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“It’s also a battlefield there.” The old man scoffed. “None of your people can survive.”
“How many people do you have on the other side of the mountain?”
“Six.” The old man didn’t keep it from him.
Xia Lei let out a breath of relief. ‘So there are only six. I don’t need to worry then,’ he thought to himself.
Although he wasn’t sure of the power of the Knights Hospitaller, they were no match for the Zodiac Team if there were only six killers.
The old man raised a trembling hand. “Give… the letter to me.”
“You didn’t answer my question yet,” said Xia Lei. “Why did you set an ambush here? What do you guys want from me?”
“The Alloy of God.” The old man moved his gaze to Xia Lei’s backpack. There was an excited glint in his eyes. “You got it, right?”
Xia Lei shook his head. “I didn’t obtain any Alloy of God. I am an atheist. I don’t believe that there are any gods or ghosts in the world.”
“People without beliefs are the most pitiful ones. You won’t be saved.” The old man didn’t seem to believe Xia Lei’s words. He stared at Xia Lei’s backpack, but he didn’t have X-Ray vision eyes like him, or he would’ve seen the piece of alloy lying in his backpack.
“Why do you guys want it? Is it very important? Does it have any significance?”
“I don’t know.”
Xia Lei stared coldly at the old man.
“I don’t know. Even if you kill me, I don’t know.” The old man wasn’t afraid.
“Okay. Tell me why you guys were setting up an ambush here then,” said Xia Lei.
The old man sighed. “We’re just responsible for cutting off your way out.”
Xia Lei understood. There were six people on the other side of the mountain but only three here. The Knights Hospitaller didn’t know the way out of the maze, or they would’ve entered already. Although they didn’t know the exact exit, they had some understanding of the maze. That was why they had set an ambush here.
“Besides you nine, who else is there?” Xia Lei continued asking.
“No one else. Cough, cough, cough…” The old man coughed violently and his breathing became short, but he tried his best to lift his hand. “G, give me the letter.”
“I am a man of my word.” Xia Lei placed the letter in the old man’s hands.
The old man smiled a faint smile and he tried to open the letter. However, his hand fell just after he opened it. Then, he opened his mouth wide, trying to breathe but there was only air coming out and none going in.
“Uh, sorry. I held you up for too long,” said Xia Lei apologetically.
There was a gurgle from the throat of the old man, and he breathed no more.
Reading the letter left by his ancestor was the old man’s final wish, but Xia Lei was not responsible for satisfying his wish.
Ring ring ring, ring ring ring…
His phone rang when he walked out of the church doors.
Xia Lei answered his phone. “It’s me. Are you guys okay?”
“You know what happened already?” There was surprise in Yelena’s voice.
“I just finished my battle here,” said Xia Lei.
Yelena was quiet for a moment. “We also had a battle. Alessio was injured but it’s not fatal,” said Yelena.
“It’s good that he’s ok.” Xia Lei sighed in relief. He then suddenly thought of something. “How many people did you guys get rid of?”
“Five,” said Yelena.
Xia Lei wrinkled his eyebrows. “I got rid of three and left one alive. He said that there are six people over on your side.”
“It’s not possible! If there was, he must’ve not participated in the battle then. He wouldn’t have managed to escape otherwise,” said Yelena.
The possibility was there. All the members of the Zodiac Team had been provided with XL2500 sniper rifle and gust assault rifles. They had ample firepower and great firing range. How was it possible that the Zodiac Team had let an enemy escape with their strength? That was almost impossible. If a situation like this occurred, it might be what Yelena had suggested — that person had not participated in the battle from the beginning and kept himself hidden.
Xia Lei was struck by a thought. ‘Could the person who’d escaped been an important figure in the Knights Hospitaller?’
“Boss? Where are you?” It was Yelena.
“I’m on the other side of the mountain. You guys don’t need to worry about me. Leave immediately and head for the safe place. I will meet up with you guys soon,” said Xia Lei.
“Roger. Be careful.” Yelena hung up.
Xia Lei returned to the church and picked up the sniper rifle once he ended the call with Yelena.
One of the enemy had escaped and there was no guarantee that he would not go through the valley. He won’t have to worry with a sniper rifle gun in his hands.
Xia Lei walked out of the church again, and looked back. The three elderly people’s corpses lay quietly on the ground. The blood flowed silently out from their bodies, dyeing the dusty ground red. The Jesus on the cross looked at him with pity in his eyes.
Xia Lei hesitated before he drew a cross in front of his chest just like what a Christian would do. “Sorry. Please forgive me. My hand was forced,” he said.
If Jesus could move, he might’ve flown down from the cross and kicked this young man in the face.
He left the church and followed a muddy road which led to the entrance of the valley. The road was filled with grooves left by what looked like carriage wheels, and several other tracks. The fields on both sides of the road were originally arable land, but it became land for weeds after it was abandoned. All sorts of wild grasses grew in the mud and it looked like a wheat field in the spring.
‘Why was such a good place like this abandoned?’ Xia Lei thought it was strange.
He followed the muddy road towards the entrance of the valley. He went slowly, and while walking, he used his left eye to observe things in the distance, about 4,000 metres or so. His left eye was like a spy satellite — nothing could escape his observation.
The way there was peaceful and there wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.
Half an hour later, Xia Lei approached the entrance of the valley.
The entrance of the valley was like the opening of a bottle. Dense forest gew on both sides of the hillside. Even with his left eye, Xia Lei was unable to see through all the trees.
A flock of birds suddenly flew out from the left side of the forest.
He didn’t see any targets but Xia Lei grew tense. He dropped down into the underbrush in the next second.
The wild grasses concealed his body but blocked his line of sight at the same time. He was vulnerable, but he didn’t have a choice. He was in a low position where the opponent could easily see him, yet it was difficult for him to see the other party. If the enemy had a sniper rifle, it was very dangerous to be exposed to the enemy’s field of vision.
The flock of frightened birds flew far away in the blink of an eye. The forest was back to its normal state. There were no movements for the next few minutes.
‘Could it just be a flock of birds flying? Am I just too nervous?’ Xia Lei thought.
Although those were his thoughts, Xia Lei didn’t dare to get to his feet. Everyone could make mistakes like this but just one mistake could cost him his life right then.
Xia Lei slowly crawled forward a few minutes later.
There was still no movement from the forest.
But just then, a flock of birds flew from the left side of the forest. The chirping of the birds echoed in the valley.
Xia Lei adjusted his position to face the left side of the forest. He carefully tilted his head up from the underbrush but didn’t look up high. Instead, he used his X-ray vision to ‘filter’ the underbrush that concealed his field of vision.
A few minutes later, a tall, golden-haired old man ran out from the forest. He looked haggard and was running towards the wastelands, looking back as he ran, afraid that someone would catch him. He had a sniper rifle in his hands.
Xia Lei’s left eye focused on the sniper rifle, and the information of this rifle appeared in his head. It was a L11583 sniper rifle, and was also called the ‘super sniper rifle’. England’s Accuracy International had produced this new sniper rifle. Its firing range reached about 1600 metres and was an effective weapon for hitting targets in cities and in forests. It could easily penetrate tree trunks and walls, and can kill targets hidden behind objects. Due to its great attributes, it had become England’s Special Forces soldiers’ first choice of sniper rifles.
Yet, it didn’t amount to anything much in front of the XL2500 sniper rifle.
Xia Lei confirmed the old man’s identity the moment he came into his field of vision. This old man was the one who had not participated in the battle and had run away by himself.
‘He’s carrying the sniper rifle but not participating in the battle. Why?’ Xia Lei was full of guesses. ‘Could he be a coward? This isn’t so probable, since he is part of the Knights Hospitaller. Don’t they value the honour of a knight? But if he isn’t a coward, why would he leave his companions and escape by himself?’
No matter the reason, Xia Lei quietly grabbed his M82A1 sniper rifle and slowly came out of hiding. He ignored the M82A1 sniper rifle’s scope and used his left eye to lock on to the target.
The tall, golden-haired old man was getting closer and closer.
‘1200 metres.’ Xia Lei’s brain gave him a number. If he had the XL2500 sniper rifle, he would’ve already shot at this distance. Yet, the M82A1 sniper rifle’s effective firing range was only about 1000 meters or so. Once he took his shot, he would need to depend on luck for it to hit the target. That was why, although the rifle was locked on to the target, he chose to hide, waiting for his target to come closer.
The old man ran another 100 metres before stopping. He leaned the butt of the sniper rifle on the ground and panted heavily. He looked behind himself again, anxiously.
The corners of Xia Lei’s lips curled up. ‘Damn, would it kill you to run another 100 metres?’ His finger was on the trigger, silently waiting for the old man to approach him.
The old man rested for a bit and picked up the sniper rifle. He walked on. As he walked, he took out his phone and called someone.
Xia Lei was struck by a thought. His finger left the trigger and his left eye focused on the old man’s lips.
“I’m in the valley. Come and pick me up immediately!” The old man talked quickly. “The holy item is probably in their hands. We can’t let them escape from here. We need to find them even if we raze Bobbio to the ground!”
Could he be an important figure in the Knights Hospitaller?
Or maybe a team leader?
Xia Lei’s finger moved to the trigger again…
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