A Mercenary's War

Chapter 97

Chapter 97: Love Rivals

Translated by: kevin1782

Edited by: Isalee

Grolev's wife's culinary skills were in fact really superb. Unique Russian dishes like Khleb[1] and red vegetable soup however didn’t taste like much in Gao Yang's mouth. Especially when Elena gave him pieces of khleb non-stop by personally plucking them with her hands. And also the soup he finally finished — she refilled it again. That made him feel even worse.

Tribo and Jin looked no better. Only Grolev and his family were joyous. Bona fide. Finally, Gao Yang hinted to Jin Fang and Tribo with a glance. The three left the dinner table together. They weren’t in the mood to care about politeness at this moment. However, the excuses they gave were very decent: they didn’t want to delay or hinder Grolev and his family’s hard-earned reunion.

The house Gao Yang found for Natalia and her daughter was pretty capacious. It had six bedrooms. Gao Yang and everyone else had their own bedrooms. They had also been prepared in advance.

After finding one of the three rooms, they went inside. Gao Yang was teary-faced and full of anguish as he sat on the bed. He then curled up his legs and buried his head into both his arms, totally not moving at all.

Tribo knew Gao Yang for many years but he never saw Gao Yang in such a downcast. He worriedly asked, “Bro Yang, what happened? For that lady? There’s no need for this, right? It ain’t you who’s seducing her, she’s the one seducing you, man.”

Gao Yang was bitter and despondent. “Nope, this has nothing to do with Elena. Nope, actually a little too. But mainly Kathleen. Do you remember? I told y’all about this person before.”

Tribo and Jin both nodded. Gao Yang finally raised his head, looking rejected and dejected. He grimaced, “Men can’t just blurt out whatever they like, or else they’ll get retribution, man. I told Elena that you guys were a gay couple, a really gay couple. In the end, then… karma came back at me. Heavens, have mercy on me!”

Tribo and Jin’s faces changed immediately. Tribo was irate and his killing intent was intense. “Bro Yang, give me an explanation, man. Why call us gay? Not to mention, ‘real gay couples’!”

Jin also grinned coldly. He cracked his fist in succession and said cruelly, “Bro Yang, better start explaining in detail.”

Gao Yang weakly waved his arms and said, “No time to dilly-dally with the both of you. Can’t you see I’m still in pain, man? Haah, the both of you insisted on bathing together. Who is to blame, man?”

Jin’s face noticeably changed colors and then he strangled Tribo’s neck. He was both anguished and furious. “I asked you to get out, f*ck, you stupid godd*mned Hare. And you insisted on bathing together with me.”

Gao Yang once again waved weakly. “Talk about the important stuff, stop squabbling. Hah, it’s just good that y’all remember Kathleen. Elena is a woman to be reckoned with, but I can’t really say anything. So I thought of using indirect, guerrilla techniques to tell her that I have a girlfriend so that she’d stop having thoughts for me. Then, I felt that Kathleen is actually pretty good, right?”

Gao Yang successfully changed the topic and finally Jin let Tribo go. Then Jin and Tribo nodded together to urge him on.

He sighed, “When y’all were bathing, I contacted Kathleen and told her that I was in South Africa. She then said that she wanted to come to South Africa for a tour in about two months’ time. I then happily asked her to notify me before coming. But then I thought, what if she already had a boyfriend? So I checked it out.”

Tribo’s face was full of anticipation. “Then? She told you she’s a guy?”

Gao Yang raged, “Scram, you little piece of sh*t hare! You’re really a godd*mned hare, hear me out! I asked Kathleen, ‘Do you have a boyfriend?’, and then she asked what was up. I said, ‘If you have one, you can come together and have fun.’ Then, then...”

Gao Yang couldn’t continue. He hammered the bed in anger until the bed plank was making clanging noises all over.

Jin curiously said, “She wants to bring her boyfriend here? What’s there to be afraid of? Let her come, can’t you just receive and host her? Also, don’t you have Elena as the spare? Why get so emotional?”

Gao Yang furiously and depressingly replied, “If it were like you said, that’d be awesome. Kathleen told me that she doesn’t have a boyfriend, but she’s got a girlfriend, man! She asked if she could bring her girlfriend here too, man! She’s a lesbian! Ah!”

Tribo’s face glittered instantly. But Jin was totally dumbfounded. “What’s a lesbian?”

Tribo impatiently said, “Gay, it’s just that both are females. Bro Yang, continue man. More details. What’s she implying?”

Gao Yang helplessly said, “When I asked Kathleen if she had a boyfriend, she asked if I wanted to woo her. My only thought was, I’m a man, if she already dared to bring it up, I should of course say it too. Then she said she didn’t know her sexual interest. I Ci-Ao, she actually said she doesn’t know which side she ticks to. What the hell is this? What the hell is this!”

Tribo was still impatient. “Say the important point. Americans very open-minded. Maybe she’s a double-sided plug? Nevermind, continue please.”

“Alright, the important thing was, Kathleen said she never dated a guy before until college. She met a foreign student from the U.K.. A female student, and that b*tch somehow hadn’t dated any guys before either. Those two somehow shared the same interests with that! I Ci-Ao, is this normal in America? This is totally abnormal!”

“Main point!”

“Main point is, that U.K. b*tch somehow became ‘enlightened’ when she saw Kathleen and knew that she was a lesbian. She then launched ‘strong attacks’ on Kathleen and wanted to lay siege on your most ideal sister-in-law so that she would become her girlfriend. And for Kath, Ci-Ao, she was somehow wavering on the inside. She asked me for advice!”

Jin and Tribo both gasped and said in unison, “Crap! What the hell is that! What’s there to ask?”

“I Ci-Ao, I was originally hesitant, but can your Bro still hesitate at that point? I instantly told her to definitely choose me, but she somehow decided that… she decided that she’s bringing that English gal to see me. And help her make the decision. To determine if she wants a male or a female! She still asked me to keep this confidential. F*ck man, what the hell is this? I can take it if it’s just rivals in love, but my rival is a woman. How the f*ck do I take it when I’m vying for a woman with a woman!”

Seeing Gao Yang forlorn and anguished, Jin sighed. “Bro Yang, American women are too feisty. Forget it, I feel that Elena’s pretty good, at most you just have to wait for a few more years, man.”

Tribo condescendingly said, “You don’t know sh*t. Bro Yang, don’t listen to Toad. Let me tell you this. How can you miss ladies of extreme quality like Kath? Pure-hearted man! She doesn’t even know if she likes guys or gals? What does this mean? She’s pure-hearted man! Pure-hearted ladies are must-haves, beautiful and chaste American women, they’re too hard to come by!”

Gao Yang weakly said, “What’s more, I gotta take it slow. I still haven’t recovered from my setbacks. There’s also two more months. No need to get high-strung over it. Just gotta keep distance from those two women, Bro ain’t gonna play with them man. Also, what do y’all suggest about handling Elena? How do I account Old Ruski? Small girls aren’t mature — are big, grown-up men like us the same too? How are we going to interact with Old Ruski if this isn’t controlled properly? Sigh, I’m just flabbergasted and impressed. Toad, your performance was also very ferocious, why did Elena find ‘sense-of-security’ from me, man?”

Jin sighed and said, “I’m actually also depressed and brooding over this.”

After Jin finished, the three sank into silence. After a long while, Jin sighed and spoke once he saw Gao Yang curling up into a ball, “Bro Yang, don’t be so sad. This is not much, really not much, muster your spirits. Didn’t you say you want to practice sparring with me? How about we start now?”

“Don’t joke around, I’m not in that kind of mood right now. Tomorrow. Wake up early in the morning to practice. What’s more important is Hare. Johannesburg has a range. We can go around and find a range so that Hare has a place to practice his marksmanship.”

Tribo immediately became ebullient at the mention of guns. He said, “Bro Yang, I forgot something. When we were coming back, we should have let Ulyanko buy us an ammunition re-loading workbench kit[2]. Self-loaded ammunitions are the most assuring. The precision is high also. Now that we have the time, why aren’t you using it to load some ammunition? Hey hey, I gathered many of the shells that you fired. Thank me for that.”

Gao Yang felt that what Tribo said was really important. The hand-loaded ammunition that Bob gave him was all used up already. In the later sections of Misurata warfare, Gao Yang could only use normal rounds. If he still had those hand-loaded buckshot rounds while saving Ali, he wouldn't be facing so much sweat-inducing problems by sudden-shifting winds at just the four-hundred-meter distance. Or at least the situation would’ve been a lot better than using normal ammunition.

The so-called hand-loaded and reloaded rounds were about the same. The former used new shells while the latter recycled used shells. But upon comparing the precision, it was still the re-loaded rounds that were better.

Reloading rounds were very troublesome. Gathering the rounds — rounds from the same gun were for the same gun in the end. It would be meaningless to use shells from other guns. Apart from cleaning the shell with solid objects, it required accurate measurements of the amount of gunpowder used. Installing the bullet head and the ignition cap was also the same: any slight error would be fatal.

Reloaded rounds still had to be from the gunpowder’s original brand. This was due to the difference in ignition speed from different brands. The bullet heads also required harsh selection: the bullet head weights varied from light to heavy. This was because rounds with greater weights were more stable in the air and were less affected by wind. But the bullet velocity’s deceleration was also very high and had more curved or warped bullet projectile. This affected the precision.

If the bullets were light, then the power would be somewhat weaker. While the projectile would be straighter, it was also more prone to the wind effects.

If Gao Yang really had to learn how to reload rounds by himself, he would still have to use trial and error to discover the most suitable ratio for the gunpowder and bullet head. Compared to the ardor, Gao Yang would rather purchase high-density sniper-rifle bullets; it wouldn't matter even if the precision was slightly off. But Bob had helped him measure everything beforehand. That meant that he just had to call and ask for the relevant documents to be sent over. The rest was to just follow whatever was written on the documents.

Thinking that calling Bob would already enable himself to know how to reload ammunition, Gao Yang couldn't sit still anymore. He leaped from the bed and said, “Give me a moment, I'll go charge my phone and give Bob a call.”

Seeing Gao Yang hurriedly went off to find his satellite phone, Tribo smiled and nudged Jin before saying, “See that? Just divert his attention. One sentence and Gao Yang immediately threw the topic about women to the side.”

Jin nodded and rubbed his hands together before saying, “Not bad, I almost forgot if you didn't mention it. I got pranked upon and was taken for a gay. Don't think about changing the subject anymore. Hare, relinquish your life to me!”

Chapter Notes:

Translator’s note(s):

  1. Khleb — Russian bread (大列吧)
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfhpaRO38Es Ammunition loading kit in the video.

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