Chapter 377: 377
Chapter 377: Ling Lan's Choice!
Translator: ryuxenji Editor: H2dH2mr
But it was precisely because he threw up this mouthful of blood that the special-class operator's mind began to clear . When he was fully aware again, his first response was to retreat swiftly in an attempt to escape the other's attack range . Until now, he had not figured out how that attack had come about . This was definitely not something a regular beam saber attack could do .
The special-class operator was truly blind because he was in the thick of it all; in contrast, the members of Ling Lan's team who were watching from the side-lines could see clearly . While the special-class operator had had his full attention on defending against Li Lanfeng's beam saber, Li Lanfeng had surprised the other by executing a knee strike with his mecha . The knee had struck the special-class mecha's cockpit with the powerful force of a mecha behind it .
If not for the gap in the mecha levels, as well as for the special-class mecha's beam shield neutralizing a large part of the force, the special-class operator would not have just ended up throwing up a mouthful of blood . He would probably have been gravely injured already . However, the attack had landed on a vital point of the mecha, with the cockpit directly receiving the brunt of the attack . Even though a special-class mecha's defenses were several times stronger than that of a regular mecha, this great force and the resulting intense vibrations had still inflicted some internal injury on that special-class operator .
The special-class operator desperately wanted to pull away and recover from his current passive situation, but having gained the advantage, how could Li Lanfeng let the other side succeed? With rekindled confidence, Li Lanfeng went all out into the fight . Even if this advanced mecha he was piloting broke down due to overload, he would still make sure that this special-class mecha before him was struck down .
In order to accomplish this objective, when Li Lanfeng saw the opponent retreat quickly, he too pushed all his engines to their maximum capacity to keep up with the opponent . With regards to mecha piloting, this type of behaviour was absolutely forbidden . Pushing the engines to maximum power meant that the mecha was being overburdened . Running on overcapacity, even the most advanced mecha would only be able to sustain itself for a short three to four minutes . Once its limits were exceeded, the mecha would inevitably be damaged . The longer the mecha operated on overload, the greater the extent of the damage, until the point where the mecha might break down completely during combat . . .
However, to pilot a mecha till it was overloaded was not such a simple thing . If one's hand speed could not keep up, even if an operator wanted to operate on overcapacity, it would merely be wishful thinking . In the past, Li Lanfeng could barely raise all the power aspects of his mecha to their full 100% value . But this time, due to the life-or-death situation, he had broken through his own limits, which included the limits on his hand speed . Therefore, at this moment, he had truly unleashed 120% of the mecha's capacity, which was theoretically the greatest overload value achievable .
Sure enough, under Li Lanfeng's full-force operation, despite the level gap between the two mecha, Li Lanfeng managed to compensate for it by running his mecha in overcapacity .
And so, two mecha could be seen to fly at extreme speeds in the air, not much distance at all between them . One mecha was desperately backing away, while the other was hot on its tail .
Not only that, even while he pursued the opponent, Li Lanfeng did not forget to swing his beam saber wildly to attack . Li Lanfeng did not know how long this sudden surge of energy would last, but he knew that once it ran out, he would no longer have any more stamina to continue operating the mecha to fight . . .
"Your leopard is an absolute maniac . " Little Four finally could not help but exclaim . The other was already obviously out of strength, but relying purely on willpower and an unwillingness to lose, he was holding out, and his offensive power seemed even stronger than before .
"Hn, I never expected that he would actually have the same berserk air like Qi Long . " Qi Long was a battle maniac — as soon as he entered combat, he was very easily stoked into a manic state of excitement . Endless energy would surge up from within his body in that mode — even Ling Lan would have to expend a great deal of stamina to defeat Qi Long . She had initially thought that Qi Long was the only oddball in this regard, but now, seeing Li Lanfeng's unstoppable courage in pushing forwards, that dogged desire to finish things, he really seemed to display some signs of Qi Long in his berserk mode . . .
Ling Lan could not help but shake her head in silence . What was up with these people she had taken in? The leopard had clearly looked like a gentle and graceful, mild-mannered and cultured person — who would have guessed that he would have a crazed zeal for battle no weaker than Qi Long's? Just imagining the future when she might end up leading a group who would turn into battle-crazed maniacs the moment they began fighting, Ling Lan felt her temples twitch violently . . .
Ling Lan very quickly threw this image aside — let her cross that bridge when she came to it . It had to be said that, at times, Ling Lan truly embodied the Ah-Q mentality .
However, Ling Lan soon thought of the leopard's physique which was weaker than the average person's and her joyful spirits sank . If she could not solve this problem, no matter how good the leopard's control skills were, he would still be unable to operate an ace mecha . Ling Lan was well aware that the feedback force an ace mecha plied upon an operator's body was absolutely not something the leopard could withstand in his current state .
Perhaps Little Four had used the term 'your leopard' too many times — under the subtle influence of repetition, Ling Lan had unconsciously begun calling Li Lanfeng her leopard as well, completely forgetting to correct Little Four's wrong phrasing . . .
It had to be said that habit was a scary thing . It could make others accept things naturally, without questioning it . By the time one noticed, the habit would have already been ingrained, and there would no longer be any way to resist or discard it . . .
While Ling Lan was worrying about Li Lanfeng's physical constitution, in the aerial battlefield, the special-class operator had already pushed his mecha's engines to their maximum value, but he was still unable to get away from the other's pursuit . Moreover, as he was fully focused on trying to get away, in a moment of distraction, the special-class operator was actually struck forcefully several times by Li Lanfeng's wild attacks .
The power of the mecha's beam shield was being drained at a rapid rate as it fought off the opponent's attacks — when it looked like the mecha's remaining power would not be sufficient to maintain the maximum defence value of the beam shield any longer, the special-class operator knew that he had been forced into a corner and had no choice but to fight back soon . Otherwise, he would end up crashing when the opponent's attacks whittled away all of his mecha's power . At that time, his only outcome would be death .
"Argh!" The special-class operator unleashed an angry roar; this dire situation gave him no choice but to fight for his life . He decisively stopped trying to escape — gripping his beam saber tightly with both hands, he aimed accurately for the opponent's incoming beam saber and swung his own blade out to meet it .
The two beam sabers met with a loud bang . Perhaps both parties had used the full force of their mecha behind their blows, for the massive force of the collision caused the two beam sabers to present signs of distortion in that instant, and energy sparks were sent flying in all directions . In this patch of night sky, those sparks were like radiant fireworks, lighting up the night sky instantly .
Before the flares could dissipate, another loud 'bang' rang out once more . This sound was several times louder and crisper than the sound of the beam sabers clashing previously — the two mecha had slammed into each other at this time .
Even Li Shiyu's group of three who had been chasing after the two fighting mecha could feel the violent shockwaves from the collision of the two mecha . It was clear to see how strong the impact of the collision was .
The two fighting mecha were locked for several seconds and then they leapt back to instantly pull more than 30 metres apart . This was the inevitable outcome of inertia from the collision . The special-class mecha which already had a great deal of its power exhausted by its beam shield had become entirely dull after this collision . However, the condition of Li Lanfeng's mecha was not much better . His beam shield had been amped up to its maximum defence value as well during the collision . And even though the defence value of his beam shield had not been drained before the impact, due to the gap between their mecha levels, this one violent collision had been enough to completely exhaust the power of Li Lanfeng's mecha's beam shield . Li Lanfeng's mecha was similarly dark and dull .
Having been flung back, the special-class operator relied on his solid control skills to stabilise his mecha . When he saw the opponent's mecha also lose the protection of its beam shield, he was ecstatic . He knew that this was his chance! So, he decisively raised the beam saber in his hands and piloted his mecha to charge manically at the off-balance advanced mecha, shouting, "Go to hell!"
Seeing this, Ling Lan's expression shifted . She decisively drew a beam handgun from the back of her waist and aimed right for that special-class mecha leaping at Li Lanfeng .
Although Ling Lan was piloting a close combat ace mecha, this did not mean that her mecha was not equipped with any long-range weapons . That said, the long-range weapons of a close combat mecha were neither those specialised long beam guns nor the even longer range beam sniper rifles long-range attack mecha had; rather, close combat mecha were equipped with beam handguns which had relatively shorter range . Still, a short-range beam handgun was enough to cover the distance between her and that special-class mecha right now .
Although Ling Lan could be said to favour close combat, her long-range shooting skills were equally good . She might not match up to the level of those aberrant marksmanship prodigies who were masters of long-range attacks, but Ling Lan was still a shade better than the average shooter .
However, right when Ling Lan was about to shoot, her gaze flashed and her trigger finger froze . Highly familiar with close combat techniques, she had noticed that Li Lanfeng's seemingly off-balance mecha had actually shifted into a very familiar motion — his mecha's left hand was reaching slightly forward while the entire mecha seemed to be leaning to one side . . .
Empty-Handed Weapon Grab 1 ! Of course, the stance Li Lanfeng was using was a modified version, but the discerning eyes of Ling Lan could still see the underlying true form . No matter how much he had changed the stance, its origins were unchanged . It looked like Li Lanfeng was prepared to make his final move .
At this sight, Ling Lan actually had two options . One was to proceed and shoot anyway — a mecha without the protection of a beam shield would require only three consecutive beam shots to eliminate . If those three shots hit, she would certainly be able to penetrate the special-class mecha's cockpit and end this fight instantly . The other option was to trust that the leopard would be able to finish his final attack, though in Ling Lan's opinion, the probability of the leopard succeeding was at most only 60% . . .
If this were still the Ling Lan of the previous world, she would definitely have chosen to proceed and shoot . She definitely would not have taken the gamble — her mother hen personality made it a habit for her to gather up the people she treasured under her wings for protection . But in this new life, having gone through the various insane torments and trials of the learning space, Ling Lan had learned to be cold and ruthless, unfeeling and decisive . These two conflicting notions spun through Ling Lan's mind, and then she decisively chose the second option . As long as there was more than half the probability, Ling Lan would dare to take the risk . She believed that if the leopard succeeded, he would once again grow even stronger and get even closer to becoming an ace operator .
Even though Li Lanfeng's life would be threatened, cold rationality told Ling Lan that, for the sake of the other's future, this bit of risk was still worth it . . .