Jun led the group as they traversed the parking lot.
Though he hated it, he swapped his bonehammer for a short sword since he needed to kill quickly and quietly. With the roaming threats of Hunters, they needed to get out of here as quick as possible.
Jun leaned on the wall and peeked around the corner. Nik stood behind him and watched his back while the others were looting the bodies.
At the moment, the group decided that a ten second delay compared to chopping noises was of a better choice.
Jun surveyed the area.
There were atleast twenty carriers spread over the street but it should pose no threat to them. What he was thinking was if there were other carriers around the street corners.
Since they're downtown, where most of the populace lived, you could expect that there are numerous carriers on every turn. He was contemplating whether this guys were the remnants or the slow runners of the horde that got attracted by the church's bell.
He also doesn't know for how long would the horde stay at the church. If they dispersed early and caught them, he could nothing else but pray for a miracle.
Since things would be bad if they were found by Hunters, Jun decided to risk it all.
He led the group and sneaked towards the next street staying by the public market's side. In addition to his short sword, he readied a bone spear in case anything decided to make some noise when they wanted a peaceful zen time.
They passed by numerous shops and everytime they passed a fruit stall, some would take bites just to spit it out. Afterwards, they passed a barber shop, a motorcycle parts shop and an eatery.
Just as everything was moving smoothly, a figure ran past two blocks ahead. It was a young woman being chased by several carriers.
Jun stopped moving at the same second the woman passed by. Thankfully they werren't noticed by her or by the carriers.
She attracted all of the carriers on the street ahead which helped Jun's group save some time and reduce possible detection.
They arrived at the intersection where the woman got chased by carriers. Jun looked towards the direction she run and couldn't see any carriers. The street ahead was clear but when he turned to his left, he immediately saw the towering montrosity with its back towards them.
Jun quickly pulled back before he got noticed.
"What's the problem?" asked Nik.
"There's a D1 at the main road." replied Jun.
Someone from behind worriedly asked. "Did we got noticed?"
"No, its just probably wandering around."
"What do we do?"
Jun observed the surroundings and thought of a plan.
"We'll cross the intersection by using the cars as cover. We do it quickly and quietly."
Jun explained swiftly as time was of the essence. He peeked again and signaled for them move when he saw that the D1 was still facing the other way. The ones who were crossing the street regulated their breathing while those who haven't crossed watched in bated breaths.
Jun softly whispered when he saw the D1 slightly turn its head.
The D1 continued walking forward and got further from the group. With the opportunity presented to themselves, Jun ordered for everyone to hastily move on.
At the time when the D1 decided to turn around, everyone has already crossed the street.
"Let's hope we get something good for this."
Jun muttered as he led everyone towards the next street ahead.
The immediate area was clear unlike the other places around downtown.
There, he saw the set of stairs that leads them up the hill.
When they arrived next to the stairs, Jun saw a wooden board filled with photos of the Cavalry Hill. There were descriptions written next to the photos.
It said that there wer approximately 288 steps from the foot to the holy cross. Also, the Calvary will lead you to sanctify your soul by reflecting on your life while you slowly thread your way to the top.
Jun scoffed after reading the whole text. He then stepped forward and climbed the stairs.
At first, everything was going smoothly but after the ninetieth step some of the lower ranked death slaves started panting. Every time they took a step forward looked as if they carried the world at their backs.
Nik who was the squad leader turned to them.
"Are you guys okay?"
"Yeah, we're fine. It's just my feet's getting heavier..."
"Me too... hah-uh..."
Nik watched as some of the squad members felt troubled going up to the resting area, which is the hundredth step of the stairs.
After barely reaching the top, the late climbers sprawled to the ground. They felt the tension on their muscles disappear together with the resisting force that made climbing up such a task.
"Are you guys sure you're okay?"
"I think so... but that felt really weird."
It was one of Toby's lackey who specializes in scouting and stealth. Though it could be argued whether they lack training, having an enhanced strength should have allowed them to climb with ease. In actuality. even kids should be able to climb a hundred set of stairs. For an adult, this should have been a piece of cake!
The others were looking weirdly at the men sprawled on the ground.
As they were about to tease them, a bright light flashed and everyone turned towards its source.
A small shrub with numerous red berries.
Jun stepped forward and plucked one of the berries.
[EXP Berry - Low Tier]
[Description] A berry that can give a small amount of experience over time. lasts for one hour. The berry will spoil after one minute after collecting.
Jun hurriedly ate the berry since it could spoil and doesn't want to waste it. He turned back to the shrub and counted the berries. It had the same number with his group, meaning that everyone could take one each.
"Eat it. It's good for everyone."
Since Jun already gave his orders, the rest happily took their portions. Even though they don't know what the fruit could do, they can still guess that it should be something good based on what their boss said.
Some directly ate the berry while others read its bare description first before eating it.
After Jun ate his berry, he turned around and focused on the next path.
There were three resting areas on the Cavalry Hill and they're currently on the first resting area. The second one was at the two hundredth step while the final one was at the top were a statue of the Holy Calvary can be worshipped.
"Rest here, I'm going ahead." said Jun.
He stepped forward and started his advance.
Nik who just shoved his berry into his mouth hurriedly followed after him. He's not a puppy that always want to follow its owner, he's someone who learned that there's not enough opportunity for everyone and fortunate encounters only happen unexpectedly.
Though he felt Jun was sometimes unreliable and autistic, Nik knew that Jun always luck out with things. With this in mind, he quickly ate the berry and ran after him. On the lower left of his vision where notifications usually appeared, he saw a notification about his experience increasing by ten. The same notification appeared after exactly one minute.
As he climb after Jun, he eagerly waited for the notifications to appear on his vision. He felt excited at gaining free experience without having to do anything. Then something weird happen.
His footsteps felt heavy and his breathing felt stiff as if he was running out of air. He looked ahead to see Jun easily climbing his way up towards the second resting area.
Nik looked back and behind him were several of his squad members also having difficulty climbing.
What is this?
Based on calculations, he should be around one hundred thirty or forty steps. For the second time, he felt inferior to Jun. Though he knew that Jun was leagues stronger than him, having to be smacked in the face again hurt him more.
As he forced himself to step once more, he could feel his legs shake indefinitely. Nik sighed and stared at the figure climbing futher ahead. He knew that he finally reached his limit and could only accept the reality.
On the way back to the resting area, he counted the steps he managed to climb.
He only managed to climb up onto the thirty-seventh step.
In total one-hundred thirty-seven steps.
Instead of falling further into depression, he sat down on the ground and practiced energy control.
The others that were climbing with him also gave up and returned. Though dejected, they copied Nik and sat down on the ground.
They all trained with energy control.
Their feets shone with energy, their eyes glowed and their hands produced small orbs of light.
Jun watched the group below as he sat on a bench at the second resting area. From here, he could see everything on this direction. The traffic jams, the carriers that wander around, even the survivors that were taking this opportunity to loot the public market.
It seems like the church's bell actually saves people.Jun can see additional information than the others, so what they can see is basic information.
[Description] A berry that can give a small amount of experience over time.
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