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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 49

  1. Helpless Red Guard Commander

“Tian Shu took You Jia away?”

Bai Weng’s expression instantly turned grim: “How dare he?”

Tian Ji stood in front of Bai Weng, nodding slightly, his expression inscrutable. His lower leg had been hit by a bullet, causing him to stand somewhat askew.

“Could there be some misunderstanding?”

Yu Heng frowned. “Tian Shu’s behavior has been normal so far, and he’s completed the tasks we assigned him perfectly. Moreover, he has successfully piloted a Titan…”

At least on the surface, Ji Mingzhu had perfectly fulfilled the tasks of the Netherworld. He had become a Titan pilot, and he was an important figure for both the Calamity Control Bureau and the Netherworld.

Bai Weng also felt that the whole situation was suspicious. He pondered on the spot for a moment. However, he soon received another unbelievable piece of news.

The guards of the Calamity Control Bureau had taken control of the Harold Group and had begun investigating the detailed flow of funds within the group. At the same time, they had issued an investigation order against Bai Weng, requiring him to report to the Calamity Control Bureau for questioning within forty-eight hours.

The Harold Group had stood tall in the Satellite Cities for so long, with its industries spread across various sectors. For many years, everything had been peaceful, and there had even been quite a few orders exchanged with the Calamity Control Bureau. Moreover, the capital city had already been devastated by the Aberrations. The post-war cleanup was enough to keep the Calamity Control Bureau busy. How could they suddenly have the time to investigate him now?

Bai Weng’s identity was well-hidden. As a core council member of the Netherworld and the covert controller behind the North Star Seven, there weren’t many who knew his true identity.

There was only one possibility.

“Alright, alright then…”

Bai Weng seethed with anger: “Does Tian Shu really think that he can topple me just because he has the Calamity Control Bureau behind him?”

Neither Tian Ji nor Yu Heng said a word. The air was thick with suffocating tension. Bai Weng’s fury almost seemed to materialize, but he quickly regained his composure.

“We don’t need the Harold Group’s industries anymore. Notify everyone, and transfer the key Netherworld locations that Tian Shu knows about as quickly as possible.” Bai Weng’s voice was cold: “I’ll report Tian Shu’s situation to the Core Council. Yu Heng, instruct the *Earth Womb and the Reincarnation Squads to halt their current tasks.”


*地藏 (Dìzàng) – Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva(Bodhisattva of Great Vows) a prominent figure in Chinese Buddhism. Kṣitigarbha is often depicted as a bodhisattva who is particularly concerned with relieving the suffering of beings in the underworld, such as the deceased and those in the realms of hell. (Earth Womb, Earth Treasury, or Earth Store Bodhisattva)

*l轮回 (lúnhuí) – Reincarnation(in Buddhism); Cycle

Yu Heng’s breath caught. She had already guessed what Bai Weng was going to say.

“Bring Tian Shu back,” Bai Weng squinted his eyes: “dead or alive.”

Around him, it seemed that a group of people were talking. The cacophony of voices and the continuous footsteps entered You Jia’s mind. Coupled with the humming of instruments, it made You Jia involuntarily furrow his brows. His eyelashes trembled lightly, and he slowly opened his eyes.

“… How’s the situation on the battlefield?”

“Report: most of the Aberrations have been eliminated. The remaining ones are fleeing in large numbers toward the outskirts of the city. There are still a few Aberrations left in the capital city. The Thunder Division and the Fire Division are cooperating to clean them up…”

“Zhu Rong’s solar rays have raised the temperature inside the city. It will take about three hours for it to return to normal. We’re already notifying the civilians in the shelters…”

“The Water Division is estimating the losses in the capital city. The conservative estimate is that more than 40% of the city’s buildings have been damaged. Post-disaster reconstruction will take some time…”

You Jia saw a large group of people bustling around him. Each person was busy with their own tasks, and no one noticed that he had awakened.

Listening to the conversations that reached his ears, You Jia speculated that he should be inside the Calamity Control Bureau. Judging by their conversation, it seemed that the Aberrations had already retreated. Did that mean they had won the battle?

Two individuals in white lab coats, who appeared to be medical personnel, approached from a short distance.

“The Titan has been retrieved. The pilot, Ji Mingzhu, was indeed a bit impulsive this time. I imagine the Red Guard Commander is not too pleased…”

“I’ll deliver Ji Mingzhu’s medical examination report first. I suspect that the Calamity Control Bureau won’t have a quiet time in the near future.”

“At least we’re still alive, right? Shangjing City is still standing, and there’s hope for everything.”

“Yes…”

The two people exchanged quiet words as they walked past You Jia. They subconsciously glanced at him and noticed that You Jia’s eyes were already open.

“You’re awake?” one of the staff members exclaimed in surprise. “When did you wake up?”

“Just now,” You Jia replied, and even he was startled by his own words. His voice sounded hoarse, like he had swallowed a mouthful of sand.

“In that case, you should rest for a bit. I’ll go inform the guards.”

“Wait…” You Jia stopped them. “How’s Ji Mingzhu?”

While piloting General Tang Fred he had been attacked by an unknown group and didn’t know what kind of special electromagnetic weapon they had used. It had caused the Titan’s power core to shut down directly, and he had been knocked unconscious by the shockwave. When he woke up, he found himself in the Calamity Control Bureau.

Hearing these two mention Ji Mingzhu, You Jia couldn’t care less about anything else and immediately inquired about Ji Mingzhu’s condition.

“You mean Ji Mingzhu, the Titan pilot?” one of the staff members said. “He’s doing fine now, undergoing a physical examination over in the Pestilence Division… But you should be thankful to him. If he hadn’t arrived in time, you might have been taken away by the Netherworld.”

“We’ve already notified the Lu Yan Tower Group. Your mother, Lady Rong Ci, is on her way. You can rest here for a while…”

You Jia quickly got up. “No need, I can go by myself… Where’s Ji Mingzhu? I want to find him.”

The Calamity Control Bureau had already entered a state of full martial law. There were a large number of guards at various key locations, and every person coming and going had to undergo strict inspections to prevent any openings for other organizations.

When You Jia arrived at the Pestilence Division, he was subjected to a thorough examination from head to toe. Although he wasn’t part of the Calamity Control Bureau, the guards at the entrance clearly recognized him and knew he was a friend of Ji Mingzhu. They didn’t give him too much trouble and only checked to ensure he wasn’t carrying any dangerous items before letting him in.

The room in the Pestilence Division had a cold metal floor, and the lights on the corridor ceiling flickered with a faint blue light. The air was filled with the scent of disinfectant and various chemical compounds, creating a mysterious and eerie atmosphere that set the Pestilence Division apart from the other Divisions.

Guided by a staff member, You Jia entered a medical room and saw Ji Mingzhu.

In addition to Ji Mingzhu, there were several other people in the medical room, including Zuo Quanzong and an unfamiliar girl with red streaks in her hair. The girl was dressed in colorful, hole-riddled clothing and jeans. A group of medical personnel were gathered around Ji Mingzhu, fiddling with a pile of equipment.

One of the medical personnel took out a blood draw needle and carefully approached Ji Mingzhu’s arm. The movement was gentle, but Ji Mingzhu still couldn’t help but grimace.

“Red Guard Commander, I really am fine.”

Ji Mingzhu had an exasperated expression. “Look, I can run and jump. If you want, I can even demonstrate by piloting the Titan for you.”

“Don’t move recklessly.”

Zuo Quanzong, who was in his middle age, exuded an aura of authority and didn’t display anger. He spoke in a tone that was neither too harsh nor too soft. The medical personnel around him didn’t even dare to breathe heavily. Ji Mingzhu retracted his head, refraining from arguing any further, and turned his head with a somewhat dissatisfied expression.

“Do you know how dangerous that situation was?” Zuo Quanzong furrowed his brow. “Even if you want to rescue someone, you should inform us in advance. With so many guards in the Calamity Control Bureau, does it fall to a kid like you, who hasn’t even grown all his hair yet, to take such risks?”

“I…”

Ji Mingzhu opened his mouth, seemingly wanting to defend himself with a few words, but when he met Zuo Quanzong’s gaze, he held back and turned his head, appearing somewhat resentful as he said, “I got it.”

Zuo Quanzong sighed as he looked at Ji Mingzhu’s expression. After all, he was a young man, impulsive by nature.

Fortunately, nothing happened. Both You Jia and Ji Mingzhu returned safely, but to prevent Ji Mingzhu from making impulsive actions again, Zuo Quanzong had to reprimand him.

Ji Mingzhu also breathed a sigh of relief. He knew that his solo mission to find Tian Ji would be difficult to explain. No matter what excuse he used, it would have holes in it. So he pushed it off as “the impulsive behavior of a young person.” Given his age, it was reasonable for him to rush to help a friend in trouble as soon as he heard about it, at least in Zuo Quanzong’s eyes.

Luckily, Zuo Quanzong didn’t become suspicious, so the matter was barely resolved.

Ji Mingzhu sighed in relief and looked up to see You Jia standing at the door. He raised an eyebrow and said, “You Jia, you’re awake?”

“Mmh.”

You Jia entered the medical room, respectfully saluted Red Guard Commander, and then said seriously to Ji Mingzhu, “Mingzhu, I…”

“No need to say thank you,” Ji Mingzhu waved his hand. “I didn’t do it specifically to save you. The main reason was that I was piloting the Titan up there, and the Netherworld snatched someone right under my nose. I couldn’t swallow that anger, you know?”

You Jia, looking at Ji Mingzhu’s appearance, felt deeply moved. He nodded gently, keeping this debt of gratitude in his heart.

“Phew.”

Li Li, chewing bubble gum, sat half-sprawled on a nearby piece of equipment, swinging her legs loosely. The sound of bubbles bursting from her gum caught everyone’s attention. She shrugged off their stares. “What are you all looking at? Just talk amongst yourselves.”

Zuo Quanzong: “…”

Strictly speaking, Li Li still had the charge of unauthorized piloting of the Titan hanging over her head. The right place for her right now should be the detention cell. However, this rebellious-looking Titan pilot showed no self-awareness. After she disembarked from Zhu Rong, she wandered around the Calamity Control Bureau as if it were her playground. Zuo Quanzong knew that Li Li was a well-known troublemaker among the Titan pilots in Yangyuan City. Although he was the Red Guard Commander, she wasn’t under his jurisdiction, so he didn’t feel comfortable reprimanding her.

One difficult case after another.

Zuo Quanzong felt helpless. He turned to You Jia and asked, “Did you get a clear look at the members of the Netherworld who attacked you?”

You Jia shook his head.

This answer was within Zuo Quanzong’s expectations. The Netherworld was always cautious in its actions, so he wasn’t too disappointed. “I initially wanted to send you to the hospital, but the nearby hospitals have collapsed during the battle, and medical personnel are in short supply. For safety’s sake, I had to arrange for you to stay in the Calamity Control Bureau for now. But Lady Rong Ci will arrive soon. If you’re feeling better, you can go back. In the meantime, I’ll send personnel from the Fire Division to protect you.”

You Jia nodded in thanks. “Thank you, Red Guard Commander.”

Suddenly, Li Li stepped forward and scrutinized Ji Mingzhu closely.

Her eyes were large, surrounded by extensive blue eye shadow. Just by appearance, it was hard to imagine that such a rebellious and punk-looking girl had piloted a Titan to sweep through almost half of the Aberration Tide just a few hours ago. She looked Ji Mingzhu up and down. “Is this the new Titan pilot of Yangyuan City… with those skinny arms and legs, you look quite weak.”

Ji Mingzhu’s lips twitched slightly as he retorted, “You’re not much better. Wasn’t it you who played that rock music when Zhu Rong came out?”

Li Li proudly nodded.

“Very tacky.”

“Huh?”

Li Li couldn’t believe her ears. She stared at Ji Mingzhu with wide eyes. “Do you have no taste? That’s the new single by the Red Hearts A Band from two years ago, hailed as the anthem of the new era of rock music. It’s super cool, you know?”

Ji Mingzhu sneered, “It’s terrible.”

Li Li chuckled, “Are you looking for trouble? Come on, let’s pilot our mechas and settle it. If you lose, you’ll have to listen to it on a loop for twenty-four hours. How about that?”

“Alright.” Ji Mingzhu agreed, “But if you lose, you’ll have to listen to classical piano music from now on. Deal?”

“Ha, you think I’m afraid of you? Come on.”

“Let’s go.”

The two were on the verge of a direct duel, and Zuo Quanzong pressed his brow. “Enough of this. Sit down, both of you.”

Under the stern warning of the Red Guard Commander, the two calmed down a bit, but the atmosphere remained tense, and they still seemed ready to fight each other.

“Red Guard Commander, the test results are out.”

A staff member entered from outside, holding a report from the blood test that had just been conducted. He didn’t notice the atmosphere in the room and sounded anxious.

Zuo Quanzong immediately asked, “How is it? Is the degree of contamination high?”

“No…” The staff member glanced at Ji Mingzhu, his eyes filled with disbelief. “…quite the opposite. The level of contamination is very low, so low that it can’t be detected. It’s estimated to be below 5%.”

“What?!”

Both Zuo Quanzong and Li Li exclaimed in disbelief, speaking in unison.

Only Ji Mingzhu was puzzled. “What does that mean? What’s this contamination level?”

“I’ll explain later,” Zuo Quanzong said, taking a deep breath. “After you came down from Zhu Jiuyin, did you experience any discomfort? Like strange voices whispering in your mind, increased heart rate, or rapid breathing?”

Ji Mingzhu was about to shake his head, but something struck him. He instinctively felt that there was something wrong with Zuo Quanzong’s behavior. So, he said, “Well, there is something, but it’s not very obvious. I thought it was because of the high-intensity mecha piloting, so I didn’t pay much attention… Red Guard Commander, what is contamination level?”

“Similar to the contamination of the Aberrations’ blood, piloting a Titan can also cause varying degrees of contamination to the pilot.”

Zuo Quanzong explained, “To resist this contamination, every Titan pilot takes preventive measures before piloting a Titan to reduce the impact of Titan’s contamination. After the battle, they also have to purify the contamination in their blood through ‘Purified Water.’ But Titan’s contamination is different from the Aberrations’ blood contamination. Its effects, even the ‘Purified Water’ of Sky City, can’t completely eradicate it. Once it reaches a critical point, Titan pilots can no longer pilot a Titan. If they forcefully initiate it, they will end up like Titan pilot Chang Bei …”

Mentioning Chang Bei, the atmosphere in the room suddenly became silent.

“The Aberrations tide, is it the doing of Feibo?” Li Li spoke indifferently, “I remember Chang Bei’s death. If I find the person behind Feibo, I’ll definitely kill them.”

The door suddenly swung open, and Huo Zai walked in from outside.

Hearing Li Li’s words, his expression remained unchanged, as if Li Li’s words had nothing to do with him. He naturally said, “Lady Rong Ci has arrived.”

You Jia, who had just snapped out of his shock at the news of Titan pilots getting contaminated, was not foolish. He knew that the Red Guard Commander hadn’t deliberately avoided him because of Ji Mingzhu, but some of the content wasn’t meant for him. He got up and said, “Well then, Red Guard Commander, I’ll head back.”

“Sure.”

Ji Mingzhu hopped down from the examination device and walked over to You Jia. “I’m hungry too, so I might as well come to your place for a meal.”

You Jia smiled, “Of course, no problem.”

Staying in the Calamity Control Bureau, especially sharing a room with Huo Zai, made Ji Mingzhu feel uncomfortable all over. He did consider exposing Huo Zai’s identity directly, but unfortunately, he also had some leverage held by Huo Zai. If Huo Zai turned the tables on him and revealed his secrets, Ji Mingzhu would be finished.

He had instructed Axiu to send an anonymous list to the Calamity Control Bureau, which included Bai Weng’s identity, information about the industries under his name that Axiu had investigated, information about some secret locations in the Netherworld obtained from Tian Quan, and even a list of internal spies within the Calamity Control Bureau… Ji Mingzhu estimated that after receiving this list, the Calamity Control Bureau would take action. This should keep the Netherworld quite busy for a while, and they wouldn’t have the time to cause him trouble.

On the other hand, there were many things to deal with in the Calamity Control Bureau. The recent attack by the Aberrations had caused significant losses to the capital city. Reckoning was inevitable. Ji Mingzhu felt that he wouldn’t have any more problems to deal with in the future, so he planned to leave with You Jia and meet the legendary Lady Rong Ci.

However, he had just taken a step when he was forcibly dragged back by Zuo Quanzong. “Where do you think you’re going?”

“I’m going back with You Jia,” Ji Mingzhu said matter-of-factly. “The tests are done, and Zongbingyi Academy is going to have an exam soon. I need to go back and prepare…”

Zuo Quanzong was somewhat helpless. He wondered why this kid had seemed quite obedient when he saw him at Zongbingyi before. Now, he was causing so much worry. “What exam? Have you forgotten your current identity? From now on, you must stay in the Calamity Control Bureau. You’re not allowed to go anywhere. Do you understand, Ji Mingzhu, Titan pilot?”

Ji Mingzhu: “…”

Li Li watched Ji Mingzhu being scolded by Zuo Quanzong, being lectured like a naughty child, and couldn’t help but find it amusing. His expression was one of schadenfreude.

“And you,” Zuo Quanzong turned his attention to Li Li. “You haven’t finished dealing with the trouble you brought yet. Who let you run around everywhere? Do you know how serious it is to activate a Titan without authorization? Go to the confinement room!”

Li Li: “…Okay.”

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Morianse
Morianse
2 months ago

Knew it, MC wasn’t fully human either

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