After several long seconds of wait, the superintendent’s calm voice was transmitted through the communication device, "Your recommendations have been approved! As for the reward for your recommendations, you’ll receive them after you rejoin the troops." With that said, the connection was severed without waiting for the examiner’s reply.
Although the examiner had been mercilessly hung up on, he wasn't at all unsatisfied. The tight expression on his face loosened, and the hints of a smile could be seen.
He rubbed off the sweat marks on his forehead and breathed a silent sigh — thankful that he had managed to survive his demonic team leader and, of course, pleased at his own penetrating insight.
He had initially thought that this assignment at the scout academy was just a forced break for soldiers like him, something to spice up their routine while providing them with some extra pocket money … he hadn’t expected that he would be so lucky as to find such promising young talent, earning him additional recommendation rewards which would actually influence his career progression …
However, he was a little puzzled. Why did even his own demonic team leader get assigned to monitor this test? What the hell was going on here?
The examiner for room 072 was part of the Federation’s Special Mecha Forces, a member of the Bladed Special Ops Team, Number 413. This time around, his team had just returned from the battlefield, but before they could settle down and rest they had received military orders to go to the Central Scout Academy to oversee this year’s enrolment tests (the final two events).
He still remembered that back then, all the team members had been dumbfounded … After all, they were all considered bloodthirsty killers on the battlefield — and now, just like that, they were expected to switch from being butchers to being nannies to coddle a bunch of kids?
Of course, as the commander of the Mecha Special Forces, their Demonic Leader — that is, the superintendent (this was just the rank they used in public, the true rank was only known within the military workings) that had been on the other end of his communication device earlier — had protested this assignment, but had been summarily ignored. Resigned, their commander could only send out the Special Ops team to become examiners. Still, he hadn't expected the commander himself to be physically present as well …
The superintendent, who was also the commander of the Special Forces, shut down his communication device and then said to his subordinate invigilation officer, "Number 137, you’ll be responsible for this. Arrange it so that the four of them enter the special classes, and their results must be average there."
Number 137 blinked, confused. "Huh?"
The superintendent swept an icy gaze at him, but though Number 137 did not make any further noise, his face was full of curiosity as if he really wanted to know what was going on.
The superintendent rubbed his forehead wearily — why were all his subordinates such curious people? 413 was one, and 137 was another.
"The tree that grows above the tree-line … if their results are too good, it’ll do more harm than good," explained the superintendent simply. 137 was a hacker — if he didn’t give him an acceptable answer, he’d go looking for one himself and may cause all sorts of trouble that way.
137’s curiosity was appeased after receiving an answer, so he grinned and said, "Roger that, Sir. Leave everything to me."
Oh, so now he’s satisfied he’ll call me Sir? The superintendent rolled his eyes and threw a pointed glare at the offbeat 137 before walking away from him to continue supervising his other subordinates as they worked.
Alright, so just within this short period of time when he had stopped to chat with 137, there were already several officers who had begun yawning in the invigilation room, and some had even slumped forwards and fallen asleep …
Hehe! Did they really think this commander of theirs was a lowly superintendent? Actually daring to act so slovenly in front of him … the commander of the Special Forces smiled sinisterly. He wouldn't allow his soldiers to be so unfocused and to lower their guard so casually, even though there was no real danger in this small Central Scout Academy.
"Attention!" he hollered. The entire invigilation room was immediately thrown into disarray, and the sound of howls and wails could be heard. The Demonic Leader would discipline his soldiers, and he wouldn't show mercy regardless of location.
Meanwhile, on Ling Lan’s end, she finally reunited with her mother Lan Luofeng under Chamberlain Ling Qin’s lead. Lan Luofeng anxiously asked, "Baby, did it go well?" If she hadn’t been worried that Ling Lan’s gender would be exposed at school, Lan Luofeng would actually care not one whit how her daughter did in the exams. She had never intended for Ling Lan to be a great soldier to begin with.
Ling Lan smugly replied, "Of course. Who do you think I am?" The self-confidence writ all over her face lay Lan Luofeng’s worries to rest, and she too smiled along with Ling Lan.
For the sake of her mother’s happiness, Ling Lan was used to acting cute and playing the child. However, her efforts weren't in vain — Lan Luofeng, who had originally been overwhelmed with sadness at her father’s passing, had slowly shifted her focus onto Ling Lan and had slowly regained her spirits; hope had rekindled in her eyes as the sadness became muted.
The final results would only be announced half an hour after all the tests ended. Ling Lan didn't know how much longer the other children would take to complete the exam, so waiting here was obviously not a good idea. As such, she suggested to Lan Luofeng that they go home to wait for the results. After all, the final results would be posted on the Central Scout Academy’s website, available for public perusal.
Lan Luofeng thought about it and agreed, and so brought Ling Lan home.
As the sky slowly darkened into night, the final student finally completed the exam at the Central Scout Academy. All the invigilators, who were responsible for keying in the marks, entered the scores they had collected into the Central Scout Academy’s main system. The system would then calculate and tally up the marks before arranging them in descending order to produce a name list.
Number 137 was excitedly flexing his fingers at this moment, warming them up for his upcoming performance. Being one of the top 10 hackers in the virtual world, he must definitely accomplish the mission his commander had assigned him flawlessly.
In Ling Lan’s home, Lan Luofeng was seated before a large screen, patiently refreshing the Central Scout Academy’s website again and again, waiting for the announcement of the final results.
Meanwhile, Ling Lan was lying down on the couch, talking with Little Four in her mind.
"Little Four, can you go online from this position?" Ling Lan asked worriedly. She knew that Little Four could access the internet wirelessly within a certain radius.
Little Four looked like he had everything under control. "No problem, even a little further is fine."
"Little Four, I only want you to enter the Central Scout Academy system to ensure that I can enter the special classes — don’t go and do anything else," reminded Ling Lan.
Although Ling Lan was confident, she had still decided to let Little Four keep a lookout for her results, just in case. It wouldn’t do for someone else to mess around with the results after all. It had to be said that Ling Lan was very cautious.
137 managed to infiltrate the Central Scout Academy’s main system successfully, however, his entry didn't go unnoticed by the watchful Little Four. "Eh? Someone really did show up … he’s gonna die." Little Four was incensed. This sort of action was like waving a red flag at a bull. Remember, he was like a god on the web — who was it that dared to challenge his authority?!
Ling Lan sensed Little Four’s anger and hurriedly asked, "What’s happening, Little Four?"
Little Four pouted as he huffed, "Someone has infiltrated the system. It looks like he wants to change your scores. Let me get rid of him now …" Little Four looked like he already had his knife sharpened and ready to slaughter the poor invader.
"Wait, no hurry. Let’s see what he wants to do first. Also, can you track his location?" Ling Lan was very calm. Stopping the other prematurely wasn't going to solve the problem and would just alarm the opponent. It would be wiser to just observe for now, and try to figure out the other’s background. Ling Lan liked to know all the facts before acting — but if the opponent really seemed to harbour evil intentions, of course she wouldn't choose to be merciful.