The Mech Touch Chapter 725
"Impossible, you say?" Ves replied calmly. He turned his armored form fully to the Apprentice Mech Designer, who currently wore a lighter and smaller hazard suit. She looked very small right now. "Impossible? I used to keep hundreds of mechs with a budget the size of a nutrient pack! A mech is not supposed to be an endless abyss which gobbles up container loads of resources with nothing to show for the extravagant expenditure!"
"B-B-But Mr. Larkinson! With only a fourth of the budget left to maintain the Parallax Star, it's impossible for us to retain the expert mech at its full operational capacity!"
Ves stepped closer to Lisbeth, prompting her to almost draw back. "Don't spin a tale of nonsense to me. I know exactly what is going on under your leadership! The excessive spending and the pointless fabrication of spare parts that have never once been used will end immediately! In fact, I'm ordering those extra arms, legs and backpack modules to be transferred to the Beggar's Bounty and the Linever Swan for recycling. At least that way the base materials can be put to better use."
"This can't be allowed to happen!" Lisbeth shrieked, causing others to turn their attention to her. Her perpetual smile grew more demented and fragile by the second. "My apologies, sir, but our Venerables deserve better! How can they be expected to fight on our behalf if their mechs are are rotten and fragile as a bundle of sticks? You must reverse your decision immediately, or I will tell Venerable Xie about your tyrannical act of cruelty!"
"You can bleat all you want, you wasteful cow, but as long as I'm holding my posting, I'll be the one to dictate your budget. If you don't agree, you can take it up with Major Verle, but I think he won't be amused at your demands."
Lisbeth knew she couldn't make a good case in front of Major Verle, especially as Ves had already mentioned that the Vandals were far from a condition to sustain an excessive budget, yet she simply couldn't adjust her mentality!
She used to be one of the most valued mech designers among the Vandals due to her valuable relationship with Venerable O'Callahan. Although the expert pilot rarely roused himself from sleep even before his last battle, the supremely skilled mech pilot always backed her up in her disputes against other mech designers.
To be robbed of his patronage and left unshielded against the storms battering her unprotected self caused her mind to become stuck in a loop. She couldn't process this sudden deprivation of resources!
"YOU CAN'T! YOU CAN'T STRIP US OF RESOURCES! RECANT YOUR WORDS! IT'S NOT TOO LATE!"
Whatever Ves expected from the obsessive Apprentice Mech Designer, he never expected her to jump at him and grab his shoulder pauldrons with her gauntlets. She attempted to shake him back and forth, but the stiffness of the armor as well as his superior strength prevented her from jerking him around.
Though Ves could have shook her off with ease, he decided that Lisbeth required a firmer adjustment. He wanted to hit her with a lesson on authority that she wouldn't forget. Punching in her face might feel good to him, but that would only breed unnecessary resentment on her part.
"Yes, teacher?" Ketis responded as she approached with an inquisitive expression. Her hybrid alien appearance as well as her intimidating pirate armor with its tribal markings and bone accessories made it clear that she didn't belong to the Vandals. The looming greatsword behind the Swordmaiden's back further hit home her savage upbringing.
Lisbeth whimpered as the Swordmaiden stalked closer. A sheltered mech designer like her had never been exposed to the rough side of the frontier. Her smile grew brittle until there was barely a curve left in her mouth!
"Miss Lisbeth Eta-Denmersken has been rather lax in her fitness." Ves facetiously stated. "She's been too comfortable in her little kingdom here. I think she can use some toughening up, don't you agree?"
Fortunately, Ketis caught on to his game. She enthusiastically nodded. "Uh-huh. I'm always telling you that a mech designer who can't even chop through someone's neck with a sword isn't worth a single damn. Look at her arms! Even underneath her hazard suit, I can see they're practically like wooden sticks! I'm surprised she's strong enough to lift up a multitool. I'm sure her bones will break if she picks up anything heavier."
"Well, I've got good news for you, Lisbeth." He grinned and slapped Lisbeth on her shoulder pauldron, causing her to flinch. Ves firmly held her in his grasp and pushed her forward until she almost bumped into Ketis. "Our guest designer from Lydia's Swordmaidens is a veritable warrior! You won't find a stronger female mech designer among the Vandals. As someone who trained to be a vicious pirate since her adoption by the Swordmaidens, she's uniquely suited to shore up your fitness. Ketis!"
"What's your orders, sir?" The little devil replied with a grin and a mock salute.
"Give Miss Eta-Denmersksen a taste of the famous Swordmaiden training regime. Mind you, don't blast her with the complete set of exercises you insane women go through each day. However, I expect you to leave her tired and breathless at the end of the day."
"Sure thing, Mr. Larkinson! I've got lots of experience bringing my little sisters up to shape! Is this a one-time thing or..?"
"Keep training her during our stay aboard the Gorgon's Gaze. It is best if you can compress her training session a bit. Don't take all day. While I can't show you the inner workings of our expert mechs, I still have a lot of other stuff to show you around."
"Hah! I'll look forward to it!" Ketis replied before grabbing hold of Lisbeth's arm. The poor mech designer simply couldn't resist the Swordmaiden's forceful pull. "As for you, Lisbeth, we're going to have a great time together! It's been a while since I last put a new recruit through boot camp! Where's the nearest sparring ring?"
A bubbly Ketis dragged a panicked but smiling Lisbeth out of the hangar bay. The disparity between the two's strength couldn't be made more clear.
Ves chuckled a bit at the sight, causing Chief Keys, Lieutenant Koltov and the other members of the greeting party to take a very cautious glance at him. He met their curious stares with a confident grin.
"What is it? Do you have something to say about how I've exercised my authority?"
"N-No, sir!" Chief Keys quickly shook his head.
Koltov appeared as if she wanted to get in a word, but she eventually dropped what she wanted to say.
Even if they kicked up a fuss, Ves expected no repercussions. He knew that as long as he acted confidently and without remorse, his fellow Vandals would accept his actions no matter how far they crossed the line.
In any case, Miss Lisbeth fell under his supervision in the first place, so he had the authority to do as he pleased.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
If there was one lesson he learned from the Vandals, it was that they didn't care about the means, only the result. They should applaud his attempt to curtail the overblown budget of Lisbeth's department!
In truth, Ves had ulterior motives when he sent Lisbeth off with Ketis. He wanted the Apprentice Mech Designer to be absent at the beginning stages of Venerable Xie's integration into the Flagrant Vandals.
If Venerable Xie granted Miss Lisbeth the backing she desperately craved, she could easily reverse the budget cuts. Ves couldn't allow such a travesty to happen, so he needed to set the situation up so that Ves became the principal mech designer in the expert pilot's eyes.
When Miss Lisbeth showed up ragged and tired from her brutal training session, she'd immediately make for a sorry sight that would burn into Venerable Xie's memory for the rest of his stay with the Vandals.
"A transport is approaching!" Lieutenant Koltov warned.
A moment later, a transport came into view on the other side of the open hangar bay hatch. The vessel's size prevented it from flying through the hatch like a transport.
It therefore came to a halt and spun around until its stern faced the hangar bay. Then its pilot slowly brought it closer until the stern almost touched the outer hull of the Gorgon's Gaze.
The energy screen separating the interior of the hangar bay from the vacuum of space rippled a bit as a walkway extended from the rear hatch of the transport ship. A mech stepped out of the transport and slowly traversed the fragile-looking walkway in a confident gait. The white mech slowly passed through the energy screen and touched down upon the flight deck.
"The Pale Dancer. It's so beautiful!"
Ves took in the aura emanating from the expert mech. Seeing it up close and in the flesh enabled him to take in the mech's spiritual qualities at their full strength.
Ves confirmed the makeup of its X-Factor. It was weak, very weak, but definitely present in some capacity. Ultimately, its X-Factor didn't matter all that much compared to its material performance parameters.
Swift. Agile. Accurate. Lethal. Those four words encompassed the qualities included in its vision. The Pale Dancer embodied many of the same concepts of his Crystal Lord design, and he definitely found several similarities that reminded him of his second original design.
Yet the Pale Dancer diverged a lot from his own design as well.
The Crystal Lord specialized heavily in the use of laser rifles, to the point of incorporating alien tech that enabled it to shoot crystals from its chest. While it could still wield other weapons in a pinch, its relatively light and fragile arms were never meant to compensate for the shock and recoil of a kinetic or ballistic rifle, even if they featured dampeners.
The Pale Dancer on the other hand featured thicker arms that could withstand the full force of its fast-firing kinetic rifle. The Senior retained by the Royal House of Talk designed the Pale Dancer to compliment Venerable Xie's excellent marksmanship and customized the entire mech to maximize its accuracy and consistency.
It was a masterpiece in its own right, and in his humble opinion beat the Parallax Star in overall design quality.
Then, the cockpit opened, and a mech pilot jumped out. The figure floated in the air in defiance of the artificial gravity active in the hangar bay. After a second of floating freely above everyone's heads, the mech pilot smoothly commanded his enhanced piloting suit to land before the greeting party.
The helmet retracted with a silent command, revealing a narrow, well-defined face which bore a quiet intensity that made the people around him feel.. safe for a lack of a better word.
With a tall, lean and fit body, Venerable Xie presented the epitome of a man who trained his entire life to perform his role as a guard, both in and out of the cockpit. An ornate pistol and knife hung from his belt, but Ves bet the man hid all kinds of backup weapons in his armored piloting suit.
"Karol Xie, former chief protection officer of Prince Hixt-Klaaster of the Royal House of Talk." The expert pilot saluted to the Vandals. "Reporting for duty."
The Vandals hadn't expected this kind of deference from an expert pilot. They usually possessed a lot more sense of self-importance. Though Venerable O'Callahan behaved a lot more conceited than his peers, it was undeniable that they assumed many rights.
The Fourth Prince evidently shaped his personality in an extremely servile manner for an expert pilot! Why else would an expert pilot still be loyal to a loser of a royal who lost badly when he struggled for control of his Royal House?
Lieutenant Koltov's eyes shone. This was the best opportunity to convert this brainwashed expert pilot into a lapdog of the Vandals!
"Welcome to the Flagrant Vandals, Venerable Xie." She returned the salute. "While it is regretful that a chapter of your life is at an end, we will endeavor to make your transition into your new life as comfortable as possible. No longer will you serve a single prince. Now, you fight for an entire state!"
Just at that time, the recently-cleared hangar bay hatch rippled again as a shuttle hastily dipped through the energy screen. The shuttle dove towards the flight deck with way too much forward momentum, and only through a hard brake did it barely manage to stall the crash into an extremely rough landing! The impact of the shuttle's landing thudded hard enough to destabilize everyone's footing!
The shuttle's hatch slid open even before the craft finished its shutdown procedure. A familiar mech officer in a piloting suit hopped out the hatch and instantly zeroed in on their new expert pilot.
"Venerable Xie! There you are! I hope I haven't arrived too late! Captain Rosa Orfan, at your service! I've been assigned to assist you in your adjustment to your new home!"