Nathan was running through the woods and invisible, like a phantom in the night.
The cool night summer breeze brushed against his cheeks. His vision painted in green as he searched for a tree.
He stopped in front of a tree and raised his head.
'This will do.'
He dropped his backpack to the ground, reached out his hand, and climbed it.
On top of the tree, he raised his night-vision goggles and gazed upon the brightly lit small town in front of him, studying its layout.
The night-vision goggles he had wasn't part of the System. It was one of the loots from the people he killed during his experiment days. It had straps that allow the user to wear it directly or attach it to a headgear.
While gazing at the small town in front of him, his lips curled up and revealed a smile as he thought about a legendary soldier who specializes in top-secret sneaking missions, a man who combines the quality of a soldier and an agent.
'Kept you waiting, huh?'
The small town in front of him was called Haven Town. The place where the organization, Red Dust, supposedly resided, its headquarters so to say.
It was located at the foot of the mountains.
From Cram city, one would have to drive 10 km to the West outside of the city on the main highway and then turn right, driving another 10km, before finally reaching Haven Town.
To get an overview of the town and study its layout before rushing in, Nathan decided to climb the mountain and look for a tree.
The small town was brightly light mostly thanks to the lampposts. It was barricaded with a combination of concrete walls and pointy logs about 10ft high and had three entrances/gates: West, South, and East. There were also a couple of wooden watchtowers positioned around the town.
From the looks of it, the barricades and some of the watchtowers weren't yet finished, only about 70%. Despite already 11:00 pm, there were still people up and working on it.
Inside the barricade, the town's layout was pretty simple.
In the middle was a three-story mansion, which he suspects is where Rose resides. Meanwhile, the other parts of the town were filled with numerous houses and buildings except for the Northwestern part which looked like a small farm.
In regards to light, Nathan was impressed with human technology. With the zombie apocalypse, he was expecting the electricity along with water and gas to go down after 3 days which led him to set up secret bases at Cram city to store his resources. But to his surprise, it's already been a week yet such luxuries still exist – though there are some parts of Cram city that no longer have them due to the damages.
After getting a quick understanding of Haven Town's layout, Nathan climbed down the tree and started to prepare for his mission.
While preparing his gear, his heart was racing, his palms sweaty, and he had butterflies in his stomach. It wasn't fear though that triggered such reactions, it was excitement.
He wrapped his backpack inside a large plastic bag before burying it under the ground.
His fighting gear tonight was: [Grade D] Sword (on his back), [Grade D] Long Dagger (left thigh), [Grade D] Dagger (right thigh), police vest, Revolver, night-vision goggles, and his fanny pack.
As for his potions, he had 15 healing packets that he personally created. Basically, he took out the liquid inside the [Small] Healing Potions and sealed them inside small plastic packets.
His purpose in doing so was for speed and efficiency.
During a fight, in case he gets injured, it's not like he can just call a timeout in the middle of the fight and expect his enemy to graciously wait for him as he takes his sweet time opening a [Small] Healing Potion and drink it. Plus, although miraculous, a [Small] Healing Potion only heals 20%.
With the healing packets, he can just put them inside his mouth in a short amount of time and tear them inside his mouth with his teeth. After that, he can just spit out the empty packets.
He also carried a few [Grade D] Repair Kits and his only two Antidote Potions just in case.
'Time to go now.'
Nathan took the long way around the mountains and headed for the road leading to the South Gate of Haven Town.
He purposely didn't take a shortcut or just straight up rushed to the town because although he could turn invisible, he was still susceptible to physical traps such as tripwires, landmines, bear traps, etc. – who knows what kind of traps were laid there outside of the barricade. And even with his night-vision goggles or if the sun was up, he still would struggle to spot them.
Moreover, by taking the road leading up to the South Gate, he was also confident that there won't be any traps. If there were, supposing there was an emergency and considering the speed of the monsters, no one would be able to pass there, leaving only the West and East gates available which are longer routes from the main highway.
Haven Town, South Gate.
Nathan was invisible and headed towards the 3-story mansion located at the heart of the town.
Aside from the people who were still working on the barricade and the guards patrolling the area, there was no one else. It felt like the town was under martial law.
He had his night-vision goggles off and was depending on the light cast by the lampposts.
His night-vision goggles had limited battery life, about 4 hours, and requires charging so he would only use it when necessary. Moreover, extremely bright lights make it hard to see (or perhaps he just wasn't used to it as he doesn't hunt at night).
Up ahead, he saw a guard walking alone and was headed to a dark alley.
He quickens his pace as he followed the unsuspecting guard.
His plan was to ask the guard where exactly Rose was. Although he suspects she's at the mansion, he wasn't 100% sure and wanted more details, like her room or something.
As a matter of fact, he even felt a little annoyed that he didn't ask Lester about it back when he interrogated him.
During his heart-to-heart interview session with Lester, he only asked questions that came to his mind.
'Note to self: When interrogating someone, be sure to ask about specific details of their base and where their leader and high ranking officers reside. Oh, also what they're like.'
The guard entered the dark alley.
Nathan immediately put his night vision goggles on and pulled out his [Grade D] Dagger as he slowly approached the guard.
The guard went to a corner and was whistling as he unzipped his pants.
Soon, the sound of flowing water hitting the wall was heard.
"Ahhh… That feels good. God, I can't wait for it to be morning already. Guard duty really –"
A hand covered his mouth and he felt a cold steel pressed against his neck, catching him in surprise and causing him to sprinkle fluids on his pants and shoes.
As he was about to curse and move, a cold voice entered his ears.
"Move and I'll slit your throat."
The guard didn't move and was trying to figure out whether this was a prank or not. However, the cold steel pressed against his neck which gave him a prickly feeling and the leathered hand covering his mouth which smelled like dried blood and sweat suggested that it wasn't.
Finally accepting that this wasn't a prank, his eyes widen in horror. And out of fear, his shaft forcefully stopped producing fluids that it made him twitch in pain but he dared not to move and silently endured it.
"Listen closely. I'm going to ask you a few simple questions. If your answers don't match with what others told me or you do something I don't like, I will immediately slit your throat. All I want is information and I promise to let you go if you cooperate. Nod once if you agree."
The guard nodded.
Nathan slowly released his hand from the guard's mouth but still kept the cold steel pressed against the man's neck serving as a cold reminder that his life was at stake.
"Tell me where the leader of Red Dust is."
"At – At Haven Manor. It's the large mansion located in the middle of the town."
"I – I don't know exactly."
Nathan pressed the cold steel deeper, causing the guard's neck to bleed.
"Wa – Wait! All I know it's on the third floor but I'm not sure! That's all I know, man. I – I promise! Please! I just joined this organization. I have a family. I have a daugh-"
The hand that covered the guard's mouth earlier returned once more, silencing from whatever excuses he had to say to sway the decision of his executioner.
To Nathan, he didn't care to listen. From the beginning, he already had an ending in mind for their fateful encounter.
Before the guard could even fight back, the blade already penetrated his neck and sunk deeper and deeper into his flesh until he was finally decapitated and his headless corpse fell to the ground.
Blood splattered on Nathan's face and armor.
'Third floor, huh?'
He dropped the guard's severed head to the ground and returned his [Grade D] Dagger to its sheath. He wiped the blood on his face with his left hand as he stared down at the headless corpse and severed head.
'There seems to be no radio for communication on his ear or body. This guard was probably just a low-ranking member of the group. But still…'
He looked away and surveyed his surroundings.
'Now that I have killed one of them, I probably only have about 10 minutes left before the others will start to suspect that one of them is missing or someone will notice this body. As for getting the exact details of the room, I will have to ask another one inside.'
After having said those things, he began to ponder if killing Rose tonight was worth it. Before he even got here, there have been too many mistakes already starting with the battle at the bridge. He couldn't help but question if he was rushing things or running a fool's errand driven by petty reasons.
'No… This has to happen tonight.'
Filled with determination and resolved, as if a hero carrying out a holy and just mission, he bravely continued his journey to fetch Rose's head.
Hi, guys. I know it's been a while. Same as usual, I've been so busy so I wasn't able to post any new chapters. I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. Thanks for reading!
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