WebNovel The Mech Touch Chapter 2425: Blinding Carrot

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The Mech Touch is a web novel completed by Exlor. This lightnovel is currently Ongoing.

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Chapter 2425: Blinding Carrot

“As much as I fault Ves for killing a lot of Vandals, I don’t think it’s a good idea to put someone else in charge.” Commander Orfan said. “We all depend on his mechs. Our clan wouldn’t be as great as it is now without his ambitions. I’m fine with letting him run everything so long as he promises we won’t throw ourselves in another senseless adventure like this one.”

The air in the conference room had become charged, and not just due to the jamming that suffused the compartment. Venerable Jannzi’s insistence on taking Ves to account sparked an argument where the expert pilots seriously discussed whether they should support the current clan patriarch.

Commander Dise spoke next. “Only power matters. Whether you’re in the frontier or in the middle of a peaceful state, this rule has never changed. Spending resources on soft, weak and complacent troops is not only a waste, but will weaken us as a whole. Just look at the performance of the Living Sentinels in the Battle of Ulimo Citadel and the Battle against the Abyss. It’s not a surprise they died in droves.”

“The Living Sentinels were never supposed to fight in offensive actions like the previous battle!” Venerable Jannzi objected to Dise. “Ves misrepresented his goals and sold a false narrative to the clan. The Sentinels are worse off by far because their mission is different from ours! All of the fiascos that took place since we entered the Gap reflect a failure in the leaders.h.i.+p of our clan. The patriarch has too much power and the Executive Council hasn’t done anything!”

Major Verle shook his head. “You can’t have too many leaders in charge during wartime situations. The moment our task force entered the Nyxian Gap, we followed the command of one indisputable leader, as is proper. We put our faith in him, and he has delivered, more or less. With multiple people in charge, any differences in opinion during battle can prove fatal. During critical moments, it is better to make a bad decision than no decision at all. In that respect, Ves has proven to be more than qualified due to his decisiveness and ability to maintain his wits under fire.”

“I agree.” Venerable Joshua enthusiastically nodded. “The clan patriarch is the sole person who is propping up the clan. Let’s face it. He’s responsible for everything and the entire reason why people like me have been able to transform our lives. I knew what I was getting into when I was signing up for the Larkinson instead of enlisting in the Mech Corps. If I chose differently back then, then I would have remained a worthless, normal mech pilot in a devastated state controlled by its neighbors. I’m truly grateful for Patriarch Ves for brightening my future. We all knew that the opportunity to increase our status wasn’t going to be easy.”

The tension between Venerable Joshua and Venerable Jannzi had steadily risen throughout the contentious meeting. Neither of them showed any inkling of affection between the two. Ves already guessed that a breakup might happen as soon as today.

Everyone looked at Venerable Tusa. He had mostly sided with Jannzi so far, but he didn’t sound as strident.

“I think both sides have a point.” Tusa stated. “There are plenty of clansmen who remained safe and sound at home. The Larkinsons who joined our task force did so knowingly that they might die. Yet they did so anyway because Ves dangled a juicy carrot in front of them, only for them to miss the minefield they were walking into. I think this entire sequence of events has exposed many shortcomings in how we run our clan. We need to implement some reforms to make sure that we won’t ever suffer losses as severe again.”

The expert pilots did not manage to come to a consensus. Ves tentatively figured he could count on the support of Venerable Orfan, Venerable Dise and Venerable Joshua.

Venerable Jannzi sounded as if she would be happy to see Ves resign from his position, while Venerable Tusa also wanted to see some change.

Seeing that the other expert pilots failed to nudge the two dissenters, Ves knew that it was time for him to step in and resolve this situation.

He abruptly stood up. Every expert pilot looked at him with expectation.

It was difficult for normal people to face so many expert pilots, but Ves did so with a domineering posture.

“I built each of you.” He began as he stared in all of their eyes. “None of you could have reached your current level of strength without my mechs, my funding, my clan and other arrangements. As far as I’m concerned, your rise and the emergence of another batch of expert candidates vindicates my approach!”

Not everyone agreed with that, but Ves continued to speak.

“Do you know how much blood, sweat and tears other people shed in order to achieve this result? Trillions of mech pilots fight and die in order to better their circ.u.mstances and reach a higher rank. There are many people who are content to remain average throughout their lives, but the members of our clan are different!”

Ves activated his comm and projected some footage from the Red Ocean Dwarf Galaxy. A panorama of strange new planets, boundless resource deposits and pioneering fleets dazzled everyone’s eyes.

“This is our future and our ticket to greatness!” He claimed. “This is where the Larkinson Clan shall truly rise. Everything we did up until now has brought us closer to this goal. If we did not push ourselves so hard, we would have never made enough progress. We needed to go above and beyond to earn the merits needed to pa.s.s through the inter-galactic gate, and we did that. We needed to acc.u.mulate strength in order to tackle our current and future challenges, and we have succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.”

He manipulated his comm and displayed a different set of footage. This time, his comm projected some footage of expert mechs in action.

Whether in s.p.a.ce or on land, these dazzling machines unleashed powerful attacks or moved faster than the fastest light mechs. None of the expert pilots were able to resist the allure of obtaining such a powerful machine. Jannzi was no exception!

“Let me inform you of a fantastic new development.” Ves smirked. “As you know, it is not easy to obtain an expert mech. Not even I can design such an advanced machine. It is for this reason that I have been in talks with Master Moira Willix of the Mech Trade a.s.sociation. She has shown interest in co-designing your expert mechs. As long as I leverage my good relations.h.i.+p with her, I might be able to gain her help!”

“Really?!” Joshua burst out. “Will the MTA really design our expert mechs?!”

The reputation of the MTA was stellar. Everyone knew that the MTA employed the best mech designers and designed the best mechs. There was no way that any average mech pilot would be able to remain calm if what Ves said was true!

“Nothing is definitive yet.” Ves cautiously said. “Friendly or not, it isn’t easy to convince an MTA Master Mech Designer. However, we have contributed significantly to the security of the Komodo Star Sector with our deeds. Knocking out Ulimo Citadel and ridding the Nyxian Gap of some very dangerous wars.h.i.+ps has allowed us to earn a lot of merits and favors from the a.s.sociation!”

Everyone began to dream about their future expert mechs. Ves paid special attention to Venerable Tusa, who happened to show the greatest longing.

Of all the expert pilots at the table, he was the only one who completely lost his mech. The Inexorable One smashed his converted light mech into pieces, and so far the search and rescue parties were still combing over the battlefield to recover some of the debris!

In that battle, Tusa experienced the helplessness of piloting a weak mech. While there was nothing egregious about the Blues.h.i.+ft, the pared-down Bright Warrior mech simply failed to meet his demands. It was too slow, too sluggish and too fragile!

Ves could already see the wheels turning in his male cousin’s head.

As expected!

Nothing attracted an expert pilot more than obtaining a suitable expert mech!

When he s.h.i.+fted his gaze to Venerable Jannzi, he could see she was also tempted.

“Venerable Jannzi, the s.h.i.+eld of Samar deserves the best.” He softly spoke. “Don’t you want your personal mech to enjoy the best treatment? I made your mech. I know what it wants. The s.h.i.+eld of Samar wishes to become as great as Qilanxo. Together with Master Willix, I can fulfill its wish. Once it pa.s.ses through the MTA Master’s hands, your mech will become so strong that you can use your own strength to prevent future tragedies!”

He could see his words having an effect on her mind. Expert pilots such as Jannzi believed in their own strength. They wouldn’t be so willful if that was the case. Having a good expert mech that complemented and enhanced their piloting ability was one of their persistent obsessions!

“What expert mech would you like to pilot? Think about it. With Master Willix presiding over their designs, the possibilities are endless.”

Ten minutes later, the expert pilots left the conference room in a daze. Each of them were too preoccupied with dreaming about their expert mechs to think about the meeting.

Only Venerable Jannzi managed to hold back her urges. She glowered at Ves. “Well played.”

“This isn’t a game, Jannzi.” Ves gently pushed back. “I have always tried to better the clan in one way or another. The sacrifices we made have pleased the MTA. Cleansing the Nyxian Gap of so many evil and destructive elements has effectively earned us the support of Master Willix. This alone will bring numerous benefits to our clan.”

She glared at him for some time before she wordlessly rose from her seat and exited the conference room.

“Well, you survived, more or less.” Major Verle finally sighed as the force of wills impacting his mind moved away.

Calabast did not look as optimistic. “Venerable Jannzi will remain a thorn at your side. She likes your mechs but despises you as a leader. She’s struggling inside. She knows that you are the best, and only mech designer who can keep improving the s.h.i.+eld of Samar. That traps her.”

That sounded bad to Ves. “Expert pilots perform the best when they are free to pursue their ideals. If she is struggling with her conscience, then her development might stall. That is bad for our clan.”

“Is it, sir?” Major Verle questioned. “The way I see it, Venerable Jannzi will always be opposed to your agenda. There is no reason to go out of your way to accommodate her. She’s not indispensable anymore now that we have four other expert pilots. Don’t forget about our new expert candidates either. Each of them can replace her one day.”

Calabast looked concerned. “Venerable Jannzi has earned a lot of renown in the clan. It’s not wise to attack her directly. We should employ subtler means to diminish her influence. For example, we can raise the status of compliant expert pilots. Train them. Show them that they will be rewarded if they stand behind your back. You can give them priority on expert mechs, allowing them to improve faster than the naysayers.”

This was a way of leveraging his power to compel the expert pilots to follow his lead. As the main mech designer of the Larkinson Clan, Ves pretty much controlled every mech his clansmen used. This was especially the case for expert mechs, as they each required his involvement in order to be designed and built at great expense.

“These are good methods. I’ll think about it. Thank you for your advice. In any case, Venerable Jannzi failed to gain the support of her fellow expert pilots. This is a pretty good outcome.”


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