Translated by: Taffy
Edited by: Rango
Chapter 1: The Convict’s Nirvana
At midnight, the third class city, Crow City, could only bear to keep half the streetlights on. However, the abandoned chemical factory in the mountains currently had an array of large searchlights shining on it, making it seem almost as if it were daytime in the area.
The place that no outsiders had set foot in for years had become crowded with people. A few dozen police cars, as well as some armored cars and ambulances, surrounded the office building in the eastern area of the factory.
On top of the roof stood Shen Ming, who was leaning against a rough cement pillar, his breath coming in short gasps. Ever since he had first started the difficult sporting rifle training, he had never breathed so hard.
Everything was because of the bastard Ba Liang Jin in front of him. He was known as the underground emperor of Crow City, and was the most powerful gang leader within the nearby areas.
This fierce-looking gangster has a mouth full of gold teeth, and normally any man that saw him would lower his head and run away, without any exceptions. Young women would definitely flee immediately. It was said that during the day, Crow City was managed by the police force, but during the night, Ba Liang Jin was the one in charge.
But at the moment, Ba Liang Jin was currently holding his head in his hands, kneeling in front of Shen Ming on the cement platform. He had long lost his evil, tyrannical appearance. His mouth full of gold teeth had been yanked out one after another; the rusting pliers and the teeth were currently lying on one side. Shen Ming had tied a dog leash around Ba Liang Jin’s neck. The sporting rifle that had helped Shen Ming win the juvenile shooting championship was currently pointed at the back of the evil tyrant’s head. All Shen Ming had to do was lightly pull the trigger, and the evil tyrant’s life would end.
However, Shen Ming was exhausted to the point where even having the strength to pull the trigger was an uncertainty. During the past 3 hrs, he had initiated a surprise attack on this chemical factory under the hold of Ba Liang Jin and his over one hundred lackeys. He had killed up to 100 armed gangsters alone; those bastards weren’t just some street hoodlums that called any knife a weapon either, they had been completely fitted with pistols and rifles, and were all criminals in the drug trade that had gone through shooting training.
Shen Ming’s sports rifle could riddle any target full of holes within a 100m radius. However, if he wanted to blow someone’s head off, he’d have to shoot from less than 40m away. This also meant that he had basically shot the hundred armed hoodlums by directly confronting them, a path of slaughter.
Just as Shen Ming was catching his breath, medical personnel started to move corpses outside of the office building. None of these gangsters had any injuries; all of them had either had their heads blown off, or had gotten shot through their hearts with a single bullet. The professional SWAT members couldn’t help but be shocked at the sight.
While the amateurs were watching the scene in excitement, the professionals understood the true meaning of the situation; only the SWAT members, who had proficient skills in shooting, understood exactly how terrifying the murderer was.
This was because all the bodies had been shot through the eye. The bullet had entered through the eye socket and destroyed the brain and the entire nervous system. There hadn’t been a single chance of saving them. On the other hand, the bullets that had pierced through the heart had uniformly been shot between the same chink between two ribs. This greatly efficient action that conserved bullets allowed even a mere competition sports rifle to become a murder weapon.
Perhaps every single SWAT member was able to shoot 10 high-score, perfect shots in a shooting range, but in a real combat situation, a myriad of changes could occur in an instant. The target would move around irregularly, causing one’s precision to rapidly decrease. However, this murderer had been able to control each shot so well that they weren’t even 0.1 millimeter off. This meant that the murderer’s precision was like a killing machine’s, without a single deviation or mistake.
The SWAT group immediately split their members into 4 ways, and climbed up the tall chimney tower across the murderer to deploy a position to shoot from. For the sake of ensuring their task’s success, they had especially equipped themselves with JS7.62mm caliber sniping rifles. This could effectively hit a target the size of an apple within 800m, and a target the size of a coin within 500m.
Their position was only around 480m from the assassin. This evening had no wind, a moderate climate. It was definitely a sniper’s favorite weather.
However, the four snipers combined with four observers were unable to lock onto their prey. At the moment, Shen Ming’s position was perfectly covered behind Ba Liang Jin’s fleshy body; one couldn’t even see a single hair on Shen Ming’s body.
“Falcon 1 reporting, unable to lock onto Sly Rabbit.”
“Falcon 2 reporting, unable to lock onto Sly Rabbit.”
“Falcon 3 reporting, unable to lock onto Sly Rabbit.”
“Falcon 4 reporting, unable to lock onto Sly Rabbit.”
Continuous messages of disappointment could be heard from the transmitter. Under these circumstances where they didn’t want to harm the hostage, shooting the target had already become quite unrealistic. Thus, they had to create some opportunity in the situation to snipe their target.
A policeman with grizzled hair bravely volunteered to serve as a negotiator, and walked out from the back of the 9×5 SWAT formation.
“Young fellow, what’s your name?” The old police officer asked with incomparable amiability.
“Bureau Chief Zhao! Save me!” Ba Liang Jin had always hated cops the most, yet he was currently shouting for one with a mouthful of blood, as dearly as one called for their own father.
“Stop squawking, the guy’s asking me.” Shen Ming tugged at the iron chain in his hands, almost leaving a mark on Ba Liang Jin’s neck.
“Young fellow, I understand that you must have some sort of enmity with that bastard; our special investigation group has also gathered evidence of him terrorizing towns for years now. His crimes are enough for him to be shot dead a dozen times. There’s no need for you to risk your life to fight him here. If you hand him over to us, the law will naturally return with fairness.” Bureau Chief Zhao said passionately, trying to convince with reason.
“Too bad…” Shen Ming softly said.
“Too bad what?”
“Too bad he owes me three lives: my father’s, my mother’s and my younger sister’s. If I don’t personally send a bullet through his head, I won’t be able to sleep at night…” Shen Ming said with such a deep hatred that the hand holding the gun even shook. Many years of shooting training had already given him the ability to levelly hold up 10kg dumbbells while standing straight, and remain unmoving for a whole 3 hrs. His arm hadn’t shaken once since he was 8 years old.
“You’re Shen Chong Yang’s son?” Bureau Chief Zhao was shocked. Shen Chong Yang and his wife were both private bodyguards. They had only come to Crow City for a business trip after receiving an assignment. They had brought their 6 year old daughter as well, but she had always stayed in the hotel room.
Just 2 days ago, Shen Chong Yang and his wife had died in a car crash. As the daughter was being escorted to the hospital to verify her parent’s bodies, she had also gotten into a car crash and was seriously wounded. Even now, she was still fighting for her life.
The police had already declared these two incidents as premeditated murder, and the evidence all pointed at the head of the area’s gangs, Ba Liang Jin. However, Shen Ming’s avengement had been much faster than the police’s actions. After personally hearing from his sister that the person had the feature of a mouth full of gold teeth, he had randomly forced a hoodlum to tell him of Ba Liang Jin’s whereabouts.
He had spent the entire night fighting his way here. Before the anger in his heart had been swallowed down, he had finally cocked the gun at the back of the bastard’s head.
“My father died…my mother died…my younger sister stopped breathing right in front of me…yet this bastard is still alive…how unfair is that?” Shen Ming breathed heavily.
“All personnel be wary, he’s about to fire…” An electronic sounding voice warned through the earpiece. This was one of the prepared snipers. Based on Shen Ming’s breathing sounds, the sniper could already determine that the youngster was making preparations to shoot.
“That’s enough!” Bureau Chief Zhao suddenly bellowed, “Do you know how many people you’ve killed? 103! You still don’t think your revenge is enough? Although they are all gangsters, they are still real lives. Based on your voice, you’re still just a child, aren’t you? Do you really want to send yourself to hell alongside these bastards?”
“A kinless person like me…is already in hell.” Shen Ming began to pull the trigger to send the final bullet through the barrel.
“Come at me! Open fire, you little demon! Do you dare to shoot? These police uncles aren’t just weak herbivores, the amount of bullet holes in your body will be even more than mine. Do you dare?” Ba Liang Jin was so scared that he suddenly began to laugh crazily.
“You just don’t understand…” Shen Ming’s hand no longer shook, “Discarding all distracting thoughts and shooting was my ‘extracurricular homework’ in primary school. When I fire, I’ve never once thought about whether or not I dare to; I simply check to see if the bullet trajectory needs to be revised or not.”
He lightly bent his finger to trigger the firing pin and shoot the bullet out of the barrel. The instant the fire burst out from the mouth of the gun, an enigmatic sniper from the fifth secret sniping location also pulled his trigger to counterattack.
The professional sniper’s bullet had 8x higher kinetic energy than the one from Shen Ming’s sports rifle. This bullet shot through the head of Ba Liang Jin, who had already been dead for 0.05 seconds, and exploded in Shen Ming’s face.
But miraculously, the enigmatic sniper’s bullet had brushed past Shen Ming’s bullet in midair. In slow motion, the sniper’s bullet’s trajectory had amazingly changed. Originally, it had been meant to kill Shen Ming in one go, but instead, it buried itself into his shoulder.
“That youngster…his luck is really quite good.” The enigmatic sniper lifted the barrel to dump the burning shell out. He caught it midair, and without waiting for any commendation for his shot, he disappeared into the curtain of night.
An entire 36 hours later, Shen Ming awoke in a sick bed. He had luckily kept his life, but he was unable to run away from the law’s judgment.
Using violence to curb violence was wrong, and even revenge had to be paid with one’s life. Shen Ming had committed deliberate murder, moreover, he had killed 104 people in succession. This incident had already been reported onto all sorts of media, from the newspaper to the television.
He had formerly been a juvenile shooting star, but today he had committed the extremely heavy offence of murder. Such extreme opposites had made the news even more renown, and even those outside of the country had related reports of the incident.
Shen Ming was only 16 years old this year; how could a teenager kill 104 people so callously? This was something that no one could believe.
However, the man sitting next to Shen Ming’s bed felt that all of this was normal.
“Are you awake? Youngster, your physical capabilities are still a bit lacking. Such a minor injury was enough to knock you out for 36 hours. If you were on the battlefield, you would’ve already died 10 times.” The muscular man wearing a camo military uniform, yet without any military ranks or medals, teased.
“I’m not a soldier…nor was that a battlefield…” Shen Ming looked up at the grey ceiling as he coldly replied. His current location wasn’t a hospital, but a prison. The cold iron bars at the head of his bed were the unsurmountable border between him and freedom.
“Correct, that place wasn’t a battlefield, but a purgatory. Those people you killed all had expressions on their faces that were even more appalling than the spirits in hell. Countless of the bodies had sullied pants, and some of those that had been struck from behind had clearly already given up on resisting. You even shot through the chink in their ribs to strike their heart.” The large man in uniform described heartily.
“If you’re trying to make me feel guilty, then sorry to disappoint; I have never felt grief for the targets I’ve shot in the life, whether they were paper targets or flesh targets.” Shen Ming was so unfeeling that he didn’t even seem human.
“Youngster, do you know what will happen now?” The large uniformed man asked with a smile.
“Identify the crime scene? Go on trial? Be executed?” Shen Ming showed no trace of fear.
“That’s just the normal process. Actually, your future has another possibility: you can join the ‘Nirvana Project’ to complete inhuman assignments, and try to persevere for 10 years. Although the chance of surviving that long is low, if you do manage to survive it, you can once again return to your life in society; you can achieve nirvana and be reborn.
“Both mean you’ll die. It just depends on whether you’d prefer to die on the desolate execution ground, or on the blood-soaked battlefield.” The large uniformed man placed the empty shell that had shot Shen Ming next to his pillow. “I’m Kaos; you can address me as Colonel orDemon. In my entire career as a sniper, you are the first person to have ever survived a shot from me within a 500m distance.”
“Nirvana is something that you have the qualifications to join.”
“Nirvana, huh?” Shen Ming quietly said to himself.