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482 The Arrival of Tan Sitong, The Vice Leader of the Auraboros China Branch

 Day 125 - 7:47 PM - Daraitan Elementary School, Barangay Daraitan, Tanay, Rizal

The sky was already dark when every member of Auraboros was alarmed by the cracking of space.

They immediately gathered as it was the signal that their leader would arrive. Before the portal could widely open, everyone had already gathered to welcome the arrival of their leader.

Once the unstable portal widely opened, several figures came out of it.

Leading the group of eleven people was a man that seemed to be in his early thirties. He wore a long dark blue colored Chinese robe with golden embroideries and a mark of a golden dragon at the center of his torso. On his head, there was a black hat that had the shape of a boat. From how his clothes looked, it seemed that it had a style of a civil officer in the Qing Dynasty.

The man's face was pale as a corpse. However, for a very contradicting manner, his body exuded a thick aura of vitality.

Still, the stitches that were present on his neck and the line on it indicated that this person should not be a living one.

Behind him were ten people who moved in pairs. They had the same kind of attire, but less gallant and a talisman that hung from their hats covered their faces. They did not walk either but jumped behind the man as they followed.

As the man stepped out of the portal, Chaaya humbly spoke.

"We welcome the arrival of Leader Tan Sitong."

Everyone prostrated.

Sure enough, everyone here respected the man, and it was not from fear. The man also seemed to not look down on anyone even though they prostrated in front of him.

Nevertheless, even though he seemed to value his subordinates, the darkness in his eyes could tell that he would not hesitate to abandon them when needed. A kind but sinister person, that was how everyone here knew this person was. If he saw that a person was of value, he would not hesitate to cherish them. Lose that value, and they would not be worthy of his glance.

Tan Sitong was a different person when he was still alive. However, as his death and resurrection tainted his body, the previous him was no longer present.

After all, "he failed to kill the robbers because of his lack of strength. And died because of it."

As the group stepped out of the portal, Tan Sitong looked back as the portal immediately closed.

"This portal is very inconvenient. It took two weeks to set up and needed a lot of virgin sacrifices. Yet, it only opened for several seconds."

Tan Sitong said with a tint of annoyance in his voice. He then turned to his subordinates and spoke once more.

"All of you stand up. Chaaya, Long Yue, I need more information about our goals here."

"Thank you, Leader Tan Sitong. Please follow us."

Chaaya said as she led the leader back to the place they prepared for him.

They prepared the room rather lavishly compared to the surroundings of Daraitan. There were soft couches, expensive types of furniture, and even charms that exuded vitality. They did put a lot of effort into this as it was hard to find such luxuries in the mountains.

But of course, in the eyes of their leader, this was rather bland. Chaaya knew that, and such, she immediately said.

"I apologize if it was not to your taste. It is rather hard to gather better things as we can find nothing much here but mountains."

Tan Sitong took the center seat in the room without saying anything. The people behind immediately scattered, standing in different directions of the room with their backs on the walls.

Chaaya felt relieved seeing that. And thus, they reported everything that their leader needed to know.

After half an hour, Tan Sitong closed his eyes in contemplation.

"I see..." He said. "There is an unknown factor in that place. It is possible that whatever it is, we will have to face it. To be able to go in and out of Féth Fíada, it seemed to be a strong one."

"Leader, do we have to prepare about it?"

Chaaya asked.

"Definitely. Being prepared is far better than not."

Tan Sitong nodded.

"But leader, what are we going to do? We can't transport new weaponry of call for reinforcements now, can we?"

It was Huo Long Yue that asked this time.

"There was no need."

Tan Sitong shook his head.

Then, he waved his right hand towards the two, making a hundred yellow paper talismans flew out of his sleeve that landed in a stack in front of them.

"Capture some soulless ones. I will lend you these aides for this mission."

Tan Sitong said making six of the people that came with him, jump forward.

"Put the talisman on the head of the soulless ones, and they will activate it. We configured those talismans to control the soulless ones for a day before burning out. Gather the strongest that you can, but do not use those talismans immediately. Prepare for another day, and we will start at night of the next day after."

"Yes, Leader. We will accomplish this immediately."

Chaaya and Huo Long Yue replied together.

"Then, all of you are dismissed."

Tan Sitong said, which made the two go out with the six aides lent to them.

"Are you done eavesdropping?"

Tan Sitong said.

Then, a person entered through the window of the room.

"To think that the vice leader of the Chinese Branch personally led this. That Shadow Woman and that insane cultivator were too tight-lipped to tell."

The fox lady said as she leaned on the window.

"You sure had the guts to stand like that in front of me."

Tan Sitong was offended by the conduct of the fox.

"I only bow down to my Empress."

Tan Sitong glared at the fox.

"State your name and your business here."

The fox lady smiled slyly.

"Where are my manners? This one's name is Yukine, vice leader of the Yuki Kitsune under our Empress. And for my business here is no different from what you all are here. But do not worry. I will not meddle in your affairs until you all are finished."

Of course, Tan Sitong did not favorably take the last sentence.

"You seem to know something."

Tan Sitong immediately picked up what Yukine meant.

"While I do know something, I can only tell that to my Empress. The only thing I can say that even if you are all defeated, it's just a matter of bad luck. Well then, if you excuse me."

Yukine then jumped out of the window, leaving Tan Sitong frowning.

He did not like what that sly fox just said.

It seemed that he needed to prepare more things than he thought or that sly fox would not give such a statement.

Foxes are known for feasting on vital energy. And thus, they were capable of sensing such. It was very likely that the fox already found out the factor that was unknown to them. Unfortunately, she was directly under the Empress. Or else, Tan Sitong would have captured her to squeeze out the information even if she was a member of another branch.

"I'll just have to prepare this in case."

Tan Sitong murmured as he rubbed the ancient-looking ring on his finger. As he touched the black gem on it, several jade bottles appeared in front of him.

"It might ruin everyone, but it can't don't matter. We needed to know the source of that metal and capture the Spirit Tree."

He said as he opened one of the bottles. The smell of medical efficacy seeped out in the room. However, instead of a calming and fragrant one, it smelled like blood and had a sinister feel to it.

Inside the jade bottle was several fingernail-sized balls. The balls had a sinister red color. It was called [Berserk Pills]. The research of Berserk Medicine had reached different branches which headed towards different results. And to the Chinese Branch, they managed to create medicinal pills from it. However, it was far from being medicine. It was a kind of evil drug that could mutate the individual that consumed it.

And worse, it was could also affect the infected once they ingested it. It would not cause the infected to raise a level but would make the infected gain new abilities.

"Hmm... I should also tell them to capture some consumable pawns."

Tan Sitong murmured with an evil thought.

***

Day 125 - 7:49 PM - Moutain Base, Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

Early in the night, Mark was currently in his workshop. He was eating dinner while he worked on two identical bracelets and a ring.

Mark had trained all the [Blood Children] to be able to transform into armor or weapons. That was why they needed fewer items to carry around. However, it was different for things like Mei's sniper rifle, the ammunition, and other stuff that could not be replicated by the [Blood Children]. Thus, he decided to use the three Space attribute Gems that Mei traded from Bathala. Two were bracelets because Mark and Mei already had rings. The last ring was for Spera, who was the one that led Mei to that encounter.

With these Spatial Items, it would be easier to carry things around. Unfortunately, the space was quite limited. However, there was nothing they could do as these Gems were rather rare. It was very likely that Bathala could not even create something like this, or he would have used it to trade for more [Energy Crystals].

While Mark was working, Spera came suddenly came into his workshop, huffing.

"Master! I felt a fluctuation in space just now. About to the southwest of the base."

"What kind of fluctuation?"

Mark asked. If it was just a tear in space, it should be fine.

"It felt like a forcefully opened space. The fluctuation was quite violent. I only felt something like this before when the China Branch of Auraboros is experimenting on some ancient magic circle."

Hearing that, Mark pondered a bit. Of course, it was not hard to assume what was happening.

"I see." Mark smiled. "Don't panic. Maybe, the one leading the enemies finally arrive. But they won't make a move too soon."

"Is that so?"

Spera asked, tilting her head in confusion. She thought that it was rather urgent, and such, she rushed towards Mark. To see him this calm, maybe, she was worrying too much.

"It's okay. Go back and rest. If I notice some changes, I'll be the first to move out."

"Okay, then."

Spera finally retreated. Of course, there were still doubts in her mind. But seeing that Mark was unfazed, then, it should be alright.

As for Mark, why was he confident about it?

Mark shook his head with the thought. These past days, he riled up the enemies so much that they were too wary. Even if their leader appeared, they would not attack without preparing.

He was not just playing with them. While he did that, he was reading their emotions, reading their thoughts, observing their reactions, and analyzing their personalities. That way, he could buy more time before the enemies attack.

Furthermore, they would not attack immediately, even after surrounding the base. It was because it was clear that the Auraboros needed something from here.

Before they kill everyone, they would want to obtain those things first.

Unknown to them, the person who solely foiled their plans in Bay City was the owner of this base. If they did, it was doubtful that they would only prepare that number of people.

However, when that thought passed his mind, he realized something.

"Well then, I guess I should check them later after I finish these things."

He murmured as he felt something that was not right.

But as he said that, he froze. He suddenly turned his head towards the east, his eyes glowing with a purplish light.

"Not good. The Emika and the others."