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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 33

  1. Phoenix Reedemer

“Both of you… seem to be acting unusual.”

After finishing their morning classes, Ji Mingzhu was sitting face-to-face with You Jia while having lunch. Tian Quan carried a plate and naturally sat down beside Ji Mingzhu. You Jia glanced at Ji Mingzhu, then at Tian Quan, hesitated for a while, and then spoke mysteriously.

“What do you mean by ‘unusual’?”

Ji Mingzhu calmly ate his food, saying, “I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.”

“When did Senior actively show goodwill to others?”

You Jia rubbed his chin, observing Tian Quan, “He’s always been a lone wolf. Even when girls invite him to dinner, he always declines… Wait a moment, you two definitely have something going on.”

“Weaklings gather in groups, while powerful beasts are solitary creatures.”

Tian Quan appeared composed, “I’m not antisocial, I just avoid contact with the weak. But I don’t mind interacting with Ji Mingzhu because his strength has gained my recognition. Isn’t that normal?”

Ji Mingzhu: “…”

Your reasoning sounds quite forced.

Unexpectedly, You Jia quickly accepted Tian Quan’s explanation, enlightened, “I see! That does make sense.”

Ji Mingzhu: “…?”

He actually bought that?

It must be said that You Jia’s fan filter was quite strong.

“The current head of the Lu Yan Tower Group, I remember, is a woman known for her efficient and decisive style.”

Tian Quan raised an eyebrow, “Is You Jia really her child? His personality is completely different.”

“Unlikely that Big Dipper Squad would make a mistake in such important intelligence.”

“Tian Ji and the others are planning to target You Jia, using his life to force the Lu Yan Tower Group to hand over the core obtained from the Tian Kong City delivery.”

Tian Quan said, “Should we get involved in this matter?”

“Of course.”

Ji Mingzhu nodded, “With Calamity Control Bureau’s growing power, they pose more threat to us. Also, it would be a good thing to owe Lu Yan Tower Group a favor. Their cooperation with Upper Jing Control Bureau is quite intimate. If they’re willing to help a bit, rescuing Yao Guang will be much smoother.”

“When should we make a move?”

“Wait a bit longer.”

Ji Mingzhu glanced at the time, “In two days, our Mecha Combat Class will have a chance to visit Calamity Control Bureau. I can use this opportunity to infiltrate and gather information from that side.”

Tian Quan was anxious to save Yao Guang, but he also understood that such matters couldn’t be rushed. Calamity Control Bureau wasn’t a place you could simply barge into. Without absolute certainty, they shouldn’t act recklessly.

After finishing their meal, the two found opportunities to exit the school gate one after the other. Ji Mingzhu used the same strategy as last night, pretending to read a book at the bookstore near the gate. After leaving the surveillance video as evidence, he quietly slipped out of the store and met up with Tian Quan.

“Continue.”

As Ji Mingzhu exited the back door of the bookstore, he saw Tian Quan already waiting on a motorcycle. Soon, a black object was tossed to him, and he instinctively caught it.

It was a very familiar cartoon blue cat mask.

Ji Mingzhu: “… What’s this for?”

Tian Quan looked puzzled, “It’s a mask. You can’t just waltz into the black market like this, aren’t you inexperienced?”

Ji Mingzhu: “I meant, why is your mask so cool, while the one you gave me is like… this?”

Tian Quan also had a mask in his hand, a metallic one with a cold black-grey exterior. When worn, only one eye was visible, making him look like a mysterious assassin from a movie – cold and stylish.

Compared to that, the cartoon blue cat mask he held seemed like it was meant for play.

Tian Quan: “Last time, you were wearing this, right? I thought you had a special liking for it. I even went to that arcade to buy it, for 12.5 credits.”

Ji Mingzhu: “… You’re really considerate.”

Is he doing this on purpose?

It was too late to change the mask now. Ji Mingzhu looked at Tian Quan’s barely noticeable mischievous smile, resisting the urge to punch him, and tucked the mask into his pocket.

Although they were headed to the “Mechanical and Miscellaneous Trade Market,” strictly speaking, the place should be called the “Mechanical and Miscellaneous Trade Exchange Market.” It wasn’t like Ji Mingzhu had imagined, a place filled with sunglass-wearing people in suits, guarding the scene in various corners. On the contrary, it looked quite like a regular trade market.

While the term “black market” was commonly used, this place was actually well-established. Even though many members of underground organizations operated here, there were also legitimate shops. Regular people could shop here without any issues.

Ji Mingzhu sat on Tian Quan’s motorcycle, looking at the narrow street flanked by dilapidated warehouses ahead. He couldn’t help but raise a skeptical gaze.

Is this it?

It was indeed warehouses, but this looked way too unsafe. Who in their right mind would store things in a place like this?

Not far away, Tian Quan had already put on his mask and was negotiating with a keychain-wielding administrator. After a moment, he returned.

“Let’s go.”

Ji Mingzhu couldn’t help but confirm, “Are you sure we’re in the right place?”

“Of course. Do you think I wouldn’t be familiar with the black market?”

Tian Quan had a look of disbelief, “Your amnesia is quite ridiculous. I remember you used to be a regular here too.”

Ji Mingzhu silently pulled down the cartoon mask, “Let’s go…”

Administrator: “Please show your credentials.”

Ji Mingzhu reached into his pocket and took out the alloy badge, handing it over to the administrator.

After receiving it, the administrator glanced at it, suddenly showing an astonished expression.

“This is…”

The black market’s storage management office did business without usually asking customers about their identity. After all, those who came to store things here often had murky origins, including some high-ranking nobles.

The administrator just hadn’t expected that the masked young man before him, with a somewhat slender build, would possess the highest level of storage credentials.

This wasn’t something just anyone could have. The storage credentials of this level came with a high monthly management fee and the highest security rating. Unless the Calamity Control Bureau directly demolished the entire black market with Titans, the items inside were guaranteed to be highly secure.

Tian Quan was also curious. He had his own stock in the black market, but his credentials weren’t of the same high level as Ji Mingzhu’s.

What exactly is stored in here?

“Please follow me, both of you.”

The attitude of the administrator instantly shifted from casual to respectful. He didn’t inquire about the identities of the two but led them to the entrance of a particular warehouse.

This warehouse seemed ordinary from the outside, but its location was quite concealed. After opening the door, it revealed an entrance to an underground chamber. Before Ji Mingzhu appeared a massive combination lock.

According to the structural scan diagram from Axiu, the protection level of this underground chamber was quite extraordinary. It featured triple-layered combination locks and people stationed at every point, heavy artillery deployed at the ready. Many heavy weapons that weren’t even available in the market could be seen here.

At last, it started to feel like a proper black market…

Ji Mingzhu followed the administrator downward, passing through the checkpoint at the entrance. Apart from their clothes and masks, all their belongings were temporarily stored.

Upon entering the underground chamber, they found themselves in an underground passage lined with rows of black rooms.

The administrator led them to the entrance of a certain room, opened the door, and instead of entering, he stepped back and said, “If you need anything, call for me. I’ll be waiting upstairs.”

Ji Mingzhu and Tian Quan nodded. After the administrator left, they pushed the door open.

“Holy crap.”

Both exclaimed in astonishment simultaneously.

Inside the room was a large warehouse, incredibly spacious. All sorts of familiar and unfamiliar items were stored within. However, Ji Mingzhu’s attention was completely captivated by an immense object before him. His gaze couldn’t move away.

— A mecha!!

In this warehouse, there was actually a mecha?

“Your stock… is top-notch.”

Tian Quan’s mouth gaped open, and he sighed in admiration. He stepped forward to closely examine the mecha.

The mecha squatted in a half-kneeling position at the center of the warehouse. Its body was coated in red and gold, with sleek and refined lines. Every detail exuded a captivating aesthetic sense: the distinct edges and corners, the internal cables revealed at the joints. There were faint marks on the mecha’s body, indicating that it had an extensive history of battles.

“Phoenix Redeemer…”

Tian Quan murmured, “This is… an S-grade mecha.”

Ji Mingzhu was equally surprised.

Phoenix Redeemer was the smallest assault-type S-grade mecha model. It stood at a mere 16 meters in height, similar to a B-grade mecha. Amid the towering super-sized S-grade mechas that measured three to four dozen meters, it could be considered quite mini.

But this didn’t imply that Phoenix Redeemer was weak. On the contrary, its S-grade status with a 16-meter frame testified to its tremendous capabilities.

The unique “Phoenix Instant System” enabled Phoenix Redeemer to generate consecutive propulsion bursts in a short period, reaching a staggering Mach 16 of supersonic speed—terrifying velocity that no anti-air system could intercept.

This was also the reason why Phoenix Redeemer’s frame was so small compared to other S-grade mechas. Under such terrifying instant speed, this was already the maximum that modern armor materials could endure. If it were slightly larger, it would disintegrate instantly under such explosive velocity.

Though designed for agility and sleek movement, the Phoenix Redeemer doesn’t house excessively fierce firepower systems. In terms of heavy armaments, it features solely the “Light Blade Penetrating Coil Cannon” mounted on its arms, albeit requiring a prolonged charge time. During a single engagement, it can only deploy the coil cannon thrice. The majority of its combat heavily relies on the alloy sword, the “Undying Slash.”

However, this is already more than sufficient.

After all, the Phoenix Redeemer is a distinctive S-grade mecha, a one-of-a-kind presence known as the “Slaughterer”…

“How does your warehouse come to possess this fellow?”

Post the initial shock, Tian Quan’s eyes were laden with disbelief.

An S-grade mecha constitutes the most potent weaponry beneath the Titans, symbolizing the pinnacle of human technology. Every S-grade mecha is a prized possession of the Calamity Control Bureau, each with its exclusive identification number. How could something of this caliber leak out?

Not to mention Ji Mingzhu, even the Netherworld Organization couldn’t access an S-grade mecha.

“I don’t know.”

Ji Mingzhu shook his head. His heart was currently brimming with delight, and he hadn’t even the time to investigate. “I’ll take a seat and have a look.”

“…Can you operate it?”

It wasn’t that Tian Quan underestimated Ji Mingzhu, but the operational intricacy of an S-grade mecha was immensely daunting. And the operational complexity of the Phoenix Redeemer surpassed that of other S-grade mechas. Even those few pilots from the Calamity Control Bureau, considered national treasures, might hesitate to claim they could master the Phoenix Redeemer.

“Look down on whom?”

Ji Mingzhu tugged at the corner of his mouth, exuding confidence. “There’s no mecha in this world that I can’t pilot.”

With that statement, Ji Mingzhu rubbed his hands together. Without even resorting to steel cables, he nimbly ascended the Phoenix Redeemer’s leg sections. Through two agile leaps, he was already atop the machine.

I wasn’t aware you possessed such agility during the skirmish with the Ruminant Hound…

Tian Quan couldn’t help but feel rendered speechless.

Still, Tian Quan was considerably eager. After all, he hadn’t witnessed the Phoenix Redeemer, this S-grade mecha, in action. If Ji Mingzhu could indeed operate the Phoenix Redeemer, the probability of successfully rescuing Yao Guang would surge.

Amidst Tian Quan’s eager expectancy, half a minute later, Ji Mingzhu emerged from the mecha’s cockpit.

Tian Quan was taken aback. “What happened?”

“I was careless.”

Ji Mingzhu sighed. “Its power core is damaged.”

Tian Quan: “…Damn.”

Falling directly from heaven to hell, just like that.

The power core is the soul of a mecha, as well as its power source. Without a power core, even an S-grade mecha is nothing more than a hunk of metal.

S-grade mecha cores aren’t just run-of-the-mill; they can’t be replaced by cores of other grades. Moreover, because S-grade mechas require a terrifying amount of power, in a sense, the power core is a disposable item that needs to be scrapped after one battle.

S-grade power cores are strictly controlled by Sky City, and the Prosperity Faction doesn’t have the authority to produce them. All S-grade power cores are periodically sent down from Sky City… which means, if Ji Mingzhu wants to activate the Phoenix Redeemer, he needs to figure out how to snatch the power core from Sky City.

This is quite awkward.

Ji Mingzhu had a regretful look on his face as he rubbed his chin: “Didn’t we discuss in the meeting yesterday that a batch of S-grade power cores would be sent down from Sky City for trial installation by the Lu Yan Tower Group?”

“…,” Tian Quan’s expression turned horrified: “You’re not thinking of targeting You Jia, are you?”

Just a while ago at school, you were acting like close friends, and now you’re considering this? Your change of heart is lightning fast.

“Not to that extent,” Ji Mingzhu said.

Ji Mingzhu jumped down from the mecha: “We can think about the power core matter slowly. It’s torturous to have such an S-grade mecha here that we can’t use.”

Indeed.

Tian Quan agreed wholeheartedly.

Ji Mingzhu, not being careful, almost stumbled. Luckily, he was quick to react and caught hold of the Phoenix Redeemer’s leg armor.

Wait a moment.

Ji Mingzhu seemed to sense something. He leaned in close to the mecha’s leg armor, examining it carefully.

Afterward, his expression froze.

Tian Quan was baffled: “What’s wrong?”

“Axiu.”

Ji Mingzhu suddenly took a deep breath and asked Axiu: “When did I wake up?”

Axiu quickly responded: “November 20th, 327 TY, exactly 9:00 PM.”

“When did you power on?”

“Twenty-two minutes before your revival.”

“No, that’s not right.”

Ji Mingzhu’s gaze darkened.

Axiu also felt puzzled: “What’s wrong?”

He extended his hand, touching a certain pattern on the Phoenix Redeemer’s leg armor.

It looked like a mark made with a small knife, as if someone, out of sheer boredom, had carved something by leaning against the mecha’s leg armor.

Ji Mingzhu was very familiar with this tiny, seemingly meaningless mark.

At the same time, he was also very sure.

He had carved it himself.

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Anonymous
Anonymous
10 months ago

Interesting

Morianse
Morianse
2 months ago

The brother def had something to with this, only he would do something to this extent for MC (not referring to the knife scratch). I feel like Netherworld seems tailor-made (?) for MC. The code names was kinda sus and the team was kinda decent tbh (excluding the two new ones we had just met). Which makes more unsure of MC’s decision to crash the organization.

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