Anna's group traveled on a straight line with her as the lead. Erin followed after her, then Takaw and the mutated dog. Emman pedaled at the back of the group and has bruises all over.
Earlier, he tried riding the mutated dog for fun but the black dog did not appreciate his gesture. It ran wildly causing Emman to fall off resulting in his current appearance. He was crying dry tears as he remembered how his face almost hit the ground, but thankfully he was able to use her hands to shield himself from the fall.
He used the Black Haven Innate Energy Circulation technique and although he wasn't an expert with the technique, he still felt the pain gradually go away with his lacking control.
As they continued along the highway, a car with a massive modified bumper appeared on a distant barangay entrance. It passed by in a hurry but Erin managed to glimpse at the backseat and saw a bleeding man unconsciously leaning back on the seat while his friends continued to apply pressure on his chest.
She didn't see what kind of wound it was, but it must be caused by a Hunter to bleed that much. Only Hunter's had sharp nails that acted as claws among the known threats.
Just as they reached the entrance of the barangay, loud shouts could be heard from the road. A regular tricycle cautiously driving downhill with the same situation from before. Someone was injured inside with the shirt covered with blood.
"I think we're in the right place," Erin commented as she stopped beside Anna.
Takaw and the mutated dog arrived by their side, followed by Emman.
He then said, "Are you sure? I've never heard of operations getting this dangerous."
"Then, this would be one. Let's not waste time, people could be dying."
Anna pedaled uphill for a bit and decided to get off the bike after reaching the halfway mark because the climb was too strenuous. The barangay they entered has more empty lands than housings. Most of the time, there were trees and shrubs in between before the next house. It could be considered rural since houses were at least too far from each other to be called neighbors.
Except for the few stragglers, their group didn't encounter any carrier group that was larger than three. After several minutes of pedaling and following the winding countryside road, they finally encountered another group walking by the side of the road.
A man was carrying a woman on his arms as he ran on the open road. He was being chased by two R0 Carriers that each had a bone spear and short sword on their chests.
Anna pedaled as fast as she could but she knew that she wouldn't be able to arrive on time. She then shouted: "Takaw, stop them!" Then continued to pedal.
Takaw excitedly ran forward followed by the mutated dog. He then stood a few meters away from the man carrying the seemingly wounded woman and started barking at them.
The mutated dog turned to Takaw in confusion while Anna's group felt helpless. Sometimes he acted as if he understands what they were talking about and there were times that he acts like this.
The more experienced mutated dog, noticed the carriers chasing behind the man. It quickly lunged forward with ferocity as it tore and swung the carriers it bit, before spitting them on the side of the road.
The group arrived next to the man and immediately noticed something wrong from the left arm of the woman. Everything below the elbow was gone and the bloodied white shirt that covered the missing arm dyed his chest in blood.
Instead of thanking them, the man stared at them earnestly.
With a shed of tear slowly flowing down his cheeks, together with the hoarse voice that came out from his mouth which told the experience he just went through, he begged. "Please save her. I beg you, please save her."
Anna quickly got off her bike and took a small bottle from her dimensional storage. She quickly placed a pinkish-red ball of medicinal plant mixture. It does not stick together properly and is already showing signs of deformation after being taken out of the bottle.
"Open her mouth, quickly!" Anna called for Erin to help her. After Erin ran to her side in panic, Anna placed the ball-shaped mixture inside the woman's mouth.
"Okay, here's some news for you. That's a Health Recovery item. It can regenerate health a chunk of health if she swallows it but it gives slow regeneration if not. As a side effect, any wounds she had would feel itchy during and after she wakes up. You best watch her hands, so she can't scratch her wound."
"About the bleeding, I have something here but I'm not an expert, so I can't guarantee her safety. The best choice you have is to immediately take her back to town and have a doctor look after her."
"Thank you so much!" the man said in muffled cries. He stood up and was about to continue running when several cars started honking from a distance.
Numerous vehicles appeared on the corner one by one. The lead driver peaked on the window and shouted for them to move aside.
Emman moved to the middle of the road to take their bikes which caused the parade of cars to stop.
"What are you doing!? Move!"
Emman shook his head in disappointment on how people still had attitudes like this. He took the three bikes and moved it to the side.
When a jeepney from the caravan passed by Anna, he saw that it was police officers riding a jeepney. She quickly asked for their help to bring the man back with them. Seeing the state of the woman, the police agreed.
"Thank you." Anna bowed and waved her hand.
"I suggest you leave, she can't probably hang on much longer and would probably run away any second now. That cat's really angry for some reason, be careful."
Just as the police officer finished speaking, a loud hiss could be heard behind them. The police officer hurriedly ordered for the retreat and the volunteer caravan continued moving on. Several jeepneys passed by before the final one zoomed past them in a hurry. The survivors riding the last jeepney sighed in relief but still had frightened expressions on their faces even though they were already moving away.
It was at this moment when the sound of rubble resounded followed by the screech of metal scraping a rock.
A figure appeared and it continued to retreat as if escaping from something. The mutated dog's gaze firmly watched every movement she made.
Jennie dodged ahead of time every time the two-meter house cat swiped its claws. As she continuously danced with the mutated cat, she noticed that there were still people who haven't left. She also noticed that foolish looking dog staring at her.
Her lapse in attention was quickly taken advantage of the house cat. It dived towards her and swiped its claws at the same time.
Without looking, Jennie determined where the attacks were coming from and adjusted her position. Then she felt the ground vibrate as the cat tried sweeping the ground with both limbs. The sharp claws retracted itself and it clasped its paws as if it tried to catch Jennie like she was a mouse.
Jennie jumped in the air to dodge the sweep. She was staring at the house cat glaring at her from below when she suddenly felt a bad premonition. She quickly looked up and saw its tail flying to her like a whip.
Jennie was whipped by the tail and was sent flying towards a tree by the side. She bounced off and fell on the wild grassy ground that cushioned her fall.
Everything happened in an instant.
By the time the mutated dog ran to help Jennie, she was already sent flying by the cat's tail. The good news is, the tail was slightly fluffy which did not cause much damage. Most of the damage she received was from the shock she received when her body hit a tree when she was sent flying.
The mutated dog roared furiously as it lunged towards the two-meter house cat. It did not even consider the difference in size as it tackled the cat into the ground.
The two mutated animals rolled several times and in that process, the dog tried biting the cat's neck several times but only managed to lodged a bite on its body.
The two became bloodied as they rolled for a few more times and the cat managed to send a few cuts to the mutated dog's ribs and legs while it clawed randomly.
Due to its old instincts of getting bullied by a dog, it wanted to run away as soon as possible, then it noticed that the bite on its body weakening.
And it was true. Although the mutated dog got the first attack in, in reality, it was still one rank below the house cat.
When it received a few cuts from the mutated cat, its blood leaked and muscles got torn. It tried to finish the fight as soon as possible, but the mutated cat sacrificed a bit of flesh to get out of its hold.
With some flesh missing on the back, the mutated cat started to bleed a little but not enough to cause death. It lowered its body into a prowl. Every step it took would leave claw marks on the road.
The mutated dog weakly raised its damaged left leg as it glared at the mutated cat. In its eyes, there was a clear will to protect its savior even at the cost of its life.
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