It’s Not Easy to Be a Man After Travelling to the Future – Chapter 0424
Chapter 424: You Are Destined to Be My Stepping Stone!
Translator: ryuxenji Editor: H2dH2mr
In the Leiting Mecha Clan’s headquarters, there were currently quite a few people morosely gathering up their things. They all needed to move out of this place by 2 p.m. this afternoon.
According to the academy’s duel regulations, if a lower level mecha clan managed a reversal in a challenge duel, all the benefits the higher level mecha clan enjoyed would be transferred to the winning mecha clan. Therefore, this mecha clan headquarters, the largest in the military academy which represented the number one faction, would no longer belong to the Leiting Mecha Clan but would officially become the headquarters of the Lingtian Mecha Clan.
To that effect, the time given to the Leiting Mecha Clan to pack up and leave was just three days, and today was precisely the third day.
Very soon, the time was close to 2 p.m. Many of the already packed clan members were about to leave when one Leiting member, hefting his things up in his arms, swept a look around this place they had spent so many years in, and a crestfallen expression appeared on his face as he sighed and said, “Who’d have expected that we would one day leave this place in disgrace? I always thought that this would always be the place for us to grow before we graduate from the military academy.”
At his words, his companion by his side could not hide his bitter smile as he said, “Yes, our Leiting has always been the strongest mecha clan in the academy all these years, standing proud above the rest … sadly, we actually lost in a situation where we most could not afford to lose. The decision of the regiment commander this time …” At this point, he suddenly clammed up, merely shaking his head. In fact, he was extremely dissatisfied with the arrangements of the regiment commander this time. He felt that Regiment Commander Qiao Ting had been too reckless in his overconfidence. If the Leiting Mecha Clan had sent out all of their best elites, how could their Leiting have lost? Then, they would not have had to leave the headquarters so pathetically today.
“The regiment commander was indeed rather rash this time.” Another member by their side could not help but comment when he overheard their conversation. If Qiao Ting had not been the one and only ace operator in the academy and thus had great repute within the Leiting Mecha Clan, perhaps his misstep and defeat this time would have been enough for his subordinates to impeach him.
“Shh, don’t say anymore. The people from Lingtian are here.” Another member leaving together with them saw that there were people entering from the main doors now and quickly spoke up to warn them to mind their words.
His reminder silenced everyone instantly. Everyone’s attention turned towards the main doors to focus on the group of youths stepping into the hall right at that moment.
There were about 15 to 16 of them, and most of them had excited smiles on their faces. It was clear to see that these hot-blooded youths were overjoyed and somewhat worked up over springing straight up to become the strongest faction of the academy in one bound. These half-grown youngsters were still rather immature and unpolished — they had not learned yet how to hide their emotions well. These radiant smiles were frankly rather irritating to the eyes of the Leiting members who had yet to leave the headquarters; animosity quickly brewed within their gazes.
“Hmph, what a bunch of petty victors. Hopefully they won’t be slinking out of here in shame in just a month.” A fiery-tempered Leiting member could not help but sneer at this time.
The military academy had ruled before that every mecha clan would have the right to challenge another mecha clan once per year, and any mecha clan could only be challenged once a month. This year, Leiting had already used up their challenge for this vengeance match, so they had no more chances. However, the members of Leiting believed that the other factions in the academy definitely would not give up this opportunity to become the first faction. A month later, there would inevitably be another mecha clan which would challenge Lingtian — it was just unclear which of the remaining three mecha clans of the top four, Tianji, Wuji, or Dwotong, would be the first to challenge Lingtian.
“Perhaps, they will create the record for shortest tenure as the number one faction in the academy,” said another Leiting member mockingly. His words made many of the other Leiting members’ lips curl up in disdainful smirks. They had already forgotten that the ones who had pulled them off their divine pedestal was precisely this Lingtian Mecha Clan they were so disdainful of.
The youths at the door did not care at all about the hostile stares. Despite their excitement, their gazes filled with the eagerness to explore their new headquarters, they did not continue to move forwards. Instead, they stopped at the door, looking around from time to time, as if waiting for someone.
One of the most eye-catching was an incomparably beautiful teenager. Each move and each smile of that teen were unequivocally breath-taking — even though the Leiting people were filled with animosity towards the Lingtian people, they could not deny that they had indeed been mesmerized by the youth’s beauty. If they had not known that all students accepted by the First Men’s Military Academy had to be male, there would certainly be a significant number of people who would be wondering right now whether the youth was a crossdressing female. Although the chest area was very flat, in this militaristic society right now, it was not uncommon for girls to be less endowed in this respect.
Suddenly, that lovely youth’s subtle smile bloomed into a large smile, a smile so radiant that it dazzled the senses, causing everyone present to instantly lose themselves in it for a moment …
“Boss!” A warm voice accompanied by a warm smile — many of the Leiting boys dearly wished that this cry was for them.
But very quickly, everyone was dealt a cold awakening. An austere youth stepped through the doors of the number one faction under the respectful gazes of the other Lingtian youths to come into the main hall. As soon as he entered the hall, the ambient temperature in the room instantly plunged to freezing point.
“Boss!” When the Lingtian youths saw this austere youth, they instantly greeted him with respectful expressions.
The cold-faced youth swept an icy gaze over them and then nodded slowly in acknowledgement. This action appeared somewhat perfunctory, but the youths did not seem to feel that way. Rather, their uptight expressions actually relaxed considerably following the youth’s actions.
This was the response they expected from their boss — if the expression or motion had been any different, they might perhaps be terrified, wondering whether they had done something wrong and if their boss was about to deal with them.
Those Leiting members who had initially stared at the Lingtian group with contempt instantly tucked away the sneers on their faces at the entrance of this person. They had not forgotten that it was this person who had unseated their Thunder King from his throne.
That’s right, this frigid teenager was our main protagonist Ling Lan. She was here today to accept the handover of the number one faction’s headquarters. As soon as the transfer was done, the Lingtian Mecha Clan would officially become the number one faction of the military academy. Of course, to secure this position was not easy — they would have to accept and weather the consecutive challenges of the other factions in the academy in the subsequent few months, but what Ling Lan feared least was challenge.
Three people trailed behind Ling Lan; they were the three other regiment commanders of the Lingtian Mecha Clan, Qi Long, Wu Jiong, and Li Yingjie.
Wu Jiong followed Ling Lan into the hall and took a look around. Not seeing the person he was looking for, he quickly stepped forward to come up to Ling Lan’s side and said with a soft chuckle, “Boss Lan, Qiao Ting isn’t here yet.” Wu Jiong wondered if Qiao Ting was too embarrassed to come earlier.
Ling Lan’s lips quirked. “When 2 o’clock comes, he will definitely appear.” The academy would not permit its rules to be broken — no matter how much Qiao Ting resisted, he would still come to carry out this responsibility at that final moment.
“When Qiao Ting challenged us, he must never have imagined this moment. He’s definitely too embarrassed to come early, hahaha …” Li Yingjie heard the conversation between Wu Jiong and Ling Lan, and he chimed in with smug laughter.
In contrast to Wu Jiong’s and Ling Lan’s restrained manner, Li Yingjie’s voice was obviously much louder. Those Leiting members who had yet to leave the hall were all enraged by his arrogance — some of them even looked about to charge over to punch him, but they were held back by their companions. All of a sudden, the atmosphere of the entire hall was tense.
Ling Lan and Wu Jiong sweatdropped. This Li Yingjie was an absolute troublemaker — they were here to accept the transfer of the headquarters and not to instigate a fight …
Trailing behind them lazily, Qi Long sensed the sudden shift in the hall’s atmosphere and his spirits rallied instantly. He looked around with lively eyes, his earlier indolence completely swept away. He licked his lips and said excitedly, “Boss, is there going to be a fight?”
Bored as he was, he had not paid any attention to Ling Lan and the others’ conversations and so did not really know what was going on. However, his beast-like instinct had alerted him to the potential of a fight.
Wu Jiong could no longer maintain his initially serious expression at Qi Long’s words. His facial muscles twitched, and he sent a plaintive gaze at Ling Lan, obviously complaining to Ling Lan for assigning him two such offbeat partners …
Whether it was with the New Cadet Regiment back then or the Lingtian Mecha Clan now, Ling Lan had always held a laissez-faire attitude as a general. All clan internal affairs were handled by Wu Jiong, Qi Long, and Li Yingjie. Unfortunately, the haughty Li Yingjie would stir up some trouble every so often, and when he could not settle the matter himself, Wu Jiong and Qi Long would be dragged in as well to help him clean up the mess. On the other hand, although Qi Long did not cause as much trouble as Li Yingjie did, he was perpetually at the combat arena. To ask him to handle the affairs of the faction … fine, to pry him out of the combat arena was even harder than directly asking Boss Lan for help in Wu Jiong’s opinion.
Then again, to ask Boss Lan for help … Wu Jiong felt that he really had no way of withstanding that piercing gaze capable of freezing a person to death. Every time he had no other choice but to seek Boss Lan out to resolve a problem, Wu Jiong felt that his lifespan had been reduced by at least five years. So that he did not die before his time, he decided that it was better for him to just put in the extra effort himself.
Wu Jiong’s mournful gaze was resolutely ignored by Ling Lan. She pretended that she did not know anything — she would not step into this stinking puddle of water 1 would not step into this stinking puddle of water 不趟这摊烂水: i.e. not going to involve herself in this mess.
Right at that moment, the elevator at the end of the hall suddenly dinged. The elevator doors opened, and a handsome youth with chiselled features appeared before the crowd. His initially domineering and confident brow now carried a touch of gloom, his entire being seeming somewhat diminished. He was the present regiment commander of Leiting, Qiao Ting.
When he saw Ling Lan standing by the doors, his gaze flickered and he hesitated for a moment. But he quickly shook it off and strode out of the elevator to come before Ling Lan.
The two of them faced each other. Even though Ling Lan was half a head shorter than Qiao Ting, she did not lose to the other in terms of force of presence. Rather, the sharp chill surrounding Ling Lan was even more evident through the encounter — for a brief moment, the other people there even had the impression that the Thunder King was being suppressed by Ling Lan.
At this sight, Ling Lan’s eyes narrowed. Her already cold and expressionless face became even more forbidding. Those who understood Ling Lan well would know that this was an indication that Ling Lan had become even more serious and vigilant.
The two youths did not say anything, merely staring at each other in silence for one to two minutes. The atmosphere in the entire hall was unbelievably heavy — some people with lower tolerance found their bodies beginning to tremble, pressed so far by the two’s auras that they were on the verge of breaking down.
Just when everyone thought that the two youths would continue their silent confrontation indefinitely, Qiao Ting spoke up first. “You have come.” Perhaps only Qiao Ting knew the full meaning behind these simple three words.
The moment Qiao Ting opened his mouth to speak, the heavy atmosphere was swept away. Those who were on the brink of collapse due to the pressure from the two youths abruptly felt the pressure ease and were revived.
“I have come,” replied Ling Lan, likewise three words in return. Perhaps only Ling Lan herself understood the true meaning behind these three words as well.
Qiao Ting raised his eyebrows slightly at her words and said calmly, “Follow me.” Having said that, he turned to leave, unconcerned whether Ling Lan and the rest could keep up.
Qiao Ting’s attitude made the expressions of the Lingtian members change. Rage rose in many of their eyes, but all of this died away under Ling Lan’s cool gaze. Everyone could read the meaning in Ling Lan’s eyes — she was telling all of them to be quiet and to let her handle this.
After settling her faction members with her gaze, Ling Lan walked after Qiao Ting with steady footsteps.
The two of them entered the elevator and when the elevator doors closed, everyone left behind released a sigh of relief in unplanned unison. Qiao Ting and Ling Lan’s forces of presence were just too powerful — being in the same room with them was really too stressful.
In the elevator, the two youths continued to be silent. Ling Lan looked at the flashing numbers of the elevator, waiting for the final floor they would reach. Right at this moment, Qiao Ting spoke up unexpectedly, “Next year, I will not lose again.”
Ling Lan glanced over at him in surprise, but before she could say anything, the elevator dinged and they had arrived at their destination floor.
Qiao Ting did not require Ling Lan to respond to his statement; he had only wanted to tell Ling Lan his determination. When the elevator doors opened, Qiao Ting immediately walked out of the elevator.
Seeing this, Ling Lan quirked an eyebrow. She had not expected that Qiao Ting would actually think to fight her again in the academy. Although the military academy was a six-year system, all cadets would typically leave the academy in their final year. They would either enter an army division for practical training, or sign up for an adventuring group to participate in interstellar expeditions to gain practical experience — almost no one would continue to remain at the military academy. These words of Qiao Ting was clearly intended to tell Ling Lan that, next year, he would still be at the military academy to fight her again.
Ling Lan did not understand why Qiao Ting would want to do this. She seemed to remember that Qiao Ting had already caught the Third Marshal’s eye and would be joining the Third Division this year. It went without question that early admittance into an army division would be extremely beneficial; to Qiao Ting’s future development. Now, in order to fight her again, Qiao Ting was actually planning to delay his enlistment … was this truly necessary?
Ling Lan was rather puzzled, but she did not pause her footsteps. Following closely behind Qiao Ting, they soon arrived at the central control room of the building. Qiao Ting pushed the door open, and Ling Lan saw that there was one other Leiting member still seated in front of a control panel in the central control room.
“Regiment Commander, you’re here.” When that person saw Qiao Ting, he immediately leapt to his feet. Catching sight of Ling Lan standing behind Qiao Ting, his eyes turned dim, and there was even a trace of indignation contained within them.
It looked like the people of Leiting still felt resentful that their headquarters had been taken by Lingtian. They were not convinced of their defeat, believing that their regiment commander had just taken the enemy too lightly. Along with other miscellaneous reasons, Lingtian had just had the luck of the devil that day.
Qiao Ting was well aware of this sentiment in his people. In fact, he too was unconvinced by his loss. However, a defeat was a defeat — Leiting’s loss of the title of number one faction had already become fact and was not something they could shy away from. “Prepare transferral procedures.”
That person’s face stiffened, and with a trace of unwillingness, he once again sat back before the control panel and began the operations to execute the transferral procedures.
Soon, Qiao Ting had wiped all the fingerprints belonging to the current regiment commander of the mecha clan from the headquarters’ systems. After Ling Lan’s fingerprints were successfully input into the system, the new owner of the headquarters would become the Lingtian Mecha Clan.
Watching as the optical supercomputer declared the completion of the procedure, Qiao Ting zoned out for the first time. He quickly got a hold of himself, however, and turned his head to say to Ling Lan, “Regiment Commander Ling, I hope that you will be able to hold onto this place for this year. Don’t make me have to fight an extra challenge.” Clearly, Qiao Ting did not think much of the Lingtian Mecha Clan.
Ling Lan snapped her head around, her gaze piercing straight through Qiao Ting as she answered coldly, “Don’t worry. Before I graduate, this place will only belong to the Lingtian Mecha Clan. No other mecha clan will be able to touch it.” Ling Lan absolutely would not allow anyone to look down on her companions or her faction. Her gaze pressed down on Qiao Ting as she said with full conviction, “I, Ling Lan, will be waiting for your challenge!”
Ling Lan’s attitude was clearly telling Qiao Ting that, she, as the winner, was king, while Qiao Ting, as the loser, would be the challenger in a year’s time.
Ling Lan’s words and her overbearing aura whipped up the hate in Qiao Ting’s heart. He clenched his fists tightly, his fingers almost breaking the skin of his palms …
Ling Lan did not seem to be satisfied, for she continued to bear down on Qiao Ting, saying, “This academy has only one king, and that is I, Ling Lan. Three days ago, you lost to me, and in future, you also will not win. I will use the truth to tell you that you are destined to be my stepping stone.”
When the words ‘stepping stone’ were uttered, Qiao Ting could no longer tolerate the situation. He threw an angry punch at Ling Lan.
With a ‘smack’, Ling Lan stopped Qiao Ting’s fist with an open palm. Two unseen forces collided fiercely, sending the Leiting member seated at the control panel flying outwards to crash into the floor.
That member climbed up with difficulty, a trickle of blood flowing down from the corner of his lips. He stared in horror at the two people still connected by a palm and a fist. His physical skills were already at the peak stage of Refinement, yet he had still been sent flying and had suffered some minor internal injury just from being in the range of the aftershock of the two hidden forces at play. Just how strong were these two’s physical skills?!
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