The Mech Touch

 
 

The Mech Touch Chapter 318 Amastendira


A sense of cautious anticipation swelled inside Ves. The System held extremely high standards, and the golden lottery tickets should be worth the effort of retrieving that strange jewel from the core of the Glowing Planet.

"There's no way the System will hand over a crappy reward for a B-rank mission."

From his frequent dealings with the System, he knew that it would never stint him on his rewards. It held itself to a high standard in terms of its offerings. As impersonal as the System behaved, it displayed a very rigid sense of class.

Still, lottery tickets never guaranteed a pay off. That was the nature of gambling. Ves had no doubt that if he bought a bunch of bronze or silver lottery tickets from the System, he'd waste far more DP than he would gain in value from his wins.

Ultimately, the System profited.

That put Ves to thought. Why did the System work with Design Points? What did it actually represent?

"I gain Design Points for designing mechs and selling them to others. The more I design, the more points I earn. The more my mechs proliferate, the more points I receive."

The System obviously incentivized Ves to conquer the mech industry and make his designs ubiquitous. What he didn't understand was what the System got out of it. DP was a currency that Ves could spend on very real benefits, such as upgrading his Skills or purchasing a powerful item from the Shop.

"It's not fantasy money that the System uses to restrict my spending." He guessed. He didn't think that the System came with an endless reservoir of energy and rationed some of it out to Ves in limited amounts. "It's more as if the act of designing and selling mechs is empowering the System."

From what he could speculate, DP represented some form of higher energy, likely existing in the imaginary realm. Every mech he sold generated some of this energy, which the System somehow captured and digested it to fuel its own incredible workings.

A ridiculous level of technology underpinned these workings. Ves frequently admired the workings of the System. Whenever he thought he found its limits, the System surprised him with another capability. All of these wonders required an enormous amount of energy that not even a capital ship's reactor could supply enough power to these processes.

"It's impossible for me to figure out how the System works."

He lacked the technical background to even attempt such an analysis. Ves was like a caveman who stumbled upon an abandoned shuttle. He didn't need to know how it worked to press a couple of buttons and get the shuttle to fly.

"It's enough for me to work within the boundaries set by the System."

Even if the System had a nefarious purpose, for now Ves had little to fear. He only received plenty of benefits so far. It wasn't too late to throw it away if it ever became a threat.

He moved on to the lottery tickets, which continued to hover in front of him. The projection appeared so realistic that he could almost touch them if not for his hazard suit getting in the way.

Using up the tickets on an isolated rooftop of an empty workshop didn't seem very prudent, but Ves had nothing to fear so long as he kept up his trusty Privacy Shield.

Lucky also scampered nearby. With his pet on the prowl, no spy bugs should be able to get close enough to breach the Privacy Shield.

"Here goes nothing."

Ves extended a gauntleted finger and ripped apart the first golden lottery ticket. The entire thing shone bright before revealing the interface upon which he would draw his prize.

A bin materialized that held a bunch of golden balls. Each of them shone with an attractive luster, as if they hinted at a great treasure. Ves figured that he had to pick and choose which ball to take.

"Here goes nothing."

He held out his hand and dug it deep into the bin of balls. The balls all appeared to be made of solid gold, which made it difficult for his suited arm to extend into the bin, but he persevered. Once his gauntlet reached the bottom of the bin, he grabbed hold of a random ball that rested at the bottom and carefully retracted it out of the bin.

The ball he held began to shine. Its gold surface sparkled and dematerialized, revealing a great light hidden inside its hollow cavity.

[You have failed to draw a prize from your golden lottery ticket. Please draw again.]

"..."

Really? After so much fanfare, he wasted an entire ticket?

"Come on, System! This is such a big scam!"

Alright, so he confirmed that even golden lottery tickets could end up as duds. Even though he predicted the possibility, it never felt good to fail on the first draw.

Once he finished drawing the price, the bin stirred itself up and the balls began to bounce back and forth. Once the process finished, Ves could use up another ticket by drawing another ball.

"Next try then."

He drew out one of the balls at the top this time. When the golden ball began to shine, it split up to reveal a miniature object inside.

[Congratulations! You have received a 10-year production license of the following sensor component: Colchester Revisions 44-SBNC1341455A.]

"At least I got something this time."

His tone sounded remarkably flat, because he did not have a clue on the value of this sensor license. Neither the company name or the unspeakable codename revealed any hint of its true value. Just because he received a production license didn't mean he could apply them immediately.

A license had to fit his vision instead of the other way around. In addition, chances were high that the sensor component either underperformed or demanded way too much exotics to be cost-effective. He'd have to check it out later to see whether the license held any use at all.

"If nothing else, I can always sell the rights to the license for a couple of billions credits."

In general, most production licenses could be sold or transferred to an interested party, though usually at a discount.

Ves put the matter aside and drew another ball.

This time, the ball shone much more brighter than the last one. It practically blinded his visor, causing it to automatically adjust. Something remarkable appeared out of the light.

A resplendent looking laser pistol materialized from the ball. Its beautiful appearance adopted a classy, vintage look. A generous amount of golden-like flourishes adorned its gleaming white surface, and the grippy, bone-plated grip automatically expanded its form to allow his gauntlet to wield the pistol properly.

Ves focused on the weapon in his hand.

[Amastendira - Inv]
Rank: Supreme
The Amastendira is a masterwork laser pistol hand-crafted by Pierre Femento, the renowned Rubarthan laser gunsmith. The Amastendira is part of a set of three pistols. It is rumored that the three pistols can be combined into a single super-rifle which can pose a threat to a cutting-edge mech.

On its own, the Amastendira is a fully-fledged laser pistol that can be compacted into an unassuming cube, allowing it to be pocketed. Once retracted, it can fire a variety of laser beams at a wide variety of power settings.

The efficiency of this weapon is directly related to its power settings. The Amastendira can fire up to five-thousand standard-powered beams before entering a one-hour cooldown cycle. Its renewable energy cell allows the pistol to constantly replenish its power and its dimensional heat sink enables it to shunt any heat into another dimension.

At maximum power, the pistol will only be able to fire ten beams in quick succession, and will need to cool down for at least ten minutes.

This unique work of art is the crystallization of Pierre Femento's life's work, but has been presumed lost. This weapon is has been partially reconstructed, but a significant amount of hidden settings still remain dormant.

"This pistol!"

Ves could not believe what he received. His dinky little backup pistol he holstered at his hip might as well be a toy in front of this slim and elegant piece of art. He could practically feel the X-Factor radiating out of this majestic weapon. This Pierre Femento must have designed and created it with an abundance of passion and love.

With bated breath, he slowly tightened his grip on the weapon, as if he was afraid it was an illusion. He was most impressed with its capacity to fire five-thousand standard laser beams without requiring any rest in between.

What did five-thousand consecutive shots means? It meant he could pretty much hold down the trigger and burn through a solid a solid piece of ship armor given enough time. It meant he could lay down as much fire as a full squad of infantrymen.

In addition, he noticed that the power settings could be dialed up to such a formidable level that he could burn through regular mech armor with a couple of focused volleys. Exoskeleton armor formed no obstacle at all.

"This is what I was looking for. Now I'm not so toothless anymore without Lucky."

Ves always found it grating to rely on Lucky to save him from a sticky mess. Now, with a formidable weapon by his side, he possessed the means to fight back, though he hadn't turned into a super soldier all of a sudden. Even the best weapons could be rendered ineffective if its wielder didn't possess the skill to wield them effectively.

Sadly for him, Ves only received basic self-defense training with pistols. His aim was far from ideal, which made this weapon a poor fit for him. He could tell that Pierre had designed this weapon for a highly skilled combatant, because it incorporated absolutely no form of aim assistance at all.

"An expert gunslinger doesn't need any form of help."

Despite this major deficiency, Ves still cherished this weapon.

"What does the 'Inv' stand for?"

[Any object that carries the suffix of Inv can be dematerialized into the Inventory offered by Mech Designer System with no limits.]

"Wow!"

Ves asked a couple of more questions, and for once, the System spared enough energy to answer his questions.

Any item above a certain rank could be held in the System's inventory, as long as he obtained it from the System in the first place. Amastendira happened to be an item that came with the rank of Supreme, which happened to be several times more remarkable than Lucky, who initially bore the rank of Gold when he initially received him as a gift.

Ves glanced over at Lucky, who didn't appear to be impressed by his fancy new weapon. The cat had transformed from a regular bronze-like gem cat to an impressive looking bone-white cat. The amount of Rorach's Bone he ingested was virtually priceless, with the high-grade bone contributing the most to Lucky's newfound strength.

"Don't worry, Lucky. You're still the best gift ever."

Once he finished admiring his splendid-looking gift, he dematerialized it into his Inventory before going back to his lottery drawings.

His luck seemed to have run out over the course of the next draws. He encountered dud after dud.

[You have failed to draw a prize from your golden lottery ticket. Please draw again.]

[You have failed to draw a prize from your golden lottery ticket. Please draw again.]

[You have failed to draw a prize from your golden lottery ticket. Please draw again.]

[You have failed to draw a prize from your golden lottery ticket. Please draw again.]

He finally received a solid prize on his eight drawing.

[Congratulations! You have received a single-use Superpublish voucher! Use this voucher to activate your Superpublish ability on any of your solely-developed designs. This voucher will not use up your regular Superpublish quota.]

Compared to the Amastendira, this Superpublish voucher failed to excite him in any way. If he remembered correctly, the Superpublish ability enabled him to spontaneously improve any design by ten percent.

Before, he always held back on this ability because he had to wait for an entire year before he could use it again. What if he used it frivolously and later ended up in a situation where he had to break past his limits to save his life? Thus, Ves always put the ability into a mental vault, and locked it away, never to be used unless his life was truly at stake.

Getting another chance at using the Superpublish ability granted him a lot more leeway with this ability. He planned to keep the voucher in his Inventory and save it up for a genuine emergency.

In the meantime, he'd use his regular Superpublish ability as often as possible in order to make full use of its possibilities. Even if Ves wouldn't be able to earn any DP for any designs improved in this way, he'd still be able to learn a lot from all of the changes.

Now, only two more lottery drawings remained. Ves itched his fingers for the final two balls.

 
 


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