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611 The Phantoms of North America!

 Near the inland river, the team that was nicknamed "The Phantoms of North America" silently crossed the waters and sneaked their way onto the northern bank of Rozhok.

"Hey! Did you hear that? I think there's a fight going on at the other end of town."

"Hmph! Let's leave them at it. We're only here for the airdrop crate."

"Yup. I have a hunch that the circle will most likely refresh at the north of the river."

The players of Ghost were talking among each other while they sneaked into town and reached a point not far from the airdrop crate.

They had been wrong in guessing that IG would be pursuing their grudge against 4AM instead of going for the crate.

The crate was dropped near the center of Rozhok, and Ghost was a lot closer to it than IG was.

On top of that, IG constantly kept an eye out for sneak attacks from 4AM as they made their way down the high slope.

When they neared the airdrop crate, they saw the four players of team Ghost amidst the billowing red smoke.

Naturally, the players of team Ghost saw them at the same time.

In a professional tournament, when two teams bumped into each other, they would not simply stand still and open fire on each other.

Both teams acted simultaneously, diving behind nearby objects for cover.

Except for one person...

He was holding a sniper in his hands.

That person was Shen Zeyan.

Instead of diving for cover, he lifted his gun, and fired a shot toward Ghost!

Bang!

The crisp sound of a sniper rifle rang out!

A sniper bullet whooshed across the town.

A Ghost player did not find cover in time. A cloud of red exploded from his level two helmet, and he was immediately brought to the ground.

"IG-Wolves knocked out Ghost-Pr0phie by headshot with Kar98K!"

"Amazing! Master Ze saw the perfect timing with that shot! He immediately knocked out the Ghost player in one shot."

"Now we'll see what IG's choice is. If they press the advantage, then Ghost will be forced into a passive position."

"That's right. They want to revive their teammate, but at the same time, they have to defend themselves. It's hard for them to handle both at the same time."

"Oh! The caster has cut the camera to the airdrop crate. Let's take a look at its contents."

On the tournament's big screen, the contents of the airdrop crate was displayed in a list.

MK14 EBR;

7.62mm ammo;

Level three helmet;

Sniper Extended Mag;

15x scope.

"Tsk... that's a rather bland airdrop. I'd give it a six out of ten."

"Heh heh. I'd give it another point just for the 15x scope."

"True. Apart from the MK14 and the 15x scope, the other items can be discarded."

"As for the MK14, I believe this version is comparable to the SKS. Both have their strengths, it's a nice thing to have, but there's no point in having too many guns."

"The problem now is that Ghost will be squaring up against IG. No one knows what's inside the crate, and I think blood will be spilled over it."

"Oh! IG is playing an active role this time. After Master Ze sniped down one opponent, they're heading closer toward the crate while still guarding themselves against 4AM to the south."

"Wait! 4AM is moving toward the crate too! Why does it feel like they're faster?"

In the match, IG and 4AM were perfectly aware of each other's positions.

When IG moved into the town center, they were consciously on guard against 4AM.

However, the 'stowaways' that had just arrived from the north of the river, Ghost, was unaware of 4AM's presence. All their attention was focused on IG who was confronting them directly.

Liu Zilang and the others moved westward along the slope to the south of Rozhok.

Very quickly, they spotted Ghost in the distance, near the airdrop crate.

The Ghost player that was shot by Shen Zeyan earlier had crawled behind a low wall and was being revived by a teammate.

From 4AM's perspective, the player being revived was hidden exactly behind the gap in the low wall, while the teammate that was reviving him was being blocked by the next low wall.

In other words, Liu Zilang and the others could see the guns on their backs, but they were not able to hit their bodies.

That was a severe case of blue balls...

"What now? Should Cpt and I go closer?" asked Aluka impatiently.

"No rush," Liu Zilang replied, glancing to the right of Ghost. "IG should be heading toward their position now. They know what we're up to, and we're being watched right now. If we head over now we'll be shot halfway there."

"Ugh, it really sucks to just watch and not do anything," said Cpt.

Hearing him, the corner of Liu Zilang's mouth twitched upward. "Who said we're not doing anything?"

With those words, he lifted the Kar98K in his hands, scoped in, and took aim!

After a few seconds, the crisp and echoing sound of a gunshot was heard near the slope to the south of Rozhok.

Bang!

At team Ghost's position near the airdrop, Pr0phie had just been revived by his teammate and subconsciously stood up, exposing himself through the gap in the low wall.

In the next moment, blood exploded from his naked head!

Pr0phie was just about to retrieve a first aid kit from his backpack when he fell once again onto the ground with a thump.

He looked like a novice skater who had just gotten himself up from the ice only to immediately slip and fall again.

"4AM-Vic knocked out Ghost-Pr0phie by headshot with Kar98K!"

What the f*ck?

In an instant, Ph0phie, who was head-shotted twice in a row, felt like crap!

"Oh sh*t! It's from the south! There's someone at the south slope!" cursed Miccoy from beside him. "Quick! Crawl in front of me."

Pr0phie immediately obeyed.

It was his second time knocked out, and he was losing health a lot faster than the first time.

Miccoy was timely in reviving his teammate, but the other two players in team Ghost were suddenly under a lot of pressure.

They had planned to confront IG directly to hinder their advance, stalling enough time for Pr0phie to be revived.

Pr0phie would have been patched up when IG had gotten in range.

This sudden attack from Liu Zilang did not immediately send Pr0phie to heaven, but it disrupted the two players' plans.

In the confrontation between IG and Ghost, the latter suddenly found themselves short-handed.

Tut tut tut~!

Tatatat~!

Boom!

Ghost's frontal defenses were brought down at the detonation of a frag grenade!

When their opponent took a step forward, they were forced to take a step backward.

In a short while, they had retreated next to their fallen teammate, while the progress bar on Pr0phie had only reached the halfway point.

If they insisted on reviving Pr0phie, it would mean that Define and Austin would need to bear the full brunt of the attack from four IG players.

The tiniest of slip-ups would spell the end for the team.

Being decisive was an essential quality of a professional esports team.

"Stop reviving! Let's go! Throw a smoke grenade and retreat!" Austin gritted his teeth and gave the command upon seeing that the situation was unsalvageable.

Before he left the scene, Austin lobbed a smoke grenade at the airdrop crate.

With lightning reflexes, he ran over to the crate and swiftly swapped his shotgun for the MK14, wore the level three helmet on his head and stashed the 15x scope in his backpack...

With the speed and cunning of an assh*le factory boss dragging his mistress and owing his workers 350 million yuan, he raced through the smoke and met up with his teammates. Then, like phantoms, they disappeared without a trace, headed toward the west side of Rozhok.[1]

...

[1] Chinese meme referring to a 2011 incident of the owner of a leather factory in Wenzhou suddenly disappeared with his wife and children after losing a fortune through gambling. The factory workers were rumored to have sold the factory's leather products at dirt-cheap prices to recoup their salaries.