<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.>
When Nathan entered the shelter, there were five people waiting for him.
Four of them had their guns pointed at him, while the 6'7" Caucasian man just stood there and didn't draw any weapon.
"What's the meaning of this?!" Nathan cried out in fear and took a step back.
"Don't take this personal. We need to clear a few things first," said the Caucasian man.
As Nathan's continued to wear a frightened expression, his eyes were secretly counting how many enemies were around and if there were other traps.
'The defense inside seems pretty weak. However…'
He stared at their guns.
The weapons they were carrying were the type that would only be issued to military personnel. However, these people didn't have that military air around them and looked like normal civilians.
'Although they have high-powered guns, their fighting skills are most likely questionable. Killing everyone would be easy. And if they act unreasonably then…'
The Caucasian man continued, "Were you sent by the government?"
Nathan raised an eyebrow and replied, "Sent by the government? No."
"Are you alone?"
"Have you killed anybody?"
"Have you eaten people?"
"Do I look like a fucking cannibal? Just because I'm Asian, that doesn't mean --" Nathan said with an irritated tone.
"Shut your mouth or I'll blow your brains out!" said one of the guards that had their guns pointed at him.
It was a young Caucasian man with short and colored hair.
Nathan looked at the young man.
It reminded him of those gender studies soy boy aficionados.
'I'm being threatened by such lowlife?'
He felt so humiliated that a strong urge to kill everyone here welled up inside of him but he suppressed it.
'Not right now. Not right now. Calm down, calm down. Remember, you need a fucking pilot.'
"Stand down," the Caucasian man said to the Soy Boy and then looked at Nathan. "Where were you since the zombie apocalypse happened?"
"Are you going to shoot me already or kill me to death with questions? I'm so tired and hungry. You might as well just kill me right away."
The Caucasian man didn't say anything and looked into Nathan's eyes.
One of the things Nathan found very funny and shocking in politically correct Western countries like Womania is that although the people here, especially the locals, try to be as open and non-racist as possible, they still had these "positive" stereotypes for each race.
In regards to Asians, they are labeled as this model minority who usually stick with their kind, good in math and boring people who only focuses on studying or making money.
Because of this, some even view Asian men as effeminate or non-threatening.
But the funniest thing about it all? Some Asians who were born and raised in Western countries actually believe in this and try so hard to distance themselves from this stereotype by acting more Westernized than any native Westerner to the point it even makes an Asian mainlander like Nathan cringe.
Meanwhile, some Asian women would avoid dating Asian men because of this stereotype and would give this flimsy excuse that they don't want to date Asian men because they don't want people to mistake them as their brother.
These things were really mind-blowing to Nathan.
Now, he isn't sure where exactly the stereotype that Asians are good at math and effeminate comes from. But if he were to guess, this was probably from the white-skinned Asians because they live in an extremely competitive society where having good grades, studying in the top universities, working in big companies is the key to success in life. Moreover, they're so fashion-conscious that men wearing makeup was normal to them.
And as for the stereotype of following the rules, keeping their head down, and minding their own business, well, as a brown-skinned Asian, he could explain this -- at least from a Muwinian's perspective.
In the northern region of Muwin, 1 out of 10 men carries a gun. Now, whether they will use this gun or not, it's a 70/30 chance -- 70 percent is the part they won't.
Meanwhile, in the South, 1 out of 10 men also carries a gun. However, 70% of the time they WILL use it if you aggravate them. And if by some miracle you managed to escape before they were able to use it or they weren't carrying a gun and they want to get revenge, be sure that they will look for your address and pay you a "visit" in your home.
This is why average Muwinian mainlanders like Nathan have this habit of keeping to themselves or this sense of indifference. Their motto is that -- I don't care whatever you do, just make sure your actions don't affect me in a negative way or else we'll have a problem.
In fact, 3 years ago, that night when the armed men wearing ski masks entered his grandfather's house and hit him on the face with the butt of a rifle and the death of Maaz, he realized how weak and fragile the human body actually was.
He could workout and put on so much muscle all he wants. But at the end of the day, in front of a weapon, he was nothing but just another bag of human flesh. Which is why he stopped going to the gym and decided to do home workouts instead.
As long as he had a fit and healthy body, that was enough.
Anyway, although Nathan believes these stereotypes were kind of funny and shocking, he didn't mind it at all. Because thanks to them, before the zombie apocalypse, he was able to get away with a lot of things that he would normally never be able to back in Muwin.
Almost a minute had passed and before the Caucasian man spoke, "Everyone, put down your weapons. I believe this guy isn't a government spy."
'Government spy? Are these people rebels?'
The four guards put their guns down.
"Let's check if he's infected," one of the guards said.
Nathan scoffed and then said, "Do I look that weak?"
All four guards raised their rifles once again and Nathan almost activated his [Coward's Way].
"All of you, enough! That's an order!" the Caucasian man roared.
The guards put away their weapons.
The Caucasian man stepped forward and offered a handshake. "I'm sorry about that. People are a little tense nowadays because of the zombie apocalypse. People call me Sweet Dave. You are?"
'Sweet Dave?' Nathan stared at his face.
Unfortunately, he didn't know that Sweet Dave used to have knife scars on his face and lost it thanks to the [Small] Healing Potions. Because of that, he was confused as to what made this man in front of him earn the nickname Sweet Dave.
He shook Sweet Dave's hand.
'Is he perhaps slow in the head or a pervert or something? Is this another booty warrior?' Nathan thought as he studied Sweet Dave's face and felt his ass tighten.
Nathan opened his eyes and said, "Nathan."
"Nathan? Okay. Follow me. You looked like you've been through a lot," Sweet Dave said and then walked.
Thanks to Nathan's costume design choice from earlier, he did look like he has been a lot -- his equipment was covered in dust, his lip busted, and he had few superficial cuts on his face and arms.
'Where is this old pervert taking me? But he seems to have some authority here. Ah whatever, I'll just follow him.'
He followed Sweet Dave.
As he was following him, he pretended to cover his mouth with his left hand and secretly summoned back the 4 Healing Packets inside his mouth back into his [Artifact] Gold Spatial Finger.
And as they were walking to wherever Sweet Dave was taking him to, his eyes were studying his surroundings.
There were vehicles such as Humvees, trucks, tanks and helicopters.
Although he didn't mind using a helicopter to fly back to Muwin, he wanted something faster like a jet or something.
There were also a lot of people walking around, both young and old. Some of the adults had System items or were carrying weapons, while the others were just normal civilians.
However, almost all of them didn't have air that people in the military, police, etc. usually have.
'From the look of the people here, would I even be able to find someone who could teach me how to fly a helicopter?'
'It smells bad.'
The shelter had limited space. Aside from the trash that he could see on the ground and the smell of urine in the air, from the look and smell of the people that he encountered, it seemed that they haven't taken a bath for days.
Nathan and Sweet Dave entered a 50-person rectangular military tent.
Inside the tent, there were tables and benches, and people cooking in the kitchen.
"You mentioned that you're tired and hungry. Let's have something to eat first."
'Eh? Eat? Ugh…' Nathan thought. "Okay…"
Although Nathan understands that food is scarce during a zombie apocalypse, as much as possible, he didn't like to eat meals that weren't prepared by himself. For all he knows, it could be poison, rotten or whatever sick and perverted ingredient was added.
And plus, with the amount of food he looted back at Saint Holy Child Hospital, it was enough for him to last for at least 10 months, eating 3 full meals a day that was enough for his new body size.
However, if he were to decline Sweet Dave's invitation, then everything he has done so far just to enter this base would be for nothing.
They took a seat and Sweet Dave continued, "I haven't eaten since last night. If my wife finds out about it, she's going to scold me again."
Nathan just smiled.
One of the cooks approached them.
It was a half black and half Caucasian man.
"Sweet Dave my friend, you're quite early today for lunch. But then again, I didn't see you this morning for breakfast."
"Pietro my friend, thanks for the hard work as always. By the way, this is Nathan. He just arrived here."
Pietro looked at Nathan and offered an elegant bow.
"Nathan my friend, it's always a wonderful feeling to be able to meet a new face. My name is Pietro Lavidad and I used to run a meat shop before the zombie apocalypse. Don't worry, the meal that I will serve to you will reinvigorate your weary body, mind and soul."
Nathan was taken aback that he didn't know how to react so awkwardly rubbed the back of his neck and said, "Ah… I see, my friend. And thanks… I guess?"
"Give me a minute, my friend and I will serve you the best dish you will ever taste in your entire life. Muah!"
Pietro blew out a kiss in the air and left.
Sweet Dave chuckled and said, "People like Pietro are the kind of people that we need in times like this because they give out this sense of hope and normalcy that makes you forget about the grim reality even for just a moment."
He suddenly heard the sound of a grinder.
It was coming from outside of the tent and quite far but still within the premise of the shelter.
"Where's that noise coming from?" said Nathan.
Sweet Dave stared at Nathan's eyes for a moment before answering, "They're trying to break into a blast shelter."
"A blast shelter?"
"As you can tell, this is a shelter established by the government of this city -- one of 3 actually."
"Anyways, a group of corrupt government officials, scientists and their bodyguards who failed to escape two days ago shut themselves inside a blast shelter."
"Of course, we don't have any intention to kill them -- too much blood has already been spilled. What we're after is the tons of food kept inside the blast shelter."
Nathan said with a bored and uninterested expression, "Can't you just ask it from them?"
Sweet Dave smiled and said, "I wish everything was as simple as that."
Pietro came with two food trays and two bottles of water.
"My friends, bon appetit~!"
Nathan picked up his spoon and stared at the dish in front of him.
There was a small bowl of mushroom soup which was a personal favorite of someone he used to know, one thin slice of meat, a handful serving of scrambled eggs, and one piece of bread.
Based on the dish in front of him, he could tell that the people here were low on food supply and were trying their best to divide it among themselves.
He has seen what a typical meal of the locals here. It was big and heavy. That's probably why Westerners are bigger.
And compared to Nathan's usual meal and considering his new body size, this was at best only a small snack.
However, what he was most concerned about was the meat.
'What meat is this?'
Sweet Dave noticed Nathan's hesitation and said, "I don't mean to be racist. Don't worry, we aren't yet that desperate to throw away our humanity and eat whatever meat is available, including zombie meat. Anyway, it's pork. Also, it's not poisoned."
Nathan studied Sweet Dave's face for a moment.
Another stereotype here in the West is that Asians eat anything that moves. And although people here try to be politically correct as possible by not pointing out, sometimes it just accidentally comes out.
But even if this was zombie meat, aside from the fact he had [Divine Tears], he was sure he wasn't going to be infected because during back his experiment days, he fed people zombie flesh, blood and saliva and they didn't turn into a zombie.
And even if it was poison, he also had the [Antidote] potion.
But in the end, Nathan still decided to eat because he did mention that he hasn't eaten and slept for days.
'Hmm~ Not bad for a weirdo.'
To his surprise, it actually tastes great.
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