This is a really long chapter. I normally finished one chapter in two days but this one might take me longer. I am back to work so I don’t have much time. Hopefully, I could at least share one chapter a week. I can’t wait to lay back and read book again from beginning to end after all the translations were done. Just releasing what I got so far …
A Mistaken Marriage Match 2: Generation of Military Counselors
Chapter 29 The Elite Force
There were no explanations. No words of comfort or apologies given as to why they were exposed under the sun the whole afternoon. Gu Yun gently raised her hand with fingers pointing to the side of the training field and gave strange instructions,
“Later, divide into groups of fifty. There will be deep pits before you with the network of thistles and thorns, a single plank bridge and an obstacle wall. You must jump out from the pits then proceed crawling under the bramble network. After you have crawled out, move forward towards the bridge. If you fall down you must return to start again from the beginning. As for the tall walls, I don’t have to say it but you must climb over. Waiting behind those walls are ten bows and ten arrows. Your target is not the bullseye but a feather hanging from the top. The person who can shoot the feather with one arrow will be able to stay.”
A clear resounding and very loud voice was heard by everyone. The things they had done the whole afternoon were nothing special. The spectators were expressionless. High above the platform were a few curious elderly people.
On the site was a twenty or thirty feet long pit excavated more than ten feet deep and above it was a tunnel of thorns and thistles. After the network of thorns and thistles, there was a net with a quagmire underneath that one has to creep and crawl under to pass. These obstacles were unreasonably harsh… After the network, ahead were ten trunks with the girth as big as the mouth of a bowl standing upright across on the ground. Pass the trunks was a wall higher than three meters tall.
Why was this girl doing so many strange things? Suddenly, the three people watching found the training exercise funny and very interesting. Now, they watched it avidly,
The Su military officers did not have martial arts skills so there was no need to even mention of elite martial arts skills but the soldiers all looked very calm.. Gu Yun smiled and said,
“I know you are the elite of the elite and I have no doubt that you can pass these obstacles, but you have to remember there are only ten arrows.”
The audience understood what she meant. Only the fastest ten people in each group of fifty were eligible to shoot, therefore the rest would be eliminated.
Sure, they knew what she meant. Gu Yun, facing the side of Han Shu, gave the command,
“Rank and file!”
Han Shu loudly ordered the soldiers to orderly arranged in fifty rank formations. The three thousand men lined up very fast and very neat in sixty rows. Gu Yun was secretly amazed. General Su’s array of tactics was practiced very well. On a battlefield of a large scale against the enemy, their formation was so precise and quick, making it difficult for the enemies to find a weak point to attack!
Gu Yun was still admiring the team when they went to the venue of the obstacles. To begin, Han Shu distributed the first arrows to the soldiers and they went to the end of the obstacle course. Everyone understood that if they could not reach the first ten then they were out of contention.
Fifty people, almost at the same time, jumped into the three meter long, three meter wide and three meter deep pit. Obviously there were too many men inside the small space. Each man was pasted against each other, making it very hard to move and even more difficult to climb out. It was easier to get in but to crawl out was nearly impossible. Sure enough the opening of the pit became bigger before someone could get out.
Crawling under the thistles and mud was no difficulty for them. It only covered them with mud but after running across the single plank bridge however, the estimated three meters high wall stopped many men to get through until the unstable foundations of the wall toppled over.
When the arrows were claimed by their masters, Su Ren’s Lieutenant, Yu Shijun stood by the wall and shouted,
“The men behind withdraw!”
All those who weren’t able to quickly climb the walls looked very defeated; but that did not mean the men lucky enough to get the arrows were victorious.
The target was twenty feet away and the white feathers were being blown by the night wind swinging back and forth. The night was only lighted by the torches and in the midst of the swinging blaze, even if a person was able to see the floating feathers, it still won’t be clear. Let alone shoot it! Gu Yun didn’t give them time to aim but as soon as the arrow was picked up, it must be shot in less than half a quarter of an hour. Running in front of the rest, the owners of the arrows were breathless and the purpose of the floating feathers was to test one’s eyesight!
This group’s result was not very clear. Yu Shijun also looked at the feather which fluttered as the target and in his heart, he secretly criticized Gu Yun’s cunningness. Under such trick, only very few people could complete the task! In the first round, everyone was annihilated. Moments ago, people were full of confidence but now even the audiences were also finally anxious.
“Next to start.”
The second batch of men rushed out and jumped down into the pit and the first man to climb out was someone familiar. Gu Yun, squinted slightly, that is – Lou Yan! In the rainforest, he had impressed her. His bones were strong. The force of his muscles was explosive and the very high wall was not a problem. However, she was not certain whether he would be able to shoot the floating feather.
Luo Yan Nham passed through the clearance all the way. Execution was all neat as Gu Yun expected. He was the first to get the long arrow. Luo Yan Nham looked at the distant feather without a hint of hesitation. With the bow, he released the arrow and nailed the target!
Good aim! Good eyesight! Gu Yun was secretly delighted. This guy was a molded talent!
The second group performed very well. There were four men who shot the feathers.
The trial for the few remaining groups were all good. Leng Xiao and Ge Jingyun were also separately selected. But Gu Yun was with the recruits that brought these two candidates. Watching the race halfway through, most of the selected men were basically from Crouching Tiger Camp. Liu Xing exclaimed in a low moan,
“The Crouching Tiger Camp is too fierce and we are the batch of new recruits and had few opportunities to practice archery.”
The young fellow recruit secretly moaned with him, “Yes, unless we are Leng Xiao or Ge Jingyun! “
“No.” Liu Xing muffled in a low groan, “General Ren was the one training us and after selection there are only a few of our own people, what a shame! We cannot let the Tiger Battalion look down upon us!”
But in a few moments, those men would also take the risk and challenge the other three thousand soldiers; therefore they should just accept the defeat!
“There is!” In their rank there were three or four recruits who have spent time at the hands of Gu Yun and if they were not selected also then they can’t do anything about it, “Nothing can be done but just accept it!”
Liu Xing’s eyes had a touch of cunningness. Laughing twice while still in the competition at the front, he bowed his head to several people around and whispered a few words. The people around him heard and looked at each others’ glances before finally pointing to Liu Xing to say,
“Okay! Just do it! On you!”
Liu Xing was surprised for a moment then forced to nod his head! Soon their group was following him.
“Next group get ready.”
Han Shu gave the signal and fifty people rushed en masse into the deep pit.
But like a miracle, a young figure almost fell at the same time, immediately jumped out from the pit as light as a swallow.
After he and another man easily got out of the pit. Everybody was dumbfounded. Inside the pit were only two people whom had allowed their body to be used for support. The men going down to the pit stepped on them and then stepped out. Those who had lost soldiers in the pit were angered,
“How could they do this?”
Some hearts were not satisfied. But Gu Yun just raised one eyebrow and smiled as she saw it all. Su Ling just sat on the sideline. Both masters did not raise their voices to say stop. So naturally, the competition continues.
Liu Xing and the two young fellow were in the lead, but the Tiger Battalion were still higher than them on the leader board. They have already had four or five more people that passed. Liu Xing and two youths tried but they could only jump half way to the wall.
Shortly, another person passed and jumped over. Their battalion could not lose! The two young fellows glanced at each other, clenched their teeth and then a person gripped the ma bu (- a martial arts horse stance) and the other person stepped on his shoulder, simultaneously facing Liu Xing and cried out, “Liu Xing, step on! Mmm.” Tightened fist, Liu Xing borrowed two human shoulders and finally made it onto the high platform. He jumped down from the high place, jumped over then joyfully held the last long arrow. At the same time, Yu Shijun said to the people behind,
“Men behind withdraw.”
Many men glared at Liu Xing. They were close behind him and were high profile officers who did not use help but did not get arrows. They growled,
“They are tricky. That’s unfair! “
Some people began to clamor, especially those who had already been under the wall. Even high profile officers and men who had not been able to climb over also called out,
“Rightly! It is unfair!”
The scene instantaneously appeared somewhat chaotic. Yu Shijun looked awkwardly to Gu Yun. In his mind, Liu Xing truly acted with trickery. Gu Yun did not pay any attention to their clamoring but with a clear and resonant voice, she said,
She gave out the order, few people dared not hesitate, got their arrows and continued to shoot.
Arrows that nailed on the target and hit the feathers were only three.
One was Liu Xing’s shot.
It was a foregone conclusion. Everyone thought Gu Yun would not reason to aggrieve the person but apparently not. Gu Yun suddenly looked to him and quietly asked,
“Where is it unfair? “
Nothing wrong with men considering themselves firm. Zhuang Han, the one that felt wronged firmly looked back at Gu Yun and replied,
“They rushed to help a person. Of course so he can cross the barrier. He was not relying on his own ability to cross the obstacles. For a person with ability this is not fair! “
The equally lagged behind men nodded to express their dissatisfaction.
Gu Yun was not angry and said dismissively, “I have said very clearly, as long as the men go through these obstacles, the fastest ten will be qualified for the archery. Have I ever said that you can’t do it as a team? Why didn’t you ask why they willingly gave him a stepping stone? “
Zhuang Han looked at the feathers of an arrow hit by Lou Xing and then looked at the wall and saw the several youths who did not jump over. They were but with a smile on their faces. Zhuang Han didn’t answer Gu Yun’s question. In silence, his face calmed down slowly.
Gu Yun would not give up this opportunity and strongly intended to let them understand what team collaboration was. She pointed to the arrows still floating in feathers and explained,
“Because the last obstacle needs an accurate sight and shot with precision. They selected the ten in the team with higher probability out of the fifty. After they had identified the ones that had the higher chance to win then they helped to make it happen! I want men that have brain besides courage, one that can comprehend, to see truly what to accept or reject and are not just the boorish fellow!”
A clear voice in a large training field ring, every word was clear, not because of Gu Yun or how loud she shouted, but nobody dared to retort.
The people clamoring of fairness quietly bowed their heads and became silent. Su Ling could not help but smiled. These people were with him for many years in the shape of the Han. They had so many opponents frightened but today in front of her, were silent too.
Gu Yun did not even look at them and to Han Shu instructed,
Han Shu regained his composure immediately and cried, “Begin!”
Another row rushed into the deep pit. The test was carried out in an orderly manner until the rest of the groups had spent two more hours to finally finished.
Looking at the remaining few hundreds of people, Han Shu gave a long sigh then walked to the front of Gu Yun and whispered,
“Finished. Only three hundred twenty men got through.”
Gu Yun nodded gently. She did not seem to feel that she will need more. She smiled and said, “Others disperse. Men that were selected stay. I have something to say.”
Han Shu led them away. The whole night, Su Ling had not said even a word. The little girl was in command and directed everything. The striking majestic Lieutenant was also driven by her. Although Su Yan saw her performance tonight and had developed some affection for her, his heart was not ready to change yet.
“When had the General’s Office change ownership?”
Compared with his irritability, Su Qing only had generous praise,
“This girl is interesting. Maybe it is really what we’re looking for people.”
“I don’t think so. Her skill is only with her lips and what’s the use? Her body is so weak. What is the use of being wise?”
“I thought actually this little doll is good, better than a brute force, compared to one that has strength and built but does not have brain. It will be hard to bring about great talent.” All Su Qing said was if one was looking for a resemblance then to just look at him. Su Yan Hu ferociously roared,
“Su Qing, what are you saying? Who has that brute force but does have the brain?!”
Su Qing just laughed off. Su Yan took a deep breath and was really furious but he couldn’t vent his rage, if he does then that will mean that he was a person ‘brute force without a brain’.
Together, Gu Yun and all the black heads in ranks glanced their way. These men weren’t aware of how loud they were. Already middle-aged and still fighting like little children. He caught a glimpse of Su Ling only to find him with a calm face smiling at her. He looked like he was accustomed to it. Gu Yun decided to completely ignore these three old men at once or else she wouldn’t know if she could bear with them and might end up doing something to them.
She turned to the three hundred twenty men that have been completely lined up. Gu Yun approached them with a bright smile and said,
“Congratulations, you’re through a small screening test. Now, the actual selection will begin tonight.”
That was just a little test?!!
The listeners gave a stunned look at Gu Yun, for at this moment, knowing that smile on her face would make men have an absolutely terrified feeling. Some men remembered the five miles frog jumps, some men remembered in the jungle the plump worm, more men were bewildered. They can’t act recklessly or this might become a battle of life and death!
With all the staring eyes on her, she saw many of them have that familiar frightened look. Gu Yun in a particularly good mood said lively,
“Men don’t panic, tonight’s test is extremely simple.”
She didn’t say this one is extremely simple? The men whom once worked with her and got betrayed with this word “simple”, all started to have cold sweats and almost discouraged. When she said more “relaxed and simple” it will be generally more miserable than death.
Standing not far away from Gu Yun, Han Shu opened a huge piece of black linen and under the linen covered a pile of sandbags.
“Everyone bring ten sandbags. Tie four on the legs and six at the waist,” Han Shu shouted so loud that even people in the open areas on the training field could hear clearly.
More than three hundred troops were doubting in their hearts but then they quickly trotted to the pile to get the sandbags for their body and done it orderly without delay. Han Shu saw only thirty sandbags left on the ground. In his heart he had unstated criticism hidden. It was not a surprise to have left over bags because the cunning trick started from the very beginning as she would not let many people pass through.
After waiting for them to line up, Gu Yun then said, “Jade Spring Mountain is ten miles away from the camp. This is a battle.” With red ribbons in her hands, she distributed them among the men. “You will run and come back. There is no time limit but the last ten people who come back can voluntarily return back to camp.”
Based on previous experiences, Gu Yun could not set such a simple question because soldiers would keep waiting for her to go on. But after no query for a long time, finally Gu Yun confidently raised her hand,
Like this? The audience did not have doubts in their hearts for they have practiced long-term drills. Tying up the sandbags to run twenty miles was obviously not about the severe training but she spent that big vigor preparation sandbags just to eliminate ten individuals. This was it! Leng Xiao, Ge Jingyun and Liu Xing knew that they are damned as they listened to Gu Yun as she spoke.
But believing it or not, if they would still be alive when they come out from the mountain peak, the three men could only do their best to push. Soon, the huge training was left only with the torch, officers and the few people on stage.
The cool autumn air was blowing stronger especially in the empty training field. The wind was more aggressive. Gu Yun was standing on the platform, her clothes swaying and her slender body looked as if it could be blown away at any time. Su Ling got up and walked in front of her to block the oncoming night wind. Normally, he did not know how to take care of a women and he did not know how to show a good will to a woman. It should have been a tender scene but Su Ling words poisoned the atmosphere,
“How long do you still have to play around?”
Fortunately, Gu Yun never paid attention to this kind of matter. She replied flatly,
“Not so fast.”
Feeling the night wind, she looked at the three elderly men on the side and kindly said, “Elders, you must be tired, please go back and rest.”
Unfortunately, the three men did not appreciate it. Su Yan in a coarse voice cried,
“If a little girl can manage on her own then so can we. We are not tired!”
Since it would be a boring discussion, Gu Yun shrugged her shoulders and sat down on the chair, shut her eyes and didn’t speak again. Su Ling’s face though, showed some concern but didn’t press her. On the high platform, a few people tried vainly to sit. Su Yan suddenly got up and carried Su Ren by the collar and pulled him back to the wall in the corner. Su Ren did not struggle and quietly let himself be carried. With a wry smile,
“Yan Hu, what are you doing?”
He released the hold on Su Ren’s collar and lowered his voice and said,
“You go get Bing Lian sword.”
Su Ren looked with his blank eyes and pretended to ask, “Me, to go?”
“I told you to go!”
Su Ren took a step back and embarrassingly smiled then he got it!.
“Bing Lian is extremely cold and not everyone can touch it.”
“Ren boy don’t tell me you are pitifully small so go bring the wooden box here!” Su Yan whispered impatiently and scolded, “Go get it!”
“OK, I’ll go.” He turned around and swept a helpless abnormal glare. Su Ren with the sly smile on his lips thought, “Eldest brother, I am just trying to help you.”
Su Quan was pleased when he got back and struck a low laugh,
“Where did you send him?”
With that voice, Su Yan knew who was behind him and would not conceal what his trick was. Su Yan generously answered Su Quan,
“I’m going to test that girl to see if she is Bing Lian’s selected hostess.”
After not giving a smiling happy face, he was full of wonder and said,
“Why are you so impatient? “
“You saw it! Ling giving her all kinds of accommodations was incredible. But I don’t want to be a recipient of the news about Bing Lian that was probably deliberately put out by Ling. The reason we came here was to confirm who is bullying a hit man! This will be troublesome if it drags on for a long time!”
It was not easy to change the Su Family’s practice. If this little girl was not destined to the fate of Su Ling, then they should plan what to do as soon as possible!
The Su Elders had been tolerating the little girl’s pampering of Su Ling and nodded with a sigh and practically agreed with Su Yan. For thousands of years, Bing Lian have not chosen a wrong person and there should be no mistake!
When they arrived on the platform to sit down, two eyes unconsciously observed Gu Yun. Gu Yun sensed that she was in their line of sight but did not open her eyes. Instead, she actually looked down and continually sat on the chair. Then she realized faintly as if something flushed through her the reason why the three Su family elders came. Was it because of her? But she was a “foreign land gift” so why are they so bothered and troubled about her. Whatever, she suspected. She decided to do everything to see changes.
Before long, a neat sound of footsteps were heard coming from far and near. Gu Yun opened her eyes and saw more than three hundred men with great strength running back. They almost arrived at the same time.
The ten miles weight-distance was just a run and most people were sweating like rain, short of breath but do not look tired. The overall quality only needs small polishing. Gu Yun was secretly satisfied and went onto the platform. She walked up to the front and with a clear resonant voice, she said,
“Rank and file.”
The once scattered troops quickly lined up and the last ten people removed their sandbags and were pulled out of the next race.
Gu Yun did not waste time. She commanded and pointed to a slurry pit in front and said, “In order, jump into the pit below then come out. “
Jump in the puddles? What is this test? Gloomy was certain but the soldier’s duty was to obey orders and no matter what they must jump. So without hesitation a group of tall men one after another jumped into the mud.
Men just broke out in a sweat and all of a sudden would dive into the cold water. This will instantaneously shrink the pores of their skin and a lot of people shivered. All the sandbags were mud-soaked and their weight was two times heavier than before. All clay blistering, night wind blowing, body trembling, let alone a mud paste on the body, that sticky feeling that one was uncomfortable.
So this group of embarrassed elite lined up again. Gu Yun’s clear voice without any emotions commanded,
“Your next task is to get the red silk back and the difference is that twenty people will be eliminated.”
Still running?! One can already hear a low murmur in the crowd but Su Ling stood behind her on her decisions therefore her demands have to be completely obeyed. Even if their fists were crushed, they would not dare to disobey! With upset hearts and grievances, the men walked unusually fast.
Gu Yun chuckled. To undertake the second round what an ability! Just then Su Ren came holding a wooden box and placed it on a high table. He almost lost it. After getting rid of it he threw himself down on the chair and said,
“Yan Hu that stuff is here, terrible! It’s too cold!”
He was rubbing his frozen hands and withdrew behind the back of Su Yan. He estimated that his eldest brother would be angry.
Su Yan opened the wooden box and an extremely cold gas instantaneously overflowed, the silver white sword blade was blooming, shining smoothly under the moon. Su Yan’s face was covered with joy and delight which rarely happened. He said with a smile to Gu Yun,
“Small girl, can you pick up the sword?.”
Gu Yun stood still and replied dismissively,
“Why? You want me to pick up the sword? Trying to do what?”
Su Ling was at Gu Yun’s side but he surprisingly did not back her.
Su Yan frowned and impatiently said, “You were ask to pick it up, then you pick it up. Why talk so much?”
All for no reason they asked her to take the sword. That was strange. Su Ling was also strange. After seeing the sword, his face became weird. He suspected Gu Yun will become suspicious so he was thinking about how to do the call. Su Ling’s tall figure blocked her and just from listening to the cold voice, one would know his face was absolutely not wonderful, “I said already do not find her trouble. Yan Hu thought I was joking?”
Su Ling’s face was obviously afraid and thinking his guess was right! Su Yan asked, “When did I get her in trouble? Just let her pick up the sword. Why are you so nervous?”
Su Ling was suddenly speechless and turned to his brother,
“Send back the sword to General’s Tian Yuan court.”
Su Ren immediately shook his head,
“Who is the person I should listen to?! You find someone else to take it, I don’t want to touch it.”
Su Yu at once exclaimed, “Don’t look at me, I’m not! Even if there is Xi millennium wood block that sword is still cold to death. No, I am not taking it!”
Seeing the atmosphere become stiff, Su Qing stroked his long beard and proclaimed with a smile, “Little girl, do you feel the blade is beautiful?”
Gu Yun went next to the wooden box, looked at Bing Lian sword and its beautiful body. Turned and she replied with a smile,
“It is very beautiful…”
“You pick it up, it’s yours.”
It is already mine! Gu Yun’s lips always delivered but in her face right now it doesn’t show that she’s laughing inside. Her cool voice with a touch of provocation replied,
“The threat trades inadequately tempts me with the promise of gain. What a pity it does not have any attraction to me. You might as well say the truth, perhaps I can consider to pick it up.”
Bing Lian sword is so peculiar. There must be a story behind it. She even came across the same inexplicable things she had experienced. No matter how bizarre the hidden secrets behind the sword, she can bear.
“Why are you so suspicious! I called you to take it, not to harm you! “
Though the sword’s chill touch did not injured her before, Su Ling’s face tensed. This little girl was evasive and he knew Su Yan was trying to find out if she’s the sword’s selected hostess.
Gu Yun rose gently and walked slowly to the sword. Three people were holding their breath waiting to see if she was going to pick up the Bing Lian sword. Gu Yun’s hands played her fingers and when she almost touched the sword, she stopped,
“You said I can take it if I like it!” Talking at the same time, Gu Yun’s slender fingers turned and held down the wooden disc then snapped close the box cover.
“Rotten girl!” Their hearts were hanging in the air and this was not a good time. This girl’s temperament was outrageous! Su Yan was annoyed and almost wanted to come forward and break her neck.
Su Ling’s heart was panicking. Qing Mo was angry. If she knew what the old man had done so much to verify if she was indeed fit to be the Su Family daughter-in-law, she would be very furious.
“Ren, take the Bing Lian sword right away!”
Su Ling said gnashing his teeth.
Su Ren after hearing his brother’s order, the scalp of his hair tingled. Was this not to verify that Qing Mo would be the house’s daughter-in-law? Why bother?! His hands were numb with cold but he couldn’t say no! Su Ren was resigned to the fate though unwilling. When he was about to pick up the wooden box, suddenly there’s a fierce rumbling, and almost at the same time from the woods around the training field, several silvery white lights appeared directly coming towards Gu Yun.
“Watch out!” Su Ling first found the strange happening. Clinging to Gu Yun’s waist, he leapt. Then they heard the dull sound: