Against a wolf pack, showing any weakness was not going to work. A wolf pack wouldn't think as deeply as a human would — in their eyes, the weaker the prey, the easier it would be for them to release their aggression upon it. In contrast, against a stronger opponent, a wolf pack would be much more cautious, and wouldn't just pounce recklessly.
Sure enough, the full blast of Ling Lan's malevolent aura made the alpha wolf pause — after all, Ling Lan was someone who had killed the King of the Swamp before and had been baptised in the blood of the various kingly beasts. This malevolent aura caused the wolves to become wary, and the wolves who had been bounding at her from all directions stopped at the lead wolf's howling cries. Still, they remained poised to attack, just waiting for the alpha wolf's signal.
The dense pack of wolves almost filled the entire grassy plain, and every wolf was extremely large and fierce, their bodies as big as a small cow's. Their snouts were spread in savage grins, and drool hung from the razor-sharp tips of their exposed teeth.
Facing such delicious prey, the eyes of this pack of ravenous wolves were almost glowing green ... If a normal person was here and was faced with this scene, he would likely piss his pants and collapse to the ground.
Still, Ling Lan was unaffected. She remained cool-headed and continued to look for her chance.
At this moment, she was very grateful that she had gone through the survival training in the primordial forest. After experiencing the terror of surviving there, she could keep her calm in this situation, heart steady and muscles pliant.
Both sides observed each other for a long moment. And then, the alpha wolf's howl rang out once again. Ling Lan's ears twitched, sifting through the cries coming from the wolf pack, and she managed to confirm that there were actually five alpha wolves of equal rank within the pack. Pleasant surprise flashed through Ling Lan's eyes — perhaps this was the fighting chance she had to hold out for 20 minutes.
Without waiting for the five alpha wolves to come to an agreement, Ling Lan charged forward, her target being the area to the northeast side. Different from the other wolves in the wolf pack, the wolves in this area had a clear red line on their foreheads.
Ling Lan's unexpected action caused chaos to break out within the pack surrounding her, but a piercing howl rang out, followed closely by the cries of the four other alpha wolves', bringing the pack back to order and silence.
Only the wolves with red-lined foreheads continued to bare their fangs at Ling Lan who had invaded their territory. It looked like the alpha wolf of this part of the pack felt that this was a direct challenge to its authority, and that Ling Lan was a prey that had delivered itself to death's door.
Although Ling Lan's fists flew furiously, savagely sending red-lined wolf after red-lined wolf flying, she was still keeping a close watch on the whole situation. Seeing the other wolf packs under the other alpha wolves sitting by the side-lines as she had expected, her heart settled.
Of course, Ling Lan didn't think the danger was over yet. If the red-lined wolf pack couldn't handle her, the alpha of this pack would probably compromise in the end and choose to cooperate with the other wolf packs. At that time, she would still be subject to a group attack.
Frankly, although the wolves had looked as if they worked together like a single entity at first, they were still divided by their respective packs. Cooperating to take down a prey was fine, but if one pack wanted to enter another pack's territory, that was definitely out of the question. Unless the particular wolf pack was weaker and needed the reinforcement of outside help, only then would the alpha wolf loosen this restriction. Ling Lan had cleverly grasped hold of this point and had jumped on her own into the red-lined wolves' territory, forcing the other wolf packs to step back and wait.
Ling Lan may be small, but the power behind her fists wasn't, and her physical fitness was certainly of the abnormal sort. After six years of continuous training with the Qi cultivation exercises, along with the medicinal baths of the Ling family, her body's resilience had long since exceeded that of an average person's. Although her skin still looked as fair and rosy as a maiden's, it was very difficult for normal blades to leave any sort of mark on her body.
Somewhere high up in the air out of Ling Lan's sight, Number Five and Number Nine were watching the fight.
Number Five nodded and said, "Not bad, she has good basics. Number Nine, looks like you put in a lot of effort."
Number Nine's eyes held a trace of a smile, and her tone was proud as she said, "Yes, Ling Lan is very hardworking and motivated."
Number Five glanced at Number Nine with a half-smile on his face. "You're satisfied with her current progress? It doesn't seem like she's reached her limits yet — Number Nine, you've become soft on her after all. That's not like you."
Number Nine sniffed. "I think this level of progress is best suited for her." However, after she said this, a subtle blush stole over the skin behind Number Nine's ears.
It couldn't be helped — Number Nine couldn't really say that with full honesty. It was the truth that she hadn't pushed Ling Lan as hard as she could in the past few years.
Mind you, the teaching approach of the learning space was to use the most extreme and cruellest methods imaginable to force the children to break past their limits and unleash their innate talents. It made the children challenge their limits in every way, physically and mentally, and even in other respects.
This sort of cruel teaching approach put every single child who entered the learning space under an endless amount of torment and duress. Almost all the children had not been able to bear it, and would end up either breaking down in tears, running away in fear, or even losing all their confidence to loudly beg for mercy ... this was all part of the phase of vulnerability that the children had to experience and overcome.
But Ling Lan stood out as an oddball. It was as if she had already established her goals early on (the girl was a proper adult who had lived two lives, not an ignorant young child, of course she wouldn't be so easily scared off by this type of teaching approach), so, in the six years with Number Nine in charge, no matter how harsh the training, or how unreasonable the courses, Ling Lan had endured. She had never voiced a single complaint, nor shed a single tear. This stoicism ended up moving the typically unfeeling Number Nine, leading her to become somewhat soft on Ling Lan.
It had to be said that this was a beautiful misunderstanding!
Number Five touched his chin with his right hand, and the smile on his lips deepened. Perhaps this was why Number One had unsealed him — this child had actually managed to affect Number Nine, how interesting ...
Seeing Number Five's strange smile, Number Nine couldn't help but worry for Ling Lan. She raised her voice in warning, "Number Five, don't go overboard."
Number Nine knew how insane Number Five could get — at the beginning, countless promising prodigies had had their wings snapped by his hand. Of course, anyone who managed to survive his training would certainly become an unimaginable talent ... but she had never seen Number Five succeed in training anyone.
Number Nine looked over at Ling Lan with a complicated gaze. It's not that she didn't want Ling Lan to become great, but rather than subject her to the unspeakable torments of the training period, she'd rather see Ling Lan happy and carefree ... but could a powerless person truly be happy and carefree?
As if coming to some realisation, Number Nine abruptly turned away, and with her back to Number Five, she said, "Once you're done with training, come find me."
Number Five quirked a brow. "What? Not going to follow us around anymore? Aren't you afraid I'll end up ruining your beloved disciple?" After all, the reason they had come here was due to Number Nine's worry to begin with.
At this moment, Number Nine's face no longer held any traces of worry. With a cool expression, she said, "Number One did the right thing. I am not suitable to be Ling Lan's main instructor right now. But, I believe that Ling Lan will definitely complete your training course."
"So much confidence in her?" Number Five was taken aback. For context, it should be known that he had ruined several hundred prodigies with his training methods previously, which was why he had been sealed within the learning space. Thus, he himself was very surprised when he was unsealed this time — and even more surprisingly, Number One had actually put him in charge of their current host.
"Ling Lan's not just my pet disciple, she's also Elder Brother Number One's." A confident smile appeared on Number Nine's lips before she disappeared from the area.
Number Five stared at the spot where Number Nine disappeared and smiled thoughtfully. Number One's disciple? That was just too interesting!
Meanwhile, around Ling Lan, the bodies of red-lined wolves were beginning to pile up, and although yet more red-lined wolves continued to circle her, their attacks were not as aggressive as they had been before, and were perhaps even a little tentative.
This scenario enraged the alpha wolf of the red-lined wolves — it felt that its authority had been undermined by this weak little prey before it. So it let loose another howl, spurring on the attacks of the red-lined wolves, causing them to become more aggressive.
Bam! A red-lined wolf who was lunging for Ling Lan's throat was punched right in the head.
Crack! Its skull fractured, and its calf-sized body fell heavily to the ground. And there the red-lined wolf lay, whining piteously, and after a few final fluttering breaths, its chest went still and the wolf never got up again.
The current Ling Lan was no longer her usual serene self — her eyes held a limitless amount of killing intent, and she attacked with precision and ruthlessness. This sort of life-and-death scenario did not allow for any carelessness on her part; she was determined not to experience death being torn apart by wolves.
She had already begun circulating her Qi the moment she started attacking, as this was one of her trump cards when charging into the wolf pack. As long as the opponent was not stronger than her, the energy expended in her attacks could be completely recuperated by the circulation of Qi. In other words, Ling Lan would never be in danger of a tragic death by exhaustion.
The alpha of the red-lined wolves watched as its subordinates fell one by one, with no visible effect on the weak prey. Finally, it could tolerate it no longer, and with a howl, it rushed into the fray.
The alpha of the red-lined wolves was much bigger than the other red-lined wolves; its body could be compared to that of an adult bull. It approached with bloodshot red eyes — the countless deaths of its subordinates by Ling Lan's hands had sent it into a towering rage.
The other red-lined wolves backed away in the face of their alpha, leaving the battlefield completely up to their leader.
Ling Lan exhaled softly. Plans and counterplans flashed through her mind as she considered whether she should try to draw out the fight with this alpha wolf, so she could while away a bit more time.
But the red-lined alpha wolf was not going to give Ling Lan the time to think, pouncing at her the moment it got within range. It swung its thick claws at Ling Lan, trying to tear this detestable prey in half.
Ling Lan leant back slightly, just enough to avoid the alpha's claws, when suddenly, the wolf's claws mysteriously lengthened.
Ling Lan's heart skipped a beat, and she quickly pushed on her two feet to spring back further, narrowly managing to avoid those sharp extendable claws.
After evading the attack, Ling Lan struggled to regain her balance as she peeked at the alpha's claws. All four of the alpha's claws had extended by approximately 10 centimetres. Who knew that the red-lined alpha wolf within the learning space would have the ability to retract its claws? This surprise had almost made her take some unintended damage.
The alpha wolf wasn't going to give Ling Lan time to adjust, immediately lunging at her once again, and its main weapon this time was its sharp teeth.
Ling Lan met it with a fist, but this time she felt as if she was hitting a solid rock. Her fist throbbed in pain, and the resulting aftershock of energy pushed her back by five to six paces.
On the other hand, Ling Lan's punch didn't seem to have caused much damage to the alpha. The alpha landed squarely, and when it saw Ling Lan falling back, it charged forward once again with all its might, jaws wide open in preparation for a savage bite.
"Rabbit Sky Leap!"