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290 A New Ability, The Sudden Gift Before His Departure

 Day 44 - 3:25 AM - Mountain Base, Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

Mark sat on the edge of his bed as he tried to recover him calm. Around him were Amihan, all the [Blood Children] and Miracle who was currently switched consciousness with Aephelia.

"Your Majesty, breathe deeply. It is better for Your Majesty to calm down."

Aephelia spoke. Fortunately, Miracle's cute voice that came out as she spoke had better effect in this. On the other hand, Amihan was flying beside Mark's head silently while patting his hair. The [Blood Children] that surrounded Mark were also worried.

Mark had just experience another episode of painful suffering. It was because of his Empathic Abilities recovering. This time however, it was not just like the previous one. The pain he felt in his head was about twice or trice stronger if compared. Even the very first one that happened and even called that phenomenon was not as painful as this one. More than that, he suffered for three whole hours.

All that while, everyone here had been watching him with worry. Since they could not ask anyone for help as this was one of Mark's secrets, all Aephelia and Amihan could do was to wipe the sweat on his face and neck.

Just before Mark woke up however, he started to release a thick bloodlust from his body. It was too thick that everyone in this room felt it despite the fact that the bloodlust was not targeted to them. If they were just normal people, they might have felt suffocated.

Despite the thick bloodlust however, none of them left or even stepped back. They all knew that Mark would not harm them in the slightest. Instead, they felt worry about what was happening.

None of them even realized that outside, the clouds were moving oddly. A kilometer wide ring of clouds could be seen with the moon at the center. The inner parts of the ring of clouds swayed and vanished as if being sucked at the center. The moment that Mark woke up, the ring of clouds vanished at the same time.

Only Mark knew what really happened.

This time, Mark had fully recovered his Empathic Ability. Not only that it recovered but was even stronger to a certain degree. Right now, his ability to detect and absorb emotions of people could cover the whole base that there were still extra areas outside. However, the thing that Freed warned him about started happening.

As his Empathic Abilities were strengthened, so as the concentration of emotions he could absorb. If this was not regulated properly, it would start to affect his mental state. Luckily, his subconscious trait was Emptiness and most of these emotions were sucked into nothingness. It would be harder to for these concentrated energies to fully consume him. The only thing he needed to mind was that the thicker the emotion and mental energy affecting his mind, the longer it took to be cleared and sucked away.

However, what was the reason he released that amount of bloodlust?

It was because while he was suffering in pain and his mental abilities recovering, his [Clairvoyance] kicked in. However, it was different this time. Not only that he saw the future, he was even given the scene of the past. He was there...

...At the meeting, watching.

Every single word they said, he heard it clearly. Rather than seeing the past, it was more accurate that his soul traveled into the past to actually witness what happened several hours before.

Unfortunately, he had no control towards what he was going to see. If he could, he would have tried to find Mei and the others to see how they were doing.

After witnessing the whole meeting, he was subjected to the scene where he failed to arrive on time or did not arrive at all.

He saw where all of them...

...Died.

It was all due to the machinations done behind the scenes.

There was no way that he would let that sort of thing happen. It will be the total opposite.

"Your Majesty, here is the towel."

Aephelia said as she was about to hand a towel to Mark.

"Thanks."

Mark replied and tried to take the towel. He then froze. There was no towel where he stretched his hand towards and grabbed nothing but air. No, he was not mistaken. He saw the towel being handed to him but Aephelia has yet to fully stretch her small hands holding the folded towel towards Mark.

Not only Mark but also Amihan and Aephelia felt strange seeing that. Especially Aephelia when she saw Mark had already tried to grab something in the place where she was supposed to place her hands as she handed the towel.

"What is going on?"

Mark waved his right hand in front of his eyes. He saw two hands moving towards the same direction. It was just one of the hands appeared several seconds before he moved his actual hand.

"This..."

"My Lord, maybe, because of your eyes."

Amihan voiced what she was able to see. Aephelia on the other hand had not realized it until Amihan said it. It was because of her mannerisms as Freed's personal maid. It was impertinence as a royal maid to directly look at their king's face. That was why she tried not to do it most of the time and looked down as she spoke to Mark.

Hearing what Amihan said, Mark sluggishly stood up and took a compact mirror from his work table. As someone who was not blessed in terms of facial appearance, he did not like to look on a mirror. However, he needed to see what was happening this time. On his reflection on the mirror, he saw his eyes. His pupils were glowing in a bright purple color. It was very different from the usual red chilling glow. It was also different from Karla's eyes that seemed to be covered in light.

It was really strange. Not to mention that everything that moved in his eyes had two figures. The first one was quite blurry or transparent while the second figure was solid. He was having a hard time due to this. There was also the sensation of feeling drained while it was ongoing.

In front of his work table, he put down the mirror and started to relax his body. He closed his eyes, emptied his thoughts and breathed deeply and in regular intervals. The next moment he opened his eyes, everything turned to normal. He looked at the mirror once more and the glow in his eyes was already gone. The feeling of being drained was still there but it had already stopped from worsening.

"A new ability..."

Mark clenched his right hand in realization.

"Congratulations, Your Majesty."

Aephelia voiced as she heard what Mark said. She also realized why Mark was behaving rather strange.

"Your Majesty, is it perhaps, [Flash Precognition]?"

The royal maid in a child's body asked. It made Mark quite surprised.

"You can tell?"

"Yes, Your Majesty. I realized due to Your Majesty's actions earlier."

"You're as perceptive as ever."

"This humble servant is gratified for Your Majesty's praise."

Mark looked at Aephelia with annoyed eyes. Of course, what he could see was Miracle's body.

"My apologies. I know what Your Majesty is thinking but I would not change it."

Aephelia looked at Mark with resolute eyes which made him shrug his shoulders.

Mark really wanted Aephelia to stop being too formal but the maid would not accept it no matter what.

"Really, just what did Freed feed you to be like this?"

He could only give up as he said those words. Turning his head towards the small window he made in this room, he could see the dark sky of the night.

This was the day he would set out to finally meet his new family once more. Still, there was something bothering him.

Why did he not arrive in time in his premonition?

"Huh?..."

Mark turned his head towards the wall and slapped his forehead.

Milliel that was on the other side of the room was shivering in fright. For sure, she also felt that intense bloodlust he subconsciously released after witnessing those scenes in his dream. He had no choice but to go out to the next room and appease her.

***

Day 44 - 6:42 AM - Mountain Base, Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

Morning arrived and Mark did not manage to return to sleep after he appeased the scared mermaid with a lot of effort. As many different thoughts running in his mind, it would be surprising if he was able to. In the end, he tried to grasp the new ability he suddenly had. It was quite hard to grasp and was too taxing to maintain but he managed to get some insights from it.

[Flash Precognition], it was a branching ability of [Clairvoyance]. While [Clairvoyance] could allow a person to peek into the future or past events, [Flash Precognition] would allow someone to see at least a split second into the future. As Mark could only see a second and a half before the actual action happened, he ended up seeing two figures doing the action especially if the action was made slow or the movement was too little.

An ability that was both weak and strong at the same time. Compared to the main ability, it was weak but if used properly, it was strong. In the least, Mark could control its activation. He never expected to gain something like this at this moment.

It was new evidence that Mutagen could strengthen and bolster an already existing psychic ability. Although he could not control the [Clairvoyance] he inherited from his mother and could only manage to peek into the future at times something severe was about to happen, he was given this new one. He had yet to grasp the full extent of his current abilities and he was given another one. He had to work on it even harder.

Inside the room, Mark started to prepare. Wearing his armor, checking his equipment and picking up the bags he prepared beforehand. He also had to help Miracle who was struggling to wear her armor and dress.

In an hour or so, he would leave. The ones coming with him this time aside from Miracle and Amihan was Karlene and Edzel. There was also the usual set of [Blood Children] that was composed of Oracle, Crimson and Ivy. This time however, Alaula, the glowing [Blood Child] was also coming along.

Miracle and Amihan along with the three [Blood Children] coming along was already a given. For the other three, there was a reason. Mark decided to start training Edzel and one of the best ways for that was to make him fight the infected. Since Mark was going to the city, there were a lot of chances to do that. Karlene on the other hand needed to be monitored. After all, only Mark could control her alter ego, Karla. It would be a disaster of Karla suddenly broke out while Mark was gone. Although she would not hurt the people, the infected Mark was keeping would be in danger.

As for Alaula, Mark really had no plan to bring her since she was needed to install appropriate lighting around the base. However, she would not behave at all with others around. She was too hard headed despite her gelatinous body and would only behave around Mark. Without Mark, the installation would not progress either. Sine that was the case, Mark decided to bring her. He could only pray that the other [Blood Children] would not imitate her in order to come with him. It would be a whole lot of trouble not only to him but also for the base since they were the main source of construction materials for the base.

With everything in set, Mark and his entourage was ready to go. Everyone in the base gathered outside the southern gates to see them go. Alana and Karlene said goodbyes to each other and the latter threatened Mark to take care of her friend. Huey, Jollene, Hallie and Nicole assured their leader that they would take care of the base while they were gone while the others and even the children waved as Mark and the others flew unto the sky while riding on Chaflar's back.

Their first stop was the new North East Quezon Settlement.