Edited by Isalee
In the afternoon, Chen Jing took them to learn the rules of the military camp. Twenty-odd people from the dormitory all sat on small folding stools in a row, and they also had to take notes. Bai Xinyu could get nothing in, doodling away distractedly on his notebook.
Chen Jing clapped, looking at Bai Xinyu. “Don’t blame me for not informing you guys. You will be tested on these rules, and even making your bed will be a competition. Those who score low will have to help the high scorers do a month of their duties. Everything you learn in the army, whether it’s physical or mental, will be tested. Looking at it simply, the results of those tests will affect your future, but looking at it from a wider angle, if there really is a day that you have to enter the battlefield, learning things properly will mean that you have a higher chance of survival.”
A new broad and bulky recruit, with the nickname “Da Xiong1” raised his hand. “Sir.”
Da Xiong chuckled. “Leader, tell us the truth, will we really be assigned missions in the future? The sort where we will use real guns and bullets.”
Chen Jing was expressionless. “You will.”
“Really? T-then, what sort of missions are those?”
“These are all classified. The day your country and your fellow citizens need you, you naturally will know. However, I can tell you that on the day before you arrived, the artillery recon company I belong to assisted the border guards and wiped out a group of smugglers. One of my combat mates was stabbed in the spleen by one of the outlaws, and nearly did not make it down from Kunlun Mountains. One day, when you become mature, you will also have to take up this responsibility of protecting your country.”
Da Xiong slapped his chest heroically. “Sure! I was even afraid that I wouldn’t be able to put what we learnt to good use. We became soldiers to protect the country!”
All the new recruits chimed in, agreeing.
Cheng Jing smiled, “Not bad, there’s a strong backbone in all of you.”
Compared to the overwhelming passion of others, Bai Xinyu was panic-stricken. Fuck, he thought that being dragged into this was already the most terrifying thing that could have happened to him, but who would have guessed that this would be a danger to his life as well! Exactly how much did his brother hate him? Bai Xinyu could not help but speak out feebly, “Leader, what if… what if we die?”
Yu Fengcheng frowned, a trace of disgust flashing past his eyes.
Chen Jing looked at him. “You’re afraid of dying?”
Bai Xinyu pursed his lips. “Who isn’t afraid of dying?”
Chen Jing nodded. “You’re right. Everyone is afraid of dying. We’re not at war currently. If you don’t want to participate in a mission, we cannot execute you by shooting because of your refusal. So, if you’re afraid of dying, you can choose not to go.”
Bai Xinyu heaved a breath of relief.
Chen Jing shook his head. “We’ll continue on. Where did I stop?”
“About the duties.”
At five in the evening, Xu Chuan summoned everyone to the field through the broadcast system. According to him, they needed to run three kilometres before dinner, and this was called an “appetizer”.
Because he was mentally prepared, and he had a full breakfast and lunch, Bai Xinyu now had energy. Running the three kilometres did not leave him exhausted like the morning run. Also, Chen Jing was right next to him, and he dared not do anything rash. However, in the last section, he still ended up lagging behind the group.
After the run, they again gathered for dinner. After dinner, two hundred plus new recruits were summoned to the big conference room, as Wang Shunwei was going to give a lecture.
According to Wang Shunwei, every week, the new recruits had to attend lectures for two full days and two evenings. The content was mainly information about the military, battles, basic modern weaponry and other professional knowledge. They also had to learn about the military rules, politics and ideology, and other information passed down by the higher-ups. When their basic military training ended, according to where they were posted, they would have to learn even more in depth and specialised knowledge.
This was the first lecture, so Wang Shunwei did not go too in depth. He mainly introduced the history of the army, the organisation and things about the current situation. Bai Xinyu could not stop yawning as he listened. For a moment, he felt as though he was back in high school. In high school, the teachers all had a hypnotic effect, making Bai Xinyu want to fall asleep as he listened to them. During the lecture, he specifically chose to sit next to Qian Liang and Feng Dongyuan, but the two people did not really bother with him. He also dared not make a sound. Even if they could speak, he was unable to put his dignity away to speak to them. As such, he hesitated for the entire time, and finally still did not talk to them.
At 8pm, the lecture ended. They all returned to wash up and head to bed.
Back in the dormitory, Bai Xinyu took out his shampoo and facial cleanser from his bag. Grabbing a set of clean clothes, he was about to head to the showers.
Yu Fengcheng saw him and asked, “Where are you going?”
Bai Xinyu gulped, answering a little reluctantly, “For a shower.”
Yu Fengcheng pointed at the clock on the wall. “It’s only 8.10pm.”
Chen Jing also just happened to walk into the room. “You must have not heard what I said. Over two hundred new recruits live in this block, and there are only two shower rooms. Every group is assigned a time slot to shower, and ours is from 8.40pm to 9pm. We’ll be using the shower room on the second floor.”
Bai Xinyu was dumbfounded. “There’s… only 20 minutes?”
“How much longer do you need? You’re not a girl.”
“Can’t I go first?”
Chen Jing glared at him. “Of course not. This is the rule.”
Bai Xinyu glanced over at Yu Fengcheng in terror. Seeing that Yu Fengcheng was also watching him with narrowed eyes, he panicked. He was done, done, done for — he had to take off his clothes in front of Yu Fengcheng, this pervert…
Yu Fengcheng greatly enjoyed the way Bai Xinyu looked when trembling. Despite knowing the reason, he asked, “What’s wrong with you? Why are you in such a hurry to shower?”
Bai Xinyu turned around stiffly and sat on his bed, at a loss for what to do. What should he do? Should he go in last? But there were only twenty minutes, and he did not shower yesterday since he was too tired. No matter what, he had to have a proper shower today. But… what if…
Behind him, Yu Fengcheng laughed quietly. “Don’t be anxious. It’s only half an hour, and 20 minutes is enough for you to wash until you’re happy.”
The word “happy” was heavily emphasised, and chills ran down Bai Xinyu’s spine.
Feng Dongyuan tossed his worn clothes and socks that he had just changed out of into a laundry tub, picking it up and heading outside. A couple of steps later, he turned to look at Bai Xinyu sitting alone. “There’s no time to wash our clothes after showering, so do you want to wash your clothes as well?”
Bai Xinyu froze, then stood up immediately. “I’m going, I’m going.”
Feng Dongyuan smiled. “Let’s go then.”
Bai Xinyu placed his clothes that had been stained with food during the day into his laundry tub, following a few of them to the washroom. The sinks in the washroom were the horizontal sort, and four walls were simply made with concrete. Bai Xinyu placed the tub in the sink, twisting the old tap on, only to be chilled by the cold water coming out. “The water’s a little cold.”
“It’s like this in Xinjiang. It’s currently summer, and the water in the afternoon is still a little warm. If it’s in the morning or evening, it’ll be colder.” Feng Dongyuan collected the water in his tub with familiarity, starting to scrub his clothes with laundry detergent.
Bai Xinyu completely forgot to bring daily necessities like laundry detergent, and so he borrowed some from Feng Dongyuan. Copying Feng Dongyuan, he scrubbed at his clothes, but the camouflage uniform was extremely stiff, and it was too uncomfortable to scrub them. In the end, he gave up and started pounding at them with his fists. If not for the shoes on his feet, he even wanted to copy what they did on television and step on his clothes.
Feng Dongyuan could not help asking, “Have you never washed clothes before?”
Bai Xinyu shook his head. “There’s no washing machine here?”
Qian Liang lamented, “My little ancestor, why don’t you ask if there’s a nanny here?”
No matter how foolish Bai Xinyu was, he could hear the sarcasm in those words. Pressing his lips together, he continued pounding his clothes.
Feng Dongyuan caught hold of his arm. “Come, I’ll teach you.”
He scattered some laundry detergent on the dirty spots, then dabbed some water on them. Swiftly, he scrubbed the materials with both hands. “Don’t scatter the laundry detergent everywhere. Just add it to the dirty areas. Otherwise, it’ll be harmful to the skin if you don’t wash it out properly, and it’ll be a waste as well. Just scrub it with your hands like this, and once it’s clean, just rinse it with clean water. When no more bubbles come out from your clothes, it’s clean. Wring them dry, hang them up and you’re done.”
Bai Xinyu blinked. “Could you go slower?”
Feng Dongyuan laughed as he shook his head, taking over Bai Xinyu’s shirt. Bai Xinyu watched as Feng Dongyuan’s pale skin turned red in the cold, soapy water, feeling a little ashamed. Quietly, he spoke, “Dongyuan, I didn’t mean it that way in the afternoon, I didn’t do it on purpose.”
Feng Dongyuan paused, then lifted his head up and gave a gentle smile. “I know, it’s fine.”
The burden in Bai Xinyu’s heart finally vanished.
At first glance, it was evident that Feng Dongyuan often did work like this. Within half an hour, not only did he finish washing his clothes, but he even helped Bai Xinyu wash his. Bai Xinyu pretended that he could not pick up the skill, and watched Feng Dongyuan help him wash them. He thought a day that he could laze and avoid this meant it would be a day earned.
After washing the clothes, all of them took their shower stuff and headed to the shower room together.
The shower room was located on the second floor. Just like what Bai Xinyu saw on television, it was a mass shower room. Along the walls were showerheads, and there were no dividers or privacy. He could not help but sneak a peek at Yu Fengcheng. Yu Fengcheng felt his eyes and turned around to give him a smile, scaring him to the point where his soul nearly fled.
Qian Liang nudged him. “Take off your clothes, why are you standing there? We only have 20 minutes.”
Bai Xinyu returned to his senses to see Qian Liang left in only his underwear. Qian Liang’s body was very fit, and there were even a few eye-catching scars on his waist and arm.
Seeing that he was looking at him, Qian Liang laughed. “I was very disobedient as a child, and always got into fights. When I was once again sliced and landed in the hospital, I woke up to see my mom crying until her eyes were swollen. From then on, I stopped fighting.”
Feng Dongyuan said, “Turning sensible when you grow up, not bad.”
He removed his clothes, revealing a swath of pale skin.
Qian Liang teased him, “Dongyun, don’t you come from a farming village? Why are you fair like a girl?”
Feng Dongyuan laughed embarrassedly. “My family doesn’t farm. The land in the village has been sold to big enterprises to build factories, and the young people all work inside, so we don’t get the sun.”
“Hah, there’ll be more than enough chances for you to get the sun as a soldier.”
Bai Xinyu said, “I don’t want to turn dark.”
“Why? It’s good that boys are a little darker. If not, they’ll be called boytoys.”
Bai Xinyu touched his smooth cheeks. “I feel that if I get tanned, I won’t be as handsome anymore.”
Qian Liang scolded him laughingly, “Hurry up and strip.”
Trembling, Bai Xinyu removed his clothes. While taking off his clothes, he kept sneaking peeks at Yu Fengcheng, but in the end, Yu Fengcheng did not look at him at all.
After stripping, comparing their sizes was basically everyone’s duty in life. Bai Xinyu glanced over at Qian Liang. Mn. It was a little larger than his, but it was not as good-looking. He then turned to look at Feng Dongyuan. Mn, it was quite similar to his.
Qian Liang was very open about it, while Feng Dongyuan was a little shy. He said softly, “It’s my first time showering with so many people.”
Bai Xinyu said, “Me too, it’s so awkward.”
Chen Jing walked over. “What are you dawdling about for? There’s only 16 minutes left.”
Bai Xinyu turned his head, nearly unable to recognise him. After removing his glasses, Chen Jing revealed his extremely child-like face, looking a little like a junior high student. Bai Xinyu could not help but tease him, “Leader, you look very young without your glasses.”
Awkward, Chen Jing wanted to adjust his glasses, only to touch nothing. He turned his head around. “No more nonsense, hurry up and shower.”
At this time, Yu Fengcheng walked over. Bai Xinyu knew he should not look, but his eyes drifted down involuntarily. Seeing Yu Fengcheng’s size, Young Master Bai’s eyes bulged out, countless “fucks” rushing out of his heart.