The Mech Touch

 
 

The Mech Touch Chapter 666 Frontier Banking


The grudge match between the so-called mech champions of the Castle Breakers and the Omen of Misfortune consumed the entire Independent Harbor. Practically every pirate, treasure hunter, trader, mercenary and so on had a high inclination of being fans of mechs, and nothing excited them more than witnessing a duel to the death.

It was as if the same thing on Harkensen III happened all over again!

Ves ignored the duelling fever growing hotter around him as he pressed his escorts to push aside the bystanders a little further. The poor interior planning of the space station caused the streets to become more crowded than normal. There were too few routes to the mech arena!

The Vandal security officers had to move exceptionally delicately if they wanted to avoid injuring or crushing any of the clueless visitors pushing against their exoskeleton suits. One wrong move could easily rip a man's arm off his sockets or cave in an entire skull!

"How far is it to the bank?"

"Just five-hundred meters more!"

"Damnit, it will take half an hour to reach it at this rate!"

Meanwhile, Ves turned his mind back to contemplating his recent insights. His latest one happened to sound crazy, but it happened to fit with his observations.

To be a good designer, one had to be crazy!

Every good mech designer he met possessed a lot of depth. Some kept it better hidden than others, but Ves made a bold guess that not a single mech designer above the Journeyman rank could escape this fate!

Not even the Star Designers idolized by trillions of mech designers throughout the galaxy!

When Ves recalled the biographies describing the extremely eccentric behaviors of the Armorer or the Polymath, it all made sense to him. Obsession and faith had propelled these extreme mech designers into reaching a height few humans had ever reached!

If this inescapable rule applied to everyone, did it apply to him as well? How would his fatal flaw look like?

Ves didn't have to wring his mind to obtain his answer. He quickly came to the most probable conclusion. "If there's any negative trait that has defined my career so far, it has to be my penchant for risk-taking!"

Several times now he faced important choices where a rational outlook of the situation should have pushed him to take a safe or normal option.

Instead, Ves acted like an addicted gambler at a shuttle race, and spontaneously put his entire fortune on one of ten racers. With the odds of winning only amounting to just ten percent, it simply didn't make sense for him to place a bet at all!

Somehow, the risks and danger involved enticed him a lot. It threw him into Groening IV, it compelled him to take part in the Glowing Planet campaign, and it was responsible for a lot of unnecessary risk-taking during his time with the Vandals.

Ves craved excitement!

And he couldn't even blame the System on that. Perhaps it had always laid dormant in his mind, but the moment he gained a stroke of sudden luck and obtained his father's gift that allowed him to change his fate, he had been pursuing these moments of serendipity with a feverish breath.


He was being too greedy! He wanted more, and he had a disturbing tendency to disregard all kinds of warning signs in the pursuit of greater profit!

Perhaps in his warped mind, the warning signs had the opposite of cautioning Ves away from a reckless choice.

They instead acted as enticements luring him closer into the abyss!

"Out of every possible negative trait that could have been magnified, the design gods have forced me to embrace the lust for excitement from my Larkinson bloodline!"

Of course, it was pretty dubious to blame his affliction to the metaphorical existence of the Larkinson bloodline. Even within the Larkinson family, many believed their tendency to volunteer for service or seek out other opportunities to prove their courage came from the constant stories their aunts and uncles constantly repeated to the young ones.

Nurture, rather than nature was to blame for their adventurous spirits.

Still, regardless of its origin, the craving of excitement hidden deep within Ves had taken a life of its own. As Ves continued to develop his mind through his experiences and Attribute upgrades, his thoughts grew stronger but also more extreme. While his optimized his mind to design mechs with greater proficiency, the side effects also amplified everything else.

This was the root of the issue. To become a better mech designer, his mind needed to be transformed, and this process was anything but surgical and precise.Find authorized novels in Webnovel´╝îfaster updates, better experience´╝îPlease click for visiting.

Now that he formulated this theory, everything related to mech design became increasingly more sense. The explanation not only explained the eccentric behavior of well-known mech designers, it also offered a recipe to develop a mech designer's mind.

Ves automatically threw a glance at Ketis, who was helping the group push through the crowd. If there was anyone who could test out his theory, it was Ketis, a newly advanced Novice with practically no track record to speak of. She was as blank of a paper as Ves could obtain. Though her personality already exhibited some strong traits, Ves gained the ambition to mold her according to his desired shape!

Instead of designing mechs, Ves graduated to designing mech designers!

The stupendously absurd prompted him to burst out in laughter. "Bwhahahahaha! What genius! This is brilliant! Hahahaha!"

He abruptly stopped laughing when he realized what a fool he was making himself out to be. It didn't help out he looked like a decked-out pirate VIP, either. Nolsen, Ketis and the other Vandal guards looked at him with aghast expressions. How could their normal and friendly-looking mech designer suddenly display an outburst of madness?

"Ahem, let's continue on. We've almost reached the bank."

By now, the grudge match between the two mech champions already commenced. The arena had already filled up to capacity and refused the entry of those who came too late, causing many of them to be bummed out. It didn't help that the arena was part of the underground, therefore no footage of the battle would emerge on the galactic net.

"This isn't fair! If I came one minute earlier, I would have gotten in!"

"Those stingy Boseys deserve to be hanged! Why can't they upgrade that tiny mech arena of theirs!?"

"Let me in! I'm the Hellvoice's number one fan! I can't possibly miss the death match involving my idol!"

The streets around the mech arena became unruly due to the poor arrangements of the space station. Though the Mancroft Independent Harbor profiled itself as a fourth-rate state, in truth its size and capacity barely matched one of the larger space stations of Bentheim!

The space station had been built long ago, and while many modules enhanced its size and structure over time, it had always been done in the cheapest way possible. The best description of its growth was that it occurred somewhat organically, without any of the long-term planning that characterized most cities these days.

The Frontier Bank of Mancroft was conveniently located next to the mech arena complex. The reason for this was evident, as gambling addicts poured in constantly to draw out their money reserves and exchange their illiquid valuables for cold hard K-coins.

Of course, the wealthier among them declined to carry around sacks or crates of K-coins and K-bars around them. That would just provoke a savage feast from the surrounding pirates.

The bank provided a convenient vault for them to stow away their processed Kavenit. Naturally, this service came with all kinds of fees and conditions.

The subject of banking for pirates was a rather complex one. In general, many pirates didn't trust banks with their money, and instead buried them under plots of land at some obscure frontier star system.

Even if they stashed some of their wealth at a bank, they could be notoriously violent when it came to fees and such! It wasn't unheard of for them to go mad and raze an entire bank branch because they had to pay a two percent transaction fee whenever they wanted to withdraw their money or something!

For a frontier bank to prosper, they needed to be more circumspect in their profit-generating methods. One of the major revenue sources of the bank was actually their right to confiscate the belongings of clients who turned up missing or deceased without an heir to take over their spoils.

And even if the deceased selected someone else to inherit their wealth, the bank assuredly received their own cut!

Considering how prevalent pirates died in battles or random accidents in space, Ves could see how Mancroft's bank prospered to the point of becoming one of the main revenue sources of the Bosey Clan. It wasn't as if most pirates cared where their riches went after they died!

"Do you have a bank account here, Ketis?"

"No. The higher ups manage all the money. We've never received a salary or anything like that. Serving as a Swordmaiden is enough of a reward."

Ves silently shook his head. The Swordmaidens indoctrinated their sisters well. All of them had been brainwashed into becoming their slaves without their notice!

"Wait in the foyer while I get my money."

Ves approached one of the humanoid bots that served as one of the receptionists of the bank and proceeded to undergo the complicated dance of accessing his locked bank account. Because his money was stashed at several different banks, it took a lot of procedures as well as the assistance of an actual human manager to complete it all.

Half an hour later, Ves walked away from the bank manager's office 2,500 K-bars richer! This was the equivalent of a billion bright credits! Of course, he wasn't stupid to bring all of that exotic metal out, so he stashed them in the Frontier Bank of Mancroft's vault.

"Stupid exchange rate. I think I lost ten percent of my wealth from that alone."

Even in the future, banks still prospered!

There had been plenty of calls to establish a unified human currency, possibly based around especially valuable exotics or units of energy, but it never caught on. Much like how humanity resisted unification into a single nation, they also wanted to maintain control over their own petty currencies. This led to the current smorgasboard of currencies.

"How many currencies are used in the Faris Star Region?" He asked his now-regular frontier guide.

"Independents like us mostly get by with K-coins. Each of the pirate alliances use their own currencies instead, but no outsider accepts them, so they mostly spend K-coins as well whenever they come out of their space stations."

This made K-coins the dominant currency of this region of space, which was convenient for Ves because he didn't have to waste money converting them into other currencies.

Still, there was one more issue puzzling him. "The purchasing power of a K-coin is very high. How are you able to buy something as simple as a glass of beer with a coin that's worth at least a keg of beer?"

"A few pirates stash the K-coins in a bank and let them handle the payments. Most of us simply break up the coins into fragments and pay them by their mass. Every store on this station has a machine that can take a standard K-coin and shave off enough fragments to cover the payment. Still, most pirates are fools if they trust the shops to calibrate their machines correctly. They mostly break up their coins into fragments beforehand and stuff them into their pockets."

It sounded incredibly primitive. Ves felt as if he had travelled back in time to the point where gold coins became the dominant currency of the land.

The repercussions of this backwards currency handling was very clear to Ves. Every pirate was hoarding their wealth, and they didn't easily trust others to take care of it. Liquidity flowed very slowly in the frontier, thereby indirectly depressing the already anemic mech market.

It truly wasn't easy to do business in the lawless frontier!

 
 


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