The Mech Touch
Chapter 1881 Humble
It seemed so strange.
Ves, a Journeyman Mech Designer who designed over two-dozen mech designs in his short but illustrious career, was questioning his motivation.
Why did he become a mech designer? What was he working towards? Did these questions even matter at this time?
”They do. ”
The principal reasons why he took up this profession determined his entire outlook and approach towards mech design.
Ves suddenly realized that he had gone astray lately.
Ever since he explosively shot up in success, his ego subconsciously grew larger.
He began to consider himself as someone who was special, if not outright better than his peers!
It was easy to get caught up in his own hype.
So far, Ves hadn ’t encountered anything that could outdo him at his own game.
His spiritual component monopoly was a potent way to empower a mech design, and only he held the keys to its secrets!
Yet… since when did mech design revolve around the wants and desires of the mech designer?
Mechs existed to fight.
Mech pilots were the people who had been chosen to pilot them.
They were the protagonist who bore all the risk and glory of battle.
In comparison, mech designers took on a background role.
Certainly, they played an essential role in facilitating the jobs of mech pilots.
A good mech designer could play a huge role in enabling and enhancing the battle prowess of his customers.
Yet just like mech technicians, mech designers ultimately existed to support the efforts of the real heroes of the battlefield.
Was it wrong for a mech designer to harbor ambitions? Was it wrong for Ves to act selfishly and chase after his own goals?
The key was that he should never compromise the ultimate purpose of mech designers.
Serving mech pilots always came first! Ves had to justify each of his actions according to the needs of mech pilots!
”It ’s surprisingly difficult to maintain sight of this purpose. ” He muttered.
Mech designers pursued careers that were just as glamorous as mech pilots.
Though their overall popularity was a bit less, the mech industry was filled with stars and celebrities.
Ves considered himself to be a celebrity as well! Ever since he gained the moniker of Devil Tongue, it was very easy to fall in the mindset of a superstar!
Though his fame, reputation and prestige significantly aided his own career, they were only useful to himself and the LMC.
The only way these intangible assets aided mech pilots was if he genuinely delivered a superior product.
While Ves believed his products possessed an undeniable edge over the competition, this was not a healthy viewpoint.
It could easily lead to a state of mind where the entire multiverse revolved around his needs.
His recent resolve to keep any possible masterwork mech to himself was a typical consequence of a producer-oriented mindset.
When Ves studied mech design, his teachers continually emphasized the need to put the needs of the consumer first.
Mech designers were marketers as well and product makers.
Leaning too much on the latter risked putting him in an ivory tower, making him increasingly more detached from the actual needs of the users of his products!
As he made all of these realizations, his mentality continued to experience a small but profound evolution.
He felt as if he was going back to his roots as a mech designer.
While his ambitions and desires still mattered a lot, it was the context in which he pursued his goals that changed.
Rather than pursuing his goals with a completely selfish mindset, he shifted to a more humble mindset which included his desire to serve and empower mech pilots!
”Mech pilots matter the most! Their needs come before mine! I should never do anything that detracts from the interests of my customers! That is not the mech designer way! ”
Mentality affected everything when it came to creative pursuits.
The outcome of a design or fabrication run was not a mathematical formula where Ves just had to follow the right steps to come to the right answer.
His mood, attitude, emotions and feelings all affected the output of his efforts!
In recent times, Ves pursued many different ways to improve all of those factors in order to increase the chance of making a masterwork mech.
Yet unwittingly, he continually eroded his basic foundation as a mech designer! If he continued to chase blindly after his own ambitions and increasingly neglected the needs of his customer base, then he didn ’t deserve to become a Senior or Master!
”It ’s pretty shameful for me to lose sight of my purpose when I ’m already a Journeyman. ”
Even Novices and Apprentices knew better!
Fortunately, he corrected himself.
As his mental sublimation came to a close, Ves felt incredibly at peace with himself.
It was as if he undid something that had warped his personality to become more self-centered, to the detriment of what truly mattered!
With clearer eyes than ever before, Ves locked his gaze towards the production equipment he was controlling.
The parts he produced and the mech he planned to build were not meant for him.
All of his efforts should instead be dedicated to the mech pilot who would be privileged to pilot the end product!
Ves began to think of the target audience of the Bright Warrior.
The Larkinson Clan, the Avatars of Myth, the Living Sentinels and even the Battle Criers all awaited a better machine that would serve them well in the times to come!
”They are the reason why I designed the Bright Warrior! ”
To whom should he dedicate the first production model?
A specific face and name entered his mind.
For some reason, he wanted to dedicate the very first copy of the Bright Warrior design to Joshua King, his undying fan and one of the best mech pilots of the Avatars of Myth!
If not for the recent addition of Jannzi and Tusa, Joshua would have definitely cemented his status as the champion of the Avatars!
”Jannzi and Tusa are already following their own paths. ”
Neither expert candidates needed the Bright Warrior.
His current mech design was a medium modular mech platform, which generally fell outside of their respective specialties.
Ves already did his part in serving Jannzi by upgrading her Shield of Samar.
Tusa was already content with the light skirmisher the Avatars bought from the market, though Ves planned to design a better mech for him when he had the time.
Thinking about his family centered him.
He initially conceived of the idea of forming the Larkinson Clan in order to provide him with a loyal cadre that could strengthen his control over his increasingly-sprawling enterprise.
Yet ever since the Larkinson Clan actually came into being, Ves began to care increasingly more about his responsibilities.
As the founder and patriarch of his clan, he actually began to put its needs on top of his own selfish desires!
Ves initially considered this to be an unnatural and undesirable change.
Since when did he want to go back to following someone else ’s demands?
”Yet that is essentially what a mech designer does.
We abide by the demands of mech pilots all the time! ”
There was nothing shameful or humiliating in this statement.
This was the essence of his profession.
If he wanted to become a superstar, then he should have pursued a job where adopting a self-centered mentality was a virtue instead of a sin!
Once Ves resumed his work, he became a lot more serene.
While he still possessed his old desires, they all seemed to fade in the background.
Regardless of whether he managed to produce a masterwork mech or not, it was not that consequential to him anymore.
If he failed to make a masterwork, then so be it.
He always had other opportunities.
Right now, his primary motivation to produce a masterwork mech was no longer about increasing his reputation and propelling him to greater prominence.
Those needs were secondary compared to the needs of his clan and mech pilots!
Ves decided to dedicate this mech to Joshua King, the person who long waited for a mech to pilot that he could truly call his own!
By coincidence, Joshua just happened to be a mech pilot who could fully make use of the complete modular capabilities of the Bright Warrior!
Having piloted numerous virtual and physical mechs designed by Ves, Joshua developed a varied set of skills that encompassed multiple specialties.
Joshua was just as proficient in piloting landbound mechs as spaceborn mechs.
His swordsmanship was practically as good as his marksmanship! He piloted practically every standard mech that Ves designed that wasn ’t a competition mech or a private commission.
A fairly diverse and versatile modular mech platform sounded like a match made in heaven for Joshua.
Though the Bright Warrior was not a mech customized for any single mech pilot, Ves had to admit that the young prodigy possessed the highest fit.
Whether Joshua pelted his enemies from afar with the Illuminating Warrior, charged a superior mech to death with the Shining Warrior, shielded his comrades with the Solar Warrior or outdueled a champion with the Nova Warrior, he could do it all without breaking a sweat!
As Ves continued to imagine how well Joshua could make use of the Bright Warrior, his work proceeded at a brisk and pleasant pace.
While his serene mood didn ’t improve his work by a significant margin, he was nonetheless content with the parts he made.
Time continued to pass until the fabrication stage was done.
Ves and Gloriana both took a longer break before resuming their work.
First, they thoroughly inspected all of the parts, paying extra attention to the more critical ones such as the power reactor and the neural interface.
Everything was in order.
Gloriana delivered high-quality results as usual while Ves was not that far off in terms of maintaining consistency.
It fell a little short of what they expected from a masterwork, though.
While that didn ’t necessarily mean that the possibility to produce a masterwork mech was gone, it certainly reduced their chances.
Though Gloriana began to feel upset about this, Ves calmed her down.
”Just do your best.
” He patted her back.
”We are making this mech to satisfy our mech pilots, not ourselves.
Our needs come secondary.
Whatever mech we produce at the end, we should have no regrets. ”
She looked at him in curiosity.
”Ves? You ’re..
Is this the special state you were talking about? ”
Gloriana knew him too well.
She quickly figured out that Ves was different from his usual self.
He smiled at her.
”I just had a realization about the core purpose of a mech designer.
I think I recently started to forget what it meant to take up this profession. ”
Are you better now? ”
I feel much more at ease with myself.
Let ’s begin the assembly phase.
Make sure to keep in mind that we are building this mech for our mech pilots, not ourselves. ”
”I always kept that in mind, Ves.
The needs of the mech pilots are core to my own design philosophy. ”
Gloriana was much better in this regard, he admitted.
She never needed a reminder, unlike him.
He was much more selfish than his girlfriend!
When they moved to the assembly system, they began the laborious process of putting their mech together.
Technically, the Bright Warrior came with four different configurations.
Though Ves and Gloriana had the option of fabricating just one configuration, they decided to produce all four in the same run!
This entailed a lot of work.
Not only had their workload increased, they also needed to ensure that each of the configurations fit in place with the base platform.
This was not a given as small misalignments could easily lead to mounting problems.
Both mech designers quietly manipulated the heavy-duty arms and tools of the assembly system.
Bots and lifter platforms continually brought parts out of their temporary storage and placed them into position.
As the base platform came closer to completion, the elusive chance that both of them had been waiting for was nowhere to be seen.
A shadow cast over the underground workshop.
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