Thomas carried Snowlily along with him all the way to The Swans Nest where they enjoyed a nice warm meal together. Snowlily still sulked when he forced her to eat her vegetables but she ate them so she could enjoy the next piece of meat. When they finished their dinner they retired to their room for the night.
Once inside of the room Thomas joined Snowlily on the bed and snuggled with her while he browsed through his blueprint system. He was trying to learn from examples that Hekrin had provided him. He was also looking for hints or inspiration for making his true Magitech gun. He had a general idea of what he wanted to make but it wouldn't hurt to find something else to add or improve on his idea.
Though not the most efficient kind of weapon, Thomas was enthralled with the idea of making a large bore break action pistol, similar to a shotgun that folded open to load the barrels. He wanted this type of gun as they were not too mechanically complex and it would allow him to create various types of ammunition and switch through them rapidly and easily. He could make various rounds of ammunition and with just a snap load them into the gun.
With that kind of gun, he would be free to make all kinds of ammunition. His wanted to shift his main focus from making projectile ammunition to energy based ammunition. There was just something so attractive about shooting a beam of raw elemental energy at a target. As long as he could find a way to store and fire the energy properly he would be able to make the weapon. He suspected the key to the weapon would be mana crystals.
In many of the blueprints provided by Hekrin mana crystals of various sizes and purities were used as batteries that either provided continuous or short bursts of power. Obviously what he wanted was short bursts of power. For that, he needed larger mana crystals than he currently had available to him. Still, it wouldn't hurt to begin planning out the weapon for the time being.
Thomas made some notes on the weapon he wanted to make then closed the blueprint system. Before heading to sleep there was one more thing he wanted to do. He retrieved a small piece of scrap iron from his inventory and held it in his palm. There was something he'd seen Hekrin do and he wanted to replicate it. If he could pull it off it would give him access to a whole new magic element. His right hand hovered over his left as he began to channel his mana while wanting it to change to the new element, Magnetism.
As the white mana around his hand began to convert into the new element it vanished from sight becoming invisible. After all, magnetism wasn't visible to the naked eye. As the mana converted to magnetism the piece of iron on his left palm started to wiggle around. As he added more mana the magnetic force finally reached a point where it could defy gravity and lifted the piece of iron off of his palm. The iron leaped up and stuck to the palm of his right hand.
Thomas kept channeling his mana as he moved his hand around, the iron refused to budge and fall off until he cut off the flow of mana. He grinned broadly and toyed around with the scrap of iron as he contemplated the uses for magnetic magic. Hekrin had been right, of course, magnetism was completely useless for metals that weren't ferromagnetic. That was an easily solved problem though. There were many different ways to use lead, iron, steel, and other ferromagnetic metals to propel non-magnetic materials. The projectile could have a core, coating, or sabot shell made of magnetic material. It was rather surprising that Hekrin hadn't thought of something like that.
Thomas made some notes in his blueprint system. He could easily modify his plans for the break-action pistol to include a powerful magnetic enchantment at the end of the barrel. When powered it would, hopefully, provide enough force to attract solid projectiles and launch them with a great amount of force. Hopefully, he could make the enchantment shut off the moment the projectile came near it. If the magnetic forces stayed on it would stop the bullet or reduce its force by attracting it back toward the barrel.
Once he finished making his notes on his next project, he saved his blueprint files and closed the system. He went through his nightly grind to increase the experience of 'All Seeing Eyes'. He was starting to get mildly annoyed that he hadn't unlocked a new ability for them. Then again they weren't all that high in rank either. There was simply no telling what he could or couldn't do with them at their current rank. He could spend the entire day trying to do something with nothing happening and he wouldn't know if it was because he lacked the appropriate rank or because it couldn't be done.
The next morning the man and his wolf went back to Hekrin's shop to do some more work after breakfast. Snowlily lounged in the corner of the shop while Thomas made his way to the workbench and started pulling out materials. Today he wanted to make his armor and something like a uniform to wear during exploration and combat. He had a great idea for it, based on a classic look for cowboys of the past. If he was going to use their gun he should use their clothing too!
Before that, the armor needed to be made. He placed out his crate of black Elder Lizardman hide and selected a couple of the larger pieces. He would use larger pieces for the front and back pieces and smaller pieces to make layers. In between those layers, he planned to place plates made from Origin Steel. He'd picked up this design scheme from Hyde and saw no real reason to change it. It made the armor flexible and durable while protecting his vital organs.
He started drawing out the pattern he would need to cut from the hide using a scraping tool from Hekrin's collection. As much as he enjoyed using metal magic, he didn't need to use it for every last little thing. Once the pattern was traced out he used a pair of magically summoned hardened tool steel shears to slowly cut through the hide. It was a rather tough and durable material and the more difficult it was to cut, the more he liked it. Though the leather making up the hide was rather thin it was pretty tough. The scales were like regular lizard scales only larger and tougher. Combined they made the hide really tough.
It took a fair amount of time and effort for him to actually manage to cut out the shapes he needed for the armor. He didn't even want to imagine how hard it would be to actually sew material like this together. 'Transmutation' the ultimate glue! It made life so much easier. If it could do nothing else just being able to fuse items together perfectly was unbelievably useful to him.
He decided against trying to use his Magitech techniques with the armor. Just three small uses of his 'Transmutation' while assembling his sword and daggers had caused a lot of pain. It was likely trying to do the same thing with all the pieces of the armor would kill him.
He started by assembling and fusing the larger sections of the armor together. He'd modified the design slightly so that it looked more like a vest, which would make it easy for him to slip on over his head. The leather being so flexible helped with that as well. Once the main section was fused together he started to fuse the pieces that would cover the pectoral muscles onto the armor base. He only fused three of the four sides. He repeated the same process with the six pieces of hide that would cover the abdominal muscles. He may not have a sixpack in reality but he sure as hell did in the game!
With the eight pieces mostly fused to the armor, it was time to make the inserts. With an Origin Steel ingot retrieved from his inventory, he used 'Transmutation' to flatten out a section of the ingot. He shaped it to make it a perfect fit within the slot for his right pectoral. Once it was perfectly shaped he thinned a section as much as he could before clipping it off. This process was repeated each time for every slot in the armor. When all slots were filled with a piece of Origin Steel a few millimeters thick, he fused the final side to lock them in place.
He still had two pieces of hide left, each one was placed over a pectoral section and fused on three sides then filled with Origin Steel. Once they were fused closed it became a second layer of protection for his chest. With the front portion of the armor completed he flipped it over and started adding layers of hide and plate to the back. The back was broken into six sections which should give him enough flexibility to bend and twist without being overly restrictive. Once the metal plates filled the pockets and they were fused closed the armor was completed.
|System Notice: You have created Normal grade Scale Armor. Quality: Excellent. You have gained 254 Magitech Engineering experience.|
|Armor Type:||Scale Armor|
|Description:||Armor made from the leather and scale of an Elder Lizardman and reinforced with Origin Steel plates. This armor provides excellent protection against physical attacks from both the front and back but minimal protection against magical attacks.
+20 Endurance against physical attacks
+5 Endurance again magical attacks
After looking over the information on the armor he was a bit disappointed that it hadn't come out as magical grade. He set the armor down after looking it over and retrieved the tools he would need to enchant it. He didn't plan to leave any of his gear un-enchanted for long. Once he had the materials prepared he stepped back and crossed his arms over his chest. He'd not enchanted much onto armor, usually only making it work better as armor. He wanted something more helpful for this suit of armor. He was hoping for it to last for quite a while.
Last... now that was an idea! He grinned as he immediately went to work. He flipped the hide inside out so that the enchantment would be carved in the interior and close to his body. He focused on the image he had in mind. Something he'd seen many times in many movies and television shows. Regeneration. Not for himself, but for the armor. He wanted the armor to be able to use his mana to repair itself rapidly. While it wouldn't greatly increase the defensive abilities of the armor directly; it would allow the armor to last much longer and continue to protect him long after it should have fallen apart. The enchantment ended up looking like cartoonish stitches that meandered around inside of the armor.
|System Notice: You have gained 156 Magitech Engineering experience.|
With the enchantment done, Thomas pulled out his shortsword and looked between it and the armor. If the enchantment worked properly then this shouldn't be too big of a deal, if it didn't... Well, there was really only one way to find out. He charged mana into his short sword and pierced a small hole near the bottom of the armor. There was no need to go overboard!
The tip of his charged sword cut into the scale armor after applying a fair bit of pressure and left a small hole. He put the sword away and looked at the hole. It had completely cut through the scale armor. He placed his hand directly on the enchantment and began to channel his mana into it. He carefully watched the cut as a lot more mana than he expected left his body. Slowly the cut began to wiggle and move together. After a few moments, the cut had completely sealed and looked as if it hadn't been damaged previously. Thomas ran his fingers over the cut and could find no discrepancies. Not even with his 'All Seeing Eyes' could see where the cut was previously.
The enchantment worked wonderfully and was just a bit more mana intensive than he would have liked. Still, it would save a lot of effort when his armor needed repairs. He slipped the armor on and checked his movement while wearing it. Though it was somewhat restrictive, like almost all armor was, it still let him move rather freely. He kept the armor on while he collected some wood from Hekrin's collection. He looked for plain sturdy pieces. The wood, along with more of the Elder Lizardman hide would be used to produce sheaths for his new bladed weapons. After he collected everything he needed he rubbed his hands together and prepared to get to work.