The Mech Touch

Chapter 2550: Abnormal Star Sector

Chapter 2550: Abnormal Star Sector

Ves awkwardly scratched his smooth-shaven cheek.

The footage that Major Verle displayed had given him a great shock!

The dwarves not only succeeded in conquering the Paramount Kingdom, but also went on to defeat every other state in the star sector!

While it was true that the states in the Smiling Samuel Star Sector were more impoverished and decadent than others, they were still formidable institutions. How could the dwarves possibly overcome all of their disadvantages and win against the established powers in so little time?

"While it sounds like a fairy tale, the Vulcan Empire truly succeeded." Major Verle said. "Oday, the Vulcan Empire is the only dominant power of its star sector. While it is not that strong compared to other dominant states, it is highly entrenched in Smiling Samuel, thereby making it difficult for its neighbors to dislodge the dwarven state."

The Dwarven Justice Movement rose up rapidly from its humble beginnings. It remained quiet while it began to accumulate followers. Once its numbers and strength grew formidable enough, the dwarves launched their attacks with great force.

The Paramount Kingdom did not account well for itself. Its rotten nobles and corrupted officials responded very poorly to the dwarven incursion.

In fact, the human rulers actually looked down on the dwarves! It took many painful defeats for the ruling houses to recognize that the dwarves actually had the power to depose them. By that time, it was too late, and the Paramount Kingdom eventually made way for the Vulcan Empire.

Even then, the rest of the Smiling Samuel Star Sector still did not recognize the threat posed by the dwarves.

It was normal for individual states to rise and fall. Despite its domineering name, the Vulcan Empire was actually in a pretty bad shape upon its founding. The Paramount Kingdom's industries had suffered a lot of damage due to all of the fighting and a huge brain drain took place as many humans who were able to afford passage on a starship had fled the conquered state!

Yet despite all of these problems, the Vulcan Empire grew incredibly fast. The moment the dwarven rebellion succeeded in founding a state dedicated to heavy gravity variant humans, the amount of dwarves pouring in from outside multiplied by ten!

Even the more skeptical and cowardly dwarves became swayed by the dwarven dream. Short-statured humans throughout the surrounding regions emigrated to the Vulcan Empire with much greater urgency.

The Vulcan Empire rapidly grew in strength. As it carefully picked its battles and continually accomplished victory after victory, the dwarven state's momentum rose.

As the momentum of the Vulcan Empire rose, even more dwarves abandoned their old lives. They traveled to the Vulcan Empire no matter the cost and integrated in the rising state remarkably quickly.

"The Vulcan Faith contributed a lot in uniting all of these foreign dwarves." Major Verle noted.

Ves couldn't help but grimace even further. This faith was based on a sham!

Yet no matter how stupid it was for the dwarves to believe in one of his disguises, he had to admit that religion was one of the strongest ways to bind different people together.

No dwarf was the same. Their origin largely defined their norms and values. Different dwarves embodied different cultures depending on the planet, state or star sector they came from. Randomly mashing them together in a single state shouldn't have worked if not for their belief in Vulcan glueing them together!

"These dwarven believers certainly look.. enthusiastic."

"That's an understatement." Major Verle shook his head. "All of the records state the Vulcan people are highly xenophobic towards other human variants. The majority of the 'tall folk' who used to reside in Smiling Samuel were either wiped out or transferred elsewhere. The immigrating dwarves all took over the lands, jobs and possessions of the original citizens. Nowadays, only a handful of planets still host a majority of baseline humans, and they are usually closed off and inaccessible."

This sounded quite cruel to Ves! The dwarves must have displaced trillions of normal human citizens over the years. The sheer amount of tragedy that took place in Smiling Samuel likely exceeded that of the recent Sand War!

At the very least, humanity managed to stop the sandman race a relatively short time after the invasion started.

Yet no one managed to stop the tide of dwarves. How could these vertically-challenged humans possibly get away with their excessive actions?

It was one thing to conquer a state and oppress the conquered locals.

It was another thing to drive those locals from their homes!

The sheer amount of people the dwarves kicked from the star sector must have come to the attention of the MTA.

While the Association normally did not pay attention to local conflicts, there was no way the mechers remained ignorant of the brutality the dwarves engaged in. It was as if Smiling Samuel went back to the days of the Age of Conquest!

Strangely enough, the galactic net did not provide any solid answers. Ves only encountered lots of speculation, guesses and analyses.

Yet not once had the MTA issued any official statement. The Big Two remained completely impassive throughout the rapid takeover.

Major Verle voiced his opinion.

"The most accepted explanation is that the MTA is secretly supportive of the formation of a dwarven star sector. The more radical theories even state that the MTA has actually been supporting the Vulcan Empire from the dark, but only crackpots believe in them. If you ask me, the fact that the MTA did nothing to stop the rise of dwarves means the Big Two tacitly consented to this development. Maybe they're tired that dwarves are constantly being oppressed throughout the galaxy. Letting them take over one of the poorest star sectors might be a way to compensate these variant humans for their suffering."

Ves had a different perspective on the matter. From his understanding of the MTA, the high-level leaders liked to see some variety. By allowing the dwarves to take over a star sector, the Association's research groups could probably engage in all kinds of comparative studies between societies.

This was what scientists desired the most! Some studies simply couldn't be performed if the samples were too homogeneous.

Dwarves were still humans in some aspects but very different in other aspects. Their distinctive identity, different physique and other traits turned them into very useful test subjects!

As expected of the MTA. Whereas Ves only experiments on hundreds of test subjects at most, the Association performed studies on entire star sectors worth of people at a time!

To Ves, it made a lot of sense to foster the rise of dwarves. Perhaps there were moral reasons to stop the dwarves from killing or displacing so many innocent humans, but who cared about those. Getting more experimental data was much more important!

Ves coughed. "Alright, let's not talk about how the dwarves took over the star sector. Now that they're in charge, are normal humans even allowed to enter?"

"The Vulcan Empire can't stop all human traffic. The Big Two's headquarters and outposts are still staffed by normal-sized humans. There are also other exceptions such as the aforementioned isolated planets. The baseline humans who live there are pretty much caged there for the rest of their lives. Some dwarves even go on tours in order to see the tall folk in their supposed natural environment."

Ves pressed his palm against his face. Was this what he had wrought in his last Mastery experience? The Vulcan Empire sounded terrible!

"Do the dwarves respect any humans at all?" He feebly asked.

"No." Major Verle ruthlessly crushed his hope. "The Vulcanites are as dwarf-centric as Hexers are towards women. The dwarves are actually worse as they can't even tolerate the idea of living alongside the tall folk. Despite living in a galaxy that is dominated by humans that are taller than them, the dwarven supremacists constantly talk about killing the tall folk."

"Is there no faction of dwarves that are slightly more sympathetic towards normal humans?"

"I can't say, sir. We'll have to perform in-depth research in order to be certain. According to the galactic net, the dwarves only really respect one human."


"Their god. Despite being styled as the God of Dwarves, Mechs and Craftsmanship, the Vulcan Faith actually depicts its god as a human with normal proportions. This has always been controversial to the Vulcanites. With how superior they feel about themselves, more and more dwarves simply can't understand why they should worship a normal human god."

"Oh no…"

Ves could already predict what happened next.

"In recent years, it has become increasingly more apparent that a schism has formed within Vulcanism. The majority still believe in the orthodox interpretation of Vulcan as a human, but there is a rising faction that believes that Vulcan must be a dwarf. These radicalists have gained much more sway over the years. There are even rumors that the two sides have already come to blows against each other. The old guard continue to cling to the belief that Vulcan is a human god while the younger generation seeks to take them down."

What a disaster. Ves groaned as he considered how his careless lies and deception spiraled out of control.

"Forget about entering Smiling Samuel." Major Verle advised. "While it is certainly different from every other star sector, the locals are too hostile against humans with normal proportions. Every dwarf will do their best to kill us once they see us travelling through their space."

"There has to be exceptions, right? How can the dwarves even trade if they kill off every trading vessel?"

"The Vulcan Empire has exempted certain individuals and organizations from persecution, but those are exceptions. They don't give any exemptions to tourists and passerbys like us. Just skip this star sector. There are no reasons for us to dive into this dwarf-centric region."

The major was right. There were way too many reasons why entering Smiling Samuel was a very bad idea. Ves wouldn't be able to convince any of his clansmen to enter this star sector because that would only invite endless trouble!

Still, there had to be a way for him to enter. He had no intentions of visiting any dwarven settlements. He just wanted to stop by a desolate star system and excavate the Timpala Steel that he had buried in an unassuming asteroid belt.

As long as he obtained his treasure, he would leave right away!

"Is there ANY way for normal humans to move freely through Smiling Samuel?"

Verle shook his head. "Not without an exemption. Maybe you can ask the MTA for help. Don't you have a good relationship with Master Moira Willix? She can probably arrange a pass for you. Still, my advice remains the same. Even with an exemption, we would not be safe. According to the recent news from the Vulcan Empire, the 'Dwarven God Cult' has been launching attacks on trading convoys operated by normal humans. As long as the vessels don't belong to the Big Two, they are fair game to the radicalists."

Damn. These deranged dwarves were truly going overboard!

Worst of all, Ves was largely responsible for fanning their hatred. If he hadn't attempted to rally the dwarves by shouting 'death to the tall folk' all the time, they may have been able to tolerate normal humans!

"Oh, there is another way for you to enter Smiling Samuel."

"And that is..?"

The major summoned another projection. It displayed an advertisement for a physical morphing procedure.

In the ad, a human entered a sophisticated-looking clinic. After being met by a doctor and put through some tests, the man paid some money and entered some kind of treatment chamber.

An instant later, a different-looking human exited from the chamber.

The normal-looking human had become a dwarf!

"You can turn into a dwarf." Verle smiled. "Smiling Samuel accepts any converted dwarves with open arms. As far as the Vulcanites are concerned, normal humans are lost and live in sin. Only by embracing the dwarven form will they be worthy to receive Vulcan's blessing!"


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