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The stone wall collapsed with a boom, and a beam of light entered Xia Lei’s field of vision. Then, a breeze blew past his cheeks. There was a small cavern behind the stone wall, about 50 metres long. The light and wind were coming from the cavern’s entrance.
This cavern looked like a reinforced doghole.
Xia Lei smiled wryly and braced himself as he climbed in. Climbing into this doghole was bound to be better than turning back. He didn’t want to return to that maze ever again.
Xia Lei crawled for a full thirty minutes before he got to the mouth of the cavern.
An ancient church sat underneath the precipice at the mouth of the cavern. It was very similar to the church that Ning Jing had drawn. The only differences were that it seemed shabbier and more decayed from the vicissitudes of time. Other than that, it was exactly the same as the church that the old man had described.
Xia Lei realised that he had actually passed through the mountain through the maze, and gotten to the other side of the mountain. The church was right in the valley of the mountain, and there was a village further away, with seemingly no people in it.
Xia Lei looked away and glanced at the watch on his wrist, and realised he had actually been in the maze for three hours.
Ring, ring, ring…
His phone suddenly started ringing.
There hadn’t been any phone signal in the maze, but there was a signal now.
Xia Lei took his satellite phone out and answered it. “It’s me. Speak.”
Yelena’s voice came from over the line. “Boss, where are you? I called you 20 times, but you only pick up now.”
He had randomly disappeared for three hours, so of course the Zodiac team members were anxious, and did something about it.
“I’m fine,” said Xia Lei a little apologetically.
“As long as you’re fine, that’s good. We would have gotten ready to burn that place up if I didn’t get hold of you,” said Yelena.
‘That place’ clearly referred to the fake grave that Xia Lei had dug up.
“I’ve already left. Put the dirt back, and I’ll meet up with you guys immediately,” said Xia Lei.
“Mm.” Yelena made a sound of agreement and hung up.
Xia Lei put his satellite phone away and climbed out of the small hole. He carefully grasped the gaps in the rock and moved down the precipice, little by little.
The precipice was about a hundred meters high, almost perpendicular to the ground. It was completely made out of pieces upon pieces of rock and completely bare, without a single tree or weed. A monkey wouldn’t even visit this place, not to mention a human.
Climbing on such a high and vertically positioned precipice was extremely dangerous, especially without taking any safety measures. However, although it was dangerous, Xia Lei quickly adapted to it. His left eye helped him to get over his fear of heights. His body was more coordinated and sturdy than the average person’s body, and he easily executed movements which ordinary people wouldn’t have been able to do. In addition, his experiences learning martial arts made him very strong, and even if he didn’t move, he could support his body weight just using his inner force and his muscles’ strength, and thus move around sheer cliffs and precipitous rock faces easily.
With these advantages, Xia Lei only needed fifteen minutes to finish what a rock climbing professional athlete would finish in an hour. After fifteen minutes, he stood on the ground underneath the precipice. He looked up to see that the small cave mouth had already been covered by layers of rock, and even his X-ray vision couldn’t tell it existed.
This was probably also one of the reasons why no one had discovered the maze even though it had existed for a hundred years.
Xia Lei stopped using his X-ray vision and walked around the outside walls of the church, heading towards the entrance of the valley.
The church walls had collapsed in many areas. Even without X-ray vision, he could see into the inside of the church. He saw a patch of wasteland when he passed the first gap. That wasteland had probably been a place for growing plants in the past, but now it was full of weeds. The main part of the church also seemed very shabby, and most of the doors and windows were broken. Through the broken doors and windows, one could see the inside of the church. It didn’t feel divine at all — just ruined.
‘No one comes to this church anymore, clearly. I wonder why it was abandoned,’ thought Xia Lei.
A muffled sound of a bell suddenly came from the direction of the church belltower.
Xia Lei suddenly thought of the elderly couple asking for directions. This church had been abandoned a long time ago, so the elderly couple were the only ones who could have been sounding the bell now. Sure enough, after walking a little further, he saw the clocktower and he immediately spotted the white-haired old man and old woman on top of the belltower.
The afternoon sunlight fell onto the ancient belltower and the two old people with graying hair. This scene made one have thoughts about life, and a certain feeling of heaviness.
But even faith wouldn’t stop people from dying of sickness or old age.
If a God really existed in this world, why was he just watching this world get uglier and uglier? Would he forgive those who started wars in his name and harm believers or other faiths?
Another bell sound echoed.
A small smile appeared in the corners of Xia Lei’s lips. ‘Who would accompany me to temples to ring bells when I’m old? Long Bing? Ruyi? Or…?’
A light suddenly shot into Xia Lei’s left eye and his thoughts were halted.
His body suddenly fell forward, almost exactly at the same time as when his left eye saw the light. Right when his body hit the ground, a piece of rock behind him exploded with a shower of sparks!
He was a hundred metres away!
The shot had come from the east.
The sniper was hidden on the steeple of the church hall.
As he avoided the sniper’s sniping, Xia Lei’s head filled with information on the sniper.
He also came to his senses. There was something wrong with that elderly couple!
The elderly couple had asked for directions three hours ago. With their walking speed, it was impossible for them to have gotten to the other side of the mountain in three hours. The elderly couple wasn’t ringing the bell without reason either. Instead, they were using the bell to distract him while covering up the sniper’s shooting sounds!
Even the average person could hear the sounds of sniping from a hundred meters away.
The sniper practically had a hundred percent chance of success as he was shooting from a hundred meters away, with the bell to cover up his sniping. However, he had overlooked Xia Lei’s left eye. Xia Lei’s left eye was extremely sensitive to changes in light and his brain had priority sequences in response to the images that his left eye took in. If there was anything wrong, his brain would basically command his body to act without even having to think about it!
If Xia Lei called himself second place in the sniping world, who would dare claim to be first?
The bell rang for a third time.
Another bullet came for him.
Xia Lei rolled and squeezed under the church wall. The place where he had just stopped was in flames, and his left eye could even see that the bullet had smashed a rock and buried itself into the dirt!
The enemy was actually using armour piercing bullets!
This discovery made Xia Lei realise something instantly. He leaped up with all his might, like a frog with a lot of stored energy, as he catapulted out. The moment he left his hiding spot, an armour-piercing bullet smashed the wall to pieces and buried itself into the dirt again.
Xia Lei didn’t dare stop for a moment. He sprinted forwards, bent at the waist, while he took out his gun and started loading it.
The elderly couple at the top of the bell tower had disappeared, but the sniper’s shots had not ceased. One bullet after another pierced the ancient wall and got buried into the dirt underneath. Xia Lei felt as if he had narrowly escaped getting hit every single time. It wasn’t hard to tell that the other person wasn’t just any sniper. This sniper had abilities that surpassed the king of the killer world whom Xia Lei had killed.
Xia Lei was also pondering a question as he fled. ‘There’s an old man, old woman and a sniper, but which side are they from? The CIA? Or the FA Organisation?’
He could only think of people from these two sides, but he had fought with the CIA and the FA Organisation so many times already, and he had never met opponents like the old man or the old woman! If they weren’t from the CIA or FA Organisation, then where were they from?
He couldn’t think of any other powerful opponents besides those two organisations.
Bang! Another gunshot sounded, and an armour-piercing bullet brushed past Xia Lei’s thigh and hit the ground.
Xia Lei didn’t stop. His right foot stepped off the ground and he squeezed through a collapsed wall. While in the air, he opened fire at the steeple on top of the church hall.
The other person was using an extremely powerful sniper rifle while he was only using a gun, but as long as they were 100 meters within range, he could make good use of his gun and use it like a sniper rifle!
A bullet shot out from the Xia Lei’s gun.
In Xia Lei’s left eye’s line of sight, the sniper hiding on the steeple appeared but had already buried his head again when Xia Lei moved his hand.
The sniper hiding on the church steeple was actually also a white haired old person!
Chink! The bullet brushed past the sniper’s head and hit multicolored glass. Crash! The glass smashed and fell to the ground from a great height.
A cruel smile formed on Xia Lei’s lips. With this distance, its shooting speed definitely couldn’t compare to a pistol even though the sniper rifle was very powerful. Now it was time for him to return fire!
The sniper seemed to know how good Xia Lei was. Before Xia Lei fired his second shot, he stuck to the ground and rolled to a corner within the steeple’s interior. His body was completely hidden the whole time, and he did not give Xia Lei any opportunity to fire.
Xia Lei locked his line of sight in the direction of the steeple as he quickly rushed into the church hall’s entrance.
A human silhouette suddenly flashed from within church hall.
It was the old man who had asked for directions.
Tat tat tat!
It was the sound of a submachine gun!
Xia Lei’s body suddenly veered to the right, avoiding the trajectory of the submachine gun.
Pew pew pew!
What seemed like a magazine of bullets zoomed close, and past his body.
Xia Lei returned fire.
However, the old man had dodged behind a church hall door before Xia Lei fired. His actions were quick and nimble, comparable to the young special agents from the CIA and FA Organisation!
Da da da!
The old man suddenly hid and the old woman appeared in the window again, shooting Xia Lei with a TAR-21 assault rifle, the newest assault rifle that Israel’s IMI Company and Barrett Company had collaborated on and released. It was also the Gust assault rifle’s rival.
Bullet after bullet whistled past his body. Xia Lei hid in the cover of the church hall wall, and didn’t dare expose his head.
“Who are you guys?” As he spoke, Xia Lei’s left eye twitched, activating his X-ray vision.
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