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Genius Mechanic

Genius Mechanic: Chapter 45

Fiarge Contaminated Zone

45. Newcomer

Proofread by An Zheee and Cloud Chip Cake

After taking the photos, the group quickly returned to the training room. In the office, Shen Xingtang was organizing promotional materials. When Jiang Simiao noticed the others had left, he asked Shen Xingtang, “Why didn’t you tell Chenlin about the roster situation? Chenlin even thought you were the one going backstage.”

In team battles, a five-person mecha team format was used. Due to the large number of mechas, pre-match checks and maintenance were performed by the mechanics. Therefore, the base needed to submit a list of mechanics to the League. This list referred to mechanics who could enter the match preparation area, and those mechanics were called team mechanics, and needed to be reported to the League for approval.

For the sake of fairness in the competition, only one such team mechanic was allowed during match time. This mechanic would stay in the preparation area of the Jump Zone and monitor the mecha data before and during the match to prevent any special situations.

“Got too busy and forgot. Besides, his skills are better than mine,” Shen Xingtang said. She remembered the last time they went to the Tianyu Star Contaminated Zone, she was only on the outskirts of the match area. However, Chenlin could stay with those lively guys and enjoy the scenery for a long time. “He likes it, and I’m not interested in that place. It’s good to let the kid see the world. Also, I received a message recently.”

Jiang Simiao looked at her, puzzled.

“The Team Battle Mecha League might be restructured in the coming years. After the incident on the Tianyu Star, the Star Alliance has held several emergency meetings in a row,” Shen Xingtang said, pinching her forehead, continuing, “The introduction of Medical mechas is a matter of time.”

Jiang Simiao had heard about the introduction of Medical mechas, but it had been years without further developments. “Are you talking about introducing mecha medics?”

In the past few years, the front-line Medical mecha system had matured, and Medical mechas had introduced intelligent repair systems. Although they couldn’t match the abilities of mechanics, they could handle some combat situations. Mecha units of this type gradually matured in border regions or other military units. They were known as ‘mecha medics’ because they manned Medical mechas.

Since the establishment of the Team Battle Mecha League, no reforms had taken place. If Medical mechas were introduced and the format changed from five-person to six-person mecha teams, the League would undoubtedly be restructured.

“If Medical mechas are introduced, the Team Battle Mecha League will add another position, and some team mechanic tasks will be transferred to the Medical mechas,” Shen Xingtang continued, “I’m thinking that if the restructuring is confirmed, and if Chenlin’s body can adapt, we should let him give it a try.”

Ying Chenlin couldn’t sustain high-intensity mecha operations continuously. Shen Xingtang had noticed this in some of the footage from the Tianyu Star incident. She also asked the other KID members afterwards and learned that Ying Chenlin experiences fatigue while piloting mechas. But when she thought about Ying Chenlin’s candor in the maintenance room that day, she knew that he also longed for that vast battlefield. The kid had been forced to retire due to his health before reaching adulthood; it was such a pity.

Jiang Simiao said, “Do you want him to adapt early on? But these matters haven’t been finalized yet. What if—”

“So, I haven’t told him. But I estimate it’s something that will happen in the next few years.”

Shen Xingtang said, “The League is revealing this information to prepare other mecha bases in advance. I heard that teams from other Galaxies have already started training Medical mecha pilots. The incident in the Tianyu Star is also a factor. The increasing complexity of the Contaminated Zone environments necessitates the introduction of a medical system for the League to continue.”

In the dormitory area of KID’s base, Ying Chenlin returned to his room holding the clothes and changed into his mechanic uniform, which fit him perfectly.

Beside the mechanic uniform was another combat suit set similar in style to the others. The combat suit was a specialized outfit for mecha pilots, made with a lightweight fabric containing various nanomaterials to enhance the connection between the pilot and their mecha.

Mechanics didn’t have combat suits, so this combat suit must have been custom-made for him by Shen Xingtang, perhaps based on what he mentioned about retiring last time.

In his past life, he had never served as a mechanic accompanying the team. The repair environment on the competition site was worse than indoor conditions. Being in a wheelchair made it inconvenient to move around and he couldn’t assist the team with maintenance tasks within the limited time. Bringing such a mechanic with the team would just waste a spot designated for KID’s maintenance team.

In the early days of team mecha competitions, it was like this. Before the League was restructured, mechanics needed to monitor their team’s mecha data inside the arena, ready to respond to emergencies. Therefore, each team’s accompanying mechanic was usually the strongest and most experienced in the base. Ying Chenlin had assumed Shen Xingtang would be chosen, but he hadn’t expected Shen Xingtang to give him the opportunity.

Ying Chenlin picked up the combat suit. When he put it on, it fit him perfectly. He also noticed some simple adjustments made to the right arm, making it fit his mechanical arm better.

He had never given up on his dream of becoming a mecha pilot. He chose to undergo surgery, prepared to create a mecha compatible with his condition, and retrained his muscle memory. Despite all his preparations, he hadn’t given up on mechas. He needed to adjust himself, be fully prepared, and face the upcoming changes in the team mecha competition.

Given his current physical condition, even if he returned to his peak level, the decline in his physical abilities would prevent him from possessing the excellent qualities of a solo mecha pilot. Team mecha battles were his only opportunity to participate in the League. And he knew… the future Mecha Alliance would be restructured.

Transitioning from five-person mechas to six-person mechas, adding another mecha position, introducing Medical mechas.

The Medical mecha restructuring came after the Black Hole incident.

After the Star League noticed the Super S-Level pollutants as an uncertain factor, they enacted an existing plan: to introduce a Medical mecha system into the League system.

Medical mechas were mature in professional fields, but as League mechas, they posed uncertainties. Moreover, skilled Medical mecha pilots were hard to find, and most Medical mecha pilots were mechanics.

However, these mechanics might not have high combat proficiency, making it difficult for most Medical mecha pilots to adapt to the rhythm of the battlefield. This was until the development of intelligent medical systems, even mecha pilots unfamiliar with maintenance knowledge could use the intelligent medical system to quickly assist teammates. This was the League’s rationale for introducing Medical mechas.

At that stage, some mecha pilots transitioned to specializing in Medical mechas, creating a dual mecha piloting and maintenance role for accompanying mechanics. This marked a significant change as team mecha competitions matured.

And Ying Chenlin knew that this was the future, and it was his opportunity.

“Black Hole”, Ying Chenlin looked at his reflection in the mirror, thinking about what might happen in the League. Currently, the Star League playoffs hadn’t even begun, let alone the top 8 placement matches after the playoffs. The specific announcements and format for the Contaminated Zone as a competition-level Contaminated Zone hadn’t been released yet…

Ying Chenlin’s gaze deepened slightly. As an accompanying mechanic, he could observe the changes on the competition stage more clearly.

He couldn’t let KID repeat the same mistakes as they did in the FS Contaminated Zone.

Due to the qpdik team’s actions, a wide-ranging discussion ensued in the virtual arena. Many people closely monitored these mecha pilots’ IDs, but later, they couldn’t find any new records of their performance on StarNet. Their chance for further observation had disappeared. Jiang Simiao’s plan for the alternate account training was unexpectedly interrupted by an additional expenditure. The team owner, Shen Xingtang, acquired all the account passwords and bought a bunch of name change cards in the store to modify those “memorable” names.

Time flew by quickly, and soon the elimination matches began. The focal point of discussions on the First Domain’s StarNet returned to the League itself, with attention centered on the teams from various major mecha bases.

Inside the KID base’s building, Jianheng Corporation’s Sirius branch had moved in, and even the billboards outside displayed Jianheng Technology’s exclusive logo. In the conference room for the branch’s upper management, the engineers had just concluded their meeting and walked out, only to see the CEO of the parent company visiting the branch for inspection.

Since collaborating with KID and acquiring the refined parts manufacturing method, their technical department had further refined the components using the method of simulating mental shaping. This had indeed resulted in new performance parts, propelling Jianheng Technology’s A-Class mecha project’s progress significantly. The data on the report for the new month was particularly impressive.

However, their parts were still not as exceptional as the components shaped by the mechanic named Ying Chenlin from KID.

They had no idea how that mechanic managed to sustain continuous mental power output. Despite using intelligent machines to follow the same mental power output trajectory, their engineers in the technical department couldn’t achieve his precision.

But due to the busy affairs at Jianheng’s headquarters, he hadn’t had the chance to meet this mechanic yet.

“Boss, you might be a bit late,” the branch manager said, “Did you forget? The Team Battle Mecha League playoffs have started. KID left yesterday with their entire team, and Mr. Ying, as the accompanying mechanic, went with them.”

Mr. Zhou: “?”

“Oh, right.” The manager kindly pulled out an electronic pad, “Boss Shen also left a few backstage tickets. Would you like to go and watch?”

The Team Mecha Battle League’s elimination phase in the Dawn Galaxy lasted until the end of January. Following the conclusion of the last match in the elimination phase, the fifteenth Dawn Galaxy Mecha League Advancement Tournament began. This advancement tournament featured a one-month competition among the top 16 teams from the previous season and the top 16 teams from the elimination phase of this season. The format of the competition would only be announced right before the start.

The 32 teams were divided into four groups, with only one match per group. The top four teams from each group would advance to the next round.

The starting times for the four regions’ competitions were staggered by a day, with the D Region starting first and the A Region starting last. As soon as the group information was released before the competition began, there was already a lively discussion on StarNet. The most anticipated teams were the Elite Eight teams, and this time, they were split up. The top four teams – Gale, Black Crow, YDS, and BZZL1 – each went to one of the four regions.

The KID team was placed in the D Region. The Contaminated Zone for this region was the Fiarge Contaminated Zone, and participating teams needed to register in the zone one day before the competition.

The Fiarge Contaminated Zone was a Level 3 Competition-level Contaminated Zone, with forest coverage exceeding 50%. It was a Contaminated Zone on an uninhabitable planet.

Although the KID team had participated in the Advancement Tournament before, most of their members were visiting this Contaminated Zone for the first time. Unlike their usual missions, a Competition-level Contaminated Zone used for matches had set up a competition venue at the teleportation entrance. Here, there were live spectators who came out of curiosity and real-time virtual image broadcasts from the Star Alliance’s various StarNet sources.

Before even entering, the lively voices from the outside could be heard. Even if D Region’s popularity hadn’t surpassed that of the other regions, at this moment, every seat was filled.

Ji Qingfeng said, “It’s really bustling outside!”

Huo Yan looked at Shen Xingtang, “Boss, should we bring our sponsor’s virtual banners?”

“Of course we should.” Shen Xingtang had everything arranged, “Once you enter the preparation area, there will only be a few of you. Chenlin, you can follow the staff. Simiao and I will be waiting for you in the resting area.”

You Su tilted his head and saw Ying Chenlin carrying a toolkit on his back.

Ying Chenlin wore a hat, a long-sleeved team uniform on the outside, and a well-fitted mechanic outfit underneath.

His face still wore that calm and composed expression, but the slightly looser outerwear made him appear smaller. Standing next to the tall and imposing figure of Huo Yan, he seemed particularly slender and weak, forming a striking contrast.

Ying Chenlin noticed You Su’s gaze and asked, “What’s up?”

The person seemed calm, taking the time to look around.

“Nothing,” You Su shifted his gaze back, but out of the corner of his eye, he noticed people behind them had been looking in their direction for a while now.

A few people stood in the corridor, with the dozen or so individuals ahead of them from another mecha base, and around ten from the one behind them. However, there were only eight people from KID, and there was a large empty space around them, making their presence seem somewhat diminished.

“DE is behind us,” Lin Yao stood beside them, his gaze catching sight of the familiar sandy-yellow team uniforms behind them, “Da Feng, let’s crush them in this match!”

Ji Qingfeng observed Xu Yaojun, who was standing in their opponent’s team with an arrogant air, “Just keep an eye on Xu Yaojun.”

DE was ranked after KID, so their order of appearance would be after KID.

Mentioning DE brought back memories of the weapon core incident. In the previous season, KID’s mechanic leaked mecha data, and DE had presented a weapon with similar core data to theirs during a match. There was no direct evidence to appeal with, but all the members of KID were well aware of it.

Shen Xingtang glanced at Xu Yaojun in the DE team, “It’s almost time to enter. Let’s go.”

Far away, the boss of the DE team noticed the KID members and his shrewd face took on a shadowed expression.

KID’s ranking had always hovered above theirs. The outcome of this match would affect the resource allocation around the Sirius Galaxy. Moreover, competition in the D Region had been fierce this year, with only four spots available in the top 16. There were plenty of strong teams.

DE’s boss looked at the dozen or so members behind him and instructed them with emphasis, “Once you’re on the field, don’t spare the KID members. Deal with them first. It’s also a way to eliminate a competitor.”

The mecha pilots nodded one after another. When Xu Yaojun withdrew his gaze, he noticed DE’s boss looking at him, making him nervous, “Boss.”

DE’s boss beckoned him closer and whispered, “I don’t care who KID has brought as their Artillery pilot. If necessary, feel free to use that weapon.”

“You know, I just want a winning outcome.”

The venue was filled with the buzz of voices.

[Ladies and gentlemen from all over the Star Alliance, we are currently at the site of the Dawn Galaxy’s 15th Team Battle Mecha League Advancement Tournament in the First Star Domain. The competition area is the Fiarge Contaminated Zone.] [Today, eight teams are participating, and the various factions’ teams are ready. Now, let’s welcome the mecha teams from various major bases to the stage—firstly, the BZZL1 team, who ranked fourth last season.]

In the center of the venue was the teleportation area for the matches. Each area had a resting zone for the teams. As the announcer’s voice echoed, the teams entered the field.

On StarNet, major live streaming platforms also initiated real-time broadcasts. StarNet users were wandering through various live rooms, engaging in various speculations about the matches in this region. As a competition where only the top four out of the 32 teams would advance from the Round of 32 to the Round of 16, in a way, some of the stronger original Elite Eight teams had almost pre-booked certain positions to advance to. Excluding the two secure spots claimed by the original Elite Eight, the remaining two spots were determined among the teams from both the former and new Round of 16.

It was lively indeed. In the D Region, there were several dark horses from the newly qualified Round of 16, along with a few formidable teams from the former Round of 16. Among them, the internal conflict between the two teams from Sirius piqued the interest of many. These teams were the DE team and the KID team.

The conflicts between these two teams were no secret on StarNet. DE was growing stronger, while KID was becoming weaker. KID’s decline had become evident ever since the promotion of their Artillery pilot Trace, leaving countless individuals skeptical. This inconsistency persisted, including their realization of the necessity to release their team’s promotional photos only after the elimination matches had concluded. While other mecha battles were producing high-quality cinematic promotional material, KID’s promotional content consisted of simple and rudimentary photos.

Their claims of insufficient funds and lack of time eroded the expectations StarNet users had for the team. People even thought that KID should abandon the competition and focus on their component business, which seemed more reliable.

At the D Region venue, the competing teams were entering the field. The official livestream barrage had already begun:

【DE has so many fans this year.】

【I just saw the team’s accompanying mechanic. Doesn’t KID not have a mechanic? Who’s filling in for the mechanic role in their base?】

【It seems like no one is. There’s no one listed in their promotional roster.】

【Did they actually hire anyone?】

【They said they did. After all, they took down the recruitment notice!】

KID’s mechanic was one of the focal points of attention among StarNet users.

After all, the lasting impression of the 8,000 starcoin recruitment notice for a mechanic after last season had left an impact. The presence of an accompanying mechanic was necessary for the competition; it was one of the basic criteria for participating. Otherwise, KID wouldn’t have anyone overseeing the backstage mecha data.

Informed users came out to share that they had hired someone, but many users didn’t believe that KID could truly secure a mechanic. The conditions for that position were so extreme that only a fool would agree to them.

On StarNet, not only users but also teams from other regions were tuning into the live broadcast.

When Zhao Lejie opened the official live stream, he noticed the users’ discussion and turned to Qi Sicheng beside him, “Didn’t Zhang Ge say last time that KID hired a mechanic apprentice? So, should the mechanic position for KID be taken by Boss Shen?”

Qi Sicheng nodded, “Shen Xingtang retired from the battlefield, and there’s no one more suitable than her.”

He kept an eye on KID’s side. After they announced Trace’s presence, he hadn’t seen any other updates on StarNet.

Others might not be aware, but those who had collaborated with KID in the Dawn Galaxy’s Contaminated Zones knew that there was another mecha pilot concealed within KID.

If this individual were to step in as a substitute pilot, it would make KID’s lineup even more versatile.

Qi Sicheng had kept an eye on the opponent. That young person with the surname “Ying” had a very adaptable approach. Qi Sicheng had also analyzed his techniques. At that time, he had used both the Light Blade and the Thunder-Magnetic Cannon—both short-range and long-range weapons—with great ease. Coupled with his performance resembling that of an Individual Soldier mecha pilot, they might even be able to step in for KID’s Guardian or Control mecha pilots at any moment.

Soon, three teams had already entered the arena.

The host announced, “Next up, we have the KID team from Dawn Galaxy.”

In the official livestream room, the commentators responsible for narrating the matches took note of the situation. One of the commentators, familiar with the League’s internal affairs, spoke up, “Among all the teams in the Dawn Galaxy Mecha League, KID probably has one of the smallest logistics teams. Many viewers are curious about KID’s mechanic. It’s reported that Shen Xingtang is a retired mechanic and is likely the accompanying mechanic for KID this time.”

【Are there really that few people?】

【Other teams have around ten to twenty members, while KID only had ten members last season.】

【I guess they might not even have ten members this time. After the last season ended, many employees had left the KID’s base.】

The corridor leading to another resting area lit up. The spectators on the field turned their gaze to KID’s direction, even the teams that had already entered the resting area cast their eyes towards the corridor. The flashlights on the high platform illuminated the exit. In comparison to the grand entrances of the other teams, KID’s entry seemed rather austere, with a scarce number of people.

The camera zoomed in on the walking figures of the KID team. The commentators noticed another unfamiliar face within the KID team. The team’s owner Shen Xingtang and coach Jiang Simiao were well known to everyone. However, this remaining unfamiliar face had not been seen by the commentators before. Moreover, it seemed like this individual was carrying Shen Xingtang’s mechanic kit.

They observed as the KID team reached the fork in the path between the resting area and the preparation area. Boss Shen Xingtang and the coach Jiang Simiao headed towards the resting area, while the last individual followed the group of KID mecha pilots towards the preparation area.

The commentators glanced down at KID’s information page, only to realize that at some point, the page had been refreshed. The column for the mechanic was no longer filled with Shen Xingtang’s name.

Zhao Lejie, who was also watching the livestream, slipped off his chair, “Wait a moment?! Isn’t Ying Chenlin a mecha pilot! Their Artillery pilot is Trace! Shouldn’t he be a substitute?!”

KID hadn’t announced their substitute mecha pilot, but for those who have had experience cooperating with KID in the Dawn Galaxy, they’ve tested various lineups that KID could potentially use. When KID initially announced Trace, they thought that Ying Chenlin was standing by as a substitute. Who would have imagined that this person wasn’t a mecha pilot for KID at all, but a mechanic!?

Moreover, there’s also Shen Xingtang within KID. People in the industry were well aware that Shen Xingtang was an experienced mechanic, so her presence on-site was a stable factor.

Qi Sicheng’s eyes flickered, “KID hasn’t put up any substitutes.”

Everyone in the venue turned their attention to the young man following behind the KID mecha pilots. As the camera zoomed in, they all saw KID’s sixth member clearly. The young man had a cap on, hiding his face, and he wore a loose red and white long-sleeved jacket. He carried a half-human-height mechanic’s toolkit on his side and stood behind the towering mecha pilot, appearing somewhat slender.

The cuffs of his sleeves were slightly rolled up, revealing the cold light of intricate machinery hidden within his long sleeves.

As if noticing the camera’s focus, the young man glanced sideways, revealing a pale side profile.

【Wait a moment?! So young???】

【No, did you all see his hands? Am I not mistaken? Mechanical???】

【You’re not mistaken, I saw it too… This person? The mechanic!?】

“Where’s KID’s mechanic? This way,” the on-site staff called out.

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Anonymous
Anonymous
10 months ago

Can't wait for Ying Chenlin to show his skills to everyone earching

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