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317 A New Species of Infected, Triggered by the Blessings of the Great One

 Day 48 - 7:08 AM - Airfield, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Pasay City, Metro Manila

BAM! BOOM! CRASH!

Loud sounds echoed inside the airport as the multitudes of mutated infected tried to besiege the strange creature that came out of the largest pod.

Inside his subspace, Mark saw everything from above. He found it strange that something like this hatched out from the pod and the infected outside started to behave strangely after it came out. Since yesterday, he saw the Alpha guarding the pod for some reason. The other infected did not have interest in the large pod or even the other pods here as if it was natural that the pods existed here.

However, it became strange when the new pods hatched. From the stories he heard from Mei, they had seen an infected nest before and there were also pods in that nest that could give birth to strong mutated infected. However, she never mentioned about the infected trying to eat the remains of the pods.

Another thing, if the Alpha and the other infected here wanted something from that strange creature, they would not have waited till the time it hatched and destroyed the pod from the beginning.

A realization came into Mark's mind...

"A change happened overnight when we are resting."

And the only thing that could have caused the change was the clouds made up of spiritual energy that the Great One released yesterday.

The infected were attracted to psychic energy and the like, he knew about it long ago. It just meant that these pods were affected heavily by the spiritual energy of the Great One. The smaller pods were still fine but the largest pod that could have been the most affected among the pods changed the being inside it differently.

Although it might just be an assumption...

"That thing is similar to the infected in Eriellis..."

Mark muttered.

That thing surely had both qualities of an infected with high level mutation like the Alpha but the physical characteristic of the [Eye God].

Of course, it was not also the same as those psychic infected in Eriellis. If it was, Aephelia would have detected it. In a sense, this thing was an entirely different species.

While the fight between the infected was on going, Mark dived straight towards the remains of the largest pod. He was aiming for that stone lying at the center of the remains. Now that Mark was closer, he could see how large the stone was. If it was just fist size or even smaller, Mei would not noticed it but it was as large as an average sized human's torso.

Seeing this large stone together with that strange infected coming from a single pod was strange. The other pods did not have anything like this. Furthermore, the infected did not seem to have any interest on the stone as the infected that besieged the remains of the pod started to feast on the remains without even trying to approach the stone.

Mid-air, Mark appeared and disappeared one last time before appearing beside the stone. As he was closer, he could now see the stone clearly. Its surface was really like a rock. The stone was shaped in a perfect sphere although its surface was rather rough.

The stone's color and appearance was similar to the strange the ones found in Bosnia but of course, the one in front of Mark was not as large as those.

Mark touched the stone with his right hand but strange enough, Mark could not feel anything strange with it. It was as if it was just a normal stone that was coincidentally put inside the pod. Of course, Mark would not think of that.

Although rare, many mutated infected had [Mutagen Stones] in their brains. Even though Mark could not feel anything from the stone and the [PsyCrystal] was not reacting to it, it did not mean that the stone was a normal one. In any case, he needed to take it away and study it.

Mark's sudden appearance immediately alerted the infected around the pod and swarmed towards him. However, not a single one of them managed to even touch the hem of his jacket as he immediately picked the stone from the ground and vanished from the spot he stood.

The infected were confused as to where their target vanished to but it just took several seconds before they came back to their feast.

After vanishing, Mark immediately returned towards the roof of the terminal.

"Gege, how is it?"

Mei and Miracle were the first one to notice Mark returned as the others were immersed in watching the battle between the two giants.

"It's strange, it look like a normal stone." Mark put the stone down while the others started to surround it. "The infected from the pod did not even mind me taking it. I expect that it will chase me or go hysterical if the stone is taken."

Mark turned his head at the battle with a strange expression.

He knew that the strange female infected noticed him when he appeared and took the stone but she did not even try to chase him. There was not even a pint of killing intent. Rather, there was surprise on her face as he saw him which turned to relief when he took the stone.

It was as if, that infected had a high level of intelligence. No, it would not be wrong to say that she had ego. After all, all what normal infected could show in their faces were rage, hunger and their twisted unrecognizable expressions.

Looking at the situation below, just how many infected had already died in the short time Mark took the stone?

The area around the nest already looked devastated from the fight. A lot of dead bodies of normal and weaker mutated infected littered the ground. There was already too many and the ones that had their bodies smashed into meat paste were not included. After all, just the size of the foot and hands of the Alpha were as big as and as heavy as a wrecking ball.

"What are we going to do next?"

Karlene asked while watching the situation below.

With the current state, there would be no way for them to kill those infected. Furthermore, the female infected was already physically strong to resist the besiegement of her enemies even though there was several hundreds of infected attacking her at the same time.

Her tentacles whipped normal infected into unrecognizable bits and pieces. The hands on the tentacles grabbed and crushed the mutated ones. It was all happening while her upper body contended with the Alpha. Her multi-tasking ability was rather high for an infected. Furthermore, unlike the Alpha that was attacking her randomly and throwing anything it could reach around towards her, the strange infected was able to read the Alpha's movements.

"Let me try something first."

Mark said as he vanished from the roof top once again. This time however, he charged towards the center of the fight. He approached the two giants up to a certain distance and landed on the roof of an airplane abandoned in the middle of the runway.

Then...

"HEY! CAN YOU UNDERSTAND ME?!"

Mark shouted.

Karlene, Edzel and Amihan on the roof of the terminal froze. Aephelia on the other hand slapped her forehead.

On the other hand, the female infected turned her head towards Mark and ended up with her face punched by the Alpha due to being distracted.

"Woops."

Mark vanished from the airplane as a loading vehicle was thrown towards him and ended up crashing onto the airplane.

Since Mark saw that surprised expression on the female infected, he thought that she had developed an ego to a certain extent. Sure enough, she did to some extent. As Mark moved closer to her position, enough that she was inside Mark's Emphatic detection, Mark felt a consciousness inside her. Also when she turned her head, there was both surprise and confusion seeing Mark calling unto her.

She was different from the normal infected. Unlike the Alpha that immediately attacked by throwing something at Mark, the female did not try to do anything and was distracted from the fight instead.

It made Mark have the impression that this creature was only fighting because she was attacked first rather than fighting because she wanted to.

When Mark vanished from the airplane, he returned to the roof top once more.

"Your Majesty, just what are you doing?"

Aephelia asked with an exasperated expression.

"I'm just trying out something. Aephelia, come with me and try taking control of the Alpha."

"Your Majesty, wai-!!!"

Aephelia's voice vanished as Mark hurriedly grabbed her and vanished once more.

The next time she appeared, she was falling above the head of the Alpha.

"WAAAAH!!!"

She screamed as she tried her best to balance herself and fly with her wings.

"Your Majesty!!!"

Aephelia shouted while pouting as she regained her balance in flight. She was angry. Nevertheless, she started to try to control the Alpha. However, it was not easy as the Alpha had a higher intelligence compared to the other infected thei encountered from the start.

As Aephelia's ability activated, the Alpha who was entangle with the fight against the female infected froze for a second before it started to trash around. Its heavy arms pounded the ground and its large feet stomped craters on the runway. It was roaring wildly that even the female infected froze and backed off in fright. Since the Alpha was flailing randomly, she was not able to read its movements anymore and was also hit several times.

BAM!

The female infected tried to dodge a sudden wild flail of the Alpha but was sent off flying as she failed. She then fell on the ground. Her lower chest sunk in and it was obvious that she badly broke some of her ribs.

While she was struggling to lift her body and whipped away the incoming infected with her tentacles, she heard steps by her side.

There, she saw Mark approaching her.

"Say, you can understand me right?"

Mark asked. Being stared by multiple eyes on the female infected's face felt uncomfortable but he had to confirm things. To his surprise...

"Gra-... Gur-... GRRR-..."

The female infected opened her mouth several times. She tried to speak but it seemed that she was not able to and was only able to release faint growling sounds from her throat.

She seemed disappointed and she touched her throat with her large hands. A sad expression was on her face as she was not able to convey what she wanted to say.

Fortunately for her...

"I see. You remember being human right?"

She heard Mark say which opened her dozen eyes on her face as wide as she could. Tears started to drip on her face like a fountain.

"GRA! GRER!"

She cried out.

"Okay, I changed my mind. Want to come with me?"

Mark said with great interest.

What Mark said seemed to have ticked something in her and she started to make begging gestures and letting out growling sounds.

He turned towards Aephelia on the air.

"Aephelia, how long will that take?"

"Your Majesty! Please, don't rush me!"

She shouted back as she concentrated hard to take control of the Alpha.

"Alright then."

Mark replied as he made his way towards the center of the runway. He raised his hand forward and the [PsyCrystal] shined comparable to the sun. The female infected seemed to be confused and just followed behind him while attacking the infected that came near with her tentacles.

The moment the light shone from the [PsyCrystal], dozens of buzzing sounds was heard and nail sized pebbles from around the area flew towards his hand.

"Yep, this is quite a lot."

Mark smiled as he stuffed the [Mutagen Stones] into his pocket.

"We're going."

He said and grabbed the female infected by her left arm. The two vanished from the place. It did not take long and the Alpha calmed down and with Aephelia's control, it also left the runway leaving the other infected with nothing but the remains of the pods left behind.

***

No one but a single person knew about the clear liquid gushing out from several tanker trucks parked near the docking of Terminal 2. The liquid slowly spread around the airport, especially the nest. The infected feasted on the remains of the pods while splashing the liquid onto their feet and other places.

Several minutes later, flames and explosions engulfed the nest leaving nothing but burnt debris and ashes after the flames were extinguished on their own more than a day later.