Zin saw lantern flames climbing the prison walls. Leather outfits covering straw underclothes gave them away instantly as slaughters.
Zin was watching them from the cover of reeds. They were about 500 meters away. It was dark enough that Zin could conceal himself from the slaughters. He watched.
‘I should move to higher ground.’
Rather than approach Ard Point, Zin retreated a bit and ascended a nearby hill. It was taller than the prison walls. Once he reached the top, Zin could look down on the walls of Ard Point.
Ard Point was quite far from the mountain. Zin removed a pair of long-distance binoculars from his bag and eyed his enemies. A little tinkering with the sight, and he was able to see freckles on the slaughters’ faces.
The slaughters had lit up all the lanterns without regard for consequence. It was so bright, that Zin would have had a harder time analyzing their locations in broad daylight.
They were loitering around in a group in the center of Ard Point. They had placed all the loot in a big pile, and were regaling in their riches.
‘Loot’ of course referred to chips and dead bodies. While this group didn’t seem to relish torture, Zin couldn’t make out any survivors.
‘They enjoy leaving bodies behind more than your average heavy-weapon-wielding bastards.’
There was a big pot boiling in the center, with arms and legs poking out; there were a few people murdering in the corner; one person was kicking around a head like it was a soccer ball; another was fast asleep, snoring with his head using a body as a pillow; someone was raping a corpse.
Zin calmly appraised the situation as he gazed down upon this little scene from hell.
Every single body had its head chopped off. The heads were lined up neatly in front of the leader, like awards. Zin kept his eyes on the lips of the leader.
‘Ah, yea, these ones are good too! They must’ve eaten a shitload of potatoes! Look at their heads, they’re round just like potatoes. Hey, you! Byung-Doo! Come here. Boil the skin off ‘em. If you boil ‘em too much like you did last time, I’ma boil your head!’
The leader seemed to be looking at the heads one by one, choosing the ones he liked best. The chosen heads would go on his junkwagon. It’s common for slaughters, especially the leaders, to have their own eccentricities. Sorting heads really wasn’t all that strange, really.
The underling placed three heads in a separate boiling pot and the leader continued walking.
The leader stopped in front of one particular head, clenching his teeth.
He grabbed on slaughter passing by.
‘How many people did we lose today?’
‘One man died on the road, and another five died fighting.’
‘Were they all killed by this one bastard here?’
‘That’s right. He was good with the bow and arrow.’
‘Son of a bitch! What a waste...what a waste.’
The leader let out a sigh. The head belonged to none other than Beck Gu. The leader was smacking his lips, clearly upset about something.
‘If your head was a bit prettier it could have survived a bit longer...such a waste.’
The leader ruthlessly crushed Beck Gu’s head with his boot.
The leader wasn’t upset that he couldn’t take away the skull of a man that killed five of his men.
The leader once again began inspecting the heads after hawking a loogie on Bek Gu’s crushed head. In reality, there was no reason for him to take interest in a dead person’s head.
Just as Zin realized he was looking for something,
Zin expanded his vision to the entire area.
There wasn’t any need to look for anything. There was no reason or need to do anything. Yet Zin eyed all the heads and came to a conclusion.
He realized that Leona’s head was absent.
He looked down upon the banquet of cannibalism, necrophilia, and slaughter taking place below him. He tried to feel nothing for the utter collapse of Ard Point.
‘29 enemies. No long-range weapons. They can’t hit me.’
‘They must be planning to rest a day then leave tomorrow.’
‘4 Guards - one facing each direction. Some men will take the night watch; the rest will sleep.’
‘The more they eat, the deeper they’ll sleep.’
‘Doesn’t look like any of these bastards will sleep in the cells. Seems like they’re gonna eat a shitload then use bodies as pillows and sleep out in the open.’
‘No liquor in Ard Point. They won’t be drunk.’
‘Every one of these bastards is within sniping range. My position is good.’
‘Uh hum...is that CPD (Chaos Poison Drug)? Good. No liquor, but they’re nice enough to get stoned for me.’
Zin captured a few slaughters mixing and shooting up CPD.
‘Let’s wait until they sleep.’
‘I’ll start with the M700 Chainshot. I’ve gotta get at least half of them.’
‘If these assholes try to hide in a building, I’ll have to clean ‘em up with the Saiga-12.’
‘I need at least 29 rounds. If I want to save shotgun rounds, I’ve got to be as accurate as possible sniping.’
‘This doesn’t promise to be a cost-effective fight. If possible I’ll try to end it with basic rounds.’
There was also a high chance he’d have to use grenades, given the amount of slaughters he was up against. There’s nothing a hunter is unwilling to use. When it comes to grenades, however, you have to be prepared to take some damage when you use them. Zin took out from his bag another gun and an Saiga-12 automatic shotgun, loading both.
Zin added a scope and a silencer to his M700 and loaded an extended 10-shot magazine. From such a distance the silencer would play a critical role. His enemies would die not knowing why. After adding the barrel-length silencer he strapped the Saiga around his shoulders.
This giant silencer not only eliminates noise, it also doubles as a flash control and recoil brake device. If you really think about it, it was closer to a monster than an actual gun. Zin brought the scope to his eye and appraised the situation of Ard Point. If he had enough darkborn energy he could use an automatic aiming system, Zin would have to use his own aiming talent if he wanted to save his energy.
Ten rounds per magazine.
‘One bullet per second.’
Zin had the audacity to aim for 10 enemies in 10 seconds.
The minute the slaughters fell asleep, they would experience their own personal hell in the hell they’d already created.
The slaughters began to turn in after their indulgences, unaware that their was a sniper taking aim from the quiet of the nearby mountains. Four guards were scrambling to get some rest before their turn at watch.
The weather was perfect for sleeping outside. There were a few slaughters that went inside to find a place to sleep, but they were in the minority.
Thanks to that perfect weather, they were going to die.
Nobody saw the tiny flash from the crack between the trees in the far-off mountain.
One slaughter took a shot to the head and collapsed, unable to let out a shout. The guards were each looking in a different direction, unaware that one of their comrades had fallen.
Again there was a weak flash.
One guard fell immediately.
The silencer succeeded in dulling the sound of gunfire. The dull sound crossed the valley and died at the Ard Point’s walls.
The only sound they heard was that of their death - the tiny sound of the bullet ripping through air before it split their skulls.
Two more shots were fired in an instant, and the four slaughters charged with the north, south, east and west watches collapsed silently.
A sniper, and in this case a sniper with a silencer, doesn’t tip of his enemies that he’s attacking them.
A sniper just takes the enemy out, one by one.
Zin slowly eyed his enemies, having rendered the walls of Ard Point defenseless. While the silencer was certainly a help, the rest of the slaughters were grouped together, sound asleep. The only thing a silencer can’t silence is the sound of the bullet cutting through the air. If bullets start flying around the group, someone is bound to catch on that they’re under attack and escape to the safety of the buildings.
He’d have to kill as many as possible before that happened.
‘Buckshot may work quite nicely…’
One round can take out a bunch of the enemy, but the explosion of the shot would shock the others awake. To kill them slowly? Or to end them with loud chaos?
Zin’s choice was simple.
‘Regular shot is best.’
Buckshot is expensive.
Zin loaded five rounds of regular shot, taking aim once more. The leader was sound asleep, surrounded by the headless corpses. Now that the guards were gone, the leader would be next. Taking down the chain of command is the most obvious strategy.
Zin took aim, taking into account wind and gravity. He settled his aim on the leader’s head, held his breath, and prepared to fire. Right before he pulled the trigger, however, he frowned.
Suddenly, a fired arrow sounded in the vicinity of the sleeping slaughters, sticking in the ground.
“Huh? What’s that?”
A slaughter rubbed his eyes as he awoke, looking in the direction of the sound.
He saw an arrow in the direction he was looking, and there was a blue light emanating from that same arrow.
--Thump thump thump!!
A few slaughters began to wake up along with the first, aware that something was off. They realized that the arrow, shaking like it was having a seizure, was a chip box in detonation sequence.
They tried in vain to run away.
“What the fuck? Why is everyone making so much noise!”
The leader woke up too late.
The leader opened his eyes wide and mumbled absent-mindedly as he met the powerful blue flash.
“What the fuck?!?”
A huge explosion rushed over the open space.
Zin mumbled as he looked on in astonishment.
Zin had a pretty good idea what that was.
It was the chip box he had given Leona.
“Ugh...son of a bitch.”
Leona slowly nodded her head, looking down on the scene from one of the prison cells. Leona saw nothing moving. Everything had been wiped out completely - the dead bodies the slaughters killed along with the slaughters themselves.
“Fucking bastards...I can’t let you live after what you did to my new home.”
Leona chuckled as she looked down upon the destruction. After a huge explosion like that, the guards were sure to come rushing in. As long as she could take out the four guards, she would be able to leave safely.
She wasn’t aware that they were already dead.
Leona wasn’t one to let her guard down easily. She had found a place to hide at the first sign of trouble with the town. The minute the attack started, she hid in a hole in the ceiling of one of the cells.
Ultimately, Leona’s inability to shed her thief-DNA kept her alive.
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