The savage beast slammed into the railing, and just when everyone thought the railing was certain to break, what actually happened stunned them. Unexpectedly, the seemingly flimsy railing was actually very sturdy, and was even equipped with terrifying electrical power. When the beast crashed into the railing, the railing emitted a piercing zapping sound, sparking off arcs of electricity. Very quickly, the wild beast had been electrocuted into a pile of ash, falling onto the ground right outside the railing.
Only then did Ling Lan notice that there were many similar piles of ashes right outside the railing — looks like there were quite a number of wild beasts besides this one before them which committed suicide in this manner.
Han Jijyun couldn't help but exclaim, "An electric barrier fence!"
This cry caused expressions of realisation to dawn on the scouts' faces; only electric barrier fences would have such power.
It looked like the wild beasts on this planet were really not that simple, otherwise there would be no need to use the Federation's strongest protective measure. Ling Lan was not the only one to realise this. Many of the other students also thought of this, and their faces started to reveal traces of anxiety. They could already sense that the hunting course this time would not be as straightforward as they had imagined it to be.
"All students of the Central Scout Academy ..." At this moment, a clarion voice was transmitted into the ears of all the students. "Welcome, everyone, to 'planet Wild and Savage'. This time, you 50 students will be having your hunting course here. I sincerely hope that all of you will be able to complete this course ... but even before completing the course, my biggest hope is that every one of you will be able to survive the hunt!"
This speech made the students anxious and doubtful. They did not know why a simple hunting course would involve their lives.
"You did not hear wrongly. This course may very well cost you your lives, because the wild beasts you will be facing won't be those tame animals you are used to. Instead, you will be facing beasts of a minimum level of H-class."
When the students heard that the lowest level they would be hunting would be H-class beasts, there was an instant uproar, and disbelief was written all over their faces.
The Federation had once announced to the public that there were all kinds of fierce beasts in the universe. Beasts below J-class were still within controllable range — in other words, the damage they could cause was not significant. But from J-class onwards, the beasts left the category of wild beasts and went straight into savage beast level. Of course, J-class beasts were still the weakest of the savage beasts — their strength was roughly at the level of Foundational combat stage level 2 to 3. Anyone with combat talent who had learned combat arts for three to four years would be able to handle them.
However, starting from I-class, it was different. The strength of the savage beasts then approached the Foundational combat stage levels 5 and 6. H-class monsters were even at Foundational combat stage levels 8 to 9; in other words, they were already half a step in the Manifestation stage.
Meanwhile, the students were mostly all at Foundational stage level 8 to 9, with only a few at the Manifestation stage. Against these H-class monsters, they would have no advantage whatsoever.
The students were bewildered by this — could this kind of situation still be considered a hunting class? This was basically asking them to gamble with their lives! Moreover, this was still only talking about the lowest class of monster here. If they were unlucky, they might even bump into a G-class, or perhaps even one of a higher level ... wouldn't it be over for them then?
Right then, that clarion voice once again rang out by the students' ears, "Whether or not to continue with the course, the choice is up to you. There's still time for you to quit now. On your right hand side is the place to register to drop out. Now, you all have 3 minutes to choose ..."
At that moment, to the right of Ling Lan and the other students, a soldier with an A.I. in one arm waved a hand at them, signalling for those who wanted to drop out to come find him.
This sudden choice caused the scouts to fall into indecision and uncertainty, unsure what they should do.
At this time, Wu Jiong pulled Ye Xu over to go towards Ling Lan to discuss the matter. To one side, Li Yingjie's gaze wavered for a moment, but then, with a clench of his teeth, he followed them.
"Ling Lan, what do you think?" asked Wu Jiong.
Ling Lan was rather surprised. She had never thought that Wu Jiong would come and ask for her opinion. Still, despite her surprise, she told Wu Jiong her decision honestly, "Continue with the course."
"Are you not afraid of the danger?" asked Wu Jiong. Then, feeling as if his words were not enough to convey what he meant, he added, "I'm talking about your team members." That day, Ling Lan's spar with the instructor had let Wu Jiong know that Ling Lan's strength was just too far beyond them — perhaps this hunt would be no danger at all for him, but the same could not be said for Han Jijyun, Lin Zhong-qing and the others on his team ...
"Indeed, the hunt this time is very dangerous. It's very likely that what they said may happen. But this danger brings opportunity with it, as well as an increase of strength ..." Ling Lan stopped here, turning to look at Qi Long and the others beside her, before continuing, "I also believe that Qi Long and the others will protect themselves well, and then become even stronger, finding the opportunities that belong to them."
That said, Ling Lan nodded solemnly and said, "They are just that strong!"
This last statement was said forcefully, with conviction, showing that Ling Lan's confidence in Qi Long and the others was absolute.
This statement also drew the brilliant smiles of Qi Long and the others, a sign of how touched they were by it. In that instant, their hearts pulsed with the intense emotions of being understood and accepted ... Ling Lan's trust caused their initially unsteady hearts to settle immediately.
Wu Jiong cast a long look at Ling Lan, and then nodded and said, "That's true. Although the hunt this time is very dangerous, it is also a chance for us. Of course we can't give up this course."
Ling Lan nodded at Wu Jiong's words, saying nothing more. After hearing what Ling Lan and Wu Jiong had to say, Li Yingjie's initial doubts also disappeared. He told himself that he definitely could not lose to Ling Lan, Wu Jiong, and the others. What they could do, he could do too.
No one knew that Wu Jiong was actually a little disappointed at this point. He had questioned Ling Lan with an ulterior motive — he had hoped that Ling Lan would respond in an uncaring manner so that Qi Long and the others would begin to harbour a grudge in their hearts against him. He had not expected Ling Lan's response to make Qi Long and the others even more loyal to Ling Lan instead.
At this point, he knew that trying to get Qi Long and the others to leave Ling Lan and work with him instead was no longer a possibility. This also meant that his chances of overcoming Ling Lan were almost nil.
Yes, ever since the first year, Wu Jiong had never thought of admitting defeat. He had always wanted to beat Ling Lan. When he saw that beating Ling Lan on his own was not a feasible path, he had then chosen to challenge him with a team. He shifted his goal to the seventh grade, when they turned 13 and would challenge the virtual network barrier.
However, Ling Lan's team was also very strong, possessing the two combat talents Qi Long and Luo Lang. Still, Wu Jiong was not discouraged. He did not think that Qi Long and the others were really completely loyal to Ling Lan. Qi Long, especially, had always been the top rank of their class — was he really content to just be a puppet in Ling Lan's hands?
Thus, this time, he had specially asked a trick question. If Ling Lan had expressed blithe unconcern for his team members, he would be able to leverage this to spark Qi Long's dissatisfaction and cause the dissolution of Ling Lan's team. (When necessary, a team's member may choose to build their own team, and then the other members may choose once again whether to follow this member or the original leader, prompting a reorganization of the team. This was a failsafe to handle unresolvable conflicts within a team.)
But the final outcome disappointed him. The friendship among Ling Lan's team was truly like steel. Everyone knew their positions well, and there was no sign of the dissatisfaction he had thought there would be.
Frankly, Wu Jiong would think this way because he did not understand the position Ling Lan held in Qi Long and the others' hearts. The one who admired Ling Lan the most in Ling Lan's team was no other than Qi Long himself. It should be said that Ling Lan counted as half an instructor to Qi Long. Many times, when Qi Long encountered any difficulties in his combat skills, Ling Lan was the one who would enlighten him. Thus, Qi Long might not submit to others, but he would definitely submit to Ling Lan.
Meanwhile, Luo Lang had always been nipping at Qi Long's heels. He and Qi Long could actually be considered rivals. Whenever Qi Long was stuck, he was also stuck, and when Qi Long improved, he would also improve accordingly. If Ling Lan was half an instructor to Qi Long, then she was also half an instructor to Luo Lang. Therefore, Luo Lang had never considered leaving Ling Lan. His only hope was to one day step over Qi Long to become Ling Lan's number one follower. (Little Four jumped out indignantly here. Dammit, Boss's number one follower is meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee ... (the subsequent several hundred thousand 'e's have been removed) ← unidentified entity found to have trespassed, please ignore.)
The one who had always harboured doubts towards Ling Lan was instead the inconspicuous Han Jijyun. Having just average combat ability in the class, he really liked using his brain to solve problems. Thus, he would not be convinced by those who were all brawn and no brain — no matter how strong they became, under certain creative strategies, he could still cause them to lose terribly. Later on, only after finding out that Ling Lan was actually very black-bellied himself (a large part of the credit here goes to Little Four; Ling Lan really wasn't as complicated as Han Jijyun thought her to be), did Han Jijyun become truly convinced and recognized Ling Lan as his boss.
As for Lin Zhong-qing, who entered the team last, he had pretty much sold himself to the team to become a member. Before gaining Ling Lan's full acknowledgement, all he was thinking about now was how to obtain Boss's sincere acceptance, so the notion of leaving Ling Lan had never even crossed his mind ...
The three teams of Class-A simultaneously decided to continue with the course. Seeing this, the other students who had still been hesitating all said they would remain as well.
In fact, Ling Lan was the one who gave them the courage to remain. On the starship, Ling Lan's even fight with the instructor made them believe that as long as it wasn't a monster above G-class, Ling Lan should be able to defeat the beasts with no problem.
Although Ling Lan treated others coldly and his icy slackface did not seem very friendly, they believed that at critical moments, Ling Lan would definitely offer assistance.
The three minutes were soon up, and seeing that none of the students had chosen to leave, the senior officer was very pleased. "This group of brats are pretty good. Their wills are strong, unlike those from the last few years, which always had a few who chose to leave ... in that case, we need to avoid any carelessness and stay alert. We really can't let anything bad happen to them."
"Don't worry, Sir! Our ace mecha squad is already fully prepared. Whenever the scouts are out hunting, they will be secretly protecting them from the skies. They'll definitely not let anything go wrong with the children," said the advisor with a smile.This isn't the actual name of the planet. The planet is technically unnamed yet due to its confidential status, so this is just the local soldiers' nickname for it.Translator comment: ... so you weren't as alert with the previous batches? =.=