A soft "Pop!" was heard and a smoke grenade flew out from among the shrubs. Triggered, the eight men shot wildly at the grenade — their marksmanship was excellent; almost every single shot hit the grenade. However, smoke grenades were unlike other grenades which would explode or become ineffective when struck. It continued to release smoke, and the more it was hit, the faster it released smoke, and soon the entire area surrounding the shrubs was shrouded in a thick cloud of smoke. Although the protective helmets of the men were able to insulate against the smoke to a certain extent, their vision was still affected.
Still, the eight men were professional killers after all. They did not panic, firing their particle-beam submachine guns instead without hesitation. Countless particle beams shot out, turning the short shrubs into a pile of ash.
Ling Lan was not at all worried however, as she had seen Chamberlain Ling Qin rush into the bushes on his right at the same time he had thrown out the smoke grenade.
But Ling Qin’s next actions thoroughly stunned Ling Lan — he untied a thin rope which was coiled around his wrist, and with a quick pinch on one end, the initially solid rope split into countless strands which were as thin as hair.
Holding onto one end, Ling Qin swiftly tied it onto the trigger of the type II particle-beam gun, and then set up the gun within the bushes. Under the sound of gunfire, he snuck away once again to a new hiding place. Ling Lan could clearly see that he still held the almost invisible thin strands of the decomposed rope in his hands.
After a round of fire, the eight men saw that the short shrubs had been reduced to cinders. With a quick exchange of glances and some hand signals, two of the men stepped forward. It looked like they wanted to examine the ashes of the shrubs to see if there was any sign of their target there — of course, any remains would do as well.
The two men crept forward, and used the tip of their particle-beam guns to sift through the ashes. And right then, gunfire rang out from the right and a wave of particle beams cascaded out. The hidden Ling Qin had pulled on the strands within his hands, setting off the type II gun within the bushes.
The type II gun ruthlessly expelled particle beams with an intensity that was way stronger than the opponent’s own particle beam guns — as expected of the newest version of the particle-beam submachine gun.
This attack was aimed at the six men providing cover — one of the men could not react in time and was mercilessly shot down. The others, including the two checking the burnt shrubs, were quick to react, directing all their gunfire at the bushes from where the shots originated. They shot unrestrainedly, and one of them finally managed to hit the type II gun lodged within the bushes, detonating it and turning the bushes into a sea of fire.
Seeing this, the seven men stopped their attack, and their tightly strung nerves relaxed. They were certain that since the type II gun had exploded, then the shooter holding it would certainly have been caught in the blast. Besides, with this huge fire, even if the shooter didn’t die in the blast, he would still be roasted alive and turned into ash.
But right at this moment, something unexpected occurred. Ling Qin flew towards them from one side as he launched a Ling family signal flare into the sky.
It was alright if he died, but Ling Lan must survive. Ling Qin’s purpose in attacking was primarily to draw all their attention, including the attention of the hover car in the background — he hoped ling Lan would take the chance to escape while they were preoccupied with him. Moreover, he believed that the Ling family loyalists were already on the way to meet up with them — with the Ling family’s strength, handling these killers would be no big deal.
The blazing signal flare hung high in the sky, surprising several groups of people who were frantically searching for Ling Lan. Exhilarated, they turned towards the direction of the flare and started rushing there at full speed.
Ling Qin’s attack was too sudden and unexpected. Only the man in the lead had enough time to react, shooting particle beams desperately to try and fend off Ling Qin’s attack, while the other six just stood there dumbly.
Quicker than words could say, Ling Qin’s sprinting figure suddenly wavered, and then the leader’s particle beams were behind him.
The leader exclaimed in shock, "Irregular flicker!" This was a high level evasive move that was extremely hard to apply well in combat. Typically, anyone who could use this move in combat was certain to be a master fighter.
A cold smile hung on Ling Qin’s lips. At this moment, he had already gotten close to the assassin closest to him.
"Quickly fire the laser cannons!" The team leader’s gaze was fierce, holding a vicious determination within it. He shouted loudly through the communicator, retreating swiftly at the same time.
In truth, the men had disembarked mainly as bait to tempt the opponent to attack — the true killing blow was always meant to be the hover car behind them. Of course, for these people who were used to operating from the shadows, sacrificing a few subordinates was perfectly normal, which was why the team leader had given up on his subordinate who was being attacked by Ling Qin without any hesitation whatsoever.
The team leader had already readied himself to dodge, but the hover car behind them did not react as expected and fire its cannons. Instead, it just maintained its original position, along with radio silence.
Before he could turn back to face the front, he heard a pained scream. The subordinate whom he had ruthlessly abandoned had already been pierced through the throat with a dagger by Ling Qin, and had emitted one final chilling cry. The cry seemed to reverberate with rage and despair — after all, he had seen with his own eyes how his team leader had abandoned him right before he died.
Ling Qin’s expression was one of aloof disinterest. His face had been spattered with bright crimson drops of blood, and the cloying scent of blood filled the air, thick enough to cause an average person to vomit. However, Ling Qin seemed perfectly at ease, going so far as to even daintily lick at the blood on the corner of his lips —— what a psychotic Grandpa Chamberlain! Ling Lan couldn’t help but wail in her heart at the sight. What was up with all these people around her …?!
At the taste of blood, Ling Qin’s expression turned obsessed, almost intoxicated — he hadn’t experienced this bloody taste in so long!
Two orbs of nameless fire ignited within his eyes. In his youth, he had been the one to crawl through piles of corpses on the battlefield with Ling Xiao’s father — this sort of carnage was normal for him then. Sadly, after Ling Xiao had been promoted to legendary status, their bloody reign of terror was thoroughly shoved into the past. It wasn’t that Ling Qin wanted to wash his hands of killing, but legendary operators were the symbol of ultimate strength within the Federation, so no one wanted to risk the wrath of a legendary operator.
Ling Qin had thought that the many years of meditation and easy living had caused him to forget his initial savage nature. Unexpectedly, facing battle once again today, his blood still boiled and killing came back to him as easy as breathing. This pleased him greatly, and it felt like the savage beast within him had finally been set free after all this time.
Ling Qin laughed maniacally — looks like killing was still something he revelled in after all.
Observing all this, Ling Lan silently wiped away a handful of cold sweat. Who knew that the strict and serious Grandpa Chamberlain who treated her so kindly was such a vicious character? The way that he killed was almost textbook material, and that chilling smile would make anyone think twice about crossing him.
Ling Lan felt her little heart thunder wildly … Hells, she must never anger Grandpa Chamberlain in the future! Ling Lan decisively labelled Chamberlain Ling Qin as 'a person not to mess with’.
When Ling Qin launched his attack, he had not considered surviving to begin with. So he didn’t stop after killing the first enemy, but instead launched himself at the next person in line.
There was a clear gap between the combat ability of the two sides — despite his age, Ling Qin was strong, and his combat prowess was not much weaker than when he was young. By the time Ling Qin had disposed of his third opponent, the team leader could be heard yelling furiously into his communicator, "You bastard, I told you to shoot! Shoot goddammit …"
It turned out that the team leader still hadn’t given up on the hover car. As Ling Qin prepared to kill yet another two people, the team leader was still desperately trying to contact the hover car to order them to shoot, but obviously, all he received in return was silence, and this silence was pushing him towards the brink of despair.
Finally, he understood that their finishing move – the hover car – must have been taken out somehow and could no longer be relied on. Enraged, he threw away the communicator in his hands and lifted up his weapon, shouting, "Attack!"