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238 The Mastermind Behind the Horde, The Situation Shifting Against the Settlement Forces

 Day 36 - 12:42 PM - Settlement Defensive Wall, Port of Real Settlement, Barangay Ungos, Real, Quezon

At the time Mark vanished from the experiment site, General Faustino atop the wall could not help but shake his head. Even if Mark was a strong individual according to the reports he received, it seemed that he was an impatient person. For the second time, he left without waiting for the assistance to arrive. Furthermore, with him vanishing like that, it would be hard for them to use the drones and capture his abilities on camera.

On the back of the platform, the scientists and personnel controlling the drones and monitoring the video feed were frantically searching for Mark.

"Where is he? Quick, search around!"

"He's not by the main road!"

"He is not at the western side either!"

Those kinds of conversation could be heard among them.

"There! Found him!"

One of the monitoring personnel shouted after seeing Mark appear above the room using the zoomed camera of the drone he was controlling. Even though Mark was not really part of the experiment, the general ordered them to monitor his movements. After all, it was not good to know nothing but the things in the written report. They needed to see his exact abilities. Even though they did not have any ill motives, having someone strong like him around and not under control could become dangerous even if he was not hostile to the settlement.

"That ability is really something."

Professor Suzuki said as he viewed one of the videos that caught Mark's disappearance.

"Have you discovered something?"

General Faustino made his way towards his side and asked while also peering at the monitor.

"I'm not really an expert in this field but I can say that his vanishing ability is not an ability a Mutator can have, or at least, not an ability that a Mutator can use without transforming first."

Professor Suzuki rewound the video and paused at the scene at the exact time Mark turned into mist and vanished.

"Look at this." The professor pointed at the effect where Mark was enveloped in black mist. "There is a blur at this part behind him while he turned into that mist. I can't say for sure but it looked like a tear in space fabric. At first, I thought his ability is something like teleportation but I guess it's more like a warp ability. Furthermore, there is a trail of mist here as he moves. To me it's not just a special effect but a residue effect of him tearing through space while traveling through a portal or a subspace. I wish I can study his ability more but what we can analyze with just these videos is limited."

Professor Suzuki then played the video once more in slow motion and continued.

"Travelling through a space tear or a subspace should not be possible for a human body to do. A human body will not be able to withstand it. There is a possibility for transformed Mutators since during their transformation, their cells, genetic makeup and even constitution changes to something that deviated from the theories of science severely. Although we don't have one around, there might be a Mutator that can travel through a tear in space after transforming. Mark however did not transform at all. It was as if there is a certain invisible energy around his body negating the side effects of traversing space in nothing but pure human flesh."

"Then Professor. Is what Jones said about his ability, true?"

"I really can't say for sure but the possibility is very high. Since it is not a Mutator Ability, this Mark is very likely to be one of those rare people with superhuman psychic abilities. An Esper."

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While the speculations about him was being discussed atop the wall, Mark was already observing the strange group of infected in the middle of the horde. Even more strange was that the group was not moving like the other infected that was blindly charging towards the defense line. It was as if they were observing the situation first. It was a very strange behavior for the infected.

Mark counted the number while hiding on one of the roofs, the group was not very large, they only consisted of thirty mutated infected but each of them looked nothing that could be compared to normal infected. The outer line of the group was composed with infected that had armors, bulky bodies and were even larger than a tank. The inner parts of the group were composed if infected with various appearances and for sure, these mutated were different types.

BOOM!

A stray rocket flew near the group. Unexpectedly, the [Armor Types] in front immediately moved to try and block the rocket. Unfortunately, the rocket did not reach the group but fell about a dozen meters before them. Still the [Armor Types] stood their ground and caught the full brunt of the impact from the explosion.

"They are protecting something."

Mark said and immediately searched the inner parts of the group for an infected that would stand out or even the centermost of the group but did not find one. There did not seem to be a leader among the group either which made Mark confused. Of course, there were [Leader Types] among these infected but what Mark was searching was the true leader of this whole horde.

Since he could not find what he was looking for, the only thing he could do was fight. Mark vanished from his position appeared several meters above the group.

Mark smiled. There were infected among the group that noticed him appear but they all could not see him clearly as the sun was literally above Mark. While the infected were blinded by the sun, Mark vanished once more and appeared already charging downwards with both his swords hacking down.

His body spun midair as he slashed down aiming for mutated infected with a lean body. With the same strategy as multiplayer online battle arena games, he aimed first at the ones that should be easy to kill but dangerous to leave for last. Similar to the formation of this group of mutated infected, those with higher defense were outside protecting the killing force inside. This time, he aimed for the infected that seemed to have a ranged attack due to the large boil on its neck and spilling fluid from its mouth.

Mark did not completely hack the whole head but only sliced from the infected's forehead to the nape of its neck leaving the boil and the mouth intact. It was to avoid the risk of the seemingly strong acid from suddenly exploding on him. Unlike his previous attacks however, he did not linger around to hack the others. It was because when the blade on his hand was midway on slicing the head of the acid infected, the other infected around were already attacking him. The moment the blade reached the nape of the acid infected, he vanished into black mist and retreated to the roof of the nearby house.

Strange, it was really strange.

The speed of Mark's attack was very fast but the infected around was still able to react in the middle of his attack. It was as if when the acid infected felt the blade touching its forehead, the other infected knew that it was being attacked and they all retaliated. That reaction immediately game him the feeling that these mutated infected were not only moving as a group but were all connected somehow.

Mark disappeared once more and this time, he appeared in front of an electrical post and kicked it to give him momentum before he vanished in black mist. He then appeared in the middle of the group and swept both his blades ending the life of three mutated infected. However, he needed to vanish once more as several [Agility Types] jumped at him at the same time and with the same manner as the first counter attack he received.

Evading the lunge of the [Agility Types], Mark appeared in front of an [Armor Type] that had a large body and slow movements. With the momentum he had since he was still midair, he would collide with the [Armor Type]. However, he spun his body and kicked the face of the mutated infected that was unable to react and Mark propelled himself back at the [Agility Types] that were still midair after failing their attack on him.

Using the momentum of the kick to spin his body like a top, he disappeared evading several more attacks from below and appeared in the middle of the [Agility Types] that had yet to land back on the ground. With his spinning attack, the bodies of the [Agility Types] fell down on the ground in pieces.

At the corner of his eye as he cut the [Agility Types], she saw a strange activity at the center of the group. A female infected seemed to be inhaling a large amount of air. Feeling the danger, Mark vanished with only dismembering the arm of the last [Agility Type] and retreated. After he vanished, the attack came. No, it was not just a simple attack.

RAAAAAAAAA!!!!

An ear piercing roar like screech echoed across the battlefield. If Mark did not vanish in time, that screech should have been able to rupture his eardrums and disorient him. However, that was not the only effect that the screech had.

ROOOAAAARRR!!!

Every infected in the area of five hundred meters roared at the same time which shook the whole battlefield. The eyes of the infected turned red and started to glow despite the light of the sun in the noon time. At the same time, the bodies of the Biters and Eaters in the area seemed to have a physical boost as their muscles bloated slightly. After their earthshaking scream, the infected rushed ones more towards the defense line in a more aggressive fashion.

The change in the battlefield severely affected the defensive forces of the settlement. It was a similar effect of being a foot soldier in a medieval war and seeing a whole battalion of a cavalry forces charging towards their troops. The momentum of the defensive forces shrunk to an alarming degree and the first line of defense was starting to get pushed back.

Worried about Amihan and Karla, Mark who escaped the brunt of the screech propelled himself up the sky to see the situation in the experiment site. Fortunately, they were still able to handle their area since a lot of buildings prevented the infected from swarming their location. He could also see that Amihan had started to help. Since the soldiers already had more than they could handle, it seemed that Amihan became more considerate and started hurling some of the lighter bodied infected towards the sea in exchange for more effort due to the distance.

Mark felt that it was not the time to be concealing everything and decided to show a bit more. He remaining part of the [Defier] from his back and held it in his left hand and returned the [Slicer] for a bit. He then activated the [PsyCrystal] and released the [Lightning Mental Crystal] and put the crystal on an indent at the centerpiece of the [Defier].

Vanishing from the sky, Mark charged back at the strange group of infected and aimed the centerpiece on his hand. With a click, the inner layers opened and the hundred holes of the needle launchers were exposed. At the same time, the [Lightning Mental Crystal] started to glow with his command.

Mark fired all three volleys of the needles consecutively and at the third volley, lightning sparks accompanied the needles.

CRACK! CRACK!

Electricity at the voltage on a lightning strike waved through the needles and blanketed the infected. A lot of the infected whether they belonged to the group or not were electrified and their bodies shook severely. The horrid smell of burning hair and flesh was sickening but Mark could not care about it. He wanted to kill these infected as soon as possible.

Many were affected by his attack but there seemed to be those that had resistance to electricity and managed to survive. Still, Mark's eyes became affixed on a certain infected that was exposed after most of the infected in the group died and fell down. It was a girl about ten years old and she was exactly at the very center of the group. She did not seem to be a mutated infected which made it even stranger for her to be in this group.

The infected girl saw him falling from the sky and screamed. It was not an attack but a scream of pain. Soon, the reason why these infected were very well coordinated came out. A maggot burst out of the girl's right eye. At the same time, maggots burst out of different parts of the bodies of the remaining mutated infected among the group.

"To think that it's because of parasites."

Mark murmured.