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259 Recruitment, The Mystery as to Why Mark Chose to Recruit the Poor Edzel

 Day 41 - 1:15 AM - Salvador Mansion, Inner District, East Port Settlement, Baranagay Dinahican, Infanta, Quezon

"Annica! Are you fine?!"

The current head of the Salavador Family, Darren Bryce Salvador rushed into through the door of his daughter. A sudden report came in so he was at the first floor of the mansion even though it was this late. Due to that, he needed to rush up to the third floor and had just arrived after the guards, his wife and his two sons were already inside the room of his daughter.

Darren was a rather fit looking man who was already in his late forties. Like other rich businessmen, he inherited their family business from his parents but also different from them, he was born even before their business family started. In a simple description, he was a successful business man of humble birth. Because of his background, he did not look down on the weak and the poor.

Still, while he was a serious and stern man outside their home, he was a strict, loving and protective husband and father to his family. The news of his daughter's room being infiltrated made his heart pound fiercely. He even left the office and his reporting subordinates without hearing the whole report.

"Dear, don't shout." Maitea, Darren's wife who was a kind looking woman in her mid-forties reprimanded Darren for shouting as he entered the room. "Your daughter is fine. Nothing happened to her, see?"

Darren looked at his daughter, Annica, who was sitting on her bed surrounded by his wife and two sons. He then scanned the room and saw the guards that responded first who were checking the animals that was not moving around the room.

"Annica, what happened here? You're really not hurt? Are your pets dead?"

Darren approached his daughter's bed and caressed her heard gently as he asked. Annica then shook her head.

"Dad, I'm fine. The person that entered my room did not do anything to me. My pets are also not dead, I think they fainted."

"Thank goodness. Why would someone infiltrate your room if that person did not come for you?"

"Dad." The eldest son, Raybert spoke. "That person took the slimes we bought from the traders that came from Death Valley."

"What? Why would someone... Wait..."

Darren stopped talking and tapped his chin while thinking.

"Did you realize something, Dad?"

The second son, Riley, asked.

"The reason I was late was because two personnel we had in the Outer District gave two different reports. First was they saw Miss Karlene Bautista and Miss Alana Garces enter the settlement with a man that was suspected to be the person in the rumors that came from Military."

"Dad! Is he the man that fought with the horde and had a dragon as pet?"

Annica suddenly moved closer to her father with eyes filled with anticipation.

"Dear, what does that man in the rumors had to do with this? Is her perhaps the man that stole our daughter's pets?"

"It is very likely. Remember the family in the Outer District that was also keeping a slime as a pet?" Darren asked which made the others nod. "Although it was not confirmed fully, it seemed that the same man came to take the slime from that family."

"Did he also steal it?"

Maitea asked.

"It doesn't seem so. It seemed like the family gave it willingly and the man dealt with the harassers that had been pestering that family for a while now."

"Since Dad know who entered Annica's room, should we go after and catch him?"

Raybert suggested. Unexpectedly...

"No! Don't!"

Annica shouted in protest.

"Why? I think the rumors are just fabricated lies. I don't believe that with our forces, we can't subdue that guy. We can't just let him go after entering your room."

Raybert insisted with a stern voice.

However, the father did not consider Raybert's idea and looked at Annica who was panicking at her eldest brother's suggestion.

"Annica, what did you see?"

Darren asked in a stern voice.

Annica looked at her father and spoke.

"We can't win. He's the strongest Mutator I saw. Also, aside from the same energy from Mutators he have, he also have several energies in his body that I saw for the first time. All those energies are circulating peacefully in his body that it looked beautiful."

Elise Annica Salvador, the fourteen year old young lady of the Salvador Family. Her ability as a Mutator was to be able to see the energies circulating inside the bodies of the person or animal she was looking at. However, she also had another ability as a Psychic and it was to form mental links with animals that recognized her as their owner or master.

"Then, we'll just let this go?"

Riley asked making everyone silent aside from Annica.

"Dad, I want to see that person." She requested earnestly. "If he let me see the dragon, I will give him the slimes since I really can't tame them no matter what I do. Also I haven't seen big sister Karlene and big sister Alana for several weeks already. I want to meet them."

***

Day 41 - 1:20 AM - Sabang River, Baranagay Dinahican, Infanta, Quezon

Mark sat beside the river inside a forest quite a distance away outside the settlement.

After fleeing the Salvador Mansion, Mark went straight to this place for two reasons. One was to fetch water before returning and another was to create a temporary container for the five [BloodChildren] he had just retrieved and put them inside his bag.

He searched for an animal nearby and found a feral evolved dog easily after he let the smell of his blood scatter around the area. The poor dog became materials for the container of the little critters and a rather large gallon for the water he came to fetch.

After he had just finished the containers and was about to start making the gallon, he heard noises not far from him. Obviously, it was a person. Who would come to a dangerous forest in the middle of the night? Of course, it was either people who had no choice to traverse the forest or those people who had a deathwish.

Unexpectedly, it was actually the latter. Furthermore, Mark knew who it was.

He stealthily approached the area where the noise was coming from and saw the person. It was Edzel who currently punching a tree like a character from a blocky game. Unfortunately, the atmosphere around him was not light and his face was filled with remorse. Furthermore, he was glancing at the river nearby from time to time as if thinking of something and hesitating at the same time.

Mark felt what he was thinking though.

'What a weak person.'

He thought.

With his loved one betraying him, he was thinking of killing himself in that deep river with a strong current. However, he could not make himself determined enough to do so. The poor fellow could only release his frustrations on the tree that would never be able to fight back.

Seeing this, Mark could not help but felt amazed at his coincidence. He thought recruiting this person due to some reasons but to think that he would come to this forest to attempt suicide nearby the area where he was working. If it was not like this, it was likely that he would not be able to find this person again.

Since he planned on recruiting this person, it was quite convenient to do so this time.

"You can punch that tree till it breaks but what you're frustrations won't decrease at all, you know that?"

Mark went out of hiding and spoke. Still, the boy was surprised at the sudden appearance of a person in the middle of the forest and staggered backwards.

"Wh-who?!"

Without thinking about what he should say, Mark spoke.

"Don't be scared, I'm not someone suspicious."

And, he almost smacked himself. Anyone who said that line was people who were rather suspicious. In fact, Edzel became even more guarded against him.

Sighing for his mistake, he said.

"What are you afraid of? Didn't you already think of killing yourself after your lover left you?"

Edzel then realized what Mark was talking about and could only let out a bitter smile as tears accumulated at the corner of his eyes.

"You're a man right? A real man shouldn't cry when you are not the one in the wrong. You are not the one in the wrong."

"No, I'm also wrong in this. My mistake is that I could not provide what Pearl needed and wanted."

Mark then smiled.

"Because you are weak?"

"You-!"

Edzel stared at Mark wide eyed. He was thinking how he found Mark's voice familiar but when he said that reason, he finally remembered. The whisper he heard before came from the person in front of him.

Ignoring the surprised expression of Edzel, Mark continued.

"Really, you're not the one with the fault in your relationship. Tell me. Didn't you do all what you can for her? Even if you are weak as a normal person, you did things no matter hard to satisfy her am I right?"

Mark enumerated his assumptions from the emotions that he could detect and absorb from Edzel.

The boy in question could only look down in refection of his actions in the past. What he had just heard from the person in front of him was true. He did a lot of things for her and to satisfy her, even dangerous things in order to get what she wanted and what she needed. And yet, wanting an easy way out, she left him.

"Because I am weak compared to them..."

Edzel muttered.

"Yep." Mark nodded. "You're a normal person so you are weak. Compared to Evolvers and Mutators, you are nothing but a child. You can't even compare what you can do to what they can do."

The boy even felt more helpless as he leaned his back to the tree he was punching just now and slid down to the ground. But then... He heard a sentence that made everything in his mind freeze.

"But it didn't mean that you will stay weak forever, right? You are still young and what you can do right now is way better than other normal people with the same age as you. Tell me..."

Mark smiled as his eyes turned red with a chilling glow.

"Do you want to become stronger?"

He let out a line that demons always say to entice desperate people.

"If you follow me and give me your loyalty, I promise that you can make that ungrateful girl regret her decision today. I promise you that you won't need to punch a helpless tree anymore and punch the people that made you suffer directly."

Edzel looked up and saw Mark's devilish glowing eyes. And yet, he was not afraid but felt more like the fiendish glow was his way for salvation.

"C-Can you really do that?"

"I'm someone who doesn't break my promises. Follow me and leave this place. By the time that you return here, you won't need to ask for people's favor and it will be the other way around."

Mark then stretched his right hand towards Edzel and the boy accepted the opportunity given to him.

"Return to the settlement first and pack up your things. I will find you before we leave."

"Yes... What should I call you?"

"Mark. But since you will follow me from now on, you can just call me Boss like the others."

"Yes, Boss!"

Edzel felt gratified. He did not know if what Mark said was true or why Mark chose him but he wanted this opportunity. Inside his heart, he still loved Pearl but he also wanted her to regret her decision to leave him. Remembering how that man walked with Pearl away, his love for her started to die.

After Edzel left the forest safely with Mark's guidance, Mark who was left sighed.

"Can you come out now? He's your son right? Why aren't you doing anything and just watch while hiding?"

Mark spoke as he gazed at a tree nearby.

Knowing that he was exposed, a tall handsome non-muscular man with golden hair, pale skin, pale colored eyes and leaf shaped ears came out of hiding. He was wearing a golden tribal crown and was wearing nothing but a tribal designed loincloth to cover his private parts.

Looking at the man, Mark knew. He was not a human. The person was an Elemental people in the Philippines called Tamawo.