Chapter 2240 Feeding Life
Competition was one of the greatest sources of innovation and improvement in human space.
For a very long time, Ves stood alone in the mech community. His glows may not be able to make a mech move faster or resist more damage, but its strong effects on the psyche of mech pilots and the people around them still resulted in major swings in the outcome of many battles.
This was because Ves adopted a different perspective on mechs than most of his peers. He did not view mechs as standalone machines, but rather part of a pairing with mech pilots.
His focus on making mechs alive and his emphasis on increasing the integration between mech and mech pilot was outside the mainstream of mech design. This was why the MTA threw his specialty into the bucket of Class IX design philosophies. Hardly anyone, Master Willix included, could make heads or tails of his convoluted principles!
For years, Ves continued to gain greater prominence by borrowing the momentum of his unstoppable glows. As more and more customers became aware of the value that his products provided, they eagerly bought his products, thereby enriching the coffers of the LMC and the Larkinson Clan!
So far, the mech markets failed to form an adequate response to his products, but this period could never last. Now that he intervened in the Komodo War, the good times may soon be over.
His Hexer mech designs directly threatened the interests of a lot of very powerful Fridayman Master Mech Designers!
The five Masters who presided over the Leemar Institute of Technology should especially be motivated to develop an effective counter against the Blessed Squire. This was because the Leemar System would become exposed to Hexer raids and invasion as soon as the Marrakath System and the rest of the Crestfallen Stars fell!
This was the tragedy of the Carnegie Group. The Friday Coalition's most externally-minded partner was situated directly next to the Hexadric Hegemony. This meant that the members of the Carnegie Group would definitely fight tooth and nail in order to preserve as much of their homes as possible!
While Master Olson actually hailed from another coalition partner, the Vermeer Group wasn't in a better position either. It directly bordered the Hegemony as well and also faced immense pressure from the Hexers!
"It's a pity that those two coalition partners are first on the chopping block." Ves lamented.
Due to the realities of living next to a fearsome neighbor, the Carnegie Group and the Vermeer Group were rather tempered in their conduct.
In contrast, the Gauge Dynasty and the Konso Clan adopted a more belligerent posture. The hostile Fridaymen who specifically targeted his life and freedom likely came from these arrogant coalition partners!
It would have been nice if the Carnegie Group and the Vermeer Group survived the Komodo War and took over the rest of the Friday Coalition. With their rational and restrained leadership, Ves would have nothing to fear from the Fridayman anymore.
Sadly, it was not to be. As long as the Hexers breached the Coalition's initial defensive lines, both groups would likely join the ranks of fallen coalition partners!
If that was the case, Ves had no reason to go lenient on the rest of the Friday Coalition. Ves possessed an especially intense animosity towards Gauge Dynasty!
"Wait for me. With my help, Clarion University shall collapse under the might of Hexer bombardment."
He resumed his days of designing mechs, directing his task force and experimenting on his captive pirates.
It was a bit troublesome for him to do the latter. Due to the Scarlet Rose's lack of space, many of the prisoners had to be contained on other vessels. Ves had to board a shuttle each time he wanted to mess with their minds.
It was worth it, though.
On one day, Ves, Lucky and Nitaa entered an interrogation room that had already been prepared for him ahead of time.
A familiar prisoner lay strapped to a solid surface. As soon as Ves entered the compartment, the restrained figure began to struggle.
"Go away! I can't take it anymore! Why must you torment me all the time?!"
Ves calmly set up his jammer while Lucky roamed around to sniff the compartment for any bugs or monitoring equipment.
Though the chance that his experiments were being recorded was small, Ves did not let down his guard the slightest. His reputation would definitely take an enormous hit once the public learnt of his cruel human experiments!
"Please don't hurt anymore! I'm just a slave! I never wanted anything to do with the Crona Lords!"
Ves smiled as he approached his current test subject's body. "You are looking quite well today, Mr. Seterin. I see you have recovered pretty decently from the damage I've inflicted on you previously."
"MONSTER! GET AWAY FROM ME!"
Of course, he was exaggerating a bit. In his spiritual vision, he could still see the scars and other shortcomings of Peter Seterin's retracted spiritual potential. From the moment that Ves accidentally caused a part of it to crack, Peter had never been whole anymore.
Mind and spirit were both tied to each other. Damaging one automatically damaged the other. It was just that the relationship was a bit complicated. This was especially since Peter's spirituality had still withdrawn itself into a nigh-untouchable seed.
After numerous checkups, the abnormal state of Peter's spiritual potential showed no signs of subsiding. It was very difficult to manipulate something that deliberately went out of phase. Ves was starting to lose patience. No matter whether this condition was temporary or permanent, he knew he wouldn't have a second chance of affecting someone on a spiritual level anytime soon.
There were multiple cases like Peter Seterin among his current pool of test subjects. Ves had acted a bit too rough in a couple of experiments. Therefore, Peter was hardly unique. Even if he was, Ves could just mess with the heads of some other test subjects until their spiritualities engaged their defense mechanisms as well!
All of this meant that Peter was a disposable test subject. Even if Ves broke him entirely, there were other pirates that could take his place!
"I have some good news for you, Mr. Seterin. This will likely be the last time we meet each other. No matter what will happen during this session, I will make sure your bodily remains will receive a dignified cremation. Considering all of the contributions you have made towards my research, I will do my best to preserve your ashes and bring them back to civilized space. You're coming home."
Those gentle words only caused Peter to become more and more agitated! No matter what pain his body endured, the former slave kept pushing at his bonds!
It was useless. The padded alloy manacles were as tough as combat armor. Human bodies were simply too weak to break these kinds of restraints.
"I'm not a pirate! I'm a human being! Where is your humanity?!"
Ves shook his head and placed his palm over Peter's sweating forehead. "You're wrong. You are a legally recognized pirate. We collected sufficient proof and submitted all of the paperwork to the Peacekeeper Association. You have no more recourse!"
He tolerated no more nonsense and began to work.
Though Peter Seterin's spiritual potential may have turned into a nigh-intangible turtle shell, it still maintained at least some presence in the material dimensions.
Only a tiny opening existed, but this was enough for Ves to perform something radical.
Since he embarked on his current research project, he only manipulated the spiritualities of his test subjects in a shallow manner. He wanted to establish some baselines and develop an understanding of the variables in play.
He was done with that.
After performing repeated experiments on his captives, he developed a good understanding on how to manipulate someone's spirit and personality by constructing specific spiritual constructs.
He also possessed a better grasp of his limits and what he could ultimately get away with when he tried to alter someone's very being.
No matter what, any change that Ves induced in someone's spirituality was unnatural. It had a tendency to correct itself and return to a stable equilibrium.
This meant that it was very hard to make someone act against their nature.
In contrast, Ves definitely confirmed that it was easiest to amplify someone's strongest states. It was not just because he found it easier to grasp the spiritual attributes that were more abundant.
What Ves found even more important was that the mind and spirit actively supported such a move!
His manipulations alone did not guarantee that his alterations would stick. If the mind and spirit of his test subjects fought hard enough, they were capable of unraveling an undesired spiritual construct!
It was better to indulge in someone's greatest desires and obsessions. Ves believed that strengthening someone's inclinations was the key to fostering more expert pilots in the Larkinson Clan!
Humans were complicated and they possessed a myriad of desires. There weren't enough mech pilots who dedicated themselves towards a specific pursuit or ideal.
This only related to the focus and purity of someone's spiritual potential.
There was another factor that influenced a mech pilot's advancement to a higher rank, and that was the quantity of spiritual energy.
If someone's spiritual energy grew purer but remained small in quantity, then nothing would happen. The person in question simply failed to feed his spiritual potential!
Right now, Ves did not possess a very good understanding of what caused it to grow. He suspected that living a rich, fulfilling life that was full of stimulation would do it, but he observed a lot of people in the clan whose spiritual potential had not grown stronger.
"Let's see what happens if I force the process."
He held out his hand. "Give me the P-stone."
Nitaa stepped forward and presented a box. Ves opened it to reveal a life stone, which was pretty much a P-stone filled with life-attributed energy.
This life-attributed energy didn't come from him. Instead, he extracted another drop of his precious high-grade life-prolonging treatment serum and separated its spiritual components from its material components.
Due to its unique spiritual imprint, the largely plant-based life-attributed energy was compatible with anything!
While this wasted another minute portion of an irreplaceable resource, Ves deemed this test to be worth the price!
Ves needed to know what happened if he directly fed the serum's life-attributed energy to a human!
While Peter kept shaking and babbling in fright, Ves steadily drew out the life-attributed energy and simply stuffed it into Peter's mind space!
As soon as the foreign but extremely alluring energy fell into place, Peter's retracted spiritual potential began to exhibit some reactions.
Ves became excited as Peter's feeble, damaged spirituality no longer hid in its turtle shell! It began to unfold itself and return into phase.
The purpose of doing so became clear! In an instant, Peter's spiritual potential forcibly engulfed the life-attributed spiritual energy that was filled with vitality.
"AAAAAH! MY HEAD! IT'S TOO HOT!"
Even though the dose was relatively modest, the life-attributed spiritual energy was too high in quality. It immediately caused Peter's spiritual potential to balloon as it desperately attempted to digest the excessive energy it absorbed.
Within a manner of seconds, Peter's spiritual potential seemed to double then triple in strength!
Ves observed with great interest as he saw that the life-attributed spiritual energy not only healed all of the damage, but also induced a lot of growth! The mix of spiritual attributes remained constant, which meant that Peter's personality did not suffer from any swings!
The only concern was that the growth happened so quickly that Peter's mind and spirit quickly couldn't handle the pressure. Like a balloon that continued to be pumped with air, the test subject's spiritual potential seemed to come under immense strain!
Just seventeen seconds after Ves introduced the foreign energy into Peter's mind, the test subject had reached his limit!
Peter's head exploded just after his spirituality burst as well!
Chunks skull bone, brain tissue and other unpleasant matter splattered over Ves' body!
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