It was difficult to fathom what it meant to sell over 50,000 Doom guards a month. This was what the Sales Department projected in the following months.
No one was sure whether it was possible to drive up the sales even further without expanding the reach of the mech company. It might even be possible for the sales volume to drop after half a year due to meeting most of the initial demand.
Unlike the more common mech types such as rifleman mechs which was always in demand, the market for striker mechs was considerably smaller in scale.
Not every mech company boasted a striker mech. Those that did only added one or two the mech roster in order to cover their bases.
It made no sense to field an entire squad or company of striker mechs!
They were similar to knight mechs in that they only showed their value in specific situations and when grouped together with other mech types.
In contrast, a rifleman mech could fit in practically any mech company. Not only that, but they could be fielded in as many numbers as needed and still be viable in combat.
All of this meant that the typical customer only ordered one or two Doom Guards at most. Their outfits didn't have any room for more, and it was financially prohibitive to buy too many premium mechs.
Under these set of circumstances, it was already good if the LMC was able to persist in selling 50,000 Doom Guards a month!
Combined with the relatively high product margins of the Doom Guard model, the money the LMC expected to earn had reached a level where even Gloriana took notice!
As soon as Gavin left to check on the initial reaction to the Doom Guard resign, Gloriana smiled and playfully rubbed Clixie's belly.
"It sounds like we'll be earning enough money to cover the upkeep of the Penitent Sisters." She began. "We can even start replacing their worn-out mechs with newer machines at this rate!"
Ves, who was idly scratching Lucky's head, let out a sigh. "Let's not be too hasty. I still have to design worthy machines for them to pilot. That will take a lot of time. In addition, we still have a lot more investments to make. Upgrading our third-class ships and mechs to their second-class equivalent requires a mountain of hex credits! In our conservative estimates, we will probably have to spend at least 300 billion hex credits! Not only that, but the most basic second-class factory ship costs at least that much money as well!"
And that was just the barebones option. If Ves wanted to amass a strong and resilient expeditionary fleet, he would have to invest at least 1 trillion hex credits!
A single successful mech model would never be able to cover this huge sum in a short amount of time!
"We can't stop here and rest on our laurels." Gloriana nodded seriously. "We have to keep designing more mechs and hope that they become successful as well. The incredible reception of our Doom Guard model and all of the publicity that we have attracted has probably opened a lot of new markets for us! Even if our subsequent products won't be as popular, we can still earn a lot of profit due to all of the places they are sold!"
Even she hadn't expected their rather problematic mech design to generate so much appeal. She was quite aware of how the mech's mediocre capacity limited its battle performance!
Her remark reflected the current strategy of the LMC. It had divorced itself from the Bright Republic and the Ylvaine Protectorate, which meant it didn't possess a primary market anymore which served as the bedrock of its sales.
Instead, the LMC dipped its toes in a lot of foreign states, some more so than others.
For example, the LMC was rapidly expanding its presence in the Sentinel Kingdom due to its large mech market and relative openness to Ves and the LMC.
In addition, the Sentinels were some of the most enthusiastic buyers of his new Doom Guard! Their effectiveness against lower-quality mech pilots meant that they would probably work well against Nyxian pirates!
A lot of activity took place. Ves tried his best to stay on top of the developments, though he left most of the decisions to Raymond Billingsley-Larkinson and the other executives of the company.
His input largely didn't matter at this point. The company was very capable of running most of its operations by itself. Ves only needed to direct his attention to the Design Department these days.
The road to accumulating 1 trillion hex credits sounded stupendously difficult. This sum amounted to 35 trillion pre-inflation bright credits!
"What an incredible sum!"
This kind of fortune far surpassed the net worth of the Tovar Family and other third-rate power players! Most noble houses in the Sentinel Kingdom weren't even capable of generating this much money!
Even in the Hexadric Hegemony, Ves would still be richer than the vast majority of Hexers!
One of the reasons that the Wodin Dynasty invested so much money in Gloriana's upbringing was the hope of earning it all back in this fashion!
"The Doom Guard is just a third-class mech design. Think of what we can do with a second-class mech design."
The standards were a lot higher, but so were the profits! A single premium Hexer mech sold for as much as 200 million hex credits! In fact, the prices often ran higher as the market put a much greater premium on its unique strengths and special features!
The road to amassing 1 trillion hex credits would be so much easier if the LMC started publishing second-class mech designs.
Still, Ves knew how important it was to make a good start. He didn't want to be too overly hasty and ruin his reputation. He needed to finish his Hexer mech design project first before he could judge whether he was good enough to compete in the big leagues!
It was safe to say that his current level of success far out-paced the standard of a Journeyman. Not even some Seniors were able to earn so much money!
It was all thanks to his design philosophy. Unlike most mech designers, Ves didn't have to worry about competition coming to eat his market share!
Those who specialized in designing better melee mechs such as Gloriana had to compete against countless other colleagues who specialized in something similar.
Someone with a more unusual design philosophy like Gloriana generally didn't face as much direct competition.
However, the more unique the design philosophy, the harder it was to realize it! Mech designers with radical ideas paid for their innovation by the increased amount of effort they had to put into their research.
Right now, Ves and Gloriana shouldn't have made as much progress as they did. Both of them subverted the normal development pattern of Journeymen due to their inherent advantages.
They were practically freaks among Journeymen. As far as the mech industry was concerned, they no longer belonged to the same species!
As the initial customers received the first batch of Doom Guards, the mech community soon knew that most of the hype was justified!
The Doom Guard was truly a monster!
This was the first time that the impulse buyers experienced the mech model's indiscriminate glow. A lot of initial purchasers started to regret their choice of buying a copy of the Doom Guard right away!
A lot of outfits didn't feature any mech pilots who were mentally resilient enough to pilot the mech! They all became far too frightened when they interfaced with the mech! They just wanted to leave the cockpit as fast as possible!
A large amount of complaints flooded the LMC, but the controversy wasn't as big as Ves feared.
There were plenty of success stories. Most notably, many of the challengers who persisted to the end and received a free silver label Doom Guard all demonstrated what they could do with their new prize!
The winners not only showed off their incredible mental fortitude, but also tested its glow in live practice sessions, to great effect!
Hardly any other mech pilot wanted to remain within the influence of the Doom Guard's maddening glow!
The hope that mech commanders would be able to train their mental strength to the point of being able to pilot one of these dreadful machines gave a lot of customers hope.
They might not be able to harness the Doom Guard right away, but as long as they used it as a training prop, their mech pilots would eventually reach the necessary standard!
"The Doom Guard is the monster at your side. As long as you master it, you can harness its power against your enemies!"
Many mech buyers harbored this hope. A lot of training programs centered around the Doom Guard's glow quickly emerged!
Even the Larkinson Clan took advantage of this application!
Commander Melkor Larkinson stood in front of the entire body of Avatars. After several months of expansion, the Avatars now numbered 400 proven mech pilots.
That wasn't all. In the last two months, the Avatars picked up a lot of prospective new members!
Right now, over 800 Avatar candidates were being put through some of the most rigorous training the Larkinon instructors devised!
Within the clan, only the Swordmaidens surpassed the Avatars in terms of training intensity!
Right now, the newly-recruited Avatars represented a lot of headaches for Commander Melkor.
Compared to the small amount of battle-hardened members who fought and lived through the Sand War, most of the new additions didn't live through the same hell.
Due to various reasons, the Larkinson Clan disproportionately favored recruiting younger people with a lot of talent. The growth potential of these new clansmen was high, but their spirit for battle was not as firm!
Adding them blindly to the battle ranks of the Avatars would only drag them all down. In order to determine which Avatar candidate had what it took to become a fully-fledged, each needed to prove their mettle in some way!
The candidates could forget about earning the acknowledgement of the veteran Avatars if they weren't able to showcase their guts!
The introduction of the Doom Guard presented a solution to this problem. Melkor had personally consulted Ves about the various properties and possible uses of the Doom Guard.
Now that the Avatars finally obtained an early copy, Melkor was practically filled with glee!
He grinned viciously at the Avatars standing at attention in front of him. The mech pilots, both veteran and prospective, each looked utterly serious as they faced their commander!
Discipline was one of the most essential traits of the Avatars! Commander Melkor expected no less when his soldiers were on duty!
"Fellow Avatars, both old and new. I am sure you have heard about the new mech our clan patriarch has designed. The Doom Guard that is standing behind me possesses the ability to separate the worthy from the unworthy. While I am certain that our old hands will be able to endure this little pressure, I am not so sure about the rookies in your midst. An Avatar has to be fearless in the face of adversity no matter the odds! Let me see whether you have what it takes to be elite!"
The Doom Guard suddenly activated. Not only that, its glow was also turned on. Soon enough, the entire assembly of Avatar mech pilots began to feel all kinds of negative sensations!
Despite being ordered to stay put, a large number of prospective Avatars couldn't take the pressure. They exited ranks and fled to the back in order to decrease their proximity to the scary Doom Guard mech!
This went on for ten minutes or so. Each second, at least one Avatar candidate lost their nerves for whatever reason. At the end of this impromptu test, only twenty percent of their group remained!
Melkor's cheeks turned red. This was an absolutely shameful result! He thought his recruiters had done a better job at identifying promising mech pilots, but it turned out that it was mostly an illusion!
The only consolation was that none of the old guard showed much more than moderate discomfort. He himself managed to bear the pressure despite standing closer to the mech than others.
Yet out of every Avatar, the reaction of Joshua Larkinson was the most noteworthy of them all! Whereas other people showed some signs of distress towards the Doom Guard, the kid actually seemed as if he couldn't wait to enter its cockpit!