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266 Idling, A Lonely Wait at the Port Under the Siege of the Storm

 Day 41 - 11:32 AM - Free Port District, East Port Settlement, Barangay Dinahican, Infanta, Quezon

After disappearing from the port, Mark waved through the running animals to get to the part that close to the edge of the shore near where the waves could barely reach. The target Mark found did not swim ashore but was swept by the waves due to it being too small compared to the other animals fleeing.

The animals running on the shore were surprised seeing a line of black mist waving across their path but they could not stop running after being pushed by the ones behind them. Those who were unlucky ended up being killed in different ways after they forcefully stopped.

As Mark saw the poor animal, it was about to be kicked away by a dog sized Clown Frogfish with golden metallic spiky scales. Mark appeared at the last moment and lashed the [Slicer] on the fish. The clash rang a metallic sound. Unexpectedly, Mark was not able to cut the armored fish but only forced it to stumble and roll towards the other animals.

The Frogfish having scales that were too sturdy and dangerous ended up causing injuries on the animals that it hit and stepped on it. However, after being stepped on too many times, the metallic body of the fish did not manage to hold out long and its body was smashed like scrap metal splattering its flesh and organs out of every hole in its body.

Mark picked up the little creature that was lying on its back and unable to stand right back and returned to the port.

"Hey, you returned empty handed?"

Annica trotted like a child towards Mark expecting him to return with something interesting. The others behind her were still surprised seeing Mark vanishing and appearing with their eyes and lagged behind. On the other hand, Annica had already seen it before and even though she was still not used to it, she was not surprised anymore.

Mark shrugged his shoulders at the brat in front of him that did not notice that he was holding something in his hands.

Opening his hand, the little critter was exposed at Annica's eyes. Seeing the animal, both Mark and Annica had complicated expressions on their faces.

Atop Mark's hands, a palm sized Sea Turtle was present. Obviously, it was something that hatched from its egg not too long before this event. It terms of shape and size, it was normal. However, its appearance said otherwise.

"A toy?"

Annica asked and Mark could not say any word to retort that.

The baby Sea Turtle on his hand really looked like it was made of plastic. Its brown and green body along its red colored shell with a yellow rim looked like it was painted with artificial coloring. If not for the fact that it was moving, anyone would think that it was a toy.

Mark knocked his nail on the shell and the sound it made was similar to a plastic gallon being knocked with the same manner.

He remembered that Mutagen reacts to any catalyst and environment specially the unstable strain. The evolution of animals was also similar. Unfortunately for this little guy, it seemed that it was a victim of water pollution and the change of its body and genes might had been affected by the garbage and plastic around its habitat or the place where its egg was laid.

Now that he thought of it, he remembered that some of the animals that fled from the ocean looked hideous and some had garbage sticking on their bodies. Although it those did not evolve in the similar way like this turtle, there was no doubt that the changes in their bodies were affected by the pollution at the ocean.

Mark wanted to find something interesting like a sea salamander but since there was no known endemic species of salamanders around the Philippines, it was very less likely that one would end up here.

He wanted to catch more but it the ones he detected so far was not up to his standard aside from this Toy Sea Turtle. Considering the circumstances, this small creature was smart enough to survive till now following the large animals fleeing to the shore.

"Here, keep this for me."

"Okay!"

Mark handed the turtle that hid inside its shell to Annica. It could bite her but since it chose to hide itself on initiative, it would not bite. However...

Annica poked the hidden head of the baby turtle in a playful manner. Rather than biting her, the turtle stuck out its head in a curious manner. The brat patted its tiny head and the baby turtle seemed to be pleased with it.

Mark shrugged his shoulders. The brat really had a knack when it came to animals. She looked like a good child and pleasing to look at if not for her strange enthusiasm towards Mark. Still, even though Mark found it annoying, he could understand why. It was the trait she acquired after becoming a Mutator, the fascination and enthusiasm for strange things. Unfortunately, Mark was among those strange things she was showing fascination towards. After all, Mark was really a strange being and he would not be able to come up with any retort regarding that.

Mark returned to guiding Chaflar on which animals to grab and bring back to the port. To say, he had quite a haul already.

"Hey, can you send people to transport these? Keep a third of it for me including the large crab. As for the others, you guys can do whatever you want with them."

Mark turned to the group of Annica and Raybert along with their guards. These people had been here for some reason, probably because of Annica. Their father and his associates should already been preparing for the evacuation but these people here were just idling and watching him.

"Are you sure?"

Raybert was surprised at Mark's statement.

"You guys think that I can eat all those?"

Scratching his head, Raybert let out a wry smile. He then sent one of the guards they had to inform his father about the matter. They had just been worrying about the supply for the evacuation and here, Mark addressed a large part of it. Allying their family with Mark was sure a smart move their father thought of.

As Mark continued to catch those fishes that was familiar with him despite having web feet or fins that could traverse land, a rather large freezer van came to store the ones he had already caught and loaded the sea food in Raybert's instructions. Mark was monitoring the shore for more taming candidates but he was crestfallen for a bit. The sea creatures started to disperse but he did not detect any other than the baby sea turtle that he had already caught.

How long had Mark been waiting? It was probably more than an hour already. In the least he was not bored as he could observe the evolution line that the sea creatures took due the influence of the Mutagen while he caught more of them to turn into food.

As time passed, the storm started to affect the surroundings of the settlement even more. The wind was already blowing harder and the clouds at the sky were moving fast. At the sea, the waves became more ferocious.

Finally, the evacuation started. Aside from Mark and the group from the Salvador Family, the Free Port District had already been vacated.

"Sir Mark!" Riley finally came back to the port. "The evacuation already started and the people started to leave the settlement using the North Gate."

"What about my companions?"

Mark asked.

"They already boarded one of our vehicles. They are outside the settlement already."

Riley replied and then turned to his siblings.

"Dad is already calling for everyone. We need to leave already."

The rest nodded and started to move. However, Mark on the other hand looked for a sheltered spot and sat down while Chaflar moved near him and lied down on the pavement.

"Sir Mark! What are you doing?! We need to leave!"

Raybert was surprised and shouted in a hurry. Both Annica and Riley had confused and worried expressions.

"You guys go already. I'll stay for a bit and ensure that nothing will follow us behind. Tell my companions that I will catch up later."

"But..."

Riley hesitated.

"I have the best transport here you know that?" Mark pointed at Chaflar. "Also I still have things to do here. You guys need to leave already."

Hearing that, the three siblings nodded at each other.

"Big Bro! Catch up fast or I'll steal this plastic turtle, okay!"

Annica shouted.

"Okay, okay. Just go already."

Mark waved the brat away.

***

UUUWOOOOOOOOUUUUUUU!

Two hours passed and the rolling black clouds already blanketed the sky above the settlement. The wind was really fierce even causing roofs to fly away. Heavy rainfall caused the whole scene to become blurred. The cold temperature could probably cool soft drinks just by leaving the bottles at the street.

UUWWWOOOOOOUUUUU!

Mark had already changed locations and was currently sitting inside a building overseeing the shore. Chaflar was the same. In order to let Chaflar in, they even broke a large part of the door of the building. Even though Chaflar could breathe out fire, Chaflar was still a cold blooded lizard. A cold weather had a rather bad effect on it and made it feel rather lethargic.

UUUUUWWWWWOOOU!

Loud cries echoed repeatedly. A cry similar to what sonar detects at the sea. It was the obvious cry of the whale. It mixed together with the sound of the wind, the rainfall and the rumbling thunder at the sky.

UWWWOOOOU!

Looking at the ripples of the raindrops on the puddles of water at the street, Mark could not help but think of how lonely the situation was.

The settlement had been vacated already and it was very likely that he was the only person left here alone. Chaflar was not included since it was not really a person. It seemed that he had already abandoned his lonely life back before the outbreak and had gotten used to having someone beside him whether it be Mei, Abbygale, Amihan, Miracle or even the other [BloodChildren].

Now however, none of them were here aside from Chaflar. Chaflar was not of a huggable size and hugging the cold blooded lizard would make him feel even colder.

UWOOOOU!!

The cry of the whale was getting closer and closer. Unexpectedly, it was very slow. Mark started to think that since it had grown feet, it had a harder time traversing the sea since it might have lost a lot of its ability to swim.

Mark sighed. He might not have stayed here if not for several reasons.

First was because of his curiosity. He wanted to know why the whale came here in the first place and if it was an evolved animal or an infected. However, his curiosity was not the most important thing but the second and third. The second was because killing the whale would enable him to take whatever ability it had which he suspected to be a psychic ability related to weather or water.

And the third reason...

Mark looked at the two crystals he was playing with in his left hand. These were two [Mental Crystals] that had just been created in the past two hours. Yes, a crystal that supposed to be created once a year was created within an hour. In fact, the [PsyCrystal] in his wrist was glowing brightly right now that he had to secure his bracers so that the light would not escape and become noticeable from outside the building.

In order to create a single [Mental Crystal], the [PsyCrystal] needed to absorb psychic or magical energy from the air. However, that energy was very thin in most parts of earth causing a very long time needed to create one.

This time however, that energy was very thick and that same energy made the current disaster. Since that energy was very abundant, Mark could take advantage of it to increase his number of [Mental Crystals] that he would need in a lot of things.