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431 The Odd Meetup, The Strange Creatures Arriving at the Base

 Day 76 - 9:52 AM - Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

Mark, with Amihan hiding behind his shoulder, stood in front of the group of small folklore creatures. It was quite a strange meeting.

Furthermore, Mark could not understand. It would be natural if he felt that they were scared of a "human" like him. However, instead of being scared, it was more accurate to say that they were intimidated.

Ignoring the emotions that he could detect from the group of small creatures, Mark turned to Amihan.

"I told you to stay put, didn't I?"

He said in a reprimanding tone.

What Amihan did was not planned at all. Although he intended to help, he wanted to observe them more without needing to show themselves. It was also the reason Mei, Alana, and Hallie that were with them were hiding quite a distance away.

After all, common sense would not apply to these creatures. They might have the ability to affect the minds of people or able to do other unusual things.

"Sorry, Master. My body just moved on its own."

Amihan apologized sincerely.

It was true that she moved without thinking when she saw that Malaya was in great danger. If it was Teremillio, however, she might have just stayed put and watch.

While Mark and Amihan conversed with each other, the group in front of the two heard them clearly.

After hearing how Amihan addressed Mark, everyone in the group was surprised. Especially Teremillio. He had the shock of his life.

Unknown to Mark, having an individual of the Spirit Race pledge to serve under him had a far deeper significance than just simply being a servant. It basically meant that their lives were the property of their master.

Thus, if Teremillio wanted to continue to pursue Amihan, there were only three ways for that to happen. First was for her Master to give permission. Second, he could join Amihan and pledge allegiance to the same master. Lastly, if the Master died leaving Amihan behind.

And none of those were probable to happen.

In other words, he would need to give up. He felt rather frustrated, someone else won over Amihan's heart before he was able to.

"What happened there?" Mark suddenly asked while looking at Teremillio. "That guy is extremely frustrated."

Hearing that, Amihan was confused. She could see how frustrated the Duende was just by looking at his distorted expression.

On the other hand, the wives of Teremillio was relieved to some extent. While they were all having a good relationship with each other, there was still some competition over Teremillio. They would rather not have another one joining in. However, they could still not stomach seeing Teremillio, frustrated at that fact.

This guy was a known womanizer, after all. It was unfortunate that they fell in love with this guy. However, unlike others that had to mind their status and dignity, none of the girls here had to.

Because in the first place, all of them were outcasts of their race. Else, why would they live in a place away from their actual habitats?

It not for Teremillio, few of them might not even be here anymore.

Well, it was not the time to dwell on these things. As Teremillio was not in a good mood, the first wife, Felenia, had to step up.

"Please, Pardon our rudeness. Are you the master of the Spirit Tree in the human fortress to the northeast?"

Felenia asked Mark in a straightforward but respectful fashion.

That question, however, confirmed that they were here for Mark. It was just as he expected, after detecting strange presences all over the place scouting the base. Furthermore, he could recognize the presence of some of the Duendes that were armed with spears around the girls. Some of them scouted his base before.

Thus, Mark nodded.

"I am. Still, how did you deduce that it's really me?"

That question was bugging Mark. How did they know? After all, he looked human, for the most part. From Amihan, he knew that normal humans had no ability to plant and raise Spirit Trees.

To that question, the doll with golden hair replied in a small voice.

"You're emitting that aura, and yet, you ask us."

"Daniya!"

As Daniya's reply was rather rude, even if said in a small voice, Felenia immediately called her to stop.

Knowing the severity of her actions, Daniya immediately covered her mouth and looked fearfully at Mark. Seeing that he did not seem angry, she felt relieved. The others were the same.

Mark did not mind that murmur of the adorable girl. Still, what did she mean by him emitting an aura? He was confused.

"Amihan, am I emitting some sort of strange aura?"

He could not help but ask Amihan in a whisper.

To that question...

"Yeah?" Amihan nodded. "It's weak and not easily detected. They might be too cautious about Master that they managed to feel it? I don't know."

That made Mark rather surprised. Since when? Furthermore, he did not even realize.

In the midst of thinking, a voice suddenly chimed in.

"If you are thinking about when it started, it happened when you planted that Spirit Tree. That aura is something that connected you to the Spirit Tree you planted. It will go away after the Spirit Tree gained its sentience."

Everyone, except Mark, looked towards the person who spoke. There, they could see Pefile, leaning on a tree not far from them.

"Why did no one told me about this?"

Mark spoke, he could not feel anything about it at all.

"Because there is no one to bother with it? Besides, humans can't feel it. Only beings like us can and if we only focus enough."

Pefile replied.

Hearing that, Mark understood.

"So, its like dust that no one can see unless they paid attention, isn't it?"

"That's quite an analogy, but that's pretty much it."

Pefile said as he looked at the group in front of them. The group was the same.

And someone, recognized the handsome Tamawo in front of them.

"Pefile?"

It was Angis.

"Yeah, long time no see Angis. You look beat up."

Pefile replied with a friendly smile. On the other hand, Angis was embarrassed. This was the first time she Pefile, after a long time, and here, she looked ragged, with wounds, and was carrying the unconcious pixie.

Both Pefile's and Angis' races were either forest or tree-dwellers. As both of them lived around this area for a long time, it was not hard to see how they knew each other.

"Angis, who is he?"

The other wives could not help but whisper. Teremillio was also interested in the answer. After all, he could not help but feel jealous by how handsome this white-haired guy was.

"Later, alright?"

Angis knew that it was not appropriate to speak about it right now.

Hearing that, the others were forced to focus on the issue. They finally met the Master of the Spirit Tree. Yet, they did not know what to do.

On the other hand, Pefile turned to Mark.

"Can I ask for a favor?"

"What is it?"

"Can you let them enter your base and continue the talk there? It's just too painful to look at their state right now."

Pefile had no intention to ridicule or insult. Still, what he had just said hit the group homerun.

"They won't cause trouble, right?"

"I know what you're afraid of. Don't worry. They probably won't try any silly stuff unless they wanted their heads rolling away."

That nonchalant remark made the group gulp their saliva. It sounded like a joke, however, it was surely not.

However, they were really not in a good state to keep standing here.

"Alright, you all follow me."

Mark said as he turned around and leave. On his shoulder, Amihan signaled for the wives to quickly follow while totally ignoring Teremillio.

Seeing that, they hurriedly followed.

As small creatures, and not all of them could fly, their steps were short. They had to run in order to catch up with Mark's steps.

Then, they saw three human women waiting on the way. The two seemed to have gleaming eyes as they looked at the group of small creatures. One of the three, however, did not pay too much attention and approached the Master of the Spirit Tree.

"Gege, is it fine?"

Mei asked.

"For the most part, I guess," Mark replied. "Let's head back first. We'll talk with them at the base."

With that, Mei glanced towards the group of folklore creatures before walking beside Mark. The other two really seemed eager to interact with these unusual creatures, however, Mark told them to wait.

On the other hand, seeing Mei, the group was mesmerized.

It was then that Pefile who was keeping pace with the group spoke.

"Hey, the wives better restrain their husband if they did not want him to turn to dust. That's the wife of Amihan's Master. Your husband better not have any ideas towards her."

Hearing that, the wives became nervous. They looked at Teremillio. His eyes stared at the beautiful human with a lovestruck expression.

In tacit understanding, the wives nodded at each other.

When Teremillio snapped out of his gaze, he was already being dragged by his wives while being tightly tied with a magical rope.

"Wha-what is this!"

Teremillio exclaimed.

To his cry, he saw the cold faces of his wives.

"Husband, this is for your own good. Just stay put. Please."

Felenia warned with a cold gaze.

Teremillio gulped. The cold stares of his wives were kind of scary. He could only keep silent as Angis carried him with her free arm.

Seeing him stay put, the wives finally sighed in relief. They were here to talk and negotiate, not to face death. They already had casualties just by trying to go here. They rather not have more. Especially their husband, he could die just because of his normal behavior.

On the other hand, Mark could tell what was happening behind without looking. The Duende was lucky that he was restrained. Mark was already preparing to turn him to dust if he made a move, after all.

In the least, even though the wives could not let go of their feelings towards this womanizer, in the least, they were not totally blinded by it.

***

Arriving at the base, the huge gates opened.

This allowed the group of folklore creatures to see what was inside. On the other hand, the humans on the way could not help but stop and stare at the group following behind the owner of the base.

After all, who would not feel fascinated? The creatures that they did not think would really exist, was not in front of them.

Still, they all looked strange when they saw Teremillio, tightly bound like a person that was about to be offered as a sacrifice.

Walking through a part of the base, the group of folklore creatures was amazed by the close-up view of the Spirit Tree. It was fascinating to see from afar, not to mention now. Furthermore, they could feel the vital energy inside the base and could not help but feel rather comfortable.

Arriving in front of the house, Hallie and Alana decided to split up. They were interested in these creatures, however, Mark had private matters to deal with them. And thus...

"We'll continue playing, alright?"

"Yeah, just call us when it's over."

They left with those remarks that made Mark a bit frustrated. He wanted to continue playing too.

Mark looked at the group and spoke to Amihan.

"Bring them to the balcony."

"Okay~!"

Amihan agreed.

Then, by the surprise of the visitors, Mark and Mei opened their wings and flew up towards the balcony near the top of the cliff.

"Amihan, your master..."

Malaya wanted to ask Amihan who stayed behind. However...

"Malaya. You can still fly, right?"

Amihan asked.

"Yes."

"Then, it's just them, huh."

Amihan looked at the rest of the group. There were thirteen of them.

"Um, everyone. I'm not really used to do this since I just learned it. So..."

As Amihan said that, a very strong gust of wind started to cover the group making them panic.

"Ah, I'm just bringing you all up. Just don't move too much if you don't want to fall~! That jerk there can fall anytime though."

"Amihan, what are you-"

"Darli-!!"

They all wanted to ask Amihan to clarify what she was about to do. However, before they could do so, the questions were replaced by screams as they all started to float up.

"Malaya, let's go."

Amihan grabbed Malaya's hand and flew up together with the group.

Seeing this, Malaya was all surprised.

"Amihan, you became really strong."

She said with a bit of envy.

Not only Amihan faced and killed the Earthworms that she could not even defend herself from one. She could even do this. From what Malaya remembered before, Amihan was not only a clutz. She was also weaker than her both in terms of magical powers and abilities.

Now, however, she had been miles left behind.

"Well, you see." Amihan smiled. "It's all because of Master~."

Those words made Malaya anticipate. What kind of person was Amihan's master?