37 ◇Taking A Chance◇
The kid was sitting behind the counter, knees drawn to his chest, and arms clutching them close...his face hidden from view.
Lu Xing felt pity well up inside him...the kid could be no more than 10yrs old.
Leaning down over the kid, Lu Xing gently placed a hand on the kids heads. The kid's dark hair tousled, the gentleness behind the gesture caused the kid to look up... His face streaked with tears, lifeless brown eyes looked up to look at Lu Xing.
There was blood splattered onto the kid's lower face, below the right cheek. Tears continuously streamed down, he was breathing in short bouts. Obviously gone into shock...
Lu Xing looked away, and felt despair for the first time since appearing in this world.
He wanted to shake the boy, ask him questions about the zombie...but he knew it would be hopeless.
His flame in hand, he chose to pause the child's time at his max ability. He couldn't be certain that he would be able to return and grab the kid... The best he could do is leave the kid in one place...hidden.
He picked the kid up, and went to the 'storage' door that was three feet away from the counter. Opening it, only supplies were stored in it, leaving enough space for possibly three people. Lu Xing placed the kid on the floor inside it, and grabbed a single large table cloth to place over the kid.
In the paused state, one was alive and breathing, but the breathing was very low, a person's heart beating to the slowest tempo.
It came in handy whenever Lu Xing had ever needed a quick opening against unsuspecting opponents. There was only one problem... The backlash from his abilities would come crashing on him once he attempted to use this ability for about four more times.
Then he'd be vulnerable.
'I have to quickly get the baby stuff...its enough that I've already complicated things here.' Lu Xing sighed as he closed the storage closet behind him.
He left the coffee shop, and headed over to take a look at the Mall Directory & Map that sat further inside from the entrance. There he instantly searched up the baby depot...
'Crap...' Lu Xing thought as he realized some of the noise was up on the second floor level, close to the exact location of where he needed to go. 'Using shadowstep is easier in wide open places...but this could be tricky...'
Shadowstep was a tricky ability, it is a side bonus due to the affinities any Mutants can find themselves with. Such affinities would have been discovered by most Mutants within three years into the Apocalypse. Luckily, Lu Xing still had it...though he was missing a few other helpful abilities since coming here...
'If only I could still use Shadow Imprint,' Lu Xing thoughts turned to his missing abilities, 'and Flaming Butterflies...'
In his prior life he had kept these two skills even more lowkey, though they were more helpful than him just physically burning things up. He recalled the moment that Angel of Death had begun to dismantle his life in the form of data... It was probably then that he lost those two abilities, before he severed the process.
On his own time since, he could feel the emptiness caused by those missing abilities. It was like a hungry void that was constantly searching for something. When or how he would gain those abilities...
Lu Xing didn't know.
'It's like I'm starting partially from scratch,' He mused, 'except this time, the Apocalypse makes no sense.'
His eyes flased toward the acid markings before he turned away, and began to walk towards the direction of the nearest staircase...
Last thing he needed was to draw attention from the thing behind those acid markings.
Elsewhere in the mall, Kuan Mo was listening to voice traffic from the people hiding inside the mall...
Not regular voice traffic...no...cause it all came from people's minds.
He had heard the boy's chaotic mind go quiet before he had gotten to the place he was in now. His heart had turned and twisted with guilt at the thought that the boy had perished. The other two groups had managed to evade the monstrous thing just as he had planned it out.
Darn thing was slow, and he had managed to lead it further into the 1st floor. Kuan Mo had figured out via the voice traffic, that everyone was heading up to the upper floors... This had relieved him immensely...
Up till the damn thing started moving up the stairwell rather than continue following its original prey.
'Could it have heard something?' Kuan Mo pondered as he looked around trying to figure out if there was anything useful within the vicinity.
He cursed out when he realized how useless searching for weapons was in a woman's clothing store.
Kuan Mo took a quick scan of all the nearby shops he could see from his spot. Three were clothing shops of various sorts, while one was a sporting goods shops. Another further away...closer to the stairwell...was a Oriental Storefront with katana swords displayed on the window.
'Shit...' Kuan Mo calculated the odds of him reaching that store, the alarm being tripped, and the big guy coming back...
He had terrible odds.
The thing was just barely reaching midway up the stairs when Kuan Mo took his chance.
It was a foolish chance despite how clever minded Kuan Mo was...he was still a desperate man.
'I NEED TO SURVIVE!' Kuan Mo mentally shouted his ambitions in a manner of self motivation.
Sweating from the fear, and running towards an uncertain outcome...
Kuan Mo for once felt truly alive.