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185 Amihan, The Encounter with a Wind Elemental

 Day 20 - 4:24 PM - Unknown Mountains

Looking at the scene of the small girl with wings flying, despite the fact that there was no emotion on Mark's face, he rather felt amazed inside. Even though the existence of such creature belonged to the paranormal, he was not surprised at all. As an Empath, he belonged to the same category. The same applied even to Mutators, the Mutagen and the Evolvers either.

Being labeled as something Paranormal did not mean that they did not exist. Rather, it meant that their existence were not defined by the current scope science had researched. Those were things, events, abilities and creatures that were beyond what current science could explain. Or maybe, science could already explain some of them but chose to withhold the information the scientists knew.

He was an Empath and the main ability he had was to detect and absorb emotions. Unfortunately, that did not stop at the emotions of the people and animals. It also included things that could not be seen by the naked eye. Furthermore, he also had his own experience with these kinds of things when he was younger which became one of the main causes of his Cluster A Personality Disorder.

Back to the scene in front of him, it seemed that something had gone wrong with the little creature. She kept on screaming about not being able to return and the tree was not opening up for her. Considering how panicked she looked, it was likely to be the first time that this kind of thing happened to her.

As it was going to be dark soon and Mark only came for the basket of berries, he would rather not get entangled with her current problems. Even though this little creature stole from him, her current predicament was already enough as a punishment. Actually, he was rather curious about her but considering the things in folklore, it was better not to mess with these kinds of creatures that were akin to spirits and elementals. It could be fatal if they began to retaliate.

Mark stepped out of hiding and started to approach. Unfortunately for the little winged girl, she was too panicked hitting the tree while crying out loud and did not notice Mark approaching from behind.

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A sound echoed as Mark accidentally stepped on a twig hidden by the patch of grass around the tree. The little winged girl froze and like a rusted gear, she turned her head to look behind her. Looking at Mark who was just a few steps away from her, her teary eyes widened.

"HUMAN!!!"

She cried out loud and tried to fly away as fast as she could. Then, with a loud thud, she hit her head on the trunk of the tree as she flew straight to it. The sound of the impact even made Mark shiver since it sounded like as if the tree was hit by a hammer. The winged girl's body went limp as she started to fall to the ground.

With agile movements, Mark caught girl before she fell. Even though the proportion of her body was akin to a teen aged girl, her stature was too small that it could even fit on Mark's palms placed side by side.

'She's not dead right?'

Mark thought as she examined the little critter. It seemed that she fell unconscious but there was no fatal injury on her body. She only received a bruise on her forehead but she was breathing.

'What should I do with this?'

He thought before deciding to bring her back to the village after he retrieved the berries that scattered on the ground.

As he was helping her, it should not be considered as messing with this creature. If possible, Mark would also like to ask her if she knew what this place was though he was not really confident that she would knew. After all, their kind lived always detached to humanity which was displayed at how she reacted when she saw Mark. What the people called this place might be different what these creatures did.

The sun had already set when Mark returned to the village. He held the little girl in his right hand while the basket of berries in his left. He put a large leaf at the bottom of the basket to stop the berries from falling out once more. He then laid down the unconscious creature on a pillow at the living room and set up a mosquito net around her to prevent her from suddenly escaping. He then lit up a kerosene lamp and proceeded to cook dinner.

He lightly washed the wild asparagus, wood ear mushrooms and a few wild plants he found in the forest since he was saving up the limited supply of water he had. It was better if the little critter could point him to a river nearby. There was a well in the middle of the village but he would rather not use the water in there. Not because the water was murky and muddy but because there was a rotting corpse inside it.

Using a knife he made using his [Blood Control] and [Blood Metallization], he started removing the rather inedible and dirty parts of the wild plants and mushrooms along with garlic and onion he found in the village. He lit up a fire in the cooking area using firewood and started heating up the charcoal colored skillet before putting a third of the bar of butter. He then started to fry the smoked rat meat before mixing the other ingredients. As for the spices however, he only had wild chili and salt since these were the only ones he could find in and outside the village.

It did not take long for the improvised mountain stir fry to be cooked. The taste was good and the taste from the meat of the evolved rat made it better but it was nowhere to be called something delicious. If he was to give these ingredients to Anna, he was sure that she would be able to do a better tasting dish. It was the difference between people who know how to cook, could cook and had passion for cooking and the reason he allowed Anna to come with them.

It was because in the middle of the apocalypse with everyone was in fear and despair, a plate of delicious tasting meal was enough to lift people's spirits and raise morale.

Well, if Anna tried to lie and say something else in order to appeal to join, he might have declined. Other people who would try to join a survivor team would always say the best skill they had and she actually had the guts to say that she could cook. Anyone could cook but the difference was that someone who was confident in her cooking could do better than others.

While he was eating, the unconscious critter finally woke up.

"Ummm... Where is this?"

She stretched her arms and looked around. It was then she saw Mark's face that was half covered with the shadow from the lamp.

"UWAAAA!!! HUMAN!!!"

Her face paled as she panicked and tried to fly away just to get blocked by the mosquito net around her.

After falling down once more, she finally realized that she had been caught.

She started to cry out loud up to an irritating degree while shouting about how she was going to be sold, getting eaten or how she would not be able to marry anymore.

Mark understood the first one but he was confused how the other two things came about.

"If you don't keep silent, I will cook you."

Hearing that, the little critter hurriedly covered her mouth with both hands but her eyes were filled with fear and still dripping with tears. Her current expression made Mark sigh. The fear in her eyes looked as if it was the end of line for her.

He stood up and walked into the kitchen to take a few wild berries from the basket while observing what the winged girl would do without him around. To his surprise, she did not move away from her place looking afraid that something bad would happen to her if she did.

'Too innocent.'

Mark thought. Even most animals would try to escape after their guards were not around but this little creature did not even thought of it. Rather, she let herself get overwhelmed with fear.

"Here. Eat up if you're hungry." Mark put the several berries unto the pillow. "Don't worry, I won't sell or eat you. I just want to ask several questions. Even though you tried to steal from me, I'll let you go after you answer my questions."

The little girl stared at Mark still in tears.

"You will let me free?"

"I will if you behave and stop being too noisy."

"...Alright..."

She calmed down a little. As Mark thought, she was really innocent. If it was others who had bad motives, she had already fallen into their grasps.

The little winged girl stared at Mark while she cautiously moved near the wild berries. After she grabbed one, she hurriedly flew towards the furthest end of the mosquito net before biting unto the berry. Tasting the sweet juice from the berry, her face started to recover from her fear.

However, Mark suddenly spoke making her tense up once more.

"First, what is your name and what creature are you?"

Mark asked as he picked up a stick of asparagus using a reddish black fork and ate it.

"My name... Amihan. Our race, we are called... Sylphs by you humans I think."

Amihan said in a low scared voice while munching on the berry on her hands.

Mark then asked several more questions and gained quite an amount of information from her who did not even try to hide too much things. Unfortunately, she did not know what the people call this place. The good thing was that she knew about the terrain around the village and pointed him to where the nearest river was and where the nearest human town was.

According to her, there was a huge river quite a distance to the south while the nearest town was actually on the other side of the mountain to the east. Amihan however did not know what kind of town that was since she only saw that town from the top of the mountain before and never approached it.

The only information he held back on telling was about her kind and where they dwell which Mark only asked due to his curiosity. The only things she disclosed about herself were that she was a sylph who was an offspring of her parents who were both vagabond sylphs. She started living in this area after her parents perished due to an attack of evil spirits. Every month, she goes out of her home to procure food and this time, she came out and found the village empty aside from Mark. Seeing the basket of wild berries, she was tempted to take it away and after that, it was what Mark saw.

After getting the information he wanted, Mark packed a dozen of wild berries into a small cloth sack and gave it to her before removing the mosquito net. She was surprised that Mark actually let her go and hurriedly scurried away leaving before he changed his mind.

That encounter made Mark satisfied as he turned in for the day early to save on kerosene. There was a single disturbance during the night when a normal wild boar wandered into the village but it was nothing alarming. He let the wild boar go however since it would be wasteful to gather too much meat. He went back to sleep after dealing with it.

The next morning however... There was a little lady with wings sleeping on his pillow right next to his face.