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344 Family Matters, The Generals Personal Reques

 Day 55 - 12:32 PM - General's Office, North District, Bay City Settlement, Pasay City, Metro Manila

"So, is this really the reason why these mother and daughter are here?"

Mark said as it was the first thing that entered his mind after hearing this question. He looked at Paula and Alicea that were both shaking their heads though.

"Please, don't misunderstand." The General said with a serious expression. "Even if they are not here, I will still ask the same question. I just want to know it."

Feeling the emotional fluctuation of the General, Mark knew that he saying the truth. Furthermore, not only the General was taking the question seriously but also his children.

Looking back at the General, Mark spoke.

"Well, if no one really asked about it, I won't say anything but since you asked, I don't really have to hide it either."

"Then it's true that you saved me."

Angeline spoke from the side which Mark nodded to.

That was right. Although it was somewhat inconvenient, Mark really had no reason to hide it. Even if he had the ability like this to help people with the same state as Angeline, no one could force him to do so if he did not want to. Another thing was that the General's family could owe him because of this.

The General was rather relieved that Mark did not deny it.

"Still, what gave it away? I don't think that your Angeline suddenly recovering would lead towards me. Maybe, she just woke up on her own."

Mark asked.

"Actually, there are a few reasons but most of them could only bring us to speculations. Even though Angeline's body was in a stable state, none of the doctors could say whether she will be able to wake up in the future. That was why her recovery was too abrupt. Also that..."

General answered Mark's question and turned to Angeline. There, Angeline's armed turned black colored which indicated that she activated her ability.

"My daughter suddenly turned into a Mutator with an ability Lopez and Dela Rosa had seen before. The member of the syndicate called Black Devil. Furthermore, it is known that you handled his body at that time. It that was just it, we wouldn't have suspected you and think that it is just a coincidence but the report from the settlement in Quezon about you came."

General Perez placed a folder in the table which Mark opened. There, his updated profile along with a picture that was probably taken from a screenshot of the drone during the battle with horde controlled by the infected insect. Among the unconfirmed information however, one of the things listed would surely alert anyone.

It was the ability to usurp a Mutator's ability and give it to someone else whether it was human or animal. There, even the reasons for the speculation were listed. Along the lines, even Drake's and Chaflar's names were listed.

"So, it's because of this. Seriously, can't I have some privacy from you soldiers?"

Mark complained as he returned the folder.

"My apologies but it's also our job to monitor people like you. Although to tell the truth, I want to leave you alone with your business. Sir Faustino is also the same. That is why this new report is not circulated to other settlements but was only known by us here in this room."

"Is that so? It seems like I made a blunder. I should have used another ability to give her." Mark said with a bit of relief. "Now that you confirmed that I can do what is said in this report, what's next?"

With how the things proceeded here, Mark expected that the General might ask him for something. And as he expected, there was. What he did not expect was what the General would ask of him.

"Actually, I want to ask for your aid once more."

The General spoke in a tone not as the highest person in this settlement but as someone who seemed to be begging in the streets.

"You want me to strengthen people and turn them to Mutators?"

Mark spoke with a little glare. Although creating a single [Physical Crystal] only needed two [Mutagen Stones] it would not come cheap as he was the only person who could do this.

To Mark's surprise, the General shook his head.

"Although it really is a good opportunity to ask something like that, I'm sure, we won't have anything to give in exchange. Also what I am going to ask isn't for the military. I'm not speaking as a soldier right now but as a husband who wanted to see his wife to live like a living person."

This was a surprise. Mark could tell that all the people inside this room knew of this.

"Your wife?"

"Yes." The General nodded. "Are you free after this? I want to take you to see her."

"I didn't say that I will agree to help you. I don't even know if I can help her."

"I know. Even if you don't agree, I just want her to meet the person that saved our daughter. Is that fine?"

Hearing that, Mark started to contemplate. It was then that General Perez remembered something.

"Oh, right. My wife is currently confined in the laboratory. I just remembered that Isaach wanted to meet you."

"That scientist?" Mark frowned. "I heard that he had been annoying Mei'er and my friends. Is it about Janette again? Or he had his eyes on the body of that demon now?"

"I don't know. He just said that he had something to talk to you about and he looked serious."

"Is that so?"

Mark tapped his chin and finally decided.

"Alright I'll go. Are we going now?"

Hearing him agree lightened the complexion of the general and his children.

"We'll go immediately." General Perez stood from his seat. "Dela Rosa, Lopez, I'll leave the office to you two."

"There are no problems with me."

Captain Dela Rosa nodded.

"Just go. You deserve a break to spend with your family. Though you have to come back immediately after your private business."

Major Lopez revealed a rare smile in his stern looking face.

There, everyone in the room went out to prepare to leave. The Captain and the Major also went out to accompany everyone until the doors of the building.

While walking, Mark could tell that just his agreement to meet the said wife of General Perez made all the members of their family feel better. This was a family of good people, a family that viewed gratitude and debt rather highly. Since they were in debt to him in many ways, they wanted to show their sincerity even in the smallest things they did.

They were all ready to go out of the building. However, the General was stopped at the lobby.

As they said, it was easier to encounter people who you did not want to meet.

"General, you're going out? We want to talk to you about something."

A stout man together with a younger dandy looking man stopped the General and spoke without putting his eyes on the people around the General.

Mark however, felt rather displeased.

These two people were Xiao Jin and Xiao Hao, Mei's father and older brother.

Finally, Xiao Jin noticed that there were people together with the general. Seeing Paula and Alicea though, his expression turned into a wary one for a split second before hiding it.

"Ah, you were with your children and Miss and Missus Clarence. Pardon me if I failed to greet all of you properly Also to Captain Dela Rosa and Major Lopez." Then, Xiao Jin's eyes fell on Mark. "This person is?"

General Perez was rather troubled by the question. As Mei had already shared her experiences with her family to Angeline and Paula, it already reached the General. The worst thing now was that the person Xiao Jin was asking about was the current partner of his daughter.

Mark on the other hand felt a bit of relief. His name and deed yesterday might have spread to everyone in this settlement but no one actually saw his face aside from the soldiers. It was also the effect of not agreeing to meet anyone yesterday.

As such, to the General's predicament...

"Please don't mind me. I'm just a courier."

Mark smiled rather amicably which made Paula, Alicea and Angeline feel squeamish. Angeline and Paula had interacted with Mark before and he was mostly stern faced and would only smile in front of Mei or Abbygale. Even so, his smile would give him a natural atmosphere. This time however, it was obvious that he was faking it.

Alicea on the other hand could tell that Mark's smile and gestures were total lies. She could not help but feel a little cold on her back since she could feel the hidden killing intent behind that smile.

Hearing that Mark was just a courier, Xiao Jin immediately lost interest and did not put Mark in his eyes anymore and continued to speak to General Perez.

Seeing what happened, Mark turned to Captain Dela Rosa and Major Lopez.

"I'll be waiting outside."

And he proceeded to walk out of the building.

The General was troubled in this circumstance as with the status of the Xiao Family in the settlement was not something he could just ignore either. In the end, he could only gesture Angeline to run after Mark. As such, Angeline and Paula ran off to follow him. Aside from the two girls, Captain Dela Rosa also followed.

As Xiao Hao was concentrated on speaking with the General, he did not notice the two girls leaving but Xiao Jin saw it all. It made the man think as to why it looked like that General Perez and his family seemed to value a mere courier.

***

"Why didn't you introduce yourself to Mei's father and Brother?"

Angeline asked in curiousity.

"Ange, you're behaving badly again." Paula reprimanded. "People had different circumstances. Remember that Mei want to separate from her family."

"I know. But isn't it better if they knew who they will face if they still forced her to come back?"

Finally, Mark replied.

"It's not that simple. Their status here in the settlement isn't low at all and they can make it more difficult for everyone here. It includes your father. Since they didn't know who I am, they won't be able to try and measure me. They will be cautious to make forceful move over anyone."

"Why? Wouldn't they be afraid of you? The thing that happened yesterday, everyone knew of it already."

Angeline asked in confusion.

"Knowing didn't mean believing it." Mark replied as he leaned his back at the wall of the building. "Aside from the soldiers and a very small group of people, no one else witnessed what really happened. Since I didn't entertain those people that tried to meet me yesterday, they will start to think that I am just a fabrication of the military to put people in control for a while. After all, the whole settlement right now is very unstable."

"That's..."

"Ange, Mark is right. You know that aside from Senator Estrada, there are others that are eying your father's position."

The three continued to chat with Captain Dela Rosa serving as their guard at the side.

Soon, the Xiao father and son walked out of the building with rather serious faces. They saw the three talking near the entrance but just glanced at them before the two left straight home.

It did not take long and the General together with his sons, Alicea and Major Lopez also came out. This time, there was a rather heavy atmosphere around them.

"Dad. What did talk to you about? Why do you look so serious?"

Angeline hurried to ask her father.

However, he turned to Mark first before replying.

"Let's get into the car first. I'll tell it on the way."

The General's personal armored car arrived soon and everyone boarded it.

From the General's look at that time, it seemed that what those two talked to General about had something to do with him or Mei.