Chapter 1872 The Clever Dynasty

The fabrication of the prototypes proceeded less than smooth.
The design was one of the most complex one that Ves had designed yet.
Not only did it contain countless nuances, it also incorporated a lot of Breyer alloy and its derivative materials.

Trying to rework it into armor plating, structural supports and other shapes took a lot of effort.
The materials weren ’t easy to work with and neither the mech designers nor mech technicians ever worked with such high-end materials before!

Suffice to say, a lot of fumbling and spillage occurred before the fabrication teams managed to complete the prototypes.

Ves and Gloriana deliberately kept their distance from them until they were finished.
They wanted to save their ’first time ’ when they finally completed the final iteration of the Larkinson mech.
Fabricating it early would diminish this magical moment.

Letting their subordinates take the lead in the next phases was beneficial for other reasons as well.
Vess received detailed reports that outlined all of the problems encountered during the fabrication stage.
Learning about all of the pitfalls of this stage ahead of time would definitely help prepare for his own attempt at the end of the project.

As for the design teams themselves, they received some much-needed practice in the more hands-on side of mech design.
The Larkinson mech definitely pushed each of them to their limits and beyond.
The more inexperienced mech designers such as Mayer Torto soaked up lessons like a sponge!

Even if the younger members of his design teams failed to contribute, just witnessing how a mech was being put together would definitely enrich their future design activities!

All in all, Ves expected more from his design teams next time.
The Tovar Design Team was in a pretty good spot as far as teamwork was concerned, but the high uniformity and lack of diversity came at the cost of ingenuity and differences of opinion.
Every Tovar mech designer pretty much possessed the same starting point.

This was different for the Ylvaine Design Team.
With Merrill O ’Brian and Mayer Torto breaking up the Ylvainan uniformity, the mech designers argued a lot more with each other than usual.
Merrill definitely had a lot of strong words to say on how to deal with many issues.

The situation was exacerbated when the teams had to split up in order to fabricate four prototypes at the same time.
With a smaller amount of mech designer in each fabrication team, the weaknesses of any single individual became very evident.

Some of the mech designers definitely needed remedial lessons as far as Ves was concerned!

However, that was for later.
Ves only had eyes for the Larkinson mech project at the moment.

When he finally received a message that all four prototypes were complete, Ves instantly headed to the enclosed warehouse where the mechs awaited transportation to orbit.

”Do the mechs match your expectations? ” Gloriana asked when she arrived.

Ves silently gazed up at the four similar but different-looking mechs.
The tall machines each exuded a slightly different impression of power and might.

Just as with the minor revision of the Shield of Samar, Ves applied a standard visual scheme to the exterior of his design.

Though the fabrication teams left much of the prototypes bare, the appearance of all-encompassing high-quality Breyer alloy already made it clear that these weren ’t average mechs!

The only significant markings on the mechs consisted of the Larkinson Clan Emblem on the upper right of the chest portions and the third eye affixed to the foreheads of the mechs.

The latter would mostly remain dormant while the design remained unfinished.
Without the Golden Cat assuming her function as the Larkinson mech ’s design spirit, the luminosity of the crystal embedded in the forehead wouldn ’t be able to rise.

Even without instilling a design spirit, Ves could already sense the X-Factor of the mech.
Even though his eclectic group of subordinates messed it up, the spiritual foundation of the prototypes still hinted that there was a little life hiding inside their frames.

Overall, Ves was fairly satisfied with how the prototypes turned out.
Each of them had already been outfitted in four different configurations.

The slimmer rifleman mech, the beefy space knight, the momentous lancer mech and the balanced swordsman mech each accentuated the common base platform in significantly different directions!

”It ’s kind of strange. ” He muttered as he continued to experience the mechs with his senses.
”The four mechs both fulfill radically different roles, but it ’s obvious that all of them share the same DNA.
I ’ve never designed a mech like this before.
It ’s certainly a novel experience. ”

”Novel is a good way to describe our work. ” Gloriana remarked.
”Whether the revolutionary additions you ’ve integrated into our design will actually work is still in question. ”

”They will work. ” Ves spoke with conviction.
”Though we ’re not able to test its special features during the upcoming tests, I ’m sure the mech will work fine. ”

Ves hesitated whether he should instill the Golden Cat as the Larkinson mech ’s design spirit at this point.
The problem was that Qilanxo was still monopolizing much of the Golden Cat ’s time.

From his previous experiences, instilling the design spirit at the end of the design process was for the best.
Something fascinating always occurred during this time.
If Ves rode the waves of this spiritually-impactful moment, then he would definitely gain a boost when he fabricated the first production model immediately afterwards!

Besides, of the two spiritual abilities imparted to the design, Ancestral Possession was a very burdensome ability.
Not only did it take a lot out of the Golden Cat, but it also diminished the spiritual energy of every Larkinson connected to the spiritual network!

Performing Ancestral Possession too often would weaken the Larkinson Clan as a whole.
Not only would the Larkinson mech pilots lose some of their battle vigor, their potential advancement to the next rank might also be delayed!

As for Ancestral Assistance, this was something that Ves already implemented in the Devil Tiger in a lesser form.
He already knew it worked, though not at this scale.
Testing this ability would definitely be useful, but it wasn ’t a necessity.

Instead, Ves was much more interested in the general performance of the mechs.

The main function of the Larkinson mech was to be a competitive or even superior mech on the battlefield.

It had to be able to fight!

Therefore, gathering data on the performance of the configurations in general usage was essential! Every gimmick was meaningless if the basic foundation of the Larkinson mech was terrible!

Though Ves and Gloriana both expected their mech to do fairly well in the upcoming tests, it was best to be sure.

As Ves finally signalled for the impressive prototypes to be sent to space in order to put them through their paces, he left the site together with Gloriana.

His girlfriend smiled with contentment as she walked alongside him.
Their two cats trailed after them like dutiful attendants.

”Now that you ’ve seen your mech in the flesh, have you thought about a proper name for current design? ” She asked and bumped his side with her elbow.
”Calling it the Larkinson mech might be accurate, but it will lead to a lot of confusion on the battlefield.
Using the same name for both the mech and the mech pilot will definitely lead to misunderstandings in the heat of the moment.
This can be fatal! ”

”You ’re right.
Calling it the Larkinson mech is just a placeholder for a proper name.
I just needed some time to form my thoughts on this matter.
I wanted to progress the design project further in order to gain more inspiration. ”

”Well, have you made up your mind yet, or do you need to wait until you finalize the design. ”

Ves smirked.
”I have some ideas in mind, but I ’ll leave this decision for later.
I think that naming our designs upon the moment of completion will maximize the significance of that moment. ”

”Okay. ” Gloriana blinked.
”Now that we have passed the harder phases of our design project, shouldn ’t we begin to talk about our next project? The commission from the Penitent Sisters is still open.
There ’s a mech waiting to be designed! ”

He snorted.
”No one else picked up this commission while we were working on the Larkinson mech? ”

”It ’s a bit..
difficult to find a boy who is willing to design this mech. ” Gloriana sheepishly replied.
”We can ’t get one of our own male mech designers to lead the design project.
They ’re conditioned to let women take the lead. ”

”Hahahaha! ”

His amusement didn ’t sit well with Gloriana.
She scowled and pinched his arm.
”This isn ’t funny, Ves! The Temple of Hexism hasn ’t managed to find a good solution at this time.
While we ’ve managed to find some male foreigners who are willing to accept this commission, there are many rules that make it difficult for them to be assigned to the project. ”

”None of them were willing to undergo a gender change operation? ”

”That ’s not the only option available, you know. ”

”Every other option sounds equally as bad to me.
Well, I still find it hard to believe that none of those other men accepted the temple ’s stringent conditions.
Haven ’t you Hexers found at least one chump who is willing to bark on command? ”

”It ’s..
complicated. ”

Gloriana didn ’t actually know much more than that.
Ves would have to get in touch with Calabast in order to hear more details.

The spy remained as elusive as ever.
Ves knew that she was near, but his recent preoccupation with his design caused him to lose track of what his strategic partner was up to these days.

”Are you getting along with Calabast? ” Ves curiously asked.

This time, it was Gloriana ’s turn to grimace!

”We have an understanding.
That ’s all I want to say.
We aren ’t friends, so don ’t entertain any unrealistic fantasies.
Just because we ’re both women who come from the same state doesn ’t mean we ’re automatically comrades.
It ’s not as if you instantly become friendly with a random Brighter. ”

”She comes from a different faction from the Hegemony, right? ”

The six matriarchal dynasties are jointly in charge of the Hegemony.
None of them have primacy over the other.
A balance exists where each matriarchal dynasty keeps the other in check.
At least, that is what is supposed to happen in theory. ”

”Oh? Are some of them weaker than they ought to? How are the Vrakens and the Everns faring these days? ”

”They ’re both fairly strong.
They represent the polar opposites of Hexer society.
Vrakens like Calabast think they ’re better than everyone else because they like to think a lot. ”

”Isn ’t that a good thing? ”

”No. ” She shook her head.
”They plot and scheme a lot.
They like to meddle with the other dynasties as well as other states.
They ’re heavily represented in the Hegemony ’s intelligence agencies.
They ’re also present in many major institutions. ”

”Do they have a weakness? ”

”The Vrakens are not as enthusiastic in other areas.
They ’re indecisive in battle and they don ’t do well in creative pursuits.
Not every Vraken is like this, but their standardized upbringing makes them much more inclined to become spies than warriors.. ”

”I see.
There should be Vrakens that break the mold, right? ”

”Of course.
There are so many of them that there ought to be at least some who become excellent mech pilots.
The vassal dynasties that serve under them also provide a lot of assistance in this regard.
Overall, the Vrakens have always been leading the Hegemony a little more than the other matriarchal dynasties.
It ’s in their nature to be smug. ”

”That sounds just like Calabast. ”

”Now you know why I don ’t like her.
Whenever I met with her, I always felt she withheld too much information from me.
She never shows her true self to anyone.
I can ’t trust a Hexer who tries to treat me like a fool.
I ’m a mech designer! I can be smart as well! ”

Ves wasn ’t too sure about that.
He encountered plenty of mech designers who turned out to be absolute morons in person.

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