eractive imagination, he failed to come up with a compelling idea.
Ves figured he had spent enough time on his project and needed a break in order to gain inspiration.

He frowned and rubbed his forehead.
”Although I have to design my rifleman mech as fast as possible, I can ’t rush the creative process.
I have to set a solid vision before I proceed with the next steps.
If my starting point is flawed, the rest of my work will go astray.
I can ’t let that happen! ”

Since he temporarily halted his work on his project, Ves looked for other ways to keep himself busy.
His thoughts quickly wandered to a latent danger that he ’d been neglecting for a couple of days.

”I still haven ’t done anything about the Ancient Sarcophagus. ” He frowned.

It cost the equivalent of 20 billion credits for Finlay to obtain Item #1255 on his behalf.
Stalling his investigation of the red crystalline coffin for so long was starting to get ridiculous!

”I can ’t outrun my fears forever! ”

The apprehension he felt towards the Ancient Sarcophagus continued to build up during the time he spent on his latest design project.
Just as he predicted, it became harder and harder for him to think about trying to investigate the weird alien artifact.

”I ’m running out of time.
If I continue to stall, I ’ll reach a point where I ’m unable to bring myself to approach this coffin! ”

Something weird was taking place! Ves didn ’t believe his psychological fear emerged organically.
He heavily suspected that the Ancient Sarcophagus deliberately influenced his mentality!

”Is this the reason why its previous owners put it up for auction? ” He mused.
”Hardly any treasure hunters are willing to let go of such a fantastic find under ordinary circumstances. ”

Though Ves held fears like any humans, he also valued his courage.
Since when did he let an unknown risk hold him back from pursuing greater benefits? His current attitude towards the Ancient Sarcophagus did not match his ordinary mindset!

Ves slammed his desk with his fist.
”It ’s decided! I ’ll start my investigation today! No more stalling! ”

He rose from his desk, picked up Lucky and immediately left his stateroom with Nitaa quietly on his heels.
He hastily marched towards the vault of the Barracuda and entered it after passing all of the security measures.

Once inside, he turned towards Nitaa.
”What I ’m about to do might be dangerous.
Try to refrain from intervening unless I call for help or if I look really bad, is that clear? ”

His bodyguard didn ’t look pleased.
”If you ’re about to investigate the Ancient Sarcophagus, I highly suggest you wait.
There is hardly any crew on hand on the Barracuda who can help you if anything goes wrong.
We don ’t have a doctor, which is what I consider the minimum of what is necessary to guard against accidents. ”

”I can ’t wait that long. ” Ves dismissively waved his hand and turned away.
”Besides, if I ever sustain an injury during this investigation, a doctor won ’t be able to treat my wounds. ”

Ves strongly believed that his investigation amounted to a contest of spirit.

Since that was the case, he needed to rely on spiritual means in order to succeed.
Before he drew out the Ancient Sarcophagus, he first drew out his spiritual lockbox.

Contained within sat a P-stone which he recently started dumping his excess spiritual energy every day.
After several days of accumulation, it held a decent reserve of backup energy which Ves could draw upon in case he fell up short.

Alongside the P-stone, he also drew out his sole F-stone from his vault.
He had been refraining from doing anything to the F-stone because he only possessed a single sample of this spiritually-reactive exotic.

Its ability to augment his spiritual energy with a charge and an extra offensive attribute might come in handy if things went awry.

Lastly, he drew out the Ancient Sarcophagus, though currently it rested inside a container.
Ves moved all of the objects he drew out from the vault and brought them to the Barracuda ’s lab compartment.

Once there, Ves drew out the Ancient Sarcophagus from its container and placed it in a shielded chamber.

With his P-Stone, B-Stone and F-Stone within reach, Ves believed he prepared enough tools for his upcoming operation.

After exchanging one long look with Nitaa, Ves settled down on his chair with Lucky hovering nearby and began to concentrate his mind.

As soon as he settled in the right mode, he began to observe the Ancient Sarcophagus with his spiritual vision.

It looked as bright, warm and active as ever.
While Ves did not perceive any increased activity since last time, his inexplicable fear towards the strange object had abruptly grown more pronounced.

The more he looked at the coffin, the more his intuition starting blaring alarms.

Something incredibly dangerous rested inside the coffin! Ves might regret it if he tried to peek inside!

”Ah, whatever! I ’m a Larkinson! I ’ve never been afraid to take a little risk! Let ’s go! ”

Instead of letting his fears and doubts wear down his determination to investigate the Ancient Sarcophagus, he decisively pulled the trigger and sent extended a powerful spiritual projection towards the alien object.

The only way to defeat the fear of the unknown was to shed its veil of secrecy and cast a light on the truth!

As soon as his spiritual projection encountered the red crystal, Ves immediately felt the familiar sensation of becoming mired in a swamp.
The exterior material of the crystal coffin reminded him of the murky sensation of trying to pass his spiritual projection through a thin layer of B-stone.

Nonetheless, unlike a genuine B-stone, the red crystal did not block spiritual energy as effectively.

His spiritual projection continued to sink through the red crystal material.
The further it reached, the more he began to sense an uncomfortable spiritual sensation.

Though the crystal material substantially dampened his spiritual senses, he nonetheless detected that something deep inside was beginning to stir…

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