Suddenly, the thin and wispy fog behind him became substantial, and a sharp blade pierced towards Ling Lan's back. Number Five seemed oblivious — the blade punching right through to burst out of Ling Lan's chest, but strangely enough, the wound caused by the blade did not bleed at all. It was just as if the leader had stabbed a fake person.
"Not good!" From the feedback of sensation from his hand, the team leader knew that he had been duped. This figure before him was not a real person — stabbing it did not feel at all like stabbing through blood and flesh, but like stabbing a person made of straw ...
Just when the leader was about to turn into fog once more, he suddenly noticed that countless transparent thin lines had appeared around him, gathering to form a net to wrap around his entire body. His shift into fog was interrupted, and his body was securely bound.
"Ah! Explode!" The team leader was naturally unwilling to just give up and be caught; the Qi-Jin of his body suddenly detonated. Although the transparent thin lines were dense and numerous, they were fortunately not very sturdy. They broke apart one after another under the force of the team leader's exploding Qi-Jin, and the leader took the chance to struggle out of the web around him. Still, because he had failed in turning into fog, his entire body was now real and tangible.
"What Domain is this?" The team leader's face changed subtly; he had never before seen such a Domain, which was actually able to set up such an all-encompassing net within this area.
"Oh, this is just a type of Domain modification ..." answered Number Five carelessly. With that reply, his figure instantly turned into a bundle of grass and twigs, breaking apart to drift on the wind. Very quickly, not too far from the leader, the grasses suddenly grew at an insane speed, shooting up and weaving together into one entity, finally changing into the appearance of Ling Lan.
"Plant Replication?" The team leader was startled, and then, as if thinking of something, his expression changed drastically. "Could your spiritual mutation be Plant Manipulation?"
In a forest, encountering a strong fighter with a Plant Manipulation mutation was undoubtedly the scariest thing. This was because the forest would enhance Plant Manipulation — this would be just like entering the opponent's territory; the opponent's attack could come from any space or angle.
"Plant Manipulation? What an interesting way of saying things ..." Number Five said with a grin. He did not have the time or mood to explain things to the opponent, and besides, Number Nine was staring intently at him in the mindspace, clearly afraid he would go overboard in playing around. Number Five did not want to offend the other, just so she would not go and complain to Big Bro Number One.
So, he shouted lightly but crisply, "Net, Form!"
The place where the team leader stood was suddenly overgrown by plants, rapidly meshing into a large net, enveloping his entire person within it ...
The team leader naturally did not just stay still and wait to be captured. He tried to turn into fog once again, but just as he activated his Diffusion Domain, his entire body spasmed with pain, and then his entire body was petrified, no longer able to move. Only at this moment did he notice that the large net was not just purely a large net, but also a fearsome weapon made of countless blood-sucking poisonous vines.
The toxins of the poisonous vines caused him to instantly lose his mobility, and its horrific blood-sucking speed made him feel as if the blood in his body was disappearing rapidly. He felt his energy disappearing, and began to feel lightheaded from the loss of blood. Gradually, he felt unbearably cold ... until he finally descended into ice-cold darkness ...
"Retract ..." Number Five sensed that the prey had already lost all signs of life, and so recalled all of the poisonous vines covering the opponent's body. The vines swiftly sank into the ground, and when the leader's entire body was revealed, it had already astoundingly become a dry corpse, not a single drop of water left within it.
"Alright, you can scram now," said Number Nine curtly in the mindspace, clearly in a bad temper.
Number Five just smiled without retorting. In the learning space, Number Five would not argue against the words of only two people ... one of them was Number One — his overwhelming strength gave him no chance to fight back. And while Number Nine's strength was the weakest, for some unknown reason, Number Five just could not work up the interest to turn against Number Nine, or even think of revenge or anything like that ... Number Five just attributed this phenomena to Number Nine and Number One both being of the cold slackfaced line, and that he just seemed to be helpless against their type.
Without putting up any resistance, Number Five gave control of Ling Lan's body over to Number Nine. Number Nine did a quick check of Ling Lan's body, and the expression on her face turned even colder. "Number Five, you've godd*mn gone too far with your games."
Even if Number Nine's personality was calmer, when she saw the state Ling Lan's body was in, she could no longer maintain her calm. She could not help but roar like an enraged mother tiger. It turned out that Number Five's use of his Domain had afflicted Ling Lan's muscles with varying degrees of injury. By Number Nine's estimations, Ling Lan definitely would not be able to regain her primordial Qi without a year and a half or so going by. This filled Number Nine's heart with regret and sympathy, and her rage and disgust at the primary culprit Number Five grew even deeper.
Seeing Number Nine's enraged demeanour, Number Five gingerly rubbed his nose. Sigh, mother tigers protecting their cubs should never be disturbed ... he had better run away quickly! Number Five very gutlessly slinked away from the mind-space back to his own area in the learning space, concealing himself.
Seeing Number Five slipping away so irresponsibly, although Number Nine was still infuriated, she knew that she still needed to help Ling Lan clean things up. So, she could only let Number Five off for now. Still, Number Nine was determined that once she returned to the learning space, she would definitely seek out Big Brother Number One and complain, and get him to teach Number Five a good lesson.
Number Nine suppressed the emotional upheaval in her heart, and focused on getting rid of the five bodies and destroying the evidence. Number Nine's innate talent was Cold Flame — she only needed to get a bit of it onto her target's flesh or blood, and the flame would never stop until it had turned the target into ash and dust. It should be said that among the instructors' innate talents, hers was the scariest, but it was unfortunately not suitable for becoming a mecha operator. This was one of her never-ending regrets.
In the Mandora star system, the human body had already evolved till an apex. The humans there were extremely strong — each punch or slap was capable of causing massive damage. Especially after their innate talents awakened, they would only become stronger, absolutely capable of breaking the order of humanity.
However, the Mandora star system was not at all afraid of the fearsome outcome of this human evolution. This was because they possessed mecha which were even more frightening than the strongest human after evolution. As long as a mecha was present, even the strongest human would have no way of resisting.
Let's put it this way. Only one Domain stage expert would appear out of a population of several hundred million, but they would be helpless in front of a Refinement stage special-class mecha operator. The outer shells of mecha were equipped with all sorts of advanced technology, allowing them to be capable of withstanding extreme temperatures, both high and low. They even had various types of energy shields which were capable of resisting all manners of awakened innate talents. A human would just have no way of harming an operator inside a mecha.
Not just that, the weapons and the firepower of the mecha themselves were truly fearsome — all sorts of powerful wide-range attack missiles ... even a Domain stage expert would be helpless against them. Regardless of how strong one's body was, or how fast one's speed was, it would still be no match for a mecha's speed and resilience. There was just no way of competing against the frenzied blasts of these firearms.
This was why no matter how much humans evolved, this was still ultimately a world ruled by mecha. In particular, the emergence of biomecha was just an unexplainable bug for humans.
Number Nine swiftly cleared the scene. She then lifted her head to look out into the distance — several strong presences were approaching, but they were too late. All the evidence here had already been destroyed at her hands.
With a flash, Number Nine disappeared silently from the forest. She had not disappeared for long when several teachers with strong auras appeared in this patch of forest.
It turned out that although the clash between Number Five's and the team leader's Domains had only spanned several brief moments, the fearsome pressure of Domains had still been sensed by other experts of the same stage. The unfamiliar presences stirred their curiosity and confusion, and so they had come to check things out.
Unfortunately, they had still arrived too late. Other than the aftermath of battle and the bits of aura which had yet to fully dissipate, there was nothing to be found.
"Honourable Dean!" A figure appeared on a tree branch; it was the dean of the Central Scout Academy. The teachers present all quickly greeted him.
"Su Qing, sense and see if you can find out what kind of personages we're dealing with?" asked the dean, brows furrowed, to one of the teachers. Su Qing's Domain was Induction — he could determine the characteristics and abilities of a target's Domain from lingering presence signatures, and with that, find out who had been here. Typically, the Federation would have records on the Domains of the various known Domain masters from all countries.
The dean was extremely conscious about the inexplicable appearance of Domain masters here. Mind you, right now was the crucial period when two grades were engaged in a grand armed melee — if any accidents were to happen, it would be a disaster. The Domain masters who appeared here without warning ... were they hostile? If they were hostile, or were perhaps infiltrators from an enemy nation, here to cause trouble ... if massive casualties were incurred among the children at the academy, the dean would have let down the Federation's trust in him, and he would be unable to face the guardians who had entrusted their children to the academy.
Su Qing heard the dean's instruction and quickly responded, "Yes, Dean!" With a quick flip, he landed on the ground, and then activated his Domain ...
Very soon, confusion rose on Su Qing's face. In a flash, he was back at the dean's side, where he then asked softly, "Sir Dean, there are three different types of Domain signatures. There is a majority of a water element type, so one of the Domain masters probably has a water element ability ... but I can't see obvious signs of water in the remains of the battle ... it is possible that the other's ability is some variation of the element of water ..." It had to be said that Su Qing's deductions were extremely accurate — the team leader's Diffusion was, in fact, a variation of a water element ability.
At this point, Su Qing paused, the confusion on her face becoming even clearer. "As for the other two signatures, they're very strange. I can only say I've never sensed this type of strange signature before ... Besides giving me an impression of great strength, I can't figure out anything else. If I had to find a way to describe it, I can only say that one of the signatures gives me a sense of endless emptiness, while the other has an extreme sense of dissonance ..."
The dean was also befuddled by Su Qing's descriptions, but he still managed to glean that Su Qing had been unable to identify the information of the other two Domain masters. So, he asked, "Leave those two aside for now. Can you find a Domain master that somehow fits the first signature?"