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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 65

  1. Negotiation

The medical staff recovered from their shock, stuttering, “You… Are you telling the truth? This is not something to joke about…”

“Whether it’s true or not, bring him in for questioning, and we’ll find out,” Ji Mingzhu confidently insisted, provoking the medical staff to start doubting Minister Huo. They hastily said, “We’ll report this immediately,” and hurriedly left.

Ji Mingzhu lay on the sofa, continuing to watch TV.

As for whether the Thunder Division could catch Huo Zai, he didn’t have much hope. Since Huo Zai reported him, there must be some backing behind him, or he wouldn’t be so foolish to choose a mutual destruction strategy. However, it didn’t stop Ji Mingzhu from revealing his identity.

Ji Mingzhu didn’t pin his hopes on whether Huo Zai would be tight-lipped. He had prepared for the worst long before, but he didn’t expect this anticipated bad situation to happen so soon, leaving him a bit caught off guard.

Now that he was confined here, he couldn’t go anywhere or contact the outside world. He could only hope that Yao Guang’s side would act quickly.

“It’s done!”

Yao Guang wiped the sweat off his forehead, crawled out of the cockpit of the Phoenix Redeemer, stood in front of the light brain, input a program, and readjusted the KSC system. When he saw the words “Access Successful” displayed on the screen, he sighed in relief.

“How was it, Brother Xiu? My technical skills are still okay, right?”

Axiu: “… Just call me Axiu, no need to add ‘Brother.’ From a human perspective, your talent in the data field is already quite astonishing.”

“Master comes first, master comes first.” Yao Guang chuckled, with a tuft of silver-white hair swaying on his head. “But I tried installing that S-level power core, and it feels a bit sluggish in operation. Is there an issue somewhere?”

“The arm UI74 armor circuit has a problem, and the BR-Vent system circuit around the power core isn’t connected. Adjust these two areas, and everything should be fine.”

Axiu’s voice sounded in front of the light brain. Yao Guang tried to follow its instructions and readjusted the components. Indeed, the power core smoothly connected to various systems this time.

Yao Guang couldn’t help but marvel: Is this the power of artificial intelligence?

Connecting an S-level power core to an S-level mech involves extremely complex programming. Otherwise, the Calamity Control Bureau wouldn’t have entrusted the task to the Lu Yan Tower Group for debugging. Yao Guang, on his own, would never have managed it. However, for Axiu, this task, which typically requires a team of engineers working day and night for at least a week, could be completed in less than half an hour.

Yao Guang asked, “Are we ready to set out and rescue Tian Shu now?”

Even though he knew Ji Mingzhu was not the Tian Shu he knew, it didn’t stop Yao Guang from calling him that out of habit.

During today’s commendation ceremony, Yao Guang had been paying close attention. When he didn’t see Ji Mingzhu appear at the ceremony, he understood that something must have happened to him. Fortunately, Ji Mingzhu had considered this possibility when he arrived, and Yao Guang didn’t panic. Instead, he diligently followed Ji Mingzhu’s instructions and completed the installation of the KSC system and power core.

“Not yet.”

Axiu said, “We need to wait until the defense forces of the Calamity Control Bureau are relatively weak before we set out. We have limited conditions to work with, and we must ensure that everything is foolproof.”

“Axiu, you really resemble Tian Shu.”

Yao Guang said, “No matter what happens, both of you always remain so calm…”

Axiu said, “Maintaining a calm mind in various situations can prevent making wrong decisions due to negative emotions.”

In the eyes of others, Ji Mingzhu always appeared reliable. Whether it was choosing to cooperate with Tian Quan to save Yao Guang, facing the threats from Huo Zai and the Netherworld Organization, or being surrounded by a pack of wolves, Ji Mingzhu never showed a moment of panic. He seemed like a competent decision-maker and commander, capable of thinking of solutions in the fastest time even in the face of chaotic situations.

But as an AI who spent time with Ji Mingzhu, Axiu knew that Ji Mingzhu wasn’t as invincible as others perceived. He had been lost, panicked, and had many moments of confusion. These less imposing aspects were only witnessed by Axiu.

“If only I could be like you,” Yao Guang sighed. “But I can’t. It’s been two days since I heard from Tian Quan, and I’m worried that something might have happened to him.”

“Is he important to you?” Axiu asked.

“Mmh,” Yao Guang nodded. “Because in this world, Tian Quan and I are the only ones who can rely on each other. If something happens to Tian Quan, I’ll truly be alone. Axiu, as an artificial intelligence, can you understand this kind of emotion?”

“I didn’t understand it before,” Axiu said. “But now, I think I can understand it to some extent.”

“Like how you feel about Mingzhu?”

“Yes, humans like to give meaning to their lives, even though it’s elusive and ethereal. But often, this sense of meaning can unleash incredible power in life,” Axiu said. “If I lose him, then for me, my life will lose its meaning.”

Yao Guang pondered.

The next moment, the door to the room was pushed open, and Yao Guang immediately stood up.

“Tian…”

Yao Guang called out, and when he saw the person, the word “Quan” that was about to be uttered was swallowed back, “… Ji?”

Tian Ji: “Hmm.”

“Why is it you again?” Yao Guang sat back in disappointment. “Where’s Tian Quan?”

Tian Ji remained silent. Whether it was Yao Guang’s imagination or not, he seemed to see Tian Ji sighing gently. There was a hint of regret and pity in his eyes, causing Yao Guang’s heart to tremble involuntarily.

“Tian Quan, he…”

Yao Guang seemed to sense something. He quickly turned around, adopting a busy demeanor. “It seems like there are some details in the KSC system that haven’t been calibrated. Let me check… Axiu, can you help me inspect the secondary system connection of the Phoenix Redeemer? I forgot to link them up. I’m so clumsy; I can forget about such things. Haha…”

He operated on the light computer, his words becoming incoherent. Even Yao Guang himself didn’t know what he was saying, but he continued to busily work, as if doing so could drown out the answers he didn’t want to hear.

Tian Ji looked at Yao Guang, shaking his head.

“Tian Quan is dead.”

His voice was soft, easily masked by the hum of the mainframe.

But Yao Guang still heard it.

His movements paused imperceptibly, facing the shimmering blue light emitted by the screen. The radiance in his eyes seemed to extinguish in an instant.

“Red Guard Commander!”

“Your Excellency Red Guard Commander!”

The guards stationed at the door saluted the incoming person simultaneously.

Zuo Quanzong responded with a grunt. He seemed in a bad mood, with a thick gloom lingering between his brows.

Without uttering another word, he directly pushed open the door to the Titan pilot’s lounge and spotted Ji Mingzhu playing a game on the sofa in the hall.

With a series of dazzling combos, the screen lit up with the word “Victory.”

Defeating the highest difficulty simulated AI effortlessly, Ji Mingzhu stretched lazily, caught a glimpse of Red Guard Commander at the door, and greeted him with a casual wave, “Red Guard Commander, you’re here.”

“…”

Whether Ji Mingzhu had resigned himself or was just carefree, there was no trace of despair in his expression. He even seemed in the mood for gaming.

Zuo Quanzong sighed inwardly, closed the door casually, and said, “The investigation results from the Fire Division are out.”

“So fast?” Ji Mingzhu raised his eyebrows in surprise.

“Do you have anything else to say?”

Ji Mingzhu pondered for a moment. “If I told you that I’ve already severed ties with the Netherworld Organization, Red Guard Commander, would you believe me?”

Zuo Quanzong naturally believed him.

All signs indicated that the relationship between Ji Mingzhu and the Netherworld Organization was far from ordinary. If Ji Mingzhu were still working for the Netherworld Organization, his records wouldn’t have such a significant loophole. At least, the Fire Division couldn’t have uncovered it so quickly. During the investigation by the Fire Division, there was no interference from the Netherworld Organization. They even left the evidence in a rather conspicuous place, as if telling the Calamity Control Bureau, “Hurry up and arrest Ji Mingzhu for execution.”

Zuo Quanzong asked, “The list we received initially, detailing the Netherworld Organization’s various bases and moles…”

Ji Mingzhu nodded in acknowledgment. “I sent it.”

Zuo Quanzong frowned. “Why?”

“I don’t want to be under the control of the Netherworld Organization anymore,” Ji Mingzhu explained. “Comparatively, working for the Calamity Control Bureau is decent, promising, and has prospects. Plus, there are positions available. Isn’t that much easier? Originally, I planned to stay with the Netherworld Organization a bit longer. Once I collected enough secrets about them, I would present them as my credentials to join you. Unfortunately, plans couldn’t keep up with changes.”

“Is it because of the incident with You Jia?”

Having held a high position for many years, Red Guard Commander’s intuition was naturally keen. Ji Mingzhu nodded and admitted openly, “Yes. The Netherworld Organization wanted to kidnap You Jia as leverage for an exchange with the Lu Yan Tower Group. However, I didn’t agree. Instead, I thwarted their plan, saved You Jia, and with the subsequent list, I completely severed ties with the Netherworld Organization. It’s normal for them to want to get back at me.”

“…,”

Ji Mingzhu’s words were too candid, leaving Zuo Quanzong momentarily unsure of how to respond. “Back in the Zong Bingyi Academy, you…”

“I was pretending.”

Ji Mingzhu nodded. “I investigated you, Red Guard Commander, and knew what kind of successor you valued, including when you encouraged me back at the Zong Bingyi Academy. Your appearance was within my expectations.”

After he finished speaking, the room fell into a brief silence.

Zuo Quanzong didn’t know whether to laugh or be angry. He had to admit that Ji Mingzhu had played his cards well from the moment he entered the Zong Bingyi Academy. Even he had been deceived. Zuo Quanzong couldn’t help but admire the child for being able to stay calm and possess such deep scheming at his age—truly a rare find.

Unfortunately…

Ji Mingzhu spoke up, “Did you catch Huo Zai? Judging by your expression, Red Guard Commander, it seems like there wasn’t much gain.”

“…”

Zuo Quanzong helplessly said, “Yes. After receiving your report, I took people to the Minister’s office in the Thunder Division, but there was no sign of Huo Zai. All data related to Huo Zai was also destroyed. He escaped cleanly, leaving no clues behind.”

No wonder Huo Zai took the opportunity to report Ji Mingzhu before leaving. It seemed that the position of Deputy Minister in the Thunder Division was no longer useful for him, or perhaps there was some issue with Huo Zai’s body, preventing him from maintaining his identity. So, he chose to run away.

What a person, harming others and not benefiting himself.

Ji Mingzhu thought to himself, then asked, “What about me? Have you discussed how to handle me?”

Zuo Quanzong couldn’t understand why Ji Mingzhu was still so relaxed. He sighed, “Well, even though I believe you are no longer affiliated with the Netherworld Organization, it’s not enough for just me to believe it. Being a Titan pilot carries great responsibility, as you pilot the most precious Titan in Satellite City. There’s no room for any uncertainty.”

The safety of Satellite City couldn’t be entrusted to someone with an unclear stance. If Ji Mingzhu continued to serve as a Titan pilot as before, there was a risk that one day, with his piloting skills and the Titan’s strength, he might simply run away.

“But you probably wouldn’t want to kill me either,” Ji Mingzhu said. “There’s currently no suitable Titan pilot in Shangjing City, and my compatibility with Zhu Jiuyin is an irresistible temptation for the Calamity Control Bureau.”

Zuo Quanzong fell into silence for a moment and nodded slowly. “Yes, you’re right. So, the final decision of the meeting is that Sky City will send down a brain control device tomorrow night. As long as you can ensure your loyalty to Sky City, you will still be the Titan pilot for the Calamity Control Bureau.”

“The cost being that I become a lackey for Sky City?” Ji Mingzhu retorted.

“I’ve done my best.”

Zuo Quanzong sighed and then stood up. “This is already the best way out. At least, you can still survive, right?”

No, this is your way out, not mine.

Watching Zuo Quanzong leave, Ji Mingzhu whispered in his heart.

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