Chapter 261: A Messy Situation
(Alpha Star System- Planet Gaia)
(Peterlor Estate- Laboratory Room)
Although the hospitals of the Federation had cutting edge technology and medical knowledge, every high noble house would build their own private laboratory.
Rokan frowned slightly as he stepped into the white room after undergoing a round of sterilization.
This room was built roughly ten years ago and was equipped with the newest models of surgery devices and AI units that could perform operations.
The lab was about the size of a two-bedroom apartment and strange vials of liquids, metalloid devices and robotic assistants could be found scattered around.
There was one chief medical officer in charge of the lab. An elderly professor by the name of Doctor Smith. He had three research assistants and they were all sworn to secrecy.
When gaining this position, it was a given that working for the Peterlor family was a lifetime appointment.
Of course, the duke was not a stingy man and the handsome salary he paid kept the workers very satisfied.
Speaking of the duke, he looked much better than the days following the incident at the royal palace, but something was missing.
It wasn’t his appearance as the duke’s face was no longer haggard, and he stood tall with an intimidating aura preventing anyone from coming close.
It was his eyes.
The Duke walked, talked, and acted just the same as the great man in the past but seemed more like a machine than a human.
The spark had gone out of his eyes and he spent the days numbly following his regular routine.
Head Butler Gerald was deeply concerned to see his master like this, but nothing could console a father who had lost his precious daughter.
Months had passed since his daughter had vanished and certain decisions could no longer be put on hold or left to subordinates.
Managing the vast territory of a dukedom was a job that required long hours of work so there was no time for moping.
That did not mean that the search for Sophie had lessened.
Rather every available resource and manpower were still being put to task.
Searching far and wide across the universe for even the slightest trace of Sophie’s location. From the slums in the outer region to the luxurious palaces of the tier one planets.
Nothing had been found so far.
There were nine thousand five hundred noble heirs who had participated in the banquet. Now only a handful were still missing.
Hope is cruel thing.
A part of the Duke was afraid that the news he would receive when his daughter was found would not be pleasant.
His worse fear was that only a corpse would be recovered.
Over sixty percent of the noble heirs who were missing returned to their families as cold remains.
Duke Peterlor clenched his knuckles and tried to bury these negative feelings in the bottom of his heart.
Now was not the time to relapse.
He strode towards the left corner of the lab where a young girl was strapped to an operating table with several metalloid needles poking around her body.
“How did the surgery go?” Duke Peterlor turned to one of the researchers present in the room.
“Absolutely brilliant!” Doctor Smith exclaimed from his desk as he hurriedly ran towards the duke to present his findings.
“I have never seen a symbiote species with such a fascinating physiology. While it is unclear what are the exact effects of being bound to this organism…”
“Judging by the hormones secreted, this creature can enhance the natural body of the host and maybe even boost regenerative abilities.”
“And that is simply scratching the surface!”
Doctor Smith was so excited that he completely ignored formalities and grabbed the duke’s arm to lead him to his desk.
There in the center of the messy papers was a small container where a purple humanoid creature lay floating in a preservative liquid.
This was the symbiote extracted from the girl on the operating table.
“What about the removal surgery? Will there be any side effects on Princess Sisrelis’ body?” Duke Peterlor muttered in a cold tone.
“No,” Doctor Smith answered confidently.
“I’m not sure how but the symbiote was unable to infiltrate the heart or the brain regions so the removal process was far easier and less dangerous than we originally anticipated.”
“As for side effects… it is most likely that for two weeks after the surgery, there will be mild headaches and a general feeling of weakness.”
“Good,” Duke Peterlor replied concisely and turned around to leave.
He spared a glance at Cleo laying down on the metalloid operating table before exiting the room.
That was one problem solved.
Once the princess had revealed that she also had a pink mark branded on her chest, the duke had forced the girl to have an open conversation with him.
Any clue that could lead to Sophie’s location had to be fully explored.
It appeared from their talk and speculations that this protective mark was what the Arachnais race used to brand their lovers.
For what was the purpose of the mark, the duke did not know before the talk as it had never done anything aside from glow ever so slightly every once in awhile.
Princess Cleo on the other hand had said that her mark acted as a barrier to prevent a symbiote implanted in her body from burrowing into her heart.
She didn’t know where the symbiote had come from but upon hearing this story, the duke was immediately suspicious.
How was it possible that the royal family was unaware?
And Cleo’s mother was not the sort of woman who would let an important detail like a symbiote being inside her daughter go unnoticed.
The problem was that the duke had no evidence, and he could not possibly use the authority of being her girlfriend’s father to drive a wedge between mother and child.
Duke Peterlor frowned and eventually chose to remain silent but made a mental note to increase the surveillance on Concubine Sisrelis.
He did manage to persuade the girl to undergo the surgery at the Peterlor mansion, but Cleo insisted on seeing her mother first.
It was unclear what had happened once she returned to the Imperial Complex as Cleo applied for leave from the university and spent the next few months with her mother.
Duke Peterlor was convinced that perhaps she had decided to do the surgery using the royal physicians but two days ago Cleo had shown up at his doorsteps with deep cuts torn into her flesh.
She barely resembled a human being as the scars scattered across her body mutilated her flesh and made the princess look like a monster.
The regenerative ability of cultivators could eventually heal such wounds, but it was clear that the cuts had been made recently.
Duke Peterlor immediately brought her to the laboratory and had the doctor heal her injuries.
Then the duke naturally asked what had happened but received no response.
Cleo refused to say what had happened in the palace and just politely asked the duke to remove the symbiote from inside her body.
This was clearly a messy situation, but the duke agreed without hesitation as he was more than powerful enough to protect a princess.