In the next hour, Dr.
Ranya subjected Ves to a comprehensive examination at the Stellar Chaser ’s infirmary.

The compartment held a lot of sophisticated medical machines, many of which looked nearly identical to the ones aboard the Scarlet Rose.

Ranya demonstrated a high proficiency with the machines as she manipulated their settings with ease.

The machines went to work by scanning and injecting various chemicals in his body.
Ves worried a bit about his impromptu treatment, but Gloriana was watching her cousin carefully.

”Your boyfriend ’s body is remarkably tough, but his internal organs still show signs of recent damage. ” Ranya commented while her fingers danced over a control interface.
”It seems he suffered from a very severe blow when he fought the Fridaymen and took over their ship.
What is really ’impressive ’ about your boyfriend is that while he is smart enough to subject himself to an automated treatment regime, he stupidly interrupted it and relied on his physique to heal his lingering wounds! ”

”I couldn ’t afford to lay low.
I had to wake myself up to direct the Scarlet Rose through hostile territory! ” Ves meekly defended himself while he lay on a treatment table.

”Shut up! You ’ll only exacerbate your recovery if you talk while I ’m in the process of remedying your lingering wounds! Many of them haven ’t healed properly! I ’ll have to examine you and treat you at least half-a-dozen times over the course of a month in order to undo the damage you ’ve done to your own body! If you aren ’t Gloriana ’s latest boy toy, I would have passed you off to another doctor! ”

”Don ’t forget who ’s paying you, Ranya. ” Gloriana sternly reminded her relative.
”You ’ll have plenty of funding to support your research on exoplants as long as you take good care of Ves.
Haven ’t you made some breakthroughs recently? ”

”I did.
If I ’m fortunate enough, I ’ll attract some investment or receive the attention of a professor. ”

Gloriana scoffed.
”Don ’t kid yourself.
No one wants to play with plants while our state is locked in a war against the Friday Coalition! During the Komodo War and several years afterwards, only war-related research projects will receive funding. ”

Though Dr.
Ranya resented Gloriana ’s remark, she couldn ’t exactly refute it.
Unless her research projects were capable of affecting the Komodo War, the biotech industry didn ’t have any reason to pay attention to her work!

For a young exobiologist who harbored ambitions of her own, this was an extremely unfortunate outcome!

If she happened to graduate and launch her career at any other time, then she probably would have been able to achieve some success by now.
Yet because the Komodo War just broke out, the Hexadric Hegemony entered into a full war footing, which meant that the Hexers had to pour all of their resources into the Hex Army, the mech industry and other war-related endeavors.

”I ’m doing well enough on my own so far. ” Ranya defended herself.
”Some of my products have caught on.
You ’re not the only entrepreneurs among the Wodins. ”

”Don ’t think I don ’t know how you are earning a living these days.
What will my mother say when I tell her that you ’ve been supplying addicts with illicit stimulants? ”

Ranya immediately looked distressed.

Cadence Wodin was the Minister of Security of Scimitar II.
Part of her responsibilities encompassed policing duties, which meant that Ranya would definitely be at fault!

In fact, even if Gloriana ’s mother wasn ’t in charge of the police, Ranya would still be afraid of catching her attention!

”You wouldn ’t dare. ”

Gloriana smiled in victory.
”I won ’t do anything to you as long as you treat Ves honestly.
Don ’t try and harm him in order to sabotage our relationship.
I promise you that you ’ll regret it if you lay a hand on my boyfriend! ”

”Sheesh, Gloriana! Who do you think I am? I ’m a professional! I have taken an oath! As long as Mr.
Larkinson is my patient, I ’ll treat him to the best of my abilities! ”

”I just want to make sure.
Too many people disapprove of my relationship with him.
You can ’t blame a girl for protecting what she wants. ”

Time continued to pass as Ves felt more and more uncomfortable.
Various machines continued to prod and poke his body.
He could practically feel his body changing from the inside as various sophisticated medicines and tools messed around with his insides.

Fortunately, none of the treatments brought him any pain.
He only felt frustrated because he had no clue what was going.
Ranya didn ’t appear to be in the mood to explain her work, and Gloriana didn ’t seem curious either.

Instead, Ves was forced to lie down and remain still while listening to the banter between the two Wodins.

Neither Gloriana nor Ranya bothered to shield their conversation from his ears.
Both of them fell into the typical Hexer habit of neglecting the presence of boys.

Ves wasn ’t complaining.
He gathered a wealth of information about the second Wodin he came into contact with.
As the doctor responsible for installing his implant in his head, it would be prudent to know her better!

”If you think my reaction to your odd choice of lover is bad, you should see the responses from the folks back at home. ”

”I don ’t care about them. ” Gloriana dismissively said.
”As long as I can convince my mother that Ves is meant for me, she ’ll stand up for me.
Not even Matriarch Xiaphna will rule against her! ”

”You seem very sure of that. ”

”Once you realize what Ves is capable of, our Wodin Dynasty will definitely appreciate him! Just wait.
In two years, both of us will blow your minds! ”

”I ’m not sure if any of us have the time to pay attention to your boyfriend at that time.
The Komodo War will be in full swing by that time! ”

”What do you mean, Ranya? Hasn ’t the war already started? ”

”The war is still ramping up.
Even though we struck the first blow, our state couldn ’t make too many preparations for fear of revealing too many clues.
Even now, our Hegemony is still in the process of mobilizing all of its reserves.
According to our matriarchs, it will probably take a lot of months before the Coalition and the Hegemony are both ready to launch any major offensives.
If not for this delay, your brother wouldn ’t have been able to accompany me to this appallingly underdeveloped region of space.
I still regret agreeing to your request even now! ”

”What is the current state of the frontlines? ”

”It ’s mostly skirmishes I ’ve heard.
There ’s a lot of fighting, but not a lot of border systems are changing hands at the moment.
That ’s all I know.
It ’s not as if I have any relations to the military.
You should ask your brother if you want to know the details.
He promised to visit your ship as soon as he cleaned up the Fridaymen.
I think he ’s quite pleased with capturing their ship.
It ’s nothing impressive, but at least he earned some merits to offset this diversion. ”

”How long will he be staying? ”

”Again, you should ask him, Gloriana.
I think he ’ll only stick around for a couple months before he has to go back.
I think he ’s hoping to bring you away from this squalid region before that, though.
He thinks the same way about your latest fling as I.
You deserve better than this low-class specimen of humanity.
Just look at his body scans! There ’s nothing normal about his abnormal half-alien physique! ”

”It doesn ’t matter. ” Gloriana released a loving sigh while she stared at the scans.
”Ves is great the way he is right now.
At least he won ’t die so easily! ”

Ranya let out a frustrated grunt.
”Expect to face a lot of flack once you get home.
Your decision to enter in a relationship with Mr.
Larkinson resulted in a minor scandal back home.
A lot of Wodins don ’t think well of you at this moment! Not only did you abandon your responsibilities at home, you also snubbed all of the dynasties who lined up potential suitors for you.
Some of those boys are pretty yummy, you know! ”

”Bleh. ” Gloriana exaggeratingly gagged.
”I know what you ’re talking about.
Even if they are cuter, Ves is already handsome enough! While I like a tasty snack as much as any other Hexer, those good-looking boys at home are too useless! When it comes to mech design, I would take Ves over any supposedly-talented mech designer! ”

The conversation between the two female Wodins quickly devolved into a comparison between Ves and the boys from the Hegemony.

Ves really didn ’t need to know all of this information! He mentally closed his ears and impatiently waited for the first round of treatment to end.

Eventually, Ranya finished her treatment regime.
After injecting one last fluid in his bloodstream, she allowed Ves to leave.

”This is it for now, Mr.
Larkinson. ” Dr.
Ranya glanced at him with a disinterested expression while she wrote up some notes.
”Don ’t perform any exercise or make any strenuous movements until you go through my follow-up sessions.
You still have a lot to go before your body is fully restored.
If your physique and genes aren ’t so warped, I would have been able to finish your treatment sooner.
As it is, you ’ll just have to be careful for a month. ”

”Do I need to watch out for anything else? ” Ves asked with some respect.

Though Dr.
Ranya did not show any respect to him at all, Ves still found it prudent to treat her as a benefactor.

If not for requesting her help all those months ago, perhaps this rescue would have never happened!

”You should watch your diet and avoid eating too much junk.
I ’ll send a note over to you and Gloriana ’s chefs so they can adjust your meals. ”

After that, Gloriana practically dragged him out of the infirmary.

As Ves had spent some on the Stellar Chaser already, he recognized that Gloriana was bringing him straight to the lounge compartment.

Once there, she deposited him onto the loveseat before sitting next to him with a loving gaze.

”We ’re finally alone! ”

Ves briefly glanced at the bodyguards that followed her and took up position at the sides.
”Not really. ”

”Oh, just ignore them! ” She giggled before turning to a floating cat bed that hovered in the corner.
”Clixie! Come over here! Bring Lucky with you as well! ”

So that was where his cat went, Ves noted.

Lucky and Clixie curled up together on a circular cat bed and licked each other ’s necks for some reason.
As soon as Gloriana called them up, they jumped from the bed and padded over and hopped onto their laps.

”Meow! ”

”Miaow! ”

”Oh, look! Clixie missed you so much! ” Gloriana grinned while stroking her hand over Lucky ’s smooth back.
She soon noticed his tiger stripes.
”Lucky looks different.
Did you upgrade him, Ves? ”

”In a way. ” Ves vaguely replied.
”He ’s been very helpful to me.
He ’s one of the main reasons why I was able to escape captivity. ”

Gloriana immediately glowered.
”Those Fridaymen went too far! That Curver cow had no right to take you away from me! Tell me you didn ’t fall for her, Ves. ”

Knowing how touchy she was on these matters, Ves answered her question seriously while looking straight into her eyes.

”I love you, Gloriana.
I never wavered in my commitment to you.
If I didn ’t love you anymore, I wouldn ’t have taken a huge risk and killed off all of the crew of the Scarlet Rose.
I didn ’t hesitate in burning my bridges with the Friday Coalition to declare my devotion to you! I ’ll kill millions of Fridaymen for you if that is what it takes to prove my love to you! ”

”Oh Ves.. ”

Gloriana practically melted against him while she reciprocated his gaze.
All of the tension in her body faded away as she finally realized that Ves was back and here to stay!

For his part, Ves felt happier than ever to be reunited with his girlfriend.
The trust they shared between each other was something he sorely missed!

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