The group was merrily chatting while making lunch. The woman whispered with each other while the two old man, Bernard and Paterno, watched them. The three new faces, Chanchan, Mustache and Bear, finally started a conversation with them. Its a bit misleading, seeing a group of five uncles gazing at youthful womans, but noone have to be worried since their gazes were filled with warmth.
Jun strode towards the group, then sat on the chair beside Evo, who was busy writing things in his notebook.
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"Are you writing? That's odd. Never seen you write before."
"Have you ever seen me without my laptop? That's right. Right now."
"Your handwriting looks awful."
"Your brutally honest, and you're not helping."
"Why? Is what you're writing important?"
"I liked the idea of setting up a store. Do you know that life only starts when humans settle down? The nomads got tired of moving from place to place and started planting. They then made a small community. People gathered and civilization finally started. As more and more people settled down, living conditions and technology finally advanced. Just like what the ancients did. We need to settle down to start something, and a store can do it. People will need food and shelter, even protection. We can offer that, you can offer all that."
"If you mean killing infected and making the place safe, then that's easy. We also have experience in controlling an area so this should be feasible. But what are you writing?"
"I'm planning for the future. I'm writing everything we know about this new world. This could be useful in the future."
"We could sell it and earn what? Food? Are we going back to the bartering system." Jun sarcastically said.
Evo slightly lowered his head and began thinking. He mutted to himself, "We can't. And if we use the old monetary system, only the rich who are probably hidden on their mansions would benefit."
Evo looked at Jun, then said, "We need a new commerce system."
"Don't look at me. If you want me to kill infected, I'll gladly do it."
"It's cooked! Everyone please get your plates and line up."
"Right on time. I'm really hungry." Jun said.
Evo followed Jun to get some food. They went back to their seats and started eating their food.
At that time, a hand touched Jun's shoulder. Adrian appeared behind Jun as he was about to swallow a spoonful of food.
"You need to see something."
Adrian spoke solemnly while looking stern. Jun chewed then swallowed the food as he glanced at Adrian. "Right now?"
"Okay, let's go and see whatever it is."
Jun stood up and followed Adrian, who walked towards the stairs that lead to the second floor. Evo got curious and followed the two of them.
"You got any leads? Are they having bad thoughts?" Jun said as they climbed the stairs.
"No, they don't have any guns or any plans. I left when I started hearing moans."
"Ohhh! They're having a party and they didn't invite me... Those rascals!" Jun said.
Evo smiled wryly when he heard what Jun said. He just caught up to them and this kind of conversation welcomed him. He shaked his head as he grinned. "Marianne would kill you if she heard that."
Jun hollowly laughed, then looked below the stairs, searching for Marianne. He found her encircled with other women, who were chattering nonstop.
"Is she you're girlfriend?" Adrian asked.
"No. Where are we going? You need to eat lunch too."
"We're here. I probably won't have enough time to eat lunch though."
Adrian stopped in the middle of the hallway, then faced the glass panel on his left.
A tall statue of the national hero, Jose Rizal, towered on the middle of the plaza. Further back were three buildings that have the same height that just varied on their sizes.
The building on the left was the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority also known as TESDA. It serves as the Philippines' Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) authority. As a government agency, TESDA is tasked to both manage and supervise the Philippines' Technical Education and Skills Development (TESD). Its goals are to develop the Filipino workforce with "world-class competence and positive work values and to provide quality technical-educational and skills development through its direction, policies, and programs.
It's a school that offers a wide array of courses like agriculture, automotive, electronics and other useful skills.
The building on the center was a huge event center, and the one on the right was the District's Engineer's office. Seeing the building, Jun was reminded of his father, who used to work at that building.
Jun became speechless as he looked what was happening on the plaza. A group of people were being surrounded by a horde of infected. There were policemen and civilian fighting the infected. They seemed to have run out of bullets since they were using guns to bash the infected's heads.
Jun noticed something wrong when the survivors inside fought calmly and systematically. The infected didn't charge at them and instead encircled the area. He then remembered his conversation with that 'lying lieutenant'. The lieutenant said that they were stranded on the plaza square, encircled by infecteds.
Seeing the situation, he finally believe the claim. Though it was a bit late, he would still try to help them. Not because he was a good guy, but because he was really interested to know what keeps the infected away from them.
Jun took the radio from his dimensional storage. At that time, one unlucky survivor actually got caught and was pulled out from the 'circle'. The survivors near him tried pulling him back and succeeded. The upper part of that unlucky person's body was riddled with bites and was bleeding non-stop. A woman ran and knelt down beside the body.
Jun pressed the button on the radio. "Hey, lieutenant something. Are you still there? Can you here me? Hellooooo~ Anybody~"
Jun waited for a reply, and received an unexpected one.
"You're a fvcking piece of shit.", said the man on the other side of the radio.
"I agree." Evo said, who was standing at his side. Jun glanced at Evo then chuckled. The two of them were already used to each other. Dissing at one another was one of their ways to pass time.
"Is that how you want to thank me for thinking of helping you?"
"You're still just thinking of it?", the man replied. "People are dying here. We haven't eaten for days and we won't last another day. The safe radius keeps on decreasing! The infected are now five meters away from us! They don't even die and keeps standing up after we kill them!"
Jun became interested with the safe radius that the other person mentioned, but he frowned after hearing the last sentence.
"Aren't you looting the bodies?" said Jun puzzled.
Although he have the unique ability to see extra description, looting the bodies only needed someone to place their hands on the dead infected's body. By some luck, people should be able to chance upon it after spending time fighting for their life.
"What do you mean looting the bodies? Do you want us to check their belongings and go out of the circle?"
Jun contemplated for a second. Considering that they were probably using the guns at the start of the apocalypse, they wouldn't be able to loot the bodies since it would be surrounded by infecteds. It would also be suicidal to stop and check things out when you're in the middle of a chaotic place. They got stranded on the safe zone and when they ran out of bullets, they started using the guns as melee weapons. At that time, the bodies should have fallen to their side and not backwards. They should have been curious and touched the dead bodies. But why don't they know about it?
Jun got his answer after asking a few questions.
When the infected fell inside the safe zone, the dead body turns into sparkling particles and flew inside the statue. The lieutenant thought that the statue was helping them, and so they tried pulling the infected inside the circle. Things worked for a while but suddenly, the docile infected charged at them. Then they noticed that the circle radius was reduced to nine meters.
With the thought that no help would come, they decided to kill the infected. Since they don't know of any other way to get rid of the bodies, they used the power of the statue even at the expense of the safe zone shrinking.
"Stop doing that. We're going to help you." Jun said.
"Okay, everyone! Take some rest. Help's coming!"
Jun could hear cheering from the other side. He watched them celebrate from afar.
"By the way, what level are you now?"
Jun became speechless. "Never mind."
Evo suddenly said, "Maybe there's a down side on staying at a safe zone? Like some pros and cons. The place offers safety while taking away the ability to earn experience. It's possible, and the most likely reason."
"Okay. Let's go down first." Jun said then started walking.
Adrian ran up to him. "So what's the plan?"
Jun nonchalantly replied as he climbed down the stairs.
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