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446 Preparations at the Mountain Base, A Surprising Piece of News for Edzel and Spera

 Day 86 - 6:02 PM - Meeting Room, Cliff House, Mountian Base, Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

After the first batch, the second batch of people Mark called for entered.

Looking at their faces, they surely were confused as to why they were called here. Also, they were not the last batch, as there were still others waiting outside. It seemed that they tried asking Huey's group. However, it looked like that the first group did not answer them to keep the surprise factor. As such, they entered while trying to guess the reason.

The most confused among them, however, was Spera. She felt that she had no reason to be here at all.

When they entered, Mark signaled them to sit down. Once they all sat down, Mark started to tell them his reason for calling them.

"I know that all of you are confused. The reason I called all of you here is the current state of the Spirit Dimension. I believe that you all knew about it already."

They all nodded to Mark's words. The base was not too large, and the population was also small. It was not hard for information to circulate around. Even Pearl, who was not present in the meeting earlier, heard the news from Edzel.

"In several days, a week at most, I will lead a team that will enter the Spirit Dimension."

"So, are we included in that team? Is that why you called us?"

Alana raised her hand and asked.

To her question, Mark nodded.

"Of course, it is not final. I called you all to ask your opinion first. If any of you doesn't want to go, it is fine. I will not force anyone."

After those words, Edzel raised his hand. Mark allowed him to talk.

"Boss, why is Pearl called? I don't mind if it's me, but she's still not used to these things."

Alana and Karlene also nodded at Edzel's notion. Pearl had turned over a new leaf and was trying her best to be useful to everyone, especially Edzel. But even so, she was still not suited for dangerous journeys.

"I know that all of you are eager to know," Mark said with a sigh. "Sorry, but I can't tell yet. The reason is quite relevant to you, Edzel. But of course, I already said it. I won't force anything."

Sure enough, they were disappointed to not hear the real reason. Nevertheless, Edzel fell silent in deep thought after learning that it had something to do with him.

While Edzel was in silence, Pearl's voice was heard.

"I'll go."

Everyone could not help but turn to her. After all, her answer was unexpected.

"Are you sure about your answer?"

Mark asked.

"Yeah, you don't have to force yourself."

Edzel told her in worry and confusion.

Pearl looked at Edzel with a sincere smile.

"Boss already said that the reason is related to you. It sounds important. I don't want to ruin it for you." She then turned to Mark. "I don't know how I can be of use, but I'll try not to become baggage for everyone."

Hearing that, Mark nodded with a smile.

"Good. Don't worry, you won't become some useless weight. There is a log of creatures in the Spirit Dimension that can become invisible or trick the eyes of their enemies. You being around to detect the vibrations coming from them will already be a good help."

Mark then stood up.

"Also, here."

He put crystals in front of Alana, Pearl, and Edzel. Like Huey's group, these three also received a [Physical Crystal] each to become a Mutator.

"Mizuki is one thing, but Pearl and Edzel, you two are still not that proficient in using your abilities. I don't really want to give you two a crystal too soon. However, we don't have much time. That is why you two needed to double your practice."

"Yes."

"Yes, Boss."

Pearl and Edzel accepted the crystal in front of them and replied.

Alana, on the other hand, was also happy to receive hers. She could finally become a Mutator without any risks.

"Mark, what about Spera?"

Karlene asked. She did not need a crystal since she was already a Mutator, even though she was not able to control it entirely. It was surprising, however, that Spera did not receive one.

Spera, of course, had no problems with it. And she did not really expect to get one.

Mark then replied.

"I have another plan for her. So, she will stay to speak with me alone later."

His reply made them even more curious instead.

"So, Mizuki, Karlene, you two want to go?"

The two women looked at each other before turning to Mark with a straight nod.

"We don't really have a reason to no join."

"Don't try to ditch me on an Isekai experience, will you?"

Karlene and Alana replied, respectively. Then, Alana followed with another question.

"Can't Hallie and Analynn come with us?"

To her question, Mark shrugged.

"Analynn is still new here. I can't make an exception for her. She's not directly under me either and is here as friends of you two. Though it doesn't really matter to me, I don't want to rift in the base because of envy. I don't think that anyone will voice it, but it will still bring an unpleasant taste to a lot of people here."

Hearing that, the two understood. Although Edward, Emi, Terrence, and Phillip were brought here because of their deal with Mark. Analynn was brought here by Karlene's request. Her status was different, and she was not Mark's friend, either. It would not be appropriate for her to suddenly receive something while many people were waiting before her.

It was quite frustrating. However, that was the truth.

Mark then continued.

"About Hallie, I really want to bring her. But it will also mean bringing Nicole. Like you two, those two are almost inseparable. Hallie and Nicole are also among Huey's group that is necessary to maintain and protect the base."

Hearing the reason, Karlene and Alana nodded.

Mark then turned to Edzel, who was contemplating what could be the reason. He was really worried about Pearl participating in a dangerous mission like this.

"Edzel," Mark called out, causing Edzel to look at him. "I can't tell the reason since there are still unclear things. But I can tell you one thing. It had something to do with your mother and father."

Edzel's eyes grew wide, and he abruptly stood up. If not for Mark being his superior, he might have approached to grab him.

"Boss, what do you mean?! I haven't met my father all my life. My mother died several years ago! What does it have to do with them?"

Mark stared at him, not giving an answer. Noticing how rude he was, he tried to calm down as he took his seat once more. Pearl started to rub his shoulder and back to help him calm down. Then, something clicked on his mind.

"Boss, do you know my father?"

The other people in the room looked at Mark.

Unexpectedly for them, he nodded.

"As I said before, I can't tell the specifics. Your father also forbids me from telling you. What can I say is that your questions will be answered in this mission."

Sure enough, they were getting more questions instead of answers. However, it was unlikely for Mark to budge and give them the answers.

"Alright, just pick up your crystals and be sure to use those tonight. I'll check on your abilities tomorrow. Also, each of you should take one case there. Get the ones engraved with your names."

Mark said to them.

After they took the crystals and the cases designated for them, Mark told them that they could leave already. The only person left inside was Spera.

Mark then took the seat in front of Spera, facing her across the small table.

"Master, why do you want me to join the next expedition in the Spirit Dimension?"

Spera asked. She had no reason to refuse as she wanted to be of help. However, she could not understand why someone like her, who did not have any ability, was chosen.

To her question, Mark placed his closed hand on the table on her side. As he opened his hand, he spoke.

"Because we will need your talent."

Mark's hand left two crystals in front of her.

One of the crystal was the same as others in color, although the color and the glow of the orb inside was different. On the other hand, her eyes could not help but shake as she sensed the familiar energy from the other crystal with a deep violet color.

"Is this perchance..."

"That is right. The ability to open Portals and create tunnels through space."

Mark said. It confirmed what she was feeling at the moment as she gazed at the crystal.

Unexpectedly, she took her sight away from the crystal and turned to Mark.

"Master, isn't it better if you give it to someone else you can trust more?"

Mark was not surprised to receive that question. She had already given up having that power once more. Instead, she just wanted to continue her current life here. She felt that once this ability was returned to her, the trust and place she earned here would be in jeopardy. Rather than having something to be suspicious of, she chose to have none.

To that attitude of hers, Mark nodded.

"That is why I'm returning this to you. You have proven your self to be worthy of this power. You already earned your place here. Many people like you, even Mei'er treats you like a younger sister. You don't have to be afraid of losing everything just because of this."

"But..."

"No buts," Mark interjected. "As I said, we need your talent. This ability isn't just something that can be used by everyone without aptitude. Do you know that you're even better at using this power than its previous owner?"

Spera started to lose the argument. Now that aptitude was brought into the topic, she would have no reason to reject it anymore. That was also when Mark dropped the bomb.

"I need you to be able to use this ability again. Because once we enter the Spirit Dimension, there will be a chance that the members of Auraboros will appear to destroy everything. You don't want to get this place destroyed, do you?"

Spera froze.

"The awakening of the Chiyo should have alerted them and they could be searching for this place already. When they appear, we need to be able to return when immediately. Or else, you know what will happen."

"I... No, we will lose this place, right Master?"

Spera's voice was quite shaky with the thought that she had in mind. She was a member of that organization before. Thus, she knew the extent of their powers to some extent. If they really did appear and Mark was not in this base, once the higher-ranked members of the organization arrived, everyone here could die.

In fact, Mark was the only person she saw that was able to contend with a lower deity like Gar'Vlam. Furthermore, there were several individuals that were on par with the Flame Demon. There were also others that were stronger.

It was a piece of bad news to hear for her, who finally found what she had been looking for since she was born.

Slowly, her hand moved. She grabbed the two crystals on the table.

As the chosen inheritor of the [Space Portal], the crystal immediately reacted to her touch. It turned into dust that was absorbed by her body.

Of course, she started to feel dizzy. After this ability was taken away from her, she reverted to a normal person. Now that she regained it, her body would undergo some readjusting to be able to use it once more.

As she was about to fall, Mark gently caught her. She was already flaring with a high fever.

"So, I take this a yes, right?"

Mark asked Spera who started to lose consciousness.

Spera nodded with great conviction. Finally, she passed out.

Mark carried her out of the meeting room and brought her to her bedroom. He then told Odelina to look after her.

After that, Mark called for other people. His friends like Rollan, Nikky, and Arvie, Edward's group, except Analynn and Terrence, and a few more people that were essential to the base like the old farmer couple.

They were all called by Mark, given a crystal, and was given a weapon or equipment suitable for them.

That night, Mark had to take over as the lookout and spent the night together with Mei at the balcony. At the same time, Mark monitored the whole base for those that were undergoing mutations inside their dwellings.

And of course, this was not the end of the preparations. Mark still had some ideas in mind that he needed to implement starting tomorrow.