When the Barracuda returned to Cloudy Curtain, Ves immediately entered the Cloud Estate to check up on his girlfriend.

At the moment, she was sitting on a luxurious couch.

Gloriana greeted him with a tired smile while petting Clixie.
You ’re back. ”

”Miaow! ”

”Hey Clixie. ” Ves briefly bent down to scratch the Rubarthan Sentinel Cat ’s head before placing his hand on Gloriana ’s head.
”Let me check up on you for a moment. ”

Though his abrupt motion caused her guards to twitch, Ves did not pay any mind to anything else.
Right now, only Gloriana mattered!

He inspected her with his spiritual senses.
As he feared, her spiritual energy reserves had dropped by a significant quantity.

Fortunately, the worst hadn ’t occurred.
She hadn ’t expended all of her spiritual energy.
Unaccustomed to performing spiritual manipulation, she couldn ’t endure the strain of maintaining her earlier state for long.

Her mind withdrew before she expended too much of her spiritual energy.

However, she still wasted a significant amount.
If her regeneration rate was the same as his before he obtained the Grand Dynamo, then she would probably require a month or two to regain her full strength.

Until then, it would be difficult for her to feel passionate and energetic when designing a mech.

This was the price she paid for using her ability in a more direct and spiritual way.

Nothing came for free.

The main concern that Ves held was if it had been worth it.
Now that Gloriana expended herself, she wouldn ’t be able to provide as much assistance in finalizing the Adonis Colossus and Deliverer designs.

However, as long as she avoided incurring permanent damage, everything was okay.
In two months, she ’d be back to normal and ready to do her utmost in designing mechs.

Ves drew back his hand and sat down next to her.
”You ’re in a mentally exhausted condition.
This isn ’t something that medical examinations can detect, so don ’t be fooled if they all state that you ’re healthy. ”

”Please explain. ”

”To put it simply, you ’ve exerted your domain in a way that consumes your strength.
If you think of yourself as a god, then you have expended some of your energy to exercise your power.
This consumption is very substantial.
By my estimate, it will take around two months for you to return to normal. ”

”Two months?! ” She grew alarmed.
”My time is very precious! I can ’t afford to sit still for two months! ”

”Calm down, Gloriana.
Just because you are in a low mood doesn ’t mean you are forced to rest all day.
As I ’ve said before, this is a good time for you to exercise your mental resilience.
So long as you can train yourself to design mechs while you are in your current state, you ’ll be able to design any mech under any circumstances! ”

”You speak as if you have experience on the matter. ”

”Remember my visit to Centerpoint and my tour through the star sector? One of the underlying reasons why I took such an extensive trip was to recover from the same condition! ”

How long did it take for you to recover? ”

”More than half a year.
I got better, though. ”

She fell silent for a moment.
”That is a very long time.
I suppose we won ’t be able to exploit our newly-discovered synergy too often.
At the very least, we need to be careful with the timing so that nothing else important is on the agenda. ”

He felt gratified that Gloriana didn ’t give up on the new techniques after knowing the price.

To be honest, Ves really hoped they could perform Artificial Conception again and improve its efficiency.
Gloriana ’s semi-autonomous way of controlling her spiritual projection was very crude and wasteful.

”You don ’t necessarily have to force yourself to design mechs during this low period.
You can also do other productive activities, such as studying more knowledge. ”

She nodded.
”That ’s what I already had in mind.
I don ’t have much of a problem with sharpening my knowledge.
It ’s just that I don ’t feel the same spark anymore every time I want to work on our current projects.
I have never felt this way in my life! Not once! ”

He knew that she developed an early passion for mechs.
Since she started to design her first mech, she never lost her passion in her profession.
It was one of the reasons why she was able to progress so fast.

Rarely did anyone advance to Journeyman without loving their craft.

”You won ’t notice any difference when it comes to performing mechanical or routine tasks.
It ’s only when you need to exercise your creativity and imagination that you will feel sluggish and empty. ”

He passed on his personal understanding and experiences of falling in a low state.
Gloriana listened attentively and took his advice seriously.

She only had one more question.

”Is there no way to recover faster? ”

Ves hesitated.
”There are.
In fact, I ’m a lot better in this regard now.
However, my solution is not really applicable to you.
I ’m a lot different from you, Gloriana. ”

He wasn ’t entirely truthful.
If he granted her guest access to the System, she might be able to draw her own Grand Dynamo Elixir from the lottery.
In fact, Ves could draw this elixir by himself and pass it onto her, saving him a million DP.

However, Ves was deeply reluctant to reveal the System to her at this time.
While he came to trust her increasingly more, their relationship still had some ways to go.
It wasn ’t necessary to pull her into the troublesome vortex surrounding the System at this time.

Once he passed some more advice, he left her alone to take another nap.
Since her mind was not very robust, she was actually a bit worse off than him when he initially drained himself.

Due to all of the new developments, Ves decided to leave aside his projects and catch up on some matters.

He traveled to his office at the LMC ’s headquarters and called in Dr.

”Doctor, are you familiar with Gloriana ’s current state? ”

I was part of the initial examinations. ” The exobiologist stated.
”Sadly, I ’m just as in the dark as her own doctors.
All I can do is to adjust her diet and see if that helps.
I have several ideas to address her deficient mental acuity. ”

Personally, Ves did not have much hope that eating different foods could help, but it didn ’t hurt to try.

”Don ’t waste too much time on that.
Gloriana will be able to recover on her own in time.
There are much more important matters.
Gloriana just told me that her cousin Ranya will be arriving at Cloudy Curtain within a month! ”

Lupo knew the significance of this news.
”Will she perform the implant surgency upon arrival? ”

”I ’m not sure.
It depends on her own arrangements and how long she intends to stay here.
In case she can only stay here for a limited time, you need to be ready to assist and supervise the implant surgery. ”

”I… I ’ve developed some competences in this field, but I wouldn ’t call myself a qualified implant surgeon. ” Lupo haltingly replied.
”While I am familiar with the necessary theory, I don ’t have much practical experience beyond practicing in virtual simulations. ”

”How successful are you in the simulations? ”

”Not good.
My performance is barely passable when performing a standard cranial implant insertion, but I don ’t have the necessary experience to handle unanticipated complications. ”

That was worse than he expected of his subordinate.
He fed Dr.
Lupo with enough Intelligence Candies to boost his intelligence attribute to 2.0! Did the exobiologist spend all of his time on his pet projects rather than his main tasks?

Seeing how Ves became discontented with him.
Lupo quickly raised his hands in innocence.

”I already made a judgement that I ’m not able to match Miss Ranya ’s competence in implant surgery.
Instead, I ’ve put a lot of effort into familiarizing the specific programming and other properties surrounding your Archimedes Rubal implant.
While it ’s extremely advanced, it ’s over three-hundred years out of date.
There is a lot of leaked and declassified information about this specific bioimplant on the galactic net.
I ’ve even managed to retrieve a lot of updated firmware and unofficial software mods. ”

”That sounds a bit dubious. ”

”I ’m aware that some if not most of the material I ’ve found is malicious.
Don ’t worry, Mr.
I ’ve used all of the information I ’ve gathered as reference material to improve my comprehension of the Archimedes Rubal implant.
After several months of focused study, I can ’t say that I ’ve become an expert on cranial bioimplants, but I have definitely gained a thorough understanding of the workings of this specific implant model! ”

”How good is your understanding? ”

”Good enough to be able to update and tweak the bioimplant on your orders.
While I wouldn ’t trust any of the software mods that I ’ve collected, I can program something conservative that nevertheless improves some crucial aspects. ”

Lupo looked hopeful at Ves, as if waiting for permission to tinker with the programming of the Archimedes Rubal.

Ves huffed at his subordinate.
As if he would let any single person have free rein over something he planned to insert in his head

”Wait until Ranya arrives and familiarizes herself with the Archimedes Rubal. ” He instructed in a firm tone.
”Anything involving this implant must be done with constant checks and verification.
I won ’t tolerate any doubt or dubious actions, understood? ”

”Understood.. ”

Though Lupo looked a little deflated, he soon recovered.
His true passion lay elsewhere, so he didn ’t care too much about the Archimedes Rubal.
It was just a shiny toy to the exobiologist.

Ves proceeded to ask Lupo ’s progress on his other assignments.
The exobiologist hadn ’t made much progress in understanding Ves ’ complicated physique due to lack of time, and he only made a minor breakthrough with regards to uncovering the secrets behind geril spice.

”While I haven ’t been able to detect anything extraordinary about this spice, I am reasonably confident I have been able to isolate the most exceptional component. ” Lupo stated.
”If my assumptions are correct, the active effect that you are seeking is locked inside this specific substance! ”

”What does that mean? ”

”It ’s possible to artificially reproduce this substance, though only at great cost.
Whether the imitation I ’ve made carries the unknown effect you desire is another matter. ”

Ves gestured to Nitaa, who was quietly guarding him from the far side of the office.

”Coordinate with my bodyguard here for that.
She is the only one in my crew who can detect the difference. ”

Lupo glanced at the tall bodyguard.
”Very well. ”

”Is there anything else you can do with this substance? ”

”Even if I can ’t reproduce it, I can still use it as an additive to your meals.
You ’ll be able to receive the same benefits from geril spice without encountering its pungent odor. ”

While Ves was skeptical whether that would work, that was good news.
Geril spice was way too distinctive and would definitely arouse some suspicion to those who were aware of its properties.

Ves hadn ’t encountered anyone else with an extraordinary nose after his visit to the Sentinel Kingdom.

That didn ’t mean he let down his guard.
He was just fortunate that his life didn ’t intersect with any agents affiliated with the Five Scrolls Compact.

He could not guarantee that he could avoid another encounter, so it was better to be safe than sorry.

”How much progress have you made on gaining permission to set up an exobeast reserve? ”

”Oh, I haven ’t spent much time on this issue, but the administrators I ’ve hired already managed to get it done.
Your Larkinson Exobiology Institute is ready to set up an exobeast reserve a fair distance away from Freslin.
I ’ve held off on procuring exobeasts though.
Under these wartime circumstances, it ’s not entirely appropriate to conduct these activities.
Additionally, shipping of non-essential goods is heavily restricted. ”

Ves nodded.
”You made the right call, though you should inform me beforehand. ”

There was not much point in setting up an exobeast reserve when he might have to abandon it later if the Bright Republic succumbed to the sandmen.
What Dr.
Lupo managed to accomplish in this limited amount of time was already enough.
Hiring a capable biotech expert was one of the better decisions he had made recently.

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