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260 The Tamawo, A Conversation with Edzels Father and Peering into the Future Once More

 Day 41 - 1:52 AM - Sabang River, Barangay Dinahican, Infanta, Quezon

The Tamawo, an Elemental that could be found in Philippine Folklore and Mythology. The stories about them mostly came from Visayas or the Visayan Islands, one of the three principal geographical divisions of the Philippines along with Luzon and Mindanao.

In terms of appearance, they could be described similar to elves of western culture. They similarly lived deep inside forests in tribes. Differently to the elves of western culture, the Tamawo only had males in their tribes and needed to abduct human females they took interest in with the use of their magical abilities. However, even their children were males and after their children were fully integrated into their tribe as a Tamawo, the same cycle was repeated.

Women who fell in love or had been targeted by a Tamawo would be mesmerized. They were gentle and loving and what a woman would want to see as a man. Unfortunately, it was not without consequences.

A woman that fell in love with a Tamawo would gradually weaken, fall sick and die. Her body would be then dug and replaced with a banana heart. The Tamawo that the woman fell in love with would take her body back to his kingdom and would be lost from human history forever.

There were also stories that the Tamawo would drag women that polluted rivers near their inhabited forests and would be drowned to death.

Mark looked at the man in front of him. He looked no different to what the stories he knew had told. The existence of this man who seemed to be the father of Edzel fit his interests on the poor boy.

Back then when he was watching the event where Edzel was left by Pearl, the raging feelings of Edzel stirred the energy inside him making Mark feel it. It was a kind of energy similar to what Amihan possessed. Yet, Edzel was surely a human, or at least half of him.

When Mark whispered to Edzel before, he also noticed that Edzel's black hair did not look natural, it was the same for his eyes. Edzel's hair was dyed black while his eyes had a bit of grayish tint. Looking at the roots of his hair, it a tint of pale color that looked natural. There were only two possibilities for this. Either he was a person with albinism or he was one of those rumored children that were born with an Elemental as a parent.

Since he did not look like the first, it could only be the second. Especially since it was not new for Mark to see creatures from Mythology and things about Psychics and Espers, Mark believed the second possibility even more.

And he was right with his assumption. Since the time he saw Edzel here in the forest, he already felt the presence of this person who had a similar mental wavelength as Edzel but had a higher psychic energy similar to Amihan. He deduced that this person could be the father of Edzel since he was obviously releasing familial affection towards the boy.

"You knew that the boy's father is here and yet, you have that courage to behave like an evil spirit and persuade my son using empty promises. What are you really after?"

The man spoke while looking at Mark not hiding his hostility.

Mark however was not fazed and stared directly at the man.

"What I'm after is a good subordinate that will be loyal to me. It just happened to be your son. Besides, it's not bad to have someone with a blood of an Elemental like you under me."

"You-!"

The man pointed his finger at Mark as his white teeth grew into fangs and his nails grew into golden claws. It seemed that he wanted to attack.

Seeing this, Mark was truly convinced that this Elemental was a Tamawo. Even his appearance to attack was the same as how it was from the stories.

"Can you calm down? You're angry at me for giving your son a reason to live when you are doing nothing but watch in the shadows while your son suffered alone?"

The Tamawo froze and his eyes wavered. He heard Mark continue.

"Besides, I'm not giving any empty promises. If he really showed his loyalty..." Mark smiled and looked at the south east direction. "It won't be hard for him to destroy that settlement. The only issue here is that if he is loyal, lucky and had enough will to move on."

The Tamawo inhaled deeply as his appearance returned to normal.

"Brat, what is your name?"

The Tamawo asked as he stared at Mark.

"Shouldn't introduce yourself first? Old man?"

Mark returned the stare and replied.

The man frowned but with a sigh, he spoke.

"My name can't be pronounced correctly by humans. You can just call me Pefile. Now, tell me yours."

"Mark."

"Alright. I will leave my son in your care for now. Let me see how you will fulfill your promise to my son. Otherwise, don't blame me for going after your life."

Pefile then turned around to leave. It was then that Mark spoke.

"Why don't you just stay? That way, you can openly watch over your son. You can be with him. Isn't it hard to live in the forest these days? Especially since your kind already lost the ability to hide from the eyes of Mortals."

Pefile stopped for a bit. Mark could feel the complicated emotions of the man over his suggestion. It seemed that he wanted to accept but something was holding him back.

In a low voice, Pefile spoke with his back facing Mark.

"I like your suggestion. I really wanted to be with my son. However... Not now. I still have a promise fulfill."

Stopping at that, Pefile left. However, Mark was sure that he would appear whenever Edzel was around the forest. There might be deeper circumstances here. Like the reason why a son of a Tamawo was living in the world of humans instead of the kingdom of the Tamawo. Furthermore, why was a Tamawo like him here in Luzon when the said place where they lived in Folklores were in Visayas.

His affection for his son was also genuine but he could not interact with Edzel. Mark also noticed that when Pefile mentioned the word "promise", there was a hint of loneliness and regret in his mind.

Being left alone, Mark returned to his work. After securing water from the river, Mark returned to the Middle District at the commercial space they rented for the night.

Knocking on the door using a rhythm Mark, Alana and Karlene decided on, the door opened to let Mark enter. The one that opened the door was Alana.

"You took too long outside! Don't tell me you picked up women outside?"

Alana immediately asked while blocking the door.

Mark shook his head and flicked her forehead to get her away.

"I already finished what I wanted to do here. Tomorrow afternoon, we will leave this place."

"You already collected those... What are they again... Ah, [BloodChildren]. You got them all? You didn't really pick up a woman?"

Alana spoke while covering her forehead and sniffed the air.

"Where did that question even come from?"

"It's because you smell like a girl's perfume."

"Are you a dog?" Mark immediately turned his head at Alana with a helpless expression. "I won't go for something like that. Probably, I got this smell since I entered someone's room to retrieve the [BloodChildren]."

"Is that so? You actually entered a girl's room in the middle of the night..."

Alana did not dare try to finish her words. Mark was already aiming another flick at her forehead.

"Stop messing around. Here's the water you wanted. You should sleep already since we will go check the Free Port tomorrow if we can trade something."

"Okay~!"

Mark stared at Alana's back who replied like a certain little girl with green hair he met before as she walked to her room.

"Hey, go to the other room."

"No!"

Alana ran towards the room and closed the door.

Mark shrugged his shoulders. She would not be able to blame him if he took revenge on her later. After all, he could not sleep in his room either in this situation where Karlene was sleeping on his bed beside Miracle.

Anyway, someone needed to stand guard. With that, he sat on the floor near the door with his back on the wall. He then let out the newly retrieved [BloodChildren] and let them sit beside him. As his head drooped down, he entered the state of light sleep.

In the middle of his sleep, he felt some movements and his body got a bit heavy, however, he ignored it. After all, they were not enemies.

***

Day 41 - 6:32 AM - Dwelling Complex, Middle District, East Port Settlement, Barangay Dinahican, Infanta, Quezon

SWISH!

CREAK!

It was a normal morning, or it should have been. However, the dark clouds that covered the sky last night never went away and were even thicker today. Furthermore, the cold wind started to blow. It was not a good sign.

Mark woke up unable to move his body. Opening his eyes, the first thing he saw was Miracle who was clinging to his body as she slept. On his shoulder, Amihan was also asleep while sitting and leaning to his face. Around him, except for the five [BloodChildren] he let out last night, the other three he left to guard Miracle and Amihan were also here. All of them noticed that Mark did not sleep in the room and looked for him. When they saw him near the door, they all accompanied him to sleep despite the place that was very unsuitable to.

This morning's temperature was rather abnormally cold. Luckily, he had these little creatures to give him warmth. He closed his eyes again. Since Miracle and Amihan was still asleep, he would not mind spending more time like this.

However, a sudden pain in his head made him flinch and the scene around him distorted.

Thick Clouds...

Rain...

Thunder...

Wind...

Mark stood by the shore watching everything got destroyed. By the coast, a quadruped monster about sixty feet in length was causing chaos. It seemed to be a Humpback Whale with limbs instead of fins. Its body was covered with thick armor made of layers and layers of Barnacles.

The place was submerged in sea water that had already become muddy. Wreckage after wreckage could be seen around him as structures had already been washed away from the coast.

It seemed to be far from a tsunami, there was no doubt that it was a storm surge.

Looking down at the knee high water below him, three dead bodies passed by his front as it was washed away by the water. It was an old man and two children that could not be any familiar to him.

It was Hamlin, Alois and Layan.

"...her?"

"...ather?"

"Father?"

Mark opened his eyes and saw Miracle's face close to his. She looked worried. Beside her, Amihan who was flying also had the same expression.

"My Lord, are you okay? You look pale."

Mark then pulled the two in a hug and caressed their heads.

"I'm fine. I just had a nightmare."

As he caressed their heads, Mark was thinking about what he saw. For sure, it was not just a dream but another premonition. Unfortunately, he was not able to finish it but he would not blame Miracle and Amihan for waking him up.

With the coast and Hamlin's family as clues, he was sure that what he saw would happen in this place.

The question was when... Would it happen if Hamlin's family did not want to come to his base? Or would it happen before they decide...

While he was thinking, time passed and both the girls in the rooms also woke up.

Knowing what had happened last night, Karlene apologized. She was just watching Miracle and Amihan while playing with Oracle, Crimson and Ivy. She did not mean to fall asleep in his room.

And for what Alana did last night, for the first time, Mark saw Karlene angry. She made Alana kneel on the floor as she preached angrily. As Mark watched the spectacle, his mood lightened. He then turned towards the door, it seemed that they had visitors.