Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The mecha made a sound. Lan Yu looked down at the display, a small red icon of a small square box was flashing. It was probably because the energy was about to run out.
In this short time, they had reached the edge of the city, and under their feet was no longer endless desert, but patches of artificial woods and fields, as well as horizontal and vertical suburban roads, and sparse houses.
Lan Yu followed closely behind the insect king, and ahead of him was the bustling city, with lights and giant projections on tall buildings already visible. With urgency and loudness the alarm in the mecha had increased from once every three seconds to once every second.
In a few moments, the insect king had rushed into the city.
Lan Yu remembered what Lu RanKong had said and knew that if he didn’t catch it, the consequences would be unthinkable. Gritting his teeth, he just had to follow and fly into the city amidst a rush of alarm sounds. He looked behind him from the display and the 666 mecha didn’t slow down either, still picking up speed and closing the distance.
The two mechas and the insect instantly moved into the noisy city, swept through the pedestrian walkway, and through those forested skyscrapers, chasing through the streets of traffic. The sound of brakes and shrieks on the road resounded, and everyone looked up at this shocking scene.
“What is that? Oh my God, what’s that flying in front of us? Is that an interstellar beast?”
“The mecha is chasing the interstellar beast! It’s mecha chasing the interstellar beast, hide!”
“Fuck hiding. If there is a mecha, we don’t need to be afraid. Just watch it like it’s a movie! How exciting, ah.”
Cautious people were hiding, and only those young people who weren’t afraid of things applauded and cheered, riding their motorcycles and taking shortcuts to chase in the mecha’s direction.
“Mom, look what’s that in the sky? Two mecha and bikes are flying chasing a big bug.” A child holding up a candy asked, leaning over his mother’s shoulder.
The young mother with headphones was paying while talking and didn’t hear the child’s words.
The insect king fled desperately, followed closely by Lan Yu’s mecha, and then by Lu RanKong’s 666.
A pedestrian bridge with huge posters blocked the way. The two mecha also hurriedly lowered their altitude to stay close to the cars below and followed them across the bridge. Lan Yu had just burst through the hole in the bridge when a child appeared in his vision holding a candy, sitting in his mother’s arms and looking at himself with his mouth open.
The insect bug in front of him flew past the child, and his hairy hind limbs took away the candy he was holding. The child looked at his empty hand, his mouth pursed, and wanted to cry. But before he had time to cry out, like magic, a cotton candy was hanging in his hand.
Lan Yu pulled it out from the vending machine next to him and gave the child a new one, and then flew after the insect king.
The kid looked up in surprise, only to see the back of the big mecha, but then the big one behind it also stopped in front of him.
Lu RanKong stretched out a thick steel finger, flicked the cotton candy in the child’s hand, and then whooshed as he flew out.
Lan Yu chased after the insect king in front of him, the neon on both sides of the tall buildings linked into a colored band of light, flashing in his eyes. His heart was very anxious, the energy alarm alert had become a long tone, like the heart monitor after the long tone of a stopped beating heart.
Maybe in another minute, or maybe in less than a minute, he would fall.
Although there was mecha protection outside, he wasn’t worried about how he would fall, but he couldn’t let the insect king escape.
At that moment, the insect king suddenly turned around, no longer flying along the street, but turned to the right. Lan Yu and Lu RanKong’s mecha also successively sharply braked, and then with a whoosh, the two caught up.
There was no light on the right, and the view was plunged into darkness.
Lan Yu could see the shadowy outline of a lawn and a pavilion in the hazy sky light, which should be a park. In the distance was the whole shimmering, that was the large artificial lake in the park. The insect king flew over the artificial lake, and the wind from his wings swept up the waves, cascading away.
It had been flying for too long, and Lan Yu saw that it was obviously a little tired and could no longer use the speed like before. The two mecha, however, maintained their speed and gradually closed the distance between them.
But despite that, there were still more than ten meters between them.
“K, heads up!” Lu RanKong’s voice suddenly sounded.
Before Lan Yu could react, he heard a booming sound from behind him, which was the sound of the mecha accelerating. Then he felt a shudder, as if someone had given him a heavy push from behind, and his mecha suddenly picked up speed and rushed out.
He hurriedly looked at the display in front of him, only to see that 666’s light behind him was instantly lost, and the jet of air under his feet was gone, and he fell down like a pile of dull scrap iron.
Lan Yu couldn’t care about him, only popped up the iron arm, taking out the long knife. In the moment of rushing to the insect king, he forcefully stabbed down.
At this time, the mecha inside suddenly went quiet, the light also swiftly extinguished.
Just like Lu RanKong, 999 also ran out of energy and automatically shut down.
The lake behind him splashed several meters of water column, as Lu RanKong heavily smashed into the water. In the midst of the monstrous waves stirred up, the two long knives on Lan Yu’s iron arms poked through the insect King’s neck without a sound.
The insect king burst out a miserable hiss, fluttered his wings a few times, flew forward a few meters, and then fell down helplessly.
Finally, it hit!
Lan Yu lay on his back in the mecha pod, looking at the bright moon in the sky, relaxing and falling down.
The mecha hit the lake heavily.
The artificial lake was very deep, and the mecha was instantly submerged and sank downward.
His heart was at first a little alarmed, but instantly calmed down.
How could this product of future technology not be waterproof? It was just that the mecha was now in a closed state and needed Lu RanKong to teach him how to open the hatch manually and swim out.
“K! K!” Lu RanKong’s voice suddenly came from the confined space.
Lan Yu was startled and looked around reflexively, only to find that it was the voice coming from the terminal.
There was silence on the other end of the terminal, then said, “I need your help.”
“My mecha is stuck in the mud and the hatch is blocked. I can’t push it open.”
Lan Yu groped around in the darkness, as he spoke, “Then you’ll have to wait until I get out and find someone to hoist your mecha up.”
Lu RanKong was silent again.
Just as Lan Yu was figuring out how to ask how to open the hatch from inside the mecha, and how to sound casual and natural without missing a beat, he suddenly spoke, “There’s a hole in my mecha.”
“Ah, what’s wrong with that? This is the time when you should not pursue external perfection too much.” Lan Yu knew about the gaping hole in his crotch that had been scratched out by the gelded insect.
“The water is pouring in.”
“Did your hatch switch never turn on at all, so you don’t think you can push it?” Lan Yu tried to set up a conversation.
“I turned it on and activated the manual switch.”
“Are you sure?” Lan Yu’s tone was suspicious.
Lu RanKong raised his voice impatiently, “Do you need to be sure about something as simple as that? I pressed the button under the hatch several times.”
Understood, the button under the hatch.
“Watch your attitude, Colonel Lu, you’re asking for something now.” Lan Yu touched the hatch position in the darkness, while he coldly replied.
Lu RanKong immediately quieted down.
Lan Yu’s outstretched hand touched the cold hatch, squatting down and groping underneath. His fingers suddenly touched something, rolled gently on the ground. He guessed it might be some broken off part, so he picked it up. A foot long rod, a lot of spikes, the tip of was wet, it twisted around his fingertips, and covered in a very slippery mucus…
“Ah!” He gave a short shriek and threw the thing out of his hand, his fingers rubbing desperately on his clothes.
This was the very first time he had touched the mecha hatch, but the metal door had crushed gelded insect limbs. The wet and sticky touch was creepy and disgusting, and catching insects with mecha iron arms was a completely different thing.
“What’s wrong?” Lu RanKong’s voice came out of the terminal with a heavy dose of confusion.
“I touched the—” Lan Yu just rushed out and realized that something was wrong, so he changed his words, “I cut my hand when I touched the hatch.”
“Why did you touch it? Can’t you turn on the terminal lights?” Lu RanKong instantly raised the volume, “I’m waiting for you here, the water is fucking up to my calves, you are still over there fumbling with the hatch.”
Lan Yu hurriedly opened the terminal, a beam of light shot out, shining the mecha inside. But his mouth said stiffly, “It’s only at your calf, it’s still early to die.”
There was a red round button under the rectangular metal door, so he guessed that was the manual switch. He put his hand on it, considering the lake water that came in after opening the hatch, and first took a deep breath, “Haaa—”
“What are you doing?” Lu RanKong’s alert voice sounded again, “Are you going to go out like this without your oxygen mask?”
Lan Yu’s hand paused and puffed out his mouth without making a sound.
“The oxygen mask is hanging on the door. It’s very convenient and smooth and you can get it by lifting your noble arm a little. Now is not the time to do things at your whim, please be serious. The water has flooded to my thighs! Flooded to the thighs! Do you hear me, K— th— ighs!” Lu RanKong’s voice was tinged with suppressed anger.
Lan Yu quickly took off one of the masks on top of the hatch and snapped it over his face, sneering in a jarring voice, “Heh, go ahead, I wouldn’t mind opening the 666 hatch and finding you already floating inside with your belly bulging.”
Lu RanKong heard that he had put on the mask and held his breath without saying another word.
After thinking about it, Lan Yu took out a small shovel from the toolbox next to him, before pressing the open door button and dodging to stick to the door. After the sound of an airlock exhaust released, the hatch slid open and the cold lake water instantly rushed in.
He waited until the water flooded into the mecha, he crouched and sank into the water, like a flexible swimming fish out of the hatch. The light from the terminal illuminated the bottom of the lake, and he saw Lu RanKong’s black mecha lying silently not far away, with a series of water bubbles emerging from the spot between the two sturdy iron legs.
Lan Yu: …
He swam quickly to the mecha and looked around, finding it in good condition, with only a small part of the hatch buried in the mud.
Flashing his small shovel and shoveling it into the mud along the metal exterior, he stopped again to knock on the hatch and asked, “How’s it going in there?”
“To your dismay, I’m not dead yet.”
There was still a snappy response, and it looked like there was no rush. Lan Yu opened the terminal’s camera function and took a few pictures from various angles. After all, this kind of scene was quite rare, it would be a bit of a pity not to take some pictures.
He didn’t know if Lu RanKong sensed something and suddenly yelled, “How much longer? The water is already up to my chest.”
Lan Yu hurried to use a small shovel to shave the mud outside the hatch, “Didn’t you say you weren’t dead? Why are you so nervous?”
Most of the mud was decaying leaves and silt, easy to shovel. He dug a few times until he could see the bottom edge of the hatch.
“Can’t you go any faster? It’s up to my neck. I’m a little breathless.” Lu RanKong was breathing heavily.
Lan Yu accelerated the movement and said, “There is an oxygen mask, you buckle that on.”
“The oxygen mask is missing… Gggg… It’s gone… Glug…”
Lan Yu’s heart panicked, regretting that he had delayed by taking pictures, and his small shovel frantically flew down into the sand.
The last clump of dirt was out of the way, he wanted to knock on the hatch to inform Lu RanKong, but before his hand was on it, the hatch slid to the side, and a figure swam out quickly.
Looking at the oxygen mask on his face, Lan Yu asked, “Didn’t you say it was gone?”
“If I didn’t say that, wouldn’t you have swam a few laps in the lake, play in the water then come back?” Lu RanKong asked calmly.
Lan Yu wanted to retort, but recalled his action of taking pictures, and finally only sneered.
Lu RanKong did not say another word, turned around and swam ahead, Lan Yu knew he wanted to see the corpse of the bug king, only silently followed. The terminal light in the water was very penetrating, the surrounding fish and shrimp including water plants were illuminated in the slightest.
The two searched for a while in the location where the insect King fell into the water, but found no trace of it.
“Are you sure this is the right place?” Lu RanKong turned around in the water.
Lan Yu looked at the location of his mecha, then estimated the distance and affirmed, “This is the place…”
The bug king was pierced through the neck and fell down basically in sync with him and landed in the center of the lake before him.
The two searched for circles further away and found nothing. Lu RanKong started swimming towards the surface and said, “Since we can’t find it, it’s not dead yet and has escaped.”
Just as the two surfaced, a bright light struck, and Lan Yu had to squint his eyes. Many figures were bobbing around the lake, and there were helicopters hovering overhead.
“Is it from the military department? Is it a mecha soldier from the military department?” Someone with a megaphone was shouting.
The lights around them were bright enough to make out the police uniforms they were wearing. Lu RanKong didn’t answer, and Lan Yu followed without making a sound, his hands and feet gently paddling in the water.
“Come on, let’s swim up from the other side of the river to find the king, and just leave the mechas for them to salvage.” Lu RanKong ordered in a low voice.
When Lan Yu saw that he ignored the police officers, his heart ached. He understood that there was some kind of hidden meaning in it, and immediately decisively replied, “Let’s go…”
The two men threw off the oxygen masks on their faces and swam towards the opposite shore. In a short while, the sounds and noise were left far behind. Under the hazy moonlight, only the sound of breaking water could be heard.
The lake was very large, they swam for a full ten minutes until they reached the shore. When he got to shore, he was soaked so Lan Yu sat down on the lawn, took off his heavy military boots and dumped the water inside out before asking, panting, “What happened with the cops?”
“Hmm?” Lu RanKong had taken off his jacket, holding two sections of a twist, the strong muscles on his arms bulged.
Lan Yu gave him a look, “Aren’t you afraid that the police know about the insect king, so you ignore them?”
Lu RanKong shrugged off his jacket and put it back on, and asked absentmindedly in return, “Why are you afraid of the police knowing? It’s not like the insect king is a secret.”
“Then why didn’t you answer when they called us just now, and went ashore from this side?”
Lu RanKong tossed his head like a big dog, water droplets splashing everywhere. He wiped his face again and said, “The king wasn’t caught, you have the nerve to go ashore and be surrounded by reporters for an interview?”
“Huh?” Lan Yu was a little confused.
“And this image, are you willing to go on the Planet network to be seen by those Omegas?” Lu RanKong reached out and pointed at Lan Yu, and then pointed at himself.
Lan Yu closed his eyes, tightly squeezed the military boots in his hand, and controlled himself not to smash his face in.