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216 The Next Day, The Morning after the Incident and the Acciden

 Day 29 - 8:23 AM - Mountain Base, Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

The people in the base became busy early in the morning. They had been moving about since two hours ago even before the sun was barely up. Even though to say that Mark handled the situation magnificently last night, it still alarmed the other that they should work faster in at least finishing the walls. Right now, they even started on digging moats outside the walls. Even though it would not be very effective against the likes of the mutated infected that invaded last night, it would still be able to slow and hinder them to some extent.

The duties of designing the structures of the base, from determining the right foundations of the walls to the structural designs of the houses fell on Huey's hands. Even though Huey was working at a high position in the animation company, it was not without basis. He was an architecture graduate. It was also due to this fact that most architectural work in the background designing in the animation company was led by him.

In this base, most these things were also managed by him while some parts were handled by Mark and Hallie who had more knowledge in terms of base building that they learned from various sources. In turn, most of the labor was done by Ed and Ron. Still, it could not be denied that they really lack manpower. However, where were they going to get people? It was really impossible for most people to leave their bases and they were in the middle of the mountain range.

Compared to the city and other places, the mountain base was secure but it lacked two of the most important things in building structures. There was no source of manpower and construction equipment. The only thing they had was enough construction materials but it was hard to utilize everything with the two lacking.

While the others were busied themselves about the things in the base, Mark was inside the hut being used as their workshop. The tanning equipment for the animal skins being dried outside was also in this place. Mark could not keep working inside his hole when there was a lot of light outside needed for making things. His room inside the crevice was rather dark and he would surely need a light source inside aside from the gas lamp he was currently using there. He needed something brighter and easier to use.

"Hey, how did Oracle turn to that? Change Merlot too!"

Hallie pestered Mark seeing him coordinate with the now transparent colored Oracle wobbling on the table. She felt rather envious though Merlot did not belong to her at all.

When the morning came, Mark gave the females a shock when he knocked on their door carrying a sleeping baby in his arms. They were even more perturbed when Mark told them that it was actually Miracle. The girls could not believe their eyes. After all this time, they only saw Miracle as a blood creature that was shaped like a baby. This time however, the sleeping angel gained her body back which could really be said, a miracle.

It seemed that Trisha's maternal instincts kicked in and she actively volunteered to take care of the child. Miracle was not just a [Blood Child] anymore in theory with her body being composed of flesh and not gelatinous blood. Even Mark who examined the baby earlier was surprised that it was not just fake skin and flesh like how her mother's flesh tentacles worked but her other organs like her heart and eyes were reconstructed.

It seemed that Melinda's abilities as a Mutator did not only revolve at those disgusting flesh tentacles but far more than that. It was just she became insane with what happened to her child, she lacked the right knowledge or that the sudden mutation affected her brain that she did not realize the worth of her ability. It might need more investigation and it could only be done after the little angel woke up. Right now, they were worried that she needed milk now but it was not the case fortunately.

Even though the [Blood Children]'s bodies were composed of blood, they still feel hungry though at a slower rate compared to normal human infants. They only needed to satiate their hunger once a day or even once every two days if they did not do anything strenuous and what they would consume of course was blood.

Using his connection with them Mark could tell when they were hungry and it was the same for the sleeping Miracle. In her case, Mark would infuse his blood to her in any part of her body. Now however, she could only consume his blood through her mouth and her body would consume it without fail. Still, it was good for a reason. It was due to the fact that an unconscious baby would be hard to feed.

Mark concentrated on his work, this time he was creating a sword with the help of Crimson and Oracle. At the same time, he was experimenting on Oracle's body structure. He had already found out that Oracle could absorb blood normally but like how it happened in his body when he consumed blood, the blood consumed by Oracle would fuse to her body and become transparent. The blood would be converted to the properties of her body.

Even though her appearance changed, there was still no doubt that her body was still made of blood. The only difference was the appearance. That mentioned, Mark could not remember any capability in Melanie's mutation back then. No wonder she became weaker.

"Done!"

Mark said as he finished the sword with the two blood children while ignoring Hallie's annoying pleas. It was a short sword with reddish black handle and a transparent blade with an ornamental style. Amihan flew and landed on the table with glimmering eyes while looking at the beautifully crafted sword.

"Good work you two."

The two [Blood Children] on the table wobbled as he patted their jelly like bodies. He then turned to look at Hallie.

"Stop being noisy. Seriously..."

"Hmph."

"You know that Merlot is not yours right? Of course, his turn will come later but you should know that the change will be irreversible and we need to think which will be a good mutation for it, alright?"

"Uu. Okay."

Hallie finally went quiet though there was a tint of expectation in her eyes. With Mark said, he basically said that she could choose the change for Merlot in the future.

Mark on the other hand shook his head. Hallie was quite of a lively girl but she was also annoying at times. Like typical female anime characters. It was also the same trait that made others unable to hate her after knowing her. As what she was thinking, Mark knew about it while looking at her face. However, he was fine for this. It could be treated as her privilege for actively taking care of the [Blood Children].

About what Mark said, he was also filled with expectations. The accidental change in Miracle and Oracle opened a whole lot of doors for him. It also made him feel some regrets. If he took Chameleon's ability back then, he might be able to make camouflage equipment with the help of the [Blood Children]. Well, who would have thought that it would come to this anyway? Who knew that the blood children would exist in the first place? Who knew that he would have this kind of ability?

Mark looked at the [PsyCrystal] embedded on his arm. Everything was because of this and he was thankful.

Hallie and the others had already seen that crystal on Mark's arm but none of them was asking about it since he did not say anything himself. Still, every time the crystal was exposed, they would still glance at it with curiosity.

The crystal flashed light for a split second and an empty [Physical Crystal] appeared on his palm.

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"What? Why a-?"

Hallie was dumbfounded. As she opened her mouth to ask why, a crystal was tossed into her mouth. She immediately tried to spit it out but the crystal suddenly crumbled to a puff of smoke that entered her body. She looked a Mark with her eyes filled with confusion. She looked rather teary as her body started to heat up.

She started to fall down after her face started to flush reddish. Even with her body falling weaker, she tried to struggle to maintain standing up but her body still gave way. When she fell down, Mark hurriedly caught her. She could only weakly stare at him hatefully before she fell unconscious.

"My Lord, what did you do?"

Amihan flew to his shoulder and asked while she stared at Hallie warily. Even though Hallie was already unconscious, the little sylph was still afraid of her. It was not because she was mean but every time Hallie was able to, she would approach Amihan with fervent eyes which made Amihan remember the duende from the other side of the mountain. Because of that, she would rather stay away from her.

"Just a little upgrade. She'll be fine and feel even better after she wakes up later. She'll be a little angry though. Well, finally some peace and quiet."

Mark replied as he laid Hallie down to the side of the hut where a blanket was laid down. It was where he laid down when he was searching his head for ideas. This time, Hallie would lay down here while her body undergo her evolution.

Since last night after the battle and while he was designing things, he had this idea. After all, he could now access that [PsyCrystal] and the crystals being stored inside it. Right now, he had an accumulated number of seventy plus crystals which was quite a lot. Just how many mutated infected did his savage alter consciousness at that time killed to accumulate this number of [Physical Crystals]? Still, he was thankful about this.

Using these crystals, he could cultivate his own army of evolvers and would have no problem in gathering abilities of Mutators. His most important goal right now was to elevate the strength of the people here especially those who were truly loyal to him, especially Hallie and Nicole. Jollene had already evolved naturally so Huey would be next and then Trisha. About Ed and Ron, he was still not decided about them. After all, he had no tight grasp on those two aside from being something like employees.

Jollene had already regarded him as her combat teacher and master while Huey was her lover and Trisha was her closest friend. This would ensure that these three would less likely to go against him in the future and made them worth nurturing.

After he elevated their strengths in the next few days, he would go to the settlements on the other side of the mountains to the east. It was to deal with the problem with manpower in the base while he also try to find if there was a way for him to contact his group at Bay City.

Because of the barrio being a tourist stop, he found maps there which gave him the information he needed about the place and even the terrain around the area. Behind the mountains at the east and past the northward flow of Ungos River, there should be the municipality of Infanta, Quezon. It was not a very advanced place and could even be considered a rural area for the most part but that place still had its malls and commercial areas. It was likely for him to be able to find other ways for communication and if lucky, he might be able to find another satellite phone.

Mark stretched his arms and back. Even though he was able to thwart some of his urges away, some still lingered. He really wanted to play some video games now but there was no way for him to be able to. Maybe, he could find something to deal with this emptiness when he get to the town later on.

As for the manpower, he had some ideas. He just had to prepare a few things and he would surely find people that would loyally follow him.

"Hmm, is that Nicole?"

Mark peeked out of the window and saw Nicole from afar coming towards his direction. She had something on her hands. It seemed to be a young animal that looked like a wolf cub and a fox at the same time. He wondered where she found it.