A Mercenary's War

Chapter 16: The Importance of Mental Prowess

Translated by: Spot

Edited by: Isalee


The bullet accurately hit someone’s leg, and the man who was struck immediately dropped onto the ground. Just when he howled, “Take cover, we’ve been spotted,” Gao Yang subsequently fired a second shot and cut the man off from speaking any further.

The two shots that Gao Yang fired from hiding underneath the car alerted the flanking enemies that they weren’t safe. The remaining few people increased their speed and shot in Gao Yang’s direction. Gao Yang fired a few more shots from underneath the car but wasn’t able to hit anyone.

Since the distance was too close, the field of view in the scope was too small. On the contrary, it limited Gao Yang’s aim. In a moment of desperation, Gao Yang retreated out from beneath the car and found that the enemy was about twenty meters or so away from him. He grabbed the double barreled hunting rifle from its nook on his back and then aimed at an area that the gunfire had been coming from. Boom.

With only twenty meters in between, a few seconds would be enough to allow them to storm in. In a bind, Gao Yang’s first shot was from the upper barrel, and the bullets in this barrel contained the buckshot slug. The firepower was much larger than that of the AK-47 and M1A.

In the past, Gao Yang fired out many shotgun pellets; however, this was his first time releasing the buckshot slug. Without preparing himself when he pulled the trigger, a blast suddenly rang out. Gao Yang almost somersaulted backwards from the recoil. Nonetheless, this shot confidently struck its target: the charging enemy. In close distance, the buckshot slug could even kill an elephant. If it were to hit a human’s body, the aftermath would be quite obvious. The man who was shot in the chest by the slug disintegrated in a flash, becoming a pile of minced meat.

After Gao Yang caught his balance, he immediately moved the gun and aimed at the place that had just opened fire. One shot later, nine lead pellets whizzed out and another man died before even letting out a scream.

Gao Yang lifted the safety on the hunting rifle, removed the gun shell, and then pinched two nine pellet shells to insert into the gun. This action was second nature to him, and just when he was about to close the gun, a guy suddenly charged out from nearby.

Both sides were shrouded in the darkness. The few enemies that remained shot wildly while running. As for the two fellows beside Gao Yang, one was using a gun, the other was using the AK-47 that Gao Yang had discarded. They both were lying on the ground and shooting at the enemies.

 Both parties were shooting crazily only four to five meters apart from each other, but sadly neither side managed to get anyone.

Just when both sides were about to clash head on, Gao Yang finally finished reloading. He aimed at the already appearing enemy, fired… and missed. Gao Yang’s subsequent shot however finally killed the man in front.

After heavily taking in a few breaths, Gao Yang felt his entire body weakening. It was almost as if facing and shooting someone in point blank range was completely different from shooting at a distance. It could be said that the two were on opposite sides of the spectrum. Close-range combat put one’s psychological ability to the test.

If not for undergoing rigorous training, no matter who faced off an opponent in close range, it was highly likely for one to turn one’s head to the side while holding the gun sideways before recklessly firing away all the bullets. This was instinctive on a basic level for everyone.

If neither side had such harsh training regimens, then whoever lived another day really relied on luck. That is, if someone had stringent training. For example, special ops members can overcome extreme terror and primal instincts. Granted, even if they were face-to-face in a gunfight, they could still drill holes into the person’s body without blinking. However, the overwhelming majority of regular folks would not put in the time to train in combat needlessly, because it wasn’t a necessity.

Gao Yang never received any training nor was he a special ops member; he definitely was not a regular soldier but he had played with BB guns in real life Counter-Strike. Though BB guns could only reach about twenty to thirty meters, trying to extend that distance was just impossible — only close range combat would be suitable. Therefore, Gao Yang endured innumerable BB shots in these games. After his body was covered in bruises, he was finally able to grasp the concept of firing without closing his eyes and not turning away his head when shooting.

Casual playing with guns didn’t count, but going all out in real world Counter-Strike and growing beside soldiers with military exercises were about the same. Even though being struck within the game only hurt for a brief moment, what Gao Yang was currently experiencing was real live ammunition. Getting hit by one of those was essentially death itself. On the battlefield, it didn’t matter how you mastered to control your mental qualities — even if Gao Yang’s mental capabilities were cultivated from a game, it ultimately was he who would still survive. 

Although he’d definitely be scared pantless after each event, Gao Yang was the one who survived in the end. In close combat fights, shotguns were superior to all others function-wise, and Gao Yang gained the upper hand with his weaponry.

After calming down a bit in such a tense situation, Gao Yang reloaded his hunting gun once more and placed it beside the car where it was easily accessible. Then from underneath the car, he retrieved his M1A and used the scope to survey his surroundings.

This time, nobody approached. There was also no heat signifying that people were near the car; they were only out in the distance. From time to time, somebody’s head kept popping out before ducking immediately.

Gao Yang let out a sigh of relief. He noticed that his hands were slightly trembling — same with his legs. He also experienced some vertigo here and there. Gao Yang knew this was the aftereffect of a great amount of adrenaline secretion. In addition, his body was already at its limit.

After taking a look and realizing that there was no danger for now, Gao Yang somewhat loosened a bit and said to the two people behind him, “Is everyone good? Are there food and drinks here?”

One person’s voice rung out: “Dad, are you alright?”

“I’m fine. Bob, what’s wrong? Are you hurt?!”

“I was hit in the arm, but it’s nothing serious. Just a minor scrape. It stings a lot though. Oh, I have chocolate in my bag, and there’s water in the backseat. Also some food there as well.”

Gao Yang would never have thought the two people behind him were father and son. But right now, he didn’t have the desire to know about their situation. His only thought was to drink some water as soon as possible.

“The enemies aren’t posing any threats at the moment, so please help me get some water. I can’t hold out much longer.”

Bob’s dad fumbled around and took out a few bottles of water from behind the car. After twisting off the lid, he passed Gao Yang a bottle. Gao Yang sat down, and with one gulp, drank the entire bottle. While he felt remarkably refreshed, Bob’s dad didn’t utter a single word and only passed one bottle after another to Gao Yang.

Gao Yang’s eye never left the scope as he used one hand to stuff chocolate into his mouth. After satiating his hunger and thirst, he was pumped once more. Now, he needed to think of a method to trouble the other sniper.

Based on his aptitude from the earlier skirmish, Gao Yang calibrated the scope. Once he finished calibrating, Gao Yang, who was brimming with energy now, felt much happier. Smiling, he said, “This gun is pretty good, it’s also very surprising that you guys had a night vision scope.”

Hearing that Gao Yang was praising his gun, the constantly groaning Bob became spirited and replied with a pleased voice: “Of course, I had this gun custom-ordered. Even though it’s in the M14 gun family, its accuracy doesn’t fall off compared to the M25 or DMR*.

*TL Note: DMR - Designated Marksman Rifle - usually a rifle with a scope for military marksmen.

Gao Yang gave a huge grin: “This is the civilian type M1A, could it be that this gun can rival an army sniping gun? If I recall correctly, the DMR is the marine corps’ newest addition.”

Bob smiled a bit and said, “Did you not hear what I said? The weapons in a soldier’s hands are all from a supplier with the lowest prices. Airplane and tank based weapons don’t count, but so long as the law permits it, then absolutely, the best lightweight weapons are the civilian ones.

Gao Yang thought for a bit and soon felt like that was true. In fact, in terms of ordinary army uniforms, knives, guns, and related items, the first rate items were indeed civilian products. The big armies in the USA all abandoned factory-made items: they procured weapons, boots and the like. As long as they could fish out a huge sum of money, they could have it. In addition, the military even permitted this practice.

Even though there was such a thing, Gao Yang was still a bit hesitant. It couldn’t be helped since he was a military enthusiast; army goods represented the ideology of things that were durable yet sharp. This was already engraved in his heart, and thus Gao Yang retorted, “Military grade goods are still military grade goods, it must be better than the majority of designated civilian goods.”

“Depends on what aspect you’re talking about. For example, under American law, civilians are not permitted to carry fully automatic weapons; they can only use semi-automatic. Just from this point, you could argue that the military weapons are better. Furthermore, military weapons are held to a higher standard, whereas the quality of civilian products are dictated by its price. That said, a civilian product can most definitely be made better than a military grade weapon, simply because the miltiary wouldn’t spend so much money to buy large quantities of the world’s best gun. At the very least, they wouldn’t be able to afford it. Not to mention the fact that there simply isn’t enough of those weapons to arm the American military. Besides, the people who make these decisions aren’t the ones who fight on the battlefield.” 

“Oh, so what you’re saying is, your gun should be one of the best ones out there?”

Bob arrogantly replied, “Of course, the military M14 series sniper rifle’s best precision is only 1 MOA*. But with my gun, if you’re manually inserting medium-sized mullets, it can hit a precision of 0.2 MOA. With handpicked bullets, it can reach 0.42 MOA. Let’s just say a normal NATO bullet hits at 1 MOA. This data is from measuring more than six hundred bullets, so it’s incredibly accurate. You can say my gun is at the apex of semiautomatic rifles. So much so that it can compare with any rifle. Tell me, are there any military semi-automatic sniper rifles that can achieve such precision? Furthermore, I reload it with my hand; it can hit a basketball from one thousand yards away.”

*TL Note: MOA - Minute of Angle. Angular measurement for scopes.

Gao Yang was truly scared witless. If what Bob said about its precision was true, then there were no military sniper rifles of the same caliber, at least in the semi-automatic rifle category. There was nothing like it.

“Woah, that really is astonishing. How did you do it? It must be extremely expensive?”

Bob proudly replied, “Obviously it’s expensive, my gun was made at the Aryan*Morrison workshop, America’s finest workshop. The gun barrel is made from the highest quality of stainless steel for large caliber gun barrels. A new set of steel only makes five barrels, and of the five, it’s the one with the least tolerance and highest precision. Not only is my gun highly precise, its gun barrel life expectancy is ten thousand shots. In addition, all of the components were hand-polished. Finally, it was meticulously picked out, making the tolerance extremely small. This type of gun is very expensive, super-duper expensive: I spent 74,000 bucks. This price doesn’t even include any of the accessories or the scope.”