Chapter 326: The Oriole Comes From Behind!
Translator: ryuxenji Editor: H2dH2mr
"Rest assured. D1, D2, and D3 are stationed there. If anything happens, they will inform us," a black-robed person by D1's side calmly replied, "Moreover, two of our empire's top spectres are there looking out. Even if someone really reaches that area, the spectres can also eliminate them directly."
"We've already fished out the biggest fish, and I'm sure the others don't have the ability to get there," another black-robed man added.
"Yes, D1, don't worry too much. You had better think about how we can handle these big fish instead. Say, it's been a long time since we hunted and killed any spectres of the Chinese Federation," said another black-robed man with a dark smile.
"D10 speaks truly. D1, let's show them some of our methods. Together, we can definitely toy with those few hackers until their heads spin." A black-robed man began to cackle coldly in a corner. He was very interested in the prospect of messing with those top-class hackers of the Chinese Federation.
Meanwhile on the other side, Qi Long and the others, who had already fallen asleep, suddenly felt their communicators begin to vibrate. They leapt up and quickly put on their pre-prepared night combat clothing. Not long after, they could see the doors of their living quarters swing open automatically. Ling Lan and Li Lanfeng were standing outside the door, fully armed.
"Boss, we are ready," said Qi Long in a low voice.
"They wouldn't wake up suddenly, right?" [No Mecha Unrepaired], a.k.a. Chang Xinyuan, pointed at the three NPC soldiers sleeping soundly inside the room and asked worriedly.
"No, I've already arranged it so that no one in this room will wake up until dawn. Even if they wake up, they will still think you all are sleeping in the room." Seeing Chang Xinyuan's concern, Ling Lan patiently explained. With the heaven-defying god of the virtual world Little Four around, Ling Lan truly wasn't at all worried that these NPCs would discover any flaws.
Ling Lan carefully scanned her team members and then said softly, "The operation this time is very dangerous and there may even be a risk to your life. It's not too late to back out now." Li Shiyu and Chang Xinyuan were members who had joined the clan partway through after all — Ling Lan did not want to force them to brave danger against their will with the rest of her team.
When she mentioned the risk to their lives, everyone was startled, but Qi Long and the others of the original team quickly regained their composure. They had been braving life and death with Ling Lan since they were small, so they were not at all afraid of this. In contrast, a trace of confusion crossed Li Shiyu's and Chang Xinyuan's eyes. They did not know what Ling Lan meant when she spoke of this risk to their lives, because in the virtual world, even if they died, they would not really die. At most, their current avatar would just have to start anew and some of their time would be wasted.
Only Li Lanfeng's countenance shifted subtly at these words. He had thought of something, and the gaze he directed at Ling Lan grew even more shadowed and firm.
Everyone was silent. Although Li Shiyu was obsessed with military medical research, as intelligent as he was, he knew that these words of Ling Lan had actually been directed at him and Chang Xinyuan. Thus, he replied firmly, "Since I have decided to join the Lingtian Battle Clan, that means I am willing to brave life and death together with the Lingtian Battle Clan, both now and in the future."
This response of Li Shiyu's had a double meaning — Ling Lan raised a brow in astonishment, pleasant surprise flashing through her eyes. The other implication of Li Shiyu's words was that, even in the real world, he would still make the same choice.
Chang Xinyuan nodded fiercely at Li Shiyu's response, indicating that he too felt the same way. Those who liked to tinker with mechanical research did not have such convoluted ways of thinking — he was not aware of the double meaning of Li Shiyu's words. He only felt that, since he had already come to do this mission, of course he would follow it through till the end. Besides, he also was not someone who would run away when the going got tough, otherwise he would not have stubbornly resisted against the Thunder King for as long as three years.
"In that case, let's move." Seeing this, Ling Lan turned decisively and was the first to step into the heavy darkness of the night.
Seeing this, the team members all silently followed suit and stepped out with determination. At this moment, they did not know that this step would bring them into a reign of carnage and bloodshed 1 as they followed their team leader through life and death situations, all the way till the very day their lives ended.
As soon as they left the room, the door closed quietly behind them. Meanwhile, the three NPCs remained fast asleep ...
Ling Lan was making her way towards the west corner of the base. In the daytime, this was where the large canteen the soldiers ate at was located. Whenever it was time for a meal, that area would become filled with human cacophony, but when night came, other than the warehouse area, it was the quietest spot in the base. No one would go there typically. No one knew that beneath the large canteen, there was actually a small secret base.
No one was on duty to patrol the canteen, but Ling Lan had been alerted by Little Four that there were at least three top-class hackers controlling countless surveillance devices, both openly and covertly, to blanket-scan 2 the surrounding area. In other words, even if an ant were to crawl by, those hackers would be able to spot it clearly.
This way of doing things meant that almost no one would be able to slip by under their watch. Only if a top-class hacker came and ripped the control of the surveillance devices here from their hands would anyone be able to enter the area successfully. But that way, they would definitely be discovered instantly. This was one of the reasons why D1 believed that their control of the area was foolproof.
However, they could never imagine that there would be such a magical existence as Little Four in the world. He somehow managed to successfully manipulate things right under the noses of these three top-class hackers, making it so that false images were sent to these hackers, tricking them into believing that everything in the area was normal.
Ling Lan came to the large canteen and patiently waited for Little Four to respond. One minute later, Little Four raised a 'V' hand gesture high up into the air, butt wriggling wildly in exhilaration, and Ling Lan knew that Little Four had succeeded.
In her mindspace, Ling Lan instantly sent the smug Little Four flying with a flick of her finger. In order to prevent Little Four from making unnecessary mistakes out of pride, Ling Lan ruthlessly decided to crack down on such behaviour so that Little Four would never learn to be complacent.
Ling Lan signalled for her team members behind her to keep up as she strode up the doors of the large canteen without any sort of concealment. The rest could not help but take fright — was it really okay to just strut up like that directly?
Li Lanfeng looked at the unusually slender figure before him who walked with such sure steps and felt a complex mix of emotions stir in his heart. Compared to the others who knew very little about hacker abilities, Li Lanfeng was well aware that Ling Lan could be so bold because she had already taken control of all the surveillance devices here. Able to accomplish this in such a short amount of time, Ling Lan's hacker abilities were definitely no lower than imperial level.
He thought of the rumoured imperial level hacker involved in that Tianji Mecha Clan Headquarters explosion incident ... that had most likely been Ling Lan himself. The stronger the rabbit was, the happier he should be, but there was a sense of danger in his heart that was growing thicker and thicker. It was as if the person he was chasing so desperately was getting further and further away from him.
He definitely could not let the rabbit leave him behind! Li Lanfeng secretly gritted his teeth. In the past, he had been concerned over his body's condition, so he had always restrained himself somewhat while training his mecha control skills. Despite being pressured greatly by the Thunder King, he still had not changed his ways to recklessly increase his practice load.
Li Lanfeng had always known what he should do; he would not easily change his plan. But now, he had the urgent desire to become stronger. He felt that if he continued to dither around like this, there would eventually be a day when he would not be able to keep up with the rabbit's pace. The rabbit was very likely to get further and further away from him, and in the end, he would only be able to regretfully become a passing guest in the rabbit's life.
He, Li Lanfeng, absolutely would not accept becoming such a passing guest. No matter how important a passing guest he would be, he was disdainful of the very idea. This was because he wanted to have a long-lasting friendship with the rabbit, until both their heads were grey with old age. He hoped that at that time, they would still be able to drink wine together and reminisce, laughing together at the ups and downs they had shared up till then.
This was a deep desire that had been born from the regrets of Li Lanfeng's heartache when he had lost touch with the rabbit back when he had been 13 years old. Now, seven years later, God had given him the opportunity to re-establish this friendship, and he did not want to lose it again.
The door was soon opened, and Ling Lan led her team members straight into the canteen. The entrance to the secret base was in the canteen's kitchenette. The kitchenette only served the highest commander of the base; even the chef was a close confidante of the commander. In order to ensure the safety of the commander's food and drink, unauthorised people were not allowed to enter the kitchenette. This also worked well to protect the secrecy and security of the secret base.
Ling Lan moved towards the kitchenette like she was extremely familiar with the area. With regards to this, Qi Long and the others were already as used to it as they could be — they believed that all of this was merely due to Ling Lan's hacker abilities. Only Li Lanfeng lifted a curious brow. This was because he knew that hackers did not have the ability to locate an entrance instantaneously, nor did they have the ability to sense secrets remotely. Spectres too had some limits to their abilities — they could only use them at close range.
Li Lanfeng did not know about the existence of Little Four. As an intelligence entity, Little Four was not bound by these restrictions of hackers and spectres, which led to Little Four's status as a one of a kind existence within the virtual world. Just imagine if all the hackers and spectres had the abilities Little Four did. If that was the case, this virtual world would truly be an utter mess.
They had just entered the kitchenette when the position of the head chef's station opened up to reveal an opening. Ling Lan jumped in without delay, for Little Four had already displayed the situation below into Ling Lan's mind in 3D.
The opening and the ground below was about 20 metres apart. Ling Lan had no problems jumping this small bit of distance. With their boss as an exemplar, Qi Long and the others leapt in without any hesitation. Li Shiyu thought about it then jumped in resolutely, while Chang Xinyuan hesitated briefly before jumping in. Meanwhile, Li Lanfeng was last in line because as a spectre, he needed to constantly monitor the situation behind the group to ensure the safety of their rear end and see to it that they were not being followed.
Although this action of Li Lanfeng was rather superfluous as Little Four already had everything in the several kilometres around them under his control. If anything stirred, Little Four would know immediately. Still, Ling Lan would not reveal this truth. For one, she needed to give Li Lanfeng a chance to perform so that he could integrate himself quicker into the team. On the other hand, there were some things that still needed to be covered up. After all, the existence of Little Four was just too bizarre — even if she were to admit it honestly, she still would not be able to properly explain the existence of Little Four. Therefore, she might as well tacitly accept this behaviour of Li Lanfeng, as well as let Qi Long and others be glad for the addition of Li Lanfeng to their team. With an additional hacker in the team, their safety would be much better guaranteed.
Without knowing it, Li Lanfeng was slowly being integrated into Ling Lan's team. Qi Long and the others were more or less beginning to realise the importance of having Li Lanfeng in the team. They no longer solely took Li Lanfeng as a temporary fighter (a temporary fighter's position was the lowest in a clan, because they were replaceable at any time) but considered him as a true member of the clan now.
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