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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 41

  1. Emergency Mission

“Finally found you!”

You Jia was about to jump up on the spot.

After getting separated from Ji Mingzhu, You Jia and the staff searched the Thunder Division building for a long time but didn’t find any trace of Ji Mingzhu.

The battle between the Aberrations and the mecha forces in the city was earth-shattering. They searched against the flow of people, and the entire building seemed to sway in the midst of the battle, as if it might collapse at any moment.

The staff were concerned for You Jia’s safety. He was the intermediary responsible for communicating with the Zong Bingyi Academy in the Calamity Control Bureau and held a privileged status as the young master of the Lu Yan Tower Group. They advised him, “The battle is so intense, and your friend probably doesn’t know where to hide. Let’s go to the shelter first, and when the fighting is over, we can…”

The shockwaves from the battle reached them. The lights in the building flickered, and chunks of concrete fell, narrowly missing You Jia’s head, leaving the nearby staff terrified.

“No.”

You Jia’s expression was determined. “He’s my friend, and I must find him.”

You Jia wasn’t a stubborn person, and he knew how to protect himself. If it had been someone else who got separated, he might not have been this insistent.

But Ji Mingzhu was different.

When Ji Mingzhu and Chang Haoyang had clashed, You Jia had thought that Ji Mingzhu was just an ordinary teenager who had suddenly found himself in an unfamiliar environment, showing signs of timidity and worry.

You Jia had always looked down on such people.

But when they were faced with an assassination attempt, this seemingly weak young man hadn’t shown a trace of fear. Even when facing powerful Aberrations, he had remained composed. Then, during Ji Mingzhu’s battle with Chang Haoyang and the overwhelming presence he exuded while piloting a mecha, You Jia had been deeply impressed.

From that moment on, You Jia felt that Ji Mingzhu was a mysterious person.

Even though Ji Mingzhu’s background might be considered humble for people in their social circle, You Jia never saw it that way. He even felt that when Ji Mingzhu looked at the people around him, his bright and innocent gaze contained a well-concealed sense of detachment. Every time You Jia had wanted to strike up a conversation, an inexplicable sense of awe had stopped him in his tracks.

He wanted to be friends with him, get to know him better, and fight alongside him. To You Jia, Ji Mingzhu was not just someone he admired as an idol.

So, when he saw Ji Mingzhu safe and sound in front of him, You Jia’s relieved expression and the genuine surprise in his eyes were not feigned in the slightest. Even Ji Mingzhu himself was momentarily stunned by his reaction.

“It’s a relief to find you…”

The staff also breathed a sigh of relief.

Since everything seemed fine now, You Jia circled Ji Mingzhu with concern. “You’re not injured, are you?”

“I’m fine… just got lost.”

Ji Mingzhu looked a bit dazed by You Jia’s actions, hesitated for a moment, and then waved his hand to indicate that he was in good shape while making a hand gesture behind his back.

Tian Quan understood immediately.

After Ji Mingzhu and the others left, he quickly withdrew from the Calamity Control Bureau’s headquarters in another direction, carrying Yao Guang on his back.

“Boom!”

Under the tremendous impact, Zhu Jiuyin was pushed back two steps before stabilizing his body.

The center of the battlefield at this moment could only be described as a complete mess. The towering buildings, symbols of civilization built with countless human efforts, collapsed easily. The high-strength building materials seemed as fragile as paper before the colossal Aberrations and Titans, and within moments, they crumbled into rubble.

“Ah!”

“Roar!”

The current situation was far from good. Even though the Calamity Control Bureau’s mecha forces were continuously arriving, they couldn’t withstand the increasing breach in the city wall under the onslaught of the Aberration tide. The outskirts of the city were almost trampled clean by the Aberrations. Among the numerous grotesque and massive monsters, the figures of four Disaster-level Aberrations loomed large, impossible to ignore.

The Calamity Control Bureau deployed all their S-class mecha, including the 【Mountain Bell God】 that was still undergoing repairs. Additionally, there was a Titan defending the city. However, facing so many Aberrations and four Disaster-level Aberrations working together, even the Titan seemed somewhat overwhelmed.

“Pilot Chang Bei, Pilot Chang Bei!”

In the operations command center, the operator shouted into the microphone, “Please respond if you can hear me. What’s your current status?”

However, all that came from the other end of the communication was Chang Bei’s heavy panting. In the satellite feed, Jiu Yin’s movements were visibly slowing down, and his crimson Tangdao was knocked away by a combined attack from 【Black Scale】 and 【Flesh Horror】, leaving him in a precarious situation.

Inside the cockpit, Chang Bei’s eyes were bloodshot. He struggled to control Jiu Yin to kill one of the Aberrations, but his limbs felt incredibly heavy and unresponsive.

Heavy breaths echoed inside the cockpit, and the veins on his face had swollen, resembling ugly worms crawling beneath his skin. Faint blue blood flowed beneath the surface.

Zuo Quanzong seemed to understand what was happening. He closed his eyes gently and let out a sigh. Then he opened the communication and spoke with respect in his steady voice, “Pilot Chang Bei, you’ve done exceptionally well.”

“Red Guard Commander!”

On the other end of the operations command center, a communication officer who had been in contact with the outside suddenly stood up, his face full of disbelief. “Sky City… has rejected our request for support. 【Zhu Rong】 and 【Guo Mang】… can’t be deployed.”

“What?!”

“What does this mean?!”

“They can’t be deployed? What are we supposed to do in the capital?!”

This news instantly threw the operations command center into chaos. Those who heard the voice immediately stood up, shouting in shock.

“Without permission from Sky City, the Titans inside the city can’t be activated.”

The communication officer’s eyes were filled with despair.

Sky City had given an explanation that, due to special reasons, they needed a massive energy transfer and couldn’t guarantee the activation of two Titans at the same time.

However, to the people in the operations command center, this meant something else entirely.

It meant… they were being abandoned.

Chang Bei’s condition had already reached its limit, and without the support of 【Zhu Rong】 and 【Guo Mang】, the S-class mecha from the capital alone couldn’t stop so many Disaster-level Aberrations.

Everyone knew what this meant.

Perhaps after today, the capital, the most dazzling jewel among the twelve satellite cities, was about to become a dead city.

“This way, this way!”

Accompanied by the staff, Ji Mingzhu and You Jia hurried toward the nearest shelter. The entrance to the shelter was buried under rubble, but fortunately, it hadn’t been completely destroyed and was still accessible.

“Boom!”

Just as the three were about to enter, a deafening blast sounded nearby. A laser cannon hit a nearby building, causing a six-story structure to collapse instantly. Amid the flying debris, a Calamity Control Bureau mecha flew out of the smoke, crashing heavily onto the rubble in front of them. The sound of metal crashing and grinding filled the air.

Following that, a massive Aberration suddenly leaped out from another side!

“Be careful!”

The staff shouted loudly!

“Zi—Bang!”

The mecha that had flown out was already in tatters, with its armor scattered all over, and its internal components and cables clearly visible. Nevertheless, it still managed to raise its arm and fire a laser cannon at the Aberration, piercing its head in an instant!

Then, it ran out of energy, and the glow on the B-class mecha extinguished, becoming unresponsive.

Before them was an apocalyptic battlefield, with scenes of devastation all around. Scattered chunks of Aberration flesh, fragments of mecha, and wreckage were everywhere. Smoke filled the air, and terrified screams echoed. In the distance, a man was stumbling toward the shelter, but when he saw the three people standing in front of it, his eyes lit up, and he was about to call for help. However, the next moment, he was bitten in half by a sudden charge from a ruminant Aberration!

“Help… save me…”

“Mom, Mom… sob, sob…”

“Don’t eat me!! Ahhh…”

“I don’t want to die, help me—”

The staff quickly entered several passwords, and the heavy alloy door on the ground opened, revealing a staircase leading downward. “Quick, get inside!”

Ji Mingzhu took two steps forward and suddenly seemed to sense something. He turned back and looked.

You Jia stood in silence in the same spot, gazing into the distance at the apocalypse.

His fists were slowly clenching.

“There’s nothing we can do.”

The staff had become accustomed to the overwhelming empathy the students from ivory towers had for others. He tried to console You Jia, saying, “These are people from the slums outside the city wall who couldn’t evacuate in time. It’s a mix of people, and the Aberration tide caught them off guard. I know it’s hard for you, but there’s nothing we can do. This is…”

This was fate.

The rest of the sentence didn’t need to be said. Some words were just too cruel when spoken out loud. Not all lives were equal, and in the face of disaster, it was clear that some lives were more valuable than others. The wealthy residents of the central area had been the first to evacuate, accompanied by private mecha escorts belonging to the financial conglomerates. Even if everyone in the capital died, they still had the greatest chance of survival.

Then there were researchers, businessmen, mid-level elites, and students from noble academies…

The poor districts in the outermost part of the capital were situated closest to the city walls. Whenever Aberrations invaded, these districts were always the first to suffer. The underground shelters within the city had limited capacity. It wasn’t so much due to the scale and cost of the shelters; it was more like the shelters were never intended to save everyone’s lives from the beginning.

The city walls were the first line of defense for the capital, and the people in these outer districts…

They were just the second line of defense.

“Let’s go, let’s go…”

Seeing that You Jia remained motionless, the staff grew increasingly anxious and urged, “We really don’t have time. It’s very dangerous here. If the Aberrations come…”

“I…”

You Jia opened his mouth, his eyes showing signs of inner conflict. He gazed at the distant disaster and listened to the desperate cries around him. In his eighteen years of life, this was the first time he had truly faced the cruel reality of a disaster. In the face of reality, the simulated wars in games and the things taught in classrooms and books seemed fragile and false.

He couldn’t convince himself to simply walk into the shelter without looking back, leaving all the cries behind, and wearing a survivor’s smile, marveling at his own survival.

He didn’t want to be such a despicable person.

“I don’t want to leave.”

Moments later, You Jia’s clenched fist relaxed. He looked at the stunned staff and said, “I don’t want to leave, and I can’t leave… I want to stay and fight.”

Ji Mingzhu looked at You Jia in silence.

This pampered young master was truly…

“You can call me naive.”

You Jia’s gaze gradually became determined. “But even if it’s the moment when the Aberrations are about to eat me, I’ll still say it openly… I’m a student of the Zongbingyi Academy, I’m someone who fought hard, I’m not a coward.”

“Mingzhu.”

You Jia looked at the young man beside him. “Will you come too?”

Ji Mingzhu’s initial reaction was to refuse.

He wasn’t the kind of person to sacrifice himself for others. His life motto was to “slack off to the end, just get by.” To be honest, if it weren’t for the threat of the Netherworld Organization, the most likely thing he would have done after coming to this world would have been to continue being a professional player who just goofed around, played some matches, streamed occasionally, and maybe had some fun in a real mecha once in a while.

But now that he found himself in the midst of it all, hearing the cries so close by, witnessing the rampant destruction caused by the Aberrations, and facing You Jia’s gaze, he found himself at a loss for words.

“I know you don’t want to go.”

You Jia seemed to see through what he was thinking, speaking as if talking to himself, “I’ve always felt, Mingzhu, that you keep a certain distance from everyone.”

Ji Mingzhu froze for a moment.

“Not getting involved, not getting close to anyone, like a bystander, observing from nearby but never reaching out, as if to you, we were never the same kind of people.”

Ji Mingzhu remained silent.

There was nothing wrong with what You Jia had said.

In the eyes of this world, he was an outsider, and he thought of himself that way too. Even though he had been in this world for some time, he wanted desperately to fit in. With his adaptable personality, he could make friends quickly even in a foreign environment. But…

No matter how hard he tried, it seemed like he was a black and white character who accidentally wandered into a colored television, separated from the things here by a layer, carrying a sense of rejection and discord.

Clearly, it wasn’t like this before.

Ji Mingzhu asked in his heart, “Axiu, am I a bit… too indifferent?”

“I don’t quite understand what state you’re referring to, but instead of using the word ‘indifferent,’ I would say you’re more like someone who’s practicing self-preservation.”

Axiu said, “Good and evil are mostly innate, but indifference is more of a choice unrelated to one’s nature. For your safety, I would advise you to stay away from danger. Of course, if you choose to fight…”

Pausing, Axiu continued, “I will be your most reliable support.”

Ji Mingzhu said, “…That sounds rather appealing.”

You Jia took out his own terminal, pressed a button, then looked up at Ji Mingzhu and asked, “Will you come?”

Ji Mingzhu’s lips curled up slightly, and he looked at You Jia with a more serious expression. “How are we going to do this? We don’t even have mechas. Are we going to fight the Aberrations hand-to-hand?”

“Are you… are you insane?”

The staff looked at the two of them in disbelief.

“Thank you for finding Mingzhu and bringing us here.”

You Jia politely bowed to him. “We are students from the Zongbingyi Academy and are also the future reserve pilots for the Calamity Control Bureau… Let us be willful just this once.”

Facing You Jia’s calm gaze, the staff’s expression gradually calmed down. He looked at these two children and couldn’t help but sigh while feeling an indescribable admiration rising in his heart.

“Hum—”

Not far away, the power cores hummed. Two mechas, one in front of the other, raced towards them from a distance.

“Which organization do these mechas belong to?!”

The staff was shocked when he noticed that these two mechas were not of the Calamity Control Bureau’s models. He quickly stepped in front of You Jia and Ji Mingzhu. “Be careful!”

He had thought they were mechas from another organization taking advantage of the chaos in the capital. However, after a moment, the two mechas stopped right in front of them.

With a “shoo” sound, the cockpit of the two mechas slowly opened.

But there was no one inside.

The staff stammered in astonishment, “Th-this is…”

“The newly developed KSC system from the Lu Yan Tower Group.”

You Jia said with a hint of pride, “It’s equipped with a semi-intelligent neural brain. It can remotely drive the mecha to the destination within a 400-kilometer range, automatically find the optimal route, and avoid obstacles. By the way, the Calamity Control Bureau has already placed the first batch of orders; they just haven’t been installed yet.”

Ji Mingzhu chuckled. “You really think of everything.”

“Come on.”

You Jia took the lead towards the cockpit of the mecha and waved at Ji Mingzhu.

Ji Mingzhu had just taken a step when his movements suddenly froze.

He received an urgent message from Yu Heng.

[Tian Shu, emergency mission. Quickly report the location of the Zongbingyi Academy’s Mecha Combat team’s shelter and cooperate with us to capture You Jia.]
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Morianse
Morianse
2 months ago

Now how will JM slip his way out of this…?

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