The Mech Touch

 
 

The Mech Touch Chapter 351 Plantmea


It was only a matter of time before he made these discoveries, but it certainly helped to grasp this concept early. Most importantly, Ves had gathered more clues to break through his perennial bottleneck in achieving a B-graded X-Factor.

"Spirituality is a lot more intertwined in our society than I thought." Ves concluded.

Humans ruled over half of the galaxy with the might of its warships, but they competed against each other with the use of mechs. Every state made it a priority to cultivate talented mech pilots into experts and aces.

That they managed to convert a fraction of mech pilots into the realm of the elites could be attributed to their occasional successes amid countless failures. In the early days of the Age of Mechs, a lot of horror stories emerged that revealed the extent that people went through to enhance their military force.

"I can consider these matters at a later time." Ves shook his head. He still had an alien ruin to excavate.

With the help of his spirituality, Lucky had managed to pry apart the roof of the tiny hexagonal palace. His cat resembled a bear trying to break open a honeycomb in order to steal some honey.

Bits and pieces of tiny crystal furniture dotted the rooms inside. Neither Ves nor Lucky paid any interest in them after figuring out they served as tables and chairs.

Lucky continued to dig through the upper floors, but encountered a lot of resistance from the blue crystals.

At least they weren't indestructible like the transparent crystals. Their slightly lower grade gave them hope that they could uncover something valuable.

"This must be a lesser side influence in the alien society."

The longer he interacted with the alien ruins, the more he understood their society. Ves guessed that the crystal city acted as a capital or a final refuge of some sorts. It would explain the existence of the rune monuments and the effort the aliens had made in creating a portal system.

Ves found it regretful that they hadn't left anything behind in the crystal city. At some point, they evacuated it, taking away anything that hadn't been affixed to the city.

"The aliens sure built them to be tough. They couldn't even dismantle them in their haste to evacuate the city."

He was certain the crystals possessed extremely remarkable properties. Ves had succeeded in deriving their composition and structure with his Vulcaneye. As long as he figured out a way to reproduce it, he'd be able to create an extremely powerful substance that could act as both an armor system and laser propagator.

Even if he lacked the capabilities to reproduce the exact formula, he could still attempt to derive a lesser version if he substituted the rarer exotics with less valuable ones. Such experiments happened all the time.

"I recall that Master Katzenberg from Leemar is a specialist in this area."

Perhaps if he submitted his readings to Katzenberg, she'd be able to come up with a host of different substitutions. However, Ves did not possess a direct channel to the prestigious Master Mech Designer.

"I can always attempt to fumble around on my own. If I haven't achieved any results, I can always pass on the data to someone else."

Data that he couldn't use held no value to him. He might as well sell it or exchange it for something useful, although he would only receive a fraction of its true value.

"Lucky! Go dig the left compartment! I think there's a storeroom there!"

The palace appeared to house an affluent household. It contained a lot of rooms, but contained very little furniture in each. Lucky loomed over the tiny palace like a giant tiger about to engulf the inhabitants. Ves found the dichotomy in scale amusing.

It took Lucky a lot of effort to get past the subsequent layers. Ves even had to call back Lucky before the portal closed before he opened it again. Although he faintly guessed that there should have been a way to sustain the portal, Ves didn't wish to waste any time to figure out the exact mechanics.

Lucky finally broke in what looked like a vault after a few more minutes of anxious digging. The vault room contained a lot of miniscule hexagonal blocks that formed the alien race's version of a resource bar. They were so small in fact that Ves had to employ the magnification function of his hazard suit in order to observe them with his eyes.

"That's it! They should be treasures! Bring it back!"

Before Lucky could do anything, a number of crystals floated from their perches at the sides of the vault. So the palace still retained some defenses after all!

They angrily blinked and hovered around Lucky before unleashing thin beams of light at what they perceived to be an intruder.

Naturally, the noodle-thin light beams passed straight through Lucky's semi-corporeal body and blinked away into space.

Lucky stared at the defense drones with a playful gaze. His tail swished back and forth as he took little notice of the light beams passing through his body.

"Stop wasting time! Take care of them quickly before bringing back those treasures!"

The drones might have been able to threaten a tiny alien, but even Lucky would scoff at them. The substantial difference in size had turned everything made by the aliens into a joke.

Lucky took care of the drones by swatting them from the air. The drones bounced against the walls and floor of the crystal palace before regaining their balance. They continued to fire at Lucky despite their bumps.

This time, Lucky employed a different method. He opened his maw and ate all the drones. The gem cat didn't even chew before swallowing the helpless drones into his matter-coverting stomach.

Ves looked at Lucky with a crooked gaze. "Are you alright in your head?"

Lucky ate minerals and excreted gems. If Lucky happened to eat a crystal, would that be considering eating his own…

Thankfully, his cat showed no signs of being aware of what his owner thought. Lucky opened his maw again and gulped the stacks of materials.

"Uhh, Lucky. What are you doing?"

His cat disregarded his transmissions and continued to eat the vault room bare. With a satisfied squint in his eyes, Lucky flew up from the crystal palace and passed through the portal before flying back to Ves. His cat hacked and coughed a little and dropped only a couple hexagonal blocks.

The pinprick-sized materials fell onto his palm. They seemed so tiny that Ves would easily loose track of them if he dropped them onto the ground.

Ves stared at Lucky with a scornful gaze. "You could have left a bit more for me."

"Meow."

Lucky started grooming his body as if Ves didn't exist.

"Forget about it."

Ves retrieved a container on his toolbelt and deposited the remaining blocks before returning his attention to the crystal palace.

He waited until the portal winked shut before opening it again by shooting the exact same sequence. After a lot of nagging, Ves managed to get his lazy cat to return to the crystal palace again and finish his excavation of the abandoned structure.

This time, Lucky failed to uncover anything of value. They hadn't found any books, resources or machines that Ves could use to uncover any benefits.

Overall, besides the vault, the crystal palace contained nothing of value. It was another sign that pointed towards a hasty evacuation.

"Even the aliens that inhabited the crystal palace had to leave in a hurry. Why else leave their vault filled with valuable materials?"

The aliens evidently hadn't been able to empty the vault in time before they had to flee. A vault the crystal builders considered to be almost impregnable turned out to be fairly tedious for Lucky to break into.

It sure felt good to be the giant this time.

"Well, let's try again this time."

Ves took a brief break before he resumed his random activation of the runes. The crystal spires kept being roused and they always attempted to shoot down Ves and Lucky without fail. The ground became to charred and cratered that Ves had to keep moving in order to maintain a stable footing.

Hundreds of combinations passed by without a diverging result. The aliens really hadn't programmed many destinations in their portal system. Ves wished he could stay here for years and try out each and every combination, but his obligations to the Republic pushed him to cut this trip short.

"The Barracuda is currently hiding in another part of the Joe System. She's scheduled to fly back to my asteroid and check in with me after three more days."

That meant that Ves had to return to the Joe System before then if he wished to avoid a panic among his crew. His disappearance and all of the recent turbulence in the surrounding asteroids could lead to alarming conclusions that would be hard to explain.

Ves practically shot the runes on autopilot while his mind drifted off. He continued to refine his theories on Spirituality. He came up with a lot of interesting questions that needed to be answered.

"What if I can induce spirituality into a mech pilot? Can I turn Melkor into an expert pilot?"

With an expert pilot leading the Avatars of Myth, Ves would have no more concerns about his safety. The power of an expert pilot vastly outpaced their lesser counterparts if paired with a suitable mech.

Ves frowned a bit at that last detail. "Even if I can turn Melkor into an expert pilot, I can't pair him up with a mech that can bring out his strengths. I still have a short way to go before I can advance to a Journeyman Mech Designer."

Still, now that he gained a rudimentary grip on spirituality, he shouldn't encounter any obstacles in his next advancement.

The crystal city abruptly responded differently after Ves shot fifteen different runes for the umpteenth time. The spirals channeled their energies into another portal.

"It's about time, you stupid city! Bring me close to something good this time!"

The portal actually emerged in some kind of peaceful garden estate. The alien aesthetics conformed to an entirely different standard. The crystal city loved to utilize spirals while the crystal palace incorporated a lot of hexagons.

The garden didn't make use of any geometric shapes. Instead, the crystals looked like they'd been dug out of the ground. They took on rough and natural shapes, exactly like the natural unprocessed crystals that anyone could mine from a planet.

Ves called the site a garden due to the abundance of native indigenous flora. Weirdly enough, the plant-like growths looked like they'd been crossed with animals. Their surface was dotted with purple flesh that rhythmically moved according to an unknown pattern. They intertwined the purple crystal houses and structures as if they had married the ruins.

"This might be dangerous."

Ves hesitated on whether he should send out Lucky. The growths creeped him out, but he smelled the whiff of treasure inside the houses.

"The alien who lived here must be very powerful."

The crystal city wouldn't have programmed a portal to this destination if someone average lived in this garden. It would have been too much of a waste if the portals led to aliens holding statuses equivalent to gardeners or plumbers.

The more he thought about it, the more Ves hungered to crack open those abandoned houses.

He decided to shoot the growths first and see what happened. He extended the Amastendira and aimed at one of the largest purple growth.

He shot it with a low-powered beam.

The growths immediately went wild. Its tentacle-leafed like branches flailed in every direction as they tried to smack the source that threatened it. One of the branches reached the portal and smacked it from the sides.

The branch parted in half. The tip of the branch fell away while the rest of the growth pulled back its branches in fear. Getting one of its limb cut off resulted in a lot more damage than being hit by a laser.

In fact, the growth hadn't sustained any damage from the low-powered laser beam at all!

Could the aliens have cultivated the growths with their crystals? How could they be immune to lasers?

"If a laser doesn't, what about a cat?"

Ves sent out Lucky through the portal and ordered him to slice apart the growths. His cat did so reluctantly. Evidently, the growths didn't look very appetizing to the pet.

The sheer disparity in size and power had turned the hybrid growth into shredded plantmeat. This time, they uncovered something surprising underneath the growths.

They found the corpse of an alien.

 
 


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