So this is the plant searching device Lunatic Guan had mentioned? Wondered Ye Chong as he took a careful look around. It was unexpectedly tiny in size, with an appearance of a cube of about 5 to 6 cm^3 with two levels where the upper part contained a piece of crystal spread in nets of pale yellow while the lower was a base of metallic dark blue which the texture had been glossing beautifully after the process of frosting. Both levels were connected by 2 composite straps at the endings with adjustable hinged pins on them, which looked like a futuristic watch from a glance.
Ye Chong took the pin and buckled himself by the wrist. Tick! Clipped the adjustable pin automatically on the wrist. The size was just right. No discomfort was felt on his wrist.
Almost immediately after, the device was activated as beams of various colors were diverged from the crystal and then converged upwards right above, which eventually formed a clear hologram on top.
Right inside the device there was a detailed manual that illustrated instructions required to operate the system. As Lunatic Guan had stated, it turned out to be indeed simple, easily understood. Technically, Ye Chong just had to insert the data of the designated plant into the chip to trigger a scanning system which would look for the inputted plant within the proximity of 10 meters. And the locations would be marked on the hologram. Thus, it would be justifiable to state that intellectualization had already occurred in all sorts of fields, including the study closest to the nature, the alchemy itself.
The chip given by Lunatic Guan had actually encompassed entries of a large variety of plants, which turned out to be an eye-opener to Ye Chong, since plants were the rarest species he would see back on Trash Planet-12. So instead of plants, the mutated lifeform took the place of the bottommost of the food chain. They would consume organic junks for a living and they possessed great survivability. There were plants on the planet, however those were mostly the kinds which could adapt to harsh conditions, which in return, they had bland colors and unsightly appearance. Thus his reaction as he could have never seen such beautiful bushes of flowers on the hologram with different kinds of shapes and colors before.
To even survive on Trash Planet, the first lesson one has to learn is to respect life. The kinds of species still living on Trash Planet are absolutely strong and lasting by nature. Throughout the days of getting in between life and death, Ye Chong learned this lesson by heart. He valued life, he would treat lives of any form equally, and that would be Ye Chong’s philosophy towards life.
Eventually these plants were like the masterpiece by the God to Ye Chong!
Ye Chong did not rush out of the room and began his plant sampling right away. Instead, he took a thorough reading on the description of the plants. Towards learning, he held sufficient patience, demand and curiosity, as he believed these were all parts of his strength while strength always had the ability to determine the outcome of his life, being the warranty to his survivability!
But then Ye Chong exited from the concentrated inquisitiveness of his pretty soon, simply because… "Man… memorizing is truly a tiring work…" In any event, Ye Chong had confidence in his memory being average at the very least before this. And today he stumbled upon this task that turned out unexpectedly tedious… where he barely remembered a thing on the list yet his brain felt all exhausted, getting dizzier.
Seems like… Mu would be more accustomed at tasks like this…
Ye Chong still understood the difference of memorizing the listing by Mu or by himself, only the strength which was wholly his would be the most reliable source of guarantee!
It was a pretty comprehensive set of illustrations that it felt like a mini encyclopedia. There were extensive writings regarding the nature, the effect and even the actual application of the specified plant in the industry. Nonetheless, such vast amount of information remained a bit puzzling to a beginner like Ye Chong. Plainly the basic information of the plants alone was already a headache to him. He solely wished that Lunatic Guan’s examination would come on a later date, as 5 days were challenging.
Ye Chong strolled through the woods.
Ugh. I forgot. Why had I never thought of borrowing a mech from Nan Nan’s grandfather? I would have some sort of transportation at least! Ye Chong pitifully checked out the list of mechs he had with him… none of them were deployable, as either they were damaged beyond repair or they were too alarming to appear in the woods. Ye Chong could just imagine everyone on Haleyson hunting him down the moment the mech flipped out of the dimension.
Sigh… Ye Chong was in grief but what else could he do? He lifted his steps and began walking hurriedly, at least Ye Chong’s stamina was certified to do a bit of running in the greens.
The forest was serene.
The atmosphere slowed his steps gradually.
Sauntering through the forest, he inhaled the refreshing air coming right from Mother Nature. Ye Chong sure had fallen in love with this sensation of serenity. Beep! Beep! Beep! The plant searching device on his wrist pulled him back from the fantasy. The beeping of notification sounded extra ear-piercing in the silent woods. "Oh. Hah!" Ye Chong laughed uncontrollably, "My life has always been filled with danger and war. Such life of peace and harmony does not belong to me!"
He shifted his focus back onto the plant searching device on his wrist. Wow! He staggered upon seeing the countless red spots appeared in the interface!
"Ye." Mu’s voice echoed, "You should try searching one item at a time. Currently you had inputted too many items!"
The device was unquestionably powerful, the overall efficiency of the sampling process was sharply increased after Ye Chong did as what Mu guided.
Okay, this is the Trifolium… What about this? Hm… Pairing Vine…? No… it should be Paired Whip…
Ye Chong began sampling the plants as instructed by the device while tasting the painful realization of his atrocious memory which hardly helped him recalling even the name of the plants he encountered.
He plucked a few plants and grabbed some others…
Soon, Ye Chong discovered a new issue - his hands were bare. He was unarmed. He did not bring any form of containers to keep the plants he had collected, which upset him… "Ah!" He also found out how fragile the plants were that they crumbled in his palms as Ye Chong carried them along. And he had to start from scratch again.
In the midst of his fret, a few clinking sounds of metal rang by his ears.
His pupils went focused as he perceived the incoming sound carefully. He might had an atrocious memory, but he still had a good pair of ears. "Was that…"
"Ye, there were two mechs warring…" Mu simply did not give him the opportunity to flaunt his sensitive hearing, habitually his voice sounded monotonously, "Somewhere 500 meters from your right hand side. Mhm, the mech model, judging by the clinking, it should be one of the mechs we encountered at the sanctuary before, while the others… unknown."
"Sanctuary?" Ye Chong withdrew his hands from one sprout, he did not intend to join the party at first, but… he tilted his head pondering. The men from sanctuary, their intentions had been confirmed to be hostile. If that’s the case, it would be beneficial in the upcoming encounters if we could get more information on them.
"Ye…" Somehow Mu could see what Ye Chong was thinking, as he suggested, "If you really insist on joining the party, piloting the Guardian would be the best option! The Guardian is in-built with an anti-detection system which could counter the detection by the mechs from the Sanctuary at a success rate of 85% and above. The landscape is rather fitting to the nature of Guardian too."
"Mhm, a great idea it is," agreed Ye Chong.
Ye Chong started to get the hang of unique monochromatic vision in the Guardian. The ever refreshing roaring strings of information somehow were able to get him into a status of calmness quickly. The boundaries defined by dots and lines in black and white, the ever-moving data, they were mesmerizing to Ye Chong. He grew fond of the Guardian as he got familiar with the interface.
Leap. Leap. Run. Leap.
The miniature mech worked like a charm in the woods since its size was mini as it was called. It felt weaving through the trees with more dexterity than a standard mech which stood 10 meters and above.
The only downside Ye Chong felt about Gu Shaoze’s genius invention though… was the color itself. Well, certainly the color gold was classy and glossy, easy to the eyes, but it was too eye-catching in Ye Chong’s opinion. Ye Chong did not really fancy the all sparkling and dazzling color scheme on his mech when he was born being an assassin lurking in the dark. He did try repainting the surface of the Guardian with some darker colors like a grayish green, however contrary to his expectation, the material of the Guardian was more than peculiar as no paint seemed to be able to remain on the surface. Some types of the paint he tried would drip off in streams. There were paints that lasted on the surface with no question, till Ye Chong tried wiping them… and they got transferred to the cloth after that, like those washing powder advertisement he had seen before, the Guardian stayed clean as new in one wipe despite all sorts of paints and dirts.
Mu was pretty intrigued by the nature of the material on the surface yet sadly he could not perform any kind of effective analysis without the aid of professional apparatuses. So the material for the Guardian lingered as the biggest mystery till that moment.
Ye Chong who was piloti- nope, practically saying - Ye Chong who was wearing* the Guardian, moved like an agile beast in the forest as he went leaping and dashing freely at great speed!
The accuracy as well as the coverage of the detection system on most mechs would be negatively affected in the woods, except for a super mech like Mu Shang, which was extremely rare for mechs being able to perform accurate detecting and positioning even in the jungle. Back in the days where he was still performing NR Training and piloting a Raven, he always had a preference to fight people in the jungle as that would potentially reduce the differences in capacities of mechs with the foes.
The dense branches provided Ye Chong the best camouflage, as he made to the two mechs 30 meters away nearby without alerting them using the Guardian’s impeccable anti-detection system.
Right when he deployed the Guardian, the analysis function that ran automatically gave him a headache for a moment, countless networks of data flooded his eyes, the data ran and refreshed maniacally. He only realized the fact that the landscape was too complicated for Guardian to compute. He was jammed with the information and he could see silhouettes at the slightest. Nevertheless, the system seemed to have cleared up itself while he was puzzled by the issue. The imagery started simplifying itself as some lines faded away, the visual grew clearer, the data stream refreshed slower.
It was a shocker to Ye Chong to see the sudden changes all by the system itself but he did not have the time to figure it out just yet. Apparently there were still a lot of functions undiscovered… Speculated Ye Chong, who then calmed his excitement as he observed the images attentively.
As stated by Mu, the mech was indeed from the Sanctuary. Ye Chong could recognize that model at first glance, being similar to the one he knocked out with the Guardian back then, whereas the other mech… it was much smaller in size, had an emerald body, the designs were rather revitalizing, with slight innocence. Ye Chong suspected it being a mech for females.
The two mechs had apparently created an opening around them. Twigs were broken, trees collapsed in a circle of borderline. The earth was scooped out viciously. These had justified the fact that they must have fought before. The green mech had several scratches on the body too, while the Dawn mech, as expected from the Sanctuary, was bright anew. The status of both parties was blatant in this scenario.
Both parties stood still as they anticipated the next move of each other.
"Ey, kiddo!" The Dawn mech spoke, "Why don’t you just be a good girl and follow me back to our Sanctuary? You aren’t running away today. The Sanctuary had made a compulsory order to capture you alive. As long as you are still inside the Orbits, you can’t run. Just give up."
"Capture me alive? Hmph! Not this easy! Guess what! I'd rather die right here than returning to that freaking place!" The slightly kiddish voice rang in Ye Chong’s ears with immense rebellion of anger along with desperation.
"You want to die? Providing that you do not spit your last breath here, the Sanctuary always has a way, even if you want to drop dead to hell, we would pull you all the way back from hell!" The words came harshly from the pilot on the Dawn mech. They sounded cold and inhumane.
"Heh! I understand I’m no match to your big and scary machine! But my life still lies in my own hand! Well, I’ll die right here and drop dead to hell at most, what else could happen? In fact, hell feels like a better place to stay than that freaky place!" Determination filled the words of the female pilot on the green mech.
"Keep your chariot just yet, miss! The officials had stated to forsake your previous sins if you return now with obedience. You have their words." The pilot on the Dawn mech turned slow in his tone, seemed to be calming down the female pilot he had just enraged. Obviously he was worried, judging by the personality portrayed by the female pilot, it would not be weird to see his mission failed in the end. "Well, miss. You do know that you could never escape the Sanctuary. Just follow me, I’ll guide you and I promise you that you will be fine." His words voiced gently like a peaceful elderly.
"Hmph!" Too bad it did not work on the girl as she ridiculed, "What a line, ‘I promise you that you will be fine’? Hmph! You are nothing but a watchdog being ordered by your master to fetch a bone. What bark can you even promise?"
"Why you little…" The senseless words had infuriated the pilot on the Dawn mech, "You are a stubborn kid, aren’t ya? Let’s see how I’m going to teach you something about manners! Don’t tell me about your pointless suicide! You could shoot yourself in the head now, I’ll just get a few 'whips' from my ‘master’ at most. But I’ll make sure you would suffer enough before that!"
The threatening tone resounded through the peaceful forest, which turned chilly and disturbed.