Chapter 54: The General’s Memoirs
“The teacher’s first lesson; be grim, be fierce, be forged in blood, improve my motivation and endurance to pain. Only then will my power grow.”
Memoirs of the Metal Fox, Army General Tang Xiao
Lan Jue threw a leg over his bicycle, preparing to return to the simulation warehouse when he ran in to another familiar face.
“Professor Lan! Lookin’ good!” His teased pink mohican hair all a-quiver, Jin Tao’s excited voice cut off Lan Jue’s escape. He’d come looking for his sister, but upon hearing the screams chanced upon the scene on the lawn.
The brakes squealed as Lan Jue brought his bicycle to a stop and dismounted. “Hm?” He turned his eyes on to Jin Tao.
The young man failed to notice the odd light in Lan Jue’s eyes. He pressed on excitedly. “I saw the whole thing, you beating on Fatty Tang. The guy’s a bully, you don’t know how many times he’s bugged innocent people like me. I stole a lollipop from him once when I’d just enrolled in college. Man that was satisfying…”
Lan Jue fixed Jin Tao with a hard gaze. “What’s this about beating someone? You think you understand? I was trying to teach Tang Xiao how to better cultivate his abilities.”
Jin Tao looked confused. “Cultivate?”
“Mmh.” Lan Jue nodded solemnly. “Your classmate Tang Xiao has a very special Discipline. With the proper stimulation of his abilities his powers could advance quite quickly. The process is painful, but if successful he could become far more powerful than he is now.”
Suddenly Jin Tao’s eyes shone as though they were stars. “Really? Can my Discipline evolve too? My own Talent is only First-Level. At first I wanted to learn your method of beating Fatty Tang, but if you could evolve my own genetic abilities that would be great! You know today I almost got promoted to intermediate in the sim area. Who knew I’d come across that Nooblet guy, must have been a Sovereign-Rank pilot. I was seckilled* like a chump. If my Talent were stronger, I’d definitely be able to handle my mecha better, too. Hey man, help me out too.”
“What’s your Discipline,” Lan Jue asked softly.
Jin Tao’s lips curved in a smile. “Metamorphosis. I can turn in to a dog! Only… a very weak dog. You think my talent has room to grow?”
“Of course,” Lan Jue responded flatly.
“The teacher’s first lesson; be grim, be fierce, be forged in blood, improve my motivation and endurance to pain. Only then will my power grow. Even were I Snoopy, he said, he could make me in to a Tibetan Mastiff.”
Memoirs of the Frenzied Lion Mastiff, Army General Jin Tao
“Where are you?” Zhou Qianlin had sent off Tang Mi, who’d had a peculiar look in her eye. She stood now in the door of the simulation department’s third classroom. She spoke through her communicator to someone.
“Look to your left. The handsome guy in the blue suit, about fifty meters away,” Lan Jue responded jokingly.
Zhou Qianlin turned her head to look, and spotted Lan Jue leaning idly against the wall. He waved at her.
The faintest hint of a smile threatened to break her serious expression. “I don’t see any handsome guys, but I see an old man. Go, keep about three hundred meters between you and me.
“No problem.” Contrary to what she expected, Lan Jue made no fuss.
In truth Lan Jue stood somewhat in awe. Zhou Qianlin wore her flight suit, and – as they are wont to do – it outlined her slender figure perfectly.
She didn’t have the exaggerated legs of Tang Mi. The combination of her legs and body lay right in the golden ratio. Her long black hair was tied up to reveal her pale neck. The suit strained against her chest, round and supple. The pleasant curve tapered down to a slender waist, not an ounce of flab. Sky-blue eyes like translucent gemstones looked right back at him.
And it wasn’t only him who noticed. Everyone who entered, everyone in the class, man or woman, had their eyes drawn to her like a magnet.
That was the kind of beauty Qianlin was in her flight suit.
Lan Jue wandered outside. His mind hummed with the memories of that time when Qianlin rested in his arms, Thor tearing through the heavens under his control.
Zhou Qianlin exited soon after, her alluring body now covered with a long coat. The hood was raised over her head, and she exited with her eyes towards the floor. The shadows concealed her face.
“Your family wont send a car for you?” Lan Jue looked towards her in curiosity.
She looked up. “It’s no concern of yours. Just do your job.”
“So do I send you home,” he asked helplessly.
Qianlin shook her head. “Take me to Grace Hospital.”
It was a name he wasn’t familiar with. “You don’t feel well?” Suddenly, though, it was as though a shock rocked through him. Wide eyed and slack jawed he looked at her. “You’re not… you don’t have a…”
Zhou Qianlin’s face flew through a rage of confusion, shock, then went red with embarrassment. “You wish! Stop talking nonsense and hurry up.” She shoved him towards his bike as she spoke.
Lan Jue was possessed of a very keen level of perception, and notice Zhou Qianlin’s heart rate increase to at least double.
But seeing her reaction, it was unlikely it was as he thought. He secretly let out a sigh of relief.
Lan Jue pulled himself on his bicycle, and looked towards Zhou Qianlin. “How are we going? Do you have a way to get there?”
Zhou Qianlin dropped her face, hiding it from Lan Jue. “Don’t you?” She pointed at the frame on the back of the bicycle.
Lan Jue blinked at her. “You, miss money bags, agreeing to sit on the back of a bicycle?”
She raised her head, casting him a withering glance. “I have never been a ‘moneybags’.” She sat herself on the protruding frame of the bicycle.
Lan Jue began to peddle, and Qianlin suddenly found herself groping for the seat below her.
The two figures peddled in to the distance, lit by the golden rays of the setting sun. They cast a long shadow.
They continued in perfect silence for ten minutes before Lan Jue slowed and pulled his bicycle to a stop at the side of the road.
“Why are you stopping?” Zhou Qianlin spoke up suddenly, as though she had been lost in her own memories.
Lan Jue looked back at her abashedly. “I don’t know the way.”
A grin tugged at the corners of Qianlin’s mouth. “Keep going straight, then turn right at the third junction. I’ll tell you what to do next when we get there.”
“Got it,” Lan Jue replied. He resumed peddling forward.
“Oh, by the way…” Lan Jue suddenly spoke up.
“You’re so heavy.”
A pair of pale slender fingers deftly reached forth to lay upon his waist. They found a bit of flesh, gingerly held it betwixt them… and twisted a hundred and eighty degrees.
The bike veered left and right, and suddenly that pale hand reached out in a panic to wrap about the injured waist…
*’Seckill’ is a gaming term in which a player manages to defeat their rival in a manner of seconds.