Nik stood guard outside while everyone looked around the building. The road ahead was a bit inclined and he couldn't see the other side but he was getting a bad feeling from it.
On the right side of the road ahead was the Recreation Facility Center owned by the local government for public use. It was built on higher ground and has slanted cement support that helps retain soil, so that the land wouldn't erode. There's also a wire fence to prevent anyone from accidentally falling down the slanted wall. He already visited the recreation center once when he was younger together with his family. The buildings hasn't changed one bit from what he could remember.
He felt emotional all of a sudden after he was reminded of his parents. When he slowly got teary-eyed, he heard footsteps from behind him and he hastily blinked a few times to prevent any tears from going down, before slowly turning his head.
He saw a masked man walking towards him. From the man's manner of walking, he already figured out who it was. It was his guardian angel, Bartolome Fernan.
\"You should be resting. What are you doing here?\" said Bartolome.
\"I'm fine Uncle Bart. I'm just keeping watch since I'm not tired yet. You're the one who should be resting. You were exhausted earlier, right?\" replied Nik teasingly.
Bartolome smirked as he shook his head. \"You brat, once you get older, you'll be like this too!\"
Nik looked at him with a frown, then smiled. Seeing his smile, the old man sighed before chuckling. He then stood beside Nik as he looked around the area, watching the road's end, making sure that they could see enemies before they could get closer.
\"I know that you mean it when you said that fighting is the only way to live from now on. And I agree with that, but fighting recklessly isn't the way to do it. You don;t have to risk your life to fight when you have us. We're a group, remember that.\" said Bartolome.
Instead of responding to Bartolome, Nik suddenly asked him a question.
\"Who is the strongest among us? The prisoners.\"
Bartolome didn't understand why Nik would ask him this question, but he still answered his question.
\"Ofcourse it's you. This brat!? Are you bragging right now? Don't forget that we can still beat you if there's three of us.\"
\"That's true, then do you think we can beat the boss if we ganged him up. Also, try to calculate it that we successfully ambushed him.\"
Bartolome's curiosity was ignited and he imagined the situation where they ambushed the boss with all their numbers. A man who can solo evolved carriers while taking his time. Would some times block numerous evolved carriers by himself and could stall for time until back up arrives. Has an advanced weapon weapon that kills ranked one evolves as if they were nothing. And has a skin too thick that regular carriers could only leave a mark on it.
Bartolome gulped before turning to Nik. He said, \"No. I don't think so. There is no way that we could.\"
\"That's right. Do you know why?\" Nik asked him but didn't actually wait for the old man to answer. He quickly said, \"It's because his always fighting. He's way ahead than everyone else, simply because he was probably fighting since the start. I don't know if he was lucky but he got a good starting phase than everybody else. And he kept on increasing the lead while everyone was playing house.\"
Bartolome stared at the teenager beside him. He then remembered the story Nik shared to him, when they were practicing at night, on how he survived the initial phase together with his sister.
It was an unforgettable story for him.
Because from that story, he finally have a purpose to stay alive.
\"It's alright, it's alright. Just hold onto me, okay?\"
An old wrinkled face of a woman spoke tender words as she dusted off the dress of her daughter. Nik saw his mother turned to him, then smiled.
\"Are you okay? Does it hurt anywhere?\" she asked.
Nik shook his head almost immediately when he saw his mother's worried gaze. Though he can feel his elbow bleeding a bit, he chose to remain silent and hid the fact that he received a cut after waking up in a weird position.
\"Are we still going to the mall mommy?\"
Just when his mother was about to answer, his father finally came back after helping other people who fell unconscious.
\"Are you okay, hon? You look worried?\"
\"I'm okay.\" he replied, then he noticed that his daughter was now awake. He hurriedly kneeled beside her and pinched her cheeks. \"Hello sweety, you're awake now.\"
\"Can we go to the mall now daddy? Its getting hot here...\"
He patted his daughter's head before talking to his wife in hushed voices. Though Nik was a bit far, he was able to hear them since they didn't even try to lower their voice.
His father said, \"Something weird is going on here. There's accidents on the highway and people who tried helping were getting bit. I think we should go back home first. Let's go back to the car.\"
His mother carried his little sister and he followed her. As they walked, they noticed that people were now running. Terrified and soul quenching screams filled the streets, which caused them to increase their speed. His little sister started crying which started to attract attention to them.
\"Come on sweety, please stop crying. The car's over there, we'll be home soon.\"
As they slid between cars, his father saw an old man got tackled right in front of them. He quickly pulled the attacker off the old man on the ground, before the old man could get injured.
\"Are you crazy!? Why would you do that?\" said the father.
The old man stood up and quickly ran away. When he noticed that something wrong was on the other end of the parking lot, he looked around and quickly hopped inside a white van. There he watched as the man who saved him got bit, together with his wife who tried to help him.
From the windows, he watched as the teenage son carried his crying little sister away from the scene. He felt over joyed when the police fetched him up and was brought into their group. Then, he felt sorrow as he watched them slowly get surrounded.
The old man felt grateful for being saved and heart broken at the same time.
He slid down the car's seat as tears fell from the corners of his eyes.
\"Do you know why I'm stronger than the rest?\"
Bartolome woke up from his daze when he heard Nik talking.
Bartolome frowned, not understanding what he meant.
\"it's because I have more experience. Not those lousy points, but actual fighting experience.\" said Nik.
\"Okay, okay. I came out here worried for you, but here you are, telling me that this old man is so weak while bragging about how strong you are.\" Bartolome shook his head while chuckling.
At that time, Nik who was keenly observing the surrounding, saw a woman appear on the other side of the fence.
She looked to her right side of the road, then threw her bag over the fence. Afterwards, she gently climbed over to the other side while keeping checks somewhere else.
When she was climbing down the wire fence, three carriers appeared and waited for her to come down. This only happened because she focused too much somewhere else than checking below her.
Nik who saw that the woman is in danger of getting grabbed, quickly ran to help her. Bartolome quickly followed him and already has his gears out since he was used to Nik's temperament of hastily charging in.
They climbed the short inclining road, then when they got nearer, threw a bone spear towards the carriers.
Two died and leaned on the slanted wall. Their bodies slowly slid down, creating a dark trail of blood. When the remaining carrier turned its head, a short sword stabbed it in the head.
The woman finally noticed the danger she could have fallen into as she skidded down the slanted wall.
\"Thank you, my name is Katrina.\" said the red-haired woman as she held her hand forward for a handshake.
Nik ignored her hand and gazed forward.
\"He would be happy to see this.\" said Nik.
\"I think so too.\"
On the middle of the highway was the remains of a helicopter. Its front side was a total wreck while its tail was already severed since a car crashed through it. There are numerous car's that crashed into others and the line continued.
Further down the road were some overturned car's by the sidewalk.
The person they were thinking about was Jun, who should be happy at the sea of undead roaming about on the streets.
On the other hand, the said person just finished his meal and was busy exploring the store's warehouse.
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