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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 30

  1. Big Dipper Meeting.

It was late at night.

“You’re going out at this hour?” The security guard at the entrance sounded surprised.

“Yes,” Ji Mingzhu replied politely with a smile. “I’m going to the bookstore near Zongbingyi’s gate.”

The students of Zongbingyi were not restricted from coming and going, and at this time, many students liked to go out for a drink or socialize. However, Ji Mingzhu, with his gentle appearance, didn’t seem like the type to go out for fun, so the security guard couldn’t help but ask out of curiosity.

After getting permission, Ji Mingzhu thanked the security guard and headed straight towards the bookstore near the school gate.

Of course, he wasn’t simply going there to read books.

The bookstore was not crowded, and the spacious reading room still had many empty seats. Ji Mingzhu casually took a book from the shelf, looked around, and found a spot with surveillance cameras. He sat down, pretending to read the book with a serious expression.

“I’ve successfully infiltrated the surveillance,” Axiu’s voice rang in his ear. Ji Mingzhu closed the book in front of him. Seeing that everyone around him was immersed in their own reading and didn’t notice him, he quietly left the place.

Now, even if agents from the Calamity Control Bureau came to investigate, they would only find footage of Ji Mingzhu reading a book here for about an hour. Just to be cautious, Ji Mingzhu had Axiu scan the content of the book he had held, to have a plausible response if any questions were raised in the future – though he thought the likelihood of that was small. But it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Avoiding the nearby surveillance, Ji Mingzhu maneuvered through the colorful neon lights and soon met Tian Quan at the entrance of a small alley.

“Get on,” Tian Quan said, riding a motorcycle and supporting himself with one leg. His face was not visible under the shadows, but Ji Mingzhu could tell he wasn’t in a good mood.

Ji Mingzhu shrugged and got on Tian Quan’s motorcycle.

On the way, they didn’t exchange any words, and both of them were preoccupied with their own thoughts. The only sounds were the whistling wind and the humming of the engine.

The gradually increasing speed of the motorcycle hinted at Tian Quan’s inner turmoil, and Ji Mingzhu was even a little worried that he might do something drastic…after all, they were both on the bike.

Fortunately, Tian Quan didn’t do anything out of line. The motorcycle sped through the streets and alleys and soon stopped in front of an estate.

From the landscaping and the design of the buildings inside, it appeared to be a commercialized resort estate. Ji Mingzhu immediately had Axiu check the background of this estate and, as expected, it was owned by Bai Weng.

Bai Weng, that wealthy big shot, is really loaded…

Ji Mingzhu thought to himself.

If he really found an opportunity to go after the Netherworld Organization in one fell swoop, the members of the bureau’s Water Division would probably have their mouths wide open with amazement. The Harold Group, under Bai Weng’s name, had accumulated wealth for many years and had numerous industries. Its wealth was simply astonishing, and it was by no means a small player.

From this perspective, knowing Bai Weng’s true identity gave Ji Mingzhu a bit of leverage against the Netherworld Organization. If he leaked the information that Bai Weng was a member of the organization to the Calamity Control Bureau, it would likely cause some thorny issues in the organization’s financial chain.

However, Ji Mingzhu wasn’t that naive. He knew that just relying on this piece of information wouldn’t be enough to shake the foundation of the Netherworld Organization. At the very least, he needed to figure out who that “Director General” Bai Weng mentioned was, and the identities of the members of the “Core Council.” Armed with such evidence, he could have the upper hand when confronting the organization.

While contemplating, Ji Mingzhu followed Tian Quan. Instead of going directly through the main entrance, they circled around and arrived at the other side of the estate. This area was extremely remote and lacked any nearby streetlights, creating a pitch-black atmosphere that made one feel uneasy.

Ji Mingzhu observed as Tian Quan silently reached out and manipulated something on the dense vine-covered wall. Soon, a faint light appeared, revealing a high-tech keypad on the wall. Tian Quan entered a password and went through an iris scan. The vine-covered wall then slid open on both sides, revealing a small door about the height of a person.

…That’s so cool.

Though it was somewhat out of place, this scene felt like something from a spy movie, and Ji Mingzhu felt a slight surge of excitement. The sense of tension was somewhat diluted at this moment.

Ji Mingzhu turned to Axiu and said, “If I ever buy a house, I want the bedroom door to be this type.”

Axiu replied, “Your preferences are quite unique.”

Before entering the hidden door, Ji Mingzhu instinctively pulled up the hoodie of his sweatshirt from behind and put on the mask from his pocket. With his face obscured by the shadow of the mask and hoodie, only his young figure could be discerned.

Tian Quan glanced at him curiously. Under normal circumstances, he would definitely tease Ji Mingzhu a little, but he wasn’t in the mood for that now.

The two of them silently entered through the door and proceeded along the dark underground passage, quickly arriving at a room.

Opening the door, the space inside wasn’t very spacious. It looked like a conference room with a virtual screen on one side and a long table in the middle. At this moment, four people were already inside.

Ji Mingzhu had met two of them before—Yu Heng and Kai Yang. The other two were unfamiliar faces. One was a man with vine tattoos on his face, seemingly in his late twenties, dressed in black, and his gaze was as sharp as an eagle. He sat at the head of the long table, most likely the leader of the Big Dipper Squad, Tian Ji.

The other person sat beside Tian Ji, with a slender figure and a blue mask covering their features entirely.

This mysterious person with the blue mask should be the final member of the Big Dipper Squad, Tian Xuan.

“You’ve arrived,” Tian Ji said when he saw Ji Mingzhu and Tian Quan enter. A gentle smile appeared on his face, softening his sharp and stern demeanor. “Long time no see, Tian Shu.”

With that, Tian Ji gestured towards the empty seats. “Please, take a seat.”

Fortunately, he indicated where to sit; otherwise, with three vacant seats, Ji Mingzhu wouldn’t have known where to sit.

He suppressed some of the nervousness rising within him and stuck to the principle of saying less to avoid mistakes. Ji Mingzhu responded to Tian Ji with a gentle “yes” and took his seat.

“Tian Quan, you should sit too,” Tian Ji said.

However, instead of sitting down, Tian Quan went straight to the point and asked, “Where is Yao Guang being held?”

The atmosphere in the room froze.

After a moment of silence, Yu Heng spoke softly, “He’s in the Pestilence Division.”

Tian Quan was taken aback, and then his expression turned grim.

The Pestilence Division was one of the most mysterious and feared divisions within the Calamity Control Bureau. Officially, it housed numerous research personnel responsible for studying corrupted energy and Aberrations. However, in reality, the Pestilence Division also served as a “prison” that detained dangerous Aberrations and high-profile criminals. Additionally, it was rumored that the group of mad scientists within the division engaged in inhumane experiments on living subjects in secret. All in all, whether it was outsiders or even within the Calamity Control Bureau, mentioning the Pestilence Division always carried an air of avoidance.

“Maybe… Maybe it’s not as bad as it sounds,” Kai Yang tried to break the heavy atmosphere and dead silence in the room. “Those rumors about the Pestilence Division could just be baseless speculations. Besides, Yao Guang was just captured, so if we act quickly, we might be able to—”

“How was he captured?” Tian Quan interrupted Kai Yang, his gaze burning as he stared at Tian Ji. “Tell me the details.”

Yu Heng let out a sigh and said, “I’ll explain.”

Her face showed signs of exhaustion. After all, Yao Guang had been collaborating with Yu Heng for a long time and was a trusted teammate. Yu Heng couldn’t help but feel anxious and uneasy.

The incident occurred during the day.

Yao Guang’s public identity was that of a first-year high school student, juggling work and study, and residing in an apartment he rented outside. In his daily life, apart from playing his role, Yao Guang spent most of his time providing technical support for the Netherworld Organization.

Despite being young, his hacking skills were top-notch, not only excelling in missions for the largest hacking forum but also offering security firewall repairs and other services to several commercial companies.

Furthermore, Yao Guang was one of the few capable of infiltrating the Calamity Control Bureau’s firewall. Of course, this didn’t mean that Yao Guang’s skills were sufficient to directly breach the Bureau’s firewall, as even Axiu couldn’t accomplish such a feat.

However, within the Calamity Control Bureau, there were members from the Netherworld Organization who had managed to create inconspicuous backdoors through internal operations without being detected by the Fire Bureau. Using these backdoors, Yao Guang could stealthily access the internal network and obtain information not protected by special encryption.

After the incident with Jin Qing, the Fire Bureau had carried out a system upgrade, rendering the original backdoors useless. As Yao Guang was in the process of seeking other secret network pathways, he was somehow detected by the Calamity Control Bureau.

The Bureau acted swiftly, and even though Yao Guang had started to transfer the moment he was exposed, his apartment was surrounded by Fire Bureau personnel within a minute. Yao Guang was captured, and several operatives from the Netherworld Organization who had been embedded in the Bureau were also exposed. The losses were severe.

“Why did this happen?” Tian Quan’s expression showed anger and puzzlement. “Yao Guang has never made a mistake. He’s always cautious, so how could this happen?”

Ji Mingzhu didn’t say anything, but he had his own suspicions.

Yao Guang was indeed an experienced hacker, and there were very few technicians in the Fire Bureau who could match his skills. Every time Yao Guang infiltrated the Bureau’s network, he meticulously removed all traces, leaving no incriminating evidence.

However, this time was different.

Because the Calamity Control Bureau now had Jin Qing…

Jin Qing was an artificial intelligence, and according to Axiu, Jin Qing’s intelligence level was on par with his own. No matter how skilled Yao Guang was as a hacker, he was still human and couldn’t compete on the same level as an artificial intelligence born from the consciousness of the network.

One could only say that Yao Guang had been unlucky, attempting to cause trouble within the Bureau’s network at this critical moment, and unfortunately running into Jin Qing.

Contemplating this, Ji Mingzhu asked, “So, what do we do now?”

“What should we do?”

Tian Quan mumbled a few words from between his teeth, “Of course, we need to rescue Yao Guang.”

After saying this, he waited for a moment but didn’t receive any response from Tian Ji and the others.

Tian Ji’s gaze wasn’t on Tian Quan but on Yu Heng beside her, seemingly signaling her to speak.

However, Yu Heng hesitated, and her eyes avoided Tian Quan’s gaze.

Tian Quan was taken aback, and then seemed to realize something, looking at Tian Ji in disbelief, “What do you mean?”

His voice raised, “You don’t want to save Yao Guang?”

“We do want to save him,” Yu Heng lifted her slender hand, patting Tian Quan’s shoulder, gesturing for him to calm down, “But the situation is different now. Jin Qing is still in the Calamity Control Bureau, and Tian Shu is still on a mission. We need at least half a month…”

“To hell with your mission!” Tian Quan’s eyes turned red, “What’s your meaning? You want me to wait half a month? Half a month, will Yao Guang even be alive by then?”

“The problem now is not whether Yao Guang will survive.” Tian Ji finally spoke up.

Tian Quan calmed down slightly as he tightly stared at Tian Ji’s face, waiting for him to continue.

However, Tian Ji’s words shattered the last bit of hope in Tian Quan’s heart.

“Yao Guang was caught. He’s a member of our squad and has access to information about all of us,” Tian Ji said slowly, “You also know the methods of the Pestilence Division. Once he divulges our information, we’ll all be in danger…”

Tian Quan’s gaze turned icy, sensing the implications behind Tian Ji’s words.

In disbelief, he asked, “You mean…”

Unable to rescue Yao Guang and afraid of having the Netherworld Organization’s information exposed.

He’s not suggesting they should act before Yao Guang has a chance to speak, right?

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