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"Why wouldn't it? If you don't have a purpose, then let's just build one. Once you have a purpose, Boss, then you won't be doubtful and uncertain anymore." The more Little Four spoke, the smugger he became, and then he abruptly realised that he truly was, as expected, one of the smartest of the intelligent bio-entities.

It made sense! Ling Lan decided to try out Little Four's method, even though Little Four really did seem rather flaky ... Perhaps she would be able to luck out, like a blind cat stumbling over a dead rat, and stumble across the solution. 

Ling Lan contemplated for a long while, and then, with a face full of confusion, she asked, "Little Four, what purpose should I build exactly?"

Little Four was speechless. Wasn't this something the Boss should decide for herself? Why was she asking him?

Still, Little Four was undoubtedly a dutiful follower. Without a word of complaint, he immediately browsed through his database, and word after highlighted word started popping out at him. Excitedly, Little Four said, "Boss, let's go dominate the galaxies!"

Ling Lan rolled her eyes dramatically at Little Four. "Do you take me for an idiot?" Anyone who would do something so troublesome — putting in so much mental and physical effort for no praise to boot — must be an idiot.

"Then ... how about becoming a king somewhere?" Little Four lowered his ambition by a large margin.

"Not interested," said Ling Lan huffily. Couldn't Little Four give any more normal suggestions? She was definitely not the type of person who wanted to become a ruler — Ling Lan knew herself well enough to know that.

"Building a harmonious and perfect world?" ... "Becoming a peerless hero?" ...

Ling Lan was peeved. Suggesting all these grand ambitions, Little Four was obviously just mocking her. Dammit, she wasn't a saint!

Under Ling Lan's increasingly displeased gaze, Little Four's voice became softer and softer ... Boo hoo hoo! Boss, these are all search results from the database — even if Ling Lan wasn't happy about it, there was nothing he could do.

Oh? There was one more. Little Four suddenly noticed one unread result. "Right, we could start a harem and sow seeds?" Although he didn't have a clue as to what 'start a harem and sow seeds' meant, this phrase appeared at a rate no less than the previous suggestions.

Hearing this, Ling Lan flew into a rage, immediately hammering a fist onto Little Four's head. "Idiot, I'm a girl!" Dammit, 'sowing seeds' was something men did, alright? Besides, she didn't have a female-queen mentality. Plus, she had been raised with the concept of 'one husband one wife' — as such, this was something that she simply could not accept.

"So a girl can't sow seeds in a harem?" Little Four pouted, a little unconvinced. He really didn't understand what this had to do with gender. However, since Boss clearly hated this one, of course it would be discarded without question.

The two of them continued to puzzle over the issue, seated together with their faces resting within the cups of their hands, frowning heavily.

Ten minutes passed ... Half an hour passed ... and finally, an hour passed ... Still unable to think of any good suggestions, Little Four was driven mad. Pulling at his own hair, he screamed, "Aaaah ... I really can't think of anything! What other great purposes are there?!"

"Great? Why does it have to be great?" Ling Lan seemed to have been triggered by Little Four and found a new avenue of thought. "Perhaps we could start thinking from small wishes ..."

Little Four did not understand. "What do you mean?"

"For example, Little Four, what is the goal you want to fulfil most right now?"

Hearing this, Little Four puffed out his little chest and said, "I want to be Boss's number one follower."

Ling Lan's was speechless. Didn't he have any slightly more ambitious thoughts? Besides, she had already declared him her number one follower — why was he still so caught up in this issue?

Little Four seemed to have gotten the point though. He looked at Ling Lan with shining eyes and said, "Boss, what do you want to accomplish at the moment?"

"Continue maintaining my position in Special Class-A." Ling Lan's response was quick and without hesitation. This was truly what had been bothering her most recently.

"Maintain? Don't you want to be first?" Little Four was puzzled. With Ling Lan's strength, getting first place should be a piece of cake.

"No plans for that. Of course, if I get it by accident then that's fine too. I'm just going to go with the flow." Ling Lan wasn't too bothered by this issue.

The moment she finished speaking, Ling Lan jolted. Could it be that the aimlessness and hesitation that Instructor Number Nine had mentioned was precisely this lackadaisical attitude of hers? Because she had always gone with the flow, accepting everything life gave her — be it her grades, her training, or even the training missions in the learning space. Honestly, she had never pursued any of it on her own initiative.

"I've figured it out ..." Ling Lan felt enlightened.

"Could it be that I really should go after the first place ranking?" Although Ling Lan felt that she was onto something here, her heart was still a little troubled. Deep inside, she didn't really want to make waves and push herself into the spotlight — would forcing herself to do something she didn't want to do really resolve her current plight? Or would she just end up going further down the wrong path?

"If you don't feel like it then leave it. After all, even if you get first place, there aren't that many benefits to it. The cost and benefits just don't match up." Little Four wasn't plagued by all those chaotic thoughts running through Ling Lan's mind; he was only looking for the answer purely from a cost-benefit standpoint. Obtaining first place — there was pretty much no benefit other than an increase in reputation, so Little Four was unconcerned about whether his boss became the first rank.

"Boss, you need to find something more profitable to do." Out of boredom, Little Four conjured a lollipop in his hand and licked it a couple of times. He believed that anything could be done, just not pointless work.

"More profitable? There really isn't anything." Ling Lan, who was all tapped out of desires, really couldn't think of anything that fit Little Four's criteria.

Little Four was stumped. He gave a hard lick to his lollipop, and then very seriously said to Ling Lan, "Let's put it this way. Boss, what kind of life do you want to have in the future?"

"A peaceful, free one. And when I'm bored, I can give birth to a child, raise him, and play with him." A smile played on Ling Lan's lips. She really wanted a child of her own. If her two lives were added together, she really wasn't that young anymore.

When Little Four heard what Ling Lan had to say, his expression turned miserable.

Seeing Little Four's exaggerated expression, Ling Lan was irked. "What? I can't have a child?"

"Of course you can," Little Four hastily reassured her. "But Boss, have you not thought about your situation?"

"Situation? About my identity as a fake man?" Ling Lan was abruptly brought back to reality. With this identity, it was basically fated that she wouldn't be able to wed someone openly. If she wanted to borrow sperm from some man, she'd even have to do it secretly ...

"I believe the Ling family will arrange for a loyalist to couple with me." Ling Lan wasn't worried that she wouldn't get a man, for Lan Luofeng and Ling Qin would never let the Ling family line die out.

"Won't work," objected Little Four, agitated.

"Huh? Why?" Ling Lan didn't understand.

"Boss, you must know, whether a child is excellent or not is basically all up to the genes of the father." Within this period of time, Little Four had been doing a lot of research on this topic on the virtual network.

"Ah ... so this means that no matter how great my genes are, it's useless?" Ling Lan was incensed. She would be the one giving birth to the child, but whether or not the child was excellent had nothing to do with her? That was just preposterous!

Regretfully, Little Four said, "Of course if the mother's genetics are better, the child will be even more outstanding, but the main load is still on the father. If the father's genetics are weak, the child's birth stats are almost guaranteed to be weaker."

"In other words, if I want my baby to be more outstanding, I cannot just find some random man." Ling Lan gnashed her teeth. What kind of heredity is this? Why make the father's side so important?

With schadenfreude, Little Four said, "That's right, Boss."

"With my current circumstances, it's impossible to freely date a strong man, get married and have kids." Ling Lan finally understood the meaning behind Little Four's exaggerated expression.

Of course, if Ling Lan didn't care for the stats of the baby, then all this wouldn't be a problem. However, Ling Lan was definitely a responsible mother. If she could let her baby be more outstanding, she would definitely not let her own baby take the lesser option.

"Is there really no way to resolve this?" asked Ling Lan with a frown. She didn't believe that. No matter what, she would have a baby. No matter how difficult the process was, she would still accomplish it — this was all she wanted to do in this life.

"There is. Two ways." Little Four was as reliable as ever, directly coming up with two options for Ling Lan.

"Number one, rob the Federation's sperm bank. I believe there will be lots of strong men's sperm kept there." Little Four's words made Ling Lan's eyes light up, but his next words made Ling Lan's face fall.

"However, you'll need to defeat the ace mecha squad stationed there. Rumour has it that the leader is an imperial operator. As a reminder, an imperial operator is just one level below a god-class operator — for you to successfully steal the sperm from the bank, you'll need to have the capability close to that of a god-class operator, otherwise, you'll be going in alive and coming out dead."

"And the other way?" Ling Lan decisively discarded this option. She only wanted to have a kid, not seek death.

"Find a random strong man you like, push him down, and just have your way with him," said Little Four savagely.

Ling Lan wanted to face-palm. Dammit, these two methods were just not something a normal person could do.

"I recommend you pick the second option. Going up against one strong man will definitely be easier than going up against a team of strong men," suggested Little Four considerately.

Little Four's words didn't make Ling Lan's expression turn any better, because raping a strong man was definitely not an easy thing.

"Of course, you could also try seduction ... if a strong man is willing to take a romp under the sheets with you, Boss, then you wouldn't have to worry anymore." Little Four smiled in satisfaction, thinking that this suggestion of his was just amazing.

"Idiot!" Ling Lan knocked Little Four's head exasperatedly. Which man would willingly romp under the sheets with another man? Unless he was bent. But if he was bent then she wouldn't be able to take it, because ultimately, she was still female.

"No? Then Boss, you'll just have to do it forcefully," said Little Four regretfully.

"Forcefully, eh? Looks like I'll have to become even stronger or else I won't be able to overpower the other." Ling Lan racked her brains and found that what Little Four said made sense. For the sake of giving birth to an outstanding baby, she just had to break past her limits.

"Yup. Good luck, Boss. You'll need to work harder from now on, or else you won't be able to raise an outstanding child." Little Four gave Ling Lan his encouragement.

Suddenly, Ling Lan found that all her suffering at the learning space's hands was not meaningless — it would make her stronger, making it easier for her to achieve her goals.

"A child birthed by me, Ling Lan, must be the most excellent one ..." Ling Lan's eyes no longer held any trace of doubt or uncertainty. No one would be able to stop her from carrying out her resolution to give birth to an exceptional child. "In that case, I must become the strongest so that I will have a greater range of selection ..."

Because of this simple wish, Ling Lan stepped onto the path of the strong, no longer lost.

*face-palm* Novel logic. Please leave your understanding of real world biology at the door.A bombastic word, but there really isn't a better word to encapsulate the feeling being described here IMO. We'll be seeing this word again, so here's a definition for those seeing it for the first time. :3
Schadenfreude = the glee/pleasure/delight/satisfaction felt in the face of another person's misfortune.
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