L19 very quickly left the combat room — it looked like he was going to shut himself up in isolation immediately. Ling Lan saw that no one accompanied him, looks like the discipline of the crew was extremely strict and clear-cut. This was not something any ordinary contracted starship could do.
A trace of understanding appeared on the curve of Ling Lan's lips; she pretty much knew what kind of existence this starship was now.
Their initial plan was for Luo Lang to be the second to fight, but after some calculation, Ling Lan decided to switch the positions and let Wu Jiong fight first. Of course, Ling Lan also told Wu Jiong who the second weakest opponent in the line-up was.
With regards to the change in fighting order, though Wu Jiong was a little confused, he did not have any objections. Before he entered the combat area, Ling Lan said lowly, "Hold up first for about ten moves, wait till the opponent's charge wanes before fighting back."
Li Yingjie's victory had been very random, and could be considered a concession by the other side. But nevertheless, it was still a loss for their opponents. This would naturally stoke the indignation of the remaining members and cause them to yearn even more for victory — they desperately needed a victory to reclaim their face.
Ling Lan speculated that this time, the opponent would no longer give them the opportunity to initiate attack. The opponent would most certainly attack fiercely so that they could take this match cleanly and quickly. If the students could not hold up against this starting wave of attacks, then there would be no shot at victory.
Thus, Luo Lang, who wasn't good at handling this sort of berserk attack mode, was not suitable to come out now. It was likely that he would become flustered just after a few moves from the opponent, and would quickly be defeated and sent off the field. Ling Lan was unconcerned with the outcome of this sparring competition, but she also did not want Luo Lang to just lose without learning anything. Therefore, she needed to first crack this rush attack strategy of the opponents, to make them believe that snatching the attack initiative was useless.
But Wu Jiong was different — he specialised in handling this kind of rush attack. Ling Lan believed that he would definitely be able to withstand the initial rush, and this was why Ling Lan wanted him to fight second. Wu Jiong wanted to win, while Ling Lan did not want her followers to learn nothing from the experience; this way would cover both bases.
Of course, in order to make sure Wu Jiong would be able to win the match, Ling Lan still gave Wu Jiong a reminder, making sure he was prepared.
Wu Jiong nodded to indicate that he understood. Although the two of them were considered competing rivals within the class, this did not mean that he didn't trust Ling Lan's judgement.
The two fighters got into position and bowed to one another. Wu Jiong's opponent was a big man of about 30 years of age. One look at the other's hulking body and the thick strong muscles on his arms, and it was obvious that the opponent was definitely a power-type fighter. Wu Jiong mentally raised his guard, Ling Lan's reminder resurfacing in his mind. At first, he had been planning to observe a bit more, but he now immediately made the decision to defend first before attacking.
Sure enough, as Ling Lan predicted, the opponent this time was no longer as careless and casual as the opponent who had fought Li Yingjie. The other was approaching this fight very seriously, with no thought of giving a handicap. The moment the fight began, he charged forwards like a thunderstorm, bringing forth a flurry of punches and kicks, each movement fierce and powerful.
Because Wu Jiong was mentally prepared, this ferocious whirlwind attack mode did not faze him much. He kept calm and dodged each attack carefully. He was like a leaf floating on the surface of a raging sea, riding the waves without fear — no matter how fierce the other's attacks were, he could always find some way to hold on without losing any ground.
He weathered a round of the other's attacks with much difficulty, and then — perhaps the other had pushed himself too far in order to keep the momentum of his attacks going, for the force behind them suddenly slowed obviously — Wu Jiong, who had long been ready to counterattack, leapt forward without having to think twice. A set of advanced military-use combat arts belonging to the Wu family was unleashed from his hands, and he stole the attack initiative from his opponent. This sudden change caused the team member of the Golden Scales to scramble to switch gears, and the course of the battle turned.
Seeing this, the instructor's brows furrowed lightly. He was now almost certain that the other side was using the strategy of Tian Ji's horse-racing — who'd have guessed that they would be able to accurately pick out the two weakest members of Team Golden Scales? Furthermore, the student who had fought in the first match as well as the one fighting now was most likely part of the top 3 of the 5-student line-up.
The instructor had yet to finish this line of thinking when the scene on the field changed. Charging in close, Wu Jiong struck both of his fists out at the same time — this short and swift attack was too fast for the opponent's defence, and he was hit full on by Wu Jiong's attack.
Wu Jiong's attack this time used two One-Inch Punches, so though it looked like two light hits, it really wasn't. The opponent was obviously misled, and the force of the One-Inch Punches caused him to stumble back quite a few steps.
Gaining an advantage, Wu Jiong did not show any mercy. He stayed close to the opponent and his fists pummelled the other's abdomen in a frenzied rain of attacks. (This was a height issue; Wu Jiong could only attack that spot.) The opponent had no choice but to move to block these attacks — the abdomen was one of the weakest spots on the human body. Though Wu Jiong's frame was small, his strength was not insignificant, so the opponent had to be careful. He could only keep retreating to dispel the force of Wu Jiong's attacks.
Then, suddenly, Wu Jiong's frenzied attacks stopped. He pulled back his strength and leapt backwards to return to his starting position, putting some distance between him and his opponent. He then bowed to the other and said, "Thank you for the concession, Uncle!"
The man abruptly realised — he looked down at his feet, and sure enough, without knowing it, he had retreated till he had stepped out of the defined boundaries of the combat area. In other words, he had been forced out of the ring by Wu Jiong; according to the rules, he had indeed lost the match.
The man could not help but chuckle wryly. "What an impressive scout, it is truly my loss."
The man then marched over to stand in front of the instructor, lowered his head and said, "I'm sorry, Sir, I've lost."
"L18, return and enter isolation for three days!" The instructor sighed softly and assigned punishment again. Losing to a scout was an embarrassment for an adult — by giving out some punishment, it may help to ease the shame.
The man saluted the instructor gratefully, and then turned to leave. It looked like he was also going off on his own to isolate himself immediately. Isolation was not necessarily a bad thing — sometimes, cooling off for a bit may perhaps reap great benefits. Many people had earned their advancements and improved their abilities through isolating themselves and reflecting.
Still, after two consecutive men going off to isolate themselves without objection, Ling Lan's line-up of five shared a knowing glance. There was only one message in their eyes — this starship was most likely a military vessel in active service that was currently disguised as a mercenary vessel. Consequently, the planet they were headed to this time was most likely not the publicly known primitive planet as stated in their communicator notifications, but instead a secret planet sealed by the military.
After gaining two victories, the scout academy students were on cloud nine and were getting a little carried away — they actually began shouting out to win all the following matches. In contrast, there were still some students who kept their head, who felt that the following matches would not be as simple anymore.
In particular, Qi Long and Luo Lang's expressions were currently extremely grim. This was because their boss had told them personally that he had already chosen the strongest two fighters from the Golden Scales Team for them. In Ling Lan's words, they were being served up to be tormented.
Luo Lang was the third to go up. The opponent he chose was a young man of about 22 to 23 years of age. He had a refined look about him with a bashful smile on his face, making others feel as if he was very harmless.
However, Ling Lan told Luo Lang with absolute certainty that this man was not as harmless as he seemed. He was the second strongest among the six people of the Golden Scales Team, and was a vicious character who wasn't beneath using underhanded tactics to win. As Ling Lan was saying this, his face clearly expressed a hint of pity, as if declaring that Luo Lang wouldn't have a good time of it in this fight.
The instructor really thought that the other side would follow the flow of Tian Ji's horse-racing all the way, and so choose their third weakest team member. Unexpectedly, the other chose the second strongest of the Golden Scales Team this time, and it was the one with the belly full of plots and schemes to boot.
The instructor couldn't help but shake his head, thinking to himself that Ling Lan and the others were most likely going to be disappointed this time. This was because this young man ... even the instructor himself found him hard to deal with. He just laid too many traps in his fights, setting out too many lures — even he could not help but fall for some of them a few times. That man was truly the most difficult person to handle within the Golden Scales Team ...
Could it be that they thought that this team member appeared weaker? The instructor took a closer look at that black-bellied punk of the Golden Scales Team, and found that he really did give off that kind of vibe. Had the children really fallen for this trap? Or did they have some other motive for choosing him?
The instructor's gaze once again honed in on Ling Lan's side, trying to glean some hint from their bodies. When he noticed that these scouts were only as tall as their chests, he was abruptly taken aback, and then he couldn't help but chuckle lowly to himself. Unknowingly, he had begun to consider the students on an even playing field as himself. The other side was clearly just some kids of about 10 years old — how could they figure out who was stronger or weaker in the Golden Scales Team from appearance alone? Perhaps the first two matches they won were just a coincidence ...
"Luo Lang, once you go up, don't think too much. Don't worry about whether the other has any openings or not. Just focus on using your basic physical skills properly, and deal with any blows as they come." Not having the heart to see Luo Lang lose terribly, Ling Lan chose to give him a small suggestion.
Luo Lang nodded, and said gratefully, "Got it, Boss." Even knowing he was going out to be tormented, it would still be nice to not lose too badly.
Luo Lang understood deep down that he was definitely no match for his opponent. Although the other did not look that old, he must have already been through countless battles and must have struggled through many life-or-death scenarios. In reality, his battle experience must exceed Luo Lang's by several multiples, being a battle-seasoned veteran soldier. Luo Lang considered it great luck that he would be able to spar with someone like this before going on the hunting assignment.
Perhaps seeing how L18's rush attack was ineffective, combined with Luo Lang's serious face, which had no sign of arrogance from the previous two wins, the opponent chose to give up on the rush attack strategy. He began to circle around Luo Lang, testing him. As he circled, he would intentionally reveal some defence holes, small openings etcetera, trying to entice Luo Lang into attacking first.
However, due to Ling Lan's warning, Luo Lang just ignored all these openings. He too was extremely careful — before figuring out the opponent's true strength, he would not move recklessly.
They faced-off just like this for several circles, and then, as if feeling that it would be useless to continue on like this, the opponent attacked.
The scout academy's basic combat arts, though said to be equally balanced in terms of offence and defence, at its heart, each of its attacks was built on the foundation of defence. In other words, the defensive strength of the scout academy's basic combat arts was extremely solid — it could perhaps even be said to be perfect.