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358 The Act, Enemies Assumptions and Reaching the University

 Day 58 - 11:22 PM - 2nd Floor, Bacolod Inasal Restaurant, Naga Road, Baranagay Pulang Lupa Dos, Las Piñas, Metro Manila

Clearing the infected in the parking lot, everyone could finally proceed to eat lunch. However, aside from the little girls and Mei, the others were looking at Mark who ate lunch as if he had done nothing odd.

Ignoring the awkward and confused stares toward Mark, Mei finally asked.

"Gege, are we being followed?"

"Yep. There's only one person though." Mark answered nonchalantly after swallowing the food on his mouth. "Probably a scout from those guys that created the roadblock there."

The confirmation Mark gave them caused quite a surprise. None of them noticed and Mei only picked the thought after observing Mark's strange behavior.

Karlene could not help but try to turn her head around trying to look around for any clues but before anyone else could stop her, her head was held by Spera stopping her reflexive actions.

"I'm sorry but miss shouldn't try to turn your head if there are people following you around. That can alert the enemy and make them either wary or more aggressive. Both circumstances are not good since Sir is obviously trying to lure them in."

"That's..."

Karlene looked awkward as she saw Mark nod at what Spera had said. With Spera's current expression, it seemed that she learned what she had said the hard way.

"Have you been followed and chased around before?"

Mark asked making Spera stiff. It looked like she was still holding some wariness towards him. In the least, it was getting better and she still answered.

"I've been careless using my portals before I became a member of the organization. Because of that, there are other people who managed to get me on their sights."

As she answered, there were a lot of expressions appearing on her face. It seemed that she had it rough that time.

"Master, why are you luring them? Shouldn't you just need to deal with the scout and things will end? It is kind of strange seeing you pretend to be weak."

Odelina asked.

"Why should I? They can't do anything to us at all here so there are more benefits if they come in full force that just killing the scout they sent. Besides, I don't want to waste more time raiding their place so it's better if the blood sacks come to us on their own."

Marks said with a rather dark smile on his face.

***

Day 58 - 11:32 PM - PureSilver Pulang Lupa Rooftop, Naga Road, Baranagay Pulang Lupa Dos, Las Piñas, Metro Manila

On the roof of the supermarket just on the other side of the road from the restaurant, a silhouette of a person could be seen prone on the hidden slope of the roof.

The person was no other than Royce who easily caught up with the vehicle even if it left first before him. It was because of the trail of decapitated bodies lying in the middle of the roads the vehicle passed through and his abilities.

In their group that was called Dark Greed due to their leader's unusual greed for almost everything, he was the best in terms of speed and stealth. This speed and ability to stay hidden did not only come from the abilities he had from being a so-called Mutator. Back before the outbreak, many of their current members worked for a smuggling syndicate and their primary products to smuggle into the country were foreign illegal drugs and weapons. They were the suppliers of many local underground groups in the area.

In that syndicate, his role were mostly being a messenger while sometimes, he also received tasks such as scouting, assassinations and cleanups. In those four roles, moving fast while being stealthy was required. Even before the outbreak, he was already a seasoned veteran in this line of work.

After he was bitten however when he was caught in the middle of a deal with another drug syndicated and was bitten by one of their men that had turned, however, he did not turn like the one that bit him and became a Mutator instead.

He was not the only Mutator in their current group but there were other seven of them. Nevertheless, he was special among them all. It was because he was a Mutator with two abilities.

The first one was his lower limbs were stronger and faster. Not only that but his limbs could absorb release and absorb strong impacts enabling him to run fast, jump higher and land from great heights with no difficulties.

As for the second ability he had, he could change the color of his skin and hair at will. It enabled him to blend into any surface that had a single color. Like right now, his skin was green colored making him blend unto the roof of the supermarket. Even if there were flying infected to pass by, the only thing they would notice was his black clothes but not the other parts of his body.

Royce continued to observe the targets that were currently eating at the second floor of the restaurant. Although it was quite hard to see from this distance, in the least, he would not risk getting found out if the light from the sun was accidentally reflected while using a pair of binoculars or another scouting instrument.

He was a cautious person. Or else, he would not have survived in the industry he was in.

From the time Royce saw the aftermath the vehicle left behind, he knew that the vehicle he was tailing was an amazing one. He was further amazed as he saw the vehicle in action. There was also the fact that while the vehicle was stained with blood and guts, it remained mostly unscathed despite the number of infected they encountered on the way.

Observing the people from the vehicle however, what he concluded was that there seemed to be only two people capable of fighting in their group. The third person who seemed to have strength but it looked like the man was lacking in skill and fighting experience. As for the others, he did not think much of them. Four small girls and two older ones, all of them did not even look like they were capable.

"It seems like it was just a bunch of rich kids."

He murmured.

In his eyes, the clean appearance of everyone that came out of the vehicle was enough evidence of how pampered they were. Not only that but out of all places, they chose a quite expensive place to dine in like they were used to it. Even though he found that the second man was quite strange, he neglected him and focused on the two fighting the infected instead. Nevertheless, he would not lower his guard.

Another thing was that he could not help but feel amazed seeing how many beautiful, cute and good looking women and girls were together in this group with only two men. He could probably request one or two after they capture them while the rest would go to the collection.

With those conclusions, he took out his radio and contacted his group.

"Boss, this is Royce."

"Royce, how is it? What did you found out?"

With that cue, he reported the things he found out.

"Alright." Gifre spoke after the report. "Continue to tail them and constantly report. These people might have come from Bay City and will surely not go that far. People from that place never did.  We will set up an ambush after they reached their destination."

"Roger." Royce affirmed. "But don't skimp on our men. I have an odd feeling though I can't tell where it comes from."

"Ho? Maybe you are just being paranoid. You're always like that, too cautious."

"It's better to be cautious than to be on the losing ends. Don't be like Chameleon who died because he underestimated his opponents."

"Alright, alright. What's going on with you today, you are rather wordy."

"Don't mind me. Also don't forget my warning. I'll stop now. The targets are on the move again."

***

Day 58 - 12:02 NN - Naga Road, Baranagay Pulang Lupa Dos, Las Piñas, Metro Manila

They ate quickly and searched the restaurant a before boarding the vehicle once more. Now that they knew that they were being tailed, Karlene, Edzel, and Odelina were quite unnerved. It was quite uncomfortable knowing that someone was watching them from where they could not see.

Spera was also uncomfortable but at least, she was used to it. Still, she could not help but think how Mark and Mei were able to keep their calm like this. She did not know that Mark just did not feel anything about it and would not feel anything even if he wanted to. Mei on the other hand just did not care as long as she was by Mark's and the little girls' sides.

As they left the parking area and moved towards their destination once more, Mark had a meaningful expression on his face as they passed by the supermarket on the other side of the road.

"Gege, you're in a good mood."

"Well, yeah. The guy following us is skilled and cautious but that cautiousness will surely make him not underestimate us easily and make their group bring more people. He never knows. He might not underestimate us despite my act but that is still not enough. They will all end up as materials for us. I can convert more fresh blood than the stored ones so having more people come after us is convenient."

While Mark and Mei were talking, the others were confused. Mark never told them why he would need a lot of blood and how the blood of people coming after them would become materials. Yet, none of them asked why. In the least, they knew that everyone had secrets they should not pry.

One more thing that bothered the rest however was how both Miracle and Iola were sulking currently. Before they returned inside the vehicle, the three girls did another rock paper scissors to determine who would sit on Mark's lap. However, just like before, it was Abbygale who won in a game of threes. It felt like she was cheating.

***

Day 58 - 2:42 PM - Acacia St., Baranagay Pamplona Tres, Las Piñas, Metro Manila

Another two hours of traveling through maze-like subdivisions filled with roadblocks, closed roads and infected, passed. Due to different subdivisions having different styles and plans, each subdivision was a maze of its own different from the previous one. After traversing a straight road from the previous one, that same road could end up as a dead-end or a turn after entering another one.

It was annoying in Mark and the other's perspective but they could not complain at all. What made it worse was that the roads were already small and yet, many homeowners liked to park their vehicles in front of their houses and not inside their garage. They would not mind if the vehicles were abandoned after being trapped in heavy traffic or being besieged by the infected but most of the blockades were created by neatly parked vehicles on the street side.

When encountering mutated infected, they had to stop and make Edzel and Karlene deal with them continuing the act. While normal infected would not be able to damage the vehicle, it could not be said towards mutated infected as a lot of them had uncanny abilities. Of course, unlike in the parking lot where they only used melee weapons, they used guns when fighting the mutated.

Finally, from all those hardships, they reached this street, the very street behind the University. And of course, the place was brimming with infected.

While the vehicle moved slowly, Edzel, Karlene and even Mark had to go out and clear the infected going after the vehicle. There was a lot of mutated infected and there were also those that Mark saw a lot before, the dozers. Sure enough, there might be a lot of people that could turn into this kind.

As Mark continued the act, he would act clumsy and weak when in the line of sight of their observer but once he was not, he moved fast and efficient. Soon, they saw a place where they could enter the campus. It was a parking area behind the school where the gate was left open. They entered the gate and Mark closed it by stealthily creating a lock on the gate using his blood.

Finally, they reached their destination. Nevertheless, Mark was surprised.

Inside the university campus infested by the infected, he detected people.