This chapter is sponsored by: Jacob Goerke and Alex Delgado
Chapter 131 – Old Soldier, Undying Battle Spirit!
Translated by: Yunichan
Edited by: Rango
TLCed by: Shiroyukineko
On the recording signboard, the names of the Academy and students were listed and ranked. For both, the Academy Ranking and Student Ranking Board, Shang Jing Academy was listed as one of the top.
Shang Jing Academy gathered five hundred and two herbs, its records far surpassing other academies. Even the total amount gathered by the herb-gathering teams could not measure up to the quantity gathered by Shang Jing Academy.
The top name on the Student Ranking Board was Yan Po Jun. Yue Yang saw that this guy had actually gathered about forty-five Black Eared Shrivelled Heart Orchids, looks like he was considerably knowledgeable in the study of medicinal herbs. Next was Feng Qi Sha, with thirty-six herbs at number two. As for that fellow Xue Tan Lang, Yue Yang realised that he was martial arts-obsessed, and had limited knowledge in medicinal herb research, and had picked only ten herbs, barely passing the assignment…
“Yan Po Jun… Yan Po Jun picked forty-five herbs?” The Ivy Academy students, who were queuing to hand over their herbs also discovered this ranking board, and an uproar was instantly caused.
“So cool! Just as what you would expect from the Three Great Killing Stars!” For a moment, all the girls’ eyes sparkled like little stars.
“This arrogant fellow… ” Fatty Hai was extremely jealous.
“The few of you, what are you doing here with both hands empty?” The boy who was criticised just now saw that Yue Yang, Ye Kong and Fatty Hai were empty-handed and could not help but sneer at them. “You guys can’t even gather one herb? Just as expected from students of Ivy Academy, tsk tsk tsk. Ivy Academy’s students are just of that standard.”
“Our standards, no matter how low, will never involve us cheating. Do you think you guys, as students from Shang Jing Academy, are outstanding like that? Good, all of you are excellent, each and every one of you are experts at cheating.” The tall girl laughed coldly.
“How can you talk like that?” On hearing this, the two companions behind that boy seemed to react as if a nail had been pierced their feet, glaring with anger.
“Want to fight?” The robber girl who had previously picked the herbs the fastest walked out. With eyes as cold as daggers, she tightened her gaze and glared at the few students from Shang Jing Academy. “I can entertain you any time.”
“Enough, get lost after you hand over the herbs, don’t stir trouble here.” The eagle-eyed guy shouted sternly. At this moment, the Shang Jing Academy students who had surrounded them on all sides backed down. Before leaving, the boy who had cheated left harsh words for them. “Ivy Academy students, remember, we’ll meet again at the Hundred Schools Elite Tournament. At that time it will be obvious who is superior and who is inferior. Today you have your teacher covering up your shortcomings, when it comes to the competition, let’s see whether he can still protect you all. As long as trash like you all dare to step into the arena, let’s see if I (oresama) won’t beat all of you down.”
“This is practically bullshit, how could cheating fellows still dare to strut around here?” Fatty Hai was so angry that his nose was almost askew.
“I don’t wish to talk to trash who will be beaten down after ten seconds in the arena… ” That boy completely treated Fatty Hai with contempt, leaving with his nose high up in the air.
“Don’t block me, I want to beat him up, all of you don’t stop me.” Fatty Hai was indignant. He rolled up his sleeves for battle, posing as if he was about to rush up to stake all and fight the other party like irreconcilable adversaries.
“Pighead, it’s not that I want to put you down, but given your strength, you completely can’t measure up to him at all. I reckon that you will persist for at most ten seconds in his hands before going down. If you want to seek death go ahead, we will not stop you. Don’t worry, when you die, I guarantee that I will help you clear your corpse.” Ye Kong put him down ruthlessly. When Fatty Hai heard this he fell headfirst onto the ground. This was too embarrassing for him. He, the boss, was actually being looked down upon by his own underlings.
“No, perhaps after special training, Fatty Hai still has a chance to win if he really fights.” Yue Yang shook his head, disagreeing.
“Special training?” Fatty Hai bounced up from the floor with one leap.
“This special training regimen is a little challenging. Ordinary people perhaps cannot take it, so never mind.” Yue Yang obviously had a low opinion of Fatty Hai’s ability to take hardship.
“What are you saying? I am born to this world for the purposes of special training! You think I am an ordinary person? Do normal people have an entire body of stout and strong muscles like me? Let me tell you that there is nothing in this world that cannot be done by me, Master Hai. Sometimes when I really get serious, let alone other people, even I, myself would be scared by my own capabilities. Isn’t it just a special training regimen? For me, it’s as easy as pie… Does this special training regimen involve me eating a bowl of simmer-fried meat everyday? Let me tell you that even though this is difficult, I dare to slap my chest and tell you that I have absolutely no problems with it.” Fatty Hai slapped his chest, stirring up tides of meat.
“Why am I friends with a pig, I really regret this.” Ye Kong covered his head with his hand, looking extremely dejected.
“Idiot.” The students of Ivy Academy hurriedly distanced themselves from Fatty Hai, in case other people misunderstood that they actually knew this fellow.
“Little classmate, all these… Were all these Black Eared Shrivelled Heart Orchids that you have gathered herbs that had just blossomed?” The old lady matron who had been smiling calmly all this while, could not help but be moved when she saw Princess Qi Ming and Little Princess Bei Bei hand over their medicinal herbs. “Did these Black Eared Shrivelled Heart Orchids grow together in the hundreds? You guys must have found Black Eared Spheres. Children, all of you did very well, each of these herbs have medicinal value twice the normal effectiveness… I am grateful for you on behalf of the soldiers. Children, because of your great effort, you are about to save many more lives.”
“This time, you were lucky to succeed, but in commending you I must also raise my criticisms to you. This method is extremely dangerous, especially in a situation where you are short of sufficient defensive ability. To wait till the Black Eared Spheres blossom is a mistake.” The eagle-eyed guy dampened the uplifted spirits of Princess Qi Ming and company.
“Indeed, children, in the Demon Abyss, whichever rare medicinal herb blossoms or bears fruit will draw formidable beasts searching for prey to them. Children, it is dangerous to wait for the Black Eared Sphere to blossom. You are the future of the country. Even if our soldiers die, they would not wish to see young children like you sacrifice their previous lives to save them. Remember, children, what you should first think of should not be the completion of our mission. For completing missions, one must think first before acting, and evaluate whether you possess sufficiently strong abilities or capabilities to do so… All of you did well, but it makes me worry. I don’t wish to chide all of you, but I must remind you all that in future, you must be careful when completing your missions. When proceeding into the dangerous Demon Abyss, you must be a hundred times, a thousand times more cautious and prudent than completing your missions normally.” The old matron stood up, and successively kissed the few children’s faces, finally carrying Little Princess Bei Bei, tenderly advising them.
“We had our older brothers protecting us, they played a part in getting these medicinal herbs.” Little Princess Bei Bei pointed at Yue Yang, Ye Kong and company.
“Did they? I had guessed correctly indeed.” The old matron took measure of Yue Yang, Ye Kong, Fatty Hai and the Li Clan Brothers successively. Finally, she returned her gaze to Yue Yang and nodded slightly. “You all did well, I will give each and every one of you a distinction. Also, I want to tell you guys, thank you so much for your trouble. Your performance is worthy of the title of elite humans.”
“……” On hearing this, Fatty Hai was so moved, that his eyes brimmed with tears. It was the first time for him, who had been trash all his life, to hear such an honorable praise. His heart was so moved that he almost cried out.
“……” Ye Kong and the Li Clan Brothers similarly felt their blood burning with anger.
Originally, they had thought that they would die of hunger in Tong Tian Tower. They didn’t expect that after they met Yue Yang, they would not only not die of hunger, they would actually turn from useless rubbish into elite humans.
Of course, they were also clearly aware that there was still a disparity between their strength and elite humans’ strength.
All this credit was hard-earned by Yue Yang.
But being a member of the small Yue Yang Team, they felt that there was a reason to feel proud and honoured.
Even though currently they were still not elite humans yet, they believed they would eventually be worthy of this glorious title in the future, especially under Yue Yang’s leadership. They just needed to follow his footsteps closely and they will be able to stride to the very front of the elites…..Ye Kong and the Li Clan Brothers looked towards Yue Yang, with a proud blaze burning in their eyes, just like raging flames.
These words, they would never say out loud, but they would engrave them into their hearts and use their entire lives to achieve them.
“Are these medicinal herbs sufficient?” Yue Yang asked a question that all the students, including the Three Great Killing Stars, had not asked.
On hearing this, the old matron’s had a slightly astounded expression on her face.
On the contrary, the black armoured eagle-eyed guy’s expression was as if it was to be expected, because he had always been secretly observing Yue Yang. No matter whether Yue Yang was running his eyes over the injured, or looking at the recording signboard, or his subsequent reflections, all of them were taken in by the black armoured eagle-eyed guy.
Earlier in the Demon Abyss, the eagle-eyed guy had discovered that Yue Yang was completely different from the masses, hence he had paid special attention to him.
With regards to the doubtful Yue Yang, the old matron first muttered herself slightly, then lightly shook her head. “Originally, the number of all the medicinal herbs did not reach a thousand. Adding the number that you Ivy Academy picked, which is four hundred plus, the total is one thousand three hundred and ninety herbs. Your last hundred plus herbs has twice the effectiveness of the normal herb, but it can only save about a thousand five hundred people. But the number of poisoned soldiers is over five thousand. Even the ones that you saw in the Square was already over three thousand poisoned soldiers…… ”
“Why not send more people to pick the herbs?” Yue Yang thought it was strange. Why did the army not dispatch more soldiers to gather the herbs?
“Other than the army doctors, how would the ordinary soldiers know how to pick the Black Eared Shrivelled Heart Orchid? Besides, there isn’t much more Black Eared Shrivelled Heart Orchids to pick. Your harvest is already an unexpected pleasant surprise. To save these people, we gathered the most elite students of the few Academies. Bearing the gravest risk and sending you to the Demon Abyss is already the biggest gamble. To be honest, although I am a doctor who saves lives, I oppose this method of doing things, because once the Demon Army discovers this, you will most likely be completely wiped out. All of you are the future of Da Xia Empire. We shouldn’t use you as a gamble. However, this is an order by His Majesty, so we could only nod and agree… Luckily, all of you have returned safely. Children, you do not need to feel guilty, you have all already did very well. The soldiers that we saved and their families, will be very grateful for your help. As for the remaining soldiers whom we cannot save, I will think of a way. Hopefully we will be able to keep them alive and let them see their loved ones one more time before they die.” The old matron’s voice was filled with pity, as if she was seeing her own loved ones on the verge of passing out.
“For the remaining three thousand people who cannot be saved, how do we choose them? They are also soldiers, is it by drawing lots or according to their achievements? ” Yue Yang thought that no matter who died and who lived, it was a difficult of question of choice.
Who was willing to die in a situation where it is possible to be saved?
Who was willing to look on helplessly at other people being rescued, but die himself?
“It is difficult to choose, but the soldiers themselves already made their decisions earlier. The young soldiers, who are the only child in their families, who have just became a parent and those with aged parents can obtain priority treatment. The older soldiers, who have spent their entire lives on the battlefields, are willing to sacrifice themselves and be role models for the youngsters… Matters like these are not a first to us, and also will not be the last. Students, this is where the spirit of Da Xia Empire lies. With the military soul not dead, it is precisely because generations after generations of people sacrificed themselves, the older soldiers have today’s Da Xia Empire, and tomorrow’s hope. When you all grow up and gain knowledge and experience about more things, then you will understand the older soldiers’ wishes. If the humans of our Soaring Dragon Continent do not possess such noble sacrificial spirit, perhaps we would have fallen to the Demon Abyss.” The old matron lastly nodded at Yue Yang, and said “Just like you guys risked your lives to protect the kids in gathering the herbs, your behaviour, and the choices made by the older soldiers, are essentially the same.”
“The soldiers in the Square have voluntarily given up treatment, hence they are here in the Square waiting to say their last goodbyes to their families.” The eagle-eyed guy suddenly added a sentence.
“……” At this moment, Yue Yang’s heart felt deep respect for these people.
No wonder the soldiers on the entire Square looked quite old, individually they were old people with grizzled white hair. So it turns out that they were the old soldiers who voluntarily chose to sacrifice themselves.
Yue Yang was overwhelmed by their sacrificial spirit.
In front of life and death, how many people could do this? In China, there were countless incidents of people simply standing by and watching, saying it’s ‘none of my business’, not assisting even as one sees death in front of them. All the different sorts of coldness and detachedness in the society had sealed Yue Yang’s heart off tightly. What he saw was a lot of ingratitude, betrayal and repaying kindness with violence. What he saw the most was vile people making threatening gestures and kind-hearted people weeping bitter tears… All sorts of despicable, gloomy incidents such as bumping into fragile items, death by depression, death by nightmare, entrapment, hitting people without seeing blood and related things like that, made Yue Yang’s heart tremble in cold.
(Yunichan: what Yue Yang means by ‘bumping into fragile items’ is the practice of how merchants of porcelain antiques sometimes place their most fragile items at certain positions of their roadside stalls so that passers-by will easily knock into them, hence getting them to pay for them. As for ‘hitting people without seeing blood’, it’s usually an expression of getting an advantage out of somebody without having to resort to physical violence. What Yue Yang is referring here are basically unscrupulous methods of harming others mostly to reap benefits for oneself.)
Aren’t these things precisely the weaknesses that were preyed on and used by some people to their advantage?
He had always thought that the spirit of sacrificing oneself for others had already been spurned by people. Only idiots would do something like that.
Learning from Lei Feng to do good deeds, was something that was indeed present in the past. Now if anybody tried to do selfless deeds, that was equivalent to courting death…… Of course there would still be people who do that, but what they get from it was mostly tears of pain and suffering. For example, if one were to see a hit and run robbery and stepped forward bravely to defend the weak, one would be stabbed by a knife. Even the person who was being robbed would not see this as an heroic action for a just cause and would probably even think that this fellow was meddling in other people’s business. Another example, if one were to help an old woman, one must pay a great number; If one were to find a wallet and gave it to the authorities, one would immediately be suspected of hiding and keeping a part of it for oneself ……
(Yunichan: Lei Feng was made into a model of altruism and dedication to the CCP by propaganda from 1963 onwards.)
After travelling dimensions, he came to the Soaring Dragon Continent.
Yue Yang discovered that the world here was entirely different from the one he had known.
It was extremely normal to behave just as he was in China, but after coming here, he had become a ‘weirdo’… He was a weirdo for always protecting himself, not letting himself be harmed and always protecting his own interests first. In China, Yue Yang believed that the people, who thought like himself, were practically innumerable. But in Soaring Dragon Continent it was the opposite, Fourth Aunt could reduce her family fortune to zero for him and use the thousand jin of gold that she had saved up for countless years to seek and buy a [Spirit Beast Awakening Knowledge Pill] for her adopted son. She even left her own daughter with no money to learn skills.
If Fourth Aunt could do all that for her family, then what about these old soldiers?
Each of these old soldiers were blood-soaked from their battles and had rolled about in piles of corpses. They have came back alive with great difficulty. Yet in the final life-and-death crossroad they did not hesitate to choose to sacrifice themselves for other people… to give away the opportunity for them to save themselves to other people, to young people who were total strangers but with more hope.
If he did not see this with his own eyes, Yue Yang would absolutely not believe that this would be true.
China also used to have this practice of sacrificing oneself for others. There was an innumerable succession of heroes from the Yan Huang Tribe, hence the Flame of Wen Ming was able to extend its life and became the only one left burning in the Four Big Wen Ming Ancient Empires.
In Soaring Dragon Continent, for Da Xia Empire to be able to stand for thousands of years and not fall, it should be because of the longstanding existence of such spirit.
Precisely because of the devotion and sacrifices made by the predecessors.
That’s the reason why later generations could grow and multiply and hand down from generation to generation ……
“Let’s go, we have already done our best.” The eagle-eyed guy patted Yue Yang’s shoulder, and waved and commanded the students of Death Class. “Everybody return to the academy, we will continue training tomorrow. Competition is cruel in this way, if you do not want to be knocked out of the race by natural selection, then you must be stronger than anybody else and more outstanding than everybody else.”
Yue Yang took huge steps, while following the procession to leave the place, he took measure of the surrounding poisoned soldiers.
He discovered that although these old soldiers had dark coloured facial complexion, their expressions bore some calmness and even pride.
Many soldiers surrounded them, helping these old soldiers change into brand new military uniforms. Some of the old soldiers’ chest were filled with all sorts of medals, as dazzling as the stars. Yue Yang saw numerous medical personnel carrying bowls of Farewell Wine to them, handing them over to the hands of the old soldiers one by one. Even for those who were injured so badly that they could not hold the bowl, the medical personnel wet their fingers with the wine and lightly dabbed it on their lips, with eyes brimming with tears.
“General… ” A few soldiers put on a gold and dazzling General badge for an old person with his head and beard grizzled and white. One of them, who was the youngest in age, suddenly had red eyes and started to wipe his tears.
“Brat, what are you bawling for. Get lost. Don’t make me lose face. I already got my money’s worth.” The old man’s voice was weak, but it was still as imposing as a lion.
“General, you cannot just die like this. You still need to lead us to continue fighting. If you’re gone, what are we supposed to do?” That youngest soldier started to cry bitterly.
“I am already tired. I don’t wish to fight anymore. Now I just want to take a comfortable nap. For so many years, I have never rested before. Everyday I am fighting battles here or there. I got an entire pile of medals, but I never even had the time to sleep a complete nap. All because of you brats, making me worry the entire time. Vexing me everyday and only after great difficulty have I transformed you all from cowards to true soldiers. All these years I am really exhausted… All of you do your jobs well. Don’t make me lose face. Otherwise, even if I am buried under the ground, I will still kick your butts… Give me the wine. Since the last time I heeded that goddamn doctor to give up drinking, I haven’t drunk a drop of wine in three months. Now that I am about to die, I don’t care anymore. Give me all the wine. At death’s door I want to be a hearty drunkard, haha.” When the old fellow changed into the general’s uniform, Yue Yang saw that his body was thickly dotted with wounds and injuries. Some of the injuries were terrifying, with the cuts so deep one could see the underlying bone.
A poisoned general actually couldn’t get treatment?
Of course that was impossible. If it was not it being him who refused treatment personally, the first in priority to be treated was probably him.
But why did he reject the treatment? Was it really just to give the young people a chance and that he would rather sacrifice himself?
Yue Yang was a little curious and he could not help by stride over, asking “Are you really a general?”
On hearing this, the old fellow was astonished. Then he laughed out loud involuntarily and asked in reply. “Young fellow, you don’t know me? Well, well. That brat, Jun Wu You had even praised me and said that no man does not know me or haven’t heard of me in the entire Da Xia Empire. I knew that that fellow was just exaggerating, his purpose is to trick people into haplessly give their lives into working for him. Luckily I did not become very self-satisfied by his words. Otherwise, my face would be lost a lot by now.”
The black armoured eagle-eyed guy appeared behind Yue Yang and his voice had increased in reverence. “This is General Dao Feng, he is one of the Top Ten Generals in Da Xia Empire.”
“What Top Ten Generals. We all are just dead old fellows. If we were really so awesome, there wouldn’t be just me left alone from the ten of us. They had all gone. I really have had enough of living all alone for all these years. They are all enjoying being enshrined, worshipped and offered incense to in Military Soul Hall everyday, but here I am using this weary old body and fighting to my last breath. Even that fellow Yue Hai also threw in the towel and gave up. What do I even persevere for living in this hell everyday? Would letting people call me one of the Top Ten Generals, stop the pain of the wounds on my body? I can’t even drink even a cup of wine. There is simply no meaning in living like this. I might as well go to the nether world to gather together with those old fellows… ” The old fellow’s name made Yue Yang a little distracted. This name of General Dao Feng, even he, being the guy who had travelled dimensions and had arrived at this place for not long ago, had heard of it.
General Dao Feng was one of the Top Ten Generals of Da Xia Empire and was also the last living one.
This old general’s age was unknown. It was said that he was already over two hundred years old and had the longest experience in the army. He had entered the army at eighteen years old to train and was promoted to General at forty. Then he had continuously fought till now and achieved many meritorious deeds and contributions for society. His legend was so long that even a few books could not finish covering it.
Originally with his achievements and capabilities, he was more than up to the task to became the Empire’s Grand Marshal of the entire Military Forces.
But the strange thing was that he had rejected the promotion to become the Grand Marshal ten times and insisted on just being a General. The reason behind this was was unknown to everybody. Only Jun Wu You the Da Xia Emperor and Elder Yue Hai, who had strongly recommended him for promotion to Grand Marshal, knew why. This General Dao Feng practically had the existence of a living fossil in Da Xia Empire and was also a fortunate general at the same time. He had escaped from desperate situations alive countless of times. He had fought a thousand battles in his life and had never experienced a total defeat. Even in the nastiest of environments and under a crushing defeat, he would still be able to preserve the maximum strength of his subordinate Dao Feng Legion.
Dao Feng Legion was personally set up, organised and trained by him and can be said to be one of the Three Great Legions of Da Xia Empire.
It was hard to imagine, that such a legendary person would actually reject treatment, leaving the opportunity of living for his subordinates and soldiers, and lie on the Square himself waiting for death ……
“Why? Isn’t it better to live? Without you around, who is going to lead your soldiers into battle? Do you really feel assured in handing over Dao Feng Legion to others?” Yue Yang discovered that he really had the innate gift of being a gossipy paparazzi.
“I am about to die, what do I care?” The old fellow was very open-minded.
“What if you can continue living?” Yue Yang paused, asking.
“Actually I am sick of living. If I want to live, I can still live now… But who in the world will not die in the end? To live till two hundred years old and still be stuck fighting wars, is too much of a shitty life for me. I am a soldier, an old soldier, I should die with glory on the battlefield. I don’t want to die on a comfortable bed… This war, even though the Demon Abyss finished off about three thousand of my subordinates, but I had also not lost entirely. I killed off about thirty thousand of their soldiers and also slaughtered two of their Demon Generals. So now even if I die, it doesn’t matter anymore. If I waited till I am so old that I can’t even carry my sword, then got myself killed off by a greenhorn, that is what I call pathetic.” The old fellow struggled to sit. First gazing into the distance, then his gazed travelled to look at Yue Yang. “Young fellow, I understand your thoughts. Don’t you just want to beat me unconscious and then secretly heal me? This trick is useless on me… Leave. For an old soldier to die in glory is the best final destination for me.”
Yue Yang who had Level 3 [Divine Vision] could see the truth.
This old man, this famous General Dao Feng, other than being poisoned, he also had even more severe injuries.
Originally, he already had an aged body. With the addition of the multiple injuries and scars from the battle, his strong body had become extremely weak. Yet he had also received a fatal blow by the enemy. All of his internal organs were suffering from serious injuries and poison. For him, even if the poison was completely purged, his body could probably not last for more than a month.
This was probably the real reason why the old fellow rejected the medicinal treatment.
After knowing the truth, an odd feeling suddenly arose in Yue Yang’s heart. Was it really impossible to treat?
White Jade Beetle plus Innate Qi could at the same time purging the poison and also help the body recover from wounds.
Using Innate Qi to make a breakthrough on the understanding of the study of medicinal science, was probably now. This was the best chance, in any case one could just administer treatment to an almost dead horse like treating an alive horse. Yue Yang thought that perhaps, he himself could try…