On the screen, that troop of four crimson mechas had immediately gotten into battle stances, but they did not make the first move. Instead, one of the mechas tried to initiate communications via shouting. Unfortunately, Ling Lan couldn’t hear anything from this distance — it made her have the sudden urge to rush into the learning space and redeem some mental strength cultivation skills so that she could raise her mental strength enough for Little Four to hack into their communication systems.
Right at that moment, the frozen tableau of the three groups suddenly turned as one to face a particular direction. It turned out that the two mechas which had been evading Little Four’s projectiles had inadvertently stumbled into the detection range of the three groups.
The evading mecha B abruptly received an emergency warning from his mecha’s systems. "Warning, enemy detected. Warning, enemy detected."
Only then did mecha B notice that several red dots had appeared on his radar, and when he drew closer, fifteen mechas from three different forces were displayed on his screen. By now, their weapons had already been levelled against him, but weren’t locked on just yet.
"F*ck this, why are there so many mechas here? Wasn’t it agreed that there would be no one else here?" Mecha B’s entire chest felt cold, and his back was drenched with cold sweat … could it be that this so-called mission was actually a trap?
Mecha A had also noticed these mechas, and his face paled dramatically. He seemed to have the same suspicions. "Head, let’s just run."
Mecha B grit his teeth; he glanced at the many mechas before him on his screen, and then glanced at the two homing projectiles close behind them. Relying on his battle experience, he made a snap judgement. "Follow me closely. We’ll just charge through." In this hopeless situation where they were facing a pincer attack, there was no room for them to retreat — only by charging forward might they have some hope of surviving.
The two mechas did not stop, accelerating instead as they rushed towards those mecha. Of course, as they moved, mecha B did not forget to open general communications to say, "Mecha squad 37 of the Seventh Division in the Third Army, please help us to eliminate the homing projectiles behind us …"
Mecha B knew that this lie would be easily seen through, but his objective was not really to fool them — he only needed them to hesitate and not open fire, so that he and his partner would have the one minute they needed to escape from their attack radius and leave for safety. If they were a little luckier, they may even be able to borrow the opponents’ strength to get rid of the two projectiles sticking to them like gum.
Sure enough, when the opponent heard the words coming through the general comms channel, one of the squads lowered their particle-beam guns, while another squad lifted their weapons to train them on the air behind him and his partner. Only the four crimson mechas were still wary of them, facing them unwaveringly.
Meanwhile, on Ling Lan’s end, as she couldn’t hack into the groups’ communications, she could only watch in confusion as the two enemy mecha flew like moths to a flame towards the fifteen rescue mechas. She then saw the six mechas representing the military open fire first, however, they didn’t do it to kill those two mechas, but helped them instead to destroy the two homing projectiles tracking them.
Ling Lan’s brow furrowed, and her expression turned grim. Could it be that this assassination attempt on her was sanctioned by the military? Was it because she had proved to be too outstanding by absorbing too much gene stimulating agent, drawing the concern of the higher ranks of the military?
No! Ling Lan immediately threw out that possibility. These past few years, although Ling Lan had been forbidden from going onto the internet due to her being underage, she was still aware of the information available on the net. Little Four had given her a detailed overview of her new world, letting her know that this present world she was in was a militant world. From birth, every person was prepped to become qualified military personnel, and among all the military positions, mecha operators were considered the cream of the crop …
The requirements to become a basic level operator were still rather common, but the requirements to be an advanced operator were just too demanding. Especially with regards to physical fitness — that requirement could almost be called insane. Thus, the Federation greatly prized all children who had the possibility to become advanced operators, and all military branches and divisions were responsible to monitor and protect these children. They would never go after her for this reason.
Excluding this possibility, then, as such a young child, who could she have offended? The Ling family members who had been chased out of Doha? They did not have the guts to do this – if investigations found their hand behind this, the military would make sure that the Ling family would be utterly eradicated from within the Federation – the Ling family could not take the risk.
So, excluding herself, and also excluding the family, Ling Lan abruptly thought of the premium military benefits she had inherited. Before he died, her father Ling Xiao had been the youngest Major General in the Federation — could it have something to do with her father?
Ling Lan felt that this was a likely possibility — perhaps when her father had still been serving in the military, he had inadvertently offended some people …
Only now did Ling Lan notice that she really didn’t know much about her father Ling Xiao. She felt a little regretful — all these years, why hadn’t she thought of asking Chamberlain Ling Qin and her other guardians about her father?
Of course, Ling Lan knew that her father was the Federation’s … uh, no, the whole universe’s coolest, handsomest, most young and impressive, most outstanding, most formidable yet gentle, and flawless gentleman. (All the above was directly quoted from her mum Lan Luofeng, which led Ling Lan to conclude that a woman deeply in love was extremely blind. She would never say that out loud, of course, just letting this opinion stew within her, or else she would certainly be whisked away by her mum for a thorough spanking.)
Pity the present Ling Lan, who only knew her father had been one of the youngest Major General’s in the Federation, and that he had died in a chaotic death tunnel during the war with the Ferrand Empire. As for anything else regarding Ling Xiao, she knew nothing … um, well, that’s not quite true — she also had the extremely embarrassing and overblown description her mum Lan Luofeng had insisted on telling her.
Ling Lan decided that when she returned safely this time, she would go find out more about her father and get to the bottom of things. She didn’t want to have to be on her guard every day against hidden enemies — she liked having all the information within her hands so that she could chop off any trouble at its root.
Although all these thoughts went swirling through Ling Lan’s mind, it was actually a matter of a split second. Meanwhile, when the two enemy mechas had gotten close enough to the fifteen mechas, the four crimson mechas that had been still and silent till now suddenly sprang into action, doing something that stunned all the other operators.
The four mechas had waited till the two enemy mechas were close to them before firmly pulling on their triggers. Countless high-temperature beams shot out from their guns, two mechas in a group, as they fired at the cockpits of the two enemy mechas.
The cockpits could not handle the high temperatures of the particle beams and finally exploded, blowing up the mechas along with them, all of it raining down to the ground in a fall of debris.
At that point, the military squad finally shook themselves out of their shock, and immediately raised their weapons agitatedly, aiming at the four crimson mechas. The situation was tense, and battle looked imminent.
The mecha squad from the Ling family was cunning — knowing that this was not a matter which concerned them, they quietly snuck away as the other two groups faced off against one another. Right now, their top priority was to locate their Young Master Lan; everything else was none of their business.
They soon found the right direction and sped off towards Ling Lan’s location. At their current speed, it probably wouldn’t even take one minute for them to arrive.
Little Four cast a longing glance at those four extremely powerful crimson mechas, and then looked back at the hover car he was controlling with disdain. He had completely forgotten how excited he was when he had first obtained the hover car, and how grateful he was when he had discovered the plasma cannons it was equipped with … As expected, comparisons should be avoided — the moment one learns how to differentiate between good and bad in terms of quality, then pickiness and disgust are sure to follow. This was a bad habit that no sentient being could avoid.
Thirty-five seconds later, two particle beams shot out towards Ling Qin at almost the same time, striking the final two opponents he had been struggling with. The two men, which included the team captain, died on the spot.
Ling Qin exhaled deeply, slowly pulling back his attack stance to stand straight once more. With a smile on his face, he looked up at the sky and watched as five mechas appeared before him. The loyalists protecting Ling Lan were finally here; he could finally relax.
As the tension eased from his stance, Ling Qin could feel the aches and pains in his body making themselves known. He knew that this was the result of drawing on his latent reserves, but it was fine — the Ling family had a medicinal bath to repair this sort of damage. As long as he could rest for a couple of days, his body would recover. Of course, for Ling Qin, as long as Ling Lan was safe, even if his body was destroyed in the process, he would regret nothing.
The five mechas slowly descended in front of Ling Qin, until they all landed soundly. Then, three of the mechas continued to maintain a vigilant lookout, while the cockpits of the other two mechas opened up. The operators in those two mechas stood on a halyard and were lowered slowly to the ground. They were both dressed in a blue and white standard mecha operator uniform, with the Ling family fire phoenix logo emblazoned on their chests, flickering in an almost lifelike manner under the sunlight as if it were about to take flight.
The moment they landed, the two men hurried over to Ling Qin’s side and removed their helmets. The one in the lead had a remorseful expression on his face as he said, "Elder Qin, sorry, our rescue was late." He was a hulking man, with a strong body and a strong face, with an honest and sincere expression. He was roughly thirty-four to thirty-five years old, and was very mature and reliable.
Ling Qin was very dissatisfied with the slow response time of the Ling family mecha rescue team. In this period of time, if they hadn’t been so lucky that the opponent’s hover car hadn’t fired its cannons … although it still fired them in the end, the projectiles had seemed uncontrolled, flying wildly in some random direction, otherwise he would have been dead a thousand times over. And once he died, would Ling Lan – this six year old child – have had time to escape?
Furiously, he said, "Ling Hua, what really happened? Why didn’t you keep up with us?" The Ling family mecha squad was supposed to trail Ling Lan at all times, not allowing her out of their monitoring range. The Ling family had straightforward demands of the loyalists protecting the master — in cases of danger, they had to be on the scene within 10 seconds, unless it happened in a location where military force was forbidden, such as at the scout academies. But this time, the Ling family mecha squad had been delayed for a whole 5 minutes and more — this was something Ling Qin could not tolerate.
Ling Hua did not argue, only saying with remorse, "Sorry, Elder Qin, it’s our fault."
Right then, the young man following Ling Hua spoke up, explaining, "Elder Qin, we fell for the opponent’s stratagem to lure us away — by the time we figured it out and rushed back, we had lost track of both you and Young Master Lan."
"Ling Yu!" raged Ling Hua, as if unwilling to let Ling Yu explain. Perhaps he had decided that a mistake was a mistake, and that there was no excusing it.