Chapter 311: It Was Time To Leave
Sophie crouched behind the sand dune and listened absentmindedly to the conversation happening between the two knights.
The guards were directly in front of the dome’s entrance so it would be impossible to get inside without alerting them.
Killing the knights or knocking them unconscious weren’t viable options because suspicion would immediately be raised when the guards changed shifts.
What could she do?
The distance between the mysterious sinkhole and the gathering point for the mercenaries was at least a two-day journey by hoverbike.
Going by foot even if she used movement speed techniques would take too much time.
Plus, Sophie hadn’t forgotten the dangerous flora that lurked below the peaceful appearance of the desert.
She would need to have a large reserve of qi in her dantian in order to deal with any unexpected threats.
Distraction was probably her only option in this situation.
Sophie closed her eyes and began to circulate her qi in a specific pattern.
Sophie’s figure blurred slightly, and then a mirror image emerged in her exact likeness. The two identical Sophies stared at each other for a brief moment.
“So, you want me to bring the guards over here while you sneak in the dome? Or are we switching roles?” the mirror image asked curiously.
“No, you got it right the first time. Sneak around the left side and approach the guards from a distance and I will run into the dome while they are distracted,” Sophie replied with a grin.
“Here you take this just in case.”
Sophie reached into the pocket of her bodysuit and handed her mirror image a sharp dagger with a greenish liquid dripping off its pointed edge.
Unfortunately, the ‘Rsychosis technique’ could not copy any items that Sophie was not directly holding so the storage bag hung on the waist of the mirror image was completely empty.
“Thanks,” the clone returned Sophie’s smile with a smirk of her own.
The mirror image gave Sophie a friendly punch on the arm and then walked away to get into position.
Using the ‘Rsychosis’ technique was still a bit unnerving to Sophie even after practising it for several months.
Especially when she stared at identical reflections of herself that looked exactly the same and retained all of her memories.
There was a faint connection between Sophie and her mirror images that was similar in a nature to a queen bee and her drones.
If Sophie concentrated enough, she could see and feel everything that was happening to the clones created by the technique.
When they died, she would absorb their memories up to the moment of passing.
Right now, the clone was carefully moving between different sand dunes while taking care not to be spotted.
The guards needed to be distracted in a way that did not raise any alarms and would be forgotten by the time the morning came.
Or at the very least not be reported to their superior officers.
Sophie closed her eyes and continued to watch through the eyes of the clone as she reached the spot they had agreed upon.
“So… what you’re saying is that other squads might come to the planet?” one guard questioned.
“Definitely. I mean if none of us can get a seedling then the church has to bring in more people,” the other knight replied.
“In fact, I believe that …. WHO GOES THERE?!”
A shadowy figure peacefully walked out from behind a sand dune and waved towards the knights cheerfully.
The bladed appendages jutting out of the humanoid creature’s back made the knights drop their vigilance as they realised that it was just the captain’s guest.
“Good night gentlemen,” Sophie’s clone yelled politely from a distance.
“Hello ma’am. What are you doing out so late?” one of the knights asked calmly.
“Just talking a walk and getting some fresh air,” the mirror image replied with an easygoing smile on her face.
“Spending the entire afternoon and evening underground for that horrible trial was enough to make me feel sick!”
“You took part in the trial earlier?” an eager voice suddenly interrupted. The younger of the two knights hurriedly ran towards the captain’s guest.
A helmet covered his face, but Sophie’s clone could sense the enthusiasm hidden in his voice.
This was an unexpected surprise but would make the distraction far easier to accomplish.
It only took around five minutes for the young knight to reach in front of the mirror image and he peppered the clone with numerous questions.
“Is it true that you need to fight an enormous fire breathing dragon?”
“Did you get to see what the seedlings look like?”
“Were you part of the first exploration team?”
“Yep! I was part of the scouting teams that climbed down the sinkhole. In fact, I came down around the same time as Captain Dawn,” the mirror image puffed up her chest and boasted.
“Do you want to listen in as well? she gestured towards the other knight.
“Why don’t you come over, so I don’t have to shout!”
The older knight was a bit more responsible than his younger counterpart, but he also held a great deal of curiosity towards the trial.
He took one last look at the surrounding area and saw that it was completely empty.
Well, the only people here were himself, his fellow knight and the captain’s guest.
It wasn’t like they were going far so it should be fine. After reassuring himself that everything would be okay, the guard walked towards Sophie to listen to the story.
“Please tell us as much as you can ma’am,” the knight respectfully spoke.
Sophie’s clone leaned in closer to the guards and began her tale while creating a mysterious atmosphere of intrigue,
“Well… it all began when I woke up in a stone pod….”
“Damn she’s good,” Sophie muttered as saw the two guards move away from the entrance to the dome and head towards the direction of her mirror image.
Sophie waited for a few minutes patiently and then walked out from behind the sand dune when she saw that the guards were now fully engrossed in the story.
She needed move directly towards the open entrance while they were distracted.
Cloud Treading Dragon!
Sophie circulated qi into her leg meridians and activated her movement technique. Her figure blurred and then instantly reappeared next to the entrance.
All that could be heard was the faint rustling of wind, but it didn’t matter as the guards were too captivated by the story to realise that an intruder had slipped by.
The transparent dome was a pale white colour and numerous hoverbikes could be seen neatly parked one next to the other.
Sophie took out a small metalloid device from her storage bag and discreetly scanned the entrance for any traps or alarms.
There was nothing to be found.
Perhaps the knights were so arrogant that they could not imagine someone getting past the guards.
Or more likely… the hoverbikes were not considered a particularly valuable resource that needed to have extra layers of security.
Sophie slipped inside the dome and entered a large open area with rows upon rows of hoverbikes all neatly lined up.
“Which one to grab,” Sophie whispered to herself while walking through the open space.
She constantly kept scanning the surrounding area to look for traps or alarms. Katarina’s words to always remain vigilant echoed through her mind.
The space inside the dome was not particularly large and it only took Sophie around four minutes to reach the end of the structure.
This would be the ideal place to grab a hoverbike as the number of bikes on the ends of the rows was uneven.
Sophie picked an inconspicuous white model and walked towards the mechanical vehicle with purposeful steps.
She could still share her senses with the clone outside so Sophie knew that there was enough time to pull off the heist.
The metalloid scanner shone multiple red lights on the surface of the hoverbike.
Unlike before, there was a bleeping noise as a positioning device was found.
Sophie narrowed her eyes and knelt down to pick up a small button-shaped device that stuck to the front end of the vehicle.
The device was securely attached so Sophie was forced to rip it off the hoverbike using her enhanced strength.
Should she destroy it?
Sophie wasn’t sure if destroying the positioning device would set off an alarm, so she just placed the device on another vehicle and attached it using glue from her storage bag.
This was a potentially dangerous move, but Sophie genuinely didn’t know what else to do.
Anyways she needed to leave as soon as possible before the guards got suspicious.
Sophie wasn’t going to risk the chance of getting caught so she hurriedly placed her right palm on the hoverbike and transferred it into her storage bag.
She ran towards the entrance with light steps and immediately activated her movement technique to teleport behind the sand dune in the distance.
It was not a moment too soon as the older guard had just decided to head back to his post after listening to most of the story.
Sophie let out a small sigh of relief as she saw the armoured figure walk over to the entrance without realising that a theft had occurred.
The younger knight was still talking to her mirror clone, so Sophie took the opportunity to slip away and return to the captain’s tent.
It was time to leave.