Rebirth of a Star General Chapter 104

Chapter 104: Living Together

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Because they had to take care of Song Taotao, the carriage was moving slowly, taking more time than when they had arrived. By the time they reached Liangzhou Garrison, it was already evening.

Shen Han and his group had been waiting on the horse path outside the Garrison, and when the carriage stopped, Shen Han sighed in relief only after seeing Xiao Jue get out of the carriage.

When they headed to Liangzhou City, they had no idea what Xiao Jue was doing there, and they hadn’t received any letters. Over the past few days, they had been anxious, fearing that things might have changed. But now it seemed to have gone smoothly. Shen Han was about to speak when he heard Liang Ping beside him say, “How… how is there a girl?”

A girl? Shen Han saw a fifteen or sixteen-year-old girl in a pink dress jump down from the front carriage, delicate and lovely, with a beautiful appearance.

Looking at He Yan beside, who seemed a bit tired and not very energetic, Shen Han was greatly surprised. Did the Commander bring back a girl from Liangzhou? Did this mean he was going to sever ties with He Yan?

But doing this in front of He Yan would be too heartless.

Just as he was thinking this, he heard a cheerful voice behind him, “Uncle, big brother, you’re finally back!”

Bouncing over like a rabbit was Cheng Lisu, accompanied by the ethereal-looking female physician Shen Muxue in white. Cheng Lisu came over and first expressed his displeasure to Shen Han, “Instructor Shen, my uncle has returned, and you didn’t even tell me. If I hadn’t heard it myself, wouldn’t I be unable to welcome my uncle properly?”

“Big brother, I see you’ve safely returned, so this trip must have been very smooth, right? That guy Yuan Baozhen is gone, isn’t he? I knew you could do it… Huh?” His originally joyful expression shattered when he saw Song Taotao, and his tone instantly became harsh as he pointed at her and questioned, “Second Young Miss Song, what is she doing here?”

“What’s with that expression?” Song Taotao furrowed her brow.

“We met Miss Song in Liangzhou City,” He Yan smiled and said, “It’s also a coincidence. Miss Song will be staying at the Garrison for a while.” She didn’t go into detail about how they had encountered Song Taotao, covering it up for her instead.

“Big brother,” Cheng Lisu looked at him in disbelief, “I asked you to help me avoid Yuan Baozhen, so I wouldn’t be forced into marriage. But you brought her directly in front of me? Are you trying to make my life miserable too?”

“Cheng Lisu,” Song Taotao couldn’t stand it any longer and stepped forward, hands on her hips, and shouted back at him with a fierce demeanor, “Do you think I wanted to see you? To be honest, I came to Liangzhou City to escape a forced marriage. If it weren’t for encountering Second Young Master Xiao, I wouldn’t have come here. I don’t want to marry you either! A useless young master like you, dreaming of being worthy of me—I think you’re dreaming!”

In terms of verbal skills, Cheng Lisu was no match for Song Taotao at all. At this moment, he deeply regretted not reading more books in his daily life, as he couldn’t even come up with a decent retort.

“…You shrew!” He could only respond weakly.

“Well, that’s still better than being a useless person like you,” Song Taotao retorted with an eye roll.

These two enemies continued to argue, but Liang Ping had to step in as a mediator, saying, “Young Master Cheng, the Commander and his party have been on the road for most of the day. They must be tired. Let them rest for a moment and have a meal before discussing things further, okay?”

Someone offered an olive branch, and Cheng Lisu naturally had to accept it. He said, “I won’t argue with you. I’m just worried about my uncle and big brother!”

Finally, the current situation was temporarily eased.

Shen Muxue, who had been silent all along, approached Xiao Jue and said, “Second Young Master, the secret message you sent earlier mentioned that someone was injured, is it…”

These people all appeared to be fine.

Xiao Jue glanced at He Yan, and He Yan said, “It’s me!”

Shen Muxue asked, “…Do you have any discomfort?”

“It’s just some minor injuries on the skin,” He Yan smiled, “I would trouble Miss Shen to find some ointment for external wounds, the same kind as last time.”

Song Taotao looked surprised as she turned to him and asked, “Young Master He, you got injured?” She hadn’t seen He Yan getting injured, so she thought nothing had happened.

Cheng Lisu pulled He Yan away and stared at Song Taotao as if trying to avoid a robber, saying, “Shrew, stay away from my big brother!”

The two of them started arguing again.

He Yan: “…”

The energy of young people was truly enviable.

When they returned to the Garrison and rested for a while, had dinner, the sky had already turned completely dark.

Shen Han said to Xiao Jue, “The Commander’s room has been cleaned by me every day, and today we’ve prepared fresh bedding. The Commander can just stay there.”

Shen Han was well-prepared because Xiao Jue’s obsession with cleanliness had reached an almost obsessive level.

Xiao Jue nodded and was about to enter the room when He Yan grabbed his sleeve and said, “Wait!”

Were they going to have a private conversation? Shen Han thought to himself that such a situation was not suitable for him, so he said, “Commander, if there’s nothing else, I’ll take my leave.” Without waiting for Xiao Jue’s response, he hurriedly left.

He Yan pushed Xiao Jue into the room.

Xiao Jue asked coldly, “What is it?”

“Commander, did you forget what you promised me before? You are General Fengyun, and your word should be your bond.”

“What did I say?” Xiao Jue looked at her calmly.

Frustrated that he was trying to backtrack, He Yan said, “Didn’t we agree before coming back that you would arrange a new room for me? I can’t stay in a shared room; it’s inconvenient for bathing and changing bandages.”

Before Xiao Jue could respond, another voice chimed in, “It’s just changing rooms, right? You don’t need him for that. I can help you too!”

The two turned to see Cheng Lisu running over. Cheng Lisu’s room was adjacent to Xiao Jue’s, separated by a central door that divided the large house into two rooms. During normal times, when Cheng Lisu was forced to transcribe books, Xiao Jue would occasionally keep an eye on him while reading, so they didn’t bother closing the central door. Now, Cheng Lisu had jumped over from his room, getting overly excited about the situation.

“Big brother, what do you think of my room?”

He Yan: “Hmm?”

“If you think my room is decent, I’ll switch rooms with you,” young Master Cheng couldn’t wait to say, “We can move tonight. I’ll go pack my things right now! What do you think, big brother?”

He Yan was a bit puzzled, and Xiao Jue frowned, looking at his nephew, who usually didn’t follow the same path as ordinary people, and asked, “What’s going on?”

“Uncle,” Cheng Lisu said with a mournful face, “it’s because you guys brought that shrew back. I just asked Instructor Liang, and Song Taotao is temporarily staying with Doctor Shen, just ten steps away from us. If I stay here, won’t I have to see her every day? I get dizzy and nauseous just looking at her now, so forget it. Since big brother also wants to change rooms, we can just switch. When Song Taotao leaves, we can switch back.”

He Yan said, “Sounds good!”

Xiao Jue said, “No.”

Cheng Lisu’s dislike for Song Taotao exceeded his awe for his uncle. He pretended not to hear Xiao Jue’s words, happily turned around to pack his things, and Xiao Jue angrily said, “Get back here!” He reached out to grab him and pull him back but was stopped by He Yan.

Cheng Lisu took the opportunity to run further away, and with a loud “bang,” he closed the central door.

Xiao Jue: “Cheng Lisu!”

“Don’t be so harsh; you’ll scare the child,” He Yan said with a smile as she looked at him, “Commander, Young Master Cheng has agreed, and it’s a mutual decision. In matters of mutual consent, why are you interfering?”

The way she said it made it sound like Xiao Jue was being unreasonable and trying to cause trouble.

Xiao Jue sneered, “What right do you have?”

“Just because… I’m only a red mole away from being the woman you deeply love.” He Yan looked at him with a smile.

The room fell silent for a moment.

Xiao Jue, feeling disgusted, averted his gaze. “Miss He, do you really want to stay in Liangzhou Garrison?”

“I have never lied about this matter,” He Yan said with a hint of seriousness. “Moreover, I really want to join the Nine Banner Battalion.”

“Don’t push your luck.”

“I’ve always known when to stop,” He Yan said, “Commander, I just need a chance to prove myself, to prove that I’m not a traitor, and to prove that I’m worth having as a trusted confidante.”

Xiao Jue chuckled. “Bold words.”

“If you don’t give me a chance, isn’t that too much?”

“You?” Xiao Jue looked her up and down and spoke indifferently, “How long can you last in Liangzhou Garrison?”

“Longer than you think.”

“You’re a woman.”

“I won’t be discovered.”

“I won’t cover for you.”

He Yan smiled upon hearing that. “You just want to say that, right?”

Second Young Master Xiao was noble and aloof, not inclined to be sentimental. Expecting him to cover up the truth for her was probably impossible. However, He Yan’s skills were indeed exceptional, and Xiao Jue hesitated a bit. In his view, whether someone was a man or a woman wasn’t that important; what mattered was their capability and whether they were outstanding enough to be worth keeping.

“If you can’t do it, then leave,” his response was as ruthless as ever.

“It’s a deal,” He Yan said, “I’ll rely on my own abilities to stay here. Whether it’s joining the Nine Banner Battalion, achieving merit, or ensuring that you don’t need to worry, Commander.”

Xiao Jue looked at her intently for a while before raising an eyebrow and asking, “Do you really want to join the Nine Banner Battalion?”

“Of course!”

“Okay,” Second Young Master Xiao said, curling his lips, “I’ll give you a month to recover. After a month, your daily martial training will be the same as the Nine Banner Battalion’s training.” As if he was worried that He Yan didn’t understand, he added, “The training volume of the Nine Banner Battalion is three times what you’re doing now.”

He Yan: “…”

Xiao Jue, what a ruthless man.

“If you can endure it, stay; if you can’t, roll out of Liangzhou Garrison,” he stared at He Yan, half-smiling, his clear eyes filled with faint mockery. “Miss He, how long do you think you can hold on?”

He Yan returned a grimacing smile.

“…Commander, there’s a long road ahead; just wait and see.”


After finally settling into the room, He Yan also had to go back to her shared room to pack her things and catch up with her brothers. When she arrived outside the shared room, before entering, Xiao Mai, who was leaning against the door, spotted her and shouted, “Brother Ah He, you’re back!”

With that shout, everyone inside heard it. For a moment, everyone poked their heads out of the room, and those with more courage crowded around He Yan, asking her, “He Yan, did you come back with Commander Xiao? How was the trip? Is Liangzhou City fun? What did you guys do?”

“Go away, don’t crowd here,” Hong Shan shooed them away and let He Yan come inside, “You’re back just in time; everyone is here. I noticed that you lost some weight on this trip. Did you suffer?”

“No,” He Yan said, sitting down on the bed, “It’s good to be back.”

The beds at the Sun’s residence were soft and comfortable, but the thought of so many girls being buried in the courtyard made it feel particularly eerie and terrifying. Although the beds were hard and the blankets were thin at this place, there was a sense of peace in people’s hearts when sleeping. 

“Did your relationship with Commander Xiao improve during this trip?” Huang Xiong asked. 

Due to the incident with the Vanguard Camp earlier, He Yan had harbored a lot of resentment towards Xiao Jue. Going on this trip to Liangzhou City with Xiao Jue, Hong Shan and the others were worried that He Yan might not be able to resist getting into a fight with Xiao Jue on the way. 

“It’s okay,” He Yan replied vaguely.

Wang Ba sneered and said with a bit of schadenfreude, “It doesn’t look like it; if it really improved, why did you come back empty-handed without any rewards? Didn’t he give you anything?”

Just as they were talking, Cheng Lisu, dragging three large boxes of luggage, already arriving outside the room. Standing at the door, he asked He Yan, “Brother Ah He, can I come in now?”

“Come in.”

Once Cheng Lisu came in, he was startled by the crowded room and asked, “What’s all this commotion? Won’t it be noisy sleeping at night?”

Xiao Mai widened his eyes and asked, “What does this mean?”

He Yan smiled and said slowly, “During our trip to Liangzhou, I achieved great merit. The Commander was very impressed and decided to reward me by swapping rooms with Young Master Cheng. Young Master Cheng will stay here, and I’ll be next door to the Commander, as a token of appreciation.”

Everyone was stunned.

“Is this kid telling the truth?” Wang Ba asked Cheng Lisu.

“He is,” Cheng Lisu bowed to the others, “In the future, please take care of me, elder brothers.”

The room suddenly became lively, with everyone bombarding He Yan with questions.

“What great merit did you achieve? What major event did you undertake when you went out?”

“Just switching rooms and not giving any other rewards? He didn’t even let you join the Vanguard Camp?”

“He Yan, are you getting promoted? If you do, can you take your brothers with you?”

On one side, He Yan was surrounded by her brothers like a victorious general, while on the other side, Shen Han had just learned about everything that had happened in Liangzhou City with Xiao Jue.

“Sun Xiangfu served in Liangzhou for eight years, and the people lived in misery,” Shen Han sighed, “You reap what you sow; he brought this upon himself.”

During his time in Liangzhou, Shen Han had also heard of the many misdeeds of Sun Xiangfu and his son, but he wasn’t an imperial censor, nor did he possess Xiao Jue’s vast influence. He could only endure and keep silent. Now that Xiao Jue had uprooted Sun Xiangfu and his son and caused Yuan Baozhen to fall from grace, he couldn’t help but feel relieved.

“Has the Commander investigated He Yan thoroughly during this trip to Liangzhou?” Shen Han hesitated for a moment but decided to ask. He couldn’t quite understand the relationship between He Yan and Xiao Jue now. If it was stated to be good, Xiao Jue was clearly still wary of He Yan. If it was stated to be bad, he just received orders from Cheng Lisu that He Yan is to stay in Cheng Lisu’s room in the future.

Wasn’t that living right next to Xiao Jue? If their relationship wasn’t close, how could it have reached this point?

Could it be that their old feelings had rekindled? But judging by Xiao Jue’s appearance, it didn’t seem like it. Shen Han had been single for many years, and he really didn’t understand matters of the heart. However, he had heard of the saying that love was hard to forget, and perhaps that was the situation now?

“It can be considered that way,” Xiao Jue replied. In terms of He Yan’s family background, what was written in the military register was not false; she did have a father who was a city gate military official and brother of similar age. The only unusual part was that the youth was actually a daughter, which was hard to believe when spoken out loud.

“Is he… considered one of us?” Shen Han asked carefully.

“For now, let’s consider them one of us,” Xiao Jue said, looking down, “But there’s no need to inform them about everything.”

Shen Han had a rough idea now and said, “I understand.”

“I have something for you to do,” he said.


He Yan finally finished answering her brothers’ questions. When she returned to her room, it was already nighttime.

Xiao Jue didn’t like noise, and his living quarters were quite peaceful. When He Yan entered, she found it somewhat uncomfortable. Going from sharing a room with over a dozen people in the dormitory to having her own room was like a dream come true. Cheng Lisu, a meticulous young master, even lit incense in her room before leaving.

The faint scent lingered in the air, making her feel relaxed. She laid down on the bed and found it as comfortable as lying on a pile of cotton. She immediately felt drowsy. She thought that luxury was indeed extravagant. Sleeping on such a bed, it wouldn’t be surprising to sleep until late in the morning every day.

She noticed the middle door.

Outside the middle door, a pearl curtain covered it, and when the curtain was lifted, it revealed the door. Behind the door was Xiao Jue’s room. Perhaps Xiao Jue was supervising Cheng Li’sus daily studies, but the door was currently closed. He Yan tried to push it gently, but it didn’t budge. She pushed harder with determination, but it remained firmly shut.

Xiao Jue had apparently locked this door from his side.

He Yan thought, this was overly cautious. If someone didn’t know any better, they might think that he was the woman, and she was the nighttime intruder in his chamber. Xiao Jue really couldn’t tolerate even a speck of sand in his eyes. Was it necessary?

Xiao Jue’s thoughts were truly unfathomable.

There was a large wooden tub in the middle of the room, filled with hot water. He Yan walked over and dipped her fingers into it, testing the temperature. It was just right. It was probably prepared by Shen Han. After a long day of traveling, they were covered in dust and in need of a good bath. Fortunately, they didn’t have to soak in the cold waters of the Five Deer River. He Yan was quite satisfied. She was about to undress when she suddenly remembered something and looked towards the middle door.

She almost forgot that there was another door here.

Both sides of the middle door had locks, and if one side was locked, the other side couldn’t be opened unless both sides were unlocked simultaneously. Xiao Jue had locked it from his side, so He Yan had to lock it from her side as well. Otherwise, if Xiao Jue suddenly had an inexplicable urge to come over while she was bathing, she would be in big trouble.

Although the most likely outcome of such an encounter would be Xiao Jue leaving in disgust, feeling that his precious eyes had been tainted.

He Yan locked the middle door, then proceeded to bathe and change into clean clothes. When she finished changing, she emptied the water from the wooden tub and returned to her room, sitting on the pallet.

Shen Muxue had already brought the bandaged medicines and placed them on the small table by the bed. Given the previous incident involving “pure as jade for a fiancée,” she didn’t even offer to help apply the ointment this time. He Yan looked at herself in the mirror, unwrapped the bandages, replaced the medicine, and was about to re-wrap them when she noticed a small jade box on the side.

The box was very small, not even the size of a palm. She almost overlooked it but picked it up to read the words written on it, “Scar Healing and Skin Regeneration.” He Yan was briefly taken aback, then shook her head and chuckled.

It seemed that the young lady was very thoughtful. But this was too considerate. Shen Muxue was truly kind-hearted, even showing such care for a low-ranking soldier. For an ordinary man, getting injured was just that—getting injured. It wasn’t like they were businessmen at a guesthouse who cared about such things.

That’s how He Yan should have thought.

However, as she was about to put the box back, a sudden image flashed before her eyes. It was a night with red candles and tears, a warm lotus canopy, and that warm hand suddenly stiffening as it touched the scar on her back. She was still trying to figure out how to deceive her husband with well-constructed lies, but the man in front of her casually blew out the candle and avoided that topic.

He was still gentle, but she suddenly felt deeply ashamed. This was more hurtful than any words or glances.

She wiped the cold ointment over her wound. It stung a bit and itched. She asked herself in her heart, “Do you really not care?”


She cared deeply. Even if she could start over, she wouldn’t be able to let it go.

He Yan rewrapped the bandages, placed the small jade box under her pillow, extinguished the lamp, and laid down on the pallet.

The room was quiet and warm, without the thunderous snores of her fellow soldiers in the communal quarters. There were also no legs suddenly reaching over to her side in the middle of the night. She should have fallen asleep right away, but for some reason, her heart was in turmoil, and she couldn’t sleep.

Perhaps, she shouldn’t have thought of the past.


Early the next morning, He Yan woke up as usual at the hour of the rabbit. She now lived on the side of the courtyard where Xiao Jue resided, further away from the other soldiers, and farther from the training grounds. She had to get up a bit earlier. After picking up her steamed buns and heading towards the training grounds, she ran into Shen Han and the group of instructors.

He Yan greeted them.

Seeing her spirited appearance, Liang Ping couldn’t help but feel a bit bitter. He was an instructor, and none of his soldiers had been promoted as quickly as He Yan. Looking at this, in such a short time, she was able to live next to the Commander. The situation had changed so quickly. Sun Xiangfu and his son’s affairs had been explained by Shen Han, but they didn’t know the details of He Yan’s role or achievements.

Liang Ping sighed deeply. He also wanted to make achievements, to have the Commander look at him with new eyes, and to live next to the Commander!

“He Yan, you’re here just in time. I have something to discuss with you,” Shen Han waved her over.

He Yan ran over, and Shen Han sized her up for a moment. “The Commander told me yesterday that you were injured and temporarily unable to participate in intense training. Activities like horsemanship and archery can be paused for a few days. During this time, find some suitable training for yourself. However, no slacking off. You must come to the training ground every day, and don’t skip the morning runs!”

“Understood!” He Yan replied. However, she thought to herself that Xiao Jue was quite considerate. Although her injury was just a superficial one, it was on her back, and training as before, repeatedly, would make it hard to heal properly.

In her previous life, it was the same. If old injuries didn’t heal and you continued to march and fight, stubborn chronic conditions would develop throughout your body. Even though she had regained her female form and was no longer exposed to the elements as she used to be, whenever the rainy season or cold winter arrived, her old injuries would ache faintly, making it hard to alleviate the discomfort.

Enduring wasn’t an option, but if she could avoid overexerting herself, it was certainly for the best.

She thanked Shen Han and headed towards the training ground. Today’s training was in swordsmanship, which she could manage. Since her previous sparring session with Huang Xiong on the stage at the training ground, everyone knew she excelled in swordsmanship. Her friendly demeanor and willingness to patiently answer questions made her much more approachable than the stern instructors. Therefore, whenever the soldiers had doubts or problems, they would seek her out.

He Yan was currently instructing a soldier in the finer points of swordplay when a clear voice called out to her, “Big Brother He!”

She turned her head and was surprised to see Song Taotao.

In the Liangzhou Garrison, there was only one young lady, Shen Muxue, who was regarded as a fairy by the Liangzhou soldiers, and no one dared to disrespect her. Now, another young lady had appeared, seemingly a bit younger than Shen Muxue. While she might not possess Shen Muxue’s ethereal beauty, she had the advantage of being charming and cute, like a delicate flower blossoming in spring, emitting a subtle fragrance. 

With double buns in her hair and holding up her skirt, she ran over to He Yan, ignoring the hot gazes of the surrounding soldiers. She looked at He Yan and asked, “I heard from Miss Shen yesterday that you were seriously injured. Are you feeling better now?” 

He Yan: “…”

Upon arriving at Liangzhou Garrison, Song Taotao lived together with Shen Muxue, and the others didn’t pay much attention to her. Chiwu and Fei Nu couldn’t spend all their time guarding a young lady and neglect their duties. Therefore, they didn’t notice when this young lady came to the martial arts training ground and immediately spotted He Yan.

He Yan hesitated for a moment and then smiled, “Thank you, Miss Song, for your concern. It’s just a minor injury.”

“How can you call that a minor injury?” Song Taotao tugged on her sleeve. “Let me take you to Miss Shen so she can take a look at it.”

No need to say, He Yan could also sense the narrow-minded expressions of the people around him, and Liang Ping’s face was turning blue. Publicly pulling and tugging like this, what did it look like? Liang Ping had been a bachelor for nearly thirty years; who was He Yan showing off to? But he couldn’t afford to provoke Miss Song, so he could only glare at He Yan and signal him to quickly get rid of Song Taotao. 

Just as He Yan was about to speak, he heard an angry shout, “Second Young Miss Song, what are you doing here!” 

He Yan felt a headache coming on as soon as he heard this voice. Cheng Lisu was like a cat sniffing out fishy scents; following Song Taotao, he arrived. Seeing Song Taotao holding onto He Yan’s sleeve, he immediately separated the two of them and angrily said, “Don’t get close to my Big Brother He! Big Brother He already has a fiancée!”

Song Taotao first looked at He Yan in surprise and then turned to Cheng Lisu, who was looking triumphant. After thinking for a moment, she sneered, “So what if he’s engaged? Engagements can be broken. I’m still your fiancée, what’s the significance?”

Cheng Lisu was struck dumb by her words and took a few steps back.

The people around them were also left speechless.

He Yan and Cheng Lisu were sworn siblings, and Song Taotao was Cheng Lisu’s fiancée. He Yan also had a fiancee, but Song Taotao treated He Yan differently, creating a complex and intriguing relationship dynamic that could rival any dramatic story!

If there were a hole to escape into at this moment, He Yan would have disappeared without looking back.

She weakly protested, “I’m not… I didn’t…”

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