The selection process ended without a single pick! The beast rider project received a lot of criticism. Why didn't the mech pilots receive more time to make their case? Why couldn't they prod Qilanxo into making up her mind?
Some even cursed Qilanxo directly for being an uncooperative beast. Was she even sentient, or did all of the eggheads overestimate her intelligence?
The giant chamber built around Qilanxo seemed much emptier now that he mech pilots and most of the researcher left. The few people around mainly consisted of exobiologists in charge of studying Qilanxo's body properties and helping her heal her wounds.
While grievous, her wounds made remarkable strides in recovering. Much of her recovery came through her own body's remarkable capacity for recovery.
Any god species underwent numerous battles for dominance and survival as they grew for hundreds of years. If they couldn't recover from a difficult battle, then none of the god species would have been able to make it past a hundred years.
The most the Vandal exobiologists accomplished at this stage was to accelerate her healing by a small amount. They treated infections, cut out diseased portions of flesh and treated irradiated portions with antirad treatments.
The more Qilanxo improved in health, the less irritable she became. She remained awake for quite a bit longer, though she usually spent her time staring at the walls and the humans buzzing about her giant form.
"I'm sorry none of our mech pilots appealed to you. I didn't expect their quality to be so bad." He apologized to Qilanxo. He felt no apprehension at talking to a formidable sacred god. Instead, he felt just as exasperated. "I'll find better candidates for you. There are better Vandals and Swordmaidens among us. You don't have to be lonely for long."
Qilanxo released a soft roar in response. Despite the unintelligible nature of the roar, Ves made an educated guess about the meaning behind the sound.
"Don't be like that. Commander Lydia and Captain Byrd won't feel reassured if you are left without partners who can understand what is going on in your mind. We'll chop you up for god meat hamburgers if you remain too stubborn, you know."
This time, Qilanxo released an aggressive roar at Ves. It came so ferociously that Ves almost bowled over due to the wind and the awful smell released from her maw. Some of the researchers even became alarmed, thinking that the exobeast might snap from some provocation.
"Nothing's wrong, guys! Go back to work!" Ves called back to the gawking onlookers. He ignored their attention and turned back to the sacred god. "As for you, don't give me that attitude. I know that sacred gods like you are used to doing what you want, but you're not in an ancient city anymore. We come from across the stars, and we descended on this world to complete a very arduous mission. Whether we manage to gain your cooperation or not isn't as vital as you think."
He attempted to give Qilanxo some perspective. If she remained stubborn to her exacting ways and kept refusing the mech pilots they served up, then her usefulness came to an end. No matter how much her defensive powers assisted the Vandals, if the Flagrant Swordmaidens couldn't control her, then they might be inviting disaster upon themselves.
For example, Qilanxo merely had to retract her space barrier at a critical moment in order to let those sheltering underneath take the brunt of enemy fire.
While pairing her up with a couple of beast riders wouldn't prevent this problem, it at least allowed the humans to keep tabs the sacred god.
Ves found it to be a rather novel experience. It was as if the Flagrant Swordmaidens got their hands on an amazingly powerful mech, but feared being led to their doom its decisions and actions.
A mech should always benefit their owners! Even though Ves hadn't entirely followed this basic principle, he still carved it in his heart. At least in ordinary circumstances, a mech should never be a liability or a double-edged sword.
After some time, Qilanxo released a reluctant-sounded roar.
"I'm glad you came to your senses. For better or worse, your time with Samar is over. Your service with the Vandals and the Swordmaidens is just beginning. What happened in the past is over and done. Rather than keep lamenting on what you lost, try and look forward and think of the future. As long as you prove to be cooperative and helpful to us, it's not out of the question for us to strengthen you. We've recovered a lot of god crystals, you know. Perhaps our exobiologists figure out how to embed additional ones into your hide."
The amount of god crystals a sacred god incorporated into its body was a direct marker of their strength and status. Those with the highest number of crystals could store up much more energy and dominate over the lessers endowed with fewer crystals.
If Ves spoke the truth, then Qilanxo might be able to rise from the ashes from her defeat! She quickly let out an enthusiastic roar.
"That's the spirit." Ves smiled. "We're not all that bad. If your mate hadn't decided to attack us, then we wouldn't have been forced to defend ourselves. We initially approached the ancient city of Samar because we wanted to trade. There's nor reason why we can't make a different transaction between ourselves."
Qilanxo responded with a neutral-sounding roar.
Ves felt as if he came to a verbal accord with Qilanxo.
"Well, I'll go off and fetch your candidates. I already have the people in mind.
He exited the chamber with firm destinations in mind. While he still remained in this strangely perceptive state, he wanted to approach the possible candidates instead of letting them come to Qilanxo. They'd only be wasting their time if they brought her more unworthy mech pilots.
Due to the distance, Ves had to ride a fast transport back to the camp. Once there, he accessed the records and found the location of the first mech pilot in mind. He went through the camp and came to what looked like a bar.
Ignoring the revelry and chatter, Ves strode across the drinking men and women and came across his target.
"Huh? Ves? Whadda you want?"
"Do you want to become a beast rider?"
It took her three seconds to process the request.
"Aren't mech officers supposed to be barred from trying?"
"Qilanxo is pickier than we thought. None of the mech pilots shown so far are worthy in her eyes. Do you think you can do better?"
"Heck yea! I'm one of the best mech pilots in the Vandals!"
He knew it didn't take much convincing to gain Captain Orfan's cooperation. As he looked at her tipsy form, he initially didn't think she qualified.
However, despite her faults, she was a supremely confident mech pilot who possessed an actual personality as opposed to the rigid cookie-cutter Swordmaidens.
As someone who made it to the rank of captain, she also possessed a lot of leadership experience, and while Ves wouldn't call her a good leader by any means, at least she possessed the minimum chops to be regarded as one. In any case, many Vandals looked up to her, making her used to the attention she received.
The final criteria that made her worthy in his eyes was that she had actually dueled a sacred god and even won. Having faced a sacred god in battle, Captain Orfan gained a unique appreciation of the beasts, and knew first-hand how powerful and dangerous they might be. Ye the duel had also taught her that they could be defeated as long as she was strong enough.
Once he gained her agreement, Ves pulled her out of the bar and crossed over to the Swordmaiden side of the camp. After a round of asking for directions, they came to one of the mech stables and found Lieutenant Dise watching over her swordsman mech.
The same reasons that made Captain Orfan somewhat suitable also applied to Lieutenant Dise of the Swordmaiden. More than the Vandal mech captain, Dise appreciated the power of the sacred gods the most.
The only complication with regards to Lieutenant Dise was that she was one of those exobeast hunting fanatics among the Swordmaidens.
Ves hoped that her quick defeat at the hands of Hokaz, the Tyrant of the Wastes, instilled her with enough humility to avoid regarding Qilanxo as prey.
"Lieutenant Dise, I've come to extend an invitation to you. Would you like the opportunity to ride a beast?"
"I'm in." She replied without hesitation.
Ves didn't need to hear anything else. Every mech pilot dreamed of riding atop a majestic beast like Qilanxo.
He brought the two officers back to a fast transport that conveyed them to the holding chamber. During the trip, he briefed the mech officers on their conduct. He knew what Qilanxo looked out for, and freely shared them to the two in order to maximize their chances of success.
"Qilanxo wants partners who respect her and even fear her a little. That fear should not be strong to the point of paralyzing you. She wants to maintain a relationship of mutual respect, but with her as the senior partner and you two as the juniors. Don't regard her as a prisoner or a beast to be hunted. Do the two of you understand?"
"I understand." Dise said. She seemed to be supremely confident in herself and didn't feel the need to ask for tips.
Captain Orfan seemed a little less secure now that she sobered up a bit. "I don't know if I'm a good fit for the big girl. What if she doesn't like me?"
"If she doesn't like you, then she doesn't like you. Just remain confident and don't pretend you are someone you are not. She's as old as your grandmother's grandmother, and she's seen a lot of humans in her lifetime. There is nothing that can stay hidden in her view, so don't wrack your brains over it. Be yourself and hope for the best."
Once the fast transport arrived at the chamber, Ves led Dise and Orfan through the security checks before they strode inside.
The majestic form of Qilanxo greeted him once again. No matter how many times he saw her body, he kept thinking back on how she radiated power like a sleeping dragon. This feeling only increased after she began to recover from her wounds.
Even the two mech officers he brought looked impressed. The closer they approached beast, the more they became affected by her divine aura.
Qilanxo opened up her eyes and seared her gaze towards the two mech officers.
To their credit, neither of them flinched. Both possessed undaunting courage and both faced sacred gods before.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
"Remember. Be respectful and be yourself, in that order."
The final reminder served to suppress their sense of superiority that threatened to crop up in response to the sacred god's challenging gaze.
They needed to bow their heads a little instead of trying to outcompete the sacred god in a dominance game they were destined to lose.
After they reached close enough, Ves walked towards the side while the two mech officers tried to figure out what they should do.
"Hey Qilanxo. I heard you need some company." Captain Orfan began.
She began to run her mouth as if she was chatting with one of her comrades at the bar. Strangely enough, Qilanxo appreciated Orfan's candor. There was something genuine and unpossessed about her conduct.
Ves did not see the usual rejection in Qilanxo's eyes. Evidently, his perception steered him true.
"That's enough, captain. Let Lieutenant Dise have her turn."
When Lieutenant Dise stepped up, she acted with a little more restraint than she normally behaved. She began to regale some of the tales of her most thrilling hunts.
The exact details didn't matter to Qilanxo. What she truly cared about was Dise's courage in facing many different beasts in battle.
Yet again, Qilanxo showed interest.
Both of the mech pilots that Ves had brought had accomplished the one thing that hundreds of other mech pilots failed to do. They captured the sacred god's interest!