Out of credits, Mike checked on everyone else.
They all still looked absorbed in what they were doing.
He gave his new ax another swing, grinning as it whistled through the air. Stopping the swing mid motion he turned the ax over in his hand, caressing it almost lovingly.
Looking up again he confirmed everyone was still busy. They were.
Mike looked over at the lobby’s couches, then back at his ax, then the couches again.
He grunted indecisively. Giving his ax one last look he smirked and shrugged.
Mike stepped out of the circle. There were still rooms to be cleared on the ground floor. Waiting around wouldn’t help anyone. He might even raise his level while the others were still busy.
The ground floor was actually slightly larger than the floors above it. Aside from a slightly smaller number of apartments than the floors above, there were four large rooms; a gym, a community entertainment center, a computer lab, and a dining hall.
The four large rooms had originally been empty, “meeting rooms.” In order to provide all students paying for housing with the same basic experience, when the apartments were purchased by the school, they’d had the rooms converted. It had been deemed inappropriate to force students in overflow housing to walk to campus to have access to computers or to get the meals they paid for under the meal plan.
The theory was good, but in practice the small dining halls food wasn’t as good as the campus dining hall, the gym had far fewer machines and free weights, the entertainment center was never used and the computer lab computers never received any attention from the school’s it department making them prone to viruses from all the abuse students put them through.
Not that any of that mattered to Mike as he set out to see how many zombies he could kill. But it did mean he found far fewer zombies than he’d been hoping.
Only the dining hall had a group larger than two zombies, and even it was only four, counting the serving line lady and the work study student cashier.
With his new ax it was all too easy to separate brain from body. A single swing and the blade would cleave skull like butter, leaving two perfectly smooth halves and a dead zombie. It was actually a little boring.
He wasn’t ever in any danger, not even once.
It should be pointed out that a normal, completely un-enhanced man, armed with any sort of smashing or stabbing weapon, would have no trouble killing a basic zombie as long as he did not panic.
Mike hadn’t panicked since he killed Jeff.
At some point killing zombies had just become normal, even a bit fun. So armed with a magic weapon like his new ax, killing zombies took no effort.
Even surrounded by seven or eight zombies it was unlikely he would face any real threat as long as he broke the encirclement first and kept his head doing it. Eventually if zombies kept being added he would go down. He wasn’t yet superhuman. He could grow tired, make mistakes, or just plain be overwhelmed. But a lone zombie having a chance at killing him would take a hell of a mistake on his part.
Mike knew it made sense for it to be like that.
When he analyzed the situation before and compared the「System」to an actual game, it made zombies the equivalent of starter monsters like slimes, or rats. Now that he was a level four, killing level one monsters should be easy.
Even taking the analysis further into horror movies, once the characters got used to killing zombies, it was rare for them to die facing only a single one. Even children often killed lone zombies in horror movies. In those situations nobody was actually leveling up, they were just adjusting to the new reality. They were surviving.
It turned out Mike was quick to adjust. He was a natural survivor.
It also turned out that he liked a challenge. The feeling of having his life on the line.
The zombies no longer gave him that feeling.
Life was really weird sometimes. Mike had never been the sports guy. He hadn’t been the kid picked last because he was terrible at sports either though. If he’d cared and put in the effort he might have been able to play sports, or at least ride the bench as part of a team. But he’d never been the adrenaline junkie, the competitive challenge seeker.
Even in his video games, he wasn’t actually competing with anyone other than the version of him who’d last played the game. He’d never cared to make the top player lists or anything like that, he had a few times over the years, but it never meant anything to him when he received the notification.
So it really came as a surprise to him when he realized he liked this new world, as terrible as it was.
There would undoubtedly be things he hated going forward, like losing showers and the internet. But his family situation… well he didn’t really have one anymore, and his friends from high school had understandably put their own futures over staying in touch with him. That was partly his fault, he refused to use FaceSpace, but frankly staying in touch that way felt fake to him anyway.
As for goals for the future, he hadn’t ever really found one. He liked to write and play games, ideally working with a video game company would fit. He had no ins in that field though and no idea where to start looking for them.
Basically, if anyone would be able to embrace a totally new world it was him. With nobody there for him, no plans for the future, and nothing to look forward to, having the world become a game actually appealed to him.
It wasn’t that he didn’t feel bad about all the people that had died or how badly this new reality screwed with so many of those still living. But he hadn’t wished for any of it to happen. It’s just that once it had happened, he’d found the new reality fit him like he was born to it.
Contemplating his train of thought in depth, Mike returned to the lobby where he found an excited Troy mulling over a ancient looking book.
Hearing Mike coming, Troy looked up and grinned, raising the leather bound book in the air so Mike could just make out a pentagram like symbol in silver on its black cover, he nearly shouted, “Look what I just found in the system store man.”
Author : The Steve