CHAPTER 11: THE OUTSIDE WORLD

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That morning Azief woke up at 6. He always woke up at 6. Habits. The outside is still dark. The sun has not yet dawned.

He rubbed his eyes.

He almost thought he was dreaming yesterday with all the gore he witnessed, and killings, and then when he looks at his surrounding he knows this is not his house.

It’s not his room. It’s not his place. And it is certainly not his bed. He sighed and the first thing he uttered when he woke up.

‘Shit’

‘Yesterday was not a dream.’ He said. The stiffs, the aliens, the monstrous beast, all of it were not in his dreams or imaginations.

The world ended yesterday. That is what he thought to himself. The world as they know it has ended.

And a new world begins today.

He wanted to lay his body right back to bed but he can’t when he remembers there is still a threat near him.

Even though most of the stiffs here just patrol with aimless walking and has low intelligence, Azief don’t know if something new is going to happen.

Something new means something he doesn’t know. And he doesn’t like that. He doesn’t like not knowing.

Especially when such ignorance could lead him straight to the jaws of death. And he prefers to see Death when he is ready, old and decrepit; living in a house beside a beautiful lake, with a woman he loves.

Die of old age. That is what he wants. He doesn’t want to die of illnesses, of gory accidents, or drugs.

He wants to die the natural way, of boredness of life. I live again today he mused. Even better, die while having sex.

He laughed a little at his unreasonable musing.

Today will be a heck of a day. He knows this is in his heart. Today he will begin his plan.

So, he got up and equipped all his armour. He looks almost like Altair in Assassin Creed. The only difference is the difference in colors of the attire and the black aura enveloping him.

It was small and barely detectible. Still, there is that aura.

Then he looks outside the window from his bed. The second floor really does give quite the view to the outside scenery, which is full with corpse, and walking corpse.

Azief could see all the prowling stiffs…..walking aimlessly…and groaning. Most of them are far away from the house.

Azief perception then envelope the radius of 100 meter.

Nothing dangerous Azief mused.

‘Good’ he said. At least he knows that his passive skills are useful in detecting enemies.

Now he is getting ready. First target. Food. The Mall. With the rings he surely could store many things.

He’s going to raid the crap out of the Mall. Canned food, first aid kit, medicines if there is any, everything useful.

But to do this efficiently he needs to have a helper. This is where Tan come in.

He opens the door and went down the stairs. He look around the sofa near the living room. Tan was there, sleeping peacefully on the couch.

Azief approach the sofa and move him.

‘Wha-‘ and  the moment Tan recognize Azief he quickly regain his composure.

‘Azief. You scared me. I thought it was the zombies. I thought they have breached my house’

‘No, they did not. I would have noticed and you would have been dead. Get up. We’re going to move.’

‘Yes.’ Tan said bitterly. Azief is clearly not respecting him even a bit.

Both of them clean their faces and then getting ready. Tan brought his bag. It was big but not too big that it would hinder him from running and it has back support.

They were in the front door and Azief has to say something before they venture outside. It was important so Tan understand what they will be doing outside.

‘Tan listen to me. Do you know where we are going?’ And Tan who was behind Azief stopped and said

‘The mall.’

‘Yes. Here is what I want you to do. You will store food, drinks, anything useful. Don’t pick up anything not useful. That is your job. Pick up canned food, snacks, chocolate bars, aid kits anything in your mind that you deemed useful for our survival.

Tan nodded.

‘Now I want to know. What level you are and what are your highest stats, and your World Orb item?’

Tan reply honestly.

‘I’m level 01, and my highest stat’s is Spirit and my weapon is a staff.’ He said

‘Did you bring the staff with you?’ Azief said seeing there is no staff near Tan. Not in his hand and not on his back.

‘No.’ he said

‘Where is it?’ Azief asked

‘At the kitchen.’ Tan pointed to a staff disguised as a broomstick. No, it is not a broomstick but at least that is what Azief thought last night when he was woken up at 3 am.

‘Go bring it’ Tan went into the kitchen and bring the staff. Arriving in front of him Azief then quickly say

‘Now I want you to also level up when we went outside‘ Hearing this Tan face turns pale.

‘But I’m afraid of the zombies.’

‘Don’t worry. I’ll weaken them enough. You need to gain some power if you want to survive. If you become a dead weight I’ll leave you. It’s that simple.’

‘You…wouldn’t do that would you?’ Tan said his voice is trembling. Could this young man have the heart to leave him being eaten by the zombies?

The answer would be yes. Azief don’t know Tan.

He doesn’t even owe anything to him. If he is a dead weight and only hinder Azief survival, then Azief would leave him in a heartbeat.

After all if he could not benefit from having Tan on his group then what function does Tan serve. Mascot?

Tan is not cute and he certainly not beautiful and Azief hate mascot. Especially if the mascot is cute and cuddly.

He hated them with a passion of a thousand burning suns.

He is helping Tan precisely because Tan could help him and vice versa. Tan wanted his strength; Azief wanted someone who could at least store items.

He did not ask much. And if Tan level up, it is not only good for Azief it will also be good for Tan.

His chance of survival will also be higher. Then Azief answer after musing all of this in his mind.

‘I would.’ Hearing this Tan face turned pale but then a face of determination appears on his faced.

He understands the world today is different than the world yesterday. If you are useless you will be thrown away.

So he makes a decision lightning fast.

‘Then what is it I have to do?’ Tan asked, his eyes shows determination. Azief seeing the middle aged man have such determination is delighted.

After all if possible even he does not want to needlessly being cruel to people. The world may have changed but he is not.

After all the world has only changed for one day. There is still sanity in Azief mind and many other people that survives the first impact of the world changing phenomena.

This might change later but for now, he is still him from yesterday.  Some parts of the world right now are of course inhabited by both crazies and sane people.

But who will triumph? The strongest, the smartest, the most resourceful of the human race. Whether it is evil men or good men, these qualities will become their weapons.

And sometimes the luckiest.

Azief could be categorized as one of the lucky people who survive the first impact armed only by luck.

He is twisted a bit, have certain dark fantasies but even he have certain lines that he would not cross.

Don’t rape people. Don’t fuck little children. And don’t fuck little children. See, how he just repeated the same restriction.

It’s that important. Don’t kill is not one of them. They are not many restrictions in his life. Oh, and no smoking. It’s more like a restriction towards other rather than to himself.

Azief has always hated the smell. He could tolerate people smoking. After all that is their damn freedom.

If they wanted to die of lung cancer, a blackened lung at the end of the autopsy table, at the age of 36, that is their right.

Most of his friends are smokers. But having that fucking smoke being blown to his fucking face or even his clothes feels like someone stood on a chair and pissed on his head.

But if he needs to kill, at least it would make his heart lighter if the one he killed deserve it. That two lines, is one line he would never break.

First because he doesn’t like to force people to have sex with him. It’s disgusting and really degrading.

The second is because he has little sister and brothers. What sick people would have sex relation with a child not even of age?

No matter how the world changes, Azief will never broke these two lines. Then Azief look back at Tan and said

‘Easy. Don’t be a dead weight.’

‘But I’m afraid of the zombies and I’m weak. Being afraid I could handle. But I’m also weak. Bravery is not enough. I don’t want to be eaten or bitten. I see enough people being brave …..and they all die in scream’

Azief nodded in understanding. Azief too was lucky. If not he too might be walking aimlessly…groaning in the street like the other stiffs.

If not for his luck, and his gamble, maybe he will not be as confident as Tan. It is because Azief has fought the zombies and won that make him have this confidence.

Strength breeds confidence.

He of course understands the fear in Tan hearts. He too was fearful before. But it is because of that fear that he ran away from Ah Seng shop and keeps moving.

Because if he did not have that fear in his heart, he will not survive. Fear is good. Fear keeps him alive.

Then Azief said smiling at Tan

‘I will not let you go to the frontline without any backup. Here are some items that will help you.’ Azief open his palm and light flashes inside the living room and a variety of items appears.

‘Equip all of them.’ Tan took it, examined it and equipped a robe, a knife, a boot and a glove.

The robe helps him to avoid infection from level 10 to 15. Azief does not have such robe but somehow he believes that his Shadow Lord Set is capable of enduring infection.

He checks it when he was startled at 3 am because of the shrieking of some beast. He woke up and for about 15 minutes Azief look from the second floor.

It was at this time, he realizes something about his attires. It was fairly happenstance.

He notices that the Shadow Lord attire has special properties. He checks the robe and found some golden thread.

When examines, it shows that anything that is not level 5 higher than his current level could not infect him.

It is one of the perks choosing unique class. After 15 minutes of stakeout, Azief returns to sleep and woke up at 6.

But then this also means that other unique class might have the same abilities or maybe an entirely different material.

Then Azief said to Tan after Tan has equipped all the equipment.

‘Now here is another thing I need you to understand. I am the main attack, the cavalry and you are the support. So, when you level up I want you to invest in spirit. When you reach level 10, quickly class up and chose healer profession. If you can promise me this, then I promise I will do my best not to ditch you.’

Tan just smiles bitterly. Does he even have a choice? But he is not that too bitter. After all he is just a healer. He knows of course what it means.

Tan is a middle aged man but it’s not like he live under a rock all this time. He of course plays a few online games.

He knows what healer is. He kind of like being the support. At least he will not fight in the front line.

‘I agree.’ Tan said. Azief nodded.

‘Ok, so here is the plan. In the elementary school there is a beast. From what I see he is the boss around here. Most of the other beast has moved to other places maybe making their own place in other regions or states. Anyway they are not our problem. Here most of them are only stiffs’

‘You mean zombies?’ Tan said. Azief rolled his eyes and said

‘I mean stiffs. They are slow, most of them weak, and stupid. But maybe they will evolve. If we can rise in level maybe zombie could too. Either way, they are our main enemies right now.’

‘So what’s the plan against that?’

‘The plan is to level up. I think near the mall there will be many more stiffs waiting for us there. I might be powerful against these stiffs but against a horde? I can’t win in such situations. So here is what I propose. A cleaning up operation. For today we will not raid the mall yet. It’s too dangerous and stupid. We level up first, strengthen ourselves and then we raid the mall.’

‘I thought you said to me that will raid the mall today?’ Tan asked in confusion. He heard that Azief was planning to raid the mall yesterday.

‘Change of plans.’ Azief said. He changed the plans when he looks outside a few moments ago.

His eyes have become clear and his sense is also more sensitive than before.

He might have been too rash and optimistic. Thinking about it Temerloh has quite a population.

It’s not as big as the big cities but it is still a lot. And there might even be some survivors. Maybe Azief should strengthen himself first.

Tan just shakes his head. Even though Azief changes his plan in a drop of a hat, he does not have any choice but to comply. To go outside alone would surely spell his doom.

‘And how do you suppose we do that?’ Tan asked

Worried but already have accepted his role.

‘By killing them of course. Look, this residential area is filled with back alley and narrow roads. It is the perfect setup to trap and kill them.’

‘But I’m not like you.’ Tan said pointing the obvious

‘I know. Here how it’s going to go. I will cut the stiffs hands and feet and you smash it with your staff. Deprive them of feet and hand and they are easy prey for you. Sooner or later a skill book will appear. If it’s a sword skills, or body technique you concede it to me. If its magic or healing skills, I will concede it to you. How about it?

Tan just nodded.

‘Good, now we go out.’

They open the door and the outside is still dark. He could see a few zombies a few meters from them, still walking not realizing that inside the high walls and decoration bushes two living man is walking in the city of the dead.

‘Here we go’ Azief said and he smiles.

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