I managed to fix the player, but I don't know how long this solution will last. I apologize for all the inconvenience caused by the change in rules on the audio file server side over which I had no control.
This chapter is updated by Novels.pl
The decision for Gloriana to commit to studying archetech changed her life.
She had gained an entirely new goal. The pressure on her was great. She needed to study hard and produce quick results in order to meet her husband's expectations.
The last thing she wanted to do was to fail and admit her inferiority to Ves!
He had consistently exceeded everyone's expectations over the years. Gloriana was no exception as even she did not expect him to become a tier 3 galactic citizen all at once!
Gloriana acted like she was a woman on a mission in the days following this major turning point.
Though she reserved enough free time for her to shower her children with love and make sure to raise them properly, even then she had never ceased her work and studies.
The powerful Arachne 01 Implant Set was primarily designed to meet the needs of busy mech designers, so it possessed the capacity to help Gloriana split up her attention and focus on several different assignments at the same time.
Together with Alexandria who possessed consciousness of her own, Gloriana imitated her husband in always engaging in productive work at all times!
No matter whether she was collaborating with Ves on a design project, or attending Aurelia's dance performance organized by the Joan Devos Elementary School, a part of her immense processing power was constantly devoted to figuring out archetech.
She did not rely on self-study alone. Now that Ves had given her access to 300 million MTA merits, she immediately started to exchange for benefits on the first day!
Gloriana cast a wide net. In consultation with Jovy Armalon who was always happy to encourage the Larkinsons to spend their MTA merits, she initially exchanged for confidential research reports and daily tutoring from one of the project leaders assigned to a classified archetech research project.
Though she was not able to acquire any cutting-edge research results, Gloriana was not able to make good use of them anyway. She only needed basic lessons at the start. There was plenty of time for her to dive in the more advanced applications of archetech in the future.
Her unwavering focus paid dividends. She made rapid progress by putting her amazing augments to good use. The expensive tutoring sessions that cost as much as hundreds of thousands of MTA merits drained her sizable allowance quickly, but the upside was that her highly knowledgeable tutor always provided effective teaching to her students.
Not everyone was able to earn lots of MTA merits in one go like Ves. Senior researchers typically had to invest months if not years of dedicated effort in order to earn a couple of million MTA merits.
If Gloriana ever became dissatisfied with her current tutor, she could easily request a switch, which meant that another lucky archetech expert would be able to earn a huge amount of MTA merits with little effort!
In any case, the high-quality tutoring particularly allowed Gloriana to keep up her demanding schedule. Self-study alone was not enough as the research reports were filled with a huge amount of brand-new technical jargon and completely different paradigms.
The first step to mastering archetech was to think like an arche.
The aliens possessed a radically different perspective on science and engineering. The universal constants that described fundamental physical phenomena remained the same, but the arche developed a much different relationship with them than humanity!
"How difficult is it for you to think about tech from the perspective on an arche?" Ves asked one day.
He noticed how she occasionally grew so tired and frustrated in her attempts to understand a difficult theory that he actually had to stop and take a break!
Gloriana wearily stroked Lucky's back. She had become particularly fond of the gem cat as of late. The gem cat's exquisite archetech construction continually showed her how much better her works would become if she fully mastered the new tech!
However, getting there was not easy!
"It is as if I am a fish trying to learn how birds fly. I know much better how you feel whenever you are working with luminar crystal technology. These aliens possessed such inhuman mindsets that their tech only makes sense if I stop thinking like a human. The arche are particularly bad due to their relative isolation and their continued rejection of more conventional technology, whether it is human or alien."
This was one of the reasons why the arche failed to gain greater prominence in the Red Ocean. Their relationship with the other major races of the Red Ocean was complicated to say the least.
The arche hid so much in their stealthed archeships that they had little chances to exchange with the other races in the dwarf galaxy.
If the Red Cabal hadn't come and forced the arche to contribute to the Red War, the reclusive aliens would have continued to maintain their relative isolation from all of the other greedy aliens!
It was exactly because the arche had been dragged into the war that red humanity had a better chance to capture their valuable archeships.
As Gloriana slowly began to understanding the essence of archetech, she also started to understand the associated stealth tech as well. The two were highly related to each other, and the Larkinson Clan also had an existing archeship on hand that still retained an intact stealth system.She quickly understood the potential of applying the alien version of stealth tech to her archemechs.
"Are you for real?! Are you actually able to grant stealth capabilities to every archemech!"
Gloriana impishly smiled. "It is possible in theory. The great advantage of archtech-based stealth is that it does not come at the cost of significantly weaker defenses. Since an archeship almost consists entirely of archemetal, there is not much difference between the exterior layer and the citadel of an alien vessel. They are both equally tough and resistant towards damage. The stealth layer of an archeship is therefore not as big of a liability as in the stealth systems of a conventional human stealth vessel. I have made detailed comparisons between our captured archeship and the specialized stealth vessel of the Black Cats to verify this assertion."
The general rule when it came to stealth ships and stealth ships was that their ability to go 'invisible' came at the cost of replacing top layers of armor with specialized stealth materials.
Mechs pretty much had to sacrifice all of their armor in order to hide them from enemy sensors. They could only resist as much damage as their external stealth systems could withstand, which usually wasn't as good as dedicated armor plating.
The Phobos fielded by the Larkinson Clan was a typical example of such a mech. Though Ves and Gloriana managed to cheat to an extent by designing a quasi-first-class expert stealth mech that could resist a lot more hits than usual, especially when relying on a resonance shield, the sneaky machine was ultimately not as tough as his non-stealth counterparts.
The adoption of archetech gave the Larkinsons an opportunity to massively boost the defenses and fault tolerance of the Phobos!
The dangerous living mech no longer had to be careful and miss a lot of opportunities because Venerable Zimro Belson did not have enough confidence in his battle partner's ability to fight in the open.
Once an archemech in stealth became exposed, the machine would still be able to put up a fight without showing as much weakness!
"If this is the case, can we turn any archemech into a stealth mech?" Ves wondered.
"It is not as simple as you think." Gloriana shook her head. "The stealth systems still take up a considerable amount of capacity, thereby forcing you to forgo other useful features. A stealth-capable archemech consumes a considerable amount of energy. Another factor is that the archemech must be designed for this purpose from the ground up. This means that the machine cannot carry any external equipment. The machine must have the capacity to store its weapons inside its mech frame so that stealth systems can work with minimal complications."
That last part was especially important. Conventional stealth mechs suffered from this problem as well unless their weapons were specially designed to cooperate with the machine's stealth system.
It effectively prevented the mech from carrying large and cumbersome weapons. They were difficult to hide and easily exposed their flaws.
If this rule remained unchanged, then Ves saw little point in converting as many archemechs into stealth mechs as possible.
"Do you intend to turn the Dark Zephyr Mark III into a stealth-capable archemech?"
Gloriana shook her head yet again. "No. That is not a good idea. Pure stealth will go against the character of the Dark Zephyr. The machine is not afraid of exposing himself to the enemy. The expert light skirmisher relies on speed and maneuverability to avoid getting hit, but doing so requires him to make a lot of intensive movements. It is not realistic for the Dark Zephyr to remain in stealth because of all of the volatile movements and excessive heat buildup."
The mention of excessive heat buildup reminded Ves of the icy gift that his wife had handed over. He had been thinking about whether he should employ it in a stealth mech in order to increase the machine's hiding ability.
However, if he went through with this idea, he would rather use it up on the Phobos rather than the Dark Zephyr.
"I understand. I guess that stealth will still remain a luxury for our future batch of archemechs."
"Yes. The main benefit of archetech is that a stealth mech is much less fragile than usual. That is the main takeaway of this capability. This is not too relevant to us as long as we are not designing any additional stealth mechs."
"We'll have to update the Phobos sooner or laters." Ves mentioned. "The mech is still performing pretty fine as far as I have heard, but the lack of hyper materials has caused our only high-end stealth mech to fall behind."
"It is in the queue. We still have more than half-a-dozen other expert mechs to update before we can address the needs of the Phobos. Venerable Belson's expert mech is still fairly modern and recent, so he has not fallen behind as much as the others."
There were older and more outdated expert mechs that deserved to have their turn first. This was also why Ves and Gloriana tackled the Dark Zephyr first.
It actually took quite a bit of time before Gloriana developed enough proficiency to apply her newly gained knowledge in this crucial design project. She only gained enough confidence to design her first proper archemech two whole months after she had begun her studies.
This was too soon!
Her work was rough and tentative at first as her mastery over archetech was still too shallow to give her a lot of certainties.
Ves was way too far behind compared to his wife when it came to applying archetech, so he was unable to contribute in any meaningful fashion.
He was still waiting to receive his own tutoring in archetech, but that would have to wait until his wife became knowledgeable enough to know what she was talking about!
Ves did not spend all of that time in vain. He worked on other design projects, he studied various subjects related to first-class mech design, he closed various deals, he taught or cooperated with numerous mech designers, he amassed a greater collection of mutated beast, he attended remote meetings with the Rubarthans in charge of running Isthmus Manufacturing and so much more.
Now that he and the clan had entered a relatively quiet period, Ves fully dedicated himself to building up his accumulation and preparing for the much more turbulent future ahead!
The prophetic visions still lingered in the back of his mind. There were so many ways for red humanity to suffer a setback that Ves worked hard to convert his time and other resources into greater strength.
Both Ves and Gloriana made a lot of gains in the ensuing months!
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