Dogs had a far superior sense of smell than humans and they could see quite a distance in the dark, and clearly too. With the scent from the ripped part of the trousers Jiang Ruyi had left behind, the trained dogs were able to quickly trace them to their location.
The dogs were here so the gunmen were definitely close by too.
Xia Lei’s left eye twitched and the sight of the trained dogs dashing over came into his vision. They barked as they ran. Once in a while, they’d stop and sniff about in the air, then follow the smell onward.
A team of gunmen soon entered Xia Lei’s field of vision. The team was following the dogs, and the terrain in the forest was rough but they moved quickly. Xia Lei could tell in a glance that they were selected elite and had a lot of combat training.
Unfortunately, Xia Lei did not see Ahn Suhyeong and Hyena. He was a little concerned that he could not spot these two. He was planning to draw Ahn Suhyeong and Hyena out, then kill them both. Once these two were dead the gunmen would be like fish on the chopping block. However, with these two people hidden, he would make these two go on the alert if he shot and killed these gunmen and trained dogs.
How was he going to gain the upper hand? It was a difficult decision to make.
While he thought about what to do, the trained dogs and gunmen got closer.
“Where are they?” Jiang Ruyi was nervous. “I hear dogs barking. Are they here?” The hands she had on the gun started trembling.
She was originally a pencil-pushing policewoman. Catching a thief was an appropriate job for her but these were cold-blooded killers, gunmen. Her little bit of skill was not going to be of help.
Xia Lei held her hand gently. “Don’t be scared. I’m here. I won’t let anyone harm you as long as I’m alive.”
Jiang Ruyi was awash with gratitude and felt warm all over. What else could make a woman feel cared for and protected when in a life-and-death situation? This made her feel like she had made the right choice in handing her life to the man before her. It was the most fortunate choice for her.
“Remember - you just have to keep yourself hidden. Don’t ever stick your head out. They have a sharpshooter. You’ll be killed if you stick your head out,” nagged Xia Lei.
“But… they have dozens of people. You can’t fight all of them on your own.” Jiang Ruyi looked worried.
Xia Lei smiled. “Wait and see. Oh, and you shoot down there when I need suppressing fire, but don’t ever stick your head out.”
“Will this work?” Jiang Ruyi could not believe that this was all she had to do.
Xia Lei raised his hand.
Jiang Ruyi hurriedly said, “I’ll listen to everything you say. I’ll keep my head down and shoot when you tell me to.”
Xia Lei smiled, then turned his gaze to the forest below.
Just then, a dog charged out the forest on the mountain and headed for the rock.
Xia Lei adjusted the muzzle of his XL2500 and squeezed the trigger. A bullet flew from the barrel and through the dog’s skull in two seconds. The dog had not had time to bark before the force of the bullet lifted it from the ground and smashed it back down to slide for quite a few metres before stopping.
The remaining dogs paused for a bit, then continued with their charge. They had had professional training and there was nothing that was going to stop them from carrying out the command their masters had given them.
Jiang Ruyi looked down but she did not see anything. She only saw Xia Lei fire but she did not know what he had shot. After Xia Lei’s second shot, she could not help herself and asked, “What are you shooting at, Lei?”
The words had just left her mouth when Xia Lei fired the third shot. The XL2500 with the silencer attached let out a soft sound and the three dogs in the distance fell to the ground, dead.
“The enemy’s trained dogs,” said Xia Lei. He adjusted his gun again and aimed at the last dog. He fired.
The fourth dog fell to the ground.
Losing their dogs was like losing their seeing-eyes for the gunmen. They had tracked Xia Lei and Jiang Ruyi to a radius of 1,000 metres but it had come at a heavy price. That 1,000-metre mark was Xia Lei’s kill zone. He would not let any gunman intrude on this space. This sniping spot was perfect but the enemy could use the grenade-launching function on their M16A2 assault rifles and shoot a grenade at the rock. Xia Lei and Jiang Ruyi could still be dead due to the explosion even if it didn’t hit them.
“Okay, all dead. Remember, if they bunch up and attack, you shoot when I tell you to shoot. Don’t care if there’s a target or not. Just shoot down below. And don’t ever stick your head out.” Xia Lei was afraid Jiang Ruyi would forget and he nagged her again.
“Nn.” Jiang Ruyi nodded obediently and didn’t forget to flatter Xia Lei either. “You’re so awesome. How did I never see that you’re so awesome?”
Xia Lei laughed and said, “You used to only know to bully me. How would you know to look for my good points?”
Jiang Ruyi pursed her lips. “I was wrong, okay?” She then quickly drew close and kissed Xia Lei’s cheek, then smiled and said, “This is a part of my apology. No, wait, count this as interest. I’ll pay all of it back when we leave here alive.”
This was a loaded hint, and one could not help but wonder at her ‘payment’.
Just then, people appeared in the forest below. Xia Lei quickly counted them all. This team had 12 people. They were dozens of metres away from the dead bodies of the dogs and have not walked out of the edge of the forest yet.
Xia Lei aimed at one of them but did not fire. He said softly, “They’re here. Remember what I said.”
Jiang Ruyi grew nervous and she looked cautiously down but was unable to see anything. It would be difficult to see anything at 1,000 metres in daytime, let alone in the dark of night.
The gunmen were in the same boat as Jiang Ruyi when it came to visibility. They were unaware that they had become targets in Xia Lei’s sights. It would be as easy as pie for Xia Lei to pick off anyone he liked right then and there.
‘Shit, why isn’t that bastard Ahn Suhyeong showing himself? It’s not going to be easy for me to kill him if he hides himself away behind the teams,’ thought Xia Lei. He kept looking in the forest but Ahn Suhyeong was too crafty to appear there.
Ahn Suhyeong did not appear but gunmen did - on both sides of the peak. Even Jiang Ruyi was able to spot them this time because they were holding torchlights in their hands, sweeping the forest as they went and being visible from far off.
Xia Lei was struck by a thought. ‘The teams on both sides have torchlights but the one in the middle has none. The enemy must not want me to discover the team in the middle. They are sly and careful, huh. They want to kill me but they don’t want to become my target.’
Sure enough, Ahn Suhyeong appeared in the forest in the middle just as Xia Lei reached this conclusion. Xia Lei felt like Ahn Suhyeong had overdone it when he saw him. Ahn Suhyeong was in thick protective clothing and the armour he had on was no ordinary bulletproof clothing - it was advanced armour-like protective gear made of carbon fibre. This gear covered him from head to toe and not one inch of skin was left uncovered. He also had a bulletproof shield in his hand on top of all that gear he had on.
Even a bullet from the XL2500 can’t finish him off with all that equipped.
Fortunately, something like this could not be mass-produced or every gunman on this island would be wearing it. There would be no need for a gunfight then, and Xia Lei would have despaired of leaving the island with Jiang Ruyi long ago.
A shout suddenly came from the forest on the right. “Xia Lei, I am Ahn Suhyeong. I know you’re up there. I’ve brought what you want, and information on Gu Kewen. Show yourself! Let’s make the exchange!”
Ahn Suhyeong was obviously in the middle but there was someone on the right claiming to be him - the voice was exactly the same too.
Xia Lei looked over and saw a gunman walking quietly towards the peak with a loudspeaker in his hand. As he walked, he pressed a button to play a pre-recorded message in Ahn Suhyeong’s voice.
A sneer appeared in the corners of Xia Lei’s mouth and he thought, ‘He wants to kill me but doesn’t want to take the risk. He’s getting his underling to make me show myself. Ahn Suhyeong, Ahn Suhyeong, whatever you do is useless. You’ll die on this island if I want to kill you.’
Pew! A soft sound came from the XL2500. A gunman who had gotten close to the body of one of the dogs fell to the ground. A fist-sized cavity appeared in the forehead of the man and blood and brain matter spurted from his head. He died horribly.
“He’s here!” A gunman discovered his comrade’s body and sounded the alarm.
Pew! A bullet went through that man’s open mouth and hole bigger than a fist appeared in the back of his head!
Bang bang bang! The gunmen in the middle were the first to fire up at the peak. Unfortunately, the M16A2 assault rifles they were armed with had an effective shooting range of only 600 metres and bullets which went beyond that range just flew wildly without hitting the target. Some bullets still hit the peak where Xia Lei and Jiang Ruyi were hiding, throwing up sparks.
This was why Xia Lei did not let them cross the 1,000-metre mark. It wasn’t just grenades which could pose a threat to Xia Lei and Jiang Ruyi - stray bullets were threats too. Who could guarantee where the bullets would land? One would have his brains blasted out if he were unlucky.
Xia Lei was calm and composed but Jiang Ruyi was panicky. She’d never experienced battle like this in all her life. When the gunfire intensified, she held her head with her arms and shook all over.
Xia Lei could understand how she felt. He had hidden behind the rock in his first battle against the American Special Forces and CIA in Afghanistan, not daring to move and nervous as heck. His first time was like that, so it must be worse for Jiang Ruyi, a woman who screamed at the sight of cockroaches.
There was no way he could comfort her now. He swiftly found targets in the forest and death was delivered to whomever he had his left eye on in the space of one second!Previous Chapter Next Chapter