Ling Lan did not have to question Number Three any further on how to input these preset control commands. This was because Ling Lan already knew that, other than the fixed preset control mode, there was also an instantaneous preset control mode. The latter mode would accept extremely brief input, and would only be effective for one usage.
This was a type of control method which was extremely well-suited for emergency battle. However, many people had forgotten that mecha came with this function, because this instantaneous preset control mode required a lot from the operator. Many people did not possess the ability to handle this type of control method, so most mecha operators still found it easier to just depend on their own adaptive ability and control the mecha directly.
Instantaneous preset control mode needed the mecha operator using it to have a certain level of predictive ability — the so-called awakened 'sixth sense' of this world. Meanwhile, in the learning space, this ability was named 'Animal Instinct', and was a lower-average standard innate perception ability.
In fact, Ling Lan's innate talent of Profound Insight was the best among the other innate talents in the same category. As such, the instantaneous preset control mode was extremely appropriate for Ling Lan — this was why Instructor Number Three had made it a point to bring it up.
During this time, Little Four had gradually siphoned in data he had collected from the real world into the learning space, giving the instructors within it a general understanding of the technological environment Ling Lan was living in. Thus, they knew that this world was extremely behind with regards to awakened perception abilities at the moment, and even in terms of mecha control, this world was N-levels worse than that of their own world.
So, the instantaneous preset control mode, which was familiar to all the residents of the learning space, was rather neglected in this world. Here, with the exception of those who had awakened the sixth sense, other common mecha operators would be utterly clueless about this function on their mecha, and even many instructors of mecha control may not remember the existence of this function. This was another reason why Instructor Number Three had stepped up to demonstrate mecha control in person.
Ling Lan understood what Instructor Number Three intended with his guidance. In contrast with the instructor's control, she could clearly see that she was still lacking in many areas, whether it be awareness, control, or prediction. Ling Lan knew this was all because her basics were still below standard, so she didn't choose to learn a new control method, merely continuing to train her basic control. The only exception was that she began including the usage of instantaneous preset control mode in her training. Of course, this was extremely difficult. Many times, Ling Lan's attempts ended in failure, but Ling Lan still continued tirelessly in her attempts to learn it.
In this manner, several months passed. Ling Lan's life fell into a regulated routine — at dawn and at dusk, she set aside two blocks of time to train her basic physical skills; whether it was the scout academy's or the one taught by the learning space, she wouldn't allow them to fall behind. At the same time, she also didn't forget to train her hand speed. By this time, she had already broken through the limit of three marbles, and was now able to train with four marbles at a time.
However, just like when she had been training with three marbles, she could not sustain the activity for long. Still, Ling Lan wasn't anxious — she remained patient and practised every day, improving bit by bit. It was a victory as long as she could sustain activity for just a little bit longer than the day before.
Meanwhile, during the day, she would attend classes at the academy if there were classes, and if there weren't, she would enter the virtual world to practise her mecha control there. Of course, Ling Lan would habitually check to see if that cheetah mecha was at the mecha training hall. Anyone would have a lasting impression of the first stranger they met in the virtual world who also helped them out.
Of course, there was another reason Ling Lan was looking for the other — every time she saw the other's training movements, she would somehow gain some measure of insight from it. In return, the other seemed to be of a similar mindset; and so, the two of them often ended up training together without planning it in advance. Although they still did not speak much to one another, they knew each other very well, just like old bosom friends. By the end, they could even tell with just a look or a motion what the other wanted to do.
Meanwhile, Little Four was also very busy. One of his duties was to find time to fake Ling Lan's virtual appearance to help his boss complete some of those scout academy daily missions. Ling Lan couldn't very well stay offline for so long, right? Besides that, Little Four also had to help Boss to maintain her relationships with Qi Long and the others. There were times when he even had to pretend to be Ling Lan to join them in clearing some group missions. Luckily, Little Four had grown up with Ling Lan and had hung around her all this time, so he was extremely familiar with Ling Lan's mannerisms and tone of voice, managing to carry it off without raising any suspicion among her companions.
On top of that, Little Four still had to prevent the cheetah mecha operator from getting too close — Little Four firmly believed that someone being so nice for no reason, must definitely be hiding some evil intention. The cheetah mecha operator was treating his boss so well, so he must have some nefarious intentions. Little Four had to protect his boss!
Of course, all this was just Little Four's opinion; Ling Lan completely disagreed. From what she could sense, the cheetah mecha operator was extremely mature, and he was also an operator who was deeply obsessed with mecha control. Moreover, the other did not even know whether she was a boy or a girl, so what sort of nefarious intentions could he have?
Of course, Ling Lan's words drew Little Four's derision. He mocked her, saying that she was just fooling herself — just think about it, all of the newbies in the mecha training hall were basically all youths of about 16 years of age ... why would a mature adult be here? And youths were the hardest people to figure out — who knew what kind of insanity they would involve themselves in next?
Neither one could convince the other, but Ling Lan did not take any of this to heart. She continued to 'coincidentally' meet the cheetah mecha (Little Four was the main contributor to this; he felt that it was still safest to keep someone dangerous close where he could watch him) and train together in silence. At times, Ling Lan would feel as if she had gained some breakthrough and enter the mecha training hall to take the basic assessment again. At those times, there would always be a cheetah mecha watching from the side. Similarly, every time the cheetah mecha retook the assessment, as long as Ling Lan was online then, she would also choose to watch from the side.
With all of this, Ling Lan felt that the cheetah mecha should be considered one of her friends now. Which was why she had been so happy when she had heard what Little Four had to say about the other's ability. In her mind, only when both parties felt the same could a relationship be called a true friendship.
Thus, Ling Lan decided to tell the other her secret of training hand speed. "It actually isn't much of a secret. Back in the real world, you just need to place some marbles in your palm and move them around quickly without letting them fall, that's all."
Ling Lan's words caused the cheetah mecha to be extremely taken aback — he had never expected Ling Lan to just reveal her inherited secret just like that. He could not help but be worried for her, saying, "Aren't you afraid of drawing the displeasure of your teacher's sect? Don't reveal this kind of secret so easily in future."
"Displeasure? It shouldn't." Ling Lan lifted her head as she thought about it. She did not think her dad would be so stingy and mind that much, so she said, "Don't worry about it. I'm only telling you about this, because you're my friend."
Ling Lan's words touched the cheetah mecha operator. He suddenly had the urge to tell the other about his true identity, but the words had barely touched his lips when his grandfather's words echoed by his ear: "Little Lan, you must remember, while you're studying at the scout academy of planet Azure, even if you meet a friend you find extremely dependable, you still cannot let them know your real identity or what you really look like. Only when you're fully 20 years old, after you've officially become an adult ..."
The cheetah mecha operator clenched his fists tightly and gritted his teeth — only by doing so could he push down the shame and guilt he felt to the bottom of his heart. After a long beat of silence, he finally managed to eke out two words, "Thank you!"
Ling Lan knew nothing about the struggle within the cheetah mecha operator's heart right now. She was in a great mood, because she believed that with the help of the training method to increase hand speed, the cheetah mecha would definitely continue to stay here and train his basic control. With a friend by her side, training wasn't as boring as it could be.
In the following period of time, inside the mecha training hall, a rabbit mecha and a cheetah mecha were often seen training their basic control together, taking assessments together, studying control techniques together ... they became known as the famous rabbit-cheetah duo of the mecha training hall.
The rabbit-cheetah duo's skilful and almost flawlessly perfect movements attracted the respect and admiration of all the mecha newbies who walked through the mecha training hall's doors. Gradually, they gained reputation among the newbies; every one of their assessments would draw countless spectators. These spectators were witness to the birth of Ling Lan's and the other's increasingly high ranking on the leaderboard. They saw off batch after batch of old newbies, and welcomed group after group of fresh newbies.
Due to these newbies both young and old, talk of the rabbit-cheetah duo spread even further and became even more legendary. In the end, rumours about them spread far and wide throughout the entire virtual world — saying that two experts of mecha control were unwilling to graduate from the planet Azure mecha training hall, because they wanted to surpass the old time and make a new record.
Of course, this rumour was greeted with scorn by most people. Almost everyone thought that the rabbit-cheetah duo were obviously chasing a pipe dream — they would never be able to break the old record. This was because the current best record of the basic control assessment was set ten years ago, by none other than the god-class operator Ling Xiao. Of course, back then, Ling Xiao still hadn't become a god-class operator yet.
Still, even so, his result wasn't something an average person could break. After repeated studies by specialists, they confirmed that Ling Xiao's result had already achieved the pinnacle of basic mecha control. Only if someone were to use mecha of special-class and above, combined with the control skills of an ace operator or better, then there might be the low possibility of surpassing it. (Because the mecha used for basic control assessments were the most primitive three types of mecha, the crudeness of the mecha had also limited Ling Xiao's performance.)
But is this possible? Everyone knew that all the mecha training hall provided were the most primitive mecha; no one could get their hands on any better mecha. So, there would never be a scenario where, using the same type of mecha, someone would be able to break Ling Xiao's record ...
Ling Lan did not know that they had swept the whole virtual world into animated discussion. After she and the cheetah mecha operator had thoroughly studied and experimented with their bestial mecha, they had then switched to avian mecha, and had finally chosen humanoid mecha.
When they had become fully proficient in the basic control of all three main types of mecha, Ling Lan used a humanoid mecha in the learning space to pass the tunnel mission. After she passed, the long-absent Instructor Number Three appeared once more, and this time, he immediately told Ling Lan to make preparations — tomorrow, she would officially begin following him to learn the beginner level techniques and movements.
When Ling Lan heard this, she almost raised her arms and cheered; she laughed loudly three times to celebrate her progress to the next stage. It should be noted that continuous training in just the basic controls was really boring and hence tiring. If she had been alone, she might have already gone ahead long ago and graduated to the real mecha world to seek out newer and more interesting pursuits. But when she saw the cheetah mecha operator practising the basic mecha controls with such a serious attitude, Ling Lan had no choice but to carry on and persist. Dammit, how could she, a mature older woman, lose to this little green spring onion of a youth before her ...
(A certain pretty boy youth who had just logged off was cheering himself on at the same time: to be the strongest mecha operator in this world, he could not lose to anyone else. Since the rabbit mecha could train so tirelessly in the basic controls without complaint, then he must be able to do it too! He must hold on and persist!)
It had to be said that, at times, some misunderstandings were extremely beautiful. The two of them felt that the other's attitude was very serious and very tenacious, and so they both did not want to lose to the other ... in this way, the two of them persisted together through mastering these extremely dry and boring basic mecha control exercises!The author switches to marbles here though Ling Lan was training with steel beads previously. *shrugs*This is a different 'Lan' character than the one in Ling Lan's name. Let's have a look at the three main 'Lan's in the story thus far. :3