Nathan arrived at the location where Team 5 was waiting.
"Welcome back, Captain," Kaija and the others said.
Nathan placed down his bag at a corner.
"Is this everyone?"
"Yes, Captain. We've lost 4 members."
"I see. Okay, I want the new recruits to gather on this side and the rest on that side."
"Yes, Captain," Kaija said and turned around. "What are you guys waiting for?"
When everyone heard the order, they had a confused expression on their faces at first but then decided to just follow orders.
"Except for you," Nathan said to Kaija.
The members were now divided into two groups. On the right side were the new recruits which only had 5 members. Meanwhile, on the left side was only 3.
'Only 3 left, huh? Makes it easier.'
He looked at their faces. They were indeed the people whose faces he had taken note of before leaving the Haven Town.
"All of you strip down to your underwear."
"What?" some asked, while the others looked at Nathan as if he was a pervert or something.
Nathan rolled his eyes and pulled out his silencer.
He shot one of the people from the left side in the head.
"Boozer!" cried out a woman who was among the people standing on the left side as she caught Boozer and held onto him.
Everyone was taken by surprise. Their minds were still trying to process just what happened and why this was happening, leaving them not knowing how to react to this.
'Wew… Good thing I didn't miss the headshot. It would've been so awkward,' Nathan thought.
Bryan, who was also standing on the left side shouted, "What the hell did you do that for?!"
Nathan shot Bryan twice, one on the leg and the other on the stomach.
Although everyone was still confused, they finally reacted and prepared to defend themselves from Nathan.
Thanks to what they experienced today, many of the members have grown to see Bryan as a dependable person. And in their hearts, they probably have more respect for him compared to Nathan.
However, they didn't charge towards Nathan.
Regardless of whatever their feelings towards Nathan are, he was still their captain, the highest-ranking member in the Team. Rebelling against your superiors without a justifiable reason was something that Red Dust doesn't tolerate. They could face death or slavery.
"Captain?!" Kaija said.
"You! You just committed murder! You better have to a proper explai—" said a new recruit but wasn't able to finish her sentence.
She was shot in the chest.
Some people on the right side went over to help her.
"Natalie, hang on!"
One person was pulling out a [Small] Healing Potion.
"Captain! What's gotten into you?!" Kaija asked.
"As your captain, when I give orders, I expect them to be carried out immediately without any questions."
"You fucking bastard! I don't care if you're the fucking president!" said the woman who held onto Boozer earlier and started firing at Nathan.
"Zana!" Byran helplessly called out.
Nathan wasn't able to evade one of the bullets and got hit on the shoulder.
He quickly activated [Coward's Way] and charged towards her.
He caught Zana by the neck, causing him to lose his invisibility.
He raised her up in the air and then ruthlessly slammed her to the ground.
The woman named Zana laid motionlessly on the ground.
Bryan cast [Fireball].
Nathan easily evaded it and disappeared once more.
When Nathan appeared, he kicked Bryan's jaw so hard that it twisted his neck to a terrifying angle and made a loud cracking sound.
He turned towards the remaining members.
Despite the horrified and confused look on their faces, there were still not getting undressed. Instead, they held their weapons.
"Heh~ It seems you people think you're powerful just because you survived one day here. Let me help you reassess that foolish notion."
"Fuck it! Get him or we'll all die!" One of the new recruits shouted.
Nathan disappeared and charged towards one of them.
It was a fat, muscular man carrying a [Grade D] Shield and [Grade D] Spear.
He viciously kicked the fat man's knee to the opposite direction, causing him to appear.
The fat man screamed in agony as he fell on one knee, lost his balance, and rolled over to the ground.
Nathan quickly picked up the [Grade D] Shield from the fat man and threw it like a frisbee with all his strength towards another member who was running away and was a trans woman.
When the [Grade D] Shield hit her, it delivered a devastating blow to the back of her head, breaking her skull and killing her immediately.
He picked up at [Grade D] Long Spear and stabbed it on the fat man's thigh, pinning him on the ground.
"Ahhhh!" The fat man squealed like a pig.
"Stick around," Nathan said.
Someone shot him in the back.
Nathan coughed out blood and turned to the two remaining people: Kaija and another man.
The man was carrying a gun and pointing it at Nathan.
Nathan evaded the bullet and disappeared.
Seeing Nathan disappear and still standing even after getting shot twice, Kaija tried to take away the gun from the man's hand.
"Put the gun down! Quick!"
"Bitch! What the fuck are you doing?!"
"Throw that away and strip!"
The two wrestled over the gun until they fell on the ground.
"Let go of the gun, you stupid bitch! You'll kill us both!"
Kaija was eventually overpowered by the man and was at the bottom.
Nathan appeared from behind and grabbed the man by the collar bone.
He squeezed hard.
The man quickly let go of the gun as he was viciously dragged away by Nathan by the hair.
Kaija quickly got up.
"Captain, hold on! Please give us a chance to strip!"
Nathan turned towards her and frowned.
'What? That didn't sound right. I –'
"Help me! It hurts! It hurts!" the man cried out, cutting Nathan's thought process and bringing him back to the present situation.
"You, stand down." Nathan told Kaija before turning back to the man.
"Will you shut up for a moment?"
He kicked the man on the face.
He turned to Kaija who was already half naked.
'That was fast… Hmm… Not bad,' Nathan thought and said, "What are you doing? Stop that and wear back your clothes."
Kaija was in the process of removing her bra. She was confused, terrified and had tears on her face.
Nathan let out a deep sigh and flashed a warm and friendly smile.
"Listen, I need you to calm down and get dressed, okay?"
"I said calm down, get dressed, and sit on that corner. Can you do that for me, Lieutenant?"
Nathan could hear someone whimpering behind him.
"I'll be back."
When he turned, he saw the man just kicked earlier crawling away.
Perhaps the man noticed Nathan's gaze, he subconsciously looked back.
To his horror, he saw the eyes of Nathan looking at him like a predator was looking at its prey and was walking towards him.
"Please, no! I beg you to stop. PLEASE!" The man cried out in desperation and increased his speed.
'Why the fuck is he crawling?' Nathan thought.
When he caught up with the crawler, the man turned towards Nathan.
"I'M ALREADY UNDRESSING! JUST GIVE ME–"
Nathan stomped on the man's shin.
The scream of the man echoed throughout the city.
She was sitting on a corner still completely terrified and was holding a radio.
While hearing the cries and curses of her teammates, she was pondering about why Nathan spared her from the pain.
'Was it because I'm a woman?'
'Was it because of my beauty?'
'Was it because I'm the lieutenant?'
'Was it because I told him I'm from Muwin?'
Kaija's father was a Caucasian man, while her mother was half Muwinian and half Womanian. Although she was born in Nila which was one of the cities in the South of Muwin, she only lived there for a few years before migrating to Womania with her family.
If she were to be brutally honest, she didn't like it there, at the South, due to their strong beliefs when it comes to traditional gender roles. And despite their men having a reputation for being a so-called "gentleman" when it comes to treating women, they were also notoriously known to be cold and violent towards people who don't share their beliefs and practices.
Because of these things, she was grateful to her parents in deciding to move here in Womania when she was only 12 years old.
After hearing and seeing what Nathan has done so far, she started to fear if he was raised from the South.
'If he is…'
"Lieutenant." A male voice entered her ears.
She yelped in surprise and turned towards where the voice was coming from.
She saw Nathan's brown eyes glanced on her hands.
Realizing that she was holding a radio, she immediately threw it away.
"No, I didn't! I swear to God!"
It was the truth.
Nathan squinted his eyes.
A chill ran down her spine and a strong desire to run away surfaced inside her heart.
Nathan's face relaxed and he flashed a warm smile.
"Don't be afraid. I will never hurt you," he softly said and held out his hand.
She really wanted to run away, but she knew it was useless. She had no choice but to play along with whatever sick game this person in front of her was playing.
Her hand trembled as she grabbed onto it.
She closed her eyes and braced herself for whatever painful thing she was going to experience.
She was pulled up.
"I know this is something that shouldn't be asked to a lady, but I have no choice. I need you to strip the new recruits down to their underwear to check if there are zombie bites."
She opened her eyes and had a dumbfounded look on her face.
"You see, I used to travel with a group of survivors a few days ago. Unfortunately, one of our members didn't come clean so… Let's just say I lost a lot of friends because of that and until now I'm still in mourning," Nathan said with a pained expression.
Upon hearing Nathan's excuse and seeing his pained expression, she wanted so bad to claw his eyes out and scream at him, 'You could've at least mentioned that reason first before you started killing your own teammates!'
But she didn't and forcefully calmed herself.
"I'm sorry to hear that, Captain."
"It's okay. At least I was able to confirm my suspicions. Those I killed earlier were indeed infected and the others couldn't accept it so I had no choice. I hope everyone will understand and not question my orders EVER again. Let it be known I will not tolerate any form of insubordination."
"I'm sure they do, Captain. I'm sure they do."
"Is that so? That's good then. I'll take a break for a while. Go check the new recruits."
Nathan grabbed his backpack and disappeared.
He went to the rooftop of a nearby building.
He healed his wounds first before eating his meal, while keeping an eye on Kaija the entire time.
Regarding the violence earlier, there was a reason why he took note of the faces of the members who got transferred from other Scavenger Teams before leaving Haven Town.
In his mind, compared to the new recruits, the chances of the ones who got transferred from the other Scavenger Teams being loyal to Red Dust and seeking revenge by stabbing him the back while they were outside was higher.
Moreover, he had no interest for a Shounen-like story arc where two people who started off as enemies will eventually end up as friends after a series of trials. He was too lazy for that troupe.
With that logic, there was only one ending for them – Death.
As for the new recruits, including Kaija, there were only 3 left.
He originally intended to keep at least 4 alive, but alas, his miscalculated. Nevertheless, there were still enough members to drive the 3 vehicles.
Nathan was standing in front of the remaining members of Team 5.
Aside from Kaija, there were two men: the fat man and the crawler.
They were no longer injured and were wearing clothes.
When Kaija told them about the reason for the violence earlier, they almost vomited blood.
Sure, they were in a zombie apocalypse, but they were supposed to be a team and he was their captain.
Where's the sense of brotherhood?
Where's the sense of camaraderie?
Why didn't he mention that before he started killing?
He even had the audacity to accuse them of insubordination!
They were all fuming in anger inside their hearts and were also scared, but they didn't show any expression of it. Instead, their faces were painted with a look of gratitude.
All they want right now is to head back to Haven Town as soon as possible and file a request to be transferred to another team. One of them even wanted to file a complaint.
However, putting aside filing a complaint, they don't know if it's even possible to request for a transfer just because you don't like your team. Perhaps it would be possible if they hold a high position or have strong backers within the organization.
At the moment, here in Cram city, they couldn't do anything but curse their bad luck for having such a person as their captain and follow whatever orders that come out of his mouth without any questions.
"Captain, I've checked their bodies and concluded that they're not infected. Everyone here also knows how to drive," said Kaija. She was referring to the other two members that were still alive.
Nathan was looking at the sky and squinted his eyes.
There was something flying.
'Is that a bird? No… Doesn't look like one.'
It looked like a drone, but the design wasn't the typical commercial drone sold by tech companies.
He turned to Kaija.
"Let's take our time heading home, I still have yet to level up."
They all cursed inside their hearts.
I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. Thank you for reading!
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