Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Luo XiaoLou lay on his bed, thinking about the mecha competition he would be entering in six months, but he couldn’t stop tossing and turning to sleep. He was the kind of person who preferred to plan or prepare in advance for everything. Just like in the past when he took an exam, he would read the entire book in two days and then calmly enter the exam room with no pressure at all. But if he hadn’t read the book, then he would be scratching his head and very uncomfortable.
Now he had absolutely no experience in the actual operation of the mecha and had only practiced with Yuan Xi in the virtual room. In theory, the practice in the simulator could be partially applied to reality, but that level of experience would be no match for someone who had actually fought in a mecha when it came to the arena.
If he decided to enter the competition, he’d have to hurry up and practice from now on, and in half a year, he should be able to practice a little.
Even if – even if he could only compete for a few matches, it would still be fulfilling a dream of his.
Thinking of this, the anxiety of worrying all night actually eased somewhat. Well, Luo XiaoLou secretly resolved that men were meant to spar. Then the goal was – not to be brushed off in the first match! Otherwise he was going to puke blood. Damn it, 50 million!
He decided to go to the mecha club Monday through Friday and to Master Yan’s on Saturday and Sunday. Evenings could also be spent upstairs in the lab assembling parts. Mecha making was never to be left behind, because in Luo XiaoLou’s eyes, being a mecha maker was the main job and being a mecha warrior was just a side job for now.
It was late when Yuan Xi logged off from the virtual net, but he found Luo XiaoLou actually still holding the blanket and staring back and forth. After looking at Luo XiaoLou for a few moments, Yuan Xi covered him snugly with the blanket from behind and dragged the man over.
The lights in the house dimmed, and 125, who had been staring blankly at the door of the room, left with his head hanging, climbed into the crib, looked twice at the red Tyrannosaurus rex plushie, suddenly opened his mouth and took several bites of it, before finally falling asleep in a ball.
The next day, Luo XiaoLou woke up early to go to the kitchen, and when the house smelled of fried eggs and hot milk, Yuan Xi also walked out of the bedroom.
“It’s amazing how you’re always so on time,” Luo XiaoLou exclaimed as he brought the breakfast to the table.
“Well, I’m used to getting up early ever since I live with you.” Yuan Xi said very naturally as he touched his stomach, which was seduced by the scent.
Luo XiaoLou stared at Yuan Xi, not knowing what to say for a moment. However, as he could tell from weekends, the guy did like to sleep in, and certainly slept late.
Noticing that Luo XiaoLou kept looking at him, Yuan Xi hesitated for a moment and asked, “Should I buy a home robot? It’s said that domestic robots are always warm and long-winded but quick to work, but there are always exceptions.” With that, Yuan Xi looked around and didn’t see the green Tyrannosaurus rex that usually got in the way every day.
Luo XiaoLou laughed and shook his head, “This doesn’t take more than a few minutes, and the robots don’t cook as well as they should.” How rare that Yuan Xi would even notice such a thing.
Yuan Xi ate the omelette and ham, then picked up the cup and looked at him with a raised eyebrow, “Aren’t you going to tweak that home robot of yours with a strange taste? It has to be of some use.”
Luo XiaoLou looked back at the door of the room, shrugged, and said, “It’s still got a use…” It’s a loser, but it’s helped a lot.
“You mean running around all day looking for a presence?” Yuan Xi retorted, while pushing his glass over, signaling for another one.
“…It’s like having a child at home.” Although Luo XiaoLou was still angry with 125, he couldn’t help but start defending him when he was criticized by someone else’s words.
The milk in Yuan Xi’s mouth spurted out. This was the first time he had been so disoriented at the dinner table.Yuan Xi glared at Luo XiaoLou and stammered, “Child – child? You – you’re thinking too far ahead!”
Luo XiaoLou looked at the red-faced Yuan Xi in confusion and said, not very happily, “…I’m just talking.” Damn, Yuan Xi wouldn’t expect him to get married and have kids himself and then help him with the kids, would he?!
Yuan Xi looked at Luo XiaoLou strangely, but just as he was about to speak, the communicator on his wrist suddenly rang. Yuan Xi looked down, frowned, and clicked on the connection.
Luo XiaoLou gathered his things and went out. He looked in his bag, found a green stone lying quietly inside, and Luo XiaoLou smoothly put the stone into his jacket pocket, then walked out with Yuan Xi.
Yuan Xi was speaking with a dark face.
“Would you please leave me alone.”
“…Yes, you said not at night, but I didn’t say after breakfast.”
“I contacted you in the middle of the night, that’s because it’s important and of course you have to help me out…”
Luo XiaoLou listened with one ear to him and couldn’t help but feel sympathy for the person on the other side of the communicator. It appeared that he was far from the only one being oppressed by Yuan Xi.
When Yuan Xi finished speaking and turned off the communicator, Luo XiaoLou couldn’t help but ask beside him, “Have you ever been told that you were too overbearing and authoritarian?”
Yuan Xi paused for two seconds, seemed to remember something and said matter-of-factly, “Shouldn’t they give me ideas, even though those ideas are stupid ……?” with a look on his face like what else could they do.
Luo XiaoLou raised his hands in surrender, “Alright, Your Majesty Yuan Xi.” We’re all supposed to be self-conscious around the prideful cat, and not have any will.
Yuan Xi aimed a glance at Luo XiaoLou, snorted, and led the way out.
At noon, despite the rush, Luo XiaoLou and Yuan Xi met for lunch together in the school cafeteria as usual. The two now resembled a long-partnered mecha warrior and maker.
“I start training today, so I’ll take you home first.” Yuan Xi moved gracefully through his meal and looked up at Luo XiaoLou.
Luo XiaoLou, who had hurriedly eaten without any image, made a movement, tried to swallow the rice in his mouth and said, “No, I have something to do today as well.”
Yuan Xi said, “That’s okay. I’ll try to keep my communicator on during training, so contact me if you need anything.”
Around four o’clock that afternoon, Luo XiaoLou left the school after seeing Yuan Xi’s hovercar disappear in the distance. He put his head down and hurried to the free hovercar station.
When he arrived at the bus, Luo XiaoLou took out two pieces of paper and studied them. The first was his notes, the second was the route to the Radiance Club.
Luo XiaoLou got off the bus halfway and turned into a large shopping mall. When he came out of the restroom, he had changed into an ordinary casual suit, his hair had become lighter, and a thin mask was stuck on his face.
In this technologically advanced future society, changing one’s appearance was not a problem at all, only the communicator on his wrist was irreplaceable, like his own identity proof.
Luo XiaoLou rode the public hovercar and got off near the Radiance Club.
The best mecha club in the Federation was actually very easy to find. After getting off the bus, Luo XiaoLou saw the Radiance logo hanging on a number of tall buildings nearby.
Luo XiaoLou silently wiped away his sweat and chose the least ostentatious looking building to walk into, at least he felt that Yuan Xi would never choose such a place. Although his appearance had changed, it was prudent to avoid any possibility of an encounter.
As he entered the front door, Luo XiaoLou drew out the copper-colored card that had cost him fifty million yuan and swiped it at the door.
A staff member came over, smiled and said, “Please wait in the parlor. We’ve already passed on your information, and your exclusive coach will come over as soon as possible.”
“Yes, you are a Radiance Club Bronze member with your own personal coach who will tailor your practice plan and be there to guide you if you need it.” The staff explained as they brought Luo XiaoLou a drink.
Luo XiaoLou realized that the money had been well spent, and indeed the service was top notch. Within two minutes, a few knocks sounded on the door, and then a middle-aged man with a serious face walked in.
Luo XiaoLou got up, and the man nodded to Luo XiaoLou, “521, right? I’m your instructor, Rocky.” 1 As he introduced himself, Rocky observed the future student who needed his guidance.
Average-looking and slightly thin, one simply doubted his physical strength.
He wore a pale grey shirt and black trousers, and the plain, simple clothing hardly came across as someone who could afford a membership at such a club, however, the young man seemed to exude a gentle, harmless aura around him that was easy to get a hold of.
Luo XiaoLou smiled, “Hello Coach Rocky, I’m… 521, I’m here for the first time today, so please take care of me later.”
Rocky nodded in satisfaction, this was a student who wasn’t difficult to get along with. Then he said, “You come with me, even though you’ve chosen beginner training, we’ll test your general rank first.”
The grade that Rocky was referring to was the level of driving a mecha, as for the genetic grade, the mecha club would never test it for its members, that was already a personal matter. Anyways 521 was a pseudonym at first glance, so it was clear that the student did not wish to reveal his identity.
Luo XiaoLou followed the trainer to the virtual training room. this kind of training he had done when he trained with Yuan Xi, and it wasn’t difficult to cope with.
Luo XiaoLou did two sets of simple exercises as per Rocky’s request. When he came out of the virtual training room, he saw Coach Rocky look at the report card in his hands and frown.
After a moment of contemplation, Rocky said, “Very… ordinary. It really is mainly beginner training. But the speed is not bad, this can be your advantage later.”
Luo XiaoLou smiled, “I guess I can’t even reach ordinary, but I’ll try to improve.”
Rocky’s serious face remained expressionless, but there was a hint of approval in his eyes, “Well, the foundation is not good, only diligent training will improve that. So, let’s see you in action now.”
Saying that, he turned around and opened the door next to him. Inside was the extremely spacious mecha training ground.
“Do you want to use the mecha provided by the club or will you use your own?” Rocky asked.
Luo XiaoLou was stunned and looked down into his pocket. He couldn’t use any other mecha, only 125. But, probably sensing that he hadn’t forgiven it yet, 125 had been surprisingly quiet today.
As soon as his fingers touched the green stone, Luo XiaoLou noticed that the stone began turning blue, then a faint light flashed in his hand and a ten meter tall mecha was standing in front of him.
Looking at the mecha in front of him, Luo XiaoLou and Rocky didn’t speak for a long time, and Luo XiaoLou finally understood where the remaining three million had gone. Similar to Luo XiaoLou’s thoughts of wearing a disguise, 125 actually put makeup on himself…
The original compelling momentum and beauty had been hidden. The aquamarine had turned into a dark blue, and the slender shape had also been changed. It had added height and …… thickness to itself. Now 125 was more than ten meters tall, at the same time, the top and bottom of its circumference appeared to have additional bodybuilding muscles, as if a thick layer of armor was wrapped outside of itself. Although the lines were still smooth and graceful, now it appeared more on the side of a brawny power type mecha.
This was still fine, at least it still made people feel intimidated. But what Luo XiaoLou couldn’t understand was what was going on with that Tyrannosaurus helmet with horns! Does it think that’s awesome?
God, this was too humiliating.
Rocky stared in silence as well, and though his face remained serious, his heart growled: the proportions, the look, the – configuration! It’s all too perfect! While that helmet was slightly weird, overall it’s a mecha to dream about!
And the size, it really was not a good match for the owner…
I didn’t expect that such a weak cadet would have such a perfect mecha.
Luo XiaoLou was relieved when the dark blue mecha crouched halfway down, the bastard AI was being quite sensible. If 125 stood still, he probably would have had trouble getting up there. Luo XiaoLou tried to make himself look less clumsy as he entered the cockpit, but his slightly awkward posture and movements still made Rocky frown.
It was the first time Luo XiaoLou had sat in the main driver’s seat of a mecha, and it was a completely different feeling than sitting in the passenger seat, it’s no longer a deep feeling of powerlessness, but a surge of excitement.
He did love mecha manufacturing, but that love was initially based on his desire to be a mecha warrior. He had never given up on his dream of building a mecha for himself.
Even if he was a bit – well – cautious, a word Luo XiaoLou firmly believed suited him better than spineless. He wasn’t really a good-for-nothing just waiting for someone to bag him, as the initial rumors at school had suggested.
That was the thing Luo XiaoLou disagreed with the most, regardless of what Yuan Xi thought, he was a man! Could he expect to be kept like a woman and not be able to lay an egg?
His bonafide love for the mecha had never changed. He wanted to drive it.
Luo XiaoLou looked around excitedly, the cockpit of 125 seemed much more spacious than the Cloudy Sky. It was a pleasant light blue color and scattered with fat white clouds, like the sky. Luo XiaoLou felt a little hungry at the sight of it.
There was no discomfort in sitting in it, but he felt mentally shaken as he looked down at the main console in front of him. Most of the function keys were familiar, but there were many buttons around that he had never seen before.
At that moment, the screen in front of him began to flicker, and then a line appeared on it, [Please select: manual driving OR Source of Consciousness force driving?]
Luo XiaoLou was stunned. 125 could actually be driven with Source of Consciousness power? No wonder it said only exotic beasts could drive it.
While this was happening, the selection screen automatically selected manual driving and then showed the various settings for manual piloting. Luo XiaoLou immediately stopped looking around the cockpit and began to set the parameters with great concentration.
The basic parameters were set, the defense system, the self-check system, the scanning system… weapon system…
Luo XiaoLou’s hand almost pressed the wrong key when he saw the weapons configuration… a long-range photon cannon? This – this – even if he was just a budding mecha maker, he understood that this weapon was not just advanced, but ahead of its time!
Those particle cannons that ordinary people admired were weak compared to it!
Long-range double particle sniper rifle! Luo XiaoLou was forced to reign in his shock. This mecha’s weapon configuration could already be described as ungodly OP…
Luo XiaoLou pressed his hand against his wildly beating heart and continued to look at the weapons configuration. The first compartment for the close range weapons was empty inside! Luo XiaoLou was stunned, the weapon in the first compartment was often the most important and handy weapon for the owner. Why was it empty?
Skipping the first frame, Luo XiaoLou continued to look down, and his eyes widened again.
Blue titanium alloy dagger – actually blue titanium! That was a legendary Grade 12 material. It was said that even on Class A planets, Grade 12 materials were pricey.
Luo XiaoLou was numb as he continued to look to the end, and finally realized that a reasonable weapon appeared at last: the Ink Alloy Dagger. This one was made from Black Jade ore. Black Jade was extremely hard, a Class 5 material, and if he remembered correctly, Black Jade was among the materials he had brought back from the planet.
“125, you actually still have something on you that you can buy at Planet Anse.” Luo XiaoLou sighed in disbelief.
“Right now, please call me Alpha. The two lowest level weapons, the Ink Alloy Dagger and the Long Range Particle Gun are specifically for you, the rest you can’t use right now.” The cold alloy voice of 125 rang out.
Luo XiaoLou paused, the AI probably noticed that he hadn’t forgiven it and was having a temper tantrum. Well, even though he was trying to teach it a lesson, he couldn’t ignore it for too long. Let’s wait a couple of days, and give 125 a chance to think about what it did wrong and then he’d forgive it.
Although angry about yesterday’s incident, Luo XiaoLou did slightly miss 125’s noisy voice.
Luo XiaoLou began to operate the mecha, and was almost as bad as the virtual quiz, but there was plenty of room for improvement, Luo XiaoLou silently consoled himself.