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434 The Worldwide Effect because of the Spirit Tree, The Incoming Convention of the Powerhouses

 Day 77 - 5:48 PM - Illusory Hidden Base, Aokigahara Forest, Narusawa, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi, Japan

Aokigahara Forest, it was a forest known for its mysterious and scary reputation. This vast forest area northwest of Mount Fuji was also known by the name Suicide Forest. This name was given to this beautiful forest due to the abnormally high cases of suicide that happened inside.

This beautiful forest had a strange allure to those who were on the verge of giving up on living. The forest's darkness was calling out to these people with its magnetic charm. And those swallowed by this darkness were never able to come back alive.

Inside this forest, large trees, strange landmarks, and other things could be seen. However, not everything that existed in this forest could be seen by the naked eye.

For example...

The main base of Auraboros in this Land of the Rising Sun.

Hidden under the roots of a very tall tree, there was a cave concealed with illusory magic.

Inside that cave, a rather large underground system was built under the forest floor. The cave system looked natural. No one would suspect even if they stumbled upon it accidentally. It was because even the large cave system itself was nothing but a diversion.

The true entrance... was actually found at the very entrance of the cave. It was a portal that could only be accessed by the members of the organization.

Passing through the portal, it was an entirely different world. A vast underground space surrounded by a wall of stone. The underground space was filled with floating bridges, floating rocks, floating crystals, and ancient-looking Japanese castle built on a wide chunk of floating land. There were also smaller ancient Japanese structures built on larger rocks, and on the walls of the underground space. Each structure was connected by bridges. It looked like a place that entirely defied gravity.

Many people could be seen roaming each area to fulfill their duties. Some could be seen entering and exiting the structures and even the underground space itself. Those that left the space surely had missions to fulfill outside.

In an elegantly decorated room within the castle. Several people wearing different colored robes were gathered. They were facing a screen on the furthest side of the room where the silhouette of a woman could be seen. At each side of the screen, two people wearing golden robes could be seen guarding the place.

"It had already been four days." The alluring voice was heard as the woman behind the screen spoke. "Had anyone found out about that strong fluctuation from the southwest?"

To the woman's inquiry, the robed figures gathered were rather troubled. One of them stepped forward.

"Empress. We seek forgiveness as we have yet to identify the cause. The only information we had now is that the strong fluctuation four days ago came from the Philippines."

Hearing that, the woman called Empress expressed her acknowledgment.

"From the Philippines, isn't it? How about our members in that country? Have any of you established contact with them?"

To that question, the robed figure that stepped forward before retreated and another one stepped forward in his place.

"Empress, it is rather strange but we can't seem to establish a connection to our main forces there. The Space Cutter, Shin along with his group went to that country for a hired request from Thousand Identity, Dopp. However, we also lost communication with them."

To that, the Empress seemed to be a bit surprised.

"Is it possible that our forces there had been annihilated?"

"About that, Empress... We don't think that it is possible. There were no known individuals or groups in that country that could possibly contest our organization."

That was a reasonable answer. Compared to Japan that was known for its

samurai and ninja clans, or China that had reclusive martial arts sects, Philippines, should have nothing.

However, these robed figures seemed to have forgotten about something.

"Before, there is none." The Empress said. "How about now?"

That stumped the robed figures. The Empress then continued.

"You all should remember that we have also lost communication with that guy who calls himself with a very arrogant name. His last known activity is also in that country. There is also that lightning that traveled through the sky before that. The center of that event is also in that country."

That made the robed figures silent. They had no answers to that.

"Do everything you can to gather information. If a treasure or a powerful figure was born in that country, we can't let the other people or branches have it."

"Yes, Empress!"

After that reply, another of the robed figures stepped forward making the previous one step back.

"Empress, actually, we might find clues soon."

The robed figure spoke.

"What do you mean?"

"We have lost communication with the Space Cutter and his group. However, we detected their presence recently south of this country. There is still no known reason why they had not returned here directly, however, I and my subordinates already sent a group to check on them."

"Is that so?" The Empress nodded. "Then, hurry up and find them. They might be our only way to obtain information about that country."

"Yes, Empress."

The robed figure bowed and retreated back to his place.

"Then," The Empress seemed to be looking at everyone through the screen. "Any information about the human settlements we are monitoring?"

"Yes, Empress."

The robed figures replied in unison.

They then told their reports about the largest settlements currently in existence throughout Japan.

The problem was that they would have a hard time conquering these settlements. Especially since the ancient clans that hid from the eyes of modern society finally revealed themselves.

They led the settlements in their fight against the infected allowing the settlements to exist despite the overwhelming number of infected and Mutated Animals in this country.

After the audience had been dismissed, the robed figures left the room white the two golden robed figures closed the doors beside the screen.

"Sigh."

As everyone left, a soft sigh could be heard from the Empress.

Behind that screen, a gorgeous woman sitting on a luxuriously styled zabuton.

The being called Empress had white below waist-long hair, red-colored pupils, and was wearing a beautiful red kimono. The most prominent feature she had, was her two pointed ears above her head, and her nine fluffy tails.

Tamamo-no-Mae, that was the name she was known before she resurrected.

After her identity had been revealed and she was killed by Miuranosuke, her curse lived on causing the collapse of the imperial power in Japan. Even with that collapse, however, her curse remained to gather enough energy to allow her resurrection.

Hundreds of years and dozens of wars passed, she finally managed to resurrect.

Compared to her previous life, she was still weaker, especially since the thin spiritual essence in modern times was way thinner than in ancient times.

Still, she was strong enough compared to others and now, she became the leading figure of the Japanese Branch of Auraboros.

Nevertheless, this position could be taken away from her anytime. The appearance of Mutagen had accelerated the weakening of seals that contained some of the powerful figures of Japan.

Thus, she needed to do what she could to maintain this position. That was why she was rather eager to gather information about what had happened in the Philippines. If it was something beneficial to her, she would definitely claim it.

After all, her ambition was something that could not be easily quenched.

***

While the Japanese Branch of Auraboros was in that state because of the event that happened four days ago in the Philippines, the other branches in other countries were not that different.

The branch in China had already mobilized several groups to a mission to investigate the event.

For the Korean branch, they were also fiercely gathering information. However, like the Japan branch, they barely gathered any reliable piece of news.

There were also other branches that were alerted and were doing the same things. It would not take long and the people of Auraboros would appear in the Philippines once more.

In fact, there were still members of Auraboros in the Philippines. However, after the battle in Bay City where most of them were annihilated, the remaining ones were forced into hiding. Their numbers were also too few to make a large movent or be able to establish contact with the other branches.

That was not the worst situation, however.

Not only the Auraboros was alarmed with the event that happened four days ago. There were also several other groups that were interested to know what had happened. Many of them were planning to investigate the situation as soon as possible.

Unfortunately for them, traveling overseas was not as easy to do as before. As such, they needed as much preparation as they could before they could travel.

***

The disturbance created by the birth of the Night Everred Spirit Tree affected the whole world. They might have not seen the sky becoming blood red, however, the fluctuation of energy created by its birth was felt around the world to some extent.

Another new round of encounters, both good and bad would surely happen in the near future.

***

Day 77 - 9:14 PM - Mountain Base, Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

While many things were happening around the world with the Night Everred Spirit Tree at the center, the owner of the Spirit Tree was oblivious to it.

Nevertheless, it did not mean that he was not getting ready for any possible threat that they could encounter.

Right now, aside from making new rooms in his home and playing video games, he had quite an amount of free time.

That free time was spent on developing new weapons and equipment.

Furthermore, with the addition of the small tribe led by Teremillio, many problems were being addressed according to their abilities.

Taking their whole tribe back was rather troublesome. It was an obvious thing because many of them distrust humans. Still, as they were loyal to their tribe leader and his wives, they agreed to follow despite their deep reluctance.

And, Mark was right about employing these creatures into this base.

Right now, Mark was inside his workshop with Mei and the three girls that were already dozing off. Amihan and Aephlia were also here, and for some reason, Malaya was here too.

Well, since arriving here in the base after taking the whole tribe into the base, Malaya could be seen tailing behind Aephelia.

Aephelia was actually troubled because of this. Still, she just let Malaya follow around as the latter would actually help in a lot of things.

Malaya also served as the messenger between Mark and the tribe led by her husband. It became easier to communicate that way since the Duendes were still afraid of humans.

In fact, for the tasks Mark gave them, they would do it stealthily while avoiding being spotted by the residents of the base.

Still, while being too shy, they were easy to agree on doing their chores. Especially when they were given delicious food after struggling for more than two months.

And thus, after a day of their stay, those that were talented in plant magic already produced results. The growth of some of the crops had been accelerated to some extent. Unfortunately, these small creatures had a very low magic capacity that disabled them to do this for a very long time.

On the other hand, those that were proficient in fire magic were tasked to produce coal for the base. Mark was also experimenting on other things that they could be tasked to do. An example of this was to make them learn to process glass. Still, it would be a very long time before they would be able to produce results.

There were also other Duendes that had uncanny abilities that Mark had yet to explore.

However, among their tribe, one individual would be given a rather unique role to the base.

It was no other than Angis. As her race was known to be good singers and proficient in playing the guitar, Mark decided to give her the task to provide entertainment to the base.

She would be taught human songs and especially, songs that Mark, Hallie, and Alana preferred to hear. Angis was also given special treatment because of this.

Still, as there was no one within the base that knew how to make a guitar, they have yet to start her task.

Thus, Mark decided to take a break for his work for tomorrow to go out and search for a guitar in nearby places.