ess spoiled brats who threw a lot of money around.
They only recognized people who were capable and brilliant enough to contribute substantially to the organization!

Ves recognized that this was an indirect way to favor passage to the most ardent supporters of the MTA.
This gave the MTA a lot more influence over the Red Ocean!

The limitations surrounding merits also prevented too many groups from flooding the Red Ocean.

As huge as a galaxy appeared to be, the Red Ocean was just a smaller satellite of the Milky Way.

The former was just 1.56 percent as big as the latter!

If every Tom, Dick and Harry obtained passage to the Red Ocean, too much chaos and infighting would ensue, which distracted from the larger conflict against the aliens!

As Journeymen, the prospects of earning enough merits to afford a second-class fleet beyond ticket seemed incredibly distant.

However, Gloriana was not someone who gave up easily, while Ves believed that he was different!

Both of them did not shy away from this challenge!

They studied the list carefully.

”Contributing to the fight against aliens is a good way to earn merits! ” Ves discovered.

However, Gloriana quickly shook her head.
”Before you get excited, you should look up the reward levels.
The Sand War is a low-level conflict in the eyes of the Big Two.
Even if we contributed significantly to the war effort by selling lots of Soldier mechs, we haven ’t actually earned a lot of merits. ”

Ves and Gloriana both browsed their personal accounts at the MTA.

He had never paid attention to it before since he didn ’t want to get too entangled in the MTA ’s affairs.
Even so, he already earned numerous merits through various actions.

For example, advancing to Journeyman and pissing off the CFA already earned him some merits!

The latter especially surprised him! Although the MTA only credited him 1,000 merits for raiding a CFA battleship, he found it exceptionally funny that such antics actually counted!

”Hahaha! ” He laughed.
”The MTA really encourages people to antagonize the CFA! ”

Gloriana shrugged.
”The two don ’t exactly like each other.
They are only working together because they don ’t have much choice in the matter. ”

What Ves found despairing was that even his contributions in the Sand War amounted to 10,000 merits.
Gloriana earned a bit less merits because she was only a contributing designer in their recent design projects.

Surprisingly, Gloriana actually accumulated a bit more merits in total because of past minor contributions to the MTA.

”I earned them when I was spending a few years on Centerpoint. ” She explained.
”The MTA offers many assignments there, but most don ’t offer too many merits in reward.
It ’s not worthwhile for us to go back. ”

When they looked back at the list of ways to earn merit, something else stood out to Ves.
”We can also earn merits from building masterwork mechs! ”

The MTA appreciated excellence in mech design.
They granted a fixed reward of merits to anyone who built a masterwork mech.

What truly interested Ves and Gloriana was that the MTA multiplied this reward by a hundred as long as it received a pristine masterwork mech!

What the MTA exactly planned to do with a masterwork mech, no one knew.
All Ves cared about was that it was extremely profitable to build masterwork mechs for the MTA!

Unfortunately, the reward varied according to the class and individual power of the masterwork mech.
Submitting a third-class masterwork mech yielded around 10,000 merits, while a second-class masterwork mech was worth around a million merits!

Ves would have to build 100 masterwork mechs to earn enough merits to redeem an appropriate beyonder ticket!

”That ’s too much! We can ’t possibly build so many in a span of a decade! ”

There weren ’t any other easy ways for them to earn merits besides that.
Fortunately, 1 million merits per second-class masterwork mech was just a guideline.
They could easily earn several times more merits if they designed a higher-performing second-class mech.

The most profitable masterwork mechs they could submit was therefore an expert mech or higher!

They only had to design a handful of them in order to earn 100 million merits!

Of course, Ves immediately dismissed this silly notion.
He wasn ’t even qualified to participate in the development of an expert mech at his current state.

Nonetheless, Ves and Gloriana both saw hope for the future.
As long as they expended a lot of effort in improving their chances of creating a masterwork mech, then they might be able to earn the status of galactic pioneer by themselves!

”It ’s not easy to make so many contributions to the MTA, but I believe we can do it! ” Gloriana boldly stated.

”I agree.
Let ’s try to do as best as we can in the following decade or so.
We might be in a completely different situation by then! ”

Ves knew that this was not enough.
The MTA set the bar high because they wanted the best.
There were so many people in the galaxy that they had to impose harsh conditions in order to limit the amount of galactic pioneers.

Nonetheless, Ves believed that he had much better chances than most.
His various advantages along with his rapid rate of improvement ensured that he would be in a much better position than most Journeymen and Seniors!

Perhaps one of the most important ways he could improve his circumstances was by deepening his relations with the Rim Guardians.

Though the Rim Guardian Fraternity was only a faction within the MTA, it probably offered many ways to assist the people they favored.

Ves already figured out that only strangers and outsiders had to pay the most in order to obtain a beyonder ticket!

He ’d be stupid if he didn ’t find some way to get in the good graces of some of the members of the MTA!

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