The Mech Touch Chapter 1194
1192 Original Sentimen
"I'm aware of what has transpired." Calabast said over the comm.
As soon as the friendly high inquisitor finished his inquiry, Ves immediately called his partner over his comm.
Both of them knew that their conversation wasn't secure, so they restrained themselves from discussing any sensitive matters. The high inquisitor might in fact be listening in right now!
"Who is he, exactly?" Ves asked.
"High Inquisitor Xefin Lin Poxco is a renowned figure in the Poxco Dynasty." Calabast calmly answered. "Born as a commoner, he joined the Attendants of Ylvaine and became an adopted member of the dynasty. He worked as a priest for some time before finding his true calling as an inquisitor."
"So he enjoys hunting heretics for a living?"
"I know that secularists like you think of all kinds of horror stories as soon as you hear about an inquisition. The Ylvainan Inquisition is preoccupied with more than hunting heretics and blasphemers. They act as the investigative arm of the Ylvainan Faith. Their mandate extends to everything related to the faith. They particularly pay a lot of attention to anything that can threaten the supremacy of the Ylvainan Faith in the Protectorate."
This explanation sounded very vague to Ves. If the inquisitors twisted their interpretation to a certain extent, then anything that transpired in the Protectorate fell within their mandate!
"Is our business partnership under threat?" He asked.
She shook her head. "This is my problem, not yours. Our business relationship is still solid. The high inquisitor may have a lot of power, but the only reason he can be involved is due to the recent terrorist attack. Regardless of what the media says, it is a stretch to lay the blame on our feet."
"What about.. your position? Is it secure?"
"My directorship is secure." Calabast firmly stated over the comm. "I enjoy the support of the highest elders in the Curin Dynasty. They know what is at stake and they will not let the Ylvainan Inquisition run roughshod over us. If my guess is correct, then the inquisition is actually trying to dig into something else. For now, these waters are too deep for you to wade into. Don't inquire any further about this topic."
Calabast revealed a lot of information to Ves with her reply. He didn't believe she was a native Ylvainan at all. He always wondered how she smoothly managed to gain an identity in the Curin Dynasty.
It made sense that she enjoyed insider support. Otherwise, it would have been too outlandish for her to adopt the identity of a notable Curin.
What Ves didn't know until now was that the leaders of the Curin Dynasty was aware of her true origin!
This possible conclusion implied that Calabast's true background was a lot stronger than he imagined! If her true origin warranted the personal attention of the highest elders of the Curin Dynasty, then her former employers must be a force to be reckoned with in the region!
At the very least, Ves suspected that she may have struck a deal with them in order to acquire her current identity.
It concerned him a bit that Calabast's shady associations might spill over to Ves. He still didn't feel comfortable about their partnership yet. The information disparity between the two always put him on the defense.
While Calabast investigated his record and knew one of his greatest secrets, he knew almost nothing about her! Aside from the fact that she was a spy and she worked for a powerful organization, Ves didn't even know her real name!
"It has dawned upon me that I know very little about you." He pointed out. "For a supposed business partner, it is really disconcerting that you're not willing to share anything about yourself to me. A good business relationship is based on trust, you know."
"I know, but now is not the time, Mr. Larkinson." Calabast smiled at Ves. "As I've said before, it's sufficient for us to rely on mutual interest. Don't concern yourself about my matters and instead focus upon your own. The commission won't complete by itself and you have a lot of expectations riding on your shoulders. The success of our subsequent ventures rely on how well you design your next mech. How much progress have you made up until now?"
"Not much. I'm still working on developing my vision for my upcoming mech. It's important for me to gain a good understanding of Ylvainan culture. If I get it wrong from the start, I won't be able to design anything significant no matter how much time and effort I put into this project."
"You're the mech designer. I trust in your abilities." She confidently said. As the holder of the Metal Scroll, any mech he designed was remarkable! "This is a delicate time. Keep your head down for now and don't get involved in anything that riles up the Ylvainan Inquisition."
Ves held up his hand in innocence. "Hey, who do you think I am? I'm just a mech designer. I don't have any other stake in the Ylvaine Protectorate besides designing and selling mechs."
"I'm just reminding you that you can't act with impunity here. High Inquisitor Xefin Lin Poxco may have paid a casual visit to you this time, but he won't hesitate to come at you hard as soon as you make a single misstep, especially if you profane the Ylvainan Faith. This is not the Bright Republic."
"I know. Don't worry. Since my movements are restricted, there's nothing I can do besides designing mechs."
They ended the call shortly after. He found it rather insulting that Calabast kept looking at him with a shifty expression, as if he was a naughty kid who couldn't help but pull of a stunt that would land them both in trouble.
Who did she think she was? She should look after her own conduct before accusing him of anything shady!
"I'm completely innocent!"
Just then, a slim metallic form phased through the wall.
"Ah, Lucky, you're back!"
A small ECM field surrounded his incorporeal cat. This enabled him to move in and out of the tightly-guarded guest compound without arousing the attention of the Protectors of the Faith.
"Come closer. What did you manage to retrieve?"
Lucky clutched a small bag of assorted junk. As Ves took the bag and looked inside, he dug up several small objects.
He first lifted up a small suit button that purportedly came from one of the Grey Martyr's formal suits.
"Fake." Ves declared.
He didn't sense any significant spiritual accumulation in the object. It seemed that even if the grand church claimed that it belonged to the Grey Martyr, accumulation wouldn't take place if it was based upon lies.
This was an important observation to Ves.
He next picked up a preserved seed that purportedly came from a plant in the backyard of the Grey Martyr's old home.
"This is a bit more special."
The seed was so small and insigificant that it must not have impressed a lot of Ylvainans. Even so, its connection to the Grey Martyr must be true because Ves could sense a tiny concentration of spiritual energy that bore a distinct imprint.
"This bears further study."
The most important relic that Lucky retrieved was a decorative medallion made out of mundane alloys. It was a cheap commemorative item handed out to all the worshippers of the Ylvainan Faith at its tenth anniversary since its founding.
Although Ylvaine already attracted a sizable following, not a lot of these medallions survived up to this day. Every medallion celebrating the tenth anniversary was a prized heirloom to any family that could trade their lineage back to the earliest followers of Ylvaine.
The one he held right now was special because of its association to the Grey Martyr! Ves specifically ordered Lucky to see if he could retrieve it because it was one of the most valuable relics of the grand church!
"Good boy! I'll be sure to add some extra exotics to your next meal?"
"Meow!" Lucky replied with disdain.
Holding the medallion in his hands allowed him to feel the rich but turbulent spiritual accumulation hidden within. Even those who didn't possess any remarkable spiritual strength would feel something unusual about this object. It projected a faint aura akin to those of his own mechs.
"It's too bad it's too heterogeneous."
The medallion received the worship of many billions of faithful Ylvainans over the years. He confirmed his previous speculation that many Ylvainans imparted a tiny bit of their spiritual energy to the medallion. It started off small, but over a long period of time the accumulation became increasingly more significant.
Ves even suspected that a positive feedback cycle was at work!
Perhaps at the start, the commemorative medallion didn't attract much attention. Even though it was a significant object that used to belong to the Grey Martyr himself, it was just a piece of cheap metal.
Yet as more and more worshippers imparted their spiritual energy into the object, it took on an increasingly more compelling quality. While its spiritual accumulation was filled with the pollution of random and incongruent thoughts, not everything was useless.
"All those believers have one thing in common: their faith."
Their devotion to the Ylvainan Faith meant that much of the spiritual accumulation locked within the medallion shared a common attribute to the original sentiment that the Grey Martyr originally left behind!
Ves knew that the Grey Martyr was born as a simple man who grew old before he first met the Prophet. He was an average commoner from the galactic heartland and did not possess any remarkable spiritual strength.
Even as he became one of the most important followers of Prophet Ylvaine, his spirituality never grew to a significant degree.
The galaxy didn't revolve around spirituality.
Ves deduced all of this from the trace of sentiment that the Grey Martyr left behind in the medallion. It was so miniscule that even a slight sneeze from Ves could extinguish it from existence!
Yet the strange part was that this original sentiment was surrounded and protected by the much larger mass of heterogeneous spiritual energy donated by other Ylvainans. It was as if this collective gathering of energy possessed just enough life to recognize that it needed to protect the Grey Martyr's original sentiment!
"Interesting. Very interesting." Ves nodded as he delved into the interaction between these two spiritual energies.
He faintly suspected that the larger grouping wanted to merge and empower the Grey Marty's sentiment.
However, if a drop of pure, clean water fell into a glass of sewage, then only filth remained. Merging the two together would only lead to a net loss because the Grey Martyr's sentiment was simply too small and weak.
After determining all of this through his focused inspection, he developed two possible ways to obtain what he wanted out of the relic.
First, he could change both the spiritual imprint and the spiritual attribute of the heterogenous spiritual accumulation.
This required him to perform two very intricate procedures. While he had a good idea on how to replace one spiritual imprint with another, he felt much less confident about changing the attribute of spiritual energy.
"Is it even possible to do so?"
Ves believed that this wasn't as simple as he suspected.
Therefore, he decided to take a step back and employ a more modest solution. "The most workable approach is to filter out the sewage so that I'm only left with clean water that is as pure as the original drop of water."
This was a process of salvaging the spiritual attribute that conformed to the Grey Martyr's original sentiment. Ves might have to discard fifty, seventy or even ninety percent of the spiritual accumulation the medallion collected over the years!
He had no use for spiritual energy with incompatible attributes. Since he didn't possess the confidence that he convert them to another attribute, their presence served no use to him. He was better off throwing it away than allow it to continue to pollute the medallion!
"Even though I'll be left with a fraction of accumulation, all that is left is pure and homogenous."
Would he be able to merge this end product with the Grey Martyr's original sentiment? All of his plans concerning the X-Factor of his upcoming design hinged on whether he could pull off this stunt!