Following this declaration, Li Yingjie, who was below the stage, stood up with a face full of shock as if he could not conceive that this would be the outcome.
"How — you knew that was my only weak point?" Seeing Qi Long preparing to walk off the stage, Li Yingjie couldn't help but call out. It was the greatest killing move, but it also had the greatest weakness. An average person would never choose to fight in a way where both parties would take damage, not when there were other options available, but Qi Long had chosen to attack that spot out of all spots — this was something he just could not comprehend.
Qi Long scratched his head, and thought hard for a while before replying, "I didn't know. It's just my instincts were telling me that it should be that way, and so my fist went there."
Of course, he didn't say that he had once almost lost his life under a similar move made by Ling Lan. He had asked Ling Lan then whether there was a way to break the move, and Ling Lan, guilty at accidentally injuring Qi Long just then, had deconstructed the move for him, as well as taught him that the spot which looked the strongest was most often the weakest in moves like this. In choosing to dodge it, you would fall right into the opponent's trap.
However, when fighting, Qi Long didn't have the chance to think that much. He only remembered one point — the more dangerous it was, the more he should not dodge. Thus, even as he blanked out, he decided to listen to his heart and attacked the spot it pointed out as attackable. Reality proved that his heart had not lied to him.
However, Qi Long's answer made Li Yingjie's face flush red. He felt that this answer was an excuse Qi Long had thought up because he was unwilling to tell him the real reason. At that moment, a swell of rage crested in his heart, and he hated the fact that he couldn't rip apart the hateful Qi Long before his eyes.
However, a trace of worry rose in his heart at the same time. He wondered if the Li family top-secret killing moves had been leaked — if that was really the case, it would be a devastating blow to the Li family. Mind you, for the Li family to be so firmly rooted in the Federation, with a lineage spanning thousands of years, a large part of it could be credited to this set of highly lethal combat arts. Li Yingjie decided that once the ranking battles were over, he must immediately relay this news to his father so that he could investigate and find out who was it that had betrayed the Li family ...
It wasn't just Li Yingjie who didn't believe Qi Long's words, for even the other spectators were sceptical. Of course, as Qi Long sworn brother, Han Jijyun knew that Qi Long was really speaking the truth, because he knew very well just how powerful Qi Long's animal instinct was.
There was still one more person who believed Qi Long's words — the quietly observing Coffin-face. The matter-of-fact look on his face only made Smiley-face, who was standing beside him, even more confused. He was just about to question the other, when Coffin-face suddenly tugged at his clothes, signalling for him to walk away with him.
After answering Li Yingjie, Qi Long then slowly walked off the stage towards the waiting Han Jijyun. Before he could call out a greeting, he saw two youths dressed in instructor apparel, with a clearly militaristic air about them, walking towards him from the corner of his eye, and couldn't help but stop in surprise.
The tall man with a cold expression started by saying, "You there, student. Excuse me, how should I address you?"
At this moment, several instructors who had been thinking of taking action saw the two men's approach, and abruptly stopped their steps with bitter smiles on their faces. They knew then that things were just not fated to be with that boy who was so wild in combat — they wouldn't dare to fight over an initiate disciple with those two tough customers.
Qi Long was a little puzzled, unsure why the man had come up to him, but he still answered politely, "Hello Teacher, I'm called Qi Long."
Han Jijyun sensed someone behind him and quickly turned his head around to look. When he saw who it was, his expression tightened, and he immediately bent low in a bow, saying respectfully, "Good day, Teachers."
Seeing Qi Long still standing with a bewildered face, he hurriedly nudged him, signalling for him to follow his example.
Although Qi Long was a little lost, unsure why Han Jijyun wanted him to be so respectful to the other party, he would never go against Han Jijyun's will in small matters like this, and so Qi Long mimicked Han Jijyun and gave a respectful bow as well.
Coffin-face and Smiley-face exchanged a look, and Smiley-face took a closer look at Han Jijyun, a trace of interest in his eyes. This little fellow wasn't simple at all, actually managing to sense something within that split second ...
The two men indicated for Qi Long and Han Jijyun to follow them, so Han Jijyun decisively tugged on Qi Long, pulling him along behind the teachers. Although Qi Long really wanted to go see Ling Lan's match, he still acceded to Han Jijyun's decision, and together they came to a secluded corner in the combat hall.
Smiley-face took a look around, and only after confirming that there was no one within range to hear their conversation, did he nod to Coffin-face to proceed.
"Qi Long, I would like to take you on as my initiate disciple, are you willing?" Coffin-face's expression was as frigid as usual, not at all concerned that his cold demeanour would scare away this student he had his eye on.
"Initiate disciple?!" Qi Long was at first taken aback, but then he recalled something and came to an abrupt realisation.
Seeing this, Coffin-face let out an internal breath of relief — looks like this child already knew of this secret, so he wouldn't have to waste words explaining. This sort of explaining task was what he feared the most.
Han Jijyun glanced at Qi Long with a face full of envy. About the matter of initiate disciples, his own father had already informed him about it when he had been accepted into the academy. This was also why he had been so respectful back when the teachers had approached Qi Long; he had figured it out instantly.
"Of course I'm willing." Becoming an initiate disciple was not like becoming an instructor's official disciple — there were no responsibilities associated with it on the student's end, only benefits. Of course Qi Long would not turn down this opportunity to become strong quickly which had fallen into his lap with no strings attached. Without even having to think about it, he agreed.
However, Qi Long was not someone who would forget his friends. He pulled Han Jijyun closer to his side and said, "This is my good friend, called Han Jijyun, IQ 260, definitely smarter than me. Teacher, could you also accept him as an initiate disciple?"
Hearing this, Han Jijyun's face paled dramatically and hurried to stop him, yelling, "Qi Long!"
Many children would be disliked and discarded by a teacher because of greed, and lose the chance to become an initiate disciple in the end. Seeing Qi Long so reckless, Han Jijyun was so anxious that his forehead was beaded with sweat. In his heart, he was blaming Qi Long — why did he have to be so wilful? Didn't he know this was his chance to become strong quickly?
Seeing Han Jijyun so anxious for Qi Long, while Qi Long remained determined to obtain this privilege for his good friend, Smiley-face's smile deepened, and even the lines on Coffin-face's face gentled noticeably.
The two of them shared a glance, and then Smiley-face looked once more at Han Jijyun to say, "Han Jijyun, if you're not against it, then be my initiate disciple."
In awed surprise, Han Jijyun raised his head to say, "Can I?"
Smiley-face was all smiles as he nodded, and Han Jijyun said emotionally, "Thank you Teacher, I'm willing, I'm willing."
Seeing this result, Qi Long grinned widely in satisfaction.
But Coffin-face frowned slightly as he said, "Didn't you have your eye on the other boy?" Taking on one more disciple meant that he would have to expend double the effort — Coffin-face didn't wish for Smiley-face to become too tired.
Smiley-face remained smiling as he said, "Taking on one more is no big deal. We'll have plenty of time this coming year ahead." That said, he removed two flat and rectangular copper plates from his pocket, both of which had an orchid blossom carved on it, and handed them to Han Jijyun, saying, "One's for you, while the other is for the other initiate disciple I've got my eye on. He should also be one of your companions, hm, that boy who was fighting with Qi Long in the morning."
Hearing this, Qi Long and Han Jijyun looked at each other in pleasant surprise, and said in unison, "Luo Lang."
Smiley-face smiled and said, "Should be him."
Han Jijyun did not hesitate, immediately contacting Luo Lang through his communicator, throwing down a brief 'get here', and hanging up before Luo Lang could answer.
Luo Lang, who had been in the midst of watching Ling Lan and Wu Jiong's match, came over, utterly confused. When Smiley-face repeated his intentions to take him on as an initiate disciple, Luo Lang likewise agreed without any hesitation, directly taking one of the copper plates from Han Jijyun's hands. This was a token representing the teacher's commitment — it could not be lost.
Meanwhile, Qi Long had received a silver dollar, but the image on it was that of a pine tree, hardy and strong, tasteful in its simplicity.
Having gained satisfactory initiate disciples, Coffin-face and Smiley-face no longer had any thought of remaining in the combat hall. Bidding farewell to Qi Long and the others, they left the combat hall after arranging a time and place for training.
On the road, Smiley-face finally asked the question he had held back for so long. "Tai, what exactly does that Qi Long have to cause you to be so excited, to even bring out that token which represents an official disciple?"
"If I had the authority to accept true disciples, I'd even be willing to give a gold dollar," said Coffin-face seriously. "That boy Qi Long, if I'm not mistaken, has awakened the sixth sense."
Coffin-face's words shocked Smiley-face. "How can that be? Even we have only just touched on the edges of the sixth sense."
"Perhaps, this is an innate talent he was born with." Coffin-face could only explain it this way. The sixth sense was a miraculous ability, allowing one to sense danger and opportunity instinctually. Right now, the Federation already knew how to rely on extremely cruel torments to force trainees to gain this ability, but of course, the success rate was exceedingly low. Only those with resolute personalities who had been through countless battles could have the chance to obtain this, as they called it, ability from the realm of the gods. For instance, he and Smiley-face were part of the few lucky ones.
This was also the first time he had seen it in a child — that unpolished natural ability was even stronger than that which they've obtained through external forces ... perhaps this was their chance to cultivate an ultimate warrior for their sect.
Coffin-face had already decided that he would train Qi Long well; he would not allow such an extraordinary talent to be lost within the masses. He also considered that if he couldn't teach Qi Long well enough, then he would entrust Qi Long to his honourable teacher for mentoring.
If Instructor Number One from the learning space were here, his face would be filled with disdain upon hearing what Coffin-face had said. This was no 'sixth sense'. It was, in fact, an awakened sensory talent — proper name 'Perception', otherwise known as 'Animal Instinct' — and was one of the lower-average level talents. From this, we can see that the technology and its accompanying combat cultivation systems of the current world and the Mandora star system were light years apart, completely not of the same level.
Meanwhile, after collecting their thoughts and feelings, Qi Long, Han Jijyun, and Luo Lang hurried back to Ling Lan's combat arena to watch her match. Ling Lan's match was the complete opposite of Qi Long's, no intensity in sight. The two combatants were battling it out in terms of patience, both sides testing the other.
Ling Lan knew very well where her problem lay — killing people was no problem; even if ten more Wu Jiong appeared, she would be able to KO them easily. However, to win without harming her opponent, or even just lightly wounding her opponent, was a great challenge for Ling Lan. After all, all the moves she had mastered were ultimate killing moves; the moves that she could take out for a formal match were just too limited.KO doesn't mean death, typically, just 'knock-out', as in render unconscious. But the author actually uses 'KO' here, so just roll with it and assume it refers to heavy damage.