Chapter 23: Sudden Change
Translator: Dess Editor: Efydatia
Hank’s experience on the battlefield had saved his life.
The shot had come from another part of the ruins not far from him.
“He is there!”
Although they did not know how Kieran, who was supposed to be dying in his hiding spot, could have materialized in a different spot and be firing at them, they did know what to do about it.
The three of them pointed their guns at that spot and fired.
The soldiers robbed Kieran of a chance to fire a second time.
He rolled quickly to the side and entered another part of the ruins.
The sunlight shined down on the ruins, forming rays of light that cut through the shade behind the wall. It created a monochromatic scene; wherever the sun shined, it was warm and bright; under the shade though, it was dark and cold.
Kieran shrank into the cool shade while he tried to avoid the fire from the soldiers. He frowned.
After a careful inspection of his enemies, he had identified the squad leader. He had never thought that he would miss a shot at him.
[Shooting: Missed, Target Evaded, Inflicted 0 Damage to Target HP...]
“So this is what being an elite really means, huh?” Kieran said in a soft voice while a part of him shivered.
It was the first time he had encountered an enemy that could predict his actions.
Although Kieran could not confirm that the squad leader could predict his every single action, one time out of ten was already impressive enough.
He proceeded to make another move.
He might have been scared, but he had to focus on his goal.
Plus, he did not believe that all the soldiers possessed the kind of instinct that their squad leader did.
Kieran entered the [Undercover] mode again and walked into the shadows.
After a few rounds around the area, his shirt had become his best camouflage equipment, and the [Undercover] mode made him even harder to spot.
He pulled out his makeshift sniper rifle again.
This time though, he did not go for the squad leader, but aimed for the three soldiers instead.
They were already on the alert for Kieran shooting. They had hidden themselves among the ruins and taken cover while they hoped to pinpoint him with their eyes.
However, the sunlight was too strong and they could hardly see anything.
It was a natural sniping ground for Kieran. Even an idiot could tell that.
“Sir!” Hendrall turned to his leader.
Hank knew what he was about to say. That they should either bring out the big guns or retreat.
The explosives were out of the question though. Hank knew that perfectly well.
As for retreating?
He did not want Zarukhar to be disappointed in him.
If he let Zarukhar down, then the Major’s opinion of him would change drastically, and Hank could even be deserted by the Major, let alone bringing him away from the warzone.
He did not want that to happen.
While Hank was fighting his own thoughts with all his might, another shot was fired.
Hendrall, who had just voiced out had his head was blown off.
Hot red blood and brain matter splattered on Hank’s face. The remaining two men looked like sitting ducks. He came back to his senses and cleared his mind.
Why had he followed Zarukhar in the first place?
Was it to survive?
And now what?
They were all sitting ducks inside Kieran’s trap. They would be dead even before the goddamn war ended.
It had been a trap all along. An evil trap.
Having watched Kieran’s shooting technique, Hank already had a general idea of who he was.
His gun skills might be better than a rookie’s, but he was still far from a true sniper elite. If Kieran had been an actual elite, Hank would have bitten the dust long ago.
As for his undercover skills, they might be worth praising, but they were still pretty basic compared to a real recon soldier’s.
If it was not for his terrain advantage, Hank could have easily killed Kieran before he could have even taken a shot at them.
It had all been a set-up.
A setup to deceive Zarukhar and send them out to die.
Rage filled his heart. He wished he could tear Kieran apart with his hands, wished he could skin him alive and break every single one of his limbs. But he knew what his priority had to be now.
He had to leave the battlefield.
“Machine gunner, cover us!” Hank yelled into the walkie talkie.
“Yes... Yes, sir!” the man’s cowardly voice reached Hank’s ears from the other side of the walkie talkie.
It made Hank even more repulsed.
As soon as the machine gunner received his order, he was on his way there. Hank could already see him approaching.
The machine gunner had to move strategically to avoid the fire, given that he was still carrying a light machine gun and a box of ammunition.
He was quite fast, even compared to the rest of Hank’s troops.
Hank saw him and kind of understood why he had been allowed on his squad.
“Retreat!” Hank signaled his other two men.
The two of them covered each other and backed off.
Hank was right behind them.
He knew Kieran would not miss this chance.
It was his last one after all.
Hank reached for the grenade on his waist.
“COME ON!” he thought to himself as he clenched his teeth.
He wanted to show Kieran his wrath.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Several rapid shots sounded out and Hank fell to the ground, feeling pain all over his body. He watched his other two men fall into a puddle of blood and saw a smile on the machine gunner’s face as he ran towards them.
It was the smile of a cat who had just caught a mouse.
“What the hell?” Hank looked at the machine gunner with an incredulous expression.
The machine gunner replied with a series of shots.
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
As the sound of the shots subsided, Hank’s body was torn apart by the bullet rain.
Kieran was stunned as he witness the scene.
He automatically aimed his makeshift rifle at the machine gunner, but by the time he did, the man was nowhere to be found.
Kieran had a bad feeling about this.
Without any delay, he quickly left that hiding spot and headed towards the next one.
Kieran did not get why the machine gunner would fire at his own men, but he knew it was not just the soldiers that had been deceived. He had been as well.
When Kieran had taken out the original machine gunner, the aide’s cowardly look and pretend helplessness had fooled him.
He had thought that the aide was harmless and had turned his attention to the rest of the soldiers.
Who would have thought that he would prove to be the most dangerous one, even stronger than the squad leader he had fired at.
“Was this the Major’s plan all along?”
While he remained in [Undercover] mode, he thought about the whole situation.
He could not reach a conclusion though, so he cleared his thoughts. There were too many inexplicable things to consider.
Although Kieran had spoken to the Major before, he had only been able to sense that the man was greedy. He had not gotten any crazy lunatic vibes from him.
The man had no reason to act in such a way.
“What the hell is going on?”
Kieran’s heart was filled with uncertainty, but it did not slow him down in the slightest.
Ten seconds later, he had reached his new hiding spot and let out a long breath of relief.
Although he could not see what was going on, he was certain that the missing machine gunner was already at his previous hiding spot.
After the man had fired, Kieran had had a hunch that he would chase him.
It was just as Kieran had expected.
After he let out a long breath, a voice came from his previous hiding spot.
“Hello, sir! I think we should have a nice talk!”
It sounded genuine and serious, but Kieran did not reply.
He started moving again towards his next safe spot.
He was really cautious of the man. After all, he had just killed three of his comrades with a machine gun.
When Kieran had moved about ten meters from his spot, he heard the sound of footsteps.
Their hastened sound meant that the guy was rushing to catch up with him.
Who else was in the area other than Kieran and the traitor?
Kieran had given the guy a new nickname worthy of his actions.
The traitor had a set of strong tracking skills.
After realizing it may be him, Kieran quickly turned his makeshift sniper rifle back to the assault rifle that it used to be and aimed at the source of the steps. As soon as the man’s figure appeared, he would pull the trigger.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
The muzzle flash and smoke from the barrel of his gun lighted up the place.
But he had hit nothing.
Kieran didn’t need to check the battlelog to know that he had shot an empty coat.
He realized he had been baited and quickly turned around.
There was a long, narrow passage behind him, formed by the fallen pieces of concrete and the wooden beams. The passage had a good view on the other side of his hiding spot. Its entrance was where Kieran had fired his gun from.
When Kieran turned around, he did not see anyone behind him.
He realized why the traitor had thrown off his coat. He had not meant to ambush Kieran from behind, but make him turn around instead.
The man was hiding behind the coat, not making a move. He was just waiting for Kieran to turn and face him.
When Kieran turned around, it was already too late.
“Good day, sir!” a familiar voice sounded out.
Kieran felt like he was falling into an icy abyss.
The coldness striked him from head to toe.