Chapter 540: Ambush?

One member from Leiting had been eliminated. They didn't panic after receiving news of this, however; they knew that Ling Lan was the strongest in Lingtian. It was normal that their team members would not be able to fight him and natural that they would lose one or two of their members. Leiting had already known what was going to happen before they got to Xie Yi's location.

At that moment, a Leiting mecha was quickly flying past a rocky mountain formation towards Lingtian No.1's location. This pilot didn't know that a mecha was lying in wait just on top of the rocks.

"Who's the guy with the balls to actually walk over my head?" Qi Long looked up at the mecha that flew over him, following which he speedily shifted the beam gun on his mecha's right hand to lock on to the opponent. He naturally didn't forget to check the opponent's data and information beforehand.

"Beep, beep. Information received. ID: Leiting No.1!" The optical supercomputer responsibly relayed the information that it had searched and found.

"Leiting No.1?" Qi Long instantly became excited. He hadn't expected that he would finally have a huge fish take the bait after he had laid there for so long.

"Qi Long, let him pass." Right at that moment, Ling Lan's cold and sharp voice rang in the team commlink channel.

"Ah? Ugh… roger." Qi Long was immediately dumbfounded at hearing Ling Lan's words right when he was about to make a move; however, even if Qi Long didn't understand Ling Lan's orders, he would still follow them. He ceased locking on to the enemy and watched as Leiting No.1 flew out of his line of sight.

"Boss, I really want to fight that Leiting No.1," Qi Long said regrettably. After all, Leiting No.1 was the strongest individual in Leiting. Before the battle had begun, Qi Long actually hoped that he could fight with Leiting No.1. Unfortunately, his boss had other plans and didn't give him that opportunity.

"It wouldn't be meaningful if you fought him, but Xie Yi needs the experience," explained Ling Lan.

Qi Long's expression showed that he understood, "So, Boss, you mean that we're going to use this chance to let Leiting No.1 help us detonate the dark energy being held back by Xie Yi?"

"Yes. Because of the opponent, Xie Yi's guard won't be too strong. Once he has thoughts of becoming stronger or winning, there'll be an opportunity for that dark energy to seep out." Ling Lan didn't know what condition Xie Yi would end up in if he were controlled by the dark energy and she was very interested in knowing the outcome.

Not everyone was lucky like Leiting No.1, deliberately given a pass. Ling Lan's target had always been Leiting No.1. As for the others, she didn't meddle with her team members' decisions. The same situation was playing out at a different corner of the map.

When a few of Leiting's mechas passed by the hidden mechas of Lingtian that were using the chameleon system, the latter group bared their vicious fangs as one and made a move on these rapidly advancing opponents who did not have their guard up at all.

Bang! The sounds of explosions resulting from beams projectiles making their mark on mechas rang through the silent forest, which instantly alerted everyone around the area. One Leiting mecha's cockpit was instantly hit—he was eliminated without the chance to even say a word.

Unfortunately, the map was too large; the movements and sounds that had occurred at this location were not known to the others in different locations. The members of Leiting could only see that they had lost one member once again on the corner of their mecha's screen, but they could not figure out how that teammate was defeated. Thus, the second member from Leiting followed in his teammate's footsteps and was also hit while he wasn't paying attention.

Still, not every member from Lingtian was that lucky and not every member from Leiting was that unlucky. When a third mecha from Leiting moved past one of Lingtian's ambush points, its operator instinctively sensed the presence of danger when he was about to be attacked; he had actually managed to avoid suffering a fatal blow by coincidence. The beam shot had hit his thigh and he luckily got away.

"How unfortunate!" Luo Lang said depressedly, having missed his shot. Nevertheless, he didn't move and waited patiently for the next opportunity to come by.

"Enemies! Where exactly are they?" The Leiting member who had gotten away was having cold sweats. He turned his mecha's radar up to maximum range, but it showed no reaction at all as though that beam shot had just been an illusion.

It was quiet all around him, but at that moment, the silence made the Leiting member feel that he was grave danger. He took a deep breath and calmed himself, following which he decisively connected to his captain's commlink channel. "Captain, I was just attacked by Lingtian, but my radar can't find any traces of the attacker."

Tian Jiajun's expression changed at these words and the first thing he thought of was the chameleon system. Although this system was considered to be a piece of high-end equipment in the Mecha World and was hard to obtain, that didn't mean that it was impossible to acquire. He believed that the members of Lingtian had already gotten their hands on this system, but he just didn't know how many of them were actually equipped with it.

"I hope that there are only one or two mechas from Lingtian that has this perverted system. Otherwise, our circumstances in this competition will be disadvantageous." Tian Jiajun's expression became grave.

"Activate your reserve thermal radar. The instant the opponent uses their beam energy supply, the radar will be able to find them," Tian Jiajun ordered immediately. Although they didn't have the hawkeye system, special-class mechas could only be equipped with low-level chameleon systems; the thermal radar would still be able to find some heat signatures. It was only that these signatures would disappear within moments and detection of them was also dependent on whether his team members would be able to control the thermal radar well.

"Also, be wary of cold weapon ambushes by the opponents." Thermal radars could only detect beam gun energy signals. If the opponents used cold weapons to ambush them, then the radar would be useless.

After receiving Tian Jiajun's orders, the members of Leiting all began to be on guard for Lingtian's ambushes. As expected, the next time they came under beam fire by Lingtian, they were able to find the location of the heat source using their thermal radars. Those who reacted quickly simultaneously dodged the beam shots and pounced towards the location that the thermal radar had marked.

Of course, this portion of Leiting members had luck on their side. The Lingtian members who ambushed them only had beam gunners and no cold weapon users, as expected. Surprise attacks using cold weapons would make it hard for Leiting to defend, however, and they lost another team member from this type of ambush. For Leiting, the situation suddenly went from bad to worse. They had 12 people in the beginning, but were down to only 8 within fleeting moments of time. They had almost lost close to half their numbers.

Of course, Ling Lan didn't pay much attention to the Lingtian members who were ambushing or fighting the Leiting members. In truth, Ling Lan didn't waste too much time thinking about this challenge match compared to the one a year ago. Leiting no longer had a strong ace mecha master like Qiao Ting and Ling Lan believed that her team members wouldn't lose to their opponents. She knew very well that whether a mecha clan had a chance for long-term development was not based on how strong the commander was, but instead based on whether or not the clan itself had reliable strength.

Therefore, if Lingtian wanted to develop and become stronger, its members had to mature more quickly. They had to become a clan in the military academy that would not be easily defeated, and only then would Lingtian be able to continue developing in the future.

In the area of the challenge match, while Lingtian was preying on Leiting, the latter was also preying on the former's members. Three mechas from Lingtian had their locations exposed. Other than Xie Yi, who had his orders to pretend to be Ling Lan and draw the enemy's fire, the other two members could only be exposed in front of Leiting's members because they hadn't finished the mission for the chameleon system. This led to the Leiting members, who had already gathered up, mercilessly moving towards them to form an encirclement.

Although the chameleon system was very powerful when it came to camouflaging ability, the system would be as good as useless once the user's movements became exposed. Since the first assassination attempt by Lingtian was evaded by the opponent, they would no longer have the advantage they had in the beginning. If Lingtian wanted to defeat their opponent, they would have to rely on their own strength.

Two sides fighting each other would naturally result in one person winning and one losing. Many members of Lingtian were defeated at the end of fierce fighting against the members of Leiting. Afterwards, smoke filled the air as battles took place everywhere on the map. The numbers of both sides were slowly dwindling, and those who were able to stay alive until the end would definitely be the strongest out of both teams.

Tang Yu looked around and discovered that Ling Lan wasn't amidst the Lingtian members who had appeared in front of everyone. He frowned and suspected that perhaps Ling Lan wasn't even going to make a move. Was the only reason he had joined this match was to act as insurance to make sure Lingtian didn't lose?

Due to Ling Lan's arrangements, Tian Jiajun flew his mecha smoothly all the way towards Xie Yi's location.

Xie Yi saw Leiting No.1 coming towards him and he instantly grew excited, as Ling Lan had told him before the match that his mission was to keep Leiting No.1 busy and hold him back. Before his teammates could completely wipe out the rest of the members from Leiting, he had to keep Leiting No.1 occupied.

Tian Jiajun's goal was the same as Xie Yi's; the mission he had received was to first make sure Lingtian No.1 was held up. As for the others, he would act accordingly as the situation required him to.

The eyes of these two individuals met up, but they didn't stop to say anything and instead drew out their weapons to engage in battle. Both of them were piloting balanced mechas, which were good for both ranged and close quarters combat. Therefore, once they entered the range for long-range attacks, both of them raised the beam gun in their hand in unplanned unison and attacked their opponent.

Tian Jiajun had been stuck at special-class operator level for more than one year and only needed a catalyst to advance to become an ace operator. His piloting skills were naturally not like Xie Yi's, who had just advanced to special-class operator. After Xie Yi probed his opponent in the first few exchanges, he reigned in the impulse of wanting to defeat his opponent and began to carefully try to keep him busy instead.

At that moment, Xie Yi was performing just like normal. Ling Lan had been watching Xie Yi all this time and upon seeing that his performance was very normal, she knew that Tian Jiajun wasn't giving Xie Yi enough pressure.

"Leiting No.1's desire to win isn't very high, it seems." Ling Lan had discovered that Tian Jiajun's way of fighting was cautious, even a bit restrained. Could it be that he didn't dare to make a careless move due to thinking Lingtian No.1 was her?

She had to think of something to make Leiting No.1 become desperate.

Ling Lan fell into brief thought before connecting to Qi Long's commlink channel. "Qi Long, pretend to be losing and lure your opponent to the coordinates (xx, xx)."

Hearing this, Qi Long knew that his boss had some sort of plan. He didn't ask any questions and responded with a "roger".

Qi Long was secretly overjoyed. In order to avoid being bored after his fight, he had wanted to battle with his opponent for a longer period of time. Thus, he had concealed a portion of his strength and fought on even grounds with his opponent. If he had started with full strength from the start and pressured his opponent, it would have been difficult for him to feign that he was losing.

Qi Long continued to trade several more blows with his opponent before he pretended to show weakness and then drew back his cold weapon, following which he turned around and desperately flew towards the coordinates Ling Lan had indicated.

Seeing the opportunity to take down his opponent, the Leiting member naturally wouldn't let it pass by; he immediately piloted his mecha to follow Qi Long. Seeing this, Qi Long was relieved. He fought back for moments at a time, before running for another moment, then rinse and repeat. As this continued, they finally arrived at that location that Ling Lan had given him.