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(Hydra Star System- Lunar Colony Renoran)

(Mine No.12)

The air was filled with a thick black smog that blackened the surrounding landscape with a choking smell.

Qiana frowned as she adjusted the mask over her face and peered down at the open gaping hole in the ground.

Dozens of robot androids were entering the pit under the strict supervision of the human workers who checked the drones inside the mine to monitor the situation inside.

Large trucks and digging machines could be seen along the edges of the pit and some were full to the brim with greenish-grey dirt that glowed slightly.

The young heiress of House Abazin had never been to a mine before but was not one who was afraid to get her hands dirty.

House Abazin's primary source of income came from the trading of raw materials that they extracted from mines on exoplanets and lunar colonies.

It was not a particularly exciting source of wealth but… money was money.

And it was an honest day's work.

Compared to how other noble houses got their wealth, House Abazin were saints.

Qiana narrowed her eyes and walked closer to the pit. She could hear the hum of the machinery get louder and louder as she stepped forward.

The workers standing nearby bowed politely and then continued their jobs without complaint.

Qiana's eyes scanned the entire scenery for anything out of place or strange but could find nothing.

Three days had passed since the incident outside her tent, and everything was fine. From a logical point of view, it appeared as though Carter was correct.

Olivia the woman who had screamed that night was well known to drink a little bit too much when her shift was over.

There was a strong possibility that she had merely seen an illusion, or her mind had been tricked to see a monster.

And yet…

Qiana let out a heavy sigh and the corners of her mask began to fog up. She could not shake the feeling that there was something more going on.

She watched absentmindedly as the androids walked out of the pit holding large containers filled with valuable raw materials.

These containers were then loaded on to the trucks outside the pit and would then be sent off to a processing plant on the other side of the lunar colony.

She still needed to visit the processing plant soon but that would be on the agenda for next weekend.

Qiana wanted to visit the location of all the mines first and then proceed to check out the other important areas on the lunar colony.

"Do you want anything young miss?" a hoarse voice politely asked. Carter stepped forward and bowed respectfully in front of Qiana.

"No thank you… I'm just looking for today," Qiana softly replied.

The muscular man nodded and then strode off to talk to some of the human workers.

Qiana rubbed her fingers together slowly as she channeled some of the qi in her dantian to the meridians in her ear.

Suddenly she could hear the conversation happening between Carter and the three workers who seemed to be arguing,

"What the hell? Why are you all being so diligent today?" Carter spoke in a low gravely tone.

"Isn't our boss here? We can't afford not to be seen working hard…" one of the workers replied.

"You… you're pissing away all of our money…" Carter whispered softly as he turned his head around and glanced at Qiana standing in the distance.

"Besides do you think that she can tell the difference? Just stand around and look busy you morons!"

"Carter… I'm not comfortable with… I got a family… I can't risk upsetting the nobles…" another worker hesitantly spoke.

"Look I'm not asking for much… all you have to do is slow down the production level for the month when the noble girl is here and then that's it…" Carter calmly replied.

"It's just four weeks. Four weeks and none of the nobles will be any wiser… once she leaves then we can go back to the regular production levels and there will be no consequences."

Qiana furrowed her brows and tried to listen some more, but Carter switched to lighter topics as if the conversation about sabotaging the rate of production had not occurred.

What was the point of slowing down the production level for just one month?

Maybe a member of her family wanted to make her look bad in front of her father but there were more effective ways to go about it.

Mines naturally had times when the rate of production would increase or decrease for a period of time.

She would not be blamed if the mine reduced its output for the duration of her stay. So, in that case why would Carter be so adamant that the workers should slow down?

There was a mystery here that Qiana was determined to solve.

Before jumping to conclusions, she needed to do a bit of investigation work to see if this was the work of a member of her family or an outside third party.

House Abazin had made quite a few enemies over the years thanks to the arrogant nature of some of her younger cousins.

Idiots willing to toss out the family name to cover up their petty crimes. Not caring if they affected the reputation of their house.

Qiana frowned as she mentally made a checklist of names. If she got the opportunity, then she really needed to 're-educate' certain members of the family.

The young woman walked around the different parts of the mine and made a few notes about what she saw.

To the untrained eye and without the knowledge that she had just obtained from Carter's conversation, it would appear as though everything was proceeding in an orderly fashion.

But now Qiana could clearly see that certain individuals were intentionally moving slowly or pretending to be busy but not actually working.

Especially those in charge of monitoring the situation of the androids inside the mining pit. No wonder they had suffered some losses last quarter.

Qiana patiently continued to log and observe her findings but did not confront any of the workers.

Now was not the time.

She needed to see if this phenomenon existed across the mines on the lunar colony or was it simply isolated to the mine under Carter's control.

And there was also the matter of the monster…

Qiana let out another heavy sigh as she began to feel a headache begin to come on.

She expected this to be a relaxing mission but instead it looked as though she would be quite busy in the next couple of days.

Utterly ridiculous…

The young woman's footsteps briefly sank in the unstable sand beneath her feet, so she quickly moved over to more stable ground.

"Watch your step young miss…" a quiet voice whispered. Qiana turned in the direction of the sound and saw a woman nervously shifting from side to side.

She wore a simple hazmat suit along with a mask that concealed most of her facial features.

One could see a short black ponytail sticking out of the back of her head that was covered in white dust.

"Thank you… may I know your name?" Qiana asked casually. The woman shot a look towards Carter who noticed that she was standing there and began to walk over with heavy steps.

"My name is Lilia… I am but a humble worker…" the woman whispered before she bowed politely and then walked away.