The Mech Touch Chapter 1190
1188 Spiritual Accumulation
Ves wasn't impressed by the relics that the Grand Church of the Grey Martyr put on display.
They mainly consisted of random articles of clothing, discarded data pads, empty nutrient packs and so on. It was as if the early Ylvainan worshippers dug into the Grey Martyr's recycling chute and rescued his trash before they underwent processing.
What would the Grey Martyr think if millions of devoted Ylvainans visited the grand church each year and worshipped his empty nutrient pack wrappers?
"It's rather absurd when you think about it! How can his trash be considered relics?"
The Grey Martyr probably left some more valuable relics behind, but a grand church on Kesseling VIII wasn't important enough to host such valuables.
Even so, Ves became pleasantly surprised that some of the more sentimental-looking knickknacks possessed a touch of spirituality. While he hadn't inspected their composition and flavor in detail, Ves believed those objects may have captured some of the spiritual energy of the Grey Martyr himself!
Still, during his brief tour at the museum wing, he also noticed another important detail. A lot of heterogeneous flavors had mixed into the faint spiritual presences.
While these additions amplified the miniscule amount of spiritual energy the Grey Martyr had left behind on some of the relics, they also decreased their purity.
It was like filling a nearly-empty cup of water with sewage water. While the cup held a lot more liquid, most of it consisted of filth, which didn't suit his purposes!
According to his understanding of spirituality, the relics gained all of this heterogeneous spiritual energy through the accumulation of worship of visiting Ylvainans.
The spiritual energy of an average baseline human was miniscule. Humans also couldn't control their own spiritual energy.
Therefore, even if the relics had been visited by billions of devout Ylvainans, the total accumulation of spiritual energy was really pathetic. Ves could pinch them flat with just a slight effort.
Nonetheless, learning about this interaction made Ves think of something else. If some random junk that used to belong to the Grey Martyr could accumulate a modest amount of spiritual energy, what about something more important?
There were other places which put much more significant relics on display. His characteristic grey robe that he wore for decades ever since the Ylvainan Faith rose up, for example.
How much spiritual energy had been bled off the visiting Ylvainans over the centuries?
Such an important relic which contained a strong imprint of the Grey Martyr must have accumulated a massive amount of heterogeneous spiritual energy!
A bold idea came to mind. Could he find a way to remove the chaotic imprints of this heterogenous spiritual energy?
This process was akin to treating the raw sewage so that only pure water remained!
The second step was to blend all of this energy with the spiritual imprint of the Grey Martyr. As long as he succeeded in doing so, then what emerged at the end would be a relic that possessed a very powerful and coherent spiritual presence!
Ves knew that such a procedure was possible. Qilanxo's spiritual fragment already demonstrated the process.
However, he never attempted to replicate this process before. He simply didn't possess the raw strength and control to copy such an intricate procedure.
Yet ever since he advanced to Journeyman, Ves began to gain more confidence in his Spirituality. While he was nowhere equal to Qilanxo's vast spiritual might, he nonetheless managed to close the distance.
The question now was whether he was strong enough to manipulate the imprints of spiritual energy.
"It shouldn't be too hard."
He recognizes several points that worked in his favor. First, working with a relic that used to belong to an impressive figure like the Grey Martyr might possess a lot of spiritual energy, but the individual in question was long-dead.
Even if some powerful spiritual remnant of the Grey Martyr still existed somewhere in the imaginary realm, it had undergone centuries of erosion. Hardly any conscious thought remained.
Therefore, his spiritual imprint shouldn't put up much of a resistance if Ves decided to mess with it in some way.
The same applied to the spiritual imprints on the large accumulation of heterogeneous spiritual energy.
While the total amount of spiritual energy would definitely be large, it was not coherent. A single average human's spiritual imprint was so miniscule that Ves could probably wipe it out with a single thought as long as he figured out the right method.
Therein lay the crux. None of this would work if Ves failed to replicate the method shown by Qilanxo's spiritual fragment.
Ves came to a decision. "I need to test and practice these ideas. Preferably on something small and weak at first."
This would not be easy. The Ylvainans would never hand over their relics to Ves to experiment with. Perhaps he might have had a chance before, but now that he became a polarizing figure in Ylvainan society, he could forget about obtaining anything!
No one wanted to see him defile their holy relics with his demonic touch!
Nonetheless, Ves did not give up on this idea. The more he thought about it, the more it appealed to him. If this method proved viable, he could apply it in many other situations besides designing Ylvainan mechs!
One of the biggest problems that hampered his ambitions was that spiritual fragments were hard to come by!
The imaginary realm was largely empty and devoid of strong spiritual entities. The only surefire way for him to obtain a spiritual fragment with the attributes he desired was to track down the spiritual presences of notable high-ranking mech pilots and mech designers and steal some of their precious spiritual energy.
However, this was a really risky procedure! The few times he did so, he always felt as if he was at risk of being caught!
"I'm only a single mistake away from being exposed!"
Stealing someone else's spiritual energy was a last resort to Ves. Ever since he advanced to Journeyman, he already noted that much of his spiritual strength had been locked away in his design seed. The amount of loose spiritual energy he could wield was still strong, but not to the extent where he could overpower the force of will of every expert pilot.
If he had no other choice, then he would still employ this method, but only for the mech designs he strongly cared about. It wasn't worth it for him to risk exposure or incurring a backlash when he messed up one day.
That shouldn't be necessary if Ves could verify the latest method he came up with. Stealing spirituality from a lifeless object was a much safer and harmless alternative!
As for the damage the relics themselves incurred through messing with and stealing their accumulated spiritual energy, who cared? They were just lifeless objects to begin with! Whatever life they gained from their exposure to important figures and the worship of countless people would live on in his mech designs!
"I'm doing the Ylvainans a favor!"
Obviously, obtaining permission to mess with the relics remained his biggest problem. Ves obsessed over this problem for a while.
He first decided to put forward a request to Calabast. He took the enormous trouble of traveling to her headquarters and endured all the security checks before he met her again in her office.
"What is it, Ves? Did you change your mind?" She asked with a hopeful smile.
"No. I still want to try it my way. I've come here to put forward a difficult request. It will sound rather strange, but as long as you fulfill it, my chances of success can easily be tripled!"
This boast immediately caught her attention. "I hope you're not exaggerating. Let's hear it, then. What do you want?"
"I need.. I need to obtain a historical Ylvainan relic. It doesn't have to be anything too valuable or important. If you can obtain one of the relics that used to be housed in the Grand Church of the Grey Martyr, then that would be best!"
His request completely stunned Calabast, though she exerted as much control as possible to maintain an impassive facade. It spoke well to her ability as a spy that Ves hadn't been able to read anything from her expression.
"Please be frank. Are you serious?"
This time, Calabast deliberately adopted a difficult expression. "Every relic that possesses a solid connection to Prophet Ylvaine and his Martyred Followers is a treasure to the Ylvainans. The Attendants of Ylvaine are responsible for tracking and guarding them, and they're extremely fanatical about keeping them under their administration! It's impossible for a Curin like me to borrow a relic from those fanatics!"
The Poxco Dynasty were strongly inclined towards the traditionalists. They were the most devout believers of the Ylvainan Faith, but that subsequently meant that they were also the most self-righteous and insular among the bunch.
If there was one leading dynasty they disliked the most, it was the Curin Dynasty for their forward-thinking ways! Both of them sat firmly on the opposite sides on how to prepare the Protectorate against the coming war against the Star Faith Collective!
"Isn't there any other way to convince the Attendants of Ylvaine to let go of one of their relics?" He asked. "I don't even need to possess it for long. A couple of hours will do."
"No. Absolutely not. You can forget about it. You're probably their least-favorite person in the Protectorate right now. What do you want to do with a relic, anyway? Isn't it enough to watch it from afar?"
Ves considered the option of visiting a museum or church that held a relic but shook his head.
While the distance didn't hinder him as much, the closer he got, the more fine control he was able to exert.
Another factor was that the strength of his spiritual exertions weakened over a distance.
He didn't know if he could manage to pull off his method from a distance. Even if he could, he would look awkward and suspicious as hell if he stood in front of a single display for ten minutes straight. It would be awful if the guards suspected that he was up to no good!
"Oh, by the way, I don't suggest you go out at this time." Calabast warned. "After the initial attack on the grand church, the Curins put a lot of effort into investigating whether there are other threats on Kesseling VIII. While they haven't found anything solid yet, they have reasons to suspect that you're still being targeted!"
Ves grimaced. "So it's not safe for me to travel anymore?"
"It's fine if you want to visit my headquarters or the mech workshop that I've put at your disposal. You can forget about going anywhere else, let alone an important cultural institution such as a church or a museum! The Curins have already issued orders to restrict your movements. The Protectors of the Faith that are assigned to guard you will make sure that you won't be able to deviate from your route!"
A short silence ensued as Ves digested this piece of news. He didn't feel angry about being restricted like this. In the interest of public safety, it made a lot of sense to keep Ves away from valuable sites where there were lots of people present.
He shook his head in resigned disappointment. "Okay. If you can't help me with this, I'll find something else."
The two didn't part on good terms. Ves recognized that Calabast was under a lot of pressure and was doing the best she could for the both of them. Asking her to allow him to borrow a relic was a long shot anyway.
As soon as he returned to the guest compound, he asked around and tracked down Lucky. His pet was comfortably snoozing on a windowsill while enjoying the rays of sunshine falling on his body.
"Lucky? Wake up. I have a job for you!"