This scene caused the officer to smile wryly, thinking to himself that the scouts this year were really such oddballs. In the past, the scouts who came were all mostly already in their own teams, and all those teams basically had all 6 members. But this term, not only were there very few teams, the teams were not even filled yet. He found it annoying just looking at the sparse teams.
"Why are there so few team members?" asked the officer unhappily to all the team leaders.
"My team is actually full, but the other two members are not in Class-A." Li Yingjie was the first to respond.
"Still in the process of choosing. No final decision yet." This was what Wu Jiong had to say.
"Um ... the ones I like have already joined other teams, and the ones who haven't joined a team yet, I don't see any I like," said Qi Long with a grin, scratching his head, adding a touch of goofiness to his demeanour.
"I want to take in more people, but they don't want to join me," said one of the team leaders with a long face. Who asked everyone to have their eye on Ling Lan's and Wu Jiong's respective teams?
"Ditto +1!" Another team leader had a similarly long face.
"Ditto +2!" The final team leader was also part of the long face clan.
The officer was unsure whether to laugh or cry at the humorous words of the last three team leaders. He then turned to ask the other students, "What about you all? Why didn't you choose to join a team, or make your own team?"
All was silent, so the officer pointed at one of the students at random. "You, answer!"
That student truly bemoaned his bad luck, actually being called on to answer. Sullenly, he replied, "If I made my own team or joined another team, then I would lose the chance to join Ling Lan's or Wu Jiong's team. We all do not want to lose these final three chances."
"Alright, alright, so you all have your considerations." The officer stared doubtfully at Qi Long and Wu Jiong, uncertain what sort of charisma they had to make the other students so tenacious. However, there was no way to continue on like this, so the officer grinned sardonically and said, "I don't care about these messy considerations of yours. Here, my word is law. Right now, I command you all to quickly get into temporary teams of five. Give me the name list in 3 minutes. If you still don't have a team then, I will randomly assign you one."
The officer swept his gaze at Qi Long. "Since your team is already full, I won't make any changes. You all can wait over there." The officer pointed out a direction, signalling for Qi Long and his team to move there.
Qi Long and the others were very happy that they could remain with Boss Ling Lan. This gave them a lot more confidence.
The students reacted swiftly. It took only 5 minutes for 10 teams to form. To ensure his team's combat ability, Wu Jiong chose a classmate ranked in the top 10 to join his team, while Li Yingjie had managed to secure the 13th-rank for his team. The other students teamed up according to how well they got along with one another.
Seeing that the students were all ready, the officer waved expansively and shouted, "Depart!"
The scouts charged aggressively towards the entrance of the camping grounds, and there they found a huge vehicle which greatly resembled a fully enclosed armoured car of Ling Lan's past world, but was five or six times bigger. The officer indicated for the students to get into the vehicle.
Ling Lan felt the vehicle start up and move. Along the way, she even felt the body of the vehicle being crashed into by some large force, causing several loud bangs. Seeing the anxious and curious faces of the students, the officer in the same carriage explained, "This is just the savage beasts attacking. Don't worry, this area is mostly just beasts below G-class. They won't be able to do any damage to this transport car."
"Won't any higher class savage beasts appear?" asked one of the students.
"I've lived here for 3 years and that has never happened. The savage beasts on this planet are all territorial, so the savage beasts normally won't leave the area they live in," explained the officer. Seeing that everyone was still anxious, he then shared the greatest trump of the camp. "We have heavy artillery on the transport car, capable of killing savage beasts below E-class."
At that, the students released relieved sighs, and waited calmly for the transport car to bring them to the hunting grounds.
After travelling for not even half an hour, the transport car stopped. The car door swung open, and Ling Lan and the others disembarked under the officer's direction to find that there was a temporary outpost here.
The officer pointed at the thick forest in front of them and said in introduction, "This is the H-class hunting area which has been specially set up just for you all. Right now, mark down the coordinates of this location. You must not go beyond the radius of this coordinate by 10 kilometres."
He then pointed at the temporary outpost behind him and said, "This is a temporary rest area provided for you all. The fence around the perimeter is also an electric barrier fence, definitely capable of withstanding multiple attacks by H-class savage beasts. Inside, there is also an exchange station. Also, if you want to return to the main camp, either you walk back, or you'll have to buy a return ticket. And each return ticket requires 500 credits ..."
The officer's mouth split into a grin, and he said with some malicious glee, "So, please work hard and earn money!"
That said, without waiting for a response from the stunned students, he leapt onto the transport vehicle, which then zoomed away from the area, leaving the students with nothing but faces full of dust.
Slow on the uptake, the students only realised they had been abandoned by the heartless officer after the vehicle was no longer visible. They broke out into angry curses, yelling loudly of the other's despicable shamelessness, actually leaving without teaching them anything.
Han Jijyun ignored the uproar beside him, turning to ask Ling Lan, "Check out the outpost or just go hunting straightaway?"
Ling Lan said impassively, "The outpost won't run away, we can always check it out when we get back. We need to get a better idea of this area before nightfall so we can create a hunting plan tonight."
Ling Lan's decision gained everybody's agreement. Or, we should say, since Ling Lan had decided so, no one else in the team would have any objections. Thus, the five of them swiftly put on their backpacks and headed towards the forest ahead.
Seeing the movements of Ling Lan's team, the other teams put a lid on their anger and began moving as well. Some teams chose to enter the temporary outpost to check it out, while other teams followed Ling Lan's team to enter the hunting area, getting ready for their first hunt.
At this moment, several kilometres in the air above Ling Lan and the others, a mecha battle squad was monitoring the area. Seeing some of the scout teams begin to hunt, their captain gave the following orders to his subordinates. "Each person is responsible for one team. Don't let them come to any harm."
"Roger that, Captain!"
"M1702, choosing the first team!"
"M1703, choosing the second team!"
"M1704, choosing the fifth team!"
"M1705, choosing the ..."
Meanwhile, in a different direction, on a mountain slope several kilometres away, a bestial mecha squad was also monitoring the area.
"Little ones, have you chosen your targets?"
"Boss, don't worry, we've all chosen ..."
"Pity there aren’t any lolis, can't push any of them down ..."
"Shotas are just as good for that, you sleazy uncle."
"Don't look at me that way, it's just my fatherly love overflowing ..."
"Che ..." This group of people, though noisy and flippant in their unfiltered speech, were nevertheless precise in their movements. Controlling their bestial mecha, they made their way skilfully through the forest, surreptitiously tailing the respective scout teams they had chosen to protect.
Qi Long was the spearhead of Ling Lan's team, with Han Jijyun in the middle, Luo Lang and Lin Zhong-qing at both flanks, and Ling Lan at the back of the formation. Han Jijyun's combat skills were the worst among them, so before they figured out the true strength of the savage beasts in this area, Ling Lan had no choice but to use this safest formation.
It was extremely calm the whole way through — they didn't encounter any so-called savage beasts. After walking 300 to 400 metres into the forest, Ling Lan's gaze suddenly flickered and her head twitched minutely towards the left. She could clearly sense that a savage beast was approaching from that direction.
A few seconds later, Qi Long also sensed it. He quickly gave a warning, "It looks like a savage beast is coming. Everyone watch out."
Hearing this, everyone tightened their grips on their weapons, focused intently on the direction they were in charge of defending. No one knew what the first H-class savage beast they encountered would be like and where it would attack from.
The wait wasn't very long. Within a few seconds, a burly grey figure leapt out from the short shrubs on their left side. Its chosen target was the one standing closest to it, Luo Lang.
Long prepared, Luo Lang swung the high-frequency blade at the figure in a hurried arc. Perhaps Luo Lang's counterattack was too swift, catching the opponent by surprise, for it was struck dead on by Luo Lang's attack.
A wailing howl rang out, and the grey silhouette twisted in the air to land nimbly on its feet. The powerful attack by Luo Lang had not damaged it at all.
At this time, everyone could finally see what it really looked like. It was about the size of a large dog, and was covered in a coat of long grey hair. Its head was like a rabbit from Ling Lan's past world, but was 4 or 5 times larger than a rabbit's head. Meanwhile, its tail was not short and small, but thin and long, with countless scales on it instead of hair. With a subconscious flick of its tail, a crisp crackling sound rang out, and there were now several thin gouges in the tough packed earth. It was obvious that its tail was immensely powerful.
"Flash rabbit, speed-type H-class savage beast. Attack methods: mouth, claws, tail. Strength: Immense speed, almost undetectable. Thick and tough skin, unable to be injured by normal strength. Weakness: Predictable attacks. Very impatient. Exchange value: Skin and fur, 10—100 or more (depending on the integrity of the item). Claws (whole), 20 each. Tail (whole), 100."
Ling Lan read out the information on the flash rabbit immediately. Her memory was amazing, almost to the extent of having a photographic memory. Of course, even if she forgot, Little Four had already saved all the information on the savage beasts and would have reminded her.
Listening to Ling Lan's recitation, Qi Long's gaze shone brighter and brighter — this was all money!
"Looks like it will be our first quarry." Lin Zhong-qing was equally as excited.
The flash rabbit was the weakest among all the H-class savage beasts. As such, there were not many things of value on it, only three. However, this did not beat the fact that it was the easiest savage beast to hunt. Not only could it allow them to practise on it to familiarize themselves with hunting, they would also profit from it somewhat — this was a great thing!
"In that case, Lin Zhong-qing, we'll leave this quarry to you," said Ling Lan calmly.
In their team, Lin Zhong-qing was the nimble and speedy type. Thus, hunting a flash rabbit as practice was perfect for him, very likely to trigger some insight.
The objective of hunting was not simply to take down a quarry, but also to learn how to hunt game that was most suited to one's abilities. This was the first lesson of hunting, known as 'know thyself, know thy enemy'.