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50 Arriving at the Destination

 7:23 PM - City Mall Bacoor, West Wing Service Corridors, First Floor

Mark carefully knocked on the door. He knocked only once and even though it was not loud to attract the zombies, it was loud enough to startle the people inside.

After his knock, he could hear shuffling sounds and a surprised but muffled shriek. Using that knock, Mark gauged the emotional fluctuations of the two people inside. One of the two shrunk in fear while the other was also frightened but had steeled emotions and readied to fight.

As he finished his assessment, Mark nodded at Paula urging her to call out.

"Is anyone in there?"

Paula called out with a slightly loud voice and knocked on the door twice.

Hearing her shout, Mark detected the change in emotions on the other side of the door. The two inside were happy and excited as they heard a human voice which was different from what they expected.

The two inside hurriedly shuffled towards the door and opened it with fast and they were surprised to see two people armed with weapons and wearing sci-fi looking armor and helmet of contrasting colors.

Paula dragged Mark and backed several steps away from the door. Mark felt it was unnecessary but he just let her do so. When the door opened, they saw the two people peek from the side. It was a pair of male and female college students who both wore white uniforms, still the supposed to be clean and white uniforms were stained with splotches and drops of blood.

The male student had an about over a foot long hatchet stained with blood in his hand as he stared at Mark and Paula vigilantly. The female student looked really excited but the male student did not let her go out of the door.

"Who are you two?"

The male student asked in a low voice.

Mark did not speak and just looked at Paula to do the introductions.

"We're survivors who came down to get medicine. We noticed that there are people inside so we checked it out."

Hearing what she said, the male student's vigilance lessened. In his mind, he stressed out the clues 'came down' and 'medicine'. He then asked.

"Did you two check us out to help us?"

"That depends, if you needed help, we'll do and if not, then we'll leave."

It was Mark who replied to the student's question with a detached attitude. Mark then shrugged his shoulders after he saw Paula glaring at him.

The two students that stood by the door did not seem to mind his attitude and a nodded. They walked out of the door. The female student's vigilance was almost none but the male student maintained his caution which made Mark nod.

The male student looked at Paula and asked.

"About you just said did the two of you come from the floors above? Are there other people?"

Paula looked at Mark before replying.

"He cleared the zombies in a large part of the third floor so we set out camp there along with a number of other people.

She was not the person to steal someone's achievement so he told a bit of truth to elevate Mark's status. Mark felt it was unnecessary and sighed.

The two students looked at Mark who was donned in black armor and helmet and equipped with several weapons. With what the woman in white armor said, he was a strong person. Paula then continued.

"What do you two want to do? We still need to find medicine so you can come with us or you two can just go first to our camp."

"You two can also hide again inside there and wait for us to come back."

Mark added.

"Can't you lead us to your camp first?"

The female student asked with unease. The two people who found them were obviously ready and capable of fighting the zombies. She did not want to separate from them in an unsafe place like this. The male student who seemed to get her meaning felt a little down but did not say anything and just waited for the reply.

"We can't, our business is urgent. We are already wasting time here talking with you."

Mark replied and shot an Eater shambling towards them from a distance with his crossbow. The two saw the zombie fell and shuddered. It was then that the male student then spoke while gripping his hatchet.

"Well follow you. I know that I won't be too much of help but I can protect the two of us."

Mark looked at Paula and nodded before turning towards their destination and walked away.

"Follow us, closely."

Paula said to the two before following Mark.

"Are they okay?"

Paula whispered to Mark.

"They should be. Still, you owe me a favor now."

She was worried what kind of favor Mark wanted but still nodded.

As they passed through the corridor, the two students that were following behind were amazed by the actions of the two. There were almost no zombies that could get close as they were felled stealthily while those that managed to come close was decisively dealt by the man in black armor.

"What's the name of you two?"

Paula asked as she glanced behind while pulling an arrow off the head of a dead Biter.

"I'm Breandan and she's Julie."

"Mine's Paula and that unsocial guy there is Mark."

Mark who pulled a crossbow bolt from the head of a dead Eater turned his head at Paula. He did not say anything and just faced the opposite direction. He walked forward and hacked the legs of another Eater making it fall down of the floor and hacked its neck several times. Mark was not using his other ability right now so the power on his swings was a little weaker. He needed about two to three swings to completely hack off an Eaters neck.

While it was just normal for him, his actions made the others feel that he was displeased somehow.

Finally, after some struggle, the group arrived in front of a double door that was connected to the storage of the store that sells medicine. They were sure of it since the door was painted with the logo of the store.

Mark tried to rotate the doorknob and open the doors but it was locked. Paula also frowned as they did not have any other access to the store aside from these doors unless they wanted to scour towards the front of the store which was surely overrun by zombies since the storefront of this store was a wide open space.

Under the gaze of the three, Mark flicked the cover of the belt bag on the back of his waist open and took two oddly shaped tools made with cut out metal sheets. One was a flat and straight metal stick with a wavy end while the other was an 'L' shaped tool.

Paula was surprised when she saw the tools. She did not expect that Mark also knew how to do these things. When he opened the locked double door in the cinema, he hacked the lock open with a knife but this door had a different kind of lock and as such, he would not be able to use the same method.

"You also know how to pick locks?"

She asked Mark out of curiosity.

"Though I'm glad that you have an interest in asking things about myself, don't you think you're asking too much?"

Hearing his reply, Paula did not pursue the topic but she still pouted behind her helmet. If anyone would saw her face right now, she looked like a child denied from buying a doll she wanted.

Actually, the only reason Mark did not want to tell her was because he learned to pick locks due to an embarrassing reason. It was when he broke the doorknob of the main door of his house that he needed to pick the lock to open it. As he did not have money that time to replace the knob, he needed to pick the lock open every single time he went home after going out.

CLICK!

A clicking sound was heard and Mark silently pushed the doors open. After checking that there was no one inside, he signaled for the group to enter.