The Mech Touch Chapter 1226
1224 Blank Canvas
Ves looked up at the statue of Prophet Ylvaine in the chapel of the guest compound.
While exhaustion suffused his body, his mind was content.
He completed the third iteration of the Transcendent Messenger design.
Not only that, but at the final leg of the journey, he entered into an exceptional state.
His entire mind spirit synchronized with both his design seed and Ylvaine's spiritual fragment, uniting their thoughts and desires into a singular purpose.
"That is, to make the Transcendent Messenger a great mech design."
Ves could hardly understand this exceptional state. How did it come to be? Why did it come to him at the very end of the design process?
These questions and more dwelled in his mind, but there was no point obsessing over them. Inspiration followed no rules. It came and went on a whim. Certain actions and mindsets encourages the onset of inspiration, but it was not servant that could be called upon command.
The elusiveness of inspiration didn't make it any less valuable. When an artist or mech designer became inspired, their decision-making reached the pinnacle of their ability. They became hyper-focused on their work and fashioned wondrous creations without any doubt, hesitation or fear!
Ves entered inspired states before. When his passion for his design project became fiery and the stakes were high, he designed his mechs like his life depended on them! None of the mechs he designed while struck by inspiration were found lacking!
Yet his earlier state felt much greater than that. When he got caught up in putting the finishing touches on the Transcendent Messenger design, he felt unprecedentedly powerful, as if none of the limitations applied to him anymore!
It was as if he held the power in his hands to Transcendent Messenger into a mechanical god!
"Of course, that was just an illusion."
He recognized that some of his mindset had been affected by Ylvaine's spiritual fragment. Its personality exhibited absolute faith, and Ves somehow became affected by it as well. His confidence swelled and his certainty in his decisions became absolute!
Even now, when he thought back on his finished product, he was still convinced that it was the right iteration for the Transcendent Messenger.
It may not be the best or the most optimized iteration he was capable of designing, but Ves strongly felt that this was the design he should settle on. The design brought him a strong sense of fulfillment that was difficult to describe.
Perhaps the best way to describe the current state of the Transcendent Messenger as a design that radiated completion.
Some of the Protector guards stationed at the mech workshop muttered something about divine inspiration or whatever, but Ves dismissed their guesses as nonsense.
The holy sensation that struck a chord in the hearts of every Ylvainan did not originate from a god or anything. What actually happened was that the aura from Ylvaine's spiritual fragment broke through the barriers of his mind.
Even so, many of the Protectors presented regarded him like a man possessed by god after he completed the third iteration and came out of his exceptional state.
Now that he returned to the guest compound, a strange impulse compelled him to visit the quiet chapel located in the courtyard.
Although he still didn't believe in the Faith, he enjoyed the peace and tranquility that suffused the chapel. Its sober, solemn and slightly darkened interior momentarily separated him from the hustle and bustle, allowing him to descend from his high and calmly process his gains and experiences.
Perhaps the most important realization was that he shouldn't mystify his earlier state too much. While it supercharged his judgement and brought forth his full mech design potential, the truth was that he hadn't exactly exceeded his boundaries.
"Even without entering this exceptional state, I'm still able to design a great mech."
Mech design involved both art and science. What happened earlier was definitely related to the art component of mech design.
Perhaps the most valuable benefits he gained was that he managed to enhance the native X-Factor of his design and that he tweaked its aesthetics to better fit his vision.
"It is more than a mech. It's a symbol. The Transcendent Messenger is a mech that inspires faith and devotion."
Perhaps it was more appropriate to call it an idol instead, but Ves did not dare to say so. As a non-believer, he did not wish to claim that the Transcendent Messenger design was a product of a god.
"No god designed this mech! It's all me!" Ves stubbornly affirmed. "Anyone who claims that I only managed to design such a good mech should be smacked in the face!"
If a god took credit for his design, then he will kill the god! If Buddha took credit for his work, then he will butcher Buddha!
Overconfidence was bad, but so was excessive modesty. The design was mostly his work so he deserved the bulk of the credit. Ketis helped out as well. While her contributions weren't all that much, the Transcendent Messenger carried some of her influences.
"She's worthy enough to be credited as a contributing designer."
As for Prophet Ylvaine? While it was true that Ylvaine's spiritual fragment provided a lot of guidance to Ves, it mainly served as his muse. The fragment fed his creativity and issued plenty of advice and suggestions, but it wasn't actually capable of designing a mech.
Therefore, to Ves, it didn't deserve any actual credit for designing his mech. He selfishly refused to share the credit to anyone other than himself and Ketis.
The tranquil chapel quickly calmed him down. It was hard to remain agitated when its solemn interior with its judgemental statue of the robed figure of Prophet Ylvaine stared down at you from above.
As a mech designer, he understood the purpose of its interior design. This was a place for introspection. As long as anyone spent enough time inside the chapel, they would be forced to lay bare the truths buried into their minds.
"Maybe I should build something similar back at the Mech Nursery."
One of the reasons why he came here to sober himself up was because he needed to make a decision.
Should he declare an end to the design process and make the third iteration the definitive version of his design?
Logic and emotion warred against each other.
From a logical standpoint, Ves hadn't even fabricated a third prototype and subjected it to testing yet. More problems might have cropped up that still needed addressing. Perhaps a fourth prototype needed to be tested as well before the design reached an ideal state of optimization.
Yet his heart, spirit, intuition and emotion all urged him to settle for the design as is. The design may not have reached a technically perfect state, but who cared about those minor details?
It wasn't as if he was designing a mech for the mass market anyway. His only client was Calabast, who was firmly on his side.
Still, for someone who cared a lot about designing a mech to the best of his abilities, it felt like he was cutting corners at the end of the design process. He had been so meticulous in designing his mech beforehand. Why not continue the same careful approach?
"Maybe it's because the mech design doesn't need any further attention."
Ves faintly felt that if he adjusted the design too much, he risked spoiling its remarkable nature. It was a product of inspiration that incorporated many small design nuances that he couldn't fully justify. They were products of his unconscious design instincts.
Even though he couldn't rationally explain all of his choices, he didn't feel they were wrong. Messing with them basically implied that he doubted his design ability.
His internal struggle grew more divisive as he contemplated whether he should go ahead and Superpublish his design.
Once he activated this function from the System, the Transcendent Messenger would definitely change. Ves expected many of its parameters to grow stronger as the System used knowledge that was far beyond his means to implement many improvements.
The System promised that the overall performance of any Superpublished mech would increase by ten percent. Although Ves only made use of this function once with his Crystal Lord design, he knew the System wasn't exaggerating.
The Transcendent Messenger already performed well at its current state. Improving its performance by ten percent would definitely push it to the level of mechs designed by Seniors!
Yet Ves couldn't exert any control on how the Superpublish function improved his design. It was an external aid that didn't draw on his knowledge or design style to improve the design.
Would the Transcendent Messenger still retain its essence after he Superpublished it? Or would the function dilute the qualities that turned it into such an inspirational mech?
Ves recalled what happened with the Crystal Lord. The laser rifleman mech design still held on to its identity.
Therefore, Ves guessed that even if he Superpublished Transcendent Messenger, it's X-Factor shouldn't weaken.
"The problem is that I don't feel that it's the right choice."
Whenever he felt tempted to activate the Superpublish function, he became plagued with doubt. Even his intuition faintly warned him that he might regret his choice.
"Why is it so important for the mech to retain its current shape?"
Rationally, he knew it was best if he Superpublished the mech. It readily improved the performance of his mech. Yet would it still be the same Transcendent Messenger?
"Yes and no."
He wouldn't be able to acknowledge the mech as his creation anymore. He still deserved much of the credit for its design, but was it truly representative of his own design skill?
The answer to that question would be no.
While a ten percent difference sounded small, to mechs at this level, the difference was huge! Perhaps many mech insiders would guess that Ves approached a Senior or a Master in order to tune-up his mech design. They wouldn't be too far from the truth.
From an artistic standpoint, the violation was even worse. Ves had just fully invested all of his heart and mind into completing the third iteration of his mech. Each time he imaginated the Transcendent Messenger, he felt proud of what he accomplished.
It would be a shame if he sacrificed his pride for convenience.
Therefore, after a very long internal struggle, he decided to listen to his heart and intuition. No matter what might result from his choice, he no longer questioned his decision now that he settled this issue.
"The third iteration of the Transcendent Messenger will be the final one."
A sense of relief suffused his body. A weight lifted off his shoulders. If he decided to go through with Superpublishing his design, then the weight might have grown heavier instead!
"Whatever. I don't know why I feel this way, but I'll enjoy it while it lasts."
Now that he settled this issue, he acted decisively. He activated his comm and called up a small projection of his design.
"It's time for you to take up your new home. Go." He whispered.
After spending months inside his mind, Ylvaine's spiritual fragment could finally depart from his mind.
The fragment seemed to be ready for this moment ever since Ves entered the chapel. It was as if it predicted the result beforehand, because the instant Ves spoke his words, the fragment immediately zipped through the hole that Ves opened up in his mental defenses!
The spiritual fragment immediately arrived at the projection of the Transcendent Messenger and seemed to phase to a different dimension. Once it entered the conceptual space of the design, it settled in and established an enduring connection!
The design grew more holy and austere in his spiritual senses. Its aura grew richer and livelier as its fundamental attributes blended with the qualities of its new design spirit, resulting in a mech that appeared sacred and inviolable!
"The Transcendent Messenger is complete!"