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Chapter 7

In an apartment a few kilometers away from Nanjing University,

Zhang Jiuling also gazed at the moon in the sky. In his deep and mysterious eyes, no emotions could be discerned. The bright moonlight spilled onto him, seemingly adding a touch of loneliness and desolation—a chilly feeling.

“Boss, boss?”

A man’s voice came from the phone, and Zhang Jiuling snapped back to reality.

“What’s up?”

“Oh, I just wanted to ask, how’s the military training with the students going?”

“It’s alright,” Zhang Jiuling thought for a moment and added, “their physical fitness is too poor.”

A laugh came from the other end of the phone: “They’re just seventeen or eighteen; how can they compare with us? If you set the same standards for them as you do for us, it’s definitely not going to work.”

Zhang Jiuling said, “Let’s not talk about that. How much longer until you come back?”

“I estimate it will take a few more days. This mission is a bit tricky; the drug lord is hiding deep, not easy to find.”

Zhang Jiuling fell silent for a moment and spoke with a serious tone.

“Haonan, be careful.”

Wang Haonan, on the other end of the phone, paused for a moment and then smiled.

“Don’t worry, boss, I’ll be fine.”

“When I come back, I want to see my class.”

Zhang Jiuling said, “Come back safely.”

“Got it, boss.”

“Come back soon and take your class back. I don’t want to train kids.”


After hanging up the phone, Zhang Jiuling turned around and glanced at a photo on the table.

Two men in camouflage uniforms, one looking sunny, the other stern, with arms around each other, full of vigor. It was Wang Haonan and him.

They were both members of the same special forces unit before. However, he had retired, while Wang Haonan was still in active service and currently on a mission.

Originally, going to the university for military training was a decision Wang Haonan made on a whim.

As the days approached, he had to go on a mission and couldn’t make it. So, he asked Zhang Jiuling to help him with the military training, saying that he would take his class back after completing the mission.

Now, it’s been more than ten days since he left, and there’s no knowing when he’ll be back.

Speaking of which, Zhang Jiuling was once a sharp blade in the special forces. How come, after retiring, he ended up becoming an instructor at a university?

He couldn’t quite figure it out.

When Wang Haonan returns, he must make that guy do three hundred push-ups in front of his door before entering the house.

Under the scorching sun, the midday sunlight was particularly harsh.

On the spacious military training ground, there were no students in sight. Only the quiet chirping of cicadas in the trees could be heard—chirp, chirp—

Looking down, the ground seemed to be shimmering with a layer of swirling heat waves, indicating its high temperature.

Not far from the military training ground, across two shaded streets, was the students’ dormitory, now in silent midday rest.

“Oh my god, I’m going to melt!”

In Li Jiao’s dormitory, Zhang Yue lay sprawled on the bed in a spread-eagle position, holding a small fan in her right hand and blowing hard while her forehead continued to sweat.

“I can’t take it much longer.”

Su Linlin weakly leaned on the bed rail, looking exhausted. Like Zhang Yue, she also held a small fan and blew with all her might.

For some stroke of bad luck, the air conditioner in their dormitory broke down last night. They called a repairman and filled out a maintenance request, but they were told it would take a while before it could be fixed.

They didn’t consider the fact that having no air conditioning in the middle of the summer was practically a death sentence!

Last night, they all took several cold showers in the bathroom, but their body temperatures just wouldn’t drop.

Not only was it hot, but it was also stuffy. Even with the balcony door open, the oppressive heat was hard to escape. It was scorching, like being inside a giant steamer.

Su Linlin pulled open the bed curtain and saw that the curtain on Li Jiao’s bed across from her was tightly closed. She shouted,

“Jiaojiao, Jiaojiao.”

“Open the curtain, aren’t you feeling suffocated?”


After calling twice without a response, Su Linlin thought she might have fainted from the heat, so she shouted even louder.

“Jiaojiao, Jiaojiao!”

“Jiaojiao, are you not feeling well in there?”


Hearing the noise, Zhang Yue got up, wondering what was going on, and shouted to the bed next door.

“Jiao, are you okay?”

“I-I-I-I, I’m coming to rescue you!”

With that, she turned in a different direction, attempting to climb down the bunk bed ladder.

Just then, Li Jiao’s bed suddenly made a “clatter” sound, and the bed curtain was pulled open.

Revealing a rosy little face, pouting, still half-asleep with messy hair, wearing a white T-shirt, and showing two slender and fair arms.

Clearly just woke up.

She rubbed the back of her head, a bit confused, and mumbled,

“What’s going on?”

“Oh my goodness,” Su Linlin sighed in relief. “Jiaojiao, we were calling you, and you didn’t respond. Boss and I thought you had passed out in there.”

Zhang Yue had already stepped onto the ladder when she saw that Li Jiao was fine. She pulled back and casually exclaimed to the person in the neighboring bed,

“Jiao, what were you doing just now? Why didn’t you respond when we called?”

“I just fell asleep.”

Li Jiao rubbed her eyes, speaking softly and with a hint of a cutesy tone.

Upon hearing this, Zhang Yue wore an incredulous expression.

“Jiao, ” she raised her thumb, “Impressive! How can you sleep like that?”

Su Linlin exaggeratedly exclaimed, “Jiaojiao, really, you’re amazing!”

Li Jiao continued to rub her eyes, which were a bit dry and itchy, making tears almost come out.

In a sleepy response, she said, “I was too sleepy~”

Just awakened, her speech was soft and gentle, carrying the unique melodic tones of the Jiangnan water towns. The lingering endnotes curled around, directly penetrating the heart.

Su Linlin and Zhang Yue were completely softened by her voice. Oh dear, it’s unbearable.

Especially Zhang Yue, she exaggeratedly lifted her head, as if trying to reverse the non-existent nosebleed.

At the same time, she waved her hand in a pretending manner, saying, “Hey hey hey, quickly check if I’m having a nosebleed.”

Su Linlin glanced at her with a smile, then turned to look at the person across from her. Li Jiao was wearing an oversized short-sleeved shirt, with a pink bunny blanket covering her stomach.

Her hair was casually tied up, a bit loose from sleeping, with a few strands falling on her shoulders. There were even a few stray hairs sticking up on her head. Paired with her blank and cute expression, she couldn’t be more adorable.

Su Linlin was almost overwhelmed by the adorableness of this silly bunny. Across half the dorm, she covered her heart, pretending dramatically,

“Oh~ Jiaojiao, is this the feeling of being enchanted?”

“Oh, my heart~”

After saying that, she pretended to be struck in the heart by Cupid’s arrow and fell onto the bed.

Li Jiao couldn’t help but laugh at her antics: “Linlin, seriously, you shouldn’t have joined the Fine Arts Department. You should have gone to the Performing Arts Department.”

“You’ll definitely be the future winner of the Golden Horse Award.”

Zhang Yue added, “Really, Lin, why don’t you transfer to the Performing Arts Department? It’s not too late to change your mind now.”

“No, no, no.”

Su Linlin laughed as she climbed off the bed. “Are you guys saying I’m a drama queen? Besides, even if I were to transfer, it doesn’t mean I can escape military training.”

“Hey, no military training? Are you willing to give up our instructor?”

Li Jiao teased with a smile.

At the words, Su Linlin waved her hand dismissively.

“Forget it, forget it. In these days of military training, I’ve seen it clearly. That instructor is like a stern Yama, cold and unapproachable; he knows nothing of tenderness or pity.”

“We have more female students in our class, but look at how he treats us. When it comes to training, he’s harsher than other classes!”

Talking about this, several girls couldn’t help but pout. Yeah, the instructor was too tough.

Clearly, it’s all military training, so why do other classes only have to stand in attention for thirty minutes while their class has to endure forty minutes? Other classes have reasonable breaks during training, but their class has to train to the brink of death as long as they don’t actually die.

This morning, they took a break midway, but for the rest of the time, it was either training or facing punishment.

Having such a devilish instructor, they were really struggling~

Li Jiao lowered her head and glanced at her two small feet and several red and swollen little wounds with numerous scars. On her already fair skin, the injuries appeared particularly severe.

The blisters from the last run hadn’t healed, and with daily high-intensity training, her wounds would heal only to break open again. Every step and every kick was painfully excruciating.

It had only been four days, and there were still over ten days to go. How was she going to endure this?

“Hey, I heard that in a few days, we’ll be going out for field training,” Zhang Yue suddenly said.

“Field training?” Li Jiao turned her head to look at her. “What kind of field training?”

Su Linlin suddenly became spirited. “I know, I know.”

“It seems to be a tradition at Nanjing University. Every year, during military training, there’s a field training session. I heard that it’s training at Maple Leaf Lake next to our school.”

“All freshmen will set out from the school, bring provisions, and can only return after completing round-the-lake field training.”


Li Jiao exclaimed in surprise, her big eyes filled with shock and disbelief.

She didn’t hear wrong, right? They were going for a round-the-lake field training at that 20-kilometer-long Maple Leaf Lake?

As a local, she hadn’t even walked around it since childhood.

That was a 20-kilometer-long lake.

Speaking of Nanjing University, it’s excellently located right in the city center of C City, with various bustling malls, food streets, and fashion streets nearby.

Simultaneously, it’s close to a national A-level scenic area known for its beautiful scenery, picturesque landscapes, and attracting tourists year-round.

Close to the picturesque scenic area and with Nanjing University renowned for its Fine Arts Department, the school leaders came up with an ingenious plan.

At some point, the specific military training project of round-the-lake field training was introduced. It was gloriously named as an exercise to both cultivate the body and nurture artistic talents.

Su Linlin was also feeling mentally exhausted. “Yeah, round-the-lake. I heard there are multiple checkpoints along the way.”

Zhang Yue added, “Exactly. I heard from the seniors of the previous batch that during their last military training, they left at half past seven in the morning and didn’t return to the school until half past six in the afternoon. By the time they got back, their legs were all wobbly.”


Li Jiao, with a troubled expression, propped her chin with her hand, her eyebrows furrowed into knots.

Mom, I should’ve listened to you.

Why did I come for military training? Isn’t this just asking for trouble?

Her feet still hurt now, and she didn’t even know if they would recover by the day of the field training.

Zhang Yue seemed to think her information wasn’t shocking enough and added,

“I also heard that our field training is probably two days from now.”

At this, both Su Linlin and Li Jiao collapsed onto their beds in unison, wailing.


Just as they slumped down, the two of them instantly bounced back up from the bed.

“I’m burning! It’s so hot!”

“Ah~ Master, when are you coming to fix the air conditioner~”

“It’s so hot; I’m going to be steamed alive~”

“Darn it, this is like the Flame Mountain.”

“Life is so tough~”


The leisurely time of the afternoon nap passed, and thousands of freshmen dragged their tired and heavy steps once again into the military training ground.

Compared to the morning sun, the afternoon sunlight was even more scorching, and just standing was enough to make people feel dizzy and dazzled.

As per the usual routine, the first item on the agenda was standing at attention.

Thousands of freshmen stood in their respective positions, neatly arranged, facing the sun, initiating the afternoon training session.

A loud whistle echoed, and the chief instructor on the platform gave the command.

“Instructors,come out!”

“Reach your designated positions; begin training!”


Then came a series of orderly marching steps towards the center of the military training ground. The instructors dispersed, found their respective classes, and began the training.

In the adjacent class to Li Jiao’s, which was the second class, the instructor who spoke Sichuan dialect ran faster and arrived first.

Seeing the soldiers in his class standing crookedly, looking somewhat unwell, he shouted loudly.

“Get yourselves in order! Chest out, stomach in, head held high!”

“Middle finger pressed against the seam of your pants, body straight, neck upright!”

“Didn’t you all have a break at noon? Stand up straight and show some spirit!”

As he walked and spoke, scanning the entire class with a glance, his eyes returned to the front row, where he saw a familiar face.

The young instructor subconsciously frowned, his face clearly expressing a reluctance to look further.

Approaching a male classmate, he couldn’t resist speaking in Sichuan dialect.

“Oh my goodness, why is it you again?”

“I told you to stand properly, stand properly!”

“Pull in your stomach, pull it in!”

“You’re not pregnant; your belly won’t go back in.”


Around them, suppressed laughter quietly emerged, everyone biting their lips and trying hard to contain their amusement.

It wasn’t their fault; it could only be said that the instructor was too humorous.

Li Jiao’s class couldn’t help but burst into laughter either. Some boldly turned their heads to see, and upon realizing it was the same classmate who walked with a bit of a limp, they immediately understood the exasperation of the instructor from the second class.











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