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Were there any spiritually-reactive materials among Rion's collection of high-grade materials?
The probability that this might be the case was low, but Ves did not rule it out entirely.
At this point, he had already come in touch with a decent variety of second-class materials. He possessed enough knowledge to know that while second-class exotics possessed fairly remarkable and maybe unique properties, pretty much none of them interacted with spiritual energy in a special way.
Up until this point, the few spiritually-reactive exotics that Ves had encountered mostly emerged from the Nyxian Gap. Ves was afraid that special materials such as P-stone, F-stone, B-stone and Unending alloy could only be found in or around a single unique region.
The current pattern suggested that spiritually-reactive materials rarely if ever emerged naturally in the galaxy. Only by heading into strange and anomalous regions comparable to the Nyxian Gap would he be able to find the materials he needed to incorporate spiritual engineering in his material products.
"Hopefully that's not the case."
This was just a theory for now. Ves only came in touch with a fraction of the exotics available in any given region. There were so many different varieties of natural and artificial materials available that it was impossible for Ves to acquaint himself with all of them in a short amount of time!
Ves didn't have the time to visit all of the exotic marketplaces and scour the offerings of rare, unique and newly-discovered exotics in person. At the very least, he did not plan to do so during his journey to the gate system.
He would have plenty of time to do so in the Red Ocean. After all, the dwarf galaxy would become his new stomping grounds for an extended amount of time. He needed to familiarize himself with all of the available specialty products so that he could design and produce mechs that fit the local circumstances.
"The materials used to produce my existing designs such as the Bright Warrior, Transcendent Punisher and Eternal Redemption might not be available in the Red Ocean." Ves frowned. "Even if they are, their rarity and availability may be different, which will all affect the production cost of my designs."
It was definitely necessary to adapt every mech design to the environment. This was a necessary process in every star sector and star cluster. The greater the distance, the greater the divergence in resource availability and distribution. This also made it necessary for large mech companies to develop variants adapted to each major region.
"Well, I can think about that later. Right now, I need to focus on my crown project."
Although Ves felt an enormous attraction to each first-class material at his disposal, he realized he shouldn't get dazzled by them. The crown he intended to design didn't need to fulfill so many ordinary functions.
If Ves wanted to make a special crown that no other craftsman could replicate, then he needed to invest it with unique powers!
"I don't need to add an energy shield or teleportation blocker to this crown." He muttered. "The luminar crystals can stay, though."
Ves intended to do something special with them as long as he was able to develop a first-class formula in the short amount of time he had available.
He had already spotted various exotics that were similar to the materials used in the more common formulas of second-class luminar crystals.
Although this didn't guarantee that Ves was able to combine them into a newer and stronger version of those crystals, he was willing to invest a couple of hours to see if he could pull it off. Even if the firepower of the luminar crystals wasn't particularly impressive, they still looked pretty enough to adorn an expensive crown.
"Well, let's see if I can find any materials that work especially with my talents."
Ves no longer surveyed the first-class materials one by one but swept the entire cabinet with his spiritual senses. He put quite a bit of power in his inspection in order to make sure he didn't miss any fluctuations.
He wouldn't have been able to do this if Saint Yila Mayorka still covered the entire workshop with her will-infused domain field. Fortunately, she retracted her presence and gave him enough room for him to cover the material cabinets.
Ves already noticed that these cabinets were not average. They were not only made out of hard and isolating materials, but they also segregated and contained every single sample so that their energy fluctuations or other influences did not affect each other.
The cabinets also possessed formidable anti-theft features. Breaking into them was hard and would certainly trip up an alarm. Even if a sneaky bastard like Lucky attempted to nibble on the exotics, various sensors would automatically detect any displacement or decrease in mass and immediately broadcast an alert.
"I should get one of these as well."
Ves was different from most snoopers. Whoever developed these material cabinets never accounted for spiritual methods of investigation.
This allowed Ves to perform a thorough and all-encompassing sweep without too many scruples. He swept all of the cabinets without too much expectation. The odds of encountering relevant goods was too small.
Much to his surprise, he not only encountered a single reaction, but two different ones!
He froze for a moment before he cautiously investigated the materials that gave out a response.
They were placed in different places, which meant that their properties differed substantially from each other.
One of the spiritually-reactive materials gave out a vibe that Ves found vaguely familiar. Whenever he injected spiritual energy in this unknown material, it began to store it just like a P-stone!
"No, it's not just that. There's also a nourishing effect!"
Ves felt a much greater affinity towards this material than a regular P-stone. His breath heaved as he familiarized himself with this strange new material that exhibited a wonderful and extremely useful interaction with spiritual energy.
From the way it invigorated and preserved the quality of spiritual energy, Ves felt as if the unknown exotic was alive.
This was a much better material to store active spirits or the remains of spiritual entities!
So far, Ves had only come across two materials that possessed spiritual energy storage characteristics. Whether it was P-stone or Unending alloy, both of them gave him the impression that they were simple containers that stored or locked spiritual energy without doing anything special.
If the previous two spiritual storage exotics were comparable to huts, this third exotic was like a mansion!
Ves came up with many possible guesses of what this newly-discovered exotic could do for him. If he incorporated it into his Hammer of Brilliance and other important artifacts, the growth of his various design spirits might accelerate!
He couldn't suppress his patience any longer. He drew out the relevant drawer and inspected the material that gave him so many surprises.
It was a bone-like material to be exact. The brownish, non-metallic exotic was loosely shaped like a human foot.
Although the exotic didn't look particularly attractive, Ves' eyes shone as he confirmed that this was the material that could potentially solve his lack of spiritual storage materials.
As long as this first-class material could be bought through regular channels, Ves would have a way to empower more mechs with prime resonance capabilities!
This was especially important for his future expert mechs as there was no way the Larkinson Clan would only host half-a-dozen of them. With plenty of expert candidates in the clan, Ves would definitely add more expert mechs to the roster sooner or later.
Ves eagerly read the property panel of this bone-like material.
"So it's called Galenta Bone!"
Galenta Bone was called this way because it looked like a bone and because it was only found in the brains of large and mature galenta space whales.
The galenta space whale was an astral beast species that were fairly rare but could be found everywhere in the Milky Way.
In fact, galenta space whales had already been found in the Red Ocean! This suggested that the natural habitat of this astral beast species encompassed multiple main galaxies.
"This is good news!"
Astral beasts mostly consisted of large alien organisms that weren't smart enough to develop their own civilization and mostly lived in space.
They were the spaceborn version of exobeasts. Due to the challenges of living in a harsh, vacuum environment, there weren't many species of astral beasts, but each one was strong and exceptional in several ways. Otherwise, they wouldn't have been able to sustain themselves in an environment that was extremely hostile to most living organisms!
According to the information panel, Ves found out that galenta space whales were actually terrifying astral beasts that possessed various special combat abilities depending on their diet.
Similar to Lucky, their bodies were able to develop different powers based on the exotics that they had eaten!
This was also why galenta space whales grew more powerful over time. The most formidable alpha galenta space whales were so difficult to resist that only warships and a lot of first-class mechs were able to defeat them in open combat!
The so-called Galenta Bone was one of the many strange exotic materials that could be harvested from alpha galenta space whales. Much to Ves' dismay, it did not occur in any younger and less mature astral beasts.
"Damn. It looks like I won't be going on a whale hunt anytime soon."
What was strange about Galenta Bone was that humans who harvested it from the whales hadn't found anything special about it. The hardness of the material was not impressive and ranked at the bottom for first-class materials.
The only reason why they were valuable at all was because they possessed an inexplicable ability to calm and soothe people's minds when they were incorporated into headgear. However, the effect was relatively modest and many people didn't need such a function.
This was why Rion was able to afford it and why he thought it might be relevant to the making of his crown.
The demand for the product was fairly low due to this reason, which was definitely good news for Ves.
Unfortunately, the supply wasn't impressive either!
Ves frowned when he discovered a crucial fact.
"The population of galenta space whales in the galaxy has dropped!"
Due to their ability to accumulate and assimilate different exotic materials over time, every whale was practically a moving treasure trove. Not just humans, but many other alien species in the past had hunted them down as they roamed the stars!
The most favored way to catch them was when they needed to mate or raise their calves. Due to various reasons, the galenta space whales performed these activities inside certain gas giants, which made it easy for hunters to lay in wait and spring a trap.
After eons of excessive hunting, the population of galenta space whales had dropped so much that they almost became extinct!
These days, hardly anyone bothered to hunt them anymore because they were simply too rare. This had allowed the remarkable astral beasts to recover their numbers a bit, but it was unlikely that they would be able to populate the galaxy as extensively as before.
Galenta space whales posed a hazard to human civilization due to their need to feed on exotics. They occasionally attacked space stations and starships in order to gorge upon them. This was why they could never be allowed to recover their population too much!
There was still hope, though. Although the galenta space whales were almost driven to extinction in the Milky Way, they were a bit more ubiquitous in other galaxies.
In particular, galenta space whales were at least a hundred times more prevalent in the Red Ocean!
"Even if I can't hunt them myself, I can still purchase the Galenta Bone harvested by other groups as long as they show up on the market!"
Ves definitely had to amass a collection of Galenta Bone in order to further his ambitions!
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