Chapter 194: Lei Feng Appears!
The sim pod opened.
Su He pulled himself from the dark and stuffy simulator. His face didn’t display any of the things you might expect; no depression or anger. Instead, he looked excited. Whether from emotion or the drama of the fight it was hard to say, but it was so intense that his hands were shaking.
He ran across to Tan Lingyun’s pod without hesitation.
However, the teachers and students had learned their lesson from watching Xiao Han. They warded Su He’s advance.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Tang Xiao gave the young instructor a hard look.
“Nothing,” Su He replied. “I have a great deal of respect for your instructor. I just wanted to properly introduce myself.”
Finally, Tan Lingyun’s pod opened, and the Savage Goddess pulled herself free. Her face was a mask of calm, like nothing out of the ordinary had occurred.
“Greetings, Professor Tan,” Su He greeted with a nod of his head.
Tan Lingyun acknowledge him with a nod.
Su He took a breath, then spoke up with excitement clear in his voice. But there was also a pleading undertone. “Professor Tan. I am well aware that my own abilities are far inferior to your own, but I am very excited to watch your artistry in the physical battle. I am very fortunate to be able to learn from your instruction.”
Tan Lingyun was understandably stupefied. The mighty woman, in this moment, was intensely afraid of being discovered as a fraud.
It was evident that, had ‘Lei Feng’ not intervened, she would never have been a match for Su He. The battle had been a profound experience for her, one in which she got to experience fighting on an entirely different level first hand.
But the real fights were next, where Discipline and mecha combined. How could she maintain this ruse then? However, under the watchful eyes of her students, she had to keep it up.
If she acted in accordance with her nature, she’d absolutely have told the whole truth. However, in this moment, it wasn’t just herself involved. She represented the entire school 1. What’s more the God-ranked battle still had a hold on her heart, challenging her self-control. She may have only watched the exchange, but that didn’t mean she didn’t learn something. At the very least, she came away with a God-ranked pilot’s thought process.
Her mind was still mulling over just how her green mecha had managed to defeat Su He’s in the simulation.
Tan Lingyun brought her attention to the present. “Impressive close combat abilities. But answer a question for me; do you know how it is you lost the fight?”
The onlookers watched as their champion spoke. She seemed possessed of a mysterious and profound disposition, her words instructive rather than inquisitive. For all the world like a professor teaching a student.
Su He answered. “I know a part of it. In the moment when your suit collided with my defense, you most likely employed oscillation. The frequency of your fist and the vibration of my blades must have been at similar rates, nullifying my weapon’s advantages and dispersing their force. The rush and strike sent me flying. It broke my defense leaving my chest exposed. That’s when your second rush finished me.”
Students and teachers on both sides were enlightened by the explanation. Finally, they understood how the green mecha had achieved victory.
Tan Lingyun also understood, then, what had happened. She nodded. “Let’s prepare for the next round.”
Everyone there bought it. Everyone, that is, except Tang Xiao. Something nagged at him.
Oscillation? Professor Tan was capable of the maneuver? A God-ranked pilot? Something wasn’t right. Tang Xiao knew only one person who could employ such a skill.
And what a skill! Employing oscillation at just the right frequency to nullify those frightening blades. Could Professor Tan really do such a thing?
Tan Lingyun walked towards the combat arena, calm and unhurried. There was no sense of hesitation or concern in her. The circumstances of their victory had been strange, but it opened up a whole new realm of knowledge to her.
It wasn’t ever Sovereign pilot who had the opportunity to witness a God-ranked battle first hand. It was an experience she knew was absolutely invaluable.
Oscillation! And the ghosting maneuvers earlier had shaken the simulator something fierce. To control the mecha despite that movement was an incredible feat in and of itself. Was this a glimpse at the power of God-ranked mecha pilots? She honestly didn’t know whether she’d have an opportunity to reach anywhere near that level in her entire lifetime.
It wasn’t just the masterful control of the suit that was inspiring, either. Watching the God-ranked pilot’s battlefield domination was also amazing. From the very instant Su He entered the simulated arena he was fighting for survival, and though his reactions were appropriate for every situation, the green mecha was able to adjust at every turn to maintain the advantage.
That was true ability! God-ranked pilots really were in a class all their own, she thought.
Tan Lingyun’s excitement was no less than Su He’s, though she kept it under wraps. She had been loathe to leave the simulator, anxious to get more instruction from the mysterious ‘Lei Feng’. She strongly believed that further instruction from this master would see her skills skyrocketing.
That deep voice was seared in to her memory. She may have walked away calm, but her heart thudded wildly in her chest.
It was a wonderful sensation. When the fights were finished, she planned to return to the pod. With any luck, ‘Lei Feng’ would still be there.
She arrived at the arena before she knew it. It was time to pick her suit.
Su He had arrived as well, though he had yet to pick his machine. He waited silently, watching Tan Lingyun approach. He offered her a respectful bow, then climbed in to a rifleman mecha.
Tan Lingyun took a deep breath. Whatever she was to face, she would face with grace. Indeed, she didn’t care whether she won or lost in their next encounter. Already her success and that of the Tang Xiao before her was an incredible leap forward for their university. Her sole fear was that she couldn’t live up to the showing in DreamNet. She was afraid it would raise questions.
Of course simulated battles and real fights were markedly different. They were using the most basic mechas available, and discipline would also play a role in this fight. The fight and its tactics would be entirely different. All were excuses she could rely on. So if she lost, she thought, then so be it.
As she pondered the circumstances, she walked over to the closest mecha – a saber suit. She had a preference for close combat.
“Pick the second suit.”
That deep voice rang in her ear, as though he were standing right beside her.
She stopped dead in her tracks, eyes wide.
Yes! It was ‘Lei Feng’ once again. He’s asked me to pick another suit… does this mean he has a way to help me? Is this even ok?
Though her heart was filled with surprise and delight, she constrained herself and did as instructed. After all, her opponent was not one to be trifled with. Was a second miracle in her cards?
These simple practice suits weren’t equipped with fancier equipment like tractor beams or transporters. As such she had to rely on ladders.
She pulled herself up with little effort, and hit the power button for the suit. The chest plate hissed as it snapped open. The inner cockpit was revealed.
These suits were possessed of only a small, factory standard cockpit. There was only just enough room for the pilot.
And there was already someone inside.
It was him? HE was ‘Lei Feng’?
He was dressed in strange clothes, like they were from the former era, and a golden mask. The only thing she could see was a pair of electric blue eyes.
The various students following her, however, saw no one.
The masked Lei Feng gave her a wave. Then patted his lap.
Wha-? Get in and sit on his lap?
Her face blazed red, unsure of how to proceed.
“You better hurry if you want to win this fight.” The deep voice called out to her.
She couldn’t afford to hesitate, not with everyone watching. She grit her teeth, and climbed in.
What to do? What to do?
Tan Lingyun tried to keep herself dignified, but all of that fell away when she pulled herself in to the cockpit. Never in her life had she had to contend with a situation like this.
The masked man reached down and pulled her up by the arm. To Tan Lingyun, it was like some great unseen force was yanking her in to his arms. The chest plate shut, under the masked man’s command. The cockpit felt intensely cramped.
The man’s hands her under her armpits, adjusting her position so that she had her back to him and her butt on his thighs. The seat harness swept passed and clicked, pressing her against him.
She felt his warmth against her, the strength of his torso. She felt heat rise up within her as well; here she was locked in a small room, pressed tightly against some man! One could imagine Tan Lingyun’s anxiety.
“Who… who are you?”
“It’s you!” Tan Lingyun’s heart fluttered. Her shyness and curiosity about the man diminished somewhat, and she tried to crane her head back to get a better look at him.
- Interesting. This makes cheating ok? ↩