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193 Regret, Falling for a False Promise

 Day 22 - 12:34 AM - Mountain Village, Mount Malabito, General Nakar, Quezon

Four men were waiting outside the house where Trisha and Jollene were staying. Soon, Jollene slowly opened the door trying not to make any noise as she walked out. When she closed the door, she faced the four men who were Jefferson, Sherwyn, Arnolds and Pierce.

"Ready?"

Jefferson asked Jollene who slung a small bag on her shoulder.

"Are we really leaving? How about the other girls? About Huey, Ed and Ron?"

Jollene asked while glancing at the door she just came out from.

"Don't worry about them. I'm sure those three girls had already become whores for that mountain man. You don't want to become one of them right? About Huey and those two, they already chickened out."

Jefferson said not hiding his displeasure. Being humiliated by that man, he would never be able to stomach staying in this place.

"Won't it be dangerous?"

Jollene still had her doubts.

At that moment, Jefferson reached for her chin and said.

"Don't worry, I'm here and also Sherwyn. We're only held back because they are injured. If it's just us, we'll be fine. If something happens, I promise I'll protect you."

Due to Jefferson's actions, the smitten Jollene nodded with flushed face.

"Alright, let's go."

Under the moonlight, their shadows rushed out of the village into the forest.

They did not know that when they left, Huey stepped out of the house. Even though he already fell asleep, he was disturbed when Arnolds and Pierce walked out of the house they were staying together. He was looking at the direction the five went with complicated expression. He expected that Jefferson and Sherwyn would leave but he did not expect that even Arnolds, Pierce and Jollene would go. Although Arnolds was not that injured, he was basically useless in fighting while Pierce for sure had not fully recovered yet. As for Jollene, it a little expected even though Huey did not want to acknowledge it. The reason for her to leave was obvious.

Still, he could not do anything about it and could only watch as their silhouettes vanish into the forest.

But then, Huey saw someone else coming out. It was Mark. He was afraid that this man would go after them so he dragged his injured leg and walked towards his direction. Huey's injury was not as severe as Hallie's so he could still walk on his own but there was no way for him to run.

It seemed that Mark noticed that he was coming and waited.

"Are you going to kill them?"

Huey tried to ask in a respectful tone but it turned out a little off sounding due to him not being proficient in speaking like this.

"Not really..."

Mark replied in a nonchalant tone. He had no plans to kill those people at all.

"Really?"

Huey sounded happy. Even though those five left, Huey did not want something to happen to them. They might have bad points but their whole group still experienced life and death together.

"You're a good person." Mark complemented Huey but his next words made the latter's eyes dilate with a horrible expression in his face. "Did that guy with claws managed to wash his body thoroughly? I guess not."

Even though he could not see Mark's face clearly, Huey saw an illusion of Mark sneering though his face had no emotion at all.

Huey was smart as Mark complemented him before so he understood what the latter meant with his question. He was thinking about too many things that it passed his mind. What Mark spilled at Jefferson before was guts of a dead animal and its smell was not something that could be easily removed.

Right now, Jefferson was a beacon for the savage animals in the middle of the night and all the people around him was destined to die because of him. No, probably, except for Sherwyn.

'Dammit!'

Huey clenched his fists. He should have stopped them!

'What should I do? Jollene... At least Jollene!!!'

As his emotions swirled inside him, Huey raised his head and looked at Mark with resolute eyes.

***

Fifteen minutes after Jefferson and the other four left the village, they had not gotten too far. Even though they could follow the general direction, it was very hard to traverse a mountainous terrain in the middle of the night especially for this group of people that had no experience in hiking. Their pace was the same as the time they escaped from the camp a day ago despite the fact that there was no one too injured to drag them down.

At this moment, they were feeling shivers as they traversed the forest. They ignored it as a passing cold due to the low temperatures in the mountains but for some reason, it did not go away.

Pierce held his weapon tightly, the weapons he was currently using was actually the shovel Mark made them use to burrow the dead monkey. On the other hand, the black colored knife was currently in the hands of Sherwyn. These people not only left the village to escape but also stole Mark's things.

"I feel like we're being watched."

Shivering, Pierce could not hold back anymore and spoke in a whisper.

"What are you talking about? Don't scare us like that."

Arnolds said as he tightened his grip on his butcher's knife.

"But..."

Pierce wanted to speak again but Jefferson interjected.

"What are you guys afraid of? We already lost the tiger yesterday and I'm here."

On the other hand, Sherwyn was not speaking and was just being cautious with the surroundings while Jollene was sticking closely behind Jefferson.

It was then when...

A shadow pounced towards Jefferson.

Jefferson managed to react and pierced the shadow with his claws and it was a human head sized Portia Spider. Jollene almost screamed at the sudden attack but she managed to cover her mouth. Unfortunately, that was just the start.

Along the way, they were constantly attacked by large insects and the largest one was a four year old toddler sized mantis.

In another ten minutes, the attacks suddenly stopped. The confident Jefferson thought that it was over but everyone suddenly felt some pressure locked unto them. It was as if being stared by a predator. The pressure caused them to feel dread.

The source of the pressure did not hide too long and appeared in front of them. It was the thing they did not want to see the most. It was the Tiger that attacked their camp a day ago. It caused everyone to freeze as they watched the Tiger walk slowly towards them.

"RUN!"

Sherwyn shouted making everyone snap from their stupor and run towards another direction. The others immediately followed but of course, the tiger would not let them to escape easily.

As the person who was behind the group, Arnolds' head flew off as the claws of the tiger swept across his neck. Arnolds totally showed his lack of experience before his death. It was not to leave his back open facing his enemy. If he was able to see the attack or at least paying attention to the enemy, there was a lot of leeway for him to dodge that one.

Jollene saw what happened to Arnolds when she looked back and her eyes started to tear up in fear. However, the way she looked back was also something not ideal to do when running away. Because of that, she failed to see a large tree root Jefferson and Sherwyn jumped over and tripped on it.

She did not manage to react fully to her fall causing her face to fall flat on the forest floor. When she realized that she fell, she could only shout.

"HELP!"

However, the tree men only glanced at her and continued running away.

Shock, fear, despair and regret. Those feelings overwhelmed her as she saw the three leave her behind.

'Why? Jeff! You said you will protect me!'

She wanted to shout but she could only shout those words in her mind as she could not speak anymore due to the shock she experienced.

'It was a lie right? It's all a lie!'

As the silhouettes of the three men vanished into the night, she heard heavy footsteps from behind her. She knew that she her end finally came. Even though she was not resigned to do so... Even though she was filled with regrets about falling for Jefferson's empty words... Even though she regretted leaving everyone else in that village... It was all her choice... And thus, she could only close her eyes and wait.

SWOOSH! SWOOSH! SWOOSH!

Three swishing sounds could be heard which made the tiger jump back. The source of the sound was three black metal bolts that pierced the ground in front of the tiger. The tiger looked around to find the source of the attack but it could not find it.

While Jollene was waiting for her death with closed eyes, an emotionless voice echoed in the forest.

"Giving up already?"

Surprised, Jollene opened her eyes looked around. She saw the tiger about three meters behind her doing the same thing.

'The voice sounds familiar.'

That was what entered her mind as she felt some hope.

"Where are you? Please help me!"

Jollene shouted with all the tears and snot on her face which made it unsightly. Luckily, there was no one here to see her aside from the source of the voice.

"You all left the village and I have no obligation to help you though?"

The voice echoed again making her realize that the familiar voice was from the man called Mark that they met in the village. What he said made her fall into despair once more. She left the village with the other four men and they were deserters. There was no reason for that person which they abandoned their responsibilities from to help her. Still, she did not want to die. Even if she had to promise about being a toy for his carnal desires, she would do it.

When she was about to beg, the tiger was about to pounce on her making her freeze in fright. However, another three black metal bolts landed in front of the tiger making it back up once more.

'He said that he wouldn't help me... Why?'

"As I said, I have no obligation but someone begged for your life so I'll give you a chance." Mark's voice echoed once more. "Let's play a game."

Another bolt landed in front of the tiger making it dodge again.

"The rules are simple. I will give you a leeway to run away. About ten seconds I think. If you manage to run back and reach the village before the tiger could kill you, then, you will live. If not, of course, you know what will happen."

"But-!"

"No buts. If you really wanted to live, then prove it yourself instead of giving up or relying on others. Now, let the game begin!"

"Wait!"

"Ten... Nine... Are you sure you not going to run? Seven..."Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.

Hearing the count down, Jollene tightly held unto her knife, propped herself up and started running back the direction where the village was supposed to be. She did not know if she was really running towards the right direction but she could only run.

The tiger tried to chase when it saw Jollene run away but it was interrupted by another set of black metal bolts. It tried to find the source through smell but it failed.

When the voice counting vanished, the tiger finally started to chase Jollene.

Mark watched all those scenes happen with the sleepy Amihan on his shoulder. He was currently atop a nearby stone crevice. The tiger did not manage to find him due to Amihan not letting the wind carry Mark's smell towards the tiger. She also prevented the tiger from smelling Jefferson making it chase Jollene as the only target.

"Yawn~... My Lord, is this really necessary?"

"Hmmm... Not really. I'm just bored. Besides, she needed to experience the consequences of her decisions and not to mention that it will be pointless if she easily received the salvation she wanted."

"But you won't let her die right?"

"Yep, a good person bailed for her life after all."

'And also because of Freed's memories.'

Mark said in his mind.

When Jollene and the tiger was already quite a distance away, Mark started to scale down the crevice. He needed to collect the [Blood Metal Bolts] first or it would be a waste.