, and that will be very bad for the masterminds behind this scheme.
Besides, the attacks have only struck our external partners so far.
The LMC itself has remained unaffected thanks to the protection of the Living Sentinels. ”

Though Ves and the LMC already dispatched a portion of Living Sentinels to the front, plenty more remained behind to protect the LMC ’s existing assets and shipping routes.

There was no way to attack any property owned by the LMC without employing a huge amount of mechs!

As for the damage suffered by third-party manufacturers? That was none of the LMC ’s business! It was their fault that they skimped on security!

Even if an external partner lost the ability to produce Desolate Soldiers, the LMC could simply dump them and hand over the contract to another company!

”The actions in the dark aren ’t limited to harassing the operations of your third-party manufacturers.
They ’re also targeting you in person. ”

”Hahaha! ” Ves laughed.
”I ’m already used to that! Let alone my Avatars of Myth, any assassins will have to go through the Glory Battalion before they get to me! I ’ve survived so many crises that you can call me a space cockroach! ”

Calabast pursed her lips at him.
”The people who are plotting against you are well aware of that.
Instead of attempting a series of feeble assassination attempts, they ’re preparing for something grander.
They know that they can only make a single attempt at your life before the government becomes alarmed. ”

”Who are these people, exactly? ”

”I ’m not sure.
They ’re being very careful, as can be expected when so many interests are at stake.
I ’m certain that at least a couple of Seniors from the Ansel alumni network are involved, but it ’s difficult to pin down their names. ”

”Doesn ’t the entire network pretty much hate me due to my association with Professor Ventag? ”

”Ansel is not a monolithic entity, kid.
From what I ’ve heard, Professor Pendleton, who you ’ve already met, is fairly persistent in trying to beat you fair and square.
He believes that mech designers should beat other mech designers in the arena of the mech market.
He ’s one of the lead designers of the collaborative design project meant to form a solution against your Desolate Soldiers. ”

That sounded surprisingly fair of his old foe.
While Ves always disliked Professor Pendleton, he admired the Senior ’s principles.

Ves mentally tipped his hat to Professor Pendleton.

”I ’m eager to see how these Ansel folks plan to upstage my Desolate Soldier ’s value proposition. ” He grinned in anticipation.

Calabast shook her head at the sight.
Ves wasn ’t taking her warnings seriously!

Fortunately, she wasn ’t entirely on her own.
In addition to the organization she built up, she also snapped up the Swordmaidens as well as other desperate outfits.

In truth, Ves did appreciate her forewarnings.
Having someone like Calabast passing on crucial information would allow him to prepare for threats in advance!

That was much better than before, where he had to deal with many dangers out of the blue.

The two began to talk about less acute developments.
For example, Calabast shared some of her thoughts on what the government was doing at this time.

”It ’s all hands on deck at the central government. ” She said.
”They can barely afford to divert some of their time towards you and your Desolate Soldier model.
In particular, they ’ve reached out to numerous states and organizations for entreaties. ”

”What does that mean? ”

”The Bright Republic is looking for allies to shoulder the burden. ”

”That sounds hard. ”

”It is, but the government believes it ’s worthwhile to forge greater cooperation.
You ’ll probably hear the results within a couple of months. ”

Aside from this, Calabast didn ’t really offer anything that aroused his interest.
After she finished informing Ves of what he needed to know, she revealed some of her own plans.

”Right now is an especially volatile time.
A lot of elements are moving and a lot of opportunities have arisen.
I ’d be remiss if I don ’t take advantage of this situation as much as possible. ”

”Will you be gone, then? ”

She nodded.
”You can already take care of yourself to an extent.
With my existing arrangements, I ’m confident I can stop or hinder any small actions targeted against you or your company.
I ’ll have an assistant visit you periodically in order to inform you what my organization has achieved. ”

”Does your organization have a name? ”

”You can call us the C-Men. ”

Ves immediately chortled in reaction.
”What kind of name is that?! ”

”I ’m just joking, kid. ” Calabast shook her head at his infantile reaction.
”I haven ’t settled on a name yet.
It ’s very difficult to come up with a name that makes my people proud while giving away as little as possible to our enemies. ”

”You previously worked for a Hexer intelligence agency called DIVA, right? ”

”I see you ’ve fallen into its trap.
DIVA is an acronym meant to make people underestimate the organization.
Its propensity to hire agents from the prominent dynasties of the Hegemony means that men are especially prone to underestimating what it ’s capable of.
If you think that DIVA is filled with vain and air-headed divas, then think again. ”

Ves stopped smiling.
”I see. ”

After they were done laughing, Calabast stood up and turned to the exit.
”This will be my last visit for a while.
We ’ll keep in touch through other means.
Until then, stay out of trouble! ”

”I know! You ’re not my mom, Calabast! ”

”I might as well be! ”

Once she left, Ves sat back down and processed what he learned.
He obtained a decent amount of critical information, though he heard nothing too pertinent that demanded him to take immediate action.

What concerned him the most was the MTA ’s imminent announcement and the development of a direct competitor to his Desolate Soldier.

While Ves believed that his monopoly on spiritual components gave him a huge advantage, he was not the only mech designer who could offer something unique.
A lot of Seniors developed their own advantages which they relied on to gain a solid footing in the market.

”If a single Senior designs a mech, then I shouldn ’t be worried. ” He considered while rubbing his chin.
”If five of them have banded together, then that is something different! ”

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