Ves watched on as many different mech pilots stepped up to be judged by Qilanxo.
The sacred god regained some of her imperiousness the last few days.
No longer did she radiate the impression of a defeated, wounded beast.
Instead, she gave people the impression that she was a queen among beasts, a mighty god with the power to look down on mortals like Ves and other humans.
Various female Vandal mech pilots stepped up to talk or convince Qilanxo to pick them as her beast rider.
Some found the experience to be daunting, to the point where their knees started to shake in their piloting suits.
Others exhibited the senseless courage of a calf unafraid of the tiger.
Ves looked deeply into their eyes and saw that they didn\'t look at Qilanxo with respect.
As a sacred god defeated by a single combined explosion, her defeat had been ignoble and without honor.
One might say that she fell too easily against the might of the Vandals.
Yet a sacred god was still a sacred god.
Ves always considered her as an anthropomorphized form of an ace mech.
To a mech designer, ace mechs were holy machines and masterpieces of mech engineering.
Therefore, a mech pilot that saw Qilanxo as a tool and a vehicle of their own ascension wouldn\'t be a good partner for her! The partnership between the sacred god and her rider at least had to contain mutual respect.
Your minute is up.
Get out. Ves spoke to the latest failed mech pilot.
These female mech pilots mostly attempted to try their luck.
They lacked confidence in themselves, and they also possessed a couple of bad habits, the foremost among them was that they didn\'t truly care about the mechs they piloted.
Ves noticed that those who followed this pattern of behavior extended it to their approach of Qilanxo.
Ves quietly shook his head.
How can mech pilots be so careless about the tools they stake their lives upon
Through his experience in servicing and repairing the mechs of Walter\'s Whalers and the Flagrant Vandals, he gradually came to know that a portion of mech pilots didn\'t treat their mechs with the care and attention they ought to deserve.
Even though the mech academies constantly espouse on this point, those who graduate to become mech pilots don\'t always stick to those lessons.
They\'re not responsible for the condition of the mechs at the end of the day.
If they break something, the mech technicians will clean up their messes.
A mech pilot\'s training encompassed so many subjects that took more than a couple of lifetimes to master that they didn\'t have time to appreciate the mechanics behind mechs.
They were purely consumers of mechs.
As for maintaining them That was left to the mech technicians and mech designers.
No matter how many times the sloppy mech pilots slipped up, the techs behind the scenes always came forward to wipe their butts.
Unfortunately, this mentality of putting the mech pilot before the mech backfired in their attempts to rouse Qilanxo\'s interest.
A mech was an unthinking object despite its considerable data processing capabilities, and would never react if a mech pilot put it through considerable abuse.
A sacred god differed from a mech in that they could think! Qilanxo had her own feelings and thoughts.
Not only did her beast riders need to show her the respect that she earned, they also had to be compatible.
Looking at all the mech pilots that strode forth, Ves found himself mentally shaking his head as he studied their temperament.
From their body language and expressions alone, he could instantly tell that Qilanxo would never agree to partner up with these kind of mech pilots.
It had always been the mech pilot or their superiors choosing which mechs they should pilot.
Even expert pilots couldn\'t escape this fate as the mech designer in charge of developing their expert mechs mainly adhered to their own preferences and design philosophy when tailoring them to their customers.
Right now this rule had been turned upside down, and too many mech pilots failed to adjust their mentality!
Maybe I should have said more words to Jimmy.
Those who did seem to make a serious attempt at appealing to Qilanxo didn\'t do so with their true personalities.
Their facetious attitudes and disingenuous interactions repelled both Ves and Qilanxo.
It was strange for him to be able to be so insightful.
His current level of observation shouldn\'t have been so good.
Why did he feel as if he and Qilanxo looked at the mech pilots in the same way
Your time is over.
He shouldn\'t get distracted by irrelevant thoughts.
Right now, the Vandals and Swordmaidens needed to present at least one decent mech pilot each that might work well with Qilanxo.
Unfortunately, his wish didn\'t come true.
By the time that all of the eligible Vandal mech pilots passed through the selection process, Qilanxo hadn\'t seen fit to select a single one of them.
They all possessed a deficiency or two that disqualified them in her eyes.
Maybe the Swordmaidens will be better.
Ves still lamented about the awful quality of the Vandal mech pilots.
He figured that anyone half-decent already promoted to the officer level.
The Swordmaiden mech pilots that stepped up came in much greater quantity, as Lydia\'s Swordmaidens essentially consisted entirely of female mech pilots.
In a profession skewed towards men, this gave the pirate outfit a lot more chances to succeed.
Step forward and make your appeals.
You have one minute, just like the Vandals.
If you haven\'t earned Qilanxo\'s interest in that time, you\'ll never be able to it no matter how much time is alloted to you.
The first Swordmaiden strode forward with confidence.
Ves could have read a brief profile of her with the datapad in his gasp, but his unusually perceptive eyes already took in her personality.
Every Swordmaiden mech pilot possessed these traits.
As women who survived a harsh elite training regime, they had all been ingrained with solid values from their trainers.
The martial culture of the Swordmaidens also became ingrained within their bones.
Whenever the Vandals encountered a Swordmaiden mech pilot, they unconsciously felt as if they met a warrior to the core.
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Yet… the indoctrination they went through also molded them into a single form.
A training regime meant to produce the perfect warrior stripped out many parts of their individuality that didn\'t contribute to their combat strength.
These Swordmaidens were strong.
Yet what they gained in strength, they lost in other areas.
Naturally, the Swordmaidens showed no awareness of the traits they lost.
Perhaps half the Swordmaidens didn\'t possess any hobbies other than practicing their piloting and swordsmanship skills.
That was far too one-dimensional in the eyes of Ves.
A worthy partner for Qilanxo had to be more than a simple brute who only knew how to fight and train!
Time is up.
Get off the stage.
Some of the Swordmaidens couldn\'t believe that they failed in attracting Qilanxo\'s interest.
They were so confident of their chances and thought themselves so highly that they couldn\'t conceive of a reason why the big beast only opened its eyelids for a few seconds before shutting them off.
When the next one stepped up, this one appeared a bit more different.
This Swordmaiden gazed at Qilanxo as if she was itching to draw out her greatsword for a duel.
This Swordmaiden hunted exobeasts for a hobby, so much so that she couldn\'t disassociate Qilanxo as one of her many preys.
Ves could already tell that Qilanxo wouldn\'t be pleased with partnering up with a human who saw her as an animal to be butchered during a ritual hunt.
One minute is up.
Make way for the next mech pilot.
All the subsequent Swordmaiden mech pilots that strode up fell into a limited set of boxes.
The Swordmaidens truly had much to be proud of, but a great mech pilot didn\'t necessarily make for a great beast rider.
A mech couldn\'t think for itself in ordinary circumstances.
An exobeast was wholly different.
If only the Swordmaidens weren\'t so stiff, then they\'d be able to present a much more attractive to Qilanxo.
That\'s enough time.
Best let your fellow sisters have a try.
I refuse! One of the Swordmaidens surprisingly burst out.
I\'m not afraid of this big lizard! I\'ve eaten plenty of god meat! This beast needs to be taught a lesson!
Ves threw his mind out of his idle speculations and looked at the Swordmaiden mech pilot with a critical expression.
Qilanxo doesn\'t care.
You better step away before she gets mad.
I\'m not responsible for what happens if you do something to provoke the sacred god.
Who\'s side are you on!
I\'m trying to save your life! This is a sacred god you\'re challenging Are you insane!
Fear is an impediment! The Swordmaiden cried and unsheathed her greatsword from her floating scabbard.
If talking doesn\'t work, then have a taste of my sword!
As much as Ves wanted to see this arrogant Swordmaiden getting munched between Qilanxo\'s jaws, the Flagrant Swordmaidens couldn\'t afford to lose a mech pilot.
Everyone of them was precious and if they died, they should at least perish on the battlefield.
As the Swordmaiden idiotically stepped forward with her menacing sword raised upright, Ves simply drew out his backup laser pistol and fired on the deck just before her feet.
Halt! Go no further! You don\'t know what you\'re doing.
I\'m warning you, don\'t come closer.
As Ves stared straight into the Swordmaiden\'s eyes, he didn\'t back down at all.
Even though the mech pilot killed many beasts and men throughout her time with the Swordmaidens, the steel that Ves displayed slightly took her aback.
This mech designer didn\'t take no for an answer!
Through his unrelenting stare, the Swordmaiden couldn\'t decide whether to continue forward or back off.
Swordmaidens generally never backed off when challenged.
Even if they lost, they needed to show their dignity!
Just as the Swordmaiden took a step forward, the lazy excuses of security officers who kept the crowd in line finally handled the situation.
One of them simply fired the electrorod mounted on his shoulder armor, zapping the recalcitrant pirate with a paralyzing dose of electricity.
Her body instantly dropped!
If she wore something better than a piloting suit and armed herself with something other than a sword, then she might have been able to deal some actual damage.
Just like with mechs, a sword meant nothing if the wielder didn\'t possess any resilience against ranged attacks.
After the Swordmaidens witnessed one of their sister taken out so ignobly, the remainder of the Swordmaiden mech pilots behaved honestly.
Sadly, none of the Swordmaiden mech pilots managed to rouse Qilanxo\'s interest.
Each of them possessed the same kind of faults.
Too focused on their warrior training.
Too martially minded.
Too contemptuous of exobeasts.
Too aggressive and muscle-brained.
Ves expected better from the Swordmaidens.
He thought that at least a portion of them would have been a shoe-in for partnering up with Qilanxo.
Yet he realized that he only based his expectations on impressions from afar.
What the Swordmaidens showed in public in the view of the Vandals only represented a portion of their inner qualities.
There are no further Swordmaiden mech pilots on the schedule.
The selection process failed.
Out of hundreds of female mech pilots, not a single one of them appealed to Qilanxo.
Ves frowned deeply.
Was Qilanxo too picky Did she even put some serious effort into evaluating the mech pilots, or did she refuse to engage them because they were the enemy
From what Ves observed of the mech pilots that stepped forth, none of them deserved a second chance.
Repeating this selection process tomorrow wouldn\'t yield a different result.
The beast rider project needed to let loose some of their restrictions and expand their pool of viable beast riders.
We\'ll have to consider the officers. He concluded helplessly.