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Ves became completely entranced by the knowledge granted by a single enlightenment fruit.
In his opinion, its value to him far exceeded the worth of 30 Ascension Points!
"I was wrong. This isn't a bargain. This is a jackpot!"
Just like how a glass of water was much more valuable to a man dying of thirst, the knowledge related to the cultivation of Scarlet Oak Trees proved to be exceptionally useful to Ves!
There was hardly anyone like Ves who was both a mech designer and a spiritual engineer. His exotic specialties enabled him to augment his mechs with increasingly more powerful spiritual properties.
Right now, the discoveries he made about blood could spark a potential revolution in his work!
All of the new possibilities that came to mind could fill a lot of gaps in his existing endeavors!
Ves had come up with so many ideas and projects over the years. Their promise was great, but many times he got stuck after lacking a means to proceed.
All of that might be over now that he understood the potential of lifeblood!
Many times, Ves made a comparison between blood and phasewater.
Just like how phasewater could augment many forms of technology, blood could play a similar role!
Of course, the applications were entirely different. Blood wasn't capable of enabling warp travel or allowing attacks to penetrate through obstacles.
Blood could provide different forms of enhancements. Ves gained a massive boost in his spiritual engineering capabilities even though the enlightenment fruit did not provide him with any concrete designs or methods.
Ves smirked. "It doesn't matter. As long as I understand the principles, I can build my own applications of blood!"
He actually preferred it this way. The Blood Cult Scarlet Oak Tree Growth Manual enlightenment fruit was just right for him. It taught the bare essentials concerning blood but did not put him on a predisposed path towards its applications.
Ves only had a vague idea of how the Blood Cult made use of all of the blood produced by their Scarlet Oak Trees. There was no need for him to look in this direction any further.
"I can forge my own path." He said as he confidently raised his fist.
He spent several more hours on organizing what he learned and what he managed to come up with after connecting a lot of dots in his mind.
It would take days if not weeks for him to process all of the new insights and ideas that his active imagination constantly produced, but he couldn't afford to waste so much time at the moment.
"I still need to design a biomech."
When Ves shifted his attention to this topic, he became a lot more confident in his ability to design a biomech.
Sure, he was still missing a lot of theoretical understanding, but the gaps weren't as overwhelming as before!
Even a Novice-level understanding of biotechnology was already enough for him to understand how biomechs worked for the most part!
He just needed to hit the books and quickly learn how to design specialized organic components such as a bioreactor, natural musculature and a highly robust nervous system.
The quantity of subjects he needed to learn was still great, but Ves could easily understand the learning material with the help of his new foundation in biotechnology.
He called up all of the textbooks related to biomech design that he had stored inside the memory banks of the Unending Regalia.
Ves could tell that the textbooks published by the Life Research Association were definitely better than the competition.
"The starting point is higher, but the content is also better!"
He made a selection of basic books and skimmed through all of their contents.
If he wasn't in a hurry, then he would ideally like to take half a year to slowly digest the books over time. There were many nuances to biomechs and he would only be scratching the surface if he studied a bunch of university-level textbooks.
However, Ves couldn't afford to take it slow. Each day inside the System Space was worth 1 Ascension Point, and before he knew it he could blow through 100 AP after getting too absorbed in his studies!
"Let's see. I already spent 30 AP. If I try to compress my study period to 30 days, then that means I am only 60 AP down from the start."
A period of 30 days was extremely tight, but Ves was not an average mech design student anymore.
He not only benefited from a lot of physical and spiritual augmentations, but also became a highly competent Journeyman who derived a lot of assistance from his developing design seed.
"I can definitely do it as long as I don't get distracted by other pursuits during this time!"
After that, he needed to proceed with designing his very first biomech.
This was bound to be a difficult and bumpy ride, and he truly wished he could spend an entire year on this project in order to make it right.
Sadly, Ves had little choice but to prioritize speed over quality. He tried to estimate how much time he would need to design a biomech that could at least earn a passing grade from the System.
"Hmmm… 30 days is cutting it… but 40 days might end up eating into my profit."
The Introduction to Biomech Design Mission promised to award up to 250 Ascension Points, but it was a delusion for him to think his first foray into this field would earn the maximum possible grade.
It was much more reasonable for him to score well enough to earn between 100 and 200 Ascension Points.
This meant that he should expect to earn a profit of 50 Ascension Points, which was hardly an impressive sum.
"Well, it's worth it even if I don't bother with any other missions." Ves consoled himself. "50 Ascension Points is 50 days of additional design time. I can put in much more work into a solution to the problem that I need to address back in reality."
This alone made this foray into biomechs worthwhile.
In fact, Ves was even willing to suffer a loss in exchange for all of the knowledge he obtained about biotechnology, Scarlet Oak Trees and the spiritual properties of blood!
He might be able to prevent the unclean whale from pulling off a mass displacement technique based on what he learned!
"All in good time. Let's start with designing a biomech first."
One of his current problems was that he had just added an entirely new branch of technology in his knowledge base, but did not put any of it in practice.
This caused him to have a poor estimation of what he could and could not do with his newly gained expertise.
"The only way to solve this is to get to work."]
Ves mulled over the concept of his very first proper biomech design as he stepped away from the Tree of Possibilities.
He proceeded to settle down and spend 30 days on learning lots of essential biomech-related subjects.
His shallow foundation in biotechnology and his much deeper foundation in conventional mech design made it a lot easier than if he started from scratch.
In fact, he was surprised at how quickly he was able to understand the more complicated biomech theories!
His study speed became faster as he went through all of the easier textbooks at a frightening rate.
The more he learned about biomechs, the more he understood all of the organic machines that he had come across in the past.
Not only that, but he also gained a much greater comprehension of strange and unique bioconstructs such as the Uranus and the Titan-5 Project!
Both of them turned into horrible monsters that could only be suppressed with violence, yet both of them were also marvels of bioengineering.
Ves could see the beauty in those works now that he understood so much of their underlying elements and design.
He felt so ashamed of his prior ignorance towards these beautiful organic machines.
To treat them as disgusting monstrosities was a great disservice to their power, beauty and unique advantages!
"I was a fool to reject them out of a misplaced sense of disgust!"
Biomechs weren't so scary to him anymore now that he had become a qualified biotech researcher.
Flesh and bone were merely a different variety of materials than the alloys and composites that he was used to working with. Organic materials were even superior to conventional materials in many ways!
For a moment, Ves dreamed of applying his newfound expertise on all of his existing mech designs.
He could add something to pretty much every product.
"I can replace the arms of the Ferocious Piranha with organic limbs that could allow the mech to exert more force with its attacks."
"I can replace the flight system of the Stingripper with an organic version that is even lighter and faster."
"I can even design a suite of organic weapons for the Everchanger that should synergize well with Venerable Joshua's domain!"
While it was not necessary to convert all of his existing mechs into full biomechs, he felt it was incredibly worthwhile to selectively replace underperforming parts with better ones that were organic in nature.
The resulting cyborg mechs would not only be stronger, but also more unique and intrinsic to the Larkinson Clan!
Ves felt that it was especially attractive to apply this treatment to the Larkinson-exclusive mech models.
"The main problem with cyborg mechs is that it is too difficult for ordinary mech forces to repair and service mechs that are both mechanical and biological in nature."
The Larkinson Clan did not have that problem. Its strength lay in the design and production of conventional mechs, but it also had a strong biotechnology arm!
All of the money and resources that Ves had poured into the Larkinson Biotech Institute finally came in handy. It had the personnel and infrastructure to support a sizable cyborg mech and biomech force!
On top of upgrading his existing mech lines with biological enhancements, Ves could also enrich his clan by raising a new biomech legion!
He always wanted to expand his Larkinson Army with a unit that embraced biomechs, but this was the first time that he felt that he was ready to take concrete action.
"I have so many new ideas for biomechs that I don't even know where to begin!"
The days he spent on studying biomechs were not tedious to him at all. He became fully engaged in the subject matter and continually entertained himself by coming up with radical new biomech concepts.
He couldn't wait to bring the best of them to life!
As his love, passion and hunger for biomechs continued to grow with each passing day, he finally put down his last virtual textbook after 30 straight days.
"Damn, I can't take it any longer! I want to design a biomech! I want to realize my latest dream!"
He no longer delayed any longer. He recalled his original plan and figured out what he had to do next.
First, he raced towards the Mission Hall to accept the Introduction to Biomech Design Mission.
He hadn't accepted it earlier because there was no sense in eating away at the deadline while he had already committed to studying biomechs for 30 days.
"Thank you, System!"
With that set, he moved to the Workshop of Creation and sat down behind a sophisticated design interface.
The familiar tools and functions greeted him like a familiar friend. Ves had spent years on making his mech designs come to life with the help of this kind of interface.
The software may be different, but the general layout and the design tools were the same across the board.
Every mech designer was familiar with this design interface. Everyone had mastered its uses. The mere sight of it was an open invitation to design a brand new mech.
Ves shakily lifted his armored hand and tapped a projected button that he had never touched before.
The projected design interface changed.
Certain elements remained the same, but there were many changes and additions that were unfamiliar to most mech designers!
This was because Ves had switched the design interface over to 'biomech mode' or whatever it was called!
Ves examined and familiarized himself with the substantially different interface.
For the first time in years, he no longer felt as if he was a seasoned and accomplished mech designer.
The strange design interface gave him the illusion that he was a recent graduate who was just making his first steps into the mech industry.
His lips curled into an excited grin.
"Everything is new to me again. How exciting!"
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