Chapter 1922 Vulcan
The moment 'Master' Gion Greybeard revealed that they managed to obtain an ore that could be processed into Timpala Steel, Ves couldn't help but feel shocked!
Timpala Steel! This was the essential exotic the Mech Designer System demanded from Ves!
For a long time, Ves paid no mind to the five Supply Missions the System issued.
None of the materials mentioned by the System were average products that Ves could casually order from the galactic net.
After realizing how impossible it was to obtain the materials needed to complete the Supply Mission, Ves simply decided to pay no further mind to them. He consciously pushed them to the back of his mind where they lay forgotten and covered in dust.
In truth, a part of Ves simply didn't want to dance to the tune of the System anymore. In the last few years, Ves felt that he had largely outgrown the System.
While he was very grateful for the help the System provided him during his early years, that didn't mean he was committed to making it essential to his progression!
Now that he had reached his current strength, it was very much possible for him to work towards Senior and Master without relying on the amenities provided by the System!
Even if the System decided to abandon Ves and take away all of its toys such as the Amastendira and his System comm, Ves would still be okay as long as his permanent enhancements were still intact!
For this reason, he always adopted an opportunistic attitude towards the Supply Missions. As long as Ves caught word of one of the extremely valuable exotics demanded by the System, he didn't mind diverting from his current goals in order to pursue one of these exceptional materials.
However, if Ves had to travel through half the galaxy in order to reach an auction house that sold one of these materials, then he would just forget about it! He was not ready to waste decades of his life and disrupt all of his long-term plans just to chase after some shiny rocks with a higher rarity than other high-grade exotics.
It seems the System isn't happy about my disregard for its missions. Ves ruefully thought.
This was a ridiculous situation! In order to push Ves towards completing one of his neglected Supply Missions, the System straightforwardly took advantage of his decision to acquire Light Skirmisher Mastery I to send him on an adventure that just happened to make him bump into enough Timpala Steel to satisfy one of its needs!
This is a conspiracy!
It wasn't enough for the likes of Ghanso and Aisling to plot against him. Now, even the System showed that it wasn't beneath manipulating his circumstances so that he would be compelled to dance its tune!
You're really forcing me down this road, is that right?
For some reason, Ves had absolutely no doubt that the incompetent dwarves had misidentified the ore. It truly radiated a sense of excellence that hinted at the awesome power hidden within.
As long as Ves managed to secure the ore and stash or ship it somewhere safe, it might be possible for him to obtain the Timpala Steel once he returned to the present!
So it's not a coincidence that my Mastery experience is situated in the Smiling Samuel Star Sector.
The System accounted for almost everything to get the Timpala Steel within its reach. The various hindrances that deterred Ves from completing the Supply Missions no longer applied in this case!
It was clear what the System wanted Ves to do. It wanted him to assist the dwarves in their wild scheme to overpower guards and gain at least partial control over Outpost 35.
That in itself would not help the dwarves gain their freedom. Desala X was a lifeless giant planet that was completely devoid of life. No other life existed on the planet instead of other dwarves, guards, overseers and various other people working for House Kantis.
Therefore, no matter if the dwarves managed to take over Outpost 35, there was no way for them to go any further because the forces under the control of House Kantis would certainly retaliate!
Each of the dwarves knew in their hearts that the retribution from the tall folk would be terrible. Every dwarf from this underground outpost might be purged in order to squash any word of this rebellion!
For this reason, Gion Greybeard's plan also included a follow-up plan. He wanted to capture one of the transport ships and dispatch as many dwarves as possible out of the star system.
The rebels didn't expect to evacuate the entire population of dwarves at Outpost 35. There wasn't enough time, the ship likely didn't contain enough food and water to keep them all alive and her life support systems were only able to accommodate a couple of hundred or so dwarves at best!
Gion instead wanted to allow the most worthy and deserving dwarves to board the ship before hastily sending her off to a star system where they might be able to deliver their precious tribute to the MTA!
As Gion patiently reiterated the steps of his plan, Ves became more and more dismayed.
The more he heard, the more he wanted to palm his face!
These stupid dwarves don't know anything! There are too many holes in his plan!
The worst part about this flawed escape plan was that neither Gion nor the other dwarves knew any better! None of them had ever lived a normal life or enjoyed a proper upbringing that was more in line with what the rest of humanity enjoyed.
The dwarves aren't to blame for their ignorance. He mentally shook his head. House Kantis may be miserly and inattentive, but they made sure to keep the dwarves in the dark.
How could they ever fathom the power of a mech when they never witnessed them in true combat?
How could they be so confident that their improvised battle wagons could actually become a worthy opponent to the mechs piloted by the guard force?
How could they ever mistake Rion Aaden as an ace pilot?
How could they ever believe that hijacking a starship was anything but simple?
There were so many loopholes to their plan that there was not a chance in hell they would succeed in their rebellion!
Forget reaching the spaceport situated in the 'tall folk' section of Outpost 35, the underprepared rebels wouldn't even make it past the first couple of steps in their wildly-inflated plan!
Ves didn't really care about the dwarves. He possessed very little sympathy for Rion. His Mastery experience was supposed to enrich his understanding of how mech pilots made use of light skirmishers.
Where was any of that when Rion didn't even have access to an actual mech?
Surprisingly, the dwarves didn't elevate Rion to an 'ace pilot' to serve as their mascot. Gion abruptly turned to their star and revealed something very impactful to the plan.
Our mighty war machines may be able to overwhelm some of the mechs under the control of our enemies, but they possess at least a dozen of them. In order to crush these mighty weapons made in the image of the tall folk, we must rely on your strength to ensure our victory is total.
Rion looked solemn for a moment. I am confident I can single-handedly defeat all of their mechs, but…
You need a mech.
Yes, Master Gion. I long to pilot one of the machines of the tall folk. Once I become as tall or taller than our enslavers, I can finally exact revenge for all of the oppression they inflicted on us with their own weapon!
Every dwarf either laughed or roared as they foresaw the punishment they would mete on their oppressors!
Ves was starting to boil over. The sheer hubris and ignorance displayed by the dwarves was too much for him to bear! There was no way the dwarves would ever succeed in their wild schemes!
Unfortunately for him, if the dwarves failed to overpower the guards and hijack a transport ship, there was almost no chance for him to secure the Timpala Steel for himself!
He needed the ore that the rebels managed to obtain. He needed it not because he was eager to obtain the mission rewards. He instead wanted to appease the System!
Will you stop screwing with my Mastery experiences as long as I secure this ore for you? I really hope this is the last time you put me in the head of a dwarf!
In the meantime, Gion finally revealed his plan to provide Rion with an actual mech.
We will enable you to do what you have promised. The old dwarf smiled in an ugly fashion. The reason why I wanted you to learn how to pilot a light skirmisher is because there is an exiled son of House Kaltis in this outpost!
Every dwarf gasped! The mere mention of this hated noble house was enough to evoke both fear and fury in their short and muscular bodies!
This son pilots a mech that the tall folk state is superior to the mechs piloted by the guards!
Gion switched the projector to display a light skirmisher coated in white and bearing various noble emblems and insignia.
The dwarves all gasped at this beautiful machine. They had never seen something so graceful before! They spent their entire lifetimes surrounded by rust, corrosion and cheap materials. The serviceable mining equipment and the poorly-maintained mechs operated by the guard force were anything but elegant!
To the unknowing dwarves, this light skirmisher might as well be an ace mech!
This mech is the other key to our salvation. It is just as valuable as the wonder ore we have excavated. According to what we have been able to gather, the Genie Pearl is the personal mech of Richard Kantis, a scion of the hated house! For whatever reason, he and his mech have been exiled to this planet.
To Ves, the mech actually wasn't half-bad. The Genie Pearl was clearly a cut above the budget and bargain bin mechs of the guard force. He would classify it as a premium mech on the same level as the Blackbeak or the Crystal Lord, though the light skirmisher was a few generations older.
Unfortunately, all of the might of the Genie Pearl would probably go to waste if Rion took control!
The Genie Pearl is ours!
Richard will be the first of House Kantis to die by our hands!
Gion grinned. This mech is ours, no doubt about that. We just have to give Rion an opportunity to reach this mighty machine. The entire purpose of our initial attack is to breach the central district of Outpost 35, reach the facility where the tall folk have parked the Genie Pearl, and take control over the mech! Once our ace pilot enters its cockpit, this prison is as good as ours!
For the dwarves!
Ves couldn't take it any longer. Gion's plan was based on so many faulty assumptions that he could drive a battleship through its holes!
There was no way the dwarves had any chance of success if they launched their foolish plan at this juncture!
Since the success of one of his Supply Mission was dependent on the success of the dwarf rebellion, Ves was not willing to hide in the depths of Rion's mind any longer.
Make way, Rion! I'm going to make much better use out of your body than your ignorant self!
With practiced ease, Ves repeated the same action he performed against Axelar and bumped Rion's consciousness out of its place!
Due to the enormous spiritual strength disparity between the two, Ves hardly expended any effort at all!
Soon, his consciousness began to take over part of Rion's mind and body.
Immediately, Ves fell victim to the divergent conditions of his temporary body! The dwarf physique and the heavy gravity acting on the body exacerbated his clumsy attempts in gaining full control over the foreign body!
What's wrong, Rion?
Unfortunately, his new body's jerky movements and abnormal convulsions immediately attracted the attention of Gion Greybeard and the other senior dwarves.
Ves wanted to address the rebel dwarves, but he wouldn't be able to impress them if he moved like an imbecile!
He panicked a bit and did some quick thinking. He decided to resort to the most extreme possibility he had in mind to command the attention of the dwarves.
He concentrated his consciousness. Due to some rules that Ves wasn't familiar with, he somehow had access to much of his spiritual energy and spiritual strength, especially now that he had grown stronger.
He began to construct a hasty image and inflated it with a dash of spiritual energy before donning it onto Rion's mind like a mask.
Due to his haste and lack of time, the aura that Rion began to emanate was almost exactly the same as his own!
To the dwarves, Rion seemed to have changed. His eyes shone with an edge as the glow centered around him began to grow in strength until not a single dwarf was blind to how their 'ace pilot' seemed to have become a different dwarf!
You are not talking to the friend you know. Rion spoke with a shaky and slightly unstable voice.
Rejoice, my children! You have received the honor of witnessing my descent to the mortal plane! Ves dramatically lied. Your cause is worthy, and as the patron of your people, I have decided to possess your hero's body in order to bestow my divine blessings to your rightful cause!
Every dwarf widened their eyes! Even the old and wise Gion looked flabbergasted!
The glow he emanated began to impress upon each the dwarves, lowering their instinctual shock, fear and suspicion towards their suspected friend.
Who.. do we have the honor of greeting?
Rion's body grinned. I am Vulkan, the great and powerful God of Dwarves, Mechs and Craftsmanship! As long as you worship me, I shall lend you my divine assistance and lead you to freedom!
A god had descended upon the rebel dwarves!