Chapter 227: A Wild Guest Instructor Appears!
“Ah, that reminds me…” Lan Jue replied. “I’ve already let Director Wu know you’re going to be acting as my assistant. I’ll give you a mask, change your clothes and then we’re ready to go. The Director has hand-picked fifty students to populate our inaugural class. They should be top of their group. Today we’ll be going straight to simulations, and start there. Once you’re changed, head over and start setting up the pods. Get us a spot to train. I’ll be there a little while later.”
Wang Hongyuan’s attitude toward the young etiquette teacher was a sight different than normal. He nodded his head without hesitation or complaint. “Alright, right away. Let me get the mask.”
With his back to the other teachers, blocking their view, Lan Jue opened his inter-dimensional storing space and pulled free a silver mask. Wang Hongyuan took it, shot Lan Jue a thumbs-up, then left to get ready.
The etiquette teacher watched him leave, a smile on his face. This is the worth of a teaching assistant.
The Soulcaller gem warmed.
Zhou Qianlin: Soooo full! But it was delicious, thank you.
Lan Jue: Happy to. By the way, I’ll probably be leaving the school late this evening. Do you want to wait or find another way home?
What’s keeping you on campus so long? What are you up to?
Director Wu saw through our charade. Once he found out I’ve been behind the last few big news items, he forced me to agree to teach a mecha combat class. I had no choice but to accept, under the condition that he keeps my identity a secret. I’ll be a special ‘guest instructor’. Ugh…
Well can I join?
Me what? Is there a problem? You said yourself I’m an adept now.
Director Wu said he’d chosen the students for this class himself. Do you think you can find a way in?
He’s already approached me. He said they were opening a special mecha combat class, calling class one of Advanced Robotic Combat conditioning. He wanted to know if I’d be interested in joining. He said practical experience in mecha combat would improve my research. I said I’d think about it.
The surprises never cease.
He wants me to join the student government, commissary in charge of studies he called it. What do you think?
“Agh, Qianlin, I’m so full I could die. But so, so good. I can feel myself falling more in love with Professor Lan every time I show up to one of his classes. He’s not strong, but in peacetime he’s nothing short of a dream guy. He’s already conquered my stomach, and well on his way to my heart.” Tang Mi feigned a doe-eyed, smitten expression to Zhou Qianlin who was seated at her side.
Qianlin smiled at her. “I decided to join you in that mecha combat class, Little Mi.”
Tang Mi sat up straighter in her chair. “Weren’t you just on about not wanting to hurt anybody? Why the sudden change of heart?”
Qianlin’s smirk was as mysterious as it was teasing. “Why dwell on the past.”
“The sim pods are ready, teacher. You can come on over whenever you’re ready.” Wang Hongyuan’s voice carried through Lan Jue’s communicator.
“Alright, I’ll be there shortly,” he replied.
Mecha Combat Department, Simulator Warehouse.
Wu Junyi looked severe with his serious countenance and black suit. His cold demeanor instantly set the gathered students on edge. They could feel the stifling pressure, simply by his presence.
The students were dutifully arrayed in five rows, and stood as they waited for class to begin. Every one of them was clad in a black pilot jumpsuit.
Wang Hongyuan stood beside Wu Junyi, his identity protected by the silver mask. He looked over the excited youths in their crisp uniforms and, without understanding why, he felt his own blood boiling with anticipation.
They didn’t have to wait long. After a short while, the rhythmic of footsteps could be heard from outside. The door opened, and a figure stepped in.
He was instantly the center of attention.
A golden mask hid his features from view. A blue flight suit hugged his lithe, athletic figure. As he entered, a powerful aura followed.
Curiosity blazed in the eyes of all onlookers. Who was this masked man? When Director Wu had introduced the class, he’d told them only that they would be bringing in a guest instructor, and nothing more.
The masked man immediately made his way to Wu Junyi with large strides. He stopped once beside the man, gave him a nod, then looked over the gathered pupils.
Wu Junyi returned the greeting in kind, then faced the students. With a smile on his face, he addressed them in his characteristic imperial tone. “Alright students, allow me to introduce you. This is your new guest instructor and his assistant. You may address them as Drillmaster.” His opening words were simply and brief. He indicated the masked men as he spoke.
“Today, those of you standing here will participate in our first special Advanced Robotics Combat – or ARC – class. You were chosen based on your inherent genetic Talent, and academic excellence. I can assure you right now that, if you take this course seriously, under the drillmaster’s instruction you will undoubtedly grow to be respected mecha pilots. You’ll be contributing members of the Alliance. However, I must impress upon you the fact that your presence here is a privilege. Simply being chosen does not mean your attendance is assured. If any of you are incapable of keeping up, or are not improving as expected, you will have your spot taken away. I’m sure that anyone unfortunate enough to have this happen to them will regret it tremendously. As such, we expect two hundred percent effort here, ladies and gentlemen. If you do, not only will you progress further than you ever imagined possible, you’ll be doing your Alliance a service, becoming a skilled and sought-after mecha pilot. With that said, I yield the floor to your drillmasters.”
Wu Junyi relinquished his spot before the students, stepping to the side so the masked man could take his place.
The golden-masked stranger took up position as naturally as though he lived in the center of attention. They could only see his eyes, which twinkled with a mysterious power as he looked over the gathered pupils.
“Salutations. There is no need for me to deliver some long self-introduction – in fact I’m sure several of you are already thinking up nicknames for me. But let me stop you there, because I know exactly what you’ll be calling me in just a little while: The Demon. I suggest you get used to it now, because you’ll be cursing it before we’re done today. If you can’t handle it, you can leave – but understand that once you quit, your opportunity to learn with us is forfeit. For those that remain, I can’t tell you how far you’ll go. What I can tell you is that if you graduate from this program, you’ll be welcome anywhere in the East. There’s nothing else to say. Pilots, pick a pod.”
Lan Jue and Wang Hongyuan watched the students filed in to the many sim pods scattered around the warehouse. Within the group, the golden-masked Lan Jue spied several familiar faces; his overweight disciple, his sister and – in the very back, her enticing figure outlined in a form-hugging flight suit – was Zhou Qianlin.