Rebirth of a Star General Chapter 34

Chapter 34: Establishing Authority

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It was midsummer, and the first hour of the day was already bright. They had to wake up even earlier than during their previous days on the road. After arriving in Liangzhou the previous night, everyone was excited and stayed up a bit late. As a result, when they gathered at the training ground, everyone looked drowsy, and some even had their shoes on the wrong feet.

Shitou was fine, but Xiao Mai and Hong Shan were busy tightening their belts as they walked. Seeing that He Yan was in high spirits and full of energy, both of them looked puzzled and asked, “Ah He, aren’t you tired?” 

“I went to bed early last night and got a good night’s sleep,” He Yan replied. 

Xiao Mai praised, “You’re really impressive!”

As they chatted, they had already arrived at the training ground. Since it was the first day, the formation was organized according to the order of the marching squads. On the high platform, a burly man dressed in red armor stood, with thick eyebrows and large eyes, a robust and dark complexion. He was tall and sturdy, holding a long spear in his hand, exuding a powerful aura.

“Who is that?” He Yan asked.

“He is the head supervisor responsible for supervising our training, Instructor Shen,” Xiao Mai had inquired about this in advance.

He Yan nodded, but in her heart, she originally expected it to be Xiao Jue personally conducting the training, but she hadn’t even seen him today. Speaking of which, even though they were both young officers who joined the military and were promoted to a higher rank, each commander had their own way of training troops. He Yan wanted to learn from Xiao Jue’s methods, but for now, it seemed that this possibility was not available.

“I am your chief instructor, Shen Han,” the booming voice of Instructor Shen resonated like a bell, echoing in the surroundings of the White Moon Mountain’s training ground. His voice seemed to drill into the ears, sending shivers down the spines of those who listened, “From now on, I will be the one leading you.” He shook a roster in his hand, “Now, let’s roll call!” 

Roll call needed to be swift. Today was the first time, but in a few more days, they would be divided into squads, hundreds, regiments, and divisions. The roll call would then be conducted by the appointed squad leaders, centurions, regiment commanders, and battalion commanders, saving a lot of time.

This group of people were all new recruits from the capital, they had never received any training before, and roll call took about two hours. They could only stand awkwardly on the training ground, feeling uncomfortable and fidgeting. Xiao Mai whispered to his big brother, “Big brother, Ah He doesn’t move at all, just like a rock.”

Shitou looked at He Yan.

Compared to him, He Yan seemed even more deserving of that name. She stood straight, as tall and straight as a pine tree, with her arms naturally at her sides. Her eyes were bright as she looked up at the platform, seeming neither tired nor bored. It almost gave people the illusion that even after two hours, she would still be able to stand firmly.

Shitou thought about the times when he and Xiao Mai went hunting in the mountains. In the mountains, there were wild beasts that stalked and pounced on prey like rabbits, laying hidden in the grass, motionless, looking just like lifeless stones. Shitou had hunted with Xiao Mai for so many years, and he could handle it. But Xiao Mai couldn’t resist moving. Why could He Yan manage it? According to what Hong Shan said, He Yan had joined the military out of desperation due to a decline in family circumstances. His appearance suggested that his family had been well off before. So why did he possess the enduring patience and perseverance of a wild beast?

After all, He Yan didn’t need to hunt for food.

His contemplation didn’t yield an answer, and the roll call was finally finished.

Shen Han closed the military roster and said, “From today, one hundred people form one squad, and one squad has one instructor. You will practice formations and conduct military drills here. Today, I will teach you about military orders!” As he said this, a smile appeared on Shen Han’s face. However, for some reason, this smile sent a chill down everyone’s spine.

Sure enough, they heard Instructor Shen Han shout, “If you fail to respond to your name, if you’re not on time, if you arrive late, this is considered delaying the army. Those who violate this will be flogged! Today, you arrived one moment late. According to military law, this should be punished, but due to it being your first offense, I will let it slide this time.”

Everyone felt their hearts sink as they listened to him, and as they were still processing his speech, they heard the emotionless voice of the stern drill instructor ring out.

“Each person will carry a sandbag and run ten laps around the camp. Not a single lap can be missed. Each squad’s instructor will monitor you. Whoever dares to slack off will face military punishment!”

The people present all gasped in shock.

The training ground below White Moon Mountain was also their camp, and one lap was at least one li or more. Running ten laps meant running over ten li. Furthermore, they had to carry sandbags. It was still relatively cool when they woke up early in the morning, but now that the sun was high, the scorching heat was unbearable, and they were already sweating while standing still.

To run under the sun? A sense of despair spread among them.

Xiao Mai said, “Brother Ah He, Instructor Shen said the same thing as you. How did you know he would say that?”

How did she know? It was because when she first entered the military camp, she went through the same situation. It was like establishing their authority, giving the new recruits a taste of what military life was like and making them understand that joining the military was not about enjoying privileges. Even if it wasn’t this reason, Shen Han would have found some other excuse to punish them.

“Just familiarize yourself with military orders,” He Yan patted Xiao Mai’s shoulder. “It’s good for you.”

Xiao Mai nodded, somewhat understanding.

As expected, following Shen Han’s orders, the soldiers were divided into squads of one hundred each. When the group went to collect their sandbags, He Yan initially thought that the sandbags would be like the ones she used when she went up the mountain with He Yunsheng to chop firewood—small enough to be tied around the legs. However, when she saw the sandbags, her eyelids twitched.

The sandbags were the size of a large bundle, not meant to be tied around the legs but to be carried on the back. When she lifted it, it was heavy and definitely much heavier than the small sandbag.

“D*mn, running ten laps with this thing on our backs? Isn’t that too much?” Hong Shan complained.

Xiao Mai stole a glance at He Yan’s expression. Throughout the entire process, her face remained calm. However, when she lifted the sandbag, cracks finally appeared in her composure. Xiao Mai secretly breathed a sigh of relief, realizing that Ah He was also just an ordinary person, not someone invincible.

He Yan had no words.

When she trained new recruits in the past, carrying weights to enhance their physical fitness was necessary, but it was done gradually. Most of the time, she used the sandbags she had made at the He family, gradually increasing the weight.

She didn’t know Xiao Jue’s training methods back then, but now she finally understood. Starting with such fierce training, Xiao Jue might have a handsome face, but she had underestimated his ruthlessness.

He was a ruthless man.

“Ah He, are you…” Hong Shan was about to suggest helping her with the sandbag, but he saw He Yan hoist it onto her back and secure it firmly.

Her figure was too petite, surrounded by a camp full of men, she looked like an undeveloped young boy. The sandbag was large and heavy, pressing down on her back, making this young boy appear even shorter. She seemed shaky, looking quite pitiful.

Even the usually quiet Shitou couldn’t bear to watch and asked her, “Are you sure you can handle it?”

“I’m fine,” He Yan replied with a smile.

Seeing her smile, the others felt relieved. Perhaps these young and strong boys could handle such weight and despite her small and frail figure, she still seemed to have some strength.

In her heart, He Yan cursed Xiao Jue a thousand times over.

This kind of weight would have been no problem for her in the past. But Miss He had a delicate physique, and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t turn her into a powerhouse overnight.

So, it was really heavy.

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