The Mech Touch - Chapter 3072: Unsung Hero

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Chapter 3072: Unsung Hero

Antics aside, the design lab turned into a serious venue where a lot of mech designers were too busy with their own assignments to joke around.

The design teams might not be able to contribute as many solutions to the expert mech designs due to the heightened difficulty, they were still essential when it came to other matters.

As Ves watched over the assistant mech designers at work, he wondered how soon he would be able to double the amount. He had not forgotten about the advice given by Master Willix, but it was a bit uncertain where the expeditionary fleet would visit next.

As the Larkinsons and their allies were steadily making their way out of the Yeina Star Cluster, the destinations ahead of them became increasingly more vague.

Ves did not have a solid impression of the Bardo and Fermi Star Clusters. While he was sure that plenty of Larkinsons had already done their research on them, he did not feel the need to direct his precious time away from his work in order to study what made these places unique and what they could offer.

The Red Ocean was his true destination. Any other place in between was a lot more boring in comparison. The only stop that was truly worthy of his attention was the Smiling Samuel Star Sector, but it would still take many months before his fleet arrived at its border…

"Well, at least that gives us enough time to finish all of our expert mech design projects."

Though he did not anticipate he would need to deploy that much strength when he arrived at the dwarf-dominated star sector, it would give him a lot of assurance if his fleet gained an additional trump card.

Last Ves checked up on the Vulcan Empire, the Crown Uprising had destabilized it as well, though not to a worrying extent. The star sector was dominated by a single regime and it was mostly populated by dwarves, who were much more used to banding together than average humans.

Also, the dwarves appeared to have less crown terrorists in their ranks as usual. This was rather strange. Did even the Five Scrolls Compact look down on these short-statured humans?

Whatever the case, Ves hoped that he would be able to meet some sane dwarves and engage in polite and rational discourse with these wonderful variant humans.

As Ves continued to do his best to meet the sixty day deadline set by his wife, he began to feel fulfilled in a way he hadn't experienced in a long time.

"You're right." He told her one day. "I really needed to get back into the groove."

"Told you so." She grinned and pecked his cheek. "I had this version of you in mind when I chose to marry you. Look, even Clixie likes you more."

"Miaow~"

The furry cat arched her back and took a nap as Ves softly brushed his hand across her back.

Whenever Gloriana was happy with Ves, Clixie was happy as well. Whenever Gloriana was unhappy with Ves, Clixie hissed at him as if he was a bad guy.

It didn't make any sense. Lucky never grew angry at Gloriana when he argued with her. His cat might be defective.

Fortunately, he had several other cats to keep him company.

"Bygul, how much time do you need before you finish crunching the numbers on the latest tweaks to the power reactor?"

[Three hours, fifty-two minutes and twenty-five seconds, sir.] An electronic cat projection answered in a formal tone.

Though Ves had to wait hours until he received the data he wanted, it would have taken days to complete the same task aboard his old ships.

The AI core added to the Spirit of Bentheim was one of the factory ship's most useful features. It provided him and every other mech designer with a lot more processing capacity than they had ever enjoyed before.

The CFA knew what it was doing when it came to AIs. Even though the AI core obtained by the Larkinson Clan was supposed to be a defective product, Ves didn't notice any of it except for a theoretical reduction in processing power. Everything else worked great, particularly the neural learning capabilities that allowed the AI core to develop better ways to serve the needs of its users.

As a result, Bygul became a little more clever and efficient over time. He had become a favored presence to the assistant mech designers because of how much tedious work they could leave to automation.

However, there was also another cat that actually provided a surprising amount of help while everyone worked.

Mrow.

When Blinky emerged from Ves' mind, he floated over to Gloriana who idly patted his ethereal body.

"You're so cute."

Mrow~

After Blinky fooled around for a time, he left Gloriana's side and began to fly back and forth between Ves and some other people.

Ves didn't bother to keep his companion spirit a secret to the other mech designers. Though no one knew what kind of existence Blinky represented, he looked absolutely remarkable and possessed a charm that disarmed many people.

Normally, Ves kept a closer eye on Blinky in order to make sure his companion spirit didn't get up to any mischief, but lately he was too busy to monitor his latest cat too closely.

Blinky was ultimately another aspect of himself, so Ves didn't worry all that much about what another part of his spirit and mentality was doing.

Normally, Blinky only explored the design lab for a half an hour or so before he got bored and returned to his home in order to take a nap.

Today was different, however. The spiritual cat quietly floated above the heads of every diligent mech designer. The starry trails streaking along his intangible body zipped faster as Blinky began to concentrate on what the individual mech designers were actually doing.

Blinky's eyes glowed brighter as he quietly approached Catherine Evenson's head.

The woman hardly noticed anything as she directed her full concentration towards the module she was assigned to optimize.

A purple tail curled down until its black tip phased through the former Sentinel noble's skull.

A second later, Blinky retracted his tail. After taking one last look at Catherine, the cat flew over to another assistant mech designer's head before repeating the silent procedure.

Soon enough, Blinky managed to touch all of the assistant mech designers on duty in this fashion.

Blinky flew to the larger work areas where the Journeymen were engaged in their own work. He quietly approached Ketis, only to get detected straight away.

"Oh hey, Blinky! How are you doing?"

Mrow mrow~

The spiritual cat flew closer and Ketis happily hugged him. She briefly became fascinated by the crystal third eye embedded into his forehead.

"What is this all about?"

Mrow.

"Oh yeah, I forgot I can't understand you like Ves."

Blinky did not come here in order to get cuddled this time. Once Ketis finished her hugging session with the cat, the companion spirit slowly approached her head and extended his tail only for it to get stopped.

Unlike the assistant mech designers that Blinky had touched beforehand, Ketis possessed the most formidable mental defenses out of all of the mech designers in the clan!

If Ketis really did not want Blinky to violate the sanctuary of her mind, then there was no way that the cat would be able to accomplish his goal!

In order to make sure that he didn't come away empty-handed, Blinky employed a surefire persuasion method that had always worked.

He widened his glowing eyes and made a pleading gesture with his front paws. Blinky was literally begging towards Ketis!

Mrowwwww~

"Hihihi!" Ketis broke out in a rare giggle. "You really want to get into my mind that bad? Well, don't go poking around too much."

There was no way a woman like her could resist such a cute and lovely cat. Of course, part of the reason why she did not fear Blinky at all was because she possessed more than enough strength to crush any nefarious action. She could summon back Sharpie from Bloodsinger in the blink of an eye if necessary.

Fortunately, Blinky did not rummage through her mind. Instead, when his tail passed through her mental barriers unopposed, he simply left a tiny trace of himself behind before pulling out.

"Is that it?"

Mrow.

After waving Ketis goodbye, Blinky flew over to Juliet and Gloriana who allowed the companion spirit to do as he wished.

Once Blinky had touched every mech designer in the design lab, he flew back to Ves and hovered just above his head.

The cat began to curl as if he was settling on a bed and began to concentrate. His eyes glowed brighter as he spontaneously activated an ability that he had never engaged before.

The air above the design lab changed. Slowly but surely, thin, invisible lines rippled into existence.

These tiny lines all originated from the heads that Blinky had touched. These lines directly passed through every obstacle and led straight to the spiritual cat's body.

When viewed from afar, it was as if Blinky had turned himself into a new spiritual network!

The effect of this was subtle at first.

The mech designers began to work a little faster and more effectively. The assistants strangely experienced minor bursts of inspiration or came up with surprising new ways to solve the problems that had plagued them for hours.

The difference actually became quite substantial as nearly every assistant managed to solve a lot more problems than before!

In comparison, the Journeyman did not experience any major increases in productivity. They merely felt more comfortable and sometimes gained a greater understanding of the works of other colleagues.

For example, Gloriana gained a greater appreciation of how Juliet meticulously engineered the flight and booster systems of the Disruptor Project.

Ves grasped Ketis' intentions when she designed the daggers of the expert light mechs in a specific shape.

Juliet began to experience what she had been missing in her work now that her sensitivity towards the life buried in the mech designs had been raised.

Ketis began to approach her work with more care and less sloppiness now that the flaws in her work became a little more glaring.

This seemingly magical state did not last long. Blinky calmly maintained his network for a couple of hours before he stopped.

Mrow…

Blinky looked a lot less energetic after maintaining the new and unknown network for so long. Though the strain on him was not that bad, it still took a lot out of him after continually maintaining it for so long.

The companion spirit took one last look at the design lab before diving back into Ves' mind. Though Blinky could power himself up with as much spiritual energy as he wanted, the strain he endured was not so easy to recover from. The spiritual cat took a long and well-deserved nap.

As for the mech designers, none of them noticed what Blinky had done or that they received a power-up for a couple of hours. Many assistants felt a bit bummed now that their magical state was gone.

Moltar Ringer leaned back and yawned. "I'm so tired. My mind isn't straight anymore."

The Journeymen might have noticed if they paid attention to the effect, but they had all been preoccupied with their own individual tasks. Not even Ketis noticed how easier it had been for her to come up with a satisfactory result.

Just like the others, she merely dismissed this brief phase as a temporary condition.

"I was in the zone back then." She muttered.

The others held similar thoughts. It wasn't unusual for mech designers or any other creative to enter into a special mood where they became a lot more productive than before.

Nobody recognized the role that Blinky played. The companion spirit dozed off as his contribution to the project went unsung, at least for now.

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