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103 Waking up in the Middle of the Nigh

 Day 4 - 12:32 AM - Firenze Townhouse Complex Subdivision, La Joya St., Buhay na Tubig, Imus Cavite

It was in the middle of the night. All the survivors gathered in this subdivision were asleep with the exception of the people who were tasked to patrol and guard the place throughout the evening. Those people could be seen patrolling the place carrying lamps while some were posted at essential vantage points around the subdivision and monitor the movements outside the walls.

Inside the master's bedroom of the largest townhouse in Firenze, located at the north west of the subdivision, Mark finally opened his eyes slowly after being unconscious for about eight hours. It took him this long, several hours longer than the last time.

As he opened his eyes, he immediately reorganized his thoughts and it went smoothly for some reason. Looking at his surroundings, he knew that they arrived at their destination. Otherwise, it would not be too quiet outside. It seemed that there were no mishaps that happened after he fell unconscious.

He roamed his eyes around the darkly lit room and saw the almost snuffed out candle illuminating the place. At the exact time his eyes landed on the candle, it finally went off. Strange enough, despite the sudden darkness, he could still see his surroundings. Albeit not too clearly, he could at least see the surroundings in the darkness better than normal.

When he turned to his right, he could see Mei sleeping beside him. He was not surprised as he detected her presence the moment he woke up. Still, he could not help but sigh. Instead of sleeping in another room, she would actually sleep beside him. She was too careless. However, he felt touched. Her face had a frown even while sleeping. Mark could feel her worry for him even in her sleep.

He gently caressed the sleeping girl's hair and channeled that comforting energy towards her. The frown on Mei's eyebrow vanished in an instant. Mark then looked at his hand. He felt just now that his control of that energy was higher and more efficient. He stared at his hand and tried it once more, with that, he did not notice but his eyes were glowing white, the only thing he saw was the faint white light surrounding his hand at the moment.

Mark decided to get off the bed. After he got off, he fixed the blanket covering Mei's body and went to the glass door on the southern side of the room. It was a door connected to the veranda on the second floor of the townhouse. He then opened the door and went out while trying not to disturb Mei from her sleep.

After stepping outside, he felt the cold breeze blowing across the place. The cold wind was not surprising considering that the area just behind the subdivision to the west was a huge farm land. Furthermore, the cold breeze really felt good for him. The moon illuminating the place also looked clearer than before.

He noticed that it was not that the environment that had changed but actually his eyes. It was way clearer than before he fell unconscious. Mark also noticed that his body movements had some changes. The delay between his brain command and his body action was now almost non-existent. He could also feel that his body was stronger.

Concentrating on his environment, he could feel that the range of his detection of emotional fluctuations were even larger. Before, the maximum area he could detect was a little bit below twenty meters, now however, his detection area had already reached thirty meters. Furthermore, the fluctuations he could detect were also clearer and more distinct. He could now recognize people from their familiar fluctuations without needing to concentrate on them.

Mark suddenly looked at the house in front of him on the other side of the street. It looked like Carlo had also awakened. He sighed though after noticing what was happening at the room where Carlo was in. He was with his girlfriend Sundra and was engaged on a night activity. There was nothing wrong with it though. The two were on a relationship for several years now and Carlo almost sacrificed himself for his girlfriend.

As it felt that he was peeping at their session, Mark decided to divert his attention to somewhere else. He looked behind him then by his foot. It seemed that the children were all sleeping at another room in this floor while Odelina was still awake and was doing something at the garage.

He then noticed something good at the room below. At the room on the first floor, Charmaine was sleeping with another person. The fluctuation of the person was quite similar to Charmaine making him conclude that the congresswoman managed to uphold her end of the deal. It seemed that they successfully found Cielo, Charmaine's younger sister. After monitoring Cielo's mental fluctuations however, Mark frowned. Her emotions at the moment were even more unstable than Mei's. Something might have happened to her before she was taken into the custody of Madam Lanie's men.

As for Melissa, she was sleeping at another room in the first floor. She was together with that woman then brought along with Carlo and Sundra. Mark then focused at the new addition to their group. The dog was sleeping in the living room it seemed.

"Hmm?"

Mark was surprised. The dog's senses were really high. It seemed that it noticed that it was being monitored and abruptly woke up while looking around in confusion.

Looking back at the sky, Mark decided. Since the moon was illuminating the place beautifully, he might as well take a stroll and survey the place. He might as well familiarize himself with the emotional fluctuations of the people inside the subdivision so he would know if there was an intruder in the future. It was not for the sake of the people of the subdivision but for the sake of his companions.

SWOOSH!

Mark jumped off the veranda towards the roof of the neighboring house to the east. The distance between the veranda and the roof was actually four meters but he jumped over effortlessly. He never tried this before but something inside him told him that he could do it and he just tried. He knew that he would not be injured too much even if he fell due to the absurd regeneration capability of his body.

Under the moonlight, Mark's shadow flashed from roof to roof. His movement speed was also enhanced compared from before. He was still not on par with Abbygale and Odelina's speed but he was faster than a national athlete for sure. He roamed around the subdivision without anyone noticing. With his ability to detect people around, unless he deliberately showed himself, no one would find him.

Going around, he found out the exact number of survivors staying in this subdivision. There were one hundred thirty-five people not including the men on patrol, the guards and his team. The patrols and guards numbered to twenty-five people. Mark wondered how the men in charge of this place was handing the supplies for this many people.

Arriving at the southeast of the subdivision, he noticed the houses on the same block of the gate but outside the walls of the subdivision. There was a wooden bridge going over the wall and into one of the houses outside. Inside the house, there were several people guarding the place. It looked like they made another place to go in and out of the subdivision aside from the gate. It was a good thing as there was the possibility that the gate would be blocked with a lot of infected. Using the house, they could use it to in and out or at least, they could use the house to lure the infected away from the gates.

"Huh?"

Mark noticed something not right. On the other side of the road outside the subdivision, there were houses that belonged to the subdivision where Charmaine was living before. There was a wall separating the subdivision from the road but the second floor of the houses could see over the wall since it was shorter. Inside the two houses in the opposite subdivision, he could detect people.

There were two people in each house. Furthermore, Mark could not detect any good intent from them. Jumping onto one of the houses closer to the house where he detected one of the pairs, he noticed that there was a person with binoculars constantly viewing the perimeters of Firenze.

***

Inside the house Mark was looking at, there were two men hiding. The one in his late twenty's was monitoring the perimeter of Firenze using the binoculars on his hands while the other who was in his early thirty's was taking a nap. Both men were armed with high caliber guns and their bodies were painted with menacing tattoos.

While the man with the binoculars were looking around outside, he saw a silhouette of a person standing on the roof of one of the houses inside the subdivision they were observing. Shocked, he focused on that silhouette.

"WAAHHH!!"

He suddenly backed off and screamed waking up the man who was taking a nap.

"What the f*ck?! Why are you screaming?!"

The man who was awakened by the scream cursed. He had just taken a nap and he was abruptly woken up. He was in a bad mood.

"I-I-I saw a ghost!"

"Motherf*cker. You disturbed my sleep because of some nonsense? Ghosts aren't real you dimwit!"

"No! I'm f*cking sure! I saw a shadow standing on the roof of a house on the other side! Its eyes were glowing red!"

Seeing how scared his partner was, the man snatched the binoculars from his partner and went to the window.

"Now, tell me where it is."

"It should be on that house."

The younger man hurriedly pointed at the house where he saw the silhouette.

BAM!

He was hit on his head by the older man.

"F*cking bastard, there's nothing there!"

"What?!"

He took the binoculars from the older man and looked once more.

"It's gone! I f*cking swear I saw it!"

***

The two people inside that house argued while the culprit had already jumped off the house to the street while chuckling.

"I will call this [Emotional Induction] then."

Mark tapped on his chin. It was his new ability that he knew by instinct after he woke up. He was now able to use different kinds of emotional energy to stimulate and affect the inner emotions of his target. What he did to the man observing outside was send a strand of energy containing fear and stimulate his inner fear. It was easy since everyone had fear planted in their subconscious since the apocalypse came.

He knew that the effect would be lesser if the emotions the target was feeling were highly contradicting to the emotional energy he induced to that person. Mark thought that he could use this to his advantage at many circumstances. One of the examples was to stimulate fear on his enemies or let despair sprout inside the subconscious of people going against him.

With that, he decided to go back. It was not the right time to deal with the people observing outside. Besides, this place was not his to begin with. He would leave by tomorrow and the job to deal with those people would fall on the hands of others. In that case, he might was well not involve himself in this.

On his way back, he passed by the house near the gates. It was being used as the outpost by the police that secured this subdivision. It was because he felt a distinct fluctuation from this place. If he was correct, that person was the police Madam Lanie was talking about, the Mutator of this place. Nevertheless, Mark had no notion to show himself and would rather not involve himself with that person. It was because of the reigning emotions on that person's subconscious was kind of disgusting.

It was heroism.

Mark left the outpost and made his way back to the townhouse where his team was staying. At the last corner however, he overheard two patrol guards who were both exuding lasciviousness in their emotions.

"That black car looked amazing but the women riding the car was even more superb."

"Yeah, the woman driving the car looked hot."

"For me, the youngest lady looked like a fairy. The other women didn't look bad either. It's a pity, the Madam is protecting them."

"Hah, even if they are not, they already belong to someone else. Remember how they looked like when they were transporting that blood covered man? How envying."

"That's right, if I can replace that man, I'll be playing with all those girls every night."

That was the end of their conversation. It was because the two fell unconscious in the middle of the street.

In a fit of irritation, Mark's eyes glowed blood red as he sent a sequence of different emotions using his Emotion Induction. The sudden changes in their subconscious emotions along with being caught off guard, their brains were not able to keep up and overloaded with the two ending up unconscious.

Mark pulled the two unconscious men away and left the two at a vacant lot not far from where they fell. The arms and backs of the two men got scraped became filled with bruises after being pulled on their legs at that distance on the rough cemented road. Mark then left the two with their faces tucked between each other's legs facing the crotch of the other.

'Since you two were in heat, spend your heat with each other you damn bastards.'

The two were lucky as Mark did not want to cause much disturbance. Mark had plans in the future and this survivor camp became included in it. He might need a place for his friends that he managed to find to stay while he searched of the others he had yet to find. This place was a good candidate for that. If he did not have this plan, the two perverts might have died without them knowing.

When Mark arrived outside, he noticed the disturbance at the house. He shook his head. Mei probably woke up and became hysterical after finding out that he was missing. But before he could even step near the gates, the door of the house opened abruptly and Mei came out staring at him through the fence.

Her eyes were a bit teary and she looked angry while being worried at the same time. Mark scratched the back of his head. He'll probably get scolded this time. But, he would not mind it. After living alone for several years, he was quite happy to be scolded by someone out of pure concern.

With that thought in mind, he strode into the gates and got welcomed home by Mei's embrace. The other people who were woken up by the frantic Mei also went out and watched the scene with warm eyes.

"Can you all stop staring like that? I'm hungry so get me food to eat."

Mark looked at the gallery in annoyance. He then went into the house with Mei pulling him in.