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150 The Premonition

 Day 5- 5:31 PM - Parking Area, Queens Row Elementary School, Queens Row Area A, Bacoor City, Cavite

'This is the second time.'

Mark inhaled deeply as he tried to slow down his fast beating heart.

"Gege, are you ok?"

Mei's voice echoed from above him. Mark woke up gasping and covered in cold sweat that made Mei who was watching over him surprised and worried.

As he was blankly staring at the air while trying to calm down, he did not realize that Mei was looking straight at him from above. Feeling her soft thighs beneath his head, he realized that he was still sleeping on her lap. It was fortunate that he was not the type of person who suddenly sits up after waking from a nightmare or else, it would not be surprising if he accidentally bumped his head on Mei's.

"Gege?"

Mei called out once more as Mark did not respond though she realized that he was now staring at her face. There was a faint blush on her cheeks but it was overwhelmed by the worry apparent on her face.

"I'm fine."

Mark finally responded as he slowly propped his body and sat beside Mei on the sofa. Still, he did not realize that his eyebrows were tightly creased.

'It looks like that we can't escape it.'

He thought as worry filled his mind.

"Gege, you're not fine."

Mei spoke from beside him as her hand holding a handkerchief extended towards Mark's forehead. She wiped the drops of sweat that formed on his forehead despite the fact that it was cold inside the vehicle.

Her gentle touch seemed to clear Mark's mind a bit. He glanced at her with a thankful smile.

"Did Gege have a nightmare?"

Mei asked noticing his glance.

"I wish, it's just a nightmare."

Mark answered with a troubled expression.

His answer obviously caused confusion on Mei's part. She could not help but stare at him with a questioning look.

Mark saw her expression making smile bitterly. He took out his phone and seeing that it was already past five-thirty. At that moment, his stomach grumbled. He clutched his stomach as he realized that it was almost evening and he had not eaten lunch yet.

Mei did not hear his stomach grumble but seeing him suddenly clutch his stomach, it was not hard to guess what he was thinking about. Without saying anything else, Mei moved towards the back of the car and unplugged a two layered USB lunch box from the socket. After taking a plastic spoon and fork from a bag, Mei made her way back to Mark's side and opened the lunch box.

Inside the top layer of the lunch box was pork and beans fried rice and on the bottom layer was chicken soup. It was obvious that the pork and beans on the fried rice and the chicken meat on the soup came from the canned goods they brought from the City Mall but it still looked and smelled good to Mark who was hungry.

After Mei handed the food to Mark, he started to eat leaving his worries for later.

"Did Odel bring this food earlier when I'm sleeping?"

Mark asked as he remembered that there was no lunch box there before he slept under Mei's coaxing.

To his question, Mei nodded.

"Gege is sleeping too deeply that you didn't even wake up when she brought the food."

Due to Mark's hunger and increased appetite, it did take too long for him to finish his food. Mei then took the emptied lunchbox and moved the lunch box to the back of the vehicle and had it washed later.

"Gege, what do you want to drink?"

Mei asked as she opened the small refrigerator.

"Hmm. Get me the iced coffee."

Mark drunk the iced coffee Mei handed him while contemplating. The premonition this time was way clearer than the last back when he woke up in Firenze after his second evolution. He did not know why but Mark was a little bit glad that these premonitions appeared when he needed it the most.

This premonition caused him to know the urgency of the situation and what danger they would encounter in the near future. Unfortunately, that future was too near that it would likely happen tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

And what the premonition showed him...

...was the total annihilation of his group and everyone with them.

Military vehicles overturned, soldiers in panic, he even saw Irene who had her body split in half. This vehicle they had was overturned and crushed along with everyone inside. Captain Dela Rosa was being helped by a Mutator Mark did not recognize but both of them also perished under the hand of the huge monster.

He lay on the pavement unable to move. He had been severely injured that his regeneration could not keep up anymore. His bones broken, his skin was lacerated and parts of his body were bleeding profusely. He could only watch everything unfold in front of him.

Odelina, Abbygale, Laelaps, that Four Horned Beetle, Emika, Mikio stood in front of him to protect him despite the fact that they also had several injuries inflicted on their bodies. Mei and the girl he had just saved earlier from death were crying tending to his wounds.

One by one, they all perished and he could only watch.

Finally, the huge monster stood in front of them with only Mei and the little girl left to block it. Of course, they also died and it was without a complete body.

At that moment that he could only feel remorse and he only wanted to follow their steps to the afterlife, the crystal that was supposed to be crushed inside the vehicle flew out and shielded him. A sudden force suddenly pulled him away and that was the time he finally woke up.

Everything that happened was too clear for him this time that it even made him feel that it was really happening. The pain in his body, the blood of his comrades that splattered on his face, everything felt so real and the smell of blood was also suffocating. Rather than feeling that that scene was a view of the future, he felt was waking up was him going back to the past.

"Gege?"

He was delved into that scene once more when Mei's voice snapped his mind back. Mark looked at Mei's worried face and shook his head awake. Rather than delving himself back in that horrible scene, he should rather think of a way to prevent it from happening.

Seeing the worry in Mei's face, Mark could not help but stroke her hair gently.

"I'm fine. I just have something in mind. Let's go out. I feel a little stiff after sleeping."

Seeing that Mark did not want to talk about it, Mei decided not to pursue it further. Still, her worry did not diminish even a little bit. Following Mark, she went out of the vehicle.

Getting out of the vehicle, Mark looked around. As it was almost time for the sun to set and due to the lack of electricity, the people were forced to get ready to sleep earlier than before the apocalypse came. There were very few people roaming around.

Since they were going to stay here for the night, it would be better if Mark and the others to prepare their dwelling.

Just when Mark and Mei were about to reach the classroom, there seemed to be a commotion inside. Irene and Captain Dela Rosa were outside the classroom with bitter expressions while watching what was happening inside through the windows.

THUD!

Someone was thrown out of the classroom mercilessly. The throw was too strong that the man rolled several times before hitting the wall. Nevertheless, the man immediately stood up as if nothing happened and tried to enter once more just to be blocked by another two men.

"If you're not going to behave, do it somewhere else! Seriously!"

"That's right. We are the ones that feel embarrassed because of you."

The two men reprimanded the one who was thrown out.

The scene happening in front of him made Mark slap his forehead. He obviously recognized the man thrown out mercilessly. It was one of his classmates back in elementary and high school and one member of his circle of friends together with Rollan and Arvie. The man was named Joseph. He was not bad but his biggest flaws were his thick face, his urge to approach women with good looks and his head were always filled with lascivious thoughts.

The two who were blocking Joseph from entering once more was Arvie together with his younger brother Jason. Arvie had mentioned it before that Jason was out with his own group and it looked like that he returned earlier. Considering that Joseph was also here, it was likely that Joseph was among the members of that group.

Nevertheless, Mark could not help but notice. Joseph was thrown out with quite a force and Arvie with his stature should not be capable of that. Considering what Arvie said about his brother before, it was likely that Jason who now possessed greater strength was the one who threw Joseph out. Another thing Mark noticed was despite the force used to thrown him out and how many times Joseph rolled on the rough floor, there was not a single bruise or scratch on his exposed skin and it even looked like that he did not feel any pain.

'It seemed that his skin got thicker than before.'

Mark held his face as he lamented.

Considering that there were quite a number of rather good looking ladies in his group, this thick faced guy would be restless. Not only that, the women in his group were neater looking compared to the women in the settlemen that had not taken a bath for several days.

"Mark."

Captain Dela Rosa and Irene saw Mark and Mei and approached. Looking at this, Mark could see that Captain Dela Rosa now had a bit of subservient attitude towards him. Nevertheless, it seemed that the two soldiers had something in mind this time.

"Is there something wrong? You two looked bitter."

Mark asked.

"Ah, don't worry about us. We just never thought that both the two groups of Evolvers here had a connection with you."

Irene answered with a bitter smile.

Of course, the two would feel bitter. The number of Evolvers and Mutators drafted into the side of the military was too scarce and they also tried to invite these two groups into their side but they were unsuccessful. It was not because the benefits the military was going to give were lacking but it was just that these people were too reluctant to have connections with the government who were not too trustworthy. They were a little fine with cooperation but there was no way for them to work under the military. Because of those reasons, they could only give up.

Yet, today, they were given several blows by Mark. When Mark arrived this morning, they saw that the numbers of Mutators in his group was even more than what the military in Bay City had. When they could only accept that, since they knew from the reports that there was no way for Mark to under the military, they were given another blow. To think that both the two groups of Evolvers in this settlement both had connections with Mark. Those connections were not subtle either.

The leader of the first group, Nikky, was the live in partner of Mark's best friend. Moreover, another member from that group was actually the younger sister of the infected Mark was rearing. On the second group, three of the members, with the leader included were actually Mark's close friends.

As Irene did not know another crucial thing, that was all she was thinking. Captain Dela Rosa on the other hand knew that Mark could save failed Mutators for who knows what method. Considering that, the number of Mutators in his group would only grow and not dwindle.

All of that and not to mention that Mark was a powerful Evolver himself.

On what Irene had said, Mark could only shrug his shoulders. He did not expect it either. Who knew that his friends would turn into Evolvers? Though, Mark could not say that he was unhappy about this. If his friends were stronger, then, they would be able to protect themselves from this world that had gone chaotic.

Now, Mark only needed to gather more of those pebbles and turn everyone in his group into Evolvers. He did not want to lead an army or anything like that but only wanted to give the strength they needed to protect themselves.

Mark exchanged a few words with the two soldiers and said goodbye before the two went back to their work. Apparently, most of the free soldiers were dispatched to search for suitable vehicles near the vicinity. Mark also noticed some private vehicles entering the settlement since the main gates were open for them to see from this area. The two soldiers needed to return to manage the vehicles that were being retrieved.

After the two soldiers left, Mark made his way towards the classroom once more where Joseph was still being banned from entering. The door now was even closed shut.

When Joseph saw Mark walking towards him, his eyes lit up.

"Mark! Long time no see!"

Joseph had just said that and was about to approach when his eyes landed on Mei who was walking closely beside Mark. His eyes lit up.

Those eyes though gave Mei shivers. She hurriedly hid behind Mark while holding unto her shoulders.

Joseph at that time also felt some shivers. When he looked at Mark, he saw his eyes sharply staring at him. He could only look away from that scary stare.

Seeing that, Mark sighed. Just how did he get involved with this person in the first place? He could not remember anymore. Anyway, if he was going to use his thick face to approach Mei, he would not hold back and give him a hard trashing.

Recovering from Mark's stare, Joseph immediately looked helpless.

"Hey Mark. Those two brothers aren't letting me in. Can you talk to them?"

Mark did not reply and continued to the door while keeping Mei out of Joseph's sight. Mark knocked on the door and someone peeked from the window beside the door. Seeing that the one knocking was Mark and Mei, the door was opened by Odelina immediately.

The two stepped inside and classroom and Joseph tried to use that opening to slip inside once more. However, the door was bashed unto his face before he could do so making him stagger backwards.

"You bastards! You guys are treating me like we're not friends at all!"

Joseph bellowed at the window with grievance. He only wanted to entertain the girls! What was wrong with that?

He then saw Arvie facing him from the other side of the window.

"Dude, don't embarrass us further will you? Return to your wife already!"

That was right. This shameless Joseph was already married and had three children who were all staying at the 5th grade building being used by refugees. Yet, he was here womanizing.