“The only training subject you haven’t started is night-time driving. I have discussed it with Commander Liu and tonight; you need to try and pass the night-time driving. Everyone will be driving their cars, and your drill instructor will accompany you. We will depart from our province and carry out a cross-province training.”
Ye Jian was stunned for a couple of seconds…, after processing the whole thing, she said with a doubtful tone: “Political Commissar, but I… I don’t even have a driver’s license.” She was worried because she didn’t have a driver’s license, not because she was incapable.
“Don’t you worry about that, we have made some arrangements. Hurry up and go check out the car you’re going to steer tonight. Your instructor is helping you maintain it.” Political Commissar Yan admired Ye Jian’s confidence towards herself. It wasn’t the insufferably arrogant type. Instead, her spirit was down to earth, without exaggerations, and without being overly humble.
Once Ye Jian heard him out, all her worries got immediately thrown out the window. She gave a crisp reply and started heading towards the parking lot.
When it was 11 p.m., the surrounding area had been completely cleared up, and after the overall preparations had been done. Jeeps started driving out one after the other from the underground garage. Only after they have reached the roads in an orderly manner did they turn on their lights and headed towards the mountains.
All of the cars were jeeps and not armored vehicles. From the surface, they look no different than the automobiles in the city. Ye Jian followed along in the middle of the motorcade and began her night-time driving training which would only end on Sunday.
At 0300, Political Commissar Yan’s voice transmitted through the walkie-talkies. He asked the instructor who was accompanying Ye Jian on her drive: “What’s your status over there?”
“Report, everything as usual.” The instructor, who also hasn’t caught a wink of sleep, maintained his brain’s clear-headedness and reported their car’s situation. “Switch over at 0400, and the co-driver will take over.” The co-driver refers to the instructor himself.
Meanwhile, they have already reached the highway that went along the mountain. The long and winding mountain road seemed to coil-over into the heavens and the car lights shined ahead. On one side, it illuminated the sea of mountains; on the other hand, the edge of a cliff without any railings.
The whole stretch of the mountain road was filled with bumps and uneven land. Ye Jian’s entire body was constantly shaking, and there was no one minute where her body was motionless.
After a 180-degree bend, they continued climbing upwards. One moment it will be a left-handed hairpin turn, the other would be a right-handed hairpin turn, and they drove that way so on and so forth until it was their co-drivers’ turn to take charge.
Basic driving, applied driving, long-distance driving and course assessment. Between these four stages, Ye Jian had already progressed to the long-range driving stage.
At 0500, the motorcade had stopped by the roadside. After a 30-minute rest in the deserted mountain reaches, they continued their journey. After 0600, the motorcade stopped following the mountain road. Instead, it turned to the depths of the mountains; towards another location.
“Attention to all cars, attention to all cars, we will arrive at the battlefield-simulating road section in 30 minutes. May all cars prepare for combat!”
Although it was Ye Jian’s first time doing a night-time drive, she knew what items were on the list. When her car had turned towards the abnormal route in the mountains, she immediately understood that they have arrived at the evaluation location.
There were around ten to twenty battlefield-simulating road sections, and all of these simulations would cover the common, yet sudden, situations they would encounter while driving.
The artillery barrage blockade was the first simulated road section, surrounded by the sounds of explosions. Ye Jian steered her car out of the area as the flames all shot up before their eyes. Even while seated in their vehicles, they could still feel the firepower.
She turned the steering wheels so fast that her hands became a blur. After they have exited the area and before they have covered a couple of dozen meters, they have entered the ‘cratered roads’. The car was jolting, her body was swaying, and with the courageous attitude a newborn calf would have towards a tiger, Ye Jian was bravely training alongside the other male soldiers on this ground that was both unfamiliar and yet based on and established for open-country terrain.
Ye Jian, who had constructed tens of wartime lessons, couldn’t miss any of these trials. By refining her driving techniques under conditions that were infinitely close to actual combat, it would help her lay down a robust set of foundations that cannot get surmounted for the day that she will officially put on her military uniform.