THE WEAK ARE PREYED UPON BY THE STRONG
“I said, that bread in your hand is mine.” He Yan replied calmly.
As the words fell, the man laughed and grinning gloomily he said, “Boy, don’t look for trouble.”
“I’m just trying to get my stuff back.”
The person looked at He Yan, the teenager who was born very feeble and stood like a little child who hadn’t grown yet. The army’s crimson colored uniform looked wider and slightly longer on him and he was also shorter than an average boy.
The child barked at him like an ungrateful pup barking at a wolf, which looked ridiculous.
“Your stuff?” Before He Yan could react, The scar-faced man disdainfully grabbed the meat bun and stuffed it into his mouth. He gobbled up the meat bun, which wasn’t very big, in a couple of bites as if a beast had caught its prey and couldn’t wait to eat. When he finished eating, he looked provocatively at He Yan and smiled strangely, “Yours? Who can testify? What can you do to me?”
The food had already entered his stomach, and He Yan couldn’t possibly slit his stomach open to get the steamed bun back. After the other party finished saying his words, he looked at He Yan’s helpless appearance with pleasure and walked forward nonchalantly with the porridge bowl in his hand.
“What can I do to you?” He Yan muttered to herself. After a while, she smiled and turned around, taking three steps towards the scar-faced man, who was bending over to drink the porridge in the bowl. She kicked the porridge bowl and the porridge in his hand spilled on the ground, leaving nothing behind. He then turned his head in rage to see who had kicked it, seeing that it was He Yan he gritted his teeth and shouted, “You!”
“Me?” He Yan said with a smile, “Who can testify that I did it? What can you do to me?”
The young man’s eyes were cunning, with a hint of subtle provocation that was infuriating. The scar-faced man raised his fist and moved forward.
“Hey, what do you want?”
At this time, a voice rushed out from the side. It was Hong Shan and Shi who came over. When Mak saw that He Yan had been talking with the scar-faced man for a long time, he guessed that something might have happened and called his elder brother and Hong Shan over.
Hong Shan and Shi, unlike He Yan, were not bullied easily as they both looked strong and sturdy. The scar-faced man didn’t act on impulse, he only snorted coldly while staring at He Yan and said, “You wait for me.” Then, he turned around and walked away.
The tone was extremely harsh and threatening.
“What’s wrong with you?” Hong Shan asked, “What happened?”
“He stole my steamed bun, and I spilled his vegetable porridge on the ground, fair enough.” He Yan tried to say it as simply as possible. Hong Shan understood as soon as he heard it, looked at He Yan and said, “Hey”. He then gave out a sigh and continued, “Why did you pick a fight with him, you should have just endured it.”
“Why should I endure?” He Yan asked.
She had encountered these kinds of things from time to time in the past when she was in the army. In the barracks, there were often incidents of the strong bullying the weak. When she was in the barracks, it was common for her to be robbed of her food. If it wasn’t for her brothers who took pity on her and gave her a share of their own food, she might have starved to death.
The instructor in the barracks could stop the open conflict, but not that kind of secret robbery. Moreover, she was too weak at that time, so weak that even the instructor didn’t bother to talk to her, let alone seek justice for her. Until later, when she became strong, and no one dared to take her food. And later, when she became a general, she ordered all the new recruits under her command to never take food from anyone and to never bully the weak.
Who knew that she would be born again and would have to encounter exactly the same circumstances? But this time, she was no longer the poor recruit who had just entered the barracks, trembling and aggrieved to dare not say anything. Even if Hong Shan and Shi did not appear, she would have been enough to teach this scarface a lesson.
“That man’s name is Wang Ba,” Hong Shan said, “He was originally a bandit, but I don’t know how he ended up coming to join the army. He’s the fiercest one under Instructor Liang, and I’ve heard from people that this kind of man kills like a sore thumb, and you provoked him today. If he harbors a grudge, he will definitely stumble you in the future. Brother Shi and I can’t follow you every day, in case he exploits you… your life would be difficult.”
“I can’t just sit and do nothing when he steals from me. Brother Shan, you have to believe that if he can steal one time, there will be a second time, and if he comes back day after day to rob me, will I still be able to live?” He Yan said, “Things are not so fair in the world.”
“Things in the world aren’t fair in the first place.” The one who spoke was the ever-quiet Shi, who looked at He Yan and gently shook his head, seemingly disapproving of what she had just done, “You’re too impulsive.”
“If there’s no fairness, we can fight for it ourselves, if we can’t fight for fairness because we’re too weak, we can try to become stronger.” He Yan smiled slightly, “If fists are the only thing that makes sense here, then let him come to me, I promise… I’ll let him know what fairness is.”
The boy spoke lightly, and his expression was calm. There seemed to be a slight smile in his clear pupils. The wind blew, and his hair flowed with the air, not like a soldier, but like a noble child walking down the streets in the capital. They were reminded of a joke ‘newborn calves are not afraid of tigers’, but when they were met with those eyes, they couldn’t dare to utter those words.
Was it true that a newborn calf was not afraid of a tiger?
He seemed confident, not reckless.
Shi and Hong Shan did not say anything else. The two accompanied He Yan to the tree. Mak knew that HeYan’s meat bun had been robbed and felt very sorry for a while, and finally said in a clumsy way to comfort her, “It’s okay, Brother He, in a few days we can go up to the mountain. There, I’ll make a few slingshots to shoot birds, or get a few traps to catch rabbits. We’ll eat meat then, it would be much better than the meat present in that steamed bun.”
He Yan laughed and responded happily. After drinking the porridge in the bowl, she rested her hands behind her head and leaned against the tree trunk to take a nap.
The sun was shining lazily, and there was a rare coolness under the tree. She closed her eyes, her heart turning back and forth.
Although the meat bun was a bit of a pity, it shouldn’t go so far, as to haggle over it all the time. When she used to march and fight, her military pay sometimes could not keep up with her needs. She was forced to defend the city, forget meat buns or vegetable porridge, sometimes she had to gnaw the bark and grass roots. And during the worst times, she had to eat Guanyin soil, making her stomach bloated, but even then she defended the city to death.
Comparing it with that time, this was better and considered pleasant.
The wind blew across her cheeks and He Yan curled up her lips. If she guessed correctly, in five days at most, the skill training would begin. Some people would be assigned as guards, and with her current physical strength, she could probably qualify for skill training, but how could she show her worth in that short amount of time and prove that she was worthy to go to the Forward Battalion?
That was a problem…