Within the dense forest, more than ten completely armed Filipino soldiers and workhorses travelled on a long-trodden path towards the beach.
“Hurry, hurry. The sun is setting soon. We must bring these back to the base. The Americans say this is very important,” urged the Filipino commander for his troops to speed up.
“Are these American weapons going to be used against the Chinese ships?” asked a soldier.
“These are military secrets, you are not allowed to ask questions like that,” said the commander.
“It must be. With the Americans supporting us, the Chinese ships are nothing,” said another with contempt.
“We will definitely take Dagua Island down this time,” said the Filipino commander. “I’ll let you in on a secret. The American Seventh Fleet will be travelling from Malacca, then straight towards Dagua Island. That will be our time to shine, we must take Dagua Island.”
“Is that true, sir?” asked a soldier.
“Of course it is. I overheard a conversation between the two Americans. With the support of the international court, America plans to oppress China with its military power,” said the commander.
“China would not be willing to hand over a man-made island they built. That is a military base. Dagua Island is now like a never-sinking mother ship. Would they ever give it up?” said the soldier.
“Then would we stand by just because they aren’t willing to give up? Dagua Island is now like a fishbone stuck in America’s throat. Now that they have the support of the international court, it would be very difficult to find an excuse to attack if they miss this chance. That is why the Americans would never let this chance go,” analysed the commander.
“Then who will fire the first shot?” said the soldier.
“Us, of course. The international court has already decided that Dagua Island will be ours. The Chinese military base on Dagua Island is the equivalent of encroaching into our territory. We do have the right to fire at them. And when we do, the American Seventh Fleet will help us. The Chinese military power of that island is not enough to defend themselves.” The commander looked very excited, imagining the scene of them planting the Filipino flag on Dagua Island.
“I understand. Once we fight, the Harpoon anti-ship missile we hid on this island will be a hidden sniper, taking down Chinese ships, right? Sir.”
“Very smart. Right, let’s not talk now. Hurry up, everyone.” The commander urged everyone to speed up once again.
The soldiers and workhorses arrived on a considerably flatter piece of land. It was about five hundred metres to the beach.
The Filipino commander looked at his wristwatch and said, “We need to be faster, the ship is arriving soon.”
“Sir? When is the Seventh Fleet arriving?” asked the soldier.
The commander said, “The navy fleet needs about a day but the carrier-based planes on the mother ship can fly over anytime. I think their commander must have sent his reconnaissance aircraft to spy on them… Hehe… China’s definitely going to…”
Before he could finish, a bullet flew right at his face and lodged itself deep into his brain.
One headshot and the Filipino commander collapsed.
“Enemy!” roared someone in shock.
Bang bang bang!
Bang bang bang…
The Filipino soldiers started firing at random into the forest, causing splinters and leaves to spray up in the air. The few horses ran into the forest after the shock.
“The enemy is…” Before the soldier could finish, a bullet from the side killed him. It was also a headshot.
Without a gunshot, it was difficult to tell where the bullet came from.
When the soldier fell, another bullet came from another direction, puncturing another soldier’s head.
“We’ve been surrounded!” A soldier turned to run towards the centre of the island.
Poof! A bullet entered through the back of his head and flew out of his right eye. Blood and brain spewed out of his eye.
The remaining soldiers did not dare to retaliate, opting to return to the centre of the island.
One by one, the soldiers collapsed in pools of blood.
If they formed a formation, they might have been able to defend themselves. Too bad their decision warranted them a death sentence. A quick one too.
Two minutes later, only one Filipino soldier remained.
On a tree, Tsukino Kyoko lifted the Gust assault rifle in her hand with a finger on the trigger. The crosshairs of the rifle trembled on the back of his head. Just as she was about to pull the trigger, she heard Xia Lei’s voice from the communication device.
“Do not kill him,” said Xia Lei.
“Understood.” Tsukino Kyoko kept her rifle and jumped off the tree.
E’er Demutu approached from another direction, then lifted four fingers at Tsukino Kyoko.
She smiled and then held up five fingers.
E’er Demutu had four kills from the battle while Tsukino had five. The Zodiac Battle Team would always do this after every fight.
There were sixteen bodies in the forest. Without any gestures, everyone knew Xia Lei had the most kills.
“Boss, why should we leave him alive?” said Tsukino Kyoko when they met Xia Lei. “The island is small, the gunshots were enough to alert the military base. Even without this one alive, the people at the base would know what happened.”
Xia Lei said, “I don’t need him to report the incident, I need him to lead the way for us. There will be about sixty more people at the base, will you both be alright?”
“Hahaha!” E’er Demutu replied, “You underestimate us!”
“I’m ready. Boss, walk behind us.” Tsukino Kyoko changed the magazine on her rifle then walked in the direction where the last soldier escaped to.
E’er Demutu and Tsukino Kyoko walked at the same pace, ten meters horizontally apart.
Xia Lei carried his bag, then walked briskly towards the centre of the island with the two.
The traces left behind by the last soldier were obvious. There were not just footprints but the occasional blood. It was obvious the lucky bastard was injured. After following the tracks for about five hundred meters, Xia Lei activated the powers in his left and right eyes, as well as his ears. No movement within a hundred-meter radius of himself would escape his notice.
When the trees blocked his vision, he could not see through them to search for his target but his ears were good replacements. When there was wind, his eyes replaced his ears. He was now a human radar.
The blood on the ground suddenly increased. After walking a short distance, Xia Lei stopped and whistled.
Tsukino Kyoko and E’er Demutu stopped. They looked around, observing with alert caution but did not notice anything.
Xia Lei’s gaze was locked in a direction. The layers of trees blocked his vision so he could not use his eyes to scan the area but his ears picked up some sounds.
It was the Filipino soldier speaking in Tagalog. “It’s bad… bad! Someone…. Someone infiltrated this place! The entire transport team is dead. I’m… I’m the only one left…”
These words entered Xia Lei’s ears, then his brain. Tagalog teaching resources and dictionaries appeared in his mind. While he had never learned the language before, he had downloaded Tagalog learning resources in his brain. It was the same as before. When the commander spoke with his subordinates, Xia Lei’s brain still successfully translated everything to a ninety-five percent accuracy. It was a miracle unique to him.
Xia Lei lifted his left hand, then one finger. He then pointed in the direction of the injured soldier.
Tsukino Kyoko and E’er Demutu nodded and surrounded the soldier in both directions.
The injured soldier was still talking. “Many people! At least twenty! They surrounded us, they ambushed us! They must be Chinese soldiers!”
At this moment, he looked in the direction where he came from. A young Chinese man appeared. He dropped the communication device in his hand, then scrambled to grab the AK-47 next to him. Just as he grabbed the gun, an army knife reached from behind and silently sliced his throat.
The soldier instinctively grabbed his throat as it gurgled grotesquely. Bright red blood flowed through his fingers. He wanted to turn to see who would do this to him but he did not have the strength to turn his head. Three seconds later, he lost too much blood and collapsed.
E’er Demutu lifted five fingers.
Xia Lei suddenly said, “They’re here.” He cocked his head to listen, then said, “About thirty people, approximately fifty meters away from us.”
“Boss, how… are you so sure?” E’er Demutu was shocked.
“I’ll tell you when we get back. It’s your time to shine now,” said Xia Lei.
E’er Demutu took his duffel bag off and a few anti-personnel mines. They were small but deadly.
E’er Demutu planted them quickly, choosing the spots where the reinforcements from the base would likely pass through.
Xia Lei and Tsukino Kyoko both found hiding spots to shoot from.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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