The originally overcast sky cleared up in an instant as Ling Lan saw the surroundings blur around her. Once she could see clearly again, she found that she was now standing on a sandy plot of land while the original racetrack was nowhere in sight.
This sudden change shocked all the children, who could only stand there gaping in surprise.
Where they stood now was no longer the outdoor field they had been seeing; it was actually a 700-800 square-metre enclosed room. There was nothing in the room except a wide expanse of space covered in sand and dirt. Due to the simulation of rain in their test and their running all over the room, the ground was now a disgusting muddy mess.
Meanwhile, the roof above had numerous sprinklers equipped, packed tightly across the ceiling and spread out to every corner — they were most likely the source of ‘rain’ during the test.
In contrast to the children’s shock and surprise, Ling Lan and Han Jijyun merely shared a knowing glance and smiled. The changes to their environment proved that their hypothesis had been correct. They truly had been led unknowingly into a virtual environment training room.
The examiner didn't lead the children back through the door he had come from; instead, he brought them to the door they had entered from at the beginning. Opening it, he signalled for them to leave.
The moment Ling Lan stepped out of the door, she saw that familiar field where the children had sat down at the beginning, where they had first been gathered before being split up into groups.
Ling Lan understood now. She looked back to see the examiner standing on an empty racetrack, nodding at them in farewell. At this moment, his expression was no longer strict and foreboding, but instead contained some trace of humour. Finally, he turned to leave, walking further and further away until he disappeared at the end of the racetrack.
Apparently, the virtual environment mode of these rooms had already been activated while they were outside. When the staff members had brought the different groups of children one by one to the track to prepare for their test, they were actually bringing them into separate rooms.
When the ten children appeared without warning out of the virtual racetrack, the surrounding staff members on the outside couldn’t help but reveal shocked expressions. After all, it had only been less than 3 hours since the tests began, which was an hour earlier than the typical end time for this test — could it be that these children had all failed and were prematurely ejected from the testing room?
Just as they were wondering what to do, they noticed the digital number plates by the students' sides. All of them were lit up with the soft green light which indicated the successful completion of the test. The staff members excitedly smiled — didn’t this mean that all these kids were amazing talents?
Fine, fine, so even the best Central Scout Academy had an insatiable thirst for promising talent.
The staff members helpfully led them out of the testing site. When Ling Lan walked out of the main gates, the first thing she saw was Ling Qin’s anxious face and she immediately felt warmth bloom in her heart.
Yep, being with family was still the best! Only now did Ling Lan feel the aches and pains all over her body — although she had already held back her strength in the previous fight, the excessive exercise had still damaged her muscles, which were now making their protests known.
The parents and guardians of the other children were also there waiting. Seeing their children appear, they all gathered around, asking about the test. The outcome of this test would determine the future of the children as well as influence the future of their respective families.
Learning that they had all passed, the guardians were very happy. Meanwhile, the children themselves had also established a deep bond by going through the test together — they all promised to reunite on the first day of school before reluctantly saying their goodbyes.
Ling Lan said goodbye individually to each of the nine children, her manner polite and reserved, no hint of impropriety in her actions. This greatly pleased Chamberlain Ling Qin who took pride in the fact that his young master was such a gentleman, as expected of Major General Ling Xiao’s child.
Feeling that she had done everything as necessary, Ling Lan turned to leave with Ling Qin. But she had only taken two steps when she felt Ling Qin suddenly stiffen beside her before relaxing again. At the same time, there was a violent sound of rushing air behind her — an ambush?!
Ling Lan didn't sense any evil intent, however, so she simply moved one step to the left to evade this fierce tackle.
With a loud "Whump!" her attacker was splayed on the ground, face down in a spread eagle position right before Ling Lan’s feet.
Seeing this very familiar figure, Ling Lan’s eye twitched. She shouted, "Qi Long! What do you think you’re doing?!"
Qi Long was now covered in dirt. He quickly climbed up, face calm as he brushed off the dirt from his clothes before saying, "I have come to say goodbye."
Hearing this, Ling Lan face-palmed internally. "Just now, didn’t I already say goodbye to you?" Dammit, when did this brat learn how to talk nonsense? Was he just being contrary?
Despite having his lie exposed by Ling Lan, Qi Long wasn't at all embarrassed. With no trace of shame on his face, he continued, "That was just a group activity. Right now, this is my personal goodbye."
Qi Long lifted his head to smile winningly at her. "Hehe, Ling Lan, aren’t you touched?"
"Touched? Not at all. Shocked? Maybe a little," said Ling Lan drily, face expressionless. Qi Long was the type that would take a mile if you gave an inch — she couldn't afford to show him any favour whatsoever or else the situation would spiral out of her control.
Qi Long chose to ignore Ling Lan’s jab, instead looking intently at Ling Lan, as if trying to confirm something. His gaze was sharp and penetrating, causing Ling Lan to shift uncomfortably, but before Ling Lan could say anything, Qi Long had said, "Ling Lan, you really are stronger than me. I submit to your strength. From now on, you’re my boss."
Ling Lan blinked. Boss? What the hell? Had she heard wrongly, or had Qi Long gone mad? Also, did she look like she wanted underlings? Why would Qi Long bring this up?
Furthermore, why didn’t anyone notify her of this? Was this decided privately just like that? Ling Lan’s face was stuck in a deep frown as she thought all this to herself helplessly. Honestly, Ling Lan had never considered becoming a boss — bosses were always at the head of the pack, the primary target, the one who would get shot first. Becoming a boss would go against the resolution she had set from the start — to live a humble, low-profile, and safe life.
The moment Qi Long finished speaking, he waved goodbye and fled, leaving a trail of dust in his wake. Ling Lan never had the chance to say anything. However, for Qi Long, Ling Lan’s opinion was irrelevant. Qi Long was a single-minded creature — as long as he himself had acknowledged it, even if Ling Lan was in denial, he was dead-set on Ling Lan being his boss.
And thus, Ling Lan became Qi Long’s boss.
Qi Long grimaced as she watched the gradually disappearing figure of Qi Long. She was a little annoyed at herself for being too slow to react. Back then, she should have firmly grabbed hold of Qi Long and communicated with him properly … of course, this method of communication did not exclude the use of violence to get her point across.
Han Jijyun ambled over with a slight smile on his face, clearly rejoicing in her misery.
Ling Lan complained to him, "Couldn’t you have kept a better watch on that bro of yours?"
"Bro?" Han Jijyun was startled by the term, not understanding what Ling Lan meant.
Ling Lan smirked evilly. "Your bromance partner!"
Han Jijyun was clearly taken aback for a moment as he digested this new term. And then, as if coming to a realisation, his jade-white little face turned red. Looks like his skin was still a little too thin to take this sort of joke.
Ling Lan was surprised by Han Jijyun’s blush — who knew that the mature-looking Han Jijyun would react in such a childish manner? "Wow, you’re embarrassed just like that?"
Oh, Ling Lan, no matter how intelligent Han Jijyun was, he was still just an innocent six years old child — of course his skin couldn’t be as thick as yours which had been collected over the course of two lives, a total of 30 odd years.
Out of intense embarrassment, Han Jijyun snapped back, "You’re already going to be a boss, can’t you be a bit more serious?"
Ling Lan was hit where it hurt. Internally weeping, she looked at the sky. "I heard nothing."
Dear God, she only wanted to live a peaceful life — she didn’t have any grand ambitions; she only wanted any children who wanted to rely on her to stay far, far away, and to not disturb her. Amen!
But Han Jijyun’s next words caused Ling Lan’s fervent hopes to be dashed into pieces. "He’s already called you boss, are you planning to reject him? Also, you should also take care of me in the future … Boss. Ling. Lan."
Hells. Looks like even Han Jijyun was claiming her as his boss.