It was the last day of the Province Sweep Project and everything has gone well for everyone. The individuals and small factions that joined the operation finally experienced fighting in unchartered territory.
Baras and Teresa proved quite the experience for everyone. Especially, the dangers that came from other survivors themselves.
Not everyone was born evil, it's just the allure of getting rich without working hard that's plaguing most of the surviving people.
When the deprived survivors learned that stealing from people weaker than them was a faster way to get geared, a huge number of survivors turned into banditry.
Now that everyone was busy to fend for themselves, no one cares about clearing outlaws that only ambush the weak. As long as I'm strong, they won't touch me.
The government once tried to round these groups up, but only found 'scavengers' roaming the town. Without enough proof, it was impossible to detain the people.
These bandits also relied on the fact that bodies disappear after getting looted. If they kill every witness, no one would know of the deed they have just done.
Unfortunately for them, they picked the wrong group to mess with today. These bandits tried to ambush the scout unit and were easily rounded up in a matter of minutes.
The main body of the First Army arrived together with other survivors. Jun frowned upon seeing a group of survivors kneeling in the middle of the road. There were nine adult men stripped to the skin and all of them were malnourished.
A familiar face walked towards him from the leading team. "Rank 4 Alpha Team Leader, Jhong, reporting. These people ambushed us with the intent to kill. What should we do with them?"
Instead of an answer, Jun posed his own question while observing the surrounding. "Who led the scout mission to Baras?"
Jhong answered immediately. "Director King took half of the Scout Team and several of my men with him. He informed me that they would rile up the crowd, so everyone could get to cleaning when they arrive."
Jun nodded. "Take charge of the operation. Don't delay just because of this, I'll handle this problem, just leave a few people behind for me to give orders."
"Un. Please take care."
Jhong turned and faced the people watching over the bandits. He pointed to five people, and said, "You guys stay behind here. Everyone else, continue the operation and lead everyone safely. Move, let's go, let's go, let's go!"
The five selected soldiers remained and stayed behind the kneeling survivors. The rest spread out in different directions while random groups followed after them.
Now that a bandit group already tried to ambush them, they had to be extra cautious with their movements or there would be casualties in their ranks.
After seeing the crowd disperse, Jun walked closer to the group. "There's really no easy way to say this, but I'll be honest with you. I'm going to kill all of you and you're free to resist. The rule of the land has changed and I'm sure you guys know that. As people who make a living from killing other people, you should be prepared to die yourself. Are there any objections?"
The answer he received wasn't what he was expecting.
"Help us..." the timid of them all muttered as he continued to shrink as if frightened.
Jun became interested after hearing such a strange response. "What do you mean? I don't understand what you're trying to say, so can you elaborate further? What kind of help do you expect when you guys are killing people?"
"Don't..." one of the captured survivors shook his head to stop his friend.
"I have to do this. We have to beg so they can help us." the timid survivor said, then glanced at Jun.
Seeing that he wasn't making any move yet, the man exhaled. "We aren't bandits like how you thought of us. We are just a regular band of survivors forced into bad circumstances. Our women were kidnapped by bandits and we need money to pay the ransom. It just happened that your people are geared and so attractive that we unwittingly ambushed them. I'm sorry, please spare us!"
"We're sorry! Please spare us!" chimed the others.
"Puhahaha!" Jun clutched his stomach and wipe the tear about to fall from his eyes. "That's a nice story you got there. Unfortunately, I don't take targeting my people kindly. But on the other hand, you have an amusing story and there's a lot of time to spend."
The timid man frowned, not understanding what he was trying to say.
Jun sighed, then clarified himself. "You have until the town gets cleared to verify your story and lead me to this bandit's base. If anyone of you dares to make any strange movements, I won't hesitate to kill. Understood?"
"That's also an order for you guys." Jun turned to his soldiers. "You don't have to kill them but just disable them."
After clarifying things, Jun rushed them to get up and made the timid man lead the way. The timid man often looked back at him as if wondering what kind of fucked up situation he got himself in.
Several streets later, they arrived at a building that has four floors. They overtook several sweeping groups since they weren't heading inside the buildings they passed by.
"Is this the place?" Jun asked curiously staring at the building in front of him. It was already old and renovations were in place. It's apparently under construction when the apocalypse happened. Such a good place to turn into a hideout with enough materials to barricade and defend the place.
"...yes." answered the timid man.
"We haven't entered yet and you're already losing confidence? Come on, man. Don't be like that."
Everyone felt chills on their skin, but they didn't know why it happened. The chills they felt was Jun's Detection, spreading out on the radius area.
He stretched his arms out and performed a few warmup exercises before uttering, "I need to set up a detective unit. I'm actually having trouble telling lies and whatnot."
Jun eyed the people sneakily staring at him from the window, then casually entered the front door.
"Watch over them. I'll be back in a minute."
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