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88 Rescue Operations Finale

    Roars and wails of infected resounded on the middle of the road.

    A group of hooded individuals were fighting infected led by a shield-bearing figure. They formed an arrow formation as they marched forward. The ones in front would slash and dice any infected that comes forward using the extremely sharp short swords provided to them by Jun. The people at the back of the formation held daggers that has the equivalent sharpness of those short swords.

    This batch of weapon were made from Rank 1 evolved infected bones. The only reason that they could kill infected this easily was due to their weapons. The swords sliced any infected that came close like they were slicing tofu. The good thing about using this material was that it was extremely light, while the negative side would be that it is extremely brittle and has low durability.

    The dagger easily butchered the body separating its limbs, then storing the body parts on the dimensional storage. They haven't found anything useful for the flesh except for that they could use it as throwables to stall time when running away. Infected love to eat flesh and would regenerate some damage after ingesting flesh. Though, it's a wonder why they are not eating and killing each other.

    The Porter stabbed the dagger around the heart of the infected, then pulled out the heart. The infected's body immediately stopped moving and regenerating. The man cut the heart in the middle, and pulled out the essence crystal inside.

    They accidentally found out about this when someone slashed an infected in the chest area. The short sword easily sliced the sides, but met some resistance on the chest. They killed the infected and investigated the issue. Jun tore open the sides with his raw power, causing blood and flesh to scatter on the road. His contingents who were already becoming used to killing the infected felt disgusted at the scene. The body that split in half were now for everybody to look at. Among the innards that fell out, they saw the bleeding heart, cut-open in the middle, sheltering a cracked essence crystal inside. The short sword that hit the essence shard had its durability decreased a little.

    After killing the last infected, Jun called for a break. He stood guard while the others looted the bodies. They're currently on the outskirts of the red zone. After this break, they would finally enter the kill zone where they most probably meet numerous types of infected. This trip today wasn't to clear the area of the infected, but to train his prisoners and to also survey the enemies actual firepower. When it's time to clear the residential area, he plans to bring his elite team over to guarantee the success of the operation. Though he would bring them, there's still the fact that there is no certainty whether they could actually safely conquer the residential area.

    After their rest period, the group marched onward the red zone. As they walked, Jun taught his prisoners how to use Empowered Strike, a manual ability he created for himself that only a few trusted members of his group new of. Empowered Strike uses stored up energy, then unleashes it at an impact point. It can be used when stabbing, slashing and throwing things.

    The group easily learned the skill after a few life and death struggles. They have to. They were forced to. Though filled with anger and hatred, they couldn't gasped at the fact that they were becoming stronger, becoming a true survivor.

    As they walk forwards cautiously along the main road, Jun already noticed that they were attracting attention, not from the infected but from the survivors. While they were fighting forward, survivor groups would pop-up along the alley ways and happily help them. After the fight, some of the survivors would laugh and cry unable to control their emotions. They have suffered for a long time and was finally together with a group that seemed to be strong enough to survive.

    This became a usual event after every two blocks and they have to rescue some unfortunate ones from the surrounding infected. Those who were bitten fell into despair as they bade farewell to their groups, but Jun brought them back to life.

    "You don't die from bites, its the side effects that kills you."

    Afterwards, every group they met were told to go to the city hall. The National Police were doing their best to rescue and shelter those who are in need. Jun couldn't help but grin while thinking of what would be that lieutenant's face would be when he saw the horde of survivors. Would he be happy having more people or anguished at having more mouths to feed?

    While he was blissfully thinking of his evil scheme, his prisoners were having a revolutionary feeling inside them. They felt good after being thanked repeatedly by those who they were able to save. The survivors smiles and tears became etched in their minds, becoming one of their treasures and motivations to keep on fighting the infected. The only reason they fight the infected was to survive and because it was an order. After this encounter, they found a new reason to fight. One that they could willingly fight for and accept.

    After passing a gas station, they finally met their first evolved infected. A Rank 1 Hunter feasting on a survivors remain. They crouched as they trudge along the roadside.

    As the distance became shorter, the Hunter finally noticed the group and screamed at the top of its lungs.

    "Fvck. Why do this one scream loudly! Just moan like the others!" Jun said as he ran towards it.

    The Hunter copied his action and dashed forward. On the middle of his run, he saw groups of infected come out from the convenience store by the side of the gas station.

    "You guys deal with those normies. Keep the area clear!" Jun shouted as he stepped to the sides dodging the Hunter's lunge. A short sword appeared on Jun's hand, it was a sword made from a Tier 2 material, a Rank 2 Destroyer's bone. He then used it to lacklusterly slashed forward. And as expected, he missed. He wasn't really trying to inflict damage to the infected nor he was expecting to hit the Hunter. He was merely trying to attract its attention, so his prisoners could pass by safely.

    The Hunter raised its arms and swiped downwards. He blocked the strike causing metallic scraping noises as the surface of the alloy shield earned its first scars.

    Before the Hunter could retrieve its arms, Jun already made slashed towards it. Though the power was lacking and the sword met some resistance, the sword still cut through and dug halfway through the muscles. Blood flowed out from the wound and the Hunter shrieked loudly like an abused dog as it backed off. Jun tried to finish it off, but had to stop.

    In the distance, a skinny Rank 1 Hunter ferociously ran on its four limbs towards him. Followed by two Rank 1 Destroyer's stomping on the ground causing mini-vibrations as they ran.

    ***

    "We're doomed." a teenage boy thought to himself as he watched the huge abominations come closer to their group. The boy felt cheated as he waited for their impending doom.

    His driving force to train hard and become stronger was his little sister. Earlier this morning, he was so happy when he saw his sister playing around the mall. She was behaving as if she knew those people for a long time. She even looked at him, but since he was wearing a hoodie and a black mask that hid his face, his sister ignored him. Though he doesn't know that his sister was actually looking for him and pestering Paterno to look for him all day and all night.

    They managed to survive and become experienced after fighting the normal infected's, but their luck seemed to have finally run out.

    As he stared on the distant infected, he felt a swooshing wind pass behind him, followed by a thud. When he turned around, he saw an infected drop down on the ground. An old man that he became acquainted with after training and sharing stories with looked at him worriedly.

    "Hey Nik! Focus! It's not time to daydream right now! We don't die today!"

    The old man said feeling vigorous and valiant as he turned and helped the others fighting the remaining infected.

    Nik woke up and came to himself. He dashed forward using Sprint, then maneuvered  between infected's as he slit their throats using a dagger. The wound doesn't really kill them, but it helps in fighting the infected. The infected would stop for a second as if stunned, then would have trouble when biting someone since they couldn't control their neck muscles.

    With the addition of Nik, the group easily dealt with the infected. Seven regular infected sprawled on the ground and were being looted now. As they were about to celebrate surviving another fight, a shrill scream resounded. A Rank 1 Hunter pounced on someone who was looting a dead body.

    The Hunter tried biting the prey under it, but was tackled to the side by a teenager. The two rolled a few times and fell on a decorative bush.

    The group panicked as they ran towards them, holding weapons at the ready. No one was brave enough to go forward to investigate, when suddenly, the bush rustled. They gulped as they waited in bated breathes two meters away.

    A sharp claw appeared and sliced downwards, just as it flew out from the bush. The group shouted in alarm as they backed off. The claw was followed by another arm, then finally, the whole body. When the Hunter's whole body was finally tossed out of the bush, Nik stood up straight with his arms bleeding, showing numerous holes. He climbed out of the bush and said, "I'm fine."

    "We don't die from bites, its the side effects that kills us, remember?" Nik said as he blinked a few times groggily. "The teeth are so sharp, I didn't feel the pain initially, but I think... I'm feeling it now"

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    Nik fell forwards with closed eyes. It wasn't because of exhaustion or shock, he fell due to the negative effects of being bitten, kicking in too fast.
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