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The sun had already risen more than two hours ago. The preparations of the vehicles to use were nearing the final phase but despite that fact, the soldiers were tenser and were obviously under heavier pressure. About three hours ago, they received the bad news. The large horde they were antic.i.p.ating was nearing the settlement.
It was very fortunate that the direction the horde was coming from were surrounded by creeks, water ca.n.a.ls and branching rivers or else, the horde would have reached this place in less than an hour. However, those natural defenses would not last too long and were only effective to the infected that were not able to climb which were majorly, human infected.
Most of the infected fauna on the other hand, retained their predatory instincts and physical advantages. This allowed some of the infected insects to be able to climb over walls like spiders and run a faster speed that human infected like cats, dogs and rats. Not to mention that there even insects that retained the ability to fly. Furthermore, the infected insects had grown in absurd sizes. Not only one or two but all insects that turned into infected had grown larger that some were even larger than smaller vehicles.
There were also the threat of the mutated infected and there was a large number of them among the horde. Each kind of the mutated had varying characteristics and abilities. Those abilities ranged from physical enhancements to being able to release chemicals and acids from their bodies. Seeing all those, none of the soldiers dispatched to observe the horde were optimistic that the fortifications and road blockades they made would last long.
While everyone here in the settlement was not done preparing yet, several teams of military personnel which consisted of five to ten people per group were already dispatched to delay the horde and aid the scouting groups. They were dispatched to specifically deal with the infected animals and insects from reaching the settlement until the preparations were done.
While everyone was busy and were in rush to finish modifying the remaining vehicles, a girl who was walking with a middle aged woman caught the attention of the workers and the soldiers of the 11th Rescue Squad manning the preparations. The girl had green hair riddled with pink blossoming flowers and the ends of her hair had grown into vines that were rolled into a shape of a person.
The girl was obviously Emika who came to the Parking Area with her mother, Rosamie. They were here to look for their group leader who seemed to have forgotten something.
Among the vehicles in the parking area, there was an eye catching large van that was even modified so much better than what the workers and soldiers had done with the new vehicles. Even though the front of the vehicle and the V-shaped ram attached to the front had worn out paint and dents already, it was no doubt a luxury car modified to be a zombie apocalypse vehicle.
The pair soldiers in shift to guard the vehicles saw Emika and Rosamie coming and immediately saluted. The guards looking out for the vehicles were obviously from the 7th Squad and knew Emika who helped in eliminating the threat of Dominador's faction and rescued all those poor women and children.
This behavior of the soldiers also caught the attention of the other people at the scene which led them to question the ident.i.ties of the two in their minds. Nevertheless, none of those people went to ask or approach the strange looking girl. To most of the people, not only the refugees but even to quite a number of soldiers, Mutators were a completely unknown existence.
People might easily accept Evolvers since they were basically enhanced humans but Mutators were different. In the views of common refugees, Mutators were nothing but intelligent infected. This became a deterrent for these people to accept the existence of Mutators even though the soldiers had already briefed the populace about their existence.
Rosamie knocked on the window of the black armored van.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click for visiting.
Soon, the door slid to the side revealing Mark who was holding a cup of hot coffee while yawning.
Rosamie was confused and forgot about her complains immediately. Looking at Mark's reddish eyes, fatigued face and slightly pale countenance, it was obvious that Mark was deprived of sleep.
"Is something… wroooong?"
Mark asked as he yawned once more.
"You didn't sleep last night?"
Rosamie could not help but ask.
"I wasn't able to. Anyway, why are you two here?"
Emika cheerfully greeted.
"Yeah, yeah. Good Morning to you too."
Mark replied before looking back to Rosamie.
"This. You forgot to take it away. My daughter had to keep it outside the door for the whole night."
Rosamie pointed at the human shaped clump of vines being pulled by the little dryad. Though she seemed dissatisfied, her mood was better than before she saw the fatigued Mark.
Mark scratched his head. He totally forgot to tell Captain Dela Rosa to take Dominador's body. Since it's already here anyway, he might as well do an experiment.
"Wait a minute, I'll just take something, then follow me to where we can leave that body."
Seeing his apologetic expression, Rosamie nodded. However, Emika on the other hand hopped into the vehicle. Aside from the smell of coffee from the cup Mark was holding, there was a smell of hot milk coming from inside the vehicle.
"Scary Uncle, I want to drink milk too!"
Mark shook his head with a smile.
"Alright, there's still hot water anyway. Mrs. Rosamie, want a cup of coffee? Consider this as apology for the burden."
With that invitation, the mother and daughter entered the vehicle leaving the human shaped clump of vines outside the vehicle.
Inside, the two saw Abbygale and Iola drinking a gla.s.s of milk each and Mei who was still sleeping.
Rosamie could not help but ask since seeing Mei still sleeping while Abbygale was already awake seemed strange. If it was normal, Mark would have already woken her up.
Since Rosamie and her children were not present yesterday afternoon when Mark talked to the others, he summarized the content of the topic yesterday and told the two while drinking coffee. He also introduced Iola to the two. Even though the two knew about the girl yesterday afternoon, they did not know what happened and it was really strange to see the dying girl yesterday up and about the next morning.
"By the way, what are you doing yesterday? We called for you three but none of you came for dinner."
Mark asked as Rosamie's family was absent yesterday. Then, Rosamie's face darkened.
"It's my brother's fault. As a botanist, he became crazy studying my children's plant like abilities and it went like that till midnight."
Though Rosamie's expression soured, it seemed that she was used to that behavior of her brother. Well, most scientists had a unique personality in one way or another. It was not new.
"What's the result?"
"Chervil said that there are existing plants with similar properties that Emika's vines and Mikio's tree roots had but he's totally sure that their abilities created a totally new genus of flora. He could not remember any plant cell structure that had the same structure as my children's abilities."
"That's completely expected. Just how would it have the same structure as normal plants when the vines and roots came from Mutated children?"
They all finished drinking the contents of their cups and ate some crackers and cookie sandwiches. Mark left the duty of guarding the still sleeping Mei to the trustworthy and calm cat girl. It was not like the Abbygale would let anything happen to the woman she called "Mama" from time to time.
Rosamie and Emika followed Mark bringing Dominador's body back to the utility room where Mark and Odelina left Alderick's body last night. There were soldiers now at the vicinity but none of them blocked Mark's path. He knew that these soldiers belonged to the 7th Rescue Squad considering their behavior towards him and their familiar mental fluctuations.
Entering the room, it was totally empty. It seemed that the dead body had already been disposed of and even the blood on the floor was cleaned up.
Mark and the two entered the door and closed it immediately. No one must witness what they were about to do here.
"Emika, retract the vines."
As Mark's instruction entered her ear, Emika removed the vines around Dominador's body. The vines moved like whips striking the floor to remove the blood on the vines before turning back into fine green hair strands.
Mark on the other hand felt elated once more even forgetting his fatigue from the lack of sleep. It seemed that Emika's vines really had a sealing property not only able to stop Janette from detecting Dominador's body but also the crystals. Yes, even the crystals. Why? It was because the moment the dead body of Dominador was exposed, Mark could feel a strong vibration on his pocket, surely, coming from the Physical Crystal he brought.
Taking out the crystal from his pocket, Mark had not even removed the handkerchief around it when the Physical Crystal excitedly flew out of his hand before stopping above the forehead of Dominador.
With a breathtaking display of light even brighter than the Physical Crystal yesterday that absorbed an unknown ability from the brain of the Muscled Infected, the crystal made its intended work.
Unlike with how Alderick's ability was stored into the Mind Crystal and how the Muscle Infected's ability was stored into the Physical Crystal yesterday, Mark and the other two could observe a different scene in front of them.
While the Physical Crystal was absorbing Dominador's ability, they could see Dominador's body emit a higher temperature that a dead body was not supposed to emit. Then, the red fur that covered his arms and legs started to retract into his skin and his limbs started to return to normal.
Witnessing that scene, Mark could not help but think that the dead body would turn into a common corpse after the Physical Crystal was done with its work. However it seemed that he was mistaken.
When the crystal started to dim and was about to fall, Mark immediately grabbed it using the handkerchief that had fallen into the ground. After that, he retreated without hesitation.
It was because Dominador's body started twitching.
Soon, the supposed to be dead corpse stood up and started to shamble towards them.
Dominador's body without the effects and ability of a Mutator, turned into an infected, specifically, an Eater. Maybe, it was because due to the gunshots wounds destroying the organs of the body, the dead Dominador could only turn into a dead bodied Eater.
Rosamie immediately backed off and Emika readily pierced the head of Dominador with her vine bringing the deceased body back to where it should lay.
"Well, that's surprising."
Mark said with eyes gleaming due to this discovery.
The Physical Crystals could really absorb the abilities of Mutators and it was really the abilities that the Crystals absorb from the dead bodies of unusual people. The way Dominador's body reverted back into being a normal infected was the proof of that.
In that case, he could collect and store abilities of both Mutated Infected and enemy Mutators if he could create more of those crystals in the future. Aside from the crystals he could use, he knew that his collection of rare items would grow exponentially.
However, it really came with a risk. If evil people were to get hold of this news, he and his entourage would surely be chased to the end of the world. It was good that he was an Empath. He could tell who could be trusted and who were not in keeping this secret.