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250 The Loyal Aephelia, The Reasons for Her Existence

 Day 37 - 7:52 PM - Mountain Base, Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

Mark stared at Miracle who was now being controlled by Aephelia.

"Stop with that address. I'm not Freodelius."

"I apologize but that order is not something the lowly me can accept. I pledged myself to serve His Majesty, The Last King of Eriellis, King Freodelius Arishtalia. As the inheritor of the Late King, you were the rightful heir and our new King."

Mark shook his head with a bitter smile. Aephelia was still as stubborn as before in Freed's memories.

Aephelia Miferiel, she was a maid in the royal palace and Freed's personal servant. At the attack that killed all of the royal family except for the second prince, Freodelius and the first princess, Elailia, along with a lot of servants and soldiers from the palace, Aephelia was one of those that managed to survive and became a Psychic after a bite at the same incident. After that, she continued to stay and serve the new king along with Keeper.

It was a mystery however that she was able to exist as a living consciousness. Furthermore, according to Freed, the others were already dead at that time when the crystals were created and as such, most of their consciousness should have snuffed out even if some of their memories remained. Another thing was that Miracle was only a year old baby, it was impossible for her to encounter the event six years ago and inherit the consciousness and abilities of Aephelia. One more mystery was that Mark was not able to detect Aephelia's consciousness at all even after he recovered a bit of his empathic ability.

Mark posed his questions to Aephelia.

"Your Majesty, at the final battle in our home planet, Eriellis, even if my body died, my consciousness would not be easily extinguished. If you would kindly remember my ability as a Psychic, Your Majesty."

Hearing that, Mark dug Freed's memories and immediately found it. Her ability was to control the psychic zombies that lost their soul and consciousness. Although the number of zombies she could control was limited to three, the strength of the infected was not inhibited as long as her consciousness could handle it. Due to that, in order to be able to manipulate stronger zombies, she trained her mind and ability to the point of collapsing every day, all in order to be of service to her King.

As a result, the strength of her mind consciousness was strengthened and it was very likely that after dying physically, her consciousness only fell into a state of sleep and was preserved after their abilities and remaining consciousness were absorbed by the crystals. And since she was in a sleep state, Mark was not able to detect her similarly to how he was not able to detect Karla who was also asleep until she woke up and took over Karlene's body. With Aephelia waking up from her slumber, Miracle was also affected and woke up from her coma.

For the reason that she was in Miracle's body however, it also explained the loss of sanity of Melinda. Even though Aephelia was asleep until the other day, there were still things that she was aware of.

Six years ago when Melinda was in America for the check-ups of their genetic disorder, a marble sized crystal fell from the sky and entered her body. However, due to the fact that Aephelia's consciousness was intact and asleep, Melinda was not able to inherit her ability and Aephelia remained inside her body. Until five years later when she miraculously gave birth to Miracle. Aephelia's sleeping consciousness was transferred to the innocent baby due to her body being more compatible as bearer of Aephelia's ability than the mother.

Talking more with Aephelia, Mark learned that she had nothing to do with the sudden growth of Miracle but it was because her body needed to grow to cope up with the abilities she had. Fortunately, it would likely never happen once more unless there was a huge unnatural leap in the strength of her abilities. After all, her body was not a normal one but was created artificially using the unknown methods Melanie used and the [Physical Crystal] that accidentally absorbed by her. This was close to Mark's assumptions.

"It was really good that this servant was able to witness His Late Majesty's inheritor."

Aephelia said with a sad smile.

"You sounded like you won't last long."

"Unfortunately, yes. Even if this servant's consciousness was stronger than others, more than a thousand years was too much. At most, this servant's consciousness could only last a few months more."

"Is that so?"

Mark sighed. As he inherited Freed's memories, Aephelia did not feel like some stranger to him. However, like Freed, she was a person that was supposed to be dead and was remaining as a consciousness near to being snuffed out.

He then froze, he had an idea.

"Aephelia, sit beside me."

Aephelia was confused but followed without questioning anything.

After she sat on the bed, Mark then released a white glow on his hand and it was the same with his eyes. He then gently held his right hand of her head.

Aephelia's eyes dilated in shock and turned to Mark with reverence in her eyes. After several minutes that Mark also felt a little dizzy, he removed his hands and asked.

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However, Aephelia jumped down from the bed and kneeled ones more.

"This servant, thank Your Majesty for your grace! With this, this servant had no problem to exist even a year more!"

Her voice was a little waving. It was obvious that she was in tears. However, with her using Miracle's body, it looked more like a father that made his daughter cry and kneel on the floor.

"Get up. Miracle is still small so I will need your help to protect her."

"Yes, Your Majesty."

Mark nodded hearing her reply. As for Miracle calling him father, he decided to accept. It was not like he could make her go to others. He could not just abandon her either.

After the talk, Aephelia returned to sleep and Miracle came back. That night, he slept with every single [BloodChildren] around him and Miracle was the most clingy of them all.

As for Amihan, she was hiding all the duration of Mark's talk with Aephelia. After all, what happened with Miracle looked like some evil possession. She was afraid that she would also get possessed. Along with her fear of humans, she also had the fear of evil spirits which took her parent's lives.

***

Day 38 - 8:03 AM - Mountain Base, Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

GRWARU

GRWAAA

Cute strange noises could be heard inside the base. Looking at it, it was the fox like wolf, Wargy, playing around Chaflar who was trying its hardest to ignore the annoying critter. After three days of feeding Wargy one crystal, which Mark decided to call [Beast Crystal], a day, it had grown a little bigger and its fur was shinier. However, it was still a cub. Its tendency to play was so high that it was not even afraid of Chaflar even though its size was even smaller than the dragon's feet.

GRAAA!

Fed up, Chaflar roared a bit.

GRUUU!!!

Wargy let out a scared wail and sped off. However, it still came back about fifteen minutes later to annoy the big guy once more making Chaflar even more annoyed.

Everyone was working on their chores around the base. Near the area where Chaflar was resting, a new building was being prioritized and it was the dragon's stable. Ed and Ron could be seen working on it diligently with smiles on their faces.

After their evolution, Ed gained [Super Strength] which was very useful to him as he was doing hard labor. In the base, he was the strongest physically. As for Ron, he gained [Super Accuracy]. He able to move his hands with high dexterity and he were able to hit targets far away accurately with ranged weapons he could use. It was a very versatile ability that could be used in many fields.

"Huey, what do you think about them."

Mark asked Huey about the people outside as they stood atop the walls. After all, he was the one in charge of the surveillance around the base because of his abilities as an Evolver. Since the people outside came, Huey had been spying on them and was listening to their conversations.

"To tell the truth, half is unsuitable." Huey sighed. "In that group, they were being led by a group of men. Three of them were our former co-workers including the guy you reprimanded yesterday. Those guys are scheming people and not good to let them in. Furthermore, it seemed that there are three families in that group along with several girls of different ages. The families and the girls seem fine. To be exact, they wanted to get away from the men leading their group. Boss should know why."

"Alright. I'm in a hurry and just came back to check. It's good if we can let some of them enter. I'll check them personally."

"Okay, Boss. We still need manpower. The things you brought back yesterday are good so we will need people to work on farming."

Soon, Mark who was holding Miracle's hand and Huey went out of the gates and gathered the people outside.

There were a family consisting of the parents and a girl, a family with just a couple and a family of three siblings. There were also four girls with no blood relation to any of the group members and three men who looked like underdogs. Another was two children, a boy and a girl that seemed to be taken care of by the couple without children.

Lastly, the eight men that seemed to be the ones Huey was talking about. They all looked unruly and arrogant. Furthermore, they positioned themselves scattered around the group.

It was a total of twenty-five people.

Mark really hated standing in front of crowds but...

'Here we go again.'

He shrugged his shoulders and faced the people.

"I heard that you all wanted to join my base. However, I don't let people just enter and leave freely so I prepared some questions and conditions."

Hearing that, some of the people gulped.

"First, how did you all found this base? It's more reasonable if all of you followed the river. If I'm correct, you all came from the west right?"

One of the women raised her hand. Mark let her speak.

"It's because of him." She pointed at one of the three underdogs. "He said that he noticed a trail that seemed to be used by people so we took his suggestion."

"Is that true?"

Mark asked the man.

"Y-yes Sir. My father's hobby was hunting in the mountains so I learned a bit."

"Alright."

Mark nodded.

"Now, I wonder how all of you lived after the apocalypse. Anyone of you killed people before?"

Everyone became silent. However, Mark could tell that some of them wanted to speak but were very reluctant to. It was because of the men that scattered in their group.

Mark then looked at the bald man with muscles. He looked strong and Mark was sure that he was one of the two Mutators in this group.

"How about you?"

"Sir, why would you ask me? If you don't count the zombies, then I haven't killed anyone."

He answered with a straight face. It might look normal but everyone that did not belong to that group of men had bitter expressions on their faces even though they tried hard not to show it. Even the children seemed to be afraid of the man.

Of course, Mark knew that it was a straight faced lie. Just how thick was this man's face?

"That's a lie!"

One of the four women shouted but she was immediately grabbed by the man beside her and her mouth was covered.

"Sir, don't worry about her. My sister here just liked to joke."

The woman glared at the man and tried to resist but that man was the other Mutator of the group. There was no way for her to resist.

Mark smiled sinisterly.

'Good. The Biters I'm raising needed some fresh meat after all.'