Chapter 278: A Secret Is Discovered
(Unova Syndicate- Sector Alpha-099)
A single shot echoed through the desert as a mutant rat-like creature squealed in pain.
One could see a bloody hole appear in the middle of its chest as the calm shooter slowly placed her plasma gun back in its holster.
Sophie grunted in dissatisfaction as she felt her right arm tremble slightly after several hours of intense training.
One week had passed since she had been rescued by the knights of the Hyperion Order and a lot of things had changed.
Sophie and Lily had gained an almost celebrity-like status among the officers in the squad as Captain Dawn displayed an attitude towards them that exceeded mere friendliness.
It was more akin to…. worship?
Sophie wasn’t sure how to describe his enthusiasm.
He was clearly a well-liked leader because despite being a human, Captain Dawn commanded respect from his men.
Sophie did worry about Lily and her safety since they were the only two female humanoids in a camp full of men but not one knight had stared at them with a lust filled gaze.
When Sophie had privately breached the subject with one of the squires, his response still echoed through her mind occasionally.
Knights were supposed to be free from their mortal chains.
This meant no families, lovers, or ties that could prevent them from serving the sun god.
In order to achieve this goal, members of the order who served as knights were required to be castrated and undergo hormonal treatment to remove impure thoughts.
The legion operated from the temporary base camp set up in the shadow of a large sand dune and would spend most of the day scanning the surrounding area for the mysterious plant.
Sophie and Lily remained in the camp during this time and were not invited on the expedition.
Captain Dawn had insisted that the hybrid girl get some rest and recover but Sophie took this opportunity to sneak away and train.
Truthfully, Sophie was a bit confused and suspicious about the captain attitude.
He spoke warmly and treated herself and Lily very well…
At least on the surface.
They had access to all the food reserves and the captain had even brought her medicine that could treat her injuries.
It was not that Sophie did not believe that kindness existed but the spike in her danger sense and warning from the future not to trust the Hyperion Order kept her constantly on guard.
Plus, she could tell that although the captain would speak to her warmly….
It felt hollow and empty.
Like a machine executing the instructions written in its program without a second thought.
Sophie shook her head slightly and walked back towards the base camp with heavy steps.
The two red suns in the sky shone brightly and soon thin beads of sweat appeared on her forehead.
She used her right arm to wipe away the droplets but gasped in pain when her finger accidently touched the area where her eye used to be.
It was difficult to adapt to the loss of one eye, arm, and ear. Sophie discovered to her displeasure that her combat power had been reduced by almost eighty percent.
Facing Captain Dawn right now would be little more than suicide.
But what could she do?
It wasn’t like the thought of poisoning the captain did not cross Sophie’s mind but whether or not she could escape the other Hyperion knights after the deed was another matter entirely.
The Hyperion Order and the Sun’s Glory seemed to have a connection, so it was important not to tear faces at least until she reached the frontier region.
In the vision, it was clear that the fight did not take place in a desert, but Sophie treated the glimpse into the future as a guide rather than a fact.
“Big sister!” a cheerful voice broke Sophie out of her low mood.
Lily was happily sitting down on the steps outside the tent while sipping a vial of nutrient solution.
Her little legs were too small to reach the ground, so they swayed gently from side to side in the air.
Sophie quickly rubbed her eye to remove the traces of exhaustion and strode towards the playful girl.
She reached for Lily’s belly and picked up the little girl in the air using one arm.
Planting a gentle kiss on Lily’s cheek, Sophie whispered softly,
“Have you been bored while I was away?”
“Big sister I missed you!” Lily pouted cutely and puffed up her cheeks.
“Why do you always have to go away during the day?”
Sophie paused for a moment and some dark emotions flashed across her eye that were too fast for Lily to catch.
“I’m sorry baby, but I need to recover as soon as possible so I can protect you,” Sophie replied and placed a warm hand on Lily’s head.
“Don’t worry I have finished training for today.”
It was a slow process, but her injuries had begun to heal.
One could not underestimate the regenerative abilities of an Arachnais.
The empty areas where Sophie’s limbs used to be were already showing signs of growth.
This meant that Sophie was careful not to strain her body during training and aggravate her injuries.
Sophie walked inside the temporary tent and placed Lily on the bed before heading towards the kitchen.
Living in the captain’s home was quite nice as his cupboards were well stocked with a variety of meats, herbs, and spices.
Sophie even recognised some spice cans as well-known brands from the Earth Federation.
The border regions between intergalactic empires were so vast that it was impossible to stop smugglers from carrying goods from one side to the other.
Sophie pulled out a packet of pre-dried qualrian meat and placed a large pot on the heating stove.
Adding some broth and soup base, she skillfully turned on the heat and dropped the chunks of meat inside.
She stirred gently with a wooden spoon every few minutes to ensure that the meat was evenly cooked.
This was a simple and easy meal to make and soon a fragrant smell filled the room that caused Lily’s stomach to growl softly.
Sophie took a peek at the little girl who was now blushing furiously and pretended not to see it.
“Now where are the unused bowls?” Sophie muttered to herself as she opened up a few drawers.
The captain usually placed the washed kitchenware in a drawer near the sink, but Sophie could not see any clean bowls.
Maybe she would need to wash?
Sophie was feeling a bit lazy so she decided to dig around and see if she could at least find one clean plate.
Sophie banged her finger on a metallic cylinder at the back of one of the drawers.
The shape felt a bit strange, and she could not resist the urge to take out the object.
It was a thin metalloid device with a small button in the middle.
The metalloid cylinder was covered in a thick layer of dust and appeared to have been untouched for quite some time.
Was this what she thought it was?
Sophie narrowed her eyes and pressed the button.
There was a vague clicking noise as the top half of the cylinder popped off.
Inside the device, Sophie spotted a thin sheet of paper carefully folded multiple times.