Chapter 3176: Higher Rungs
Ves wished the MTA the best of success in realizing this utopian future.
As a powerful organization, it could afford to chase after an impossible dream.
He wasnt holding out hope, however.
The challenges to creating a masterwork was so immense that it was too difficult to make them more accessible.
Most people simply werent good enough to touch this level of craftsmanship.
What he did find interesting was that he learned a bit more about the division between the CFA and MTA.
Many of the differences that Ves already knew such as the preferences between mechs and warships were basic disagreements that everyone in the galaxy took for granted these days.
Few ever took the trouble to think deeper and figure out why exactly they committed to mechs or warships.
Simple arguments such asdont fix what aint broke andmechs produce less collateral damage were shallow answers that did not fundamentally explain the driving motivation behind these differences.
Ves finally received an actual answer now.
He and his fellow mech designers understood the purpose of the MTA and CFA a bit better now that Master Willix explained what masterworks were really about and why that was one of the basic factors that separated the Big Two.
Still, the odds were stacked against the MTA.
The stodgy CFA was less inclined to embrace all of this nonsense and continued to stick with humanitys tried and true approach that had already worked for millenia.
Change was a lot more difficult to accomplish in times of prosperity.
So far, no one had seen any proof that the current approach was flawed and wouldnt work any longer.
What he and his fellow Larkinsons currently cared about was learning more about masterworks so that they could utilize their benefits to the fullest!
“Master Willix.” Ves politely asked.
“Earlier, you spoke about how a masterwork expert like our Amaranto can increase the chances of ace pilots breaking through by more than 1000%.
You also stated that masterworks of standard mechs dont make an appreciable difference in breakthrough chances.
Given these observations, what are the chances of ace pilots breaking through to the rank of god pilot”
Normally, he would never dare to ask such a profound and high-level question.
Anything related to ace pilots and god pilots was so far above his head that he shouldnt even be thinking about them.
He was too curious, though, and he recognized that this was a rare and precious opportunity to get some actual answers on what the upper end of mech design was about.
Master Willix paused for a moment.
“Ace pilots are powerful human beings who distort and defy reality merely by existing.
They belong to a higher tier of warriors who have worked hard and endured many risks to prove themselves worthy of their superhuman capabilities.
Once an expert pilot makes the transition to ace pilot, a new world opens up.
Ace mechs designed specifically with ace pilots in mind can allow them to exert vastly more power on the battlefield.
However, the chasm between ace pilots is the widest that we know of.
Ace pilots must overcome so many hurdles and work so hard to improve that our Association has concluded that it is impossible for them to make the ultimate step through their own strength.”
“Does that mean… that every god pilot in existence today managed to break through by piloting a masterwork ace mech” Ves curiously asked.
“Not entirely.” Willix admitted.
special cases that I shall not discuss.
In general, ace pilots will never be able to make any appreciable progress in moving beyond their current limitations if their mechs are still situated on the first rung of the ladder.
They must have access to an ace mech that is at least on the second rung of the ladder to possess a slight chance of being able to overcome their remaining limitations and survive the metamorphosis that every mech pilot dreams of achieving.”
This was another massive revelation! Though it wasnt as relevant to Ves and his young clan right now, the value of this information would become priceless later on.
Now that they knew one of the essential prerequisites to allowing ace pilots to progress further, they could specifically work towards improving this aspect further!
“How big are their chances, exactly” Ves followed up with another question.
“From the way that you have phrased your words, it sounds as if a masterwork ace mech is not quite sufficient.”
“That is indeed the case.” Master Willix said.
As I have mentioned earlier, a human and a tool must be within a certain range of strength to foster greater strength.
The second rung of ladder, namely masterworks, corresponds well with expert pilots, but the equation is different for ace pilots.
While piloting a masterwork ace mech is better than piloting a perfunctory ace mech, it is ultimately not a good match.”
Ves, Gloriana, Juliet and Ketis all widened their eyes as they realized the unspoken but obvious implication of this statement.
a third rung of ladder”
Master Willix responded with a smirk.
This is a supremely high level of craftsmanship.
None of you are close to attaining it, so do not even think about aiming for it.
You have only touched upon the second rung of the latter for now.
Pull yourself up first before you think about touching the third rung of the ladder.”
Gloriana couldnt hold in her curiosity, though.
“What kind of mech designer is qualified to design a mech that meets the standards of the third rung of the ladder!”
The Master Mech Designer slowly let out a breath.
“This is currently the exclusive domain of Star Designers.
Only they are qualified to create grand works that far exceed the properties of masterwork mechs.”
“A… grand work”
That is what we currently call any mech or work that has reached a level of quality that you can only dream about in your current stage.
The wordgrand is colloquially used to describe great and ambitious endeavors, and in a way that also describes the mechs that can truly allow ace pilots to make the ultimate transformation and become a new form of existence.
As for god pilots… their situation is special.”
Master Willix did not immediately reply.
It was as if she was contemplating whether she should throw the curious and eager Larkinsons another bone.
At some point, she decided that it wouldnt hurt to broaden their horizons more.
“Do you remember when I said that humanity is a tool-using race Our current paradigm with regards to this truth is that we humans are discreet from tools.
When mech pilots step into the cockpit of a mech, they become one only in a symbolic manner.
The separation between human and machine remains firmly in place.
The only deviation occurs when the neural interface establishes a small line through the wall that separates the two.
This connects the two sides together and allows them to cooperate to a limited degree.”
This all sounded normal to the Larkinsons, but then Master Willix presented a different model.
“Now what do you think will happen if we reduce the separation between man and machine What if we blur the lines and integrate mech pilots with their mechs to a deeper and more fundamental degree”
What the hell was Master Willix talking about This sounded like a sick experiment!
The last instance where Ves saw an example of a human merging with a mech was Uranus, and that ended up very badly for the Supreme Sage and the millions of innocent victims that had fallen victim to the uncontrollable biojuggernauts rampage!
“Though we seek to strengthen humans, we never dismiss the value and utility of tools.” Master Willix nonchalantly continued as if there was nothing wrong with what she said.
“The use of tools is not wrong as long as it is used to strengthen the human.
With higher qualities of mechs, it becomes more and more possible to blur the lines between the two.
The degree of fusion between god pilots and god mechs is an exceptional marvel to behold.
God pilots can never lose their god mechs because he has become it in a sense.”
Ves and the others had practically grown numb with all of the shocking secrets they learned.
They never knew that there were so many shocking secrets behind masterwork mechs!
The fog obscuring the top had cleared up a lot, allowing the young Journeymen to see what they were working towards with their successive masterwork successes.
The jump from masterwork to grand work was evidently an immense leap in quality.
If only Star Designers were able to create grand works, then it was no wonder why they were so highly revered in human space!
Ves finally understood the full significance of agrand design.
It was not just a description of a high-quality work, but was an actual quality standard that only the top of human society were able to handle!
He decided to ask one more question.
“Since there is a third rung, is there a fourth rung”
Master Willix maintained her current smile.
“Senfovons Ladder of Craftsmanship currently defines four different rungs.
I have already described three of them.
We know they exist because we can make products that equate to each quality standard.
As for the fourth rung… currently it is only inferred.
It is said that the successful creation of a mech will shake the galaxy and start an entirely new epoch.”
She didnt say anything further about this topic.
Her audience already received plenty of information for them to digest for many years.
Eventually, Master Willix turned the discussion to a more relevant direction.
“Let us proceed to business.
My colleagues have just completed their examination of the Amaranto.
It shall be teleported back to your flagship in a short time.”
Ves truly felt assured now that Master Willix said that the MTA wasnt keeping his latest masterwork mech.
The powerful creation was paired with Venerable Stark, so it would never be able to fulfill the function it was made for if it was taken away.
Besides, the MTA had a strong interest in seeing Ves and his co-workers develop even more masterwork mechs.
Master Willix and the other mechers couldnt treat their guests as dismissively as they did to other space peasants.
Ves had finally gained some actual leverage.
Though the relationship between him and the MTA was still heavily skewed, the latter had to be a lot careful about dictating terms to him.
This was definite progress in his eyes!
“First, the merits.” The Master spoke.
“The value of a masterwork expert mech is much greater than you realize.
However, the design is not completely yours.
I as well as Mr.
has improved its parameters well beyond what you are capable of.
We have therefore decided that we will grant your team a total of 5 million MTA merits, split equally between each of you regardless of your actual contributions.”
5 million MTA merits.
Receiving such a sum should have been a celebration to the Larkinsons.
Yet with all of the interest surrounding a masterwork expert mech built by a bunch of Journeymen, wasnt this too paltry!
Willix raised her palm before Ves could open his mouth.
“Now, before you complain, the main reason why you will only receive 5 million MTA merits in total is because we have already granted you even greater rewards.”
“What greater rewards”
“We decided to elevate you from the 12th tier of galactic citizenship to the 10th tier of galactic citizenship.
This is a great leap that puts you on the same level as a common citizen of a first-rate state.”
This… did not sound very impressive to Ves.
He and his colleagues all looked confused.
Was it really so impressive to jump from the lowest tier of galactic citizenship to something that was barely better What difference did it make in practical terms Ves seriously doubted whether anyone would take his elevated citizenship seriously when he was nowhere near the power level of a first-class mech designer!
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