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After Winning The Esports Championship I'm Going To Pilot A Mecha

After Winning The Esports Championship I’m Going To Pilot A Mecha: Chapter 10

  1. You have secrets, and so do I.

Ji Mingzhu’s heart tightened slightly, but fortunately, his mask remained intact, preventing any information from being revealed through his expression.

He spoke in a low voice, “What do you mean?”

“You seem to be hiding something,” Tian Quan’s gaze felt as if it could penetrate Ji Mingzhu’s mask, filled with an inquisitive meaning. “Although you’ve always been quiet, today you’ve been unusually silent.”

Tian Quan hadn’t realized that Ji Mingzhu wasn’t the original person.

Ji Mingzhu noticed that Tian Quan’s suspicion was limited to his silence and not his identity.

Indeed, waking up with a different soul inside one’s body was already bizarre enough, something that ordinary people wouldn’t even consider. Moreover, Ji Mingzhu’s performance in the recent battle should be enough to dispel any doubts in that regard. After all, for an ace pilot, his skillful maneuvers were the best proof.

Once he understood this, Ji Mingzhu didn’t panic. He took off his mask and met Tian Quan’s gaze directly. “Instead of wasting time with groundless suspicions, focus on your own matters.”

Giving this ambiguous and somewhat impatient response, Ji Mingzhu strode forward, bypassing Tian Quan and continuing toward the exit.

“It’s because of what happened during that operation,” Tian Quan’s voice came from behind him. “I saw it.”

Ji Mingzhu paused his steps and turned around. “Saw what?”

He didn’t provide any direct response, nor did he give away any information. Instead, he used rhetorical questions and inquiries to guide Tian Quan into revealing more information.

“Two months ago, during our operation in Yangyuan City,” Tian Quan squinted his eyes and said, “You took something from the laboratory, without the knowledge of any of us…”

“Using the pretext of the operation to separate from us and specifically infiltrate the laboratory, what you took shouldn’t be something ordinary,” Tian Quan’s voice trailed off, “What was it?”

Ji Mingzhu didn’t answer.

What did the original person take? How would he know?

The air immediately grew tense as Tian Quan’s gaze fell upon Ji Mingzhu’s face, slowly approaching.

Instinctively, Ji Mingzhu wanted to step back, but he restrained himself. He maintained a cold, impassive expression, contemplating how to respond.

“Who are you?!”

In the midst of this standoff, a loud shout broke the silence.

Ji Mingzhu and Tian Quan simultaneously turned their heads toward the source of the voice, only to see a figure in a red flight suit.

It was a member of the Calamity Control Bureau.

.”What are you doing here?”

The guard from the Calamity Control Bureau cautiously took a step forward, aided by the sparse moonlight, as he saw the faces of the two individuals.

Tian Quan appeared to be in his early twenties, while Ji Mingzhu, who had removed his mask, looked even younger. From their appearances, these two seemed like ordinary kids, without any threat. The guard’s expression relaxed a bit, “It’s so late, and you’re still playing outside. Didn’t you hear the alarm? Don’t you know this place is dangerous? Which district are you from? Do you have your personal terminals with you?”

As he spoke, the guard from the Calamity Control Bureau loosened his grip on the weapon at his waist and approached, intending to ask for their personal terminals.

Tian Quan’s expression turned mocking, “Ah, we’ve been caught.”

Upon hearing his tone, a chill ran through Ji Mingzhu’s heart. Before he could say anything, in the next instant, a barely perceptible gunshot rang out, covertly concealed. The footsteps of the guard in front of them halted, and he fell to the ground.

As Ji Mingzhu looked at the lifeless body at his feet, an uncontrollable sense of coldness washed over him.

Battles between mechs and alien creatures could still be rationalized as a game-like scenario, where he was merely acting in self-defense out of necessity. However, at such close range, witnessing the easy passing of a fellow living being, it wasn’t something Ji Mingzhu could easily digest or consider normal.

Instinctively, he pulled down the mask on his forehead, concealing his expression.

Tian Quan didn’t notice his fleeting display of unease and shook his head, muttering to himself, “The Netherland Organization’s people move fast…”

If they hadn’t been seen by this innocent guard, he wouldn’t have died.

Especially since Tian Shu had just removed his mask, exposing his face to the guard, it could lead to unnecessary complications.

“It seems this isn’t a suitable place for a heart-to-heart talk. We can find another opportunity to chat.”

Tian Quan put away the silver-gray □□ in his hand and smiled at Ji Mingzhu. “Well then, let’s part ways here for now.”

I don’t want to talk to you.

Ji Mingzhu controlled his tone and said calmly, “What do you really want?”

“You have secrets, and so do I,” Tian Quan replied. “I won’t reveal your secrets, but in return, you owe me a favor.”

After speaking, Tian Quan smiled slightly at Ji Mingzhu and entered another dark alley, quickly disappearing from Ji Mingzhu’s sight.

Ji Mingzhu stood silently in place until Tian Quan’s figure was completely out of sight. After a while, he slowly crouched down, taking a deep breath.

There was a metallic, rusty smell of blood in the air. The moon hung in the dawn sky, surrounded by darkness, with only a corpse as his companion.

The tense nerves suddenly relaxed, followed by an overwhelming fatigue. Ji Mingzhu almost wanted to close his eyes and sleep on the spot, hoping that when he woke up, everything would turn out to be a dream. He would open his eyes and find himself back in his original world, as an ordinary esports player in a peaceful era.

Everything felt like a nightmare, with no time for preparation. From meeting Tian Quan to carrying out the so-called mission and fighting against mechas and creatures, all in one night, he felt like he was walking on a tightrope between tall buildings, one misstep away from being shattered.

If it weren’t for his extensive experience in operating mechas from “Warfall” and the fact that the mechas here were exactly the same as in “Warfall,” Ji Mingzhu could almost be certain that he wouldn’t have survived until now.

“You seem to be in a bad mood.”

“Of course, how could I be in a good mood?”

Ji Mingzhu chuckled self-deprecatingly. “Can you understand my feelings… Never mind, even if I tell you, you won’t understand.”

“I believe I can understand.”

Ji Mingzhu didn’t believe it. “You’re just an artificial intelligence.”

“Yes, but I also have the ability to think. In fact, I am learning. Human emotions are quite complex, whether it’s ordinary joy, anger, sorrow, or more intense feelings like nervousness or fear. They are unfamiliar to me, but something I aspire to understand.”

“Can artificial intelligence have such thoughts?”

“I don’t know if it’s normal, but I’m curious about your current emotions: confusion, helplessness, and fear. It’s a complex state, and I can understand it. Just like when I woke up, the database was empty, and everything was completely unfamiliar to me. I’m also seeking everything that can enrich me, including emotions.”

Axiu’s tone was calm, and the voice sounded young yet carried a reassuring sense of maturity, which inexplicably affected Ji Mingzhu as well.

“I’m afraid of death,” Ji Mingzhu said. “Axiu, are you afraid of death?”

“For artificial intelligence, death is an unfamiliar concept. If you mean everything returning to nothingness, where I can no longer perceive sound or images, and can no longer engage in thought, then yes, I reject and detest that feeling.”

Axiu replied, “So, just like you, I’m also afraid of death.”

“It seems our stance is the same.”

“Yes, we have always stood together.”

Like encountering a lighthouse on a dark sea, having a steadfast ally who stands by your side in a strange and dangerous place undoubtedly brings great comfort, even if that ally is just an artificial intelligence.

Axiu suddenly said, “Members from Calamity Control are on their way. They are expected to arrive within two minutes. We need to leave.”

The sudden loss of contact by a member quickly caught the attention of Calamity Control.

Ji Mingzhu stood up. “You’re right. We don’t have time to be sentimental here.”

He lowered his head and took a deep look at the fallen member of Calamity Control on the ground. It was a middle-aged person, and from their appearance, perhaps someone with a family. Their eyes had lost focus, staring fixedly at the ground.

Ji Mingzhu pursed his lips, reached out his hand, gently closed the person’s eyes, and bowed respectfully before swiftly leaving the scene.

“How did you know that members from Calamity Control were coming?”

Axiu said, “I can infiltrate the surveillance system within the satellite city.”

The security of a city is undoubtedly strict, but Axiu’s ability to bypass Calamity Control and silently infiltrate the system without being detected indicated that it was not an ordinary artificial intelligence. Ji Mingzhu also didn’t believe that in a technologically advanced world capable of having mechas, the security would be so weak.

Ji Mingzhu asked, “Axiu.”

“I’m here.”

“How far can you infiltrate? Calamity Control’s or Netherland’s databases, can you access their internal information?”

If that were possible, Ji Mingzhu could obtain enough information to understand the structure and other details of Calamity Control and Netherland. It would help him break free from the current passive situation.

“Not currently. Calamity Control’s internal information system has a strong firewall, and I haven’t found an entry point into Netherland’s database in the network system.”

Ji Mingzhu caught the keyword, “currently?”

“My data module has been cleared, and many functions are still unavailable. It seems that the module has been lost,” Axiu said. “I need time for self-upgrade. After the upgrade, I might be able to have the ability to infiltrate Calamity Control’s firewall.”

“How long will the upgrade take?”

“Based on the current progress, it will probably take around seventy-four years and eight months.”

“…”

Ji Mingzhu’s heart turned cold. Then he heard Axiu say, “If we can find the lost data module, it won’t take that long.”

Ji Mingzhu had no idea where to find Axiu’s lost data module. He put his mask back on and followed Axiu’s guidance to avoid the crowd and surveillance as he made his way to his rented apartment. “Then let’s start from other directions first…”

He needed to start understanding this world from scratch. Fortunately, in his previous actions, he had captured many keywords from Yu Heng and others, which would save him a lot of time. At least he wouldn’t be clueless about where to begin his search.

“I have accessed the public network. Apart from the firewall controlled by Calamity Control, I can retrieve network data, including private forums,” Axiu said. “Where do you want to start?”

It was already late at night, and though the neon lights in the satellite city still flashed brightly, there were fewer people on the streets. Ji Mingzhu saw several Calamity Control members wearing flying fish suits conducting checks along the way, as well as roadblocks.

He adjusted his mask and changed direction, entering another narrow alley.

“Two months ago, in Yangyuan City… and the laboratory.”

Whether it was Yu Heng or Tian Quan, they both mentioned some action that took place two months ago. Ji Mingzhu needed to find out what had happened. “Search for these three keywords.”

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