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Genius Mechanic

Genius Mechanic: Chapter 46

Fiarge Contaminated Zone

46. Binding Lock Scythe

Proofread by Cloud Chip Cake and An Zheee

The official livestream camera continued to follow the young man, observing as he completed the registration process at the registration booth like any other mechanic. He carried his toolkit and entered the central control area of the preparation zone, standing among other slightly older mechanics. 

The profession of mechanic required experience, this experience was accumulated through years of repairing. Even the mechanic certification exam added to one’s experience. This was why there were relatively few advanced mechanics within the League, and most were at least 30 years old.

KID actually managed to hire a mechanic? And such a young one at that?

From the close-up shots just now, it was apparent that KID’s new mechanic was still quite young. Could such a young mechanic really possess enough experience?

The commentary in the official livestream continued, and the relevant information about the mechanic was displayed alongside, saying, “The mechanic sent by KID this time is not the experienced Shen Xingtang, but a new mechanic named Ying Chenlin.”

In the case of a central backstage like this in the playoffs, mechanics analyze all the data from their own team’s mechas. A young person with limited experience might not even comprehend certain sudden situations. KID, no matter what, would need to send an experienced person. After all, Shen Xingtang was a retired senior mechanic with battlefield experience. This young man probably hadn’t even earned an intermediate mechanic certification, right?

Moreover, the most crucial part was that the mechanic’s right hand appeared to be a mechanical one.

【KID always manages to surprise me with something new.】

【A prosthetic right hand? A mechanical hand? Are you kidding? Can its precision even be adjusted?】

【I doubt he can even lift the exterior panels!】

Nowadays, the appearance of a mechanical prosthetic was rare. Judging from the fact that the prosthetic lacked artificial skin covering, it was likely due to a more severe condition that required regular removal and possibly hadn’t even passed the postoperative recovery phase.

Mechanics dealt with intricate work. Even a minor error in adjusting the internal parts of a mecha could affect the entire mecha’s performance. A team’s accompanying mechanic, aside from monitoring backend data during matches, also performed final adjustments to the mechas before the match. Most mecha bases dispatched their most experienced mechanics for this role, and yet KID entrusted such an important position to a rookie.

That mechanic appeared so frail and delicate. With that weak appearance, could he really bear the responsibility of this role?

Since Ying Chenlin was a mechanic, KID’s substitute position would remain vacant.

The contingency plan Gale had prepared was rendered futile because this wildcard in KID wasn’t even taking the field.

“It seems the previous rumors about Shen Xingtang finding a young apprentice were probably about him.” Qi Sicheng’s expression remained tense. “How’s his skill as a mechanic?”

“I don’t know this specifically. I didn’t see him repairing mechas when we were in the Contaminated Zone… But I know he’s technically inclined.” Zhao Lejie felt a slight headache. He wasn’t sure whether he should feel relieved or not. “His technical level is decent, but as for repairing mechas, I really don’t know. Back then, he only worked on an energy core.”

In the venue, due to the revelation of KID’s new mechanic, a small portion of the audience started discussing the matter.

The boss of team DE, not far away, saw this scene. His peripheral vision swept toward the large screen showing the preparation zone. Inside stood KID’s new mechanic. The news about this mechanic had been checked by his people. Apparently, he was just a junior mechanic, with experience and credentials nowhere near those of seasoned mechanics.

“I didn’t expect Shen Xingtang to actually not be in there,” DE’s boss observed this and became more assured of his plan. “That new mechanic seems unremarkable. They can go all out now.”

In the venue, Jiang Simiao and Shen Xingtang arrived at KID’s exclusive resting area. The spacious area accommodated only the two of them.

Jiang Simiao glanced toward the preparation zone. “He’s already inside, doing final adjustments before the match.”

Shen Xingtang raised an eyebrow, her light brain displaying comments from others online: “A new mechanic? Our Chenlin is far more reliable than certain other mechanics.”

As they conversed, they suddenly noticed the gaze coming from the adjacent DE team.

Shen Xingtang withdrew her gaze, catching the provoking look from DE’s boss. “Any recent news from DE?”

“Not at the moment. They replaced their lineup with Xu Yaojun and kept the other four from last season. Also, I heard they’ve got deep pockets. They recently acquired a batch of anomalous crystals from the materials market to create weapons for Xu Yaojun. Don’t you remember? Back during the Banute Contaminated Zone incident, You Su blew his right hand off, and his weapon seemed to have been damaged too.”

Shen Xingtang remained wary of DE. This team had played dirty tricks on them last season. Caution was necessary.

At that moment, Jiang Simiao suddenly said, “The chairman has actually come today.”

In the central VIP viewing area, several League leaders were present, and amid them, a middle-aged man in a formal suit stood out. Chairman Li Jingyan had just arrived and was escorted to the viewing area by the staff, attracting some whispers.

Li Jingyan, the League chairman, was also an early-era mecha pilot in the Dawn Galaxy Mecha League. He had risen to fame as a youth, becoming the first Individual Soldier champion in the history of the Dawn Galaxy Mecha League. After retiring, he took up a position in the Mecha League and had been serving as the chairman of the Dawn Galaxy Mecha League for six years now.

The advancement playoffs were different from the final ranking matches. Li Jingyan usually only attended the final ranking matches. This was the first time he had appeared in the advancement playoffs.

The virtual screen in the center projected the scene in the preparation zone. The eight teams from Division D had entered the preparation zone, and the mechanics from each team were conducting final pre-match checks on the mechas.

After Li Jingyan took his seat, he looked at the virtual screen, where a certain camera was focused on KID’s preparation zone.

Five red and white mechas were parked there. The young man emerged from the cockpit, having taken off his outerwear. He was now wearing the distinctive uniform of a mechanic.

Li Jingyan gazed at him, as if he could see another figure moving and weaving between the mechas.

Seeing the data was different from seeing the person in person.

Only through firsthand observation could Li Jingyan come to a definite conclusion.

“Chairman?” one of the leaders beside him called for him.

Li Jingyan averted his gaze. The match was about to begin.

Inside the preparation zone, Ying Chenlin finished his final check on all the mechas. The match was just ten minutes away. As he descended from the mechas, he noticed the virtual cameras constantly floating around. He lifted his gaze slightly, seeing the vast venue and the audience outside the virtual protective barrier.

Ying Chenlin said, “I’ve checked the weapons, no issues.”

Ji Qingfeng stretched his muscles, “This forest Contaminated Zone is too comfortable. Hopefully, the match mode will favor us later.”

Lin Yao added, “But our luck has always been bad! What if we end up with Survival Mode again? I really don’t want to play Survival Mode.”

Ying Chenlin responded, “I can handle Survival Mode too.”

Shen Xingtang and Jiang Simiao were seated at a distance in the resting area, looking in their direction.

Seeing the group of people standing together and discussing something, Jiang Simiao spoke up, “They probably have some new idea.”

“Fiarge Contaminated Zone is advantageous for us,” Shen Xingtang glanced at the mechas in the preparation zone. Regardless of the match mode in the Fiarge Contaminated Zone, at least in some aspects, their KID wouldn’t lose. Especially after Ying Chenlin made adjustments to the weapons.

Jiang Simiao sighed, “I just hope they perform well and we secure the fourth spot.”

For some reason, whenever he saw them huddled together discussing, he had a bad feeling.

Shen Xingtang chuckled, “What’s there to fear? This isn’t the second Tianyu Star.”

“But I’m afraid it might turn into a second Tianyu Star,” Jiang Simiao responded.

Soon, the door between the preparation area and the resting area closed. The rumbling of mecha thrusters was the only sound around.

In the audience seating, the cheers from the audience grew louder as the mecha pilots entered their cockpits.

Ying Chenlin quickly walked to the monitoring station in the preparation zone. It was the central control system connected to KID’s mechas, monitoring the data of all KID mechas. He pressed the confirmation button on the control panel. KID’s mechas entered the preparatory jump phase, and a plethora of data appeared on the virtual screen in front of Ying Chenlin.

[System entering preparatory jump phase. All team mechanics, please confirm.] [Confirmation received. A total of 5 Competition-level mechas from KID are entering the Jump Zone. Data loading.]

When Ying Chenlin pressed confirmed, at that very moment, in the Jump Zone, KID’s mechas were transported into the Fiarge Contaminated Zone as it opened. The real-time virtual reality scene presented itself in front of Ying Chenlin. As the accompanying mechanic, he couldn’t communicate with KID’s mecha pilots, but he could clearly observe the data of each mecha, facilitating real-time monitoring of the mecha pilots’ conditions.

Fiarge Contaminated Zone, Level 3, average contamination level 2000 – 4000.

Unlike simulated data in virtual battlefields, the Competition-level Contaminated Zone emulated all the environmental changes within a Contaminated Zone. The official system of the Mecha League spanned the entire Contaminated Zone, constantly monitoring the condition of every mecha.

This was a highly forested Contaminated Zone, where the tall trees provided ample cover from the sun due to the effects of contamination. Once a mecha entered the forest, it was difficult to lock onto, with numerous internal hiding spots.

The difficulty of this Contaminated Zone lies in two aspects: first, locking onto enemies in a multi-cover environment; second, interference from numerous plant-based pollutants. Artillery mechas would have more difficulty sustaining their hit rates, as the number of areas with tree cover was higher, making it a disadvantage for ranged mechas. It was more suitable for close combat mechas.

For KID, this was clearly an advantageous Contaminated Zone.

The next moment, the match mode for the Fiarge Contaminated Zone was displayed.

[Fiarge Contaminated Zone [Division D], Match Mode [72-Hour Score Rush].] [Loading complete. Welcome to the Fiarge Contaminated Zone.]

As all the mechas entered the Contaminated Zone, the crowd erupted into enthusiastic cheers at the announcement of the 72-Hour Score Rush mode.

In the Team Battle Mecha League, the 72-Hour Score Rush mode was highly popular among spectators.

[72-Hour Score Rush: Within 72 hours after all mechas enter the Fiarge Contaminated Zone, each enemy mecha eliminated by a mecha pilot accumulates one point for the team. There is no upper limit on the score. When all mechas of a team are eliminated, the team is out. The team with the highest accumulated score wins.]

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 15th Dawn Galaxy Team Battle Mecha League’s Division D Advancement Playoffs. We can see that mecha pilots from all teams have jumped into the Contaminated Zone. The mode for this match is 72-Hour Score Rush.”

Inside the live broadcast room, the commentators were explaining the rules for 72-Hour Score Rush, “In a scoring mode like this, things mainly depend on the team’s combat level. Unlike Survival Mode, where you can improve your rank by avoiding combat, the Score Rush mode means no points without combat.”

Another commentator added, “That’s right, but strategy is important in battles too. Among the 8 teams in Division D, many are proficient in direct combat. There are both strong and new teams among the eight. Considering the current situation, securing a high score relies on the strategies used by the mecha pilots.”

72-Hour Score Rush was a fast-paced match mode in the Mecha League, focusing primarily on combat. Teams wouldn’t earn points without engaging in battles. In this mode, over the course of 72 hours, the team that eliminated the most mechas would have a higher chance of winning.

【So, it’s a Score Rush mode from the start? This is so fast-paced!】

【Then BZZL1 is like a walking boss. If they run into a strong team in Score Rush, that could be troublesome.】

【To get a high score in Score Rush, just find weaker teams to rack up points!】

The match began, and all the mechas entered the Fiarge Contaminated Zone. The form of the match emerged as soon as all mechas entered. In the blink of an eye, the scenery before every mecha pilot changed dramatically. The forest covered everyone’s field of view. The Contamination Zone system’s red lights turned on, and the mechas rapidly took flight the moment they jumped into the Contaminated Zone.

The commentator explained, “In Division D, we have eight teams. Since it’s a Score Rush mode, the final lineup will be decided by the battlefield rankings. In a way, to secure a spot in the next round, the best strategy is to avoid encountering strong teams in the early stages. Conflicts with strong teams can lead to quick elimination, making it impossible to accumulate points.”

Currently, BZZL1 was the strongest team in Division D. They finished fourth in the previous season and had comprehensive strength.

Avoiding strong teams meant conservatively advancing, steering clear of BZZL1, and choosing slightly weaker opponents to rack up points.

The on-site audience, as well as the viewers on StarNet, instinctively focused their attention on the arena. There were a total of eight teams on the field. With unified color-coded stripes on the mechas of each team, when viewed from a distance through virtual cameras, one could see teams teleporting and departing from their respective jump points, venturing deeper into the Contaminated Zone.

“It seems everyone is well-prepared, and their formations for advancing are very conservative. Wait a minute! Why is there a lone mecha?”

Before the commentator could finish, a camera within the Contaminated Zone suddenly locked onto a specific spot in the forest. A red and white striped mecha was flying swiftly, surrounded by emptiness. It was the only one darting through the woods, and about a kilometer away from it was a cautious teammate moving forward. “It’s KID’s mecha, an Artillery mecha, and it has no support behind it.”

【??? What is KID’s mecha doing?】

【Their front and back lines are disjointed.】

【Hold on! Why is the Artillery mecha in a different position!?】

【Wait, you guys, look at their Guardian mecha and Stealth mecha, they are positioned so far forward!】

In the scene, KID’s lead mecha accelerated swiftly, and the sound of its thrusters immediately alerted the nearby teams. The team nearest to KID’s Artillery mecha spread out randomly, following the thruster traces on their radar and encircling the advancing mechas.

While the distribution of the major teams couldn’t be clearly seen within the arena, it was easily discernible for the audience outside.

There was a squad of mechas ahead of KID’s advance, and about 3 kilometers behind that squad, another team of mechas was approaching them. With only 8 teams of mechas in the entire Contaminated Zone, a three-way clash was about to erupt.

Among these three teams, the relatively dispersed KID was in the most disadvantaged position.

At YDS’ base, Ke Lin and Hu Luobu were also observing the match.

Hu Luobu: “If this goes on, they’ll definitely clash in less than three minutes. KID’s luck is just too bad.”

“This kind of Contaminated Zone should be advantageous for KID, but their front line has a serious weakness.” Ke Lin watched the match screen, focusing on the Stealth and Guardian mechas leading the charge. Even the Tank mecha was trailing behind them by a hundred meters in flight distance.

KID’s standout feature used to be their front line, which was powerful and skilled.

However, their front line couldn’t operate without support from the rear. The Stealth mecha, Ji Qingfeng, was using a close combat setup with a Binding Lock and Energy Blade. The Guardian mecha, Lin Yao, carried a Light Blade and a protective shield instead of ranged weapons like other Guardian mechas. While these two were strong, they couldn’t hold the line.

Even if Ji Qingfeng used the Binding Lock skillfully, its control duration was only a few seconds, and due to the inherent fragility of the binding, he could only control a single target. This meant that such a front line could handle individual mechas, but if they had to deal with a group of advancing mechas, KID would be in a passive position.

Hu Luobu: “The Artillery mecha is way out of the support range, and the front and rear lines are about to disconnect.”

KID’s vulnerability had reappeared. Just like the last season, their front line was too fast, and their rear line couldn’t keep up.

Ke Lin closely monitored this situation. He didn’t believe KID hadn’t noticed this problem, so why were they still advancing in this manner!?

In the live broadcast room, the commentators’ voices continued, “The opponents facing KID head-on in this match are the dark horses of the elimination rounds, hailing from the FDTX base. This team is known for their teamwork, and they used a formation like this to wipe out three mechas in a previous match.”

【This is a suicidal advance.】

【KID isn’t even trying for the top 32?】

【Their coordination must be terrible; think about what Trace did before retiring.】

As expected, within the arena, KID’s front line clashed with an opposing team head-on.

“It’s KID’s Guardian!”

“Flank them and cut them off!”

“Watch the positions of their other teammates; there should be more coming!”

FDTX, experienced in battles, had researched their opponents ahead of time. Upon seeing the red mechas, FDTX’s commander immediately shouted, “Pay attention, it’s KID. Their rear Artillery mecha has strong offensive capabilities. Clear out the Artillery mecha first!”

The gunfire was imminent, almost the same moment KID’s mechas entered the scene, attacks erupted from the depths of the forest.

All of FDTX’s members immediately locked onto Lin Yao, the Guardian mecha at the front. While the Stealth mecha darted away swiftly to save itself, the Guardian mecha was an exposed target. As soon as the Guardian mecha saw the situation, it activated its protective shield to block the frontal attack. It moved nimbly through the barrage, diverting everyone’s attention.

Commentator: “FDTX’s objective is clear—they want to dismantle KID’s formation and break them down one by one!”

At this moment, FDTX’s Stealth mecha flanked from behind, intending to immobilize Lin Yao. Just then, a Binding Lock suddenly shot out from the forest, intercepting FDTX’s Stealth mecha before it could take action.

Seeing this scene, cheers erupted from the audience stands. Ke Lin couldn’t help but frown, “They miscalculated. Ji Qingfeng is about to be ambushed! FDTX’s Control mecha is here too! He’s about to face a counter-ambush!”

FDTX’s Stealth mecha was immobilized by Ji Qingfeng, and in a split second, a long-range shell suddenly attacked him from behind. FDTX’s Stealth and Control mechas were operating together. When the Stealth mecha was exposed, the Control mecha immediately switched to targeting Ji Qingfeng!

The immobilizing shell [Immobilizer] hit its mark, and Ji Qingfeng was frozen in place. FDTX found an opportunity.

【Isn’t this handing them a chance?!】

【FDTX’s Control is solid. Their Stealth mecha has single-target control, while the Control mecha has single and area control. Is KID’s Stealth mecha foolish?!】

In the preparation area, Ying Chenlin calmly watched the live feed in the actual arena.

Silence enveloped the surroundings as his gaze remained fixed on Ji Qingfeng.

Here it comes, the prey is trapped.

Just at that moment, Ji Qingfeng triggered a movement with his left hand. The Binding Lock that was attached to FDTX’s Stealth mecha suddenly detached and changed directions, shooting toward the Control mecha lying in ambush within the forest. The chain quickly snapped shut, and the target of control changed in an instant.

This maneuver happened in the blink of an eye. The Binding Lock was just bound to the Stealth mecha a moment ago.

Hu Luobu caught onto this detail, “The Binding Lock switched targets?! Since when does the  Binding Lock react so quickly?!”

The  Binding Lock was a single-target control weapon that required the mecha pilot to manually lock onto the target. Its hit rate was highest at close range and far inferior to Artillery-like control weapons at long range. Moreover, switching the Binding Lock’s target required time. Doing something like rapidly controlling two targets within a short time frame was wholly impossible!

KID’s Stealth mecha didn’t stop. After identifying the Control mecha’s position, it immediately advanced. In just two seconds, it reached the FDTX Control mecha. The Energy Blade was fully charged, slicing into the Control mecha. The attack frequency of the bladed weapon increased, and within a mere three seconds, Ji Qingfeng executed multiple strikes.

FDTX’s Control mecha was paralyzed by the unique paralysis ability of the Binding Lock, enduring this onslaught.

How could a single-control weapon possibly manage double control simultaneously?! The audience in the stands couldn’t comprehend it, and the FDTX mecha pilots were equally perplexed.

The commentator, taken aback by this scene, stammered, “FDTX’s Stealth mecha hasn’t moved, and their Control mecha is also immobilized. What’s happening here!?”

“Get closer! Let’s examine KID’s Stealth mecha’s weapon!”

The virtual camera swiftly locked onto KID’s Stealth mecha. Ji Qingfeng’s Binding Lock was now fully exposed to everyone; the body of the lock itself had little difference from the original Binding Lock on Ji Qingfeng’s mecha. The only change was in the lock head’s position, which had transformed into a small scythe shape.

Why modify the Binding Lock’s head to a scythe shape!?

This weapon design somewhat resembled a flying Grappling Hook, but it differed significantly in appearance.

Amidst everyone’s astonishment, Ji Qingfeng’s actions continued unabated. While still moving, he seemed to have locked onto the Control mecha’s position. He skillfully switched the Binding Lock’s target while controlling the FDTX Stealth mecha nearby, preventing it from approaching, and also maintaining close control over the Control mecha’s continuous attempts to break free.

FDTX’s team realized what the problem was. Their commander immediately shouted, “Control, find a way to break free!”

Though the Control mecha was the type least vulnerable to close combat, it was now unable to escape KID’s Stealth mecha’s entanglement.

The Binding Lock was originally a hard control weapon that required the mecha pilot to have a high hit rate. KID’s Stealth mecha had taken this to the extreme.

The commander’s heart tightened. This was bad. They might be forced into KID’s strategy. “Try to lead him into the forest and shake him off using the obstacles!”

FDTX’s Control mecha gritted its teeth and had to abandon their own Stealth mecha that had fallen behind, planning to take a detour and charge forward.

The area they were in was a forest, filled with obstacles. In the forest, the hit rate of Binding Lock’s, like what KID’s Stealth mecha had, would decrease.

Behind him, KID’s Stealth mecha held the Binding Lock in its hand, and its motion when swinging the chain was fluid and graceful, following him like a shadow. FDTX’s Control mecha looked back in terror, “This Stealth mecha is following me!”

The next second, the sound from KID’s Stealth mecha suddenly echoed through the forest. Ji Qingfeng’s voice resounded all around through the extended communicator, “No, little brother in front, why’s a Control mecha running away ah?!”

FDTX’s Control mecha: “…”

Why the hell are you chasing me? Only a fool would stay put.

FDTX’s commander noticed the exchange, “Hold on! We’re coming to support you, lure him towards us.”

Not long after, the FDTX communication channel buzzed with the trembling voice of the Control mecha, “Captain, I might not be able to escape.”

The next moment, KID’s Stealth mecha’s Binding Lock ensnared him.

Just as he was about to escape certain danger, he was swiftly pulled deep into the forest.

TN:

IT’S ABOUT TO GO DOWN! This scene is reminiscent of a horror movie haha. Ji Qingfeng’s debut as Crospy in The Burning: Remake or Maybe Jason in Friday The 13th😂.

If you're enjoying the story don't forget to support the author! You can also support me on KOFI for site maintenance, raws purchase or as an energy boost~ 
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Inner Child
10 months ago

Oh sorry for ruining your reading experience. You're right, Vanguard is a sub-group of tanks in gaming. An offensive type that is tanky and can shield damage but is mostly on attack duty. I used the historical military meaning which is derived from avant-garde A frontal assault type that leads the attack against enemy lines which is the role I felt the characters in the story were performing. They seek out enemy forces and clear the way for troops. The term the author used is "近卫 " which directly translate to close guard or maybe guard. But I didn't feel that it truly encompassed what Chenlin and Lin Yao did since they didn't really guard anyone and were more front-line attackers. It was a mistake on my part to make assumptions and take liberties with the author's work. If they wanted it to be Vanguard, they would have written it as such. I'll go back and change them to Guard or sth when I have time. Sorry for inconveniencing you.

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 months ago

Read till here but I kept getting fonfused by terms used in this translation or maybe the novelist. Vanguard is a tank so why is there a tank mecha and a vanguard mecha? Theyre the same thing. I had to ask a friend about this and even a quick search tells me Vanguard is a tank. I hope you change the vanguard term if the author didn't use it but its your translation. Too confusing. Makes it hard to enjoy the battle.

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