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437 An Indirect Confession, The Date at a Very Unusual Place

 Day 80 - 1:25 PM - Mount Banahaw, Tayabas, Quezon

A week after the birth of the Night Everred Spirit Tree, Mark finally finished the things he initially planned to do in the base. Although there were other projects he had in mind, those were not that urgent to do.

And thus, Mark asked Mei to go out. As he did not feel embarrassed at all, he directly told her to go on a date with him. The manner was quite unromantic. The fact that there were also other people in the room when he asked her did not help.

Odelina, Spera, Jaeya, Aephelia, Amihan, and the three little girls were in the room as they were having dinner. Although no one said anything, Odelina, Aephelia, and Jaeya had teasing expressions on their faces. Spera and Amihan seemed to be confused as the concept of dating were new to the two. Amihan was not human, while Spera barely had any genuine interaction with other people. Iola seemed to be happy seeing that Mark was trying to strengthen his relationship with Mei.

Abbygale and Miracle had a different reaction, though. Hearing that their Papa and Mama were going, they wanted to come along.

Despite all that, Mei did not mind anything else aside from Mark's invitation. And of course, she happily agreed bashfully. A kind of emotion and expression that she would only show around her new family.

Mark asked her where she wanted to go. To his dismay, her reply was...

"I'll go where Gege wants to go."

That reply brought him quite a dilemma that he was not able to hide. Seeing that expression of his, however, Mei smiled mischievously.

And now, Mark and Mei, holding hands, flew in towards this place.

The place that was known as the "Holy" or "Sacred" Mountain of the Philippines, the Mount Banahaw.

Mark had chosen several places for them to go to today. This mountain was the first stop.

There was a lot of beautiful sceneries around this mountain. Each of these scenic spots was good with events like dates and family outings. However, that was not the only thing Mark wanted to find. He was gambling to find something else.

It had already been around five minutes since they arrived above the volcano. Although Mount Banahaw was about sixty-three kilometers away from the mountain base, they just spent an hour flying. Flying was a faster way to travel now that the roads were blocked by many things. After arriving, however, Mark brought Mei to fly around the mountain for some reason.

"Gege, what are we looking for?"

Mei asked. She did not mind spending more time with Mark flying around. However, he seemed to be keen on finding something.

Then...

"Let's go down."

Mark said with a smile as if he had won a jackpot in a lottery. It made Mei quite confused.

Mei was even more confused when Mark brought her to a somewhat secluded part of the Mount Banahaw. She would not be surprised if he brought her into one of the tourist spots. However, why did Mark brought her here?

Furthermore, being a Mutator, Mei's senses were enhanced to some extent. Her constant exposure to Psychic Energies also heightened her ability to feel it. After landing, she could not help but feel some stares towards her and Mark. The strangest thing was that the gazes felt abnormal.

"Gege, are we being watched?"

She asked.

"Don't worry about them," Mark replied. "They are the spirits living in this mountain."

Hearing that, Mei understood what was happening. Being called the Holy Mountain, Mount Banahaw was not just a regular mountain at all. It was a mountain being frequented by pilgrims and devotees of some religions. There were also rumors of spirits living in this mountain.

For sure, these creatures were alarmed by their arrival, especially since Mark had a strong aura.

And as expected, someone appeared to confront the two.

A beautiful woman appeared in front of them. She was wearing a long white dress and had a crown made of vines and flowers.

"What is someone with demonic blood doing in our mountain?"

She said with a frown.

Without a doubt, this woman was the caretaker of the Holy Mountain. Of course, the appearance of someone with Demonic descent in her territory would make her angry. She was even releasing an aura while trying to intimidate Mark and Mei.

Unfortunately, both Mark and Mei were unfazed. This made the woman surprised.

"Are you the Diwata of this place?" Mark asked. "We're here to enter the sanctuary."

Hearing that, the Diwata was surprised.

"Are you here to destroy the sanctuary?" The Diwata released an even stronger aura. "I will not let you!"

To her intimidation, Mark sighed.

"I'm not here to fight. If I'm here to fight, I can just destroy this whole mountain without a word."

After saying that, Mark released a ball of black smoke on his hand.

That ball of smoke made the Diwata step back with a terrified look.

"M-miasma!"

She shouted in fear.

Seeing the Diwata being afraid, Mark made the ball of miasma vanish.

"As I said, I'm not here to fight. I just want to enter the sanctuary for a short time."

After Mark made the ball of miasma vanish, the Diwata felt relieved. Although she was still afraid, she was the caretaker of the mountain and the sanctuary. She could not back down that easily.

"If you are not here to fight or destroy the sanctuary, why do you want to enter it?"

To that question, Mark made Mei step forwards. As the Diwata had not paid attention to her due to Mark being someone with demon blood, she was stunned to see her appearance. She was a Diwata who was born beautiful, yet, Mei's beauty was above hers.

"We're here on a date. I want her to see a nice looking place."

The Diwata was not new to Human customs as humans frequented the mountain. Still, she was surprised that a Demon would bring a human on a date. Usually, a Demon would just force a woman they took a liking to submit and copulate with the woman.

Nevertheless, the Diwata could tell that Mark was not joking.

"Although I know that demons are not trustworthy, can you promise that you will not destroy anything?"

The Diwata decided to compromise.

"You can rest assured. I don't want to ruin our date, either."

"Alright. Follow me."

The Diwata then turned around to lead Mark and Mei.

With a smile, Mark looked at Mei as they followed behind.

Soon, they were brought to a place, where two large acacia trees had grown forming an arc. Passing through the center of the two trees, the scenery blurred.

This made Mei close her eyes unconsciously.

"You can open your eyes now."

She heard Mark's gentle voice.

When she opened her eyes, she was surprised.

Lush green grass and trees, beautiful and colorful flowers, the cold and gentle breeze of the wind, and the flying orbs of light everywhere. Although the mountain was still here, the whole forest had gone on a frightful transformation in a blink of an eye.

Still, the scene was too beautiful to be explained by just words. Just this scene was enough to make her heart pump.

"Do you like it?"

Mark said with a pleased expression.

"I do. I really do."

Mei replied with a smile.

Seeing the interaction of the two, the Diwata was finally assured. Although there was still a tint of wariness on her, she decided not to disturb the two and wait from a distance away.

That action of the Diwata made Mark pleased. He decided to give her a reward when they leave. Something that she would be able to use to keep protecting this mountain from the infected and Feral Mutated Animals.

Mark and Mei sat on a large rock while watching the grass, flowers, and leaves of the trees sway with the blowing wind. The scene was too peaceful and out of this world that Mei could not help but lean on Mark in a relaxed manner.

"Gege, how did you know that a place like this exists?"

Mei whispered.

"There had been rumors about this since a very long time ago. Most of it came from those that stumbled here by accident and was waken up outside. I also asked Teremillio's wives if they knew about this. Malaya confirmed it."

"I see."

Mei smiled.

She could see how much effort Mark made just to take her out on a date. Even to the extent of consulting other people.

"Where do you want to go after this?" Mark asked. "Just don't give me the answer before since I want to know what you want to do."

"Something I want to do?"

Mei asked.

"Yeah. Like shopping for clothes or watching movies. We can't watch movies, but we can at least do shopping."

"I never really tried shopping before," Mei replied. "All my clothes were custom made orders by my mom and dad. I never had the freedom to pick my own clothes."

"Let's try that then. This time, you can pick any clothes you like."

"Okay. But won't it be dangerous."

"As if some infected can ruin our time together."

"Uhumm. That's true."

Then, there was some silence.

Mark noticed that Mei was staring at his face.

"Is something on my face?"

To that question, Mei shook his head.

And... An unexpected question was asked to Mark.

"Gege, do you like me?"

This made Mark smile bitterly. To be asked straight like this made him a bit uncomfortable for some reason. Still, he decided to answer.

"I do. To be frank, anyone would do."

That was something that Mei could not deny. Anyone would like her because of her appearance. Of course, she could tell that Mark was not hinting on that. Still, she was unsatisfied with the answer.

"Then..." Mei hesitated a bit. "Gege, do you love me?"

This question made Mark's heart pound hard. It was a question that he did not know how to answer. After all, all his life, he never fell in love or had any intimate relationship with the opposite sex. As such, he did not know if he was feeling love or not.

And as such, he decided to answer by telling what he felt.

"I'll be frank." Mark stared at Mei's eyes. "I don't know what love feels like."

That made Mei feel a bit disappointed. But then, Mark continued.

"One thing I know... Mei'er, I don't want to lose you. It feels comfortable when you're is around. I don't care about other things as long as I see you smile."

Mark then looked at the sky.

"To be frank, my life is dull. I lost the ability to easily feel emotions. The feelings that I even don't own would affect me. But when you're around, it doesn't feel dull anymore. Comparing my life before and now that you are here with me, I'd rather not go back to my previous life even if I die."

Mark did not notice... The more he said, the redder Mei's face got. However, it was obvious that she was happy hearing those words.

In fact, she felt the same. Having everything dictated to her since she remembered, she did not know what love was. Nevertheless, she did not want to leave Mark's side. She would rather die than be taken away from him.

To hide her embarrassment because of what Mark said and her mind contained, she burrowed her head on Mark's chest.

Mark smiled and caressed her head.

Deciding on something, Mei moved and faced Mark with a serious expression.

"Gege, I have a request."

"What is it?"

Mark wondered as he saw her expression.

"Make me one of your kin."

She said.

"A Blood Demon?"

"Yes. I want to become the same as Gege and Iola."

Hearing that, Mark nodded. He had no reason to deny her. Still, he asked her to confirm.

"You'll stop being human, though. Also, I don't know if your body will allow it."

That was right, Mei's physique was special. It might reject Mark's blood.

"It's fine." Mei smiled. "Remember what that creature said back in NAIA. My body will reject anything I deemed harmful. Since I wanted to, I don't think that my body will reject Gege's blood."

"Okay then." Mark smiled. "As you wish my queen. Let's do that later, though, and enjoy the rest of the day."

"Uhumm."

Mei nodded.

Mark thought that it was over, but then, he saw Mei's face blocking his. A light peck on his lips was felt before he saw Mei running away into the middle of the flower field.

He could not help but touch his lips, stunned. As his brain finally registered what had happened, he could only shake his head with a gentle smile.

Mark sat on the rock with a smile as he watched Mei who was being approached by the sylphs attracted to her presence. She seemed really happy this time as she did not ignore the sylphs unlike she usually did to others.

Along with the sylphs, she danced at the center of the sanctuary filled with flowers. That beautiful scene was dedicated to no one but Mark alone.