TOTLS Chapter 135

Arc 8: Interstellar Programmer Officer 11

A breakthrough was finally achieved after a year of dedicated efforts at the Weapons Research and Manufacturing Institute. A more powerful anti-aircraft weapon was developed. Now, all that awaits is the development of a program to maximize the utilization of these weapons, followed by a coordinated effort to revamp the control instruments.

Various military districts eagerly applied. As soon as the weapons and control instruments arrived, an immediate initiation of data analysis and program writing took place. The synergy between the weapons and the control instruments was about to undergo a significant transformation.

The Three Military Districts have always adhered to the principles of fairness and justice, providing everyone with the opportunity to showcase their abilities. However, if you fail to seize the opportunity, the blame lies solely on your lack of capabilities.

Given that it’s impractical to have all programmers solely focused on this one project, other essential tasks must be attended with due diligence. So, each military district has allocated distinct periods for various teams, dividing the trial phase into three stages. Those who successfully complete the final stage will be exclusively entrusted with the programming responsibilities for this groundbreaking new weapon.

After hearing Fei Qi’s words, Segre knew that no matter what, Mai Wei would never harbor any feelings for him. A lingering resentment festered within him, unable to find an outlet.

Not only was he angry at Mai Wei, but also at Fei Qi. Segre felt betrayed that Fei Qi so easily gave up on supporting him, constantly bombarding him with high-minded advice to abandon his feelings for Mai Wei. If letting go of affection were so easy, he wouldn’t have suffered for so many years.

Segre was unwilling to endure any more of Fei Qi’s rationalizations, so he put on a facade of having moved on and appearing indifferent to Mai Wei. However, beneath the surface, his love had transformed into a deep-seated bitterness, and the resentment continued to intensify.

However, there was one thing that Fei Qi said that Segre took to heart. That making himself even more outstanding to earn the respect of others. He realized that he might not win Mai Wei’s affection, but he was determined to prove that he was superior to Tao Yuan. Segre wanted Mai Wei to understand that not choosing him would be Mai Wei’s loss.

In Segre’s eyes, the upgrade to the new anti-aircraft weapon system presented the perfect opportunity to demonstrate his superiority over Tao Yuan. Tao Yuan had previously stolen the spotlight with the upgrade to the mecha program, and this time, Segre was determined to reclaim that attention.

The competition among the various teams was intense, but it was all based on genuine skills. Under strict military regulations, no one could resort to underhanded methods. Therefore, to secure a promotion, one had to diligently seize every opportunity and strive with all their might.

Segre was originally the ace member of Team Two, bearing the title of a genius programmer. When the team leader saw that he was genuinely putting forth his best effort this time, there was a great sense of joy within him.

On the other hand, though Tao Yuan had recently joined the programming team, he had already demonstrated his capabilities, making the team leader optimistic about him and placed high hopes on him.

“Team One Leader, I heard that your team is making remarkable progress. You must be very confident in this project, right?” Team Two Leader always seize any opportunity to gather information. He didn’t harbor any ill intentions. He just wanted to gauge the other team’s depth and have a clearer understanding for himself.

“Not bad, we’re just doing our best. If we can get it, great. if not, well, there’s nothing we can do about it. Can’t compare to you guys with an ace up your sleeve,” said the team leader with a gentle smile. Both of them were seasoned veterans, and the team leader was particularly skilled in the art of Tai Chi.

“Your team’s newcomer really stole the show last time. Anyone could see he’s genuinely talented. While we may have our ace, you guys also have a trump card in reserve. Don’t be too modest, alright?”

“Regardless, everyone is working hard for the prosperity of the empire. Even if other military districts complete their procedures first, it’s still a good thing for the empire. Since our goals are the same, let’s work together and progress together,” reminded the team leader. He cautioned against assuming that their competition was limited to just their few teams. There were other military districts to consider. Rather than wasting time inquiring about their progress, it was better to focus energy on figuring out how to excel in completing the programs.

“Right, right, you’re absolutely right,” nodded the second team leader in agreement. Though he came to test the first team leader, he had confidence in Segre. The first team excelled in mecha program aspects, while the second team excelled in other weapon control and instrument programs. With Segre as their ace, who was putting in extra effort, he wasn’t too worried about losing to the first squad.

Tao Yuan delegated all tasks, except for the maintenance of Mai Wei’s A-grade program, as he personally took charge of that. After all, Mai Wei’s mecha differed significantly from the others, and Tao Yuan had crafted the program himself. Only he could ensure the maintenance was carried out seamlessly.

However, whenever Tao Yuan worked on maintaining Mai Wei’s system, he couldn’t escape some playful harassment. It might be a touch on the hand one moment, a kiss on the cheek the next. Basically, anything to keep him from being idle.

“Can’t you just behave for a while? If you keep bothering me like this, when am I going to finish?” Tao Yuan looked at him, clearly annoyed.

“But I can’t help it. You’re right in front of me, and I just want to give you a kiss, a little touch,” Mai Wei said as he pinched Tao Yuan’s chin, planting a firm kiss on his lips. Tao Yuan’s lips were fragrant and soft, giving Mai Wei a somewhat addicted.

“Even if you can’t help it, you still have to,” Tao Yuan forcefully pushed his face away, then nudged him beyond a certain distance. With a serious expression, he said, “You’re not allowed to cross this boundary. Otherwise, I won’t visit your place this month, and I won’t open the door for you.”

“Are you using some kind of love potion on yourself? How else could I get so addicted to you?” Mai Wei’s affection for Tao Yuan continued to rise whenever he looked at him. So, he really suspects that Tao Yuan was practicing some enchanting arts or something.

“I’m just here to specifically seduce you, slipped a love potion that makes you go head over heels for me. What can you do about it?” Tao Yuan turned and gave him a glare.

“Seducing me specifically is fine, even slipping me a love potion is fine, but don’t go mesmerizing others too.”

“That’s hard to promise. After all, if I can captivate even you, isn’t it normal to attract others? No matter how skilled I am, I can’t control whether others like me or not.”

Because of Tao Yuan’s words, Mai Wei fell into contemplation.

Originally, Tao Yuan was just teasing him because he was causing trouble nearby. However, Mai Wei felt that Tao Yuan’s words made a lot of sense. In his heart, Tao Yuan surpassed everyone. He was a person with nothing but advantages. A person this excellent would surely attract more than just him. Others would undoubtedly be also drawn to him as well. There would be many who would peek into his affairs, and Mai Wei needed to keep a closer eye on him.

As Tao Yuan and Mai Wei exited the mecha pod and descended to the ground, Fei Qi happened to be standing across, engaged in conversation with someone. When he saw the two coming down, he first paused, then watched them leave.

Fei Qi had apologized to Mai Wei not long ago. While Mai Wei didn’t explicitly say he forgave him, he also didn’t outright refuse to forgive. Although he seemed no longer angry, it was evident that he no longer regarded Fei Qi as a friend or a brother as he did before.

Fei Qi felt quite disheartened, but he knew he was the one who had made a mistake, and it was only natural for Mai Wei to be upset. He had initially planned to gradually mend his relationship with Mai Wei, but despite his intentions, he hadn’t taken any action. During this time, the more consciously he avoided Tao Yuan, the more he couldn’t resist the urge to observe every move Tao Yuan made.

He felt a change in his emotions, different from deliberately getting close to Tao Yuan before. This left him somewhat flustered because he was well aware of how much Mai Wei liked Tao Yuan. Pretending to get close to him was one thing, but with genuine changes in feelings, he became even more hesitant to face Mai Wei.

A month later, Tao Yuan took the lead in completing the third phase of testing, securing the responsibility for the new weapon programs for the squad.

Segre, along with everyone from the second team, never expected that Tao Yuan would manage to complete all three phases of testing in just one month, while they hadn’t even completed half of it. What shocked them even more was that Tao Yuan, with the members of his team, achieved the completion of all programs in just three months.

The military officials had set a timeframe of six months to a year, but Tao Yuan completed it in just three months. Now, his reputation not only spread throughout the major military districts, but with the recent public announcement of the latest ground-to-air weapons being operational, the entire Nanmeng Empire became aware of Tao Yuan’s impressive programming skills. However, because of the confidential nature of military personnel, they remained unaware of the specific individual behind these accomplishments.

The entire military district was talking about Tao Yuan, and the programming department was no exception.

“This is really amazing, isn’t it? Calling him a genius doesn’t even do justice.”

“No kidding. This is boundless potential right here.”

“I used to wonder why General Mai Wei, who’s so strict, still hasn’t had a dedicated programmer for his mecha until now. Whoever he brought in with special approval must be an incredibly skilled programmer. Now it seems General Mai Wei’s judgment was spot-on.”

“So, he might become General Mai Wei’s exclusive programmer.”

“With his abilities, he’s more than qualified to be General Mai Wei’s exclusive programmer. It’s just…”

“Just what?”

The person glanced in the direction of Segre’s office and, seeing that he wasn’t present, continued, “It’s just that Segre has been striving for so long to become General Mai Wei’s exclusive programmer. If he gets passed over for someone like Yi Yu, he must be feeling pretty upset, right?”

“But there’s nothing to be done about it. Mecha programming was never his strength, so it’s only natural to let someone more capable take on the role. Even if his relationship with General Mai Wei is unique, there should be a clear understanding between personal and professional matters, right?”

“Speaking of which, it’s been two or three years since Yi Yu joined the department, but General Mai Wei has never come to see him. General Mai Wei used to occasionally visit the squad leader, and now occasionally visits Yi Yu, but he never bothers to drop by his office. When Segre actively greets him, General Mai Wei always remains distant. I can’t help but think maybe their relationship isn’t as Segre described it?”

“I’ve had my suspicions for a while, but it’s not easy to bring up. Every time Segre talks about General Mai Wei, it sounds like they’re already a couple. However, after observing them for so long, no matter how you look at it, they don’t seem like a couple.”

Thinking Segre wasn’t around, those people took the opportunity to discuss what they had always wanted to say.

Meanwhile, Segre stood in the corridor, leaning against the wall, hearing every word clearly. He closed his eyes, suppressing the discomfort in his heart. When they shifted the conversation to other topics, he turned and walked away.

Although those people had stopped discussing Segre and General Mai Wei, seeing Segre come in still made them feel a bit awkward. After a few seconds of silence, everyone greeted Segre.

Segre smiled and exchanged greetings with them as if oblivious to their earlier conversation. Afterward, he had originally intended to return to his office, but he suddenly heard someone mention that General Mai Wei had arrived, so he turned to look.

General Mai Wei had come to see Tao Yuan, naturally walking straight toward Tao Yuan’s office after entering the building.

As those people watched General Mai Wei enter Tao Yuan’s office and then looked at Segre, for some reason, they felt a bit sympathetic towards him.

Segre continued to feign indifference, smiling at them before heading back to his office.

Once inside his office, the others immediately resumed their hushed discussions.

“Did you see that? Segre was standing right here, but General Mai Wei acted like he didn’t see him at all, didn’t even give him a glance.”

“I suddenly feel a bit sorry for Segre. Maybe all those things he said before were just to make us think he had a chance with General Mai Wei?”

“Definitely. But when it comes to emotions, it takes willingness from both sides. If only one party is willing, it’s hard to make it work.”

Back in his office, Segre clenched his fists, exerting effort to control his emotions. He then opened the communicator and sent a message to someone who had been pursuing him for many years. This person currently worked in the intelligence bureau. Segre asked them to investigate Tao Yuan’s past because he believed that someone as skilled as Tao Yuan couldn’t have gone completely unnoticed.

Segre harbored a silent hope that the investigation might reveal some dark history about Tao Yuan, giving him at least a way to vent his anger.

How far can your jealousy go?

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