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414 Finishing Things, The Last Day in New Infanta Settlemen

 Day 71 - 8:45 AM - Temporary Housing, New Infanta Settlement, Barangay Banugao, Infanta Quezon

Hearing Pearl's story made the women inside the room feel complicated. That feeling was even more complicated when it came to Mei and Jaeya. They experienced being toyed with by men. Mei was lucky that Mark came to her rescue. Jaeya, on the other hand, experienced it while her mind was already broken. They did not have the same experience as Pearl, but it was already enough to understand her plight.

What made it even more complicated was because Mei and Jaeya were both victims of misfortune. Pearl, on the other hand, was a victim of her ill choice.

They did not know whether they should sympathize with Pearl or blame her for it.

Then, the next part of the story was told by Pearl.

She had been nursed back to health by the military as much as possible. It was the same for the other slaves with grave conditions after being rescued.

Unfortunately, there was a problem that occurred. Those slaves, especially those with scars like her that could not be hidden, were outcasted by most of the survivors. Worse, female slaves were seen as dirty creatures. Being treated like a prostitute was one of the circumstances for them.

For no proper reason at all, they became the way for those people to release their frustration about the outbreak and other things that happened after.

There were even times that someone would throw stones at them just for fun.

The military tried their best to remedy the situation. However, while there was an effect, it was very minimal.

Because of those things, Pearl, who was already seeing herself as living trash, decided to live away from everyone. The soldiers warned her about living under that bridge being too dangerous. However, she did not care about that much.

She tried killing herself several times. But for some reason, every time she had those thoughts, her knife would suddenly go missing. Furthermore, anything she could use to hurt herself would vanish. When no one was around, she even tried drowning herself in the river. However, after she passed out from the lack of air, the next thing she knew was that she was sleeping on her bed inside the hut.

Pearl could live properly in the settlement. Yet, she could not die either for some reason.

It was another level of torture.

That was why Edzel's sudden appearance could be said as her only way out.

Hearing everything, Edzel was clenching his free hand hard. It was all while the other hand held onto Pearl's hand as gently as possible. He looked at Pearl who told the story. She barely even had an expression on her face. It was like she already resigned herself to be worthy of such punishment. This made his heart hurt.

After Pearl finished telling everything, Mark finally asked the deciding question.

\"I'll ask you an important question.\" He said with a serious look. \"\"Do you think that you deserve to be here?\"

Hearing that, Pearl shivered. Edzel could not help but gasp at that question thinking that Mark would reject Pearl.

With a deep breath, Pearl glanced at Edzel before answering.

\"I don't.\"

Pearl said without hesitation.

\"Boss, she-!\"

Edzel tried to speak for Pearl, but he was interrupted by Mark raising his had and stopping him from talking. Accompanied by a glare from Mark, Edzel could only swallow his words.

\"I don't think that Edzel will let you go, though? What are you going to do?\"

Mark asked another question.

This question made Pearl look down with a defeated look. Edzel already said it last night. And her answer now...

\"I don't know. I don't know where should I start. But... I will try my best to make up for everything.\"

That answer made Mark smile. Pearl was being honest. She had no idea where to start. The only thing she could do was to do her best to make it up to Edzel and respond to his feelings.

That smile on Mark's face made Edzel sigh in relief. Since Mark rarely smiled without a bloodthirsty aura, the smile he had right now surely meant a pleasant thing.

Mark then flicked his right hand towards the two. Since two items came out flying, Edzel and Pearl could not help but flinch and close their eyes.

However, nothing hit the two. As they opened their eyes, they saw two marble-sized crystals floating in front of each other.

Pearl was confused and amazed at the same time with the show of Sorcery Mark did. Of course, anyone not in the know would think of a floating crystal as nothing but a magic trick.

Edzel, however, could not believe his eyes. He already saw these kinds of crystals around Mark several times. Of course, he knew what this meant.

\"Boss, are you sure about this?\"

Edzel asked as his hands shaking in excitement carefully caught the crystal in front of him.

To Edzel's question, Mark shrugged his shoulders.

\"I had a different idea before, but that Sephiroth-lookalike meddled because of that bloodline thing. Well, you already learned and chose your purpose. I guess it's time for you to receive one. The one for her, just consider that as a gift.\"

\"Boss, thank you!\"

Edzel conveyed his extreme gratitude and made Pearl catch hers quickly.

\"Edzel, also this.\"

Mark said as he tossed a vial towards Edzel. The latter could not help but panic as he caught the bottle. Mark just tossed a valuable thing like nothing. Of course, anyone would panic trying not to let it fall and shatter on the floor.

\"Boss, this...\"

Edzel was speechless. What Mark just tossed was a vial of [Regeneration Medicine].

\"Give that to her together with the crystal. I don't know how much that will work but I can't have her looking like that all the time.\"

Mark then turned to Pearl.

\"Remember that Edzel is someone under me. Being with him meant that you are also under me. Do something undesirable and I won't hesitate to claim your life.\"

Pearl shivered once more, however, she nodded. She just had to prove that she would be responsible for her conduct.

\"You two should go back already before I change my mind.\"

Mark said while he shooed away the two. It was because Mark could tell that Edzel was about to ask about the man he met last night and led him to Pearl.

Pefile's existence must remain a secret to everyone as much as possible. Some people here in this room would surely notice him lying if Edzel was to ask about it.

Hearing that Mark might change his mind, Edzel hurriedly bowed in gratitude while urging the confused Pearl to leave with him already.

Unexpectedly, before she stepped out of the room, Pearl looked back at Mark and respectfully opened her mouth. It was almost a whisper, however, it was easy to read her lips.

\"Thank you.\"

She said. In the least, she did not forget to say that.

\"Bro, you're being generous today, aren't you? Can you also give me one of those crystals?\"

Jaeya immediately spoke the moment Edzel and Pearl went out of the door. Of course, Mark only rolled his eyes on her.

While it was true that he was being generous, it was just because he liked the way Pearl answered his question. If she tried to lie or butter up her words, it might have ended differently.

Everyone was rather happy about Edzel though. They were all worried that the boy would not hesitate to throw away his life just to prove himself. After what happened to him when Pearl left him, he lost his self-worth. Now that they were reunited, a new Edzel was shown to them. It was way better than the Edzel that knew nothing but to find a way to become stronger.

Finishing these things, Mark proceeded to do other things they needed to do.

***

Unexpectedly, there was no need for Mark to inform the members of the Salvador family.

Darren and Annica visited just before lunchtime came.

They asserted their willingness to join Mark once more and said that they would get ready to leave as soon as possible. It really seemed that they did not find staying in this place appealing.

Furthermore, it seemed that Karlene visited them and told stories about how the base was before they went to Bay City. This made their family even more eager.

There was another thing.

When Darren and Annica visited, the girl was holding unto something.

\"I almost forgot about this guy...\"

Mark muttered as he poked the small tortoise the table.

It was the only animal Mark noticed and took away from the army of mutated sea creatures that came ashore during the storm. The small tortoise that looked like it was made of plastic. If not for the fact that it was moving and responding to the people around it, anyone would think that it was a toy.

\"Yeah! You just left it to us like that!\"

Annica said with a bit of complaint. Well, she was somehow eying Mei who sat beside Mark.

About this tortoise that was left to her, she did not know what to do with it. It was not hers, to begin with, and did not know if it would be appropriate for her to tame it.

Unexpectedly, there was no need to. Compared to the mutated animals she tamed, this small and seemingly useless turtle was way smarter.

On its own, it learned to respond to human words and gestures fast. Even the way that it responded to Mark right now showed that it remembered him saving it from the stampede of mutated Sea Creatures.

\"Can I turn this thing into a dragon?\"

Mark muttered as he poked on the belly of the tortoise after it accidentally overturned in its delight.

Of course, everyone in the room looked at Mark incredulously.

***

After lunch, Mark went unto the meeting with General Faustino and the other military officials. Professor Suzuki was also in attendance.

Handing over the items, Mark also received what he wanted.

Professor Suzuki was also inviting Mark to take a look at the new specimens they captured. However, Mark declined as they still need to do things for their departure tomorrow. If he came with this scientist, it would bound to a long journey inside the new laboratory.

As the meeting was finished, Professor Suzuki suddenly left a remark.

\"Oh, Saviou- I mean, Mark. There are some things waiting for you at your base. My niece told me.\"

\"What things?\"

Mark was confused. What things would that be for Alana to tell her uncle?

\"Haha, I won't tell you. You will know when you get back there.\"

The crazy professor replied and he scurried away.

Watching the Professor run away, Mark sighed.

\"What is wrong with these people?\"

He muttered while scratching his head.

As for what the scientist mentioned, Mark was sure that it would not be a bad thing. After all, Professor Suzuki did not seem troubled about it even though his niece was at that base.

Still, Mark could not help but feel that the Professor's words had some mocking and insult? Furthermore, Professor Suzuki was about to address Mark with something else but just cut it off.

***

With that, the rest of the day passed and the news came to him. As he expected. Harold disbanded their group and even tried to urge Kate to go with him. The poor guys were left unable to do anything and not knowing what they should do next.

As for Kate, she declined without hesitation. It made Harold quite angry. He left without saying much to her.

Thus, Kate came to meet Mark and his group on her own and told that news firsthand.

Mark had no problems with Kate joining and after consulting Case and Kaira, the two did not have problems too. In fact, Kaira was glad to have Kate join. It seemed that one of the reasons Prince was not able to do much to Kaira was Kate herself.

Well, there was one problem that came up as Kate conversed with them.

\"Ah, fish!\"

Abbygale shouted as she saw Kate.

This caused Mark and Mei to have another short stare-off. Mark could only sigh as Mei ended up embracing him from his back while staring Kate asserting her dominance.

Of course, Kate could only respond with a confused look.