As Ves began to process his sample of Synthra Umbra, it became clear why people regarded it as a high-grade exotic.

Ves couldn ’t glean anything from scanning the sample of Synthra Umbra! Not even his Vulcaneye multiscanner could ascertain anything from its internal structure! At most, it captured a few unimportant details that his naked eye could already determine by themselves!

”Its effects are passive and constantly active. ”

Not only that, but the sensor-blocking effect was very strong in its most concentrated form.
If Ves built an entire vault made out of Synthra Umbra, then he would have created a panic room that was strong enough to escape the detection from nearly any scanners except those that incorporated first-class technology and materials!

The sample he gained was not enough to create something so luxurious.
Fortunately, Synthra Umbra was fairly easy to work with.
Drawing on a couple of techniques from his knowledge base, he processed the raw material into malleable and flexible fibers.

While the fibers he made were rather thin and fragile, Ves threaded them together into strings with the help of a machine.
Once he finished this step, he weaved the threads into cloth.

Though he screwed up a few times and wasted a portion of the valuable materials, at the end of his labor he produced enough cloth to form various articles of clothing.

”Still, I can ’t create an entire ensemble of clothing with this much cloth. ” He muttered as he stared at the natural black cloth that seemed to suck in the light.

After performing some calculations, he eventually came up with a plan to optimize his available Synthra Umbra cloth as much as possible.

”One underlayer vacsuit.
One pair of underwear.
One form-fitting cover that matches the dimensions of a shield generator. ”

Ves could only manage to divide his available cloth in making three products.
The latter two didn ’t take up a lot of cloth, but the underlayer vacsuit he wanted to make would use up most of his materials.

In truth, he contemplated fashioning a cloak that would complement his Pride of Dusk outfit.
However, after some thought, his overcoat already functioned as a sufficient outer layer.
Adding a cloak on top of that would look far too pretentious.

”The main advantage of an underlayer vacsuit is that I can wear it in almost every instance, while a cloak is only really suited when I ’m outdoors. ”

Wearing a billowing and stylish cloak might look cool, but it would get in the way if he ever spent his time in a lab, workshop or manufacturing facility.

Having made his choice, Ves began to fashion the cloth into three new products.
While he wasn ’t a tailor by any means, he took some crash-courses on the subject and let his workshop machines do most of the work on his behalf.

Ves had no pretensions that he could match the craftsmanship of a trained and experienced tailor like the old man who made his Pride of Dusk ensemble.

”Not everything needs to be special. ” He muttered as he supervised one of the machines that was in the process of sewing together different pieces of cloth.
”Sometimes, just obtaining something that does the job is enough. ”

In any case, he soon completed the products.
Both the smaller articles were made of pure Synthra Umbra.
As for the larger article, Ves made use of one of his own spare vacsuits and merely added an extra layer on top of it.
This allowed him to retain some of its more advanced functions while still benefiting from whole-body sensor shielding.

Once he slipped in his new underwear and vacsuit before donning his regular clothes, he hardly felt its presence.
However, when he pointed his Vulcaneye and some of the other scanners in his lab at himself, he collected much less data than before!

At the very least, no one was able to ascertain any details about his internal organs! The only exception was his head and hands when his vacsuit was in its dormant state.
Only when he commanded it to unfold and cover up his head and the rest of his body into an airtight seal did he manage to defeat most scanners.

The less sophisticated scanners detected nothing.
It was as if he simply wasn ’t there.

However, the more discerning ones at least identified the presence of a man-shaped anomaly in his place.
It couldn ’t be helped as his very presence displaced the air, blocked radiation and other signals, and exerted weight on the ground.

This meant that the utility of his Synthra Umbra vacsuit couldn ’t be used as a replacement for a genuine infiltrator suit.

”True stealth systems are always active systems.
They perform many tricks to mitigate as many loopholes as possible. ”

Still, even if his Synthra Umbra vacsuit could only play an assisting role as best if he ever wanted to escape pursuit, they still performed their primary function.

Nothing could look inside his body anymore!

His vacsuit perfectly covered the unusual Jutland organ and the nearly undetectable energy that circulated inside his chest.

It also hid the changes sparked by his gene treatments and Attribute Candy consumption.

In fact, the slight padding of his Synthra Umbra vacsuit also did wonders in hiding his exact body contours.
This would help him defeat any means of matching his exact body shape when he didn ’t want to be tracked while out in public.

”No matter what, wearing this vacsuit is very useful! There ’s almost no reason for me to leave it in the closet! ”

If someone wanted to scan him because he wanted to get past a secure checkpoint or something, he could easily bear with the inconvenience of removing his Synthra Umbra vacsuit.

The point was that others were only allowed to scan him if he allowed them to! Without his consent or knowledge, no one could gain any meaningful data of what was inside his vacsuit.

Ves smirked.
”That counts double for Gloriana! ”

The reason why he fashioned some of his valuable Synthra Umbra into a pair of underwear was because he wanted some extra insurance!

If Gloriana ever attempted to scan him with a high-powered scanner, then his augmented underwear at least served as an unanticipated surprise!

”Hehehe. ” He grinned.
”This is the first time I truly feel I ’ve regained my privacy now. ”

To be fair, his stateroom and his lab compartments were already pretty secure.
The overhauls planned by Crindon and him prioritized disconnecting as many unnecessary monitoring systems from them as possible.

Along with the implementations of controls that manually disconnected various cables to isolate a compartment completely from the ship, no one should ever be able to hijack a sensor feed in the affected area no matter what kind of backdoors they used!

Unfortunately, the overhaul stopped short from extending this protection to the rest of the ship.
The Barracuda was simply too interconnected and automated for that to happen.

This was why Ves had no problem with wearing his Synthra Umbra vacsuit inside his ship.
In fact, he should probably get used to wearing it all the time.

”Fortunately, it doesn ’t take much time or effort to clean.
I can just dump it into a washing machine while I shower. ”

Though Ves spent an inordinate amount of time and effort on something that most people simply didn ’t bother with, he truly valued this new addition.

Once he became satisfied with his new Synthra Umbra vacsuit and underwear, he turned his attention to the third product he made.

He took the sleeve and carefully wrapped it around his second shield generator.
After that, he wore it underneath his clothes.

”By now, it should be public knowledge that I ’m always wearing a shield generator.
Even if someone attempted to use a powerful scanner to confirm this, there ’s no way that anyone will be able to detect my second shield generator! ”

Ves really liked what he did.
Considering his adventurous life so far, people were bound to send hitmen after him.
For some reason, people really didn ’t like him and wanted him dead.

He truly didn ’t know why.

”I haven ’t done anything to merit this treatment! I ’m just a mech designer! ” He lamented.

In any case, after an entire week of crafting, his new gear significantly increased his sense of security.
To protect himself, he always emphasized stealth and protection measures.

While he was no slouch in terms of firepower with the Amastendira, he preferred to leave the fighting to his guards and his mech escorts.

Once Ves finished basking in the glow of his new additions, he rubbed his hands and exited to the lab and headed to the vault compartment.

Nitaa and Lucky both followed after him like ceremonial bodyguards.

Once they entered the vault, Ves gazed at the locked containers that held his new prizes.

”Where should I begin? ”

Lucky approached one of the lockboxes strewn on a table and sat on it as if it was his throne.
His tail swished back and forth in anticipation.

”Meow meow. ”

”Are you serious? Don ’t you know how rare and valuable they are? Aren ’t you happy with your current diet? ”

”Meow! ”

Ves sighed in defeat.
”Yeah, I remember.
I did promise to surrender a P-stone to you if I get more samples. ”

Currently, he possessed six P-stones.
Each of them expanded his excess spiritual energy storage capacity, which was very important to sustain his long-term spiritual activities.
They also served as adequate containers of spiritual entities, saving him from giving up a portion of his own mind to host a potentially uncooperative guest.

”Goddammit. ”

He hated the thought of giving up any P-stone.
However, when he faced the hopeful expression of his cat, he couldn ’t muster up an argument to defer his promise.

”Okay! Just pick one! ”

”Meow! ”

Lucky already inspected each of the six P-stones and made his choice.
Surprisingly, Lucky wanted to gobble up the very first P-stone that Ves had obtained.

What made the first P-stone different from the other ones was that Zeigra ’s surviving spirituality spent some time in it.
Was this the reason why Lucky preferred it over the other P-stones?

”Do you want to become a tiger or something? ”

”Meow. ”

”C ’mon.
Don ’t pick my first P-stone.
Pick one of the newer ones instead! ”

His first P-stone was the most memorable one in his collection! Despite its unremarkable appearance, Ves possessed an emotional attachment to it.
He really didn ’t want to lose the first spiritually-reactive exotic he obtained in his life.

After a bit of haranging, Ves managed to get his grumpy cat to settle with his second P-stone.
Zeigra ’s spirituality spent a brief moment of time inside, so there might be some traces left of the Crown Cat ’s presence.

”Meow! ”

”This is the best you ’re going to get! I ’m not changing my mind! ”

Though Lucky meowed a few more times, he eventually got over the refusal and began to dive into the lockbox after Ves opened it up.
Just like with the spent battery, Lucky slowly nibbled at the bronze-green metallic P-stone like it was a gourmet meal.

”Is it yummy, Lucky? ”

”Meow. ”

”Hopefully, you ’ll grow stronger, then! ”

Though Ves dearly wanted to hoard his P-stones, he didn ’t object to sharing a sample to Lucky if he got something in return.
If Lucky managed to assimilate the properties of the P-stone, then he was willing to reduce his collection.

As Ves observed Lucky getting lost in his own reality, he found it rather fascinating that Lucky, Zeigra and the Devil Tiger all shared something in common.

”All three of you are gluttonous cats! ”

As Lucky ignored his words, Ves simply shook his head and turned away.

”You better produce a gem for this! You ’ve been freeloading from me for a long time! ”

Though Lucky never explained why he stopped producing gems, Ves already formed his own answer.

Lucky was no longer able to produce low-value gems with minor effects.
Eating cheap and low-grade exotics only served to sate his appetite and nothing else.

If Ves wanted to put his gem cat to good use, then he needed to feed his pet a diet of higher-value exotics!

Though the price was high, the rewards were high as well! If Ves could obtain another batch of gems comparable to the likes of the Ardent Wish or the Sin of Altrium, he ’d be able to empower his most important custom mechs!

More importantly than that, each use of a high-value gem represented an increased chance of crafting another masterwork mech!

”Masterwork! ” He clenched his fist.
”Even if I can ’t take credit for my first attempt, now that I know I ’m capable of reaching this height, I can definitely repeat this feat! ”

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