For the advancement of the top 13 to the top 7, the final match to end was Luo Lang and Ye Xu's. The two of them were equally matched, and a winner had only been determined right at the very end when they had both been utterly worn out. Ye Xu had collapsed a second later than Luo Lang, and thus gained the victory, successfully advancing.
Han Jijyun and the others felt sorry for Luo Lang. If Luo Lang hadn't had to expend so much energy yesterday, causing fatigue to remain in his body which held him back today, then perhaps the result would be different. But regardless, Luo Lang's match was officially over.
However, Luo Lang's defeat didn't lower his standing in the eyes of the Class-A students, because in this match, he had proven that his strength was roughly equivalent with that of Ye Xu's. In other words, Luo Lang's strength was on par with the Class-A top 3 ranks.
The gazes of all the Class-A students were now gathered upon Ling Lan and Qi Long. If Luo Lang's strength was already on par with the top 3 of Class-A, then how strong were Ling Lan and Qi Long really? It should be known that Luo Lang was considered the weakest among the three of them.
However, they believed that as the matches progressed, Ling Lan's and Qi Long's true strength will be displayed before them. Then, they would be able to know once and for all just how much depth there really was to Ling Lan and Qi Long.
In short order, about half an hour later, the advancement battles for the top 7 into top 4 began. Although Ye Xu really hoped he would get a bye once so that he would be able to have more time to recover his strength, unfortunately, the academy did not wish for Ye Xu to be that lucky. The bye for this round was given to Qi Long.
When the name list for the assignment of byes came out, Ling Lan could pretty much confirm the academy's bye-allocation strategy. They had chosen the strongest few — in other words, the academy was intentionally precluding the element of luck in this.
For the top 7 to top 4 battles, due to Qi Long's bye, there were only three matches. Ling Lan's luck was not much weaker than Qi Long's, actually being matched up with the already worn out Ye Xu who no longer had the ability to put up a good fight. Meanwhile, Li Yingjie had been matched with the original rank-5 of Class-A, Jiang Yuan, while Wu Jiong had been paired with the 4th-rank, Zhou Jirong — both matches a meeting of the strong.
The moment Ye Xu saw the match-up name list, his face fell. His opponent was actually going to be that Ling Lan — this luck of his was just too terrible.
Originally, he had thought of at least trying to fight, but against such an opponent like Ling Lan, he wasn't sure he could win even if he had been full of strength, let alone in this current dire situation ... Ye Xu had no choice but to consider the other ranking battles he would have to fight if he lost. It should be noted that the ranking battles to determine the rankings of 13th-8th and 7th-5th would be held at the same time — if he used up the rest of his strength here, it was very likely that he might not even be able to hold onto 5th place.
It had to be said that the stronger the child, the stronger their judgment and acceptance. Knowing when to give up was also a form of courage.
The moment the referee teacher on stage said start, Ye Xu, who had already thought things through, resolutely raised his hand to surrender. So, just like that, Ling Lan once again advanced easily, successfully becoming the quickest to advance among the three people, excluding Qi Long's advancement via the bye.
Meanwhile, Li Yingjie's and Wu Jiong's respective matches were both very intense. Although Li Yingjie and Wu Jiong were the top 2 of Class-A, their strength was not yet at the level where they would suppress all opposition, being just a little stronger than their opponents. As such, it was really hard to say who would win in the end, for of course the opponents also had their eye on advancing, and had drawn up their full strength to fight it out with their opponent.
However, the two of them proved to have substantial roots in the end. Li Yingjie was the direct descendant of the top elite family of the Federation — all the combat arts he learned had been through the tests of time, with only the best foundational arts being kept, and as such he had a head start over other people. Meanwhile, Wu Jiong was also the descendant of a fourth-generation military family — a set of military combat arts was enough for him to dominate over most of the other kids. In the end, the two of them relied on their solid foundations to defeat their opponents and advanced successfully into the top 4.
The advancement of these four students was accepted full-heartedly by the Class-A students, with no objections whatsoever.
The morning's battles didn't end there; following right on its heels were the 13th-8th and 7th-5th place final ranking battles. This time, Ye Xu's luck returned, receiving the only bye slot for the 7th-5th place ranking fights. This gave him the time to continue resting in the recovery pod, taking advantage of every second to recover his energy.
Luo Lang's luck was also not bad. For the first round, he fought against a weaker student, gaining a hard-earned victory. Then he received a bye for the next round, and had to wait for the winner of the other group to be done so they could fight for the 8th rank. Of course, he also took the chance to rest in a recovery pod to regain his strength. In the end, having recovered enough energy, both Ye Xu and Luo Lang defeated their respective opponents. And so, Luo Lang obtained 8th place, while Ye Xu obtained 5th place.
On the rankings, Ye Xu's ranking had dropped compared to when school just started, but his status was not at all lowered in the minds of the students. Ye Xu's strength was definitely exceptional — it was just that no one had expected two aberrant oddballs such as Ling Lan and Qi Long to appear in Class-A. Qi Long was more the oddball, while Ling Lan was more the aberrant.
Meanwhile, Luo Lang's rank had risen considerably, obtaining the 8th position. Everyone felt that it was well-deserved, with some students even thinking that Luo Lang's true rank should be one or two ranks higher. After all, he and Ye Xu had been neck and neck during their battle, so it would be reasonable for him to be the 6th rank. However, there wasn't much difference in strength among the top 10 of Class-A anyway, so there was no need to be too caught up in the details of the rankings.
Finally, only the exact ranking of the top 4 was left unsettled. What were the final match-ups going to be? However, the semi-finals and the finals had been scheduled for the afternoon, so the Class-A students could only suppress their curiosity, and go have their lunch at the canteen first.
While eating, Han Jijyun voiced his concern over the possibility of Ling Lan going up against Qi Long, but Qi Long wasn't worried about it at all. Rather, he was excited at the prospect, thinking that that would be the perfect opportunity for him to fight all out with Boss Lan.
Hearing this, although her expression retained its usual calm, Ling Lan prayed in her heart for the academy's A.I. to be wise, and assign the troublesome Qi Long to be someone else's responsibility.
Talking and laughing, the few of them finished their lunch, and then went back together to the combat hall, to wait for the notification of the final match-ups.
The time finally arrived, and the battle name list was revealed. Seeing it, Han Jijyun and Luo Lang leapt up in excitement, while Wu Jiong frowned slightly, his expression turning grim.
That's right, his opponent for the coming match was the one he feared the most — Ling Lan. If possible, he really had not wanted to meet him during the semi-finals, hoping that he would be able to advance to the finals in his best condition.
However, Wu Jiong quickly regained his equilibrium. As a descendant of a military family, he wasn't one to shy away from tough challenges. Wu Jiong was actually very prepared. Ever since Ling Lan had first advanced in one move, he had already been paying attention to him, considering Ling Lan as his greatest rival within Class-A.
Indeed, in Wu Jiong's eyes, that arrogant punk Li Yingjie was not worthy of being his rival. Although Li Yingjie was a match for him now, he believed that in three to five years time, he would definitely leave Li Yingjie in the dust as one of his stepping stones.
From Wu Jiong's observations, he found that Ling Lan's current strength was certainly one level higher than them, so it would be extremely difficult to defeat him. Still, he wouldn't give up just because of this. He had contacted his father, detailing Ling Lan's combat movements to him, in hopes that his father would be able to provide some guidance.
It wasn't that Wu Jiong didn't want to let his father see a recording of Ling Lan's fights, but unfortunately, the Central Scout Academy kept a very strict guard on the videos of their students. It was impossible to send out the data from within the school — the moment one left the school grounds, any data saved within any communicators, as long as it was a video file downloaded from the school servers, would be automatically deleted via formatting, so even a top expert in A.I. would be unable to restore it.
This was one of the ways the academy protected its students, forbidding video images of its students from being leaked to the outside world, though of course verbal descriptions were not included under this coverage.
After Wu Jiong's father had heard his descriptions, he had waited a beat before telling him to just hold on and wait for an opportunity. If he could hold on till after the opponent's tenth move, then perhaps he would be able to find a way to win.
The greatest reason for this was just that Ling Lan made too few moves, so there was no way to see where his weaknesses lay. Wu Jiong had naturally taken his father's words to heart, and based on the top 13 to top 7 advancement match, his father's words were proven to be accurate.
Qin Yi had just been a little too impatient, moving recklessly before he had figured out Ling Lan's true strength. Wu Jiong mentally warned himself to be patient — no matter how fierce Ling Lan's attacks were, even if there were many openings, if he wasn't sure of success, he should just continue to hold back.
Very quickly, the two matches officially kicked off. After some hesitation, Han Jijyun had decided to go watch Qi Long and Li Yingjie's battle. Meanwhile, Luo Lang had chosen to go watch Ling Lan's fight, because he wanted to see Ling Lan's true combat skills.
Speaking of which, it was rather sad that after following Ling Lan for half a year and fighting him several times during that time, they had still never seen Ling Lan use any proper systematic combat arts. Because, when Ling Lan fought with them, he basically didn't use any formal moves at all. He only attacked based on instinct with direct moves, clear to see and understand.
Precisely because of this point, Han Jijyun and the others had never been able to pin down Ling Lan's true background. Although Han Jijyun had tried beating around the bush, Ling Lan had just smiled but kept silent. Was there really a secret behind it all, or was there really no secret at all? They just had no way to know.
If Ling Lan had known that Qi Long and the others were so concerned about her background, she would probably laugh her head off. At this moment, Ling Lan still wasn't clear about her father's true status in this world, thinking that she was just an ordinary inconspicuous descendant of a small elite family — a child with a widowed mother who had broken ties with the small elite family at that.
It had to be said that Ling Lan was a little careless in this respect. Of course, Little Four was also partly to blame here, never reminding Ling Lan to go learn more about Ling Xiao, so Ling Lan only knew that her father was an unremarkable major general in some random regiment (the Federation had so many major generals they were like hairs on the backs of cows), who had then carelessly gotten a GAME OVER when he went off to fight on the battlefield.
The matches finally started, and Wu Jiong chose to do the same as Qin Yi, dodging to one side, and putting up a cautious defence. This caused Ling Lan's head to ache.
Meanwhile, on Qi Long's side, the fight was intense from the very beginning. Qi Long had always been a child who fought based on personal instinct, so when he heard the referee teacher say start, he had charged forwards immediately ...