Ling Lan's mecha suddenly dipped, the entire mecha somersaulting, then it bent both knees to kick out abruptly, sending the Twilight Empire mecha in its hands flying.
The Twilight mecha flew like a missile, hurtling straight for the sniping mecha in the distance. Meanwhile, riding the reaction force of the kick, Ling Lan's mecha flew backwards. Almost at the same time, Ling Lan activated the mecha's engines to full power, adding onto her momentum to push her mecha's large body further away from the kicked mecha.
From around 300 metres away, the Twilight mecha responsible for sniping pressed the trigger of the beam cannon. An extremely powerful energy beam shot out from the mouth of the cannon ...
An intense explosion rent the air. The force of the explosion was so strong that it sent out powerful shockwaves which could be felt from even 2 to 3 kilometres away. Meanwhile, close to the heart of the explosion, stretching out 500 metres, all the trees and plants had been ravaged by this great explosion. In particular, 100 metres around the centremost point, there was not a speck of greenery left. All that remained was turned up black dirt and a large pit of about 50 metres wide.
At this life-or-death juncture, Ling Lan's mecha control had exceeded her limits, achieving a realm regular people were unable to obtain. But despite her speedy reaction, she still did not manage to completely escape the range of the Twilight mecha's self-destruction. Her mecha's right leg was blown to smithereens.
This immense concussive force also dealt heavy damage to Ling Lan herself. With a cry, she once again threw up a mouthful of blood, her head spinning.
Ling Lan bit down fiercely on the tip of her tongue, letting the sharp pain force her back to wakefulness. She wiped away the traces of blood at the corners of her lips and asked, "What happened? How could the explosion from self-destructing be so strong?"
Little Four gave his analysis instantly, "The mecha self-destructed at the moment the beam cannon struck, igniting the full force of the cannon beam. The two energy waves added to each other, resulting in an effect N-times stronger than just pure addition."
"Looks like it involved some chemical reaction." Ling Lan frowned. This unpredictable explosive force was the cause of the severe damage to both her mecha and herself.
Marching rapidly, Qi Long and the others were thrown off their feet by the tremors from the explosion. The weakest Han Jijyun was even sent flying, but fortunately, Qi Long was able to react in time to press him down to the ground so he wasn't injured.
Qi Long waited for the tremors to stop and then climbed up quickly to look into the sky. He saw that the Federation mecha's right leg had been destroyed in the blast, and his complexion paled.
"We need to move a little faster." The aerial battle did not seem too far, but was in fact 3 to 4 kilometres away. Qi Long and the others were already moving extremely rapidly, but still only managed to cover half the distance thus far.
However, this time, Qi Long's decision drew his sworn brother Han Jijyun's objection. "Qi Long, the closer we get to the mecha battlefield, the more danger we'll face. Especially now, the mecha on both sides are obviously at the do-or-die moment — at any point, they could choose to self-destruct to bring the other with them. If we get too close, judging by the explosion just now, we will die immediately."
Han Jijyun was extremely rational, not at all led by his emotions. Thus, seeing that progressing further would threaten their lives, he raised his objection, not allowing Qi Long to behave wilfully just because they were sworn brothers.
"I know." Qi Long did not deny the truth of Han Jijyun's words. He too knew that going closer was not a smart move, but a voice in his heart was yelling at him to get as close as he could — if he didn't obey, he felt as if he would die from the tension and sense of suffocation in his chest.
Qi Long pointed at his chest and said, "But, my heart tells me that I should go there. You know well that many times, my heart is more accurate than my mind ... although I don't know why it wants me to do this ... but, what you say is right. Getting close is really very dangerous. I cannot be selfish and ask you all to take this risk with me."
Qi Long felt that he had been selfish. He should have explained things clearly to his teammates and discussed the matter first before making a decision.
Han Jijyun looked at Qi Long silently, and found that Qi Long's gaze was extremely determined — he was dead-set on getting close. As his sworn brother, Han Jijyun understood Qi Long well. Although Qi Long seemed brash and forthright on the surface, not placing anything but combat in his mind ... In truth, Qi Long's personality was very stubborn. Once he had made a decision, even a herd of thousands of cows would not be able to hold him back.
"I want to go," said Luo Lang suddenly.
Luo Lang's abrupt interjection caused Qi Long and Han Jijyun to turn and look at him with some befuddlement. With some embarrassment, Luo Lang scratched at a cheek and said with a smile, "Actually, everyone knows that Qi Long's animal instinct is very accurate. If instinct is telling Qi Long that he must go there, then there must be something there. Perhaps it might even be safer there. Besides ..." Luo Lang's expression became serious, "I also want to watch our saviour kill off the enemy and return safely to camp ..."
At this moment, Lin Zhong-qing chimed in as well, "Honestly, I want to go too ..."
Even Luo Lang was surprised by this, looking over in shock. Luo Lang's support of Qi Long's decision was largely due to the fact that he had become sworn brothers with Qi and Han Jijyun since they started school, so it made sense to advance and retreat in accord. However, Lin Zhong-qing joined later, so his relationship with all of them naturally wasn't as deep. It was understandable that Luo Lang and Han Jijyun were willing to take the risk with Qi Long, but Lin Zhong-qing's decision was obviously a little beyond their expectations.
The three of them focused their attention on Lin Zhong-qing, waiting for his explanation.
Lin Zhong-qing said seriously, "Whether the team leader's instinct is right or not, I do not know. However, the fact that I want to become strong is not a lie. So, I cannot retreat because I fear danger ... cowards will never become strong."
Regardless of whether Lin Zhong-qing's reason was true or false, his support undoubtedly stunned Qi Long and the other two. Lin Zhong-qing's willingness to risk his life by throwing in his lot with them proved that he truly considered himself a member of their team now, and wasn't just here because he had been forced to by circumstance.
Han Jijyun forcefully held back the surging emotions in his heart and said, "In that case, team leader, bring us along."
Qi Long looked around at the three people in front of him, nodded solemnly and said, "Okay! Let's go!"
From then on, they no longer doubted; there was only the strong bond between brothers who were willing to brave life and death together.
The four of them moved with Qi Long in the lead, Han Jijyun right behind, Lin Zhong-qing in third, and Luo Lang watching their backs. They swiftly made their way through the dense forest. The violent tremors caused by the previous explosion were not purely bad — it also brought about a small benefit. There were no longer any savage beasts in this area of the forest. Even if some savage beasts were lingering around previously, the force of the explosion had scared them enough to send them running into F-class territory. Therefore, Qi Long and his company did not meet any obstacles whatsoever; it was smooth sailing all the way to their destination.
Along the way, Han Jijyun quietly said to Qi Long, "Qi Long, you must definitely become a qualified team leader!" Han Jijyun's voice was extremely, extremely soft, so soft that it was more like Han Jijyun talking to himself.
At the front, Qi Long jerked. His chest throbbed. In a position no one else could see, his fists clenched.
Meanwhile, in the aerial battlefield, Ling Lan was facing another crisis. In order to dodge the opponent's snipes, Ling Lan had no choice but to once again control the mecha to execute irregular flight. However, this type of advanced flight movement put a heavy burden on the mecha.
Right then, on the secondary screens on both sides, many areas had lit up with flashing red warning alerts. The entire cockpit was drowned in a sea of alarms.
"Little Four, scan damage condition." Ling Lan commanded Little Four to report as she controlled her mecha to dodge the opponent's fire.
"Right leg damage 100%, left leg damage 30%, right main engine working under duress, the entire mecha's overall damage at 52% ... Ah, it's 53% now ... Boss, every time you execute irregular flight with the mecha, the damage rate goes up. Estimated 10 more minutes at max before the mecha disassembles ..." Little Four quickly reported the condition of the mecha to Ling Lan. "Most importantly, because of the continuous fighting, there's only one secondary energy block of the mecha's driving energy remaining. 20% has already been used. If we fight at full strength, it can only hold out for 5 minutes!"
"That's really bad news!" Ling Lan grit her teeth. In short, this mecha would not be able to hold out for much longer, so she would need to find a chance to counterattack within this limited time. Otherwise, she could only let the opponent chase her around and be beaten to death.
"Little Four, how many more usable weapons do we have?" Ling Lan controlled her mecha to dodge another of the opponent's attacks, and the screen flashed with red warnings. The alert that the mecha's damage levels were at 55% caused her brows to furrow.
"Hanging on the left shoulder, a 57mm high-energy beam rifle, able to fire 18 shots. In the two slots on the outer thigh, a high-frequency blade in each one," said Little Four regretfully, "Only these."
"We need to think of a way to get close ..." Ling Lan silently planned. Solely depending on the 18 projectiles of the 57mm high-energy beam rifle, it was impossible to finish off the opponent. Only if she got close would she have a chance. Even though the high-frequency blades were a little blunt, a few extra hacks would make up the difference.
However, the opponent also knew what the consequence of letting Ling Lan get close would be, and so was extremely cautious. Every time Ling Lan attempted to get close, the opponent would swiftly back away to keep a certain distance between him and Ling Lan. In other words, the opponent was planning to attack Ling Lan from a distance till she died.
"Little Four, analyse the surrounding terrain!" While flying, Ling Lan took down the 57mm high-energy beam rifle with the mecha's right arm as she waited for the results of Little Four's analysis.
"The north, east, and west are all just filled with endless plain and forest shrubs. The ground condition is soft and the earth is slightly loose. About 300 metres to the west, there is a rock mountain. The close-up image indicates that it is adamantite ..." Little Four reported on the surrounding terrain one by one to Ling Lan.
"Adamantite?" Ling Lan's gaze flashed, as if thinking of something, "How high is its hardness factor?"
"Up to 12!" responded Little Four with certainty.
"That's enough!" Ling Lan instantly made her decision. Still in flight, she lifted the beam rifle in her right hand and began shooting at the opponent.
Shooting was certainly not her one of her strong suits. That said, this was only in comparison with her personal strong suits. If compared to another person, Ling Lan's marksmanship was considered in the upper range of good — it just wasn't at the most excellent level, that's all.Cows are often used as a symbol of stubbornness and tenacity, like in the phrase 'bull-headed'. So here, Qi Long is being said to be even more stubborn than a whole herd of stubborn cows.The original phrase here is 'fly a kite to defeat Ling Lan' (or to make it more grammatically logical - 'kite Ling Lan to death'), referring to how kites are manipulated with a string from a distance. Think of Ling Lan being the kite, with the enemy being the one controlling it.Technically, the term in the raw here can be translated to 'diamond', though with a typo that I'm not sure is a typo. :p