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81 Reunion

    "Dad?"

    Sheila blinked her eyes unable to believe what her eyes were seeing. She scratched her eyes and blinked a few more times to see if she was just hallucinating.

    The old man turned towards her and his eyes widened. He hurriedly walked forward and hugged her.

    "You're alive! Thank the heavens that you're alive!", said the old man as he embraced her tighter. "You don't know how worried I am for you. When I arrived at the clinic, it was already empty and looted."

    Sheila distanced her face and looked at her father. She wiped the tears that somehow sneaked out from the sides of her eyes. "What happened? Where were you?"

    Sheila took her father to a nearby seat. A table dropped down from her dimensional storage, followed by a variety of snacks and drinks.

    Her father, Noel Arada, became awestruck at the scene. He smiled knowing that his daughter was living a good life despite the current disaster. He narrated how he survive the early days of the apocalypse.

    He met a group of people when he was taking a left turn on the intersection. The group successfully garrisoned a fast food chain. They safely shut the whole place down and prevented the weird people from coming in. The intriguing thing that this group have was that all of them were ferocious and savage, not having second thoughts when killing those unique people. Thanks to that, he, together with a few other lucky ones, was able to survive the cruel fate.

    The safe-haven quickly became a sh*thole when a few of their saviors harassed the women. A few brave men tried to stop them but was one-sidedly beaten up. The leader of the group scoffed at them, berating them for acting good. What could they get from acting like that? Were they expecting to be viewed as the women's saviors? Wanting to receive some good guy points or just probably their hormones acting up.

    In the end, a few stupidly stubborn ones who insisted about morality were thrown out of the fast food chain. Their fates were unknown and the only thing to remember about them was their frantic shouting that slowly faded as they got further away from the food chain.

    Though he was treated better than the others since he was a doctor, he couldn't accept the things that continued to happen. The usual harassment evolved into something 'not good'. The people in-charge finally felt the power that they have over the situation.

    Since no rescue came after a few days, they exerted dominance and made further advances towards the women. No one stopped them and that solidified their beliefs that they're the most powerful people alive and these lowly cowards would become their servants.

    One day, Noel asked the women why they don't fight back. They answered soullessly, "What could we do? They're going to throw us out and what? Just to die like the others? After everything that happened, it's better to just think that I have a stupid boyfriend that could keep me safe and fed."

    At that time, Noel finally realized why things have finally come to this. The people were scared of venturing out and were scared of fighting for themselves. Due to the valiant appearances of their saviors during the first few days, the people accepted and settled themselves as the ones who were supposed to be protected. They agreed to themselves that this is how things were expected to be and they just let it happen.

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    He couldn't sleep that night thinking of how his daughter was faring. The women's answer scared him and he finally made up his mind. He needs to leave this place and look for his daughter!

    That same night, a hulking infected thrashed around a few cars as if looking for something. The whole group was alerted as they watched the event unfold. He took this chance to escape through the second floor's balcony on the back of the building.

    He scurried to his clinic as fast as he could. Strangely enough, there were only a few infected on the road with all of them having trouble walking and running. The fast runners were probably far away looking for people to prey on or were already dealt with, which seemed to be impossible.

    As he traveled past numerous tangled cars, he passed by the grocery store, Super-9. He also noticed the make-shift barricade from the bank. He ignored the scenery and walked by. Finally arriving at the clinic that has a gate that was visibly damaged, he sighed in relief. The gate made creaking noises as he opened it. He searched the clinic, but couldn't find his daughter. He noticed how almost everything was taken and he fell in despair, thinking about bandits and things that could have possibly happen.

    Days passed by as he traveled lifelessly, searching the nearby houses. He picked where to go by choosing less infested roads. That choice led him towards a newly constructed diversion road, which he then heard a loud explosion from the distance.

    When he reached the place of the explosion, he only saw the remains of burnt bodies.

    He saw infecteds in the distance and decided to hole up inside the convenience store. Several minutes later, a group of police officers arrived and found him. They brought him back to the city hall and the mayor immediately appointed him as his personal doctor. He was given food and a soft mattress to sleep with.

    Then something happened. The mayor was killed and he became jobless. Though his job was important, the police force never treated him as an asset. And since the police never got any severe injuries that needed any of his help, they cared even less about him.

    With how they treated him, he decided to leave, and he thanked the heavens that he did. All the tears that he shed on his sleepless nights finally helped him. He was finally united with his daughter.

    As the two continued chatting, the medicine stall became empty. Kareen placed a sign on the counter-top that says, BREAK TIME.

    ***

    The man's thumb forcefully stamped the piece of paper. After that, Jun shoved him the contract and told him to move on and read it by himself.

    The man by his side felt a bit shocked at how he did things. Jun noticed it, but didn't bother explaining anything. Adrian appeared with a teenage boy. He was barely of age and it raised Jun's eyebrow.

    "You know that you're group would kill people that night, right?"

    The boy shook his head as he stared at Jun, showing no fear in his eyes. The boy saw the sheets of paper on the side of the table. He also noticed the fresh blood on the top-most paper. He lowered his head as if he was thinking, then presented his arm towards the most savage looking man in the room, which is Jun.

    "Please take care of my little sister. The mayor said he will allow the doctor to tend to my little sister if I fought for him. She got bit and is having a high fever."

    Jun made a small cut on the boy's thumb, which made the boy wince. He stamped the bloodied thumb on the contract, then glared at the boy.

    "No," he shoved the papers towards the boy's chest, then walked towards the canteen. Adrian and the lawyer followed after him.

    The lawyer coughed to remind Jun of his presence. Jun took his card from his dimensional storage, then initiated a trade.

    "It's double than the agreed amount?", the man said as he noticed that he received two thousand credit points.

    "It's a tip, so you can notify us of any strange contracts that you might receive and for our future transactions."

    The man thanked him and smiled widely as he walked out of the building. He tried recruiting the man but was rejected. That man was a business minded individual and wouldn't allow himself to be under someone.

    "Wouldn't letting him go bad for us?" Adrian said.

    "It's fine. We signed a non-disclosure agreement." Jun replied sternly. He turned towards Adrian. "Is this all of them? I thought there were fifteen of them?"

    "One tried to run away when we were headed here. I killed the man and absorbed the body."

    "We'll start by having them patrol the area. Arm them with some spears made by Old John, the wooden shaft were a bit durable than common sticks, while the spearhead was extremely sharp. It should be able to help them in fighting regular infected."

    "Okay.", as Adrian was about to leave, Jun stopped him. Jun asked him to find that boy's little sister. Adrian nodded in confirmation, a smile appeared as he left the building.

    ***

    That night, Paterno felt puzzled as Adrian brought him a little girl. The little girl fell towards the floor after being put down by Adrian. Paterno quickly caught the girl, which resulted in some joint pains, which he ignored as he glared at Adrian.

    "What is this?" Paterno grumpily asked.

    "She was bitten and was about to die. She has no family, alone in this world, just like you." Adrian stepped back and pulled the knife on his sides from its sheath. "You can say that I'm waiting."

    Adrian smiled as he finished spouting ridiculous words that sparked some of the old man's memories.

    With his granddaughters memories rekindled, of how Adrian stabbed her in the head, burning fury rose from his chest. The force exerted came out of his mouth and towards Adrian.

    Adrian took a few steps backwards in surprise. He remembered that skill! It was Jun's Howling Rage! Just as he was about to inquire how Paterno learned it, he remembered that they weren't in good terms and he just provoked the old man a few seconds ago.

    "Leave." Paterno grudgingly said, as he covered the little girls ears.

    Adrian backed off.

    As he walked along the corridors, he saw Sheila together with an unknown old man. When she saw him, she waved enthusiastically as if calling for him to come closer. He turned around and used the other path to go out.

    "Is he your friend? Did he just ignore you?" Noel asked jokingly.

    "He probably didn't saw me." Sheila refuted as she followed Adrian's back.

    Her father laughed at her silly excuse.
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