Joshua, Laura, Natalie, and Madalyn were making their way towards the factory. Along the way they had to kill a few stray zombies that had been following the direction of the roar at their leisure. It wasn't quite as bad as it could have been since they had been clearing out a lot of the large hoards in the area for the past week. Now their efforts were paying off since not to many zombies were able to come to the aid of the sub boss. If they hadn't done all the clearing there could have possibly been thousands of zombies heading in the same direction they were.
This time around Joshua had convinced Nathan to stay behind because things were going to be a lot more dangerous than usual. Unlike hunting mindless zombies now they were going up against something that was clever and might go after their weakest link first instead of just charging towards Joshua up front. Nathan could still help by giving his opinions over the mental link, but for now he was tasked with staying back at base and keeping up on any news from the chat room. If someone had survived an encounter with one of these things then Nathan was telling them all about the story.
For example one of the people who had survived an encounter described how the only reason he made it out alive was because the thing was to busy toying with and torturing another person for its amusement. It completely ignored him as it was having too much fun tearing another man's arm off. Instead of freezing up or vomiting at that moment the man decided to make a break for it and escaped the range of the haze. Apparently there was another person with him at the time who had been running by his side, but was just caught at the edge of the haze. When he turned around to look for his friend all he saw was the giant thing holding him in its large hand and slowly crushing him. The entire time it didn't take its eyes off of the man before tossing the body at him and returning back towards its territory.
Another story that Nathan had found was of someone surviving by running into the territory of one of the city bosses. Although he was still in danger sense the creatures in the city were still a threat, but the sub-boss that had been chasing him before had given up and left when he got inside the haze of another creature. Apparently the smaller sub-bosses outside of cities knew to avoid the areas of larger bosses. That also got Joshua thinking of the reason why there were sub-bosses in the cities if the ones outside the cities were afraid to enter. For now he just assumed that the sub-bosses in the larger cities were most likely under control of the larger bosses. While the ones outside of the cities were free and able to do what they wanted as long as they stayed away.
As these thoughts flooded his mind Joshua took in a deep breath to clear his head. Even if the odds of killing one of these creatures were low, it was something they needed to do. If they wanted any chance of being able to kill the boss back in town, then taking down one of these sub bosses was a must. At the rate things were going the big bosses would be awakening soon and they definitely didn't have the time to try to grind millions of zombies to get to level nine. The only way he could see them having a chance of leveling up at all from now on would be to kill the sub-bosses and this was the test run to his theory.
Soon they came into view of the factory building. It was similar to how they left it with the large metal gates at the front still closed and a heavy metal trash can shoved in front of the back entrance. The amount of purple haze surrounding the building had grown and it seemed to be pouring out of the windows and the cracks in the doors in rhythmic waves. It was almost like watching a furnace bellow out smoke as heavy purple clouds continued to pour outside. What was more concerning was the waves of killing intent that grew stronger as they approached the building. For Joshua it wasn't so bad sense he had felt similar feelings when fighting in serious matches. There was also his encounter the other day in the cave that made this level of killing intent feel like child's play to him. The problem was the nervousness it was creating with the three girls with him.
When Joshua tuned to look back at his three companions they were all frozen stiff as they felt the killing intent. Their bodies were shaking and they were starting to break out in sweat. Even Natalie the police officer who had probably been involved in some confrontations throughout her work was seeming to have trouble breathing properly. 'Everyone take a deep breath and calm yourselves down.' Joshua said through the mental link causing all the girls to look towards him and see how easily he was handling the circumstances in comparison.
'How come you're doing so well? This is the level suppression we were talking about yet you who doesn't even have a level yet is fairing so much better than us.' Natalie broadcasted her thoughts to the group and the other two nodded while looking at him questioningly.
'This level suppression fills similar to killing intent if you ask me. You can normally fill something like this when fighting an expert or going against a wild animal that's out to kill you.' Joshua started to explain. 'If you've felt it before or as much as I have throughout my fights then you start to adapt to it. Besides that creature I told you guys about in the cave was far worse than this.'
'Well what's the plan?' Madalyn said as she was the first one to get a grip on her nerves. Apparently her experience with George had a lot to do with it sense she was in better shape than a police officer like Natalie.
Joshua started to look around the area to see what types of things he could use to do as much damage to the beast as quickly as possible. The area was almost barren from what he could tell, but there were a few trucks in the area that probably had gasoline still in them that he could drain out and use. He also took notice of something off in the distance that looked like a rather large storage structure. From the shape it seemed to be some form of granary that had a spiral railing alongside it to reach a door near the top. It might be a good source of food if they ever ran low, but he doubted that anyone would still be alive if the first phase lasted that long.
After having a good look around the area Joshua had put together a solid plan to turn that building into an actual furnace and cook everything inside alive. 'We're going to do what we seem to do best and cook them alive. First we need to get any gasoline we can find on or in those trucks over there. There are probably some containers inside, so will poor that through the window shutters to help create a hotter and stronger flame.' Joshua explained while pointing towards the trucks. 'Then Madalyn will pour some of her gas in through the cracked open backdoor. That should weaken them so they have a harder time trying to break out. It will also cause the air to burn when the gas catches fire along with the gasoline. The hotter we make the flames the easier it will be to kill them.'
'Then how exactly are we going to keep the thing from breaking out. Those metal doors are sturdy, but if it is strong enough to bust through then we're in trouble.' Natalie said.
'Well then lucky for us we have more of those heavy metal trash cans around. Will push them in front of the doors and put any stray bags inside them to fill them up. There are tons of metal products around as well so we can fill them with those.' Joshua explained. 'For now let's get started, you guys get the gasoline from the trucks while I get to moving the trash cans and other stuff to block off the exit.' The rest of the group nodded and headed off to get their task done. Joshua headed over and started move two of the large metal trash containers in front of the door. They had wheels on the bottom so they weren't too hard to move, but when he got them in position he made sure to remove them so that the trash containers couldn't be moved out of the way so easily.
When Joshua went to start collecting whatever heavy pieces of scrap metal he could find from the junk pile off to the side he occasionally would run into zombies that were heading towards the area. For the most part Natalie was taking them out from afar whenever one started getting to close for comfort. Any that got close enough for Joshua to have to deal with would have their heads chopped off with a machete before they could even scream. He wanted the place to remain as quiet as possible so they wouldn't antagonize the creature before their plan went into effect.
By the time Joshua had finished loading both of the containers with as much scrap metal as possible, the girls had gotten the gasoline they needed while also clearing out any zombies that had gotten to close. 'Alright I'm going to climb up to the window and pour in the gasoline. Let's wait and see if it takes notice of it before we try anything else.' The girls all nodded and handed him one of the gasoline containers which he used a rope to tie to his belt before he started to climb up the wall and get a view of the inside.
As he reached the top and pulled open the nearest window so that it was folded out enough to where he could pour the gasoline inside, he noticed the creature hunched over in the middle of the large room. There were still zombies moving around in the room, but not nearly as many and the ones that were left were keeping their distance from the large new born monster in the middle of the room. When Joshua moved inside the window enough where he could see over its shoulder his skin crawled at what he was seeing. The larger obscured figure was holding half the body of a zombie as it proceeded to chomp into its meal. Even though it still had half in his hand yet to be finished the creature threw it away on to the ground before snatching up its next meal and continued to chow down.
Joshua put the image to the back of his mind before he started to pour the gas inside the room. The dripping sound didn't seem to grab the creatures attention sense there were leaking sprinklers on the ceiling of the room. When he finished with the first container he climbed back down to grab another before finding a new spot to climb up and pour the gasoline in. After pouring five containers inside he still had one left, but decided to keep it at the ready tied to his belt just in case something went terribly wrong.
'How did it look?' Laura calmly asked as her body was still a bit tense from the killing intent coming from inside the building.
'It was at least twice my size and had no problem eating the zombies inside the building. Honestly it was quite disturbing to watch.' Joshua replied as he shook off the shiver that went up his back at the memory. Joshua looked up at the sky and noticed that it looked like it was about to pour down so he decided to hurry along. Being caught out in the rain in a zombie filled area would have some horrible consequences. 'Alright Madalyn you're up.'
'Fine, but the amount of time it will take to fill up a building this big will take a few minutes.' Madalyn said before heading over to the back door and climbing on top of the metal container that was up against it. She then started to funnel her poison in through the crack and it started to slowly fill the room. After a few minutes you could start to hear some lethargic moans from zombies that were affected on the inside. By the time she had finished, it was already starting to pour down outside so they needed to get the fire going before the humidity in the air started to affect their set up.
'Laura it's your turn. Send a fireball in through the window then all we can do is wait and see.' Joshua said and got a nod in return. While Laura started to form a large fireball, Natalie was helping the tired out Madalyn get far away from the area. The two stood off to the side and watched to see the outcome. Laura tossed the large ball of fire through the window and within seconds a large explosion shook the area as the building went up in flames. Fire was bursting out of the now destroyed windows and sending smoke into the air several feet high.
For a moment there was no noise inside until a loud roar sounded off. "ROOOOOAAAARRR!" The creature shrieked in pain and anger. It continued to keep screaming for minutes on end as the fire blazed hotter and hotter. Soon the screams came to an end and the fire continued on for another ten minutes or so before the rain started to effect it and slowly put it out.
Joshua looked on hopeful like the rest of his group as there were no signs the creature survived. It took another few minutes of waiting before the tension was released from their bodies, but just when everything seemed like it was going perfectly a loud crashing sound came from the large metal doors at the entrance. When Joshua turned to look at them a huge indention could be seen as the bar that was locking the doors tight was starting to warp and bend outward. The two metal containers that he had filled up with scrap metal were easily knocked aside from the impact causing all of them to hold their breaths in fear.
The creature continued to pound against the door a few more times trying to break free from the scalding heat inside. In that moment Joshua turned around and yelled at his companions. "Get away from here now. Let me take its attention otherwise he'll focus on whoever it thinks is the easiest to kill!" The three girls nodded and backed further away, but not too far away that they wouldn't be able to help. After a few more slams against the now rupturing metal doors the bar holding them together finally snapped as the doors were flung open. Smoke came pouring out of the entrance as loud thudding footsteps rang out into the air. The creature slowly made its exit.