“Good, you’re indeed a disciple of those two old revolutionaries! Keep it up, Ye Jian!” After putting on the training uniform, she was now a soldier and not the little lass anymore! The political commissar did not return her salute; after all, Ye Jian hadn’t joined the military officially. He walked in front of her and personally tidied up her lapel. He then smoothen the creases on her shoulder, “Go now, Ye Jian! Your youth and hot blood should be spent inside the camp!”
“Sir, you should stop complimenting me. However, the camp is indeed my most favorite place in the world!” Ye Jian tugged on the corners of her shirt. Her black pupils, clear like the mirrors reflecting the blue sky, stared at the commissar, and she laughed, “I’ll pass on dealing with those difficult recruits. However, I just want to compare myself with them, and see if they have the abilities to back up their status as difficult soldiers.”
“If that’s the case, then don’t go easy on them. There’s one who’s from a rich background. He is considerably able and has cultivated self-defense techniques, and even passed all the fitness tests with flying colors…” While the commissar was laughing, Ye Jian’s first task after returning to the boot camp was to take care of those difficult soldiers.
Once Ye Jian became serious, the veterans who knew about her were fully aware of how serious things could get. As soon as they realized that she was going to take care of those troublemakers, they all started laughing happily, waiting to watch how Ye Jian would put those new recruits who acted like bosses back in their places.
The first person she faced was a new recruit who had gone to university for two years. Because he was too rebellious, his family enlisted him into the army through their connections. Ye Jian did not beat him down; instead, she stood giggling in front of the recruit who had a face that said ‘I’m the boss’, “Oh, so you’re from an international metropolis, and you can speak fluent English. Alright, how about we recite the most familiar English text we know. I have to clarify this, I’ve only graduated from middle school, so there’s no need for you to feel any pressure!”
Reciting was Ye Jian’s strong suit. Once she was up, she made this new recruit, who felt superior, stand under the sun till he nearly got heatstroke. And that was the least of it. The next day, she dragged the same troublemaker, who thought that he was greater than everyone else just because he had been to university, to contest their maths, physics, and chemistry knowledge. As usual, under the blazing sun, with pens in their hands … Ye Jian sat unmoving under the blazing sun. Her opponent, however, was so nervous that he nearly got afflicted by heatstroke again.
From then onwards, he did not dare to say things like “My English is the greatest. I’ve been to university, so you guys are all country bumpkins”.
Dealing with another recruit that knew some fighting skills was much easier. Sparring was Ye Jian’s favorite thing to do! There was no need for her to spend a few hours. It was just a matter of a few minutes. She only stopped when her opponent’s face was bruised and battered, “New recruits, remember this! The squad leader, who got flies in his food, had participated in two large-scale military exercises. He took part in flood resistances and emergency measures; he has saved countless citizens from falling rocks. And you? Besides what little martial arts you know, what else have you done that is worthy of praise?”
Ye Jian was a girl, but most importantly, she was a student. While the way she was doing things can terrify them back to where they belonged, it also caused these troublemakers to feel shameful: shameful for their arrogance, and shameful because of the way they acted.
Ye Jian took care of one troublemaker every day. In no time, she had completed the political commissar’s task.
Without Old Uncle Gen and Principal Chen accompanying her, Ye Jian had used her own strength and abilities to secure her own foothold amidst the new recruits and rapidly got them to acknowledge her. How to convince the masses, how to get along with male soldiers – these were not things that her seniors and mentors could teach her. She had to find them out herself.
She had become brothers with the new recruits. The political commissar, who was aware of all this, phoned Old Uncle Gen, who was staying in the village.
Old Uncle Gen had just returned after leaving the village for more than half a year. The first thing he did was to have a chat about the usual things with the villagers who were visiting him after hearing he had returned. As for how Ye Jian was doing in the military camp, he intentionally tried not to think too much about it. Once he received the phone call from the commissar, he felt much more reassured.