Ling Lan had just lain down, when she felt her consciousness being forcefully dragged once more into the learning space. However, Ling Lan was now used to this — after all, the instructors in the learning space all just loved to contact her this way.
This time, what she saw first wasn't the cold face of Number One, nor was it the twisted smile of Number Five — instead, it was the delicate features of Number Nine. Seeing Number Nine's lovely face, Ling Lan felt as if she was healed instantly.
"Instructor Number Nine!" Overcome with emotion, Ling Lan pounced. She really hadn't seen Instructor Number Nine in so long. She had really missed her, but it wasn't up to her whether or not she could see a particular instructor — the learning space was the one who decided.
Hugging Instructor Number Nine tightly, she could feel the generous swell of the other's bosom under her military uniform. Oh, the envy, jealousy, and hate that stirred within her! Heaven knows if she would be able to have such a voluptuous body like Instructor Number Nine's when she grew up?
Then, Ling Lan recalled her current identity as a fake man, and was instantly thrust into gloom. She had overheard her mother saying before that, once she hit puberty, she would need to be injected with blockers to prevent her body from secreting too much oestrogen ... In other words, if she could not reclaim her female status, then she would be destined to be just like how she was in her past life — flat as an airport runway.
Number Nine looked at the emotional Ling Lan, and her heart was filled with fluffy feelings. It truly had been a while since she last saw Ling Lan, and she had missed her just as much. However, Number Nine was still Number Nine in the end. Her emotions were only visible for that short moment before she regained her usual cool and aloof appearance.
She patted Ling Lan's shoulder before letting go, and then asked calmly, "Ling Lan, is something wrong with your spiritual self?"
At this question, Ling Lan bowed her head dejectedly. "Instructor Number Nine, so even you've found out about it."
"Yes. Strange fluctuations appearing in your spiritual self ... as an inhabitant of your mind, of course I can sense it." Number Nine explained why all the instructors knew. Of course, what Number Nine didn't say, was that this was actually only possible if an inhabitant broke the rules, forcefully breaking boundaries to sense the host's condition. For that, Number Nine had had to pay a hefty price.
This was the learning space's restriction upon the inhabitants, as well as protection for the host. If Number Nine wasn't so concerned that Number Five would break Ling Lan, she wouldn't have committed this violation.
Seeing Ling Lan in such low spirits, Number Nine was anxious. Not one to beat around the bush to begin with, she went straight to the point and asked, "Do you know why this situation is happening?"
Ling Lan thought about it for a moment, and then replied uncertainly, "Is it because Instructor Number Five's training has created some negative emotions? Which then influenced my emotional balance?"
"No, that's not it," Number Nine denied firmly.
Seeing Number Nine reject the reason she had thought was behind all this, Ling Lan was even more confused. "If that's not it, then what is it?"
"It's your heart. It's filled with doubt and uncertainty." Number Nine announced the answer directly.
"Huh?" Ling Lan hadn't expected this answer. Could doubt and uncertainty cause her mental state to twist so much that she would lose control? Ling Lan's first instinct was disbelief, that Number Nine was just joking with her.
But seeing Number Nine's steady gaze, Ling Lan couldn't be sure.
"Ling Lan, although I do not know why your tolerance is so extraordinary, almost aberrant, it is why you were able to withstand all the tests and torments set for you by Number Five. This has made your mental strength grow very strong, very rapidly, to the point that you've even touched upon the gates of Dao."
"Dao?" Ling Lan was even more bewildered. She was currently in a technologically advanced future world, not an ignorant medieval period when cultivation theory discussions were popular.
"Er ... you don't need to understand this right now. What I want to tell you, is that this abnormality in your mental state is occurring because you don't have a clear purpose in your heart for becoming stronger." Number Nine knew she had slipped up, so she hurriedly tried to gloss over it.
"Purpose?" By this time, Ling Lan's eyes were wide and round, dazed. Number Nine had thoroughly confused her, and her mind was spinning.
"Yes, you've accepted all the missions and training we've set for you, and endured them despite all the difficulty. Why?"
Ling Lan held her dizzy head in her hands as she desperately searched for an answer to the question.
But Number Nine stopped her. "Don't be in a rush to answer — go back and think about it carefully. Think about what kind of future is it that you want, and what your reason is for wanting to grow stronger ... Once you've figured this out, the mental problem bothering you now will go away and you'll return to normal."
With that said, Number Nine chased Ling Lan out of her training space.
Just like that, Ling Lan came to the central hall of the learning space. At this time, Little Four was crouched in the centre of the hall, drawing something on the ground with his butt stuck up in the air; completely oblivious to Ling Lan's arrival.
Ling Lan calmed herself a little, and started to reflect on Instructor Number Nine's words. Number Nine had undoubtedly given her some good news, which was that the loss of mental control she was so worried about was not a huge problem. It could be healed naturally, as long as she could find the answer to dispel the doubt and uncertainty from her heart.
But, what were her doubts and uncertainties? Ling Lan was lost once again.
Little Four, having finally completed his masterpiece, stood up, and was prepared to admire it for a good while when, with a subconscious lift of his head, he saw Ling Lan standing right before him.
With a thump, Little Four fell over, and his first reaction was to wonder if his tricks had been noticed by Ling Lan.
This noise startled Ling Lan, who raised her head to see Little Four sitting on the ground with a frightened look on his face. She couldn't help but frown and ask, "Little Four, what's going on?"
Little Four hurriedly put on a fawning face and said sweetly, "Boss, why are you here?" With a pull of his right hand, a floor cushion appeared in his hand out of thin air. He carefully set down the cushion by his side and said submissively, "Boss, are you tired? Come sit here."
At the same time, behind him where Ling Lan couldn't see, Little Four swiped his left hand and the picture on the ground before him was wiped clean, leaving no trace behind.
Ling Lan's thoughts hadn't been on Little Four to begin with, preoccupied with her own internal dilemma. Hearing Little Four's reply, she didn't pry any further, but instead sat down with a long face by Little Four's side, sighing deeply.
Knowing that he hadn't been found out, Little Four was instantly at ease. It was his duty as Ling Lan's number one follower to help his boss solve her problems, so seeing Ling Lan so troubled, he quickly opened his mouth to ask, "Boss, why are you sighing? Tell me about it. Maybe Little Four can help."
"Instructor Number Nine said that my heart has doubts and uncertainties, and that I don’t have a resolute will or purpose for becoming stronger." Of course, Ling Lan didn't really expect Little Four to be able to help her, but it was still nice to share one's troubles, so she spilled her worries to Little Four anyway.
Little Four was very surprised, for he didn't think of that as a great problem at all. "Boss! What's there to worry about? If you don't have a purpose, you just need to find one!"
"Does it work that way?" Ling Lan was nonplussed. Could it be that she was overthinking it?For those of pure mind, this means that her chest will be flat, i.e. small breasts.