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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 11

  1. The Legendary “Titan”.

While Axiu was searching for relevant keywords, Ji Mingzhu maneuvered through the complex alleys, studying his own personal terminal on his wrist.

The personal terminal was a device that almost everyone in this world possessed, similar to a smartphone. It served as a repository of citizen information and could be used for identification purposes. Its design resembled that of a sophisticated smartwatch, with a more futuristic appearance. Although Ji Mingzhu had never interacted with such a device before, being a young person, he quickly familiarized himself with its usage.

Pressing the button on the terminal, a virtual blue screen appeared before Ji Mingzhu.

He sequentially searched for Netherland and Feibo, the two keywords.

However, most of the results yielded no relevant information. It seemed that the typical search engines did not have any records pertaining to them. Axiu’s prior ability to retrieve Netherland’s data suggested that its information-gathering capabilities or permissions exceeded those of an ordinary personal terminal.

Although Axiu had referred to itself as a terminal upon awakening, it was evidently far more advanced than the device on Ji Mingzhu’s wrist.

After a moment of contemplation, Ji Mingzhu began searching for information related to mechas.

This time, he easily found the corresponding news.

Mecha was a creation originating from Sky City. Following the emergence of the Aberrations, Sky City shared the technology for manufacturing mechas with humanity, transforming them into the primary weapons employed by the Satellite Cities to counter the Aberration threat.

Although ordinary individuals could also interact with mechas through the game “Warfall,” their involvement was restricted solely to the gaming realm. As vital strategic assets, mechas fell under the strict control of Calamity Control Bureau, and only organizations and conglomerates authorized by Sky City could possess them.

Notably, in this world, mechas, much like in “Warfall,” were divided into distinct categories and ranks, with the highest-tier mecha known as the “Titans.”

Ji Mingzhu discovered videos showcasing the “Titans” online. Upon clicking on one of the videos, Ji Mingzhu was overwhelmed by what he witnessed.

The footage depicted an immense Aberration, standing over a hundred meters tall, akin to a mountain range, overpowering the walls of the Satellite City as it relentlessly advanced within. The video’s perspective was from a low angle, capturing the awe-inspiring scene. The towering buildings appeared diminutive before the Aberration, resembling mere playthings. The edges of the footage resounded with the despairing cries of the populace, evoking a sense of impending doom.

In the next moment, another colossal “Titan” descended, a model of mecha that Ji Mingzhu had never seen in Warfall. It swiftly approached from a distance and engaged in battle with the Aberration. Explosions and cries echoed throughout, as two towering figures resembling mythical giants clashed. The mecha parts dislodged from the “Titan” during the battle crashed to the ground, creating earth-shattering impacts akin to meteorites, causing clouds of dust to billow. In the face of such overwhelming power, humanity appeared as insignificant as dust.

Ji Mingzhu couldn’t help but exclaim, “This is so awesome.”

The Aerial Raider he piloted previously was merely around ten meters in size, making it appear minuscule compared to the Aberrations and Titans shown in the video. Even the Hurricane Chernobyl, the largest mecha he used in the World Championship of Warfall, was only about a third the size of the Titans.

Furthermore, piloting the Hurricane Chernobyl in “Warfall” was in the first-person perspective, far from the awe-inspiring experience of witnessing it from a normal perspective. It was akin to watching Ultraman fight monsters on TV without feeling much, but experiencing it firsthand would be an entirely different sensation…

There were a total of twelve Titans, each located in one of the twelve Satellite Cities, serving as the last guardians of the Satellite Cities. Due to the immense energy required to activate the Titans, even a mere ten minutes of operation would strain the current energy reserves of the Satellite City. Therefore, the Titans would not be easily mobilized unless a “Calamity-class” Aberration attack like the one shown in the video occurred.

Those qualified to become Titan pilots were extremely rare, like finding a phoenix feather or a unicorn’s horn. They were hailed as “human treasures.” Even many Titan pilots rarely had the opportunity to actually pilot a Titan in their lifetime. However, becoming a Titan pilot itself was the highest honor, indicating that one had reached the pinnacle of mecha piloting skills.

Ji Mingzhu vaguely remembered that when he used the Aerial Raider before, Kai Yang had said, “This must be Titan-class, right?”

Did this mean that he also had the chance to become a Titan pilot?

The possibility filled Ji Mingzhu’s eyes with excitement.

Titans, the epitome of walking nuclear weapons, the pinnacle of violent aesthetics, and the culmination of mecha design. Which Warfall player wouldn’t be enticed? Ji Mingzhu was no exception.

“Keyword search complete.”

The voice of Axiu echoed in his mind, bringing Ji Mingzhu back to his senses.

The search results from Axiu were transmitted to the virtual screen in front of Ji Mingzhu.

Information related to Feibo was impossible to find on regular public networks, but Axiu possessed strong search capabilities, even accessing secretive networks such as the dark web. Information regarding the events in Yangyuan City two months ago had been tightly sealed, but Axiu managed to find some traces.

Two months ago, the Calamity Control had blocked off the perimeter of a biological research institute under the pretext of energy leaks.

According to social media posts that were quickly blocked and deleted, there were several explosions in the vicinity of the research institute, and multiple mechas engaged in combat, resulting in significant casualties. Although these discussions were swiftly suppressed, Axiu still managed to find historical records of them.

Furthermore, after the battle, there were signs of Aberration activity in the vicinity of the research institute, and nearby civilians were evacuated.

As Ji Mingzhu read through this information, a pensive expression appeared on his face.

Combining the information revealed by Yu Heng, two months ago, the Netherland likely launched an attack on the biological research institute in Yangyuan City for a certain purpose, and they succeeded. The original host was present at that time and was probably the main force in the operation. There might even be traces of the original host among the mechas involved in the battle.

In that operation, the original host supported others and secretly took something, which was then noticed by Tian Quan.

Based on the fact that the Netherland was involved in the operation, there are two possibilities. One is that the original host had another purpose, and the other possibility is… apart from the Netherland, the original host was also manipulated by other individuals or organizations.

If it’s the former, it would be more straightforward, but if it’s the latter, the situation would become much more complicated.

Ji Mingzhu couldn’t help but feel a headache.

Moreover, after that operation, there were movements of Aberrations around the institute. Could the members of the Feibo organization also be involved?

Ji Mingzhu speculated that both the Netherland and Feibo were probably aiming for the same goal, but the Netherland got there first. The fact that the institute attracted the attention of both the Netherland and the Striker indicated that it was not an ordinary place. Perhaps it had some connection to tonight’s operation and the secret mission that the original host carried out alone.

As for the thing the original host took from the institute…

Before leaving the rental house, Ji Mingzhu had already searched it thoroughly and didn’t find anything special. The only thing that could be considered special… was Axiu.

Ji Mingzhu began to search for terms related to artificial intelligence on the virtual screen.

However, the results that appeared surprised Ji Mingzhu.

Currently, there is no terminal available on the market with such advanced AI like Axiu. In fact, there isn’t even basic AI. At most, there are some intelligent assistants capable of voice recognition and performing simple tasks.

This is too abnormal.

Even in Ji Mingzhu’s previous world, artificial intelligence had reached a certain level of development. Ji Mingzhu’s older brother, Ji Qiming, was a scientist researching artificial intelligence. When Ji Mingzhu was six years old, Ji Qiming gave him two companion AI robots that had high intelligence and learning capabilities. These two AI companions accompanied Ji Mingzhu for a long time.

Because of this, Ji Mingzhu didn’t have any aversion to the appearance of Axiu. After all, he had played with AI since he was young. Therefore, he naturally assumed that in a world where technology had advanced to the point of having mechs, AI should have reached a high level of development as well.

But the result was completely unexpected. In this world, research on AI was strictly prohibited. Under the pervasive surveillance of Sky City, there were no signs of AI research, not even in the entertainment industry such as novels and movies. As a result, many people in this world didn’t have the concept of “AI.”

Could this world have experienced some special history that led to Sky City’s deep taboo against artificial intelligence? But if that’s the case, how did Axiu appear? Axiu, an AI with high intelligence almost indistinguishable from a real person, couldn’t have simply appeared without significant investment of manpower and research resources, right?

With this in mind, he could basically conclude that the thing the original host stole from the institute was likely this “forbidden item,” Axiu. At the same time, Netherland and Feibo didn’t know that the original host secretly took something from the institute, and even Tian Quan only saw it but didn’t know specifically what the original host took.

But how did the original host know about Axiu’s existence? And why did they implant Axiu inside themselves… What was the original host’s purpose? And who created Axiu?

One mystery after another emerged, making Ji Mingzhu feel increasingly puzzled.

To figure all of this out, perhaps he should start with that special research institute…

Ji Mingzhu pondered while walking, and before long, he had returned to the cramped rental house where he woke up initially.

He asked Axiu to check the information about this rental house and found out that his personal file indicated that he originally lived in another civilian area in Shangjing City but moved here just a month ago.

Officially, it was to find a place closer to his workplace, but Ji Mingzhu knew that his resume was likely forged. If the information about the rental house was accurate, he should have received a secret mission from the Netherland a month ago and then forged his identity, transforming from the Netherland’s ace pilot to a struggling but positive young man.

Yes, he was about to become a university student at the Zongbingyi Academy.

Ji Mingzhu smiled helplessly, standing at the door of the rental house, preparing to push it open.

“The angle of the doorknob is slightly off. Detected breathing sounds inside the house.”

Axiu’s voice sounded, “There’s someone inside.”

Ji Mingzhu’s hand paused, his gaze slightly hardened.

What’s meant to happen won’t go away. Instead of turning away, he didn’t leave but placed his right hand near his waist—where a silver-gray handgun was given to him by Tian Quan—and at the same time, he twisted the doorknob with his left hand and walked straight in.

The rental house was dimly lit, and Ji Mingzhu saw nothing but darkness when he glanced around. At the same time, he could hear faint breathing sounds—soft, so soft that Ji Mingzhu might not have noticed them if Axiu hadn’t alerted him in advance.

Keeping a serious expression, Ji Mingzhu didn’t turn on the lights. Instead, he gently took out the gun from his side, and the sound of the gun touching the metal zipper under his coat made a slight collision noise.

“Always so cautious, Tian Shu,” the voice said.

The lights suddenly turned on.

The sudden brightness caused Ji Mingzhu to squint involuntarily. As he focused his gaze, he saw a person sitting on the worn-out sofa in the room.

It was another face Ji Mingzhu had never seen before. The person appeared to be under thirty, with silver hair, deep eye sockets, a high nose bridge, and a pair of gold-rimmed glasses. He was dressed in a well-tailored and undoubtedly expensive suit, giving off the image of a high-ranking corporate elite that seemed out of place in this shabby, small rental house.

The man smiled at Ji Mingzhu. “I heard from Yu Heng that tonight’s operation didn’t go smoothly, it seems?”

Listening to the man’s tone, Ji Mingzhu understood. This person should be the “boss” mentioned by Tian Quan and Yu Heng.

He was also the superior of the original host and should be familiar with them. Ji Mingzhu wasn’t prepared to face this “boss” so soon, but since the person had come to him, he had to handle the situation carefully.

Ji Mingzhu cautiously assessed the man, then put down the gun and softly responded, “Hmm.”

Less talk, less mistakes.

However, his cold attitude seemed to carry a different implication in the man’s eyes.

“Are you unhappy?” The man smiled wryly, his smile tinged with a hint of helplessness. It was as if a parent were dealing with a child throwing a tantrum. “I know you have objections, but… there’s no other way. This mission is crucial, and among the entire Netherland, only you are capable of handling it.”

As he spoke, the man stood up and walked to Ji Mingzhu, reaching out to touch his head.

The gesture was intimate, and Ji Mingzhu instinctively wanted to dodge, but he held back. He looked at the man with a calm expression, as if waiting for him to continue.

“You and Yu Heng are the two people I value the most.”

The man gently ran his fingers through Ji Mingzhu’s soft hair, and his expensive cologne emanated from his suit, its scent aggressively lingering around Ji Mingzhu’s nose. “Yu Heng is on the wanted list of the Calamity Control Bureau, unable to show herself. Only you have the opportunity to infiltrate the Calamity Control Bureau and make contact with the ‘Zhu Jiuyin’ in Shangjing City. So… it has to be you.”

Ji Mingzhu’s heart skipped a beat.

Before returning, he had researched some information about the mechas in this world and knew what the man referred to as “Zhu Jiuyin”… the twelve Titan-class mechas, representing the strongest combat power of mechas, stored in the twelve satellite cities. And Zhu Jiuyin was the name of the Titan in Shangjing City.

Was the target of the Netherland Organization the Titans?

“Two months ago, the Calamity Control Bureau lost one Titan-class pilot during an operation,” the man said. “The remaining two Titan pilots, one has retired, and the other is caught in a public opinion crisis and under investigation. Currently, there is no suitable Titan pilot in Shangjing City. The Calamity Control Bureau needs to cultivate a new candidate.”

Pausing for a moment, he continued, “According to our intelligence, the new Titan pilot reserve will be selected from the Mecha Combat Class at Zongbingyi Academy. The current Red Guard Commander of the Thunder Division in Shangjing City, Zuo Quanzhong, is also an orphan from the welfare institute. He climbed up from a commoner’s background to the position of Minister. He isn’t fond of the wealthy and powerful and prefers hard working individuals with a clean background. With your current identity, the chances of catching his attention are high.”

Ji Mingzhu understood to some extent and finally knew what the “mission” mentioned by the Netherland Organization meant.

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