The Mech Touch - Chapter 3062: Greeting the Purnessers
Chapter 3062: Greeting the Purnessers
Though the logistics had become a little more complicated, the Larkinsons succeeded in bringing their damaged ships and mechs back to the Larkinson fleet.
Ves still regretted the fact that he had to leave his broken and sunken mechs and ships behind, but the Larkinson Clan could easily build or acquire replacements.
The material losses of the Battle of Trieden II were substantial, but the loss of life was well within a tolerable range.
The Bright Warriors were designed to be sturdy machines so the chance that the enemy could breach the cockpit straight away was fairly small. Even if the mechs eventually succumbed from all of the damage, the Avatars usually managed to eject their cockpits without any serious issue.
The casualties among the Flagrant Vandals were a bit more serious on a proportional basis, especially at the start of the battle, but that was the downside to piloting light mechs.
It was quite difficult to land a hit on them, but once they received a solid blow, it was a lot easier to penetrate their chest armor and kill the pilot on the spot!
Still, as much as Ves lamented the losses, the figure was within a tolerable range. With tens of thousands of pilots at his disposal, the clan wouldn't even feel a difference. The Avatars and Vandals could easily recruit replacements for the dead…
This was no longer a matter that Ves needed to pay personal attention to. The Larkinson Clan already developed its human resource capabilities to the point where it could automatically recruit the most suitable personnel at their next port of call.
The only troublesome consequence of suffering these battle losses was that Ves had to go out and attend yet another tedious burial ceremony. He had gone through so many of them that it became increasingly more difficult for him to play his role.
Unfortunately, as the patriarch of the Larkinson Clan, presiding over these ceremonies was mandatory. If he gave his men the impression that he no longer cared as much, his approval rating would probably dip by at least 20 percent.
Ves was much more preoccupied with determining how the Larkinson Clan should integrate the Purnesse Family.
First impressions were important, and he keenly recognized that traumatic events the Purnessers had gone through had made them more receptive to change than usual.
It was important for the clan to seize this moment and ensure the Purnessers smoothly identified themselves with the Larkinson Clan instead of their old lives!
"It's quite troublesome to make the Purnessers embrace our clan seriously." Calabast explained her thoughts as they continued to walk all the way towards one of the hangar bays of the factory ship. "From our observations, it is clear that the Purnesse Family lived very different lives from the rest of us. For example, you came from a privileged but relatively sober background. I grew up as a member of one of the most powerful matriarchal dynasties of my state, but my relatives piled up extremely high expectations on me. Everyone else in our clan had to struggle one way or another. This is also why we are so driven by our ambitions."
"Are you suggesting that the Purnessers are less hard-working and ambitious?"
"That is not what I am trying to imply, Ves. I am trying to paint different pictures for different kinds of people. The Purnessers can also work hard. It is just that their ambitions and their ideas about how they should live their lives are different. These people will arrive in the Larkinson Clan with preconceived expectations about the treatment they should receive and the responsibilities they must bear. Do you recognize the potential dangers in what I have said?"
Ves mulled over her words. She was obviously hinting at something but expected him to stumble upon the answer himself.
He mulled over the situation and made a tentative guess.
"Our original goal for grabbing the Purnesse Family is to acquire a diplomat. The need to forge new relations and grow existing ones has become more and more important to our clan. As a result, the importance of this job is extremely critical. As long as one of the Purnessers performed well, that person would gain a lot of say in the running of the clan!"
Calabast nodded in affirmation. "It's actually more extensive than that. Didn't you tell us that our clan is lacking a lot of mid-level managers and administrators? All of those Purnessers and their retainers can't remain idle once they become a part of our clan. They need jobs as well, but they are all civilians and completely unsuitable to serve in a military capacity. Instead, our clan will do its best to allocate them to positions where their prior learning and job experience will be put to use. Many of the Purnessers happen to hold impressive positions in the past."
The Larkinson Clan did not have a habit of wasting someone's potential. The clan organization was expanding every day and the list of vacancies grew longer. There were definitely a lot of influential jobs in the clan that the Purnessers could perform with ease!
Though Ves didn't mind it if new recruits immediately started off with vital, important positions, he became a lot more guarded to the idea of giving the Purnessers cushy positions without having to work for them. Competence was one thing, but contribution was another!
Ves rubbed his smooth-shaven chin. "I think we may need to revise our original plans towards the Purnesse Family. We can wait with appointing diplomats and other important jobs. What is more important to me is to make sure that the Purnessers enter the Larkinson Clan with the right mindset."
He knew that the Larkinson Network could do much to alter the mentalities of the Purnesse Family, but its influence was too subtle and gradual to produce major results.
This was partially intentional as Ves did not want to get accused of brainwashing his own people. At least the current degree of influencing made it clear that every clansman still retained enough of their original identity and thoughts.
However, this also left the clansmen to pursue their own ideas. As long as they did not plot any direct betrayals, they were allowed to pursue a lot of different agendas.
Since both Ves and Calabast recognized that this would probably lead to undesirable consequences if the soon-to-be-former members of the Purnesse Family rose to power, they had to derail the expected process in some fashion.
While Calabast was in the process of hatching numerous covert plots, Ves had a more direct solution in mind.
A smirk slowly appeared on his face as he came closer to the hangar bay.
Lucky recognized his expression. Ves always became swept by devious thoughts when he smirked in this fashion!
"Oh, quiet, Lucky. My ideas are not that bad!"
"Okay, I admit that the plan I have in mind might be a bit extreme, but it's not as if the Purnessers can turn away at this point. They're not like regular recruits who are eager to become a part of our clan. They need to… learn to appreciate what we are all about before they are truly ready to become Larkinsons."
A short time passed before the carriers that carried the evacuated members of the Purnesse Family reached the core of the Larkinson fleet.
Numerous transports and shuttles brought the members of the Purnesse Family over to one of the hangar bays of the Spirit of Bentheim.
Ves deliberately did not opt to guide the newcomers to one of the fancier compartments located on the upper decks of his flagship. He instead commanded a large number of guards to stand guard in the hangar bay and prevent the rescued Purnessers from walking away.
The sight of all of those armed and armored troops chilled the hearts of the well-dressed Purnessers. The posture of the Larkinson Clan did not appear to be friendly at the moment.
Only the wiser among them such as Ambassador Shederin Purnesse recognized that the Larkinsons were engaging in a power play.
The elder man's expression remained impassive, but inwardly he already began to sigh. He could read a lot of clues about Ves and the Larkinson Clan's intentions from these actions. Combined with what he had witnessed from the clan during the Battle of Trieden II, the head of the Purnesse Family suspected that the objections voiced by his son might ring true.
If Ves knew what the head of the Purnessers was thinking about, he wouldn't change anything. No matter what kind of pejorative labels the newcomers threw at the Larkinsons, they would become a part of the clan one way or another!
Once the Purnessers had all been ferried over to the Spirit of Bentheim, Ves finally made his entry.
At first, a loud impact rang through the hangar bay as the Bright Warriors stationed in the cavernous compartment all stomped the deck with their feet!
The Purnessers and their retainers immediately fell silent.
The entrance at the opposite side slid open in order to allow for the entry of Ves, Lucky, Calabast and an honor guard.
The latter two did not attract too much attention but Ves definitely did. He marched forward while being shadowed by a formidable squad of bodyguards. Though Ves opted to greet the Purnessers in his uniform, he exuded a martial and domineering air that was common to military leaders such as Patriarch Reginald Cross.
The Larkinson Clan was not an aristocratic organization. It was not a military organization either, but it definitely leaned in that direction.
The behavior of the Bright Warriors, the guards that were keeping them in place and the method of entry chosen by Ves all emphasized these differences!
Shederin Purnesse and Novilon Purnesse stood in front of their family members. They both bowed but did not take the initiative to open their mouths.
As diplomats, they recognized the power imbalance between their almost-ruined family and the prosperous Larkinson Clan. Ves enjoyed all of the initiative by virtue of grasping all of their lives!
When Ves reached an appropriate distance, he surveyed the crowd in person. Studying their behaviors through the monitoring system already gave him a good idea what he was dealing with, but inspecting them in person allowed him to observe them in other ways.
The Purnessers felt scared, lost and traumatized. However, they still clung to their own pride and insisted on keeping their heads high in front of their future leader.
Their feelings towards the Larkinson Clan were mixed.
On the one hand, they were very grateful that the foreigners took the initiative to rescue them at a considerable cost.
On the other hand, they never wanted to abandon their comfortable lives in the Grand Loxic Republic and become a part of a nomadic, space-faring fleet.
The latter began to weigh more heavily in their minds now that the reality of the situation started to settle in. Hundreds of Purnessers had even begun to cry!
Ves did not pay much mind to them, though. He still maintained his superior smirk.
"Purnessers. Welcome to the Larkinson Fleet. While I would like to welcome you as Larkinsons, I'm afraid you are not ready to adopt the Larkinson name. Before you become a part of our clan and start your new lives in our fleet, you must go through a process of adaptation. Right now, I'm afraid that few of you are aware of what becoming a Larkinson exactly means. That must be corrected."
A lot of Purnessers began to frown.
Novilon Purnesse cautiously raised his hand. "Patriarch Larkinson, pardon me for asking, but what must be done in order to satisfy your requirements."
"It's quite simple, Mr. Novilon. You and the rest of your family simply have to go through a short training program in order to become familiar with our culture."
"Are you talking about… military training, patriarch?"
A lot of Purnessers shuddered at this mention!
Fortunately, Ves denied this possibility.
"Have no fear. I don't intend to push you beyond your limits. I just want you to go through a brief and gentle training regime in order to help you deal with your trauma. It will also encourage you to move on with your lives and embrace what our clan can offer to you. At the same time, the experiences you will go through in the next weeks will help you gain a greater understanding of your fellow Larkinsons!"
Even though Ves did not say anything extreme, the smirk on his face hinted that the training program he had in mind would definitely be fishy!
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