nd the LMC ’s market presence in the Protectorate in order to sell more mechs and make a lot of money!

By the time the local afternoon rolled in, everything at home had been arranged.

While Melkor and the Avatars of Myth already boarded the Greenfeather in orbit ahead of time, Ves and his entourage stepped inside the Barracuda.

With Ketis, Lucky, Gavin and Leland on the corvette, Ves did not have to worry about running out of company.

Therefore, his announcement of locking himself in his stateroom for a few days or weeks came as a surprise to the rest.

”What are you up to? ” Ketis asked with narrowed eyes.

”Nothing much. ” Ves tried to brush the matter off.
”I just want to be left alone so I can immerse myself in my own studies.
You know how I work, Ketis.
I am always at my best when I ’m completely alone and undisturbed. ”

”What if there ’s an emergency? ”

”I doubt matters will arise that require my intervention.
If I ’m not available, you can defer to Captain Silvestra or Melkor for instructions. ”

”What if there ’s an issue that requires your direct attention? ”

Ves already took this possibility into account.
It would be highly inconvenient if the Barracuda and the Greenfeather bumped into trouble while his mind was still stuck in the past!

”You can go ahead and knock on the hatch to my stateroom.
Lucky will decide whether it ’s worth bringing to my attention. ”

In truth, Lucky ’s job was to prevent anyone from entering his stateroom and uncover his seemingly comatose body!

To that end, Ves turned his attention specifically to Leland.
”Without permission from Lucky or myself, no one enters my stateroom.
I can ’t guarantee your safety if you decide to barge in against your better judgement.
Is that clear? ”

Leland slowly nodded.
The Flashlight agent must be wondering what security measures Ves set up to keep out intruders.
Perhaps some of the gadgets he brought along could help him circumvent those safeguards.

He could try.
Lucky would be ready to meet any intrusion with violence.

Everyone brought their gear for this trip.
Ves and Ketis did not forget to bring along their custom suits of armor and fancy weapons.

As for Leland, who knew what gadgets he brought along in his boring-looking floating coffers.
Perhaps only Gavin stuck to bringing in plain civilian luggage.

As the Barracuda slowly lifted off into orbit, the corvette quickly flew alongside the Greenfeather and formed a small group.

The pair of ships deftly traveled to the nearest Lagrange point and simultaneously transitioned into FTL.

The LMC ’s business delegation had at least two weeks of travel ahead of them.
While the Barracuda could have reached her destination faster, the Greenfeather was not as swift.

”Two weeks should be more than enough time for me to finish my private excursion. ” Ves muttered as he closed and locked the hatch to his stateroom.

”Meow. ”

”Yes, I know the timing isn ’t great and all.
The crew and passengers are already looking at me with suspicion, but what can I do? A hero mech isn ’t easy to work with! Reading a bunch of literature won ’t be enough to bring me up to speed on all of the nuances of this complex mech type. ”

Ves set up an automated feeding system attached to his bunk while Lucky floated down from the ceiling.

There was no way for Ves to predict how long his upcoming Mastery experience would take.

If it dragged on for more than a week, then at the very least he didn ’t have to worry about returning to a starving body this time!

He raised a lot of eyebrows from Captain Silvestra when he ordered the Barracuda to integrate this system, but he didn ’t need to explain himself.
He was the boss after all, and the Barracuda was his private property!

After setting everything up, Ves laid down on his bed and let the automated feeding system scan and connect to his body.
Only until he triple-checked the diagnostics of the device did he move on to the next step.

He activated his Privacy Shield before engaging the System.
He immediately entered the Skill Tree and sought out the Mastery he desired to acquire.

[Hero Mech Mastery I]: 80,000 DP

Ves almost puked out blood at the price.
”You greedy System! Why does this Mastery cost twice as much as the others?! ”

Like usual, the System didn ’t deign to answer his question.

In fact, Ves knew it was futile to complain.
The System charged more for every Mastery related to more complex mech types.

”I hope it doesn ’t last longer just because it ’s more expensive. ”

With his ample reserves of DP, Ves could still stomach the doubling in price, even if it left a foul taste in his mouth.

”You ’re getting greedier and greedier, System! ”

With no other choice, Ves confirmed his purchase.

The System ’s interface quickly faded away.
As Ves laid down on his bunk hooked up to a feeding machine, invisible hooks quickly latched onto his consciousness and dragged it through a portal that led to the past!

As Ves ’ mental consciousness endured the ravages of this extremely incomprehensive mode of travel, he tried his best to retain his wits.
He needed to be ready to hide his presence in the mind of his next host!

After what seemed like hours, the System finally deposited his consciousness in the mind of a stranger!

The sudden entry caused the host to jump.

”Is there something amiss, Mr.
Axelar? ”

”No, Benny.
I think I ’ve spent too long without a dose.
Can you hit me up again? ”

”As you will, sir. ”

A sturdy bodyguard-like figure withdrew a sophisticated syringe and pressed the soft tip against Mr.
Axelar ’s neck.
A quick injection later, a flood of chemical euphoria flooded the young highborn ’s mind!

Having just entered Mr.
Axelar ’s mind, Ves ’ consciousness almost became swept by the rush of artificial pleasure emanating from all around!

”Goddammit! ” He inwardly screamed.
”Of all the candidates that the System could put me into, it chose a junkie of all people! ”

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