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299 Manifestation of Miasma, The Enemy that Existed but Aslo Did Not Exis

 Day 44 - 11:03 AM - San Jose, Antipolo, Rizal

Extreme heat permeated to the air surrounding the schoolyard. Even Mark had to retreat further due to the heat. In his order, he might have just said a few words but at the same time, he sent another order to Chaflar through their mental connection. That order was not to hold anything back.

Chaflar emptied more than half of the chemical it had just regenerated in this single attack. Mark was detecting a deep animosity coming from the concentration of miasma in front. Since he was able to feel such emotion, he knew that something appeared at the center of the smoke. With such strong energy that even made Mark's eyes go wide, something dreadful was coming.

Despite the unbearable temperature coming from Chaflar's attack, Mark was not contented. Two crystals floated in front of him as he concentrated. Then, a beam of light and a flash of lightning tore through the wall of flames and flew straight towards where Mark was detecting the unsettling feeling. Even though the attacks became weaker than he expected, both attacks still pierced through the flames and miasma and even hit the old houses on the other side of the dirt road.

"Tch! Chaflar! Retreat!"

Mark shouted and he himself retreated closer to the school building following the dragon's retreat.

WHOOSH!

The miasma burst forth quenching the flames that surrounded it. After the flames were extinguished, the scattering miasma started to vanish.

A shadowy figure was left in place of the miasma.

Everyone stared at the figure with an unexplainable feeling in both their hearts and minds. The shadowy figure was shaped as a humanoid seven feet tall. Its body was kind of disproportional due to its limbs being too thin compared to its normal sized body. Still, the feeling they had, it was unexplainable but they knew that it was a bad feeling.

Mark scrutinized the figure silently with his eyes looking sharp and wary. The figure in front of them existed but for some reason, he felt that it did not exist either. It was there but not there. It was both dead and alive. It stood in front of him but it also felt that it did not. The feeling was strange and confusing.

The figure raised its head and looked at Mark. He could not help but step back. It just stared but he felt like he was being drawn by it. The eyes of the figure were just a black shallow holes but it gave a feeling of immeasurable deepness as if it was a bottomless hole.

It was something similar to a psychic character that became filled with animosity and started to destroy everything.

"Amihan... Is this the one controlling those beasts and caused the miasma?"

Mark shouted without taking his eyes away from the unmoving figure.

"My Lord! I apologize but I can't tell! The miasma is too thick and unstable!"

Amihan replied in trepidation. This was the first time she was able to encounter something as dreadful as this. Even the evil spirits that killed her parents could not even amount to this one.

While Mark and the figure stared at each other, the figure tilted its head and raised its right hand. Several fist wide bursts of miasma rushed towards Mark in fast speed. The burst immediately surrounded Mark leaving him no way to react.

But then, Mark's eyes glowed alternating with both red and violet color. As if hit by something, the figure staggered making the attacks slower. Then, the number of the bursts of miasma doubled. The new ones however appeared ahead of the already existing attacks and had almost non-existent appearance.

Using the opportunity, Mark moved between the attacks and faced the blurry figures without worry. He was hit by the blurry attacks but the attacks just phased through his body. The next attack followed the same trajectory but Mark had already dodged it.

Mark then turned his head towards the shadowy figure and with his eyes flashing a bright deep red light. The light was too bright that it looked like small red flames on his pupils.

As Mark dodged the attacks, some of the attacks hit the school building behind him. The parts of the walls hit by the miasma turned black as if scorched by flames. Some of the bursts of miasma flew towards the second floor causing everyone to run away. Even Chaflar had to hurriedly flew back to avoid some of the attacks. Luckily for them, Mark was the initial target enabling them all to dodge. If not, it was likely that they were hit by the miasma directly.

"Karlene, Edzel, Amihan. Get the children and ride on Chaflar! Get away from here!"

Mark shouted as he made Chaflar retreat at the same time.

This enemy was very dangerous and they would just hold him back. It was impossible to escape altogether. If they did, it was likely that the enemy would chase them. In the first place, the enemy was floating in place and its feet did not even touch the ground.

Someone needed to stay behind and stall this thing and he was the only one capable of that.

"How about you?!"

Karlene shouted back.

"Don't ask questions and just go will you?"

"Hmpf!"

Karlene felt a bit offended at Mark's reply but her eyes still looked worried. However, Mark already gave his orders and his words were absolute in this trip. It was one of his rules for bringing them in this journey. With her lead, everyone started to evacuate the school.

While everyone left in the school started to evacuate, Mark and the shadowy figure continued their confrontation. Bursts of miasma continued to attack Mark while he dodged every attack desperately.

"Father! Be careful!"

"My Lord! I can't confirm but it might just be a manifestation and not the real body! Its body is made of miasma so please! Don't get hit even once!"

Mark heard Miracle's and Amihan's voices as Chaflar took off from the school. The direction the dragon was flying towards was their base that should be southeast from this place. He ordered Chaflar to deliver the children to his base. Of course, it was possible that they would not be able to make it in one go but it was better than staying here.

Seeing the escaping dragon and humans, the figure tried to float higher but only to suddenly stagger backwards. It turned to the human that stayed behind in overwhelming anger. On the other hand, the human was glaring at him with red eyes.

"RRRRUUUAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!"

The shadowy figure released a loud sound that sound both like a roar and a screech. More bursts of miasma rushed towards Mark who evaded the attacks as if he was predicting the trajectory.

Mark managed to dodge the barrage of attacks by using his newly acquired ability, [Flash Precognition]. Still, sweat started to trickle from his head as he continued to use the ability. Not only that he had not done any practice using the ability since he had just acquired it but the expense on mental energy was overwhelming. Furthermore, the miasma around was draining his energy even faster.

WHOOOSH!

Another set of attacks moved towards him not leaving him any chance to dodge due to the speed. However, his eyes glowed red once more and glared at the figure causing it to stagger backwards. The bursts of energy moving towards him slowed down allowing him to use his [Flash Precognition] and dodge.

Since Mark was detecting emotions from the enemy, he figured that it could get affected by his empathic ability and he succeeded to some extent. The bursts of miasma were being controlled by the figure directly as if some remote controlled missiles. With Mark disrupting its control, he was able to dodge the attacks. Still, the situation was too dire and should not continue.

Furthermore, another problem was starting to rise and Mark could only grit his teeth. The amount of animosity the figure was exuding was more than what his empty consciousness could handle. His mind was starting to get affected. Mark started to lose his calm and his eyes even started to exude the same animosity towards the enemy.

Staring at the ethereal figure of the enemy, Mark started to charge towards it with the lights in his eyes alternating in color. Mark then shot a poison needle towards the figure. Of course, it was ineffective and the needle just passed through its body.

"As Amihan said, it's just a manifestation."

Mark kicked side wards avoiding another attack and circled around the enemy. As he did that, the figure staggered as it received another mental attack from Mark.

When it recovered after a second, it only saw a black mist rushing towards the north leaving it behind.

"RRRUUUUAAAAAHHHH!!!!"

It floated higher and chased after the black mist and launched another burst of miasma.

As the miasma hit the subspace crated by his [Shadow Mist Movement], Mark was forced out of the subspace. However, he did not stop running towards the north.

He ran around houses, trees and other obstacles causing the enemy to lose track of him several times and he activated his [Shadow Mist Movement] to gain distance. Although he was forced out every time, he was still able to create some distance between him and the enemy. He also used [Optical Camouflage] but stopped soon as he noticed that the enemy could detect him just from the energy. The [Optical Camouflage] also looked distorted due to the presence of Miasma.

Mark continued to run even though he was already panting due to the massive expenditure of mental energy. He had already stopped using his empathic abilities and concentrated on [Flash Precognition] to read the attacks and dodge it as he ran away.

He was running towards north which seemed to confuse the enemy since the others escaped towards the south. Seeing that it was hard to catch Mark, the enemy stopped chasing and was about to turn back.

For sure, Karlene and the other were easier to catch than Mark. But then, Mark shouted which made the shadowy figure stop.

"You're just a manifestation right? I wonder what will happen if I destroyed your real body."

Mark smiled sinisterly as he provoked the figure and ran away afterwards.

"RRRRRUUUUUUUUAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!"

The enemy's animosity multiplied several times as it heard what Mark said. Now wonder that Mark started running towards the north direction. It thought that he was fleeing but he was actually trying to look for its true body.

Absorbing the intense bloodlust and animosity, Mark's nose started to bleed. There was also a metallic taste and feeling in his throat. His eyes turned red but for a different reason.

"RAAAAHHHH!!!!"

Mark roared as he resisted the influence of the bloodlust and animosity he continued to absorb without pause. It was the worst characteristic of empaths. They had no control to what or how much emotional energy they would absorb from the surroundings. It was already amazing that he was still able to resist this much. Normal empaths should have already turned berserk just from the initial outburst of animosity from the enemy.

Finally, Mark reached the northern border of the town. Not far, he could see the edge of the forest that should be where the source of this mess could be found.

As he reached the forest, he hesitated to enter. It was because red lichen spread out on the forest floor. There was no doubt that the main body of the enemy was in this place. Still, it was unnerving seeing the contamination spread out this much.

Nevertheless, he had no choice.

He took out three crystals and the crystals floated around his wrist.

Since the forest was lush and the sunlight reaching the forest floor was too little, Mark activated the [Lightning Mental Crystal] to provide light and he controlled the light generated with the [Photokinesis Mental Crystal]. A circle of high temperature light surrounded the ground by his feet with him in the center. The light burned all the lichen Mark passed by.

Then, Mark activated the [Stormcaller Mental Crystal]. Slowly, clouds started to surge above the forest.

With the preparations and protections activated, Mark rushed towards the deep areas of the forest with the enemy chasing behind him. He could not maintain all of these for a every long time. Mark needed to hurry even more.