Rebirth of a Star General Chapter 138

Chapter 138: My Name

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Water God Festival, the whole event, would take at least half an hour to conclude.

When He Yan and Xiao Jue descended, it was already getting late. Ling Xiu and Yan Miner had already disappeared, and Wei Yiniang said, “You’ve been strolling all day without eating. The young master and Miss Yuyan must be hungry, right?”

He Yan touched her stomach, “I’m fine.”

“Then let’s go have a meal,” Cui Yuezhi said, “There are several good restaurants in Jiyang. Which one would Miss Yuyan like to go to?”

“I think…” He Yan pointed to the black canopy boat on the river, “Let’s eat on that.”

She had just seen that many people were on small boats, and there was a stove at the bow of the boat, and she didn’t know what was being cooked, probably some kind of soup. The remaining food and drinks were bought from vendors on the riverbank or on the river while on the boat. People could eat while looking at the bustling scenery on both sides, observing the river’s customs, which was quite unique.

She had never been to Jiyang before and found it fresh, so she wanted to try it.

“That’s the Firefly Boat,” Wei Yiniang explained with a smile. “In the evening, the boatmen will take the boat to the Firefly Spring. In Jiyang, the weather is warm, so even without summer, there are fireflies. By the side of the Firefly Spring in the woods, they rock the boat at night, and you can see fireflies all over the riverbank, it’s very beautiful! One year, I was fortunate enough to go with the old master, and now thinking about it, it’s simply breathtaking.”

He Yan, upon hearing this, was even more eager to go and looked at Cui Yuezhi, “Uncle, what if we take this Firefly Boat?”

“Ladies all like these,” Cui Yuezhi smiled and waved his hand, “I won’t go, the Firefly Boat is prepared for couples or lovers. With so many of us, we can’t all fit on one boat.”

He Yan’s words got stuck in her throat, and she thought that Jiyang’s Water God Festival might be similar to the Qixi Festival in the Central Plains. It seemed unfriendly to those without a significant other. Without a lover, did that mean she had no right to see the legendary Firefly Spring? That wouldn’t be fair!

“Since Miss Yuyan wants to go, why don’t you and Master Huanqing go together?” Wei Yiniang smiled and suggested, “There are many other boats around, and there should be a waterborne stage on the way tonight, it should be lively.”

He Yan was torn. She really wanted to experience it, but Xiao Jue… might not be willing.

She turned to Xiao Jue and tentatively asked, “Young Master?”

“Absolutely not.”

“Young Master, my desire to go is genuine.”

Xiao Jue curled his lips and said, “It seems you’re pushing your luck.”

“I’ve never seen what a large group of fireflies looks like,” He Yan whispered, “Now that we’re here, don’t you want to see? Don’t think of me as a woman, just think of me as a subordinate. Let’s take a look at the local customs as we pass by this place.”

“Young Master, husband?” He Yan tried to please him.

Xiao Jue’s lips twitched, “Speak properly.”

“If you don’t agree, this wife will just keep talking like this.”

Wei Yiniang couldn’t help but laugh, as if she couldn’t stand to see this little couple’s teasing, she whispered a few words to Cui Yuezhi. Cui Yuezhi nodded, and Wei Yiniang signaled to someone by the river, finding a boat and said to He Yan and Xiao Jue, “The master has already paid, and tonight the boatman on this boat will take you around Jiyang River. If you come across something delicious or fun, just buy it. When the time comes, he will also take you to the Firefly Spring.” She paused and added, “I wanted to have you bring a few guards with you, but the city garrison patrols will be by the Firefly Spring, so there shouldn’t be any problems. But if you’re not at ease, you can…”

“Thank you, Wei Yiniang! There’s no need for guards…” He Yan happily said, but suddenly remembered something and asked Xiao Jue, “What if Lin Shuanghe and Chiwu also want to go?”

Xiao Jue turned around and saw that Chiwu and his companions had all taken a few steps back and shook their heads at him, indicating that they didn’t want to join.

It made sense; rough and tough men probably wouldn’t enjoy something like fireflies, and even if they did, they wouldn’t dare to show it here.

“Then let’s go on board first,” He Yan said happily and climbed onto the black canopy boat.

This boat was not as extravagant as the boats on the Chunlai River in Shuojing. In fact, it could be called plain from the outside, but inside, it was quite spacious. There were cushions to sit on and a small stove for cooking. Sitting here, eating something, and feeling the breeze from the river while watching the lantern-lit night market on both sides of the river was truly a delightful experience.

He Yan bent down and sat on the cushion, looking out over the river.

The Jiyang Canal was very long, running through the city. Today was a festival, so both banks were adorned with lanterns, and everyone was shouting and having fun, creating a festive atmosphere. The boatman was a sturdy middle-aged man wearing a conical hat, strong and muscular, rowing the oars with all his might.

He Yan leaned over the bow of the boat. She used to be afraid of water, but now she was surrounded by such a lively atmosphere, and having Xiao Jue by her side may have helped her overcome her previous fear, leaving only a sense of novelty.

She was enjoying the view when suddenly, a small boat passed by her side. On that boat were also a couple, and out of the blue, the woman on the boat scooped up some water and splashed it towards He Yan. Without warning, she got drenched, and her entire self was left stunned. 

The boatman laughed heartily, “Miss, it seems you’re not from around here and don’t know the customs of Jiyang. This is the Grand Canal, and when two boats meet, it’s customary to have a water battle. People say that the Grand Canal waters feed the entire city of Jiyang, so being splashed isn’t just water; it’s blessings and good luck!” 

The woman on the boat also smiled at her, with kindness and a hint of mischief, making it difficult to get angry. He Yan wondered, what kind of custom is this? Aren’t they worried about getting their clothes all wet and not being able to go out? 

He Yan’s thoughts were, in fact, a bit unfair to the people of Jiyang. Anyone who knew they would be on a boat having a water battle that night brought several changes of clothes for convenience. She, on the other hand, had foolishly worn only one outfit. Perhaps Cui Yuezhi, who hadn’t taken a firefly boat in a long time, had completely forgotten about this. 

Apparently, seeing her as an easy target, several other boats gathered around. Regardless of gender, everyone bent over and scooped up a handful of water from the canal, then splashed it towards He Yan. 

He Yan: “?” 

She raised her voice, “Boatman, could you please keep the boat a bit further away!” 

Before she could finish her sentence, a large amount of water was hurled toward her face. He Yan was taken aback, but in the next moment, someone stood in front of her, pressing her head into their chest, shielding her from the incoming water.

Xiao Jue glanced at the boat across from them. The man who had thrown water at He Yan was a guy with absolutely no sense of delicacy, and he was laughing at He Yan. Xiao Jue smirked and, in the next moment, the teacups and dishes in the boat left a large trail of ripples in the water. A huge amount of water splashed over the man from head to toe.

The woman beside the man, whether she was his wife or lover, looked very anxious and said, “How could you do that?”

Xiao Jue looked at the other person with a faint smile and said slowly, “I’m just giving you a bit more blessings; no need to thank me.”

He Yan: “…”

She lifted her head from Xiao Jue’s chest and said, “Actually, there’s no need to make a big deal out of it.” She looked around and added after a moment of silence, “You’ve scared people.”

Originally, there were a few more boats that had come over, probably thinking He Yan’s reaction was amusing. But now, seeing the man’s experience, they all refrained from coming closer and hurriedly had their boatman steer their boats away, as if avoiding a plague.

Xiao Jue chuckled, “You still have the heart to care about others?”

He Yan looked down at herself; her clothes were soaked, and then Xiao Jue stood up, walked to the stern of the boat, and threw a handkerchief to her, then sat down by the small stove where tea was being brewed. “Come here.”

He Yan followed his instruction and moved closer. Xiao Jue said, “Dry your hair with this.”

He Yan obediently placed her long hair over the small stove and, using the heat, began to dry it. While doing so, she asked, “Commander, are you hungry?”

“Are you hungry?”

He Yan touched her stomach, “Very.”

She had always had a hearty appetite. Xiao Jue sighed and went to the front of the boat to talk to the boatman for a while. Soon after, the boatman started paddling and brought the boat to a water market.

It was called a water market, but it was actually a collection of several dozen boats. These boats were selling various snacks, hot tea, and even roasted chicken and duck. The aroma of the food was tantalizing. The boat stopped at the edge of the floating market, and Xiao Jue told He Yan, “Pick yourself.”

The food on the boat was unique to Jiyang and quite different from what they had in Shuojing. He Yan was enticed by this and that, picking a bit of everything and ending up with a large pile of food wrapped in oiled paper. Xiao Jue remained silent for a moment and asked, “Are you a bottomless pit?”

“If I can’t finish it, I can take it back for Lin Shuanghe and the others,” He Yan said with a mischievous smile. “I’m already showing restraint.”

Xiao Jue was speechless for a moment. He picked a few items himself, paid for them, and helped He Yan carry the items into the boat.

With all this food and drink, He Yan was thrilled. Sitting on the cushion, she looked out over the boat and began to unpack the oiled paper packages to eat and drink. She had a good appetite, and after a day of being hungry, she was eating without any pretense. Xiao Jue restrained himself and said, “Mind your manners.”

He Yan nonchalantly responded with a casual acknowledgment and continued to eat and drink as she pleased. Xiao Jue reminded her twice with no effect, so he gave up.

She leaned against the window on the boat with both hands, and suddenly remembered when she was a young girl. She had taken a boat trip with her classmates from the Xianchang Academy to Jinling. Back then, Xiao Jue had been there as well. It was her first time on a boat, and she had gotten terribly seasick, even throwing up several times on the boat, nearly dying from it.

Now she no longer suffered from seasickness, but the young men from that time had all gone their separate ways, and in the end, it was still Xiao Jue who accompanied her.

The world was unpredictable.

“It looks like there’s a water stage over there,” He Yan exclaimed excitedly. “Boatman, can you take the boat over there?”

The boatman said, “Sure.” He paddled the boat over to the water stage.

The stage was supported by something under the water, with only a few wooden posts visible above the surface. People on the boats had to sit and watch from their boats. They could see that the actors had painted faces and were singing with great enthusiasm. The martial arts performances were particularly captivating, with acrobatic movements and high-pitched singing. Although He Yan couldn’t quite understand it all, the atmosphere was lively.

There was even a boat selling refreshing sweet drinks nearby. He Yan ran to the bow of the boat to take a look. Many girls were buying drinks. Seeing He Yan’s keen interest, the vendor smiled and explained, “Miss, these are all freshly made. Would you like to try one? We have lychee syrup, yangmei thirst-quencher, apricot pastry, plum wine, sugarcane juice, pear juice, sweet bean soup…”

He Yan saw a small cup that looked pure white and was covered in red fruit chunks and asked, “What’s that?”

“This is sugar ice with snow pear and winter jujube. Sweet and refreshing, one bite, and you won’t regret it. Miss, would you like one?”

He Yan’s mouth watered a bit, and she was about to say something, but Xiao Jue spoke up, “Is it cold?”

“It’s cold,” the vendor replied enthusiastically, “the ice hasn’t melted, very refreshing!”

“I don’t want this, get something hot,” he said.

He Yan was momentarily taken aback, but the vendor enthusiastically suggested, “How about a sweet bean soup? It was just cooked, and it’s very warm when you hold it in your hands. Oh, Miss, were you just splashed with water? It’s a good idea to drink something warm. The young master is considerate!”

He Yan was a little confused, and at the moment, she didn’t care much about what the vendor said. She asked Xiao Jue, “Aren’t you going to have anything?”

“I don’t drink sweet things,” he replied, turning to go back inside the boat.

He Yan asked the vendor, “Do you have anything that’s not sweet?”

“We have unsweetened perilla drink.”

He Yan took out a few copper coins from her sleeve. “Give me a cup of perilla drink.”

She held a cup of sweet bean soup in one hand and a cup of perilla drink in the other as she followed Xiao Jue into the boat. She handed the perilla drink to him. “This one’s not sweet. I asked. Drink it, my treat!”

Xiao Jue was speechless. “I gave you the money.” 

“It’s the thought that counts. Why are you so particular about it?” He Yan scooped up some sweet bean soup and found it delicious and warm. She squinted her eyes and said, “It’s really good!” 

Xiao Jue sneered, “Easy to please.” 

“You don’t know,” He Yan said, “I rarely used to eat sweets, but I actually love them. Jiyang is really nice. I’d like to be a resident of Jiyang too.” 

“You can stay here.” 

“How can that be?” He Yan sighed. “There are always other things to do.” 

As they were speaking, another small boat approached, and someone on the boat exclaimed in admiration. He Yan crawled over to take a look and saw a craftsman at the boat’s bow, crafting dough figurines. He made them to match whatever the actors were performing on the stage. The grass-covered pile was already filled with figurines, each one looking exactly like the actors in the play. The craftsmanship was outstanding. 

He Yan leaned over the boat’s edge, watching with unwavering attention as the dough transformed rapidly in the craftsman’s hands. The elderly craftsman, who was crafting the figurines, smiled and asked, “If the young lady likes it, would you like to buy one? I can make a figurine that looks just like you.” 


“Of course.” 

He Yan was somewhat tempted, but she hesitated for a moment and said, “I think I’ll pass.” 

Xiao Jue, who was busy preparing something on a small stove, looked up at her and asked, “Why don’t you want it?” 

He Yan turned around and whispered, “Right now, I’m a woman, so it’s fine to buy one. But if I return to the garrison, I’ll have to dress as a man. Having this figurine with me wouldn’t be convenient, and if it were ever discovered as evidence, it wouldn’t be good. Since I’ll eventually have to get rid of it, why bother buying it?” 

Xiao Jue stared at her with a direct gaze, then suddenly smiled, and calmly said, “You’re quite short, but you’re quite crafty.” He snapped his fingers, and a string of copper coins flew to the craftsman’s table. “Make one for her.” 

The elderly craftsman collected the coins with a smile and said, “Sure.” 

He Yan hurriedly turned back to Xiao Jue and said, “Why did you buy it? I can’t take it with me when I leave Jiyang. It’s a waste of money.” 

“It’s not like you don’t like it,” he taunted with a smirk, “if you like it, just buy it. In this world, if you’re afraid to go after something for fear of losing it, that’s rather dull.” 

Seeing that He Yan was still motionless, he looked at her with a mocking glint in his eye, but his tone was surprisingly calm. “Miss He, this is Jiyang. Today, you can do whatever you want without worrying about the consequences. You can be who you truly are. If you like something, express it. You don’t have to compromise or deceive everyone.” 

He Yan was left momentarily speechless, unsure of what to say.

After a while, she asked, “Can I really do whatever I want?”

Xiao Jue shrugged. “Do as you please.”

He Yan sat down.

The craftsman making clay figurines had exceptional skill. In just a short while, he had finished one. He called out to He Yan, “Miss, your figurine is ready!”

He Yan thanked him and took the figurine from his hand. It was extremely detailed, even down to the lace on the skirt, which was exactly like what she was wearing. The figure looked pretty, and He Yan was entranced. She held it up and asked Xiao Jue, “Commander, does this look like me?”

Xiao Jue responded indifferently, “It’s much better than you.”

He Yan was used to being teased by him and didn’t get annoyed. She just grinned and said, “I actually do look quite like a girl, don’t I?”

She noticed Xiao Jue scooping something out of a small pot on the stove and putting it in a bowl. He Yan went over to take a look and realized that Xiao Jue had cooked a bowl of clear noodle soup. The noodles were snow white, with a dash of soy sauce, no green onions, just a single egg floating in it, and a hint of green vegetables, emitting a delicious aroma.

He Yan was taken aback. She had been busy admiring the scenery and eating, not realizing that Xiao Jue had cooked a bowl of noodles. She asked, “Commander, are you hungry?”

Xiao Jue didn’t say anything, he just pushed the bowl towards her and handed her a pair of chopsticks, saying, “Eat.”

“For me?” He Yan took the chopsticks and was pleasantly surprised. “Why? I bought plenty of food, and I’m not…”

Before she could finish saying ‘hungry’, she heard the man in front of her say, “Isn’t today your birthday?”

He Yan was stunned.

After a while, she asked, “….How did you know?” Even in front of Cui Yuezhi, she had only mentioned it was a few days after the Spring Equinox.

“Miss He,” Xiao Jue said slowly, “do you know that your skill in deceiving people is inconsistent and full of holes at times.” 

He Yan remained silent. After a while, she spoke softly, “So, today, the reason you are treating me so well is because you know it’s my birthday, right?” 

“Treating you well?” Xiao Jue raised an eyebrow. “You seem to have many misconceptions about what ‘well’ means. Am I treating you well?” 

No, He Yan thought. Apart from Liu Buwang, she hadn’t encountered anyone as kind to her as Xiao Jue. No one had ever remembered her birthday. On past birthdays, they had called her “He Rufei.” It was He Rufei’s birthday, not hers. 

She raised her head, smiled at Xiao Jue, and said, “Commander, you’ve been so kind to me. Thank you.” 

The corners of the young girl’s eyes were curved with a smile, but her eyes, misted by the rising steam, seemed to turn slightly red. Xiao Jue was momentarily stunned, just about to say something, when He Yan had already buried her head in the bowl of noodles. 

So, he didn’t say anything either. 

The sky had darkened completely, turning into an inky black, and it was now sprinkled with countless stars. The water had become a river of stars, and on this boat, old dreams lay still like this. 

The boatman rowed slowly, and at some point, they had left the busiest section of the river. The number of boats around them had decreased, and a cool breeze had begun to blow. It was a refreshing feeling. 

A faint greenish glow glided over the water’s surface and stopped at the bow of the boat. 

The boatman had already stopped rowing, and the small boat floated silently on the water. 

He Yan pulled Xiao Jue to go out and see. By the side of the spring, deep within the dense woods, numerous faint or bright strands of light swayed and shimmered, clearly visible yet somewhat elusive. They danced around the water’s surface and the forest, like a glowing drizzle, thousands of sparkling lights entering one’s eyes. 

“It’s so beautiful,” He Yan exclaimed. 

In the past years, she had seen beautiful scenery, but on the military road, there was hardly any time to appreciate it. All things considered, it had been many years since she had let go of everything like this. 

She would never forget a night like this. He Yan turned to see Xiao Jue lying at the bow of the boat, hands behind his head, looking at the fireflies in front of him. She thought for a moment and then laid down beside Xiao Jue, mimicking his posture with her hands behind her head. She gazed at the brilliance of the night, as if the stars were within reach. 

“Today, my birthday, has been the happiest one I’ve ever had. Commander, thank you,” she said. 

Xiao Jue didn’t respond immediately and then said, “On your birthday, aren’t you supposed to make a wish? After making it, you should see it through to the end.” 

“Make a wish?” He Yan said, “I don’t have any wishes anymore.” 

Seeking divine blessings was generally a form of self-deception. If you wanted something, you had to go and fight for it yourself. 

“Just living a simple life?”

“If I had to make a wish, I hope that there’s someone in this world who comes just for me.”

Not for He Rufei, not for Flying Phoenix General, just for her.

“Is that your wish?” Xiao Jue chuckled. “I thought you might wish for promotions, titles, and a successful career, or at the very least, to join the Nine Banner Battalion.”

The forest glowed with tiny lights, sparkling and rising in the evening. Perhaps the night was exceptionally beautiful, and she wanted to say a few more words.

She continued, “Commander, have you noticed that since I’ve been with you, I’m always someone else’s substitute. Sometimes I’m Cheng Lisu, sometimes I’m Wen Yuyan, and the next time, I don’t know what identity I’ll have.”

“Feeling wronged?” Xiao Jue asked.

“Not really, just… ” She looked into the distance with a somewhat melancholic expression. “Sometimes, when you’re someone’s substitute for a long time, you can’t help but forget who you are.”

“Commander, you must remember my name.”

“I’m called…”

“He Yan.”

The young girl faced the night sky, smiling slightly. Xiao Jue turned to look at her and saw her clear gaze, mixed with a hidden layer of sorrow in her happiness. All the previous brightness seemed to disappear, as if there were countless unspoken sorrows that had been swallowed one by one.

He turned his head and looked at the night sky as well. In the wilderness, lights flickered, stars flowed like waterfalls, and the cool breeze caressed their faces, the water below reflecting the myriad lights.

Tonight, who knows how many people will fall into their dreams, and how many will watch the faint lights in the late night.

The young man raised the corners of his mouth and said slowly, “A name so unpleasant to hear, yet so memorable after hearing it once.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t forget, Miss He.”

“He Yan.”

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3 thoughts on “Rebirth of a Star General Chapter 138”

  1. Yup….they are falling equally hard for each other. Such a great novel. I only slept 3 hours last night because of reading your translation.


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