Everyone hurried to make a team of 100 and set out in turn.
It was a magnificent sight to see a huge troop running around the barracks at the foot of the mountain. Although everyone was complaining and yelling, there was no delay. The head coach in charge of He Yan’s team, named Liang Ping, was as ruthless as General Manager Shen. He yelled, “Quickly line up and set off!”
As soon as the order was given, everyone followed the team and began to run with the heavy load.
With such a large sandbag on her back, He Yan felt as if she was carrying a huge stone that pushed her body downwards making her unsteady. Ever since she had become the eldest Miss of the He family, she had been accompanying He Yun Sheng out to chop wood. Even though it made the eldest Miss’s weak body more fit, healthier and stronger than the girls of the same age, Xiao Jue’s iron-blooded method of training was a bit too much to bear.
In the past, He Yan could do this amount of training, but now, it was difficult.
There were more and more people around her, and most of the people who came to join the army were sturdy, tall and mighty, if they were not tall, they were born from poor families and were used to heavy work. Although it was tiring to run laps with a sandbag on your back, very few of them were weak like He Yan, and those who were, they had already died on the way to Liang Zhou. It could be said that in terms of physical qualifications, He Yan was the weakest one at the foot of Bai Yue Mountain in Liangzhou.
The two brothers Shi and Mak were fast paced because they were used to hunting in the mountains. They often had to chase the prey and after hunting it, they would tie it to their body. They were used to running with prey tied to them, so they were quite relaxed. Hong Shan was a little older. After running around, he was a little out of breath, wiped the sweat off his forehead, and said, “Hey, it’s really not a human’s job.”
He did not hear He Yan’s reply. He looked back and found that He Yan had fallen behind him by more than ten steps, so he slowed down a little and waited for He Yan to ask, “Brother He, can you hold on? You’re looking a little ill.”
He Yan looked pale and beads of sweat rolled down from her forehead to her chin and finally fell to her clothes. Carrying a sandbag on her back, she looked like those children on the docks of the capital who were sold by their parents to the gang leaders for hard labour. It was an unbearable sight to watch.
“I’m fine, Brother Shan you don’t need to worry about me, you go ahead, I can’t run fast, so let me run slowly in the back.” He Yan smiled, “You can go and have a rest in the shed if you reach early, don’t wait for me.”
“Why don’t you tell the instructor?,” Hong Shan hesitantly opened his mouth, seeing that no one around them was paying attention to them, he leaned closer to whisper, “Or secretly run a few less laps, no one will see you anyway.”
“I know it in my heart.” He Yan smiled and said, “Brother Shan, you go first, I’ll meet you later.”
Hong Shan repeatedly confirmed whether He Yan needed any help before running ahead with the sandbags on his back. He Yan scratched her head and gave a helpless smile.
Tell the instructor? How was that possible? If you got into the barracks, you would have to do it even if you couldn’t. Secretly run two laps less? How was that possible? It only looked like there were no people around, but these instructors were very clever, and there were many hidden supervisors on the side of the road. If she wanted to secretly run a few laps less, it would be a violation of military discipline and she would be dragged out to be beaten. When she was a general, she knew this stuff, and when she was a soldier; she had no reason to do this kind of thing.
“It’s just.” She wiped the sweat rolling on her eyelids and looked at the golden sun hanging over her head.
It’s so hot!
Someone came out of the guardhouse.
Cheng Li Shu fanned the wind with the folding fan, looking towards the distant mountain peaks covered by clouds and mist, and spoke joyfully, “The scenery here is also wonderful, ten thousand times more beautiful than the capital! Uncle has such a good eye!”
Xiao Jue followed him, wearing a black and golden robe embroidered with cloud patterns, and a long sword hung on his waist. His eyes looked like stars, his lips were like vermilion, his aptitude charming and his appearance was beautiful. The ground also added a bright aura. He looked like a noble boy who just happened to pass by, adding brightness to the bitter and cold place.
“They’re running, tsk tsk,” Cheng Li Shu shook his head, “If I were to do this, I’m sure I wouldn’t last a quarter of an hour.”
“Then you go back.” The answer to him was a cold sneer.
“Ah what did you say, the wind is so strong, I can’t hear you… Uncle, look who’s here.” Cheng Li Shu bluntly diverged from the conversation.
The visitor was Instructor Shen Han, who stopped in front of the two of them, saluted Xiao Jue, and said, “Your Excellency.”
“How are the new recruits?”, Xiao Jue asked.
“It seems that they’re not bad. Sometimes there are a few that can’t do it. Maybe they’ll be good with practice.” Shen Han replied.
“What’s the matter with that person?” Cheng Li Shu pointed to the distance, “He seems to be running and kneeling at the same time.”
On the long path, there was a short teenager running, his pace was so slow that it was hard to say if he was running. He had put a lot of distance between him and the front group, moreover, his delicate physique made him look like the sandbag on his back was heavier than himself.
“That’s Liang Ping’s recruit, running the fourth lap.”
“The fourth lap?” Xiao Jue raised his eyebrows.
The others had already started running the seventh lap, and this person had just started running the fourth lap, falling so far behind. He said lightly, “The qualification is too poor.”
Cheng Li Su and Shen Han looked at each other without saying anything. They were stunned by Xia Jue’s words, which was really bad because it meant that he could not go to the battlefield.
“It doesn’t matter if the qualification is too poor,” Cheng Li Shu thought of something and smiled, “It’s good to be a weaponsmith, in case he’s good at it.”
He Yan herself, who was expected to be good at craftsmanship, was running so slow that she didn’t know what to say. The sandbag on her body was really heavy, but she had no choice except to continue. She clearly understood that physical training was just the beginning, and after a while, she would gradually get more skill training, such as crossbow and arrows.
But if she couldn’t even endure the physical training, she would not be qualified to continue the skill training and would be thrown out of the ranks.
Now, she felt that she didn’t want to be a soldier.
Near the shed, after running the last lap, Hong Shan finally found Mak and Shi who were resting in the shed and went over to sit down next to them.
Mak looked around and asked, “Where is Brother He? Didn’t you come two run ogether?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t see him,” Hong Shan was also worried. “This boy can’t run, he might not have finished yet.”
“Didn’t you tell Brother He to run two laps less secretly?” Mak whispered, “No one would notice it anyway.”
“I told him! This boy is a stubborn donkey. He doesn’t listen to me. What can I do?” Hong Shan spread his both hands.
As they were talking, Shi suddenly spoke, “Here he comes.”
A few people followed his gaze and saw a teenager slowly running at the end of the long path. He was carrying a sandbag that was excessively large compared to his size, his hair was wet in locks, and beads of sweat were slowly dripping down his forehead to his chin and into the dirt beneath his feet. He ran past the vicinity of the shed and didn’t look their way. He continued on, starting a new lap.
“He still wants to run.” Mak murmured.
He Yan didn’t stop.