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Chapter 27: What's the Purpose of the Test?

They didn't run for very long when the originally warm and sunny weather suddenly became cloudy.  At the crack of a thunder, Qilong, who was at the front, couldn't help but curse:  "How unlucky.  It had to start raining when it was our turn to test.  Everyone run faster.  Otherwise if we get caught in the rain, it'll be more difficult.  Our results will definitely be affected."

Right as Qilong finished and was about to speed up, he heard Han Jijun shout behind him:  "Ah Long, don't accelerate.  Keep your original speed."

This surprised Qilong for a moment.  He didn't understand why Han Jijun wanted to stop his actions.  If it really rained, running in the weather would consume even more physical strength and slow down their speed.  The score of the current assessment was dependent on the amount of time it took them to finish.  At this point, if one didn't seriously run a bit more then if not now, then when?

Although Qilong was very confused, he had a big good point.  That is, great self understanding.  He knew that his best friend Han Jijun had way more brains than him; his mind was smart to the point of making him highly envious, jealous, and hateful1.  Since his buddy decided to say this, it meant that he definitely found out something.  Past evidence had proved that listening to Han Jijun wasn't wrong, and he absolutely trusted his brother2.

As a result, Qilong decisively gave up on his idea and kept running forwards at his original speed.  Honestly, there weren't that many children in Ling Lan's group that had a desire to win outside of Luo Lang.  However, as arrogant as Luo Lang was, he was a smart child.  He also listened to Han Jijun's reminder.  Thus he didn't accelerate and kept pace with Qilong.

In their circle, Han Jijun's intelligence was well known.  Luo Lang really admired Han Jijun, but, unfortunately, Han Jijun had become good friends with that stupid Qilong.  What endlessly plagued him was regret.  He acted too late towards Han Jijun and lost the chance to connect with him first.  Otherwise how would that Qilong kid even have a chance.

The other children also maintained their original speed and followed the team closely in order to not fall behind.  Children who qualified for the Doha Scout Academy test weren't stupid.  Qilong and Luo Lang's fight made them realize that the overall strength of the two kids were much stronger than theirs.  Since the people who were stronger than them weren't afraid of delay, what were they afraid of?

Han Jijun accelerated two steps, running side by side with Ling Lan and spoke quietly:  "Ling Lan, what do you think?"  Han Jijun always felt that Ling Lan had noticed something – this was the intuition of a smart person.

"Didn't you also notice it too?"  Ling Lan gave Han Jijun an injured look.  Ya de, this is what one would call a unique talent, ah.  He was only six years of age but was acutely aware of the problem.  This was too depressing.

The fact that she could notice the problem was because of the valuable experience obtained from her two lives as well as the learning space's five years of all kinds of pressure and assessments.  Especially this year, Ling Lan, who had no new cultivation tasks, was tortured with various means by No. 1.  She was forced to think in several layers whenever observing a situation.  It had simply become her instinctive reaction.

Han Jijun didn't notice Ling Lan's injured heart and spoke seriously:  "En, whether we accelerate or not, what will come will come.  Perhaps they want to see us panic."

"The examiner never stated a specific distance.  This test has no so-called end…I'm very suspicious."  Ling Lan stated her opinion as Han Jijun's intelligence made Ling Lan no longer able to hide.

Finally, she didn't have to act like a child.  Hanging around evildoers3 meant that she didn't appear that much of an evildoer.  Ling Lan was touched to the point of crying.  Her past six years weren't easy.

Ling Lan's words made Han Jijun think deeply.  After thinking a moment, he spoke:  "Perhaps, our exam started the moment we entered the field."

"What do you mean?"

"Is this really an athletic field?"  Han Jijun's words started Ling Lan.  She remembered the door that she entered from; that didn't seem like the entrance to a big field, ah.

"Let's wait and see."  Ling Lan and Han Jijun came to a tacit understanding and glanced at each other before stating their decision in unison.  Since they already joined the gamble, then they could only keep walking and watching.

They didn't run for long before a sudden downpour fell straight down, drenching Ling Lan and the nine others like drowned cats4.  Fog and rain blocked their sight as the road below became muddy.  Their soaked clothing became uncomfortable and heavy.  Under these conditions, after running a few thousand meters they began to feel tired – especially the two girls, who began to pant.

"It's real water, not virtual."  Ling Lan carefully observed the sensations felt by her body.  It seemed like the virtual environment was augmented with real props.  There was no doubt that in the room that they were in had a ceiling full of sprinklers.

Since she already knew that she was within a virtually created environment room, Ling Lan ignored what she saw and began to map the layout of the entire room in her head.

It should be noted that the athletic field presented to everyone by the virtual environment was very appropriate because the field's runway was a big circle.  Any person inside, even after walking in countless circles, would never suspect that they were actually inside a closed room.

Ling Lan and the nine other people ran another few kilometers and felt that they had already gone around in countless circles.  However, no examiners had come out to indicate how many laps were left.  This journey of unknown length caused the weaker children to waver, especially the two girls.  Their speed dropped and they soon fell to the very back.  

Luo Lang and Han Jijun, the relatives of the two girls, turned a blind eye to the situation and kept running at their original speed.

Ling Lan's brows furrowed.  Were they not going to help them even a little bit?

Han Jijun seemed to notice Ling Lan's hesitation and quickly explained:  "To become a qualified soldier, one has to rely on their own ability.  To help her would be to hurt her.  On the battlefield, you can't rely on others to survive."

Han Jijun's words made sense.  Ling Lan wasn't a saint5 who must help others.  She was just about to ignore the situation when an idea flashed through her mind, causing her heart to jump in surprise.  

Was this examination really just to test endurance and speed?  If it was simply to test for that, then a normal field would also work just well.  Why would they use such precious virtual environment technology?  Not only that, was there a need to make that many groups?

She thought of the marathons in her past life – that was everyone running together.  Ling Lan observed the width of the runway and found that it was about 50 meters wide.  Even if everyone couldn't run together, it could still be possible to accommodate hundreds to thousands of people.  Wouldn't this be a better way to speed up the exam and save time?

Perhaps the test wanted to assess something else.  What was it's real purpose?  Ling Lan realized that this was probably the key point of the exam.  If she could figure it out, she should be able to know how to pass this test.

What was the hidden meaning within the words that examiner said back then?  Xiao Si sensed Ling Lan's thought and put a great amount of effort into replaying what the examiner had said.

Tch, in addition to what they want you to know, the rest could be considered as watertight.  Sure enough, they really were worthy of being the elite examiners handpicked from the army…

Picked from the army?  The army?  The flash in Ling Lan's mind was finally caught by her:  Since all of their examiners came from the army, could this be a hint?  Not only that, a group of ten happened to be the smallest military operation unit!

Translated by somnious, unedited
1 羡慕嫉妒恨 (xiànmù jídù hèn):  To be extremely envious of.  It consists of envy, jealousy, hate.  Don't worry, Qilong doesn't actually hate Han Jijun here lol, he's just frustrated that his friend's a lot smarter.
2 兄弟 (xiōngdì): It can be used for both blood related brothers and close friends or people in relation to each other (i.e. gangs/schools/etc.).
3 妖孽 (yāoniè): I wasn't too sure whether to use the direct translation (evildoer) or abnormal person (internet slang?).  This is here just to clarify if readers haven't come across the term before.  It's essentially used to denote extremely abnormal geniuses, lol.  It appears a lot in this series.
4 落汤鸡 (luòtāngjī): Lit. Fall/drop soup chicken.  It's an idiom that's similar to 'drowned rat' or 'drowned cat' in English.  I used the closest English version because using 'dropped into soup chicken' is a bit of a mouth full and sounds odd.
5 圣母 (shèngmǔ):  Saint is probably the best way to translate it here?  It can also mean 'virgin mary' or 'madonna', as well as 'goddess'.

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