Chapter 374: A Needle In A Haystack
(Unova Syndicate -Frontier Region)
(Oreciuam Prime- Imperial Army Stealth Vessel)
“What a colossal failure,” a hoarse voice whispered. A hooded man slowly walked through the carnage with slow purposeful steps.
His body was completely covered by a dark blue robe and his facial features were hidden behind a plain white mask.
He ignored the burnt-up corpses and easily pushed aside the fallen metalloid debris that blocked his way through the corridor.
This was supposed to be an easy operation. Duke Peterlor’s daughter would be beamed aboard their starship and then taken down by a hit squad.
She would be captured alive and then tortured mercilessly. This horrific footage would be leaked to the virtual net and serve as an example.
The purpose of having a void stage cultivator nearby was to act as insurance in case of an emergency but clearly that useless scout had neglected to include Sophie’s enhanced reflexes in the report.
The hooded man scowled as he remembered just how easily the hybrid girl ducked and weaved through heavy plasma fire.
Any other qi tide cultivator should have been defeated quickly but perhaps they were too arrogant or optimistic.
Sophie Peterlor may be mixed with the blood of some unknown race but her father was one of the greatest cultivators in the Earth Federation’s history.
Just half of his DNA would be enough to produce a powerhouse.
The hooded man arrived at the center of the explosion and let out a heavy sigh while taking a close look at the surrounding area.
Ash and soot splattered the walls and not a single intact corpse could be seen in sight. Most of the bodies had been disintegrated instantly and only small chunks of flesh remained.
It was impossible to put full blame on the soldiers when it was his reluctance to get involved sooner that led to this outcome.
Being forced to use a void stage cultivator in order to capture a hybrid girl who was only in the qi tide stage would be seen as shameful.
The footage used in the capture would then have to be heavily edited to remove his appearance which could be exposed by intelligent netizens.
The hooded man knew that the only thing he could do now was to try and fix this situation or at least get something out of it.
He pulled a small flat disc- shaped device from out of his pocket and pressed a series of buttons on its underside.
[Connecting to…. Agent 987…. Connecting to… Agent 987…. Connection Established…]
“Do we have the footage?” the hooded man asked in a low mood.
A few seconds passed as the voice on the other end paused for a moment clearly trying to figure out how to break the bad news.
“The footage was not redirected to the main ship’s AI in order to prevent any leaks from occurring and prevent any evidence from being exposed to future investigators,” the voice quietly replied.
“It was only stored on the local cameras in the area and all of the video taking devices have been either blown up or destroyed…”
The hooded man lowered his head and slammed his fist against a nearby wall in rage. The purpose of assassinating Sophie Peterlor was to send a message.
Merely killing the hybrid girl was not the main focus!
Now with the footage destroyed, all of their efforts were now entirely useless. Days of planning and exposing their hidden cards in the Imperial Army were all for naught.
Blame would undoubtedly fall on him for failing to act but how could he have known that the hybrid girl would launch a suicidal attack immediately!
When Sophie teleported into the middle of the army, the hooded man assumed that the fight was over.
Little did he know that both noble heiresses made no plans to survive.
Wait… something didn’t seem right…
The hooded man had been overwhelmed thinking about the mission failure but now that he stopped and reflected for a minute…. there were some details that didn’t make sense.
There should have at least been some trace of hesitation or reluctance in their decision to end their lives.
Maybe the older noble heiress would have to will to sacrifice herself but the other noble girl was still a mere child.
Even the best soldiers in the face of death show some fear.
But at that moment of death there was nothing in their eyes except for determination and excitement…
The hooded man frantically tilted his wrist communicator upwards and pulled up the report sent by the scout.
He scanned the list of Sophie’s suspected abilities and there was one line that stood out. The hybrid girl was capable of creating clones.
Oh no…oh no… you don’t think… that son of a bit….
“There is good reason to assume that the Sophie Peterlor who blew herself up may be a mirror copy,” the hooded man growled as he spoke.
Waves of immense spiritual pressure erupted from his body as the feeling of anger from being tricked made the void stage cultivator temporarily lose control.
The surrounding metalloid walls instantly crumbled to dust and large cracks appeared on the floor.
It was only when the disc-shaped device in his palm vibrated twice that the hooded man managed to regain some composure.
“If the mission was a failure then what should we do next?” Agent 987 asked quietly. The hooded man took a few deep breaths to calm himself down and then begun to think.
Assuming that Sophie and Lily were no longer on their original vessel then there were only two possibilities.
The first being that they managed to escape the battlefield and successfully to fled deeper into Unova Syndicate controlled territory.
The second and more likely possibility was that both girls had somehow temporarily joined another mercenary crew and were still in the immediate area.
“Do we have any spies or moles in the Unovan government?” the hooded man inquired.
“I believe that quite a few supervising officers have privately made deals with the Imperial Army for amnesty,” Agent 987 replied seriously.
“Send out a message to the moles and attach a picture of Sophie Peterlor. Surely someone must have seen her,” the hooded man ordered.
“Alert the other teams and hidden agents about what has transpired here and warn them not to assume that any sightings of the target are the real one.”
“I will make contact with the higher ups of our organizations and explain my role in this failure.”
The hooded man pressed a button on the side of the disc-shaped device and returned it to his pocket.
All hope was not lost yet but he had to admit that searching for an individual in the middle of an active warzone was akin to looking for a needle in a haystack.
Sophie Peterlor had fooled them all perfectly.