Chapter 4482 Cat Purposes
After browsing all of the offerings of the Divine Bazaar, he failed to find a material that suited all of his needs.
"I knew it wouldn't be easy." Ves sighed.
The Divine Bazaar offered a random selection of high-end goods at various prices. Roughly half of the available products were tied to the mech industry, but the other half was obviously related to the Five Scrolls Compact.
This presented Ves with a dichotomy of options that were incredibly useful when used for specific purposes, but wasteful in many other circ.u.mstances.
As a mech designer, Ves found it easy to judge the materials that could be used to make a mech. He never heard of most of them, but that did not stop him from reading the descriptions and gaining an intuitive sense of what he could do with a particular resource.
"Just because they're useful for mechs doesn't mean they are useful for my current project."
He faced a different problem when it came to materials related to spiritual engineering.
The Five Scrolls Compact and its many off-shoots not only made use of a lot of very weird materials, but also labeled them with strange and superst.i.tious names.
"What can I expect from a bunch of crazy cultists?"
Ves shouldn't judge the exotic materials utilized by the cultists too much, though. No matter what, their abilities and powers were real, so they definitely knew what they were doing when they made use of all of these strange materials.
As Ves compared the materials used by mech designers with the materials used by spiritual sorcerers, he found that the latter possessed an undeniable advantage.
"The Compact not only has access to spiritually reactive materials, but possesses the method to produce more of them. What is their secret?!"
Ves had spent a lot of time and effort to find more materials like P-stones, B-stones and Unending alloy without much luck.
There had to be some places in the Milky Way or the Red Ocean where he could find deposits of spiritually reactive materials, but he hadn't found any up to this point.
He suspected that it was pointless for him to search in ordinary places.
The two most likely locations where he could find what he needed was inside an anomalous region like the Nyxian Gap or an exceptionally energy-dense region.
Ves found it far too dangerous to stray in another hazardous region of s.p.a.ce like the Nyxian Gap.
As for energy-dense regions, these were places like the galactic center in the old galaxy and the upper zones in the new frontier where the richest resources could be found.
Ves and his clan didn't have the qualifications to wander around an upper zone at will. Not yet at least.
"I guess the Divine Bazaar is my only available channel for spiritually reactive materials for the time being." He sighed.
He did have an idea on how he might be able to make a subst.i.tute for a P-stone. He just needed to conduct a lot of research and experimentation before he could be certain about his new theory.
Ves didn't have time for that, and any subst.i.tute material he could make wouldn't be strong enough for his needs.
His cyborg cat needed to be able to take a hit in order for Ves to feel a.s.sured about the safety of his divine artifact.
Fortunately, the Divine Bazaar offered several materials that seemed up to standard. Most of them were over his budget, but there were also cheaper materials that were just as strong but weren't valued as much.
"It mostly has to do with how useful they are and how widely they can be applied."
[Infected Lead from the Sixteenth Heaven]
Price: 109 Ascension Points
This metal bar bears the properties of lead originating from the Sixteenth Heaven. It is infected by an unknown influence that has corrupted and distorted its properties. The infected lead has gained new traits at the cost of weakening other traits. The infected lead can become an excellent carrier of one element after undergoing specific treatment, but will block and reject other elements.
This material sounded like a combination between Unending alloy and B-stone. It could probably absorb a lot of spiritual energy but only of a single attribute while rejecting the rest.
This was a useful property that Ves could use to make a lot of helpful products, particularly ones oriented towards defense!
"It would make for a perfect helmet material for my Unending Regalia! I can defend myself against spiritual attacks while also channeling my spiritual abilities without too many restrictions!"
If not for the fact that Ves didn't want to squander 109 Ascension Points, he would have bought this infected lead without question!
Sadly, he had to give up on this promising idea as well as many other ones in order to focus on what was important.
"I can't go for anything that is too extravagant. I need to settle for a more modest material that can still offer a specific benefit."
While he eventually planned to upgrade the exterior parts of his cyborg cat with superior versions made out of better materials, it might take years for that to happen.
In the meantime, his divine artifact was bound to develop and mature in a direction set by its initial form and functionality.
If he made a cyborg cat that was good at generating energy s.h.i.+elds, then it would likely develop more abilities and become a lot better at this job over time.
If he made a cyborg cat that possessed an active stealth system and could hide its presence, then it would only become a lot more difficult to detect when it grew older.
This was why Ves did not necessarily pay attention to the strength of the materials. It was much more relevant for him to study and understand their unique properties.
"Maybe it is better for me to define what I want from my divine artifact. What do I need? What should it do that my other cats cannot do? My cyborg cat has to have a unique purpose in order to make it worthwhile for me to bring to life."
It was redundant for him to create a copy of one of his existing cats, no matter whether they were physical or spiritual.
Ves briefly went over his cats and what they excelled at the most.
"Lucky can produce gems and he's an excellent infantry-level combatant. Clixie is a great caretaker for my family and can also put up a fight. Goldie is the guardian and the watcher of the Larkinson Clan. Blinky already provides me with a lot of help in any work related to spiritual engineering. Alexandria is great at forming a design network that can tie the minds of many people together."
Ves inadvertently ama.s.sed a notable collection of cats. Each of them possessed a powerful function that already provided him with the a.s.sistance that he needed the most, whether it was on the battlefield or in the workshop.
"There isn't much that I need." He muttered.
After a lot of thought, he could think of only two possible areas where he could use another cat.
The first option was defense. Keeping himself alive was a great priority. Though Lucky and Clixie were able to defeat smaller physical threats while Blinky was quite good at fighting spiritual threats, he did not possess a way to s.h.i.+eld himself from damage.
"My Unending Regalia and my s.h.i.+eld generators can block a lot of damage, but I doubt I will be able to remain in one piece after getting bombarded by a squad of mechs!"
The two possible ways he could defend against overwhelming attacks was defense or evasion.
Ves recently obtained a one-use personal teleporter, so he already had the evasion part covered for the time being.
He worried a lot more about defending his family. Neither his wife nor his children possessed defensive gear as good as his Unending Regalia.
He planned to remedy this shortcoming soon enough, but even then they might need additional help if they ever came under threat.
Making a cat that could save their lives at critical moments sounded more than worthwhile in his opinion!
"It's just that putting up a big s.h.i.+eld is not that useful on its own." Ves sighed. "I can still equip my kids with all of the s.h.i.+eld generators that I can afford. It is much harder to help them run to safety, especially if teleportation is blocked."
The best defense was a good offense in this case. This might not always be the best solution, but it could at least buy his children a lot of time.
Lucky, Clixie, Blinky and his honor guard were already capable of defeating enemies at the same level, but they were helpless in the face of mechs and wars.h.i.+ps.
Ves had always desired to gain the ability to defeat a larger threat on his own. Perhaps a divine artifact might be able to satisfy his need due to its special properties.
"What kind of cyborg cat will I make, then? One that can transform into a sophisticated firearm that can spit out hot beams of death?"
For a moment, Ves visualized the scene.
Perhaps he visited a planet one day and a group of hostile mechs managed to sneak close enough to launch an a.s.sa.s.sination strike.
While his bodyguard mechs kept most of the enemy mechs busy, one of the threats might be able to get through the blockade!
Yet before this enemy mech could complete its mission, a cat would jump into Ves' arm and a.s.sume a posture that was similar to a gun.
Ves subsequently aimed the head of his cat at the mech before 'pulling the trigger', causing his pet to disgorge a disproportionately powerful energy beam that instantly burned a hole through the chest of the enemy mech!
This was an absurd and impractical divine artifact for many reasons!
Although Ves definitely wanted to add an attack ability to his divine artifact if possible, it wasn't a close reflection of his power and rules.
If he wanted to make a divine artifact that could serve its primary purpose well, then he needed to pay close attention to its functions and how well they matched his inclinations.
"I'm a mech designer, not a warrior. Direct combat shouldn't be the focus. I need to pick a function that matches who I am and what I stand for. The most fitting product should be tied to life, mechs, mutual growth and synergy. What kind of cat can I make that encompa.s.ses all of these concepts?"
Ves mulled over those words. His eyes slowly grew brighter as he generated an idea that captivated his imagination.
"What if I design a cyborg cat that can supercharge the performance of a mech?"
He envisioned a cat that could attach itself to the frame of a mech or enter its c.o.c.kpit and settle on the lap of the pilot.
Once his divine artifact settled into place, it could use its abilities that were inherent to Ves to form a spiritual connection to the mech, mech pilot and possibly the design spirit.
Once the cyborg cat established the connections, it could boost the performance of the mechs in various ways, from empowering the spiritual capabilities of the mech or speeding up the growth of a mech pilot!
In some cases, the cyborg cat might also function as an additional source of power that could enhance the power of the next attack from attack!
This way, Ves had more ways to intervene directly in an ongoing mech battle!
The only way he could intervene in a battle at this time was by channeling his Worclaw energy through a masterwork mech or weapon.
He could only employ this trump card once in a battle, and there were only a handful of mechs that he could channel this power.
"If I can make a cyborg cat that can interface with any mech, then I don't have to worry about these limitations anymore!"