Qi Long was not one to back down from a fight. Hearing what Li Yingjie said, he rolled his eyes and replied, "Too much? So what if I'm too much? You've something to say about it?" Sometimes Qi Long was outright shameless because he didn't need to think about the consequences. He believed that his good friend Han Jijyun would definitely come to his rescue, and now he also had Boss at his back, causing him to become even more impudent.
Of course, at his back, his 'solid shields' Ling Lan and Han Jijyun weren't as lighthearted. They shared a commiserating look, wry smiles on their faces. Han Jijyun, in particular, was rather troubled. He found that Qi Long was becoming more and more reckless, which wasn't a good thing. He decided that he would need to sit Qi Long down and give him a good brainwashing soon when no one else was around.
Qi Long's words finally set off Lackey #1 who was standing behind Li Yingjie. He jumped out raging, "Punk, do you know who he is?"
"The third grandson of the Li family head." Qi Long picked at his ear, indicating that he wasn't deaf and that he had heard everything clearly the first time.
"He's also the number one ranking student in this year's special class — the most promising scout student in the Federation this year." The pride on Lackey #1's face made it seem as if the number one rank belonged to himself.
Li Yingjie's face was also full of smugness. He was very proud of the fact that he had managed to stand out among the masses with his skills, obtaining the coveted position of first place.
First place? Qi Long cast a searching look at Li Yingjie. The smug fellow didn't feel that strong — the presence seeping from his body wasn't even a match for his own, not to mention against his Boss's. Qi Long had already had a taste of his Boss Lan's indistinct yet menacing trace of malevolent aura, and knew that it was not to be taken lightly.
Qi Long's natural gift was his strong intuition — in Han Jijyun's words, animal instinct. He didn't have to think much, being able to accurately gauge an opponent's strength just via pure intuition.
Sensing that the first place of this year's Special Class-A was not even a match for himself, Qi Long's mood took a dark turn, and his attitude became even meaner. With clear disdain, he said, "So what?"
This answer was obviously not according to script, sending the opponent into an immediate apoplectic rage. The others also burst out laughing — Qi Long was absolutely the type that could cause someone to keel over dead out of sheer anger, and the most frightening thing was that he himself wouldn't even be aware why the other died.
"You —— wait till our Boss comes after you!" Lackey #2 was also moved to help.
"Is that so? Then I'll be waiting," said Qi Long shortly, still looking at Li Yingjie with contempt.
Qi Long's impudence was because he had the utmost confidence in himself, and he also believed that no one could best him aside from his own boss. Furthermore, even if he did sh*t the bed, there was still Boss to pick up after him. He had faith that Boss Lan would not just stand by while his own followers were being bullied ... in any case, Qi Long was already shamelessly counting on Ling Lan.
Qi Long's words caused Li Yingjie's cheeks to puff up like a toad's in anger. However, he still had the mind to maintain the poise of a member of an elite family, and chose not to start a fight right then and there. In the end, he only glared darkly at Qi Long, and left with these words, "Just you wait."
The waters of the scout academy were truly deep! Li Yingjie still remembered the cautionary words of his father — before he fully figured out how things stood in the scout academy, he should not move recklessly. His father had also mentioned that the main principle in the school was 'survival of the fittest' — it was almost impossible to dominate within the school by relying on one's family background or wealth unless you managed to buy the loyalty of some of the more formidable students to be part of your guard. Otherwise, he could only suck it up even if he were bullied by the commoner children within the school. His family would not intervene, so he could only rely on himself to resolve any problems.
He had reservations because of his father's words, so he decided that he would hold off for now. After he had gained a better understanding of the school and had built up his own power base, then there would be plenty of opportunities for him to discipline that impudent fellow and teach him what's what. Li Yingjie was very confident. With his own abilities and his family background, there was no reason he would lose to anyone in the academy.
Since the master had left, the lackeys were sure to follow, but the fierce glares they left behind was a clear sign that the matter wasn't over. Nevertheless, this was now a matter for the future. Li Jinghong released a heavy breath. Finally, he was rid of that annoyance.
"Why do you hate him so much? I heard he was a strong contender to be the next family head." Han Jijyun was curious; the struggles within the Li family had always been intense. Every generation, the crowning of the family head was always the result of a descendant of the main family stepping up to bend all the other contenders to his will by force — the so-called hierarchy of inheritance was just an empty promise. According to the survival principles of the elite families, Li Jinghong, a branch family member, should be doing his best to kiss up to Li Yingjie.
Li Jinghong's expression dimmed, and he said, "I really don't like him. No matter how talented he is, I still won't like him. You all don't know ... but our eldest cousin brother is really really nice. All of us children in the branch families really like him, but unfortunately ..." Abruptly, Li Jinghong's expression hardened with determination. "Regardless of the result, I will never stand on the opposite side of my eldest cousin brother."
"This way, won't you offend Li Yingjie?" Han Jijyun shook his head. Li Jinghong's way of thinking was really unsuitable for survival in a large elite family like the Li family. The consequence of being led by one's emotions was often becoming mere cannon fodder in the crossfire. If Li Yingjie really ended up becoming the family head, Li Jinghong's actions now would guarantee that he would have no place within the Li family in the future.
"It's fine. Who knows if a child more talented than him would appear in the future?" Li Jinghong did not believe that it would be so easy for Li Yingjie to just claim the position of family head. In this generation, due to his eldest cousin brother's mediocrity, all the children of the main family were champing at the bit — hidden manoeuvers abounded as they all fought with their sights set on the position of family head.
"Not to mention, even if Li Yingjie really got lucky and managed to inherit, I am not afraid. I'm prepared to become a professional soldier, so the Li family can't touch me in the future." Li Jinghong laid out his plans, stating why he wasn't afraid of offending Li Yingjie now.
He didn't want to see his favourite elder cousin brother forced to lose the position of family head and being put into captivity for the rest of his life. So, he decided to leave the messy quagmire of the Li family as early as possible. What he couldn't see couldn't hurt him.
This was the reality of a large elite family — the complex environment full of cruelty and bloodshed forced the children within it to grow up so quickly.
"Welcome then." Han Jijyun really liked Li Jinghong's personality. Planning out his future so early, and pursuing it with determination, ignoring all the miscellaneous distractions along the way — this type of person would succeed easily. Han Jijyun liked making friends with people like this because they wouldn't give him any trouble.
Yup, one troublemaking Qi Long was more than enough, thank you. Han Jijyun refused to accept a second one.
The ten people of group 072 did not get hung up on the matter for long and continued to feast and be merry. At this moment, Ling Lan was still unaware that her future would be full of entanglements with the Li family ...
In the afternoon, they toured the entire campus grounds of the scout academy. Halfway through, when they passed by a combat hall, Qi Long had dragged Ling Lan in for a fight. Naturally, Ling Lan pummelled Qi Long soundly. However, despite his swollen eyes and bruised nose, Qi Long continued to keep a silly grin on his face. Seeing his full mouth of white teeth on display, one could just tell he was really very simple and was a masochist to boot.
After eating lunch, Ling Lan had already arranged the time for her pick up with her family. When it was about time, she bid farewell to these companions of group 072. Perhaps it was just the way of this world that the children were so mature and intelligent, in such a way that Ling Lan did not feel at all annoyed or bored when interacting with them. Of course, she was also exceptionally patient, because these adorable children with varying personalities had triggered her maternal instincts to the max ...
With reluctance, the children accompanied Ling Lan to the school gates. Especially Qi Long, who strongly requested Ling Lan to convince her parents to let her stay with them at school. According to him, being able to fight with Boss Lan every day — it was awesome just thinking about it!
Learning of Qi Long's plans, Ling Lan, who had originally started considering staying at the school after all, decisively dismissed the idea completely. Dammit. She definitely had no interest to cross moves with Qi Long every day. This fellow fought like a maniac, and was as stubborn as a cockroach — although she was confident in defeating him, she couldn't be certain how long it would take, so it was overall a troublesome labour which exhausted both her mind and body.
The school gates were shut tight. All was silent, and there was no one around. When the guard at the gates saw Ling Lan's group coming out, he immediately rushed forward to stop them. Ling Lan's group was still dressed in their own clothes, so the guard couldn't tell which class they were from. As today was registration day, the school did not restrict the children's dressing. But from tomorrow onwards, the students of the Central Scout Academy would have to put on their individual uniforms, otherwise they would find it very difficult to get around the scout academy.
With regards to the scout academy uniforms, there were a total of four colours. These colours were not for distinguishing between the lower grades and the upper grades, but were meant to distinguish between the classes. This taught the children to recognise what rank and privilege were from the very beginning, and about what 'survival of the fittest' meant.
The school uniforms resembled the Federation military uniforms and looked very smart when worn. The colour of the Special Class-A uniforms was a vibrant red, and the edges of its sleeves and collar were also different from the other classes. They were decorated with gold patterns, an understated nod to luxury. The uniform represented the school's hopes for these children — may they blaze as brightly as the red of their coats, and finally become one of the dazzling battle stars of the Federation.
According to school rules, when facing a child wearing the red uniform of Special Class-A, children wearing uniforms of any other colour, regardless of their grade level, would have to give way. Of course, if someone from Special Class-A insulted a child wearing a uniform in any other colour, the child had the right to challenge the other to combat during the large-scale ranking every six months. All consequences to be borne by the involved parties, of course.
Meanwhile, Special Class-B had white uniforms. Special Class-B consisted of children who were just a shade weaker than the Special Class-A kids. In the future, it was possible that they could achieve the heights of the Special Class-A kids, but they could also end up becoming a mediocre member of the military. Therefore, the white of their uniform was a message, telling them that their future was up to them to colour in — what colour it became in the end was all up to their own individual efforts.
Then, the uniforms of the merit classes were blue, while the regular classes' were green. Both these colours symbolized sources of life — the school wanted to tell the children through these colours that they were an indispensable part of the Federation.
Of course, the colour of one's school uniform was not set in stone. As long as you worked hard, there was a chance to move up every six months. The school would be impartial in rearranging the classes based on the newest rankings.
The 50 slots of Special Class-A were the prize being fought over by over tens of thousands of students, while the original special class kids would have to give it their all to keep their spots.
From the very first day of school, the Central Scout Academy had already started teaching the children that this was an unbelievably intense world of competition.