After carefully using his dig skill with Hamson, Daz was able to safely reach the four survivors. As it turned out, they were a family, and the father had used a skill from his class related to his weapon, a normal hammer, to cave in the entrance of his house, killing his family's monsters.
Unsure of the safety outside, he had used his points to fortify the collapsed walls and stayed put to be rescued. Daz had no trouble killing the new enemies that were busily trying to enter the fortifications, and after a few words of reassurance, he convinced the man to quickly take his family up to Fort Skip since the path was clear.
Such a situation happened five times before Daz reached the centre of the city. Every time he told Crusher over the walkie-talkie that a few survivors were on their way and to make preparations to receive them.
Daz would have liked to have escorted the survivors back to Fort Skip himself, but he didn't want to waste his entire day doing this, so all he was doing was saving them, checking to see if they were evil, and then directing them back to Fort Skip.
Thankfully, all they had to worry about was other Humans since their monsters had been killed by themselves or by Daz and they were more than willing to walk up to the skip site if it was a safe haven as Daz had promised it was.
"There's a surprisingly large amount of survivors, all things considered, huh?" Ger said nonchalantly as he and the rest of Daz's group advanced through the city towards the military base.
"Not really. Just over a seventh of the total worldwide population has survived. If you think about how many buildings we've passed so far compared to how many people we've found, the numbers don't match if we're going by averages," Daz said monotonously.
For once, Heather was the next person to speak. Daz had noticed how quiet and unusually calm she was most of the time, even when he had personally almost killed her atop the DIY store rooftop, so hearing her talk drew his attention in. "What are you trying to say, Daz?"
Unfortunately, he was disappointed by her lacklustre question. "Two things. Waterford was unlucky and lost more people than average, or most of them have already been saved. As far as I can see, there aren't that many Human corpses laying around, so I'm guessing they got saved."
"By who?" Heather continued.
"I think we'll be finding out shortly," Daz said as a group of men dressed in army uniforms entered his vision in the distance.
Just as Daz spotted these men, they too, spotted him and his group. They looked alarmed to see how prepared Daz's group looked, so they tightened their grips on their guns and slowly advanced towards Daz's group.
'Cautious, huh? I wonder why? Maybe they've come across a few hostile Humans already, but then again, it's only been a few days, so they're probably only wary of us since we're a bit dangerous looking,' Daz pondered while he raised his hand to signal for his group to stop moving.
Seeing Daz's actions, the soldiers relaxed a bit and approached Daz. Their leader, a tall and muscular black man with a scar on his face, opened his mouth. "I'm Corporal Link, a survivor from Camp Waterford. You don't look like normal survivors... just who are you people?"
Curiosity riddled the soldiers' faces, and from this, Daz could tell that the soldiers had yet to meet any other survivors that were adapting well, like themselves. This gave Daz a bit of hope. 'It's better if there's only one other group to deal with as I make Waterford my own. More variables would only complicate things, though it's best not to write additional powers completely out of the picture...'
"We've come from the old skip site on the western edge of the city. We were looking for survivors and slowly making our way towards the military base," Daz said before pausing for a second.
The soldiers looked surprised by what Daz had said which piqued his interest. "Judging by how you soldiers are safe, is it okay to assume the military base is still standing?" he continued.
Corporal Link hesitated for a minute before he replied, "Luckily, under the leadership of General Miller, we've been able to maintain a safe base of operations at the military base, but about what you said, are you really from the skip site?"
'Hmm?' Daz could see the importance Corporal Link was placing on the skip site, which got Daz thinking, however, before he could reply, Fiona spoke up.
"General Miller?! Does that mean that my father is safe? He and Uncle Greg are good friends, so surely he was rescued, right?" Fiona asked Corporal Link with an eager and hopeful expression.
"She just called the General by his first name!"
"Who is this girl? Does she know General Miller?"
The soldiers began lightly mumbling while Corporal Link gave Fiona a long hard look. "Ah, that's right." He slowly walked towards Daz's group and Fiona in particular before stopping just in front of her.
Corporal Link then slowly crouched down to meet Fiona's eyes with his own. "You wouldn't happen to be Mayor Mathers' daughter, Fiona, would you?"
Fiona's eyes lit up immediately. 'Finally, my ticket away from this warlord!' she thought as she peeked at Daz. Quite clearly, her first meeting with Daz, and Rimmy's massacre, had left a huge impact on the teenaged girl.
"Yes, I am! Is my father safe?" Fiona asked a bit impatiently.
"Indeed. Your father is... safe," Corporal Link replied with a little bit of a frown, but that escaped Fiona's notice. He straightening his back and looked at Daz, his eyes asking the same question as before.
Seeing this, Daz took the social queue. "Yes, we're from the skip. I'm the leader there. As I said before, we were heading to the military base, and in a happy coincidence, we were also looking for Fiona's father. Would it be too much trouble to ask you, fine soldiers, to escort us back there?"
Lyle, who was silently standing nearby with his auto-injector stealthily held in his hand in case of an 'emergency', nodded his head in satisfaction. 'Indeed. I wonder why the Lord insists on bringing me along for negotiations when he is far more suited at simple exchanges like this... it really is such a shame how much he underestimates his own social skills...'
Daz would beg to differ were he to know of Lyle's thoughts. The only reason he wanted Lyle for most negotiations was rather simple really. It wasn't that Daz lacked the ability, it was just that he hated forcing himself to be more approachable and to manipulate the flow of conversations since it was something he absolutely detested despite his talent in the subject.
The only reason he did it himself at the base earlier and right now, was because he needed to show his strength and use his charisma stat to its utmost potential. Daz couldn't allow for any mistakes currently, but once he had more wiggle room, the first thing he'd do, would be giving this troublesome task to Lyle.
"One minute please," Corporal Link said before he took out a walkie-talkie that looked very similar to the one that was in Daz's pocket. A few seconds later after a hushed conversation over the device, he turned to Daz a final time.
"We'll be taking Miss Mathers, but I'm going to have to ask the rest of you to return to the skip site until further notice is given to you," Corporal Link ordered with a stern and cold look.
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