In general, Shederin Purnesse didn\'t think it was worthwhile to associate with any local organizations.
Don\'t misunderstand. He said.
We are not the strongest or most impressive group in the surrounding star clusters.
Far from it.
We may meet several other individuals or organizations that may be willing to make heavy concessions to become a part of the Golden Skull Alliance.
However, taking them in is a grave mistake.
We must not only look at the present circumstances, but also take our future trajectory into account.
What do you mean by that Ves leaned back on his chair while clasping his hands.
When I evaluate the growth potential of the Larkinson Clan, I see many positive signs.
Granted, most of them are based around you and your unique products, but that sets us apart from the competition.
The enduring success of the LMC and your personal relationship with Master Willix of the Mech Trade Association are two clear indicators of your high potential..
For all intents and purposes, at this stage you should be regarded as a highly accomplished Senior rather than an up-and-coming Journeyman.
Now, what do you think will happen once you advance your mech design career in reality
Ves understood the gist of what the former ambassador tried to convey.
You\'re saying that I\'ll turn into the equivalent of a Master by that time.
Not literally, and not completely, but it is undeniable that your value and your influence will vastly surpass that of a more conventional Senior such as the Cross Clan\'s resident mech designer.
The power of a real Master is not simple.
Aside from their individual design prowess, their ability to network and make deals with similarly powerful individuals is enviable.
It is a relation manager\'s greatest dream to work for a Master.
Shederin Purnesse exuded excitement as he imagined this scenario.
The look he directed towards Ves hinted that the old man thought very highly of his new employer.
If Ves was able to advance to Master one day, then Shederin or his descendants would likely be entreating some of the most powerful and influential individuals in human space!
It appeared that Shederin Purnesse\'s research on Ves and the Larkinson Clan fully convinced him that he should embrace his current situation.
The old man no longer held any reservations about giving up the Purnesse Family in favor of becoming a member of a more powerful and promising family organization.
Ves waved his hand.
All of this sounds nice, but let\'s not get too excited.
Much of what you said won\'t become relevant until later on.
Right now, we shouldn\'t neglect our short-term needs.
Not only do we need to find more opportunities to earn MTA merits, we also have to procure enough goods and assets to prepare us for our trip ahead.
It will take around one to two more years to reach the beyonder gate.
Time will be tight, but I have faith that we will be able to find a solution.
It was easy for someone like Shederin to say that Ves should earn more MTA merits, but it was anything but simple.
Otherwise he wouldn\'t have agreed so easily to Master Willix\'s latest assignment.
Right now, Ves had no idea how many MTA mech pilots he could successfully elevate to expert pilot at the end of the five-year period.
Perhaps he might only be able to pull it off once or twice, which hardly made any difference in the greater scheme of things.
He briefly recalled that Professor Benedict managed to earn a couple of million MTA merits not too long ago.
The speed in which he earned this reward was rather unreal and only further emphasized that the Skull Architect hadn\'t been driven out of the Friday Coalition because his products were bad.
The presence of Professor Benedict in the expeditionary fleet exerted a lot of pressure on the Larkinson Clan.
If he didn\'t want this ruthless but incredibly capable Senior to dominate the alliance\'s mech industry, then Ves had to work harder in order to narrow the gap!
There are several opportunities to earn a lot of MTA merits, but none of them are quick and easy to accomplish.
It will be very hard to gather all of the required merits in a short amount of time without partnering up with more aspiring pioneers.
I have a different view on the matter. Shederin confidently replied.
First, our two allied partners are not standing still.
I have heard that even the Glory Seekers are trying to make up for the shortfall.
Ves looked surprised.
That\'s new to me.
I thought they would just continue to freeload off our merits.
You haven\'t been paying attention to them lately.
The Hexers are proud and arrogant people.
How can they be satisfied with their current situation Marshall Ariadne Wodin is aware that the Glory Seekers is the weakest of the three partners in the Golden Skull Alliance.
The strength of our clan is already evident, and the Cross Clan has just started to enter its own rapid growth phase.
If the Glory Seekers wish to remain relevant, they have to develop their own specialty in order to maintain their value.
Shederin Purnesse had become a lot more sensitive towards this dynamic due to the tragedy that had befallen the Purnesse Family.
Before the Purnessers joined the Larkinson Clan, it had been a part of a large and broad coalition of the Hegenarion Party.
However, his family had become so complacent about its apparent value that everything went drastically wrong when Crown Uprising upended the status quo.
The current situation of the Glory Seekers highly resembled that of the old Purnesse Family.
Compared to the two clans, this Hexer organization did not really bring that much value to the table these days.
The advantages it used to possess such as superior military power and extensive ties to the Wodin Dynasty and the Hexadric Hegemony became less relevant.
The Larkinsons already took advantage of most of what the Glory Seekers was able to provide.
Their well-trained mech pilots fought and died on behalf of the Larkinson Clan when it was still weak.
The dynasty supporting them from behind also extended a lot of favorable deals to Ves.
However, now that Ves had just obtained the core technical library of the Hexadric Hegemony, the state had less and less to offer to him.
If not for the fact that the Glory Seekers were supposed to be his wife\'s personal household troops, he would have sought to assimilate them in his clan already.
Do you have any indication of what the Glory Seekers are up to Ves curiously asked.
I have my guesses, patriarch.
Currently, the Glory Seekers do not have the capital to earn MTA merits, but do not forget the Hexers that stand behind them.
If the matriarchs of the Hegemony throw their support behind the Glory Seekers, the problem of accumulating sufficient merits will not be a great concern anymore.
For example, transferring one of their Master Mech Designers to the Glory Seekers.
For a moment, Ves became speechless.
Would a Hexer Master really condescend to join the Glory Seekers A woman of this high status already possessed a powerful network and organization of her own! Hexer Masters were fully capable of banding together in order to secure their own passage to the Red Ocean.
If a Hexer Master truly wants to butt into the Golden Skull Alliance, I won\'t give my approval. Ves stated.
I can imagine the Cross Clan doesn\'t want to get overshadowed like this as well.
An outside Master is far too powerful and will completely break the balance of power within our alliance.
Of course, the benefits that a Master could provide were also great.
Ever since Ves started to collaborate with Master Willix on the current round of mech design projects, he gained a much greater appreciation of what it was like to work alongside someone with greater skill and vision.
Though Master Willix rarely issued any remarks on the ongoing work of the Larkinson mech designers, the corrections she made over the course of her highly effective implementation of resonating exotics to the expert mech designs provided a lot of help on the sly.
Though the influence of a Master inevitably meant that Ves and the other Journeymen lost some of the ownership of the mech designs, the increase in performance was worth the tradeoff.
The possibility that a Hexer Master will seek to join or merge with the Glory Seekers is a low probability event. Shederin reassured Ves.
The greater point that I am trying to make is that you are not alone in trying to earn enough MTA merits to redeem a beyonder ticket.
In fact, I think you are actually underestimating your fellow colleagues.
What do you mean by that
Out of the four Journeymen in residence in the Larkinson Clan, two appear to be fairly normal.
Both your wife and Juliet Stameros will not be able to contribute much to the Mech Trade Association until they advance to Senior.
Your judgement isn\'t wrong, though Gloriana won\'t be happy to hear the truth. Ves replied.
Regardless, that leaves two Journeymen who possess unique and unusual talents.
I don\'t need to say anything about you, but have you ever thought about the implications of what Ketis Larkinson can do An existence like her is unprecedented.
If she is able to leverage her abilities as a swordmaster in her mech design work, she can create novel innovations that might be able to catch the attention of the Mech Trade Association.
The old man made a good point.
Ves knew exactly what the MTA was like.
Master Willix\'s persistent attempts to squeeze his secrets out of his mind reflected the organization-wide compulsion to acquire more knowledge and advance the level of mech design across human civilization!
The MTA\'s mission might sound noble, but the mechers were undeniably looking out for themselves.
Ves rubbed his smooth-shaven chin.
I think you are onto something now that I think about it.
The problem is that Ketis hasn\'t really shown off her capabilities yet.
We\'ll have to wait until we deliver our first expert mech design in order to see if your idea pans out.
I\'ll be happy if she can succeed in her ambitions.
Ketis did not keep her goals a secret.
She frequently stated her intention to give Venerable Tusa and every other melee expert pilot an extra advantage by imparting an extra gift to their weapons.
It was similar to how Ves planned to supercharge the performance of the expert mechs by combining true resonance with prime resonance.
As long as either or both of them successfully implemented their ambitious ideas, the expert mechs of the Larkinson Clan would definitely stand on a greater height compared to equivalent machines designed by other mech designers!
Such unique machines would likely possess significant research value to the MTA.
Master Willix had already awarded Ves with MTA merits before, so this might be a good opportunity to earn another sum of merits.
Don\'t forget that merits represent real and significant contributions to human society and the galactic mech community. Shederin reminded Ves.
The most obvious contributions are directly related to your profession, but it doesn\'t have to be so narrow.
As long as you are able to come up with any other means to advance humanity, you should present it to the MTA and see if they will recognize your accomplishments.
The Association has always been generous to those who contribute their strength as opposed to reserving all of their advantages to themselves.
Ves responded with a cynical smile.
I\'m sure that all of those selfless people will receive a nice pat on the head from the Association, but the latter will always gain the most benefit.
He hated the fact that the relationship between the MTA and its contributors was so lopsided.
Still, as one of the most powerful organizations in the galaxy and the definite authority on everything related to mechs, Ves had no choice but to obey the prevailing rules of the game!
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