This was Ling Lan's innate talent. When her mental focus reached a certain boundary point, a miraculous ability would emerge. Ling Lan herself wasn't sure what it was, but she felt that it was very useful. As long as she could see the opponent's move clearly, she would be able to find the opponent's weakest point.
Ling Lan may be uncertain, but Number One in the learning space knew what it was. It was precisely because of this that Number One had unsealed Number Five, with the goal of cultivating an extraordinary Ling Lan. It couldn't be helped; this innate talent was just too rare. Even in Number One's country with its highly advanced civilization, children with this innate talent were extremely limited, almost one of a kind. It was the most precious special combat talent —— Profound Insight, the perfect innate talent for mecha operators.
A notion flitted through Ling Lan's mind: to attack the weak point, or let the opponent continue his probe and see?
In the blink of an eye, Ling Lan made her decision. She decided to first take a look at the opponent's move. Ling Lan was confident — she believed that even if she gave the opponent one more move, the final outcome would not change. This wasn't blind confidence, but a belief backed up by strength.
Besides, she was really kind of curious — what would the final form of Qin Yi's move be like?
Having made her decision, Ling Lan reacted just as Qin Yi would have hoped. She balled up her right hand into a fist, and held an attack pose, meeting the opponent's attack head on.
A dark gleam flashed through Qin Yi's eyes, and with a shake of his wrist, his entire arm actually moved like a snake, twisting and turning, twining swiftly up Ling Lan's right arm to grab onto it securely.
He caught him! At that moment, Qin Yi's gaze revealed a trace of pleasant surprise, a little shocked that he had actually managed to succeed in one move.
Qin Yi believed that as long as he managed to control Ling Lan, he had obtained the key to winning.
But was that truly the case? Qin Yi's pleasant surprise had yet to fade, and his follow up move had yet to be executed, when he suddenly felt a sharp pain at his shoulder as a large force slammed into it. At the same time, there was a sudden change in his vision. In his sight, Ling Lan suddenly became the unscalable rooftop of the colossal combat hall, and his hand that had been gripping onto Ling Lan's right arm suddenly felt as if it was holding onto a slippery eel, which slipped out of his hand in a flash ...
A loud "Bam", and Qin Yi's body was roughly thrown to the floor of the combat hall. The intense pain coming from all over his body confused him — he struggled to push his upper body up, and saw Ling Lan standing high above him on the edge of the arena stage, looking down on him with a cold expression ...
Looking down? Qin Yi abruptly woke up, realising that he had already fallen off the stage. In other words, he had already lost this match. According to the tournament's rules, when a fighter had been thrown out of the range of the arena, it was an immediate loss.
What in the world happened? He was the one who had grabbed Ling Lan, and he was the one who had been just about to win ... then why was he the one who had been flung out of the arena in the end? This match — he was truly baffled how he had lost. Qin Yi pounded his fists against the ground in frustration, unable to accept his loss.
Seeing Qin Yi's dark mood, the teacher referee sighed softly. There had just been too much difference between Qin Yi's and Ling Lan's strength, which was why Qin Yi just couldn't understand how he had lost to Ling Lan.
However, this wasn't the time to explain things to Qin Yi. The referee declared loudly, "This match, Ling Lan wins, successfully advancing to the top 7."
Perhaps the other children had seen the match as if through fog and mist, but the observing teachers had all seen very clearly. At the time when Qin Yi had successfully grabbed hold of Ling Lan's right arm, just as his hand closed around it, Ling Lan's right hand, which had initially been fisted, had opened up, and the extended fingers had been just the right length to make contact with Qin Yi's shoulder.
Of course, this little bit of contact should not have been enough to send Qin Yi flying, but the teachers were all experienced fighters, with the experienced eyes of the strong. They saw that, in the moment when Ling Lan's fingers touched Qin Yi, his fingers had fluttered a few times. This led the teachers to quickly come to the conclusion that Ling Lan had employed some technique, something along the lines of a secondary One-Inch Punch, which had the effect of stacking strength.
However, because the teachers had not fought with Ling Lan themselves, they could not tell for certain the power of this secret technique, and so were unsure how much Ling Lan's strength had been stacked by it. Still, this force must not be small, otherwise Qin Yi would not have been so easily knocked off the stage.
Ling Lan's impressive performance made all the teachers' eyes light up; they were all nodding in approval, expressions filled with pleasant surprise. Some of them were even eager to pounce, wishing they could just take on Ling Lan as an initiate disciple right now. However, when they saw the other teachers around, who all had their sights set on Ling Lan on the stage, these teachers could only halt their steps, sighing internally. This matter wasn't going to be that simple — there were just too many competitors.
In the academy, teachers could freely choose their initiate disciples, and there was no limit to this number. Likewise, students also had the right to choose the initiate teacher they wanted, but each student could only choose one teacher. In other words, for these teachers to become Ling Lan's initiate teacher, they would have to get Ling Lan to choose them willingly, and this was undoubtedly going to be very difficult. All of the teachers within the academy had their own advantages, so no one knew who Ling Lan would pick.
Leaving Qin Yi's gloom aside, Ling Lan had left the stage immediately after hearing the referee teacher's announcement. Qin Yi's move had sparked her curiosity — she had never expected someone's arm to be able to twist into the shape of a fried dough twist. It looked like her previous foundational physical skills training had already pushed the limits of human flexibility, but at least it had still been within the realm of possibility for humans. It wasn't like what Qin Yi just did ... seeing his arm twine around her arm like a snake, Ling Lan had felt an ache in her teeth, involuntarily drawing in a cold breath.
Goddammit, she just hated those kind of legless creepy crawly creatures. Even though she had touched, killed, and even eaten quite a few, hate was hate — this deeply rooted mentality wasn't something that could be swept away just by killing them.
Ling Lan hadn't stepped off the stage for long when the Class-A 2nd-place Wu Jiong also came off his stage. His opponent had been the weakest of the group, the original 14th-rank of Class-A.
Wu Jiong's strength was clearly much stronger than the other by a significant margin, and on top of that, Wu Jiong was an extraordinarily quick attacker. Once his opponent had been drawn into his rhythm, the opponent had been unable to keep up and had missed blocking one of Wu Jiong's punches in the end. With that, he had been sent flying out of the arena and declared defeated. Though Wu Jiong had only been slightly behind Ling Lan in getting off the stage, because the rally of attacks had been unusually quick, over 40 moves had already passed in his match.
Subsequently, several more students got off their respective stages one after another. Qi Long was the fourth person of the first grade Class-A to advance into the top 7. Seeing Qi Long's animated expression, Ling Lan just knew that Qi Long must have had a great time in his fight, otherwise he wouldn't be looking so satisfied.
"Fighting an opponent with a similar style, how was it?" Ling Lan couldn't help but ask curiously.
Qi Long's mouth split open in a wide smile. "It was beyond awesome! If I get bored in future, I'll go find that punk for a fight." His match had truly been a passionate and energetic one, exceptionally lively, allowing Qi Long to fully release all the pent up energy within his body.
Hearing this, Ling Lan mentally spared a moment of grief for Xu Zhizhi. Being fixated on by this battle maniac, it could be foreseen that Xu Zhizhi's coming days would be filled with tragic beatings.
"You ... don't go overboard," said Ling Lan weakly. Since they were lucky enough to be classmates, she had to try and salvage a bit of Xu Zhizhi's future.
"Relax, Boss, I'll watch myself. I won't injure him." Qi Long sent a mournful look at Ling Lan, and added, "If Boss was willing to fight with me, then I wouldn't have to go look for him. Fighting with you, Boss, is still more exciting."
Every time he sparred with Ling Lan, although he was always the one being pummelled, he would always feel that he had gotten a bit stronger after it. So, he sincerely wished to fight Ling Lan more, but unfortunately, Ling Lan had refused to fight for a long while previously, greatly depressing him.
Hearing Qi Long's words, Ling Lan shuddered violently, and replied immediately, "Xu Zhizhi's skills are pretty good, he's a good opponent. Qi Long, you have good taste." Better you than me, Xu Zhizhi — sacrifice yourself as tribute! Ling Lan resolutely cast aside the little remaining sympathy she had for her classmate into the far reaches of outer space.
Hells, if Qi Long really fixated on her instead, she would have to really spend all day and night embroiled in the world of combat. That would truly be unbearable.
Ling Lan's words made Qi Long nod affirmatively. He too believed that his choice wasn't bad — for him, who liked to fight, being pummelled by Ling Lan was unavoidable, and when fighting with Luo Lang and Han Jijyun, he found himself unable to truly let himself go, so fighting them was unsatisfying. Now that he had found Xu Zhizhi who fought with the same blunt and wild style as he did, he could fight without worry, so his mood was extraordinarily good.
Qi Long had already thought it through early on — if Boss Lan was free, then he would look for Boss Lan to fight (torment himself), but if Boss Lan wasn't free, then he would seek out Xu Zhizhi to fight (torment the other), and when Xu Zhizhi ran out of energy, he would go fight with Luo Lang and Han Jijyun ...
There was no helping it. Qi Long's stamina was truly so good that it was abnormal, which was why he had no choice but to keep fighting to expend all that excess energy.
"There isn't any problem with your stamina right now, right?" Ling Lan was a little worried that Qi Long might have gone overboard in his glee at finding new prey.
When Qi Long heard this, he hurriedly shook his head. He would never make such a mistake. He gave his arms several forceful shakes, showing Ling Lan that his energy was still abundant.
Although Qi Long looked as if he was all brawn with little brain, he definitely wasn't a reckless person, but was more the type who seemed foolish in his great wisdom. He had a clear bottom-line in his heart, knowing that play was play, but there was a limit to that. Advancing from the top 13 into the top 7 was not the end point; the following top 7 to top 4 advancement matches were directly after. If he really fooled around too much and used up most of his energy, if he then happened to lose, even if he could forgive himself, he believed that his boss Ling Lan would never let it go, and would definitely kill him personally.
After half a year of interaction, Qi Long knew very well what Ling Lan's creed was. Ling Lan only upheld one principle — a battle that could be won should never be lost. If victory was uncertain, then efforts should be made to win; if loss was certain, then avoid if possible, if it was unavoidable ... then create all the conditions necessary to win and win it.
In other words, Ling Lan was someone who hated, abhorred, loathed failing. This was a compulsion that Ling Lan had brought with her from her previous life, because back then, failure for Ling Lan would be at the cost of her life, so Ling Lan could not afford to lose.
Therefore, Qi Long, as Ling Lan's follower, couldn't speak of losing so easily. Qi Long just couldn't drop the ball at this critical juncture, unless he no longer wanted to call Ling Lan Boss ...