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Genius Mechanic

Genius Mechanic: Chapter 43

Fiarge Contaminated Zone

43. Break Up

Proofread by Cloud Chip Cake and An Zheee

The virtual battle only lasted for an hour, and less than 15 minutes remained, yet the ongoing battle continued. More and more people tuned in to watch the livestream. Chi Lizi, who had initially wanted to join the fight, was stopped by his own team captain in Black Crow, being forced to become everyone’s camera. If they were mecha pilots from the Dawn Galaxy, then they would face a strong opponent in the upcoming new season. If they were mecha pilots from another Star Domain, it was a valuable opportunity for the Dawn Galaxy to gather crucial battle data.

It should be noted that the First Star Domain’s performance in the Mecha League had always been subpar. When pitted against skilled teams from other superior Alliances on the vast interstellar stage, their achievements were rather average. And even within the First Star Domain, Dawn Galaxy’s performance was below average.

The Third Star Domain, where Ace was from, was currently ranked the highest in team battles among the Five Great Star Domains.

Now with the appearance of a mysterious Artillery mecha pilot, the Dawn Galaxy wouldn’t miss this research opportunity.

At night, inside KID’s training room, Jiang Simiao walked alongside Shen Xingtang, the data tablet in his hand containing information about various teams from the Dawn Galaxy. While the others were working hard he needed to first gather information on the opponents KID would soon face in the upcoming elimination rounds. This season, Dawn Galaxy’s lineup was even stronger than in the previous season. The top 8 teams were still the same formidable challengers, and among the top 16, there were many opponents whose strength had risen.

Despite having a powerhouse like You Su on their side, the competition was a team-based sport. Their existing strength might not necessarily allow them to compete head-to-head with other teams.

Jiang Simiao’s steps were brisk as he walked, checking Chi Lizi’s livestream room. “I just received news that there’s a strange team in the virtual battlefield. I need to call them over to review the match records.”

Shen Xingtang asked, “Isn’t the data still being processed?”

“They’ve been training late recently. Let’s input some opponent data into the AI for now. After they come out of the virtual battlefield, we’ll conduct targeted training.” Jiang Simiao took off his glasses and pinched his brow. “Are you still helping Chenlin find materials? Can’t we find some substitutes with similar properties?”

Ying Chenlin’s material list was particularly strict. Some of the required materials weren’t easily obtainable with just money. Shen Xingtang had been running around for several days just to gather a sufficient amount. Upon hearing this, she declined, “The kid has helped us so much. Naturally, we should find all the materials he needs. Besides, for us mechanics, even if substitute materials have similar properties, if their attributes don’t match well, they’d be useless. His list is quite detailed; he must have planned the materials long ago.”

These pre-planned materials indicated that the requester had already eliminated a significant portion of alternative options.

Originally, the list consisted of mostly A-class materials, but now more and more S-class materials have been added… Shen Xingtang, as the base’s owner, considered herself to be striving for perfection in these trivial matters. “I’ll go to the maintenance room later and see if there’s anything I can help with—”

Before she could finish her sentence, the two entered the training room and saw several illuminated virtual pods.

Shen Xingtang’s gaze paused briefly, noticing one of them nearby. Inside the transparent cabin, she could faintly see a young man with sensors on his head and eyes closed. “Why isn’t Chenlin resting yet?”

Ying Chenlin had a relatively regular routine. He went to sleep the earliest and woke up the earliest in the base.

While everyone else would be busy with their own tasks, he would have already completed his daily work and returned to his room to rest.

Shen Xingtang had initially wanted to supervise the kid’s rest and recuperation, but it turned out she wasn’t needed. The kid led a much more disciplined life than she did.

“He just asked me for access to the training backend today, saying he wanted to record some of the mecha pilot’s real battle data.” Jiang Simiao opened the virtual screen in the training room, and the information on the virtual pods’ connection quickly popped up. “During the battle, he should be observing. This match is set in the Abandoned Bio-Factory.”

He casually exported the battle information. Just as he exported it, Jiang Simiao’s actions halted as he looked at the familiar map. He lowered his head to look at the livestream on his light brain.

Upon comparison, the countdown time, the mecha… why did they look so familiar?

Immediately after, he noticed several comments in Chi Lizi’s livestream room, a familiar ID appearing in his view: qpdik01???

Shen Xingtang’s gaze was fixed on the radar map, her eyes widening. “Why are they spreading out so much!?”

On the radar map, the positioning data of KID’s mechas were notably spread apart. This was different from the data Shen Xingtang had seen a few days ago. While KID’s mecha pilots were indeed spaced out before, they were still within a certain support range as per Jiang Simiao’s request. However, their current distances were beyond the support range for all mechas except the Artillery mecha with the longest range. It looked completely like they were all fighting independently, each doing their own thing. How did they end up drifting further apart while fighting!?

Shen Xingtang wasn’t well-versed in strategic matters. She began to ask, “Simiao, why did you have them go to the virtual battlefield—”

Before she could finish her sentence, she heard Jiang Simiao, who was usually mild-mannered, swear.

Shen Xingtang: “…? What did you say?”

“I didn’t keep an eye on them for just one night.” However, Jiang Simiao quickly pulled over a chair and picked up the data tablet beside him to start recording. “Xingtang, help me get the data tablet from my side.”

What kind of tactics were these people playing? They’ve caused quite a stir among the entire interstellar network of mecha pilots!

Upon hearing this, Shen Xingtang quickly fetched the data tablet used for work and handed it to Jiang Simiao.

She watched as Jiang Simiao accessed the battle footage through an external connection, immediately seeing the chaotic scene inside the Abandoned Bio-Factory, scattered mecha pilots, and KID members lurking around the edges of the battlefield. She paused her steps briefly, her gaze fixating on You Su’s mecha, and then in the next second, she saw him swiftly eliminate a mech. “Are they treating team battles like solo pilots?”

You Su had a very distinctive trait, and it was the main concern for both Jiang Simiao and Shen Xingtang.

He was a powerful mecha pilot, and this kind of power imbalance became more evident when he couldn’t integrate into a team properly. It forced the team to adapt to his pace, potentially leading to a disconnect within the team.

“That’s indeed a solo approach.” Jiang Simiao had been studying solo matches as well in order to find an effective way to integrate You Su into KID. “The Abandoned Bio-Factory is a common Contaminated Zone in solo matches. Different types of solo mecha pilots will find their suitable combat style on this map. It’s different from team battles that require coordinated attacks. They independently form a battlefield independently.”

Shen Xingtang glanced to the side and looked at the nearby virtual pods. “So, they’re still playing like solo pilots?”

“Wait… this distribution.” Jiang Simiao realized, “This isn’t Huo Yan’s command, they’re segmenting the battlefield.”

It wasn’t Huo Yan’s command. Shen Xingtang looked at Ying Chenlin inside the virtual pod.

“I’ve had the wrong line of thought. This team of ours doesn’t fit the traditional team battle setup.” The further Jiang Simiao thought about it, the more light sparked in his eyes. It seemed like he had discovered a brilliant possibility. “A segmented battlefield… Yes, You Su needs to operate individually. He’s better off solo.”

On the battlefield, while flying, You Su observed the distribution of his team’s mechas. Starting from the moment Ying Chenlin had mentioned fattening up the other mechas, he had somewhat understood the kid’s idea. Fattening up the mechas was essentially providing prey for the enemy mechas, allowing him to quickly reverse-engineer the target’s activity range from the elimination data and lock onto a particular mecha.

He hadn’t participated in League matches for a long time, and FEI’s base hadn’t employed this method previously. While many mecha pilots might consider targeting individuals, they wouldn’t use such a cunning strategy to rapidly identify a target.

But when Ying Chenlin proposed this idea, it was as if he had used this method frequently, rapidly locking onto his own targets in certain situations. So, now employing it in team battles, it didn’t feel out of place; instead, it fit exceptionally well.

As for the directions KID’s other mecha pilots had dispersed in, they had strategically positioned themselves around the Abandoned Bio-Factory complex. They were indeed unable to provide direct support to each other, but at the same time, they had, in a way, opened up a vast battlefield for one another. He didn’t need to worry too much about the details; the changes on his teammates’ mecha radars provided him with a shared perspective. This allowed him to move very flexibly and freely under the eyes of the other mecha pilots.

This was a central area protected by his teammates’ encirclement.

Lin Yao: “Here they come! We’ve blocked one!”

Ji Qingfeng: “Someone here is trying to go around to the chimney tower! Just waiting and watching them fall into the trap is truly satisfying!”

[Player qpdik04 has eliminated Player bqy145] [Player qpdik05 has eliminated Player guo123]

In a single moment, two elimination messages flashed.

The battle intensified.

This intensity wasn’t like that of the chaotic bombardment from before. It was a gradually emerging heat, with a few IDs starting to appear quietly. For example, in the five-person team that had initially appeared; though it was a five-person team, these mechas strangely weren’t occupying the same combat space, creating an uncomfortable sense of disconnect.

Inside the StarNet livestream chat, many viewers hadn’t paid much attention to the IDs in the elimination messages until this five-person team’s elimination messages started showing up. They keenly observed the IDs.

[Damn, 04 and 05! Where the hell are these people? How did I not see them from start to finish?] [Is it possible that they aren’t in this area at all???] [Are these guys in a five-man squad? It feels like they’re all fighting separately!]

Using the advantages of his Stealth mecha, Chi Lizi followed qpdik01 quickly. The other party’s flight speed was extremely fast, but he didn’t dare to make a move, only trailing behind, closely watching. “Are his teammates really not around him?!”

This feeling was extremely uncomfortable. Initially, both Chi Lizi and Hu Luobu thought qpdik01 was a lone player. At that time, their teammate, 03, had decisively eliminated Lina, Ace’s teammate. But now, from his perspective, he couldn’t locate any mechas besides 01, including 03.

01’s teammates seemed to appear and disappear mysteriously, exerting an intangible pressure on the entire battlefield.

At YDS’ base, Ke Lin had come to study the battle after hearing about the collision between Hu Luobu and Ace, but now he was watching a different situation. “This five-person team, qpdik, is skilled at creating pressure. It’s challenging to face such a team on the battlefield.”

Hu Luobu listened to the voice coming from backstage and asked in confusion, “Captain Ke Lin, how exactly are these five players coordinating?”

“They’re adept at exerting psychological pressure so it becomes difficult to judge the true situation on the field. Just when you think the opponent doesn’t have teammates, they could have them. But when you try to find their teammates, you won’t be able to locate them.” Ke Lin continued his analysis, “And have you noticed? A new mecha hasn’t appeared in your area for a long time.”

Hu Luobu paused. That was true. Originally, this area had the densest concentration of mechas, yet now, there were hardly any there.

Ke Lin continued to focus on the rapidly flying mecha on the screen. On the other side, he asked the others to bring up the map of the Abandoned Bio-Factory complex. Seeing the map overview, Ke Lin understood, “No mechas will come in. 01’s teammate is blocking the other mecha pilots.”

In the livestream chat, other viewers followed along through the perspective of the cameraman, Chi Lizi, observing the movements of the Artillery mecha. However, the Artillery mecha was too fast. While flying, it acted without hesitation, with a very clear goal. On Chi Lizi’s side, to avoid revealing himself, he had to be cautious of his surroundings all the time, fearing that the mecha, 03, might appear again.

[Gale-zhao: Can your perspective stop shaking back and forth?]

Chi Lizi: “…Brother, I’m piloting an Stealth mecha. It’s not as stable as you driving a Tank.”

Only he knew how much psychological pressure he was under. There were hardly any mechas left in this area! Even though the Stealth mecha had its stealth capabilities, it wasn’t like a complete invisibility cloak as seen in games. He was tracking, and if 01’s teammate discovered him, he would be in deep trouble.

“And this Artillery is hard to keep up with. I’ve never seen an Artillery that can move this fast—”

Chi Lizi: “???”

Mid-sentence, Chi Lizi suddenly applied the brakes, almost colliding with a building ahead. He saw the Artillery mecha flying towards a more open area with chimney towers. He couldn’t help but wonder, “Is he crazy? There’s less cover over at the chimney area. Won’t he become a target for Ace?”

During his rapid flight, as You Su followed Ying Chenlin’s advice and turned into the mechanical chimney tower’s area, he saw a familiar mecha silhouette ahead.

—  Ace, the Artillery mecha pilot from the Third Star Domain!

Lu Xi, following closely behind You Su, was taken aback by the situation. It seemed like Ying Chenlin’s guess was right!

The two mechas met head-on. You Su swiftly switched his weapon from the Sniper Cannon to the Energy Cannon. With a quick flick, an energy shot clashed with the incoming fire from Ace, resulting in a head-on explosion. Both sides experienced a shockwave from the close-range Energy Cannon shot, forcing them to retreat hastily.

“He’s carrying both a Sniper Cannon and a Rapid-Fire Cannon,” Ying Chenlin reminded, his voice cold and swift.

Ace had been using the Sniper Cannon throughout the match, and his Rapid-Fire Cannon hadn’t been activated until now. Just from his brief encounter with You Su, Ying Chenlin had rapidly deduced the opponent’s weaponry. He continued, “The Rapid-Fire Cannon charges twice as fast as the Energy Cannon, and it has three times the rate of continuous fire.”

You Su retreated swiftly, evading the attack that came straight at him, and calmly commented, “Good vision.”

When it came to a Rapid-Fire Cannon versus an Energy Cannon, the Rapid-Fire Cannon excelled in terms of charging and aiming speed.

The Energy Cannon had only one advantage – its maneuverability and versatility in projectile types.

Ying Chenlin suddenly suggested, “Turn right at 2 o’clock.”

In just a few rounds, Ace had already fired the Rapid-Fire Cannon several times. His hit rate with the Rapid-Fire Cannon on the battlefield exceeded 70%. However, in the recent incident mid-air, he hadn’t managed to hit the Artillery mecha even once with his Rapid-Fire Cannon.

The opposing Artillery mecha was strong, and Ace hadn’t encountered this type of fighting style before. He had been locked onto by Artillery mechas in matches, but being openly chased like this was a first in his career.

Ace had intentionally taken paths that avoided ambush routes, but this Artillery mecha not only saw through his intentions but also unexpectedly appeared in front of him.

Artillery mechas primarily relied on seizing the right moment, so they often chose suitable sniping positions for ambushes. But after this brief face-off with the opposing mecha, Ace couldn’t find a suitable ambush spot anymore. He was locked onto by the opponent every time.

This sensation was akin to being pursued by a relentless hunter, and he wasn’t entirely certain of escaping from it.

While using the Rapid-Fire Cannon to fend off the opponent’s attacks, Ace utilized the smokescreen created by the clash of firepower to exit the battle zone. He couldn’t remain entangled with the opponent here, especially considering that there was a Control mecha assisting him from behind.

At a crucial moment, he noticed a high cover he could use for concealment. He activated his thrusters to quickly move towards it. He was currently leading in the match, only four minutes remained until its conclusion. The ambush started from the very beginning to the present moment, the goal of these mechas had been to wear him down through mutual consumption of resources. While not being able to defeat the Artillery mecha was indeed uncomfortable for Ace, the match was ultimately a limited-time survival game. He only needed to hold on for these few minutes.

At that very moment, a mecha’s thrusters cut through the smoke. Ace reacted swiftly, and suddenly several charging energy shots lit up within the lingering smokescreen. In the next second, fully charged energy shots scattered in all directions from a distance of less than ten meters from him!

Energy Cannon scatter?! When did this guy manage to get into this position?

At such close range, there was no way to completely evade the attack. Ace suffered damage from the energy shot scatter head-on, and the mecha’s damage indicator immediately surged to 60%! He swiftly manipulated his mecha to retreat in the opposite direction, drawing on years of combat experience. Utilizing the special terrain of the chimney tower, he managed to escape!

You Su clicked his tongue, “The scatter damage fell a bit short.”

Ying Chenlin lowered his gaze slightly, his tone relaxed, “No worries, he can’t escape.”

The female Control mecha pilot, Lu Xi, burst out from the other side of the chimney tower. She fired a Water Flow Projectile immediately, hitting the Artillery mecha that was rapidly retreating, “Left-wing cannon!”

In You Su’s field of view, there was smoke everywhere. As Lu Xi’s voice fell, he had already noted the position hit by the Water Flow Projectile. Swiftly switching from his Energy Cannon to a Sniper Cannon, he aimed in the air and, amidst the vast gray sea of smoke, decisively fired a shot.

[Player qpdik01 eliminates player ace789]

The battle was fast and fierce. Before anyone could react, within the dense smoke of the colliding Artillery fire, the mecha pilot they had been most wary of, Ace, was eliminated by qpdik01. This wasn’t a stealthy kill like what happened to Hu Luobu earlier. This time, it was a head-on clash between two Artillery mechas in an area filled with factory buildings. Moreover, it was Ace’s Rapid-Fire Cannon against an unfavorable Energy Cannon.

In a formal tournament setting, Rapid-Fire Cannons countered all long-charging long-range weapons. But not only did 01 win, it did so with an Energy Cannon in a head-on battle.

[My goodness, I couldn’t even see the last exchange clearly.] [I only saw a sea of smoke. How did 01 win in the end?!] [Did another mecha appear at the end??]

“Energy Cannon scatter shots,” Chi Lizi, having the most direct observational perspective, clearly saw details others missed. “Performing scatter shots with an Energy Cannon is quite challenging. The mecha pilot needs to execute a secondary action while charging the Energy Cannon. The extent of the scattered shots’ range depends entirely on the mecha pilot’s precision in execution.”

Moreover, this scatter shot was carried out while flying at a high speed, in close proximity. Even Tank mechas might not be able to react quickly head-on in such situations, let alone an Artillery mecha which had the weakest defense.

That Control mecha pilot hadn’t even appeared in Chi Lizi’s recent observational perspective.

This Control mecha pilot hadn’t protected the Artillery mecha throughout the match, yet its every appearance had a lethal effect.

Chi Lizi hadn’t witnessed such a dual long-range combination in the tournament arena before!

With only one minute left in the match, Chi Lizi noticed the sudden quietness around him. He realized something and hastily pulled up the virtual battlefield’s scoreboard. “Wait a moment, I just remembered. Ace has been eliminated. Is it possible that we’re currently in first place?”

In the mixed battle between the two teams in the area, the teams led by Chi Lizi and Ace secured the highest scores. And now that Ace’s entire team had been eliminated, they were automatically bumped up, taking the top spot in the match standings.

Only seven mechas remained on the battlefield: Chi Lizi’s and qpdik’s five mecha team, plus one mecha whose whereabouts were uncertain.

[What? Lizi is still in first place?] [Yes, he and Hu Luobu scored quite well in the last wave they took down. In this team battle, they’re still on top.]

In the live broadcast room, after witnessing an incredibly intense duel, the audience was astonished to find out that Chi Lizi, who had been behind the scenes operating the camera, ended up in the first place.

[Chi Lizi, you better stay safe and sound!] [Haha, this is hilarious! Both sides were fighting so fiercely, and now Chi Lizi gets to reap the benefits.] [Gale-zhao: There’s still a 20% wear rate left for the Stealth mecha. Chi Lizi, you’ve got this in the bag.]

Everyone believed that Chi Lizi had a sure victory in hand. With only 20% wear left on the Stealth mecha, he should be able to last through the final minute of the match.

But for some unknown reason, Chi Lizi had a bad premonition. Even though his hiding spot seemed well concealed, he couldn’t shake off the overwhelming pressure he felt. He reassured himself that it was just a misconception caused by the high-stress environment earlier, while remaining alert to his surroundings.

Just at that moment, the roaring sound of intense thrusters filled Chi Lizi’s ears from the side. He froze in place. The Grappling Hook in his hand was about to launch when, in the next second, an immense force kicked it away. The hook missed its target entirely!

Chi Lizi, “???”

F*”ck! Where did that mecha come from?

A Guardian mecha appeared at his side. Its sharp blade swiftly lifted Chi Lizi up, and with a powerful strike, the weapon with considerable built-up energy raised his wear rate by 6%. The mecha didn’t stop there; the blade in its hand moved as if the other was a skilled ancient martial artist, quickly engaging him in close combat.

Chi Lizi muttered a curse and swiftly used his Grappling Hook to escape. He intended to create some distance, but suddenly, his movements halted. He was immobilized!

A set of Binding Locks was affixed to Chi Lizi’s mech. The other Stealth mecha that had been lurking around for a while suddenly revealed itself, and its razor-sharp blade struck with ruthless precision!

In the live broadcast room, the audience first witnessed Chi Lizi being kicked away by a Guardian mech that appeared suddenly, and then, in quick succession, he was subjected to a flurry of attacks from the Stealth mecha that emerged from behind. The remaining 20% wear couldn’t withstand for even a minute. In the final seconds of the countdown, it was reduced to zero.

A coordinated ambush by the Guardian and Stealth mechas left Chi Lizi lying on the ground with a black-and-white image left on the screen. Without looking back, the mechas swiftly departed.

As the game time ended, a notification popped up on the screen:

[Congratulations to Team qpdik for winning this match.]

The onlooking mecha pilots: ?

The live broadcast room’s online viewers: ?

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Inner Child
8 months ago

You're welcome.

10 months ago

Lmao! Thank you for the chapter, looking forward to the next one.

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