Chapter 2886: Dubious Scheme
Ketis had no way to judge whether Angelique\'s theories had any basis in reality.
A part of her wanted to dismiss the Journeyman\'s fantastical claims as nationalist myths.
Having traveled through numerous states, she had already become exposed to different cultures.
One of the observations she made was that every state made up stories in order to stand out.
It was easier to inspire and unite citizens if they all believed in the same claims that somehow inflated their pride and belonging to the state!
Yet the theories that Ketis learned appealed to her as an avid swordswoman and a passionate swordsman mech designer.
Some stories just sounded so good to her that she didn\'t want them to be wrong!
Of course, this was not the approach she was supposed to adopt as a mech designer and an engineer.
While it was fine to become attached to certain theories, someone who was steeped in the sciences must always try to be as objective as possible.
Any person who failed to apply objective criteria to judge any theory was biased as best and a conspiracy theorist at worst!
It was due to her background as a mech designer that she was ultimately reluctant to
As she began to think further on what Angelique said, she noticed a small but important incongruity.
In one instance, she claimed that the MTA based its mech piloting tradition on swordsmanship tradition.
Once the mechers got what they wanted, they suppressed the swordmasters and pushed them away from the center of human civilization in order to marginalize the truth.
While all of this sounded plausible, Ketis couldn\'t help but recall that the Heavensword Association indeed predated the rise of mechs and the MTA.
How could the Heavensworders be exiled to the edge of human space when the MTA didn\'t formally exist as of yet Even if mechs already existed before the Age of Mechs, they were still obscure at the time! Before entering the mainstream, the early supporters of mechs shouldn\'t have been powerful at all.
How could they ever exert enough pressure to kick swordmasters out of the galactic center
This strange and obvious inconsistency caused Ketis to grow more cautious about embracing the nice-sounding claims.
She had spent enough time with Ves to know that if something sounded too good to be true, it was usually a scam!
Ketis began to suspect that the Heavensworders weren\'t honest and upright as their public image attested.
Perhaps Angelique Harcourt had more in common with the old man than she thought.
The Heavensworders obsessed too much over how special they were compared to other humans.
While swordmasters sounded like amazing people, Ketis was deeply aware of how irrelevant they were in modern society.
So what if swordmasters could employ superpowers Were they capable of defeating a mech No! If any swordmaster was foolish enough to challenge even the cheapest mech, the latter could easily end the battle by squashing its foot on the puny human.
If a swordmaster just happened to be powerful enough to pose a threat to a mech, then he or she could still be defeated with ease by getting shot by a mech-grade rifle!
Even if Ketis was generous enough to assume that there were some rare individuals who could do the impossible like the Heavensword Saint, that still didn\'t change the point.
How many of them were there in the Heavensword Association Probably no more than ten, and that was a generous estimate.
Compared to the paltry number of swordmasters who were capable of challenging mechs, the amount of mechs and mech pilots was much greater! Any random outfit could easily slay a legendary figure like the Heavensword Saint despite the immense disparity in importance and significance between the two.
Swordmasters were simply too far behind the times to stay relevant!
Maybe that is the true reason why the swordsmanship tradition has never been able to rise again. Ketis guessed.
It takes a disproportionate amount of time and effort for an entire population to produce a single swordmaster.
If that person is also an expert pilot, then he can at least defeat hundreds of mechs in battle, but if he doesn\'t possess any genetic aptitude, then there is hardly any point!
She was well aware that her own pursuit of swordsmanship could be described in the same light.
She had it easier than other people, though.
Not only did the candies allow her to retain both of her pursuits without falling behind, her attainments in swordsmanship directly improved her ability as a mech designer.
In this context, she believed she successfully distinguished herself from the foolish Heavensworders.
Her thinking eventually caused her to voice a declaration.
I am a mech designer first and a swordswoman second.
From the moment she said those words, she felt that everything was right in the cosmos.
For a long time, she tried to be good at both in equal measures.
It was only after she began to focus more on the latter that she recognized that this was her true calling.
Even though she liked to become good at wielding swords, if she truly had to make a choice, she could live without using her sword in battle ever again!
What I can\'t imagine is never designing another mech in my life!
If she was in Angelique Harcourt\'s position, she would have made the same choice.
Becoming a good swordswoman sounded nice, but if she was better at designing mechs, then it was a smarter idea to focus on the latter.
It\'s just like how mech pilots never try to become mech designers and vice versa.
No human in the galaxy can possibly be good at both.
Even without the hurdle of genetic aptitude, mech designers would still be reluctant to waste too much time in becoming an excellent mech pilot.
The most likely outcome was that they would become mediocre and forgettable in both professions.
Ketis had always been aware that she was in danger of suffering a similar fate.
Though she already affirmed that she would never let her swordsmanship pursuit affect her mech design career, for now her unique circumstances gave her the luxury to have it both ways.
That might change once she became a Journeyman or Senior and had to devote more time on her mech designs in order to keep up with Ves.
She never forgot about her goal of catching up with her mentor.
She wanted him to treat her as an equal instead of his student!
When Ketis returned to the villa and reunited with her fellow Swordmaidens, she only hung out with them for a short time before Venerable Dise entered the room and issued a summons.
Please follow me.
There is something we need to discuss.
A minute later, Ketis entered an office room.
Three people were already present aside from Vnerable Dise.
While she expected the presence of Commander Sendra and Angelique Harcourt, she was completely flabbergasted by the presence of the last person.
Hello, Miss Ketis.
Am I pronouncing your name correctly The old mech pilot from the Sword Graveyard greeted.
Ketis did not deign to reciprocate the greeting.
Instead, she threw a stony look at the other Swordmaidens in the room.
What is the meaning of this Did you get hoodwinked by this shameless old scammer
Commander Sendra chuckled while Venerable Dise let out an awkward cough.
Ketis… please calm down.
There\'s a reason why he is here, and it is not because we fell for his scam.
Are you sure about that Because to me, it seems that you are just about to convince me to fall for his scheme as well
BE SERIOUS, KETIS. Venerable Dise flared her force of will.
NOW SIT DOWN AND LET US EXPLAIN.
Ketis instantly grew meek and sat down on her chair like a good little Swordmaidens.
Prior to calling you in, Director Fred Walinksi sought us out in order to make an intriguing offer to us. Commander Sendra began to explain.
How the hell did he manage to track me down
Oh, that\'s easy. The old man casually said.
I recorded your appearance and searched for it on the galactic net.
It turns out you are taking part in the personal combat tournaments, so I quickly learned your name and your affiliation.
After that, it is a simple matter of calling in some favors in order to find where you are staying.
Even if our Annihilator Sword School is close to becoming extinct, I still have some means!
Ketis glowered at the supposed director of the sword school.
This sounded awfully close to stalking! Shouldn\'t it be a crime for creepy old men to track down the address of innocent young girls
Commander Sendra remained amused throughout the exchange.
Ahem, while I am aware you don\'t have the greatest impression of Director Walinski, he has prepared an offer to us that happens to complement our overall goals.
That alone is well worth hearing him out.
Will you do so, Ketis
Seeing that she wasn\'t able to get out of this predicament in any other way, Ketis slumped her shoulders.
What is this all about, then
When we initially entered the Heavensword Association, we always planned to remain modest.
We don\'t want to follow in the footsteps of our patriarch and cause so much disruption that the locals would paint a target on our backs.
That is why even if we have the tools and means to perform better in the tournaments, we still insist on holding back in order to avoid rocking the boat.
That is a clever approach.
We don\'t need to perform too well in order to meet our goal. Ketis commented.
We can do better. Sendra stated.
While we didn\'t have this option before, Director Walinksi\'s cooperation has given us an alternative.
Ketis had a feeling that she wouldn\'t like what she was about to hear.
Does that have anything to do with the Annihilator Sword School
The old man grinned.
That\'s right, young lady! I am offering it to you with no strings attached! As long as you formally consent to taking it over, you will not only become the owner of an authentic Heavensword institution, but also gain access to the library of techniques and dogma that underpin my brother\'s Annihilator Sword Style.
Whether you choose to change your sword style or use what you have learned to augment your existing style, the gap between you and the seeded competitors will definity narrow!
What is the point of that I don\'t want to be bothered by all of this irrelevant stuff!
Ah, that is where you are wrong, Miss Ketis.
You see, as long as you officially become the new head of the Annihilator Sword School, you will automatically gain the identity that matches it.
In concrete terms, it means that you will effectively become a citizen of the Heavensword Association.
It would be even better if you manage to get recognized as a swordmaster after the tournament.
In that case, you won\'t just become the interim director, but become the absolute head of your new sword school, which will allow you to make any changes you want to it.
You can even change our Annihilator Sword Style if you wish!
While Ketis wondered why she even needed all of that, Commander Sendra directly got to the point.
Ketis, if you become the head of his sword school, you\'ll effectively become an insider to the Heavensword Association.
The people here don\'t care if you were just a foreigner until recently.
They care much more about your attainments in swordsmanship than stuff like that.
As long as you show you have the potential to become a swordmaster, the Heavensworders won\'t mind if you go further in the tournament.
In fact, they\'ll cheer you on as much as they do with any native participant!
The woman in question still remained dubious about this plan.
All of this sounds nice and well, but I have seen some of the skill employed by those who can make it this far.
They are extremely good swordsmen and I don\'t have the confidence to perform well at this level.
You are being too modest.
Have you forgotten about the Annihilator Sword Style I\'m sure that it can teach you a thing or two if you go over its scriptures.
Even so, with your special greatsword and your battle-tested skills, it is not impossible for you to reach the later stages of the tournament! As long as you get in the top 100, you\'ll not only be able to attract more recruits for us, but also raise the quality of applicants, which will help us make the Swordmaidens stronger on a much shorter timeline!
You don\'t understand the attraction of a successful sword school yet. The old man said with a taunting smile.
As long as you perform well and defeat a couple of seeded competitors, you will undoubtedly be able to signal the rejuvenation of our Annihilator Sword School! While I don\'t expect your performance to attract billions of applicants like the top sword schools, it should not be a problem to convince ten-thousand or so swordsmen to approach our sword school.
Think about how the Larkinson Clan would react if we came back with thousands of swordsman mech pilots and elite infantry soldiers.
Wouldn\'t that be a sight We would instantly turn from the weakest mech force to the strongest one in the clan! Sendra exclaimed.
What an ambitious dream!
So this was why Venerable Dise and Commander Sendra supported this dubious scheme! While Ketis could understand the logic behind the plan, it sounded way too shaky to her! All this nonsense about taking over a derelict sword school and performing well in the tournament might actually help the Swordmaidens to become great again!
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