The codpiece.

In an age long before humanity rose to the stars, men needed to protect their bodies when they fought in battle.

However, a codpiece did not necessarily encompass the metal cup that men adorned in order to protect their reproductive organ.

”From a historical context, any pronounced article placed in the crotch area is called a codpiece. ” Gloriana seriously described as she read through a historical article projected from a terminal.

Ves, sitting besides her, tried his best to keep his expression under control.

The encyclopedia article that Gloriana pulled up after their latest meeting with Vincent frankly embarrassed him.
Did men in the past really wore outfits like this in polite society?

As a mech designer with a powerful cranial implant that boosted her cognitive functions, Gloriana ’s reading speed was incredibly fast.
She scrolled through the article at a pace that even Ves struggled to keep up!

The only disturbing aspect about her studying pattern was that she paused and lingered at the images for an oddly long time!

Right now, she spent over two minutes staring at a painting of a well-dressed man in a baroque-like outfit.
The orange doublet, the silky red undershirt and the flowing hose in the same color presented its wearer in a dignified manner.

The only issue that ruined any respect that Ves held for the main in the painting was the very pronounced bulge at the trunk! A distinct red codpiece in the same fabric as the hose bulged up to an exaggerating degree!

Ves felt so embarrassed by the sight that he couldn ’t stand the sight! How could any gentleman walk around and show off such an exaggeratingly padded codpiece to his peers?!

Worse, this was just one of many examples! He had encountered worse examples where the codpiece was practically shaped like a banana curving upwards!

Did the wearers of these codpieces truly needed so much room to accommodate their organs or were they just trying to misrepresent the size of their manhood?!

”This is quite intriguing! ” Gloriana commented as she scrolled down the article only to pause upon a suit of plate armor.
”Look, this is the codpiece of an ancient king who shaped human history! ”

His face colored further as he took in the three-dimensional projection of an ancient monarch called Henry VIII!

In his eyes, the suit of armor looked quite valiant and formidable.
Its huge left shoulder pauldron, its oval-shaped chest plate and its flexible lower skirt pieces or faulds granted it a lot of protection without immobilizing its wearer too much.

Yet the very pronounced codpiece sticking out from the middle of the faulds completely ruined the valiant and noble appearance of this kingly armor!

”Who is this Henry VIII, anyway?! ” Ves couldn ’t take it anymore.
”Is he a king or an insatiable beast?! ”

Gloriana shrugged.
”No idea.
According to the article, his armor reflects the prevailing fashion during this time. ”

”Just look at how much it bulges out of the pelvis area! It ’s as big as the gauntlets that protect the hands! It weighs a staggering 1.31 kilograms! ”

It was as if a clenched fist clad in armor stuck out from the lower half of the body!

While Ves looked sick from all of the obscene displays of manhood.

”Codpieces like this reflect a different time, Ves. ” She remarked as she glanced at Ves with an amused expression.
”Back then, boys like Henry VIII ruled humanity.
This is what happens when men are in charge of society.
It ’s much better these days.
At least half of the leaders in human space are women now. ”

”Well, codpieces are about to make another return in human civilization if we have to abide by Vincent ’s wishes. ”

Ves deeply wanted to keep this embarrassing ornament out of his design.
However, Vincent cared so much about this idiotic component that he insisted that Ves and Gloriana added it to the Adonis Colossus design!

With such a very straightforward demand, Ves could no longer stall or shirk this demand.

This was the reason why he was studying the codpiece with his girlfriend.
They needed to gain a thorough understanding of the codpiece in order to add one to a mech.

The first time he added a codpiece to a mech, he merely slapped a bulge to a customized Marc Antony design without much consideration.

That wouldn ’t cut it this time.
The Adonis Colossus was going to be a mech that was destined to become famous!

The government ’s considerable interest in making use of Vincent ’s fame and platform meant that his custom mech would certainly feature frequently in the propaganda broadcasts.

Knowing how much Senator Tovar and all the other schemers in the government valued Vincent, Ves had a responsibility to make the former rebel seem as respectable in battle as possible!

This goal conflicted with Vincent ’s insistence on the codpiece!

No matter how Ves decided to shape the codpiece, a bulge in front of the lower waist section of a mech would always attract a lot of attention!

Because no other mech featured this useless ornament!

”Mechs are machines.
What lies underneath their armor plating is a lot of metal, components and circuitry! There is no need for a mech to conform to every aspect of the human body! ”

”The customer is king, Ves.
As long as a demand is not excessive or impractical, it is our duty to implement it as best as we can.
It ’s not in our place to judge our clients. ”

Ves sighed.
”I know, Gloriana, but every codpiece that I ’ve seen is in exceptionally poor taste in modern standards.
I don ’t even know how you can keep together at the sight of so many exaggerated codpieces! ”

She giggled.
”I ’m not offended by these sights.
They ’re simply one of the many examples of how awful society was like when men were solely in power.
That the leader of a country has participated in this trend in person exemplified the degenerate patriarchy that held our race back! ”

To Gloriana, the depictions of codpieces in history reinforced her Hexer notions.
Ves really had no good way to retort other than to say this period was far in the past.

”What men designed to cover their junk in the past is not very relevant to us. ” He spoke.
”We should focus instead on what our own interpretation will be.
Obviously, a contemporary version of a codpiece should not be as exaggerated as the ones we ’ve seen. ”

Gloriana bumped Ves with her elbow while holding back a giggle.
”I don ’t know, Ves! Maybe Vincent will take a liking for a fist or banana-shaped codpiece! ”

”I ’d rather die than design a mech with such a tasteless bulge in the lower waist! ” Ves retorted!

He actually meant it! There was no way that Vincent would ever be able to persuade him to add such exaggerated codpieces to a product! His principles wouldn ’t allow it even if it was a direct demand from a client!

”You should lighten up, Ves.
We don ’t have to adhere to a codpiece design of the past.
I believe we can satisfy Vincent ’s desire without making our mech too shameless. ”

She swiped the article away and called up the draft of the Adonis Colossus.

The beefy hybrid mech with its thick limbs and frontal muscle contours looked incredibly masculine, just as Ves intended.

It was no surprise that Vincent Ricklin opted it over the other drafts that Ves prepared.
The raw masculinity and power exuded by the Adonis Colossus was a lot more straightforward compared to the handsome but skinnier Adonis Olympian.

To be honest, Ves thought that Vincent ’s body shape matched the Olympian a lot better than the Colossus.

However, the Colossus offered a lot more armor and protection to the mech pilot, which Vincent evidently valued more.

Leland described Vincent as an opportunist, so it shouldn ’t surprise Ves so much that the former rebel preferred to pilot a well-armored mech.

”From the articles we ’ve read, the codpiece was never truly about protecting a vulnerable organ. ” Gloriana lectured as she began to sketch a codpiece onto the draft design.
”If armor and custom designers really wanted to offer some padding or protection to a man ’s junk, they can easily do so in an unobtrusive manner.
For example, the faulds of King Henry VIII ’s suit of armor could have extended over the entire pelvis area. ”

”Codpieces served as a fashion trend. ” Ves echoed the articles that they both read.
”They ’re so pronounced because they were meant to attract attention.
The underlying idea behind the codpiece is that it serves as a symbol of martial prowess and male virility.
The reason why warriors added these stupid-looking codpieces to their suits of armor is because they wanted to show off their masculinity, equating it to their combat strength! ”

”That ’s right.
Don ’t you think that fits Vincent ’s motives well? He wants to add a codpiece to his custom mech for the same reason that those ancient chauvinists wore dome-shaped or banana-shaped codpieces in battle.
Even though it looks as if it is incredibly uncomfortable to wear, they still insisted on it because they feel more confident if they show off their supposed manhoods! ”

”People back then were ignorant. ”

The codpiece on the Adonis Colossus slowly took shape as Gloriana kept babbling her thoughts on this article.
She understood that the codpiece was never about functionality.
It was all about appearances.

”What Vincent wants is twofold, just like the boys who wore them in the past.
The first thing they want is to show off their manhood.
While the method is rather direct, I have to admit it makes for a powerful impression.
The more his audience is impressed, the more Vincent derives satisfaction from their awe and attention. ”

”What is the second thing he wants? ”

”The codpiece boosts his confidence and reinforces his ideal image of himself.
He ’s a boy who thinks that the only way he can be a winner in life is to become as masculine as possible.
Piloting a mech with a codpiece is a powerful talisman that makes him feel more at ease in battle.
It ’s similar to how little children like to hug their stuffed toys at sleep. ”

Vincent probably wouldn ’t like Gloriana likening his precious codpiece to a stuffed toy.
Too bad he wasn ’t here right now.

The codpiece that Gloriana sketched into shape looked quite tasteful to Ves.
It looked anything like the obscene codpieced that extended out from the ancient suits of armor in a perpendicular angle from the lower waist.

Ves did not really object to this codpiece design.
It fit rather elegantly to the Adonis Colossus.

”I ’m not sure that Vincent will be happy with this design. ” He muttered.
”It ’s too… understated.
There is hardly any manhood being revealed by this flat and subtle codpiece.
It ’s looks more like a thick pair of underwear that a mech decided to wear on the outside of its pants. ”

It was the kind of codpiece that fit well with an exaggerated superhero outfit that often showed up in the action dramas.

maybe you ’re right. ” She conceded.

She began to adjust the triangular-shaped codpiece downwards, making it appear that the wearer needed considerably more space to accommodate his manhood!

”How about this? ”

The codpiece extended a lot further from the waist now.
However, the ingenious part about Gloriana ’s adjustment was that it looked noticeable without appearing too obscene.

Ves genuinely praised her solution.
”This is quite a clever implementation.
The main problem I had with the codpieces depicted in the articles was that they stuck out like a very sore thumb.
Now that you made the dangling part more triangular and pointed it downwards, it looks a bit more classier than I thought.
It still looks offensive, but not to the point of shoving it in everyone ’s faces. ”

”I ’m not sure if this is enough. ” Gloriana pressed a finger to her lips.
”Maybe I need to add at least some curve to the front in order to provide the illusion of a bulge. ”

Ves and Gloriana continued to make adjustments for the rest of the day.

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