The Mech Touch Chapter 1220
1218 Extraordinary Threshold
What possessed the living prophet of the New Ylvaine Dynasty for him to enter the Kesseling System? Why would he risk sneaking onto the surface of Kesseling VIII?
There was nothing on the planet that should have merited the attention of the leader of a vast terrorist organization!
"Mind you, Ves, the authorities aren't certain yet if the living prophet is actually here. This intel hasn't been corroborated yet. For all we know, these are merely the mad ramblings of stimulant-addled fanatics." Calabast cautioned.
The sources were far too unreliable. No one should take their words seriously.
However, Ves didn't necessarily think so. For Calabast to relay this intel despite its dubious origins meant she might know something more.
"Do you think it might be true?"
"There is a chance the madmen haven't been lying. The only problem is that the living prophet is taking an immense risk by sneaking onto this planet. This doesn't match his elusive and risk-averse nature. He usually spends his time on a hidden vessel floating in deep space issuing orders to the various cells of his organizations. For him to abandon his caution means that there is something important going on here that warrants his presence."
"Is he after my prototype?"
"That doesn't make much sense. The living prophet isn't a mech pilot. Even if he was, he has plenty of sympathisers in the mech industry to draw upon if he requires a personal mech."
If the living prophet wanted to obtain the prototype, he could have issued some orders and let his subordinates take care of the rest. It didn't warrant a personal visit to the planet.
For what reason did the living prophet himself descend on Kesseling VIII?
"Don't wrack your head over it, kid." Calabast said and shook her head. "For now, leave these matters to me and the Ylvainans. You should get back to work and complete your design as fast as possible. Aside from losing your prototype, it's running along quite well, right?"
She was right. There was no use for him to puzzle over this matter. These events went largely over his head. He much preferred to turn his attention back to his work.
"The Transcendent Messenger is almost finished, but it will still take some time for me to optimize the design to a point where I'm satisfied with declaring it finished."
"Is there any way you can accelerate your work? At this point, it's better if you complete the commission as fast as possible. The longer you delay, the greater the risk that something might happen that puts us all at risk. No matter whether the living prophet is on this planet or not, the True Believers will definitely make use of your mech in some way."
Ves grimaced at the suggestion. "You do your work and I do mine. Even if you're the client, don't tell me what to do. I won't rush my mech design. It's unacceptable and I will never tolerate such a demand unless I have no other choice."
"Ves, I think we've already reached that point." She said with a tired expression. "With all of the interests converging on this planet, the vortex has become too dangerous for us. Perhaps all of the factions are aware that the future of the Ylvaine Protectorate is at stake. There are many extremists who are willing to do something drastic if that means securing the future they want."
For all of her prowess, Calabast was only a single woman. She could no longer exert any control over the events happening on Kesseling VIII. The Curins, Poxcos and True Believers had all converged on this unremarkable planet in significant numbers.
Gathering so many forces together was like stuffing a keg with powder. At some point, a single spark was enough to blow it all up!
Still, Ves stuck to his principles.
"I am not willing to compromise on my stance. Every mech I've designed must represent my best efforts. If I'm being asked to design a mech for a competition or a design duel, then it's fine if I rush my design process. But that's not the case. I only have one time limit, and I still have a decent amount of time left to go before I turn thirty."
No matter what Calabast said, Ves stubbornly insisted on completing his design on his terms.
The recent theft of his prototype traumatized him so much that he wanted his finished product to be distinctly better!
The greater the differences, the more he was able to devalue the prototype! The mech the True Believers stole must always be inferior to the authentic copies of his finished design!
This did not sit well with Calabast. "I really want to smack your face, you now. You're being unreasonable here. Are your principles more important than your life?"
"I don't think we've reached that point." He said. "With all of the security in place, it isn't easy to attack me. The only reason why I was at risk earlier was because I went on an excursion to the subterranean testing ground. I don't plan to go out again when my subsequent prototypes are put to the test."
Although Ves recognized that he was still at risk, he didn't think it warranted a premature end to the design project. He really wouldn't be able to stand it if he was forced to complete the design in a matter of days! He would rather let Lucky scratch his face with his energy claws than endure the torment of publishing a bad and incomplete mech design!
Calabast crossed her arms and shook her head. "You're way too obstinate for your own good. How did your mother ever raise you to become such an obstinate brat?"
"She died, you know." Ves replied flatly.
"I know. Shouldn't you respect her more by behaving properly? She'd probably be aghast at your reckless decisions. She didn't bring you into this galaxy only for you to throw away your life so early."
He couldn't help but chuckle at that. "You don't know my mother."
It didn't appear that Calabast was aware of the mysteries surrounding his mother. For all of her vaunted ability to root out secrets, there were some that remained beyond her reach. The secret surrounding his mother was far more difficult to penetrate than anything else.
A part of him even wanted Calabast to succeed in tracing his mother's background. At the very least, she would probably share her findings.
They discussed some other matters before Calabast left. She failed to persuade him to rush his design project, so she didn't want to stick around any longer. The sooner she left, the sooner Ves went back to work.
As Calabast left, Ves didn't immediately return to work. Instead, he went back to the ground floor of the guest compound and visited a side building that he had never gone to before.
He entered a small Ylvainan chapel and sat down at one of the pews.
Anyone who was observing Ves right now would think that he had gone mad or converted to the faith. Why would he visit a place of worship?
Ves didn't care what other people thought. He merely wanted to find somewhere quiet to center his thoughts. He also wanted to communicate with Ylvaine's spiritual fragment, and what better place to do so than a chapel dedicated to his faith?
"Do you know why the living prophet stole my prototype?" He mentally asked.
The fragment pulsed in contentment as it appreciated the chapel.
"Is the living prophet aware of your existence?"
The fragment didn't respond.
"Is the living prophet capable of predicting the future?"
This time, the fragment pulsed. Ves tried to process the feeling the fragment wanted to convey, but couldn't figure it out. The pulse was too ambiguous!
"Can I even get any clear answer out of you?!"
The fragment pulsed again. This time, it responded with disapproval, as if Ves was overstepping his boundaries!
He became frustrated at the spiritual fragment's lack of cooperation. It used to be relatively simple when Ves initially refined it, but as time went by, it grew more intelligent.
It was like a bot evolved into a sentient AI! The transformation happened gradually, but proceeded continuously without any signs of stopping!
Ves didn't even know what was happening anymore. He might have been too reckless with refining such a powerful spiritual fragment. Right now, the strength of Ylvaine's spiritual fragment was identical to that of a seasoned expert pilot!
Both expert pilots and Journeyman Mech Designers were special compared to the rest of humanity. The main reason for that was that both developed their spirituality to the point where they surpassed a certain threshold and transformed into a higher state!
There was something remarkable about this higher state of spirituality. Whether it was expert pilots, Journeyman Mech Designers or spiritual fragments, each entity with spirituality that exceeded this threshold had become something extraordinary.
Ves thought that Qilanxo's spiritual fragment was smart because its strength vastly exceeded anything he witnessed before. He assumed that Ylvaine's spiritual fragment wouldn't be able to grow this smart because it originally consisted of a tiny remnant of Ylvaine's spirituality.
Now, he wasn't so sure anymore.
"Are you.. Prophet Ylvaine come to life?" He mentally asked.
He didn't know what possessed him to ask such a ridiculous question. The dead were dead. They shouldn't be able to come back to life, let alone rebuild themselves from a tiny spiritual piece of themselves!
Well, his mother was kind of weird, but that didn't count!
The spiritual fragment didn't respond with a pulse. Instead, it emanated an aura that was several times stronger than its last exertion! The aura radiated a strong and unflinching faith in its beliefs!
What this meant, Ves didn't know. Did the fragment consider itself as a reincarnation of the prophet or was it merely telling him in its own way that it didn't care?
Whatever the case, getting any solid answers from the fragment seemed hopeless. It had become just as cryptic as the actual prophet back when he was alive!
"What do you think about my mech design, then? Are you satisfied with what I've developed so far?"
This time, the fragment pulsed in plain approval. It liked the design very much.
This response didn't surprise Ves as the spiritual fragment had a lot of say in how the Transcendent Messenger took shape.
"Don't you feel pissed that a genetic impostor of yours has stolen my prototype?"
The fragment answered with another ambiguous pulse. It was being deliberately mysterious again for some reason.
"Really. Aren't you afraid the so-called living prophet will tarnish your name with my mech?"
This didn't elicit any response from the fragment. Either it didn't understand the implications, or it didn't want to comment on what was happening.
Ves was already familiar with the silent treatment. The System almost never answered his inquiries.
He understood why the System kept its mouth shut. There was no reason for it to entertain Ves and satisfy his curiosity. As long as Ves furthered the System's agenda, it could sit back and relax.
What disturbed Ves a bit was that Ylvaine's spiritual fragment had grown sophisticated enough to adopt the reasoning. The fragment turned from a passive spiritual entity into something smart enough to develop its own agenda!
Ves regretted hosting the spiritual fragment in his mind. He should have fabricated a miniature mech or some other totem to serve as its temporary home. At least then it wouldn't snoop so much in his mind and learn some of his traits.
He knew very well that someone with his personality was very hard to deal with! Just like him, the spiritual fragment was probably looking out for itself!
"Don't learn from me." He belatedly told the fragment. "I'm not a believer. You should stick to your own values."
He didn't know whether his words had any effect or not. Hopefully, he would soon be able to complete his design, whereby he could finally get rid of the spiritual fragment from his mind!
"Soon, you won't be my problem anymore!"