Rebirth of a Star General Chapter 105

Chapter 105: Hot Springs

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The once orderly training ground turned chaotic because of the appearance of Song Taotao and Cheng Lisu. He Yan, feeling overwhelmed, had to persuade Song Taotao and Cheng Lisu to leave amidst the watchful eyes of Liang Ping. The two of them eventually departed, leaving her alone to face the diverse gazes of the onlookers. 

Hong Shan touched He Yan’s arm and asked in a low voice, “Is that Young Master Cheng’s fiancée?” 

He Yan nodded. 

Hong Shan looked at her with a mix of complexity and admiration. He said, “Ah He, I underestimated you.”

He Yan: “….Don’t overthink it.”

But clearly, Hong Shan wasn’t the only one with such thoughts. After the training session, the soldiers immediately surrounded her, bombarding her with questions about her relationship with Song Taotao. One of them sarcastically said, “Congratulations in advance to Young Master He. It seems like it won’t be long before you become Lord Song’s son-in-law. When are you treating us to wedding candy?”

He Yan: “Stop making baseless accusations! A girl’s reputation can be tarnished by your words alone!”

“What’s the matter with him?” The person asked without much concern. “I think Miss Song seems quite satisfied with you.” 

Jiang Jiao walked past from the other side, casting a sharp and resentful glance at He Yan. It was as if he wished to tear a piece of flesh from her. He grunted and walked away. He Yan was momentarily stunned and instinctively asked, “What’s going on with Brother Jiang? Did I offend him somehow?” 

Jiang Jiao was known for his prideful nature, but his temperament had always been acceptable. Despite being older than He Yan, he had always been humble during their sparring sessions, especially in martial arts training. It was unusual for him to display such a hostile attitude toward He Yan.

Wang Ba sneered, “You made your brother wear a green hat and humiliated them. Do you expect Brother Jiang to be friendly? Be more careful!”

He Yan: “….”

Speaking of which, Jiang Jiao’s fiancée had eloped with another man, a situation that he despised more than anything. He probably saw Cheng Lisu and thought of himself and He Yan as the scoundrel who stole his fiancee.

“Who did I make wear a green hat?” He Yan suddenly realized. “I didn’t…” 

Before she could finish her sentence, someone called her name from the other side, “He Yan! Little He!” 

“The instructor is calling me,” He Yan said, “I’ll head first.” 

The person who called He Yan was one of the three instructors who had competed with her in equestrian archery earlier. He was an old man named Ma Damei. He kindly waved at her and said, “Little He, I heard you got injured when you went to Liangzhou City with the Commander?” 

“It’s just a minor injury,” He Yan replied with a smile. 

“You can’t take it lightly. You’re still young, and if you leave behind any health problems, it won’t be good,” Ma Damei advised warmly. “Go have your meal first, and then come find me here afterward.” 

He Yan asked, “Instructor, is there something specific you want to discuss?” 

“Of course, it’s good news,” Ma Damei replied mysteriously. “You’ll find out when the time comes.”

Unable to imagine what was going on, He Yan first went to have her meal. The soldier who served her had received orders from Shen Han, knowing that He Yan was injured, so he gave her an extra steamed bun. After quickly finishing her meal, He Yan followed what Ma Damei had said and went to the training area. 

The weather was turning cooler as autumn approached, and it was already getting dark early. When she arrived at the training ground, she saw more than a dozen people standing there, all of them instructors from the Liangzhou Garrison. Ma Damei waved at her. “Hey… Little He, over here!” 

He Yan walked over, and Du Mao and Liang Ping were already there. Liang Ping looked at her and asked in surprise, “Why did you bring him?” 

“I heard from the Chief Instructor that Little He got injured, so it’s better to bring him along. Liang Ping, don’t be so petty.” Ma Damei leaned closer to Liang Ping and whispered, “I heard the Chief Instructor is taking good care of this kid. He might get promoted faster than you and me. Curry favor now; there might be benefits in the future.” 

Liang Ping looked at the cunning smile on Ma Damei’s face and angrily said, “What do you take me for? I…. Iwon’t curry favor with him!” 

“If you won’t, I will.” Ma Damei didn’t bother with him and walked over to He Yan, putting his arm around her shoulder with a sly smile. “Young man, let’s go.” 

“Go?” He Yan asked in confusion. “Where are we going?”

What are so many instructors up to? Even though it’s nighttime training, the people aren’t all here, are they planning to drink behind Xiao Jue’s back? In the past, when He Yan was in the Fuyue Army, her deputy commander often drank behind her back. However, bringing a little soldier like her along, He Yan felt a bit flattered. 

“Don’t ask,” Ma Damei had that mysterious smile again. “You’ll know when you get there.” 

He Yan was puzzled but didn’t want to refuse the goodwill of the other party. She figured that it was probably either gambling or drinking, so she didn’t refuse. Building rapport with these instructors might come in handy in the future, especially when Xiao Jue considered her for the Nine Banner Battalion in the future. 

“All right,” she replied with a smile. 

The group didn’t ride horses and instead headed up White Moon Mountain. It wasn’t the same path they took during flag capture; this was a smaller trail. The instructors were lively, discussing the recent training of the new recruits, who among them was exceptional, and if there would be enough firewood for the upcoming winter when it started snowing in Liangzhou. 

As He Yan walked in silence, she overheard someone saying, “Instructor Du, your relative, Lei Hou, seems to be doing quite well in the Vanguard Camp lately!” 

Upon hearing this name, He Yan’s ears perked up. 

After the flag competition, Xiao Jue assigned Lei Hou to the Vanguard Camp, along with other outstanding new recruits from White Moon Mountain. Together with the existing personnel from the Liangzhou Garrison, there were a total of a thousand soldiers. Although He Yan was dissatisfied, she quickly followed Xiao Jue to Liangzhou City. Upon returning, she learned that the training for the Vanguard Camp had already been ongoing for some time.

However, what puzzled her was that the training for the Vanguard Camp’s new recruits remained the same as she had known it before: focusing on surprise assaults and charges. It didn’t seem like the “triple training intensity” Xiao Jue had mentioned. He Yan began to speculate that perhaps Xiao Jue was selecting new recruits for the Nine Banner Battalion separately from those for the Vanguard Camp, and these were two distinct processes.

However, she couldn’t directly ask Xiao Jue about this matter. So for now, she continued to pay attention to that area’s movements.

“I don’t dare to accept your praise,” Du Mao proudly responded to the praise for his relative, “I remember when I first saw him, he could barely walk and was clutching onto my blade. Now that he has grown this big, he is a bit reminiscent of my own glory days, hahaha!” 

“Have you no shame left?” Liang Ping glanced at him. “As if everyone hasn’t seen what you were like in your prime.” 

“Oh, that’s not fair,” another instructor chimed in. “Now that this Lei Hou has joined the Vanguard Camp and is showing such promise, he has a bright future ahead of him. I believe he’ll earn some significant merits in the future. Old Du may not be as impressive, but his nephew is doing quite well!” 

“Go to h*ll!” Du Mao chuckled while cursing back.

Perhaps because He Yan had been looking in that direction too conspicuously, Ma Damei, who was walking beside her, noticed and thought she might be unhappy about not joining the Vanguard Camp. He said, “Young lad, the road ahead is still long. Even if you didn’t join the Vanguard Camp, you might not be worse than Lei Hou in the future. Keep your gaze a little further forward, don’t be constrained by what’s before your eyes.”

He Yan was about to respond when Ma Damei suddenly patted her shoulder and said, “Look, we’re here!”

They were still some distance away from the mountainside. White sands and emerald bamboo were bathed in moonlight, and wisps of hot steam rose gently, warm and light, like a watercolor painting come to life.

“What do you think?” Ma Damei chuckled. “I didn’t lie to you, did I?”

“Is there a hot spring here?” He Yan murmured in surprise.

Liang Ping glanced at her and grunted, “If it weren’t for your injury, we wouldn’t have brought you here.”

“Wa, wait,” He Yan said cautiously, “Are you bringing me here to soak in the hot spring?”

“Of course!” a slightly cultured-looking instructor next to her exclaimed, reciting a poem, “Yearning fulfilled, water filled with charm; A bath on a sunny day, steam rising warm. Refreshed as if reborn, ailments dispelled with grace; Not envying the birds in the sky, happy to be a hot spring lover. Bathing in hot springs helps illness, its a good things!”

“Indeed,” Ma Damei said, “Since you’re injured, soaking for a while will be good for you.”

Feeling uncomfortable, He Yan took a step back. “No… I didn’t bring clean clothes, so I’d better not.”

“It’s fine; I brought an extra set that you can wear. It’s clean,” Du Mao said. “It’s washed, not dirty.”

“I’m afraid of water,” He Yan continued to retreat.

“The pool is only chest-deep when you stand up. We’ll be watching; what is there to be afraid of?” Liang Ping said impatiently.

“I… I…” He Yan struggled to come up with a reasonable excuse when suddenly she bumped into someone from behind. When she turned around, she was surprised to see Xiao Jue.

The young man wore a dark green cloud-embroidered silk robe. In the moonlight, his black hair was as dark as ink, tied up with a jade hairpin. His features were clear and refined, exuding an unparalleled handsomeness. He looked at her with an arched eyebrow.

He was naturally outstanding, standing in the tranquil scenery, his demeanor as pure as the fresh snow, untouched by the dust of autumn, and unassailable.

He Yan: “Commander?”

“Commander!” This was how Du Mao and the others addressed him.

“The Commander is joining us for hot springs too?” He Yan was shocked. Xiao Jue was actually going to soak in the hot spring with these instructors? The scene was difficult to imagine.

Xiao Jue led her to the side and brushed the place where she had bumped into him, looking very disgusted. He Yan only heard Ma Damei explain, “There are two hot springs here, not far from each other. One is smaller and usually used by the Commander. The larger one here is for us.”

“Commander, have you already soaked?” Du Mao asked.

Xiao Jue nodded. “That’s right.”

“In that case, I’ll go to the other one!” He Yan hurriedly spoke up. Her words were met with the instructors looking at her simultaneously.

“I… I mean, since the Commander has already used it, the other hot spring is smaller, and I can use it by myself….. Besides, it would be a waste to just stand there idle…”

“Liang Ping,” Xiao Jue calmly said.

“Here, here!” Liang Ping scolded. “He Yan, do you really think you can touch what belongs to the Commander? Get over here! Why aren’t you afraid of water now? Aren’t you afraid of drowning in there with no one noticing?”

This brought them back to the initial topic. He Yan, with her back to the instructors, turned to Xiao Jue and whispered urgently, “Why don’t you say something?”

Xiao Jue crossed his arms and looked at her, seeming very composed. He said slowly, “I told you, I won’t help you cover up.”

“I didn’t know they were bringing me to the hot spring!” He Yan was furious. “At this rate, I’ll have to fight them off to escape.”

“Oh,” Xiao Jue nodded with interest. “In that case, go ahead and fight.”

He turned to leave, and He Yan gritted her teeth. “Aren’t you afraid I’ll reveal the red mole around your waist?” In the end, she felt that her threat was weak, and Xiao Jue was not genuinely threatened by it.

Indeed, he just laughed and said, “Do as you wish.”

“Xiao Jue!”

The young man had a handsome and heroic appearance. His eyes were like ripples in autumn water, and his words, though devoid of gentleness, were tinged with playful indifference.

“Liar,” he said, “You’re going to be discovered, what are you going to do?”

With that, he ignored He Yan and walked away.

“Xiao…” He Yan didn’t finish her sentence before someone grabbed her arm. It was Liang Ping, who couldn’t stand it any longer. He was annoyed and said, “What are you waiting for? I told you not to push your luck. It’s already good that we brought you to the hot spring. With tens of thousands of new recruits in the Garrison, you still want to go soak with the Commander? You’re incredibly audacious!”

He Yan struggled to break free and smiled. “Actually, I didn’t want to soak…”

Another hand grabbed her shoulder, and someone said to the others, “This guy looks handsome; why does he look so sloppy, acting like he’s dying just from getting a little wet?”


Ma Damei watched her with a smile. “Young lad, have you never soaked in a hot spring before? There’s no need to be afraid. Once you’ve experienced it, you’ll understand its benefits.”

He Yan thought that she couldn’t continue like this, and it seemed that her only option was to confront them and then make up an excuse to get away. She was about to make her move when, out of nowhere, someone rushed behind her and kicked her with a light kick.

The kick wasn’t actually very strong, but because He Yan was being pulled by Liang Ping and Du Mao, her body was unsteady. As a result, she fell into the hot spring with a “splash.”

The people on the bank and in the water burst into laughter.

“Hey!” The one who kicked him, the instigator, stood at the water’s edge, laughing heartily. “Young lad, I gave you a helping hand. You don’t need to thank me!”

He Yan surfaced from the water, shook her head to get rid of the water droplets, and cursed inwardly. Who would want to thank him!

The remaining people saw He Yan enter the water and began to take off their clothes to join her, truly without any reservations. He Yan was shocked and immediately turned around, feeling like she was surrounded by white bare flesh.

The spring water in the mountains was warm and light, and it felt extremely comfortable wrapped around her body. However, He Yan, in her current situation, couldn’t enjoy it. Firstly, she was afraid of water now, and even though the spring was not deep, she was in a state of panic. Secondly, it was easy to get in, but getting out was difficult. Although the hot spring water was steaming, as long as she got out of the water, her clothes would stick to her body, and anyone with eyes could tell.

Moreover, these guys were having so much fun in the water. Who knew if they would decide to be “helpful” again later, making the situation even more difficult to handle.

It was truly a case of the more she feared, the more it happened. She kept a distance from the group, soaking alone, but she immediately caught everyone’s attention. The instructor who had kicked her into the water asked, “Hey, why aren’t you taking off your clothes? Since you’re down here, won’t it be uncomfortable to soak in clothes?”

“No need,” He Yan forced a smile and replied, “I prefer to soak with my clothes on.”

This preference was somewhat unusual, and the other instructors exchanged glances. Someone smirked and said, “Is this guy shy?”

One comment led to another, and soon the instructors were openly discussing it.

“Could it be? He doesn’t seem like a shy person based on his usual demeanor!”

“I think it’s possible. This young man looks so delicate like a lady, who knows if he’s like this in private as well.”

“Well, that won’t do. How can a member of the Liangzhou Garrison be so bashful? Let’s give him a proper lesson in training today and fulfill our duties as instructors.”

With that said, several of them started swimming towards He Yan.

He Yan exclaimed, “….What are you trying to do?”

“Of course, we’re training new recruits!” Du Mao laughed. “In the future, if we need to cross water during a battle, your lack of cooperation might hinder our plans!”

Did they really need this kind of training for crossing water? He Yan turned to swim away.

She was fine when she didn’t swim, but once she started swimming, it seemed like it became interesting. Other instructors started gathering around, and in an instant, it felt like she had become the ball in a game of cuju. Everyone rushed in from all directions to block her, and the hot spring suddenly became lively.

If it were in a different setting and situation, this scene might be considered harmonious. Normally stern instructors were now laughing and teasing her, treating her as one of their own. However, He Yan couldn’t find it in herself to laugh.

While she tried to dodge their advances, she silently cursed these people. What kind of people were they? Did the instructors of the Liangzhou Garrison have a problem?

In her current state, to completely avoid them, she would have to knock them all unconscious. If she were on land, it would be manageable, but underwater, it was much more difficult. Furthermore, there were too many of them, and she had nowhere to escape.

As she struggled in the water, she didn’t notice that one of the instructors among them had grown up by the water, familiar with swimming. He had already dived down, quietly swimming to her front. He Yan was too preoccupied with those behind her to see what was ahead. Suddenly, a hand from underwater grabbed her arm, and she couldn’t avoid it.

The instructor acted like he had seized a ball in cuju and even called out to his friends, “I’ve got him! Come over!”

Come over? Come over for what? He Yan was shocked. She couldn’t exert her strength underwater, and she couldn’t break free. She watched as Du Mao and his group swam closer, and it seemed like they were about to strip off her clothes. She broke into a cold sweat.

She really didn’t want her identity to be discovered here!

At the critical moment, the hand holding her arm suddenly let go, and the instructor cried out in pain. Something resembling a stone skimmed the water’s surface and quickly sank. At the same time, He Yan was lifted out of the water by someone and landed on the bank. A cloak was swiftly draped around her, covering everything below her neck.

All of this happened so quickly that no one had time to react. When they had all settled down, He Yan turned her head and exclaimed, “Commander?”

Surprisingly, it was Xiao Jue who returned. 

He pulled He Yan out of the water and wrapped her in something resembling a cocoon. Except for He Yan, no one knew what this was for. The group of instructors looked at him in confusion, exchanging puzzled glances.

“What are you all doing?” At that moment, another voice sounded from the depths of the forest, and Shen Han emerged, carrying his clothes. He had come to soak in the hot spring and didn’t expect to stumble upon this scene. He looked at He Yan, who was standing beside Xiao Jue with wet hair, and the other instructors who were hiding in the water, feeling a sense of unease. 

Liang Ping explained, “We… we’re soaking in the hot spring.”

Shen Han felt a chill in his heart. “He Yan… you too….”

He Yan replied, “….Yes.”

Shen Han was suddenly alarmed. Although it was men with men, different compared to men and women, Shen Han understood possessiveness. He was so protective of his weapons that he wouldn’t even let others see them, fearing they might covet them. And now, He Yan… His relationship with Xiao Jue was currently ambiguous, and he had been seen like this by others. Xiao Jue wouldn’t be pleased about it, right?

This was a big problem!

The instructors were huddled together, aware that Xiao Jue was particular about cleanliness and didn’t dare to stand up without clothes. They only showed their heads above the water’s surface, all staring at He Yan and Xiao Jue with puzzled expressions.

It was as if they were a group of ducks waiting for someone to feed them.

He Yan thought of this and couldn’t help but laugh.

Xiao Jue glanced at her and raised an eyebrow. “You can actually laugh at a time like this.”

He Yan immediately fell silent.

The instructors remained silent, and the atmosphere was incredibly awkward. Shen Han, as the head instructor, couldn’t stay silent forever. After hesitating for a while, he asked, “Commander, are you taking He Yan back with you?”

“Ask her.”

“Oh,” He Yan quickly said, “I had a good soak just now, and that’s enough. I want to go back. I’ll go back with the Commander.”

“Oh, alright, alright,” Shen Han didn’t know what to say. When he saw that He Yan was wearing Xiao Jue’s cloak, he became even more flustered, unsure where to direct his gaze. He just looked down at his shoes and mumbled, “Then, Commander, you and He Yan should go back and rest early… It can get chilly on the mountain at night.” 

Even though He Yan didn’t understand why Shen Han suddenly seemed so anxious, she appreciated the lifeline he was throwing her. She smiled and replied, “In that case, we won’t stay any longer.”

With that, she turned and walked away. After a few steps, she noticed that Xiao Jue hadn’t moved. She hesitated for a moment, not having the chance to speak yet when she heard Xiao Jue speak.

He said, “In the future, when soaking in hot springs, don’t bring him.”

Shen Han’s heart sank. He was thinking, “It’s over, it’s over, it’s over.”

At this moment, there was someone who still didn’t know what was good for them. The instructor who had previously swum underwater and had good swimming skills, now with a wet head, mustered the courage to ask, “W-Why? Isn’t he injured? Wouldn’t soaking in a hot spring be good for him?”

In her heart, He Yan thought, “Brother, thank you so much.”

“You all don’t know,” Xiao Jue addressed the crowd, standing tall and elegant, curling his lips with a mocking gleam in his eyes. “This new recruit, during the selection process before entering the camp, it was discovered,” he uttered the words, each one making He Yan feel dizzy and disoriented, “that she has a hidden ailment.”

A hidden ailment?

The guy who had asked the question was caught off guard, choked on water, and started coughing violently.

The atmosphere became even more awkward and unbearable than before. What made it worse were the looks the instructors were giving He Yan. Their gazes were a mix of sympathy, surprise, and pity, and some were even looking at her lower body.

He Yan: “…”

Although she had made up a random reason when she had her physical examination before joining the camp, she had only seen one doctor at the time, and the examination doctor wouldn’t accompany her during the journey, so no one should know about it. But now, it seemed that the truth was out. How was she going to deal with these instructors in the future?

Was Xiao Jue deliberately causing trouble for her? 

Did he find it amusing to see her in a difficult situation? What kind of enjoyment was this?

“It’s not that serious, actually…” She weakly tried to explain.

However, everyone believed Commander Xiao’s words without a doubt. The only one who didn’t believe it was Shen Han. He thought that Xiao Jue was deliberately lying and spreading rumors to protect He Yan from being harassed by others.

“It’s okay,” Liang Ping, who had initially been somewhat resentful of He Yan, had completely let go of his resentment now. Given the current situation, what was the point of holding a grudge? He even kindly said, “It’s not a severe illness. It can be gradually treated. I know a doctor who specializes in this… maybe it can be improved in the future…”

He Yan had nothing to say, and she said, “Thank you very much, Instructor. Goodbye.”

Xiao Jue said, “You guys continue,” and casually followed her.

Shen Han stood by the hot spring, deep in thought. Once Xiao Jue and He Yan were out of sight, the instructors gained courage  and began discussing in low voices. Du Mao, who had swum towards the edge of the hot spring closest to Shen Han, looked up and asked, “Chief Instructor, did you already know about this? I knew you were treating this kid especially well for some reason. Tsk tsk, such a young person, how did he get this kind of ailment? Can it still be treated?”

“Treat your butt,” Shen Han was furious and kicked him back into the water. “I think you all have too much time on your hands. Start by treating your own brains!”

Leaving the hot spring behind, in the dense forest, He Yan walked beside Xiao Jue, heading back in the direction of the Garrison.

The footsteps of the person around her were unhurried, allowing her to keep up. He Yan squeezed out two words from between her teeth, “Thank you.”

“You look unwilling,” he teased with a slight curve of his lips, “If you’re not happy, you can turn back.”

With no other choice, and considering that this cloak she was wearing was Xiao Jue’s, plus the fact that he had intervened just now when she needed help, He Yan’s complaints dissipated. She said, “How could I? I genuinely thank you, Commander.”

Xiao Jue snorted, “Flattery.”

This guy couldn’t stand criticism, nor could he handle compliments. He Yan paused for a moment and then raised her fist to his back.

“Liar,” he said after a short silence, “Don’t you know there are shadows under the moon?”

He Yan’s moved paused, looking down as she saw her shadow with exaggerated gestures falling behind Xiao Jue’s shadow, like a comical shadow puppet show.

“I just saw a mosquito and helped you get rid of it,” she lied nonchalantly, “No need to thank me.”

At these words, Xiao Jue laughed and continued walking ahead.

In the moonlit night, he had an alluring and lazy figure, like a dream of fleeting youth.

He Yan saw that he was in a good mood and asked, “I just don’t understand, if you had already decided to help me, why did you wait until the last moment to intervene?”

If Xiao Jue had helped her as soon as she arrived at the hot spring, the situation would have been resolved in a matter of seconds. He wouldn’t have wasted this cloak, and she wouldn’t have ended up in the water.

“Just teaching you a lesson.”


Xiao Jue paused for a moment, then continued walking. “When Ma Damei asked you to join, you agreed without asking what you were joining for. By putting yourself in such a situation, Miss He, are you naive or arrogant?”

The point of this lesson was something He Yan still didn’t understand, “When I saw the hot spring I already understood. There was no need for me to fall in and suffer right?”

“Only when you’re pushed to the brink will you truly understand the value of the lesson,” he said calmly. “Trust no one but yourself when it comes to dire situations. So, try your best not to get into dangerous situations.”

He Yan: “…”

Although what he said made sense, He Yan felt that the lesson was a bit too extreme. She muttered under her breath, “Who teaches people like this?” She wondered if Xiao Jue heard her.

But even if he did, he didn’t look back and continued walking ahead.

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