THE APPOINTMENT IN TEN DAYS
“In ten days, I will defeat you.”
Announcing in a loud voice, the boy smiled brightly. The sunlight gleamed in his eyes like shining gems.
For a split second, Wang Ba actually doubted himself.
Startled by his own suspicion, he secretly spat at himself for being frightened by a bratty kid. He had lived most of his life, was he still no match for a weak chicken-like brats? A yellow-mouth kid, tongue-tied, self-righteous and reckless!
He snorted coldly, “He Yan, do you have any idea what you are talking about right now?”
“Do you want me to repeat it again?” The boy said with a smile, “Since you have bad ears, I’ll say it again. In ten days, I will defeat you.”
“You!” Wang Ba clenched his fists.
“Brother He is crazy…” Hong Shan muttered. Wang Ba’s crossbow shooting skills were evident to everyone. Although He Yan had improved a little bit from yesterday, being able to hit the target with a single arrow, that wasn’t something that could be practiced in just ten days!
It was understandable that a young man could be angry and put down harsh words, but what if he goes too far and it backfires later?
“What will you do, if you can’t beat me after ten days?” Wang Ba said as he bit his molars. He decided not to grind his lips with this young man. He Yan was thick-skinned. If you ridiculed him, he might not take such a thing too seriously.
“If I can’t beat you, I’ll be a guerilla soldier.” He Yan replied quickly, “But if you can’t beat me…”
“I’ll be a guerilla soldier!” Wang Ba said loudly.
“I didn’t say that,” He Yan shook his head, “Even if I want you to be such a soldier, Instructor Liang will definitely not agree.” She looked at Liang Ping intentionally.
Liang Ping thought about it in his heart, “…”
Evil, how could this kid know what he was thinking? Wang Ba had such a good qualification, if he volunteered to be a guerilla soldier, the head instructor would kill him!
“Then say it!” Wang Ba said impatiently.
In He Yan’s mind, she suddenly went back to the past when she was a youngster in Xian Chang Pavilion, where the teenagers loved to gamble. As the number one in Xian Chang Hall, Xiao Jue was entangled and challenged many times when he was young. What did he say at that time? She remembered the time when that young man had slept on the rocks in the academy. He was woken up and sat up annoyed. He lazily said to the classmate who came to challenge him in horse riding and bow and arrow, “Fine, if I lose, I will do what you want. But, If you lose,” he hooked his lips, “You will have to call me Father.”
He Yan pondered upon, and felt that the scene now was very similar to the previous one.
But she couldn’t let Wang Ba call her Dad.
“Well, I heard that you are acquainted with the leaders in the mountains and you’re their boss. If I beat you, that would mean my ability is above yours. You will need to call me Boss in the future. How about it?” she said.
This request was really unheard of.
Everyone looked at He Yan, who was not as tall as Wang Ba, whose arms were as thin as firewood, and then looked at Wang Ba who was tall and big, with fists bigger than He Yan’s face, as he stood there silently.
“Your ambition is apparently not small.” Wang Ba stared at He Yan with a deadly grin.
“To be honest, before I joined the army, I also thought about falling into the grass and being a bandit.” He Yan looked very grateful.
She had run away from the He family back then. As she carried her baggage at night, she hesitated several times at the gate of the city, and even more between the two roads. One way was to go directly to the south, and the other was to go west and join the Fu Yue army. If she chose to become a bandit, she would live a life of being free and uncontrollable, but, in case the harvest failed and no one passed by, they would have no option but to starve. Some officials came out to suppress bandits, so they would often have to hide, which was not very respectable.
Although it was a bit harder to join the army, the soldiers got to eat royal food, also it saved one’s face.
However, neither of them accept women, so she has to pretend to be a man in disguise. Thanks to her ability to act like a boy since she was a child, she was able to rise up step by step.
When she thought about it now, she sighed.
As He Yan reminisced about the past, Wang Ba was even angrier. This kid in front of him seemed to be only fifteen or sixteen years old, so why did he look so mature? He was reminiscing his past however, did he even have a past to miss about?
“Alright.” He tried to keep his anger from cutting off the boy’s head, and squeezed a few words from his teeth, “If you want to be the boss, it depends on whether you have the ability.”
“Okay!” He Yan arched her hands towards the nearby recruits, “I’d like to ask all you to bear a witness to this gambling agreement. In any case, we will see the result here in ten days! Good luck to myself!” She snapped her fingers and felt at ease. They didn’t know if she really was talented, or had any tricks in her hands, but she looked so sure that she would be the one to win.
Wang Ba left angrily.
Mak and Hong Shan rushed up to He Yan. The rest gradually dispersed. Occasionally, a few of them watched He Yan with a complex expression of admiration and sympathy.
They probably all agreed that He Yan would become a guerilla soldier.
Liang Ping glanced at He Yan, shook his head, and left while sighing as he walked. Young people were just impulsive and did not consider the consequences, but… why was he still a little excited when he thought about it?
Within half a day, the entire Liang Zhou Wei knew about this bet between Wo Yan and Wang Ba.
People in the barracks started to make bets themselves, but all of them had little money. They were so poor that they used the dry bread distributed in the barracks to make bets. If Wang Ba loses, one would lose ten, and if He Yan loses, one would lose two.
In the past few days, there were a lot fewer people who ate dry bread. After all, it was not easy to find something fun to do with training all day long.
Cheng Li Su walked into the room and changed into a brand-new yellow robe with a red koi embroidered on the corners of the robe, which was vivid and lovely. As soon as he came in, he yelled at the young man who sat at the table, “Uncle, do you know that the barracks are talking about the crossbow agreement ten days from now?”
Xiao Jue didn’t look away from the book. “I know.”
The entire barracks knew that there was a weak boy who wanted to be the boss of the bandits and a good archer who wanted to drive the opponent to become a guerilla soldier. What a strange pair.
“Now people are even placing bets on them, and I plan to place bets as well, are you coming?” Cheng Li Su squeezed in front of Xiao Jue and asked him cheerfully.
“Cheng Li Su,” Xiao Jue put down the book in his hand and looked at him calmly, “Are you going to gamble in the barracks?”
It was clearly a flat tone, but Cheng Li Su shuddered. He hurriedly raised his hands up. “No, no, not me. It was made by someone else, and I don’t want to bet money. At most a few dry loaves of breads, to pass the time and have fun! Uncle, I’m still a child, and it’s normal to play peaches and shoot willows!”
Xiao Jue hummed, “Playing things will lose one’s will.”
“I don’t have ambitions in the first place, so what can I lose?” Cheng Li Su answered confidently.
Xiao Jue couldn’t answer this.
“Uncle, if you don’t want to go, I will bet by myself. If I don’t have dry bread, I will bet with them with my jerky. It’s not too much money.” He said cheerfully and started to walk out.
“Who are you betting on?” He heard Xiao Jue’s voice as soon as he walked to the door.
As Xiao Jue has always been uninterested in these things, Cheng Li Su was surprised for a moment, but still answered obediently, “Of course it is the king! Isn’t that Brother He Yan as useless as I am?”
Xiao Jue twitched the corner of his mouth, “I advise you to change your bargaining chip.”
“Don’t underestimate an idiot who works hard,” the young man looked down. As if he recalled someone, his long eyes looked like autumn water making ripples, “The last idiot I had seen, became a third-rank military commander.”
 an ignorant youth
 playing peach: playing ball, because it is spherical like a peach;
shooting willow: shooting willow branches with an arrow. It was originally a martial arts competition often held in the Liao and Jin dynasties. Later refers to playing games.