Su Jin went to Yang Qiyan’s place first thing the next morning. Now that the vampish woman knew that her younger brother’s boss and the rest of the gang had been arrested, she didn’t dare to speak arrogantly anymore. Su Jin threw $10,000 at Yang Qiyan to put an end to this matter.
On the way back to S City, Ye Yun called him. Of course, she was calling him only because she wanted to know when he was taking her bungee jumping as promised. Su Jin couldn’t understand why Ye Yun was so insistent on going bungee jumping and had to try his best to find a reason to stall for time.
After he arrived in S City, he met up with Kano Mai at a farm in the suburbs. It was only when he walked into the farm that he realized that it was a fully equipped shooting range.
“Let me introduce you guys. This is my good friend, Oda Shinako. This is also my good friend, Su Jin!” Kano Mai introduced another pretty Japanese young woman to Su Jin.
“Hello,” said Su Jin with a slight nod. He was really surprised that Oda Shinako had been able to maintain such a large shooting range in S City. He doubted that even the richest tycoons in the country could make this happen, never mind a young lady from a completely different country.
“A good friend of Mai’s is a good friend of mine. Mr. Su, please feel free to use any equipment you like. At first, I thought of introducing a few renowned instructors to you, but Mai said she’ll teach you herself, so I gave up that idea. There’s probably no sharper shooter than Mai in the world,” said Oda Shinako cheekily. Her Mandarin was fluent enough for her to host a TV show.
“Shinako, are you blaming me for not teaching you? If you really want to learn, you can tag along with us today!” Kano Mai rolled her eyes at her friend. She knew what Oda Shinako was thinking.
Oda Shinako brightened up and bowed slightly towards Su Jin. “This is all thanks to you, Mr. Su!”
“Don’t say that. Mai will be our teacher today, so as fellow students, we’ve got to help each other out!” said Su Jin with a laugh.
Kano Mai ignored their banter and led the way to the actual shooting range. It didn’t take them long to reach an enclosed range. The range was in a quiet and secluded place, so nobody would be affected by the sounds of the gunshots here.
“I’m best at using sniper rifles, but you two don’t have to learn that since you don’t have any use for that. Besides, I don’t know how to teach you the exact skills required either. So, I’ll just teach you the basics of shooting today.” Kano Mai picked out two handguns and passed them to Su Jin and Oda Shinako.
“Go ahead and start shooting. Just fire ten rounds.”
Oda Shinako went first. From her posture, Su Jin could tell that she was an expert and was certainly no newbie who had never held a gun before. But that wasn’t anything to be surprised about. After all, why would someone who knew nothing about guns maintain a professional shooting range?
All ten rounds were fired in quick succession and the sound of the last bullet could still be heard even after Oda Shinako put the gun down. That was how quick and steady her shots were.
The machine brought the target board closer to them and Oda Shinako’s ten shots were almost all within the ninth ring. This was an excellent result. If she had taken more time between shots, she would definitely have gotten a better result. Even some professional athletes might not be as good as her.
“Not bad! Steady, accurate and fast! Jin, it’s your turn.” Kano Mai motioned to Su Jin to go ahead.
Su Jin picked up the gun and found that it was a little heavier than Black Fire. He released the safety catch and started shooting. He also fired all ten rounds in quick succession and didn’t seem to have fired them any slower than Oda Shinako did.
Oda Shinako was initially surprised by Su Jin’s steadiness and thought that he was secretly an expert. But once the machine brought the target board closer, all three of them burst out laughing. Only one of Su Jin’s bullets hit the target board and it was only on the third ring.
“Haha! Mr. Su, shooting fast doesn’t mean you’d shoot better,” said Oda Shinako with a hand over her mouth as she laughed.
Su Jin scratched his head in embarrassment. This was the first time he had fired a gun. Since he didn’t have any experience, he didn’t even know how to aim at the target and could only go with whatever he felt was right. He didn’t expect his results to be this poor.
But Kano Mai looked like she was in deep thought as she took a closer look at the target board. A few moments later, she exclaimed, “Your hands are really steady!”
“What?” Su Jin asked puzzledly.
Oda Shinako didn’t understand why Kano Mai made that remark either. She looked at Su Jin’s target board again but still didn’t notice anything different.
“None of the ten bullets he fired hit anywhere near the bullseye, but…all of them went through the same spot.” Kano Mai spelled it out when she saw that Oda Shinako still didn’t get it.
“Wait, what?! That’s impossible!” Oda Shinako was shocked for two seconds before expressing her disbelief. “That’s simply impossible. No matter how steady a shooter’s hands are, there are other factors that can affect the bullet. It doesn’t take much to affect a bullet’s trajectory, so it’s impossible for ten bullets to all hit the exact same spot.”
“Well, let’s take a look at the tapes then.” This shooting range was also equipped with high speed cameras. Oda Shinako pulled out a tablet from one side of the counter and played back Su Jin’s shots in slow motion.
They were watching it in slow motion, but the entire video was done in less than half a minute. The footage completely blew Oda Shinako’s mind.
Just like what Kano Mai said earlier, all of Su Jin’s shots had gone through the exact same spot. The hole in the third ring of his target board had actually been created by ten bullets.
“How…how can this be?!” Oda Shinako was a sharp shooter herself but she had never met anybody who could shoot like this before.
“Nothing is impossible.” Kano Mai suddenly held up a hand gun and shot ten rounds in quick succession. The machine brought her target board close to them and they saw that there was only one hole in the bullseye.
“You always complain that I don’t teach you how to become a sharper shooter, but that’s not the real problem. Your own constitution has to become stronger before you can improve, otherwise there’s no way you can replicate my technique.”
“I’m very sure that Su Jin made those shots mostly by instinct. His body made several unnoticeable adjustments in order to achieve this result. All he needs now is to learn basic technique. Once he’s practiced enough, he’ll become one of the best shooters in the world very quickly. As for you…you’d need to do something about your physical body first.” Kano Mai had agreed to let her friend tag along, but she was actually using Su Jin to illustrate her point.
Oda Shinako nodded with a disappointed look on her face. Then she looked at Su Jin with some surprise. “Mai, you said that one needs a very strong body, right? But Mr. Su…doesn’t seem all that muscular.”
“Muscular? If you think that having a strong body just means you’ve got to look like a gorilla, I’m afraid you’ve got the wrong concept.” Kano Mai shook her head.
Oda Shinako considered Kano Mai’s words for a while, then laughed sadly. “It looks like I’m really unable to understand your world and our standards are really too far apart. But…I’ll catch up someday! All right then, I won’t interrupt your practice anymore.” She bowed slightly at Su Jin.
Su Jin bowed in return and Oda Shinako left. Kano Mai then said to Su Jin, “Just like what I said before, you’ve got a very powerful body now. Techniques that require extremely high levels of control is child’s play to you, while most other people have to spend years of training to achieve it. Shooting for you is not really something you have to learn. It’s just something you need to practice.”
Su Jin nodded. He understood what Kano Mai was saying. Over the next few weeks, Su Jin spent his day perfecting his shooting technique. He estimated that he must have used up more than 10,000 bullets thus far, but Oda Shinako never seemed to run out of bullets for him to use. He began to wonder if this shooting range was secretly some illegal arms dealer’s warehouse.
More than 20 days passed in the blink of an eye. During this time, Su Qing called him to say that Yang Mengmeng’s mother had gotten much better. All the doctors in the hospital were amazed and considered her a miracle, and they even wanted Yang Mengmeng’s mother to publicize their hospital for them. But Su Jin didn’t care about any of that. He knew that Yang Mengmeng’s mother was completely healed of her illness because he had slipped in an All Purpose Healing Pill that night.
Tang Ning and Ye Yun had called him too. Their agenda was almost identical – Tang Ning wanted Su Jin to come back to accompany Ye Yun and keep an eye on her cousin, while Ye Yun wanted to go bungee jumping as soon as possible. Su Jin managed to get them off his back by claiming that he was still settling some problems at home. He wasn’t going back until he had survived the next Challenge that was coming up soon.
Meanwhile, Ye Yun sat on her bed and shut the book in her hands. Exhaustion was written all over her face as she collapsed weakly onto her bed. She had survived yet another Challenge, but she was a long way off from getting out of this universe, regardless of whether it was the number of points she had accumulated or the number of Challenges she had survived. In fact, she had barely made it through this last Challenge.
A vengeful ghost in red had pushed her into a corner after swallowing the souls of more than ten others. If not for an item she exchanged for after her first Challenge and the fact that the Challenge ended shortly after that, she wouldn’t have emerged unscathed.
“I’ve been lucky so far, but…will I still be lucky the next time?” Ye Yun lay down and looked at her hand. The light shone through her window and in between her fingers, casting a shadow on her face that made her seem especially fragile.
Meanwhile, Su Jin and Kano Mai got ready for their next Challenge. They opened their Handbooks at the same time and darkness instantly engulfed them.
“At a time where heavy snowfall covers the land, Rubble Village stands out as a paradise. This is a place where you don’t feel any cold, you don’t see any snow and you don’t have any…hope.”
A maniacal, icy, cruel and violent voice that could paralyze one in fear resounded in Su Jin’s mind. Every word uttered by the voice seemed to be leading him towards the deepest part of hell.
“Thirteen people! What an unlucky number!” A rough voice resounded in Su Jin’s ears as he opened his eyes. He realized he was surrounded by other people and after giving them a quick count, he confirmed that there were 13 people in this place, including himself.
They were all on board a bus that was surrounded by snow. But oddly enough, none of them felt cold at all.
“If there are 13 of us, I’m sure not everyone here is a newbie. Are there any other old timers like me?” The same rough voice spoke again. It belonged to a bearish man in his thirties.
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