Synopsis Sunday: Counterfeit Hero


What can a machinery maintenance solider do? Research, modifications, creative thinking? What can a mecha warrior do? Fighting, sensitive operations, peculiar moves? What can an elite scout do? After sneaking behind enemy lines, bare-hand techniques, immediate suppression, camouflage, stealthing, sniping? What can a military officer do? War simulation, planning, reign victorious by outsmarting?

The genius who combined three professions into one, and is even skillful in psychological science, deceit, assassin disguises, is a spineless, disgusting, despicable fatty.

When such a queer person is dragged into a war, what will he do? Will he become a hero, or a coward?

Chapter 1 – The Escaping Machinery Maintenance Solider

Tian Xingjian lay within the crater, unmoving, the mud on his body blending him into his surroundings.

In this artillery soldiers’ base far away from the battlefield, other than him, there were no other organisms.

Not even a single mouse.

Though, in reality, on the planet of Milok, there weren’t even animals such as mice.

On the small hill, there was a lush forest. The Federation artillery soldiers who were originally hiding within the forest had become ashes due to the artillery strikes a few days ago.

Scattered about Tian Xingjian’s surroundings were all sorts of remnants. There was metal, and flesh and blood. The explosion of the ammunitions brought ruin upon the surrounding forest, with the diameter of over a hundred meters. Blazing flames burned for two days before being extinguished.

Tian Xingjian was bit tired; his eyelids, against his orders, pulled down again and again. But, he lightly slapped his cheeks, and forced his mind to focus on the battlefield.

This was Federation Aviation Squadron’s Recruit Tian Xingjian’s twenty-first battle.

From the Galilei Galaxy to the Newton Galaxy, the Federation Army in constant defeat lost twenty-two Resource Planets and five Human Migration Planets. Milok was one of the two Human Migration Planets in the Newton Galaxy; the other one—Milok II—had already been completely seized by the Imperial Army two months ago.

If this planet were also seized by the Imperial Army, then the Federation Army could only give up on the thirty-something Resource Planets in the Newton Galaxy.

That, however, wasn’t something in Tian Xingjian’s worries. What he was concerned about was only how to survive in the war.

The philosophy of staying alive was the only absolute rule he abided by.

So, after twenty-one battles, Aviation Squadron’s Fifth Mecha Division’s Third Mecha Battalion’s Logistics Company’s First Platoon’s Recruit, Machinery Maintenance Soldier Tian Xingjian, was still, even now, a recruit.

The war buddies that had experienced the first eighteen battles with him basically all rose in rank. However, the only ones who were able to survive up until now after fighting in three planets from the Galilei Galaxy to the Newton Galaxy were only Machinery Maintenance Soldiers who did not rise in rank. The Unit Number of the Federation Aviation Squadron’s Fifth Mecha Unit had been crossed out. In the entire unit, ninety-five percent had been killed. The remaining five percent were left on Milok II—luck was not on their side.

Tian Xingjian scraped by barely. By a millionth of a fluke, he got onto a retreating warship, and was enlisted into the remnants of the Ninth Mecha Unit, and carefully left Milok.

Tian Xingjian secretly moved behind a large tree that had fallen due to an artillery strike. Lying on the side, he let out a puddle of urine. This was a type of skill; he had already used it to a very skillful degree. As long as the area he lay was a bit high, then his urine wouldn’t flow and soak him back. Being in war for so long, Tian Xingjian at least learnt how to avoid wetting his pants on the battlefield.

After a shiver, Tian Xingjian felt a bit more rejuvenated. As he lay on his side, he spat out, and cursed in his heart. Originally, since the number of people in the Ninth Mecha Unit had decreased by forty percent, they had already received the order to retreat to the Darwin Galaxy for regrouping. However, since the Imperial Army had successfully landed on Milok a week ago, the commanding department had no choice but to order all units nearby on Milok to congregate, defend, and hold back the Imperial Army so reinforcements would arrive.

Although this hiding place was one that he meticulously chose—and it was also far away from the battlefield—to Tian Xingjian who cared only about surviving, it was not sufficient.

Looking over from where he was, the distant battle was still going about in chaos. Nine o’clock, twelve o’clock, and three o’clock to the battlefield, it was the Imperial Army’s near-hundred two-meter high single-soldier reverse-jointed machine battle mecha ”Divine Exoframe 22”.

The standard Imperial Army’s mecha agilely jumped back and forth like an ostrich, the wing-like missile launchers on the wide occasionally letting out a ear-piercing shriek before sending laser-guided missiles outwards.

Compressed at the battlefield’s six o’clock were over a dozen Milky Way Federation three-meter tall five-man battle mechas, “Glory 15”. These clumsy mechas had dumbfounding defensive strength; dozens of short legs under the command of the central computer were able to effectively perform all sorts of challenging evasion movements. Even though, due to numbers, their firepower was suppressed by the Imperial Army, in a short period of time, the jumping group of Imperial single-man mechas could do nothing to the Federation mechas that formed a defensive formation on the ground.

There was a very fiery exchange of attacks from both sides: the tail-smoke of the missiles interweaved together, permeating the entire battlefield; the explosion of energy machine cannons rang out. The area being thrown into a seizing battle by only a small number of mechas was the bulging north-west defence area of the largest industrialized city on Milok, New Rome. It guarded a Federation Army consisting of a reinforced medium mecha company and an artillery group. Their mission was to protect the logistics channel behind.

Without fortifications or trenches to stop the movement of soldiers, this was only an advanced front. The true first line of defence of the Federation was still over a dozen kilometers away, within the forest.

After the first defensive line came the large steel bridge that spanned across the largest river on Milok, Supenma—the Su River Bridge. On the opposite side of the river was the second line of defence that the Federation Army was hurriedly constructing, also the final line of defence for New Rome. If it were broken through, then the Federation Army could only be forced into urban warfare.

And, on that battlefield, the only soldier who didn’t have a mecha was machinery maintenance soldier Tian Xingjian. He was the only soldier who was sent several days ago to this front line to carry out his mission of maintenance of mechas.

Since the beginning of the battle, he had already watched alone on the side for two days. There were no trenches, no work, nor any footmen who could share his troubles. When he recalled that, the unlucky Tian Xingjian felt very depressed. “Pah! There’s no way to get by these days!” But then, the order of full retreat came from his earphone.

The center line of defence thirty-seven miles away had already been partially broken through by the Imperial Army. Large number of Imperial Mecha forces were bursting endlessly in from the gap. Of those forces, an Imperial mecha platoon consisting of two heavy ground-combat mechas and eight medium mechas was flanking from behind. If they were unable to avoid fighting before that Imperial mecha platoon arrived, then, everyone should prepare to see the Lord.

Within the small hill region, ground-combat mechas could reach speeds of a hundred fifty kilometers per hour. If there were highways, then that speed could be multiplied. Despite the lush forests and several small brooks along the way, which could slow down the enemy’s advancement speed slightly, they were still able to reach the battlefield within twenty minutes.

To be able to finally receive the order to leave the battlefield, Tian Xingjian nearly leapt in excitement. However, when he recalled that there could be an Imperial mecha platoon consisting of two heavy ground-combat mecha blocking and surrounding the retreating path, he felt a bit sour in his mouth.

Opening the battle recorder on his left arm, he confirmed the order. Tian Xingjian started his twenty-first escape. Making sure there was nothing missed on his body after an inspection, Tian Xingjian fiercely pounced out like a cheetah. His speed was frightening; he went over two fallen big trees and five craters, and arrived at the edge of the small hill. He didn’t even use his hands nor feet, and like a scared lizard, he stuck close to the grassy grounds, and after a twenty-something-meter wide downhill, he burrowed into the forest.

The Federation company that also received the retreating order started shrinking their formation backwards. Perhaps the Imperial Army also received similar news, their fighting became even more intense.

Boundless smoke spread in the air, and the powerful explosions brought the dirt and dust into the sky. The Glory 15 of the Federation Army protected one another as they retreated, and the Imperial single-man mecha squadron already started to flank the behind of the Federation Army. It seems that they wanted to finish, in one fell swoop, the remaining twelve medium mechas of the Federation Army.

The flanking route the Imperial Army took was the small hill Tian Xingjian hid himself in before. The Federation Army also discovered their plan. Although the small hill wasn’t too high, it still held a towering position. If it were taken over by the Imperial Army, it was equivalent to hammering a nail on the retreat of the Federation mecha platoon. Soon, two Glory 15 mechas threw themselves towards the small hill under the cover of their companions, forcefully pulling themselves away from battle. They had to quickly occupy that hill before the thirty Imperial single-man mecha Divine Exoframe 22, so they could protect the passage of retreat for their companions.

Tian Xingjian, right now, was like a panicking dog; he speedily ran within the forest.

“Mm, this is a very odd coward. On the surface, he looks very honest, but he is absolutely a vulgar bastard.” That was the comment everyone who knew Tian Xingjian gave him.

Tian Xingjian did indeed have a very lecherous nature.

Tian Xingjian, an ordinary appearance, a bit fat, liked spinning around girls at school. He always said his ancestor’s name was Boguang, but no one paid attention to him. In spite of that, he was still in joy, and was never tired of it.

[TN: Tian Boguang, a character in The Smiling, Proud Wanderer. Boguang.]

He was a very patient person, and he was also always able to find new roads to problems. From the reason why Tian Xingjian came to enlist in the army, one could tell that his brain was indeed not something an ordinary person could understand.

The only reason he enlisted himself was because he wanted to lose weight.

To Tian Xingjian, there were actually many reasons. First, he felt he was very lazy. So lazy that it was ridiculous. So, he decided to start anew. Next, he felt he was very fat. Ever since leaving school, he was already a dozen or so kilograms heavier. If he gained that much weight in one year, then after ten years . . . Tian Xingjian felt he must not think of it. Third, he really wasn’t a person who could persevere hardships. If there weren’t anyone supervising him, he would most definitely not even last a single day with his weight-loss plan.

As a result, seeing that the world was too peaceful, Tian Xingjian firmly decided to join the army. The beautiful female military nurse discovered that fatty had strength that didn’t match his body at all: he ran very quickly, his movements were very agile, and his endurance was extraordinarily good as well. Tian Xingjian proudly said, “Beauty, some martial arts are passed down in my family—Ten-thousand-mile Solitary, quick blade techniques, and also three hundred sixty-five bedroom skills.” The female military nurse nodded her head, waved the pen in her hand, and sent this successor of Tian Boguang into the special training group. “Tian Boguang, is it? By trying to toy with me, you’ll have some enlightenment in pain.”

Of course, Tian Xingjian wasn’t Tian Boguang’s successor. He only worshipped that lewd thief. But, in terms of talent, his speed and endurance was indeed outstanding.

Only after entering the special training group did Tian Xingjian understand the consequences of his bad mouth—really severe. The special training group was Leiley’s Federation Army’s special training camp. Recruits who had special abilities were all put into that training camp. After strengthening straining, they were then distributed to the areas appropriate for developing their speciality.

Some had extremely powerful computational ability. Those people, as long as they weren’t eliminated from the special training, they could enter the combat planning section, or the logistics supervision section. Things that machine could not calculate could be by those people. There were also people whose had a sharp nose, or sharp ears, or sharp sixth sense, or specially powerful body, or specially large strength, or specially adept with their hands, or perhaps possessed special or exceeding results in certain subjects at school. People like them, after training, would usually be sent to departments suitable for the development of their speciality.

Tian Xingjian was sent to receive training at the scouts’ company.

Current technology pretty much allowed for the observation of any specified target. Please notice though: only specified targets. If there were no specifications, or if they didn’t even know where the target was, there would be no way to monitor them. And, a job like that could only be brought to reality by scouts. Especially in ground battles, the usage of scouts was extremely significant. Although surveillance machinery in the high skies or satellites or outer space detection ships were large enough, they could not ascertain true and false. Electronic technology at present could create many fake images to trick the radars and cameras in the air. What they needed was no more than a disturbance transmitter. In addition, the skies were the area of utmost importance, one that they had to fight over first. If they lost the advantage in the air, and lacked any scouts, there would be no way of fighting that war.


That really demanded Tian Xingjian’s precious life. How could he do such perilous work? Even if he could, he wouldn’t!

To Tian Xingjian, life was the most precious thing. He wouldn’t, for any reason whatsoever, put himself in a dangerous situation. Greed for wealth and sex, cowardice and spinelessness was a common disease in Tian Xingjian’s generation. However, he was just much more direct and worse than normal people. Despite their attempts to change his character, Tian Xingjian did not dispel his decision. With a steel-hearted appearance, he refused to go to the assemblies of the scouts’ training.

But, matters such as those were not decided by Tian Xingjian. After entering the army, would they truly let a recruit do whatever he wanted to do? A brutal beating from the scout instructor thoroughly dismissed Tian Xingjian’s decisiveness of disobedience.

Before the instructor beat him, he asked, “Why don’t you want to become a scout?”

“Being a scout is too dangerous. I’m afraid of death.”

“Very well, either you die after becoming a scout, or you die by my hands right now!”

*crack crack* “Will you go?”

“I will!”

A wise person adapts to the circumstances.

“Pah! Bastard. You don’t go by persuasion yet you do by beating,” said the instructor who was bizarrely well-built as he left.

As Tian Xingjian crawled on the floor, he did his best to make himself feel happy. He thought, Hell, these are peaceful times. It’s just a scouts’ camp, not scouting war. The hell am I afraid of. When I’m done this scouting thing . . . Instructors? I’ll beat ten with one hand!

You achieve victory by model spirit.

So, he happily climbed up from the crowd, and followed behind the instructor to report in.

Just like that, Tian Xingjian entered the scouts’ training camp. It was a very agonizing training. His bear-like instructor was always by his side, every day. As long as he was just a bit lazy, he would be painfully beaten.

Tian Xingjian did have a bit of talent in the topic of scouting. In addition, in terms of his nature, it was really a bit like Boguang’s hoodlum demeanor. So, in his year of training, he had excellent results. For things such as surviving in the wild, camouflage, sneaking, long distance marching, even the instructor was inferior to him. When his bare-handed techniques reached an extremely high level, the bear instructor started staying beside him, with a blade. After long contemplation, Tian Xingjian, in the end, didn’t dare to put his life on the line.

Just when Tian Xingjian was about to graduate from training camp, he cunningly found a way to avoid being sent to the scouting division. Other than training, when Tian Xingjian had time he ran over to the machinery maintenance training camp.

“As long as you finish training, it’s your choice to do whatever you want. As long as you don’t stir up trouble, you can stay up however long you want to.” Those were the exact words of the scouting instructor. In his eyes, there really weren’t many people who would have the mind to do other things after such harsh scout training every day.

Those who were chose to enter the machinery maintenance camp all had a pair of skillful hands. They were not ordinary maintenance workers; the things they learn were deeper than typical maintenance. No matter if it was aircraft carriers, fighter crafts, ground-combat mechas, or electronic equipments, there was not a single thing they didn’t know how to fix.

Tian Xingjian had a pair of quick hands. He was able to dismantle a gun and restore it in the shortest amount of time. His speed was even five seconds quicker than the highest record in the maintenance camp. One second was impressive already, let alone five seconds. Every day, Tian Xingjian blankly stared at the recruits at the machinery maintenance camp as they endlessly took apart all sorts of warships, mechas, weapons, and lessons such as machine theory, diagram analysis, trouble shooting, battlefield components, electronics, were subjects he absolutely had to listen to. Soon, the entire camp’s instructor and students knew about this seemingly idiotic-looking scout member. A month before the end of special training, Tian Xingjian found the instructor of the machinery maintenance camp, and directly propose his application to join the machinery maintenance camp.

That application made the scouts’ camp instructor furious as thunder, but helpless.

It was because the instructor of the machinery maintenance camp was also the highest officer in the special training group. Tian Xingjian used but two hours to thoroughly convince that white-skinned colonel. He joined the machinery maintenance training camp’s theory exam, and placed in the top ranks. Soon after, the practical operation made that colonel elated. Tian Xingjian’s quick hands made him believe he was a genius member in machinery.

Since the machinery maintenance group would design many technological and military secrets, their training camp was on a much higher level than the scouts’ camp. Moreover, many of the Federation mecha designs came from the machinery maintenance camp. Seeing that a genius like him was about to be buried in a place that stupid old men stayed in—the scouts’ camp—the colonel without hesitation used his power and transfer Tian Xingjian into the machinery maintenance camp. He thought he was extremely lucky to be able to escape. But the actual result killed his intestines with regret.

Extra Information

Counterfeit Hero (冒牌大英雄) is a finished Chinese web novel by 72 Editions (七十二編). It has over 4.1 million characters, and is listed, on qidian, under the category of “Science Fiction” and the subcategory of “Training in the Universe”. There are ~897 chapters; the novel was started on 17th July, 2007, and ended on 15th July, 2011.



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