Chapter 291 - Awkward

The Afghan mountains were mostly rocky, desolate and sparse in vegetation. Xia Lei’s visual range was over 4,000 metres and he also had zoom-in and X-ray abilities. It was no problem at all for him to find the hidden Islamic militant snipers in the bits of vegetation on the mountains. The snipers’ rifles could not possibly go beyond 1,500 metres, so he just needed to look for targets within a range of 600 to 1,200 metres. 

Xia Lei traced the trajectory of the bullet and found the Islamic sniper in under 30 seconds. He had covered himself with a dirt-coloured cloak and a hat of twigs and leaves; a simple camouflage. Camouflage like this was something the White Rock Tribesmen could just barely spot but it was clear as day to Xia Lei. 

The only problem was that that guy was hiding in a pile of rubble and it was difficult for Xia Lei to shoot him at his current position. 

The Islamic militant sniper killed another White Rock tribesman. Kabir ordered his men to fire in the direction of the hidden sniper, but the bullets they fired failed to reach the sniper’s position. The sniper was at least 1,200 metres away and this was not a distance an AK47 bullet could travel. 

This distance also showed the effective shooting range of the sniper’s rifle. He did not have the most advanced sniper rifle in his hands and the maximum distance was not over 1,500 metres. His position was closer to them than the Islamic militants on the hills so he probably was camped closer from the beginning. 

Xia Lei suddenly stood up and let out a roar. 

His roar echoed throughout the canyon, attracting the attention of the Islamic sniper immediately. He adjusted the muzzle of his rifle and saw Xia Lei standing on a rock opposite himself through the scope. He also saw the sniper rifle in Xia Lei’s hand. 

The Islamic militant sniper sneered and his head came up from the surface of the rock as he shot at Xia Lei. 

At the moment he showed his head and shot at Xia Lei, Xia Lei abruptly raised his rifle too and shot at him. 

The two bullets grazed past each other in the air. 

The bullet fired by the Islamic militant flew through the canyon but hit a rock some tens of metres below Xia Lei. At that same instant, a bullet went past the hat of twigs and leaves and smashed into the brains of the Islamic sniper. 

This was the difference in their vision. Xia Lei could calculate the straight-line distance between himself and the Islamic sniper with his left eye - 1,600 metres. The Islamic sniper could use a scope to see Xia Lei but he was unable to calculate Xia Lei’s distance from him. He’d thought that it was 1,500 metres and that Xia Lei was within shooting range. However, this difference of 100 metres caused him to make a fatal mistake. 

The Islamic sniper had also made another mistake, and that was seriously underestimating the ugly, scope-less sniper rifle in Xia Lei’s hands. Could a sniper rifle with no scope still be considered a sniper rifle? He’d thought that that sniper rifle could only be counted as a rifle. However, he would not have stuck his head out to shoot Xia Lei if he had known that that ugly sniper rifle had an effective shooting range of a terrifying 3,200 metres.

Xia Lei had removed the scope on the rifle on purpose because having it attached to the sniper rifle was not beneficial to his sniping. 

“Done,” said Xia Lei into the communications device. 

Tang Yu-Yan was still stunned. She’d seen Xia Lei stand all of a sudden to shoot, then heard him say ‘done’. She suddenly felt like this was an illusion - was Xia Lei playing ‘Call of Duty?’ or some game like that? 

Xia Lei hid himself behind the rock again, out of Tang Yu-Yan’s sight. From start to finish, Tang Yu-Yan had only seen Xia Lei suddenly stand, shoot, and it was done. She did not see that Xia Lei had removed the scope of the sniper rifle but if she had, her jaw would have smashed to the ground. 

Bang! A gunshot sounded and an Islamic militant 2,500 metres away was thrown to the ground. A bullet had blasted his head away, leaving just a mouth behind on his neck; a grotesque death. 

Xia Lei’s hunt had only just begun. 

There were over a hundred Islamic militants on the hillsides and Xia Lei and the Bureau 101 agents would be in a very dangerous situation once those militants drew close. Tang Yu-Yan had brought only ten men with her, and the American forces had killed three of them last night. She could not afford to have any more casualties, otherwise who was going to rescue Ning Jing and the team of trapped experts?

Having experienced two battles, Xia Lei did not feel anything anymore when he killed; he had gotten used to the battlefield. He was calm behind the rock, picking the closest enemies and shooting them. One shot, one kill - no misses.

The enemies rushing at them from left and right were still unaware that their own snipers had perished till after over ten of their own had perished. It was then that they realised that their opponent had a terrifying sniper. They did not dare to charge ahead and hid behind rocks as they shot blindly at the road and in the direction of Xia Lei’s hiding spot. A number of the Islamic militants, having paid the price of the lives of more than ten of their comrades, had charged within a 500 metre radius of Xia Lei. 

Most of these Islamic militants were using weapons like the AK47, with a shooting range of about 400 metres. This can be modified to reach 800 metres and bullets at 1,000 metres were still lethal, so even if they were quite far away, the bullets would ricochet off each other with tens of them shooting blindly, making it a dangerous situation for Xia Lei and his comrades below him. A bullet would come out of nowhere and claim your life if you were unlucky!

Though he was outside the Islamic militants’ effective range, Xia Lei did not dare be complacent and stick his head out from behind the rock. He pushed the barrel of the sniper rifle out from a gap in the pile of rocks and used this X-ray vision to snipe the closest target. He was a cautious and guarded sniper but he missed nothing - one shot, one kill! 

His skill with the rifle stunned and shocked the Islamic militants. They had the military advantage but they were being forced to stick to the hillsides and not make any false moves. Any head that poked out would have a bullet of death coming for it a second later. 

Xia Lei drew a lot of firepower to his position and the Bureau 101 agents and White Rock tribesmen under the hill felt practically no pressure of the exchange of fire at all. They’d gradually stopped shooting, unwilling to waste bullets on the enemy hiding behind rocks. 

“Mrs Yang, your husband is amazing! He is the best sniper we’ve ever seen.” Kabir spoke excitedly next to Tang Yu-Yan, “If I’d known that he was so skilled I wouldn’t have sent my man over to talk. His sacrifice was in vain.” 

The fake name Tang Yu-Yan had given Xia Lei was ‘Yang Guo’, so it made sense that Kabir called her ‘Mrs Yang’. ‘Yang Guo’ was a famous character in China but Kabir did not know that.  

A stray bullet suddenly flew over and hit the rock above them. Sparks shot from the impact and pieces of rock were flung in all directions. One piece pierced Tang Yu-Yan’s shoulder and red blood trickled from her wound, wetting her clothes. 

“You’re hurt!” said Kabir in alarm. 

“I’m fine. Get your men to stay here. I’ll go support my husband,” said Tang Yu-Yan. She looked at the rock pile where Xia Lei was hiding. He had drawn a lot of firepower and this filled her with worry. 

“No problem!” Kabir gestured for his men to shoot at the hills to provide cover and gain some time for Tang Yu-Yan. 

Gunshots came from below the hill and bullets rained from both sides. 

Tang Yu-Yan took a deep breath and ran up the hill on the right, where Xia Lei was. She was quick and the steep hill seemed like flat ground under her feet, not affecting her speed or movements in the least. 

Kabir’s jaw dropped and he gaped as he watched Tang Yu-Yan go up the steep side like a sure-footed goat. The husband was an amazing sniper and the wife was abnormally strong too - this couple was a perfect match!

Before Tang Yu-Yan could get to Xia Lei’s side, a rocket came blasting towards Xia Lei’s rocky hiding place with a tail of fire behind it. 

Xia Lei scrambled to his feet and turned to jump backwards, lunging towards Tang Yu-Yan and pushing her to the ground. She had just climbed up and hadn’t made sense of the situation when Xia Lei pressed his body on hers. 

BOOM! The pile of rocks behind them was blown to smithereens and rock shards flew everywhere. A portion of those shards grazed past Xia Lei’s back. The deafening explosion made their ears ring and their reactions and brain-functions were slowed. 

Xia Lei shook his head, then turned and climbed off Tang Yu-Yan. 

The explosion explained the situation to Tang Yu-Yan and she knew that Xia Lei had saved her again. However, she thought of how closely they had been pressed together earlier and her face reddened. Her feelings were a mess and there wasn’t a spot that wasn’t red on her face. 

“What did you come up here for?” said Xia Lei accusingly as he recalled the strange feeling from earlier when they’d been pressed together. 

“Would I have come up here if I weren’t worried for you?” Tang Yu-Yan glared at Xia Lei. Her gaze then went to his sniper rifle and she asked in alarm, “Where the scope?” 

“It’s broken.” Xia Lei climbed to his feet to get ready to go higher up. 

“How are you going to kill enemies without a scope? We’re in deep shit now…” Tang Yu-Yan’s gaze suddenly stopped again on Xia Lei’s buttocks and she let out another cry of alarm, “You’re hurt!”

Xia Lei looked behind himself and saw a piece of rock embedded in his buttock. Blood oozed from the wound and a large patch of his trousers were wet with blood. He had been so nervous earlier that he had not realised that he’d been hurt. 

“You have to clean the wound!” said Tang Yu-Yan anxiously. 

“I’ll take care of it after the battle’s over. Don’t come over and get in the way again. Get down!” Xia Lei shouted at Tang Yu-Yan. 

“You…” No one had ever been so fierce to her before. And SHE was the commander of this mission too!

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