It was three in the afternoon and Dahyun had climbed onto the roof of the hospital where they had taken refuge to get some air. They'd managed to cover up the burning smell with the help of the deodorants they'd nearly run out of, but its pungency seemed to have taken up residence in her nostrils, making her feel nauseous.
She took the cigarette that she had kept in her pocket, on which she had written the name of the two girls who had lost their lives "I'll finish it all in your honor, unfortunately I can't do anything else for you"
It wasn't easy to stop coughing, yet she hadn't given up: having nothing else, she was determined to go all the way and so she did, throwing the down and joining her hands in prayer "perhaps a murderess like me should not even have the vague right to be able to pray, but I'd like to make just one request" she took a few seconds of reflection, her eyes lost in gazing at the dark clouds that promised rain "I wish a future for all of us"
"Are you starting to go crazy? I haven't heard you talk for so long" Jeongyeon was sitting in a corner where not even the swordswoman's attentive eye could see her, she too in that place to be able to smoke in complete solitude.
Dahyun hadn't given any answer, having limited herself to a rather quick shrug. She wasn't mad at her, she just wanted to avoid pissing her off again.
The taller girl joined her, leaning on the railing and looking at the desolation they had around "I'm so sorry for raising my voice and my hands against you, you didn't deserve it"
"You exaggerated a bit, but I don't feel like judging you because to understand certain situations you need to be the protagonist. It was also my fault, I could have kept quiet and let you make your own decision"
"You're a good girl and I'll tell you a secret: you're my favorite among all the wretches in our group" despite her eyes red and swollen with tears Jeongyeon's smile was sincere "Nayeon adored you too, but she was worried about you because you're a teenage girl with sharp swords hanging from her belt"
Dahyun was not upset in the slightest, even though deep down she was happy with that revelation "I'm eighteen, I'm an adult in some parts of the world"
"Perhaps, but here you are still in the category of children and as such I ask you to obey until we are safe. We have to go get some food and you are the strongest among us, we cannot afford even one false step"
The conversation ended at that moment, but while the older was leaving Dahyun managed to ask her a question that she feared so much "are you pretending to want to continue living or are you really willing to go all the way?"
"I want to take charge of you until the end of this crappy experience. Nayeon would act like this and I want to fulfill her last wish at any cost"
"I only have ten arrows left, but considering the firearms, baseball bats, hammer and Dahyun's swords I'd say we're not in too bad shape" Mina was rearranging all the weapons on the table to decide how to divide them in the most fair as possible. And not to have to think about anything else.
Sana was next to her with the intention of giving her a hand, but in the end she limited herself to observing her girlfriend with such admiration that it almost moved Tzuyu, who, given the absence of the others, ended up being the third wheel.
"What do you think? I'll use the bow and hold a mace, Jeongyeon will have the hammer, Dahyun the swords, while you all will each have a basebal bat. We just have to decide who to entrust with the gun and the rifle"
"I'll take the gun, I know how to shoot" Jeongyeon had reached them and judging by the way she was walking, she must have almost reached the limit "the rifle should be taken by Jihyo, I know Chae tried to teach her how to take the aim and I'm sure that, if necessary, she will know how to use it to the fullest"
The blonde nodded immediately, sorting everything so as not to get confused before having to go out "seems perfect to me, at least this was simple"
Tzuyu, who up to that moment hadn't uttered a word, pointed her big eyes in the direction of the older of the group "where is Dahyun?"
"She's on the terrace, I think she needs to be alone for a while"
"And you?" at that point it was Sana who spoke "do you need your space?"
"No, I need to put an end to this as soon as possible and that's why I want to propose something, but I'll wait to have you all here because I need your opinion"
The curiosity to know was such that it made the pink-haired girl and the girl with the injured knee go away, both directed towards the other members of the group to drag them to the room they were using as a refuge.
Jeongyeon patted Mina's shoulder lightly, squeezing it lightly immediately after "I've already talked to Dahyun and I feel like saying to you too that we can't afford to make mistakes anymore. You too are undeniably strong and you're the only one who can cover our shoulders, do you think you can do it?"
"I don't have many arrows, but I'll do my best. I promised Chae that I would protect Jihyo with all my strength, but I'm sure she won't be angry if I extend the pact to each of you" she turned to look into her eyes "do you think you'll be able to stay sane? It's not that I don't trust you, but you don't seem mentally stable right now"
"Whether I'm okay or not it won't change our fate because I won't let go until you're all safe"
Mina's eyes drifted to the floor, knowing she couldn't improve anyone's mood by crushing her heart.
"What's the plan?" Jihyo, in those few hours, had become a different person: there were no more tears on her face and the fear that characterized her seemed completely gone. She was nothing short of furious.
"We're going to act like this, listen to me" they sat in a circle on the floor, concentrating on listening to the plan and giving useful ideas to fill in any gaps.
The plan devised by Jeongyeon was quite simple: having to move in seven the risks were greater, but this could still be to their advantage as they could have split up to take what they could from the supermarket shelves.
Outside the structure there was Jihyo with the rifle clutched in her hands and a baseball bat hanging by her side, but besides her there was Momo, also with the heavy wooden object ready to strike with maximum force.
The other five had entered and split into two small groups: Jeongyeon and Mina had to take care of getting food, while the rest had the task of picking as many drinks as possible.
The departments they wanted were quite distant from each other, but fortunately they could take advantage of the little light that entered through the windows to see the zombies moving between the shelves. Not needing to use the torches worked totally in their favor and was one less cause for anxiety.
By now they were used to moving silently and stopping completely when a monster passed in front of them, managing to nullify their presence altogether.
"Unfortunately they can't smell or with the stench we give off we would have knocked them all down without making the slightest effort" Sana was holding Tzuyu's arm while Dahyun was in front of them with her katana, ready to decapitate any zombie "I love luxury, but right now it would be enough for me to wash with one of the cheap ones they sell here to feel better"
"What would be the difference between a bubble bath from the supermarket and those of an expensive brand? In the end they are used for washing" the taller girl was confused.
The disappointment of the diva of the group had skyrocketed in a millisecond "my little Tzu, you really need a crash course to become a classy person. With your poor person mentality you won't get anywhere"
"But I'm really poor..."
"Shut up or they'll find us" Dahyun was completely tense and had a bad feeling ever since they left the hospital "the drinks are over there, let's get moving"
They quickly reached the shelves where there were not many cases of water left, to which the swordswoman had to make cuts to be able to take the bottles without making too much noise.
Sana was in charge of carrying the backpack, while the other two were hurrying to get the objects of their interest "now I'm much less afraid to leave the shelter, but I must admit that I still risk pissing myself at the thought of those things running towards me"
She was holding the bat pointed in front of her and her attentive eyes weren't missing any of the corridors formed by the various shelves lined up "could you hurry? Their scary cries are getting closer and closer"
Tzuyu had reached out to get a bottle of sparkling water, her favorite of hers, and to do so she had to lean against a pile of glass bottles.
The movement made one of them unbalance, which ended up on the ground breaking into a thousand pieces and generating such a noise that it froze the blood of all of them.
The two girls stared at each other wide-eyed before looking for the only one really capable of fighting, who she had just left to look for another drink.
Meanwhile two staggering zombies, whose flesh was also dangling at that point, were heading towards them totally undisturbed.
"Tzuyu, we better run!" Sana had grabbed her wrist, aware that she alone was struggling to move quickly, and had set off with a shot that she would never have believed she could do.
Despite this they were too slow and the younger of the two had to stop due to the pain in her knee "I can't take it anymore" she was crying in despair, ignoring the scream of the pink haired girl who was telling her to move.
One of the two zombies had practically thrown itself on her body curled up on the floor, being stopped by a blade that went into its eye. Dahyun was shaking from the effort to keep it away "get up and run, do you want to get killed?"
"Leave me here, I can't take it anymore" Tzuyu was unreachable and not even Sana was able to lift her off the ground "it's too much to bear, let me die"
The swordswoman turned to her after eliminating the living dead to whom she had gouged out an eye "Tzu, you can't give up right now, you have to react-" a scream prevented her from continuing what she was saying, causing her to stagger until she sat on the ground with a thud.
She was bleeding from her shoulder and a bite mark was evident right up over the jacket she was wearing. The other two had remained petrified watching their partner who, aware of the danger, was making an effort to get up after having sunk the blade of the katana into the floor.
It was possible to notice how each person was different: Nayeon had managed to resist for a few hours without transforming, while a rather rapid mutation was taking place in Dahyun.
"Get out of here, stupid!" she managed to get between them and the zombie that had bitten her, raising the sword up to point it at its nose "I'll take care of it here, you go away"
"We can't leave you here!" Tzuyu had regained consciousness of herself and was standing again, her eyes like two rivers in flood "we will save you, but you have to come with us. Maybe the scientists have already found a cure.."
"I said you have to leave, do it before I lose control" the grip that she was exerting on the hilt of the sword was such that it had left grooves with the shape of her fingers.
She killed the zombie under everyone's astonished gaze, even that of Mina and Jeongyeon who had joined them at that moment. The desperation of having lost someone else was about to take over, but they had managed to take the hands of the two girls who had not been bitten.
Dahyun was crying silently, taking advantage of the fact that she was turned away, and ripped her belt before sliding her white-handled katana to the floor. "Tzu, I'm giving it to you. That was my mother's, the only person who really loved me"
"You will use it, you could be immune like it happens in the movies" Tzuyu had reached down to take the sword, shaking like a leaf "I can't accept such a gift, now I understand why you never wanted to use it"
The zombies were about to reach them and Jeongyeon's grip was getting stronger on her shoulders "we have to go, there's no more time"
As she was being dragged along, the one whose heart was finally broken she managed to scream through her tears, expressing her thoughts "I will never forget you!"
The feelings that Dahyun had held back until that moment managed to free themselves from the shell of indifference in which they had been locked up for so long "bad luck is really my best friend, now that I don't want to die anymore I have to do it anyway"
She got into position to fight without stopping shedding tears of blood, again hearing the heartbeat she hadn't listened to since she was a little girl "until I get control of myself none of you will touch those girls"
Meanwhile the others had managed to escape and hide for a few minutes, breaking the news to Jihyo and Momo and uniting to face what would become the worst day of their lives.
Dahyun had managed to resist until eliminating every zombie present in the supermarket, even if her body was full of bites "good luck, live for me too"
She swung the sword with the ruined blade, driving it into her heart just a second before her transformation.