Yong-guang moaned and opened his eyes. Waking to find himself all tied up, his face paled, but just as he was about to shout, he noticed his companions standing right outside the car. Joy bloomed on his face as he cried out, "Elder Brother Xi, save me!"
The white-clothed youth saw this and his face turned stony as he barked, "Yong-guang, I ask you. Didn't I say I wanted to become friends with Luo Lang? Asking you to help me invite him out for a meeting, why did you make such a mess of it?"
Yong-guang's gaze flickered. He looked towards Luo Lang, then looked back at the white-clothed youth, and after some thought, he said, "Honestly, I had wanted to invite Luo Lang out properly, but the companion by his side was very wary and cautious. Every time I tried to approach, that person would stop me. Even though I said I had no bad intentions, only wanting to get to know him, the other just would not believe me. In the end, I had no choice but to do things this way. I was originally thinking to explain the situation after we arrived at the destination, but I unexpectedly angered Luo Lang, who knocked me unconscious along the way."
At this point, Yong-guang bowed his head dejectedly and apologised, saying, "I'm sorry, Luo Lang, for misleading you."
"All of this was really just your idea?" Despite the other's explanation, he did not manage to make Luo Lang relax his guard. Luo Lang's right hand was still gripping the other's neck securely — at any strange movement, he would be able to finish off the other instantly. This action of his was also a silent warning to the other people there to not move recklessly, for he had a hostage in hand.
In response to Luo Lang's question, Yong-guang said, "Yes, I'm from the hacker specialization, so I could only use a hacker's method to invite you out." Yong-guang was rather proud of his own methods, but very quickly deflated again, "I was originally just thinking of using the Military Medical Research Centre's system to send you a message, but that system is just too hard to crack. In the end, I could only use the treatment centre's system. Luckily you did not suspect anything."
Yong-guang's words explained why he had received the message from the treatment centre; this rather convinced Luo Lang of the veracity of his words. However, he also began chiding himself internally — it was just as Boss Lan had said — he was all a fighter's brawn and courage, without a strategist's mind 1 . He had not noticed such a simple and obvious flaw ... if not for the fact that the subsequent events had been too out of the ordinary, he might not have noticed right up till the very end.
Luo Lang made a decision then and there that he would definitely go find Han Jijyun when he had a chance for some remedial lessons. Even if he could not become someone as astute as Han Jijyun, he just could not let an opponent use such a simple scheme to lure him out. This was too disgraceful! He could already foresee the teasing he would receive from his companions when he returned.
"That hover car was also your doing?" Luo Lang continued to ask.
Yong-guang's downtrodden demeanour was swept away in an instant. Beaming with pride, he said, "Of course! All this is just a piece of cake 2 !" With regards to his own specialization, he was still very confident in his abilities.
The other's reactions chipped away a little more of Luo Lang's scepticism. As if aware that the ice on Luo Lang's face was thawing, the white-clothed youth immediately spoke up to say, "You see, Luo Lang, I really had no bad intentions. I just felt that we would click, so I wanted to get to know you." Saying this, there was actually a trace of hurt on the youth's face.
Seeing this, Luo Lang's heart could not help but soften, but Ling Lan's stern expression once more floated to the surface of his mind. That cold gaze of his pierced Luo Lang's inner heart, causing his heart to clench once more, causing him to once again harden his somewhat softening heart.
When the white-uniformed youth saw mental clarity reassert itself in Luo Lang's eyes once more, he could not help but jerk back, his initially wounded expression stiffening for just a moment ...
Ling Lan, who was currently in the mecha world performing a mission, suddenly stopped moving, causing Little Four to ask in confusion, "Boss, what's wrong?"
"My spiritual power has been stirred!" Ling Lan answered with a frown.
"What happened?" Little Four was very shocked. He had not sensed any people with spectre abilities near them in the virtual world; it was impossible for anyone to have attacked Boss.
"Could it be something from the virtual world?" Ling Lan asked Little Four. When it came to the virtual world, Little Four knew better than she did.
"No, there are no spectres within a hundred square li of us. Unless this world has another entity like me around, but even so, it should not be able to escape my sensors," replied Little Four with confidence.
Ling Lan's brow scrunched up even tighter. If it did not come from the virtual world, then where had this attack come from?
Right then, Ling Lan had already forgotten that, back during the grand armed melee, in order to protect Qi Long and the others, she had unleashed several strands of her spiritual power, lodging them within the minds of her team members. Back then, Ling Lan had been afraid they would get too caught up in fighting that they might make a wrong decision during a critical moment. Thus, she had left these spiritual power strands in their minds to jolt them into awareness again at those critical moments ...
Originally, she was supposed to take those strands back once the grand armed melee ended. However, by virtue of the chain of events that had followed — her being targeted for an assassination, being seriously injured and unconscious and leaving for home, and then when she woke up, she was immediately taken in by Mu Shui-qing as a disciple to train in Divine Command — she had forgotten to seek out her companions to reclaim those spiritual power reserves of hers.
With the passage of time, these spiritual power strands had been absorbed by her companions' spiritual power, becoming part of them. However, there was an unintended benefit — whenever her companions were attacked by a spiritual power user, Ling Lan would sense it. At present though, Ling Lan did not know about this, which was why she was extremely puzzled over the source of this attack.
"I need to log off. Something just doesn't feel right." Ling Lan decided to listen to her gut, immediately logging off from the virtual world.
Inside the villa of Ling Lan's team, one room on the third floor was specially used for the login pods to the virtual world. The moment Xie Yi returned to the team home, he immediately ran to the third floor. As long as it was not during meal time, Boss Lan, Luo Lang, and the others would be in the virtual world, and Xie Yi needed to find Boss Lan before Luo Lang heard of this matter to discuss how they could advise Luo Lang to accept the mission set by the military academy this time.
It turned out that ten days later would be the first assessment for the 5th year seniors who applied to the various army divisions for enlistment. It could be said that this would certainly affect the futures of those students, as well as affect the reputation of the First Men's Military Academy.
This was because those students who passed this first assessment would obtain the best resources the divisions had to offer and gain the best cultivation, and be deployed to the best troop for their development. In comparison, the assessments after that would not provide such great treatment anymore. This was why all the military academies would put their all into doing their best for this first assessment.
The assessment teams sent by the various army divisions would not only come to the First Men's Military Academy, but would also set up station at several other military academies. Those locations would gather all the enlistment hopefuls from the other military academies for assessment — the competition could be said to be extremely fierce. Thus, every year, the military academies placed the greatest importance on this very first assessment. It should be known that, in the past, the students of the First Men's Military Academy would dominate half the passing group. This was why the First Men's Military Academy had always reigned supreme over the other military academies.
The First Men's Military Academy naturally hoped to continue extending their reign of good repute, hence placing a high standard on all aspects of the assessment teams' visit. The school hoped to have everything as perfect as possible, so it could leave a good impression on all the assessment officers of the various army divisions, in hopes that the officers would be merciful during the assessment of their students. Meanwhile, the most essential piece was the welcoming reception ...
As the First Men's Military Academy consisted entirely of manly men, the school could not do as other co-ed military academies did, sending out beautiful ladies to receive the officers. This time, they received news that their sworn rivals, the Federal Co-ed Military Academy had sent out the so-called loveliest female squad to welcome the officers. This made the top ranks of the First Men's Military Academy extremely agitated.
If they still sent out some rough and hairy boys to welcome the officers this time, with this stark contrast, would the examiners be irritated? Thinking that this could affect their cadets' results, their hearts were burning with desperation, as they racked their brains to think of a counterplan 3 . Heaven knows who suggested it, but someone mentioned that there were some among the boys who were graceful and beautiful too, such as the 1st year Luo Lang. (Due to his participation in the wagered fight, quite a few people knew of Luo Lang now. Even the top ranks of the school administration had caught wind of him.) The administrators latched onto this suggestion like their lives depended on it, swiftly settling on seeking out some of the more refined and gentle-looking youths to handle this matter.
In the end, after some study, everyone decided that the 1st year freshmen were still the most suited for this job. The freshmen were innocent, not as slick as the older cadets — so if they really ended up making any faux pas, on account of their young ages, those officers would likely be able to overlook it.
Finally, this matter was handed over to the New Cadet Regiment to execute. Who asked Luo Lang to be a member of the New Cadet Regiment? Moreover, the New Cadet Regiment was the only organisation the freshmen of this year would acknowledge — who else would the administrators seek out if not them?
Xie Yi had been called out by a student for precisely this reason. Their first year homeroom teacher had asked that student to pass on the word, calling Xie Yi to the homeroom teacher's office. (Ever since Qi Long and Li Yingjie had been injured, Xie Yi had temporarily taken their place to become Wu Jiong's assistant, helping Wu Jiong to handle the matters of the New Cadet Regiment, which was why the teacher would seek out Xie Yi.)
The moment Xie Yi arrived at the homeroom teacher's office, he saw Wu Jiong there as well, giving him a hint that this was likely regarding the New Cadet Regiment. Reality proved that Xie Yi was right. The homeroom teacher plainly told them the intentions of the top ranks of the military academy, tasking the New Cadet Regiment with the job of receiving the examiners. Additionally, he kept subtly and pointedly bringing up how excellent Luo Lang was, strongly suggesting that it would be most appropriate for him to lead the welcoming committee.
Wu Jiong and Xie Yi could only smile wryly — the homeroom teacher's words had let them understand clearly what the top file of the military academy was after. They had set their hopes on the lovely androgynous face of Luo Lang ... However, Luo Lang had always hated others judging him by that feminine face of his. The two of them really had no idea what Luo Lang would do when he found out about the administrators' plan. Would he go berserk and flip the principal's desk in anger?
After that meeting, the two of them discussed things over, and felt that Boss Lan was likely the only person who could handle Luo Lang for this. Thus, Xie Yi had rushed back to the villa and straight up to the third floor to find Ling Lan.
Xie Yi had just stepped into the login pod room when he saw Boss Lan's exclusive login pod swing open. Ling Lan sat up primly, prepared to climb out of the login pod.
Seeing this, Xie Yi said happily, "Boss Lan, I was just looking for you to discuss something." That said, Xie Yi shuffled over to lift up Ling Lan's towel from the counter and passed it to Ling Lan.
"What's up?" Ling Lan smoothly accepted Xie Yi's offering of her towel, and began walking as she asked. She was moving towards the restroom to one side, prepared to wash up.只有武夫之勇,却无智者之谋: Pretty much as translated. The Chinese equivalent of 'all brawn and no brains', though it's less harsh I think, since it's more 'having the valour of a warrior, but not the mind of a strategist', which just means one's strengths lay elsewhere. It's not easy to be either warrior or strategist after all. 小case: The original phrase here is 'small case'. Yes, the English word was actually used in the raw. Chinese modern slang for a minor case, something really easy to do, a trivial thing. T/C: Oh what little faith these people have in the professionalism of their colleagues in service. =.=