There was a loud sound of metal clashing against each other.
Nathan quickly opened his eyes and looked at where the noise was coming from.
From afar, he could see Ashleigh and Germaine sparring.
Ashleigh held a mace and shield.
Germaine, on the other hand, was carrying a sword and shield.
"Noisy weaklings…" said Nathan under his breath before checking his watch.
He raised his head and stared at the giant golden orb that illuminated the entire area.
Looking at the orb and remembering all the things that had happened so far, he had a strong urge to slap himself, wondering if everything that has happened so far was real.
Just about a week ago, he was just an average guy working on a dead-end job with no sense of fulfillment, slowly rotting away.
Sure, aside from working tirelessly to earn money, he had hobbies like exercising, reading novels, watching shows, occasionally playing the guitar and other things -- when one prefers spends a lot of time alone, in most cases, they tend to pick up a number of hobbies.
Moreover, once a month, he also messages 10 new women on a dating app that's between a 4 and 6 in terms of looks to invite them to go out on a date.
Out of the 10 women, 3 would agree to go out with him. And out of the 3 women who agreed to go out on a date with him, 1 or 2 will sleep with him.
There were of course days that he wasn't lucky.
It was a numbers game after all.
But did he find any enjoyment in doing those things? Of course.
However, at the same time, it also felt mundane and repetitive. As if he was no different from a zombie.
Sure, one could simply say: Do new things then.
He did, though nothing drastic because it could disrupt the successes he accumulated so far.
Another part of him also noticed was that, as he aged, he became more fearful, not wanting to risk losing the things that he worked so hard for.
In fact, sometimes, he would ask himself: Is this what's life all about? Working 90% of the time and enjoying life with the remaining 10%?
There were even times that he started to doubt the advice that his grandfather had given him.
One of the problems he perhaps failed to consider at that time was that, although he likes sex, he wasn't as crazy about it.
And with his experience, there's a difference between romantic sex and casual sex.
He doesn't have the right words to explain it, but it's something more than just physical. It was something that was between an emotional and spiritual level that casual sex could never offer.
Even after he slept with Akane, the most beautiful woman he slept with so far in his entire life, he still felt that same emptiness.
There were also other life lessons he learned along the way throughout the years.
Regardless, the advice that his grandfather had given him was still good in his opinion if you exclude the women part because it focuses on financial stability.
And given that he was still 24 years old which is still 6 years from the supposed turning point of a man's life (assuming that one worked his ass off and steadily accumulated financial successes throughout the years), he just continued to soldier on and hoped for the best.
But the world as everyone knows it has changed ever since the zombie apocalypse began, throwing away all of his hard work.
And here he was, trapped inside a tower with some people and killing armored angels because of his desire to become strong.
'There must be a reason why I dreamt about that part of my life… Maybe it's because…' Nathan thought.
An image of Amir's face flashed inside his head.
Whether he denies it or not, he knew he played a role in Amir's suffering and death.
He shook his head, trying to toss the idea away from his mind.
When he succeeded in erasing the thought, he then heard a voice inside his head.
He shook his head once more.
'Get out of my fucking head!' said Nathan as he gritted his teeth and shook his head once again. Only this time, it was with viciousness.
He got up.
'I don't have the luxury to overthink and be melodramatic right now with the situation I'm in.'
He began stretching.
His neck and joints made some popping sounds.
Despite having a short nap and his VIT at 36 points, he still felt a little tired.
He looked over at Harry's group.
Some were already awake and checking their equipment, including Harry and Joseph, while others were still sleeping.
Nathan recalled that the agreement was to rest for 6 hours before proceeding to stage 6.
He was about 15ft away from Harry's group when he deactivated [Coward's Way].
When he appeared, he raised one hand and greeted them.
"Yo," said Nathan.
But right after he said that, he couldn't helped but scoff inwardly. It reminded him of someone in his past who used to greet him with that word.
'When was the last time I used that word? It feels like forever.'
"Yo," replied Harry and Joseph.
Nathan sat on the floor 5ft away from them.
Harry put down his equipment.
"Nothing much. We'll be entering the portal about half an hour from now."
"Buddy, want some coffee? I made some earlier and I could reheat it," said Joseph.
"I'm good," said Nathan as he pulled out a lighter and a pack of cigarettes from his [Grade D] Spatial Bag.
Given that he knew Harry and the others were already aware what the [Grade D] Spatial Bag was and they have an agreement, Nathan decided to let down his guard a little bit.
And plus, he wanted to smoke.
He lit one for himself before offering the pack and lighter to Harry and Joseph.
Only Joseph took a cigarette.
"I have these, by the way. They were given to me back at the village," said Nathan as he took out the 3 slices of cakes.
Before leaving the Item Shop, the owner gave him a box of treats that had 6 pieces inside it.
Although the owner of the shop gave these to him as a gift and told him about its effects, he didn't trust her fully.
What if he eats one and gets diarrhea?
He would rather have others taste it first before eating it.
Harry and Joseph took one each.
"I've seen this at the Tavern. They were being sold 200 [Grade D] Nuclei a box with 6 pieces inside," said Harry.
"Me too," said Joseph.
"You know its effects?" said Nathan.
"Yeah. As far as I can recall, eating one is like eating one full meal but without counting the water."
"Buddy, this would go well with coffee," said Joseph.
"I'll reheat the coffee," said Harry and looked at Joseph. "Go wake up the others."
"Okay," said Joseph and got up.
Harry put down the piece of cake before taking out a portable mini gas stove and a small kettle from one of their bags.
"Any news from the Asian group?" said Nathan.
"Nothing new. The plan is still the same."
Harry switched the mini gas stove on and reheated the coffee before picking up the piece of cake once again.
Nathan carefully studied Harry's facial expression as he took a bite.
"How is it? Good, right?"
"It's good, but a little too sweet for me."
'It's sweet, huh. Well, now time to observe for at least an hour if he will get diarrhea or not,' Nathan thought. "Well, good thing we have coffee then."
Divine Tower - Stage 6
"Someone help me kill this! I'm out of mana!" said a member of Harry's group who was fighting a Level 6 Black Armored Angel.
There was also another White Armored Angel coming towards him.
Nathan was nearby and he just killed a White Armored Angel.
He disappeared and looked over at the person who called out for help.
'Heh~ Wasn't this the guy who was bragging about how many armored angels he killed?'
Nathan was deciding whether to help or not.
Out of the 100 Magic Bolts he bought, he already used 4 pieces.
Aside from being limited, although he was able to loot [Small] Mana Potions from Stage 2 to 5, he only had 3 with him and each Magic Bolt requires 10 mana points to use.
The mana consumption was just too high for him because he only had 66/66 mana points.
However, he already made a deal with Harry…
Nathan raised his left arm that had his [Grade D] Mini-Crossbow and aimed for the golden crystal on the forehead of the Black Armored Angel.
It requires 3 seconds to lock-on the target before the tracking feature would activate.
He put down his arm.
'What if I try this?'
He held one Magic Bolt like a dagger with his left hand and rushed forward.
When he was at an arm's length with armored angels, he stabbed the Magic Bolt into the gold crystal of the Black Armored Angel, losing his invisibility in the process and killing it right away.
A [Green] Treasure Chest appeared.
Without pausing, he immediately swung his [Grade D] Large Axe towards the White Armored Angel's golden crystal.
No treasure chest appeared.
Nathan had a frown on his face as he disappeared and moved away.
'There was still a deduction…'
'So it doesn't matter whether I use the tracking feature or not…'
Stage 6 was finally cleared…
No one died and there were still 40 survivors remaining.
"Thanks, man," said a man to Nathan who was about to open a [Green] Treasure Chest.
Nathan stopped and looked over at the person who said it.
It was the man who asked for help earlier.
'Oh, it's the useless bragger,' Nathan thought. "We're allies. No need to thank me."
"Still, I want to thank you. I owe you one."
"It's nothing really."
"Here, this what was the Black Armored Angel dropped after you killed it."
Bragger gave him a pair [Grade D] Black Heavy Leather Gloves.
Given that Bragger was being insistent and Nathan wanted to end their interaction as soon as possible, he accepted the item.
As Nathan touched the item, his eyes widened for a quick moment.
"No problem. See ya," said Bragger and left.
Alone, Nathan's lips slowly formed into a small smile.
'Well, what do you know. It seems that that bragger wasn't as useless after all…'
Aside from the bonus stats, the Black equipment gives 1% chance to block any physical attack, while the White equipment gives 1% chance of block any magical attack.
The [Grade D] Black Heavy Leather Gloves given to him by Bragger gives 1% chance to block any physical attack, of course. But what made him smile was that it gives +4 AGI which was perfect for him because it had the same bonus stats with the gloves he was using.
'Before Stage 6, the bonus stats were only +3… I see. I get it now. So stage 1-5 gives First Tier awakened items, while stage 6-10 gives Second Tier awakened items.'
He immediately replaced his [Grade D] Heavy Leather Gloves with the [Grade D] Black Heavy Leather Gloves.
He held out his hand and formed a fist.
'Whether it's 1% or 100%, it's still no doubt a lifesaver."
He resumed to opening the [Green] Treasure Chest in front of him.
It was a [Grade D] Repair Kit.
'Hmm… Oh well, it's still useful nevertheless.'
I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. Thank you for reading!
Hello, I'm very sorry for not posting these past few days. I've been so busy. Please accept this shameless immortal's shameless apology *shamelessly kowtows 3 times*
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