Chapter 46: I Will Defeat You
Everyone stared at He Yan’s movements.
The young boy walked up to the bows and crossbows, and in comparison to her slender frame, the bow and crossbow seemed completely unsuitable for her. She picked up the bow and pulled out an arrow from the quiver, her finger gently resting on it.
Wang Ba looked at her disdainfully and said, “Put in some effort this time. Don’t act like yesterday, setting up for so long and then saying you can’t draw it.”
He Yan seemed as if she hadn’t heard his words, but Hong Shan was a bit nervous, secretly sweating for He Yan. These new recruits in the military were already eager to show their strength. He Yan was not a girl, so no one would have any feelings of pity for her. They would only see her as weak, and the weak did not deserve sympathy. If they added someone who talked big but couldn’t back it up, people would look down on her even more. He Yan had made a bold statement yesterday, and if she couldn’t deliver today, not only would Instructor Liang secretly despise her, but others in the camp would also avoid associating with her, treating her unkindly.
Yesterday, she failed to draw the bow, so could she do it today?
The young boy’s gaze focused on the target. From this angle, her hand was extremely steady, and her eyes were like a hunting beast, waiting silently for the moment to strike.
The bow was drawn.
Little by little, it wasn’t easy, but it was slow and steady, without any trembling, slowly being pulled back. It was different from yesterday; you could see the bow slowly opening.
“It moved…” Xiao Mai exclaimed excitedly, tugging at Shitou’s clothes. “Big Brother, Brother Ah He is pulling the bow!”
He knew that He Yan would do what she said she would. This had already happened countless times!
Whispers rose among the crowd, and even Wang Ba was taken aback by the situation. He was initially stunned, but immediately felt an indignant anger rising. He gritted his teeth and stood still, wanting to see how He Yan would demonstrate her exceptional archery skills. Instructor Liang, who had little hope before, was also attracted by He Yan’s actions.
This kid was impressive. Yesterday, he said he could draw the bow today, and he actually did it. How did he manage to achieve it in just one day? Could it be that he was pretending to be weak yesterday but was actually capable and said he couldn’t just for the sake of putting on a show now?
Amidst the discussions, the bow was almost halfway drawn, and He Yan stopped, no longer continuing to pull.
This was her limit.
She let go of the bowstring, and the arrow shot toward the target with stability and speed!
Everyone’s eyes were fixed on the tail feather of the arrow.
The arrow was aimed at the target but did not reach it; it fell weakly midway. The spectators let out a sigh of regret, as if the arrow was supposed to hit the bullseye with certainty.
He Yan released her grip.
Xiao Mai was the first to jump out, running to He Yan’s side, his eyes shining. “Brother Ah He, you really pulled the bow!”
“Amazing!” Hong Shan also came over and patted He Yan’s shoulder. “You’re indeed something!”
Although Shitou didn’t say anything, he smiled, showing that he was pleased. Instructor Liang also gave He Yan an affirming look.
The surrounding new recruits who were spectating started to discuss.
“He really pulled it! It seems he wasn’t just bragging.”
“It might be luck. Maybe he got lucky and managed to draw it this time.”
“Luck is also a kind of strength, and he did what he said he would. Not bad at all.”
Wang Ba was somewhat bewildered.
He came to witness He Yan’s embarrassment, but how did it end up looking like he actually helped He Yan shine? One should know, he looked at the arrow that fell in the middle. He Yan didn’t even hit the target, she didn’t even come close to the edge of it. If it were anyone else, that would be considered a poor performance. Why is it that in his case, it’s as if people were about to applaud, cheer enthusiastically, and celebrate warmly for him?
Did he get something wrong?
Wang Ba couldn’t accept it and said, “You only managed to draw the bow, so what? How many people in this camp can draw it? I’m afraid everyone except you can. What’s so impressive about that?”
“Me?” He Yan pointed at herself and smiled, “But I’m the exception who couldn’t draw it. I couldn’t draw it yesterday, but I can today. That’s what’s impressive.”
She smiled happily, and this smile infuriated Wang Ba. He said, “I don’t accept it!”
“What don’t you accept?” He Yan asked.
Wang Ba was the type of person who bullied the weak and feared the strong, worshiping those who were strong and despising the weak. He naturally had no regard for someone like He Yan, who seemed “weak”. Moreover, they had a past quarrel, so he wouldn’t be satisfied unless he found faults with He Yan.
“Someone like you, how can you be a new recruit and train with us?” Wang Ba turned to Instructor Liang, “Instructor Liang, I don’t accept it!”
Instructor Liang looked at them calmly and didn’t show any intention of intervening. He was an instructor, not their superior. Once these new recruits finished their training here, they might be stationed in Liangzhou Garrison or go to other places with Xiao Jue. They were not his responsibility. His duty was to teach them basic skills and select some good recruits, but the final formation of the army was the responsibility of the generals.
Should they lose a talented archer like Wang Ba for someone like He Yan, who didn’t seem particularly outstanding?
“You don’t have to trouble Instructor Liang,” He Yan glanced at Liang Ping and knew what he was thinking. The instructors here were quite cunning; there must be some considerations at this moment. She looked at Wang Ba, “Tell me, what do you want?”
Wang Ba sneered, “You should become a support soldier.”
“No,” He Yan rejected without hesitation, “Why should I?”
“Why should you?” Wang Ba said, “Because you couldn’t draw the bow yesterday, and today you drew it but shot so poorly, yet your friend still cheered for you. Do you think in the future, on the battlefield, all the soldiers of Da Wei will be like you, using bows and crossbows so messily that they can’t even kill one enemy, and still have someone cheer for them? What kind of soldiers would that be!”
Wow, He Yan couldn’t help but applaud Wang Ba in her heart. And they actually say that rough mountain bandits are different from literate and cultured people, but now it seemed that he was quite sly himself. He said those words so righteously. When she first entered the military camp, she couldn’t talk like this. He was indeed the leader in the mountains. Otherwise, how could he intimidate people and become the boss?
Fortunately, she had been with the military camp for so many years and had seen enough of such scenes.
“You’re right,” the young boy brushed aside the bangs that fell over his forehead. He paused before continuing, “But you also saw that I couldn’t draw the bow yesterday, yet I could today. Yesterday, you hit this target, and today you still hit it.”
Everyone looked at her, not understanding her point.
“I am getting stronger every day, while you remain the same day after day. In that case, ten days from now, I will be able to hit that grass target, but what about you? You will still only hit this grass target.”
“In ten days, I will defeat you,” she said with emphasis on each word.