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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 57

  1. Meeting

“If I get caught by the Netherworld Organization, you won’t benefit from it either.”

Ji Mingzhu looked at Huo Zai quietly and said, “I’ll expose you as well.”

Huo Zai sneered, “Are you threatening me?”

“Consider it as such.”

Huo Zai wished Ji Mingzhu would die sooner.

Although both of them were deep undercover within the Netherworld Organization, their goals were not aligned. In fact, Ji Mingzhu’s existence was a significant threat to Huo Zai. As long as he served the Netherworld Organization, the number of Aberrations dying at Ji Mingzhu’s hands wouldn’t decrease.

“There’s no need for such hostility.”

Ji Mingzhu began to persuade, “Firstly, you know my identity, and I know yours. We maintain a delicate balance within the Netherworld Organization. It’s in everyone’s best interest to keep things peaceful. But now, I’m facing a situation. If you don’t help me, and I get caught, for self-preservation, I will certainly expose you as well. In that case, only the Netherworld Organization wins. I assume you wouldn’t want to see that, right?”

Huo Zai fell silent.

“Let’s look at it from a different perspective.”

Ji Mingzhu continued, “If you help me, even if it’s just lending a favor, and considering you’re the deputy minister of the Thunder Division, you don’t have the authority to command Titans, do you? As a Titan pilot, how can you be sure there won’t be situations where you might need my assistance in the future? What if, after I’m captured, the Netherworld Organization replaces me with a completely loyal new Titan pilot? Is that the scenario you’d like to see?”

“…”

It made perfect sense, and Huo Zai couldn’t find a counterargument.

Huo Zai’s expression changed, and Ji Mingzhu didn’t rush him but sat down in front of him, waiting for Huo Zai’s response.

While the Feibo Organization appeared to most people as an irrational bunch of madmen, Ji Mingzhu’s limited experiences with them did confirm this perception. They seemed like fanatical believers, and compared to the well-organized and tightly structured Netherworld Organization, Feibo posed little threat to Calamity Control Bureau based solely on their organizational strength. Without the ability to control different species, their personnel alone couldn’t pose much of a threat to the Red Guard.

However, Huo Zai was an exception. Ji Mingzhu still hadn’t figured out whether Huo Zai was a half-human, half-aberration, a contaminated human, or a species capable of transforming into a human. But it was certain that Huo Zai wasn’t irrational. On the contrary, he was very cautious, with deep scheming. For someone like him, the decision-making process to maximize gains would be clear without Ji Mingzhu having to explain; Huo Zai would understand.

After a moment, Huo Zai stood up slowly and casually threw a card on the table. Seemingly nonchalant, he said, “I’ll get a glass of water.”

After a pause, Huo Zai added, “Pilot Ji Mingzhu, there are many important documents in the office’s computer. Guard the office for me and don’t let suspicious individuals enter.”

With that, Huo Zai picked up the now-empty glass on the table and left.

Watching Huo Zai’s departing figure, Ji Mingzhu couldn’t help but roll his eyes secretly.

If you agree, just agree. Why the act?

Quite the tsundere.

As soon as the door closed, Ji Mingzhu acted quickly, taking a seat on the opposite chair. The computer screen in front of him displayed a densely packed array of files and data codes, dazzling to the eyes.

“Axiu, get to work.”

“Roger.”

Axiu cracked his knuckles, swiftly infiltrating the office computer through Huo Zai’s light brain. The screen in front began to flicker as lines of data codes raced by at a speed almost imperceptible to the naked eye. Soon, bypassing the firewall, Axiu entered the core database of the Command Center.

[Access requires permission.]

A red pop-up warning appeared in front of them. Ji Mingzhu looked at the card thrown casually on the table by Huo Zai, picked it up, and inserted it into the computer’s slot.

[Checking permissions… Check successful.] [Welcome, Deputy Minister Huo Zai.]

The red warning disappeared, and with Huo Zai’s permissions, Axiu effortlessly entered the core database of the Command Center. No alarms were triggered.

A vast amount of data unfolded on the computer, and in the massive data stream, finding a specific piece of information was akin to finding a needle in a haystack. However, for Axiu, a powerful artificial intelligence, this was no issue at all.

“Found it.”

Axiu quickly located the records of the abnormal data flow from the underground backup database room and began to make modifications.

In doing so, even if Jin Qing were to review this record, it would be challenging to detect that this anomalous data stream was the work of artificial intelligence. The probability of Axiu being exposed would significantly decrease.

After sorting out everything, Ji Mingzhu let out a sigh of relief.

However, it wasn’t over yet.

Although the assassination attempt by the four members of the Netherworld Organization had failed, allowing Axiu to utilize the computational power of the Thunder Bureau to upgrade and activate the Asura Mode for a successful counterattack, it also sent a dangerous signal to Ji Mingzhu.

That signal was clear – Bai Weng, or rather, the Netherworld Organization behind Bai Weng, was now prepared to openly confront Ji Mingzhu.

They didn’t intend to achieve Titan control through Ji Mingzhu, or perhaps the Netherworld Organization considered Ji Mingzhu, an unstable factor, more threatening. In any case, the current Netherworld Organization had revealed murderous intent, and Ji Mingzhu’s situation remained far from optimistic.

As a world champion and the team commander, Ji Mingzhu’s tactical acumen and strategic thinking were beyond doubt. He never relied on luck, even though he still appeared to be a precious Titan pilot in the eyes of Zuo Quanzong, a rising star of hope. Ji Mingzhu had to prepare for the worst.

Axiu was one of Ji Mingzhu’s hidden cards. Hiding Axiu’s existence, avoiding Jin Qing and the attention of the Sky City, was just the first step. The next step was to prepare another escape route for himself.

With this in mind, Ji Mingzhu stood up, instructed Axiu to erase Huo Zai’s access records, then pushed open the office door. He glanced at Huo Zai, who was holding a water cup, from a distance.

Huo Zai raised an eyebrow in surprise.

So fast?

Even for top-tier hackers, it was challenging to retrieve and modify database records in such a short time, especially with the permissions already in hand. There was a hint of inquiry in Huo Zai’s eyes. It seemed that this young man still had many secrets.

Ji Mingzhu politely smiled at Huo Zai, made a subtle gesture, and then left the office area without looking back.

“Send a message to Tian Quan.”

Ji Mingzhu told Axiu, “Ask him to come find me.”

“Now?”

Zuo Quanzong looked at Ji Mingzhu in the holographic display. His busy hands paused for a moment, showing a disapproving expression. “No, your injuries are not fully healed yet. Moreover, after the dangerous assassination just now, we don’t know if the Netherworld Organization will take further action. You want to go out? Impossible.”

“I’m almost healed.”

Ji Mingzhu’s expression was extremely docile, even carrying a hint of coquetry as if pleading to an elder. “Mainly, I haven’t seen You Jia for several days. It’s boring here. I’ll go have a meal with him. I’ll be back soon.”

Zuo Quanzong decisively refused, “No.”

“Lady Rong Ci will also come, and you know about the security of the Lu Yan Tower Group. If necessary, I can have Zhang Shunsheng and other guards accompany me. I’ll just go for a while, and I’ll be back before tonight.”

Ji Mingzhu smiled, showing an appeasing expression. “I’m begging you, the most kind, most handsome, most considerate, and most understanding Red Commander~”

Zuo Quanzong: “…”

Under Ji Mingzhu’s persistent efforts, Zuo Quanzong’s attitude began to soften. Upon careful consideration, Ji Mingzhu was, after all, an eighteen-year-old kid who had been in the oppressive environment of the Calamity Control Bureau for many days. It was understandable that he wanted to meet his friends. Moreover, with the presence of Lady Rong Ci, there was security assurance, and sending a secret security detail wouldn’t pose any danger.

Ji Mingzhu turned on the charm, adopting an incredibly obedient attitude, and bombarded Zuo Quanzong with affectionate gestures.

While Zuo Quanzong found Ji Mingzhu’s previous behavior somewhat unserious, overall, he considered him quite sensible and reliable. In Zuo Quanzong’s mind, Ji Mingzhu was not just a subordinate but more of a student in a mentor-student relationship. Under Ji Mingzhu’s persistent efforts, Zuo Quanzong finally sighed and reluctantly agreed.

Mission accomplished.

Seeing Zuo Quanzong nod, Ji Mingzhu felt a surge of joy. He turned off the holographic projection of the communication and suddenly, a face appeared in front of him.

Li Li frowned, looking at Ji Mingzhu’s expression as if he had seen something dirty. “Were you just acting cute? So disgusting.”

Ji Mingzhu retorted, “It’s none of your business.”

Li Li mimicked Ji Mingzhu’s expression and tone dramatically, loudly saying, “Come on~ Handsome, understanding Red Guard Commander~ Please~”

Ji Mingzhu rolled his eyes. When he said it himself, he thought it was okay, but after Li Li’s dramatic interpretation, it did feel a bit awkward.

Li Li, seeing Ji Mingzhu’s displeased face, chuckled to himself and asked, “Are you going out?”

Ji Mingzhu replied, “What’s it to you?”

Li Li exaggeratedly imitated Ji Mingzhu’s tone and expression. “Oh, come on! The handsome and considerate Red Guard Commander promised me to have a simulated battle for three hundred rounds. Pretty please!”

It seemed like there was such an agreement, but with the disturbance caused by the four assassins, Ji Mingzhu had already pushed it to the back of his mind.

Waving his hand, he said, “Next time. Let’s talk about it next time. Look, I still have injuries. Even if you win, it wouldn’t be fair. Let me recover, and we can talk about it later.”

With that, ignoring Li Li’s disgruntled expression, he left the room.

After changing his dressing in the medical room, Ji Mingzhu took off the patient gown and put on his own clothes, meeting up with Tian Quan.

Tian Quan looked at Ji Mingzhu’s somewhat pale complexion and asked with concern, “How’s your injury?”

“I won’t die.”

As Ji Mingzhu buttoned up his clothes, he said, “Let’s go, it’s time to depart.”

Seeing Ji Mingzhu’s determined attitude, Tian Quan refrained from further persuasion. People like Ji Mingzhu might seem carefree, but internally, they were exceptionally strong-willed. Once they made a decision, it wouldn’t easily change. In fact, Tian Quan also admired Ji Mingzhu. If it were him in such a dangerous situation, surrounded by various factions like the Ministry of Change, Calamity Control Bureau, and others, he might not handle it as well as Ji Mingzhu.

It was truly walking on a tightrope, and any slight mistake could lead to a fatal outcome, whether it be from the Ministry of Change, Calamity Control Bureau, or the Flying Bolide. Any of these forces was capable of putting Ji Mingzhu in an unrecoverable situation.

On the way, Tian Quan asked Ji Mingzhu in a hushed voice, “I haven’t asked you yet, how did you deal with those four assassins from the Ministry of Change?”

Ji Mingzhu’s expression remained calm. “It’s a new feature of Axiu.”

“Axiu is that amazing?” Tian Quan exclaimed, “I examined the injuries of those assassins… Instantly fatal. It’s something only top-tier martial artists can achieve. I didn’t see you use it before… Is it related to the abnormal data flow that hijacked the Calamity Control Bureau’s computational power in the underground data room?”

Tian Quan’s intuition was indeed sharp. Ji Mingzhu nodded gently. “I’ll explain it to you later.”

Tian Quan was a reliable teammate, and there were many things Ji Mingzhu didn’t intend to hide from him. In this isolated and unfamiliar world, Tian Quan’s presence made Ji Mingzhu feel that he wasn’t fighting alone. Although Tian Quan’s position in Ji Mingzhu’s heart was not as high as Axiu’s, Ji Mingzhu had already considered Tian Quan as one of “his people.”

Under the escort of several guards, Ji Mingzhu, with the permission of the Red Guard Commander, quietly slipped out of the Calamity Control Bureau and arrived at the front of a luxurious ancient-style building in the city.

The building had a double-tower structure with three sky bridges connecting them. It featured multi-layered pavilion-style roofs, adorned with numerous carvings of flowers, grass, dragons, and more. The building, complemented by dazzling red lanterns composed of brilliant crystal tiles and laser lights, looked magnificent and atmospheric. The combination of modern technology and ancient charm created a grand and luxurious ambiance.

[Gemini Capital View Towers].

This was the top-notch luxury hotel in the city. Before the advent of the calamity, it was a gathering place for celebrities from all walks of life. Jointly held by several Groups, it offered a wide variety of gourmet foods and entertainment facilities, making it the “heaven on earth” in the eyes of most common people in the city.

Although the Gemini Capital View Towers suffered some damage from the calamity, it was quickly rebuilt with the backing of several financial consortia in just a few days.

Not long after the catastrophe, the atmosphere here seemed to have completely escaped the shadow of the disaster. The grand lights made the Gemini Capital View Towers look like a dazzling gem in the city, shining brightly. People coming and going at the entrance were all upper-class celebrities dressed in exquisite formal wear, holding crystal glasses, laughing and chatting. Everything seemed no different from before the disaster.

Not far from the Gemini Capital View Towers, collapsed houses and ruins were still in the process of being rebuilt. In a short distance of a few dozen meters, it felt like a barrier separating two worlds. On one side was the splendid and opulent taste of wealth and power, and on the other side were the dilapidated ruins where homeless civilians hid in makeshift tin houses. Two worlds coexisted abruptly.

For some, the catastrophe was indeed a disaster. But for those at the pinnacle of the pyramid, it was nothing more than a speck of dust on their glorious lives.

Ji Mingzhu withdrew his gaze, pressed down the brim of his hat, and walked into the dazzling Gemini Capital View Towers.

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