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Chapter 3202: Organic and Locally Sourced
The Vanguard Project was an imposing expert mech. Its bulk was significantly greater than that of the Dark Zephyr and the Amaranto. Its loud orange coating with black accents was designed to turn it into an unmissable presence on the battlefield.
The material quality of its external sh.e.l.l was not as impressive as the previous two expert mechs, though. Made out of Breyer alloy which was more accessible but much less durable, the Vanguard Project looked like an unbalanced mech that put most of its design resources into its offensive capabilities.
However, only astute mech designers would be able to notice that the Vanguard Project actually featured a two-layer armor system. Though Ves wasn't happy with the thickness of the underlayer, the fact that it was made out of solid Unending alloy should enable it to gain a powerful advantage in any duel against another expert mech!
Yet for all of its apparent potency in offensive and defensive capabilities, it possessed one major weakness that could easily be exploited by the right opponent.
Its mobility was lower than average.
Certainly, compared to standard mechs, Juliet made sure to design and equip the Vanguard Project with a premier Hexer-designed flight system that granted it vastly greater thrusting power than that of ordinary mobility solutions. It could easily outpace other medium mechs and even give light mechs a run for their money.
The problem came when Ves compared the Vanguard Project to other expert mechs.
Perhaps comparing it to an expert light skirmisher like the Dark Zephyr was unfair, but relative to other melee mechs such as the upcoming Decapitator Project and Chimera Project, the Vanguard Project moved as unwieldy as a lumbering pig!
"The Vanguard Project's straight-line acceleration is decent, but the expert mech's agility and other maneuverability characteristics aren't great."
The expert spearman mech's reaction time and range of motion was also lower than average. This meant that it was impossible for Venerable Orfan to employ too much finesse when wielding its potent spear.
Fortunately, stabbing didn't require that much finesse to begin with. As long as the Vanguard Project fought with daring and momentum, it was still capable of overpowering its opponents with raw force. The Vanguard Project's relatively expansive defenses suited its fighting style well for that reason.
"It's going to take a lot of hits regardless of what happens in a pitched battle. If that's the case, then we better make it as hard as possible for enemies to penetrate every layer.
The Vanguard Project might not be as tough as the Bulwark, but none of the other expert mech design projects in the current round was able to top it. The only exception was the Chimera Project, but only when it equipped its mounted wargear.
On a base level, the Vanguard Project was a mech that would only show its true value in tough and different battles. If the Larkinson Clan ever encountered a superior enemy force, then a mech that was able to threaten tough opponents head-on and was able to sustain a lot of damage without losing wind was very valuable!
Even though the expert mech had not yet proven its chops in reality, Ves could already instinctively judge that the expert spearman mech that he put together in person was sound and functional.
The four Journeymen were all mentallly exhausted after working for more than seven days with occasional rest breaks in between. Even if Ves felt that it wouldn't take long before he was ready to tackle another fabrication run, he did not want Gloriana to incur too much stress.
When the couple returned to their grand stateroom in order to enjoy a proper rest, Gloriana changed into her pajamas and entered their bed first.
Ves handled some miscellaneous tasks first before he entered the bedroom and slipped next to his wife. He leaned in and kissed her cheek as he softly placed his palm onto Gloriana's lightly swelling belly.
He sensed two kinds of warmth flowing from his touch. The first warmth was physical and came from Gloriana's smooth and soft skin.
The other kind of warmth came from his growing daughter. Her spirituality had already surpa.s.sed the level of someone with potential. This should have been an impossibility since spirituality was ordinarily tied to sentience and higher thought.
A fetus that was only four months old shouldn't have any higher thinking!
"Obviously, my old theoretical framework is wrong."
Recent developments forced him to adjust it so that it could explain the new phenomena that Ves had recently noticed.
For example, according to his new theories, the reason why his unborn daughter's spirituality was so much stronger was because it wasn't concentrated in her vastly-underdeveloped mind.
It had spread to her entire physical body!
Once someone's spirituality was no longer supported by just a mind or brain, then a lot more room opened up. Special empowered living tissue such as his daughter's body or the biomatter applied to the Four Aspects of Lufa was capable of storing spiritual energy and supporting a greater spiritual ent.i.ty as if they were P-stones themselves.
This was quite a thought-provoking train of thought!
"Do P-stones really have a biological origin?"
Ves became a bit more convinced that P-stones originally consisted of fossilized biological matter of spiritually-powerful beings. Perhaps ancient ent.i.ties who lived many eons ago started off as individuals not much different from his daughter.
The implications of this theory were quite profound.
For one, it presented a potential solution to his inability to expand his stock of P-stones.
The several dozen P-stones that he currently possessed at the moment was more than enough for his personal use, but not much else. Since spiritually-reactive materials were pivotal to the design and creation of prime mechs, he really had to find a solution to his problem.
For a brief moment, Ves thought about routinely harvesting tissue samples from his growing daughter. If he was able to farm enough flesh and blood from his lovely girl, he might be able to process the extracted materials into a new 'P-stone'!
This would be an amazing accomplishment! Rather than scouring material warehouses throughout the galaxy for old fossilized remains, he could instead rely on a renewable source of raw materials to constantly expand his P-stone collection without depending on any external sources!
Lucky plopped onto Ves' head and hissed!
"Ah, d.a.m.n, what am I thinking?! I would never exploit my daughter!"
Ves vigorously shook away his earlier notion out of his mind. Despite the viability of the plan, it was absolutely abhorrent. He should have never thought of his offspring as cattle for him to exploit as he wished. His daughter was not Ca.s.sandra Breyer!
Still, even if his children was off-limits, the overall concept was still interesting and worthy of further investigation. He just had to find a more suitable and guilt-free source of raw materials.
His thoughts wandered over to the Four Statues of Lufa. Whether their biological tissue was renewable or not, it was worth it to harvest samples of similar objects and process them into P-stones.
"Maybe I should start making biological totems on a large scale."
The only issue was that this wasn't enough to make them useful. Basic biological totems weren't spiritually empowered at the start.
This was the most challenging portion of this plan. How could he infuse their flesh? Just pumping raw spiritual energy into biomatter without any further consideration was bound to fail as it ordinarily didn't interact with physical matter.
They only interacted with each other under special circ.u.mstances. Ves hadn't fully figured out the rules so far. He needed to figure this out first before he could make a viable 'P-stone factory' that would allow him to introduce hundreds if not thousands of potent prime mechs into his clan.
"In fact, I can even use it as a strategic material to design and fabricate commercial mechs that are completely unique in the mech market!"
What would it be like if he was able to make ma.s.s-production versions of his wildly-successful Valkyrie Prime or Piranha Prime and sell them to individual clients at eye-watering sums?
Even though they weren't expert mechs, they were much more accessible as they weren't exclusive to expert pilots!
"Prime mechs are fantastic at accelerating the growth of expert candidates. If I tune them down, they can also be piloted by regular pilots who are strong enough to handle the pressure!"
This had the potential to become a unique and highly desirable market offering for the Larkinson Clan! It was the kind of product that could easily earn a lot of money and connections in a compet.i.tive environment like the Red Ocean.
There were many wealthy and privileged mech pilots who were incredibly desperate for a way to increase their chances of becoming an expert pilot. If Ves could convince the mech market that piloting a prime mech would allow them to fulfill their dreams, then the LMC would be able to bankroll the entire Larkinson Clan just by relying on the top end of the market!
Ves mentally noted down his ideas and reminded himself to discuss his plans in greater detail with Dr. Ranya. In order to make the organic P-stones that were crucial to ma.s.s producing prime mechs, he had to rely on the Larkinson Biotech Inst.i.tute to produce the key ingredients in-house.
He would never allow such a core technology to spread outside of the Larkinson Clan!
Once he was satisfied with this plan, he returned his attention to his original goal. He carefully inspected his unborn daughter's spirituality and noted that she appeared to be completely healthy according to his senses.
"You've grown a little stronger." He noted with a smile.
Ves had waited months to implant her with a companion spirit seed. All of the times he fed her with a dose of his purified spiritual energy finally culminated in a spiritually potent fetus that was strong enough to bear a sizable burden.
In fact, he could have implanted his unborn daughter with his gift more than a week ago, but he wanted to play it safe. She barely exceeded the threshold last time and Ves wasn't sure if her capacity might suddenly decrease a bit due to his ministrations.
He decided to be patient and occupy himself with fabricating the Vanguard Project before he was ready to perform this unprecedented procedure.
Now, enough time had pa.s.sed for his daughter to build up a small but significant buffer. This way, Ves had plenty of room for error should anything happen.
The conditions were right and Ves didn't want to wait any further. If he implanted the seed too late, then it wouldn't be strong enough by the time his daughter was born. He theorized that the companion spirit seed would integrate more deeply and extensively with his daughter if he implanted it early while his daughter's spirituality was still malleable.
He took a deep breath and concentrated his mind.
"Blinky. I need your help."
His companion spirit quietly appeared from his mind but maintained an invisible state. Ves had already instructed him beforehand so Blinky knew exactly what he should be doing next.
The purple starry cat gently phased through Gloriana's belly and carefully approached the developing young life.
The cat did not dare to approach any further. The baby's spirituality seemed to react a bit at the new presence, but since Blinky was already familiar, nothing else happened.
When Ves took direct control of Blinky, the cat carefully began to reach out towards the baby's spirituality and carefully began to mold it a bit to see whether anything went wrong.
When nothing out of the ordinary happened, Ves grew bolder and began to mold and shape a portion of his daughter's spirituality into a defined spiritual construct.
During this process, he also blended in tiny seeds derived from spiritual fragments taken from himself and various design spirits. These were the ability seeds that could each potentially become his daughter's defining spiritual strength!