Skirmishes happened which were easily dealt by them. Jun told them in advance to get as much kills as possible so they could level up faster.
Since the goal of this attack was to reduce the chances of regular infected evolving, they started from the outskirts of the red zone. The plan was simple and easy to follow. The people that followed them were in awe on how coordinated they work with each other. The four of them would charge on any infected they see and when they get outnumbered, they back off towards each other. With the help of one another and having different roles, Jun and Edward tanking and blocking hits as they kill the ones near them while Adrian and Sheila would pick off the wanderers. The masked men didn't even have to fight and could only hold their swords in excitement. One even suggested that they should practice their team work too.
The houses here were sticking with each other, almost having no space in between. This probably caused the quicker spread of the infection since more populated area is prone to more injuries and initial carriers.
They didn't travel randomly with Jun leading them. Everywhere they go, they would find trapped survivors on every house they entered. At first, Jun didn't care about saving anyone or was interested on playing hero. But after some time, he realized that he need the resources called people. He needs construction workers, farmers, scavengers, skilled and experienced individuals that may learn or have some useful skill that he could use. He realized that if he wanted to survive and become stronger, he needed other people's help. Well, he won't beg for it though.
After an hour of fighting and moving around the maze of houses, they raided a small convenience store and stayed there to have some rest. Evo modified the water dispenser and was about to charge it with his energy when Jun suddenly stopped him. Instead, Jun ordered one of the masked men to charge the water dispenser. The contingent of masked men were once again in awe after seeing the scene. They ate their fill and looted everything. After they got outside, they were instantly surrounded by infected. They became puzzled since they didn't even make any noise, but still accepted the fact that they were outnumbered.
They tried using the door of the convenience store as a control measure, but the infected broke the glass from the other side. Jun stepped up and advance forward. His hands gathered energy as he walked then shoved the first infected that he met. The infected that flew away dragged the others back and stopped only when they hit the wall. Sweat appeared on his forehead as he breathed rapidly. He then allowed, his slaves to engage the infected.
The masked men happily complied. They tried copying Jun's groups teamwork earlier and failed miserably. They would bump with each other as they retreated and their swords would hit each other when they raise it up in the air, causing a delay an attack. Though no one was severely injured, it couldn't be helped that a few would get bitten. Edward tried his best to act as a support, but in the end, he only had a limited amount of energy. Adrian even tried using guns to save the situation but was stopped by Jun.
After the battle, the wounded were treated by Sheila according to how dangerous their states is. The mortally wounded who received more than two bites were prioritize over those who only got sick and infected.
Being bit once would make you an infected and once you die you'll reanimate as one of them. Twice, would give you sickness that would make you faint and unable to move. A third one would give a debuff Weaken that would limit the maximum stat of an individual to the bare minimum depending on how healthy their body. And the last known effect is the immunodeficiency, it amplifies a lot of the former effects by reducing you bodies immune system making the person more prone to ailments.
With this experience, Jun thought that no matter how safe the area seemed to be, there should always be look-outs around the area where they camp.
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The event wasn't all that bad since most of his slaves leveled up. Most of his slaves were unemployed when things happened, making them generate skills like Taunting, Eavesdrop and other daily life skills. There's one unique skill that a hotheaded man generated, it was called Duel. He can challenge someone to a one-on-one fight and if the other side refused they would temporarily lose 20% of their overall stats. And if they agree? The caster would receive 10% boost on the overall stats. How did Jun know this? Well, he simply asked them one by one and they answered truthfully.
After an hour of rest, everyone was cured and Sheila had to stay back at the rear side of the formation. She felt extremely tired after helping everyone and has to take some break.
Since the horde of infected probably came from the nearby houses, the rest of their journey became a breeze. They rescued numerous survivors and most of them were cowardly in nature. The survivors would stick with each other on the rear and would flinch every time the group fought a group infected. When they came back to the main road, Jun told the survivors to head to the city hall, but they were too scared to move on their own. He doesn't want useless people following the group and slowing them down, so he ordered half of the masked men to escort them back.
They waited for more than ten minutes before the escort group came back. They also didn't stay idle as they waited. Jun practiced his energy and dimensional storage control as they waited. His group was already used to how he trained, but the others weren't. They tried copying him since they thought it was easy, they would throw their swords at their dimensional storage, then caught it in a different vortex. It would have been a success if they weren't holding onto the sword's blade which caused small cuts on their palms. They felt that it was manageable and was a useful trick to master.
As they stood up to regroup, a large explosion came deep from the red zone. Blazing fire brightened the night sky, illuminating the whole residential area.
"It's the gas station." Jun said.
As they arrive at the scene, Jun happily readied himself for a fight.
"Okay, ladies and gents! I claim that fiery one and mine alone!" Jun said as he charge forward.
In front was the still blazing gas station. There was one lone infected standing near the area and it was burning. The odd thing was that it wasn't in agony, like how you would expect a regular infected would when inflamed. It was hurling balls of fire from its hand and would sometimes breathe out fire in a conical shape in front of it. Based on his memory, this should be that mutated infected that the lieutenant was talking about. He was really excited about meeting this one and excited for its loot!
Sheila and Edward were on standby, making sure that they could support him if ever something dangerous happened. Adrian on the other hand, surveyed the area and noticed the horde of infected coming from the distance.
He brought out his M16 and searched for a better angle. As he was just about to fire, he heard Sheila's voice from the side.
"You'll waste bullets. We can't loot the bodies if they're too far. It's one minute pause if you shoot them in the head and a kill if we severe the head. You read Evo's new discoveries, right?"
Adrian stood up, he stored his M16 and brought out a thin rapier made from Tier 1 bones of a Hunter. "Ofcourse, why wouldn't I."
He charged towards the oncoming horde, while the others followed. Sheila and Edward stayed behind, since Sheila was still tired while Edward is the only one who could cast Barrier if Jun ever got into trouble, which is most likely, since he was charging recklessly into trouble.
For others, it may seem reckless, though it was really reckless, but for Jun, it was just how it was supposed to be. He dodged the hurled fireballs and noticed that its flight was quite slow and can be easily evaded. The cone of fire was a short-range skill that reach two meters in front of the infected.
The only problem he didn't thought of was the searing heat of the flames. He evaded repeatedly until he learned of the patterns.
"Come on, man! Is that all that you've got!" Jun yelled as he dodge a fireball. He immediately stepped back dodging the fire-breathe of the infected. The pattern was quite simple. The mutated infected would hurl three fireballs, then proceeds to breathe out a cone of flame just like a flamethrower.
When the fire-breathe ended, Jun ran forward holding a long red object in his arms. He side-stepped, dodging the first fire ball, evaded the second one and rolled forward to barely escape the last one. As the infected opened its mouth and was about to breathe out fire, Jun fired the fire extinguisher he held into the infected's mouth.
Though he did this, he really doesn't know whether his plan would work. When the fire extinguisher ran out, he felt a cold body fell unto him. Though the body was cold, the head wasn't. He felt the scalding pain from blocking the head with his arm and he hurriedly pushed it to the side.
"I lost another jacket. Are there even good leathers nowadays?" Jun stood up and saw Sheila and Edward running towards him.
"Are you okay? Let me see that." Sheila said.
"I'm okay. Where is everyone?" Jun looked around and saw Adrian and his slaves fighting a group of regular infected. "Those greedy bastards! Those are mine!"
"Wait! Let me treat you first!" Sheila tried stopping him to no avail.
Jun joined the fray, happily bashing heads with empowered punches and severing heads with his swords.
"He's like a child, so troublesome." Sheila exhaustedly said as she knelt down to loot the infected's body. When she noticed that the eyes of the infected was glowing red, she instantly got frightened and hugged Edward's feet.
"Hey, look at that! Am I hallucinating or can you see it too?" Sheila tugged at Edward's pants and pointed towards the infected's face.
Edward saw the radiant glow of the eyes and new that there must be something going on. A short dagger appeared on his hand, which he used to cut open the forehead of the infected. There was no blood and the texture of the skin was like hardened charcoal. Inside the skull, there was no brain, but there was a crimson glowing gem. He can feel how hot the gem was since it was radiating viciously. He turned the body and tried shaking the gem off the skull, but it wouldn't budge. Then he tried severing the head and the gem effortlessly removed itself inside the skull. When he picked it up from the ground, the severe radiation he felt turned into a warm feeling.
On the battlefield, they heard Jun's shout yell filled with disappointment.
"I want to bash them, not slice them!"
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