In the following days, Ves put down most of his work and mainly relaxed as he tried to recover from his ordeal.
Though he didn\'t have any hobbies or leisure activities to amuse himself, he enjoyed reading industry publications and keeping up with the latest developments in the local mech community.
To Ves, working with mechs was his idea of having fun.
As long as he didn\'t divert his thoughts to any strenuous design work, his stress levels remained low.
The passage of time allowed his mind to heal the damage that Ves incurred by clashing against the alien spiritual entity locked in the Ancient Sarcophagus.
While the damage looked ugly, this wasn\'t the first time Ves had gone into a scrape.
His mind had gained enough resilience to know what it was doing when it was attempting to repair the damage.
What helped his recovery enormously was when Ves directed some of the abundant spiritual energy produced by the Grand Dynamo to boost the recovery effort.
Since the defenses of his mind represented an aspect of his Spirituality, then supplementing it with his own spiritual energy was like adding fuel to the fire.
His mind and spirit had grown stronger.
As Ves eagerly studied the rate of repair, he estimated he wouldn\'t be bothered by the damage anymore after a couple more days of rest.
As Ves saw his own mind recover quickly by supplementing it with spiritual energy, he cast his thoughts back to the strange alien spiritual entity.
His brief moment of contact revealed very little about the entity.
The only thing Ves really learned was that its strength exceeded his own by a huge margin but that it was also trapped inside its coffin.
Ves tried to recall the impression he got from the entity.
He found its emotions and spiritual attributes to be rather opaque.
A lot was lost in translation because of the sheer alienness of what he experienced.
Is this what it\'s like to come into contact with a true alien
A lot of the spiritual entities he encountered so far consisted of humans or genetically-modified organic products developed by humans.
These inextricable human links meant that Ves shared a common spiritual language with different creatures related to the human race.
Ves was not blind to his ability to communicate with cats and other creatures.
In fact, it had grown stronger and more capable as he progressed his career.
Ketis is right.
I do have a superpower.
It\'s just that it\'s not as impressive as she thinks.
He developed a theory that his design philosophy not only strengthened his ability to work with mechs, but also produced various side effects related to its mechanisms.
His design philosophy mostly focused on facilitating the cooperation between humans and mechs.
Trying to communicate with animals and alien creatures was either an artifact related to his design philosophy, or something that was common with powerful spiritual entities that shared a particular inclination.
It could be both in my case. He mused.
They\'re probably overlapping with each other if that\'s the case.
He\'d have to come in touch with more aliens and other spiritual entities in order to be sure.
Unfortunately, the only two within reach both hated his guts.
When Ves inspected Zeigra\'s spiritual fragment locked inside his outfit, it mindlessly lashed out at him with an even greater fury than before!
What have I done to you! Isn\'t it time for you to let bygones be bygones!
The sheer fury emanating from the spiritual fragment made it impossible for Ves to have a straight conversation with the former Crown Cat.
As for the other entity, Ves was not very eager to make contact with the alien spiritual entity.
It deserves a name.
It\'s tiresome to call it that everytime I think about it. He rubbed his chin.
How about Nyxie
That settled it! If the alien spiritual entity locked within the Ancient Sarcophagus disliked its new name, then it could always lodge a complaint if it wished!
Though Nyxie was incredibly hostile and almost succeeded in shattering his mind, Ves did not resent it.
In fact, Ves regarded the spiritual entity with fondness!
As Ves carefully approached the cargo bay and studied the Ancient Sarcophagus from a distance with his spiritual vision, he tentatively confirmed that Nyxie was firmly trapped inside its cage.
Once Ves gained more confidence that Nyxie wouldn\'t be a threat to him, he stepped closer and began to examine the spiritual entity as best he could with his passive senses.
Though he wasn\'t able to read much, he did manage to make some very critical observations.
First, Ves confirmed his earlier conclusions.
Nyxie was incredibly powerful.
So powerful in fact that Ves didn\'t feel confident he could match its strength within a hundred years! Unless he advanced to Master Mech Designer or something, Nyxie would always be able to crush him on a spiritual level if it managed to shake off its shackles!
Second, Ves still hadn\'t been able to make sense of Nyxie\'s spiritual attributes, but its personality and emotions were very clear.
He gained the impression of a very distinguished alien individual who ruled over its people like a despot.
Nyxie believed that it possessed a natural right to rule.
Tyranny, superiority and hostility suffused the spiritual entity, making it extraordinarily difficult for Ves to find anything friendly.
Your personality really sucks. He stated to the coffin.
Nyxie probably didn\'t register his words.
You\'d be a lot more useful to me if you aren\'t such a hostile bastard.
I\'m not your enemy!
Unfortunately, no matter how many overtures he made, Nyxie remained as hostile as ever.
The only thing that changed was that it increasingly became more dormant.
The ugly wound he carved out of Nyxie did not represent a major loss to an entity of its size and strength, but it was very unpleasant nonetheless.
What Ves found curious about Nyxie\'s return to slumber was that its wound started regenerating.
The edges of the cavity formed by carving out a fragment became active.
Bit by bit, new spiritual energy arrived from within the entity to regain what had been lost.
Ves widened his eyes as he realized the implications of this development.
If Nyxie gets back to normal everytime I carve out a fragment, doesn\'t this mean that I can do this forever
This essentially meant that Ves had gained a renewable source of spiritual fragments! As long as he made sure that gave Nyxie enough time to recover from the damage, Ves could potentially harvest the same kind of spiritual fragments in perpetuity!
This is a ridiculous notion! Ves vigorously shook his head before he let his delusions get the better of him.
Nothing is for free! There has to be limits somehow.
Ves observed Nyxie\'s spiritual activities over several days and keenly studied its changes.
He found out that even as its wound started to close, its overall spiritual strength started to subside a bit.
The difference was extremely miniscule, and it took a lot of focused effort on his part to register the changes in the first place.
If not for his hunch that something like this might happen, he wouldn\'t have realized that Nyxie was becoming weaker even as it healed its wound!
It made a lot of sense to Ves.
Where did it get its spiritual energy from Ves observed the crystal coffin as best he could.
Even if he didn\'t understand what it did besides trapping Nyxie, he was pretty sure it did not generate any spiritual energy.
Why would a coffin or a prison have that function in the first place
Ves made a tentative conclusion that Nyxie was cannibalizing its own spiritual energy to heal its wound.
This meant that this renewable source of spiritual fragments would not last forever and eventually exhaust itself.
He still grinned, though.
Even if my new renewable source is not as exhaustive as I thought, there is plenty to go around!
Nyxie\'s sheer strength and quantity of spiritual energy was unlike anything that Ves had seen before!
Not even Qilanxo, a Sacred God who lived for hundreds of years and whose very genes had been manipulated to excel in spirituality and spiritual manipulation, could match the strength of this incredibly ancient and forgotten relic from the past!
Though Ves did not have much information to go on, he estimated that he would definitely be able to harvest fifty to a hundred spiritual fragments before Ves exhausted Nyxie as a source!
A hundred fragments!
That essentially translated to a hundred spiritually-empowered mech designs!
Though Ves could draw upon other sources, he had to go through a lot of effort to obtain them! While he already formed plans to make it easier for him to harvest spiritual fragments or complete spiritual entities, it would take a lot of time for them to come into fruition.
Now that he had Nyxie, he obtained a very valuable stopgap solution.
He only had to walk as far as to where he stored the Ancient Sarcophagus in order to harvest another spiritual fragment!
This is worth far more than 20 billion bright credits!
Obtaining the Ancient Sarcophagus was one of the biggest profits of his year-long tour.
Obtaining a huge reservoir of spiritual fragments in a convenient package was already worth this entire excursion!
I can add another successful gain to my list!
His deal with Finlay back at the Circle of Mota had paid off in spades! Even if Finlay\'s faction misused his work and laid waste to a populated planet in the Sentinel Kingdom, Ves would still not regret what he\'d done!
In his eyes, helping to develop mechs that went on to nuke an entire planet to oblivion was worth the gains he made!
This was because the Ancient Sarcophagus allowed him to design a lot of mechs in rapid tempo without getting bottlenecked by his difficulties in tracking down suitable design spirits to pair with his designs!
It\'s not a perfect solution, however. He sighed as he recognized a number of huge issues.
Nyxie was uncooperative.
Not only that, but Nyxie\'s spiritual attributes were very tyrannical and alien.
Ves didn\'t have a good grasp of them, and not every mech design was suitable to adopt these specific attributes.
It might be able to work with an offense-oriented mech like the Blackbeak, but I doubt Nyxie is a good fit for a defense-oriented mech like the Aurora Titan.
Nothing good would come out from a mismatch between the vision of a mech and its design spirit.
His mech pilots would probably suffer from mental disorders if Ves tried to pull something like that off!
He didn\'t worry too much about this problem, though.
This was because he already decided that if he ever made use of Nyxie\'s spiritual fragments, he would use them as the main raw material for his spiritual products.
It\'s better to break them up rather than use them directly.
Aside from trying to remove Nyxie\'s hostile consciousness towards him from the fragments, Ves mainly wanted to see if he could steer its spiritual attributes in a different direction.
Instead of accepting what I\'ve initially obtained, I want to develop something that conforms to my intentions!
In the context of his design philosophy, his attempts to develop an artificial spiritual product and gain greater control over its nature represented a shift towards the path of determinism.
Though it still involved the path of life, the more he intervened in the configuration of his spiritual product, the more its existence reflected his will.
It\'s like programming a bot, but not quite.
He had no idea what he was doing during his first attempt at creating a spiritual product.
Ves realized that he had to develop the theories on how to shape a spiritual product in a focused and deliberate manner from scratch.
However, the potential of becoming proficient in this ability was great!
Ves increasingly felt that his latest developments were threatening to spin out of his control.
Reorienting himself more towards the path of determinism was a good way to ensure that he retained at least a modest grip on some of his future design spirits!
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