The two of them bowed to each other, and then the fight started. After several moves had been exchanged, the initially loud voices of the crewmen became softer and softer, until their attention was fully absorbed by the fight.
"That rotten brat's basic combat arts are pretty good, very solid."
"He's also quite calm and careful, not using any so-called secret techniques or ultimate moves to break up the integrity of his basic combat arts. Quan just can't find any openings."
"Quan's attacks have all been resolved." The offence and defence of the basic combat arts were very balanced, so unless the opponent was someone whose combat realm greatly exceeded Lin Zhong-qing's, it would otherwise be very difficult for them to crack these basic physical skills built through solid training.
"Your student ... this counterattack is perfect, eh? Hmph, these little bastards will now have to tuck away their proud peacock tails." In the captain's room, Old Lian was staring intently at the screen. Seeing his own crew performing so disgracefully, he was extremely angry.
Old Lian had naturally seen the interaction between Ling Lan and Wu Jiong, and was very satisfied at their fighting spirit. However, when he saw Ling Lan send Lin Zhong-qing out to fight, knowing that Lin Zhong-qing was not part of the top tier of Class-A, he had begun to wonder whether that little fellow was being overly confident.
Although that Quan was indeed the JMC of his ship, and his skills were the bottom of the heap among his crew ... But still, any member of his crew was no ordinary crew member! Every single one of them had been baptised in the flames of countless merciless battles, all of them seasoned warriors who had clambered up from beneath a mountain of corpses and a sea of blood ...
Old Lian believed that even the weakest among them, Quan, should be an impossible opponent to defeat for the students from Class-A. Unexpectedly, he was being harshly slapped in the face by the reality before him ...
Sitting at one side, Cheng Yuanhang pretended not to see Old Lian's complexion which was rapidly changing colours. Instead, he calmly took a sip of the tea he held in his hands without saying a word. However, the subtle smile on the corner of his lips showed how pleased he was at the moment.
"Lin Zhong-qing, fighting!" "Lin Zhong-qing, go, go!"
The students of Class-A were all pumped up, cheering enthusiastically for their fighting classmate. Even Li Yingjie, who had never gotten along with Lin Zhong-qing, also kept a stern face throughout, hoping that Lin Zhong-qing would put up a good fight and take back some face for Class-A.
Right then, Quan was beginning to feel somewhat anxious for being unable to take his opponent down; a very small opening appeared in his thus far steady combat arts ...
Is this a chance or a trap? Lin Zhong-qing's mind jolted, at this moment, he felt as if he could hear Ling Lan bark out by his ear, "Attack his right flank!" That spot was precisely where the opening was.
Lin Zhong-qing had no time to think — his body just obeyed that command, sending out a powerful punch with all the strength it possessed.
"Bam!" The sound of a fist meeting flesh. This move of Lin Zhong-qing's came swiftly — the opponent was flustered, and unable to dodge, he was hit directly!
Quan was seen staggering several steps back. Subconsciously, his right hand was pressed onto his right flank. His face was white as a sheet, and there was a pained expression on his face. It looked like Lin Zhong-qing's punch had landed soundly, and he had taken the full brunt of it.
Expression changing, a crew member with a red cross stitched on the right arm of his uniform jumped out from the crowd. Lifting the emergency healing apparatus on his waist, he quickly scanned the other's body and then said anxiously, "There's internal bleeding. Quick, send Quan into the recovery pod." This guy should be the ship's doctor.
The ship's doctor's words spurred several muscled crew members into action; they hurriedly carried Quan to the recovery pods. The initially flippant crewmen's expressions had turned serious. They found that this group of little brats before them were not as simple as they had thought.
The combat room lapsed into a short silence. Seeing that the starship's crew were finally taking them seriously, Ling Lan sent a pointed look at Lin Zhong-qing.
Lin Zhong-qing received Ling Lan's cue, and spoke up once more, "I'm not fully proficient in combat arts yet. If I injured that big brother, please forgive me!
"However, if all the crew members on this grand ship are all of this level, then there would be no need to continue the spars any further." Lin Zhong-qing's words caused the crewmen's faces to pale and flush erratically — this was obviously a comeback targeted at their previous cocky remarks!
"So what you're saying is, the other students in your class are even stronger than you?" An icy voice rang out from behind the crew.
The crew anxiously moved aside to give way, all of them calling out, "Sir!"
Ling Lan's eyes narrowed. A man dressed in Federation military uniform appeared, his entire demeanour emitting a piercing cold air. He looked to be around 35 to 36 years old, one of the youngest among the crewmen, but the other much older crewmen all seemed to treat him with extreme respect, perhaps even some fear.
From the pressure exerted by the other, Ling Lan could just tell that this person was probably the strongest one among all these crew members.
The other's aura also affected Lin Zhong-qing. Lin Zhong-qing felt as if he was being pressed down by an invisible force, so heavy that his knees wanted to buckle, but the pride in his bones would not allow him to disgrace the academy, disgrace his class, and disgrace Ling Lan's team. A flash of white teeth, and he borrowed the pain from biting his own cheek to recover the prideful look on his face. Then, he replied, "With my strength, I can only squeeze into the top 10. As for the top 5, I don't even have the right to touch them with a finger ..."
"Is that so? Now I really want to see how strong this top 5 of your class whom you can't even touch really are." The military instructor cast his gaze over the surrounding crewmen, searching. This made the crew members stand up straight reflexively and throw out their chests.
"Team Golden Scales." The instructor's gaze finally landed on one of the teams. "This time, your team is up!"
"Yes, Sir!" The six men of Team Golden Scales could not conceal their surprise; they had not expected the instructor to send them out.
This nomination also flabbergasted the other crew members. They would never have expected the instructor to go so far, actually sending out the team members of their ace mecha team. Were these little brats really that strong?
"Can you call out your class's top 5 now?" After arranging the roster for the starship's crew, the instructor turned his head to ask Lin Zhong-qing, tone indifferent.
Lin Zhong-qing reflexively turned to look at Ling Lan. One of the fingers of Ling Lan's low-hanging right hand gave a light flick.
Standing beside Ling Lan, Han Jijyun suddenly felt himself being pushed out gently by a surge of energy. His body took two strides forward involuntarily, coming to stand in front of Ling Lan and the others. It was as if he had seen Lin Zhong-qing's question, and stepped out by himself to explain.
Han Jijyun was a smart child; he instantly understood who the one who had pushed him forward was. Steadying himself, he immediately introduced the top 5 of their class to the instructor: Qi Long, Wu Jiong, Li Yingjie, Luo Lang, and Ling Lan.
Wu Jiong looked at Lin Zhong-qing and Han Jijyun standing in front of them, and quietly asked Ling Lan, "How shall we arrange this?"
"To win, or purely for sparring?" Ling Lan threw back this question.
"What do you mean?" Wu Jiong frowned.
"If we want to win, then we should follow the methods of Tian Ji's horse-racing; if we just want to spar to learn something, then it's best to have roughly equal match-ups." It was now up to Wu Jiong and the others to choose. Ling Lan was frankly unconcerned whether they won or lost — her gaze met that of the instructor's. She had no interest in the Golden Scales Team. It would probably be more meaningful if she could fight against that instructor.
Wu Jiong and Li Yingjie discussed the matter for a moment, then decided that they wanted to win. Having a strong thirst for victory, they were unwilling to accept defeat.
Qi Long and Luo Lang did not have an opinion; they were willing to just follow whatever Ling Lan decided.
Wu Jiong and Li Yingjie's choice made Ling Lan's brows furrow gently. This fear of losing a fight was not a good thing. Still, Ling Lan did not say anything, only nodding to show that she understood. There was a total of six members in the Golden Scales Team. With a glance, Ling Lan could already tell which few were weaker and which few were stronger. Her eyes flickered in thought, and then she called Qi Long to call Han Jijyun back for a discussion.
In the end, the few of them decided to request for the scout academy to have the right to freely choose their opponent. After all, they were the weaker side — it was very normal for them to have some conditions.
Han Jijyun conveyed Ling Lan and the others' request to the instructor, and he agreed to it without any hesitation.
Li Yingjie was the first to go up. The opponent Ling Lan selected for him was the weakest one among the Golden Scales Team. The instructor's brows lifted slightly, watching Li Yingjie's fight intently even in his surprise. As expected, Li Yingjie's ability wasn't bad, actually able to fight on even ground with that crew member, not at all disadvantaged.
"The principles of Tian Ji horse-racing, is it? Interesting." A hint of a smile appeared on the instructor's lips. These kids really had a strong desire for victory, it seemed. Still, this wasn't a bad thing — if they didn't have these kinds of intense feelings, then they wouldn't be passionate youths, would they?
Li Yingjie's basic combat arts were obviously weaker than Lin Zhong-qing's, and the opponent was someone N-times stronger than Lin Zhong-qing's opponent. Several times, he was almost defeated because the opponent had caught hold of the openings in his movements. Fortunately, Li Yingjie's inherited family martial arts and secret techniques were all high-grade material. Every time he felt that something was not right, he would use a Li family life-saving technique. This helped him to avoid many sure-hit attacks.
Just like that, the two fighters exchanged over a hundred moves. The member of the Golden Scales Team felt that this was a great loss of face, being unable to take down such a small brat like this ... He lifted his head to look at the instructor, a plea in his eyes.
The instructor's brows were locked deeply, and he shook his head without even having to think about it. Of course he knew what the other was asking for, but that movement was the last resort of mecha. Moreover, beating a mere student with that would be meaningless.
Unable to get approval from the instructor, the team member seemed to lose all fighting spirit. Li Yingjie grasped an opening he revealed in his negligence and sent the other stumbling back three steps.
Catching his balance, the team member was enraged. To reclaim his lost face, the stance of his two hands shifted abruptly, his five fingers clenched lightly as he faced Li Yingjie from a distance.
The instructor's countenance changed, and he yelled, "Stop!" The team member was jerked back to awareness by this loud yell. Cold sweat poured from his forehead, and he immediately pulled back his hands to stand to one side.
"This match, we forfeit," said the instructor coldly, "L19, return immediately and go into isolation for 3 days."
"Yes!" L19 replied, head bowed. Due to the height difference, Ling Lan could see the complicated expression on his face, which also held a trace of thankfulness.FYI, original term of address here is straight up 'instructor', but it's more common in the military for 'sir' to be used as an address in English.This is a tale where Tian Ji managed to beat the King of Qi in a horse race competition. The competition consisted of 3 matches, and though the horses on each side were about equally matched, Tian Ji won by using the following strategy. He pitted his weakest horse against the King's strongest, his strongest against the King's mid-level horse, and his mid-level horse against the King's weakest horse. In that way, he secured 2 wins and 1 loss, winning the tournament.