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There was no response in the church.
Xia Lei clearly saw the old man by the entrance making a hand gesture at the old woman by the window with his left eye. At the same time, the sniper came down from the steeple. He moved carefully to the pulpit and set his sniper rifle there. His sniper rifle was the M82A1, produced by the Barrett Company. It was nicknamed “Light 50”, with a range of 1,850 metres. This gun could destroy car engines, not to mention penetrate brick walls and cement.
After he made preparations to shoot, the sniper made a hand signal to the old man and the old woman.
This hand signal clearly meant that the old man and the old woman were to talk to Xia Lei. After the sniper had gotten a grasp on where Xia Lei was, they could then kill him through the wall.
Sure enough, after the sniper made his hand gesture, the old man guarding the entrance said, “Leave your things here and we’ll let you go.”
‘Could these three people know of the maze’s existence? Why else would they tell me to leave my things here?’ thought Xia Lei. While thinking this, he kept his silence and slowly reached down to pick up a rock from the ground.
Just then, the old woman guarding the window said, “Youngster, there is no need to die here. Leave the things you took out of the maze here and we will not make things difficult for you.”
These old people really did know of the maze’s existence.
Xia Lei suddenly threw the rock at the window.
Crash! The rock clattered to the ground, as if someone had suddenly jumped to that side.
Bang! The first person to react was the sniper.
At the gunshot, a fist-sized hole immediately appeared in the wall next to the window. The bullet split the wall and the shell bounced off the ground. The stone of the wall had actually been broken open, and split to pieces!
In practically the same instant as when the sniper fired, Xia Lei moved out from the corner of the wall and fired the Viper. The bullet penetrated the window and embedded itself into the sniper’s forehead.
Blood spurted, and the sniper’s body fell onto the pulpit, crashing to the floor along with his M82A1 sniper rifle.
The sniper and his M82A1 sniper rifle had been a big threat to Xia Lei because the M82A1 sniper rifle could penetrate walls and kill a target. Xia Lei immediately felt a lot less pressured after eliminating the sniper.
Xia Lei abruptly threw himself to the ground after that one shot.
The old woman by the window raked at him with machine-gun fire and a flurry of rifle bullets swooshed past Xia Lei’s back.
Bang bang bang!
Xia Lei returned fire and rolled towards the corner of the wall as he shot back. His Viper’s three bullets hit the wooden frame of the window and the wall. Fighting at this distance didn’t allow the other party to have any advantages even though he only had a handgun. His immediate return fire pushed the old woman back.
“Renault? Renault!” The old man’s voice was filled with anger. “You actually killed Renault? I’ll send you to hell!”
Xia Lei had already stood up along the wall. He slowly moved forward and turned around the corner while saying, “We’re all going to go to hell sooner or later. Tell me who you guys are and who sent you here, and I might hold back from sending you guys to hell today.”
He could speak now that the sniper was dead.
“You don’t deserve to know!” He heard the old man’s voice and moving footsteps.
A cold smile surfaced on Xia Lei’s lips. He suddenly kicked a fist-sized rock at the window, then rounded the corner and went towards the doorway.
Thunk! The rock clattered on the ground under the window again.
“Die!” The old woman suddenly appeared with the muzzle of her gun pointed at the area underneath the window and she fired.
Sawdust flew, and smoke filled the air. Bullets tore into the ground and sparks flew in all directions.
He’d used the same trick but it still worked. This wasn’t because the old woman was dumb, but rather because of human instinct. When one was unable to see the enemy, sound would become the only way to determine where the enemy was. Since the sound had come so close to her, how could she not respond to that?
However, she didn’t think that the sound of her TAR-21 assault rifle would just happen to cover up the sounds of Xia Lei’s movements.
Xia Lei had gotten close to the entrance in two seconds.
The old man was still moving towards the M82A1 sniper which had fallen onto the ground. He clearly meant to pick the M82A1 sniper up and shoot at Xia Lei through the wall while Xia Lei was exchanging fire with the old woman.
However, he didn’t expect that his and the old woman’s every movement would not escape Xia Lei’s eye.
This actually wasn’t a fair contest because Xia Lei was cheating.
Xia Lei leaped out from the church hall door with a step. While his body was horizontally in the air, the old woman and old man both entered his firing range.
Bang! A gunshot sounded.
The old man had gotten hold of the M82A1 rifle when he was shot in the back by the Viper. His movements immediately stopped, like a machine with an electric power failure. He then crashed to the ground.
“No—” The old woman bellowed, turned and moved her hand. The TAR-21 assault rifle muzzle pointed straight at the hall entrance.
But she was still a step too late.
Xia Lei’s body was still falling in midair, his hands still in the position that he had when he had killed the old man. He only adjusted the muzzle direction slightly and pulled the trigger. The old woman at the window had only just moved her muzzle in the direction of the hall entrance.
A gunshot rang out. A bullet pierced the old woman’s forehead.
The old woman’s movements also stopped, and the TAR-21 assault rifle fell from her hands to the ground. Her body fell backwards.
If given a tenth of a second more, she could have shot Xia Lei when he was completely defenseless in the air. However, Xia Lei just hadn’t given her even a tenth of a second more.
The old woman fell to the ground, her eyes filled with anger in death.
Xia Lei got up from the floor and strode into the church hall, facing Jesus on the cross who looked at him with an eternally unchanging expression. He couldn’t tell if he was angry or merciful, but the reek of blood pervaded the hall and made this ancient, divine place seem somewhat scarier.
The old man was not dead. His arms trembled, and it looked as if he was aiming to grab the submachine gun on the ground.
Xia Lei kicked the submachine gun away and then stuck his foot under the old man’s lower abdomen to flip his body over.
He had left one alive on purpose.
Xia Lei had actually had a choice earlier. The old man had been going for the M82A1 sniper rifle while the old woman still had the TAR-21 assault rifle. She could have killed him at any time, so of course, he didn’t want to give her that opportunity, and he had to kill her. He had chosen to leave this old man behind because he had been the least threat at that time.
“Haah, haah…” The old man gulped for air and blood kept coming out of his mouth.
With how Xia Lei had shot him, though he did not die at once, he still wouldn’t have much time left now.
Xia Lei crouched down. “Tell me, who are you? Who sent you here to kill me? Tell me and I’ll give you a quick end.”
“Pah!” The old man spat blood at Xia Lei but he lacked strength, so his dirty saliva fell only three centimeters away, and splattered onto his own chin.
“You really are old and stubborn.” Xia Lei frowned and then put the Viper’s muzzle to the old man’s neck.
The muzzle was very hot from all the shooting. The old man screamed the moment the muzzle was pressed to his neck. Still, he glared stubbornly at Xia Lei. There was no indication of surrendering.
Xia Lei lifted the muzzle and frowned as he said, “Is this useless? All right, then. I’ll give you something more. I advise you to think this over since you’re going to die. If death is this painful then what’s the point of life? Tell me, and I swear I will bury you three here. Otherwise, your corpses will become food for flies and rats. You don’t want to end up that way, right?”
“You are a heathen! You will go to hell!” said the old man angrily.
Tormenting and coercing him were all useless.
Was he to use more vicious methods to torture an old person close to death? Xia Lei couldn’t really bring himself to do something like that even though he was an enemy.
Xia Lei’s gaze suddenly fell on the old man. He paused, then reached his hand into the old man’s pocket.
He took everything off the old man’s body, including a wallet that contained euros; some fifties and some twenties and some smaller notes. He didn’t have a credit card or a driver’s license. He also had a lighter and MS brand cigarettes.
There wasn’t anything to prove his identity.
“Cough cough…” The old man sneered. “You won’t know who we are but I know you’ll definitely die.”
“Is that so?” Xia Lei suddenly opened the old man’s shirt, exposing the old man’s chest.
There was a black tattoo of four arrowheads that formed a cross shape on the old man’s chest.
Xia Lei had seen this picture in the maze, and it was the crest of the Knights Hospitaller.
“I know now, don’t I?” Xia Lei said flatly, “You guys are probably from the Knights Hospitaller. You know of the maze but you don’t have any way to get through the maze, right?”
The old man’s eyes flashed. He closed his mouth but his eyes had already given away his answer.
“I saw your people in the maze. Real knights from the Knights Hospitaller. I also received a letter that the group leader wrote to the Commander. Oh, that knight’s title was very long. He seemed to be called the Silver Baron of God. His name was Valleta. He shouldn’t be a nameless person in your Knights Hospitaller’s history, so do you know this person?”
“Let me… Let me see his letter.” The old man’s eyes filled with longing.
“Why do you want to see his letter?”
“He… the Silver Baron of God, Valleta is my deceased ancestor,” said the old man.
Xia Lei took the letter out from his bag but he didn’t give it to the old man. “Tell me who sent you here and I’ll let you see this letter.”
The old man was hesitant.
Xia Lei picked the lighter up. “Okay, well, I’ve already read this letter. It’s meaningless to me now, so I’ll burn it up now.”
“Wait,” said the old man, “I swear I don’t know. We only received orders from our superiors.”
“Are your superiors the top brass of the Knights Hospitaller?”
“We received an order regarding a secret letter and we are not sure of the identities of the people who passed the orders down to us.”
This was similar to a mercenary killer’s operations where a killer didn’t know who the employer was, and he only needed to know who to target. However, it was possible that the old man wasn’t even telling the truth, but Xia Lei didn’t have a way to prove if the old man was telling the truth or not. Seeing through one’s heart could have offered a basis for judging that but these methods could only be used on normal people. This old man’s heart was almost about to stop beating, so it wouldn’t provide an effective method.
“You guys met me on the other side of the mountain. Why didn’t you make a move on me then? Why did you plan on ambushing me here? Did you guys know I would come out here?” Xia Lei changed his questions. This was what he wanted to know.
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