The Mech Touch

Chapter 3363: Crown Conclusion

Chapter 3363: Crown Conclusion

Did Ves take part in a grand moment of history or a short-lasting farce?

It remained to be seen whether Emperor Rion Aaden and his loyal following would be able to pull off a dwarven exodus.

The Big Two certainly wouldn't approve of any ethnic group cutting away from human civilization. Even if the dwarven people possessed legitimate grievances about the way they were treated, the precedent of their departure would spur on the departures of many other dissatisfied groups.

Part of the reason why human civilization was so powerful at the moment was because humanity did not fundamentally compete against itself.

That would doubtlessly change once different groups split away from the current consensus and founded their own sovereign star nations.

The collective power of humankind as a whole would become a lot weaker once these independent human nations fought against each other, which would surely happen.

Without the Big Two's restraint, the scale and destructiveness of the competition between nations would easily overtake the petty squabbles between states that happened in the current age!

"We would essentially be going back to the Age of Conquest." Ves muttered. "Soon enough, we'll start dispatching warships against each other again." 

According to this predicted outcome, he shouldn't even be cheering on the secessionist dwarves in the first place. As a human, it was in his best interest to support the Big Two's overall stance and prevent any element of human civilization from sparking a regression that would directly put humanity back where it started!"

Yet… after taking part in such a significant and exciting event, how could Ves oppose this development? A childish part of him felt privileged to be a part of a potentially massive event that could shake humanity!

"Maybe I've grown tired of messing up individual states." Ves muttered. "Maybe I'm starting to develop a craving for stirring up entire civilizations."


"Oh, it's nothing, Lucky. Everything is fine." He smiled at his cat.

After Ves finished his performance in the coronation ceremony, the dwarves no longer needed him. Rion generously allowed his guest to return to his fleet and depart from the star system without any further incident.

"Are the dwarves leaving?"

"They are." Minister Shederin Purnesse replied. "According to our sensors, the Olympus Mons and the dwarven frigate are already making their way to the second-closest Lagrange point."

"That's good news." Ves sighed in relief. "Hopefully, we'll soon be out of the effective range of the dwarven ace mech. Even though their leader shouldn't have a reason to kill us all, who knows what goes on in his head. He's anything but a normal dwarf."

He did not dare to say anything more about Rion. The dwarf was planning a grand conspiracy that would definitely provoke the Big Two sooner or later. Ves should be distancing himself from this future revolutionary as much as possible at this point!

The foreign minister was tactful enough to rein in his curiosity. Although he could already fill in a lot of gaps with the help of his intellect, experience and imagination, he was astute enough to smell a lot of danger in whatever happened inside the ship. No average dwarven group would go through such an extravagant amount of effort to employ the Larkinson Patriarch's services!

Just the fact that the mastermind behind this entire trap was able to command a powerful ace pilot was enough to prove that he was not to be trifled with. Knowing too much would only increase the chance of the Olympus Mons turning around to finish the job!


Lucky hovered over to Ves' hands and sniffed a few times. His glowing green eyes began to look suspicious.

"Hey, settle down. Just be thankful that we're all heading back with our hides intact. You can't imagine what I had to do in order to save us all! If I wasn't so good at my job, this day would have taken a different turn."

Although a part of Ves thought that Rion was just bluffing and that his threats were just part of an act, the very real losses suffered by the Golden Skull Alliance were not a joke!

The Larkinsons and their allies suffered small but painful losses. Just the Avatar mechs and mech pilots shredded by the deceptively small machine gun module of the Olympus Mons served as a serious warning that the expeditionary fleet had come close to total annihilation!

When the shuttle finally returned to the hangar bay of the Spirit of Bentheim, the fleet slowly began to make its own way out of the Trion Enze System.

The mood of the crew was a lot more downcast than before. No one was happy about how a single ace mech tore down their defenses and exposed the weaknesses of their armed forces.

No matter whether it was the Larkinsons, Glory Seekers or Crossers, of them performed well enough to keep their heads high after today.

All of the pride and accomplishment they gained from winning the Battle of Fordilla Zentra had disappeared as if someone poked a hole in their balloons.

As Ves continued to make his way up to one of the conference rooms of the Spirit of Bentheim, he couldn't help but grow more depressed at all of the depressed clansmen around him. It became clear that while the clan did not suffer a lot of material damage, the impact on morale was far greater!

"We'll get back up. I'm sure of it. We're Larkinsons. We never keep our heads down!" Ves quietly said to himself.

In the next hour, Ves presided over a tense and depressing conference meeting with the leader of the Golden Skull Alliance.

Suffice to say, the Glory Seekers and the Cross Clan did not find it pleasant to get caught up in his latest problems again. Ves knew that he would definitely have to make it up to them in order to keep relations cordial within the Golden Skull Alliance.

He especially wanted to maintain good relations with Patriarch Reginald Cross.

This event had underscored the importance of gaining the protection of an ace pilot. Ves had always thought that helping Patriarch Reginald advance to ace pilot was a difficult and unpleasant chore.

Now, he considered it to be a necessity. Even though helping the Cross Clan gain a new ace pilot directly empowered a rival, Ves had little choice but to cooperate. It was too precarious to roam the Red Ocean knowing that there were numerous pioneers out there that had obtained the services of other ace pilots.

It didn't matter anymore if Patriarch Reginald was an arrogant gloryhound who put his own interests before everyone else's. He was the closest friendly potential ace pilot that could offer a lot of protection to the expeditionary fleet. Ves was more than willing to put up with Reginald's excesses as long as he fought as well as Saint Yila Mayorka!

"Well, let's focus on leaving Smiling Samuel first." He spoke when the meeting came to an end. "We need to completely remove ourselves from this warzone before considering our future plans. The dwarves that I have just worked with have promised to prevent any local Vulcanite forces from harassing us as we make our way out, but who knows whether they can deliver on their promises. We should maintain full vigilance and hope that our mercenaries won't resort to another contract clause to excuse themselves from combat."

Although Ves and everyone was pissed as hell at the cowardly behavior of the mercenaries they hired, they had no choice but to keep working with them. The mech pilots for hire were fully in their right to stay out of a suicidal battle against a powerful ace mech.

Once the meeting ended, Ves tiredly returned to his stateroom.



Lucky approached Clixie and curled up next to her warm body on one of their cat beds.

As for Ves, he removed his Unending Regalia and tiredly dropped himself next to his wife on the couch.

Gloriana did not look pleased as she crossed her arms. "You need to stop it, Ves."

"Stop what?"

"You know what I'm referring to. Your incessant habit of leading us right into our deaths!"

"Hey, I had good reason to head to this star system! I can't explain to you what is going on, and I'm sorry for that, but I've mostly succeeded in what I set out to do. I've even obtained a couple of bonuses that will benefit us in the long term. Ultimately, our gains outweigh our losses."

"That's because the dwarves were merciful to us today! What if you made the wrong decision? What if the dwarves were less tolerant of us? The Olympus Mons could have blown us all up and our baby with it! She hasn't even been born yet, Ves! I can't bear the thought of losing our baby before I even have a chance to raise her. She deserves better!"

"Please calm down! I'm not sure whether your stress affects our baby's health, but let's not take any risks."

His daughter felt healthier and more alive than ever. Ves even had the illusion that today's experience had impacted his augmented child's budding spirituality!

Ves truly let go of his concerns once he verified that Saint Mayorka's oppressive domain field has not negatively affected his unborn daughter's condition.

"Everything will be okay." He smiled at his wife as he basked in her soft scent. "We aren't going to take any further risks as we depart from the Vulcan Empire. We're not even sticking around in the Fermi Star Cluster any longer than necessary. We're heading directly to the Antilla Star Cluster without any breaks so that we can reach the Tarnished Crown Star Sector as soon as possible. We'll all be safe once we reach the gate system over there. It will take years before we ever come close to encountering these kinds of threats."

"We shouldn't be encountering them in the first place." Gloriana grumbled.

Tarnished Crown was the goal of every aspiring pioneer in the local region at the moment. Ves found it ironic that the star sector just happened to be called this way. Not only did it possess an unfortunate but completely unrelated ȧssociation to the Crown Uprising, it also reminded Ves of the commission he just completed.

It was as if this entire period of human history revolved around crowns for some reason.

Ves shook his head. This was a silly thought. He did not intend to fabricate any more crowns, particularly because he knew that a certain crown-wearing dwarf would eventually build up a lot of notoriety when he attempted his exodus!

The two mech designers cuddled against each other for a while. Despite her attitude, Gloriana was grateful that her husband managed to return from the scary dwarven ship alive. She didn't want to raise her baby alone.

"Have you thought about how we'll name our first child?" Ves softly asked.

She looked at him as if he was stupid. "Of course I did that. I already started to draw up a list of names just after we met for the first time. You can never start too early!"

"Uhm, what kind of names are you considering?"

"Hmmm… I still have to narrow down my choices. Right now, I'm thinking about Mariana, Shiriana, Liriana, Cynthiana, Coriana, Yiliana, Oriana, Heliana…"

Ves already started to look cross eyed after hearing her suggestions!

"Uhm, those choices sound nice and all, but I'm not hearing enough variety. Did you come up with any names at all that end with something other than '-ana'?"

"....How about Veronica?"

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