<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.>
Nathan ignored the mutilated corpses and the suffocating stench of blood in the 2nd floor as he made his way to the 1st floor.
But when he finally reached the 1st floor, he was greeted with another surprise.
Between the staircase and the front entrance of the apartment building, a group of people were gathered around another group of people that were crying.
He recognized all of them.
They were his family.
His father, his mother, grandfather Sakhr, uncle Mabrook, aunt Mariam, uncle Eid, and cousins Maaz and Malik, including the children of uncle Eid, Eena and Enzo.
The crying stopped and they all turned to him.
All of their eyes were nothing but dark empty sockets.
They then moved to the sides, revealing uncle Abbas, aunt Amira and Aena hugging the corpse of Amir.
Nathan eyes widened.
"Look who has finally decided to come," said his mother, Nadia.
"He really does like to take his time. That time when he was with us and a group of masked men invaded out home, he hid inside the toilet," said aunt Mariam.
Nathan knitted brows, "Mother, aunt Mariam, what are you guys talking about?"
"As usual, he's a disappointment," said his father, Nazul.
Nathan gritted his teeth and looked at his father.
He was about to talk back to his father but his grandfather immediately cut him off.
"Brat, what's that look on your face? Your father is right. You are a disappointment. Always and forever will be."
"Grandfather! I --"
"Shut up, brat. You can't even protect a single person."
"Protect a single person? I was asleep! How could I know?!"
"Now that you mentioned it, makes me think if he also had to do something with Maaz's death," said Mabrook.
"Uncle! What are you talking about?! Maaz is right there beside you!" Nathan said and pointed at Maaz.
"Pffft… And to think he goes around saying he's better off than anyone because he's a Chosen One. Does he even know how pathetic and cringey he sounds? He's like one of those men who go around and informs people that he's an alpha male. Newsflash: If you're really an alpha male, you don't need to tell anyone or even think about acting like one!" said Malik.
Nathan pointed at Malik and said, "Shut your mouth, boy! I'm older than you!"
In Asia, age is an important factor that determines the hierarchy in social interactions. So for someone like Malik who is younger than him to talk to him like that, it was considered as a huge insult.
As for Nathan's relationship with his father, well, it's complicated.
Nathan was about to step forward and slap Malik when…
"Cousin…" Maaz said and looked at him with disappointed eyes, causing him to stop.
Meanwhile, uncle Eid just snorted which was typical of him.
Although Eid only let out a snort, Nathan could tell that he too was disappointed in him.
Meanwhile, the two children of uncle Eid, Eena and Enzo, didn't say anything but their eyes said everything what was in their thoughts.
They too shared the shared sentiment of their father.
"Wait! All of you! This… This isn't my fault! I had --"
Finally, Amir's family spoke.
"Nathaniel, look at my son. Look at what you did to him… I treated you like a son and this is how you repay me? Why? Why?!" said Abbas.
"You're just like your father. Both of you only care about yourselves!" said Amira.
"Brute, you know nothing but violence," said Aena.
"You…!" Nathan wanted to slap Aena but he stopped himself.
He dropped the kitchen knife on his hand and got on his knees.
He covered his eyes with his hands.
"No… I'm simply a victim of circumstance here... How could I prevent it? Do you people think I'm a god or something that I know and can do everything? Isn't that a bit unreasonable?!"
"Look at Mr. Chosen One trying to wash his hands from the blame as usual," said Malik and sneered.
They all chuckled and looked at Nathan in disdain.
"But you could've asked my girlfriend to at least heal me, right?" Amir, the corpse, suddenly said.
Hearing Amir's voice, Nathan put down his hands and looked at him.
"Girlfriend? Heal you?" Nathan said with a confused expression on his face.
Amir continued, "Let's be honest here. You were jealous of me. That's why you murdered me."
Amir scoffed. "Do you think I never noticed how you stare at the women I brought?"
Nathan knitted his brows and said, "What are you even talking about?"
"I noticed how you lust over the women I brought."
"What? I really don't know what you're talking about."
"Come on, be honest. You even masturbated to them, right?"
"What? Fuck no! I'm not that pathetic to lust over my own cousin's woman!"
"So how was Hae-won? Was it worth killing me for it?"
Nathan tried to recall who Hae-won was.
For some reason, the name sounded familiar but he couldn't remember who exactly it was.
Amir sneered and said, "Look at him. He has already forgotten."
"What a low-life… Already forgetting what he did. So much for Mr. Chosen One," they all said altogether.
Amir suddenly moved like lighting and was already right in front of Nathan, their faces just an inch away.
"Here, let me help you a little bit. Look into my eyes."
When Nathan stared into Amir's dark empty sockets, he saw the things he did in Corn Town.
"Ahh!" Nathan cried out as he moved away from Amir.
"It's funny how you looked down on Karen and call her a baby killer when you're also one yourself and even worse."
Nathan finally remembered everything.
His body also changed. He was now 2.2m-tall and was wearing his Black System set.
He got up and looked around.
'A dream?' he thought and squinted his eyes.
"Well, what do you expect from a person like him? All he knows is violence and complain," a female voice said.
It was a voice he was familiar with even though years have passed and they've never seen or spoken with each other ever since they've parted ways.
He looked at the direction of where the voice was coming from.
It was a 21-year-old Karen and beside her was a 21-year-old Vincent who had his arm on around her shoulder.
"Have you ever wondered why Karen chose me and not you despite everything you've done for her? It's because everyone knows you're nothing but a pathetic and bitter man," Vincent said and pressed his lips against Karen's.
Nathan felt nothing but disgust.
Although he doesn't have any romantic feelings for Karen anymore, it would be a lie if he said that she and Vincent don't have a place in his heart and mind.
After all, whether he denies it or not, he grew up with them and spent a lot of years with them which shaped a huge part of who he was today.
He ignored them and closed his eyes to wake himself up.
"He's trying to escape as usual," his family along with Karen and Vincent said altogether before transforming into dark and sinister-looking shadows.
They all lunged towards him.
Nathan wasn't able to wake himself up from this dream so he opened his eyes.
Seeing the dark shadows coming at him, out of habit, he immediately activated [Coward's Way] and moved to the side before summoning his [Grade D] Large Axe from his [Artifact] Gold Spatial Finger.
To his surprise, his invisibility was useless because they still knew where he was and caught him.
The dark shadows wrapped themselves around him.
He tried to move but his brute strength was rendered useless, leaving him completely immobile as the dark shadows slowly crawled over his entire body.
Their dark matter also crawled up into his orifices, causing him to make some choking sounds, "Ugh… Ugh…"
He woke up.
He looked at the window and saw it was still dark outside.
He glanced at his watch.
He rubbed eyes with his fingers.
"Fuck… What a stupid dream."
"Cuz~" a creepy voice suddenly said.
He stopped rubbing his eyes and opened them.
He was surrounded by Amir and the rest of his family along with Karen and Vincent and they were all staring down at him with their dark empty eye sockets.
They all jumped into him.
He woke up and got up.
There were beads of sweat on his face as he checked his surroundings before looking at the window.
It was bright outside.
He checked his watch.
Yesterday, after burning down Corn Town, he continued heading West and passed a few towns along the way until he reached Burrow City.
He didn't head back to Cram City because he didn't want to be tempted to go to Haven Town.
What he needed right now was to find a way to return to Muwin and find his family as fast as possible before the next Phase comes which is around 16 days from now because the zombies were now Level 3 and it took around 48 hours for their overall level to increase.
And speaking of finding a way to return to Muwin…
Nathan glanced over at the three cages.
Each of the cages had a dog inside.
He got up and went over to the cages.
Out of the three dogs, two were dead.
'Sigh… Neither of them worked.'
Last night, he originally caught 3 dogs.
On the first test, he fed Dog A a [Grade D] Nucleus and fed Dog B some dust he scraped off of a [Grade D] Nucleus.
Unfortunately, Dog A died from choking because a Nucleus was as large as an infant's fist and isn't easy to crush. However, he didn't toss the corpse away, thinking it may take a few hours for the transformation to take place.
So before going to bed last night, he decided to do another experiment.
On the second test, he fed Dog B some dust he scraped off of a [Grade C] Nucleus and Dog C a [Grade C] Nucleus.
As expected, Dog C also died from choking and didn't return from the dead.
And as for Dog B, despite being alive, there were no changes at all.
'Oh well… I guess I really have to think of another plan.'
He wanted to see if he could make his own Greenie to fly back to Muwin. But unfortunately, it didn't work.
'In the meantime…'
He deactivated [Coward's Way].
Dog B yelped in surprise, seeing Nathan suddenly appear in thin air.
Nathan smiled as he opened the cage and reached out with his hand.
"Arw... Arw... Arw..."
The dog curled up into a ball from fear and let out whimpering sounds.
"Don't be afraid. You're safe now. And as a reward for helping and surviving, I'm going to feed you a delicious breakfast before letting you go," he said with a warm and friendly expression.
More Privileged Chapters
Download the app and become a privileged reader today! Come take a sneak peek at our author's stockpiled chapters!Download
This's an experimental test for reading assistance in case.
We highly recommend you to enjoy the beauty of the original words.