<Author's note: The things (racism, sexism, political views, etc.) depicted or mentioned in this story do not reflect the real world and are purely coincidences. If they do, please keep in mind that they are simply for world-building and are only work of fiction. Thank you for your understanding.>
"Excuse me, mister, you're a Chosen One, right? I'm also one as well!"
Nathan turned towards the person who said those words.
When he saw the person, he raised an eyebrow.
Sweet Dave, on the other hand, quickly went over to the person.
"Zita, come over here."
"Mister, I'm also a Chosen One. Take me with you! Teach me what it means to be a Chosen One!"
Sweet Dave and Yasmin's eyes widened and they almost coughed out blood.
"Zita, come now. This isn't the time to make jokes," Sweet Dave said and tried to cover her from Nathan's sight.
Zita tried to move away from Sweet Dave's body as she yelled out, "Mister, please! I want to be strong like you!"
'Teach me what it means to be a Chosen One? Heh~ What an interesting kid.'
"Zita, you don't know what you're doing. Please listen to me and behave," said Sweet Dave.
Yasmin immediately approached Zita to stop her. To her, a man like Nathan was just too dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.
However, Zita quickly ran to the side and went straight to Nathan and grabbed his hand.
"Mister, these people aren't letting me go outside and level up! They even took my items away! Please teach me how to become a powerful Chosen One like you!"
Seeing Zita holding Nathan's hand, Sweet Dave and Yasmin were completely horrified and they immediately went over to grab her away.
"Stop," Nathan said coldly to Sweet Dave and Yasmin.
Both of them stopped.
Nathan turned to Zita.
'Caucasian with icy blonde hair and green eyes, huh. And her accent doesn't like sound like she's from here. And why does this kid look familiar? Ah, whatever, that's not important. What's important is I never expected there to be a Chosen One kid. Well, assumiing that she really is one,' he thought. "You say you're a Chosen One. But where's your proof?"
"Proof?" she mused for a second and then answered, "When the zombie apocalypse started I saw this bright, white angel and then she gave me a sword."
He tried to recall what happened to him when the zombie apocalypse first started.
'Hmm... There was that white being and she gave me a [Grade D] Training Sword. And although I don't completely agree with the word 'Angel' to describe that white being, it's probably the closest one.'
"What's your power?"
"I can lift objects like this," she said and lifted a small rock nearby.
'Hmm... Ever since the zombie apocalypse, I've never seen such a skill or spell,' he thought. "Then you're already dead."
Zita dropped the rock and had a confused expression on her face.
Nathan squinted his eyes.
'This kid doesn't seem to be acting.'
He knelt down with one knee and said in a low voice that only he and Zita can hear, "The first thing about Chosen Ones, you can't tell anyone about your power. The more people know about it, the more vulnerable you become."
Nathan got up.
Zita grabbed his hand once again and shook it, "Mister, so you'll take me with you to teach me how to become a powerful Chosen One? You're the only Chosen One I know and met."
He stared at her face and mused.
'On the next Phase when I enter the Divine Tower, I will be needing pawns…'
'Having strong pawn like a Chosen One would be nice…'
'But this is a kid…'
'Could I even trust a kid to do anything when it really counts…?'
'Anyway, she can lift objects…'
'But what is the range of her powers…?'
'No, that's not the biggest issue. What about her parents?'
"Where are your parents, kid?"
"Nathan! You can't be serious! She's only a child! Just leave her alone!" said Sweet Dave and stepped forward.
In a blink of an eye, Nathan summoned a sword from his [Artifact] Gold Spatial Finger and threw it at him like a spear.
Nathan's goal was to only hit him in the chest. But the throw was executed poorly because of the sudden movement, causing it to land on Sweet Dave's right shoulder instead.
Nevertheless, the sword's force was so great for Sweet Dave to handle that it pinned him down on the ground.
"Argh!" Sweet Dave cried out.
"Non-Chosen Ones like you have no right to join in in our conversation," Nathan said before turning to Zita. "You said you want me to teach you what it means to be a Chosen One and you want to become powerful as well. But what do I get in return? Don't tell me you're expecting me to do it for free just because you're a kid?"
Zita felt her knees go weak.
Although she has witnessed violence since the zombie apocalypse happened, and heard about the Chosen One wreaking havoc and see the dismembered corpses littered on the street when she was looting earlier, to witness someone hurt someone over a simple matter was a completely different feeling.
And looking at his eyes, they showed no nervousness or remorse at all.
Her instincts were going wild and screaming at her that this man in front of her was definitely a cold-blooded killer and she should run.
Yasmin rushed over to Sweet Dave to help him.
As for the rest of the children, some just stood and cry while the others ran away in fear.
"Are you listening to me, kid?" he said as his eyes stared down on Zita.
As much as she wanted to run away, she also noticed something that caused her to go against her instincts, making plant her feet on the ground.
Ever since the zombie apocalypse began and many people started throwing away civility, she, of course, encountered a number of interesting individuals that one would not normally meet in the previous world that she knows of.
Aside from killers, there have been perverts and maniacs who tried to lure her in.
Or perhaps they were always there but due to the zombie apocalypse they became brave to step into the light?
Fortunately, she was lucky and smart enough to not fall for their tricks.
And what she noticed in Nathan's eyes right now was that there was no lust in them. They were simply telling her that this moment was nothing but a chance encounter and whether she agrees to go with him or not, it held little or no meaning to him at all.
'I'm a Chosen One just like him. If he can be powerful like this, so can I,' she thought and then clenched her tiny fists. "...I'll give you anything you want."
Nathan noticed her fists and then smiled. "Anything? Are you sure about that?"
Zita gulped and then said, "Y-Yes."
"Deal. But you're gonna need to know a few things, kid, if you're going to come with me."
"One, it's going to be a bloody and dangerous journey…"
"Two, I need someone who's ruthless and won't question my orders…"
"Do you still have the courage to come with me?"
"Oh, and one last thing. This is going to be the most important, by the way."
"What is it?"
"If I suspect even just a slight hint that you have plans to kill me, I will kill you right away."
Zita unconsciously took a step back but returned her foot to its previous position.
'I can't be scared now. Ever since the zombie apocalypse started, I never met a Chosen One so this is my only chance. I'll learn from him as much as I can and then leave once the right time comes,' she thought. "I understand everything."
'Heh~ She didn't back down even after I said that? Pretty brave for a little girl. But does she really understands what she's actually getting into? Ah, I'll just have to wait and see.'
He swept his gaze at the other children.
Some of them continued crying, while others who ran were already far away.
'The situation is getting out of hand.'
He returned his gaze to Zita.
"Tell me, what's your level? Don't even think about lying. I can easily tell when someone is lying so you should always be honest."
'He has a power that can tell whether a person is lying or not?' Zita thought and a cold shiver ran down her spine. "L-Level 1."
The smile on Nathan's face vanished and he stared at her with a dumbfounded look.
"Zita… You're making a mistake… Don't do something you will regret…" Sweet Dave said on the side.
Zita turned to him, while Nathan stared at the northern side of the base.
Yasmin already pulled out the sword that pinned Sweet Dave to the ground and was helping him get up.
"Zita… Come back here, child," said Sweet Dave.
"Zita, don't go with him. Come back here with us," said Yasmin.
However, she ignored them and turned back to Nathan.
"I'm ready to leave anytime with you, mister."
Nathan turned to Zita.
"You don't have anything to pick up like a bag, belongings or something?"
"Except for my System items that were confiscated from me and some clothes at the place I'm staying, I have everything I need with me."
She was wearing a sweatshirt, red pants and a pair of sneakers.
He summoned a pair of thermal vision goggles from his [Artifact] Gold Spatial Finger and wore them before scooping Zita with his arm.
"We'll pick up some clothes along the way. Wrap your arms around my neck and hold on tightly."
Zita did what she was told.
'When was the last time this kid took a bath?' he thought. "Tighter."
She tightened her arms around his neck.
Nathan turned to Sweet and Yasmin.
"Oh, I almost forgot. I left 30 boxes of food and drinks on that building, by the way," he said and pointed at a building nearby.
Right after he said that, he suddenly burst out running towards the northern side of the shelter, heading for the northern gate.
I haven't properly edited this chapter yet. I'll probably do some edits later.
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