Rebirth of a Star General Chapter 121

Chapter 121: Rewards

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“I’ve memorized it, Father,”

Xiao Jue couldn’t believe what she heard. “What did you call me?”

He Yan stared at him, her gaze extremely clear, and she earnestly recited, “The way of the Great Learning lies in manifesting one’s bright virtue, loving the people, and stopping at the highest good. To know where to stop is to have stability; to be calm is to be able to deliberate; to be at ease is to be able to consider; to be consistent is to be able to develop virtue… Things have their roots and branches; affairs have their beginning and end… The pursuit of knowledge involves the investigation of things… It all begins with the cultivation of one’s character… What is excessive should be diminished, and what is deficient should be augmented, and there will be nothing about which you are not on the right path!” 

Lin Shuanghe was initially taken aback but gradually understood. He pointed at He Yan and asked Xiao Jue, “Is my little sister He… drunk?” 

As soon as he finished speaking, He Yan suddenly rushed over, threw herself into Xiao Jue’s arms, hugged his waist, and almost pushed him back two steps. She buried her face in his chest and rubbed against it, saying with a stammer, “Dad, I’ve memorized it, I’ve made progress!” 

The room fell into a deathly silence. 

It’s hard to describe Xiao Jue’s current expression with just a few words. 

Lin Shuanghe covered his face, his shoulders shaking, unable to stop laughing. 

“Wow, Huaijin, I’ve met people who treated you as a husband, but it’s the first time I’ve seen someone treat you as a father. How does it feel to be a dad? This little girl is too obedient! She’s got a great talent for memorization!”

Perhaps encouraged by Lin Shuanghe’s comment about her “talent,” He Yan lifted her head from Xiao Jue’s chest, her eyes shining as she stared at him. “Dad, I’m now the top-ranked in Liangzhou Garrison.” 

Xiao Jue grabbed her arm and tried to pull her hand away from his waist. “Let go.” 

“I won’t!” He Yan was surprisingly strong, perhaps from repeatedly tossing stone weights. Xiao Jue couldn’t free himself from her grip. He Yan looked up at him with her face tilted, saying, “Test me, I can answer anything.” 

She looked like a child who had just achieved first place and was proudly showing off. 

Xiao Jue held his forehead. “First, let go.” 

“No.” She hugged his waist even tighter, wanting to get as close as possible. Xiao Jue tried to back away, attempting to maintain some distance between their bodies, but his efforts were in vain. 

Xiao Jue tried to pry He Yan’s hand off, but Lin Shuanghe interjected, “Hey, I should mention that He Yan is still recovering from an injury. If you force her, it might strain her wounds. She needs to be under recovery for another six months, and it’s not ideal.” 

Xiao Jue’s gaze was sharp, and he said, “Find a way to get her off me.”

“Just let her hug for a while,” Lin Shuanghe enjoyed the spectacle. “Maybe you and He Yan’s dad look quite similar, that’s why she mistook you for him when she got drunk. A young girl like her, traveling all the way to Liangzhou and not seeing her family for so long, surely she misses her dad. Can’t you provide a little bit of that,” he gestured a hug, “homey warmth? Don’t be so stingy; it’s not like you’re losing out.” 

Xiao Jue was about to say something when the person in his arms buried her head in his chest and continued reciting the text in a muffled voice. 

“A man who combines civil and martial skills is a general of the army. One who combines both firmness and gentleness is suitable for the affairs of war. When people evaluate a general, they often look at his courage. Courage in general accounts for only one part. The one with courage must be free from rashness; if he is rash, he will not be victorious. Therefore, what a general must be cautious of are five things: first, reason; second, preparation; third, decisiveness; fourth, military method; fifth, agreements. Reason means treating many as if they were few; preparation means being prepared when one leaves home as if one is about to encounter an enemy; decisiveness means confronting the enemy without thoughts of surviving; military method means that even after achieving victory, it is like beginning a new battle; agreements mean having laws and commands simplified without causing difficulties. Receiving orders without complaint and speaking after victory is the courtesy of a general. Therefore, when an army sets out, there is honor in dying and no disgrace in surviving.” 

Lin Shuanghe listened in astonishment. He knew the first part, but this part was unfamiliar to him. He asked Xiao Jue, “What is Little Sister He reciting?” 

“The ‘Wuzi Art of War’ – The General’s Principles,” Xiao Jue was also slightly surprised. She knew this? 

“My Little Sister He has a vast range of knowledge and is proficient in everything,” Lin Shuanghe praised, “She even knows this?” 

“Of course,” He Yan emerged from Xiao Jue’s embrace and said, “A general should be like this.”

“Little Sister He really has ambitions,” Lin Shuanghe laughed. “She even wants to be a general.”

“I am already a Female Star General!”

“All right, all right,” Lin Shuanghe laughed, using his fan to cover his face. “We’ll see what you’re capable of.”

He Yan lifted her head again, gazing at Xiao Jue happily, and asked, “Father, is my recitation good?”

Again with “Father.” The feeling Xiao Jue had at that moment was indescribable.

Outside the door, Shen Han had just arrived and saw through the open window that two people were embracing. Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be Xiao Jue holding He Yan, and He Yan clutching Xiao Jue’s waist, whispering something softly. Shen Han was stunned, his face turned beet red, finding the scene utterly bewildering. 

D*mn, even though he knew their relationship was not ordinary, witnessing such an intimate scene with his own eyes was still shocking. Shen Han wondered if Xiao Jue’s actions meant he had unfinished business with He Yan, or perhaps they had rekindled their past relationship, reunited after a separation? 

There was also Lin Shuanghe in the room; standing there, watching it all unfold, didn’t he feel like he was an unnecessary third wheel? While Xiao Jue and He Yan were getting close, didn’t Lin Shuanghe find it awkward? 

These high-ranking figures from Shuojing were really hard to fathom. In a moment, Shen Han felt a sense of weariness in his heart. He turned around and quietly left. 

Well, let’s just pretend he didn’t see anything! 

Inside the room, Lin Shuanghe was almost dying of laughter. Xiao Jue’s face was ashen, and he had tried several times to pull He Yan away, but she clung tightly to his waist, as if she were hugging a precious treasure. 

“Father, I’ve improved; I’m number one now. Why aren’t you saying anything?” She sounded a bit hurt. “Can you praise me, please?” 

Xiao Jue replied, “I’m not your Father.”

Not saying anything would have been better. As soon as Xiao Jue said that, He Yan’s eyes welled up with tears. She looked at him as though he had committed some unforgivable sin and asked, “You don’t recognize me either?”

Xiao Jue froze, and an inexplicable frustration welled up inside him.

He was most afraid of a woman’s tears, especially given the current situation. It seemed like he was the one who made He Yan cry.

As expected, the compassionate and doting White-Clothed Divine Physician immediately stood up for his newly acknowledged “little sister.” He said, “It’s just a few words, and you’ve made the little miss cry. She’s such a sensible and clever child. Even if you don’t acknowledge her, others would be fighting to do so? Xiao Huaijin, you need to praise her, right now!” 

Xiao Jue: “…”

Suppressing his irritation, he looked down at her. She was dressed in her usual attire, but with her frowning and distressed expression, she truly resembled a young girl. Perhaps she had mistaken himself for He Sui. But was He Sui strict with her usually? Even when she’s drunk, she wants her father’s approval.

In a moment, Xiao Jue saw his own reflection in this girl.

He suddenly deflated, resigned to the fact that she wasn’t going to let go of his hand. He said, “You’ve done well.”

“Really?” He Yan immediately looked at him with sparkling eyes.

“Really,” he spoke honestly.

“Thank you,” she seemed a bit embarrassed, “I’ll do even better next time, to make Father prouder.”

Xiao Jue had a splitting headache. He said, “Why don’t you let go of me for now? You’re holding onto me too tightly.”

“But I really like hugging Father,” He Yan said with a satisfied smile. She clung to him, unwilling to let go. “I’ve wanted to hug Father like this for a long time. Why can’t I, when my younger sister and brother can?”

Lin Shuanghe, who had been laughing, looked concerned. He said, “Is He Yan being bullied at home? Doesn’t her father ever hug her?”

Xiao Jue was also puzzled. According to the secret message sent by Shuojing, He Sui had one son and one daughter, and He Yan had a younger brother. Where did this younger sister come from?

“I’m number one now,” He Yan stared at Xiao Jue and said, “Father, aren’t you happy?”

Xiao Jue: “…”

He said expressionlessly, “I’m very happy.”

“Then what’s my reward?”

“Reward?” Xiao Jue frowned. “What kind of reward do you want?”

He Yan pressed her face against the button on his coat and rubbed it. Her face felt very warm, and the friction felt very cool. It made Xiao Jue’s body stiffen.

“You… don’t touch things!” He said. But as soon as he finished speaking, He Yan moved her hand away and found something on his waist. She held it triumphantly and showed it to Xiao Jue.

“I want this!”

“You can’t have that.” Xiao Jue reached out to take it, but she dodged him.

Although she was drunk, her movements remained agile, and her footsteps were steady. From appearances alone, it was hard to tell that she was drunk.

He Yan lowered her head to study the item in her hand. It was a carved black jade pendant, quite rare and precious. It was cool and smooth to the touch, clearly a valuable item.

She loved it and held it tightly, saying, “Thank you, Father!”

Xiao Jue angrily smiled. “I didn’t say it’s for you.”

Lin Shuanghe stopped Xiao Jue from trying to take the jade, saying, “Why are you arguing with a drunk person? Let her play with it for now. When she’s sober tomorrow, you can ask for it. But,” he touched his chin, “Little Sister He has good taste. At a glance, she chose the most precious thing on your body. Not bad.”

Xiao Jue couldn’t be bothered to respond and didn’t attempt to take the jade from He Yan.

“Look at me,” Lin Shuanghe approached Xiao Jue, cleared his throat, and said, “Brother He, let me ask you, do you like this piece of jade?”

He Yan played with the jade in her hand. “I like it.”

“Do you like Chu Zilan?”

“Chu Zilan…” He Yan puzzledly asked, “Who’s that?”

“If you’re so drunk that you don’t remember this person, it seems like they’re not from the same group as Chu Zhao,” Lin Shuanghe said with a cheerful smile. “Do you like Xiao Jue?”

Xiao Jue: “Are you finished?” 

Unexpectedly, He Yan’s response was to raise her head, seemingly contemplating this name, and after a while, she nodded, saying, “I like.” 

Lin Shuanghe’s eyes brightened: “What do you like about him?” 

“Medicine… He gave me…” He Yan propped her head, “I’m so tired.” After saying that, with a “clunk,” she fell on the soft couch on one side and started snoring. 

Lin Shuanghe stood up straight: “She said ‘waist.'” 

Xiao Jue didn’t quite catch what He Yan had said earlier and was feeling somewhat irritated, “What?” 

“She likes your waist,” Lin Shuanghe waved his fan, “She’s really direct.” 

Xiao Jue threw a teacup at him: “Get out!” 


On the other side of the room, Ying Xiang put away the empty wine jug. 

It seemed like the fragrance of Changan spring still lingered in the courtyard.

Chu Zhao took off his outer garment and sat on a soft couch in his inner garment. The bed in the barracks of the Liangzhou Garrison wasn’t as hard as a bunk, but it wasn’t exactly comfortable either.

Ying Xiang knelt in front of him and said, “Young Master, this servant didn’t manage to win over Young Master He.”

That young man named He Yan was so young and drank a pot of wine earlier, and then he talked to Chu Zhao about military tactics. Chu Zhao didn’t understand tactics, but he listened to the young man earnestly. Eventually, He Yan seemed to get tired and left.

Ying Xiang was very confident in her looks. While she didn’t dare claim that everyone would be enchanted by her beauty, it was enough to deal with a young recruit from the Liangzhou Garrison. However, despite her gentle and seductive approach, He Yan only seemed to appreciate her and had no ulterior motives.

Men have a different way of looking at women, and it’s easy to see with a single glance. Although that young man named He Yan was stunned by her beauty, he didn’t have any other intentions.

This frustrated Ying Xiang.

Her master, Chu Zhao, was initially taken aback for a moment, but then he shook his head and smiled, saying, “It’s not your fault.”

Ying Xiang raised her head. “Fourth Young Master…”

Chu Zhao looked at the incense burning on the table in the room. It was calming incense that he had brought from Shuojing. He was a light sleeper and always carried it with him wherever he went.

Before his eyes, there appeared a glimpse of that breathtaking moment on the Shuojing Horse Racing Field, the woman’s lively eyes shining beneath her white veil.

“Who would have thought that there would be a woman among the new recruits of the Liangzhou Garrison?”

He slowly began to smile.


When He Yan woke up, she found herself in her room, sleeping haphazardly with one leg hanging off the bed, and she wasn’t even covered with a blanket.

Outside, the sun was shining through the window, casting a bright beam of light. The light was so piercing that it hurt her eyes and made her momentarily unsure whether it was day or night.

He Yan sat up and shook her head. Surprisingly, she didn’t feel any hangover but rather refreshed. She realized that Changan Spring was indeed much better than the inferior yellow alcohol from Liangzhou Garrison. It was strong, but didn’t leave her with a hangover. Luxury had its reasons.

Last night, she was brought to Chu Zhao’s room by him and his maidservant, where she had a couple of drinks. It seemed like she drank a bit too much, and after the dizziness of intoxication, she had fallen asleep. But judging by her current condition, she probably hadn’t caused any trouble like the last time.

He Yan decided to get out of bed and pour herself a cup of tea. After a full night’s sleep, she was terribly thirsty. However, when she reached for a cup, she felt something in her hand. She looked down and found herself tightly holding a pendant-like object.

What was this thing? When did it end up in her hand? He Yan was stunned for a moment, then carefully examined the item in her palm.

The black jade pendant wasn’t large, but it was intricately carved with ornate serpent patterns. It emitted a smooth and warm light as she moved it, unlike ordinary jade pendants.

Had she committed robbery while drunk last night? He Yan stared at the jade pendant, puzzled and bewildered.

Oh well, she decided to go and ask someone outside. He Yan placed the jade pendant on the table and then got up to freshen up. After everything was in order, she took the jade pendant with her as she left the room. She also wanted to see if there were any leftover steamed buns from Song Taotao – she had overslept and missed breakfast.

As soon as she stepped out, she encountered Shen Muxue, who lived nearby. Shen Muxue was carrying a tray of medicine and was heading to the medical center. When she saw He Yan, she stopped to greet her.

“Miss Shen,” He Yan asked, “Is Miss Song here? I need to talk to her.”

Shen Muxue replied, “She’s not in her room; she went to the martial arts training ground. Why do you need her? If it’s important, you can wait for her to return, and I’ll pass on your message.”

He Yan scratched her head. “It’s not a big deal. Since she’s not here, never mind.”

She began to turn and walk away.

As she made her move, the jade pendant in her hand became visible, and Shen Muxue’s gaze showed surprise and curiosity. She hesitated and said, “This jade…”

Hmm? It seemed like she knew who the owner of the jade pendant was?

“Miss Shen recognizes this jade?” He Yan smiled without revealing her confusion.

Shen Muxue still appeared surprised. “The Commander’s personal jade pendant, how did it end up with you?”

Xiao Jue’s? 

Xiao Jue’s personal jade pendant, how did it end up on her? He Yan wanted to ask the same question. She had no idea! What had she done last night after drinking? Had she gone to fight with Xiao Jue again and taken his jade pendant? 

Facing Shen Muxue’s suspicious gaze, He Yan cleared her throat and said, “This is indeed the Commander’s jade pendant. Yesterday, when the Commander was talking to me, he found it inconvenient to wear it, so he asked me to keep it temporarily. I… I was just about to return it to him.” 


“Miss Shen, Brother He,” Lin Shuanghe’s voice came from behind. He must have overheard a part of the conversation between He Yan and Shen Muxue. He smiled and waved his fan, “Miss Shen, are you heading to the hospital?” 

Shen Muxue nodded gently. “In that case, you should go quickly. The medicine will cool down if you’re late,” he then turned to He Yan and said, “Brother He hasn’t had dinner yet, right? I have some pastries left; feel free to have some to fill your stomach.” 

He Yan said, “Thank you, Young Master Lin.” 

After Shen Muxue bid farewell to the two of them, He Yan followed Lin Shuanghe to his room. She hesitated, wanting to ask a question but not knowing where to start. 

Lin Shuanghe placed several plates of savory pastries on the table and poured a cup of hot tea for her. Watching her hesitating, he smiled knowingly and said, “Still thinking about the jade pendant?” 

He Yan was taken aback, “You know?”

“Last night, when Little Sister He got drunk and entered Huaijin’s room, I was there the whole time.” Lin Shuanghe supported his chin with his fan handle. “Little Sister He, you truly amazed me.”

He Yan felt even more uneasy after his words. However, as she thought carefully, she was a person who always maintained her composure. She would never lose control and act irrationally when intoxicated. At most, she might have sparred with Xiao Jue. But it seemed that Xiao Jue was so weak that not only had she beaten him, but she had also taken his jade pendant?

“Did I… do something inappropriate last night?” she tentatively asked.

Not saying this was fine, but as soon as these words were spoken, Lin Shuanghe seemed to have conjured up an amusing image. He first suppressed a laugh, but soon couldn’t hold back any longer and burst into laughter, slapping the table. He Yan watched this cultured young man laugh so hard that he leaned in all directions, completely losing his composure, nothing like the elegant gentleman from Shuojing. 

He Yan’s heart was in turmoil as she impatiently asked, “Doctor Lin, what did I do to make you laugh so heartily?” 

“No, no,” Lin Shuanghe waved his hand, still chuckling. “It’s really not a big deal. It’s just that you made Xiao Huaijin experience what it’s like to be a father at such a young age.” 

He Yan dropped the scallion oil pastry in her hand with a “clatter.” 

“I called him Father?” 

“Huh,” Lin Shuanghe marveled, “You actually remember?” 

He Yan covered her face, she truly didn’t remember. But she recalled a time when she was younger, it was during a He family gathering. At that time, she had just risen from the last place to the third last in her studies and hoped to receive praise from her father. But no one paid attention, and she accidentally took a sip of plum wine, mistaking it for osmanthus wine. At that time, He Yan hadn’t joined the military yet, and she hadn’t developed her resistance to alcohol, so one glass was enough to make her intoxicated. After getting drunk, she was told that she had clung to He Yuanliang’s leg, calling him “Father” and asking for a reward. 

The next day, after sobering up, the He family members all said that it was probably because He Yuanliang had been too strict with He Yan that she mistook her second uncle for her father and acted so childishly. However, Madame He thought it was very taboo and gave her a thorough scolding, warning her not to make such mistakes in the future.

This became an unforgettable obstacle for her because, as she hadn’t received affirmation from her father, she eagerly longed for it. Seeing her sisters and brothers acting spoiled with their father, she yearned for him to pat her head, saying, “You did well.”

Perhaps seeing Lin Shuanghe reminded her of these incidents from her youth. Thoughts and dreams filled her mind daily, and she couldn’t avoid them, even after getting drunk. Instead, she ended up becoming the subject of ridicule.

Well, it was what it was, and she couldn’t turn back time. He Yan placed the jade pendant in her hand on the table and asked, “So, what exactly happened?”

“This is a reward from Huaijin,” Lin Shuanghe chuckled.

“A reward?”

“You recited books really well. In front of Huaijin, you recited ‘The Great Learning’ and ‘Wuzi’s Art of War’ from start to finish. Huaijin was pleased and gave you this jade pendant as a reward.”

He Yan: “….Did I steal it?”

Lin Shuanghe couldn’t suppress his laughter and burst into hearty laughter, all while continuing to fan himself. “Little Sister He, you didn’t see the look on Huaijin’s face at that time. I’ve known him for so long, and it’s the first time I’ve seen him in such a disheveled state.” 

“Tell me, which woman in this world would dare to hold onto him and not let go, force him to retreat step by step, and even take away his family heirloom, a jade pendant, without a word? Only you, Little Sister,” he saluted He Yan with a fist, “Only you!” 

He Yan was getting dizzy from his words and grabbed onto the keyword, “Family heirloom?” She looked at the jade on the table. “This one?” 

“When Madam Xiao was pregnant with Xiao Rubi, the night before she gave birth, she dreamt of a large black snake circling around the pillars at the entrance of their mansion, holding two pieces of jade. Later, when Xiao Jing was born, they named him ‘Rubi’ which signifies ‘as valuable as jade.’ A man, unlike commoners, as precious as gold and silver, like a jade disk.” 

“Then, when Xiao Jue was born, he was named ‘Huaijin.'” 

He Yan said, “Huaijin, he holds the jade and cannot be impoverished.” 

“Yes, that’s the meaning!” Lin Shuanghe folded his fan and continued, “Both brothers have names associated with jade, and due to Madam Xiao’s dream of the black snake, the Empress Dowager bestowed a bicolored jade, half black and half white. They had two pieces of jade pendants made, one white for Xiao Rubi and the black one for Xiao Huaijin. Since I’ve known Xiao Huaijin, I’ve never seen him without this jade pendant.” 

He Yan looked at the jade pendant in front of her and suddenly felt that it was worth more than a thousand pieces of gold.

“So, I say, Little Sister He, you have excellent taste,” Lin Shuanghe praised. “Xiao Huaijin’s most valuable possession, apart from himself, is this jade pendant. You are both, clever, skillful, and exceedingly beautiful!” 

—-Side Note—–

Shen Han: I’ve stumbled upon the real deal again.

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