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300 A Joyful Apocalypse Part 3

    After shooting Xargy in the face, Alex immediately stood up from the ground, and believing he had missed the shot, he approached him and said "Oh **! I'm so sorry! I thought you were one of them! Good thing I've missed.."

    "We don't have time for that! There is a group of dead ones that is following us!" Shouted the man in glasses while grabbing Alex's shirt, and pulling him down the street.

    The girl with the ponytail immediately noticed that the three of them hadn't reacted to their words, and that they were standing still, and looking at each other with confused expressions.

    Unfortunately, this world had already been gone for awhile and those who were slow minded, would only bring others down with them ... so after looking back at them with apologetic eyes, the girl turned back towards her escaping group of friends, and kept running.

    "Were you able to understand what the hell is going on?" Asked Daniel to a just as confused Aeron.

    Aeron shook his head in response, while saying "I can't read their minds. There is something around that is blocking mental power.."

    "Yeah, I can't either." Responded Daniel while looking at the group of young people as they ran away. He then turned to look back at his two companions, and added "We better ask them, then." However, Xargy was not there anymore.

    Daniel and Aeron looked at each other for a moment, then walked past the corner. There, they found Xargy standing still while a hundred of dead ones assaulted him, and tried to sink their teeth into his tough skin. "I think I know why those brats were running." He said while looking at what once was an old woman gnawing at his forearm.

    The moment the two of them walked past the corner, the dead ones that hadn't managed to get a hold of Xargy's body immediately dashed towards them with crazed eyes, but after a simple flick of Daniel's finger, the space around them solidified, causing the entire group to be frozen in space.

    "What is wrong with them?" Asked Xargy as the pushed the dead ones away, and cleaned himself off of the disgusting and smelly liquids that came from their mouth.

    Daniel approached one of these individuals, and injected a massive amount of his immortal essence into them, then turned it into healing essence. The healing essence quickly traveled through their bodies, healing the person's injuries to his healthier state.

    However, even though the person had been cured completely, his mind was still in a crazed state, and the only difference from before, was that it was able to act and move faster than before it was healed.

    "I think they have lost their minds ... It must be the torture picked by the demon that lives in this planet. He is likely cultivating by using the sufferings of the survivors." Responded Daniel before looking above these people's heads.

    What he found above those people's heads, was nothing. Neither the number nor their type of karma was visible, just like it would happen for deceased people.

    -----

    A few hundreds meters away, was the group of young people. They were catching their breath from behind one of the buildings, while looking back at the way they had come from in hope to see whether the three people they had seen moments earlier had survived or not.. But all they could see, were the shadows of the large group that was chasing them come from behind the corner. Of the three, there was no trace.

    "They are gone.." Said Josh before turning to look back at the rest of the group. He then added "I'm sorry for them, but at least they got that group off our backs." In the world where they lived, there wasn't enough time to delve too deep into compassion or negative feelings. Sufferings was a constant, but the will to survive trumped above everything else.

    "We have to leave before some wander in our direction." Said the girl with the ponytail, while scouting the alleys from her group's hiding spot.

    While still being proactive and never stopping to work with the purpose of assuring her group's survival, she couldn't help but thinking about the odd trio that they had left behind.. About their odd clothes, about the odd language they used, and about how calm they appeared to be despite being in the same situation they were in.

    However, after a few more minutes of running, the group forgot about Daniel's group.

    It was only after they managed to get the three of them out of their minds, that they turned a corner, and found the lonely figure of Daniel standing in the middle of the road on the other side of the block.

    "Hanna.. Isn't he one of the guys we have seen earlier?" Asked Alex while pointing his finger at him. His clothes were perfectly clean, and if somebody told them that he was a survivor of an apocalypse, nobody would have believed them.

    "Didn't you say that the other road was a dead end?" Asked the man in glasses to Josh, the most confused-looking between the two twins.

    "I am sure it is.." Responded Josh while scratching his head with his right hand in confusion. "But even if I was wrong ... how did he get here so fast?"

    "His friends must have died back there.."

    While the group wondered what the fate of Daniel's group had been, or how he had reached that place before they did, from one of the streets that was part of the crossroad were Daniel was standing, they saw one of the many hordes that had formed in the surrounding area after hearing the noise that they had made.

    "Look, there is a group of dead ones marching towards him." Said Alex to Hannah. "Do we help him out?"

    Hannah, the girl with the ponytail, became pensive for a few moments. "Screw it.. Hide into that grocery store. I'll be right back." she said to her group before quickly fishing into her bag, and taking a thumb sized firecracker from it. She then crawled in between the parked cars, and approached Daniel as quietly as possible.

    Once she was close enough, she picked a lighter from inside one of the pockets of her pants, and used it to light the firecracker.

    With a quick motion of her arm she was able to send the firecracker flying in the air and towards the other side of the horde of dead ones.. But that day, was not her luckiest one. Instead of reaching the intended area, the firecracker hit the traffic light suspended above the road, and bounced back towards the area where she was hiding.

    It was impossible for her to pick the firecracker and throw it once again, so she hid in between the cars, and while the possibility of being torn to pieces by a group of hungry corpses was filling her mind, she desperately tried to find a way to escape without either bringing the horde to her group, or towards Daniel.

    *SPAH!* The explosion of the firecracker was not loud, but the proximity to the large buildings caused the soundwaves to bounce off of them, and resound in the area with an incredibly loud echo.

    After the explosion, Hannah lifted her head to see if the horde was coming towards her, but instead, all she saw was Daniel, who was standing next to her and looking at her with an expression which showed clear secondhand embarrassment.

    To Daniel the dead ones were humans who had lost their minds, and used very primitive methods to fight. Any cultivator of the lowest level would be able to kill hundreds of them in seconds, and yet this girl was hiding in terror.

    Naturally, he was aware that the group that he had met moments earlier was made of normal humans, but after seeing the weapons they wielded, he had assume that they wouldn't be any weaker that a low level spiritual cultivator. After all, the bullets that their guns shot were not much different than a spike of metal essence thrown by a low level spiritual cultivator.

    "Stay down!" Whispered Hannah with a loud tone while grabbing Daniel's leather armor, and forcing him to take cover behind the car. She then peeked at the direction where the horde of dead ones was, but there, she saw nothing.

    While slightly confused, Hannah decided not to look the gift horse in the mouth, and turned to look at Daniel.. Which asked to her "Where is the demon?"

    Hannah was not able to understand Daniel's words, which to her sounded like gibberish, so she simply stood up and said "Are your friends still alive?"

    Daniel tried once again to force his mind power into the girl's mind in order to at least see the images that were appearing in her head, but no matter how much he tried, he was unable to. In the end, he could do nothing but to try to understand what the girl was saying based on the gestures she was making.

    It was only after the girl mimicked a "tall person" and a "masked man" that Daniel understood. Aeron and Xargy had gone to visit other cities, as there were better chances to find the demon if they split, so he wasn't sure where his companions were.

    He responded by shrugging.

    Unsure whether Daniel's shrugging meant that they were probably dead, or that he genuinely didn't know where they were, she decided to grab his long sleeve, and while staying low, she dragged him in the spot where her friends were hiding.

    -----

    In the minute when Hannah had gone to save Daniel, the group had gone to hide into the grocery store, which happened to still have a bit of food store inside, and a relatively large back where they could rest for the night.

    After scavenging the shop, the group closed itself into the back of the shop, and began to settle a small indoor camp made out of sleeping bags, and a small camping stove in the middle where they cooked their dinner.

    "What's his problem?" Asked the man in glasses while looking at Daniel tinker with a can opener. He had found many in the back of the shop, and wasn't sure what the use for them was. It was only after one of the twins took the can opener from his hand, and used it to open a can of soup that Daniel showed an expression of realization, and lost interest in the object.

    "My guess is that they are part of an itinerary circus, and can't speak our language."

    "Might be.. Let's ask him." Said Alex while standing up, and moving in front of Daniel. He then began to mimic different types of animals that one would often see in a circus. His gestures were exaggerated, and he looked quite ridiculous, forcing a smile to appear in the face of the onlookers, as well as a few laughs.

    However, these actions did nothing but deepen Daniel's confusion.

    Be it in the army, at parties, or at school, Alex had always been the clown of the group. He would often entertain the people he was with by making a fool of himself, and the more recognition he received, the dumber he would act, so after a few minutes, he forgot about the purpose of what he was doing, and began to act like an idiot just so that his companions could, for the first time since the world had gone crazy, forget their problems, and have a laugh.

    Alex's actions were too ridiculous even for somebody who didn't understand what he was doing, and in the end, even Daniel couldn't help but smile in amusement..

    However, the mood was immediately ruined by something that forced a shiver to run down the backs of the group members, and for sheer terror to creep back into their minds.

    During one of Alex's most flashy depiction, he accidentally hit one of the metallic shelves where he items were stored, and caused them to fall over.

    The shop was a grocery store, so usually, there wouldn't be anything on the shelves but food.. But right when the apocalypse had begun, the store was having a promotion where one was able to buy pots, skillets, and plates.

    The noise caused by the pots and skillets hitting the ground, and the plates shattering, resounded in the night ten times louder than any bullet, and before the group could even react, a few moaning noises could be heard approach in their direction.

    The group left the sleeping bags where they were, and after only grabbing their guns, rushed towards the door in order to escape.. But it was too late. Half a dozen dead ones had already runned into the store, and were moving towards the door that lead to the back.

    "We are trapped." Said Josh with panic while looking while locking the door.

    After hearing his words, clear panic appeared in the faces of his companions.. Daniel, on the other hand, was observing the events that were playing out calmer than ever.
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