Chapter 444 - Life and Death

The container truck came to a stop and Liu Qiang swerved in another direction at almost the same instant. The pickup truck made lines on the road as it turned sharply. He then stepped on the accelerator and sped off in the other direction. 

The door to the container truck opened and some militants in black combat gear jumped out of the container, quickly getting to their feet. They had no national symbols on them but their gear was the same as the American Special Forces Xia Lei had encountered in Afghanistan. 

These Special Forces soldiers did not fire their weapons; they closed off the exit from this road. 

Xia Lei abruptly remembered something and shouted, “Leave this road, now!” 

Before Liu Qiang could react, several Hummer military vehicles appeared on the road opposite them, carrying more soldiers in black combat gear. The foremost Hummer had a heavy machine gun installed on it and the machine gunner was already in position. 

Liu Qiang knew what Xia Lei wanted - there was no surviving in a battle on the road. He turned the steering wheel sharply and stepped on the accelerator again. The pickup truck dashed off the road and smashed into the forest by the road. 

Bang bang bang…

Gunshots rang out. 

Those soldiers were obviously not going to let Xia Lei and his group have the chance to escape. 

The bullets zipped into the trees by the side of the road and hit the carriage of the pickup truck too. Wood chips flew and several bullet-gouges appeared on the carriage of the car. 

Tang Yuyan and Xia Lei had already pushed open the doors before the vehicle came to a stop and exited. Xia Lei snatched up the large military bag he had stashed under the backseat of the vehicle as Long Bing jumped down behind him. He rolled, his body close to the ground, dragging the military bag behind him till he got to a tree. 

Zzzt! Xia Lei unzipped the bag and took out an XL2500. He threw it to Tang Yuyan. 

Long Bing came charging towards him, bent over. She reached out and grabbed the XL2500 Xia Lei had modified for her before he could give it to her. 

There was one more XL2500 in the bag, and it was the one which Xia Lei had modified to be able to shoot 3,400 metres. However, he did not pick up the XL2500 this time - he armed himself with the Gust assault rifle. 

A mid-distance gunfight was the best battleground for the Gust assault rifle!

Xia Lei did not shoot immediately with the gun in his hands. He looked behind himself at the forest. The forested area was not large, and right behind it was an Israeli residential area. This was a terrible situation. The Israeli were all soldiers and practically every household had weapons. Even if they went through the forest and into the Israeli residential district, it would be terrible indeed if they were taken for the enemy. 

“Xia Lei! Take the items with you! We’ll cover you!” came Long Bing’s voice. She sounded determined. 

Tang Yuyan and Liu Qiang did not speak but they seemed to agree with Long Bing’s decision by the look on their faces. 

“Are you kidding? You guys go, I’ll cover you!” said Xia Lei. He was sure that these soldiers were American Special Forces and CIA agents. These people wouldn’t kill him. But Long Bing, Tang Yuyan and Liu Qiang would be killed without hesitation. 

“Who’s going to do that research if you’re gone? Get out!” shouted Long Bing at Xia Lei. 

Xia Lei froze. He had not expected Long Bing to be so determined and that he would not be allowed to go against her wishes. 

Just then, a woman’s voice suddenly came from the right. “Xia Lei, I know it’s you. Surrender. You won’t be harmed. I can guarantee that your colleagues won’t be harassed if you surrender. They can leave.” 

This voice was all too familiar - it was Gu Kewen’s voice. 

From a Chinese socialite, young lady of a powerful clan, to an aide for her rival, and now one of the CIA - her life was like a roller coaster, sweeping up and plunging down, twisting sharply left and right, and difficult to adapt to.

“It’s that bitch! I’m going to kill her!” said Long Bing angrily. She aimed towards Gu Kewen’s voice. 

Gu Kewen showed herself. She was standing on the road but she had a bulletproof shield before her. It wasn’t just her - several soldiers were carrying bulletproof shields too, and advancing slowly. 

It was apparent that the CIA had grown fearful of Xia Lei and his gunmanship after their various clashes. Even the battle-hardened soldiers and agents were being cautious, holding bulletproof shields before themselves as they advanced and not giving him the chance to attack. 

The soldiers closing in on both sides did not fire again after shooting at the pickup truck. They just cautiously approached the location of Xia Lei and his group. 

Tang Yuyan and Long Bing did not dare to shoot carelessly either because the bullets which would fly from both sides would be enough to rip through this fragile position. Don’t even talk about the firepower of the dozens of soldiers - just the machine gun on that Hummer alone would be enough to tear this little forest to shreds!

This potential outcome made it meaningless for them to attack, even if they were able to kill a few targets.

Terror, nervousness and pressure caged this forest. It became increasingly disadvantageous for Xia Lei and his group the longer this dragged out. 

“What are you waiting for?” said Long Bing fiercely, “You want to die together with us? I’m telling you to go. GO! Don’t let our sacrifice be in vain!”

“Go!” Tang Yuyan shouted at Xia Lei too. 

Xia Lei suddenly pointed the muzzle of the Gust assault rifle at his own head. “You three go. Right now, or I’ll shoot myself!”

“You…” Long Bing was so mad she choked. 

Tang Yuyan laughed flatly. “Okay, then we’ll charge out of this forest together. Life and death are ruled by fate!” 

Xia Lei thought about it for a second. He nodded and shouted, “Go!” He raised the Gust assault rifle, aimed to the left of Gu Kewen’s location, and pulled the trigger. 

Bang bang bang…

Bullet shells danced and bullets flew. 

The assault rifle had no obvious recoil even in rapid fire mode. Its performance was superior to all else - the world’s best!

But no matter how wonderful the gun was it was just one, and could not turn the tide. 

Rat-tat-tat…

Bang bang bang…

The soldiers on both sides opened fire. Their targets were Tang Yuyan, Long Bing and Liu Qiang, of course. Xia Lei was practically untouched. 

Bullets fell like rain. Twigs, leaves and dirt sprayed up as if caught in a wild storm. 

Tang Yuyan and Long Bing ran as they shot. Bullets whizzed behind them. 

Bam bam bam…

The machine gunner on the Hummer started firing. Bullets came from afar, tearing through the wood of the forest. 

Right at the back, Liu Qiang was not able to avoid this wave of attack and a bullet buried itself in his back, tearing it open. He fell in a spurting of blood and could not get up again. 

The heavy machine gun shot wildly and trees fell to the ground in pieces. 

Xia Lei and his group dashed to the edge of the forest but there was a large open space. They could only escape this first wave of attack if they manage to get past this open space. 

“Long Bing, please take care of my sister if I die,” said Xia Lei. 

Long Bing’s voice was ice. “Go take care of her yourself. I’ll be dying before you.” 

“Go!” Tang Yuyan shoved Xia Lei, pushing him out of the forest. 

“What are you doing?” Xia Lei turned around. 

Bang bang bang!

Tang Yuyan fired thrice with her handgun, and all three shots landed on the ground before Xia Lei. 

“I want you to remember me your whole life and owe me for your life.” A bitter smile appeared in the corners of Tang Yuyan’s mouth. 

Xia Lei knew what she wanted to do. She was going to use her life to buy him time to escape. Face with this gesture of hers, Xia Lei felt an impulse to hold her in his embrace in that instant. 

However, he did not act on his impulse and he did not leave either. He could not leave Tang Yuyan and Long Bing behind at this time; he would not do such a thing.

“I’ll say it one last time. You two, leave! I’ll stay. Didn’t you hear me just now? They won’t kill me. They just want me to surrender - they’ll even let you go.” Xia Lei pointed the muzzle of his gun to his head again. “I’ll commit suicide right away if you don’t leave.” 

Moisture appeared in Long Bing’s eyes, and that moisture soon became tears which fell from her eyes. This was the first time Xia Lei had ever witnessed her crying tears. 

Boom boom boom…

An Apache helicopter suddenly came roaring from the other side of the residential area, cutting off their last escape route. Truthfully, even if Xia Lei, Tang Yuyan and Long Bing not wasted the past ten seconds, they would have been unable to cross that open space either. 

This was a well-prepared trap. Land and air - and it was not time to close the net. 

“Stop your struggle, Xia Lei. It’s useless.” It was Gu Kewen’s voice. “You’re very sly. You’ve changed your face but you cannot change your body. Don’t you know that there’s been a satellite focused on searching for traces of you from the moment you stepped into Jerusalem? There are also five more, scanning the globe for you. It’s good enough that you’ve managed to live for so long.” 

This was an outright mockery.

The soldiers holding bulletproof shields appeared in the forest. They advanced slowly. 

Xia Lei raised his voice, “Gu Kewen, I surrender! Let them go!” 

“Heh heh!” Gu Kewen sneered. “Xia Lei, you have reached the end of the road, huh? Did you ever think you would end up like this one day, back when you ruined my father and my brother?” 

“I’ll go with you people!” said Xia Lei. 

“Don’t plead with her!” Tang Yuyan said decisively. “If you’re dying, we’re dying together!”  

“Yes, you will not be alone on the road to hell,” said Long Bing. “We’ll still be together in hell.” 

Gu Kewen’s voice came to their ears, “You have no room to bargain. I said I would let them go earlier, and that was earlier. It’s different now. You can choose one to leave alive. The other - dies!” 

Raging anger burst in Xia Lei’s heart. He was already prepared to surrender but Gu Kewen was using this to play with him! Choose either Long Bing or Tang Yuyan to live? Gu Kewen was a real poisonous bitch!

“I’ll give you ten seconds. Both of them will die if you don’t make your decision then.” Gu Kewen counted down with a megaphone. “Ten seconds, nine seconds, eight… five…” 

Szzuuu! A missle suddenly flew from the top of a building in the Israeli residential area and hit the Apache helicopter in the air. 

BOOM! The missile exploded and the Apache helicopter was blown to smithereens. The propeller was separated from the fuselage and it spiralled into the trees as a large area of canopy was chopped to the ground. 

Szzzuuu! Another missile came from another direction in the residential area, then exploded in the forest. It was a powerful anti-infantry rocket. The rocket’s explosion set a huge fire loose, burning the oxygen away, sending shrapnel flying in all directions and scattering the large group of soldiers. 

No one expected this turn in events. 

“Go!” There was no time to guess who was helping them. Xia Lei let out a shout and turned to run towards the residential area. 

Tang Yuyan and Long Bing started their wild sprint too. 

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