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383 Investigation, The Queen Type and The Invitation

 Day 60 - 9:02 AM - Military Residences, North District, Bay City Settlement, Pasay City, Metro Manila

The previous day had already passed. It was now the day after the horrifying number of infected tried to invade Bay City. Throughout the rest of the day, the whole night, and the morning came, the military was still not done with the cleanup.

There were a lot of things for them to do. First was to be sure that there were no infected left inside the settlement. Yesterday, a large number of infected entered the Bay City Settlement because of the [Catapults]. Although most of them landed inside the settlement in gruesome ways that made them incapacitated, a lot still managed to kill and infected people.

They were very lucky. If the military handled that situation poorly, it could turn the whole settlement upside down.

Fortunately, it did not.

Of course, even if the people started to help, the casualties still reached hundreds.

The next thing they had to do was to remove the bodies out of the waters under the moats. It was also the same for the ones in Manila Bay. Such a task was not easy. Nevertheless, it was a very urgent thing for them to do.

Bay City Settlement's current water supply relied on purifying the water from the Bay. To make it more contaminated was not something they wanted.

There were also other things they needed to address. The military was too busy at this point.

***

At the rooftop of the Military Residences, Mark, along with a few people, currently gathered.

Immediately after the battle yesterday, Mark fell asleep. He woke up a bit after reaching the residence, changed clothes, and plopped on the bed afterward. It was until dinner that he finally recovered from his lethargic state.

Mark overexerted his body in the battle. It was too apparent for Mei and the others to notice. While eating dinner, Aephelia reprimanded him severely for not taking care of his body. It was quite annoying, but her worry was heartwarming at the same time.

As for the [King Type], Mark imprisoned it in a cage made of [Blood Metal] at the rooftop. Chaflar guarded it throughout the night.

After its defeat, the [King Type] grew weaker and weaker. It weakened until it returned to its natural form, of course, without limbs. The dark aura around its body already dissipated as if it never appeared at all.

The military inquired about it since they saw Mark carrying two bodies before the final attack. However, since Mark was asleep at that time, the questioning had been postponed.

Now, Mark was together with Mei, Odelina and Spera. They were here to confirm one thing. What was the reason the [King Type] sent his army towards this settlement? With the miasma around its body exhausted, Mark learned that this infected was incredibly weak. It might be stronger than normal infected by it was weaker compared to even the weakest mutated infected they knew.

It indicated that it used the miasma stored in its body to strengthen itself. This might also be the reason that it sent its army instead of personally entering the settlement. The [King Type] might have been able to store miasma in its body, but could not use it the way it should be used. The possibility that it could not keep its strengthened form for too long was also there.

They tried to communicate with the [King Type]. To their dismay, it was totally impossible. Their questions were answered with nothing but inaudible aggressive growls. Although it still muttered about finding the queen while idle, that was it.

As such, Mark had another idea. It was to show the [King Type] a few individuals. Those in the settlement that could possibly be the queen it was looking for.

The first candidate was Aimee that was currently staying at a renovated building beside the Military Residences.

Bringing Aimee in the front of the [King Type], however, was a bad idea. Seeing Aimee, it started to behave aggressively. Even more aggressive than it behaved around Mark and other humans. On the other side, Aimee felt the same. If not for her having her previous memories, she might have attacked the [King Type] immediately.

Fortunately, Aimee knew that Mark had some uses for the [King Type] and restrained herself.

After the two met, it took quite a while before the [King Type] calmed down. They had to make Aimee stay out of its sight for some time.

To the stone Aimee was carrying, the [King Type] did not react at all. The same way the infected at NAIA ignored the stone after Aimee's pod opened. As the days passed, it became more and more doubting whether there was really a life inside that stone.

After that, they started to think that the queen it was looking for could possibly be a human. Nevertheless, they had to forget the thought immediately after. It was because, on their second attempt, they found the queen. Furthermore... There was not only one...

On the rooftop, Mara and Monique entered. Mara was bringer her sister, Jannette, in. On the other hand, Monique was bringing her daughter. The two were confused as to why they were asked to bring the two instances of docile infected in the settlement on the rooftop.

The first to enter was Mara and Jannette. Mark had the two pairs enter separately to avoid confusion. The moment the first pair entered, however, they were welcomed by violent growling and rattling of a cage.

"QUEEN!!! AAAA!!!"

The [King Type] continued to struggle inside the cage trying to get the attention of Janette. It even looked at Mara with ferocious eyes as it saw her holding the hand of its queen.

Mara felt goosebumps all over her body. She could not help but step back. It caused her to lose grip of the hand Janette.

The moment it happened, Janette suddenly ran...

Towards Mark.

She ignored the aggressive calls of the [King Type] inside the cage and ran towards Mark. Like she did before, she grabbed Mark's hand and put his hand on her head. She behaved like a tamed cat as she rubbed her head on his palm.

The Infected King fell silent. Everyone felt awkward.

GRAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

The Infected King roared as it released its anger. It found its queen. Yet, that queen was ignoring him for the being that defeated it. Of course, no one would find it forgivable.

Then, an unexpected thing happened.

Because of the roars, Monique became curious. She opened the door to the rooftop to take a peek. That was a wrong move for her as her daughter ran through the door.

"Trish!"

Monique yelled and chased after her daughter.

Everyone was surprised. They suddenly saw Monique's daughter running towards the [King Type].

As Mark could not let things like this happen, he immediately moved and grabbed Patricia. Mara, on the other hand, grabbed the hand of Janette and for sure, she would not let go of it no matter what.

Nevertheless, the roars of the [King Type] suddenly stopped.

The Infected King looked at Patricia and Jannette alternately in confusion. That was right, even though it should have been incapable of showing or feeling emotions, the confusion on its face was apparent.

"Q..QU...EEN?"

Its expression was too incredulous. If he was a normal human, he might have the expression of someone who thought that he might be dreaming.

That made Mark realize. Looking at its expression, it seemed both Jannette and Patricia were [Queen Types]. No wonder the two had similar characteristics as infected. The only difference between the two was that Mark had affected Jannette too much that she started to gain a new consciousness while Patricia remained a normal [Queen Type].

Unlike Jannette, Patricia responded to the [King Type]'s calls. She was even struggling to break free from Mark's grasp.

Still, the [King Type] lied down inside the cage and continued looking at Jannette and Patricia alternately.

It was as if two queens should not exist in one place.

Well, there was no way to know what was going on.

Mark gagged the [King Type] once more and nodded to Odelina. She reached out for a tarpaulin and then covered the cage with it.

"Gege, Jannette and Patricia are both [Queen Types]?"

Mei asked.

"They should be." Mark replied. "Though I don't think both of them can command the infected."

He said his thoughts as he helped Monique restrain her daughter.

Mark would want to see what would happen if he let the [King Type] and a [Queen Type] meet. However, Janette completely ignored the poor Infected King while Patricia was just a child.

They already found the Queen. It was time to end this for now.

"Master, what are we going to do with the [King Type?]"

Odelina asked.

"Are his arms and legs collected?"

"Yes."

"Alright, secure those for now. We will bring that king when we leave."

"Yes."

And thus, after making sure that the [King Type] was being guarded by Chaflar, they returned to their rooms.

Mark still had a lot of things to do. One of those was to finish modifying the Lorry and if possible, modify another extra vehicle. Of course, the last vehicle would only be partly made of [Blood Metal].

Not long after they returned, however, Angeline and Paula came. The two were inviting Mei and Mark.

***

Day 60 - 11:21 AM - General's Residence, North District, Bay City Settlement, Pasay City, Metro Manila

Reaching the General's residence, Mark and Mei were guided by Angeline and Paula. To the two, they were actually inviting Mei to hang out a bit since Mark's group was not here for two days. As for Mark, however, it was Angeline's mother who wanted to meet him.

Mark entered a bedroom and the two girls dragged Mei away. The three left Mark and Angelise alone.

"You're here. Come here and sit."

The beautiful woman sitting on the bed while holding a book smiled at Mark. She tapped the chair beside her bed.

Although she was already fine, she was still too far from fully recovering. She had been living on life support for years. Her current state was not surprising.

Mark nodded at her and took the seat.

Before Mark could say anything, she spoke while looking above as if reminiscing something.

"I've heard about what happened. I've been in a coma for years. It's very shocking to see my children all grown up too suddenly."

She then looked at Mark.

"Thank you for allowing me to meet them again."

Angelise smiled. It was a smile filled with gratitude.

Mark looked away. He was not embarrassed at all but her smiling face was overlapping with Freed's Mother in his memories. If Freed was still here, he would have started crying already.

Taking a deep breath, Mark looked at Angelise.

"What I did is not free."

"I know." She nodded. "Still, I'm thankful. Also for what you did for my daughter. Saving her twice physically and once mentally."

"They elaborated that much?"

"My daughter just slipped." She chuckled. "You have questions for me right? You mentioned it the moment I woke up."

"Yes. I won't lie but it is because you look exactly like someone I knew. That is why. It's about your origins. Do you know anything about it? All I heard from your husband is that you're an orphan. I want to know if there is anything else."

Mark went straight to the point as there was no way to phrase it without sounding weird. To his dismay, Angelise shook her head.

"I really have no idea. I was raised in an orphanage. I have been there so far as I remember. It was until my foster parents adopted me."

"I see." Mark sighed. "Do you have any recollection about someone named Freodelius?"

He asked hopefully although he had no idea what he was being hopeful for.

Unfortunately, Angelise shook her head.

"Who is Freodelius? It's quite a weird sounding name."

"No, its nothing. I just asked."

Mark could not sense any emotional fluctuation from her that indicated that she was lying. Nevertheless, he felt genuinely dejected for some reason.

Seeing that she had not been really helpful, Angelise felt down. It was when...

"Ah, wait." She exclaimed. "Can you please get me that bag there?"

She pointed at the bag placed on a dresser which Mark immediately took and gave her. It seemed like the bag contained her important belongings as she carefully searched inside. Then, she took an oval-shaped metal locket about the size of an egg.

"I really don't know about my ancestry, but this locket... The Directress of the orphanage told me that this locket had been with me since they found me in front of their door."

She handed the locket to Mark.

Mark then looked at the locket, not expecting too much, only to become shocked.