Ling Lan's right arm was numb so she could no longer use it to attack, so she decisively threw out a back kick, using the technique she had trained diligently to obtain in the past five years — the Rabbit Sky Leap. And now she would finally be able to test it out for real, and see how much power this skill, which had cost her 10 honour points, truly wielded.
With a loud "Bam!", the red-lined alpha wolf was sent flying amidst its own pained cries. It smashed onto the ground and actually rolled another five to six metres due to the remaining energy behind the blow before coming to a stop.
Ling Lan put down her right foot, her eyes full of satisfaction. As expected, the Rabbit Sky Leap was really powerful — the strength of her own fists had not been able to do much damage to the red-lined alpha wolf, but the Rabbit Sky Leap could, and it looked like the damage value it dealt was significant.
According to Ling Lan's calculations, the Rabbit Sky Leap technique could increase her leg strength by as much as five times — and this was just at the basic level of mastery. If she continued to practise and became even more proficient with the skill, it would definitely become one of her killing techniques.
At this moment, the red-lined wolf tottered upright again. As its head was hit directly, it seemed to still be somewhat dazed. The red-lined alpha wolf shook its head to try and dispel the dizziness, but this move only made it fall over again.
The condition of the red-lined alpha wolf caused the red-lined wolf pack to fall into disarray. The wolves were all howling at the sky worriedly, as if asking if their leader was okay.
Still, as befitting one of the reigning kings of the grasslands, the red-lined alpha wolf stood up once again. This time, it seemed to have regained full awareness, and turning to face the one who had kicked it, its eyes were crimson, filled with the need to rip Ling Lan into pieces.
Still, the wild beasts within the learning space had a certain level of intelligence — Ling Lan's kick had shown the alpha wolf that this small prey before it was not as weak as it seemed. It knew that it would not be able to handle the prey on its own, and so the red-lined wolf cast away its dignity, and howled up at the sky.
Very quickly, the wolves all around took up the howl as well, and the wolf packs in all directions bowed down collectively. From different directions and from different wolf packs, four huge alpha wolves emerged. They were like kings, strolling out proudly from among their subjects, slowly approaching to Ling Lan.
Apparently, the red-lined alpha wolf had called out for assistance from the other alpha wolves.
Ling Lan's expression turned frigid. Although she didn't have to continue duking it out with the sea of wolves, the combined attack of five alpha wolves was also nothing to sneeze at. She really feared that she might lose her life under the fangs and claws of these alpha wolves as soon as the fight began.
"Interesting, didn't expect her to have that skill." Number Five's eyes narrowed in contemplation, a complicated expression on his face as he watched Ling Lan preparing to do battle against the five alpha wolves. Had that skill been her own choice? Or had it been just luck?
At that moment, the five alpha wolves officially began their attack on Ling Lan. With the red-lined alpha wolf as the lead attacker, the other alpha wolves circled around, darting in every so often to try and score a sneak attack. Their movements were well-coordinated, nothing at all like the messy and chaotic attacks of the regular wolves of the wolf pack.
The attacks of the alpha wolves had a sort of beauty to it, unlike the crude savagery of the regular wolves' attacks. The alpha wolves' movements could even be called graceful, though sometimes strange and elusive. But every collaboration between the wolves was just right, causing Ling Lan to be extremely harried as she evaded, almost dying several times in the process.
Ling Lan no longer held anything back. She pushed Qi into her two arms, instantly doubling their strength. Although it couldn't compare to the power of the Rabbit Sky Leap, it was still more than enough to penetrate through the alpha wolves' thick hides and deal them some pain.
Right now, Ling Lan's own body strength was not enough to fight against these alpha wolves — Ling Lan had already become aware of this during her first battle with the red-lined alpha wolf.
The perfectly coordinated attacks of the five alpha wolves gave them the upper edge, but Ling Lan wasn't helpless under these attacks. The powerful Rabbit Sky Leap was something the five alpha wolves had to watch out for because they just couldn't tell which kick was actually a Rabbit Sky Leap in disguise.
Under this scenario, the two sides were actually pretty evenly matched.
Still, the fearsome attacks of the alpha wolves let Ling Lan experience the thrill of dancing with death — she slowly let herself go, subconsciously descending into a pure world of combat, not a single stray thought within her mind. After fighting for a long while, Ling Lan felt a rush of euphoria permeate through her body — the shackles holding her back had finally been broken.
Ling Lan felt as if she had entered a whole new world, where the energy within her body was cheerfully waving at her, as if announcing their return.
Ling Lan knew what this was — it was the shackles she had put on herself previously to control her own strength. Within the past month, Ling Lan had been embroiled in combat training with the Ling family loyalists, all for the sake of restraining her malevolent aura. Even so, Ling Lan was very afraid that her malevolent aura would suddenly burst out, causing her to lose control and harm her family by accident. And so she had cautiously convinced herself, that no matter what the situation, she would not permit herself to release all of her strength in its entirety ...
Gradually, this self-hypnosis of sorts became a type of shackle, until finally, Ling Lan found that even if she consciously wanted to, she was unable to unleash all of her strength. Ling Lan didn't know whether to laugh or cry at this result.
Later on, she had sparred with Qi Long, and although she should have been able to defeat Qi Long with a straightforward show of strength, she had found it impossible to bypass her own personal limiters. In the end, she could only keep dragging out the fight until Qi Long had been exhausted for the spar to end.
Naturally, faced with such a frustrating situation, Ling Lan was very unhappy. But unfortunately, she had been unable to resolve the problem, and so had had no choice but to push it to the back of her mind, and wait for a solution to present itself later. Unexpectedly, at this crucial life-or-death moment, Ling Lan had broken past her shackles, regaining full access to her strength.
The alpha wolves sensed this change in Ling Lan; slowly but surely, they sensed the strength of their opponent grow stronger and stronger — attacks which had only caused minor pain previously, were now actually hurting them to their bones.
Ling Lan didn't know how long she had been fighting the alpha wolves, but she was starting to feel that her Qi circulation could no longer keep up with her energy expenditure. Her stamina was gradually fading, seeming as if it would disappear entirely the very next moment. She should have been anxious and worried by this, but she was uncharacteristically calm — just as if she wasn't the Ling Lan fighting for her life right now, but rather a cold-eyed observer on the side-lines.
Indeed, she had actually entered a strange sort of plane, where the attacks of the five alpha wolves seemed to occur almost in slow-motion. She could actually see a hole in the collaborative attacks of the five alpha wolves, and sensed that if she targeted that spot, she would definitely manage to land a solid hit.
Although Ling Lan didn't know why this was happening, she instinctively knew that this was a precious opportunity. Thus, she absorbed energy through her circulation of Qi once more, sent it running down into her right fist, and then threw a firm punch at the hole she had noticed.
Meanwhile, from Number Five's perspective, Ling Lan's right fist vanished mysteriously all of a sudden, and then a loud smack rang out, and an alpha wolf was sent flying to sprawl on the ground a distance away. However, the alpha wolf wasn't heavily injured and managed to struggle back to its feet, and then with an angry howl, it rejoined the battle once more.
At that moment, Number Five's face was a study in shock. Disbelievingly, he muttered to himself again and again, "How can this be? How can this be? Could it be the zone?"
Even as the thought reared its head, he squashed it. He shook his head forcefully, telling himself to calm down, that what he was thinking was impossible. What child would be so aberrant as to touch on the borders of a zone at six years old? Perhaps it was just a lucky shot by Ling Lan.
Seeing their own comrade being sent flying, albeit just briefly, the other alphas were enraged — this was an outright challenge! They no longer held any of their initial notions of fooling around, deciding to give the fight their all.
Ling Lan still remained calm; she had once again noticed a hole in the defences of the five alpha wolves. Even now she was unsure how her fist had connected with the head of one of the alpha wolves — the area she had aimed for had clearly been an empty space. Her last attack had been half-hearted, tentative as she was only testing it out. But this time, she would no longer hesitate.
"Rabbit Sky Leap!"
Resolutely, Ling Lan used her strongest technique on the hole. Immediately after, a desolate cry rang out — and one of the alpha wolves was seen falling heavily to the ground. A large hole had been ripped open on its belly, and its blood was gushing out like a river ... there was no possibility that it would survive.
The Rabbit Sky Leap technique could really be used as a one-hit-kill blow; Ling Lan was extremely pleased. Perhaps there were other skills and techniques much stronger than the Rabbit Sky Leap, but Ling Lan still felt that the Rabbit Sky Leap was much more useful and adaptable. Since the movements for it looked no different from a regular kick, she could hide it when she used it — no one would be able to tell which kick of hers was a Rabbit Sky Leap, so it was an extremely stealthy move.
The wolf who died was the red-lined alpha wolf. All we can say is that the red-lined alpha wolf was just too unlucky — coming on so strongly because it thought it had the upper hand, only to lose its lupine life.
At the death of the red-lined alpha wolf, the red-lined wolf pack started a round of mournful howling and then quickly dispersed. Within the span of two to three minutes, they had all fled the scene.
The four remaining alpha wolves stared at each other for a moment, and then decided to follow the example of the red-lined wolf pack. They swiftly retreated, howling out to their subordinates as they did so.
Ling Lan watched as the wolf packs slowly retreated until they had left her range of sight. Still, she didn't relax yet, staying on her feet for another three minutes. Finally, she could hold on no longer and toppled over to lie down on the ground. Those final two blows at the end had drained all of Ling Lan's physical energy. She had only remained standing out of sheer stubbornness, afraid to reveal her inability to continue to fight. Only when her body could really take it no longer had she given in to fall to the ground.
If the wolf packs chose to return and rally a second attack on her right now, it would definitely be an easy task for them to make mincemeat out of Ling Lan. Fortunately though, the wolf packs had really departed, so Ling Lan managed to survive by the skin of her teeth.
Even so, Ling Lan was still fearful as she recalled the situation. Once again, she was keenly aware of how important Little Four was to her. Without his comprehensive monitoring, her safety was entirely up to fate and circumstance — Ling Lan really detested this feeling of uncertainty. Of course, most importantly ... it was rather lonely without Little Four by her side.
However, Ling Lan's thoughts quickly turned to the sensation she had experienced in the earlier battle. That ability to glean the defensive holes of an opponent with one look, the feeling of having the flow of battle within her hands ... that sensation was just wonderful.
Ling Lan laid on the ground and held a fist up to the sky. Although she had no clue what that sensation was, she knew that it came from within her own body. In the fight, both her combat instincts and her physical strength had been pushed past her original limits, progressing one step further.
Was this what was meant by a personal breakthrough? But before Ling Lan could get too caught up in her excitement, a wet-blanket in human form appeared in her sight.
Number Five had materialized out of thin air right above Ling Lan. Peering down at Ling Lan, he grinned widely as he said, "Congratulations, you've cleared the mission."
At the same time, the system's voice rang out by Ling Lan's ear: "Mission completed. Reward — intense training by Number Five obtained!"
When Ling Lan heard the contents of the reward, her gut reaction was that she had been ripped-off. If she had known that this was the reward for clearing the mission, she would definitely have committed suicide right off the bat, so that she would utterly fail the mission. Ling Lan had not forgotten Number Nine's gentle warning ... Boo hoo hoo! Could she have a redo?! Ling Lan really felt like crying, full of regret for what might have been.
However, Number Five didn't give Ling Lan much time to regret her life choices. With another quick grab, he tossed Ling Lan into his own special training area.