Chapter 884 Probing and Surprise
The two of them chose a combat training room at random. Swiping his identification, the doors automatically opened for them.
There were also differences in the configurations of the combat training rooms. Only the high-configuration combat training rooms would be able to handle a stronger aftermath.
The ordinary training rooms were free for most army members and players to utilize. They could withstand the impact of a Grade B Super at most. If one wished to use a higher configuration combat room, then they had to pay the rent. According to a member’s status within the army, there would be different discounts attached, and the players would use the training room to brush up their skills and experience.
The core area was equipped with the highest-level training rooms, but even then, they could only withstand most Calamity Grade attacks, and a Beyond Grade A attack would be pushing it. However, if they only were using a single host for a spar, so long as they controlled the attack power, there should not be a problem.
This top training room had a lot of space, and the ground and walls were all pure white, displaying a grid-like appearance. The material was a synthetic form of a tough alloy with polymer and plastic nanomaterials, which had a self-repair function. With a virtual reality coating applied to it, it was able to simulate different environments.
At the same time, the walls and floor were movable to change the shape of the room to match the virtual environment. This could create a battlefield environment for further immersiveness, else it would be difficult to deceive one’s senses.
Of course, the battlefield simulation was not child’s play, and Han Xiao had specifically forbidden the players in the guidelines of usage for training rooms from occupying the training room to be spectators.
Han Xiao allowed Phillip to randomize the environment, and the appearance of the ground and walls rapidly changed, turning into a lush forest. In the distance was an endless forest and a mountain shrouded in mist. The training room even simulated the realism of a light breeze, with the coolness of early morning rain. One could even smell the fresh air and mud, as though they were truly present.
Surveying the scene, Manison murmured emotionally, “Being with machinery every day, all I see are dull colors. Sometimes, I forget what the great outdoors look like.”
Han Xiao opened his secondary dimension and withdrew a mechanical host. The streamlined human body shape was painted with the three colors of silver, black, and yellow. This was a ‘Mammoth’ mechanical host, updated to the RX002 Generation. Compared to the RX001 Generation, the performance was slightly different.
The Mammoth RX001 Generation was designed as a standard model with comprehensive capabilities and balanced in every respect, while the RX002 focused on reducing the volume of the skeletal structure and nano tendons. It sacrificed a portion of strength in exchange for amplified flexibility and more mechanical weapons, making it more suitable to combat.
The effect of [Lord’s Descent] would vary based on the basic configuration of the host. Different hosts thus possessed different abilities and attributes when using [Lord’s Descent], so it was necessary to build various types of mechanical hosts.
Han Xiao activated [Lord’s Descent], and blue-gold Mechanical Force shot out, colliding with the mechanical host, bursting into an eye piercing gleam!
His consciousness was divided into two. One stayed within the main body, whereas the other controlled the mechanical host.
Han Xiao’s true body flew up high, not participating in this battle. He controlled the host to stand opposite Manison. While they were separated by a few hundred meters, this distance was as good as non-existent at their current level.
Han Xiao eyed the host’s interface. Because of the First Gen Black Star Alloy, the host had several meat shield talents, coupled with high resistance. It possessed a power amplification of 64%, flexibility of 81%, and stamina amplification of 73%.
Han Xiao twisted his neck around within the Mammoth, adapting to it. Afterward, its back armor split open, releasing micro disks to form a suspended defense array. Various psionic cannon muzzles extended out from the shoulder, chest, and abdomen areas, and it lifted the left arm in a shield holding gesture as a psionic shield formed. A metal wrist-guard was fitted on the right forearm, and it held on to a mechanical blade wrapped with energy on the right hand.
Seeing this, Manison’s host also entered battle mode. It turned on the floating array, activating the psionic shield, and took out a mechanical weapon that looked like a staff, shifting to a lowered position.
Utilizing [Lord’s Descent] to spar was equivalent to remote controlled combat. Even if the hosts fought brutally, there would be no losses to their bodies.
Without further words, both sides exchanged glances for two seconds before their figures blurred and viciously slammed into each other!
The huge impact created a shock wave, felling the trees around them under the effect of realistic destruction. Even Han Xiao, who was in the sky above, had his hair completely blown askew.
The next instant, both hosts turned into a single blurry image as they flashed through the woods. The mechanical blade and staff collided thousands of times in a short period, causing sparks, electricity arcs, and lights to flash.
Dang dang dang!
The sound of wind, rain, and metal striking all entered one’s ear.
Mechanical Force collided with each other face to face, exploding into arcs in front of both hosts. Wherever it landed, grooves were created, holes were bored, and trees were set ablaze.
Both of them engaged in melee combat tacitly and controlled their strength, not utilizing their strongest weapons such as the long-range cannons, or else the training room would definitely be blasted to pieces.
They were only sparring, so they did not use their trump cards. There was no need to determine a winner because a mechanic’s true prowess lay in their mechanical army.
Both of them only had intentions to probe the other, seeking to understand the other party through battle. Whoever obtained more intelligence about the other would be the one benefitting.
As they battled, Manison was sensing Han Xiao’s Mechanical Force intensity.
At his level, as long as he opened his senses, he could roughly pinpoint Han Xiao’s current standards. While the intensity could not compare to his, he still got a surprise when faced with Han Xiao’s battle strength.
He had heard of how Han Xiao had captured Dylan, and based on his hypothesis, Black Star should be similar to him, possessing the top-level Mechanical talent.
However, in reality when they crossed arms, Manison discovered that Black Star’s Mechanical Force was not as strong as expected, and he did not have the top-level abilities of a mechanic.
However, Han Xiao’s life level was much higher than he expected. Manison naturally knew of the first limit one would face at the 52,000 Energy Rank. Just crossing this limit was nothing to him, but the problem was how long Black Star had been a Beyond Grade A.
Black Star had only reached the Beyond Grade A level a year and half ago. In just this short of a time, he had crossed the first limit.
The time taken for a Beyond Grade A to undergo a life level transformation was typically measured in decades!
Such unbelievable growth was a first for Manison, despite his age!
Such potential and talent…
Such an astounding growth rate made referencing Black Star’s current combat prowess useless.
Since he knew that Black Star had already broken through the first limit, Manison felt that he had already achieved his objective. He thought that he had profited from this exchange, since Black Star would only know that he was strong but not to what extent.
Thinking about this, he clashed once more, taking advantage of the shockwave to pull apart. Manison then put his weapon away as he said, “Let’s stop here, or else the room will be destroyed.”
Han Xiao also stopped. Eyeing the various gorges and grooves within the training room, he too sheathed his weapon.
His true body descended and cancelled the [Lord’s Descent]. After storing his mechanical host, he let out a smile.
“Indeed, Mechanic Emperor. You’re really strong.”
“I must say, your abilities exceeded my expectations.” Manison nodded as well.
Han Xiao smiled but did not reply, instead changing the topic. “We’ve already toured the headquarters. Let’s go to my office. We can continue talking about the problem of EsGod there.”
The two of them left the training area, and on the way, Han Xiao snuck a peak at the interface whilst chatting.
Manison’s level was displayed as ???, which meant that the disparity between them was not small. The majority of his attributes and skills were also displayed as ???, as there were many skills that he had not used during the spar.
A mechanic’s skills were infamously numerous, with many of them overlapping with each other and could be ignored. As for those that Manison had displayed in the spar, Han Xiao noticed two Molding Talents.
The first was [Perfect Mechanical Sense], which was within Han Xiao’s expectations. To be able to reach the peak of the mechanic profession, Manison had to have such a talent.
The second was [Virtual Technology Innovation—Manison]. His name at the back meant that this was a Molding Talent that he himself had developed. The effect was to strengthen his Virtual Technology with an enhancement coefficient of 1.75.
While it looked lackluster compared to the strengthening coefficient of 2.5 provided by [Virtual Lord], the meaning for both skills was completely different. As long as any mechanic learned the Ultimate Knowledge [Virtual Creator], they would gain this expertise, but [Virtual Technology Innovation—Manison] was an exclusive ability, which provided an extra bonus to him. This meant that Manison had a huge advantage in virtual technology, and it was thus classified as a Molding Talent.
Furthermore, the introduction of this talent said, “After utilizing Virtual Technology Innovation, there will be special effects.” This was probably referring to the core specialty of Manison’s strongest mechanic troops, the Indestructible Mechanic Empire.
Manison would naturally not only possess two Molding Talents, but only these two were displayed so far.
However, based on the combat information, as well as the performance of Manison in his previous life, Han Xiao had come out with a rough estimation of Manison’s battle strength.
His main profession should out-level me by at least one stage, and he should have at least four Molding Talents. In addition, his Mechanical army should outnumber mine by several thousand times… How scary. I’d better not provoke him.
Overall, Han Xiao was quite satisfied with the spar. In the intelligence area, he had definitely benefited.
The combat information had displayed some of the abilities that Manison did not display, but Manison had no interface, so whatever ability he did not display, Manison would naturally be unaware. Displaying his life level was in fact a ploy of Han Xiao’s to show off his potential so that Manison would not slight him.
Because of the presence of Character Summon Cards, there was misinformation on Han Xiao’s combat strength. For example, he did not display [Perfect Mechanical Sense], which caused discrepancies to appear in Manison’s intelligence gathering.
The Mechanic Emperor had chosen the wrong opponent to probe this time.
The corners of Han Xiao’s mouth rose slightly.
Both parties had their own inner monologue as they returned to the office.
After sitting down, Manison began to talk about his purpose.
“My reason for meeting you this time is also to see if you’re welcome to the idea of making a transaction.”
“I’m actually very interested in your Spacetime Amber. From what I know, this Universal Treasure can create copies of itself. I hope to buy a few pieces from you as research material.”
Turns out, he wanted to buy the amber balls…
Han Xiao was silent as he thought for a while before shaking his head.
“Apologies, but I don’t intend to sell them outside at all.”
The Spacetime Amber was one of his trump cards, and the reason he had given Austin one was to repay his debt. He did not wish to use this to gain the support of others. This item was different from the Evolution Cube; he did not wish to allow the amber balls to circulate around the universe and be utilized by others.
He was not even willing to provide them to the Crimson Dynasty, let alone to the Mechanic Empire.
While Manison’s status was otherworldly, giving him face was one thing, but in matters such as these, no matter how impressive he was, it meant nothing.
“A pity, but I can understand.”
Manison shook his head. His host did not reveal any expression, nor could anyone discern his emotions from his voice.
“If you change your mind one day, you may look for me.”
“Then about the problem with EsGod…” Han Xiao probed.
“Hehe, no need to worry, I’ll listen to the Federation of Light on this.”
Manison lightly went around this topic. However, he did not mind Han Xiao rejecting him, and he did not seem to have the intention of getting up yet.
His words suddenly took on a change.
“I have a subordinate in the Shattered Star Ring called Sardeem, and he once reported something interesting to me. He mentioned that you stole his Mechanical army and even captured him alive for a period of time.”
“… There was indeed such a matter. At that time, the circumstances forced me to.”
Warning bells rose once again in Han Xiao’s mind.
“Relax, since you did not kill him, there are no problems. I just felt that we seem to be quite connected by fate, to think that we had been linked so early on…”
Manison did not seem interested in seeking recompense.
But this next sentence caused Han Xiao’s scalp to tingle!
“But talking about this, we were linked even earlier on… This reminds me, hehe, could I trouble you to return those two lost sheep to me?”
Manison’s synthesized electronic tone had no fluctuations. While he laughed, one could not tell that he had a jovial intention.
The Mechanic Emperor actually knows about Aroshia‽
Han Xiao immediately forced his expression to remain straight, suppressing the turmoil within his emotions, and deepened his tone.
“… What do you mean?”
“A long time ago, there were two lucky AI life forms that infiltrated my base. One of them made off with one of my spare spaceships, while the other utilized my equipment to transform herself into an indestructible Mechanical Life. They tried to set their comrades free, but they were spotted by the firewalls within my base and chased by my automaton troops. Luckily for them, they entered a wormhole and eventually found their way to your organization…”
At this point, Manison paused.
“Surely you don’t think that the two AI lifeforms were able to make it into my base on their own, right?”