It's already dark and the plaza square became a trading hub for survivors to trade goods and learn current events. Most of the prices were higher than Black Haven's stuff, but people still chose to buy here. It must be the human's social instinct kicking in, following the trend and showing everyone that you have money to spend.
A few tables were laid out in the open and has a lot of customers drinking merrily, and gloomily. Three adult men sat around together with an elegant woman. She had a long ponytail, smooth skin and round face that would be seen as common in the past but beautiful now. She smiled warmly at the three as she mixed different brand's of liquor on a transparent drinking glass.
"Thanks for helping me level up. It really helped doing business easier." the woman said as she stored the bottles of liquor on her dimensional storage. She presented the concocted drinks to the three.
"You're a bartender?" Monkey said as he drunk the liquor, which made him shook his head. "Wow, that was... that hit the spot."
Chanchan and Bear looked at him in disdain. Chanchan said, "Look at this drunkard, after a few days of being liquor-free you're acting like a newbie."
He took his glass followed by the Bear. They drunk the liquor in one shot, and just like Monkey. they shook their heads as they felt the drink warm their body.
"See? Braggart." Monkey sarcastically said. He turned his head to see the woman chuckling at them. "Veronica, shouldn't you atleast give us more than this? I think we deserve better rewards after helping you level up, raiding your father's shop, which I think is quite deep in the danger zone and we almost got killed by a Destroyer. Thankfully their were other scavengers nearby and they helped killing the Destroyer!"
Veronica wryly smiled and said, "Come on, you scavenged along the way, you leveled up and got some good loot from the body right? A Rank 1 infected's bone sells around 30CP and you guys got half of the body. Stop acting like I took advantage of you."
"Haaa. Another one please," Chanchan pushed his drinking glass towards Veronica.
"That's 5CP for that same drink earlier." Veronica grinned, then chuckled. "Well, to celebrate leveling up and having my own business, all drinks for the three of you for tonight. I really thank you from the bottom of my heart."
Bottles appeared and she concocted another drink.
Bear couldn't help but mutter, "Maybe, we should just become businessmen."
Chanchan rebutted, "We're not smart enough to do that. We'll probably get bankrupt after a week since we'll spend all the money we earn drinking. It's better if we just enjoy our lives"
As they drunk their second glass, a pitiful cry of help came from behind. At the center of the bustling crowd on the plaza, a woman looked left and right shouting for theft. No one really cared about her issue except for the police who ran towards the scene.
Monkey said. "Look at that, another victim. She probably has low stats that there wasn't even a notification when she was being robbed."
Chanchan added, "And probably distracted with something."
Bear was going to contribute talking bad about how the woman doesn't pay attention to her things, but he noticed Veronica's sour mood. "Do you know her?"
Veronica shook her head. "It's just... I don't get why people do this with each other. There's only a few of us who should help each other, but here we are, taking advantage of the weak."
"That's the easy way to live, you know? Preying on the weak, just like the olden times way back then." Chanchan said.
Chanchan turned around and watched as the police try to resolve the matter, which would probably end in failure since the culprit must have already ran away. He shoved his drinking glass forward and gloomily said, "The police lack skills to resolve the issue, while those who have the power cares only about their safety."
"Oh, that courageous thief that barged into the mall. I saw him get dragged somewhere by the Mad Dog's escorts but no one dared to follow." Bear said.
Monkey slurred some words as he said, "That devil only cares about his property. He only protects those he own while leaving others to fend for their own."
"Stop hitting the table! Are you drunk already?"
"Nah, I'm not!"
The three argued as they drunk. Veronica refilled their drinks as she listened attentively to their drunk talks. After a while, she got some inspiration and her eyes shone followed by a grin.
Inside the mall...
Evo came down from the utility ladder. He stared at the CCTV directly above him. Nobody was in the vicinity since they were told that he was working with something.
Evo raised his hand and pressed the wireless earphone on his ear, he said, "How is it Tatang, can you see him now?"
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"Yes, I can see him now! Wow, this is awesome. I just hope I won't start seeing ghosts because of this."
On the security room, Tatang Robin stared at the monitor that Evo just finished working on. A few minutes earlier, Evo was alone when they first did the experiment, but now, Adrian stood beside him.
After someone manage to enter the storage room earlier, Evo thought hard of how to counter it. He decided to install the CCTV's with the ability to see through stealth, and thankfully, they have someone who could help them with the experiment.
"Is it done? Can I go now?" Adrian said impatiently. He's didn't get bored standing idly to help with the security matters of the compound, but staying with Evo seemed to not sit well with him. Its just like, for no particular reason, he just doesn't like him.
"Yes, we're done. Thank you for helping, let me pay you something to compensate for your time." Evo smiled as he took out his own Black Haven card. It was custom-made and has three red stripes along the left side of the card.
Adrian looked at the card, then replied, "It's okay, I have too many points that I don't even know where to use them. I'm going."
Before they could split up, Jun's voice came from the doorway.
"Are you guys done? Let's go, we need to reduce their numbers every time we can." Jun said to Adrian, then turned to Evo. "By the way, are you sure you don't want to come? You stopped leveling and essence shards are bad way to level up."
"I'm okay, you know I don't like moving around."
"Okay, but you still have to level up somehow. Having higher stats help in a lot of ways, even if you don't usually go to the front lines. That's all, see you later."
"Let's do this the smart way, okay? Here's the plan, we kill any infected we encounter, loot the bodies , then repeat. Understood?" Jun shouted as they entered the red zone.
It was unusually quiet at first since it was already dark, but after his shout, they started hearing shrieks and growls echoing in the area.
Jun and his contingents came back for a night skirmish with the infected. And this time, he brought some reliable back up. He probably doesn't think about it, but he unconsciously approves of their combat skills. His first team since this started, Adrian, Sheila and Edward.
Though he was asked why they need to fight the infected when its so dark and they could barely see anything, he managed to give a conclusive reason for them to agree.
He explained that the infected were weaker and more slower at night. Regular infected also tend to be timid at night time as if they were conserving their energy. Unless there was a commotion large enough to attract their attention, most regular infected would choose to stay idle and remain on their spots conserving energy.
He started to become curious when he noticed that every morning, he would see more and more evolved infected when going on scavenging runs. The fights between evolved infected became frequent and their numbers were increasing. When he told Evo about this they were both shocked.
Evo hypothesized that most regular infected hybernate at night. Some lucky ones would evolved, but he can't figure out how. The most possible reason he could think of is that infecteds gathers energy in daytime while they try to evolved when the night came.
Jun led the group along the road. And since the police haven't really explored this far, cars still littered the area. Electricity stopped running last night and they have to use flashlights as they move forward.
Sheila have a new custom-made spear made from the Tier 1 by-products of a Rank 1 Hunter. The razor sharp teeth were combined to make a single spearhead. The shaft was made from a Tier 2 bone of a Destroyer. She requested a new spear from Old John when she got envious of Marianne's sharp dagger and was in awe when she received the item.
The four of them were followed by masked men by Jun's orders. They would act as rearguard and porters for this trip.
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