It is Not Easy to Be a Man After Travelling to the Future Chapter 459: A Strange Injury!
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Ling Lan fully agreed with Zhao Jun's speculations. She nodded and said, "This battle plan is pretty good. For the next round, we should also make some changes." Tongli's targeted and purposeful line-up reminded Ling Lan that a fixed and unchanging order would make it very easy for others to pick out a flaw. Although they had strength, they would not be able to fend against endless schemes and calculations.
Zhao Jun's words pulled Qiao Ting's attention back, and he turned an odd gaze at the few Tongli cadets who were standing not too far backstage watching the fight closely. He did not know whether to give them props for their bizarre way of thinking or offer them a moment of mournful silence.
Although Qiao Ting did not think that he had truly lost to Ling Lan in that challenge fight, having exchanged one proper blow with Ling Lan, he knew well that Ling Lan's mecha combat arts were extraordinary. Whether in terms of speed, technique, or judgment, Ling Lan had achieved the pinnacle of a special-class operator — and this was why Ling Lan had been able to finish him off in one move.
These were the results of Qiao Ting's repetitive study of the battle recording of their fight. He believed that Ling Lan's control ability was actually even stronger than Zhao Jun who seemed stronger than Ling Lan on the surface. It was also this analysis which made Qiao Ting mentally view Ling Lan as his greatest rival — just think, had he been as strong as the other back when he was in his second year?
Of course, without advancing to ace, no matter how powerful or talented one was, everything would be but a passing cloud. Qiao Ting knew he would continue to keep a close eye on Ling Lan, waiting to see if this aberrant who had already advanced to Domain in physical skills at age 17 would be just as aberrant when it came to mecha piloting.
On this end, while Qiao Ting was thinking that the Tongli people were asking for trouble, on the other end, Han Yu, who did not know Ling Lan's true strength, was becoming anxious. He could not help but begin to resent Ling Lan, silently blaming the other for coveting the honour associated with the group battles and forcing his way in to make up the numbers, pushing Zhao Jun aside. If not for that, they would never have been put into such a passive state ...
At the thought that they might be ended here in the top 100, becoming one of the most unexpected losers of this competition, Han Yu could not help but think viciously — wait till they got back to the First Men's Military Academy ... let's see how this Ling Lan was going to explain this! At this moment, Han Yu had forgotten that it was because he had lost that first match which he should not have out of carelessness that things had become so passive for them ...
Sensing the discontent in Han Yu's eyes, a trace of a malicious smile appeared on Qiao Ting's lips. He was not so nice that he would help enlighten his old rival — let him stew in his worry for a while.
Ling Lan chose to ignore Han Yu's displeasure and Qiao Ting's indifference; right then, she was reading through a long document in her mindspace. It was the detailed information she had asked Little Four to gather on all the participants of Tongli.
"It should be this person ..." said Ling Lan, pointing at one of the names in the document; she had finally found what she was looking for.
At her side, Little Four was rather curious. He stretched tall on tiptoe, trying to see who exactly his boss was referring to. Unfortunately, even after 17 years, he was still a little beansprout — his height was not even at the level of Ling Lan's waist; no matter how high he stood on tiptoe, he was still unable to see.
Looking up to see that sheet of white paper high above his head, Little Four suddenly hated himself. Why did he have to turn the data into paper documents? If he had just displayed it on a virtual screen, wouldn't he be able to see it then? Right then, Little Four was filled with infinite regret, but he also did not dare to make an executive decision to change formats — he was afraid that his boss would once again shut him up in that small black room, oh that small black room.
Ling Lan had long noticed Little Four's behaviour and was snickering in her heart, but she decided not to make things difficult for him. She dipped the paper low, bringing it right before Little Four's eyes, pointed at one of the names and said, "Him."
Little Four reflexively read it out loud, "Du Yuanlang, specialization: Military Strategy. Ranked 7 in this tournament's tactical strategy competition ... this result is not that good, even losing to Han Jijyun ..." At this point, Little Four was still befuddled, unsure why his boss had gone to the trouble of searching for this specific person among the list of more than a hundred people.
Little Four's dazed look made Ling Lan smile fondly, and she explained, "This match today, Tongli's line-up was probably by this guy's arrangement. I have to say that this battle plan is very good, almost allowing the other side to achieve an upset ..."
Little Four understood then. Abruptly amused, his eyes crinkled into a straight line as he smiled widely, and somewhat smugly with a touch of schadenfreude, he said, "Sadly, he bet on the wrong person."
Ling Lan did not reply, merely rubbing Little Four's head. She ignored Little Four's resultant protests and instructed, "In short, send a copy each of this person's information to Jijyun and Leopard. Tell them to watch out for him. During the team battle royal, this person might bring us some trouble."
After settling all this, Ling Lan turned her attention back to the field. At this moment, Zhang Jing-an's situation was not looking good; he was fighting under the opponent's suppression. This fighter was truly Tongli's ace-in-the-hole — Zhang Jing-an, who was also a special-class operator like him, was still no match for him.
"Senior Zhang is about to lose," said Ling Lan evenly. She reckoned that there would be just a few more moves before the outcome was decided; based on Zhang Jing-an's condition, he would at most be able to withstand another 10 moves.
Qiao Ting nodded and said, "Yes, it's just uncertain how many more moves he'll be able to take. The opponent is very strong ... his ranking of 19 was probably because he was matched against an ace operator early and was defeated prematurely. His strength is about the same as Zhao Jun's. He could have easily made it into the top 8. Zhang Jing-an's loss is not unfounded."
Ling Lan was rather taken aback by Qiao Ting's words. She had thought that Qiao Ting, an ace operator like her, would also be able to estimate how many moves were left before the outcome of the match was revealed. Surprisingly, that was not so. Qiao Ting was able to foresee the final outcome, but he could not determine how many moves would be used ...
Just as Ling Lan was puzzling over this conundrum, things abruptly changed on the field after the two mecha had exchanged another 7 blows. Zhang Jing-an, who had only been disadvantaged all this while without showing any signs of being defeated yet, suddenly dodged a little too slow and was struck right in the chest by the opponent's cold weapon. The tremendous force behind the blow sent Zhang Jing-an flying.
Thrown through the air, Zhang Jing-an had yet to stabilize his mecha when the opponent had already pounced after him like a fierce predator. Three consecutive hits instantly sent Zhang Jing-an's mecha crashing into the ground below ...
Ten moves! In the end, the moves needed to determine the outcome was as Ling Lan had predicted — only ten moves! Why could she make such an accurate judgment call when Qiao Ting could not? Ling Lan thought hard on this and was suddenly struck by a fit of inspiration. She had thought of her innate talent Profound Insight. Could that be the answer?
Thinking closely about it, that was the only possibility. This made Ling Lan begin to take this innate talent very seriously — she had initially thought that Profound Insight was just an ability that allowed her to hone in on an opponent's weakness, but now from the looks of it, she had underestimated this innate talent. Profound Insight probably still had some other wonderful uses for her to uncover ... perhaps, she should really put some serious effort to study it now.
In the learning space, Instructor Number One was seated in quiet meditation on a mountain peak. When he sensed Ling Lan's thoughts, he opened his eyes and a cold gleam flashed through them. Immediately after, he huffed coldly before closing his eyes in meditation once more.
Instructor Number One was actually very displeased that Ling Lan was only just showing interest to understand her innate talent Profound Insight now. He had already told Ling Lan much earlier before that the Profound Insight innate talent was one of the best of all innate talents, so how could it be limited to the insignificant ability to identify weaknesses like the lower level innate talents such as Animal Instinct?
However, Instructor Number One was also satisfied that Ling Lan had been able to notice this point so quickly despite her disinterest. Once Ling Lan had fully mastered Profound Insight ... Instructor Number One did not dare to chase this thought any further — she would definitely become an absolutely terrifying existence.
After the three combo hits, Zhang Jing-an's points had already been deducted till zero. The referee immediately raised his red flag to prevent the opponent from moving forwards and attacking again. Ling Lan and the rest waited for Zhang Jing-an to operate his mecha to stand up so that the referee could announce the results.
Several seconds later, Zhang Jing-an still had not moved from where he had crashed onto the ground. Ling Lan's and Qiao Ting's expressions changed.
The referee on the field had also noticed this, and he quickly connected to Zhang Jing-an's commlink and called out to him urgently. Then, he could vaguely hear moaning coming from the other end and immediately knew that the situation was not good. He quickly called for the medical team.
The medical team immediately rushed onto the scene with several high-level hackers in tow. Zhang Jing-an seemed to have already fallen unconscious and was unable to open his own cockpit, so the hackers were needed to crack the code on the cockpit doors to open them before the medical team could hoist Zhang Jing-an to help him.
Seeing this, Ling Lan informed Little Four to lend a hand. After the hackers had begun hacking, Little Four slipped in and broke the code, springing the doors open.
Zhang Jing-an was pulled out — his entire body was limp like a lump of mud. The primary doctor stepped forwards to examine him, and his face changed drastically. He immediately placed Zhang Jing-an into the pre-prepared healing pod and swiftly contacted a transport machine on standby outside the stadium to come and move the healing pod out.
The competition was declared suspended for an indefinite amount of time. This notification let Ling Lan and the others know that something major must have happened. In the live broadcast they were watching backstage, when Zhang Jing-an was rescued out of his mecha, his injuries seemed off, as if several magnitudes more severe than they had imagined.
Worried and suspicious, they watched the video images of the three-hit combo again and again — the opponent's attacks had been very clean, and there was nothing wrong with the area he had attacked either, fully avoiding the cockpit ... then why was Zhang Jing-an so heavily injured? This matter was just too strange; they could not figure it out.
Ling Lan instructed Little Four to secretly sneak into the military comms channels and make sure he found out what this matter was all about.
Everyone was patiently waiting for the results of the examination — when Zhang Jing-an's opponent, that Tongli trump card, returned backstage, he too had a look of bewilderment on his face. He could not understand how Zhang Jing-an had been injured so gravely either. The initially bustling backstage had now fallen still and silent. Everyone was waiting for news, eager to know what in the world had happened.
"Ah, it's General Ling Xiao!" In the silent backstage, someone cried out, startling everyone. A commotion broke out as everyone rushed to the big screen to see General Ling Xiao's glory for themselves. The initially heavy atmosphere was swept away in an instant.
Ling Xiao had not walked down to the combat field alone. The vice president of the Federation was with him, but everyone's attention was all on Ling Xiao, so the vice president very tragically became part of the background. Expressions grim, they walked up to Zhang Jing-an's mecha where Ling Xiao then jumped straight into the cockpit with a powerful leap. When he came out from inside, his expression had turned extremely dark ...
He said a few brief words to the vice president and the latter's expression changed dramatically, a picture of disbelief. Very soon, the two of them re-entered the cockpit together, and when they came out again, the vice president's countenance was even three degrees darker than Ling Xiao's.
Soon, all of the academies participating in the group mecha combat event were notified that all of the actual mecha being used in the competition would be inspected by military specialists. Only after they were verified to be safe would the mecha operators be allowed to board them and use them in the competition!
As soon as this notice was released, there was an uproar! Everyone understood now what had befallen Zhang Jing-an!
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