Chapter 6:

With eyes closed

BRO: Battle Royale Online

That’s bad! We have to leave, and quickly! We may have recovered, but we are clearly at a disadvantage in this position! The banks offer no protection and our only shelter, the underground, can quickly turn into a death trap if we are forced to take refuge there! Think!

Scanning the map for potential shelter, I noticed two red dots. Two more red dots. Enemies! They must have been only a few meters from our position and seemed to be heading straight for us. No doubt they had seen us.

Soon, their voices rang out, "Cuckoo!"

"Come out of hiding! We promise you that your death will be quick!"

The worst had just happened: we were trapped. We could either try to go deeper into the underground and risk never coming out, or we could force our way out and fight in this disadvantageous position. In either case, our chances of survival were slim.

Pressing myself against the curved wall, I pulled the girl closer to me.

"Tell me, do you feel like shooting?"

She shook her head.

Ahh, I'm really dragging a burden! That's why I didn't want us to be spotted by the radar, as it is I can't fight to the fullest if I have to protect her!

Above our heads, a thud sounded, the echo of which was lost in the tunnel. After this heavy impact, lighter tinkling sounds followed. Footsteps. One of them had surely climbed up the metal shaft. As for the other one, he could not be found.

Suddenly, a face appeared.

"Hey! So that's where you are!"

Damn, they have been fast.

With the point of his weapon, a light machine gun, he waved us out.

"Be nice and come out of hiding."

He wasn't shooting. Not yet. I had never understood what kind of twisted pleasure these people took in playing with their victims before shooting them. From my point of view, it was an unnecessary risk, as I always neutralized my target without waiting. But judging by his toothy grin, the man facing us was enjoying the situation.

"Hurry up!" he abruptly barked.

The girl flinched, pretending to get up. I grabbed her bandaged hand and ordered her not to move. She turned around, looking discomfited. Her lips seemed to be trying to whisper something.

In the darkness of the tunnel, the man must not have been able to see us clearly. So we had a little room to maneuver. But any reckless action could mean the end of the game.

Not here. I won't lose here! Not so soon!

Above our heads, the metallic tinkling stopped a few centimeters from the ledge. Our opponents were in place, it was our turn to move.

The man with the machine gun came closer. With his gun drawn, he was about to enter the tunnel.

"No tricks! If I see any movement, I shoot! Do we have a deal?"

As the man lifted his foot, ready to step over the metal ledge, I exclaimed, "Wait! You've won, we surrender!"

The man froze. His smile widened.

"Good. First, you're going to throw your weapons at my feet. And then you're going to walk out of here slowly."

Carefully, I stood up, ready to comply. Rin watched me do so, speechless. I threw down the assault rifle I had obtained the day before, followed by my favorite handgun.

Picking up the rifle, the man exclaimed, "Wow, that's dangerous!"

Grabbing the weapon with both hands, he placed it horizontally in front of him. After a deep breath, he gave it a violent knee blow. The weapon bent in two with a terrible creaking sound.

After such a feat, the man had to be specialized in strength. Hand-to-hand combat was going to be difficult.

With an air of satisfaction, he looked at his work, certain that he had impressed anyone who had seen him. With a sweeping gesture, he prepared to throw the gun as far as he could, once again displaying his strength.

I chose this moment of imbalance to act. Brutally, I pushed the girl onto the armed man. Surprised, she let out a small high-pitched scream before collapsing on my target. The man lost his already precarious balance and dropped his weapon to catch the falling mass. At the same time, I leaped out of my hiding place.

I threw myself with my back to the ground, sliding down the concrete, one arm raised to the sky. On the roof of the shaft, the second man got confused when he suddenly found himself facing a shadow sliding across the floor, a silver glint between its fingers. A sharp pain unexpectedly ripped through his chest. Lowering his eyes, he discovered the handle of a knife firmly embedded in his chest. Without a sound, he collapsed.

In front of the tunnel, the other man was still struggling. Quickly, I got up. With one arm, I retrieved my diversion, while with the other I pushed the staggering man to the ground. On both sides, faces showed only surprise and panic, still trying to assimilate what had just happened in the last few seconds. Without giving them time, I drew my teammate's pistol, still strapped to her belt, and shot the man on the ground.

That's it! That's how you make a kill. Not by taking your time like some kind of disturbed sadist.

Two beeps sounded in the dim morning light.

The girl's eyes were still glazing over, still not realizing what had just happened.

With a smirk, I snapped her out of her slumber, "So is it still not 'master' enough for you?"

She didn't answer.

Obviously, she is too impressed to do so!

Not daring to disturb her too much, I gently put her pistol back in its holster.

Even though we were in a bad position at the beginning of the confrontation and I had been forced to improvise, in the end, I was rather happy with the result of the fight. My plan had gone smoothly and I had managed to take down both my opponents in a rather classy manner. In the end, I was much more satisfied with this fight than the previous one.

Pulling myself out of my thoughts, I turned my attention back to my victims. I approached the light machine gun with which we had been held at gunpoint a short time ago and then grabbed it limply.

Huh! You talk about a machine gun, this weapon is not worth a dime! To shoot with this gun is to take the risk that it explodes in your face at any moment!

Disappointed, I put it back on the ground. With a look of regret in my eyes, I looked around for the beautiful rapid-fire rifle that I had not even had a chance to use. It was lying at the foot of the body, the barrel twisted at an angle clearly unnatural for a weapon of that caliber.

Farewell, beautiful unknown rifle...

Well, I still had one more corpse to examine, hopefully, it had a good weapon. Going around the tunnel, I approached the second skull icon.

Bingo! A sniper rifle!

The weapon, black from end to end, seemed to be in perfect condition. I took hold of it carefully. It was heavy. Pleasantly heavy.

The magazine was full and the scope was not even scratched. I had found a gem! It wasn't an epic weapon, but this high-class sniper rifle could be a great asset. Satisfied with my find, I returned to my partner.

I found her sitting against the edge of the duct, her pistol in her hands.

"So, how are you? What did you think of my plan?"

For the second time in two days, she held me at gunpoint.

Oh no, not again!

"Never. Again."

That was also the second time...

"Okay, I apologize. Maybe I shouldn't have used you as a distraction and a meat shield."

"'Maybe'? Are you kidding me?"

"If you won't make any effort to help me but still insist on accompanying me, I'll find a way to make you useful. Whether you like it or not."

"You should reconsider your definition of the word 'team'. We had an agreement, I remind you! The least you can do is let me know what your plans are, don't you think?"

She had a point, I had agreed to make her my partner, now it would be time to treat her as such.

But first things first…

"Can you at least fire your gun?"

She hesitated for a few seconds, then nodded.

"Well, go ahead, I'm watching you! If you can shoot, I promise not to treat you like cannon fodder anymore, but like a real teammate, an equal."

Satisfied with the deal, she nodded again.

"I’m not even asking you to aim at a target, just to shoot. That will be enough. We'll just have to hope that in a real situation, your instincts will prevail."

A slight smile spread across her lips, she had regained confidence. Slowly, she held her hands out in front of her, the gun straight towards the opposite bank. With a still slightly shaky gesture, she cocked the bolt, then took a deep breath. She closed her eyes and exhaled slowly. Opening her eyes again, she took another deep breath.

As she was about to repeat this little trick, I stopped her, "Go ahead and shoot!"

Suddenly, the shot went off.

A cloud of dust rose to my feet.

She fired with her eyes closed! She almost shot me!

Not taking the recoil into account whatsoever, she now held the gun above her head. Her face tensed in a mixture of surprise and fear, her eyes completely closed. When she opened them again, she stared at the small cloud of dust billowing at my feet.

At first, her face dropped into an expression of pure astonishment, and then, seeing my livid face, she burst out laughing.

To use her favorite expression, I hit her with a, "Never. Again."

At these words, she laughed even more.

"You should see your face!"

Slowly, her euphoria overcame me. Soon we were two idiots laughing out loud, next to a foul-smelling stream, in the middle of a battlefield.

Once the fun was over, I sat down next to her, also leaning against the edge of the pipe. I took two vitamin bars from my pocket and handed her one. She gave a weak "Thank you" still interspersed with giggles, and then moved her uninjured hand closer. As she reached for the cereal bar, I pulled my hand back.

"You promise not to shoot me again?"

With a mischievous look on her face, she answered with a cheery "Yes". I wasn't convinced, but it will do for now.

"So I'm counting on you, partner."

With that, she smiled broadly. She quickly accepted the food I handed her, then gobbled it up in one bite.

She replied with a wink, "Of course! Partner."

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