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Genius Mechanic

Genius Mechanic: Chapter 40

Fiarge Contaminated Zone

40. Training

Proofread by An Zheee and Cloud Chip Cake

[Trace? Who’s this person?] [This ID sounds somewhat familiar. I’ll search it up.] [Seems like a new generation has taken over the scene. Can’t believe some people have forgotten about the ID Trace.] [Trace! The eccentric Artillery mecha pilot who made the League change its rules!]

When KID’s official announcement was released, netizens were initially stunned, but soon recalled the ID Trace from their memories. Honestly, given the span of time, in the current context where the main force of Mecha League teams is composed of young people, there’s a turnover of generations roughly every five years. The majority of people’s memories of retired mecha pilots depend on their achievements during their active years.

For Trace, first, his base wasn’t well-known, and second, he didn’t even win any awards before retiring.

Yet, despite this, his ID resounded throughout the Star Alliance back in the day. This was mainly due to his extraordinary feats during competitions that forced all five major star domains’ Mecha Leagues to reform. They reduced the elimination threshold from 90% to 80%, instantly raising the margin by 10%.

Netizens who went to look up Trace quickly came back, and KID’s official account was filled with virtual images of question marks.

Initially, people thought KID might be struggling financially, but at least their previous performances were reliable. However, ever since the end of the last season, they first hired a clueless mechanic for 8000 credits a month, then resold refurbished old parts, and now they’re officially announcing a retired Artillery mecha pilot who’s renowned in the Star Alliance…

[I can confirm, KID has gone mad.] [??? Why not just pick anyone else but Trace?] [I’m already looking forward to next season. Will Trace bombard KID’s front line?] [Honestly, even a second-rate Artillery mecha pilot is better than Trace!] [I’m tired. You guys should just keep running your online store.]

“Looking for Trace? Are you sure?” DE’s boss chuckled upon reaching this point. “Shen Xingtang must have lost her mind. First, she sold the Mecha Arena, then she rented out the base building, and now she’s bringing in a retired mecha pilot just to fill the roster.”

Xu Yaojun also saw the news. He still had lingering fears about his mecha’s right arm being blasted off. “Is it confirmed that this Trace is the one from the Banute Contaminated Zone?”

“How come? You’re not confident in yourself?” DE’s boss looked at him, his tone unintentionally softening, “Trace doesn’t know how to cooperate. I know him from his previous team, FEI. Their coach was very dissatisfied with Trace, saying he had no understanding of teamwork and acted alone, so he planned to move him to the solo category after the season. Who would have thought he’d cause such a big fuss later.”

“The incident with Banute was probably a fluke for them. The scene wasn’t complicated in the arena back then. Besides, haven’t we investigated? Those two mechas were just leased from Banute Contaminated Zone’s mecha shop.” DE’s boss sounded relaxed, “Even if it was them, Trace has been relatively unknown for many years. Now that he’s joined KID, do you really think their teamwork will improve?”

Xu Yaojun sighed in relief. Yeah, that makes sense. He knew the situation of the other KID members very well.

When he wanted to coordinate with KID, the others couldn’t keep up with his pace, let alone accommodate the lone wolf Trace, whom KID had brought in.

In KID’s conference room, the KID members were in a meeting.

Ji Qingfeng: “These people are too much. They even said I’m the first one who’ll get blasted by You Ge.”

Lin Yao sighed, “You’re still the first. I’m down to third.”

Lu Xi: “Why am I second?”

“Don’t worry,” Huo Yan glanced at You Su beside him, quite boldly, “You Su, just give us a heads-up before you blast, and we’ll just dodge.”

Jiang Simiao finished reading the comments on their official blog and closed it with a headache.

He looked at this group of audacious mecha pilots in their simple conference room setup and tapped the virtual screen, saying earnestly, “We’re having a meeting! Even if we don’t have to go through the elimination matches, you can’t take it lightly.”

Ying Chenlin sat quietly on the side, flipping through the familiar yet unfamiliar competition rules on his electronic tablet.

The rules weren’t much different from the team battle mecha rules he had encountered in his later life. The only difference was that the team battle mode didn’t involve repair specialists.

The Galactic Team Battle Mecha League was mainly divided into three stages: elimination matches, promotion matches, and ranking matches.

The elimination matches were the first stage, where all registered mecha teams from the First Star Domain, the Dawn Galaxy, competed. Through matches and promotions, 16 teams would advance to the second stage’s promotion matches, facing the top 16 teams from the previous season.

“Last season, KID barely made it into the top 16, so we don’t need to participate in the first stage of elimination matches. It’s fortunate that the elimination matches take time – they span a month and a half from December to the end of January next year. This gives us, KID, still in the process of meshing together, an extra month for training.”

Jiang Simiao said, “The elimination matches provide us with an integration period. Training the fundamentals during this time is enough. After discussing with your boss, I plan to have you try out the virtual battlefield.”

This decision was made after he analyzed KID’s performance in the Tianyu Star Contaminated Zone. The other four members of KID had already cooperated for a season, and their coordination was basically established. The main challenge was how to integrate a core Artillery mecha. However, You Su’s mecha piloting habits were quite unique – he often operated outside the team, only engaging when finding an opening. Due to this, the entire team appeared disjointed.

Yet, during the final explosion in the Tianyu Star Contaminated Zone, their coordination showed no such signs.

Typically, most mecha bases employ this method for confidential internal training. In the current era of advanced AI, AI could simulate various enemy attack methods and highlight their mecha pilots’ weaknesses. However, these enemies were fixed. Jiang Simiao realized that KID’s good coordination came from their ability to adapt on the spot. Rather than having them practice coordination according to conventional methods, it was better to let them find their own comfort zones.

In such a scenario, training KID’s mecha pilots with simulated battles against internal AIs was not suitable.

In contrast, the virtual battlefield had numerous variables. It was a virtual network platform that fully simulated the current state of a Contaminated Zone. Any mecha pilot could register and participate from StarNet. Mecha pilots from all over the Star Alliance participated, with varying technical levels and strengths – ranging from amateur mecha pilots to professional ones training with alternate accounts.

In the Mecha League, there were various opponents and tactics. The virtual battlefield might be suitable for KID at their current stage.

“From now until the end of the elimination matches, you’ll receive internal training during the day and practice on the virtual battlefield at night,” Jiang Simiao instructed, “I’ll prepare a few alternate accounts for you on the virtual battlefield, and you’ll form a team of five. Have Huo Yan take command.”

Lin Yao asked, “Why use alternate accounts? Can’t we use our main accounts? Everyone else uses their main accounts.”

In the virtual battlefield, there were many mecha pilots, and many professional mecha pilots’ accounts were well-known among netizens. There were even some mecha bases that streamed live broadcasts from the Contaminated Zone or virtual battlefield, and their account IDs were no longer a secret.

Looking at the increasingly lively comments section on the official blog, Jiang Simiao said, “You’d better save me some trouble.”

With these instructions sent out, the brief meeting came to an end.

The mecha pilots entered the training room, and Jiang Simiao was preparing to continue analyzing the combat data of these lively characters. He turned his head slightly and noticed Ying Chenlin. He saw that he was still standing in place without leaving. During this period, Ying Chenlin had been quite busy, occasionally meeting with the engineers from Jianheng upstairs, but the rest of the time, he remained in the maintenance room conducting experiments with various materials and researching weapons. The last time he passed by, he even saw You Su’s mecha, Theo, stored in the maintenance room.

“Is there something wrong with the maintenance room?” Jiang Simiao inquired further, “Or are you missing some materials? I can ask Xingtang to help you find them.”

“We have enough materials. I just want to request observation access from you.” Ying Chenlin pointed to a nearby virtual storage, saying, “I want to see the situation on the virtual battlefield and gather some data.”

Several S-Class mechas were already mostly repaired. Currently, KID was using weapon cores that had undergone minor adjustments, but the new weapons hadn’t been installed yet.

Ying Chenlin considered the limited time and his intention to record the pilots’ combat habits before finalizing the new weapons. “It won’t disrupt their training.”

“I’ll set that up for you immediately.” Jiang Simiao immediately began the setup process while continuing, “It won’t really disrupt their training. I’ve watched the videos from the Contaminated Zone. You have excellent reaction abilities.”

This ‘excellence’ wasn’t an exaggeration. If not for Ying Chenlin’s hand issue, Jiang Simiao truly believed that with his abilities, he would have no problem entering the League again.

“You Su’s fighting style is quite unique, but it’s not completely uncoordinated. It always gives off the impression of a solo combat approach. You’re quite similar to him, but the difference lies in your ability to quickly react and support your teammates. You Su can’t do that. Perhaps it’s due to his long-term experiences in the Contaminated Zone; he’s essentially an Individual Soldier and can’t coordinate with others.”

In just a few words, Jiang Simiao touched on the issue KID’s team was facing—despite having strong fundamental abilities, they struggled to maintain the proper level of coordination.

Ying Chenlin listened and understood Jiang Simiao’s perspective.

Although he didn’t interact with Jiang Simiao much in his previous life, he was aware of his capabilities. Generally amiable and easy to talk to, Jiang Simiao had keen observation skills when it came to professional matters, surpassing most others. He came from a background in data analysis and only began coaching KID due to their needs. He had known Shen Xingtang since early on and had later joined KID. He had worked there for years, accompanying KID into the future.

Jiang Simiao asked, “Do you need their data? I’ll send it to you.”

Ying Chenlin nodded and soon received a recent data package from Jiang Simiao. He stored these in his light brain, placing them in the folder for weapon value references before returning to the maintenance room.

At 9 PM that evening, he returned to his dorm to take his medication and administer injections, noticing that several dorm rooms around his were unoccupied.

With the day’s work temporarily completed, Ying Chenlin took his recording board and headed straight to the training room. As expected, he saw that five virtual chambers nearby were lit up, indicating that the mecha pilots were all in the virtual battlefield.

He found an available virtual chamber nearby, logged in, and accessed the virtual StarNet, then navigated to the platform for virtual mecha battles.

Mecha virtual battles are currently a trend in StarNet’s entertainment and competition scene. This platform lacked the mecha-level attributes present in reality, and it didn’t allow the use of anomalous crystal weapons. All mecha pilots logging in were limited to the weapons available in the official weapon arsenal, with the option to adjust parameters within specific permitted ranges. It was a unique form of competition platform.

The sole advantage was that it featured multiple simulated Contaminated Zone maps, providing a large-scale virtual competition format that was favored by many mecha pilots.

Ying Chenlin logged in using KID’s internal observation account. This was a backstage account, part of the officially allowed observer voice system, and needed to be within the same IP virtual network range as the virtual chambers. Usually, Jiang Simiao used this account to observe the mecha pilots’ training sessions.

Upon logging in, the expansive Contaminated Zone map [Abandoned Bio-factory] loaded.

The Abandoned Bio-Factory was a virtual simulated map created based on a small-scale S-Level Contaminated Zone. Originally part of an industrial park focused on bio-energy research, it had been designated as a high-level Contaminated Zone due to an experimental accident in the early years of the Star Alliance. Eventually, it was categorized as a Level 3 Contaminated Zone.

Ying Chenlin was very familiar with this Contaminated Zone because it was a small-scale tournament area, primarily used for solo mecha matches. During his competition days, he had been to this Contaminated Zone at least four times and was quite familiar with certain buildings inside it.

After making an initial assessment of the Contaminated Zone out of habit, Ying Chenlin’s attention was drawn to the current battle mode of the battlefield [Time-limited Survival 60-Minutes].

There were multiple completion modes for team battle mechas in the League. The [Time-limited Survival] mode in the virtual battlefield was set for 60 minutes, whereas in a real Contaminated Zone battlefield, the duration varied from several hours to several days, depending on the map size. In essence, a set number of teams were placed within the Contaminated Zone, and mechas were eliminated once their damage level reached 80%. The team whose mecha pilots survived until the end would be the winner.

If multiple teams survived within the time limit, the criteria for determining the ultimate victor would be the competition teams’ kills/output/damage taken.

Suddenly, a burst of Energy Cannon fire came from a distance. Ying Chenlin’s viewpoint quickly shifted, and with a retaliatory strike, he directly brought down a flying mecha in the distance.

[Player qpdik01 has eliminated player ngng456]

Ying Chenlin was taken aback, then quickly realized that he had entered You Su’s perspective.

You Su’s combat style was extremely aggressive. He was virtually surrounded by enemy mechas, relying solely on his unique combat style to navigate freely through the Contaminated Zone. He seemed to be quite adept at navigating the Abandoned Bio-Factory, using the tall structures within it as cover. While maneuvering, he systematically took down the pursuing mechas from behind.

If one attack didn’t succeed, he followed it up with another. Ying Chenlin had a very strong feeling when he fought alongside him before. You Su had precise control over mecha energy and ammunition. This precision didn’t refer to his conservation of energy or ammunition, but rather his instinctive understanding of how much energy was needed to defeat an opponent – like he was born for combat.

In the blink of an eye, You Su had taken down another mecha.

Ying Chenlin scanned the radar positions, seeing the distribution of other mechas. He then realized that he hadn’t activated his voice system yet. As soon as he connected the voice system, he heard a lively internal conversation.

The alt accounts Jiang Simiao prepared for the KID mecha pilots were clearly registered together, named qpdik01 to qpdik05.

Ji Qingfeng: “Impressive, you’ve sniped all the opponents’ Artillery. What’s left for me to kill?”

Lin Yao: “I’ve got two here!!”

Huo Yan: “Hey You Su, you’re running too fast!”

[ycl123 has joined the channel in observer mode.]

You Su spoke up, “Someone’s here.”

Ying Chenlin replied, “It’s me.”

Lin Yao recognized Ying Chenlin’s voice and exclaimed in surprise, “You haven’t gone to rest yet!?”

Ying Chenlin replied with an affirmative sound, “No, I’m here to look at some data. Carry on, don’t mind me.”

The KID mechas were divided into three groups: Lin Yao and Huo Yan, Ji Qingfeng and Lu Xi, and You Su alone. This distribution was quite widespread, but they were all engaged independently within each other’s support range. The communication channel occasionally carried Huo Yan’s voice, while other times it was someone else reporting or engaging in 1v1 battles.

The last time he saw them, they didn’t have this kind of strategy. It seemed Jiang Simiao adjusted their coordination based on their styles. It had to be said that this approach suited them well, as their teamwork had improved significantly compared to the previous battle recordings he had seen.

Ying Chenlin quietly stood by, accessing the system’s built-in data board. He watched and recorded each person’s combat habits.

After the Contaminated Zone battle in the Abandoned Bio-factory ended, there was no doubt that they emerged victorious.

Ying Chenlin checked their performance records and realized they had already played five matches, each of which ended swiftly. The virtual battlefield accounts Jiang Simiao provided them weren’t low-ranked. After the five consecutive victories, the virtual battlefield’s high-level AI directly elevated them to a new tier in the virtual battlefield ladder mode—the 6000 section.

Ying Chenlin’s recording hand paused. In the context of individual training, reaching the 6000 section of the solo mecha ladder was akin to crossing the threshold into high-level play.

The next second, as they entered the match queue, one after another, the virtual images of mecha pilots loaded in the mecha pilot lobby. A variety of IDs appeared on the coordination screen, each unique in its own way. Mecha pilot IDs from different star regions had their own distinctive features, and the feel of their mecha configurations gave an entirely different impression.

At this moment, Huo Yan suddenly spoke up, “This match won’t be easy. We’re probably facing an S-Level match.”

[Loading into Contaminated Zone [Abandoned Bio-factory], Entry Requirement [6000]]

[Match Rated S, Mode [Team Battle·Time-Limited Survival 60 Minutes]]

Seeing this, Lin Yao exclaimed, “Damn, that’s a F4 combination from the Third Star Domain!”

Ji Qingfeng responded, “It’s not just any F4 combination, they have a full name—CEF4!”

Lu Xi glanced at the IDs and remarked, “Looks like there are a few familiar faces, we’re all crashing into each other.”

Huo Yan said, “Then we can’t lose. The Third Star Domain has been outperforming the First Star Domain for several years.”

You Su’s gaze rested on the IDs appearing on the virtual screen, but unfortunately, he didn’t recognize any of them. It had been many years since he had played in this kind of virtual battlefield. The last time he participated in a virtual battlefield was five years ago at the FEI base, where he had played for a period of time at the request of the base’s coach.

Lin Yao scratched his head and said, “Can we use our usual tactics to beat them? They have the 6th-ranked Artillery mecha pilot in the world on their side.”

The Third Star Domain’s achievements in the Mecha League far surpassed those of the First Star Domain. The First Star Domain had been lagging behind for many years. Facing a small Contaminated Zone map like the Abandoned Bio-factory with opponents who use Artillery mechas, to be honest, they weren’t in the best position.

“We can defeat them, but we can’t use the tactics from the previous match.” Ying Chenlin pondered for a moment, considering the strategies he had in mind when designing weapons. He said, “Since the opponents are Artillery mechas, this map isn’t suitable for a full-team strategy. How about we try solo tactics?”

At this moment, it was nighttime, and StarNet was bustling with activity.

In the current era of the Star Alliance, mechas were in their prime, and mech-related topics were the most popular among citizens.

On the hottest virtual live streaming platform in the First Star Domain, the trending topics were either Contaminated Zone live broadcasts or virtual battlefield live streams.

Currently, the most popular figure is a professional mecha pilot from Black Crow – Lizi. His real name was Chi Lizi, and he was currently the most popular mecha pilot in the Dawn Galaxy’s live streaming scene. What made him stand out was that he played in the rare category of long-range Stealth mechas. Unlike conventional melee Stealth mechas, his long-range Stealth mecha didn’t carry close-combat weapons. It possessed rapid displacement and radar concealment capabilities, but it gave up the excellent melee capabilities that high-performance Stealth mechas were known for in favor of carrying cannon-type weapons that were more prone to exposing the targets.

However, due to the nature of rapid energy accumulation from the Stealth mecha’s quick movements, carrying heavy weaponry like Sniper Cannons would reduce his mobility. The charging speed of cannon-type weapons wasn’t as fast as that of Artillery mechas, and they didn’t have extremely high long-range attack capabilities. This playstyle had always been a rarer subset within the Stealth mecha category.

In other words, Chi Lizi gave up the excellent close combat abilities of the Stealth mecha, and the attack capabilities of his Sniper Cannon were not as strong as those of Artillery mechas. He lacked high offensive power but possessed the capacity for sustained stealth disruption.

Chi Lizi was a Stealth mecha pilot who often carried a Sniper Cannon. His standard weaponry consisted of a Sniper Cannon and a Grappling Hook.

The Grappling Hook was used to complement his rapid displacement ability, while the Sniper Cannon was his sole offensive weapon.

When the Abandoned Bio-factory Contaminated Zone was selected, the livestream room erupted in cheers. For Chi Lizi’s unique type of Stealth mecha, a Contaminated Zone map of this kind, with its large structures and complex terrain, was the perfect environment to showcase his characteristics of carrying two weapons.

In the livestream room, Chi Lizi raised an eyebrow slightly and said, “Looks like luck is on my side this time.”

[S-Grade rating, oh, this match has many high-ranked experts.] [No worries, Lizi has been playing duo matches with Control mecha pilots lately, so encountering such opponents is no big deal.] [Damn, I see many familiar IDs. It’s the scene of a big collision!] [Two players from CEF4’s base are here, and Lizi’s teammate for this match is Hu Luobu!] [Perfect! We can’t lose to the Third Star Domain!]

While adjusting his weapon parameters, Chi Lizi caught sight of familiar pilot IDs on the virtual screen of the mecha pilot lobby. He commented, “The elimination matches will start in a few days. Many people have been practicing their skills for adapting lately, so it’s not strange to run into familiar faces.”

For instance, in this match, aside from him, there were other mecha pilots from different galaxies or Star Domains within the Mecha Alliance.

Among the familiar IDs were two mecha pilots from the Third Star Domain’s Tienü Galaxy’s CEF4 mecha base. The CEF4 team had achieved sixth-place in the previous season’s Star Alliance tournament results and their skill level far surpassed that of other pilots. They could be considered the two strongest pilots in this match.

Among Chi Lizi’s teammates, apart from his Control mecha pilot teammate from the same team, there was also Hu Luobu from the YDS Base.

“Chi Lizi?” Hu Luobu noticed a familiar face and sent a signal. “There’s a team from the Third Star Domain’s CEF4. Let’s coordinate against them.”

Within the Abandoned Bio-factory, the 50 mecha pilots were divided into 10 teams, each positioned at various locations within the factory.

As soon as Chi Lizi and Hu Luobu appeared, they immediately headed in the same direction. Years of tournament experience enabled them to recognize advantageous positions. Their two random teammates for this match were a Tank and a Guardian mecha, and they moved ahead to provide enhanced radar visibility.

Just as they reached a suitable remote sniping position, sounds of gunfire came from the other side of the Abandoned Bio-factory. Soon after, the kill notifications for the two CEF4 mecha pilots appeared in Chi Lizi’s field of view. Within the first three minutes of the match, the Third Star Domain’s ranged mecha pilot had already eliminated two opponents.

Mecha battles are different from other competitive matches. To eliminate opponents, their mecha’s damage level must be reduced to 80%. In other words, a ranged mecha must land three consecutive 30% Energy Cannon hits on the core to swiftly eliminate them.

[CEF4’s Artillery mecha is Ace! The Control mecha should be their base’s second team’s newcomer, the Control mecha pilot Lina. She seems tough to deal with.] [Both Hu Luobu and Chi Lizi are long-range pilots; this match is the ultimate clash of ranged mechas!]

CEF4, as the sixth-ranked team in the Star Alliance tournament, holds a higher professional ranking than Hu Luobu and Chi Lizi. Ace is a well-known Artillery mecha pilot in the Star Alliance, and the newcomer Control mecha pilot Lina, paired with him in this match, might not be as skilled as him, but she’s still a formidable opponent.

Hu Luobu said, “Ace will gain an advantage as the fight goes on. We need to locate him as soon as possible.”

As Chi Lizi was about to reply, he suddenly heard the sound of cannon fire not far from him. He quickly turned his head and saw a figure weaving through the high terrain. He reported, “There’s someone up high.”

Then, two elimination notifications appeared:

[Player qpdik01 has eliminated player ren12]

[Player qpdik01 has eliminated player bzy666]

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Inner Child
10 months ago

My pleasure~

10 months ago

Thanks for the chapter and the double update!

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