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The Undying Mecha Emperor

Chapter 11 The Whole Cake

I smiled back at her and retracted everything back into my body.

I didn't like the fact that my secret was completely revealed to another person, but it was something that was unavoidable as soon as I made the decision to save her.

Like it or not, I had to live with the fact that Emma knew about the red mecha core, and I had to depend on her to keep the secret safe.

The alternative was killing her to completely keep the secret safe, and it was something I didn't have the heart nor the balls to do at that moment.

"Do you want to go home?" I asked her. As much as I like her and want her to be with me, she was, afterall, a little girl. She must miss her mommy and daddy very much, especially after her traumatic experience as a prisoner.

She remained quiet as her face turned serious. She looked away for a moment and stared at the many, many trees that surrounded us. She looked up at the little patch of sky that was visible through the foliage. Somewhere in the distance, loud booms could be heard as mechas mobilized. And then she gave a deep sigh.

"Of course she wants to go home, you dumbass!" I cursed at myself for asking such an obvious and stupid question.

"Of course you want to go home, what am I saying." I quickly said. "Well, I-"

"I don't want to go home." Emma interrupted me. "Well, at least not yet."

"Err… Are you sure?" I asked her in slight confusion. "Don't you miss your parents and err… your grandpa?"

At that, her eyes teared up slightly and her lips quivered.

However, she was Emma. And she was already really strong and really stubborn even at the tender age of eight. She bit down on her lower lip decisively and the stubborn look which I would later often see appeared on her face.

"No, I do not want to go home yet." She said firmly.

"It's going to get very dangerous very soon you know. I'm planning a heist of the most epic proportions."

"I know." Emma said nonchalantly. "That's exactly why I don't want to go home just yet. I want to see how this story progresses, and how this… heist of yours will end up."

"You're not afraid?" I pressed on.

She sighed. "Quit treating me like a little kid. I'm already eight! If YOU'RE not afraid, why should I be?"

I chuckled lightly. "Isn't it obvious? I can absorb and release mecha suits."

"So? Whatever you absorb and release, wouldn't I be in them as well, right next to you?" She asked me in annoyance.

"That's true…" I said ruefully. Secretly though, I was rather happy. I've never really had buddies to do the things I did together. Although she was still really young and had a very sarcastic tongue, having Emma with me was really good for me.

Although I hated to admit it, I was feeling very lonely at that time.

So yes, I was happy she decided to stay with me for the meantime.

"Alright. I guess you can stay." I pretended to agree with her grudgingly.

"Okay." She said with a small smile on her face. "What do we do next?"

"Well, I want to wait until the military attacks the Red Dragon base, and then if it gets hot and fiery immediately and Amelia produces her White Mecha, I will steal the White Mecha after the battle. If they're engaging in dialogue and all that diplomatic nonsense, then I guess I have no choice but to pretend to be Falcon Two again and attack the military to trigger the fight." I explained my plan to Emma in detail.

Emma nodded. "That's a really good plan. And really well thought out"

"It is, isn't it?" I said happily as I sat down on a rock. Emma came over and sat down on the rock next to me as well. "I spent quite some time coming up with it and I think it will work pretty well."

"It's probably going to work. What you have is a game-changer." Emma said while pointing at my glowing chest. "It's a secret weapon that they have no idea exists. That in itself is a powerful element of surprise. Add the fact that it is a really powerful weapon.. If used correctly, you can definitely achieve great things."

"Yeah, this really changes everything for me…" I said with a smile. I took a deep breath and felt the power of the red energy. It was there within me, ready to respond to my will - be it to summon mecha suits or absorb more mechas.

I clenched my fist. Emperor Justin.

Soon. Soon.

"There is one very important thing you need to consider though." Emma said seriously and interrupted me from my thoughts.

"Oh?" I raised an eyebrow at her. "A comment from the granddaughter of General Whitefrost! This is going to be epic." I smiled and rubbed my hands together half sarcastically, half in genuine anticipation.

She either failed to detect my sarcasm, or she completely ignored it (knowing her, it was most probably the latter), but she immediately launched into her comments.

"What you're doing is a combination of three of Sun Tzhi's strategems. Sloughing off the cicada's golden shell, attacking with a borrowed knife and disturbing the water to catch a fish. And by merit of using three strategems, you've also used a fourth - chaining different strategems to achieve success. It is very impressive for you to be able to do that." Emma began.

I smiled widely and a warm feeling began to feel good about myself. A mistake. I would grow to learn to be suspicious of Emma's praises soon, but that was definitely the first time I tasted Emma's sharp tongue. And her deep, deep insatiable hunger for glory.

"However, you're thinking too small. It's like you're looking at this magnificent cake, full of delicious cream, frosting and filled with many, many kinds of fruits within. On top of the cake is the biggest, juiciest strawberry you've ever seen. What you're doing is aiming to steal the strawberry on top of the cake and leave the whole cake behind. This is the weakness of little, unambitious men. You don't dare to dream big, think big and thus, will never achieve great things." Emma said.

"Huh?" My mind blanked a little at her vicious put down. My heart, which was beginning to soar earlier, plummeted and crashed into the deep blue sea of misery. However, indignance soon reared its head in my heart.

"Explain yourself." I demanded.

"It's simple. You have before you two entire bases. The Red Dragon base and the Lake Andrews base. You're already executing three complex strategems. Why stop there and settle for just one White Mecha? Just by executing several more strategems, you can get the whole cake - both bases with all their firepower and manpower."

"What?!" I was stunned. This crazy little firecracker was actually thinking of taking over TWO bases? "Absolutely not. Why risk all that I have now for something that might blow up in my face? I am TEN years old!"

"At least hear me out before you chicken out." Emma said dryly.

"Hey! Who's chickening out? IF, and that's a big IF, you can think of a good plan to get it done, I'm ALL for it!" I said hotly, feeling a great need to defend my masculinity.

"Okay, this is my plan…" Emma leaned forward conspiratorially.

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