The Mech Touch

Chapter 5814 Sweetening the Offer
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Chapter 5814 Sweetening the Offer

5814 Sweetening the Offer

Ves let out a deep breath.

The future of the Larkinson Clan had changed forever.

For the first time in its short history, the young organization was on track to gain near-complete possession of two different orbital shipyards!

This meant that the Larkinson Clan had taken a major step towards entering the big leagues.

It still had a long way to go before it could be regarded as a proper first-rate power.

It needed to hire a lot more first-raters.

It had to take over actual territory, and not rely solely on occupying space on other people's turf.

It also had to build up a complete and fully functioning first-

class mech force.

However, all of that could be accomplished with enough time and effort.

Obtaining first-class starships and more importantly the capacity to build them was one of the most difficult goals to complete, and he had just managed to fulfill it. That was why he felt so happy at the moment.

No longer would the Larkinson Clan become bottlenecked by its inability to procure first-class starships that were powerful and resilient enough to keep up with the highest level of warfare.

So long as all of the deals went through without issue, Ves knew for certain that his clan would enjoy a smooth growth trajectory for multiple years to come. He had effectively solved the persistent challenge of procuring enough first-

class starships to prepare his clan for future struggles.

Of course, it would be even better if he could acquire a number of second-class shipyards. The Larkinson Clan maintained a strong presence in the second-class community. It would be a shame to throw away this advantage by over-

prioritizing the Premier Branch of his clan.

In any case, he could think about this later. He still had an auction to conclude. He clapped his hand to signal a resumption of the process.

"Alright. Now that I have fulfilled my main objective, I am much more open to other bids for the remaining 15 percent of shares in my mech company. There are three lots remaining that hold 5 percent of outstanding stock in the LMC each. We shall follow the regular process this time. Let the second round of bidding commence!"

Many people had been waiting for this. They previously remained silent and refrained from placing bids because their respective groups weren't willing to give up their precious shipyards for just 5 percent ownership in the LMC.

They still had a lot of other stuff that they would be glad to exchange instead.

This was the time for them to shine!

A Terran representative immediately rose from his seat.

"The Shuku Ancient Clan is willing to bid a 51 percent stake in Roteron Security, a first-class mercenary company that is able to field over 1200 first-class multipurpose mechs at maximum. Roteron Security maintains a small fleet that has recently suffered losses due to its latest mercenary contract, but is still able to convey roughly 400 first-class mechs into battle. Its remaining mechs have largely been allocated to training or lengthy defense missions."

There was no better way to bolster his security by acquiring a readily available first-class mech force.

Perhaps it might not sound like a good deal for him to trade a lot of future wealth for a first-class mech force that Ves should be able to raise himself over a span of a few years.

The question was whether he would remain safe enough for the foreseeable future.

Ves did not dare to make too many assumptions about how much of a danger he was in right now. The Bluejay Fleet was already powerful enough, and would become even more capable of fending off threats after reinforcements had arrived.

Whether that was enough for him to fend of every threat remained uncertain, but Ves did not feel inclined to accept this bid.

"Not enough." He shook his head. "51 percent ownership is nice, but that still leaves a large voice in the company."

"We are willing to raise our bid to 75 percent!"

"That sounds better, but it is barely acceptable in my opinion."

"Move over, Shuku. Your defeated and demoralized mercenaries are no good in battle at the moment." A woman interrupted. "The Nayald Ancient Clan is ready to offer an entire planet within our territory in the Caesarion Upper Zone. We have an ample number of unoccupied planets within the region of space that we have claimed for ourselves. We are willing to grant you the privilege of choosing any planet from any star system that has not yet been developed by our ancient clan and partners. You may do as you wish and build any kind of base or settlement as you would like. We will also include discounted access to terraforming and colony development services on top of an interest-free loan of 1 trillion MTA credits to our offer."

Ves blinked. He was not sure what to make of it. He already expected that someone would offer him an entire planet, but he did not think it would happen straight away!

Still, he needed to offer a proper response to this remarkable bid.

"Rejected." Ves said. "Even if I started off as a pioneer when I entered the Red Ocean, I am not too keen on investing huge amounts of funding and resources into building an entire colony settlement from scratch. I am aware of how lucrative this can be as there are enough resource-rich planets available in the upper zones, but I have just accepted two different bids that entail taking possession of two expensive orbital shipyards. I cannot in good conscience accept any further bids that will impose even greater strain to my clan's finances. As much as I am willing to consider the offer made by the Nayald Ancient Clan, the initial burdens are too great and it will take too long to turn this colony into a profitable asset for my clan."

Ves was not sure, but he guessed that a sizable majority of colonies in the new frontier still hadn't become profitable up to this point. There was just too much stuff that people needed to build in order to establish enough housing, industry and defenses.

The higher the class, the more expensive it became!

It was really cheap to build third-class colony settlements on an unremarkable planet, which was why there were so many of them in the lower zones.

First-class colony settlements occupied the opposite end of the spectrum. Their capital requirements were so enormous that only the larger players of the old galaxy could fund them on a wider scale.

Ves had a strong suspicion that the dividends earned from Isthmus Manufacturing would not allow him to cover the enormous cost of building a proper first-class colony in an upper zone!

The only way to make this viable was to dedicate the Starfarer Berth and the E-66 Experimental Yard to commercial production and to go deep into debt.

While Ves might have considered this approach if red humanity was relatively secure, he could not go through with this course during a time of war.

"Besides, the Caesarion Upper Zone is not exactly secure from what I have heard." Ves added in order to offer more clarification. "I am well aware that the reason why this upper zone still boasts a decent amount of free real estate is because it is vulnerable to alien incursions. Unlike the risky zones Rubarthan Pact which at least enjoys the protection of two god pilots, the border regions of the Terran Alliance can only count on the Light of Sol."

A lot of Terrans did not like it when Ves openly exposed this vulnerability.

That did not make it any less true. The cold hard reality was that the Terran Alliance was arguably the weakest of the four big human powers.

The Red Association took on a lot of responsibilities, but enjoyed the services of multiple god pilots and Star Designers.

The Red Fleet fielded 8 dreadnoughts and did not have a lot of real estate to protect.

The Rubarthan Pact not only enjoyed the protection of two powerful god pilots, but also possessed a more unified defense against alien incursions.

Unlike the Terran Alliance which largely inherited the decentralized nature of the Greater Terran United Confederation, the Rubarthan Pact was supposed to be ruled by a single Star Emperor.

Just because the Rubarthans in the Red Ocean had become leaderless due to the Great Severing did not mean that their centralized institutions fell apart! ๐“๐‘–๐’ท๐‘Ÿ๐˜ฆ๐’ถ๐‘‘.๐’ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ

Despite the ongoing struggle between the Rubarthan princes, they weren't stupid enough to splinter their colonial superstate apart even further.

Their military mech armies still maintained their cohesion and coordinated extensively with each other in order to fulfill their common objectives.

All of this caused the Rubarthan Pact to suffer comparably less losses than the Terran Alliance up to this point.

As nice as it was for the Terrans to reject the notion of taking orders from a single tyrant, the age-old rivalries between their ancient clans had always caused them to be responsible for their own defenses.

That was good news for the ancient clans that fielded larger mech armies or occupied more secure territories.

It was a pity that the Nayald Ancient Clan was not in a secure position! Its circumstances were comparable to that of the Devos Ancient Clan, which also worried about whether a strong enemy offensive might sweep away its vulnerable star systems.

In short, taking over an entire planet to do as he wished did not sound as attractive as it appeared on the surface!

The huge interest-free loan certainly made it a lot more economical to found a decent first-class colony on an empty planet, but it was a giant decoy as far as Ves was concerned.

He had to admit that he was a little tempted to accept the offer anyway. Interest-free loans pretty much translated to free money because they implicitly did not come with the expectation of ever paying back the entire principal.

If neither Ves nor the Nayald Ancient Clan kicked up a fuss, they could just remain silent and pretend that it didn't exist in the first place. This happened so often in these kinds of circles that even he knew about these shady arrangements.

In case Ves and the Nayald Ancient Clan ever fell out and became enemies for whatever reason, he could always default on the loan, though he would incur a large hit to his reputation and credibility if he went through with this decision.

He shook his head. This was inconsequential because he did not intend to found an expensive first-class colony on a planet that was located close enough to the frontlines to become vulnerable to alien incursions.

The representative of the Nayald Ancient Clan frowned for a time, but did not sit down. She was probably communicating with a more senior Nayald leader.

"We would like to revise our offer. Our Ancient Clan maintains the prior terms, but you may gain ownership of an entire star system within our territory as long as no other party has occupied it in a permanent capacity. Furthermore, our ancient clan is also ready to offer you 1.5 trillion MTA credits in the form of an interest-free loan. This is the highest that we can go. You will also be able to call on our local patrols to pass by your star system more often for the ensuing 5 years."

These were powerful sweeteners. The Nayalds had shown a lot of sincerity by making its terms a lot more attractive.

The Terrans were really clever. They had made their bid so much more attractive that Ves could not readily dismiss it anymore.

Ves furrowed his brows.

Owning an entire star system was a welcome step up from owning a single planet.

The larger interest-free loan meant that he would not have to burden the finances of his clan to build an expensive colony.

Additional patrols from the armed forces of the Terran Alliance should hopefully reduce the risk of suffering catastrophic losses due to incidental alien raids.

In short, the cost and risks associated with building a genuine first-class colony for the Larkinson Clan had fallen within a range that Ves could tolerate!

Even if he did not have a strong need to build such a colony, Ves would be a fool to turn down such a profitable offer.

"Iโ€ฆ find your bid acceptable."

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