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77 Mr. Huo’s Decision 4

 Fan Jian had an idea. "Your man and I will split up and flank the enemy. Once we're in position, send up the flares."

The garrison officer agreed to his proposal. He gave Fan Jian a special headset: it was what the garrison troops were using to communicate with one another. "Let me know once you're in position."

Fan Jian put on the Special Task Force uniform. He pulled a full-face mask over his head, before strapping a bulletproof helmet over it. He crept towards Mingyue Court in the dark, armed and at the ready.

Huo Shaoheng watched from inside the Humvee.

Not long after, the garrison officer heard Fan Jian and the other gunsman over his headset.

"We're in position."

The garrison officer immediately gave the order to send up the flares.

More than a dozen flares were launched into the night sky. They were so bright that the heavy rain sparkled like colorful glass beads.

The bamboo forest in front of them was instantly illuminated and the night was clear as day: the two gangsters, dressed in black, were standing near large boulders deep inside the bamboo forest, their startled faces squinting at the brightness.


Fan Jian did not hesitate to unload his clip on the gangster nearest to him, on his left. He was a much better shot than the gunsman from the local garrison.

His bullets were right on the mark; he shot the gangster's assault rifle right out of his hands. He reloaded and shot a hail of bullets at him. The gangster collapsed backwards onto the muddy ground of the bamboo forest.

The rain water trickling out of the bamboo forest on the left turned red and deeper into the ground.

On the right, the gunsman from the garrison had also leapt into action. He unloaded his clip on the other gangster and riddled him with bullets.

At the same time, another figure emerged from behind the fallen thug. They crawled on the wet ground, keeping close to the thickly clustered bamboo stalks that lined the wall surrounding Mingyue Court, before slipping into the courtyard through a hidden door in the wall.

Fan Jian dropped to the ground and rolled over to his partner. He panted heavily. "There's another one? Where'd he go?!"

The man pointed at the gate to Mingyue Court abjectedly. "He went inside."

"What? Already?" Fan Jian got to his feet, and prepared to move forward.

Suddenly, the sounds of gunfire rang out from inside Mingyue Court, louder and more powerful than an assault rifle!

Inside the Humvee, Huo Shaoheng reflexively sat up at the sound of the gunfire.

This wasn't an ordinary gunshot-this was the sound of an American M134 Minigun

Zhao Liangze, too, had noted the difference. The color drained from his face."Holy sh*t! How do they have a Minigun?!"

The gunfire flashed from the window of the main building in Mingyue Court; from afar, the light bursts looked like bird of paradise flowers blooming in the rainy night-fiery, winged, and deadly.

The gate opening into Mingyue Court was wide open, but no one was able to enter the courtyard.

The Minigun was just too powerful. They would be mowed down by a round of bullet, if they could even manage to make it past the doors.

"What do we do?!" Deputy Commissioner Liu, up in the helicopter, was frantic. He yelled into his walkie-talkie: "Call the garrison! Call the garrison! Tell them to deploy more weapons and soldiers! We don't have enough soldiers on the ground! We need more soldiers!"


Inside Mingyue Court, Yang Dawei and Warrior No. 2 were holed up in the main building. They were the only remaining survivors of the eight members of the Big Circle Boys.

Yang Dawei was leaning against the back wall, an assault rifle in his hands. Warrior No. 2 was crouched before the front window, manning an American M134 Minigun. He had a box full of bullets next to his feet.

Warrior No. 2 fired continuously in the direction of the courtyard gate for a moment before stopping to turn to Yang Dawei. "Boss," he said "we can't go on like this. If they decide to wait it out, we'll die of starvation in here!"

"Die of starvation? Heh," Yang Dawei scoffed, "what, you think that they don't want these hostages anymore?" Yang Dawei kicked the managing director of Dufeng Mountain Resort Villa, who was unconscious on the ground. "Look at him, he's bleeding to death here." He looked at his watch. "We'll give them an hour. If they don't give us what we want, we'll blow the place up and jump into Little Mirror Lake!"

Warrior No. 2's eyes lit up at this. He gave Yang Dawei a thumbs up. "You're the man, Boss!"

Now that he was assured there was a way out, Warrior No. 2 could afford to relax. He began to toy with the police and soldiers outside.


Up in the helicopter, Deputy Commissioner Liu was desperately pressing the garrison officer on the ground to deploy more soldiers and storm the courtyard. "Are you a soldier, or aren't you?! It's your duty to defend the country, isn't it?! When it's time for you to put your lives on the line, you chicken out?!"

The garrison officer was offended. He raised his voice and retorted, "We are soldiers of the Empire! We will gladly give up our lives for the sake of our country! How dare you?"

He was just about to give the order for his men to storm Mingyue Court when suddenly, the sound of gunfire rang out again.

This time, the bullets had been aimed upwards at the helicopter that had just flown over Mingyue Court.

It was the helicopter Deputy Commissioner Liu was riding in.

Although the pilot immediately pulled up, it was already too late. The body of the helicopter had been hit, and the shots had left a gaping hole. The pilot was forced to make an emergency landing.

Fortunately, Dufeng Mountain Resort Villa was massive; there were several parking lots available for the helicopter to land in. The parking lots were mostly empty since it was currently the low season for the resort. The pilot was able to land the helicopter without much trouble.

Fan Jian realized that things had taken a turn for the worse. He hurried back to Huo Shaoheng and said, wheezing as he tried to catch his breath, "Sir, bad news! Deputy Commissioner Liu wants the garrison to ignore the Minigun and force their way through!"

Huo Shaoheng had the utmost contempt for leaders who did not respect the lives of their men.

He was absolutely furious, but he could not openly intervene, not just yet. He wanted to see how the two men were going to work it out. He suppressed his anger and silently watched from the sidelines.


Deputy Commissioner Liu got out of the helicopter. His legs had turned to jelly.

With the help of his two aides, he got into a police car and sped towards Mingyue Court.

"You're an army officer, why haven't you ordered your men to storm the place?! What are you waiting for?!" Deputy Commissioner Liu pointed accusingly at the garrison officer as he piled on the pressure. He was frantic and agitated; he felt like he was going to be sick.

This mess was happening in his jurisdiction. If any of the hostages were to die, it would be Game Over for his career...

He was a 40-year-old deputy commissioner. There was absolutely no way he was going to allow a blunder like this leave a stain on his career.

He had the garrison troops on his side. There were only two gangsters left. He did not see how they could possibly lose, not when the gangsters were outnumbered so badly. So what if the gangsters were armed with assault weapons? He had more than enough men on the ground to serve as bullet sponges...


The garrison officer looked at his men. Aside from the snipers in the Special Taskforce, most of the soldiers were new recruits that had only enlisted this year. Many had just turned 18 or 19; these were men in their prime, young men who still had their entire lives to look forward to. Their jaws weren't sharp with the passing of age, their eyes were eager and curious. They had only begun their training less than a year ago, and he would now be sending these men to their deaths if he ordered them to storm the building while a Minigun opened fire on them. He deeply regretted his decision not to bring older, more experienced soldiers.

He had assumed that he would be dealing with local small-time hooligans; it had seemed like a minor situation, an opportunity to let the new recruits get their first feel of a shoot-out. It would be a learning experience, or so he had thought.

He had not expected to go up against such a difficult group of vicious thugs, but it was too late for regrets now. He had reached the point of no return.

Everyone was now counting on the army, counting on his men to rescue the hostages.

The officer knew that he had to make a decision immediately - even if it meant his men would be walking into certain death.