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49 Stealth Chatting

 7:01 PM - City Mall Bacoor, West Wing Service Corridors, First Floor

After killing all the zombies within the stairwell, Mark called Fernan and the female employee who was apparently called Ella. They jammed the doors that led to the second floor and stayed to guard the doors at the first floor.

Mark and Paula stealthily walked into the service corridors of the first floor. There were zombies within the corridor but as Mark expected, there were lesser number compared to other parts of the mall. It was a given since only employees had access to the service corridors and there were even more people in the common populace who did not know the existence of it. The main evidence to what he thought was that most of the zombies lurking in the corridor were wearing uniforms issued to employees of the stores in the mall.

The two kept their distance from the zombies and silently felled them using their bows. Mark felt somehow glad as he saw that Paula killing the zombies without hesitation. She was above Ange in this regard.

As Mark could not make the zombies lean on the wall as they died in a straight corridor, it was expected by Mark that they would attract some zombies towards them albeit small in numbers. During the times like those, especially when the attracted ones were Biters, Mark would go in front and deal with the zombies in melee and Paula would support from behind. Mark could not help but admire Paula's marksmanship as she accurately shot the zombies on their heads without accidentally hitting him.

While they were cleaning the place and collecting the arrows and bolts from the dead bodies, Paula casually started a conversation though they kept their voices to a minimum.

"Do you like Mei?"

"Where did that come from so suddenly?"

"You know, you two act like lovers."

Mark sighed and shot an approaching Eater piercing the zombie in its right eye.

"I can't say that I do. It's nothing more than knowing each other's hardships and giving and taking what we needed from each other."

"I think, she likes you though, and don't you think she's beautiful? You don't seem to be attracted to her."

Paula pulled the string of her bow and shot an idling Biter piercing its left temple.

"Well, she does have feelings towards me, I can't deny that but the most of those feelings contain dependence rather than liking me. And she's really is beautiful. Anyone with the right eyesight would say so. Still, my tastes in a woman don't rely on the outer appearance but inner appearance. I also want someone who can cook and do house chores properly. I'll ask you, could a princess do those?"

Paula choked and missed her next shot. Luckily, the noise made by the arrow hitting the wall drew the attention of the zombie away from them.

"Be careful."

"Just whose fault is it? Mei is going to have a hard time if she falls for you."

"If that would really happen then it would also benefit her a lot if she learn those things at this situation we are in."

Paula smiled bitterly behind her helmet as she could not refute what he said.

"Well, I'm not really an attractive person so I think, I can't be choosy. If she really falls in love with me, then I'll just teach her what she needed to know."

Paula looked at him incredulously. He actually called accepting the love of a beautiful girl "not being choosy"?

"By the way, how did you notice that I can tell whether the person is lying or not?"

Mark looked at her and replied.

"Well, I noticed it at the time I was telling those lies. Your emotions fluctuate every time I lied you know that? I racked my brains about it for a bit and concluded that you might have an ability to see through lies. So, you're telling me about it now?"

Paula nodded as she pulled the arrow out of the zombie's head she shot earlier.

"I inherited this ability from my mother. The only ability I have is to detect whether the person in front of me is lying or not. As you said earlier, I'm just a walking lie detector, same as my mother. My mother work as a private investigator you see. And she is a successful one."

"Any investigator with that kind of ability will be successful no?"

"I guess you're right about that."

"Well, what I want to know the most is about Angeline. She knew martial arts and it's obvious that she have great interest towards guns, weapons and anything combat related. That is not something you can see on a normal girl."

"She got this hobby from her father. Her father works for the military you see."

"Well, that explains it I guess. What's her father's position?"

"A general."

"Seriously?"

Paula nodded.

The two of them arrived at the end corner of the corridor. Mark looked at the situation while peeking through the corner using a compact mirror. There were more zombies but the numbers were not threatening as long as they did not attract all of them in one go.

Mark crouched at the corner and shot the head of the nearest zombie immediately killing it.

"To think that she is a daughter of a general, maybe, we can call and make the military send rescue faster."

"What do you mean?"

To Paula's question, Mark elaborated how he contacted the military and the situation for the rescue.

"To think that you already did that, yet, did not tell us."

"Well, my apologies. Many things are happening and I forgot."

"If we could really contact Ange's father then they would really rescue us sooner."

When Mark heard her say "us", he became stiff and smiled wryly inside his helmet.

Paula of course noticed the change in his actions and asked.

"Is something wrong?"

"Nothing."

Paula furrowed her brows. He was lying again. Well, Mark noticed her emotion fluctuate.

"You don't have to be like that. It's really nothing for now. Well, I might ask you and Angeline a favor later though."

"You won't tell me now?"

"Later alright? Later."

The two proceeded on killing the zombies and carefully walked through the corridor. The store that sells medicine should be found through one of the doors at the end of this corridor.

They fell into a predicament once when a zombie Paula shot accidentally hit a trolley making a loud noise and attracting quite a number of Biters. Mark was almost bitten. However, he skillfully blocked the mouth of the Biter with his armguard.

This made Paula profusely apologize for the blunder she made.

But then, Mark signaled Paula to stop.

"What's wrong?"

"I sense people. Two of them."

"Wow, you could really work as a human detector don't you? Did you ever think of being a volunteer on rescue missions like earthquakes and landslides?"

"Nah. I will probably die of mental exhaustion if I stay at aggrieved places like those."

"Where are the people you found?"

"At the next door."

Paula looked at Mark.

"You want to help them?"

"You think I will want to?"

Paula shook her head. She knew what was going in the mind of this guy. But she was surprised at his next question.

"Well, what do you want to do, you want to help them?"

"I do, but you have the call."

"Hmm. I'll accept helping them but you can't deny the favor I will ask later."

"That's..."

"Don't worry about it, I won't ask something impossible. Also, if the two people you want to help attack us with ill intent, I'll kill them alright?"

Knowing that Mark could really do that, Paula nodded.

Arriving in front of the door, Mark carefully knocked.