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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 25

  1. “He is not worthy”

“Did you hear any noises last night?”

“Seems like an alarm… It woke me up in the middle of the night.”

“Noises? What noises? I didn’t hear anything.”

“You sleep like a pig. The alarm went off last night, and half the academy heard it.”

“Hope nothing serious happened. It’s been a while since Zongbingyi Academy had an alarm… Could it be the Aberrations?”

“Oh my… I hope not…”

In the early morning, students of Zongbingyi Academy gradually arrived at their respective classrooms. Yesterday, most of them were discussing the transfer student, but today, the topic shifted to the sudden activation of the academy alarm last night.

The discussions around him were lively, but Ji Mingzhu sat silently at his desk, flipping through his textbooks, not paying attention to what others were saying.

He was still thinking about last night.

After returning, Ji Mingzhu had instructed Axiu to dig up information about Tian Quan. He had actually done a search before, but found no relevant data about Tian Quan. The firewall of Zongbingyi Academy was set up by the Calamity Control Bureau. Although it wasn’t as tightly secured as the internal network of the bureau, invading it recklessly could easily alert the authorities, so Axiu didn’t access the internal data of Zongbingyi Academy.

Since becoming an official student of Zongbingyi Academy, Axiu could connect to the campus network through the devices in their dormitory. This eliminated the need to bypass the firewall of Zongbingyi Academy and reduced the risk of exposure.

Tian Quan, whose real name was Zhang Shunsheng, was a student of the Tactical Execution Class in Zongbingyi Academy. He was two years senior to Ji Mingzhu and technically his senior.

The Tactical Execution Class could be understood as a specialized program to train individual combat skills. The curriculum included martial arts, criminal investigation, surveillance, and more. It also served as a reserve force for the Calamity Control Bureau. Each year, a large number of outstanding graduates from the Tactical Execution Class were selected to join the ranks of the Calamity Control Bureau.

Tian Quan was quite famous throughout Zongbingyi Academy. He had topped the overall rankings in the Tactical Execution Class for two consecutive years and also held the position of Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Supervision within the academy. He could be considered a prominent figure, so it’s no wonder that You Jia recognized him at a glance.

As for the information regarding Tian Quan’s background, Ji Mingzhu only glanced at it before closing it off. It was evident that, just like the identity of “Ji Mingzhu,” this simple and clean identity was fabricated.

Last night, when Tian Quan mentioned that “Tian Ji” wanted to see him, Ji Mingzhu kept his expression unchanged to avoid raising any suspicions. He simply replied with a calm “Okay.” Afterward, both of them continued playing their roles and underwent the investigation by the arriving security personnel.

Tian Ji, just like Tian Quan, Tian Shu, and Yu Heng, was a member of Big Dipper Squad in the Netherworld Organization.

The choice of words used by Tian Quan, “Tian Ji wants to see you,” instead of terms like “assemble,” “meet,” or “encounter,” suggests that this Tian Ji is likely familiar to the original host.

This poses a problem.

The influence of the Netherworld runs deep within the ranks of Zongbingyi Academy, and Ji Mingzhu doesn’t even know if there are any other members of the organization within the academy besides Tian Quan. Although he has gained preliminary recognition from Zuo Quanzong, he still has a long way to go to become a successful Titan pilot. From any perspective, Ji Mingzhu currently doesn’t have the qualification to refuse this meeting.

“Axiu, is there any way to obtain information about Tian Ji?”

Ultimately, if Ji Mingzhu could access all the memories related to the original host right from the beginning, there wouldn’t be so many complications.

“Information about the Netherworld on the regular network is scarce, but there are some messages related to the Big Dipper Squad on the dark web.”

Axiu said, “Based on the information we were able to gather, Tian Ji is the captain of the Northern Dipper Squad, male, and likely under thirty years old.”

“…Is that all?”

“That’s all.”

It seems they’ll have to approach it from another angle.

Ji Mingzhu rubbed his temples, feeling a bit frustrated.

There were two paths in front of him. One was to find an opportunity to infiltrate the Calamity Control Bureau and let Axiu access their internal network. He believed there should be plenty of information related to the Aberrations within the Bureau.

The other option was to find Tian Quan and try to extract some information from him. However, based on Ji Mingzhu’s preliminary understanding of Tian Quan, although he may seem carefree and often wear a mischievous smile, his mind is quite meticulous. Ji Mingzhu was afraid that if he interacted with Tian Quan too much, he might accidentally reveal his true intentions.

Just as Ji Mingzhu was contemplating his strategy, the sunlight shining on his book was suddenly blocked by a shadow.

He looked up and saw the face of Chang Haoyang.

…To be honest, with everything that happened yesterday, Ji Mingzhu almost forgot about this person.

After all, the plan to provoke Zuo Quanzong’s appearance by clashing with Chang Haoyang had already been accomplished. Now, Chang Haoyang had little value to Ji Mingzhu.

But the show had to go on. Ji Mingzhu closed his book and put on that stubborn little white flower expression again. “What’s the matter?”

“Boom!”

Before he could finish speaking, Ji Mingzhu’s shoulder was forcefully pushed, catching him off guard. His whole body stumbled backward, but he managed to hold onto the desk behind him. However, his waist still took a hard knock.

The sudden conflict silenced the classmates who were discussing last night’s alarm. They looked at this direction with surprise on their faces.

“I didn’t expect you to be such a tattletale.”

Chang Haoyang had a ferocious expression as he grabbed Ji Mingzhu’s collar and dragged him closer. “A despicable commoner like you, yet so capable?”

Yesterday, Chang Haoyang received a communication from Chang Bei, and the tone was cold and laced with a warning, reminding Chang Haoyang to restrain himself. Chang Bei had retired and would no longer handle anything related to being a Titan pilot.

Chang Bei’s words felt like conversing with an ant. It seemed that every additional word from Chang Bei was an insult to himself. The conversation ended with a few commanding sentences before the call was abruptly terminated, leaving Chang Haoyang with a pale face as he smashed his desk in the dormitory.

He was the true heir of the Chang family, while Chang Bei was merely an unrelated adopted son. Who was he to be so arrogant? Why did he look down on him? What qualifications did he have to look down on him?!

Chang Haoyang hated it the most when Chang Bei spoke to him in that tone, and naturally, he held Ji Mingzhu accountable for it.

“Hiss—”

Ji Mingzhu’s lower back ached from the collision, causing him to suck in a breath.

This Chang Haoyang… Do you want to die?

Ji Mingzhu’s eyes flickered with a hint of fierceness, but he quickly concealed it.

He could guess the reason behind Chang Haoyang’s tattling. Zuo Quanzong was probably pressuring him from behind. However, as clever as Zuo Quanzong was, he probably didn’t expect that Chang Haoyang, this little brainless fellow, would completely disregard restraint.

But Ji Mingzhu couldn’t blame him entirely. The words he said to Chang Haoyang yesterday seemed like normal retorts, but they struck at Chang Haoyang’s sore spots. Initially, Chang Haoyang didn’t have such intense hatred for Ji Mingzhu. However, now he was redirecting some of his resentment towards Chang Bei onto Ji Mingzhu to some extent.

“I didn’t do anything,” Ji Mingzhu said, tilting his head up and locking his shimmering eyes with Chang Haoyang’s.

Chang Haoyang paused.

He felt that Ji Mingzhu seemed somewhat different from yesterday. If yesterday’s Ji Mingzhu was like a hedgehog forcibly raising its spines, even if he pretended to be fine on the surface, one could still see the whispers within. But today’s Ji Mingzhu, with his intense gaze, seemed like a hidden flame. There was even a touch of disdain in his eyes when he stared at Chang Haoyang.

He was almost identical to Chang Bei.

This further infuriated Chang Haoyang.

You Jìa stepped into the classroom from outside, furrowing his brows slightly as he witnessed the scene.

Initially, he didn’t have much of an impression of Chang Haoyang’s actions. However, after fighting alongside Ji Mingzhu last night and enduring hardships together, he had gained a bit more recognition for this transfer student who appeared timid but had the courage to face Aberrations. Seeing the increasingly tense atmosphere between the two, You Jìa approached, intending to separate them.

However, at that moment, several figures entered the classroom from outside.

“Quiet,” said a man with a strong military aura. He glanced around the classroom and focused his gaze on Ji Mingzhu and Chang Haoyang. “What are you doing? Fighting?”

Chang Haoyang recognized the man before him, his heart trembling. He quickly released Ji Mingzhu and patted his wrinkled collar. “Report, no fighting occurred. We were just… communicating.”

Ji Mingzhu looked towards the direction of the door, his gaze sweeping over the man with a military aura at the front, and landing on the face of the person behind him.

With a scholarly and refined temperament, he gave off a friendly vibe. Even though he stood behind the man with a military aura, he didn’t appear weaker. On the contrary, there was a hint of him being the one in charge.

Huo Zai.

On the stage, Huo Zai’s gaze scanned the young faces before him. His eyes didn’t linger on Ji Mingzhu’s face and he smiled, “This year’s freshmen… seem to have good qualities.”

“You’re right,” the man beside him respectfully agreed.

He didn’t explain Huo Zai’s identity, but most of the students in the audience came from influential families. Many of them had dealings with the Calamity Control Bureau, and they recognized this renowned Deputy Minister of the Thunder Division. They sat up straight with expressions of reverence.

“I believe some of you already know that this year’s Mecha Combat Class has something special,” Huo Zai said, surveying the surroundings with a touch of severity in his tone. “Indeed, this year, we will select a reserve Titan pilot among you.”

“Clamor__”

The moment these words were spoken, the audience erupted.

Although many had received the news in advance, hearing it confirmed in person still filled them with excitement.

“Quiet,” the man raised his hand and suppressed the restless noise. “This is not the time for you to be excited. Yes, being qualified to pilot a Titan is an honor for all mecha pilots, but… it also means that the tests you’ll face this year will be even more rigorous.”

“Now, you are facing the first challenge.”

The man continued, “Pair up and engage in simulated mecha battles. The winners will qualify for the next assessment, while the losers will be disqualified.”

“Ah??”

“This is too hasty…”

“We’re eliminating half of the participants in the first round??”

“This is unfair! We just started school, how can they decide so quickly…”

“Titan pilots, don’t you understand what this means?”

The man’s face remained expressionless. “Only the strongest will have the qualification to touch the Titans. If you can’t be among this half, it simply means your abilities are not sufficient.”

His words were harsh, but they silenced the previously agitated students.

“Report.”

Chang Haoyang calmly stood up. “May I choose my opponent?”

The man glanced at Chang Haoyang and nodded slowly.

“Excellent.”

Chang Haoyang put on a fake smile and directed his gaze towards him. “I choose him.”

This decision didn’t come as a surprise to anyone. It would have been strange if Chang Haoyang hadn’t chosen him. He was notorious for seeking revenge.

Many people silently mourned for him.

Although he was a transfer student with rare talent, he was still just a commoner. Without any social resources or early training in mecha combat, facing Chang Haoyang meant certain death.

It’s a pity… Some people had high hopes for him, but under these rules, he would likely be eliminated in the first round of the competition.

“Oh?”

The man on the stage appeared surprised and then turned to him. “What do you say?”

Under the watchful eyes of everyone, he shook his head slowly.

The man was taken aback. “You’re declining the challenge?”

To become a Titan pilot, the first requirement is to have courage. Otherwise, how could they overcome the fear of facing Calamity-level Aberrations in the future? Regardless of the reason, he chose to refuse, undoubtedly lowering the evaluators’ opinion of him.

“No.”

He shook his head and said softly, “What I mean is… he is not worthy of being my opponent.”

Everyone was stunned.

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