Chapter 324: Only One Predator May Survive…
“Got you…my… delicious… food… grr… food…” Sophie muttered with a crazy grin stretched across her face.
The strange creature that looked identical to her was now barely breathing and hovering on the edge of death.
Faint grunts and whimpers of pain could be heard coming from the clone’s mouth as her damaged organs began to shut down.
Sophie lowered her head and bit into the jugular vein of the clone with one sharp lunge.
Blood splattered across the already stained floor as the hybrid girl had finally killed her competitor.
There could only be one apex predator.
The selfish beast-like instincts controlling Sophie’s body refused to allow her to share the limited number of preys.
Sophie rose up from the ground and prepared to sweep the remaining floors for the last survivors of the massacre.
Thump! Thump! Thump!
Sophie clutched her heart and staggered slightly as waves of memories entered her mind one after the other.
She could feel every painful experience that the clone had endured in the moments before her death in excruciating detail.
The feeling of her organs being penetrated by a sharp bladed tip was enough to force Sophie to her knees.
These phantom sensations only worsened when she received the agonising memory of sharpened claws ripping apart the outer skin of her stomach and pulling out her intestines.
Thump! Thump! Thump!
“Eurghh… hurts… hurts… it hurts….” Sophie groaned incoherently.
It took around five minutes for these terrible memories to finally fade away and during the entire time, all Sophie could do was huddle into a ball.
Sophie’s pointed ears flickered twice before she cautiously got up from the ground and took a couple steps forward.
The colour of her right eye had returned to its natural golden hue, but her left eye was still covered by a scarlet coating.
The intense waves of pain had temporarily allowed Sophie to regain some control over her body as the fog of bloodlust clouding her mind had lessened.
However, this control was not absolute, and she still couldn’t stop her body from instinctively moving towards the remaining survivors on the ship.
Fortunately, Sophie had enough influence to cause her body to head towards the floor furthest away from the exit.
Lily should have already reached the exit zone and activated the metalloid bridge, but Sophie couldn’t take any chances.
Especially considering the monster she had become.
The sight of the badly mutilated corpses scattered around the corridor in pieces would be enough to cause even the most battle-hardened warriors to gag.
But Sophie felt no emotions.
Maybe it was because she was still affected by the berserker state but there was nothing but a callous indifference in her eyes as she scanned the nearby surroundings.
It was like these people were mere ants.
That thought frightened Sophie for a moment, and she desperately tried to stop her body from moving.
“I… I… am… I am the daughter of Duke Peterlor,” Sophie whispered as she focused on her fingertips.
Sophie’s speech slightly slurred as tiny red specks started to appear on the edges of her right eye.
“I can… I can… control…no… I will control…”
You can do this.
If she could just slowly regain control of her body, then maybe she could stop herself from killing the last surviving crewmembers.
She needed at least enough people alive to form a skeletal crew that could get Lily and her to the border region.
Sophie took a few deep breaths and then exhaled softly as she focused all of her attention on her pinky finger.
“Just …bend… bend… bend… please,” Sophie whispered as she stared at her left hand.
The fresh scent of blood still hung in the air as her body detected that some warm bodies were located on the floor above.
Sophie could feel a small amount of qi in her dantian flow into the meridians of her legs but tossed all those distracting thoughts to the back of her mind.
All she focused on now was getting her little finger to tilt.
“Come… on…. bend… bend…” Sophie desperately chanted with all of the force that she could possibly muster.
Sophie cheered inwardly as she saw her pinky finger droop down slightly.
This was all the proof she needed to prove to herself that it was possible to break out of the berserker state.
Unbeknownst to Sophie, the tiny specks of red in her right eye gradually faded away as she continued to experiment on her other fingers.
Time seemed to stretch out for an eternity as all Sophie could concentrate on now was regaining control of her other limbs.
The smooth and hurried pace of the hybrid girl dashing through the corridor started to falter as her movements became slow and jerky.
The overwhelming sensation of hunger caused Sophie’s mouth to salivate but she was determined to resist the urge.
Now was the best chance.
This… hunger… and urges was just like an addiction.
Trying to resist the alluring scent of blood wafting up from the corpses tossed carelessly on the ground was a torture that Sophie would never want to experience again.
Sophie could feel her body struggling to break free and return to the base instincts that were craving for new prey.
Doubts insidiously entered Sophie’s mind and shook her already fragile determination.
Why was she even bothering to resist?
Even if she could regain control…
Wouldn’t this bloodlust just repeat the next time she activated the goddess’ ability?
Sophie gripped her palms so tightly that blood flowed out from the wounds caused by her fingernails piercing her flesh.
Suddenly an unexpected image surfaced in Sophie’s mind. It was a childhood memory that made a warm feeling bubble up in her chest.
It had been her sixth birthday and her dad had spent the entire day with her on a lake.
The father-daughter pair went fishing for the first time and this tradition would continue for almost every birthday that followed.
Sophie remembered catching a tiny, shelled creature no bigger than the size of her thumb and proudly showing it off to her dad.
“Good job!” came the enthusiastic reply.
Sophie would never forget the warm gentle look in her father’s gaze as he rubbed her hair playfully.
Duke Peterlor had never treated her as a monster.
She was simply his daughter.
More warm memories continued to flow into Sophie’s mind and gave her greater motivation to resist the hunger of bloodlust.
Scenes of joking and laughing with Astrid while Qiana sat quietly on the sidelines watching peacefully.
Talking with Rachel over the virtual net and hearing about the wild parties she was attending in college.
Sparring with Katarina and Jack who would always encourage her even if the training session had not gone well.
Surprisingly the only memory of Cleo that had left the greatest impression was not the passionate hours spent having sex.
Or even the grand and thrilling adventures they had shared together.
But rather it was a memory of a mundane day.
The simple joy of holding the hand of the person she loved during a quiet afternoon spent reading novels together.
A faint pink glow appeared above the marking on Sophie’s chest and for the briefest of moments she could feel a soul connection to a beautiful princess thousands of light years away.
The glow quickly faded before Sophie could delve deeper into the phenomenon, but it was enough to cause the scarlet colour of her eye to disappear.
Both of her eyes were now a deep shade of gold and the terrible urge to kill while still being present…
Was more of a faint sensation.
Sophie collapsed to the ground with tears leaking out of her eyes. The emotions of what had happened over the last couple of hours had left her exhausted and drained.
“Fuck…. I just want to go home.” Sophie muttered wistfully as she rested her head against a nearby wall.
There was still some work to be done.
Sophie waited a few minutes to regain some strength in her body and then got up from the ground with a tired yawn.
She still needed to hunt down the remaining survivors but now her goal was to place them all in the holding room or somewhere that could be locked.
Then she would go outside and look for Lily.
Sophie wasn’t sure if her berserker mode would return so she wasn’t going to rush to leave the starship.
Lily was not in any immediate danger and there was a small tracking chip implanted in one of the barrier devices that Sophie’s clone had given to the little girl.
“You can do this… You can do this,” Sophie chanted as she reached the stairway leading to the next floor.
She could not afford to lose control again.