At a high-end restaurant.
Two individuals sat facing each other beside the spotless french windows, surrounded by the melodious background of a violin, creating a harmonious atmosphere. However, one of them seemed somewhat absent-minded.
The Omega sitting across from Wen Xingchen was named Zhang Ruo. His fair face exuded an exquisite and noble aura, revealing his high upbringing. Noticing the distraction of the person opposite, he put down his cutlery and asked, “Is something bothering you?”
Wen Xingchen brought his thoughts back and replied, “Ah, it’s nothing.”
Zhang Ruo appeared apologetic, “I’m sorry for troubling you to accompany me all these days.”
Wen Xingchen smiled slightly, “It’s okay; after all, I came here of my own volition.”
The Omega sitting in front of him was the young master of the Zhang family, according to Wen Muqiao’s plan. The original idea was to arrange Wen Ye to try and get in touch with Zhang Ruo, essentially acting as a matchmaker. Zhang Ruo seemed quite smitten when he first saw Wen Ye, but unfortunately, Wen Ye was focused on other matters and didn’t show much interest in this overly gentle and submissive Omega. As a result, Wen Xingchen, as Wen Ye’s younger brother, had to take on the role of “entertainer” in his place to convey his brother’s intentions.
Zhang Ruo was a clever person and more or less understood Wen Ye’s intentions. Feeling frustrated, he reluctantly accepted the arrangement. Thus, over the past few days, he spent time with Wen Xingchen in the city without complaining.
Both coming from prominent families, they maintained their dignity on the surface, regardless of whether they were truly satisfied with the situation.
Wen Xingchen never liked getting involved in his family’s complicated affairs, but this time, Wen Ye seemed genuinely troubled. Moreover, seeing Borra City brought to mind the high school mecha exchange meeting that a certain person attended here. Thus, Wen Xingchen reluctantly agreed to help.
Just a while ago, he had sent a few messages to Lu Jingning, but there was no response yet. He didn’t know what Lu Jingning was busy with and decided to wait until tomorrow to find him.
Wen Xingchen raised his wine glass and took a sip, just as he received a message.
[Lu Jingning: Ah Wen-ge, is something wrong? I just fell asleep and saw your message.]
[Wen Xingchen: It’s nothing. You can continue sleeping.]
After quickly replying, Wen Xingchen’s expression softened slightly compared to before. Today was the first day of the exchange meeting, and it was already quite late, so he decided to find Lu Jingning when he had some free time tomorrow.
Zhang Ruo sitting across from him noticed the change in his expression and couldn’t help but ask with a hint of gossip, “What’s the matter? Is it about the Omega you like?”
Wen Xingchen didn’t deny it and smiled, “Hmm.”
Zhang Ruo was somewhat surprised by his straightforward admission, then hesitated and asked, “What about Wen Ye? Does he have someone he likes too?”
Wen Xingchen replied, “I’m not sure.”
Zhang Ruo’s eyes brightened slightly, “Does that mean I still have a chance?”
Wen Xingchen didn’t want to hurt this Omega’s feelings too much, so he replied vaguely, “Perhaps…”
However, the chance for Zhang Ruo was indeed quite slim. Wen Xingchen understood Wen Ye well enough to know that Zhang Ruo wasn’t the type he would be interested in.
Lu Jingning slept heavily for a whole night. The next morning, he relied on his extraordinary willpower to reluctantly leave the soft embrace of his bed.
Today was the highlight of the high school mecha exchange meeting. Each participating team would carefully select a newly developed mecha for public demonstration. The demonstration would consist of three aspects: attack, defense, and agility, each tested at different levels in a virtual space.
For the Imperial Navy University, Yan Hebin would be on stage to introduce the mecha’s data, while Lu Jingning would perform the live demonstration.
When they gathered in the hall, You Zeyang’s face showed no sign of what happened last night. However, seeing Lu Jingning’s lackluster state, he couldn’t help but furrow his brows, “Didn’t sleep well last night?”
Lu Jingning yawned, “No, I slept well.”
“…,” You Zeyang fell silent for a moment, then suddenly slapped his back, “You’re going up to pilot the mecha soon, so pull yourself together!”
He didn’t hold back with that slap, and Lu Jingning took a sharp breath, instantly waking up completely. He almost rolled up his sleeves on the spot, “Damn, are you trying to kill me!?”
Satisfied with the effect, You Zeyang grinned, “Now you look energetic.”
Lu Jingning: “…”
According to the schedule, the Imperial Navy University was placed last on stage, just after Thunder Research University.
As a leading institution in research and development, Thunder Research University was highly anticipated, and its newly developed mecha received tremendous applause as soon as it was showcased.
Clearly, from every angle, this mecha represented the pinnacle of university-class technology.
Listening to Wen Han’s unceasing speech on stage, Lu Jingning lightly nudged An Huo beside him and asked, “Senior, what level of challenge did they say they were prepared for?”
An Huo recalled for a moment, “I think it was the eighth level.”
Lu Jingning nodded, “Then we’ll challenge the ninth level.”
An Huo’s entire eyes widened, “Are you serious?!”
This exhibition has a total of nine levels, using the same standard of mech approval as the military, which means that the existence of the ninth level itself is an absolute proof of strength. And now, it is obvious that Lu Jingning made this decision temporarily to boost the morale of Thunder Research University. Isn’t that just reckless?
Seeing that she seemed skeptical, Lu Jingning pulled Yan Hebin, who was beside him, over, “Yan, the academic prodigy, tell Senior Sister, isn’t your mech much more awesome, cool, and spectacular than this Thunder-whatever thing?”
Yan Hebin never lacked confidence in his own mech, and he nodded in response, “Yes.”
Lu Jingning continued, “Then tell Senior Sister, breaking through the ninth level difficulty is just a piece of cake for your mech, right?”
Yan Hebin hesitated for a moment before answering, not because he was unsure of the mech’s capabilities, but due to some worries about a controlling hand about to enter a heat cycle, “Yes.”
After receiving consecutive affirmations, Lu Jingning was satisfied, “You hear that, Senior Sister? We are the most powerful mech duo in this exchange competition!”
An Huo saw him almost bursting with pride and immediately pulled him back to his seat before the attention of others around them shifted, “Yes, yes, you’re the best, the most formidable! I’ll be waiting for you to bring back the strongest mech title for our club.”
Lu Jingning smiled confidently, “That’s a given!”
At that moment, the mech showcase of Thunder Research University had completely ended. Facing the eighth level difficulty, their mech successfully completed all tests, earning an S-class system evaluation in all three categories. The whole arena erupted with excitement.
An S-class on the eighth level difficulty already indicated that this mech was close to the advanced military standard. It’s worth noting that even many of the mechs currently in service with the military could only achieve three A-classes at best.
As for a mech capable of completing the ninth level difficulty, most of them were already extensively used in interstellar warfare.
As this was only an intercollegiate mech exchange competition, no one expected Thunder Research University to present a finished product with such high completion. Numerous mech companies immediately started bidding to acquire the licensing rights for this incredible mech.
Even representatives from the Mech Pilots Association seemed intrigued. After an intense discussion, one person stood up and formally extended an invitation to Wen Han to join the association.
This declaration caused quite a stir. Everyone knew the status of the Mech Pilots Association in the empire, and Wen Han, currently only a senior student, was being invited to join. His future prospects would be limitless.
The bidding frenzy escalated even further due to this development. Journalists and media personnel who were initially bystanders joined in the excitement. The headlines for the next day’s newspaper were already being planned.
Amidst all the commotion, the delegation from the Imperial Navy remained silently seated, feeling somewhat ignored. The atmosphere seemed to snub them, and it was evident that the spotlight was on someone else.
Lu Jingning couldn’t hold back any longer and asked, “Hey, hey, hey, don’t you think they forgot something?”
An Huo wore a similarly expressionless face, “Yes, the competition isn’t over yet! We haven’t even showcased our mechs. Isn’t this a bit too much?”
Yan Hebin didn’t speak but pursed his lips, clearly displeased with the dismissive treatment.
Fortunately, after the commotion subsided, the event host finally remembered the last delegation that hadn’t showcased their mech and reluctantly brought the focus back to them, “Now, let’s invite the last team to showcase their mech, the Imperial Navy University Mech Club!”
Unfortunately, due to the awe-inspiring display from Thunder Research University just moments ago, most of the audience didn’t pay much attention to the introduction. But when they lifted their heads and saw the prominent number displayed on the screen, their jaws dropped.
Amidst the stunned silence, Yan Hebin calmly adjusted his headset and, without a hint of haste, pressed the difficulty selection button. The next second, the indicator light representing the difficulty level lit up.
Most people in the audience couldn’t grasp what had just happened. When they looked up, they saw the conspicuous number displayed on the large screen.
The Ninth level?!!!
Yan Hebin calmly said, “Hello, everyone. We are the representatives of the Imperial Navy University Mech Club. Today, we bring you a challenge mech of the ninth level difficulty. I named it the Crimson Star.”
Lu Jingning had just opened the virtual cabin door when he heard this and stopped mid-step. As everyone stared at Yan Hebin like he was a madman, Lu Jingning couldn’t help but burst into laughter, “Indeed, our academic prodigy Yan. You are cool and composed at crucial moments. You really nailed it!”
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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