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394 The Second Day on the Road, Towards the Next Resting Poin

 Day 67 - 1:15 PM - Don Hilario Cruz Street, San Juan, Taytay, Rizal

The rescue of the survivors proceeded as the soldiers kept the infected at bay. One by one, they crossed the bridge they prepared as they went down the ladder of the firetruck. As for the vehicle, these survivors apparently had one they used when looking for supplies. The car was an unmodified red van covered with dents on its body. That was how they managed to secure their survival up till now.

Unfortunately, that vehicle alone would not be enough to bring them out of this place towards safety. Furthermore, as the infected around the municipal hall grew in numbers and mutated further, they had to stop their supply runs and rely on what they had gathered.

Now that they spotted military vehicles passing by, they knew that it would be their chance to leave this place.

While the soldiers resumed the rescue, Mark continued to monitor the fluctuations coming from the south direction. He took out his phone and looked at the offline map as flying would be too conspicuous. Looking at the map, he saw that the establishment in that direction was a large resort hotel.

That resort was on a rather large scale. The whole establishment was three times larger than the compound around the municipal hall of Taytay, Rizal.

Mark could not tell whether the whole resort hotel was already secured, but he was sure that survivors were living there. Several of their scouts were even hiding while observing the situation around the municipal hall.

There were five scouts scattered hidden. Their motives were questionable as they did not flag the soldiers to rescue them and moved suspiciously instead. Among the scouts, there was one Mutator. As Mark observed the movements of the others, however, he concluded that they were agility based Evolvers.

Since most of the resort hotel was out of his detection range, Mark could not tell the exact number of people there. However, just by the small area, he could detect, there were about fifteen already. The scouts were not included in that number.

Mark then waited. In case that they only came to watch, so be it. If these people decided to make a move, however, he would immediately deal with them. Another Mutator ability would be handy for his collection since he had a large number of [Mutagen Stones] he collected from the horde of the [King Type]. Right now, he had more than a thousand vacant [Physical Crystals] stored inside the [PsyCrystal].

Unfortunately, these people did not seem to have any urge to confront Mark's group. He was quite disappointed. Nevertheless, they appeared to be troubled by the fact that the people inside the Municipal Hall were rescued.

Their reaction to the rescue was quite odd. Why were they troubled when the survivors inside the Municipal Hall were not related to them in any way?

Were there any relations?

Mark could not help but ponder.

The rescue went quite smoothly. There a few hitches because of the Mutated Infected, but the soldiers managed to handle the situation. It was even without too much of Mark and his group's interference.

As for the scouts of the other group, they only watched while trying not to be seen.

After securing the survivors, they left the area immediately. There was no need to waste more time as it would also waste their effort and ammunition.

As they continued their travel, the military had to adjust their positioning. It was because of the new addition to the convoy. For Mark's group, there was no change as they remained as the vanguard of the group.

Leaving the alternative route they took, they reached the main highway that traveled throughout Taytay, Rizal.

***

Day 67 - 3:42 PM - Radial Road 5, San Juan, Taytay, Rizal

Being one of the busiest roads on Taytay, this road had a lot of vehicles either left parked at the roadside or abandoned in the middle of the street. There were also a lot of infected wandering the streets waiting for prey to come.

Seeing the convoy led by Mark, all the infected rushed towards them. It was quite a horrifying scene. The soldiers were quite tense due to many reasons. With this number of infected, it would greatly hinder their progress. It would be fine if it was still early. However, it was already about to go late in the afternoon. If they got delayed any further, they would end up driving on the road after sundown.

That was the worst thing to happen.

The survivors that were also rescued were also terrified. They wanted to be saved so they could escape the danger threatening them. Yet, they were faced with a new kind of risk in the road. They were also wary of the two gigantic monsters that came along with the convoy. After all, they had never seen such creatures in real life before. It made these people uncertain whether these creatures could be trusted.

As for their commander's response to the enormous number of infected.

"Full Speed Ahead!"

Mark commanded through his mind and the radio in his hands.

Yes, it was a busy road. There were quite a number of vehicles on the road and a large number of infected around them. Nevertheless, this road was an eight-lane one. There was plenty of space to go through without needing to crash unto the abandoned cars on the road.

As for the infected, they could all face the strength of the [Exceed: Disintegrator Fortress].

In fact, that command was not just on a whim. It was also a signal designated to this convoy.

The convoy stretched out its formation with all other vehicles moving behind the [Exceed: Disintegrator Fortress] as the vehicles accelerated. Since the one driving the vehicle of the rescued survivors was a soldier, he also followed the adjusted formation.

Then, Aimee's tentacles moved out of the slots on her vehicle. The eyes on the tentacles aimed everywhere. As the defense in this formation thinned, Aimee would make up for the lost strength while also getting ready to open up the path whenever needed.

Driving on the road, the convoy started to accelerate while beams of light flew everywhere.

On the other hand, Gifre also moved while keeping up with the [Exceed: Disintegrator Fortress]. The large-bodied Gifre got rid of the vehicles that blocked the way when there was no space to go through. Chaflar on the side with Mark left the ground and flew around to eliminate most of the infected with its fire.

The soldiers also did not just idle around as they started shooting everywhere to get rid of the infected.

They kept that pace to save precious time while getting rid of the infected by leaving them behind.

After two and a half kilometers since their entry on Radial Road 5, they reached its end. Leaving the highway, they entered the extension road of Ortigas Avenue.

They had to finally slow down and move at their normal pace once more. It was because this road was smaller with just its four-lane road. As it continued the busy roads before, there was still a lot of abandoned vehicles that disabled their ability to maneuver around.

Nevertheless, rushing throughout the highway gave them a bit more time to reach the next resting point.

Since they could not rush the road anymore, driving for around a kilometer and a half at the beginning of the extension road was quite tedious. Nevertheless, past that distance, the infected became lesser and lesser.

It was because of the rest of the Ortigas Avenue Extension being surrounded by lush forested areas rather than highly populated housing subdivisions.

This state of the road would stay the same until they leave Taytay and reach Antipolo, Rizal.

As the population in this place was lower than the surrounding areas, it would be safer here to spend the night.

Finally, they reached the resting point. Different from the previous night, however, the place to stay the night was not designated to only one establishment.

Inside the high-elevated and forested area, there were several establishments. Some were resorts and event establishments while some were retreat and recollection areas.

As for the place Mark selected, it was a large building way inside the forested area about six-hundred meters away from the main road. It was a retreat center aimed towards religious practices as it was also a pastoral training center.

The establishment had gone by the name MaryHill Retreat House.

As the elevation of the place was high, it was rather cold and the road was curved at some parts as going straight would either need more budget to build or make the road too steep.

While going through the road surrounded by trees, this was the very first time they traversed a road without encountering any infected on the way.

There were even small insects flying in the area. Although the appearance of some of the insects looked odd, they still behaved like their normal counterparts and escaped when they saw people coming.

Soon enough, they reached the wide parking area just in front of the three-story retreat center.

The place looked rather creepy for some reason.

It was already five in the afternoon. In another hour or so, the sun would already set. They did not have time to carefully search every nook and cranny of the large retreat center to ensure that there was no infected inside.

As such, Mark had an idea.

Mark ordered the soldiers to secure a defense perimeter at the parking area facing the retreat center. He then went towards the [Exceed: Disintegrator Fortress] to fetch something.

As he came out, what he was carrying was a cage with a limbless person inside. Of course, the limbless person was nothing else other than the [King Type]. It was awake but could not make any sound as its mouth was gagged tightly.

Carrying the [King Type] out made the rescued survivors terrified. They started to mull over what they had gotten themselves into.

Mark nodded to his group and to the soldiers to signal them to get ready. He opened the cage and reached for the neck of the [King Type] and pulled it out.

The next thing he did was to remove the gag causing the [King Type's] growls of hate towards Mark to be heard by everyone.

Mark then smiled as he took out a knife and pierced the [King Type's] shoulder.

GRAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

It's painful scream echoed throughout the area, espcially the retreat center as the trees muffled the scream towards other directions.

Like Mark predicted, the infected inside, despite not being under the total control of the [King Type], reacted.

Mark had already thought about it. If there was no [Leader Type] Infected to lead the others, they would respond to any [Leader Type] that would call for them. That was how hordes grew after a horde led by a [Leader Type] passed by other infected without leaders.

This time, even [Leader Types] would respond to this call. It was because a [King Type] was far superior to a mere [Leader Type] Infected.

After the scream, Mark gagged the [King Type] once more, blocked its bleeding wound and threw it back inside the cage letting it squirm inside in pain.

They then prepared for the fight.

Different kinds of rare infected appeared from inside the retreat center. Some had the appearance of insects while others looked plant-like. There were also those with animal-like abilities.

Responding by the call of the [King Type], they all rushed towards the direction of the defense perimeter.

Unexpectedly, it seemed that the infected in the area congregated in this place for some reason. There were about two hundred of them and about more than a hundred and fifty were mutated. This ratio was quite odd but they had no time to think about it.

The battle with these infected lasted shortly. With Chaflar's flames, it was easy to dispatch the Plant Mutated Infected. Of course, they had to be careful not to burn the forest around them. Mark's group also participated in full force to dispatch the infected fast.

To finish the day, they just needed to make Aephelia command Gifre and Logan to search for their kind if there were still some remaining. Of course, Mark deemed it unlikely. Nevertheless, it was better to be careful.

As they secured the retreat center, they were ready to spend the night. Since they all had to go out of their vehicles, the rescued survivors finally saw the other members of Mark's group.

Still, Mark hated the way they looked at Mei. Especially one of the four Mutators they had.

Also, there was quite an uncanny feeling for this location Mark chose as their resting point.