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Phase whales came in many shapes and sizes, but few grew to exaggerated sizes like the one that grew the gigantic skeleton.
Now that everyone learned about the so-called unclean whales and clean whales, they immediately harbored more vigilance towards the Royal Tomb.
What kind of phase whale was the one that had been buried in this space pocket?
Was the monstrous creature truly related to the extremely rare occurrence of cannibal whales that had mastered their own mutations?
Ves and the others stared at the simulated image of the unclean whale that had grown to an immense size. Real and accurate depictions of the delinquent whales didn’t exist as every source that mentioned them did not dare to offer too many descriptions.
Perhaps the people that wrote those entries did not wish to entice other phase whales into committing the same taboos.
If the skeleton truly belonged to a mythical clean whale, then it was no wonder why the Mech Trade Association insisted on taking over this site! That skeleton could provide many key insights on the phase whale race as well as directions for higher biological development!
Even if not a single speck of living whale tissue was left in the Royal Tomb, the MTA’s research teams probably possessed more than enough examination methods to derive a lot of clues out of the remarkably preserved skeleton!
Still, did the skeleton truly belong to such a fearsome existence? Everyone looked at the projected images once again.
Due to the lack of detailed information, the exobiologists working for the Larkinson Biotech Institute could do little else but to use their imagination and expertise to shape an approximation of an unclean whale.
“Which one is it?” Patriarch Reginald Cross spoke up as he tried to estimate his chances against these super whales. “What sort of enemy are we dealing with? If we have truly barged in the territory of one of these peak monsters, then maybe we should reconsider this whole operation.”
A few people looked surprised at him. The Cross Patriarch wasn’t exactly known for his timidity. Although the Crossers had been beaten black and blue in the past, the high-tier expert pilot always maintained his fighting spirit. For him to beat down his courage and voice his hesitation meant that even he didn’t think he could stand a chance against threats of this magnitude!
Everyone turned to Director Ranya, who responded with a modest smile.
“Let me respond to your doubts by laying down the facts. First, despite its powerful star, the Garimel System has never attracted much attention from the native alien races. Second, we have only found faint traces of past phase whale visitations. Third, the space pocket that we have managed to uncover was hidden in an unusual manner. Fourth, unclean whales are extremely rare and we have found no record of clean whales emerging in hundreds of thousands of years. Fifth and most importantly, we did not come across a living whale. We have only managed to uncover the skeletal remains of one in the ovoid cavern. Evidence suggests that the once-powerful creature has been dead for millions of years.”
While everyone had made a lot of guesses and inferences based on flawed and limited data, they could trust at least this much. Director Ranya deliberately iterated these points so that they could all make decisions based on reality rather than their fears.
She flicked her eyes at everyone and inwardly nodded in satisfaction.
“The nature and context of the space pocket is still unclear, but it is hard to imagine that the phase whale is still alive after all these years. Biological life forms all follow the same rules. The only significant threats that we can expect are from the arrangements made by the entities that have made the Royal Tomb.”
“Are you suggesting that the giant phase whale did not make this pocket space in the first place?”
“My staff and I have been wondering why the skeleton is suspended and fixed in place in the center of the space pocket.” General Verle spoke up. “It may be that our assumptions about the Royal Tomb are wrong. What if it is not an honored burial place for a great or important figure among the phase whales. What if… we are looking at a prison that has solely been created to hold one of the most powerful and heinous criminals among this race for eternity?”
“That… sounds plausible.”
Everyone fell silent as they mulled over the alternative idea and found that it might actually be true!
Given what they heard about clean and unclean whales, these powerful but detested figures probably did not wish to perish so easily!
Perhaps the orthodox phase whales managed to gang up on one and forcibly imprisoned their captive in their version of a prison.
There were still a lot of holes in this story, though.
“This doesn’t quite make sense.” Ves said. “If the Royal Tomb is actually a prison that holds an unwanted captive, then why did the phase whales sprinkle so many random resonating exotics underneath Violet Ridge? It’s as if they built a maximum security prison only for them to bury the keys underneath a rock located outside the main entrance! The phase whales can’t possibly be this stupid. They’re one of the smartest races in the Red Ocean!”
It did not make sense! ɴᴇᴡ ɴᴏᴠᴇʟ ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀs ᴀʀᴇ ᴘᴜʙʟɪsʜᴇᴅ ᴏɴ ғʀᴇᴇᴡᴇʙɴᴏᴠᴇʟ. ᴄᴏᴍ
Many people grew confused again. What were they supposed to believe? Was the Royal Tomb a prison or a hideout?
Commander Casella Ingvar crossed her arms. “If the logic does not make sense, it is because we do not have the complete picture yet. The only real insight we have gained so far is that the Garimel System is much more significant than we initially thought. We need to keep searching for clues so we can fill in the missing variables and gain a clear understanding of what we face.”
“We don’t have time for that.” Ves impatiently said. “We are working on a time limit here. We do not have the expertise and tools to reconstruct an entire saga of what has happened here nor are we able to trace this deceased phase whale’s entire life story. It isn’t even necessary for us to figure all of this out. All we must do is to get in, cut off a few bones, and get out. While I would like to obtain a greater harvest than that, if we aren’t equipped to harvest more, we will leave it at that and remain content with what we’ve gained.”
The circumstances were way too difficult. They did not need to make it more complicated for themselves by wasting too much energy on deciphering the backstory of the Royal Tomb.
Ves brought the meeting back on track. “Let us proceed with discussing more concrete plans on how to take advantage of this situation. Director Ranya, please tell us what is hindering us from chipping away at the bones.”
“I cannot tell you much as our sensors and scanners have only made partial readings of the skeletal remains.” She stated. “What we can tell you is that any attempts to damage them must overcome at least two barriers. The most obvious hindrance is the immense hardness of the bones. While they are not as heavy or dense as I expected, we have gained clues that their structure and material composition are absolutely incredible. Our probable estimation is that the whale bones are as tough as the materials used to plate the hulls of first-class warships!”
That was an amazing standard! At the very least, that implied that the whale bones were at least as tough and difficult to damage as Unending alloy!
While the Larkinsons might possess weapons that could damage the bones, the sheer volume and thickness of the whale bones meant that it would take a huge amount of time and effort to cut off a single spine bone!
“That isn’t all.” Ranya spoke as she activated another projection that depicted a hypothetical cross section of the phase whale bone. “If we only have to overcome the hardness of the bone, then we work at it by making gradual but persistent progress. Our earlier examinations have found another obstacle, though. All of our attempts to take samples of the bones have failed because the bones are suffused with an unknown energy field that forcefully repels any attack.”
They ran footage of a bot that was equipped with a powerful plasma cutter. Despite striking the same spot for several minutes, the whale bone looked as pristine as ever!
The bone did not even grow hotter!
“This protective energy field reinforces the entire structure of the skeleton.” Ranya stated. “You can forget about cutting through the bones if we cannot find a way to neutralize or overcome this effect. The most notable aspect about this energy field is that it gradually becomes stronger the further you move towards the front of the skeleton. We believe that there must be an alien ‘shield generator’ around the skull of the deceased creature.”
Most people already knew about the energy field but Ranya was able to provide more data on its protective properties.
Overcoming this shield would be extremely hard!
“The good news is that the energy field has likely weakened after millions of years have passed. The protective measure likely would have been much stronger and more impregnable if we stumbled upon the Royal Tomb when it was still fresh.”
That might be true, but the tech utilized by the phase whales was still extremely powerful!
“The direct implication of this protective energy field is that piling up a lot of weak attacks will not necessarily inflict any damage.” Ves concluded. “So long as the energy source and the shield generator hold up, we can go at it for months and still fail to make a single mark. We will have to rely on our top strength to overcome this obstacle.”
That meant that the Golden Skull Alliance needed to rely on its expert mechs and other trump cards in order to achieve results!
Ves turned to Ketis. He had invited her over because she had been working on a special solution to this problem.
“Ketis, tell me about your progress. You started up a special project with Professor Benedict Cortez of the Cross Clan, right?”
“Yup.” The female swordmaster acknowledged. “One of the most obvious ways we can overcome all of this resistance is to rely on a powerful expert pilot and expert mech to force a cut. My specialty is well-suited to this, but I am not sure whether the First Sword and its Decapitator sword are strong enough to do the job. This is why I decided to work on another solution that could exceed the cutting power of Venerable Dise’s expert mech.”
She turned towards Patriarch Reginald. “The strongest expert pilot in our fleet is the Cross Patriarch. If true resonance empowerment is the key to breaking the phase whale bones, then there is no one better than I can work with. The only problem is that his Bolvos Rage is not the suitable mech to wield a heavy melee weapon.”
“My upcoming Mars Project will do a better job at this.” The Cross Patriarch boasted.
“That will only be the case in the future.” Ketis responded. “While the Mars Project doesn’t exist yet, that doesn’t stop me from designing a powerful weapon for it in advance. I teamed up with Professor Benedict to design a monstrous saber that we have expressly designed to hack through the toughest materials.”
She fiddled with her comm and projected the nearly-completed design of a thick and heavy mech saber!
Compared to the Decapitator that accompanied the First Sword, the latest weapon designed by Ketis was much more optimized to cut through hard bone without breaking or getting damaged in the process!
Ketis had also tried her best to maximize its sharpness as much as possible without compromising too much on hardness.
In fact, she didn’t need to worry about the weapon breaking easily. As Ves studied the diagram and its technical parameters, he discovered that it was actually made out of extremely luxurious materials!
Patriarch Reginald looked hungrily at the projection.
“Since this saber will be one of the future weapons of my Mars Project, we have readily agreed to put the high-quality materials that our Cross Clan has accumulated at her disposal. If this saber is strong enough to cut through that massive skeleton, then it is strong enough to cut through any phase whale!”
This was a whale-cutting saber!
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