398 The Problem of Dao!

    Chapter 398: The Problem of Dao!

    Translator: ryuxenji  Editor: H2dH2mr

    "Thunder King Qiao Ting is Instructor Tang Yu's favoured disciple. If not too long after this, Qiao Ting loses at our hands, Instructor Tang Yu might hold a grudge." In response to Little Four's question, Ling Lan randomly made up an excuse.

    "That's impossible! According to the data I gathered, Instructor Tang Yu has never taken in any disciples in the academy. Even Thunder King Qiao Ting is only a normal student of his," argued Little Four, "Besides, Instructor Tang Yu has stated clearly that he hopes to see his students surpass himself, each generation being stronger than the one before it. If you defeat Qiao Ting, Boss, Instructor Tang Yu will only be happy and not angry."

    "Is that so ..." Ling Lan once again turned her thoughts to Instructor Tang Yu. If that was the case, applying for Instructor Tang Yu should not be a problem. Although Ling Lan seemed to treat others very coldly, she was actually very respectful of everyone, especially those who had cared for her before. She was afraid that if she really applied for Instructor Tang Yu to be her mentor, and if Tang Yu happened to plead for mercy on Qiao Ting's behalf, though this would not shake her decision, she would still feel some guilt towards Instructor Tang Yu. This was something she did not want to see happen, which was also one of the reasons why she did not want to apply for Instructor Tang Yu.

    "Also, Instructor Tang Yu is a mecha operator who daddy really appreciates." Little Four's face was shining - the moment they brought up Ling Xiao, Little Four would become unable to control his emotions; compared to Ling Lan, he seemed even more like a child of Ling Xiao's.

    Little Four's words reminded Ling Lan that when her dad had left planet Newline after the battle back then, he had mentioned Instructor Tang Yu, saying that he was a true teacher. From his words, it looked like Ling Xiao was very much in favour of Ling Lan learning from Instructor Tang Yu.

    "So father approves of him as well?" Ling Xiao's silly grin filled with indulgent love and affection surfaced involuntarily within Ling Lan's mind. Faced with this kind of doting dad, Ling Lan could not find it in herself to refuse. Sighing softly, she decisively chose Instructor Tang Yu and sent out her application.

    Ling Xiao's opinion was really hard for her to refuse. Ling Lan felt that it was becoming increasingly difficult for her to resist that powerful fatherly love of Ling Xiao's. Even when Ling Xiao was not by her side, that full berth of fatherly love would always appear in full force around her. Yep, the traitor Little Four was the culprit behind this. He was constantly whispering by her ear about how good Daddy Ling Xiao was and how it was oh so difficult to forget how good he was ...

    At this thought, Ling Lan threw a fierce glare at Little Four. This glare frightened Little Four - who knew what Boss had caught him doing wrong this time? Alright, Little Four had recently been hanging out most of the time in the virtual world; the bad things he had done were truly too many to count, even he did not dare to think too closely about it ...

    Having decided on Instructor Tang Yu, Ling Lan did not bother with choosing a second or third-choice mecha mentor. If Tang Yu refused, it did not really make much difference to Ling Lan which mecha instructor was assigned to her. Subsequently, all that was left was to wait for the mainframe's notification to see if her application would be approved by Instructor Tang Yu.

    After completing the most pressing task for a second-year student, Ling Lan left the virtual world, returning to her room to rest. However, she had just lain down when a powerful suction force pulled her consciousness into the learning space. By now, Ling Lan was extremely calm in the face of such things. Every time her instructors wanted to see her, they would pull this stunt. The only thing uncertain was who had initiated it this time.

    By the time Ling Lan became aware again, her eyes were greeted by a plain of clouds. Looking at the white clouds surrounding her, Ling Lan did not even have to think to know that this was Instructor Number One's place -- Mountain's Peak.

    Ling Lan unhurriedly took control of her body and stepped out into the air. Finally, when she caught sight of a square platform below, Ling Lan descended lightly to touch the tips of her feet to the ground before landing firmly without making a sound.

    "Recently, are you finding your force of presence harder and harder to control?" Right then, Instructor Number One was seated on a large rock with his back to Ling Lan. Without turning his head, he asked her this question.

    "Yes, Instructor Number One." Ling Lan looked at Instructor Number One, who was about three metres away from her, and suddenly sensed a massive wave of pressure pressing down on her. This pressure was much greater than any she had felt before, making her feel as if she could not handle it and was about to be forced to her knees.

    But Ling Lan would not submit - she abruptly let out the force of presence within her in one powerful burst, pitting it against the formidable pressure Instructor Number One was plying upon her.

    Instructor Number One's pressure was like waves at high tide, each wave heavier than the one before it - Ling Lan's forehead began to bead up with cold sweat, with more and more beads appearing by the moment. Her entire face turned pale and a trickle of blood suddenly flowed down from a corner of her initially tightly sealed lips ... but even so, Ling Lan's body still stood tall and steady with no sign of submitting.

    "As expected!" said Instructor Number One all of a sudden. Following this remark, the overwhelming pressure instantly disappeared completely. Taken by surprise, Ling Lan was thrown off-balance by the sudden shift and almost stumbled and fell. Luckily, Ling Lan had nimble reflexes and adjusted quickly - even though her body tilted forwards a little, she still managed to keep her footing.

    "Your force of presence is too intractable, willing to break rather than bend ..." said Instructor Number One faintly. His tone carried some trace of emotion, some approval as well as some regret.

    "Isn't this good?" Ling Lan's forehead was scrunched up tightly. She could hear the regret in Instructor Number One's tone - it looked like there must be some problem with her force of presence now.

    "It's not bad, it's just ... you have forgotten you are a girl ..." said Instructor Number One with a wry smile. If Ling Lan were a boy, this sort of presence would not be a problem at all, but she was a girl. A girl's body was 'yin' in nature, and intractability was a 'yang' trait 1  . This kind of presence which was contrary to the body it inhabited would inevitably cause the inherent nature of the body to reject and resist it. This was also why Ling Lan had found it so difficult recently to control her force of presence, letting it leak out all too often.

    "How troublesome." Instructor Number One's explanation caused Ling Lan's frown to deepen. She had never imagined that the reason she was unable to control her force of presence was actually because her body had begun to reject it internally.

    Mind you, in the recent past period of time, the reason she had become increasingly untalkative was that she had been putting all her effort into suppressing her body's force of presence. As soon as she started to speak, her aura would fluctuate and even show signs of erupting. At that time, she might very likely injure the companions by her side accidentally, and this was not something Ling Lan was willing to see ...

    "At the heart of it, it's still the fault of the Dao you have chosen. You should know that your Dao depends fully on self-exploration. There is no prior experience for you to reference. It's normal for there to be some deviation," Instructor Number One continued to explain.

    "I think, Instructor Number One, you must have some way of resolving this." Ling Lan looked at Instructor Number One with steady eyes. Since the other had already diagnosed her problem, then he must have some solution. Ling Lan had the utmost faith in the omnipotent learning space and the omnipotent Instructor Number One.

    Seeing the dependency on Ling Lan's face, Instructor Number One could not help but shake his head and smile bitterly in his mind. This Ling Lan was really becoming more and more shameless. Still, he could not ignore this beloved disciple of his. Instructor Number One could not help but feel that Ling Lan had only turned out this way due to them instructors spoiling her ... though Instructor Number One just could not figure out how in the world they had spoiled her to this extent, considering how everyone had obviously been so strict with her.

    After a moment of silence, Instructor Number One said, "I do have a plan. There are two choices. The first is for you to give up on the Dao you are walking now, choose some other Dao which suits you and already exists, accept the experience of your predecessors, and thus improve and transform your force of presence. This is the safest and also the easiest way 2  . I suggest you choose this one." Instructor Number One bluntly gave his recommendation.

    After hearing all this, Ling Lan brushed off this option without any hesitation. "This, I will not choose." Since she had already decided to walk her own Dao, she had never once thought of giving up halfway.

    "You've thought it through? You should know that the second method may very well cause all your previous efforts to go to waste, and it may even cost you your life." When Instructor Number One heard Ling Lan's reply, he immediately appeared right before Ling Lan in the very next second. His cold and piercing eyes stared intently at Ling Lan, as if trying to see for certain whether Ling Lan's heart was as firm and steady as her tone.

    Ling Lan did not hesitate to meet Instructor Number One's gaze, declaring resolutely, "Yes. Even if I fail in the end, I will not regret it!" She was indeed very afraid of dying, but she did not want to give up on her beliefs due to this fear. This was the only thing she had learned over these past several years in her second life here.

    "Good. Well said!" A glimmer of an approving smile finally appeared upon Instructor Number One's glacial face. "Ling Lan, listen well. The second way is to stay firm and unyielding. Since the two sides are repelling each other, you need to force them closer and make them merge."

    "Stay firm and unyielding? Force them close to merge them?" Confusion appeared for the first time in Ling Lan's eyes.

    "Just like how fire and water are mutually incompatible, but you will need to make it so that each has some of the other within it," A flippant voice rang out behind Ling Lan, and Ling Lan's initially steady body trembled minutely. The next second, Ling Lan had already turned around, bowed her head, and shouted, "Instructor Number Five, hello!"

    Seeing Instructor Number Five appear, Instructor Number One once again dashed back to the top of the large rock, sat down, and closed his eyes, no longer caring about Ling Lan and the uninvited Instructor Number Five.

    At the sight, Ling Lan knew that the following task of explaining would be taken over by Instructor Number Five now. She raised the questions she had in her mind, "Can water and fire coexist? I have never seen something like that exist, unless there are other intermediary substances present ..."

    "No no no, little Ling Lan, just because you've never seen it before doesn't mean it doesn't exist," said Instructor Number Five, shaking a finger as he replied with a close-eyed smile. Just then, he suddenly turned his head to look up at the empty skies around the cloud layer and shouted, "Number Nine, come out! I know you're there."

    Following this cry, Number Nine's cold huff could be heard, and then a pair of ivory white palms suddenly appeared to pry the sky among the clouds apart, revealing a black space. In the next moment, Instructor Number Nine had walked out from the black opening to come and stand before Ling Lan.

    "Ling Lan, long time no see." Instructor Number Nine's body was as cold and frigid as Ling Lan remembered, but her gaze could not conceal her affection for Ling Lan. Ling Lan's heart throbbed, and her eyes actually turned slightly red. Ever since Instructor Number Nine had finished instructing Ling Lan in top-level physical skills, she had never again appeared before Ling Lan. If she calculated the time, it had been about three years since they had seen each other - Ling Lan had really missed her.

    "Instructor Number Nine, I am really very happy to see you," said Ling Lan respectfully, holding back the emotional upheaval in her heart.
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