After a lengthy journey, the combined fleet finally arrived in the Cloudy Curtain System.

Almost a year ago, the rural star system was not worth mentioning.
Aside from housing the headquarters and the main manufacturing complex of the LMC, Cloudy Curtain only attracted attention for its cloud rice and other luxury crop exports.

Yet as soon as the Stellar Chaser transitioned into the star system, Ves immediately noticed dozens of starships travelling to and from the only habitable planet.

He recognized some of the ships as transports contracted by the LMC.
Raw materials constantly flowed into the Mech Nursery while finished mechs constantly flowed out.

However, the amount of vessels in the system exceeded his expectations.
As the combined fleet slowly traveled to the inner system, Ves browsed the local news to get up to speed on the changes that took place while he was gone.

”The state has already settled more than two billion refugees on Cloudy Curtain! ” Ves gasped.
”More refugees are being dumped on the surface every day! ”

Gloriana pressed closer to him and read the article projected by his comm.
”Sounds like your planet has just become more important. ”

The farming consortiums that long ruled Cloudy Curtain from behind the scenes stepped forward and gave the refugees something to do.
They set up a multitude of towns built in a matter of days by erecting lots of prefab homes.

With so many refugees pouring into the Bright Republic, the state had a lot more mouths to feed all of a sudden.
All of those people needed food, and the best way to stave off starvation was to cultivate lots of genetically-customized crops tailored for fast growth and maximum nutrition.

Vast tracts of land had been cultivated into enormous farms.
While all kinds of machinery did most of the work, human labor was still indispensable for various reasons.
If not, a competitor could simply dispatch a single hacker to an automated farming operation and spoil an entire harvest!

The government also aimed to keep the refugees out of the way while giving them something to do.
Who knew what kind of trouble these desperate and emotionally-wrecked people could do if left to their own devices.

Due to the sheer influx of people pouring into the planet, the Raleigh Consortium and Luvon Consortium no longer dominated the agricultural sector.
They simply didn ’t have the capital and resources to set up all of the farming settlements that the government mandated!

Attracted by generous government subsidies, savvy investors from Bentheim and elsewhere founded eight more farming consortiums to erect thousands of settlements!

Through the help of these wealthy new farming consortiums, Cloudy Curtain quickly managed to settle two billion refugees in a matter of months!

In fact, if the flow of refugees pouring into the Bright Republic didn ’t abate, then it was very much possible that Cloudy Curtain became host to double or triple that population!

Ves could scarcely fathom the changes that would take place in the future!

”Cloudy Curtain has become very lively all of a sudden! What a difference a single year away can make! ”

”Isn ’t that good for us? ” Gloriana smiled and pecked his cheek.
”It ’s depressing to live on an empty planet.
Now that there are so many new people on your home planet, there will soon be lots more to do for us! We don ’t have to divert to Bentheim in order to go out and have some fun! ”

The influx of refugees and moneyed interests also meant that the planetary political equilibrium would soon be reformed.

Fortunately, the LMC still maintained a dominant grasp on the local levers of power.
Its enormous influence on the local economy gave it enough leverage to obtain a lot of permits and exemptions.

Instead of landing on the spaceport at Orinoco, the Stellar Chaser, the Barracuda and some of the carriers of the Battle Criers and Glory Battalion all descended directly at a special spaceport erected by the LMC!

As soon as the vessels landed on a very expansive landing zone, the combat carriers began to spit out a multitude of third-class and second-class landbound mechs!

Half of the mechs spread out to secure the surrounding terrain, while the other half formed into rows and joined the rows of other mechs that had formed up beforehand!

As soon as the Glory Battalion gave permission to proceed, a ramp extended from the passenger hatch of the Stellar Chaser.

Ves and Gloriana emerged from the ship in full splendor.

Ves decided to wear his full Pride of Dusk ensemble.
Already, his overcoat radiated a powerful aura, making him appear more imposing and important.

The woman clinging on his arm looked incredibly resplendent.
Since this was her first formal introduction to the people working for Ves, she made sure to look as perfect as possible by her boyfriend ’s side!

Her blue ocean dress lovingly caressed her form.
Exotics embedded onto its fabric elegantly sparkled in the diffused light of the planet ’s ever-present cloud cover.
A stylish, open coat partially covered her upper torso, giving her a more sophisticated and professional look.

Gloriana also braided a portion of her hair in a crown-like braid, leaving plenty of curls to frame her imperious face.

The two of them appearing together in this fashion made a very powerful statement to the people gathered at the landing zone.

The only incongruous element that spoiled their imposing looks was the identical cat ears affixed to their heads!

The cat ears injected a very noticeable amount of silliness and eccentricity to their public image.
The journalists invited by the LMC to witness the homecoming of its founder and lead designer looked gobsmacked.

”How adorable! Ves Larkinson and Gloriana Wodin aren ’t afraid to play around! ”

”What a great catch! Ves Larkinson has won one of the greatest jackpots that a Brighter could win! With a wealthy Hexer at his side, his money problems are a thing of the past! ”

”What a detestable couple! The Bright Republic has always been friends with the Coalition! Ves Larkinson has betrayed our state and sold himself out to the Hegemony! ”

Neither Ves nor Gloriana took notice of the chattering of the press.
They both walked side by side as they descended from the ramp.

Behind them, their cats obediently followed after their owners.
Lucky had activated his CFA-grade sensors to scan for threats, while Clixie did the same with her own exceptional senses.

Nitaa, Melody and the guards of the Glory Battalion trailed after the cats.
The bodyguards all fanned out and surrounded the two Journeymen in a half-circle.

The procession walked forward to a raised stage prepared for the pair.
As Ves and Gloriana slowly walked up to the stage, they both studied the hundreds of mechs that had formed up into rows to greet their return.

Most of the mechs standing in formation consisted of the mechs of the newly-founded Living Sentinels Security Company.

The majority of people and assets of the old incarnation of the Avatars of Myth now wore the livery of the Living Sentinels.
Four of their mech companies turned out in force, their silver and green mechs standing proud under the turbulent skies of Cloudy Curtain.

What impressed Ves the most about the Living Sentinels was that they incorporated many of his silver label mechs.
Their landbound mech companies fielded a lot of Blackbeaks and Crystal Lords, granting the company-owned force a lot of offensive and defensive power!

The spaceborn mech companies of the Living Sentinels made an even greater impression.
Due to the current crisis, the Living Sentinels furloughed almost all of their existing spaceborn mechs in favor of adopting the LMC ’s new Desolate Soldier model.

Concentrating so many Desolate Soldiers in a single place produced a powerful aura that overwhelmed practically every other aura in the air! An enormous sense of duty and purpose arose in the hearts and minds of every person present!

Under the influence of this powerful aura, the Living Sentinels became incredibly attentive to the return of the most important person in the LMC!

Without the existence of Ves Larkinson, the LMC was just a hollow shell! Only now did the Living Sentinels feel that they could perform their true duty!

”How powerful. ” Gloriana softly sighed as she witnessed so many of her boyfriend ’s mechs.
”Our Desolate Soldier mechs are more impressive than I thought. Their divinity is so concentrated here that it feels as if I ’ve stepped into a holy land! ”

”My mechs do have the tendency to do that when grouped up in great numbers. ” Ves responded mildly.

As impressive as the Living Sentinels appeared, their mechs obediently gave ground to the gold-and-red coated mechs standing at the very front.

Blackbeaks, Crystal Lords, Aurora Titans and even a dozen Desolate Soldiers all greeted the arrival of Ves with an immense degree of pride.

The Avatars of Myth, a mech force that solely answered to him, greeted his return by stretching out their arms!

The mechs of the Living Sentinels followed suit a second later!

The sight of so many mechs saluting to Ves made him feel unprecedentedly powerful!

Though the Avatars of Myth and the Living Sentinels weren ’t as strong as the Glory Battalion, they ultimately answered to him! Even if the Living Sentinels technically answered to the LMC, he could always regain direct control by exercising his power!

That was much better than Gloriana ’s relationship to her Glory Battalion.

Once he finished taking in the sheer amount of mechs under his control, he began to speak.

”I have returned. ” His voice boomed over the entire landing zone.

With all of the local journalists reporting on the event, Ves was very sure that the rest of Cloudy Curtain witnessed his return as well.
Since his homecoming had turned into a grand spectacle all of a sudden, why not take advantage of the free publicity?

”I have travelled the breadth of the Komodo Star Sector and visited amazing planets.
Yet no matter how lofty Centerpoint seduced me with its wealth, Cloudy Curtain has always been my home.
Now that the Bright Republic is in danger, the Living Mech Corporation is ready to assist in the defense of our state! ”

The pervasive aura of duty radiating from the Desolate Soldiers put force in his words.
Even the people watching his homecoming from a projection would inevitably be influenced by a portion of this aura.

Many people started to pay more attention.

”The Living Mech Corporation has always existed to serve the people. ” Ves confidently spoke.
”During these dangerous times, the LMC is ready to step up.
Our new Desolate Soldier model is tailor-made to defend our vulnerable star systems.
Not only is it cheap to the point where we ’re willing to forego a lot of profit, it is also the only mech that can inspire the people and lift up everyone ’s hearts. ”

Many people had become aware of the Desolate Soldier model, but it didn ’t hurt for him to add his own voice to the discussion.

”We know that selling fantastic mechs with unique strengths is not enough. ” Ves added grimly.
”For this reason, I am willing to contribute to the defense of the Bright Republic in a more substantive fashion.
We have made agreements with the Mech Corps to accept several vital defense missions to cover vulnerable star systems situated at the border with the Coman Federation.
My Avatars of Myth and Living Sentinels will soon dispatch some mech companies to bolster the defenses of the star systems under pressure and help resist the sandmen! ”

To be fair, even if he didn ’t volunteer his mech forces, the government would have found some way to force him to.
With more and more emergency decrees taking effect, the time where private outfits could do what they wanted had faded.

Even so, his lofty words strengthened everyone ’s sense of duty.
No matter if they were his subordinates or people tuning in the broadcast from their homes, Ves appeared exceptionally noble and selfless at this moment!

”It ’s good to be home. ”

If you find any errors ( broken links, non-standard content, etc..
), Please let us know so we can fix it as soon as possible.

Tip: You can use left, right, A and D keyboard keys to browse between chapters.

点击屏幕以使用高级工具 提示:您可以使用左右键盘键在章节之间浏览。

You'll Also Like