good friends taking the assessment. He told them not to graduate just yet, but to come back and train up their basic control more.
After a few minutes, his good friends responded. His good intentions naturally weren't able to convince these two 'good friends' who had already decided to abandon him. Their messages even suggested in a roundabout way that he was only doing this because he couldn't bear to see them leave, and was resorting to this sort of desperate measures.
Lu Xiaolong may be a bit slow when it came to learning, but he wasn't an idiot; of course he understood the hidden meaning in their messages. Lu Xiaolong was extremely hurt. He really wished he could explain to his good friends, even hoping that they would be able to watch the assessments of the two gods ... but he found that the two of them had shut off their communicators simultaneously, automatically rejecting all of his contact requests.
He went through his contact list, trying to pass on a message through some of their mutual friends, but the response he received again and again was not to disturb them — now that they were in the real mecha world, they weren't as free as when they were in the mecha training hall; they were really very very busy ...
By this time, Lu Xiaolong had already sensed something was off, but he did not want to think too much about it, unwilling to doubt his good friends. Before him were two options — one was to stop worrying about the others and focus on his own basic training until he was satisfied; the other was to quickly pass the assessment, paying no mind to how badly he did, so that he could be reunited with his friends as soon as possible.
He glanced at the two gods resting at the side after their practice, and after some thought, decided that he should try asking the cheetah mecha about this. Perhaps the god would be able to give him a good idea.
The cheetah mecha operator saw the rhinoceros mecha approaching him once again, and couldn't help but frown. Honestly, he didn't really like interacting with strangers — this was primarily due to his cloistered life thus far in his manor.
Subconsciously, he looked towards the rabbit mecha. The rabbit mecha's eyes suddenly blinked at him, as if telling him to be nice.
The cheetah mecha operator smiled wryly. Alright, since the rabbit mecha operator wanted him to be nice, then he would be nice. He just wasn't able to refuse someone who had helped him.
"Little Four, isn't challenging the other's tolerance this way a bit overboard?" Ling Lan was now rather worried that if the operator of the rhinoceros mecha really infuriated the cheetah mecha, he might be murdered right off by the other.
"Don't worry. I've already made arrangements. The rhinoceros won't die," replied Little Four. "If I hadn't worked things out yet, I wouldn't have let him get so close to you. After all, he's an evolved spectre!" Otherwise, if by any chance he was out and about away from his boss, and his boss bumped into the other, wouldn't that be too dangerous?
"That said, from the looks of it, his temperament is not bad. Not at all as dangerous as we thought." Little Four was very satisfied with the other's behaviour thus far. This way, he can leave Boss to him without any worry.
Little Four suddenly felt that something wasn't right — what did he just think about leaving Boss to him ... Oh fie fie fie, he must take that back! Anyone who dares to covet his boss must die! Death to all of them! Little Four began sharpening his knife, his little eyes glaring with suspicion and animosity at the cheetah mecha operator.
Of course, this behaviour of Little Four's was immediately stopped by Ling Lan. Ling Lan was extremely speechless — what nonsense was this brat thinking of this time? Ling Lan suddenly found that having a shared mind may not always be a good thing.
Lu Xiaolong told everything to the cheetah mecha operator in order, and Ling Lan and the cheetah mecha operator immediately knew what was up. Both of them were good at reading people, so they knew without a doubt that the poor Lu Xiaolong had been heartlessly cast aside by the two people he considered his good friends.
Ling Lan cast a sympathetic glance at Lu Xiaolong, but believed that this was actually a good thing. At least now he wouldn't be used up by his friends before being cast aside. In that sense, this was much better.
The cheetah mecha operator also thought the same — the two of them once again shared a look through their mecha, feeling as if they could clearly sense the other's thoughts. Once again, they marvelled at the miraculous rapport between the both of them; there were just no words to describe it.
Of course, the two of them weren't about to blurt out the answer directly. They were just passing acquaintances with Lu Xiaolong; they weren't close enough to be that blunt.
The cheetah mecha operator thought for a moment before saying, "I recommend you focus on training up your basic control. Although the time taken will be longer, this way will obviously be more useful to your friends. I'm sure you don't want to become a burden to them, right?" Perhaps time will let the other figure things out for himself.
Lu Xiaolong nodded energetically. What the god was saying was undoubtedly what worried him the most.
"If you don't have enough talent, then you'll just have to make up for it with hard work. So, don't think about simply passing. Make sure you master your basic control, otherwise you'll really become a burden to your good friends." Of course, the good friends he was talking about referred to true friends, and not those who had abandoned Lu Xiaolong.
The cheetah mecha operator's words enlightened Lu Xiaolong. That's true, even if he forced a pass and went over now, he still wouldn’t be much help to his friends. He might as well stay here and put in more practice to improve his basic control, and only move on when he truly had the ability to help them.
Decided, Lu Xiaolong bid farewell to the two gods. Of course, before he left, he tried to ask for a way to contact the two of them, but was unfortunately turned down by the cheetah mecha operator. Lu Xiaolong did not dare to cling — he knew that it was already a great blessing to have received some guidance from a god just once. If he were greedy and tried to ask for more, that would be too shameless. However, he still told them his name, his parting words and tone filled with the hope that they might meet up again someday. Hopefully at that time, the gods would still remember him.
Seeing the other leave reluctantly, Ling Lan couldn't hold back a sigh. "Who knew you were so good with words?"
"Is that so? Looks like I have talent in this area." Hearing the other's praise, the cheetah mecha operator's mood improved immensely, and he began joking back.
"Yes! You should really develop your skills in this area. You shouldn't waste your talent." Ling Lan could hear the other's humour, and so she replied in kind with a laugh. Ling Lan had no way to know that because of this one statement, the other would truly change how he interacted with others. When the two of them met up again in the future, she wouldn't imagine the person she met then would be the same person as this cheetah mecha operator she knew now.Basically --- you think your great bad spectre self is the only one who can search out people in the virtual world?A Chinese conceptual term describing the four components that supposedly determine a person's destiny or fate. The four components within the moment of birth are year, month, day, and hour. The literal transliteration of the Chinese term may be more familiar to some of you: 'Bazi'.