have expressed an interest in treating Mr.
Larkinsons fairly as well. ”

Ves turned his attention to the Protector guard captain who stood at the side.
He seemed to be holding a private comm call with his superiors.
After the call ended, the man stepped forward.

”Director Cecily is correct.
I have been informed that the Kronon Dynasty wishes to ensure that Mr.
Larkinson is to be treated with dignity and respect! ”

The underlying meaning was obvious.
Both the Curin and Kronon Dynasty threw their support behind Ves.
While the Ylvainan Inquisition could still ignore their objections due to the severity of the accussations they brought forward, their own mother organizations reined them in! High Inquisitor Poxco just learned that he lost much of his power!

”Let us discuss what will happen with Mr.
Larkinson and his work while he is taken into custody. ” Calabast suggested.

The three representatives of the three leading dynasties gathered together to hash out the messy situation.
Ves tried to listen in but Calabast had already activated her signal jammer.

Five minutes later, the three separated.
Xefin Lin Poxco looked as if his entire day had been ruined as he turned his attention back to his target.

Please come with us.
You will be taken to a secure villa that is jointly guarded by the Ylvainan Inquisition and the Protectors of the Faith.
There, you will wait until your case is brought up to the local tribunal. ”

Ves looked at Calabast, who nodded.
”It ’s okay.
The Protectors of the Faith will make sure that nothing will go amiss. ”

”Are you sure? ”

”I ’m sure.
Trust me on this.
The inquisition aren ’t allowed to bring out their thumb screws while you ’re in custody.
Just surrender quietly and don ’t give them a reason to curtail the privileges I ’ve secured for you at great cost. ”

This compromise solution sounded a lot better than ending up in the sole custody of the inquisition.

”Very well, director.
I will trust you this once. ”

Upon High Inquisitor Poxco ’s nod, the junior inquisitors stepped forward and strip-searched Ves.
Their hands and their sensors swept over his business attire, sniffing out his comm and the handful of tools and gadgets he stuffed in his pockets.

Once they became assured that Ves no longer carried anything on his body but his clothes, they shackled his wrists together with solid manacles made out of compressed alloy.

The Ylvainan Inquisition really didn ’t want Ves to escape!

A handful of Protector guards joined the inquisitors as they calmly escorted their captive to their shuttle.

As Ves was being guided out of the workshop, he turned around and saw to his relief that Ketis and Lucky had been entirely neglected during this whole spat.

Calabast stood close to Ketis and whispered some words to her.
Ves counted on the spy to keep the younger woman safe and out of the reach of the inquisition.

The shuttle took him to a guarded villa in the outskirts of Krent.
Ves saw a couple of mechs bearing the colors and markings of the Inquisition surrounding the entire site.

Mechs dispatched by the Kronon Dynasty were also arriving.
They walked in from several directions and seemed to crowd out the mechs of the inquisition!

With the Protectors of the Faith out in strength, the Ylvainan Inquisition wouldn ’t dare act improperly!

As Ves settled inside the plain and largely-empty villa, he waited for someone to give him an explanation.
A few hours passed by until Calabast arrived at the villa and managed to force the inquisition to allow her to meet with the captive.

”You ’re in a lot of trouble, Ves. ” She said while raising her finger in a strange gesture.

The gesture warned him that the entire villa was under constant monitoring.
Everything they said and every reaction or fluctuation in their bodies would be scrutinized by the inquisition.
They would definitely use the evidence they gathered to reinforce their accusations!

Understanding this, Ves decided to don the image of innocence as his mask.
Although it wasn ’t flawless, at least it suppressed his unconscious body language from giving away his guilt.

”I ’m innocent! ” He said emphatically.
”Whatever the inquisition accuses me of, it ’s false! ”

”I know. ” Calabast lied.
”You were nowhere close to the grand cathedral while the relic went missing.
However, the Ylvainan Inquisition claim that even if you haven ’t yanked the relic from the grand cathedral, they are convinced that you are definitely related to the theft. ”

”What is their proof? ” He asked.

”In order to justify your arrest to the Curins and Kronons, the Ylvainan Inquisition has revealed they have found microscopic particles that used to be part of the holy relic during a routine search of your room at the guest compound.
The particles they found underwent multiple lab tests owned by different factions.
Each of them have matched the particles to the nutrient pack wrapper that went missing. ”

Damnit! Ves didn ’t think the inquisition would snoop around in his room so thoroughly! Even though Lucky ate the entire holy relic, some minute portions must have spilled out of his mouth or something!

Next time, Lucky should close his mouth while he chewed! And he should also use a plate while eating! Letting remnants of his food spill onto the floor was bad hygiene!

Ves maintained his innocent act.
”I don ’t know where those particles came from, madame.
For all I know, someone or something sneaked into my room and dropped a few crumbs.
I ’m being framed! ”

”I believe you, but proving that will be difficult.
You should be aware that this is the first clue we ’ve found that could lead us back to the missing relic! Many Ylvainans will side with the inquisition, giving them ample support for them to find you guilty regardless of the questions we raise in front of the upcoming tribunal! ”

In other words, regardless of whether the proof was adequate or not, the inquisition could still condemn Ves as long as they had the public on their side!

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