Mutagen - BestLightNovel.com
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Mark walked around the crowd to find a good position to watch the show. Looking at it, the show would finish soon since he could feel that the girl was already determined to end her current life and hope for a better one.
Even though it was already deep in the night, the commotion created by the two still managed to gather quite an amount of people. Since there was a severe lack of entertainment after the apocalypse started, a real life drama such as this would surely attract people.
Since Mark could not find a good spot, he jumped onto a nearby tree and sat on a thick branch. The place he found was overlooking the crowd and he was able to see the couple with ill-fated relations.h.i.+p.
The boy was a rather lean one but he was not thin. He looked like about seventeen or eighteen and even though it was not too obvious, his body had muscles that acc.u.mulated due to daily hard labor. His looks were not bad and were slightly above average. Along with his poorly shaped haircut that complimented his face and slightly tan skin, he could have been a looker if he wore some decent clothing. Unfortunately, what he was currently wearing was some tattered clothes that was obviously not changed for days.
As for the girl who looked like about a year younger than the boy, her face was rather good looking and was on the cute side with her small oval face. Unlike the boy who was wearing tatters, she was currently wearing a rather decent pair of blouse and skirt. She was light skinned and seemed to have a good upbringing at home. Unfortunately, this would also be the one of the worst things to have in the apocalypse. The things she acquired in her good life in before was what hindered the relations.h.i.+p of the two now that the world had fallen into ruin.
"Pearl! Are you really leaving me just like this?!"
The boy grabbed the right wrist of the girl that was about to leave with barely anything in tow. Even though they had a small house to stay which made their lives better than those that were sleeping in the streets, they still barely had any personal items they owned. For the girl, it was likely that everything they had now could already fit that small backpack on her back.
"Edzel, I already said this right?" Pearl shrugged his hands. "I can't stand this life anymore! This past month, we've been enduring. There's barely any food to eat. It is dangerous to get water in the river. Even when we needed to fish, it is hard to get a catch and if unlucky, the one we catch might even be the one to try and eat us. I always feel sticky and dirty since we can't even get enough water to drink not to mention wiping our bodies. I'm already fed up with this!"
"Then where are you going after you leave?!"
"Someone from the Cristobal family offered me a good deal! Even being just a servant there is way better than staying here! I don't want to keep staying here in poverty and end up like those women waiting at the main street in the future!"
The grasp of Edzel on Pearl's wrist loosened and soon let go. His teary eyes stared at Pearl's face. He started to loose heart after he saw her determined gaze.
"How about the past years we spent together?"
"I'm sorry. We can't be together from now on."
With that last line, Edzel looked down in self-pity. His shoulders drooped down. Pearl made a last look at Edzel. There was still a bit of hesitation in her eyes but the determination to leave their current state of living overwhelmed it. She then turned around and left with that group of Mutators waiting quite a distance away. The male leading the group even coiled his arms on her waist and she did not resist it.
Seeing that, Edzel was even more disheartened.
'I wish… You a good life…"
Edzel stared at Pearl's back until she vanished from his sight.
With the end of the drama, the gallery started to disperse. Some of them looked at Edzel with sympathy while some looked indifferent. However, no one came to cheer him up or talk to him.
Even after the gallery dispersed, he remained standing in the place where Pearl left him with his eyes looking on the ground. His heart and mind was in turmoil as he blamed himself for this entire event. Although there was also the fault on Pearl, he would not and could not deny that he was not able to give the life she wanted.
"It's because you are weak."
He heard a pa.s.sing whisper in his ear. Even though he clearly heard the voice, he did not know whether someone whispered it to him or he was hearing things due to his emotions. Nevertheless, the voice was right. He was weak. They could only live in the Outer District because he was weak. There was not enough water and food because he was weak. Even was.h.i.+ng and bathing was impossible because he was weak.
"I am weak."
He muttered in a very low voice. Turning around, he walked back to his small house swaying like an emaciated person. It looked like all the energy in his body was drained in one go.
"It looks like I found someone interesting."
Mark muttered with a smile as he vanished in a puff of black mist and left the area to continue his search. However, he planned to go back here to recruit that person later. It was easier to make a loyal subordinate from a person backed into a corner with nothing left after all.
Still, the boy needed to wallow in despair, sadness and helplessness for a bit. He needed to reflect on what he had and what he did not have. However, his desires were severely lacking. As such…
Mark used whisper. It was super effective.
Edzel's current circ.u.mstances were quite similar to Freed's and that was why Mark felt a bit of sympathy for the boy. However, that was not the reason why Mark was interested in recruiting the boy who was abandoned by his beloved person. The reason was entirely a different story though.
Leaving the west side of the Outer District, Mark removed his [Optical Camouflage] in a hidden corner of the street. The eastern side of the Outer District was more populated than the west side that was closer to the dangerous forest area outside the walls. Because of that, it was questionable if Mark would be able to keep his [Optical Camouflage] without accidentally b.u.mping into someone. His [Shadow Mist Movement] could also be seen either.
Furthermore, with the number of people around, no one would likely stop someone like him and he would also not attract that much gazes since he was alone. Still, he stayed away from the obvious hookers as much as possible.
Looking at the state of the common people in the Outer District, there seemed to be quite a number of homeless children. All of them looked emaciated and some obviously formed groups to survive this mess together. Still, they were all children. There was very little that they could do.
However, Mark felt that they were good candidates to groom. After all, he could see and feel how mature these children were. Compared to most children that could only think of internet and video games in the past, the children that made it through the past month and struggle to survive were better. Furthermore, planting loyalty on children was way easier than adults.
In the middle of the east side of the Outer District, Mark's eyes lit up. He finally felt the first [BloodChild] nearby and it was actually here in the poverty stricken district.
It did not take long Mark found the house where he could feel the [BloodChild]. He was quite surprised though even if he had not knocked on the door yet. Inside the small house made of tattered wood boards and rusty metal roofing, he could feel a family of three. Two had weaker fluctuations which were obviously children while the last one who had a rather complex mental fluctuation was surely an elderly. However, the elderly was unexpectedly a Mutator.
A Mutator was currently living in the outer district with two children. Furthermore, Mark could feel that the [BloodChild] inside the house was rather in a good condition. Even better that the ones he got from the laboratory in the Military Settlement.
Mark knocked on the door made of rusty metal than being made of wood.
It seemed that the sound inside echoed badly and everyone inside was awakened by the knocks.
Mark then frowned. He could tell that the two children were afraid while the elderly was cautious for some reason. The fluctuations inside moved and the two children noiselessly moved to the furthest corner of their house while the elderly moved suspiciously at another corner, stopped for a bit like the person picked up something and slowly moved towards the door.
'Just what is happening here?'
He could not help but frown even deeper.
A Mutator living in the Outer District was already suspicious but their actions after he knocked on the door were rather disturbing for Mark who came here peacefully. It seemed that there seemed to be a deeper story to this.
The door slowly opened a bit and Mark could see a stern face of a man about past fifty in age peeking on the small opening of the door.
Seeing Mark who was an unfamiliar face to them, the elderly seemed to have relaxed a little.
"Who are you?"
The old man cautiously asked.
"I'm someone who just came here in the East Port to look for something. I'm just asking around."
Mark replied with a lie.
"That didn't answer my question."
Hearing that, Mark shrugged his shoulders, just the elderly being the elderly.
"You can call me Shade."
Mark's answer made the old man look at Mark's face since it was obvious that it was an alias but since many people used aliases nowadays, it was not really new.
"What can I do for you?"
"I just want to confirm but do you have a blood colored slime with you?"
The elderly's countenance changed and immediately tried to close the door. However, Mark was faster and blocked the door with his foot preventing it from getting closed.
"Dammit! Go away! Return to your boss! We already said that we will have no business with the Cristobal Family!"
Mark's countenance turned dark.
'Just what did the Cristobal Family have to do with me? Furthermore, return to my boss? If this was a joke, it was not funny.'
The old man tried to push the door close but it would not budge. Without a choice, he pulled his weapon and pointed it out through the gap on the door. It was a double barreled shotgun.
"Don't push me! Go away or I'll shoot!"
Seeing that, Mark smiled grimly.
"Fine, shoot. Let's see whose grandchildren would wander the streets tomorrow."
The old man wavered and was shocked. His eyes were saying that out of all the people that the Cristobal Family sent here, Mark was the only one that was not fazed even if the shotgun was pointed at his face.
"It's better if you put that down."
Mark sternly looked at the old man and his glowing red eyes suddenly brought out a heavy pressure.
"I don't know what's going on with your family and the Cristobals but I have nothing to do with whatever feud you have. I just came here to collect what don't belong here in this settlement."
"Y-You really don't belong to the Cristobal Family?"
The old man tried to confirm once more.
"Cristobal Family? What kind of animals are they?"
Hearing that, the old man finally believed Mark. After all, what he had said was a total defamation against the Cristobal Family and no one that belonged to that family would say something like that. It was because if what they said reached the family, a severe punishment and torture awaited for them. Furthermore, the man outside the door was not even afraid to say those words even when there were people behind that were attracted to the old man's shouting.
"P-Please, come in."
The old man opened the door and let Mark inside.