Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Luo XiaoLou stared contentedly at the online contest results and his mouth hadn’t closed for a long time.
125 commented critically, “Hey. Mind the image. What a loser! You’re the master of such a great mecha as I am and you tied first with someone else. Sheesh. It can only be called 2nd.”
“Yeah. I’m really quite sorry to disappoint you.” Luo XiaoLou was not quite sincere in casually glossing over his own mecha, “Too bad you don’t have ‘lowly’ human blood, otherwise you could have tried it yourself.” Luo XiaoLou’s smiling eyes still didn’t leave the transcript. It was as if he saw the advanced materials beckoning at him.
125 was silent.
A few minutes later, Luo XiaoLou felt a tug on his pants. It yanked him back from his beautiful dream. Luo XiaoLou lowered his head subconsciously and almost screamed!
Anyone would be shocked to see a scaled-down, round, chubby version of themselves! Especially if this person was a virgin who had only gone to the extent of jerking off with someone else…
“You think I didn’t want to sign up?! I’ve already tried that! The registration system was hacked by me to register successfully. But the exam room personnel won’t let me in. Said I was temporarily ineligible!” 125’s milky voice came from the fat doll at his feet in angry aggravation.
“125?” Luo XiaoLou cautiously inquired.
“It’s me, lah. Ever since the last conversation with the lovely Miss Vega. I’ve set up a virtual image of myself as a human. You see, it’s not too bad. I keep a backup of various human genes but only yours are okay. Everyone else’s seems even more inappropriate.” 125’s fat white hand touched his round face. Dissatisfied, he said, “So my master was this fat as a child. Vega-san will definitely laugh at me.”
Pft, pdft, pdt! Who said that an A.I. can just use human genes for virtual imaging?! Who’s Vega?
“Miss Vega? Isn’t that the receptionist from the last time at Star River Mall? You see, I can bargain for you more easily this way.” The familiar fat face looked up at him laboriously. The flesh on his double chin jiggled.
Luo XiaoLou’s little heart trembled as well. To bargain? I know what you accidentally copied over when you uploaded my profile: How to Pursue a Prideful Beauty. Strategies for the Perfect Family. The Life of a Family of Three. The Complete Collection of Porn — all these downloads have already explained your motives!
You die. Cross-racial romance and all that is impossible! She’ll only give me a discount on the milk powder!
“Change out of my face right now!” Luo XiaoLou gritted his teeth and growled low. He didn’t dare to be too loud. People passing by were already looking at the young man with the doll with astonished eyes. A look of ‘how cruel should a son be to hug this deadbeat dad’.
125 waved his paw. He said, “It’s okay. This look is just fine for the noble me though. I don’t mind.”
But I do mind, asshole!
“Quick! Go get my stuff! Don’t be so cruel. Even if you have a puppy, you should take it out for a walk!”
Meanwhile, the sweet voice of the web anchorwoman was enthusiastically introducing, “The results of the Virtual Web Beginner Mecha Knowledge Contest were finally announced a week after the contest ended. This year’s web contest has been another success. And we have two first place winners this year! Even more surprising, this contest also set a record for the first perfect score since the beginning of the mecha contest, and two perfect scores!
“Let’s see. IDs of the top three contestants. First place, Chushi and Bless; second place, Sun Knight; third place, Magician. Second and third place are virtual online celebrities and our first places are anonymous IDs. It seems that both of these masters are very low profile. These four contestants will receive the prize money as well. They will also receive a copy of the accompanying premium material. Also, I’ve heard from the contest organizers that there will also be an unexpected surprise for the winners this time. Let’s bless these winners!”
Luo XiaoLou’s communicator kept ringing. Unlike the contest organizer, Luo XiaoLou’s face was full of black lines. But for the sake of the material, he still dragged the deadbeat 125 to the tournament organizer’s headquarters.
The entrance to the headquarters was already crowded with internet reporters — oh my. The paparazzi are thousands of years old!
Luo XiaoLou was let in and he felt lighter after he breathed out once inside. The award ceremony was broadcast live on the entire virtual network but journalists couldn’t just enter. What Luo XiaoLou found surprising was there were actually twenty or thirty people sitting under this kind of online awarding stage.
Luo XiaoLou was indifferent as his appearance had been changed. And even if 125, who sat on his lap, took on his appearance, it was probably hard to imagine him being this fat.
Luo XiaoLou and another tall, thin young man took the stage first. The man gave Luo XiaoLou a sideways glance. Luo XiaoLou smiled back.
A small voice whispered in his ear, “He doesn’t have Spiritual Power.”
Luo XiaoLou’s heart was inwardly shocked. That means this person didn’t use Spiritual Power in the process of assembling the parts. This was a real master and genius. Luo XiaoLou thought that it would be hard for him to find a way to disassemble the last part in a short period of time without the Source of Consciousness. He couldn’t help but feel a little more admiration for the man in his heart.
The prize money was 200,000 federal coins each. It really wasn’t much. The two of them went to the turntable and used the lottery to draw materials. Bless drew Heavy Radium, a Grade 4 material and the core energy stone for making energy boxes; Luo XiaoLou drew Red Grass, it was also a Grade 4 material and could increase the success rate of mecha parts manufacturing.
The luck of the two first place winners looked very good to the eyes of an outsider. At least both materials were quite valuable. Luo XiaoLou sighed. With the Source of Consciousness power, it was useless for him to use Red Grass.
That’s when Luo XiaoLou suddenly noticed Bless’s gaze at his side. Without turning his head to look, Bless was staring at the Red Grass in his hand. There was a sense of regret on his face.
Luo XiaoLou hesitated for a moment, then, handed out the box of materials in his hand and said, “This isn’t something I want. You can have it if it’s useful.”
Bless was truly stunned. Luo XiaoLou was busy explaining, “I have no intention of getting involved with you. After all, once we go down this podium, we won’t know each other. I really don’t need this material.”
It seemed Bless was a very proud man and not too used to accepting gifts from strangers. But it was obvious he needed the Red Grass badly. Finally, he took it and in a whisper, he asked, “What materials do you want?”
“Materials? Materials that can make mecha weapons.” Luo XiaoLou came to this mecha basics conference for the materials. The engine and the weapon were not yet available, and it would be inappropriate to spend money on them. But he was also a proud warrior. When Luo XiaoLou heard Teacher Song’s introduction about the contest, he immediately put his mind to it.
“What weapon do you want?” Bless asked bluntly.
“A long spear,” came out of his mouth. He didn’t know why but he suddenly thought of the look on Yates’s face when he looked at the mecha he couldn’t afford at the auction.
“Okay. I’ll mail it to you tomorrow. I don’t like owing people favors,” Bless said.
“You… that’s so much appreciated.” Luo XiaoLou said heartily.
Bless looked at Luo XiaoLou then turned around and walked off the stage.
The moderator, still moving, said from behind, “Although the two first place winners with perfect scores are both very young, it’s obvious that our ‘Chushi’ is younger, but apparently our ‘Chushi’ is already a father. Look at the little one next to him. We wish him well. This dad, go for it!”
This dad, your sister. Go for it, your sister! In the midst of the applause, Luo XiaoLou turned red in the face and grabbed 125, turning around and heading out.
At this moment, someone from the organizers came over to him and Bless, and said politely, “Gentlemen, I am the staff from the organizers. Here’s the thing, we’ve got a guest here today we’d like you to meet. Don’t say no just yet. If you see him, you’ll know how big of a surprise this is.”
Luo XiaoLou and Bless didn’t look too good. But still, they followed the man to the back.
Inside a huge conference room, an old man sat at the head table. All the people around him were standing at his side with their hands hanging down. Luo XiaoLou noticed it with his sharp eyes. At the end of the room was Teacher Song, who was looking at him with an excited expression.
The old man’s sharp gaze swept over the two of them. Calmly, he said, “I’m sure you two have felt it too. This competition has become much more difficult than the previous ones. Because the last question was made by me, I said at the time that whoever solves it, I’ll make him my disciple. But I only plan to take in one disciple so I’m going to choose one between the two of you.”
Luo XiaoLou saw Teacher Song gesture at him excitedly and he felt baffled. He had no intention of becoming a disciple — he didn’t have time. He had no intention of learning from this Master — he didn’t have the time. He could learn a lot from Master Yan. Why would he want to learn from another teacher?
A middle-aged man in front of Teacher Song smiled and said, “One of my students has been in contact with this ‘Chushi’. He’s hardworking, he’s also very agile. He’s a good student.”
The bearded man on the other side said, “I watched videos of both of them. Bless is very good too. And he seems more suited to the Master’s style.”
Master Mecha Maker? No wonder that last question was so perverted.
Despite his admiration, Luo XiaoLou said, “I don’t need it.”
At the same time, Luo XiaoLou also heard a cold, “No.” He looked over at Bless, who was also looking at him with incredulous eyes.
The few senior mecha makers seated over there were simply going to vomit blood. It seemed the two of them thought that becoming the Master’s disciple was so easy! It was someone else’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and these two brats were so damned…
Teacher Song almost wanted to go over, grab Luo XiaoLou and shake him. Such a great opportunity. An opportunity that even he hadn’t thought of! I was expecting Master to introduce Luo XiaoLou to a senior mecha maker. I never expected Master would come in person!
What made him even more excited was that Luo XiaoLou had won. Got first place! But-but what was happening now?
The old man stared at the two young men in front of him. Suddenly, he laughed. “Spirited. I’m now willing to pick two people. But tell me, why don’t you guys want to?”
“I don’t have time.” Luo XiaoLou hesitantly said.
“I don’t want anyone to see me.” Bless replied calmly.
“You can arrange the time yourselves. As for meeting, the three of us can work together in the virtual network first. I have a lab up there. You guys can just come over when the time comes.” The old man looked at the two of them with eyes wide open.
Shit. These two bastards. Typically in need of discipline! But with his first disciple already gone, he didn’t have a new one yet. It was a bit of a shame. Well, very well, he might as well choose two. The old man would be no match for an apprentice.
In the end, Luo XiaoLou and Bless couldn’t think of any words to refuse. They both agreed. After all, if there were no worries, the prospect of having a master mentor was still very exciting.
Luo XiaoLou received the spear sent by Bless the next day. The texture was a Grade 4 material, Hidden Gold. It was incredibly hard and was not as heavy as Xuan Steel. Luo XiaoLou was pleasantly surprised.
Luo XiaoLou was worried that he might not be able to finish assembling the mecha before the final exams because he didn’t have much time. After much consideration, he asked Shen Yuan to help him with the project. Shen Yuan set aside two afternoons of his time for this purpose. Using Luo XiaoLou’s carefully selected mecha parts, the two of them assembled the mecha.
Inviting Shen Yuan over was the right thing to do. The engine problem that had been giving Luo XiaoLou a headache for so long was finally solved. Shen Yuan took the broken engine back to Kane’s headquarters and found someone to fix it for Luo XiaoLou. It was just as Luo XiaoLou expected, a broken Grade 2 engine.
Luo XiaoLou and Shen Yuan chose to make it a humanoid mecha and painted it gray. On its back was a six or seven meter long spear. Although he was a novice, Shen Yuan was very experienced. A week later, the giant mecha was in full bloom, standing silently in the Tian Le family’s lab where almost no one but Luo XiaoLou came.
“Brother Shen, thank you so much.” Luo XiaoLou didn’t know how to thank Shen Yuan well. This help might be nothing to Shen Yuan but it was very rare for Luo XiaoLou.
Shen Yuan smiled slightly. “Once you install the long-range weapon, this mecha will be completely finished. It’s rare that you can find Grade 3 materials here, especially the weapon materials. This mecha is even better than a Tier 2 mecha sold outside. Have you thought of a name yet?”
Luo XiaoLou scratched his head. He hadn’t really thought of a name. Although it was with Shen Yuan’s help, he’d never thought he’d have his first mecha under his belt so soon. A hero mecha. Luo XiaoLou came up with a decision, “I’ll call it ‘Knight’.”
“Nice name,” Shen Yuan sighed in admiration. It was also a blessing and an expectation for the mecha and the man who would fly it.
After Shen Yuan left, Luo XiaoLou circled the mecha by himself for half a day. Finally, it dawned on him that the owner of this future mecha should come and take a look.
Luo XiaoLou immediately left a message for Yates, who was working part-time at school. He asked him to come directly to Tian Le’s house later.
Yates not only let him borrow his precious mecha, but Luo XiaoLou also repeatedly made him work as a laborer. Even so, Yates showed great tolerance for the huge mecha parts he had to bring back and forth. After leaving his part-time job at the library, Yates grabbed his backpack and came to Tian Le’s lab.
On the other hand, ever since he was matched with a mecha warrior who was also a beautiful woman, Tian Le changed his usual habit of playing games in the virtual pod. When Yates arrived, he was lying at his desk. The company has been in the process of developing a new product.
Tian Le didn’t know what Luo XiaoLou was up to these days, but almost every time he came over, Luo XiaoLou was inside the lab. Out of curiosity, the two of them went inside together.
Reaching the door, they were stunned to see the tall, beautiful gray mecha inside.
Yates stared blankly, muttering, “How is this possible?”
The mecha in front of him looked almost exactly like the Tier 3 mecha he wanted. And what’s more, the shadows of ‘Waiting’ were ingrained in it — from a particular angle, anyway. It was all too perfect!
The point is, how did such a mecha… end up here?
“Hey, when did you sneak a mecha in here?” Tian Le stammered. God. He’s been out there the whole time. How come he didn’t know at all?
Luo XiaoLou, who had been spinning in circles, turned to the two men in the doorway. “This is the pile of mecha parts I asked you to help put together the other day. How is it Yates? I assembled it especially for you. Happy with it?”
Their mouths opened wider and wider. They stared at Luo XiaoLou and the mecha with incredulous eyes. There were only a few graduates who could assemble a simple mecha.
“Impossible! Do you swear you assembled it?” Tian Le gulped. Shit. This is so irritating. It’s only Luo XiaoLou! They even had similar grades!
Luo XiaoLou had some regrets. What’s the point of asking so clearly at a time like this!?
“Of course I didn’t assemble it all by myself. There were experts on hand to assist and advise. Currently this mecha doesn’t have a long-range weapon or a space button. We can get one space button from using those two scrapped mecha. But I’m afraid you’ll have to buy your own weapons —”
Luo XiaoLou hadn’t said anything more when Yates pounced on him. He hugged him and spun him around a few times and cried out excitedly, “Luo XiaoLou, it’s so good to have you here! I’m so lucky!”
Yates left Luo XiaoLou behind and jumped on the grey mecha.
It’s such a perfect mecha, ‘Waiting’ was number one in his eyes. But this mecha was number two!
Yates was clear about this and there was a friendliness in this. Luo XiaoLou wouldn’t be doing this every day if it wasn’t for him. It was hard work assembling such a mecha from a pile of scrap metal. He couldn’t face those two again. That would give away the emotions in his heart. But, the mecha was too cool — Yates stared in fascination at the mecha in front of him.
“Its name is ‘Knight’.” Luo XiaoLou whispered from beside him.
“It really couldn’t be a more appropriate name,” the other two replied in unison.
Tian Le laughed, “You’re a good kid, to actually sneak in such a big surprise for us. Weapons, Yates, you go buy them yourself. I can’t let Luo XiaoLou be the only one working hard, I’ll send a new mecha space button.”
Yates didn’t refuse all this help from his friends again. In the future, Yates had many mechas since then, but there was only one that was hung on a silver-grey chain around his neck. He always carried it with him. It was the best thing his friend could have given him back then.
Tian Le was jealous of Luo XiaoLou after that day but he didn’t take it for granted. No one else knew, other than him and Yates, how much Luo XiaoLou had done more work on mecha manufacturing than anyone else. They could tell by the vast stash of parts in the lab.
Next, the three of them hadn’t even gotten around to equipping Yates’s ‘Knight’ with a long-range weapon, when the final exam came up.
Luo XiaoLou looked at his report card as his grades came in. Hmm. Not bad. All passed…
Yuan Xi grabbed the piece of paper in Luo XiaoLou’s hand. All of his marks were above ninety. Overall grade, excellent. And basic knowledge, all on the edge of the passing line. Overall grade, pass.
Yuan Xi was surprised. Even with this kind of grade, Luo XiaoLou was still third in Class 10. Did that mean at least half of the Class 10 students had to repeat the class?
They were walking outside when a girl who was looking at them from afar said, “Maybe he’s regretting it. You’re ahead of Yang Ke as first place in the Mecha Manufacturing Department.”
The other girl beside her, Ze Ya, after being rejected by Yuan Xi, went crazy about her studies. Plus Yang Ke had been following Ling Xu to training a lot lately, so she finally got the first place throne.
That’s right. Even if she couldn’t say anything on the surface, she had to make that person regret it with her actions. Did Yuan Xi regret it? He didn’t seem to have the time to regret it!
While they were eating dinner, Yuan Xi learned that the reason for Luo XiaoLou getting such a good basic score was still the result of Yates’s constant help, and his face turned ugly in the next moment.
He fiercely accused, “You’re my man and you go to someone else instead when you have a problem? Is that doubting my ability? You name it, from raising a family to taking you to training, even in bed, what part of me doesn’t satisfy you?”
“…I understand. I’ll ask you to tutor me in the future.” Luo XiaoLou replied with a flushed face.
125 fearlessly whispered beside him, as it exclaimed, “In bed…”
The author has something to say:
In this chapter, Yuan Xi didn’t make many appearances. Going wild next chapter. It’ll be just him tripping all over the place. Trust me!
Here to offer incense sticks for 125! Rest in pieces!!