Chapter 368: A Mission Of Cruelty
(Earth Federation- Artificial Planet X-837)
(Temporary Military Outpost- Commander’s Private Cabin)
The gentle sounds of classical music filled the air and an old gentleman dressed in a dark gold military uniform leaned against his chair.
Commander Stewart closed his eyes and pressed his fingers against his temples. With slow circular movements, he massaged the sides of his head over and over again.
Send a report? Or remain silent? What was the correct option?
He did not expect to be faced with such a difficult choice.
It had only been a few hours ago when a special report had landed on his desk. The contents of that report were the source of his current state of anxiety.
One of the scouts had made contact with two noble heirs and wanted an extraction team sent out to rescue them.
The identities of both nobles had been confirmed so it was not a trap.
The Imperial Army did have an obligation to rescue civilians and especially those of noble lineage so what action to take next should have been clear.
Unfortunately, it was the identity of one of the heirs that was causing Commander Stewart a massive headache.
The daughter of one of the greatest leaders that the Imperial Army had ever seen… and a massive problem for the noble houses that were sponsoring Commander Stewart’s military career.
Commander Stewart knew that he did not earn his current position by skill or even luck, it was only thanks to his ability to be an obedient chess piece.
“For all my power… all my ambitions… I really am nothing more than a servant,” Commander Stewart muttered bitterly as his fingers tightened around the armrest of his chair.
Rage and unwillingness filled his heart for a brief moment before he regained his senses and just let out a small sigh.
His first instinct was to pretend not to see the report but the message from the scout was already logged into the system and had been read by his secretaries.
It would be impossible not to take action.
Commander Stewart was now stuck between a rock and a hard place.
No matter what choice he made… he would either offend the youngest god stage cultivator in the history of the Earth Federation or a coalition of high noble houses.
“I need a drink,” Commander Steward groaned as he got up from his chair. He made his way to an antique wooden cabinet that contained multiple rows of expensive jade ornamental bottles.
He twisted the cap off with ease and soon the pleasant fruity scent of luxury wine filled the air with soft flavours.
Commander Stewart’s mood was so low that he didn’t even bother to pour the drink into his favourite wineglass and just drank the golden liquid straight from the bottle.
He finished that bottle swiftly and then moved on to the next one.
Bit by bit, the cabinet that was once filled with rows upon rows of expensive alcoholic drinks was being gradually emptied.
Ring! Ring! Ring!
The harsh sounds of a metallic bleeping noise entered the commander’s ears which caused him to glance towards the bedside table.
His private communicator was vibrating slightly and a number appeared on the screen that was quite familiar.
Commander Stewart’s heart fell as he realised what was about to happen.
It truly was foolish of him to think that he was the only card that his sponsors had inserted into the Imperial Army.
Was it one of his secretaries? An assistant? Or the scout himself?
There was no way of knowing for sure and even if he did… Commander Stewart did not dare to reprimand the traitor.
Ring! Ring! Ring!
Commander Stewart trembled as he walked over to the still buzzing communicator with slow hesitant steps.
If any of his subordinates were in the room they would be amazed to see their usually arrogant leader shuffling forward looking every bit as frail as his outward appearance would suggest.
The military head picked up the communicator and saw the two options displayed on the screen.
For a brief moment, there was a small trace of regret in his heart. Duke Peterlor was truly a man he admired and a far better man than he would ever be.
To plan the assassination of his daughter….
Commander Stewart frowned as an expression of hesitation flashed across his face before slowly turning into determination.
It didn’t matter.
Duke Peterlor could always have another noble heir. Besides which high noble family didn’t have numerous bastards running around?
He could always just choose a random one to replace that hybrid.
Becoming the next Head Commander of the Imperial Army was all that mattered to Commander Stewart…
Otherwise, what was the point of being constantly humiliated and forced to obey the orders and whims of those petty nobles!
Commander Stewart fixed his expression and then pressed the [Accept] option with his wrinkled finger.
A holographic projection was emitted from the center of the communicator and a figure wearing a black robe appeared in the room.
He wore a plain white mask with no markings that concealed his features and the large, oversized robe that covered his body also served the purpose of hiding his physique.
Commander Stewart dropped to his knees and respectfully placed a hand across his chest in order to display his loyalty.
“Thank you for contacting me. The situation with the Unovan Syndicate is proceeding as planned,” Commander Stewart spoke calmly with his eyes lowered.
“May I be so bold as to inquire for what purpose does your lord wish to contact me?”
A low chuckle escaped the mouth of the hooded figure as he listened to the commander’s attempt to cover up his mistake.
“I think you know exactly why my master has sent me to contact you and believe me… he is very disappointed,” a hoarse voice whispered.
“Tell me… For what reason did you not send out a message that Duke Peterlor’s daughter had been found after reading that report?’
A tense atmosphere formed immediately after the hooded figure finished speaking. Commander Stewart could sense undisguised malice coming from the figure in front of him.
He swallowed nervously as tiny beads of sweat began to run down his forehead. The mysterious figure waited quietly for an explanation without showing the slightest sign of impatience.
“I… I… The report only found its way to my desk a few hours ago so… I… um.. planned to organise some files and then pass… on the information,” Commander Stewart stuttered as he spoke.
He tried to calm himself down but faced with the threat of losing everything that he had worked for caused the normally confident military leader to falter.
Commander Stewart internally scolded himself for being soft-hearted and not immediately grabbing his private communicator the second he had returned to his private quarters.
“Relax… My master still has use for you,” the hooded figure spoke solemnly.
“This mistake will be forgiven only this time and there will be no greater opportunity to regain favour than to accomplish the simple task that my master has assigned to you.”
Commander Stewart’s hands trembled slightly as he listened to the mysterious messenger relay the details of the mission.
This was pure cruelty.
It was not enough to merely assassinate the daughter of a high noble… an example would be made of her mutilated corpse and broadcasted across the virtual net.
To let the hybrids of the Earth Federation, learn what happens to those who aspire to heights above their stations.