Ling Lan patted the humanoid lower mecha she had just redeemed. The entire outer shell of the mecha was dark grey — although it was not particularly eye-catching, the mecha was a great improvement from her previous one whether in terms of durability and safety or weapons.
It not only had a beam energy gun with extremely high destructive power, it also possessed a high alloy steel broadsword. Two sai 1 hung at the back of its waist, while high alloy steel short swords were hidden in compartments at the side of its thighs — their tensile strength completely beyond what the short swords of trainee mecha could offer. However, it was still lower mecha at the end of the day, so it still did not have the right to carry a beam saber. But Ling Lan no longer needed a beam saber anyway, because she now had the primary cold weapon Regretless which was 100 times better than any common beam saber. She could use it until she became an ace mecha operator without any worry.
After she was done admiring this lower mecha that now belonged to her, Ling Lan finally pressed the remote control button in her hands. The initially closed hatch of the mecha cockpit swung open — Ling Lan did not choose to use an escalator, instead leaping up with a dash to clamber up the mecha with light touches of her hands and feet. She flew swiftly upwards in this manner, ending up seated within the cockpit in the blink of an eye.
Ling Lan casually closed the cockpit and activated the mecha, waiting for all of its systems to come online. Only then did she operate her mecha to login to her personal space and execute several basic movements. The controls felt much smoother than that of the trainee mecha — if she had used this current mecha to escort [No Mecha Unrepaired] to Suncreed City, Ling Lan believed that even without weapons, just relying on the ability of this mecha alone, she would have been able to finish off those few large snakes bare-handed.
After familiarising herself with the controls for a period of time, Ling Lan drew out Regretless from her backpack with satisfaction, and unequipped the lower mecha's basic cold weapon, the common high alloy steel broadsword. Since she already had a better weapon, Ling Lan would of course use it. She would only be able to use Regretless to its full capabilities if she came to know it as well as her own arms.
Ling Lan stashed the high alloy steel broadsword into her backpack 2 . Recalling how, not too long ago, she had treasured the carrot-sword which wasn't even as good as the high alloy steel broadsword, Ling Lan could not help but sigh to herself. Humans were just so fickle, casting away the old for the new ... seeing something better, they would heartlessly abandon that which was worse. It was truly heartless.
After that bout of sentimentality — Ling Lan so rarely giving free rein to her so-called female tendency of overthinking things — Ling Lan then calmly chose to enter the mecha world. As Ling Lan had already switched to a humanoid lower mecha and Three-Seas Town was half-teeming with mecha of the same type, her appearance did not attract any of the townsfolk's attention.
Since she had converted to a new mecha, Ling Lan no longer had any interest in abusing those newbies at the mecha combat hall. She felt that it was time to contact Qi Long and the others. Thus, Ling Lan entered the name [Lingtian Combat] into the system and sent a friend request over.
Very quickly, [Lingtian Combat] had accepted her friend request. At the same time, the mecha's mainframe suddenly said, "[Lingtian Combat] is requesting communications, YES or NO?"
Heh, what a quick response! Ling Lan of course agreed, and then a voice loud enough to shatter her eardrums rang out in her cockpit, "Boss, you've finally contacted me!" It was Qi Long's unapologetically loud voice.
At the same time, the system's voice began ringing out constantly by Ling Lan's ear, sounding out ding after ding of notification. [Lingtian Abacus], [Lingtian Parcel], [Lingtian Sharp Blade], [Lingtian Substitute] 3 requesting to add you as a friend ...
Ling Lan decisively approved all these requests. She knew who they were — [Lingtian Abacus] was Han Jijyun, [Lingtian Parcel] was Lin Zhong-qing, [Lingtian Sharp Blade] was Luo Lang, so [Lingtian Substitute] was undoubtedly Xie Yi then 4 .
Of course, as Ling Lan approved the requests, she was complaining internally. This group of idiots — what kind of stupid names were they choosing for themselves? No standards whatsoever.
After Ling Lan had finished approving everyone, Qi Long dragged the others into the comms channel as well. Then, Qi Long could be heard to ask excitedly, "Boss Lan, was that rabbit you?"
Ling Lan was startled, "What rabbit?"
"That rabbit which killed other mecha of the same level in one move! Those 100 newcomer matchups, we've all seen them!" Qi Long's tone was hinting strongly that she should stop hiding; Ling Lan's skills in mecha control were known by all of them here, other than the last to join them, Xie Yi.
"It's not!" Ling Lan denied firmly. She would never admit that adorkable rabbit was her — this would affect her great and formidable image too much.
Ling Lan's resolute denial left Qi Long speechless. In his mind, only Ling Lan was capable of operating a trainee mecha to achieve instakills. This had always been Ling Lan's style — hadn't he advanced to the top 5 at the Central Scout Academy in precisely this manner? In the end, Ling Lan had encountered himself and Luo Lang, which was the only reason why he had not progressed further.
"If it's not Boss, then who else could it be? I cannot imagine anyone else able to do this," Luo Lang was equally sceptical.
"Alright, since Boss Lan doesn't want to talk about the matter of the rabbit mecha, let's not ask anymore!" Han Jijyun stepped in to stop them decisively. Of course, he too did not believe Ling Lan's denial — in his eyes, this was already an irrefutable fact. However, since Boss Lan did not want to mention it, he must have his reasons. Han Jijyun did not want to trouble Ling Lan.
Although Han Jijyun had put a stop to the topic, Ling Lan could still tell from their demeanours that no one had believed her words. Still, at this point, all she could do was stiffen her jaw and continue to lie through her teeth. She would never admit the rabbit mecha was her anyway; as for what Qi Long and the others wanted to think, that was not something she could control.
Qi Long and the others could not wait to meet up with Ling Lan. Considering that she already had a lower mecha and since she had a record at Suncreed City, which allowed her to transport directly to the city, Ling Lan suggested they meet up there.
Unexpectedly, this suggestion made the few of them whoop in glee. Qi Long in particular was laughing uproariously as he said, "It's like I said, who else could ... be but Boss?" Though Qi Long mumbled through part of his sentence, Ling Lan could tell without even thinking about it that Qi Long was most definitely talking about the rabbit mecha.
"What? Is something wrong with Suncreed City?" asked Ling Lan curiously.
"It's like this. Suncreed City is the capital of the strong. Only those mecha operators who have managed to break through Suncreed Passage from the various newbie towns have the right to enter Suncreed City ..." explained Han Jijyun, "Each newbie town has 4 passages, each leading to a different city. Three of the passages have a lower difficulty level — as long as one takes things step by step, one will be able to enter each of the various cities. But the final passage of every town will lead to Suncreed City. Suncreed City is very unique in the mecha world. It can only be accessed by breaking through the passages in the newbie towns. Those who entered the other cities from the other passages have no way of getting to Suncreed City from those other cities."
"So, any mecha operator who can get into Suncreed City is exceptionally strong. Suncreed City is also the mecha holy land in all the mecha operators' minds. Not only are there many missions there, it holds all kinds of weapons and equipment, as well as houses all the temples where the various occupations need to go to advance to special-class. Like for us mecha operators, to advance to special-class operator from advanced mecha warrior, we need to be evaluated at Suncreed City," added Luo Lang.
"So that's how it is ... but that passage to Suncreed City really wasn't that hard. As long as one learns how to operate mecha properly, anyone can pass," said Ling Lan airily.
"How is it that simple? Even an advanced mecha warrior may not be able to pass through! Thinking back, our group was wiped out three times on that road before passing by sheer luck," said Qi Long with an expression of remembered fear. It was clear to see how challenging that passage to Suncreed City had been for them.
"Even if the passage to Suncreed City is a little difficult, if you can't get past it yourself, just hire an expert to help and the matter is solved." Ling Lan did not believe that everyone in Suncreed City had all really fought their way through — like that [No Mecha Unrepaired], hadn't he been escorted to the city by her?
"Which expert would be willing to bring along a burden when trying to break through the passage? The more people there are, the more savage beasts there will be to match the numbers, and they will also be stronger as well. Besides that, only people who have never beaten Suncreed Passage before can attempt it. People like us who have already gone through it have no way of entering the passage again."
Han Jijyun recounted the restrictions of the Suncreed City Passage. This was also why life-skills players typically could not get into Suncreed City unless they joined an organisation, faction, family, or something along those lines which could arrange things and expend great effort so that some of the more talented life-skills players could be brought into Suncreed City to develop.
Hearing all this, Ling Lan could not help but sigh that she had lost out. If she had known earlier that going to Suncreed City was such a difficult hurdle, she would not have been so hesitant to accept [No Mecha Unrepaired]'s weapon, Regretless.
Very quickly, the six of them had gathered at Suncreed City. Seeing the five silver-blue humanoid mecha before her with their elegant forms, Ling Lan once again looked at her own dark and slightly bulky mecha body, and was instantly troubled ... this scene was absolutely just like an ugly duckling running into a group of swans.
Meanwhile, this scene indeed made some advanced mecha warriors or special-class mecha operators look askance at the group. However, they just assumed that the lower mecha must have been brought to the city by these advanced mecha warriors. This lower mecha was so enviably fortunate, just like that intermediate mecha a couple days back.
"These few days that I've been immersed in the mecha world, has anything happened outside?" This was the first thing Ling Lan asked when she met Qi Long and the others. For some reason, she was feeling rather unsettled, feeling as if something was about to happen.
"Indeed, the situation outside has not been quite right these past couple days." In contrast to the brash and forthright Qi Long, the meticulous Han Jijyun had indeed noticed something off.
"What's it about?" asked Ling Lan with a frown.
"According to Wu Jiong, someone bullied a person in our new cadet regiment yesterday. Li Yingjie naturally couldn't let that pass, and so led some people to strike back. But when that person left, he warned Li Yingjie to watch himself. His attitude was extremely arrogant — I had already suspected it could be someone from a particular faction at that moment," said Han Jijyun.
"Scouting? Or perhaps provocation? Did you manage to find out which faction the other belongs to?" Ling Lan's expression became focused.
"Wu Jiong later found out that the other seems to have some connection to the Leiting Mecha Clan. That person is an underling of someone within the Leiting Mecha Clan. Right now, I don't know whether this is Leiting's idea or whether that person is acting on his own." That said, Han Jijyun's brow furrowed slightly as well. They had not secured their foothold in the military academy yet, and were already going up against the number one faction's Leiting Mecha Clan 5 ... this was undoubtedly extremely disadvantageous for them.
"Leiting? Thunder King?" Ling Lan recalled [No Mecha Unrepaired]'s words and sighed, "Even if this was not Leiting's idea, they will not let this chance go by. I'm afraid that this time, the Thunder King is about to make a move." Slaughter a chicken to strike fear into the monkeys — their new cadet regiment was just too perfect for the role of the chicken.The original raw says '断刺', which is literally 'broken thorn'. I could not find a weapon which corresponds to this title in either Mandarin or English, and so resorted to going by description and general feel of the weapon to decide what it is. The sai seems like the best option, especially since its Mandarin name '铁尺' is a probable candidate if '断刺' is a typo. T/C: Don't ask me what kind of backpack this is. Lol. It's a virtual one, so real life physics does not apply. :p Think game inventories. Those always work like some pocket dimension. Guess who's who! You gotta do it before reading the very next paragraph though ... T/C: Hmm, this bears thinking about. So Xie Yi still thinks of himself as a substitute in the team ...? Just to clarify, ' Leiting' is the faction, while ' Leiting Mecha Clan' is the battle team they have in the mecha world.