"I merely came up with the design concept. The bulk of the credit must be attributed to the team's collective expertise…"
Ye Zisu adopted a humble attitude during interviews. She had no interest in fame.
However, she was clearly on the fast track to fame, given the way things were developing. Especially after an album of her photographs were exposed on the net…
These had been leaked by Ye Zisu's high school junior. They were of Ye Zisu participating in public high school events, as well as her high school graduation photographs.
In an instant, she melted the hearts of countless mech fans… Even those not interested in mecha expressed thus: Ye Zisu was cuter than most idols!
Most outstanding was Ye Zisu's passport photographs; virtually every high school boy was enamored by her innocent beauty. Each vowed to enter Ares College in order to get closer to the goddess of their hearts. Even the elementary school boys were set thus. Target: Dawn Middle School, the path that their goddess once tread.
Her team also didn't abuse her humble approach towards the interviews. They frankly revealed that the Wind God 2.4's modular core was the brainchild of Ye Zisu. "Lab Leader Ye is the most gifted mecha architect that I've ever met. I personally don't think much of those reports of her that are going viral. I hope that more people can have a professional eye, to look past the 'young beauty' and see the talent that lies underneath. Hmm, your article wouldn't be one of those, would it?"
The reporter laughed it off. "Honestly? I'm afraid I can't ..."
A university undergraduate, a beauty, and a genius in design who rose to prominence from nowhere. This was sensational news material. Who cared if every other report was gushing about her beauty? Why not take an original approach and present this heartfelt view?
Many powerful countries in the Milky Way extended offers and invitations to Ye Zisu. Aslan invited her to attend networking events, while others took a more direct approach, dangling titles like "National Scholar" in hopes of tempting her to migrate. Many colleges similarly sent her offers of matriculation. In their view, Ares College was a second-rate institution, and a military school to boot. Surely a talent like herself would be looking to move, right?
Ye Zisu was also not military personnel, and Ares College had no business hogging such talent to themselves. Xiao Fei… was the exception.
Although Ye Zisu was only a second year, and a little too young, the policymakers were clear. This was a mech that enabled anybody to execute continuous displacement. Once its battle capabilities had been affirmed, the main designer would deserve every bit of recognition and then some. Besides, it was also a political move.
Doors opened everywhere for OMG, especially for Ye Zisu. If it was not for her adamant refusals on several occasions, the rank of Solar System Federation Scholar would have long been been announced for her.
"Zisu, it's the Federation Scholars… There are less than a thousand of them in the entire Solar System…"
Ye Bingwen felt a pang of regret. Many scientists held the title of Federation Scholar as their dearest ambition, working their whole lives to attain the proof and recognition the title entailed. Ye Zisu had flatly turned it down. In truth, second chances at such opportunities would not come.
Ye Zisu demurred. "Dad, my ability is still lacking. Success this time around was in part due to luck."
Ye Bingwen smiled knowingly. He felt proud as a father, to have raised a daughter that could keep her cool when faced with the temptation of unspeakable glory.
Far away in the Aslan empire.
Ye Zisu's name had also made an appearance in the palace's intelligence department.
"Your Highness, this is the latest watchlist. Locke's Xia Liyun and Earth's Ye Zisu are the most noteworthy," the Imperial Chief of Intelligence reported to Aina. Although she did not have the authority to decide the list, she had been granted access to the list.
"Ye Zisu? Elaborate." Aina was a little surprised. It was a familiar name. Could it really be?
"As you wish. Since Your Highness also studied at Earth's Ares College in the past, you might have met before…"
On the slide, Ye Zisu's information streamed through the display. Age, background, academic portfolio, achievements, and comments by the Intelligence Department itself.
"In summary, her work in mech design speaks of a rare talent, especially her latest Wind God mech. While it shares many similar characteristics to the Super X mech that the Intelligence's Mech Development Department is currently researching, it is a cut above in the finer details."
The Intelligence Chief's voice was measured and clinical. Aslan's strength lay not in pride, but in a clear understanding of its weaknesses, an appreciation of the strengths of others, and a willingness to learn.
The corner of Aina's mouth quirked. It really was her. "Elaborate on this Wind God mech."
"As you command." Seeing that the princess' interest was peaked, the Intelligence Chief retrieved the data from his Skylink.
"The Wind God mech is OMG's attempt to enter the military mech market… It possesses the capabilities to execute consecutive displacement. At its limit, it can surpass Atlantis' Shadow Stream mech. Of course, it has its flaws, which are considerable… In summary, as the first iteration of a mech, it is excellent, and it has much potential for improvement. This is the Wind God 2.4's modular experiment. Using the magnetic power source, it generates an emergency energy shield…"
It was apparent that the Intelligence Chief was singing the praises of this mech. Furthermore, it was not his personal opinion, but an objective report largely synthesized from the palace's best mech researchers.
"This is a clip of battle footage from CT, which is pertinent for reference."
Lastly, the Intelligence Chief played a clip of Skeleton's 1 versus 100 battle.
Aina glanced at Skeleton's ID, and her mouth twitched with a hint of infatuation. Longing welled up in her heart.
Another week of training continued. Fights, contests, collision courses… each was a test so basic that it left them wanting. The Moon side held their tongues. This was one confusing matter after another. They were the aces, not trash, but they had no choice. This was Earth, and military discipline compelled them. And then there had been the matter of Lie Xin and Achilles' chastisement. Everyone held their anger simmering in their bellies.
In comparison, Wang Zheng and Zhang Shan had even attitudes. Zhang Shan was always up for anything and went through the training with hoots and yells of enthusiasm. He had now opened up completely, and he was extroverted to boot. The more people there were, the freer he felt. He loved this feeling and atmosphere.
Wang Zheng was the very picture of pose. He had decided to contest in all seriousness and placed first by a comfortable margin in each task.
Achilles and Lie Xin had been cowed. Even Lear was bothered. Wang Zheng dominated in every basic task they were set, whether it was trekking, maneuvers, or shooting. To sum him up, the classic model test scorer.
Earth's training had long been criticized for its love of meaningless data. It was as though they thought impressive numbers could translate into actual skill, although their results on the battlefield were nothing special.
Normally, even military discipline gave room for the development of individual specialties, but Earth's training excelled in killing any such individuality.
It was frustrating, but it could not be helped. It was not that they could not beat Wang Zheng, but within the task constraints, their real abilities were suppressed. In comparison, Wang Zheng's basics were mind-numbingly strong, and this saw him to first place in each and every task.
Many were privately unhappy that the Earthlings' outdated methods were not helping. The competition, apparently fierce, nevertheless proceeded under heavy regulation, and they were unable to really go at it. While the Earthlings were used to such an environment, the others, especially the Martians and those from Space City, were being exposed to a completely different style of training and felt cooped up.
The day's training had ended, and the mood in the canteen was heavy. First place in every task had again been dominated by Wang Zheng, and everyone was more or less resigned to the fact.
Yuan Ye walked over to Zhang Shan, massaging his shoulder. "Damn, you were wild today. What got into you?"
Zhang Shan's training that day had been excellent as usual, and his improvement was steady. Most of all, his enjoyment was a sharp contrast form the general resentment. Together with his results, they invited jealousy and hate.
"Tch. It's only natural for someone with such excellent capabilities like myself to become something special." Zhang Shan was one of those who could never resist bragging.
"Will you drop dead if you don't boast?"
"Boasting is healthy." In the military, men had to be strong, and Zhang Shan had long thrown humility away for good.
A distance away, Atos had a wild look in his eyes. His scores for the day had slipped. This had nothing to do with his abilities, but rather the stifling atmosphere. His heart chafed rebelliously. Furthermore, his temper had caused Achilles to lose status. Although Achilles never mentioned it, his looks and tone always seemed to hint at the responsibility. This had soured Atos' mood further.
Their regal smiles faded from the features of the Eight Stars. Everyone's performance had been unremarkable, free of errors but equally free of excellence. Conversely, this left them angry.
Achilles was still tranquil. In the recent training, he had acquitted himself with distinction, although it still fell short of Wang Zheng's performance. His own foundations were already reaching their peak, but if he used Ability X, it would seem like an unfair advantage, in bad taste.
Lear's performance was similarly stable. It was generally excellent. It seemed that he was of the same mind as Achilles regarding their Ability X. But, unlike Achilles, Lear was truly on track. The larger scheme of things were moving as he desired.
The Martians were holding it together. The close watch by those of the Moon reduced them to spectators of the boisterous scene.
The more Atos watched Zhang Shan, the more irritated he got. And then there was Lear and that fatty, Luo Fei… As for Wang Zheng, he had no basis putting on airs. He could only show off his basics and had no Ability X. Only in Earth's training regime could someone like Wang Zheng shine.
At this moment, he overheard Zhang Shan bragging to Yuan Ye about "skills". He surged to his feet uncontrollably. "Zhang Shan, shut up, will you?! How dare a thing like you have the cheek to brag so much? Let me tell you, I could destroy you with one hand. A rotten place like Earth only breeds more trash. It lowers our standards!"