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Chapter 40.1

Before purchasing a mech, Bai Jing had done research and found that only citizens of the empire with a genetic level of B or higher could successfully pilot a mech. Those with a level below B were not advised to pilot one.

That wasn’t to say that people with lower genetic levels were completely unable to operate a mech, but rather that they were more prone to accidents and in extreme cases, genetic collapse and risk to their lives.

It was just like allowing a weak person to run a marathon; they might be able to run a few hundred or thousand meters, and some with strong willpower might even be able to endure for a longer period of time, but the consequences could be shortness of breath, dizziness, or even death.

In particular, to be a soldier of the Empire, it was strictly required that one had a genetic level must be B or above.

Unlike the usual play or online battles, these people would fight with real bullets on the battlefield and daily training was also extremely intense. If someone with a low genetic level joined, it was equivalent to a death sentence.

Bai Jing’s genetic level was C, which didn’t meet the requirements for stable mech piloting.

However, due to the popularity of mechs, many people with lower genetic levels, such as Bai Jing sought excitement and engaged in online simulated cockpit battles or private training, which was allowed in the empire but with the consequence of bearing any resulting damage.

Levels of mechs were classified as low, medium, high, and the top-of-the-line, S-level, which was the highest level.

They could be classified as light mechs or heavy mechs based on their model.

The advantage of light mechs was their flexibility and ability to perform various high-difficulty moves, but their defence and attack power were weaker.

Heavy mechs had excellent defence and attack power, but their shape was slightly cumbersome and lacked flexibility.

Browsing through the introduction to mechs quickly, Bai Jing prepared to purchase a low-level mech with good performance.

Low-level mechs were the most common type of mechs and could be found for sale at well-known auction houses, both online and offline.

Medium-level mechs were mostly auctioned at large offline auction houses and attracted a large number of bidders. The transaction price for every mech in this level was not less than several million starcoins.

High-level mechs could only be found for sale on Capital Star Planet, the most prosperous and bustling planet.

Because high-level mechs had high material and production requirements and required an incomprehensible amount of time and energy to create, they only appeared at the annual joint auction, where their popularity was understandably high and their price was an exorbitant sum that ordinary people couldn’t afford.

As this was Bai Jing’s first encounter with a mech, he naturally chose to purchase a low-level mech to use as a practice model.

He didn’t know if he could pilot a mech with his genetic level, but this was his desire, so how could he be content if he didn’t try one out?

He had heard that Star Ocean Auction House was currently in talks with mech builders and so after considering it, he sent a message to Huang Jiu, the head of Star Ocean to ask if there were any low-level mech up for auction recently.

[Huang Jiu: Master, do you want to buy a low-level mech?]

[Bai: Yes. Are there any mech for sale recently?]

[Huang Jiu: Yes, there are.

Our auction house successfully entered into cooperation with several mech builders one week ago, and will be auctioning three mechs online tomorrow: two level 2 mechs and one level 3 mech.]

[Bai: Okay.]

[Huang Jiu: If Master wants to bid on them, it’s best to prepare some extra starcoins.]

To build momentum for the mech auction, Star Ocean Auction House had been promoting tirelessly for seven days in a row.

The store’s big screen scrolls were filled with mech posters and every time an item was sold, information about the mech auction would be included, and notifications were sent individually to old customers. They even spared no expense in placing a small advertisement under the ‘mech’ entry in the online mall.

As a result, many people knew that Star Ocean Auction House would be auctioning three low-level mechs on July 20th at 10:00 AM, and the number of people camped out on that day far outnumbered the usual tens of thousands. This showed how fierce the competition was.

Bai Jing, of course, was one of them. After blurring his features, he arrived at Star Ocean Auction House early in the morning.

At 10:00 sharp, all items were put on display.

Everyone immediately saw the area specially opened in the center.

In the huge transparent window, three brand new mechs standing over ten meters tall were displayed, imposing and full of momentum, shining with the unique cold light of metal, attracting countless people’s attention.

Among the two level 2 mechs, one was light and the other was heavy and the differences could be seen clearly when compared.

The light mech looked slimmer, and the lines on it had a stronger sense of flow; while the heavy mech was stronger, with heavy weapons and armor on its arms and feet, having a very strong killing power.

In the middle of the window was the level 3 light mech.

The light blue body was full of fine flowing light, its lines elegant and fierce, and just by looking at it, one could tell that it was much stronger than the level 2 mechs.

Bai Jing looked at the prices.

Level 2 mechs: starting bid of two million starcoins, each bid increase is not less than one hundred thousand starcoins. Reference price: five million starcoins.

Level 3 mech: starting bid of five million starcoins, each bid increase is not less than five hundred thousand starcoins. Reference price: ten million starcoins.

The reason why the person in charge, Huang Jiu, told him to prepare more starcoins became clear to Bai Jing. The reference prices were indeed higher than he had anticipated and judging from the number of people present at the scene, the final transaction price was likely to be very high.

Before he could even examine the attributes of the mechs carefully, the auction began.

In just a few minutes, the auction prices of the three mechs on the screen changed at an incomprehensible speed, the numbers flashing and dizzying.

Bai Jing didn’t rush to bid.

Unlike other items, high-priced mech auctions didn’t have a one-minute countdown after a bid was placed. Instead, the auctions lasted for an entire day, giving everyone ample time to bid. The auction deadline was at 24:00 tonight.

Just two minutes in, the auction prices for all three mechs had surpassed 1.5 times the starting price. However, to everyone’s relief, the frequency of the bids gradually slowed down as well.

At this time, the figures of the mech builders appeared on the big screen. After introducing themselves briefly, they began to explain the materials and attributes of the mechs.

[This level 2 heavy mech is shiny black and has a defensive coating on its surface. It is equipped with a long-range low-energy particle cannon on its shoulder, which can fire six rounds at a time, provided that it has a level three energy box as support.

The close-range weapon is a golden, 25-meter-long whip that has some flexibility and can wrap around an opponent for attack…]

“I didn’t expect this heavy mech to have such good attributes, it’s a high-quality level 2 mech.”

“Yes, it’s very powerful in terms of attack.”

“This mech was designed for offensive players, but its defense is much weaker. It even lacks a protective shield and only has a protective coating that is completely useless.”

“This is only a level 2 mech. It can’t be perfect.”

One of the youths who were gathered nearby said as they whispered amongst themselves. They weren’t very old and this was their first time choosing a mech.

Bai Jing at this time had little understanding of mech.

So after hearing their evaluations, he once again began to inspect the heavy mech closely.

He found that it was indeed as they had said— the weapons on its arms and legs, as well as the long whip at the waist all focused on attack power, while other attributes were relatively lacking, making it look especially clumsy.

This was a common issue with heavy weapons— due to cost, it was impossible to upgrade the nature of level 2 mech weapons to that of lightweight ones, which resulted in excessive weight.

If it had been a higher-level mech, this problem would have been greatly reduced.

‘This mech isn’t very suitable for me.’ Bai Jing thought to himself.

His advantage was speed and sharp perception, which he undoubtedly wouldn’t be able to utilize in a heavy mech.

He turned his attention to the next two lightweight mechs.

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