crabbiest schizophrenic

3x2j9 – Mecha or Battle Armor?

“This semester, you all have one assignment: create your own mecha. Now, I will be announcing your groups. Group one: Tang Wulin, Gu Yue, Luo Guixing, and Wu Siduo.”

Group one was composed of the four class representatives.

Tang Wulin stared at Wu Zhangkong in astonishment. Everyone else was organized into seven groups, so we’re the eighth group?

Afterward, Wu Zhangkong announced the rest of the groups. Each group had at least ten people, and the sum of their talents were about average with the rest.

“The mechas you make must be usable by yourself. As for how to make it, that is up to you to decide. I have only covered the basics so far, so you should go to the library to find out things such as what materials you should use. In order to make your mecha, you will need the help of everyone in your group. You must complete your mecha by the end of the term. If any group has a single person without a completed mecha, marks will be deducted from the entire group. I’m sure you’re all aware of the consequences of failing the semester-end exams. So a single member who fails this assignment means the entire group will be eliminated, and you can all withdraw the Shrek.

“You all can also forget about completing the assignment half-heartedly. In the second half of the semester, you will be taught how to pilot ordinary mechas. Shrek Academy’s curriculum aims to raise well-rounded students, so part of the final exam will be a class-wide mecha competition. The bottom ten students in that competition will be expelled.”

Wu Zhangkong’s proclamation sent chills down everyone’s spines and increased the pressure they were under.

Even if they were strong individually, it was impossible to make a mecha without the help of their classmates. In other words, they had to rely on their classmates. It was impossible to complete this task alone. Cooperation was indispensable for this assignment.

“I’ll now give you all half an hour to gather into your groups and discuss your plans. Be warned, you do not have as much time as you think for this task. The exam at the end of the semester also includes a group competition where each group will select their four strongest mecha pilots to compete as a team. The specific rules will be announced closer to the date of the competition.”

Shrek Academy’s education methods were clearly far different that what these students were used to. Here, there were very few class hours per day and independent studies were encouraged. Students could procrastinate and play around and no one would bother with them, but if they didn’t pass the exams at the end of the semester, they would be expelled.

However, no one wanted to be expelled from Shrek Academy. So, their only option was to pour blood and sweat into their studies.

It was a long established rule that the bottom ten students would be expelled at the end of each semester. That was ten percent of the class population. This threat drove everyone to work hard, especially the weaker students. For them, the possibility of expulsion was all too real.

Just as Tang Wulin was about to begin discussing plans with his group, he felt a pair of eyes staring at him. He turned to see who it was and met with Xu Xiaoyan making a miserable face.

Worry filled her eyes.

In terms of overall strength, Xu Xiaoyan had been the weakest of the four in class zero. Her individual combat strength was weak and she only made up for it by grasping openings in team battles. In one-on-one battles, however, nearly anyone could defeat her, even if it was nighttime. Although astrological-attribute soul skills had absolute power, she was immobile while she used it. She couldn’t follow up with an attack while her opponent was restrained.

Tang Wulin stood up and walked over to Xu Xiaoyan. “Feeling anxious?”

Xu Xiaoyan nodded.

“Don’t think about it too much,” Tang Wulin comforted. “Just work on reaching rank 30 for now. Soul masters get a major power spike at rank 30, you know? We’ll help you make a mecha according to your strength then. Besides, mecha are just for the interim until we make our battle armors. We’ll definitely all pass our final exams.”

“Mn! I’ll do my best. “Xu Xiaoyan nodded with renewed spirit.

Tang Wulin returned to his group and looked at Gu Yue, Luo Guixing, and Wu Siduo.

“Our group isn’t as simple as it appears. We’ve already got our jobs set out for us. I’m in charge of forging, Gu Yue designs, Luo Guixing makes, and Wu Siduo will perform maintenance. But we still have some things we need to decide on. First, what kind of mecha will suit each of us? Second, what materials will we use? We’ll buy our own metals, then have Gu Yue draft designs accordingly, and then I’ll forge them. I can guarantee that every piece will be at least first-grade thousand refined.”

“Every piece?” Luo Guixing stared at him in shock. “What’s your success rate?”

Tang Wulin looked him in the eye and revealed a mischievous smile. “One hundred percent.”

He normally wouldn’t have boasted about his success rate, but after successfully spirit refining and reaching the fifth rank, first-grade thousand refining was beyond easy for him. Moreover, his heavy silver hammers had evolved to become spirit refined, further aiding him when he forged.

Wu Siduo couldn’t hide her surprise as well. First-grade thousand refined was already good enough to make battle armors out of. It was extravagant to use it for mechas. If they really used metal of such quality, then their mechas would have an overwhelming advantage against others of the same tier.

“Let’s just make battle armor then. We can skip making a mecha.” Gu Yue’s words stunned Wu Siduo and Luo Guixing.

“Thousand refined metal is the basic requirement to make battle armor,” Gu Yue continued. “Since first-grade thousand refined is already approaching spirit refined and it possess some hints of life, we should be able to make one-word battle armor. We’re the class council, so we need to do better than our peers. I don’t think there’s much use in learning how to control mechas. It’s just a waste of time. We’re going to become battle armor masters in the future anyway. I’m a fourth-rank designer, so if all of you are willing to trust me, then I think I have a seventy percent chance of drafting a proper battle armor design. It won’t be anything particularly amazing though, and it would only be a one-word battle armor design. It might not even be much more powerful than a mecha, but I’m sure you all understand the significance if we pull it off.”

Tang Wulin was shocked as well, but he had to admit, while daring, Gu Yue’s proposal made sense. After learning about and seeing battle armor, he longed for the day he would have his own set. They all hoped to one day become battle armor masters, and if the day could come sooner, even if it was only one-word battle armor, they would be hard-pressed to fight the temptation. Besides, this plan would provide them with useful experience for making their two-word battle armors in the future.

“Do we even have enough time?” Luo Guixing said in a tone lower than normal, his usual carefree smile nowhere to be seen.

“I should be able to finish all the designs. You’ll have to begin making them while I design though. But if it’s only you making them, there definitely isn’t enough time.”

Battle armors weren’t like mechas. Mechas were made of several large parts that could be roughly put together, and so long as the inner circuit core was fine, it could be used. On the other hand, battle armors required meticulous craftsmanship as they were to act like an extension of the user. Not even one-word battle armor had some leeway in this aspect. Battle armor was composed of numerous small parts, each with its own circuit core. Moreover, the circuit core had to be compatible with the soul master using the battle armor. So, the complexity of the designs were much higher than those of mechas, not to mention the difficulty of making battle armor.

 

Luo Guixing knitted his brows. “I’m a third-rank mecha maker. Honestly speaking, I don’t think I can make battle armor. It’s too difficult for me. I’m not sure if I could complete even a single set by the end of the semester.”

“I like Gu Yue’s idea,” Wu Siduo chimed in. “I want to try making battle armor too. Teacher Wu didn’t say that we needed to complete a full mecha. Even if we only have a partial set of battle armor and fight against the other students in mechas, why would we be afraid? The requirement to use one-word battle armor is a five-ringed soul master. But you know, we’re not ordinary soul masters. We should be able to use an incomplete set of battle armor. I can help you with making it. We should only strive to make quality products. If we can’t finish in one semester, then we’ll finish in two. Also, if I’m not mistaken in my guess, we’ll probably start learning how to make battle armor in the third grade. The requirement to graduate is to become a one-word battle armor master after all. We should lay a solid foundation for entering the inner court now.”

Luo Guixing looked at Tang Wulin. “Class president, what do you think?”

“This plan is quite a gamble.”

Wu Siduo frowned, Gu Yue stared at him with blazing eyes, and Luo Guixing gave a slight nod. This truly was a risky plan. They were assigned with making a mecha, yet they wanted to risk making battle armor! Success would be fantastic, but if the fail or make too few battle armor parts, their evaluation at the end of semester exams would be uncertain.

“If we succeed, the rewards will be spectacular. I think making battle armor would be the best way to further our skills in our professions as well. So, I think we should try it.” Tang Wulin’s eyes sparkled with resolution as he balled his fists. He had never been one to back down from a challenge.

 

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