He Yan sat with the brothers Shi and Mak.
Hong Shan looked at He Yan with such a sad look as if his eyes would suddenly start dripping water, “Brother He, you can’t even pull a bow, what are you going to do in the future? Why don’t we go talk to Instructor Liang and ask him to make you a guerilla soldier? It doesn’t sound very glamorous, but the life there is really good, isn’t it, Mak?” He nudged Mak with his elbow and gestured for Mak to say a few words as well.
Mak followed and agreed, “That’s right Brother He, even if you become a guerilla soldier, we’ll still visit you often.”
He Yan smiled but didn’t say anything.
Hong Shan was really anxious. Compared to his pampered and sometimes troublesome brother, He Yan was much more sensible. He was very understanding, so much so that he unconsciously started treating him as his own brother.
He Yan couldn’t even draw a bow, and if he went to war, he’d be the first one to die. How could he idly stand by while his brother jumped into the fire pit?
“Brother Shan, don’t worry about me, I’ll be able to draw the bow tomorrow.” She reassured him.
“Do you think you’re a Spiritualist? That whatever you say will just come true?” Hong Shan was furious, “Why doesn’t this child get the hang of it?”
Instead, Shi, who had been silent for a while, asked, “Do you have any tricks?”
He Yan shook her head. “I’m a person whose qualifications have never been good from the start. There are many things that I can’t do, so I have no choice but to try a few more times. Once I try a few more times, I’m pretty sure that I can make it.” He Yan sighed.
The world knew of General Feng Yun as a natural-born general and a genius. In fact, it could be considered miraculous – she was a woman, so her natural physical strength was weaker than that of a man. In other words, her current qualifications were definitely not good. It took her many years to turn He Yan into a brave and invincible general on the battlefield, but she was reborn once again and given such a weak body.
It is true that “when heaven is about to confer a great responsibility on any man, it will exercise his mind with suffering, subject his sinews and bones to hard work, expose his body to hunger, place his joy to poverty, place obstacles in the paths of his deeds, to stimulate his mind, harden his nature, and improve wherever he is incompetent”. She didn’t expect to become brilliant, but it would be fine to make herself as strong as Wang Ba.
Accomplishing this will be a lot easier now as compared to the past!
He Yan thought about it until night arrived.
The new recruits were tired all throughout the day, so they naturally slept soundly at night, and snored incessantly. He Yan estimated the time and climbed up from the bed.
Mak rolled over and muttered something. He Yan stopped for a while, but before he could wake up, she tiptoed and left the room through the door.
She went straight to the practice field. It was empty, and the summer night winds gently blew the colored flags like quiet, dancing flowers. Under the moonlight, the greenery reflected the silent moonlight.
The borders were always bitterly cold, so the situation in Liang Zhou was already considered good. This kind of calming, desolate scenery, she hadn’t seen since she stationed troops in the past. For some time, she stood there in silence, as if she couldn’t bear to tread any further on this quiet night.
Some of the crossbows from the daytime had been taken in, which left only one or two, but those were not easy to move. The straw targets were all over the place, but tomorrow, new recruits wouldl tidy up the place after their morning run. He Yan walked over to the row of straw targets and searched for a long time, fumbling in the darkness for an arrow, until she found the right one that was beside her. She took the arrow and walked back to the crossbow.
What a normal person could easily accomplish, would take her much longer. But she couldn’t give up now. If she couldn’t do it on the first try, she could only practice again and again with all her might.
She tried to draw the bow, but it was too heavy; the string barely moved. It was really hard to notice if it was pulled or not.
She put the bow down and rubbed her wrist.
She picked up the bow and tried again, but it was still the same as before, no improvement at all.
After five or six attempts, she finally got better. This time, she was able to draw the bow farther than before, and she could finally see that it was moving.
He Yan sighed in relief.
In fact, what she said to Instructor Liang before was not entirely true; she herself was not very confident, as Miss He hadn’t been in contact with any heavy object since the past ten years. When she first arrived at the He family, she only chopped one piece of firewood, and her hand was already worn out. But at that time, the situation forced her to do so. If she couldn’t draw the bow tomorrow, that’s another matter. The worst-case scenario was to play coy with the instructor and fish out a few more chances.
In this world, it’s better to make an effort and fail than not to make any at all. She had no talent, so the only thing she had in her bag of skills was effort. But there is also something in this world that can’t be obtained even if you work hard all your life, and that is the heart.
She had sacrificed everything for the He family and dedicated all her love to Xu Zhi Heng. She had worked so hard but to no avail.
He Yan’s eyes drooped, her fingers clasped the bow to shoot an arrow. This arrow seemed to vent all her pain, making a rustle in the dark as it headed towards the straw targets.
But the arrow didn’t hit on the straw target and fell powerlessly halfway through. She was still too weak to draw the bow and shoot the arrow out.
Not every pain could be vented to the fullest.
He Yan smiled and got up to pick up the arrow. She started to walk towards the arrow when she suddenly noticed something and looked up. Ten paces away from her, a pair of brocade boots, embroidered with golden dark patterns were shining magnificently in the night.
There was someone here? She was so focused on practicing the crossbow that she didn’t even notice. He Yan straightened up and took a few steps forward so that the person standing in the night could be revealed.
It turned out to be Xiao Jue.
The practice field was so large and it was only illuminated by moonlight. He stood behind a straw target, dressed in dark clothes, so he was almost hidden in the dark.
The handsome young man looked at her indifferently, without any intention to explain. He Yan felt a little wretched for no reason. She settled down and cleared her throat, deciding to pre-empt the situation.
“Who are you? What are you doing here?”
“Watching you practice arrows.”
It was clearly a cold tone, but He Yan distinctly heard a hint of sarcasm.
“What’s wrong with me practicing arrows? What do you think after watching it?” He Yan asked.
The beautiful young man restrained his eyebrows. His long eyelashes, under the moonlight, resembled butterfly wings, trembling tenderly, yet his tone was cold, with a bit of mockery.
“I’m surprised that there are people who work so hard and are still so vulnerable.”
He Yan was stunned.
For a while, time and space seemed to overlap, and as the sound of the wind slowly faded away, the night stars spread out across the long sky. The figure of the young man in front of her gradually blurred into that of a teenager, whose voice fell to her ear, with a feeling of déjà vu and mockery:
“I didn’t expect someone to work so hard and still be a weak chicken.”