”Despite its size, the addition of phasewater allows the minidrive to exhibit wondrous capabilities.
As long as the mech possesses enough energy reserves, it is not impossible for a mech to travel across an entire star sector by its own capabilities! ”

Such a bold statement belied the fact that hardly anyone could afford the fifty grams of phasewater needed to construct a minidrive module!

How could the MTA be bold enough to announce a so-called ’era of the independent mech ’ when there was only enough phasewater in the galaxy to build a couple of hundred FTL-capable mech with this tech?

As long as the minidrive depended on an obscene quantity of phasewater, most mech designers could forget about designing FTL-capable mechs in this generation!

Gloriana looked confused.
”The MTA isn ’t this ambitious when it comes to unveiling their signature technologies.
While the minidrive is an impressive invention, it will take hundreds of years for it to become practical! ”

Whenever a significant new invention emerged, the earliest iterations were usually crude, inefficient and prohibitively expensive.

Only a small number of scientists developed the technology.
Even if they were some of the most brilliant specialists in their fields, their manpower and energy were ultimately limited.

Once they published their results, everyone capable would be able to access the new technology.
A lot of new research projects would probably commence throughout the entirety of human space!

With so many more researchers delving into the technology the MTA unveiled, various refinements and improvements would quickly follow!

Even if only one out of a million scientists achieved some results due to a fluke, that still represented actual progress!

A single success might not be so significant, but with the sheer amount of researchers studying the same subject, the rate of improvement could be quite substantial!

However, some technologies were easier to advance than others!

With the minidrive tech, many scientists were probably feeling a lot of pain by their inability to procure 50 grams of phasewater needed to perform actual tests!

This would slow down the advancement of minidrive technology tremendously.

At some point, some ingenious researcher would find a way to reduce the amount off phasewater needed to make a minidrive functional.

From 49 grams, 45 grams, 40 grams and so on, the minidrive would become more efficient in terms of cost and material requirements.

In addition, now that humanity discovered such a wonderful use of phasewater, many people would be scouring the galaxy for this extremely rare exotic! Each of them wanted to take advantage of the sky-rocketing prices that ensued after this announcement!

Once so many prospectors and treasure hunters began to search for phasewater, supply would inevitably increase, thereby decreasing the scarcity of this material over time.

Furthermore, many researchers unsatisfied with the lack of access to phasewater would constantly be searching for substitute materials.

Many exotics shared similar properties and effects.
This allowed clever material scientists to find a way to substitute the role of an expensive exotic with something cheaper.

In fact, many inventions introduced in earlier generations became more practical and widespread in the poorer parts of the galaxy after material scientists figured out a way to achieve the same effect by blending several cheap exotics together.

It was a much better deal to use large quantities of widely-available low-grade exotics than a smaller quantity of high-grade exotics!

One example of this kind of progress was the ultracompact batteries that Ves had created on his own.
Combining sulomnium, beta-otricine and Flesha ’s Tears was nothing more than a way to create a knockoff of a high-grade exotic!

Some material scientists even believe that many high-grade exotics were compound substances of lower grade materials!

With how amazing the minidrive technology appeared to be, Ves definitely believed that someone would eventually make a breakthrough that removed its dependency on phasewater.

The question was how long it would take.
Phasewater seemed to be an incredibly high-grade exotic with strong dimensional properties.
Such a strange and powerful effect couldn ’t be replicated easily.

Nonetheless, Councilor Veyron cheerfully fawned over the minidrive technology as if it would soon spread throughout human space!

”Minidrives have many applications! It is not only useful for mechs, but also for other craft such as shuttles, escape pods and more! With a minidrive in your possession, you can effortlessly travel to any star system within range without relying on a lumbering ship! ”

”Who has enough phasewater to waste on other applications? ” Gloriana puzzlingly wondered.

Fortunately, Councilor Veyron soon finished elaborating on the minidrive.

”That sums up the highlights of our new minidrive technology.
You can obtain more detailed explanations at our virtual portal.
Now, let us move on to the next innovations… ”

Various mechs flew in and out of view to demonstrate various new capabilities.
The innovations that the MTA chose to highlight during this important announcement represented significant advances in mech technology despite their lack of flair compared to the introduction of the minidrive.

The various improvements that Ves took note of ranged from more refined neural interfaces to more efficient power reactors.

Each of these performance improvements came about through several means.
In the case of neural interfaces, they performed better mostly due to improvements in design and technical application.

In the case of power reactors, the MTA listed out a variety of newly-discovered exotics that could substitute the role of currently-used exotics.
In other words, the improvement purely came about due to the usage of improved materials.

Still, no matter how the improvements came about, the mechs designed according to the new methods became significantly more powerful!

Councilor Veyron swiftly introduced many different improvements.
All of them were enough to inspire Ves and Gloriana!

The mechs they wanted to design would certainly become a lot more impressive!

Of course, both of them needed to license a new set of components to be able to do so.
While it was possible to rely on leaked and pirated documents to piece together a new generation of mech, no one would be allowed to sell them on the open market.

Every commercial mech model had to be approved by the MTA! As a ’trade association ’, the organization could not neglect their vital duty in regulating the sale and trade of mechs.

While the MTA generally didn ’t bother with private transactions and commissions, any mech designer who wanted to sell more than a couple of mechs on the open market needed to play by their rules!

For this reason, only a small number of mech designers started off strong at the start of a new mech generation.

Too many mech designers couldn ’t afford the licenses required to make use of readily-available components!

They had to wait until various mech designers and component developers digested the new technologies.
After a few months of years, they would publish their new component designs, but by then the mech designers who started later already fell behind!

After two hours of showcasing a dazzling number of improvements, Councilor Veyron finally wrapped up her announcement.

”There are many new advancements that our Association made available to you.
I am proud of what the mech community has accomplished over the last decades.
Not only have we unveiled a viable means of adding FTL capability to mechs, we have also introduced a comprehensive wave of enhancements that collectively increases the potency of humanity ’s mechs to a new height! ”

Her arm stretched to the impressive star scape in the background.
”Normally, our message ends here, but we have another announcement to make. ”

The logos of two different organizations appeared by her side.

To the left was the familiar logo of the MTA.

To the right was the logo of the CFA!

Most people who began to grow sleepy or numb to all of the technological advancements introduced by Veyron began to wake themselves up at the new sight.

Anything that was important enough to unite the Big Two must be something enormous!

Ves recalled Calabast ’s warning that the MTA planned to make an additional announcement.
Now, it turned out that his partner was right!

”The Mech Trade Association and the Common Fleet Alliance have safeguarded human civilization for over 400 years. ” She stated seriously.
”For four centuries, our race has rested and recovered from the devastation of the preceding stage.
Our initial mission after the formation of our organization was to protect our race from further decline! Now, we declare that we have succeeded in this objective! ”

A new image appeared behind the powerful councilor.
A three-dimensional plot of the galaxy emerged into view.
Various lines and colors delineated this map, highlighting the space occupied by humanity and other alien civilizations.

Everyone was familiar with this map.
Even if they couldn ’t draw it very precisely from memory, most people could still sketch the relative locations and proportions of the territories occupied by the major races in the galaxy.

Obviously, humanity occupied the largest territory!

Anticipation built up in everyone as they began to form their own ideas about the nature of this announcement.

Councilor Veyron smiled.
”Do not fear.
The MTA and CFA are both here to stay.
We will continue to protect and regulate human space as we have always done.
The only difference from now is that we believe that humanity has recovered to a point where we can reignite our passion for conquest! ”

She held out her hand and clenched it into a fist!

”Make no mistake! We humans must always fight! We can never settle for peace, because there are always enemies waiting to pounce on us when we have become weak! ”

Though her words were aggressive, most people felt proud of their words!

Each human took pride in their racial heritage! Even though the human race was anything but exceptional, every alien race that clashed against them had faltered despite their many advantages!

The belief that the human race was the best race in the galaxy was deeply rooted in everyone ’s bones.
Since humanity was capable of conquering the entire galaxy, not a lot of people advocated for peace and tolerance.

This was because the alien empires that used to dominate the galaxy were really horrible! Every race looked out for themselves, and cooperation was very few and far in between.

”Now that we have repaired and sharpened our weapons for over four-hundred years, it is finally time to reveal our strength to the aliens that think that we have grown weak! ”

The map of the galaxy shifted at this point.
Instead of showing some symbols that signified an invasion into known alien space, something else happened!

A much-smaller cluster of stars that hung a small distance away from the galaxy appeared into view!

A bold red arrow pointed from the center of the galaxy to the edge of this new and smaller galaxy!

”Starting from this day, the Mech Trade Association and the Common Fleet Alliance will pioneer an invasion into the Red Ocean Dwarf Galaxy! ”

”WHAT?! ” Ves couldn ’t help but shout.

Gloriana looked just as shocked!

In fact, every single human except for those in the know reacted with surprise!

No one had ever imagined that the Big Two would ignore the other alien empires bordering human civilization in favor of invading a random dwarf galaxy!

After a lengthy pause to give everyone time to process this shocking revelation, Councilor Veyron quickly stated the main reason why the Big Two targeted this distant cluster of stars!

”Our decision to invade the Red Ocean Dwarf Galaxy that orbits our Milky Way Galaxy is highly related to our earlier announcement.
Perhaps many of you think that the minidrive is too impractical to be popularized because of the scarcity of its key material.
This problem has weighed on us as well until we have discovered an important finding! ”

Everyone who watched the broadcast hung onto her words.

”Phasewater is very prevalent in Red Ocean! This critical exotic is at least a million times more prevalent compared to our native galaxy! ”

Another shock swept throughout human space! This revelation changed everyone ’s thoughts on minidrive technology!

If phasewater was much easier to obtain in Red Ocean, then that was enough to make the Big Two excited!

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