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128 The Chains of Fate

 Day 5 - 7:12 AM - Queens Row Elementary School, Queens Row Area A, Bacoor City, Cavite

Suddenly seeing two groups of hard to deal people coming their way the moment they parked their vehicles, Mark frowned. However, noticing that the groups did not seem to have come with ill intentions, his face remained impassive. On the other hand, the lively Emika shrunk back and behind Mark. As a child, she could not handle the natural pressure that people with position exudes. Given the fact that her senses were also enhanced at her mutation, this was not something that a child like her could handle.

Rosamie who was still inside the vehicle wanted to also get out bet she saw that Mark was looking at her while shaking his head once, she refrained from doing so. She was also not worried about her daughter considering that Mark was there. Seeing his feats despite the fact that they had not really interacted for too long, she knew that he was not someone who would put his people into danger.

Nikky and her group however were also bewildered as to why the soldiers were also coming here. The barangay chairwoman and the city councilor was one thing since they had interacted several times before as they were the ones in charge of the welfare of the people in the settlement. The soldiers however were different. Due to the current affairs of the country, the status of the soldiers was elevated even above of the local officials and they were the people in charge of the security of the settlement and search of supplies and necessities. There were barely any interaction between the soldiers and the survivors either.

On the other hand, the group led by the city councilor was also bewildered as to why the soldiers were here. After all, there was no reason for them to come out at this moment and go to this very location. The city councilor and his people were here to communicate with the group of that frequently goes out of the settlement and were also participating in gathering the supplies from the establishments around the settlement but they could not think of a reason for the other party.

"Ma'am Kat, why are all of you here?"

Nikky asked the barangay chairwoman with bewildered expression.

"Actually, we want to speak with your group since earlier but you're group went out too early that we did not manage to inform you."

"Is that so?"

Nikky looked troubled. She wanted to catch up with Rollan since they had just reunited with each other but for these people to come at the wrong time.

"Nhie. What's going on? Why would these people look for you?"

Rollan approached Nikky and asked while frowning.

"It's a long story Dhie."

Nikky was really troubled.

Seeing the unfamiliar man speaking to Nikky, the Barangay Chairwoman, Katherine Palabrica, could not help but ask.

"Ms. Faja, who is this?"

"Ma'am Kat, this is Rollan, my boyfriend who I'm looking for these past days."

Nikky said while putting her right hand around Rollan's arm.

Hearing what Nikky said, Ma'am Kat was surprised, to think that Nikky would be fortunate to reunite with her partner. Then, she saw another man standing not behind them while seemingly on guard and the eleven year old girl with strange green colored hair and seemingly real flower hair accessories.

"They are?"

"That guy is Mark, a friend of ours."

Hearing the introduction, Mark nodded towards the barangay chairwoman without any notion to speak to her. The chairwoman did not seem to mind as she nodded back but it seemed that the subordinates behind did not take it positively and started to frown while looking at Mark.

Mark on the other hand did not put their hostility into his mind. Seeing that the Barangay Chairwoman and her group were here for Nikky, he was relieved. However, it seemed that it was different from the goal of the other group. It was because as they approached, they were all looking towards the MB Sprinter beside Mark. It was as if they were examining the vehicle for some reason or another.

As the group of soldiers approached, it was Councilor Reynald Palabrica who first greeted them.

"Captain Dela Rosa, is there something you need to come out here at this time?"

The councilor asked the about in his late thirties leading the group of soldiers.

"It's nothing much, I just received from my men that someone we are watching out for might have arrived."

Captain Dela Rosa replied with a smile. The captain then looked at the woman in her late twenties also wearing a military uniform beside him.

"Mila, what do you think?"

The female soldier called Mila was intently observing Mark and his vehicle. Nodding, she turned back to the captain.

"Captain, it's no doubt positive. A luxury armored van with anti-infected accessories and solar panels covering the roof along with a scary looking man. Everything matches."

Councilor Palabrica who was speaking to Captain Dela Rosa was bewildered at the two's conversation, no, not only him but everyone who heard them which included Mark.

Actually, hearing the woman's description, Mark's face became dark. Nevertheless, he could only sigh. Just who wanted him to have this kind of face? What bewildered him more was that these soldiers were actually looking for him? He never encountered these people even before the outbreak for sure.

While he was staring at the group, Captain Dela Rosa excused himself from the conversation with the city councilor and made his way towards Mark.

"Do you need something from me?"

Mark asked impassively. Even though he could not detect any ill intent from the leader of the soldiers, there was no need for him to be friendly either, especially with the fact that they seem to know him despite knowing anything about the other party.

"I would like to ask if perhaps you are called Mark?"

Captain Dela Rosa spoke in a humble tone which bewildered everyone including the group of the Chairwoman.

Hearing the other party say his name further bewildered Mark.

"Do I know you?"

Mark asked while frowning.

Fearing that Mark might misunderstand something, Captain Dela Rosa hurriedly introduced himself.

"I'm Captain Edmundo Dela Rosa, leader of the 7th rescue squad under General Miguel Perez."

When the captain finished his introduction with a salute, Mark was enlightened. Given that this person was actually under General Perez of Bay City Evacuation Zone, this might have to do with the feats he displayed back in the mall along with the fact that he saved the general's daughter Angeline.

"Did General Perez inform you guys about me?"

"He did. Due to some circumstances, we are stranded here but we managed to keep contact with the Bay City. We heard about your actions about saving General Miguel's daughter. Actually, Angeline is like a relative to me so I also have to thank you about saving her."

"I see. But why did he inform you about me."

Mark asked in confusion. He never told anyone about his plans before at the mall. Except for the fact that he planned on looking for his friends, he never told anyone where he was going. He did not even tell Angeline or Paula.

"It was Angeline's friend Paula. It seemed that she informed the general about the possibility of us meeting you and your group so the general instructed us a few things."

"Few things..."

"It is in case that we met you and your group, we should offer our assistance."

Captain Dela Rosa said with a sincere expression. It seemed that he was not reluctant to follow the general's orders. It was the same for the men under the Captain.

Mark was now smiling bitterly. He did not expect that saving Angeline and Paula that time would led to many things. Back then, he was just looking for potential teammates that he could trust to watch his back. He did not even know who the two girls were and knew nothing of their background.

If he did not save the two, the people back in the mall would still be trapped there and probably rot in the mall. Because he saved them that the shutters in the TechZone closed before they could return leading him to meet Mei. If he did not meet the two helped Reyah and Sariya that the two girls tried to save, he would not meet Abbygale either.

Due to the Angeline, he became an Evolver. He also received good weapons because of her father's assistance. He would also have not met with Odelina if not for her.

Now, because of Paula, this happened. Even though Mark could not think of anyway how Paula managed to deduce this, it still happened.

It seemed that saving Angeline and Paula became the foundation of his strength at this moment and the two still continued to try and pay the favor of saving their lives back then.

While Mark was conversing with the Captain, the men led by the Palabrica couple were bewildered seeing the Squad Captain speak with respect to the man they scorned for disrespecting the chairwoman.

It was also the same for Nikky and her group. Since they were living in this place for several days already, they knew how unapproachable this group of soldiers was. But this time, the soldiers were actually looking at the scary looking man with both respect and a bit of reverence. What was happening in from of them was really unfathomable.

"This place is not suitable for a talk. Can we invite you to our quarters? We wanted to ask you a few things."

Captain Dela Rosa said as the group was gathering the attention of many people in the vicinity. It would not be good if the third faction appeared here at this moment.

Even though Mark looked impassive at the moment, he also felt stiff as the piercing eyes of everyone were gathered at him.

"In that case, lead the way. Is it possible to park our vehicle somewhere else? At least close to your quarters?"

Hearing him agree, the Captain's face lit up but he felt troubled about the question.

"This place is the only place we could park vehicles. Look there, our trucks and vehicles were also park just by the other side."

Captain Dela Rosa pointed at the plaza area several meters away where the military vehicles were parked.

Mark actually knew about it since this school was the same school he attended when he was younger. Back then, this place still have a wide square at the center but after several years of building additional classroom buildings and renovations, the wide space became lesser and lesser. Mark was just trying his luck.

"If you are worried about your vehicles, I can order some of my men to guard the vehicles in shifts so you don't have to worry about your things."

Captain Dela Rosa proposed a suggestion.

That was one thing Mark was worried about but not the reason he was worried the most. One was because he would not be able to leave Laelaps, the huge beetle and Janette alone in the vehicle since they would probably take a bit of time. If that was the case, he could only bring them out exposing them to all the people here. Nevertheless, he had no other choice. He also wanted to take advantage of the fact that he could ask these soldiers for help. In that case, he could ask them to find his few friends that lived in Queens Row and sped up the search.

"Ok then, let's go with your arrangement."

Mark accepted the Captain's proposal before making his way towards the vehicles and beckoned others to come out.

One by one, the members of Mark's group went out of their vehicles. Seeing Mei stepping out of the vehicle, everyone who was watching had their eyes dilated in amazement of seeing a beautiful woman, Mark could even detect several eyes that contained lust making him frown. Due to the stares she was gathering, Mei immediately latched on Mark's arm as if she was hiding from everyone.

Aside from Mei, the ceramic doll like Abbygale went out also garnering the attention of the others. The little girl also went towards Mark.

"Papa, up!"

Abbygale raised her arms wanting to be carried by Mark. Using his free arm, Mark lifted the little girl up.

Everyone who heard the beautiful little girl call Mark 'Papa' could not help but feel their chests tighten. Seeing the contrast between the appearance of the father and the daughter, then it was likely that the little girl took her looks from her mother. Their eyes then fell unto Mei who was hiding behind Mark and their imaginations started to jump around as the men cursed Mark for being too lucky.

The others also went out and seeing the women stepping out of the vehicles, the eyes of the men around lit up. Despite the fact that none of them could be compared to Mei, they were still above most of the women here specially the sexy figured mature woman who came out of the driver's seat.

Then, everyone choked once more. It was because after everyone went out, a golden furred dog with a golden horn on its head and golden spikes on its body valiantly walked out of the vehicle while pulling a large beetle about the size of a human adult.

"Odel, also get Janette, we can't leave her here alone."

"Alright Master."

Master?! Everyone felt faint. What kind of play was this?

Odelina then went back inside the vehicle and soon went out pulling a chain, when the other end of the chain was on sight, everyone choked on their saliva. It was because they could see another beautiful woman tied up with the chains. Still, everyone looking at her could feel that something was wrong but could not fathom what it was.

Seeing Mark's group, Captain Dela Rosa was about to faint. In the report he received before, Mark was an Evolver that could fight on par with an Unknown while he had an adopted daughter that could possibly be another Evolver or might even be a Mutator. Now however, seeing the green haired girl, a four year old boy whose skin was covered with three barks and the large golden dog, he was really about to pass out. It was obvious that all these people were Mutators.

'What in the hell are these people?'

That question echoed inside the Captain's mind along with the soldiers under his command.