WebNovel The Mech Touch Chapter 2783 – Distinguished Gathering

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Chapter 2783 – Distinguished Gathering

A simple inspection was not enough to determine whether the dueling mechs were truly proper.

What if someone better than Ves fabricated these mechs?

What if an unknown Senior or Master secretly ‘a.s.sisted’ in the preparation of Ves’ machines?

This was one of the many ways in which mech designers could cheat.

That was what the Seniors were for. Their connection with mechs and their sensitivity towards them granted them a good sense of judgement of whether others were involved.

While the mechs that Ves presented were all based on collaborative mech designs, this was nothing unusual. Many mech were designed in collaboration.

The point was that the mechs had to be representative of Ves. The mech designs had to conform to his design philosophy and no one stronger should have covertly or overtly improved any aspect.

Of course, there were still other ways to cheat. For example, a Master Mech Designer could point out several problematic aspects to one of the partic.i.p.ants of the duel.

Ves could think of several other ways to gain an unfair advantage.

This was why it was important for someone like Professor Tawin to evaluate the dueling mechs in person and develop an overall judgement by relying on his feelings and judgement.

Since Ves hadn’t actually done anything improper according to the letter and spirit of the rules, he never showed any concern. As an innocent mech designer, he knew his work would pa.s.s this test with flying colors.

Of course, he also didn’t think it was wrong to take advantage of a very obvious loophole and substantially upgrade the spiritual design of his dueling mechs.

Ves temporarily said goodbye to them as the a.s.sistant director guided him, his wife and the rest of his entourage to a different underground area.

They eventually entered a large lift that took them upwards. It soon became clear from the winding path that they were ascending one of the winding tree structures that surrounded the main arena.

The lift stopped just as it almost reached the top of the giant tree structure. The director all led them to a fortified exit that was manned by lots of armed guards.

“Dr. Navarro and a gathering of distinguished guests are inside.” She told Ves as everyone went through an extensive security check. “While your guards are allowed inside, they will have to remain in the back and under restriction.”

Ves frowned. “Why?”

“The other dignitaries have all brought their own guards. The viewing platform will become too crowded if all of the guards are mingling with our honored guests. There is no need for concern. The security measures of this viewing platform are the highest and we have even upgraded it further in order to prepare for this occasion.”

He had no choice but to consent to this measure. If the others in the viewing platform agreed to this measure, then Ves obviously wouldn’t be able to secure an exemption.

He quickly turned to Nitaa. “Please remain alert.”

His tall bodyguard silently nodded.

What rea.s.sured Ves quite a bit was that his pets were also allowed to accompany them. The security personnel also allowed them to keep any small arms and other gadgets as long as they weren’t too destructive.

Evidently, the security personnel were very confident in their ability to control the situation. The entire viewing platform along with the rest of the artificial structure was completely under their control.

When the group finally stepped into the large balcony-like platform, a lot of guests immediately turned their attention to the new arrivals.

Gloriana hitched her breath. She not-so-subtly b.u.mped her elbow against his side. “How many Masters are there?!”

“At least six.” Ves replied. He could feel their powerful spiritual presence from this distance. “There’s also a bunch of Seniors and other important-looking people in this place.”

Over a hundred dignified-looking people had gathered on this platform. It was clear that they were all the most important VIPs who decided to witness the design duel.

Ves felt a bit worried at the concentration of so many important people. Then he relaxed as he realized why this was a clever move.

All of these important Masters and Seniors were indispensable treasures to the LRA. The state would never allow anything to happen to them. Ves even bet that each of the Masters and other officials belonged to different factions. By tying all of them to a single place, any provocateurs would think twice of attacking someone in their midst. Their attacks could easily kill the wrong person and p.i.s.s off a bunch of new enemies!

Soon enough, Venerable Joshua and Venerable Orfan moved away. They became attracted to a gathering of Lifer expert pilots.

When Ves glanced in their direction, he could feel the tension between their clas.h.i.+ng force of wills. No one would feel comfortable staying in their midst. Despite their smiles and polite conversation, it was clear to him that the expert pilots didn’t mind a bout in order to prove their strength!

“Mr. Larkinson. I am glad to see you again.” Dr. Navarro smiled as he and his young protégé approached. “Our duel has taken quite a different meaning since we have last met. I hope that the changes hasn’t affected your battle spirit.”

Ves kept his smile, though inwardly he felt quite upset at the other Journeyman.

“I am not an easily-distracted mech designer. Don’t worry. I did my best to prepare my dueling mechs for our upcoming confrontation. I hope you have done the same.”

“Have no fear. It has been some time since I have last put my products to the test against a compet.i.tor. I feel quite excited to do so again and in such a grand stage.”

Clearly, Dr. Navarro did not seem discouraged at all. Ves only regarded him with even greater suspicion.

“I do not feel the same way, doctor. I did not ask for this publicity. The dynamics of this design duel has veered considerably from my expectations. I am especially upset at my inability to control the situation. Even the parameters of our duel are taken out of our hands.”

“I apologize.” Navarro bowed. “I didn’t mean to distress you or complicate your life any further. The situation is out of my hands, unfortunately. I am in the same position as you. I suggest it is best to go with the flow and allow this duel to proceed as if nothing has changed.”

“It’s not as if we can choose any differently.”

The two continued to chat a bit. Ves constantly tried to probe the biomech designer’s true att.i.tude, but Dr. Navarro was annoyingly good at presenting a simple front.

This was not the result that Ves wished to see. If the other Journeyman showed any guilt or circ.u.mspect behavior, then that was very telling behavior.

He briefly turned to Yelkin Zernzon. Perhaps Ves might have better luck with someone who exhibited much less self-control.

“h.e.l.lo, Yelkin. Is this the first time you’ve attended a design duel?”

The teenager enthusiastically nodded. “I’ve watched many broadcasts of it before, but this is the first time I get to witness one in person!”

“What do you think about all of the fuss that other people have kicked up? I can’t imagine that it is pleasant to see your teacher attract so much attention.”

“I don’t really understand all of the stuff that goes on above my head. I don’t think that our state has to be afraid. Your mechs are quite good and might even put up a decent fight during the first phase, but I’m definitely sure my teacher’s mechs will come out on top at the end of the second phase!”

Ves chuckled. “We’ll see.”

Yelkin’s confidence wasn’t unwarranted. Biomechs always enjoyed a repair advantage. The organic machines were capable of fixing smaller problems on their own while requiring much less time and effort to repair major damage.

Still, the difference was still tolerable to Ves. Some repair procedures were much less c.u.mbersome when applied to cla.s.sical mechs.

After exchanging a few more sentences, it became clear that he wouldn’t get anything out of the young mech design student. Yelkin received enough training to know what he was and wasn’t supposed to say. Even his excitable mind didn’t give anything away that merited greater attention.

Ves still felt the situation was fishy though. His instincts told him that he should remain vigilant.

After he finished catching up with Dr. Navarro, he and his wife began to talk with some of the other guests.

The first distinguished guest that approached the pair was someone they had already met once before.

“When I heard that you were entangled in this design duel, I decided I had to be present.” Professor Werther Cline said as he approached with a drink in hand. “I hope that you are not unduly troubled by the latest turn of events. Our state is normally a lot more boring. It is just that you have come at a slightly more s.e.n.s.i.t.i.v.e time than usual.”

“I’m used to it.” Ves curtly replied. “Can I ask whose side you are rooting for, professor?”

“As a mech designer, I only root for the better mechs. As a Lifer, I am always compelled to support my fellow citizens. I hope these different d.e.s.i.r.es do not conflict today.”

In other words, the Master Mech Designer favored Dr. Navarro, but wouldn’t mind if Ves won if his products proved to be better.

This was not a very revealing answer, though. Ves decided to be more direct.

“In the contest of your society, who do you favor?”

Professor Cline sent a knowing look at Ves. “I favor stability. It would be much better for all of us if Dr. Navarro is able to prove that biomechs are compet.i.tive in the eyes of the public. Mind you, he doesn’t necessarily have to win. A close loss is also sufficient. The two of you are quite evenly matched despite the differences in age. Based on your mech catalogs, Dr. Navarro has the edge in refinement while yours are more innovative. However, the application of your products are much more useful in group battles as opposed to single duels.”

That was true. Ves always designed his products towards real users of mechs. His commercial mechs were targeted to mercenary corps and security companies while his commissioned products were often adopted by state militaries.

None of those situations encompa.s.sed a situation where his mech designs had to be optimized for single combat. His entire design philosophy revolved so much around empowering mechs under actual battle circ.u.mstances that he was out of his element this time.

Still, Ves had no choice but to adapt as best as possible. Design duels were a part of every decent mech designer’s life. Whether he wanted to or not, he had to justify the worth of his design philosophy in the most demanding test possible.

The mech industry did not welcome useless mech designers!

He asked a different question. “Will you be supervising the design duel?”

The distinguished biomech designer nodded. “Every Master attending this duel will oversee the proceedings. We come from a mix of different backgrounds in order to ensure that we can pay attention to different aspects of a mech. For example, I specialize in stimulating cell activity, so I will be paying close attention to Dr. Navarro’s biomechs to ensure their organic tissue hasn’t been tampered with. I can also pay close attention to specific aspects of your mech.”

“I see. Thank you for your service. Shouldn’t there be a foreign Master among you in order to ensure a greater diversity of opinion?”

“Ah, that is not possible, sadly. Masters from neighboring states aren’t inclined to visit us. We can only make do with what we have.”

“That’s a shame.”

———-

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