The Mech Touch Chapter 780

778 Silver Valencia

"The Devil Razors are the mainstay of our mech force." Ketis explained as she led Ves to the Swordmaiden mech workshops via the scenic route. "Mayra designed them as dependable work horses that can be deployed on most planets without malfunctioning."

The medium swordsman mechs with their broad, flat swords and their iconic red stripe running down the center of their front lifted up the hearts of every Swordmaiden that spotted them. They made for an inspiring sight.

"What are the properties of its design?" He asked. While he formed his own impression from observing them in person, he was curious whether they tallied up with the truth. "I take it these are designed to be versatile?"

"Yup!" Ketis nodded. "Mayra told me that her biggest priorities for the Devil Razors is to design a mech that can last the Swordmaidens for a while. Therefore, she hasn't added too many bells and whistles to its design. It's a basic medium swordsman mech with a reliable and robust internal architecture. Only after she completed that did she thought about increasing its other capabilities."

"That is a good starting point, especially if Mayra is designing a mech that is supposed to be a mainstay for a pirate force."

"Ordinarily, the Devil Razors are rather light and quick on their feet. Mobility is one of their strong suits. That and they can add a lot of force to their strikes even with just a little momentum built up."

"They don't look very tough, though." Ves remarked. He knew that pirates generally didn't make use of mechs with compressed armor. It took a lot of expertise to work with the complicated armor formulas and fabricate compressed armor without any cracks or imperfections dragging down their defensive capabilities. "Since they're quicker and lighter on their feet than other swordsman mech, I take it they can't take much of a beating."

"That's true." Ketis admitted. "Adding better armor would slow down its other advantages, and we have knight mechs and other mechs that can focus on defense on their stead. Most of our Swordmaidens prefer to go on the attack rather than remain on the defense."

"Another advantage that is probably relevant here is that because they are lighter than average, their gravitic backpacks won't have to strain themselves as much. They'll certainly last longer than any of the heavier mechs."

"Yeah, I forgot to mention that. The Devil Razors aren't the most efficient mechs, but they don't guzzle them up as much as the heavier mechs."

"Still, as remarkable as the Devil Razor sounds, I doubt it serves as the signature mech of the Swordmaidens."

"We also have the Silver Valencia." She mentioned. "We don't have a lot of them, but some of our best mech pilots have earned the right to pilot them. It's a swordsman mech that has all of the advantages of the Devil Razor but also makes up for their weaknesses by incorporating compressed armor. While we can't fabricate them on our own, we had them made at Malligan's Pitstop."

"Are there any Silver Valencias nearby that I can observe?"

Ketis shook her head. "Not at the moment. Right now, we're working on tweaking them to make sure they can run smoothly on this planet. Since they're our most expensive mechs, we don't want them to fail in the middle of a battle. Mayra and I were working on the final tweaks just earlier. I'll show you how they look like!"

They reached the sloppy row of prefab workshops and brushed past the slaves who had been conditions to stand aside at the approach of each Swordmaiden. Ves felt very uncomfortable passing by what should have been kin to him. These poor sods didn't look like they deserved to be brainwashed and turning into human-shaped bots for the Swordmaidens.

"Have you Swordmaidens ever tried to make do without the slaves?"

Ketis looked at him with an expression that told him he didn't know anything about the frontier. "Are you kidding me? I thought we had gone over this. There's way too many technicians or people trained to service mechs and ships for us to rely on volunteers. I know the slaves bother you civilized people a lot, but don't try to pretend we have any other choice. I don't like them more than you do."

Her tone brokered no argument on this matter. To be fair, Ves knew a lost cause when he saw one. Trying to divest the Swordmaidens of their slaves when they really needed on this mission would be to cripple one of their limbs just as they were about to step into the arena.

He would only do more harm if he harped on this point, not that the Swordmaidens would listen to him in the first place.

Once they walked past the entrance, the entire interior darkened up as the bare metal prefab walls blocked out all of the radiance from the astral winds. His eyes adjusted quickly, though at some points he found the workshop to be too dark.

"Here they are. The Silver Valencias!"

The handful of mounts in this workshop currently lifted up four largely identical mechs. To say that they were upgraded Devil Razors was to do them a disservice. Due to their partially disassembled states, Ves caught a good glimpse of their insides.

Visually, their appearance and profile resembled the Devil Razors like how cousins resembled each other. He could definitely tell that both designs had been developed by the same mech designer, and all by herself to boot!

Their internal architecture looked a lot more sophisticated than that of what a simpler mech like the Devil Razor made use of. Premium materials along with a focused design towards combining power and flexibility turned these Silver Valencias into offensive powerhouses that could lop off the limb of any mech with a single heavy chop!Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click for visiting.

If the Devil Razors focused on mobility, reliability and endurance, the Silver Valencias focused less on the latter two in exchange for a greater amount of raw power and a bit more protection.

While it was true that the Silver Valencias incorporated compressed armor, both their thickness and their quality didn't appear to be of good quality.

The thinness of their plates cut down the weight, allowing the Silver Valencias to maintain their advantage in mobility, while the average quality of its composition pushed down the costs and made it possible for them to be produced in the frontier.

Ves liked to estimate the selling price of a mech even if they had never been commercially sold, but he found it difficult to pin down the exact value of the Silver Valencia. They looked deceptively simple, so simple in fact that he couldn't believe that this was all a Journeyman Mech Designer was capable of designing.

If he judged their value solely through his observations, he pinned their value at around 50 million credits. Both his Blackbeak and his Crystal Lord designs sold for more than that, so Ves felt very skeptical about his latest judgement.

A seasoned Journeyman like Mayra would never design something so simple as the signature mech of the Swordmaidens.

"There's something more about these Silver Valencias." He mused. "Otherwise, you Swordmaidens wouldn't value them so much."

"Wouldn't you like to know?" Ketis teased with a naughty grin. "The Silver Valencias are our trump cards. It won't do for us to reveal what they are capable of. There's nothing around us right now that warrants showing them off. Anyway, Mayra is just ahead. Let's go!"

The pair picked up the pace, though that was mostly due to Ketis' boundless enthusiasm. Ever since she defined her design philosophy, she became a lot more cheerful at times. It was like she was a little girl surrounded by toys.

"Mayra! Look who's come to visit!"

"Ves. Good to see you in the flesh once again."

"Mayra." He simply greeted her as he observed their surroundings.

The Journeyman appeared to be designing a handful of optimizations for her Silver Valencias. Because of the sensitive nature of its full design, she quickly swiped her arm, causing the projections wink out of sight.

Ves found it regretful to lose sight of the full design schematics, but he respected her desire for privacy. It was bad form for a mech designer to snoop on another mech designer's work without permission.

It was one thing to analyze a mech by observing their finished frames. It was another thing entirely to access their private design schematics and specifications.

"So, what brings you to Swordmaiden territory?"

"Oh, I wanted to talk shop with the only mech designer who is better than me. My subordinates over at the Vandals aren't exactly the brightest mech designers that I've ever met. I'd like to exchange some ideas on how we can better cope with the heavy gravity."

"Understandable." She said in an elegant fashion that belied her frontier origins. She patted an armored hand over one of the seats at her side. "Come. Let's sit down and discuss." 

Ves did so even as he did a double take of Mayra. He had always found her a bit too talented and refined to be a daughter of the frontier. That reminded him that he had never dug too deep in her background before she accepted Commander Lydia's offer to join her Swordmaidens.

He beheld her straight posture. Even clad in a suit of medium combat armor decorated with the trophies of her own kills, her entire form possessed an indistinct quality that reminded him of nobility.

As Ketis was about to sit, Mayra interrupted her with a raised palm. "Ketis dear, could you fetch me the gift I prepared for your wonderful teacher?"

"Didn't you intend to hand it over after inviting him to a ceremony?"

"I did, but the difficult conditions of Aeon Corona VII doesn't leave us with a lot of opportunities to hold a ceremony. Since Ves is already here, I might as well hand it over now."

"If you say so."

Once Ketis scampered off to wherever Mayra stashed her gift, Ves turned to the older mech designer with an appraising eye. "You wanted to send Ketis away."

"I did. Now that she's off, we can discuss her upbringing under you. I must say, I am very impressed with your efforts. What you managed to accomplish is beyond my expectations. Not only have you enlightened her to the values and principles held by the prevailing institutions of mech design, you also did more than that."

"I enjoyed the teaching process." He replied with a proud smile. "I know what you wanted me to do, but I wasn't satisfied with that. While she's your protege, she's my student as well, and if I see something lacking, I won't hesitate to address those shortcomings."

"What you did was risky as well." Mayra pointedly said. Her eyes grew sharp and Ves somehow felt an indomitable amount of pressure build up around him. It even triggered his sixth sense! "As her teacher, you wielded an inordinate amount of influence in her future development. You had the power to point her in any direction you wanted. If you hadn't allowed her to choose her own direction, I would have taken offense at your initiative."

Ves awkwardly laughed in response. He knew that some of his actions had been a little too presumptive for his own good. "You placed Ketis under me, so obviously you wanted me to influence her in the first place. I won't deny that I have steered her closer to what an orthodox mech designer ought to think, but I think that it will eventually give her a leg up against other pirate designers."

"And her design philosophy?"

"I can promise you I did not nudge her in any direction with regards to her successful attempt to discover and define her own design philosophy." He said firmly, even under this formless pressure. "If I was in charge, I would have never limited her to focusing her entire mech career on swordsman mechs. She decided on her own to work with the type of mechs she loved the most, and to focus on pursuing the greatest degree of sharpness for their swords."

After a few seconds of silence, the pressure suddenly lifted. Mayra threw a small but satisfied smile at him. "Thank you for your honesty. I have already observed from Ketis that you haven't abused your power over her, but it is good to hear some confirmation from your own mouth."

Ves reciprocated her smile. He did not take offense at her probe. "If she was my protege, I would have been just as thorough."