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48 Embarking onto the Mission

 6:42 PM - City Mall Bacoor West Wing, TechZone

Mark and the three girls strode back to the store Reyah was in to check on her daughter's condition before going out. Mark and Paula were already wearing armors and fully equipped with weapons and a sports backpacks.

When they entered the store, Bernard and Calvin were also there. The two men looked at Mark's group with stern expressions and approached them. Bernard then asked.

"You young'uns are going to find medicine for her?"

"Just me and Paula, Mei and Ange are going to stay."

"Just the two of you? Isn't it dangerous?"

"No, well just sneak along the way and avoid attracting zombies too much. Its more easier to do that with fewer people."

Bernard nodded hearing what he said. Then, Mark continued.

"Still, we need two more people to guard the stairwell after we clear it of zombies."

"Then, Fernan and James should be able to do that."

"No, I need James to guard my things on that store so we should get another one."

"Alright."

"By the way, I want to ask you two for help."

Calving raised his eyebrow and asked.

"Help for what?"

"Mei and Angeline will be staying here, if possible, immediately assist Angeline if something happens."

The men's brows knitted hearing what he said.

"What do you mean?"

"Nothing much, just what I said. Angeline already knows what she needs to do and you two just need to assist her."

As Mark did not want to elaborate further, the two men did ask anymore and nodded.

Mark approached Reyah who was wiping her daughter's body with a wet handkerchief. Sariya's fever was still high and her temperature was still rising but it was not as fast as before. It should give them enough time to go down, find the medicine and run back. Mark assured the mother once more and left.

Mei and Ange would stay here in the TechZone but they still insisted on accompanying Mark and Paula until they enter the stairwell on the west side of the mall. Bernard and Calvin already found Fernan and another employee, who was familiar with Mark. It was the woman who was together with James when they got shut out from the TechZone. Apparently she was also the one James found that knew about what kind of medicine they needed to find.They also followed together with Mark's group.

When they went out of the store, Mark saw James going their direction when he was just to look for him. He had two phone-like gadgets on his hands.

"Boss!"

"You have good timing. I'm just about to look for you."

"Is that so? You need me to guard the store again?"

"That's right."

"No worries Boss, I'll guard it with my life!"

Mark rolled his eyes at him.

"Oh, right. Boss, here."

James handed the phone-like gadgets to Mark. Mark and Ange's eyes lit up after he received the gadgets. The gadgets were actually two-way radios!

Mark knew this model. It should be the BF-F8HP radios made by Baofeng.

"Boss, I figured out that you will need this so I brought it from the store that we just pried open. I already configured so it's ready to use. The batteries aren't fully charged though."

"You know how to configure this?"

James scratched his head.

"No boss, I don't. I just followed the manual."

"Alright, thank you. I'll leave the store to you again."

Mark and his group parted with James who was going back to guard the shop. It did not take long for them to reach the double door leading to the stairwell which was nearby the backdoor of the arcade center. Along the way, they saw some employees cleaning the corridor and mopping the blood on the floor. They also tested the radios which made Mark satisfied.

Mark gave one of the Radios to Ange making her beam with a lively smile.

"Remember not to contact us using the Radio unless it's an emergency."

Mark strictly reminded her.

"I already know! I don't want Paula to fall into danger because of me!"

"Well, your face tells me that you can't wait to play with it."

"Gah!"

The others with smiled bitterly as they saw the two bickering.

"Ange, you remember your duty right?"

Paula interjected between the two.

"Of course! It's not like you don't know me."

"Alright."

Paula nodded.

"Be careful down there."

"I will."

The two friends hugged each other.

On the other side, Mei was already embracing Mark. There were not many words between them but they knew what each other was thinking. Mark patted Mei's head.

"I just did it once and you're already getting engrossed with it huh."

Mei did not reply and just buried her head on his chest despite the armor he was wearing.

"Gege, be careful."

"Alright. You too."

Mei nodded her head and reluctantly parted with Mark.

Mark looked at the others. He then shook his head with a bitter smile. It was because with the exception of Ange, they all turned their head away in a synchronized manner.

"You two should get a room."

Ange teased...

"What? You want to join?"

Only to receive a counter attack.

"I DON'T!"

"Anyways, I gave you a task. Do it properly."

Mark seriously said and Ange nodded.

The employees were confused about the subject of their talk so they just watched them.

Mark readied his machete on his right hand and held the crossbow on his left. Paula had also drawn her bow. The employees removed the things that jammed the door from opening and opened it slowly.

Under the gazes of the people in the corridor, Mark and Paula silently walked through the door. The employees closed the door afterwards not making any noise.

After the two entered the stairwell, Mark immediately peered over the railings and looked both up and down. He checked whether there were zombies lurking and found several lurking at the flight of stairs below. When he looked down in the middle of the stairwell, he could see a mangled body below which gender could not be recognized and a large splatter of blood on the floor under it.

That person must have fallen over the railings and fell to death. Who knows whether the person was still alive of not when he or she fell.

Mark keenly observed the idling zombies. He then aimed his crossbow. He knew that he was not a professional sniper especially since the crossbow bolts and arrows were highly affected by gravity after a certain distance still, he was sure he could aim accurately at this range.

SWOOSH!

He pulled the trigger. The bolt flew diagonally downwards and pierced a hole at the right side of the zombie's parietal bone. The zombie slumped unto the wall and slowly fell down.

Mark reloaded the crossbow and aimed at another one with high concentration and released the bolt. The second bolt pierced the other zombie's forehead. The zombie was forced to step back and leaned on the wall before falling down.

They then slowly moved down the stairs positioning themselves correctly before shooting several zombies. If a zombie comes near, Mark will slash it with his machete.

He did the same a few times more while Paula watched behind him with bright eyes. She could see what he was doing exactly. Mark was picking off the Biters and he timed his shots so that the force from the bolt would make the dying Biters stick to the wall before falling down. This way he was reducing the noise made by the falling bodies a lot.

Mark looked around some more and then raised his hand and waved it forward twice. The two of them moved and Mark slashed every zombie that was left on the way down.

Paula followed behind Mark in amazement. All the zombies he used his machete on was all Eaters along will all the remaining zombies on the stairwell.