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From ten days ago, the weapons were the same, and so were the archers, but somehow, the atmosphere felt different.
The teenager pulled away the smile on her face and placed her fingers on the arrow, her gaze straight to the center of the straw target. The clouds dispersed to let the blazing sun shine on her face. A drop of sweat slowly rolled down her forehead.
Beads of sweat almost rolled into her eyes, and made the people nervous for no reason, and even more wanted to reach out and brush the drops of sweat away. But the young man remained motionless, like a stone statue, without any sensation. His eyes didn’t waver at all.
The bow was slowly pulled apart, partly, then in half, until it was full. The hearts of the crowd also lifted, and when they were about to suspect that the bow was going to be pulled off in the next moment, the young man stopped his hand, unprepared, and let go of the hand that held the arrow.
The arrow was like a shooting star that pierced the night sky, and with a gust of wind, it rushed rampantly towards the straw target, and it fell down with a bang! And this time, the arrow target was brought even farther down, making one not able to see the arrow clearly.
She had shot the arrow target down, as had Wang Ba.
Someone screamed out in shock.
Eleven days ago, He Yan stood here, unable to even pull her bow, and ten days ago, though He Yan pulled her bow, it was but a small part here. Now her bow was perfectly drawn, and she even shot the target down. Her strength improved considerably in these ten days.
But He Yan wasn’t a prodigy, so how could something like strength grow with the wind?
“Brother He is awesome!” Mak called up, laughed and jumped, “Brother He won!”
“What win?” A recruit who had bet on Wang Ba — distressed about his dry piece of bread– was unconvinced, “Just because he hit the target doesn’t mean he hit the center of the arrow, and if he doesn’t,it means he lost!”
He reminded the audience that this was not a show to see how well He Yan could pull the bow. He was too thin and weak, but they were so surprised by the growth of his arm strength that they forgot to look at his accuracy.
“I’ll go check!” Someone volunteered to run to the target.
Wang Ba looked at He Yan, the teenager stood against the blazing sun with lips full of smiles… it’s this smile again. From the beginning when he met him he was like this, he didn’t seem not worried at all, always so ready to teach people with obnoxious confidence.
But… Wang Ba looked at his own hand, why was he even a little shaken?
He was an orphan with no father or mother, taken by wolves when he was a child. When someone rescued him from the wolf’s den, he was still on the mother wolf for milk. He had been a bandit for many years, and countless birds and animals had died under his arrow. He could shoot well because he had touched the bow since he was seven years old, and now, it’s been more than twenty years.
This little kid was only fifteen or sixteen. Even if he had touched a bow when he was young, it would only be a dozen years, so how could he be as good as him? What’s more, ten days ago, it didn’t look like He Yan pretended when he couldn’t draw a bow, so it couldn’t that a familiar hand had played with a crossbow since childhood.
Thinking, Wang Ba steadied his nerves and soothed his faintly restless heart: He Yan must be no match for him.
The man who had taken the initiative to look for the target arrived. First, he lowered his head to look at the target, and did not reply for a long while. Then, he suddenly crouched down, picked up the arrow target, and ran back.
The arrow target, which was just a straw man, was carried easily, and he quickly ran forward and flung the target to the ground, and said loudly, “Everyone see for yourself!”
Wang Ba’s heart thudded violently.
Everyone looked towards the straw man, but they saw that the center of the straw man was pierced through to the end by a feathered arrow, steadily and impartially, right in the heart.
It was exactly the same as Wang Ba’s.
Sweat ran down Wang Ba’s forehead. The shocked discussion of the surrounding people seemed to fade away, and he saw Liang Ping staring at He Yan in amazement, and the brocaded young gentleman beside Liang Ping was also filled with joy. He Yan stood beside his friend, but he didn’t look much surprised, just smiling lightly as if he had already expected everything.
He Yan smiled, “Accepted.”
“You didn’t win against me.” Wang Ba threw him a deadly stare, “You and I have the same result, how can you be considered to win over me, at most… at most it’s a draw.”
As they both shot the grass target down and also shot the grass target right in the middle, it was really hard to tell a winner from a loser. For Wang Ba, such a result was expected. But He Yan was different, he just went from loser to impressive.
After she heard Wang Ba’s words, He Yan wasn’t exasperated, so she didn’t even argue with Wang Ba, but nodded her head and said, “I think so too.”
In Wang Ba’s heart, he was actually relieved. It would be good to acknowledge the draw, at least… at least he didn’t lose. Those recruits also wiped the sweat from their foreheads. Who would have thought that in the end He Yan would hit the target? If it wasn’t a draw, they would have lost their dry breads in vain. A draw was good, a draw was just right, no one would lose or win, and they were entitled to watch a different kind of fun.
In the next moment, the celebration in the hearts of the crowd was shattered by the words of He Yan.
She just took a pause and said, “I made a bet with you on that day that I will win today. Now that the winner is yet to be decided, it’s natural that we will compete until I win over you.”
“He Yan!” Wang Ba gritted his teeth. What does that mean? Was he certain that he would win? What was this kid saying? What does he want?
Liang Ping also stared at He Yan unexpectedly.
“For the crossbow, you can propose a contest as you like, and I will accompany you until I win, how about it?” A smirk crept up on her face.
“Aren’t you thinking too highly of yourself?” Wang Ba stared at her coldly.
“I don’t think too highly of myself, I just believe in my luck.” She blew her shredded hair on her forehead with little concern, “You know, luck favors those who are prepared.” And she, all the time, was prepared.
“Is that what you’re saying, a casual crossbow competition?” Wang Ba slowly asked back.
“A thousand times true.”
“Fine.” The scarred man nodded, took his huge crossbow, and started to walk off the stage, turning his back to her, “What’s the point of shooting a dead straw target? On the battlefield, the enemy won’t stand still and wait for you to shoot. If you really want to shoot an arrow, shoot at a living thing, and the birds and beasts are just in time for practice.”
It turned out the challenge was to become a predator.
The crowd stood dumbfounded. To shoot at living things was much harder than shooting at a target. As the old saying goes, “A hundred steps to pierce the Yang,” and a straw target was not as agile as a living thing.
“Brother He, you can’t fall for his trap, don’t promise him!” Hong Shan hurriedly gave He Yan a straight look.
When He Yan looked at Wang Ba, her eyes flashed with admiration, and she nodded, her voice cheerful.
 pierce a willow leaf with an arrow from the distance of a hundred paces; hit the target at every shot; One can hit virtually any target within a hundred steps.