Chapter 539: Bait?

The principal nodded. His face showed a hint of regret as he said, "I wasn't in the military academy at the time. By the time I learned about it, it was already too late for me to get back to the academy." With an expression of sadness, he continued, "The Flying Dragon Special Forces is a battle team that every cadet dreams of getting into. However, even a single Flying Dragon medal is rarely given out every decade. The medal represents the acknowledgement of the country that the awardee is the top in their field and possesses the most potential for growth. It is also what every student dreams about. The medal not only represents glory and status, but at the same time, it also means that you will instantly become a member of the Flying Dragon Special Forces. There would be no need for the cadets to go through a series of harsh evaluations and eliminations."

After saying all this, the principal couldn't help but hold onto his chest. "Such a rare chance. That punk. Li Shiyu, was it? He actually gave up on this chance. Every time I think about it, my heart aches." He recalled another Flying Dragon medal that could have been awarded many years ago—that punk Ling Xiao was also the same. The man hadn't even notified him and refused on his own accord.

"Actually, I really admire Li Shiyu. He wouldn't leave his comrades behind for a better future," Tang Yu said with admiration. Even if it were he himself who was faced with the invitation into the Flying Dragon Special Forces, the honor and glory that the Flying Dragon medal had to offer would have been enough to lure him in. However, Li Shiyu had actually outright refused the invitation given by the military's representative and hadn't hesitated even one bit. Tang Yu still remembered the stunned and disbelieving expression on the representative's face; perhaps the man had never imagined someone would reject their offer.

"I think that the First Men's Military Academy will become the Flying Dragon Special Forces' nightmare in the future," said Tang Yu with a laugh. The only two people who had ever rejected the invitation from the Flying Dragon Special Forces were both from the First Men's Military Academy.

The principal smiled bitterly at his words. "It's possible that the military will no longer invite the First Men's Military Academy for a chance to participate in the future evaluations to enter the Flying Dragon Special Forces."

Those folks all held grudges. After Ling Xiao's rejection, the First Men's Military Academy still had outstanding students in the following years. However, the military was angered to the point of being willing to choose average cadets from other military academies, not giving a chance to the cadets from the First Men's Military Academy to participate in the evaluations. Later on, the Federation finally managed to find another top cadet that made the military give up on their pride and offer that a cadet a Flying Dragon medal. Unfortunately, at that time, their graciousness was met with the cold shoulder from the First Men's Military Academy once again… Thinking up to this point, the principal felt even worse. It was possible that there was no hope for their military academy to receive an invitation to any evaluations for the Flying Dragon Special Forces in the future.

"Although the chance that slipped away is indeed very unfortunate, I still think our students don't really care about it," Tang Yu said positively.

"What do you mean by that?" the principal asked confusedly.

"There's General Ling Xiao! The 23rd Division is where our cadets want to go nowadays." The Flying Dragon Special Forces was indeed a great place to go and all their members were also indeed the top in their fields. However, all of this couldn't compare to General Ling Xiao, whom everyone looked up to. Ling Xiao's growth was like a legend and had created records one after the other. He had pressured the Flying Dragon Special Forces to the extent where they had to take a few steps back. This also made the Flying Dragon Special Forces unable to become a dream that Ling Xiao's generation chased after.

"That's true. Not even I understand what kind of godly existence that punk Ling Xiao is." The principal was very much in agreement with Tang Yu.

Tang Yu's words made the principal's mood instantly change for the better. Along with his improved mood, his logical thinking became clearer as well; he had now remembered some things that he had previously forgotten. He asked with surprise in his tone, "Tang Yu, do you mean that that Li Shiyu has joined a battle team? I remember he was in the medicinal research major. Aren't those guys neutral and never join battle teams?"

Even if the cadets of that major joined battle teams for different reasons, they would only sign temporary contracts. After entering a division, they would go their own separate ways. The principal had always believed that Li Shiyu was free to choose what he had wanted, but he couldn't understand why Li Shiyu would reject the invitation from the Flying Dragon Special Forces. It should be known that once he entered the Flying Dragon Special Forces, Li Shiyu would be nurtured by the country using all of their resources. With such a promising road ahead, even those who were lazy and dumb could become a top expert in the field of medicine in the Federation after years of this type of nurturing.

"That's what everyone says, but there are always outliers—Li Shiyu is one of them. In his fourth year, he joined Ling Lan's battle team and became the battle team's doctor."

Tang Yu's words stunned the already dumbfounded principal. If Ling Lan was with them, it was possible that the principal would hold onto her shoulders and yell at her, "Sh*t, did your small battle team really need to get the valedictorian of the military medicine major as your team doctor? Don't you know that this is a big waste and a huge crime?"

The principal took a deep breath and finally calmed himself down. He reluctantly rubbed his forehead and sighed as he said, "Tell me, do you think this Ling Lan is trying to create his own private Flying Dragon Special Forces?" The members that she had taken in all made him envious. Besides, what she had done by taking the ace military doctor that the Flying Dragon Special Forces had approved of was even more so like taking prey away from a predator.

Tang Yu thought deeply for a moment then said, "That's very possible." Based on Ling Lan's requirements of only taking in top tier geniuses into her team, it was definitely possible that she was trying to form a team that was of similar strength to the Flying Dragon Special Forces that the Federation had created. However, this also showed that Ling Lan's luck was insane; otherwise, how could she have so many monstrous individuals beside her?

While the principal and Tang Yu were having this conversation, the mecha that Xie Yi was operating, as well as a mecha from Leiting, had almost simultaneously discovered one another. The audience instantly focused their attention and stared at the big screen. The distance between the two mechas was getting closer and closer…

"Found one mecha from Lingtian, serial number: Lingtian No.1!" This mecha's serial number was Leiting No.9. When both sides were at the distance of being able to determine the other's serial number, this operator finally found the mecha that their captain had ordered him to search for when they split up at the beginning of the battle.

"Captain, we've discovered Lingtian No.1. Mecha Type: Balanced Mecha. Coordinates: (xx,xx)." The team member had decisively pressed down on the button to connect him to his captain.

"Alright, try your best to keep him busy." His captain's cold voice rang from the other side of the communicator. The operator received the order and decisively took out his beam saber from his back and flew towards the opponent. He still remembered the captain telling him that although the opponent was piloting a balanced mecha, his long-range abilities were stronger. Thus, he wanted to get as close as possible to the opponent captain and try his best to engage in close combat.

"Look, Lingtian No.1 is being surrounded by Leiting mechas hundreds of yards from its location." After Lingtian No.1 was discovered, the spectators saw that 4 mechas were all closing in on Lingtian No.1's location.

"Looks like Leiting wants to capture the king first and take care of Lingtian's captain." Leiting's goal was very clear, but those who knew the truth of the situation all frowned. Wasn't this falling into Lingtian's trap?

"Even if they don't take out Lingtian's captain, with four people surrounding him, this Lingtian No.1 won't be able to fight them. Taking out one opponent first is also good." There were still many people who favored Leiting. Compared to Lingtian, who were fighting by themselves, Leiting's members were now clearly in three-man groups. Once they successfully created a team, things wouldn't be that easy for Lingtian even if they attempted assassinations.

However, they couldn't deny that the battle against Lingtian No.1 was an important one. If Lingtian No.1 successfully escaped the encirclement, he would have drawn away four opponents, taking away pressure from his other teammates. If his teammates successfully took care of a few opponents, then the advantage would be Lingtian's side. If Lingtian No.1 couldn't endure the battle and was instantly knocked out of the competition, Leiting's newly formed team would be able to find their next target. This way, the advantage would tilt to Leiting's side.

Right now, however, the battle had not been decided yet. Both sides had their opportunities.

"They're here!" An audience member immediately shouted in excitement upon seeing Lingtian No.1 and Leiting No.9 finally enter the range for long-range fire.

Almost simultaneously, Lingtian No.1 and Leiting No.9 instantly aimed at each other and pulled their triggers; both beam guns shot out a beam of light towards their respective targets.

"Lingtian No.1 was a bit faster." Tang Yu's eyes were keen and immediately saw the difference between the two.

"This punk's long-range attack is strong, huh? He's piloting a balanced mecha. Now that I look, it should be a long-range and close combat type, isn't it?" the principal asked curiously.

Tang Yu nodded, but then shook his head afterward. The principal was confused and asked, "What do you mean?"

Tang Yu smiled bitterly. "I can only tell you that Lingtian No.1's long-range skills are strong, but as to whether he is capable of close combat or not, that I'm not sure." He didn't even know what the Lingtian members, who were taught by their own captain, had up their sleeves. It was also because Tang Yu himself didn't know whether Ling Lan's expertise lay in long range or close combat. Or was he an expert in both fields?

In the past year, Ling Lan had already played around with all five of the ace mechas in the military academy. Tang Yu had fought against her countless times but still couldn't find out what Ling Lan was best at. He felt that everything was around the same level. However, Tang Yu believed that that wasn't true. He thought that Ling Lan definitely had something that she was much more of an expert in; it was just that she never showed it.

While they were talking, Lingtian No.1 and Leiting No.9 had already shot at each other many times. At that moment, Leiting No.9 was clearly being pressured by Lingtian No.1. He was dodging left and right, trying to get close to his opponent. Following every step he took, however, one sharp beam of light would come towards him, making him step back to evade.

"Lingtian No.1's long-range abilities are strong. If we didn't know who he was, we might also have thought that Lingtian No.1 was that Ling Lan, who is also good at long range," one instructor murmured upon seeing this scene. He didn't expect Lingtian to have had another long-range expert other than Ling Lan. This individual that was called Xie Yi was about the same in terms of long-range abilities compared to their commander.

Right after he spoke, on the big screen, Lingtian No.1 suddenly changed his shooting motions; he was seen lifting up his mecha's right arm. Following that motion, his mecha's left hand held the bottom of his long-range beam sniper rifle as its barrel was aimed at Leiting No.9, who was moving at a rapid speed at that moment. Lingtian No.1 was also following Leiting No.9's movement patterns and changing his shooting stance to aim more accurately.

"This is Ling Lan's rifle technique—Select-Fire!" The audience all cried out in surprise. Everyone remembered what that stance signified; it was a standard posture for a fixed-point shot. In last year's Grand Mecha Tournament, Ling Lan had used this technique during the sports event and had it acknowledged by the Federation's headquarters. They named this attack Ling Lan's rifle technique—Select-Fire!

However, this rifle technique couldn't be used by just anyone; only those who could accurately hit their opponent would be considered to have completed this rifle technique. Everyone held in their breaths, waiting for Lingtian No.1's attack. Was it going to just be an imitation, or was it going to be an exciting Select-Fire shot like the one Ling Lan previously performed?

"Bang!" A powerful beam of light shot out of the rifle barrel.

"Boom!" Leiting No.9's mecha suddenly exploded. Perhaps it was too fast, or perhaps Ling Lan's rifle technique had made the opponent panic. No matter what the reason was, in the end, the opponent wasn't able to dodge this shot.

"It hit?"

"It really hit!" This meant that Ling Lan's rifle technique wasn't her own and was one that could possibly be learned by everyone. This undoubtedly made everyone who was interested in Ling Lan's rifle technique burn up with passion. As long as they worked hard, one day, they could also grasp this long-range sure-kill technique.

Xie Yi put down his beam rifle, wearing an alarmed expression as he cried out, "What, it worked?" In order to make sure he was in character, he had daringly attempted to use Select-Fire despite that his success rate with his boss' technique was only 10%; he hadn't expected his luck to be good enough that it would actually succeed on the first try.

"This way, no one will suspect that Lingtian No.1 isn't Ling Lan." Everyone who was watching Xie Yi's performance all knew that Lingtian's plan was to let Xie Yi pretend to be Ling Lan and attract Leiting's attention to protect the real Ling Lan.

"What's the reason behind Lingtian doing something like this?" one spectator asked those around him, not understanding the situation.

"Baiting! Using Lingtian No.1 as bait and drawing in Leiting's members one by one." One instructor pointed at the virtual image on the optical supercomputer. He clicked around Lingtian No.1 multiple times and said, "Here, here, here—and here. Lingtian's members have hidden at these locations. This place is a trap. If Leiting's members move past these points and don't have their guard up… then it will be one body for each assassination.

"In the end, even if some of them get away and are successful in containing Lingtian No.1, Lingtian won't care. After all, Lingtian No.1 is merely bait and isn't Lingtian's real leader. Even if he is defeated and eliminated, it won't affect Lingtian's morale that much. No matter how you look at it, if they manage to take out many members of Leiting and only lose Lingtian No.1, it would be well worth the trade of one for many."

Hearing this instructor's explanation, those who didn't understand now understood and they couldn't help but take in a heavy breath. There were people that also said, "Lingtian's really ruthless. They are actually willing to let an outstanding member be bait. However, this bait was very successful. They won't have to worry about Leiting not biting."

At that moment, the Leiting members who did not know the situation moved towards the coordinates that their captain had given them, while the observing instructors all shook in their heads in silence. Before even mentioning piloting capabilities, Leiting had already lost to Lingtian in terms of strategy alone.

Upon hearing the instructors beside him marvel at the situation, Qiao Yi's face became pale and his expression turned slightly anxious. He hoped that his own disciples could look past Lingtian's trap and not be so easily fooled.

In contrast to the instructors who didn't really know about Ling Lan's capabilities, Tang Yu didn't agree with what the rest thought; he didn't believe that Lingtian's plan was to have Lingtian No.1 act as bait. Tang Yu believed that even if all 12 members of Leiting were to go up against Ling Lan together, as long as she was careful, they wouldn't have any chance of defeating her. Therefore, who was more suitable and safer than Ling Lan to be the bait?

"This punk Ling Lan has always been a remarkable one. What is he planning?" Tang Yu went into deep thought.