Immediately Rajesh, Dan and the girl from the ground floor, Vanessa, decided to join the group that was going to level up.
Rajesh was upfront about his motives. He didn’t want to be a fighter, he wanted to take a non combat role, and make himself invaluable for the future. He was willing to kill zombies to make that happened, but didn’t think he could handle fighting long term. He even laughed as he openly claimed to be a coward at heart.
Mike had mad respect for his admission and his realistic outlook.
Vanessa had her own complicated motives for joining. She’d ran in the beginning, making it to the roof without even becoming a player. She seemed to regret her situation. As she put it, she wanted to become stronger, because she was done running.
Dan had been on board as a fighter from the beginning, he’d just been stuck on guard duty.
That left four holdouts. Four people who hadn’t wrapped their heads around the new reality yet. They just wanted to sit up on the roof, and let everyone else keep them safe.
Objectively Mike could understand their feelings.
He knew he was abnormal for adapting to the new world so quickly.
But he didn’t know how he felt about babying people that refused to even pretend they were pulling their own weight. Part of the new reality represented by the「System」was that only the strong survive.
Mike wasn’t a monster. He hadn’t been hardened to the point where he was fine with abandoning them as dead weight. He still saw them as human beings, and he couldn’t bring himself to just leave them to their fate.
But three of the four were not yet players. That really was acceptable.
Vanessa, who was in the same exact situation, was forcing herself to change. Mike’s personal feelings were that if the four who wanted to cower on the roof weren’t willing to change on their own volition like Vanessa, then maybe they needed to be forced to change.
How were any of them supposed to survive in this world if half of their fighting force was always tied up watching over people who couldn’t even handle a single stray zombie?
Maybe they would find the government was still intact and everyone would be saved. The government actually had a responsibility to protect its citizens. Until then, Mike wasn’t so sure their group shared that responsibility.
Careful to phrase things politically, Mike shared his opinion.
Surprisingly it seemed the majority of the group agreed with him.
It seemed nobody was entirely sympathetic to the four’s fear. The general consensus was that everyone was anxious and scared. Why should anyone get any special treatment?
Mike hadn’t meant to isolate anyone. He’d hoped that his words would make the four realize the truth, that they couldn’t just sit this one out. It hadn’t worked. They were still cowards, and Mike could see the others slowly trying to distance themselves.
Feeling guilty Mike volunteered to be the one to lead them in the second floor to hunt zombies. They only had to get one kill each, then they could use the vending machines. At the vending machines they could purchase a job or a weapon, or something that made them feel safer. Maybe it would be enough to turn them around.
In the future, a system could be worked out so that those who didn’t feel comfortable fighting could exchange credits to help the group as a sort of tribute for protection type system. But such a system would require time and at least a dozen more fighters to be worth implementing.
With everyone resigned to their fates, Mike led the group downstairs with Jessica at his side.
Amy and Yuki took the opportunity to rest.
Troy also stayed behind. His priority being to learn as much about magic as he could in the shortest amount of time..
Several times on the little outing Mike regretted stepping up. It was fairly obvious why the five, excluding Dan and Vanessa, hadn’t wanted to hunt zombies. Rajesh looked sick to the stomach just watching, and when his turn came he closed his eyes as he swung his club.
If zombies weren’t so easy to kill the entire thing might have turned into a disaster.
As it stood, Mike eventually had to set the zombies up to be killed by chopping off their limbs with his new magic war ax.
It was more than a little pathetic.
Dan and Vanessa on the other hand were fine.
Dan even showed a hint of actual martial training in the way he handled his spear.
When Mike asked him about it he admitted he’d taken lessons in bojutsu, and was just applying them to his spear. Mike was impressed. His fighting ability had improved since he’d taken [Tiger Stance] but he still was more about power and ferocity than actual skill.
With the second floor cleared, Jessica led everyone down to the lobby to use the vending machines.
It was a quick trip.
Mike didn’t need to ask what anyone bought. Most of it was farily obvious.
The group of four found the modern firearms section and each excitedly bought a gun and ammunition. Mike thought that was a waste of credits. There might not be any guns in the dorms, but there would be plenty in the city itself. To him it felt like another sign that they hadn’t adjusted yet. He hoped he was wrong.
Rajesh on the other hand found a job called [Dwarven Smith], a common rank job that was racially locked to dwarves. He bought it without a second thought and then laughed to Mike that he’d just make his own ax later.
Vanessa took a sword, a shield and a basic set of leather armor, which Jessica helped her change into. Mike almost whistled at how form fitting it was, and how it pulled all her assets into perfect alignment. A glare from Jessica and Vanessa’s own obviously self conscious fidgeting made him hold his tongue.
Dan was the only one who’s purchase wasn’t really obvious. Watching the way he twirled his spear and moved through stances immediately after leaving the circle, Mike could imagine he’d taken either a martial skill set or a job pertaining to the spear.
With everyone outfitted, the group moved back up to the sixth floor, as always, making sure to pass the third floor quietly.
Once there they knocked down a connecting wall between two apartments, and moved in.
Jessica went up to the roof and retrieved the others while a few of the group started to make a meal from scavenged supplies. Everyone else settled down for a brief rest.
It was mid afternoon, day one of the apocalypse, and Mike had never felt more at home in the apartment building than he did right then.
Author : The Steve