The Mech Touch - Chapter 3977 Against Traditional Swordsmanship

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Chapter 3977 Against Traditional Swordsmanship

As a ranged mech, the Firestarter Project was an excellent opportunity for Ves to explore the potential of luminar crystal technology even further.

Even if Ves could not immediately absorb all of the restricted knowledge that the MTA promised to open up to him, it was enough for him to gather a few useful insights!

If he could develop a new luminar crystal attack phase crystal that happened to complement Venerable Isobel's extraordinary burning ability, then the Firestarter Project would truly be able to live up to its codename!

However, it had been quite a while since Ves last tinkered with luminar crystal technology. He did not have complete confidence that he could whip up a new luminar crystal rifle that was more powerful and more potent than his previous works.

"No one plays a more important role in the Firestarter Project than you." Gloriana remarked towards her husband. "If you do a good job, the end product will most assuredly become a celebrated work in our clan. If you fail to deliver, then much of the potential of this expert mech will be lost."

She was right. Ves carried the greatest burden in this project. This was not great as Ves needed to be involved in many different design projects. He would be just as busy as Sara Voiken in this regard!

The more active design projects per round, the more Ves needed to split his time. It was becoming increasingly harder for him to keep up with his design responsibilities.

He couldn't wait for another mech designer who specialized in living mechs to show up and take over some of his burdens!

If Maikel Larkinson managed to achieve enough breakthroughs in his chosen research direction, then Ves predicted that he would have an excellent helper by his side.

Even if Maikel's design philosophy centered around a different interpretation of living mechs, his work should probably be sufficient to breathe life into mech designs.

Only Gloriana and Ketis came close to doing so, but both of their solutions possessed serious flaws and limitations. Their specialties were completely different so they were limited in how close they could imitate his work.

What Ves needed the most were mech designers who believed in the concept of living mechs to such an extent that they developed their own life domains!

This was an extremely rare quality in the mech industry. Ves was not yet certain whether he had done enough to push his student Maikel in the right direction.

Even if Maikel did everything right, it would take at least a decade before Maikel rose through the ranks and advanced to Journeyman Mech Designer.

He would be of no help to the Design Department at all for the foreseeable time!

"Maybe I should spend my MTA merits on upgrading or exchanging my cranial implant." Ves muttered to himself.

The general rule was that cranial implants were permanent to those that implanted them in their heads. They integrated with the fragile and delicate brain tissue of a human to such an extensive degree that pulling them out would result in permanent and ruinous damage to the most essential organ of a person!

This meant that it was extremely important for people to decide what they wanted to implant in their heads.

Ves did not regret the decision to integrate his brain with the Archimedes Rubal implant that he had once salvaged from the Starlight Megalodon. It was the most powerful and expensive solution he had access to at the time.

Ever since he partially digitized his mind and gained access to an internal processor that allowed him to perform a lot of mathematical calculations on the fly, his work efficiency had shot up. It was unimaginable for Ves to give up all of the benefits provided by his bioimplant!

However… as his workload increased and as his mech design projects became more advanced, Ves started to get increasingly more frustrated by the shortcomings of the Archimedes Rubal model.

Even with its upgrades, the Archimedes Rubal was never an implant that was specifically designed to complement mech designers. Its enormous storage space may have allowed Ves to store a lot of data and integrate System-infused knowledge faster, but Gloriana had access to a lot more helpful design functions.

If Ves was able to exchange his current implant model with one that was specialized for mech designers, he was confident that he could speed up his work by at least 20 percent!

Many people were unable to change their cranial implants for the remainder of their lives, but those who possessed enough wealth or merits were different.

The Big Two were so advanced that they possessed the technology to safely exchange older and weaker cranial implants for newer and better ones!

Ves seriously considered whether he should make use of this service now. The price of doing this was steep. Not only did he have to spend a lot of MTA merits to cover for the procedure, he also had to spend even more to obtain a new and superior cranial implant!

"Don't think about it." Gloriana softly told him. "You're already good enough for now. Wait until you have advanced to Senior or Master. By then, you will truly feel that your current cranial implant is unable to keep up with your demands anymore. I have little doubt you have earned even more MTA merits with all of the achievements you have made up to that point. Newer and better implant models will also come out in the future, which will upgrade your new capabilities even further."

"Mhmm. You're right. I am being way too impatient. My time might be stretched, but the situation isn't unbearable for me yet. I can still hold out for the time being."

He cast his thoughts about exchanging his cranial implant aside and turned his attention back to the Firestarter Project.

"Venerable Isobel has expressed a desire to have access to a flamethrower weapon when piloting her expert mech. As you can see, I have tentatively decided to integrate it as a secondary armament attached to one of the Firestarter Project's arms. This will allow the mech to unleash a powerful spurt of flames while still having the option to fire its regular rifle."

"The mech won't be able to carry enough propellant to last an entire battle." Ketis noted. "Will this addition be useful enough to justify its inclusion?"

"It depends on the quality of the propellant. There are expensive formulas out there that essentially mix a lot of potent and volatile exotic materials together. A mech only needs to ignite a small quantity of it in order to release a huge amount of energy."

Gloriana frowned. "That will help with allowing the Firestarter Project to spread more flames, but you are essentially filling up its propellant tanks with lots of money. It will be several times more expensive to field this mech in battle compared to a more reasonable expert mech such as the Dark Zephyr."

"I believe this addition is worth the investment." Ves replied in a firm tone. "Venerable Isobel's abilities are aligned with flames, so giving her the option to play with fire is the best way for her to learn and improve her affinity to it. Also, if the flamethrower module is as powerful as I envision, the Firestarter Project can instantly torch a whole swathe of swarming enemies at once. Do you remember the time the voribugs attempted to swarm our fleets? We didn't have enough weapons that could sweep them all at once. That will change with the introduction of this expert mech."

"We could also design a modern striker mech. Didn't you publish the Doom Guard years ago? I bet it would make for a fantastic anti-voribug mech if we adapt it to the Red Ocean!"

"Let's talk about that later, Ketis. For now, I want to make sure we are on the same page with regards to our expert mech design projects. Do any of you have any further questions on the Firestarter Project?"

A few of the Journeymen made a few inquiries which Ves quickly answered. He had a relatively clear idea on the expert rifleman mech that he wanted to design, so he already thought about many of its design elements.

Once the round of questioning had ended, Ves moved on to the third expert mech design project that the Design Department would be tackling for this design round.

The projections that depicted his interpretation of the C-Man Project and the Firestarter Project disappeared in order to make way for another sketch.

This one showed off a draft design for an expert swordsman mech that stood out by wielding two swords at once.

"Ketis, you are the principal mech designer for this upgrade project, so please give us your thoughts on this work."

The swordmaster stood up. She looked a lot more mature and less frivolous as of late. Her recent marriage, her early pregnancy and the initial success of her Monster Slayer Project had boosted her confidence by a substantial margin!

Even though Sharpie was lying dormant inside her Bloodsinger, Ketis still exuded an edge that easily allowed her to command attention.

"In order to understand this expert mech, we need to understand Venerable Imon Ingvar first. Commander Casella's younger brother… is a difficult expert pilot to work with. Our initial talks did not go as well as I would like."

"Oh?" Ves raised a curious eyebrow. "Why so? Did he put on his overprotective brother act again?"

Ketis shook her head. "I'm not a threat to Casella, so he did not act unreasonably in that manner. It's just… he's a swordsman mech pilot, but he doesn't embrace traditional swordsmanship. He has accepted instruction from Venerable Dise and the Heavensworders in the past, but he has never accepted their approach towards swordsmanship."

"Traditional swordsmanship is rather obscure throughout human space to begin with." Ves explained. "If it was truly a successful combat method, then it shouldn't have remained so obscure."

"I can say that you are not completely wrong. The swordsmanship tradition passed on by the Heavensword Association can produce exquisite techniques and powerful outbursts, but it requires both discipline, diligence and total belief in a sword style. While the exact requirements vary from sword style to sword style, even the loosest of them demand a fair amount of control. Even then, it is not enough. He is only able to touch the surface of traditional swordsmanship."

Ves leaned forward. "That sounds interesting. Do you think this is a flaw? What is his actual fighting style?"

Ketis grimaced a bit. "After Venerable Dise and I sparred against him multiple times, we discovered that he is not a true swordsman at all. He's a warrior that only regards swords as tools. He would be just as happy if he is wielding a pair of axes or a pair of hammers. The only consistent rule we have discovered is that he likes to hold two weapons at once."

"Why is that the case?"

"Because Venerable Imon is a momentum-based fighter. What I mean by that is that he is a fighter who is more driven by his emotions than other expert pilots. If he is angry, sad, desperate or confident, he can reach a higher peak than normal. If he is not as stimulated, then his combat performance is quite average."

"Huh. I never figured that out. It makes sense now that you explain it this way."

Ves felt it was quite fitting for an expert pilot who had made it his conviction to protect his sister. If any enemy dared to threaten Commander Casella, then Venerable Imon would easily be able to display at least 120 percent of his power!

In other words, Venerable Imon was the perfect attack dog!

"So how does that translate to the expert mech you wish to design for Venerable Imon?"

"We don't need to make any major changes to the configuration of the original Blade Chaser as we upgrade it into an expert mech." Ketis answered. "We just have to adjust it so that it can fully take advantage of Venerable Imon's ability to grow more formidable. I have come up with several ideas on how to make that happen."

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