A few hours had passed and it was now night-time. Azief had almost fallen asleep when he heard a sound.
Casting away his drowsiness, and becoming alert, he quickly woke up, and then he peered at the first floor.
Although by now, most of the people in the area are dead and eaten, he swore that he heard a sound coming from the first floor.
The moonlight shines brightly through the window causing Azief to drift away in thought.
On nights like this, he usually went to go drink coffee with his friend, Nizam, talking about little things.
And when he went home, he would look at the stars.
Now, he isn't usually sentimental due to the harshness of life, education, and his country, but the moonlight tonight seemed to have a somewhat hypnotic effect.
Looking back, he didn't know what to do after graduating from college, he wasn't getting any calls from companies looking to hire him and with no great prospects in general, he would sometimes ponder upon the meaning of life.
To get married in his country, the bride's dowry needed to exceed RM10,000. Ten thousand whole ringgit!
He really wanted to ask such a family if they were marrying their daughter or selling her!
Even after the ridiculous dowry was considered, they also had strict requirements for the education level, career, and annual income of the proposed groom.
How could he, barely staying afloat himself, even dream of competing?
He couldn't even make a thousand ringgit per month as his salary was six hundred ringgits! How could he even dream of marrying?
Living in this kind of society made him feel useless.
Out of nowhere, a roar came from the first floor of the candy shop and brought Azief back to the present moment.
He was quite lucky that while he was lost in thought the beast didn't detect him here and no humans discovered his presence.
He then heard the noise again and, this time, his senses tracked it to the first floor.
Carefully looking in the dim light with the aid of the moon, he noticed that something was moving under the blanket he used to cover the corpse.
Interrupted by the sound of movement outside, he turned his head to look out the window.
And to his complete shock, the corpses that were bitten had mutated into some type of half-human, half-beast monstrosity that looked like it belonged in the Prototype game franchise rather than in real life.
A particularly corpses had a cat's body, but a human head. However, not all of them managed to merge with the beasts. Some were reanimated as zombies.
'Wait a minute!' Realizing what he forgot, Azief quickly jumped to the stairs and removed the blankets he used to cover Ah Seng's corpse.
Doing this, he could see that Ah Seng's corpse had started to move.
"I'm not going to wait. Sorry Ah Seng." he apologized.
He already saw what happened to the other corpses. And he was sure that the same thing was going to happen to Ah Seng's corpse.
Without hesitation Azief drove his dagger into the corpse's head, causing blood to seep out and a skillbook, gold, and a glove to be dropped.
"Yeah, and who says watching zombie movies wouldn't pay off?! Strike the brain, and the zombie is dead," Azief remarked to himself as a light shone down on his body while a pane of information popped up.
You have advanced to level 2 and earned 2 stats points! 3 additional stats points have been awarded for being the 57th person in the world to use the World Orb System and kill a mutated sapien! How would you like to allocate your rewards?
"Put 2 in strength, 2 in agility, and 3 in stamina," he commanded.
Soon after, Azief felt that his body was getting stronger and lighter as a rejuvenating energy dispersed his fatigue. "I'm lucky," he noted as he sat on the corner of a counter.
The body of the zombie was quite sturdy making it so that stab used half his entire strength. Which was contrary to what he imagined.
He had always thought zombies would be kind of mushy after being brought back from the dead.
Gathering his wits, he checks the glove.
Mutated Sapien's Protective Glove:
Able to block infection from beasts level 3-10.
Strength + 2
He equipped it without a second thought and felt his body getting stronger. Now, as he sat on the corner, he was thinking about various things.
He definitely couldn't stay here for a prolonged time or he would starve.
He also was wondering about the achievement system. 'If I do it faster than anyone else, do I get some additional rewards? Is there some ranking I don't know about?' he thought.
Although the noises of outside walking persisted, he knew that they definitely weren't alive, but rather it was their dead bodies that had been turned to zombies. 'Zombies? Or mutated sapiens? No…zombies.' Azief decided with a hint of ironic mirth. 'I'll call them zombies. Or maybe stiffs.'
Not only did they have quite a bit of experience, but they also moved rather slowly.
If he made a precise blow to the head, he could easily overpower a zombie.
If it were just them, he didn't have much to fear. But he still has to wait.
Why? Because, when he took a quick look earlier, there was still one large beast prowling the area. It was their boss Azief reckoned.
He conjectured that when the beasts leave, they always left one of their kind to guard the area. Kind of like a guardian…or a dungeon boss.
This boss looked really similar to the alien from Alien, even down to the green fluid around its mouth. It might even have a face sucker or something similar.
"Haish…" he sighed as he got up and took one of the chocolates on the counter and ate it slowly while trying his hardest not to make a sound.
His urgency to leave only grew as he thought, 'Chocolates. I can't live on just chocolates.'
Still, he was in quite a pickle. While he wanted to leave, at the same time, he couldn't charge outside either.
Charging outside now would only seal his fate.
At this moment, Azief heard the sound of crumbling bricks.
As he went back to the second floor to investigate, he saw something that resembled a team of giant badgers wildly destroying the little shops and buildings in the area.
They were 7 feet tall and very powerful.
Each punch would destroy half of a small building.
On the bright side, the other two didn't seem to be as strong as the leader and instead focused on excavating the shops with their sharp claws.
What they were searching for, Azief had no clue. As he was watching them, he saw a badger accidentally get crushed under the debris.
If not for the presence of the other badgers, it would've already been dead.
In this altruism, yet another sign of higher intelligence had been shown by the badgers. As Azief witnessed how smart they truly were, his mind stumbled upon a terrifying series of thoughts.
'Fuck!' He cursed as he suddenly realized something. The leader was the vanguard and those that followed were the seekers. They were looking for humans.
"I thought they were brainless beasts. Who would've thought even beasts have this kind of coordination?" he ridiculed.
Whether his tone was more aimed at himself or the beasts was a question in and of itself.
At his thoughts, he began to sweat a cold sweat.
It would take the team of giant badgers about 15 minutes to finish one building and one little shop takes them less than 10 minutes in total.
Following this train of thought, he naturally landed upon a grim conclusion. "I'm going to die. Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!" he cursed in despair.
As the team of badgers slowly worked their way to the shop where he was hiding, Azief's despair only grew as he began to show signs of pallor.
"Is this how it is going to end?" he asked himself unwillingly. 'Should I try to make a run for it?' He instantaneously dismissed that thought with a single look outside.
It was impossible.
With the badgers, the huge beast near the elementary school, and the mutated sapiens blocking his path, instead of making a run for it he may as well commit suicide.
Slowly the badgers made their way towards his shop.
The badger worked systematically and methodically to ensure that no human was able to escape their net. They were the incarnations of demolition itself.
Already having given up, Azief sat down and took a bite of chocolate. "So, this is where I'm going to die…" he mourned wistfully.
By this point, the badger had already destroyed the shop beside his.
"Che. What a worthless existence. I'm still young, virgin, poor and now I have to suffer the fate of dying and becoming a stiff! This isn't fair! I lived according to the rules. I paid taxes, I didn't break the law, I did good… okay I might not have done much good, but I didn't do evils either. To die like this…" Suddenly his monologue was interrupted by the building's shaking.
Unable to do anything else, he closed his eyes.
Nothing came to mind.
They say that when people die their life will flash through their eyes, or at least the important moments, or maybe a face if that person truly didn't live a life of any importance.
But, as he closed his eyes, he could see nothing but darkness.
No flashes, no moments, no people.
How unfortunate was it?
To discover that he had never truly lived at the moment of his death. Every day he lived the same routine ad nauseam.
Internet, reading books, working, and repeat. There wasn't anything else to his life other than that damned sickening routine.
He never went anywhere.
He never did anything crazy.
He never did anything idiotic.
He never broke the law.
He never took risks.
He lived a life overshadowed by the perpetual fear of something. If it wasn't the law, it was people.
If not people, the future. If not the future, the present. He always feared something.
He was about to say his prayers when suddenly the shaking grew more powerful. Quickly he opened his eyes and realized wasn't the badgers' doing.
This was an earthquake.
All of the items in the candy shop fell from their racks. The counter shook with such ferocity that the glass panes shattered.
Azief was brought forward and would've fallen to the first floor if not for his quick reactions in grabbing the railing.
What Azief doesn't know was that, right now, the World Orb was creating a supercontinent by combining the nations and continents of the world.
Usually, it would take well over a million years for a supercontinent to form.
And in the time leading up to those millions of years, usually great extinctions, super-volcano eruptions, and terrifying disasters would pass.
However, with the World Orb, such changes were simplicity itself. All it took to combine all these continents were minor earthquakes that occurred across the globe.
But these small earthquakes were enough to change Azief's fate.
As he looked outside, he saw how the streets jutted out, how the buildings crumbled, and how the cityscape was being twisted.
Then, one of the buildings opposite Azief's hiding place fell over onto the badgers and crushed them along with a multitude of zombies around the shop.
Seeing an opportunity, Azief quickly made his decision as he stood up and said, "Thank you, god!"
Smirking, he jumped out from the window of the second floor and landed outside with a thud. And while he felt some pain, none of his bones were broken.
"I guess it really does work like a game." he chuckled as he got to his feet.
"Thankfully I put some of my stats into strength," he said as he looked around the area.
Seeing the heavily damaged zombies and badgers he smiled coldly.
At this moment, he was rebirthed.
It wasn't just a rebirth of stats, but rather one of his mindset. Although, in reality, 3 badgers and about 100 zombies were struggling to get out from the debris, Azief could only see them as EXP.
"Be strong or perish, right?" he asked, looking in the vague direction of the World Orb. "I guess I'm lucky."
A burst of ominous and somewhat unstable laughter rang out into the night.
Author's Note: I used the Kardashev Scale for grouping the planet. Type 1 civilizations can use all of the planet's energy. We're type 0.7, not quite at the level of a type 1 civilization, yet. Type 2 civilizations can harness all the energy of their host star. We can hardly imagine how someone would do this, but the closest we have gotten is imagining the Dyson Sphere. Type 3s can access power comparable to that of the entire Milky Way galaxy. Anyone living in such civilization probably has mastered interstellar travel, possibly even colonizing the entire galaxy.