(Alpha Star System- Planet Cthelen)

Planet Cthelen was not a true planet.

Instead, it was an awe-inspiring artificial space station that mimicked both the size and shape of a normal planet.

A true marvel of human engineering and a clear sign of humanity' progress during the interstellar era when it came to technological advancements.

In fact, it was two times the size of earth and had a vaguely similar appearance to humanity's birthplace.

The planet was composed of heavy metalloid discs, high tech mechanical wonders and covered in a thin layer of soil.

The soil had been specially treated to have a high nutrient level in order to sustain a healthy ecosystem of plants and a limited number of animal species.

The atmosphere of this artificial planet was maintained by importing gases from other worlds and creating the necessary chemicals in matter generator factories.

Planet Cthelen was powered by massive nuclear fission reactors capable of powering the entire construct for several hundred thousand years.

Not many could claim that they visited this planet.

Its maintenance was handled exclusive by androids and genetically modified humans carefully nurtured from birthing chambers to have absolute loyalty to the Imperial Family.

There was only one occasion when this planet was open to outsiders and that occasion was finally here…

The Succession Ceremony.

Sophie slowly walked down the stairs of her private spacecraft and took in a deep breath. The air tasted a bit… strange.

She could not put her finger on it but there was the barest hint of chemicals with every breath that she took.

The hybrid girl stretched out her hand and gently grabbed Cleo's palm. She escorted her girlfriend down the flight of stairs with slow and careful movements.

"Thank you darling," Cleo giggled playfully as she gently pressed her elbow against Sophie's side.

"Anytime my love," Sophie teased her back with a short smile.

They were not the only ones arriving in one of the numerous temporary spaceports that had opened up around the planet.

Thousands of spacecrafts were landing like clockwork every hour and then departing to pick up more passengers.

Sophie looked off into the distance and her eyes narrowed.

She could see what looked like some kind of city or central hub, but it was nothing like she had ever seen before.

Layers of towering hive-like structures rose up from the ground with each layer teeming with ant-like humanoid figures.

These buildings had hexagonal pieces all welded together to form an overall appearance not dissimilar to the interior of a bee's hive.

Each building was also connected by a maze of walkways, transport systems, bridges and corridors made from thin metalloid alloys.

"I never thought I would see this in my lifetime," a faint voice came from a few hundred metres behind Sophie.

The hybrid girl glanced behind her and saw an elderly noble couple leaning against one another and staring in the direction of the city.

"My dear… it is truly an honour," the noblewoman's companion nodded his head and tilted his wrist communicator upwards to snap a picture.

Sophie turned away from the couple and continued to guide her girlfriend towards the city in the distance.

This was going to be where they would be staying for the next three to four weeks depending on how long the tournament took to finish.

Fortunately, all of her university professors were going to be posting their classes online and Sophie was fairly ahead of the practical aspects of each of her majors.

The hybrid girl walked with her companion for several more minutes before they arrived at the edge of the spaceport where a road led directly to the city.

Dozens of hovercars lined up along both sides of the road and there was an android driver sitting down in the front seat of each vehicle.

Numerous soldiers wearing heavy battle armour and holding plasma rifles patrolled the surrounding areas looking for any signs of trouble.

Sophie could feel numerous stares directed at her from both the soldiers and the other nobles present but refused to be cowered.

She went up to one of the empty hovercars and reached into her storage bag for her identification card.

The android sitting in the front seat turned towards her and a green light shot out of its mechanical eyes.

The light scanned the card held in Sophie's hand as well as the rest of her body several times over.

[DNA Sample Required]

A robotic voice came from the android's mouth, and it held out one of its metalloid arms to reveal a sharp syringe-like object attached to one of its fingers.

Sophie furrowed her brows and looked around. Other nobles were also going through the same process and although none looked happy… they did not complain.

She reluctantly stretched out her palm and the android quickly struck the underside of her flesh with the needle.


The syringe's tip immediately broke and the android looked at its broken finger and then at Sophie with a neutral expression on its face.

[Void Stage Cultivator Detected- Accessing Database…]

[Please Use Alternative Method Of Data Collection- Saliva Or Other Bodily Fluids…]

Sophie let out a heavy sigh and leaned forward. The android's left index finger morphed into the shape of a small cup.

The hybrid girl opened her mouth and then spit into the cup. She saw her saliva being sucked into a small tube in the bottom of the cup and then disappear.

There was a brief moment of silence as the android's mechanical eyes flashed a bright yellow colour as it proceeded to scan the sample.

[Identity Confirmed- Sophie Peterlor]

The android pressed a button on the steering wheel and the hovercar's door slid open. Sophie got inside and waited for Cleo to go through the process.

The android's broken finger began to repair itself thanks to the emergency nanites inside its repair kit.

Soon its finger syringe was good as new, and the mechanical creature beckoned for Cleo to step forward.

Fortunately, her girlfriend had a much easier time since the syringe went through her skin without any problem and took a blood sample.

[Identity Confirmed- Cleo Sisrelis]

Cleo slid in the hovercar and leaned against Sophie's shoulder. She seemed slightly uncomfortable as if being on this planet was causing her to be on edge.

"You okay?" Sophie asked with concern evident in her voice.

"Yeah… it's just… it's finally happening…" Cleo whispered quietly as she stared at the city with conflicting emotions in her heart.

"One of my siblings is going to be the next leader of the Imperial Family. My mom wanted me to be the empress and honestly…"

"There is a small part of me that wants to compete as well. Not the logical part because obviously I would die but… forget it…"

Sophie opened her mouth to comfort her girlfriend but the doors to the hovercar slammed shut and the android activated the accelerators.

The hovercar shot forward with a startling high speed until it became a blur of motion.

The g-force sent Cleo sprawling against the back of the seat while Sophie's high cultivation level meant that she was relatively unaffected.

She used her qi to shield Cleo's body and soon her girlfriend looked a lot more relaxed.