Ves took his newly-created spiritual product and left the 'workshop'.
He quickly found out that if he did not wish to abandon his detached spiritual projection, then he had to depart from Lady Miralix's mind first.
Leaving took little effort. The main difficulty in entering her mind from a distance was tracking down her very minute presence in the imaginary realm. Exiting merely required him to phase through the barriers of her mind.
Because of the differences between their states, they actually didn't really bump into each other. The new spiritual product he created also exited fairly easily, proving that it fell into the category of a spiritually powerful entity, though only barely.
However, as he crossed out of Lady Miralix's mind and instantly dragged his spiritual projection and its cargo back to his own mind, he thought back to his Mastery experiences.
Was the System doing something similar? Had it already mastered the ability to spiritually project someone's consciousness and insert them into other people's minds?
\"Am I reinventing the wheel?\"
It irked him a bit that some of his experiments and explorations resulted in innovations that others had already come up with. Not being the first person to invent some of his spiritual new techniques struck a significant blow to his vanity.
\"Damnit. Couldn't it have taught me some of these tricks earlier?\"
He only let this wrinkle spoil this mood for so long. As a teacher himself, he knew the value of solving problems without assistance. Although it sounded paradoxical, it really was the best way for someone to learn a new ability or technique.
So even if the System appeared to possess a more refined set of applications of Spirituality, Ves did not even consider begging it to teach him some tricks. He was doing well enough on his own by learning at his own pace.
As Ves fully returned his entire consciousness in his own mind, he regarded the spiritual product in his mind with the fondness of an artisan creating a seminal piece of work.
There was a reason why he called the spiritual fragment that combined his own spiritual energy with the Dragon Cat's spiritual remnant a product.
It was, in essence, a manufactured creation!
Even if the production process took place in a purely spiritual setting, it did not detract from the fact that it had come into existence through deliberate intent.
\"Am I a god now?\" He asked himself.
Well, he didn't really feel like one, so he probably had some ways to go. In any case, the point was that Ves made significant strides in his design philosophy.
He had gone from using spiritual fragments directly as his design spirits after minimal processing to using them as the raw materials of a more sophisticated spiritual product!
This was like if he used to eat eggs by boiling them and eating directly by using them as ingredients for a traditional cake. The latter was much more sophisticated than the former, thereby opening up many possibilities with what he could do in his work!
Sure, the product he created looked kind of rough and unpolished when Ves inspected it further. The spiritual fragment only merged together the two different kinds of spiritual energies in a rudimentary fashion.
This was a product created out of trial and error rather than deliberate theory. Ves still had no idea why it worked at all and how he got the two energies to establish a basic, symbiotic bond with each other.
\"It's good enough that it worked!\"
For a mere modification project, Ves didn't quibble too much about the shortcomings of his spiritual product. In fact, applying his new creation to the Kinslayer would be a very good opportunity to put this innovation to the test!
\"You're going to need a name. You deserve that at the very least.\" He whispered.
He had breathed life into the remains of a spiritually dead entity. The new creation might have incorporated some of his spiritual strength, but it was completely detached and independent from himself.
All their common ground did was make the newborn spiritual entity more open and trusting towards him. It had not yet developed a sophisticated consciousness that stood up on its own.
\"It's like a baby, pretty much, but without the incessant crying and need for milk and comfort.\"
He spontaneously decided to call it Vescas.
The name didn't matter. What Ves cared more was what its creation represented for his future development.
No longer was he bound to the whims of his spiritual fragments if he ever obtained them for his future projects!
As long as they proved recalcitrant, uncooperative or incompatible, Ves could choose to overpower their defenses and break them apart!
\"It's just like dismantling a useless mech in order to recycle its parts and materials!\"
If he did this to living spiritual fragments, he was essentially killing them by doing this. Their spiritual imprints tying them to their source would still linger, but no longer did they play a significant role.
As long as Ves introduced his excess spiritual energy and melded it into the broken spiritual remains, his living spiritual imprint would overpower and subsume the dead spiritual imprint of the original source!
This was exactly what happened in the case of Vescas!
As Ves continued to probe his new organic product from every angle, he noted that its spiritual imprint had changed as well.
It contained elements from both the deceased Dragon Cat and himself along with a lot of random elements.
The latter proved to be the component that distinguished the new entity's imprint from both its parent sources.
Vescas firmly existed as an independent spiritual entity, and only possessed loose familial ties with Ves and the Dragon Cat!
\"This must be the reason why I can't control it like a limb. It really is akin to a child!\"
The path of life revolved around the wonder and mysteries of life. Surprises and unexpected behavior was part of what made life so vibrant every day.
If Ves turned back to the path of determinism, then he might prioritize a way to enslave the spiritual product and keep it under his heel.
\"I can't do that.\" He shook his head.
Right now, he did not wish to besmirch the path of life and tread over its core values. Now that he created a new form of spiritual life, he wanted to put Vescas to good use where it could develop into something more.
\"It might be my baby, but it's also a product! Products are meant to be used, not pampered!\"
He wasn't running a charity, after all!
As Ves quietly studied Vescas further by probing it with his own Spirituality, he found out that the spiritual product contained a messy fusion of both his understanding of mech design and the Dragon Cat's rich experience in combat!
This was a very ideal fusion considering that both of them complimented well with a tiger mech once they combined their strengths!
\"It's all about symbiosis!\"
His own Spirituality was highly familiar with mechs and mech designs, but it possessed no battle expertise.
The Dragon Cat's remnant spirituality knew nothing about how mechs worked, but it possessed an abundant amount of battle intent and experience.
Combining the two together resulted in an ideal fusion where the strengths of both covered the weaknesses of each other!
The spiritual product's familiarity and intimacy with mechs was the highest of any spiritual fragment he came in touch with in the past!
Entities such as Qilanxo's spiritual fragment and Prophet Ylvaine's spiritual fragment all possessed their own strong points.
However, all of the supplemental images he blended into them only supplemented some familiarity and expertise in mechs into them. It did not change their fundamental makeup in a very significant way.
It was more like the previous spiritual fragments began to wear mech-themed coats. Underneath their clothes, they still reflected their source, which possessed little to no familiarity at all with mechs.
This was why his latest innovation was so important. Rather than drape his spirituality over the fragments in a shallow manner, he shoved it inside their spiritual makeup! This forced them to integrate a much larger proportion of his intimacy of mechs!
For this reason, Ves regarded Vescas as the next step in his utilization of spiritual fragments. Despite its lack of strength compared to Ylvaine's spiritual fragment or Qilanxo's spiritual fragment, its depth and familiarity to mechs far surpassed the older spiritual entities!
\"It's kind of a way of accomplishing more with less.\"
Ves had been driven to this point out of necessity. The Dragon Cat's spiritual remnant had already died by the time he got to it. What he essentially did was repurposing the spiritual carcass into something new and functional.
If he could already do this with some dead spiritual remains, what if he applied the same method to something stronger?
His eyes shone as he started to imagine the possibilities if he managed to harvest a living spiritual fragment from a notorious Crown Cat such as Zeigra!
In fact, his greed urged him to take more. Instead of harvesting a mere fragment from the huge cat's spirituality, Ves aimed to capture it whole!
Of course, he didn't think it was as simple as yoinking Zeigra's spirituality out of his mind as soon as he caught sight of the Crown Cat.
He figured that he'd only have an opportunity to do so at the moment of its death. As the fate of the Dragon Cat's spiritual remnant already showed, when a powerful creature died, their spirituality became unmoored.
This would be the time when Ves would make his move!
\"In order to get to that point, I have to make sure Lady Miralix and her hunters are piloting the strongest mechs possible!\"
His motivation towards his current assignment shot up into the sky! He deeply committed himself to improving the mechs of the Catstrikers, especially Miralix's Kinslayer!
As soon as he came off his inner contemplation, he dragged Lucky and Nitaa over to the mech workshops where he immediately went to work.
Aside from drawing up modification plans on the fly for the humanoid mechs, Ves poured his entire heart into tweaking and refining the Kinslayer.
Ves was like a bundle of energy as he completely immersed himself into his work. While the other mechs of the Catslayers only received modest alterations, the modifications he made to the Kinslayer became much more pronounced!
With Vescas housed in his mind, he actively solicited it during the modification process. Even if it was too immature to make its own decisions, just familiarizing the spiritual product to the mech was an important step.
\"Look closely! This is going to be your new home soon!\"
Overall, the changes he made to the Kinslayer made it conform a little more to the Dragon Cat. In fact, Ves spent more time and effort on applying cosmetic changes than altering its performance.
Appearances mattered! As Ves added various decorative elements to the mech, the tiger mech became more and more majestic. Along with the latent X-Factor it developed because of how much Ves invested in the modification plans, the mech slowly began to take an entirely different air!
To the mech technicians working at the workshop, their leader's personal mech began to acquire the stature it deserved!
While Lady Miralix understood little of what Ves was actually doing, she applauded his efforts nonetheless.
\"Fantastic work, Mr. Larkinson!\" She clapped her hands in satisfaction. \"I knew it was worth it to involve you in my hunt! I can already imagine how well my new and improved Kinslayer will perform against Zeigra! The footage that we'll record will surely look epic!\"
Though he shared some of her enthusiasm, Ves did not let his feelings detract from the dangers they faced.
\"Please don't think you'll be invincible when you pilot the new Kinslayer. We're facing a Crown Cat, after all. Or other preparations can't fall behind.\"
Lady Miralix quickly regained her composure. \"Ah, yes, you're right. We can't take any Crown Cat for granted. It's been a while since we last observed Zeigra in battle, so he may have grown stronger than we projected in the meantime. Hopefully, your efforts have closed the gap.\"
\"We can only hope.\" Ves said cautiously.