In the temporary mech adjustment room, Lu Jingning was tilting his head, taking a few sips of energy drink. His gaze wandered through the only small window on the wall, lost in thought.
Beside him, Yan Hebin had just finished the final adjustments. After putting away the data in his hands, he happened to see Lu Jingning sitting there and asked, “Feeling tired?”
Lu Jingning came back to his senses upon hearing the question, and replied somewhat unclearly, “A bit.”
He scratched the hair on the side of his head and instinctively glanced out of the window. It had been quite some time since they strictly followed the Rule of Alpha chasing, but there was no specific duration mentioned, leaving him uncertain about how long he should wait before making a move.
Having refrained from flirting for a few days due to some recent events, Lu Jingning was getting the urge to approach Wen Xingchen again. On the other hand, he was also afraid that this cat-and-mouse game might not be at the right level yet, leading to failure.
After pondering for a while, he finally made a decision. Since they were currently busy with the university’s mech exchange event, it should be almost time to make a move after it’s over. He could arrange a uniquely creative confession, one that would be considered perfect.
With his mind made up, Lu Jingning temporarily set aside his thoughts about that matter and focused on the mech, asking, “Is the mech finally complete?”
Yan Hebin nodded and said, “Yes, it’s completed.”
As they spoke, the door to the temporary mech adjustment room opened from the outside, and two people entered one after the other. When Bing Yunlin saw them standing there, a hint of amusement flashed in his eyes as he asked, “Are you both ready?”
Yan Hebin nodded again, and Yu Zeyang walked up to the console, quickly checking all aspects of the attributes and evaluating, “The completion level is very high.”
Lu Jingning had not seen this vice president since the pirate incident. Although their relationship had eased a bit, he was still particularly sensitive to matters of sexual orientation discrimination. So, when he found a chance to catch Yu Zeyang off-guard, he couldn’t help but seize the opportunity.
With his sarcasm skill in full swing, Lu Jingning hoped to make the usually arrogant guy bow his head and apologize right then and there. Indeed, as expected, Yu Zeyang’s face turned sour when he was provoked, and he retorted, “You know nothing!”
Lu Jingning raised an eyebrow, feeling satisfied, and said, “You’re wrong. I know much more than you do!”
Bing Yunlin, finding the situation amusing, interrupted their confrontation, saying, “Alright, that’s enough from both of you.”
Upon Bing Yunlin’s stern look, Yu Zeyang held back what he wanted to say. Before leaving, however, he stopped at the doorway and turned to Lu Jingning, saying, “Yan Hebin’s mech is indeed very powerful, but it also means it demands a lot from the operator. When you participate in the exchange event, you must pay attention to the distribution of pheromones. Don’t… embarrass our club.”
Though Lu Jingning had full confidence in his own pheromone control, and his previous disorder had completely recovered, he found it slightly irritating that Yu Zeyang seemed to be overemphasizing the issue. Smiling nonchalantly, he replied, “Vice President, rest assured. Mech control is my expertise.”
It was indeed the truth, but the tone he used made it sound like he was bragging.
Yu Zeyang seemed like he wanted to say something else, but Bing Yunlin pulled him away by the collar, saying, “Stop nagging. They know what they’re doing. Don’t you have other things to attend to? Don’t let it get in the way.”
Quietly watching the two leave, Yan Hebin suddenly spoke up, “Did you notice that the vice president seems to be overly concerned about Omega operating mechs?”
“Who cares what he does? That guy is a potential straight-Alpha cancer!” Lu Jingning clearly didn’t have much interest in the topic. He stretched lazily and asked, “So, is there anything else? If not, I’m going back, feeling so tired…”
The next afternoon during the specialized class, Lu Jingning continued to maintain his aloof and cool demeanor as planned. Wen Xingchen looked at his expressionless face and struggled to resist the urge to remove the mask he was wearing. The night before, he had thought it through and decided to follow Lu Jingning’s pace, assuming such a thing really existed.
Letting out a sigh in his heart, Wen Xingchen asked, “So, you’re leaving today?”
“Yeah, I’ll probably be back in about three days,” Lu Jingning replied.
Calculating the time, Wen Xingchen said, “That works. I might also be away from school for the next few days.”
Lu Jingning was taken aback, “Where are you going?”
Wen Xingchen lowered his gaze slightly, “I’m not sure yet, maybe back home.”
“Alright then! See you in three days!” Lu Jingning smiled, looking at him.
“Sure, see you in three days,” Wen Xingchen replied, a faint smile appearing on his lips.
The college mech exchange event was scheduled to be held on Ladrian Star in the Seventh Galaxy. In the afternoon, all six members of the Mech Club gathered at the temporary campus entrance and headed to the main spaceport to board a long-distance light cruiser. By the time they arrived at the pre-arranged hotel, it was already night.
Lu Jingning and Yan Hebin were assigned to the same room. After resting for the night, they followed Bing Yunlin’s lead the next morning to the event venue.
Ladrian Star was a densely populated main planet, and Borla City, as the capital city of the planet, was thriving and bustling. Lu Jingning dozed off in the aircraft until he heard someone exclaiming in surprise, prompting him to lazily open his eyes.
His gaze fell through the transparent barrier, and a towering mech-shaped building entered his vision. The Empire had developed nine major galaxies, each with its own unique civilization. The Seventh Galaxy’s mech technology had matured the most, with most of the Empire’s military mechs being the work of the mech masters here. The highly renowned Mech Master Association was also located on Ladrian Star, a testament to the strength of mech civilization.
The college mech exchange event was being held at the iconic “Steel Body” building in Borla City.
Although Lu Jingning had visited various planets, it was his first time in Borla City. He couldn’t help but take an interest in the majestic and magnificent mech-shaped architecture before him.
This event gathered representatives from various major colleges, including the team from Heavy Cloud Defense University, where Lu Jingning went to. There was a girl from Heavy Cloud’s delegation who had exchanged a few words with him during the social gathering, and they continued chatting and laughing with each other.
When the girl mentioned that he was carried out by Wen Xingchen the other night, Lu Jingning couldn’t help but feel a little embarrassed. He scratched his cheek and said, “Well… I wasn’t really drunk. Do you believe me?”
The girl found his slightly awkward appearance adorable and quickly reassured him, “I believe you, of course.”
Lu Jingning fell silent at her tone, clearly indicating that she didn’t believe him at all. It was like comforting a child.
An Huo, who was standing nearby, overheard their conversation and couldn’t help but laugh, covering his mouth. “What’s this? You guys had such an exciting entertainment program at your exchange match? The president didn’t tell us about it after coming back!”
Bing Yunlin chuckled without changing his expression. “It was just a social gathering, nothing to talk about.”
In the midst of this harmonious conversation, Yu Zeyang stood there absentmindedly, scanning the venue as if looking for something.
At that moment, a team of people entered through the main entrance, and when he looked up, his lips slightly tightened.
The others in the venue also noticed the team of people who seemed to be college students. However, from the moment they appeared, all the others stopped their conversations and turned their gazes in their direction.
The girl, who was chatting with Lu Jingning, exclaimed, “It’s the Thunder Research University!”
The others were also astonished, except for the few from the Imperial Navy, whose expressions were inscrutable.
The name “Thunder Research University” sounded somewhat familiar to Lu Jingning. He thought it should be a well-known institution. Just as he was about to ask Yan Hebin about it, he saw the team of people walking straight toward them after entering the venue.
The leader stopped not far from them and spoke in a flat tone, “I heard that your restriction was lifted early this year, but I thought it was just a rumor. I didn’t expect you to show up so eagerly right after the ban was lifted. If I were you, I wouldn’t have the nerve.”
Bing Yunlin smiled calmly, “Long time no see, Wen Han.”
Wen Han, the leader of the other team, was tall, but compared to most Alphas, he appeared slightly slender. Although he had a refined aura, it lacked the elegance and gentleness that Bing Yunlin had. Instead, he emanated a chilling fierceness due to his overly pale skin.
His sharp gaze swept over Bing Yunlin’s face, and then he looked at the stern expression on Yu Zeyang’s face. He smirked, seemingly half-smiling, half-sneering, “So, you couldn’t wait to show your face right after the ban was lifted? If I were you, I wouldn’t have such thick skin.”
Facing such an open provocation, according to Yue Yang’s understanding of Yu Zeyang, he should have exploded on the spot. However, unexpectedly, he just pursed his lips and remained silent, an unprecedented display of restraint.
Nevertheless, Wen Han seemed to have anticipated his response and didn’t pay it much attention. His gaze casually swept over the members of the Imperial Navy delegation. It halted slightly when he saw Lu Jingning and Yan Hebin, then he uttered, “Omegas?”
Bing Yunlin intercepted him discreetly as he attempted to approach them and said, “Our club members don’t need President Wen’s concern.”
“Indeed, it’s not my place to interfere,” Wen Han raised his gaze, glancing at Lu Jingning and the others, and then a trace of coldness emerged in his smile. “However, I think there are some things these two junior brothers should know.”
Apart from Lu Jingning and Yan Hebin, the other visitors were all students above their sophomore year. The atmosphere suddenly turned eerie.
Sensing the unusual situation, the people from Heavy Cloud Defense University found a pretext and tactfully left.
Lu Jingning could feel the restrained and guarded emotions from everyone, even from An Huo, who usually had a good temper. They all directed their gazes at the person before them.
Yu Zeyang clenched his teeth and said, “Wen Han, you have a grudge against me!”
“Oh? Are you afraid of people finding out?” Wen Han sneered, then coldly retorted, “Are you afraid to face the consequences of your own mistakes? Why was the Imperial Navy University’s mecha club banned for two years? Your club members should know the reason, shouldn’t they?”
Yu Zeyang’s back stiffened slightly.
Wen Han’s tone turned slightly heavy. “Throughout the century since the establishment of the Mecha Pilots Association, it’s the first time they have issued such a severe ban on a university’s mecha club. In some way, you could say that you’ve created history, couldn’t you?”
Bing Yunlin frowned, “Wen Han, that’s enough.”
Wen Han coldly laughed, “Enough? How could it be enough? Concealing the truth like this, are you planning to let the same tragedy happen again?”
Yu Zeyang tightened his fists, and the excessive force almost embedded his fingers into his palms.
Lu Jingning could tell that Yu Zeyang was almost driven crazy by the relentless pressure from Wen Han.
Though he wasn’t entirely satisfied with this vice president, he couldn’t let his own people be bullied in front of outsiders.
Moreover, this outsider was using him as an excuse for their actions, which made him unhappy.
So, he lazily raised his eyelids and suddenly asked without warning, “President Wen Han, do you live by the seaside?”
Wen Han was taken aback by the digression, “What?”
Lu Jingning continued nonchalantly, “Otherwise, how could you have such a broad perspective?”
Wen Han: “…”
Lu Jingning continued, “You come here for an exchange competition, so manage your own team. What right do you have to interfere in the affairs of our Imperial Navy University? Is our president dead or something?”
Bing Yunlin shot him a glance.
Lu Jingning pretended not to notice and went on, “You yourself said that our club has been unbanned. If it’s unbanned, then participating in the exchange competition is legitimate. If you’re dissatisfied, why not directly complain to the Mecha Pilots Association? As for the previous ban, whether it lasts for years or is lifted, what’s it to you? You love to talk so much, do your family members know?”
Wen Han, born into a scholarly family, was being treated this rudely for the first time. He was so angry that he almost fainted on the spot, but he managed to retain his composure after a while and said with a grim expression, “Do you know that I’m doing this for your own good?”
Lu Jingning smiled faintly, “Thank you for your concern. My whole family thanks you.”
Wen Han struggled to maintain his last shred of reason, his face turning gloomy as he spoke, “Do you know what kind of person you are defending? Two years ago, a significant accident resulted in the death of an Omega student from your Imperial Navy University! All of this could have been avoided, but the vice president you support, for the sake of some trivial honor, was so greedy and heartless that he didn’t try to stop it!”
Bing Yunlin intervened, “Wen Han, there’s no need to involve the freshmen in our grievances.”
“Is there really no need? Concealing the truth and not letting them know, what is your purpose?” Wen Han’s voice grew heavy. “Everyone has the right to know, they should be aware that the so-called vice president is a person who can easily sacrifice others for his own glory!”
Yu Zeyang’s eyes dimmed distinctly, facing such accusations, but he did not refute a word.
Lu Jingning exchanged a glance with Yan Hebin.
Under the deluge of information, they seemed to have suddenly understood something.
However, there was no time to delve deeper into it at this moment. Seeing that Wen Han seemed relentless in pushing the members of the mecha club into an abyss, Lu Jingning cleared his throat slowly, appearing to smile but not really, and asked, “So, what’s the point of all this?”
Wen Han seemed somewhat unresponsive, “What do you mean, ‘what’s the point of all this’?”
“Exactly, what’s the point?” Lu Jingning’s tone was light. “I can only say that you truly don’t understand soldiers. If we receive orders from our superiors, we will always obey unconditionally. Do you think sacrificing oneself for honor is worthless? As you said, this kind of death comes with absolute glory. Soldiers never hesitate to strive for honor! If we die in the process, well, it means our strength was inadequate. On the other hand, you, with such a self-righteous attitude, pressing on step by step, it’s quite embarrassing, you know?”
Seeing that the other party still seemed puzzled, Lu Jingning sighed slightly, feeling tired, and summarized, “In short, I don’t care about past right and wrong, and likewise, it’s none of your damn business whether I’m willing to give my life for the mecha club or not!”
T/N: Hey there! There is plenty more where that came from, so stay tuned! And stay healthy! Straighten your posture, so some stretches and drink some water before continuing hehe~
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