For this reason, Qi Long was so frustrated he could almost bang his head into a wall, while Luo Lang was actually tearing up. The others were not reacting that much better either — after all, this was a mecha instructional fight from a god-class operator! How lucky did they have to be to witness that?! But now they had to watch helplessly as this great fortune slipped right through their fingers, unable to do anything about it ...
Ling Lan could only placate and comfort them, promising that they would still have opportunities in the future. At that time, she would definitely inform them beforehand to enter the combat room in advance so they could observe. Only then did these bunch of mournful brats subside.
It was precisely because of that that Ling Lan had not set a passcode on their room at the very first moment to restrict outsiders from entering. By the time she had settled her companions, two strangers had already entered the private room.
Ling Xiao was nonchalant about it. "No need. Since they have already come here, it can be considered that they're fated to see us. Besides, they don't know us. Let them watch a little, and if they gain some insight, that's their fortune." Ling Xiao was not someone who would stick to the beaten track 1 , otherwise he would not often invite others to PK with him at the military-exclusive combat fields. The stronger the Federation mecha masters were, the gladder Ling Xiao would be. He was a pure-minded military man.
"Since, father, you have said so, then let them stay." Ling Lan agreed with her dad's mindset. The mecha operators in Mecha World came from all the various star systems of the whole Federation. No one could tell who another was, or which planet they came from. If those spectators could gain something from this fight, it would indeed be a kindness on their part.
Ling Lan recalled the first time she had entered Mecha World and met that cheetah mecha. They had not known each other, but had had a startlingly amazing rapport. During that time, if not for the other's constant companionship and their mutual encouragement and supervision, perhaps she might not have been able to endure through that period of dry and monotonous foundational training.
Ling Lan cherished this sort of heaven-given serendipity, and so did not want to stand in the way of it. Since her father was not opposed, Ling Lan decided to just let them watch. Of course, the prerequisite being that they knew their limits and did not disturb her and her father.
On the stage, the two mecha that had been standing around casually began to shift. The intermediate mecha suddenly raised its hand to draw the long weapon from its back and got into an attacking stance, while the imperial mecha remained still and unmoving as before.
At this point, Zhao Jun could not help commenting surreptitiously, "Lanfeng, this match is probably going to end in one move. The gap between the strength of the two is just too wide. The intermediate mecha will definitely be unable to withstand an attack from the imperial mecha."
"It won't end like that," Li Lanfeng responded confidently.
"Ah? Why not?" Zhao Jun was boggled.
"Just think, which imperial operator would have the free time to PK an intermediate mecha operator? I'm guessing that the latter is just a disciple of the imperial operator, which is why the former would come to instruct him a little," Li Lanfeng analysed, "In this match, the imperial operator will definitely control his strength, perhaps even sealing away some advanced control skills and killing moves."
"In other words, this is an instructional fight." Zhao Jun's eyes brightened. Instructional fights were not only extremely useful to the one fighting, spectators would also learn quite a bit. However, Zhao Jun began worrying once more, carefully asking, "Lanfeng, do you think they'll chase us out? After all, this type of instructional fight is usually related to some sect legacies and secrets."
Li Lanfeng glared exasperatedly at Zhao Jun, "You've only now noticed this point? Still, it's been so long. Since they have not kicked us out, they are likely to have tacitly agreed to our presence here."
"Ah? Really?" Li Lanfeng's words made Zhao Jun ecstatic.
"Yes, of course, they could also have mistaken us for people they know, but that possibility is almost zero, so it can be excluded." Li Lanfeng knew well that it was indeed possible to conceal one's ID in Mecha World so that name cards would have to be exchanged before one's name would be revealed. However, this feature was ineffective against top-class masters like imperial operators — that was a sign of respect and distinction Mecha World afforded to imperial operators. Thus, it was obvious that the other must know that the two of them were strangers.
"I believe that, they have chosen not to kick us because they intend to give us a chance." Li Lanfeng felt that this was the likeliest possibility. Many top-class masters believed very strongly in fate and serendipity — perhaps the other felt that he and Zhao Jun's stumbling into this room was fated, and so left them alone.
"That's great!" Zhao Jun clenched his fists, exhilarated. Li Lanfeng's words moved him greatly — if he could learn anything at all from this imperial operator, he would never ever forget this fated kindness for the rest of his life.
"Our luck today is truly incredible ..." said Li Lanfeng with a sigh. Perhaps his destiny was not going to be as tragic as he had thought — would this be the turning point of his life?
"Oh, they're starting!" cried Zhao Jun, instantly calling Li Lanfeng back from his scattered musings.
On the stage, the two mecha divided by a great disparity in strength finally clashed for the first time.
Facing her unfathomable father Ling Xiao, Ling Lan chose to take the initiative and attack. She just did not have the confidence that she would be able to withstand her dad's powerful attacks, so she decided to take the advantage of striking first.
Ling Lan could be seen to control her mecha to sprint forwards like a gust of wind, striking out towards Ling Xiao's mecha. When she was about 3 metres away, Regretless, which had been hanging low, was abruptly lifted up into a diagonal slash, drawing a streak of cold light through the air.
This was a mid-range attack! While Ling Lan had been waiting, she had already considered things thoroughly — the only close-range weapons on her father's mecha were his short swords, so he did not have a long cold weapon like Regretless to fight against her. This undoubtedly gave Ling Lan a slight upper hand in terms of weapons, and this was also her only advantage.
"Not bad!" Seeing his daughter choose to execute a mid-range attack with her long weapon, Ling Xiao unstintingly gave praise. Against such a formidable opponent like himself, with no chance of winning, Ling Lan could still identify and use her greatest advantage to strike out against a weakness of his — this was undoubtedly a testament to Ling Lan's levelheadedness and strategic mind.
However, Ling Xiao was a god-class operator after all. Moreover, he was operating a formidable imperial mecha — both in terms of control skills and plain mecha advantage, his strength exceeded Ling Lan's by too much. The counterplan Ling Lan had worked so hard to execute simply would not work against Ling Xiao.
With an elegant slide-step, Ling Xiao operated his mecha to twist to one side, dodging this streak of savage light. At the same time, the arms of his mecha folded firmly over the gleaming blade, actually performing an empty-handed weapon grab with his mecha.
Even though Ling Lan's attack was already so fast that it was almost impossible to catch with one's eyes, for Ling Xiao, it was still a little slow. He easily caught Ling Lan's Regretless between his palms.
"Ling Lan, this move won't work against me," said Ling Xiao with a smile, "You'll need to come up with something else."
"Father, don't get too careless now." The right arm of Ling Lan's mecha suddenly shook and pulled back, and Ling Xiao felt that long sword between his mecha's palms slipping away like a slippery fish, escaping from his tight clasp.
Ling Xiao's heart jolted and he instantly dashed back, once again pulling a distance away from Ling Lan.
He stared curiously at Regretless in Ling Lan's hands and could not help but ask, "This weapon is very unique. What are its attributes?" This particular quality which let it escape was something even Ling Xiao had never seen before
"Its special attributes are high tensile strength and sharpness," replied Ling Lan.
Ling Xiao immediately opened up his mecha's palm, and an extremely faint line could be seen on it. This made even Ling Lan 2 exclaim in awe, for it should be known that the outer shell of an imperial mecha was so strong that even the Federation's strongest beam saber would not be able to leave a mark on it. Who would have expected this Regretless to be able to do so ...
"This weapon is very powerful," lauded Ling Xiao.
"This is the work of one of the seniors in the academy. As long as I keep it well, even when I upgrade to ace mecha, it'll still be useful," Ling Lan was indeed very fond of Regretless; her introduction of it clearly carried a trace of pride.
"Once that senior of yours grows up and reworks this weapon two or three times, perhaps you might be able to use it for even longer," exclaimed Ling Xiao.
"It can still be reworked two or three times?" Ling Lan was overwhelmed with curiosity — she had thought that all weapons were forged to completion in one go.
"Of course. That's why a mature mecha battle clan must have an outstanding mechanic. They can help a battle clan's combat power rise vertically." Of course, once one reached imperial level and above, all this talk was just passing clouds.
"Aren't mecha battle clans all made up of people from the mecha piloting specialization?" Ling Xiao's words confused Ling Lan. She had truly thought that mecha battle clans were organisations built by a group of people who specialized in mecha piloting.
"Of course not ..." Ling Xiao replied, astounded. Could it be that Ling Lan did not know about this? However, after a beat, Ling Xiao figured it out. Generally, it was the father's job to teach about all this, but he had been missing for 16 years, and since coming back, he had been bogged down with various official duties. Thus, he had not had any chances to communicate properly with his daughter, much less even think about teaching her all this.
Of course, if the student's father was not a mecha operator, hence not allowing them to receive such instruction from their father, when they advanced to the second year of school, there would be mecha instructors who would guide students in building their own battle clans or in choosing one to join. At that time, Ling Lan too would have learned about the composition of a battle clan. However, right now, Ling Lan was still a first year, so she had yet to have a chance to learn any of this.
At this thought, Ling Xiao apologised and said, "This is all my fault, not instructing you in these things in time." At the heart of it, it was still his own dereliction of duty as a father.
"In fact, the members of a mecha battle clan are not solely from the mecha piloting specialization. It can encompass many specializations — it all depends on what route your battle clan wants to take. Generally speaking, a battle clan needs three types of mecha warriors — close-range, comprehensive, and long-range — along with logistics and support units, which includes a repairman, a doctor, and a quartermaster, etcetera. Thus, at minimum, a battle clan requires 6 people. However, this type of small battle clan is inadequate to support the logistics component in the clan for long, so now, a developed mecha battle clan needs at least 12 people — 8 mecha warriors and 4 support personnel." Ling Xiao continued to explain, "With 2 warriors for each support personnel, a mecha battle clan will be able to continue running smoothly. Each person in the clan will be able to benefit and grow without any wastage."
Support personnel required warriors to provide for them, otherwise they would not be able to procure any resources to improve their abilities. This was why smaller battle clans were gradually being eliminated. Of course, a battle clan could also abandon logistics and support, but this type of battle clan would definitely be unable to compete with other clans which had better allocation of roles, so their elimination was also inevitable in the long run.固步自封: The original is literally 'limiting oneself to steady steps', referring to how one would only stick to the tried and true, unwilling to bend, experiment, and change. Not a mistake. Author uses Ling Lan here, and it does make sense if you think about it. Ling Lan, as the user, is still taken by surprise despite already knowing the sword's attributes.