At Ling Lan's question, [No Mecha Unrepaired] turned his head to smile wryly and said, "The Thunder King is the leader of the most powerful faction in our school. His faction is also good enough to rank within the mecha world ..."
[No Mecha Unrepaired]'s words caused a thought to tumble through Ling Lan's mind. Suddenly, she recalled — wasn't there someone with the nickname of 'Thunder King' at the First Men's Military Academy? Could it be him? Ling Lan could not help but narrow her eyes. She asked slowly, "From ... the First Men's Military Academy?"
"Ah? So you know of him too? Indeed, we are from the First Men's Military Academy," said [No Mecha Unrepaired] dejectedly, after his initial surprise.
"Aren't you all schoolmates? How did your relationship become so terrible, that he would even send people to come after you?" Ling Lan was now rather curious about how [No Mecha Unrepaired] had offended this Thunder King, causing the other to expend so much effort in monitoring him, yet not finishing him off completely.
"Actually, I don't have any real grudge with the Thunder King. I just refused to join his faction. I had thought that even if the other was unhappy about it, he wouldn't go too far. Unexpectedly, they actually began to restrict me on all fronts in the mecha world, not allowing me to get out of Three-Seas Town," explained [No Mecha Unrepaired], "I'm not a combat mecha operator, so I don't really go out much. Plus, as long as I don't join the arena fights in the town, they can't attack me there. They have no other choice than to restrict me from going to other towns to harass me."
At this point of his narration, [No Mecha Unrepaired]'s tone turned slightly bitter, "You don't know, but a portion of our results at the military academy comes from the mecha world. The deadline to produce results is three years. If we don't achieve the lowest requirements of the military academy in three years' time, we will be expelled. And this year, is my third year ..." [No Mecha Unrepaired]'s gaze was currently extremely complicated, there was stubbornness, but also a trace of self-doubt. He gritted his teeth and said, "I need to leave Three-Seas Town this year and go to Suncreed City. This is my final chance. I cannot just admit defeat like this."
[No Mecha Unrepaired]'s dignified tenacity moved Ling Lan, and her impression of the Thunder King changed from indifference to a slight dislike. She scrunched her brow and asked, "The Thunder King is that overbearing?"
If the other's style was really like that, Ling Lan could almost guarantee that their new cadet regiment would definitely be targeted mercilessly by the other. An overbearing person like that would definitely not allow a new cadet faction he could not control to emerge. It looked like she would have to consider things properly now.
"Overbearing?" [No Mecha Unrepaired] shook his head. "He doesn't have much interest for normal students, never bothering them. However, he highly values some talented students, and will even use manipulations to force the other to join him. That said, I've heard that towards those people who join his faction, he takes care of them well in terms of both resources and physical support. Some students who were forced to join around the same time I was pressured to now don't seem to have much complaints, instead advising me to not miss the chance ..." said [No Mecha Unrepaired] with a bitter smile. This was also why he had begun to waver.
"Of course, if those talented people are already being protected by some other faction, he will not intervene," added [No Mecha Unrepaired].
As Ling Lan listened, her sharp eyebrows 1 drew close together — from [No Mecha Unrepaired]'s words, Ling Lan could tell that this Thunder King was definitely an intelligent person. He knew how to ensure his own power base, while not allowing other factions to band together against him ... if they had to face such an opponent, it would indeed be pretty troublesome.
At this moment, Ling Lan somewhat regretted accepting this mission. With the Thunder King's abilities, it was likely that even if [No Mecha Unrepaired] did not reveal her name, he would be able to find some clue to seek her out. This was not to say that Ling Lan feared the Thunder King; Ling Lan just did not want to offend the military academy's most powerful faction before she had figured out the full situation in the school. For Ling Lan, the later she became exposed, the safer it was for her. After all, the secret of her body made it inappropriate for her to stand in the limelight ...
"Ling Lan, gold will always shine. This is not something you can hide just because you want to hide it. Even though your gender needs to remain hidden, so you will indeed have some reservations at the military academy, this doesn't mean that you need to hold back or tolerate disrespect and humiliation. You must understand. A child of mine, Ling Xiao, has no need to fear anything. When there is something you want to do, just charge forwards bravely and do it! Your father, Ling Xiao —— me, is more than capable of bearing any consequences." At this moment, the words that Ling Xiao had said to her when she had left home once more flashed within her mind, causing Ling Lan's heart to throb.
Ling Lan could not help but cover her face as her lips quirked up. Indeed, things were different for her now. She was not alone in protecting Lan Luofeng and the whole Ling family. Now, there was a large mountain standing behind her, the Federation's great general Ling Xiao, her most awesome dad of this life.
Ling Lan could not help but mock herself internally: Ling Lan, you need to get used to this identity of yours now. You are no longer that background character lying on your sickbed waiting for death in your past life. You are now the 'son' of the Federation's great general Ling Xiao, the Federation's strongest god-class operator. You have enough clout to stand up to anyone's provocation. Even if the Thunder King is fiercer or stronger, so what? As a second-generation ancestor, do you really need to fear him?
Back then, didn't you tell Qi Long, Wu Jiong, and the others that, to live freely in the military academy, besides some things that have to be kept under wraps, they also cannot lack the necessary cockiness and aggression? As the person who said those things, how can you shrink back just because of the Thunder King's overbearing manner? You need to discard the you from your previous life, and truly become this world's Ling Lan ...
Right then, Ling Lan finally understood — ever since Ling Xiao had returned from the dead, her original goal of living a stable and peaceful life had ended. As the child of one of the Federation's generals who was also a god-class operator, she was destined not to have an ordinary life. Even if she regained her gender, she still would not be able to return to her initial tranquil life 2 . Her future was destined to be thrilling and dramatic ...
It was time to change! A cold light flashed through Ling Lan's eyes, which held a conviction like never before!
[No Mecha Unrepaired] did not know that Ling Lan had already thought through certain matters, thus heralding a change in her personal style, making her even more proactive and forceful. Beaten down by the guilt in his heart, he began apologising, "I'm really sorry. This time, you sending me to Suncreed City will definitely offend the Thunder King."
"That's alright!" Having cast away her doubts, Ling Lan was calm as she said, "Thunder King? Perhaps other people might fear him ... me, I'm not afraid."
That said, Ling Lan looked at [No Mecha Unrepaired] and said, "If by any chance you have any trouble, you can come look for me. You still have one chance to hire me. Don't waste it." Ling Lan's meaning was very clear. If the Thunder King came to pressure him again, [No Mecha Unrepaired] could seek her help.
Ling Lan's words caused [No Mecha Unrepaired]'s eyes to light up, but they very quickly dimmed again. He knew very well just how massive the Thunder King's faction was; although [Lingtian First-String]'s mecha combat skills were very strong, no matter how strong, it still could not stand up to the power of the Thunder King's faction! He could not be so selfish and let a friend be dragged into danger.
Seeing [No Mecha Unrepaired] fall silent, Ling Lan naturally knew what [No Mecha Unrepaired] was worrying about. This further improved her impression of [No Mecha Unrepaired], and she could not help but say, "For numbers, we have people too."
If she told Qi Long and the others that they may be going to war against the school's strongest faction soon, that bunch of brats would definitely be thrilled out of their minds ... Ling Lan could almost see the eager appearances of Qi Long and the others grinding their fists and rubbing their palms gearing up for a fight, and her heart actually begun to heat up as well.
[No Mecha Unrepaired] was sceptical of Ling Lan's words, but he had still sensed the depth of Ling Lan's good intentions, and his heart could not help but feel thankful towards this mecha master he had met serendipitously. Even though he did not believe that [Lingtian First-String] would really be able to resolve his dilemma, he was still extremely grateful.
[No Mecha Unrepaired] made a low, solemn sound of agreement, his initially somewhat fluttering heart calming down instantly. Even though he knew the path before him was cloaked in uncertainty, right now he had rekindled his confidence, restored his fighting spirit, and was ready to continue walking courageously. Thank the heavens that he had not been abandoned by this world — there was still someone willing to give him a hand!
The two of them ended their conversation and continued their journey. As they left, [No Mecha Unrepaired] did not forget to pick up the equipment dropped by the 'dead' mecha operators. Since he was already at odds with the Thunder King, he was not worried about adding on to his grudge.
Perhaps those on his trail had all died on the road, for Ling Lan and [No Mecha Unrepaired] did not see any sign of being followed as they journeyed, safely and peacefully arriving at Suncreed City.
Amidst [No Mecha Unrepaired]'s grateful thanks, Ling Lan received the 200 points she was owed and then bid farewell to him.
Seeing her original total of 0 points instantly jump to 200 points, Ling Lan's mood became exceptionally good. Subsequently, she took a trip to the city council to complete the letter delivery mission, before running non-stop to return to Three-Seas Town.
The moment she arrived at Three-Seas Town, Ling Lan discovered that quite a significant number of people were watching her. Ling Lan did not have to guess to know that these people must be the Thunder King's men. She had only entered the mecha world for a couple of hours — she had done nothing other than helping [No Mecha Unrepaired] complete his mission to get to Suncreed City and offending the Thunder King, so other people would really have no reason to notice her.
Ling Lan was not afraid. If the Thunder King's men did not come to mess with her, she would not actively go and provoke them either. After all, the Thunder King helmed the military academy's number one faction. At the heart of it, Ling Lan did not want to engage the Thunder King while her side was still disadvantaged on all fronts. Ling Lan was used to having the initiative, so she hoped to gather more first-hand information on the other first before making a decision. Moreover, the other factions were still observing coldly from the side-lines. Ling Lan did not want to weaken themselves unnecessarily for some other faction to swoop in and profit.
Ling Lan pretended not to know anything, going off to see the mayor to submit her mission. Besides gaining some equipment, she also received another 900 points, finally obtaining the minimum point requirement for her to challenge the arena fights. As soon as she was able, Ling Lan chose to enter the arena to take part in the arena challenge, hoping to speed up her point gathering process. She needed to level up as fast as possible so she could redeem the mecha with the lowest point requirement and then leave this place to meet up with Qi Long and the others. This was the task that Ling Lan had to complete first.
The moment Ling Lan entered the arena fights, several people behind her opened their communicators to contact some other people.
"Head, the other has entered the arena challenge fights. Now what?"
"Hmph, daring to oppose Leiting, this person is really seeking death. Spread the word — all the new trainee mecha operators who just joined the organisation in this district are to stop their activities and collectively take part in the challenge fights. If they meet the rabbit mecha, they should thrash him. I want him to have no chance of levelling up, forever remaining at Three-Seas Town as a trainee mecha!" From the other end of the communicator came a dark voice, coldly declaring Ling Lan's fate.the original chinese literally translates to 'sword brows', which I think is pretty cool. :3 T/C: Was her life really tranquil? *is doubtful* If Ling Lan's life so far has been tranquil, I've been living my life in a coma.