Back aboard the Barracuda, Ves was exploring something new as well.
After several days of ignoring its presence, he finally decided to tackle the Ancient Sarcophagus.

After passing his Spirituality through the odd hindrance of the red crystal substance, he began to approach an unknown entity held within.

The closer his spiritual presence neared the unknown entity, the greater the pressure he felt.
Ves got the impression that the entity resting in the center of the coffin was not entirely awake.

”It ’s..
different from a living entity. ”

Compared to the liveliness and vividness of Zeigra ’s spirituality, the strange and partially-obscured presence locked within the Ancient Sarcophagus was like a sleeping giant that only revealed a hint of its shadow.

Ves began to consider whether it was a good idea to probe deeper.
The strength he sensed up ahead only revealed a hint of its prowess, but already his intuition was ringing tons of alarms.

The problem he faced was whether he could trust his intuition.
Ordinarily, he always trusted in his intuition.

However, he didn ’t dare to do so this time.
Ever since he suspected that an outside influence was affecting his emotions, who knew whether his intuition could still be relied upon.

”I have to move forward. ” He whispered to himself.

The only way to defeat the unknown was to lift the veil that obscured the truth!

His sluggish spiritual projection continued to worm its way deeper into the Ancient Sarcophagus.
As soon as it reached the area which held the frozen alien body, it finally came in touch with the dormant spiritual presence locked within.

Ves sensed a formless presence.

A presence that slept.

Sleeping for eons.

Until it perceived a disturbance.

Its rest was disturbed.

The presence slowly perceived an intrusion.

An unwelcome entity had disturbed its rest.

The presence began to waken some more.

The strength it exuded rose rapidly.

Ves widened his eyes.

Lucky meowed in alarm and activated his energy claws.

A sleeping spiritual giant awoke, and became incredibly angry!

”Uh… perhaps I acted too hastily. ”

As soon as he decided to pull his spiritual projection back, the entity residing within the Ancient Sarcophagus released an alien transmission that could only be heard through spiritual means!

Ves perceived a jumble of alien words and concepts! Though he failed to understand the meaning behind the transmission, he still managed to perceive the underlying emotions attached to the message.

The entity resting within the Ancient Sarcophagus was angry! Angry at being disturbed! Angry that its recovery had been interrupted! Angry that some puny lifeform had the temerity to claim its resting place!

The punishment for disturbing its rest was death!

”Ah! ” Ves cried and pressed his hand against his head!

The massive spiritual entity hiding inside the Ancient Sarcophagus began to savage his spiritual projection!

”No! ”

Once it realized that the intruder was only an extension of someone else ’s spirituality, the alien presence began to capture it and hijack its connection to the source!

Ves instantly balked in horror as he felt his spiritual projection was being coopted! The connection between his mind and his projection became a guide for the alien spiritual entity!

Soon enough, a spiritual sledgehammer hit his mind! Ves screamed as he felt as if something had cracked!

The strength of the impact finally allowed him to gauge the previously dormant entity ’s strength.
Though the alien spiritual entity hadn ’t fully roused itself from its slumber, the force of its spiritual attack already exceeded the strength level of an expert pilot!

In fact, the power he sensed was comparable to that of Qilanxo!

”I ’ve disturbed an entity that ’s as strong as an ace pilot! ”

The only reason why his mind hadn ’t crumbled entirely was because the alien entity was still in the process of waking up.
More and more of its strength came alive as the entity reared back for a second attack!

At that instance, Ves quickly diverted some of his concentration to his surroundings.
He quickly located the lockbox made of B-stone and hastily picked it up.
He oriented its opening and slipped the lockbox over his head like a makeshift helmet!

The second strike threatened to crack the defenses of his mind.
Yet before it hit, the attack first hit the side of his B-stone lockbox!

Though Ves looked absolutely ridiculous right now with a square, black ’helmet ’ over his head, his quick thinking saved him from an attack that potentially shattered the defenses of his mind!

The second strike encountered so much hindrance in trying to pass through the layers of B-stone that it lost a lot of strength and momentum by the time it managed to pass through the dampening material.

The force that finally struck his mind only whacked him with a moderate instead of an overwhelming amount of force!

”Ng! ”

It still hurt, though! The exterior of his mind already suffered some cracks due to the initial attack.
Every subsequent bump threatened to compound the damage.

Despite the protection provided by his B-stone helmet, the rain of attacks that followed afterwards continued to degrade his defenses!

Soon, it would crack or shatter, which would lead to unpredictable results!

Though Ves tried his best to retreat, he found out that he was stuck! The hostile alien presence hijacked the spiritual projection he inserted into the Ancient Sarcophagus and kept hold of it in order to keep him in place!

Since Ves couldn ’t retrieve his spiritual projection, he tried to cut it off.
However, he failed as the alien entity reinforced the connection!

”It isn ’t working! ”

In order to buy more time, he frantically diverted his spiritual energy into the defenses of his mind.
While he managed to heal some of the cracks, the attacks that continued to rail against his mind continued to inflict more damage.

”Damnit! I can ’t run and defending will only delay the inevitable! ”

He had to change his tack! Though his opponent was extremely formidable if he tried to resist it by himself, he hadn ’t forgotten about his preparations!

Though the B-stone lockbox placed on his head was blocking his sight, he nonetheless managed to blindly grasp at two exotics he prepared beforehand!

He placed one hand on his partially-charged P-stone and another hand on his only F-stone!

The P-stone possessed a few days worth of excess spiritual energy.
Ves desperately tapped the energy locked within to stem his rapid depletion.
With an extra source of spiritual energy, he managed to buy some valuable time for himself!

As for the F-stone, Ves briefly hesitated in using it.
Though Ves did not believe its properties were dangerous to him, he never fully tested out its abilities.

This was because the F-stone only contained a finite amount of charged energy! Once he used that up, he had no way of recharging it! He already tried to insert his spiritual energy in the F-stone to see whether it replenished its energy, but nothing happened!

”This isn ’t time to be stingy! ” He admonished himself.
”Who cares about a unique F-stone when my very mind is at stake! ”

He no longer hesitated and drew deeply on his F-stone.
A strong charge entered his body and mind before fusing with his loose spiritual energy.
The external charge imparted his spiritual energy with a strong offensive attribute that became more and more pronounced as Ves drew out more of the F-stone reserves!

It pained Ves enormously to use up so much of his F-stone ’s charge.
He estimated that he drew around fifteen percent of its total charge by the time his spiritual energy became saturated.
He was unable to draw out anything more from his F-stone as his spiritual energy simply couldn ’t accommodate anything more!

”This is the time to strike! ”

Though his spiritual energy was depleting at a worrying rate, he decisively formed another spiritual projection in the shape of a sharp and deathly knife.
Due to the charge it acquired, its ’sharpness ’ and other offensive qualities had become a lot greater than Ves could ever manage to impart by himself!

Unlike the alien spiritual entity which mindlessly continued to press its attack through the dampening material of his B-stone lockbox, Ves directed his spiritual knife downwards from his head through his neck.
Only until his spiritual knife extended from the interior of his lockbox did he reorient his knife towards the Ancient Sarcophagus.

”Attack! ”

With as much force as he could muster, he propelled his spiritual knife forward! As soon as it reached the red crystal exterior, it began to encounter some hindrance.

However, the knife was not deterred! Its strong offensive quality allowed it to cut through the spiritual morass without bleeding too much energy!

Like a hot knife through butter, Ves pressed the sharp spiritual projection through the red crystal substance.
Within seconds, it arrived at the site where the alien entity captured his first spiritual projection!

”CUT! ”

Ves wielded his spiritual knife with haste and desperation.
As soon as his attack encountered the wakening spiritual presence, the spiritual blade managed to make a cut with some difficulty!

”AAH! ”

The injured spiritual entity roared with pain! It transmitted a barrage of spiritual messages, though Ves completely failed to understand their meaning!

”Shut up, you stupid relic of the past! ”

Seeing that his first attack had managed to damage the spiritual entity, he continued to make additional cuts.
Though the wounds were fairly shallow in comparison to the formidable spiritual entity ’s size, Ves was not attacking it at random!

Instead, he cut the portion of the alien entity that grabbed hold of his hijacked spiritual projection.

Cut followed after cut as Ves continued to damage the area of the spiritual entity which had captured a piece of himself!

The offensive attribute imparted to his spiritual knife grew weaker after every attack.
Each cut that followed after the last one began to inflict less and less damage.

However, Ves didn ’t worry about his weakening attacks because Ves managed to cut loose an entire portion of the alien spiritual entity!


A formless scream without any obvious meaning emanated from the Ancient Sarcophagus! This time, its outburst was so powerful that even Nitaa managed to perceive the cry!

The attacks raining down on Ves had paused as the alien spiritual entity convulsed in agony as it abruptly lost a fundamental piece of itself!

Ves took advantage of the reprieve by retrieving both his initial spiritual projection and his second spiritual projection in the form of a knife! Not only did he retrieve his spiritual projections, he also dragged his spoils from the wounded alien entity!

Before he returned his spiritual projections to his mind, he hastily processed the wiggling and resisting spiritual fragment he cut loose.

”There ’s no way I ’m going to host it in my own mind! ”

He pressed the fragment into his P-stone.
Ves had already drained it of all of the excess spiritual energy he previously stored inside.
Now that his spiritual piggy bank was empty of anything of value, he did not hesitate in forcing the violently-wiggling spiritual fragment inside!

Unfortunately, the spiritual fragment continued to resist its capture! Not only did it strain against his attempts to keep it in place, it also summoned up enough strength to overcome the suction force of the P-stone that attempted to keep the fragment in its embrace!

”I have no choice, then! ”

Ves quickly removed the B-stone lockbox from his head and quickly dumped his occupied P-stone inside.
Once he closed it up, he carefully studied the lockbox for a few seconds but sensed nothing leaking out.

Combining the strengths of his P-stone and B-stone was enough to keep this rebellious alien spiritual fragment in place!

Ves knew that spiritual fragments cut off from a greater whole still shared a connection between them.
The strength of this connection varied, but stronger entities generally maintained a stronger grip on their spiritual fragments.

However, the B-stone lockbox interfered with this connection! Though it hadn ’t disappeared entirely, the alien entity was unable to divert additional strength to its spiritual fragment!

As soon as Ves completed this maneuver, he took the lockbox and F-stone and rapidly escaped the lab.

”Nitaa! Let ’s go! It ’s too dangerous here right now! ”

Though she was confused at what was happening, she didn ’t object to the command.

As soon as they ran halfway across the interior of the Barracuda, Ves, finally slowed down.

”This should be far enough. ” He judged.
”We ’re out of the danger zone, I think. ”

Though the entity residing inside the Ancient Sarcophagus was incredibly formidable, Ves managed to discover something important while he cut loose a spiritual fragment.

For some reason, the alien spiritual entity was anchored to the center of the crystal coffin! It was unable to exert the majority of its spiritual strength!

Ves bet that the entity trapped within the coffin could only lash out in the immediate vicinity.
The further the entity exerted its strength, the more the Ancient Sarcophagus weakened its attempts!

”It ’s not a sarcophagus! ” He abruptly realized as he straightened his thoughts.
”It ’s a prison! ”

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