Chapter 520: Send Off!

Ling Lan had brought back enough glory for the First Men's Military Academy, and this made her name and the Lingtian Mecha Clan become the hot topic for conversation—Ling Lan was even considered an idol by the younger cadets. In the First Men's Military Academy, Ling Lan became the next idol after Qiao Ting to be worshiped by the academy; however, she always lived alone and in addition to her coldness she brought about, people didn't dare to get too close to her. The idolizing didn't affect Ling Lan's lifestyle too much.

When Qiao Ting and the other fifth-year cadets left because of their internships in an army division, the other weakened mecha clans would not be confident enough to go against the Lingtian Mecha Clan, who had reached the top; they all began to be more low key. Ling Lan's outstanding performance in the Grand Mecha Tournament made them clearly understand that without the capabilities of an ace operator, they wouldn't be able to go against her. Everyone all came to a mutual agreement and didn't cause any more trouble. The First Men's Military Academy had once again returned to a time of peace and tranquility.

Very soon, another two months passed and the fifth-years who were successful in their applications for their internships in a large army division were finally going to leave the First Men's Military Academy… all the mecha clans were emotional at this; they all went to the spaceport and sent off their seniors.

On the spaceport, 23 warships formed a straight line. They were the 23 divisions of the Federation. Although some divisions only had a few people from the First Men's Military Academy successfully get in, in order to show that they valued the First Men's Military Academy's cadets, they didn't hesitate to send a standard warship to welcome them.

Ling Lan saw that other than the numbering on the warships and the totem markings, everything else was the same as standard warships. She suspected that this may have been the result of the divisions going against one another.

However, it didn't matter. The ones who benefited from all this was the First Men's Military Academy's cadets. Compared to normal passenger ships, warships were incomparably more comfortable and safe on many levels.

Ling Lan wasn't the only one who came to send them off; the entire Lingtian Mecha Clan had all come out to the docking area of the 23 warships to send off their seniors. Perhaps it was because 70-80% of the cadets were first and second-years, who were curious about the army divisions and wanted to see it for themselves. In the end, they all came and were surprisingly enthusiastic.

Ling Lan's head trembled and hurt as she looked at the crowd of Lingtian Clan members. She could almost see in her mind the empty classrooms that all the instructors were looking at, as well as the angry and frustrated look they would have on their faces.

Ling Lan sighed internally. Today was a good day, so she shouldn't get angry! Thus, Ling Lan decided to ignore these members. She was looking forward to whether or not they would be reprimanded and punished by the instructors when they got back.

This time, Lingtian Mecha Clan was sending off three people, and they were Li Lanfeng, Zhao Jun and Li Shiyu.

It couldn't be helped, as the Lingtian Mecha Clan had just been founded. Other than the three of them who had decided to join the year before, Lingtian didn't have any achievements that were enough to attract other senior cadets to join. After Ling Lan and the others returned in glory, the fifth-years who were focusing fully on evaluations didn't have the time or the state of mind to join a new mecha clan.

Quality over quantity. Although Lingtian only had three fifth years apply for army divisions, these three fifth-year cadets were the most outstanding in their own field. Li Shiyu had graduated at the top of his class in military medicine. Right when his application was sent to the 23rd Division, Ling Xiao wrote him off instantly and gave him the no extra exam treatment, and this had made everyone else become green with envy.

Zhao Jun and Li Lanfeng had both advanced to ace level during the at the end of the Grand Mecha Tournament. Although Li Lanfeng's ace operator level wasn't stable, no one denied it. As long as Li Lanfeng was given time, he would definitely easily advance into ace level. No matter which military division they went to, ace operators were all welcomed.

However, compared to Zhao Jun's smooth sailing during examinations, Li Lanfeng had tripped on some of the steps. Although Li Lanfeng's mecha operating talent had moved the examiners of the 23rd Division, his poor physical constitution had the examiners worried. Li Lanfeng used all of his strength to operate the mecha and could only hold on for 10 minutes. This was his biggest issue and made the examiners very hesitant. With this kind of physical condition, even if his operating was top notch, he would still be throwing his life away on the battlefield. They really wanted to give up on him… After all, the number of people they could take in was limited and considered to be valuable, so they couldn't afford to waste a slot.

Although it was cruel, they had to be responsible for their own division. While examining the capabilities of a cadet, they would also think about whether they would undergo growth in the future or not… and living a long life was the most important point. Even when it came to the strongest and most aberrant talents, if they couldn't live long, it would then all be for naught.

However, they couldn't let Li Lanfeng go because they saw another possibility in Li Lanfeng. He was able to advance during battle while under pressure, which would allow Li Lanfeng to have hope of living a long life. The examiners could not come to a consensus and neither could they convince the others on their opinions. Instead, they sent Li Lanfeng to the staff officer department of the 23rd Division to determine his fate. They wanted the staff officer department to decide whether they would take him or not.

In reality, Li Lanfeng's fate wasn't certain, and Ling Lan knew that very clearly. When Zhao Jun and Li Lanfeng were going through their assessments, Little Four, who was curious about the details, had sneakily broadcasted their assessments live.

Ling Lan didn't stop him. Although Ling Lan had many ways to help Li Lanfeng get into the 23rd Division smoothly, Ling Lan believed that this was Li Lanfeng's own path. No matter if it was smooth sailing or full of hardships, he had to experience it himself.

Of course, if Li Lanfeng had failed the assessment, he would have had to wait until his sixth year to continue to apply. Even if he failed in his sixth year, it didn't mean that he had no hope of getting into the 23rd Division. But if that happened, Li Lanfeng's path in the future would be even more difficult. Firstly, he would need to apply like any average citizen for soldier tryouts in the 23rd Division. He would have to spend many years and slowly climb up from the lowest rank. Right, it wasn't like this. If he got into the 23rd Division right now, he would have the rank of lieutenant…

However, some things could not be done by just thinking about it. A few days later, Ling Lan received a phone call from her father's first staff officer, He Xuyang.

"Young Master Lan, long time no see, right?" Ling Lan's forehead couldn't help but twitch a few times after seeing He Xuyang's smiling face appear in the virtual video call. She first suspected that perhaps her father had laid some sort of trick for her.

He Xuyang seemed to perceive what Ling Lan was thinking and immediately spoke up for his general. "Young Master Lan, contacting you today has nothing to do with the general."

"Oh?" Ling Lan looked at him slyly. She really didn't know what other connection she shared with this first staff officer aside from her father.

He Xuyang smiled awkwardly. When he had previously contacted Young Master Lan, he was actually sending the general's regards to him. The general was very busy but was scared that he had neglected his only child; thus, he made He Xuyang contact Ling Lan from time to time and make sure he was safe.

However, He Xuyang was still Ling Xiao's first staff officer. His skin was trained enough to be very thick and so he quickly said without a care in the world, "Young Master Lan, the situation's like this. We received the newest assessment results of an applicant from the First Men's Military Academy. The examiners from below could not come to a consensus regarding this applicant. In the end, the application was sent to us and we were told make the decision instead."

Ling Lan thought about it. She knew that this applicant was definitely Li Lanfeng. He was the only one who would make the examiners want to give up and fail him, yet still be reluctant in doing so. His physique was always being worked to its limit, and he was able to break through into ace level during his fifth year. Li Lanfeng's mecha operating talent was undoubtedly monstrous, which was why he was able to continuously break past his body's limits and successfully break through time and time again.

"Who is it?" Ling Lan's tone was very plain as if she didn't know what the situation was about.

He Xuyang knowingly smiled and said, "Li Lanfeng!"

Ling Lan coldly looked at the image of He Xuyang and waited for what he was going to say next.

"I know Li Lanfeng was in your mecha clan and could also have been in your battle team," He Xuyang continued. Although Ling Lan's team's team member list wasn't told to the public, He Xuyang had reached a verdict. Even if he hadn't seen the real list of names, he would be able to determine it from Ling Lan's arrangements in the battle royale.

"Yes!" Ling Lan naturally knew about this and admitted to it outright.

"You should know Li Lanfeng very well. I just want to ask, do you think Li Lanfeng has a chance?" He Xuyang didn't beat around the bush and asked the question he was concerned about.

Ling Lan knew He Xuyang wanted to ask whether Li Lanfeng had a chance to continue to break through in the future. The army divisions accepted applicants from military academies not only to increase their military strength, but also to choose the exceptional seeds that could be nurtured to become a backbone in the division. Officers who were the backbones were 80-90% nurtured by the divisions as their own "inside men". Only these officers would be loyal to their own division and would be able to hold the division together.

In the Federation, the longest legacy was the first, second and third divisions. Their appointed division commander would always become one of the three Great Marshals. This was the legacy. However, because every great marshal was developed by these three divisions, this made the three divisions always become the three strongest divisions in the Federation.

However, nurturing a general would use up countless resources, and this was also why army divisions attached so much importance to every military academy's evaluations. These applicants were their future pillars, and thus they couldn't be sloppy with any of the slots reserved for the cadets. They had to take every detail into consideration, afraid that their negligence would result in taking in a piece of trash. This would waste not only waste a spot, but also waste countless resources of the division.

Ling Lan frowned and asked, "Why ask me? Isn't this something the 23rd Division should be dealing with?"

"Actually, Li Lanfeng was logically going to be given up on," He Xuyang said. "However, he's one of yours, so that made me hesitate a bit."

Ling Lan's hands made a fist, her eyes becoming more colder than before. "What, he's different because he's one of my men?"

"Yes!" He Xuyang's words caused the anger in Ling Lan to rise. She felt that she and Li Lanfeng were being humiliated. Perhaps it was because she was Ling Xiao's "son"? That was why she had special privileges? Was Li Lanfeng someone that would accept this kind of gracious handout because he was one of her men?

"Heh. Young Master Lan, did you think that I was going to give Li Lanfeng a special privilege?" He Xuyang smiled. He had sensed Ling Lan's unhappiness from the coldness between her brows.

"You're saying that's not the case?" He Xuyang words instantly made Ling Lan calm down and the placidness returned to her eyes again. She shouldn't have been concerned; He Xuyang was a very moral person and would definitely not give the general's "son" a backdoor of sorts in order to get on the general's good side.

He Xuyang's eyes showed a hint of approval. Ling Lan's cold and heartless appearance actually showed that she was very emotional—she cared deeply for those around her and didn't allow anyone to look down on them. However, Ling Lan wasn't someone to be controlled by emotions. When she needed to be calm, she would be calmer than anyone.

"Of course not." He Xuyang smiled, and then his expression became serious. "Young Master Lan, I understand you. The people that you set your eyes upon are all remarkable individuals. Li Shiyu is one of them and Zhao Jun is the same. Then I must assume that this Li Lanfeng is the same as well. Although it seems like he doesn't have a future now, being able to become your subordinate, he definitely must have had enough exceptional talent to attract you, and I just want to know what he is exceptional in and whether that is valuable enough for the 23rd Division to invest and nurture him."

Ling Lan went silent for a moment, then slowly said, "Why should I tell you?"

"It's a win-win situation for the both of us! Don't tell me you don't want to get into the 23rd Division in the future? If that's the case, just wait until General Ling Xiao chases you down with his God-class IN mecha from miles away," He Xuyang threatened. "Ensuring that your battle team stays complete would be very beneficial for your future development, Young Master Lan. If Li Lanfeng really is worth nurturing, the 23rd Division won't pass up on the opportunity. It's always a good thing for us to add another strong member into our division. Young Master Lan, don't forget that the 23rd Division is the division of your father, General Ling Xiao."

"Are you not afraid that I would give you false information out of selfishness?" Ling Lan asked with raised brows.

"If Young Master Lan was that kind of person, then he wouldn't be our Young Master Lan," He Xuyang responded, half smiling.

"Well. Since you said that, I definitely can't tell a lie, so that I won't let Staff officer He Xuyang's trust go to waste," Ling Lan replied. "Give him some time. It isn't impossible for him to advance to imperial level!" He Xuyang eyes lit up, but this wasn't enough. As expected, Ling Lan continued, "And, he is also capable of becoming an exceptional strategist."

After hearing Ling Lan's answer, He Xuyang ended his call with Ling Lan in satisfaction. Seeing the screen suddenly turn black, Ling Lan was dumbfounded. This He Xuyang was too much. He was this heartless after getting what he wanted? Not even saying a word of thanks?

He Xuyang didn't know how Ling Lan was criticizing him. He walked in front of his desk and picked up the report. He thought it over for a moment, then wrote down one statement and signed his name.

Allow Zhao Jun enter the 23rd Division as the rank of senior captain!

Allow Li Shiyu enter the 23rd Division as the rank of senior captain!

Allow Li Lanfeng enter the 23rd Division as the rank of second lieutenant!

Compared to Li Shiyu's and Zhao Jun's ranks, Li Lanfeng's rank was very low. One only needed to be at the level of advanced mecha operator to obtained the rank of second lieutenant. Although Li Lanfeng's ace mecha operator level wasn't stable, he was still easily at the special-class operator level. According to the ranks given accordingly to the levels of mecha operators in the Federation, Li Lanfeng's rank should be first lieutenant and not second lieutenant.

This meant that while Li Lanfeng was approved by He Xuyang to enter the 23rd Division, He Xuyang still suppressed Li Lanfeng. This was He Xuyang testing Li Lanfeng!

Ling Lan returned from her flashback and couldn't help but smile bitterly. Although she didn't want to have a hand in the situation, she still did something. It was just that she didn't know whether it was a good thing or a bad thing for Li Lanfeng. Ling Lan believed that since Li Lanfeng was now being eyed by He Xuyang, he would definitely have a rough time in the 23rd Division.

Ling Lan looked at the three of them wearing uniforms standing in front of her, and her worries were gone in an instant. She encouragingly said, "The 23rd Division has formed recently, so they're basically all veterans. There aren't many new people like you guys there. It's going to be a hard road ahead. However, at the same time, it is an opportunity for you guys, since the 23rd Division lacks pretty much everything. As long as you guys behave well, you won't have to be like in the other divisions where everyone has his own task and there's nobody to spare, needing to waste time and resources just to rank up. Maybe when we're fifth-years and enter the 23rd Division, you guys will be our superiors then."

"Don't worry, Boss. Even then, you'll still be our Boss," Zhao Jun said with a smile.

Li Shiyu said, "When you guys come, even if you guys train until your last breath, I will make sure to revive you guys instantly." Li Shiyu's words were vicious, but what he meant was that he would definitely take a spot as a military doctor and not have them worry about the future.

Li Lanfeng looked at Ling Lan with a complicated look. He hadn't expected that Ling Lan would give him such a big surprise when they were about to leave. His expression was very serious and it seemed like he was making a promise as he said, "Rabbit, I will definitely finish that training. When you come to the 23rd Division, you will see a flawless Li Lanfeng."

It turned out that Ling Lan had told Li Lanfeng to quickly resolve the issues of his physical condition. She had created a training regimen along with three sets of extremely valuable basic fundamental physical skills training from the learning space. She told Li Lanfeng clearly that he needed to stick to the training every day and finish the three sets of physical skills, as this way he would be able to resolve the issue of his physical constitution. This unexpected gift had made Li Lanfeng feel ever so grateful.

Ling Lan's training regimen seemed to be meant for just resolving Li Lanfeng's issues on his physical constitution, but only Li Lanfeng knew what Ling Lan had actually given him—he had given him the chance to be reborn, a chance to turn his life around.

Right then, the docks rang with a sound telling the cadets to get ready to board the ships, and this caused dismay to show on the faces of the three who were going to leave the academy for their division. Looking back at the five years they spent in the military academy, only the last year had been fraught with dangers and surprises, and all this was brought about by the person standing in front of them.

"Seniors, go take a look at the 23rd Division. We're counting on you," the members of the Lingtian Mecha Clan all screamed out after seeing that the three of them were about to leave.

"Good luck, seniors!"

"Let's get together again after three years!" These were the second-year cadets who were reluctant to let these three seniors who had treated them well leave after getting to know them in the past year. They also knew that Boss Lan was going to the 23rd Division in the future, so they were prepared to go there as well.

"There's still us after four years!" These were the first-years. They had just joined and hadn't formed any relationships or bonds with these three chosen ones yet they were going off to join the 23rd Division, making the first-years feel that it was a shame they couldn't get to know them. At that moment, they all called out, not caring whether the three of them could hear or know who they were.

The enthusiasm of the mecha clan members made the three of them emotional. Li Shiyu was the softest in terms of emotions, to begin with; his eyes grew even redder than before and were on the verge of shedding tears. Although he had ended up joining Lingtian because of Ling Lan's tricks, after one year of being together, he had come to see Lingtian as family. This scene in front of him made him even more reluctant to leave.

"Alright." Seeing that it was getting out of control, Ling Lan quickly spoke up, and this made the entire scene become instantly silent. Every member looked towards Ling Lan and waited for their Boss Lan to say something.

"You guys have to remember that although there's only three of you, you guys are representing the Lingtian Mecha Clan and Ling Lan. If you get bullied by people in the 23rd Division, don't bring shame to Lingtian," Ling Lan said coldly.

Zhao Jun's eyes flickered. Didn't that mean that if something really did happen, Boss would be able to deal with it? He happily nodded and replied, "Understood, Boss!"

Zhao Jun's behavior made Ling Lan's forehead throb. She quickly looked towards Li Lanfeng and added, "No bullying."

She was right. She should be worrying about the soldiers in the 23rd Division and not the three in front of her. Li Lanfeng had so many tricks up his sleeve, Li Shiyu was the top cadet for military medicine, and even Zhao Jun was a person with a silly face but an evil heart. This made it so that they certainly wouldn't be bullied by others. Her worry just now was really pointless and made her head spin.

Li Lanfeng held in his smile after seeing Rabbit's frustration from not knowing what to do and his head hurting. This made his reluctant feelings instantly lessen. He smiled and nodded while comforting Ling Lan, "Understood. I will definitely look after Zhao Jun."

"Oh ho!" Li Lanfeng's answer made Li Shiyu laugh out loud. "Look after Zhao Jun? Are you sure you didn't mean that you would work with Zhao Jun?"

Zhao Jun looked at Li Lanfeng with indifference. The two of them exchanged a stare that they both understood.

Ling Lan suddenly realized that asking Li Lanfeng to look after Zhao Jun was an absolute mistake. She could confirm that if Zhao Jun was to cause trouble, Li Lanfeng would not only not stop him, but also strategize for him…

Seeing the three of them be less reluctant compared to earlier after hearing her words, Ling Lan's heart softened. As long as they weren't bullied, she couldn't care less about helping the people they were going to bully while in the 23rd Division. The only thing she could do was that when they caused trouble and couldn't resolve it, she would be able to contact her dad in a timely manner and help them out.

Although she had this thought, Ling Lan was still in a bad mood. She pointed to the warship and said, "You guys can leave now." If they stayed any longer, she would have definitely given them a beating. What kind of members had she scouted? Not a single one of them didn't make her worry.

Hearing this, the expressions of the three changed; they knew that the time to leave had come. They exchanged looks, raised their hands and saluted Ling Lan. "Thank you, Captain!"

"Thank you for letting me understand the significance of friendship! I am no longer a lone wolf!" Zhao Jun's eyes were red at that moment.

"Thank you for letting me find myself and help me find the correct path!" Li Shiyu couldn't control himself and ended up blinking. One teardrop dripped down silently.

"Thank you for giving me the friendship that I had always wanted. Thank you for letting me have the chance to change my fate! Thank you!" Li Lanfeng's eyes were steady. Finished speaking, he lowered his hand and said to Zhao Jun and Li Shiyu, "Let's go!" The three of them turned around and walked into the warship, disappearing at the loading dock.

Seeing Li Lanfeng and the other two disappear into the ship, Ling Lan got ready to leave with Qi Long and the others. But right when she turned around, she saw a familiar face walk towards her.

That person saw Ling Lan. His eyes instantly flickered and stopped his footsteps.

"You're here to send them off?" Ling Lan was still a second-year cadet right now, so she couldn't be the one going to the 23rd Division.

Ling Lan lifted her brow in surprise. "Senior Nie, long time no see."

"Long time no see. You're here to send off members from your mecha clan? Or you wouldn't possibly appear here." Nie Feng-ming looked around him. The Lingtian Mecha Clan had almost everyone move out. If these people weren't from their mecha clan, who else could they be? He moved his head and thought for a while about the list of this year's applications that were approved and came to an understanding. "It's Li Lanfeng, Li Shiyu and Zhao Jun. These three right?"

"Yes, Senior Nie." Ling Lan looked at the uniform he was wearing. It had the logo of the 23rd Division. "Congratulations, Senior Nie, you've also entered the 23rd Division successfully it seems."

Nie Feng-ming looked at Ling Lan silently, then suddenly said, "Ling Lan, one year ago, I hated you to the bone. In the battle arena, you were ruthless and wounded me severely which caused me to miss that year's evaluation. You made me waste a whole year's worth of time and so I could only get into the 23rd Division this year."

Ling Lan nodded and said, "I know, but I don't regret it. If it was to happen again, I would still do the same thing." She wouldn't to let someone who wanted to hurt her friends off that easily. Returning the same level of harm was the least she had to do to take revenge.

"I know, you weren't in the wrong. After a whole year, I've calmed down and realized that it was my own fault," Nie Feng-ming said, then continued sarcastically, "But even though I know it's my fault, I still have to take my revenge or else I won't be able to continue on with life."

Nie Feng-ming pumped his chest with his fist. After lying in bed for seven months within the treatment pod's narrow space, he had almost gone insane from the suffocating environment. He had endured through all that because of his desire for vengeance. If he didn't take revenge himself, he wouldn't be able to live his life, to have the chance to move forward.