Chapter 46: New Perspective
With that out of the way, Ves returned to his workshop with Lucky. The cat enjoyed the time out, but now appeared to laze away for the rest of the day.
quot;Youapos;re such a lazy bones.quot;
The cat drowsily meowed at him, not really paying attention to his words. Ves scratched the gem catapos;s chin before sinking down into his couch.
Before Ves got back to work, he wanted to rest a bit and recover from his high-intensity fabrication spree. He found it exhausting to constantly pay attention to his emotional mood when he shaped the Phoenix Cry. While he thought his mech successfully radiated the kind of aura similar to the best mechs he saw in Bentheim, it still remained to be seen if it generated more sales. The X-Factor couldnapos;t be measured after all, so on paper his mech appeared worse than it actually performed.
quot;I can still do it once in a while, but not if Iapos;m fabricating mechs each and every day.quot; Even with the System, Ves remained a mortal. Unless he spent a shipload of DP on his concentration and endurance attributes, he doubted the exhaustion would go away.
quot;Itapos;s more important to shore up my skills instead of spending them on my attributes.quot;
While Ves recognized that both options had their merits, the skills provided immediate tangible benefits. In this early stage where he was still on the brink of bankruptcy after one bad spell, he needed
quot;Oh well, Iapos;ll think about it tomorrow.quot;
He took the rest of the day off. He avoided all activities pertaining mechs. Considering that he spent most of his life with mechs one way or another, he found it difficult to find something else to do. He ended up watching broadcasts until he slept through the night.
In the meantime, at a mech yard in the outskirts of Dorum, Marcella stood by with another person as they watched a drone drop off a mech container. Both of them looked proper and energetic. While Marcella wore her customary green formal clothes, the man besides her dressed a bit more flamboyantly.
quot;There it is, Captain Caruthers. Your new mech. The Phoenix Cry, the very first model of its kind in production.quot;
The man grunted with anticipation. quot;When you told me you were prepared to sell me a mech with my criteria, I couldnapos;t believe it. Thereapos;s not a lot of advanced mechs available in the local market thatapos;s viable at range and up close, especially within my price range.quot;
quot;The wholesale armor replacement my boy has done to your mech is the reason why itapos;s so affordable. Donapos;t get carried away thinking youapos;re piloting a real Caesar Augustus.quot;
quot;Iapos;m confident in my skills. Iapos;ve taken the model out for a spin plenty of times in the simulations. I know how far I can push this mech. As long as I donapos;t hunt after the most notorious pirates, Iapos;ll be fine.quot;
quot;The alternative armor is also cheaper to replace. You wonapos;t be breaking the bank with this mech as long as you donapos;t let its core be damaged.quot;
Some of Marcellaapos;s drones flew up to unseal the container and check if its contents matched the manifest. When everything checked out, the container opened to reveal a formidable-looking mech. The drones started removing the seals that kept the mech inert and its weapons cold.
Caruthers hovered a finger over the lustrous gem. He took in the luxury of it all, impressed the designer kept up the luxury even as he charged half the price of the authentic base model. It didnapos;t quite fit, but that hardly mattered to him. It gave him some bragging rights when he showed the mech off to his friends.
The sheen of a gold plate shone just beneath the front console. Caruthers bent down in order to read the engraved words.
CA-1C MARC ANTONY
DESIGNED SOLELY BY VES LARKINSON
HAND-FABRICATED SOLELY BY VES LARKINSON
MADE IN THE BRIGHT REPUBLIC
The plate added to the handmade feel of the mech. Caruthers chuckled at the sight. He got too used to seeing cheaply stamped plates recycled out of scrap in his previous mechs. The cheap mass-produced mechs he piloted so far all tried to cut whatever corners they could in order to save costs. Forget about gold, sometimes the plates were made out of the cheapest synthetics.
Caruthers stopped fooling around and pressed his fingers softly at the matte but eye-catching gem. The mech hummed as its power reactor and engines came to life. The cockpitapos;s illumination turned to life even as the neural interface engaged a connection with the occupantapos;s brains.
The transition from a human body to a mechapos;s stature should be highly familiar to the bounty hunter. Yet as he felt his mind sink into the mech, he encountered a depth that was deeper than any other machine he connected to before. The Phoenix Cry eagerly sucked in his mental awareness and gave it access to its deepest corners.
A wash of sensations flowed over his mind as he became accustomed to the new perspective. Piloting the mech in the virtual simulations only impressed him mildly. But from how deep and rich he established his connection just now, he became aware that the Phoenix Cry
What impressed him the most was the shield. Thick, heavy but incredibly solid and durable, wielding the tower shield gave him a sense of valor. He could already imagine himself wielding this shield on the battlefield, charging forward to meet the enemy head-on. While the HRF plating that made up the shield would peel fairly easily, he could easily commission a replacement if necessary.
quot;This is a mech made with the wallet in mind.quot;
The cost-effectiveness of the Marc Antony made it into one of the cheaper advanced mechs available on the market today. Though the mechapos;s advanced components were decades old, they still performed competitively against the models out today. In any case, the bounty hunting business had a tendency to wreck mechs long before they got too old to remain viable on the battlefield.
The bounty hunter exited the cockpit with a lingering desire to hang around longer. Still, he had some paperwork to go through before he could officially take up ownership of the mech.
quot;So how is it? Does it meet your expectations?quot; Marcella asked him with a smile.
quot;That, and more. The only thing it misses is my coat of arms on its chest.quot;
quot;Iapos;m sure you will become the envy of your social circle when you show off your new purchase.quot;
quot;Weapos;ll see. Iapos;m itching to test this baby out in the field.quot;
As both sides noted no problems, they went through with the formalities. After signing a bunch of documents, Captain Caruthers officially owned the first mech produced by a young talent. He certainly knew that more than a couple of people might take interest in the mechapos;s performance.
quot;Let them peek. Iapos;ll be sure to bring out the full strength of my Phoenix Cry.quot;
Just as Marcella sent out her approval for the money transfer, Ves sat behind his terminal going over his numbers. His comm beeped loudly, interrupting him from filling out his ledger. He looked his comm and it stated that he received a notification from his bank. He stared at the message for a solid minute.
His account gained about 19 million bright credits from the latest transfer.
quot;Iapos;m.. Iapos;M RICH!quot; Ves burst out as he laughed at the sky. quot;Marcella actually did it! My mech sold for 28 million credits!quot;
He received an advance of 7 million credits when he contracted Marcella to be his broker, which he spent on buying the raw materials to fabricate his internals. As for the armor, Ves used the stockpile gifted to him by the System for completing the fourth tutorial. This allowed him to skip the 11 million credits required to buy all the goods necessary to refine the HRF armor plating.
His monetary gain therefore amounted to 19 million bright credits this time. For his subsequent productions, he had to put in 18 million credits to fabricate a new mech, which cut down on his profits. No more freebies from the System this time.
In any case, as Ves was already working on his accounting, he inputted his latest earnings and put his balance sheet in order. The mech cost 18 million to produce but sold for 28 million, which amounted to a gross profit of 10 million credits. Marcella skimmed 2 million credits from that figure already, so that left Ves with 19 million credits in cash.
The first thing he did was to transfer away 5 million credits to the bank. With only little more than two days left for the deadline to pass, Ves finally breathed easier once the enormous pressure from the bank disappeared. As soon as the bank returned a message to him that his obligations for the year had been met, he whooped again, waking Lucky from his nap.
quot;Haha, this is good news Lucky. Weapos;re not going to be kicked out on the streets!quot;
Lucky meowed disinterestedly.
quot;Iapos;ll also be able to afford shinier minerals for you to snack on!quot;
That caught the gem catapos;s attention. Lucky immediately jumped from the couch and acted cute by rubbing its body against his legs. After a short hug, Ves went back to his financial statement. Unfortunately, not all of the numbers he got resulted in good news.
From the 14 million credits that remained, Ves lacked the necessary funds required to produce another Marc Antony independently. He still remained dependent on Marcellaapos;s services, specifically her ability to demand a downpayment from her buyers to fund the production of their new mechs.
quot;I hope she wonapos;t have too much trouble with this condition.quot;
Furthermore, if Ves wanted to budget his money responsibly, he should reserve some of his cash and put it into his piggy bank for future needs. Considering his looming financial burden, paying back the 350 million credits he owed the bank was a minor priority.
His perspectives already changed after his first transaction. Now that he showed off his ability to run a viable business, the bank should be easing off on him as well. The debt his father took on his behalf was not an entirely bad thing for the bank. They earned an easy amount of interest from his business each year, and as long as Ves didnapos;t screw up, the money loaned was put to good use in the bankapos;s perspective.
Considering that he could earn an average profit of 8 million credits each time Marcella sold his mech, the threat the annual interest payments posed to Ves diminished greatly.
The problem essentially changed from an angry elephant into a harmless mouse. He could squash the mouse whenever he wanted, but it was a bit troublesome to do so and required a bit of effort on his part. Rather than waste his time stomping the floor or setting up traps, he could let the mouse scurry around his pantry and steal a bit of his cheese from time to time.
What Ves was more concerned about was something that plagued every single business in the tech sector.
If you find any errors ( broken links, non-standard content, etc.. ), Please let us know < report chapter > so we can fix it as soon as possible.