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Chapter 706: It’s Him…

    Chapter 706: It's Him...

    Lan Qing continued to stride forward as though nothing was happening. Lan Jue never looked back. Just as it seemed her strike would land he thrust his hand back her way.

    All of a sudden the women felt a tugging vortex open up in front of her. The Disciplines-forged daggers she prided herself in fell into chaos and its energies scattered. She reacted by urging her Discipline forth, but no matter how hard she called for her powers it was like some deep dark sea drank it all up. Then, an unseen concussive force blasted her off her feet. She tumbled head over heels down the hallway and, just before hitting the ground at her general's feet, some invisible force eased the impact. No harm came to her.

    She scrambled back to her feet, ready to charge in again when the harsh words of her superior stopped her dead. "Enough. You're no match for them, they're being easy on you."

    For a moment she seemed to consider refusing the order. Spinning around, she fixed him with petulant eyes. "General, they-"

    Lan Qing and his brother had already walked a good distance down the hall toward the conference room. Meanwhile the general watched them go with a thoughtful expression.

    "Those are special young men. We aren't in the West, get your temper under control."

    Colonel Xiaochen forced herself to take a deep breath, struggling to quench the rage that flared within her. Inwardly, though, she promised to make those upstarts see the error of their ways!

    Meanwhile the Lan brothers had already put the episode out of their minds. The tantrum of a Western colonel was no concern of theirs.

    "I apologize Admiral Lan, I think the Colonel misread your uniform. Your age likely confused her." The Northern lieutenant spoke placatingly.

    Lan Qing glanced at his shoulder board and nodded. "It's fine."

    "I'm sorry, Admiral..." Again the lieutenant apologized, standing awkwardly in front of them.

    "What?" He looked at the young officer.

    "I was a little distracted. I forget that we are required to verify your identities. If you could follow me to the verification instruments?" He had been flustered, it was true. When he'd seen who he was escorting he forgot the process and lead them down the hallway.

    Lan Qing was readily identifiable, certainly, but although Lan Jue looked familiar he couldn't place who he was. But even if he did the identity verification process was required for the safety of the conference goers.

    "Alright!"

    The brothers followed the officer to an area off to the side of the conference room.

    As they walked in Lan Jue scanned the area. The conference chamber was large, roughly the same size as the parliament hall on Skyfire. Altogether there were about five hundred seats arranged around the circular room with a raised platform at the front. Twenty seats had been arrayed behind tables on the platform.

    Lan Qing would likely occupy one of those seats. The thought made Lan Jue proud.

    The lieutenant brought them to a set of instruments nearby. They arrived the same time as the Westerners they'd just encountered.

    "What happened Ross?" The officer leading the Western delegation was also a lieutenant commander, and addressed Lan Jue's guide with some confusion.

    Ross regarded him with a sheepish smile. "I forgot to check their identities outside. I had to ask them to do it here. Go ahead and lead our distinguished visitors from the West to their seats."

    "Alright."

    The two lieutenants caught the attention of Xiaochen. She looked at the general, but he shook his head at her. As he stepped forward to find his seat she followed a step behind, fixing Lan Qing and Lan Jue with a glare. What was the story behind these two, she wondered.

    Lan Qing handed their invitation to Ross, then the lieutenant motioned for him to approach. The verification process required fingerprint, DNA, and iris scans. The iris and fingerprint scanning was typical, and the DNA scan required a strand of hair.

    Lan Qing stepped forward and began the process. A few moments later Lan Qing's information appeared on screen.

    From Xiaochen's angle she could just make out the screen. All of a sudden she froze. On the screen she saw;

    Lan Qing

    Eastern Navy Admiral, commander of the An Lun forces. Note: Youngest Eastern general on record, and a member of the Eastern military council. Rank: Paragon. Title: Peerless Light Emperor of Middle Heaven. Further Aliases: Prometheus, God of Wisdom, An Lun Super Soldier.

    What followed was a laundry list of Lan Qing's accomplishments and commendations.

    He... he's the An Lun super soldier? Poseidon, God of Wisdom... a general. A general? How is this possible? He's so young. He - he...

    Qiu Xiaochen stood nailed in place, her body refusing to move. Ever since she was small she had worked hard, and been told to apply herself like the legendary An Lun super soldier. She had strived to be meet his example.

    A Paragon... and he's a Paragon! My God! How could one person be so talented?

    In this moment, if by some cruel twist of fate he were to come her way, she wouldn't be able to control her emotions. She looked at his resolute features, his cold expression - and then she thought of how she'd made herself look like a complete clown!

    "Thank you for your patience, Admiral." The lieutenant was more polite than ever as he handed Lan Qing's invitation card back.

    Lan Qing simply nodded and stepped to the side. Now it was Lan Jue's turn, but Qiu Xiaochen kept her eyes glued to his brother.

    He seemed to have felt something and looked her way.

    Qiu Xiaochen was a beautiful woman, a product of mixed blood 1 Her fiery red hair was cut short in military fashion, and she looked back at him with big black eyes. She boasted one-fourth Eastern blood, which made her figure tall and slender, well proportioned. She was as intimidating as she was lethal, and it showed in her bearing. Her legs could rival Tang Mi's for length and appeal.

    Lan Qing gave her a passing glance.

    "Ah! You're..."

    The shocked sound pulled Qiu Xiaochen out of her haze. She looked to where the sound had come from and saw that it'd been the lieutenant, Ross. He looked at his screen in disbelief.

    What could that man - the one who'd lifted his hand against her, who looked a little like Lan Qing - what could his records show that was so surprising?

    When she glanced at the monitor she saw another long list of titles.

    Lan Jue

    Skyfire Avenue designation: Jewelry Master. Chairman of the Skyfire Council, commander of Star Division. Champion of the Great Adept Tournament. Further Aliases: God of Lightning Zeus, Mercenary King (former). God-ranked mecha pilot and one of the Divine Monarchs.

    Rank: Very near Paragon

    1. As mentioned before, the Chinese firmly believe that babies that come from mixed heritage are smarter, more beautiful, can fly, and shoot money-lasers from their eyeballs.
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