Chapter 3420: Greater Beyonder Gate
The Maryun Ultima System was the figurative and literal center of human space in these promising times.
Before the opening of the Red Ocean, it was already a remarkable star system that had long been used as a stronghold by the MTA.
After the establishment of the Gate Consortium, Maryun Ultimate attracted a huge amount of traffic from every corner of human space in the old galaxy.
Several lesser beyonder gates were situated in highly-guarded coordinates in the outer system.
Each of them routinely activated and disgorged a plethora of capital ships as hundreds of other lesser beyonder gates located in far-flung gate systems like Opalis regularly made contact.
The amount of traffic in Maryun Ultima was much more massive than in Opalis, and it showed.
The local plot already counted a dizzying array of ships of all shapes and sizes!
A huge number of third-class and second-class starships were waiting for passage, but they werent the ones that attracted everyones attention.
It was the first-class starships that hogged all of the limelight!
Tens of thousands of modern MTA and CFA warships patrolled the star system or remained in orbit! While many of them were admittedly escort ships, Ves had never seen so much firepower and destructive potential gathered in a single location in person!
Just the hundreds of battleships alone could wipe out every planet in a typical star system in an instant!
The Maryun Ultima System was anything but typical, though.
It had massively expanded in size when the Big Two moved over more than a dozen stars and over a hundred planets.
Despite the huge amount of radiation, interference and gravitic interactions all of these imported satellites generated, the Big Twos mastery of technology completely tempered all of this dangerous activity.
Staying in this star system was no more dangerous than staying in any other ordinary place like the Cloudy Curtain System!
Ves couldnt even begin to understand how the MTA and CFA managed to temper all of these powerful natural forces, so he didnt even try.
Instead, he directed his sights towards the distant pioneering fleets with first-class origins.
Every first-class fleet was impressive.
Whether it was the size of their capital ships or the excellent materials they were made of, Ves became overwhelmed with the splendor that these pioneers casually put on display!
“Its too bad that no one is allowed to deploy any mechs in this place.” He muttered.
Part of the prior inspection process was to lock down every potential source of danger.
The MTA made sure that each and every mech was locked in place and made inoperate.
A lot of other starship systems had to be locked down as well.
If anyone activated even one of these locked devices, the MTA would instantly overreact!
This was why nobody dared to joke around at this time.
Even the arrogant Terrans and Rubarthans had to remain on their best behavior and stow away most of their impressive tech.
Even then, they still attracted much of the attention from the hillbillies who originated from the poorer and less developed parts of human space like the galactic rim!
It took at least a week before the expeditionary fleet advanced all the way to the greater beyonder gate and received its turn to enter the new frontier.
This was plenty of time for Ves to admire the sights and make a couple of plans for the immediate future.
“I would love to trade with these first-raters, but I cant even buy a single nutrient in this high-security zone.”
No one was allowed to move out of turn.
No physical trade and commerce was allowed to take place either in order to keep in-system traffic as controlled as possible.
In fact, even if anyone attempted to stir up trouble, then the enormous amount of warships, first-class multipurpose mechs and fixed defensive stations would instantly contain and suppress any perceived threat!
While Ves continued to exercise his patience, he took a brief look at the amount of MTA merits left in his account.
The Larkinson Clan paid dearly to enter the Red Ocean.
Ves personally gave up 45,000,000 MTA merits, which was the biggest individual contribution in the Golden Skull Alliance.
Gloriana gave up 2,750,000 MTA merits while Juliet and Ketis emptied their entire accounts.
In total, that covered over half of the merits needed to enter the Red Ocean.
The Cross Clan was the second major contributor.
As promised, Patriarch Reginald Cross coughed up 25,000,000 MTA merits at once.
How he was even able to earn that much, Ves didnt know.
What was even more amazing was that Professor Benedict Cortez offered 17,500,000 MTA merits at once!
This was extremely impressive as Ves was pretty sure that the former Skull Architect started with nothing after he returned to civilized space.
In the span of a couple of years, the man must have worked incredibly hard to complete one MTA mission after another.
This partially explained why the Cross Clan hadnt been in a hurry to adopt a large amount of mech models in the past year.
“Is every Senior Mech Designer able to earn so many merits in such a short amount of time, or is Professor Benedict really that good” Ves questioned.
The professor hadnt been boasting when he claimed that he was close to becoming a Master.
Even so, there was still an enormous gap in strength and capabilities between the two ranks.
No Senior should be able to rake in so many merits so easily.
Not without performing the kind of dangerous missions that Ves had once fulfilled in the Nyxian Gap.
Before his meeting with Master Bouderon, Ves wouldnt have been able to come up with a clear answer.
Now, it became clear to Ves that Professor Benedict must have established a relationship with an MTA faction.
“The question is which one” Ves frowned in thought.
There were too many possibilities, but some were more probable than others.
“Someone as passionate and crazy about mechs as him fits right at home with the Mech Supremacists.
Then again, with his unusual life trajectory, he also fits right at home with the Unbounders or even the Dissolutionists!”
If Professor Benedict really managed to earn a lot of merits with the help of one of the latter two factions, then this was a considerable problem!
The Unbound Humanity Faction and the Dissolution Faction were both unpopular because their ideals undermined the MTA in its current form! This caused them to form a lot of enemies, each of which wanted to make sure that these anarchists didnt get their way!
“I really hope my suspicion is wrong.”
It could be that his speculation was off the mark.
There were still plenty of ways for mech designers to earn millions of MTA merits without touching any of the MTA factions.
Ves wasnt interested in pursuing this matter any further.
At this time, he only cared about the fact that Professor Benedicts contribution brought the total sum of merits incredibly close to the 95,000,000 MTA merits needed to buy a beyonder ticket!
The sum was still 2,250,000 MTA merits short of reaching this goal!
He wondered whether providing introduction letters to Gloriana and Ketis caused the Golden Skull Alliance to fall just short of gathering the necessary merits.
“I still have a few merits left.”
1,160,402 MTA merits, to be more precise.
Ves was extremely reluctant to spend his remaining stash, though.
He needed them to procure essential goods and services at the other side of the beyonder gate, most notably anti-teleportation technology.
Just as he thought about contributing all of his remaining MTA merits and finding another way to make up for the remaining shortfall, he received an unexpected notice.
Surprisingly, the Glory Seekers managed to make up the difference.
They managed to recruit a 45-year old Journeyman who managed to earn over two million MTA merits over her career.
Ves didnt know much about Galina Rovon-Hartul, but she evidently found the conditions of the Glory Seekers attractive enough to pass on the opportunities to join other pionering fleets.
So far, he only learned that she was a former citizen of the Empire of the Lost who had traveled all the way to Opalis in order to enter the Red Ocean.
Her small accumulation of MTA merits turned her into an undesirable partner to any pioneering alliances.
She simply couldnt contribute as much to the acquisition of a second-class beyonder ticket.
This happened to put her in an excellent situation to become one of the pioneers of the Golden Skull Alliance.
Though Ves and many other people in the fleet thought that Miss Galina got in way too cheap, it couldnt be helped.
He was only able to get a discount of 5 percent on account of his associate tier with the Rim Guardians.
It was too late to upgrade his tier any further.
As a result, the Golden Skull Alliance officially exchanged almost all of its MTA merits to obtain a much-coveted second-class beyonder ticket.
As long as the fleet reached the other side, special rules would go into effect that would designate certain individuals as pioneers.
In total, there were three galactic pioneers.
One of them was a Larkinson while the remaining two were Crossers.
Each of them would gain an exalted status in the Red Ocean.
Not only did pioneers have access to exclusive goods and services of the Big Two, they also gained official sanction to colonize the star systems of the Red Ocean and found their own states!
Their additional privileges also came with a considerable amount of burdens and responsibilities, but they were manageable.
It was conceivable that many pioneers would become the likely protagonists of the wave of expansion in the dwarf galaxy!
Aside from that, there were fourcontributors.
These three were not entitled to receive the coveted status of a galactic pioneer, but they were still important nonetheless.
“Its almost time.”
For this important passage, everyone wore their best outfits.
Ves stood on the bridge in his full dress uniform while Gloriana wore a resplendent red dress that was adorned with shiny ruby-like luminar crystals.
Even Aurelia became fascinated by the cute pink outfit that adorned her small but adorable form.
Their cats had already gathered by their side.
Lucky and Clixie were on their best behavior this time while the spiritual cats remained out of sight in order to avoid drawing attention to them.
They were in one of the most heavily-guarded star systems in the galaxy, after all.
Any anomaly would certainly trip alarms!
As the clan-wide broadcast went live, Ves took a deep breath before he addressed his people.
“My fellow Larkinsons.
Many of us have completed a long and dangerous journey.
It was not easy to reach Tarnished Crown.
We fought off pirates and several heavily-armed military mech forces, got trapped on planets and became surrounded by enemies.
We defeated far more than the mechs we once fielded and we tore down an impressive number of expert mechs, all in just the span of a few years.”
Ves briefly lowered his head.
“We did not get here without a price.
Although our clan always acknowledges the price of failure, we must always remain thankful for the tens of thousands of brothers and sisters who have sacrificed their lives in an attempt to fulfill our dream.”
Though he didnt have to mention this painful point, he owed it to the soldiers who helped the Larkinson Clan survive.
“We cant take this opportunity for granted.
If we do nothing else in the Red Ocean, we will only cheapen the sacrifice of our fallen! Let us live our new lives to the fullest and work harder than ever to climb even higher! We have already managed to uplift ourselves from third-raters to second-raters, but this is not the limit.
Our new overarching purpose is to uplift the Larkinson Clan into a proper first-class organization!”
First-class! What an ambitious goal!
While there were countless people and organizations who failed to uplift themselves, few Larkinsons were skeptical about this goal.
They were different.
They were special.
They were led by one of the most remarkable leaders that they knew.
With Ves, the clansmen possessed an inexplicable amount of confidence that they would be able to succeed where others failed!
As the morale of every Larkinson reached a peak, Ves finally raised his fist and uttered a single cry! “For the clan!”
“FOR THE CLAN!”
“FOR THE CLAN!”
“FOR THE CLAN!”
The greater beyonder gate that possessed a diameter of 25 kilometers finally shimmered to life.
A deep blue shifting pool energy came to life, connecting a main galaxy to one of its satellite galaxies.
Hundreds of capital ships steadily accelerated forward all at once.
A mixture of third-class, second-class and first-class vessels belonging to many different fleets passed through the active beyonder gate in quick succession!
When the enormous collection of capital ships finally made it through, the massive beyonder gate finally fell silent.
Humanity had just delivered another batch of adventurers to the Red Ocean.
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