Wuxiaworld > Legend of the Supreme Soldier > Chapter 2: Man and Machine

Chapter 2: Man and Machine

Chapter 2: Man and Machine

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“Are you sure?” The same voice sounded uncertain.

“Nonsense! Just show yourself and we’ll see!” Ye Chong’s expression betrayed mild impatience, but the intensity of his gaze were a contrast to his apparent emotions. Ye Chong arched his body slightly, like a bow ready to fire, prepared to deliver a fatal blow.

“Then I’m coming out!” The voice maintained its level tone.

Immediately, the room dimmed, and Ye Chong did not manage a reaction before hearing a deafening rumble as a huge wave of trash engulfed him whole.

The trash planet fell silent again.

After a long stillness, in a trash heap near a Pulsed Signal Relay Station, a hand suddenly emerged from the heap, and a filthy man climbed his way out of the trash heap.

*Cough… cough…*

“Bad things come in threes, huh…” Ye Chong cursed as he shook the little rocks and sand grains out of his clothing. Up to this point, Ye Chong could not understand what had happened.

Could it be that, this was the legendary mode of self-destruction?

He looked on at the sorry sight of the area, the entrance to his home no longer there – everywhere was just trash and more trash. Ye Chong shuddered at the aftermath– how long would it take to carve out another entrance?

Ye Chong cursed murderously under his breath, “Once I find you, you little scum, I will make you pay!” The fury in him burned like a lasting wildfire.

As Ye Chong stared at the perpetrator of this whole incident, he found himself speechless.

The route-digging took three whole days, and the thought of the long and arduous process fueled Ye Chong’s anger towards the perpetrator to new unprecedented heights.

But when Ye Chong tried to deal with the perpetrator, the fire would not catch.

Its metallic shell, aesthetic and powerful, the alternating blue-and-white laser coating pristine, the mech’s surface completely spotless despite being amongst filthy and disgusting trash. When Ye Chong found it, it was just quietly standing there, firmly, as though nothing in existence could ever perturb it.

Ye Chong knew at first glance that he had found real treasure!

If the first glance at the mech gave him joy, a second glance made Ye Chong understand profoundly the meaning of pain within joy.

A huge scar extended from its left shoulder to its waist, even exposing part of its engine to the air, and the entire left arm was missing. It was as though a one-of-a-kind exquisite painting of perfection was forcefully ripped in half.

This was a human-shaped mech, with a height of around twelve meters, its body painted with alternating blues and whites, with an elongated overall design, a world’s difference from Winnie’s thickset bulkiness. The mech’s body radiated a faint, mysterious metallic luster, the protective armor panels on the chest were like the abs of well-development muscles, but not cumbersomely so. The icy cold profile had edges that looked as though they cut, and hosted an enigmatic pair of blue bionic eyes that blinked rhythmically, emanating a supernatural charm.

Ye Chong was stunned, as he starred at the dilapidated mech that destroyed his home. For a moment, Ye Chong was thoroughly captivated by this damaged but unique mech, as though the mech had bewitched his entire being with magic.

“*Beep* self-assessment completed, engine functions at 86%, left limb functions at 0%, cabin functions at 97%, other parts are fully functional!”

The gender-neutral voice interrupted Ye Chong out of his fantasies.

Ye Chong blurted, “Waah, this is the real deal, a self-assessing mech!” If one looked closely, one could see Ye Chong’s mouth gaping wide enough to fit an engulfer’s thigh and even drooling.

The damaged mech suddenly spoke, “Hello!”

A mech that greets, Ye Chong thought in a daze, and greeted back instinctively, “Hello!”

The mech continued, “My name is Mu Shang, you can call me Mu!”

Ye Chong was still not out of his reverie, “Oh, I’m Ye Chong, you can call me Ye!”

Abruptly, Ye Chong came back to his senses and flinched as though burned on the ass. He pointed at the damaged mech and stammered, “You – you – you – you can talk?”

The damaged mech that was Mu Shang nodded gracefully, “At a certain level, your observation is accurate!”

Ye Chong repeated in disbelief, “A mech that speaks?”

“Um-hum!”

With the addition of Mu Shang, Ye Chong’s home inevitably grew in space to thrice its original size. From Mu Shang, Ye Chong came to realize that the hanging ornament was Mu Shang’s spatial control, but Mu Shang seemed to prefer being outside than in the alternate dimension. Ye Chong was also grateful for the company – for a sixteen-year-old, loneliness was almost unbearable.

Ye Chong sat down heavily, finally finished with his work, and completely exhausted. Mu Shang imitated Ye Chong’s actions, as it swooshed down to a sitting position beside Ye Chong with a loud thud. Dust erupted into the air, and Ye Chong was caught off guard amidst the chaos as he was sent tumbling to a corner by the strong gust. As he rose, face frozen in anger, what he found was Mu Shang had smashed a large hole in the ground, and the mech was still sitting comfortably in the hole as it looked back with innocent eyes.

Under the lighting, the tiny human and the huge machine sat side by side.

Ye Chong asked curiously, “Mu, what happened to you?”

Mu Shang answered, “Information corrupted, reason is unknown!”

Ye Chong gulped down a mouthful of water and laughed. “Hah, if it must be because you are actually not powerful enough, to be beaten up like that!”

Mu Shang replied, “Information corrupted, reason is unknown!”

Ye Chong’s laughter ended abruptly, and he moped. “Oh come one, can’t you be a little more interesting? Don’t just be like ‘information this’, ‘information that’!”

Mu Shang tilted its head in confusion. “Interesting? What is ‘interesting’?”

Ye Chong scratched his head in frustration, for he was stumped. “Er, er, that question is, hmm, a bit complicated, er, let’s talk about something else, Mu, are you actually male or female?”

… … …

Ye Chong sat in Mu Shang’s cabin, stupefied, as he stared in obvious disbelief, his hand caressing this and that in absolute adoration and admiration. “Mu, you must be one of the best mechs there is, aren’t you?”

Mu replied evenly, “Information archive indicates that the answer is negative. Calculation indicates the probability of inclusion in the top 500 ranking mechs as 26%, in the 501th to 600th ranking range as 63%, beyond the 600th ranking as 11%.”

Ye Chong gasped in astonishment. “500 mechs? Are there so many more great mechs? But, back to your point, being in the top 500 is not too shabby! In any case, you’re definitely better than Winnie!”

Naturally, Ye Chong did not fully understand the implications of Mu Shang ranking within the top 500, even in its current state of dilapidation. Ye Chong had always dreamed of owning a mech more advanced than Winnie one day, and then he would march forth and challenge the trash planet’s most ferocious mutants in battle. What would the giant iron lizard’s meat taste like? Ye Chong licked his lips without realizing it. Hah, the time will come when I crown myself as King of this trash planet!

Mu Shang heartlessly cut short his fantasy. “Winnie’s strength cannot be calculated!”

Ye Shang immediately pulled a face, “I know that!” “Mu, can I be your pilot?” he asked with anticipation.

“Denied!”

*Cries* Oh well, it looks like he’ll have to pilot Winnie himself!

Ye Chong was deeply saddened, but he caught on to a puzzling aspect. “Then why do you have a cabin?”

Mu Shang was silent for a few second before responding. “Information is corrupted, query is impossible!”

“Then do you remember who made you?” Ye Chong asked, interested.

“Information is corrupted, query is impossible!”

The ever so lonely Ye Chong was deeply absorbed in the conversation, and just as he was about to continue with the questions, a sudden alarm buzzed softly, as Mu Shang announced, “Energy level depleted!” Upon inspection of the energy indication display, the level was a hair’s breadth away from zeroing out.

Since Trash Planet-12 was situated close to a star, it had a nearly unlimited supply of solar energy, or at least Ye Chong never faced problems with energy supply. But when he used up all his backup energy cells on Mu Shang and found that it did not even recover 10% of its full capacity, Ye Chong was confounded!

As Mu Shang connected directly to the solar panels, Ye Chong was speechless, and prayed that the energy cell circulating his house would last until Mu Shang was finished charging that day.

Mu Shang was quiet throughout the charging process, and Ye Chong, bored with the whole process, dozed off.

The next day, as Ye Chong rubbed off the sleepiness of his tired eyes, he found that Mu Shang looked a little different. The machine’s surface looked as if it was coated with an extra layer of shine that added to the mysteriousness of the mech.

Ye Chong gasped, “Mu, you looked beautiful all of a sudden!”

Mu Shang seemed to understand Ye Chong’s meaning of ‘beautiful’, and explained, “This is the photon excitation effect, where an adequate energy supply produces a lifelike shine on metallic surfaces, the basic theory is that …”

Ye Chong sported his baggy eyelids and couldn’t stop yawning.

Mu Shang seemed to enjoy the lecturing, showing no signs of stopping. “Other theories involved are actually quite simple, they can be classified into the following fields …”

Ye Chong bowed his head, like a monk in meditation, and one would notice upon close inspection that a line of “moisture” had formed on his lap, forming a big patch of dampness on his trousers.

Mu Shang was not quite finished. “And so, from here one can reach the conclusion that a mech’s strength …”

A thundering snore cut off Mu Shang’s lecture. Mu Shang looked angrily towards the source of the sound, and saw Ye Chong snoring rhythmically through his nose, incessantly, and his shoulders rose and fell with his heavy breathing.

Mu Shang humphed in anger!