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369 The Nest in the Medical Center, The Breeder Type and Finding the Blood Bank

 Day 59 - 9:46 AM - Maternity Ward, Perpetual Help Medical Center Central Compound Building 2nd Floor, Alabang-Zapote Road, Barangay Pamplona Tres, Las Piñas, Metro Manila

"Well, this is disgusting..."

Mark murmured.

A huge obese woman with a bloated body and overly huge stomach, the monster was plastered on the walls inside the nursery. However, it did not look like she was there by coincidence. It was more like she was one with the flesh membrane that covered almost everything in this area of the hospital.

The most disgusting thing about her was that instead of a navel, at the center of her bloated stomach was a hole that was large enough to fit an adult human head.

From that hole, dozens upon dozens of umbilical cords extended out like electrical wiring that was bound to be faulty no matter how someone would look at it. On the floor, on the walls, and even on the ceiling, these umbilical cords stretched out while sticking on the flesh membrane without problems.

At the end of each birth cord, there was an infant attached to it. The little critters roamed the building like ants working for their queen.

As the umbilical cords were going almost everywhere, Mark immediately made the ball of light that was lighting the way to scatter and illuminate the place darkened by the flesh membrane covering anything that could let light enter from outside. At the same using the [Photokinesis Mental Crystal] once more, he used [Optical Camouflage] to hide.

Of course, as it was a psychic ability, there was also the chance of them to get noticed. That was why Mark scattered the light sources at the same time. It was not only to lure the infected babies near the light but also scattered some psychic energy around to confuse the infected to some extent.

Mark and Mei neared the already broken glass windows of the nursery to get a closer look. As they neared, the earthy and bloody stench intensified. While enduring the disgusting smell, they realized that the woman seemed to be in a dormant state.

Yes, the woman inside was dormant to the point of not moving at all. It was even though they heard a roaring screech just earlier after Mark killed the infected baby crawling on the ceiling.

With its body stuck unto the wall by the flesh membrane, its arms stretched out wide covered by oozing flesh and her legs that was nowhere to be seen due to her bulging stomach, the only thing she would be able to do was moving her head.

Yet, the head just hanged low as if she was staring at her stomach with her barely opened eyes.

With Mark's observation and using the measurement about the infected in Eriellis as a reference, he could assume that the mutation of this infected should be around a level three to level five. Furthermore, looking at it made Mark remember the pregnant infected he encountered at Barangay Daraitan before. Although there were differences in the mutation, there were also some resemblances.

First, both infected were pregnant women. Another was that both infected took the path of a mutated that was either fused or connected with the babies inside their womb.

However, it seemed that not only they differ in their branch of mutation but also took different turns in terms of utilizing the babies inside them. Furthermore, the one in front of Mark and Mei currently was not only a higher level mutation but there was more to it.

It was then they heard some movements from behind.

Mark and Mei turned their heads, just to see a couple of infected babies dragging another infant on the flesh covered floor.

Seeing the baby being dragged by the others, that baby could not be any more familiar to the two. The dangling eyes, the twisted neck, and the small hole on its forehead bleeding profusely, there was no doubt that it was the same baby Mark shot with his crossbow.

This time, however, not only it was dead, but it seemed that its umbilical cord was torn off from its belly as its navel was left with nothing but a wound bleeding profusely.

Not being able to see Mark and Mei, the babies passed in front of them, crawled onto the wall and climbed into the broken window of the nursery. As the babies dragged their umbilical cords around, Mark and Mei were careful not to get tangled on the umbilical cords as the babies passed by.

Mark watched the scene with interest. After encountering who knows how many infected since the start of the apocalypse, this was the very first time he witnessed such a scene. Normally, the infected would not care about the dead bodies of their kind and would most often end up cannibalizing the dead bodies after the Biters grew too hungry and were not able to find food.

This scene, however, the other infected babies were bringing their dead comrade back for an unknown reason.

Finally, for the first time, the infected woman raised her head looking at the babies in front of her.

Mark and Mei then saw a stomach-churning scene.

As the babies retreated backward leaving the dead infected baby in front of the woman, the woman's bulging belly started to pulsate. The gaping hole then started to move. From the gaping hole, the bulging stomach started to tear apart. Like a flower in spring, the stomach opened wide. A large flower made of oozing flesh and disgusting matter.

The moment it opened, smelly water burst forth from her stomach revealing layers upon layers of fetal sacs inside. Inside each transparent sacks, a fetus could be seen. Unlike a normal human fetus, however, in each fetus, deformities could be seen. Some had overly large heads while others were missing limbs. Although it could be said that fetuses were still in developmental growth, those irregularities were already apparent.

From the rows and columns of fetuses, there were odd spaces in several places and from each of that space, an umbilical cord could be seen attached in her mutated organs inside. Some of those birth cords could be seen attached to the few babies in front of her.

Seeing that scene, there was only one thing that entered Mark's mind and he started to stealthily take pictures of the infected woman and the babies around her.

"A new type of infected."

Mark frowned. There was no doubt that his infected woman was capable of reproducing on its own. Furthermore, to ensure that the babies she gave birth to would grow, they were kept connected unto the mother's body and was limited from going out of the nest.

It was no wonder they did not encounter any infected baby outside despite their large numbers inside this area of the hospital.

Mark also felt suspicious before as to why the numbers of the infected babies here were rather large compared to the capacity of the nursery and the possible number of babies that could be delivered in a day even before the apocalypse. Since he also noticed the irregularities in the bodies of the babies, seeing the fetuses in the woman's stomach revealed where they came from.

"Gege..."

Mei voiced silently as grasped his hand tighter.

Sensing her anxiousness, Mark let go of her hand and instead, put his hand around her waist to pull her closer.

Since what happened to her in that mall cinema, she had difficulty with topics regarding human reproduction and sexual intercourse. It was not that she had a problem with the topic personally but it was more of a repulsive reflex that came from her subconscious. Although she was better now, she was still far from fully recovering.

It seemed that the scene in front of her triggered such a reaction.

While Mark tried to soothe Mei as much as possible, the scene inside the nursery continued. Several flesh tentacles that looked no different from the umbilical cords moved towards the dead baby. The tentacles wrapped around the dead baby and lifted it moving it closer into the woman's stomach.

After the dead baby was already inside, the stomach slowly closed once more just leaving the gaping hole and the umbilical cords that stretched out of it. Nevertheless, the babies outside never left and the woman did not go back to its dormant state.

A few seconds later...

"ROOOOAAAAAAAHHHH!!!"

A deafening screech was heard from the infected woman.

Rather than a normal threatening roar, it was a yell filled with anger, grief, and sadness.

Her stomach pulsated once more the gaping hole opened slightly.

PUH!

Something was ejected from the hole in a rather violent manner. As the figure landed in front of the other babies with a thud, the thing was revealed to be the same dead baby.

From there, the ritual continued as the babies that remained to wait approached the dead one. They moved their faces towards it and...

CHOMP!

They started eating the soft flesh of the dead infant.

As the infants had no teeth at all, it looked more like they nibbled on the flesh with their gums until the flesh was soft enough to tear off before swallowing the torn flesh whole.

"Let's go."

Mark decided to leave. There was nothing else to see here. Furthermore, Mei was not doing well already.

"Are we not going to kill them?"

Mei asked knowing that leaving these creatures alone could cause a catastrophe in the future.

"Later. Our primary goal is to find the blood bank on the first floor. Also if we started to fight here, who knows what will happen? We are in its territory, it won't do us any good if the building collapsed. We'll try to deal with this nest after getting what we need. That time, it will not be a problem even if we destroy the whole compound."

With those words, Mark created a bigger ball of light before launching it towards the opposite side of the hall. Seeing the bigger light source, the babies roaming the area started to rush over to defend the place if needed. As the commotion caused by the light was rather large, even the babies on the other floors stormed the area.

With the patrols gone, Mark and Mei traversed the place easier. It did not take them long and found the temporary blood bank. However, if they did not have the map drawn by Phillip, it would be hard to find this place because the door was covered with flesh membrane. Mark had to cut away the membrane revealing the door of the freezer.

Despite being temporary, the place seemed to be made as a freezer for future purposes than just storing blood bags.

The blood bank door was tightly shut. Still, Mark only needed Flam to slowly pry the door open by melting the locks of the door.

Soon enough, the rows upon rows of blood bank freezers were in plain sight. Because it was not the fixed place to store these blood bags, the brands and designs of the freezers were not consistent. Nevertheless, the freezers only needed to store the blood bags until they finished the renovations at the real blood bank. Of course, that would never happen anymore.

Mark and Mei checked the contents of some of the freezers. Sure enough, the blood stored was already stale but in the least, it was kept in a good condition. The blood here was more than enough to customize two lorries.

After all, they also needed a vehicle for the new addition to their group. If possible, something to transport Chaflar too. Even if the dragon could just run and fly, it would be better if it could conserve its energy for times it was needed the most.

While exploring the blood bank, they stumbled upon something at the furthest area from the door.

Seeing it, Mark frowned.

Several freezers were broken and pushed down unto the floor. Dry blood spilled the floor as the blood bags were torn open.

Oddly enough, there was fresh blood scattered at the corner of the blood bank where the freezers were destroyed.

As it was too odd, Mark stepped forward to investigate.

That was when his sense of danger kicked in making him retreat immediately.

The moment he retreated, the place where he stood before was attacked by several tentacles made of red liquid.