Chapter 1941 Spiritual Sensors
Hihihi! You're so adorable, Ves! You're so warm, soft, comfy and cute!
Gloriana snuggled against Ves' comatose body in her bunny pajamas as she woke up. She kissed her boyfriend's cheek before licking it like an ice cream cone.
Of course, Ves happened to wear a matching set of pajamas, courtesy of his girlfriend!
Several weeks after the nearly-botched operation, Ves was recovering according to schedule.
Though the newly-installed Archimedes Rubal bioimplant still needed to settle in, the gradual process of integration went smoothly without any complications.
Dr. Ranya no longer needed to observe his condition night and day. After guiding the connectors of the implant to connect to the right lobes and sections of the recipient's brain, the rest was just a matter of time.
This allowed Gloriana to take Ves away from the infirmary and put him in her bed in her stateroom aboard the Stellar Chaser.
No one stopped Ves from being used as a living doll by his girlfriend, not Nitaa, not her Glory Warriors nor their cats!
In fact, two of the three cats snuggled comfortably on Ves' body. Lucky and Clixie practically treated his belly like their nest!
There was just one problem with this situation.
Ves was not unconscious anymore!
Sure, his body may still be as limp as a noodle, but his independent consciousness had transcended his physical state!
With the help of a crude spiritual eye, Ves was able to observe the material realm in an entirely new fashion!
His eye, shaped like a miniature version of an optical sensor of a mech, was capturing the full details of his body being treated like a cuddle toy!
Really, Gloriana, can't you wait until I'm awake?!
Of course, Gloriana couldn't hear him at all, though Ves could probably find a way to connect with her and communicate with her through some spiritual means.
He didn't want to, though.
Since no one knew he had regained his 'consciousness', Ves figured he might as well take advantage of his state!
He never thought about it before, but observing reality through his Spirituality was a very good way to spy on other people!
Though he wasn't able to extend his spiritual projections too far away from his body, it was enough to extend it to another room or compartment!
Walls, shields and other technological barriers posed no hindrance to his spiritual projections!
Well, that's not entirely true.
Ves guessed that the Big Two and other advanced states and organizations definitely developed technology to guard against spiritual intrusions.
The Five Scrolls Compact and anyone adept in spiritual sorcery could probably school him in this field.
Therefore, while his trick was fairly impressive, Ves did not dare to make brazen use of this ability to spy on others!
At the very least, he should make sure to never use it around the MTA and the CFA!
Fortunately, his body was aboard the Stellar Chaser, so Ves did not have to restrain himself.
The Golden Cat, who was comfortably perched inside the Larkinson Mandate, was the only one in the compartment who could view his spiritual manipulation.
Don't tell anyone, Goldie. I want to see how everyone acts when they think I'm not around. By the way, can you teach me how to perceive sound?
Goldie freely showed him the ropes.While Gloriana finally emerged from her bed in order to shower and dress herself up, Ves patiently attempted to construct a 'spiritual ear'.
Since Ves already comprehended some of the fundamentals of the spiritual eye technique, he caught on very quickly.
In particular, once he stopped treating the spiritual ear like a biological organ and started to treat it like a spiritual auditory sensor, he managed to construct a very basic but functional ear.
While he hadn't figured out advanced features like stereo or positional hearing, that could wait for later. Simply being able to interpret sound waves through spiritual means was quite a breakthrough!
Is this what spiritual engineering is like? He wondered.
Constructing a spiritual eye and ear was anything but straightforward. Yet it shared many of the same rules and paradigms as traditional engineering.
Ves became more and more interested in whether he could translate more of his mech designer abilities to the spiritual arena.
In fact, this was the entire reason why he decided to go through with implanting the Archimedes Rubal to begin with! While he regretted the fact that he lost patience and decided to undergo the operation while his enemies were waiting to pounce on him, what was done was done.
While Ves did not care that much about the deaths of nameless mech pilots, his heart bled at the loss of more than a dozen valuable clansmen.
The clan only boasted a limited number of mech pilots, and losing even a modest amount of them in battle would affect the Larkinsons for years to come!
So Rhode Larkinson died as well? A pity.
Though he wasn't as promising as Jannzi, Ves was hopeful that Rhode would become the backbone of the Avatars and the Larkinson Clan one day.
Sadly, his future had been cut off, and Ves bore a substantial portion of the blame.
As Ves succeeded in constructing a spiritual ear, Ves could finally hear what Gloriana said when she was in the vicinity of his dormant body.
She emerged from the bathroom an hour later, all dressed up and ready to lead the clan in Ves' absence.
As Gloriana bent down to plant a kiss on her boyfriend's cheek, Melody calmly reported her itinerary for the day.
Calabast will be arriving soon to update you on DIVA's progress. After that, you have a virtual meeting with Raymond Billingsley-Larkinson to discuss the upcoming motions up for discussion at the Larkinson Assembly and the Executive Council. In the afternoon, your presence is needed at the workshop to assist in the restoration of the remaining salvageable wrecks.
Are there any signs of enemies in our next destination?
The Barracuda sent to scout ahead reports no sandman or human presence at the star system.
In order to prevent their fleet from diving head-first into an ambush, the Barracuda always flew a few hours ahead of the rest of the ships.
If they wanted to be truly thorough, then the Larkinsons should dispatch even more ships flying further ahead. However, in all of their ship-buying spree, they hadn't procured another corvette.
Soon enough, Calabast entered the stateroom. She had been staying aboard Gloriana's ship for this leg of their lengthy journey. Due to her need to stay in touch with her former employer, she had to borrow the Stellar Chaser's slightly more secure quantum entanglement node.
As Ves observed Calabast's entry, he noted with surprise that his strategic partner was wearing an entirely new uniform!
The spy wore an elegant and fitting black uniform with the symbol of a black cat perched in the middle of a blue hexagon!
Gloriana frowned when Calabast entered. When are you going to return to your own ship?
Who knows. I come and go where I'm needed. Right now, I'm needed here. Besides, I like to keep a closer eye on Ves here. I have to make sure you don't compromise his dignity while I'm away.
I'm not that bad! The younger woman protested and gestured to one of the guards standing at the side! Look! Nitaa has always been around Ves!
Nitaa didn't bother to voice her opinion. Her only duty was to guard Ves' life and hold the Larkinson Mandate on his behalf. She didn't feel inclined to meddle in other affairs!
The two women eventually got down to business. Both of them sat at her desk as Calabast briefed Gloriana on various matters.
The Larkinsons are still disgruntled, but for now they are waiting for us to fulfill our promises. There is still a strain of clansmen who have already decided to leave the clan once we rendez-vous with the remnants of the Larkinson Family.
How are the escaped Larkinsons doing?
Ark Larkinson and a number of other senior members of the family have managed to collect almost all of the scattered Larkinsons who escaped on their own or with the help of my agents. They've already hired a mercenary corps to escort them to the Sentinel Kingdom.
Gloriana sighed in relief. So they chose the Sentinel Kingdom in the end.
The majority of the Larkinsons finally came around to the fact that there is very little point in trying to reconcile with the Bright Republic and Friday Coalition. So long as Ves remains a threat to their interests, our enemies won't look kindly to his relatives regardless how uninvolved they are. It's not fair to the Larkinson Family, but I agree with Ves that they were stupid to put their faith in the Bright Republic.
The discussion turned to DIVA's upcoming rescue operation.
We can thank the Tovar Family for facilitating our attempt to rescue the captured Larkinsons. Calabast spoke. Their allies in the Mech Corps and the government have managed to force Spotlight to gather all of the Larkinson captives in a single location. The last of the prisoners have just been transferred to a secret asteroid base in the Rittersberg Region.
Ves reacted with surprise as he eavesdropped on their conversation. How did Calabast convince DIVA to divert precious resources and manpower to mount a rescue operation? He also didn't expect the Tovars to favor the Larkinsons!
How are the preparations for the rescue attempt?
They're proceeding well. DIVA is already capable of infiltrating the secret base. In fact, they have even managed to insert agents in the guise as prison guards and other critical personnel with the active collusion of the Tovar Family! The agents are just waiting for DIVA's main strike force to arrive at the star system before beginning the operation.
As Calabast described some of DIVA's preparations, Ves realized that the Tovar Family wasn't the only faction within the Bright Republic who offered their support.
A portion of the government and the military had willingly offered their assistance to free the Larkinsons!
They weren't traitors. They harbored no affection to the Hexadric Hegemony.
They simply thought the Larkinsons deserved better for all of the honorable service they provided to the state.
No matter how much the government tried to convince the public otherwise, many Brighters remained disgusted by their dishonorable actions!
Of course, the Tovar Family wasn't among them. Ves knew very well that Senator Tovar continued to hedge their bets.
While their actions probably didn't endear them to the Friday Coalition, the Tovar Family would be able to reap considerable rewards if the Hexers won the Komodo War!
Regardless of the reasons, despite the considerable security surrounding the secret base, DIVA was in a good position to succeed as long as there weren't any Fridaymen in the vicinity!
What about the Fridaymen? Gloriana asked.
We're pretty clear about the CRC's movements. They've already dispatched a small fleet to transport the captives back to the Coalition, but they were delayed by several weeks due to the need to suppress the riots and mass uprisings in the Ylvaine Protectorate.
Ever since the Protectorate turned against Ves, the Ylvainan people believed that the Great Prophet had forsaken them! Nothing could be more clear to them after the Transcendent Messengers, Holy Soldiers and Deliverer mechs lost their glows!
While the leaders of the three leading dynasties tried their best to counter this narrative by arguing that the glows were actually under the control of Ves rather than the prophet, the ardent believers among the population didn't buy it! They had become so accustomed to the reassuring presence of the glows that their absence practically induced withdrawal symptoms among the addicted!
If the Friday Coalition wanted to gain complete control of the region, they had to prevent the Protectorate from collapsing and spreading its chaos to the surrounding states. The CRC had been forced to assist the three leading dynasties in squashing the uprisings!
Ves mentally shook his head as he heard about the situation. The Protectorate had it coming as far as he was concerned!