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Published at 10th of January 2016 02:10:36 PM

Chapter 3

Chapter 3: The evil army trainer, Part 1 of 5


Between 5 to 7 am, the daytime is just before dawn, inside the forest, the lush foliage obscured the morning light, it is still dark and gloomy. Five hundred people in long rows came trotting forward, looking at their running speed and the manner of their march, they were far less spirited than yesterday morning. The team entered the forest, even through a dull gray light, they also saw a glimpse of a silhouette, of the one they have cursed the whole night.

Gu Yun’s face is frozen cold, not for anything else, just because in this era there are no watches, telling the time is too inconvenient. And this crowd of brats, dilly-dallying in reporting to her, causing her to wait for fifteen minutes, of course, she would never admit to them that she came early.   

The team just stood still, the soldiers also noticed the complexion of Gu Yun’s face to be unusually bad, inwardly apprehensive she’s unlikely to come up again with schemes to torment people, right?!   

“Ge Jing Yun, Leng Xiao.” The ice-cold low voice resounded.   

“Yes.” Ge Jing Yun and Leng Xiao stepped forward. Gu Yun with a dark face said: “Beginning today, every day before the training commences the first thing to do is, with your teams, start running from here to the back of the mountain, then come back, elapsed time cannot be more than one quarter of an hour, whoever comes back exceeding this time is not allowed to eat at noon!”   
      
The crowd was secretly relieved, fortunately it is just running nothing more, compared to yesterday, that is really too light. Just when they were secretly rejoicing, Gu Yun suddenly pointed to a dark pile not far looking like a small hill-like mound, very slowly said: “Those are some sandbags, each person carries four bags, on the waist two bags, on the legs two bags, after tying up well set off immediately.”   

Yesterday, when she went to the training ground she discovered by accident a lot of sand piled on the sidelines of the ground, for them to do weight-bearing exercises could not be better.   

“Yes.” Running up to the small hill-like mound, only to find out that they were big bags of sand, strapped to the body even moving would not be easy, but to run with them as she ordered, added to that to come back within a quarter of an hour! She is really evil! The sandbags tied up well, a group of swaying, rocking, shaking people faced the rear of the mountain and rushed towards it, who does not want to have food to eat for lunch!

Watching their somewhat comical departing figures, Gu Yun snickered, her gloomy mood finally cleared, leaning against a tree trunk, Gu Yun waited for Su Ren to deliver her things over. The summer sun came out early, a few moments later, the sunshine penetrated through the leaves, a faint light entered inside the forest. Just when Gu Yun was getting somewhat impatient, a figure tall and strong resembling like a small hill, following behind him ten soldiers lugging seven or eight large wooden chests, walked over towards her.   

Gu Yun slightly knitted her brows, Han Shu? How come it is he who came?!   

Stopping in front of Gu Yun, Han Shu said in a clear voice: “The things that you requested.” In fact, the reason he came today, because of the sword yesterday, he was a bit curious about it, the blade was bitter cold, how come she did not feel it.   

Opening a chest, the inside was densely filled with weapons, but to see the things inside, Gu Yun’s brows furrowed again, “These are the daggers?!”   

Han Shu quickly glanced at the things in the chest, frowned: “Aren’t these daggers?”

Gu Yun coolly replied: “They’re too long, I do not want them, take them away.” Such is called a dagger? Not less than fifty centimeters long, calling it a short sword is more like it. On the battlefield, this kind of dagger is already a short weapon, because it’s not suitable to kill the enemy, ordinarily they’re seldom used, he had rummaged through the entire weaponry room in order to find hundreds for her, now she’s actually saying she does not want them! Han Shu yelled angrily, “vexatious!”

Gu Yun immediately closed the chests, she did not feel like talking nonsense with him.

“You!” Han Shu gritted his teeth.   

Gu Yun coldly turned her head, snorted: “What’s wrong, were you not beaten enough yesterday, today you still want to try more? Sorry, but right now I don’t have the time to spare!”   

The hands of Han Shu clenched into fists, his tightened knuckles made a rattling noise. Behind him several of the soldiers held their breath, does the second-in-command want to punch a woman?   

On one side Han Shu appeared near to blowing his top, on the other side Gu Yun proceeded to examine the other two chests containing the hemp ropes, facing the stiffly standing soldiers on the sides, she said: “You leave the ropes, take the daggers away.”   

The soldiers did not dare move, waited for the next command of Han Shu, for a very long time, Han Shu’s pair of big hands loosened and tightened, tightened and loosened, finally he faced the soldiers and waved his hand, the soldiers felt relieved, immediately carted away the several chests of daggers out of the forest.

This woman is simply impossible, Han Shu was preparing to storm away, but he caught sight not far away, several rows of formations scattered in disorder, trudging soldiers, running over and advancing towards them, Han Shu’s complexion immediately blackened, angrily he blurted: “What’s going on with these running soldiers? Their speed is so slow!” Even if they are new soldiers, they should not be of such quality, when did the Su family army surprisingly produce this kind of fishes-groping-in-muddy-water people?!

Gu Yun darted a sidelong glance at him, sneered and retorted: “Try tying thirty catties of sand and run ten lis[1], you will also likely not run fast.”   

Han Shu glared at her, narrowed his eyes to look carefully, indeed hanging on everyone’s waist and legs were several heavy, large sandbags. Staring at Gu Yun, Han Shu finally blew his top: “What the heck is that for a training method?!”

Can’t this man keep his voice down? Her eardrums shook till they hurt. Reluctantly rubbing her ears, Gu Yun laughingly replied: “If you dislike it you’re welcome to leave immediately, nobody is keeping you. If you are interested to watch, you can stand aside, it’s a good way to learn what is meant by military training! But I’m warning you ahead, you’d better not talk crap and affect my training.”   

Gu Yun’s arrogant look really provoked Han Shu, swatting his thigh in a fit of pique he replied: “Fine! As a matter of fact, I’d like to see how a woman trains an army!”   

At this time, most of the soldiers have returned to the starting spot, upon seeing the tall and formidable Han Shu immediately their mood brightened up, with awe and admiration they exclaimed: “Second-in-command Han!” Han Shu is the Great General Su Ling’s bravest and fiercest second-in-command Senior General! During their recruitment into the Su family army, they have seen him once from afar, now seeing him up close indeed he is even more bold and powerful, an awesome military figure!

More and more soldiers were coming back to the forest, initially looking lethargic, however upon seeing Han Shu immediately they bolted upright, standing straight as a ramrod. Gu Yun gently raised her eyebrows, eyeing them critically, these brats! When did they treat her with such deference, it seems that they have not eaten enough lessons from her!   

Han Shu’s fierce eyes glared at them, he shouted, “Line up, during training you are not allowed to talk.”

“Yes.” All at once five hundred soldiers lined up in formation, standing neatly.   

Han Shu feeling pleased with himself lifted his head, looked towards Gu Yun, he thought she would be angry or ashamed, who knew she would smile leisurely at him, walking in front of the soldiers, apparently not angry, she brightly said: “You can cast off the sandbags now.”   

At this time the soldiers were reminded, they were truly being trained by this evil, ordinary woman before them! Taking off the sandbags, the soldiers fixed their gaze in front, staring straight ahead.

[1] Li – Chinese mile, during ancient times equivalent to around 400 meters, this value varied and evolved during different dynasties, in modern times equal to 500 meters (Source: Wikipedia)



 

Chapter 3: The evil army trainer, Part 2 of 5


Hands behind her back, Gu Yun still in moderate voice, said: “Today the training has only three components; the first, training to resist attack; the second, combat training; and the third, rock climbing training.”

Not surprisingly, eyes both questioning and puzzled were riveted on her, Gu Yun looked pleased after saying this, the corner of her lips slightly lifted, she continued: “I have always been a very upfront person, before the training, if you have any questions you can ask them now, but once the training has started, I do not want to see any hesitation. Whoever has something to ask, raises his hand, I’ll go to him, and he can speak.”

Gu Yun looked around, under her calm gaze unexpectedly nobody put up his hand, after a good while, it seems somebody has mustered up the courage, a dark, strong young man raised his hand.

Gu Yun looked to his direction, said: “You.”

Taking a deep breath, the man’s clear voice resounded, said: “Considering that this is army training, you do not teach us the battlefield’s technique of fighting, or formations of troops deployment, ordering us to run around here and there this way, such running exercise drill is a thing unheard of, what is the reason?”

They are not afraid to train hard, but they do not want to learn some useless techniques, furthermore after a half month they do not want to suffer an ugly defeat! These were not just the inner thoughts of all the soldiers, but also Han Shu had his misgivings, what she just said of the three components of the training, never have they been taught before to new army recruits.

“Firstly, everything should have a target and a purpose, this half-a-month training is intended for the night raid battle, I don’t mean to imply you need not practice on battlefield fighting skills and troops deployment formations, but that is not the focus of this training; secondly, the content of my training, each of them is designed to enhance your combat skills, so you can adapt to the needs of a night raid war in the short term, turning you into elites among the elites.” Gu Yun naturally knew the train of their thoughts, or else she would not have let them raise questions. She wants them not only to agree verbally, but also to be deeply convinced!

Gu Yun’s sincere and detailed explanation relieved some of the endless pain the men suffered from yesterday.

Han Shu’s fierce eyes arched, she and Su Yu are competing in a night raid?! What a big dare, even Su Yu may not be able to train the group of new recruits in half a month to gain enough ability to cope in a night raid, let alone she? Just listening to her larger scheme of things, as a matter of fact he’d like to see also how she’s going to train these recruits.

The dark, strong man nodded clearly understanding the point, but afterwards puzzled he again asked: “What is the training to resist attack? Are we not supposed to learn how to attack the enemy, don’t tell us that we still must learn how to avoid getting hit by a person?” Although they have not spoken, the others also expressed their confusion by nodding their heads.

As they all waited to hear her explanation, who knew she would smile faintly, held out her hand, facing the dark, strong man her index finger lightly hooked, and said: “You, out of the line.”

Bewildered he walked in front of Gu Yun, yet not standing still. Gu Yun suddenly approached him, lightly jumped up, her right arm bent, ruthlessly hitting the pit of the man’s neck with her elbow.

“Ah!” Screaming pitifully his neck almost dislocated the pain brought him crouching on the ground. Anyone calling into question her method of training would be beaten! A lot of the young and vigorous recruits cannot stand it anymore, clenched their hands into fists, but Gu Yun just looked at the man on the ground with indifference, asked: “Did it hurt?”

“It hurt a lot!” His neck is almost broken.

Partly bending her body, Gu Yun coldly said: “I only hit you with my arm, my hands even unarmed, what if I continuously pummel you with my fists, or possibly my hands holding a stick or even a sword, doing it until you die. Don’t talk big of defending the country, when you cannot even defend your own life!”

The strong, dark soldier held his neck, slowly got up and stood ashamed on the side.

Turning to face all the soldiers, Gu Yun continued: “As a soldier, when you confront the opponent you must assess the level of his ability, when you face a strong opponent, to attack is not to your advantage, in that case preserve your strength, make yourself less vulnerable, to exhaust the strength of the opponent while scheming to counterattack is the key to your victory.” Her cold and detached voice not at all loud, made these just a moment ago still doubtful soldiers somewhat ashamed, they could only bow their heads in shame. It’s true they appeared to have questioned her training method, but gradually, they found, what she was saying, seemed to make some sense.

For the first time, Leng Xiao surprisingly raised his hand, Gu Yun nodded to him, motioned for him to speak.

“How can one resist an attack?” There are moves on how to attack, but how does one practice how to defend attacks?

Gu Yun raised her eyebrows, smiled and said: “This you will understand in a little while.”

Looking up towards everyone, she asked once more: “Are there any more questions?”

This time nobody was stupid to again dare speak out.

“Very well, now we begin the first training.”

Peng –   peng –

Muffled sounds of ramming, hitting flesh and the blowing dust, within the forest is a tragic scene to behold. This time Leng Xiao finally realized, why Gu Yun’s smile a while ago seemed so weird, in the future the more she smiles and appears amiable, the more they have to be wary!

Within the huge forest, two people stood before each tree, they looked miserable gritting their teeth and enduring bitter pain, while kicking the tree trunk with their legs over and over again. Even though it hurt so terribly, such that they broke out in cold sweats, they did not dare to groan, because in comparison there were others even in worse situation than they were. On the other side a little flat muddy ground, each well-built, tall figure jumped and hopped over a high mound of ground, but using the back of his body to land in the ground. Each landing ferociously hammering with his back the muddy ground, fine pebbles were also embedded in the mud, a shallow pit was already formed in the repeatedly pounded ground!

Han Shu’s pair of fierce eyes was in a daze, staring at the scene before him, she’s actually exercising their bodies this way, and if in long-term they continue to exercise like this, this group of people will definitely have skins like copper and bones like iron! Not far away quietly but assiduously monitoring them was a black-clad woman, she stood in the midst of them, through the clouds of dust, one cannot make out the expression on her face, but her rigid and upright stance all the same faintly showed through eliciting the men’s ire.

After an hour.

“Stop, rest for thirty minutes.”

As before her voice was cold and low, but to the already half-dead soldiers, it sounded really soothing. Nearly at the same time, everyone’s butt fell to the ground, their bodies felt numb to pain, at the moment they truly all felt like dying.

Watching them sitting on the ground, their lips dry and cracked, these young lads sweating like pigs, Gu Yun was in no hurry to get them lined up, her face relaxed, she laughed: “Training on resisting attack will become a routine training within these two weeks, today for the time being it’s enough.”

After listening to her words, many people turned green in the face, their legs are still intolerably sore and swollen, now their backs are burning hot in great pain, today’s only the second day, they do not know if they still have life to hang on two weeks later. Before they even finish lamenting their fate, Gu Yun’s voice rang out again: “Line up!”


 

Chapter 3: The evil army trainer, Part 3 of 5

Getting up from the ground shivering, covered with sweat and dirt, everyone looked as if they have rolled over and over again in the muddy ground, battered and exhausted. Gu Yun was quite pleased with their appearance, standing relaxed, her tone of voice cheerful, “the next we will do is combat training. Even more important than learning how to take a beating is learning how to fight back. Since it will be a night raid battle, we will mainly train the silent fighting techniques. Today the first training is unarmed close fighting. Hand-to-hand close combat includes many techniques: kongshoudao [bare-hands-fighting technique, ~ karate], jiekuandao [intercepting fist technique, ~ Jeet Kun Do], Taiquan [grand fist technique, ~ Thai boxing martial arts], roudao [soft technique, ~ Judo], sanda [mixed martial arts], they all belong to this category of close-range body combat techniques…”

Gu Yun has yet to finish talking, immediately afterwards she heard a burst of chuckle. She looked towards the direction where the sound came from. Indeed it was from an exceptionally young face, from his looks he should be around fifteen or sixteen years old, at best he can be regarded as a big boy, his entire face splattered with mud but still wearing a silly smile.


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Gu Yun strolled slowly towards his side, gently smiled and asked: “What are you laughing about?”

“What is roudao [soft technique]? Is it some kind of a woman’s fluffy game?!” The boy strove to restrain his laughter, but still one could hear it in his voice.

Gu Yun’s eyes glinted, very well. There really are those who are not afraid of death! Lightly patting his shoulder, her face with a faint smile, she said: “You, step out of the line.”

It looked very light, but in reality it fell heavily on his shoulder. The woman’s delicate hand for no reason made the boy’s heart tremble. By this time he finally realized Gu Yun’s peculiar smile, but it is now impossible not to step out of the formation. The boy can only cautiously follow after Gu Yun, constantly guarding against her likely sudden strike.

Gu Yun walked to the open space in front of the ranks, and waited for the boy to stand across her. Her face had this kind of smile which invariably gives people goose bumps.

The boy stood on the spot, for a long time taking no action. Even though daily she has some rather weird training methods to torture them, however she is after all a woman. Adding to that, her head does not even reach up his shoulders, himself being a big hulking guy, what good is it to bully a woman?!

Gu Yun glared at him, yelling: “Why are you dawdling? Attack!”

Hesitating for a moment, the boy rushed past towards Gu Yun, his appearance intending to do something. Who knew, he barely reached her side, Gu Yun suddenly stretched out her right hand grabbed his right shoulder, rapidly moved sideways, her back pressing against the side of his waist, his two hands yanked down. The group could not make out what exactly happened. It only saw a hint of a tall shadow through some kind of a strange move thrown down fiercely from Gu Yun’s back to the ground.

Shocked and awkwardly lying on the ground, the boy just now only felt giddy, his head spinning he did not know what sort of intense force it was that threw him down.

Gu Yun released his hands, coldly barked: “Come again!”

Gu Yun actually wears black during the training, so we’ll have to overlook this detail on this picture. :-)

Unable to make head or tail of how exactly he was thrown down by an emaciated, petite woman, he really has lost face! The boy immediately stood up from the ground, took up the horse stance. Just now he was not paying attention so he let her have her way, but this time she’ll not catch him off guard again and prevail!

Horse stance? Gu Yun’s brow faintly arched, good! She’d like to see how stable his horse stance is! The boy did not take a move, Gu Yun took the initiative, advancing forward, she straddled her left foot between the legs of the boy. The boy was alarmed, he was about to punch, but Gu Yun was faster with both her fists beating his shoulder with powerful strength. He immediately lost his balance and slipped unsteadily backwards. In order not to fall flat on his face, he relaxed the muscles of his legs, retreated a step back and tried to maintain the stability of his posture. Just before he moved his feet, immediately he felt his chest tightened. Gu Yun’s slender hands have tightly grabbed and tugged at his shirt. A burst naturally followed, he was hit with dizziness again.

Peng – his tall body was once again easily thrown out like a sack, flying in the air in a strange arc, his thick and broad back one after another landing heavily on the ground. The rest of the soldiers whose backs are still burning hot in pain all shrunk their necks.

Wow! Han Shu secretly gasped his admiration. Who knew, not only is her swordsmanship outstanding, but her martial arts skill is also not weak!

Straightening up her body, Gu Yun’s face darkened, “come again!” Foot stance unstable, without endurance, legs lacking in strength. It seemed that later more leapfrog training is needed to enhance attacking power and endurance of the legs!

The boy struggled to get up from the ground. Almost falling apart in exhaustion, as he looked to the ruthless and tyrannical woman, he unconsciously took a step back.

Gu Yun screamed: “Attack!” He has the nerve to withdraw!

The boy stood petrified on the spot. Gu Yun with a hint of impatience and disappointment in her eyes, again took the initiative to attack.

Already dreading this, seeing the approach of Gu Yun to attack, the boy unconsciously moved backwards again.

Gu Yun in contrast to her previous moves, grabbed the boy’s front shirt with one hand to prevent him from retreating, her other hand grabbed his waistband, a knee on his right foot on the ground, in a lightning bolt, the boy was again knocked down.

But this time, Gu Yun did not immediately straighten up and left him as she did the previous two occasions. Taking advantage she pushed his body down, her knee firmly pressing on his breastbone, one hand gripped tightly his throat, the other hand clenched into a fist raised to punch his eyes.

A quick woosh of air, frightened he closed his eyes, he got so scared he cannot help but cry out: “Ah!” For a long time he did not feel any pain coming, he slowly opened his eyes, Gu Yun’s fist stopped just above his eyelid, the terrified boy broke out in cold sweat. A little bit closer, with that kind of strength he experienced a while ago, his eye surely would go blind!

There was absolute silence amidst the five hundred people inside the huge forest. Loosening her clenched fist, Gu Yun slowly got up, to pacify the rage in her heart she breathed deeply several times.

The boy dared not stay lying on the ground for too long, kneading his neck, he unsteadily stood up, in his heart very much afraid that Gu Yun will still order him to attack again. Fortunately, Gu Yun did not ask him to continue, she just looked indifferently straight at him and asked: “How do you feel?”

The boy was speechless for a moment, muttered his reply: “dizzy, it’s like no matter how I make my move to attack, you are able to fling me away.”

It was not he alone who marveled. All the rest of the soldiers were also mystified. How can she lightly take down a huge individual who is easily twice- maybe thrice her size?

“Roudao is attack-oriented. It combines attack and defense in fighting, leveraging on the strength of the opponent. Its greatest feature is skillfully deflecting heavy weights. Even if your opponent is stronger and taller than you, you can prevail over him.” Looking askance at the boy, Gu Yun crooned, “Now do you still think roudao is fluffy?”

Sheepishly the boy bowed his head.

“Answer!” Gu Yun’s fierce voice thundered.

The boy quickly straightened up his body, loudly replied: “It’s not.”

Icy eyes swept across everyone. Her murderous look compelled people to be intimidated by her. Indeed no one dared to look at her in the eye. Gu Yun’s fierce voice echoed loud in everyone’s ears, “to be supercilious, scorning the opponent, reckless in conduct, when you confront your enemies every one of these is reason enough to make you suffer a crushing defeat in your enemies’ hands! In addition to exercising your bodies, you must also discipline yourselves, transforming and becoming brave, learning to be prudent and earnest. If later you all will let me see you again acting opinionated, complacently underestimating the enemy, the penalty is ten lis leapfrog. Do you understand?!”

Hearing the ten lis leapfrog, everyone’s face instantly paled, immediately in unison they hollered: “Yes!”

Han Shu was still in the middle of deep contemplation over Gu Yun’s agile martial arts moves, but the sudden sound of a fierce roar startled him. He did not understand what a leapfrog is, of course, he did not understand why all these exhausted new recruits yelled at the top of their lungs…



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Chapter 3: The evil army trainer, Part 4 of 5

Satisfied, Gu Yun finally nodded. Yesterday’s demonstration of her authority indeed had a strong impact on them.  

“There are some exquisite martial arts moves when one executes them gracefully and naturally. But they’re only for those who want to play it cool, when confronting a real enemy those have no merit to speak of! The nearer the distance to your enemy, if you are unarmed, the higher is your risk. So, when you confront your enemy, attack him in his most vulnerable spot with your maximum strength. Hit him fast, your action must be precise. Start out ruthless, take down your opponent as quickly as possible.”   

While she was talking, Gu Yun bent and picked up a twig from the ground, pointing to a young soldier, she coldly said: “Come here.”   

The boy hurriedly went over and stood up in attention, but his heart was pounding like crazy, she would not be using the twig to whip him, right? Obviously he does not know Gu Yun, if she has the intention to thrash him she definitely will be using an iron bar rather than a twig.

“Ears, temples, eyes, nose, the back of the head, the throat area, back of the neck, collarbone, armpits, the crotch area, ribcage, spine, the wrist joint and other parts, these are all the human body’s relatively more vulnerable parts, and these important sites must be the focus of your attack.” As she was explaining, the twig touched the various parts of the boy’s body opposite her. Gu Yun was using him as a model of the human body, she was explaining slowly, but he is far too nervous that his complexion paled, he is really scared witless if she gets into a bad mood, he would be in deep trouble!

This group of energetic young people, while listening to Gu Yun explaining, on their faces emerged a growing interest and curiosity. Gu Yun was delighted to see this expression on their faces, she appreciated these eagerness and hunger to learn, in the corner of her mouth finally emerged a trace of a smile, her bright voice resounded: “Now group yourselves into pairs, I will teach you jiequandao [intercepting fist technique], a technique in close combat with the strongest attack power.”   

After hearing it is the most aggressive fighting technique, the young soldiers became even more enthusiastic, after having witnessed just now the so-called roudao [soft technique], they are even more looking forward to this fighting technique, they replied in unison: “Yes!”   

Smiling she faced the boy in front of her who has a twisted and pained expression on his face, Gu Yun softly chuckled and said: “You will act as my opponent for the demonstration, alright?”   

“Yes.” The boy really wanted to cry but he has no tears to shed, he wished he could pull out and give himself a slap, so he just faced her and gave off a somewhat crazy laugh!   

Inside the forest, Gu Yun was in front explaining the basic points of the moves of the combat technique, behind her the soldiers were following suit, earnestly practicing. On one side the activity was getting frenzied like a tiger growing in power, on the other side was Han Shu whose face was getting dark and his brow wrinkling tighter by the minute. This woman’s instruction on combat technique, indeed, true to her words, is not in the least fancy. Every punch is fast, precise and ruthless, outright fierce and cruel! She is training soldiers, or more like breeding assassins!   

Two hours later.  

The scorching sun is up in the sky, it is already high noon, several kitchen servants came to the forest lugging the food for lunch.   

“Stop!” Gu Yun announced, “an hour lunch break. Dismissed!”   

After a protracted sigh of relief, many of the young soldiers immediately tumbled to the ground, even though they’re tired and hungry, yet no one wants to move for a while!   

Watching the motionless soldiers lying on the ground, Gu Yun said in a neither light nor heavy low voice: “Quickly, line up for lunch, if you don’t eat now, later you want to eat you’re not allowed to eat!”   

The dead beat soldiers on the ground hurriedly sprung and stood up, dragging their heavy limbs, they obediently queued up to receive food. Not to be able to eat lunch is nothing, but if this evil woman gets riled up, who knows how she will train them afterwards!   

Looking at their resentful backs, Gu Yun shook her head and laughed in spite of herself.   

Han Shu’s fierce eyes slightly narrowed, in his mind he laughed. Not bad, in a span of two days only, she has made this herd of young bulls fearful of her, not an easy feat at all! Gu Yun was just about to walk over and line up together with them when a servant carrying a bamboo basket walked up to her and said: “Here’s your lunch.”   

Gu Yun opened it, it consisted of her usual fare of beef, rice, eggs and cucumbers, no less. Gu Yun glanced at her side and saw the large baskets filled with big steamed buns and pieces of half-of-a-fist-sized braised pork. Each soldier was rationed two big steamed buns and a piece of meat. Gu Yun’s brow squinted a bit, handed back the bamboo basket to the hands of the servant, and said: “In the future you don’t need to specially prepare a different set of lunch for me, I will eat the same food they eat.”   

If they were not eating together it would have been fine, but since they were eating together, getting this special lunch is inappropriate. This is Gu Yun’s perspective as a modern person, but for those who are long accustomed to hierarchy and the ranking division of officers and ordinary soldiers in their eyes, such an approach of Gu Yun is very strange.

Under surprised looks, Gu Yun picked up two steamed buns and a piece of meat for herself, prepared to find a place to rest for a moment, when she raised her eyes she saw Han Shu who she did not notice was already sitting on the grass opposite her.   

Gu Yun thought for a moment, took two steamed buns and a piece of meat, and handed over the food to him. With the steamed buns and meat on his hands she sat with ease on the grass by his side. Without qualms, Gu Yun gobbled and took big bites of her buns and meat, completely devoid of the demure and grace of a young lady.   

Originally, he had a strong dislike towards this woman. But after a morning of observation, he discovered that she has some considerable ability. No wonder she has the chutzpah to compete with Su Yu in training. But, speaking of training, Han Shu mused for a moment, with good intentions he cautioned: “With your method of training, perhaps you’ll turn them into experts, but the battlefield is not an arena where martial arts competitions are held. This kind of soldiers actually on the battlefield, they can also lose in a battle. They’re able to defeat another person, but can they defeat a large, mighty army [Chinese idiom: magnificent army with thousands of men and horses]?”   

Gu Yun swallowed the last bite of her steamed bun, replied deprecatingly: “these soldiers who are able to defeat the enemies on the battlefield, can the Su family army still accomplish even with lesser number of them? I want to train an elite force, its mobility and adaptability quick, its fighting strength the best within the ranks.” The purpose and function are different, naturally the methods of training are also different!   

“Elite force?” Han Shu knitted his brows, what kind of army is that?   

The soldiers have also eaten their fill, this morning’s training has utterly exhausted them, the meadow is full of people lying in disarray. Gu Yun secretly observed them. Only a few people can still sit, even fewer people are those who looked as if their physical strength remained as vigorous as ever. Ge Jing Yun and Leng Xiao are two among the very few. Gu Yun chuckled, these two men are showing a lot of potential, she ought to treat and hone perfectly their talent!   

As Gu Yun kept on ignoring him for a while, Han Shu impatiently asked once more: “Tell me now, what is an elite force?”

Gu Yun stretched her waist, leaning her back against a big tree behind her, her words with a touch of pride she replied: “It’s a team which executes special missions. Sometimes a war requires a multitude of strategies. Sometimes it only needs elite soldiers when you want to sabotage attacks, do reconnaissance behind enemy lines, gather intelligence, and even do assassination and abduction, you know you can accomplish all these, such a team whose value is nowhere to be seen. Among these people, who meet my requirements, ultimately to be chosen to join my elite force, I think they’re not more than fifty, but if I’m able to yield these fifty men, each one is worth a thousand fierce individuals!”   

Gu Yun’s way of explaining things, Han Shu perhaps understood the concept of her so-called elite force, but after hearing her bluster, Han Shu promptly voiced out his disbelief: “impossible!” With one against a hundred he still can accept, but one is worth a thousand how could that be possible? A person no matter how formidable he is cannot replace a thousand people!   

Estimating the time, the rest period was more or less enough, Gu Yun didn’t bother to explain further to him, smiled indifferently, “That you can’t, doesn’t mean I can’t, you just wait and see!”   

A very crazy woman! Han Shu’s pair of eyes glared, Gu Yun did not wait for his outburst, already she stood up nimbly, strode towards the open space packed with lying people, shouted loud, “line up in formation!”


 

Chapter 3: The evil army trainer, Part 5 of 5

Those who heard her hurriedly stood up, several men who must have been too tired didn’t hear her command continued to lie down, sleeping soundly on the grass, Gu Yun immediately lifted her leg, ruthlessly kicked their bellies, for a moment anguished wailing resounded through everywhere.


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With great difficulty, finally the formation was completed, Gu Yun angrily said: “From now on, if lining up in formation exceeds ten seconds, everybody gives me a hundred tree trunk kicks!”

Just how long is ten seconds? Everyone looked at each other in blank horror, but nobody at this time dared to mess with a tigress, in short, the farther one is from her, the better!

Pointing to the front to a mountain peak not far from them, Gu Yun clearly said: “There is a cliff wall ahead in three miles, Ge Jing Yun, you take fifty people with you and transport the ropes, the rest run ahead.”


“Yes.” This time, no one dared hesitate to question what she wanted.

Watching the troops running farther and farther, Han Shu hesitated for a moment, got up and followed them. He also wanted to know, why she demanded so many ropes, what are these for?

Very soon, they came to the cliff wall which Gu Yun indicated. It is part of the rear of the mountain, along the side of its peak, the mountain peak is not at all high, about sixty or seventy feet, but the rock is extremely steep, appearing to be generally upright, but the mountain rock is uneven and irregular, even trees could not grow on the rock wall.


All the men who ran stopped and stood still under the cliff wall, their minds anxious that Gu Yun once again came up with another strange method of training them, their hearts both somewhat fearful, but also inexplicably somewhat excited.

Gu Yun did not let them guess for too long, pointing to the smooth, steep rock wall, she asked: “who can climb up with bare hands, step out of the line.”

With bare hands? The group sucked in a lump of cold air, looking again at the bare rock wall not even seeing any blades of grass, they cannot help but be stunned, this – is impossible! Unless one is an exceptional person with nearly outstanding qinggong[1] skills, they are but ordinary folks who do not have this ability.

A baffled Han Shu also glanced towards Gu Yun, does she intend to kill them? Although not too high, but to fall down from this height can also be fatal! There was deathly stillness amid the soldiers, after this calmness, indeed people stepped out of the formation and walked over.

Needless to say Ge Jing Yun and Leng Xiao were naturally among them, they were also followed behind by several young lads, observing them as they came forward, everyone has a well-built physique, no wonder they dared to come out to try.

Twenty people. Gu Yun covertly counted, her face did not show any slightest amount of delight, looking furious, Gu Yun faced them and said: “Everyone pick a rope to use.”

Twenty people, each holding a rope. Gu Yun pointed to two exceptionally lush trees on the hilltop, thick and sturdy branches of the old trees have already extended beyond the rock wall, and said: “By yourselves you think of a way, holding the other end of the rope pass it through the branch of the tree on top, I will leave it up to you.”

Through the bough? In their hands is a hemp rope, thick as a thumb, tough and durable but very soft, how can it pass through the tree branch sixty or seventy feet high above?

Gu Yun did not go and watched them, she just silently stood aside.

Ge Jing Yun raised his head and examined carefully the altitude, suddenly he moved towards the bottom of the cliff, clutching tightly the end of the rope, he began a circular motion to fling up the rope.

Gu Yun inwardly sighed, he would like to fling up the rope with the force of inertia, the rope is so light, his arm strength must be very strong for this job. Sure enough, after trying a dozen times, Ge Jing Yun released the rope, like a silver snake it indeed flew and wound around the branch, and slowly it fell down.

He succeeded, but it does not mean that other people can use this method to throw the rope up. After contemplating for a while Leng Xiao went to a pile of rubble under the rock wall, found a fist-sized stone, tying one end of the rope to the stone, with force he flung up, the stone with the rope easily passing through a branch, fell down.

The corner of Gu Yun’s lips gently raised, not bad, she likes people who are resourceful.

Seeing Leng Xiao’s method is much easier, the others followed suit, and soon, the rest of them have passed through their ropes to the branch on top, the matter finally turned over in Gu Yun’s hands.

She made them strap one end of the ropes to their waists, under the cliff they were busily getting ready to climb. Gu Yun handed over the other end of the ropes to the waiting soldiers below, she explained: “You do not need to exert effort to pull them, as long as you grip tight the ropes, and if they aren’t careful and accidentally fall down, you then pull tight the rope to protect them.”

“Yes.”

After attending well to all security preparations, Gu Yun faced the cliff wall, then to the twenty people below she loudly ordered: “Upwards.”

Obviously a lot of them overestimated their own strength, not even climbed up a third of the rock, there have been already four or five people who fell down, and those who were able to continue up with great difficulty were also slow as ants.

Gu Yun watched Ge Jing Yun, she thought he has such very strong arms, he ought to be the fastest one, she was mistaken after all, it was Leng Xiao who was the fastest. His step is light, not only he’s extremely nimble but also his coordination is particularly good, almost approaching the top of the hill, he surprisingly stepped on a protruding rock, leaped on it to go up, is this the legendary qinggong?

Again she looked at Ge Jing Yun, his arms are strong, his pace is steady, although a tad slow, but he is truly climbing up.

After an hour, everyone was finally back on the ground, only nine people were able to complete the process of climbing! With only nine men! Gu Yun’s face was black, her eyes glinted cold, they anticipated at once there’s going to be big trouble. Sure enough, Gu Yun stood before the crowd, pointing to a group of men tall as a mountain she bellowed out: “five hundred people! Five hundred people, but only nine people ascended successfully, if the enemy camp is in the escarpment above, how do you then kill the enemy?”

Each and every one bowed his head low in response to her.

Turning around to fix her gaze to those who although have climbed the summit, but were so slow almost like tortoise, Gu Yun scolded them, saying: “You, you, and you. The distance is even less than a hundred feet high, climbing took an hour, if you were launching a surprise attack to the enemy, at this speed you were long discovered by them, if the enemy hurls down boulders, pours hot oil, do you think you’ll survive?”

Several pairs of rueful eyes answered Gu Yun.

Gu Yun walked over to the side of Ge Jing Yun and Leng Xiao pelting them with lambasting words: “You two have let me down the most! As captains, you’ve not displayed team spirit, you’ve long reached the summit, yet you haven’t thought of at least helping your fellow soldiers, a team that does not know how to work together is a big mess!”

Two pairs of silent eyes was all the reaction she evoked.

Done yelling at them, Gu Yun turned her back, too disheartened to handle them, she wanted to vent out her anger! She truly brought trouble to herself. With this poor quality to begin with, to train them is an exercise of futility!

After a very long time, suddenly there was a strange muffled sound behind her. Gu Yun turned around. What she saw of the crowd warmed the blood of her weary body. At this moment everybody was kneeling on one knee on the ground, cupping one fist with the other hand. Resolute, persistent and sincere eyes gazed intently at her.

“We beg Boss to teach us the skill to scale a mountain!” In uniform and simultaneous cadence, the chant was ear-splitting. Gu Yun’s heart was stunned.

[1] Qinggong – is a technique in Chinese martial arts where martial artists have the ability to move swiftly and lightly at superhuman speed, perform gravity-defying moves such as gliding on water surfaces, scaling high walls, and mounting trees. (Source: Wikipedia.org)

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