o the dwarf captives.

When Ves brought one of their dwarf captives to Qilanxo one day, the beast grew angry.
It stared at the unkempt diminutive figure held in place by a pair of security officers with heated eyes.

She considered the cursed people to be her enemy!

Ves attempted to explain why he brought forth the dwarf.
”We need to perform some experiments.
We don ’t know how we can get your new chosen to interface with your minds, as they lack the genetic modification to do so by themselves.
We can only try and emulate the way this dwarf interfaces with your mind.
The readings we accumulate will help us enormously.
Are you willing to cooperate? ”

Qilanxo widened her maw and released an angry roar.
The sheer air released by the sacred god bowled Ves over and caused the security officers to lean backwards a bit.

Faster than anyone could recover, Qilanxo yanked forward with her head and pulled against her restraints.
She slithered out her tongue, which stretched much farther than anyone suspected, and somehow managed to hook onto the dwarf.

The tongue pulled the unlucky dwarf out of the grips of the security officers before landing squarely inside Qilanxo ’s mouth.

This time, she didn ’t hold back her restraint.
Her teeth slammed shut, causing gouts of blood to spill to the sides!

With a couple of brutal chewing motions, Qilanxo mercilessly mangled the dead dwarf ’s corpse before she swallowed it down to her stomach.

The security officers all became alarmed while the researchers nearby all took a lot of healthy steps back.
Some of them had been in range of that tongue! If Qilanxo ever felt like it, she could have snapped them all up as a snack!

”Calm down! Calm down! ” Ves yelled, trying to prevent the Vandals from doing anything extreme.
”She had a bad response against the dwarf, but we ’re different! ”

It took some time to calm down people ’s tempers and shut off all the alerts.
Qilanxo regained her peace after eating the dwarf the Vandals had the temerity to present in front of her august presence.

Obviously, people ’s vigilance towards Qilanxo increased, but to their credit neither Orfan nor Dise displayed any fright.

”The big girl here is okay with us. ” Captain Orfan said.
Having spent a significant amount of time in Qilanxo ’s company did much to dispel their initial fears over being in the presence of a dangerous exobeast.

Even though she was large enough to snap them with her maw, she was also a very intelligent creature.
That fascinated the mech officers, and helped them bond with her.
It was kind of like bonding with a pet dog, though perhaps a hundred times bigger.

The inability of them to directly put a dwarf into contact with Qilanxo set back the beast rider project.
Ves ultimately had to resort to using the abundant data gathered through the frequent mental resilience training sessions that went on at the Mind Blender.

The training sessions went back into full swung a while ago, enabling it to capture every scrap of data the dwarf channeled to the neural interfaces of the test cockpits.

While most of the data looked like gibberish to Ves, the testing facility gathered so many readings that Ves thought about translating them to normal human thought patterns.

”If I can translate this gibberish, I can incorporate a conversion filter into the neural interface of the beast riders. ” Ves surmised.
”Each interaction between beast rider and the sacred god goes through the filter that essentially performs real-time translations. ”

Ves initially wanted to ’translate ’ the gibberish by having the dwarf interface directly with Qilanxo and have her describe the meanings.
Unfortunately, Qilanxo very much opposed that plan.

Therefore, as an alternative, Ves had to resort to trial and error and attempt to work out something indirectly.
All of this was very complicated but it basically amounted to a lot of data crunching, improvisation, educated guesswork and dangerous experimentation.

”That sounds right up my alley. ” Ves ruefully grinned.

While Ves slowly started with the data gathered from the Mind Blender and cobbled together a heavily modified neural interface, several days passed by.

Eventually, the mech technicians from both the Vandals and the Swordmaidens managed to fix up the mechs that sustained varying amounts of damage from the orbital bombardment and the attack by the sacred gods.

While the repairs only fixed the essentials and left many problems untouched, the mechs at least regained their mobility.
As long as they could keep pace with the ground expedition as it moved, the mech technicians could always perform the repairs during the lengthy rest stops.

Of course, the frequent unscheduled halts due to turbulence from the astral winds also resumed, much to everyone ’s irritations.

One of the biggest changes to the expedition was the addition of Qilanxo.

With their mechs mounted on heavy transports, both beast rider candidates spent much of their time in Qilanxo ’s company, attempting to make sure she followed after the column of fast and heavy transports.

In order to make sure she kept to the route, a rotating squad of melee mechs constantly surrounded her humongous body.
With the presence of these mechs, Qilanxo had no choice but to move in the designated direction.

That stinks! ”

The main reason why the ground expedition placed Qilanxo at the rear was due to her enormous toilet breaks.
The Flagrant Swordmaidens already diverted mechs into hunting the surrounding wildlife in order to keep the voracious sacred god fed.

At the start of the resumption of their trek, Qilanxo frequently took forlorn glances in the direction of the ancient city of Samar.
Wherever the foreigners from beyond the stars took her, she might never be able to go back to the city she resided at for hundreds of years.

Fortunately, the constant company of the candidate beast riders kept her company and prevented her from growing too lonely.

”Don ’t worry big girl.
Everyone needs to leave their home. ” Captain Orfan soothed the melancholic sacred god.
”Think about all the new things you get to see! There ’s an entire planet for you to explore! ”

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