Original and most up to date translations are posted at volaretranslations.
Chapter 21: You Have The Right to be Specially Recruited
Cillin raised his head. He was reading a ‘Seven Lights Weekly’ with a hoverboard on his left and a bag on his right, but the ‘child’ part was kinda…
Following the voice, Cillin saw an old man with grey hair shouting at him from a seat not too far away. He was holding a bunch of parts in his hands.
Seeing that Cillin had looked over, the old man pointed at the edge of Cillin’s seat and said, “Child, give me a hand and pass that over.”
When the old man spoke, he was panting a little. It was probably due to exhaustion.
Cillin picked up the parts that had rolled to the edge of his seat, stood up and handed them over.
“Thank you, my child.”
“Sir, I’m almost eighteen years old already.”
“Oh, you’re almost eighteen eh, child? Your old man here is a hundred and thirty years old.”
Oh well. A child it is.
After the old man accepted the parts, he began assembling the parts in his hands; joining every socket with its corresponding connection. The assembly of many connections was very technical, and those who were unfamiliar with the task would take up to tens of minutes just to link a single connection. But this old man had linked them nearly within a second, and from the looks of it, he was very skillful in this job. Every one of his fingers had fully played their roles: supporting, balancing, pressing…
The old man might have been a little breathless earlier, but his hands were very steady. The parts in his hands were like many fragments of arts being assembled little by little into a striking work of art.
The old man was assembling his work very seriously, and Cillin was watching very seriously as well. Through observing the old man’s action, he could learn many assembling techniques. Cillin had never seen someone able to make full use of their fingers to this extent. Even the gaps between his fingers had played their roles. Parts danced on his fingers before they were assembled onto the main body in the next moment.
Other than skillful fingers, Cillin also noticed that the old man was incredibly experienced in differentiating parts. He only needed to look once at the connection and sweep a glance over the pile of parts on top of his knees, and he would be able to choose without fault the one that was needed.
While the old man was in the process of assembling, a three-dimensional image had appeared inside Cillin’s head as well. When a part was assembled, the next part to be assembled into the connection was already formed inside his head. Afterwards, Cillin’s gaze and the old man’s finger would fall onto on the correct part almost at the exact same time.
Ten minutes later, a small fifteen centimeters tall robot was complete. Cillin had watched the assembly process from beginning to the end, and he knew very well how complicated was the assembly of circuit connections, chips, parts and so on in a robot. Even some of the engineers he had met back in Planet Brown Earth would not be able to assemble this robot to completion without taking more than half a day, and whether the results would pass a quality check was also unknown. But the product the old man had completed in only ten minutes would most definitely be graded as outstanding if tested with a machine!
“Eh?” It was only until he finished the assembly that the old man realized that the child who had helped him picked up the parts was actually watching from the side. His eyes flashed with sudden interest, “You interested, child?”
Cillin glanced at the small robot dancing smoothly in his hands and answered, “Nope.” Finished, he was ready to turn around and return to his original seat.
“Come on, child, don’t be so hasty to leave. Do talk with this old man and keep him company; it’s so boring, sitting here alone waiting for the train.”
But I see that you’re having a good time, Cillin criticized on the inside.
“Let me get my bag and hoverboard first.”
“Just leave them there; no one’s going to take it. Come quickly.” Afraid that Cillin would run away, the old man moved away and patted at the empty seat beside him; motioning for Cillin to sit.
Having no choice, Cillin glanced once at his backpack and hoverboard before sitting down.
“Child, you’ve seen how I assembled the parts?”
“Did you see everything clearly?”
“There are some parts that I don’t understand.”
Cillin pointed out his doubts. He might have memorized the old man’s assembling movements completely, but there were a few places which principles he did not understand.
The old man was quite surprised by the questions Cillin had asked. They weren’t questions that could be asked without a certain level of understanding towards the assembly of this robot model. He is a learned man. However, the old man did not show this on his face and focused on resolving Cillin’s doubts one by one. His explanations were simple and direct; he did not act like those ostentatious lecturers who used many difficult terminologies to flaunt their knowledge.
“The electric circuit is a robot’s nervous system. It takes a lot of effort to install this nervous system accurately and without fault. This old man’s advantage lies in his experience. Practice makes perfect.”
After connecting the electric circuits, the old man then pointed at a few parts of the robot, “These things may look simple, but no effort was skimped in the process of manufacturing them. Let’s have an example. You younglings love to play with guns, and some who are well off would often order barrels or firearms and so on. But you would not pay attention to this manufacturing process. We will not talk about design; that is an exhausting work. After designing, you will have to choose the materials, ream the barrel, cut the rifling grooves… all of these processes requires precision.”
The old man grew more and more engrossed as he spoke. He had even cited a few hot selling gun models at the moment as examples and picked them apart. Among them were the DKC series multi-functional titanium gun that was rather loved by youngsters and the ‘Carnage Elf’ Cillin had seen before.
“But I heard recently that that bunch of idiots in the Douance Family had come up with a ‘Carnage Elf II’. I haven’t seen the specifics, but I hope it won’t have a fatal flaw like ‘Carnage Elf I’…”
The old man was shooting spittle everywhere with a completely flushed face. Although Cillin did not say anything, seeing the silent agreement in Cillin’s eyes, the old man’s criticisms had only grown more and more heated.
Still, Cillin sweatdropped on the inside. That bunch of idiots in the Douance Family… right now he’s wearing the Douance’s family name under his belt.
Di—— Di—— Di——
The bell rang. The train had already arrived. The people waiting for the train by the station stood up, and the people inside the waiting room too poured out in succession.
“Sir, let me help you up the train first.”
Cillin lifted the two bags filled with parts and was ready to help him carry them up the train before getting off again for his own bag and hoverboard. The weight of these two bags of parts were nothing for Cillin, but the old man was old, and it would be strenuous work for someone his age. Plus Cillin was rather impressed by the old man’s research spirit. No matter how tired he was, the moment matters related to his own research were brought up, he could ignore his fatigue completely.
“Hah, you’re a pretty good child. What’s your name? Who is the chief mentor of the mechanical engineering course? I’ll talk to your chief mentor later and have him give you more credits.” The old man asked while walking towards the train entrance.
Although in principle, a student’s GPA was strictly given according to their average results, in truth there were many elements involved in the final GPA given. If someone at the top had given a recommendation or notice, then the class mentor would grade a little higher. Every course had many mentors, but the number of chief mentors would not exceed five. Since the old man had started right off the bat with a chief mentor, it appeared that his status in Seven Lights was rather high. But didn’t a person of that level normally have their own private vehicles?
“I would really have to thank you, but I am a new student just starting this term. I haven’t even registered yet, so I wouldn’t know who my mentor is.”
“You are specially recruited?”
“No, my family spent some money and threw me in to continue my education.”
The old man really was surprised. After a pause he said, “You have the right to be specially recruited!”
The old man’s words were very firm. Even the usual prefixes such as ‘I feel’ or ‘I think’ was missing as he said it directly and vigorously. That ‘my word is law’ vigor of his was probably related to the old man’s identity; he was accustomed to such a way of speaking.
The old man appeared very dissatisfied with the fact that a student like Cillin wasn’t recruited and humphed once, “Your name!”
Cillin smiled and put the two bags of parts beside the old man’s seat, “I am called…”
The sound of speeding flying cars resounded.
There were two convertible flying cars; one crimson and another bright yellow. When they streaked past the train station, the owner of the red car reached out and took Cillin’s bag.
It really was quite the crime in broad daylight, but the people at the train station seemed to be used to this and did not have much of a reaction.
Obviously, the old man had seen it as well. His eyes were open wide and round. He even told Cillin earlier that no one would take it.
“You go first.” Cillin said before he jumped swiftly off the train, grabbed his remaining hoverboard, activated and unfolded it, and chased after the criminal.
“Oh dear. If there isn’t anything important in the bag then just let them have it. Isn’t it pointless to chase a flying car with a hoverboard?” Someone commented.
“Yeah, it’s not like such crimes are uncommon. Those people on the flying cars must be awfully bored. It’s not like they’re short of cash or anything; they did it purely for the heck of it and pissing off someone else. Even if they were caught later by the police, the worst that’ll happen is that they get a fine, pay some money and settle everything behind closed doors. That’s why these people aren’t afraid…”
Listening to the discussions of the people next to him, the old man stayed quiet for two seconds before pressing his communicator and searched for a number on the popped up screen. He dialed after confirming the number.