Both of them looked at a projection that showed their current route.
They were only a couple of weeks away from reaching their destination.

”Do you hate the Vesians? ” She asked.

”No. ” Ves shook his head.
”They ’re just aggressive, that ’s all.
I ’ve witnessed a lot of people die during the war, but there ’s no point holding a grudge.
War is war. ”

He could never forget how many Vandals and Swordmaidens died on the surface of Aeon Corona VII.
The Hostland Warriors and the Meandering Monkeys wiped most of their ground forces.
Venerable Foster piloting her nearly-invincible Belisarius expert mech practically ensured their inevitable defeat.

It was a sad thing that taking prisoners was not a universal custom in human space.
If all of those Vandals still lived, the Bright Republic would have been in a better shape to resist the sandmen.

”From what I ’ve read on the news, it appears the Bright Republic and the Vesia Kingdom has entered into a defensive pact of some sorts. ”

Ves idly nodded.
”We make for strange bedfellows, but the sandmen don ’t care about our human disputes.
We ’re all obstacles to them.
No matter if we are Brighters or Vesians, the aliens will engulf us both. ”

”Let ’s return to work.
Our design is almost finished.
Let ’s try and bring it closer to completion. ”

They both left the lounge compartment and returned to the familiar workshop compartment.

After more than a month of work, they had made incredible strides in their custom mech project.

In truth, customizing an existing mech design for a single mech pilot did not require that much time.
Not only did they start with an existing mech platform instead of starting from nothing, the Desolate Soldier design was remarkably simple and easy to manipulate.

The reason why they took so long was that they decided to take their time.
They spent more time trying to find more ways to collaborate together than actually improving their design.

Many methods failed, but the ones that succeeded formed the start of their combined toolbox.

Their main goal was to go beyond complementing each other ’s strengths.
They had already discovered early on that their design philosophies didn ’t overlap too much.

Gloriana excelled in the technical domain.

Ves possessed a competent grasp in the spiritual domain.

Neither domains collided with each other, which meant that they both covered each other ’s shortcomings with their strengths.

That was not enough.

Synergy did not arise from fitting two pieces of a puzzle together.
Synergy arose when one puzzle piece transformed another puzzle piece into something greater.

The whole had to be greater than the sum of its parts.

The simplest way to explain it was that Ves and Gloriana worked hard to achieve a result that was greater than 1 + 1 = 2.

For their collaboration to be truly worthwhile, they needed to reach 1 + 1 = 3!

In other words, Ves and Gloriana sought to generate enough value to match the contributions of three unrelated mech designers!

Gloriana never doubted that they could achieve this seemingly-impossible result.
She held this belief from the very start back at Centerpoint.

The only problem was that achieving synergy was easier said than done.
Both had to put in a lot of effort and ingenuity to discover ways to integrate and combine their design philosophies to achieve something greater than they could ever achieve by themselves.

Both of them knew that two different mech designers could accomplish several synergies at once.
As long as both of their design philosophies were versatile enough, there were many different ways to combine their strengths.

Ves and Gloriana spent much of the last month in trying to discover as many potential synergies as possible.

They hadn ’t spent their time in vain.

After much experimentation and fumbling, they discovered three potential ways to strengthen their mechs further.

They both documented their results in their minds, unwilling to commit their findings on a digital storage medium vulnerable to unauthorized access attempts.

Currently, they discovered and labeled three promising methods to achieve synergy:

Synergy #1: mutual strengthening

Synergy #2: spiritual customization

Synergy #3: conceptual perfection

Of the three, the first one was the most straightforward.

As the name implied, mutual strengthening basically meant that both of them reinforced each other ’s specialties.

Ves strengthened Gloriana ’s specialty by empowering her applications with spiritual force.

Gloriana strengthened Ves by making the technical design more receptive to spirituality.

The latter sounded very vague to Ves, but ever since Gloriana became exposed to the concept of spiritual components, she managed to find a way to amplify a design ’s spiritual foundation using purely technical means.

”The tangible and intangible has to match. ” She explained to a confused-looking Ves.
”A god is only powerful if their physical and divine forms are aligned.
The greater the alignment between the two, the greater the power! All of it makes sense! ”

Though Ves failed to understand her theory, the results were very evident.
Somehow, Gloriana truly managed to strengthen his spiritual applications by manipulating their designs in an abstruse manner!

The ultimate result was the emergence of mutual strengthening.
Ves amplified Gloriana ’s specialty, while Gloriana amplified Ves ’ specialty.

Though it sounded as if they could mutually strengthen each other in an infinite virtuous cycle, that was impossible.
At their current shallow level of synergy, it was already good enough to complete a single cycle.

”That ’s enough. ” Gloriana nodded with satisfaction.
”It ’s good as long as the fundamentals of this synergy are sound. ”

In other words, they should be happy they managed to achieve 1 + 1 = 3 instead of 1 + 1 = 1.5 or worse.
Trying to achieve greater synergy such as 1 + 1 = 4 was something reserved for the future.

Compared to mutual strengthening, the other two synergies were much more complicated.
However, they both possessed the potential to elevate their collaborative mech designs to much greater heights!

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