While Ves considered himself to be an artful mech designer, Gloriana was no slouch in this department either.
The Hexer clients she catered to in the past always liked to make their mechs more grand and imposing.
The Hexer mech culture also featured a light degree of gender segregation in many cases.
Male mech pilots predominantly piloted masculine-looking mechs while female mech pilots preferred more feminine-looking mechs.
This was not a hard rule, though.
The more liberal parts of the Hegemony did not adhere too much to this custom.
In parts where hexism was more predominant, it became a lot more evident.
So Gloriana possessed a fair amount of experience in designing mechs that purposefully leaned towards a masculine and feminine aesthetic.
She just never added a codpiece to her mechs before.
In the Hexadric Hegemony, designing such a ridiculously chauvinistic ornament would have instantly ruined her reputation!
Even now, she was well aware that her involvement in the Adonis Colossus project might lead to unwelcome repercussions if she returned to her own society.
’t care, though.
Collaborating with Ves on a custom mech design was a dream come true for her.
Regardless of how much criticism she might be subjected to, she would never give up the opportunity to become more intimate with her boyfriend ’s design philosophy!
After spending an entire hour, she finished her answer to Vincent ’s request.
The ’codpiece ’ that adorned the draft design of the Adonis Colossus project looked nothing like the ancient versions that adorned the suits of armor.
Instead, Gloriana successfully managed to design a modern rendition of a codpiece that looked tasteful and anything but obscene.
”The main reason why the codpieces in the articles look so awful is because they stick out from the pelvis at a perpendicular angle. ” Gloriana explained.
Ves nodded in agreement.
”It ’s as if the wearers of the codpiece are prepared to satisfy their lust instead of fighting a war. ”
”Codpieces like that are designed to suggest virility.
The problem is that their angle, size and shape make them too attention-grabbing.
Anyone who sees them for the first time will immediately ignore the rest of the armor and fixate on the codpiece.
I don ’t think Vincent wants that.
A codpiece that is too exaggerated will turn him into an object of ridicule, which is the opposite of what he wants to achieve. ”
I get it.
The first purpose of the mech is to raise his profile.
He wants to turn himself into an object of admiration that everyone looks up to.
The Adonis Colossus can only do that if it looks impressive and manly but not to the point of turning it into a parody! ”
”The problem we
’re facing is that the first purpose clashes with the second purpose, which is to affirm his masculinity and boost his mentality.
An inadequate codpiece won ’t give him the satisfaction he needs to feel validated. ”
”So the codpiece has to be large, but also shaped in a way that won
’t look obscene.
” Ves described.
”At the very least, it should look kid-friendly enough to avoid indignation from parents. ”
That ’s why I shaped the codpiece in this style.
Its dimensions are quite sizable, but because it ’s pointed downwards like an arrow, it can still be mistaken for something else.
It leans more towards emphasizing the martial prowess of a man rather than his virility in bed. ”
The tasteful codpiece that Gloriana finally came up with looked like if a man placed his palm against his stomach and slid it downwards.
The subtle bulge that curved out from the pelvis attracted a minor amount of attention to the codpiece without suggesting that the Adonis Colossus was ready to jump on a feminine-shaped mech!
Instead, the codpiece looked like it was purely there to protect the vulnerable equipment of the mech.
By giving the illusion that it was functional, it shouldn ’t attract too much condemnation.
”Now, we should see what Vincent has to say. ”
When the two mech designers showed off the rendition to Vincent, the man fell silent.
He studied the Adonis Colossus through every angle.
He zoomed in and zoomed out as if he was trying to see if the codpiece was still noticeable at a distance.
The effort Vincent put into evaluating the codpiece was disturbing!
Eventually, he completed his judgement.
”It ’s not what I expected. ”
satisfied? ” Ves cautiously asked.
It looks different from what I imagined.
A part of me thinks it looks better.
Another part of me feels the codpiece should be bigger. ”
”I personally designed the codpiece. ” Gloriana stated without shame.
Due to her identity, Vincent was reluctant to voice his doubts and objections.
If Ves had designed the codpiece, he would have been much more ready to argue about its underwhelming aesthetics.
However, now that Gloriana took sole responsibility for the codpiece, how could Vincent argue about the size of the package in front of a woman of exceedingly high status?
Vincent glanced briefly at the media crew and recorder bot floating at the side.
He wanted to chronicle the most exciting parts of his life.
Giving his fans a look into the design process of his Adonis Colossus was part of his plan to build up hype around himself.
He would not look good if he quibbled over the codpiece to Gloriana!
Therefore, after a perfunctory talk, Vincent reluctantly accepted the outcome.
”I have to admit it looks classier than I thought.
If you can make it just a teensy bit larger, I ’ll be a lot more comfortable with piloting this mech. ”
Gloriana curtly nodded.
”We shall take your feedback under consideration.
Let me remind you that the Adonis Colossus you see before you is merely a draft.
It serves the same purpose as concept art.
The mech will most likely undergo substantial alterations before we finalize its design.
We will keep you in the loop. ”
Make sure to get it done quickly.
I need it in two months! ”
Once Vincent left with his crew, Ves sighed in relief.
’t respect me as much as you.
” Ves sardonically remarked.
”It was the right decision to put you in charge of this aspect. ”
Now that their guests had left, Gloriana relaxed her stern demeanor and sank into his arms as if she was a dog looking for affection.
”Hihi! I know how to handle boys like Vincent.
I ’ve met plenty of people of his type at Centerpoint. ”
”I ’m very impressed. ”
After snuggling for a while, they went back to work.
Now that they completed the preliminary steps for the Adonis Colossus and Deliverer projects, they moved on to designing the mechs at full speed.
Both of them had become a lot more proficient in working together.
The five Tovars who assisted them also finished their integration in the LMC ’s design team.
Productivity soared and the design team achieved considerably more results than before!
During this time, Ves and Gloriana both devoted the bulk of their focus on different mech designs.
Whenever they worked on the Deliverer project, Ves clearly took the lead.
His passion and his commitment in this project had reached a peak.
He really wanted the Deliverer mech to make the impact he envisioned!
”The Deliverer design will doubtlessly be met with doubt and derision from the public.
” Ves remarked as he tweaked the gauss rifle design that served as the main armament.
”I don ’t care.
As long as everything goes as planned, the Ylvainans will show that it ’s possible to win the Sand War! ”
The restricted footage and reports painted a grim picture.
The sandman assaults continued to assail the border systems without any interruption!
While the defenders were more than capable of repelling lots of sandman fleets, the constant influx of intruders were starting to push the defenders to their limits!
More and more minor star systems succumbed as the limited garrison forces failed to keep up with the grueling frequency of battles!
As more and more minor star systems fell into the hands of the sandmen, the major star systems came under increasing pressure as they became more and more isolated!
With the sandmen entering the fortified star systems from different directions, the reserves that ordinarily relieved the main force had to be put to use in repelling the flanking sandman fleets!
Casualties mounted as the defensive forces had no choice but to fight several back-to-back battles with hardly any rest in between!
Starfighter pilots died by droves.
Mech pilots started to make mistakes as fatigue dulled their performance.
Entire debris fields filled with dead sand and valuable wreckage floated away untouched as there weren ’t enough assets in place to salvage the valuables.
The Bright Republic continued to spend money like water, causing this month ’s inflation to exceed 27 percent!
Even if the government stopped publishing direct war reports to the public, many civilians figured out that the rate of inflation was a decent indicator of how well their home state fared.
If the government was so desperate to print more money, then the Bright Republic was evidently in a worse state than before!
The bad news did not solely linger in the Bright Republic.
Worrying signs also emanated from its neighbors.
The Vesians, who were compelled to defend an elongated front, had already suffered several major defeats!
While the increasing influx of Desolate Soldiers and Prideful Soldiers managed to bolster the Vesian defense forces, they arrived awfully late!
As for the Ylvainans, their morale and fighting spirit remained high with the enthusiastic adoption of the Holy Soldiers.
However, the Ylvaine Protectorate
’s lack of wartime experience started to tell.
The Protectors of the Faith were too rigid and bound by their rules to adapt their mech doctrine and fighting methods.
The Protectorate ’s war-related infrastructure was not robust enough and couldn ’t handle a massive increase in the production of supplies and machines.
Its civilian industry took many more months than necessary to transition to a wartime footing.
All of these factors weakened the Ylvaine Protectorate
This meant that as long as the sandmen broke through the front, the Ylvainans would not be strong enough to stem the tide!
”What are you worried about, Ves? ” Gloriana asked when she saw that he paused in his work.
’m worried whether the third line of defense can hold.
The second line of defense crumbled quickly.
It ’s already admirable that the Bright Republic and the other states in the vicinity have held out so long. ”
”You ’re worried because you believe your Deliverer design can turn the tide, right? ”
He smiled at her.
Her remark hit straight at his heavy heart!
”You know me too well.
Perhaps it ’s arrogant for me to say so, but I truly believe the Deliverer design can save the beleaguered states! While my Deliverers are not very useful against the monolith or other massive configuration, it will at least offer a lot of relief against the increasingly-more prevalent swarm configuration! ”
For some reason, the stalling of the sandmen at the third line of defense had caused the sandmen to accelerate their adaptation.
There were more and more signs that the sandman admirals actively sought each other out and exchanged their best practices.
”I believe in you, Ves.
I ’m sure you ’ll be able to make the skeptics shut up once your Deliverers single-handedly save the lives of trillions of people at risk of being engulfed by the sandmen! I can ’t think of anything more noble than what you are attempting to do.
Even if the Deliverer falls short of your expectations, it ’s still worthwhile to make the attempt. ”
”I ’m really lucky to have an understanding girlfriend like you.
It means a lot that you believe in my work. ”
’s what I
” She grinned and pecked his cheek.
”I hope you extend the same courtesy to me.
Don ’t slack off when we ’re working on the Adonis Colossus project! ”
”I ’m doing the best I can. ”
”You haven ’t even prepared its proto-god yet! ”
”That ’s because I haven ’t made up my mind so far! I don ’t know whether I should reuse an existing design spirit or create a new one! ”
”Don ’t be lazy! If your existing proto-gods aren ’t good enough, then come up with something new! Don ’t let your opinion against our client affect your professionalism! The Adonis Colossus deserves better! ”
As much as Ves wanted to disagree with Gloriana, he knew she was right.
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