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No matter how many fires burned in the Bright Republic, work never ceased.
Ves detested getting tangled in the recent problems that popped up. He would much rather lock himself up in his design lab and engage in his true passion, which was designing mechs!
Though Gloriana was still capable of contributing to the projects, she still wanted to take some time off to adjust to her mentally exhausted state.
That made his time at the design lab a lot more drab and lifeless. Ves had become so accustomed to collaborating with his girlfriend that her abrupt absence made him feel as if he was missing a limb.
In his recent period interactions with Raymond, the Larkinson elder behaved a lot more reticent in his presence.
Ves sensed that Raymond was quite conflicted by what he heard.
Nonetheless, Ves knew that the elder was already inclined towards him. It was just that Raymond never took into account that the contradictions between his superior and the state could reach such a serious level.
Even now, Raymond still didn't understand why Ves adopted such a serious stance.
This was also why Ves paid less attention to other affairs and put his full effort into completing his projects.
Though the Deliverer was still a few weeks away from completion, he managed to complete the first iteration of the Adonis Colossus design without any further delay.
While Gloriana hadn't visited the design lab recently, Ves made sure to keep her in the loop. Though she hadn't offered a lot of suggestions, she still pointed out some minor issues that Ves had overlooked.
Despite her low period, she was still a competent mech designer.
Ves also showed off their latest progress by paying a visit to Vincent, who decided to wait for his new mech in Freslin instead of returning to Bentheim.
When Vincent observed his mech, he made a very pleased sound.
"Hahahaha! What a great-looking mech!" He laughed. "With this mech, no sandman will be able to stand against me! The women will love me! Just look at this classy codpiece!"
Ves suppressed the urge to grimace. "Do you have any objections to our design?"
"Uh, now that I think about it, does this mech come with your characteristic glow?"
"Yes. The Adonis Colossus comes with a unique glow that is exclusive to your mech. This is our guarantee."
This was one of the ways in which Ves and Gloriana decided to stand out in the market. The spiritual components that made his mechs so remarkable must be turned into one of their main selling points.
For custom mechs, this was even more important, especially if the glow was one-of-a-kind!
Though Ves personally thought it was extravagant for him to give Vincent this service, it would lay the foundation for future commissions.
As long as this feature became their trademark, Ves and Gloriana could charge a much higher premium for their services!
Vincent nodded in satisfaction. Even though Ves hadn't infused the design with Bravo yet, the mech already carried a distinctly notable spiritual foundation.
While it was not enough for an average mech pilot like Vincent to sense its presence, he nonetheless felt a lot more intimate towards the design. Any minor demands he ordinarily wanted to express died in his throat as the Adonis Colossus possessed an indescribable charm in his eyes.
It was as if he was looking at himself in the mirror!
His client's behavior didn't escape Ves' attention. He deliberately aimed to charm Vincent from the start in order to prevent him from voicing annoying demands such as increasing the size of the codpiece.
Right now, the protective piece that Ves had unavoidably coated with a dazzling golden color could still moonlight as an extra-large belt or something. This plausible deniability was very important to him in preserving his reputation in the mech community!
"Make sure to deliver this mech as fast as possible." Vincent demanded after he regained his senses. He dramatically waved his arms! "The Bright Republic is in serious danger! Bentheim is under constant siege! As a valiant mech pilot, I must do what I can to protect my home! The sooner I obtain this mech, the sooner I can save the Republic!"
Ves did his best not to roll his eyes. One of the reasons why he carefully controlled his conduct was because of the media crew recording this meeting.
Most clients would never want to expose the designs of their mech commissions. Showing off the schematics of his upcoming mech would give his enemies a deep understanding of its shortcomings.
However, it appeared that Vincent missed this lesson or did not feel the need to hide his strength.
At the very least, Vincent shouldn't suffer from any repercussions as long as he fought against the sandmen. The aliens never took any notice in identifying and exploiting the weaknesses of mechs. Perhaps to them, every mech was just a flying block of metal that they needed to destroy in order to advance towards their goals.
Ves departed as quickly as possible after Vincent approved of the current design.
Even if subsequent iterations of the design incorporated some tweaks, he did not expect any major changes.
"The Adonis Colossus design is essentially finished." He concluded.
That lifted a weight off his shoulders. While it was his first design of the new generation, Ves did not take much pride in designing it. His distaste towards Vincent had never abated. He merely wanted to abide by his principles and complete the commission without any fuss.
"Now, I can turn to something much more fun." He smiled.
When he returned to the design lab, he arranged his design team to carry out the last phases of the design process of the Adonis Colossus.
Since the Tovars already became accustomed to these duties, Ves did not have to supervise their work as much anymore.
This gave Ves enough grounds to turn his attention to his current passion project. He sat down behind a terminal and pulled up the design files for the Deliverer.
"What a beauty."
While the Deliverer design still exhibited a lot of missing parts, the general shape and purpose of the mech already became clear.
The relatively sturdy frame provided a lot of mass to stabilize the aim of the marksman mech.
Ves added quite a bit of auxiliary components that facilitated the primary role of the mech. Various sensor and targeting systems allowed the mech pilot to snipe distant targets even without the assistance of the Deliverer's glow.
"Too bad it will only reach its potential in the hands of an Ylvainan." He sighed.
All of the extra gizmos provided a substantial amount of support to any mech pilot. However, the iconography and other decorative elements made it clear that the Deliverer was not a neutral design.
As Ves immersed himself deeper into his work, he paid particular attention to its primary armament.
The Executor was a gauss rifle that offered the highest muzzle velocity out of all of the options available to him. While it fired smaller projectiles than other modules, its higher muzzle velocity imparted a lot more energy to them, causing them to inflict just as much damage as larger but slower-moving projectiles.
Not only was the Executor a lot more accurate at longer ranges, Ves could also fit more rounds inside the internal storage spaces of the Deliverer.
"It's too bad this rifle is a huge energy hog."
The reason why a third-rate state like the Bright Republic mostly relied on ballistic rifles to inflict physical damage was because they were much less fussy.
Gauss rifles hit hard and fast, that was true. However, they also demanded a lot more. Not only were they more complex, they also relied on strong exotics to endure all of the forces it generated.
A single shot from the Executor was powerful enough to crack the armor of any standard mech! Even premium mechs such as the Blackbeak weren't able to resist repeated attacks!
Though many gauss rifles inflicted more damage per shot, that was not what the Deliverer required.
As long as the Executor possessed enough power to take out a sandman drone, that was enough. Ves did not mind if the excess power of these shots went to waste, as he didn't know if the sandmen would toughen up their sandman drones in the future.
Though the Executor was very difficult to work with, they still shared many common points with ballistic rifles. This gave him the confidence to modify the Executor's design in order to fit his needs.
Though he made plenty of errors, Ves managed to increase the aspects he wanted by making some clever and expensive tradeoffs.
"What matters the most isn't necessarily power or muzzle velocity." Ves muttered. "It's accuracy. The rifle must hit exactly where a trained marksman mech pilot intends to hit!"
The skills imparted by the System made it very clear that increasing a mech's accuracy became exponentially more difficult the higher it became.
It didn't take too much effort to make a ranged mech be able to fire a stationary target a few kilometers away with 100 percent accuracy.
Yet what if the distance was 100 kilometers? This was the upper bound that Ves expected his Deliverer to be effective in assassinating sandman admirals.
Realistically, ensuring adequate accuracy at 50 kilometers was already a significant challenge.
While this demand was easier to fulfill because there were less variables acting on the projectile, a gauss rifle was never perfectly accurate.
In order to improve accuracy beyond the point where most mech designers would have been satisfied already, Ves performed multiple adjustments on the Executor and the frame of his design.
Ves altered the front shoulder and other nearby parts to allow for the Deliverer to brace its stock as seamlessly as possible.
He strengthened the rifle body and upgraded some of the lesser materials in order to increase the rifle's reliability after lengthy use.
The huge gauss rifle became a more potent-looking weapon after Ves finished his adjustments. The rifle was so huge and massive that it offered a lot of opportunities to tweak its properties.
"Once my Deliverers debut on the battlefield, they'll surely make a lasting impression!
However, before he could achieve this result, he had to make sure the Deliverer meshed well with its design spirit.
Due to the Deliverer's high dependence on Ylvaine's spiritual fragment, Ves frequently connected to it in order to increase its familiarity with the design and its properties.
Sometimes, the spiritual fragment communicated some objections or some alternatives to Ves.
He never followed the fragment's suggestions right away. He always considered their merits first before making his own decision.
"As far as I know, your source doesn't know a thing about mechs. I have my own ideas about my work!"
Before, Ves would have accepted the suggestion of his design spirits, but now that he became more capable, he no longer needed to appease so much to them. If his design spirits disagreed, then they would just have to swallow their objections.
The power dynamic between Ves and his design spirits was very interesting. So far, their relationships were mostly mutually beneficial.
The design spirits subsided from the spiritual feedback of his products, while the design spirits lent their strength in return.
Of all the design spirits he utilized, Ves always felt he could go further with Ylvaine's spiritual fragment. It was the most cooperative design spirit out of what he had, and its undeniable human origin made it a lot more capable of advanced cooperation than his young and artificial spiritual products.
As Ves continued to tweak the design of the Executor rifle, a bright idea suddenly came to his mind. He wanted to do something similar to what he did to the Devil Tiger, but not as obvious.
He instantly sent a query to Ylvaine's spiritual fragment.
"What if I give you a bit more control over the mech? If you want, I can allow you to do more than nudge the aim of the mech pilot."
The spiritual fragment already transmitted its assent!
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