Because Luo Lang took Ling Lan's warning to heart, no matter how the opponent tried to rush him, lure him, mislead him, or pull him in with faked openings, he remained steady. He resolutely ignored all temptation, using only the basic combat arts he was well-versed in to counter each move the opponent made. He held fast to defence, and never launched any attacks of his own.
However, this situation was soon broken. When Luo Lang was faced with the exact same opening for the n-th time, his heart wavered. He began considering whether this opening was a true opening or not ... Luo Lang could not be blamed for wavering, because this opening was somewhat different than the other openings he had seen previously. Many times before, he had almost missed it completely; it was that well-concealed.
In contrast to the other openings which had disappeared after he ignored them once or twice, this opening had appeared again and again countless times despite his ignoring it. And whenever it appeared, it would be extremely subtle and easy to miss ... but regardless of how insignificant it was, an opening was an opening — it had still been noticed by Luo Lang.
Of course, Luo Lang did not choose to attack impulsively straightaway; instead, he carefully observed to try and find the reason why that opening would appear. He had not forgotten Boss Ling Lan's words, so he decided to watch for a bit longer. The moment he confirmed that this was a true opening, he definitely would not go easy on his opponent ...
Luo Lang carefully observed the opponent's movements and assessed the strength behind the other's blows as he blocked them. Finally, he gained some insight.
The opponent was left-handed! So his left hand could exert much more strength than his right hand. Yet, everyone knew that combat arts typically favoured right-handed attacks, while the left hand was mostly used for blocking techniques. Perhaps for this reason, the opponent had modified the combat arts he had learned into right-handed blocks and left-handed attacks. Of course, this modification had its pros and cons — the advantage was that it was easier for right-handed opponents to mess up their blocks and face his attack directly, and the disadvantage was similar, in that he may also end up making an error in defense.
To resolve this problem, the opponent had come up with a plan. He was a smart man, and did not want something he modified to be unusable, so he chose an extremely challenging route of development. He made it so that he would be able to shift between blocking and attacking seamlessly — in other words, both his left and right hand could be used to attack and defend. If he became proficient in this, although it could not be said that he would be unrivalled, fighters on the same level would find this move of his extremely hard to crack.
But fortunately, it seemed like the opponent still had not merged his set of moves completely. Because of this, there was a momentary lapse whenever he shifted between offence and defence, and this gap would be the best moment for Luo Lang to attack.
After coming to this conclusion, to avoid any accidents, Luo Lang continued to exchange several more moves with the opponent to confirm. Finding everything as he expected, he decided not to wait any longer and attacked. Since this was an opportunity, he definitely would not miss it.
When Luo Lang moved to strike at the opponent's opening during that lapse, the observing Ling Lan sighed in her heart. This opening was really just too perfect — Luo Lang still was not able to resist its temptation in the end. It was a trap!
Sure enough, as Luo Lang threw his punch at what was obviously a flaw, the flaw suddenly disappeared. It was as if that weak point was just something he had imagined, having never existed to begin with.
Luo Lang only felt his attacking right arm be grabbed by a powerful large hand, and then he was dragged forward by the other before he could pull back.
Luo Lang found himself falling forwards as he lost his balance, and at the same time, he felt a heavy strike to his abdomen. And then, he was flying backwards, a mouthful of blood spewing from his mouth ...
Not only that, in Luo Lang's vision, the opponent had once again raised his fist and was hurtling towards him to attack.
At that moment, Luo Lang's heart was filled with helplessness and regret — he had not held fast to Boss's warning, and fell for the opponent's trap. The result would be a tragic one; it looked like the other was going to give him a good beating now. His only hope was that he wouldn't be too badly injured — he still had to attend the hunting course after all.
Right then, a figure suddenly appeared in the combat area, catching the opponent's follow-up punch in one hand.
Ice in her tone, Ling Lan said, "This match, we admit defeat! However ..." Blood-red killing intent surged from her body. Only for an instant, but it was enough to send chills down the backs of everyone present.
Ling Lan's gaze shot like cold lasers into the opponent's eyes, and cold fear rose in his heart. "This follow-up fist, I'll be taking it!"
That said, Ling Lan's right hand, which was gripping the other's wrist, twisted, and with a crisp "crack!", the other's hand was cleanly broken.
"Stop!" A cry rang out at the same time as the sound of this break, and then, fuming, the instructor could only say, "You go too far."
Ling Lan looked at him coldly, and said, "Too far? That last attack had already caused serious damage to my companion. And this additional punch wasn't going too far?"
The instructor flushed to his ears. "How would you know if that extra punch of his would further injure your companion? The Golden Scales Team have absolute control over the level of their strength."
"Absolute control? What great absolute control ..." Ling Lan let loose a few dry laughs.
Yes, indeed, Ling Lan was thoroughly enraged. Luo Lang had already been injured by the opponent, but the other still chose to follow through with another punch — this obviously had some malicious intent behind it. And when Ling Lan stopped the attack by gripping the other's wrist, she could sense the power behind the attack. Although it would not kill Luo Lang, it was certainly enough to force Luo Lang to stay in a recovery pod for 3 to 5 months. In that case, Luo Lang would have no choice but to be absent for the hunting course this time. Mind you, the first hunting course was extremely important, and may even affect the distribution of cultivation resources — these were all things Luo Lang could not afford to miss.
And this was also one of the reasons why Ling Lan could not forgive the opponent. Therefore, in her wrath, she had broken the other's wrist in warning.
Ling Lan's connotation-laden words and her mocking laughter put the instructor in an awkward position. Although this soldier under him was both talented and strong, he was rather petty — the two consecutive losses for their team irked him, making him feel that they, the Golden Scales, had lost face. So, even when he had won, he had not stopped, wanting to teach these scout brats a good lesson, but he unexpectedly kicked a steel plate instead.
"L15, after your injuries are healed, go into isolation for three days as well. Reflect on your actions!" Extremely embarrassed, the instructor bellowed at L15.
Although L15's wrist had been broken by Ling Lan, his expression remained calm, as if it was not his wrist that had been broken. Only the thin trails of sweat running from his forehead proved that he was actually holding back the pain. Upon hearing the instructor's verdict, he used his other working hand to salute and responded, "Yes, Sir!"
As he left, he swept a dark look at Ling Lan who was still standing in the combat area. A trace of lethal animosity flashed through his eyes, but it only lasted for an instant. He swiftly returned to normal, as if that dark emotion had just been a hallucination.
"Boss, he actually dares to think of harming you? I'll destroy him!" Catching sight of this, Little Four was sent jumping in anger. He pulled up his sleeves in preparation to go fight for his boss.
Ling Lan huffed exasperatedly, "You want to destroy him? How?"
Little Four abruptly realised that he had no real hands and feet, and so had no way of helping his boss to destroy that fellow. He was so shocked that he went off to crouch in a corner to draw circles in gloomy silence.
But he quickly recovered when inspiration flashed through his mind. He jumped up and said to his boss excitedly, "Boss, quickly go and get a mecha of your own in real life! Then I'll be able to help you!" He could totally replace the mecha's A.I. and command the mecha to go PK that fellow ...
Ling Lan could not bear to see Little Four disappointed, so she nodded and said, "Okay, I'll hurry, and then you can help me to handle those bad eggs that want to harm me." Only with this was Little Four pacified.
No one noticed the cold and sinister look L15 directed at Ling Lan; everyone was filled with admiration for L15's stoicism under such intense pain. Of course, most of the attention was on Ling Lan standing in the middle, and those gazes were filled with shock and disbelief.
On the other hand, the scout academy students all had a matter-of-fact look on their faces, proving that Ling Lan's ability was indeed typically at this level. This made the crew members no longer dare to look down on the students.
By this time, the instructor had regained his composure. He looked at Ling Lan and said coldly, "You should be the strongest one among them, right? Judging by your strength, none of the Golden Scales team members will be a match for you. There's no need for the remaining matches then." He looked at strongest member of the Golden Scales Team — the team leader, a 25 to 26 year old stern-faced youth — and his face revealed a trace of regret. Since the other had managed to break L15's wrist in one move, then L13 would most likely be unable to hold out for more than a few moves.
"Of course the matches should continue. The one to fight next isn't me. It'll be the other top 5 candidate from our class, Qi Long!" declared Ling Lan loudly.
Qi Long rushed forward to stand by her side. "Boss, I'm here."
Ling Lan patted Qi Long's shoulder, and then turned to say earnestly to the team leader of the Golden Scales, "Big Brother, please guide this companion of mine well."
The team leader looked to the instructor for instruction, and the instructor nodded helplessly. Since they had already agreed to this sparring competition from the start, he couldn't very well refuse now, could he?
In the captain's room, Cheng Yuanhang, whose expression had changed slightly when Luo Lang was injured, saw Ling Lan's forceful retaliation and promptly returned to normal. In contrast, Old Lian's face was dark and grim, feeling that he had greatly lost face from this. Who would have guessed that the young man he had placed so much hope on would turn out to be such a sore loser?
"Old Lian, that one must be a top talent among your ranks here, right? It's normal for him to be a little arrogant," counselled Cheng Yuanhang kindly.
"Hmph! Compared to your class's Ling Lan, he's just a pile of crap," huffed Old Lian. His heart was itching — if he could get this unparalleled genius for his ship, then he would have hit a jackpot.
"I've already said not to even think about it. The First Division Special Ops Team already have their eyes on him." Cheng Yuanhang told this information to the other bluntly, in hopes that the other would not waste his time and back off. Some talents ... could really only be appreciated from afar and not obtained.
Old Lian let out a regretful sigh. This starship of theirs was still too low-level to think of obtaining this kind of peerless prodigy. This was also why L15, despite his pettiness, was still the bearer of their hopes here.
Meanwhile, on the field, Qi Long and the Golden Scales team leader, L13, were already locked together in an intense battle. L13's combat style was also the forthright and supremely aggressive type, very similar to Qi Long's combat style. Early on, Ling Lan had sensed this in their presences, and hence paired them up to fight.It's an acronym often used in Chinese which is short for 'Player Kill'. It's a term that draws from MMORPG games, where players go around fighting and killing other players.