Chapter 118: The Mysterious Door
“Sophie…. I need a hug,” Cleo pouted slightly as she tightly wrapped her arms around Sophie.
Sophie started to blush furiously, and Cleo could not help but think that the hybrid girl looked very cute.
They were currently strolling casually through the desert.
One would even be under the impression that they were going on a date as they maintained a leisurely pace.
The two suns hanging high above in the sky made the temperature rise significantly and beads of sweat had formed on the brows of both girls.
Their feet sank into the dusty red sand with each step as the winds howled.
Enormous sand dunes towered in the distance while dust storms menacingly spun in the shape of tornadoes.
It was now the final two days of the training camp and the students were undergoing one final test to determine placement in the elite class.
The Hunting Exam!
This was to test the combat skills of the students and to apply the knowledge they learnt during the training sessions.
Sophie was under the impression that this test would be similar to the entrance exam but there was one small difference.
The students were not the hunters.
They were the prey.
Instructor Selvon had given them a six-hour head start to flee from the camp and outrun the pack of robotic dogs programmed to track down the students.
Each student had been equipped with a standard barrier device and the objective was to survive for two days without triggering the device.
Students could also attack one another but they would not be awarded bonus points for their actions.
In addition, Astrid’s mentor had created several spatial rifts with challenges inside that students could solve to receive weapons and armour that could make the test easier to pass.
Large groups would be easier to spot so students were encouraged to separate into smaller squads of around two or three.
Cleo and Sophie had to decided to move as one team while Qiana and Astrid also travelled as a duo but had gone in a different direction.
Celestia had wanted to join Sophie’s team but Cleo just eyed her down with a death stare and refused to accept her.
That was the Servie girl who had tried to kiss her girlfriend!
Even if she had later explained that it was just a joke…. Cleo was not taking any chances.
“I think our first priority should be to find a water source and then make a shelter,” Sophie hummed softly as she tried to peer into the distance.
She had better vision than most but for some reason, the heat waves causing the air to shimmer and vibrate slightly was messing up her depth perception.
It was a real shame that none of the students were given a map of the surrounding area, so they had to explore the landscape by themselves.
“Shall I scout ahead?” Cleo asked as she reached for her backpack to get her mech suit out.
Mech controllers would have an unfair advantage during this test as they could cover more ground and fight off students in the same tier easily.
Naturally, some restrictions had been placed upon them.
Students were given the same mech model with only enough battery charge to last for three hours.
The mech that Cleo had stored in her backpack was only a basic exoskeleton model that could enhance her speed and strength.
“Hmm…. maybe we should save it in case of an emergency,” Sophie replied as she touched the vials in her pocket lovingly.
Poison was unlikely to work on the robotic dogs chasing them, but it would be enough to deal with any students with bad intentions towards them.
Plus, she could always swallow the contents of the vials and try to bite the mechanical dogs.
Her venom glands added a corrosive property to any toxins that she swallowed so it probably could melt their metallic outer shell.
A few more hours passed by peacefully without any sight of other students or their pursuers.
Sophie was feeling a bit bored staring at the endless desert, so she made some small talk with Cleo.
“Are you excited for our university life?” Sophie asked nonchalantly.
“I was thinking of joining a few clubs or maybe taking part in some freshman events. The rock-climbing club seems pretty interesting.”
Cleo paused for a moment to consider the question and replied in a happy tone,
“Personally, I’m really excited about the archaeology club and the virtual reality games club. I always wanted to try those games, but I never had the chance.”
“I definitely want to play the new fantasy game called ‘Eterenia Online’ Dark elves are super pretty!”
Sophie glanced at her girlfriend who was now explaining all the different races and classes of this new virtual reality game.
It was fascinating how her green eyes sparkled as she excitedly spoke about her favourite characters.
Cleo noticed that Sophie was just staring at her with an adoring expression and was not paying attention to her words, so she leaned closer and whispered in her ear.
“I applied for us to live in the same dorm apartment…. I am certainly looking forward to spending some lovely nights with you,” Cleo winked suggestively as she purred softly.
Sophie could feel the warm breath of her princess tickling her neck as her heart begun to beat rapidly.
Images of Cleo’s snowy white flesh, perfect hourglass figure, and towering twin peaks with soft pink cherries at the center flashed through Sophie’s mind.
A strange feeling of arousal swept through her body and her knees trembled involuntarily as Sophie’s eyes begun to darken ominously.
It was a different colour from the usual golden hue as deep pinkish tendrils spread out from the center of her eyes.
This new state caused her entire vision to be narrowly focused until all she could see was Cleo.
“Hey Sophie are you alright?” Cleo asked worriedly as her girlfriend had suddenly stopped moving.
Sophie’s head was turned away from Cleo and the princess could not see the conflicted expression on her girlfriend’s face.
An inhuman voice that sounded vaguely feminine whispered sweet temptations in Sophie’s head as she struggled to stop herself from losing control.
(Take her now!)
(None should even be allowed to look upon your mate)
(She is YOURS!)
“Yeah… yeah… I’m fine,” Sophie managed to mutter as she furiously dug her nails into the flesh of her palms.
The knuckles on her hand turned white from the sheer amount of force applied and small puncture wounds caused a steady stream of blood to trickle out.
The pain sobered her up instantly and by the time Cleo saw her face, the pinkish colour of her eyes had long since disappeared as abruptly as it arrived.
What was that?
Was it a new racial trait?
Sophie hid her hands behind her back as her regenerative abilities quickly sealed the wound and soon only a small scar remained.
Cleo was looking at her suspiciously, but Sophie just awkwardly laughed and tried to resume the conversation.
Sophie was not an idiot and knew that her mental state seemed to change every time that her eyes shifted colours, but she was unsure of what exactly triggered it.
This was not the first time that she had lustful thoughts towards Cleo but somehow it felt different this time.
It almost felt like an urge to……
Hopefully, it would not be too long till her aunt Rai’lle visited her in the amulet’s space as Sophie had many questions to ask her.
It wasn’t that she wanted to keep these problems a secret from Cleo but a small part of her was afraid that Cleo would see her as a monster.
Years of rejection from the other noble children had left a shadow on Sophie’s heart and even her newfound confidence was partially used as a shield to conceal her insecurities.
“Sophie is something bothering you?” Cleo continued to talk with a concerned tone, but she was soon interrupted by Sophie who was eager to change the topic.
“Look over there!” Sophie exclaimed.
Hidden in the shadows of one of the giant sand dunes was a small lake full of dirt brown water with tiny bubbles indicating that something was swimming inside.
What was strange about the lake was that in its center was what appeared to be a wooden door with strange arcane runes that glowed softly in the sunlight.
“Let’s go check it out!” Sophie hurriedly moved forward as she dragged Cleo along.