Chapter 69: Crossfire
In the depths of the night, Long Yuehong—who took the team’s left flank—became more and more apprehensive as he advanced.
In fact, he was not this afraid when he left Unit 605 because he had yet to encounter any dangerous enemies or monsters. The Heartless that occasionally appeared were easily dispatched by the team before they could do a thing.
This made Long Yuehong think that he could do the same if he wanted to. In fact, with two pistols and an assault rifle and having undergone genetic enhancement, he could easily finish off two to three Heartless—even if they were armed—as long as he overcame his nervousness.
Of course, carelessness and negligence could result in an adult being killed in crossfire by a child during a shootout.
Long Yuehong believed that he wasn’t certain to emerge victorious in a one-on-one battle if a Heartless attacked him. However, the enemy would not put too much pressure on him if they were a child.
Long Yuehong began to feel nervous and anxious when he saw Wu Shoushi—who he had once conversed with—die bizarrely in his dream and realized that they couldn’t even find the ‘murderer.’
Jiang Baimian had previously told him that psychological trauma in war did not come from killing the enemy opposite him with one’s own hands. Instead, it came from the tragic deaths of the people he knew and comrades he had spent time with.
Not only did this bring intense grief and pain, but it also made everyone involuntarily wonder if they would be next. This uncontrollable sense of anxiety led one to have nightmares all the time, causing them to be irritable, anxious, and unable to focus.
At that moment, Long Yuehong felt that he had some of those symptoms. Similarly, the unknowns regarding the murderer’s situation clearly intensified his fear.
In the quiet city ruins, the only sound that reached Long Yuehong’s ears was the five of them running forward. Apart from that, there was no other sound. In the darkness’s depths, the buildings on both sides silently seemed to form a net set up by hunters.
At that moment, Long Yuehong heard his team leader’s anxious and loud voice. “Incoming!”
As Long Yuehong had experienced many dangerous situations during this field training, he trusted Jiang Baimian quite a bit. He didn’t hesitate when he heard her and reflexively pounced at an ash-red abandoned car by the side of the road.
Almost at the same time, Jiang Baimian jumped up and did a spin in midair, raising her right arm that was holding the United 202 pistol.
On the third floor of a building by the street’s left side, a glass window shattered. The figure by the window swayed and collapsed.
Under the weak moonlight and starlight, the figure had abnormally long teeth and turbid eyes. It was obvious that this figure was not a normal human.
Immediately after that, there was a crashing sound. On the building’s different floors, glass panes shattered one after another as figures appeared.
The moonlight scattered down as the clouds moved, illuminating everything.
The figures had disheveled hair. Their faces were thin, and their hair was thick and long. Their clothes were not too tattered, but the clothes were casually draped over the figures as if they were used only to resist the cold.
All of them had hunched bodies. Some had bloodshot eyes, and some held kitchen knives that shimmered with a cold light. Others held revolvers commonly known as Pythons, and some were completely black in color as if they had melted into the darkness. This made them difficult to discover.
These figures were Heartless!
One figure was tall but had a slight stoop. His beard was thick and stiff. He held a shotgun and quickly cocked the gun before pulling the trigger and firing at Jiang Baimian.
Bullets rained down, engulfing the area where the target was.
But Jiang Baimian had already landed. She rolled and hid behind the front of an abandoned sedan car.
On the other side, Qiao Chu—who was wearing the exoskeleton—jumped up. He held the silver rifle in one hand and pulled the trigger with the precision aiming system’s help, firing a round that seemed to be wrapped in a silver-white electric arc.
He was actually carrying a Gauss rifle.
A blood-colored hole immediately appeared in the Heartless’s forehead. His eyes suddenly glazed over as he fell backward.
At the same time, Qiao Chu raised his metal arm—which was equipped with a grenade launcher. He aimed at the broken window that revealed the most figures and pulled the trigger.
On the street’s left side, a figure tore out from the second-floor window and jumped down—landing behind Shang Jianyao—before he could stand up from pouncing to the side of the road after hearing Jiang Baimian’s warning.
This figure also had a slight stoop. He wore an old and greasy blue work suit that didn’t fit him well. In his hand was a large wrench that shimmered silver-white. As soon as he landed, the figure was about to swing his right arm and smash the wrench on Shang Jianyao’s head.
Shang Jianyao—who had his back facing the figure—seemed not to notice.
The figure’s right arm suddenly froze, unable to be swung out no matter what. As a Heartless who behaved on instinct, he seemed to lack such instincts.
Shang Jianyao did not turn around. He only flipped the assault rifle’s muzzle around and fired backward, using his shoulder as support.
The skull of the Heartless behind him was blown open as blood and brain matter splattered.
At this moment, Long Yuehong—who was not far away—also realized that a Heartless had jumped down from above.
His mind went a little blank. He followed his instincts and aimed his Berserker assault rifle at the attacker.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
He fired crazily, almost emptying the entire magazine. He fully showcased why the assault rifle in his hand was nicknamed Berserker.
The Heartless was unable to change directions in midair. His body was peppered with holes until it resembled a sieve as blood spewed everywhere.
Long Yuehong snapped back to reality when he heard the trigger’s empty click and quickly reloaded.
At this moment, Long Yuehong saw another Heartless jump down from his left without him realizing it. It was a Heartless holding a Python revolver.
The Heartless was seven to eight meters away from Shang Jianyao—who was on the same side of the street—and less than two meters away from Long Yuehong.
Long Yuehong’s pupils dilated. He instinctively tried to dodge, but it seemed to be too late.
The Heartless had already aimed at him; all he needed to do was pull the trigger to take down Long Yuehong. But the Heartless couldn’t squeeze the trigger, no matter how hard he tried. It was as if such an action was missing from his genes.
The Heartless’s head was hit and exploded like fireworks. Red and white matter splattered everywhere; some even landed on Long Yuehong’s face and body.
Long Yuehong subconsciously looked over and saw Shang Jianyao waving at him with a smile. He also saw Bai Chen—on the opposite side of the road—moving her rifle’s muzzle away from him.
Before he could breathe, he heard a loud boom.
The grenade fired by Qiao Chu landed in the corresponding room and produced a scarlet fireball.
The glass windows around them shattered.
The Heartless—who had yet to launch an attack—seemed to be shocked. At the same time, they moved away from the windows lining the street, retreated deep into the room, and disappeared into the thick darkness.
Upon seeing this, Jiang Baimian ran out of her hiding spot and shouted, “Leave this place immediately!”
There were too many electric signals here, so she had no way of determining how many Heartless and monsters were hidden here. Furthermore, there were more obstacles here that could interfere with her senses than in the wilderness. This resulted in her losing her perception of the enemies once the Heartless left the rooms beside the road.
Shang Jianyao, Long Yuehong, and Bai Chen had full trust in their team leader. They immediately rushed out and ran to the end of the street.
Qiao Chu’s actions of turning around and running had long indicated his thoughts.
They didn’t slow down until they ran out of the current street and reached the intersection ahead. Only then did they feel like they had escaped the encirclement.
Long Yuehong seized the opportunity to swap the Berserker assault rifle’s magazine and filled the empty one with rounds.
Jiang Baimian looked back at the street and frowned. “There are way too many Heartless here, right?”
Shang Jianyao and the others looked over and felt that figures were moving in the darkness, seemingly dragging the corpses across the street.
“They’re all generationally-advanced Heartless. They don’t look like Ruin Hunters or wilderness nomads who recently entered and ended up being infected with the Heartless disease.” Bai Chen gave her judgment.
Generationally-advanced Heartless were more capable of using weapons. Their eyes were only turbid, and they did not have irrational craziness. At the same time, they would take the initiative to change their equipment and add more clothes. They did not wear tattered clothes, with the possibility of wearing a mixture of clothes.
“We’re almost at our destination.” Qiao Chu looked ahead and urged Jiang Baimian and the others.
The Old Task Force ended the discussion and followed Qiao Chu—who was wearing the exoskeleton—into the night.
After they jogged for 100 meters, two people suddenly appeared in the alley beside them.
One was a woman in her twenties. She had black hair and brown eyes, and she wore an army-green camouflage uniform. Her facial features were not bad, but she gave off an icy-cold feeling.
The other was a man in his thirties, also with black hair and brown eyes. He wore a plush hat—which had a hole in it—and held an automatic rifle.
Jiang Baimian and Qiao Chu—who was wearing the exoskeleton—were the first to react. The latter was just about to respond when Jiang Baimian put her body in between them and shouted, “Ruxiang?”
She had already recognized the woman as Wu Shoushi’s teammate. Her name was Ruxiang.
Upon hearing this, An Ruxiang realized that there was a team not far away. She was vigilant at first and wanted to find cover, but her eyes quickly softened as she involuntarily looked at Qiao Chu.
The man beside her was the same. It was as if he had met someone he had admired for a long time.
The two of them quickly walked over to Qiao Chu’s side.
Qiao Chu’s face—which was covered by a helmet—had no expression, but he ultimately ignored them.
An Ruxiang then looked at Jiang Baimian. “You guys?”
Jiang Baimian’s team was the only team they had recently encountered with an exoskeleton, so it left a deep impression on them.
Jiang Baimian glanced at Shang Jianyao and turned around. “It’s us. I didn’t expect to encounter you so quickly.”
She paused, and her expression turned serious. “We just encountered Wu Shoushi.”
Upon hearing the name ‘Wu Shoushi,’ An Ruxiang was first stunned before her face twisted.
This name seemed to be an invisible arrow that struck a certain spot in her heart, agitating her until she woke up from her sweet dreams.
She struggled for a while before anxiously asking, “W-where is he?”