Before Ves underwent military service, he wouldn ’t have agreed to let the Avatars of Myth work as mercenaries so easily.

Yet his experiences during the war showed Ves the importance of both reputation and actual battle experience!

Aside from recognizing the importance of acquiring a good reputation, Ves also wanted his Avatars of Myth to become battle tested.
Only at that point would he be able to truly put his life in their hands.

”They can ’t be like the Honored Ones of the Reinald Republic. ” Ves stated to the people he invited.
”From my experiences during the war, they are just as well-funded as the other mech militaries, but in practice they constantly drop the ball during actual battles because their lack of fighting experience has made them too complacent! ”

Real battles always served to teach the forces involved some brutal lessons.
Every flaw and inefficiency in their operation painfully magnified their losses, prompting the outfits to address them in order to prevent the same from occurring again!

Though this decision would inevitably lead to larger expenses and even loss of life, Ves stoically accepted these consequences as the price he needed to pay to raise a competent mech force.

In any case, after quickly offloading his vintage nutrient packs from the Starlight Megalodon, Ves wasn ’t hurting for money right now! Regardless of how many Blackbeaks, Crystal Lords or other mechs got trashed, Ves would not hesitate to sign off on any replacements.

”Maybe a mercenary corps will bleed if they lose such expensive mechs, but a personal troop is very different. ” He grinned to Melkor.
”The LMC will continue to expand in the future, so it is a given that it requires more protection.
I don ’t want to rely on SASS forever, you know that.
The sooner we can bring the Avatars of Myth up, the better. ”

Melkor nodded, though Ves had difficulty of figuring out what he truly thought due to his habit of wearing a large over his face.
Even on a spiritual level his cousin was hard to read.
It was as if Melkor constantly obscured his real self.

It kind of reminded Ves of some of the people who worked for Flashlight, actually.

Still, even with his murky and ambiguous background, what could Melkor really do? Both the LMC and the Avatars of Myth relied upon Ves to bankroll them both.
Without his innovative design work, he would never be able to earn the money to keep them running!

After getting up to speed on the Avatars of Myth, Ves moved on to the main reason why he called them together.
He activated a projector that showed off his draft design in full splendor!

”It ’s time for you to introduce a draft for my upcoming mech design! Some of you may be unaware of this, but I ’m not working on this mech design alone! The truth is that I ’m collaborating on a joint design project with the esteemed Professor Corus Ventag of the DCTI! In fact, NORA Consolidated will be responsible for most of the production of this new mech! ”

The news that Ves managed to score an opportunity to collaborate with a Senior Mech Designer stunned everyone present.
Ves had kept the news close to his chest for all the time, so it satisfied him immensely to see the surprise in their faces.

”Are you actually working with a Senior, Ves? How much are you responsible for in this new design? ”

”I am responsible for roughly 75 percent of its design.
I came up with the mech concept on my own and it will largely be considered my own design.
Professor Ventag is mainly responsible for adding some sophisticated touches to the internal architecture of the design! ”

This meant that the design would largely conform to his own vision!

Once they got over the shock that Ves had already reached a stage where he managed to score a cooperative venture with a Senior, they moved on to studying the draft.
The rough estimates of the mech design ’s spec sheet helped offer the mech pilots present a vague glimpse of its performance.

Melkor quickly frowned as he studied the contours of the draft design and inspected some of the core specs.
”This is a space knight design, right? Why is it so..
hefty? ”

”That ’s because a significant portion of its internal volume is taken up by the polarizing module that I managed to squeeze into the design. ”

”It kind of looks fat for a humanoid mech design. ” Jannzi commented, looking a bit put out at the prospect of piloting such an ungainly mech.

As a space knight specialist, Ves valued her opinion the most out of the people present!

”It ’s not fat.
It ’s large and in charge. ” Ves replied, putting a positive spin on his draft design ’s imposing bulk.
”My new design isn ’t meant to look pretty.
It ’s meant to offer the maximum amount of protection for its size.
Let me explain to you all what the polarizing module brings to the table. ”

He had already run his draft design through some rough simulations to display its strengths to his audience.
As he ran several simulations in succession, the skepticism in their eyes faded a little.

”So the polarizing module you added work just like the polarizing modules found in some second-class designs? ”

Ves nodded.
The only problem is that due to cost reasons it ’s not realistic for me to incorporate a miniaturized version of the polarizing module into my mechs.
That ’s why my mechs exceeds the medium weight class.
There is no possible way for me to mount the polarizing module component onto a lighter mech. ”

”Why bother with the polarizing module at all, then? ”

”Because I believe that with the correct use, it can make up for my design ’s admittedly plentiful shortcomings. ”

The simulations already demonstrated the potential of his designs.
Against energy weapons and against lower volumes of incoming fire, his space knight design performed admirably!

Yet Melkor instantly noted two major flaws to the concept that Ves adopted for his mech design.

”No offense, Ves, but your space knight only really excels in only a handful of battle scenarios.
While a lot of battles amount to long-ranged slugging fests where lasers reign supreme, sometimes the fighting is up close and personal.
Does your mech possess the flexibility and mobility required to fend off melee mechs? ”

Melkor exposed one of the biggest flaws of the mech design in question.
A generic medium space knight presented a well-rounded package that could shield friendly mechs from ranged fire as well as marauding melee mechs attempting the take them out up close!

This was because regular medium space knights possessed enough agility and acceleration to be able to put up a decent fight against swordsman mechs and the like.
Even if they wouldn ’t be able to win the confrontation, the space knights would still be able to block their enemies so that their comrades could come and flank the enemy!

”My mech..
does not perform very well in melee battle.
It doesn ’t have the mobility to keep up with enemy melee mechs and the polarizing fields don ’t work great against the physical damage their melee weapons inflict. ” Ves admitted.
”My mech is purely designed for low and medium-intensity space battles where the enemy doesn ’t dare to commit to a destructive all-in battle. ”

Everyone present could see the appeal of his mech in these circumstances.
Yet their suboptimal performance in melee combat enormously weakened the appeal of his design!

Of all the people present, Ketis expressed the most disdain.
”This fatty mech is only really good for acting as a barely movable wall against lasers.
As soon as one single agile light skirmisher comes close, it will easily be able to cripple this expensive mech by outflanking it and taking out its vulnerable flight system from the rear! ”

By now, Ketis fully recovered from her candy binge and already began to flex her increased cognitive abilities.
When Ves checked up on her progress, he witnessed her devouring the textbooks in the company ’s library.
Her learning speed was off-the-charts, and the enormous boost in concentration enabled her to stick to her studies for days on end without getting bored!

”My mech is not designed to be passable in every situation.
It is a special machine that excels in one aspect.
That should be sufficient enough to slot it into a larger and well-rounded spaceborn mech force.
Other mechs that are much more capable in melee combat can cover for its weaknesses. ”

Surprisingly, Jannzi concurred with Ves.
”I think that ’s a good point.
When it comes to fending off raids, a mech with these qualities can be very useful.
Laser weapons are used almost everywhere in space.
There won ’t be many battles where a mech like this is useless. ”

Though Jannzi was a bit intimidated by the rough edges that Ketis still retained of her pirate heritage, she was confident in her judgement of space knights.

As the feedback session went on, it became clear that the new mech design did not completely catch on.
To some, its singular strength did not make up for its many weaknesses and shortcomings.
Only a true space knight specialist like Jannzi were able to appreciate what the mech design brought to the table.

Ves distinctly designed his mech to appeal to space knight specialists.
For Jannzi to express her support for the mech design meant that at least some of the market would be able to see the value in his design.

That was enough for him to gain the confidence to go ahead with his current direction! As for the skepticism expressed by Ketis, Melkor and the others, there was little Ves could do to address their points.

In order to improve his super-medium space knight ’s ability to fight up close, he needed to boost its mobility closer to that of a normal medium space knight.
That simply wasn ’t possible without removing the polarizing module entirely, but why would Ves do that?

The polarizing module served as a defining characteristic of his mech design! To remove its most important gimmick meant that his space knight became indistinguishable to the generic space knight models that had already flooded the mech market!

”There ’s one other thing I ’m wondering about. ” Ketis said.
”What is this mech design called? ”

The name.
Ves thought long and hard on it ever since he first conceived its concept.
Names imparted meaning to mech designs and defined their unique identity.

He did not want everyone to start calling it the fatty mech.
If that name stuck to his design, then the imposing manner of his product would forever be ruined in the public!

In order to reinforce its positive aspects and downplay its negative aspects, Ves wanted to bestow his super-medium space knight with an imposing name.
It could even be a grandiose one as long as it increased the stature of his product in the market!

Lately, whenever he tried to figure out a dignified name for his mech, he couldn ’t help but harken back to the events he witnessed during his latest Mastery experience.

Witnessing the legendary unity between man and machine in Eloise ’s mind was a completely mind-bending sight!

Through accomplishing compete resonance for a short instant, Venerable Eloise Pelican and her Valiant Warden manifested a colossal energy mech that glittered like stars in the murky space of the Dark Sphere!

The energy mech was powerful enough to slay a giant astral creature and cut an entire light carrier in half!

How could Ves not pay homage to that unforgettable event that he had inadvertently enabled with his presence in Eloise ’s mind?

”My new design..
is called the Aurora Titan. ”

It was a simple but imposing name, so much so that everyone present was taken aback by the sheer daring to call it so.
This was a name that ought to be bestowed upon a heavy mech!

To them, they thought that Ves must be trying to add some of the majesty of heavy mechs into his super-medium mech design.

Ves had no such intentions in mind when he named his space knight this way.
He used the word titan because it reflected the enormous size of the energy mech.
He used the word aurora to describe the glittering lights radiated by the expression of resonance in its most complete form!

The Aurora Titan.
It was a name filled with meaning to Ves, and one he felt comfortable calling his upcoming mech design.

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