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640 Cooperation

 "Mage Equipment?"

Of course. Rhode knew about the Senia Family's Mage Equipment since the Senia Family started manufacturing it. Besides, almost all the Mage Armed Forces in Munn Kingdom were equipped with their Mage Equipment. Using a description from Rhode's generation, the Senia Family was just like the exclusive weapons and ammunitions supplier. It was due to this that they rose in reputation and became one of the three leading families in Munn Kingdom. This was also why the Alanic Foundation of Country of Light had targeted Marlene. As the family heir, she naturally had insights about the high-end Mage Equipment and it would mean that they had captured the key to the Senia Family's secret if they could grab a hold of her. Therefore, Marlene seldom mentioned her family matters.

However, Rhode didn't expect her to take the initiative this time. Although the Senia Family's Mage Equipment were indeed powerful, they had never transacted with any parties apart from the Royal Family. Besides, Rhode also knew that he couldn't afford them, so he didn't consider it.

"Yes."

Marlene nodded.

"Our Senia Family has developed a new type of Mage Equipment, but I don't know the specific principles... All in all, we intended to create smaller and portable equipment that is similar to the magic cannons. Currently, the results have been seen. They were really powerful and suitable for range suppression."

"There's such a thing?"

Rhode was genuinely surprised. There was no doubt that the Senia Family's Mage Equipment were mighty, but those were merely ordinary ones. The weapon developments in this world and the real world were entirely different. Cold weapons like sword, shield, and pike were related to the Mage Equipment. Actually, Anne's shield could also be considered as a Mage Equipment. However, in terms of firearms, it was rather limited in the Dragon Soul Continent. Perhaps due to the existence of Magic Tools, the development of Mage Equipment were far from expectations. As for far range weapons, the Dwarves did indeed manufactured modern weapons like the firearms. However, these firearms served no value against bows and crossbows because the metal-made firearms functioned by using magic crystals, was short-ranged, and couldn't cast a magic ritual with its bullet. On the contrary, not only could a bow and crossbow enhanced with magical powers to shoot farther than firearms, but they would be much more powerful with magical arrows.

There were distinct differences between Magic Tools and Mage Equipment too.

Magic Tools also referred to both weapons and armor and possessed impressive effects. However, the downside was that there were no variances in their effects and they had to be activated with the user's spiritual energy. Not only that, but the power of Magic Tools would also fluctuate. In many legends, heroes would raise their weapons and their magical weapons would unleashed extraordinary might in the face of death. From this aspect, the powers of Magic Tools were unstable. When one discharged one's full powers, perhaps the Magic Tool might release formidable strength. However, when one was low on spiritual energy, the strength of the Magic Tool would be weakened too. Even weapons and armor that came with magic attributes had this weakness. Of course, there were still some powerful Magic Tools that could provide formidable strength to the user. However, such Magic Tools were usually rare and legendary in grade.

On the other hand, Mage Equipment was streamlined and stable. Although spiritual powers were also required to activate them, their powers wouldn't fluctuate along with the user's condition because it drained the powers contained in the equipment itself and not from the external environment. The Mage Equipment wasn't too useful for some powerful beings, but was extremely useful for ordinary people. After all, not everyone's spiritual powers were strong enough to reach the extent of the Elite or Master Stage.

As the development of science and magic advanced, the technologies used in making the Mage Equipment and Magic Tools slowly merged and in this age, there were already countless end products as a result. They possessed the might of the Mage Equipment and the stability and diversity of the Magic Tools. However, the end products were much more similar to Magic Tools in comparison, just like the 'Four Elements Badges' which was made by Lapis and the long-range remote communication accessories. But even so, these products weren't able to be assembled on the assembly line as they required outstanding alchemy techniques and even some special techniques of the Behermes.

If it was said that the equipment created by Lapis using Behermes alchemy techniques focused on diversity, then the Senia Family's Mage Equipment emphasized stability. Back then, when Rhode faced the Fallen Angel corrupted by Chaos in Soraka Mountain, the Holy Hymn weapon was one such equipment. It used magical technologies to accumulate holy powers. Not only could it trigger the defense spell on the Holy Hymn, but it could also release a positive wave blast to the enemies.

But no matter which Mage Equipment it was, the so-called generalization was only a relative statement. With the Senia Family's strength, the Mage Equipment provided to Munn Kingdom was merely sufficient for their elite team. High-end products like magic cannons were only seen in massive cities with strategic significance because the requirements to manufacture Mage Equipment were high. Besides, the materials required were expensive and rare, so they weren't suitable to be produced on a large-scale.

From this aspect, magical technologies were only a form of support to enhance the powers of the magic weapons and armor. However, it wasn't possible to lower the manufacturing cost of Magic Tools and mass produce them for ordinary civilians.

But...

Rhode gazed at Marlene dubiously. He felt that the situation wasn't that simple because in the game, the Senia Family didn't reveal such a weapon until the very end, when they were almost destroyed by the Country of Darkness. But now, Marlene revealed that such a thing existed... Rhode was clear that any modifications of weapons wouldn't just emerge like that. If Marlene said that her Senia Family had such a weapon in their arsenal, it would mean that they had been working on it for decades and didn't reveal it.

This was too illogical. As a modern person, Rhode understood the capabilities of RPGs more than anymore. If the Senia Family had indeed developed a portable equipment that was as powerful as a magic cannon, it could perhaps rewrite the entire history of war in the Dragon Soul Continent completely. But such a thing disappeared without even being seen at all?

"Yes, Rhode. It is the 'Final Pike' that our Senia Family is working on. I tested it during the armed rebellion repression. There were no issues with its power or range. It will be fine as long as the well-trained soldiers can operate it. But...

As expected. There's still a 'but' at the end.

"But what?"

Rhode crossed his arms and gazed curiously. It seemed that the Mage Armed Forces were testing on this new weapon. Since Marlene had tested it herself, there should be no doubt about the weapon's powers. But it sounded as though there were some hidden dangers, which was why it wasn't developed further?

"It requires high consumption."

Marlene spread her arms apart helplessly.

"The current state of the Final Pikes requires the purest magic crystals that contain the strongest powers in order to be activated. Besides, they don't last as long-a standard magic crystal can only last for half an hour under constant activation and deal damage up to the range of three fireballs. Even though its damage is guaranteed, the energy consumption is still a problem... I've calculated that one military campaign will consume one million gold coins. So our Senia Family has decided to give up developing this weapon."

Ssss-!

Rhode sucked in a deep breath of cold air. He finally understood why the Senia Family had given up on this weapon. Who would be so insane to use a weapon with a damage range of three fireballs and required one million gold coins? In fact, if Mages purchased fireball spell scrolls, every scroll would only cost them 100 gold coins and it would only be justifiable if the weapons possessed the might of a nuclear bomb. However, this weapon was a weaker version of the magic cannon and yet, the amount of money required was higher. This weapon couldn't be used for strategic deterrence, couldn't be mass produced, and required high consumption. What a worthless piece of junk. No wonder the Senia Family had given up on it in the game. Wouldn't the effects be the same if they spent the money to train a few Alchemists and Mages to create fireball spell scrolls? Besides, it would save them money too. But...

"Surely you aren't thinking that we have that much money and magic crystals, Marlene? I need a long-term squad, and such a weapon isn't suitable."

Rhode had no intentions of taking up the responsibility of rewriting the history of the Dragon Soul Continent. Besides, he didn't feel that he had some advantage over the Senia Family. Although he'd transmigrated into this world, his knowledge on Mage Equipment actually wasn't that deep. Also, since the Senia Family, who was known for manufacturing Mage Equipment, had no control over it, what could Rhode do?

If it was just a matter of attacking, Rhode might be able to provide some advice using shooting mechanisms such as machine guns and sniper rifles that he had seen on Earth. However, the problem was in the source. Just like on Earth, if spending a thousand dollars could only manufacture a single bullet, no one would use guns at all and they would be better off using choppers. Moreover, there were many other substitutes in this continent.

"Of course, Rhode. But I think the Final Pike's formidable powers suit your requirement. Although they can't be mass produced, I want to see if Miss Lapis is able to modify them into something great."

"Lapis?"

Rhode said while Marlene nodded with a smile.

"Yes, Rhode. Our Senia Family has been using alchemical techniques from ancient times. However, the technique belonged to us, Humans, after all, so there might be surprising results from Miss Lapis's Behermes alchemy techniques. If possible, I hope to work with Miss Lapis to see if improvements can be done on the Final Pike."

Rhode pondered in silence. This indeed was a great idea. When facing the Undead Legion's human wave attack, it was best to have a lethal AOE weapon. Magic cannons were overly expensive and required high consumption. Although Rhode's mercenary system could build them, the prices were too high. The price of one magic cannon would equal three Holy Maiden Statues. With his current finances, he could only stare as he drooled. But if he could lay his hands on the Final Pikes, perhaps...

"Will your family object to it?"

"I can represent my family in making this decision, Rhode. Besides, the weapons has been abolished. If Miss Lapis is able to modify them, we will respect your wishes and hand them to you."

"Alright, I'll leave them to you, Marlene."

He nodded in agreement.