Qi Long sensed the shift in Ling Lan's aura, and could not help but worry for Luo Lang — could it be that Boss had truly become furious because of Luo Lang's disobedience?
Right then, Ling Lan asked Qi Long in a low voice, "Can you tell what personality he managed to activate?"
Ling Lan hoped the personality Luo Lang activated was not one which was brutal, bloodthirsty, and uncontrollable. Otherwise, she would have to forfeit to protect Luo Lang — the military academy would never permit an uncontrollable loose cannon who could not differentiate friend from foe to continue studying at the school and eventually enter an army division.
Qi Long peered closely at Luo Lang and then shook his head, puzzled. "Strange. This personality has never appeared before. I cannot sense any intense malicious intent, but my innate talent is warning me that I must be careful."
Ling Lan frowned at his words. She carefully studied Luo Lang's expression — there was no sign of bloodthirst, nor was there any sort of extreme ruthlessness. The current Luo Lang just seemed endlessly cold, but this coldness did not encompass everyone, merely directed solely at his opponent.
Weighing things in her mind, Ling Lan decided and said, "Let's continue watching."
Ling Lan too wanted to know what personality this was that Luo Lang had activated. As long as Luo Lang did not lose control, Ling Lan did not want to cut the match short. This was because she knew that, since Luo Lang had thrown caution to the wind to activate his innate talent, he must really not want to lose to this opponent who had insulted him. As their boss, Ling Lan wanted to help Luo Lang achieve what he wanted to do.
Seated beside them, Wu Jiong and Li Yingjie did not know the struggles of Qi Long and Ling Lan. Right now, their attention was fully absorbed by the stage. They had even stood up in their excitement, as Luo Lang had currently taken full control of the scene.
With one hand, Luo Lang gripped Qi Ya's ankle. All the spectators knew that the power behind that kick was extremely formidable — handling it with one hand must definitely be challenging. However, Luo Lang seemed to do so easily — he did not even take a single step back due to the opponent's strength, appearing cool and unruffled.
Luo Lang could be seen to slowly lift his head. The red flush on his face from before was gone and his complexion had already regained its usual fairness, becoming unbelievably cool. Both his irises were a deep black, like pools of dead water, so deep and unfathomable that Qi Ya, being pinned by them in close range, felt a chill permeate his heart.
"I've told you before, to shut up," said Luo Lang calmly, "What a shame you would not listen ..." As he spoke, Luo Lang raised his right hand and swept it in a fierce chop down at the opponent's shank 1 gripped in his other hand. Based off the speed and force that he was applying, if the strike connected, the bones of the shank would certainly break.
Qi Ya's pupils shrunk in fear, the warning bells in his mind ringing — he shook his right leg desperately, trying to regain the freedom of his leg. But Luo Lang's left hand was like a vise; he could not struggle free anytime soon.
Qi Ya naturally would not just do nothing and resign himself to his fate — he sprang up from the ground with his other foot, and executing a half-flip in the air, he swung his left leg, which had initially been supporting his weight, out in a fierce kick towards the side of Luo Lang's neck.
In order to protect his right shank, Qi Ya was revealing the brutal side of his nature. He no longer held back, beginning to target Luo Lang's vital points.
Everyone exclaimed in shock at the sight, sucking in a cold breath. Quite a few freshmen even stood up in horror, concerned for Luo Lang on the stage. If the opponent's kick landed, Luo Lang's fragile neck area would certainly be snapped, killing him instantly. There would be no chance at all for rescue and recovery. In an arena battle within the military academy, these vital points were off-limits. Without question, Qi Ya had broken the academy rules.
Seeing this, a cold gleam flashed through Tang Yu's eyes. He was just about to take action, when he saw Luo Lang calmly change the attack trajectory of his right hand, to directly meet the other's kick. Thus, Tang Yu paused, but he still made preparations to act. However, right then, Colonel Tang Yu had drawn a huge 'X' in his heart over Qi Ya — this kind of person who would be so ruthless against a comrade, he would never give him a chance to go to those elite ace military troops ...
With an audible 'pow', Luo Lang's palm struck the opponent's other ankle, and Qi Ya felt a snap. Following that, an intense pain radiated from Qi Ya's foot to his heart, and he could not help but yell, "Argh!"
The collision of the two forces naturally produced a tremendous rebound force. Qi Ya was thrown back forcefully, and due to the intense pain he was in, he actually did not manage to land soundly. His entire body was flung out to crash heavily onto the stage, where he then slid across the ground, leaving a faint mark in his trail.
Meanwhile, Luo Lang had to take several steps back before finding his footing. However, his right hand hung limply by his side. From the swinging motion it was making, it was clear to see that Luo Lang's right hand had most likely been broken by the rebound force in meeting the other's kick earlier.
Looking at Qi Ya cradling his ankle on the ground, his expression a rictus of pain, and contrasting it with Luo Lang on the other side, who also had a broken bone, but sported a cold and unfeeling expression ... it was clear to see which was superior. The freshmen were naturally unconditionally on Luo Lang's side, while some of the seniors could not help but frown as well at this time. They looked down on Qi Ya for losing the face of the seniors, and silent admiration for Luo Lang began to grow in their minds. This delicate looking youth was actually a tough character.
Colonel Tang Yu walked over to Qi Ya's side expressionlessly and asked, "Cadet Qi Ya, can you still fight? If you cannot, I will announce the victor for this match."
Both sides were similarly injured, but it never even crossed Colonel Tang Yu's mind to ask this question of Luo Lang. This was because he believed that, as long as that fellow Luo Lang had breath left in his lungs, he would definitely continue fighting. This was how a qualified military man should behave. Compared to Luo Lang, this 5th year Qi Ya was just too much of a wimp.
Qi Ya felt as if there was a drill boring into his right ankle — the pain was truly unbearable. Without saying a word, Qi Ya knew the other must have applied some hidden move on his ankle, and the hate for Luo Lang in his heart just grew even more. Right then, hearing the referee Tang Yu ask this, how could he voluntarily admit defeat? Holding back the pain, he replied, "I can fight!"
That said, Qi Ya slowly climbed off the ground. This scene was greeted by the applause of the spectating students. Even though Qi Ya had truly performed terribly before this, at this very moment, he was undoubtedly acting as a qualified cadet should; this gained him the acknowledgement of a portion of the students.
At this scene, Qi Long could not help but snicker softly. He said quietly to Ling Lan, "Boss, looks like that punk Luo Lang has secretly used a mean move." He stroked his jaw and wondered, "Which move did he use? The 3rd form of One-Inch Punch?"
Ling Lan instantly responded, "No, it's the 4th form."
"Huh? When has there been such a move?" Qi Long was stupefied. How did he not know about this?
"The One-Inch Punch is the Luo family's ultimate arts. Of course it'll have some ace in the holes," answered Ling Lan.
The instructors within the learning space had already developed the One-Inch Punch up till the 9th form. Ling Lan's team had already mastered all the forms up to the 3rd form, but since the One-Inch Punch series had originated from the inherited ultimate arts of Luo Lang's family, Ling Lan had specially taught the 4th form to Luo Lang. This was to prove that the One-Inch Punch was still the Luo family's ultimate arts, so Luo Lang would forever have an extra ace in the hole than the others.
After listening to Ling Lan's explanation, Qi Long found it made sense, and so no longer concerned himself about the issue. This was Qi Long's strength — always knowing where to draw the line, never demanding things that did not belong to him.
On the stage, Qi Ya, who was back on his feet, glared hatefully at Luo Lang. He knew that his performance had disgraced him in front of everyone here, and all of this had been caused by this hateful youth before him. He was raging internally, wishing that he could kill Luo Lang to release the pent up anger and hate in his heart.
Luo Lang's eyes met Qi Ya's, and the remote disinterest in Luo Lang's gaze sent a chill through Qi Ya. His mind, which had been consumed with rage, was suddenly shocked into wakefulness — because he had sensed a kind of danger. In fact, he could even sense a slight trace of killing intent from the other ... could it be the other also wanted to kill him?
How could this be? Qi Ya shook his head emphatically, casting this thought aside. He hadn't done anything, so how could the other have killing intent against him? Right then, Qi Ya had forgotten those words he had said earlier. He did not know that — some things, some people, just could not be sullied.
Seeing the two face off once more, Tang Yu announced, "The match continues!"
No sooner had he finished speaking when Luo Lang moved. He dashed out like a ferocious tiger, flying over to Qi Ya's side. Since the other could not move properly, when should he attack if not now?
Just as Luo Lang expected, one foot short, Qi Ya could not dodge; he could only meet Luo Lang's attack head on. Of course, Qi Ya was not afraid — in fact, he was rather gleeful. He had wanted to fight Luo Lang head on from the start. With regards to internal energy 2 , his was undoubtedly more substantial that Luo Lang's. Fighting on that front, he had full confidence to injure Luo Lang and obtain the final victory.
However, were things really going to turn out as he expected?
When the two of them exchanged the first blow, Qi Ya's expression changed dramatically. He found that the other's attack power was no weaker than his — his original anticipated plan of using internal energy to injure the other had no way of being realised.
The second move, the third move, the fourth move ... slowly, Qi Ya realised that every time his arms blocked the other's attack, the spot he blocked with would ache in pain. This pain was extremely similar to that of where his ankle was broken, just not as intense. For the first and second move, he had not sensed much of it, but after the third and fourth moves, the pain began to intensify, and by the time they reached the seventh and eighth move, he was actually unable to raise his arms properly ...
A 'bam' rang out. Luo Lang had grasped the opening and struck Qi Ya's cheek forcefully, and Qi Ya was sent flying. Luo Lang had held back on this strike, not using the forms of One-Inch Punch, but even so, Qi Ya was knocked unconscious instantly by Luo Lang's base strength. He crashed onto the ground and did not get up again.
Colonel Tang Yu quickly rushed forwards to check on Qi Ya's condition. Seeing that the youth had no life-threatening injuries, and was indeed out for the count, he indicated for the staff in the combat hall to send Qi Ya to the treatment centre. With the present technology, as long as it was not a fatal injury, any patient who was still breathing could basically be saved.
Qi Ya was seen to be lifted off the stage, and Tang Yu then smiled and announced loudly, "The first match, 1st year Luo Lang of the New Cadet Regiment wins!"
The faces of the people from Leiting were currently a sheet of darkness. It was unexpected that Qi Ya, who they had had high hopes for, would actually be defeated in an upset by a frail-looking 1st year. The opponent had taken a match right from the start, and more frighteningly, the one they had defeated was their third strongest. Quite a few members of Leiting began to reconsider — could they really win this fight against the New Cadet Regiment? For the first time, they began to harbour doubts.
Lin Zhidong gritted his teeth and said, "It's no matter. I suppose the other side had sent one of their strongest. As long as we win the rest of the matches, losing one match won't affect the final outcome."
A man beside him said evenly, "The key is the fight order. If the opponent just happens to use their strongest few against our weakest ..."
This was not like a transparent private fight, where fights were arranged according to personal strength — a blind fight not only tested a fighter's true strength, but also tested the psychological tactics and strategy of each side. Perhaps it could be called luck, but this was the mode the official challenges used, all in hopes of seeing more diverse matchups. Compared to an open fight, a blind fight was undoubtedly much fairer — if one applied the correct strategy, and had a great burst of luck, even the weak had hopes of winning.
These words made Lin Zhidong fall into silent contemplation. His gaze wavered slightly, but quickly settled. He did not believe that their luck would be so horrible that the opponent would manage to grab hold of those two opportunities so precisely.
Luo Lang slowly walked off the stage, and he was welcomed back by the respectful gazes of the members of the New Cadet Regiment. As there were quite a few non-Central Academy freshmen within their ranks, those students had indeed been somewhat doubtful at Luo Lang's inclusion as one of the five representatives. However, this fight had proven that Luo Lang truly had the skill to be one of the five top fighters of the New Cadet Regiment. There was no longer anyone within the New Cadet Regiment who doubted his strength now.
Seeing Luo Lang's impressive performance, the man in the box who had already become interested in Luo Lang licked his lips excitedly, chuckling deeply as he said, "What a prideful and spirited little fellow. If I break those proud bones of his bit by bit, wouldn't his expression be very interesting? 3 Muahahahaha ... 4 " Gruesome laughter rang out to fill the entire box, involuntarily causing one's skin to crawl.
Luo Lang slowly walked to stand before Ling Lan, where he then stared coldly at her. Facing this strange situation, Wu Jiong and Li Yingjie, who had initially planned to step forward and congratulate Luo Lang, stopped moving instantly. They stared uncertainly at the two people in front of them.
Ling Lan remained seated, unmoved, as she stared back evenly at Luo Lang. The cold air around her body became much denser.
Luo Lang opened and shut his mouth, but emitted no sound. Ling Lan coldly rebuked, "Still not letting go?" That said, Ling Lan's eyes gleamed with a cold light, piercing Luo Lang with its intensity — as if receiving some heavy blow, Luo Lang's body swayed, and then his eyes closed and he began falling towards the ground.
Qi Long reacted quickly, catching Luo Lang and pulling him into his arms. At first chance, he examined Luo Lang's arms, and then, face paling, he shouted, "Boss, there are multiple breaks on the bones of Luo Lang's arms!"
"I know. Let the staff arrange for Luo Lang to go to the treatment centre, accompanied by Lin Zhong-qing," Ling Lan swiftly ordered.
This punk — using the 4th form of One-Inch Punch multiple times when he had yet to master it, forcefully increasing the level of his internal energy ... unable to fully control the form's power, of course his own arms would have been broken by the rebound force of the One-Inch Punch. Still, the tolerance level of that alter ego of his was truly off the charts, and he was tough towards himself as well, actually tolerating the pain of both broken arms until he could finally defeat Qi Ya ...
When Tang Yu found out that Luo Lang had been fighting while tolerating the pain of broken arms, waiting till he won and returned to his teammates' side before allowing himself to collapse, he was even more delighted with this strong and determined youth. He had already made up his mind that, even if Luo Lang's body did not meet expectations in the end, he would still use his own special rights to take in the other as his disciple.
Once Luo Lang had been sent off to the treatment centre, Ling Lan, noticing the confusion in Wu Jiong's and Li Yingjie's eyes, spoke up to explain, "Just now, the opponent had insulted Luo Lang, saying that he had only been chosen as a representative because he belongs to me."
The two stared blankly back, not understanding the meaning behind the words right away. Qi Long understood however, because Ling Lan had already mentioned it to him previously when she had explained why Luo Lang had become enraged enough to activate his innate talent. Thus, he pulled the two aside and quietly spelled things out for them 5 .i.e. the lower part of the leg, from knee to ankle. Like my sister helpfully supplied, "Lamb shank!" xP (But no, legitly, this word can be used for humans too.) 内劲: On Wikipedia, it is under the heading 'Neijing', but it is standard in web novel translations to use 'internal energy' or its alternate forms 'internal force', 'internal strength', or 'internal power'. People familiar with cultivation novels should know the concept well, but for those of you who are new to the concept, think of it as a force within us that can be developed. Kind of like Qi, except Qi is vital energy that one will always have if alive, while it is entirely possible to lose one's internal energy due to injury and still remain alive. T/C: Warning, warning! Sadist alert! Perverted sadist alert! T/C: =.= Could this dude get any more cliché in his villain-ness? T/C: Haha, what a rare role for Qi Long to play.