Chapter 12, Part 2

A few minutes later, she was standing at the gates of the manor. Nobody could see her, but if they could, they would have seen her gazing up at the manor pensively. She reached out a hand toward the gate, but instead of touching it, her hand passed right through. Nothing happened. The guards standing on either side of her didn’t so much as twitch. With a grin, she passed through the gates and went on her way toward the building.

Just as she’d told Torea, she didn’t expect any kind of complications with this job. She was like a ghost, literally. No one could see her, touch her, hear her, or even smell her. She had masked herself from every sense, and in a very real way, it was as if she didn’t exist. There was no reason to think that anybody would have any idea that she was ever there. But she still felt the need to be cautious. As cavalier as she’d been to Torea about the thought of something happening to her, she knew how important it was that she stay alive. Clan Masters died in challenges all the time, but that meant that a new Clan Master took their place right away. Every time a Clan Master died on a job, their clan was thrown into chaos. The last thing Alessandra wanted was for that to happen to Clan Mekoval.

She made her way up the path to the front door of the manor, and then passed through it as if it was air. She had learned a few things in the months since she’d attempted to teleport through the door of Bezzum’s study. The trick was not in trying to teleport through something. Alessandra had done some experiments, and as far as she could tell, there was no way to teleport while invisible and stay invisible. Instead, she had to impose her will on the thing she was trying to pass through. Somehow, she had figured out that if she simply wanted something to be permeable, it was. Actually, it wasn’t even as if she had figured it out. It was more as if she had remembered it.

The entryway of the manor was empty, and not just of people. There were no decorations, no furniture, just a big, empty hall with two large staircases on either side. It didn’t look like anyone lived there at all, and this was more evidence for Alessandra’s view that the Vanmorzens didn’t exist, and that the manor was just a front for some sort of Storm Corps operation. Alessandra quickly walked up the stairs and began making her way toward the vault on the third floor.

As she went, she noticed that the hallways were just as devoid of any sort of decoration as the entryway. Cursing herself for not noticing this fact the first time she was there, she hurried along to the vault. There were no guards in sight anywhere, which also struck Alessandra as suspicious. Surely they couldn’t be preparing an ambush this time, could they?

As she moved through the hallways, she heard the sound of a mekuvise being fired off. She paused for a moment, listening, but she didn’t hear a second. Something suspcious was going on outside, but it wasn’t mercenary or Storm Corps reinforcements. She thought for a second, and then she decided to keep moving forward.

Alessandra turned the corner to the hallway which led to the vault, and stopped. There was a lumoss surrounding the entire hallway. She hesitated for a moment, and then stepped through it, confident that the abilities which masked her from human senses would also mask her from the lumoss.

That turned out be a mistake.

Immediately an alarm began blaring. Alessandra looked around, startled, and then she looked at herself. She was still invisible, so stepping through the lumoss hadn’t nullified her abilities, but somehow the lumoss had detected her. Clearly, she didn’t know enough about how these powers worked, but there was no time to worry about that at the moment. She ran forward, toward the vault door, and attempted to pass through it. That gave her a second shock.

She couldn’t do it.

No matter how hard she tried to impose her will on the door, it wouldn’t shift. It wasn’t as if her abilities were failing. The door itself seemed to be resisting somehow. Deep inside her chest, a feeling of panic began to bubble up, but she tightly clamped it back down. She’d come this far. She couldn’t back down now. She needed what was in that velisite box. The door would just have to be opened the old fashioned way.

Fortunately, she’d brought a set of lockpicking tools. She’d actually debated leaving them behind, because she’d assumed that she would just be able to phase through the vault door, but in the end she’d decided to bring them, just in case. Good thing she did. The lock on the vault was a tough one, but far from the toughest Alessandra had ever encountered. The alarm blaring in her ears did add an element of pressure that she wasn’t quite used to, but it still took her very little time to defeat the lock and get the door open.

As soon as the vault door swung open, she rushed into the vault, grabbed the box off of its pedestal, turned around, and rushed back out of the vault again. She turned to run back down the hallway she had come from, but there were five Storm Corps soldiers standing there. Turning around, she began to move down the other way, but there were five Storm Corps soldiers standing at the other end of the hallway as well. She decided that she would just have to slip by them, and then a voice rang out.

“Stop where you are, drop the box, and put your hands up!” the voice yelled. Alessandra recognized it as the voice of the same Storm Corps commander who had caught her last time she was in the Vanmorzen manor. He’s just guessing, she thought to herself. He can’t possibly see me. And then she had her third shock.

To be continued…

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