Trash in the Apocalypse
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94 Secured West - Apprentice Recruitmen
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Trash in the Apocalypse
Author :Arba
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94 Secured West - Apprentice Recruitmen

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Under the starry sky, a slaughter party finally ended. Thanks to their prior experience with dealing with large group of infected, the masked men's clearing speed and teamwork showed great value when dealing hordes of normal infected. Their individual prowess isn't anywhere near Adrian and Jun, but their strength as a group is undeniably strong. They would strike as one and retreat as one. Maybe they developed some sort of camaraderie after being slaved together.

Adrian and Jun killed as many regular infected as they could, taking the opposing side of the horde. Adrian would nimbly slip in between infected and let them hit each other, only attacking with a stab in the head after they stopped moving and lost their balance. On the other hand, Jun would charge madly in between infected and would bang their heads with each other. Though this action exhausted him faster, he was still willing to do it like this. On the earlier fights, he used the Tier 2 bone short swords, but the weapon gave him the feeling of dissatisfaction. Slicing things wasn't his style! He likes destroying and smashing things. The feeling it gave him made his heart tremble in joy.
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After the battle, Edward notified Jun about the unique item that he found. He explained how he found it which piqued Jun's curiosity. Jun took the crimson crystal and used his innate identification skill to try and identify the item.

[Fire Crystal

Description: An essence crystal that absorbed the element of fire. Can subtly increase fire resistance when consumed. Releases fire energy when supplied with raw energy.]

Besides the simple name and description, there was nothing else interesting about the item. Jun stashed it on his dimensional storage, then looked around the surrounding corpses. He knelt down and cut open a regular infected's brain.

According to Edward, he found the crystal inside the head where the brain should be. When he cut open the forehead of the infected using a Tier 2 Bone Dagger, dark blood oozed out from it. He inserted his hand with no hesitation to look for anything useful inside. He felt the squishy brain that was soft to the touch like a gelatinous pasta that enveloped his hand. When he found nothing on the sides, he crushed the brain which felt like mashed potatoes, then searched again. He found nothing. He pulled back his hand which was a mix of red and white.


Jun stood up and said, "As usual, severe the heads to delay the reanimation time," he turned towards his slaves. "...search the heads for unique crystals and send it to me. Everyone is dismissed and can do their things after that. You will report in the morning."

Afterwards, he channeled something from within and runes expanded from his core, encircling him. The same thing happened with the members of his group and with a dim flash, they vanished from the spot.

The masked men gulped as they were left to wonder what just happened. They finished beheading every infected on the ground. They felt sick as their stomach churned while they do the dirty work, but they persevered. After collecting all the heads, they noticed that they wouldn't have enough space in their storage if they wanted to bring all of the bodies back for their resources. To solve the problem, they took advantage of the dimensional storage's feature; they cut every limbs and carried them per stack. Since similar items can be stacked, they assigned whom to carry legs and who will carry the arms. After discussing who will carry what, they managed to collect everything with extra storage space available.

When the masked men went back that late night, they were once again viewed as saviors who risks their lives and worked day and night just to make their community a safer place.

The next morning...

The sun was already half-way before it shone vertically above everyone's head. Numerous excited people gathered in the plaza square. Their numbers easily exceeding thirty.

An old man stood in front of the crowd with masked men behind him. He looked weak and frail if you look at how exhausted his face looked like, but under his clothes were defined muscles that could possibly crush anyone in front of him.

It was Old John.

It was time to select some few assistants to help him with some daily crafts. He plans to teach them the basics and whether he finds someone worth passing his skills to, would have to wait in the future.

"My friends call me Old John and a some of you would be able to do that soon. I come from a Blacksmithing family that has a long heritage for metalsmithing and crafting, whether they are for filming or does have actual purposes, from kitchen knives to long swords, our family have made them. Today, I would select five individuals who would become my apprentice and learn the craft. There will be only two exams to test whether you have what it takes. The first test is to stand on your spot for an hour. The second test would be harder, so good luck to everyone and I hope that some would actually succeed."

Old John stepped back to hide from the scorching sun. He produced a chair and set up a table under the shade of a tree. He placed refreshments on top of the table and leisurely drank some as he watched his potential apprentices bathe with the sun. The masked men, who the residents refer to as saviors, surrounded the crowd from every corner, watching their every move.

It wasn't even a minute and Old John could already hear the whispers from the crowd. Dissatisfaction. Disappointments. Those who were in the middle even tried sitting down while hidden. All of those people were sorted out and were forcefully removed from the examination by the masked men. Those who chatted, those who looked around; they were all disqualified. They argued that they didn't do anything wrong and tried to fought back but was overpowered. They tried begging but was unhesitatingly tossed out. Afterwards, the masked men returned to their posts and continued watching the trainees like hawks looking for prey.

The scene was a humorous sight to behold for those who were observing from a distance, but for those taking the exam, it was literal hell. They felt their hearts beat fast as they felt the gaze of those masked men. Sweat formed on their backs and foreheads which increased the humid feeling inside them.

Thirty minutes in and a large number of examinees was already gone from the crowd. Most of them couldn't take the scorching rays of the sun and backed out. Those who failed dared not to cause trouble after the first angry loser that happened earlier. An angry adult thought this was unfair since he was already old and could have heart attack or stroke at any moment. He charged towards Old John, but before he could reach him, he was already encircled by armed masked men. The man was tossed out after some beating and the examination continued.

After an hour, there were six remaining examinees standing on the scorching sun. There were two middle aged man, two adult men, one adult woman and one teenager.

Old John stood up and said, "Congratulations for passing the first round. I didn't think that there would be this many who would actually persevere until the end. You see, people don't like hardships. They just like to receive while doing nothing. Like what I've said on the ads, I will only test your perseverance. But since we have six people here, we still have to go to the second part of the exam. Just kidding, there's actually no second exam. You can all relax now. I prepared some drinks for you, so replenish yourselves."

Just as Old John finished his speech, two out of the six examinees fell down. It was the woman and the teenager.

Old John laughed. "Well, look at that. Some where already at their limits eh."

He told the masked men to bring the two to Sheila, then congratulated the remaining four. He told them to pack their things since they would live with him from now on. That came as a shock since it wasn't written on the advertisement, but they still agreed. All of them survived alone that's why they were willing to risk it all for this apprenticeship.

After an hour, they met on one of the abandoned houses near Black Haven. The six stood in front of Old John revering him.

"What I'm teaching you today are top secrets of Black Haven. And so you have to sign a contract that will stop you from spreading any of this information. It's also okay not to sign the contract, but your apprenticeship would be revoked." Old John said as he looked at each one of them. Beside him, a man in formal attire stepped forward and gave a piece of paper to the six in front of them.

"Are there any questions?"

"None."

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