۩ The Echelon Tower ۩ | Chap 16 Released! |

NEW NOVEL!

THE ECHELON TOWER               *introduction of myself at the bottom of the post   *novel cover on the Wattpad page

This is my personal novel that I've already spend the past half-year setting up. It is a western magic/xuanhuan/martial arts style and although it might sound bad to have all those things mixed together I'm confident that it will turn out great. I can say that I've spent hours on the power system alone just to show how I've thought out these things so they work well together.

The novel doesn't start by the typical get stronger/breakthrough after breakthrough style. Instead, it start with a more survival/apocalypse setting. I have two reasons for this. First, I find that the way I have set the story leads really well into the the breakthrough style and it is a much more adequate start of novel. Second, I am posting this both on WW Forum and Wattpad, so the latters audience will probably have 0 idea what the hell an Immortal in our terms. This makes it so that I have to make the power system make a whole lot of sense, which I like and prefer over reading 100 chapters just to understand what the hell of X level of strength represents. I'm sure you guys will also enjoy this change of pace. Also, I am not saying that all action is gone, in fact is is the most present thing in my opinion, just not in the same way.

My current objective is 3 chapters a week but I definitely want to ramp that up but I'm still not used to this school flow.

Wattpad link: https://www.wattpad.com/story/120549496-the-echelon-tower   .  I upload on Wattpad because I like it's audience a lot and it has nice tools to see how your novel is doing.
I am also uploading to Royal Road. Putting the link here when it gets accepted.

Huge shout out to Daoist Cleaving Fist for helping me out in discovering how the forum works!

Synopsis (I think it's pretty bad but here you go):

Humanity as a whole has been tricked.  Now they must face their fantasies head on, but at what price?

Azin (previously known as Jonathan) must follow the destiny that has been established for him...or he can break it

What is one willing to do to because an Immortal or a God? Reach the apex of power? He might not have an answer for his fellow humans, but he has one for himself.


Introduction:

I've never done a proper introduction so here goes. My name is Sena Marlon. I prefer if you call my KitchenCriminal (because the name is awesome imo) or just Sena. The name KitchenCriminal came from my mom when I stole some food she was cooking. She proceeded to catch me by the shirt, slap my neck hard and insult me of kitchen criminal...Anyways, I'm a "full time student" like the government likes to call it and my goal is entering McGill University in medicine. I'm following in my older sisters footsteps so I'm not too worried. I am also a wannabe writer. I don't like calling myself a amateur writer, because I have ZERO  only school test experience in writing. That's pretty much all there is to say about me.

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  • Chapter 0 - Phantasm


    ...

     

    August 30th, 2020, Canada, Montreal.

    In the west of the Montreal Island, where the more fortunate resided, a boy was waiting in line at an electronics store.

    He was a tall teen that looked about 16 years old although he was only 14. He had a face that would be described as handsome due to his green almond eyes, thick eyebrows, a thin nose, full lips and a square chin. He had brown matte hair cut in an undercut style, which accentuated its waviness.

    “Hum, hum, hum, huummmm~”

    “Shut your mouth”

    A strong female voice suddenly interrupted Jonathan’s joyful humming.

    “Ay, someone is in a foul mood today.”

    “Hmph.”

    The angry person was a young girl, who was also 14 years old. She was standing next to Jonathan with her arms crossed and had an annoyed look on her face. Part of that was because she had been waiting in line for a long time but also because she kept attracting glances from young boys here.

    But how could you blame them? It was truly rare to see such a fine girl.

    Large grey eyes, long blond hair in a ponytail, full pink lips, round chin, beautifully curved eyebrows. What could a guy ask for more? Furthermore, she was a quarter Japanese, which gave her a unique and attractive look that produced admiration and curiosity. Even her body wasn’t something you could find on an ordinary 14-year-old girl. Toned legs, large hips with an ample posterior and full breast where each a rarity at this age, so saying that this all-in-one was a feast for the eyes was an understatement.

    “Steph, you aren’t helping your case by having your arms crossed under your boobs you know?” Jonathan sneakily pointed out with a mocking tone.

    Although she had said nothing, Jonathan had clearly seen through her. After all, they had been best friends since they were in diapers. If he couldn’t figure out this much about her train of thoughts, he might as well go to handicap school.

    “..” Stephanie simply stared at him, not knowing what to say. Although the best course of action right now would be to change her arm posture, now that her friend had pointed it out, she couldn’t do it. Her pride was too large for that. As such, she simply grinded her teeth and endured.

    “You know you didn’t have to come here right? There’s leaving bus toward our houses in 5 minutes. If you walk fast, you should be able to catch it.”

    “Hmph! How could I abandon you here with all these creepers? It’s my responsibility as a friend to be with you.”

    “Yes ma’am, whatever you say.” Jonathan lazily answered. Sigh, if only she didn’t have such a huge ego her life would be much simpler.

    “But you know, not everyone here is a creeper, it's just that a series of events have led many people to come here, not just geeks.”

    “Shut up.”

    “Yes mom.”

    Although Stephanie didn’t want to admit defeat, what Jonathan had said was indeed the truth.

    Today was the launch of the latest virtual reality headset, the Phantasm. The company that constructed it, RealVision, had announced it as the opener to a “new age of virtual reality.” And from what people saw from its premiere at CES, that was indeed the case.

    Until now, virtual reality consisted in having a headset with a screen imbued inside of it. You would then place your eyes on lenses on the headset to be able to “see” the virtual world, and controllers would serve as hands. To move would have to use a type of sliding mat that would translate your real life walking into whatever simulation you were using.

    Although it was very fun and functional, this could be only described as a “lesser virtual reality” since it reflected our reality at a less accurate level. The Phantasm, however, was described as a “parallel virtual reality,” since it perfectly reflected our reality in every way. Whether it was graphically or physically, it would be almost impossible for someone to differentiate it from the real world.

    This was made possible due to Quantum computing, which RealVision used as foundation for their headset. This allowed them to use less energy for more power, creating an extremely powerful machine with much, much less size and power consumption for the equivalent power as a traditional computer.

    Furthermore, thousands of governments and private institutes sponsored RealVision, lowering the impact of R&D significantly for the consumer. In fact, the impact was so great that there was virtually no “R&D payback” cost to the Phantasm.

    Adding to the fact that the Phantasm required no extra peripherals, as it directly retrieved signals from the brain, it’s cost was astoundingly low. In fact, stocks for tradition computer companies was turning to sh*t, as you could use the Phantasm for a much more efficient and fast workflow. Hell, you could simulate a modern computer in it. This was easily demonstrated at CES, which served as confirmation of its abilities.

    $39.99 US

    You could simulate a $3000 computer in a $39.99 machine. If this wasn’t a godsend, then you would have to search the whole universe to find something that was.

    And this was the price without taking into account bulk deals. If you were in an organization like Jonathan and Stephanie’s school, you could get the headset for $30. With all that considered, it wasn’t surprising that it sold over 1 billion copies.

    Unfortunately, this meant that if you didn’t pay to receive it by mail, you would have to go to a pickup location. Although this wouldn’t be an issue usually, with 1 billion people ordering, it was surprising that there was a blockage in stores.

    Although Jonathan wasn’t poor and in fact, using his family funds, could buy “rich people's lives” ten times over, he didn’t like wasting money. As such, he was here.

    He also had secretly ordered a headset for his best friend, who was punished for having spent over $500 on a celebrities’ new makeup line and thus had absolutely no funds in her bank account.

    Although he insisted on having her leave, he had secretly influenced her in staying by text messages. This was possible since he knew her mentality like the back of his hand.

    Since students at his school automatically had a RealVision account, it wasn’t an issue having her use the Phantasm with him.

    “Hahaha, am I not a great friend?” Jonathan was secretly complimenting himself.

    After a long wait in line, Jonathan and Stephanie had finally arrived to the counter.

    ’’After we pick up the headset we’re going to Rafik’s place. He has a pretty amazing Wi-Fi speed so it shouldn’t cut off even though there are a lot of people online.”

     “I didn’t order a headset though. I’m not down to stay in a room while you guys are all in your fantasies…” Although Stephanie didn’t mind not having a headset, she still felt slightly disappointed to be the odd one in this situation.

    “Who said you didn’t have one?” Jonathan responded with a huge smile on his face.

    As he said that the cashier took out two headsets from her stock and placed them in a bag.

    “Huh? You got me one? Hahahaha thank you! You’re the best I love you.” A huge smile beamed across Stephanie’s face, as she tightly hugged Jonathan. Although she could deal with not having a headset, it was still extremely pleasant to have someone looking out for you.

    “Hahaha, what would you do without me.” Jonathan once again glorified himself as he reached out to grab the bag.

    Even the young cashier had a smile across her face as she talked to Stephanie. “You sure have a nice boyfriend.”

    “No, no we’re just friends,” Jonathan hurriedly corrected her.

    “Oh really?” The cashier answered with a joking tone, as she thought Jonathan was lying. “You two would make a really cute couple.”

    “Hmmm … perhaps one day, anyways thanks you for the service beautiful lady.” Jonathan calmly answered while leaving. It seemed like he was thinking about a certain, “one day.”

    The cashier couldn’t help but smile even though it was an underage boy who complimented her. “It seems that he’s a player, that little miss will have it rough.” She then continued handing out headsets.

     

     

    Two people were standing in form of a house that was just short of being classified as a mansion.

    They waited a few seconds when a fat young boy opened the door.

    He had chubby cheeks and you could see his belly pop out from under his shirt if he moved too much. His bushy eyebrows, dark hair, black eyes and slightly apparent facial hair all showed that he was of Arabic descend.

    “Ay, isn’t it Jonathan!” The fat boy said with a surprised expression.

    “Why are you saying that as if you didn’t know that I was going to come?” Jonathan answered in a mocking tone. “Anyways, what’s up man?”

    “You already know what’s up bro, we’re about to get some shakalaka boom boom action. I wonder how well sex is reproduced in the Phantasm eheheh…” Rafik answer in a perverted way.

    “You wouldn’t be able to compare it to reality anyways hahahaha!” Facing his friend’s perverted enthusiasm. Jonathan had no choice but to send him back to his lane.

    “F*ck you. We’re only 14, not everyone is a sinner like you…” Rafik had nothing to say against Jonathan.

    “Calm down Rafik. You’re quite lucky yourself. Not every teen gets to know what breast feel like. On the other hand, you get to touch some whenever you desire with those big ass melons you got HAHAHAHA!” Jonathan could restrain himself from pointing out his friends man boobs and burst into laughter.

    “Shut the f*ck up, some girls like chubby guys too…” Rafik could only keep his mouth shut facing the overwhelming truth.

    “It’s just a joke, it’s just a joke.”

    After Jonathan entered, Rafik noticed the beautiful girl that was still standing at the door. She was staring at him with a weird expression.

    “… You come to Steph. Jonathan told me he bought you a headset so you won’t get bored while waiting for us. Don’t worry, what I said we were going to do earlier was just a joke.”

    Remembering the disgusting claims this fatty had made earlier, Stephanie’s expression turned even uglier. She decided to simply walk past the Rafik, which destroyed even further the poor bastard's self esteem.

    “F*ck me … although it would be nice to look like Jonathan, food is still life.” He thought to himself, almost drawling to the thought of a good burger.

    With Stephanie following right behind, Jonathan headed to the house’s basement. When he arrived there, 3 voices welcomed him.

    “Yo, Johathan.”

    “What's up bro.”

    “Steph is here too? Hi to both of you.”

    Sitting on two couches were 3 of Jonathan good friends.

    The first one to talk was Julien. He was a half-Arab half-Caucasian, with thick eyebrows and lazy black eyes. He had a square chin, narrow lips and hooked nose. His very curly brown hair was cut in a faded undercut style. Although he was only a “decent” athlete, he shinned in academics, even more so than Jonathan.

    Sitting next to him was Aaron. He was an African-American with dreadlocks that were almost at the level of his cheeks. He also and a short chin with a strong jawline and high check bones. Through his big full lips, you could see two amazingly white rows of teeth, which made his smile seem surnatural. His large eyes worked charmingly with his broad nose, giving him a unique look. Similarly, to Jonathan he had two earrings, although they were more attention grabbing than Jonathans. Although he wasn’t as good as an overall athlete as Jonathan, Aaron excelled in track & field. Unfortunately, his grades couldn’t compare to Jonathan’s, let alone Julien’s. With Jonathan, they often worked as the “black & white squad” flirting left and right as they were said to be some of the most handsome guys of their age.

    Lastly was William, a full on Chinese boy. There isn’t much to say. He fitted the Asian stereotype perfectly. Narrow eyes, flat nose, very spiky hair, etc. The only thing that differentiated him would be his longer jaw. He was also a very good athlete and his grades were average.

    The five of them always hung out together whether it was school or outside.

    “Nice to see you guys.” Jonathan responded.

    “Long time no see.” Stephanie didn’t seem to want to talk much so she only briefly said hi.

    After the welcome was done, the group went on with the matter at hand.

    “I think we should set up now just in case something happens because of server overload.” Jonathan said to all the group.

    “Yea, I think that’s a good idea.” Will had already taken out his headset, so the 5-other people followed suit.

    “Meet you guys in the waiting room.” Julien said before the program fully started.

     Before the connection to the servers at 9 pm in their time zone, a waiting room where one could simulate about 10 km of things at will be made. Although it was only 7:23 pm, this could keep them well occupied till then. Furthermore, everyone on the same internet connection would be in the same simulation if they wanted to, adding to the fun.

    “Oh wait.” Jonathan pointed out as he removed his headset. “Rafik, you got one of your knives that I can borrow to bring in game?” Jonathan wanted to test the usage of real-life objects in a simulation. There was a reason why many games used blades as a starting weapon, it was the most versatile tool.

    “Yea, I have them here.” Rafik a big game fan and one of his games had multiple knives, so he had bought real-life versions of the knives. There were 6 different knives and all of them cost over $100.

    “I shotgun the M9,” Jonathan said.

    “I’ll grab the basic Bayonet” Although the M9 was Rafik’s favourite knife, he wouldn’t start business over it.

    “Karambit for me.” Aaron said

    “Gut knife.” Will said

    “Just give me any knife.” Julien said.

    “I don’t want any.” Steph grumbled. This seemed to be way too boyish for her.

    “Don’t be a party pooper, you don’t even need to use it, just take a flip knife or you’ll regret it.” Jonathan said.

    Before she could even respond, Rafik threw a flip knife to her. After a bit of hesitation, she put it in the back pocket of her jeans.

    After everyone sheeted their knives and put them in their pockets, they started the Phantasm.

    “This is it” Jonathan though.

    [Initialization … Calibration finished. Think about login information please]

    A voice resonated in Jonathan’s head.

    “Information? My email is [email protected] and my password is.” The moment he thought about the password…

    [Login Successful, Please Wait]

    “Damn, that’s fancy.” Jonathan thought

    Soon he arrived in a white space.

    “So this is the simulation space?” Jonathan was currently in a white space with a huge clock in front of him, it displayer 7:39.

    “How do you activate the simulation thought? Tutorial! Menu! Options!” He tried to scream commands he saw at CES, but nothing happened.

    “Guess I’ll just restart, quit!... What the hell? QUIT!... No way … I’m stuck here? Don’t tell me I can only stare at this f*cking clock.”

    “I guess I’ll just wait till 9 pm maybe by then will automatically enter a server and all will be well.” He was pretty good at controlling his stress, so he didn’t flip out or anything although the situation was weird.

    8 pm

    8:30 pm

    9 pm

    [Transition start]

    “Finally!”

    Although he wouldn’t have a breakdown, he still had to wait in an almost fully silent place for an hour and 30 minutes. He was fully naked so he couldn’t use his phone or anything making the wait even worst.

    Suddenly, Jonathan heard a melody above his head and when he looked up, a huge shining diagram had appeared.

    Right after, he was teleported away.

    Little did he know, in the outside world, a huge commotion was caused.

    From houses that had headsets in them, light rays shot out in the sky. Each ray connected to different headsets and if you looked at the Earth from the sky, you would see a huge diagram over each continent. These continental diagrams then connected to each other with multiple rays of light, forming a huge net over Earth!

    Every single human being, no matter where they were suddenly shined in golden light, then disappeared.

    In under 60 seconds, Earth was empty.

  • edited October 11
    I'll just write here what's happening currently.
    Chapter 11 is written, 2k words, but unedited.
    Chapter 12 is halfway written.
    I'm confident that ill be able to put out the 4 remaining chapters before the end of the week. No post today. 1 tmr bc I have a detention but there will be a double release Thursday.
  • edited September 16
    Chapter 1 - Space of White

    Spoiler:


     

    While something extraordinary was happening outside, Jonathan was being teleported to an unknow destination, oblivious to everything.

    A white diagram had appeared and shined its light on Jonathan, who then sensed a strong distortion. Each minute passed like days and his body seemed to have turned into slime while his vision was extremely blurry.

    It felt like he had taken some crazy mix of drugs to the point that he wanted to vomit.

    Thankfully, everything eventually went back to normal.

    After that weird event, he was back in the same white space with the same inability to move, however, one element had changed.

    There were now about five thousand people around him. They too stayed immobile, all looking towards the same direction.

    From the corner of his eyes, Jonathan recognized a familiar figure.

    ‘Steph!’Although he had wanted to say that no words came out. In fact, his mouth couldn’t move at all. It was if his body and mind had been completely disconnected.

    If his body could react, he would be sweating bullets. After all the feeling of essentially being a paralyzed cripple was terrifying.

    [Attention.]

    A monotone, almost robotic voice resounded through the white space.

    Suddenly a globe of blinding light appeared. Although Jonathan would have liked to close his eyes, he couldn’t do so.

    Thankfully, the light soon dimmed down, leaving only a golden globe of light in front of the group of humans.

    [Greeting, Earth’s humans. My name Is System, and you can address me as such when you are authorized. Do not fear, your body is not truly paralyzed. This is simply a measure of crowd control. When the transition will be complete, you will all regain your former level of control over your body.]

    The globe of light paused its speech, as if it was waiting for the people here to nod their heads in agreement.

    Everything had happened very fast, leaving Jonathan in somewhat of a daze. However, the bit that he could understand shocked him.

    ‘The phantasm has the ability to block out all communication between the brain and the body? They had previously said that this was only partial to make sure that people would feel if something dangerous had happened in the real word. But it seems as if somebody could be having a heart attack and not know about it.’

    This thought made Jonathan doubt the situation a lot. As a person who preferred taking the initiative in everything, refusing to be under any level of rule from another person, this reality pissed him off.

    [I imagine many of you have your questions, so I will establish your situation for you. All of you, along the rest of humanity, is being transferred to another world. Even those without the Phantasm are included in this transition through special means, as you will certainly be able to observe soon. The purpose of this transfer is not disclosed as you will discover it yourselves. As for the matter of the Phantasm is but a trick or a scam in your terms. The Phantasm and RealVision are only tools to start the process of the transfer and are in no other way connected to these events. Now, you will be authorized to ask questions. To ask a question, simply think, “System my question is: insert questions here.” I will only answer each of you once. Proceed to questioning.]

    ‘A question? And one per person? What the hell is this…’ Jonathan was confused by this, so he proceeded to do what he always does in an unforeseen situation. See and analyze.

    “Where are we?”

    Jonathan heard a man ask out loud not too far from him. The man could easily move his facial features as if he was normally talking, but his body was still frozen in place.

    Jonathan recognized this man, who was the science teacher in grade 12 at his school.

    [Answering. This a waiting area till the transition is complete.]

    “What kind of transitioning is this?” It was now a female voice that spoke out loud. It seems to be boosted by something, making it easily hearable from far.

    [Answering. This transitioning is essentially a teleportation, with a few variances added.]

    “What are those variances?”

    Although the questioned followed up as if it was by a single person, it was truly different people asking questions. In fact, it seemed like “System” was cherry picking questions.

    [Answering. 1. All objects that you are touching but no storing with you will be removed. Example: The Phantasm. 2. You are teleported with the group that you are currently with, which is the organization you registered you RealVision account with. For humans who have no registered a RealVision account, they will be placed in groups according to their location at their last moment on Earth. 3. You age will be regressed by 5 years upon your transition, to allow for more proper development.]

    “Where are we transitioning to?”

    [Answering. Name of the location undisclosable. Level of danger undisclosable. General terrain undisclosable. Technological advances undisclosable … only 1 information disclosable: Salivation is where the sun shines brightest.]

    “What are we supposed to…”

    For what seemed to be hours, over 3000 people asked questions. After that, Jonathan could make a general outlook of his situation.

    “The Phantasm is a scam that forced all of humanity to teleport to an unknown location. When we arrive there, we will be 5 years younger. We will also appear there along with fellow members of our school, including teachers. We do not know why we are sent there, what we are supposed to do there or what is going to welcome us when we arrive. Our only objective is a place where ’the sun shines brightest… This all sounds like an even bigger scam … maybe if I…”

    “What is all you are saying is lying and that the Phantasm is actually functioning just as normal and we are simply in a virtual world?”

    Eh? Jonathan moved his mouth and asked out loud.

    He didn’t expect that “System” would choose him to talk. He had previously tried to ask a few things but was skipped. Adding to the fact that no questions like “What the f*** is this” popped up, it showed that “System” didn’t like questions that refuted what it said.

    [A lie? Hahahaha.]

    It was the first time “System” had answered by a question. Even more shockingly, it had laughed. Its voice had also changed to be more human like, making Jonathan doubt that it was a machine.

    [I’m not supposed to answer to questions like this, but I feel benevolent today. Hear my advice, and make sure it is printed onto your heart, even your soul.]

    “System” sounded even more human like. Jonathan was convinced that it wasn’t a machine answering him.

    [The ones amongst you who believe that this is a joke or a scam will be the first ones to die.]

    What Jonathan heard shocked him. Especially the last word in “System’s” answer. Die. They could die? Although some questions on danger had popped up, system refused to disclose information on the situation.

    But now that they know that people would die, this meant that their situation wasn’t good.

    “What kind of death will this be? Real death or death in a gaming sense?”

    [Transition complete. Best of luck.]

    Without answering the person despite allowing him to talk, the globe of light disappeared.

    All became once again distorted.

     

  • edited September 17
    Chapter 2 - Arrival

    To me, this is the true start of the story. The two previous chapters were considered as a prologue and I split it since my average is 2000 words per chapter and it would've went up to 4000 in one chapter. To make it short, the two first chapters are the "how" to what starts at the second (of course not everything is revealed).

    Spoiler:


    A strong light shined on Jonathan, forcing him to close his eyes. Along with it also came a fresh breeze of air, carrying the unique smell of clean, unpolluted nature. Even the sound of birds chirping came to his ears.

    When he opened his eyes, he was shocked by the scenery in front of him.

    He was currently on a high hill and could see an enormous green forest in front of him. It easily contained over ten species of coniferous trees along with tons of leafy trees. Smaller vegetation was also very abundant, with many different types of bushes. Everything was abnormally green, giving a particularly beautiful look to the forest

    Jonathan had often driven a few hours north of Montreal, where they were very similar scenery, but they lacked compared to this.

    Furthermore, there was a huge sun could be seen in the sky at the horizon. A black celestial body could also be seen near it and was about the same size. Surprisingly, a pillar of light from the ground to the sun could be vaguely seen.

    His surprise was also shared by the five thousand people around him.

    “Whoa! Look behind!” Someone screamed out, drawing the attention of many others.

    Jonathan also turned around and saw something equally amazing.

    A chain of mountains so high that they pierced the clouds blocked all view of what was behind them. There mountain shined with an almost metallic glow, along with their snowy tips, giving them a very unique look.

    They were at about one kilometre from them and they were extremely sleep. Any attempt to climb them without specialized equipment would result in an immediate failure.

    As Jonathan looked around him, he saw many familiar figures.

    “Stop! You guys are here too!”

    Everyone that was in Rafik’s house seemed to have been teleported together

    “Eh. How come you look so different?” Steph asked him with a puzzled expression.

    “What do you mean?”

    When he observed Stephanie, he was shocked to see such a major change. Flat chest, straight hips, smaller legs and a less mature face where some of the changes present.

    “Could this be the…” Jonathan quickly examined his other friends, finding that they too seemed to have regressed a few years. “There’s no doubt about it, this is the age diminishing that that guy was talking about.”

    Even when he looked at himself, he could see many differences. Although he was only 14 to start with, he was already over 6 feet tall. A such it didn’t bother him to lose a bit of growth while working out. Naturally his hands should’ve been rough from going to the gym almost every day, but they were currently very soft. His finger was shorter along with thinner arms and legs. He could also feel that his voice was much higher-pitched.

    “Instead of just lowering our age by some sort of downscaling, it looks like the process is more like a backward time machine. Except for superficial things like haircuts, everything else is exactly like when we were younger. Thankfully our clothes are scaled down.” Julien made a quick analysis of the situation while staying calm.

    “That’s probably the case. I had permanently injured my knee while playing American football when I was thirteen and although it doesn’t stop my mobility in any way, I could always ‘feel’ that that knee was weaker or more fragile than the other. However, I can’t feel any of that now.” William also added his personal to Julien’s hypothesis.

    After a bit more talking, it was evident that that hypothesis was correct.

    “STOP TALKING! STOP TALKING!” An extremely loud voice swept over the entirety of the group. It seemed that a large group of teachers had formed.

    It seemed like they wanted to regroup everyone. Screaming was necessary as there were so many people talking.

    After about twenty minutes of the teachers running and screaming around the students, everyone went silent.

    “Everyone regroups in a circle so that we can transmit information please!” The teachers’ orders seemed like a holy aid in this time of chaos, so everyone naturally followed them.

    Thankfully the hill was very large and soon a human circle of about 600m of diameter was formed.

    As for Jonathan, he had sprinted along with his friends, so he was close to the centre of the circle.

    A confident man of about fifty years of age stepped right in the middle of the circle. He was the science teacher in 12th grade. He was fully bald and quite fit for his age as he biked almost every day.

    “We have no time to waste, so I will cut to the chase. As you can see, we have nothing but wilderness around us. No homes, no restaurant and no water. As such, we must absolutely find or build those things. We might feel fine right now, but it is only a matter of time before dehydration, lack of sleep and hunger settles and that we’re in trouble. In fact, we should use our current energy to establish a strong base. We don’t know for how long we’ll be here, or if we’ll even ever return on Earth, so I think that…”

    “Hold your horses, 'knowing when we’ll return to Earth'. We don’t even know if this is all true, which it probably isn’t anyways. I hope you realize how ridiculous this sound. Different worlds? Teleportation? None of that exist. In fact, RealVision has shown that they can produce a world where it is hard to make a difference from the real world. Even if we are trapped in this world, it is only a matter of time before the law enforcements deal with the situation and force them to take us out.”

    A woman which Jonathan recognized very well was the one who opposed the science teacher. She was the French teacher of his grade. She was a skinny woman that seemed to have much hatred for the world. Her words towards students were often vicious and she had almost no admirers.

    However, she was a clever woman with a clear and reasonable train of thought. As such, she gained some backers and soon enough an argument between the teachers broke out. The students could do nothing but sit back and watch.

    “I can attest to the fact that humans that were not on that headset got teleported here. I was cooking when this all happened … and here I am. Personally I find that this proves that teleportation is a thing. It might be like the internet, which existed forty years before it was released to the public.” Another teacher walked to the middle and sided with the science teacher.

    “Sure, but it is too early to deduce anything. What if our movements cause a bug in the system, making so that we can’t go out when the authorities intervene?” Another teacher joined into the fray.

    “Movement? We already moved just to do this circle. I think that we should…”

    As time went by, the argument grew bigger and bigger. You could even hear some students screaming their opinions in the back. Soon enough, it went from an argument to a fight.

    “Don’t act like you don’t want to take authority here you bastard. You’re always so cocky.” A male teacher advanced towards the science teacher while looking very mad. Even though he had a reputation for being bipolar, nobody expected him to suddenly throw a punch towards the science teacher.

    It seemed that a past grudge fuelled this violent decision.

    The punch from his right hand flew surprisingly fast since it was coming from a man with the notorious “dad stomach.”

    Everyone could see the outcome of this in their imagine but right before the punch landed on the science teachers face…

    Pah! The violent teacher found himself folded in two, as if he was trying to touch his feet with his hands. A knee was lodged heavily in his stomach. A second later, he flew out about four metres, crashing into the ground without being able to get back up.

    Contrary to what was expected by everyone that witnessed the fight, the science teacher dodged to the left right before the impact while staying completely unfazed. He had also passed his right hand over his opponent’s shoulder during this time. After that maneuver, he had thrown his right knee out while he lowered his right arm onto the violent teachers back, ensuring that the latter receive the full strength of his kick. In addition to the forward force that the violent teacher had, this strike was extremely fast and it caused a lot of damage to the science teacher’s opponent.

    This could be tested by that fact that he was lying on the ground completely defeated and attempting to catch his breath.

    Although most would only be surprised by this, Jonathan knew how difficult this was to execute as he had taken a few mixed martial arts classes while at the gym. This type of move requires a lot of technique in addition to a body well adapted to fighting. It was also impossible to avoid a strike without wasting any movement like the science teacher had done without any experience. Considering that this teacher was a cyclist, it was quite amazing that he could do this. An age regression definitely wasn’t a proper explanation

    “SHUT UP!” The science teacher screamed out loud. The two groups of teachers immediately ceased all dispute amongst each other. They had both witnessed the fight and seen the dominance of the science teacher.

    The person returned to his side as if nothing had happened. His display of strength had intimidated many here, teachers and students alike.

    “Look, whether this is true or not, we have nothing to lose preparing ourselves for the worst. I know this might sound like some fantasy story for many of you, but that shouldn’t be the reason why we die in vain… You heard it yourselves… Those that don’t believe will be the first ones to die. And I hope not to die, so better believe, right?”

    A long silence followed this statement and soon everyone was looking towards the science teacher.

    This was the silent approval towards the science teacher’s opinion.

    “Well, since it’s decided, I’ll propose something. Firstly, you’ll all group up with the teacher you had your last class with.”

    Soon, everyone was with the last teacher they had. Stephanie and Jonathan were in the same class so they stayed together but the other guys had to separate.

    “You will now separates in three groups. And we'll mix those sub-groups to ensure a balance in age. The younger ones are too weak to do many things, so the older ones will support them through this.”

    After the organization of groups was done, Jonathan and Stephanie found themselves with a few older people they know, including Stephanies older brother.

    “This is a pretty decent group, especially since we have Stephanie’s brother. This will ensure constant support instead of only superficial support.” Jonathan was fairly happy with his group.

    “Now, can every person that is a boy scout or had experience as one to walk towards me please.”

    The science teacher proceeded to then evenly distribute the boy scouts across groups.

    “For here, you have a bit less old people than the other groups, so I’ll give you an older boy scout. Although you only have one, he is older so he will naturally do things on the same level as two younger ones.”

    After he finished organizing Jonathan’s group, the science teacher left to do other things. Everyone seemed to be satisfied by the arrival of the scout, yet Jonathan was in a foul mood.

    “What’s wrong with you? Is something wrong with the boy scout that they gave us?” Stephanie could naturally tell what was wrong from Jonathan’s facial expression.

    “No, the scout himself has no issues. It’s just the fact that having a single scout for a group of about 30 people isn’t favourable for us. As the scout is older, he will naturally aid older people first. In the short term, that would make it so that others get better shelter while we are still dealing with little branches. In the long term, the older people will receive a lot of knowledge that we won’t, allowing them to keep an importance in the group. As for us, we will be left aside. After all, what use is someone who can’t set traps or forage. However…” Even after leaving her with this depressing reality, Jonathan still had a slight smile on his face.

    “However, what?”

    “We have three things.” Jonathan pointed at the top of both of their heads.

    “First, bodies. We are very tall and developed for our age, so the number of things we can do is comparable to those one or two years older than us. Anything like reaching into the trees is made much easier for us.” Although he was technically 9, Jonathan was 5”4 while Stephanie was 4”9, which was above the average for both guys and girls.

    “Second, we have these.”Jonathan lowered his voice and slowly pulled out a knife in its cover from the inside of his pants. As it was very weird for someone to have a knife, he had hidden it immediately when he arrived here. “The most common thing in our situation is that people turn on each other. So we can’t show these knives to anyone, especially since we are the younger ones. People would simply take them from us, saying that they could use it better for the group. Apart from that, they are extremely useful while building structures. They also serve as excellent self-defence as they require almost zero expertise.”

    “Third, my phone. Along with my battery bank and its current charge on Super Power Saving mode, we can get about 6 days of usage.” Jonathan always carried a 4000mah battery bank on him, as it was small enough to fit in his pocket and fully charge his phone. It also had a small micro-USB extension, so it required no cables to be carried. “I have an app called ‘Survival Manual.’ It details almost every aspect of survival. We will have 6 days to learn it by heart.”

    “Although we aren’t on the same level as a boy scout since all of our knowledge is theoretical, it won't take much time before we are proficient in putting them in practice. With all these advantages, we are many times better off than other people here. We’re quite lucky that pockets count as storage.”

    “So it seems that we’re going to be just fine out here.” Stephanie was overjoyed at this news.

    Although everything seemed to be composed, the truth was that the majority of the group of humans was experiencing a high level of stress and anxiety. Stephanie was one of those people. Unlike Jonathan, she wasn’t nearly as mature and composed.

    “Just fine? Stop your fantasies right now. We will be able to survive, not live. Hunger will always be at our doorstep, tiredness ready to strike at us when we need energy the most. Although I’m confident that we won’t die, going through this easily is a whole other matter.”

    “Ugh…”

    “Don’t worry about it, as long as we put effort in it will be able to find a way through this. Now, you better start collection wood before everyone else does, or we’ll have to walk more to get some.”

    Although it seemed like Jonathan was having a much more realistic view of the situation then Stephanie, he too wasn’t ready for what was about to come at him.

     

     

     

  • Chapter 3 - Woodcutting

    Spoiler:


     

    In a dense forest, a young boy was sitting on a huge rock. In his hand was a piece of wood that he was grinding on a small rock, turning the wood into a makeshift knife.

    ‘Although I would love to use my Bayonet, revealing it here is way too risky,’ Jonathan thought to himself.

    His cynical instincts told him that he would absolutely regret showing some of his assets. After all, humans will fulfill their own needs before the social one, as shown by Maslow’s Hierarchy.

    ‘Although they might not act against him immediately since they still have leftover values from our previous world, this group will undoubtable crumble. And when it does, all order will be gone. When that time comes they will desire such a useful tool and not hesitate to assault me. Nothing will stop them at that time. After all, a rule is only as powerful as the entity that enforces it.’

    Jonathan could easily compare this to his previous lifestyle. Ordinary people would almost never kill since law enforcement would go through heaven and earth to catch them. On the other hand, music, movie and software piracy was extremely popular since absolutely no one would enforce it. You might get an email from your ISP, but no legal actions will be taken against you.

    The reason for that was simple, there was no worth to doing so.

    The situation of the group will turn the same. When everyone could barely find food to eat and even going to take a sh*t would use valuable energy, was stopping someone from ganging up on another person to steal a mere tool worth it?

    Absolutely not.

    At best, people would tell themselves they would stop someone from doing that when their situation will be stabilized, but these were all empty words.

    ‘As such, I have the be very weary of my actions. Although showing that I have information on survival is inevitable, there is no other alternative.’ Hiding himself looking at his phone was almost impossible. ‘Furthermore, I cannot use the situation to my advantage, as most people that have good stuff are way older, hence stronger.’

    Pushing these thoughts to the side, Jonathan continued the construction of his knife.

    By the instructions of his survival guide, he had found a thirty-centimetre-long piece of wood with an around three centimetres diameter. He then carved out a fifteen-centimetre blade in it. Through his multiple failures, he had formed a knife in about thirty minutes.

    After stuffing it in his pocket, he headed out to help Stephanie gather material for a shelter. Although the water her wasn’t freezing, it was still cold at around seventeen-degree Celsius. There was also a constant light wind. Although it might seem like nothing, your body used energy to create heat. There wasn’t much food here, so that energy was extremely valuable. A shelter helped keep heat in to not require more to be produced.

    Soon, Jonathan found himself with Stephanie.

    “We’re looking for three main materials now. One, many long, strong and flexible branches. Seeing how high the trees are here, it shouldn’t be hard to find branches of this type. Two, much softer branches that we can split and use as rope. Well, must go in the more humid zones to find those. Three, large leaves. This also shouldn’t be hard to spot. Along the way, we should also look for an area to settle. Remember BLISS. Blend with surroundings, low silhouette, irregular shape, small, secluded location.” Jonathan had given his instructions according to his survival guide which was amazingly handy.

    “Got it. I’ll look for leaves and a location to build the shelter and you’ll find all the necessary branches.” Stephanie felt quite confident since she wasn’t acting of off her guts like everyone else.

    About an hour later, Stephanie had found a suitable location. There were a lot of people here, so many of them were taken. Thankfully one decent spot was forgotten. Had Jonathan not taken the initiative to move quickly, only wet and unprotected areas would be offered to them.

    It was also good that the group’s situation had not yet cracked down, or a little girl like Stephanie would never be able to claim this territory.

    Jonathan had also successfully found what he needed. Although he had a large need in quantity, there was no competition since wood was so abundant here.

    After a few trips to transport the wood to their camp, Jonathan had started cutting the softer wood in strips.

    He would use is wood knife to stab the base of the branch then peel it off to form a long strip.

    He also used the wooden knife to stab at the stronger piece of wood and then snap them at that spot. He then used them by crossing them with each other and tying them. This formed four fences looking planks of about ten metres by seven metres. He also made one that was thinner at five by ten metres.

    Placing leaves between two planks tightly, he tied them using Stephanie’s help. These would serve as the walls of his tent. The smaller plank had leaves under and above it and served as a bed top so that Stephanie and Jonathan would not lose heat to the ground.

    After sticking four large branches in the ground in an inverted V shape, the walls were attached to them and the bed top was set inside.

    Although this seemed very easy, it in fact was not. It took well above five hours for just the assembly although they were two. Furthermore, Jonathan would have calluses all over his hands if he didn’t use leaves to protect them. There was also the fact that the wood here was perfect for this type of construction, making the search for it much simpler.

    Still, Jonathan and Stephanie had spent much sweat and tears on this. It is to be remembered that they were quite weak currently. Just lifting a few pieces of required Jonathan’s maximum effort. As such, he felt quite defensive of this place. He wouldn’t hesitate to stab anyone who trying to grab a hold of it.

    ‘’Quite the find work is it not?’’ Jonathan contemplated his construction. It truly wasn’t bad. It looked solid and clean. Except for the smell of wood and leaves, it couldn’t be that hard to live in there. Right?

    “Although I would prefer having mattresses and pillows, this is indeed quite good compared to others.” Stephanie had no choice to validate Jonathan’s opinion. “Look over there.”

    Jonathan turned his view to where Stephanie was pointing. He could see a team of about four people struggling to make a decent shelter. Furthermore, it was smaller than Jonathan’s despite them being four.

    “Since everyone is working on their tents and we are done. I think we should try to exploit other resources. You should stay here to make sure no one steals the shelter while I go looking for food.”

    “Good luck out there.” Stephanie entered the tent and fell asleep. Although it was only the afternoon, the time regression put everyone back five years exactly. It was 9 pm when they entered so many people were already tired. Add to that 7 hours and you start having cases of heavy need of sleep.

    Although Jonathan could continue going since he was used to staying up late, his body was not. He could slightly feel the effects of lack of sleep creeping up on him. Furthermore, he had not eaten anything for hours, making so that hunger had already settled.

    ‘I absolutely need to find some food. Plants are very difficult to detect if they are edible start with. Now, we have a whole new set of plant species, making the guide useless…’ Jonathan continued walking and aimlessly searching for edible plants. He could see many people from his group or other groups that were testing their luck and started eating random plants.

    ‘What’s that grey part on that tree?’ Jonathan just saw an anomaly on a tree trunk, thinking that it was something like a sickness, he looked at it but… ‘Fuck my eyes! That’s not a tumour, that’s a squirrel!!!’

    Seeing a wild animal, his stomach couldn’t stop sending violent signals to him. Even his nervous system went haywire, making him suddenly unable to hear or smell. Never in his life had he felt such a violent reaction to spotting a source of food.

    He also felt a powerful rush of adrenaline through his upper body and quickly moved as if he was not in control of himself. He felt like he was moving by instincts, not thoughts.

    His body had silently crouched down to pick up a stick on the ground with his left hand while his right hand was already on the knife.

    He then violently got up, using the forward momentum to swing the arm holding the knife in a way that it would fly towards the squirrel.

    Wait!

    A trace of intellect passed through Jonathan’s mind right before he finished the throw, pushing him to deviate it higher.

    The squirrel had seen this sudden movement and the thirst in Jonathan’s eyes, so it has burst towards the top of the tree. Unfortunately for it, Jonathan had predicted that it would so, hence why he had thrown the knife higher.

    Zoom!

    The wooden knife flew at a surprising speed, hitting the squirrel straight on its back.

    Although the knife wasn’t sharp enough to go through its whole body, it still gave the squirrel a significant injury that caused it to fall towards the ground.

    Thump! A soft sound could be heard upon impact.

    Without letting the squirrel, a chance to get up, Jonathan ran towards where it landed and whipped the stick at it.

    The squirrel who had just gotten on its feet, got hit by a stick much bigger than it and once more fell to the ground.

    This time, however, Jonathan was upon it before it could get up.

    Knowing how their bites could give diseases, Jonathan wrapped his hands around the squirrel’s head and torso.

    Then, with a clean motion lacking any hesitation, his hands violently twisted.

    Crunch! Crack!

    He pulled off the squirrel’s head and blood flew all over his face. Yet, his expression barely changed while the cold look in his eyes did no waver at all.

    He stood there, blood all over his hands, heavily breathing. Everyone near him turned to look at him like he was some exterminator.

    It wasn’t considered wrong to hunt, but ripping off an animals’ head was a bit too much in most people’s opinion. This was still a small matter though, to they returned to their former tasks, not paying him any heed.

    Jonathan himself had acted before thinking. It was just now that he realized that he had decapitated an animal.

    Truth be told, he found the feeling quite exalting.

    Even a familiar person had seen him in his act.

    “Quite bloodthirsty, aren’t you?” Aaron looked at him from afar.

    “It’s just a squirrel and I had to silence its annoying screams.” Jonathan quickly made up an excuse.

    “ … whatever. How are things on your side?”

    “Not amazing, but I can at least say that I’m handling myself. I also got this guy for lunch.”

    “Always so lucky huh?” Aaron pulled out an object from his pocket, which he threw to Jonathan.

    With a slight movement, Aaron caught it and saw what it was.

    “A lighter… That’s going to be super helpful for me. Making a fire would take hours otherwise…” Another stroke a luck fell upon Jonathan. “But I guess you won’t offer this to me for free… What do you want?”

    Although they were friends, the situation here wasn’t like their everyday life. Even presenting a lighter instead of a wisp of fire was a generous offer that proved their friendship.

    “Half of what you caught.” Aaron quickly gave him his price.

    “Impossible, I can give you a leg but nothing more. A squirrel isn’t anything near enough to feed two people, let alone three. You’ll have to find another method to get food.”

    “… Fine. I’ll come find you after it’s cooked.” Aaron then left to do his own stuff. Although they both would have liked to talk, the severity of the situation had already settled in. Unlucky people who had already not eaten at this time five years ago were screaming in hunger.

    ‘Now that I have a lighter, I can use fire as a currency.’

    If he started a fire, people would be attracted to it and desire it, especially those that also have meat. He could then charge people to get some of his fire. Aaron had probably tried to do the same but no one had anything that could act as currency since it was only the start of this hell.

    Thirty minutes later, Jonathan was in front of a medium-sized fire and had near him the squirrel he had killed as well as other parts of small wildlife.

    ‘It seems like we will eat our fill tonight.’ Jonathan was very satisfied with the exchanges he had made. In addition to that, all wildlife here seemed 20% bigger than in his previous world, making it so that they had more meat.

    After the meat had gotten cooked, Aaron had come to take his piece while Jonathan and Stephanie ate their fill. They even had extras that they sent over to the other 4 guys. Although it wouldn’t fill them, it would help a bit.

    Water was also abundant here, so after a few minutes of transporting water with their hands into a humid and ball-shaped hole in the ground, hot rocks could be added to boil it.

    Successfully satisfying their basic needs, Jonathan and Stephanie could sleep without worrying about their survival for the rest of the day.

    Unfortunately, Jonathan still had a premonition that all of this was too simple to be true, so he always subconsciously kept a vigilant eye an ear out.

    And it as such that he quickly awoke from the commotion late at night.

     

     

    AUTHORS NOTE:

    Yeah, I know. I’m late. I’m sorry and I won’t make any excuse. I can, however, guarantee that all the three chapters will be released by tonight (so I’m technically not late since it’s been exactly seven days). Enjoy!

  • Chapter 4 - Confrontation

    Spoiler:

     

    It was currently very dark and cold outside. The moon in the sky shined even though it was in front of the sun. However, everyone had things more important things than this to bother about.

    ‘What’s going on?’ Jonathan woke up with a jolt, immediately jumping out of his tent and observing the situation.

    Through the sound of the insects in the night, screams and coughing could be heard all around him. There was not much vision, so he immediately illuminated a torch he had prepared before hand.

    Stephanie had also woken up and they headed towards the source of the noise.

    While watching out to not injure themselves while running, both arrived at a nearby camp.

    There were about 4 makeshift tents with people from their group.

    You could see almost all of them on the ground heavily coughing. Two of them were also screaming.

    Their face was pale white along with their eyes being bloodshot. Most were holding their stomach.

    ‘‘What is wrong here?’’ Stephanie asked out to the few who were up and helping the others.

    “We don’t know! They had woken up a few times complaining about their hunger, then some of them started screaming or coughing heavily.”

    “Get them some water or something then!” Stephanie started approaching the group of sickling when Jonathan grabbed her arm. “Why are you stopping me?”

    “You idiot, this is obviously food poisoning. Going there will only get you potentially infected.” Jonathan looked at the sick people with cold eyes.

    The top priority in survival was keeping yourselves at a certain degree of healthiness. This was done by eating, drinking, sleeping as wall as avoiding injury and sickness or infections. How could he allow Stephanie to join that mess?

    “What does that matter for? As long as I don’t put my mouth on any of them I am fine. You think we should just stand there and watch their suffering? Hmph! If we do that, we aren’t any better than street dogs.” Stephanie was angry at her friend. She was a naturally benevolent person, so refusing to help when she clearly could be unacceptable for her.

    “Street dogs? F*ck that. I’d rather be a street dog then be a dead dog. Helping them makes sense when we can afford to, but now we cannot. We don’t have any food or water left. We can’t hunt in the dark and feeding them random plants could very well send them straight to the gates of hell. Collecting water is also impossible, considering that we don’t have any containers and building a ground boiler is already extremely hard. Don’t forget that it’s night right now. If you fall and break your ankle, who will carry you? Who will heal you? What medication will you take?”

    “So what? How can you live with knowing that you let go people who needed your help? I’d rather die with people around me then in a pit all alone.”

    “Eh. You really think that? You don’t understand what dying means and how much your life is worth. Cut your crap! You’re no saint, nor should you delusion yourself into being one. You can only give as much as you have, but we have nothing.”

    “Give as much as we have? You have your little guide, don’t you? If you don’t want to touch them like they as if they are garbage, then at least tell them what they can do. And don’t tell me some shit like how talking would take up too much of your energy.” Stephanie was infuriated by the current situation.

    Hearing her mention a little guide, the other group suddenly had a shine in their eyes. They had seen how the young man didn’t want to help them and although they had found it a bit excessive, they still understood. However, they now had a sliver of hope since the request was so small.

    “…” Jonathan had no reply to what she had said. It was true that this was the leas they could do. “OK, I’ll do it.”

    Hearing this, everyone here had a smile on his face except Jonathan. It was true that this would have only disadvantages to him, draining his phone battery, but he had to appease Stephanie.

    Truth be told, if they separated, he might very well have a mental breakdown in a few days from being alone.

    He handed his torch to Stephanie and opened his phone and looked at the Survival Manual.

    “What type of symptoms do they have?” Jonathan asked to the few that were still standing.

    “It seems like they can’t breathe since the throat is inflated or something. They also have heavy stomach aches. We can’t perform CPR since they are still conscious.”

    Without answering, Jonathan scrolled through his phone to find appropriate treatment.

    “Put them on their back, grab their lower jaw from behind, lift it up and force open their mouth with your thumb. Reconciliation them is also extremely important.”

    After that was done, something like a miracle happened, many of them started breathing more easily, although there was still some blockage. As for those that this didn’t help, Jonathan paid them no heed. After all, he was no doctor, he couldn’t help them if their situation was too severe.

    “This is the only active treatment I have for you. As for medicine, I can only tell you so make get salty water, although the other bacteria in it might hurt them even more … we don’t have any medicine here and food poisoning can only be solved by their body at this point…”

    In truth, Jonathan had given them a very simple instruction. Food poisoning was something you avoid instead of fix, as a cure was very specific and hard to find.

    “That’s good enough for us, them being able to breathe is good enough.” The girl who spoke to him started laughing in joy while holding a man’s face. This reaction was also shared with others.

    Hearing sounds of joy and seeing the fire from the torch, the rest of the group as well as other groups transported their sickling here. Soon, there were almost one hundred people. Many of them got helped by the simple jaw procedure.

    Along with another boy scout, Jonathan helped people apply CPR, although the boy scout was much more actively involved.

    Seeing that the situation was getting under control, Jonathan decided to return to his tent with Stephanie. They couldn’t miss out on sleep for something like this.

    Although Stephanie was hesitant to it, Jonathan had done one of her requests, so she had no choice but to accept his.

    All went well, except that when they go close to the location of their tent, they heard some noise behind them.

    Two boys and one girl came out of the woods, all looking like they were eleven years old.

    Shining the torch upon them, Jonathan could see their face, along with a facial expression that he didn’t like at all.

    ‘They’re here to cause trouble.’ Was Jonathan’s first taught. His facial expression instantly turned cold and his cynical nature locked down all attempts of friendliness from them.

    “What do you guys want?” Stephanie immediately asked them.

    The girl stepped up and started talking, turning her glance towards Jonathan.

    “Nothing much. We saw how you were helping and we thought that you were extremely nice and useful. Thanks for that. However, we still need the extra help, and since you guys are leaving, we were wondering if you could lend us your…”

    “Fuck off.” Before she could finish her phrase, Jonathan cut her off, he clearly knew why they were here so he denied them before they could influence the naïve Stephanie even more.

    And it worked quite well. Stephanie quickly took a step back seeing that Jonathan hard turned hostile.

    However, this made the three people have a foul expression.

    A boy stepped up and angrily complained.

    “We didn’t even…”

    “I told you. Fuck off. I won’t deal anything or give anything to you guys.” Once again, he cut them off. He also waved his torch.

    Seeing that there was no hope for proper discussion, the other group dropped their act.

    “You think because you have a weapon like that you can do something? Just hand over your phone along with your password before things get very, very dirty.” The boy quickly spat out this threat,

    “I’ll repeat, SCRAM. NOW!” Jonathan took at step forward and a shiny object appeared in his hand. His eyes turned ice cold, showing that he had every intention in the world to use it.

    “A knife?!” The boy trembled when he saw the object in Jonathan's hand. A torch was not a big danger since it was big and hard to move, furthermore, you wouldn’t instantly go on fire if it touched you. A knife, however, that was a threat. A single stab was enough to kill you. In addition to that, Jonathan was the same height and size as them, making it so they couldn’t easily suppress him.

    “So what if you have a knife. It’s a three versus one.” Seeing that Stephanie got scared out of her wits, he assumed that she wouldn’t join their fight. Even though their girl was also scared, she could probably hit Jonathan once. “I’ll take your phone, your knife and your girl. If you don’t want to turn into a worst state then those that can barely breathe at the camp, hand everything over.”

    “Hahahaha. You make me laugh. You think I don’t know who you are. You two are just b*tch boys from the older grade. You act tough but if you could fight a quarter as good as you talk, I would start to get scared. Hell, I’m surprised you didn’t shit yourself by now, even though you are two.” Jonathan took another step forward, seeming even more imposing, he had some battle experience, so he wasn’t scared of these two guys.

    However, he knew very clearly how bad the situation could turn. If he could avoid a fight without any lost, he would welcome that outcome.

    The two boys looked at each other and after a nod, they both decided to attack Jonathan.

    However, before any party could make a move.

     

    ̶̶̶̶―Aaaah-Owooooooooooh!

     

    Jonathan started shaking from fear. What he had heard was a sound he was very familiar with, just much louder. In addition to that, it came from very close.

    This sound often announced imminent danger, especially for the weakened by hunger and thirst like them.

    “We’re so f*cked.” Jonathan couldn’t help but mumble.

  • Chapter 5 - Run boy, run

    Spoiler:


     

    The two parties that were about to fight immediately stopped to look towards the direction of the howls.

    Seconds later, more than ten addition howls could be heard.

    “There’s no mistaking, those are wolves.” One of the boys said out loud.

    “Nooo … why now of all times? When all of the others are sick and can’t even walk properly.” The girl’s face turned pale a she imagined the future of her friends.

    “I guess it's not surprising that there would be predators here. After all, such a large ecosystem cannot be this stable without a food chain.” Jonathan calmly affirmed. He had quickly calmed down after realizing that being scared would only further ruin his situation. “The howls all come from the direction of the sickling camp. Although the hoard of wolves is probably way behind it and will attack other groups first, they are still in the path of the attack. I’m curious, will you go back to save them or will you run away?”

    AAAAARRRGGHHHHHH!

    A loud gory scream resonated through the night. It turned the other parties face even paler.

    “We, we, we will retire-“The girl was about to say something when one of the boys screamed out

    “Shut up! We aren’t returning to save anything or anyone! Too bad for them. No one asked them to go pick up some random berries. They’re on their own.”

    “Although it’s a mean, that is the truth. Wolves are no joke. Adding to the fact that we are super weak, they’ll make one bite out of us. Returning to camp is only throwing ourselves to death. I’d rather live for the others than die for nothing.” The other boy agreed with a solemn voice.

    The three of them looked at each other and had no choice to agree to running away.

    Jonathan turned to look at Stephanie.

    “Although this is a wrong time, do you see what I mean? People will go as far as assaulting others for their friends but when their life is in danger they will give up on those same friends instantly. If it was us lying down there, do you think people would’ve helped us?”

    Stephanie’s expression also turned dark.

    “You guys, I suggest that we forget our past conflicts. After all, they were for things that don’t matter anymore. I say that we run away together. Since others are going to be the focus, we have a good chance. After that, the five of us can help each other to survive. What do you say?”

    “ … sure. We should head towards the opposite direction, then turn left to trick the wolves.” Jonathan accepted the offer as he put away his knife. He identified his three new colleagues as the red boy, as he had a red shirt. He was the one who was the more outgoing and decided to abandon his friends. Then there was the blue boy, who was acting as the supporter of the red boy. Finally, there was the girl.

    “Perfect! I love your idea. Now the only thing left to do is … run!”

    The group of five quickly ran towards the direction of “the sun.” Using the torch to guide them, they did not injure themselves. The girl also pulled out her phone to use its light.

    When they started running, Jonathan had instructed Stephanie to “always run at the same pace as the group of three, no matter what, even it's slower than her potential.”

    As such, the group ran for about thirty minutes. As they were only kids, they were completely exhausted. Especially so for the group of three. In addition to that, the moral of the group was very low, as all their hard work to build shelter had gone to nothing.

    Jonathan wasn’t surprised that this happened. The group of five thousand humans had made a lot of noise in their activities. Furthermore, they had eaten and left their waste at the same spot. The wolves found it extremely easy to locate them. In fact, the wolves probably had an eye on them the moment they arrived. It was in their nature to observe their preys days before an attack.

    This was exactly the reason why Jonathan had accepted to group up with those that attacked him

    A cold light appeared in Jonathan’s eyes as they heard a loud growl, behind them.

    Suddenly, two large and dark figures walked out of the darkness. Their long teeth shinnied in the torch’s light.

    “Aaaah! Wolves!” The girl screamed out seeing what had appeared.

    Stephanie face also turned pale white, but Jonathan grabbed her hand to reassure her.

    “Follow my lead.” He whispered in her ear. He slowly walked back until they were slightly behind the group of three.

    He had expected the wolves to come after them, after all, they were just kids and their speed could not compete. The wolves also observed their targets and knew how humans tended to separate. As such, they sent some to hunt the smaller groups. As Jonathan’s group were some of the forward runners, they obviously gained a lot of attention on them.

    Jonathan observed the wolves in front of them with a fear that he couldn’t shake off. However, he also felt joy through that observation. The wolves that had appeared had short hair and soft traits. They were obviously young wolves.

    Truth be told, Jonathan’s plan depended heavily on luck. Having the attacking wolves are the young ones allowed a huge boost in the chances of success.

    Suddenly, the wolves jumped out at the blue boy, causing the rest of the group to run. They had all ignored his scream of despair.

    The wolves were faster than them so they would quickly catch up, but the group of four did not give up.

    Jonathan quickly whispered to Stephanie, “Now. run! The fasted you can! I’ll be able to catch up.” Before reposition himself.

    Jonathan ran at a speed so that the two girls were in front of him and the red boy was behind him. The red boy quickly caught up with him and reached out his hand to Jonathan’s shoulder, wanting to shove him towards the wolves when-

    Jonathan spun and dropped the torch, allowing him to dodge the grab. An object flashed in his hand and went thrusting towards the red boy.

    The red boy instantly knew what the object was and remembered what to do when one is in danger of getting stabbed. He quickly chose to sacrifice an arm to stop the stab.

    However, before Jonathan’s knife could reach his arm, another object had penetrated his stomach.

    “Noooo!” The red boy screamed when he realized what just happened.

    Little had the red boy known, Jonathan also had a wooden knife. Although it could only be used to stab, it did just that now. Jonathan had stabbed with his metal knife first, knowing the other party would see it. Since it was night, the wooden knife would be much harder to notice.

    When he received the shock from getting stabbed, the red boy subconsciously put down his hands to touch his stomach, but at that moment-

    Slash.

    Jonathan had slit his M9 Bayonet through his opponent’s neck, causing blood to squirt out like a fountain.

    Without waiting to see the outcome of his opponent, Jonathan turned around and sprinted full speed.

    Even without the slice at his neck, the red boy was pretty much done for. Doing that was just a measure of safety.

    Now, the two wolves would each have a catch, which was considered quite good since they were young.

    Even though he was probably safe, Jonathan still ran at full speed.

    As the sequence of stabbing had taken less than five seconds totals, he could catch up with the girls shortly without the wolves wanting to catch him since he was too close.

    Stephanie was in front since she was extremely athletic for age and could outrun any other person of her age with her long legs. She ran without ever looking back, as she was too scared. The wind made it so that she heard nothing of what happened behind her.

    The Girl, However, Turned Around and Saw Jonathan

    Seeing Jonathan running alone, the girl knew that her two partners had failed in their escape. However, she didn’t have the reflex to think that it would be Jonathan’s fault.

    After all, stabbing someone to their death was an extremely evil act which was only thought to be made by madmen.

    When Jonathan caught up to the girl, he pushed her down on the ground, making sure that she fell on the ground.

    “What the hell?” Turning her head around, she saw Jonathan’s bloodied face and seemed to understand everything. Before she could get up, Jonathan used his knife to slice her Achilles tendon, assuring that she could no longer run.

    “Aaargh!” The extreme pain made it so that the girl screamed. If it wasn’t for the threat of the wolves, she wouldn’t even be able to get up.

    In this situation, however, limping with one leg was almost no different from not moving at all. The wolves quickly caught up to her and there was no need to elaborate on her fate.

    The only reason why Jonathan had left her a leg is that that the wolves would tire themselves a bit more.

    ‘The wolves definitely want continue their pursuit now. Two catches are already a lot, the third one is the cherry on top. Wolves are cautious by nature, so they won’t augment the risk of something like getting lost or getting injured for nothing. Furthermore, they definitely noticed the injuries I let on the two. Wolves are smart animals and they will detect the threat I represent. It’s much more advantageous for them to just go back towards the camp and attack the humans trying to run from there’ Jonathan quickly assessed his situation, happy at the outcome.

    Although he had killed directly one person, and technically send two to their death, he felt nothing. No disgust, no regret, no guilt. To him, this was like punching someone who had started a fight with him. Although tricking them like this was heartless, they had previously decided to assault him. In this situation, a heavy injury was basically guaranteed death, so he had simply returned the favour. The red boy has even tried to throw him into the wolves’ mouth. Had he not done anything, he would be dead. If this was to be done to someone he had no previous tension with, he would surely feel guilty.

    However, that still wouldn’t have changed his plans. He wouldn’t ever scheme against his friends like Stephanie or the other boys, but to strangers, he couldn’t care more than just hoping the situation could’ve turned out another way.

    He didn’t consider himself a killing madman or a psychopath, since in his previous world, they would kill people for no reason, or there would be alternatives to killing. In this situation, however, it was him or them, and he surely wouldn’t let luck decide who was the winner.

    He even felt a certain joy from doing that. Although it wasn’t like serial killers who felt exalted killing people, he felt that he had gained a victory. Whether it would be by killing people or successfully lying about what the teacher said so that they fail an exam, he felt the same way.

    Thankfully for him, Stephanie had followed his instructions and not stopped running. Even if she had looked back, with the dark of the night and the direction of the wind, she would’ve simply heard some screams, not knowing that it was her best friend that caused it all.

     

     

    AUTHORS NOTE:

    Yes, this is a dark MC novel.

  • Chapter 6 - Reunion

    Spoiler:


     

    In the cold night, the noise of wood cracking could be heard. Two youths were walking through them, using the flashlights of their phones to illuminate the way.

    A girl was slightly shaking while walking, sometimes fumbling in her steps, almost falling to the ground.

    “Calm down Stephanie, we are safe for now. The wolves have had well enough food for themselves, especially the ones chasing us.”

    “You don’t know that, maybe the others successfully escaped, and the wolves are looking for us now.”

    “Trust me, they did not. I personally witnessed the one in red getting bits on the neck as well as the girl falling down. Her screams could be heard shortly after.” Jonathan showed her the blood on his body, saying that it was from the red boy getting bitten.

    In this situation of high stress, Stephanie would not be able to see through Jonathan lies. Even if she did after, she would realize that he had no choice.

    Jonathan preferred scheming against others than seeing Stephanie getting eaten alive. Even if she hated him for it, he would not regret anything.

    Different situations required different actions, and holding onto the empty values of their previous world would only put them in much more danger.

    “Believe me we are fine for now. We simply need to continue onto this direction, passing by were the wolves came from before being in the clear.” Jonathan further tried to calm down Stephanie.

    “Yes…you’re right. We’ll be fine. We’ll be fine. I hope that the others will be fine…” Stephanie calmed down but was still extremely sad by their situation.

    “Right, the others…I really hope they made it out alive. And no just them, even our families are supposed to be here somewhere. Although my parents have good chances to make it out if they don’t act rashly…my little sister. She was only nine before, meaning that she would be four here. No matter how intelligent you are, with a body like that…” Both their expressions turned solemn.

    Being here truly was too harsh. Even if you got here from an accident from a plane crash or something, you would have multiple resources to help you, like the suitcases and debris from a crash. Even when people risk getting lost on something like a hike they prepare some emergency kits.

    For them, however, that was impossible as they were thrown in here without notice.

    “The most well off are the people that were camping or the military. They have all the tools they need. Militaries even have guns on them. They won’t feel any fear towards an ambush like we did.” Jonathan calmly said. He truly envied those people.

    “The world really is unfair.” Stephanie also agreed with his thoughts.

    “Yet, we cannot stay here and mourn forever. We must move forward and stabilize our situation. Tools and weapons will have to be built and long-term food sources will have to be found. If we could get some other people to create a medium-sized but extremely efficient group, we wouldn’t have trouble surviving.” Jonathan was determined to move on and live well. He didn’t believe his future would consist of picking up random food and hoping for the best. He refused to believe so.

    “Then, we can head towards the sun of this place. The people who sent us here wouldn’t do it for any reason. The sun is our only lead, our hope for some change. If salvation is truly there, we might have a chance to return to our former lives.”

    “That would be for the best. Then, the whole world would go on a hunt for the developers of the Phantasm.” Stephanie also displayed some hate, which was something rare from her

    “Indeed. Giving them a death sentence would be considered too so-“

    Before Jonathan could finish his phrase, he turned towards his right and pulled out his knife. His eyes also turned savage, like when he had killed the red boy.

    They were currently walking next to a slope, making it so that it was hard to see what was up there.

    “WHO’S THERE?!” He screamed out with a violent tone.

    A figure suddenly jumped down from the slope landing a few metres away from Jonathan.

    Without any hesitation, he changed the grip on his knife and threw it towards the person.

    However, the hit never landed because an object came flying from the slope, precisely hitting the knife away and making it fall a few metres away.

    Jonathan wanted to head towards where it the knife was to quickly retrieve it, but another person landed near him.

    However, before that person could get up from his kneeling position, Jonathan sent a low roundhouse kick towards his face.

    The person quickly blocked the kick with his arm, which wasn’t so hard since Jonathan only had the strength and speed of a nine-year-old. The attacker then sent a kick towards Jonathan while jumping to a standing position.

    Jonathan was currently in the same “hunter instincts” as when he had killed the squirrel but even more intense, since he felt that his life depended on it. Thanks to that, he was able to roll away from the person’s kick before it could land on him.

    Although he had successfully dodged the hit, he clearly knew his situation.

    ‘I can’t win this fight.’ Through this short exchange of moves, he knew that if he fought this person ten times, he would lose ten times. Furthermore, his knife was not with him.

    “Stop!” A familiar voice resounded in Jonathan’s ears.

    When he got up from his role, he saw the face of his opponent.

    “Teacher!” Jonathan could clearly see that this was the science teacher that had taken the lead in organizing the group of five thousand humans. The person behind him, whom Jonathan had thrown the knife too, was another teacher.

    “I’m sorry. I acted on reflex.” Jonathan immediately asked for forgiveness. His feelings were not fake since he would never attack that teacher and even if he would, he had no choice but to fake it since he was much weaker.

    “Hm. Don’t worry about it. No one got hurt, so there is nothing to keep a grudge about. I had also attacked you by reflex. Truth be told, it was our fault that this happened. We shouldn’t have jumped out of the woods like that.” The science teacher also gave his apologies to Jonathan, before screaming out.

    “The rest of you guys, come down!”

    Then, four more people slid down to join them. There was another teacher that was young as well as three kids. Amongst them, Jonathan recognized Julien.

    “Julien!”

    “Jonathan! I can’t believe you’re here. And Stephanie too! You guys made it out of that mess.” Julien was very surprised seeing them here.

    “Yeah…we got lucky.” Stephanie stepped in and answered. “There were three others with us but they didn’t make it.”

    “Oh?” The science teacher seemed surprised by this claimed and he looks at Stephanie. Seeing nothing strange, he turned towards Jonathan that was covered in blood.

    Their gaze crossed each other and Jonathan saw that the science teacher also had a lot of blood on him.

    Something like a connection happened between them, and they immediately knew what the other was thinking.

    “So, you also did it. It seems that you can change fast. You should keep it that way if you want to live.”

    “Yeah, we have no choice. Restraining ourselves will only put is in danger. For our lives and those of our comrades, we have to.”

    Although they had not said anything factual, they both knew they were talking about killing others. The science teacher was a smart man and had probably employed a tactic like Jonathan’s to get away.

    Seeing that they both had similar personalities, the teacher suddenly thought about something.

    “I saw how decisive you are, and we need exactly people like that to establish ourselves. Would you be willing to join us?”

    One of the biggest obstacles to having a proper group in these situations were people with useless morals and dead weights.

    Knowing that Jonathan would be the opposite of those two things, it was natural that the science teacher would want to collaborate with him.

    “Definitely. Having a group like this is a rare chance.”

    Although they both knew that they would give up on each other the moment the situation turned too nasty, the fact was that they would do that with any group.

    Having efficient people together would make it so that the situation almost never turned “nasty,” ensuring that the group stayed stable. Even during an attack like this, they would rather depend on each other then give up on each other.

    Furthermore, scheming against people of the same level of intelligence as you was very difficult and not worth it now.

    “Then it’s a deal.”

    The science teacher and Jonathan shook hands, officially merging their groups.

    “My name is Jonathan.”

    “Nice to meet you Jonathan, my name is Guillaume, no need for any misters. Same goes for the two young teachers there, Alex and Rana. You already know Julien so no introduction there. The two other kids are Jeremy and Hugo. They’ll probably be depending on you from now on.”

    “Nice to meet you.” Jeremy introduced himself while sounding a bit frustrated. The science teacher had previously only treated him like an important kid, but someone younger than him was put on the level of comrades immediately. Not understanding why, he felt jealous.

    Hugo simply sent a silent nod towards Jonathan and Stephanie. He was obviously a shy person.

    “It’s nice to see another capable person out here.” The female teacher, Rana, obviously knew what was up. Although her pretty face was kept intact except for the dirt, she seemed to have faced many things.

    “Indeed, indeed. If it continues like this, we’ll get out of here just fine, hahahahaha!” The last teacher, Alex was very happy seeing Jonathan enter the group.

    “Nice to meet all of you, I hope we all end up living till old age.” Jonathan calmly responded

    “Hahahahaha, old age, that would indeed be nice. Well said, well said.” Alex once again projected his happiness.

    After Stephanie introduced herself, the group decided to move in the direction that Jonathan was going to, which was their direction anyways.

    “We need to build weapons. I say that we do it on the move. They don’t have to be sophisticated as that would take too much time. A lifespan of a few usage is enough.” The science teacher proposed.

    It was not necessary to be sitting down to build stuff like knives and small spears, so they would move and take a few breaks while constructing their tools.

    Following that, Jonathan went ahead and fonts a suitable thin, strong and straight branch that was about his size. He then dug out and split the tip of it. With other pieces of wood they found along their walk, he then solidly inserted his knife, which he had picked back while leaving, onto the end of the stick.

    With a stab and slash to a tree trunk, Jonathan tested his spear out. It was very functional and helped while walking, so he was very satisfied. Thankfully, the Bayonet served as a spear end anyways so it fitted its new role very well.

    He would now be able to attack from far, something that was very useful against smaller animals and violent humans.

    Julien and Stephanie both had knives, so they didn’t make tools other than torches.

    The rest made makeshift knives and staffs.

    Once that step was finished, they hurried their steps, hoping to distance themselves from the wolves.

    Right when the sun rose, a layer of mist surrounded them.

    After some time, they arrived in an area with much fewer trees. In the centre of it, there was a single accumulation of leaves, where rested three animals. Two others walked around, acting as guards.

    Jeremy got exited seeing a source of meat, so he ran towards the animals. As they were far, their appearance wasn’t clear.

    After getting a bit closer, Jonathan immediately recognized a few unique traits he had seen from close up.

    Seeing the identity of those animals, Jonathan had a heavy frown on his face. Even the Guillaume’s expression turned a bit ugly.

    The best option right now was to distance themselves, but groups had already been detected because of Jeremy’s impulsiveness.

    “Talk about sh*t luck.”

    A heavy growl was produced, and a large wolf got up from the pile of leaves, while the two others on guard duty also slowly walked towards their group.

     

  • Chapter 7 - Second challenge

    Spoiler:

     

    The large wolf in the stack of leaves produced a loud growl, obviously angered by the appearance of the group of humans.

    This growl seemed to carry a special power, instilling fear onto the humans.

    The legs of Stephanie and the other kids started shaking so hard that they looked like they would dislocate at any moment.

    Although Jonathan wasn’t at that point, his still stopped breathing for a few seconds and a feeling of strong fear was instilled into him. He felt his legs wanting to turn around and run away as far as possible, but he resisted.

    Considering that he was afraid of almost nothing, this was shocking. Even the wolves from the previous attack could not cause him to react so intensively.

    Furthermore, it wasn’t the same type of fear. The other wolves would make him feel like “his life is in danger,” but the wolf made him feel like “the devil is here, run.”

    Even the grip on his spear was loosened due to his hands shaking.

    Surprisingly, the teachers looked a bit more composed than him. He wouldn’t be surprised if it was only the science teacher in this state, but all three looked like they didn’t have much to fear.

    The large wolf also seemed to notice this, so it walked slowly towards the teachers, whose expressions still did not change.

    “As far as I can see, that wolf isn’t normal. They are five while we are eight, so outrunning them and escaping is out of question. Even if you are not the first one that gets bitten, they won’t stop their chase since this is their territory.” The science teacher calmly said to the whole group.

    Jonathan had no plans on running away, so this information didn’t faze him. For the other kids, however, it only made them even more scared.

    “Hehe, it looks like we have to brawl with these beasts.” Alex also commented, although he seemed happy of the situation.

    Rana also silently acknowledged this choice and got her wooden spear ready for attack.

    This ignited Jonathan’s battle spirit, helping him stop the shaking and stabilizing his steps. For now, there were only three wolves heading towards them. With eight people, it shouldn’t be too hard to take them down.

    Right?

    However, Jeremy seemed to have heard nothing of what the others had said, or at least it didn’t affect him. He was still standing ahead of the group, but he wasn’t moving.

    His legs were shaking even harder than those of the other kids, and Jonathan saw a large brown stain at his buttocks.

    ‘He definitely won’t be able to fight. And the other kids have no real battle experience or aptitude for battle. They each count as half a fighter at most … so it’s a five versus three…’ Jonathan quickly analyzed the situation, deciding to not put any hope into the kids in his group.

    “Jeremy gets back or throw your spear at it!” Guillaume screamed at Jeremy, but the latter seemed to have heard nothing, as still stayed there like a pole.

    Seeing an easy target, the large wolf at the back suddenly ran towards Jeremy. Although it’s body was bigger, at was at least twice as fast as the wolves Jonathan had faced.

    Even in imminent danger, Jeremy still stayed put like a statue. Nobody did anything to save him, as if everyone was too shocked to move.

    Although that was true for the kids, the adults simply didn’t want to waste their weapons, as a spear throw was the only way to save Jeremy now.

    “AAAARRRGHHHH!” Jeremy screamed as the wolf jumped on him and bit his neck. The gruesome scene of his esophagus getting ripped out was seen by the whole group.

    Soon, his voice died down as his vocal cords were destroyed. All that could be heard was the sound of someone chocking on a liquid.

    ‘Ah well, that’s unfortunate. But he brought into onto himself. No one told him to run towards a pack of wolves or to sh*t is pants instead of retreating.’ Jonathan didn’t feel much pity towards his dead teammate.

    Jeremy had been the most hostile towards him anyways, so he would be Jonathan’s pick on whom to die first. Worst case, they would all have to do more labour since he wasn’t there anymore.

    ‘But this wolf…’

    Jonathan looked at the animal that had just finished killing its first prey.

    Large dark-red eyes that matched the blood on its mouth looked at the group of humans. They looked like they could rip out your soul and crush your bones. It also had extremely dark fur, that looked almost metallic. Its legs were extremely muscular, explaining why it was so fast despite being about five feet seven tall. And surprisingly, nipples could be seen under its stomach.

    ‘So, it’s a female.’ Jonathan finally released something. This was probably the main camp of the wolves, and the mother had recently given birth to a few pups, so she had stayed to guard them with the two other wolves while the rest of the pack went on a hunt.

    This meant that there were young wolves in the stack of leaves, in other words, easy preys.

    However, the group would have to kill the three wolves guard before getting the younger ones.

    “Jonathan and Rana, take the side wolves. Jonathan and I will take care of the mother, since she seems stronger. As for your kids, don’t try running towards the stack of leaves, or you’ll get outran by the wolves and die. You can try using your weapons as long as you don’t get in the way, or keep them to resupply us if our break.” Guillaume once again rapidly took control of the situation.

    Jonathan rapidly placed himself near Guillaume, and the mother started running at them.

    “Don’t die.” Guillaume calmly said to Jonathan, while keeping his eyes on the mother and his stick ready.

    “That was never in my agenda anyways.” Jonathan fighting spirit ignited even more. Fear or the wolf, curiosity on the outcome of the battle, and eagerness to fight mixed together to create an awesome adrenaline rush, removing any feeling of fatigue.

    When the mother suddenly jumped at them, they both rolled to side, completely ready for the attack. However, the mother had also released that they were not like Jeremy, so she had prepared a backup for this situation.

    She sent her back leg flying towards Guillaume, who used his wooden stick does defend. The strike was quite powerful, so he had been forced to make another roll to not receive the full impact.

    This made him be far enough from the mother so that she could attack Jonathan, who had just gotten up from his roll, without any worry.

    Jonathan rapidly jumped back, until he arrived at the tree trunk not far from him. The mother wolf had jumped at him, but he placed the bottom of his spear shaft to the bottom he the trunk, between its roots. He then rapidly squat down.

    This made if so that the point of the spear penetrated the mother wolves jaw, as it was at the same height as Jonathan's head. Furthermore, it rested on the tree trunk, making so that the spear only went deeper into the mother’s jaw.

    Unfortunately, the spear shaft broke under her weight, but the damage was still done. She screamed as the injury at her mouth was massive.

    At Jonathan’s surprise, the broken-off part of the spear was still in the wolf’s top and lower jaw, which blocked her from moving it. As such, the threat of getting bitten was gone.

    ‘Yet, her legs still have great power and are more than enough to kill me. If I was alone, I would lose for sure, but now…’ Although he was sweating bullets from this close call, Jonathan kept his cool and continued backing away from the mother. Stephanie had been alert enough to observe his fight and throw her spear at him, but it had landed about seven metres away from Jonathan.

    The wolf’s injury had made her put all her agree on Jonathan, so she started to run towards him, but this was a major error for her.

    Jonathan smiled and couldn’t help but say, “Guillaume.”

    The man that had been forgotten by the wolf suddenly appeared behind it, and thrust his spear at full power at the wolf’s rear. The spear forcefully entered her anus, ripping apart her interiors.

    Although it might seem like a weird spot to attack, intestine damage was one of the most fatal injuries one could have. Hell, someone could die shoving up a small pointy object in their anus, let alone a spear, so it was an effective attack.

    The mother couldn’t help but screams out, feeling her internal organs being pierced. She also pounced forwards, attempting to remove the foreign object from her body, but that was once again an error. Her forwards force had allowed Guillaume to pull his spear out of her.

    He then adjusted his grip and trusted the spear towards the mother wolf who was in the process of turning and attacking him. His strike landed on her rear legs, but it wasn’t strong enough to fully penetrate it, as there were “body liquids” on Guillaume’s spear.

    However, that still made it harder for the mother wolves to move, and she did a side jump to create distance between her and Guillaume.

    She then prepared to swing back at him from the side, but another surprise attack came at her.

    “You idiot, do you forget about your opponents every time you get attacked?” Perhaps it was because she thought that Jonathan ran away, or because she had her *sshole destroyed, but the wolf had forgotten about Jonathan.

    This allowed him to make a strike just as effective as Guillaume’s.

    Pointing the spear he had gotten from Stephanie up, he threw it towards the mother's eyes using the javelin technique he learnt at school.

    Unfortunately for the wolf, her head was perpendicular to Jonathan’s spear, making so that it would also hit her brain.

    She seemed to know that she would die, so she sent a last strike at Jonathan, who couldn’t defend.

    Right after successfully penetrated her skull, he got hit by a heavy paw. The strike was so strong that it left deep claw marks on the side of his torso and made him fly seven metres away.

    ‘Arrgggh. F*ck me. F*ck, f*ck, f*ck.’ Jonathan kept on swearing inside because of the pain. He knew that he had at least broken a few rips, and maybe his arm from the fall.

    Despite the pain, he got up, using his adrenaline rush to keep him going. Guillaume had already taken his spear, and threw it to the wolf Rana was facing. The mother wolf was now dead, so he could divert his attention to other things

    surprisingly, Alex seemed to have the upper hand against a wolf, using his staff to hit it heavily.

    Jonathan ran towards the body of the mother wolf, and he pulled out his broken spear from her jaw. As it was useless now, he simply took out the knife and headed to kill the baby wolves.

    His sense was already wavering as his adrenaline rush was disappearing, so he had to be quick.

    Suddenly, a shadow appeared behind him along with a growl. An imminent sense of danger flowed through his whole body as he dodged left, but he knew that he would die nonetheless.

    ‘This b*tch, she was faking it?’

     He already knew that it was the mother wolf that was attacking him. She had obviously faked her death and caught Jonathan off guard. With the body of a nine-year-old and a heavy injury, what could he do?

    ‘So, this is where it all ends? I can’t see if my family is alright? I can’t even say bye to Stephanie? Oh well, I lived my life to the fullest, and no man is immortal. My doomsday simply came a bit quicker.” These thoughts flew across his mind in an instant. He only felt a bit of regret, as he had always lived like tomorrow was the last day.

    He simply closed his eyes, awaiting the strike that would end it all.

     

     

     

  • Chapter 8 - Escape

    Spoiler:

     

    As he felt all his muscles intense and his breath leave, as if freedom had finally been achieved. A loud sound was produced.

    BANG!

    A gun shot and the air shattered. The bullet tore through space and silence fell upon its wake. Only the anguished scream of the mother wolf could be heard, as the bullet cleanly passed through her head, spilling brain matter.

    As Jonathan was already falling to the left, so he dodged the mother’s huge body, and fell on the ground.

    ‘I’m alive???’ Were his first thoughts.

    He quickly got up, ignoring the pain and looked towards the source of the gunshot. He could see Guillaume, standing firmly with a magnum in hand, coldly looking at the mother wolf’s body.

    He quickly put away his gun, simply glancing at Jonathan with a nod. He then continued fighting the wolf with Rana using his spear, as if nothing had happened.

    Jonathan stood there, staring at him with wide eyes. Never would he have thought that Guillaume would have such a trump card. Thankfully, it had saved him from sure death.

    Instead of being happy of the situation, Jonathan’s expression darkened.

    ‘To think he would have a gun. I previously thought that I could win if I used my knife since he had no weapon. To think that I almost went on a full fight with someone that can shoot me down and kill me ten times over.’

    Jonathan wasn’t mad at him since he understood why Guillaume would hide the pistol. The weapon didn’t have infinite uses, so choosing when to shoot with it carefully was crucial. Furthermore, you couldn’t beat a gang of people with a single pistol, and there would certainly be one after Guillaume if waved it around. Lastly, it would make your team over reliant on you, making them think that everything was fine since you had a gun.

    Wisdom was also a weapon here, so it was natural to use it.

    Jonathan quickly headed towards the stack of leaves, where he found two pups. Although they looked young, they were quite big compared to his previous world's standards for dogs.

    One of them seemed shyer and stayed back while the other growled at Jonathan. Surprisingly, that one had the same eyes as his mother, making him look a bit like a hell hound.

    Still, they posed no threat the Jonathan, who was prepared and fearless.

    When the aggressive one ran at him, he simply kicked its nose hard, which froze him and made him fall. Jonathan then kicked the other in the stomach, then stepped on his face repeatedly, until it’s little screams could not be heard anymore. The other also started recovering from the shock, but Jonathan simply threw the knife at its skull, making it fall to the ground.

    But he wouldn’t make the same error as with the mother, so he also stepped on its head until it was nothing but a mix of broken bones, flesh and brain matter.

    The others had also finished their fights, as the kids stopped being so scared and helped injure the two wolves left.

    “Pick up the body of the wolves, we’re leaving. The fog will help us escape when the rest of the pack comes and sees that there was a battle, but that’s the most it will do. The more we wait the more dangerous the situation will become for us.” The science teacher told everyone to grab the bodies so that they could leave.

    “Steph will and I take the babies, the rest of you will share the three adult bodies. Since one adult can feed two people, it’s quite fair, in my opinion.” Jonathan also determined his pick of bodies. The babies were the less inured, so he could get the most food from them.

    Nobody complained against this surprisingly, so after cutting the body of the mother in two with great difficulty, the group continued to walk.

    The pups were a bit over 20 kilos each, so Jonathan felt some pain from his broken rib carrying one but he endured.

    After about an hour of fast walk, they arrived to a current of water.

    “Can’t we just go around it?” Stephanie proposed, since wetting themselves could make them lose heat.

    “No, this is our best chance of making the wolves lose our tracks. Considering that we might have a whole pack trying to kill us, it is worth it. We can also use it to remove the smells from the bodies.” Julien countered her argument.

    Jonathan and Guillaume both agreed to Julien’s opinion, so the whole group decided to swim through.

    The current was quite strong, so they faced a heavy challenge swimming through it with bodies on their back, but they eventually made it through. Jonathan even needed someone else to carry his body, since his injuries couldn’t handle both the current and the extra weight.

    ‘Will this injury plague me forever?’ Jonathan quickly got into a foul mood because of his injury. In an environment of survival, this was one of the worst things that could happen, furthermore, the injury would heal even slower since they had no medicine.

    Putting the issue to the side, the group continued walking. Once they found a good spot, they decided to settle there, knowing that there was only a low chance that the wolves would get to them.

    Once again, they created shelter, but Jonathan shared them the info on his phone. Because of his injury he couldn’t do much to help with building shelter, so he built weapons, including a new spear, and memorized the entire survival manual.

    It was true that under pressure, humans could do anything. Like the story about becoming a pirate on another country’s ship and learning the language in a single day, Jonathan knew the manual almost by heart in a few hours.

    The group was extremely efficient in their tasks, splitting responsibilities. Hence, they soon had three fires ready to cook meat.

    Everyone was hungry, so they quickly ate almost all of the meat. Their stomachs seemed to be endless pits, swallowing bits after bites, until only bone was left.

    Although it was tough to chew and tasteless, no one complained. They had all remembered how they gave up on people at the camp, who were in that situation from eating random plants they had found.

    Meat, however, was rarely poisonous, so they ate without worries. In fact, the meat seemed to have magical effects, spreading waves of joy through their bodies, although it tasted bad.

    Actually, the baby with the red eyes tasted quite a bit better than the other wolves, so Stephanie and Jonathan both ate half of each of the babies.

    Although it was a bit past lunch time. Everyone quickly went to sleep. They had been walking and for more than seven hours, which was a feat that they would never think as possible in their previous lives, so it was normal that they went to sleep immediately.

    Although sleep was a good relief, it didn’t change the fact that tomorrow was also a day of running and search for food. They still had to put their lives on the line, so their mood didn’t change much.

    However, it wouldn’t be the case.

    In no case were they expecting what was awaiting them when they would wake up.

    The surprise would be shocking to the point that it would change their fate in this world.

     

  • Chapter 9 - Change

    AUTHOR'S NOTE: Yes, I know, I own you guys 5 more chapters this week. I'm sorry I was on a school trip. The chapters WILL come.

    Spoiler:


     

    In a dark, damp cave full of moss, a young boy was crouched in a corner. He was holding the side of his arm, as it was slightly deformed. It had obviously been broken.

    “Jonathan this can’t be. Why us? Why?” A girl suddenly jumped in his embrace, crying at their situation.

    “It’s OK Steph, we’ll make it out, I swear.” Jonathan got up, still holding Stephanie against his chest as he picked up his broken spear.

    Although he seemed heroic, he had no confidence in himself. In the direction he was looking at, there was the entrance of the cave. There, at least ten wolves could be seen, growling at Jonathan.

    He knew he had no chance to survive this. He had a broken arm, broken ribs and no escape route. Furthermore, it was a 1vs10+. It didn’t matter if he suddenly became five times as strong, or if Guillaume came with his gun, his fate was sealed.

    He would die.

    ‘There has to be a way to escape, right? Sure, if I die, I don’t care. But I can’t allow Stephanie to fall with me.” Jonathan thought to himself, seeing the grim situation.

    “It’s all our fault, all our fault. We, we should have just run away from the camp of wolves. Never should be have killed all of them, stealing their babies, NEVER!” Stephanie suddenly entered a mental breakdown, shedding more tears.

    After they had killed and eaten the five wolves, the rest of the pack was enraged. The river seemed to have done nothing to stop them, as they magically swam or jumped over it. Even the group’s smell didn’t dissipate in the water, as they thought it would.

    While they were certain that they were in the clear, the wolves had snuck up on their camp. Unlike with other hunts, they didn’t plan anything. After all, this wasn’t an ambush, it was a bloody revenge!

    The group of humans could do nothing to save themselves. Jonathan had woken up and quickly started running with Stephanie.

    He had seen Guillaume and Julien get jumped on by wolves, so he was sure of their death. As for the three others? He had no idea. Perhaps they were already dead, or they were in a better situation than Jonathan and Stephanie.

    “Don’t say that. It was Guillaume and my fault for deciding to attack the five wolves. If you want to blame someone, blame me. But don’t worry, I’ll get you out of here for sure.” He tightened his grip on Stephanie, although his arm was broken.

    “ … yes, it’s your fault. Your fault, always YOUR FAULT!!!” As she crazily screamed, Stephanie pulled out something from her pocket.

    Before could react, Jonathan felt a sharp pain in his stomach. When he looked down, he saw a knife deeply lodged in his abdomen.

    “Steph … why?”

    As he looked up to see his friend, whom he taught would never betray him, he saw something that shocked him.

    Behind her, there was a person holding her hand with the knife, guiding it to Jonathan’s stomach.

    “You … how?” As Jonathan looked at the red boy, the same one he had killed to save himself and Stephanie, questions flooded through his mind.

    He had stabbed him twice, so how was he still here? Even if he was alive, how did he get here? And why didn’t Stephanie reject him guiding her hand?

    “How? Hahahaha. There’s no point telling that to a dead man. Karma has been repaid. An eye for an eye, a life for a life. But I won’t cut your neck, I’ll let you get eaten by the wolves, just how you let my girlfriend get eaten by them. I’ll let you suffer, feel how it is to have your skin ripped, you flew removed and your bones crushed. Haahahahaha.”

    “So that was your girlfriend…” Jonathan suddenly fell to the ground. His legs weren’t responding and he felt the hot blood leave his body.

    The wolves suddenly ran at him, seeing that he was an easy target.

    Before he was covered by them, he glanced at the red boy and Stephanie. He could see them leaving the cave with no wolves attacking them. Furthermore, the boy was kissing Stephanie as he shot a mocking glance at Jonathan.

    Jonathan could do nothing. He felt regret, betrayal and sadness at the situation. He wouldn’t care if someone came after him, but Stephanie had betrayed him. She was more than a sister to him, so this totally shook his mind.

    He wanted to cry, and he did just that. But I wasn’t because of his emotions, but because the wolves started chewing at his body.

    “AAAARGHHH!!!” He felt an unimaginable pain, like torture.

    But suddenly, everything turned dark as a noise entered his ears.

    Jonathan opened his eyes wide, recognizing the ceiling of his makeshift tent. He also saw Stephanie sleeping next to him.

    ‘A nightmare?’ Jonathan felt cold sweat on his back, as he remembered the boy he had killed. ‘But that’s not the point right now.’ He quickly stabilized his state of mind, as he put this matter aside.

    He knew it wasn’t unusual for people to dream or hallucinate about people they killed or people that were close to them and died, but he didn’t think it would happen to him.

    Jonathan quickly hopped out of his bed, wanting to investigate the noise that had woken him up. Although it wasn’t a sign of danger like the wolves’ howl, he was always on guard so he immediately ran out to find the source of the nose.

    Stephanie didn’t seem to have heard it, so she was still asleep.

    As Jonathan ran out, he hit his head on the top of his makeshift roof. The vibration woke up Stephanie, but Jonathan paid no head to her.

    As always, there was a fresh breeze of air, the far away sun seemed to have dimmed down from usual and its colour changed to an orange tone, creating the effect of a sunrise.

    The light in Jonathan’s eyes was very vibrant and his vision seemed to have been opened like in a fantasy world, everything displayed to his eyes.

    The fresh wind caressed his skin, as if someone wiped a wet and soft towel across his skin. It’s sounded like a soft melody, relaxing Jonathan’s state of mind and allowing him forget his bad visions.

    Jonathan felt his body full of energy as he moved through the woods towards the source of the noise. In fact, he felt like he was running much faster than before because of this new energy.

    ‘It feels good to move in such ease. It seemed like eating our full yesterday was a great benefit for us.’ Jonathan thought to himself while running.

    It truly felt blissful to wake up without having to try to actively survive. However, he knew that this feeling would only be temporary before he had to grind for food again.

    ‘But so what? Enjoying the moment right now only brings benefits.’ He continued running with large strides.

    If someone was looking at him from the side, it would look like he was gliding above the ground, as his speed wasn’t appropriate for a nine-year-old.

    ‘And also, this noise … it’s loud but it seems to be from way further than I think.’ It was true. He had initially guessed that he would have to run about 75 metres, but only after running about 150 metres had he arrived at his destination.

    When he got there, he Hugo hitting a tree. Although his knuckles were a bit bloody, the tree trunk was in a much worst state. Alex was standing next to him, examination his performance.

    “There’s no doubt about it. Your strength augmented exponentially. In fact, it’s greater than before the time reversal. This will be extremely useful for us.”

    “Yes … now I can be useful to the group.” Hugo clenched his hands.

    “What’s going on?” Jonathan asked to the two guys. When Hugo saw him his eyes opened wide with anticipation.

    “Jonathan! Guess what. My strength suddenly rose and now I’m even stronger than before we came here. I’m sure I can beat a wolf right now, so you won’t have to go to the frontline anymore.” Hugo answered to Jonathan from afar, seeming a bit condescending.

    He walked towards Jonathan with an imposing posture, until he was almost right in front of him.

    Jonathan was shocked when he saw Hugo. He clearly remembered the boy being skinny and shy. Now, his body was much more built. Although he didn’t look like a bodybuilder or anything near that. He muscles were still very defined and much larger than before.

    “Oh? Sudden increase of strength? How could that happen?” Jonathan moved closer to Hugo, wanting to examine his body. He ignored Hugo’s cocky attitude since he was curious about how he got bigger. However, the latter’s attitude suddenly changed. Hugo took a step back as his face displayed an expression of shock.

    “What’s wrong, did my face change?” Jonathan was genuinely curious at why Hugo’s expressing took such a 180 turn.

    Alex also walked towards Jonathan as he stood next to Hugo. Although he looked shocked, he wasn’t as stunned as Hugo.

    “Amazing … you gained even more muscle then Hugo! And you also got much taller. Damn, it seems like your strength right now is no joke.” Alex examined Jonathan’s body and expressed himself.

    “Really?” Jonathan looked at Alex, realizing that he was now taller than him. In fact, he felt that he was as tall as before the age regression. He also touched his arms which were even bigger than when he was in the previous world.

    Seeing that he at grown by almost a full foot and became even bigger than when he went to the gym, Jonathan was shocked.

    “No way. What the hell happened. Did they return us to the normal world?” Jonathan looked around him just to be sure that this wasn’t Earth.

    “Earth, I don’t think so. But Jonathan, try to punch me with full strength so I can test your strength.”

    “OK.” Jonathan got closer to Alex, who put his arms up so he could receive the strike.

    Jonathan rapidly got into motion, but surprisingly, his muscles jerked in a weird way. He had never felt this before, but this was definitely a bad thing. It gave you the same impression as when you mess up throwing a ball. You aim might be good, but it would lack power.

    Pah!

    Alex took a few steps back after being hit by Jonathan.

    “Can I…” Before he could finish asking if he could redo his hit.

    “What the hell. How are you so strong?”

    “Huh?” Jonathan didn’t even properly hit him, but Alex called him super strong. If he did a proper strike, it would be at least 50% stronger.

    “With this strength you can easily outpower Hugo. We must go check if the others all had some change like this. Also, we need to find why exactly so we can boost ourselves up. If we can, we’ll get out of this place without any issues.”

    As he said that, someone came running at them at high speed. To be precise, the person was running towards Jonathan.

    Furthermore, he did not seem to have any intention to stop his furious sprint.

    “Stephanie?” Jonathan instantly recognized who was running.

    “Aaaaah!” Stephanie screamed as she tripped and fell to the ground. Mud covered her clothing as she held her bloody knee. It was only a superficial injury thought, so cleaning was more than enough as a treatment.

    “What’s wrong?” Jonathan had seen the way she had tripped on nothing so he asked her how it happened.

    “I don’t know, I was running way faster than I usually could and then I tried to do a different stride to stop and my muscles jerked or something.” Stephanie explained as she held her knee.

    Hearing that she had felt the same thing as him, Jonathan was about to speak up when someone else spoke loudly.

    “So speed is your attribute. This is getting interesting.” The man who spoke was Guillaume. He had appeared like a ghost.

    “Since when were you here?” Alex asked.

    “I was simply taking a poop not far from here and happened to see Hugo and your performance, Jonathan also came and displayed his strength, followed by Stephanie who was so fast that she couldn’t even stop. These types of attributes weren’t there yesterday.” Guillaume slowly talked

    Everyone nodded hearing his quick analysis.

    Zoom!

    Rana arrived even faster than Stephanie, with Julien following behind at normal speed.

    “You see, even Rana got way faster. Although it seems weird for it to suddenly happen, I think everyone got augmented somewhere. Even me. Look at this.” Guillaume picket up two small rocks. He threw the first one in the air and then threw the other one at it with all his strength. Surprisingly, the two rocks hit each other.

    “For me, if I want something, it’ll happen. If I want to throw the rock on the leaf of the tree a few metres away, I’ll get it for sure. I guess it could be considered some type of control over my body.” Guillaume calmly explained his condition to the other before he personally addressed Stephanie.

    “Stephanie, I saw how your legs jerked before you fell. I also felt that when I woke up earlier than you guys. As such, I know that you have this ‘control’ attribute.” He quickly identified why Stephanie fell.

    “Through repetitive usage of my limbs, I learnt how to use them without losing control. Do the same and you’ll get used to the new feel of your body in no time.”

    Hearing this Stephanie was quite happy. This sounded like a great advantage in their situation. Being able to throw things accurately could allow her to attack wolves from afar.

    “But I think that you’re special…”

    “Me? Why would I be?” Stephanie didn’t understand what Guillaume meant by that.

    “Obviously it’s because you’re fast. While you came here, your speed was incredible. Although it wasn’t as fast as Rana’s, probably because she’s an adult, it was out of the ordinary. As such you probably have two attributes. You have the ‘control’ and what could be called the ‘agility’ attribute.”

    “Really?” Stephanie eyes opened wide. This meant that she could be super fast as well as being able to do things like perfect aim.

    “And this is probably better than you thought. I can feel that the ‘control’ ability allows someone to have efficient movement, not just in aiming, but also in running. As such, after a bit of practice, no movements are wasted while running, making a ‘control’ person faster than normal. Although it might not be as fast as the ‘agility,’ it’s still a big boost from your average Joe. Now, you have both the agility and control, making so that you can move your body fast and move it efficiently. With a bit of training, you’ll be on par with Rana in terms of speed, even though she’s older than you. When you get to her age, you’ll most likely eclipse her in speed.”

    Everyone in the group was pleasantly surprised by this. It seemed that Stephanie would now be an important asset, greatly augmenting their chance of survival.

    Only Hugo seemed a bit jealous. He had already taken a hit from Jonathan overpowering him in strength, now this random girl has amazing luck, acquiring two attributes.

    While Hugo was cursing to himself, Jonathan was secretly thinking to himself.

    “As for you Julien, what attributes do you think you have? What change do you feel in your body?” Guillaume asked out loud.

    “Me… I don’t think I have any. I don’t feel stronger, faster or in control…” A bit of deception could be heard in his voice. It would truly be a shame to be the only one without the surprise attributes.

    “If everyone got one, why wouldn’t you? Think about something. Think about some movie superpower or anything around those lines. It doesn’t have to be physical, maybe it is something that would be weird for others, like the time moving slow.”

    “Something different…” Julien paused and started thinking about what he felt that could be different to the others. He looked at everyone and seemed to notice something. “Can you guys feel the air being wet?”

    “Wet?”

    “Wet air?” Everyone seemed confused about this.

    “Yes, I feel as if the air was being super humid. But I don’t think it is since nothing is moist. It’s probably just me seeing it that way.”

    ‘Could it be…’ Jonathan thought to himself that he felt this wet air while running and even right now, but he had thought it was just the humidity,

    ‘No, the air is too fresh for humidity to be present like this. Even the grass isn’t very wet although it is the morning.’ He seemed to have realized something and his expression turned into a mix of surprise and joy.

    “Wet air? What else has to do with air that you can feel?” Guillaume continued questioning Julien.

    “It would be more about the wind than the air, but the wind sounds like a melody.” Julien calmly answered. His response confirmed Jonathan’s suspicions.

    “Hmmm…” Guillaume held his chin, seemingly in intense thinking. “You feel the air and you hear the wind. Can you smell something, or see things different from before?”

    “Yeah. It smells a lot like nature. I can smell the trees and the grass separately. As for vision … everything looks better than yesterday, as if it turned more artistic.”

    “Then there’s no doubt about it. Your senses seem to have been enhanced. Smell, hearing, vision and touch. You probably have something with taste, but you need to eat to test that. I guess we should call this attribute ‘perception.’” Guillaume calmly affirmed.

    “So everyone acquired an attribute? Hahaha, we’re quite in luck. Hugo, Jonathan and I have much more strength now, while Julien has this crazy perception, Guillaume can aim like a god and Rana is super fast. Stephanie is even luckier, she’s like a mix of Guillaume and Rana. Eheheh, it seems like we won't die in here after all.” Alex was very happy of this situation and laughed loudly. This set a positive mood in the group.

    However, Jonathan seemed to have different emotions then everyone else. In fact, he felt as if his situation was too good to be true.

    ‘I have the same feeling as Julien, I ran faster than Stephanie, I also jerked like Guillaume and I’m way stronger than Hugo…’ As he quickly did a resume of his thoughts, he could only come to one conclusion.

    ‘Fuck me, do I have all the attributes?’ He started shaking from joy.

    If it was the case, wouldn’t he have a total advantage over everyone from now?

    ‘I can’t let anyone know. Exactly like Guillaume has his gun, this is my trump card. Hell, I can feel that if I train a bit, I can probably dodge a bullet.’

    Quickly calming himself, Jonathan continued his interaction with his group. Everyone continued to discuss, trying to find the source of this.

    Only Guillaume was looking at Jonathan, a cold glint in his eyes. They seemed to pierce through him, discovering all his secrets. Yet, Jonathan didn’t even notice Guillaume.


  • edited October 9
    Chapter 10 - I require power

    AUTHOR'S NOTE: 4 more chapters to go this week. Enjoy! Smaller then usual (1.3k words) since the previous chapter was much longer then usual (3k+ words)

    Spoiler:


     

    “But why? I don’t think that we can gain such powers while just sleeping. Perhaps it’s RealVision that’s doing this. In games, they reward you for achievements. Surviving this long could have been one.” Hugo asked the group. Although his status hadn’t changed, his confidence received a huge boost with his increase in strength.

    “No, I don’t think that would be the case. They are ready to kill thousands, so why allow all the others to more easily survive after a few days? Their goal is evidently to put us in a bad situation.” Jonathan calmly responded to Hugo, he already had his own idea of what caused this.

    “That’s true. Then what could have caused this?” Rana asked with curiosity.

    “I think I have an idea. From the time we escaped the camp, the only thing that has changed is the amount of time we walked and our food. Walking probably had no effect, so it’s most likely the food that is the cause of.”

    Guillaume smiled when he heard this.

    “We ate meat. To be precise, predator meat. Have you noticed how big these wolves were? Even the young ones were the size of wolves from our previous lives. The babies were also super big when compared to normal dogs. As such, I think that there is something in their flesh. Maybe a substance like steroids, but hundreds of times stronger. After digesting it, it enhanced us.”

    “Oooh, that make sense.”

    “Yeah, I agree.”

    The group was pleasantly surprised by Jonathan’s hypothesis.

    “Hundreds of times stronger than steroids? Steroids are known for make your life span shorter so this substance could very well kill us.” Stephanie stepped up and gave an argument.

    “That’s true. But we don’t know what the substance is, or if it even exists, so we can’t come to any conclusions. And even if it was that strong it might not have any effect. There was always something weird about RealVision. Their technology advanced to quick, eclipsing the current ones. Maybe they put this substance in it and with their technological discoveries removed its negative effects.”

    “Even if that might be the case, I do not think that I matter right now. Death in five years or not, it helps us live, so we should use it.” Julien interrupted the debate.

    “You do have a point. In my opinion, we should start establishing a pyramid of Maslow. Since there are wolves here, there is undoubtedly wildlife we can use to feed ourselves on. Especially since the wolves are so big. This already makes it so that the first stage is complete. We know how to build shelter and weapons. In addition, we gained a lot of strength from the wolves, so it’s only a matter of time before the second step is complete.” Jonathan also supported that opinion.

    ‘If you add to that the fact that I basically have an edge in every aspect, it’s probably hard for me to get killed by wolves. If you mix agility and control, you become faster, and you can do stuff like parkour effortlessly. If you mix control with strength, your usage of strength also becomes better, allowing you to output more. If you mix the better speed and better strength, you get amazingly explosive movement, punches, or throws. Now, if you add perception to that, you can see exactly where you want to go, or strike. This is especially useful for spear throwing. In other words, I am now a perfect war machine, without any flaws. You can’t touch me, while I can hit you at your weakest spots with maximum damage and you can’t dodge.’

    Jonathan’s fighting and escaping confidence bolstered from all the gains from today. He even padded himself on the chest.

    ‘Huh?’ When he hit his chest, he noticed that there was no pain. Even his arm didn’t hurt. Hitting his chest a few times, he was sure of something. Suddenly, his ‘perception’ of touch made him feel like he could examine every singly part of his body. He could feel everything being more active.

    ‘Hahaha’ He laughed of joy inside, ‘It seems like I also have an attribute of ‘healing’ or else it would be impossible for a broken rib to heal overnight. Now I don’t have to fear getting injured. I wonder if this means that I can eat poisonous things.’

    “Furthermore, we should find more of those wolves or any predator. I previously killed a small animal, but didn’t get any boost like this. This means that only predators have any of the substances in them.” Guillaume also added this fact.

    ‘Now that the wolves are mentioned, I don’t think that this is a coincidence.’ Although he didn’t know, his brain was processing at a much higher speed.

    ‘Steph and I both ate some of the special dark baby wolf, and we both got multiple abilities. Perhaps become my potential is greater, I gained more. Normal wolves boosted people, but not as much as the dark wolf it seems. Wait. If that’s the case … who ate the dark mother wolf?’ Having realized something, Jonathan turned to stare at Guillaume.

    The latter seemed to have felt something and likewise starred at Jonathan.

    Seeing the look on Jonathan’s face, Guillaume seemed to know what he thought and simply smiled at him.

    He whispered something that Jonathan wouldn’t usually be able to hear at that distance. However, his ‘perception’ attribute made it so that he could just barely hear it.

    “You surprise me even more. It seems like you have more than two.” Guillaume said.

    This phrase shook Jonathan. Even if Guillaume said that he had two, the strength and the perception one which could be confirmed by that fact that he heard what he had said, Jonathan would be surprised. Now that Guillaume mentioned “more than two” Jonathan Knew that his secret was already partially discovered.

    ‘This man is not normal. I refuse to believe that he can see through me this easily. Always so composed, ahead of everyone. No normal person could be like this when teleported here. Hell, he might have five attributes and be hiding it.’ Jonathan continued to stare at Guillaume.

    ‘He’s definitely hiding something. Either he discovered things that I’m missing, or he was … there’s no way that true. Right?’ Forgetting about what he was going to think about Jonathan simply decided to never trust Guillaume.

    In fact, the moment he could, he would leave this group with Stephanie.

    Thinking about it Alex was also slightly suspicious. Could there be something that teachers knew but students did not?

    ‘I couldn’t care less. I just need to gain power. If I can eat wolves until I become so strong that I can snap them in half, I’ll be able to do anything I want.’ Jonathan seemed to gain a new objective. He needed power! A path had revealed itself, so he would be steadfast in walking it. Only then would he not be scared of betrayal and could secure Stephanie and his safety

    “Our priority should be moving away from here, who knows if the wolves are going to catch up to us. Even if we are now stronger, we probably can’t fight a full pack. That’s all for now, move out!”

    After Guillaume’s command, the group quickly packed up and walked towards the sun.

    During the walk, Jonathan build himself a new spear, adapted to his height and strength.

    He was exited for the future. Would they find other humans? Would they fall into a pit of hell and starve to death?

    He didn’t know, but he found fun in imagining any outcome.

     

     

  • edited October 14
    Sorry I guys. I have been infidel to my duties
    But I have a question. As you all saw my chapters are around 2000+ words. I see a lot of other writers only posting 1000 word chapters. Should I keep it like this at 3 chapters a week or post smaller chapters at 6 chapters a weeks? The pace will probably be upped with 6 chapters. DM for suggestions or comment on wattpad chapter 11

    Chapter 11 - Big hunt

    Spoiler:

     

    A group of humans were running through the forest. Their steps were decisive, without a hint of uncertainty, and full of determination.

    Their clothes were ripped in multiple spots and their bodies were dirty, yet most of them looked in a very good physical condition. They either had larger than average muscles or toned muscles that did quick or precise movements.

    Only Julien looked a bit underfed.

    They all had some form of weapon in hand, be it wooden spears, clubs or even a bow. The tools were in fact not half-bad, since the use of precise craftsmanship could be seen from lines on the wood.

    For the four last days Guillaume and Stephanie had been hard at work building these, but with their elegant hand movement and precision, it wasn’t impossible to turn a piece of wood into a true tool. Julien also helped in selecting the most appropriate pieces of wood, using his special perception.

    As such, their spears were much more efficient than before, and they could make a basic bow through many tries.

    They had already successfully hunted medium sided gain with these, so their construction techniques were obviously good.

    Of course, their hypothesis on building tools weren’t enough to make good ones. As such, Jonathan’s “Survival Manual” played a huge role here.

    Speaking of the manual, he had already memorized all of it.

    ‘Even through the pressure of survival, it is not possible to remember the sheer amount of information in the manual in such a short delay. I’m at least 70% sure that is because of another attribute. The information doesn’t come as pictures, so it can’t be related to eyesight perception. It must be something in relation to memory capacity and processing. With healing, strength, agility, control and perception, that makes six attributes…’

    Still, he had chosen to keep this hidden from the group and continue using his phone. Of course, Jonathan welcomed the presence of this additional attribute, but it came with a price.

    Throughout the usage of their attributes, the group had discovered that the energy usage of their body had skyrocketed. If a person with one attribute could feel the effect, it was an even bigger issue for someone like Steph, who had two. There was no need to talk about Jonathan’s situation either.

    Yet, it became so much easier for them to hunt that the extra usage was considered extremely worth it. Even for Jonathan it was worth it since he didn’t have to use all his attributes at the same time and kept most of them hidden.

    Concerning the attributes, the group became much more skilled in the usage of their abilities throughout the four days. The person with the most noticeable increase was Stephanie and Julien.

    Stephanie now knew how to merge her two attributes, allowing her to attain astonishing speed. She could climb trees as if they were nothing and jump long distances effortlessly. A short spear was her main weapon as she could throw it accurately to kill a prey.

    As for Julien, his sense was much more accurate. In addition to the augmentation of his senses, he could now find some relation between each other to better use them. A perfect example would be poison detection.

    Through some basic poison test and the usage of his senses, he could cross-examine a plant and be at least 60% sure that it was not poisonous. Till now, it had only failed them once and the symptoms were just throat irritation.

    Secretly, Jonathan had progress much more astonishing than them. He had secretly tested his strength and knew that it had augmented by a more than 50% then what it was the moment he found out about his attributes. The same could be said for his running and movement speed, which were faster or at least on par with Rana’s.

    His healing also made it so that his muscles would recover quickly, making them stronger.

    In addition to that, he could perfectly unite body and mind, allowing his perception to also be better than Julien’s, although not a massive but still significant margin. The usage of his senses and body made him register a ton of information from his environment, which made his ‘processing’ attribute better.

    It was like a self-sufficient cycle, which made it so that all attributes fed on each other to grow stronger as time went by. Compared to the other that had to use practise or find other predators, which they hadn’t yet, Jonathan was much better off.

    Of course, he didn’t slack on any type of training.

    ‘I sure would like to make a show and prove to everyone that I can do anything, but it is better to wait when the opportunity is ripe.’

    As he was thinking, the voice of Guillaume interrupted his thoughts.

    “Julien could this smell be…” He seemed to think of something, but he wasn’t sure.

    “Yes. I can see the tracks of a horde of animals. Broken branches, uniform leaf thickness on the group, smell of feces and I can’t hear any wildlife near us. As such, I deduce that a pack of medium-large animals have passed by. Furthermore, it hasn’t been a long time since then! We can catch up!” A smile appeared on everyone faces. They had luckily found a few singled-out animals in these last few days, but nothing like what Julien described.

    “You heard what he said. Pick up the pace because today, we are the wolves!” Guillaume screamed out and started running faster.

    The whole group could follow that speed except for Julien. Thankfully, the strongest one, Alex, could carry him since he was quite small as a kid.

    After following Julien’s instructions, they soon found themselves behind a huge pack of animals.

    There were at least thirty beasts and they looked like moos. They walked at a jogging pace, which was quite quick compared to normal human’s considering their long legs.

    “We already discussed this. Separate!” Quickly, the group split in three.

    Julien and Stephanie flanked the group of animals from the left. Their long was long distance support. Using Julien, Stephanie would rush out and do one final, fatal strike to the group of animals. Julien couldn’t fight as well, so it was natural that he stayed in the sidelines.

    Alex and Hugo flanked from the right. When the preys were selected, they would use their strength to do a surprise attack and apply heavy damage.

    Jonathan, Guillaume and Rana ran straight on. They were all fast. Rana and Jonathan would go in the front to attack, while Guillaume would shoot with his makeshift bow and then join the fray with his spear.

    Guillaume also knew that Jonathan had some trump cards, so he didn’t feel bad sending him to the frontlines.

    Rana could easily flee, so it was also not an issue.

    “Hahahahaha! Let’s go!” Surprisingly, it wasn’t Alex that screamed out like this, but Jonathan. It could be said that he was made for battle. He found a great joy from the adrenaline rush that came from placing his life on the line.

    Jonathan held two spears as he rushed to the front. Rana was right in front of him with a smaller spear.

    She threw it hard when she got close to the pack, and it hit a moose in the middle, making others behind it falls.

    Jonathan quickly handed her battle spear and jumped at the fallen animals in the front.

    He successfully pierced one with his spears, but another got back up and tries to rush at him. He slapped it with his spear, but despite his strength, it only slowed it only slowed it down.

    Although it was rushing to him at full speed and he would surely be injured, he felt no stress.

    Zoom!

    A spear passed by him. Although it wasn’t that much faster than a throw from a normal girl, it accurately pierced the moose’s head.

    Then, Alex came out of nowhere, and slammed the moose previously pieced by Jonathan with his club. After a few hits, it stopped moving.

    Through the fighting, Jonathan’s senses heard a bad noise.

    ‘Shit!’ He knew that the moose that had fallen were starting to head towards him, trying to escape. He rushed to move out of the way, but he says a young man tries to get in the way of the whole horde of moose.

    “No! Only attack from the side.” Julien screamed this from afar, but Hugo seemed to have heard nothing of it.

    As if he was a heroic spirit, he stood tall in front of the incoming horde as he swung his club to shatter the skull of an incoming moose.

    Although he successfully landed his swing, the outcome for him wasn’t so graceful, despite his strength.

    Crack!

    With the sound of bones breaking, Hugo’s body was sent flying at least ten metres. But that wasn’t all. Despite trying to dodge him, some moose stepped on him with their strong feet.

    ‘God damn.’ After the first wave of moos demolished Hugo, Jonathan headed over to help him.

    He successfully pulled Hugo’s body over his shoulder and dodged one incoming moose. As he lost his balance a bit, he had to dodge another moose but fell on his knees.

    Had it not been for his ‘control’ attribute, he would’ve gotten hit no matter how fast he was.

    Unfortunately, another one was also in his way.

    He had two choices.

    Drop Hugo to jump away and not get injured, letting Hugo receive the brunt of the impact.

    Or, hold Hugo tight to share the impact, making them both injured but less than if they were alone.

    ‘Sorry dude, but you brought this upon yourself, me being a saint ends here!’ Jonathan immediately opted for the first option, but before he could drop Hugo, someone came running at the moose charging at them.

    Although Jonathan didn’t see the person, he knew that it was a man, probably past puberty, by the scream of fury he heard.

    The moose suddenly got pierced on the side by a wooden spear, and fell to the ground again. The men let go of the spear, but other people came running and started beating down the moose. They also injured another one.

    While the injured beast tried to run away, Alex grabbed Hugo’s club and whipped it at the animal. Even if it didn’t hit a critical spot, considering Alex’s strength, it was enough to finish it off, or make it unable to move.

    Without looking at their peer that had fallen to the ground the other x ran away, leaving only a long and hard silence amongst the two groups of humans.

    Jonathan got up from his crouching position and looked at the new arrival. A group of at least 15 humans had revealed itself. Although a lot looked a scared, the man that did the first charge opened the conversation.

    “Eh … fancy meeting other people here.” He said while scratching his nose.

    Nobody from Guillaume’s group answered, simply coldly staring at him. Of course, Hugo couldn’t do that since he was almost unconscious.

    The man looked at the seven people coldly staring at him. He didn’t know how to respond, so he simply said what he would in this situation to any group.

    “Want to join our groups?” He scratched his nose again.

     

  • Was already posted on Wattpad since Saturday but I forgot to put it here

    Chapter 12 - Alliance

    Spoiler:

     

    ‘’Do you want to unite our groups?” The men asked

    Although it was simple, this question shocked the entire group.

    Join humans?

    Throughout their adventures, they had long since disassociated themselves from the image of “humans.” It could be said that they saw themselves as beings of the wild. Especially since they gained abnormal attributes.

    As such, they were quite shocked seeing other humans. In fact, they were more surprised seeing some than not.

    Before answering, Guillaume’s group regrouped around Jonathan and the injured Hugo. After leaving Hugo to Rana’s care, he stepped to the front with Guillaume.

    “I was rude, I should’ve started by this. Nice meeting you.” The men extended his hand to Guillaume. He had short black hair and a beard. He was of about average height and had a slightly athletic build. He had nothing special except for his charismatic air.

    “Likewise.” Guillaume strongly shook the man's hand.

    After that, the man also gave a handshake to Jonathan, who had to conserve his strength to not crush it.

    “First of all, I want to thank you guys for helping my two comrades, they would’ve been in trouble if you didn’t come.” Guillaume started the conversation,

    “Nono! I’m sure you guys would’ve been fine. You look like you’ve gone through a lot.”

    “There is no need to be humble. I truly would’ve had to make compromises to get a half-decent outcome in that situation, thank you.” Jonathan honestly thanked the man. He had a very good impression of him since he was humble and looked like he was full of good intentions. “But before we can do anything related to an alliance, we have to at least know who you are.”

    He didn’t blame the men for rushing the situation. In a place like this, number was a strength that could balance the odds. It was natural to want to pull in others before thinking about other things.

    “Ah, I’m sorry, I was too hasty. I guess that I should introduce myself. I’m Yves and you’ll meet the others shortly. We were walking when we heard the animals from afar. Although we aren’t at starvation, a substantial food source like this is hard to come by, so we decided to attempt to hunt. Then we saw your group and I knew what to do when I saw this young man in trouble.”

    “Hmm. It really is tough to live out here. My name is Jonathan. We were also quite excited when we met this horde of moose. We all have experienced the somewhat the same struggles, so why not talk about how our groups were made.” Jonathan was the one leading the conversation while Guillaume simply stood by him. Truth be told, he looked more like a leader then Guillaume with his much taller and imposing body.

    “Yes, that’s a great idea.”

    “Since you were the ones helping us, I’ll explain our groups situation first. We were all part of a much larger organization that got teleported here. Guillaume, our coordinator, Alex, our strongest man and Rana was superior in that organization and stuck together. Unfortunately, we got ambushed by wolves, so the large group and to split. Guillaume met with Julien, the small guy over there and Hugo, the injured one, and they took them in. Stephanie, the girl over there and I escaped and met with Guillaume. We were all lucky enough to escape from the ambush.”

    “An ambush? This can’t be a coincidence, we have about 6 people form our group that got separated from a school in an ambush.” The man, Yves, pointed to a group of people behind him. There was one adult and five children. Jonathan recognized two amongst them, but he only waved at them before continuing his conversation.

    “We were in a group of about thirty people, but conflict appeared very fast. Unlike your bigger group, we had 0 source of unity, so that was to be expected. We split in 3 groups of ten. Thankfully, no one died. We then met the others and now our group is sixteen. Here is Justine, there is Ivan, there’s also…” Yves introduced everyone in his group.

    “We have been pretty well off with 16 people, so I’m sure with your guys added we'll be able to join hands to have a much better outcome.” Yves sounded very honest in his speech, but Jonathan didn’t let himself get influenced.

    “It’s not that we reject the outside, but we barely know you guys. As such, we can’t start sharing everything we have. Although we have a link between us, the group of survivors from our group, you said it yourself. With no strong unity, we are bound to break.”

    The man seemed disappointed hearing this, and he wanted to say something. Yet, he knew that Jonathan was totally right.

    “But… We can form an alliance. Our two groups will help each other but not be dependent on each other for survival. If things turn for the best, we could unite after.”

    Hearing this Guillaume nodded with a slight smile.

    Yves also smiled hearing this.

    “Great! Everyone has already been introduced to the other group so this will work out great. Is it possible for use to know what are your roles in your group so that we can better communicate?”

    “Sure. Stephanie and I are long range attackers while the rest are close range attackers. Julien doesn’t fight but he can come to very insightful conclusions. Without him, we wouldn’t have been able to kill this many moose.”

    Guillaume didn’t spread the details of their attributes. In fact, it didn’t look like anyone in the other group had an attribute, or if they did, it was one like Julien’s. When the time was right, he would tell them.

    “Speaking of moose kills… We have only killed one, but we hope that —“

    “I already know what you want. Without you injuring the other one, it would not have been easy to kill, so we will give it to you. We can’t easily transport three moos since Hugo is injured, so we’ll offer you 30% of another one if you help us move it. If not, we’ll just burn it here.” Guillaume’s tone was decisive, offering no space for discussion.

    “Of course, we'll help!” Although Yves wanted more, he didn’t have the

    “Then we should move now since the smell of blood will attract predators.”

    “Agreed! Boys, grab our catch!” He ordered men from his group to grab a moose. There were nine guys, including him, and they successfully carried the moose with three people for one moose.

    As for Guillaume, he grabbed a moose with Jonathan and let Alex take the other one alone. Rana carried Hugo.

    Seeing this, the other group was shocked, especially when they saw Alex who grabbed a moose alone. Even though it didn’t look like it was easy for him, he was still doing a three men/boy job alone.

     

    The group moved for about 30 minutes and decided to settle down at an open spot. They both worked silently, building basic shelter and starting a fire to smoke meat. The two groups obviously wouldn’t start being overly social, since their union was only because of the need of support.

    Jonathan’s group didn’t need that support, they only needed to know what the situation with other humans was. Once they got what they wanted, they would leave as quick as they came.

    Jonathan was always one of the chefs, so he set up a meat cooking station with long thin rocks. Even if he didn’t find that specific form, it wasn’t impossible for him to split rocks with a few hits with another rock.

    While he was smoking meat, a girl came and sat by him. She was an Arabic girl with black hair that reached her shoulder. She was quite the beauty and was popular at his school.

    “We’re from the same school you know?”

    Jonathan quickly glanced at her then continued his task of cooking.

    “Sure … Yamina right?”

    “Ah! So you remember. I noticed you a few times in the hallway since you were so tall. Since we’re in this together why don’t we become friends?” She was staring at Jonathan straight in the face.

    “Friends … there isn’t much time for developing friendship I’m afraid.”

    “No, you’re wrong. There isn’t time to make friends, but there is time to make a friend.” She said that as a smile still hung on her face. She also moved her body closer to Jonathan’s.

    Jonathan was no idiot, he knew exactly what she was thinking.

    “Sure, there’s not a lot of people here, so why not? You seem like a good person, always looking so flawless and composed.”

    “Oh you think so? Haha.” She made a little girlish laugh. “Thanks. You aren’t so bad yourself you know?                    Look at your arms! Where did you get them from?”

    She started touching Jonathan’s arms, which were more muscular than before because of his strength attribute.

    “These? It might sound weird, but as long as you eat an animal that is a predator, you’ll be able to get something. Although you won't necessarily become huge, you’ll still have benefits.”

    He didn’t feel alarmed revealing this, as this was a secret that his group would eventually have to reveal. In fact, he had already heard Guillaume talking about it to others. As long as he didn’t say which attributes he had hidden, he would be fine.

    “Predator?” She was quite puzzled when she heard that.

    “Yep. Eat something like wolves and you’ll probably recover your former body.”

    “Former body? That would be great. There are so many things I can’t do in a small body like this.”

    “True. Who knows you might even become prettier than before … as for the things you’ll be able to do when you recover your body … I’ll look forward to them.” Jonathan said that as he blinked at her.

    Her face blushed when she realized what he meant.

    “You sure are dirty-minded … we’ll see when the time comes.”

    They then proceeded to talk about diverse things for a few minutes. Her little laugh could be heard by many. This type of sociality made it easier for the others to talk to each other. Soon no one was alone doing something.

    “I have to leave since Yves will get mad it me. By Jonathan, talk to you later!”

    “Bye, talked to you later.” Jonathan waved at her.

    The moment she turned her back to him, his expression turned blank again.

    “I hope that you won’t—“A girl suddenly appeared behind him and started talking to him.

    “You already know I don’t get involved with people like that. She wants to use me, then I’ll do the same. Then, I’ll throw her away.”

    “So no matter where, you’re still heartless.” Stephanie shook her head.

    “Heartless? No. If I loved you, then I would act like I did. If I’m just interested in using your body, then I’ll act like I am. It’s not like she wanted something more, so it’s not being heartless.”

    “But she wants something out of you and you won’t give it … meanwhile you’ll take something from her.”

    “She can only blame herself from treating me like an idiot. There’s nothing worst then a snake that thinks that it’s a dragon. With people like that, giving them attention is enough to satisfy them.”

    “Whatever, don’t come at me if there’s some big drama.”

    “Drama? Small things like that can’t touch me. And if they happen to be able to, I’ll just evaporate into thin air.”

    “One day you’ll meet something that won’t even let you the time to vanish.”

    “Then it will be on that day that I will know my limit. Till then, I’ll continue on…” Jonathan flipped over the meat.

    “I don’t know if I should call you too mature or too immature.” Stephanie wanted to say something back, but she had no words.

    “Well, tell me when you’re qualified to. Hahahaha.”

    “Shut up.”

    The two continued talking. Although they insulted each other a few times, this was part of their routine.

    “So what’s up with him?” A boy sitting on a rock asked. He was cutting some wood with a bit of difficulty.

    “I think he’s interested.” Yamina answered

    “Then that’s good. Continue leading him on. Then, we’ll be able to rise in authority in the group due to being close to him. His group was already strong enough to hunt predators, so they’ll pass some to you for sure. Then, we’ll be able to get our old bodies and some of the “attributes” they were talking about.” The boy answered.

    “Yes, that would be great.” Yamina seemed a bit hesitant but agreed.

    “Then, we won’t need him anymore. If we are smart about it, we’ll be able to use him to our advantage then use him to divert attention from us in a critical moment.”

    “It’s OK to get the predator meat, but is it really necessary to try to scheme against him? Can’t he be an actually ally … I think that it would be great to have him on our side.”

    The boy frowned when he heard this.

    “You have you caught feelings for him?” He stared at Yamina straight in the eyes, as if she had betrayed a part of him.

    “I … no it’s just that he seems like a really good person. Strong and interesting. We could try to trap someone else maybe.”

    “So you really did fall in love at first glance. But remember, love is just an emotion. You won’t be able to love anything if you are dead. Our survival is the priority.”

    “Yes, you’re right.”

    The boy didn’t answer and continued cutting his wood.

    Yamina solemnly starred at the handsome boy cooking meat, hoping that things wouldn’t have to turn like her friend said.

     


  • I don't even want to talk about how late I am. Somebody kill me

    Chapter 13 - Calm before the storm

    Spoiler:


     

    This morning wasn’t sunny. There were large grey clouds draping over the whole forests. While they dropped heavy raindrops on the group of humans, they also all blocked the rays of sun from attaining them.

    Although rain wasn’t a good thing for them since whatever was already abundant, no one in the group of humans was gloomy.

    “Amazing…” Yves moved his shoulder which was sore yesterday. Now, it was perfectly fine. He also felt some extra strength in his body. Although it wasn’t marginal, it was still present.

    Yesterday, everyone had eaten some moose meat and to their surprise, they had woken up with a lot more vitality than the day before. Although this wasn’t shocking for Jonathan’s group, it was for the other one, who had never felt attributes.

     “Could this be the attributes you have talked about?” Yves asked the bald man next to him.

    The rain made his shaved head shine and his blue eyes pop out

    “It is not entirely the case, but it is.” Guillaume looked at the group he had formed an alliance with and examined everyone’s reaction, understanding what kind of gains they made.

    “That’s right. When we ate the wolves, we felt some huge increase. Although I feel some increase now, it isn’t nearly as impactful, and it is more spread out throughout other attributes.” Julien said. “My muscle mass has increased by a tiny bit, but nothing near Hugo, let alone Jonathan.”

    Yves turned a bit gloomy. If it was like eating wolves, the whole group would have gotten much, much stronger. Imagine 16 attribute human hunting! That would be amazing.

    “I guess that although the moose are not predators, they are still in the category of ‘advanced’ mammals. As such, they probably have a bit of the substance in their meat. No, they probably have another substance, which is much less potent and has a more general effect. As such, everyone has a slight boost in agility, control, perception and strength. It is probably equal to a month or two of training.” Guillaume gave out another very plausible hypothesis

    “Although it’s only equivalent to a few months of progress, it’s still better than nothing. In fact, this is already considered an amazing effect on Earth. If we could hunt a lot more meat, we should be able to become like you guys.” Yves kept a good attitude as always.

    “Huh. Good luck with that. We don’t know when we’ll meet the next predators, so hoping to hunt over ten meals is a bit too much.” Guillaume put out his opinion, secretly laughing at Yves claims.

    They had only been able to kill the predators because of a few elements of luck. First, the wolves were separated because of an ambush on his group. Two, not all the wolves were adults. Three, he had met Jonathan, a very decisive and fearless young man who was efficient in battle.

    Were it not for any of these factors, he wouldn’t normally have gotten the meat of the wolves.

    Furthermore, that victory came at a cost. First, a member had been killed. Second, Jonathan would’ve died for sure had not had a gun in his position. And even then, Jonathan was severely injured.

    He wasn’t too bothered by the last fact since he was the only one who noticed the presence and rapid healing of Jonathan’s injuries.

    “It’s still worth trying. Without a goal, we’re just stuck here like poles.” Yves understood what Guillaume meant, but he didn’t give up.

    Guillaume didn’t answer the enthusiastic man next to him as he continued to observe the young people here. His arms were crossed, and his eyes blue eyes looked like a bottomless lake.

     

    Jonathan was standing under a tree that sheltered him from the rain, hold a wet piece of wood.

    With a contraction of his hand he completely crushed it. The piece of wood became almost totally flat, with finger imprints on it.

    “What the hell! Why did you get so much stronger?” Stephanie angrily complained. She had gotten faster from their food, but her progress was not nearly as good as Jonathan’s.

    “I don’t know either, but I’m not complaining.”

    Obviously, that was a lie.

    He had come to the same conclusion as Guillaume. This substance augmented your main attribute and helped the other a bit.

    Furthermore, he could use his perception in conjunction of his control on his body and process attribute to come to a logical conclusion.

    From his analysis of the situation, the augmentation was like a drop of water in a lake. It dropped on one attribute, and the ripples went to the others to help them. This all sounded OK, but when you considered that Jonathan had six know attributes, this created a shocking effect.

    If a ripple was 1/6 of a drop increase, having six times those ripples made it so that each attribute had the equivalent of an extra increase.

    Adding to the fact that Jonathan’s attribute fed themselves, the increase for each attribute was absolutely shocking in his case. Although it wasn’t like the one from eating the dark wolves, and probably not from eating the normal ones, the increase was still amazing.

    The dark wolves increase could be considered about 10 years of constant, hard training of an attribute.

    The normal wolves were a 5-year increase.

    The moose was a half-year increase on a direct attribute, and 1-2 months on others.

    As such, it could be considered that Jonathan got a full-year increase in each attribute. Add to that the inter augmentation between the attributes and this was about a year and a half increase.

    Facing this reality, Jonathan understood that his future potential was much higher than his peers. This “talent” would allow him to always become exponentially stronger than other humans, ensuring that he was always at the top.

    ‘But it’s only useful if I can live to use it.’ Jonathan’s expression stayed the same while talking to Steph, but inside, he frowned.

    Although his situation wasn’t as good as his previous worlds, it was still decent. He had a source of food and clean water (at least for him with his healing attribute), a shelter that protected him from the wind, and people to talk too. This was already better than some people in his previous world.

    ‘Although I would like to get some fresh clothes, this is better than nothing.’ With his increase in size and strength, his clothes had stretched and ripped at some places. Only his hoodie was still “fine.” Although it was annoying, he didn’t complain.

    ‘In my opinion, this is all too good to be true. Sending people here for nothing? I don’t believe it. They knew that we would be in groups and hence survive more easily, so this wouldn’t be the last thing they did to us.’ His intuition, which he felt had gotten stronger with his perception attribute, was screaming at him for some time now.

    ‘This is all too easy. There must be other challenges. Perhaps…’ He had a sudden thought. ‘They send the predators? No, that shouldn’t be the case. But if they can place us here, they can probably place animals too. Then, it’s up to them to hunt us or not.’

    Finishing his thinking, he asked Steph.

    “Do you think that we’ll meet predators soon?”

    Steph was a bit shocked by such a sudden question, so she didn’t immediately respond.

    “I hope not to, but I guess it’s unavoidable.”

    “You wouldn’t want? Why? You can get stronger, much stronger. You’ll be able to decimate any human without any effort. The impossible will turn possible!”

    Jonathan said that with a lot of enthusiasm.

    Even though he didn’t welcome an attack, he wasn’t scared of it at all. He felt he could attack if the enemy was weak and run if he had to. If he was lucky, he would even be able to kill and eat them.

    “That is true, but so what? Those animals are scary. And not for nothing. They are also deadly. Sure, we can run, but what happens if you meet an animal faster than you? One bite is enough to end it all. I don’t want to risk that.”

    “Fair enough.” Jonathan had no choice but to agree with her. Not everyone was an adrenaline junky like him, so being in this situation must be terrible for them. Especially for those that barely had an attribute.

    “Jonathan.” Stephanie’s tone changed, becoming very direct.

    “Yes?”

    “If we get attacked. Will you give up on me? Don’t lie.” She starred at Jonathan straight in the eyes.

    Jonathan was a bit shocked by the sudden question, but he knew his true answer was.

    If people became of useless weight to him, he would give up on them. But not Stephanie. Stephanie was a sister to him, a part of him. When he lived for himself, he also lived for Stephanie. They had gone through everything together. Small or big, futile or major.

    They had shared the same bed, they had eaten the same food, hey learnt the same things, had gone through every struggle together. Even seeing each other fully naked was nothing new.

    They were indivisible.

    He had a true sister, but this link was stronger than blood for him.

    If Stephanie was about to die, he wouldn’t hesitate one second to put his life at risk to save her.

    “Give up? As long as an inch of my body can move, I’ll destroy anything to help you.”

    Stephanie smiled when she heard this. She didn’t thank Jonathan, but instead turned back to her smug attitude.

    “Of course, you would. After all, it’s me, Stephanie.” She puffed her chest of like a little kid.

    “Yeah whatever, just go and do something useful instead or wasting your time here.” He pushed Steph away from him and moved away to work on things like maintaining weapons. A bright smile was on his face.

    It was always like this when he spoke with Steph. She was the sunshine to his dark days.

    Today, Jonathan wasn’t sharpening wood. He was using rocks.

    With his increase in strength, he could shatter them and find a good piece to use as a tip. Furthermore, the rain made it so that he could use the whetstone method to sharpen the rock and his knife without wasting any water.

    After a few hours, he had a decently sharp piece of rock, which he installed at the tips of a wooden stick. This was much better than his knife setup, since the rock was much bigger and heavier.

    Furthermore, if he lost his spear he would still have another weapon on him.

    As he started sharpening another good piece of rock, a young girl came next to him.

    Jonathan immediately recognized her.

    “Good afternoon, Yamina.” Jonathan said with a slight smile on his face, as he continued his sharpening.

    The young girl in front of him and grown from the last time they met. She looked more mature and beautiful.

    “Hi Jonathan. What’s up?”

    “Nothing much, I’ve been cutting rocks I found. They make perfect spear tips and that will help if we want to hunt or get attacked. What are you doing?”

    “Currently, nothing. We’re a lot here, so it’s hard to have a purpose. However, a small group decided to depart to pick up plants.”

    “And you want me to join?” Jonathan guessed what she wanted to say.

    “Ah, so you guessed it. Yeah, I wanted to know if you would like to tag along.”

    “Foraging takes a lot of time and I still have this to do, so I can’t.” He shook his head with an apologetic look.

    “No, it won’t be long since the place has already been discovered by your friend Julien. We’re just going to pick the plants up. It won’t take long. Furthermore, the leader promised larger portion for those that went to pick up the plants.

    Jonathan doubted the authenticity of the last claim, but he knew that it was true that Julien came back from somewhere a few minutes ago.

    “If you put it that way, I’ll go.”

    “Great! Follow me.” Yamina happily turned around and headed towards the group of scavengers.

    Had she known that Jonathan had only followed her because his hands were tired, she wouldn’t be this pleased.

    He grabs his spear and headed in her direction.

  • ...

    Chapter 14 - Bait

    Spoiler:


     

    Jonathan swung his spear as he walked towards his foraging squad. Once he arrived there, he saw many unfamiliar faces except for Yamina.

    Although it was starting to get dark, he could still observe everyone. They all looked like your typical twelve your old teen.

    Only one boy stood out. He was Arabic and had voluminous hair with large curls. He also had bushy eyebrows and dark eyes.

    He was staring at Jonathan with a blank expression, as if he could see all his secrets. Yamina was standing next to him looking a bit hesitant.

    Rapidly, the boy put on a smile a greeted Jonathan.

    “So, you’re Jonathan right?” He presented his hand to Jonathan, who in turn shook it.

    “That’s me. Nice to meet you.”

    The boy stared straight into Jonathan’s eyes.

    “I’m Yassin, from the same grade as Yamina. The others are also our friends from before.”  He presented the few kids behind him before continuing.

    “I know that you have a strong attribute and you are used to be in control, but that won’t be the case here.”

    Jonathan listened to Yassin’s claim without batting an eyelid.

    ‘Oh. He wants to establish his superiority?’ Although he wasn’t sure why Yassin acted this way, Jonathan was no idiot. He could immediately feel a bit of disdain.

    Perhaps it was because his group took most of the moose meat without hesitation that Yassin tried to get a little revenge.

    “Although you had a stronger upgrade than us, I have a double attribute, so I doubt that you can win against me in battle. My control and strength allow me to use my strength much better than you can. Adding to the fact that you’re a stranger in this group and we invited you, you have no choice but to subordinate yourself to me.” Yassin immediately started flaunting himself and waited for Jonathan’s reaction.

    When he heard that Jonathan instinctively observed Yassin’s body. He could see his large and defined muscle through his ripped shirt.

    ‘Eheh. He’s quite the confidant one. If he can use control in a few hours, that means that he has quite a bit of talent … but so what if he has a double attribute? That means nothing to me. He might be able to lead the others, but as for me…’

    “Subordination? I didn’t come here to cause trouble, but I’ll have to ask you to stop with your bullshit.”

    When the others heard this, they all inhaled from their shock.

    As for Yassin, he frowned.

    “You can dream all you want that you can surpass me, but you don’t know anything about me. If you come at me, I’ll show you what a strength attribute truly means. I will operate as a separate team as I don’t need you guys’ help. No offence, but if it wasn’t for Yamina, I wouldn’t even be interested in behind near you guys.” Since the other party had addressed him with aggressively, Jonathan would do the same.

    ‘Sure, a beast like a dark wolf can intimidate and instill fear into me. As for a human? Fuck off. Even if I didn’t have a single attribute I wouldn’t fear this guy.’

    Although he didn’t always look for trouble, when trouble came knocking at his door, he wouldn’t hesitate at swinging the door open so hard that it flew off its hinges.

    “Guys, there’s no need for this. We’re just here to grab some herbs.” Yamina hurriedly tried to calm the atmosphere. Particularly, she pushed Jonathan away. She had heard many times about his strength, so even if she had trusted in Yassin’s strength, she doubted it would be an easy fight for him.

    Truth be told, Jonathan was eager to test his abilities on another human, so if Yassin pushed him a bit too far, he wouldn’t hesitate to break a few of his bones.

    If Yamina knew this, she would be terrified with having the two boys in the same team.

    “I don’t have time to waste, so you guys better start moving.” Jonathan continued being aggressive.

    Although the members of the group disliked his attitude, it was true that it wasn’t wise to waste time like this.

    As such, the small squad moved out.

    They walked for almost an hour before arriving to the spot where Julien discovered the plants.

    Jonathan’s intuition told him that they were safe to pick, so he stuffed some in his pockets and in a pouch made from a ripped piece of shirt.

    As he continued to fill his pouch, he got closer to a certain group of bushes, where his intuition screamed at him to investigate.

    The same thing happened with the other perception attribute member of the group, who went a picked up two berries on the bush.

    He first crushed one then smelt an amazing scent. It was so powerful that even those without the perception attributes smelled it.

    “What is that?” Yassin asked the group.

    “For sure these are berries, but as for what kind, I have no idea.” The perception kid answered.

    “Are they poisonous?” Yassin looked at the perception attribute member with anticipation.

    “Nothing seems off for me, so it’s most likely fine to eat. Furthermore, there’s a ton from where it came from.”

    Yassin quickly tried a berry. A powerful taste flowed through his mouth and he felt delighted.

    “Hahaha! We hit it big this time! No more eating dry meat and sour roots!” Yassin laughed out loud.

    The rest of the group was also excited from this discovery, so they rushed to pick up berries. Everyone tasted them and felt great satisfaction.

    After at least thirty minutes of collecting berries, the group realized something.

    The more they collected, the deeper they had to move down to find berries, but the more abundant they were. In this cold weather, this was very surprising.

    “This … there should be an end to this right?” Someone asked out loud.

    “That’s right. The berries get more abundant and diverse the further we move … I say that instead of wasting our storage on the smaller berries at the start, we move towards the source and grab the good stuff.” Yassin proposed,

    “Good idea.”

    “Agreed.”

    Everyone was of the same opinions, so they walked at a fast pace towards the source of this.

    Everyone was very excited to see what was awaiting them, yet Jonathan was asking himself something very important.

    ‘This is all good and well, but how come Julien didn’t see any of this before. His senses are much more precise than this dude’s, so it makes no sense…’

    Julien came here around in morning time, so it was impossible that these berries popped out of nowhere.

    Jonathan couldn’t comprehend the situation, but he followed the group nonetheless.

    After about thirty minutes of jogging, the group arrived at a stunning scene. Here, a thick tree stood, surrounded by lavish vegetation. On the tree, diverse and colourful fruits could be seen. In addition to that, a powerful smell aroused the senses of everyone here.

    Although it was almost fully dark now, the fruits shinned like a moon.

    Their eyes turned a bit empty, and without any words, the humans rushed towards the huge tree. The fruits looked like holy gems to them, and they could not resist the temptation.

    “Yes! We’re sure to eat for at least a month with all this.” Someone screamed.

    Everyone rushed to the tree with so much anticipation that they didn’t hesitate to push away someone to be there first.

    ‘Wait.’ Suddenly, Jonathan who was running stopped. He activated all his attributes to the max, and he regained control of his body.

    ‘What the fuck is this?’ Seeing that the others were still running to the tree without any care, fighting against each other, Jonathan was confused at the whole situation.

    Suddenly, his eyes opened wide and his ears moved a bit. His nostrils also twitched. He had put all his energy into his mental and perception attribute, feeling what was around him. Still, he saw nothing.

    However, Yassin, who had knocked away a few people using his strength, grabbed a fruit on a branch.

    At this precise moment, Jonathan felt something. It sensed a presence in their proximity. It was like noticing that someone else was in your house while you thought you were alone.

    Although it was faint and there was place for doubt, Jonathan didn’t think that he was wrong.

    Yassin and his lackeys continued to pick up fruits. They were so intoxicated in the process that they did not notice Jonathan staring at them from afar.

    ‘This…’ Jonathan suddenly realized that the more fruits they picked up, the more his perception made him feels things.

    ‘More presences?’

    Soon the number of presences he felt went over thirty.

    “This is it! This is it! Tonight we will have a feast! A feast!” Yassin screamed out at Jonathan as he bit a fruit. His eyes lost a bit of focus as he went into insanity, kicking anyone who came close to the fruits around him.

    The moment he bit onto a fruit, Jonathan felt that the attitude of the presences changed.

    ’No way … predators?!?” Jonathan’s legs started to shake. He remembered this feeling quite well.

    It felt like someone was staring at him like he was an ant, anticipating the taste of his flesh.

    Usually, he would be scared but not at this point. Only when he first met the wolves was he shaking. The reason this time was very different.

    He couldn’t even count the number of predators.

    Furthermore, he didn’t even know where they came from.

    “STOP!!!” He screamed at the group, but they acted as if they didn’t hear him. They all continued to eat, their intoxication only growing deeper and deeper.

    Suddenly, Jonathan heard a noise.

    Buzzzz!

    He looked towards the source of this buzzing and saw on top of the tree a giant brown ball.

    Immediately, he recognized what it was.

    ‘A bee hive?’ He couldn’t believe the sheer size of what he saw and most importantly, how he hadn’t detected it before. It was at least the size of a kin ball.

    He then saw a huge dark cloud move away from the hive, heading straight towards Yassin and his friends.

    “ARRRGHH!!!!” A scream could be heard from the person that the cloud went over. After about three seconds, that person fell to the ground, lifeless. Huge cavities could be seen all over the girl’s body, as if someone had stabbed her all over.

    ‘Fuck!’ Jonathan didn’t hesitate twice and turned to run.

    In thirty seconds, he covered about three hundred metres but…

    ‘No way.’ He looked in front of him and found that he was back at his starting spot.

    ‘This can’t be, I ran in a straight line.’ Before Jonathan could understand what was happening, the black cloud rushed towards him. Tried to run away the best he could, but it was at least three times faster than him.

    Once it arrived upon him, he attempted to whip his spear at it, but to no avail. Before his imminent doom, he looked at the insects composing the cloud. They looked like long bees, a bit more yellow than usual. Furthermore, they were all the size of an adult women’s fist.

    Jonathan also saw their long stings protruding from their bottoms.

    Helpless to everything, he got stung until he fell unconscious. Before he fell, felt an enormous amount of pain.

     

  • ...

    Chapter 15 - Captured 

    Spoiler:


     

    In the damp night a girl was outside her tent screaming.

    “There’s no way he’s OK. No way!” Steph yelled while hitting a tree trunk.

    “Jonathan is probably fine, don’t worry.” Julien tried to appease her.

    “Fine? FINE??? He disappeared for hours picking up plants and he’s PROBABLY FINE???” She became even more ignited at Julien’s comments.

    “We all know how strong Jonathan is, even a wolf wouldn’t be able to kill him.

    “I don’t care, I don’t care, I DO NOT CARE!” Stephanie suddenly started walking away.

    “Where are you going?”

    “Where the f*ck would I go? Of course I’m going to find him.”

    “Find him? In the middle of the night? Are you crazy? You’ll get killed if you go alone.” Julien walked in front of her, blocking her way.

    Her expression turned ugly.

    “Julien if you don’t move in under three seconds, things will get ugly.”

    “Steph, I’m also worried about Jonathan, but he’s the strongest amongst us. Even if he got in trouble, he most likely ran away somewhere. We’ll have to search for him forever without any guarantee of finding him. Furthermore, it’s the middle of the —“

    Julien’s speech got cut short and he was sent flying by a kick from Stephanie.

    “I told you to move.” She didn’t bother seeing if he was still alive and started running. However, another figure arrived in front of her.

    “Stephanie, calm down.” Rana faced her with a calm voice.

    “Julien isn’t entirely wrong. Jonathan is one of the least likely people to get into deep trouble amongst us.” Guillaume also walked behind her.

    “So you’re saying that you give up on him?” Stephanie was angry.

    “If that’s the case, then I’m going to find him alone.”

    “We’re not giving up on him. He is a core member of our group. We’ll search him for what we can, but beyond that, it is impossible to ask for more. We don’t have the manpower nor the resources to look for a single person throughout this huge forest.”

    Although Steph wasn’t satisfied by this answer, it was still much better than doing nothing.

    As they were discussing, someone else appeared.

    “Our people didn’t return either. Yassin is an important member of our group, so it’s entirely worth it to go look for him. I say we form a search party.” Yves proposed.

    “Sure, numbers only help.” Guillaume answered

    “Then let’s go! Why are we wasting time?” Stephanie was still in a hurry and urged everyone to leave.

    In under five minutes, a fifteen-man search party was formed. A few people stayed at camp in case something happened.

    Since it was night, they couldn’t carelessly run, so they walked using torches to light the way. Everyone’s phone was already dead.

    Stephanie was walking with her fist tight and her teeth clenched. She was extremely anxious about what would happen.

    ‘Please be okay Jonathan … don’t leave me.’

     

     

    At the same time, another group of humans were adventuring through the forest. They were four-man team had arrived at the bushes that contained multiple type of berries. These bushes formed a circle around the tree, so they weren’t coming from the same angle as Jonathan.

    “Team leader, should we return to camp to report this?” A young man asked. He was wearing a short-sleeved black t shirt, gloves and a bulletproof jacket.

    “No. Let’s first find the source of all of this then we can return.” The middle-aged man, who seemed like the leader, answered.

    “Yes, team leader.” The other tree approved.

    The group continued to move in a very organized way towards their objectives.

    “I have something sir.” A woman spoke out loud.

    “Speak.” The team leader answered.

    “My senses give me a hint that there was or is a presence of humans ahead. I can’t confirm if they are still there from this far.”

    “Good, we will move forward. Move in the second formation.”

    When the team leader said this, the others quickly moved. They formed a V with the women being behind it. A burly man was at the point of the formation. He was very tall and had a long black beard. On one side was team leader and the other was the young man.

    “Ready your weapons.”

    “Yes, sir.” Everyone in the team pulled out their weapons.

    The woman carried a submachine gun that fitted her size perfectly. Although she looked fragile, her grip was firm and looked like her I had a lot of experience in weapons handling.

    The burly man had a long shotgun in his hands. He looked like a moving tank, especially with his long beard that gave him an imposing aura.

    The team leader carried a carbine rifle. Although he readied himself loosely compared to his team members, he seemed in complete confidence in himself, as if it was impossible for him to miss a shot.

    As for the young man, he had the most unusual setup. He carried a semi-automatic pistol in his left hand and a long, black machete in his right. He was the most care-free person of the group, whistling as he walked.

    “Stop making noise now. They might also have a perception person.”

    The young man didn’t answer but he stopped whistling.

    After walking a few more minutes…

    “This smell, there is something ahead team leader. It’s most likely something related to the fruits. As for the humans they aren’t present anymore, since I do not sense any movement.” The women said.

    “Very well, let's go check it out.”

    Soon, the group arrived at the same tree Jonathan’s foraging team.

    “Wait.” The perception women said.

    “What?”

    “There are bodies ahead. The blood and the aftermath of a small fight is what I sensed.”

    “Bodies?” The burly man asked out as he approached the unconscious Jonathan.

    Suddenly, a strong smell entered his nostrils, and when he saw the fruits, he immediately started walking towards them.

    “Stop.” Seeing that something was amiss, the young man came in front of him.

    “Get out of my way, those are mine.” The burly man eyes couldn’t even focus as he moved like a zombie.

    “Idiot.” Without any warning, the young man moved like a blur, jumping up and slapping the burly man across the face with his pistol grip.

    “What the hell?” The man came back to his senses after that good slap.

    “Don’t you see how all those corps have a fruit with them when they died? I hope you don’t want to end up as them.”

    He looked around confused but soon understood.

    “Ah. Yeah, thanks.” The burly man had no choice but to thank the young man even though the latter hit him across the face.

    “Eh? Some are still alive … particularly this one.” The women suddenly pointed out something and stared at Jonathan who was still unconscious.

    “If they are still alive, let’s bring them back to camp … we have used for them.”

    “This one has the most vitality while the two others are on the verge of death. Still, if they are kept at stable conditions, they will live.” The women pointed at Yassin and Yamina.

    “If they are alive, they are of use to us. Furthermore, they are strong enough to survive the onslaught their comrades could not. We just need to keep them in check and they’ll become excellent pawns.” The leader seemed very satisfied at his findings.

    He turned to the other members of his group and said.

    “Make sure to remove all their weapons. As for the others, strip them of their clothing. Do not touch the fruits and don’t think about the smell too much if you don’t want to have the same fate as them.” As he said that the whole group moved to their specific tasks.

     

     

    “Wait!” Julien spoke out.

    Their group had been moving for a long time now. They had seen the berries but didn’t bother picking any up because of the urgency of the situation.

    Till now, they hadn’t encountered anything strange, but Julien suddenly warned the group.

    “What?”

    “I sense multiple presences ahead. For sure there are 4 that are active. There might be more though.”

    “It’s Jonathan!” Steph screamed out.

    “Stop screaming! I can’t confirm it’s Jonathan, but if isn’t they might hear us. Who knows if they have malicious intents.”

    “I agree.” Yves also spoke out.

    Keeping this in mind, the group continued their advance towards the tree.

    Soon, they arrived at the great tree, but before they could do any further actions, they heard someone screaming at them.

    “Hands up.”

    The voice was without any worries, and it came from the leader of the armed group.

    The search group quickly analyzed the situation, wanted to reply, but they noticed something.

    ‘Guns?’ Stephanie was surprised when she saw the group. She knew that Guillaume had one but other than him, she thought that it would be extremely rare for others to have guns. However, she just discovered four individuals fully armed.

    Without a second thought Stephanie put her hands up, along with the other people in the search party.

    Stephanie looked around and saw a member of the other group near a body. She quickly recognized the person.

    “Jonathan!” She couldn’t help but scream out loud. “You motherfuck*rs killed him!!!”

    The leader of the group looked at Stephanie calmly before opening his mouth.

    “This a misunderstanding. This ‘Jonathan’ person was already like this when we arrived. In fact, he’s just unconscious.”

    Stephanie simply started at the leader before once again opening her mouth.

    “Let him go.” Her tone was harsh.

    The leader didn’t seem surprised, and he simply answered.

    “Why would I?”

    Without a hint of hesitation, she replied “Because he’s an important person in our group!”

    Hearing this, something ticked in the leader’s head.

    “Important? So he’s not like every scrub … unfortunately, I can’t give him back to you. As we found him, he’s now our possession.”

    “Your possession? You think that because you find someone you own them? F*ck off. A life isn’t yours to own.” Stephanie screamed at the leader when she heard this claim.

    “Little girl, you would be right in our previous world, but here, there are no rules. We have the guns, so naturally we decide how things go.” The young man with the machete in the other group entered the conversation.

    However, the moment he said that, Guillaume pulled out his revolver, he didn’t shoot, but he aimed it at the young man.

    “Sure, you have four guns, but we are three times as many as you. I guarantee you that my shoot will land on at least one of you, so even if I go down, one of you will too. Then, it’ll be a three vs fifteen. You may be able to shoot down half of us, but I doubt that half of you will survive. So … consider wisely your further actions.” Guillaume spit out these vicious words, making the other group freeze slightly.

    Still, the leader wasn’t fazed for too long.

    “Most of the kids are dead except these. Three of your people are alive, so we can shoot those three and another one of you down. We may all get wiped, but at least 5 of you will die. I say this … I give you back that boy and we go on our separate ways.” The leader said that while pointing to Yassin.

    “…”

    Stephanie’s group had to also consider this well. It was true that all three hostages could be killed without the group being able to react quickly enough. After all, Guillaume was the only one with a gun.

    “Give us two people. Jonathan and Yassin will do.” Yves spoke out.

    He would’ve liked to also help Yamina, but she was the most useless of the bunch.

    “That won’t do. We decide the terms. You get the boy, or you get nothing.”

    Everyone froze for a few seconds, before Yves attempted to speak to Guillaume.

    “Nope, no discussions.” The leader said. “You have five seconds to decide and I shoot everyone. It won’t be the first or last person I shoot out here. Five.”

    “…”

    “Four.”

    “Three.”

    “W-wait at lea—“

    “I said no discussions, the bald head there will give the final answer.” The leader said as he pointed to Guillaume.”

    “Two.”

    “Fine.” Guillaume answered. “Leave Yassin and take the rest.”

    “Good, you finally came to your senses. As we established. The boy will stay. No talking or movement before 5 minutes from now. Since, I’m a bit friendly, I’ll advise you to not touch any of the fruits, except if you want to end up like these kids.” The young man smirked as he pointed at the dead children.

    “We will move out. If something happens in those 5 minutes, we’ll shoot your friends down. I also advise you to not attack us after, since we have a camp of at least fifty people fully armed.” The leader said

    this shocked everyone in the group. Fifty armed people? How the hell did that happen?

    Without waiting for a response, the burly man and the young man picked up Jonathan and Yamina.

    They then quickly disappeared in the night.

    Stephanie stood there for the whole five minutes, clenching her teeth so hard they almost broke.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • My schedule is aids

    Chapter 16 - Prisoner

    Spoiler:


     

    “…”

    Jonathan opened his eyes, awakening from a deep sleep. He couldn’t think of much since his mind was currently extremely dull.

    He reflexively moved his body a bit, but a sudden pain flowed throughout him.

    “$%*#”

    It was easily the most painful thing he had felt in his life. He had previously torn his ACL and this pain was comparable, but it spread through the whole body.

    It hurt so much Jonathan’s eyes got watery. It had to be noted that he himself couldn’t remember the last time that he had cried.

    ‘Breath and don’t move. Calm yourself down and understand what is going on.’

    Jonathan quickly composed his thoughts and came to a few acknowledgments.

    First, his body was gravely injured. Although he could still feel that he was able to move, the pain was so great that he didn’t dare to do so. As such, he was basically a cripple.

    After calming himself down, he observed where he was. This allowed him to come to his second acknowledgement

    ‘I don’t know s the hell I am, but…’ He turned his gaze to the girl that was lying down across the little room.

    Although it was dark, his perception attribute allowed him to barely distinguish who was there.

    ‘Yamina?’

    She was lying down on her stomach and her eyes were tightly shut. She was moving a bit, indicating that she was breathing.

    ‘She’s still alive…’

    This greatly reassured Jonathan. At least he wouldn’t be alone in this place.

    ‘’Yamina!’’ Jonathan tried to scream out her name despite the extreme pain he felt.

    ‘’Yamina!’’

    ‘’Yamina!’’

    No matter how many times he said her name, she didn’t move.

    ‘She’s completely unconscious? I might as well be alone then.’ Jonathan was a bit disappointed, but what could he do?

    He grew weary as he was injured and he had no help.

    Jonathan attempted to tug on what was tying him down, but he couldn’t output enough force because of his injuries.

    ‘Injured, alone and imprisoned. What horse sh*t luck.’ Jonathan once again swore on the inside.

    ‘They were picking up fruits until that those huge bees came to attack us. They were way too fast to escape so they probably knocked us unconscious. Someone else must have picked us up after that… Goddamn it was a stupid idea to not return to camp.’

    Jonathan felt great regret now that he got captured.

    ‘Speaking of the others, where are they?’ Jonathan wondered why he didn’t see Yassin and the other members of the foraging group.

    Just as he was about to do some deductions, his train of thoughts was interrupted.

    Suddenly, light came from above him.

    “One of them is awake, sir.” Someone said from on top. Jonathan couldn’t see the person's face because of light that blinded him.

    “Pull him out then.” A man with a rough voice answered.

    “As you want sir.” The man who answered jumped into the pit where Jonathan was and tied him to a rope.

    “ARGH! $%*#” Jonathan couldn’t help but grunt and curse because of the pain he felt.

    “It hurts? My bad Jonathan, it won’t be long.” The man answered him in a friendly way, no knowing that Jonathan would have cut off one of his limbs if he could.

    He continued attaching Jonathan, ignoring his pain. He then threw a rope connected to Jonathan out of the pit. Someone else tied it so he could climb out. He then pulled Jonathan out of the pit.

    This was by far the most painful experience Jonathan had felt in his life. Every single part of his body was moving without any support and sending mad signals to his brain.

    Soon enough, he was pulled out of the pit. There, he could see the man with the rough voice and the one who pulled him up clearly.

    The man with the rough voice was humongous and had a long black beard. As for the other man, he looked like he was in his thirties and had a smile on his face.

    “Get up.” The bearded man ordered Jonathan.

    “I can’t, I’m injured.”

    The bearded man looked at him and seemed to remember something. He then walked to Jonathan and pulled him over his shoulder as if he was a towel. Of course, this caused even more pain for Jonathan.

    However, he calmed himself enough to talk.

    “Who are you.” He asked.

    The bearded man glanced at him and answered, “Don’t matter for now.”

    “Where are you taking me?”

    “You’ll see.

    “Where am I?”

    “You’ll understand after.”

    “What will happen to the girl in the pit.”

    The man seemed very annoyed by Jonathan’s questions. “Just shut up.”

    ‘Tsk. If I could move, I would cripple you and put you over my shoulder so you can see how I feel.’ Jonathan cursed the man in his head.

    Still, he didn’t ask any more questions.

    Soon enough, the man came to a stop. Jonathan couldn’t see what in front of them since his head was placed behind the manes back.

    However, his curiosity was soon satisfied. He got viciously thrown back on the ground on his knees. The posture itself was already supremely painful, in addition the shock of the drop.

    ‘I swear to God if I have a chance I’ll kill you!’ Jonathan would’ve truly sliced up the man if he could. Alas, he could barely resist fainting, let alone fight such a behemoth.

    ‘Eventually I’ll get to you, but as for now I just need to live through this sh*t’ As he thought that, he lifted his head up with great effort, staring at what the man brought him to.

    In front of him, another man was sitting on a large wooden chair. Some beast skin could be seen on the seat, the backrest and the armrests.

    Two women were massaging him and he seemed to enjoy it greatly.

    The man himself was wearing military pants and boots, along with a navy t-shirt. In his hand was a black pistol. Along with that, a long carbine rifle was leaned on the chair, its barrel pointing to the sky. A bulletproof vest was also on a nearby table, along with ammunition.

    He had curly brown hair, with white ones appearing on the side. His gaze was sharp yet aloof. If Jonathan wasn’t previously unconscious, he would recognize this man as the leader of the team that captured him.

    ‘’Hendricks, you sure are a brute! Can’t you see the injuries and the amount of pain he’s in? Please bring a chair for our little friend! Also untie his links. Stop treating him like a prisoner.’’ The middle-aged man ordered his people.

    In under 10 seconds, a wooden chair was brought for Jonathan to sit on. This greatly alleviated some of his pain.

    But instead of being grateful, Jonathan grew even more wary of the man.

    If he had beaten him and treated him as trash that would be one thing. He was at worst a thug.

    But since he presented a nice attitude to Jonathan, that proved that he wasn’t a simple opponent.

    As the saying went, ‘’rudeness is the weak person’s imitation of strength’’.

    The fact that the leader acted aloof showed that he was in perfect control of the situation. He had probably already predicted every possible action and reaction of Jonathan and prepared appropriate countermeasures for each.

    ‘Respect. It’s a simple but extremely effective manipulation technique. The target easily puts his guards down.’ Jonathan thought.

    ‘Furthermore, it doesn’t matter who the target is, it affects everyone. As long as one is human and has feelings, they will fall for it. Even if the person has strong mental fortitude and is very weary, it will work. It might not gain a foot, but it’ll gain an inch. With enough inches, you eventually end up having a foot.’

    This was what scared Jonathan about manipulation like this. You would get effected without knowing. And when you do, it was probably too late. And the more you thought you were immune to it, the more you were probably falling in the trap.

    ‘However, this type of manipulation has one flaw. If I don’t look, hear or even smell, it’s night impossible to affect me. However, I can’t afford to do this here.”

    Cutting off your senses in this situation was comparable to suicide.

    ‘Just don’t go with their flow and do your best’ This was all that Jonathan could think about to help himself.’

    As Jonathan was thinking about this the man continued.

    “My name is Louis and I’m the chef of this place. We are a group of policemen, or ex-policemen should I say. We’re about forty people strong currently, but only about fifteen of us are cops. The rest are people we found and decided to help. People like you.” The man paused for a moment, observing Jonathan.

    Jonathan stared straight in the man’s eyes without even flinching.

    “Now that I have done a basic introduction of us, tell me a bit about you.”

    Jonathan didn’t respond to the man’s question and continued staring at him. The air got a bit awkward with Jonathan facing the man in silence and 5 people standing around them.

    “I understand that you’re apprehensive, but I apologize for any bad treatment. We had to tie you up because we’ve had bad experiences when we brought people in without doing that before. As for the bad transport, it’s just that bearded man is a muscle head and didn’t notice your injuries.”

    Still, Jonathan didn’t open his mouth.

    “You may be a bit confused, but so was everyone in your position before but they ended up just fine. Tell me something. Like how you fell unconscious, or who is the girl that was with you?”

    Jonathan expression was still blank when then man said this.

    “Sigh.” The man seemed a bit disappointed, but looked as if he was used to this. “Can you at least tell me your name?”

    ‘Huh?’ Something ticked in Jonathan’s head. ‘You f*cked up old man.’ He thought

    The man looked starred at Jonathan as if he was truly curious, but to his surprise, Jonathan started smiling. This was a clear change of attitude from how he was before.

    “What’s funny?”

    “What’s funny? Your mouth his.” Jonathan answered with a slight smile on his face.

    Everyone was shocked at this response.

    “My mouth? What’s wrong with my mouth.” The man seemed a bit confused. Even the others looked at his mouth with curiosity. They couldn’t find anything, so they returned their gaze to Jonathan.

    “Your mouth, or should I say your breath…” Jonathan paused a bit. His smile grew even wider. He seemed completely at ease even though he was surrounded by people who could kill him instantly.

    Everyone seemed to extend their ears a bit, wanting to understand what Jonathan wanted to say.

     

     

    “It stinks of bullshit.”

     

     

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