Three minutes ago.
Xia Lei stood behind the wall and he said, “Who are you?”
“I’ll give you one minute. Put down the weapon and come in. I can let your woman go in exchange. You know, I’ve never made this allowance before, but for you, I can break some norms.” The woman’s voice came from within the room.
“Don’t bother about me! Just go, hurry and leave!” That was Long Bing’s voice.
Xia Lei bit his lip. He put down his backpack, and placed a handgun on it before he said, “Wait!”
Three minutes later.
Long Bing brushed past Xia Lei…
A bullet suddenly flew from the doorway, straight at Dark Mona’s head.
However, at almost the same instant, even before the gunshot sounded, Dark Mona abruptly swept her shield to the side, blocking the trajectory of the bullet and stopping it!
And in that same instant, a hole opened up in the shield, and a tranquiliser dart shot out, straight into Xia Lei’s lower abdomen.
It was the same distance, but Dark Mona completed two actions before Xia Lei had time to react. She had hit Xia Lei with a tranquiliser dart on top of blocking the sneak-attack from the doorway!
Dark Mona was miles ahead of Xia Lei in terms of experience.
Was Dark Mona also miles ahead in terms of speed?
This was difficult to determine, but Xia Lei had fallen to the floor – this result was quite telling.
Bang bang bang!
Long Bing ran across the doorway, the gun jerking in her hand as she went. She fired three shots when going past the doorway, and these bullets flew towards Dark Mona’s head, upper body and thighs. She did not believe that Dark Mona’s ability to move her shield was faster than a bullet, and that she would be able to block all the bullets!
However, Dark Mona did not block this time. She mirrored Long Bing’s movements. The instant Long Bing appeared in the doorway, her legs had folded right away, and she jumped like a frog, crossing the doorway at almost the same time that Long Bing did!
Dark Mona stretched out the modified gun in her hand while she was in the air. A bullet roared from the gun muzzle.
Boom! The wooden walls of the hotel had a huge chunk blown out of it. The splinters of wood shot in Long Bing’s direction like high-speed bullets.
Long Bing landed on the floor with a thud. She had been struck by several pieces of wood, and she was bleeding.
Dark Mona thumped to the floor too, but only for a moment. Her legs and waist turned in a twist, and she seemed to coil to her feet like a spring. Right in that same instant, she changed the direction of where she was pointing the gun, and aimed it at the tear in the wall.
On the other side of the broken wall was Long Bing, who was unable to get to her feet. The wooden projectiles had caused bodily harm to her and it was not life-threatening, but it hampered her movements. In this sort of battle, delays of half a second could end up fatal.
Dark Mona’s gun was trained on her now.
A sneer appeared in the corners of Mona’s mouth. “You had a chance to run away, but you chose to come back to die. The love between you and Xia Lei – is it really that strong?”
Long Bing’s gaze went to Xia Lei. She wanted to see him for the last time before she died. However, she was stunned when she looked from the broken wall to Xia Lei.
“Hm?” Dark Mona seemed to realise something, and she twisted to one side, turning her arm around to point the gun in Xia Lei’s direction.
Schick! A hunting knife came flying all of a sudden, burying itself in Mona’s wrist.
The modified gun dropped from her hand, and fell towards the floor.
Dark Mona reacted lightning-quick. She flipped the shield over from her left hand, and quickly caught the fallen handgun with it. At the same time, she loosened her hold on the shield and grabbed the gun with her left hand. This series of movements seemed to take place in one breath, with no delays whatsoever.
And at the same time, Xia Lei completed his set of movements too. He rolled and reached for the gun, then shot. He was as quick as lightning!
The two of them shot at virtually the same moment.
Boom! A grenade opened up a hole in the floorboards.
Ding! The handgun bullet ricocheted off the shield, and grazed past Mona’s face. The searing hot bullet left a trail of blood on her face, and the smell of something which had been burnt!
Her shot failed, Mona flew abruptly towards the window.
Bang bang bang!
Three bullets came from the broken section of wall, and three bullet gouges appeared in the spot Mona had just vacated.
Long Bing had joined the fray.
Mona flicked her wrist, and squeezed the trigger. A powerful bullet roared from her gun muzzle.
Boom! The battered wooden wall was blasted apart yet again. It was practically in tatters!
Long Bing rolled, close to the ground, just barely scraping away from the explosive attack.
Schick! A jagged piece of wood stabbed into her hip. Blood oozed, but she could not feel pain anymore.
Bang bang bang! Xia Lei fired too.
Dark Mona’s body was already out the window, and the bullets seemed to just barely squeeze past her bountiful chest to fly off into the night.
Bam! There was a dull, muffled gunshot.
The wall on the other side was suddenly blasted open, and stakes of wood came flying towards Xia Lei in an angry horde.
Xia Lei hugged the floor as he rolled out of the room. He did not forget his XL2500 in all this, and took it with him as he made his exit.
However, his thigh was struck by one of the wooden stakes, and blood spurted from his fresh wound, wetting his trousers.
Long Bing had crawled to her feet. She, and Xia Lei, did not stop to rest behind the wall. They moved to the corridor right away. This hotel was a traditional Japanese house, and more than 90% of it was made of wood. There was no way this building was able to withstand the terrifying power of Dark Mona’s modified gun.
The two of them had just moved to the corridor when the wall was blasted again. They would have been turned into hedgehogs if they had been one second later!
Xia Lei put away his handgun and snatched up the XL2500 sniper rifle. His left eye twitched and the two tattered wooden walls disappeared from his sight. He soon found Mona’s position – she was next to the wall of the other window.
He lifted his gun and squeezed the trigger.
Bang! A bullet flew from the muzzle of the XL2500 sniper rifle, and a gap appeared almost instantaneously in the wooden walls. The bullet blasted through both walls and hit Mona. Unfortunately, it did not strike her body, but her shield.
The XL2500 was powerful enough to blast through two walls but travelling through two walls had changed its trajectory, and it did not kill his target as he’d intended.
The sparks which flew from the shield surprised Mona too. She did not hesitate. She leaned forward, like the starting position of a sprinter, and shot about ten metres forward.
Smash! Another bullet came roaring. A huge hole appeared in the wall where she had been.
Xia Lei with and without a sniper rifle was a different person.
Mona did not stay still. She disappeared into the night in the blink of an eye.
She was injured, and it was two on one. She was not so confident about completing this task now. If she kept fighting, she would not be the hunter but the hunted. This was why she had made her decision to give up on the task.
Xia Lei stopped using his X-ray vision. The tension left his body, and his legs grew weak. He fell towards the floor.
“Lei!” Long Bing rushed over and caught Xia Lei in her arms.
However, she fell to the floor with Xia Lei in the next second. The drawn-out battle, plus her wounds had exhausted her. She had been still standing through sheer willpower. Now, she was in as bad a state as Xia Lei, so weak that a young child could push her over.
Xia Lei was on the floor, but he was lying on something soft, especially his head. His head was being squished between the softest, most luscious part of Long Bing. This fall of his was not painful, and was rather comfortable.
Long Bing didn’t seem to mind at all. She gladly served as Xia Lei’s human pillow. She held Xia Lei’s face and said, “Another time, okay? That woman might come back at any time. We’ll be dead if we stay like this.”
“She ran away.” Xia Lei continued relaxing and he said weakly, “I don’t want to do anything right now. I just want to have a good sleep in your arms.”
“Then sleep. I’ll stay with you, no matter what you want to do,” said Long Bing.
“I’d like to, but we have to leave this place.” Xia Lei struggled and got up from Long Bing’s embrace, then stretched out a hand to pull her up.
They helped each other, moving towards the doorway of the hotel. Many people looked out their windows at them, but nobody dared to make a sound.
“Wait.” Long Bing abruptly remembered something. She let go of Xia Lei, and turned towards the room.
“What else do you need to do?” asked Xia Lei.
“The thing you wanted. And your gun,” said Long Bing. She entered the room.
The room was in shambles and Gu Kewen was lying on the floor, motionless.
Long Bing picked up the document envelope she had dropped, and the Gust assault rifle. Just as she was about to leave, however, she glanced at Gu Kewen. It was just a passing glance, and she left the room after that without looking back.
Gu Kewen had been a problem to Long Bing, and she had erased this problem.
The snow was still falling and Oshino Hakkai was quiet. If one ignored the corpses littering the ground, and the cherry blossoms made of blood in the snow, one would find the scenery here oh so mesmerising.
A Mitsubishi off-road vehicle zoomed out of the village, galloping towards far-off Tokyo.
Adele’s new song “Hello” played in the car, and the soulful song of heartbreak sank into the occupants of the car.
Xia Lei moved one hand from the steering wheel to Long Bing’s thigh.
“What are you doing?” Long Bing looked at him.
Xia Lei chuckled. “What do you think?”
“Are you being serious? Then stop by the road,” said Long Bing.
Xia Lei stared blankly, then stepped on the accelerator.
The Mitsubishi off-road vehicle burst through the snow.
Meanwhile, in the Heart of Oshino, in the room of the shooting.
A coldness blew through the the torn-up window and into the room. A snowflake danced in the air and landed on Gu Kewen’s forehead.
The snowflake melted.
Gu Kewen’s fingers suddenly twitched.
A few seconds later.
“Guuuh… Cough, cough…” A breath rattled from Gu Kewen’s throat, and she started coughing violently.
Fate was really a very strange thing.Previous Chapter Next Chapter