Chapter 232: You’re Lei Feng?
“There is no place for moral integrity.” The simple phrase was like a slap to the face. Tan Lingyun silently ground her teeth, alone in the darkness of her sim pod.
Bastard! Using me as an example of what not to do! He’s the one with that low-down attack, and he accuses me of not being vigilant?! I won’t let this slide. I can’t let this slide!
The distinctly one-sided battle had come to an end. Two on fifty-one. Just two basic mechas, against the best the school had. Nooblet and Little Flea had relied on nothing but their own skill and ability to show the NEU’s most outstanding students what really power was.
“Everyone, out of the pods!” The barking command rang through everyone’s communicator.
One by one the various pods set around the warehouse opened, and relinquished the sweat-soaked students within. Their shell-shocked faces hardly registered the real world they were faced with.
Not once since becoming pilots, had any of them suffered such an agonizing, frustrating defeat. They stumbled around in a daze, trying to puzzle out what had happened.
What they did know, at least now, was that the most basic, fundamental mecha suit available had the ability to completely route a group of Emperor-class pilots, and a Sovereign.
Until a few minutes ago this was so far outside the realm of imagination, that they’d have laughed if someone would have told them otherwise. Some even swayed unsteadily on their feet as they left the pods, unable to process what had happened. The rest stared blankly in the far-away stare reserved for disaster survivors. Their fundamental idea of themselves and their role as a pilot had been fundamentally altered.
“Gather!” The shout shook them from their stupor. Almost unconsciously they did as commanded, gathering in to columns.
Zhou Qianlin stood near the back, unconsciously chewing on her lower lip. There was a distinct bitterness written across her pretty face. She had been piloting a rifle mech – in fact, the only rifle mech Nooblet had destroyed himself.
At the onset of the fight, she’d used the Soulcaller gem to alert Lan Jue as to her location. She’d warned him of it so he would leave her be. What she got was Nooblet’s sword in her energy reserve tank.
This guy had no idea how to treat a lady, she thought. She would ignore him completely for the rest of the day! Her thoughts seethed as she planned her passive-aggressive punishment. Still, there was just the slightest hint of a smile in the corner of her eyes.
“You bastard!” Just then, one of the pods opened. It immediately released a burst of green energy, and a flash of light charged directly towards the golden-masked drillmaster.
The moment the cry resounded, it was as though all joy was drained from the world. An imposing, strangling area blanketed everything, pouring in waves from Lan Jue.
He didn’t even look at her. Instead he lifted his right hand, and a small orb of dark blue light fired off to intercept the green beam. Its speed was startling, and the two dazzling light collected in the space of a breath.
Grrzzt! The students in formation watched wide-eyed as the green beam hung in the air, and turned a shimmering blue. Chaotic arcs of electricity lanced out in every direction as a silhouette fell to earth.
There was a flash of blue light, and the Prince of Devils was gone. He reappeared before the Savage Goddess, their great and terrible hero, with his hands on her shoulders.
Tan Lingyun’s body was numb, from head to toe. She wanted desperately to tear this man apart, but her frozen nerves refused. Snakes of electricity still criss-crossed over her, causing her to shake violently with each pass. Every single hair on her head stood erect, like a massive afro!
Lan Jue drew his hands back from the prostrate Tan Lingyun. His eyes swept back towards the deathly silent students. “If there’s anyone else who has a problem, they’re welcome to bring it to my attention.”
The warehouse was quieter than a room full of fifty-three people had any right to be.
Their Savage Goddess was an eighth-ranked Talent. In as much effort as swatting a fly, this Demon had completely incapacitated her. Who would dare contradict this man after seeing that?
Tang Xiao looked upon his teacher with a strange expression. He secretly jabbed his fat thumb upward in encouragement.
So good. So good! Lan Jue’s heart was so full of righteous joy it threatened to choke the heavens 1. His desire for vengeance had been percolating, building for months now. She had been such a bully he could hardly stand to look at her. Hah, and here she was like a chia pet!
Wang Hongyuan’s expression was monstrously appeased, though it was hidden by his silver mask. His own heart was full to bursting with a dark sense of satisfaction. It was all the greater considering the fact he couldn’t do this himself.
Lan Jue slowly walked back to the gathered students. “Are you aware of why you lost so quickly?” 2
“Drillmaster, I have no idea!” Tang Xiao called out, loud and in true military fashion. He stepped forward to separate himself from the others.
Lan Jue slowly nodded his head. He could count on his disciple to be cooperative.
“Fall in,” he said quietly, to which Tang Xiao replied by getting back in to formation.
Lan Jue went on. “Fifty-one against two, and you still lost. You lack steel. From our short skirmish I can already see that your fundamentals are shot. So, we’ll be going back to the basic saber and rifle mechas. We’re going back to the very beginning, to temper yourselves in the ways of proper mecha combat.”
“Scientific research has discovered that everyone benefits from a low-level electrical shock. It helps assist in mitosis – cell division. The stimulation strengthens resistance and furthers one’s Discipline. Today, then, we’ve got one last thing to do before I dismiss class…”
Lan Jue stretched out his hand, and gentle pressed downward. A lance of blue light tore across the sky, whereupon ten bolts of lightning – thick as a man’s wrist – came crashing to earth. Right on top of all the students.
The students no longer need lament the cruel treatment of their Savage Goddess. They got to experience the sensation first-hand. Now there were fifty students and a teacher laying numb and infuriated on the floor. The arena looked like a war zone. However, as promised, the catalyst had caused each of their Disciplines to react in order to protect them from the strike.
Zhou Qianlin had herself been struck by the residuals of a bolt. Like the others she felt herself go numb, though it was only just slightly. She had sustained the strike much better than her peers.
“Right, I think we’ll end here for today. Tomorrow, same time.” His voice was quiet, and with that said he languidly strolled towards the arena exit.
“Wait right there!” Lan Jue hadn’t employed a strike intended to damage any of them, and the Savage Goddess was an eight-ranked Talent after all. As a result, she had already begun to recover from the embarrassing incapacitation. When Lan Jue stopped to look, he saw her running towards him.
Lan Jue stopped, and watched her approach. When she drew near he spoke. “Today, in front of the entire class, you assaulted an instructor. I’ll let it slide this time, but if it happens against don’t blame me for the result.”
With her afro bobbing comically, Tan Lingyun finally caught up to the masked drillmaster. Her eyes were bright as she looked at him. “Are you Lei Feng?”
Lan Jue snorted, and turned away.
“Are you Lei Feng?!” She stumbled after him.
All she saw was a flash, then once more she was staring at the sky as her body shook from countless volts of electricity.
“Who I am doesn’t matter. If you’re interested in participating with the other students, then be here the same time tomorrow with all the others. You can be my teaching assistant.” As he spoke there was a flash in the drillmaster’s hand. A silver mask appeared, which he placed upon Tan Lingyun’s quivering body.
He did it again! Oh no… no I have to pee… this BASTARD!
Lan Jue walked on, unaware of Tan Lingyun’s unfortunate reaction.
Wang Hongyuan walked a few steps behind, silent as a mouse. He didn’t want to be the Prince of Devils’ next victim. He knew Lan Jue was strong, but he didn’t know how strong.
Their time in DreamNet hadn’t only surprised the students, but Wang Hongyuan as well. From outside it looked as though Nooblet and Little Flea had worked in tandem, but Wang Hongyuan knew that his own actions had been simple and self-serving. Nevermind anything else, had Tan Lingyun chosen to go after him first, he wouldn’t have been able to fend her off!
After a little while most of the students recovered. While there were still others fighting against their own bodies, the rest pulled themselves up to a seated position. Those with short hair themselves had a hairstyle to match Tan Lingyun’s.
“So this demon was Nooblet! Brother, you have to avenge me!” Tang Mi growled viciously through gritted teeth. The mortifying defeat by Brunois Assault she’d suffered from Nooblet was still a sore wound.
Tang Xiao fixed his sister with a serious stare. “Tang Mi, how would you say I treat you.”
The young girl blinked. “Very well!”
Her brother’s voice was full of sadness and indignation. “Then why are you so insistent on throwing me in to the depths of hell? I’ve told you, he’s my master! Did you not see how strong he is? Even Professor Tan can’t stand up to him, how the hell am I supposed to avenge you? You give up this crazy idea of revenge immediately.”
Tang Mi huffed. “What about it? Who’s more important, your master or your little sister? Maybe you can’t right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t in the future! We’ll work hard, so that one day we’ll make him pay for this. I don’t know why, but you’re sure smitten with this guy. I should be worried about you!”
Tang Xiao glared at her. “You think too much. When do you think you’ll have another opportunity to meet such a talented pilot? And a powerful adept, no less – ninth-ranked! A god-ranked pilot, that can take on the Savage Goddess without a second thought. Hm?”
“How did the school manage to convince this monster to come teach, anyway. Acting young and inexperienced with a name like ‘Nooblet’. Shameless! How is what he did today called teaching? He beat us, and then shocked us. This is abuse!”
Tang Xiao’s tone grew comforting. “You’ll get used to it.” He knew from experience that their nightmare was just beginning. It was his teacher’s style. He shuddered to think what was in store for the next class.
Lan Jue and Wang Hongyuan quickly made their way to a private room Wu Junyi had prepared for them, so that they might change. Afterward they stepped back out in to the campus.
“So, what are your thoughts, Wang Hongyuan?”