Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 74
The Mannerheim Line
Welcomes You XVI
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
After killing over 20 people and a commander, the Soviets had completely lost the will to fight. Some of them surrendered their weapons and begged for their lives, and some tried to run away. The guerillas left a couple of fighters around to keep an eye on the deserters, while some others went into the forest to look for the runaways.
Zhang Heng was not interested in these things that spilled blood. However, he knew that his first fight was the only time to prove his loyalty to the guerilla force. The way he acted upon the Soviets today would determine how the Finnish would treat him tomorrow. So, Zhang Heng followed right behind them and shot those who were on the run. It looked like good target practice as well, trying to strike moving runners and all.
A gun-powdery half an hour later, the fight was finally over. All in all, a total of seven soldiers managed to escape. As for the rest of them, they were either captured or killed. This meant that an entire Soviet brigade had been eliminated. As for the guerillas, there were a total of two dead. One suffered substantial injuries, and four had flesh wounds, but nothing too serious.
As for the fallen Finnish, one got shot directly in the head during the first wave of attack, and the second was killed while in pursuit of the enemy. Though the guerillas eventually killed their killers in revenge, it was impossible to bring their dead allies back to life.
After that, Weller led a few of his people to scout the battlefield and make an inventory of the spoils the had looted from the Soviets. A few of the guerilla even looked excited, as if kids on a demented treasure hunt, looking ever excited at their new possessions. To the captured Soviets, each second that passed was hell, growing more anxious and panic-stricken. They had no idea what was going to happen to them.
The Geneva Convention saw a way to treat prisoners of war with humanity. Unsurprisingly, the Soviets wanted no part of it in World War II. With that being said, Zhang Heng had never seen prisoners of war back at the base camp. It was simply not economically viable for guerillas to keep them alive, not to mention not having the numbers to control a riot if a huge fight broke out.
This time, they captured a total of 40 prisoners, and at least four to five guerillas would be needed to escort them back to the base. Considering that they needed to deal with those that were injured, the possibility of crossing paths with other Soviets, and the possibility of the prisoners escaping, it still seemed unwise to bring them home.
In an attempt to exert superiority, some of the guerillas had brought over two Maxim Heavy Machine Guns and pointed them at the prisoners, leaving them writhing and trembling. Some even wet their pants and started to cry in fear. All their weapons had been confiscated, and it seemed all but too late for these unfortunate souls.
Zhang Heng had no intention to witness all the killing, not forgetting to leave the confiscated guns and valuable items as well. All he did was pick up ammunition. After filling his backpack, he left the place with Simone.
As they were leaving, the loud rattle of heavy machine guns filled the air. Horrible screams of men doomed to their fate echoed painfully, leaving the forests engulfed in a veil of death and blood. It didn’t last too long, though, as before long, silence embraced the dark woods once again.
Before meeting Simone, Zhang Heng had experienced two fights. Hence, this was not his first time seeing bodies and parts scattered all around the floor. His calm reaction had left many befuddled. Throughout the entire battle, Zhang Heng did not drag anyone’s feet and made no mistakes as well.
This had caused many guerillas to change the way they looked at him, their impressions greatly improving. They no longer treated him like he was invisible. A lot of them remembered that they, too, performed poorly in their early days of battle. Except for Weller and gang of best friends, the rest of the guerilla members had gradually accepted Zhang Heng as one of their own.
With only two casualties, the guerillas had managed to decimate an entire brigade of Soviets. It was to be considered a stunning victory. At the same time, the spoils of battle this time was a lot better than expected. In total, they had raked in a dozen light machine guns, two heavy machine guns, significant numbers of rifles, and together with them, the all-too-precious bullets.
With all the new injection of weapons, Oher’s problem was partially solved.
Morale in the base camp ran high. Weller was locked in a noisy arm-wrestling battle with a few young men, no surprise there for the brutish Finn. There was a carnival atmosphere of sorts, with many drinking heartily and wagering bets on card games at the same time.
When Zhang Heng entered the storeroom, he saw a new wooden bed, with a handsome pile of daily supplies beside it.
“Aren’t you going to join them?”
Maji suddenly materialized at the door like a specter. She leaned her curvy hips on the wooden door as she lit up a cigarette. She had just stitched up a 5-inch gash in the leg of a wounded guerilla, leaving her collar with the cliche bloodstains of a war doctor.
“No,” answered Zhang Heng politely.
“Do you think that they will all die on the battlefield soon?” she asked, looking at him with soulful but emotionless eyes.
Zhang Heng did not know how to answer her. He knew he had to be cautious when she talked to the crafty Maji. She could read him like an open children’s book.
“What is it that you’re afraid of? Doesn’t the entire Europe think the same bloody way? Even an idiot will know who the winner of this war will be. But that’s all in the future anyway. Right now, enjoy each day as if it’s your last!”
Zhang Heng did not say anything else after that, probably because he was the only one that knew that ending of this war. Having the knowledge of how a movie ended was like a spoiler, and this one didn’t have the best of endings. He knew how this one ended. After all, a man out of time like him didn’t share those deep-set goas, which defined the cause of the guerillas. He just wanted to survive in this cruel environment.
“Anyway, Ah Ji wants to tell you something. He said you did a good job. We treat our own well, and since you are part of us now, we will not allow you to suffer. Initially, we wanted to house you with the others, but it seems you prefer to be alone.”
“This place is good enough. No need for any changes.”
For him, it was pointless staying with the others as he could not speak in Finnish. Silence would suit him better for now. Besides, as a rookie, he needed to wake up early to catch up with what the others new. Shooting near a horde of sleeping Finns didn’t sound like the brightest idea.
Sighing, Maji nodded her head, encouraged him, and left after that.
Zhang Heng placed his snowboard at the corner of the wall before opening up his backpack. The loot of bullets fell to the ground as he unzipped the bag. In total, he had received 513 rounds from the fight, enough for many many sessions of shooting practice. After witnessing Simone’s incredible aiming,
Zhang Heng was filled with a strong desire to improve himself. To a sniper, distance meant safety.