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220 Departure, Towards the Eastern Mountains Across the River

 Day 35 - 7:32 AM - Mountain Base, Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

A three meter reddish black wall stood surrounding the whole base. No, rather than a wall, it was a defensive rampart. The outer wall was as thick as a hollow concrete block while atop the wall was a meter wide scaffold that would allow the people inside the base to move around the top of the walls. Under the scaffold was an empty space which enabled them to open and access hidden windows on the walls. This way they were able to attack both above and on the ground levels of the wall.

The wall might be just that thick but it was made with three layers. The outer layers were made of pure [Blood Metal] while the inner layers were made of stone bound with [Blood Metal] as cement. [Blood Metal], even though stronger than most preexisting metals, was still metal. Under strong impact, pressure and constant stress, it would still deform due to its malleability. The stone layer of the wall however strengthened the wall and would prevent the wall from deforming too easily.

However, a wall, no matter how strong, was still just a wall. It could not kill any intruder on its own.

Atop the walls at fixed intervals, there were meter long large crossbows. Different from normal crossbows, these ones looked more like a small ballista. Furthermore, these ones were spring powered than the bolts being propelled just by the strings. For the bolts, they were still the normal size but what made it more powerful was that the bolts did not need to be reloaded manually.

The premade crossbow bolts were placed in large metal boxes designed similar to magazines used with guns. The bolt magazines only needed to be affixed under the large crossbows and the shooter only needed to rotate the wheel at the back of the crossbow and it would be ready to shoot after a clicking sound. After the crossbow was shot, the next bolt inside the large magazine would be fed into the crossbow and the shooter only needed to repeat the process and shoot.

Furthermore, the crossbow had two kinds of crossbow bolts as ammunition. The first was the ones made with normal [Blood Metal] while the second one was made of [Transparent Blood Metal]. The first kind was enough for most enemies and threats but for more danger sensitive enemies, the second kind was more appropriate. The transparent crossbow bolts was hard to see especially when being shot at very high speeds.

This mechanism in these mini-siege weapons had been painstaking thought of with both Mark and Huey and brought the creation of these large crossbows. The outward design however was made by both Mark and Hallie following their urges to make the weapons look like they popped up from a sci-fi anime.

Aside from those weapons, the outside of walls had a lot of spikes, barbs and even hidden sharp edges. Some of these sharp edges and spikes were even hard to see due to the fact that these were made with Oracle's help.

Outside the walls, different sorts of traps were installed. From pitfalls to arrow traps, there was a large variety.

With all these prepared, even the likes of the two mutated infected from several days ago would have a hard time infiltrating. Not to mention normal infected and even animals. There would still be the threat from aerial evolved animals but there had been no attack that happened from those birds so far. Actually, even the attacks from evolved ground animals became fewer and fewer as the days passed. It felt like that most of the evolved animals started to avoid this place with the exception of the feral ones.

While the walls were fully finished, the insides of the base still had a lot to work on. Most structures were still temporary ones with the exception of Mark's base inside the crevice and the two sleeping quarters. These past days after Mark induced the Evolution of the others, they spent most of their time to finish two things, the walls and the emergency exit. As for the other things inside, these could be slowly worked on after the walls were done and even without Mark's help. After all, Mark was the only person who could accurately command and instruct the [Blood Children] but he had to leave to settle several matters as soon as possible.

This morning, everyone in the base gathered outside the main gate at the southern part of the base. They were here to send off Mark who finally had the confidence to leave the base in the hands of these people.

"Boss, be careful."

"Leave this place to us, Boss."

"Yeah, we'll take care of this place since we'll have nowhere to go afterwards if we don't, Boss."

Trisha, Huey and Jollene said respectively.

"Don't forget to bring back souvenirs!"

Hallie said without shame.

"Mark, about our request..."

On the other hand, Nicole hesitated a bit on her words. She wanted to continue but Mark cut her off.Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.

"I remember. Just don't count on it too much."

"Okay. It's not like we're expecting it. The chances were too small after all. Also, we know you're strong but you should still be careful outside."

Nicole said with a smile.

"Boss, expect it that when you get back, the workshop is brand new."

"Yeah. You can leave the physical work to us. The walls are done so we can work on the buildings inside."

Ed and Ron said side by side.

Mark looked at the two and was satisfied. These two already noticed the changes with the others but they did not voice anything about unfairness and bias but just worked more diligently.

Ed was as he was described, naïve. As long as he was given enough recognition with his work, he was fine. Ron on the other hand was similar. He was already fine that he was still alive. Although he had a hint of envious feeling, he voiced it rather frankly and did not hide it from others. Furthermore, his words were direct and without sarcasm. It exhibited his open-mindedness and being able to manage his own thinking and emotions. He might have been someone who had good intrapersonal skills but his extremely thin presence dampened this in a very negative way making him unable to show this side of him in normal circumstances. Fortunately, everyone in this base did not neglect him despite his thin presence and he started to grow closer to them. His self-esteem had started to rise and his hidden qualities started to show.

In the middle of their farewell to Mark, the latter approached the two.

"Give me your hands."

The two were confused and could only extend their hands towards Mark. Unexpectedly, Mark stuffed a crystal in their hands. While the two was confused, the others smiled at this scene. Seeing the smile of the others, Ron was stupefied.

"Boss... Is this perhaps..."

Seeing the unbelieving and happy expression in Ron's face, Ed also started to realize what was happening.

"Ask the others how to use it. I'll be testing the abilities of you two when I get back. Don't disappoint me."

Mark said with a rather stern face.

"Yes Boss!"

"Boss, thank you!"

Ed and Ron shouted with excitement. What Mark said had confirmed their assumption and they were truly gratified and thankful.

Mark then panned his eyes towards everyone.

"I'll leave this place to you all. I know that we lack manpower with just the few of you here so don't push yourselves too hard just to finish everything. I'll be back in a few days and I'll try to bring some people back before leaving once more. What I expect is that this place will still be standing when I get back." Mark turned to the base and continued. "If there's no choice, I expect you all to leave and use the emergency exit. At that point, follow that emergency plan. Am I clear?"

"Yes!"

Everyone answered in unison.

With that goodbye, Mark walked away into the forest. On his shoulder, Amihan landed. The little pixie did not want to leave the forest but she did not want to be alone without Mark either. In the end, she decided to accompany him.

Hallie, Nicole and the others waved their hands till Mark was out of their sight. All their eyes were filled with determination. Since Mark left this place intact, he should return with this place still here. And that responsibility lay on their hands.

***

Day 35 - 9:21 AM - Ungos River, General Nakar, Quezon

Mark walked using the usual path they always took to reach Ungos River. Upon reaching the river, they would always go westward when they went to train in the Barrio of Barangay Daraitan or when they went to do some supply runs. This time, Mark was going the opposite way. He was moving eastwards. His goal for now was to find the settlement at the east end of Quezon Province.

He had various reasons. The most important ones however was to gather manpower and to find a working vehicle. The mountain base was suffering the lack of people both in labor and expertise. The only experts in the base they could count on right now was Huey, Trisha and Ed. Huey's expertise lay on Architecture, Ed on Hunting and Processing the hunted game while Trisha for cooking and preservation of food.

If possible, he wanted Farmers, Doctors and Fighters. In case he was not able to, some helping hands were also fine. As for the method to select and recruit people, it would depend on the current situation on the settlement.

For the vehicle, he needed it in order to return to Bay City and meet up with Mei, his daughters, Abbygale and Iola, and the others. The initial phases of the base were already finished and he wanted to see them too. That was why he took importance in finding a working vehicle.

Surely, there would be a lot of vehicles abandoned in the roads but it was questionable whether those vehicles would last him without proper maintenance in the past month.

With his goals in mind, he accelerated and with a puff of black mist, he vanished. He crossed the river that was more than forty meter wide by using his ability simultaneously. It was really convenient compared to looking around and finding a way to cross without getting wet.

According to the map he found in the Barrio, he needed to follow the river to the east and then, climb the next smaller mountain range. There, he would find a highway that ran along the side and across that mountain range. After finding that highway, he needed to follow it north east and he would find the place the leaflet Hallie had stated.

Mark pulled the strap of his backpack and tightened it. Inside his backpack, there were several canned goods and a large bottle of water. Aside from necessities there were two bow-sized containers inside which took more space than the food he carried. The two containers contained Oracle and Crimson. After all, he needed the help of these two after he acquired a vehicle.

The two [Blood Children] had no problems being put inside such containers, rather, they like the wobbly feeling as the bag rocked around while Mark walked towards his destination.

Even though Mark had the ability to move without hindrance, he tried not to use it as much as possible. He was going on a dangerous journey right now and he needed to preserve his mental energy as much as possible. In case that he encountered danger, he would be able to fight properly or in the worst case, escape.

Walking for around another two hours, he started to grow frustrated. He was not lost of being depraved of his direction but the other mountain range was rather on the steep side. In order to properly traverse the terrain, he would either go around or use his movement ability. Even Amihan was getting annoyed of the terrain that she volunteered to find a good way up the mountain since she could fly.

Another hour passed after that and after a short encounter against an evolved dragonfly about the size of a dog, he reached the desolate highway.