Translator: Chaos_, Luna Editor: Geoffrey_
The old man continued to bring Tian Xing Jian into an ordinary-looking, two-floor gray building. After reaching the entrance, he saw another person in underpants who also wore an authentic Federation machinery engineer’s mechanical arm. The old man turned joyful, murmuring to himself, "Hei hei, today, this brat who should have been executed by the firing squad finally has finally awoken? Knowing that I did not have enough manpower under my hands, he had actually sent two of them over." Rushing over to that soldier, he shouted, "Wei! You, what are you looking at. Right, I’m talking to you. Follow me!"
That machinery engineer, as if he received an arduous task from the heavens, was full of unhappiness. However, he still followed the old man dejectedly. Covertly turning his head, he asked Tian Xing Jian, "Brother, what crimes did you commit? For you to be sent to this monster..." Fatty was stunned. He vaguely felt that something was amiss before replying, "I just came over. I don’t know what is happening." In his head, he made his own conclusion, "I’m doomed! It’s certainly because of the over 20 escapes that were recorded in the Battle Records Device." Fatty knew from the start that rules were strict in the military. All deserters would be sentenced to martial punishment according to how heavy or light the circumstances were. Obviously, the heaviest sentence was the death penalty! Especially for those who escaped during times of war, most of them would be sentenced to death without exceptions. Even though he himself was a machinery engineer, he had kind of escaped from the battlefield more than he should have.
In reality, other than the combat team who belonged to the war maintenance team, the engineers who specialized in Battle Mecha repair need not be controlled by the rules and regulations of the war. In the army, they were under the same category as the field medics within the logistics company. Whenever the battle was not favorable, they should certainly be given priority to retreat. Other than specific special circumstances, they would usually not be sent to the battlefield, and without being given a battle order, escaping from the battlefield when his own side was being dominated was not equivalent to deserting the army.
Fatty’s records of his escapes had long been known by others. In their eyes, they had only felt that this machinery engineer ran really fast. He did not have enough patriotism to sacrifice his life and battle for their nation until the very end, causing others to despise this person for how fearful of death he was. However, this was something that would merely affect Fatty’s future within the army. Thus, the crime of deserting the army had no relation with him at all.
As the fatty continued thinking, his heart started to become anxious. Now that the situation had reached this stage, what could he do? If he knew that this would happen, he would have rather walked a few more days on the journey here, or maybe just stay by himself amongst the mountains.
The old man brought them through several turns within the building, crossing through several thick metal doors before entering a lift. A panel suddenly shot out from the control panel of the lift. The old man placed his hand on top of the panel until a green light appeared. Thereafter, he let his palm and iris be scanned a few times as the system confirmed his identity. Only then did the lift begin to descend. After approximately 5-6 minutes, the lift finally stopped. According to intuition and analysis, Fatty realized that they were at least 500-600 meters underground.
"What exactly is this place!? I’m only a machinery engineer! They shouldn’t have a need to imprison me in such a strict location!" Fatty was howling with grief in his heart.
After the door to the lift was opened, a walkway appeared in front of them. Walking along this walkway for dozens of meters, they finally arrived at a transparent sterilize gap. The old man pushed the two of them in before adding, "Hurry up and enter. After sterilizing yourself, go and put on the antibacterial coat!"
After hearing that they would not be poisoned, the fatty’s initial increasing heart rate momentarily slowed down. He hurriedly entered the room after his head was sterilized and took an extra large anti-bacteria coat before putting it on.
Looking at how fast the fatty’s actions were, the old man delightfully nodded, "Mn, your actions are quite fast." After a minute of waiting, he turned towards the other machinery engineer who was still taking his own sweet time to wear the coat. The old man angrily charged towards him, "You who should have been executed by the firing squad, hurry up and wear the coat! Don’t waste my time."
Finally, after that machinery engineer finished putting on his coat, the old man brought the two of them to the very last set of doors. This was an automatic door made from alloy. The moment they entered, a great hall appeared in front of Tian Xing Jian’s eyes. The great hall was full of mecha parts, mecha armors, weapons, and various equipment. At the center of the great hall was an extremely huge central computer, which was flashing with over ten thousands of electronic messages. A group of employees garbed in white coats were rushing all over the place. There were other access doors and passageways around the great hall.
Fatty had some suspicions. This did not look like some prison. Instead, it seemed like an enormous underground laboratory.
The old man pointed to a corner that was piled with so many things that nobody could discern whether they were mecha armors or just some miscellaneous objects. He shouted out to Tian Xing Jian and the other soldier, "Quickly, repair those for me. The blueprint is within the computer. If you don’t know how to fix them, then find out yourself! Right now, we are in war. Every single second counts towards helping our experiments. If you can’t reach my desired speed, you will be shot to death! If you destroy any of these equipment, you’ll be shot to death! If you can’t repair these items, you will similarly be shot to death!"
The moment Fatty heard that, his face turned pale immediately.
The old man weirdly glanced at this fatty, who was sweating and had his complexion turn pale suddenly, before adding, "If you understand what to do, then quickly start working!" With a wave of his hand, he went directly into an inner room. As he walked on, words spouted out from his mouth, "Wasted how much of my time! They should just be shot to death, all of them shot to death!"
It seemed that even though he had not been through a military trial, it was most likely certain that he had been judged guilty. As of this moment, the only way of surviving was to redeem himself through working. Once Fatty thought to this point, he became like the toy rabbit fitted with a lithium battery and charged with the fastest speed he had towards the pile of parts as he threw himself into work. He would definitely try his utmost to perform excellently so that the his death penalty would be deferred indefinitely.
Looking at how desperate this machinery engineer was working, the other employees within the laboratory began to look at each other in dismay. It wasn’t very often that they would see an engineer who put so much effort in his work. Usually, those who were assigned to this location to help were soldiers who had committed grievous crimes and were sent here as punishment. Due to the huge volume of work and the lack of freedom along with the complexity of these matters which they were responsible for, they would usually whine about how hard it was.
Two days later, everyone in the laboratory finally knew that they had picked up a treasure. The hours which this fatty worked everyday was even longer than the period they spent frantically experimenting. Furthermore, his movements were so much faster than any ordinary person, seemingly as if he had no need to check the blueprints before fixing even the rarely seen mechas or weapons. When the other machinery engineer received the order to leave this place, the mountain of parts had mostly been completed by the fatty.
This fatty was truly a talent!
Very soon, the fatty became familiar with all the researchers within the laboratory. This person who was afraid of death was practically snatching everything he could to work on. Repairing the damaged mechas and weapons within the laboratory were especially the fatty’s expertise. With his glib tongue and easygoing personality, everyone in the laboratory had truly started to like him.
This was the very first time a machinery engineer actually stayed night and day in the laboratory, working frantically without needing a single order to be sent down to him. Coincidentally, this person did not cause any trouble at all. Everyone felt really fortunate for such a person to work in their laboratory.
Sometimes, they would try to guess the crime that this fatty committed for him to stay in this place for such a long period of time.
This laboratory was under Jialipalan’s military institute. All around the institution, there were instructors who were specialized in training students in military matters and instructors who ensured that everyone kept matters regarding their training in this institute a secret. Every movement within this institute was related to the military, and thus all instructors and researchers were part of the army and had a rank given to them.
The person whom the institute was most terrified of wasn't the head of the institute, who was general... Instead, it was the person in charge of the institute’s 7th laboratory, which was the old man who brought in Fatty — Boswell. This eccentric old man was not part of the army and neither did he have a rank. Even then, he could still lead the largest military laboratory within the institute and was the primary advisor regarding matters on Battle Mechas and weapons. When war had not yet erupted, due to the institute’s system, they would still assign several professional students over to work on matters like repair. Once the war had started, all students within the institute were assigned to the command of a military commander instead. All systems implemented in the institute were placed under military regulations and neither would there be students coming over to do miscellaneous work. This frustrated Boswell! In his eyes, other than completing his experiments, nothing else was worth his attention.
The grim situation at war had already led to a chaotic situation within the forward command center in this institute. Who would still have the energy to worry about this eccentric old man? Furthermore, with the old man’s stubborn and irritable personality, he had offended many middle-level officers who were in charge of certain work. As such, this place had turned into a place of punishment for engineers who went against military regulations. The moment a soldier committed a mistake, they would be assigned to this laboratory to do miscellaneous work.
Ultimately, there were only a few soldiers who committed any mistakes; amongst them, there were even machinery engineers who did not commit any crimes at all. Thus, the damaged mechas and weapons from the experiments and research had piled up into a small mountain that had reached the stage where it must be cleared. Old man Boswell finally stopped his work before rushing down to the forward command center alone in anger. It was only then that the army agreed to send someone over, yet who would have thought that fatty, who was equipped with his own mechanical arm, would be mistakenly pulled over by the old man into the laboratory.
Looking at the fatty who worked as if he should have been relocated here, these researchers felt curious. Did this fatty commit a crime that was too big? Or maybe he was assigned over to this laboratory by the command center to be responsible for any repair work.
As they were talking to Tian Xing Jian, they would curiously ask him about his crime, yet how could this person who escaped from the battle 21 times in total tell them about such disgraceful matter! Especially when there were several beauties within the curious darlings. Fatty staunchly took on the stance of not confessing to any of the possible crimes for which the other people were guessing.
Milan was one of the beauties among the curious darlings. This beautiful girl, who was about 20 years of age, had a shocking talent towards science; however, she had an obvious weakness — her practical aspect was too weak! The moment she started working, she would become flustered and empty-headed, causing everyone in the laboratory to feel pity for her. After several small matters that should not have happened occurred, the laboratory decided to just give her two staff members responsible for bringing her theories to life through the experiments designed by her.
Currently,, these two people were not enough for Milan anymore. Very soon, she fixated herself on the fatty, who was idling away his time after he finished fixing most of the wreckage.
"Fatty, quickly come over!" Milan shouted out within the great hall.
Fatty, who had always been using his silver tongue to curry the favor of others, had long become familiar with her.
Immediately, he set aside the work in his hands and ran over with the fastest speed he could muster. He knew that within this "prison", other than Boswell, the other person who he must not offend was this woman!
This seemingly innocent and pure beauty was the youngest researcher within the laboratory, thus she would be unconditionally spoiled by all the other mad researchers. As long as she displayed a pitiful look, any of her requests would be accepted. The woman with an extremely high innate talent in science was the treasure of that eccentric old man and all these middle-aged uncles.
"Coming, coming. What do you need help with? Just tell me." Fatty chuckled as he brought with him a naive smile.
"I have too much work to handle! Come and help me!" Milan was not polite as she immediately pulled Fatty into her personal research room.
The moment Fatty entered the room, he became cross-eyed. Even though he would usually enter the workshop of other researchers, this was still his first time entering Milan’s workshop.
This room was about as big as the great hall outside. Instead of saying that it was a workshop, it would be better to say that this place was an ancient army museum. Regardless of whether it was the arrangement or the exhibited items, including Battle Mechas and weapons that were currently being assembled, they were all of ancient design.
Near the wall in the room, there was an enormous cupboard displaying all the different classical rifles from ancient earth. For instance, there were the Maxim gun, MP38 submachine gun, Broomhandle 1896 Mauser pistol, Browning pistol, Karabiner 98, M1 Garand, M16, AK47, and many others.
And in the center of the room, there was a dozen land Battle Mechas. The models of these Battle Mechas also had vestiges of armored vehicles from ancient times, so much that one of the small and short Battle Mecha had an energy cannon built on its roof, just like how the M1A1 Tank was built.
The innermost part of the room had a human-shaped Battle Mecha that was so beautiful that it made the fatty blink his eyes in stupor. How was this a Battle Mecha? It should be considered a piece of art instead. The Battle Mecha was crafted from an unknown alloy. Fatty did not know of what material the exoframe was built with as well. The entire Battle Mecha displayed some sort of light blue glow. It had a streamlined body, bringing with it an intrepid appearance that prevented anybody from averting their eyes after seeing it. As for the two folded wings on its back, it made others wonder exactly what was this Battle Mecha? A land-based Battle Mecha? Or an air-based Battle Mecha? Or maybe a space-based Battle Mecha?
"This is a transformer Battle Mecha," seeing how the fatty was circling non-stop around the Battle Mecha, Milan introduced to him what it was.
"A transformer Battle Mecha?" Fatty felt despair.
This type of Battle Mecha which was produced in abundance 2000 years ago since the start of the Space Age had long become synonymous to trash. As of now, the top-grade, private Battle Mechas and combat Battle Mechas had completely denounced the design of the past. The reason behind this was that each and every Battle Mecha that was built in present times were designed to excel at a specific job. Other than changing parts of its frame during movement, there was no need for a full-body transformation.
The biggest weakness for a full-body transformation mecha was that it had no specific purpose! For instance, a heavy-sized Battle Mecha required heavy armor and weighed more than a hundred tons. Transforming into a land-based aviation fighter plant would only turn itself into the plaything for the enemy. The more parts there were, the heavier it would be. An engine with an excessively large horsepower would have to be built, and a mecha that could not fully adhere to the aerodynamics principle would arise as a conundrum.
Since land-based Battle Mecha could not fully adapt to the atmospheric battle requirements in the air, then what about the air-based Battle Mecha?
Using the space aircraft carrier as the base of operations in space wars, there were even less reasons for these space-based Battle Mecha to transform. After all, in an environment with no gravity, why would it need to transform? Space fighter aircrafts were built with a different aim. The main mission of space-based Battle Mechas was to land and capture the enemy’s ships. Usually, they would be sent out only during the final periods of battle. Either the conclusion of the battle was most likely a victory on their end, or the majority of fighter aircrafts were downed and they required the Battle Mechas to replace their military power. Using the shape of a human as its fundamental design for space-based Battle Mecha, it had a similar requirement to land-based Battle Mechas — it had to adapt. Hence, this was based fundamentally on the model of the mecha itself and had no need for transformations.
Using a similar logic, a space Battle Mecha would not be appropriate for battles within the atmospheric layer on a planet. Most of the time, they were even heavier than land-based Battle Mechas. Within the gravity-less space, this sort of Battle Mechas was accepted, but once they were placed under the condition within the atmospheric layer, that would basically be hitting oneself.
Fatty surreptitiously curled his lips; however, this movement had been captured by the sharp eyes of Milan. She pinched Fatty’s ears, angrily saying, "These are the most advanced Battle Mechas of my research. Stupid atty, you have not seen all of its aspects, and yet you dare to look down on it!?"
These past few weeks, the one who bullied the fatty the most was actually this seemingly gentle and innocent beauty. This pinch of hers was truly efficient.
Tian Xing Jian shouted in pain. The agony in his expression was enough to make all humans unable to bear to watch it!
However, Milan had long seen through the fatty’s scheme. She gave it a firm pinch before letting it go. "Come over! I’ll let you see what’s called a true transformer Battle Mecha!"
Pressing the automatic controller in her hand, the cockpit to the Battle Mecha opened. Climbing up along the mechanical legs of the mecha, she went and took her seat within it before immediately closing the doors while giving the fatty a glare, "Country bumpkin, take a good look."
Under Milan’s control, Fatty was truly stunned. Magically, he saw the Battle Mecha’s external armor break down into little pieces of metal before rapidly agglomerating together like a sponge when compressed. After that, it disappeared into a hole at the back of the mecha. The Battle Mecha then truly started its transformation. First, its color changed. That bizarre glow of light flashed by before the entire frame of Battle Mecha turned black. Following that, the four limbs and head of the mecha rapidly folded itself as the whole mecha transformed. This sort of transformation was just like how cheese was being melted. A few minutes later, this piece of cheese had solidified into a chunk of black meteorite that had some lifelike veined pattern on it.
"Oh god, I think the next few days are going to be very hard to live through!" Fatty gasped a cold breath of air, "That’s metal liquefaction!"
"And next!" the Battle Mecha emitted Milan’s voice from the electronic loudspeaker.
"Pa!" was heard. The entire Battle Mecha rapidly shot out its four limbs, turning back to its original shape. At the same time, the external exoframe had also shot out from the hole and rapidly shrouded its entire body.
Fatty felt that he had broken down.
"Oh god! It is actually metal liquefaction with the property to recall! Using that to build this… That woman is truly crazy!"
Next, the Battle Mecha changed its shape into that of a land-based aviation aircraft, a space fighter aircraft, a small-scale transport ship, and various other types of land-based Battle Mechas suited for different terrains.
Milan jumped out of the Battle Mecha before delightfully asking, "How was it!? Just try and cast your mouth aside again if you dare."
Tian Xing Jian was speechless. It was only after a moment before this wretched person put on a foolish expression and asked, "This plaything must be worth a lot right? How much can it sell for?"
Milan almost died from her anger. Ruthlessly, she said, "Plaything? Go and try it yourself and see if it’s a plaything!"
From all the subjects which Fatty studied, like the Battle Mecha design principles, metallurgy, and physics, this sort of object truly was a plaything. Metal liquefaction might sound to be quite formidable, but in reality, this sort of metal that could transform so casually had a weakness — it was soft!
This sort of metal with an easily transformable property had long been discovered by someone else more than a thousand years ago. However, even though this unique resonance frequency could be controlled by computer to transform the metal into a state of coexistences between liquid and solid within a short period of time, its hardness still remained as it was. If this type of material was used to make an alloy in order to increase its hardness, then there would not be adequate liquid properties, increasing the amount of time required to transform. For it to attain the hardness of steel, the liquefied metal alloy would require an estimated 1 week of time for it to fully transform. Thus, other than some exceptional uses, this sort of metal was rarely used in the military.
So what could an object that could transform into a thousand different shapes with soft hands and legs do? In the eyes of Fatty, this Battle Mecha would not be more precious than a rubber figure from ancient earth. The hardness of these metals would not be able to meet the requirements for battle! Furthermore, these sort of metals were usually still very heavy. For instance, pure gold was one of the softer metals. Although the liquefiable metal was even heavier than gold, it was still softer than gold and more expensive.
However, the fatty soon understood that this object in front of his eyes was absolutely not a plaything. Instead, it was a lethal weapon and one of the most formidable lethal weapon that was invented in the past hundred years.
A piece that was usually used to build Battle Mechas had been placed within the composition of the metal. The over-exaggerated indication had made Fatty suspect that a problem had appeared in this machine! The hardness of this thing was currently even six times harder than the ultra-hard alloy that he knew. Furthermore, its weight was similar to that of the ultra-light alloy. What was more important would be the liquefaction property the metal had in its ductility, allowing this metal to increase in its overall defensive power!
And that was not all! The most frightening thing was that this ultra alloy also had the speciality of a memory metal! The person who discovered this metal was absolutely a genius amongst all geniuses! This was truly a miracle that only deities could create!
"Alright, I admit that this thing is not a plaything!" Fatty was truly and utterly defeated. Faced against this sort of Battle Mecha, which had the state-of-the-art technology, even a more shameful person would have no choice but to admit that reality was still reality.
Looking at the cheerful expression on Milan, the fatty’s sickness of being fearless struck once again. "So, where exactly did you steal this Battle Mecha from?"
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