Chapter 3200: Fabrication Order
Before they were ready to embark on their upcoming fabrication attempt, the mech designers briefly had to decide which one they should tackle first.
“The fabrication of the Decapitator Project will be a high-profile event that will take place in front of lots of clansmen.” Gloriana began.
“If we succeed in turning it into our second masterwork expert mech, then we would gain a lot of benefits which will doubtlessly help us elevate the quality of the Vanguard Project.”
“Our chances of success are too low, though.” Ves frowned.
“I dont want to blow your bubble, but our last attempt was a fluke.
Even if we are pulling out all of the stops today, I dont think we have improved our odds sufficiently enough for us to assume that we will succeed again this time.
What do you think, Ketis”
The Swordmaster looked solemn.
“Youre more qualified than me, Ves.
I only made one masterwork, and I only played a marginal role back then.
You know much more than me.
If you think that our odds of success still wont be enough, then you must have your reasons to think that way.”
Gloriana furrowed her brows.
“You should have more confidence in your work, Ketis! Out of every expert mech design project, the Decapitator Project aligns with you the most.
You contributed more to it than with any other expert mech.
If you want what is best for Venerable Dise, then you should always aim for the top no matter the odds!”
Ves reluctantly agreed.
“Shes right, Ketis.
This is the closest thing to a passion project to you now.
While your design experience and refinement are not the best, dont worry too much about it as we can cover that aspect.
You just focus on channeling your passion and making the Decapitator Project an expert mech that you can be proud of after you finish it.
Just imagine you are fighting a powerful opponent.
Just because the odds are stacked against you doesnt mean you are destined to lose.
At least put up a fight so that you wont have any regrets.”
Ketis firmed up after she heard this.
Her force of will became sharper and more focused again.
“Thank you, Ves.
I needed this lesson.
Im as ready as I can be, though in my opinion I would feel a little more confident if I can gain some additional experience.
If we are able to work on the Vanguard Project first, I can learn some crucial lessons that I missed out on back when we put together the Amaranto.”
Last time, they worked on an expert rifleman mech, which was too far removed from her interests.
While a spearman mech was not completely in her tastes, it had a lot in common with swordsman mechs.
Working on an expert melee mech was good practice that would definitely allow her to be more prepared.
“So weve decided, then” Ves crossed his arms.
“Well fabricate the Vanguard Project first before we start with the Decapitator Project”
Juliet had a different opinion.
“Making any expert mech is a huge and stressful job.
A week between fabrication runs might not be enough for us to regain our peak condition.
We are all fresh right now but we might not be that way anymore after we complete the Vanguard Project.
If its quality turns out to be worse than we expected, then we would not be in a good mood by the time we make the Decapitator Project.”
She raised a good point, but Ves was willing to gamble that the increased experience was enough of a benefit to allow Ketis to make a greater contribution later on.
She played a pivotal role in reforging and reshaping the Decapitator Projects greatsword.
Her practical experience was too little that any additional fabrication attempts would lead to noticeable improvements.
Gloriana held this opinion as well.
“We will work first on the Vanguard Project.
While both projects are similar in terms of complexity and orientation, the fact of the matter is that we have someone who is highly passionate about swordsman mechs in our team.
That gives the Decapitator Project a better chance of turning into a great machine.
Dont get me wrong.
I dont dislike the Vanguard Project.
It just isnt anyones favorite expert mech.”
Every mech designer had favorites.
Ves cared the most about the Chimera Project.
Juliet was quite proud about the Dark Zephyr.
Gloriana favored the Bulwark Project.
Ketis obviously adored the Decapitator Project.
However, that did not mean that the remaining two expert mechs had no chance.
The Amaranto was no ones favorite either and through a series of improbable events turned out to be far greater than anyone had expected.
The Journeymen thought deeply on what was best.
Eventually, the majority chose to go with the Vanguard Project first.
“Its uncertain whether all of the factors that weve brought up will apply, but one thing is for sure.
Ketis will definitely do a better job if she gains more practical experience.” Gloriana decided.
This meant that the Swordmaidens and Heavensworders would have plenty of time to plan out and prepare their ritual ceremony.
Since it was supposed to last for as long as it took to fabricate the Decapitator Project, this news allowed them to devise a much more elaborate show.
Whether it would all help was still in question.
A part of Ves thought that this senseless theater wouldnt yield any qualitative better results.
Another part of him expected that at least something might happen.
In his experience, When a large number of like-minded people gathered together, their collective energy tended to coalesce into a faint but noticeable influence.
Could it really help in creating a masterwork
“The more elaborate the ritual, the more definitive the results.”
He was willing to try, and so was everyone else.
They had all become so addicted to making masterwork mechs that they were willing to try out crazy ideas just to feel that unique rush yet again.
Ves recognized that this was not a correct mindset.
Masterworks should be the exception rather than the rule for mech designers of their caliber.
Building up unrealistic expectations wouldnt do them any good in the long run.
Once they decided to start with the Vanguard Project, the Journeymen took one day to set everything up and adjust their mentalities.
Since Glorianas workshop had been emptied out, the Journeymen decided to make the Vanguard Project in Ves workshop instead.
The machines were solely configured for his use.
The other Journeymen all had to program their own settings on the production equipment they planned to use.
They also took the time to thoroughly test and calibrate all of the machines because a large proportion of them had not been used in many months.
“Hey, what are you doing, Gloriana!”
“What does it look like Im doing Im bringing in the statue of the Superior Mother from my workshop to your workshop.”
“You could have asked first!”
“You wouldnt mind, right I know you regard this compartment as your so-called mancave, but I really hope your mother comes and gives us another blessing.”
“I think she has already done enough.”
Their baby was already far more powerful than any unborn child should be.
Ves became increasingly wary of any further shenanigans that made their daughter even more removed from average baseline humans.
Implanting a companion spirit seed in her developing spirituality should already be enough.
The statue still stayed in his workshop, though.
Gloriana and Juliet all treated it as their good luck charm of some sorts.
Even if the Superior Mother didnt make a move this time, just knowing that they were working directly in her sights would definitely boost their moods.
Once the preparations came to an end, Gloriana and Juliet both prayed right in front of the statue of the Superior Mother as usual.
They looked extra earnest as their belief and gratitude towards the Supreme had skyrocketed after what happened last time.
Ves and Ketis didnt roll their eyes at the display this time.
At least Ketis showed a bit more respect towards the remarkable statue that directly represented an ancestral spirit that was revered by trillions of Hexers.
“Is she really your mother” Ketis asked as she casually polished her newly-reformed Bloodsinger with a cloth.
“I mean in a literal sense.”
My mother isnt exactly..
She used to be a lot more human than before, though.
The mother that raised me was just a normal-sized human.
Something happened after that..
Partially turned her into something more like this.” Ves waved his hand at the giant statue.
“That must be some story.” Ketis dryly remarked.
“It must be really nice for you to be raised by such a lovely mother on a normal planet.
My parents were different.”
“You were raised on the frontier, right”
“Yes.” She sighed.
“The settlements over there are not places that any girls should grow up in.
I cant recall too many details of my life before I joined the Swordmaidens, but I am glad for that.
I dont want them weighing down on me.
As far as Im concerned, the Swordmaidens are my actual family.
Commander Lydia and Mayra gave me an entirely new life.
They turned a weak, scrawny and hungry girl and molded her into a proper Swordmaiden.”
Ves found it unfortunate that Ketis hadnt been able to grow up in a nicer environment.
Children shouldnt ever grow up under these suboptimal circumstances.
“We cant save every child in human space, but we should at least make sure that none of our younger Larkinsons have to go through that.
I consider our clan to be one big family.
No one should ever feel alone in our fleet.”
“That is one of things I love about the Larkinson Clan.
Its just like the Swordmaidens but on a much bigger scale.
I know that I can count on a Penitent Sister, Vandal, Avatar or any other Larkinson if I need help.
I really hope we wont lose that once we become bigger.”
“I hope so as well.”
They both enjoyed their warmth together until Gloriana and Juliet finished their prayers.
They returned with renewed enthusiasm.
They proceeded to fabricate the Vanguard Project.
As a relatively bigger and fatter expert mech than the ones that came before, the four Journeymen had to process significantly more materials.
That didnt mean they had to fabricate a lot more parts.
Most of the components that made up the Vanguard Project were relatively bigger and more robust in order to account for all of the frequent impacts and shock damage the expert mech was expected to incur.
Its two-layer armor system was a particularly big job.
The mood among the mech designers hadnt spiked all that much.
Even with Blinkys design network did not give them much of an advantage this time because none of the Journeymen were as fired up as before.
It was not their fault.
The Journeymen did not slack off and worked earnestly on an expert mech they respected.
They all wanted to make the Larkinson Clan stronger and do right by Venerable Orfan by providing her with the best expert mech possible.
Yet… nothing remarkable happened.
The fire just wasnt there.
The Vanguard Project did not rank high in anyones list of favorites.
The Superior Mother never showed up and none of the mech designers gained any epiphanies.
Days passed by as the Vanguard Project slowly took shape.
Once the mech designers fabricated a large collection of good-quality parts, they began to assemble it while Venerable Orfan and the other expert pilots watched on from the sides.
After just over a week of work interspersed by short breaks, the Design Department finally completed its third expert mech.
“Its a good mech.” Ves simply said.
That should have sounded like a success in any other instance.
In this context, though, it was not the best.
The quality of the Vanguard Project was merelygood.
It was not a masterwork and was too far away for Ves to ever consider using one of his gems.
To be honest, the Vanguard Project was just as good as the Dark Zephyr if not better.
There shouldnt be a reason why any of the mech designers looked disappointed at this time.
Still, Ves felt that he could have made it great if the circumstances were different.
He couldnt help but feel as if he failed in some way.
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