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Genius Mechanic

Genius Mechanic: Chapter 176

Agaman Sea Star Contaminated Zone (Galactic Ranking Competition)

176. Target! Coral Reef!

Proofread by Cloud Chip Cake and An Zheee 

Zhang Ge and Gale’s head coach instantly broke into cold sweats, their gazes toward Jiang Simiao, who was outside the resting area, were tinged with caution. As their eyes met, before Zhang Ge could think of something to say, Jiang Simiao spoke up: “You guys have that many issues with your online store, huh?”

Zhang Ge’s sweat poured out even more profusely: “What…?”

“I just heard you mention an online store,” Jiang Simiao coughed, “Running an online store is indeed troublesome nowadays. Not only is it hard to find customer service personnel, but finding a high-quality one is even tougher. Recently, our boss wanted to hire another trainee for our online store, but each candidate was worse than the last.”

Gale’s head coach awkwardly laughed, “Haha, yeah, we were just discussing issues with Gale’s merchandise store from last week. Sorry for the loud volume.”

“Running a base has become more challenging,” Jiang Simiao said, “I was just passing by, carry on.”

He walked a few steps, and then looked at Zhang Ge, “Don’t get too worked up. Anger leads to early aging and development of white hair.”

With that, Jiang Simiao left, and the two from Gale breathed a sigh of relief.

As soon as he left, Zhang Ge almost couldn’t contain his frustration, “Fortunately he didn’t f*cking hear us, f*ck. If my job as their customer service personnel got out, would Gale have any face left!?”

The head coach said, “I wasn’t the one talking loudly. If you raise your voice again, he might come back.”

“Wait a minute?” Zhang Ge sighed in relief but then suddenly remembered something, “I’ve just taken a few days off recently, right? What did he mean by that? Is KID hiding the fact they’re hiring an online store trainee from me?”

Gale’s head coach: “…”

As they talked, a Gale staff member nearby said, “Coach, KID seems to be making a move again… no, wait, it looks like Empty Cicada is countering KID.”

Hearing about KID making a move, the two immediately ended their conversation and focused on the situation inside the arena.

During their brief chat, KID’s mechas had already changed their formation in the sea area.

The marine environment was inherently difficult to fight in. Besides KID’s Stealth mecha, which had slipped into the coral reef to find the flag point, the positions of the three teams were now highly concentrated. Positioned in front of the reef was Empty Cicada’s team, guarding its only direct point of entry. Surrounding Empty Cicada was FQJ, followed by KID coming up from behind.

As long as Empty Cicada held their position, FQJ and KID would find it difficult to enter head-on.

However, this delicate balance had just been broken. Empty Cicada’s Stealth failed to intercept KID’s Stealth mecha, allowing Qingf to fully infiltrate the coral reef. Although the reef was filled with pollutants, for KID’s Stealth with their displacing weapon and the ink sacs of the Slinking Cuttlefish, now that they couldn’t subdue him, the coral reef’s flag point would be in danger.

“Now that KID’s Stealth has infiltrated the cave, using Empty Cicada’s Stealth to draw away a large number of pollutants’ aggro, he can reach the depths of the reef’s cave in less than 20 minutes at his current speed,” the commentator for the live broadcast quickly explained, “Empty Cicada and FQJ seem to have noticed the issue. They are now attempting to intervene, and the battle has moved directly above the coral reef!”

【Qingf is no longer using the ink sacs to prevent the others from following him.】

【Empty Cicada have changed their strategy!】

Empty Cicada’s commander naturally wouldn’t let KID’s Stealth mecha’s plan succeed. Their Artillery mecha’s underwater torpedoes exploded within KID and FQJ’s encirclements. Seizing this opportunity, the five members of Empty Cicada quickly descended. Empty Cicada’s Medical had brought an Underwater Amplifier which significantly increased their entire team’s agility underwater. Using this special interval, the whole of Empty Cicada’s team instantly reached the coral reef’s cave.

The moment they stopped in the cave, Empty Cicada’s Tank immediately deployed a large underwater shield. This shield subtly covered the entirety of the entrance to the coral reef’s cave. With the Tank blocking the entrance, their Guardian and Medical swiftly infiltrated the coral reef’s cave, leaving their Tank, Control, and Artillery mechas to firmly guard the cave’s entrance.

【They can use the terrain like this!?】

【But Empty Cicada only has three mechas; can they hold the entrance?】

【Don’t forget Empty Cicada’s Control mecha is there.】

【Captain Jiang of Empty Cicada is indeed formidable.】

“Empty Cicada’s move is brilliant! Using their shield to secure the entrance as three mechas go inside to capture the flag point and surround KID’s Stealth,” Commentator A said excitedly in the live broadcast. “We know that Empty Cicada’s Tank uses a water-attribute shield, a shield weapon made from the anomalous crystal of a Deep Sea Turtle. This weapon’s effectiveness is almost doubled underwater.”

For other teams, it would be extremely difficult for three mechas to block two teams.

But Empty Cicada had a Control mecha adept at using Quick Freeze bullets. This Control mecha’s weapon charged quickly. Normally, in the time an Artillery fires one shot, Empty Cicada can fire two Quick Freeze shots. Furthermore, since Empty Cicada’s positions are fixed at the cave’s entrance, even if they can’t predict every mecha’s positioning, they know that every projectile is coming towards them.

As long as they know the direction of the projectiles, Empty Cicada’s Control mecha can block FQJ’s Artillery and KID’s Control.

“Empty Cicada’s Control mecha is really strong,” Lin Yao, swimming on the periphery, said. “He alone can stop two core attackers.”

Huo Yan replied, “Their Control is their commander, Jiang Tianyi. He’s been a professional mecha pilot for five years in the League. A Control mecha pilot with a strong strategic view is very dangerous; if you’re not careful, he can outmaneuver you to death.”

“What’s going on?! I see several people approaching my position,” Ji Qingfeng joined the group chat. “What’s the situation outside, why did you let this happen?”

Lin Yao: “Giving you a chance to 1v3.”

Ji Qingfeng: “Then you better be ready to collect my corpse, okay. 1 up against 3, the three of them beating up little old me 1.”

Ying Chenlin’s gaze fell on the increasing number of pollutants gathering in the distance and on the large coral reef. “This won’t work. Empty Cicada can still hold their ground. Even if Qingfeng captures the flag point, if we don’t force Empty Cicada’s three mechas out, they’ll just take it back.”

You Su said, “Then let’s blow up the coral reef.”

Ying Chenlin looked at You Su, “You need to ensure that weapon isn’t exposed before then, otherwise Jiang Tianyi will target you, and Empty Cicada might change their positioning and alter their strategy for defending against us.”

You Su: “Don’t worry, I’ll only fire it once.”

“Wait? Why are we blowing up the coral reef? There are so many pollutants!” Ji Qingfeng exclaimed, “Ge, although I long for a sea burial after death, you don’t have to be so final in your words, okay!”

No one spoke in the channel, indicating the very tense situation outside.

Ji Qingfeng couldn’t see the situation outside, “??? Don’t ah. Ge, don’t scare me ah!”

Seeing the situation, FQJ started discussing in their channel.

“Empty Cicada has blocked the way through; we can’t do anything to them for a while.”

“If they capture the point, we won’t have a chance.”

FQJ’s Commander: “Retreat. We have a good grasp of the situation regarding KID and Empty Cicada’s mecha weapons. We didn’t lose out on this round, let’s just go.”

The competition had reached the ranking matches, and all teams knew that the key to victory was capturing the points. With three teams vying for the same point, it’d inevitably result in a fight to the death without a clear outcome. FQJ’s team commander wasn’t foolish; they originally had a chance to steal the point, but now that Empty Cicada were dead-set on guarding the cave, staying here to contest the point was just a waste of time.

【FQJ seems to be retreating.】

【There’s no point in fighting over it. Both attrition and energy consumption are issues. If they drag this out for half a day, they’ll lose the opportunity to capture other points.】

【Exactly. There are seven points on the field. If two teams are locked in a death match here, there’ll inevitably be a point with little defense elsewhere.】

FQJ’s retreat is a great development for Empty Cicada.

However, for some reason, Empty Cicada’s commander Jiang Tianyi couldn’t relax. His gaze was fixed on KID’s Trace and Lucy. With FQJ gone, their Artillery mechas could pressure KID’s two melee mechas and prevent them from getting close. Although KID had a numerical advantage, as long as his Quick Freeze rounds can suppress Lucy, it won’t be easy for KID’s remaining mechas to solve the problem of their shield in a short time.

Empty Cicada’s Tank said, “Be careful of KID. Their mecha positions have been changing since earlier.”

“No worries,” Jiang Tianyi said calmly. “We just need to hold out for one hour. The difficult part is for KID.”

One hour is enough for his three teammates to infiltrate the cave, capture the flag point, and suppress KID’s Stealth mecha.

No matter how strong their Stealth mecha was, it’d be tough to deal with the siege of three mechas simultaneously.

Jiang Tianyi operated the Quick Freeze Cannon with even more caution. For some reason, since earlier, he had felt that KID’s Trace was very unusual. According to the data they had researched prior, Trace preferred violent bombardments, but in today’s multiple confrontations, he clearly felt that Trace’s firepower wasn’t strong.

Jiang Tianyi could roughly guess why KID’s Artillery hadn’t used their full-charged Sniper Cannon. It was likely to hide the characteristics of the Sniper Cannon.

By pressing Lucy this hard, he also wanted Trace to reveal that hidden Sniper Cannon sooner.

Jiang Tianyi said, “Find a way to press Trace again.”

Yao and Yan’s positions converged straight at Empty Cicada’s Artillery mecha, while Trace and Lucy moved towards Empty Cicada’s Control mecha’s position. KID’s whole formation turned into a 2-1-2 formation, launching attacks on Empty Cicada’s team entrenched at the coral reef from three directions.

“In the arena, FQJ has chosen to retreat. They’re all evacuating from the coral reef. Now, the point’s contention is between KID and Empty Cicada,” the live broadcast commentator observed the standoff between the two sides. “Currently, KID has the numerical superiority, but Empty Cicada firmly controls the situation. The three mechas inside the cave are gradually closing in on Qingf. Can KID break through the siege and rescue Qingf?”

Just then, the KID mechas who had been on the periphery, moved. KID’s Lucy and Trace launched an attack at Empty Cicada’s Control mecha’s position. Seeing KID’s two mechas raising their cannons, Jiang Tianyi instinctively locked onto Lucy’s position, but then suddenly realized that Trace’s cannon fired a bit faster than Lucy’s.

Jiang Tianyi wouldn’t let such a mistake go. His Quick Freeze round hit Lucy’s Enhancement Cannon again, and the sealed Enhancement Cannon round sank to the seabed.

Such a situation was very rare. The coordination between KID’s Trace and Lucy rarely had mistakes. In Empty Cicada’s database, the occurrence of mistakes in their coordination was less than 5%, especially under conditions without interference, where the likelihood of errors was virtually 0%.

“Yao and Yan are both on my side. I can’t assist you there. Are you okay?” Empty Cicada’s Artillery mecha said.

Jiang Tianyi replied, “No problem at the moment. Seems like KID’s rhythm is off.”

Another shot immediately followed, and Trace’s Sniper Cannon again fired faster than Lucy’s Enhancement Cannon.

Jiang Tianyi sealed it again, but the sense of unease in his heart grew stronger. Something was wrong. KID’s overall demeanor was very wrong.

【Is KID nervous? It seems like both shots were faster?】

【Is KID nervous?】

“Is KID nervous?” Gale’s coach asked.

Zhang Ge denied it, “Honestly, I don’t think such nervousness would arise with KID, but their rhythm has been strange since earlier.”

Just as Trace’s Sniper Cannon fired faster than Lucy again, Empty Cicada’s Tank spoke up, “Something’s not right. The power of the KID Artillery’s Sniper Cannon is increasing. Sink’s Energy Cannon has always had consistent power, but the pressure on my shield is definitely rising.”

Increased power…?

Jiang Tianyi suddenly realized something was wrong.

Not far away, inside the cockpit of KID’s Artillery mecha.

You Su’s gaze rested on the scope. He controlled the Sniper Cannon’s power output at 2.14% frequency, withholding the weapon core’s output frequency down to a specific range.

At that moment, Trace’s Sniper Cannon fired again. Jiang Tianyi attempted to once again seal off Lucy’s Enhancement Cannon shot, but as Trace’s Sniper Cannon passed by his Quick Freeze shells, for some unknown reason, his Quick Freeze shell suddenly veered off course midway and failed to seal Lucy’s Enhancement Cannon. The Enhancement Cannon shot exploded outside Empty Cicada’s Tank shield, creating a sudden vortex of wind.

【Did Captain Jiang make a mistake!?】

【Seems like it.】

After the Enhancement Cannon shot exploded, Trace lifted the Sniper Cannon again, brushing past Jiang Tianyi’s Quick Freeze shell and deflecting its trajectory.

Trace used the same rotational force to approach the trajectory of his Quick Freeze shell, miraculously altering its course to avoid Lucy’s Enhanced Cannon shot.

No, that’s not right.

In theory, those Sniper Cannon shots should have created a small vortex, which underwater pressure would diminish, causing minor water flow changes that could lead to positional deviations of two shells passing close to each other… But in reality, the time in which the two shells brushed past each other was too brief, and the rotational force’s energy’s impact time was minimal. Moreover, the shells themselves had a certain capability for correction.

Even if Trace could control the energy of his Sniper Cannon’s projectiles, the likelihood of successfully altering their trajectory is less than 0.01%. This may affect the Quick Freeze rounds moving at high-speeds, unless that Sniper Cannon itself carries a vortex.

Jiang Tianyi shouted, “Something’s wrong! His Sniper Cannon is problematic—it’s not just a simple wind-attribute Sniper Cannon!”

But unknown weapon abilities aside, the most critical thing was that the man hadn’t exposed this weapon yet.

Is he a freak? Is his control over weapons so precise!?

Just then, Trace’s Sniper Cannon moved again. Jiang Tianyi hastily raised his cannon to intercept Lucy’s Enhancement Cannon. In this abrupt moment, he saw a red and white mecha breaking into his targeting scope’s sights. Following Trace’s sniper shot, Sink swiftly approached from behind him, aiming his Energy Cannon straight at their position.

Sink seized the opportunity. While Trace’s Sniper Cannon diverted the Quick Freeze rounds, his Energy Cannon shot collided with the Enhancement Cannon’s, creating a huge vortex explosion.

Inside the live broadcast room, viewers initially thought KID’s shells would be sealed by Empty Cicada’s team. But suddenly, Jiang Tianyi made consecutive mistakes, and Empty Cicada’s rhythm showed subtle fluctuations. The commentator exclaimed, “KID has found an opportunity, they are starting to counterattack!”

Gale’s head coach’s gaze firmly locked onto You Su’s Artillery, “It’s not Empty Cicada’s mistake, it’s KID’s Artillery that’s forcing his mistakes.”

However, based solely on a slight vortex, he couldn’t discern what Trace’s weapon was doing exactly—is it a wind-enhanced weapon? A wind-attribute attack!? What kind of wind-attribute offensive weapon has KID obtained now?

Jiang Tianyi was caught off guard by this coordinated attack. Before he could lock onto Trace’s position again, KID’s three mechas simultaneously fired their shells. The turbulence caused by Lucy’s Enhancement Cannon shot’s explosion destabilized the surroundings. Jiang Tianyi struggled to stabilize the situation and lock onto Lucy again, but in the chaos, Trace’s Sniper Cannon remained steady, once again causing Jiang Tianyi’s Quick Freeze rounds to deviate.

At the same time, close-range Energy Cannon scatter shots appeared in front of Empty Cicada’s three mechas.

Sink seized this opportunity with Trace, using the Energy Cannon to disrupt Jiang Tianyi’s observation, creating new opportunities for Lucy and Trace.

Oh no! When did Sink get here!?

As Jiang Tianyi adjusted his Quick Freeze Cannon again, he found that KID’s disruption had caused a large number of bubbles to instantly affect his vision. His reaction was delayed by a second.

However, Ying Chenlin seized the opportunity perfectly. He didn’t waste even a second of the three seconds You Su mentioned. No matter how strong Empty Cicada’s Control mecha was, once they lost their rhythm and vision, their speed in determining their positions would slow down. Empty Cicada was fixed in the coral reef, while KID’s three long-range mechas could freely move around the vast outskirts of the reef.

Unless Empty Cicada moved away from the cave’s mouth, it would be difficult for them to regain their rhythm.

But once they moved away, they would lose their defensive advantage.

KID instantly found their rhythm. This time, You Su took over the role of suppressing Empty Cicada’s Control, while Ying Chenlin and Lu Xi began pressuring Empty Cicada’s Tank mecha. The rhythm of the battle instantly escalated on both sides. Jiang Tianyi lost sight of Lu Xi and lost total control of the core point. Now that he’d sealed Sink, Trace could coordinate with Lucy; if he sealed Trace, Sink would coordinate with Lu Xi. Unable to control Lucy, he couldn’t suppress the threat of the Enhancement Cannon to his side.

Under such pressure, Empty Cicada’s defense showed signs of faltering. Just then, Ji Qingfeng reached the flag point ahead of Empty Cicada.

“Ten minutes!”

Empty Cicada’s Tank anxiously exclaimed, “Trace’s weapon’s power is increasing!”

Jiang Tianyi realized this and understood that KID wasn’t hiding the weapon before them to conceal it. All along, they had been hiding Trace’s weapon to disrupt their rhythm and unleash its true potential after destabilizing the situation. 

“Lock onto Trace! Don’t let his weapon’s power escalate!” Jiang Tianyi urgently ordered, “Is the coral reef area still not ready?”

Empty Cicada’s Stealth replied, “We’re almost ready, but Qingf may have already reached the position.”

As time passed second by second, Empty Cicada failed to regain their original rhythm, instead allowing Trace to become increasingly free.

“Ji Qingfeng, get ready to run,” You Su suddenly said.

Ji Qingfeng looked at the countdown for the last ten seconds, “Wait, Ge, there’s still about ten seconds.”

“Something’s wrong! Trace is targeting the coral reef!” Empty Cicada’s Tank exclaimed.

With the mention of the coral reef, Jiang Tianyi looked towards its position, “It shouldn’t be a big problem—”

At that moment, he suddenly noticed something sedimented not far away.

The Quick Freeze rounds that sealed shells used a special ice-attribute energy seal. Once formed, the hardened ice layer couldn’t be destroyed by other gunfire. However, this sort of ice-attribute energy would begin to melt and degrade 10 minutes after exposure. Normally, the ice layer melting wouldn’t cause much of a problem because the shells’ external energy sources would disappear, typically without causing an explosion…

Just then, Jiang Tianyi suddenly saw a Sniper Cannon charging at a high altitude. Before the shell could be fired, the surrounding water had already been disturbed in waves.

Jiang Tianyi’s pupils contracted. He was about to stop the Sniper Cannon above him when time seemed to slow down for half a second.

You Su’s Sniper Cannon was charged to 100%, and as it descended, a shell passed over Empty Cicada and landed among the other two shots in different directions.

The combined power of KID’s three shells converged at this moment and was aimed directly at the coral reef. The three shells, seizing the opportunity, were wedged in the interval as the Quick Freeze rounds switched. Huo Yan shielded all the mechas behind him with his shield and shouted, “Ji Qingfeng, run!”

Inside the cave, Ji Qingfeng used his Hook Claw at the last moment to escape.

After a moment of silence above the coral reef, it suddenly erupted as a small vortex turned into a huge storm, sweeping out from the center of the coral reef!

“???” Jiang Tianyi saw the explosion, his peripheral vision falling on the Quick Freeze rounds sedimented not far away, “F*ck!! Raise the shield quickly!!! It’s going to explode.”

On the radar map showing the flag point occupations, a massive explosion swept across the coral reef.

At that moment, an emergency report flashed on the screens within Agaman’s Management Bureau.

The staff watching the match were stunned for a moment, then someone quickly shouted back, “Director, there’s been a submarine landslide near the central sea area!!!”

In the central sea area of the Agaman Sea Star Contaminated Zone, the three major teams had temporarily paused their battles. With the addition of Gale, the wear in the three-way standoff increased, and more than one team chose to retreat back to their safety line to reassess the situation. The two central sea area flag points had not been captured yet. Wen Yi from Black Crow stared at the map, puzzled by the other captured flags, “Strange, KID still hasn’t captured any so far.”

When they entered the central sea area, they had once accidentally seen KID’s coordinates.

KID was formidable, and it was indeed strange that they hadn’t captured any flags yet given their circumstances.

Amidst the team’s confusion, they suddenly saw the KID occupation marker appear on a flag point.

Zhao Lejie said, “Is KID struggling with the Contaminated Zone? They’ve only captured one now?”

Qi Sicheng paused slightly, “This coordinate seems very close to us.”

Just then, the mecha pilot responsible for monitoring the sea area suddenly sensed something amiss, “Captain Qi, the underwater pressure seems to be rising.”

At first, the mecha pilots didn’t pay much attention to the changes in underwater pressure.

But after about fifteen minutes, the changes in underwater pressure became more pronounced. Several mechas engaged in battle hastily surfaced. Suddenly, several teams in the central sea area noticed movement in the distance. As they turned around, they saw a gigantic tsunami, over a hundred meters tall, rushing towards them at incredible speed.

Zhao Lejie surfaced, and his entire mecha was pushed several meters back by the strong wind. “What’s going on? Has the wind intensified?”

As he turned his head, the next moment, a huge wave crashed into his face. “F*ck me!!!”

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Translator Notes
  1. Took some liberties with this one. The literal translation is “Three of them more or less beat one of me”[]
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