Chapter 1896 The Benevolent Association

How did he end up in this position?

Ves wondered why he had the ’fortune ’ to attract a floating disaster named Moira Willix.

This eminent dignitary from the powerful Mech Trade Association should have been throwing herself into cutting-edge research back at the hyper-advanced Halcyon Citadel.

In no way did Ves ever think that his works were interesting enough to garner the extended interest of a genuine Master Mech Designer from the MTA!

By her own words, she traveled through numerous star sectors and moved all the way from the galactic heartland to the edge of the galaxy.
She experienced too many mech designs than Ves could count and exchanged with all sorts of unique and excellent mech designers.

And now, she decided to lodge at Kesseling VIII for the sole purpose to crawl all over his Quint like it was an ancient relic!

”What are you worried about, Ves? ” A sleepy voice murmured from his chest.

He looked down at the long locks of hair that blocked his vision.
Though he couldn ’t see the rest of her body in the morning light, he could feel the weight and warmth of his girlfriend ’s body pressing up against his side.

Ever since their first night of sleep, Gloriana grew comfortable with sleeping while cuddling with him.
Essentially, his body replaced Clixie as her favorite stuffed animal, much to Clixie ’s consternation!

”Miaow. ”

The cat in question threw a jealous look at Ves from the foot of the bed.

”Meow. ”

Lucky licked the side of her head and distracted her attention.

”I ’m afraid my spiritual component monopoly is under threat.
The MTA is a band of thieves who somehow came into power.
They don ’t need to steal other people ’s secrets covertly.
They can just abuse their official mandate to extract every possible drop of value from so-called ’native ’ mech designers like you and me! Now that we have attracted the interest of one of their Masters, I fear the day will come where my glows become ubiquitous in the mech industry against my will! ”

Gloriana yawned and raised her head to look at Ves in the eyes.
”You ’re exaggerating.
Master Willix may be an excellent mech designer, but your design philosophy is too unique.
Do you truly think that she can do what you can do and create gods without your godly domain? ”

”Ordinarily, I ’m not concerned, but Master Willix is different.
She ’s a rational mech designer.
Have you seen how open-minded and tolerant she is of Class IX design philosophies like mine? That ’s because she ’s been trained to copy the essence of other people ’s design philosophies and use her combined knowledge to her own advantage in her work! ”

”That ’s a very serious accusation, Ves. ”

”It ’s true! ”

”I don ’t think it ’s that simple. ” She retorted.
”Take my design philosophy, for example.
Class I design philosophies can be just as difficult to adopt as Class IX design philosophies.
It takes an extremely dedicated mindset towards the ideal of perfection to be able to imitate my specialization.
Perhaps Master Willix is mentally flexible enough to approach my mindset, but I am absolutely certain that despite her formidable abilities, she can never fully comprehend my greatest methods! She doesn ’t have my drive! ”

Her words reminded Ves of a contradiction.

If rational mech designers were geared towards absorbing the fruit of oher mech designers, how could they possibly do so while remaining largely emotionless?

Passionate mech designers like Ves and Gloriana often stoked their passion and embraced the flames in order to produce their best works! The Bright Warrior design was almost entirely fueled by passion for example!

The notion that a rational mech designer was able to imitate the methods of a passionate mech designer was as absurd as a bot trying to create art!

Still, the fact that the MTA largely employed rational mech designers meant that they must have developed at least some tricks to cope with this contradiction!

While Ves did not think it was easy to copy his techniques, it was sheer folly to underestimate the design prowess of a Master!

Though Ves didn ’t know how many Masters resided at Halcyon Citadel, but he truly believed he wasn ’t wrong if he stated that Master Moira Willix was one of the best mech designers in the Komodo Star Sector!

Her presence alone threw the LMC, the Larkinson Clan, the local government and the entire Ylvaine Protectorate in disarray!

As the pair freshened up and met up in the dining room for breakfast, Gloriana tutted at Ves.

”I understand your concerns, but Master Willix is not here to threaten you and ruin your career.
She ’s a mech designer from the MTA.
She has an obligation to uphold all of the Association ’s ideals! ”

”That doesn ’t really reassure me, Gloriana. ” He scoffed.

She didn ’t know the MTA like he did! There were darker sides to the MTA that were never voiced in public! All Gloriana knew about the Association was how it portrayed itself in public.

The protector and ultimate arbiter of human space might be dominated by males, but to Gloriana it truly stood up for mech pilots and mech designers regardless of their affiliations!

She glanced at him as if he was an idiot.
”You are only focusing on the downsides of Master Willix ’s visit.
I ’m not saying that she doesn ’t damage our interests, but in my eyes she ’s a fair and principled mech designer.
She not only promised to reward us with 1 million merits, she ’s also remarkably approachable and easy to talk to for a Master! Don ’t you realize what a golden opportunity she represents? We can learn so much from her as long as she remains charitable towards us! I don ’t know about you, but I shall definitely take advantage of her generosity! ”

Her words had merit, Ves admitted.
Master Willix truly appeared to embody some of the ideals of the MTA.

The Mech Trade Association may have become one of the most dominant organizations in human space, but at its heart it was still a trade association.

Though most people these days tended to forget about this modest-aspect, the MTA still had a responsibility to set an example on how anyone who worked with mechs should conduct themselves.

Ves was just being too cynical.
He automatically assumed that the Masters in the Association only paid lip service to the MTA ’s ideals.
Since they had reached the highest echelons of one of the Big Two, he thought that they would pretty much be able to take everything without giving anything in return!

Certainly, Master Willix clearly wanted to glean more insights from his Quint, so that aspect about the MTA was still true.
He did not intend to drop his vigilance towards the thieving Master for this reason!

When the pair finished their breakfast, they boarded a shuttle and flew to the Avatar base where the MTA delegation had already started to resume their inspection of the Quint.

During the ride, Gloriana played with Clixie and Lucky while Ves quietly discussed with Gavin.

”It ’s bad, Ves. ” His assistant frowned.
”The abrupt arrival of Master Willix has become public knowledge.
The MTA has done nothing to hide her visit to our premises! ”

”Figures. ” Ves scowled in disgust.

The MTA never took into account that he wished to keep the Quint under wraps for the time being! It just did what it wanted regardless of his desires!

”For now, the Quint hasn ’t become public knowledge, but I can guess it ’s only a matter of time before the Ylvainans and the rest of the star sector learn the reason why you attracted a bigshot from the MTA.
We will have to move our announcement date forward if we still want to control the narrative! ”

”Great. ”

”It ’s not all that bad, boss.
We can take advantage of Master Willix ’s interest in your latest mech to increase your prestige.
Her willingness to travel to Kesseling VIII shows that design ability has truly attracted the attention of the top! As long as we frame this observation in the right way, we can definitely improve your prestige! This will make you even more notable in the mech community! ”

”While that sounds good, I don ’t want to paint a bigger target on my back! ”

”On the contrary.
Far from making you more vulnerable, you can turn this situation around so that you can implicitly suggest that you have earned Master Willix ’s support! Whether it ’s true or false, any enemy of yours will think twice about touching you, lest they earn the ire of a very highly-placed individual within the local branch of the MTA! ”

sounded quite good to Ves.
He thought for a moment before he nodded.
”Come up with a plan that allows me to do what you ’ve suggested.
Make sure you don ’t cross any lines, Benny. ”

”I know what to do. ” Gavin grinned.

With that taken care of, Ves discussed other matters until the shuttle finally arrived at its destination.

As Ves and Gloriana exited the shuttle, he turned to his cat.
”Make yourself scarce.
Master Willix may have overlooked you for now, but that might change at any moment! ”

”Meow! ”

”What do you mean? You have often been by yourself! Don ’t pretend you like to be around me all the time.
If you want to enjoy some company, then head to Raymond who is holding on to the Larkinson Mandate for me.
I ’m sure the Golden Cat would love your company! ”

”Meow meow! ”

Lucky seemed to agree.
He turned to Clixie and exchanged a few meows before the two entered the shuttle.

Gavin looked at the cats with bemusement.
”Am I supposed to babysit your pets? ”

A hand patted his shoulder.
Keep an eye on them and don ’t let them get up to any mischief. ”

The assistant looked helpless.
He knew very well that he had no power over the pair of cats! Either of them could easily kick his butt if they wished!

Ves didn ’t care.
He joined Gloriana in heading towards the underground hall.

Different from yesterday, the MTA delegation brought down a lot of equipment from their frigate.

Various advanced scanning equipment and other devices precisely gathered data from the base platform and all of the configurations!

As his own personal creation, Ves felt quite affronted by this deep and extensive examination!

However, there was no stopping the MTA.
The only choice he could make was to bear with the situation and hope that Master Willix failed to glean any of his core secrets.

The pair strode forward until they reached a portable work console that was floating a few meters from the ground.
Master Willix precisely manipulated the dizzying array of controls while sweeping her eyes past various projected screens.

”Ah, the two of you are finally here. ”

”Good morning, Master Willix. ” Both of them bowed and greeted politely.

”I have been mulling over the Bright Warrior design and the Quint since yesterday.
There is quite a lot of depth in your work, and I have plenty of questions. ”

”We will do your best to satisfy your curiosity, ma ’am. ” Gloriana dutifully said.

”Good. ”

The morning began with a quiz.
Fortunately for Ves, Master Willix only focused on the technical aspects of their mech design.
Gloriana easily took charge and answered most of the questions.

During this time, Master Willix often made brief but succinct remarks that often enlightened them to alternate solutions to the problems they encountered.
They went outside the solutions selected by Mr.
S, thereby granted them an even greater awareness of how the Bright Warrior design could be improved!

As much as Ves wanted to remain on guard, it was difficult not to get caught up by the mutual exchange.

His girlfriend was right.
Master Willix was a font of knowledge and wisdom and didn ’t mind sharing some of it to the younger generation!

As the long day progressed, Gloriana gained a considerable amount of insights as most of the topics Master Willix brought up fell under her specialization.

Between the two of them, Ves possessed a much more esoteric specialty.
It was considerably more difficult for Master Willix to guide him, so she directed most of her attention to the mech designer who had the most to gain from her insights.

It wasn ’t surprising therefore that Gloriana completely turned into Master Willix ’s attentive pupil! All of the younger mech designer ’s doubt and wariness towards the Master disappeared, and she completely adjusted her mindset to soak up as many gains as she could!

Meanwhile, Ves awkwardly stood at the side.
While the two women appeared to be enjoying themselves, he felt kind left out.
The topics they discussed went way over his head.

Was he supposed to feel glad or remorseful?

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