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Path of Evolution - Chapter 18

Published at 17th of January 2019 11:06:47 AM

Chapter 18


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"This will leave a nasty scar . " Rahul said as he used the healing spray at the large gaping wound on my left shoulder and the deep claw mark in my left cheek which came dangerously close to my left eye .

"I don't mind a few scars . It'll add to my dignity . " I smiled as I tried to get up . Even after using the highly efficient medicine, I still felt a lot of pain when I moved .

"Take out their Cores . " I said "We should leave this place as soon as possible . "

"You're not wrong . Stay here while I'll go and take out their cores . " Rahul said and went to crack open a few skulls .

I tried to move my left hand and realized that it was still just as numb as before .

'Well . Who needs a left hand anyway . ' I grumbled and picked up my sword which had been knocked flying during the intense fight . I shivered a bit when I realized how close I had come to dying when I lost my sword .

'Thankfully, I have a responsible elder brother . ' I shook my head and smiled bitterly .

Although I wanted to become powerful, and not simply remain as a burden for him, it seems like I've implicated him once again .

'You don't need to be hard on yourself . Have you forgotten how you protected him when Gaurav was pointing his gun at both of you . And how you led the Abnormals away from them during that dangerous time . You're not as useless as you think you are . So cheer up a bit . ' Lily said in my mind .

'Yeah . I… I understand . Thank you Lily . For cheering me up whenever I feel down . ' I smiled and had the sudden urge to rub Lily's head . Unfortunately she was an AI in my Black watch and didn't have a physical body .

'Don't mention it . ' She said .

After a few moments Rahul came back with five shining Cores . The were spherical in shape and blood red in color, just like always .

"Here's your reward . " Rahul said and passed on two of the Cores to me .

"But I didn't kill even one of them . " I replied without taking them .

"But… you did heavily injure one of them . And distracted the last one long enough for me to kill it . So take these two as your share of contribution to the fight . "

I thought for a while before taking one of the Cores . "This is enough . Don't say anything anymore . "

Rahul who was planning to say something shut his mouth and then dejectedly kept the four cores in his pocket .

I opened the hologram and quickly sold the Core at 20 white coins which meant that they were prized at 25 white coins . It seems like these mutant dogs were indeed more powerful than the ones we saw at the abandoned building .

After that we quickly left the scene .

"Rahul, do you think that Pakhal town has fallen to the Mutant beasts . " I asked as we walked forward . Although I was injured and our speed had decreased significantly, it still didn't brought any changes to our plans since we'd almost reached our destination .

But if Pakhal town had already become a domain of Mutant beasts like Pali Village then that would really force us to take some drastic measures . But when I looked at the calm expression of Rahul, I felt that such was not the case .

"No . Pakhal town is called a town and not a village because of a reason . There are a lot of people living there . Plus they don't raise animals in there so there's no chance of that place falling to the Mutant beasts . "

"And that attacked back there just confirmed this fact . "

"How so?" I asked in bafflement .


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"Simple . If Pakhal town had fallen to Mutant beasts then we won't 'only' be attacked by five mutant dogs . Those mutant dogs were probably the stray dogs living in that town and were chased out by the Abnormals . "

"From this point on, we're really close to the Pakhal town and most likely won't be attacked by any more Mutant beasts . " He explain patiently .

"Is that so . " I heaved sigh of relief after hearing that we won't suffer any more attacks .

"Let's move a bit more to the west . I feel like we've deviated a bit to the east . " Rahul said as we continued on our way .

—————

I swung my sword and cut off the head of the third Abnormal inside the house . After fighting against those Mutant beasts, a simple fight against 1st tier Abnormals seemed to be rather easy and I was able to deal with them easily even though I was not able to use my left hand for the time being .

"That's the last of them?" I asked .

"Should be" Rahul said and we remained silent for a while to listen to any noise .

1st tier Abnormals don't have much intelligence and made a particular guttural sound from time to time which gives away their presence .

So if you stay silent and listen closely then you can tell if a place is free of Abnormals or not .

After waiting in silence for a while, we heard nothing .

"You should rest for a bit longer this time . The faster your wounds heal, the better it is for both of us . " Rahul said and left to check the house once more anyway .

Although he might seem a bit too cautious, I knew that it was this quality of his that saved our lives back in the Pali village and when the Mutant dogs ambushed us .

Before sleeping, I had one more thing to do .

I took the three red crystals in my hand and gulped them down with some water .

After the warmth faded away I opened the the hologram and looked at the interface .

User name:- Ashok Singh Rana

Stats:-

Strength - 1 . 4 (1 . 1)

Agility - 1 . 0 (2 . 0)

Endurance - 2 . 0

Perception - 2 . 0

Mana - 0 . 0

Skills:-

Agility Booster (2nd tier)- Skill recuperation time left= 6 hours 48 minutes 35 seconds

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Equipments:-

Basic Sword (1st tier)

Wealth:-

22 White Coins

I looked the room filled with blood and brains and realized that I was too lazy to care about the strong stench and jumped into the bed and before I even realized it I had already fallen asleep .

—————

"There is no road that detours around this town . " Rahul said as he looked at the town in the distance . It was filled with Abnormals to the brim . Just looking at the sheer amount of Abnormals in there gave me chills .

"Well, it's not like we can go through the town . " I said and looked at the forest . "I suppose we have to go through the deeper part of the forest from here on out . "

"We have no other choice . " Rahul sighed and kept the map back in his bag . "Hopefully we'll find some sort of track there . "

"Hopefully . " I said .

"Don't complain anymore . Let's get going . " Rahul said and opened the back door leading to the dense forest .

"Well . That's a track if I've ever seen one . " I said as I pointed at the beaten path that was formed by someone walking repeatedly on it . "The problem is, it's going even deeper into the forest and not where we want to go . "

"Then why are you studying it with such interest . " Rahul said .

"Well, I guess there should be some kind of… I don't know, forest house or something in there . Otherwise why would anyone walk in this dense forest so frequently . "

"And what does that has anything to do with us?" Rahul asked and continued on walking as he looked at the compass once again .

Since it was afternoon and the sun was at it's peak, we couldn't take directions from it . So we had to look at the compass time and time again to make sure that we were not walking around in circles .

"You know . If there is a house there then there will probably be a few abnormals in there as well . Abnormals give us Crystals . You understand what I mean . "

"I do . But the chances are too slim . I would rather not waste my time and energy for a few crystals that might not even have existed in the first place . " Rahul said without stopping .

"Very well then . " We walked a bit more when we came across one more trial like the previous one which was leading in the same direction .

"Seems like someone really comes here from time to time again . " I said .

"Someone surely does . Now drop your weapons and raise your hands where I can see them . " I heard a stranger's voice from behind me and froze .

'Damn it! Why does this scene feels so familiar . ' I stopped what I was doing raised my hands and slowly turned around .

It was an middle aged man in a dark uniform pointing his gun at us . "Well, well . It looks like I finally caught a poaching bastard . "

'Poaching bastards?' What the hell is this guy on about . I looked around sneakily and realized that Rahul was already no where to be found .


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"Sir . I think you must have mistaken me with someone else . " I said in a calm voice .

"Shut up! And I told you to drop your weapons didn't I . Why are you still holding on to your… sword? And why the hell are you carrying a sword in the first place?"

"I…" I wanted to say something but then realized that something was wrong here .

The man then took out a walkie-talkie from his belt and tried to call someone "Kunal . Kunal can your hear . Kunal . " After trying it for a few minutes he finally lost his patience and started cursing .

"Damn bastard! Never on the job when you needs him the most . He better not meet me when I get back . Don't put down your fucking hands . "

"Alright . Alright . Jesus man . Take it easy . " I said and put up my hands once again .

"Damn it . Maggie is missing as well . I wonder where she ran off to in the forest . She never does something like this . " The man kept muttering to himself .

"Sir . May I know who you are?" I asked . 'I hope this guy is sane . Or else I could be in for some trouble here . '

"Me . I'm the Chief Wildlife Warden Aditya Rawat . And the person who's going to put you behind the bars . "

"But Sir, I'm not a poacher . " I said calmly .

"That's what every last one of them say . If you're not a poacher then where did all the blood on your clothes and the sword came from . "

I was tongue tied and only now realized that my appearance really did seem suspicious . But… Doesn't this guy know about about the apocalypse .

The Chief Wildlife Warden then took out his phone and dialed someone else's number . After a few dozen seconds passed . "Damn it! Since when the fuck did the Police became so irresponsible . "

"Sir . May I know when was the last time I went back to the town?" I asked calmly while I wondered where Rahul was . 'Why the hell had he not attacked this guy already . '

"Shut your trap . Do you think you still have rights to ask me any questions . I'll be the one asking the questions from here on . " He shouted in anger .

"But Sir . Don't you find it strange that no one is picking your call . " I hoped I could explain the situation to him . "The town has changed a lot when you were not around you know . "

"Oh!" The Chief Wildlife Warden suddenly exclaimed in understanding . "I understand now . Your roots really run deep . Huh . I could have never expected this . Seems like even the police is involved in this racket . But don't worry . No matter how deep your roots are, I will take them all out and make sure that you get punished for what you done to all those poor animals . "

"No that's not…"

"Shut up . " He shouted . "Drop your bag on the ground and move back slowly . "

"Alright . Just don't shoot me alright . " I said and slowly took off my bag and kept it in the ground . I then did as was told and slowly moved backward .

The man then came forward and kicked the bag a few times to make sure that there was no trap in it .

After that he bent down and started taking out all the stuff from inside it .

'Lily how much time is left before I could use the Agility Booster skill once again . ' I asked .

'16 minutes, 23 seconds' she responded immediately .

'Damn it! So close yet so far . ' I sighed . Looking at how he was focusing on the bag, if I could have used the skill I could have subdued him easily . But at this point where my Agility had dropped down by half, it would be risky .

'Let's hope Rahul makes his move before this guy take me back to the town . '

"Hmm . What a perfect alibi . " The Chief Wildlife Warden mused to himself "If had not caught you red handed I would have also been fooled into thinking that you're just some random guy tracking in the forest . How clever . "

He then looked at me and asked "Where are the rest of your colleagues . And where have you hidden the skins . "

"Skins?" Wait! Isn't this guy's imagination power a bit too advanced .

"Huh! Looks like you're not ready to talk . Come . I'll take you to the police station . A little bit of torture will no doubt loosen your tongue there . "

"Wait listen to me at least…"

"I said move . Turn around and start walking along that path . And you better not make any…"

"Apologies Warden . But he won't be going anywhere . " Just as I turned around I heard Rahul's voice and then a 'thud' sound of something heavy falling to the ground followed soon after that .

I looked back and saw that Rahul had knocked the Warden unconscious and taken his Rifle .

"What took you so long?" I asked as I looked at Rahul in annoyance .

"Well… I wanted to see if we would find another Gaurav in this remote area . " Then he shook his head with a bitter smile "But it seems like I expected too much from this guy . After all, how could someone as talented as Gaurav be so easy to find . Come on . Let's get going . "

'Ah! So that' how it was . It seems like Rahul wanted to observe him for some time before deciding whether to take him in the group or not . Looking at Rahul's reaction now, it seems like this guy here failed his test . '

"Wait! What about his gun?" I asked "Shouldn't we take it with us . It might come in handy . "

Rahul shook his head . "It's too heavy . Too loud . And too slow . In short it's a very impractical weapon to use in this apocalypse . "

"So… Are we leaving him just like this . " I asked .

Rahul looked at the guy and then bent down to pat his pockets a few times . Then he put his hands inside one of his pockets and took out a half eaten piece of chocolate .

He showed the chocolate to me and asked with a smile "Want some?"

'Ugh!' My eyes twitched for a moment before I turned around and continued walking in the direction we had walked in before we're interrupted by the warden .

After walking for time however, my expression suddenly changed . I turned to look at Rahul and realized that he had a dark expression on his face as well .

"You heard it as well?" I asked .

"Yeah . " He replied .

The forest went into silence once again and as I paid a bit more attention, I heard that bone chilling sound once again .

It was… the wailing sound of a dying beast . Except that tens of beasts were wailing at the same moment .

I shuddered in fear as I looked in the direction where those sounds were coming from .

"Damn it! What kind of creature produce such sounds . " I wasn't really expecting an answer when I said that, but Rahul gave me an one anyway .

"A mutant tree . " He said .

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