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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 92

92. Cocktail Party

Yangyuan City is a city with a highly commercialized atmosphere. Compared to Shangjing, the plutocracy here is even stronger. In fact, nearly two-thirds of the officials in the Satellite City government are either directly related to plutocrats or are their trusted allies.

*plutocracy – deriving influence from one’s wealth. Chaebols/ Tycoons

Among the numerous plutocrats in Yangyuan City, this “Lady He” holds a prominent position in the financial circle. Many scions of plutocrats are her “godchildren,” and she is widely respected within the circle. Therefore, most plutocrats would give face to Lady He’s parties.

*scion – a descendant of a notable family.

On the day of Lady He’s birthday party, Ji Mingzhu arrived early to scout the area nearby and had already formulated a plan with Yao Guang and Tian Ji.

Lady He’s party was held at a top-tier hotel in the upper city area of Yangyuan City. Even before evening approached, dozens of luxury shuttles were parked outside the hotel. Numerous impeccably dressed elites were smiling and greeting each other. Whether they knew each other or not, they could always exchange a few words upon meeting.

Being able to mingle at such a high-level party was something to boast about. Even though many people hadn’t been invited and didn’t have entry qualifications, plenty were willing to wait outside, hoping to seize the opportunity to meet some of the top plutocrats in Yangyuan City.

“Ji Ge!”

Ji Mingzhu found a nearby café and observed the people coming and going. Before he could even finish counting the shuttles parked outside the door, he heard a voice from nearby.

Turning around, he saw Sun Yi approaching from not far away.

“Boss Yao Guang asked me to give this to you.” Sun Yi sneakily took something out of his pocket and handed it to Ji Mingzhu. “It’s from the underground auction at the black market. This thing isn’t easy to come by. We only managed to get one. Take a look.”

Ji Mingzhu took it casually.

It was a thin glove, its transparent material resembling peeled skin.

This was a special espionage device capable of collecting high-precision fingerprint information. Despite there being only one piece, its price was exorbitant, nearly emptying Yao Guang’s treasury.

Ji Mingzhu carefully put away the transparent glove and glanced around. No one seemed to notice this corner.

“Is Lady He’s status in Yangyuan City really that high?” he asked Sun Yi. “The whole street is guarded by the Yangyuan City government’s security, making it seem like they’re welcoming a city lord. Isn’t it a bit exaggerated?”

“Oh, not entirely.”

Sun Yi is quite well-informed. Upon hearing this, he replied, “Only a small portion of these guards are here to maintain order for Lady He. The rest are here for investigation.”

Ji Mingzhu was taken aback. “Investigating what?”

“I heard it from people in the black market,” Sun Yi said. “It seems that there have been several cases of people going missing in Yangyuan City in the past few months. Most of the missing individuals are from the Upper City District, aged below eighteen. Many of them have connections to plutocrats. By now, there should be close to thirty victims.”

“Kidnapped for ransom?” Ji Mingzhu asked curiously.

“Not really. The families of the victims haven’t received any ransom demands… It’s probably some thugs seeking revenge on society. These days, there are quite a few of such people,” Sun Yi said. “Because there are many missing persons, and their identities are related to plutocrats, the Satellite City government has dispatched many guards to guard this area in the Upper City District.”

“Does the Calamity Control Bureau not intervene?”

“The Calamity Control Bureau wants to intervene, but… the situation in Yangyuan City is a bit different. Plutocrats don’t trust the Calamity Control Bureau very much. Relations between the two sides are tense. Plutocrats don’t want the Calamity Control Bureau to get involved in such matters because if the Calamity Control Bureau were to take over the investigation, they would also have to look into the plutocrats’ interpersonal relationships… Those plutocrats don’t want the Calamity Control Bureau to find out anything they shouldn’t.”

Ji Mingzhu didn’t pay too much attention to it, treating it as gossip.

As evening approached, colorful neon lights lit up the city, adding to the enchantment of the luxurious Upper City District.

Ji Mingzhu waited at the hotel entrance for a while, and soon heard familiar voices.

“Tian Nan?”

Ji Mingzhu turned his head and saw several young people walking towards him from not far away.

“It’s really you.”

His reaction undoubtedly revealed his identity. An Man stepped forward first. “We didn’t expect you to really come. We were worried you wouldn’t!”

Ji Mingzhu smiled. “I promised you, how could I not show up?”

Yao Mingkai looked at Ji Mingzhu, nodded at him, greeted him, and then said, “You’re much younger than I imagined.”

“I think so too,” An Man interrupted. “I thought, since your skills in War Meteor are so strong, you must have been playing for at least ten years. Now you look about the same age as us.”

Although Ji Mingzhu had modified his facial features with a lifelike mask, it was still apparent that he was quite young, not exceeding twenty-three years old.

All of them were young people, naturally having topics to chat about. After a moment of pleasantries, Ji Mingzhu quickly integrated into their small group and got along well with Yao Mingkai and the others.

These days, serving as the training partner for Yao Mingkai’s team, coupled with Ji Mingzhu’s prior investigation into Yao Mingkai’s relevant information, he knew which topics would interest them. Moreover, Yao Mingkai, An Man, and others themselves held a favorable impression of “Tian Nan” and even considered having him as their team’s professional trainer in the future. When they chatted, the conversation naturally flowed, and soon the group became quite familiar with each other.


A young man noticed them and walked over with a group of tall girls, greeting Yao Mingkai, “You guys are here too. Want to join us?”

Yao Mingkai’s smile faded a bit, “No, I’m having a good time with my teammates. You go ahead and enjoy yourself.”

“Still messing around with your little broken team?” The young man exaggeratedly exclaimed, “You don’t really want to become a professional player, do you? That’s quite pathetic. You might as well learn how to manage your dad’s conglomerate. Otherwise, what will happen to your family’s business in the future?”

“What’s it to you?” An Man retorted irritably, “We’re too lazy to argue with you. Mind your own business and stop meddling with ours.”

The other person glanced at An Man and recognized his identity. The An family also had some influence in Yangyuan City. After weighing it up, he shrugged, “Don’t be so fierce. I’m just kindly reminding you. Since you don’t want to listen, forget it.”

With that, he glanced at Yao Mingkai again, smiled, and walked away with the girl beside him.

“He’s from the Mu family and has some conflicts with the Yao family in business,” An Man explained to Ji Mingzhu, noticing his curiosity, “Every time we meet, he has to taunt our Captain a few words. Annoying as hell. We can’t be bothered to deal with him.”

“Is it that people in your plutocrat circle look down on professional players?” Ji Mingzhu asked.

“Kind of,” An Man thought for a moment and said, “After all, the correction ratio for professional players is quite high. Those with low correction ratios in mecha talent are recruited as drivers… But these people are all about making money, inheriting family businesses, and have no understanding of dreams. Our captain has been mocked by them every day during the matches at the academy. If he still can’t achieve good results this time, I’m afraid they will laugh at him again.”

“Why mention all this?”

Yao Mingkai didn’t want to affect Ji Mingzhu’s mood and said, “I have my own ideas and know what I’m doing. Let them say what they want. It doesn’t affect me.”

“Do you have no intention of inheriting the family business?” Ji Mingzhu asked him curiously. “Or… are there any concerns?”

Yao Mingkai shook his head, “Not for now. Although everyone advises me to give up War Meteor, saying there’s no future in playing it, for me, the future isn’t the only factor that determines what I want to do. Instead of living a conventional life, I’d rather do what I want to do. And with my family’s support, that’s enough for me.”

Ji Mingzhu nodded, “Indeed, that’s good.”

He pondered. It seemed that Yao Mingkai really had no connection with the Netherworld Organization.

Soon, the entry to the reception began. Celebrities at the door entered the hotel hall one after another. Ji Mingzhu, holding Yao Mingkai’s banner, naturally entered as well. For most plutocrat scions, such receptions were excellent social occasions. However, Yao Mingkai, An Man, and the others showed no intention of conversing with others at the reception. Taking Ji Mingzhu with them, they found a corner and enjoyed themselves alone, forming a sharp contrast with the other guests at the reception.

However, Ji Mingzhu’s purpose was not simply to socialize with them. While he listened to Yao Mingkai and others chatting, occasionally agreeing with a few words, his eyes searched the reception, wanting to find his target for this time, Yao Xiangrong.

“Yao Mingkai!”

As Ji Mingzhu was searching for Yao Xiangrong’s figure, someone walked out of the crowd at the reception without saying hello and casually squeezed into the small group, directly calling out Yao Mingkai’s name.

Ji Mingzhu found the voice familiar and inwardly thought, “Can’t be that unlucky, can I?”

He looked up.

Sure enough, this unrestrained figure devoid of any ladylike demeanor, with dyed long hair, exuding a street rebellious rock vibe even in a dress, could it be anyone other than Li Li?

Li Li held a glass of wine and gave Yao Mingkai a hearty slap on the back. “You’re here and didn’t even say hi to me. You don’t even consider Li Li as someone important, huh?”

An Man stood up, quickly making room and smiling, “Li Li, please have a seat. Yao just mentioned you, was about to look for you, and here you are. What a coincidence, hahaha…”

Yao Mingkai rubbed his shoulder awkwardly. “No need to be so forceful, it hurts.”

“You know what pain is? I thought you were tough and insensitive,” Li Li said with a half-smile, half-sneer. “I heard you’re about to compete soon? Do you want Li Li to give you special training?”

Yao Mingkai twitched his mouth. “You Titan pilots are busy. We don’t need you to intervene in our small competitions.”

“So you’ve gone a whole month without messaging me, huh?” Li Li glared at him. “I came back from the capital, and you didn’t even greet me.”

Yao Mingkai whispered, “Been a bit busy, forgot.”

“And you forgot about the new street band’s album you promised to buy for me?”

“Bought it, will give it to you tomorrow…”

The two continued chatting like this. An Man, afraid that Ji Mingzhu wouldn’t feel comfortable with outsiders coming in, approached him and whispered, “This is Li Li, a childhood friend who grew up with our captain… She’s a pilot of Titan “Zhu Rong”.”

Ji Mingzhu pretended to be surprised. “So she’s Li Li? I’ve heard of her… Why does it feel like our captain is a bit indifferent towards her… Is there some grudge between them?”

“No, that’s just how they usually interact,” An Man explained hurriedly. “Our captain… how should I put it… let me tell you, don’t spread it around.”

Ji Mingzhu nodded, adopting a humble attitude as if seeking advice.

There was more gossip to listen to.

An Man leaned in closer again, whispering to Ji Mingzhu’s ear, “Li Li, she… probably likes our captain.”

Ji Mingzhu: “…”

“Really.” An Man was afraid Ji Mingzhu wouldn’t believe it, so he continued, “We all noticed. And, Li Li wasn’t planning to come this time. Titan pilots are usually very busy and don’t have time for these kinds of receptions. But when Li Li heard our captain was coming, she immediately followed.”

Ji Mingzhu looked at Li Li chatting with Yao Mingkai, and he started to believe it.

He had interacted with Li Li many times before and had never seen her act this way with anyone else.

Love exists in this world, even punk girls can fall in love?

“If that’s the case, why do you still need a training partner?” Ji Mingzhu asked. “With a Titan pilot around, giving a few pointers should be more effective than a hundred training partners, right?”

“Well, that’s one way to put it… But our captain, you see, he’s not interested in romance right now. And Li Li is a Titan pilot for the Calamity Control Bureau, and their relationship with the plutocrats isn’t very peaceful. So, after our captain found out about this, he started avoiding Li Li.” An Man explained, “After all, if a Titan pilot gets involved with someone from the plutocrats, it could have a significant impact. It might even affect Li Li’s future… Anyway, that’s how it is. We know but won’t say.”

“Anyway, don’t act coy with me, remember to get me that album.” Li Li thought for a moment, then said to Yao Mingkai, “Hmm… how about tomorrow? I don’t have training then, so I’ll be free. Let’s pick a place.”

“I could just send it directly to the Calamity Control Bureau…” Yao Mingkai whispered.

“Why so much nonsense? Whatever I say goes. Stop making excuses.” Li Li glanced at An Man’s direction and stood up. “I’m tired of talking to you… I’ll go get some food, who wants to come with me?”

Li Li pointed in Ji Mingzhu’s direction.

An Man thought she was talking about him and was about to stand up when Ji Mingzhu stood up first and said, “I’ll go. You guys keep chatting.”

“Ah? Oh… alright.”

No one else thought it was unusual.

Ji Mingzhu followed Li Li into the crowd and arrived at a long banquet table.

Inside the reception hall, there were several long banquet tables, each filled with a variety of expensive food and drinks, all for guests to enjoy limitlessly. Well-dressed servers roamed around the reception hall, meticulously serving each distinguished guest.

There weren’t many people around the table. Ji Mingzhu grabbed a plate from the side and casually picked up some beautifully crafted pastries from the table.

Standing next to him, Li Li also reached out for some food.

“Your bounty is almost thirty million.”

Li Li’s expression remained unchanged as she spoke in a voice only Ji Mingzhu could hear, “You still dare to show up here?”

Ji Mingzhu didn’t look her way, his expression casual, “You shouldn’t be lacking this amount of money, right?”

“Hard to say, I happen to want to buy a few limited edition records recently.”

Ji Mingzhu raised an eyebrow, “Classical music records are that expensive?”

Li Li: “…”

She remembered the melodious tune her mech emitted when intercepting Ji Mingzhu in the Upper City District. She wished she could have punched Ji Mingzhu right then and there.

“No matter what you’re planning.”

Li Li suppressed her anger, “Don’t involve unrelated people.”

“You’d better make it clearer, or how would I know if you’re referring to Yao Mingkai?” Ji Mingzhu’s tone carried a hint of malice.

Li Li: “…”

F*ck, this conversation wasn’t going anywhere.

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