The Mech Touch

Chapter 4659 Surge Of Storms

Chapter 4659 Surge Of Storms

Ves did not mind so much if Juliet Stameros and Dulo Voiken ended up botching the Woodpecker Project.

This was a realistic possibility given that it presented a funky and unusual combination of traits. Arming a lancer mech with an explosive lance could either work out brilliantly or blow up in their faces.

Regardless, it was a fresh and interesting take on a mech. Ves loved it when he or other mech designers mustered up the courage to get off the beaten path and pursue innovation.

There had to be a certain tolerance for failure in order to produce persistent successes. Now that the Larkinson Army and the Larkinson Army already accrued a sufficient number of strong and effective mech models, Ves became more open to risky experimentation.

If a new mech design worked out somehow, then that would be a welcome addition.

If the latest work of a mech designer failed to live up to expectations, then that was okay as well.

Everyone could learn from the failure and there were always other opportunities in the future.

After giving the pair of Journeymen a few more encouraging words, Ves waved Juliet and Dulo off. The two mech designers eagerly wanted to begin with fleshing out their promising new shield breaking lancer mech design!

Shortly after their visit, another Larkinson mech designer showed up in order to gain his blessing for another new proposal.

"Ketis, I haven't seen you in a while. How is my daughter doing?" Ves asked as he greeted her into his work corner.

The woman gave him an encouraging smile. "Andraste is the most talented squirt that I have had the pleasure of teaching. It is just too easy, so much so that I have to adjust my training program and introduce more artificial obstacles in order to exercise her ability to work under adversity. If all first-class kids are like her, then I can understand why so few first-class mech pilots have what it takes to break through to the rank of expert pilot."

This was a familiar argument to Ves. A soft environment bred soft soldiers. Professional training could help a lot with compensating for that, but there were still a lot of limits. Children who grew up while having it easy had to learn many lessons from scratch!

"Don't be afraid of giving my girl a hard time." Ves told the swordmaster. "I would like to protect her for her entire life, but that is not what a good parent should do. I should give her the opportunity to learn how to stand on her own. Sometimes, that requires me to give her a bit of tough love."

Ketis nodded in agreement. "That is true. I do the same thing to my children. The difficult part is to balance it out with gentler treatment. No child should bear so much pressure all of the time."

They talked a bit more about young Andraste's performance in her beginner swordsmanship classes.

Though the energetic little girl had not attended a lot of classes to figure her out entirely, Ketis already had a good idea what the designer baby may be capable of in the future.

"If she doesn't become a mech pilot, I think she can become an excellent swordmaster that can cut the lives of mech pilots while they are in their machines."

"Truly?" Ves looked surprised. "Even you can't do that... right?"

His former student did not like that remark. "Don't remind me of that. All swordmasters have their own strengths. Andraste's little companion spirit opens up a lot of options for her that no one else has access to. If she is able to develop the right sword style that takes maximum advantage of Yaika's death affinity, then it is not impossible for your little girl to replicate the effects of a death energy wave attack on a smaller scale."

"That sounds impressive."

"Don't get excited too soon. Even with her talent, it will take a lot of focus and dedication before Andraste reaches this point. She can produce a similar outcome much easier if she focuses on channeling her special power through a rifle."

"Do you mind it if I tell her to train her marksmanship?"

"It's fine." Ketis said in a laid-back tone. "Swordmasters don't necessarily have to be pure about their weapon choice in order to become powerful. It helps, and some of the more close-minded Heavensworders insist on swearing off ranged weapons forever, but that's nonsense in my opinion. I can't comment on her ability to wield rifles, but her talent in swordsmanship is enough to make the Heavensword Association welcome her with open arms."

Ves smiled with pride. "That's my girl."

"Anyway, I did not come here to update you on the progress of your kid. I have a more work-related matter to present to you. I'd like to show you an idea for a new mech design."

When Ketis projected her draft design in the air, Ves immediately spotted a lot of familiar design elements.

At first glance, he thought that he was looking at the design of the Second Sword.

The Second Sword was Ketis' first gift to the Swordmaidens where she hailed from. Despite the relative age of the original design, the heartland-level swordsman mech still served as the premier unit for the elites of the melee-oriented mech regiment!

However, when Ves looked a bit closer at the draft design, he noticed plenty of small details that diverged from the familiar Second Sword design.

The greatsword wielded by the mechs carried more technology. The armor systems were much more high-end. The overall level of refinement was slightly higher.

"I take it that this isn't a simple update to the Second Sword design." Ves noted. "What am I looking at here, Ketis?"

The swordmaster grinned. "This is my first answer to the transphasic energy shield problem. I know that Juliet and Dulo already presented you with their own proposal, but their idea has obvious shortcomings. What I offer is a more affordable, sustainable and effective counter to transphasic energy shields, especially in the long run as I will continue to iterate on the design."

She waved her hand, causing another projection to appear into view.

The latest projection showed a short clip of the First Sword breaking the spatial barrier projected by the Trampler of Stars.

Many people within the fleet rewatched this very same clip. Though the effort to strip the phase lord of his strongest form of protection had definitely been a team effort, it was undeniable that Venerable Dise's new extraordinary sword technique played an outsized role in breaking the camel's back!

The projection did not do the spectacle justice. The moment when Ketis connected to the Decapitator, her first masterwork sword, and imbued it with the power of Sharpie, the magnificent weapon swept a crescent of stars against the nunser phase lord's nearly impervious spatial barrier.

As soon as the dense twinkling light spots struck the invisible barrier, the latter melted with unnatural ease!

Ves couldn't even begin to understand the theory of all of the mechanisms that made this feat possible. He just chalked it up to the reality-distorting effects of extraordinary willpower and left it there. Only madness would follow if he attempted to come up with a scientific explanation for all of these crazy phenomena.

"I thought this Phase Cutter technique could only be employed once in a couple of months."

"That is not correct, Ves. This attack indeed took a lot out of Sharpie, but she doesn't need to wait that long to recover again."

pǎпdǎ Йᴏνê1,сòМ As if to emphasize her point, Sharpie jumped out of the floating Bloodsinger and swung her tiny sword.


"Sharp! Sharp! Sharp!"

The miniature version of Ketis flew a few circles around Ves as if to show off her energetic state. Once she had made her point, the companion spirit flew back into Ketis' personal greatsword.

Ves looked mildly impressed. "I see. That is handy to know. I don't think we will encounter another warship soon, but it is great to know we can count on the First Sword to make a repeat performance. The same cannot necessarily be said for the Amaranto."

Though Ves was able to amplify the firepower of the Instrument of Vengeance in a similar fashion, he had to expend the much more special Worclaw energy to amplify its firepower. That was troublesome because the rate in which he was able to replenish this rare type of energy remained limited.

"We are going off on a tangent." Ketis said. "My new mech design shouldn't come under such a restriction. My intention with this project is to design a high-quality standard swordsman mech that can largely rely on its own strengths to overcome transphasic energy shields. The mech has to be strong enough to stand a good chance of surviving a high-risk assault, but it also has to be economical enough to fabricate enough copies to form a new elite mech unit."

Ves widened his eyes when he noticed what was special about the armor system. It consisted entirely of first-class materials, and it wasn't Unending alloy!

"Wait a second. Are you expecting to derive all of the first-class materials from the salvage that we have collected?"

"That's right. That is my intention. I mean, we still have many tons of salvaged alien warship debris in our cargo holds."

"I already pushed a plan where we will use up most of it on upgrading the structure and hull plating of the Spirit of Bentheim."

"I know, Ves, but you should still have plenty of tons of material left. I'm not picky. I will take whatever scraps are left and fabricate as many of my Storm Swords as possible."

"Storm Swords?" Ves questioned the name.

"Oh, I haven't gotten to the best part yet." The swordmaster grinned and pointed at the weapon in the draft design. "Do you remember the stormblade technology that I am working on implementing in the Samurai Project? While I haven't completed this mech design as of yet, I have experimented with stormblades enough times to know what it is capable of and how it can be used. My new Storm Sword design is meant to wield a single first-class stormblade greatsword. The difference in materials along with the much greater size and heft of the weapon will allow my new elite swordsman mechs to abuse warships as if they are crispy frogs!"

Ves scratched his head. "Aside from using a lot of salvaged first-class materials, how does this Storm Sword differ from the Samurai Project?"

"There are huge differences!" Ketis loudly insisted! "The Samurai Project is a more general purpose machine that is mostly designed to fight against mechs, including ones that are shielded by decent but not too powerful transphasic energy shields. The Storm Sword can fight against mechs as well, but they are mainly designed to get close to human or alien starships and exhaust their energy shields at a rapid rate."

"And how do you expect to do that with a bunch of standard mechs? Making use of first-class materials doesn't necessarily make your expensive swordsman mech more powerful. It just makes it a lot harder to break it apart."

The female mech designer emphatically pointed at the greatsword of her draft design.

"Haven't you been paying attention, Ves? I've made several design choices that will make my Storm Sword super effective! My idea is to combine stormblade technology, first-class materials and most importantly a specialized sword style based on Venerable Dise's brand-new Phase Cutter technique!"

That could be a powerful combo! Not many mech designers possessed the skill and expertise to skillfully combine these elements to produce extraordinarily powerful synergies, but the first mech designer to become a swordmaster as well may just be able to realize Ketis' ambitious vision!

Still, unlike the previous proposal, the idea presented by his former student was incredibly expensive!

The cost of failure was much higher as a substantial amount of increasingly more scarce first-class materials might go to waste.

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