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301 Going Berserk, Revealing the Origin of the Enemy

 Day 44 - 11:41 AM - San Marcelino, General Nakar, Quezon

The ball of flesh became a terrifying looking face of what seemed to be a man in his prime. It could be said that following the shape, the face could be complimented as good looking. However, what made up the whole face was what made it terrifying.

Its eyeballs were made of countless sets of eyes that belonged to different creatures whether it was human, animal or insect. The nose, lips, mouth and ears were the same, clustered parts of the same sense organ belonging to different species of creatures. Anyone with excessive Trypophobia would surely faint from the sight of this creature.

Mark was shocked at the unexpected situation. Although he expected to encounter some supernatural creature, he did not expect something like this. As he felt when the contaminated beasts attacked, he expected something like a sylph that became evil and Amihan confirmed it herself. This in front of him however, was totally a different thing.

There was no sign of it being a spirit before at all. Furthermore, it said that it had just awakened. It was very likely that it was not the one that controlled the contaminated beasts. Mark could not help but take the possibility that there was more than one enemy. Due to these thoughts, rather than replying to the creature's question, Mark raised his guard further instead.

"What insolence. This Deity asking thee a questioneth."

WOOSH!

The large face on the acacia tree spoke. All the mouths that composed its lips opened and closed as the same time as it spoke creating a hair-raising sight. Seeing that Mark was not answering, the creature was obviously displeased. A strong gale blew towards Mark forcing him to take several steps back and the centerpiece of [Defier] fell from his hands.

Mark endured the blowing wind and glared at the creature.

"I have no need to answer you."

Mark pointed his right palm that had yet to fully heal towards the creature and two of the three crystals floating around his arm shined.

"Take this!"

THOOOM!

CRACKLE!

A beam of light and a staccato lightning surged towards the creature while intertwining each other.

BOOM!

An explosion occurred as the two attacks Mark released at the same time reached the creature. Dust, dirt, broken wood and the red lichen that covered the forest floor was thrown around the surroundings. The explosion caused the visibility around the acacia tree to drop due to smoke and dust.

However...

SWOOSH! SWOOSH! SWOOSH!

More than a dozen surges of miasma flew out of the smoke and dust towards Mark. His eyes shined violet and he dodged the attacks. Still, different from before where the attacks just flew off after missing him, these surges of miasma curved and turned evading the trees and obstacles in the surroundings and chased towards Mark once more.

Without a choice, Mark started to run around the huge tree as he dodged the surges of miasma. He ran around the trees, over the bushes and jump up the trees on the way. Due to his irregular movements, the surges of miasma reduced one by one as they hit the obstacles.

"Hoh? Thee has't some abilities, thee not?" The three meter face's eerie voice echoed with amusement. "Alloweth me tryeth thee a dram m're."

For the first time in years, Mark felt humiliated despite his trait as a Mutator. This, whatever of a creature this was, was actually using him for amusement. It seemed to find Mark being able to dodge the incoming attacks amusing. Even though there was a screen of smoke of dust from the explosion, it seemed that it had no problem seeing Mark as it moved its face around the trunk of the tree following Mark's movements.

Wind blew around the tree dispersing the smoke and dust which revealed the one attacking Mark. He could not help but frown.

The surges of miasma did not directly come from the face but the one flying beside it. It was a small girl with wings and clothes that seemed to be made with leaves and flowers. The small girl was emitting the same presence as Amihan. In short, she was another sylph. Compared to the three meter face, the several inches tall girl seemed to contrasting in size.

However, Mark frowned as she saw the sylph. Her head hung down while her body was emanating miasma. Furthermore, Mark could not detect any sign of consciousness from the sylph although she seemed to be alive.

The sylph raised her head and turned towards Mark. Her eyes were all black despite not being hollow.

"KREEEEEE!!!"

She released a deafening shriek unbefitting her size. At the same time, the feeling of animosity attacked his subconscious. It was the same animosity that he felt from the manifestation of miasma. For sure, the one that controlled that miasma and the contaminated animals was this sylph.

The shriek was too loud that Mark felt that his head was shaken and his eardrums would burst. As Mark was frozen due to the aftereffects of that shriek and the surge of negative emotional energy, the sylph flew forwards while sending uncountable surges of miasma from her body.

"Well, sh*t. I'm not that good in bullet hell games."

Mark could not help but curse as he saw the surges of miasma coming his way. He shook his head and tried to resist the pain in his head.

He then activated his [Flash Precognition] as much as he could. However, the attacks were just too many that even the prediction lines in his eyes began to confuse his mind.

"Dammit!"

Mark jumped back dodging the attacks closest to him. Fortunately, the attacks did not seem to be the homing ones. Perhaps, this number of attacks was hard to control even for the sylph and the huge head. Still, the surges of miasma was still too many to count.

SWOOSH! SWOOSH!

Swooshing sounds could be heard by his ears as he tried to dodge all the attacks with minimum margin as much as possible. If he did larger movements as he dodged, it was more likely that he would get hit as soon as the next attacks arrived.

"It can't be helped. I'll just bear the pain later."

Mark murmured as his eyes turned sharper.

BADUMP! BADUMP!

His heard started to pump faster as he stimulated his mind and controlled his blood inside his body. His adrenal glands started to function in its outmost potential. Large amounts of adrenaline was distributed to his limbs and head causing his movements to become faster and the scene in front of him became slower in his eyes and mind.

He started dodging the attacks and even started to counter attack with his needles. Unfortunately, none of the attacks hit both the sylph and the gigantic head. They were being protected by a barrier of wind that rendered his attacks useless.

"Dammit!"

Mark was in a dilemma. This was totally a one sided battle. Although he was not really regretting coming here since it was needed but still, the situation was frustrating.

Mark panted as he desperately maneuvered around the surrounding trees using the trees as shield to reduce the attacks that were coming his way. How about escaping? It was even more impossible. The moment that the sylph appeared, the surrounding areas were locked down by miasma. A tall wall of miasma bellowed around the area leaving about twenty meters around the acacia tree vacant. Not to mention that a lot of the remaining contaminated animals surrounded the tree to serve as meat shield.

"HAHAHAHAHA! Most wondrous! most wondrous! i nev'r did expect yond a m'rtal liketh couldst still avoideth such numb'r of attacks! i'm itching to knoweth how longeth can thee lasteth!"

While dodging the attacks, Mark heard the frustrating laugh and voice. The feeling of being toyed with was really bad. Too bad that the negative energies he was absorbing since earlier started to corrode his consciousness.

DRIP! DRIP!

It started raining.

RUMBLE!

Sounds of thunder echoed as the flash of lightning flickered in the sky.

On Mark's arm, the third crystal shone its brightest for the first time since Mark acquired it. The [Stormcaller Mental Crystal] was finally activated.

The sudden rain seemed to have surprised the eerie creature as it tried to gaze at the sky. It managed to see the already swirling clouds in the sky at the gaps of the leaves and branches of the dying acacia tree.

"Thee.  Thee hath kept surprising this deity.  To bethink yond thee eke has't the ability similar to the kings of the flote.  Fascinating! Showeth me! SHOWETH THIS DEITY EV'RYTHING THEE HAS'T! HAHAHAHAHA"

"KREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!"

The gigantic face laughed in fascination. At the same time, shriek from the sylph that could be heard through the soul hit Mark's consciousness.

The mental attack made Mark stagger. He almost fell to the ground as he clutched his head. Unexpectedly, without him controlling it, his eyes glowed with violet color. It was not the bright one but a deep and dark one.

It was just one second that the deep violet color flashed in his eyes but it felt like a long time. In that second, his head hanged low. Scenes flashed in his eyes like a rotating wheel. However, none of the scenes were his. It was still not the time for him to die after all. Mei and his daughters were waiting for him.

Mark then raised his head. He was smiling sinisterly. His eyes were all red and were even glowing despite he was not using his empathic ability. It seemed that the emotions, the animosity he absorbed all this time, consumed a part of his rationality.

He glared at the gigantic face on the trunk of the acacia tree, laughing.

"HAHAHAHA! Deity here, deity there! I'm not here for your amusement you lowly demon born from miasma!"

The [Slicer] and [Divider] blades launched from his back which was caught by his hands. His right hand was still in not fully healed due to the miasma and should still be painful but he could not fell it anymore.

BURST!

Six whips made of blood burst out of Mark's body and started to change shapes. The outer layer of the [Blood Whips] metallized and hardened and turned into something similar to the exoskeleton on the legs of beetles. The ends of the [Blood Whips] were sharp and pointed like spears. As the transformation finished, all the metalized limbs pointed at the face as Mark lowered his body to the ground and was growling like a beast.

"Thee! Who is't?! WHO IS'T ART THEE?! ALL THOSE YOND KNOWETH MINE OWN BIRTH WAST ALL ELIMINATED!"

It seemed that its origin being known by Mark made the creature lose its composure.

"GRRRR! I have no need to answer your question! Die without knowing it!"

Mark kicked the ground rushing towards the face.

The bursts of miasma continued to rain towards him but for some reason, they were slower and some were even curving away from Mark.

"Thee! Thee bootless wretch!"

The face glared at the sylph who seemed to be struggling. With all its anger, the face opened its countless mouths and blew a ball of miasma towards the sylph sending it flying away.

Then, the miasma the face released covered the animals surrounding the tree. The bald contaminated beasts that were now covered in miasma turned towards Mark with their glowing red eyes. They started to rush towards Mark to intercept his charge. At the same time, the demon sent several surges of miasma towards Mark.

SWISH!

Mark waved his blades and the metal limbs moved piercing and slicing all the incoming animals.

BAM!

As Mark was about to hit by a surge of miasma, he jumped and kicked the head of an incoming beast propelling his body upwards. The attack that was about to hit him missed but since he was in the air, more surges of miasma flew towards him.

Instead of shielding himself, Mark glared at the face and smiled like a madman. He then threw the [Slicer] forward.

RUMBLE! CRASH!

A wall of lightning shot from the sky which used the slicer as conductor. The strengthened lightning spread out blocking the surge of miasma.

Mark then grabbed the falling [Slicer] as he charged once more. The three [Mental Crystals] that should have been rotating on his right arm was now rotating around his body while glowing brightly.