"Thanks, Crusher. I appreciate this," Daz said to Crusher as he stood outside of the steel portcullis with Heather, Jorden, Fiona, Ellie, Ger and Lyle.
Daz had spent roughly twenty minutes explaining everything he knew about evolution to Crusher before asking her to look after Fort Skip as his second-in-command while he was away today.
Naturally, Daz decided to bring Lyle with him to help with any negotiations that might be needed at the Military base, and he, as promised, intended to bring Jorden along.
Heather had surprisingly volunteered to help out, and Daz was willing to bring her along since she wasn't really needed at the base and having her along wouldn't hurt him.
What surprised Daz, though, was that Ellie had asked him if she could come. Ger was heavily against her leaving, but he knew that he couldn't control his daughter, so despite having asked her several times to stay put, he relented and decided to just go along with them and leave Sarah behind in the safety of Fort Skip.
Crusher beamed a smile. Her body was now looking far healthier after having been regenerated by her new stat for a few hours. "Don't worry about it, Lord. You've got a good thing goin' here, so someone's gotta protect it while you're off exploring. Although, next time, you'd better bring me along. Being cooped up in these walls all day will make me go crazy if I have to do it often, hahaha!"
Daz smirked. "Sure sure. Next time, I promise."
'I guess this will test Crusher's loyalty to me... if everything's in order when I return, then that means I have a powerful ally and helping Crusher grow will be very beneficial to both me and Fort Skip.' Daz's calculative mind spun and reached this conclusion.
In essence, leaving Crusher, the most powerful person after himself in charge, was a test to see how valuable she could be to him and Fort Skip.
"You're sure you won't come with us, Sarah?" Ger asked his other daughter with a concerned look.
Since Ellie was so dead-set on going with Daz, Ger would have preferred if Sarah came along as well. While he had trust in Crusher and her ability to protect Fort Skip, as a father, Ger wouldn't feel at ease unless both of his daughters were with him.
"I want to, but my skills are needed to help protect the base if we get attacked by anything," Sarah shook her head in resignation.
She loved exploring and adventure. Of course, she would like to join Daz's group, but after being told how valuable her buffs and crowd control abilities would be in a worst-case scenario, she was finally convinced by Daz to stay behind.
Daz had faith in Crusher's power, but he had to leave behind at least one more trustworthy person with some ability. He had confidence that Sarah and Crusher along with the base's front ballista could fend off any enemies until he returned.
"Okay, now remember, Crusher, contact me immediately with the long range walkie talkie if anything happens," Daz said while he shook the device in his hands to emphasise it.
Dorian had spent the points that Daz had asked of him on these walkie talkies. They were designed to work across twenty miles of distance and experienced little-to-no interference.
"Hahaha, don't worry, lord. I'm not all muscles and no brains," Crusher responded with a chuckle.
Daz smiled and finally left Fort Skip with his companions. All of them remained mostly silent as they made their way through the city. This was because Daz had entered a very serious mode. He didn't know if there were any more large groups of monsters or Humans in the rest of the city, so he was being very careful.
The DIY store and Lyle's old jewellery store he had previously gone to were fairly close to his base and Daz had yet to explore most of the city, so caution was definitely needed.
It had been maybe twenty minutes since they had left fort skip, and Jorden quietly approached Daz before saying, "Big bro, I can hear people. There's not many of them and I think they're hiding."
Ellie's eyes widened upon hearing Jorden's high-pitched voice. Daz had yet to explain to everyone that the cute 'little girl' was actually Jorden because no one had asked and the only people who knew were Daz and Sarah.
'What's this girl's relationship to Daz? Calling him 'big bro' so imtimately... no way... is Daz into 'those' kinds of things?!' Ellie had obviously left the trodden path and her line of thinking had entered a dangerous area.
"Really? How can you tell?" Daz asked with a lot of curiosity. While he had indeed checked everyone's status, he hadn't bothered to check everyone's skills yet, so Jorden being able to hear something that he couldn't, despite his high stat numbers, shocked Daz a bit.
Jorden closed his eyes and slowly moved his head around. "It's one of my class-related skills. It's called 'Advanced Hearing'. It lets me hear things from really far away." After a few more seconds of gently moving his head around, Jorden opened his eyes and looked at Daz.
"I think there are about four people in that building over there," he said as he pointed at a semi-collapsed condo of some sort.
'What a handy skill... I should really look at all of my Citizens' skills to see if there are any that might be useful to me...' Daz thought before he placed his hand on Jorden's head and ruffled his hair lightly.
"Good job, Jorden. You were right. You are being very helpful," Daz smiled.
Jorden was momentarily startled before he closed his eyes again. He was happy. All he wanted at this point, besides killing as many monsters as possible and getting strong enough to do so, was Daz's affection.
Ellie looked confused. 'Ehhhh??!! This cute little girl is J-Jorden?! No way!... Stupid girl! Of course Daz wouldn't be interested in th-that kind of thing... ha... hahaha... .' Ellie's thoughts from earlier had clearly been proven wrong and her face lit up like a Christmas tree in embarrassment.
Daz noticed this, but he ignored it since such behaviour was normal for Ellie as far as he was aware. Ger looked a bit befuddled since he had never seen his previously deaf daughter express so many emotions before.
"Well, I know we're in a hurry to find your father, Fiona, but first things first, we have to save those people," Daz stated with no room for negotiations, so Fiona had to nod her head in agreement.
Even if she wanted to find the Mayor immediately and despite the fact that she wasn't overly fond of Daz, she had to agree that saving people in trouble mattered more right now. Afterall, Fiona was an inherently good person.
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