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Now that Ves fleshed out his crown design and began to get a solid idea of what he was working towards, he devoted the next couple of hours to solving multiple different problems.
"First, I have to figure out a way to make first-class luminar crystals." Ves muttered. "I'll only devote four hours to this study. If I can't develop any workable formula in this time, I can't waste any further time on what is likely a difficult endeavor."
One of the major limitations that Ves faced was that he did not have access to the crystal cube. Without this piece of alien-derived tech, he wouldn't be able to add internal circuitry to his luminar crystals.
Ves had to make a special request to Rion to allow his subordinates to ship it over to the dwarven frigate.
Of course, Ves would have never brought one of his cherished possessions to enemy territory on a whim. What if the Iron Emperor took a fancy of the crystal cube?
He had to take a risk, though. He was really set on embedding luminar crystals in the crown and only the best would do. Ves could never forgive himself if he employed sub-standard gems when he knew he could have made better ones!
Ves took a careful glance at the upper catwalk. The Iron Emperor constantly paid attention to what took place in the workshop, but he didn't show any particular interest in the crystal cube.
Only someone who was well-versed in luminar crystal technology would be interested in obtaining it. The dwarven race generally wasn't interested in playing around with energy weapons anyway.
"Illustrious One, I'm going to need your help."
Now that he obtained the crystal cube, Ves began to channel the Illustrious One in order to facilitate his research. He began to gather different materials and took small samples from them before using them to synthesize different crystals.
The advanced lab equipment available in the workshop worked remarkably faster than he thought, although Ves first had to read the manuals before he could employ their full capabilities.
"No wonder why they're so expensive. They're huge time savers as well!"
Time was the most valuable resource to mech designers and other people so it made a lot of sense to invest in equipment that could perform a job multiple times faster than usual.
After he found out about this benefit, Ves began to analyze more materials and experiment with combining them together into different products.
He soon discovered another property about first-class materials.
"They're much more energetic than usual." Ves frowned.
This was the source of their strength but also the reason why they were so hard to work with. All of the materials with remarkable effects tended to interact and interfere with each other quite a lot. It was hard to find first-class materials that worked well with each other.
If he forcefully tried to combine different materials with low compatibility, the crystals he made turned into unstable products that were liable to turn into bombs!
In order to proof this assumption, Ves commanded a bot to pick up a small thumb-sized crystal before throwing it against the bulkhead up ahead.
Alarms rang in the workshop as the crystal that had collided against the bulkhead produced an explosion that was powerful enough to create a hole in a typical second-class mech!
The workshop's automated disaster response system quickly came online and isolated the affected area before removing any debris and dangerous materials from the scene. The system also cycled the air and scrubbed any unhealthy contaminants from the local environment.
The crystal he made wasn't even designed with a destructive purpose in mind. If Ves developed a luminar crystal that was expressly meant to explode, what kind of powerful bang could he produce?
"I DID NOT INVITE YOU HERE TO SQUANDER MY VALUABLE MATERIAL RESERVES AND PLAY WITH FIREWORKS. PLEASE CONTINUE TO DEVELOP MY CROWN."
"Hey, this is important research!" Ves defended himself. "I think I know what I got wrong. I can fix this. I promise!"
He was largely telling the truth. The more failures he produced, the more he ruled out unviable options. He had already succeeded with creating luminar crystals out of first-class materials. Ves just needed to apply the existing theory on the material composition of luminar crystals in order to make them. Though they looked dubious, he at least found the right direction.
He just didn't know how to put them together in a stable package as of yet! The selection of materials was generous but far from all-encompassing. The likelihood of finding materials that could moderate or limit the degree of conflict was too low!
In the end, Ves managed to find a viable formula in the nick of time. He first played around with the proportions before selectively adding or removing various different materials. Through trial and error, he somehow discovered a formula that produced a stable first-class luminar crystal!
Ves grinned. "It's definitely possible to make a luminar crystal that is powerful enough!"
The only problem was that Ves already used up a small but significant amount of first-class materials. All of his failed crystals were pretty much impossible to recycle once they were made. If his experiment went on for a couple of weeks, Rion's inventory of high-quality materials would probably be drained!
As it was, Ves had to employ twelve different exotics to create the crystals, which was more than what was proper.
"It's just an initial formula. I bet I can reduce the amount of waste by working on it further."
Now that he gained a proper starting point, Ves was confident that he could increase the power and efficiency of this formula by tweaking the numbers.
The biggest problem of the current formula was that it used up too many expensive materials!
Ves would pretty much bankrupt himself if he attempted to buy a sufficient quantity of all 12 first-class materials used to make his latest crystals!
If he could cut back on the most expensive first-class materials, he could save up a lot of money for future purchases!
For now, he memorized the materials as well as the proportions used to make his first-class luminar crystal.
"It's a pity that it can only discharge a single type of energy." Ves muttered.
Ves based the current crystal on one of his simpler formulas, as the more complicated ones imposed special demands for materials. They were also more difficult to synthesize in order to achieve specific effects.
Right now, when Ves fed the crystal with energy, it discharged a simple but incredibly powerful laser beam!
Although the laser beam wasn't as strong as a full-powered shot from the Amastendira, the sizes of the two objects differed substantially. The Amastendira was as large as other handguns while the experimental crystal that Ves had made was merely a crystal the size of a thumb!
Of course, the crystal alone couldn't shoot out laser beams. Ves also had to address other necessities such as target acquisition, aiming systems, energy supply and heat absorption.
"That's where the rest of the crown comes in." Ves confidently smiled.
Now that he was assured that his crown design would be able to incorporate powerful luminar crystals, Ves completely let himself go and allowed his creativity to run wild as he designed a crown fit for a dwarven sovereign.
Several more hours went by as Ves became completely engrossed in this fascinating project. With Rion footing the bill for everything, he did not worry about any budget limitations at all. The dwarven leader wanted the best and he was quite aware that he couldn't obtain what he wanted if he acted like a cheapskate.
Ves began to combine the four selected materials in a clever way. He used the relatively abundant volume of the crown to hide a lot of little mechanisms that straddled the line between technology and non-technology.
"I'm cheating a bit here." He admitted.
Rion didn't want to obtain a crown made out of existing technology that would grow obsolete after a couple of generations. He wanted to get his hands on a timeless piece of empowered craftsmanship that remained up to date for many centuries!
When Ves understood this exact motivation, he acted a bit cleverly by creating extremely crude mechanisms that mostly relied on the natural properties of the exotics to do most of the work.
"Hmmm… Piraester is a bit challenging to employ in the right conditions, but it is absolutely essential to put it in the crown."
Throughout this design session, Ves discovered another way to increase his understanding.
He pulled out the Hammer of Brilliance and softly hit it against the Piraester sample.
Ves closed his eyes as Vulcan thoroughly scanned Piraester before beginning to decipher its properties and insights on how to use it. The latter part was quite impressive to Ves as he sometimes gained new ways to make use of Piraester that he hadn't thought about himself.
With the help of this useful function, Ves slowly completed the physical design of his crown.
"It's a bit bigger than I initially set out to design."
The crown used to look fairly tall, but Ves increased its weight by adding curled ram horns to the sides.
"Did I go a little overboard with them or is it fine?" He wondered.
The extra horns caused the crown to become heavier even if Ves did his best to make them hollow. However, they looked so great that Ves couldn't bear to remove them from his design.
Ves just had to be more efficient elsewhere if he wanted to keep the weight of the crown under control. He couldn't imagine how much strain Rion would bear if he attempted to wear this crown without a helmet under heavy gravity conditions!
Aside from cutting off more elements of the crown, the only other way to reduce its mass was by employing a material that could offset gravity to an extent.
However, Ves was reluctant to resort to this solution because someone could definitely tamper such a function. Rion's head would become a lot less comfortable if it was forced to bear a huge physical burden!
Once he finished with the physical design of his crown, he began to think about its spiritual design.
"Well, Vulcan must be intimately involved. He can perform a variety of useful tricks."
Vulcan was the God of Dwarves, Mechs and Craftsmanship. Each of these domains meant something to the incarnation and he possessed special powers related to them as a result.
At this time, Ves thought that being the God of Dwarves should bestow Vulcan with a measure of authority over regular dwarves.
He had seen what an effect Vulcan's glow would have on a receptive audience.
His initial task was to translate this effect into his crown design. This wasn't very hard, but Ves wanted his crown to perform more functions based on Vulcan.
He tweaked the spiritual foundation of the crown. Despite his best effects, the spiritual foundation of an ordinary product could never match that of a mech!
Ves did not have much room to work so he could only add a few useful functions to the crown. He had to make a careful selection and rule out plenty of interesting alternatives in the process.
"What does Rion lack the most?"
A means to obtain the loyalty of stubborn dwarves. Belief in Vulcan should help a lot in that regard, but how could Rion distinguish between genuine believers and those who paid lip service?
His crown could help him with that. Ves gained a bold idea in that regard.
"What if I enable Vulcan to descend upon Rion to a degree?"
Something similar had happened before to Rion. Ves refused to think that the System randomly chose the dwarf to be a Mastery host. Perhaps there was something special about him that made it much easier for spiritual entities to enter his mind.
"If my guess is right… I can turn the crown into a device that can literally call on Vulcan to descend!"
This would definitely make the crown stand out… It also solved a fair amount of problems as Ves did not have to rely on the object alone to power its abilities. By borrowing Vulcan's might, he would be able to stuff a lot more power in his work!
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