"Hmm, since you've said so, I'll have to work on it then." The cheetah mecha operator's reply was very serious, but Ling Lan did not notice, still thinking that the other was joking.
There was a slight pause, and then the cheetah mecha operator said in awe, "Your speed this time is faster than mine. Recently, I've gotten stuck in a bottleneck. I keep getting stalled at this time with no way to progress further. My hand speed has already hit a limit, maybe this is the most I can do." The cheetah mecha operator's voice was somewhat sad; perhaps the time to leave had come.
"Then just train your hand speed!" Ling Lan blurted. After several months of hanging out together with their mutual understanding, Ling Lan was also extremely reluctant to see the other leave. However, her words had barely faded when her guard went up. When did she lose all her defences against the other?
"Train my hand speed? How do I do that?" exclaimed the cheetah mecha operator in response, just as shocked by Ling Lan's words.
However, he very quickly realised what he had done — his question had most likely stepped into the territory of the other's inherited secrets. How could he covet the other's training secrets? "I'm sorry. I overstepped."
"It's fine ..." Ling Lan frowned silently. She actually felt somewhat bad, as if not telling him was a sin. What in the world was happening? If Ling Lan's mind weren't so steady, she might have already blurted out the training method without even knowing it.
"Little Four, can you sense anything off?" In her mind, Ling Lan quickly called Little Four to the rescue.
"Nope ... everything's perfectly normal! Eh? What's this? What a strange mental fluctuation ..." exclaimed Little Four in shock. "Actually matching up with the frequency of Boss's real brainwaves ... hold on, let me check my databases to see what this means."
"Is it harmful?" Ling Lan asked anxiously. She could not afford to take any chances — the other was a very dangerous evolved spectre, you know.
Little Four had already pulled up the data by this point, and with some schadenfreude he said, "Oh, it's nothing much. It will just magnify a certain positive substance infinitely. For example, if you think he's not bad, then under the influence of this fluctuation, you will think he's really nice. If you think well of him, then this feeling will directly extend to the point of considering him a close friend. If you have any bit of affection for him … hehe, Boss, then you're done for. You'll immediately be at the step of loving him so much that you'd be willing to die for him."
Little Four's words made Ling Lan roll her eyes at him. Was she someone that thirsty, that desperate? Was she really surging with so much lustful desire?
"Also, this ability can reduce the existence of a certain negative substance. For example, it can decrease an enemy's animosity, correct other's negative opinions of him etcetera ... in short, everyone who sees him will like him!"
"He's doing it on purpose?" Ling Lan's face was tiger-fierce. If the other had used this ability on purpose, she would definitely put him on her blacklist. Although she had a good impression of him, who knew if this was all just the product of this ability?
"No, this is an ability he was born with. He doesn't know how to use it consciously." Little Four rubbed his chin and cackled, "Hehehe ... because he likes you so much, and hopes you will like him in return, that's why this ability activated now. Let me put it this way. This ability can only appear when he himself truly wants to treat the other well. So, congratulations Boss, you are part of the group of people whom he really likes and wants to treat well."
At this, Ling Lan relaxed. Little Four could even see the minor curve of a small smile on her lips — it looks like his boss was greatly gladdened by this. Little Four felt nostalgic — ever since Boss had begun developing in the direction of becoming a slackface, he had rarely ever seen Boss smile anymore. He really missed it so much. Boss's smile at the start had been so beautiful — though it might not have been able to topple countries, it was certainly more than lovely enough to topple cities.
As he continued to think about it, Little Four began to resent those instructors in the learning space. Why was it set up so that all the smiling teachers were those with black innards and perverse attitudes?! While the strict and proper ones just had to have ice-blocks for faces? Totally skewing the perspective of his boss ... it should be known that Boss truly loathed that forever outwardly smiling, but internally extremely perverse Instructor Number Five.
Little Four's words naturally made Ling Lan very happy — it had already been several months since she had told the cheetah mecha operator about the importance of the basics. After spending so much time together, she would have cultivated some emotions even if the other was a rock, not to mention that they were both living breathing human beings. Unknowingly, the cheetah mecha operator wasn't the only one who had come to consider Ling Lan as a friend; Ling Lan herself had come to see the other as a dependable friend.
Setting that aside, during this time, Ling Lan had also overcome many difficulties within the learning space's mission.
Because Ling Lan had broken through her bottleneck, there was a resulting breakthrough in her hand speed once again. This made Ling Lan's passing time improve tremendously, clocking in at slightly less than 3 minutes 10 seconds. This was just less than 10 seconds away from the mission's passing condition of 3 minutes.
Subsequently, Ling Lan attempted the tunnel mission again and again, each time fixing the control errors she made in her previous run. As Ling Lan's mistakes dwindled, her time needed for the course also got closer and closer to 3 minutes. However, when she hit the 3 minute 3 second mark, Ling Lan once again hit a wall. After several consecutive practices, she found that she couldn't progress any bit further.
Ling Lan did not panic. Even though her time was so close to the designated time limit of the mission, she knew very well that rushing would not solve anything. Only keeping calm would help her find a way to overcome this in the end.
Ling Lan started to think back on the movements of the cheetah mecha — back then, the cheetah mecha's movements had been extremely fluid, and his speed had been very fast as well; however, his running and jumping rhythm had not been as intense as his speed would suggest. Instead of more frequent bounds, it was more like each bounding motion had used up the mecha's limits — in other words, he had pulled out every bit of the mecha's latent reserves.
Even more astounding was the fact that he had used the reaction force of every landing to maintain and add on to his velocity, pushing it to the extreme. This had allowed the cheetah mecha's speed to go beyond the limits the operator had given it, letting it access speed beyond the abilities of the operator.
Meanwhile, she herself had similarly managed to push her rabbit mecha's speed to the limit, but could she also use the reaction force from this type of repetitive landing to increase her speed?
Ling Lan knew the Rabbit Sky Leap was the best stepping reaction force technique — she just wasn't sure how long the rabbit mecha in the learning space could hold out under the technique.
Ling Lan experimented a few times and finally grasped the timing. She could only use it during the second half of the course, and it had to be after the two-thirds point — otherwise, if she used it too early, the mecha would disintegrate before she could pass the mission.
Still, the advantage of the learning space was once again displayed. That is, mecha were indestructible inside it — after disintegrating, when she once again went back to the start, the mecha's condition would be back at 100%.
It wasn't free however. Ling Lan was naturally pained when she found that her honour points had been ruthlessly deducted by a whole 10 points — this was equal to the amount which she had used to redeem the Rabbit Sky Leap skill!
Under this repetitive testing, Ling Lan had used up almost 80 honour points before she finally pinned down the timing needed to use the Rabbit Sky Leap in the mission. Even if the mecha did not disintegrate, smaller repairs still required honour points; it was just slightly cheaper.
And then, in the final moments left, by luck, Ling Lan finally managed to break through the 3-minute limit, clocking in at 2 minutes 59 seconds. The cost was rather steep — this time, due to overwhelming speed, the rabbit mecha had almost disintegrated entirely. Luckily, she had managed to complete the mission before it could fully disintegrate.
However, the learning space did not give Ling Lan any time to take pride in her achievement. At this moment, Instructor Number Three pranced onto the scene. He seated Ling Lan in the auxiliary seat, and then operated the rabbit mecha himself to run through the mission course once.
Ling Lan could see very well that Instructor Number Three's hand speed wasn't that fast; she could see every movement of his hands clearly. However, it was precisely this kind of control method that made the rabbit mecha move through the tunnel as if it were dancing. At times, it even left trails of light behind it, flashing through the tunnel like a bolt of lightning.
As Instructor Number Three controlled the mecha, he explained the reasoning for this type of control method to Ling Lan. Ling Lan compared it against her own control method and recognised her deficiencies. Right then, she finally understood why the instructor hadn't taught her how to control the mecha at the beginning, instead leaving her to figure things out for herself. It was because some elements of mecha control needed to be personally experienced before one could understand why it had to be done a certain way — only by doing so could one understand what was wrong. Most importantly, everyone had their own control habits, and the best control method was the one which suited oneself.
The whole way through, Ling Lan gained new insight on controls, while Instructor Number Three breezed through the course, finishing it in 2 minutes and 11 seconds on the dot.
Regarding this, Ling Lan was very curious. How did Instructor Number Three manage to achieve such a terrifying completion speed when his hand speed had been slower than hers? Of course, when Ling Lan asked this question, Instructor Number Three just asked her in return: Was his hand speed really slower than hers?
Ling Lan looked in astonishment at the reading from the hand speed monitor that the mecha's A.I. had gathered, finding that Instructor Number Three's hand speed had actually been the same as hers. But why did it look like his hand speed was slower then? She had not even noticed the appearance of any afterimages — Ling Lan knew that when her hand speed reached a certain level, this phenomenon would appear.
"You focused all your speed on a particular time period. Not only does this tire out your hands and mind, but even the mecha itself would also be extremely worn out," said Instructor Number Three, patting the body of the rabbit mecha, gaze affectionate. It was as if the mecha before his eyes was not a mecha, but a living thing which needed to be protected and cared for, and not controlled barbarically.
Ling Lan was surprised by the instructor's actions, but at this moment, she still could not comprehend this mental state of a mecha operator. She could only think back on the speed the instructor had used when controlling the mecha, and found that he had maintained an even speed throughout the course — this was rather strange. Mind you, within the tunnel, every scene was different, and there were even some unpredictable scenarios — how in the world had Instructor Number Three managed that?
"Among the control commands of the mecha, there is something called preset control mode. You should use it appropriately." Instructor Number Three's words enlightened Ling Lan. She knew very well what preset control mode was — the resting motion of her mecha was a type of preset control. It's just that that motion was a fixed preset control; she just had to program the motion into the mecha beforehand, and then use the specially trained buttons to execute it ...Yes, the original is this vague about it.