A Mistaken Marriage Match2: Generation of Military Counselors
Chapter 34 The Great Disappointment
Su Yu went to the entrance of the study. The door was open and inside the room, there was also ice everywhere. Su Ling stood at the table with his back to him. Su Yu hesitated for a while and then finally went inside the room. The two of them did not speak. There was not even a greeting exchanged between them. They were just silent for a long time in the huge study. It was an unusual silence. Even the sound of water drops hitting the ground and a heart beating could be heard.
Su Ling asked while his back was towards him. Su Yu could not see his expression, but just from listening to the tone of his brother’s voice, he already knew Big Brother was angry and was patiently holding it in to not explode in anger.
Su Yu took a deep breath and said, “Brother, I am sorry.” In fact, he was well aware, even in the absence of the eldest brother, Qing Mo, could not belong to him. It was just that his heart was miserable and wanted to drink liquor so it would not be so painful. He did not expect the wine would make his tongue say things that were improper.
Su Yu slightly bowed his head. Waiting for Big Brother’s snarl, even if he was to punch his head, he had nothing to say. Who lets him fall in love with his sister-in-law?
Su Ling did not move for a long time. Su Yu slowly looked up and saw that he still had his back to him. Was Big brother not willing to yell and scold him? Suddenly the silence made Su Yu feel a bit bewildered. Finally, Su Ling spoke again. He quietly said,
“This thing has passed.”
Su Yu looked at his eldest brother’s stiff cold back and there was a burst of sadness in his heart, “Big Brother, I am considering to be dispatched to the East Coast for one year. Pirates are rampant. The emperor will send troops to be stationed there. I want to learn and experience it.”
Su Ling turned around. His deep black eyes stared at Su Yu’s extreme decadent face full of stubble. Then Su Ling coldly asked, “Have you really thought it over?”
“Well.” Su Yu firmly nodded. Perhaps if he doesn’t see her, he can forget. It was better to leave than stay in the General’s office. He really did not know how to face her and Big brother.
Su Ling’s face was always serious; one was never able to see if he was happy or angry or even reveal what he was thinking. Su Yu tensed and unconsciously clenched his fists. His cold eyes were still remaining on Su Ling since the moment he met with those sharp cold eyes. Su Yu was almost overwhelmed by the sense of oppression until Su Ling suddenly whispered, “Well, Yu, this time I will propose to the Emperor to dispatch you with the troops of twenty thousand to be stationed in the East China Sea.“
Su Yu was secretly relieved and took a breath before replying back, “Thank you, brother.”
Su Ling waved his hand and said, “You go to prepare for it.’’ He then turned away to not see Su Yu’s face anymore.
“Yes.” Su Yu looked at Su Ling’s back in solemn silence and then turned quickly out of the study.
Su Ling only turned around to look when the footsteps behind him drifted away. The reason why he gave Su Yu permission to go was that he had not figured out an arrangement for the situation yet. In terms of ability, Su Ling wasn’t exactly sure Su Yu was the best capable individual to take on the task. If it were other things, he would be able to help Su Yu but because this was sentimental matters, even he cannot control it himself. He could only hope that when Su Yu returns, he would come back the same third brother that was once vigorous and high spirited.
The day had been bright while Gu Yun visited the barracks. The guard who saw her first was surprised. When he recovered from his daze, he immediately greeted her and did not stop her from what she was doing. The General had said the one responsible for training the Special Elite Force was a young girl and she had access to the camp at any time she wanted. Although they did not understand the General’s intention, this was out of their control. If others had their mothers or aunts come and did not feel any inconvenience, then what was inconvenience about just this one girl. What was there to hesitate about?
Gu Yun walked towards a few tents at the barracks specially designated for the elite soldiers. She sat down on a slightly clean stone brick and carefully observed the hilt of Bing Lian that was now calm. At this time, it was no different from its usual form. The blade had a slight icy glow. It was completely unexpected that it would have this much celestial power and that it could also speak! Gu Yun always felt that such magical relic would choose her for a reason. But what was even stranger was the Su Family gold emblem and diagram disk. What was the connection between all of them?
Did she still have a chance to return to her world? If so, that Su Ling …
Gu Yun raised her hand and started pounding her aching head gently. She had always come and gone like the wind, but at that moment, Su Ling’s figure was impressively in her mind. She thought about his confession last night and her face unconsciously began to glow.
Every time she remembered that person, she would be in a trance. She would have a shivering feeling inside for which she had never experienced before. If this was liking, it didn’t feel too bad; but for her to stay, she had not made that decision yet. She had to wait until she takes back the gold diagram first then think of it.
Dawn had been piercing the night curtain while the sun had not come out yet. There was a soft glow tainting the sky. Leng Xiao and several soldiers walked out of the tent to see Gu Yun sitting on the ground holding a sword staring into space. They all wondered what the woman was thinking about.
Out of nowhere, Gu Yun snapped out of her trance and coughed lightly to cover up her absent mind. She got up and said to Leng Xiao, “Today, weapons testing location has been changed to the forest behind the mountains. You inform Yu Shijun, after finishing the morning exercise to lead the team to the forest and assemble.” Two days ago, Han Shu had said on this day they could use the training field for the test. Who knew Bing Lian would turn The General’s Manor into a disaster. The training field located behind The General’s Manor was estimated to be a mess.
Leng Xiao nodded and replied, “Yes.“
Gu Yun walked in the direction of the woods by herself, leaving a group of people looking at each other blankly. This sort of thing, she could casually let a soldier come to handle and inform them on the line but she had to come personally? There must be some scheme!
Gu Yun did not realize that to escape several Su Family men’s incessant nagging, going to the military camp wandering about and then return in circles could be seen as a scheme. She did not know if she will be happy or sad. They left for the morning exercises, ate breakfast, and then formation walked into the forest towards the usual training place. They saw the lieutenant and more than ten soldiers whispering to each other. The soldiers each placed big wicker baskets, which seemed to be the training targets. However, to require numerous targets, what was she up to?
The soldiers had doubts in their mind but did not dare to say anything. Today, Gu Yun was in a good mood. She moved towards them and spoke, “I will repeat the deduction system today. In every test, the score of ten members of the team will be added together. The team with the least total score, each group member will get a deduction. In the middle of the test, if someone in the team couldn’t pass tactically or achieve completely they could request to pass the stake to another team member. If a group fails one of the clearance requirements, each member will have a deduction. Clear?”
Gu Yun said with satisfaction as she pointed to the ground and placed there were ten bows and quiver loaded with ten long arrows.” Each team will consist of ten members, in accordance with the order of the station compiled for numbered one to ten. There are ten coded arrows to be used for the pop-up targets behind the trees. You must find your corresponding target number to strike. I should remind you that the targets are the black center and red center. The targets with black bulls-eyes are bonuses. You only need to hit the red bulls-eyes, only this count as a score.”
Originally the elite soldiers were full of confidence but now they were looking slightly down. They would have guessed that she will not do simple archery, but did not think she would have so many tricks! No wonder she prepared so many targets.
Gu Yun with a calm smile said, “The first requirement is not high, the group passes as long as there are five arrows in the red bulls-eye.” She will use the red and black bulls-eye to test and exercise their instantaneous reversal of stress.
Hearing the phrase ‘as long as five arrows on the target, everyone was secretly relieved.
In the distance, Yu Shijun’s hand was holding a small flag. Opposite of him was Gu Yun. He shook the flag to signal.
“The first group. Get ready!”
The first group walked to the front row, picked up the bow from the ground and then pulled the first arrow out of the quiver. Gu Yun walked towards the forest. After two or three feet she said, “Listen to my signal, begin”
As soon as she called the code, from behind the large trunks in front of the woods, ten targets were swiftly extended out. However, the order of the appearing arrow target was not in accordance with their standing order. The direction of the target appeared varied. To just find each of their own numbered targets, was not easy. Let alone shoot! When they finally found it and had just raised their bow to aim, Gu Yun had already shouted, “Two!”
When that word was heard, the original arrow target quickly retracted and from different trees popped up new targets. As long as there was a tree, the place seemed likely to bring out a wide range of targets. It was so unpredictable and the instantaneous conversion of the targets confused them. “Three!”
Disorderly arrows rained after that tenth rundown. Some targets were empty and some targets looked like a hedgehog. The ground and everywhere on the trunk can see the leaning side of the arrow shot. Not to mention some soldier’s quiver still had seven or eight arrows left. Ripple firing of arrows was not the way to shoot.
Gu Yun’s fairly calmed face was now gloomy, “Read the tallies on the targets.”
After a while, Yu Shijun loudly read the statistics report, “First target, three; Second target, four; third target, none; fourth target, one; fifth target, three; Sixth target, two; seventh target, two; eighth target, one; ninth target, three; tenth target, five.”
“Ten people and only one person got through! Good! Very good!” sarcastically Gu Yun announced through her clenched jaws. In practice, she stressed that in archery, stability is necessary but also must have absolute resilience and fast speed. “This is what you practiced in five days for me to see? You did not practice. This is not for me. You do not need to waste my time here! If you cannot handle a bow and an arrow, what can you do as soldiers?”
Gu Yun noted it about them. Almost everyone was superior in archery, therefore she chose archery as the first assessment project so that they can understand her assessments were not just motionless things, inactive objects and it would soon transform their perception. But she never imagined that their resilience and control were so bad! This could only demonstrate that they were not practicing in accordance with her request attentively!
Gu Yun was upset! A moment ago, the test was once again a failure! The brave soldiers were met with fierce scolding as a consequence and the mood was very depressing. They joined the team to prove that they were outstanding, not to be scolded by a woman! They risked their lives, went on battle after battle, when she may have yet to be born.
Finally, a brawny man who looked like he was in his early thirties could not help but step forward. As a soldier, he still did not forget the discipline of a soldier. Under the blaze of passion, his hands were raised with apathy. Zhuang Han’s body stood in front of Gu Yun which almost completely covered her by his shadow.
Gu Yun was not advancing or retreating. In the face of such an obstinate move, she coldly answered back,
After being insulted to the point of being angry, his face displayed fortitude. With an unwilling harsh voice, Zhuang Han literally said, “If you want to drive us to leave, you can say it directly. There is no need to interfere with the impossible thing to humiliate us.” They were soldiers not to be mocked and humiliated like a fool!
“Do you think what I said was just to humiliate you?” Gu Yun said. She was upset before but now her anger was burning. This group of ungrateful things didn’t know what is good or bad! Gu Yan was very angry. She took a deep breath then sneered, “I will tell you now, what can be called humiliation!”
Gu Yun puts out a hand and in a cold voice said, “Give me.”
Zhuang Han was frowning and did not know what she wanted to do, nevertheless still hand her the bow.
Holding the bow, almost as tall as her, Gu Yun went to the eight target position just where Zhuang Han was a while ago, she carefully checked the bow and arrow. While facing the distant Yu Shijun, she yelled out, “Yu Shi Jun, you shout the signal, one more time!”
Whether it is practice or task, regardless of the gun or any weapon, she will do the inspection. She instructed them the importance of weapons inspection, but at the performance a moment ago, this step was done by less than half of the people.
Yu Shijun was surprised for a moment. She wanted to demonstrate it? But her injury was just a little better, ah, if she got injured again, will the generals get him? Even Yu Shijun’s heart- of- a hundred did not want her to do a demonstration, but more than a hundred soldiers had her attention. He could not disobey her purpose. He clearly replied, “Yes.“
With the shout of ready, Gu Yun pulled out one of the arrows from the quiver. They thought she will have difficulty to pull the bow; but at that moment, Gu Yun placed the long arrow into the bow. It seemed that the moment she picked up the bow her aura changed. She was steady and in an instant, emerged very sharp.
With the signal, the targets popped up in all directions. In that position, the order of the targets was completely different, and almost at the same time when the target stood, long arrows cut through the sky.
“Center eight target!”
Gu Yun’s arrow has been on the string and found the black target is upright, she just did not let go.
All the numbers were called out, Gu Yun lets go of the arrow.
Right on the mark! And they have more than power than her, but she was sharper, more flexible than a moving target and she won the set. Gu Yun said loudly “Read the target!“
“Eight!” There was no need to spend too much time on the statistical results. Gu Yun only shot eight arrows. They were all in and were in the middle of each target. Two of the targets were black bulls-eye. She did not have errors. There were two more arrows still in the quiver.
At that moment in the forest, more than a hundred soldiers instantly became quiet. Even in the grass, the insects inside sounded raspy. Opposite, the target was held high, and in stark contrast to a messy target earlier. She was right. This was humiliating. Many of them had a military career for more than ten years, since that brave and fierce, invincible. But today, they lost to a woman ten years younger. It was simply ironic. Gu Yun was undoubtedly in each of their faces fiercely. They had shut up their mouths and were silent but the pain was still burning. It hurt their noble pride.
She had stretched too hard and so now the wound was a bit painful.
Gu Yun raised her hand with the longbow then elegantly threw it to the dull and brawny gawking man. Zhuang Han quickly caught it. Gu Yun coldly said, “I hate self-righteous. I hate people who do not make the utmost of their own efforts! You, deduct twenty points.”
The brawny soldier finally lowered his head that had always been high. Gu Yun in a low voice said, “Are you committed?” This brawny man that often called for them to drink to the woman, his heart now has full of respect. He stood up straight and loudly replied,
“Who else is not convinced?”
“The next group!”
Although several groups behind were mentally prepared, they were unable to maintain their focus through the training because there were frequent changes to the moving target. They still could not adapt therefore the result was a natural disaster.
Yu Shijun looked at the results recorded. They could only be described as appalling. He went towards Gu Yun, her face had been restored to the usual calm look, but the cat’s big eyes had the obvious cold radiance. Yu Shijun thought, only the results of the statistics say, dare not elaborate, “The lowest cumulative score is the fifth group; each group has reached less than five targets in the requirements.”
Gu Yun hated ‘toothaches’, intolerantly replied, “In accordance with the provisions of the points I mentioned before, remember, zero to let him get out.
“Turn right, run forward three hundred meters.” This was the easiest thing she considered on the assessment for the next level. Gu Yun was already thinking, she should be mentally prepared and did not blame them for her own burst of anger.
Gu Yun and the assisting soldiers ran forward to make the arrangements in the forest clearing. When she saw two tall figures, she thought, Su Ling and Han Shu? Gu Yun walked in front of them, to quiz them, “Why did you come?” Looking at Su Ling’s black eyes radiating with a smile, Gu Yun averted from his eyes and looked down at once.
“I heard there was a training standard assessment today so I came to see.” Considering her unnatural expression, Su Ling was in a good mood. He understood that she was shy?
Han Shu also laughed. “I have to see.” At the General’s House, there was still a lot of thick ice. Even though some had already melted into ice water, he did not want to stay there.
Gu Yun was pretty playful today, she slightly pouted her mouth. Both with little frustration and scorn replied, “Things are still not looking good.” According to their achievement and performance, the difficulty will only be worse.
“What do you mean?”
Gu Yun just shrugged her shoulders and did not explain further. Su Ling no longer prods her and on the other hand, Han Shu retreated to the side like waiting for the mayhem, (i.e, the testing event) and to his understanding of her, this training assessment should be worth some witty spectacle.
Placed in an open space were ten wooden tables. Neatly placed on each of the tables, were ten short arrows. Next to them, were crossbows covered with white cloth. More than ten feet away on the other side were ten cone-shaped rolly-poly* tumblers, the middle was painted with a red bullseye target.
*(Roly-poly toys are round-bottomed tilting dolls/tumbler or swaying dolls when pushed it always corrects itself)
Looking at this “battle” arrangement, it seemed that this one was not difficult, but after the previous assessment, the soldiers cannot afford to relax. Most especially because the general and the vanguard have both came to watch. Their pressure was greater. Nobody wanted to lose face.
“The second test crossbow.”
GuYun simply said the rules of the assessment, “The arrow’s target is the opposite shaking cone-shaped bullseye. Before it stops shaking or dancing you may shoot the ten arrows. As long as five arrows are through the target, you pass.”
Is that all? The officers and men were secretly glad that the subject was simpler than before.
“Ready.” Yu Shijun waved across Gu Yun. Yu Shijun was commanding the soldiers who will taper down the roly-poly tumblers by pressing the top with logs.
Gu Yun called, “The first group.”
The first group of ten officers and men steadily and eagerly stepped forward. Gu Yun’s chilly voice commanded, “Shooting should be preceded by warm-up, left foot forward across his hands and a step back. One hundred push-ups.”
What? Also, warm up? Although they do not know what she wanted to do, the soldiers did accordingly hoping to start soon and quickly complete the test. Waiting steadily to begin, Gu Yun with her calm voice spoke again, “In unity, when I count the number put your body down and when I called the second time push your body up. That will be counted as one…..” When Gu Yun counted, the pacing was very slow. After doing more than thirty, they finally knew her intentions.
According to the unified command, to do a hundred push-ups will be more tiring than doing a rapid 300 push-ups! Following her counting was more strenuous for their posteriors. Finally, they managed to finish the one hundred but when they stood up their hands were shaking.
Gu Yun began to signal her hand toward the back of the assisting soldiers and they pushed the pressure on the target logs, ten coned-shaped targets immediately raised… … violently swaying.
The soldiers rushed to the wooden table and opened the white cloth cover to get the crossbow. They were all dumbfounded and not for anything else; but just because under the white cloth, the crossbows were not put together. They must assemble the crossbow first in order to release the arrows, and it had to be within the allotted time to put ten arrows and finish five hits! Their hands were shaking like leaves in the wind and their task was clearly difficult to complete. Across from the soldiers, the swaying of the target gradually slowed down. They didn’t have much time to think. They can only race against time to sort out the pieces of the crossbow, assemble it, and then release the arrow.
After being thrown into a frenzy, helplessness came over them when Yu Shijun weakly announced,
Casting a sidelong glance at the row of cone-shaped bull’s-eye and on the very few short arrows, Yu Shijun lamented, there was only a four syllable word to describe the results—miserable. Quietly, he peeped at the General’s face, and only a two syllable word could be used to describe what he saw- gloomy. But Gu Yun was relatively calm, slightly raising her hand towards him and said lightly, “Do not report the score. I have seen them all.”
The first group of soldiers put down their crossbows, took a step back and waited for Gu Yun to scold them. Gu Yun just brushed them off and said, “Disassemble the crossbow and then go back to the rank.”
Gu Yun sighed, although the results were expected to be less than ideal, seeing was still very depressing. She turned around and called, “Yu Shijun, you take over.”
Gu Yun went to Su Ling’s side and noticed he had been silent. His eagle eyes quietly watched the unsatisfied result. Gu Yun asked, “Do you have any thoughts or opinions?”
He understood her training methods. Although they were somewhat tricky, they were also very practical. The enemy was not only a target but one that will move and also fight back. Even if they were exhausted, they would still be calm and continue to quickly fight. Only then would this be regarded as real elites. In fact, the basic skills of these soldiers were very good, but they were just not used to it. Given the time, they may not be able to meet her requirements. Thinking of the points out of Gu Yun’s system, Su Ling laughed, “They are accustomed to practicing the military training methods. To meet your requirements, a short time is difficult. I am afraid they have not practiced well and have to be kicked out.”
Gu Yun’s brows were tightly knit together. She was thinking of eliminating the problem and changing the training according to the present situation. She now thought of how to transform the training mode to allow them to adapt and better perform with their enormous strength.
As the two were thinking, Han Shu stood behind them watching and frequently shook his head. He now believed that she was very generous to the recruits. The recruits’ continuous training was very tiring but once you finished you can rest. They were also in the most exhausted state while being tested. Han Shu couldn’t help but sighed, “Obediently, if all the Su-home army can practice like that, it would be so invincible!” Although at the present it had no rival.
Gu Yun mumbled, “It is not necessary but not impossible to do. Arms are not the same, training methods would be different, you are dreaming.”
Han Shu curled up his lips and did not say anything in reply. He also knew naturally what is possible.
More than a dozen groups finished but the results were not worth mentioning. The group of once high-spirited and the scenery of the elite as the undefeated were now like a ‘defeated fighting roosters’. Heads were slightly bowed. Silently standing there, Gu Yun walked in front of them and said,
“In accordance with this ratio, there would be no deduction. That’s the end of today. You have all disappointed me.”
Gu Yun did not have the same reaction as she had in the previous incident in which she scolded them. This time she just lightly commented, but all the people were shocked. In general, they were burning from head to toe.
Gu Yun was really irritated with today’s results. First, they did not live up to her expectations. Second, she began to reflect on the soldier’s own training model. She walked to the wooden table and readily picked up a half-meter long crossbow. She continued to ponder but noticed something odd.
The group of soldiers who should have left did not move. Gu Yun looked sideways and said, “Say it!”
“Give us a chance!”
Neat and loud cries echoed through the empty forest. Everyone’s face was solemn. Gu Yun was stunned. They didn’t think she was giving up right? Secretly feeling funny, her face was calm and collected. With an icy voice, Gu Yun without the trace of being surprised.
“Well, I’ll give you five days. You must follow my request strictly in accordance with the requirements of my training. My requirements can no longer be so low like this.”
Relieved, Gu Yun’s delicate mouth smiled unconsciously when she heard the unanimous shout. As soon as the shout finished, she instructed them, “What are you gawking about, do not clean up the arrow targets and crossbows. Continue to practice the whole afternoon.”
Su Ling had been far on the sidelines until Gu Yun finished, he went over with a smile and croaked “Today you may no longer be a fake hujia huwei**, a fox that exploits the tiger’s might** “
(**Chinese idiom meaning using powerful connections to intimidate people)
The soldiers always could never hide their likes and dislikes from their faces. It was also clearly visible from their manners and attitudes. Apparently, it was obvious that she gained their respects.
Gu Yun smiled but said nothing. To get the respect of the soldiers was an essential condition of the chief commander. Of course, failing to teach them well was also the chief’s responsibility.
The squinting black eyes were looking at her. She did not seem to be in a good mood. In her ear, he softly laughed, “Then my madam, may I trouble you.”
He always ridiculed her but she was numb to it. However, hearing the word ‘madam’ from his mouth, Gu Yun’s heart suddenly jumped and her face began to burn up. Glaring at Su Ling for his ploy, not caring about a bad reputation, she lowered her head and screamed her head out with irritation,
“Who is your madam!!!”
“Of courrrssse…. – ” Su Ling smiling eyes were staring at her, deliberately lengthening the answer and purposely suspending the words to intensify the person’s enthusiasm.
Gu Yun was anxious and in a low voice cried, “Su Ling, you shut up!” Han Shu was howling with laughter until his face gave an impression of having a fit. Not to mention the soldiers who were still carrying the target and had swept their eyes over towards them from time to time with a look of anticipation waiting for mayhem.
Gu Yun suddenly turned around to face the group of men who were moving slower than a snail. She shouted, “Move quickly! Do you want to carry the target on your shoulders doing frog-jumps backward? Is that it?”
She was simply a tigress! Even the generals would roar for her. They were scolded several times by her but there was no one on their side to create a balance. The group of soldiers quickly picked up the arrow target, held a crossbow and arrows, and then ran to the forest. Instantly, there was only three of them left on the training ground.
“Um huh-” Han Shu also quickly said, “I’ll go back and see how the ice is melting in the government’s office.” He better go or later he would be kicked the ugly way.
Han Shu fled and the soldiers who liked to be there already left. Gu Yun was left feeling embarrassed by the event just a moment ago. Su Ling did not laugh giving her respect for her feelings, which gave her courage. Vigorous like a storm, she angrily said, “Have you laughed sufficiently enough?!” Because of him, otherwise, how could she display such ill- manner?
The beauty was displeased. Su Ling pulled together his smile, however his deep black eyes constantly watched her. The sun and sweat were on her forehead. Was it because the sun was too bright? Or because her temper was not really good that the light blush on her face made her beautiful.
He did not laugh but stared at her. Gu Yun was even more at a loss. She doesn’t know how she should proceed. Facing Su Ling’s deep eyes, Gu Yun also stared back.
Su Ling laughed once again, “How come I did not see this before, your fierce appearance looks beautiful.”
Beautiful? “Your sweet words are really clumsy.” She did not know if he was insulting her or praising her.
Full of smiles, Su Ling replied back, “Later, I will be able to practice frequently.” He truly doesn’t speak in honeyed words or say sweet phrases. But if the object was her, he will do it with diligence. Gu Yun glanced at him and realized she had not discovered before that this man had such a poor side.
Suddenly Gu Yun remembered something and she excitedly went to Su Ling and pulled his hand towards the General’s office. She said to him, “I have something to show to you. Come with me.”
Her hand was very small but the strength was quite big. Su Ling looked down at the hands holding him, his lips unconsciously smiled bigger. This was her first initiative to hold his hand. Su Ling’s heart and mind were focused only on this and did not pay any attention to her other hand that was holding a crossbow.