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370 Losing Control, The Ferocious Upgrade

 Day 59 - 10:11 AM - Temporary Blood Bank, Perpetual Help Medical Center Central Compound Building 1st Floor, Alabang-Zapote Road, Barangay Pamplona Tres, Las Piñas, Metro Manila

"That's surprising... I guess?"

Mark said, in a somewhat doubtful tone.

He stared at the spilled blood on the floor as it started to retract and gather in a smaller area. Although he did not expect that the dangerous thing inside the tightly locked blood bank would be the blood scattered on the floor, he already found it strange. There were blood splatters that spread in different areas but had already dried up. It made that large puddle of fresh blood too suspicious.

Because of that fresh blood, it made it look like there was something else in the room.

Nevertheless, no one would expect for a puddle of blood to suddenly attack once he closed in. Since it did not move before, Mark could not help but think that it might be either waiting for prey or in a dormant state which was disturbed after he approached. He would not know the answer to this, however.

It only took a few seconds before the pool of blood stopped retracting into a smaller area. However, it did not show any sign of it entering a coagulated state. It remained as a pool of blood albeit thicker in volume.

"Gege, is that similar to Oracle and the others?"

Mei asked. Anyone who knew about the [Blood Children] would surely ask that question first the moment they saw the thing in front.

Nonetheless, Mark shook his head to deny it.

Mark could not feel anything or any consciousness from it. Unlike the [Blood Children] who were born living despite their formless gelatinous bodies, this one was the total opposite. This blood creature could be an infected that mutated into a being with a shapeless body if not a new kind of creature that was born of the apocalypse.

Still, Mark could say that there was a higher possibility that it was the former. Because as the blood creature moved for the first time...

He sensed hunger inside him.

Furthermore, he could tell. This creature was the same. Just like how it was ignoring Mei.

It was extending several tentacles made of blood outside its body and all of it was pointed at him.

"Hah... Hah..."

"Gege, are you alright?"

Mei asked as she noticed that Mark started to behave rather oddly. He was breathing rough and was staring at the creature in front of him like a hungry beast. There was even a glint of a predator in his eyes that even Mei found scary.

"Mei'er, retreat to the back..."

Mark said in a rough voice as the strange feeling started to overwhelm him.

Worried, Mei hesitated to follow what he said, but seeing his eyes show concern for her well being despite the predatorial glint in it, she nodded and fell back.

It seemed that not only Mark had the same thought. Despite being an infected, the puddle of blood seemed to be wary of Mei helping Mark.

The moment Mei retreated, all the tentacles of the puddle of blood, shot forward. Their speed was really fast and Mark's eyes could barely follow. Furthermore, as the blood tentacles stretched forward, the tentacles became thinner and thinner that made it harder to see because of the bad lighting in this dark room.

Mark moved his head slightly, a short wheeze entered his ear as a tentacle shot just a few centimeters away from his face.

Following that, he lowered his body and started to charge forward.

WOOSH! WOOSH! WOOSH!

Mark zigzagged as he ran while retreating and jumping sideward at times. With how each tentacle shot almost as fast as a bullet, Mark decided to avoid all of them. However, his eyes were particularly useless this time and he was purely relying on his instinct and reflexes.

He could use his other abilities, but using any of it did not enter his mind. A strange hunger and desire were overwhelming his consciousness. The only thing he wanted to do right now was to...

Absorb this thing in front of him.

Mark was already near the creature when he was forced to retreat to his right. It was because some of the tentacles he dodged before were already attacking him from behind and his left.

Normally, most people think that the most dangerous infected were the ones with tough armors and sharp claws. However, in terms of versatility, they lost to those with either physical structures or abilities to akin to traits octopuses and mollusks had. In short, tentacles.

Even though the speed may vary from individual to individual, the range movement of tentacles was not as inhibited as limbs did. To easily turn at uncanny angles and even turn to attack once more after being dodged, these capabilities were normal to these features.

As Mark continued to dodge, the tentacles chased after him without giving him time to continue forward. It was until all the directions had been sealed and a turn to his left made Mark see how many tentacles were shooting towards him.

Then...

Mark went down on all fours as seven [Blood Whips] burst out from his back moving at speeds faster than the blood tentacles. As he raised his head, the tips of the [Blood Whips] turned into metal blades started to cut the incoming tentacles into pieces.

Nevertheless, the tentacles continued to attack without pause. Even with the speed his [Blood Whips] were displaying, the speed could not keep up with the number of tentacles.

As several tentacles pierced forward his body, Mark used his four limbs to propel his body toward the ceiling avoiding the attack leaving the tentacles piercing unto the floor. The tentacles were made of blood, it was liquid, and yet, it was able to pierce the concrete floor without problems.

Getting hit by just a single one would surely not end well.

The remaining tentacles curved upwards chasing Mark above, however, before the blood could close in, the already vanished leaving two dents on the ceiling after he kicked it with all force he could muster.

BAM!

Mark violently landed in all fours in front of the puddle of blood.

Without waiting for anything, Mark's [Blood Whips] all pierced into the liquid body of the enemy.

THROB! THROB!

Both the puddle of blood and the [Blood Whips] pulsated in rhythm. It might look like a beautiful synchronized display but it was actually the visual effect of Mark absorbing the creature into his body.

It seemed that the pool of blood felt the threat it was under and tried to flee. However, before it was able to do anything else or even counter-attack, Mark's [Blood Whips] changed shape encasing the creature into an orb made of blood that did not only cut off all of its path of retreat but also cut off its tentacles that were left outside.

Slowly, the orb shrunk along with the body of the blood creature. It did not take long before its traces vanished as all of it was absorbed in Mark's body.

THROB! THROB!

This time, Mark hunched down holding his body tightly, especially, his chest. His heart was pumping wildly that it could be heard inside the whole room.

His [Blood Whips] immediately entered his body as he kneeled down on the floor.

ROOOOARR!!!

A ferocious roar was heard from Mark. His eyes started glowing in the dark as he faced the ceiling. Then, from his chest, his blood vessels started to release a faint red glow. The glow started to spread all over his body highlighting his blood vessels under his skin.

THOOOMMM!!!

Mei worriedly watched Mark from a distance. She wanted to approach but something told her that she should not. Then, she felt an invisible pressure that made her step back. She started to have difficulty breathing and her body was shivering.

Unknown to her, all the infected in this area was being riled up by the sudden pressure. Those with higher intelligence immediately fled.

Inside the nest, the infected babies started to gather around their mother as they felt the danger nearby. Even the [Breeder Type] infected inside the nursery was in a strange state. If she could leave this place, she would have already done so.

Outside the hospital, Odelina, Abbygale, and Karlene who were mutators felt that strong pressure as well. The three started to have difficulty breathing.

On the other hand, Miracle and the [Blood Children] seemed to be in euphoria. They were jumping happily like there was no tomorrow as if they won the lottery.

This made the others feel odd seeing those that were severely affected by the unseen pressure. Although they also felt a strange feeling, it was nowhere near the others felt leaving them confused.

Inside the Blood Bank, Mark still clutched his body while gritting his teeth. Now, his whole body was pulsating.

***

"It's you again..."

Mark spoke. He was currently inside his subconscious.

Flam suddenly altered him when another it felt something odd and he had to enter this place once more.

In front of Mark and Flam, a black silhouette was standing. Although there was no face or any features that could describe it aside looking like a black solid shadow, there was no doubt that it had the same body shape as Mark.

Of course, Mark knew who this guy was although they really did not meet before.

It was the same consciousness that took over his body during the process of Mark becoming a mutator. The one that controlled his body as he spent time with Freed and fully integrate his abilities into his body.

For some reason unknown, he appeared again. He thought that this guy already vanished with Freed before.

This time, however, it seemed that he had no notion to control his body anymore.

As Mark stared at the shadow, the shadow pointed at the blank sky.

There, flashes of memories of an unknown person could be seen.

It was the memories of a woman.

Mark watched the scene for some time and shook his head. The memory was quite pitiful. When he turned towards the shadow once more, there was not only one anymore but two. The new shadow, however, had the shape of a woman.

"Alright, take her away already."

Mark sighed and shooed his shadow away as he already knew why he was here once more.

After his words, the shadow of the woman bowed before the two shadows turned around and vanished into thin air.

"Can you stop hiding behind me?"

Mark complained as the spirit of the cursed flamberge was hiding behind him like a child who saw a ghost. Although both of it was true, it was still annoying.

"Master, what in the world is that?"

Flam asked in relief seeing that there was no one else here anymore.

"Who knows?"

Mark replied before he too vanished.

***

Back inside the Blood Bank, Mark's eyes gained sanity.

The glow and pulsating of his body started to lessen before vanishing.

Panting, Mark looked at his hand. He was holding a metal container made of [Blood Meta] about the size of a small medicine bottle. Inside of it was some kind of fluid. Of course, only Mark knew what this was.

Disregarding his weakened state, Mark turned behind in a hurry and ran.

"Mei'er are you okay?"

Mark worriedly asked as he hugged Mei who was slumped down on the floor leaning on one of the storage freezers. Her face was pale and it seemed that she was severely weakened as shown by her heavy breathing. Fortunately, she was still conscious.

"Gege, I'm fine. Thank goodness you returned to normal."

She smiled.

Mark felt guilty and caressed her head gently.

"Sorry, I didn't expect this to happen."

As both of them were not in the state to continue exploring immediately, the two huddled on the floor leaning at each other's body.