The Mech Touch Chapter 1234
1232 Accusing The Accusers
Ketis, Leland, Gavin and Melkor all sat in one of the living rooms of the guest compound. Their eyes glued onto the huge projection that depicted the tribunal proceedings in lifelike detail.
The four of them would have preferred to be present in the gallery themselves, but the Protectors of the Faith denied their requests.
In this volatile time, it was better for the associates of the accused to stay put!
For this reason, the people that Ves brought to the Protectorate had no choice but root for Ves at a fair distance from the court building.
"What a blowhard!" Ketis yelled. "How can this old inquisitor come up with so many lies and exaggerations? They're all false! Ves would never be so disrespectful to the Ylvainans! He has always treated their beliefs with respect!"
The defense did attempt to fight back against High Inquisitor Xefin Lin Poxco's lurid characterization of Ves. They brought forth numerous witnesses, from Leon to various Protector guards, and had them state their impressions.
Overall, the witnesses all had something good to say about Ves and his mechs. The Protector guards especially showered Ves with praise.
"Even if he's a foreigner, he has always acted as a model guest in our state." One of the Protector captains said without reservation. "While I cannot make any judgement of Mr. Larkinson's moral character, his conduct and his work has never posed any threat to our faith. In fact, his mechs has reinforced my belief and every other Protector who enjoyed the privilege of witnessing his creations in person!"
All the positive character witnesses helped counteract some of the bad impression against Ves, but that did not change the public's determination that he had likely defiled their holy relic!
This crime alone was so severe that almost no Ylvainan citizen wanted Ves to walk free from the court right now!
Gavin looked around the room for a moment. "Where's Lucky, Ketis?"
The woman shrugged. "Beats me. Lucky has been in an awful mood ever since the inquisition took Ves away."
"This is a volatile time for him to be running free. What if he's racing across the city to reunite with his owner?"
"Don't worry, Gavin. Lucky is smart enough to know what he can and can't do." Ketis confidently stated.
All of them were used to Lucky coming and going, so they didn't worry too much about where the mischievous cat went. In fact, Ketis even thought it might be good for Lucky to go to the courtyard.
So far, the trial was not going well for Ves. As Ves continued to sit quietly while his counsel did all of the talking on his behalf, he discreetly observed everyone's attitudes with his spiritual senses.
The gallery was easy to read. Most of them wore their emotions on their sleeves.
Some of the Ylvainans were slightly different, though. Ves sensed a lot of calculation when he brushes his spiritual senses against their intangible minds. This signified that they were plants who had deliberately been placed in the gallery to incite the others.
Of course, as much as the people in the gallery loathed Ves, they only indirectly affected the verdict.
The real decision makers sat behind the bench. Judge Okin Fillis remained passive and inscrutable throughout the tribunal session, presenting the illusion that he was detached and therefore impartial.
Only the sheep were fooled by the Curin judge's act. Everyone else knew that Judge Fillis would definitely acquit Ves as instructed by the elders of the Curin Dynasty.
High Inquisitor Kelly Ixef Poxco presented a reasonable front as a judge. That didn't mean she came off very sincere in her act. Ves could sense the seething hatred underneath her skin. She shared the same intensity against Ves as High Inquisitor Xefin Lin Poxco!
Only Kelber Kronon remained calm, both outwardly and inwardly. He listened to the high inquisitor with a critical mind as the man painted Ves as a great deceiver.
It was as if the judge could smell all the nonsense that the prosecution was flinging towards Ves.
Still, Ves sensed that though the Kronon judge didn't like the inquisition and how they ran their tribunals, Kelber didn't regard the defendant fondly either.
The hard evidence that Xefin Lin Poxco presented was extremely compelling. Several Protector guards stationed at the guest compound have also testified that nothing funny went on as the inquisition arrived and conducted their inspections.
All of this meant that Kelber became inclined to believe that Ves was indeed involved with the theft of the holy relic. The military judge even became swayed by the possibility that Ves destroyed the relic!
This was a very serious charge that spoke to his heart! Kelber could hardly keep his calm when he contemplated that Ves might have done something so severe!
Ves inwardly shook his head. He shouldn't have been surprised by the worsening sentiment against him. Even though he was completely innocent of whatever the inquisition accused him of, his defense had little recourse to fight back.
While it was possible that someone may have framed Ves, the defense did not present any evidence to support this argument. Casting doubt on the origin of the microscopic particles basically amounted to a conspiracy theory which the Kronon judge didn't take very seriously.
The tribunal already lasted several hours and the time for arguments was about to come to a close. At this point, everything had been brought up. There was very little chance that the defense could say anything that could change the minds of the judges.
This was bad, Ves realized. Judge Okin Fillis may be on his side, but he needed the support of at least one other judge.
Yet Judge Kelber Kronon, his only potential savior, felt more inclined to support High Inquisitor Xefin Lin Poxco than acquit Ves of the charges!
Ves couldn't say he expected anything different. The evidence to support the first charge was too solid.
Was the worst-case scenario about to happen? As soon as the tribunal issued their verdict, Ves would definitely move into action.
While he hadn't seen any sign of Lucky, he knew him well enough that his cat should be ready to help in his own way.
That wasn't all.
With how much Calabast knew about Ves, she would definitely do everything in her power to save him from the inquisition. Ves didn't know how much resources she could bring to bear in order to save his life, but she was definitely hiding something under her sleeve.
As for Flashlight or the Bright Republic, Ves didn't put much hope in their help. Their influence was minimal in the Protectorate.
Even though it seemed that Ves wasn't alone, he still didn't want to resort to this option. There was still a chance he could save his hide without burning all of his bridges.
As the two sides prattled on and on, Ves closed his eyes and concentrated his mind.
He had restrained his fury and his spirituality throughout the entire tribunal so far.
He let everyone else say their piece while he kept his mouth shut.
He let High Inquisitor Xefin Lin Poxco take advantage of the trial by espousing his traditionalist political agenda in front of the entire Protectorate.
"Now it's my turn." He whispered to himself.
Although he had been divested of his ordinary comm, he could still call up his impression of his designs in his mind. As the lead designer of the Transcendent Messenger, there was no way he forgot its contours and its design specifications.
A true mech designer could always recall their mech designs by heart!
Right now, Ves did so by projecting the Transcendent Messenger design in his mind. He vividly recalled all of its lines and curves and technical specifications. As Ves created an accurate image of the Transcendent Messenger design in his mind, he pressed his mind to it, seeking an even deeper connection.
The mask of innocence he donned for the entire week was becoming a hindrance. Therefore, he decisively shed it from his mind, allowing himself to establish an unobstructed connection to the image of the Transcendent Messenger.
Eventually, he managed to commune with the design spirit of the Transcendent Messenger. Just because Ylvaine's spiritual fragment had moved out of his mind didn't mean it was gone forever!
Ves guessed that he was able to communicate with the design spirits of his finished mechs, and he was right. He managed to establish a distant and shallow connection to what used to be Ylvaine's spiritual fragment.
He mentally communicated to the design spirit.
"I need your help."
A pulse of doubt flowed across the connection.
"There are Ylvainans who are maligning me and the design you are inhabiting in. If this goes on, I'll be declared guilty and the Transcendent Messenger will be tarnished as well."
Another uncertain pulse flowed from their connection.
"Do you know what that means? The Ylvainans will turn against the Transcendent Messenger! The Inquisition will not only outlaw the design, but also destroy all of the mechs derived from it! Your existence will become meaningless!"
This time, the design spirit transmitted an alarmed pulse.
"Help me! Lend me your power so I can teach these Ylvainans what their great prophet truly wants! Lead these lost sheep back to the flock!"
A small moment passed as Ves waited for the design spirit to digest his words. After thirty seconds of silence, Ves finally perceived a reaction from the connection.
"Ahg!" Ves held his head as a sudden headache spiked in his mind.
Ylvaine's spiritual fragment decided to respond for his call to help by temporarily shuttling out of the Transcendent Messenger! It forcefully squeezed its way through the narrow connection until it emerged back into Ves' mind!
Immediately upon arrival, Ves mentally transmitted his intentions to the fragment, and it only hesitated for a short moment before agreeing with the plan.
Ves was about to do something he had never done before.
He was donning the spiritual fragment like a mask.
It was dangerous, it was stupid, but it was the most effective solution he could think of. How better to confront the devout Ylvainans by doing so while embodying a part that used to belong to the prophet? It was brilliant!
The fusion between his mind and the fragment was anything but easy. The spiritual fragment was far more powerful than any image he had previously donned as a mask. The only reason why the fusion managed to take place at all was because both of them had lowered all of their defenses and actively wanted to merge!
Various unknown and incompatible thoughts, emotions and other impulses flooded his mind! The spiritual fragment was way too energetic! It was corroding his mind and impacting his design seed!
Yet despite all of the strain, Ves tried his best to resonate with the spiritual fragment. It was hard. They were two completely different individuals. Ves had to force the process until something akin to a partial fusion took place!
When Ves next opened his eyes, his eyes seemed to glow. He lowered most of the barriers in his mind, allowing the strong spiritual fragment to radiate its sacred aura in full glory!
"ENOUGH!" He boomed.
This forced High Inquisitor Xefin Lin Poxco to shut up.
Everyone else sat rooted in silence as they turned their attention from the inquisitor to Ves. Somehow, he appeared much different all of a sudden!
Ves stood up. "This farce has gone long enough!"
"Please sit down, Mr. Larkinson." High Inquisitor Kelly Ixef Poxco warned from the bench. "You are speaking out of turn!"
"It is you who are speaking out of turn, Your Excellency!" Ves boldly declared. "All of you here have been carried away by this travesty of a tribunal that goes directly against your great prophet's will!"
Ves amped up the spiritual fragment's aura, causing everyone present to regard him completely differently! The aura was so strong that it even transcended distance as the broadcasts conveyed a fraction of it to the viewers watching the tribunal proceedings at home!
When he determined he caught everyone's attention, he released a shocking declaration.
"Let's get the truth out of the way. The crime that High Inquisitor Xefin Lin Poxco accuses me of? I'm guilty! I planned the theft! I obtained the nutrient pack wrapper that you consider as a relic! I held it in my hands moments before I had it destroyed!"
The entire gallery gasped in shock at the bold admission! Even the three judges couldn't help but lose their composure for a moment!
"Has Ves Larkinson gone mad?!"