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Chapter 68.1 Attack on the return journey
After the assessment was over, instead of returning to the Federal University immediately, Xiao Tianhan allowed the students to rest for a day at the base before departing early the next morning.
Of course, resting at the base came at a cost in points. Staying overnight, eating meals and purchasing souvenirs quickly caused changes to the leaderboard. Some teams that had been close in ranks ended up switching positions due to spending more points on rest and leisure, which caused a barrage of complaints and criticism in the class group chat, with many calling the base ‘too shady’.
It was 12 o’clock at night.
Xu Peng arrived at the door of the maintenance room and found it strange that the lights were still on. Pushing the door open, he saw a thin figure on a ladder, working on replacing parts in a mech.
“Yan Hao?” Xu Peng thought the figure looked a bit like Yan Hao, so he called out tentatively.
Yan Hao, who was in the process of replacing parts in Savage Bull’s leg joints, was startled by his name being called, causing him to nearly lose his grip on the wrench he was holding.
“Senior….. Senior Xu Peng?”
“Did I scare you? Sorry.” Xu Peng smiled.
“No, it’s fine.” Yan Hao scratched his head in a somewhat embarrassed manner. He was clearly the one who was timid, so how could he make him apologize?
“We’re leaving for Capital Planet tomorrow, so why are you still here so late?” Xu Peng asked with a tilt of his head.
“Senior Cheng’s mech has some damaged parts, so I’m replacing them.” Yan Hao explained.
“I heard you’ve been using a lot of points to buy parts recently.” Xu Peng commented.
“Yes. My repair skills aren’t very good, and I was worried about breaking something, so I bought new parts.” As Yan Hao explained, he turned to continue tightening the last two screws on the part with his wrench. When he was sure that there were no problems, he lowered the ladder and descended back to the ground.
“Why not change them back at school? The parts here at the base are more expensive than the ones sold outside.” Xu Peng asked.
“I wanted to fix them before we leave. Savage Bull and Black Soul were both in perfect condition when we arrived, so I don’t want them to return damaged.” Yan Hao smiled.
“You’re right. As a Mech Building Master, it’s important to always keep the mechs under your responsibility in top condition.” Xu Peng nodded, satisfied. “Continue then, but make sure to get some rest early.”
Xu Peng left the maintenance room without saying anything else after nodding his head. Yan Hao then pushed the ladder to the other side of Savage Bull and began to replace the worn parts on its other leg. He was so busy that it was well past one o’clock when he finally returned to his dormitory to rest.
The next day, 8:30 AM.
After having breakfast, the students gathered in the square once again. After a night of rest, they were all in much better spirits and standing in line with energy.
“Since everyone is here, let’s board the spaceship.” Xiao Tianhan said after he finished counting the students, indicating for them to begin boarding the spaceship.
Returning to the city was much easier than leaving it. Xiao Tianhan didn’t give any reminder in the spaceship and just allowed the students arrange the return time themselves. The students also very consciously arranged themselves according to the rooms they had had when they were arriving, then each returned to their own room to rest.
It took three days to travel by spaceship from Desolate Planet to the Capital Planet, and as it was impossible to just stay in the room for three days, Yan Hao rented a maintenance room on the spaceship and went in whenever he had nothing to do. During the three days of the trip, Sheng Heng delivered the three meals on time.
“It’s time for dinner.” On the second night, Sheng Heng entered the maintenance room with dinner to remind Yan Hao to eat.
“Oh, wait a minute,” Yan Hao smiled at him then continued to disassemble the parts in his hand. It was only when he finished that he patted his hands then got up to walk towards Sheng Heng.
Sheng Heng had already set up the meal, so when Yan Hao came over, he handed him a pair of chopsticks in a natural manner then the two sat down together to eat dinner.
“Senior, what’s this?” Seeing the large box on the table, Yan Hao asked curiously.
“A gift.” Sheng Heng smiled.
“A gift? For whom?” Yan Hao asked.
Sheng Heng didn’t speak. He just looked at Yan Hao with a mix of helplessness and amusement in his eyes.
“For….. for me?” Yan Hao finally caught on.
Sheng Heng put his chopsticks down, moved the box next to him over and opened it, revealing a cold-glowing, metal-like object that had an odd look to it.
“What is this?” Yan Hao didn’t recognize the object.
“You’ve really forgotten.” Sheng Heng said with a sigh.
Forgotten? Had Senior Sheng Heng mentioned this to him before?
“A week ago, I asked you…..”
“A zerg’s claw?!” As soon as Yan Hao heard this hint, he remembered, “This is a zerg’s claw?!”
“Yes.” Sheng Heng explained, “It should have been given to you two days ago, but a zerg’s bodily fluids are corrosive to the human skin, so it took me two days to clean it up before bringing it to you.”
Yan Hao put his half-eaten dinner down then leaned in curiously towards the box. “This is a zerg’s claw, I’ve never seen one before.”
In the previous life, Yan Hao had spent almost all of his time in the lab and had never been to the battlefield, so all of his knowledge about zergs came from news reports. Later, he went to the convalescence center in the military, but since the military wouldn’t allow zergs to infiltrate the hospital, this was Yan Hao’s first encounter with zergs in both lives, even if it was just a claw.
“But it doesn’t look as big as I imagined it to be.” The claw was only as long as Yan Hao’s forearm and didn’t look like it could rip a mech apart.
“A zerg’s claws can extend up to three meters, but the sharpest part is only at the front of the claw.” Sheng Heng explained.
Yan Hao nodded in understanding then reached out to tap the zerg’s claw in the box.
“Stop! What are you doing?!” Startled, Sheng Heng grabbed Yan Hao’s hand quickly before it could tap the claw, his voice rising due to his agitated emotions.
“I just wanted to test its hardness.” Yan Hao explained.
“I just told you it’s the sharpest part of it. Why would you still want to tap it with your bare hands?” Sheng Heng was speechless.
“I’m sorry.” Yan Hao said, lowering his head in embarrassment.
“If you want to tap it, use a tool.” Getting up, Sheng Heng grabbed a metal wrench from the side and handed it to Yan Hao.
As Yan Hao took the wrench, his enthusiasm returned and holding the wrench, he started tapping the zerg’s claw in the box, causing it to make clanking sounds. He said in awe, “If you hadn’t told me that this was a zerg’s claw, I would have thought it was some kind of metal.”
“It’s harder than most metals and as zergs evolve, the sharpness of their claws also evolves.” Sheng Heng said with a hint of regret, “I had wanted to bring back the claw of that level 6 mutant zerg for you, but I was unconscious at the time.”
“This is already great.” Yan Hao had initially just asked Sheng Heng to bring back a zerg’s claw casually and had forgotten about it after a week, but Sheng Heng had actually brought one back for him, and even while hunting a dangerous level 6 mutant zerg, he had remembered his request. The feeling of being valued was much greater than the gift itself.
“Thank you senior.”
“You’re welcome.” Seeing Yan Hao’s joy made Sheng Heng feel happy as well.
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