After a day of drafting and preparation work, the mech designers of the LMC made a lot of progress.

With the help of the assistant mech designers, Ves quickly selected the most appropriate new generation components to pair with his marksman mech.

Since Ves intended to design a premium mech, he benefited from a generous budget.

Armor was by far the most expensive component of most mechs.
What made his marksman mech different was that Ves did not intend to allocate the bulk of his budget on improving its toughness.

In fact, he chose to do the opposite! Ves settled for a cheap, lastgen armor system that offered poor protection but was very easy to work with.
Not only that, but he only applied the minimum amount of armor necessary to hold the mech together and prevent it from deforming if subjected to gravity!

Perhaps normal mech pilots would never entrust their lives on such flimsy protection.
His marksman mech was as fragile as a light mech but without the corresponding degree of mobility!

However, Ves had faith that the Ylvainan mech pilots he targeted would not be deterred!

In order to devote as much of the mech to offense as possible, Ves also opted to mount his mech with a very basic flight system.

His marksman mech ’s flight system was smaller and stubbier than the flight systems of other ranged mechs.
This made his mech sluggish to the point that it was unsuitable to confront an enemy directly.

The advantage of using a small and weak flight system was that it didn ’t occupy much space.
It was also cheap and consumed a lot less energy.

Gloriana expressed some misgivings about this design choice.
”The lack of mobility won ’t matter much against the sandmen, but it will make our mech a sitting duck against other opponents.
Human enemies aren ’t as stupid as the sandmen.
They know when they should prioritize distant but acute threats such as marksman mechs. ”

”It ’s fine if our mech design doesn ’t have much longevity once the Sand War is over. ” Ves sighed.
”I ’m not entirely satisfied with the new generation components the MTA has released.
Right now, I want to maximize the combat effectiveness of our marksman mech against the sandman.
If I try to make my mech effective against enemy mechs as well, we risk making too many compromises.
That will weaken its effectiveness against both sandmen and mechs. ”

Ves knew that the mech concept that underpinned his this project was not completely reliable.
He did not wish to tack on too many roles to his marksman mech.
Putting too many expectations on it would only weaken its main purpose, which was to snipe sandman admirals down.

Another factor that he needed to take into account was whether Ylvaine ’s spiritual fragment would offer its assistance.

He decided to make sure he gained the fragment ’s consent before proceeding further.

He briefly closed his eyes and concentrated on his Transcendent Messenger design.
He slowly made contact with Ylvaine ’s spiritual fragment.

Before he could communicate his inquiry, the fragment transmitted positivity to him.
It had already assented to his plans!

He snorted.
”I hate it when you do that. ”

Ves already expected this answer.
Even though Ves intended to make his marksman mech work by exploiting its design spirit, his work did not damage the interests of the Ylvainan people!

In fact, his work would benefit them hugely!

The sandman race threatened every state in the Komodo Star Sector.
If the current trend of the war persisted, then the Ylvaine Protectorate might get overrun!

Even if the Ylvaine Protectorate managed to hold their ground, the Bright Republic and other nearby states may fall instead! Once that happened, the sandmen could quickly turn around and flank the Protectorate, thereby causing it to fall in the end!

The Ylvainans had to prevent both outcomes as much as possible!

From what Ves understood of the Great Prophet when he was alive, Ylvaine considered himself to be the shepherd and the protector of his followers.

He would not remain still if the Ylvainan people needed his help.

Therefore, Ves already assumed that Ylvaine ’s spiritual fragment would approve of his marksman mech design.

He did not take the spiritual fragment ’s approval for granted.
While Ylvaine was known to be generous to those who didn ’t share his beliefs, Ves did not wish to make any excessive demands.

Who knew what would happen if a Brighter piloted a mech under the purview of Ylvaine ’s spiritual fragment! The clash between a secularist and a living remnant of an ardent religious figure would definitely be spicy!

”Compatibility between a mech and a mech pilot is a huge concern. ” Gloriana identified.
”Since this mech performs best in the hands of an Ylvainan mech pilot, I agree with your decision to make it an exclusive Ylvainan design. ”

To facilitate her understanding of his mech, Ves already informed her about Ylvaine ’s spiritual fragment beforehand.

Naturally, she regarded it as a proto-god.

Aside from this difference in perspective, both of them were aligned on this project.
Ves always appreciated Gloriana ’s willingness to accept and believe in his design choices, no matter how weird they sounded.

Ves had to do his best to vindicate Gloriana ’s unquestioning trust in his design abilities.
He could not afford to fail in this project!

The rifle model they selected out of the available choices was the most remarkable part about their draft design.

After making a lot of comparisons, Ves settled for a new generation model called the Executor.

While the improvements of a new generation gauss rifle was not very substantial compared to a lastgen model, he did not wish to compromise the offensive power of his mech!

The Executor was so big that the marksman mech still looked a bit too small to wield such a massive weapon.

Ordinarily, a weapon of this size was already qualified to be called a cannon if not for its lackluster caliber.

The main reason why the gauss rifle was so large and unwieldy was not because it fired large projectiles.

The developers of the Executor instead focused mainly on maximizing its muzzle velocity.

The gauss rifle spat out rounds much faster than other models.
This put an enormous stress on its body, which meant that it needed a lot of strengthening and recoil compensation.

It also happened to make the rifle very big and fragile.
It only took a couple of light hits to disable the weapon!

To be fair, most ranged mechs suffered from the same vulnerability.
It was just that his marksman mech could not rely on mobility to avoid incoming damage.

”This mech looks like it ’s ready to snipe some sandman admirals. ” Gloriana tentatively approved of the draft.
”Its lack of defense and mobility is rather concerning, but I think it will pair well as long as it enjoys the protection of a knight mech. ”

Ves smiled.
”This isn ’t a mech that is designed to defeat its opponents alone.
It ’s a mech that expands the options of what a mech force can do.
As long as our mech can rely on the protection and cover of other mechs, it can showcase its full might! ”

The situation of his marksman mech reminded him of the Aurora Titan.
Even though the mech wasn ’t useful for anything except repelling enemy attacks, it turned out to be okay in the end.
Plenty of customers found a good use of the mech.

In fact, his marksman mech would pair exceptionally well with an Aurora Titan!

One mech focused on extreme offense.
The other mech focused on extreme defense.
Putting them together resulted in something akin to a mobile defensive platform!

Of course, the main downside was that this defensive platform was only mobile in a relative sense! The mobility of the Aurora Titan was truly abysmal, making it impossible to avoid any strong attacks or keep up with fast-moving formations!

Fortunately, mobility warfare had never been much of a priority in the Sand War.
Most fights devolved into primitive slugfest where one side attempted to outlast the other side!

Since his marksman mech was optimized to fight the sandmen, Ves did not expect it to remain very relevant once the sandman threat had passed.

However, Ves had a faint suspicion that the Ylvainans might surprise him! For this reason, he did not completely dare to rule out the possibility that his mechs might be employed against human opponents one day.

”Have you thought over the political implications of this mech design? ” Gloriana suddenly asked.

”Hm? ”

”Think of what you are planning to design.
Is this mech supposed to benefit the Ylvainans, or everyone else who are resisting the sandmen? ”

Ves helplessly smiled.
”The latter, of course.
If I had a choice, I would have tailored my design to Brighters.
Unfortunately, you ’ve already seen the reaction of the Tovars.
They don ’t want anything to do with the Ylvainan Faith, let alone put their trust into something as vague as intuition. ”

”Let ’s suppose this idea works.
Let ’s assume that when the Ylvainans start deploying our marksman mechs en masse, they manage to finish their battles a lot sooner than before because they have become good at sniping sandman admirals.
Do you think the other states will sit still? ”

”Ah. ” Ves scratched his hair.
”I can already anticipate their first reaction.
They ’ll buy a bunch of our new mechs and attempt to accomplish the same feats with their own mech pilots.
They ’ll fail.
Our marksman mechs are only effective in the hands of an Ylvainan expert pilot who specializes in ranged mechs! ”

”Then the other states will have no choice but to beg the Ylvainans to dispatch some of their mech pilots to defend their own territories! ”

Ves could see now that this would have vast diplomatic implications.
An ideological conflict could not be ruled out either!

”If the Bright Republic has to depend on a mech that only works because its mech pilot is a devout believer, hardly any Brighter will feel at ease! ”

”What ’s worse is that you ’re the designer, Ves. ”

He couldn ’t help but chuckle.
Now that he thought about it, the situation sounded quite absurd!

”Well, I don ’t have any other choice. ” He shrugged.
”The Ylvainans are the only ones on hand who can enable this kind of mech.
Even if the Bright Republic has a problem with this idea, they can ’t argue with the results.
If our mechs perform as expected, then every other state will be begging the Ylvainans for assistance! ”

”The Ylvainan government can use this opportunity to trade for some concessions.
Our marksman mech is destined to empower the Protectorate! ”

Hearing that made Ves a little worried.
Not everyone would appreciate his support for the Ylvainans.
Certainly, developing such a mech would definitely make his status as a Brighter more awkward.

”It ’s just a single mech design. ” He eventually brushed aside his concerns.
”If I need to reassert my loyalty to the Bright Republic, I ’ll just design another mech that accomplishes this result! ”

”The commission that you ’ve accepted is the perfect opportunity to do so, Ves.
Didn ’t the government ask you to design a mech that is meant to please the former separatists from Bentheim? Designing a single custom mech won ’t necessarily change the outcome of the Sand War, but it is still a great opportunity to boost your reputation and influence public opinion! ”

”Just like my Transcendent Messengers. ”

”Exactly! ”

Now that he thought about it, Gloriana had a good point.
Perhaps there was a bit more merit to designing a custom mech for Vincent Ricklin than he thought.
Due to the nature of the commission, a lot of people would certainly pay attention to the custom mech he designed!

Of course, Ves did not place much hope in affecting the Bright Republic as much as he did when he designed the Transcendent Messengers.

”Vincent Ricklin is due to arrive tomorrow. ” He said.
”Let ’s hope he doesn ’t make any impractical demands for his custom mech. ”

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