Chapter 030: Mech Upgrade
The next day, instructor Knox led the 50 students to the school’s shooting gallery for shooting practice. As a soldier, one’s shooting skill must meet the standard, in order to be able to control mechs at an even higher level later.
Knox stood in front of the row of students and said with a solemn expression: “The next three days will be dedicated to shooting training. Today is the first stage, each person must fire ten times in a row, and all ten shots must hit the target at a score of 8.5 or higher to pass. Students who pass can go back and rest early, the students who fail must remain here and practice until they pass!”
Lin Yuan used to play a lot of shooting games online, taking hold of a light and slim particle gun in person for the first time, he couldn’t wait to try it out. Under instructor Knox’s orders, Lin Yuan immediately raised the particle gun and started shooting at the target.
8.9, 8.6, 8.8, 8.0…
Darn, less than 8.5, the score recalculated.
Lin Yuan took a deep breath, adjusted his aim and started a new round of shooting.
8.6, 8.5, 8.3…
Fortunately, this kind of practice particle gun didn’t need ammunition, instead using energy to control a particle beam. An energy box could shoot about 1000 rounds of particle beams, which was enough for a student’s morning practice.
Lin Yuan was concentrating on firing at the target when he suddenly heard instructor Knox call out, “Caesar, you may leave early!”
The group simultaneously turned to look in Caesar’s direction, staring up at the scoreboard above his head, which was displaying the results of his ten shots – 9.7, 9.6, 9.8, 9.6, 9.8, 9.6, 9.7, 9.6, 9.8, 9.9.
Not only did Lin Yuan gawk at the board, even the other students were astonished!
This level, isn’t it comparable to a professional shooter’s?
All ten shots scored above 9.5. Even more outrageous, the last shot actually hit a high score of 9.9! Please understand, the longer you continuously shoot, the greater the psychological pressure will increase, especially for the last shot, it’s easy to make mistakes because of nervousness.
But not only was Caesar unaffected, he calmly fired the last shot, getting a high score of 9.9…
Lin Yuan stared at his roommate in admiration, coincidentally catching Caesar’s line of sight.
Lin Yuan couldn’t help but smile and send him a thumbs up.
Caesar put down the pistol and took off his earmuffs, then he walked to Lin Yuan’s side and whispered, “How are you doing?”
Lin Yuan replied: “I’m not very stable, I’ll have to keep on training.”
Caesar glanced up at the scoreboard, then stepped behind Lin Yuan to hold his arms and gently lift them up, adjusting his posture. Then he spoke softly into his ear: “Don’t be tense. Close your eyes and take a deep breath to calm yourself down. Don’t look up at the scoreboard midway through, just earnestly rely on your judgment and instincts for each shot.”
Lin Yuan nodded: “Yeah, I know, I’ll keep practicing.”
Caesar smiled and said, “Then I’ll head back first, I have a matter to take care of today.”
Lin Yuan waved at him, “Okay, bye!”
Caesar turned away from the training room and immediately ran into Brian, who was walking out of the neighboring shooting gallery.
Brian beamed at him and patted Caesar’s shoulder, saying proudly: “This kind of training is so dull. I’ve had shooting drills since I was thirteen, you’re all done too right?”
“Yeah.” Caesar nodded, “Since the training is completed, are you free today?”
Brian stretched out his arm and kneaded his neck. “Yup, that was it for today, so boring…”
Caesar said: “Okay Mr. Bored, come do me a favor.”
Brian lowered his arm and glanced back at Caesar in confusion, “Do you still need my help?”
Caesar turned and said: “Come, follow me.”
In order to not attract any attention, Caesar and Brian walked to the front gate and took a suspension car out of the school grounds. After travelling some distance from the military base, the two boys hopped out of the car and summoned White Feather.
Caesar and Brian entered White Feather’s cockpit. White Feather, sensing another person in his cockpit, couldn’t help but ask: “Master, you’ve brought someone into my cockpit! Isn’t this an outsider?”
Brian smiled and greeted, “Hello Little White, it’s me.”
When White Feather saw Brian, he immediately turned into a virtual white feather and excitedly floated in front of Brian. “BB! What happened in the final episode of that show? Tell me, tell me!”
Brian: “Your favorite supporting actor was killed off.”
White Feather gloomily replied: “How can this be? That supporting actor was obviously more gentle and caring!”
Brian: “I thought so too, his character always reminded me of myself, gentle and caring.”
A shameless friend and a shameless mech, you really needed to have strong patience to withstand these two guys.
Ignoring the two’s conversation, Caesar opened up the 3D navigation map and set White Feather’s destination coordinates.
Naturally, it was the Salman forest, located a good distance from the military base. The forest was deserted, plus it was densely forested. It would be very hard to find the mechs concealed here.
During modification, a mech’s intelligence center must be completely shut down, just like human beings needed to be put under general anesthesia before undergoing surgery. The process of modifying a mech was very complicated, so the mech’s intelligence center would inevitably be damaged. Suzaku had to be shut down and dormant. Helpless, it had morphed and entered the space button, so it was necessary to find a safe place to let it out.
Caesar selected a large cleared space inside the forest for White Feather to land, then released Suzaku from the space button.
When Brian saw the mech, his eyes bugged out in shock. “Isn’t this… Suzaku?”
Caesar nodded: “Yes, it’s Suzaku.”
“…” Brian stared at the huge red mech in front of him, speechless for a long time.
When he was a child, he often heard his grandfather talk about Suzaku. In fact, the empire’s famous mech inventor, Aston Bayh, only made four S-Class mechs, the first one was Lion King, belonging to His Majesty Trent, the second was Marshal Rosen’s Black Dragon, the third was General Ling Yu’s Suzaku, and the fourth was Prince Caesar’s White Feather.
Since the completion of White Feather’s construction, Mr. Aston’s health has been on the decline, and he’s been unable to work.
It takes a great amount of time and effort to manufacture an S-Class mech. From the design stage to the assembly of parts, extremely accurate calculations must be made at each step. An error margin of 0.1 mm could make the mech implode at the last moment. Brian had already met Lion King, Black Dragon, and White Feather, but he had only ever seen drawings of the legendary Suzaku, and never met it in person.
From the conception to the finalization of Suzaku’s blueprints, his Grandpa revised the blueprints over a hundred times before finally feeling satisfied. When Brian first saw them, even he felt that the level of complexity was absurd.
Suzaku was his Grandpa’s most proud work of art. Unfortunately, because his master violated military regulations and was sentenced to execution, Suzaku was also implicated and imprisoned.
– I never thought I’d actually have the opportunity to see it!
Brian couldn’t help but feel giddy, he ran over to Suzaku to look it over carefully – This was his Grandpa’s magnum opus, every bit of Suzaku’s body, from the large parts to the small parts, were perfect!
Brian sized Suzaku up carefully, then turned around and asked: “Caesar, why do you have Suzaku?”
Caesar briefly explained Suzaku’s situation to Brian.
Brian was flabbergasted: “… A downgrade?! Are you mad?”
Suzaku suddenly opened up: “Brian, I beg this of you, I don’t want to be discovered and locked up again. If I can be downgraded to C-Class, I’ll be able to sneak under the radar. Even if the mech association investigates, there’ll be no evidence.”
“…” Brian, who has never heard Suzaku’s voice, couldn’t help but gape.
The voice timbre data his Grandpa had installed into Suzaku’s sound system was very gentle. Suzaku’s voice sounded soft and pleasing, making the listeners feel comfortable, unlike White Feather, whose high pitched and hyper voice made people think about hitting it with a sledge hammer.
Caesar saw that Brian was starting to waver and hurriedly gave him a final push, “These are the current circumstances. Since you’re already in on the secret, you have no choice but to help me right? Anyway, if I’m the mastermind, you’re now my accomplice.”
To have such a “laid-back” prince for a friend, he really felt like he was living on the edge!
Brian was silent for a moment before he reluctantly nodded, “Although I know how to do it in theory, I’ve never personally downgraded a mech, plus Suzaku is an S-Class mech, its internal structure must be very complicated… I need to go back and collect some more data, if I make any mistakes during the procedure I could damage Suzaku.”
Caesar nodded. “We’ll go back and collect the information later. The next three days are dedicated to shooting practice, if you pass the evaluation early you can treat the rest of the days as a holiday. We’ll take advantage of these three days to prepare for the operation. Afterwards, we’ll have no choice but to sneak out at night.”
Brian couldn’t help but look up at Caesar: “You’ve been plotting this for a long time huh? You’ve even calculated the schedule?”
Caesar shrugged helplessly: “I have no choice, since I’ve decided to free Suzaku, I can only give it my best shot. Fortunately, I have the mech prodigy Brian to help me.”
Brian immediately snorted: “It’s not use flattering me, most mech experts can find a way to upgrade a mech, but no one’s been bored or careless enough to fully downgrade a mech, plus it’s very rare to find a mech willing to downgrade themselves… this is also my first attempt.”
Caesar replied earnestly: “I believe in your skill.”
Brian was silent for a moment before he smiled and said, “Since you insist on stroking my ego, then I have no choice but to accept the challenge. In fact, I’m also super confident in my skills.”
By the time the two found a safe place for Suzaku to settle it was already lunch time, Caesar called out White Feather and said: “White Feather, for the next month Brian and I will try to take some time out every day to modify Suzaku. Suzaku’s intelligence center needs to be shut down during the modification. You have to stay by Suzaku’s side and protect it from any accidents.”
White Feather excitedly replied: “Aye sir! It’s a great idea to make me the predecessor’s bodyguard! I will certainly complete this mission with glory and honor, rest assured master!” After speaking, it morphed into a huge bird, and proudly stood beside Suzaku. One wing was shamelessly extended over Suzaku, posing in a protective stance.
Suzaku immediately shut himself down.
Caesar: “Except for me and Brian, do you know what to do if a stranger tries to touch Suzaku?”
White Feather instantly replied: “I know, I’ll immediately smash him into pieces!”
Caesar nodded with satisfaction, “Good, then you stay here as a bodyguard. I’m heading back with Brian.”
After the two boys left, the surrounding area quieted down, and White Feather excitedly shouted: “Predecessor Suzaku, it’s only us here, let’s chat! When Mr. Aston was building me, he always talked about you. He called you his favorite mech, his most satisfying creation! I’ve always wanted to meet you! You look really good, red is such a great color on you!”
“The design of our intelligence systems are similar, so when I invaded your intelligence center that day I saw a lot of bad memories. It’s so pitiful that you were forcibly shut down for so many years. Fortunately, my master rescued you. You can stop worrying predecessor. You’ll have a new master soon and I, I’ll always protect you!”
White Feather couldn’t help but feel somewhat bashful at his own declaration, but after waiting for a long time, he found that Suzaku wasn’t responding at all. Confused, White Feather couldn’t help but look down, then froze in place: “W-whaa… why are you shut down!?”
Suzaku: I can’t hear anything if I’m shut down, so I can happily get some peace and quiet!
Brian called out Little Blue to take them back to school.
Although Little Blue was rated as a D-Class mech by the Mech Association, there were many factors in a mech’s rating, including the ability to attack, the number of cold weapons, light energy bullets, etc. Although Little Blue had a near 0 rating in attack power, its speed was nothing to sneeze at.
This was Caesar’s first time entering Little Blue’s cockpit. Contrary to White Feather’s chattering and bumbling around before a take-off, Little Blue was much more obedient. Without a single comment, it took off, carefully following the set route. To be with Brian for so many years yet still maintain a calm intelligence center, this really was not an easy accomplishment.
Brian checked Little Blue’s intelligence center, then excitedly said: “Oh right, Caesar, now that you’ve reminded me, I think Little Blue could use a good upgrade. Its intelligence system ought to be A-Class or higher, but the hardware facilities can’t keep up, so the Mech Association evaluated it as D-Class.”
Caesar: “The mech association’s ratings are quite superficial, and the evaluation criteria is too rigid. It hasn’t changed in hundreds of years. You created Little Blue when you were very young, so your designs were very juvenile, you should modify it when you have a chance later. .”
Brian nodded. “Yup, that’s what I was thinking of doing, I’ll brush up on upgrade procedures when I get back. I need to look over Little Blue to see which parts could use a modification. Mmm, I think I’ll remove the arms and legs first, and exchange them for ones made with a more flexible material.”
Little Blue: “………”
You’re discussing your plans to remove the hands and feet of a mech right in front of it? Is this really a good idea?
Brian and Caesar spent the rest of the afternoon on the library’s 15th floor. The two’s ID cards gave them the highest authorization. As a result, they could easily access confidential information that was not open to the public. The true wealth of San Romia’s Library was located on the 10th through 15th floor, the vast collection of precious books and confidential documents was simply fascinating.
Contrary to his usual behavior, Brian was very efficient when he was seriously invested. Throughout the afternoon, he compiled a list of all the information on mech modification and parts disassembly that he needed, then used a light tablet to copy the information to bring it out of the library.
When it was dinner time, the two boys walked downstairs, and ran into Snow at the medical section on the fifth floor.
Snow had apparently just finished copying information and was exiting the fifth floor. A Beta girl walked out with him, a pleasant smile on her face as she talked to him. Snow listened to her words earnestly, his expression focused.
Brian grinned and greeted, “Hey Snow, what a coincidence.”
Snow watched Brian and Caesar walk down the rest of the stairs, and asked, puzzled: “You were checking out books upstairs?”
The majority of the books on floors sixth and above were related to history and social sciences. What business did the the two of them have upstairs?
Brian hastily explained: “No, we were on the fifteenth floor, we needed to check out some information.”
“…” Snow was silent. Because of the abundance of confidential information on the 10 floor and above, corresponding authorization was needed to open up the floors. The process of applying for permission with the school issued crystal card was very complicated. Most students only got the opportunity to go up there when they needed to plan their graduation project. After all, the books available on the 1 -10th floors were more than enough for daily study.
Who would expect that Brian and Caesar had the authorization to open the floors? They were also first-year students. It was unreasonable to have such high authorization so soon after entering the school. Obviously, they must’ve used their own ID cards to enter. The family backgrounds of the two Alphas were obviously not simple.
Seeing Snow not responding, Brian glanced at the girl next to him and couldn’t help but ask: “Who’s this?”
Snow returned to reality, then introduced: “This is my girlfriend, Cheryl.” Then he pulled her into a stiff looking intimate embrace, his arms around her shoulder, and said, “These two are my roommates, the Command Department’s Caesar and the Engineering Department’s Brian.”
Cheryl, who had a pride worthy figure and full wavy hair, smiled elegantly: “Nice to meet you.”
Caesar, politely: “Likewise.”
Cheryl, apparently sensing a deep concentration of hostility radiating from Brian, glanced at him with a puzzled look, then took Snow’s arm and continued down the stairs.
Brian stared at their retreating backs, the unpleasant emotions in his heart multiplying tenfold!
After a moment of silence, Caesar said: “I never thought Snow would be such a quick mover. It’s only been a week since the start of the new term and he’s already found a girlfriend… At least he has some good eyes, Cheryl’s very beautiful.”
However, Caesar couldn’t help but feel some doubts, if Snow was really an Omega… Was it appropriate for him to find a Beta girlfriend? Shouldn’t he find an Alpha boy to get through estrus?
Caesar stood thoughtfully, not noticing that Brian’s eyes were already on fire.
While the two ate dinner, they once again saw Cheryl and Snow walking arm in arm into the dining hall. Snow even thoughtfully held her plate for her. Coming down from the initial anger, Brian gradually became dejected, staring plaintively at Snow’s back, like a big dog that was abandoned by its owner.
Caesar finally noticed something wrong with his friend, and couldn’t help but ask: “What’s wrong Brian?”
Brian stayed silent for a moment, then asked seriously: “Caesar, if you realized that you liked someone, but the other person’s already seeing someone else, what would you do?”
Caesar pictured a scene of Lin Yuan dating someone else… This was totally unbearable!
“Do you really have to think about it? Of course you have to steal them away.” Caesar said mercilessly, “As long as they’re not married, it’s not a foregone conclusion. Everyone deserves a chance for fair competition. Why don’t you fight for what you want?”
Brian’s eyes brightened, “That’s right, I think so too! I won’t selflessly hand him over to someone else!”
Brian resolutely vowed in the bottom of his heart: Snow belongs to me.
At the same time Snow, who was eating with his senior sister, suddenly felt a strange chill run down his spine.
This can’t end well….
Laid-back – 不拘小节, to not bother about trifles (idiom)