Chapter 5460 Ves the Flutist
Ves was close to finishing his initial exploration of his new artifact.
Before he was ready to exit the System Space and prepare for his upcoming vacation, he suddenly had to revise his estimation of the value of the Oceancaller yet again.
This was because he found out that the artifact was incredibly tough and resistant towards damage!
No matter whether he subjected it to physical force or the powerful laser beams the Amastendira, the Oceancaller shrugged off the damage as if it was an umbrella blocking the rain.
When Ves temporarily took off his uniform and unfolded his true body, he suddenly discovered another useful feature of the artifact.
The Oceancaller was actually able to change its size!
In its most passive form, it was only as large as a typical human instrument.
Yet when Ves progressively channeled more E energy into his flute while concentrating on the right mental image, the Oceancaller responded by growing until it matched his intentions!
Ves could even make it grow even larger than the most fitting size for his current true body.
It just became a lot harder for him to meet the progressively greater E energy upkeep needed to maintain its increasingly more exaggerated size!
"This is useful!"
This was an especially useful advantage in battle. Ves did not have to force his true body to finagle a flute that was small enough to slip past his clumsy oversized fingers. He could always make sure that the flute would always remain in proportion.
He could utilize the flute as it was intended to be used, but he could also use it as a makeshift baton or staff if he needed to get more physical!
If he was able to master more advanced water manipulation skills, then he could even develop his own combat techniques that enabled him to weave physical attacks with sweeping water waves.
He could even work together with Blinky to improve his ability to fight in this way!
Ves briefly immersed himself in this fantasy before shaking his head.
"I don't have the time to learn all of these fighting skills."
He was not that interested in utilizing the Oceancaller in battle. That was what his mechs were for. What he truly valued was the reference data that he could gather from a high-value artifact and the ability to speed up his comprehension of the water element.
Both of these could significantly upgrade his ability to harness the water element in his future works!
When Ves examined how extensively the Oceancaller was able to express the water element, he vaguely came in touch with multiple subordinate concepts.
The hyper metal and 360 of its runes shared varying relationships with the concepts of oceans, liquid, storms, waves, tides, heavy water, steam, ice, whirlpools, pressure and blood.
It was much easier for a qi cultivator to deepen his comprehension of the water element by studying one of its lesser concepts first.
The Oceancaller made this process a lot faster and more convenient by giving him access to the spiritual techniques related to these concepts in advance!
Though he would be able to employ these powerful abilities to a much greater extent if he had mastered the concepts in question, the fact that he was able to experience the application of the power of tides or waves without being familiar with them was a priceless learning opportunity!
"What I have to do next is to practice music."
Ves was not a musician. Unlike a number of his other colleagues, he did not even have the habit of listening to music when he designed his mechs.
He enjoyed the process and the challenge of designing mechs. He derived so much enjoyment in the long and difficult process of putting together a good machine that music would only occupy a part of his precious concentration.
That did not mean he hated music. He acknowledged its artistry. He was impressed by the ability for performers to influence the thoughts and emotions with their compositions.
Ves just did not have a thorough understanding of music and how to make it. Even if he regarded himself as an artist, he was much more involved in visual rather than auditory art forms.
Just like how ordinary mech designers possessed little understanding of biomechs, Ves just did not know enough about music to make greater use of the Oceancaller.
The impressive artifact was not a magic wand. It would be disrespectful for Ves to utilize it in this manner.
If he wanted to develop a proper relationship with the Oceancaller, then he needed to learn how to play the flute like a proper musician.
This was why Ves eventually exited the System and started to take virtual crash courses on how to play the flute.
As a transcendent mech designer who had acquired a frighteningly powerful learning ability, it was not that difficult to memorize all of the notes and a few simple songs.
The flute was one of the more approachable musical instruments to get started with, but Ves quickly found out that it possessed a huge amount of depth.
He would have preferred to obtain a string instrument instead. At least then he would be able to take advantage of his dexterity and excellent control over his fingers.
The flute on the other hand demanded that he control his breathing and blow through the hole in a specific manner.
One of the first skills he learned was to prevent the Oceancaller from exercising its extraordinary powers.
After all, it would be quite bad if he accidentally ripped the blood out of Alexa's body or caused Gavin to die in agony as his blood boiled into steam!
Ves found that he only had to maintain a bit of mental discipline and make it clear to the flute that he did not intend to employ any violence.
"I can still use you like a normal flute, right? Good."
Though Ves did not suffer from the typical problems related to physical inadequacies, there was no way to make up for his lack of proficiency aside from spending lots of time on playing the flute.
Fortunately, the Oceancaller was a good sport about it. The high-level artifact understood that Ves was a complete beginner and tolerated all of the times where he botched his technique and produced discordant sounds.
This was good news. The more Ves interacted with the artifact, the more he was able to strengthen his connection to it. The flute would also get to know him better and grow in a direction that was more compatible to his own inclinations.
In the hands of the Mistress of the Oceans, the Oceancaller turned into a symbol of terror, an icon of genocide and an artifact of evil.
Suffice to say, Ves had no interest in acquiring such a distasteful object.
Ves hoped to turn the Oceancaller into a more positive artifact.
If this replica had inherited any of the more negative aspects of the original, then Ves just had to reeducate the artifact spirit until it had been reformed.
In any case, entire days passed by as Ves grew obsessed with practicing the flute. Though he still satisfied his other obligations, it was clear to everyone around him that he had gotten into one of his obsessive phases again.
Before he knew it, Ves, his children and his staff teleported onto the Tarrasque.
Once they had settled into their stateroom, the Bluejay Fleet quickly commenced their journey to the Ocanon System.
"Vacation! Vacation! Vacation!" Andraste repeatedly shouted while she jumped on top of her bed.
Lucky yawned while he started to nap on the bouncing bed.
Clixie purred as she rested next to little Marvaine and allowed him to caress her back.
Their father paid little attention to the children. He continued to put his focus on building up the muscle memory of playing different notes by repeatedly playing the same simple songs.
Though the sound of his own music was improving by the day, he still did not act as if he turned into a real musician.
He was not able to evoke the same kind of passion for designing mechs. Ves would have felt much more at home if he engaged in painting.
He felt more and more unworthy to play such a powerful artifact. The Oceancaller deserved to be played by an earnest musician. Though Ves tried to deepen his affection for it, he could not get away from the motivation to turn it into a powerful tool.
As Ves processed his mixed emotions while attempting to play a tune, one of his daughters looked at him with increasingly judgmental eyes.
"Hmm? What is the matter, Aurelia?"
"You are so bad at this." The girl bluntly accused. "You are not controlling your intonation. You are not adapting your technique to the melody of the song."
Ves smiled back at her. "I am a beginner. Not only that, I do not have an inherent talent in music, unlike you. I have to practice my skills step-by-step. Be patient, dear. I am sure that I can produce better sounds after a few more weeks of practice."
The look his daughter gave him suggested that she had little confidence in this claim. "My classmates in school have already improved further than you after attending only a couple of lessons on playing the flute."
He believed her. Designer babies were just too good. First-class ones were so comprehensive that ones who specialized in music could quickly master any standard human instrument!
"Would you like to try this out yourself?"
Aurelia grinned as she grabbed hold of the Oceancaller.
The high-level artifact did not exhibit any obvious metaphysical traits when it was in its passive form. Nobody was able to identify it as an extraordinary artifact because its isolation barrier did a good job at preventing anyone from peering beneath its exterior.
Though Aurelia had no way of knowing that the Oceancaller held a lot of power, she still gained a hint of the remarkable nature of the instrument as soon as she held it in her small and delicate hands.
Though the artifact looked a bit oversized relative to her small body, she was still able to hold it in a way that looked comfortable and natural.
From the moment she started to play a positive and joyful tune, she entered a state of mind that made it seem as if she was channeling her happiness into the instrument.
She even started to dance and swing her body in tune with the song that she had chosen.
Everyone else stopped when Aurelia played the Oceancaller with skill and confidence.
"So good! You are so much better than papa!" Andraste clapped her hands as she became infected by her older sister's happy vibes.
"Meow meow." Lucky woke up but did not show any irritation.
As Aurelia continued to fill the chamber with her sound, she harmonized with the flute in a way that completely made Ves recognize the gap between himself and his oldest daughter.
She not only mastered the techniques of playing a flute to a high degree, she was able to play the instrument as if it was a vessel for her emotions.
Her skillful techniques and passion for music enabled her to convey much greater meaning in her performance. She not only blew in the right ways and hit all of the correct notes, but she distinguished herself by putting her own personal inflections into a pretty popular song.
This meant that only Aurelia was able to play this tune in this specific fashion. Another artist may have come up with this melody, but Aurelia turned it into her own song by applying her personal touch.
Had Ves made the wrong decision? Was Aurelia the rightful owner of the replica of the Oceancaller all along?
He did not get this feeling from the flute. Days of playing with it had slightly improved his ability to read its mood.
From what Ves could gather, the Oceancaller appreciated Aurelia's skill, but that was all. It was not really a tool for creating music, but rather an instrument that was designed to drown entire planets in an endless flood of tsunamis!
For that reason the high-level artifact much preferred to he wielded by a more powerful individual esperially one that was not shy about getting his hands dirty!