Chapter 35: Moving Target
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The shooting competition began after ten minutes. Each team had four members and the competitors would need to shoot at stationary targets. Those who didn’t hit the bullseye would be eliminated, and the elimination would go on until the last surviving battalion was the winner.
The participants from the four battalions who took part in the first round were naturally the cream of the crop. This was because the morale of the group would be easily affected if the team were to fail in the first round. In the first round, a youngster from the 4th Battalion stepped forward to compete with the participants from the other three battalions. When he successfully shot at the bullseye, he proceeded to the next cycle. The other three participants also hit the bullseye and went on to the next cycle.
However, it was difficult to be able to hit the bullseye on every round. So, from the second round onwards, people were gradually eliminated. After one round, the 1st Battalion was left with five people, the 2nd Battalion had six people, the 3rd Battalion had eight people, and the 4th Battalion had eight people left. The 4th Battalion and the 3rd Battalion were neck and neck in the first round.
After the second round finished, the 1st Battalion had two people left, the 2nd Battalion had four people, the 3rd Battalion had seven people, and the 4th Battalion had six.
Mo Wen was amazed that Qin Xiaoyou managed to successfully complete the second round of shooting was one of the two girls left in the competition.
In the third round, the differences among battalions became more obvious. Qin Xiaoyou was eliminated due to one ring difference which left only one girl with short hair representing the 1st Battalion. The 2nd Battalion was not doing well either, they only had two people left in the competition. The 4th Battalion was also left with three people while the 3rd Battalion endured with five people.
If this were to continue without incident, then the 3rd Battalion would be the sole survivor at the end. After all, the 3rd Battalion had a sharpshooter. If he didn’t make mistakes, then the 3rd Battalion would be the winner.
The fourth round and the fifth round passed…
The girl from the 1st Battalion and the two boys did not survive and were eliminated. The 4th Battalion was only left with Mo Wen and Wang Yuan, while the 3rd Battalion remained incredibly strong with four people surviving.
In the sixth round, Mo Wen stepped forward with his semi-automatic rifle and lifted his hand and to shoot. Without even looking at the target, he returned to stand behind Wang Yuan. The youngster from the 3rd Battalion, aimed and took his shot; he hit the bullseye too. At the shooting range, only two teams were left now: two people from the 3rd Battalion and four people from the 4th Battalion. This meant that the 4th Battalion would get two turns while the 3rd Battalion would only get one.
The 3rd Battalion was naturally at a disadvantage with only two team members, and the possibility of being eliminated was large. In the distance, the other four battalions were watching the two teams with bated breath. The competition intensified and the final winner would be revealed soon.
One of company instructors of the 4th Battalion said seriously to his team, “There are four people left in the battalion now, but the remaining two members from the 3rd Battalion are very skilled and I am afraid our chance of winning is slim.”
Although the 4th Battalion had definitely won second place, it was difficult to determine if they could win first place when compared to their antagonist: the 3rd Battalion. The Chief Instructor, Zhou Zhen, didn’t say a word but pursed his lips tightly while staring at the shooting range motionlessly.
Bang! A gunshot fired as Mo Wen hit the bullseye again. It seemed almost impossible for him to miss the bullseye on a stationary target.
At this moment, Shao Jianyang ran towards the referee and said, “Sir, I request for the moving target.” According to the regulations of the battalion competition, a request for moving targets could be submitted when a shooting competition was unable to determine the winner after twenty rounds of stationary target shooting. If the change of moving targets was brought forward, then both parties in the competition must agree to it.
Undoubtedly, the difficulty level of a stationary target was incomparable to that of the moving targets. One might be able to shoot the bullseye on the stationary targets but maybe not even get to the fifth ring for the moving targets. Everyone knew that once the stationary target had been changed to a moving one, a winner would emerge very soon.
The referee looked at Mo Wen and Wang Yuan, while saying “The 3rd Battalion has requested for the moving targets. Do you have any objections?”
Wang Yuan glanced gravely at Mo Wen and whispered, “What should I do? If it’s changed to a moving target then I may not survive the next round.” Wang Yuan knew knew himself and knew it’d be near impossible for him to hit a bullseye on a moving target. A stroke of pure luck would have to occur for such a feat to happen. It’d be difficult since the 4th Battalion only had two people and they’d each have to hit a bullseye twice to defeat the 4 members from the 3rd Battalion. Wang Yuan did not have any confidence in winning once, let alone twice.
If he and Mo Wen failed at their first shot, then 3rd Battalion could eliminate them without even sending everyone left on their team.
“Why? Afraid?!”, Shao Jianyang sneered as he walked over, “Just throw in the towel and leave if you are afraid. Don’t embarrass yourself with futile struggle.”
“You…”, Wang Yuan was so flushed with anger that he went speechless momentarily.
Mo Wen raised his brows and pulled Wang Yuan back, “Alright, I agree with you.”
Shan Jianyang glanced at Mo Wen coldly. “Hey, since you would like to dig your own grave, I shall grant your wish. I will be disappointed if you can’t even survive one round.”, he said as he walked over to the shooting range of the 3rd Battalion. His hands stroked the old model Type 54 Pistol.
At this moment, the stationary target placed about one hundred meters away suddenly started to move left and right at a medium pace. However, at a distance of one hundred meters, the red bullseye of the target had blurred to a curve. It was extremely difficult for the naked eye to determine the precise position of the bullseye.
The students of the four battalions were watching the competition grew excited, and fixed their eyes closely on the shooting range. It was hard enough to hit the bullseye of a normal stationary target, but it was almost impossible for a normal student to hit a moving target in general.
The students in the 3rd and 4th Battalions were so excited that they kept cheering for their own teams.
Chief Instructor, Zhou Zhen squinted slightly as he asked Zhang Lizheng, who was standing behind him, “Zhang Lizheng, you won third prize in the last Military Regional Shooting Competition, do you think you can achieve the same with moving targets?
Zhang Lizheng smiled wryly, “That’s difficult to say. Perhaps I may not survive the first round or may be the second round.” Just hitting the moving targets was not a difficult task, but to be able to shoot the bullseye of the moving target was definitely not an easy task. Even if it hit the bullseye incidentally, it would mainly be due to luck.
Unless one was using a sniper rifle with long distance telescopic sight and equipped with distance and speed prediction, one would not be assured with a shot at the bullseye.
“How many rounds do you think Mo Wen would be able to survive?”, Zhou Zhen continued to ask blankly.
Zhang Lizheng was silent for a moment. Although he didn’t know Mo Wen very well, for some reasons he felt that Mo Wen seemed remarkable. He observed him secretly during his shooting session a few times and he constantly felt that he was not as good as Mo Wen. “Perhaps he will survive two or three rounds.”
But then Zhang Lizheng began debating their skills: “Shao Jianyang must be very confident if he requested a moving target. Moreover, his shooting stance looked very professional. His movement, reaction, and habitual motion illustrated that he had undergone rigorous training. In addition, the calluses on his hand indicated someone who constantly trained with guns. It suggested that he may come from an elite background of training. In contrast, Mo Wen’s movement was casual and relaxed when he was shooting, and there was no specific order at all. Despite this, he managed to hit the bullseye every time.”
Although Chief Instructor Zhou Zhen did work directly with everyone, he had the ability to discern what others were not able to see. No wonder he was able to be the Chief Instructor with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel at such young age.