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Day 126 - 9:23 AM - Mountain Base, Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon
Early in the morning, everyone woke up receiving a piece of bad news .
The Tribe Elder had passed away .
Mark, who was the owner of this base, organized an emergency meeting during breakfast . The passing of the Elder was the first news that he brought to them .
She, who guided the remaining members of her tribe to safely, had finally reached the end of the line .
Nevertheless, even though no one meant it in the wrong way, many people in the base were curious as to how the Elder lasted this long . Although no one asked, her appearance could tell anyone that she must have passed a hundred years old already even before the outbreak came .
After all, not everyone was able to see what was the actual reason .
One of the things that entered everyone's mind, however, was the fact that the Elder was the very first death among the members of the base since Mark established the base .
Nonetheless, no one could decide whether this was a bad or a good thing .
It was a bad thing because the Elder left her loved ones, especially her grandchildren .
On the other hand, she did not have to worry anymore about surviving in this world . The world was already moving towards destruction . Anyone could die anything . In the least, she did not die being torn apart by the teeth of the infected .
She died with her loved ones beside her, unlike the families of almost everyone here .
None of them even knew whether their loved ones that died still had their bodies intact .
Everyone wanted to do a funeral for the Elder .
Unfortunately, they did not know whether their current situation would allow it .
In the meeting, Mark did not hide that the enemies might be attacking today . This added to the tension that everyone felt from the death of the Elder .
Furthermore, Mark already told them that everyone, except the children and elderly, would be participating in this battle . It was to give everyone a good experience in defending the base .
But in the middle of Mark's announcement . He suddenly said that everyone except for some selected people would be retreating inside the space of the Spirit Tree .
The subspace existing inside Chiyo was not new to them . In fact, everyone here had already entered it since they started to build things inside, following Mark's instructions .
However, for the former plans to be changed at the last minute, everyone felt that something was not right .
It was not hard to guess that something was going on . However, Mark decided to hide the details of this one and did not say anything instead .
Nevertheless, many felt relieved . It was because these ones were unlike the people close to Mark . They were already trained to fight and had some experiences . On the other hand, while the majority of the people in the base only managed to live by being slaves . They were protected by their owners as property and manpower .
And after the announcement, there was no time to waste . Everyone was told to prepare to evacuate and transport most of the things into the subspace .
Thus, everyone became more active than any of the days they had in their lives . It was as if the scene of evacuation when a typhoon was coming repeated itself in the apocalypse .
Everyone here knew that Mark and his team were fierce . But if they said that everyone should evacuate despite their presence, the situation might really be dangerous . Thus, no one held back in preparing to leave .
Mark watched the situation as he made his way back to the Elder's dwelling . Without any place or time for a funeral, the Elder's body still lay on her bed .
Mei came with Mark this time . Quietly walking beside him .
The loss of the Elder was the loss of a great asset . Despite being cryptic, her Oracles could warn the base against danger .
In respect to the Elder, Mark decided on something .
Mark did not know whether it would be an honor or not . However, it was the best that he could treat the deceased old woman .
She was to be buried inside the subspace of the Night Everred Spirit Tree, forever protected from everything as long as the tree continued to exist .
Mark entered the room . It was being guarded by the remaining members of their tribe .
They bowed their heads upon Mark and Mei's entry .
At the bed that could be seen in the entrance, the body of the Elder could be seen . She was now dressed in different clothing and was surely cleaned diligently . Not even a trace of blood could be seen around despite what happened last night when the Elder coughed out blood, staining her clothes, the floor, and the bed .
Mark looked at the granddaughter whose eyes were not only swelling but was also a bit dark . It was very likely that she did not sleep a wink at all and took care of everything . As for her brother, it seemed that he was tired of crying . He was lying down on the bed beside her .
Without saying anything, Mark and Mei walked towards the body of the Elder .
No one said anything, either and just watched .
But then, Mark held his hand towards the forehead of the deceased Tribe Elder .
Then, the wind swirled around inside the room as if someone suddenly turned on an industrial fan .
Every cloth in the room fluttered with the wind .
The wind surged with Mark and the Elder at the center .
Although it was not present on his face, Mark was also quite surprised at the current phenomenon . Although he had done this before, this was the first time that something like this happened .
It was no different . Using an [Empty Mental Crystal], he was taking out the Elder's [Oracle] ability from her corpse before it dissipated .
He could have done it last night . Although he was not sure if he was able to take it, he could at least try . However, he decided to do it after the Elder died .
This ability that ran through their blood was the one that tried to maintain her life . If he chose to do it last night and succeeded, it would immediately end her life .
That would be unfair for her two grandchildren that she would leave behind .
But then . . .
The crystal on his hand shattered .
Mark frowned . Sure enough, the Elder's ability was different from normal ones .
Taking another [Empty Mental Crystal], he tried once more .
The second crystal also shattered into pieces .
Two marble-sized crystals already shattered to dust . If the Spirit Races knew of this, they would surely cry . Even Gods seem to value it, but two large pieces of it shattered into nothingness .
Despite that, Mark did not give up .
He took out seven crystals in one go .
Mark wanted to see if a single crystal was not enough, or it was just hard to succeed in getting this power .
And then, the wind intensified further . It was too strong that it started to knock things over .
Then, a different reaction happened .
Six crystals shone and flew in the air, leaving one on Mark's hand . They started to glow brightly and spun altogether, like a group of dancers .
The spectacle amazed everyone . Even the tribe members outside could not help but open the door and come in in a hurry because of the noises inside the room .
The six crystals continued to spin in a circle for a whole minute already while everyone stared and waited . They all floated above the Elder's forehead while dancing in the air .
Then, slowly, the six crystals starred to close in to each other . The circle started to shrink as the crystals began to spin faster .
With a bright light that made everyone cover their eyes, the six crystals combined .
The next thing that they saw was a bright red crystal with a glowing golden orb inside floating above the Elder's face .
Seeing that it succeeded, Mark was glad . He wasted some crystals, but it should be worth it . He was about to grab it when something unnatural happened .
A hazy red string started to appear connected to the crystal . As for the other end of it, no one knew as it vanished midway the ceiling .
Nevertheless, Mark knew, the string had to end somewhere . It was because whatever it was, the crystal was getting dragged by it somewhere .
Mark hurriedly grabbed the crystal and pulled it .
However, it was as if the crystal was affixed in the air and refused to budge . Slowly, it was floating away, even staring to drag Mark with it .
Something was absolutely wrong .
Not giving up on trying to drag the crystal, Mark racked his brains out . Even Mei grabbed onto him and started to pull .
Nevertheless, even with the strength of two Pure Blood Demons, they failed to resist the force pulling the crystal away .
Mark started to use his full strength as the veins on his body glowed brightly . Mei was the same as she even opened her wings .
It was futile, however . The crystal was still being dragged away .
Mark then sent a surge of Miasma to envelop the hazy string . If this string was made of energy, his Miasma should be able to absorb it .
Unexpectedly, the surge of Miasma passed through the string as if it was not there at all .
Now that Mark noticed, even though he was holding unto the crystal, the string was passing through his fist . It was an ethereal existence that no one seemed to be able to touch .
But then, a surprising help came .
Mayumi, the Elder's granddaughter, charged towards the crystal .
Grabbing onto Mark's hand, she also pulled .
But then . . .
Mark and Mayumi reacted at the same time .
Not because she grabbed unto Mark's hand, but because her hand hit the string and did not pass through .
Seeing that, Mark immediately shouted .
"Quick! Grab the string and try to tear it apart!"
Hearing that, Mayumi immediately climbed up the bed of her deceased grandmother and jumped towards the string . Grabbing with both hands, she tried to tear it apart .
She managed to grab it . However, it seemed that there was no way of tearing or cutting it .
But Mayumi was not giving up .
She knew what those crystals meant, and this one was definitely her grandmother's powers . There was no way for her to give up on something that her grandmother should leave behind .
Thus, with all her might, she pulled the string apart . She did it too hard that her hands started to bleed .
The blood from her hand started to flow down the string and dripped on Mark's hands .
As there was no time to wipe it away, Mark just let it flow .
Then, the blood touched the crystal .
The moment that it happened, the force tugging them started to weaken . Slowly, the red string started to dissipate .
Without the string, Mayumi, who was hanging unto it, fell down . Mark and Mei, on the other hand, managed to stabilize themselves and did not fall by accident .
However, it was not finished .
With another flash of bright light, Mark's hand was forced open .
The crystal then flew towards Mayumi and rested on her hand .
It looked like the crystal knew who it should belong to . But of course, Mayumi was still not of age . She was not able to absorb it, like how she was still ineligible to inherit it from her grandmother .
Sitting on the ground, Mayumi smiled . She looked at the crystal on her hand and her deceased grandmother .
"Don't worry, grandmother . Our family's legacy will not end on you as you are worried about . I will continue it . "
She said with tears on the corner of her eyes .
"Hah, that was tiring . "
Mark shrugged . His forehead was kind of sweaty .
It would be a lie if he said that he was not worried about what happened . Not only that, it would be a waste, but the fear of the Elder might really happen . Luckily, the key was the blood of her granddaughter .
No matter how anyone looked at it, this ability only belonged to their family .