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343 A Day After the Shaking Event, Handing Over the Package He was Tasked to Deliver

 Day 55 - 9:22 AM - South East Tower, Military Residences, North District, Bay City Settlement, Pasay City, Metro Manila

A new dawn had come several hours ago marking the start of the new day after the battle in the Industrial Area was concluded.

At the Industrial Area, people were in droves working to recover anything they could and clean up the debris scattered all around. The battle yesterday caused a huge loss for the settlement but thinking positively, this loss was better than being conquered by another force that was totally unfamiliar to the people here. If they had succeeded, who would have known what would happen in the future.

The friends and the relatives of those that were abducted by the organization also came to the area to look. However, not to mention seeing their dead bodies, not even a hem of their clothes were found after the flame demon burned their bodies to ash and used their skulls as puppets. All they found were hundreds of scorched skulls rolling on the ground but who would know which skull belonged to whom?

And thus, these people could only mourn while holding onto their prayers wishing that their loved ones would watch over them from the heavens.

Mark was watching that scene through the window of the room on the highest floor of the hotel he was allowed to stay. Yesterday was a tiring day for everyone, especially him. Not only that he fought against a [False Deity] but his body had gone another enhancement due to the stimulation of Mutagen in his body during the battle.

"I still have to get used to this."

Mark said as he shook his wrist. The black marks on his body that appeared after he devoured the Deity of Bloodshed had changed and became a bit larger.

"Gege, is something wrong with your hand?"

Mei who was holding a cup of coffee to give to Mark asked from behind.

"No, its fine. I'm just not used to this."

"It doesn't look bad."

Mei said while looking at Mark's wrist as he took the cup of coffee from her.

Mark shrugged his shoulders and looked out of the window once more while he took a sip on his coffee.

After the battle yesterday, the next events overwhelmed him.

When his friends got the chance, they crowded him in glee for his return. Some shed tears while others shouted in joy. Since Mark was separated from them almost two months ago, the chance of him returning was rather slim in their view. After all, it was the end of the world where even their closest loved one could die tomorrow or the next day.

Yet, he returned and even became someone powerful.

Apparently, they came after they received the news that Mei returned. Many people saw Mei enter the gates and when she and the others were escorted by the military. When they arrived to see Mei, they saw the rest of the battle inside the Industrial Area.

Unfortunately, Mark was not used to that kind of welcome. If not for Mei and the children being there, he would have escaped immediately.

After the crowd had calmed down, it was the time he was greeted by the officers of the military. The introduction of the General and his talk with them was rather short since both parties were not in the mood to do a long talk. Mark was tired and the military had to deal with the aftermath making them agree to schedule a formal meeting some other time.

At that time, he made sure that the military would collect the body of Gar'Vlam for him and not tinker with it which the general agreed readily. He also took claim for the hooded robes that the members of the organization wore since he had uses for those garments.

With everyone, they returned to the residence and he was given this room which was one of the most luxurious suites in the hotel. Of course, Mei, Abbygale and Iola immediately joined him in the room together with Amihan and Aephelia who gained consciousness shortly after Chaflar returned to where Mei and the others hid.

When they reached the room, Aephelia immediately apologized for the blunder that happened because of her. However, it was not really necessary since it was not her fault at all. Still, it did not make her cheer up and just promised her loyalty until the end of her life.

Sure enough, that was an absurd kind of repentance for the small blunder that could not be helped but she was so adamant about it.

After that, the military had been considerate leaving him alone and allowing him to rest. The other people were not though.

The news of him and the battle he had with the flame demon circulated fast within the settlement. It was because everyone in the settlement wanted to know the things that happened in the Industrial Area and someone leaked the story. The military tried to cover it up but unfortunately, it did not work on the people who had eyes in the military.

That was why an hour after Mark arrived at the hotel suite until the sunset, a lot of unwanted visitors came to greet him.

Of course, he did not and would not care about them and as such, he just sent a soldier to push them away. Unfortunately, it would surely not be the end of them coming to try to meet him.

At night, Mark snuck out with Mei, Chaflar, Amihan and Aephelia. It was to retrieve their things that were buried in the ruins of the church. The fragile things were done for. Good enough, even though the case was dented, the package he had to deliver remained intact inside due to the careful packaging it had inside.

Unfortunately, the Alpha was found dead. It seemed that its head was crushed by large debris that had fallen from the roof of the church.

The night after that was rather peaceful. Well, the double bed was rather crowded though.

Mark looked at the bed where three little girls were still asleep along with the [Blood Children] around them. Ivy however was sleeping on the side table though. Although it looked bad with her being isolated like that but it could not be helped. Her body was made of poisonous blood.

"Should I wake them up?"

Mei suggested which Mark shook his head to.

"Just let them sleep. It's not like there are urgent things to do."

Mark emptied his cup.

"By the way, I'm going out later."

"To deliver the package?"

"Right, want to come with me?"

Mark asked and surprisingly, Mei shook her head.

"I'll just stay."

"Well, this is unusual." Mark said. "Is there something wrong?"

"My family's residence is near the General's office so it's very likely that we will run into them. I rather not see them."

"I see..." Mark patted her head. "Okay, you stay here with the children."

"Yes."

***

When noon came, Mark left the hotel carrying two metal suitcases. This time, he was going to traverse the settlement like a normal person so he was escorted by soldiers to a vehicle which drove off towards the military grounds west of the hotel.

They arrived shortly and Mark went out of the vehicle in front of a former call center building.

Before Mark could enter the building with his guards and guide however, he suddenly turned his head on the other side of the road. There, he saw two people who seemed to be walking towards the same building he was going to enter.

"Mei'er was right. It's good that she didn't come."

Mark murmured before turning and entering the building.

After arriving at the third floor, the soldier that served as Mark's guide knocked on a certain door.

"General, he's here."

The soldier that guided Mark called out.

"Let him in."

A middle aged voice replied to the knock.

Instead of immediately entering however, Mark sighed.

When he entered, it was not just the General inside the office. It was expected that Captain Dela Rosa and Major Lopez would be present but it was not just the two. There were another two males and three females in the office.

Seeing that Mark was panning his eyes towards the people inside the office, the General spoke first.

"My apologies. I know this should be a formal meeting but there are people here that had requests to meet you."

Mark just shrugged his shoulders. As if he could do anything.

Inside the room were the General's three children, Rafael, Angeline and Gabriel. Together with them were Paula and an older woman that had the same fluctuation as Paula obviously indicating that she was Paula's mother.

"You don't have to be stiff." The woman spoke. "I'm Alicea, Paula's mother. I'm just here to personally thank you for helping my daughter before. If not for you, she might not be here standing with me."

Alicea approached Mark and offered a hand shake.

With a sigh, Mark accepted the handshake.

"It seems that you dislike handshakes."

Alicea spoke which made Mark look straight at her.

"So, you can tell lies just by gestures. You're stronger than your daughter."

"My, my. It's just from experience. Besides, my daughter is still young. If you like, I can give her to you."

"MOM!"

She tried to joke which made Paula beet red in embarrassment.

"No thanks."

Mark replied without a change in his expression which made Alicea sigh.

"There's no lie in that. Is my daughter not attractive enough?"

Alicea continued as she was being pulled away by her daughter.

On the other hand, the three military officers could only shrug their shoulders seeing Alicea's antics. It looked like they were already used to her weirdness.

To the side, Angeline was just staring at Mark as if trying to remember something. As she did not speak, Mark just ignored her and went straight to business.

"Here's the packages General Faustino told be to deliver."

After they received the two metal cases, the three officers checked the contents and skimmed over the papers.

"We confirmed it. The contents were the same as what is said with the report we received."

There, the General placed another two cases on the table in front of Mark.

"We would like you to deliver this when you return there. Is it possible? We already knew that you built your own base in Quezon and for sure, you will be returning there with your group."

"I don't mind but what about the payment."

"We knew that you will say that."

The general placed another case on the table.

"We heard that you are interested with the military research and prepared a copy of ours. Aside from that, we will prepare seeds of the so called [Energy Rice] Professor Sandoval developed. Are those enough?"

Mark took the case and opened it. There, he saw stacks of papers which showed the findings of the military about the infected in the area along with the profiles of each type of infected the military encountered. Seeing some of the names, Mark turned his head towards the General.

"Z-Type A-1: Biter, Z-Type B-1: Eater. It seems like you guys adopted my naming pattern."

"Yes." The General nodded. "Miss Odelina gave us the phone with the application you programmed containing information of the infected your group encountered in Bacoor, Cavite. Since it was easier for our soldiers to remember these kinds names, we decided to implement them along with the classification name given by our scientists."

Hearing that, Mark nodded. It seemed that he also had a hand with some of the things that happened in the military and this settlement.

"Alright, this is enough along with the seeds. We need those in the base we are developing." Mark was satisfied with the papers he had received and carefully returned the research into the case. "Now, there is another thing you wanted to ask me right?"

"Haha, it seems we can't hide it." The General laughed. "Actually, it was not serious but just a personal question."

General Perez looked straight at Mark.

"Are you the one that cured my daughter?"