Chapter 2- The Guide Alliance….what is that?
Pulangke, headquarters of the Scarlet Thorns mercenary regiment.
Daniel took off the holographic helmet on his head and smiled at his boss who was still frantically scrolling through the intergalactic internet on her photonic device for a high-class dress. Rejoicing in the other’s misfortune, he said, “Boss! Boss, don’t bother searching anymore–”
The woman raised her head, her curly hair hugging her face. That hairdo that was delicately created by careful hands about ten minutes ago still made Daniel feel odd whenever he looked at it.
“Well, this….” Daniel felt conflicted as he scratched his head awkwardly, but decided to break the bad news in the end, “The Guide you were supposed to marry…well, uh, she ran away.”
When the mercenary regiment had first received the news that their boss was going to marry a princess from the palace, few people in their regiment approved of the match. Although Guides have grown sparse over the years, with the Sentinel to Guide ratio being 300:1, that didn’t mean there weren’t some rouge Guides who weren’t connected to the Palace. There were plenty of Guides that could help the Boss, so why did she have to go to the trouble of marrying someone?
Furthermore, the boss was powerful enough that she could afford spiritual agents that could solve her problems easily and without the need for a Guide’s powers. Currently, there was no urgent need for a Guide, so what was the use of marrying one?
And it was an Imperial Princess! A Guide like that was guaranteed to cause trouble!
Daniel had followed Kristen onto the bloody battlefields for more than ten years and even he couldn’t understand why his Boss was so obsessed with this Imperial Princess from the planet Ta.
However, they haven’t even tried obstructing the marriage yet when that naive and charming little princess decided to run away! It seems like she understood what it meant to marry into a mercenary regiment, so she happily ran away without the need for them to meddle! Of course, this was a joyful event that should be something to celebrate about.
Kristen looked flabbergasted: “She ran away?”
Seeing her reaction, Daniel thought that his Boss needed some more persuading, “That’s right! I betcha that the moment she heard she was going to marry into a mercenary group from a ghost planet like Pulangke, she ran away as quickly as she could! If you think about it, what kind of Guide wouldn’t want to run away?”
A native sitting on the side heard his words and quickly grew angry at his words as he unhappily said, “Daniel, what are you talking about! Although our planet isn’t nearly as developed as the rest, the scenery is majestic and magnificent and the people are honest and friendly-”
“Honest and friendly?” Daniel scoffed, “What kind of rose-tinted glasses are you looking through? If I remember correctly, I was tricked and cheated into buying into a Helllight weapon at twice the price!”
Eden laughed, “I didn’t cheat you! You can go ask the merchants on other planets yourself and they will still give you the same price! The taxing process to refine the weapon’s ore is why it costs so much.”
“You-! Shut up!” Daniel continued angrily, “The ore needed for Helllight weapons can be found randomly at the foot of any mountain! The only reason it’s expensive on other planets is because Pulangke controls all the exports!”
He finished spewing out his dark anger and then he turned his head and continued to give his analysis, “Boss, you see, the environment of Planet Ta is just too good. Why would they want to give that up to live over here? It’s just not worth it. Boss, if you really want a Guide then it’s still not too late to go fight for one from the Empire….”
However, Kristen’s attention was focused on another point: “She escaped? How?”
Daniel froze for a moment, “How else? Drove off in a spacecraft.”
He grabbed his helmet and pulled up the mail he had received from the Palace.
【….Her Royal Highness, the fifth Imperial Princess, escaped from the Palace last evening on a Marshall BR limited series spacecraft. The satellite failed to capture the spacecraft’s route so its destination is unknown as of now….】
As an ordinary sentinel, Daniel had no idea about the layout of the Palace. After all, only the royal family, high-ranking nobles, and those from the Guide academy were allowed to set foot in the area. However, Kristen was quite clear about the tight security surrounding the Palance.
To be able to escape from a tightly defended area like the palace and for it to be impossible for the guards to determine someone’s location, that means that the person had great ability and skill to do so.
Kristen smiled in satisfaction and set down the device in her hands as she stood up. Her red dress flowed behind her in a dazzling arc.
“Inform the army engineering department to prepare Little Fatty for me, I’m going to Pandora.”
“Huh?” Daniel couldn’t follow Kristen’s thinking, “Pandora? Boss, are you going there to play or for a mission? And why do you need Little Fatty for?”
Little Fatty was the nickname for the mercenary regiment’s number one battleship, The Crimson Assassin. It usually was dispatched only for important missions.
Christine saw the nervous look on Daniel’s face and couldn’t help smiling, “Don’t worry, I’m just going to visit an important person and need a spacecraft that will fit the occasion.”
Five hours earlier, the galaxy’s main intergalactic port.
Lin Yan easily parked her airship into the VIP area and gracefully walked into the docking area.
As for why she was here, it was because all personal spacecraft are only suitable for flying in the limited parts of space. If she wanted to go farther, say into another galaxy, she had to enter the port and transfer onto one of the starships docked in this place.
Although the alarms probably went off the moment she escaped, she had left an interference program within the system that should delay the alarms from spreading for another hour or so. That was plenty of time for her to board a ship and leave this star system.
Once the ship takes flight, it will enter hyperspace and that will disrupt all incoming communication signals due to the space-time distortion. If she leaves now, Lin Yan believed that they would never be able to catch up to her.
She took a deep breath and mentally calculated the time difference between Planet Ta and this port. Only after she confirmed once that the forces from Planet Ta will be unable to catch up did she walk out of the docking area.
As soon as she stepped out, there was a set of stairs leading down into the station and she saw a group of bodyguards waiting at the bottom. One of the bodyguards looked up eagerly when he saw her.
Lin Yan: “???”
The group didn’t look like they were sent here to catch her but they weren’t looking at anyone else but her. Then what were these people here for?
She subtly picked up her photonic device, as if she was confirming her destination but she actually was using it to hack into one of the devices of the bodyguards below.
【Escort the Countess from Planet Ta to Bill Garcia’s birthday banquet on Planet Pandora.】
Lin Yan pondered, do these people think she is the countess?
She couldn’t blame them. Her looks were one of somebody high-class after all. Showing no timidness, but instead, a proud bearing reserved for noble ladies, she copied the posture her etiquette teacher taught her and elegantly stepped down the stairs.
As expected, the moment Lin Yan reached the bottom, the bodyguards surged forward and quickly formed a defensive position around her. The head bodyguard bowed and saluted: “Madam, please follow me.”
Lin Yan frantically tried to remember the etiquette of the Ta nobles and nodded slightly. She put on a dignified look as she signaled for them to lead the way.
As she boarded onto one of the starships, and she felt a trace of regret at her decision. Although impersonating the Countess will save her a lot of time, she could also be easily exposed.
….I can only hope that the Countess does not show up early.
The customs clearance before boarding for nobles was not strict and with some ‘suggestions’ that Lin Yan implanted into the systems, she was smoothly able to get on board. She was even able to get some free bodyguards and a luxurious suite for herself.
Lin Yan sat on the big bed of the luxurious suite and looked around in disbelief. She couldn’t believe that she had actually succeeded in boarding so easily and as an imposter too.
Even more strange was that nothing had happened even up to the last moment when the ship was supposed to take flight.
The Countess couldn’t really have met some trouble along the way, right? Lin Yan happily patted herself on the back for her ingenious idea, but she still couldn’t help but worry.
She pulled up the holographic screen of her photonic device and was shocked to see an encrypted message lying in her mailbox.
She couldn’t help letting a faint ‘huh’ sound leave her lips.
If she remembered correctly, only high ranking officials and some top tier nobles had the right to encrypt their messages in their communications. Encrypted mail cannot be intercepted nor decipher and once sent, only the recipient could see the content. Furthermore, the content was destroyed immediately after closing it. Even a hacker like Lin Yan couldn’t deal with encrypted mail without making extensive preparations.
Who would send this type of mail to her?
And….it was sent right when the starship was about to set sail.
Lin Yan couldn’t restrain her curiosity and she quickly clicked it open.
The content was quickly decoded and a sentence appeared.
【Greetings respected and honorable princess, we hope you enjoy this gift from the Guide Alliance and wish you a happy journey to Pandora.】
This one sentence caused chills to go down Lin Yan’s back.
She stared at the screen in amazement and suddenly felt like there were cameras watching her every move right now.
She carefully lowered her photonic device, but her eyes were still fixed on the screen. Her body unconsciously stiffened, as if an enemy was right in front of her.
She was very confident that she had wiped all traces of herself from the system and shouldn’t have left anything behind. She knows that because otherwise the Palace would have caught her already and would not have let her escape so easily.
So who sent this email?
What kind of organization was this ‘Guide Alliance’ and what kind of organization was this?
She looked up and down, left and right, but there were no changes to the mail. It was only one line and with no special effects either. In her opinion, it didn’t match the style of a bigshot hacker or a powerful and mysterious person at all!
Even someone low-key like Lin Yan would leave behind a little ‘surprise’ from time to time because that’s the demeanor a hacker was supposed to have.
Lin Yan tentatively closed the mail and immediately the message was encrypted again and completely wiped from the system. Then everything seemed to calm down.
She let out a sigh of relief. She relaxed and realized the exhaustion, both mentally and physically, had caught up to her. The muscles in her body felt a bit sore and were aching in pain.
However, she had no time to worry about her physical condition and relaxed her defenses. The moment she relaxed, something slipped out of her spirit sea and it fluttered its wings as it flew around in circles.
Lin Yan raised her head to look at the little thing that almost looked like a little ball and waved at it helplessly, beckoning it to fly down.
This was a spiritual beast that was exclusive to the spiritual bodies of each Guide and Sentinel. Their personalities were often very similar to their owners. Sometimes they would exhibit the subconscious mind of their owner.
Generally speaking, most Guides’ spiritual beasts were herbivores. Lin Yan’s spiritual beast was no different with its furry round head and it’s dumb and innocent look.
Furthermore, the people in the Platinum Palace thought that Lin Yan’s personality was the same and determined that she was someone soft and easy to bully.
However, if one paid a little extra attention and went through the records of extinct creatures, they would realize that the beast’s soft and innocent look was a filter to hide its true nature.
Beneath that soft and harmless appearance was the soul of a raptor.
In other words–an owl.
The kind of nocturnal raptor that would feed on rats, small birds, and fish.
The little beast hovered in the air and then settled down on Lin Yan’s arm. It’s sharp claws gently clasped around her arms and it opened its big, innocent eyes as it rubbed against Lin Yan’s shoulder.