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218 Decision, Their Loyalty as Exchange in Order to Become Stronger

 Day 29 - 2:36 PM - Mountain Base, Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

Mark had just finished creating some source of natural light in his room during the day time. The rooms and halls inside the crevice were always dark and that was also the reason the workshop was built outside. Even though he wanted to make the workshop here, it would waste resources like gas and oil to maintain the workplace lit every time he wanted to make something.

This time, he extended the room further near the entrance and created some high windows on the face of the crevice. He blocked the holes a frame made of [Blood Metal] and glass made of [Transparent Metal] with the help of Oracle.

Rather than being large, the one foot window ran through almost the whole side of the room. The long window provided the necessary light needed near the window which made him a bit satisfied. There was also no need to sweep the dust on the floor since Amihan was already blowing the dust away.

CLANG! CLANG!

The bell hanged above his working table inside the room made some sounds. It was a bell tied to a thin metal thread with a chain at the end. The chain was hanging at the side of the main door of on the face of the crevice.

With the bell making those sounds, Hallie should have woken up already.

When the disaster happened this morning where Mark decided to run away with Oracle and Crimson in his arms, he told Jollene and Trisha to help Nicole with her predicament. Another thing he made the two take note of was to meet him together with Nicole, Hallie and Huey once Hallie had woken up.

PUFF!

Mark vanished from his place inside the room and appeared on the other side of the door at the main entrance. He was really satisfied with how convenient this ability he got from Freed was. [Lightspeed] Freed had before was already a powerful movement ability but after it evolved in his hands, it became even stronger and more versatile.

[Lightspeed] had a lot of limitations. One was that the target area to move in was needed to be in sight. Another was that he could only move in a straight line. The last thing was that he could not bring any living thing to move with him. The good thing about the ability was that it was easy to control despite how the movement ability was godly.Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.

How was it godly? Even though it was movement ability, it was different from distorting space or teleportation. [Lightspeed] was not just being fast or being able to move from place to place instantaneously. This ability was actually a combination of both capabilities to accelerate time and tinker with space.

During the time the ability was used, it did not make Freed fast but it opens a distortion in space which looked like a tunnel towards the target location. The opening of that space tunnel was the cause of the bright flash of light before Freed vanished in place and appearing on the other side. Inside the tunnel, time was accelerated. Although the change in time did not affect the body negatively, it allowed him to move at a faster rate inside the tunnel and appear on the other side almost instantaneously in the perception of the people outside that tunnel.

On the other hand, Mark's [Shadow Mist Movement] that evolved from Freed's [Lightspeed] was way stronger and had some limitations lifted. Unlike [Lightspeed] that creates a straight tunnel. [Shadow Mist Movement] creates an alternate space or a domain within a certain radius around the initial point where he activated the ability. Inside that space, he could see still see the outside, move everywhere even at places he could not see and activate the ability as long as he could manage. The deficit however was that even though he could move very fast inside the alternate space, it lacked the ability to accelerate time inside which meant that time inside the space moved side by side with reality.

Even though he could move anywhere inside that space, he could not touch or alter anything inside either. If he tried to move something, he would not be able to as if he was devoid of strength to do it. Furthermore, he could not touch anything that contained even a trace of living energy. For the most part, like humans, animals, insects and even plants. There was a barrier separating them from the created space giving Mark the unnecessary need to appear a bit away from his enemies.

While using the ability, walls might hinder him but as long as there was a hole or opening, he could phase through it as long as the hole was at least a size of a baseball. Even though outside the space, it would just appear like mist entering the hole, inside, Mark was actually moving through a space distortion where the hole was enlarged for him to go through like a portal.

Another upside was that the space was at the shape of a sphere. If he wanted to and activated the ability while moving upwards, he would be able to move in the air at the expense of higher energy consumption. Different from the ground where he could propel himself forward to accelerate before entering the space, the only force he could get while flying was to fall down after exiting the space.

One more thing was that he could bring anyone inside just how he brought Oracle and Crimson outside the workshop. However, he needed to maintain physical contact with them. He did not know what would happen if he let go of them while inside the space but he would rather not try blindly.

Mark felt that there was more to explore to this ability but for now, he was using the ability for convenience. Like how he used the ability to appear behind the door through the wall in his room.

Opening the door, everyone with the exception of Ed and Ron was here. Hallie and Nicole however was visibly sulking which made the others smile bitterly while glancing at the two. However, Nicole seemed to be in better mood than before. Right now, she was holding the cub which had already grown new fur which was still gray colored but had streaks of ragged shaped white fur on its neck and paws.

Hallie was about to complain but before she could let out any word, Mark cut her off.

"Get inside first. I have a proposition."

The group was confused about what Mark said and could only follow inside. They were brought to a small room which was designed to be the lobby near the entrance. There were furniture inside, tables, cabinets and even a fireplace but all were made of either stone or reddish-black metal. The new addition was a table made of glass and metal that was not before in the past days. Unlike Mark's room which was further inside and was dark, this room had its skylight since the start since the room was the nearest to the face of the crevice.

"Say Hallie, how do you feel now?"

Mark asked after everyone sat down.

"I'm angry!"

"Why? You gained something good right?"

"That's..." Hallie hesitated and her temper lowered. "You should have informed me beforehand! I-I thought... I..."

"You thought what?"

"HMPF!"

Hallie crossed her arms in front of her and turned her head back away from him.

"Nicole, how's the little guy?"

Mark turned to Nicole and stared at the cub on her hands. Compared to Hallie, Nicole's mood was way better but she was still bitter about the shock she received this morning.

"What did you do earlier? I was so shocked that I spilled the bucket of water on Hallie! I thought little Wargy became bald."

Nicole complained.

"Wargy huh... I just thought of something and gave it some treats."

Mark replied making Nicole look at him with a disbelieving expression. Still, it was not wrong either. The little cub was really given a treat it wanted. Looking at the changes on its fur, it was likely that it was upgraded somehow.

He then spanned his eyes towards everyone.

"Do you all have any idea why I called all of you here?"

"I don't."

Jollene respectfully replied while the others nodded with the exception of Hallie who seemed to have an idea. After all, she experienced it herself.

"Let say, I have the ability to make you all stronger. However, it required your loyalty. In other terms, you can't leave this place on your own volition or without my permission. Always follow my orders and keep the safety of this place. Would you all agree?"

Unexpectedly, none of them hesitated. They all nodded with agreement. Even Trisha was not an exception.

"I really don't have anywhere to return to. I've been living alone for years now since my father and mother passed away. My other relatives are either in northern Luzon or in Visayas. Even if the thought came to me and want to leave this place, I'll surely die without anywhere to go. Besides, compared to the life back in the hotel, this place is like heaven."

Trisha answered after she was asked.

"How about you guys?"

"We are the same. We don't have anywhere to go. If we leave, it's more likely that we'll die even before the half of our intended destination. In this place, there's water and food so none of us would surely want to leave. In the first place, the main reason we all left the hotel and took the gamble was because of the dwindling supplies. Here, we don't have that problem."

Huey voiced the thoughts of the group. However, it could be seen in his eyes that he was rather expectant about what Mark said before.

"Boss, can you really make us stronger?"

To his question, Mark nodded without hesitation.

"I do. Jollene was an exception though. She's already an Evolver. You all know what that meant right? I can help normal people become Evolvers. I can also turn people into Mutators in theory but I haven't really tried that one yet."

Mark then turned to Hallie under everyone's expectant gazes.

"Hallie, show us what you got."

On cue, Hallie became excited. She then outstretched right hand with her palm facing upwards. Mark and the others could see her palm become reddish and even started to glow like some hot metal. Hallie then jerked her hand a little causing the gasses in the air to create a small combustion. Her palm was too hot that it started to affect the temperature and gasses in the air.

Seeing the ability, everyone was shocked. Mark was not an exception. In his view, he could tell that Hallie's ability was already within the scope of an ability of a Mutator. It was not just a simple enhancement. Even though the combustion was not too strong, it was already enough to cause irreversible damage. If she became a Mutator, Mark was expecting that she would become a literally fiery girl.

"Boss, why is Ed and Ron excluded?"

Trisha suddenly asked with confusion despite the expectation in her eyes.

"They are different in terms of standing compared to you all."

Mark replied.

"Is any of us here close to those two?" Huey asked Trisha who seemed to be confused with Mark's answer making her shake her head with realization. "That's right. Those two is more on the side of Jefferson and Sherwyn. It was just they were abandoned. Ron was injured while Ed had a rather naïve personality but he was also hard to manipulate. Those guys only wanted some lapdogs that would follow them."

Huey seemed to bore a deep grudge against those dead people because of Jollene.

"So, I'm also a lapdog?"

Jollene suddenly asked which made Huey flustered.

"No! I don't mean that I..."

"Stop with all those nonsense." Mark interjected. "Ed and Ron. You all can say that those two are still doesn't deserve it. You all here on the other hand, had already proven yourselves, at least, in my eyes. All of you just need to say yes or no and after any of you agreed, there's no backing out."

Mark's eyes then turned cold making them gulp. They could feel Mark's animosity even though he had not recovered enough to be able to release his empathic aura.

"Only death will come for those who betray. Remember that."

All of them still agreed. As none of them would be able to survive the apocalypse on their own, they needed Mark's help.

One by one, with the exception of Hallie and Jollene, everyone consumed a crystal and fell unconscious with high fever. Mark went back to his work and called unto Amihan who was hiding behind the door while the two remaining girls worked on taking care of the three unconscious people.