According to Leland, the terrorist attack sparked a dispute between the Curins and the Poxcos.
The Kesseling System had always been the backyard of the Curins. However, the sudden emergence of the True Believers put their competence into question.
While the New Ylvaine Dynasty inflicted ruinous damage to an entire city district, the grand church that lay at the heart of it suffered the most!
Because all houses of worship fell under the supervision of the Attendants of Ylvaine, the Poxco Dynasty grew concerned about the safety of the remaining churches on Kesseling VIII.
"Did you think that someone as great as High Inquisitor Xefin Lin Poxco popped up out of nowhere?" Leland smirked. "He sneaked into the Kesseling System ahead of their main wave of reinforcements. The Curins are already aghast that a high inquisitor managed to arrive on this planet. They don't want the Poxcos to bolster their local presence any further."
Ves frowned at this and thought for a moment. "I can see why the Poxcos want to send more resources and manpower to Kesseling VIII if it looks like the True Believers are truly present. Yet what if the New Ylvaine Dynasty was never involved in the first place? What if someone else faked their identity and committed a false flag attack?"
Both of them grimaced to each other.
"That sounds like an arsonist setting fire to a house before arriving to as a fireman to put out the blaze." Leland commented.
Creating a problem and solving it yourself. It sounded dumb, but it was a popular way for state actors to earn some goodwill. As long as the actor put on a disguise and managed to deflect the blame, they could pose as the knight in shining armor coming to the rescue!
They didn't know nearly enough to speculate over this issue. Ves didn't have anything but wild guesses to go on while Leland only heard some scattered rumors from unreliable informers.
Ves became increasingly aware of the importance of a good intelligence network. Spending time with the likes of Calabast and Leland taught him that as long as he possessed a good intelligence network, he'd be able to smell trouble coming his way.
This sounded a lot better than letting trouble blindside him all the time!
In any case, despite Leland's lack of means, the warnings he passed on to Ves still served a useful role. At the very least, he became aware of increasing local tension between the Curins and the Poxcos.
"Do you think the Poxcos will succeed in getting their reinforcements through?" Ves suddenly asked.
"I'm not sure." Leland mused. "As long as the True Believers show up again, then it will become very hard for the Curins to claim they have the situation under control."
That was bad news. If the arsonist didn't get what they want out of the first fire, they would just have to spark another fire!
Not only did Ves remain under threat, but the Poxcos would also be able to strengthen their security in all of their major churches.
This likely included the grand cathedral which hosted the holy relic that Ves wanted to obtain!
A sense of hurry swept over Ves. He had to obtain Prophet Ylvaine's nutrient pack wrapper before the Poxco's locked down the grand cathedral!
He originally planned to stall for a week let some of the heat die down, but it seemed he couldn't wait that long!
After Leland finished relaying his intel, Ves sat alone in his room at the guest compound with Lucky.
He contemplated his decision for a moment and decided to go through with it despite the potential risks associated with stealing the holy nutrient pack wrapper.
At the very least, its theft would impact Kesseling VIII significantly.
Ves could foresee that the Curins would suffer most of the blame. They wouldn't be able to stop the Poxcos from sending reinforcements to the Kesseling System. In fact, regardless of what the Curins did, the Poxcos would probably be driven mad as soon as they heard a holy relic that used to belong to the prophet himself went missing!
Even though a single nutrient pack wrapper wasn't very important in the greater scheme of things, the Attendants of Ylvaine were extremely obsessed with anything related to the prophet. For it to get stolen would not only alarm the Poxos, but also the rest of the Protectorate!
"No one must ever find out!"
The risk of exposure was incredibly damaging to Ves. As long as the Attendants of Ylvaine suspected that he may be involved, the high inquisitor would execute him directly for affronting the Ylvainan Faith!
Leland already warned him about the consequences of attacking the Ylvainan Faith. It didn't matter if Ves was a foreigner who was exempt from some of the laws that targeted nonbelievers.
Still, despite the unfavorable consequences that might ensue if Ves proceeded with his plan, it was for a good cause!
"As long as I'm able to design the mech I've envisioned, then all of these troubles will pay off!"
It came down to whether Ves valued his work highly enough to take the risk. He knew he was about to cross a very dangerous line at this junction, but how could he resist the lure of designing an unprecedented mech?
As long as he was able to refine a spiritual fragment that contained Prophet Ylvaine's imprint, then he'd definitely be able to open up a new dimension of mech design, one that the galaxy had never seen before!
When Ves thought about the innovation he'd be able to accomplish, his mind, spirit and design seed all grew hot and excited.
He'd be able to make huge strides with his design philosophy as long as he proceeded!
"I think I understand now why mech designers can be so intense sometimes."
The shadow of a very eccentric Senior flashed through his mind.
Yet despite the disconcerting reminder, Ves didn't think he was doing anything wrong. As a mech designer, he would do anything for his mech designs!
"I love my mechs too much to restrain myself!"
The winds of obsessions swept around into his mind. They found fertile ground inside. The temptation was too great for him to resist!
However, even if Ves planned to go through with his plan, he still took the time to prepare the heist.
He surreptitiously browsed the galactic net and downloaded a recent tourist guide book on Kesseling VIII. He then cut his comm off the galactic net and began to browse its extremely extensive section on the Grand Cathedral of Ylvaine's Mercy.
While the virtual guide book didn't map out the restricted sections of Ylvaine's Mercy, it offered its readers an extremely detailed three-dimensional of all of its public areas!
Ves forced Lucky to study the map despite the cat's grumpiness.
"I know I haven't been treating you well lately, but please bear with it. As long as I'm able to get what I want, I'll spend a billion credits on exotics for you to munch on! I'll even let you select your own dishes!"
"...Meow?" Lucky tilted his head.
"I'm completely serious, I swear!"
"What, you think I'm lying?"
"Oh come on, I'm trustworthy! I would never cheat you!"
It took several minutes for Ves to convince Lucky that he would uphold his end of his bargain. It seemed that even his cat began to question his honesty!
Nonetheless, Ves didn't intend to fudge his promise this time. Paying a billion credits to obtain the key to designing a great mech was a small price to pay! It wasn't as if he was hurting for money these days!
Lucky deserved this reward if he managed to pull of the heist. Although the grand cathedral's security had been beefed in recent days, the Protectors of the Faith mostly guarded against mechs and infiltrators.
They never encountered a mechanical cat that could phase through solid objects and possessed an extremely powerful CFA-grade ECM system!
This combination practically turned Lucky into the perfect thief!
The only shortcoming was that his cat didn't possess a means to go invisible. Even though he was harder to spot in an incorporeal form, Ves still found Lucky's appearance to be too distinctive in this state.
"If we don't want to get caught, you need something that can hide you for a time."
After some reluctance, Ves decided he couldn't avoid spending his DP any longer. He activated his Privacy Shield before activating the System. He briefly looked up his status to learn how much DP he accrued lately.
"What?! I've earned almost 600,000 DP!"
It took a bit of time for him to realize why he earned so much money. He only received a moderate bump in DP due to selling physical copies of his new Aurora Titan design.
Most of the DP he earned in recent weeks actually came from selling virtual copies of the Aurora Titan!
Just because the mech was unaffordable to most people in reality didn't mean it was unaffordable in the virtual realm!
Gavin already mentioned how many mech pilots tried out the Aurora Titan in Iron Spirit and other simulation games. The new mech model attracted so much attention that many mech pilots wanted to find out if it could help them advance!
While nothing so dramatic happened, many mech pilots actually took a lot of liking of the Aurora Titan despite its steep learning curve. Even those who didn't specialize in space knights or spaceborn mechs couldn't help but fall in love with piloting the virtual version of the mech!
"It's no wonder the virtual version of the Aurora Titan immediately hit the 250,000 DP limit!"
The System didn't consider virtual mechs to be worthy of much attention. Setting an upper limit of 250,000 DP on earnings from virtual sales was obviously meant to discourage him from becoming a full-time virtual mech designer.
If not for this limit, Ves would probably be able to earn a million DP with ease!
Nonetheless, Ves still gnashed his teeth at the thought of missing out on all of that surplus DP!
In any case, his DP reserves were so ample that he changed his original plan. He originally wanted to spend some DP to purchase a one-time standalone stealth augment.
However, considering that this probably wouldn't be the last time for him to steal an important historical relic, Ves thought about pairing Lucky with a permanent stealth upgrade.
Amazingly enough, Ves found something perfect for the occasion.
[Miniaturized Stealth Generator - Level 1]
Price: 400,000 DP
Duration: 5 Minutes
Emit a small overpowering field that disrupts any means of observation within a 1 meter sphere. It is capable of obfuscating every possible means of observation that is known to the Mech Designer System.
The enormous price tag made him wince. Ves considered whether he would be better off placing his System comm around Lucky's neck and make use of its Full Stealth Augment instead. Ves wouldn't be forced to spend any extra DP in that case.
"It's too risky!"
If anything went wrong, Ves might lose the System! Even though he recently Inventorized it, he might not be able to dematerialize it if it fell into the hands of the Ylvainans.
In order to guard against any accidents, it was safer for Ves to invest in Miniaturized Stealth Generator and provide Lucky with an independent means of entering stealth.
"Now that I think about it, this price doesn't sound so unreasonable."
Although its duration was very short before it required a lengthy recharge, its capabilities definitely surpassed Lucky's excellent ECM systems!
As long as Ves paired his cat with this little gadget, they could use it over and over again. At some point, he'd be able to earn back what he spent!
"It's an investment for the future." Ves muttered as he pulled the trigger and bought the Miniaturized Stealth Generator.
As soon as he confirmed his purchase, an object that resembled a comm materialized in front of him. Ves took the slim object and clasped it around Lucky's neck like a collar.
"Do you like your new collar?"