Age of Cosmic Exploration
Translators: EndlessFantasy Translation , Lonelytree, _Dark_Angel_
Editors: EndlessFantasy Translation , Lucas
Chapter 131: Courage!
When Yao Yuan propelled himself towards the pair of robots, he harbored neither reservation nor hope of coming out the other end alive! The odds were greatly stacked against him.
He had no weapons and planned to tussle with the robots barehanded!
The robots had guns, electromagnetic shields, and not to mention, 6 legs and 4 hands!
If this was a movie, this scene would be where the hero sacrificed himself in a glorious death!
Yao Yuan knew Homo Evolutis were uncannily strong in space combat, but there was ultimately a limit to that strength. One couldn’t single-handedly change the course of nature even if one poured one’s entire life in it… (Fine, one last gamble! No, I can’t die yet! The Hope still needs me! But I’m so tired…What I’m doing is evading responsibility! I can’t let myself sink so low! I promised to lead humanity to a better future!) As Yao Yuan stared at the specter of death, all these indelible memories and commitments flashed through his mind.
In his mind’s eye, he could see 2 distinct Yao Yuans, one was the leader of the Hope and the rock humanity placed its faith on, while another was a loving husband who stood beside a beautiful young woman, teasing the baby cradled in her arms… The dual images of himself seared themselves into Yao Yuan’s mind even though they had only appeared for less than 1 second. Yao Yuan then trained his attention fully at the 2 humanoid robots.
They had to be exemplary products of this alien civilization because there was, in total, so few of them. Other than that, Yao Yuan had some inkling about the electromagnetic shield, a technology partially mentioned by the Academy as possible future-tech, a shield produced by an electromagnetic device that could construct a strong static field without harming its user. Yao Yuan had seen it in action because the robots were metallic products, but they were obviously unharmed by the electromagnetic field.
All of these were technological conditions that mankind still couldn’t meet. Nevertheless, it didn’t mean that there wasn’t improvement available for this technology. Unlike energy shields found in typical sci-fi, these electromagnetic shields could only defend against metallic threats, and they exhausted an enormous amount of energy. Furthermore, they only worked against fast-moving threats. For example, if one was to come at the shield with a slow-moving knife, it wouldn’t be able to block it.
Because of these weaknesses, Yao Yuan managed to engage the robots in close-quarter combat. Here was another sign that the shield wasn’t perfect. If the shield was powerful enough to completely block all metallic objects, Yao Yuan wouldn’t even be able to get near because there were metallic devices sewn into his spacesuit.
As Yao Yuan jumped out of cover, the pair of robots trained their weapons at him and fired. Yao Yuan could feel the bullets slicing the air beside him.
Yao Yuan dared not rush at the robots down a straight line. Instead, like Ji Jie, he flitted through the area, moving towards the robots from multiple angles. Thanks to his Perceptor power, every single one of his landing sites, flight time, angle, and rebound force were intuited with surgical precision. In less than 5 seconds, he found himself in front of one of the robots.
With a powerful kick against the ground, Yao Yuan sprung straight into the air, aided by the propeller. Just as it appeared he was going way too far over the robot’s reach, he grabbed at the robot’s head as support, pulling himself back before latching on to the robot’s back!
Of course, the robot wasn’t going to go down that easily. It turned its head 180 degrees around and its hands started spinning upwards. As Yao Yuan stared into the robot’s glassy eyes, the 4 robotic arms were closing in on him like a metallic venus flytrap.
Yao Yuan cursed loudly and then, using the robot’s head as a fulcrum, spun out of its deadly grasp. The arms closed with a resounding clang. If he had leaped one second later, he would've been crushed!
Simultaneously, the other robot fired another round of bullets at him. Stuck in mid-air, Yao Yuan knew it was physically impossible for him to evade. He bit down hard, preparing for the pain… Surprisingly, none came. All of the bullets were caught in a shimmering shield before falling flatly to the ground. It turned out Yao Yuan was under the protection of the other robot’s shield.
Yao Yuan didn’t stop to count his lucky stars. Instead, he grabbed onto one of the robot’s arms and, using the propeller, flew once again up into the air. Using the arm as an axle, he started spinning in mid-air. He spun for 3 complete circles… before everything resolved in a loud bang and a violent quake!
Yao Yuan had twisted the arm off the robot’s body. Flailing about in a shower of sparks, the arm flew about 10 meters away directly into a wall, bringing Yao Yuan with it.
Yao Yuan yelled inwardly, while Ying, Liu Bai, Zhang Heng, and the rest yelled out loud. Acknowledging the break they need, Ying waved for his unit’s attention and shouted, "Other than Zhang Heng and Xiao Niao, who have been tasked to stay, the rest, if you’re not afraid of death, follow me!" Then he leaped out from behind his cover.
Everyone else, both Homo Evolutis and normal soldiers included, followed suit, chanting a blood-raising war cry as they charged towards the room housing the AI. Both Zhang Heng and Xiao Niao stayed obediently put, more than a little disgruntled that they couldn’t participate in the action.
Finally noticing them, the pair of robots switched to focus on Ying and his party. However, they were ultimately too late. Yao Yuan slammed into one of them from afar, carrying it with him several meters away. The robot with 1 arm torn off was the one remaining. As it prepared to fire… "For humanity!"
One of the soldiers suddenly screamed. He already had his eyes close to the red dot before the robot made its move. With his propellers activated, he flew directly into the robot’s trajectory line. Because he wasn’t a Homo Evolutis, his body convulsed as the bullets made impact before blood spluttered out in floating pools from the many puncture wounds like a grotesque show.
The soldier’s last words still reverberated into everyone’s communicator… for humanity!
The soldier’s body was carried helplessly forward by the propellers and rammed hard into the robot. More blood oozed out upon impact, and tiny globules of blood started filling the air around them… "Tell my wife that I love her!"
Another soldier activated his propellers and knocked the robot down again before it could recover. Before the soldier could escape, 3 robotic arms surged towards him and impaled him. The arms pulled themselves apart and blood exploded in circular halos… Watching the scene unfold, both Zhang Heng and Xiao Niao had tears flowing freely in their spacesuits. At that moment, they understood why people said that the road towards victory was paved with the blood of heroes and warriors!
Zhang Heng suddenly growled. Activating his propellers, he too flew towards the robot. He was immediately followed by Xiao Niao. The pair followed the previous soldier’s trail, right at the 1-arm-missing robot.
When Ying saw Zhang Heng and Xiao Niao rushing forward, he cursed lividly. "Those 2 idiots… Stop using your propellers! Leave the robot to the two of them! They are at least Homo Evolutis… Damn it, quick, follow me! We will make the AI pay for pushing us to such crazy ends!"
The rest of them followed Ying and Liu Bai silently deeper into the building. Unknown to many, their lips were already bleeding from grinding their teeth too hard, as angry, determined, and shocked as they were. They soldiered on with courage in their hearts… a courage that stemmed from their willingness to lay down their lives for the safety of their families, the Hope, and humanity!
Leading the team, no one noticed that Ying’s lips were already bitten until they were blood red… "You lovable dummy, I have a question for you. What do you think life is?"
"Life? Being alive I suppose."
"Wrong answer! Let me tell you, everyone has a different definition of what life is. Like how it’s written in the book, for some it’s heavier than a mountain, for others it’s lighter than a feather. How about this, when you grow older and have a better understanding of life, could you tell me what it is?"
"…Okay, I promise you."
When Yao Yuan came to, he was hugging the robot’s arm. He tried to twist it off, but the robot made use of his own force to throw him hard against the floor. He coughed out a mouthful of blood and then fainted.
When he came to next, the robot was ready to slam him again into the floor. Putting every bit of his energy into his arms, Yao Yuan pushed himself up and leaped onto the robot’s head. With a mighty roar, he pulled the head into a gridlock and, using the power provided by the propellers, twisted it off. The robot was finally forced into deactivation.
"Life is courage."
The courage to fight, the courage to live, and the courage to sacrifice oneself for others, the courage that was exemplified by Zhang Heng and Xiao Niao, who were still in combat with the robot, and the other 5 to 6 soldiers who gave their lives to aid humanity… Tears slid down Yao Yuan’s face. He looked at Zhang Heng and Xiao Niao keenly, but with a turn of his heel, he ran down the other direction, pursuing Ying and Liu Bai, heading towards the AI!