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345 The Strange Coincidence, Meeting the Generals Wife

 Day 55 - 1:03 PM - J.W. Diokno Blvd.,  North District, Bay City Settlement, Pasay City, Metro Manila

Two armored vehicles left the military office following north of the main road just in front of one of the most prestigious malls in the Philippines, the Asian Mall.

Inside the first vehicle which was the General's personal vehicle, there was Mark, General Miguel Perez and his children with Rafael as the driver. On the second vehicle, Alicea drove with her daughter.

"Now, Dad, what is that about?"

Angeline asked.

In response to that question however, General Perez turned to Mark.

"Those two came to me to arrange a meeting with you and Mei."

"So, what do they want now?" Mark felt annoyed. "Before, they wanted Mei'er to return to them after she gained enough status here in Bay City. Are they changing their plans now?"

"That's right. They're goals are too obvious to anyone in the know. At first, when they learned that Mei arrived here safely, their approach to take her back was rather aggressive but their motivation isn't there. As time had passed by however and Mei showed great promise together with her group, their approach became less aggressive but more desperate."

"Unfortunately for them, Mei'er doesn't want to be their pawn anymore."

"That is right." The General nodded. "The Xiao Family is an ambitious one. Although they don't vie the position of the military in Bay City, they wanted to have the same prestige and power. If they have Mei and her group who was recognized by the people in Bay City, it is very likely that they would be able to recruit more people and open an alliance with other well-known families and individuals here Bay City. However, they don't have enough strength to force her to return."

General Perez faced Mark with a mysterious expression.

"Do you want to know their plans before?"

"Don't try to be mysterious. Just say it."

"They learned that her previous fiancé didn't make it so they wanted to arrange another. Do you know Raver? Raver Guevarra?"

"That so called Genius Businessman? That dandy guy in Estrada's alliance?"

"Oh, of course you will him. You already dealt with his men right? That is their plan at first but they had to cancel it when "Team Fairy" started to participate in a lot of activities of the military and the defense forces of the settlement."

General Perez leaned on his seat and faced forward.

"Now, they wanted me to arrange a meeting between you two and their family. Most likely to tie you up to their side. They already knew about the relationship between you and Mei and hearing about what happened yesterday made it worse."

"So, that meeting is somewhat like a marriage interview." Mark said with a sigh. "They wanted to know if the rumors about me are true. If not, they will do their best to separate me and Mei but if it's true, they will acknowledge our relationship and tie me up to their family. Seriously, her family is troublesome."

"Unfortunately, that's how business families work. If you are in a higher society, these kinds of things are common."

"Well, we really don't need to worry about it." Mark said with a calm tone. "It's not like they can do anything after we left."

"That's also true."

Finally, the people in the car went silent. That should be the end of the conversation since the Xiao Family would really not be able to do anything after Mark left with Mei and the others. They had no capability to traverse several cities filled with infected just to chase after him. After that, the military will handle the aftermath.

"Say Mark." Angeline suddenly spoke. "Why don't you just kill them? You don't even bat an eyelid when killing others. It's not like they can put up a fight against you right? Once they are gone, the problems involving them will vanish too."

Hearing that question, everyone in the vehicle turned to her with strange expressions.

"Did you come from a family of criminals than a soldier's family sister?"

Gabriel asked while scratching his head.

Even General Perez and Rafael had troubled faces.

On contrary, Mark just looked at her with a faint smile.

"You are right. I don't really mind killing them, but if possible, I rather not."

"Why?"

"Mei'er don't want to return to them and hated them but not to the point of wanting them to die. They might not be good people but they are still her family." Mark then sighed. "I would rather just leave them alive than be called the murderer of my wife's family right?"

"Oh."

Angeline finally went quiet. She somewhat understood what he was saying.

However, it seemed that she was still not finished as she spoke again after just half a minute when the things she heard sunk into her mind.

"Say, you really called Mei you're wife, huh."

"Why, is there something wrong with it?"

"Of course there is!" Angeline bellowed. "None of you two ever confessed to each other at all! We heard it from Mei yesterday!"

***

It did not take too long and they already arrived at the laboratory.

Because of that, Angeline's banter was cut short with Mark not being able to answer. Since the conversation was getting awkward, Gabriel had to cover his older sister's mouth to make her stop.

When they all parked the vehicles and went out...

"What's wrong with you all?"

Alicea asked as she noticed the strange atmosphere from the other group. Mark looked fine but it seemed that the males of the Perez family felt awkward because of the only girl in their family.

On the other hand, Mark was also in deep thought. What Angeline said was true after all.

It was the problem of a person who never had any relationship with the opposite gender before.

Leaving the awkward atmosphere outside, they entered the laboratory building. They were given passes to wear on their necks to indicate that they were guests here. The general was not an exception to this rule. This was how strict the laboratory rules were. Unless a scientist personally led the people inside, everyone needed to wear these passes.

In the reception, General Perez told the personnel to tell Professor Isaach Co that he arrived and they will be going to the hospital area of the laboratory. It was only then that they left deeper into the building where the intensive care unit was located.

Mark could clearly remember this place as it was near the area where Angeline was confined before when she was still in her coma. This time, they were going towards a different area where the more serious patients were located.

Like how it was with Angeline's room before, there were soldiers guarding outside. The two soldiers saluted as the General led everyone inside.

Inside the room, the beeping of the apparatus could be heard.

Mark looked at the female patient on the bed which almost looked like Angeline but just older and had blond hair.

"Angelise, we're here."

The General spoke as he held the hand of the woman.

Of course, there was no response from her.

Despite that, the members of the family spoke to her as if she was awake. They introduced Mark to her as their family's benefactor. Although it was not all false, it made Mark feel awkward. Yet, he could not help but feel a little bit of envy seeing how close this family in front of them was.

However, Mark felt strange as he looked at the woman's appearance.

***

Angelise Lundberg Perez, was her name. Unfortunately, she was in a coma for four years already and was just kept alive using life support devices.

As a soldier in high position, not only the General's life was always in danger but also his family's members. That was proven when his wife was attacked by two people who infiltrated his house when he was away and his children were at school. Everyone in the house present at that time was shot. Among them was the General's wife.

It was a miracle that she managed to survive that incident although she ended up in a comatose state since then.

Still, what happened to her was the heaviest weight their family carried until today.

***

"Is she a foreigner?"

Mark could not help but ask.

Aside from the blond hair the woman had, her face, despite being thin due to her state, still looked like of European descent.

Hearing the question, General Perez smiled.

"That is right. She came from Sweden. Back then, she came here to Philippines as a tourist but got caught in the middle of a terrorism activity in Mindanao. It was way before I became a general. I got dispatched with the squad that is tasked to retrieve the kidnapped tourists at that time and I ended up meeting her. She is a brave woman. Instead of succumbing to fear after being kidnapped, she looked for an opportunity and managed to escape. I saw her running away in the middle on the forest with her bruised legs and feet from running too far. Who would think that the woman that I coincidentally met in the woods during her escape would become my wife and the mother of my children."

The General looked at the woman with a smile as he reminisced the past.

Mark shrugged his shoulders. This man in front of him battled terrorists when he was in a younger age. He on the other hand was shut inside his home watching anime and playing video games. The gap was too large.

Still, looking at the woman, Mark felt really strange.

As he racked his memories, a strange coincidence came about. He could not believe it.

This woman called Angelise...

...Had a total resemblance to Freed's deceased mother.

It might just be a coincidence but it was really strange.

"Mark, are you okay?"

Paula tapped his shoulder as he was staring straight at Angeline's mother.

"I'm fine."

Mark replied. However, his eyes are still glued to the woman on the bed. It made the others inside the room feel strange. Finally, Mark turned to the General.

"Do you know anything about her ancestry?"

That was a strange question coming from Mark but as they were the ones who wanted to ask for his help, the General could only answer what he knew.

"Unfortunately, no." The General shook his head. "Angelise is an orphan who was raised by her foster parents. She never knew who her real parents were or if she had any other blood related relatives left."

It was a disappointing answer.

Still, it gave him the reason...

"Can all of you leave the room?"

Mark said.

"Why?"

Angeline asked as his meaning did not sink in with anyone here.

"I can't let anyone just see my methods. It's better if I'm the only one here."

Mark spoke again. However, the General realized his meaning this time."

"Are you saying..."

"I'll try what I can do but don't count too much on it."

"You..."

"Me what? Just get out already. Do you want my help or not?"

"Yes! Yes, we want it. Quick everyone empty the room!"

The General was obviously delighted to Mark's decision despite feeling strange as to why Mark asked those questions and suddenly told them that he would try to help them. Nevertheless, this was what he wanted to hear the most. Although Mark said not to count on it too much, in the least, the possibility was not zero.

Mark watched the others go out of the room leaving him inside.

"Seriously, they are too desperate. What if I'm here to harm her? Tsk, tsk."

He murmured. Yet, although he said that, he had no plans to do any harm to her.

Rather, he was curious. Once she woke up, he would surely ask for her lineage if she knew anything about it.

Furthermore, it would not be hard to do it. She might have been in coma for years already but her consciousness did not deteriorate too much. It was just in a state of deep sleep. He just needed to stimulate her consciousness and she would be waking up soon.