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42 Makeshift Crossbows

 When Mark entered back into the store, he saw Mei looking at him while sitting on the folding bed. It seemed that she had just waked up as she was rubbing her eyes with her hands.

"Did the noise wake you up?"

Mark said as he approached her which she replied by shaking her head.

"Well, I'm going to do something at the rooftop and I need your help. Want to come?"

"Gege, what are you going to do?"

Mei stood up and stretched her body.

"I'm going to make some weapons for both of us."

Hearing what he said, her eyes lit up. She knew that her Gege had been fighting a lot but she could not help him even a little bit. If he would make her a weapon, she might be able to help him. She was really looking forward to it.

"Does your body feel alright now?"

"Uhm!"

Mei tried moving her body showing that she already recovered to some extent. However, Mark noticed that she was still wincing in pain if she tried to walk in large strides.

"Alright, help me carry this."

Mark handed her a backpack with light items inside while he took a large backpack and the sports duffle bag with him.

When the two walked out of the store, Mark called Fernan's cousin.

When he called, Fernan's cousin who looked about 25 years old, had a crew cut hair, squinted eyes and about five and a half feet in height came at him smiling.

"Boss! You need something?"

"Boss? Me?"

Mark said confused while he pointed with his left hand at his face.

"Ah, we unanimously agreed to call you boss from now on. It's because of what you did earlier."

"Seriously..."

Mark sighed.

"Oh right, I haven't asked your name yet."

"It's James Boss."

"Anyways, condolence. About your cousin."

James bitterly smiled.

"It's fine boss. It's not like he died in vain."

"I see. Actually I called to ask you to guard the store. Just don't let anyone do anything to the laptops there. We needed to go to the rooftop for a bit."

"Then, consider it done boss!"

"Ah, you can use the laptop in front of the chair if you want. Just don't close those open application windows there."

"Thanks boss!"

Mark nodded. Still, he was not used to being call boss with such enthusiasm.

"Ah, boss."

"What is it?"

James started to whisper.

"It's about that guy earlier, the one who I was arguing with. Please watch out for him. He looked like he was up to no good."

"No worries, I already know about it."

"Is that so? Then I won't bother you anymore."

Mark turned around and brought Mei out while James entered the store after talking to his colleagues for a bit.

Using the emergency exit at the west wing, Mark and Mei climbed up to the rooftop. As the heavy equipment was already moved to the west wing, Mark already planned to make the weapons here. However, they heard sounds coming from the south wing when they reached the rooftop.

Following the source of the sound, they saw Ange who was watching Paula practice with the bow she found.

Mark saw Paula pull the string and released the arrow of the bow. Posture, grace and the intent while shooting the arrow though was not perfect but was still way above your average archer. She shot the arrow at a wooden crate about ten meters away from her.

Ange noticed that Mark and Mei arrived.

"Why are you two here?"

"Why can't we? It's not like you own the place."

Mark replied sneering.

"Grrrr..."

Mark ignored Ange and looked at Paula who put down her bow.

"It seems you had good skills with that."

"Actually, I feel stiff using this. The last time I used a bow was three years ago, back in high school."

Paula smiled.

"Anyways, you can continue practicing. I'll just get a few wooden crates and get to work."

Mark took two empty wooden crates that were used to store some of the fireworks before and turned back.

"Are you going to make something?"

Ange could not control her curiosity.

"I'm not giving you any."

Mark and Mei then left the fuming Ange.

When the broken couple left, Paula could not help but laugh at Ange who was now fuming red.

"You two really have a good relationship."

"Who? ME?! To HIM?! Paula, don't joke around like that! It's not funny!"

"But you don't hate him right?"

"Well, he is like my brother. He's always teasing me like this. Yet, he would also cheer me up every time I feel down."

"I can understand why they like to tease you though. Every time you were being teased like that, your reaction was always epic."

"PAULA!!!"

On the west wing, Mark, together with Mei, was taking out the items and materials he gathered. As they were doing so, they could hear the laughter of the two girls on the south wing. Mark could not help but smile. Those two were already adapting to the harsh world right now, enough that they could laugh and play despite the dangers that might come anytime.

Mark looked at the materials he gathered. With these, it should be enough for him to make a weapon for him and Mei. Mark had good weapons. He had a shotgun, a machete and a revolver pistol. However, only the machete could be used to kill silently while using the guns would result into a horde if he just shot recklessly. What he needed right now was a ranged weapon that could kill silently.

When Paula picked up the bow in the sports store earlier, he had an idea. He did not know how to properly use a bow but a crossbow was another thing. But since there was no crossbow to be found, why not just make one. He saw a lot of tutorials in the internet and even downloaded some of those videos to his new phone. Furthermore, there was equipment and tools available for him to use.

Mark then started to move.

Taking out his notebook and pen, he started drawing the design of the crossbow he wanted to make. His talent with drawings was displayed and even skills he learned during the time he was taking NCII and NCIII Animation classes came into play.

Next, he dismantled the wooden crates. Mark started to make measurements on the wood and the metal sheets that he used to make the zombies fall down the staircase earlier.

After drawing the outlines on the metal sheet, he replaced the disc of the angle grinder into a metal saw and started cutting the metal sheet. It did not take long for him to finish cutting out the parts of the two crossbows he wanted to make. Even the mechanisms needed were meticulously cut out.

Using a welding machine, he welded the parts that would make the body of the crossbow. He used the wood from the wooden crates for the handle and the stock of the crossbow.

As for the bow, he cut out thin and long rectangular sheets. He grinded the parts needed to be grinded and hammered the middle parts to bend the small metal sheets into a bow. Mark did it several times while he experimented how thick and how bent the metal should be. As for the string, he got it from the sports store. These should be spare strings for the bow they had.

Drilling, grinding, and hammering. Mei also helped him in several parts that were easy to do. The sun was almost setting when he finished the crossbow along with makeshift crossbow bolts from the leftover metal sheets. As for the shaft of the bolts, he could only make use of the feathers he tore off from badminton shuttlecocks.

It was the first time he did something like this so he was careful in making it so he would not have to waste too much materials and he was satisfied with the results.

Mark held his crossbow with both hands and aimed it. He also leaned a wooden plank on the far side of the wall and tried shooting it several times and the result was good. Mei also tried shooting hers but it looked like that she would need to practice a lot as he missed her shots a lot. She even broke some of the bolts as her shots landed on the wall or the concrete floor.

Mark looked at the crossbows. His crossbow was eighteen inches long and looked like a mixture of recurve and compound crossbows. He also designed the stock and the shape of the body to complement his Sci-Fi sports armor.

As for Mei's crossbow, it was smaller as he designed a pistol crossbow for her with a similar shape and style as his. Mark also tried shooting her crossbow and nodded. The power was lower compared to his but still enough to pierce through a human skull.

Both crossbows could be reloaded by just notching the bolt and pulling the string or by pulling the string using the reel like mechanism he put on the crossbows and notching the arrow afterwards.

The only thing Mark just wished to have right now was a can of black spray paint so he would be able to color the crossbows.

Mark looked at Mei and she was all smiles as she held the crossbow her Gege made for her.

While they were doing the final checks on the crossbows, a shout came from behind.

"WAAAAHHHH!"

It was Ange who saw the two holding onto their crossbows. Behind her was Paula who was looking at the weapons Mark made with an amazed expression. Paula then looked at Mark with a serious face.

"Uhm, Mark, can we talk for a bit?"