William fell silent as the chamber kept pressing him down to the floor.
The trapped mech pilot no longer shouted threats and obscenities, whether in standard or alien language.

It was almost disturbing to see him so still.
He might actually be dead if not for the instruments transmitting William ’s active life signals!

Ves stood silent in the observation chamber as his eyes continued to sear at William ’s prone body.
He wasn ’t watching his test subject with his normal vision right now.
He wasn ’t even employing his spiritual vision.

In order to examine William ’s spirituality to the finest degree, he directly employed his spiritual senses.

Right now, over sixty percent of William ’s spirituality possessed a different imprint.
Nyxie had wiped away the original imprints and replaced them with his own, all through relying on indirect contamination!

This was a highly advanced application that Ves was pretty sure he could never replicate.

Nonetheless, he took a lot of inspiration from all of the means that Nyxie displayed today.
As long as Ves digested them, he might be able to improve his ability to manipulate other people ’s spiritualities in the future.

For now, Ves needed to tackle the immediate problem.
What was he supposed to do?

He knew he had to remove Nyxie ’s imprint.
The problem with doing it straight away was that Ves wasn ’t sure what would happen next.

Would William be able to reclaim what he lost by expanding his imprint into the territory that Ves liberated from Nyxie ’s clutches?

”Well, let ’s try. ”

Ves summoned up a spiritual projection and brought it forward to William ’s mind.
He began to employ it as a surgery tool, using it to gently wipe away the imprint left by Nyxie.

”It ’s more difficult than I thought. ”

Nyxie ’s imprint was not that easy to remove! It possessed its own intrinsic strength and will and actively resisted any casual attempts to weaken its presence!

Ves felt as if he was trying to rub away a stain on his shirt!

Seeing as his strength was insufficient, Ves reinforced his spiritual projection by pumping it with more spiritual energy.
He began to employ a bit more power in his actions.

Though he risked the possibility of harming or outright breaking William ’s spiritual potential, he finally achieved some results!

”It ’s working! ”

Nyxie in his prime would have easily been able to endure against anything Ves could throw at him, but only a very minute portion of the alien ’s total strength had transferred over to William.

As high-quality as it appears to be, its quantity was wholly insufficient.

The only problem was that William ’s spirituality showed signs of heavy strain.
If Ves applied too much force, then the consequences would be imaginable.

Ves wasn ’t sure what would happen if William ’s spirituality shattered into pieces.
Death or becoming comatose were very real possibilities.

Personally, Ves believed the most likely outcome was that William would just suffer some mental damage while becoming spiritually crippled.

Ves didn ’t believe that anyone could regain their spiritual potential once they lost it.
The only way to salvage the situation was for Ves to find out a way to allow a spiritually-insensitive norm to gain spiritual potential.

This was incredibly hard.
While Ves hadn ’t performed much research in this area, with his current understanding of spirituality, he believed it wasn ’t something he could do at this stage!

It was much easier to work with someone who already possessed spiritual potential.
THat was why Ves paid so much attention to hiring people like Nitaa, the Ingvars and so on.

While it wasn ’t guaranteed that they would be able to make use of their potential, at least the possibility existed.

Ves acted carefully in removing the alien imprint.
It became easier when he continued to make more progress.
As Nyxie ’s grip on William ’s spirituality weakened, his imprint ’s resistance lessened.

Everything depended on power!

After a tense few minutes, Ves finally managed to remove every trade of Nyxie inside William ’s spirituality.

Now, a part of William had become ownerless, for a lack of better word.
The spiritual attributes introduced by Nyxie suddenly became detached from their source.

Normally, someone with different spiritual attributes wouldn ’t be able to merge with them.
Otherwise, Ves would have already tried to accelerate the growth of his own Spirituality Attribute by plundering the spiritual energy of other entities.

The attributes had to match.
That was the rule he discovered.

In fact, Ves believed it wasn ’t that simple and that more rules were at work that prevented someone from absorbing spiritual energy willy-nilly.

However, this was a special case.
The spiritual attributes and imprint had changed very recently.
Since spiritual energy was basically related to life, Ves bet that it retained a connection to its old state.

Of course, the most important reason why this was different was that the ownerless portion was still a part of William ’s spirituality!

The parts that Nyxie temporarily took over hadn ’t separated from William.
Instead, both of their spiritualities remained a single whole as they warred over control.

Ves believed that this was the final step to accomplishing his goal.

If this method succeeded, then he would have another technique under his belt.
He called it spiritual attribute contamination.

”Well, let ’s see if it works. ”

William ’s spirituality had sustained severe damage.
William himself was half-comatose from all of the trauma he went through.

In addition, as a pathetic coward, William was incapable of launching any attacks.
The most he could do was to hunker down and delay the inevitable.

Getting this fellow ’s spirituality to attack and reclaim the ownerless portion did not succeed.
The parts that Nyxie took over may have converted some of William ’s cowardly attributes into different ones, but there was plenty of cowardice left.

Ves did not expect to be able to remove every trace of William ’s fears.
It was already good enough to take a large bite of it so that it was much less dominant in the mech pilot ’s spirituality.

Fear was something that every human possessed.
Fear was so intrinsic to William that Ves was afraid that William ’s spirituality might not even be able to connect anymore with the mind it came from.
A certain degree of fit still needed to be present.

”The results so far are already sufficient. ”

What Ves actually aimed for was transforming a part of William ’s spiritual attributes.
Now, over sixty percent of them had been changed into a mixture that conformed to the partially-purified spiritual mote.

That meant that about half of William ’s spirituality now consisted of attributes related to tyranny, dominance, arrogance, confidence and other such descriptors.

As long as they matched or exceeded the strength of William���s cowardice, then a state of balance could be achieved.

William would no longer be a coward.
However, he also wouldn ’t become a tyrannical monster.
He ’d be… someone different.
Someone in between.

The only complication was that a few alien attributes had also slipped in.
This might introduce some anomalies, but not too much as their presence was rather small.

Hopefully, William wouldn ’t be spurting alien words from his mouth anytime soon.
Such an incident might put Ves in an awkward spot.

Ves continued to work on his test subject ’s spirituality.
After applying various means, he finally forced William ’s imprint to expand on the recently-vacated portions.

Since they originally belonged to William and was still a part of his spirituality, his imprint expanded with only minor issues.

Obviously, William was reluctant to inherit completely new spiritual attributes.
Ves continually had to force the process along.

At the end of it, Ves sighed in relief.
He inspected William ’s mind and spirituality for a few more minutes and only observed some gradual changes.
None of them suggested that Nyxie ’s influence was coming back from the dead.

Instead, William ’s cowardice maintained a feeble balance against his newly-acquired traits.
How much the state of his spirituality reflected the state of his mind and emotions remained to be seen.

Ves knew that they were connected, but so far he had mostly witnessed someone ’s emotions shaping someone ’s spirituality.
He had never seen the reverse taking place until today when Nyxie tried to hijack William ’s mind by capturing his spirituality.

”I don ’t even know how that can even be done. ”

Even though he had a front-row seat of Nyxie ’s insidious methods, Ves understood very little of it.
Nyxie ’s application of spiritual energy was so advanced that it seemed to be a highly-developed specialty or discipline.

The entity trapped within the Ancient Sarcophagus became more and more formidable to Ves.

Once Ves reflected enough on what he learned, he shoved the rest to the back of his mind and directed his attention on the immediate situation.

”It ’s done. ” He said with a relieved voice.

”Really? ” Gloriana quickly shut off her comm with a puzzled smile.
didn ’t do anything.
You just stood there while William started screaming and convulsing.
What in the galaxy did you do to the poor boy? ”

Ves turned to his girlfriend.
”I thought I told you that I would be applying my design philosophy to treat William ’s affliction.
Haven ’t you been paying attention? ”

”I did. ” Gloriana innocently blinked.
”I haven ’t seen anything. ”

”You ’re not supposed to be able to see anything with your eyes.
Didn ’t you feel anything? ”

Gloriana shook her head.

Well, whatever. ” Ves shrugged.
”Let ’s bring William to an infirmary and inspect him in person. ”

While he believed that Gloriana was able to sense spirituality, her spiritual perception probably wasn ’t sensitive enough to feel what went on in William ’s mind.

Nyxie ’s spiritual mote wasn ’t very strong to begin with.
The scale of everything that happened today was very limited because William simply couldn ’t cope with anything stronger.

Ves, Gloriana and their cats exited the observation room.

Moments later, a hovering stretcher brought out an unconscious William from the chamber.
A bodyguard took charge of the stretcher and guided it towards an infirmary at the manufacturing floor.

Considering how many heavy parts and machinery were at that floor, workplace accidents occasionally took place.
Mech technicians needed to be treated immediately, hence the floor held a very comprehensive infirmary.

As they all moved to the infirmary, Ves let the doctors inspect William for a while before placing him in an isolated room.

The doctors asked plenty of questions about William ’s strange state and all of the sedatives that Ves had pumped into his bloodstream, but that was all.
Since Ves was the boss, he outright refused to answer the questions.

”All you need to do is make sure that William recovers.
Understand? ”

Afterwards, Ves and Gloriana left.
They moved back to the lab and workshop floor in order to process and analyze the sensor readings.

”These readings are useless. ” Gloriana scowled and waved at the graphs and figures projected in front of her.
”Pure divinity can ’t be captured by sensors! ”

”Humanity has only managed to find a way to detect and measure resonance. ” Ves remarked.
”And that is only a single facet of what is actually taking place.
It ’s a shame you can ’t see what I can see.
You ’re missing out on a lot. ”

”Can you teach me? ” Gloriana asked with a hopeful smile.

”I ’m not sure.
I always thought it was something I was born with.
It could also be a side effect of my design philosophy. ”

The more they cooperated with each other, the more they became aware of each other ’s strengths.
Gloriana quickly figured out what she needed in order to gain a deeper understanding of his abilities.

Yet just as how Ves wasn ’t able to make much headway with Gloriana ’s methods, Gloriana wasn ’t able to emulate him either.
They were simply too different.

Gloriana accepted his answer and didn ’t push any further.

Both of them were mech designers.
Both of them understood each other in a way that a non-mech designer never could.

They spent a few hours studying the data they gathered before transferring it all in a secure data chip.
Ves personally stored it in the vault in order to keep it safe.

”Done! ”

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