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436 The Search for Comfort, Building Things Inside the Base

 Day 78 - 10:35 AM - Mountain Base, Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

Five days after the Night Everred Tree grew, the unnecessary incidents around the event finally settled down by half.

The animals that had fled finally started to go back to their previous habitats. Because of that, they expected hunting animals for food and leather to go easier in the next days.

Furthermore, there seemed to be more animals trying to get close to the base because of the vital energy the Pure Spirit Tree emitted during the night. Of course, only those feral ones would dare to attack the base, ending up as food to process. As for the sane animals and those that gained intelligence to some extent, they still kept a safe distance away from the human base.

Since yesterday, however, two animals tried to approach the base. The two seemed to be intelligent and tame and were gladly captured by Mark. The two, which was a Mutated Cloud Rat, and a Mutated Japanese Night Heron, seemed to have approached the base without hostile intentions, unlike the feral animals that wanted to destroy everything.

The allure of the Spirit Tree made the two want to make a nest on it. After they were captured, the two seemed to be afraid. As the two animals could not understand human words, Mark used Chaflar to communicate with the two animals. Knowing that they would not be killed, the two animals calmed down while still being afraid.

And thus, the two animals were added to the list of the animals Annica would tame. Especially since the two were quite unique ones.

The Cloud Rat had a metallic sheen on its fur, which it could actually use as both weapon and armor.

On the other hand, the Japanese Night Heron that must have been trapped in this country after migrating seemed to have grown abilities to be able to fly at night. Also, during the night, its brown colored feathers would turn black, allowing it to conceal itself. If not for the fact that Mark was able to detect it and Huey managed to hear the flaps of its wings, it might have been able to approach the Spirit Tree without problems.

Aside from the two animals, the presence of spiritual creatures and elementals could be detected around the base from time to time. They were keeping a safe distance as they only wanted to see the actions that the owner of the Spirit Tree would take.

However, they seemed to have deduced that there would be no harm that would befall them and started to go back to their previous lives. Although some of them would still stop by, the frequency was reduced considerably.

Some made contact with Teremillio's group. There was no restriction for the tribe to remain inside the base. They were allowed to go in and out if whenever they wanted. Thus, some of those creatures lurking around managed to communicate with them.

Finally, learning about the circumstances, the anxiousness of these creatures had settled down. However, none of them seemed to want to follow the steps the tribe of Teremillio took.

Around this area, Teremillio's tribe could be said as the odd ones. The nearest group of creatures that could be considered as a small kingdom was several mountains away north of the base. Those that live around this area were those that had been exiled and outcasted by their original groups.

Teremillio's tribe was the same. The members of the tribe were individuals that were either exiled or left their previous tribes for various reasons. In fact, Teremillio and his wives were the same except for Kokoro. The Koropokkuru had a different circumstance from the rest.

Usually, these creatures would end up living alone after being outcasted since no one could trust them. The most frequent reason for individuals to be exiled was that they broke the rule of their tribe and became criminals. No one would believe them even if they tried to deny it.

Teremillio, on the other hand, despite his annoying personality, took these poor peoples into his tribe. That also resulted in their loyalty to Teremillio and his wives. Even several of Teremillio's wives had the same circumstance and fell in love with him after he saved them.

***

While the changes around the base were happening, Mark was busy with many things. If he was not making weapon designs with Hallie and Alana, he was doing other things around the base.

Yesterday, he, Alaula, and the other [Blood Children] installed lamps around the base. The installation was not that hard but consumed a lot of time.

Because of the newly installed lights, the atmosphere of the base during the night became livelier. Accompanied by the red lights, the Night Everred Tree released, the last night felt like a festival.

Right now, Mark was digging the soil around the spirit tree together with other people. He wanted to make a manmade lake with the Spirit Tree at the center. A channel connecting the lake to the spring would also be made. It would be constructed together with a passage towards the pool inside Miliel's hut.

This would allow the poor Mermaid to at least swim outside when no one was around.

Mark wanted to treat every member of his base fairly. He wanted everyone to be comfortable with their environment.

As everyone wanted to be of use to their leader, the hole that would be the lake took shape after two hours. It was fast. If it was back before the outbreak, it would take more time, even days, to finish a project like this. This was the extent that Mutagen had enhanced, not only Mutators and Evolvers but also ordinary people.

Making the walls of the bottom and sides of the lake was not hard either as they already prepared enough blood to use. With the help of almost all the [Blood Children], the main appearance of the lake was finished.

As for decorating the lake, Mark already had some of the materials. There were rocks from Agos River, freshly caught fishes, and ornamental plants to decorate the surroundings of the lake.

And the final decoration, two large gardening pots were put carefully to the side. A small plant had already sprouted on each of the two gardening pots. These sprouts were the seeds of the Mutated Water Hyacinth, Mark took from Laguna Lake. After arriving in the base, he planted the seeds on the next day. He hoped to plant these water plants in his base.

Yesterday, both seeds had already sprouted. That was why he decided to create the manmade lake today.

The normal water hyacinth would take a long time to grow from seeds. These seeds Mark had, however, were Mutated ones. A day after sprouting, it already grew several inches and sprouted leaves. Furthermore, being nourished by the Night Everred Tree, its growth became faster.

In another day or two, Mark estimated that it would be ready to be relocated into the lake. Of course, he did not know when it would start to bloom. Once that happened, it would surely be a spectacular sight.

Aside from the lake, Mark also built a fence around it. Another was a bridge over the channel connected to the spring.

After everything was put into place, the water from the spring was allowed to enter the lake and fill it with water. The event was witnessed by everyone. The scene somehow made them feel quite relaxed.

The reason for that was rather simple. As the world was enveloped by chaos, all they were able to see was violence, suffering, fear. This time, they were able to see that something beautiful could still be created despite the world changing in a dangerous way.

No one wanted to get this peaceful like they found to be taken away from them.

Feeling the sentiment brewing in the minds of everyone, Mark felt satisfied. In the least, he was able to strengthen their sense of belonging without using his mental abilities.

***

During the night when no one was around, Mark let Milliel out of her hut and into the lake. Being able to swim in a wider area, it made her really happy. The lake was also deep enough for her to be able to dive and hide underwater. While she swam, the fishes put into the lake swam together with her. It was a satisfying sight.

Mark and Mei watched Milliel as she swam around happily. Well, that did not take too long, though.

Being creatures most active during the night, Teremillio and his wives would hang around the base at these times. And by chance, Teremillio witnessed Milliel laughing with the fishes circling around her.

The folklore casanova, of course, would not let this go easily. In a very fast speed that was almost like teleporting, he appeared before Milliel.

"Beautiful Lady, may I have a bit of your t-"

SPLASH!

Teremillio was not able to finish what he was about to say as the water from the lake was splashed unto his face. It was because Milliel was totally surprised by his sudden appearance, and hurriedly dove under the water.

Teremillio was stunned.

Then...

"OW! OW! OW! Don't pull my ear!"

Teremillio cried out.

Just like how he appeared beside the lake, Felenia appeared beside him and pulled his ear.

While taking away her husband, Felenia bowed towards Mark and Mei that Teremillio did not even notice.

"Sorry for the disturbance." She said respectfully.

With apologetic expressions, Teremillio's wives took him away.

"He's already gone. You can come out now."

Mark said to Milliel, who was peeking out of the water.

Milliel was not really a shy person. However, her experiences when their kingdom fell made her extremely fearful of her surroundings. That was why she did not want to be in contact with others except for very few people.

Until midnight, Mark and Mei sat beside the lake while accompanying Milliel. It was not hard to see that the two treated Milliel rather well. The reason would be hard to guess. Still, it was a simple thing.

It was because, like them, Milliel had no place to belong anymore. Mark already made a place where they could belong. They would not mind sharing it with individuals that lost their place in the world.

***

After Milliel, there as also Aimee. Since her body was big, the place for her to stay was roughly made. That was why Mark was planning to make her dwellings himself. Although Aimee had already said that she was already fine with what she had now, Mark was not satisfied with it.

Since Mark was the one who took her in, Aimee could only agree. And thus, her house was the next in line for the projects, Mark wanted to build in the base.

Mark was not only aiming for a place capable of defending against danger. What he wanted to build was a place where he and those under him could live comfortably. Especially for those that would play a vital role in preserving the base.

Aimee was one of those.

Once Mark was done with the preparations, he and a team he selected, would leave once more. He had a lot of things to do in the future. There was the Spirit World, and the Mission left by Freed.

Thus, the last line of defense of the base would fall to Aimee's hands, no, tentacles. That was why Mark wanted to give her a treatment that was on par with her importance to the base.

***

Mark also wanted to expand the base a little. In the least, he wanted an extension where they would keep the animals they had safely. Since the base only had plans for residences, it was better for the animals, except for a few ones, to be put in a separate place.

As for the ones exempted, there was Chaflar, Laelaps, Fein, and those that were contracted by Annica.

Well, there was a lot to do. Mark could only rest every time he was alone with Mei. After all, she was guarding him strictly so that he would not force himself too much.

She also regulated Mark from spending all-nighters unnecessarily.

Mark always tend to forget to take care of himself. Now, Mei was here to remind him when needed.

That was why he decided... After the things he needed to do in the base, he would take her out on a date outside.

This plan was the reason why Mark was stealthily spending time playing dating sim games when no one was watching. After all, while he knew a lot of things, he was ignorant about things like this.