The next day, Ling Lan rushed to log on to the virtual world in her excitement. She swiftly chose her rabbit mecha and and was loaded into the mecha training hall, prepared to seek out the cheetah mecha operator to tell him the good news. Hell yeah, she could finally say bye-bye to basic control training!
However, she was quickly pinned down by horror. If the mecha could faithfully mimic what Ling Lan felt at that moment, we would see the rabbit mecha shiver from head to tail, all its hairs standing on end.
Apparently, Ling Lan had unwittingly turned on the mecha's viewing screen, only to be faced with two large black holes staring at her unblinkingly. Those black holes were really just too dark, too dim, and too vacant, causing pins and needles to break out all over Ling Lan's scalp.
"Hells, why did you have to lie down right in front of me!" raged Ling Lan, immediately jumping up to kick and punch at the other.
And so a rabbit was seen waving a carrot around violently, whacking a cheetah lounging lazily on the ground before it. This love-filled scene caused all the surrounding newbies to turn and look, extremely curious — what was this legendary rabbit-cheetah duo doing now?
Helplessly, the cheetah used its claws to block the rabbit's tantrum, and said somewhat dully, "Stop being angry, I have something to tell you."
Eh? He had something to tell her too? Blankly, Ling Lan pulled back her carrot and placed it in the rabbit's mouth for safekeeping. Then, she plopped down beside the cheetah, and waited patiently for the other to speak.
The cheetah was silent for a moment, before saying gloomily, "I just wanted to tell you that, I have to take the assessment and graduate today." Saying this, the cheetah was telling Ling Lan that this time, he would choose to graduate and leave the mecha training hall, and head off into the real mecha world.
The cheetah mecha operator actually felt as if he were doing a great wrong to the rabbit mecha operator — if it had not been for the rabbit mecha operator, he would not have ever been able to obtain such great improvement in his mecha control. After this period of training, he now fully understood the reason why basic control was so important. He was very grateful to Ling Lan, and this gratefulness just added to his guilt for leaving first on his own.
Ah? So coincidental? She was just thinking of leaving, and now the other actually needed to leave as well. In that instant, Ling Lan had the sudden feeling that the synchronicity between the two of them was really rather abnormal.
"Uh ... I actually wanted to say that too — that I wanted to take the assessment and graduate." Due to surprise, Ling Lan paused for a few seconds before finally spilling the words that she had wanted to say to the cheetah mecha operator.
However, this odd pause of a few seconds made the cheetah mecha operator misunderstand the situation. He thought that Ling Lan was intentionally lying to him just to comfort him. Mind you, to break Ling Xiao's graduation assessment record, it was still somewhat difficult at their current skill level. The cheetah mecha operator had always thought that Ling Lan had been staying behind in the mecha training hall because she needed to complete the mission of breaking that record. At one point, he even suspected that this was a mission assigned by Ling Lan's mentor's sect ...
So, when Ling Lan suddenly changed this stance of hers, saying that she wanted to take a final assessment and graduate as well, in the cheetah mecha operator's eyes, this was obviously for his sake. The made him feel touched and ashamed at the same time.
Such a great teacher and good friend, but because of his promise with his grandfather, he was not able to reveal his true identity and appearance to the other ... The guilt in the cheetah mecha's heart just grew and grew, and his reluctance to leave just became stronger and stronger.
"Sorry!" A torrent of emotions, and in the end he could only condense them into this most common of words.
"I'm speaking truthfully ..." Ling Lan was somewhat speechless. Dearie, you're really overthinking this.
"Due to some issues in the real world, I need to leave the mecha training hall to go to the real mecha world. I'm really very sorry."
"Honestly, I'm not lying ..." said Ling Lan moodily. Why wouldn't he believe her?
"I know! Thank you!" The cheetah mecha operator abruptly cut off what Ling Lan was saying, thanked her sincerely, and then before Ling Lan could respond, he had already chosen to enter his graduation assessment ...
Seeing the cheetah mecha disappear in an instant, fleeing under duress from his own perceived guilt, Ling Lan almost flipped the table in anger. Hells, that bastard! Couldn't he have listened to her properly before leaving?
A long while later, Ling Lan, who had regained her composure, suddenly burst into laughter. For the first time, she found — so the cheetah mecha operator had had such an obstinate side to him. Also, that fellow had really just been too good at letting his imagination run away with him.
Still, Ling Lan could feel the stirrings of regret in her heart. After all, the cheetah mecha operator was the first person in this world who had given her the true feeling of a friend; but unfortunately, the two of them just hadn't met at the right time. Both of them were hiding their respective identities, and so, in the end, they could only become strangers with the greatest rapport.
"Little Four, go take a look at his result." This time, Ling Lan did not want to go and disturb the other's assessment, especially since she knew that the other already harboured some guilty feelings towards her. Ling Lan felt that it was a bit of a pity — honestly, she really wanted to part on good terms with the cheetah mecha.
Very quickly, Little Four had returned to tell her the cheetah mecha's final assessment result. His time was just 2 seconds away from Ling Xiao's record, and this result was enough to leave his mark on history as the overall fifth place.
In the end, Little Four told Ling Lan that the other's brainwaves had truly disappeared from this mission space. In other words, he had indeed left the mecha training hall's world to enter a different virtual space.
Little Four asked if Ling Lan wanted to continue tracking the other to see where he landed in the other virtual space, but after some thought, Ling Lan declined. It was just as she had thought earlier — the two of them had met at an inopportune time. How would they have been able to continue maintaining their friendship when they were unable to face each other with their real identities?
"What a shame. If he's around, Boss, your mecha control would definitely improve even faster," Little Four would forever consider things from a perspective which benefitted Ling Lan most.
"You should know that, if it's truly gold, it will definitely shine one day," said Ling Lan enigmatically.
What the heck did Boss mean? Little Four was immediately struck by a wave of dizziness. He hurriedly ran a search on Boss's statement, and instantly understood. So Boss had meant that the other would never be able to escape from the palm of Boss's hand! 133t Boss owns! Flower shower!
Ling Lan ignored Little Four's mistaken comprehension, immediately choosing to take her final assessment. She entered the mission space belonging to her, and cheered herself on mentally: "I mustn't lose to that punk!"
Countless runs of the assessment had let Ling Lan and the other experience almost every assessment map; this time, the map selected was coincidentally a map Ling Lan had run before. Ling Lan closed her eyes softly, and she could clearly visualize every obstacle of the assessment mission in her mind ...
The mecha sounded the last few alerts to signify the start of the assessment. When only two seconds remained on the countdown, Ling Lan abruptly opened her eyes, and a radiant spark of light flashed across her eyes.
Finally, the start sound rang out, and Ling Lan's rabbit mecha could be seen rushing out like the wind. Among the irregularly moving obstacles, it was leaping and dancing freely, just like an ephemeral shadow, a play of light, sometimes visible sometimes not.
Meanwhile, inside the cockpit, Ling Lan's expression was exceptionally relaxed — her eyes were half-lidded, and the movements of her fingers did not give off any sense of urgency like they used to. Instead, her movements seemed almost casual, sometimes creating afterimages without conscious thought. This made her hands seem like they were performing a graceful dance, choreographing an absolutely beautiful piece of her own.
Subconsciously, Ling Lan also used instantaneous preset control mode — her understanding of this map made it the obvious thing to do, so she included the preset controls without any fuss whatsoever. With that, Ling Lan had entered a sort of heavenly realm of control, causing Little Four to be both shocked and overjoyed at Ling Lan's great luck.
This situation clearly proved that Boss Ling Lan's control skills were about to ascend by yet another level. Perhaps, this time, she would finally be able to achieve the lowest hand speed required by her dad ...
"Congratulations, you've successfully created a new record! The secondary world shall now commence a world-wide notification, please select whether to publicize your name or to remain anonymous?"
Seeing that Ling Lan was still immersed in the insights she had gained in that control session, Little Four quickly helped Ling Lan choose to stay anonymous. Even though no one would be able to trace it back to Boss's real identity if they chose to publicize the name of her avatar, there would still be some risk involved. Little Four constantly took Ling Lan's words to heart, so he now knew to make sure to protect himself well first in all endeavours.
Once Little Four had made the selection, within the virtual world, everyone who was online could hear a voice from the main system: Congratulations, XXX, for successfully creating a new basic mecha control graduation result record! Each generation brings forth new talent, this stable world has finally welcomed a new era of change!
When everyone heard this, a great furore broke out. Those who knew about the rabbit-cheetah duo were all guessing whether it was one of them who had broken the record. Some people even logged off right then in their excitement, rushing to use their communicators in the real world to contact their friends who were still inside the realm of the mecha training hall to find out more.
However, the response they received was that their friends did not know anything either. Of the few who had been coincidentally browsing the assessment name list at the time, none had seen any sign of the rabbit mecha or the cheetah mecha.
It turned out that, to ensure confidentiality, Little Four had removed Ling Lan from the list of observable assessments the moment she started her assessment. In other words, no one would have been able to see Ling Lan's assessment.
Thus, the only one who knew the truth was the cheetah mecha. Frankly, when the cheetah mecha operator had heard this system announcement, his first reaction was that it must be the rabbit mecha. Following that thought, he chuckled wryly and said to himself, "So you could have graduated and left a long time ago ... Hanging out at the training hall for so long, you were probably just waiting for me. But in the end, I still let you down." In low spirits, he immediately chose to leave the mecha world.
In a private manor, a major-domo was patiently waiting for his young master to log off. However, as time passed and the login pod remained closed, he suddenly thought of something and leapt forward to pry open the login pod forcefully from the outside. All he saw inside, though, was a pretty young man crying silently.
"Why are you crying, Young Master? Did something happen?" The major-domo was flustered. His young master was an extremely strong child — previously, when his body was in a bad condition, even if the pain was unbearable, he would still face others with a smile, never crying or showing his pain.
The pretty young man opened his eyes; his typically bright and steady gaze now seemed a bit lost and confused. Just as the major-domo was about to ask, the pretty youth suddenly spoke, "Major-domo, why did grandpa insist that I can only tell others my real identity and appearance after I turn twenty? Just why?"
If it weren't for this promise, he wouldn't have chosen to leave the rabbit mecha operator. Then, he wouldn't have to feel this heartache — so losing a friend was such a painful thing.
The major-domo open and closed his mouth several times, but in the end he could only recite that old fallback, "Young Master, you'll find out later on!"
"Later on? Hehe, sometimes, what's missed is missed, gone forever ... Major-domo, do you know? Just earlier, I've missed what should have been my most important best friend in this life!" said the pretty boy amidst bitter laughter, his tears spilling over silently once more. His expression was pained, and it was overshadowed with a deep sadness for not being able to control his own destiny. It was only at this time that he was truly acting like the 13 year old kid he was.i.e. Elite Boss is defeating everyone! - I used English internet slang here in keeping with the original Chinese net-slang. For those interested, the original phrase here was 'Boss V587!', which literally translates to 'Boss dominates!'. It's a play on how the phrase used to describe 'dominate' (wei wu ba qi) sounds like V587 (V- wu ba qi).Another Chinese net-slang. The literal translation of the original phrase is 'scatter flowers!'. I couldn't think of an English equivalent for this one though, which basically means to 'throw confetti' in celebration. So, decided to just go with a [email protected][email protected] The prettiness of the boy is much emphasized. I thought about using other adjectives instead for variety, but the original stuck with just one, so ... *shrugs*. The author intended it this way. Lol.