'What's he doing here? Isn't he a small town boy?'
Paul Celestine couldn't believe what he was seeing. From what he remembered, Jun was just a small-time pre-apocalypse thug who happened to seize control of certain areas.
Due to his contempt for Jun, he wasn't able to see clearly the broader things that were pretty obvious.
It was a great feat for a small-time thug to capture several towns and declare them his territory uncontested.
Because of the over-reliance on guns, the military has been blindsided for a long time with the advancement of skills and individual powers. Military personnel still think that being armed with guns was better than training in other skills.
Jun arrived in front of their group and scanned everyone. A warm smile appeared on his face.
"My name is Jun Reyes, the founder of Black Haven. It's nice to meet everyone and I would really like to spend some time chatting with you guys, but I think we need to move on.
"If we encounter a horde of high-level carriers here, I think we'll suffer a great loss."
As the person-in-charge, Paul stepped forward and agreed. He stared forward and Jun stared back. The two remain in locked tension waiting for the other person to speak, but no one was willing to speak first.
In the end, they ignored each other while everyone was left curious as to what just happened.
The return route was cleared which caused a faster return.
The military was stationed at the bridge with a floodlight lighting the way. Jun specifically told them to stay here as to not cause trouble by attracting hordes due to gunshots.
Corwin waited at the front-most row and immediately saluted to the president upon seeing him. After a simple rundown of the outpost situation, Corwin received the president's praise for doing a good job in managing the outpost.
Corwin instantly felt pride in himself. The praise alone was heartwarming and yet the feeling of acceptance he felt from the sincere gaze of the president made his heart tremble in excitement.
The greatest thing about the situation was that the president recognizes him now. Even though barely, he should be on his radar and probably on the good side.
After completing the mission, Jun gave the First Army some free time to do what they want to do. Giving a vacation after a mission was essential in keeping the soldier's morale and loyalty high.
Everyone from the First Army welcomed the day off gladly. Fighting daily while risking their life can cause tension to form, which would eventually lead to mistakes.
A single mistake could lead to death and one mistake can cause numerous troubles. Mistakes aren't needed on the battlefield.
Seeing the treatment the First Army was receiving, some of the soldiers watching them felt envious. They were regularly working on shifts and often have over time. The looming threat on the other side of the bridge can't be overlooked which causes soldiers on duty mental fatigue.
King and several Team Leaders stayed back to guard Jun. They were still in neutral territory and First Army's high-ranking officers have already lost trust in the government. They have to make sure that nothing bad happens to their founder.
The reason for Jun's stay was simple, making acquaintances.
The person indebted to him was the president. The country's president!
At the same time, he also has a lot of questions he wants to be answered.
Jun casually conversed with Corwin about the APC and transport helicopter. Although pained about the crooked deal, the old man still entertained him since he was still feeling overjoyed. The president was inside his office and making several calls on various still-functioning government departments.
Benefits would surely fall to this outpost even if he didn't ask for it. Everything was about politics, and politics would always benefit one side while causing losses to the opposing side.
As the two continued to idle, Jerry came over and interrupted them.
"Mister Jun, right? The president would like to have a word with you."
Jun and Corwin turned their heads at the same time. The other appeared to be surprised while Jun calmly spoke his mind.
"Lead the way."
After following Jerry to the highest floor of the outpost building, Jun finally entered Corwin's office.
King and the company were stopped by a squad of soldiers which prevented them from advancing further. If it weren't for Jun telling them it was okay, they would have insisted on entering with him. Left with no choice, they stood on standby and waited outside the hallway.
Two groups of elite soldiers stared at each other like they were prepared to lunge at each other if the other side showed any signs of violence.
Inside the room, Paul Celestine silently watched Jun as he entered the room. His feet were raised on the coffee table like he was a carefree man.
However, hidden behind his calm appearance was an arrow ready to strike if he showed anything out of order. He was tasked to extract and protect the president and he will do that until he brought him back to the current Stronghold.
The president was busy talking with people on the phone and yet upon seeing Jerry and Jun enter, he immediately bade farewell and dropped the call.
Before Jun could reach the desk, the president already stood up and excitedly walked towards him. Rodriguez Duforte shook his hands with a warm smile on his face.
The two sat in front of each other with nothing in between.
"So you're that promising man. I've heard some tales from Corwin, but I would like to hear the story directly from you. That is only if you're willing."
Jun suddenly felt overwhelmed. An invisible pressure surrounded him, however, it wasn't a bad feeling nor a positive feeling. It just urged him to do what he wanted to do.
Since he intended to make acquaintances and ask some concerning questions, he proceeded forward with honesty.
In the end, he slowly opened up and told the story of a regular citizen, his hardships, and how he gathered everyone to survive the apocalypse.
Upon hearing the basic story from the man himself, Rodriguez Duforte stood up from his seat and lowered his head to Jun.
"Thank you for helping them."
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