Chapter 3361: Ves the Crown Maker
When Ves worked on the crown, he already had a suspicion that it would turn into a masterwork.
No. That wasn't the right description. He just knew it would turn into a masterwork!
It was not because this was his first proper chance to work with first-class materials and production equipment.
It was not because he was working under the threat of death because an ambitious, cold-hearted dwarf put a gun on his head.
It was not because he applied numerous interesting innovations to his crown design.
All of these factors certainly played a role in increasing the special nature of the end product, but they were not the decisive factor that gave Ves a certainty that he had passed the test.
No. The truth was that this 24-hour long pressure test had caused him to develop critical insights about the nature of masterworks and how it tied to his own work and design philosophy.
Ves had undergone an evolution in the way he perceived his products. The insights that he had accumulated up until now had given him a greater glimpse of the nature of masterworks, but it was only by combining them together that he finally managed to grasp a portion of the truth about masterworks!
Even as Ves observed the subtle masterwork transformation that increased the invisible qualities of the crown, he himself was undergoing a transformation.
Both creator and product made substantial gains that caused them to become more remarkable than normal.
Ves didn't actually glean that many insights from witnessing the crown stepping up to the second rung of the ladder.
An insight was defined as obtaining deep understanding in something.
Observation wasn't the only method of developing a deep understanding of a certain phenomenon.
The fruit he obtained from the latter tasted much sweeter than the former. Because he gained out his new insights through reason and deduction, he fully mastered the new understanding he gained!
This was much better than observing an external phenomena and reluctantly comprehending the puzzle pieces that he could understand.
This was why Ves felt he had gained more out of making this crown than making any of his masterwork projects up until today!
In the previous four cases when he successfully fabricated a masterwork mech, these opportunities always came about by chance. Ves hadn't able to exert any meaningful control on the quality of his end products.
Everytime he embarked on another fabrication run, he performed the equivalent of purchasing a lottery ticket.
If he was lucky enough to hold the winning ticket, he would happily be able to add a new masterwork certificate to his name.
Sadly, his luck wasn't that extravagant most of the time. His lottery tickets turned out to be duds most of the time. This was why he failed to turn the Dark Zephyr, the Riot and the First Sword into masterworks.
"I didn't understand back then."
Understanding. It was such a general word, but only when he truly experienced it would he know how precious and sublime it could be. The understanding he gained from this short side project was far greater than he had ever hoped at the start.
"Maybe… I don't need to buy a lottery ticket anymore in order to win a prize."
Although Ves still had to make a lot more progress to get to that point, he instinctively felt he had made substantial progress.
Ves slowly lifted his hammer. Its comfortable glow felt more attuned to him than ever before. This was a clear sign that he had become a lot more aligned to one of Vulcan's domains.
It turned out that this was one of the hidden benefits of making an incarnation out of Vulcan.
Although Ves and Vulcan were actually two facets of the same jewel, in truth there was still a substantial degree of separation in between them. One of the areas in which they differed was their perspectives and comprehension of reality.
To put it in different terms, their domains colored their perception. Ves wore a visor that interpreted reality in terms of life and mechs. This was why he was unable to understand what Vulcan was looking at when he looked at reality with his own visor.
Yet due to their connection to each other, Ves was able to make rapid progress in understanding what Vulcan instinctively comprehended.
He especially benefited from this process when he actually began to make his crown. That was the moment when Vulcan became more active and channeled his domain.
All of this culminated in what he could only describe as an evolution. The difference between himself 24 hours ago and his current self was too big!
If Rion Aaden had never set a trap for him and forced him to make a crown, he doubted that he would have been able to make this much progress in so little time.
Pressure truly brought out the best in Ves.
Several minutes passed by as Ves became immersed in his own bliss. A supreme sense of accomplishment surged through his body as his new comprehension already altered the way he viewed the cosmos.
It felt as if his senses had received an upgrade that enabled them to become more discerning. The difference was especially big when he viewed masterworks like the crown that he had just made.
When he looked at it, he no longer thought that he was lucky to turn it into a masterwork.
He could partially determine what factors contributed to the elevation of his crown.
Not only that, he felt he could replicate them in order to repeat this feat!
As long as he obtained the same materials and another opportunity to make use of this expensive workshop, he had at least 10 percent confidence that he could make another masterwork crown!
"10 percent is pretty big!"
Previously, Ves would have set his chances at just 1 percent, and that was an optimistic estimate.
The low odds reflected his lack of confidence in his ability to produce masterworks on command. Basically, much of the factors that contributed to that single percentage point was down to luck, happenstance and serendipity.
Now, that 1 percent still existed, but Ves added 9 percent on top of that due to the additional factors based on his own gains!
Unlike the former, the latter was derived from variables that he could consciously control and direct!
This was because he understood a bit of the truth about masterworks.
The basic premise was that they were extensions of their creators.
Because of that, masterworks only came into existence when they encapsulated the best, strongest and most truthful aspects of their creators.
As long as he got excited, as long as he innovated, as long as he took risks and as long as he centered his work around life, he would naturally increase the quality of his end products.
"The truth is actually simple, but understanding it is not as easy as it sounds."
He was pretty sure that if he walked up to Gloriana and explained all of his recent gains, his wife wouldn't actually see any substantial improvements.
"Her perspective is different from mine." Ves muttered. "Since masterworks are an extension of their creators, every mech designer must build up their comprehension from their own foundations."
For example, the ȧssumption that masterworks were extensions of their own creators was an interpretation that fit the way Ves viewed reality. He was a mech designer that constantly used life as a lens.
In comparison, Ketis interpreted her work in a similar but not identical way. To her, her swords sang to her. Ves wasn't able to hear these songs at all and it was futile for him to try.
Currently, only Ves and Ketis possessed the ability to distinguish and comprehend their masterworks in this manner. It seemed as if they were already a step ahead of the rest.
Was it because of their companion spirits?
He suspected that Journeymen like themselves weren't supposed to touch this truth so soon. However, what Ves had done somehow allowed them to skip a lot of steps and put them in touch with higher-level concepts faster than normal!
Ves looked affectionately at his crown. It was not only a fantastic product in itself that would doubtlessly provide a lot of value to its owner in the future, but it was also a sign that he had grown up in terms of his own development in craftsmanship.
Even if he became separated from Vulcan today, he would still keep all of the precious gains he made today!
"VULCAN." Rion spoke with much more respect than before as he slowly approached the work table where the end product rested. He stopped at a fair distance as if he was afraid of breaking the crown if he picked it up too soon. "YOU SUCCEEDED. I HAVE READ ABOUT YOUR MIRACLES, BUT THIS…"
The dwarven crown possessed a strong spiritual presence that was almost irresistible to dwarves. Rion was not an average person but the crown was specifically designed and made to be put on his head. It took a lot of self-control for him to maintain his distance!
Ves slowly turned around. "I got lucky, I guess. I really don't want to know what you would do to me if I failed to make a masterwork."
The dwarven emperor did not speak about it. That was an irrelevant future now that Ves had managed to stave off disaster. There was no reason for the contractor and the client to sour their own relations by talking about ugly matters.
Both of them wanted to pursue the best possible outcome. Now that Ves had succeeded in this challenge, the main source of tension between them no longer existed. Both of them possessed a strong interest in maintaining a cordial if not friendly relationship.
With the existence of the masterwork crown, both Ves and Rion gained a lot more benefits if they continued to work together. It wasn't worth it for either of them to attack each other.
This was why Ves was truly confident he was safe now. The Sword of Damocles that Rion had hung over his head had been lowered without decapitating anyone.
Rion's cybernetic eyes glowed brightly as he took his time to scan and behold the masterwork crown.
"EVEN FROM THIS DISTANCE, I CAN FEEL THE DIVINITY OF THIS CROWN. ONLY A MECH DESIGNER SUCH AS YOU CAN MAKE THIS KIND OF OBJECT."
"I don't know…"
Although Ves was highly pleased with his crown, he did not ȧssume that it was unsurpassed. He suspected that the Five Scrolls Compact or other groups might be able to create something similar by leveraging their own understanding of spiritual engineering.
Since there was someone out there that could make a sophisticated product like the Grand Dynamo, it was not that big of a leap to think there were other spiritual engineers that were able fuse spiritual components into physical products!
Still, Ves did not believe that his distant and unknowable competitors were able to make a crown like this. After all, it was not only alive, but was also connected to a powerful design spirit of his own making!
The crown was a representation of his best work. When Ves looked at it, his thoughts already began to look forward.
Each masterwork mech of his own making was like a crown to him now. The Amaranto was more than just an expert mech. It was the crown which bestowed Venerable Stark with the authority she deserved. The crown also enabled her to draw out her potential and amplify her power so that she gained the strength to enforce her will!
Ves strangely gained a lot more confidence in his ability to turn both the Bulwark Project and the Chimera Project into masterworks!