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254 Inside the East Port Settlement, The Start of the Search for the Remaining Blood Children

 Day 40 - 10:20 PM - Outer District, East Port Settlement, Barangay Dinahican, Infanta, Quezon

Leaving the guard post, Mark, Alana and Karlene made walked through the outer district of the settlement towards the middle district that was still several streets away.

The East Port Settlement was a rather large settlement. The northern wall had a length of about seven hundred meters while the eastern and western walls were around three hundred meters long. As for the southern walls it was even longer due to the fact that the walls where build following the shape of the coastline and the fishing port.

The large settlement was divided into four divisions which they called districts. Each district was divided by shorter walls and people had restrictions on entering every district.

The first district was the Outer District that spanned from the northern wall to about more than a hundred and fifty meters away. The Outer District was the largest among the all the districts and the also the most populated. However, the ones that live in the outer district were mostly normal humans and refugees that had no Evolver or Mutator in their family or group.

The next district was the Middle district where most Evolvers and Mutators stayed. Those Mutators and Evolvers that had families that were normal humans could live together with their families in this district.

The third district was the Inner District. The district located just north of the past Infanta Fish Port. It was where the families leading the settlement lived with their entourage. The people that live in this district were mostly Mutators and all of them pledged loyalty to the three families.

As for the fourth district, it was the Free Port District which was the past Infanta Fish Port. The port was turned into an area where everyone could do business, trade things and hire manpower. Here was where the delegations from Military were being welcomed. From the main gates, a single road connected all the other districts to the Free Port District, the General Luna St.

Aside from the main street and the Free Port District, different colored cards were issued to every person in the settlement to represent their status and it also indicated which districts could a person access.

A White Card indicated people that could only access the Outer District. The white cards were only given to normal people.

A Silver Card which was also given to Mark's group could give access to the Middle District. Aside from the Mutators and Evolvers that were staying at the Middle District, these cards were also given to the guests of the settlement like the Military Representatives.

A Gold Card could only be held by the people of the three families and could not be issued to anyone else.

The last card which was the Black Card was given to important people that did not belong to the three families. Example of this was Major Faustino and Professor Suzuki that held this kind of Card. The Black Card allowed them to access the inner district with the permission of the three families since they were the leading figures of the military settlement.

Walking at the main street that was still within the Outer District, Mark could see the difference in treatment of normal people to Mutators and Evolvers.

Since there were more people than the number of shelters, there were people who lived in the streets. In the middle of the cold night, Mark could see children and elderly sleeping on folded cardboard boxes in plain view. Although there were large vacant areas in the Outer District, it would be hard to build structures or temporary houses without enough building materials. Besides it was questionable if the three families would freely allow it.

Mark understood what the three families were thinking in their inaction to deal with the problems of the common people. It was to give the Evolvers and Mutators more confidence in the settlement and to maintain hierarchy in their small community.

Even though it was already late at night, there were still quite a number of people in the dimly lit streets. There were electric street lamps on the street but looking at the structures, these lights seemed to be reliant on solar power and as such, when the night had gone deeper, the low quality solar lights became dimmer.

There a lot of women wearing seductive make up and skimpy clothing. It was obvious what these women do for a living in these dark times. Some of them were looking at Mark's group especially at Mark that was an unfamiliar male in these parts. They would surely target him as a potential customer. However, the existence of Alana and Karlene who was walking beside him deterred the prostitutes from approaching. After all, compared to the two actresses, the beauty of most of the women waiting in the streets was lacking.

"We should head to the Middle District to look for the place to stay for the night. It's getting late."

Alana said while looking around. Although she said that it was getting late, the real reason that she wanted to find a place to stay was because of the stares they were receiving from the people in the street.

Mark had no problem with it since both Amihan and Miracle were also getting sleepy. They were not afraid that they would not find one since there was a designated dwelling area for newcomers in the settlement at the Middle District. It really showed how the settlement treated Evolvers and Mutators well.

Leaving the main street, they entered another street to the western side of the Middle District. There was a guard at the entrance and they had to show their Silver Cards in order to pass through the gate.

Along the way, the gazes of the people on the street would still land at their group even inside the Middle District. After all, they were an odd group of people.

It did not take them long to find the find the large structure after traversing the unpaved street. The three floor structure seemed to be a large commercial building before the outbreak since there were store shutters on the closed spaces at the first floor. Now however, the whole structure was renovated as temporary dwelling for people.

Inquiring the woman in charge of the building, there was only a single space free tonight apparently. Fortunately, it was a big one and was divided into several smaller rooms. It was a space allocated for groups of people since most of them always prefer to stay together than being separated into different rooms. There was no other reason to that than the matters of security. Even though there were rules in the settlement that was strictly implemented, no one could be sure about things that could not be seen.

After being guided to their space at the first floor, the woman in charge left. Amihan sighed in relief when she finally left. It was because the woman was staring at her with great interest. She surely even raised her hand and try to touch her but stopped when she realized that it was inappropriate.

Entering the space and lighting the oil lamp on the table, it was really divided into three smaller rooms. Two of the rooms had king sized beds. The whole dwelling was not very lavish but it was more than enough for the people these days. Of course, staying here was not free but not that expensive either. Two cans of tuna were already enough for the whole group to stay here for the night.

After tucking in Miracle and Amihan who did not take too long to fall asleep, Mark left Crimson, Miracle and Ivy to take guard and went out of the room.

"You're going to leave?"

Karlene asked when she saw Mark went out of the room.

"I don't plan on staying here for too long. I'll just scout the area so I will know where we needed to go tomorrow."

Mark replied.

"You better be careful. Although we know that you have a lot of strange abilities, there are people in this place that shouldn't be taken lightly either."

Alana warned as she went out of the other room.

"I know."

Mark was about to open the door when Alana called out.

"Wait. Can you also go to the river outside the settlement and fetch water for us. Clean water inside this settlement is quite expensive. We're all sweaty from the activities this afternoon before we came here."

Alana said.

"You think I'm your errand boy?"

Mark squinted his eyes as he stared at Alana.

"Please?"

Alana bowed with both palms pressed together in front of her chin.

Mark sighed.

"I'll see if I'm able to. Just don't count on it."

"Thank you!"

Mark went out of the room while Alana let out a smile.

"Do you really think that he will get water for us? He didn't even bring any container."

Karlene asked. Although she also felt the same as Alana, sweaty and sticky, she was not brave enough to ask Mark.

"It's fine!" Alana replied. "He's a type of person who won't let his companions down. Just look at how he reacted every time Amihan is being bothered by other people."

"If you say so."

***

Leaving their dwelling space, Mark turned into black mist and went out of the building. Under the curtain of the darkness of the night, the mist was almost invisible. He landed on the roof of the building and his figure vanished once more. This time, he did not turn into mist but just became invisible to the eyes of the people. He decided to use the [Photokinesis Mental Crystal] to fully mask his physical movements.

Looking around from atop the three floor building, Mark could see how large the settlement was. If he wanted to find the [BloodChildren] in this settlement, he needed to wander around the settlement first or he would not be able to feel their existence.

Even though it would be natural if he just decided to search the Middle and Inner Districts, he decided to search the whole place otherwise. Who know if someone from the Outer District was keeping one? He would not take chances.

The route he would use was to search the settlement in a clockwise direction. He would start at the north east of the Outer District and save the north west of the Outer District for last. It was because that the closest river was located to the north west of the settlement and he could finish the search and fetching water in one go before he returned. Actually, he had no qualms about what Alana said. Even if she did not say anything, he planned to get some since he was feeling the same with his body.

There was a reason why they reached this settlement this late even though they left the base before noon.

It was because they stopped by the most infected area in Infanta, the Barangay of Poblacion 39, to test Alana's and Karlene's new weapons. They took their time to learn to use their weapons while also looking for things to adjust. Due to their fight with the infected, they broke out quite a sweat.

Mark walked towards the northwest side of the Outer District in a leisurely manner. Although he could use his [Shadow Mist Movement], the [Optical Camouflage] could not mask the mist effects of his movement ability. It was because the mist was not an effect that relied on reflected light to be seen but because it was the residue of tearing space using his ability.

However, who would have known that he would witness an event that was both interesting and infuriating in nature.

A pair of teenage boy and girl was kicking up a fuss as they argued in the middle of the street gathering the attention of the people nearby. Not far from them was a group composed of male and female Mutators that looked haughty.

Mark shook his head and felt a bit of pity for the man. It seemed that he was being left by his lover to come along with that group.