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418 The Fate of the World, As Destiny Dictated and Her Vision Foretold

 Day 71 - 6:17 PM - Mountain Base, Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

Horror, that was what the remaining slaves felt as they saw Mark behead the corpses of Mutators in front of them. Putting the heads inside a sack soaked with blood, anyone who did not know Mark would surely feel horrified. Still, they were a bit confused as to why Mark seemed to be only picking some bodies to behead while leaving the others. Nevertheless, that did not make Mark any less scary.

One thing that made the slaves felt relieved, however, was knowing that Mark and his group were not just demons that would slaughter just anyone. The slaves were left there without any harm. Well, of course, it would be different for those that ran away.

With how dangerous these forested mountains, especially during the night, they surely would not live for tomorrow.

Unfortunately, it seemed that Mark had no plans to just take these slaves into his base. They were not dangerous to take in. However, they were not loyal to Mark and his people, unlike the others. The most that Mark could do for them was to feed them tonight and escort them out of this place tomorrow.

If some wanted to join Mark's base, he would evaluate them first before agreeing. As for those that were not, they could leave without any issues.

\"Jaeya, can you hear me?\"

Mark spoke in his mind calling for Jaeya that already entered the base.

\"I can~! Big Bro need something?\"

Jaeya replied immediately.

\"Tell Aephelia to go here and bring out the Garbage Cleaner. We need to clean this place before the smell attracts animals and wandering infected.\"

It did not take long for Aephelia to come out of the gates with Logan.

Thus, the slaves were subjected to another round of mental torture. Most of them could not help but feel their stomachs churn as they saw Logan chew on the dead remains of the enemies.

Mark, on the other hand, watched this to see if there would still be any effect on Logan. Sure enough, Logan was able to use the Mutations of the already beheaded Mutators. However, the strength was way lower compared to when it ate everything, including the heads.

After eating the body of the grasshopper man, Mark told Aephelia to make Logan transform. Logan did cover its body with a green exoskeleton. However, the strength of armor did not even reach half of the Mutator was capable of using.

It did not take long, the insatiable Logan finished its meal.

The smell of blood was still there. Nevertheless, it was considerably lessened.

Leaving the scared slaves, Mark entered the gates with Abbygale, Jester, Case, and Aephelia, who controlled Logan.

The sun already set halfway by the time Mark entered the gates. There was barely any daylight left to see the appearance of the base.

Still, as a Mutator, Mark's enhanced sight allowed him to see the changes from when he left the base and now that he returned. The difference was rather huge. The huts from before, like the hut he used as a workshop, were nowhere to be seen anymore. What replaced the wooden, roughly built huts were properly built sheds made of reddish-black metal.

Even the other structures and houses were properly made following the outline they drafted. There were even places to house guests and temporary housing which looked like a one-floor dorm placed near the gates. The parking area was also made just beside the gates were their vehicles were properly parked. It was good that Mark's mentality in playing games made him decide for a larger parking area. Due to it, all their vehicles managed to park and the parking area still had a good amount of free space available.

As for the river that ran at the east side of the base, it was properly secured with fences. Mark felt odd, however, seeing a small structure near the spring. He could tell that the mermaid he found was inside, and was afraid about the gunshots that were heard during the battle. Still, it seemed that she had been living well. She seemed to be in a far better state than when he found her.

At the center of the base was a large clearing that could be used for many things. It could be a resting area or an area for open meetings. Mark had thought of this the same way he thought about the parking area. Just like how Mark play civilization-building games where he always left city centers as an open plaza.

Mark walked inside the base and met with everyone. Sure enough, they were amazed which made Huey and the others proud of their work. The creation of [Blood Metal] used for construction was Nicole, Hallie, and Alana. The three already managed to bond with a [BloodChild] for each of them. As for the construction, Huey and Ed led it while those that were not working on the farm and other things were helping them.

For everyone that had just arrived, including Karlene, Edzel, Amihan, and Aephelia, this place was not just a base. It was an actual fortress in the middle of the mountains.

As for the only place untouched by the changes, it was Mark's precipice. The face of the tall cliff he dug to make his own house. Since Mark wanted to build this structure himself, he strictly told Huey to leave it be. They were allowed to enter the main areas where the infected were being kept but the other parts were off-limits.

Since it was already getting dark, they decided to do everything else for tomorrow. As such, everyone decided to go find where they would stay for the night while the others prepared for a good celebration for Mark's return with his group.

In their perspective and struggles since the start of the apocalypse, it would not be easy to traverse a long way filled with dangers just to find and bring back the people you valued.

That was why they decided to celebrate.

Luckily, it seemed that with the help of the tribe, Huey and the others managed to hut a mutated cow. Unfortunately, it was a feral one to be kept as livestock and thus, they decided to cook it tonight.

Their return was perfect timing for a delicious meal for dinner.

***

While everyone prepared, Mark with Mei decided to do one thing first. It was to meet the elder of the tribe.

Since the tribe was small, they only needed three small rooms for everyone to properly sleep. The beds might not be too classy but were way better than sleeping on tufts of grass covered with cloth. It seemed that the tribe already opened up to Huey and the others and were not that awkward inside the base. Some of them already fell asleep on their beds as their fatigue for more than two months of struggles through the forests and mountains caught up to them.

Their journey filled with dangers and sadness was finally over. Even when they arrived for quite a while already, staying outside did not give them the least bit of sense of security. Inside the walls, however, they could finally sleep without worries.

Mark led Mei to the area where the tribe was brought into by Huey. When the tribesmen saw Mark approach, they unexpectedly kneeled down in respect.

He could not tell whether it was just a courtesy from the tribe or if this gesture had other meanings. Nevertheless, he decided not to bother too much about it and proceeded to the door leading to the room of the elder and her grandchildren were staying.

Mark was about to knock when he heard the lock on the door was removed. He could not help but retract his hand and let the door open.

There, a girl about sixteen or seventeen opened the door.

\"Please... Enter...\" The girl said nervously. \"Grandmother... Grandmother expected you to come.\"

She stepped aside letting Mark and Mei enter. On the bed, an elder sat with her eyes closed while a young boy fed her some porridge that they seemed to have prepared earlier before Mark and his group arrived.

The elderly woman then signaled the boy to stop feeding her and faced Mark who stood by the door.

\"I had been waiting for you. Savior.\"

The elder spoke with her old and a bit hoarse voice. Yet, somehow, her voice sounded clear to the ears of those that heard it.

Still, Mark could not help but frown. No wonder Professor Suzuki was making fun of him. No one told him about this either.

For him to be called a \"Savior\", he was not worthy. Such an address should go to those with a hero complex to save everyone they wanted to save. Not for a person who would not hesitate to kill like him.

Sensing his mood, the elder spoke once more.

\"I'm sorry, I should not have addressed you in such a way if I knew that you would dislike it.\"

\"Mark, just call me Mark,\" He spoke. \"What is this savior thing that you just said? Why would you call me with that?\"

Of course, Mark would ask that.

To his question, the elder smiled.

\"There is no other reason actually. I know you feel that I'm just not a normal person. Yes, I am not. I am the leader and the Seer of our tribe in this generation.\"

The elder tried to open her eyes to look at Mark. However, sure enough, she could barely see anything.

\"A Seer,\" Mark repeated. \"So, you can see the future?\"

Hearing that, the elder shook her head.

\"Unfortunately, a Seer like me is not that capable. I can only see signs about things that I needed to know. Just like I ended up calling you Sir a \"Savior\". From the signs given to me, we found this place. It was because the person that could lead the remaining of our tribe to salvation should be in this place.\"

\"And that is me, isn't it?\"

Mark said which the elder nodded to.

\"I can't be mistaken. You are the person that the signs had told me about.\"

The elder then squinted her eyes as she looked at Mark.

\"My eyes could already be bad. However, I can still see that you and that woman behind you are different from most people on Earth.\"

Mark fell silent while Mei grasped his hand as she intently listened to the elder.

\"Everyone in the world is shrouded by the energy called fate. The destiny that dictated the outcome of their lives. The string that pulled them into the events that happened in their lives. Everyone had differences. Some might be strongly shrouded by fate while others were weakly shrouded. Some could not defy it no matter what and some could defy and direct it to some extent. There are also those like me who can foretell it to some extent and avoid our impending doom.\"

The elder than alternated her stares towards Mark and Mei.

\"You two did not have a shred of it. There is no doubt that you two could only be our saviors, especially you, Mark was it?\"

The elder then looked at her grandson and caressed his head with a sad look on her face.

\"Our world is already destined to doom. That is what I saw from the signs. Even those monsters that were previously humans are still bound to fate. Who they attack, who they eat, where they wander, and where they trip. It might look random, however, they were only following what fate dictated. They were only enacting what fate had dictated for us. The only ones that could save us are those not bound by these chains.\"

\"You're not telling me to save the world, are you?\"

Mark asked.

To that question, the elder shook her head.

\"It's already late for that... The world was already facing destruction since all these unfortunate events started. The only places that would be safe were those places where people like you had influence over. Like this place. That is why... I beg you to let our people live here.\"

The elder lowered her head towards Mark and Mei. Both the girl and the boy followed the gestures of their grandmother.