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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 20.1

  1. Three-in-one (Part 1)

The preparation for selecting a new Titan pilot in the Calamity Control Bureau is not openly discussed, but it’s not much of a secret in the upper circles of Shangjing City.

As a result, the competition among the current batch of Mecha Combat Class is much fiercer than in previous years. Among the many candidates, Chang Haoyang, the younger brother of the former Titan pilot Chang Bei, stands out the most. Many believe that if nothing unexpected happens, Chang Haoyang is a sure bet to be chosen as a reserve Titan pilot.

“Isn’t Chang Haoyang going a bit too far?”

“If I suddenly had such a rival, I wouldn’t be pleased either.”

“I thought it would be a head-to-head situation, but this transfer student is so weak…”

“Look at his pathetic appearance.”

Whispers filled the corners of the classroom, carrying disdain, indifference, and even a hint of malicious intent, like dense threads sweeping toward the young man on the other side of the classroom.

The first class for the new students didn’t have much content; it was mostly brief introductions and instructions from the teachers. The students in the audience didn’t pay much attention to what the teachers were saying; their eyes were focused on Chang Haoyang and Ji Mingzhu, waiting for the developments to come.

After class, Ji Mingzhu packed up his books, ready to leave.

As expected, Chang Haoyang blocked his way once again.

“Leaving so soon, big genius?”

Chang Haoyang squinted his eyes, showing a fake smile.

Ji Mingzhu’s grip tightened on the book in his hand. At this moment, he could clearly sense the ill intent coming from the red-haired young man in front of him.

Ji Mingzhu’s gaze flickered for a moment, but then it gradually became resolute. He took a deep breath.

“Do you have something to say? If not, I’m leaving.”

“Transfer students are different, aren’t they?”

Chang Haoyang stood up, towering over Ji Mingzhu by a whole head, emanating a strong sense of oppression. “Such arrogance… You seem quite pleased, don’t you? A wild kid from an ordinary class, struck gold and transferred to the Mecha Combat Class. You must be thrilled, thinking that the heavens have favored you and given you a soaring opportunity.”

Ji Mingzhu replied, “I don’t think that way.”

“What’s with your attitude?”

Another student beside Chang Haoyang was particularly displeased with Ji Mingzhu’s lack of reverence. Without waiting for Chang Haoyang to speak, he took two steps forward, closing in on Ji Mingzhu. “Let me tell you, even if you’re a transfer student, don’t expect to become a real pilot, let alone a Titan pilot. Understand? Titans are not something a commoner like you deserves.”

Ji Mingzhu was startled by the sudden proximity of the other student. He looked around, only to see the onlookers casting curious gazes at him.

He collected himself, lifted his gaze, and met Chang Haoyang’s eyes.

In his mind, Axiu’s voice resounded.

“…During high school, Chang Haoyang once bullied a commoner student in his school just because the student didn’t complete his part of a group project for Chang Haoyang.”

Axiu continued, “From the data analysis, Chang Haoyang exhibits a third-stage iUP personality. He has a strong ego, sensitive and arrogant character, and is prone to impulsive anger. This might be related to his childhood experiences. From the surveillance footage that was erased by the Chang family during Chang Haoyang’s high school years, it’s evident that he resorted to violence against that commoner student simply because the student said to him…”

*IUP is an abbreviation for “Integrated User Profile,” which refers to a concept in the context of human-machine interaction. In this context, IUP represents a user’s profile that includes their preferences, behavior patterns, and other relevant information. The IUP is used to personalize and optimize the user experience with technology, such as mechas or other intelligent systems. By analyzing and understanding the user’s IUP, the technology can adapt and tailor its interactions to meet the user’s needs and preferences.

Ji Mingzhu locked eyes with Chang Haoyang, pursed his lips, and spoke with a stubborn and unconquered spirit, “You’re the one who’s arrogant just because you come from a privileged background.”

Chang Haoyang paused, “What did you say?”

The follower beside him was taken aback by Ji Mingzhu’s attitude but quickly recovered, “You brat… Do you want to die?”

Chang Haoyang vaguely felt that he had heard those words before. It seemed that someone had said the same thing to him, but that person didn’t fare well afterward.

Even though he had heard similar words before, the anger in his heart didn’t diminish in the slightest.

“You’re quite brave.”

Chang Haoyang smiled, his lips tinged with a hint of cruelty.

His follower understood his intentions and, seeing Chang Haoyang’s attitude, immediately approached and grabbed Ji Mingzhu by the collar.

A loud crash resounded.

As a result of his actions, he accidentally bumped into a nearby table, causing the terminal playing the video to topple over.

“Hey,” came the displeased voice of You Jia. “Are you fighting here or what?”

You Jia carefully picked up the terminal, pausing the video playback. He then stood up and glanced at Chang Haoyang and Ji Mingzhu. “It’s the first day of school, no need to make such a big fuss, right? Can you guess if there are evaluators from the Mecha Combat Class watching us now?”

Chang Haoyang’s expression froze upon hearing these words.

You Jia’s statement seemed like a way to defuse the situation for Ji Mingzhu, but it made sense. This year’s Mecha Combat Class held exceptional significance, and there might indeed be evaluators observing every move inside the classroom. If they left a negative impression due to their impulsiveness, it would be a big loss.

With this thought in mind, the flames of anger in Chang Haoyang’s mind were extinguished, and he regained his composure.

“Why do you meddle in other people’s affairs?” the follower called out, displeased with You Jia’s interference.

You Jia glanced at the follower with disdain, snorted, and sat back down, ignoring him.

Ji Mingzhu remained silent, realizing that he had indeed interfered too much, my friend.

“Let’s go,” Chang Haoyang said, giving Ji Mingzhu a glance. After a brief moment of contemplation, he decided not to engage in conflict within the classroom.

Seeing Chang Haoyang about to leave, Ji Mingzhu felt a sense of urgency. “Wait!”

Chang Haoyang paused, turning back to look at him.

While maintaining his stubborn and defiant expression, Ji Mingzhu spoke slowly, his eyes locked onto Chang Haoyang’s.

“The third rule of being a Mecha pilot is to always have the courage to face the fearsome and unleash your fire upon it.”

Ji Mingzhu continued, “I don’t know if I can become a pilot or not, but someone like you, who only knows how to bully the weak, clearly lacks the qualification to be a pilot.”

His voice was not loud, just enough for two or three people around to hear.

Upon hearing these words, You Jia raised an eyebrow, looking at Ji Mingzhu with curiosity.

But Chang Haoyang’s pupils suddenly contracted!

“Someone who only knows how to bully the weak, clearly lacks the qualification to be a pilot.”

The statement was like a hook, pulling out a certain scene from Chang Haoyang’s memory.

Accustomed to being the leader among his peers, Chang Haoyang once again caused trouble that forced his brother, Chang Bei, who was a Titan pilot, to step in and resolve the situation. Afterwards, Chang Bei took him home, enduring the nagging of their elders, who said, “Let Haoyang learn from you how to operate mecha, so he can take over your position in the future.” In front of everyone, Chang Bei used a tone bordering on pity and said:

“A Titan pilot isn’t just about skills.”

“Bravery, sacrifice, and the determination to face formidable fears and still have the courage to fire back… Do you think he possesses that?”

“Someone who only knows how to bully the weak, does he deserve the qualification to be a pilot?”


“Chang Haoyang!”

“Haoyang! Stop!”

Fearful voices echoed around, and many students who were spectating stood up.

Chang Haoyang regained his senses and realized that he had unknowingly rushed over to Ji Mingzhu. His palm tightly grasped the vulnerable neck of the boy, whose face had turned red from lack of oxygen.

“Chang… you…”

Even the follower standing beside him was horrified, staring at Chang Haoyang in shock.

Chang Haoyang instinctively let go of his hand, his face gloomy. Ignoring the calls of others, he walked straight out of the classroom.

Cough… Cough…

Ji Mingzhu began coughing heavily.

“There seems to be a phrase that accurately describes your actions just now,” Axiu said. “*No foolish acts, no tragic ends… Is that how it goes?”

*Internet slang – serves you right for doing something so stupid.

“Your ability to use adjectives has evolved quite quickly,” Ji Mingzhu replied, coughing while maintaining a playful tone in his mind. “Well, I couldn’t just let him walk away like that, or my performance would have been in vain.”

“Hey, are you okay?”

“Are you alright?”

His ears caught a few concerned voices, but Ji Mingzhu remained silent. He slowly stood up, lips tightly sealed, eyes reddened, and without saying a word, he ran straight out of the classroom.

“His character still needs to be tempered,” Huo Zai remarked as he watched the virtual screen showing the figure of the young boy running out of the classroom. He shook his head slightly. “He’s a bit soft and lacks decisiveness… but to have the courage to face Chang Haoyang head-on, even without any support, is commendable, right, senior?”

Zuo Quanzong, seated beside him, remained silent. This legendary Red Guard Commander, known for his iron-fisted methods that made people hesitant to speak out within the Calamity Control Bureau, had a rare hint of softness in his gaze as he watched Ji Mingzhu’s figure, as if seeing a reflection of himself at a certain moment.

Ji Mingzhu was like him in another timeline.

Both of them lacked any background and had to rely on themselves step by step. Zuo Quanzong understood the difficulties better than anyone else. When he first entered the Bureau’s training institute, he faced the same cold gazes due to his commoner background, being bossed around by influential classmates. Nevertheless, he never believed he was inferior, and he proved everything with his own strength, silencing all doubts.

Many within the Calamity Control Bureau saw great potential in Chang Haoyang, whether it was his piloting skills or his talent and background. It seemed like Chang Haoyang was fully qualified to inherit Chang Bei’s mantle and become the next Titan pilot. However, Zuo Quanzong held the opposite view. A Titan pilot must face the strongest of creatures and confront the most dangerous situations. Without the courage to challenge the mighty, one is unfit for this role.

“Senior?” Huo Zai’s voice brought Zuo Quanzong back from his thoughts.

Zuo Quanzong stood up, and his mechanical prosthetic emitted a faint sound.

His expression remained stern, as if the momentary softness in his gaze was just an illusion. Zuo Quanzong nodded to Huo Zai and said calmly, “I’ll be right back.”

Inside the training institute of the Bureau, there was a spacious plaza adorned with three fountains. On either side, Chinese parasol trees swayed in the wind, and their leaves gently floated down onto the water, creating serene ripples.

Ji Mingzhu sat on a bench beneath the shade, with sunlight dappling his half-covered face. His gaze was fixed on the people coming and going in groups on the plaza, seemingly lost in thought.

“It seems that the Chang family isn’t as clean as it appears,” Axiu’s voice resonated within, unheard by others. To onlookers, the young boy appeared to be absent-mindedly gazing into space. Occasionally, a few students passing by would cast curious glances at Ji Mingzhu’s figure.

Axiu continued, “Compared to other members of the Chang family, Chang Bei’s character and style appear to be more upright. During his tenure in the Calamity Control Bureau, Chang Bei hasn’t provided any substantial assistance to the family.”

“With the way the Chang family operates, they probably won’t let go of this opportunity for one person to rise while others are left behind.”

“Yes, indeed. Chang Bei is only an adopted son of the Chang family. Although they don’t share any blood relation, Chang Bei holds great respect for his nominal parents. As long as it doesn’t compromise his principles, Chang Bei won’t refuse their requests.”

Listening to the information gathered by Axiu, Ji Mingzhu pondered.

Naturally, this information was not obtained through official channels. Information about wealthy and influential families like the Changs is scarce to the outside world. Only super-intelligent AIs like Axiu, capable of accessing most databases and the dark web, can gather such detailed and even secretive information within a short period.

Through this information, Ji Mingzhu could easily grasp the character weaknesses of Chang Haoyang.

He was a proud yet insecure individual. Despite being the true heir of the Chang family by blood, he constantly fell short compared to Chang Bei, who was adopted. This complex mix of admiration and resentment towards Chang Bei fueled his emotions.

Of course, setting aside these considerations, Chang Haoyang himself appeared to be a despicable person in Ji Mingzhu’s eyes. The incident in high school where he bullied a student to the point of expulsion, despite the compensation offered by the Chang family, shattered the victim’s once promising future.

Axiu asked, “What I don’t understand is why you are so certain that the character of ‘Ji Mingzhu’ you’re playing could catch the attention of Zuo Quanzong?” A hint of doubt could be heard in Axiu’s voice. “According to the information I found, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that Zuo Quanzong is an empathetic person.”

“It has nothing to do with empathy,” Ji Mingzhu smiled. “Actually, the answer is not difficult to guess.”

A few days ago, while rushing through the rankings of “Warfall” in the rental house, Ji Mingzhu had already taken the time to read the information about Zuo Quanzong and his biography.

According to a memoir written by Zuo Quanzong’s elementary school teacher, Ji Mingzhu learned that during his childhood, Zuo Quanzong was an extremely introverted and sensitive boy. Due to his poor background and an unrealistic dream of becoming a Titan pilot, he easily became a target for bullies in his elementary school class. Although that teacher avoided discussing this aspect in great detail to preserve Zuo Quanzong’s dignified image, many details hinted at the truth.

Later on, Zuo Quanzong entered the Calamity Control Bureau and was quickly absorbed into the ranks of reserve Titan pilots. From then on, he quickly rose to prominence and became the strongest Titan pilot at the time.

Ji Mingzhu obtained a class photo of Zuo Quanzong when he first enrolled at the Calamity Control Bureau. In the photo, Zuo Quanzong’s face hadn’t yet acquired its sharpness, and his expression seemed somewhat timid. It was as if he had undergone a transformation within a few months, and there must have been some factor that caused this change.

Through various information analysis and investigation, Ji Mingzhu focused his attention on Deputy Dean Zhuge Hua. Zuo Quanzong’s autobiography and his interviews proved that he held great respect for Zhuge Hua. Even after becoming the strongest Titan pilot and graduating many years later, Zuo Quanzong still returned to the Calamity Control Bureau to visit the deputy dean.

Axiu felt like he understood something. “So…”

“Zuo Quanzong and Zhuge Hua didn’t have much overt interaction, but it’s clear that there was a special relationship between them. I lean towards the idea that they were mentor and apprentice,” Ji Mingzhu explained. “Considering Zhuge Hua’s character of cherishing talent and the fact that Zuo Quanzong and Zhuge Hua’s son who died due to an attack by the Aberrants were of similar age… I can basically confirm that there is a deep connection between Zuo Quanzong’s personality transformation during his time at the Calamity Control Bureau and Zhuge Hua.”

Axiu was still somewhat puzzled. “But that was a long time ago. Zuo Quanzong is known for his iron-fisted methods and lack of empathy. Will he make an exception because of you?”

“No matter how much a person’s character changes as they grow up, they will always be moved by the memories of their youth,” Ji Mingzhu said. “Sometimes, even they themselves may not be fully aware of how profound the influence is.”

“Those are wise words,” Axiu remarked.

Ji Mingzhu shrugged. “Not my words, my brother’s.”

Ji Mingzhu often felt that his older brother, Ji Qiming, didn’t seem like a scientist most of the time, but rather more like a philosopher. Every time he said that, Ji Qiming would playfully knock his head and say, “Don’t jinx me. It’s not profitable to be a philosopher, unlike being a scientist.”

Little Ji Mingzhu rubbed his head and exclaimed, “Isn’t it said that scientists serve the people? Why are you so materialistic!”

“If I’m not materialistic, do you expect me to go out and work as child labor to support you?” Ji Qiming retorted without looking up from his report. “If you’re bored, go play with Crimson and Azure. Your brother is busy.”

Little Ji Mingzhu’s eyes lit up, and he quickly approached Ji Qiming, extending his small hand to randomly tap on the computer keyboard. Before Ji Qiming could roll up his sleeves to beat him up, little Ji Mingzhu swiftly escaped. However, halfway through his escape, he tripped and fell flat on his face.

Ji Qiming’s laughter behind him grew even more triumphant…

“Someone is coming this way,” Axiu’s voice interrupted Ji Mingzhu’s reminiscence.

Ji Mingzhu didn’t turn around and continued to maintain his original posture and expression.

He heard some peculiar footsteps, and a person passed by him.

Ji Mingzhu calmly observed the person passing by.

It was a tall man wearing a hat and a mask. From the slightly whitening strands of hair peeking out from under the hat, one could tell that he was middle-aged. His steps carried a hint of unnaturalness, and there was a faint mechanical sound when his right leg touched the ground, indicating the presence of a prosthetic limb.

“Excuse me, young student, could you tell me where the dean’s office is?” The man passed by Ji Mingzhu and then turned back, casually and naturally inquired.

Ji Mingzhu paused for a moment, glanced at the man, and pointed in a muffled manner, “Over there.”

“Thank you,” the man said, but instead of leaving immediately, he unceremoniously sat down next to Ji Mingzhu. “It’s been many years since I’ve come back. The changes in Zongbingyi Academy are quite significant.”

Ji Mingzhu looked somewhat surprised, hesitated for a moment, and tentatively asked, “Are you… a senior graduate?”

“Yes,” the man smiled. “I graduated from the Mecha Combat Class. Which class are you from, little student?”

“…I’m also from the Mecha Combat Class.”

Zuo Quanzong looked at Ji Mingzhu, sensing the slight redness in his eyes as if he had just shed tears secretly. He sighed softly and then spoke in a natural tone, “So, you’re a junior… Being able to enter the Mecha Combat Class, among your peers, you should be one of the most outstanding.”

Ji Mingzhu’s expression froze for a moment, and then he lowered his gaze. “No… not really.”

“It’s been a long time since I came back. It’s a good opportunity to take a walk,” Zuo Quanzong stood up and invited, “Would you like to accompany me?”

Ji Mingzhu hesitated for a moment but didn’t refuse.

The two of them then got up and walked side by side along the edge of Zongbingyi Academy’s plaza. One was in his forties, while the other was in his youth. From a distance, they looked like a father and son.

In the eyes of others, Zuo Quanzong was undoubtedly a difficult person to get along with. Regardless of the other party’s background, even in front of the Jupiter Division of Calamity Control Bureau, he wouldn’t display a flattering attitude. Even though he now held power as the Red Guard Commander, he still maintained the same decisive and ruthless demeanor as when he was a Titan pilot. This made many people approach Zuo Quanzong with fear.

But at this moment, the renowned Red Guard Commander had a remarkably amiable attitude, even bordering on gentle. The fierceness in his eyes above the mask was replaced by a sense of tranquility, and his broad and sturdy shoulders exuded both reassurance and greatness.

The two of them chatted like friends, and Ji Mingzhu gradually let go of his guard. He couldn’t help but share his worries with Zuo Quanzong.

“I haven’t done anything wrong, yet…”

Ji Mingzhu’s face revealed the vexation and confusion of a young person. “Just because I’m a transfer student, just because I’m an orphan, do they have to treat me like this?”

“Yes, but not entirely,” Zuo Quanzong said, looking down at the young boy’s head. “Talented people will always be envied by mediocrities. Even if you haven’t done anything, just by standing there, it’s enough to drive those mediocrities crazy with envy.”

“But it’s unfair.”

“Yes, it is, but you need to accept it.”

Zuo Quanzong said, “If you want to become a true pilot, you must accept this unfairness. But this unfairness won’t exist forever. There will come a day when you realize that it’s something you can easily discard. It isn’t burdensome.”

Ji Mingzhu’s expression still held a trace of confusion. “How can I reach that day?”

“Don’t fret over anything that attempts to suppress you or defeat you,” Zuo Quanzong said. “Once you have such enlightenment, jealousy and hostility will be like bubbles that burst with a gentle touch. A true Titan pilot possesses not only exceptional piloting skills but also a strong inner spirit.”

Pausing for a moment, Zuo Quanzong continued, “A teacher once told me a phrase, and if you don’t mind, I can pass it on to you.”

Ji Mingzhu halted his steps, looking at Zuo Quanzong, awaiting his next words.

“Don’t be just an ant sitting atop a Titan. Be as powerful as the Titan itself, inherit its soul, shatter all obstacles in your path, and then…” Zuo Quanzong enunciated each word, “Look forward, face your true enemy, and protect what truly matters to you.”

A gentle breeze ruffled Zuo Quanzong’s hair. Ji Mingzhu saw the sharpness in Zuo Quanzong’s eyes, as if he were witnessing a true warrior.

The expression on the young boy’s face transformed from bewilderment to realization, gradually becoming resolute. Zuo Quanzong smiled faintly, a hint of satisfaction evident in his eyes.

“It’s getting late, and I have things to attend to. I’ll take my leave.”

“Wait…” Ji Mingzhu called out, “I still don’t know your name, sir.”

Zuo Quanzong paused and turned back. “If there’s a chance, you will see me again.”

Leaving behind these words, the man with slightly graying hair gradually walked away, disappearing into the distance.

Once Zuo Quanzong was gone, the false determination and touched expression faded slowly from Ji Mingzhu’s face.

In front of the legendary Titan pilot, Zuo Quanzong, Ji Mingzhu had displayed his acting skills to the fullest extent. Any hint of deviation from his assumed character would have been detected by Zuo Quanzong instantly.

Perhaps due to the similarities in their life experiences, Zuo Quanzong had not been overly guarded against Ji Mingzhu, simply offering guidance to the discouraged young boy as an elder would. And every expression, every perplexed question from Ji Mingzhu had been meticulously planned and flawlessly performed.

From the moment Bai Weng informed Ji Mingzhu of his mission, Ji Mingzhu had been contemplating how to enter the Calamity Control Bureau and successfully become a Titan pilot. This was not only a long-awaited opportunity for the Bureau, but also an excellent chance for Ji Mingzhu to break free from the Bureau’s control.

By making a name for himself in “Warfall” and catching the attention of the Bureau, intentionally provoking Chang Haoyang and getting into conflicts with him to portray a bewildered young character amidst a significant upheaval, Ji Mingzhu had orchestrated a role that required correct guidance within a challenging environment.

When Zuo Quanzong appeared before Ji Mingzhu, he knew that he had already succeeded halfway.


I don’t like splitting chapters but this one was really a bit too long so there are going to be two parts. Also double update today because I missed a day last week.

If you're enjoying the story don't forget to support the author! You can also support me on KOFI for site maintenance, raws purchase or as an energy boost~ 
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