Chapter 1943 Babbling Gloriana
When Ves tired out his consciousness with his constant attempts to invent a new spiritual creation, he diverted his attention to the Golden Cat.
The young ancestral spirit was the closest spiritual entity to his comatose body.
Ves wanted to see if he could move his consciousness out of his body. There were several advantages to accomplishing this feat.
First, he wanted to visit other spiritual entities at their own abodes. He wanted to take a peek inside the Larkinson Mandate. He wanted to approach the places where his design spirits resided.
Second, he wanted to gain the ability to move his observation range in the material realm. Being confined in the same place all day was not doing his sanity any good.
Ves had always been an active person! Every moment he was awake, he tried to be as productive as possible.
He was either working on a mech, leading his clan, keeping Gloriana happy or doing something else. Even when he relaxed, he made sure his leisure time was meant to recharge him so that his productivity increased when he went back to work!
In short, Ves was not used to doing nothing.
Perhaps someone else might see this as a good opportunity to take advantage of their semi-detached state to meditate on an entirely different level.
Not Ves. Meditation was a waste of time for him. Even if Patricia told him that meditation and the like were good for mech designers, he didn't want to rest! He wanted to do something!
Unfortunately, his first attempt to move his consciousness out of his mind without the System's assistance ended in disaster!
Like a vampire exposed to the sun, his consciousness endured an unimaginably painful degree of corrosion!
It wasn't so bad when Ves only extended an unimportant spiritual projection outside of his mind, but as soon as his core consciousness stepped out, it was as if he threw himself out of the airlock on a ship travelling in FTL!
Ves returned his consciousness to the protective confines of his mind right away! This was one experiment that Ves would not be repeating anytime soon!
Is this what mother has to deal with all the time?
Probably not. Her mother's intangible body seemed to resemble his spiritual projections. Perhaps her outer appearance mainly functioned as a shell for his consciousness so she could withstand the corrosion better.
Maybe I can try that out?
Once he enveloped his consciousness with a protective spiritual, he hesitantly ventured out of his body and mind once again.
This time, it worked. The raw corrosive winds and forces no longer crashed against his consciousness.
However, Ves encountered other problems.
The further his consciousness moved from his body, the more his control over his spiritual projections decreased!
In addition, his intuition started to ring alarm bells. There was something very dangerous about moving his consciousness out of his body!
While he wasn't sure what kind of danger was looming over his head, Ves swiftly put his consciousness back into his mind!
His metaphorical heart was pounding! It was as if Ves would definitely die if he didn't listen to his intuition!
My consciousness is the source of my sentience! It is the most critical component of life that determines my existence!
In short, losing it was bad!
After Ves calmed down, he realized that he had been acting a bit recklessly. There was both promise and danger in spiritual engineering.
Ves didn't have to think further than Cassandra Breyer and Silent William to know that spirituality was rife with danger.
Maybe it's time to end this state and get back to normal.
He didn't let his fears get in the way of ending his experimentation, though.
While he wasn't sure when his body was ready to wake up, he had a feeling that it would take some time.
Spending all of that time out cold and completely unaware of everything that was happening in the meantime was a very frightening prospect!
Ves was already beating himself up for gleefully partaking in a Mastery experience while his clan and enterprise were subjected to another existential crisis!
After some time, evening rolled on and Gloriana returned to her stateroom with a tired expression.
I'm back, Ves! Did you miss me? Of course you did!
She bent down and kissed his cheek before adding a quick lick.
Ves observed his girlfriend's actions through his spiritual sensors with mild irritation.
What was up with Gloriana and licking his face?! Was she some kind of dog in her previous life!
Of course, Gloriana couldn't hear his silent complaints. She endearingly patted his head before she headed to the bathroom.
Though Ves felt tempted to move his spiritual eye through the bulkhead in order to observe what Gloriana was doing in the bathroom, he quickly scoured this lurid idea from his consciousness!
He was a gentleman, not a creep! He respected Gloriana too much to violate her privacy!
Roughly half an hour later, Gloriana emerged from the bathroom looking fresh while wearing a more casual outfit. She moved back to the bed and jumped on top of it in order to cuddle with his body for a while.
Her body moved all over his chest and other portions of his body.
You're so strong, hihi!
More worryingly, she also pressed her face up against his own and started to rub her cheek against his own!
Ves had no doubt that he would both enjoy and be weirded out by her physical intimacy. Unfortunately, since he wasn't in control of his body right now, only the latter applied!
Seeing his girlfriend continue to treat his body in this fashion disturbed him to an incredible degree.
Was it too much to ask to leave his body alone while he was recovering from his surgery?
Had she been licking his face ever since they first started to sleep in the same bed?
Would Gloriana mind it if he reciprocated her actions?
His spiritual eye turned towards Nitaa.
Come on! Aren't you my bodyguard?! There's a crime happening right in front of your eyes! Don't you think there's something wrong with that?
Just like Lucky, Clixie and the Golden Cat, Nitaa did not see Gloriana as a threat at all! Even if his girlfriend was being a bit too liberal with her touches, it was all harmless in their eyes!
Ves finally gained a reprieve after thirty minutes. Gloriana seemed to have gotten her fill of Ves for now and gently embraced his comatose body while leaning her head against his chest.
Oh Ves. I miss you so much. I hope you wake up soon. According to my cousin, your brain should recover to the point where you can wake in another week. I hope I can talk to you again, because I really don't know if I can keep everything together in your absence!
She started to vent some of her private complaints to his body, unaware that Ves was able to listen in with the help of his spiritual ear.
Calabast is hiding something huge from me. It's so obvious that she's cooking something up with James. She frowned. What do those two even have in common? They're completely different!
He agreed. Calabast was a secularist and James was a delusional cult leader. There shouldn't be any reason for them to collaborate with each other!
She even rolled her spy network and her Swordmaidens into a new organization called the Black Cats. Why is this necessary? Is she trying to emerge out of the shadows? I liked her better when she wasn't around. You're mine!
Did Gloriana even have to worry about this? Ves was truly committed to her! He would never betray her affection!
Ever since she got in touch with DIVA, she's become a lot more circumspect. I have a feeling she's not as unattached to the intelligence agency as she claims to be. There is something very fishy about her associations!
That sounded rather concerning to Ves. While Gloriana always disliked Calabast, if she started to become concerned, then he would do well to heed her judgement!
Ves was absent for too long. So much had happened while he was out that he feared he wouldn't be able to recognize his new surroundings. The Larkinsons Clan, the LMC, the Avatars, the Sentinels, the Glory Battalion, the Black Cats and the various states had all been undergoing changes while he was merrily pretending to be the God of Dwarves in the past!
The payoff was worth it, though. As long as no one found his buried treasure, Ves would be able to complete one of the System's Supply Missions as soon as he reached the Smiling Samuel Star Sector!
While it would take a lot of time to travel across multiple star clusters, it didn't matter as long as Ves had no intentions of returning to his home star sector!
He had already adjusted his medium-term plans in order to account for this detour.
As a mech designer, he always liked to explore and experience something novel.
While there was plenty for him to discover in his current star sector, it was ultimately just a small corner of human space.
The galactic center was the pinnacle of human civilization.
The Red Ocean Dwarf Galaxy was humanity's next great frontier.
His Mastery experiences fueled his wanderlust. Experiencing different star sectors, different lives and different facets of human civilization fueled his desire to explore them in his own body!
While Ves dreamt of exploration, Gloriana continued to babble as if she was alone.
My mother doesn't like it when Ranya, Brutus and I are on our own. I've rejected every offer to bolster our group even further with other Wodins.
What a good girlfriend! Ves wanted to pat Gloriana's head for honoring his request! The last thing he wanted to see was slowly turning the Larkinson Clan into Hexers!
Gloriana snarled ferociously at an invisible enemy. It's already bad enough that I have to fend off Calabast. I'll never allow any other competitor to come close to you! I'm the only woman you need, Ves! All of those women from the Hegemony can just stay put in my home state!
Okay, he misjudged her. Ves wanted to rub his ears. Did she really refuse any further help from her state because she wanted to keep him for herself?
Who did she think he was, a skirt chaser?
His name was Ves Larkinson, not Vincent Ricklin!
The sandmen have begun their inexorable advance. As everyone suspected, they formed a giant sand planet which has slowly been moving towards the Bentheim System. The MTA's Compliance Department is fully prepared to finish off the sandmen once and for all. I don't think the Sand War will last much longer, though that doesn't mean this region returns to peace. The CRC's movements make it clear that the Friday Coalition doesn't want the lesser states to act as bystanders in the Komodo War.
This.. sounded very concerning. Ves was always afraid that the feud between the Fridaymen and the Hexers would spill over into the rest of the star sector.
According to my mother, the frontlines have all ground down into stalemates. If this situation continues, the war won't end anytime soon. This means that trade and a stable supply of goods and resources becomes even more important. Even if the lesser states are rather scattered and poor, they can all fuel the Coalition or Hegemony's war industries by a noticeable margin, and that doesn't even account for inter-sector trade! It's not a good sign to either side if the third-rate states become vital to their survival.
Ves did not want to see this either. A quick and decisive war would have been better for everyone. At least most of the bloodshed could be avoided this way as the most prominent losers fled the star sector.
Oh yeah, the Friday Coalition even became desperate enough to recruit any available expert pilot from a lesser state. According to Calabast, Ghanso Larkinson has just acquired Coalition citizenship in exchange for wearing the uniform of the CRC!