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Genius Mechanic

Genius Mechanic: Chapter 169

Kemu Cave Contaminated Zone(Galactic Promotion Competition)

169. The Frontier Army delivered money!

Proofread by An Zhee and Cloud Chip Cake

The arrival of the Frontier Army finally relieved the pressure on KID. As soon as the Frontier Army took control, the surrounding media stopped taking photos, and the interviews that were initially planned were blocked by security robots deployed by the spaceport.

The Frontier Army’s style of operation was swift and decisive, quickly managing the media presence.

Jiang Simiao got the scoop from the spaceport staff, learning how such a large group of media had gathered. He recalled how, back when KID’s management had fled, the bottom of the KID building had been similarly crowded. Now, having fought their way back into the top eight, it seemed they were returning home in glory.

Shen Xingtang frowned as she made calls on the side. There hadn’t been any prior notice about the media interviews, and she didn’t even know which platforms were involved. This was very disorganized.

The KID team had just woken up from their sleep on the spaceship, only to be greeted by this scene upon disembarking. Not fully awake, they were startled into alertness. There wasn’t much time to prepare during the short flight. Ji Qingfeng dug out a hat from his backpack and put it on. “They should’ve informed us about the interview in advance. I would’ve shaved.”

Lin Yao rubbed his chin. “Are we big stars now?”

“More or less. DE didn’t even make it into the top 32 this year. We’ve become the pride of Sirius,” Ji Qingfeng said, barely tidying up his appearance. “When we dropped out of the top eight, they called us the fallen light of Sirius. The media always has something to say.”

After their cheating scandal last season, DE had been in decline. Their boss supposedly fled and started an individual team, but without much success.

Huo Yan greeted the Frontier Army personnel, who nodded back and informed them that Lieutenant Colonel Lu was waiting for them at the exit.

Ying Chenlin glanced at his messages and replied to Old Qiu, who enthusiastically sent an emoji back, saying he’d be waiting outside the terminal.

The Frontier Army had been waiting for KID at the spaceport, with their starship parked outside. The sight of a military ship on Sirius caused quite a stir, prompting several local leaders to come, thinking something major had happened.

Ji Qingfeng and Lin Yao overheard the murmurs of the media nearby. “Did I hear that right? They said we’re in trouble.”

Huo Yan laughed, “We follow the law. How could we be in trouble? They’re speaking nonsense.”

Lieutenant Colonel Lu sent soldiers to explain things to the other leaders, and seeing that the media was still taking photos, he dispatched people to communicate with them.

When the Sirius leaders heard that the Frontier Army had come to Sirius to deal with KID and that it wasn’t anything major, they said, “We’ll handle the media. We won’t let them say too much.”

You Su frowned at Lieutenant Colonel Lu slightly, who was standing nearby. The latter was dressed sharply in his military uniform and had a stern face, “Why are you here?”

Lieutenant Colonel Lu answered, “Executing a mission.”

Whenever KID disembarked from a spaceship previously, they never had such a spectacle: the media, the Frontier Army, and even the leaders of Sirius all showed up.

Upon exiting the terminal, they found a specialized vehicle from the Frontier Army waiting for them. The elderly Old Qiu had the window down and greeted KID warmly.

KID hadn’t seen Old Qiu and others for a long time. Seeing these familiar faces made them nostalgic. They all got into Old Qiu’s vehicle, while the leaders outside wanted to invite them to Sirius’ Administrative Bureau.

Seeing the travel-worn KID members, Old Qiu declined the kind offer. “Let’s go straight to the KID base; they need to rest.”

Ji Qingfeng looked at the few cars following them while the rest of the soldiers returned to the Frontier Army’s starship. “Old Lu, we’ve been through thick and thin together. What kind of mission made you park the starship here?”

Lieutenant Colonel Lu said, “We just finished a patrol mission.”

Shen Xingtang knew the car wasn’t the best place to talk.

On the way, Old Qiu instructed his personal guards not to follow. When they arrived outside the KID building, only the KID members and a few from the Frontier Army remained.

The group made a grand return to the KID base. As Lieutenant Colonel Lu and Old Qiu were about to enter the KID building, Ji Qingfeng, leading the way, waved his hand slightly, explaining, “Bro, we have to go this way. The upstairs is rented out.”

“Rented out…?” Lieutenant Colonel Lu paused.

Ji Qingfeng: “But of course, we collect rent to subsidize our household expenses ah!”

Lieutenant Colonel Lu looked at the luxurious building in front of him, then followed KID into a somewhat cramped basement corridor, visiting the KID base for the first time. His eyes reflected a mixture of emotions as he looked at You Su in disbelief.

You Su ignored him, dragging his suitcase forward. Passing by Ying Chenlin, he asked, “Need help with your luggage?”

Ying Chenlin, who had intended to visit the maintenance room, saw this and said, “Is it okay?”

You Su didn’t say much, extending a hand to take Ying Chenlin’s suitcase. “Sure, it’s on the way.”

Ying Chenlin watched You Su walk ahead, his gaze fixed on You Su’s right leg. Seeing him walk effortlessly, Ying Chenlin became more certain that what he saw in the morning was just an illusion.

Lieutenant Colonel Lu and Old Qiu didn’t bring any other soldiers. The two of them seemed a bit unaccustomed to the somewhat narrow corridor. The Frontier Army had a break in their intelligence within the Dawn Galaxy; they knew KID was living in an underground base, but they didn’t expect such an excellent group of mecha pilots to emerge from such a small base.

Old Qiu saw Ying Chenlin heading to the maintenance room and nodded at Lieutenant Colonel Lu, then asked, “Can I go with you?”

Ying Chenlin paused slightly, slowing his steps. “The stairs are a bit steep.”

Lieutenant Colonel Lu didn’t follow. He nodded at Shen Xingtang.

Shen Xingtang hadn’t seen the Frontier Army people for a long time and quickly led Lieutenant Colonel Lu to the meeting room.

Upon reaching the meeting room, Lieutenant Colonel Lu’s gaze lingered on the training room not far away, separated by a virtual screen. Finally, he withdrew his gaze. The training room was filled with signs of life, with combat suits casually draped over the virtual pods. Rather than a well-ordered training room, it felt more like a vibrant living space.

Jiang Simiao said, “It’s a bit messy, but make yourselves comfortable.”

After serving tea, Shen Xingtang asked, “Did something big happen for you to come all the way from the frontier?”

Lieutenant Colonel Lu thanked Shen Xingtang and said straightforwardly, “We’re here because of the Coria situation.”

The Coria Contaminated Zone?! Shen Xingtang and Jiang Simiao were somewhat surprised. It had been a long time since they came out of Coria. After they left, everything was handed over to the Frontier Army, and they only knew that the issue of the fusion weapon in the Restricted Zone had been controlled. They hadn’t heard anything else since.

Matters involving the frontier rarely spread on StarNet to avoid causing panic among Star Alliance citizens.

“Is there a problem with the fusion weapon?” Shen Xingtang asked with a frown.

Lieutenant Colonel Lu replied, “No, I’m here with Old Qiu to express our thanks on behalf of the Frontier Headquarters.”

The issue with the fusion weapon in the Coria Contaminated Zone was difficult to handle. After the mecha bases of the Dawn Galaxy and the Second Star Domain withdrew, everything was handed over to the Frontier Army of the First Star Domain and the Dawn Galaxy. Only recently were all the hazards related to the fusion weapon and Coria completely resolved.

Hearing that this matter had been perfectly resolved, Shen Xingtang felt relieved. “That’s good. Their years of perseverance weren’t in vain.”

As a fellow Frontier Army member, Lieutenant Colonel Lu understood the meaning behind Shen Xingtang’s words. After a moment, he said, “The full report on Coria was submitted not long ago. The Star Alliance’s Frontier General Army’s stance on the matter has just come down, marking its perfect resolution.”

“Due to the complexity of the situation and lengthy procedures, the Frontier General Army is very grateful for KID’s assistance. Though we may be a bit late.”

Lieutenant Colonel Lu then took out an old, leather envelope from his pocket and handed it to Shen Xingtang. “This is a token of appreciation from the Frontier General Army. Please accept it.”

Appreciation…? Jiang Simiao was momentarily stunned.

Shen Xingtang’s eyes flickered as she reached out to take the envelope, seeing a few star currency checks inside. “Is this our bonus payout?”

Jiang Simiao was surprised. “We actually get a bonus for this!?”

After the Coria matter was resolved, the Frontier Army had already helped them a lot. Jiang Simiao hadn’t expected such a pleasant surprise, and Shen Xingtang hadn’t mentioned it at the base.

“It’s a bonus for assisting the Frontier Army,” Lieutenant Colonel Lu accepted the straightforward description, explaining, “The bonus should have been issued earlier, but the complexity of the Coria situation led Old Qiu and Lieutenant General Lin to push for more. The reports went back and forth until the Star Alliance’s General Headquarters finally approved it. This includes thank-you letters and bonuses from the Dawn Frontier Army Bureau, the First Star Domain’s General Military Bureau, and the Star Alliance General Headquarters.”

Shen Xingtang exclaimed, “It’s been reported to the Star Alliance General Headquarters!?”

The Frontier Army encounters issues every year, but cases that reach the Star Alliance General Headquarters are far from ordinary.

“I’m not at liberty to discuss the specifics,” Lieutenant Colonel Lu said, standing up to salute. “The Frontier Army is extremely grateful for your assistance. Please extend my gratitude to all the mecha pilots.”

Shen Xingtang nodded. “You’re too kind, Lieutenant Colonel Lu.”

She pulled out the checks, and her eyes widened at the amount.

Jiang Simiao, uninterested in the intricate affairs of the Frontier Army, noticed Shen Xingtang’s hand trembling slightly as she held the check. “How much is the bonus? Is it enough for our mecha repairs—holy shit! An enormous windfall!”

Lieutenant Colonel Lu: “…”

Shen Xingtang stood up enthusiastically. “Simiao, bring out the best tea we have at the base.”

Without hesitation, Jiang Simiao went to fetch the tea leaves.

Lieutenant Colonel Lu, who had just sat down, put his half-finished cup of tea aside.

Old Qiu followed Ying Chenlin to KID’s underground maintenance room. Upon entering, he saw the grandfather-grandson duo busy among the mechas. The entire maintenance area was filled with damaged mechas, and he immediately recognized them as KID’s competition mechas.

Recently, he had started learning about the Dawn Mecha League. His students had shown him footage of KID’s elimination matches. He asked, “Aren’t you piloting Yuan?”

“No, my mental power isn’t suitable for long-duration piloting. Some of Yuan’s parameters need adjusting.” Ying Chenlin casually put on a maintenance work jacket hanging nearby. “It can’t be used for a while.”

Old Qiu glanced at Ying Chenlin’s arm and asked, “Is it much better now? Any discomfort in your body or arm?”

“Yes, thank you for your concern. It’s much better,” Ying Chenlin nodded. “This arm is better than my previous one. I haven’t felt fatigue while piloting a mecha in a long time.”

Seeing that Ying Chenlin was about to start mecha maintenance, Old Qiu offered, “Are you checking for wear and tear? Do you need any help?”

Ying Chenlin was momentarily stunned and was about to speak when Old Qiu smiled kindly and said, “Don’t be fooled by my work with pollutants. In my younger days, I also studied weapons and mechas. Many of the weapons used by the Frontier Army were handled by me. Wear and tear is a small matter. Although I’m old, my eyesight is still sharp.”

Old Qiu set his cane aside and continued, “I came to talk to you, but I don’t want to interrupt your work. Let me help you finish first.”

Grandpa Gu and Gu Xiaotian greeted Old Qiu warmly when they saw him.

Old Qiu didn’t climb into the cockpit. Instead, he chose to inspect the wear on the mecha’s foot, which was easier to access. Wearing Gu Xiaotian’s maintenance coat, the elderly man moved slowly around the mecha’s foot, continuously recording data on a tablet.

From above, Ying Chenlin glanced down briefly before quickly immersing himself in his work.

KID’s matches in Group A had ended, leaving some downtime. While repairing the mechas wasn’t urgent, Ying Chenlin kept thinking about their recent encounter with Black Crow and BZZL1 at the Kemu Cave venue. They had won thanks to their initial advantage with Giant Bear. If Giant Bear hadn’t fallen for their ploy and come to rescue their mechas consecutively, they would have faced a brutal battle against Black Crow and BZZL1 in the final match.

Ying Chenlin still remembered BZZL1’s Hydro-Magnetic Cannon. Their advantage was in destroying the terrain. Without that, the Hydro-Magnetic Cannon would have been nearly unbeatable in the corridor space, potentially depleting their resources.

And then there was Black Crow.

Black Crow’s order of operation was too stable. A single Chi Lizi managed to score Huo Yan’s mecha point amidst two of BZZL1’s mechas. The battle at the edge of the collapsed corridor was fierce… demonstrating the strength of Dawn’s number two mecha base.

This season, many teams from the Dawn Galaxy were stronger than their profiles suggested.

The hiatus caused by the Black Hole had indeed changed a lot.

In the upcoming ranking matches, KID would need to bring out all their weapons—You Su’s mecha, Theo’s weapons, and the two new Medical weapons Ying Chenlin was about to complete. Otherwise, it would be difficult to face strong teams like Gale in such an intense atmosphere.

Ying Chenlin wanted to buy more time, so he didn’t dare slack off.

With several mechanics working together and the data that Grandpa Gu had previously recorded, the wear and tear inspections were swift.

Grandpa Gu and Old Qiu hit it off remarkably well. They chatted continuously as they worked. By the time Ying Chenlin finished checking the worn areas higher up and came down, the two elderly men had nearly completed their inspections of the foot sections.

During the inspections, KID’s mecha pilots kept coming over to check on their mechas. Ji Qingfeng and Lin Yao were particularly attached to their mechas, always asking a lot of questions during repairs.

When You Su came over after his shower, he noticed the lively atmosphere in the maintenance room. Seeing everyone gathered and chatting happily, he decided not to interrupt. He leaned on the control station’s high platform, observing from above. He spotted the young man moving energetically among the group, with no trace of last night’s fatigue, looking vibrant and full of life.

Theo remarked, “I wonder why the Frontier Army is here to see us.”

You Su lowered his eyes, his gaze shifting slightly. “It’s nothing major. If it were something big, they would have kept us on the starship to talk.”

Huo Yan and Lu Xi arrived together and warmly greeted Old Qiu upon seeing him. The atmosphere between the mecha pilots and mechanics was very pleasant, with Grandpa Gu always responding kindly whenever a pilot mentioned any discomfort with their mechas.

“Can you extend the duration of the Spatial Staff to 45 seconds next time?” Lin Yao asked. “It’s too short now, not enough to show off.”

Grandpa Gu laughed and said, “That needs to be approved by the Alliance. Our initial design was for 50 seconds, but it got rejected several times.”

Old Qiu, listening from the side, was also amused by the KID mecha pilot’s whimsical idea.

Ying Chenlin was used to seeing Old Qiu’s serious demeanor in the control room and rarely saw him laughing and chatting with his peers. “You seem to be in a good mood.”

“Just reminiscing,” Old Qiu said, looking around the small maintenance room. “Child, KID seems like a magical place.”

Ying Chenlin blinked, “It is a wonderful place.”

Old Qiu stayed in the maintenance room for a long time, but as the afternoon approached, the Frontier Army’s starship couldn’t stay docked at Sirius for too long, so he bid farewell to Ying Chenlin.

“Master Gu’s skills are impressive,” Old Qiu said. “After the parts reform, our Frontier Army’s equipment has also improved. It’s thanks to you and Jianheng for pushing the parts reform. The technology originated in Dawn and has greatly benefited Dawn.”

Ying Chenlin replied, “Thank you for your help today.”

“Child, there’s no need to be polite with your grandpa,” Old Qiu said with a smile, hands behind his back. “Wear and tear on mechas is a problem. If you need my help, you can always contact me on the light brain.”

Ying Chenlin was about to say something when Old Qiu handed him an envelope. “I almost forgot about this. Here, a New Year’s gift.”

This year, their New Year had been spent training, followed by a rushed match at the Kemu Cave venue.

KID had almost forgotten the New Year. If Old Qiu hadn’t mentioned it, Ying Chenlin would have forgotten that the Chinese New Year had already passed.

Seeing him hesitate, Old Qiu urged, “You should accept a gift from an elder.”

“Thank you,” Ying Chenlin said, taking the envelope and finding it somewhat heavy.

“The timing should be manageable,” Old Qiu patted Ying Chenlin’s hand. “I won’t take up more of your time. Make sure to rest well, and I’ll visit again next time.”

Lieutenant Colonel Lu was already waiting outside the maintenance room. When he saw Old Qiu come out, he nodded to Ying Chenlin and then led the others away.

Outside the KID base, the Frontier Army soldiers’ hovercar was already waiting. Lieutenant Colonel Lu helped Old Qiu into the car and then looked at You Su, who was trailing behind the crowd, nodding to him before getting into the car.

“We still need to visit other mecha bases. We’ve been delayed for quite a while,” Lieutenant Colonel Lu said, noticing the smile on Old Qiu’s face. “But the timings are controllable; we should be able to return to the frontier on schedule.”

Old Qiu replied, “Did you wait long in the conference room?”

Lieutenant Colonel Lu paused slightly before responding, “Not too long. I drank two pots of tea, so I’m a bit bloated.”

He knew that Old Qiu had specifically come to see Ying Chenlin. “Did you finish your business?”

“KID is a good place. It reminds me of working with Songshan when I was younger,” Old Qiu said, looking at the receding KID building. “I wonder if KID will still be hiring when my rehire period ends.”

He smiled kindly, “I’m indeed getting old, but I can still repair a few things.”

Meanwhile, the KID members watched the hovercar drive away. Ji Qingfeng leaned against the side and asked, “So, Tang Jie, what did you and Old Lu talk about in the conference room for so long?”

“The Frontier Army brought us something,” Shen Xingtang replied.

Jiang Simiao feigned mystery, “Can you guess?”

You Su had changed into lighter clothing. Seeing Ying Chenlin holding something in his hand, he asked, “Did they bring you something?”

“Uh-huh… they said it’s a New Year’s gift.” Ying Chenlin touched the envelope’s seal, and it automatically opened.

What is it? Ji Qingfeng and Lin Yao curiously leaned in.

Ying Chenlin poured the contents of the envelope out and found several golden cards engraved with special characters and symbols.

Jiang Simiao adjusted his glasses and asked, “What is this…?”

The golden cards were about palm-sized, with unique, mysterious patterns. The edges had electromagnetic traces, and the card surfaces were engraved with symbols and star patterns, making it hard to discern their purpose.

Lin Yao couldn’t understand but speculated, “This card looks expensive.”

You Su squinted slightly, recognizing the origin of the items. “These are admission tickets to the Star Mansion Assembly.”

Lin Yao asked blankly, “What’s the Star Mansion Assembly?”

“Isn’t that the appreciation event!?” Jiang Simiao quickly widened his eyes in surprise. “It really is.”

“The Star Alliance’s Hydra 1 Association is an appreciation event for anomalous crystals organized by a special group. A large number of anomalous crystals circulate at this event, which is held once every ten years at different locations, with very limited admission,” Shen Xingtang explained, picking up one of the cards and examining it closely. “…Old Qiu actually gave you this?”

Ying Chenlin paused at the words, “Many anomalous crystals?”

Shen Xingtang replied, “Plenty. This is an anomalous crystal source that many mecha bases can’t even beg for.”

Lin Yao’s eyes lit up. “So, there’re a lot of good things there!”

Ji Qingfeng:  “Do you think money will just fall from the sky? Yao Bao, places like that also require money!”

Huo Yan added, “The stuff might be good, but it seems we won’t have money to buy anything once we get in.”

As soon as money was mentioned, the KID team became solemn.

Shen Xingtang cleared her throat loudly.

“With the prize money from the Kemu Contaminated Zone, which hasn’t been received yet, we haven’t really lost much… There’s no windfall, but the Frontier Army has sent us a bonus.” Jiang Simiao spoke with emphasis, then solemnly pulled out an envelope and took out the largest check inside. “After deducting our future expenses, all of you can now use this money…”

The KID team stared at the check, their eyes immediately fixed on the countless zeros.

Lin Yao practically had his face pressed against the check. “One, two, three…”

“No need to count,” Shen Xingtang said seriously. “150 million.”

KID’s eyes widened in astonishment!

TN:

Everyone in KID is so unserious when it comes to money lmao. Or rather they’re too serious about it. Lieutenant Lu learned first-hand that money makes go round!

Shen Xingtang: Bring out the good tea.

Lieutenant Lu: This is me, an Asian at an impoverished base and I’m trying to make my money’s worth!

Proceeds to drink two pots of “good tea”.

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Translator Notes
  1. Star Mansion[星宿] – One of the Twenty-eight mansions of the Chinese constellations. It is one of the southern mansions of the Vermilion Bird. The European Constellation equivalent is Hydra. I went with Hydra coz it reminded me of the Marvel Universe[]
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27 days ago

Even in a sci fi setting, I can’t escape the auction house arc lmao

Thanks for the chapter!

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