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Rapyion
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The night was cold. It was darker than any other nights. The wind blew stronger and stronger by the hour. Some of the trees even submitted themselves to the wind. Leaves were left on the ground. Patches of mud were formed without notice. No one wandered Klensburg. The lamps were not working. Only a few twitched with heat and light. The homes lacked people to stay. Rats rushed through the streets, striving for garbage to feast upon. Klensburg was abandoned. No one was here but one person.
A traveler came from East, the city of revolution. Rose was a girl of fifteen. She was raised by the royal family. She opposed her father who was against her travelling to the Darkness region. She snapped back at her father with anger and rebelliously left his father's office, leaving the father dazed. She packed equipment, gadgets and food, and left through the window in her room.
Rose's footsteps echoed throughout Klensburg. It was rumoured that Klensburg never experienced day, but only night. The ground was not fertile enough to grow wheat and plants. The Darkness region was dry. Clouds were scarce and rain came rarely. Even if water droplets appear from the sky, it would only last a minute.
She walked, foot by foot, cautious to her surroundings. Owls hooted and crows flapped their wings as Rose got closer to them. They shocked Rose once, but not twice.
She accidentally stepped on a puddle, but moved on without complaining. Rose was the daughter of the mayor in the city. She was energetic, ambitious and outgoing. She wanted an adventure she would never forget. After finding out about the Darkness region in her History class, she talked to her friends about it, but she was ignored. Days went by with anxiety and curiosity growing inside her. Everyone shunted her that day, but she had her maids to talk to. She was oblivious to the maids pretending to care for her, though. For the past few months, she had been searching for the Darkness region through her father's telescope, but no fruits bore. Every other week, she asked her father if she could go there, but every time she asked, he refused. With every week, she grew more courageous and rebellious with her father. The fateful day they had the argument was the day she escaped. She was wearing a brown leather shirt with brown leather pants. She wore leather boots to fit with her clothes. On her face was a mask worn over. It only allowed her to see through her right eye. But she cared less about it than her journey to and in the Darkness region.
She laid her hand on a wooden door and pushed it open. The door creaked and whined. She sneaked her head into the door of the gap and jumped. She jerked back and the door broke down. She stepped back and a beast was revealed. Concrete was flying all over the place. Dust scattered and splinters lay on the ground. A head was revealed when the dust floated down to the ground. The rest was slowly revealed. Its head had teeth sharper than any grinder in East. It had ears and a nose as black as the night.
It growled at Rose's face.

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Rapyion
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Chapter 121 - Clarissa Still Had That Blast Gun

Clarissa still had that blast gun. She was hugging it the whole time as she slept through the day. Luckily, no one was there to take it (and possibly shoot her). That’ll be devastating.

She got up from the hard ground, still hugging her blast gun, and looked around. The alley looked too long for her liking when it was only half a block long. She shook her head and went the opposite direction of the alley to the street. Funny how cars come by when you think about them. When you don’t, it’s like they don’t exist, or that car drivers don’t exist.

Now that she thought of them, there were a traffic of cars moving from right to left. When the cars finally stopped, the dirty Clarissa crossed the street with a few looks on her. She saw a man with two hands on his wheels, his eyes and eyebrows widened, giving off a creepy look. You almost look like Noble. Right, I killed him. Be thankful you don’t look like him.

After crossing the road, she stopped. She had no idea where to go. Oh, no.

I know. Food.

But then again, when have I eaten? A day ago? I only think of food only when I have no idea what to do.

She shrugged and went on the search for food, since it was the only thing on her mind right now.

Do I steal or not.. If I don’t steal, how am I going to get..

There was a hotdog on the ground. Probably fell when the hotdog seller..

Blood leaked out of the hotdog. Clarissa shrieked and jumped back. Then she looked closely and saw. The blood didn’t leak out of the hotdog. It was leaking from the dead body a distance away. There was a hotdog stand beside the corpse. Clarissa frowned as she moved in, checking the man. A blast gun shot to the face. Who did this? She let out a disgusted moan. She also checked the contents of the stand and found only a few more hotdogs and some bread. A robbery. She crouched to scavenge what she could when she turned to look at the faceless man. I’m so sorry, thought Clarissa. She took a few hotdogs and stuffed one of them into her mouth.

Right off the bat, she didn’t like the taste. Too raw. Too much taste. She kept chewing anyway, and held three more hotdogs and two pieces of buns in her left hand while she hugged her blast gun with her right arm.

Now I look even more horrible than just now.

She went along the sidewalk and eventually strayed to another alley where she sat and ate. As she ate, Avus came into her mind. She wondered whether Avus was dead or not. She couldn’t bare that thought, but it still lingered like a stubborn three-year-old yanking at your leg, asking for a hotdog. Wait, run that by me again.

There was a kid asking for a hotdog. But he wasn’t yanking at her leg and he wasn’t three years old. He looked more like an eleven-year-old. He asked one more time with a softer tone this time. Aww. And she gave him one piece. She apologised and explained that she needed to eat as well. The boy frowned and kicked her in the shin and cursed at her before running away. She shrieked and her hand instantly went to where he kicked her, dropping her blast gun. Jeez. She rubbed and rubbed while eating. The pain lessened by the time she was done, but she was still struggling to walk when she got up. She used the blast gun as a temporary walking stick.

She sighed and..

And what? What else do I want to do other than see Avus?

She wanted to cry again, but I don’t need to. C’mon.

When she kept walking, even though she wasn’t really going anywhere, she felt a push from her left. Her shoulder slammed against a wall and she slumped to the ground. What the..? Who? She turned her head and saw Noble. No. I killed you. Before Noble could grab at her, she already had her blast gun out. She shot Noble exactly where she shot him before, right at the face. Noble slumped to the ground how Clarissa did and laid himself on top of her.

Ugh. Get off!

She heaved and the body rolled sideways. Blood soaked her clothes and face. Ew.. She touched her face and looked at the blood. It was dripping down her forearm. She didn’t let any more touch the rest of her body. She flicked the blood off and tried her best to wipe it off of her face. She couldn’t do anything about her clothes. Noble’s clothes are probably too big for me. And I don’t want to wear his clothes anyway.

She got up and shook her head, rubbing her temple with the driest hand and moving on, I guess.

She took a few ten steps forward before looking back. Noble’s body was still there, dead and unmoving. That’s good. That’s great! She stared at him for a few more seconds before walking.

The pain in her shin was gone. Finally.

There was a touch on her shoulder. Huh?

She turned around and saw a woman. Her face was messed up with terror. She was crying and wetting her chin when she asked whether she killed the man behind her. What? Why are you crying for? Clarissa slightly stepped back and explained that the man was about to kill her. The woman shook her head violently. Then she got really angry, calling her a murderer. Why-

(Screw the rules)

“That was my husband!” the woman shouted.

(End screwing of rules)

Clarissa frowned, then shook her head almost half as violently as the woman did. The woman grunted and grabbed at Clarissa’s hand and pulled her towards the dead man.

Oh, no.

It wasn’t Noble. It was another man.

The woman said that the man crossed the street just to help Clarissa up. Apparently, she fell out of her own will. Then Clarissa brought the man’s head down to the floor and slammed his head multiple times.

Wait, no. I used the blast gun-

Then she remembered.

I gave the gun back.

She turned to look at the woman. She looked mad enough to be locked up in an asylum. And out of her pocket came a knife.

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Chapter 122 - Death Rose Didn't Squeeze Me Enough

It was as if what they said was true. Your life flashes before your eyes. You'll relive the life you had, from childhood to your death.

No, not really. Not really.

I didn't see my parents. I didn't see my crazy-a** mom.

Right now, he looked like a slug. He could move around, but all he could do was move like a slug, d***it.

He slowly grew up into the size of a small child. Though he could walk around, his arms were too short for his taste. Hah! Too short for my taste. As if I can choose. Somewhere in the distance, someone was watching him, and he could feel it. But how do people feel as if they're being watched? As if I'm almost-all-knowing. Meh, he thought as he shrugged. Let him watch. He grew up to be his original size by the end after ten minutes or so. He shrugged and moved his shoulders around; he flexed his elbows and fingers around; he kicked around in the air and he bent himself sideways. At last, he nodded. All good.

He tried to look for the one staring at him while he tested his new body parts. No luck. He shrugged his shoulders again, and stood there for a while.

I know Mother's here somewhere. It hasn't been long since I've 'died'. The sun is up anyway.

He looked around again and randomly chose a direction to go to. Hope this works. It didn't, though. He bumped into a wall and stopped in front of it. No, it's just a corner of the building. He punched at the corner and broke it into pieces before moving forward. Maybe I should've sidestepped. But for some unknown and compelling reason (no, it's not compelling at all. What the hell?), he didn't want to deviate for a bit. He came across a parked car and lifted it up. He turned around and threw it away. Then he stood there again, still. His eyes were narrowing. **** this s***.

He started to sidestep anything in his path. Okay, that sounds cool, if not for the word 'sidestep'.

And he felt a tiny earthquake under his feet. And he nodded.

There she is.

He waited for more small rumbles and loud sounds before he knew where to go. He rushed to the scene. He jumped onto the roof and peeked over the edge and saw the same girl and the mother fighting. By fighting, I think it's just the girl pummeling Mother to death. He shook his head. She's stronger than that, dips***. When it seemed like it was the finale, the girl stopped. What happened, girl? Dizzy or something? The girl released the mother from an invisible prison and looked at her with a chest that moved heavily. Then she had one last look before walking away. Where are you going? You don't wanna finish her off?

And she walked away. Jason shrugged again before heading to the mother.

She was as flat as a pancake that got flattened by a muscular man. That sounded much better in my head. Jason talked to the mother, ignoring the people in the coffee shop in front of them; there was only a girl in the shop, and she was semi-hiding behind the counter, looking out just to see what would happen. Sorry, girl. Nothing left to see here.

The mother then sighed with relief as she got better. She was standing upright and looking as healthily as a monster of death could get.

Jason asked the mother what her next move was. She then talked about leading a human life when finally, she realised. Jason could've sworn that she was crying when she hugged him so tightly that Jason was actually about to feel pain. I know she's actually capable of more than that.. Jason didn't understand the fuss, but he returned it but with a softer hug. It went on for a few minutes. Jason could've also sworn that he saw a hiccup from the mother. My imagination, I guess.

When they were done, what the mother said made Jason hiccup. Lead an army?! Jason asked why. The mother had said before a few minutes ago; she wanted to lead a human life. He frowned. Jason asked the 'why' question again, but all the mother said was that she just wanted to. She wanted to know humans, especially the people she killed and converted way before. Then Jason asked if the mother felt regret. Regret for turning my friend into a monster. Regret for turning me into a monster. The mother stood there for a moment, as if she wanted to take her own time to think about it. And she didn't nod. She shook her head.

Jason's anger flared up, but then he stopped for a moment. If I kill her now, if I even punch her, would I just be a hypocrite then? Though, all this while, I was just following orders.

But I did want to kill, didn't I? And I never regretted doing that. Why feel angry now? Or ever?

Maybe because there's a driving force in all monsters to kill. To eat for want and not needs. And she's made me into this.

Afterwards, he still wouldn't bring himself to harm the mother in any way. The mother was his first ever real mother, and he still wanted that.

The mother was looking at Jason the whole time, staring, wondering what was wrong. Jason said it was okay. He said that he probably won't lead an army, but he wanted to follow the mother wherever she went. But she shook her head.

I knew it. A normal human life doesn't include seeing monsters rip people apart.

Jason still couldn't stomach and take it. I can't help it. What can I do? Jason sighed and asked for another hug before letting her go. I guess I can take it. Ugh..

Jason let go of the mother and watched her transform into a teenage girl.

Is that what you were before? You look old enough to be my sister if I was a boy.

The mother smiled with somewhat sad eyes and waved. Jason waved too.

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Chapter 123 - I'm Sorry. I Trust You Now.

Clarissa jumped backwards in time to dodge the knife coming her way. The woman was cursing every few seconds, complaining and wailing about how she should've went to Clarissa instead of her husband or how she'll cut her up from top to bottom. Eugh. She swiped every time she thought she was in range, but Clarissa would always move backwards or sideways. Occasionally, she used her blast-

I don't have my blast gun! Jeez. Don't forget this time.

Oftentimes she thought she still had that blast gun, but every time she brought it up, she'd remember. Right now, she had nothing to use. My fists, maybe. And the fact that she's quite stupid. She didn't understand why the woman wouldn't want to charge towards her instead of swinging her knife around like an idiot.

Alright, I've had enough.

Once the woman had swung her knife, Clarissa moved in quickly and sent a punch straight at her nose. It broke, of course and she fell backwards. Her back hit against the ground and her arm where the knife was was gripped hard (maybe too hard) and twisted around. The woman shouted in pain and dropped her knife. How did I do that? She kept her left hand on the woman's arm while she picked up the knife with her right. Clarissa then let go of her arm and used her foot to push the woman away. I can't say 'kick', can I? The woman then cried for a while.

Clarissa kept apologising as she was crying, as if an apology could fix everything. I wish that were the case.

It really is a while. She waited until the woman stopped. When Clarissa thought the woman would actually pay attention to her, she apologised. The woman lay on the floor, refusing to look Clarissa in the eye.

What can I do..?

She then shared how she and George were a happy couple until his death, though she didn't share what came after that. The woman turned to listen halfway through. She said that she felt her pain. So, I won't make someone else suffer like that. Clarissa explained how it was a hallucination, and that she couldn't help it. I.. I just couldn't. She said that it was another man she saw; someone she hated almost instantly the first time they met.

I guess I shouldn't be so patronising. I mean, I killed her husband. It's my fault..

The woman sniffed, and apologised too, saying that she trusted her now.

Then, her face lit up with anger and grabbed at Clarrisa's legs. What the hell?! You said-

Her legs gave way and she fell on top of the woman. As Clarissa tried to wrench her grip free, she bit into her left leg. Clarissa shrieked, and stabbed her back with her own knife. There was another shriek and silence filled the gap afterwards. Clarissa kicked her arms away and crawled back. Oh no. Her heart starting racing so fast, and her chest rose and fell faster than a short radio wave. Oh no. She quickly got away from the scene and cried, again.

After what it seemed like an hour (or five minutes. Who knows?), her body was blanketed by a shadow. What loomed over her was a figure of a man. Clarissa shouted. NO. NOT NOBLE. PLEASE. She started to flail her arms around, trying to chase the man away. She especially used the knife too. Then she felt her knife slice something up, and there was a scream of pain before her arms were grabbed. The figure talked to her, saying it wasn't Noble. It was just a man trying to help her.

What?

She looked up and saw a man. Well, duh. A frown filled his brow. And he had a handsome face, though I'm taken, sorry. The man said that he would release her if she wouldn't freak out and cut him again. She nodded and her arms dropped to her side. The man asked if she was hungry. She shook her head. Rarely. I can live for a month without food as long as I don't think about it. She let out a breath of laughter. Doesn't make any sense. The man frowned again, and asked if she wanted a place to live in. She asked what the occasion was for. Occasion was for? What am I asking? I can't trust him. The man shrugged and said that oh, he just wanted to help. He felt pity, and whatever.

The man gave a hand to pull Clarissa up. She said that just so you know, I'm not single. The man just laughed and nodded. He wasn't planning to do anything sexual to her anyway. What does that mean? Then he introduced himself. Sheldon.

What a normal name.

But the name did fit his clothes. He was wearing a business suit and a tie that really didn't fit him. His hair was gelled all the way through. Like how a businessman looks like. His forearm was bleeding, though. Clarissa shouted and went to look at his forearm. Sheldon said it was okay. Just a flesh wound, he said.

All this time, she hadn't realised the sun was up. I guess it's good to see that. She asked where they were going. The man just smiled at her and kept walking, so Clarissa had to keep up with him. Where are we going?

The man suddenly brought up a question. How did I come here? Did he know I was travelling? Clarissa assured herself that it was otherwise. Well, I'll get to know more of him, I guess. Both of them were talking out loud until they reached where he wanted to go to. Is that his house? It looked so ordinary that she almost wanted to vomit. It looked like the houses just next to them; plain white and boring (with the occasional graffiti at the sides of the house). What's going to happen next? She stood still, staring at the house and its windows as Sheldon went for the door. He turned back and his head tilted. He waved at Clarissa for her to come.

Well, let's find out.

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Sorry I haven't updated in, what, three or four months? God, that was long. I'm sorry if any of you were waiting for the next one. As apologies, here's my next chapter. I really do hope I can update every week from now on.

Chapter 124 - "Wait, I'm Kicked Out?"

The man, Sheldon, was shocked. Clarissa could see it all over his face.

What stood in front of him was his wife, screaming at him to get out. Sheldon asked why but all he got in return was spit on his face. He frowned and shouted back. It quickly became a screaming competition. The wife was louder, saying that Sheldon always brought someone back home and let him or her stay for a few days. The wife was sick and tired of it. Sheldon was still shouting, trying to scream reason into the woman. The wife repeated the same sentence over and over, I'M SICK AND TIRED OF YOUR HOBOS! until Sheldon suddenly stopped.

Sheldon said they weren't hobos. They were people that needed help. The wife said that was what a hobo was.

Sheldon then barged into the house, shoving his wife in. Clarissa didn't know if she could go inside. I don't even know if I want to.

The door was shut in front of her, and there was more shouting. Then Clarissa heard a kid cry. This went on for about ten minutes before the door opened and Sheldon was shoved out, like the wife owned the house. Sheldon crashed into Clarissa and both went down.

Sheldon whimpered and apologised, mostly whimpered, as they got up. Clarissa's left shoulder still stung when she followed Sheldon away from his house.

What followed soon after were waves and waves of self-pity and despair. Sheldon was mumbling as he cried, snot running down his nose. Clarissa felt bad for him, but not bad enough for her to tell him anything.

Another ten minutes passed and Clarissa still wondered why she followed him. She called Sheldon to stop and to say that she wasn't going to follow him anymore. She didn't know whether he was even sadder or not. He didn't bother to wipe his snotty nose or teary face.

Wipe your face, Jesus Christ.

Of course she didn't care about him. Her husband died for God's sake.

I suppose I should stay with him a bit longer.

Sheldon went to a café and sat opposite Clarissa. He stopped crying but his face was still wet. He even looked at the waitress taking his orders. Clarissa thought she tried to hide her disgust. Haha. Jokes on me.

Sheldon told Clarissa to stay put as he went off to the toilet. Oh, goodie goodie.

When Sheldon came back, two cups of brown and square bread were served. Clarissa told him that she wasn't hungry but he insisted that she'd try it out. She frowned and took a sip and a piece of bread.

Sweet, but overwhelming.

Coffee, huh?

She liked the coffee but didn't feel anything for the bread. She guessed she was thankful that it filled her stomach a bit.

Sheldon ate like a madman, stuffing the bread down his throat with little to no chewing. He then downed the cup of coffee and let out a sigh. Suddenly, she felt a little pity for him.

The few minutes of silence were accompanied with the two of them sharing their stories. Clarissa told him about George and Avus. He didn't seem to understand the Avus part, but she didn't mind.

Sheldon met his wife at work. They got off really well for about three years before today. His wife, Portia, was lovely for the first two years. Then the child came. Wait, I thought you got off well for three years. Clarissa shrugged it off.

They were focused more on Avus. Clarissa still didn't know what he was. She only knew that he could inhabit dead bodies. Sheldon said it sounded like magic. Clarissa said it wasn't, but she still hadn't found an explanation.

In a little over an hour, Clarissa started to like Sheldon. Some of his jokes were decent, while the other half were cute failures. Meh. He tried.

Drinks and food were finished, but Clarissa still found herself talking to Sheldon about Avus. She missed him too much and wondered whose body he'd taken over.

Sheldon's sentence was cut off by a crash of tables and chairs. Then a skull cracking. Clarissa herself was surprised to hear that.

She looked at the source and found a girl no older than seventeen beating up a grown man. A dead grown man.

Sheldon frowned as he stood up and went over to stop the girl. He got a broken nose as thanks. He staggered backwards with his hand resting o his nose, cursing as he did so. He stumbled against a table and fell. The girl turned around and looked at Sheldon. With eyes of hell.

She strode towards Sheldon and shouted at him, asking him if he wanted more. He shook his head viciously, splattering blood all over the place, including the girl's face. She didn't seem to mind.

Clarissa went over to the girl with an empty cup in her hand and smashed it on top of the girl. The girl stumbled back and turned to Clarissa. She wasn't in pain. She was annoyed.

The girl frowned and said she knew Clarissa from somewhere, but she couldn't put a finger on it.

Are you sure? You've seen me before?

The girl shrugged and lunged at Clarissa. Clarissa almost moved out of the way, the girl's fingernails nicking at her left arm. Clarissa grunted as the girl fell and knocked her forehead against the corner of the table. Clarissa looked at her wound. Three lines. Three lines of red ran across her forearm, all of them leaking blood.

Sheldon had just got up when the girl recovered from the concussion. She smiled.

Clarissa's eyes widened and went to Sheldon, pulling at his arms to get away from the girl as quickly as humanely possible.

That girl isn't human.

Before they got out of the café, Sheldon quickly dropped a tip on their table. They were running for dear life, and only Clarissa was looking back. The girl was coming right at her.

And they kept running.

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It's been 3 years since I've started this story. I'm shocked at how this turned out to be one of my favourite stores to write. I'm sorry that I've not been updating as of late. Writing this has kind of worn me out. Although, I have this need to finish this story and get it over with; to finally get on with my life knowing that I've finished this story as a personal achievement. I'm also sorry with all the inconsistencies and contradictions that may come this story's way. I will try my best to update as frequently as possible. No promises, though.

Chapter 125 - Avus Will Kindly Think Now

What to do..? What to do?

Avus was in the air, sitting on top of a force platform. She was looking down at her own city, East. The godd*** city I built. What's happened over the past two months? Everything still looks fine to me, save for the bloody monsters running around.

She tried to recap what the monsters were. Ooh, a bit of retcon is taking place. But before she could think of anything, she stopped.

Hmm..

Instead, Avus thought of ways to get rid of the mother. I'm assuming that it's somewhere in East not causing any havoc, at least I hope so. I need something or someone. To kill it. And I have to mentally prepare myself for my final death. She was thinking about her final death so casually. She had been dead before. About six times.

She still felt weird being in her own daughter's body, but the fact that Rose died shocked her more. Tears. C'mon, push it back. ******* push it back. Her eyes were starting to let loose when a breeze blew at her. Her hair swept towards the left and Avus lifted her lips a little. Nice little cold breeze.

Suddenly she stood up. Alright, I'll need a team. A team of professionals. A team that can get things done like kill the mother of death. A team-

The ****?

Huh? Avus thought. Who-

If you wanna ******* assemble a team, go ******* do it, bloody a**hole.

Who are you?

I'm.. There was a short pause. I'm Vussia. Vussia. Has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

Avus ignored her and went back to her own office in East. She somewhat missed it, but that isn't why I want to go there. She had something else in mind.

What is it? Vussia asked.

None of your business, Avus thought. You're in my mind. You can pry the answers out yourself.

Ugh, fine.

Avus didn't remember what the office looked like before, so when she broke through the window and entered, a wave of nostalgia hit her. It was where she worked on papers. I forgot what the papers said. I forgot everything except the virus research. Before she could admire her own desk, she saw General Exen standing in front of her own chair. He still had that stupid-looking popsicle hair. Exen and Avus were frowning at each other for a while before Avus asked how Exen survived. She remembered his stomach being impaled on a spike.

Exen just shrugged.

What the ****'s up with the shrug? thought Vussia.

Then Exen just went over and hugged Avus tightly.

He still thinks I'm Rose. If I tell him..

Vussia laughed. C'mon, don't be silly.

I said 'if', alright?

Exen released the hug and told Avus about everything that happened after the mother of darkness. It seemed like months ago when it happened and Avus was trying to keep up, especially with his parallel memories running together.

It did feel like months, huh? Definitely felt like two years ago when Rose escaped your city, Vussia said. Avus was trying to keep a straight face when Exen was doing all the talking. She nodded and hummed in acknowledgement as Exen spouted exposition about how he survived.

All he remembered was waking up on the ground next to the gigantic crater that housed the mother of darkness. He remembered seeing Kogh for the very last time, but he had not seen Rose in a long time. Until now. Exen also reported that Jeyne went missing, either because she thought she was in danger or that she needed food. Or plot convenience. Exen shrugged, but Avus knew he deeply missed her.

There was an awkward, yet comfortable silence for a few minutes before Avus asked Exen what he was doing in East for the past month. Exen told her that he just 'took over' and controlled the city. He said he didn't do much; he only requested for willing people to join him in protecting East. He also mentioned shutting down the laboratory Avus had been working in and was sending out two-man squads to shut down other secret laboratories in East and Klensburg, though he doubted that there was any in the deserted town. Avus almost smirked, when he realised he didn't care anymore.

Avus asked Exen what he was going to do with the mother of death. Exen frowned for a moment before telling Avus that he didn't know. Exen didn't know where the mother was or what it looked like. Avus's head lifted up and told Exen that she fought it a few hours ago. Or was it a day ago? Before Exen could say it, Avus said that she didn't kill it. I couldn't. Then Avus stepped closer towards Exen and stared into his eyes. She asked if he could send an army to do it. He was backing up to the executive table when he bumped into it. He shook his head, saying that he needed time to think.

This made Avus furious. What the **** did I hire you for?!

Avus kept his head calm and went over to the table, sitting on it next to Exen and staring at him. Avus tried to convince him, saying that he needed to do it now or the virus would still spread. Am.. Am I sure about that, the spreading?

As far as he knew, the virus had stopped its mass spread and could only be passed on to others with a bite and a quick or slow death. Avus closed his eyes, his parallel memories clouding him with confusion.

If only I could die right now.

You can, you dips***, Vussia said. Just do it.

Shut the hell up. I'm trying to think-

Avus. Let's be real. You're the-

I said, SHUT THE HELL UP. WHY DON'T YOU GET THE **** OUT UNTIL I WANT YOU TO TALK?

Vussia just sulked.

Exen broke her train of thought and asked her if she could rest on the couch. She smiled and thanked Exen for the offer.

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Chapter 126 - Is She Gone?

Is she gone?

Clarissa instinctively mouthed her thought as she sat against the wall and folded her legs. Sheldon was next to her, hugging her tightly. She could see that he was scared, but he was also protective. That's sweet, hon'. Then there was a blurred image of the girl running past her. Clarissa waited for five painful seconds before letting out a snicker. Stupid girl. Sheldon stood up, wiped his shirt with his hands and helped Clarissa up. Then realisation hit her.

She's one of those monsters of death. Why is it here?

She warned Sheldon of it, but his face was blank. Even with a blank face like that, Clarissa could tell that Sheldon was still thinking of his wife. In those few short moments, Sheldon nodded and said he knew what the monsters were, roughly. Then her mind wandered back into the past, remembering killing a huge worm together with Avus. George. A month ago, the memory would have been clear, but now the details of gore and blood were so foggy that she had a really hard time believing that she, in fact, killed one of them. She giggled.

Sheldon stared at her with indifference before asking Clarissa whether it was safe or not.

Clarissa frowned and slightly shook her head. You want ME to check? Um..

She stuck her head out of the alley and looked left and right before reeling in and nodding. Sheldon half-smiled before moving past Clarissa. She asked Sheldon to wait and asked him what he wanted to do. He said that he wanted to find the girl and bring her down. She frowned, again, and asked how and why he needed to kill the girl. Sheldon turned towards Clarissa with a face of full determination before running towards the direction of the girl monster. She shouted at him, still asking why.

They both ran along the sidewalk until they saw the girl crouched onto the ground, staring at a couple, clearly shocked and terrified. The woman had her arms wrapped around the man, even though Clarissa knew that she knew that it wouldn't do much.

Wait, what are we going to do?!

She asked and asked, but Sheldon didn't say anything. He walked up to the girl's back while putting his hand into his coat pocket. Out came a..

Pistol? Where the heck did you get that?!

Sheldon held it like a knife and jabbed the gun at the girl's head before pulling the trigger. The gunshot made everyone's ears ring, Sheldon having the most of the effect. Sheldon planted his foot on her back and forced her down onto the ground. Her legs were scraped across the road and her half-blown head smashed against the asphalt, cracking her skull. Sheldon leaned towards the girl and jabbed the pistol at her spine this time, blowing it off.

Clarissa's ears rang even more. She wasn't looking at the girl; she was looking at how Sheldon was brutally punishing her. His body looked all hunched like a goblin, hungry for some kind of revenge.

BANG!

The third gunfire took her back to the present. The third gunshot took one of her eyes out. Apparently, he turned her around for her to take her last look at her sudden assailant before blowing her eye out. The fourth one took out her other eye.

Okay. Okay.

Clarissa hurried towards Sheldon and gripped his forearm, pleading with him to stop. He snapped his head towards Clarissa with a face red of anger. Clarissa tried her best pleading face (what does that look like?) and the both of them were pitted into a staring contest before Sheldon let out a deep breath. He let go of the girl and quickly fired his fifth shot at the girl's head. Clarissa jumped, then pulled Sheldon back. And asked for the last time.

He looked at the floor before looking back up to say that the girl could get his wife. She was paying attention to Sheldon for the most part. His wife, getting rid of a monster, obviously. But once a while, her eyes averted to the girl. It was slowly moving-

Clarissa's eyes frenziedly looked for the pistol. She snatched it before rushing towards the girl and putting the third bullet into her skull. The recoil surprised her and made her drop the weapon. Sheldon ran towards the girl and smashed his boot against her head. The terrified couple now became a devastated couple. The woman was still wondering why they hadn't run away. She did, pulling the man with her. Clarissa didn't pay attention; she was focusing on the girl. To an outsider, it looked like a couple beating up a teenager.

Then she stood back, eyes widened as far as they could go, looking at what she had done. The girl's face was bloated and swollen from the kicks and slams that Clarissa, at the time, wasn't feeling guilty of doing. Blue blood was pouring from her head and back. She did notice her eye sockets staring to the side of the pavement. Her face looked like she was about to be abducted by aliens. How would I know what that looks like?

Clarissa's hands slowly crept up to her face. Oh, God. What have I done? Jesus, please-

Hands suddenly gripped her wrists, hands of Sheldon. He stared into her eyes and said that they were doing something that had to be done, something ultimately good. Beating up a girl is ultimately good? As if Sheldon read her mind, he sternly said that that girl wasn't a human, but a ****ing monster.

Her mind went back to the death of the worm. She hadn't been shocked then. What.. Sheldon had finally released her hands before her right hand covered her face in disappointment. She sighed for a long time and both of them stood there for longer. Then Clarissa looked up at Sheldon, asked Sheldon if he was going to kill others like her, no, like it.

Sheldon stood back and chuckled a little. Then it elevated into hysterical laughter, though it was laughter so sinister that Clarissa couldn't join in. The opposite of a contagious laugh.

It took a while before Sheldon was done. He just asked if Clarissa was up for it.

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Chapter 127 - Jason and the Resistance (and Jason Rolled With It)

Jason was out of East in a few short minutes. The guards still haven't gotten everything in order; the fire at the entrance was mostly put out, some guards were still arguing to one another while the guard captain was panicking and thinking what orders he should put forth, and none of them had never even tended to the injured ones, let alone deal with the dead ones. It was pretty easy for Jason to sneak out by jumping onto the wall and falling past it.

The rifle-wielding guards were nowhere to be seen, probably down there with the others now. Only trails of smoke were left twirling above their sources up into the sky.

Jason breathed in and looked out to the Darkness region. It looked empty to him, the barren ground a deep red now. I doubt there are any monsters of death around here. Somewhere in his mind, he knew there wouldn't be other types of monsters. Monsters of darkness and.. Deception? Aah, yes. Corruption.

With no future planned out, Jason set out to adventure into the region; by adventure, he meant finding some purpose. At this point, Jason had no point, no focus, no story arcs, nothing to do. He chuckled a little at story arcs.

He moved towards the town in front of him, Klensburg.

It took him either a few hours or a few days, I don't know. He remembered coming here, but didn't know what he did here. He remembered walking down the street, looking out for monsters of deception. No, monsters of corruption. The mother told him about the corrupt mother's death, so Jason didn't expect any of its children to roam around the town.

He looked at a building, not too different from the ones between and around it; it had the same sandy cream colour as its brethren. He shrugged and jumped onto the one he was looking at and sat on the edge. Feels a little too familiar, sitting here.

The night sky was looming over Jason. When he looked up, the stars seemed to appear before him like villagers attending an execution. Slowly, they all lit up against the laws of physics and flaunted themselves at Jason with their dim light and alternative blinking. He laid on his back and put his arms behind his head for pillowing. He zoned out for a few more hours before a moan reached his ears. The first moan shook him a little out of the daze before more moans brought him back to the world. He got up and looked towards the sound. To his right, he saw a womanly figure slowly limping her way towards him, but she didn't seem to notice Jason.

What the hell? No one's supposed to be here. Klensburg is a dead town.

He got up and headed to her, her image becoming clearer. He saw a woman, her skin pale as dark snow. Don't even know what that looks like. On her body, she wore a sort of uniform similar to the guards Jason came across, a black uniform with a white tag standing out at her left chest. She looked tired and hungry from the way she stood. She was leaning forwards as she took small fragile steps towards no particular destination. She looked like she wasn't even paying attention to what was in front of her until she bumped into something. Well, she definitely didn't see me.

Seeing how he was two times taller than the woman and nervous that she would be intimidated, hell, I bet she'd get intimidated by looking, Jason stood back and called out to the woman, saying that she shouldn't be here. She looked up and gave him a look of disinterest. She looked to be in her early-to-mid twenties, but even then, it was hard to tell because of her fatigue-affected face. Her eyes were begging to be closed, her lips split apart and her chest rising and falling too slowly for a human. Jason bet that if her head leaned towards the side, she still couldn't drool if she wanted to.

Thirsty, hungry, tired but still moving.

Her half-drooped eyes rose a little as she saw Jason, a hulk towering over her. She gasped, but it felt to her like she stopped breathing instead of inhaling. Her head hung downwards in a tired swirl until she whispered something that Jason couldn't even hear. She collapsed to the ground and turned her head towards him, certainly expecting something from him. She's expecting me to eat her?

The truth was that Jason had little desire to eat. Sure, I'd still get enjoyment out of eating, but he saw that it was just that, a pleasure like drugs. Jason only knew a few things about drugs; they were stimulating and addictive as hell. But he couldn't agree with the addictive trait about eating.

Jason asked the woman why he would eat her. He saw a slight frown from the woman. She giggled with her last trickle of energy before she went limp. Jason suddenly rushed up to the woman and knelt beside her. He looked frantically up and down her body and lifted her up with care that he wouldn't injure her. She was extremely light. He held her and it felt like carrying a big glass bottle with superhuman strength.

Jeyne, Jason thought as he read the tag on her uniform.

I guess I'll take her back to East. Pretty sure someone knows her.

He thought of leaving her in East, but questioned the thought. Barely anyone noticed me in East. How are people going to notice her?

Maybe I'll drop her off in an important place.

He himself didn't know what that meant. He just rolled with it.

He went back to East, hoping that Jeyne could last this long without food or water. He jumped onto the same wall and fell off of it. Everything seemed to be in check; the same guards still arguing, panicking and possibly dying.

Try as he might or not try, no one would bother give him any attention. This was good and sad for him though.

He went for the tallest building that was the nearest. As soon as he saw it, his mind replayed the memory of breaking into the building. The hotel. He shook his head and went for the next tallest one, a block behind the hotel.

The next one looked important enough. It had that executive feel to it, whatever Jason thought it was. It had outer windows stretching far up to the ceilings of each floor starting from the second floor and up. The first and ground floor had smaller windows, but they were grander than any other houses in East. The entrance was smaller than the hotel's one. It was only a door wide, so Jason had to try and squeeze into it with Jeyne, squatting as low as he could. Eventually, he had to crawl to get inside.

The inside was a lounge room fitted with an exquisite marble floor and a black-blue wallpaper on the walls. He noticed a small part of the wallpaper had started to come off at the far left corner. As he entered, two blast guns were pointed at him. The only reason they weren't fired yet was because they saw Jeyne.

The two fine gentlemen were wearing the same uniform as Jeyne's and helmets with visors hiding their faces. He guessed they were hostile. Well, no s***.

One of them asked the monster how he had found the woman. His voice had a deep oceanic tone to it. When Jason answered with Klensburg, the two of them stood back slightly. The other guard said with a smooth feathery female voice that Jason was another one of those weird monsters. Monsters that talk. Jason gave a half-smile before saying that he was here to bring Jeyne some food and water. The two guards looked at each other before letting their weapons down. Was I that persuasive?

A few moments passed as the two guards conversed with each other before coming back to Jason. I could hear every ****ing word you guys said. No point.

He was escorted to the infirmary. This building has an infirmary? As he realised when he was escorted, the tall building wasn't a rectangular block. It was a big centre. A centre of operations. When they stood outside the infirmary, the male guard asked for Jeyne. The two of them grabbed Jeyne under the armpits and ankles and moved her into the infirmary. Jason heard a few more people discussing before the two guards brought their weapons out, but not pointing them at him. The female guard said it was nothing personal.

Jason didn't understand why they didn't already shoot him but he shrugged and rolled with it. They went to the elevator and the guards looked back at Jason. The female guard nodded and said Jason should try to crawl. There was a visible frown on his face as he got down to his knees. I look like a ****ing bear doing this.

The elevator could barely hold the giant and a guard. So, while the male guard took another elevator, the female guard stood with Jason as the elevator struggled to lift both of them. Jason let out a snicker despite himself stuck to a foetal position. Struggles of an elevator.

When they reached the intended floor, Floor thirty, Jason crawled out of the elevator. Through his hearing, he could hear the guard trying her best not to laugh. He let out a chuckle despite himself.

Another spacious lounge only slightly smaller than the previous one filled Jason's vision. At the far right corner, a wooden double door stood. The female guard beckoned him to follow just as the other elevator door opened and the male guard stepped in. As they walked, the male guard hurried to Jason's left side.

The female guard knocked on the door and waited a few ten to twenty seconds before the three of them heard a resounding yes coming from the other side. They went in, with Jason ducking low.

To his left, he saw a man sitting on a rather extravagant chair behind a long table. He had this stupid mushroom hair encircling his forehead and back. To his right, he saw the same girl that tried to attack his mother. Apparently, she woke up to the sound of the knocking and looked straight at Jason with eyes of anger.

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I just realised. There's a LOT of crying in my story.

Chapter 128 – The Resistance and Avus (and Avus Doesn’t Roll With It)

Avus shouted out why that monster was here.

Before Exen or the two other guards reacted, Avus flew into the monster and pushed it back towards the large room behind it.

The monster grabbed her and threw her towards the wall next to the double door. Her back smacked against the wall with a crack. She grunted as she slid down and sat on the floor, dazed from the damage on her back.

The monster quickly introduced himself and said that he meant no harm.

Jason? What the **** is that?

C’mon, Vussia said. Give him a chance. Did he ever mean harm to you in the first place?

Avus was silent for a few seconds.

And plus, Vussia said in a sarcastic voice. You attacked first, never gave him a chance to explain himself.

Vussia, you have access to my memories. Bloody look them up.

Now Vussia was silent.

Avus got up and looked at Jason with contempt. She asked him why he was here, this time with a softer voice. He answered.

Wants to help? Help do what? S*** on our floor while we’re away?

The two guards stood back, nervous and unsure about what to do next when Exen looked at the meat tower and demanded an explanation. The male guard told him everything, and Avus listened closely.

Avus turned towards Jason.

You helped Jeyne?

Avus had little connection to Jeyne. From what he remembered, he might have seen Jeyne with Exen when her own guards shot at her third body. Her daughter had more of a connection. What she felt wasn’t contempt now. Relief? That the one who took care of my daughter’s friend is still alive?

She snickered at the mixed feeling of hatred and relief.

When the male guard was done, Exen ordered him and the female guard to escort Jason back down to the basement.

The basement?

Avus’s head lifted and quickly told him why he was sending him there. Exen raised an eyebrow at her and asked how she knew.

Um..

She told him that her father took her down to the basement once and let her see what he’d been doing. I don’t think she’s ever been down there. Let’s hope it works.

Exen reassured her that the basement was now repurposed to be a larger prison. He said he had his men remove and destroy the laboratory equipment. Avus was more relieved than annoyed, to be honest.

Jason spoke up, asking why he was put in a prison. Exen said it was to make sure he wouldn’t cause trouble. His misshapen face contorted in annoyance and let out a deep sigh before turning back to the elevator. It’s like he hates the elevator.

As the elevator door closed, Exen turned to Avus and beckoned her to his office. My office.

The general was about to say something when the double doors were burst open again. This time, it was a low-ranked soldier. He reported that there was an outbreak of assaults at the entrance.

What?

Exen thought what Avus thought. Exen asked for a clearer detail, and the soldier gave him his account.

He was on the far side of the entrance, away from where the chaos was. There was no more fire, but smoke still billowed and covered the entrance. He wanted to be safe, so he stayed away, nervous and scared. Then about a hundred meters away, he saw two figures, what he thought were his colleagues, wrestling against each other. Even when he was scared, his curiosity bested him and made him move closer to see what was happening.

He saw a soldier with enlarged and elongated claws mauling the other. Cold spilled across his spine. He hurriedly looked around to see if there were others like it. He saw another one, a morphed flytrap for its head, eating out a soldier who screamed as his life ebbed away. He turned and saw another one of them striding towards him. It had two vines with sharp bone sticking out at each end, ready to fling at him. His heart raced as he broke off in a sprint towards the headquarters.

Exen’s eyes were wide the whole time, but Avus wasn’t. She was thinking whether this was another virus strand or the Darkness virus’s doing. As she was thinking, she saw flickers from Exen’s side. She turned her head and saw a blast gun pointed at her chest, then another from the soldier.

Avus frowned, and shouted. Exen said he was sorry and that he had to make sure.

Avus said that it could be another virus, and not the Darkness virus.

Exen apologized again and fired, but not before Avus moved out of the way, flying upwards. The energy pellets flew across the room and grazed the wall in front of the couch. The soldier let out a panicked voice and fired, though none of the pellets hit Avus. They flew out the broken window instead.

Avus tried to reason with Exen, saying that if she was spreading the virus, Exen would’ve been infected by now. His reasoning was deafened by another shot. Avus made a force wall in time, catching the pellets in the wall. The soldier didn’t know any better and fired anyway, the second stream trapped in the wall. Exen ordered the soldier to stop.

Well, he seems to be reconsidering his actions.

Exen asked Avus to repeat what she said, and she gladly did so. Exen had been exposed to Kogh way before this incident, plus to Rose after a recent turn of events. The creatures that the soldier had described looked nothing like the doings of the Darkness virus. They still had their human bodies, although somewhat deformed.

Exen released his grip on the blast gun and slapped his forehead. He laughed, saying in between breaths that he now had to deal with two viruses. The soldier didn’t know whether to go over and comfort his general or not. He just stood there with his blast gun at his side. Exen slowly walked to his desk, my desk, and sat.

Exen admitted that he didn’t want this job anymore.

And he wept.

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Chapter 129 - Office

Sheldon's.. Office..?

Clarissa, clutching onto Sheldon's other pistol, walked into Sheldon's former office. He had two guns, apparently.

Sheldon had a job before his current one, and it involved typing a lot of words. He didn't specify what type of words, but Clarissa wouldn't have cared anyway. He quit the job years ago, and the company a few months after that. The building was abandoned for the most part; only insects lived in this building as far as Sheldon knew.

When they entered the building, Clarissa noticed that there was a lot of dust. Some piled up on the front desks, and some on the floor. Any platform Clarissa could see and think of was strewn with dust. She silently snickered. As if someone sprayed dust in here.

Old documents and rusty pens scattered across the front desk. Clearly no one cared anymore. Sheldon tried the elevators behind the desk, and to his lack of surprise, they didn't work. He motioned Clarissa towards the stairs just beside the elevator and walked up himself. She followed him up about what seemed to be fifteen flights of stairs before she was slightly exhausted. What came into view in front of her was a grey corridor leading to her left and right. Doors were outlined along the walls, each of them displaying rusty plates of certain numbers out for no one to see.

Sheldon led the way right and stopped at the second door. She saw him took a deep breath before he pushed the door in. As Clarissa peeked her head in, she saw an office room, messy to the utmost degree. Paper strewn about, dust like I've never seen before, spider webs on the corners of the ceiling. Rust bloomed across the still cabinets, like rock golems staying put to protect for centuries. They don't protect anything.

Sheldon said that the man who replaced him changed a few things, but not much. Okay, good.. to know..?

He looked at the chair and went towards it, wiping off the dust off of the seat and top. He slowly sat on it, testing its durability. He finally sat with a satisfying whomp. Clarissa stood for a moment, looking at Sheldon with confusion and wondering what she should do before he stood up. He told Clarissa that they would be cleaning the room until it was good enough to look at. She just shrugged.

An hour passed without talking. The silence was welcomed by the both of them.

Clarissa sighed as she dusted off the last few specks of dust off of the cabinets. She looked over to Sheldon as he pulled out his gun and stared at her. He ****ed his head and said that he was eager to hunt. This will be his 'base of operations'. Well, I wonder what we're gonna do from now on. Clarissa hadn't forgotten about Avus; she missed him so much. But seeing a man with determination like Sheldon's made her want to follow him. I.. I guess I'll eventually meet him.

Clarissa asked him what he was going to do. He just turned around and said 'hunt' with the most serious face she'd ever seen. It gave Clarissa a slight shiver across her spine. George had never been like that. I've never seen anyone like that until now. Sheldon tossed her a few magazines for her pistol. I need these? How do I use..

Sheldon showed her exactly how she needed to reload it. A blast gun would've been better. When they were done, they went down-

Oh no, the stairs.

They walked down the fifteen flights of stairs; halfway she asked why Sheldon couldn't pick other rooms when he turned around and said it had value to him. She nodded to herself a few moments later as they continued.

As soon as they got out of the building, Sheldon bumped into a man in his fifties. He wore eyes of terror as he scrambled up and ran away. Sheldon frowned and turned towards the opposite direction, Clarissa joining him.

Two of them. With flytraps for heads. Those don't look like monsters of death one bit. But she still wanted to kill them.

The one on the left side had a smaller body than the other. It almost looked like a teenager's body if not for the head. The other had a broad, muscled body, currently biting and chewing a chunk of human meat.

At once, they strode across the walkway, aiming their guns at the new type of monsters. She fired first, the bullet hitting the fleshy part of the older creature's head. Its head jerked to one side, moaning as it got up and faced the both of them.

A

Her thoughts were suddenly choked. It felt like a spear had impaled her heart again and again as it pounded.

In between the trapper was the original body's head, staring at her with eyes. Eyes. It has eyes. EYES. Green face. White EYES. Bald. With EYES.

Before it was too much for her mind to handle, she quickly took aim and fired, hitting it square in its left EYE. She kept firing, ignoring the other gunshots fired by Sheldon as the teenager turned towards them. She unloaded the pistol and entered another magazine before firing another fifteen rounds into the monster. Blood seeped from holes in the trapper and its chest. One hole leaked out of its empty EYE socket.

No. No. Don't. Come. It wasn't even close enough to grab her when it fell dead.

Her eyes swept towards her left and saw the teenager about to get to her. She ducked under its grasp and pushed at it with all her strength, managing to push it a few metres back before stumbling and falling. She heard a splssh as its trapper hit against the road. Three gunshots were fired, two from Sheldon and one from Clarissa.

Dead. No more eyes.

Her head suddenly hurt, pounding for it to burst. Her breathing got harder and harder as she slumped to the ground on her knees. She clutched at her chest and lurched forward, vomiting her coffee and bread onto the road.

There were footsteps getting louder, but still drowned out by the pounding in her head. She fell forward, her ears ringing horribly.

Her vomit splashed as she hit the pavement.

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Chapter 130 - Let's Get Along

Let's get along, shall we?

Her claw sliced through its stomach, severing its body in half. Its arms went limp as its upper half slowly slid down its bottom half. When it splatted onto the ground, she returned her claws to normal.

What is this s***? It isn't even hard.

Catherine stretched her arms out and loudly sighed. She was just starting to get used to her human muscles. She let out a relieving shout, attracting the attention of the other monsters that looked alike. Flytraps as heads. Who'd have thought?!

She shifted her right arm to a stretchy, sinewy claw and extended it out towards the nearest monster running at her. It pierced through its body and stayed limp, hanging onto the arm for dear dead. She brought the dead body and swung it wide, knocking three more off to the left. They smacked against the wall before being crushed by a car.

Catherine's now-muscly arms slowly shrank back to normal, cracking her neck after her workout and looking at her results. This could be art. This could be sold as art.

Shortly after the mocha massacre, she had given up trying to be human. It's just not cut out for me. She felt a slight regret after that for leaving her son to pursue something somewhat meaningless. She still went on as a human girl, mostly because she liked how she looked. It's definitely better than my other body. Though, she gave up being part of a society, taking jobs, helping people out. She'd rather kill than help. I can help kill. Heh. Heh.

She believed that she was helping to kill these new type of monsters. But honestly I'm just here for the fun. Every small exertion of her muscles brought her joy and every impact multiplied that joy by twofold or even more. No one could say what caused it. But it feels so GOOD.

She was out on the streets, casually strolling around until she saw the monsters. Immediately, she knew they weren't her children. No way they're my children. My children look better, stronger, thirstier. They look like they were fresh out of their mothers' womb. She saw a few of them heading into a warehouse. How'd I even know what a warehouse is? When she entered, she saw at least twenty of them, turning towards her with deep moans and growls.

The twenty were now strewn about, many on the floor with their guts and gore out, a few off to the side of the walls and blue metal containers.

Just as Catherine's breath slowed, she heard a voice, strict and commanding, and many other footsteps. Their inept soldiers are here. No reason for harm. She exited the warehouse through the back door and looked around for more monsters. Or at least clues. Clues to the source.

Just as she took another step, a low growl came from behind her and a monster crashed into her. She cursed in shock as she got the monster off of her back and looked. Its familiar flytrap head snapped open and close in warm-up.

It launched itself at her, but she sidestepped away. As the monster crashed into the ground, she got on top of it and took hold of its head. She then yanked it out and turned to see where she could throw it to.

Well, no one. This was pointless. She set its head back to its neck and walked off.

Now, think. Where did this come from?

As she thought and thought, she heard a gun being fired and felt two hot steaming rods pierce through her head. She was jerked forward from the shot and fell face first onto the ground. She managed not to break her nose, but her left cheekbone felt broken.

What..

She heard a male voice telling somebody that she wasn't infected. Infected? Who? Me? She also heard a woman taking her hard and heavy breaths. That's right, in and out. In and out. Her own blue blood started to leak and pool around her head, then the man and woman shrieked. Catherine was more surprised that the man shrieked higher than the woman. Then the woman said that she was infected. The man said no. He said it was a monster of death.

It, huh? I am an 'it'? She wasn't offended by that term, but she hasn't really thought about it until now. Maybe I did, but not seriously enough. She stayed still, eagerly waiting to find out what they would do with a monster of death. She heard them coming her way as the woman said she should kill it. The man snickered and told her to do whatever she wanted, but to be quick.

Okay.

Catherine sprang from the ground and tried to grab the woman, but she shifted back more quickly than Catherine expected. The woman was clad in a black uniform, pockets riddling her torso. She looked well-built for a woman. Hmmph. In her hands was a blast gun. Catherine extended her hand out, stretching it further than a human's arm could, and gripped onto the blast gun. She pulled back, but the woman pulled back harder. As they fought, the man shouted and pulled out his blast gun.

Oh, great.

She abandoned her human form and dived to the side as a stream of black liquid. The man fired, missing her entirely. He turned, staring at it with wide eyes as he brought up his weapon. The second shot was fired, but it went off to the side, the pellets slamming into the wall of the warehouse. The woman shouted at the man to back up from the liquid. Catherine returned to her mother's form, a sickly looking thing to human eyes. She stood as tall as the man, her chest and limbs as thin as thick sticks. She looked at the man and woman with yellow eyes as they backed up, trying to comprehend such a creature. Obviously they haven't seen one of my children before. And my eye colour is probably going to change the next time I pick this form.

She spoke with her misshapen mouth, saying that she should have killed the both of them. The man frowned and fired another shot. Catherine the mother moved to the side, a pellet grazing the side of her chest, only spilling a trickle of blue. Then she said that she wouldn't, maybe because she had something else in mind. Now the woman frowned and asked if she was like the other monster of death, saying that its name was Jason. Catherine went stiff.

Jason? My son? He's still here?

The mother stuttered as she asked where Jason was. Both of them glanced at each other for a brief second before turning back. The man said that they couldn't trust her to come.

Will I plead or intimidate?

She turned into her teenager form and nodded, asking that they trust her. Both of them glanced at each other again, longer this time, and they shrugged.

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Chapter 130.5 - Chapter 69.5

Acron was in ruins. Acron was full of rubble and metal. Acron was dead. Acron's citizens died in the shockwave.

I saw her did it. I ****ing did.

Lysem could see Acron, a floating girl and a dot. Lysem saw the city fell before his eyes like it bowed down to him for an eternity. He saw his wife's workplace falling and crashing. He saw his friend's guard post being crushed by her workplace.

Seconds after the shockwave hit and faded the city into dust, he got off in a sprint towards it, breathing harder every second. His thoughts went to Jess his wife and Dan his friend as his muscles slowly started to scream for rest. What have you done, kid? What did you do?

His clothes, a black and blue travelling business suit, was black with dust and dirt as he made his way into the demolished guard post. Part of it was blocked by concrete debris and metal supports; Lysem had to enter from a large hole that the debris made. Even so, he had to duck and squeeze under a large chunk of concrete.

Almost everything in the room was gone. Only his friend's head was left, lying on its cheek with a horrified 'O' on his mouth and eyes. Little shards of concrete had burrowed through his eyes and forehead. Lysem still recognised him through the violated head. Tongue and teeth missing. Dear God. Poor Dan.

He went out through the same hole and got past the broken walls that had sandwiched the guard post before the explosion. He wandered throughout the city, fire blooming and dancing from every major building, smoke rising into the air and danced in choreography to the fire. Try as he might, he couldn't find his wife's workplace. The crashed buildings had altered the streets, some branching off diagonally and changing the topography of the roads and alleys. Lysem wasn't sure, but he thought he heard car alarms from within the rubble. He heard a baby's cry being snuffed out. He heard a woman crying in the distance. She isn't Jess for sure.

He looked at the destruction and slowly began to stop. He had no hope. My wife's dead.

My wife's dead.

And she's responsible.

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Chapter 131 - Shaking Hands

Uh.

Clarissa pushed herself up onto a white spongy bed. The room, white at the bottom half and black at the top half, was taken up by tables hurriedly stacked and pushed in two by two. She could see a table dangerously hanging onto another one, probably still without a fly touching it. Her bed stood compactly with the other tables, blocking her from moving out of the room. A few minutes flew by as she tried to recollect her thoughts. When she finally remembered, her hand flew to her cheek, checking for any vomit or waste.

Aah. Nothing. Good.

She looked around more closely and found a tight pathway leading to the exit. She made her way across and barely popped out of the room, overbalancing but catching herself in the process. She stood and saw a familiar face and a foreign one.

Sheldon was shaking hands with the new man. He was packed with leather armour and pockets, both around his chest and below. In his other hand was his blast gun, his finger off the trigger for obvious reason. Clarissa stood there and stared at his face.

His beard was the first feature she recognised. Bushy as heck. His sunglasses covered his eyes, instead reflecting Sheldon's image to her. Seeing past his beard, the man was in his late fifties to early sixties, old enough to be Sheldon’s father. Of course he’s not his father. They were whispering to each other when Clarissa came in. Sheldon smiled, and the man frowned in curiosity.

He asked who the woman was, and Sheldon walked up to Clarissa and held her hand. What? Sheldon said that she was his partner.

She loosely pushed his hand off and faked a smile. She said that it was nice meeting the man, who introduced himself. Juln. It’s like it’s straight out of a name generator. Sheldon asked her to wait outside and went back to whispering with Juln.

As she came to, she was in the same-looking corridor as the corridor at the fifteenth floor. The only difference was that she was on the first floor. Well, he didn’t carry me up to the fifteenth floor, did he? She waited for almost an hour, idling, leaning on the walls, sitting on the steps of the stairs, probably whistling. But it sounded more like blowing.

She was about to make up her mind to walk outside when Sheldon stepped out of the room, looking as satisfied as ever. He immediately walked over to Clarissa and clamped his hands on her shoulders. He said that they had a new member. He looked so happy saying that. In fact, a little too happy. She was starting to think that he was getting progressively obsessed with the group he’s opening.

She faked another smile and lied that she was glad to hear it. Ohmygod ohmygod. Her shoulders started to hurt when he released them. He turned towards Juln as he exited the room and said to him to move out.

Already? I freakin’ fainted the last time.

As Sheldon and Juln headed towards the stairs, she followed their backs down until the front door. Sheldon then turned around and said that Clarissa had to stay. He already knew that she couldn’t handle killing. That wasn’t what I was afraid of.. Clarissa sort of argued with him, saying that Sheldon could die out there. He laughed and said that she had more of a chance of dying than he did.

He’s right, isn’t he? Clarissa sighed and stepped back and nodded. She shooed Sheldon out and watched them leave. Avus didn’t even argue further than that. He didn’t care. She noticed her shoulders starting to tense, and she loosened them before they started to cramp up.

What do I have to do now? She wanted to keep an eye of them, especially Sheldon, but she didn’t want to watch them die.

She went back up the stairs to the first floor, and headed to the end of the corridor to her left. There was a large glass wall that was spotted with dirt, though she could still see the two men walking down the street. They looked like they were still conversing with each other, but with their weapons loaded and ready, and out in the public. She always thought of security in these big cities, but in her observation and to my surprise, they never showed up. I guess Sheldon and Juln are security now.

She watched them stop in front of a neighbourhood-friendly house. Sheldon was about to knock on the door when Juln kicked it open. From Clarissa position, she couldn’t hear anything. Juln raised his blast gun and charged in. Sheldon took a deep breath and went in too.

She waited again, waited for them to come back without harm. But this time, there was tension. As every minute passed, the invisible string of tension in Clarissa’s mind was being pulled inch by inch, and she was waiting for it to break at any moment.

She wished that she argued with Sheldon more. The previous discussion that the both of them had worried her a bit. An hour of talking has a lot of information. If there was a lot of info, then what were they going to hunt?

She heard a very faint whomp that came from the house. Juln was in the air, his face wearing surprise, blast gun aiming towards the door. Sheldon was running out and firing his pistol as quickly as he could as a tentacle with a claw at the end stretched out from inside the house, trying to find purchase on one of them. The tentacle was barely smaller than the entrance. Oh no. Sheldon, you’re insane! Juln fired another shot, energy pellets streaming out and sinking into the tentacle. She heard a roar that shook the dust off of the furniture, and left her spine chilled to the core.

She felt for her pocket and tried to find her pistol. Is it where the bed is? She sprinted down the corridor and into the room where she woke up. She squirmed past the desks and found the pistol laying on the white sheet. She snatched it and made her way out to where Sheldon was.

As she got out of the building, she looked. And saw a flytrap head with four tentacles as big as the house.

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Oh my gosh. University. Nuff' said.

Chapter 132 - Killing Monsters Again

Avus sighed so hard.

Too hard.

She was coughing thanks to her sighing. ****. S***. B****.

When she was done, she looked over to the soldiers in front, who were shooting at the flytrap monsters. It felt all too reminiscent for her to look. Soldiers shooting at monsters? I TOTALLY haven't seen that before.

The outbreak was sudden and quick; monsters were sighted all around and in East shortly after the private's report. Avus didn't know how this could slip past Exen's mind.

I remember his men shooting at me. Shouldn't I be exacting revenge on him? The first time she saw Exen, she didn't know what to feel. Her memories, and thus her feelings, were mixed up with hers and her daughter's. Now, she had a love-hate relationship with Exen. That dumb haircut definitely fuels the hate. She felt conflicted when she looked at Exen; she knew that what Exen did to her was for the good of everyone, heh, makes me look like a bad guy, but her irrational part of her mind was somewhat warm to hot with revenge against him.

Am I repeating myself?

Exen wasn't here with Avus at the moment; he was in his, my, office, watching the carnage from above. How do you feel about the new monsters? Still wanna save them, Exen?

Something smacked against her back and she fell forward, screaming and trying to find purchase-

Oh, wait.

She made a force cushion and planted her face into it. She quickly turned around and saw a flytrap, I'm gonna call them that anyway, and conjured a force blade, sending it to cut away at its head. Somehow, the monster moved out of the way by accident and fell beside her. She sent her left arm around, bringing it over to slam at it. She felt a few ribs crack and heard a snarl coming from its throat. She got up halfway and summoned another blade, sending it down and cut its torso in half.

She heard a feminine gasp behind her. She turned and saw a soldier with his hands over his mouth. Wait. That isn't a man. The woman soldier wore a headgear that covered her whole face, so it was hard for Avus to see her facial expression. I'm pretty sure it was shock and disgust. Avus shrugged. As she turned back, there was another gasp and a gunshot behind Avus. She was shaken from the gunshot, but it went away as soon as she saw most of a flytrap's head was blown out.

She turned back and shouted at the soldier that she could've died. Looking back at the words later on, she knew she wouldn't die and slightly regretted saying those words. The soldier let out a 'huh' as her head turned left and right a little. Avus sighed, and moved away, trying to find more to kill.

It was like finding people in a neighbourhood. It IS finding people in a neighbourhood. But it was like finding people who wanted to hurt her in a neighbourhood. Avus giggled a little as she walked over to a flytrap with an invisible blade. As she went from block to block, cutting away at them one by one (with some difficulties, like almost getting her head bitten off), the other soldiers also did their job, seeing that the flytraps weren't so hard to deal with once they knew that they didn't do well when isolated. There were the occasional grunts and shouts as a few of them got bitten, well, not in the head, I'd imagine. They'd lose their voice then.

Dead. Zero. Casualties. Three, she thought as she looked at two soldiers, one clutching at his left shoulder and another clutching at his right foot. She could barely make out their wounds; they were as though they were bitten by a crocodile in a cartoon, with seemingly no blood pouring out and very apparent bite marks arching towards their bodies. His foot looked like that too. That's even worse. She saw a civilian man with a disgruntled look, clenching his fists as a medic tried her best to patch his forearm up. As the medic tightened part of the bandages, the man yelled out, possibly blowing her eardrums. Avus winced and moved on.

When the mission was done, men and women united together with the same uniform. A commander looking to be a few inches shorter than Avus gave a heartwarming and motivational speech. While she was half-hearted listening in, she felt somene's stare. At the corner of her eye, she noticed the female soldier from before staring at her with intent on doing something to her. Do I ignore her..

C'mon, Vussia said. You gotta know what she wants to do to you.

Shut up. You really need to ****ing learn your place.

She felt a tap on her shoulder and jumped to her feet as she turned to see. The female soldier now pointed to the group of soldiers, who was already heading towards their quarters. Avus gave a frown at the woman before following them.

You're dying to know, huh? Vussia said. Let me take over. I'll do that for you.

This is what Rose had to live with, huh? Avus thought, ignoring Vussia entirely. She followed the group back on foot. Walking back halfway through, Avus slapped herself in the face and flew in the air towards the tall building. She barely heard a few gasps and exclamations as she zoomed past above their heads. She definitely heard a 'wow' coming from that same woman. This is weirding me out.

Isn't it? It's weirding you out, huh? Just let me out. I'll resolve it as quickly as you can say-

What did I say? Avus was already at the building, flying up to Exen's office. Below her, she saw the woman sprinting after her, barging into the building through the entrance. Avus quickened her flight.

Well, you said some things that aren't backed up by evidence. You know I can just take over in a snap of a finger, right? Like..

Avus heard an actual snap of a finger at the back of her mind. Ugh.

Then why tell me this? Why not take over now?

Well, if you say so.

Wait-

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Not hopeful that this will continue.

Chapter 133 – Flytrap

WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THING?!

Clarissa panted as she ran, giving a few short glances back at the flytrap tentacle monster that was chasing the three of them. Juln was only running as fast as she was as he took a few shots. With a few more short glances, Clarissa couldn’t see any damage done whatsoever. They were hopeless.

And hopeful.

Thank God the creature only has tentacles.

With its slimy gliding movement, it could almost match their speed if it tried. It would be two times further away from them than it was if the three managed to run down a few blocks. Sheldon was shouting out, asking Juln how they could stop that beast. He didn’t want that thing to massacre the whole city.

Even with all the running, Clarissa could clearly see Juln’s distraught face as he fired more shots. It’s more like giving away free bullets.

She swore that she ran for hours on end. Her body was drenched with sweat and she felt out of shape. Severely out of shape. I’m too thin. As she focused on breathing, she faintly heard Sheldon’s voice creeping into her mind, asking her to stop. She let out a few sighs before turning around before her eyes widened. The tentacle creature had moved to the right, its attention pried away from them.

Tired. Tired.

She was yanked to her feet by Sheldon even before she sat down, running together with him. Her legs screamed, and her free hand patted Sheldon’s in response, asking him to stop. He turned his head with a face full of frown before asking what. She sat on the pavement, catching her more-than-needed breath. Sheldon grunted and ran after the squid monster, Juln leading the way.

She felt five minutes pass, hearing sirens and screams swell, and got up, walking towards the monster. It was already well within the center of the city, and it was tearing it apart. She could practically feel rubble on her head as she passed by civilians going the opposite direction. A man tried to warn Clarissa, but Sheldon’s over there. He grunted and left her, seemingly finding anyone else to run with him. Heh.

The noise started to pile up the closer she got. Avus. Avus. How do you look like now? Her eyes started to wander, looking at the city of Wonderland as probably one of Avus’s creation started to pulverise it. She giggled. Is that true? I don’t even remember any more. Oh, it’s been a long, long time.

The monster towered before her. It was all so monstrous and squirmy and huge and vast. How is Sheldon going to take this thing down? Ho-

A big spark of white flashed at the monster’s head, growing bigger and bigger, then blossoming into a red and orange colour of violence. It all happened so slowly to her as a sound boomed and forced Clarissa to cover her ears. A strong wind struck her like a tsunami hitting a lighthouse. It took the breath out of her as she landed on her back. As she struggled to get back up, cutting her palm with a bit of glass on the road, she was struck with another blast, this time even stronger than before. She was sent head over heels to the front of a store and crashed into it. She knocked her hea-

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Chapter 134 – Lysem I

Lysem nodded his head before he took a swig from a glass of beer. The bar sat in the middle of a small village somewhere in between his now-destroyed city and the middle of nowhere, searching for the girl.

That girl. That girl. That girl. That girl. That

“You said somethin’?” the bartender asked with worry plastered on his face. “That girl?”

Lysem shook his head. The bar had a few patrons sitting away from the counter. The wooden tables and chairs were arranged in a hurry, like there was a fight that broke out a few hours ago. Lysem saw a child, about 10 years old, talking to his mother while his father was somewhere else, probably with the gang behind me. Behind the counter stood a variety of bottles, of which none of them he knew. Spaces were left in between the bottles just to seem like there were more. Lysem could hear a bit of rowdiness coming from the second floor as well; it was a bit noisier there, with more glass clanking and irritating loud laughter. The bartender sat a feet away from him, wiping away at glasses only because there hadn’t been any customer since Lysem.

“I just want to know where I need to go. You been to Acron?”

The bartender chuckled a little. “All I’ve ever been to is the edge o’ this place.” He shrugged and put his cloth under the counter.

“That girl mean anythin’ to you?”

It was Lysem’s turn to chuckle. “Yeah, I guess.” Jesus, I don’t even know her name, he thought as he looked at his beer like a rare wine. He exhaled before taking a deep swig, emptying the glass and nudging his stool away.

“Goin’ off?” the bartender said, raising an eyebrow. “You’ve only been ‘ere for half an hour.”

He nodded, raising an eyebrow too. “Yep. Journey continues.” Suddenly, my blast gun feels a lot heavier than before.
“Well,” he said. “you paid for the whole bottle, didn’t ya? You don’t wanna drink the rest of it?”

Lysem’s head lowered slightly, a slight paranoia creeping into his mind. “It’s fine, you can have the rest. I really have to go-“

“Go where?” a man shouted from Lysem’s back. One of the gang members.” “Ain’t no place to go, man. Dangerous out there, y’know?”

Lysem stepped back a little, turning slightly to look at the man. Bearded as a lion’s mane. He’d be the definitive look of a lumberjack if there were any trees left in this world. He’s clenching his fists. Where.. Where is..

His right hand went to his blast gun tucked in his holster. “If you move,” he said as the lumberjack stopped moving, then he looked at the rest with a convincingly menacing glare. “Good. If any of you move, you won’t even see the blood when you drop.” I REALLY hope I sound convincing enough.

Back in Acron, he was never known as a scary individual, only someone who did his job well. Depending on what job. He sometimes acted as an escort for merchants, politicians and the like, but only as a side job. I was only out there because.. His eyes swung around in thought for a moment before-

He gestured at the bartender to move to the other side of the room, waited, then moved himself, strafing until he got to the exit.

“Thanks for the beer, though,” he said with a half-smile before leaving.

As he opened the door, there was a man off to the side-

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