The Mech Touch - Chapter 2467: Cultivating Helpers
The spiritual remnant of the Unending One was one of the most valuable gains of the Nyxian Gap.
The dark G.o.d’s strange ability to convert heterogeneous spiritual energy into a form more suitable for himself held a lot of attraction to Ves. How could he not be greedy of this ability himself?
“Energy is a resource! The more energy I possess, the more I can do with it. I can’t let myself be slowed down because of my restraints!”
He even thought about merging himself with the spiritual remnant in some way. Since he managed to merge the spiritual remnant of the Blinding One with the crystal golem, it should be theoretically possible to apply this same technique to himself!
Ves slapped his face.
“What am I thinking! This is crazy!”
Altering his Spirituality in this fas.h.i.+on would completely transform him as a person. Sure, he might be able to gain the ability to absorb spiritual energy to a much greater extent than his mother, but there were bound to be repercussions!
Right now, his domain mainly centered around life and mechs. If he added another major attribute to the mix, Ves wasn’t sure how it would affect his ability to design mechs.
Since he always considered himself to be a mech designer first and a spiritual engineer second, he could never allow the latter to threaten the former.
If Ves really went through with this insane procedure, he feared he might cross a line he might never be able to walk back from. Perhaps he would be no different from the insane cultists of the Five Scrolls Compact!
“I need to pull myself back and cool my mind. I’m letting my excitement get ahead of myself too much.”
His eagerness fueled his pa.s.sion, causing his heart to burn hot and bright. It was too easy for him to tunnel vision on his goals and disregard every potential danger.
Ves recognized that he wouldn’t have attracted so much trouble in the Nyxian Gap if not for his lack of self-control.
He fell into a moment of introspection.
“The biggest problem is that I can’t share my considerations with anyone. Having a second opinion at hand would definitely be able to keep me sober.”
He already had access to a bunch of advisors who fulfilled this role.
Gloriana collaborated with him on everything related to mechs.
Major Verle provided him with deep insights on military and occasionally political matters.
Calabast mainly served as his spymaster, though she also advised him on matters of diplomacy.
James was the closest to a spiritual advisor that Ves could get. Even so, the former cult leader was an obnoxious b.a.s.t.a.r.d that didn’t inspire much trust.
Ves viewed anyone who leaned on faith and unquestioning belief with deep suspicion. Religious nuts simply didn’t inspire any confidence in him. The so-called Living Prophet’s motives also remained something of a mystery.
“If not for this, I could actually confide in him more.” Ves regretfully muttered.
Despite founding a clan that largely centered around his ambitions, he found that he still couldn’t completely trust the people around him very much.
Sure, the Larkinson Network ensured that everyone connected to it became aligned to the Larkinson Clan, but that did not immediately entail unquestioning loyalty to himself.
It wasn’t that he was tempted to do so, but Ves knew that performing such overt brainwas.h.i.+ng would definitely trigger some alarms from the Big Two. Developing rapid loyalty to his clan could still be explained, but developing a cult of personality that was so unflinching would definitely invite a lot of unwanted scrutiny!
Perhaps the only people he could truly trust were the bonded Kinners. Yet people like Nitaa were simply ma.s.s-produced human products with limited imagination and talent. It was okay for them to serve as his footsoldiers, but he shouldn’t expect much more from them unless he got his hands on some high-cla.s.s Kinners.
The point was that Ves felt more and more frustrated that he was still unable to share all of his burdens to someone without reserve.
Perhaps in time, Gloriana might become that person to him, but for now his instincts warned him against doing so. He loved her, yes, but that didn’t mean he had to trust her to such an extent.
He didn’t forget that she possessed her own motives and ambitions, some of which weren’t aligned with his own. There was no way he was willing to embrace her entire agency!
Ves crossed his arms and frowned. He really couldn’t go on like this. He knew that whenever he spent his time alone for an extended period, he always came up with increasingly more radical ideas.
With no one grounding him to reality, he might have very well went on to perform the stupid stunts he just considered. After living through all sorts of crisis, it would have been incredibly stupid if he finally met his end by his own hands.
“Still, the problem is that I really don’t have anyone I can trust without reserve.”
From his future to his strategic partner, everyone around him supported him because he was useful to them in some way. Even Gloriana wouldn’t be as enthused about marrying him if he didn’t benefit her mech designs so much.
The moment he stopped being of use, much of that support would probably evaporate. That made him very nervous. While this wasn’t a unique problem to anyone with valuable capabilities, he felt he couldn’t go on like this for much longer.
“I need to cultivate a group that is truly dedicated to me.” He concluded. “The Larkinson Clan doesn’t qualify. It has grown into its own existence.”
Since the Larkinson Clan was initially made up of his trueblood relatives, he refrained from being too overbearing. Back then, he possessed a lot less power, wealth and prestige. In order to attract a part of the Larkinson Family into following him, he had to make sure to offer them concessions.
Overall, Ves was still pleased with the Larkinson Clan. While his control over it was slipping a bit due to its rapid expansion and rise of capable leaders, its strength was undeniable.
“It’s too bad that my clansmen can’t help me with my current problems.”
When it came to mechs and combat, the Larkinsons were like fish in water. Yet when it came to spiritual sorcery and spiritual engineering, almost all of his clansmen were pretty much dunces in those fields.
Outside of capturing and brainwas.h.i.+ng some Compact cultists, Ves needed to cultivate this kind of group from scratch.
“This will definitely be a very long-term project. The requirements are too harsh.”
His confidantes had to meet some very harsh requirements.
First, they needed to be spiritually capable enough to become a spiritual engineer. Obtaining a certain amount of sensitivity was vital.
This alone ruled out the vast majority of candidates.
Second, they had to be unflinchingly loyal to him from the beginning. As long as anyone leaked anything sensitive, Ves would definitely be in trouble.
If the leaks were bad enough, the MTA, CFA and the Five Scrolls Compact might all be after him! There was no way he could live a normal life if he entered their crosshairs!
The only way Ves could be certain of someone’s loyalty was if he started to indoctrinate them when they were still young.
There were other requirements as well, but the first two were critical. No one else around him met this requirement so far, and he didn’t think that this would change in the future.
If he wanted to raise a number of trusted confidantes, he needed to do it himself.
“I think.. the best way for me to do so is by training some of the children of the Larkinson Clan.”
The clan had grown very big and many of the talents the Larkinsons recruited also brought their own families. There were already plenty of children who became Larkinsons.
With his power, it was no problem for him to set up a special inst.i.tute that secretly raised these children into diehard loyalists.
The only issue was that this only addressed the loyalty issue. While Ves would be able to raise an army of capable subordinates, Ves doubted that he was able to turn them all into capable spiritual engineers.
Most people simply lacked the ability to manipulate spiritual energy like himself and his mother.
The only way for him to produce both loyal and capable confidantes was to… start with his own bloodline.
His eyes grew grave. “In other words, my children.”
Though he felt very uncomfortable about it, he truly saw no better alternative than to choose one of his offspring.
As long as he raised them the right way, his children would definitely be trustworthy enough to inherit his legacy. And as long as they inherited his mother’s side of his bloodline, their spiritual perception and manipulation should also be decent.
Only his own children were qualified to keep up with him! While Ves did not expect all of his six future children to inherit his talents, he would be happy if at least one of them was suitable.
“Compared to my own offspring, others simply can’t come close.”
Those who wanted to imitate him such as Maikel Larkinson could only follow him up to a point. While Ves believed that Maikel might very well be capable of designing mechs if he kept up his efforts, the younger mech designer’s path was destined to follow a different direction.
“Still, cultivating just one or a couple of my children isn’t enough. I need more helpers.” He furrowed his brows.
If he wanted to raise an entire organization of loyal spiritual adepts, he needed to look towards ma.s.s production.
He briefly became inspired by the Kinner way of producing manpower. Should he follow their method of producing large batches of offspring by utilizing a host of artificial wombs?
“This idea has merit, but… I don’t think it will work out. Children who are raised this way are always spiritually deficient.”
He only had to look at his Kinner bondsmen. While they were definitely human, their upbringing was too monotonous and devoid of love. None of the Battle Crier mech pilots managed to break through to expert candidate. They were much worse than trueblood Larkinsons in this regard.
“This isn’t the right way. If I want to produce suitable children, they need to be raised normally.”
In order to do this, he needed to insert his genes in the wombs of a large number of women. The more, the better. That way, even if only a fraction of his offspring inherited the right talents, he would still have plenty to choose from. Over time, he might even be able to raise an entire army of spiritual engineers!
His face suddenly cracked as he made a very important realization.
“Gloriana will kill me if I do this…”
There was no way his possessive girlfriend would tolerate such an act! Even if he was doing it for the right reasons, his girlfriend simply wouldn’t be able to accept any of his logic!
“d.a.m.n!” He cursed. “Marriage is no different from a shackle!”
He wouldn’t have as much scruples about enacting this plan if he was still single. He wouldn’t feel much guilt with spreading around his seed. Yet because he valued loyalty so much, he couldn’t bring himself to betray Gloriana’s trust.
Still, he felt frustrated at losing this option. It sounded so good! While it would have taken a lot of time for his plan to come to fruition, once it did, Ves wouldn’t be short of any spiritual a.s.sistance at that point!
“How else will I be able to obtain a large amount of spiritual a.s.sistants?”
Maybe he could enact his plan behind Gloriana’s back. If he implemented his plan on a group that was unrelated to the Larkinson Clan, then the chances of keeping his wife in the dark should be much more optimistic.
“As long as the genes I pa.s.s on are sufficiently altered, the children who emerge from them won’t exactly be my offspring anymore. That should be okay, right?”