gly common.
As long as you know your boundaries, you will find the hunters to be more than willing to accommodate your more reasonable requests. ”

As the discussion continued, Ves got the sense that the value of a Journeyman was even higher than he expected.
Most hunting teams used standard landbound mech models designed for general purpose or war in mind.
Rarely did they pilot mechs specifically optimized for hunting activities.

It couldn ’t be helped.
The hunting market alone simply wasn ’t as lucrative enough.
Ordinary mercenaries numbered so much more.

Mech designers who specifically designed hunting mechs generally did so out of lack of confidence.
They didn ’t think they were good enough to compete in the larger markets.

This was where people like Ves could help.
As a Journeyman, his design abilities were very formidable, at least compared to the Novices and Apprentices who advised or directed the maintenance crews responsible for keeping the mechs in tip-top shape.

This gave him a considerable advantage as he could easily issue a couple of suggestions and modification plans that could considerably alter the performance of a hunting team.

A boost of five or ten percent may sound small, but to the hunter mech pilots who put their lives on the line, every little bit helped!

Ves did not even have to stick around to make his contributions.
Merely analyzing the mechs and composing detailed, annotated design plans was sufficient! It would be the job of the resident mech designers to follow the instructions that Ves laid out beforehand as he had already performed the heavy thinking.

At some point in the discussion, Vinzler looked at Ves with an intrigued expression.
”Please allow me to be presumptuous for a moment.
As a relations manager, it is my responsibility to connect with every significant figure in Kemila.
I am familiar and on friendly terms with every big figure in this city. ”

”Are you trying to refer me to someone? ”

The manager smiled apologetically.
”There is a..
special individual who is currently residing in the city that may be of interest to you.
She can dearly use the services of a Journeyman such as you, though the favor she may request from you may be quite significant. ”

”Who is this individual you are talking about? ”

”A noble scion from House Laterna. ”

”No thanks. ”

”Pardon? ”

Vinzler, I prefer not to get entangled in political matters during my tour through the Sentinel Kingdom.
Felixia is just the first Sentinel planet that I intend to visit, and I don ’t want to take any sides at this point. ”

see. ” The man looked defeated.
”If that is your wish, then it is better not to engage with Lady Laterna. ”

Obviously, there must be a huge story behind this young Lady Laterna.
Ves wasn ’t interested in her troubles or ambitions.
The Sentinel Kingdom was simply a stopover point to him and he didn ’t care who rose to the top or fell from power.

As their talk neared the end of the session, Vinzler made one more suggestion.

”The majesty of Felixia ’s huge cats are indisputable, but reading about them and witnessing them in the form of projections does not do them justice.
If you want to get a better idea about the creatures, you should visit the underground holding cage complex.
Whenever a hunting team subdues and captures a huge cat alive, they ’re temporarily placed in one of the holding cages before they are shipped offworld. ”

This aroused Ves ’ interest.
”I read that the holding cages are off-limits to the public. ”

”To the public, yes.
To an esteemed mech designer such as you, I ’m sure we can make some arrangements.
The holding cage complex is under our purview, after all.
The only reason why we bar the facility from the public is because we don ’t want footage circulating of our huge cats in their most pathetic state. ”

As a business owner, Ves agreed.
Felixia marketed Asco as an exciting and dangerous continent where humongous cat species prowled the wilds and ambushed mechs.
All of their promotional footage centered around showcasing the impressive cats in their prime.

Seeing the same cats injured, defeated and stuck inside a cage would present a completely different image that wouldn ’t be good!

”When can I visit? ”

”Preferably tomorrow.
Today is not a good time as some transfers are taking place in a few hours. ”

”That is acceptable. ”

The two quickly wrapped up their meeting.
After shaking hands with Vinzler, Ves grabbed Lucky and led Gavin and Nitaa out of the hunting hall.

As Ves idly admired the trophies on the way out, he noted that he attracted a lot more attention than before.
The hunters and other people milling in the lobby seemed to recognize his appearance as if they had seen an image of him beforehand.

Larkinson! ” A hunter stepped forward.
”Our Dire Hogs have heard that you are looking to hire a mech hunting team.
How about picking us up? We ’ll waive fifty percent off our regular fees in exchange for your help in upgrading our mechs! ”

Another hunting team representative shoved aside the first fellow.
”Don ’t listen to this pig! His Dire Hogs are a bunch of hogwash hunters! They ’ve been in operation for less than two years and only have ten successful hunts on their belt! Come to us instead! Our Zinc Asps have been in the hunting business for over a decade! ”

As more hunters started to press closer to Ves in order to solicit his services, Ves raised his arm in a brief but clear message to Nitaa.

The woman in armor stepped forward, her armored feet clanking against the floor with loud metallic clacks.
Her face, surrounded by an open helmet, glowered down at the hunters.

Nitaa ’s tall stature and armored form instantly caused the hunters to wither and step backwards.
A straight line spontaneously formed in the middle, allowing the group to exit the hunting hall without any further obstruction.

On his way out, he threw out a single remark at the hunters.
”Your interest is appreciated, but I will come to you, not the other way around.
Don ’t approach me again. ”

He and his group departed from the hall while leaving behind a silent crowd of staring hunters.

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