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445 Preparations at the Mountain Base, The Pillars of the Base

 Day 86 - 2:14 PM - Eternal Night Subspace, Night Everred Spirit Tree, Mountain Base, Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

After the meeting, Mark had brought Mei and the little girls, the folklore creatures, and Huey out to see the place. There were others close to Mark also asked him to see, like Alana, Hallie, and Karlene. Mark had no reason to decline them, and it was better for them to see the space they would need to work on.

Thus, the whole gang entered the space with a blinding light that they had to close their eyes.

The moment they opened their eyes, they were amazed by the scene that was nowhere near the appearance of the base they were standing at a second ago.

Chiyo immediately greeted Mark as he entered, and he introduced the ball of red light to everyone. Sure enough, it was curious about the other people and started to circle around them.

As Mark did not want to spoil its fun, he waited for a bit before everyone went on their way to see the place. Of course, it was not like they would be able to see anything as it was nothing but a mountain-wide grassland covered with blood-colored grass. Mark just let them, though. With how massive this place was, it was unlikely for them to get very far from the center where they appeared.

On the other hand, he opened the portal connected to the Spirit Dimension for Pefile and the others to see.

Sure enough, they were shocked. Hearing about the situation in the Spirit Dimension and seeing it with their own eyes brought a different level of shock and helplessness.

Sure enough, what they were seeing from the portal was far from what they wanted to see. The whole area around the Spirit Tree was lifeless, and there were also monsters wandering around. Monsters that sure enough, were races and creatures that inhabited the Spirit Dimension and turned after becoming infected.

This hit the folklore creatures big time. The capsized emotions were even more complicated to Pefile, Teremillio, and Felenia. They almost lost it. If not for the fact that they knew that they would not be able to jump into the portal without Mark's permission, they would have done so.

And of course, Mark would also not let his allies go endanger themselves by jumping into the portal.

It was not hard to estimate how dangerous infected and mutated creatures with magical abilities were compared to humans that became infected. Without a doubt, it would be easy to encounter something at the level of what the forces of Bay City fought at Philippine General Hospital.

If they wanted to venture into the Spirit Dimension that had turned into a literal Magical Apocalypse, they needed to prepare. Not only them but also the whole base.

There was one fact that became the reason for this. In a typical journey, Mark only had to prepare his team. Strengthen them, prepare food, water, weapons, and other necessities. If they wanted to go to the Spirit Dimension, they needed to prepare the whole base similarly.

It was because...

The flow of time of the Mortal World and the Spirit Dimension exceedingly differed.

Being inside any of the two, anyone would feel the same. Only those with high awareness of Space and Time would be able to notice it.

Inside the Spirit Dimension, Time flowed slower than the Mortal World. Furthermore, the difference was not fixed depending on the stability of the Spirit Dimension, and its connection to Mortal World. At times, an hour inside the Spirit Dimension could already be a day on Earth. Sometimes, it could be after or slower.

The only thing that remained constant was that time inside the Spirit Dimension could flow at the same speed as the Mortal World or slower, but never faster.

If they entered the Spirit World and was gone for a day, several days could have passed on Earth. This was not good considering the current state of Earth and the Oracle the Elder had just given Mark.

And that was why... Mark immediately hatched a decision.

***

Finishing what they needed to do and showing the current state of the Spirit Dimension to Huey and the others who were also interested, Mark brought them back.

He told Pefile and the others to wait a few more days and they would jump into the portal. They understood and agreed. Not only Mark, but they also needed to prepare themselves.

Late afternoon, Mark had to call for Huey, Jolleen, Nicole, Trisha, Ed, and Ron. Hallie was also present, even though she didn't have to be here. It was the third time for them to be called by Mark today. However, none of them had complaints.

They were the very first people in this base, and basically the people directly under him. Mark also trusted them, considering the loyalty showed him, and the work they had done. Furthermore, in their hearts, this base was the only place they had and Mark was the person that took them when they had nowhere to go after being lost in the forest to escape danger.

More than that, Mark gave Huey and Jolleen a chance. The two were committed to serving him.

Nicole and Hallie, on the other hand, owed Mark quite a bit. He promised to check on their families which Mark did when he was in Bay City. Unfortunately, the news he found out was not good. Nevertheless, it was enough that they did not have to keep false hope in mind. In fact, they did not expect much, which made them recover easier.

When they all arrived and sat on the chairs, Mark put a [Physical Crystal] in front of each of them, except Hallie.

Seeing this, they were surprised.

"I believe that all of you know what these are."

Mark spoke. And of course, they nodded.

Take the ones in front of you and consume that tonight. I'll be expecting to see your abilities tomorrow.

And of course, they gladly accepted the crystals.

Mark gave them the crystals that could improve their already present abilities as Evolvers or balance their abilities to the roles given to them.

Huey was not good at fighting. He was more of a strategist and his Evolver Ability, [Hyperesthesia] proved that he was more of a support type. Of course, this made him a bit vulnerable was his physical abilities were subpar compared to the rest of the team.

Thus, Mark decided to give Huey the ability taken from the scout of Dark Greed. This would mutate the springs of Huey's legs and allow him to be able to jump and fall in unprecedented heights at very fast speeds. It would keep him from danger and would not need direct protection from others.

Next was Jolleen. Her [Intuition] allowed her to be able to fight without receiving fatal attacks. Her constant training also gave fruition to the current her. Mark had a hard time choosing an ability for her. In the end, he chose something to aid her ability that came from one of the insignificant criminals in Death Valley Settlement. It was the ability to turn her skin into metal.

Mark had some plans on why he gave Jolleen this ability, and he would tell her after she was able to use the ability proficiently.

To Nicole, she already had the same ability Mark had decided to Huey although it was quite weaker. The problem was that she was still not able to jump down without feeling scared. Thus, decided Mark to give her one of the abilities Mark had just taken when they arrived. The ability of HawkOwl that Mei shot back when they were retrieving the supplies at the bunker. With this, her fear of landing from heights would be lessened as she would have the assurance to not fall on a bad angle. It would also allow her to scout with more options for moving around.

Trisha, the cook, did not really need to fight. However, her ability was the most balanced among the seven. He did not want to waste it and put her in charge to be the all-rounder of the team. Thus, Mark gave her a mutation that made her bones as strong as Odelina's and allowed her to freely change the shape of the bones of her limbs. Depending on how she used this mutation, she would be able to support which whoever in the team needed her.

Ed, on the other hand, was given one of the latest addition to Mark's collection. Alias Macho's [Muscle Enhancement]. He was already a strength and tank type, to begin with. With his ability, his strength would be multiplied several times. Not only that it would help a lot in battles, but it would also help him as the main person in building structures in the base.

Lastly, Ron. He had an ability similar to the slave named Tullia who was among the hunting team. This made him the range type of the group. The problem with him was like with Huey. Once compromised by enemies, he would be vulnerable due to the lack of physical enhancement. As such, Mark gave him an agility based ability. It was a minor mutation that enhanced his legs allowing him to run like a jaguar and kick like a horse. It would give him many options to keep a distance from his enemies while shooting them with his weapon.

Hallie who watched Mark put the crystals in front of the six was happy. The bond of these seven was strong since they all came from one group. Now, she was not the sole Mutator from the group. As the magician type of the group, she was glad to get her allies strengthened.

Of course, these crystals were not all.

"After picking those crystals, get some of those."

Mark said as he pointed at a few cases at the side of the room. Each of the cases was a different size and had a name engraved on the topside.

Carefully, they picked up the crystals and picked up a case that had their name.

Unexpectedly, Hallie also had one. The case she had was rather long, almost the same height as her. She was not able to resist and immediately opened hers. Mark had not said anything about opening it after all.

What was inside her case was a staff. Sure enough, her magician role in this team was finalized with this. Still, she was confused though as she could not use magic like Mark or the folklore creatures in the base. What could she do with a staff? Furthermore, it did not seem to be a magical one. Nevertheless, it looked stylish and it had a flower-shaped tip.

Seeing Hallie confused while examining the staff, Mark shook his head and spoke.

"Put both your hands at the handle and put your thumb at the button above the handle."

Hearing that, Hallie held the staff the way Mark instructed. She noticed the rough surface on the handle where her palms were positioned but did not mind it.

"Then?"

She asked.

"Push the button and release fire from your hand."

Hallie pushed the button and heard clicks under her palms. She looked and saw that while she was holding the button, several holes appeared at the handle under the rough surface.

Seeing that, the light bulb above her head lit up and she knew what she had to do.

Hallie gripped the staff hard, pointed it up, and released fire from both her palms.

Her hands were covered with flames. Then, as the flames on her hands burst forth, stronger, the top end of the staff spewed a spiral flame that lit up the whole room.

"OOOOHHHHH!!!"

Hallie was amazed.

That was when Mark spoke.

"You have problems with the range you can attack with your flames right? I made that so the flames can travel inside the staff and give you a bit more range of attacking. It can also change the shape of the flames to some extent. Just twist the handle until you hear a click."

Hallie did as said and twisted the handle and a click was heard. Then, another burst of flames was spewed by the staff. This time, the flame was concentrated like a blowtorch. She did another twist and tested another. This time, flames burst from the six petals of the flower, spreading flames in a wide area.

There were only four shapes with the last one spewing all the three shapes at the same time that would make it look like Hallie created a small explosion. However, Mark told her not to try that one inside the room.

Sure enough, she was delighted. She hugged the staff like her own child.

Seeing what she got, the others were also eager to see what they received. Unfortunately, Mark told them to check the weapons later and call for the next batch.

They all thanked Mark and went out. Soon, the next batch entered.

They were some of the people in the team he decided to bring to the Spirit Dimension with him. There was Karlene, Alana, Edzel, Pearl, and most importantly, Spera.