The Mech Touch Chapter 1170
1168 Deadbeat Mother
"What an idiot." Ves muttered as soon as he woke up again in his real body.
Lucky, who was idly resting on top of his chest, suddenly floated in the air and greeted his revival. "Meow!"
"Hahaha! I'm back!"
His consciousness didn't stick around in Axelar's mind for long. As soon as the mech duel ended, Ves already harvested the insights he initially set out for. The System evidently agreed, as it pulled him out soon afterwards.
Aside from learning some very important truths about hero mechs, he also came into touch with an entirely different society.
The Greater Terran United Confederation deserved to be called a first-rate superstate. Ves personally witnessed its full splendor. With all of their might, wealth, power, technology and manpower at their disposal, he fully believed that they once held dominion of most of humanity across the stars.
"That time is over now." He remarked as he checked his life-support machine. He had been out for more than eight days, which was exactly what he expected. "The Terrans are still great, but they are too content to expand their ambitions."
Experiencing the Terran Confederation from within allowed him to verify all the rumors that others have said about the oldest existing human power in the galaxy.
Despite their superior might, wealth, power, technology and manpower, most of their potential was being wasted on needless internal conflicts and hedonistic pleasures. While the Confederation was not an entirely decadent state, the lack of drive towards pursuing greater goals made the state too insular and focused upon themselves rather than any greater ambitions.
This stood in stark contrast to what he heard about the New Rubarth Empire, which avidly pursued hegemony over the entirety of human space!
What Ves found the most remarkable about the Terrans was that they spent a lot of effort on upgrading their genes and biology. Baseline humans practically didn't exist anymore within the borders of the Confederation as even the lowliest citizen inherited highly-optimized genes from the ancestors who first underwent genetic therapy.
Despite this drive towards elevating Terrans into a higher form of life, they were very much human. At most, their upper limits had been raised to double, triple or even ten times their original capabilities.
Yet did most humans actually make full use of their potential all the time?
Even Axelar, someone who could have been much stronger than any mech pilot of the Komodo Star Sector, wasted far too much time on drugging himself stupid all day.
"Humans are humans." Ves concluded. "Being stronger and smarter doesn't change that. As long as the genetic modifications haven't removed their humanity, they will always be afflicted by the flaws of our race."
This rule also applied to himself. Even though his body had been upgraded and messed around with multiple times, Ves never considered himself a more perfect human being. He might be a lot more capable compared to others, but he could easily descend to Axelar's level if he grew complacent.
"No matter how rich or poor you are, you need to fight to obtain a life worth living!"
When Axelar won his mech duel against Waltz Nexbern in public, he experienced an unprecedented amount of fulfillment! It was through actions like these that that he could turn around his life and make his existence meaningful!
Ves always thought enviously about the fortunate lives of the Terrans and Rubarthans enjoyed. Who in the galactic rim wouldn't?
He still considered them fortunate, but he no longer considered humans who lived in other parts of the galaxy inferior.
"There's no need to put myself down in front of a Terran or a Rubarthan."
As Ves physically recovered from resting on his bed for more than a week, he contemplated whether he should look up Axelar's name on the galactic net.
While he abandoned Axelar shortly after the mech duel, the clansman was still in trouble! Ves couldn't help but grin at the thought of signing the junkie up for the Trail of Tears.
"Serves him right for wasting so much of my time!"
In ordinary circumstances, a wastrel like Axelar should never be able to do well in the Trail of Tears. Yet Axelar showed he could be greater than his addicted self during the duel. If he continued to reform his life in this direction through the many trials the elite training program forced him to, it wasn't impossible for him to transform his entire life!
A creeping sense of foreboding swept over him. Had Ves inadvertently changed the life of yet another Mastery host?
Curiosity drove him to investigate.
Ves activated his comm and entered the galactic net. As soon as he inputted Axelar's name, he immediately encountered a profile published by the MTA.
"Only high-ranking mech pilots enjoy this treatment!"
The moment he entered the page and skimmed through its content, he felt like he read through the biography of an entirely different person!
VENERABLE AXELAR STREON, THE HERO OF NEW TERRA
It quickly became clear that Axelar not only survived the incredibly arduous Trail of Tears, but also thrived! While he hadn't managed to advance to expert pilot during the training program, it only took a couple of years after he returned to advance to expert candidate!
After that, he gradually sharpened his piloting skills and advanced to expert pilot. That wasn't the extent of his progression, as he also managed to advance to ace pilot roughly half-a-century later!
This was the second ace pilot that emerged after Ves paid a visit to their minds in the past!
"What is it about me or the System that turns these mech pilots into exceptional figures?"
Regardless of the cause and effect, Ves felt a strange well of pride surging in his heart. It was him who forced Axelar to get off the couch and make something out of his life!
The one notable surprise he encountered in the biography was that Axelar continued to make use of the Ouroboros. In fact, he still piloted it to this day as his ace mech!
As Ves followed some links and watched some of the rare footage of the Ouroboros in action over the past few decades, he almost didn't recognize his creation anymore!
Little remained from its initial form as an advanced first-class hero mech created with the help of an auto designer. Its subsequent incarnations all incorporated different elements from Senior and Master Mech Designers!
The Ouroboros had been upgraded to such an extreme extent that perhaps not a single part was left of the original Ouroboros!
Ninety years had passed. Both the mech pilot and the prevailing mech technology underwent a lot of progress. It was logical for Axelar to desire to pilot a better mech.
Whereas most mech pilots would have switched to a newer and better mech model, Ves at least felt content that Axelar decided to stick with the Ouroboros. The affection he held for his own mech must have grown even stronger over the years!
There was only one big snag that ruined his mood.
Axelar took credit for designing the Ouroboros!
Ves wanted to puke. Although he left Axelar's mind with no explanation, it seemed the mech pilot genuinely believed that he was responsible for designing the original incarnation of the Ouroboros!
Right now, the Ouroboros had gained an unimaginable amount of fame in the Terran Confederation! As Axelar's fortunes rose, so did the fortunes of his mech!
While Ves didn't recognize any of the parts and materials of the ace mech version of the Ouroboros, Axelar still retained its conceptual and visual design!
The Ouroboros, the Serpent of Creation and Destruction, was the only hero mech from the Terran Confederation that achieved galaxy-wide fame! Wherever it went, creation and destruction followed in equal measure!
And Axelar shamelessly took credit for something that Ves conceived on his own!
"This is my art!" Ves yelled.
That wasn't the extent of Axelar's theft. As he gained more fame as an expert pilot and and ace pilot, he also stole one of Ves' phrases, adopting it into his signature adage!
"Two weapons are enough! The power of creation and destruction triumphs over all!"
Even against the most advanced ace mechs developed by the best Terran or Rubarthan mech pilots, the Ouroboros proved Axelar's signature adage over and over again!
Ves felt the urge to travel to the heart of the Terran Confederation and smack Axelar's face with his own palm!
He quickly abandoned the thought. The current Axelar was nothing like the old one!
The modern Axelar looked much more mature and distinguished. With his cropped, auburn beard and his strong military bearing, Axelar enjoyed an exemplary status within the Terran Confederation.
Not only did he become an ace pilot, he also became a mech general! He worked his way up the ranks of an elite mech corps until he became its ultimate leader!
This meant that Axelar not only possessed considerable personal strength, but also the mind and maturity to lead over one of the most powerful military units of the Confederation!
Axelar also engaged in politics, using his growing influence to good effect. He became known as the Hero of New Terra for joining a faction that advocated for Terran supremacy.
He wanted to reform and revitalize the Terran Confederation! While this faction gained a lot of strength over the recent decades, the overwhelmingly conservative old guard resisted the advances of the upstarts as best as possible.
For now, the Hero of New Terra and the Serpent of Creation and Destruction still had more ways to go. A lot of people expected Axelar to achieve greater heights in his very long lifespan!
"Forget it. What Axelar has achieved is his own merit, not mine." Ves shook his head.
While Ves might have given Axelar the initial push, the Terran earned everything he achieved through his own hard work!
Even the Ouroboros no longer belonged to Ves. His Spirituality didn't react at all to seeing its latter incarnations, though the footage available on the galactic net wasn't all that clear in the first place.
He wasn't sure what would happen if Ves ever reunited with Axelar and the Ouroboros. Did his spiritual imprint still exist in the mech he originally designed but gained a life of its own?
For some reason, Ves imagined himself as an absent mother who abandoned her husband and her newborn child! As a single father, Axelar was stuck with the responsibility of raising the Ouroboros by himself!
In such a situation, the Ouroboros likely wouldn't appreciate a reunion with its deadbeat mother!
"I don't have anything to do with them anymore. Our differences are too great."
Axelar became an ace pilot and a mech general, turning him into a grand figure in the Terran Confederation. The Ouroboros grew alongside its pilot and underwent a huge metamorphosis.
As for Ves? He was just a young Journeyman Mech Designer! People like him never even came within touching distance to an ace pilot or an ace mech!
What really mattered was digesting the lessons he learned through his latest Mastery experience.
He didn't know whether his beliefs about hero mechs conformed to the prevailing standards of this mech type. Yet his opinions matched all of the observations he made on hero mechs.
He summed up the three most pertinent points.
"A hero mech is only fit to be piloted by a hero!"
"Hero mechs shouldn't be produced en masse!"
Not everyone was cut out to pilot a hero mech. Even in a very advanced state like the Terran Confederation, most mech pilots there wouldn't be able to make hero mechs live up to the name of their mech type.
That brought Ves back to the nature of the private commission he accepted. Right now, his mind was filled with inspiration! He had entered the best state for designing a hero mech. However, whether he could make use of any of his ideas depended heavily on the wishes of the client and the mech pilots assigned to pilot his next works!
"Can ceremonial bodyguards even be heroes?"