Although the other five members of Ling Lan's team were sympathetic towards Li Shiyu, who at present appeared to be extremely tragic and innocent in all this, they were still deeply impressed by their boss's grand feat this time. He had actually managed to tie Li Shiyu to their battle force.
After all, having such an exceptional military doctor like Li Shiyu in their battle clan meant their lives had an additional layer of protection when they entered the battlefield. Ling Lan had undoubtedly given them an extra protective life-saving talisman. At this thought, Qi Long and the other four were filled with even more gratitude and respect for Boss Lan.
As for the two other new members Boss Lan had mentioned, Qi Long and the others did not know much. They only knew that one of them was a mecha mechanic, while the other was a mecha operator who was a primary attacker.
Just when the time was about to hit 1300 1 , Lin Zhong-qing, who had been observing the surroundings all this time, suddenly yelled out in the comms channel, "Stop the chitchat. Boss is coming!"
The busily chatting group instantly fell silent, all of them turning their heads to look for the figure of their boss. Coming in diagonally from the right before them, three mecha were swiftly approaching. Two of the three were intermediate mecha, while the last was an advanced mecha.
"Of the two intermediate mecha, one of them should be Boss's," remarked Lin Zhong-qing. As the one who communicated most often with Boss Lan, he was well aware of the current level of Ling Lan's mecha.
He had barely finished speaking when the three mecha came to a stop before them. The five of them received a private message from Ling Lan almost simultaneously, requesting for them to join her party. When Qi Long received the message, he immediately disbanded their previous party of five. Right afterwards, he received Ling Lan's party invitation.
[No Mecha Unrepaired] saw the standardised names with 'Lingtian' before them — [Lingtian Combat], [Lingtian Abacus], [Lingtian Parcel], [Lingtian Razor] 2 , [Lingtian Substitute] — scrolling rapidly across his screen as they joined [Lingtian First-String]'s battle clan one after the other, and his heart was instantly overcome with emotion.
Not too long ago, he had still been worrying over his future because he did not know whether he would be accepted by any battle clan. The grudge between him and the Thunder King had been major news at one point in Mecha World — skilled battle clans that knew about this past history would very likely be unwilling to accept him in order to avoid offending the Thunder King, who was powerful and influential inside Mecha World.
Meanwhile, if he wanted to graduate from the military academy, he would need to join a battle clan. Otherwise, he would not be able to complete those courses which required one. Just as he was at a loss, [No Mecha Unrepaired] had been surprised by [Lingtian First-String] initiating contact. The other had asked him outright if he would be interested to join the other's clan.
This was undoubtedly a straw to clutch at for [No Mecha Unrepaired]. His first reflex was to agree immediately, but luckily, he was still somewhat rational. After calming down, he began to consider the consequences of joining. He could not bring trouble to someone who had helped him before, even though [Lingtian First-String] was indeed very strong.
Thus, [No Mecha Unrepaired] asked [Lingtian First-String] why the other had invited him to join. He also asked if [Lingtian First-String] knew the consequences of inviting him to join. This would certainly offend the Thunder King's faction and may impact the development of [Lingtian First-String]'s battle clan in the future.
Unexpectedly, [Lingtian First-String] only responded with two words, "So what?"
Even as [No Mecha Unrepaired] was touched by this, he was utterly speechless. He then asked [Lingtian First-String] — could it be that he did not want his battle clan to develop properly? It should be known that with a powerful faction applying pressure on them and seeking trouble at every turn, perhaps even interrupting and obstructing them in all of their missions, the other's battle clan would never be able to develop. The clan would only be able to barely survive under the abuse of the Thunder King's faction ... [No Mecha Unrepaired] believed that this was not something [Lingtian First-String] wanted to see.
To his surprise, [Lingtian First-String] did not answer his question, instead asking him in return whether he dared to fight with him.
[Lingtian First-String] did not say that he was not afraid of the Thunder King, nor any other empty words like they would be fine as long as they distanced themselves from the Thunder King's faction. He simply asked [No Mecha Unrepaired] whether he would fight, proving that the other had long considered the severe repercussions of inviting [No Mecha Unrepaired] into his battle clan. This meant that the other's invitation was not an impulsive act but a decision made after deep contemplation.
Upon hearing this question of [Lingtian First-String]'s, [No Mecha Unrepaired] no longer hesitated, agreeing readily. [No Mecha Unrepaired] still recalled how his tears had fallen uncontrollably at the moment he accepted. Perhaps his heart had already become fatigued from resisting the Thunder King's faction alone for so long. The sudden appearance of a friend who was willing to fight by his side was like a shot of heart tonic to him — he had hope once again. [No Mecha Unrepaired] silently made a vow. If he and [Lingtian First-String] truly managed to overcome this hurdle, he would serve [Lingtian First-String]'s battle clan for the rest of his life. Only comrades who were willing to share their burdens and brave trials together were worthy of a lifetime of dedication.
[No Mecha Unrepaired] was well aware that if no battle clan invited him, he would ultimately only have two paths before him. One was to retain his dignity and drop out of school resentfully in the end, while the other was to bow his proud head, break his proud bones, and give up on his dignity to become a subordinate of the Thunder King ... of these two paths, he did not want either of them, and [Lingtian First-String]'s invitation was undoubtedly a third path of salvation from a desperate situation ... Although the future of this third path was vague and uncertain, [No Mecha Unrepaired] was willing to take the risk and fight.
"[No Mecha Unrepaired] shall be the future mecha mechanic of our battle clan. From now on, if you all have any problems with your mecha, you can look for him directly," Ling Lan pointed at [No Mecha Unrepaired], who was lost in his thoughts, and introduced him to the others.
"Oh, so you're that [No Mecha Unrepaired] who had been pressured so much by the Thunder King that you've been driven to a corner ..." [Lingtian Substitute], who was Xie Yi, was the first to exclaim in realisation.
As the public representative of the team dealing with external relations, Xie Yi had always been collecting all information generated within the military academy. He naturally knew quite a lot about [No Mecha Unrepaired]'s matter, even knowing [No Mecha Unrepaired]'s true name in the real world. However, right now they were only a virtual battle clan in Mecha World, and Xie Yi was unsure whether [No Mecha Unrepaired] was to be a permanent member or a member under temporary contract — so, before Boss Lan explicitly defined the other's status within the clan, Xie Yi would still cautiously call [No Mecha Unrepaired] by his username in Mecha World.
"Ah, you all know about that too ...?" asked [No Mecha Unrepaired] with a wry chuckle. He had not expected his story to have become so widespread.
"Yes. Trapped in the newbie town for close to 3 years, never succeeding in stepping out of the town by even one step ... your story has been widely discussed on the Mecha World official forums. I just happened to see it," replied Xie Yi with a smile.
"Looks like, after almost 3 years, the Thunder King still has no intention of letting me be," said [No Mecha Unrepaired] with a troubled expression, "I'm very grateful for [Lingtian First-String]'s invitation to join your team. However, now that you all know as well that the Thunder King is still unwilling to leave me alone till today, once I join the battle clan, great trouble is sure to follow. If you all disagree on my joining due to this, it's still not too late."
"Why would we disagree? What Boss has decided, we will of course uphold," [Lingtian Razor], a.k.a. 3 Luo Lang, responded instantly.
"[Lingtian First-String] is your boss?" [No Mecha Unrepaired] exclaimed in shock. He would never have guessed that [Lingtian First-String], who operated an intermediate mecha just like him, would actually be the boss of this bunch of advanced mecha warriors. However, [No Mecha Unrepaired]'s surprise quickly faded, because he recalled how astoundingly strong [Lingtian First-String] had been even when he had just been operating a rabbit trainee mecha. Perhaps the other had just not upgraded to a better mecha for some reason. [No Mecha Unrepaired] began to construct endless idealisations around [Lingtian First-String] — no one would be willing to believe that the formidable [Lingtian First-String] was in fact truly just an intermediate mecha warrior in Mecha World ...
"This here is [Priceless Kinship], our future doctor," said Ling Lan tonelessly, pointing at [Priceless Kinship]; this introduction was much less meticulous and serious than when she had introduced [No Mecha Unrepaired].
[No Mecha Unrepaired] took a peek at [Priceless Kinship], who was as silent as ever despite hearing [Lingtian First-String]'s simple introduction. Even though he had rushed here together with the other, [Lingtian First-String] had not introduced them to each other prior to this. The whole way here, [Priceless Kinship] had not made a peep — he seemed rather cold and hard to get along with. [No Mecha Unrepaired] wondered silently whether the other was like him, only having been invited by [Lingtian First-String] to join the battle clan recently. This was because the other's name was like his, not beginning with 'Lingtian'.
In contrast to the enthusiasm with which they had welcomed [No Mecha Unrepaired], after hearing [Lingtian First-String]'s introduction, the five other people there abruptly fell silent. After that, several muttered welcomes rang out within the comms channel, sounding somewhat perfunctory, or perhaps dispirited and uncertain. And the final rather awkward welcome came from [Lingtian Combat].
"Brother Kinship 4 , this junior's body is in your care now. But please don't let any other accidents occur ..." Closely following that welcome was a short speech by [Lingtian Combat]. There was a trace of forced cheer in his tone and also a trace of lingering fear — this made [No Mecha Unrepaired] glance curiously at [Priceless Kinship]. Could it be that there was some deeper secret behind his joining?
Hearing [Lingtian Combat]'s words, the initially rather cold and detached [Priceless Kinship] instantly responded seriously, "I will not make the same mistake twice. Please do not worry." Towards the one he had wronged, Li Shiyu could no longer maintain his aloofness even though he was not particularly pleased with the clan leader Ling Lan.
At this moment, [Lingtian Abacus], a.k.a. Han Jijyun, seemed to sense the awkward atmosphere, and so quickly changed the topic to ask, "Boss, didn't you say there were three new recruits? Where's the last one?"
Ling Lan replied, "I've already notified him to come over."
She had barely finished speaking when an advanced mecha could be seen flying here at high speed. It came to an abrupt stop before them without even slipping into a slide step from the inertia. This move completely proved just how skilful the other's control was, causing the eyes of Qi Long, Luo Lang, and the others to light up. They could tell at a glance that the other's control was definitely first-class — Qi Long, in particular, found competitive spirit flaring up in his heart. He really wished he could fight one match with the other immediately to see who was stronger.
Everyone in the party quickly saw a notification appear on their own mecha's screens: [Self-Defined Destiny] has joined team Lingtian.
"[Self-Defined Destiny], another member of our battle clan. A mecha operator, he is a combat member," Ling Lan introduced. Everyone greeted [Self-Defined Destiny] warmly. Only Han Jijyun subtly quirked a brow even as he greeted the other, because he had sensed something different in the way his boss had introduced [Self-Defined Destiny]. Even though his boss's tone had been as dispassionate as usual, Han Jijyun had still picked up a subtle difference — this made Han Jijyun begin to take careful note of [Self-Defined Destiny].
[Self-Defined Destiny] saw five others who had the same start to their names as [Lingtian First-String] and knew that these five people must be the most stable and permanent members of the Lingtian Battle Clan. He quickly greeted them warmly in return, though he was equally earnest in greeting [No Mecha Unrepaired] and [Priceless Kinship]. Since he truly wanted to integrate himself into the Lingtian Battle Clan, then he needed to establish a good relationship with every member. On this front, Li Lanfeng did not dare to slack off.This is military time for 1 p.m. From now on, I'll be using 'razor' here instead of 'sharp blade'. It just occurred to me as a better word. Retroactive edits have been made. a.k.a. stands for 'also known as'. T/C: Haha, it's so cute how Qi Long is cutting Li Shiyu's username short to make this nickname. I wonder if he calls the others 'Razor' or 'Parcel'.