Chapter 285: Opportunity Hidden In Danger
(Unova Syndicate- Sector Alpha-099)
“Watch your step when descending and be careful!” came the loud order.
“Sir! Yes sir!” a squire in the explorer team replied as he tightly held on to the metalloid rope.
Captain Dawn narrowed his eyes in satisfaction as he saw the busy knights frantically trying to set up the remaining climbing equipment.
The end of their quest was nearly in sight.
None of the higher ups in the Hyperion Order knew what the purpose of this mysterious plant was but the will of the Sun God must be obeyed.
Captain Dawn had been part of the search efforts for over two years and even a devoted man would have doubts after months spent fruitlessly searching.
Finally, all his hard work had paid off.
The sinkhole seemed bottomless at first glance.
Even the captain’s enhanced vision could not see beyond sixty feet.
Fortunately, there were small blue crystal-like projections protruding out of the walls that illuminated much of the endless darkness.
Standard procedure would be to notify the other teams on the planet and then plan a proper expedition, but the captain was impatient.
The more groups involved would mean that the credit for this discovery would be spread out.
That was not what an ambitious man like the captain wanted to see….
Sophie stood in the background as she carefully observed the small changes flashing across the captain’s face.
The terrible feeling in her gut was only getting worse with every passing minute.
Sophie stood expressionlessly but every fibre of her being was telling her to run away from this terrible place.
Where was this danger coming from?
At first Sophie thought it was the captain but while a small part of her danger sense did react to the handsome knight….
Her senses started to go haywire the closer she walked towards the pit.
Someone or rather something inside was activating her instincts.
She decided to move a couple feet away from the edge of the sinkhole and just wait to see what happened to the first batch of knights who entered.
The metalloid ropes were wrapped around the bodies of the men who entered the sinkhole and then a machine would slowly lower them downwards.
It took over an hour for the first knight to reach the bottom of the sinkhole. Captain Dawn’s communicator buzzed and then an excited voice sounded out from his device.
“Captain… Captain! There are hundreds of the plant we have been looking for just in the room ahead!”
Captain Dawn clenched his fist as he heard the news and hurriedly asked the knight to explain what he saw.
“Are you sure?” he asked coldly.
The nearby squad members who heard the message could not believe their ears even as the knight on the other end of the communicator continued to speak in a tone of audible ecstasy,
“Yes captain, I have compared the appearance of the plant with the pictures given and the match is one hundred percent.”
A field of flowers?
Sophie also heard the news as her pointed ear flicked in the direction of the captain once she heard a voice coming from the communicator.
She pulled out the search device given to the mercenaries from her storage bag and clicked on the image of the plant.
It was around the size of a hand with thin thread-like leaves that wrapped around a fleshy body.
A single flower bloomed in the center of the plant. This flower was a queer mix of both red and yellow with tiny thorns covering its underside.
There had been small notes about the possible nature of the plant as none had seen it before.
Even the images were digitally recreated from the visions given to the high priest by the sun god.
One of the notes speculated that the plant must be extremely rare and only grow in isolated locations and in small numbers.
But now the knight at the bottom of the sinkhole said there were hundreds….
The nauseous feeling inside Sophie’s stomach was only getting worse but now there was a dark emotion hidden behind Sophie’s calm expression.
This was her chance.
Danger and opportunity went hand in hand.
There was clearly something wrong with the sinkhole, but Sophie was not going to mention it to the captain or the other Hyperion knights.
She wasn’t naive enough to think that whatever was lurking in the depths underground was enough to kill the captain but a critical blow at an unexpected time may be enough to be fatal.
This plan would only work if the captain himself decided to climb down to investigate but from what Sophie had observed over the last couple of weeks… this was a high probability.
Fifteen minutes passed by uneventfully as the remainder of the first batch of explorers finally reached the bottom of the sinkhole.
Their reports were identical to the one given earlier which helped to dispel some of the captain’s suspicions.
“Alright men. I want every available knight to climb down and get as many of these plants as possible,” Captain Dawn ordered with a grin on his face.
He headed towards the climbing equipment and wrapped the metalloid rope around his waist.
The machine trembled slightly as the captain confidently leapt off the edge of the pit.
“You heard the captain. Come on move it people!” the second in command shouted.
The rest of the knights nodded fiercely and then also ran towards the climbing equipment to begin their descent.
Sophie approached the second-in-command with a gentle smile on her face. The second-in-command of the group was a man known as Ragnar.
He always wore a helmet and full body armour, so Sophie was unsure what his race or alien species was.
“Hello honoured guest… how can I help you?” Ragnar respectfully spoke.
It was here that the captain’s influence displayed its greatest effect. Sophie was the captain’s important guest and an order had been given that her needs should be met where possible.
In fact, the treatment of the captain towards her and Lily was so great that several rumors had spread quietly among the younger knights.
Some whispered that she must have a secret identity of high importance. None of the knights thought that she was the captain’s lover as the knights have sworn to celibacy.
“May I also join the rest of the exploration team,” Sophie asked softly with stars shining in her eye.
Ragnar was a bit hesitant but there really wasn’t any sort of danger and the captain did say to listen to his guest.
“Well… you can join the last batch of explorers.”