At the appointed time, Ves made his way back to the main hall of the Grand Skyward. Right now, the flying exhibition hall had risen far above Bentheim's surface and entered into space.
Specialized towing ships latched on to the Grand Skyward's superstructure and carefully moved it further away from orbit and the busy traffic in the vicinity.
Ves picked up Lucky and held his pet in his grasp as the pair became the center of attention once again. He walked forward with confident steps. He tried to convey the belief that he was absolutely assured that his new mechs would exceed everyone's expectations!
The extraordinary measures he resorted to should make sure that the Shield of Samar would definitely be able to make a splash!
"I've given you plenty of chances to elevate your performance, Jannzi. It's up to you now to see whether you understood the gist of what I've been trying to impart."
He could have given her some more advice. Ves hadn't mentioned anything about the exobeast the Aurora Titan had been partially based upon. If Jannzi became fully aware of the Sacred God known as Qilanxo, then she would have been able to align herself much closer to her mech!
Yet how could Ves explain something like that without exposing his secrets? As much as he liked Jannzi, he still reserved his judgement with regards to her commitment to Ves, the LMC and the Avatars of Myth. Just because she was family did not mean that Ves trusted her unconditionally.
The example of Raella running off to join the Blood Claws came to mind. While she hadn't specifically betrayed Ves, she willfully abandoned her responsibilities in order to pursue her own passion.
Giving Jannzi the mistaken impression that Ves had employed advanced technological means to make his mechs adaptable should be sufficient for now.
If a true mech designer heard this story, they would definitely dismiss it as nonsense if they had access to the full design schematics. Instead, they'd likely guess that the special quality that Ves imparted to his mechs came from his design philosophy, which came awfully close to the truth.
Ves would have to explain his design philosophy more clearly to mech designers some day, especially if he wanted to collaborate with them. He had already tasted the benefits of collaborating with a competent mech designer and wanted to do more projects like this in the future.
He quickly put that thought out of his mind as he walked up the middle of the stage. He took a deep breath and centered himself again. He could not afford any distractions from this point onwards.
"Thank you for your patience. I know the ride into space can take a rather long time, but the wait is almost over! We have almost reached the asteroid which will provide the venue to demonstrate the capabilities of the Aurora Titan!"
The crowd responded more enthusiastically when the backdrop of the enormous wall behind Ves turned transparent.
The main hall had turned into a giant observation chamber!
The instant the wall turned transparent, five Aurora Titans flew into sight and performed a couple of fancy, synchronized maneuvers!
The white mechs made for a mesmerizing sight that instantly attracted the attention from the audience. Their golden, glowing wings and the golden aftertrail emanating from their Rescue Particle Generator that only faded away after a couple of seconds made them look incredibly radiant!
Various projections appeared as well in order to provide a better view of the mechs. The Shield of Samar took the lead position in the 5-mech V-shaped formation. Ves only regretted that he hadn't customized its appearance to reflect its special status.
He could only remedy that issue afterwards.
As the crowd became distracted by the slow but smooth coordinated space maneuvers of the show models, the towing vessels placed the Grand Skyward relative to the nearby asteroid that had been towed all the way to Bentheim's high orbit.
The Grand Skyward hosted many mech trials in space. They were more than aware of the dangers of discharging an improperly aimed weapon.
It would be disastrous is a mech armed with a kinetic rifle fired a slug at a mech, only for the projectile to miss and travel onwards towards the surface of the planet!
Although some projectiles would burn up and vaporize during their violent descent into Bentheim's atmosphere, the tougher ones retained enough mass to pose a deadly threat to any vehicles and people at the end of their trajectories!
Therefore, the local government mandated that all space trials in the vicinity of Bentheim would either have to use a moon or an asteroid as a backstop to block all lasers and rounds from projecting into deep space!
Although the chance that these projectiles would travel onwards until they hit a starship or a mech that happened to be in the way was miniscule, it could not be ruled out!
Therefore, only until the Grand Skyward and the mechs traveled fairly close to the asteroid could they proceed with the demonstrations.
One of the Aurora Titans moved forward until it stood in front of a dummy that stood for a friendly rifleman mech.
"The Aurora Titan is entirely focused around defense, so the upcoming demonstrations will fully showcase their defensive ability. The first demonstration will showcase the resilience of its thick tower shield and its Pisaro armor system. No other defensive method will be employed for now, and the weapons used against the Aurora Titan will be a mixture of the three most common ranged weapons used by mechs in space."
Three mechs appeared a distance away. One of them wielded a laser rifle. Another one wielded a kinetic rifle. The last one wielded a handheld missile launcher.
All three mechs began to fire at the dummy mech, only for the Aurora Titan to block the incoming firepower! Though no sound propagated in space, the audience could feel the powerful impact and the damage the weapons inflicted!
The attacking mechs were using real mech weapons that hadn't been weakened from their standard parameters!
If Ves wasn't absolutely confident about the Aurora Titan's defensive prowess, he would have never approved of this demonstration so easily!
"As you can see, the tower shield is slowly being whittled away." Ves narrated the proceedings. "By default, the Aurora Titan is supplied with a thick tower shield made of uncompressed alloy. While not as resilient to damage as a shield made of compressed alloy, it is much more convenient and affordable to replace and repair in the field. Its sheer thickness ensured that it will take a lot of firepower to break through this barrier!"
Eventually, the shield succumbed, but not after withstanding several minutes of focused attacks!
Laser beams, kinetic rounds and errant missiles soon began impact against the surface of the mech.
This was a very dangerous situation for the mech pilot in the Aurora Titan! If the design possessed any critical flaws, the mech pilot might inadvertently suffer injuries in case of an accident!
Ves did not allow any of his doubts affect his confident facade. He could only hope the demonstrations would succeed in giving his Aurora Titans a moment to shine.
"As you can see, its Pisaro armor system is able to hold out well against all types of damage. The Aurora Titan is larger than regular medium knights, which means it has more surface area to disperse any incoming damage. Its armor is able to provide excellent protection from the front and decent protection from the rear as long as the Aurora Titan retracts its semi-foldable flight system."
The incoming fire eventually led to serious-looking breaches as individual armor plating finally began to buckle! Ves suppressed his wince as best as he could as he imagined the serious internal damage the mech was suffering as some of the firepower spilled into the internals of the mech.
Yet Ves kept reminding himself that all of this had been planned beforehand! The mech under fire ought to be able to hold against this much damage!
The audience didn't think that much. Instead, they felt pain for such a beautiful and compelling mech being marred and ruined by all of the incoming fire! Wasn't Ves concerned about killing the mech pilot?! Some of the breaches were very close to the cockpit!
"There is nothing to be concerned about! The Aurora Titan's exquisite internal design incorporates extensive damage control measures added by Professor Corus Ventag! His work ensures that even if the mech suffers breaches in its armor, the machine will still be able to maintain its core functionality through the use of redundant channels and parts and compartmentalizing them into separate internal chambers!"
The attacking mechs eventually stopped firing, sparing the beaten-up Aurora Titan from becoming completely ruined.
Seconds later, the Aurora Titan unfolded its mostly-intact flight system and began to fly around like a triumphant survivor!
The audienced oohed and awed at the remarkable sight! The mech withstood so much damage but could still muster up the ability to fly back to the Grand Skyward's hangar bay!
"This is just the start." Ves grinned. "The next test will showcase its other defensive means."
Subsequent Aurora Titans began to showcase its polarizing modules. Glowing white fields covered various sections of their shields and armor. The large amount of laser beams they blocked while leaving very few signs of damage to the mechs themselves impressed the crowd yet again.
The polarizing fields also performed decently against ballistic shells and missiles, but buckled fairly quickly against kinetic rounds.
The next Aurora Titan showcased its ability to employ its alien crystals to absorb laser fire retaliate by firing radiant light beams from the charged crystals!
The accuracy of the retaliatory light beams were very poor as the Aurora Titan had never been designed to accommodate ranged weaponry. This was also why the Aurora Titan hit a large dummy target only a few hundred meters away. Such a target was so close that even the most inept marksman mech pilot would be able to land a hit!
The unexpected lightshow emanating from the mech drew a considerable amount of fascination from the enraptured audience. This was exactly what Ves wanted to achieve.
All of the demonstrations had meticulously been planned weeks beforehand in order to provide the best impression of the mechs without coming off as inauthentic.
This came into play when an Aurora Titan flew forward with its broadsword ready to strike against an opposing swordsman mech.
Normally, the Aurora Titan would not be able to beat a melee mech in equal combat.
However, it was a very different case this time because the opposing mech pilots were very familiar with each other! They already practiced the choreography in the simulators until they memorized the moves by heart!
The Aurora Titan in question entered into a measured duel against the swordsman mech. While the swordman mech was lighter and swifter with its sword, the Aurora Titan easily showed off its ability to withstand errant sword blows while dishing out powerful counterattacks with its strong limbs!
The message that Ves tried to convey here was that the Aurora Titan was not useless in melee combat! It merely had to employ specialized fighting styles developed specifically for slow-moving mechs!
Once the fourth Aurora Titan 'convincingly' won the duel by sacrificing portions of its armor, the time for the Shield of Samar step had arrived!
As Jannzi maneuvered her mech into place in front of a dummy mech, Ves worked up the crowd.
"The next and final demonstration will showcase all of the capabilities of the Aurora Titan shown thus far when used in unison! My cousin, Jannzi Larkinson, will be facing against ten ranged mechs and one melee mech! As the opposing force will do their best to destroy the dummy mech behind her, Jannzi will use every means possible to hold out as long as she can against the onslaught! Even outnumbered by eleven-to-one, the Aurora Titan will still stand strong!"
This was it. While the choreographed demonstrations up to this point had excited the crowd, Ves wanted to achieve more. The audience may have developed a good impression of the Aurora Titan's capabilities, but that was far from convincing potential mech buyers to order the mechs!
Only by showcasing all of the Aurora Titan's capabilities at once during an extremely arduous demonstration would the mech be able to bloom in full splendor!