Chapter 2099 Affection
It took a long time until Calabast left for Ves to regain his composure.
He couldn't help it. He had a very hard time associating the tales that Calabast spun with his father!
There was no way his father was that good of a mech pilot and leader. If the father in his memories ended up in the Nyxian Gap, he would have kept his head down!
Certainly, a highly-trained and experienced mech pilot who was also a Larkinson would easily be able to show his worth. Yet that was not enough to make any waves.
Ves always imagined that his father was constantly on the run. Perhaps he might have been able to lead a small organization due to his overall level of competence, but he never expected his father to make it this far in such a short time!
Even with his mother helping him every step of the way, his father still must have braved a lot of danger to get this far. After all, the pirate organizations he fought against were all local overlords who repelled many challengers over the years. None of them were weak!
He sighed and looked at Lucky who was lounging on his lap.
"Can you imagine my father and mother terrorizing the Nyxian Gap?"
"I don't know either. According to Calabast, the pirate organizations the Oblivion Hand has hit are only moderately strong. So far, the Dark Cleaver hasn't hit the biggest overlords yet. Hopefully, he won't overestimate himself. If he's only out to plunder men, mechs and resources, then he should stick to targeting the weaker players."
The problem was that Ves failed to ascertain his father's intentions!
Though he readily acknowledged that the Devil Tiger and the Oblivion Hand had benefited enormously from all of the plunder, the local pirate factions were definitely unwilling to lose their foundations!
Ves worried considerably about the backlash coming from the pirate community. It was always possible that the pirates put down their infighting and overwhelmed the Oblivion Hand with so many mechs and ships that a single intangible saboteur couldn't possibly render them ineffective!
"My parents are playing with fire. Aren't they afraid of getting burned?"
The fact that the Oblivion Hand fought so brazenly and developed a very high profile meant that his parents might be feeling desperate for some reason.
Considering that the Five Scrolls Compact was constantly hunting them somehow, this was not an outlandish suspicion! His parents must have truly felt the need to strengthen themselves very quickly.
This made Ves feel very helpless. The Ves from before was not the Ves today. Even though he hadn't grown strong enough to resist the Five Scrolls Compact, he had definitely become capable enough to provide his parents with a lot of material assistance!
He began to develop the risky notion of heading into the Nyxian Gap in order to seek out his parents.
There had to be a way to provide them with some relief! His Devil Tiger, despite its double-edged nature, seemed to cooperate quite well with his father.
As the sole designer of the tiger mech, Ves knew that there were limits to its self-evolution capabilities.
The mech did not solely consist of pure ASMAS and substitute ASMAS. A considerable chunk of its structure and core components consisted of solid components.
Ordinarily, it would be quite difficult to upgrade them. At this time, the Devil Tiger should still be making use of those original components, but when Ves heard that the mech had displayed the ability to achieve resonance, he grew a bit uncertain.
Did the Oblivion Hand secure the services of some exiled Senior? There was no way the Devil Tiger could turn into a working expert mech by relying on its self-evolution capabilities alone! It took serious technical expertise to instill a mech with resonating abilities.
Back when he designed the Devil Tiger and programmed its pure ASMAS, Ves had no clue how to design an expert mech. In fact, as of this moment, he still didn't know!
All of this meant that the Oblivion Hand must have hired or made a deal with a mech designer who knew a thing or two about designing expert mechs.
Sure, there was the possibility that this mystery mech designer was a Master instead, but Ves didn't believe such figures would stoop to assisting Nyxian scum.
Whatever the case, regardless of how well the Oblivion Hand took care of the Devil Tiger, Ves could definitely strengthen it in a lot of ways!
He could also aid his father in other matters, such as providing new mech designs to delivering essential supplies.
The more he thought about it, the more the urge grew stronger. Even if his mother had stated that he should stay as far away as possible, Ves really didn't want to leave the Komodo Star Sector with the impression that he abandoned his parents to their fates!
"I'm not that weak anymore!"
Though Ves understood that it was very dangerous and irresponsible to dive straight into the Nyxian Gap in order to seek out the Oblivion Hand, he didn't care.
"It's one thing if I'm still weak and helpless. It's another thing if I have grown capable enough to lend them a hand!"
Ves understood the immense challenges of such a dangerous course of action. The Oblivion Hand was both powerful and elusive. Its fleet mainly sustained itself through continuous plunder, and never rested in the same location for long.
This not only allowed his father to avoid the retribution of vengeful pirates, but also their mysterious pursuers!
With so much threats baying for its blood, the Oblivion Hand should never be in a position where Ves could track down its fleet!
"Damnit." Ves leaned his head against his hand.
Lucky climbed up to his desk and patted him with his paw.
"Yeah. I know it's a bad idea. It's not only dangerous, but also impossible."
Still, as much as his logic told him to drop this idiotic idea, his heart still couldn't get rid of it. The desire to meet with his father at least once before he left this part of the galaxy had grown into an ardent wish!
He shook his head. If he was alone, then he would have tried to reach his parents no matter the cost.
Unfortunately, he wasn't alone anymore. As a mech designer, he became increasingly reliant on others to facilitate his activities.
The LMC and his mech forces all existed to empower him. The more he advanced, the more he needed money. The greater his value, the more he needed protection.
Though his growing clan had become incredibly helpful to him, its existence also constrained him. Unlike before, he couldn't go on a reckless jaunt by himself!
This was especially so because the Larkinson Clan consisted of his own family. It was one thing to abandon or betray some random lackeys. It was another thing to lead his own blood relatives to ruin!
"Responsibility. What a heavy burden." He sighed.
It was too difficult for him to make a choice between his parents and his clan. To be honest, he didn't want to make that choice.
Perhaps the only consolation was the thought that his parents weren't inept. As his father and presumably his mother had already proven, they had managed to thrive in the Nyxian Gap.
Even if Ves never managed to reach them, they should still be fine.
"Do you think my father and mother need any help?"
Lucky looked away from Ves. "Meow."
"I can help, you know!"
"Thank you for the vote of confidence."
Though Ves had grown stronger, he was still far from the point where he could intervene in the struggle that beset his parents. This made him feel profoundly helpless and depressed.
He had a lot to go. Becoming a Senior was not enough. Perhaps becoming a Master still wasn't sufficient!
Ves did not forget about his original goal. With the System, he wanted to surpass his limits and reach the pinnacle of mech design! Only at that height would he be able to solve the root of the trouble that his parents had incurred!
Yet.. how long would that take? A century? Two centuries? Becoming a Master was already arduous enough. To go beyond… only the legendary Polymath advanced to Star Designer at record speed.
"I shouldn't dream so much. Becoming a Master is already a huge hurdle."
As much as the Mech Designer System provided him with an unimaginable amount of advantages, Ves still needed to rely on himself to advance his design philosophy.
A few hours went by. Ves calmly sorted out his thoughts and threw away any fanciful notions from his mind. No matter how confident he was in his abilities, reality was too difficult to overcome.
Any notions of seeking out his parents in order to gain answers or provide them with valuable assistance were nothing but dangerous delusions.
Many times, Ves liked to listen to his heart rather than his mind.
However, this time was different. With so many responsibilities weighing him down, he couldn't afford to ruin his entire clan in order to pursue his selfish goals.
"This must be what my parents are thinking as well." He muttered. "My mother specifically told me that she doesn't want me to get dragged into her mess."
She wanted to protect him and allow him to live his own life. It sounded a bit strange that his mother acted so.. uncharacteristically motherly at him, but Ves believed in her sincerity.
This was how a parent was supposed to act. This was how responsible people were supposed to act.
Ves eventually decided to clear his mind by leaving his office. He had been lingering around enough in this empty and isolated room.
As he stepped out into the base, he received a lot of greetings. As the clan patriarch, he earned the acknowledgement of every clansman, whether they were trueblood or adopted.
He wandered around aimlessly for a while. Though his appearance was enough to startle the clansmen in the vicinity, it wasn't enough to raise a commotion.
He soon encountered a familiar face.
Tusa Billingsley-Larkinson was standing in front of a crowd of teenage Larkinsons. Ves even recognized the young teenage form of Lanie Larkinson among the kids!
"...think very carefully before you decide to specialize in light mechs. Although piloting them is my greatest joy, they are not for everyone. Far from it. You either love them or hate them. There is no middle ground. Each time to enter the cockpit and deploy into battle, you are dancing with death. Unlike ranged mechs, light mechs have to get up close to the enemy. Unlike medium mechs, light mechs can't take a lot of hits!"
"Light mechs are fast, though, right, teacher?"
Tusa laughed in a good-naturedly manner. "Incredibly so! If you love speed, you'll love light mechs! While it's too soon for you mech cadets to decide upon your specializations, you can already determine for yourself whether they suit your talent and inclination."
"How do we do that?" Another mech cadet asked.
"Just spin up your simulators and try out some virtual light mechs. Don't just pilot them aimlessly. See whether you can accomplish anything without dying. While it is easy to get caught up by them when you're playing a game like Iron Spirit, don't think that reality is as generous! Each time your mech is downed on an actual battlefield, you risk dying. If you think that is bad enough, then let me tell you that this risk is considerably greater when you pilot a light mech!"
Some of the cadets gasped!
"Therefore, those who pilot the cheapest, smallest and most fragile mechs on the battlefield are some of the bravest mech pilots. Each of them must rely solely on the mobility of their mechs to avoid getting hit. Every single hit not only poses a fatal danger to your mech, but also to your life! After all, the cockpits of light mechs are just as fragile as the rest of their frames!"
Tusa continued to regale the realities of piloting light mechs to the class of enthralled mech cadets.
Ves found it rather weird that an honored expert candidate would spend his valuable time on tutoring a bunch of brats.
Yet the sight also made him feel a lot of warmth. No matter what, the Larkinsons cared for each other. Letting the older generation instruct the younger generation was one of their time-honored customs.
Tusa had long noticed his presence. "Ah, Ves. You should know a thing or two about light mechs, right? Could you tell these cadets about light mechs from the perspective of a mech designer?"
"Why certainly." Ves smiled affectionately.