ny nobles and high officials, wartime service doesn ’t rate that high if you ’re not a mech pilot, because what can you really do in a mech battle? The logistical support you provide in the background is nothing compared to pitching a mech to the forefront of a battle! ”

Unspoken here was the tendency for influential and connected people to arrange cushy positions in the rear of the war theater.
Ves had encountered plenty of such practices in the Bright Republic!

”So having a hunt under my belt is of greater value than earning merits in war? ” Ves asked dubiously.

”Your wartime service is great for impressing commoners, but not from those born in a higher station. ” Imon stated.
”Hunting grounds like the ones that Felixia provide are known for their fairness.
Places like these are set up all over human space to provide an equitable competition for every noble and high official to prove their mettle. ”

It sounded absurd to Ves that high society considered hunting to be more reputable than wartime service!

Casella added another complicating factor.
”A big problem with wars is that they happen only intermittently.
Some states never even go to war.
Back in the Kingdom of the Three Flowers, restless nobles participate in all kinds of high-profile events to prove they are better than their rivals.
Hunting is one of the most convenient ways to bolster your reputation and earn some prestige because it is available all-year. ”

This was the reason why the hunting industry generated a healthy amount of business despite providing little practical contribution to society.
It was a rich person ’s hobby that allowed nobles and other members of high society a way to puff themselves up.

As someone who hadn ’t been born in a higher station, Ves still had difficulty coming around to this perspective.

”Will it really provide an advantage to me in my relations with others? ” He asked with a tinge of doubt.

”It ’s difficult to explain.
Hunting is both a dangerous, life-threatening activity and a form of theater.
As long as you ’ve hunted down a formidable creature, you can make endless use of your trophy to impress the uninitiated and earn respect from the initiated.
The point about the hunt isn ’t about challenging or proving yourself.
It ’s about leveraging your achievements to your advantage in your business, political or social life. ”

”So it ’s a masquerade, pretty much.
The trophies we gain from the hunt are the masks we wear to make us appear more formidable than we really are behind our facades. ”

”The masks can only be obtained for a price.
Only hunts that are reputable and recognized by high society matter. ” The female Ingvar emphasized.
”Felixia ’s Asco Continent happens to be recognized by every third-rate state in the star sector.
Hunting a famed Crown Cat will earn you kudos not only in the Sentinel Kingdom, but also in the Kingdom of the Three Flowers, the Kinner Tribe and maybe even in your home state! ”

I think I understand.
Let me think about this matter further.
Hunting Zeigra is never about earning prestige to me, but I do have to admit that it ’s a nice bonus.
However, my main goal has always been to obtain inspiration for my next design project. ”

He decided to wait and see what Lady Miralix could drum up in three days that could bring him around to the idea of hunting Zeigra.

While Gavin suggested to him over and over that Ves did not have to accompany Lady Miralix on her hunt after tuning up her mech.
Why not do the job, accept the rewards, then go back to planning to hunt the Dragon Cat?

”It ’s an option. ” Ves partially became swayed.
”I ’ll judge for myself whether Lady Miralix, her mech pilots and her mechs are strong enough to fare well against a Crown Cat.
If I don ’t think they have a good chance of success, I ’ll just stay in Kemila while they head into the hunting zone. ”

He still eyed the additional boost to his reputation and prestige if he personally accompanied the hunting team.
While it sounded rather farcical to commoners, Ves knew that this was actually a very valuable opportunity to earn an invisible currency that he always had trouble with recently.

For example, his lack of reputation in high society prevented him from gaining access to the more premier Kinner mercenaries.
Notable talents that Ves really wanted to hire such as Commander Oryn Mair flatly refused to engage with him because he was a nobody in their circles!

”Reputation matters! ”

According to the Ingvars, hunting a Crown Cat was one of the most prestigious hunts in the sector-wide hunting community.
Ves would be able to earn enduring advantages in the Komodo Star Sector and perhaps even beyond if he had a successful hunt under his belt.

At the end of the second day, Ves was just about to retire to his bed when Crindon arrived at his room with a worried expression.

”This is bad, sir! ”

”What is it? ” Ves looked alert and stopped petting Lucky.
”Are we in trouble? ”

”I ’ve recently got word that the Rocit Butchers set out this morning to hunt the Dragon Cat! Right now, they ’re probably halfway, and considering their hunting speed, they ’ll reach her habitat by the next day! ”

”What?! ” Ves stood up in shock.

”That ’s not all! The hunting commander of the Butchers has set out in person this time! ”

The leader of the Rocit Butchers was rumored to be a formidable mech pilot and warrior! If he led the hunting team in person, then the Dragon Cat was as good as dead by the end of the next day!

”That ’s not all! Word on the street is that the Butchers hadn ’t decided to hunt the Dragon Cat on their own initiative.
They accepted a very lucrative mission that ’s been issued to them the day before yesterday! ”

Ves did not have to think long to know who was responsible!

”Damnit! Well played, Lady Miralix! ”

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