Cram city, Southeast.
The sound of explosion and gunshots could still be heard throughout the city, especially closer to the middle.
A drone was flying in the sky and preparing for a landing near an abandoned building.
When it finally landed on the ground, a man immediately came outside of the building to pick up the drone before returning into hiding.
Inside the building...
"So, Jerry, it's on?" said a man.
Jerry was a leader of a small camp in the South of Cram city.
This group he was with right now was made up of 10 people and none of them were Chosen Ones, but they were the best and the bravest among in his camp.
Their goal was to head into the middle of the city to check out that cylinder-shaped building.
They believe it was one of the Divine Towers that the System mentioned last night.
However, the way there wasn't easy because the streets were filled with those 3m-tall skinless zombies.
This is also why they waited until the sun was up so that their vision wouldn't be limited.
Not all groups had access to night or thermal vision goggles.
As for the drone they sent out, they originally sent 4 drones, but 3 were taken down by the zombies that had wings.
They were using drones to get a layout of the city and find out where the safest route is going to the middle of the city.
"Yeah. Whoever here wants to back out, now's your chance. No one will call you a coward," said Jerry.
None of the members said anything. They all had a determined look on their faces.
As non-Chosen Ones camped in Cram city, they knew too well the dangers and horrors brought by the zombies and humans.
And given that the zombies now evolved into 3m-tall skinless zombies, if they want to continue living like kings or queens instead of just merely surviving, they have no choice but to venture to the Divine Tower to loot unique items as well as [Artifact] grade items.
All of the people here were wearing a complete set of System items.
Jerry's weapons were a [Grade D] Sword and [Grade D] Hand Axe. Meanwhile, his non-System weapon was a sawed-off double-barrel shotgun, perfect for killing those pesky D1 zombies with a headshot in close range.
"Okay, let's go. And remember, no guns unless necessary. We kill them quick and clean. The last thing we want is them ganging up on us." said Jerry.
They all nodded.
The group exited the building they were hiding in and headed to the middle of Cram City using the route that they have planned.
Out in the streets.
Jerry's group traversed the streets of Cram city silently, but it took them a lot of time to get to where the Divine Tower was.
If there was a group of more than five 3m-tall skinless zombies, they would take a detour.
Jerry raised a fist, ordering his team to stop.
There was a group of more than 15 zombies up ahead.
He looked to his sides to find another route and found one.
The group continued making their way to the middle of the city.
And after another 30 minutes, they came across a street full of headless 3m-tall zombie corpses and a man cursing loudly.
"FUCK ME SIDEWAYS! I KNEW IT! I WAS RIGHT! I WAS FUCKING RIGHT"
Jerry immediately raised his fist and signaled his companions to take cover.
Just like the zombies, humans were also dangerous. Probably even more dangerous.
At least with zombies, they don't torture you. They just eat you right away.
But with humans, depending on who you encounter, if they happened to be one of those sick and sadistic freaks, pray that you don't get captured by them.
When Jerry and his group got into positions, they looked at the person openly cursing in the middle of the streets and surrounded by headless 3m-tall zombie corpses.
Nathan had been hunting zombies all night non-stop, most of them were S types. He also killed some of the M types and N types. However, for the D types, he only killed a handful of them and. of course, ignored the D2s.
Right now, he was testing out his new equipment and noticed something strange.
STR – 38
VIT – 36
AGI – 33 (+33)
INT – 33
[Grade D] Large Axe (4/12)
[Grade D] Sword (12/12)
[Grade D] Helm (12/15): +3 Agi
[Grade C] Chain Mail (18/20): +5 Agi
[Grade C] Chain Gloves (17/20): +5 Agi
[Grade C] Chain Boots (20/20): +5 Agi
[Grade C] Ring: +5 Agi
[Grade C] Ring: +5 Agi
[Grade C] Amulet: +5 Agi
Level X [Coward's Way]
'So… around 30 points is the threshold?'
He had always wondered what if his AGI reached 99 points. How will his eyes keeps up with the speed? Wouldn't things become blurry by then?
He also wondered what's allowing him to see things in slow motion once he focuses.
With this experiment, he found out a few things…
When one's AGI is 30 points more than their VIT and INT, his body couldn't keep with the speed.
In the case of his VIT which is at 36 points, whenever he uses his full speed in moving with his AGI points at 33 (+33), he could feel a strain on his joints.
In the case of his INT which is at 33 points, whenever he uses his full speed, there was an obvious delay in his reactions because his brain couldn't process the information immediately that his eyes were seeing.
'So I really can't just focus solely on AGI anymore once I equip [Grade C] System items… Good thing I didn't throw away those [Grade D] armor, boots and gloves I looted earlier.'
Although wearing [Grade C] items were way better because it gives +5 bonus stats, he doesn't have any [Grade C] Repair Kit.
He even tried using a [Grade D] Repair Kit on a [Grade C] equipment but it didn't work.
At the moment, only the [Grade C] Rings and Necklace were useful for him because these accessory-type System items don't have limited durability.
'If AGI can't be more than 30 points compared to VIT and AGI, what about the other attributes?'
Nathan doesn't believe only the AGI attribute has this restriction.
One of the things he suspects is that STR can't be more than 30 points than the VIT.
As an analogy, that would be like creating a powerful gun using cheap materials. After a few shots or so, the gun will most likely break.
His stomach growled from hunger and he checked his watch.
'I still have about 2 and half hours to loot for more Nuclei before I head to the Divine Tower… But first, I need to go back to the place where I kept my equipment and loots before eating. I also need to pack food and take a dump.'
Nathan doesn't care if you're the strongest person who has ever lived. Even that person would bow down and surrender when nature calls.
As he turned around to get the sack of nuclei he left on the side before extracting the nuclei from the zombies he killed, he saw a man walking up towards him with both of his hands held up high.
"Hello, my friend. My name is Jerry and I come in peace."
Nathan looked at Jerry and frowned.
Jerry stopped about 20 ft away.
'Tch! I was so busy killing zombies and it's so noisy from all the explosions and gunshots that I failed to notice this guy spying on me,' Nathan thought as his eyes darted around to check his surroundings for a quick moment before returning his gaze at Jerry. "Come in peace, huh. So what do you want?"
"I'll be straight with you. We're heading to the center of Cram City to enter the Divine Tower. You're headed there as well, right? We can help each other."
In Jerry's mind, Nathan was most likely part of a strong group and they're gathering Nuclei before heading to the Divine Tower.
The entrance limit to the Divine Towers is 12 hours and there's still about 2 and a half hours left.
His plan was to latch on Nathan's group for the meantime while heading to the Divine Tower.
Thanks to the drones they sent earlier, they knew how chaotic it was in the center of Cram City. There's no shame in trying to find an easier way to survive.
And once they're inside the Divine Tower, they will act according to the situation.
Whatever the situation is, their end goal was to take the biggest slice of the cake.
"Help each other, huh." Nathan had an amused smile.
In his mind, aside from the fact that he can easily go to the Divine Tower all by himself despite the chaos there, no one is going there to "help" each other. The word "use" would be more appropriate.
The System informed everyone that unique and [Artifact] items can be obtained there. With that, anyone who plans to enter the Divine Tower were most likely solely driven by greed.
"So, what can you give me if we helped each other?" Nathan asked and was still wearing an amused smile.
"We have a lot of System items, including potions and skill books. But most importantly, we're a capable group," Jerry said.
Being able to survive here in Cram City wasn't easy. And Jerry and his group were one of the groups that thrived in this city despite being a small group and as non-Chosen Ones.
'Just that? This son of a bitch is quite greedy. Nevertheless, it makes him even easier to read and predict,' Jerry thought. "Whatever loots we get at the Divine Tower, we will give you 30%."
Nathan let out a chuckle and said, "You mentioned, 'We.' So where are your other companions? That's awfully rude for someone who's asking to work together, right?" Nathan said.
All this time, Jerry's gaze was locked on Nathan.
Aside from the frown that Nathan has shown when he first saw him, he has been smiling ever since.
'Is this son of a bitch that confident that his group is that powerful? But come to think of it, he hasn't mentioned his name nor his teammates and he has had that smirk on his face like he's looking down on me…' Jerry pondered. 'But then again, I was the one who requested to have an alliance first so it makes sense that I should show my cards… Wait… Should I delay things and let him offer more information first?'
"What's wrong? Don't me you're the only person left in your team, are you?" said Nathan.
'I've already got this far. No point in being indecisive. Plus, based on that annoying smirk on his face, it only means that he's really part of a powerful group. Let's see if you could still smile when the time comes I stab you in the back,' Jerry thought. "Of course not."
He raised his hand and made a signal for his companions to come out.
His companions came out and gathered behind him.
"So this is all of you?" Nathan asked.
"Yeah. Where are your teammates?" Jerry said.
Still wearing a smile, there was a cold glint in Nathan's eyes as he said, "Teammates?"
When Jerry saw the cold glint on Nathan's eyes and heard the question, a chill suddenly ran down his spine and made him realized that this guy was one of those sick and sadistic freaks that get turned on by killing people.
"Fuck! Get ready to fight!" Jerry shouted.
I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. Thank you for reading!
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