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Genius Mechanic

Genius Mechanic: Chapter 30

Tianyu Star Contaminated Zone

30. Machinery

Proofread by An Zheee and Cloud Chip Cake

“Encountered a mishap…” The mecha pilots present didn’t dare speculate further.

“It won’t happen!”

“Don’t overthink!”

Saying not to overthink was easier said than done as they recalled the fleeting images they had seen earlier in the Secondary Defense Zone. The scene of Zhao Lejie enduring hits with his energy shield was vividly etched in their minds, especially the high-frequency energy output. It was evident how difficult the situation had been.

Old Zhao’s team was struggling so hard to maintain their energy shields, and that was at least with an output of 50% or above. If they were to encounter another S-Level pollutant…

“He has other mecha pilots with him,” Qi Sicheng looked at the cluster of pollutant corpses and succinctly said, “Until we find his mecha, everything is unknown. Pair up in groups of two and search the surroundings, pay close attention to energy traces!”

The others immediately went into action.

Hu Luobu watched this and couldn’t help but ask, “If a major problem really arises, how would you contact the Management Bureau?”

“Only through the base tower,” Qi Sicheng’s expression was somewhat peculiar. “I can’t help but feel something is off. The wounds on these pollutants are too clean, as if they were caused by mecha weapons.”

Hu Luobu exclaimed, “How is that possible!? It’s not necessary to kill so many pollutants like this!”

It would be enough to shake them off. There’s no need to kill them, and killing them would consume energy.

In an environment like this, energy equates to life. He continued, “Who would be foolish enough to do this? And these cutting marks… You need precise energy control to extract materials so meticulously.”

Wasting energy to pick up materials? That’s a possibility in special circumstances, but who would be foolish enough to use energy to sort materials?

Qi Sicheng sighed, “I might have been overly suspicious.”

In the First Star Domain, on Dawn Galaxy’s StarNet, users gathered under the official website of the Tianyu Star’s Management Bureau began to keenly notice something amiss.

Since the emergency notice was sent out to now, there hadn’t been any further updates from Tianyu Star, and the initial teams from the three bases that entered hadn’t shown any intention to receive reinforcements.

During an emergency mission, the Management Bureau would maintain real-time updates.

This level of emergency lockdown was much more severe than in typical Contaminated Zone missions, and normally, the Management Bureau for those Contaminated Zones would report any developments. But this time, despite the severity of the lockdown, there had been no news.

[Disconnected, hours have passed without any news. The situation doesn’t seem that simple!] [Could something have happened? Were there corresponding rescue measures?] [The Management Bureau usually has contingency plans. It seems like if a major problem occurs, they might request assistance from the military.]

The detection system within the Competition-Level Contaminated Zone was completely dark. The real-time situation inside couldn’t be seen on the official website.

The longer they went without news, the more people on StarNet became concerned about the situation in the Tianyu Star Contaminated Zone. Somehow, a user suddenly revealed on  StarNet’s virtual public community: “[It seems like a big problem has occurred. I’ve heard that after the routes were sealed, the jump system didn’t start again. The jump system might be malfunctioning.]”

The jump system was broken!?

That’s the jump system of a Competition-level Contaminated Zone, equipped with the most advanced jump technology of the Star Alliance. What kind of emergency situation would cause an internal jump system to malfunction?

[Isn’t the Star Alliance’s jump system usually stable? (Apprehensive)] [It’s impossible for it to be broken. It’s more likely that the equipment on Tianyu Star is damaged, causing problems with intra-station jumps.] [What does that mean?] [It means that even if we send reinforcements now, there’s no way to enter the Contaminated Zone. We can only rely on the mecha pilots inside the Contaminated Zone to solve the problem.]

Originally, the netizens thought they could quickly resolve the issue, but unexpectedly, such a disturbance occurred. The media was quick to catch wind of it and started tracking and reporting on the situation in the Tianyu Star Contaminated Zone. Various speculative messages quickly spread.

Inside the tense conference room, the staff nervously inquired, “Director, the comments online are getting out of control. The Star Alliance is asking if we need military assistance?”

It was already difficult to keep things under wraps. Tianyu Star was a Competition-level Contaminated Zone, normally not accessible, but the official website on StarNet provided real-time updates on the situation within the Contaminated Zone. Now that an incident had occurred, the broadcasting system was also malfunctioning, and without any feedback in a short period of time, it was bound to arouse suspicion.

“Have other departments issue public statements regarding the current situation.” The person in charge paced back and forth; the current situation was uncertain. “Has communication with the Star Alliance resumed? Is the system still not restored?”

A staff member said, “Not long ago, KID’s Boss Shen helped repair the detector. We attempted to connect to bases A and B, restoring a small part of the pollution detection functions.”

The director furrowed their brows. “It can’t be fully restored?”

“It can’t. Base Stations A and B were only barely connected because the mecha pilots previously updated the systems with a patch. The system on the Tianyu Star is still semi-collapsed, completely sealed off from the outside. We took a shortcut.” Shen Xingtang approached, her face showing a bit of weariness. “Still, the same thing stands. If you want to understand the full situation, you’ll have to dismantle the Contaminated Zone’s entire defense system.”

A staff member brought up the data. “There’s a very strange phenomenon: the pollution value within Tianyu Star has sharply decreased.”

Decreased?! The director exclaimed in surprise, “Does that mean the Centennial Orchid has been dealt with!?”

The pollution value in the Tianyu Star Contaminated Zone was determined by a combination of pollution sources and pollutants within the area. A sudden increase in pollution value was invariably accompanied by changes in or the emergence of a pollution source. A decrease in pollution value could only mean that a potentially threatening pollutant in the area had disappeared.

“No… In the side data, we observed a significant change in a pollution value near Base Station C four hours ago, but it quickly stabilized, still above 6000. This indicates that there’s still the possibility of a S-Level pollution source being within the area.” The staff member looked at the graph. The densely packed red dots had decreased. “The pollution in an area near Base Station C has significantly decreased.”

The others in the conference room couldn’t know the specific situation and could only analyze the data from these aspects.

Hearing this, the expressions of the heads of Gale and YDS slightly eased. The head of YDS said, “It seems like the mecha pilots have started taking action. YDS also has experience dealing with S-Level pollutants, so we don’t need to worry too much.”

The nearby head of Gale furrowed her brow. “Something’s not right.”

The director stared at the detection data, his brows tightly knitted together. “No, the dead pollutants have exceeded 300.”

The head of YDS exclaimed, “300???”

While some pollutant deaths could possibly be attributed to mecha pilots’ eradication efforts, the sudden death of so many clearly wasn’t the work of mecha pilots.

“In the past four hours, pollutants with a count of over 300 have died one after another.” The staff member said nervously, “Director! We’ve never encountered a situation where such a large number of pollutants died!”

Other staff members appeared bewildered. “What’s going on? Even during a locust-like pollution migration it’s not this exaggerated.”

The head of Gale suggested, “It could be higher-level pollutants hunting.”

He looked at the situation with an odd feeling. He didn’t think this was hunting. If it were hunting, this pollutant would have a substantial appetite, being able to feed for four hours straight. But he couldn’t find any other reason. Those who could create such a disturbance within the Contaminated Zone, other than pollutants, could only be mecha pilots. But was it probable?

The director finally made up his mind. “This situation is clearly abnormal. Request Star Alliance support immediately! I’ll take full responsibility. We must ensure the safety of all our mecha pilots!”

In the Tianyu Star Contaminated Zone, three kilometers outside Base Station C, within the Secondary Defense Zone, the mecha pilots who stayed behind all wore serious expressions. The mecha pilots skilled in technical work gathered in the control room of the Secondary Defense Zone, their eyes fixed on the control system that remained unchanged, wearing worried expressions.

“The mecha that was responsible for reconnaissance just returned. He said the nearby quicksand had disappeared, and he found some pollutant corpses that seemed to have been cut. This is probably good news.”

A mecha pilot expressed confusion. “Cut…!?”

The reporting mecha pilot continued, “Yes, and there were many deaths. He mentioned seeing no less than 50 corpses on his way back.”

“Not necessarily good news.” The mecha pilot sitting in front of the control room, operating the system somewhat unskilfully, said, “An hour ago, we detected problems with the pollutant reports coming in from 3 kilometers southeast. The pollutant reactions are weakening. Although its foundation is damaged, the reports still hold some reference value.”

The most direct reason for weakened pollutant reactions was a reduction in the number of pollutants in the area. If it were under normal circumstances, they would consider this good news. However, given the current special situation and the eerie sand ruins environment—

The abnormal accumulation of pollutants, the harsh environment—every little change was potentially deadly.

“This area is just a few kilometers away from us.” The mecha pilot’s mood grew heavy. “It’s highly likely that the S-Level pollutant is lurking just outside the defense zone.”

They’ve been trapped here for a while now, facing shortages of energy and incomplete forces, making it difficult for them to proceed with their next plan. They could only wait for mecha pilots returning from the outside to bring in new information, hoping to lift the predicament they’re in.

The three mecha pilots realized the situation was getting more serious.

“Liu Ge, do we have any other options?” one mecha pilot asked.

Liu Ge’s expression turned somber. “For now, we can only wait for other updates. Has KID’s Huo Yan and Lu Xi returned yet—”

Before he could finish his sentence, a mecha pilot dressed in combat gear rushed into the control room. “Huo Yan and Lu Xi have returned. They brought back several mechas! They seem like new mecha pilots!”

Liu Ge was pleasantly surprised. “New mecha pilots!?”

“What?!”

“Has the Bureau sent reinforcements?!”

“Hurry, let’s go together and see.”

Outside the Secondary Defense Zone, there’s a docking area. Not far away, several mechas broke through the encirclement of pollutants, skidding into the defensive wall of the zone. As they braked at the docking area, they left black marks on the ground, accompanied by a strong scent of blood. The mecha pilots who rushed over immediately smelled the foul stench of pollutants and saw the marks on the mechas. Liu Ge’s mood grew even heavier; these individuals must have experienced a fierce battle with ferocious pollutants.

“They’re KID mecha pilots! There’s also a blue mech, that seems to be Gale’s!”

Liu Ge urgently shouted behind him, “Is anyone injured? Quickly bring the treatment injections!”

With so few mecha pilots left in the Contaminated Zone, there can’t be any more accidents among the rescue team.

Outside, a few mecha pilots were anxious. After shouting several times with no response, they were about to pry open the cockpit. Just then, the cockpits of several mechas opened, and the mecha pilots in combat gear stepped out.

Even before the mecha pilots approached, they heard their discussion.

“It’s a pity we didn’t have enough energy. Otherwise, we could have cleared out that group of pollutants from the east. That was a Rattlesnake!!”

“No worries, once we recharge, we can head out again. It’s not like a little time matters.”

The group that had just finished harvesting scorpion materials returned triumphantly, each of them full of enthusiasm, except for Zhao Lejie.

Zhao Lejie’s mecha had only 2 units of energy left. The storage compartment of his mecha was filled with a pile of scorpion remnants and venom sacs. If there were a few more rounds of pollutants outside the defense zone, he would have to rely on the others to drag him back from outside. Thankfully, luck was on his side, God didn’t let him fall into that dire situation.

“Do you guys have a problem? What if we encountered that S-Level pollutant on our way back?!” Zhao Lejie couldn’t help but speak out. “You’re not satisfied with clearing that pile of scorpions, now you want to go around and fight those snakes too!?”

It’s really frustrating. Zhao Lejie thought they would be done after clearing that group of scorpions, but who knew that after the fight, Lin Yao saw a few A-Level Rattlesnakes in the distance. Without a second thought, he piloted his mecha and charged over, and the rest of the KID followed suit.

After charging in, they still chased and fought pollutants, nearly going a few kilometers away. If it weren’t for a strong wind, he truly believed that those from KID could have exterminated all the pollutants on Tianyu Star.

“Capturing A-Level Rattlesnakes is not easy!” Ji Qingfeng exclaimed.

Lu Xi added an explanation, “The Rattlesnakes here don’t gather together often… and the crystals are expensive on the market.”

Zhao Lejie, “…” 

Oh well, consider it as if he hadn’t said anything. Explaining things to KID would be futile.

All the mecha pilots had disembarked, and not long after Zhao Lejie got down, he noticed someone when he looked back.

Besides him, everyone else around him was also looking in the same direction.

He was somewhat familiar with KID’s faces; even if they hadn’t met in person, he had seen their photos. However, among KID’s group, there were two unfamiliar faces. One was a tall man who stood next to the Artillery mech. He exuded a kind of cold aura that was hard to describe. He gave off a feeling of approachability but also felt distant, as if separated by a thousand miles.

Apart from him, there was another person who stood out.

Among the mecha pilots wearing combat gear was a young man in utility clothing. mecha pilots wore combat gear to facilitate better mental resonance, making the neural linkage with the cockpit smoother. The young man not wearing combat gear immediately became the focus of attention.

You Su looked at Ying Chenlin. His mechanic overalls covered his mechanical limb, and the utility belt tightly hugged his waist, accentuating his slim figure amidst the tall and robust mecha pilots.

Perhaps his hand was uncomfortable; Ying Chenlin had his right hand tucked into the pocket of his overalls, hardly moving.

As Ying Chenlin had just come out of the cockpit, he turned around just in time to see something being thrown towards him.

He reached out and caught it, realizing it was a pollution-resistant isolator.

You Su glanced at him and said, “Put it on.”

Combat suits had isolation effects. Without a combat suit, he had to rely on the isolator.

“Thank you,” Ying Chenlin looked up and noticed the unfamiliar mecha pilots around him.

Solo and team battles were two different domains, and the events were scheduled separately. In the early years when he participated, due to being a minor and having to avoid the media, he often took the special passage to the arena. He rarely crossed paths with other mecha pilots. He had some impression of the other solo mecha pilots, but the team battle mecha pilots were quite unfamiliar to him. While recognizing mechas wasn’t too difficult, recognizing other pilots was another matter entirely.

The first people he noticed were the ones who had disembarked alongside him. Zhao Lejie was about as tall as Ji Qingfeng. His combat suit’s arm was defined by muscles, and he sported a stylish bald head. Huo Yan’s appearance matched his vibrant voice, robust and tall, with handsome features. Standing next to him, Lu Xi reached only to his shoulder, her long hair tied up high. Unlike Shen Xingtang’s striking appearance, Lu Xi’s features were delicate, giving off a gentle and warm impression. Her demeanor seemed amiable.

Liu Ge, waiting on the side, was about to step forward to greet KID’s group and inquire about Huo Yan’s condition. As he approached, he saw that several of KID’s mecha pilots were rushing towards the cockpit area, seemingly going to retrieve something.

“Huo Yan, you’re finally back,” Liu Ge’s expression turned serious. “Not long ago, we detected changes in the external environment. It was right when you guys arrived. Did you notice a large number of deaths…”

Before he could finish his sentence, a voice came from one of the mechas.

“Hey, buddy up front, make some space. We need to put stuff down.”

“Yeah, yeah, move back a few steps.”

Seeing this, Huo Yan intervened, “Old Liu, we’ll talk later. Let’s handle this stuff first.”

“Handle what stuff?” Liu Ge had barely stepped back when he witnessed the storage compartments of several mechas being opened, and various types of salvaged crystals rained down from above, accompanied by a strong smell of blood.

Gold Scorpion limbs and venom sacs, Sand Rat fur, Rattlesnake crystals… It wasn’t just Liu Ge who was astonished; the nearby mecha pilots were also frozen in place.

Ji Qingfeng finished unloading and quickly walked over, holding a dismantling tool he seemingly got from nowhere. “Come on, let’s divide the loot. There are six of us, so let’s split the items into six portions. Old Zhao, do you need anything specific?”

Zhao Lejie looked at some of the materials he had personally dismantled and couldn’t bear to continue looking. “I don’t have any specific needs.”

Lin Yao exclaimed, “Ah? These materials for enhancements are quite pricey!”

“Our base has specially prepared repair materials for enhancement. We generally don’t use Gold Scorpion or Sand Rat materials,” Zhao Lejie said, then noticed the odd glances around him.

Ji Qingfeng nodded. “I understand. No wonder it’s the top base of Dawn.”

Lin Yao chimed in, “Weapon enhancements, 4.5 million.”

Zhao Lejie, “…”

Only then did Huo Yan remember that there were others around. He turned to Liu Ge, who had a strange expression, and asked, “Old Liu, you mentioned pollution in the southeast? We didn’t encounter any S-Level guys on our way here; we ran into the scorpion swarm that had blocked us before.”

Liu Ge, “…”

The corpses were right there; he wasn’t blind!

The mecha pilots beside them had even less to say. They watched the pile of pollutant materials and KID’s group busy dividing the loot. The group of scorpions that had troubled them before were now completely unrecognizable. They could even recall how ferocious those pollutants had been when attacking the base tower over a dozen hours ago.

Now they were gone, replaced only by a heap of materials.

Ying Chenlin habitually observed the people around him, then noticed the gazes directed at him. Seeing the others dividing up the materials, he remembered what he had to do. He said to Huo Yan, “I’ll go get the tools.”

Huo Yan walked over to KID’s group and asked Ji Qingfeng, “The new mecha pilot looks even smaller than Lin Yao!”

“He’s not a mecha pilot,” Lin Yao explained in a hushed tone. “Tang Jie didn’t want us to talk about his situation. Chenlin is our base’s mechanic.”

Lu Xi was puzzled. “A mechanic? But why would a mechanic come to such a dangerous place in the Contaminated Zone?”

“It’s because none of us know how to operate the repair program,” Lin Yao added.

Ji Qingfeng chimed in, “Chenlin does, so we brought him along.”

Lu Xi hesitated. “Isn’t the repair program automated?”

“?” Ji Qingfeng was puzzled.

Huo Yan continued, “There are attachments in the mission data. The automatic program is quite simple; just plug in the interface.”

“But You Su told me…” Ji Qingfeng turned to look at You Su, who was calmly watching him.

“Oh, is that so?” You Su’s gaze was indifferent, and he nonchalantly said, “Then you guys can handle it when the time comes.”

Ji Qingfeng, “…”

He and Lin Yao had been fooled by You Su. This guy definitely knew, yet he didn’t tell them!

Zhao Lejie didn’t hear KID’s whispers. His gaze had been following Ying Chenlin, only retracting his gaze when Chenlin moved behind the mecha.

KID’s strength, he had some understanding of it before, but after nearly ten hours of cooperation, he found it increasingly hard to read this KID Base. He knew Ji Qingfeng and Lin Yao’s abilities well, and he had crossed paths with Huo Yan and Lu Xi in the previous season. However, the other two A-Class mecha pilots were beyond his grasp.

Their coordination remained chaotic as usual, but this chaotic teamwork managed to take down an S-Level pollutant and numerous B-level scorpions.

A crucial reason for this was the presence of the Guardian mecha and the Artillery mecha. He was now certain that these two individuals were the two foreign players seen in the initial video from Banute Contaminated Zone. The Artillery’s precise control over its shots was astonishing, with their reaction speed and ambush accuracy ranking among the best in the Dawn Galaxy. Yet, he hadn’t seen this person’s figure in the League before.

The Guardian’s performance varied greatly; it shone during the battle against the S-Level pollutant with remarkable maneuvers, but weakened when dealing with the scorpions, even missing one or two. There was something he found frightening about this mecha pilot.

The person’s overall perspective was intimidating, as if he could notice every detail, including those of enemies and teammates alike. Furthermore, this person possessed immense courage. Under normal circumstances, who would choose to eliminate pollutants in an energy-depleted situation? Not only did this person do it, but he also led KID’s team in the task. He could confidently say that if this person dared to act, KID’s team would follow.

The ability to react swiftly in hazardous environments, pinpoint each mech’s role, adapt on the fly, and calmly identify enemy vulnerabilities—it was as if he were watching the battlefield from an omniscient perspective. With bravery, courage, calmness and composure, these qualities, given a bit of nurturing, would make for a rare Mecha League commander.

“Old Zhao, why are you daydreaming?” Ji Qingfeng called out. “Come help us.”

Zhao Lejie turned his head to see KID’s group busy dividing the loot. “…”

He couldn’t distinguish it anymore; he couldn’t tell if KID’s group was composed of geniuses or idiots.

“Huo Ge, why is your mecha’s energy so low?” A mecha pilot walked over. In this environment, a mecha running out of energy was a serious issue, indicating a decrease in the team’s combat effectiveness.

Huo Yan chuckled in response. “Oh, it is how it is. We just used up all our energy killing these things.”

He gestured toward the nearby materials.

Liu Ge, “…Brother, have you considered the possibility of insufficient energy?”

Most of the mechas left in the Secondary Defense Zone had already consumed a significant amount of energy. Backup energy reserves had been depleted during their trial-and-error assault on the tower. They had expected support from the Management Bureau to address this problem, but looking at the remaining energy of these mechas, it didn’t seem like they could forcefully breach Base Station C.

Huo Yan continued working on the materials, his tone relaxed. “No worries, it’s not a big issue. Where’s the energy storage room?”

Liu Ge looked at him puzzled, but still answered, “The energy storage room is in the energy point inside the defense zone, near the energy conversion chamber. Why are you asking about this?”

“Well,” Huo Yan scratched his head and looked behind at his mecha, “we’ll need someone from our base to explain that.”

Following his gaze, the mecha pilots saw the young mecha pilot with distinctive attire already carrying a technical kit on his back, heading on their way.

“Hello, could you tell me the location of the energy storage room?”

With the technical kit on his back, Ying Chenlin walked up to them.

The others, “…”

The Secondary Defense Zone was a small base station, generally used to support the operation of the main base tower. To ensure the system’s functioning, the energy within every defense zone was ample. The energy storage room was situated in the Secondary Defense Zone’s underground, supporting the operation of all facilities in the entire area. They had the permissions granted by the Bureau to freely enter any part of the defense zone.

Hearing that the group wanted to go to the energy storage room, most of the mecha pilots gathered around.

“What’s going on?”

“I don’t know, they suddenly asked for the location of the energy storage room.”

Zhao Lejie, amidst the crowd, said, “What else could it be? Emergency requisition of energy.”

The mecha pilots, “Requisitioning energy???”

However, the energy here was different from what their mechas used! As a Competition-level Contaminated Zone on Tianyu Star, in order to maintain a fair competitive environment, they never set up extra energy points internally. They had thought about obtaining an energy supply from the defense zone when their mecha energies were low, but after searching high and low, they hadn’t found a single canister of mecha energy.

There was indeed some energy in the defense zone that could supply mechas, but the premise was to have the Bureau clear the output channels for these energy sources; otherwise, mixing the energies together would render them unusable for mechas, as mismatched energies would damage mecha components.

However, everything had happened too suddenly. They hadn’t even had time to react, especially given their total disconnection from the Bureau.

The mecha pilots were full of confusion, but the young man with the technical kit had already entered the energy storage room.

In the spacious area, a large energy device stood in the center, and various transport pipes connected to it were delivering energy to various parts of the defense zone.

Ying Chenlin placed the technical kit down, rolled up his sleeves, and put on repair gloves.

His hands had been hidden by his sleeves and the technical kit, but now that they were exposed, the gazes of those around him instantly changed.

Huo Yan suddenly stiffened when saw Ying Chenlin’s right hand. “That kid’s hand.”

“A mechanical arm,” You Su leaned against the wall nearby, his gaze level as he looked at Ying Chenlin. “Not just the wrist, his whole arm is mechanical.”

TN:

Everyone else losing their minds while KID are out here making bank is just so funny to me haha. Boss Shen would be so proud of her little scavengers!

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Inner Child
10 months ago

Beggars can't be choosers.

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 months ago

these scavengers lololol

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