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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 83

83. From Hope to Purgatory

After posing this question, Ji Mingzhu’s gaze was fixed on Huo Zai’s expression, not missing any slightest details.

Upon hearing the name “Ji Qiming,” Huo Zai briefly showed a bewildered expression. After recalling for a moment, he shook his head, “I don’t know.”

Ji Mingzhu visibly became disappointed.

After a while, Ji Mingzhu spoke softly, “What exactly happened in the old era you were in?”

“You seem quite curious about the events of the old era?”


Ji Mingzhu looked at him, “I have too many doubts, and I want to know more about the events of the old era. Perhaps what you know can help unravel some of my questions… please.”

Even in their previous interactions in the Calamity Control Bureau, Ji Mingzhu had never adopted such an attitude when seeking cooperation with Huo Zai. Huo Zai looked at Ji Mingzhu with some surprise, pondered for a while, and then spoke slowly.

“A long time has passed, but the events of that day are something I will never forget.”

“For most humans, it was just an ordinary day, and the conflict between humans and the aberrations had been ongoing for decades…”

“Xiao Yu!”

Hearing someone call him from behind, Huo Zai turned around.

Huo Zai couldn’t quite remember his real name anymore, only faintly recalling that, at that time, people around him used to call him “Xiao Yu.”

“What’s up, senior brother?”

“Do you have plans for tonight?” Senior brother quickly walked up to him, patting his shoulder. “Want to grab a meal together?”

“I don’t have anything important, but I need to go back to accompany my girlfriend tonight,” Huo Zai said.

“It’s your sister-in-law’s birthday today. If you don’t mind, come to my place for dinner tonight?” Senior brother smiled and said, “Tell your girlfriend.”

The young Huo Zai pushed his glasses and felt a bit embarrassed. After some thought, he nodded, “Okay.”

The two walked towards the school gate together.

“When are you planning to get married with your girlfriend?”

“This… hard to say.”

Huo Zai blushed and lowered his head, laughing, “You know the current situation. We don’t know when danger might strike. Before things stabilize, getting married is too rushed for us…”

“It’s precisely because of this that you should get married.”

Senior brother patted him, “I used to think the same way with your sister-in-law, but later I thought, who knows when this will end? It’s been almost twenty years, and the war with aberrations still has no end. If it never ends, are you two never going to get married for your whole lives?”

“…Let’s see.”

“You are just too stubborn.” Senior brother shook his head. “Forget it, let’s not talk about this. What do you want to eat tonight? I’ll have your sister-in-law make it for you.”

“I’m fine with anything…”

The campus broadcast was playing real-time news, and the calm female voice read the news script with strength.

“It has been reported that a group of aberrations has appeared on the outskirts of City C. The targets are not yet clear, and the military has dispatched mech units. City C residents are advised to prepare for defense.”

“The city center of City B recently suffered an aberration attack, causing a large number of casualties. The specific casualty numbers are still being calculated…”

“The two leaders of the AIs, Crimson and Azure, arrived in City B this afternoon. The AI forces are currently conducting post-war rescue operations. Crimson stated that AIs are born to protect humanity, and any attacks on human cities will be considered acts of hostility by AIs. It is expected that within three days, strikes will be launched against the largest aberration gathering points outside the urban area.”

“According to information released by the First Research Institute, researchers have located traces of the aberration’s core. Mech units are being organized for a carpet search…”

“They found the aberration’s core?”

Huo Zai, upon hearing the last piece of information from the broadcast, exclaimed, “Does that mean…?!”

“It’s not that simple.”

Senior brother sighed, “Similar news comes out every few months. After hearing it many times, you get used to it. It’s just comforting words for us ordinary folks. If finding and eliminating the aberration core were so easy, why would we have been fighting the aberrations for over twenty years?”

“At least, it’s a direction.”

Huo Zai’s expression became firm, “The aberration core is the progenitor of aberrations. If it’s not eliminated, it will continuously produce aberrations. Only by successfully finding and thoroughly eliminating the aberration core can the war possibly end, and we can return to the era of peace.”

“An era of peace…”

Senior brother looked towards the misty sky, barely managing a smile, “If you don’t mention it, I almost forget what the era of peace was like…”

For more than twenty years, for young people like Huo Zai, the war between aberrations and humans was their entire life experience.

The era of peace seemed like an illusory fairy tale, appearing in television, movies, books, and the words of their elders. For this generation of young people, the era of peace was an unattainable dream, filled with countless beautiful imaginations, a goal they needed to strive for.

“We will definitely win.”

Compared to his senior brother, Huo Zai was obviously much more optimistic, “Look, in recent years, our lives have been getting better, and we’ve been getting safer, right? It’s been some time since our city had an aberration attack. Now we have mechs, we have pilots, and we have AIs like Crimson and Azure. One day, aberrations will be eradicated by us.”

As they walked out of the school gate, they passed by a group of fully armed soldiers.

They were dressed in sturdy tactical suits, their faces completely covered. However, the gleam of bionic metal peeking through the insignias on their clothes and the seams of their gloves made their identities clear.

AI Peacekeeping Force.

In the face of powerful aberrations, humans have managed to survive until now, and have even gained a slight advantage. In addition to humans having mechs as weapons against aberrations, the role of AIs cannot be underestimated.

They faithfully carried out orders, fearless in battle. Even if their bodies died, they could be “resurrected” through backup data, making them an indestructible army. With the help of AIs, humans have reduced many casualties resulting from wars.

As they passed by the AI Peacekeeping Force, a few playful children suddenly rushed out from the side, knocking down the book in senior brother’s hand, scattering it all over the ground.

“These little rascals…” Senior brother grumbled, then shouted at the children who were running away, “Watch where you’re going!”

“Senior brother, let me help you pick up…”

Huo Zai bent down to pick up the book, but the AI Peacekeeping Force next to him acted faster, stooping down to pick up the book and handing it to senior brother.

Senior brother took it and looked at Huo Zai beside him, “Let’s go, what are you standing there for?”

Huo Zai followed, “Aren’t you going to thank them?”

“What’s there to thank them for? They’re not real people.”

Senior brother shrugged, “Just like triggering a program. You say thank you, and they’ll say you’re welcome. Even if you don’t say it, they won’t develop any dissatisfaction like humans would…”

Just like tools, after finishing nailing with a hammer, hardly anyone would solemnly say thank you to the hammer.

Huo Zai turned his head and saw that the AI Peacekeeping Force indeed didn’t mind, quietly leaving to continue their patrol duties.

In the midst of the lively and vibrant crowd, their figures stood out, distinctly different from the surroundings, easily discernible as AI from humans.

In the evening, Huo Zai was at senior brother’s home, enjoying drinks and chatting with a group of classmates.

With lights shining brightly everywhere, although the world was not yet stable, for most of the people protected in the city, turmoil and war were still distant. Being able to live their lives well was already the greatest happiness for them.

After a satisfying meal and drinks, they gathered together like countless others, discussing various current affairs topics. Occasionally, someone would crack a joke, eliciting hearty laughter from the group.

The TV, serving as background noise, suddenly switched channels, and the face of a news anchor appeared in the center of the screen, his face unable to conceal his excitement.

“We now interrupt regular programming for an important announcement.”

“There has been a major breakthrough in the field of mecha research. The ultimate mecha weapon, dubbed ‘Titan,’ has been successfully manufactured by scientists.”

“It is reported that Titan’s various parameters are tens of times higher than the current highest data of S-class mechas, and its special capabilities can deliver devastating blows to aberrations.”

“At the same time, the location of the aberration mother nest has been pinpointed.”

“My fellow citizens, this is an uplifting piece of news. After decades of war, we finally see the dawn of hope. In a maximum of one month, we will achieve complete victory, putting an end to this turbulent era and ushering in a new future.”

This news appeared simultaneously in every corner, on street displays, in households’ TVs, and even on radios… all devices transmitted this message at the same time.

Huo Zai and his comrades were still holding their glasses, staring blankly at the news.

The news was unexpected, and even before this, ordinary people couldn’t sense the impending end of the war. But then everything happened just like that.

It wasn’t until the overwhelming cheers outside the window that they snapped out of their daze.

“This is fantastic!!”

“We’re going to win?!”

“Hahaha, it’s finally over, finally over!”

Joy flooded everyone’s minds in an instant. This night, whether it was schools still in session or workers still on the job, everyone dropped what they were doing at the same time and joined the celebration.

“This is amazing…”

Tears welled up in senior brother’s eyes as he embraced everyone around him.

Huo Zai stood up, “Senior brother, I… I want to go back!”

Senior brother knew exactly what he meant, “Of course, go ahead. Let’s call it a night for today’s gathering. Everyone, hurry back home and celebrate with your families!”

The gathering dispersed halfway through, but no one felt unsatisfied. Their hearts were already filled with joy, eager to leave and share this happiness with their loved ones.

After more than twenty years of war, the impending end felt surreal, almost dreamlike.

Huo Zai walked briskly down the street, passing people with smiles on their faces, even tears of joy. People ran, jumped, shouted, hugged, and cheered in the streets.

In front of him was his own home, where Huo Zai saw his beloved standing at the door, arms open to embrace him.

But just then, an urgent alarm sounded.

The deafening alarm drowned out the cheers and revelry that had filled the air.

Huo Zai suddenly felt a sharp pain, stopping in his tracks, clutching at his chest. His heart raced, as if it were about to burst from his chest!

His consciousness began to blur. He turned around, and behind him, everyone else was in agony, lying on the ground just like him. In just a few seconds, the paradise of celebration seemed to have turned into a hell of suffering. Countless people cried out in pain, rolling on the ground.

Then, their bodies began to contort, flesh swelling. The cries of babies turned into an incomprehensible wail, like vines growing rapidly. Flesh and blood spread through the streets, countless bodies twisted and writhed like tentacles, their outlines distorted, emitting countless buzzing sounds like mosquitoes.

Like melting hills, Huo Zai heard a roaring sound from the sky. Everything in front of him distorted into countless colors, greedily rushing into his mind and merging with his frontal lobe. The light in his retina vanished in an instant, his consciousness sinking like the deep sea. He saw his beloved, rolling on the ground like him, swelling until they became indistinguishable monsters.

As if divine punishment had descended, all the beauty and hope turned to smoke in an instant.



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2 months ago

This is just a story about the resentment among three living-kind combined… I wager humanity can be bothered with sentiment control (towards AI) while in a war.

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