The next day.
The sun has barely risen up but the town's folk were already busy with their own agenda the day. On the western residential's outskirts. a group of people were gathered. Everyone stood on the same side of the bridge doing exercises to warm their bodies up.
At that moment. a six person group stood infront of the bridge and gathered everyone's attention. Their iconic black masks and uniformed black jackets made it known to everyone that they were from Black Haven.
Nik clapped his hands to gather everyone's attention. There were atleast twenty people gathered infront of him. Surprisingly, the ratio of men and women was 1:3 making the group appear imbalance.
"Thank you for waiting everyone. Just to make it clear, so that we won't have any problems later—You came here because you are not affiliated with the current powers in town and knew beforehand that your life might be at risk with today's event. Is that clear?"
"Yes." Most of the people answered back immediately but some hesitated and that didn't escape the masked men's eyes. Nik received some signal from them and he said gave another warning.
"If we find out that you were lying, we would not show mercy."
With his final warning, a few men and women left reducing the number down to sixteen. Even though the number decreased Nik didn't felt troubled at all. He scrutinized everyone and waited making sure that noone else would leave. When he confirmed that no one was taking their leave, he opened his arms wide and welcomed everyone.
"I'm Nik and I congratulate you for becoming Black Haven's scavengers. As a Black Haven's scavenger, we expect you to be the best in your jobs. We will train you for three days and teach you basic techniques that you need to survive. We will also give everyone a set of gears for free. We will also take care of your family, so you don't have to worry about anything else, and focus in improving yourselves."
Some were confused on what they were hearing while others were in shock. They never thought even for a second that things would go this easy to join Black Haven.
Everyone here have seen the the Black Haven recruitment ad for scavengers. The only requirement was that they aren't affiliated with the other local powers like the police or the Frontier, etc.
Anna who was amongst the crowd was also confused with the sudden fortune infront of her. Nothing should be free in this world right? So she gathered up some courage and asked, "What's in it for you guys?"
"Good question!" Nik searched for her voice as he replied. When he locked his gaze on her, he nodded his head in appreciation. "In return for safeguarding your family, providing food and shelter. Black Haven will take half of your loot at the end of the day. The other half, we don't care what you do with them. Horde them, sell them, its up to you. But also understand that we'll only be giving you basic things that you need to survive. If you want to live an extravagant life or upgrade your gears, save some money and do it. Are there anymore questions? If none, please go and fill up a simple attendance sheet we made and we'll proceed after."
Anna felt that his explanation was a bit arguable but resisted the urge to comment. She behaved herself and waited for her turn. After writing her name, age and gender on the sheet of paper, she was given a set of close combat armaments—a T1 Bone Dagger, a T1 Short Sword and a stout shield. The shield was a simple round hardwood with metal casing on its edges. A simple strap was attached on the back together with a simple handle.
Everyone finished writing their names and taking their gears. They went back to their spots and waited in bated breaths for further instructions. Most of the women couldn't help but get tearful after receiving the items. They mostly tried their luck when they came here but they didn't know that they would encounter this fortunate event.
When Nik saw that everyone is ready, he explained what they have to do for today. "At the end of the day, you would be divided into two groups. The Scavenging Group and the Elite Scavenger Squad. The Scavenging Group are people who are tasked with looting everything that they could find. Everything from food to clothing, as long as you deemed it useful would be brought back. The Elite Scavenger Squad would be tasked with killing and hunting carriers. Their main job is to fight the undead, collect rare loots and resources while strengthening themselves."
"You must be thinking that its much safer being in the Scavenging Group right? I agree with that, and we won't force anyone to do join the Elite Scavengers. Actually, you can only join the group if you have enough skills to do so. And if anyone of you manage to join the elite squad, you would receive a reward. Now, let me teach you the basic survival techniques that you could apply every time you go out and scavenge."
Nik with Bartolome, Huwan, Gani, Datu and Jejomar demonstrated the attack patterns of every carrier known to them, their behaviors and how to fight them. Everyone watched them with jubilation. These people were just regular people who don't know anything besides being rescued. They were the new batch of people that got sheltered on the Recreation Facility and didn't know how to fight. Every bit of knowledge being taught to them was something new and they find it fascinating.
It was already early in the morning and the sun was slightly up when they finished with everything. Nik then gathered everyone's attention and said, "As a small test for everyone, we want you to scavenge for supplies and come back before sunset. Everyone's loot would be evaluated and people who have over 10,000 CP of loot would be advanced to the Elite Scavenger Squad. Just to be clear. Even if you went over 10,000 CP, we won't force you to join the Elite Scavenger Squad if you don't want to. Okay?"
Everyone nodded their heads. With everything all set, Nik let them loose and watched them cautiously move out.
"We cleared every evolved carriers last night, right?" said Nik towards his subordinates. Right, subordinates. Though they aren't death slaves anymore, they finally accepted that there's nowhere else they could go to and stayed with Jun. They were already used to him and they knew that the man would never mistreat them as long as they don't do anything stupid.
They are currently Jun's elite guards and has free-will on to whatever they want to do. Besides acting as guards, they also like to do little chores for him since they knew that unless he was charging into a horde of evolved carriers, no one in town could actually hurt him.
Bartolome chuckled and slightly shook his head. "Why are you treating them like a baby? Do you like that woman? I saw your eyes. It stayed on her for a few more seconds."
"I'll take that as a yes." replied Nik, then chose to ignore him.
Though Nik didn't answer why he acted like a goody two shoes, everyone knew the answer. Because this batch of people were new and would have a neutral take on Black Haven.
Black Haven is in need of people after suddenly losing a lot in a single day. Though they aren't low in supplies, stocking up wouldn't really hurt. Besides, the Elite Scavenger Squad would become the equal and new death squads. This time, they have the freedom to do what they want to do.
"Let's go back and report to Jun." said Bartolome.
"You guys go on. I'll stay here incase something went wrong." replied Nik.
Bartolome felt that Nik was acting to worried but couldn't leave him alone. He asked Huwan to report to Jun instead. SInce they already cleared all of the evolved carriers last night and even reduced the numbers of regular carrier along the way, if someone were unfortunate enough to lose their life and die, then scavenging was probably not for them.
Huwan led everyone and teleported back. After the streaks of light disappeared, Nik turned around and followed after the new recruits. Bartolome felt like he was a butler following his young master around on a stroll.
On the Lakeside Marina.
Jun just finished his conversation with Gilbert and they both smiled at each other. Jun felt a weird sensation inside him as the old fisherman pledged loyalty to him once again. This time, he realized that there are people who abide by their words once you gain their gratitude.
He promised supplies and salaries for them which made them thankful and appreciative of him. These people were fisherman, the kind of people that would become happy if they don't have to worry for their food tomorrow.
Jun bade farewell and decided to walk back instead of teleporting. He admired the lake side scenery until something popped up infront of him.
[First Wave will arrive: 5:00]
Jun stared in surprise at the countdown notification infront of him.
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