Chapter 4128 The New Value of Skulls
All this talk about energy bridges and negative entropy was quite exhaustive. Professor Benedict did not attempt to hide any of his theories and methods, which showed that his mentality had at least partially morphed into that of a Master Mech Designer.
Though Professor Benedict couldn't say when he would be able to complete his transition to Master, it would not be long before he truly entered the upper echelon of the mech industry!
Ves had heard so much about the world inhabited by Master Mech Designers and Star Designers. They closed themselves off to anyone lower than them because their work and considerations were far too distant from the mech designers who busied themselves with much more mundane concerns.
A lot of Masters were quite tight-lipped about what exactly they were hiding from the rest of the mech industry. Though Ves was curious about learning the truth, he was not impatient enough to break the rules. He figured there was no harm in waiting until he became one himself before he became initiated in the circle of top designers.
Ves was incredibly fascinated by the few details that Professor Benedict did divulge about the life of a Master. It was evident that those who had attained this rank needed to think far beyond their own interests and that of their organizations.
"To be honest, I have the option of joining many new organizations once I have become a Master." Benedict revealed. "Few ever do, but the option is still there. If we ever grow disillusioned by our states and no longer maintain any interests in maintaining our original loyalties, we can join other gatherings that do not support a specific state or group but try to benefit humanity as a whole."
"That sounds similar to how Star Designers become detached from their original states."
"Indeed. The higher you climb, the greater your responsibilities. It is also harder for Masters and Star Designers to maintain strong attachments to the ordinary squabbles and power struggles of ordinary states and groups. These conflicts… are beneath them. After all, they have become gods in a sense. Why should they care about the mundane concerns of mortals? It is difficult to prevent these psychological changes from taking place."
Ves frowned. It would be extremely bad if Professor Benedict adopted this high-minded attitude.
"There are also those who reject or at least delay this transition." Professor Benedict smiled. "Terrans and Rubarthan mech designers are particularly attached to their states. Compared to a weak and insignificant state such as the Friday Coalition, a first-rate superstate is much more capable of steering the future direction of human civilization."
"I see. What about you? What are your intentions?"
Professor Benedict let out a contemptuous snort. "I have no desire to join the company of the most elite mech designers. They have done nothing for me. Why should I devote myself to their cause? There are mech designers who think that they have become so powerful that they consider themselves beyond impunity. That encourages them to do whatever is necessary to achieve their goals and the goals of their new association, often to the detriment of other people."
Ves could think about a couple of individuals who met this description. The Polymath and Master Dervidian come to mind. They were so above ordinary concerns that they believed that no one could take them to account anymore.
"Well, I have spoken enough about this subject. I need to invest my time in studying what I have done and ensure that the Mars is still a sound machine."
"When… will we be able to put it to the test?"
"I cannot say." Professor Benedict replied. "It will take longer than I originally thought to organize a testing session. The Davute System is far too populated to maintain the confidentiality of the Mars. We will need to relocate to a quieter star system in order to perform the necessary tests. That will take time."
Ves thought about another matter. "The MTA will doubtlessly want to witness the tests as well. I can imagine that the mechers are highly interested in a masterwork expert mech that has incorporated so many new technological advancements. They also need to give us another masterwork certificate."
Neither of the two had any illusions that the MTA was in the dark about what had taken place inside the workshop. The MTA would come calling eventually, so Professor Benedict might as well extend them invitations ahead of time.
"The MTA will doubtlessly have questions."
"Especially regarding the use of a certain skull."
"Yes. That too."
"Will you get into trouble because of that?" Ves asked in concern.
"No. It won't be a problem. I… have an arrangement with the MTA."
"Are you sure, Benedict?"
"You truly do not need to be concerned. Though I am not yet a Master, I am certain that the MTA possesses more than enough vision to recognize my current state. As I have stated earlier, Masters have certain allowances that lesser people do not have. This is the privilege of power. Besides, just like you, I have associated myself with a faction. The crowd that I have befriended will most certainly mediate any potential conflicts due to my value as a Master."
It was at this point that Ves recalled that Professor Benedict had cozied up to the Unbound Humanity Faction.
Of all of the major political divisions of the Mech Trade Association, the Unbounders were definitely among the most extreme and controversial among them. It still surprised Ves that Professor Benedict would want anything to do with these extremists.
After all, the Unbounders essentially wanted to get rid of most if not all of the taboos that the Big Two imposed on humanity!
Professor Benedict's choice of company was none of Ves' business, though. Since the older man was confident enough that the Unbounders would cover his back, then there was no cause for concern.
The mech designers eventually began to wrap up the fabrication run.
They removed the waste products and stowed away the unused materials.
They performed cursory examinations of the new expert mechs and its volatile systems to verify they remained stable and inert.
They collected the data from all of the sensors and production equipment so that they could understand the fabrication process to a greater degree.
They also took great care in moving the completed expert mech to a high-security vault that the Crossers had especially built for the Mars.
Patriarch Reginald looked extremely reluctant to part ways with the expert mech. If he had his way, he would remain attached to his new masterwork mech on a permanent basis!
"Take a break, Reginald. The Mars will not be going anywhere. It will be ready for you to pilot when we have prepared a suitable time and location for you to go loose."
The testing sessions for the Mars would be at least ten times more elaborate than the ones conducted by the Larkinson Clan as of late.
Mechs such as the C-Man were nowhere near as powerful or versatile as the Mars. The latter was truly an expert mech that was built to fight and win the toughest wars!
If the Crossers wanted to gain a good understanding of what the Mars was actually capable of, then they needed to acquire thousands of practice bots at the minimum. The new expert mech possessed so many different weapon systems that a single rotation would probably be enough to destroy a hundred machines!
After making a few appointments with Professor Benedict, Ves and the Larkinsons eventually departed from the Cross Production Complex and returned to their familiar Cat Nest.
Each of them had made a massive amount of gains today. They were far too restless to go to bed, so they headed over to the Genesis Lab and recorded as much of their thoughts and insights as possible.
They also swapped plenty of their thoughts to each other.
"I've noticed that Professor Benedict's energy bridge is actually fostering the growth of the god body." Gloriana remarked.
"Oh?" Her husband raised his eyebrow.
"It is probably unintentional. His main goal was to supply extraordinary energy to the Magma Vein System, but what is important here is that the components that make up this special energy transmission system are all marked with tiny divine markers."
"Oh. You're right. That is quite a helpful coincidence."
Gloriana looked uncertain. "Maybe, maybe not. It depends on how much energy my divine markers are able to capture. It may be that only a fraction of the energy is diverted to them. That means that the Mars will not be able to evolve its god body much faster than usual. However…"
"If Professor Benedict can install an energy bridge to an expert mech without the Magma Vein System, the machine will develop its god body a lot faster!"
That was because there was little else that could suck up all of the juice produced by the energy bridge!
This was an extremely practical way to make use of Benedict's new solutions. They could readily apply it to the latest generation of Larkinson expert mechs such as the C-Man since they already incorporated Gloriana's signature god body tech.
As for the older expert mechs… Ves would have to figure something out for them. There were bound to be other uses for the energy bridge.
It was important for Ves to note that the Mars only bore the first generation of this new tech.
While it was doubtlessly a lot more powerful than what Benedict could reproduce in the short term due to the lack of a powerful material, he would definitely be able to supply much more powerful energy bridges two or three generations in the future!
Of course, that was way too far away. For now, Ves and everyone else would have to make do with weaker energy bridges that could only provide a trickle of energy at best.
"Our clan will have to step up our efforts in cultivating more mutated beasts." Ves thoughtfully said. "Professor Benedict will definitely have to experiment with the skulls of a lot of remarkable creatures if he wants to rid himself of his dependence on the skulls of high-ranking mech pilots."
"Exobeast skulls are different from the skulls of expert pilots, correct?" Gloriana asked.
"That is correct. Expert pilots are truly special. No one else aside from swordmasters are able to amplify their willpower to such a powerful degree. That is what makes these soldiers and warriors so unique. This is also why I think the general implementation of energy bridges will ultimately be a little underwhelming."
In fact, the public version of energy bridges might not even be powerful enough to attract the interest of other mech designers.
Unless they developed special applications where an energy bridge could supply them with a rare form of energy, most peers would simply brush it off as one of many useless inventions.
This was not uncommon in the mech industry. A huge number of mech designers in human space advanced to Master every year.
While each of their accomplishments were no doubt worthy of celebration, that did not mean that their inventions were relevant to every mech design.
Some were widely applicable while others were so specific that only a tiny subset of mechs could derive any value from them. Even then, it was difficult for mech designers to recognize these possibilities.
Gloriana's expression suddenly turned sly. "Say… don't we have a few skulls left in storage?"
"What do you mean, honey?"
"What did you do with the remains of Venerable Ghanso and Venerable Foster?"
He couldn't immediately recall what he had done with the bodies of those notable enemies. He stopped caring about their mortal coils once he had harvested their spiritualities.
He suddenly froze.
"Oh. I remember now. Didn't we give them a burial in space?"
Gloriana looked mortified! "WHAT?! What a waste! We could have used them to empower our expert pilots! Why did you throw their bodies away so soon!"
"They were soldiers! They deserved to be treated with dignity!"
"Pffff! Dignity." Gloriana contemptuously spat. "Weren't you the one who scooped out their spirits so that you could use them in other applications?"
"That was because I already recognized the use of their spiritualities back then! Their bones were completely worthless to me. We all thought that it would be best to bury them in space to give closure to our conflict."
"Even when they used to be our archenemies?"
"...Now that you mention it, maybe we let them off too lightly."