The Mech Touch - Chapter 3336: System Update

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Chapter 3336: System Update


Ves did not delay any further. He grabbed hold of the Timpala Steel with his gauntlets.


"Meow!"


Lucky finally discovered the remarkable nature of Timpala Steel, but before he could dart in to have a bite, the strange material shimmered before the chunk dematerialized out of existence.


"MEEEOOOW!"


There was no question what had happened. The System had finally acted and absorbed the ore that could be refined into the substance known as Timpala Steel!


Strangely enough, the System did not devour all of the ore. It apparently didn't need all of it and wasn't inclined to absorb any excess. Only a narrow sliver the size of a finger was left of this mysterious material.


"MEOW!


Lucky did not hesitate in the slightest. The cat did not ask for permission and darted forward in order to stuff the finger-sized chunk of ore through his gullet!


Pure pleasure radiated from his body as he deposited the ore without even bothering to break it up with his teeth. That would take time which Ves could have used to pry it out of his maw!


"Well, I'll let you get away with it this time." Ves scoffed at his pet's greedy behavior. "Let's consider this your compensation for all of the stuff you had to go through recently."


"Meow~"


The cat's metallic exterior already began to ripple. This was an indication that his body was morphing as a response of what he had absorbed!


"Sure enough, Timpala Steel is definitely not an average material."


Lucky had eaten a great variety of exotics over the years. Average exotics no longer provided him with any measurable upgrades. Only the more powerful and special ones could upgrade his attributes and functions.


The tremors quickly came to an end, though. Lucky did not look much different from before. Perhaps his exterior had turned a little paler than before, but the uncertainty level was too high to be sure about this change.


"Not enough." Ves judged.


What Lucky obtained was doubtlessly useful to him in some way, but the crumbs left behind by the System hardly sated the cat's appetite!


While the cat was enjoying his own little reward, Ves paid attention to what happened next.


He mentally received a couple of brief messages despite not activating the System's interface.


[Congratulations for completing your first S-Rank Supply Mission. By fulfilling the sole objective of Material Supply 3, you have overcome difficult odds to source a pinnacle material.]


[You have received 1 use of the Inventorize ability.]


[You have received 10 golden lottery tickets.]


His eyes shone brighter as he finally obtained his long-awaited rewards!


Though the rewards yielded by the golden lottery tickets were often random and unpredictable, Ves should have a decent chance of drawing a truly valuable prize with 10 drawing opportunities.


"Maybe it's too much for me to hope I'll get a reward akin to the Grand Dynamo, but whatever else I can get won't be too shabby hopefully."


What Ves truly valued was the Inventorize ability. This allowed him to materialize and dematerialize a single possession.


As a paranoid bastard, Ves was always afraid of losing access to his possessions. This ability suited him just fine. As long as no one was powerful enough to block or hinder this capability, he would always have a solution at hand.


He had thought a lot about which valuable item he should use this reward for. The capability of being able to recall any possession should never be spent lightly.


The first time he gained access to the Inventorize ability, he did not hesitate much before he used it on his System comm. There was no safer way to carry it, hide it and keep it hidden from organizations like the MTA than to store it in an intangible state.


With that, Ves was much more assured he would be able to preserve his greatest secret.


Now, he was faced with a new opportunity to turn another crucial possession into his inseparable loadout.


Ves hadn't made up his mind yet. Despite months of mulling over this question, he had not come closer to a definite answer!


"My Unending Regalia is a rather obvious choice. Not only does it offer me protection against both material and spiritual attacks, but it can be enhanced through spiritual means due to the nature of its primary material. It can also protect me from exposure to hostile environments."


Ves wasn't worried about the Unending Regalia becoming obsolete. Just like the Ship of Theseus, as long as the overall object was the same, it did not matter if Ves updated its configuration over time. Only when it was completely destroyed would the Inventorize ability lose its target.


This turned his Unending Regalia into an excellent investment if he prioritized defense and survival. What was even better was that the suit of armor consisted of a complete set of integrated systems and modules.


It could do more than offer protection! It could also integrate scanners, incorporate a minifab, mount integrated weapons and so on. As long as it didn't take up too much space, Ves could stuff it with all kinds of useful goodies!


"It's a highly compelling choice, that's for sure."


In fact, it would have been even better if Ves was able to Inventorize an even greater machine such as a mech, an enormous bot or even an entire starship!


However, the System wasn't that generous. Ves had already inquired about the limits of this reward. He couldn't go too far. The Unending Regalia was already on the large side, and it wasn't even that bulky compared to other suits of combat armor!


The only reason why Ves hesitated to Inventorize his Unending Regalia was because there were a couple of other compelling choices.


The Hammer of Brilliance that he recently made housed his incarnation. Though it was not too remarkable at the moment, over time its continued exposure and growth alongside Vulcan would definitely turn it into an exceptional totem.


The greater its power, the more difficult it was to retain it! While Ves was sure that he could accommodate Vulcan in another home, losing the hammer that was made out of scarce and priceless Unending alloy would hurt a lot.


In the long run, Inventorizing the Hammer of Brilliance so that Ves would always have a hammer that had endless growth potential by his side!


It was not only an invaluable tool for various production-related activities, but could also serve as a weapon in a pinch. Maybe its lethality was far behind the Amastendira, but it was a lot more foolproof.


"Maybe I should consider Inventorizing the Larkinson Mandate as well."


It was not only the core artifact of his clan, but also the home of the Golden Cat. Perhaps it was not an indispensable object to Ves, but it was of immeasurable value to the Larkinsons as a whole!


However, Ves was more inclined to serve his immediate needs first. Both his Unending Regalia and his Hammer of Brilliance were much more important to his survival than a special book.


After all, if he ever ended up in a personal crisis situation, he doubted he would be able to solve his problems by swinging around a big tome!


"Well, I can make up my mind later. Even if I make a sub-optimal choice, I still have four more Supply Missions that I need to complete."


It was at this time that Ves received another notification.


[The Mech Designer System is currently undergoing an upgrade. During this time, it is inaccessible and not responsive to any commands. Thank you for your patience.]


A small presence in his awareness had dimmed. Ves could vaguely feel profound fluctuations taking place in another realm.


"Well, it doesn't look like it will wake up soon."


This was another hopeful sign. The Timpala Steel that Ves had just delivered to the System had to be a powerful supplement for it to take an extended break to integrate this extraordinary material!


Ves was deeply curious about the properties of Timpala Steel. What did the System seek to gain from it? He doubted it was because it wanted to obtain a tougher shell.


"Oh well. Since I'm unlikely to get my hands on anymore of this material, it doesn't matter too much."


After Ves made sure he completed his objective, he began to clean up the site.


"Lucky?"


"Meow..?" Lucky slowly woke up from the bliss of his surprisingly fantastic snack.


Ves pointed at the empty metal box. "Eat."


"Meow…"


"I said eat! I need you to get rid of the evidence!"


Lucky made an ugly hacking motion. "Meow meow!"


"I know it tastes like crap to you, but I need every trace of this box gone. I can't bring it out of this hole and I can't destroy it with my weapons either. If I fire at it with my Amastendira, I'll just vaporize it, which will cause a lot of particles to spread around. I can't afford to leave such traces behind. Only you can make it disappear entirely!"


"Meowwww!" His cat looked aggrieved again.


"Remember who brought you here and allowed you to eat a precious substance in the first place. This is a material that even the System was greedy for! You've eaten the meat. Now it's time for you to eat your veggies."


It took a bit of time, but Lucky eventually did what was necessary. Tears seemed to leak from Lucky's eyes as he begrudgingly ate the low-quality metal container until there was nothing left.


He felt as if he had been downgraded to a garbage disposal bot!


Ves and his cat soon emerged out of the hole while looking hardly any different from before. Though Lucky's mood was more subdued, Ves did not exhibit any evidence that he had completed his long-awaited objective.


"Let's go drill another hole." He instructed even though it was completely redundant.


An hour passed by as Ves suppressed his happiness and continued to act out his charade. The more holes he drilled, the smaller the chance that someone would find anything suspicious when they retraced his activities in this asteroid belt.


Ves began to yawn again as he looked forward to ending this exhausting but incredibly fruitful day.


Just as he thought about leaving this damned star sector and completing his journey to the beyonder gate, a sudden development occurred.


"SIR! An asteroid several hundred-thousand kilometers away has exploded!"


Ves looked puzzled as he responded to the emergency notification. "Did something hit the asteroid?"


"It's not an artificial explosion! We are detecting powerful energy emissions. Wait, we've detected the emergence of a starship. It appears that the vessel has been hiding in this asteroid belt for an extended period of time!"


"What?!"


Ves signalled his honor guard to abort the drilling. They quickly brought back the heavy gear to the shuttle while Ves and Lucky entered as well.


As the shuttle was making a beeline back to the Spirit of Bentheim, Ves received further updates about the unveiled presence.


He even received a live feed from a long-ranged optical sensor. It displayed a small frigate with typical Vulcanite design characteristics.


"Tch! More dwarves! Will I ever get rid of them!?" Ves exasperatingly said.


He did not even want to wait any further to assess why this dwarven frigate was here or whether she posed a threat.


Ves dialed General Verle.


"Your orders, sir?"


"Tell Venerable Stark to bring out the Amaranto and fire her most powerful shot at this unknown frigate! Don't shoot to disable. Destroy the ship utterly! I don't want any crew or module to remain intact!"


"Are you sure, sir? A single dwarven sub-capital ship poses no threat to our fleet, especially at this distance."


"JUST DO IT!" Ves insisted!


Though Venerable Stark hadn't gone out to patrol, she and her fellow expert pilots had always remained on standby during this quiet but sensitive time.


It only took three minutes for the Amaranto to launch into space. It did not fly too far away and only sought to find a position where it could gain an uninterrupted firing angle on the distant frigate.


Though the distance was rather extreme, it was still doable for a precise expert rifleman mech to hit a frigate-sized vessel!


Venerable Stark had to take her time to aim though. She minutely adjusted the precision aiming mechanisms of her expert mech in order to ensure the angle of fire was exactly right. Even a microscopic deviation was enough for her attack to miss by several kilometers.


Once she judged that her aim was true, she mentally pulled the trigger.


A full-powered resonance-enhanced laser beam soared forward at the speed of light and almost instantly struck the bow of the distant dwarven frigate!


Yet when the beam faded, the ship was completely intact!


"That's impossible!"


"Wait! We're detecting a new source of emissions. It's a mech!"


The long-ranged optical sensor detected that the Amaranto's powerful laser attack had been blocked by a resonance shield.


Ves immediately grew suspicious. Though the distance was too far to capture more detailed readings, his instincts became increasingly more unsettled the more he looked at the feed.


"This mech…"


The more the image cleared up, the more Ves and every other observer was able to get a glimpse at the dwarven machine.


"It's an expert mech, and not a cheap one considering how easily it blocked the Amaranto's attack."


"It doesn't appear to carry a physical shield. It must be an offensive expert mech."


"Is it stronger than the Gatekeeper?"


Ves' panic suddenly spiked. "THAT'S NOT AN EXPERT MECH! THAT'S AN ACE MECH!"


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