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442 Another Start, The Birth of New Blood Demons and the Awaited Awakening

 Day 85 - 2:24 PM - Mountain Base, Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

Five days after the date that ended in a bloody way, the whole base was moving forwards smoothly. In fact, even way smoother compared to how most of the government managed settlements around the country.

The crops were growing fine, way faster than how plants grew before the apocalypse. By the estimate of the old farmer couple that was tasked to manage the fields, the base would have a stable source of vegetables and a bit of fruit after a month and a half to two months.

Furthermore, even mutated insects had already gained instincts on par with animals before the apocalypse. Because of the dangerous figures in the base, most of these insects would rather stay away.

Thus, it was very rare for one to go and try to damage the fields.

And if they did, the Duende's magic they put around the fields would confuse the insect or other animals until these intruders were put down before they could damage anything.

With the base having good cooperation with these folklore creatures, many things became more prosperous.

Entertainment for everyone was also set up rather magnificently.

Angis, the Kibaan, was finally able to make her own instrument after Mark let her rummage inside his workshop. Using some of the smaller pieces of [Magic Wood] together with tendons of Mutated Animals, and other materials, she created an odd-looking guitar-like instrument.

Mark helped a bit in shaping the instrument and saw how dexterous her hands were.

The instrument might be odd in appearance. However, the sound it made was magical. That was why, now, a small stage was built at the remaining vacant area around the Spirit Tree. There were also enough seats made for everyone.

Tonight, Angis would have her first performance. Mark and everyone living in the Cliff House already heard Angis in her practice. Some of Mark's friends that visit from time to time also heard it. Despite her not looking as beautiful as the other wives of Teremillio, her voice was heavenly. Whenever she would sing, magical white wisps of light would appear floating around the vicinity.

Angis might not be capable of fighting, but her ability was also in a different league. Mark, Hallie, and Alana really wanted her to sing Anime songs. Unfortunately, her magical abilities in her songs would only work if she understood the language. That was quite a letdown. Learning Japanese was not that easy either.

Aside from that, Milliel was starting to try to communicate with people. She was still scared most of the time. Nevertheless, her anxiety towards humans and other land creatures was lessening. The best thing about this was that all the people saw her in a positive way. It helped her a lot in opening up to others.

However, the most interesting to everyone on the base was how Mark and Mei's relationship had progressed.

After their date where they returned home rather late, there was an obvious change to how Mark and Mei interacted with each other. Before, even though they were displaying intimacy with each other, there was still some sort of uncertainty between them. Mostly, from Mei's side. The main reason for this was because she was still uncertain about what Mark exactly felt about her.

Now, however, Mei had become livelier and smiling more now. Every time that Mark and Mei were together, it felt like there was some pink aura around the two.

This made Mark being a target of teasing to his close friends. He did not mind, though, since most of their teasing was true in the first place.

Mei was also being teased, mainly by Alana, Karlene, Jaeya, and Emi. This always left her red in embarrassment when they start asking when the wedding would happen. It was really not an embarrassing topic. To Mei, however, raised to become a doll to expand her family's business dynasty, it meant a whole different thing.

It was to give all of herself to Mark. Including that thing that would usually happen after the wedding. She did not mind as long as it was Mark. However, it was still embarrassing for her.

That, however, was a good thing in Mei's case. Once things like this enter her mind before, what she would remember was what happened to her back at the City Mall. She would end up nightmares the night after as the effect of trauma.

Being embarrassed about it instead meant that she was recovering and was starting to forget about the nightmare she experienced.

And every time she was embarrassed, Mei would end up touching the one and a half inch diameter medallion hanging on neck.

After experimenting and testing things with the two Agimats Mark and Mei got from the gang, they learned that both trinkets had the same effect and fit each other as one. The circular medallion could be inserted inside the ring. Once it was done, the effect of protecting the wearer from mental attacks would get multiplied to the point of affecting not just the wearer but actually a five-meter area.

This made Mark realize that if the two medallions were together and were worn by anyone from the gang, Mark would need more effort to deal with them. Luckily, it seemed that those gang brothers only knew of one function this Agimat had. That function was to let the wearer of one part of the Agimat feel the current state of the wearer of the other part.

Because of this, after Mark cleaned the medallions, he wore the ring part while he gave Mei the inner part. This made the two able to feel each other's state, both physically and mentally. This was also why Mei was touching the medallion because she knew that Mark could feel how embarrassed she was.

The only thing that made Mark rather disappointed was that he expected something else to happen when the combined the two medallions. Unfortunately, aside from the heightened effect, nothing else happened. It would be awesome if it was also a key of some sort.

Still, because something like this existed, Mark was looking forward to finding more. As a gamer, he was also a hoarder. He would love to have more in his collection, especially now that he could sense when one was around.

***

At this moment, Mark was currently sorting his Transparent [Blood Metal] cabinet where his collection of glowing crystals was put. He was preparing to pick some suitable ones to give out to the members of his base. Of course, only to those directly under him and his friends that came with him. There were also a few for those that had done good merits for the base like the old farmer couple. However, as they were just regular people, they would only be given an empty [Physical Crystal] so that they would turn into Evolvers.

Furthermore, it would raise the life expectancy of the old couple allowing them to live several more decades as long as they were not killed by other means.

That was one of the things the scientists from Bay City had written in their research. After Mutagen invaded Earth and changed a lot of things, any living thing that could withstand the potency of Mutagen had their lifespan raised.

For humans, it was more apparent to those that became Evolvers and Mutators. It was also the same for Mutated Fauna and Flora.

Now, it would not be surprising if a regular human would have a life expectancy of a hundred and fifty years, as long as they were not killed before they died of aging.

As for Evolvers and Mutators, their life expectancy might vary depending on the abilities they acquired.

And for Mark who had awakened his blood as a Pure Blood Demon, it would not be surprising if he was able to live another one or two thousand years. That was only if he did not evolve any further... Which was very unlikely.

Back at the matter about the [Physical Crystals], there was also something that scientists had found out.

Unlike regular humans that were bitten and directly became Mutators, those that were Evolvers before turning into a Mutator were more prone to the growth of their abilities. There were also instances of their Evolver abilities being carried over to their Mutations.

This made Mark realize something. It was something that was hard to achieve by using crystals as the Mutation needed to be natural. Like how it happened to him.

Nevertheless, there was one thing that was hard to achieve with natural mutation either. It was to have more than one Mutator Abilities.

While Mark was sorting the crystals, four girls entered the collection room.

"Papa~!"

There were three little girls, who were being followed by Mei, who was looking after them. It seemed that they were tired of playing.

"Why are you all here?"

Mark asked with a smile as he patted the cute girls' heads.

"Papa, play with us."

Mark was mistaken, they were not tired of playing, they just wanted to play together with him.

To that, Mark agreed. He was almost done sorting the crystals anyway and could just continue it later. Rather than focusing on his work, it was good to spend more time with his new family. It was something that he had longed when he was living alone. Now that these girls were here, he would cherish them even if he needed to sacrifice himself.

If something irreversible happened to them...

"This world should stop to exist."

"Gege, did you say something?"

Mei asked as she heard Mark mumbling.

"No, its nothing."

Mark smiled.

And thus, Mark time with the girls.

***

Night came and one of the most important nights since the base was built.

Mei and Abbygale...

Would finally become Mark's kin as Blood Demons.

Of course, no one knew aside from a few selected people.

Why did several days passed before it happened? Mark had to ask Pefile and Amihan what they knew about the ritual to turn other beings to his kin. Unfortunately, they knew too little.

Unexpectedly, both Terremillio and Felenia knew something despite not realizing that Mark was a Blood Demon and the Spirit Tree was the Night Everred Tree. It seemed that although they did not know about the actual appearance, they knew some knowledge about Blood Demons and their Rituals.

It became suspicious as to how the two knew some ancient knowledge. However, that did not matter right now.

Now, there as only Mark, Mei, and the three little girls in the bedroom.

Mei and Abbygale were lying on the bed beside each other. Both were calm and was still smiling.

"Are you two ready?"

Mark said which made the two nod.

He then closed his eyes and stimulated his blood. As the ritual started, Iola brought Miracle to a corner to watch.

Mark's two pair of wings then opened up glowing red. Veins on his body started to glow brightly along with his eyes. His horns grew once more and his fangs were the same. The only thing he controlled was the growth of his hair as having it too long was rather inconvenient. It was also unnecessary as it served nothing but aesthetics. Nevertheless, it was also confusing why it had to grow when he was losing himself.

To that ritual, there was no need for lengthy chant or magic circles. Mark only needed to concentrate on his Demonic Blood and let two drops of pure blood to come out.

From the tips of his two index fingers on both hands, a drop of glowing blood started to congeal. Seeing that, Mei and Abbygale closed their eyes and opened their mouths.

They then felt a drop of liquid land on their tongues.

Strange enough, it did not taste metallic. Rather, it tasted something sweet and addicting.

Unlike normal drops of liquid, however, the drop of blood entered their throats without needing to swallow it voluntarily.

The two felt their bodies getting hot. In fact, their skin was turning a bit red.

Then, they both passed out.

Mark knew... They were starting to adapt to the blood he gave them. As the only things needed to two was to wait, he retracted his wings, fangs, and horns and sat by the heads of Mei and Abbygale.

With a milky glow on his hands, he touched their foreheads. In the least, they would make the two feel relaxed a bit.

Miracle then jumped unto his lap while Iola sat beside him. Sure enough, the two girls were happy that their Mama and Sister were going to become one of them.

While Mei and Abbygale were turning into Blood Demons, the normal reaction of the Night Everred Tree to the ritual happened. Only a few noticed that the leaves of the tree glowed brighter while many of the red wisps it had around it started to fly towards the room where Mei and Abbygale were in.

Seeing the lights being absorbed by Mei and Abbygale, Mark knew that it was going smoothly. Glowing veins also started to appear on the bodies of the two starting from their hearts and was spreading across.

And then...

Mark felt something...

Not only him...

Each of the people carrying the blood of a Blood Demon and the folklore creatures in his base felt it.

The Night Everred Spirit Tree...

Had finally awakened.