Xie Yi quickly hurried over and said, "It's like this ..." He explained the task the military academy had set for the New Cadet Regiment to Ling Lan, "The top rank of the academy has set their sights on Luo Lang, wanting Luo Lang to be in charge of the reception team. The intention being that those going to welcome the examiners should be those who are more on the graceful and slender side."
The hand Ling Lan was using to wipe her face with her towel paused for a beat, then swiped roughly once more as she said with a cold chuckle, "That bunch of top ranks must have something wrong with their brains. The assessment officers of the divisions are here to see brave and skilful warriors, not this superficial nonsense."
Xie Yi nodded emphatically, "Right? Wu Jiong and I felt right then that something was off, but before we could refuse, the instructor had implied that this was a mission the New Cadet Regiment must carry out."
"Unable to refuse?" asked Ling Lan, her eyebrows locking up. She really disliked this mission — Luo Lang would likely be extremely resistant to this mission as well.
"If we could refuse, we would have pushed it off a long time ago. The instructor said that, as long as we complete this mission, the school will guarantee that within one year, no other faction will bother us." Xie Yi shared the benefit the school was promising as well, though this was of course still a type of threat.
"Hmph, faking generosity by piggybacking others. They know very well that Leiting will help us settle everything in these two years. Actually just promising this, what great planning," commented Ling Lan with a cold huff. She threw her towel into the washbasin and strode out of the washroom.
Xie Yi hurriedly rushed forward to clean the towel in the washbasin a little, wringing it dry and hanging it back in its place, as he replied, "Right? But with the school's promise, some factions might make less underhanded moves behind the scenes." Leiting would only help them resolve the conflicts on the surface, so the New Cadet Regiment would still have to handle any manoeuvres behind the scenes themselves.
In this half a month after the wagered fight, there had indeed been no disturbances on the surface, but behind the scenes, the regiment members had still received taunting and bullying to a certain extent. It was just that the perpetrators seemed to have no clear connection to any of the factions, seeming to be acting purely on personal grudges. But Wu Jiong and Xie Yi knew very well that things were not that simple. Simply staying on top of all these miscellaneous trivial matters had given them a lot of stress. Thus, this vow of the military academy was still rather attractive for the New Cadet Regiment.
"If our New Cadet Regiment is given a stable year's time, allowing the regiment members to successfully complete their final exams, in the second year, we will no longer have to be afraid," added Wu Jiong.
This kind of backstage harassment might not bother the top ranks of the New Cadet Regiment much, but they were still extremely detrimental to the lower ranking members. Mind you, the first year was the most critical physical conditioning phase, which was of the utmost importance to every freshman. If they did not have a secure environment to complete these physical training courses, it might affect their final assessment results. This was why Wu Jiong and Xie Yi had agreed to the mission in the end — for the sakes of their regiment members, it was necessary for them to suffer some things.
Ling Lan walked over to sit on a sofa at one side. As she listened to Xie Yi, she could not help but knock on the arms of the sofa, thinking for a long while before saying, "Looks like, Luo Lang will have to take one for the team." This statement sealed Luo Lang's tragic fate for the near future.
At these words, Xie Yi's expression eased. He took a seat on the sofa beside Ling Lan's and sighed, "He'll just have to. For the sake of our New Cadet Regiment's future!" That said, he added obsequiously, "Of course, this matter still requires you, Boss Lan, to act. Luo Lang listens to you best."
Ling Lan threw a cold glance at him in response, frightening Xie Yi so much that he quickly ducked his head, afraid to make eye contact.
Frankly, they had only called on Boss Lan to act because they had no other choice. That punk Luo Lang may look as soft and gentle as water, but he was actually a firecracker, liable to explode with a tiny spark. If they tried passing on the news themselves, they might only manage to touch on the subject — before they managed to elaborate and clarify the whole mission, Luo Lang might already have flipped the table in anger.
However, Boss Lan was different. Luo Lang adored Boss Lan, and listened well to Boss Lan's words. If it came from Boss Lan, regardless of how unhappy Luo Lang was with the news, he would still obey docilely and complete the mission perfectly. This was why Wu Jiong and Xie Yi would seek out Ling Lan for help.
At the heart of it, whether it was those of Ling Lan's team or those of the New Cadet Regiment, they all had a kind of unquestionable trust in Ling Lan. In their minds, as long as a task was taken on by Boss Lan, any challenge would no longer be challenging ... what blind confidence they had in Ling Lan!
Seeing Xie Yi's cowed expression, Ling Lan turned her gaze aside and said dispassionately, "Only this once." Ling Lan did not wish for them to develop the habit of relying on her. There would come a day when they would go their separate ways and fight on their own.
At these words, Xie Yi finally smiled. With Boss Lan's promise, this matter was sure to go off without a hitch. He decided that he would inform Wu Jiong right after this, and ask him to select some of the more genteel looking freshmen with refined manners, to cooperate with Luo Lang in completing this mission.
At this moment, Ling Lan was also mentally considering what to do. She did not want to be a tyrant boss, assigning missions to her followers by force without caring what they thought. She wanted to ask Luo Lang's opinion — if Luo Lang was at all reluctant, she decided that she would go forth together with Luo Lang to complete this welcoming mission.
Ling Lan knew very well that if she too was in the welcoming committee, Luo Lang would definitely have no more mental resistance to the mission, and would instead follow her enthusiastically. Besides, as a girl, Ling Lan did not feel there was anything disgraceful about accepting this mission 1 .
Ling Lan would make this decision because she felt that she herself matched the conditions the top ranks of the academy had set for the welcoming committee. With the union of her parents' strengths, when she looked into a mirror, even she could not help but be enchanted by her own lovely face ...
Indeed, Ling Lan was pretty good-looking, and her slender frame had none of the bulky muscularity of the typical male. By all accounts, she indeed fit the criteria very well, but she had forgotten her own millennium-long unmelting ice block of a face, as well as her piercing gaze which chilled others to the bone. Just standing there, she exuded a boundless air of domination ... how then could she possess the gentle and accommodating air the upper ranks of the military academy requested?
It had to be said that Ling Lan was actually quite tragic — having such a lovely face, but no one dared to even look straight at her ... The domineering air coming from her body completely overshadowed her unbelievably beautiful face. At first glance, all everyone could think was that this person was really cool, really strong, really dominant! Forever unrelated to the phrases beautiful, pretty, or adorable ...
After thinking about it, Ling Lan decided to first discuss things over with Luo Lang to see what the other thought. So, she asked Xie Yi, "Where's Luo Lang? Why didn't he come back together with you?"
Xie Yi was taken aback. "Luo Lang told me he would leave first. Did he not come back here?" He quickly stood up and ran to Luo Lang's login pod to take a look. There really was no one inside. Xie Yi instantly frowned and said, "This fellow, where has he gone?"
Ling Lan also frowned. Luo Lang typically would not run around needlessly — could it be that something had popped up? Ling Lan rapped on the arm of the sofa once more and said, "Tell me the situation when you last saw Luo Lang."
Xie Yi carefully recalled the scene for a moment, then replied, "I had originally asked Luo Lang to wait for me, because the homeroom teacher passed a message for me to meet him at his office. Luo Lang had said yes at first, but then, soon after, he said he had something to do and asked to leave first. Since I did not know what the homeroom teacher wanted, or how long it would take, I agreed. After saying goodbye to him, I went to the homeroom teacher, while Luo Lang left the training field."
"Initially agreeing to wait for you, but then saying that he had something to do and leaving ... this means that within that brief window of time, there was a change in Luo Lang's state of mind," Ling Lan analysed.
"Yes, I wonder if Luo Lang suddenly recalled something, or did something happen within that period of time to change his mind?" Xie Yi mused. Suddenly thinking of something, his face paled and he said, "Could he have been tricked away by that person?"
Ling Lan's face darkened. "What's this?"
Xie Yi quickly told Ling Lan all about the senior who had been constantly trying to find a way to approach Luo Lang over the past few days. Back then, he had already found the other rather fishy, which was why he had actively stopped him. However, the other's intentions were extremely concealed, so all he had were speculations, hence he had not spoken to Luo Lang of it. At this point, Xie Yi was filled with regret. He should have warned Luo Lang earlier to be careful.
"Luo Lang is not that foolish. A stranger would not be able to trick him away so easily. There must be some reason which he could not refuse ..." Ling Lan did not think Luo Lang was that gullible. Even if Luo Lang was indeed all dumb innards behind an intelligent face 2 , he still did not lack basic judgment.
"Wait here for a moment. I'll log onto the virtual network to see if I can find any useful information." Ling Lan decided to depend on Little Four for this, lying back down into the virtual login pod. She was prepared to let Little Four use the virtual network to look up the various surveillance stations in the military academy, to see where Luo Lang had gone.
Xie Yi nodded, settling down quietly onto the sofa. No matter how anxious he was, he did not make any sound. He knew what Ling Lan was heading into the virtual world to do — their entire team knew that Boss Lan was most likely also a very high-level hacker — perhaps Boss would be able to find some clue within the virtual world.
Meanwhile, Luo Lang, who was facing off against a crowd, had not let down his guard due to the warning jolt he had received from Ling Lan's spiritual power. After listening to what the white-clothed youth had to say, he contemplated silently for a moment before replying, "I really want to believe what you're saying, but I cannot under these circumstances. If what you say is true, then unseal the hover car and let me go home."
The white-clothed youth responded sadly, "Luo Lang, is it really impossible for us to become friends?"
At these words, Luo Lang laughed. This laugh was unbelievably lovely and charming, causing the white-clothed youth's gaze to darken briefly, becoming deep and unfathomable, but his loss of composure only lasted for a split second. Not thinking too much about this, Luo Lang missed this swift change.
Luo Lang said amidst his laughter, "If you really want to be friends with me, come find me openly. I will not reject someone who sincerely wants to become friends."
The white-clothed youth instantly broke out into a smile, making his face incomparably sunny and bright. This caused Luo Lang's impression of him to rise by several notches once more. Still, even so, his vigilance was not reduced — that cold and piercing gaze of Ling Lan's made him fear to relax.
"Yup, I'll let Yong-guang unseal the hover car then. I'll come find you tomorrow, is that okay?" said the white-clothed youth with his sunny smile, his tone extremely earnest and sincere. Perhaps he was too earnest, for no matter how one looked, he exuded an air of silliness.
Luo Lang only continued to smile politely without saying a word, waiting for the other to fulfil his promise.T/C: This sentence ... offends me somewhat. What do you mean 'as a girl'? As if it's a matter of fact for girls to play this sort of role? Grrr ... Aaaanyway, don't mind me. Our Ling Lan can be rather traditional minded sometimes. >.< 聪明面孔笨肚肠: This is my first time seeing this phrase, and I found it hilarious. A must-keep! XD The translation I used is pretty literal already, just edited to improve the flow in context. FYI, the original goes 'smart face dumb insides'.