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305 Shortening Timeframe, Waking Up from the Influence of the Demons Possession

 Day 47 - 12:23 AM - Burnt Forest, San Marcelino, General Nakar, Quezon

"It's already the third day."

Karlene muttered while she sat outside their makeshift tent quite a distance from the acacia tree where the altar and Mark was located.

She was keeping watch despite there was really no need to since Chaflar and the [Blood Children] were around. Edzel was the same and the two divided the watch schedule. It was Karlene's turn to watch right now while Edzel was sleeping inside the makeshift tent.

The makeshift tent was just made of wood and leaves. At first, they tried to build the tent under the acacia tree after cleaning the area but something happened that not only their initial tent got destroyed but everyone was forced to flee.

Currently, a very thick and strong whirlwind of Miasma was enveloping the area under the acacia tree with the unconscious Mark as the center. It all started about more than an hour after the [Mental Crystal] appeared and entered Mark's body. The surging miasma started small which enabled which luckily made everyone able to flee. Well, almost everyone.

One of the [Blood Children] was missing.

Before the whirlwind grew to its current state, instead of fleeing like the others, Crimson jumped into the miasma joining Mark inside it. At that time, Karlene, Edzel and Amihan were all worried about what happened. Among the [Blood Children] it could be said that Crimson was one of Mark's favorites. If something happened to Crimson, it would hard to answer to Mark if he really passed this ordeal.

Nevertheless, they could not do anything. They could not even see what was going on inside the wall of spiraling miasma.

The strange thing however, instead of getting worried, the [Blood Children] at that time including Miracle seemed to be cheering for Crimson. The three could not understand what was happening and when Miracle was asked, she just pouted with obvious jealousy in her face, not answering the question at all.

Without knowing what really happened, they could only wait. Even though they really did not know whether Mark was still alive inside that scary black energy, they still had to wait. It was because the Miracle said that her father was still alive. The [Blood Children] also seemed to be saying the same.

As for the being called Aephelia, she returned to slumber without explaining anything to them. It was quite strange how they felt intimidated with a being inside the body of a child but they could only follow her orders as if it was natural while she was out. That feeling was really strange to them.

Still, it was already the third day after that happened. There was still no visible change with the whirlwind of miasma which was really worrying.

Since they found Mark, Karlene really had no time to rest properly. She was all worried, stressed and helpless. After all, Mark was not only their leader to her. He was her saviour, not only once but twice. Karla's existence also relied to him. In fact, she could also feel that Karla was being restless inside her. In one way or another, Mark was an irreplaceable person to her.

Karlene looked at her hands and sighed. Maybe, she started to understand why strength, not only normal strength, but overwhelming strength was needed in this world now. After all, although she was stronger than a normal human, she still needed to burrow Karla's abilities. Aside from that, she could do little. She could not even help in monstrous fights Mark experienced before.

While she was contemplating about her weakness...

RUMBLE!

The ground started shaking.

From the surprise, she stood up but the extreme shaking of the ground forced her down to the ground as she lost balance.

"What is happening?!"

She could not help but voice out.

Aside from her, Edzel and Amihan who were sleeping were woken up. Edzel managed to teeter out of the tent with great difficulty while Amihan who almost fell to the ground as she slept on the roof of the tent managed to stabilize herself in the air.

"Miss Karlene, what is happening?"

Edzel asked but of course, the person he asked also had no idea.

At that moment however, they saw Miracle and the [Blood Children] that had no difficulty in traversing the shaking ground. Watching them, Karlene, Amihan and Edzel could tell that rather than fear or worry, they all looked excited.

SHOOOM!

Strong air blew into the surroundings forcing Edzel and Karlene to shield their faces while Amihan was blown away. Amihan managed to stabilize herself in the air after Chaflar that was resting where she was blown towards blocked the incoming air with its wings for her. At the same time however, Chaflar was staring at the whirlwind of miasma that started to spin fiercely.

Despite their current state, Karlene and Edzel noticed the change in the miasma.

While the whirlwind of miasma spun faster and faster, its radius reduced slowly.

How long was it? All of them could not remember due to the spectacle. Maybe half hour or even an hour, they watched the whirlwind slowly reduce until it was just as wide as a concrete pipe used in city drainage systems and as tall as the acacia tree that should be about four to six meters high.

FOOOOM!

Like a bamboo slashed in half by a samurai, the whirlwind was divided vertically. With the last burst of air, the miasma gathered into the center forming a silhouette of a man and vanished. The shaking of the ground and the strong wind also stopped.

In the spot where miasma vanished, a man with tattered clothes stood holding a slime with both hands.

They then heard the man spoke with that familiar voice.

"So, it's you Crimson. No wonder the impact of miasma reduced drastically before."

The [Blood Child] shook as if telling that he was worried about the man.

In response, the man flicked its gelatinous body causing it to jiggle.

"Seriously, don't risk your lives for me will you? Well, it turned out good so I'll let it go this time."

The man smiled and patted the [Blood Child] gently.

The man was obviously Mark who finally woke up after the confrontation with the demon. His skin color had already returned to normal, no, rather, his skin became lighter than before. The black color that his skin had during the possession was gone and instead, black chain shaped tattoos could be seen on his neck, ankles and wrists. Although it the chains looked like tattoos in the first look, staring at the tattoos would make anyone without tolerance to negative energies feel uncomfortable.

Another change was his hair, before, it was just neck long but now, it reached the back of his knees. Furthermore, there was a streak of white hair just above his right eye.

On his hand, was Crimson, the very first [Blood Child] Mark found. However, the red colored [Blood Child] with streaks of black on its body was now different. It was still red in color but the streaks of black had turned into smoke like particles inside its body. He looked like a red snow globe with black smoke inside after the snow globe was shaken.

Mark then turned towards to the south east of the acacia tree. He saw a shadow of a child dash and jump towards him which he caught firmly.

"Father!"

Miracle bellowed with a cute smile on her face. The very rare times she showed an expression like this was really precious. Following behind her were the [Blood Children] that lagged behind due to the difference in speed. Mark could only walk towards them and receive their welcome.

As usual, the [Blood Children] clung unto him with great excitement. Alaula on the other hand bounced towards his neck and clung as he lowered his body. She was like a spoiled child clinging to her father. It was fine but she was rubbing herself to his neck with made him feel weird.

Noticing his discomfort, Crimson on his hand made an unexpected move.

POOF!

Crimson's body dispersed into black smoke which surrounded Alaula. The clingy Alaula was forced off Mark's neck and floated down to the ground surrounded by the smoke. As Alaula landed, the smoke gathered together and Crimson appeared once more and immediately made a tentacle which it used to hit Alaula. In return, Alaula retaliated in the same manner.

Mark saw what happened and was both amazed and helpless. Not only Crimson evolved but also became more intelligent. Looking at the two hitting each other, they looked like siblings bickering about small things.

He immediately separated the two and put Alaula on his head while held Crimson on his right hand. Despite that however, the two did not stop sending mental messages to each other and continued to bicker. Since it was just a bicker between two kids, Mark ignored them and made his way to the makeshift tent that was already almost broken. The other [Blood Children] were jealous about the treatment of Alaula and Crimson but they could only follow Mark while bouncing behind him.

"You all okay?"

Mark asked the unkempt looking Karlene and Edzel. The two looked dirty and haggard, they even had wounds on their bodies especially Karlene.

"My Lord!"

With a crying voice, Amihan rushed towards Mark even using her wind control subconsciously. Since if it continued, it was likely that she would hurt herself, Mark flicked his finger towards her direction. A small ball of black mist exploded behind her which erased the magical energy she was releasing and slowed her speed.

"UWA!!!"

Surprised, Amihan yelped and lost balance in the air.

Mark hurriedly put Crimson on the ground and caught her of course. He then reprimanded her.

"Be careful will you?"

"My Lord...."

She seemed to not hear his words and cried in joy. Feeling the genuine joy she had, Mark decided to let it go.

"Mark..."

"Boss!"

Karlene also started to cry in relief. Edzel was also the same but he tried to hold his emotions back.

"Look at you two, you two smell gross. Did you two not take a single bath?"

"Just whose fault is it?" Karlene bellowed while wiping her tears. "It's already the third day you know that?!"

"Alright, my bad." Mark bitterly smiled. "Wait... You said it's the third day?"

Karlene looked at the military wristwatch on her right wrist and pointed at it while showing it to Mark. She then psuehd the glow in the dark button revealing the time despite the darkness that was only lit by the campfire that was about to go off and Alaula's glow.

"It's already past midnight so it's the third day. You slept for two days already!"

Hearing that...

"Tch!"

Mark clicked his tongue. Even though he already used some countermeasures and even Crimson helped but he still took two days before everything assimilated in his body. Well, at least, it was not more than a week or so but the time was still tight.

Because of Alaula on his head, everyone could see Mark's unsightly expression.

"Boss, what happened? Is there something wrong in your body?"

Edzel asked with concern. After all, Mark had just overcome a dangerous situation. It would not be surprising if even a little went wrong.

"Nothing." Mark shook his head. "You two ready our things. I get you two was yourselves and we will leave immediately."

"But Mark... It's just past midnight."

"I know but we don't have much time left. We need to get to Bay City as soon as possible."

"Well Mark, you're the boss here."

Karlene replied shrugging her shoulders. She might look like she was forced but inside, she was rather happy to comply.

While Karlene and Edzel tidied up the things around the camp, Mark approached Chaflar.

"You rested plenty already right? I'm going to make you work hard this time."

"Growl?"

Chaflar flinched.

'Why is it different when it comes to me?'

The dragon thought.

At this time, Karlene called out.

"Mark, what should we do about her?"

Karlene approached bringing a rectangular uncovered box made of [Blood Metal]. Inside the box looked like a bed and lying on the bed was a small girl with wings.

She was the current guardian of the altar where the demon was sealed. As the guardian, her body was blessed to endure the corrosion of miasma which allowed her body to continue living.

Unfortunately, despite the body being alive, it was only an empty shell.