Ves went through several negotiations throughout his career.
He learned how to give and how to take.
He learned how to understand the needs of his counterparts and match them against his own to seek out a harmonious agreement.
The most ideal outcome for both parties involved would be to reach a win-win arrangement.
When both sides obtained the concessions they wanted while giving up something they didn\'t value as much, both of them would do their best to uphold the deal.
Yet how easy was it to reach an amicable deal like that The very need to hold a negotiation implied that a straightforward agreement was out of reach.
This meant that in order to reach a deal, both sides had to give up some advantages they would rather retain.
The more a side conceded, the more they felt pained about the deal.
Compromises were never clean.
Both sides had to give up so many significant concessions that the end of a negotiation always left a sour taste in their mouths.
When he heard the demands from the conservative faction that led the old family, Ves forcibly paused and forced himself to think.
He saw beneath the surface of the old family\'s outrageous demands.
The faction that counted Venerable Ghanso Larkinson among its supporters certainly asked for much.
First, the old family wanted the new family to lose the right to call themselves Larkinsons.
This was nothing else than robbing Ves and the other Larkinsons who followed him of their heritage!
Second, the old family wanted to claim most of the shares the formerly-united family held in the LMC!
For the old family to covet 20 percent ownership in the LMC while leaving the new family with the remaining 5 percent was nothing more than pure greed!
Ves couldn\'t help but chuckle.
Aren\'t the traditionalists being hypocritical On one hand, Ghanso and his ilk detest the so-called \'corrupting\' influence of money.
Yet now they are shameless asking for twenty percent ownership of an unimaginably wealthy mech company!
There isn\'t a contradiction as long as the wealth is put to good use. Benjamin answered in the stead of the conservative faction.
The purpose of claiming ownership is not to enrich individual Larkinsons.
It\'s to secure the prosperity and continuation of the old family.
The dividends would flow into the family\'s coffers, which will mainly be used to fund our mech academies, upgrade the training of our mech pilots and ensure a generous pension for our retirees and any families our deceased family members have left behind.
All of that sounded noble, but that was hardly different from what Ves already intended! He was just a bit more direct about how he could benefit the Larkinsons!
What a dumb excuse. Ves did not hesitate to tear down the veil in front of his grandfather.
The conservative faction is being hypocritical, and you know it.
Why are you even speaking on their behalf I thought you didn\'t pick a side.
Someone has to speak on their behalf in front of you. He said.
Being neutral doesn\'t mean we lack sympathy for the conservative faction.
Even though I dislike Ghanso as much as any decent Larkinson, the values he is standing for are still worth fighting for.
While I\'m your grandfather, I\'m also a Larkinson.
Since you are more than capable of standing up for yourself, it falls on me to represent the Larkinsons who have decided to stay in the Bright Republic.
Though Ves resented these circumstances, he knew that his grandfather was doing the right thing.
As one of the oldest and most respected Larkinsons in the family, Benjamin took his responsibilities seriously.
That was just the kind of man he was.
Ves did not expect his grandfather to be anything less!
Though facing a family member who was dear to his heart made Ves inclined to soften his stand, this was too important for him to give any ground!
The Larkinson Family owned a fourth of the LMC! One of his goals in usurping the leadership of his family had always been to reclaim this ownership stake!
Of course, if Ves really wanted to, he could turn his back to the first company he founded and start anew with an entirely new venture.
While it would hurt him a lot to give up the tangible and intangible assets of the LMC, as a Journeyman he could still rely on his personal reputation to accelerate his second attempt!
The only issue was that Ves really didn\'t want to part with the constant revenue earned from the continued sale of the Soldier product line.
He also didn\'t want to lose the rights of all of his designs, which had all been put under the umbrella of the LMC for administrative reasons.
Ves always contemplated refreshing the Blackbeak, Crystal Lord and other legacy designs.
Losing the right to continue to work on pivotal designs like the Aurora Titan would be an exceptionally painful loss!
More than losing all of the assets as well as the formidable reputation of the LMC, Ves would also break some of his principles by abandoning the venture he started.
In the mech industry, it was considered to be dishonorable for a mech designer to abandon a company over something as banal as disputes over stock.
Mech designers always needed cash in their earlier years.
When they were at their weakest, money was often difficult to come by.
For investors to take a leap of faith and invest in the company of a mech designer was a very essential step in the rise of many successful mech designers.
For these mech designers to profit from the risks their investors had taken, only for the now-successful entrepreneurs to stop developing mechs for the company in order to start another company was very dishonorable behavior.
Of course, what use was honor in the face of concrete benefits
With the power and personal wealth of a mech designer of their station, Journeymen no longer had to beg for scraps from wealthy industrialists and greedy investors.
They could own a company completely, or as much as the state where they incorporated their new business allowed!
Yet as Ves already discovered, honor, fame and reputation played a very outsized role in the interactions that took place in the upper echelons of power.
When trust was hard to come by and laws too weak to be enforced, only trust and mutual benefit ensured that an agreement would continue to be upheld.
Ves knew he would have to pay an invisible but very severe price if he abandoned the LMC when it still held much promise.
The stain on his record would be one he could never wipe out.
The stain on his principles would also be something that would haunt his mind for centuries to come.
For all of these reasons, Ves deeply preferred to avoid this outcome.
The price was much more unbearable compared to the petty material gains of starting anew.
He turned his attention back to his conversation, no, negotiation with his grandfather.
Though he ruled out the possibility of abandoning the LMC, that did not mean he had to take the opposite side\'s opening bid seriously.
What he should ordinarily do was to raise his temper, vent his thoughts on the conservative faction\'s unreasonably high demands, and offer a ridiculously low counter offer.
From there, the conservative faction would do its best to raise a stink and take the moral high ground demanding a little less, say a 19 percent stake in the LMC, as a show of giving ground.
Ves slowly shook his head as he realized the pointlessness of this dance.
He had been through several negotiations to make a very important realization.
He wasn\'t compelled to play a game of chess just because someone shoved a chess board in front of his face.
If Ves was strong enough to flip the chessboard and make the entire game invalid, then he might as well do so! Why should he pay any mind to family sentiment and fall into the conservative faction\'s insidious trap
A grin appeared on his face as he leaned back on his luxurious desk chair.
He wrapped his fingers in front of his chest.
He did not look like someone who contemplated a painful concession.
Instead, he exuded the vibe of a conqueror!
Grandfather, I think you are very mistaken about some facts.
While I respect the values the old family continues to uphold, the whole point of breaking our traditions and embracing new ways is to expand our prosperity and leverage the power it conveys! The new family that is led by me is very different from the old family that you have stuck with! Unlike you old fogeys, I\'m more than willing to throw my weight around!
Benjamin started to have a bad feeling about this conversation.
What are you on about, Ves
Why should I even pay attention to the conservative faction in our family The old family has nothing except for its honor and its storied legacy! While I admit that these are very valuable accumulations, they don\'t convey any concrete power! It\'s one of the main reasons why I wanted to change the Larkinson Family, after all! Since people like Ghanso reject any changes, let me teach them why it is a mistake to discount my ways!
What is it you are intending to do, Ves! His grandfather grew alarmed.
The old family is not qualified to negotiate with me.
You and the conservatives you shelter are too weak to decide your own fate.
Since you continue to subject yourselves to the laws of the Bright Republic, I\'ll just switch to negotiating those who master these laws! Unfortunately, unlike you, the government doesn\'t necessarily have the old family\'s interests at heart!
Wait! Don\'t be so hasty, Ves! I\'m just conveying the initial stances of the most stubborn members in the family! Let me talk to them so that—
—Too late! Ves cut his grandfather off.
I\'ll proceed to negotiate with someone who isn\'t as stodgy and hypocritical as Ghanso\'s ilk!
He cut the comm connection before Benjamin could put in another word.
Though he found it hard to treat his grandfather this way, Ves was acting as the leader of an entire faction of Larkinsons right now.
To mistake this negotiation as a grandson talking to his grandfather was a very irresponsible mistake.
In order to maximize the benefits of his Larkinsons and prevent the old family from gaining concessions that they didn\'t deserve, Ves had to act like a leader.
Though his heart bled a bit, his vindictiveness against Venerable Ghanso and his like-minded idiots quickly pushed out the sympathy he held for his grandfather and all the other neutral Larkinsons.
While the neutrals weren\'t his enemy, their stance essentially coincided with that of the conservatives.
They were two sides of the same coin.
They were joined at the hip.
Even if Benjamin and Ark Larkinson were more respectable than the likes of Venerable Ghanso, Ves would be a fool to grant them any favors!
After he regained his composure, he decided to call someone who could represent or at least liaise on behalf of the Bright Republic.
He called Leland.
As if expecting the call, the Flashlight operative quickly picked up the call.
It is good to see you again. The slimebag\'s projection smiled at Ves.
I\'ve heard of some of your exploits.
For some reason, it doesn\'t surprise me at all that you managed to outwit and outfight the Fridaymen.
I have always judged that you are one of the most remarkable mech designers our state has ever produced!
Spare the meaningless flattery.
We need to talk.
Ah, for whatever reason Leland innocently asked while adjusting the tie of his formal suit.
Let\'s talk about the future of my relationship with the Bright Republic.
Are you able to represent the will of the state
Not exactly, but give me some time to contact my superiors.
I\'ll make myself available so that you can convey your wishes to the officials who can make the decisions you seek.
Senator Tovar will definitely be interested once he hears what you have to say.
Ves nodded in satisfaction.
That sounds great.
It\'s nice to talk with someone who understands the true score.
The true negotiation soon commenced.
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