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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 45

  1. Rebirth amidst destruction, flourishing amid decay.

The third underground shelter in Shangjing City.

The shelter was packed with people, and even though it had a ventilation system, the sheer number of people inside created a stuffy atmosphere. Countless eyes were fixed on the satellite feed above the shelter, and every time the situation changed, there was a collective gasp from within.

When the Titan fell, the entire shelter sank into an atmosphere of sorrow.

Suddenly, there was a soft sound at the entrance, and the shelter’s door swung open.

Initially, no one paid much attention, thinking it was just another survivor entering the shelter. It wasn’t until the sound of gunfire erupted that they finally realized something was wrong.

“Hey, who are you…”

Bang!

The first security guard inside the shelter, the Calamity Control Bureau, noticed that something was amiss with this group of people. He stepped forward to confront them, and in the next moment, a clear gunshot rang out, echoing within the enclosed shelter, causing everyone’s eardrums to tingle.

Tian Ji’s face remained expressionless. He stood next to Tian Xuan, who wore a green mask over his face, holding a gun with the smell of gunpowder still lingering in the air.

Subsequently, a large number of personnel from the Netherworld Organization entered the shelter, armed to the teeth and obviously well-trained. They quickly took control of the shelter.

The people in the shelter finally realized that something was wrong, and screams rang out. The security guards on the ground struggled to reach for their terminals in their pockets, trying to send a message to the Calamity Control Bureau for help.

“No need to bother.”

Tian Ji shook his head and raised a square-shaped remote control device in his hand. “The signal has already been blocked.”

“Who… who are you…”

Amidst a chorus of frightened screams, the members of the Netherworld Organization had already entered the crowd. They found the group from Zong Bingyi Academy, their gun muzzles sweeping across the pale faces of students and teachers.

“Report, we haven’t found You Jia.”

One subordinate from the Netherworld Organization searched around and didn’t find their target. He leaned in close to Tian Ji and whispered, “Lord Tian Shu is not here either.”

A tactical execution class student from Zong Bingyi Academy took advantage of the chaos and secretly slipped behind Tian Ji. While Tian Ji and the subordinate were conversing, he suddenly lunged towards Tian Ji!

“Thud!”

Tian Xuan, who had remained silent, suddenly took action. Others couldn’t even see how he moved. In the next moment, the student who had attempted the sneak attack was pinned to the ground by Tian Xuan, and there was a muffled sound as his face met the ground.

Tian Ji’s expression remained unchanged as he walked up to the group from Zong Bingyi Academy. His gaze swept over them, and he asked in a calm voice, “Where is You Jia?”

“I… I don’t know.”

A teacher from Zong Bingyi Academy shielded the students behind them. “You Jia is not in this shelter… Some of the students got separated during the evacuation. They are just children. Please don’t harm them!”

You Jia isn’t in the shelter?

Tian Ji paused for a moment, then shifted his gaze to the satellite feed inside the shelter.

The crimson Tang Fred General on the battlefield was particularly striking. With brilliant and extraordinary coordination, they used the energy reserve batteries in conjunction with the Dock-Axis rounds to kill the Beast Flesh. The smooth and fierce movements stirred the blood of those watching.

Among all the pilots, those with such piloting skills were extremely rare. Tian Ji’s eyebrows twitched, and he had a guess in his mind.

Could it be…

“Hiss…”

Ji Mingzhu turned over in the escape pod. Although the escape pod had safety protection devices, the intense impact left Ji Mingzhu dazed and sore all over. To be fair, as a professional athlete, someone who had never experienced battle before, this level of pain might not be much for seasoned combat personnel, but for Ji Mingzhu, it was enough to make him groan for a while.

Ji Mingzhu: “Ah, I’m going to die…”

Axiu: “Your soft tissues have minor abrasions, and there is no major damage to vital areas or bones…”

In simpler terms: Without treatment, the wound will heal on its own in a while.

Ji Mingzhu: “You’re really heartless… Don’t complain at a time like this; I need your comfort.”

Axiu, rarely caught off guard, hesitated for a moment. It couldn’t understand how Ji Mingzhu, who had just been slaughtering enemies like a war god, now seemed like a crybaby. But as a qualified AI, it quickly searched for “how to comfort an injured child” and then said in a flat tone, “Blow on the wound, let the pain fly away. It won’t hurt anymore…”

Ji Mingzhu: “…”

Saying such contrasting words in such a calm tone made Ji Mingzhu burst into laughter.

“Pilot Ji Mingzhu.”

Before he could finish laughing, Zuo Quanzong’s voice came through the communication channel. “How’s your condition?”

Ji Mingzhu opened the communication channel. “Reporting, Red Guard Commander… I’m not dead yet.”

The young voice reached the command center, and it seemed there was no serious issue. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

Although most people in the command center didn’t know Ji Mingzhu, a few had heard of his name. They knew he was an outstanding student in this year’s mecha combat class. Moreover, he had the status of a transfer student recognized by the Red Guard Commander. This did not affect their respect for this young stranger.

His actions, from saving Wen Kang several times in critical situations to his outstanding maneuvers and his courage in facing the Aberrations, were enough to earn the admiration of the many commanders.

“Can you still continue to fight?”

Ji Mingzhu moved his arm. “Shouldn’t be a problem.”

“That’s good.”

Zuo Quanzong paused, took a deep breath, and said, “In that case, Ji Mingzhu, I now grant you the qualification to pilot Zhu Jiuyin.”

This statement not only stunned Ji Mingzhu but also everyone else in the command center.

“Red Guard Commander, is this…”

“Isn’t this too hasty? He’s just a student…”

“This is too dangerous.”

The doors of the command center opened from both sides, and Huo Zai walked in from outside. He also heard Zuo Quanzong’s words and his gaze flickered.

Facing numerous doubts, Zuo Quanzong remained calm. He looked at the fallen Titan on the screen. Without the obstruction of Zhu Jiuyin, the Aberrations were wreaking havoc in Shangjing City without restraint. Skyscrapers had turned into ruins in an instant. What was once a symbol of peace and prosperity in Shangjing City had now become a scene reminiscent of doomsday. “I have already decided. Ji Mingzhu, do you have any objections?”

The unexpected joy had come too suddenly for Ji Mingzhu. He had been interested in piloting a Titan, but he had thought it would take several months even if he followed Zuo Quanzong’s path closely. He didn’t expect progress to be so swift. He collected himself and replied calmly, “I have no objections.”

Huo Zai stepped forward and came to Zuo Quanzong’s side. “You’ve made your decision?”

“I have,” Zuo Quanzong replied. “This child… Zhu Jiuyin just acknowledged him.”

Huo Zai’s expression changed imperceptibly.

Zuo Quanzong turned his head and said to Ji Mingzhu, “Ji Mingzhu, on behalf of the ‘Bureau of Titan Combat and Wartime Command,’ I now grant you the title of Titan pilot.”

He paused for a moment and continued, “As for the award ceremony, it will be held after the battle is over. Right now, you have another important task.”

Ji Mingzhu reached for the door of the escape pod and asked, “What task?”

Zuo Quanzong looked at the screen showing Zhu Jiuyin. His gaze held a hint of sadness as he said slowly, “Pilot the Titan and… eliminate Pilot Chang Bei.”

Ji Mingzhu’s hand froze, and he stood still.

“Tian Ji has sent a message.”

Yu Heng glanced at the message and reported to Bai Weng, “They have already entered the shelter where Zongbingyi Academy is located, but they haven’t found You Jia.”

After hesitating for a moment, Yu Heng decided to be honest and said, “Tianshu isn’t here either.”

Bai Weng had a feeling that something was not right. “Tianshu hasn’t sent any messages yet. He never slips up at such a critical moment… could he have been captured by the personnel from the Calamity Control Bureau?”

“Tianji speculates that You Jia might not be in the shelter but rather on the battlefield with the Aberrations.”

Yu Heng opened the satellite feed and pointed to an inconspicuous red mecha in the corner. “This is a modified version of General Tang Fred. It’s registered under the Luyanta Group and currently belongs to You Jia. Judging from the operating habits and proficiency, it’s almost certainly You Jia.”

“As for the other General Tang Fred…”

Bai Weng’s expression became grim. “Are you suggesting that Tianshu hasn’t responded because he’s inside that mecha? Not on a mission, but on the battlefield with You Jia?”

Yu Heng appeared hesitant. She had been cooperating with Tianshu for a while, and she believed she understood him well. There was something off about this situation. “I don’t think… maybe Tianshu has some thoughts on this.”

“Let Tianji continue with their work. As for Tianshu…”

Bai Weng’s expression changed several times. After a while, he said, “After this is over, I’ll personally communicate with him.”

“Look!”

“Someone is coming out of the escape pod!”

In various shelters, among the people who were bowing their heads in mourning, someone noticed movement from the escape pod next to Zhu Jiuyin. They began to speak one after another.

They were quite curious at the moment. Who was this highly skilled pilot who had suddenly appeared? Was he a Titan pilot from the Calamity Control Bureau, or was he a hidden ace?

As the escape pod’s hatch opened, a slender figure appeared on the screen.

“This…”

“So young? Is this a child?”

“He was just piloting that General Tang Fred, right?”

“He’s too young…”

“Wait a minute, he’s heading towards the Titan!”

“Could it be…”

Ji Mingzhu pushed open the door of the escape pod. The pungent smell of gunpowder and the thick scent of blood hit him, and he couldn’t help covering his nose and mouth.

“Boom—”

“Rumble—”

Gigantic Aberrations were still rampaging in Shangjing City, and the battle between mechas and Aberrations had not yet ended. However, the human side was clearly at a disadvantage without Titan support. Advanced mechas were rapidly dwindling in the face of the Catastrophe-class Aberrations. Even S-class mechas seemed somewhat powerless.

The battle was intense, and Ji Mingzhu’s small figure appeared minuscule next to the Titan. None of the Aberrations had noticed this side yet.

“Click.”

Not far away, there was a slight sound coming from another escape pod, and then Wen Kang climbed out of it.

He was covered in blood, his left arm bent at a strange angle, seemingly broken. He held his left arm and limped forward for a few steps. When he saw Ji Mingzhu, he was momentarily stunned by the young figure.

Ji Mingzhu looked at him, and neither of them spoke.

After a while, Wen Kang tremblingly extended his hand, pulled a gun from behind his waist, and threw it to Ji Mingzhu.

Ji Mingzhu caught it.

“Go.”

Wen Kang’s lips tightened into a straight line.

Ji Mingzhu tightened his grip on the gun and walked forward.

The massive Titan Zhu Jiuyin lay on the ground. Ji Mingzhu could easily approach the cockpit near its chest without the need for any additional equipment. Standing in front of the Titan’s cockpit, Ji Mingzhu could faintly hear some movements coming from inside.

It sounded like a ferocious beast trapped in a cage, emitting a terrifying howl.

In the underground shelter, Tianji watched the screen with Ji Mingzhu and a hint of confusion flickered in his eyes.

Many others stood up excitedly. The young boy in the satellite feed was now standing in front of Zhu Jiuyin. Did this mean he had received approval from the Red Guard Commander to pilot the Titan?

In the midst of prevailing despair, hope was rekindled like a spark.

“Unlock the Titan’s cockpit.”

“Received. Unlocking the cockpit of the Titan, Zhu Jiuyin.”

“Titan Zhu Jiuyin’s data is normal, with damage below 5%, energy reserves at 64%, ready for normal combat.”

“Uploading the information of Titan pilot Ji Mingzhu… upload successful.”

“Pilot Ji Mingzhu.”

Zuo Quanzong said, “You can open the cockpit now. Please be careful.”

Ji Mingzhu took a deep breath and reached for the cockpit door. With a slight “click” sound, his entry request was approved by the system, and the cockpit door was slowly pulled open.

However, what greeted his eyes was not Chang Bei’s figure.

“Roar—”

A sharp and piercing howl belonging to an Aberration came from inside the cockpit. Then, Ji Mingzhu saw a small Aberration lying inside the cockpit. Compared to real Aberrations, its body was smaller and humanoid in shape, similar to a human in size. However, its head had burst open, and a blue, carnivorous plant-like creature emerged from the crack in its skull, taking the place of its head.

Four twisted arms had grown from its ribcage, and as it crouched in the cockpit, it suddenly looked like a humanoid spider with a carnivorous plant for a head. It exuded a strong odor of decay.

He had been corrupted.

Ji Mingzhu, looking at the Red Guard uniform worn by this creature, took a step back and fell silent.

Inside the command room, everyone’s faces were filled with sorrow, and they turned away, unwilling to witness this cruel scene.

“Pilot Ji Mingzhu, please proceed.”

Zuo Quanzong said softly, “Chang Bei, the Titan pilot, deserves a dignified exit.”

For a Titan pilot who carried the hopes and honor of humanity, being contaminated and turned into an ugly Aberration at the last moment of his life was undoubtedly the cruelest fate.

“Click.”

The bullet was chambered, and Ji Mingzhu raised the gun, aiming it at the Aberration in front of him.

The gunshot startled the Aberration in front of him. “Chang Bei” cautiously raised its grotesque, carnivorous plant-like head, then suddenly lunged at Ji Mingzhu!

“Be careful!”

Wen Kang roared loudly.

Ji Mingzhu instinctively pulled the trigger.

“Bang!”

The shot was fired hastily and didn’t hit Chang Bei.

But unexpectedly, “Chang Bei” did not launch an attack against Ji Mingzhu. Its movements were excessively agile. After dodging the bullet, it swiftly passed by Ji Mingzhu.

Without stopping, it moved past Ji Mingzhu and pounced toward a nearby Disaster-level Aberration. Its carnivorous plant-like head swung, targeting the creature’s legs and biting down fiercely!

Aberrations created from the contamination of humans were far smaller in size than genuine Aberrations. The Aberration that was attacked stood at sixteen meters tall, and it was biting down on a shattered mech. With a snap of its mandibles, the mecha disintegrated instantly, with scattered components, wires, and armor fragments flying all around.

The Disaster-level Aberration was immersed in the victory of its battle when it suddenly felt a pain in its leg. Lowering its head to investigate, it saw a small “comrade” tearing at its leg, wearing human clothing. It was puzzled for a moment, then erupted in anger amidst the pain.

“No…”

Ji Mingzhu was taken aback and tried to stop it, but it was already too late.

“Boom!”

The Disaster-level Aberration raised its thick hind leg and stomped down!

“Splurt—”

“Chang Bei” was flattened by the stomp, and a mixture of red and blue blood burst out in all directions, staining the surrounding ground. Even though he had been contaminated, he did not attack those around him.

Before the battle, Chang Bei had been confused and had questioned his purpose. He couldn’t see the future and didn’t know who he was fighting for.

But perhaps at this moment, he was clearer and more determined than anyone else.

The Aberration had crushed him like an ant. Then, it continued to move away from Shangjing City at a slow pace, leaving behind a bloody pit with the tattered Red Guard uniform lying quietly within it.

Everyone remained silent for a long time.

Ji Mingzhu took a deep breath and holstered his gun. He looked towards the pit, offering an imperfect salute.

“Clap.”

In the command room, Zuo Quanzong and all the commanders simultaneously saluted, their movements uniform.

—For the life that had passed, for everything worth protecting.

The tattered uniform, stained with blood, lay quietly in the pit, like a vivid flag, proclaiming the end of a great hero.

Ji Mingzhu took one last deep look at Chang Bei’s uniform, then turned around and entered the cockpit of Zhu Jiuyin.

The cockpit door slowly closed.

Calamity Control Bureau, underground shelters, various organizations on the brink of rebellion… countless pairs of eyes were watching this scene. They saw the young man entering the Titan, like a hero ascending to a mythical mountain, leaving the world with a serene silhouette.

A few seconds later.

“Hum, hum—”

The hum of the power core resonated heavily in the heavens and earth, like the strong heartbeat of a silent world. The crimson light ignited in the eyes, and the dim armor seemed to slowly regain its radiance, with the crimson lines flowing gently.

The three Disaster-level Aberrations that were wreaking havoc in the city, [Glass Swallow,] [Black Scales], and [Waterfall Prison], seemed to sense something. Their massive bodies paused for a moment, then turned around simultaneously, looking towards the city ruins behind them.

Amidst the rubble-strewn ground, a colossal steel giant slowly stood up, debris falling from its body. The setting sun cast its glow, and Zhu Jiuyin’s body shone brilliantly with crimson armor, like the sudden rise of dawn from the abyss. The crimson lines on his body outlined Zhu Jiuyin’s slender figure, and the Titan’s powerful force field ignited like sparks in a furnace, instantly spreading. He stood tall in the world.

He resembled a mythological demon god resurrected from the grave, reborn from destruction, blossoming amidst decay.

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Morianse
Morianse
2 months ago

Yoo, Lord Tian Shu? He had that much status in him?

Anyway. I hope MC’s action and the final fate of the previous Mecha pilot in full public view will somehow distrupt ‘faith’ to the immortals (cuz now then the common people had realized that till now, the immortal was never their savior, yet the sacrifice of their fellow human is.)

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