Chapter 3183: Boar and Leopard
“We are nearing the star sector where two of our commissioned capital ships are being built.” Gavin reported to Ves during a routine morning briefing session.
Ever since the chief ministers performed their duties, the duration of these sessions had become a lot shorter.
Gavin stopped reporting about smaller-scale issues that were already being taken care of by the other officials within the clan.
Ves just wanted to be kept apprised of the general trends and high-level decisions that directly impacted his own possibilities.
He didnt want to wake up one day and find out that the chief ministers sold the Spirit of Bentheim or something!
“I remember.” He answered after a short while.
“Vivian Tsai told me that the clan had contracted a shipbuilding company situated somewhere in the Cin Beta Star Sector.”
According to the latest status reports, the Diligent Ovenbirds hull is fully built and just needs more electrical and internal installations before she can begin her trials.
The Gorgoneion is a bigger and much more substantial capital ship and will need a bit more time before her hull is done.”
“Has anyone tried to steal our orders during this time” Ves critically asked.
“The Cin Beta Star Sector is not that far away from the beyonder gate that is situated in the next star cluster.
I can imagine that there are lots of aspiring pioneers who badly need a capital ship and cant resist exerting pressure on the shipwrights that are currently finishing our future assets.”
“You dont have to worry about that problem, boss.” Gavin smirked.
“Minister Shederin has subtly conveyed your strong ties to the shipbuilding company and anyone who might have designs on our orders.
Hardly anyone in this region of the galaxy is courageous enough to mess with the property of a tier 10 galactic citizen.”
Ourstrong ties to the MTA.
Ever since Ves and his fellow Journeymen created their first masterwork expert mech, their status had clearly changed.
Though the mechers were kind enough to suppress the news about their accomplishment, some of the changes couldnt be hidden.
The public records of Ves and the other three Journeymen of the Larkinson Clan clearly state that they had recently been promoted to tier 10 galactic citizenship.
This was a huge and abnormal jump.
Unless Ves somehow managed to hypnotize the MTA, he and his colleagues must have done something drastic that earned a lot of appreciation from one of the Big Two!
Therefore, it wasnt his upgraded galactic citizenship tier that intimidated rivals.
What people were actually wary about was messing with people who currently received the MTAs favor.
“So if everything is going well, we should be receiving the Gorgoneion and the Ovenbird in a couple of months”
“Yes, boss, though the exact timing depends on how much time it will take for us to complete yourside business.”
“You mean our little excursion to the lovely little Smiling Samuel Star Sector, Benny” Ves smirked.
“Yes, that…” Gavin trailed.
“Boss, I dont often question you these days, but are you sure it is wise to divert our fleet and enter an empire that does not look kindly on normal humans”
“Heh, no matter what these dwarves want to do, they dont live in a galaxy where they are dominant.
Even if they want to screw us over, they have to get through our entire fleet first.
Dwarf mechs fall just as easily as normal humanoid mechs.”
“Uhm, about that, I dont know if the Glory Seekers and the Cross Clan will want to join you on this trip.
According to Shederin, our two allies have serious misgivings about entering the Vulcan Empire.
There is nothing that the dwarves can offer to them, so they would rather skip this detour and resume our journey to the Tarnished Crown Star Sector.”
This sounded like a big problem.
Part of the reason why the expeditionary fleet did not encounter any disturbances was because it was too damn strong.
Neither private nor public forces ever thought about messing with the Golden Skull Alliance because the price of attacking their passing fleet was too great!
Though the Larkinson Army by itself was already more than strong enough to fend off most threats, the absence of thousands of additional mechs made it a lot more realistic to launch an attack.
This was not good news to Ves as he did not want his forces to appear weak when he entered the Smiling Samuel Star Sector.
“Will they split from us” Ves asked.
“Surprisingly, it doesnt look like Glory Seekers and Crossers will go through with their threats to move on ahead to the beyonder gate and wait for us to arrive.” Gavin replied.
“First, they will become a lot more attractive targets themselves if they no longer combine forces with the Larkinson Army.
Second, they want to stay in our good graces.
The primary mission of the Glory Seekers is to protect your wife, so they cant just ignore that.
The Hexers also believe in the Superior Mother and your ties to her, so Shederin judges that the Glory Seekers will stick with us regardless.”
“What about the Cross Clan, Benny”
“Thats a more complicated issue.
The rank-and-file Crossers have no stomach to follow us into the Vulcan Empire, but the leaders think differently.
Patriarch Reginald and Professor Benedict are highly in favor of you and dont want anything to happen to you.
We can rely on that dynamic to drag them with us into dwarf territory, though they wont be happy with us at all.
Relations between us will definitely become strained for a time.”
These were major downsides.
Considering that they had fought and bled alongside the Larkinsons, this was not the right way to treat his allies.
Yet Ves didnt have much choice.
He was not about to let an opportunity to complete one of the Systems long-stalled Supply Missions disappear.
The System urgently needed the Timpala Steel that Ves had buried in the star sector long ago.
Stuck between choosing whether he should piss his allies or piss off the System, Ves resolutely chose the former!
At least the Glory Seekers and the Cross Clan werent directly tied to his life.
Relations could be mended and friendships could be regained.
It was a lot harder to survive the consequences of the Systems wrath!
“I know you dont understand, but you dont need to.
I have business in the Vulcan Empire and I will head over there even if everyone else in the fleet leaves me behind.” Ves stated in no uncertain terms.
These days, Ves didnt need to come up with any spurious excuses.
His power and prestige had reached such a level that he didnt have to depend on anything else to have his way.
It also helped that he cultivated a reputation for eccentricity.
Everyone knew that the patriarch was both brilliant and unconventional.
He displayed so many idiosyncrasies that one more oddity should not be a surprise.
Still, this decision was a bit more extreme than others.
There was no doubt that his incessant desire to venture deep into the Smiling Samual Star Sector was straining many peoples tolerance.
The two talked a bit more about the preparations for the upcoming trip.
The MTAs permit along with Shederins efforts to find a local guide that didnt hate humans as much made the trip a lot safer.
Ves smiled and leaned back against his chair.
“If there is one benefit to entering Smiling Samuel, its that the Crown Uprising has hardly affected the dwarves.
Even the terrorists look down on their kind.”
This has caused the Smiling Samual to be a rare beacon of calm in these turbulent times.
Though there was plenty of division in the Vulcan Empire, most of it had to do with the age-old struggle whether the god the dwarves named their state after was human or dwarf.
This dogmatic question had plagued the Vulcan Faith since its inception and had never been resolved even as the dwarves somehow managed to dominate an entire star sector.
Of course, this had nothing to do with Ves.
He was just an ordinary human visitor who just wanted to see the sights and dig inside a random asteroid belt, that was all.
Once he got what he wanted, he would leave straight away and leave the dwarves to their devices.
After Gavin concluded his briefing and left, Ves took care of some other minor issues before standing up.
Despite his reassurances, he still wanted to be sure that his clan would be ready to respond to any trouble that might unfold.
“We should complete the Vanguard Project and Decapitator Project before we enter Smiling Samual.
Isnt that right, Lucky”
“Meow…” Lucky yawned as he jumped from the desk he was perched upon and floated next to Ves.
“Has your stomach been feeling queasy lately Are you ready to give me another batch of gems soon Its already been a few months before you last paid your rent.”
It didnt appear that Lucky would be producing another gem anytime soon, so Ves did not press his cat any further and walked over to the design lab.
When he entered the large workspace, he was greeted with the sight of more than 150 young mech designers performing their designated tasks.
Most of them sat quietly behind their terminals.
Their projected screens showed detailed design schematics, dynamic graphs and endless tables of numbers.
The older batch of fifty assistants worked a lot more adeptly than the newer batch of a hundred assistants.
The latter had already received a lot of training but still had some distance to go before they become fully productive.
Gloriana couldnt wait that long, though.
She decided to employ the new batch of assistant mech designers after just a few months so that she would have more manpower at her disposal.
Currently, the majority of assistants had already moved on to the Chimera Project and Bulwark Project.
The expert mech designs meant for both Venerable Dise and Venerable Orfan were nearly complete.
When Ves approached Glorianas workplace, she was carefully studying and putting the final touches to the Vanguard Project.
“How is it going”
“Its two-layer armor system is anything but ideal, but I think our implementation makes the most out of the Unending alloy and Breyer alloy that we are utilizing.” She answered as Ves leaned down to kiss her cheek and enjoy her fresh scent.
“We will have to rely a lot on the effects of BSN-17A to augment the defense of the Vanguard Project.
If Venerable Orfan can sustain the energy barrier that this material can project, then she can divert a lot of enemy firepower.”
Master Willix had already done her job some time ago.
What Ves found curious was that her approach to integrating resonating materials in an expert mech had become slightly more refined.
It appeared that she too took notes of the solutions employed by the Superpublish function.
“Between the Vanguard Project and the Decapitator Project, which one do you think is stronger”
“Thats a silly question, Ves.
Theyre both good in their own right.
If I have to make a choice, I would place my bets on the Decapitator Project.
Ketis might be a new and inexperienced Journeyman, but shes a fast learner and she knows more about swordsmanship than practically any other mech designer specialized in swordsman mechs.
You can clearly see the difference if you compare the two designs.
The Vanguard Projects fights like a tough but lumbering boar while the Decapitator Project fights like an agile leopard.”
The difference between the two designs was not as big as the analogies suggested, but it was a good way to differentiate between the two.
Ves personally felt the Decapitator Project had more promise as well due to the work that Ketis had done.
The Vanguard Project simply didnt receive as much love and attention from the four Journeymen.
“Well, make sure to do your best to finalize the projects in a couple of days.
Were closing in on Smiling Samuel and I want these two expert mechs to come online before we visit the dwarves.”
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