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477 Under the Veil of Fog, The Current Situation of the Mountain Base

 Day 119 - 9:22 AM - Mountain Base, Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

Across the many mountains of General Nakar in Quezon Province, the air in the morning was as cold as usual.

This kind of feeling would make anyone relaxed, if not for the current state of the world.

The base surrounded by reddish black walls centered by a gigantic red tree still stood tall. They continuously developed as they built more facilities with sturdy metal walls of unknown materials for others.

On the south side of the base, the road they built had been widened and flattened thoroughly. It was unlike before when Mark's group returned, where going up the mountain was a hell of a bumpy ride. Now, traveling on the same road was better.

The farmlands on the north side were also broader. With the help of the nourishment the crops were receiving from Chiyo, they had more time to extend the area of the farmland. If possible, they wanted to widen it till to the part where the slope of the mountain was steeper.

Extending the farms that far was not a problem for the people of the base. Everyone agreed with it, and those with free time from their tasked work would also help. After all, having more food was better than having none. Many people here learned that the hard way when he apocalypse started.

The defenses of the base were fortified thoroughly with the advice given by Edward. Having someone with military experience and actually retired due to battle was truly helpful. Without a thorough understanding of defense tactics, they were only doing things with what they thought would be effective. It was not like those defenses were not adequate. However, fundamental knowledge was surely a must to see the holes.

Furthermore, with more Mutators and Evolvers in the base, their security was secured. With Wall-mounted weapons, the Tribe Members of Teremillio, and the Pure Spirit Tree, there should be nothing that they would fear in these mountains.

Right?

Unfortunately, despite their horrifying firepower, people aiming at their current prosperity existed, and they did not know why.

"Any changes?"

Edward asked as he walked up the stairs of the tall fortified walls. Above the wall were the people that the owner of the base left to manage it, Huey, Jolleen, Nicole, and Hallie. There were also the other main members of their group, but they had other things to do than managing the base.

And sure enough, their faces did not look good.

It had almost been a month since Mark and his small group left to the other dimension. To be exact, it was already twenty-eight days.

Things were okay after they left. That was why they managed to develop the base to this extent despite the small manpower they had. What made things even easier was the animals that Annica had tamed. With the mental link that she could give to anyone that wanted a pet, it became easier to train and use the animals for labor.

Finding a suitable pet was kind of hard, though. Although all kinds of animals were fine, catching a good one was rather hard.

After two weeks of peace, they were finally disturbed.

Someone from outside tried to infiltrate the base for an unknown reason. It happened several times with every other day interval at most, for one week.

Unfortunately for the infiltrators, though, Huey could clearly detect the minuscule sounds of their movements before these people could even enter the base. Added with the enhanced physical abilities they acquired after becoming Mutators, their group was already ready before the enemies got in.

All of those that attempted to enter the base stealthily were caught without mistake.

They were not even able to do anything before they fell to the ground, unable to move.

There was even an attempt where the infiltrator could not be seen by Huey, despite the fact that he could hear it. There was no smell either. There, Kate became the main asset. Although others could not see the enemy, she could be seeing the temperature of the surroundings.

With a single point of her hand, the enemy that was trying hard not to make any noise by moving as slowly as possible was lobbed by multitudes of poisoned arrows and needles.

However, even though there were quite a number of enemies that they encountered in the span of that week, they did not manage to get a single prisoner to question.

And from the very first one, they knew that it was kind of impossible.

After all, even though they managed to catch the enemy alive, they would kill themselves immediately. At the moment of their death, only the robes they wore would be left behind. Their bodies would turn to ash.

There were no other clothes from what they were wearing, no weapons either. It seemed that the sole intent was the sneakily enter the base and get any information they could before fleeing. If they failed, only death was warranted as to how every single one did.

Fortunately or unfortunately, those that came with Mark from bay city managed to recognize these robes.

The Auraboros.

Despite recognizing the robes, none of them could fathom why they suddenly appeared here.

Was it because of their enmity with Mark? If that was the case, then, they would not try to use these sacrificial pawns.

It was very doubtful if they knew that this Base was owned by Mark at all.

That was why they were sure that they were here for something else.

After a week, the appearance of these infiltrators stopped.

There was a peaceful two days after that. When they thought that it was over and was ready to return to their previous lives, that was when more uninvited guests appeared.

Adorned with Military Uniforms, they claimed to be from the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Fifty soldiers in total knocked on the gates of the base.

They were claiming that the army was currently on the move to reclaim the country from the infected. As for them who built this base, they were illegal settlers and needed to leave.

This made everyone rather confused and nervous.

Immediately, while Huey and the others faced these uninvited guests, he sent someone to use the radio they had to contact the base in infanta. After all, they never heard of anything like this.

Huey asked the leader of the soldiers his name. And for some reason, the person got frustrated instead. That gave it away.

These people were not soldiers at all and were trying to drive them out for some reason.

However, it seemed that these bastards did not do enough research. They should have thought that the people of this base was cut off from the rest of the world due to the location. And while that was partly true, it was not entirely.

Who would have thought that a base in the middle of the mountains, with no uniformed soldiers and was filled with civilians were directly connected to the military?

These people might have already observed them from afar and that was their conclusion.

And thus, in a country where the civilians fairly feared the armed soldiers, they decided to try this move.

But with the confirmation of Genera Faustino himself, they knew what to do.

Everyone, standing behind the weapons mounted on the walls, aimed at the soldiers.

Unexpectedly, even with that, those soldiers did not back out and were the first to fire their guns.

A sniper rifle was fired from somewhere and Huey who was thought to be the leader was the aim.

But Huey who already detected the ones hiding from a distance was able to dodge it as he moved his body at the moment he heard a sound of metal being scraped.

It became a massacre.

That sniper bullet aimed at Huey triggered the others. They shot their weapons, towards the people dressed soldiers outside the base who were enveloped with panic.

Everyone was killed and Huey and the others tried to chase away the sniper.

The sniper escaped, however.

After the massacre, they realized that most of these people wearing soldier uniforms were actually non-combatants. Although some of them felt guilty, it could not be helped.

It became obvious that whoever the sniper was, he was the one behind this. These people in front of the gates were used to judge the firepower of the base.

After that incident, everyone became cautious. Even the farmers had double the guards while farming. The hunting routine every other day was stopped. They had no choice. Whoever it was, the danger was looming around.

Unexpectedly, there was nothing that happened afterward.

It was until the third week.

Fog enveloped the whole mountain range.

And according to Milliel and the members of Teremillio's tribe, the fog was not natural but was created with magical energy.

Due to the thick fog, even the farming schedules had been stopped as the visibility outside the base, where there was no light, was very low.

And since then, it became a battle of attrition.

Whether they run out of supplies first, or the fog dispersed.

Unfortunately, the base seemed to be on the losing side. And after every day that passed, instead of dispersing, the fog was thickening instead.

Right now, they could barely see a few dozen meters outside the walls.

"No changes at all." Huey sighed. "When will boss return? We already told Chiyo to contact him yesterday."

No one could answer that question.

They wished that they could do something against this situation, but with how it looked like, stepping outside the walls was akin to entering a horror movie.

The only fortunate thing that happened was that nothing happened after the fog appeared. Everything was eerily quiet.

No mutated animals, no infected, and no uninvited guests either.

It was rather peaceful under the veil of this thick fog. But it was too peaceful that it was frightening.

What was more was the tribe elder gave another oracle the other day.

"The eyes are watching and waiting." She said.

It was kind of obscure, but it might mean that the enemies were watching the base while waiting for something.

While they were on watch, Trisha came up the walls with a tray containing cups of soup.

The soup was rather tasty, but it had nothing else but just some bits of canned meat.

Seeing their disappointed faces, Trisha had a bitter smile.

"It can't be helped. We should save our supplies. If we eat like how it was before, our current supplies won't last us another week in our estimate."

Hearing that, they all sighed.

They would rather fight monsters than experience this kind of sh*t.

That was what they thought as they drank the soup they had for breakfast.

They could not help but think that the enemy was waiting for them to use up all their supplies before moving. It might be the thing that they were waiting for, according to the oracle.

That was why when they thought of that, they immediately told Chiyo to contact Mark.

They might not be able to deal with something like this by themselves. But for some reason, Mark would surely be able to.

Because of this, they regretted that they did not try to contact him sooner.

But at this moment, a huge portal opened by the vacant area in the middle of the base. It was not the portal that opens when entering the Spirit Tree but a different one.

A group of humans and Spirit Races came out of the black portal with three giants behind them.

"Spera, are we really back?"

Karlene asked Spera as she looked at the surroundings.

It was because no matter how she looked at it, it was like a ghost town. Since they had been into different dimensions before, it was not impossible where they entered a dimension that had the same appearance as their base but with a different setting.

"We are back. You know that I can only go to places I've seen before."

Spera said as she looked at their leader.

Mark, on the other hand, had a frown on his face. After he absorbed that tornado made of magical energy from the Sylphs, his senses towards magical energy were heightened.

And to say... It felt like they entered a vortex filled with magical energy.