The Sand War escalated to a point where the Bright Republic ’s infrastructure constantly came under threat.

The pressure exerted by the sandman invaders hadn ’t faded at all after the CFA warfleet killed the sandman emperor and demolished the capital of the sandman empire.

Like bots following their programming to the very end, the sandman admirals constantly drove their fleets into human star systems and did not hesitate to fight unwinnable battles!

The lack of self-preservation exhibited by the remaining sandman leaders cast a very dreary cloud over the Bright Republic.

If they faced a human opponent like the Vesians, then the war would have ended by now.
No one liked to wage war where the price was higher than the cost.

Only the sandmen, who did not appear to value their lives at all, were crazy enough to drive their race to extinction!

With the fall of several important resource-providing star systems in the Bright Republic, it became harder and harder to produce mechs and high-quality war materiel.

Critical exotics which many mech models depended on suddenly came in short supply.

The Mech Corps requisitioned many of the remaining sources of exotics, thereby squeezing out the private sector in order to meet their own needs.

Not a single mech company could offer an objection.
The Mech Corps had to be reinforced with mechs and supplies above all else!

Most of the production facilities that used to mass produce mechs had already started transitioning to producing starfighters and lesser goods.

Unlike military mechs, the starfighters were deliberately designed to incorporate as little exotics as possible.

A lot of star systems were capable of supplying large amounts of common metals such as titanium, palladium and transuranic alloys.

It was just that the exploitation of these common materials had always been enough to meet the daily needs of consumers and producers of the Bright Republic.

Now that the production of starfighters became a priority, many mining companies explosively expanded their operations.

Even the LMC received the offer to produce starfighters, though so far Ves rejected it because there was still enough demand for his Soldier mechs.

”While it ’s not economical anymore to produce your Soldier mechs at the Mech Nursery, that isn ’t the case for our newly-built manufacturing complexes in Bentheim. ” Raymond Billingsley-Larkinson reported.
”Even if we are pretty much breaking even, the Bright Republic will never have enough Desolate Soldiers, Prideful Soldiers and Peaceful Soldiers. ”

”How much control do we have over our assets in Bentheim? ” Ves frowned.
”I ’m not there, after all.
I ’m worried if someone harbors some ideas. ”

”Don ’t worry.
We ’ve already transferred a lot of personnel from Cloudy Curtain to Bentheim.
Their loyalty to the LMC is still strong.
I decided to transfer Calsie to our branch office to ensure the branch managers are kept in check. ”

”That ’s a good decision.
I have faith in Calsie ’s loyalty.
What about the security issues? ”

”Due to the war, we haven ’t been able to transfer a sufficient amount of Living Sentinels to cover the full security needs of the new complexes.
However, the risk of attacks should be very low because martial law has recently come into effect. ”

”What?! ” Ves raised his head.
”That will definitely impact the local economy! ”

”Bentheim is already suffering from the drop in trade and production.
Life can ’t go back to normal unless the sandmen stop flooding the Bentheim System with their fleets! ”

Ves did not dare to underestimate the impact of these changes.
Bentheim loomed so large over everyone ’s heads that even a minor shift was enough to stir the rest of the Bright Republic!

”What about the Holy Soldiers? ” He asked, wanting to shift the topic away from his home state.

”The production of Holy Soldiers is fully in the hands of the Ylvainans.
There are already enough of the mechs to meet their needs, so the Protectorate is simply stockpiling our mechs in preparation for a long slog. ”

”I see. ”

Though the Ylvainans exhibited a lot of appreciation for his Holy Soldiers, they weren ’t irrational enough to neglect their other needs.
Defeating the sandmen came first.
Indulging in their spiritual needs came second.

Raymond patiently explained the LMC ’s position in every significant mech market.

”The Reinald Republic is surprisingly holding on, though it has already lost half of its territory. ”

”Oh? ” Ves raised his eyebrow.
”How have they managed to persist? ”

”What is left of the Reinaldan leaders have made huge concessions to the Vesia Kingdom and other states.
While we aren ’t privy to the exact details of their deals, it ’s possible Reinald has already been carved up by its neighbors! ”

”Good riddance. ” Ves sneered.

Whatever was happening in Reinald, the influx of foreign reinforcements from as far as the Sentinel Kingdom managed to stabilize the dire situation, if only barely.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this briefing was that the production of LMC mechs by third-party manufacturers would soon come to an end.

”The sandmen continue to disrupt the supply of raw materials. ” Raymond concluded.
”Even the states that aren ’t under attack have already reduced their exports in order to meet their own needs.
Aside from the few states that are a little short on Desolate Soldiers and Prideful Soldiers such as the Vesia Kingdom, we have already sold enough mechs to satisfy the most acute demand for our products. ”

The LMC had quickly sold over a million mechs in just half a year!

This was a stellar accomplishment that was enough to enshrine a mech company! If not for the Sand War, Ves was tempted to hold a formal celebration.

As it was, the survival of the LMC in the Bright Republic couldn ’t be guaranteed at this point.

”Is there anything else that needs to be brought to my attention? ”

”Aside from the usual friction with the government, no. ” Raymond replied.

”What about the Light Hounds.
Are they still sniffing around in the local asteroid belt? ”

”We haven ’t been able to gain any intelligence concerning their activities, including how much progress they made in hunting down the hiding sandmen. ”

The continued presence of two-thousand military mechs in the Cloudy Curtain System continued to worry Ves.
Why were they taking so long to root out the hiding sandman admirals?

Though the rest of the locals celebrated such a strong military presence, Ves wanted the mech regiment to return to Bentheim as soon as possible.

”If that ’s all, I ’ll be heading down to my workshop.
The time has come to finish my commission. ”

”To be honest, Ves, the war has progressed faster than any of us expected.
The former members of the BLM are already fighting hard for their homes.
The role of an individual celebrity is extremely limited. ”

”Regardless of that, I still have a job to complete. ”

Not only the Adonis Colossus, but also the Deliverer might arrive too late to fulfill its function.

Ves couldn ’t help it.
Designing a mech required time.
While he wasn ’t insensitive to the need for haste, he deeply objected to breaking his principles in order to rush his mech design.

At its current state, the Deliverer would only perform seventy to eight percent as well as Ves desired.

While that was already enough to make a critical difference in the war, Ves did not wish to publish a flawed and incomplete mech design in his name!

Of course, when the fate of the entire Bright Republic might be at stake, his decision weighed increasingly heavier on his heart.

He shook his head.
”Maybe I ’m being too conceited here.
How can a single mech design change the entire course of the war? I was already lucky enough with the Desolate Soldier. ”

While the news from the front sounded bad, the Bright Republic was still hanging on for now.

When he reached the lab and workshop floor, everything had been prepared for the upcoming fabrication session.

The LMC had already disassembled the prototype of the Adonis Colossus and recycled all of the materials.

While it was more convenient to keep the parts of the prototype intact, Ves and Gloriana never considered such a lazy option.

To them, the custom mech had to be built from the ground up in one single session.
This was what a custom mech deserved, especially one with a high price tag.

Gloriana already awaited him at the workshop.
During this time, she meditated at least twice a day, accelerating her recovery to the point where she was already halfway towards returning to her peak.

”Ves. ” She greeted him while holding Clixie.
”I ’m just waiting for the right time to pay my respects.
You go do your things in the meantime. ”

Let ’s make sure to get everything done within the next few days. ”

The Adonis Colossus was a hefty and expensive mech.
Its sheer complexity meant that Ves had to put all of his Assembly Skills to use in order to get it right the first time.

It was very inconvenient for them to attempt a second fabrication attempt if they somehow botched the first one.
Due to the scarcity of some high-value exotics, it wasn ’t possible to buy more batches from the open market.

As Gloriana locked herself in an empty office in order to pray to her altar in private, Vincent and his media personnel entered the workshop as well.

”Ves! Why did your security block my buddies?! I promised to let them watch! ”

”The workshop is a sensitive area to the LMC.
I have already made a huge concession by allowing you and some of your media crew to witness our work. ”

This was something that Vincent had insisted upon from the start.
While some mech designers were very reluctant to broadcast their work on the galactic net, Ves had no such scruples.

With his ability, Ves wasn ’t too worried about botching something up and embarrassing himself in the process.
In fact, he saw this as an opportunity to showcase his new strength.

Gloriana would be participating as well.
Her performance would definitely impress knowledgeable observers, thereby enhancing her prestige in the industry.

The second reason why he did not object to broadcasting the fabrication process was to show that he wasn ’t secretly messing with his mechs.

Due to the continued questions surrounding the glows of his mechs, Ves wanted to make it very clear that his mechs were still mechanical machines at heart.

Every observer would be able to watch him turn raw materials into mech parts.
After that, Ves would assemble them together into a single machine in a single, continuous session.

Once everyone saw that Ves wasn ’t inserting any bones in his mechs or blessing it with holy water or something, their suspicions would definitely be allayed somewhat.

While this problem wasn ’t particularly pressing at the moment, it was best to nip it in the bud before it had time to bloom.

about my mech.
Is it manly enough? ”

”Why don ’t you see for yourself? ”

Ves activated a nearby terminal and showed off the final iteration of the Adonis Colossus.
The large hybrid mech instantly caused Vincent to fall into silence.

Different from last time, Ves had finally instilled his design with its design spirit!

With Bravo empowering the design, it instantly radiated a charm that completely conformed to its spiritual foundation!

This high degree of fit resulted in a strong external glow that completely managed to charm Vincent despite the limitations of projections!

I can ’t wait to touch this mech! ”

”I ’m glad our work is to your satisfaction. ” Ves smiled.

Even as he casually chatted with Vincent, his fingers already moved over the terminal in order to shut off the projection.

He did not wish to give Vincent an opportunity to quibble over the codpiece or demand last-minute changes.

In truth, Ves had already taken advantage of the flashiness of the Adonis Colossus in order to divert Vincent away from any possible complaints.

Once Ves completed the commission, he didn ’t have to worry about these demands anymore!

After an hour of waiting, Gloriana finally emerged from her meditation.
”Let ’s begin! ”

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