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199 Their Plans, The First Steps for the Future Base

 Day 22 - 7:32 PM - Mountain Village, Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

Due to the medical supplies Mark brought back, Nicole's fever had already stabilized while the injuries of the others were dressed properly. On the other hand, Jollene had already woken up it was not wrong to say that the state of her body was way better than last night. Not only her complexion was better but her strength also rose significantly.

When she woke up, she was rather in a stupor. It was because at the time she tried to recall what happened last night, what entered her mind first was Huey's worried face as she lost strength in his embrace. She did not realize that it left a strong mark on her memories since his face was the first thing she saw when she needed someone the most.

Right now, with the exception of Nicole who was still unconscious, all members of their group were gathered around a campfire as they grilled some of the meat from the tiger Ed processed. Mark was rather satisfied with his work that he even gave him a can of tuna from the food he brought home. The skin of the tiger was hanged and left at the drying rack beside Mark's house while most of the meat was going to be made into jerky. As for the leftover meat, they were free to cook it in any way they wanted while the fat of the tiger was collected by Mark saying that he would process it as lamp oil.

This time, their members gathered here to talk about their future plans. Mark on the other hand was already resting as he said that he would go out early tomorrow.

"Is that really true?"

Ron, the one of the men aside from Huey asked as Trisha and Hallie finish narrating the information Mark told them yesterday.

Huey already had a little idea about it since he talked to Trisha last night but the others knew nothing about it. It was the information about Mutagen, the Mutators and Evolvers, and even the difference about Eaters and Biters. The information he got from the government was included. Of course, Mark did not tell them everything and Hallie knew that. There was a lot of anime that tell the value of information in this kind of situation. As a fellow Otaku, she knew that Mark would not reveal every card in his hand.

Still, it was a lot of information for them to hear and swallow. It was also the reason Hallie decided to tell them now since they were all gathered in one place.

"It's true. There's no need for Mark to lie about those since it's easy to determine whether that information is true or not."

Hallie said confidently.

They all became silent as they slowly digested the information. Along with that silence, they sometimes turn to glance at Jollene who should be an Evolver now. Although there was a tint of envy on Ed and Ron's eyes, they were also sure that it would not be easy to become one. Jollene almost lost her life after all.

"Now, what are your plans? Although Mark said that well need to compensate him for what that idiot did, we are free after that."

Hallie said.

That question made them even more silent.

What were they going to do? Leave? That was asking for trouble. They could not even keep their lives when they were a whole group of people, what could they do now? The forested mountains were filled with those evolved animals while the towns and cities were filled with infected. Actually, this day was the most peaceful day they had since the apocalypse started.Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.

"We're going to stay, me and Nicole." Hallie answered her question herself. "Actually, we're not confident at finding that place in the leaflet since the start. The only reason why the two of us came with this group was because Nicole is being targeted by the lechers in the hotel. Comparing this hopeless journey to being their toys, we picked the previous one. Now that we found a place to stay, we have no reason to leave anymore."

The expression on her face that was lit by the flames was resolute and way different from her usual behavior.

"We won't leave too. Right Huey?"

Jollene calmly said as she turned to Huey who was not speaking. Huey had already briefed her about what happened last night and he even confessed to her when the others were not around. She was rather surprised to the extent that she wanted to blame him for not saying it sooner but considering how blinded she was in her delusions with Jefferson, she had withdrawn the thought. Now, she rather hated herself for falling for that person.

Unfortunately for Huey, she had just received her first heartbreak so she was still not ready for a relationship with anyone. Still, she could not deny that she would readily accept Huey in the future when she was ready. After all, he was not even ashamed to narrate how he begged Mark for her life. Still, she felt helpless when Huey said that the lives of the two of them belonged to Mark now.

"Right." Huey bitterly smiled. "I already sold our souls to the demon after all."

"Pfft. That's quite an analogy."

Hallie could not help but laugh.

"But it's also true." Jollene smiled. "I'm supposed to be dead now. If Huey did not beg for my life, I won't even be sitting here."

Not known to others, Jollene had another reason. She wanted to grow stronger and it was only possible if there was someone already strong enough to guide her. Besides, Huey said that it seemed that Mark had the idea what happened to her after she woke up. The sensation she had last night, she could not explain it. However, Mark was very likely to have the answer.

In the end, none of them wanted to leave anymore especially when Hallie told them Mark's plan to build his own base here in the mountains.

"If we're the first people in the base and also the ones who help build it. Even though it was Mark's base, we'll have a better treatment when other people arrives later right?" Hallie said before turning to Jollene. "Is something wrong with what I said?"

Jollene was thinking something with a rather confused expression.

"No, not with what you said. I'm just thinking why that... Um... Boss, did not just save me directly and made me run away letting the tiger chase me all the way back."

On that question, the others also did not have an answer. However, Hallie spoke.

"He's probably wanted to prevent a "Damsel in Distress" trope from happening."

"What do you mean?"

"You see... If a man saved a woman in danger, it's likely for her to develop feelings for him right?" Hallie fixed her glasses. "In that case, since he was saving you due to Huey's feelings, then he can't save you directly. Well, I didn't expect Huey to kowtow in front of him though."

"I-I see." Jollene was still confused but at least, Hallie's answer lightened her confusion a bit. "Wait, what do you mean by kowtow?"

"Last nig-"

"Stop! Don't tell her that. And how do you even know that?!"

Huey stopped Hallie from answering with a rare flustered expression. It looked like even though he told Jollene that he begged Mark, he did not say anything about how he kowtowed to beg him.

***

While the Hallie's group was talking outside, Mark had not actually fallen asleep yet. He was thinking about how he should work with building the base.

First was to clear up the area for sure. Removing the trees and wild plants around the spring and with the help of the red blob that was currently jiggling on his lap as he played with it, he would be able to lay the foundations efficiently. As for the consistent source of blood for the materials, he had two options.

First was to get the blood from the other people. After all, humans could replenish the blood they lost with proper nutrition and it was not like they needed to die just for him to get some blood. However, this option had a large downside to this now. After their blood was "donated" to him, they would surely feel lethargic and that was not good since the manpower he had now to build the base was too small. If he could get to loot a blood bank, it would be good. To normal survivors, a blood bank was nothing but a worthless place to loot but to him, it was a treasure trove to be looted.

Due to those limitations, he could only go for the next option...

After securing the blood source, he needed more people. In that case, he would try to pay a visit at the place written on the leaflet Hallie had. Even though he did not know what kind of survivor camp it was, one thing was for sure, not everyone there had a good state of living. His recruitment requirements would be high but it did not mean that there would be no one to fit the criteria.

Mark wanted to finish building the base as fast as he could. He wanted to see his new family as soon as possible.

***

Day 23 - 6:20 AM - Mountain Village, Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

The next morning, Mark could smell the aroma of hot coffee. As he slept in the living room, he could see Hallie making coffee in the kitchen. It seemed that Hallie could move better now that her wound was properly dressed and cleaned though she was still having a hard time moving her feet. Now, that he smelled the coffee, he remembered that it had been a long while since he had one.

While having their breakfast, Mark told Hallie what her group had to do while he was away. Well, it was just what Ed needed to do as he was the only one able to move properly and do heavy work. The woman called Trisha who always assisted Hallie on walking was more of a clerk so he did not have much expectation for her to properly help in dismantling the unused houses. According to Hallie, Trisha and Ron did not belong to their company and were strangers when the apocalypse started. They just started to bond together after they left the hotel.

In terms of work, Ed could do the heavy things due to being someone from a dairy farm and his large stature. Trisha could be left with cooking since she was actually an assistant cook at the hotel. As for Ron who was a guest of the hotel at that time, he could be left with other menial jobs after he recovered from his injury. His injury after all was the lightest of them having his ankle sprained when they escaped from the tiger.

As for Huey and Jollene, Mark had plans for them. Hallie told him that everyone decided to stay under his leadership while Huey and Jollene was the most convinced in their decision. In that case, Mark wanted the two to be included in the fighting force of his base once he was assured that the two would be loyal to him. Huey could be a strategist while Jollene who had awakened a very good ability could be the main fighter.

The others were still asleep when Mark left together with Amihan and the red blob inside his bag. It seemed that they stayed up late last night. Hallie who was used to watching anime all night looked fine though.

His goal today was to find the source of these red blobs while following the riverside. If there were other red blobs on the way, he would gladly collect them. He just wished that he could find another one that was alive.

Along the way, he found some red blobs stuck at the rocks on the side of the river but all of them were dead. Following the river upstream, he did not expect...

He came back to the same Barrio and under the huge airplane suspended over the river was a dried up pile of red blobs. Looking at this, there was no doubt.

The red blobs came from this airplane.