Chapter 3320: Two Vulcans
Were the Larkinsons truly yearning to align themselves with the Rubarthans once they reached the Red Ocean
Ves kept wondering about this issue.
He thought he had already made the clans future direction clear when he announced his intention to join the Red Ocean Union.
“Our people already have a taste of what it is like to exist without a strong government or organization protecting our rights.” Gavin told him during a morning briefing.
“It turns out that not having a big brother watching over us is not that great.
Sure, we dont have to abide by anyones laws and directives except for the ones imposed by the Big Two, but that has also left us bereft from shelter when we need it the most.
I bet the Vulcan Empire wouldnt have taken the initiative to attack us if we were aligned with a powerful state.”
Ves stared at the masterwork mech figurine that he had placed on his display shelf in his office.
The miniature Valkyrie Redeemer fit well with the Ylvainan nutrient pack wrapper and the blooming Prosperity Tree.
“Youre making the same mistake as my wife, Benny.
You only look at the upsides of such an association and never pay enough attention at the price we need to pay.
If we join the Rubarthan Pact, well either be forced oradvised to do something that we dont want.
The danger well be subjected to will be at least as great as if we tried to make our own fortune!”
“Doesnt that make this a better deal, boss”
“Look, if we happen to plunge to our deaths, then at least we should be able to pick where we jump from.
As long as we retain enough control, we can still find ways to avoid these outcomes.
It is a lot harder to do so when we are forced to take part in a war or intrigue action.”
It was all about control to Ves.
The problem was that not every clansman lived through the same experiences as him.
Many of the newer clansmen used to be loyal citizens of various powerful second-rate states.
Even if those states werent always well-run, the people who lived there never thought about living without the backing of powerful governments!
This was how most modern people lived.
They were incapable of imagining any scenario where they had to stand up for themselves without the benefit of an existing structure to lean on! Ves found that rather sad.
He expected better from his people.
His assistant was one of the first followers of Ves, so Gavin understood exactly why his boss insisted on keeping the clan independent.
On the other hand, he frequently got in touch with other people in the clan, so he had a pretty good grasp of the overall sentiment throughout the fleet.
“Not everyone is as successful and confident as you, boss.
Theyre still average people in many regards.
Their ambitions are not as great as yours and their risk tolerance is not as extreme either.
The Battle of Reckoning and the Battle of Fordilla Zentra have both brought us close to extinction.
Even if we made it through somehow, there are still a lot of survivors who are having second thoughts about this wholegoing it alone business.
The more painful battles we go through, the greater the amount of Larkinsons who think it isnt a bad idea to exchange control for protection.”
“Fools!” Ves banged his fist against his desk.
“From the onset, our clan has always been about trying to rise up through our own efforts! I am not going to change my mind just because weve encountered a couple of setbacks.
The sacrifices we make in the early days shall pave the way to a glorious future where people will have to answer to us instead of the other way around!”
Despite his insistence, he could not change other peoples opinions so easily.
There was only so much Goldie and his propagandists could do without crossing some unsavory lines.
Ves understood that the only way to prevent more people from losing their courage was to lead them to greater success.
In particular, the Larkinson Army needed to become a lot stronger in order to win its battles without being pushed to the limit!
“Well, Ill take care of that later.” He muttered to himself.
“First, I have Vulcan business to take care of.
The dwarves wont be enjoying their peace for long.”
Once he finished his morning briefing, Ves moved down to his personal workshop which had become filled with various crates and materials.
Ves reached one of his work benches and picked up a recently completed statue of Vulcan.
It was a simple totem that Ves had designed for speedy construction rather than lifelike accuracy.
Regardless, the statue was still a totem that bore a small amount of life.
Though its glow was weak compared to his mechs, most of the dwarves never came into touch with this phenomenon.
Ves was certain that this small statue would make an incredibly strong impression on the more devout worshippers of Vulcan!
Ves grinned as he admired his own handicraft.
“As long as it is convincing enough to hoodwink a portion of the dwarven population, the Vulcan Empire will definitely turn into a mess!”
The reason for that was quite simple.
The statue he currently held happened to be based on an image of Vulcan as a dwarven deity.
The gunmetal grey object did not possess any ambiguity in that regard.
Any dwarf who was convinced that Vulcan was like them would become completely convinced their beliefs were absolutely right!
He put the dwarven statue down once he was satisfied with his inspection.
Stoking the flames of fanaticism of the Dwarven God Cult worshippers was not the extent of his plan.
He also prepared a counterpart!
His hand reached out to pick up a taller, slimmer statue.
The statue roughly shared his build but possessed a more ambiguous face.
This was the traditional depiction of Vulcan among the dwarves.
The statue exuded almost the exact same glow as the previous statue.
The differences were relatively modest and mostly related to reinforcing the human or dwarven nature of their depictions.
Ves had designed this human statue to give those affected by its glow the impression that Vulcan was unquestionably human! It also gave the impression that it stood for truth and that it would be blasphemy to mistake the god as a dwarf!
Of course, the dwarven depiction of Vulcan made the opposite impression.
The dwarven statue possessed a more aggressive character and made it seem as if mistaking Vulcan as a human god was an unforgivable mistake!
The statues were never designed to convince non-believers and those from the opposite camp to their respective stances.
Ves intended them to fall into the hands of those who were already predisposed to believe in one version of Vulcan or another!
“The more fanatical they are, the more theyll fall into my trap!” He grinned.
He continued to inspect more of his finished work.
All of the statues he made came in either a human version or a dwarven version and came in different quality levels.
The least valuable ones were relatively mundane that any traditional metal worker could make.
The more notable ones were so high in quality that they had almost reached masterwork level!
The surprisingly wide range in quality levels was due to his frequent attempts to explore Vulcans abilities.
Though Ves failed to sniff out a lot of new abilities, he at least figured out the rules behind Vulcans more basic abilities.
He brought out the Hammer of Brilliance and softly tapped it onto his best statue, which happened to depict a human version of Vulcan.
Upon contact, the hammers glow spread to the statue, causing it to glow as Vulcans spiritual energy ran throughout its entire structure.
Ves had figured out that Vulcan was analyzing the design and construction of any object that the hammer had deliberately tapped.
He didnt have to worry about the hammer randomly trying to analyze a deck or table if he set it down somewhere.
The design spirit responded to the intentions of the wielder and only analyzed inorganic objects.
It was a lot easier for Vulcan to analyze smaller objects than larger ones.
Once he analyzed a specific sample, he would store a permanent record of the design in his memories.
Strictly speaking, Ves did not need to tap the statue with his hammer as Vulcan already possessed a record of its design.
The reason why Ves tapped his hammer at the statue anyway was because he wanted toupdate its record so that Vulcan registered a higher-quality version of this model!
“The strange thing about Vulcan is that he doesnt store designs.
He stores impressions of real objects.”
This had several implications which made the Hammer of Brilliance a lot more useful when fabricating mass-produced mechs and less useful for fabrication custom mechs.
Of course, even if Ves did not analyze an existing mech, he would still be able to employ the hammers second functionality.
It just wouldnt be as strong.
Once the hammer finished its analysis, Ves did not hesitate to give himself a soft tap with the flat end.
He already learned the hard way that the amount of force he put into his blows did not make the effects stronger!
His head began to glow as Vulcan began to act on his mind.
Several new thoughts and impulses surged up, and he quickly put down his hammer in order to fabricate a second human statue.
He let out a sigh though.
“I havent entered into a false inspired state in three days.”
It appeared that Ves wouldnt be able to employ Vulcans most impactful ability as often as he wished.
He needed to cherish the opportunity and had to save it up until he truly needed the boost.
“That said, there is still some use to hitting myself on the head.”
The state he was in right now did not inspire him to develop new solutions, but it allowed him to be more mindful of existing details.
Every material was a little different.
His mental and physical state also differed from time to time.
All of these variables and more affected the quality of his output.
Once he finished his new statue, he put it alongside the reference copy he just used and compared them to each other.
“Hmmm, the quality of my latest work is higher than average, but it falls short of my best attempt.”
He did not look surprised at this result.
He already sensed that this would be the case once he came close to finishing his new statue.
The crafting-oriented insights provided by Vulcan were based on the specific set of circumstances in which the reference copy had been made.
Merely transplanting all of these parameters onto another work did not yield an identical product.
The variables were slightly different.
For example, the time was different, Ves might be a little hungry and the batch of materials he used contained a little more impurities.
If the input was different, the output would be different as well.
It was impossible to replicate an earlier success.
“Its not completely useless, though.”
Ves felt that this function was a lot more useful to less competent and skilled craftsmen.
If they were whacked over the head with his hammer, they would be able to learn about many new insights on how to produce a higher-quality version of an existing work!
“Its a way of teaching them on how to reach the standard of quality that I have reached on my own.” He realized.
“It is too impractical to teach other people all of the details they need to pay attention to.
Its much better for Vulcan to dump all of that stuff directly into their minds!”
The only way to truly master work was to make crucial decisions on the spot.
Ves couldnt accomplish that by relying solely on obtaining Vulcans insights on an existing record.
“This is where inspired states can help.”
Of course, even that was just a crutch.
The most certain and reliable way to make a masterwork was to develop his foundation to the point where he no longer had to rely on any gimmicks like serendipity or Luckys gem to make a masterwork!
That was something that Vulcan couldnt deliver.
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