Chapter 45: He Changed
The night was like a scroll painted with thick ink, and the stars were scattered throughout, adding a touch of poetic beauty to the rustling wind.
The handsome young man looked up at the earnest young boy, just the scene would have been a picturesque sight.
He Yan fell silent.
Xiao Jue spoke, his voice calm. “Your name is He Yan?”
He Yan was taken aback and blurted out, “Am I already that famous?”
In the military camp, she didn’t consider herself outstanding enough to attract the attention of the commander. How could Xiao Jue already know about her?
Xiao Jue sneered, “Last place in every weighted run, unable to draw a bow or a crossbow.” He looked down at the top of He Yan’s head and casually added, “And so short. In the military camp, I can’t think of anyone else like you.”
He Yan: “…”
In an instant, she seemed to have returned to the first time she met Xiao Jue at Xianchang Academy. Back then, he described her with the words: stupid and short.
Unexpectedly, even after changing bodies, when Xiao Jue saw her, he still had the same impression? He really remained consistent, with such arrogance and aloofness. Looking at him like this, it seemed that the indifference brought about by growing into a young man was slightly diminished. Just as in her memory, he was an outstanding youth bordering on being sharp.
He Yan naturally felt wronged. In truth, among girls, her height couldn’t be considered “short.” But in a military camp full of tall and strong men, she appeared fragile as a small chick. However, she couldn’t blame herself for that. When she was He Yan, she was slightly taller than now. Moreover, after He Rufei took her place, others wouldn’t think that Flying Phoenix General was short. But now, she couldn’t stuff her shoes with padding to make herself look taller.
While she was thinking, Xiao Jue took another step closer, making the distance between them a bit excessive.
He Yan stood still in confusion.
His eyes were beautiful, clear and gentle. When he lowered his gaze to look at her, it gave the illusion that he was gazing at a lover. His skin was also fair, even clearer than Miss He’s. It accentuated his exquisite facial features. His dark hair was tied up and hung over his shoulders, looking cool and emanating a faint, ethereal fragrance, making people want to touch it.
He Yan thought that if the fairy who rode a deer were to see him, she would probably be too shy to look at him and would turn and leave. No wonder so many girls in the capital dreamt of such a nobleman. Looking at this face, one could never tire of it.
“What are you thinking?” he asked nonchalantly.
“I’m thinking about what I can eat to look as good as you,” He Yan replied.
His movement stiffened, and he no longer approached her. It was as if he had confirmed something, so he looked away and said, “Senseless!”
He didn’t scold her? He Yan was surprised. She thought Xiao Jue would use his authority to scold her, but upon further thought, she realized that Xiao Jue hadn’t revealed his identity yet. According to common sense, she shouldn’t “know” who he was, so he could only treat her as a stranger he happened to bump into while she was practicing.
“What senseless. It’s human nature to pursue beauty,” He Yan said casually, waving her hand.
Xiao Jue paused, glancing at her fixedly. That glance seemed to be looking at a dead person. But He Yan fearlessly met his gaze. Apparently, he had never encountered someone so bold like her. Xiao Jue was taken aback for a moment and then seemed to laugh coldly. He turned and left with big strides, leaving He Yan alone in the martial arts field.
He Yan noticed something.
Xiao Jue had become even colder in temperament than before, but at the same time, he had improved. Previously, when he was angry with her, he would sarcastically retort with ten or more sentences without repeating himself. But now, he only glanced at her and showed no desire to say more. In the past, she didn’t dare provoke Xiao Jue, but now, this noble Second Young Master from the Xiao family no longer bothered to quarrel with others like he did when he was a child. Did that mean she could easily annoy Xiao Jue and get back at him for the emotional damage he caused her in the past?
The heavens were indeed fair. She thought to herself, “Now it’s time for the tide to turn in my favor.”
After Xiao Jue left, He Yan continued to practice with the bow and crossbow for half an hour until her hands were so sore that she couldn’t bear it any longer. She finally went back to sleep. The next morning, she woke up slightly later than usual, and Xiao Mai nudged her, saying, “Brother Ah He, it’s time to get up.”
He Yan opened her eyes.
Truly, every person’s body was different. When she was a youth before, no matter how late she practiced swordsmanship secretly at night, she could still energetically attend the lectures of her teachers the next day. Now, after staying up all night, she didn’t oversleep but still felt unwell.
Could it be that in her previous life she was destined to suffer? He Yan pondered on this thought.
But regardless of her thoughts, she had things to do. Today, she had to carry sandbags and run first thing in the morning. After the run, everyone in the squad automatically gathered at the back of the martial arts field to prepare for archery practice.
The bows and crossbows had already been set up, and without the coolness of the night, the daylight was somewhat dazzling. Instructor Liang stood beside the bows and crossbows, and the new recruits took turns trying the bow. Compared to yesterday, the new recruits were not as excited and nervous. Their techniques had stabilized, and there were fewer arrows flying randomly. At least now, they were aiming at the target.
Hong Shan also took a shot and performed slightly better than yesterday. Shitou still won Instructor Liang’s approval. Xiao Mai’s strength might be weak, but it wasn’t too bad either. Moreover, with Shitou guiding him on the side, he had made obvious progress.
He Yan also saw Wang Ba.
Wang Ba walked forward nonchalantly and before drawing his bow, he gave He Yan a contemptuous look. In response, He Yan smiled at him, which seemed to infuriate him. He immediately put on a stern face and drew his bow to shoot without hesitation.
“With a ‘swish’ sound, the feathered arrow cut through the air and pierced the target, just like the scene from yesterday. The target was knocked forward and fell down, almost identical to before.”
The new recruits around immediately applauded and cheered. People here always admired the strong.
After putting down his bow, Wang Ba walked up to He Yan with a domineering manner and said, loud enough for everyone to hear, “It’s your turn.” He deliberately raised his voice, so everyone could hear him clearly, “Yesterday, you couldn’t draw the bow and dared to speak so arrogantly in front of everyone. Today, let us see how you draw the bow. What do you say, Brother He Yan?”
For a moment, all eyes turned to He Yan.
The incident of yesterday’s failed attempt to draw the bow had spread throughout the entire camp. Everyone knew that there was a new recruit under Instructor Liang who couldn’t even draw a bow, yet dared to brag. Now, they saw the real person in front of them, and they all scrutinized He Yan, waiting to see a good show.
“Brother Ah He…” Xiao Mai tugged on He Yan’s clothes with some fear.
He Yan smiled at him and walked out slowly. She faced Wang Ba’s malicious smile with an open and honest expression and a humble tone. “I am impressed that Brother Wang Ba remembers my words so clearly.”
“If you are so eager to see, then I’ll let you watch.” She said lightly.