In the end, Calabast deactivated her privacy screen and her signal jammer and stormed out of the guest compound.
Ves waved her goodbye with a brittle smile.

When Calabast insisted on an explanation on what Ves was planning to do with a relic, he explained as vaguely as possible.

As a mech designer, he could be as clear or as opaque with his explanations as possible! It was no trouble for him at all to resort to the most incomprehensible jargon imaginable to throw Calabast in confusion!

As smart as she appeared to be, Ves was pretty sure that she wasn ’t a mech designer!

However, Calabast wouldn ’t let him go without at least some satisfaction, so Ves gave her a small hint.

”Everything I ’ve done is for the benefit of my upcoming mech design.
There is much more to mechs than meets the eye.
I ’m sure you ’ve heard about the remarkable nature of my Aurora Titan design.
My next design will definitely result in a similar impact, if not greater! By then you ’ll see that all of this trouble was worth it in the end! ”

Since the deed was already done, Calabast had little choice but to let Ves go through with his plan.
It helped that she had already heard about the Aurora Titan and its remarkable nature.

Thinking about what many observers said about the mech gave Calabast some clues what Ves was trying to accomplish.

The notion was enough to arouse her curiosity.

Whatever Calabast thought about his work, Ves was glad he finally got the woman off his back.

”I only want to design a mech.
Why am I constantly getting pulled into trouble? ” He lamented.

Calabast ’s visit aroused the attention of the Protectors of the Faith assigned to guard the guest compound.
While neither of them aroused any suspicion so far, it was unusual for Madame Cecily to take the step to visit Ves instead of the other way around.

Nonetheless, considering their business relationship, it was not entirely unthinkable for Madame Cecily to move with haste.
Kesseling VIII entered a very dangerous period right now.
Ves needed to be brought up to speed lest he did something that attracted everyone ’s attention.

The Protectors of the Faith quickly turned their attention back to their guard duties.
After the local authorities declared martial law, nobody was on the streets, but that didn ’t mean they could rule out an attack.

Ves didn ’t have anything to do for the foreseeable time.
He already fleshed out the ranged aspect of his hero mech.
He only had to wait for Ketis to finish her own proposal.

At this time, Lucky should have found a deep hole to hide in, so he couldn ’t process the relic either.

He did find out something he could do in the meantime.

He could make a start with constructing his images.

Truthfully, Ves didn ’t want to do so yet without coming in touch with the relic and determining its spiritual qualities.
It would be bad if his images were incompatible with the spiritual fragment he expected to refine from his spoils.

Since he didn ’t have anything else to do, he changed and figured it wouldn ’t hurt to make some strides.

He took stock and determined whether he should still stick to the Triple Division technique to enrich the X-Factor of his hero mech.

The original intention for the Triple Division technique was to introduce more dimensions to the X-Factor of his designs.
Ves took advantage of the ease in which he could superimpose multiple images together and create an amalgamation that inherited all of their traits.

In almost all cases, increasing the complexity and adding more flavors to the X-Factor was very beneficial to his mech designs.
Average mech pilots would be able to bond closer to their mechs and allow the X-Factor to influence their decisions in a way that subtly increased their performance.

Yet was it in his interest to apply the same solution in this special case?

”Not exactly.
Rather than aim for a mix of flavors, it ’s better for me to stick to a single flavor instead and make it as strong as possible! ”

Each mech design had to fit the circumstances and the target audience.

First, he considered his overarching goal.
He was not designing a mech for the market.
Only six copies would exist at most.
While Ves still wanted to accommodate the needs of the elite Kronon mech pilots, the true purpose of his hero mech design was to impress the public!

For this reason, Ves needed to pay more attention to how his mech would be perceived by the public.
The look and feel of the mech had to be as majestic and attention-grabbing as possible!

The X-Factor of his mech needed to be both strong and coherent.
The purer the X-Factor, the stronger the aura.

If Ves stuck to using a single image as opposed to employing the Triple Division technique, he would be able to improve the performance of his mech pilots at the cost of lessening its impact on the public.

Ordinarily, it was always worthwhile for him to make this tradeoff because his mechs were already sufficiently impressive.
Catering to the public did not earn him as much money as encouraging mech buyers to purchase his mechs!

Therefore, Ves decided to forgo using multiple images in order to maximize the strength and purity of the X-Factor of his hero mech.

There was a time and place for the Triple Division technique, but for this special commission he already made up his mind.

Now that he thought about it, the Triple Division technique initially served as a way for him to strengthen his mech design in the absence of other solutions.

He had come a long way since then.
Not only had his Spirituality grown stronger since his Apprentice days, but he developed a complete spiritual toolbox! All of these developments opened up a lot more possibilities for him to tailor the X-Factor of his design to his tastes!

As Ves thought about the nature of his current design project, another question popped up.
”Should I make all six copies uniform or should I make them a little distinct? ”

This was an important question.
The commission didn ’t specify this issue, giving Ves free rein to decide.

”It ’s easier to produce an identical set. ”

Ves was short on time so he couldn ’t spend too much time on individualizing all six mechs.
If Ves merely stuck to a single design and produced six completely identical copies, then he ’d be able to fulfill the commission faster.

While Ves was slightly attracted to this convenience, he didn ’t feel much for it.
An unknown urge in his mind wanted him to tackle this project in a more distinctive fashion.

Rather than producing six completely identical copies of the same hero mech design, why not add some individual flairs to each of them? Designing such a distinctive set of mechs strongly appealed to his artistic sensibilities.

He never embarked on such a project before.
While Ves didn ’t have the time to add a lot of individual touches to the exterior appearance of his mechs, it was enough to add some little variations.

What Ves truly cared about was whether he could customize the X-Factor of an individual copy.

His usual method was to apply the images he constructed to a single mech design.
Each copy produced from one of his designs inherited this X-Factor without any significant deviations.

Normally, Ves aimed to minimize deviations as much as possible.
Now, he wanted to accomplish the opposite.
How could he customize the X-Factor of each individual copy of a common design?

A solution came to mind.
For the shared design, he could implement a single, focused image based off the spiritual fragment he refined off Prophet Ylvaine ’s holy relic.

This pure image would serve as the design spirit of his finished hero mech design.
Only when Ves had reached the stage of fabricating individual copies would he intervene once again.

He planned to make the unprecedented move of manipulating the individual X-Factor of a copy by superimposing it with an individual image!

Each of these images introduced a strong bias towards a distinct aspect of Prophet Ylvaine ’s spiritual fragment!

Considering the importance of faith to the Ylvainans, Ves decided to construct images based on six abstract values that complimented the individual mechs!

Ves wracked his mind and quickly grabbed the first six virtues he could think of that were aggressive enough to be paired with a mech.

Devotion. ”

Although he randomly selected these words, saying them put Ves into a solemn mood.
He vaguely suspected that if he truly managed to distinguish his mechs with these virtues, he ’d be able to produce something incredibly amazing!

”This design project is growing more and more significant. ” He whispered to himself.
”If I don ’t restrain myself, I might end up biting off more than I can chew! ”

The scope of his design project kept growing more and more out of control.
While the choices he made would definitely improve the end product, he couldn ’t afford to lose sight of his overarching goals.

”Enough is enough.
There is no benefit to adding another distinctive aspect to my design. ”

He decided his design incorporated enough innovations.
There was no need for him to jazz up his mech design any further.

As Ves locked in his decisions, he let out a deep breath.
”I should check up on Ketis.
I can ’t wait all day for her to finish her work. ”

He visited her room.

”Ah, Ves, I ’m almost finished! ”

”You don ’t have to complete your draft. ” Ves casually waved.
”Just introduce me to your design choices. ”

Ves studied her sketches as she narrated her design choices.
Overall, she put a significantly different spin on the melee aspect of his hero mech.

”This mech is supposed to be an offensive mech, right? I was thinking that it doesn ’t have to be flexible and agile as swordsman mechs.
It ’s much better if it can rely on its superior strength and force to overpower its opponents.
I chose to strengthen the limbs and structure of the design at the cost of sacrificing some of its flexibility.
While the design is a lot clunkier than your initial draft, as long as the mech pilot possesses a lot of foresight, they ’ll be able to cope with it by planning his moves ahead. ”

”So you ’ve fully converted the hero mech into a momentum-based mech. ” Ves observed with a critical eye.

Although her lack of skill and design experienced resulted in a rough and unrefined draft, he nonetheless perceived its aggressive charm.

”What kind of sword did you choose to pair with the design? ”

”I went with a thick saber. ”

Ves raised his eyebrows at the choice.
”A curved-edged weapon? Wouldn ’t that make it harder for my mech to penetrate armor? ”

”Mechs rarely resort to using the tip of their swords to pierce through armor. ” Ketis shook her head.
”Sabers are far more suitable to momentum-based mech combat.
Combining momentum with the slashing attacks of a saber can inflict major damage to enemy mechs with ease. ”

Pairing the hero mech with a saber instead of a straight-bladed sword narrowed down its fighting style, which Ves didn ’t necessarily oppose.
It certainly made his hero mech look more distinct.

All the other design choices that Ketis had made served to strengthen the hero mech ’s ability to slash and leverage its momentum to its advantage.

Overall, Ves kind of liked it.
”It ’s an inspiring choice.
While hero mechs are often associated with straight-bladed weapons, it ’s not unheard of to pair them with sabers. ”

Considering the theme of the hero mech, Ves even contemplated whether he should opt for a blunt weapon instead.
Many religions seem to have a thing for maces and hammers.

However, Ketis wouldn ’t be able to contribute to the design project if that was the case.
Ves truly intended for her to become involved this time, and that meant that he needed to make some compromises for her sake.

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