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Seeing the initially pristine floor stained red by the blood spewing from the other's mouth, Ling Lan furrowed her brow in disgust. She callously flicked her sleeve, and then, as if ordering someone to take out the trash, she said, "This smell of blood is really disgusting. Lin Zhong-qing, throw this trash out for me so I don't have to dirty my eyes."

Ling Lan said this in an indifferent tone, sufficiently showing her cold disregard for human life. Even Lin Zhong-qing who was familiar with Boss Lan could not help a shudder running through his heart when faced with this kind of Boss Lan, his face nearly losing all colour in fear.

Fortunately, over the years, Lin Zhong-qing had already mastered how to use a smile to mask his true thoughts. He continued to maintain the smile on his face and replied breezily, "Yes, Leader!" The way he said it was as if he were used to these words from Ling Lan — as if incidents of this sort were a common occurrence — causing the staff members to be consumed by fear.

Ling Lan nodded mentally. Lin Zhong-qing had grown a lot over these past three years, able to handle this sort of impromptu situation proficiently as well. Although the two of them had not discussed this beforehand, their rapport was on point, easily achieving the effect that Ling Lan wanted.

Lin Zhong-qing calmly stepped forward. Frankly, his heart was not as steady as his demeanour would suggest — Boss Lan's ambiguous attitude made him unsure whether the guard-chief was still alive or actually dead ... Lin Zhong-qing could not help but wonder whether Boss Lan had truly killed the guard-chief?

His heart was full of questions, but his expression remained calm and unruffled. He walked over to the guard-chief's body, bent down, and grabbed hold of the other's clothes by his chest. However, as he did so, he surreptitiously used a nimble technique to touch the other's chest as well ...

" Dup, dup, dup ... 1 " The faint sound of a heart beating was transmitted through his palm. Lin Zhong-qing instantly realised that this was probably a scene orchestrated by Ling Lan on purpose to terrorize the staff members of the central control room.

Although Lin Zhong-qing could not understand why Ling Lan would go through all this trouble, he believed that Boss Lan must have his reasons for doing so.

As for whether Boss Lan himself was unsure of the guard-chief's state, Lin Zhong-qing did not even think the matter worth considering. He knew very well that, based on Boss Lan's capabilities, his boss definitely knew the other lived. The only reason he acted so ambiguously was definitely because he was setting a scene.

The uncertainty of the guard-chief's condition caused the staff members within the central control room to experience a sort of empathetic grief 2 . A faint sadness spread through the central control room — not only were they worried for the guard-chief, they were also worried for themselves. At this time, they no longer held on to the composure they had before. They no longer believed that these youths truly would not dare do anything to them — because their leader, that cold-faced and unfeeling black-clothed youth, was definitely a cruel and ruthless character.

Ling Lan saw that the initial restlessness among the staff members had settled, and immediately decided to continue striking while the iron was hot. So, she glared angrily and said, "Tie them all up!"

This bunch of new cadets were still rather green — actually not thinking to restrain these staff members.

That said, Ling Lan threw a look at Lin Zhong-qing. Seeing Boss Lan's meaningful gaze, a thought sparked through Lin Zhong-qing's mind. He recalled the method Ling Lan had once taught their team for tying people up. The method was one where they did not need to worry about materials to tie others up; they would be able to take it from the captives themselves. That method was to use the captives' belts. In this world, on the ship, whether it were the guards or the staff members, all of them would be wearing a belt so that they could holster their beam handguns on it.

Fully understanding what he should do, Lin Zhong-qing nodded at Ling Lan and walked straight over to the nearest staff member. As the other struggled, he unbuckled and took off the other's belt.

The students had already taken away the beam handguns at first notice right after they had taken control of the staff members. Therefore, these staff members did not have any firearms to use against the students, only able to rely on their fists. However, in terms of combat skills, how could these people match up to the elite prodigies trained by the Central Scout Academy?

"Stop struggling. The more you struggle, the more painful it'll be ..." The smile on Lin Zhong-qing's lips widened, causing the staff member to become even more afraid. Could it be they wanted to torture them for their own entertainment? The terrified staff member could no longer keep his calm. He began to struggle in earnest, almost wresting out of the grip of the student restraining him.

"Hmph!" Lin Zhong-qing's smile turned cold. With a quick dash, he pressed the other to the ground, and then used the belt in his hands to tie the other's two arms securely behind his back, finally looping the belt around the other's neck before tugging it back to buckle securely by the arms 3 .

The method Lin Zhong-qing used to tie the staff member was styled in an eightfold interlace. This binding method required skilful technique — it was an extremely difficult but extremely practical binding method that was not easy to learn even after multiple tries. It had been redeemed by Ling Lan from the learning space using honour points.

If this binding method was not done correctly, there was a certain chance for the target to break free. However, once the technique was mastered, the more the target struggled, the knot of the eightfold interlace would just become increasingly tighter, giving the target no chance at all to break free.

Of course, this method was useless when it came to those at Refinement stage and above. After all, the strength of a Refinement stage was enough to snap the resilience of a leather belt. However, these staff members would have no way of breaking free, because the strongest among them was only at the level of Manifestation.

Lin Zhong-qing still remembered how much effort it had taken back then for their team to master this knot, especially for team leader Qi Long. With his brash and straightforward personality, he had never liked this kind of detailed work; he had tried several hundred times without succeeding even once. This had enraged Boss Lan, who had proceeded to throw team leader Qi Long into a private combat room for a good round of torment before being satisfied.

Although they did not know how badly team leader Qi Long had been tormented back then, whatever the case, when team leader Qi Long came back after his injuries were healed, he had been very careful when learning the knot again. That uncharacteristically tremulous and cautious demeanour of his was carved into their minds. From then onwards, the team members were even more wary of angering Boss Lan ... because no one wanted to experience the same tragedy as Qi Long.

Lin Zhong-qing very quickly tied his knot, and pushed that staff member to a corner. Then, under Ling Lan's indication, he walked over to another staff member and again used the same method to take the other's belt, but this time, he said to the other team members on the scene, "Can I trouble the team leaders to monitor the situation? Meanwhile, the other team members, come tie knots with me. Let's get these staff members all tied up."

Just like that, the students followed Lin Zhong-qing's step-by-step example and began tying knots. After each round, Lin Zhong-qing would go around and check each of their knots, and whenever he found any mistakes, he would correct it immediately. Rinse and repeat three times, and all the staff members were securely tied up. Of course, when the students thought back on how to tie the knot, their minds were a muddled mess, not at all sure how they should go about it 4 ...

However, this did not exclude some students with photographic memories from learning the knot. Still, Ling Lan was unconcerned by this. The learning space still had even better binding methods — if this method became common knowledge among the students, then she could always just redeem an even more advanced binding method for Qi Long and the others.

Of course, Ling Lan did not even consider whether relearning a new binding method would make Qi Long wish he were dead ... It was even possible that Ling Lan was hoping to take advantage of it to school Qi Long again ...

The situation in the central control room was already in its end stages; what happened after this had nothing to do with herself. Ling Lan decisively passed on the burden, turning to say to Han Jijyun, "Jijyun, you stay back and hold the fort. Take charge of the central control room." Next, she swept her gaze at all the other students in the central control room and said, "The strongest five, follow me to the captain's office!"

Lin Zhong-qing did not even think about it. He was the first to step forward and say, "Leader, bring me!"

Ling Lan nodded and said, "Alright, four more!"

The team leaders all vied against one another to get one of these four slots. To save time, Ling Lan directly called out the four strongest to come along. Since she chose based on strength, the other team leaders who were not chosen had no complaints.

Of course, Ling Lan also reminded the remaining group that the central control room was the most important control platform in the ship. They needed to remain here to ensure the safety of the central control room — they could not afford to let the ship's crew snatch control back once they found out.

When Han Jijyun sent Ling Lan out of the central control room, Ling Lan told him in a low voice, "This is a good chance to really learn how to manage the work sequences on a spaceship."

"But we only know bits and pieces." They have not had any formal training in operating a spaceship — this may be a great opportunity, but Han Jijyun did not think that they could figure anything out on their own. This was likely going to be a wasted chance. Han Jijyun could not help but sigh under his breath.

Ling Lan swept a glance around the central control room and reminded, "Over there. Aren't there people to mentor you all?"

Han Jijyun's eyes brightened, instantly understanding what Ling Lan was implying. His mind turned and he asked hurriedly, "Is that guard-chief still alive?" Even though he did not think Ling Lan would kill indiscriminately, he still needed to obtain a confirmed answer, because he had thought of a way to let those staff members teach them voluntarily.

Ling Lan nodded in confirmation of Han Jijyun's guess. "How to use him is up to your capabilities." She could only do so much. Whether or not they could obtain what they wanted next would depend on Han Jijyun's efforts.

Ling Lan put in so much effort and thought into engineering this primarily because back when the group had first applied for the First Men's Military Academy, Han Jijyun had not signed up for the military strategy specialization he was good at, instead choosing to apply for the starship navigation specialization. This meant that Han Jijyun would become a starship captain in the future, and even if he did a little worse, he would still be an important navigator on a starship ...

Perhaps many people would find it a shame that Han Jijyun had cast aside his own strengths to choose a specialization with a less promising future, but Han Jijyun was very clear on what he was doing.

It should be known that Ling Lan, Qi Long, Luo Lang, and Xie Yi had all chosen mecha piloting as their specialization, while Lin Zhong-qing had chosen the oft-neglected, perhaps even only chosen as a last resort, supply and logistics.

In fact, with Lin Zhong-qing's talent, he could certainly have applied for mecha piloting as well, but he had still chosen this low-key and unassuming specialization in the end. Han Jijyun understood why he had done so. He was doing it for the sake of the team — a team could afford to lose a powerful fighter, but it could not lack an excellent logistics person.

onomatopoeia of a heart beating. 兔死狐悲: original saying here is literally 'hare dies fox grieves', which oddly enough means grieving for one's own kind. If we pursue the concept deeper, although the hare and the fox are naturally prey and predator, they are both still animals, and the fox will grieve for the death of the rabbit at another's hands. Here, just take it as the staff members being sad over the probable death of a companion. I am sorry if this doesn't make sense. This is pretty much exactly what the author wrote. I tried imagining how the tie would go to describe it better, but my mind just ended up in knots (sorry, couldn't help myself. :p). I am so not a scout. />.< If anyone understands it better and has a better description, tell me and I'll edit it. Otherwise, please just take it as a very secure tying method and just move on. i.e. The knot was just too complicated.

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