45 Van

"Damn it..." Said Jay, lying on the ground of the backyard.

After Jenny and Noah left the house, and now with one less problem to deal with, Jay tried to keep working out a bit to keep testing the limits of his body.

However, no matter how hard he tried, even though he could move properly and use quite a bit more strength than before, he felt like he couldn't use the full potential of his body, as if there was something limiting him.

'It definitely has something to do with yesterday, haa...looks like I'll have to wait until I'm fully recovered to train my body...' Jay thought, a bit dissatisfied at not being able to do more with his newfound strength.

Without much more to do in the backyard, Jay went inside his house and showered before lying down on the bed in his room, organizing his remaining tasks again.

'With the issue of Jujusen's stalker resolved, and seeing as I'm not able to exercise for the time being, that leaves me free time to test the true capability of my little ones...although it wouldn't hurt to take a look at the system first...'

"Open."

Then, the system interface opened.

_____________________

[Parasyte System]

Carrier: Jay Sacrest

[Status] (New)

[Hosts]

[Skills]

_____________________

'It was about time to take a look at this...' Jay thought.

In fact, the first thing he should have done from the moment he had woken up was to check the system interface, but due to the intense hunger, the conversation with Noah and then Jenny's arrival, he had been somewhat distracted.

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Then selecting the obvious option, his new status window appeared before him.

_____________________

[Status] (Weakened)

Strength: (D) (Currently D-)

Agility: (D) (Currently D-)

Resistance: (D) (Currently D-)

Remark: Since the Carrier's body is currently in a weakened state due to extreme use, the stats had been limited in order to allow a faster recovery. Any forceful attempt to use the full strenght of the Carrier's body will lead to a slower recovery.

Estimated Time For Full Recovery: 1 week, 3 days.

_____________________

'...Okay, I definitely should have seen this before.' Jay thought as he looked at the status window in front of him.

Although he already knew that his body was obviously not in its best state, the status gave him a better description of what was going on with his body.

And not only that, but it even told him how much time he had wait to fully recover, which was something Jay appreciated.

'...Hmm...1 week and 3 days huh...'

Thinking about it, it wasn't a really long time, so he had no problem waiting, he could even take it as a little break.

Besides, he only had to wait a bit more till he could pick up the little ones inside Noah's body, and that would surely speed up his recovery to a great extent.

Now that he had checked his status, Jay finally commanded some of his little ones to come out.

'Come on...' Jay said in his mind, as he held out his hand in front of him.

Immediately, small worms with pointed teeth came out from different parts of his arm, with half of their bodies still inside Jay's body, looking intently at Jay as if they were waiting for him to give them another order.

Seeing their attitude towards him, Jay couldn't help but think they were kind of adorable.

"First of all...thank you so much for your help last night, without you guys I definitely wouldn't have made it." Jay said with a smile of gratitude on his face, patting the heads of some of them with his left hand.

While he didn't perfectly remember all the details of what happened last night, the moment the parasites moved the pill from his mouth to his stomach was definitely a memory hard to forget.

The parasites, upon feeling Jay's touch, instead of staying still receiving the caresses, quickly moved from his right arm to his left hand.

"Haha, I guess you don't like it~"

Although the parasites had run away from his touch, Jay felt that they had understood he was grateful to them.

Ordering them to come out again and now with the thanks already delivered, Jay began to think of ways to use the full potential of his little ones.

In fact, that was something Jay had actually thought about from the moment he had contact with the first parasites he got from the system.

That was why he had done a small test before to check the parasites' attacking power on a piece of meat he bought, and upon seeing that they did not do any kind of damage to the meat, he had come to the conclusion that their usefulness would be limited to simply infecting other people.

However, as time passed, he realized that that kind of conclusion had been rather naive, after all, just because they had no offensive capabilities it didn't mean they weren't capable of doing other things.

That had been demonstrated once before in the fight against Taylor, by using the parasites as a decoy, Jay had managed to get the opportunity he needed to end the battle.

And last night had been the ultimate test, the parasites, which Jay thought could only move if he gave them an order, actually acted on their own.

However, that wasn't all, they also proved to have a much higher level of intelligence than what he expected, acting according to the situation, and as a result, they had saved Jay's life.

Finally, one of the points that most caught Jay's attention was the ability of the parasites to share their energy with him.

This was a feature Jay had already seen in the description of the "Overload" ability, but it was a surprise to him to learn that it wasn't necessary to use the ability for the parasites to be able to share energy with him.

"Haa...well, I guess I'd better get started..."

After saying that, he picked up a nearby notebook and began to write down his ideas.

***

At the same time, in a little-traveled area of town, there was a convenience store that was relatively close to the neighborhood in which Jay lived.

A guy and a girl were walking out of the store, the difference between the things they were carrying was obvious.

"Unexpectedly, this store has good stuff!" Jenny said as she grabbed a can of grape soda she had bought seconds ago, visibly cheerful.

"O-oh, y-yeah, that's nice, right?" A nervous Noah replied, his face a little red, as to whether it was due to the presence of Jenny, who was walking beside him, or the fact that he was carrying a heavy plastic bag full of groceries, that was something only he knew.

'Why is she following me even now...?!' Noah wondered, still walking towards Jay's house.

It was a reasonable question, after all, it had been quite a while since they were supposed to have parted ways, yet for some weird reason Noah couldn't fathom, Jenny not only didn't leave, she had even accompanied him to the store!

At first he thought that maybe it was simply coincidence that they both had to buy groceries at the same time, however, when they entered the store, the only thing Jenny bought was a can of soda and a couple of pieces of gum, so that option was out of the question.

"Um...Noah, right~?" Jenny asked, interrupting Noah's thoughts.

"Y-y-yes?"

Jenny suddenly speaking to him made him even more nervous than he was.

"You see...I wanted to ask you a question..." Jenny continued, ignoring Noah's obvious nervousness and moving a little closer to him.

'T-too close!!!' Noah shouted in his mind, unconsciously taking a few steps backwards, his face blushing.

"You know..."

The tone of Jenny's voice became a little lower, and her face also turned a slight shade of red, as if she was embarrassed of what she was about to say.

"You know if Jay's got-"

*SHRRRRR*

However, before she could finish that sentence, a van suddenly pulled up beside them and 2 men with their faces covered got out of the van, quickly approaching them both.

"!"

Both Noah and Jenny were startled at the sight of this, backing away in an attempt to get away from the strangers in front of them.

However, the next moment, one of the men hurried towards Noah and inmediately hit him.

"Argh!" Noah let out a groan of pain due to the blow he received from one of the masked men, which caused him to fall to the ground.

Without wasting time, the man who hit him quickly put a bag over his head and tied his arms behind his back with what appeared to be a small rope.

The process was quick and smooth, as if the man had done this countless times before.

"Noah!" Jenny shouted, immediately activating her ability so that she could remove the man on top of Noah.

However, the moment she did, the man's partner stepped in front of her, blocking her path.

*Bam!*

Because Jenny had used quite a bit of force in her ability, the man ended up being pushed to the ground, although he got up the next moment.

"Leave her, we got the one we wanted, let's go!" shouted the man who had pinned Noah down, now charging him towards the van.

Hearing that, the man who was confronting Jenny immediately turned to run towards the vehicle.

"Stop there!" shouted Jenny, again activating her ability to stop either of the two.

Unfortunately, the both of them were really fast and managed to get into the van before she could do anything.

The next second, the van immediately accelerated as if it didn't even noticed that Jenny was using her ability to try to stop the car.

It was too late.

Just like that, as quickly as they came, they left, leaving a confused and afraid Jenny alone with the plastic bags full of groceries spilled on the ground.

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