Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 504
To Buy a Car or Mecha?
There were many important differences between battle armor and mechas. While battle armor used a soul master’s soul power, mechas had their own power sources. Battle armors were far more powerful than mechas, but mechas were extremely energy efficient! They were also much cheaper than battle armor.
Tang Wulin already knew the basics of manufacturing a mecha, but that didn’t mean he could. In order to make one, he would have to forge loads of metals and acquire other components and circuit cores, all of which would cost a hefty sum. Only after doing that could he begin making a mecha.
Feng Wuyu’s words had opened a door in Tang Wulin’s mind.
“We have an association just for mechas here at Shrek. You can just give them the raw materials and have them make a mecha for you. It won’t be cheap, but I think you might as well just skip buying a car and go straight for a mecha,” Feng Wuyu said, delivering temptation with every word. “Once you get a flight permit, you’ll be able to zoom around the continent in your mecha. It’ll be more taxing on you than just driving, but you won’t even notice.”
Tang Wulin grew feverish with excitement. That makes sense. Piloting a mecha is way cooler than driving. Screw it! I want a mecha! I’m gonna get my own!
“I actually got a list of quotes from the Mecha Association,” Feng Wuyu said, handing a tablet over to Tang Wulin. “Take a look.”
Tang Wulin took one look at the screen and his eyes glazed over. He had just made over 1.6 million contribution points so he started considering himself quite rich, but the prices for commissioning mechas brought him back to reality.
Yellow-grade mechas cost a million points? And purple-grade cost nine million? Wait, black-grade are thirty million, and I’d have to bring my own materials and blueprints? Holy shit! No wonder Liu An’s so broke! This is practically robbery! Tang Wulin gulped and looked back to Feng Wuyu. “You know what, I think I’ll go with a car after all. It’s, uh, more practical.”
Feng Wuyu chuckled. “Mechas are much cheaper if you bring your own materials. You just have to go to the association in person to find out just how much cheaper. In any case, I’m only telling you this is a possibility. Whether or not you go through with it is up to you. Just keep forging and you’ll make plenty of contribution points. Once you become a sixth rank blacksmith, a purple-grade mecha will be easily obtainable. A purple mecha would serve your purposes fine. In fact, even a yellow mecha would be far faster than a car. You could buy one of those right now if you wanted.”
Tang Wulin froze. Right! I just need a mecha to get around. I don’t need the most powerful one. I won’t be using it for battle just yet, but I can still practice piloting.
Tang Wulin grinded his teeth, staring at the 1.6 million points on his card. It was an agonizing decision to make, but he knew he had already decided.
At the Mecha Association, a man called Zhang Yang manned the reception desk. Visitors rarely came by, so he was just sitting there idly. He had only taken this part-time job to make some pocket money. He was a fifth-grade student, twenty-six years of age, and his soul power was at rank 51. However, he had yet to complete a full set of one-word battle armor. He was still missing a few circuit cores. Unlike his first year at Shrek Academy, Zhang Yang didn’t feel any pressure to work hard. It was already impossible for him to enter the inner court, but he was on track to graduate from the outer court, merely a step away.
At Shrek Academy, grades one through three were the most stressful times of a student’s life. Everyone would be at least twenty years old at the end of those nine years. They had to become one-word battle armor masters before then if they wanted to make it into the inner court. After turning twenty, however, any hope of entering the inner court was gone, so they could take it easy. They just had to become a battle armor master in the next nine years to fulfill graduation requirements, a fairly easy task by that point. Graduating from the outer court was also an achievement to be proud of.
Zhang Yang was the embodiment of this mindset. Senioritis had already begun to take root in him. Graduating from Shrek Academy would be enough to land him a job as chief of security for a mega corporation. He just had to finish his battle armor then wait to graduation. Even so, after spending so many years at Shrek Academy, he was reluctant to leave. Once an outer court student left the Academy, they would never be able to return to cultivate, so he decided to enjoy the remainder of his time here. He only needed two more pieces to complete his battle armor. He had the foundation for them ready and could have them made at any moment, but he chose to prolong his time here.
I’ll breakthrough in the next three months. Zhang Yang sighed. He knew he wasn’t that young anymore. He was twenty-six years old. It was about time for him to get married and start a career. Yet the thought of leaving filled him with doubt once more. He wasn’t ready to move on with his life yet.
The doorbell chimed and someone walked in, a boy in his teens. He had large, clear eyes that bewitched even a fellow male like Zhang Yang.
It was Tang Wulin.
“Hello, Senior Brother!” he said.
“Hey, Junior Brother, what can I help you with? You wanna join the Mecha Association?” Zhang Yang asked, going through his usual script.
The Mecha Association was actually the most unpopular association at Shrek Academy since every student was aiming to become a battle armor master. In Zhang Yang’s mind, the Mecha Association only continued to exist because the Academy was protecting it. It only had twenty members. It was awful.
Just as Zhang Yang expected, Tang Wulin shook his head. The only people who joined were those who still held onto childhood dreams of mechas.
“Senior Brother, I want to commission a custom yellow-grade mecha.”
Zhang Yang nearly fell out of his seat, eyes wide. “What did you just say?”
“I want to commission a custom yellow-grade mecha,” Tang Wulin repeated.
“Junior Brother, do you know how much a yellow-grade mecha costs? One million points! Not a hundred thousand. One million!” Despite all the years he spent at Shrek Academy, Zhang Yang hadn’t saved up anywhere near one million points. That didn’t mean that yellow mechas were luxurious items though.
“Yes, I know.” Tang Wulin took out his student card and handed it to Zhang Yang. “I have enough points to pay for it.”
Holy shit! Zhang Yang gulped when he saw over 1.6 million points display on Tang Wulin’s card. He could barely suppress the impulse to ask if he had just robbed the administrative office. He knew such a thing was impossible.
“O-Okay then,” Zhang Yang said. “Please fill out this form. After that we’ll go take your measurements.” These measurements were needed to construct a cockpit that was perfect for Tang Wulin, all to optimize the ergonomics within the mecha and his piloting efficiency.
“I want a long-ranged attack type mecha,” Tang Wulin said, listing his requirements. “I want to focus on saving energy. The armor can be light. I want some powerful energy cores too. It needs to be able to stay operational for long periods of time…”
Zhang Yang worked at the Mecha Association because he was a mecha fanatic to begin with. He couldn’t help but furrow his brow when Tang Wulin finished listing all his requirements. “Junior Brother, the type of mecha you’re describing is what we call a ‘brittleskin’ mecha. Long-ranged mechas obviously don’t do well in close combat to begin with, and on top of that, you want light armor. If we make your mecha like that and it takes a single hit, its energy core could explode. That’s dangerous and could even be fatal.”
“That’s fine,” Tang Wulin replied. “That’s exactly what I want. Oh, right. If I provide the necessary metals, how much of a discount can I get?”
“The price would drop down to 480,000 points,” Zhang Yang said. “The metals need to be high quality though.”
“Great! Let’s go with that.”