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420 Milliels Gratitude and Sadness, Homesickness That Could not be Fullfilled

 Day 73 - 7:22 AM - Moutain Base, Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

Another day had passed, and another morning came.

Everyone that had just arrived in this place was still adjusting to the environment. Nevertheless, they would prefer the current situation compared to their living conditions back in the Settlements. Both Mark's group from Bay City and the members of the Salvador family could agree with such fact.

There were a few animal attacks that happened last night. A wolf-like mutated dog and a wild monkey with spikes on its spine appeared on separate occasions. It seemed that the smell of blood from the previous battle still lingered around. Both animals were detected wandering around the place where the slaves previously stayed.

Because of Mark, they managed to catch the wolf-like dog. As for the monkey, they had to kill it since it was a feral one. It

supply.

Before Mark returned, everyone in the base would try to kill any form of danger that came close to the walls. It was because they had no way to tell whether these animals and insects were feral or not, aside from seeing some of them run away from the sight of humans. Most of the mutated animals and insects turned out to be carnivorous, and both humans and infected were included in their diet.

Now, not only Mark but Annica was here. Everyone was looking forward to her taming more animals for the sake of the base. The girl even included the farm animals brought back yesterday to her list. That way, it would be easier to manage them.

In fact, Annica already succeeded in taming one.

The very first animal in the base. The female Grebe that Mark caught after arriving in this mountain was already tamed by her. The Grebe was already used to being around humans and knew that she was safer here than outside. Unfortunately, her eggs that Mark had returned did not hatch anymore, and she was rather lonely.

Her existence, however, made the male Grebe more comfortable after being caught. The two could be seen waddling around their coop together like love birds. It would not take long before the base could add fresh eggs to their menu. Of course, it would still take more time before they could actually distribute it individually from time to time. They still needed to let the Grebes procreate.

Finally, as the tamer, Annica got the chance to name the two. The female was Maddy, and the male was Bailey.

While Annica was busy with the animals, there were others on the fields to the north of the base. Using the water from the spring, they watered the plants that already sprouted from the ground.

Others, on the other hand, were busy creating new fields for the seeds of [Energy Rice] Mark got from Bay City. Rice needed more irrigation than other crops they had. Because of that, they decided to make the new fields south of the base closer to the river.

While the adults worked, the children got to play before they attend their studies. It was mandatory since the adults did not want the knowledge of the children to regress because of the apocalypse. At least, they needed to learn about things they could apply to daily events.

On the other hand, not only the people that newly arrived were adjusting. Even Laelaps and Fein were adjusting to the new environment they were in. Both of them were animals living in the city and was not used to the natural environment.

Fortunately, the two did not seem to reject it. Especially when Wargy, Nicole's pet, would go bother them from time to time. In fact, this fox-like wolf animal would try to disturb every animal it saw trying to play with them. It was good that the only ones it encountered were either the ones that were not interested in it or the ones tamed by Mark and Annica. If not, it could spell trouble for the mischievous young animal.

***

\"Gege, coffee?\"

Mei spoke as he handed a cup of hot coffee to Mark.

He gladly received the cup and sipped from it. Mark really needed some caffeine right now.

There were a lot of things to improve in his home. Things like rooms for the little girls, another designated for his collection and consoles, and also the installation of the solar panels he brought back from Bay City. He also had other plans to do. He wanted to do a lot of things, including playing games. However, there was only one him. He could only do all these one at a time.

Thus, he woke up early and started to work. After breakfast, he would also go and prepare for their departure.

Mark was glad Mei was here to make coffee for him. He actually forgot to make one because he was too engrossed in digging a new room.

\"Ah, Gege,\" Mei spoke. \"Uhh, Hallie, Hallie, right? The short woman with pink glasses.\"

\"Yeah, that's right,\" Mark affirmed that she got Hallie's name right. \"Did she say something?\"

\"Yes. Hallie said that someone called Milliel wanted to speak to you.\"

Mark tilted his head. He could not remember anyone called Milliel in this base. He started to think that the person might be someone from the slaves or the tribe.

\"Did she tell where?\"

Mark asked.

\"Hallie said that she's in that shed near the spring.\"

Hearing that, Mark realized who Milliel was. He had not met her since arriving. Since she wanted to speak, it seemed that she managed to open up to humans. Furthermore, she seemed to have learned the human language while he was not here. It was a good thing.

As such, Mark decided to postpone his current work and visited Milliel.

Hearing from Mark that Milliel was actually a real mermaid, Mei's interest was piqued. She wanted to stay behind and do her chores initially but decided to see the mermaid with Mark. The little girls were already awake and playing so, it was already fine to leave them with Odelina.

***

Mark and Mei entered the shed. The noise from the metal door made Milliel inside flinch and hide under her pool. Seeing who went in, she was quite reluctant but still decided to show herself. She still remembered Mark. After all, it would be bad for her to forget the person who literally saved her. It was despite what his intentions were.

Furthermore, Nicole, Hallie, Alana, Joleen, and Trisha did not treat her poorly. She knew that it was not an evil place. This made her think that the person who saved her was not a dangerous human, despite his appearance.

From the girls that she met often, she slowly learned their language. There was still a lot to work on. In the least, she could not understand the context and some common words.

Aside from her savior, however, there was an unfamiliar woman. She could not help but look at her.

Due to that, Mei and Milliel ended up staring at each other.

Mei was fascinated by the appearance of this beautiful mermaid. Her blond colored heir adorned by colorful shells and stones and her golden gold-fish like tail perfectly complimented her appearance.

As for Milliel, her thoughts were almost the same. Mermaids were born beautiful, and they knew that fact. In her kingdom, it was not wrong to say that she was the most beautiful. However, she did not expect that there would be a female human that could top her beauty.

\"Ahem...\"

Mark purposedly coughed. He was there, why was the two staring at each other. It was not like he wanted to be stared at. However, Mark had other things to do than watch the two staring at each other.

Both Mei and Milliel looked down, ashamed of their manners.

\"Can you understand me now?\"

Mark crouched at the side of the pool and spoke. Still, he kept a distance as he did not want to frighten her now.

To Mark's question, Milliel replied.

\"Ye... Yes... little...\"

She spoke slowly.

Even though she already knew how to, Milliel was still in the process of learning. She was thinking deeply about what words she needed to say before speaking it out.

\"Alright, I'll introduce us a bit. I'm Mark, this is Mei. What's your name?\"

Mark introduced himself and Mei.

\"Milliel.\"

She replied.

\"Hallie said that you wanted to speak to me.\"

Mark spoke once more, which made the mermaid nod.

She then reached for the centerpiece of her head ornament and took out a pretty, red-colored stone. It almost looked like a crystal if not for its pebble-like texture, and teardrop shape.

Slowly, she approached Mark and handed the stone to Mark. It seemed that she was now fine to approach humans. At least, for a few selected people.

Mark carefully took the stone, and Milliel spoke.

\"Th-thank... Thank you... Saving me...\"

She was a bit bashful. It was because, being a princess of the mermaids, she never tried telling others about how grateful she was. Her family and servants were the only exceptions.

\"What is this?\"

Mark could not help but ask. If it was just a regular stone or crystal, there was no need to question anything. He would just accept it. However, when he touched it, he could feel some energy from it.

\"K-key... Treasury... Our kingdom.\"

This made Mark and Mei confused.

\"Isn't this too precious for a thank you gift?\"

Mark could not help but ask another question. In his view, this thing was really precious. Even though there was no guarantee that he would be able to go to their kingdom under the sea, it was still a precious thing.

To Mark's question, Milliel looked down sadly.

\"Do-don't need anymore... Everyone... Dead... Kingdom... Destroyed. Cannot go... home.\"

Mermaid, like Sirens, could charm people. At the same time, to the mermaids, this ability would reflect their current emotions.

Mei now understood how Mark was feeling when he could detect the emotions of anyone. She could feel Millie's sadness as her own.

Mark was the same. And as an Empath, he could feel the sadness even stronger.

If not for the fact that Mark was used to this feeling, and Mei barely felt emotions to other things besides Mark and her current family, the two would have shed tears already.

As for the mermaid, even if she was sad, she did not shed any tears. She already accepted her and their kingdom's fate. She had grown stronger mentally compared to her pampered self back in her kingdom. The dangers and sorrow she felt made her grow stronger.

Seeing Milliel's sad face, Mark looked at Mei with an intention. Mei looked at him who showed his hand glowing with faint white light and nodded.

Milliel suddenly felt a hand patting her head. It felt good and comforting. She looked up and saw Mark patting her head.

\"You don't have to be sad anymore. Everyone here can be your new family.\"

Milliel nodded a bit. However, she was still reluctant to believe him fully. After all, they were humans while she was a mermaid.

\"Alright, we need to go. We'll talk again some other time.\"

Mark said as he decided to leave with Mei. Unexpectedly, Mei smiled at Milliel and waved to her before going out of the shed.

Milliel watched the two go out if a bit of relief. Her heart was a bit lighter as she finally managed to thank the person that was the reason why she was still alive. About what Mark had said, she still needed to think about it.

She swam to the part of her pool that had no roof. There, she could look at the sky while she reminisced about home.

However, why she looked at the sky, her eyes widened.

A swirl of grey clouds could be seen in the sky together with a familiar aura that suddenly surrounded her.

Pearls fell unto the water as her tears flowed out.

***

\"Gege, you're being sly.\"

Mei could only complain at Mark. He was standing outside the shed with a crystal glowing in his hand.

Mark had no time to ask Milliel for personal information like her status in their kingdom. However, for her to have a key to their treasury, it was not hard to assume her status.

He was right. As he activated the ability to call storms that could have belonged to the king of Mermaids, he felt an intense reaction from Milliel.

Well, it would still take time before she could open up to everyone in this base. They could only take it slowly.

For now, they should prioritize things.

That was why after breakfast, Mark left with the same team he had yesterday. They would go to the mansion to pick up the supplies and weapons left there. Possibly, get the humvee too.

Unexpectedly, someone had gone to the mansion first before they arrived.