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98 Small Trouble

    The dog had a large body and hovers around three feet tall. There were dark patches on its skin where there's no fur growing on. It also had an absurdly long neck for its breed and has razor sharp paws on all of its feet. There's a protrusion from its mouth which have two giant tusks that would cause a massive hole on anything that it bit through. The only resemblance it had with a dog was its body shape, the way it wags its tail and the way it move.

    The dog move around an infected, dodging every attack going on its way, then playfully wag its tail. The infected would sometimes ignore it and it would bark to catch its attention.

    Jun felt that he somewhat remembers this dog but couldn't pinpoint where and when he saw it. He watched as the dog barked repeatedly towards the infected until it got pissed for being ignored. The dog tackled the infected to the ground, then bit its neck off. It spat the head to the side and chewed on the infected's arms. When it noticed that there were people watching it, the dog growled as a warning, then dragged the body away.

    After disappearing from view, Jun approached the spot where everything happened. A puddle of dark blood was in the middle of the road followed by a trail of blood. The trail took a turn after entering the alley and there's no way to see what's on the other side unless you venture inside.

    Jun had a sudden epiphany after staring at the trail of blood. Since there weren't many dogs that he have met, he was reminded of the askal that he met on the city hall. It probably mutated after eating numerous infected flesh. Though that askal isn't this big, since it only reached up to his knees, Jun still couldn't help but compare the two. It even gave him some questions that he have to find answers for. Does mutation can improve a living organisms trait or physique? Are animals and humans alike able to adapt to this? Whether Jun would venture to this area of knowledge would depend after seeing more mutated examples.

    They chose not to follow the dog because everyone knows what happens when a dog having its meal was interrupted. Jun poked the head with his sword and searched inside to see whether there's something in the skull. And ofcourse, it was empty. Mucus and brain matter slid down the sword as Jun pulled it out.

    "Let's go. They're probably waiting for us now. Let's hope that's enough training for you guys, since there's a high chance that some of you could die."

    "Aren't you going to protect us?"

    Jun looked towards the man's shoulders and saw the number fifteen. "Getting scared now huh? Save it for later after we return."

    The man gulped and kept his mouth shut. Through repeated warnings from the squad leader and the scenes he saw earlier, he knew that this man could do anything that he wanted to them. They won't have any form of control on their bodies or would have any memories of what happened. He felt scared thinking that there would be a time that he wouldn't wake up only because he was actually dead. He lowered his head as an apology for everything that he was scheming for and no matter whether the man would forgive him or not, he would try to behave himself.

    Jun looked up the gigantic apartment complex where they once saw a hanging infected on the balcony. He looked around trying to find any mushed meat along the fenced-wall but failed to find anything.

    The group continued following Jun and halts when he stopped. They warily surveyed the area looking for anything suspicious.

    Toby blew off the ash from a car's window, then peaked inside. He could see numerous items on the car. There were various kinds of small toys, a different variation of soft pillows and a baby seat attached on the back seat. There were other things inside but most of the items were for infants. After scanning the interior of the car, he noticed that the door from the other side of the car was slightly open. He backed up and saw another car nearby. He felt curious whether he could find some interesting loot and went to the other car. Right after he closed in towards the car's window, a rough blood-stained hand grabbed his shoulder.

    His heartbeat rose as he quickly turned around and crossed his hands, ready to defend himself. After turning around, he immediately saw the confused gaze of the man wearing a black mask with a gray hoodie.

    "The fvck dude! Don't scare me like that!" Toby said.

    "Boss, were leaving." the man said as he pointed towards the group already walking forward.

    Toby gave a final look at the car, then jogged together with the man to follow the group.

    When they caught up, he noticed how the group was unmoving and wasn't willing to take any more step forward. They hid behind a van and peak onwards. Toby looked ahead and saw a small group of infected. He frowned feeling confused. He knew that his boss could deal with this amount of infected even by himself, so what are they waiting for? He then scrutinized each infected and noticed something small as a dog slowly crawling forward on its fours. Its clothes were ragged and dirty around the knees and joints mainly because it has been used for walking.

    Toby realized it was probably the missing baby from the back of the car. He softly said, "Should we help it?"

    He doesn't know how it survived for so long, but he felt like he have to do something. Nor did he even think if it was alive or not, or if it was alive, why would the infected choose to ignore it.

    Jun turned to him with raised eyebrows as if amused, then gestured with his hand for them to go ahead.

    Toby felt irritated seeing the smile on that man's face. Thankfully, he was wearing a mask, so that the annoyance on his face couldn't be shown. He grasped his short sword tightly as he moved forward. He managed to sneak close enough to deal the initial kill on an idling infected and that started the skirmish. Six infected turned their heads and dashed furiously towards him.

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    To be honest, he felt scared. He wanted to run away and save his life, but after catching a glimpse of the baby, he's  faltering courage got some boost. Just as he was about to charge towards the nearest infected, a figure passed by and tackled it to the side. And others followed.

    There were five remaining masked men since two were sent back due to one being bitten twice. Being bit once only causes infection which means that when you die, you will become an infected. But getting twice already makes you useless in battles. It makes you sick and depending on how healthy you are, few minutes is enough to cause you to fall down. This is also the reason why Jun said that bites doesn't kill you, but the side-effects do. If you got bitten thrice, you'll be weakened, and if you're alone that would be a death sentence since you're sick and weakened making any infected you meet a lethal threat.

    Each one of the four fought their own infected. Toby charged towards the two infected on the end to stall them. Regular infected has a common pattern of attack that he finally noticed. When it was meters away, it would lunged at you with raised hands. You can step to the side and severe its head or you can stab it in the head. He chose not to dodge and stabbed it straight in the head. The second pattern came when the last infected got to close to him. After lunging, an infected would try to cling to you and bite you. It won't let go even if you stab it unless you could kill it. Though he knew what came after the lunge, he was still pushed a few steps back. He exerted too much force on his straight stab, so he couldn't react in time to pull back his sword. He thought that if the force exerted was too weak, the stab won't go in.

    Fortunately, he managed to grab its neck before the infected could close in, stopping its advance. It growled as it tried forcing its way in, staring at him with those lustrous yellow eyes. He pulled his arms back as far as it could and aimed the short sword at the infected's eyes. With a single thrust, he managed to kill the infected and level up.

    He looked around and saw that everyone has already killed their own infected and is now guarding the area, scanning for any threats that could appear. He exhaled his nervousness off and as he was about to congratulate his friends, he heard clapping from the side. All of them turned their heads towards the sound. Jun was clapping at them with a smile on his face.

    "Congratulations, of the five of you, one learnt how to properly fight while the rest were still uncivlized savages." Jun said as he looked at Toby. "Go on, do what you need to do. We need to hurry up since we've already wasted too much time."

    With Jun's reminder, Toby turned around and searched for the baby. He saw it calmly crawl away unperturbed about what happened behind it.

    Toby jogged forward and picked the baby up. The initial feeling on his hand was the rough and dry clothes that the baby had and so he felt more pity. He quickly turned the baby around and saw its disfigured appearance. A chunk of its face was missing and most of its mouth were gone. Its stubby knees and arms were bleeding filled with scratches. Its clothes were filled with dried blood with some mixed of mud and ashes. The color of its skin were slightly dark, so he didn't notice this small details.

    When the baby stared at him with those lustrous yellow eyes, he knew that he **ed up.

    He was about to drop the baby on the ground when it suddenly cried. The cry turned to bawling and bawling turned to screaming.

    Soon after, infected from every direction where attracted to the area.
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