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324 Preparations, The Three Camps Waiting for the Brewing Event in Bay City

 Day 53 - 10:22 PM - Baclaran Church, Redemptorist Road, Bacalaran, Parañaque, Metro Manila

Mark watched Mei face with a gentle expression while he caressed her hair with his hand.

Right after they watched the leaders of the alliance leave their residence building, Mark and Mei stopped by the "Team Fairy's" residence and secretly picked up the three girls and Amihan. As for Odelina, she had to stay back in order to hide the fact that Iola and Abbygale was not there.

After picking the girls up, they all returned to Baclaran Church in order to prepare. Upon their return, Karlene was delighted to meet Iola and Abbygale. Together with Miracle and the other [Blood Children] they started playing. As it looked like, Karlene's childish trait made it easier for her to interact with children.

While the girls played inside the church, Mark brought Mei into the one of the rooms inside the church where they slept at in the past few days. There, Mark made Mei consume both crystals at the same time and helped her with the pain she felt during her mutation.

It had been several hours since then and it was very likely that Mei would not wake up anytime soon. In the least, her condition had already stabilized.

Since it was the case, he decided to start his own preparation.

He moved into another room and took out the plastic medicine bottle that he had shown Mei before which contained blood. This blood came from that [Leader Type] infected with bat wings that Mei had confronted before. With this blood, he would be able to gain the same kind of mutation the source of the blood had.

It was his newest ability that came in collateral at that time he was possessed by the Deity of Bloodshed. The ability that came from the [Physical Crystal] he consumed at that time.

He thought that it was a mutation that could turn people into a chimera like creature as he saw from the lackey of the cougar in Death Valley Settlement. When he consumed it however, he learned that it was far more than that. It was not a mutation to turn someone into a chimera but a mutation that allowed someone to fuse genes or DNA into his body and receive the mutation that gene had. The ability of this mutation was rather overpowered in his view that he could not help but curse in shock at that time.

This ability was what he called [Gene Fusion], an ability that totally complemented his [Blood Conversion]. As he could absorb and convert blood of others into his, it was easier for him to fuse other's genes unto his body.

However, it came with a setback. This mutation cannot be controlled easily. If he carelessly absorbed just anyone's and anything's blood, he could turn into a monster in no time at all. Due to that, he was avoiding absorbing blood of others as much as possible since he gained this mutation. The least he could do during time he was sucking blood and turning them into metal was to not include the white blood cells and other cells in the blood that could contain DNA and just focused on absorbing those that surely did not.

Another setback was that the fusion was extremely painful.

This time, he was going to undergo [Gene Fusion] for the first time and it was to acquire that [Bat Wings] mutation.

Without further ado, he let out a [Blood Whip] and made it absorb the blood inside the bottle. After the bottle was emptied, he closed his eyes and prepared for the next thing that would happen.

"URGH!"

Mark grit his teeth trying not to make a single loud sound. Unlike the [Physical Crystals] that would fuse the mutation contained within directly to the person's body which only caused pain during the change, what Mark was undergoing right now was a full genetic mutation.

If it were to be described in a vague sense, the crystals would change the current genes of the user into the same mutated genes. It was more like the crystal was cultivating their genes to be capable of having that mutation.

On the other hand, [Gene Fusion] was making two genes fuse with one another. The already mutated gene was being fused into his genes changing its very structure. Because of that however, the process was severely shortened compared to using crystals and actual mutation after a person was bitten by the infected.

It might be painful but because of the fusion, the compatibility of his body to the new mutation he would get would be as high as possible. Due to the high compatibility, it would be easier for him to use the ability than actual Mutators.

While the others were oblivious to the pain Mark was undergoing, the [Blood Children] could sense it. It did not take long and they entered the room with Miracle in the lead. They surrounded him in total worry but they decided not to approach and touch him as his body was totally sensitive at this moment.

Three hours passed and Mark was finally able to breathe calmly. His body was drenched in sweat and he was feeling quite numb but the pain was over.

The [Blood Children] were finally able to approach him.

"Is Papa ok? Still painful?"

Miracle who already adapted her older sister's address to their adoptive father asked with a worried expression.

Mark patted her head and before patting the other [Blood Children].

"I'm fine already."

Of course, they did not believe him. This was the set back of having a mental connection with them. It would not be easy to fool these children.

"Papa... lying is bad."

"Haha." Mark laughed it off. "I'm alright really. My back is just a little numb."

Finally, Mark stood up from his position. With the [Blood Children] in tow, he entered the room where Mei was left unconscious.

Mei was still asleep when he entered. He wiped off the sweat from his body, changed clothes and lay down on the bed beside her. He was feeling sleepy after the tiring pain he had undergone.

As he tried to sleep, Miracle and the other [Blood Children] surrounded him and also shut down their senses. With the Alpha and Aimee around, there would be no actual danger that would go to them in this church. They could take a good sleep without worries.

While he was sleeping however, two little silhouettes entered the room. The two looked displeased and forced their little bodies into the bed. Luckily, the bed could still accommodate the two.

When morning came, Mark woke up with a whole mess on the bed. Mei also regained consciousness just before Mark was able to fix the mess.

***

Day 54 - 10:32 AM - General's Office, North District, Bay City Settlement, Pasay City, Metro Manila

"General, when are we going to make a move about this?"

Major Lopez asked the General with a furious expression.

The higher officials of the military in Bay City were called into a meeting this time. Their topic in this meeting was the sudden news that arrived to them yesterday. The news contained the existence of the alliance, the power behind Senator Estrada and the scheme that caused Mei Xiao's disappearance.

This alliance was not all new in the military's perspective as it was obvious in the first place. The secret meetings, the secured meeting room and some other things were too obvious to escape the eyes of the military in this settlement.

What made the officials shocked was the possibility of a strong power backing the Senator and the scheme that led the military to lose a lot of people, prestige and the supposed assassination of Mei Xiao.

Unexpectedly, all these things were disclosed by the actual members of that alliance that decided to turn over to the military because of the threat to their lives. This was not all false as two of their members were already killed in just two days.

"I know." General Perez replied with a stern expression. "However, we are soldiers and we have our S.O.P.s. We can't just storm there without proper planning and preparations."

"Well, that is true..." Hearing that, Major Lopez backed down. "But we shouldn't make it long. The rumors are running about already."

Those words of the Major made the officials in the room shake their heads.

The former members of the alliance led by Senator Estrada were surely using them as a shield. They did not only inform the military about those things but also anonymously spread rumors about the news across the settlement. Because the news was too crucial and had something to do with what happened in NAIA, it spread like wildfire overnight.

Just this morning, the military already received petitions for a faster investigation about the matter.

Due to this, the military would surely be forced to make a move as the pigs planned.

"There is nothing we can do but delay it a bit." General Perez sighed. "The previous event in NAIA pushed us to another lack of manpower. If there is really a large power supporting Estrada from behind, we really can't take the matters lightly."

***

Day 54 - 11:13 AM - Estrada Residence, Government Officials' Residences, North District, Bay City Settlement, Pasay City, Metro Manila

BAM!

Senator Estrada slammed his fists on the table in total anger.

"Those traitors!"

He roared.

"What are you going to do now Senator?" Devon spoke in a mocking tone. "The whole settlement is condemning you now. So much for raising your influence over the people of this settlement."

Hearing those words made the Senator glare at Devon but he did not say anything back.

"I already told you before that they might stab us in the back."

"Tsk. But is it my fault that they turned their backs towards us?"

"Maybe not but that did not really matter now."

Devon moved to sat on an empty chair instead of standing behind the senator.

"Where are those bastards now?"

Senator Estrada asked.

"They seemed to be relocated in a secure area. The two shadow people under me cannot enter the place at all. If they did, it was really likely for them to be discovered."

"Where are they relocated?"

"Somewhere inside the laboratories. You know that that place is the most secure place here. The hallways are painted white and the lights are always open. My shadow people had no place to hide there."

"Dammit!"

The senator cursed once again. He could not wait to tear those traitors into pieces.

He was really furious. All the things he worked towards to were gone in an instant. With the rumors of his scheme flying around from one mouth to another, the prestige he tried to build up crumbled within a single night. Even if the investigation went in favor of him, there was no way for the things he lost to return.

This time, Devon spoke.

"The deaths of those two had nothing to do with us which meant that there is someone pulling the strings behind everyone. Now, it is inevitable that we will have to clash with the military if we wanted to rule this settlement."

"We don't have any other choice do we?"

"For sure, the military won't make a move immediately." Devon smiled sinisterly which also made the Senator shiver. "We can choose that free time to prepare against them. Also in the meantime, I'll inform all our men in this settlement and those that are staying outside."

"How long do you think before the military make their move?"

"According to their Standard Operating Procedures, they will finish the initial investigations first towards the deaths of those two. They will appear before us in another day or two. The longest will be three."

"Then call upon all your men. If they started to investigate me, it will only pretense but it is very likely that they will try to get rid of me."

Hearing that command, Devon smiled.

"About calling everyone, it doesn't matter. I'll tell you something, several people from our headquarters will pay a visit here in the next days. Let's see if the military will be able to do anything.