Ling Lan had broken her dad Ling Xiao's basic control graduation record. This greatly surprised Ling Lan — despite her joy, she knew very well that this was the result of a fortuitous accident. If it weren't for the fact that she had been familiar with this assessment map, she would not have been confident enough to use the instantaneous preset control mode. And then, to stumble by chance into the extremely rare Celestial Realm ... her results were actually about the same as the cheetah mecha operator's — at most, her best performance would have just beaten his by one second. All we can say is that as a time-traveller, she had been given a direct hack by the God of Time Travel.
Still, this hack had caused Ling Lan's control ability and hand speed to ascend by yet another level. Ling Lan couldn't help but sigh in awe at how unfairly intense the Celestial Realm hack was — actually pushing her abilities up by one level immediately.
In order to fully absorb and master her new hand speed as well as the control realm brought on by the Celestial Realm, Ling Lan immediately chose to isolate herself. She headed straight into the learning space to soak in her new insights.
The Celestial Realm did not bestow this increase in ability to a person directly; it only temporarily brought out a person's best possible state at that moment in time. To really obtain these ability gains, it all depended on one's effort in understanding and reflection, to seriously learn these new limits and make them one's own. Otherwise, as more time passed, the insights given by the Celestial Realm would drift away with the wind, leaving no trace behind. At that time, one's control ability and hand speed would revert to its original state.
Ling Lan spent over a month taking in these insights within the learning space, but outside, only a few hours had passed.
When Ling Lan finally stepped out from the virtual login pod, the aura of her body had changed slightly. The initially frigid and somewhat pressing air around her had diminished a little, no longer feeling as cold as before.
Over the past few years, as Ling Lan's combat ability grew stronger and stronger, the endless killing missions in the learning space had caused the killing intent around her to become thicker and thicker. If Little Four hadn't tried his best to help her suppress this blood-soaked killing intent, her classmates who were slightly weaker wouldn't have been able to approach her at all. And even if Qi Long and the others got close, they would only be able to stand up straight with difficulty, they wouldn't be able to move.
Of course, if that had happened, Ling Lan would certainly fall under the suspicion of the academy teachers and the monitoring military personnel. After all, the students in grades one to three shouldn't have had any real battle experience; only starting from the fourth grade would they be sent out on hunting assignments. How could a child who had never seen true bloodshed possess such a thick blood-red killing intent?
However, as Ling Lan's killing intent grew even thicker and thicker, Little Four also found it harder and harder to hold it back. In the end, a little bit of it escaped, but fortunately, at that time, Ling Lan was going through her icy slackface period. Therefore, even if she emanated a cold aura that chilled the hearts of others, it was still somewhat explainable. This had let Ling Lan safely avoid the suspicion of the military monitors once more.
Little Four was the first to sense the ebbing of Ling Lan's icy air. He instantly threw confetti into the air in celebration. He had been so worried that if the killing intent continued to increase, he would not have been able to hold it back any longer. It had been on the brink of happening — but now, they had dodged a bullet once again.
In a great mood, Ling Lan indulged herself with a great feast. Her title of 'glutton' had never changed, and she was even eating more than before. However, by now, Ling Lan's mum, Lan Luofeng, had already gotten used to the sight of her daughter guzzling down food like a black hole. This was normal. The day when Ling Lan ate less — now that would be a catastrophe, a sign that the Armageddon had arrived.
Several days passed, and Ling Lan, having received some great news, was rather distracted. She actually began to drift off inside the learning space, mind busily calculating the passing rate of time outside compared to time inside the learning space. This 'physically here but mentally elsewhere' behaviour thoroughly enraged Instructor Number Three, who had been in the middle of teaching Ling Lan some F-grade mecha moves. He immediately kicked Ling Lan out of the mecha training space, sending her to stare blankly alone in the great hall of the learning space.
Hells, if she didn't want to learn, then he didn't want to teach either! Instructor Number Three's tsundere side was triggered!
However, there was a legitimate reason for Ling Lan's inattentiveness today. It was because in the Central Scout Academy, a course that she had been anticipating for a long time was finally here — outdoor hunting.
This outdoor hunting wasn't just running around in a forest — using slingshots to shoot at wild chickens and wild ducks — that sort of boring thing. No. It was a full three months of wilderness survival training on some random primitive planet.
Of course, they were still only 10 year old kids, so the academy would not throw them straight off into some terrifying hell-hole to hunt. At most, they would only be sent to an area with some elementary-class wild beasts with low combat ability for training. At Ling Lan's current level of strength, handling those low-level beasts with trash strength was really not much different than killing wild chickens and ducks to her.
But ... that was not the main point. The main point was that they were going to another planet. This meant that Ling Lan would finally be able to take a ride on a spaceship like in the stories she had read ← This was the true reason for Ling Lan's excitement. Darling, did you get that?
In short, our country bumpkin Ling Lan could finally ride a real starship to take a trip into space. So, she just had no way of staying calm. It's just like when we were in primary school, and the teacher had announced a field trip for the first time, we would have been so worked up and excited that we would not be able to sleep the night before ...
The moment Ling Lan saw she had been kicked out of the mecha learning space, without even thinking about it, she immediately exited the learning space. She lifted the communicator by her pillow to look at the time. Er ... it's still too early, only about 4 a.m. in the morning ...
But Ling Lan just couldn't sleep anymore. She climbed out of bed, put on her communicator, and checked her luggage once more:
Weapons: Two magnetic alloy daggers! To the outside world, Ling Lan had always been a right-handed weapon wielder, but in truth, she was better at wielding weapons with her left hand than her right. This dual-wielding ability had been trained under Instructor Number Five — Number Five had said that, a trump that is hidden will always be one's strongest trump card.
Rumour had it that this time, the academy would actually give everyone a beam gun as an emergency backup; the students had all begun learning how to use beam guns since they were in third grade. Ling Lan's shooting skills were not bad, but they definitely weren't top-tier. On this front, both Han Jijyun and Lin Zhong-qing were clearly better than her — their sheer natural talent in shooting was astounding.
Thus, this time, she also brought along an extremely covert weapon — a bracelet specially prepared for her by Chamberlain Ling Qin. Ling Lan carefully placed the bracelet on her right wrist. She looked at the metallic sheen of its deep black colour, common-looking yet serving a suitably decorative purpose, and nodded in satisfaction.
This was indeed that ultra-strong, unbreakable, ultra-thin rope that Chamberlain Ling Qin had used during in that ambush several years ago. It was an indispensable tool for killing people, crossing distances, and rock climbing. With this at hand, Ling Lan would be able to handle certain difficult situations with ease.
Of course, Ling Lan's bag was mostly filled with nutrient solutions of varying flavours (the results of her research), recovery fluids, and first-aid medications. At this time, she was somewhat annoyed — oh why couldn't the learning space come with some storage functions? If it did, then she would have been able to bring enough of all the things she might need, and wouldn't have to fret about what she should and shouldn't bring.
Because all these things would have to be with them at all times, if they brought more than what they would be able to bear, their hunting ability would decline sharply. At that point, they wouldn't be the ones hunting anymore, rather, they would be hunted by the wild beasts instead.
Ling Lan also did not forget to bring some changes of clothes. At this moment, she was atypically glad that she was a fake man. Because she had been injected with suppression shots, her body was in an undeveloped state. Thus, she didn't have to worry at all about menstruation or any of the other host of embarrassing issues related to puberty. And from that, she also wouldn't have to worry about being endangered by these problems in the outdoors either, things like attracting attacks from the wild beasts due to the stench of blood ...
Just like that, after much study and much cutting down, she finally completed her packing. By this time, the sky was already fully bright. Ling Lan took a quick shower, and then walked out of her room in high spirits.
When Ling Lan arrived at the classroom of grade 4 Special Class-A, she found that she was one of the last few to arrive. It looked like she wasn't the only one who was excited.
"Boss Lan, over here, over here!" An energetic voice rang out from a corner of the classroom. Without even having to lift her head, Ling Lan could already tell who it was. The only people who would yell out to her so passionately — other than Qi Long, there was only Lin Zhong-qing. Qi Long's voice was louder, however, so his voice was still quite distinctive.
After following Qi Long around for two years, Lin Zhong-qing had lost almost all of his initial gloomy personality. Instead, he was as enthusiastic and full of smiles as he had been at the start of school, when he had served her for one month. However, Ling Lan knew very well that this was just a facade Lin Zhong-qing was holding up against the outside world; inside, it wasn't that simple.
Still, Ling Lan did not caution Qi Long and the others about this. It was up to them to decide their own relationships — whether good or bad, only they themselves would know.
Ling Lan lifted her head to look, and saw Lin Zhong-qing standing by his seat, waving at her.
Ling Lan walked over with an indifferent expression. As a girl, she really had no clue how to interact with these little boys, and so could only use this sort of macho-cool image to handle the situation. In any case, this group of kids seemed to be eating it up.
"Boss Lan, I've bought you breakfast," said Lin Zhong-qing, smiling, as he passed over a box on the table.
Ling Lan swept a look over the scene, and saw that Han Jijyun and Luo Lang were both sitting at their own places with identical boxes, eating delicately. Seated on top of his desk, Qi Long was also holding a box, and was wolfing down its contents unreservedly.
Looks like Lin Zhong-qing hadn't just prepared breakfast for her. Ling Lan accepted the box and opened it. It turned out to be the golden soup dumplings which were extremely hard to get within the academy. It looked like Lin Zhong-qing had gone to the canteen super early to line up just to get these — he had truly put in a lot of effort.
Ling Lan used her chopsticks to prod at the soup dumplings in her lunch box, and said coolly, "It's been tough on you!"
Though Ling Lan had said this almost casually, Lin Zhong-qing's face was painted with a trace of pleasant surprise. Even the ravenously eating Qi Long behind him raised his head in surprise, surreptitiously using an elbow to nudge Lin Zhong-qing lightly, congratulating him for finally getting acknowledgement from Boss Lan.
He used a full two years, only to get this simple sentence ... Lin Zhong-qing's mind was a mixed bag of emotions — for a moment, he actually wasn't sure whether he was happy or resentful ...
Right then, a classmate suddenly rushed into the classroom, obviously emotional, shouting, "Big news! Big news!"
Wu Jiong and Ye Xu had been chatting at one side. When they heard this cry, they jerked, and quickly turned to look at the student who had shouted.
"It's likely that our outdoor hunting course this time may be cancelled ..." The moment the student entered, he shared the bad news with everyone. This caused all the students to become anxious — they had already waited for this day for so long, could everything be cancelled at the last moment?
"What happened exactly? And where did you hear this news?" Seeing that Qi Long had no intentions of asking, Wu Jiong had no choice but to speak up himself and ask.currently left unexplained by the author.I don't even know ... the author legitly uses 'tsundere' to describe #3 here. Take it as you will.