Chapter 24: Training Camp III
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Translations
From that day onward, Li Sui noticed the siblings’ relationship had changed slightly. Though they would still bicker, it lacked the former seriousness, they would even make jokes during meals.
As their roommate, Li Sui was of course relieved, but that made him suspicious of Wang Wei, “You knew from the beginning that he didn’t have malaria? Did you suggest that on purpose?”
Wang Wei was washing his socks, hearing Li Sui speak, he raised his head up. With a lost expression, he asked, “What did you just say?”
Intense training began the next day; soon no-one had the strength left to think about anything else. Every day, they had to wake up at five thirty, then immediately run 10 kilometers around the mountain. The trainer did not specify a time limit, but breakfast was served at seven thirty sharp, so if they wanted to have breakfast, they had to finish running in one and a half hours. Usually, after running for so long, they would be so tired that they could barely hold a pair of chopsticks. So, when they had to do tire flips and squat jumps afterwards, they could barely move.
After a whole day of training, Li Sui sank his face into the washing basin. Pain spread through his skin, he had been exposed to the sun for too long, so he got sunburns; parts of his skin were peeled off. He could no longer move his shoulders, it was as if his legs were amputated, he could no longer feel them. During dinner that night, after sitting down at the dining table, Li Sui felt all his organs had left him, he had zero appetite.
Li Sui had a habit of going to the gym at least, but even he felt horrible, so SiMa JingRong and the rest were much worse off. After getting back to the dormitory, SiMa JingRong lay straight on the bed, not even going to take a shower.
“There’s still a month left, will I still be alive after this month?”
Wang Wei brought in a few buckets of hot water, “Stop sulking. At least go take a shower.”
SiMa JingRong wasn’t the only one, others in the dormitory were just like him. They were all pampered rich kids who lacked training, so suddenly being tortured like this, a lot of them began to feel like giving up. After repeating the same training regimen for four days, the attendees’ emotions boiled over. SiMa JingRong refused to go anywhere, he hugged the bed headboard tightly with a crying face, not willing to leave bed for training.
As SiMa JingRong made a huge fuss, the people next door joined in the protest as well. With the expanding momentum, more and more people banded together, saying they wanted to go home.
During the commotion, the trainer walked up the dormitory, he held an amplifier, “You are giving up already?”
“Trainer, this is an impossible mission.”
“Yeah. We only need to make money, why do we need such a good physique?”
“Even my parents won’t treat me like this, what gives you the right…”
The trainer listened to all of their vents with an expressionless face, then he announced, “All of you can go back home on one condition. I have a list here; it marks the goal you need to reach each day. If any of you could reach the goals written here on any one of these days, I will let you leave. If not, then there’s no negotiations.”
He walked away after leaving the paper behind, after walking for a few steps, he turned back and said, “When your parents sent you here, they signed a contract with me. I am responsible for all of you, if any of you have problems, I can report back to your parents.”
The sentence was neither heavy nor light, but the people with a little bit of brain would understand their own situation now. The parents who would send their kids here were usually not that soft-hearted. To give up halfway through would be a disgrace to the family. If word got out, not only would they fail to get empathy, their parents would most likely condemn them.
SiMa Yan took the goal list back inside, he looked at the paper while frowning, soon a glimmer of hope was in his eyes, “This doesn’t look too hard.”
Wang Wei looked at the paper as well, he said after some thought, “Run 10 kilometers around the mountain in 50 minutes. We ran for 60 minutes today, that means, we just have to run a bit quicker.”
It was nice in words, but when they actually tried acting it out, things weren’t as they had imagined. The goals listed on the paper seemed to be set according to their body limit, every time they feel like they were close, they would find that they were a few minutes insufficient. The next day, they would try again only to find that their speed had increased, but the goal had also increased to a level they could not reach.
At the beginning, all of them were hopeful, but after a few trials, they began to realize, the trainer did this on purpose to bait them. SiMa JingRong was extremely angry at the discovery, while he stomped his feet in anger. Li Sui noticed, the tiredness they felt at the beginning was now gone. It was replaced by a better grasp of his limits, he knew when he should run faster, when he should go slowly, what kind of posture was the most effortless. After all these days of training, Li Sui felt like he had a better grasp of the trick behind.
After being under the sun for so long, his skin got more used to it. Li Sui learned to use the trees and the natural environment to stay out of the sun. When he returned to his room, he found the burning sensations from before were slowly fading.
Among venting and dissatisfaction, half a month had passed by. This morning, the trainer wasn’t wearing his usual uptight clothes, instead he appeared in a light sports uniform.
“After all the training in recent days, I am sure you all have a better understanding of your own capabilities. So, starting today, I will teach all of you something more tangible. I will teach you how to use battle techniques to incapacitate enemies in the shortest amount of time.”
Li Sui froze at the sentence; he was reminded of the knife-wielding assailant at the hot springs resort. That time, if it wasn’t for his quick response, leading the assailant away, Lu Shang would most likely be injured. If he could fight like Zuo Chao, then he wouldn’t have gotten hurt himself afterwards. At this moment, he understood better why Lu Shang sent him here.
Though the trainer was harsh towards them, he was serious in teaching. In their daily training, he had already remembered each of their specialties. Li Sui noticed that the techniques he taught to each person was slightly different. For instance, SiMa Yan was thin, so the techniques he taught him were mainly light maneuvers. The trainer even taught him a set of back jump kick; to accomplish this move, one needed to have a certain amount of flexibility and agility, not everyone could do it. The move might sound simple, but it was extremely useful. If he were to encounter kidnappers in the future, escaping wouldn’t be a problem when utilized well. It could be counted as one of the three most useful fighting techniques.
Li Sui also noticed something else, most of the techniques the trainer taught focused on tactics, none of the moves require a high level of strength and balance. After he considered it seriously, strength and balance couldn’t be trained up in just a month. Hence, even if the trainer taught them techniques that required both, it would be useless to them. On the other hand, tactics were just as important as pure strength, if they could use it well, tactics could have an even greater value than sheer force.
When it was SiMa JingRong’s turn, the trainer froze. Then he just asked him to go to the sides and move rocks.
“Move rocks?” SiMa JingRong thought he must have heard wrong.
“You aren’t cut out for fighting, if you are faced with danger, just pick up a rock to throw at your opponents. Remember to pick the bigger ones, since you’re lazy, you won’t want to pick rocks over and over again.”
The crowd began laughing, SiMa JingRong’s face turned red for a while, then pale. The trainer was relentless, he even explained the art of rock throwing in detail. Talking about what kind of rocks worked the best, which parts of the body were the weakest, what distance was the best for throwing rocks. Even SiMa JingRong couldn’t find a point to refute or fuss about with how serious the trainer was.
SiMa Yan uncooperatively giggled at the sides as well, “The trainer is correct. With how stupid my brother is, even if the trainer taught him clever tactics, the first thing he would do when facing an enemy would still be to run.”
Li Sui thought through his words, and he couldn’t but agree, it was just too accurate.
What Li Sui learned was a set of free combat moves, it revolved mainly around kicking, punching, and throwing. All the maneuvers were plain and simple, but they could be grouped together differently according to the situation. If the opponent’s height was favorable, he could even attack their temple with his elbow.
The trainer observed Li Sui practicing the moves, then he nodded, “You are quite talented. I can only teach you this much now. You should take full-fledged training courses after you leave.”
Li Sui stood back straight, then he showed his gratitude to the trainer.
By chance, the trainer saw the military badge on Li Sui’s chest. The trainer frowned slightly, asking, “What is this?”
Li Sui moved too much when he was practicing, the badge slipped out from under his clothes. Li Sui’s face turned pale, he was afraid the trainer would confiscate it, so he immediately said, “My family gave it to me before I came here. It’s for protection.”
The trainer used the bamboo stick he was holding to hook the badge up, with a better look, his expression changed. He glanced at Li Sui complicatedly, then he just said, “You should take good care of something so important.”
“Yes,” Li Sui bowed.
It was only a month, but Li Sui could clearly feel the changes in his physique. Not only did his endurance increase, his muscles were also toned up. At the beginning, when he ran on the mountain, he felt constant pain on his feet, it was so harsh. Now, he could regulate his breathing and pace naturally.
It was almost time for their final test, everyone wanted to leave when the camp started, but now that the end was near them, they felt like they would miss this place. SiMa JingRong even felt bad for using the sprout to trick the trainer, so he discussed about buying something to compensate him with SiMa Yan.
“Why are you guys discussing that now, it would be a godsend if any of us could graduate.” Wang Wei hanged the washed towel on the laundry rope.
“It’s just a treasure hunt. Right?” SiMa JingRong played with his tablet on the bed, not feeling threatened.
“This isn’t a kid’s game. It’s not that simple.” Wang Wei continued, “Two days and one night of camping in the wild. I heard that less than 10% graduated for the last batch. Someone even broke their leg.”
“Seriously?” SiMa Yan turned around and asked in shock.
“Why would I lie? The trainer is going to talk about it tomorrow anyways, you will know then. No matter what, as long as you stay inside the campsite protective zones, people can rescue you when you sent out the flare.”
Even with the reassurance, Li Sui couldn’t help but feel unsure.
It was late at night, but the lights in the Tong Yan building were still lit. Lu Shang lifted his head from the piles of paperwork, and he asked Uncle Yuen, “Has the contract from Yue PengFei arrived yet?”
“It has just arrived. I am still examining it; do you want to take a look now?”
“Give it to me.”
Lu Shang took the contract from Uncle Yuen, he scanned the whole document, then fixed his eyes on that person’s name.
“Half of Mu Sheng’s shares. With this, he will become one of Mu Sheng’s biggest shareholders.” Uncle Yuen asked, “Such a huge sum of money, all in his hands. Are you sure? Do you need to reconsider?”
Lu Shang wrote a few strokes on the contract, “No one is more trustworthy than he is. I am sure. Change these lines, remove his duties in the supervisory board as well.”
Uncle Yuen seemed like he wanted to say something, but he just opened his mouth slightly and swallowed the words. He just said, “The signing ceremony is the day after tomorrow, will you be attending?”
Lu Shang didn’t answer, instead he asked, “When will the training camp be over?”
“In the afternoon of the day after tomorrow.”
“Then I will attend.” Lu Shang rubbed his temple. Thinking of Li Sui’s forever innocent eyes, he smiled, “I can go pick him up after signing the contract.”
Before the sky was bright, Li Sui had already woken up. Wang Wei was tidying things on the bed, seeing Li Sui turned over, he asked lightly, “Did I wake you? It’s not even five yet, you can sleep for a while longer.”
Li Sui rested his head on his arm, asking, “It’s just an exam, why are you bringing so many things?”
“It’s better to bring more. Just in case, after all it’s still the wild.”
Li Sui stared at him, “Did Lu Shang send you here?”
Wang Wei’s hands froze, he pushed up his glasses awkwardly, “You… you realized all of it?”
Li Sui laughed slyly, “I know now.”
Li Sui tricked him, Wang Wei was speechless, he also felt glum. He had been careful the whole month, yet they all went down the drain in the last two days.
“What gave it away?” He thought he had concealed it well, at least he thought it would be enough to deceive Li Sui.
“I just guessed.” Li Sui said, “You are always alert, and you seemed to be used to training, you don’t look like a newbie at all. I noticed that you have callus between your thumb and index finger, your focus is also extremely high. I heard that a sniper could stay in the same position for days, just to ambush an enemy. Seeing that you could even fall asleep standing in the forest…… So, I had a hunch maybe you were a sniper before.”
Wang Wei was shocked, he began admiring this kid’s observation skills, he never knew Li Sui was so capable. Considering that the training camp was ending soon, revealing his identity would allow him to protect Li Sui more conveniently, so he said honestly, “Yes. I have served in the military before, but then my vision was harmed, and I couldn’t use a gun anymore. After that, I’ve been following brother Zuo all this time, but I don’t live in the dojo, so you’ve never seen me before. A month before, Lu Shang asked brother Zuo to arrange a person in here, and brother Zuo chose me.”
“What did Lu Shang asked you to do?” Li Sui asked.
Wang Wei looked a little pensive, but he still spilled everything out, “Nothing much really. Just report your situation to him every day and ensure your safety. When push comes to shove, deal with big and small SiMa’s problems too.”
This was so like Lu Shang. Li Sui felt like he was eating honey as he heard Wang Wei speak. He couldn’t even stop himself from grinning, “So everything I did here, he knows?”
“He knows,” Wang Wei nodded; he was dense, so he did not notice Li Sui’s love-drowned expression. He only said, “We are going to separate into smaller teams later, each team will have two people, you’ll be with me.”
Li Sui savored the taste of the honey in secret for a while, then he finally reacted to Wang Wei, “Hn? What about those two?”
Wang Wei pushed his glasses up again, “They should be fine together, they are siblings after all. My mission is to protect you.”
“No. Both of them are half-baked, if they are in a team together, they won’t make it.” Li Sui rejected, “You go with SiMa Yan, I’ll go with JingRong.”
Wang Wei was about to refute, but SiMa Yan had a bit of movement, it seemed like he was going to wake up soon.
“It’s decided.” After Li Sui left that behind, he went to the bathroom, washing up.
Wang Wei wasn’t left with another option, so he had to take out half of the packed equipment and separate them into another backpack. While Li Sui was washing up, he remembered something. Li Sui grabbed Wang Wei to the sides and showed him the badge on his neck, he asked, “Do you know where this badge came from? Why did the trainer’s expression change the moment he saw this?”
“Only high-ranking officers who had completed special missions would have this badge, the rank of this badge is very high. There are less than 30 of these in the whole of China.” Wang Wei looked at the badge with admiration, Li Sui felt like he was almost ready to salute to the badge. “The symbolization behind it is extremely noble. For every military personnel, if they see this badge, they won’t dare touch you.”
“In other words, if you wear this, then it’s the same as saying, ‘This person is protected, don’t you dare touch him.’”
Li Sui was startled; this was completely different from what Lu Shang told him. Lu Shang only said that this was a blade, he asked him to use it for protection. Li Sui also remembered how he asked Lu Shang to give the blade to him as a gift, the important thing was, he actually agreed to it.