To the organizers of the meeting, the outcome was already set in stone.

Ves left very clear instructions behind.
While he was completely absent, everyone else still retained a huge amount of respect for him! Whether it was his ability to earn a lot of money, his contributions to the state or his embodiment of Larkinson values, no one wished to oppose his will!

It was just that the decision to relocate everything to the Ylvaine Protectorate sat very poorly with many people.
Almost everyone attending the meeting consisted of Brighters.

While some were disappointed with their state, they still preferred to stick with the familiar instead of moving to foreign territory!

If they really had to leave the Bright Republic, then most of them would rather prefer it if they moved to a similar state!

The Sentinel Kingdom which Ves visited recently came up as a popular suggestion.
While it was engulfed in some sort of unrest related to the Nyxian Gap, the state was still far enough away from the frontier to escape the Sand War!

It was also firmly in the sphere of influence of the Hexadric Hegemony.
The Friday Coalition was on the opposite side of the star sector, so there was no way the Coalition would be able to threaten the LMC if he eventually returned!

Sadly, Ves firmly placed the Ylvaine Protectorate above the Sentinel Kingdom.
To him, trust was much more important than anything else! Even if it was struggling for survival against the sandmen, Ves still had faith in the religious state!

”Moving to Sentinel is not realistic. ” Raymond concluded.
”It ’s too far away from the Bright Republic.
We ’ll have to cross through the territories of a dozen states in order to reach our destination! Even if we get there, our foundation there is very weak.
In recent months, a lot of refugees have flooded into Sentinel! The state isn ’t able to support the influx of so many foreigners. ”

Calsie made her stance clear.
”The Ylvaine Protectorate is the only state that will welcome us with open arms.
Ves often referred to it as his second home state.
With how much they worship the so-called ’Bright Martyr ’, they won ’t treat us poorly! ”

Despite everyone ’s apprehensions towards the openly religious character of the Protectorate, that was not a good reason to reject this choice.

No other state could match its offer!! Lieutenant Dominic Kronon had been in constant contact with his superiors and already conveyed the Protectorate ’s stance.

”I think the Protectorate is a fine choice. ” Gloriana declared.

While she still preferred to bring everything to the Hexadric Hegemony, the Protectorate wasn ’t too bad.

As an insular, religious state, the Ylvaine Protectorate never developed a good relationship with the Friday Coalition.

Instead, it welcomed the influence of the Hexers.
While their beliefs clashed significantly, they still had enough in common to get along with each other.

While the Ylvainans only possessed a shallow relationship with the Hexers, this was enough to limit the influence of Fridaymen within the state!

Something as similar as what happened to Ves would never take place in the Protectorate! No monitor from the Friday Coalition ever set foot in its territory!

After a consensus had been reached, the LMC and the other organizations began to move.

It was not that easy to relocate everything from one state to another state.

Much of the value in the LMC couldn ’t be moved at all.
The Mech Nursery and its other real estate had to be sold, traded or abandoned.

Even moving the large industrial equipment such as the production lines imposed considerable demands on the transport capacity of the LMC!

One of the shortcomings of the LMC was that it did not own its own transport ships!

The company always signed contracts with other logistical companies to take care of its shipping and distribution needs.

A small corvette like the Barracuda could only transport a few containers as most.
The ships owned by the Avatars and Sentinels mainly consisted of light carriers meant to transport mechs wherever they were needed.

Fortunately, the carriers could easily be used as makeshift shipping vessels.
Their owners only had to make a couple of adjustments in order to accommodate other types of cargo aside from mechs.

Raymond, Calsie, Benjamin and Melkor did not foresee too many problems with moving the physical assets of their respective organizations.

They didn ’t have to worry about the intangible assets either.
The Bright Republic never treated Ves like a criminal.

Due to all of the controversy that ensued, the government really could not afford to affront Ves and anything related to him again!

Any perceived unfairness would not only piss off the LMC, but also the Larkinson Family!

As a pillar of the military, the Bright Republic still needed its support! The unrest that happened previously revealed that the Larkinson Family enjoyed such a high reputation that it could affect the morale of the people!

While Colonel Ark Larkinson returned to his duties, he still kept a constant eye on the situation.
He already released some hints that he would definitely step in if something happened that he did not agree with! What happened to Ves must never happen again!

”It ’s quite sad that it has come to this. ” Calsie sighed as she sat behind Ves ’ desk.
”I guess we ’ll all have to say goodbye to this fancy office. ”

Gloriana smirked.
”Oh, this office is quite bare in my tastes.
I ’ll definitely design a more impressive headquarters for the LMC when Ves returns! ”

”Will he return? ” Gavin question.
”From what I have heard, the monitor dispatched by the Coalition turns out to be someone similar to you! Lady Aisling Curver is a mech designer who specializes in neural networks. ”

”DON ’T MENTION HER TO ME! ” Gloriana growled! ”I want to wring her neck with fingers! She stole my boyfriend! Poor Ves! I can ’t imagine what kind of torture he is enduring! This vixen is probably attempting to seduce him even now! ”

”Regardless of what is happening to Ves, we can ’t do anything to help him. ” Calsie stated.
”The most we can do is take care of his enterprises and make sure that they are ready to further his interests once he returns.
If he returns. ”

”He will return. ” Nitaa spoke from the side.
”Ves is more resourceful than you think.
Don ’t count him out yet.
If any of you have any ideas on his properties, then… ”

Gavin raised his hands.
”Calm down.
No one here can get away with any shenanigans.
You should trust the people that Ves put in charge. ”

No one knew what the future had in store.
While it wasn ’t secret to them that Lady Curver received Ves from the capture fleet, no one truly understood what this meant.

Only Gloriana possessed a greater understanding of Lady Curver ’s identity and possible actions.

While they never intersected with each other, Clarion University was quite famous even in the Hexadric Hegemony!

She was sure that Aisling would bring Ves back to Clarion University and take advantage of Master Huron ’s support to settle her captive.

Once that happened, it would be extremely hard to rescue Ves! The Warsaw Giant System was situated in the interior of the Gauge Dynasty!

The Hexers would have to gain a decisive edge in the Komodo War and thrust deep into the Coalition in order to reach this well-protected star system!

The Gauge Dynasty would have never invested so much in Clarion if the school was situated in the periphery!

”I hope your confidence isn ’t misplaced.
Ves must get through this.
If he ’s absent for more than a couple of years, it ’s doubtful whether we can keep the LMC together. ” Calsie looked concerned.

Gavin sighed.
”If you ask me, our company is already falling apart in some ways.
We can take away the production lines and such, but we can ’t take all of the people with us.
Who wants to abandon the Bright Republic and move to a state that every Brighter has looked down upon? Our employees have already started to tender their resignations. ”

”How many people will drop out? ” Melkor asked.

”According to our projections, we ’ll lose the majority of our workers, say seventy to eighty percent.
Many people can ’t bear to leave their friends and family.
Others don ’t want anything to do with the Ylvainan Faith. ”

Up to 80 percent of the workshop exhibited signs of quitting! That was a very drastic figure that cut deeply in the workforce of the LMC!

”Should we do something to retain them? ” Gloriana questioned.
”It will be difficult for Ves to pick up where he left off if our new headquarters is empty and if there aren ’t any mech technicians left to produce his mechs! ”

”It ’s fine. ” Calsie reassured everyone.
”We have already anticipated this outcome.
In truth, letting go of these people won ’t necessarily affect our operations.
At most, we ’ll be stifled a little until we hire enough replacements.
We don ’t even have to fill up all of the vacated positions as the LMC will certainly downsize in the near future.
It ’s highly unlikely for us to sell a mech as popular as the Desolate Soldier. ”

”We ’ll still be losing lots of valuable knowledge and know-how. ” Gavin warned.
”Some of which are common to all professions, but some are very critical to the running of our company.
Think of how much expertise and familiarity our top management team has accrued. ”

”We can ’t do anything about that. ” Gloriana adjusted her mindset.
”In my opinion, this ordeal is actually quite good for us.
I ’m sure the Ylvainans are much more willing to commit to Ves and the LMC. ”

While not everyone was comfortable with this statement, they did not refute it.
Ever since they communicated their intention to move the LMC to the Protectorate, the state had practically laid down the red carpet for them! The Curin Dynasty offered so many privileges, exemptions and sweetheart deals that Calsie and Raymond found the circumstances rather surreal!

”It ’s not as if we are abandoning the Bright Republic entirely.
We are only shifting the headquarters and our main assets to the Protectorate.
We ’ll still maintain a subsidiary here which will continue to facilitate our business activities within this state. ”

”Ves is still a Brighter.
I don ’t think he ’s petty enough to exclude his home state as a market. ”

Gloriana sneered.
”If it was up to me, I would forbid our mechs from being sold in this state! However, I won ’t make things awkward for the Larkinson Family. ”

”I ’m not sure what is going on in the family right now. ” Melkor frowned.
”Every available Larkinson elder has been discussing what they should do.
Ghanso ’s outrageous actions and Ves ’ attempt to usurp the leadership of the Larkinson Family has damaged our cohesion beyond the point of repair. ”

”What do you think the old fogies will decide? ”

The Avatar Commander shrugged.
”Beats me.
A lot of Larkinsons want us to stick together.
We ’re family, after all.
Few of us can bear the thought of splitting up due to a disagreement.
However… I don ’t see how the two sides can reconcile their differences. ”

While Venerable Ghanso disgusted a lot of Larkinsons, there were still a lot of family members who still clung to their customs and traditions!

The conservative faction within the family merely disavowed Ghanso while holding on to their stances.
As they mostly consisted of current and former mech pilots, they still commanded a lot of respect!

However, they were grossly outnumbered by the more forward-looking faction that sided with Ves! If he wasn ’t missing, this faction would have probably taken complete control over the family already!

As it was, both sides had no choice but to come together and negotiate a way to move forward.
While both sides wanted to have their way, it was impossible to achieve a satisfactory outcome.

While all of this was taking place, the Ylvaine Protectorate began to experience some changes!

The Kronon Dynasty started to field an entirely new mech model, one which made the Ylvainans ecstatic!

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