The house was spacious. That is what Azief could say. That is what he could see even though in the darkness of night.
The electricity has been cut off, so there is no electricity. Maybe that is better he mused. At least with this, the noise factor is not a problem.
If not with alarm ringing of or even the sound of a blaring TV or anything electronic might gain the attention of the stiffs.
He could not describe the interior because most of it Azief doesn’t know. There is some painting on the wall while some are lying on the floor.
The wall itself is beautiful with something resembling mauve colour as the wallpaper on the wall. It has a second floor.
But it could be said the interior is a shadow of its former self. The plasma TV is on the ground, traces of broken glass from drinking glass and even some chandelier lights in the trash can.
It must be because of the shaking Azief mused. He remembered the strong shaking which saves his life.
But it is clear that this house is expensive. Azief is sitting down on the sofa. Comfy and soothing.
He even tries bouncing on it when the owner is preparing his drink.
The man is drinking cold water from the fridge and pours it in one of the glasses while bringing it to the table I the living room.
Azief looks at the man in front of him. The man is a middle age man.
35 years old, a businessman and have some shops in the Temerloh area. His name is Tan. He did say his full name, but Azief decided to call him Tan.
He is divorced and has no children. How does he know all this? He asks him before he sits down.
Well, when you threatened a man with a blade to his throat, rarely anyone would hide secret.
Azief fear the man is a bad man. That is why he made preliminary checks when he enters the house.
He couldn’t be too sure after all. Then Azief checks any signs of bites or infections or even wounds.
The man looks clean.
Other than some smell of sweats, he’s clean. Only after he is sure, Azief sits down on the man sofa after boarding up the exit and entrance of the house.
Azief is pleased to know the man has a great security system, and even properly boarded up the back door.
The back door, always. I guess being a rich man has great advantages. Azief mused. Azief plan was to enter the house, rest for a while then checking his loot.
After that in the morning, he would go to the mall to stock up on supplies. Food….that is important. Food, water. And then another motto.
Always on the move.
That is what he decides. Stock up enough supplies to find some safe place. Or find some shelter or government base.
Though he doubts the government could drive back this calamity. HEHEHE he is smiling while thinking to himself.
I would like to kill a politician one or two of them. That would be extremely satisfying. Just imagining fills his heart with glee.
His second objective is to return home to his village. His village is not far from the town, 15 minutes if he rides his bikes.
But now with the road unusable with cars filling the road and not one of them is moving, how could he ride a bike in such situation?
Not to mention the sound of the bike will make every stiff in the vicinity hunt him. It takes him hours for him to lose the stiff target on his back.
He is not inclined to repeat that experience again. Azief then look in front of him as Tan take his seat on the front of him, face to face
‘So what do you want?’ Azief said cutting straight to the point. He wants something. Azief could feel this deep in his heart. Why else would he save him?
The man sighed.
‘You know I saw you.’
‘Yes, I was on the second floor when the first meteor falls. I was startled by it. And scared. Terrified if I’m telling the truth.’
‘You did not run’ Azief asked.
‘Because I was a little late. It happens too fast. Though thinking back, it might have been a good thing. I too wanted to run outside but thank god I did not.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘I saw what happen to those who ran out from their home. Some call the law enforcement officers when the meteor first fall, waiting for police that never came. Others were shoving and pushing each other from each other way, trying to run when many more meteors fall. Some were trampled by others when the beast began coming. They all ran, and they all fell. Some ride their bike and their cars and ride the hell out of here. And then the big beast came. The beast was fast. It was a giant Meerkat ‘he said.
OH, that’s new Azief mused. He didn’t see a Meerkat when he was running.
‘Then?’ Azief said, his eyes hold a trace of interest.
‘The Meerkat with one swipe of his claws cut a person to meat pieces like a grinder. Those who ran were easily caught by the meerkat and eaten. I was not brave enough to get out, and at that time I thought at least I rather die in my house than die outside like a bug. So, I close my iron gate, and locked my door and waited until the beast came to my house.’
‘And then?’ Azief said curiously how this middle age man survived the onslaught.
‘It never came.’
‘It never came?’
‘Yes, it never came. It was almost like they lost interest and they move somewhere else. At that time I heaved a slight relief.’
Azief also sees this scene though from a different vantage point. The bosses Azief said in his mind.
‘Why didn’t you go out after that when the beast has disappeared?’ Azief asked.
‘No’ he shakes his head.
‘I was afraid there is another beast that is in hiding, so I waited.’ Azief nodded. He was of the same thought though not entirely for the same reason.
For Azief there is still the alien in the elementary school. A viable threat to his survival and Azief waited for the opportune moment to run away.
Azief knows, that sooner or later hiding in a place like small shops or houses will get himself caught and eaten.
This man….Azief mused as he looked at the middle aged man, sizing him up and made a judgment, If he did not meet me will he stay in his house all the time? He would surely die when the death outnumbers the living.
‘You must not be the only one who survived hiding in your own home. There must be others. ‘Azief asked.
‘Yes, there were others, but they all have been tracked by the zombies and bitten.’
‘Noise, strong smell but they usually respond to noise mostly. Most of those who hides in their home sometimes have other thing weighing them down.’
‘A child. With such great slaughter, how could babies not cry’ This Azief understand.
‘There are also who can’t stand the pressure and crack.’ Tan added
‘Some believe they could brave the danger using the weapons they were given and try to fight the zombie horde only to be eaten by them. Some of them managed to kill a few of them, but there are too many zombies.’
Just a few hours after the beast appear, and so many have died. Azief could not believe how fragile human life is.
Is this another mass extinction event?
‘I understand’ and Azief take another drink. For a while, there is silence in the dark house.
‘Other than me, the everyone around my neighbourhood has either been eaten or turns to zombies. The beast is no longer a threat since they have left’ Tan said.
‘So, what is it you want?’ Azief said this time his eyes glare at the man.
‘You invite me home, thus increasing your risk of being detected. You don’t know if I’m some thief or a bad person. Surely you did not save me from the kindness of your heart.’
He smiles bitterly.
‘I want to ask a favour.’
‘Bring me out of this area. I know sooner or later, the zombie will outrun this place. I can’t stay here indefinitely. Right now I still have many foods but later? I might even starve to death.’
‘Why me?’Azief said crossing his arm looking at Tan
‘I said I saw you didn’t I? I saw you slash zombies like a piece of paper, running like the wind, almost reaching the same speed as the meerkat I saw.’
‘Oh?’ Azief said looking at him, curiously.
‘Hmm, I can do that. But where would you like to go? Any destination? Because I have my own destination too. If it’s on the opposite route, then I can’t.’
Azief said honestly.
His priority right now is supplies and then going to his village. Azief does not have high hopes, but he does not like to wonder.
Is his family still alive? Or not? Considering the damage, he could see in the city. Maybe his village has been ravaged.
Either way, he needs to make sure.
If they survive, Azief would surely shelter them and even find some safe place from his family to live.
If not, he would have to find a safe place by himself. He does not have hopes for some survival camp.
But Azief is sure he is not the only one who has the power granted by the World Orb. People stronger than him might even have a better starting point, or stats.
There will be warlords. There will be criminals. Azief recognises these possibilities when he saw those zombies.
People with power would either abuse their power or help the people. Heroes and villains. Snakes and dragons.
And skill books.
It does not drop that often. Mean that someone might even form armies by promising skill books to their followers. Having skill books would help anyone surviving the new age that is coming.
And with this golden coin, there might be a new currency in town. Azief doesn’t know what the function for the golden coin is, but he is sure they have a function.
Hoard all the things. That is what he learns in Skyrim though usually, the weight limits prevent him from taking so many items.
People who are athletes, a soldier might have 13 or 14 stamina or agility or even strength compared to when he first started out.
But are they as lucky as him?
Killing a strong fist badger, and stiffs as many as he did? If not for levelling up killing the badger he could not handle the slow walking zombies that easily.
Then Azief also has to consider if the mutated sapiens is because of the bite, then would they also retain the abilities of the former body?
For example would a long jump athlete who turned to zombies, can they jump really high when they turn to zombies?
Same goes to sprint runner zombies or a weightlifting champion zombies?
Azief sighed thinking of all this while Tan was about to say something but he shut his mouth to wait Azief finished whatever he is thinking about.
Then his mind once again turned to his family.
Even though Azief does not have a particular feeling toward his family, it is still his family. He couldn’t just leave them.
They are his blood.
Azief believes that family is stronger together, united. Even though in his family there is no bond, it’s not like he did not try forming bonds.
It’s not like he hates them. It is a complicated feeling. They are family, but they don’t feel like a family, does not care each other like a family.
It was more like playing house, each one playing a designated role. The father brings home food.
The mother makes the food. The sons study and work while appreciating the hard work of the father and the mother.
Rinse and repeat until the sons have their own sons. And the cycle continues.
Role playing. Azief mused. But, Azief knows, that his family, some of them also thinks like him.
It is just most of his family is like him, stoic and does not know how to express feelings. All busy with their own problems.
Azief closes his eyes and then opens it again.
‘One step at a time. Slowly. Slowly’ he said to himself barely a whisper, only he could hear it.
Then he turned to Tan and asked
‘So how about it? You want me to get you out of here?’
‘Really?’ Tan Said.
‘We can settle your business first. I think following you is a better chance of survival than staying here.’ The middle-aged man said.
‘Not without compensation of course.’ Azief said resolutely.
‘Of course. I have money.
‘I don’t want money. I want something else.’
‘What do you want then?’ Tan asked in a polite tone.
‘You’ll know when the times come’ Azief said.
Truth be told he doesn’t know what he wants but he could not let Tan just mooch off him without giving him something.
Money? It’s just paper at this point. Tan doesn’t seem strong. But if Azief could help him level up, Azief chance of survival is higher.
‘Whatever you want I will give it to the utmost of my abilities. When will we go?’ Tan asked.
‘Will we depart tonight?’ Tan said as he spoke in a slow voice. He is clearly afraid that any zombies could hear and attracted them here.
‘Tomorrow’ Azief said
‘Tomorrow?’ Tan reply puzzled. He wants to get as far as possible, as fast as possible from these abominations.
‘Yes, tomorrow.’ Azief answer with confidence. After all most of his stamina is drained even though he could restore it with the vials he does not want to waste it.
Not to mention his mental capacity has been used to the max. He is tired physically and mentally. One man could only see so much in a day.
‘But the zombies are outside so wouldn’t it b- ‘
‘No, it’s precisely because they are outside. Mr Tan, I am tired and extremely exhausted. You saw me fighting those stiffs right? It’s not easy. And if I have to fight them again, in my condition, I don’t think even I could survive it.’
‘But in the morning it will be easier for us to be detected.’
‘Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe the zombie would move to other areas by then like the monstrous beast. Wouldn’t that be an ideal time to escape for both of us?’
Then Tan also nodded.
‘I can help you. Considering you did not kill the zombie your level is still one right?’ Tan nodded.
‘If you are trying to fight the stiff with your level right now you would surely just be their meal.’
The man nodded.
‘So, what now?’
‘Now, you show me the bedroom so I could rest. Then in the morning, we can go.’
Tan just nodded.
‘Fine, we’ll do it that way.’
Azief then went to the bedroom and closed and locked the door. Tan is still sitting on the sofa, drinking water.
There is red wine in his fridge, a cheap red wine. But he did not dare drink it. When he is drunk, he tends to make many noises.
He hears the door being locked.
That young man doesn’t really trust me. But I have no choice other than to trust him Tan mused.
He is desperate. Like Azief he is alone. He has no family. Whatever happens to his wife is not his concern.
If she died, good riddance.
That woman cheated on him. Azief. He is now his way out from this area. Then where would he go?
He doesn’t know. But if he found a safe place he would go there. Tan believes there is some shelter camp.
Contrary to Azief believe that such shelter camp will be for warlord recruitment camp. This kind of scenario is not foreign for anyone who watched post-apocalyptic movies.
Especially now that there are even people, who exhibited powers beyond normal humans capabilities.
Azief speed is fast, but it still can be compared to an athlete in the Olympics. But what will happen when he reach higher levels?
Won’t he be like a God?
And this is true to others too. As long you have enough bravery and resourcefulness you can be one.
In a way, it is a fair world. You get what you deserve from your effort. At least it is fairer world than before.
Drenching his nervousness, he went to his bedroom, trying to sleep.