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Genius Mechanic

Genius Mechanic: Chapter 122

Coria Contaminated Zone (Restricted Zone)

122. Retreat

    Proofread by Cloud Chip Cake and An Zheee

    “I can try…” Old Qiu’s expression tightened upon hearing his response. He had deliberated for a long time before asking this question. His gaze lingered on the weapons of the mecha ‘Yuan’, and the increasingly apparent energy leakage told him that this method was highly feasible. However, when he thought of the child’s response, Old Qiu hesitated.

    Everyone in the control room could hear the fatigue in his tone. Their immediate plan was also to retreat. Ying Chenlin was not part of the Frontier Army, so he could completely refuse their demands.

    “Child, you can refuse me,” Old Qiu spoke up. “The General Military of the First Star Domain’s Central Headquarters has already sent someone over. It will take at most 9 hours. As long as the pollutant’s mutation is controlled within the next 9 hours, the military will find a way to solve the problem.”

    Shen Xingtang couldn’t help but speak up. “Chenlin, do you still want to go to the medical station?”

    But if the pollutant mutated within the next 9 hours, they would miss the most suitable opportunity.

    “I can try. I know my limits,” Ying Chenlin said without hesitation. He was not clear about what happened 20 years ago, but with the base station still operational and the Frontier Army conducting regular reconnaissance, the Frontier Army and Management Bureau had been working for 20 years to prevent the base station from exploding and affecting the defense of the First and Second Star Domains. Even though Ying Chenlin knew there was room for maneuvering in the situation, from the perspective of interests and considerations, retreating now was not a good choice.

    “Chenlin, tell me,” Old Qiu asked again, “How long can you last?”

    “30 minutes, at most two shots,” Ying Chenlin didn’t hesitate. He had already activated the internal cooling measures of the mech, forcibly cooling down the increasingly high-temperature weapons. After two shots, he would stop and leave. At most, he would be mentally exhausted and lie in the hospital for two days. He answered seriously, “The internal forced cooling of the mecha ‘Yuan’ is limited. With my current mental consumption, I can only maintain precise shooting for two more shots.”

    The others in the control room looked at Old Qiu, whose face was serious. Now everyone was waiting for him to make a decision, but he was the type of person who struggled the most when making a decision.

    Shen Xingtang heard this and did not speak again to stop him. These two shots were a conclusion taking into account all of Ying Chenlin’s considerations. She looked at Old Qiu. “Either try or retreat. If you hesitate any longer, you won’t even be able to fire those two shots.”

    “Lieutenant Lu, provide full cover for Ying Chenlin,” Old Qiu didn’t have time to consider anymore. “If we can’t solve this problem within 15 minutes, retreat. I’ll take full responsibility.”

    Ying Chenlin was startled by these words. He disconnected from the weapon in his right hand, still calming down the high temperature of the mechanical arm. “Old man.”

    “You just rest. We, the Frontier Army, will create the most suitable environment for you,” Old Qiu said briefly. “We’ll complete all arrangements within 5 minutes.”

    The control room quickly sprang into action under Old Qiu’s command. All personnel within the base station supported the Frontier Army. One team reinforced the base station, another team used defensive measures to protect the inflammable parts of the fusion weapons, and another team had already entered the underground through the entrance to provide the best support to KID below.

    The Frontier Army’s support inside the base station was very fast, and almost within a few minutes, they had prepared the most comprehensive support for their subsequent actions. Ying Chenlin noticed the support coming in from all directions and was amazed at the Frontier Army’s speed. In KID’s channel, Ji Qingfeng and others were also surprised by their speed.

    You Su explained, “The Frontier Army has always had comprehensive contingency plans. If we hadn’t blown up the defense system of the base station, leaving only its last layer of defense, they could have activated the highest level of the defense system, barely able to resist for 5 hours.”

    “And then we blew up the pollutant and collapsed the underground of the base station.”

    Zhao Lejie’s head was spinning. Their reckless actions had messed up the Frontier Army’s contingency plans completely. “Will the Frontier Army hold us accountable for this later?”

    Ji Qingfeng said, “No way!? At least we helped clear out so many pollutants.”

    Huo Yan asked hesitatingly, “Chenlin, if you can’t hold on, just say it. Even if we leave, the Frontier Army won’t do much to us. At most, they’ll make us write a reflection for trespassing in the Restricted Zone.”

    You Su explained calmly, “I can only say that even if you do nothing and retreat directly from here, there’s still the First Star Domain’s General Military behind us. The most exaggerated outcome is that this place blows up, returning to the same outcome as 20 years ago.”

    Zhao Lejie: “…”

    What does it mean when the most exaggerated outcome is that this place blows up?

    Lieutenant Lu listened to the conversation of the group in KID’s channel and couldn’t help but refute for his own army, “The Frontier Army isn’t that ruthless. This time, they won’t make you write reflections—”

    However, before the sentence was finished, Lieutenant Lu faced an accelerated attack from the tentacles in front of him. He endured the frontal assault, the wear and tear on his mecha indicating the attacks’ power, but now he couldn’t retreat immediately. The Frontier Army’s current mission was to buy time and find a breakthrough.

    While Lieutenant Lu protected Ying Chenlin, other Frontier Army units, along with KID’s mecha team, had already aimed multiple attacks at the core of the pollutant. The number of mechas capable of entering the underground was limited, totaling 15 including the ones already there and the new support. This was the maximum attack power the underground space could withstand after a short calculation.

    Coria Restricted Zone was special. It had already endured one wave of impact in the past, and the entire base station was almost in a state of disrepair, with only the patched-up zone systems barely maintaining the protection plan’s operation.

    Due to the complexity of the system and the fusion of heavy weapons with the foundations, the Frontier Army could not repair the old systems of the base station. They could only patch up the zone’s systems one after another. From the original shielding system proposed by Ying Songshan to the present one, every year, huge manpower and financial resources were invested to maintain the stability of this base station.

    However, because of the harsh environment of the abandoned base station, coupled with the sacrifice of personnel in the mission eight years ago, since then, all reconnaissance and garrison of the Frontier Army could only be carried out around the Coria Contaminated Zone. Many generations of the Frontier Army had been worn out by years of maintenance and reconnaissance. A few years ago, when stability was finally achieved within the Restricted Zone, and the pollution levels became more and more stable, they thought that everything was coming to an end, only to find out that this stability was just a camouflage for the pollutant lurking deeper underground.

    At this moment, Lieutenant Lu suddenly understood the conclusion that You Su had mentioned about returning to their initial state.


    The pollutant seemed to realize that its target was being protected, and its attacks became even more fierce and powerful. Lieutenant Lu’s mecha was an individual soldier mecha, and the protective shield of an individual soldier mecha was not as effective as that of a Tank mecha. It could only withstand limited frontal attacks. Nevertheless, even so, he and another mecha remained in front of Ying Chenlin.

    The high temperature of Ying Chenlin’s arm had gradually subsided. Through the gap left by Lieutenant Lu’s mecha, he saw the continuous attacks on the pollutant’s core, amidst the successive flames in the distance. This continuous attack with so many people was more powerful than when it was just him and You Su, thus making the changes in the core of the pollutant more clear.

    Perhaps the period of exhaustion from before had passed. His brain seemed a little clearer now, and his thinking speed was a bit faster. That place was indeed not just a protective film, but rather this pollutant’s layer of protection with high-speed regeneration.

    Every time the mecha regiment cracked its core, it could immediately repair the cracks. Its repair speed was so fast that it was barely visible to the naked eye. You could say the attacks weren’t ineffective, but rather that there was a very high threshold for them to be effective against.

    Five minutes seemed fast, but when Old Qiu’s voice reappeared on the channel, everyone’s expressions froze.

    Ying Chenlin hadn’t moved yet, but all the Frontier Army soldiers beside him had already filled their weapons with energy. All the close-combat mechas retreated, and the long-range mechas fell back within the protection range of the close-combat mechas, all aiming their cannons at the certain core.

    “We, the Frontier Army, will use artillery fire to make a breakthrough for you,” Lieutenant Lu blocked an attack and continued, “We’ve shared the coordinates and timing with you. If you have any other questions, just let me know.”

    Ying Chenlin: “Thank you.”

    Lieutenant Lu: “It’s what we should do, and we appreciate your trouble.”

    After Lieutenant Lu replied, he took a few steps forward, opening up a broad view for Ying Chenlin’s aim.

    After multiple bombardments, the entire underground cave continued to tremble, but there were no further collapses from above. Several mecha regiments in the distance were risking their lives to fight against the tentacles, and everyone kept moving forward. There was silence in KID’s channel, and when Ying Chenlin looked out, he could faintly see several mechas mixed in with the Frontier Army, with You Su’s artillery fire still ongoing.

    Ying Chenlin knew that the current battle environment was fought for by the others, and with less than 10 minutes left, it gave him enough time to aim. The voice prompt from Yuan in his mind sounded, and Ying Chenlin decisively pushed the output of the Sniper Cannon to 100%. The sudden rise in temperature warning was quickly suppressed by the internal cooling measures of the mecha, and the Sniper Cannon glowed bright red.

    As Ying Chenlin gripped the weapon’s control panel, the high temperature seemed to quickly dissipate through his palm. Without hesitation, he raised the weapon, aiming at the fissure in the field of view opened up by all the other mechas for him.

    Yuan: “Aiming lock in progress.”

    “Wait.” Ying Chenlin exhaled slightly, sweat dripping down his forehead. His gaze locked onto one of the positions. “It’s not time yet.”

    In the central control room, when they saw the black and red mecha raising its Sniper Cannon, everyone’s hearts skipped a beat.

    A staff member asked, “Old Qiu, can two shots from a weapon of the same-source really solve this pollutant?”

    “It won’t.” Shen Xingtang said solemnly, “You should know the performance limit of mechas in the Mecha Alliance League, right? How much power can two shots from an S-Class mecha’s Sniper Cannon bring? At most, it can reach the limit set by the Mecha Alliance, which is completely insufficient to deal with this pollutant.”

    The staff member asked, “Then—”

    “Who said dealing with the pollutant has to be a head-on confrontation with it?” Shen Xingtang pointed at the core on the monitoring screen. “Otherwise, what do you think the Frontier Army relentlessly attacking its core is for? Because there’s something very important inside that core.”

    “The anomalous crystal,” Old Qiu said. “So he hasn’t fired yet. In 10 minutes, two shots will determine whether we can locate the anomalous crystal.”

    The core of the pollutant must be crucial. This pollutant was rooted to the cave roof, with its roots piercing through the rock layers and connecting with the fusion weapon inside the base station. There must be an anomalous crystal within its core.

    All the defense and regeneration abilities of this pollutant originate from its core symbiotic tissue, and within that organism, the anomalous crystal was its core. The Frontier Army has done its best to narrow down the location of the core for Ying Chenlin, but whether these two shots could help them find the position of the regeneration anomalous crystal played a critical role in the subsequent resolution of this pollutant.

    There’s still a chance now. If the pollutant transforms into another form in 9 hours, they might not have such a good opportunity to locate the anomalous crystal.

    Old Qiu’s gaze rested on the mecha ‘Yuan’, and Ying Chenlin had the same consideration. That’s why he initially refused to retreat. This was exactly the same as when the Major General, who slew “Fire”, did so. Once they capture the prey’s weakness, they won’t retreat but will only move forward.

    At this moment, the black and red mecha on the screen suddenly changed positions. The pollutant core up above was once again hit by the Frontier Army, breaking through the protective layer. Seizing this opportunity, the black and red mecha propelled forward, bypassing the attacking tentacles. Its Sniper Cannon, which had been charged long ago, aimed precisely at the core he had observed earlier. In just a breath’s time, a fiery red projectile streaked through the air, accurately hitting the core of the pollutant.

    As Ying Chenlin’s gaze narrowed at the impact of the artillery fire, he suddenly realized something was wrong. No, this wasn’t right.

    There was no anomalous crystal in that position!

    At this moment, You Su shouted to Ying Chenlin, “The core is wrong, and the distance is not enough!”

    Ying Chenlin reacted immediately upon hearing You Su’s voice and immediately pressed the thrusters.

    In the control room, everyone exclaimed, “It’s working!! With the bombardment of a Sniper Cannon from the same-source, its regeneration speed has slowed down!”

    Everyone held their breath and watched, only to see the exploding sea of ​​fire burning the entire core, and the movements of the pollutant that was undergoing self-healing and regeneration paused. The regenerating layer of the pollutant was affected by the burning flames. It was not afraid of these flames, but it was very curious about them. The flame at its core was swallowed up by the creeping plant tissue. The pollutant was unprepared for the flames. But at the same time, the flame’s attack on it was limited.

    Old Qiu looked at the burning flames as the pollutant healed. “Can having the same homology only slow down its speed? But this is hitting its most vital point.”

    He immediately made a decision. They couldn’t let the child consume himself here any longer. “Chenlin, deactivate the Sniper Cannon, and everyone get ready to retreat—”

    On the monitoring screen, the black and red mecha, originally positioned behind, quickly advanced forward, suddenly surpassing Lieutenant Lu’s protective range. Lieutenant Lu looked up, watching the black and red mecha pass by, and exclaimed, “Ying Chenlin!”

    In contrast to the order to retreat, when the black and red mecha surged forward, everyone in the underground cavern looked in his direction. All mechas immediately changed directions. Lieutenant Lu didn’t hesitate; he and the other two mechas quickly followed, “Cover him!”

    At the same time, on the other side of the tentacles, several mechas from KID also rushed forward despite the dissuasion.

    Ji Qingfeng said, “Damn it, one block is one block!”

    Lu Xi: “We’ll take the left side!”

    “Laozi’s shield can only withstand a few more hits at most,” Zhao Lejie said. “I’ll take the right side.”

    The cave, not particularly spacious, was filled with wildly thrashing tentacles. The black and red mecha immediately plunged into those tentacles after leaving the Frontier Army’s circle of protection. His agile figure swiftly maneuvered through them, with the Sniper Cannon pressed against his back, rapidly bypassing the layers of defenses set up by the tentacles and charging in.

    Shen Xingtang: “He’s closing the distance!”

    “Too risky!” Old Qiu exclaimed in shock, urgently saying, “He won’t hold out!”

    The monitoring screen shook, and everyone in the control room couldn’t see the chaotic battlefield clearly anymore.

    But all the mecha pilots hadn’t retreated yet. They were still preparing for the final shot. The command authority on-site had become chaotic at some point, but even so, all the mecha pilots didn’t stop their steps. Ignoring the order to retreat from the command center, everyone was covering the advance of the mecha.

    The expected damage and the position of the strike didn’t seem right. Ying Chenlin turned off the auxiliary sight, and he shut down almost all other auxiliary functions inside Yuan. In his ears, there were only the urgent cries of his teammates and the sounds of the tentacles attacking from all around.

    Ying Chenlin no longer had any assistance in front of him. His brain had never been so calm before. His gaze swept over the mechas around him that were covering his advance. He saw the great efforts everyone made to cover his sudden charge.

    The damaged area in front of him had already fused and recovered. The swinging tentacles seemed to be taunting humanity, attacking humans on one side while trying their best to capture the mecha of the same source. In the darkness of the cave, the flames extinguished, leaving only the sound of the mechas’ thrusters, the movement of the tentacles, and the banging sound of collisions.

    In such an environment, Ying Chenlin calmly calculated the distance. He observed while flying and also locked onto the suspected location of the anomalous crystal exposed by the wide core of the pollutant—

    No, not this one.

    This one? No, not this one either!

    The distance was gradually closing in, and fewer mechas were flying alongside him.

    Ying Chenlin had no time to spare. He even turned off the weak defense system of the solo mecha. He swiftly bypassed the attacks of the tentacles, stepping on the tentacles with his mecha, and rapidly advancing towards the core.

    Just as he failed to lock onto a target, a voice suddenly came from the KID team channel. You Su’s tone was quick, “Side wing, 6 o’clock, diagonal lower left.”

    Ying Chenlin immediately locked onto You Su’s position when he spoke, and in the next second, the other’s Sniper Cannon in the dim environment drew a beam of light, hitting a certain position with a thunderous bang.

    As Ying Chenlin approached the position indicated by You Su, he locked onto a pollutant with a slower recovery speed, slightly to the lower left of where You Su pointed—

    Found it.

    You Su shouted from behind, “Lu Xi, energy!”

    Lin Yao rushed to Lu Xi’s front, blocking the tentacles. “Step on me!”

    While Lu Xi blocked the tentacles, she switched to the Water Flow Cannon. She adjusted the distance by stepping on Lin Yao, and the energy was splashed onto the far-away pollutant’s core by her Water Flow Cannon.

    The pollutant was infuriated by this action. Several separated tentacles moved towards her position. In the monitoring screen, the black and red mecha seemed to be engulfed in darkness. He changed directions, slid down agilely, and from one tentacle to another, he swiftly pulled away, creating nearly a 10-meter gap.

    While rapidly regenerating, this pollutant was also growing at a rapid pace. Compared to its mechanical movements when it first entered the cave, it had become more agile. The tentacles’ swift attacks had repeatedly damaged the surrounding mechas, and its speed had increased by more than ten times from the beginning, indicating its terrifying growth rate.

    Old Qiu didn’t know whether it originally had such a growth rate or if Yuan’s Hell Fire Cannon’s anomalous crystal entering the Restricted Zone had triggered its growth. With it closing in at such a speed in the current situation, nine hours later, the Frontier Army would face a massive and uncontrollable pollutant. They would truly regress to a situation that happened 20 years ago, and the situation would be even more dire than it was back then.

    In that moment, they saw the black and red mecha once again raising its weapon. Ying Chenlin raised the cannon quickly, almost lifting the Sniper Cannon while still in motion. The rapid accumulation of energy condensed into a concentrated firelight in front of the Sniper Cannon, directly aimed at the core of the pollutant, locking onto a position below the pollutant’s oblique side.

    Through their chaotic view, those in the Management Bureau witnessed this scene. Old Qiu’s heart was raised high, and he urgently exclaimed, “The pollutant’s intelligence has changed, and there’s no one supporting him in firing at this position!”

    Most mechas were blocking some of the pollutant’s attacks from the rear, but there was no support at all in the direction facing the pollutant head-on.

    “He turned off the mecha’s defense!” Shen Xingtang exclaimed in disbelief.

    Coria’s Director said, “Doesn’t that mean there’s no defense at all!?”

    Not only that, by choosing such a close distance, Ying Chenlin’s mecha would also be affected by the sea of fire created by his own Sniper Cannon.

    As the charging time slowly passed, the nearby pollutant noticed the approach of its prey. Its tentacles danced wildly towards Ying Chenlin. Lieutenant Lu, who was 20 meters away from Ying Chenlin, saw this scene in shock, “It’s too late!”

    You Su’s Sniper Cannon struck the tentacles, frowning fiercely at the sight, and shouted, “Ying Chenlin, retreat!”

    Ying Chenlin’s sniper cannon had 1 second left to charge. He hesitated—

    He couldn’t retract it, or all his previous efforts would be in vain.

    In this critical moment, slightly to the lower left of the pollutant, a somewhat clumsy mecha stepped on several tentacles, using the slow movement speed of a Tank mecha to rush up from the bottom to the top in one fell swoop.

    Ji Qingfeng exclaimed, “Old Huo!”

    Zhao Lejie shouted, “Activate the shield!”

    Huo Yan’s support had never arrived so swiftly. He casually threw out all the Energy Cannons in his mecha extremely quickly. The adept defense shield in his hands was utilized to its fullest, and the ruptured protective shield suddenly activated at this moment, blocking the tentacles’ attacks coming in from all directions!

    He shouted, “Fire!!!”

    Huo Yan’s shield was pierced by the tentacles from all directions. With a muffled grunt, the entire Devouring Shield was completely scrapped at this moment.

    He firmly held up the scrapped protective shield, allowing the tentacles to attack without taking a step back.

    Yuan’s Hell Fire Cannon condensed all its energy, and the high temperature brought by the 100% charged Sniper Cannon enveloped Ying Chenlin’s right hand. He had no time to spare. The moment he heard Huo Yan’s voice, the light from the Hell Fire Cannon’s source burst through the gap in the defense shield and directly hit the pollutant in front.

    “It’s cracked open!?”

    This time, the 100% homologous Sniper Cannon cracked open the fissure, revealing a glimmer of a green anomalous crystal deeper within the crack.

    Only a little bit was exposed. Displeased by the hit to its core, the pollutant began to control its regenerative ability, the pollutant’s tissue that had split open began to regrow.

    Ying Chenlin who was closest locked onto this split-second change. Without hesitation, he rushed out from behind Huo Yan’s damaged shield. His thrusters were pushed to their fullest, and the aggressively attacking pollutant tentacles surged straight towards him.

    Old Qiu shouted, “Fall back!”

    Shen Xingtang exclaimed, “Ying Chenlin!”

    This time, the tentacles were more violent than ever. Ying Chenlin consecutively dodged several tentacles. When he was about to reach the location of the anomalous crystal, a slender and sharp tentacle suddenly emerged from the pollutant tissue fluid near the anomalous crystal, directly hitting the cockpit of the mecha.

    This tentacle seemed to be the pollutant’s last line of defense. Its penetrating power was unprecedented, breaking through the outer armor of the S-Class mecha and piercing through Ying Chenlin’s cockpit. An urgent distress report popped up, and the entire mecha was filled with intense alarm sounds.

    Seeing the tentacle about to hit him, he slightly turned his body and used his body’s solid mechanical arm to block the attack, gaining a moment to evade.

    Calls from others echoed in the communication channel.

    The sound of the mechanical arm shattering came from beside his ear. An intense pain suddenly surged over him. Ying Chenlin exerted all his strength to switch his weapon to the Flowing Fire Sword. With a smooth operation of his left hand, he forcefully stabbed the Flowing Fire Sword into the pollutant’s tissue.

    The pollutant, being attacked like this, wildly swung its tentacles.

    The pollutant resisted the fiery light of the Flowing Fire Sword, but while the residual heat of Hell Fire was still there, Ying Chenlin exerted all his strength to twist the Flowing Fire Sword. When the green anomalous crystal reappeared, Ying Chenlin’s face was unusually calm. He decisively retracted the sword, forcibly digging out the anomalous crystal from deep within the pollutant’s tissue.

    The pollutant didn’t die after losing its anomalous crystal; instead, it fell into a state of complete frenzy.

    The tentacles struck uncontrollably in all directions, and the black and red mecha was thrown out. Lieutenant Lu rushed forward and hugged the mecha, enduring the fierce attacks from the surrounding tentacles. He protected the mecha in his arms, seeing the other person’s courage to face such a dangerous situation head-on, firmly grasping the anomalous crystal in his hand… It was an awe-inspiring courage.

    Ji Qingfeng and Zhao Lejie hurried over and pulled out the Tank mecha with the broken shield.

    “Huo Ge!” Ji Qingfeng shouted.

    Huo Yan’s voice was somewhat weak. “It’s not good this time. My waist is completely done for.”

    Ji Qingfeng said, “It’s okay, brother. You’re not even 30 yet. There’s still hope for your waist.”

    Zhao Lejie urged, “Hold on tight, it’s a matter of life and death!”

    Seeing a certain Artillery mecha rushing over in the distance, Lieutenant Lu urgently said, “You Su, take over!”

    You Su grabbed Ying Chenlin and, turning his head, saw Lieutenant Lu blocking behind them.

    Without hesitation, he turned around and led Ying Chenlin out. “Don’t die.”

    Ying Chenlin raised his head slightly and, through the shattered screen’s field of view, saw the reversing mecha. “He—”

    That mecha was covered in signs of damage, and not just that, the other Frontier Army mechas also rushed over. Amidst the rumbling of falling rocks, they cleared a path for KID and Gale’s mechas to retreat.

    Lieutenant Lu didn’t hear You Su’s words. He fell behind all the mechas and shouted urgently, “All Frontier Army mechas, listen up, cover the retreat!”

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