There was silence. Only silence. And the smell. It was the smell that she could not stand. But she endures it.
The smell. And the silence.
Because the alternative is the outside. Sometimes her ears could pick up the sound of the groaning outside.
There is no longer screams she mused. Only the groaning of the dead.
And sometimes she checks from the third floor, looking down with full concentration, trying to look any possible way to get out from this mall.
But she also knows that she is safe in this mall. Unless the beast comes again. She has to make a plan.
But for now, the mall is her safe place. This is where she will be safe for a while.
And truthfully if she could, she want to stay inside this mall, never going outside, praying that the abominations outside would just disappeared and all of this was a bad dream.
There are some places in the mall she could not enter.
She could if she forces it but the alarm would ring and that would attract attention from the outside.
And any attention from the outside is not good.
Inside the mall the different stores that have the automatic shutters are generally places with precious items (gems and jeweler stores) and alarms.
Near the management office is security door and they have heavy security doors where the guards watch the security monitors operate the different alarms in the mall.
But Sofia only knows this because she always hears this from his boyfriend who also worked in the mall with her.
She as a cashier, him as a guard.
And also one of the first few people who abandoned her inside the mall when the calamity happen.
But she could not blame him. She has a part in the reason why her boyfriend leaves her at that moment.
Sofia is the only child of a poor family. She doesn’t have enough money to further her studies and her father is an abusive fuck.
Her mother has divorced her father a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean that her father did not come sometimes, making a mess, or beating her mother to an inch of her life.
Domestic violence is an issue for her but not such big of an issue for the police.
Sofia has been working in this mall for about 1 and a half year. Before that she worked at a restaurant as a waiter.
She is 24 years old.
And right now, the only survivors of the mall workers. Most of the workers when the calamity struck ran outside.
She did not.
Is it because she could predict that running outside will be a bigger risk to her safety?
She was just too scared to even move, even when her boyfriend Mad yells towards her to run.
Thus she was left behind.
It took her about 5 minutes seeing the chaotic rushing of everyone inside the mall running outside to be eaten by some horrifying beast.
Some of the beast has sharp horns, some have gigantic tusk and claws and many others. Sofia just hide…..and trembles inside the store in the third floor, hoping and praying the beasts would not find her.
And she was lucky.
The beast quickly left the place after killing dozens of people. In her hand at the time was a bow.
It materializes out of nowhere.
When she gets out of her hiding spot the only thing she sees was corpses. Dozens of corpses littered the mall, like a piece of garbage, blood filled the area.
The mosaic floor is slippery because of the blood. Then remembering where the emergency door is she pushes the buttons and the door closes.
She would rather spend time in the mall with all this bodies rather than risking her neck out, and run into the gigantic beast she saw.
That night she takes a nap in the bed department when a sound startles her. Thankfully she has quite the sensitivity.
It was at that night Sofia believes that nothing will be the same again. The dead rises from the ground.
And they all wanted to eat her. It was at this time she uses her bow. Using 10 arrows she shot 10 zombies.
Sofia once learned at a Sport School in Temerloh. She was once of the representatives for Archery but she did not get any scholarship.
Personal problems interferes. But her skills is genuine. She was a talent.
Her bow handling is impeccable.
One arrow released, one zombie will fall. She always aims at the head. It’s the only thing that seems to work with the zombies.
She did not tremble in fear, her breathing was stable and she tries her hardest to be calm. Because if she is not calm, then she will miss.
And missing a target might cost her life.
She could only concentrate and ignores the state of the corpse which is all pretty terrifying.
Some is walking with holes in their bodies, some have their lower body ripped off but still crawling towards her, black blood flowed from the corpse’s body with something resembling a maggot squirming in the pool of blood left behind the half body zombies.
Then she picked up her bow and repeat.
In the mall she remembers there are about 45 people. The one that has died and remains in the mall is 32 people.
Then she has to kill 32 zombies.
At 3 am she finally finished dispatching every single zombie in the mall. She was exhausted, mentally and physically.
Her finger is chapped and bleeding, and her shoulder blade might be sprained. She si sore in her arms and bleeding from her fingernails.
But it is amazing that she survive the onslaught of the zombie using a bow and alone inside a mall, populated with zombies.
How did she do it?
Sneak attack. Hiding in the racks and shooting from an advantageous position. She rises to level 7 and she put it all on agility.
She also gets new stats, accuracy which she quickly put some points in it. It helps her making her shots more accurate and her eyes also could see farther away.
The skill books she has she quickly learned and the gold coins that dropped from the zombies she quickly put it inside her Storage ring.
She also put many snacks and food inside it.
Then she making sure that all of the threat has been neutralized, she takes a light nap at 5 am until the next day.
The next day she wakes up and sees that there are zombies walking and marching around the mall.
She maintained her silence. She did not make a sound. Even when she has to eat a snack she eat it at the highest floor, far from the ears of the zombies.
She looks at the general surrounding and waited. It works before, why wouldn’t it work again?
After all she is saved because she was late at running and had to hide inside the mall. If she rushed outside, then she might be one of those zombies.
There is no danger today. It wasn’t until at night she heard a howling that make her shivers.
There is a beast she mused. Could it be the same beast that attacked the people before? Have they all not retreated? Might some of it is still here, prowling searching for prey?
This is all she could think about that night. She was in a state of alert all night. But after hours of silence she lowers her guard.
Fuck! What was that howling she said as she is eating some snacks in her bed on the bed sections.
She is hungry and she is tired mentally. The fear pressure her mentally and the silence did not help in making her anymore calm.
Her boyfriend his dead, and even probably her mother.
No, she did not die! She stubbornly insisted. If it’s her father, she could accept, even celebrated, but her mother?
The only one that truly cares about her…..she must live. And for a moment there is this fire of determination to survive this calamity and find her mother..
She was about to rest when she heard sound of slicing outside. The sound caught her attention.
‘What’s that?’ She gets up from her bed and jumps down gracefully from the third floor and landed like a cat on the first floor.
Her bow is then at ready.
Is it a monster? she thought to herself. She then peek outside from the cracks and she sees a man shrouded in black clothes, slicing zombies like paper.
He is standing in one spot, steady like a mountain. Aura of power emanated from him.
His move was fluid like water and his strikes are domineering. He did not rush towards the dozens of zombies congregated in front of the mall.
Instead, he only needed to move a few steps to dodge the zombies attack, sometimes jumping only a few centimeters from the zombies before slicing them.
He did not run towards them, but he is waiting for them to come to him with confidence. Sofia is full is excitement.
Why? Because the man is clearing out the zombies in front of the mall with ease. Sofia knows how hard it is to do this.
Even she has to use all of her wits and abilities to kill all the zombies in the mall and it is not without difficulties.
Aided with the closed environment and an environment which provides cover for her archery.
But the man is standing in the middle of the street with nothing but a blade and slicing the zombies like they are ants.
This is true power. He might be a soldier or a policeman that survive the initial attack.
Could it be he is a special forces of the government sent from the government to battle these monster? She thought to herself.
Julia is a woman who believes in the government. In Malaysia there is only one party that matters.
It is also the only party that has ruled Malaysia for the past 5 decades.
That means since the beginning of the formation of Malaysia, this one political party has amassed enough influence to treat the people like peasants.
But Sofia still believes the government. Why? Because after all, surely the government, however corrupt wouldn’t desert their own people.
She looks intently at the man trying to see his appearance. But it was night, it was dark and the man is wearing hood.
She could not see his face because it is hidden by the hood. Having him would surely would increase her chance of survival.
He looks relaxed but then suddenly his eyes darted at her. Sofia was startled. Did he see me? Impossible.
Sofia moved away from the crack and feels her heart beating in fear.
Azief is dodging the zombies attack with apparent ease. This is merely child play to him.
His level is now 23 and he got 4 stats points and 2 skill points. He did not use his skill points yet.
He needs to think really hard what he will use it on. If somehow he got better skills later, he doesn’t want to regret.
And after all the threat isn’t high right now. After killing the Fanged Giant Cat he did not encounter a beast or monster that reach its level.
And he wanted to shelter inside the mall. And stores some food. Then he will begin hs journey home. Considering his power right now, there is not many beast that could fight him.
This is just a stop. One of many he mused.
He needs to make sure whether his parent survived or perish this calamity. If they survive, Azief would protect them until they find a way to safely live inside this new world.
If not, Azief must find a way to live safely in this new world, alone.
So he is clearing out these zombies in front of him. It’s not hard dispatching zombies anymore and withy his strength they are merely EXP.
Azief is farming EXP but he also realizes as his level increases and now that he reaches level 20, it is harder gaining EXP by killing zombies.
He also realizes that when anyone reaches the 10 level marks, something is unlocked. For example, when he is level 10, class change is unlocked.
Level 20, skill points is unlocked. Then what will be unlocked at level 30?
As he keep slicing the zombies he also have time to loot all the golden coins tat fall when he defeated the zombies.
It takes him only one strike to kill any zombies.
His speed is astonishing and the zombie could not keep up with his agility. Right now his agility is 35 points.
Combined that with all his buff, his agility is 47.
His speed could rival a car right now and the zombie who was originally slow is even slower in Azief eyes.
‘Should I utilize Divine Sense?’ Azief mused as he used the technique.
Then suddenly as he cast out his divine sense he suddenly sense a living person. He turned his gaze to the direction.
There is someone who is still alive! The Divine Sense technique he got from one of the zombies he encountered when he is coming here.
The zombies were faster than any zombies he met but compared to his speed the zombie was still lacking.
Of course if it was before he level up to level 10, surely he would die fighting that zombies. But he is now level 22.
And the technique he gets from the skill book is divine sense. It could detect living organism.
Another survivor? And in this mall?
This time Azief start slashing with more speed, killing many of the zombies and before he knows it, the front of the mall was littered with heads.
None of the zombies get back up again. Then Azief said, staring at the mall and he said.
‘Open the steel shutter’ he said, his eyes staring at the steel shutter. If the people inside did not want to open he would force his way in.
Suddenly there is a sound and the shutter gate is going up. Azief sighed in relief. At least the people inside is not unreasonable.
Then Azief open his hood and as the shutter got up completely, he looks in front of him. A woman is waiting for him and they both looked at each other.
He looks at her in shock, and she looks at him in shock.
‘Sofia?’ Azief said, completely shocked looking at her. He knows her.
‘Azief?’ Sofia said. She could not believe it was that boy.
For a moment, as the wind blows, the street that is filled with countless decapitated bodies, there was this awkward silence.
If this was a movie, there would be that cawing sound by the crows.
‘You..’both of them said at the same.
‘Anyway hurry up! Come in before more of their thing comes here.’ Azief just nodded, and he could not believe what is happening today.
He gets inside and the mall is shut down again.