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424 A Relaxing Morning, Amihans Greatest Wish

 Day 73 - 8:15 AM - Moutain Base, Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

Another cold and fresh morning came.

Everyone already accepted the change in their lifestyle since arriving at this place.

Unlike how almost everyone here lived back in the past, before the apocalypse, it was rather dull. They did not have much to do but do the work they were designated to do regularly. Of course, they were not forced to work until they were tired or treated as lowly slaves. And they were glad about that. Especially those that experienced being slaves in Death Valley Settlement, they wished that they had stumbled into this place sooner.

Yes, anyone could say that it was rather dull. Compared to living outside, however, this was heaven. The infected could barely reach these parts of the mountains. There were animals that should have been treated as a threat. However, the secure walls, traps, and the strength of the leading figures of the base turned these threats into a stable food source instead.

Meats had already become a luxury to military settlements due to the scarcity of it, especially fresh meat and meat from mutated animals.

There was no livestock to slaughter anymore since the apocalypse started. Because of that, the only meat food available could only be found in preserved canned goods.

As for meat from mutated animals, it was a dangerous endeavor to gather. The word mutated stated it all. These were not the usual fauna earth had before. Without proper planning, catching one for food could spell disaster. These animals had different features than before. Many of these characteristics were also deadly to their enemies and predators. Furthermore, not all these mutated animals were edible. Some of them had poison either in their blood or meat.

In the base, however, it was very different.

Everyone could eat meat on a daily basis. Furthermore, there was no fear of poison and such. Why? The existence of the [Blood Children] made a lot of things in this settlement different.

While Ivy mutated in a way that its body contained poison, another [Blood Child] mutated oppositely.

Apparently, a bad thing happened while Mark was gone and went to Bay City Settlement. During one of the days, Huey and the others were training their abilities, Nicole got attacked by a poisonous insect. She was stung by a fist-sized green colored bee. Like ordinary bees, the bee died a few seconds after it pricked Nicole. Still, Nicole was poisoned.

Bringing Nicole back to the base, she was already feverish. Her left arm that was stung already turned purplish. Without a doubt, it was a deadly poison. They were all in panic at that time because Mark was not around.

That was when Ruby, the [Blood Child] closest to Nicole, did something they did not expect. With a tentacle, it pierced the area where Nicole was stung. Then, she started to suck the poison out of Nicole's system using her blood flow.

Huey and everyone around saw how Ruby sucked out the poison. They could even observe a different colored liquid flowing through her body from the tentacle she used to pierce Nicole.

Everyone knew that Mark would be angry if something happened to Ruby. However, they could only take this chance. And thus, none of them stopped it. Nicole's life was in danger, after all.

When Ruby stopped and retracted her tentacle, healthy colored blood flowed out of Nicole's wound. There was still discoloration in Nicole's skin. Nevertheless, her complexion was better, and her breathing stabilized.

One thing was odd, however. Ruby stopped moving. It looked the same as when they were in the sleep state. They all knew that it was not normal and decided to observe further.

The next day, Nicole recovered. And so thus Ruby.

However, Ruby had changed. Her reddish-black color now had been mixed with a purplish hue. She looked ominous.

Still, that made Nicole's and Ruby's relationship even closer.

Since that time, Ruby would take care of any suspicious animals they brought back from their hunt. If the poison was in the meat, Ruby would detect it, and it would be discarded. However, if the poison was within the blood, Ruby would happily absorb it.

To say, the [Blood Children] were the very foundation of this base next to Mark. The walls and structures here were built solely with the metal they created.

Because of Alaula, they even started installing light sources using the [Glowing Blood Metal] she could produce.

The production of see-through windows also started after Mark's return since Oracle was with him.

Poisoned weapons, needles, and arrows were created by Ivy.

Crimson, on the other hand, would do the surveillance while they were hunting. With his ability to turn into Black Smoke, he could go around the forest faster without being detected. He started this job after Mark returned. Because of the sudden influx of people, they needed more food for the base, after all.

Lastly and one of the most important ones was Salacia. The [Blood Child] named after a goddess of saltwater helped a lot in the preservation of food. The [Blood Metal] was found out to have high concentrations of salt. With drying racks made from the [Blood Metal], she created, curing meat and fish caught in the river became faster and easier.

***

From the newly created balcony on the face of the cliff, Mark turned into a house, he glanced unto what he had created. The base was just starting. Yet, he could say that it was already prosperous.

The people living in his base had different aura compared to those living inside settlements. Even the new slaves that joined in did not have a hard time to find the security they needed. They had not fully recovered from malnutrition. However, the state of living in the base made them want to contribute. They desired to do what they could and be a part of this small community.

"This is a very different place compared to Bay City."

Mei, who sat beside Mark, said.

Back in Bay City, although the treatment they received was not bad at all, they barely had any time to properly rest. In the middle of the night, there were a lot of times that they needed to wake up and help to fight the infected attacking the settlement. Missions had to be done every now and then. And as one of the pillars in that settlement, the responsibility was rather heavy.

Now, they did not have to experience such circumstances more than necessary.

"Yeah, very different."

Mark could agree with that. Just the mood of the people could make the difference.

"Gege, you should eat your breakfast first before it gets cold."

Mei could not help but pout after hearing his reply. It was because he already went back to what he was doing without even touching the food Mei made for him.

"Okay, sorry."

Mark apologized and decided to eat first.

While he ate, Mei looked at what he was working on. On the table, Mark made yesterday in this balcony, several pieces of paper with a lot of scribbles and sketches were placed.

Without a doubt, he was working on a new weapon. Furthermore, on the sketch, it was a rather large one. Probably, something that could be mounted on the roof of a vehicle. She wanted to know what kind of weapon this was. However, the part was Mark could usually place the title on his sketches was still empty.

"Gege, what kind of weapon is this?"

Mei could not help but ask as her curiosity peaked.

"Well, I don't know if it will really work. For now, its some kind of Psy-Railgun."

Mark replied after swallowing a mouthful of fried meat.

Hearing that reply, Mei was stumped.

To think that Mark was currently designing a weapon that was still under testing of the military of other higher countries.

"Gege, isn't this still in concept and theory of other countries?"

"Well, I don't know if they really made a working one. But this one I am making is different. I'm using materials that don't exist on Earth before. Maybe, it can work."

Mei could not refute that. Many things were still in theory before because of the lack of things that could be used to make them. Now, however, many new things, like [Blood Metal], started to exist.

"But Gege, does it have to be this big?"

Mei asked. After all, it was really a big one if it could be mounted on a vehicle's roof.

And to her question, Mark nodded.

"We need to prepare. If what I expected is true, gigantic mutants will appear in the future. I rather have something to use when that time came."

That was something that Mei could not refute. The Frog Headed Infected and the Stone Clad Woman that they encountered before were good examples. Furthermore, there was also the whale she heard from Mark and Karlene.

"I just wish that nothing like that World Destroyer will appear."

Mark said with a sigh. He remembered the abomination he saw at Freed's memories.

"Gege, what about the power source for that railgun?"

"Well, at first, I only have one option. Now, there's two."

Mark said as he called out two crystals and placed the two on the table. One was the [Lightning Mental Crystal]. The other was the new [Physical Crystal] he got yesterday.

The only problem with these two was that the [Lightning Mental Crystal] could only be activated by hi. On the other hand, the [Psysical Crystal] could only be used by someone that would consume it.

He did not have any power source that could be used publicly.

"Master~!!!"

While Mark and Mei were talking, Amihan flew up into the balcony from outside. After returning, she would usually fly around outside the base while enjoying nature at this time in the morning.

For her to come this early, she surely needed something.

"You need something?"

Mark asked.

Amihan flew down on to the table and sat down in front of Mark.

"Master, when do you plan to plant the Spirit Tree?"

"Should it be planted already?"

Mark asked. In fact, he planned to plant it later after trying out a few things. However, it seemed that Amihan was quite eager to do so.

"It's not really urgent," Amihan said after thinking a bit. "But it's better to plant it as soon as possible. You see, plants planted near a spirit tree grow faster and healthier. I'm having a hard time finding wild fruits."

"Hah..." Mark sighed. "I see..."

Mark stared at Amihan with a smirk. She might be hiding it, but she was a glutton. He clearly remembered how he met her when she stole a whole basket of wild berries from him.

However, her suggestion was not bad at all. If a Spirit Tree could accelerate the growth of the crops they planted, it would be the best for the base.

"Should we plant it now?"

Mark asked, which made Amihan rather surprised. She then smiled and nodded fiercely.

"Yes! Yes!"

Seeing her excited look, Mark and Mei could not help but smile. Amihan looked really adorable just now.

As thus, Mark and Mei finished their breakfast and took the little girls out of the house.

"By the way..." Mark suddenly spoke to Amihan, who sat on his shoulder. "You have another agenda, right?"

Amihan froze and made a stifled laugh.

"I really can't hide anything to Master, can I?"

The little sylph sighed and finally said the main reason she was excited.

"Actually, Master, I just want to see the place where my parents were born. I might be a spirit as humans call me. However, I have never entered the spirit world. Not even once. I was born after my parents were outcasted by our race, here in the mortal world. Everything I know about their home place came from my parents. I just want to see their stories with my own eyes."

Mark, Mei, and the little girls listened to Amihan's story. Every time she mentioned her parents, there was a fluctuation of sadness and anger inside her. She probably remembered how her parents perished because of an evil spirit.

Since that was the real reason, Mark would not delay it further. He wanted to reward such a loyal person like Amihan. She might be mischievous and hard-headed, she never betrayed Mark's expectations.

It was a good chance to reward this hundred years old little girl.