The Mech Touch
Chapter 1898 Duplicitous Smile
”Did you think that my earlier advice is something you can disregard at will?
” Moira Willix pinned Ves with a piercing stare.
”If a pair of eager but naive mech designers such as you are in charge of a group entering the Red Ocean, then you will almost certainly fail in achieving your goals.
There are dangers abound in the dwarf galaxy, both from the indigenous alien civilizations and your fellow galactic pioneers.
We have not established any rules prohibiting fighting between pioneers because we know that this is a necessary process that can ’t be avoided. ”
Though Ves was already aware of the risks involved with any potential excursion to the Red Ocean, Master Willix knew more.
Her words definitely had a considerable amount of weight behind them.
If she said the Red Ocean was filled with peril, then he should not discount her words!
” He said while maintaining a determined expression.
”Even if the risks are high, we are still committed to our plan.
We would regret it for the rest of our lives if we missed out on this great adventure. ”
Gloriana nodded, though she looked a little less eager to take part in the scramble for phasewater and other resources.
Master Willix sighed when she saw that it was unlikely for her to sway them from changing their minds.
”The Red Ocean has been in our sights for a very long time.
” She told them.
”Our invasion is a carefully planned operation.
While we have devoted a lot of attention on how to defeat the advanced indigenous alien civilizations that inhabit this dwarf galaxy, we have not made any extensive plans on how to govern and exploit our conquered territories.
This matter is left to pioneers.
No matter how they compete against each other, by the end we hope to turn the dwarf galaxy into a strong and productive addition to the territories under the control of our race.
We will need this strength for the times to come. ”
This was something that Ves had already figured out.
What surprised him a bit was the last sentence.
Master Willix seemed to hint that there was a greater reason behind humanity ’s initiative to conquer the Red Ocean!
”Aside from the advice you have already given us, is there any other suggestion you can make to improve our chances of success? ”
The Master glanced at Ves with a thoughtful expression.
”All of the advice and warnings that you can find on the galactic net ought to be sufficient.
As long as you don ’t underestimate the pitfalls and dangers of the Red Ocean, you should be able to survive.
Greed poses the greatest threat to your success.
Know your strength and don ’t compete for resources or territory that you can ’t keep.
Remember than most galactic pioneers will emerge from the galactic heartland and galactic center.
Their strength in terms of wealth, technology, manpower and resources is significantly beyond your comprehension. ”
”How can we narrow this gap, ma ’am? ”
”If you have managed to redeem a beyonder ticket, then you should be capable and resourceful enough to find a way.
” She replied.
”Know your advantages and make use of them.
In my opinion, your only advantages are your unique and distinctive mech design abilities.
You should leverage them in a way that will allow you to make allies, business partners and eager customers among the powerful forces from the more prosperous parts of the galaxy.
Don ’t compete with them.
Cooperate with them.
This is also why I suggest you partner up with someone powerful enough to act as your diplomat and business partner. ”
That was a decent approach.
Ves seriously considered adopting it because it sounded like a safe and stable way to survive in the Red Ocean.
He didn ’t harbor any ambitions to found a state and neither did he hunger for wealth or phasewater.
To him, what mattered the most was finding to enrich and to progress his design philosophy! Becoming a Master was his goal, and he believed he would reach this height a lot faster in an environment like the Red Ocean!
”Enough about this matter.
” The Master shook her head.
”This discussion is wholly premature.
Wait until you have redeemed a beyonder ticket before inquiring further.
It is not so easy for a pair of young mech designers such as you to earn 100 million merits in a short amount of time.
Don ’t expect that you ’ll be able to earn another million merits easily by relying on something as volatile as producing masterwork mechs.
Our Association deliberately set those high redemption thresholds in order to slow down the influx from the galactic heartland and the galactic center.
We expect a much lower proportion of people from the galactic rim to be able to pass this test. ”
This sounded discouraging, but not so much.
Ves didn ’t consider himself inferior to second-class and first-class mech designers.
At most, their design styles and expertise branched in different directions.
Whatever advantages they possessed, Ves could obtain them as well! In fact, after designing the Bright Warrior, he pretty much understood the essence of second-class mech design! It wouldn ’t take much further study for him to start designing a higher class of mechs!
The rest of the day went back on track as Master Willix returned to examining the Quint.
In the next couple of days, the MTA delegation temporarily took possession of the Quint and a couple of Bright Warriors supplied to the Avatars.
They stuck their own mech pilots in their cockpits and deployed in the field on both land and in space!
Any hopes of hiding the Quint were completely dashed once Master Willix insisted on observing its performance out in high orbit where anyone on Kesseling VIII with a store-bought telescope could observe the masterwork mech in clear detail!
Ves could only smile and nod at the MTA
’s increasingly more intrusive requests.
In their perspective, natives like him served to provide the Association with useful data and research directions!
Everytime he thought about saying no, he reminded himself that he and his girlfriend each became 500,000 merits richer.
This was a vast sum of merits, and Ves didn ’t even have to give up his masterwork mech permanently!
Any other mech designer in his position would be more than eager to cater to the MTA ’s needs.
Gloriana certainly acted like this! Though she helpfully obfuscated his secrets by explaining her views in the lens of hexism, she showed remarkably little restraint in explaining every little detail about the Bright Warrior design!
On his part, Ves had to periodically fend off Master Willix ’s probes in his design philosophy while remaining polite.
Just because he managed to divert her attention from the inner workings of his design philosophy didn ’t mean she forgot about her intentions.
The Master possessed a presence that was both academic and tyrannical.
Though she maintained a gentle facade, underneath the surface was a hungry and avaricious beast who hungered for any knowledge that could supplement her formidable mech design repertoire!
In one of the latter days of her stay, Master Willix surprised Ves when she projected a peculiar mech design in front of his face.
It was a very simple but very elegant mech design.
Though it only depicted a plain rifleman mech, Ves couldn ’t help but get lost in the many subtle nuances contained in the schematics.
”This! ” Gloriana widened her eyes as she became increasingly more fascinated by the mech design! ”This mech design approaches perfection! I can ’t possibly think of a way to improve it any further, which is rare! ”
Ves pulled back a bit and viewed the mech design in a more holistic manner.
To his shock, he discovered that the simple landbound rifleman mech design contained many touches that reminded him of Gloriana ’s work! It not only imitated her design style and distinctive quirks, but also a portion of her extraordinary applications!
This basically meant that Master Willix had managed a considerable portion of Gloriana ’s design methods!
As Ves studied the mech design deeper, he noticed some discrepancies, however.
If he looked closely, the mech seemed to possess a slightly different concept of the perfect vessel.
This was a gap that Master Willix hadn ’t been able to overcome!
In the end, his girlfriend
’s design philosophy belonged to herself.
Only one mech designer in existence was completely suited for it, and that was Gloriana herself!
That did not take much away from Master Willix
She managed to imitate the easier aspects of Gloriana ’s design style and design philosophy with perfect accuracy and mastery, thereby demonstrating a very scary capability to assimilate other people ’s strengths!
He briefly glanced towards Gloriana to see how she took this surprise.
Only a brilliant smile adorned her face as she stared at the mech design with genuine hunger and admiration!
”This mech design..
can I have it, ma ’am? This work is so elegant.
Each part is like a masterpiece, and the way you put it together is so fine that I can learn lots of lessons from your solutions! ”
Moira Willix shook her head and drew the projection back.
”That is a very poor idea, Miss Wodin.
I ’m afraid my work will only harm your development.
There are aspects about this mech design that can potentially be incorporated in your future direction.
I do not wish to contaminate you with the design direction that I have chosen for this casual design.
You should make your own choices on how to develop your design style. ”
understand. ” Gloriana sobered up a bit.
Though she still yearned to study the rifleman mech design, she exhibited a considerable amount of restraint! ”I ’ve gained enough from what I saw.
I shouldn ’t study it any further. ”
While his girlfriend expressly turned around so that she no longer faced the projection, Master Willix spoke again.
Larkinson, my work is not just an attempt to reproduce your partner ’s design philosophy.
I have also attempted to capture the essence of your design philosophy, with much poorer results.
Can you tell me what my attempt is lacking? ”
What? The mech design was an attempt to copy his design philosophy? His inner alarm instantly rose as Ves studied the mech design from another angle!
Now that he thought about it, some of the design choices did seem as if they bore his style rather than his girlfriend ’s style.
However, that only pertained to the technical aspects of the mech design.
As for the spiritual aspects… Ves hesitated on what he should reveal.
’t want Master Willix to steal his design philosophy.
He already hated it when she barged in and studied his Quint from top to bottom! There was no way that he would ever agree to proactively instruct her on how to copy his unique abilities!
her attempt at imitating his specialty was absolutely abysmal.
If she didn ’t point out that the mech design was supposed to contain his strengths, he wouldn ’t have suspected that he had anything to do with the work!
” He replied flatly.
”There is no life in this mech design.
Gods are alive.
How can a mech become a god when it doesn ’t possess any life to begin with? Unless you believe that mechs are alive and have the capacity to embody or outright turn into gods, there is no way you can approach my design philosophy, ma ’am. ”
The Master paused for a moment before closing her eyes.
”As expected from a Class IX design philosophy.
If I am unable to accept the starting premise of a design philosophy as unusual as yours, I will not be able to accomplish anything.
What a pity. ”
”Perhaps you will have a better chance if you convert to hexism or the Ylvainan Faith.
” Ves unhelpfully suggested with a duplicitous smile.
”I took a lot of inspiration from their beliefs in forming my approach towards mech design.
As long as you adopt their views on life, death and gods, you will have taken one step closer to designing mechs that contain life! ”
”I shall take your suggestion under consideration. ” Willix stoically replied.
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