Chpater 3818 Whale-Cutting Saber
The plan that Ketis and Professor Benedict had chosen to work upon was not the most optimal solution to the problem.
Patriarch Reginald Cross may be decent in melee combat, but he did not develop this aspect too much.
The powerful expert pilot's true forte was his skilled and aggressive use of integrated ranged weapon modules!
While the Bolvos Rage's firepower was impressive, they did not excel in penetration and overcoming the toughest possible resistance.
The best way to enhance its penetration capabilities was to leverage Ketis' specialty to outfit it with a new cutting implement.
Its axe might be a strong and sturdy weapon, but the Decapitator was actually superior when it came to sharpness!
While it would have been great if Patriarch Reginald and his Bolvos Rage could wield the Decapitator if Venerable Dise and the First Sword weren't strong enough to do the job, there was a big problem with handing over such a powerful weapon.
Part of the reason why the Decapitator was so unnaturally sharp was because it was laced with Bissonat. Venerable Dise was highly compatible with this resonating exotic, so she could easily tap into the potential of the remarkable weapon.
The biggest shortcoming of relying on her was that her resonance strength and expert mech were not quite good enough. Venerable Dise was only an expert pilot for a few years and the First Sword was only a mid-tier expert mech according to the standards of the mech industry.
In other words, there was a huge gap in absolute power. What if all of the techniques and tricks that Venerable Dise could bring to bear simply weren't powerful enough to overcome the phase whale skeleton's protective energy field?
The only viable choice was to turn to a more powerful expert pilot.
If the Golden Skull Alliance could rely on Dise and her expert mech to do the job, then Ketis wouldn't even need to design the whale-cutting saber in advance!
The same could not be said for Patriarch Reginald. He was a high-tier expert pilot that was already approaching the resonance strength of a peak-tier expert pilot. Unfortunately, he was also a completely different expert pilot and favored a completely different fighting approach and skillset.
Ketis could not rely on a material that was able to provide a powerful amplification to cutting power because there weren't any related resonating materials in stock that were compatible with Patriarch Reginald.
However, the presence of these resonating materials weren't necessary to achieve superior cutting power. Even with more general materials, the whale-cutting saber that Ketis was working on could still overpower the protective measures keeping the phase whale skeleton intact through brute force!
This was the gap between a low-tier expert pilot and a high-tier expert pilot! Patriarch Reginald's force of will was so much more powerful that mere numbers couldn't adequately describe the gap between him and Venerable Dise!
As Ketis finished explaining her progress on the whale-cutting saber, Ves turned to its intended user.
"Reginald, how confident are you in hacking through the skeleton once you are able to wield this new saber?"
The other clan leader fell into thought and made his own estimations.
"I cannot say whether I will succeed." He admitted. "From what I have learned about this new saber, it is capable of cutting through your Shield of Samar as long as I launch enough attacks. Whether that is enough to overcome the defenses of the phase whale skeleton is another matter. My best chance is to cut the tail end of the skeleton. According to the information that we have received, the protective energy field is weakest when it is as far away from the head of the skeleton as possible."
The harvest that they could gain from that would be disappointing. While the tail bone was still incredibly large and massive, it was only enough to build a handful of bone mechs and no more after the MTA took away its 90 percent share.
This was not enough to make this effort worthwhile. The spine bones at the rear half of the skeleton happened to be the smallest ones! The ones that were closer to the front were many times bigger!
"I want more than just the tail bone at the end." Ves stated. "It would be great if we can cut the skeleton in the middle or at least the rear third section. We only need to saw through one bone in order to separate an entire string of spine bones. As long as we are able to overcome the suspension effect, we can drag it out the portal and break it down at leisure."
It was incredibly troublesome to cut through each and every single spine bone, but the Golden Skull Alliance did not have to rush this effort.
As long as the Larkinsons and their allies managed to retrieve a section of the spine, they could bring it back to Davute. There were plenty of industrial companies in the booming star system that likely possessed much better means to process all of the remarkable bone material!
In fact, the Golden Skull Alliance might not need to go through all of this effort. As long as the spine section became disconnected from the rest of the skeleton, the protective energy field generated from the skull would no longer cover it anymore.
Perhaps the Graveyard's salvaging and processing machines would be sufficient enough to break down the gigantic bones into more manageable portions!
The more Ves thought about all of the fantastic bone material that he could gain, the more he wanted this operation to succeed!
After the people gathered in the conference room finished their discussion on the plan to equip Patriarch Reginald with a whale-cutting saber, Ves concluded this topic with one final question.
"Will developing and fabricating the whale-cutting saber in advance affect the outcome of the Mars Project in any way?"
"I prefer to wield an axe rather than a saber if I have to fight with a melee weapon." Patriarch Reginald replied. "We will retain the whale-cutting saber as a backup and an alternative option for my Mars Project. The only inconvenience is that we are using up rare and expensive materials that we have initially reserved for my future axe. We will have to return to Davute and purchase another batch of materials in order to fill this gap."
"Will this be problematic for your clan?"
"We can easily absorb the additional costs. Our Cross Clan is not as poor as before. Professor Benedict has early earned a considerable amount of money by lending out his design ability to well-paying clients. Besides, the whale-cutting saber is not a waste of money and resources. It can play an even greater role against well-armored opponents than my future axe."
"Oh. That sounds good." ᴜᴘᴅᴀᴛᴇ ꜰʀᴏᴍ ғʀᴇᴇᴡᴇʙɴᴏᴠᴇʟ. ᴄᴏᴍ.
It was nice to have multiple options available.
The axe favored by Patriarch Reginald was actually designed to be wielded by a single arm. It was a fine weapon to hack apart weaker mechs with ease while being handy enough to duel against more powerful opponents.
The whale-cutting saber was a larger, heavier and more unwieldy weapon. It could only really be wielded by two arms, which made it less convenient for the Mars Project to fight like a discount hero mech and by wielding a shotgun at the same time.
However, Ves could see the advantages of deploying into battle with the latter. The name said it all. There were hardly any better weapons to chop through gigantic astral beasts than this weapon!
Ves turned to Ketis. "You are designing the whale-cutting saber according to the specifications of the Bolvos Rage, right? Will it still be fine if it is passed on to the future Mars Project?"
"I can always modify it afterwards so that it better fits the new expert mech. I don't think there will be a problem."
That was good to hear.
The meeting moved on. The people in the conference room brought up other plans on how to cut through the phase whale skeleton.
They ranged from using energy fields to counterbalance the protective one covering the gigantic bones to bringing in heavy-duty mining lasers to drill through the same spot day and night.
Although Ves admired the creativity of these plans, he did not possess a lot of confidence in these measures.
"What about the plan to overcome the defenses of the phase skeleton with our ranged expert mechs?" Commander Melkor asked. "Do we have enough firepower to succeed?"
Several expert pilots were a part of this plan. Patriarch Reginald, Venerable Brutus Wodin, Venerable Joshua Larkinson, Commander Casella Ingvar and most notable Venerable Davia Stark would be doing all of the work this time.
Each of them piloted expert mechs with powerful ranged capabilities. If they all empowered their attacks with true resonance and concentrated them on a specific point, they could overcome a lot of resistance!
Since Ves had designed much of the ranged weapons used by these expert mechs, he possessed a good understanding of this plan.
"We do not know whether this plan works better than the ones that rely on using melee weapons to cut through the bone. The main difference is that all of our ranged expert mechs are equipped with energy weapons. The way they deal damage and the way that expert pilots empower them are different. While the firepower of five ranged expert mechs should not be underestimated, it might not end up doing anything if the protective energy field is especially effective in neutralizing energy damage."
This was always a possibility. Even if many of the ranged expert mechs were armed with versatile luminar crystal weapons, the phase whale tech responsible for preserving the gigantic skeleton was probably superior.
The Golden Skull Alliance's only hope was that persistent attacks from all of those expert mechs would be enough to exhaust their target!
Personally, Ves was afraid that the protective energy field could not be exhausted through these means. Quantity might not be enough as long as the attacks did not surpass a high threshold.
Perhaps only the Amaranto had a realistic shot of overcoming the defenses of the phase whale skeleton. A powerful enough attack from Venerable Davia Stark and her masterwork expert mech might do the trick.
"What if all of this is not enough?" General Verle asked. "We are relying on the mechs, weapons and equipment that we have on hand, but they are hardly the most powerful tools at humanity's disposal. What if we are too weak to defeat the remnant of what might possibly be the most powerful single organism in the history of the Red Ocean?"
"Then… we may need to resort to other solutions." Ves replied. "Perhaps the Royal Tomb is a puzzle. The phase whales or whoever constructed all of this may have implemented a sequence that will allow us to deactivate this powerful protective energy field. Once it is done, it should be a lot simpler to saw through these spine bones."
"How can we do that, sir?"
Ves smiled and pointed at the projections. "I don't know, but if I have to make a guess, I think the head of this giant skeleton must hold answers."
"Are you sure about that, sir? It sounds too good to be true. Isn't the forward part of the skeleton unreachable?"
"That is true. We have only attempted to go deeper with probes, bots and other autonomous devices. They are all weak and incapable of handling increasingly more dangerous conditions. Perhaps the story will be different once we attempt to push through the hazard zone with our best and strongest mechs. I am thinking about whether it is a good idea to send in the Shield of Samar."
The expert heavy space knight wasn't designed to operate under these conditions. Who knew what kind of dangers loomed ahead. Without a key or a countermeasure, even a mech as tough as the Shield of Samar might get sliced apart by the residual defenses of the Royal Tomb!