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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 36

  1. Valley Natural Disaster

When a mecha towering over hundreds of meters appears up close, what do people feel?

Awe.

Nothing but awe.

Different from the vast landscapes resembling epics in the opening scenes of “Warfall,” the promotional video for the game’s beginning portrayed battles between Titans and Aberrations that set the blood boiling. With gunfire and destruction raining down, these scenes could easily elevate the adrenaline of viewers. Even when an immense skyscraper-like entity stands motionless before one, it renders them speechless.

“This, this is just… incredible.”

At this moment, they stood on a suspended platform made of steel, facing the head of [Zhu Jiuyin], occupying a mere one-ninth of the Titan’s height, yet still measuring around ten meters in height. Looking downward, even the whole body of [Zhu Jiuyin] couldn’t be seen. They could only make out vast swaths of red paint. The Titan seemed to be standing within an endless abyss, exuding an ancient and distant aura that caused one’s breath to halt involuntarily.

Whether it was the [Mountain Bell God] seen earlier or the other S-class mechas, they all appeared like toys in front of the Titan.

Dozens of thick titanium pipelines extended from all directions, inserting into [Zhu Jiuyin]’s back, charging this Titan mecha. This made [Zhu Jiuyin] look like a deity imprisoned in a myth.

Ji Mingzhu was filled with awe. He couldn’t help but think in his heart:

Is a miraculous mecha like this truly a creation of humanity?

No, strictly speaking, Titans were brought by the Sky City to aid in humanity’s struggle against Aberrations. However, the immortals above the Sky City were artificial intelligence, also created by humans. They were unnatural creations. How did they manage to create such terrifying “mortal deities”?

If the Sky City indeed possessed such technological prowess, then humans were truly mere ants to them. Even the Aberrations were the same. No matter how powerful or massive the Aberrations were, their bodies were still composed of flesh and blood. Just think of the [Zhu Rong] Titan’s tianfei track-penetrating cannon in Yangyuan City; even the toughest Aberration bodies were like paper mache in front of it.

To be fair, Ji Mingzhu believed that the immortals on the Sky City wouldn’t be so generous as to hand over such a terrifying weapon to humanity. They would hold it tightly in their own hands.

Unless the immortals were genuinely as selfless, devoted, and compassionate toward all beings as the textbooks described.

Ji Mingzhu didn’t believe that.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”

Suddenly, a voice came from behind.

Everyone turned around and realized that, at some point, Zuo Quanzong had already stood behind them. He was also wearing a silver protective suit. Through the transparent face shield, one could see a nostalgic expression in Zuo Quanzong’s eyes as he gazed up at [Zhu Jiuyin]’s head.

“Red Guard Commander!”

“Zuo… Zuo Quanzong, Red Guard Commander!”

“Why have you come?”

The technicians operating the massive instruments beside them all saluted Zuo Quanzong in unison. Zuo Quanzong waved his hand, “I just came to take a look. No need to make such a fuss.”

“Red Guard Commander, do we… really have a chance to pilot a Titan?”

A classmate asked in a hushed voice.

Before truly seeing [Zhu Jiuyin], they had been filled with determination and an endless yearning to become Titan pilots. However, after witnessing the grandeur of [Zhu Jiuyin] firsthand, they were somewhat intimidated instead.

Zuo Quanzong looked at Ji Mingzhu in the crowd, his gaze softening for a moment. “If you’re asking such a question, it means you’re not ready to pilot a Titan yet.”

Ji Mingzhu was momentarily taken aback.

Zuo Quanzong indeed held high hopes for Ji Mingzhu.

As the Red Guard Commander, Zuo Quanzong had a rather keen eye. Among the students of this mecha combat class, the first time he saw Ji Mingzhu, he couldn’t quite explain why, but he faintly felt that this young man before him seemed to be born for mechas.

Courage, conviction, determination, and even some indefinable qualities – as if fate was subtly guiding them.

Zuo Quanzong asked, “Do you know why we’re wearing these protective suits?”

Everyone shook their heads.

“When you get to pilot a Titan, you’ll understand.”

Zuo Quanzong lifted his head slightly. “It’s not an inanimate object. On the contrary, Titans are alive.”

Others took this statement as some kind of metaphor, similar to what teachers often say in mecha piloting class, like “Mecha is your partner, and you need to cultivate rapport with it.” They didn’t really take it to heart.

Only a slight movement occurred in Ji Mingzhu’s heart.

Titans, they’re alive?

He suddenly thought of Chang Bei.

Chang Bei wasn’t very old, just in his early thirties. While in terms of reflexes, there might be some disparity between Titan pilots of his age and the younger ones, Chang Bei, after all, was an experienced pilot. By rights, he should have had another five or six years of service left. So, his early retirement might hide some secret unknown to others.

Could it be that Titans emitted certain radiation that had a negative impact on pilots? Was that why they had to wear protective suits during the visit, and why Chang Bei opted for retirement at this age?

Zuo Quanzong tilted his head slightly, looking at Zhu Jiuyin, sighed, as if wanting to say something more.

Right at this moment –

“Boom!”

“Rumble—”

Even though they were deep within the Thunder Division building, the thunderous roar was so intense that Ji Mingzhu felt like the entire building was trembling. Dust and chunks of cement from above fell with a “plop,” nearly causing him to lose his balance.

Zuo Quanzong’s expression suddenly changed.

“Wu—wu—”

In the next instant, red lights began to flash, and the shrill alarm echoed throughout the entire Thunder Division building… no, not just the Thunder Division building, but simultaneously, alarms across the entire Shangjing City were triggered!

“What’s happening?!”

“Is… it a drill?”

“Why does it feel like the building is shaking… and what’s with this alarm?”

Zuo Quanzong pressed his earpiece, his face turning grave, filled with a solemn anticipation of impending events.

Simultaneously, nearby staff and technicians received emergency communications.

“What’s happening, Red Guard Commander?!”

Ji Mingzhu and his group’s communication devices had already been taken before they entered, placed with the guards. Now, these students looked rather panicked, the sudden blaring of alarms inducing a sense of unease in each of them, as if something grave and ominous was about to occur.

“I understand.”

Zuo Quanzong’s expression grew serious as he communicated through his earpiece, “Initiate highest alert status, send messages to Yangyuan City and Jiusheng City, and mobilize all Mecha Combat Division personnel.”

“Understood!”

“Received!”

“Minister Jin Qing is on the way from the Jupiter Division!”

“The Operations Command Center is in position! Mecha pilots are assembling!”

“Quickly contact Chang Bei, the Titan pilot!”

“The Jupiter Division has issued a Code Red directive! City-wide alarms have been activated! Members of the Fire Division are carrying out personnel evacuation!”

“Activate the underground shelters! Send emergency evacuation alerts to all major public areas!”

One command after another was rapidly issued. Almost at the same time, Ji Mingzhu and the others heard the urgent footsteps coming from all directions.

“Take the students to evacuate below the Calamity Control Bureau.”

With these words, Zuo Quanzong left without hesitation, his footsteps hurried, even bearing a sense of urgency.

“What’s happening?”

“This doesn’t seem like a drill… Could it be?”

The staff member who had been guiding them wore a frightened expression. He quickly forced himself to calm down, but the tremble in his tone revealed his nervousness: “The city walls of Shangjing City… have collapsed.”

“The Aberration horde is heading towards Shangjing City.”

As this statement was made, everyone’s faces changed.

The city walls collapsed?! 

In Shangjing City, it had been over a decade since anything like this had happened!

These students were just in their teens, and for them, this was the first time they were directly facing such a crisis.

City walls collapsing, an incoming Aberration horde, the entire city on alert, and emergency evacuation…

Just hearing these words could conjure up images of the impending bloody and brutal scenes that awaited Shangjing City.

Ji Mingzhu’s expression was equally grim. He had a feeling that this incident was closely connected to the infiltrators.

“We’re not leaving! We can help!”

“We can fight!”

“All members of the Mecha Combat Division apply to join the rescue operation!”

“That’s right, we’re students of the Zong Bingyi Academy. How can we hide like civilians at a time like this?”

The students began shouting and clamoring. The staff members wiped their foreheads nervously: “No, it’s against the orders of the Red Guard Commander. I need to lead you in evacuating.”

Amidst the trembling ground, the colossal form of Zhu Jiuyin stood silently, akin to a statue of a silent deity.

Even though everyone was excited and eager to contribute, the staff members still escorted them away to the underground shelters for evacuation.

Ji Mingzhu received his communication terminal, putting it on just in time to hear Tian Quan’s voice in his earpiece.

“Tian Shu? Tian Shu?”

Tian Quan’s voice sounded urgent: “Can you hear me?”

Ji Mingzhu whispered, “Yes, I just got my terminal.”

“How’s the situation on your end?”

“The city walls of Shangjing City have collapsed.”

Ji Mingzhu followed the flow of people towards the outside. “The Aberration horde is coming. We’re evacuating to the shelters.”

“Chaos has erupted throughout the Calamity Control Bureau. Most of the guards from the Fire Division are rushing into the city…”

Tian Quan’s voice sounded somewhat muffled, mingling with the hurried footsteps and the clamor from his side. “The Pestilence Division should have fewer people now. Our chance has come!”

Ji Mingzhu scanned the crowd ahead. The situation was similar at the Calamity Control Bureau’s building. A large number of personnel were evacuating, making it somewhat difficult for their group to move through the chaotic crowd.

“I understand.”

Ji Mingzhu’s voice was steady. “I’ll find a way to leave. Let’s gather nearby.”

Originally, Ji Mingzhu’s intention was to scout the situation at the Bureau today and then plan their actions later. However, the sudden chaos had overturned his original thoughts. For some reason, with the collapse of the city walls and the invading Aberration horde, the Calamity Control Bureau was currently preoccupied. The internal defense was at its weakest.

Though this felt somewhat opportunistic, given the current circumstances, it was indeed a good chance to rescue Yao Guang.

Ji Mingzhu lingered at the back of the group. The Bureau’s building was filled with people, a cacophony of communication, operational commands, technicians’ shouts, and staff directing evacuations. The combination of these intense noises made his eardrums ache. Looking around, he noticed no one was paying attention to him. The next moment, Ji Mingzhu quietly left the group, his slender figure blending into the crowd, disappearing in the blink of an eye.

“Everyone, get on the shuttle!”

The staff members led the students from the Zong Bingyi Academy out of the Bureau’s building and found the shuttle they had arrived in. They gestured for the students to board. “Don’t panic, classmates. Board one by one. Don’t crowd, be careful not to trample!”

Emergency scenario simulations were a mandatory part of the curriculum at the Zong Bingyi Academy. Despite the students’ unspoken panic, they still maintained a semblance of order, not succumbing to fear-induced chaos.

“He! He!”

He called Ji Mingzhu’s name loudly amidst the crowd, but after searching for a while, he couldn’t spot his figure. “Ji Mingzhu’s gone!”

“Which one is Ji Mingzhu?!”

The staff members began searching around, and indeed, they discovered that one person was missing from the group. “Is it that thin, small child? The one with short, messy hair?”

“Yes!”

“He must have gotten separated.” The staff member said hurriedly, “You board the shuttle first. I’ll go look for him.”

“I’ll go with you!”

“Where are you going?! You go to the shelter first…”

The staff member urged twice. Seeing He’s worried and determined expression, he felt he might not be able to persuade him in the short run. After a brief thought, he said, “Fine, others get on the shuttle first. We’ll go search. Stay close to me, don’t get lost.”

He nodded quickly, just about to say something when suddenly, an earth-shattering roar sounded!

“Boom!”

“Boom! Boom! Boom!”

As if the footsteps of countless ancient giants moving, Ji Mingzhu looked up and was instantly stunned by the scene before him.

Screams, chaos, shoving, unrest, cacophony…

The entire Shangjing City was plunged into an unprecedented frenzy. Not far away, the towering city walls had an obvious breach, emitting a thick plume of dust. The once bright sky now bore a layer of haze, as if an abyss was encroaching, carrying an unsettling aura of terror surging forth.

Looking further, Ji Mingzhu saw countless dark figures rushing towards the breach in the city wall. The ground-shaking and earth-shattering footsteps were being generated by the Aberration horde’s charge.

Amid the sea of black, several colossal silhouettes could be seen, comparable in size to Titans. One had colossal wings spread out like a vast, dark cloud descending from the sky. Another moved slowly, formed from tumbling flesh and blood, almost taller than the city wall itself. Giant tentacles danced in the sky like vines, puncturing the ground, a frenzied display between heaven and earth.

When viewed from above, the Aberration horde was converging from all directions, engulfing the land in an aura of despair. The entire Shangjing City’s alarm resounded through the heavens and earth. Several Disaster-level Aberrations carried an oppressive presence akin to Titans, like natural disasters flowing through the realm, dragging their colossal bodies like mountain ranges. Each step sent tremors through the earth, shaking the city!

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Morianse
Morianse
2 months ago

I wonder if… the Titan was ‘Immortals’ who was rejected/reclused by their own kind?

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