Episode 39

Drained of Energy
2 years ago
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The man standing in front of Su Jin right now was very familiar not only to Su Jin, but possibly anybody who had watched this man’s TV dramas before. A mention of the name ‘Li Xunhuan’ would definitely bring this man’s face to mind.

“You want to learn my Little Li Flying Dagger technique?” ~~Jiao Enjun~~ Li Xunhuan folded his hands behind his back and looked emotionlessly at Su Jin like a martial arts grandmaster.

“Esteemed senior, please teach me your ways!”

Li Xunhuan looked Su Jin up and down, then shook his head. “No.”


“You do seem to have an aptitude for it and your body is in fairly good shape. Unfortunately, you don’t have any foundation, so it’s hard for you to learn this technique!” Li Xunhuan shook his head again and turned to walk back to the telephone booth.

“Senior, wait up! So, if I get my foundation right, does that mean I’d be able to take lessons from you?” Su Jin asked.

Li Xunhuan stopped in his footsteps and turned his head slightly. “If you’re able to get it right, I’ll teach you!”

“Thank you so much, Senior!” Su Jin knew that there was no point in trying to hold Li Xunhuan back. As Blackie explained earlier, the coaches had the right to turn him away if they deemed him an unsuitable student.

Since he couldn’t get Li Xunhuan to teach him, he had to try another name. Eventually, he decided to choose Zhang Qing.

The Featherless Arrow, Zhang Qing, was a character from Water Margin, one of four great classical novels in Chinese literature and ranked 16th among the 36 Heavenly Spirits, which was the Agile Star. He was also the garrison commandant of Dongchang Prefecture. The Featherless Arrow he used as his main weapon actually referred to the little stones in his hand that he could fling at his enemies with deadly accuracy. That part was very similar to how he would use Rumor, and that was also why Su Jin had chosen him as a coach.

A light flashed in the telephone booth and a middle aged man pushed the door open this time. He wore a turquoise long robe and didn’t look like a military man at all. Instead, he resembled a scholar.

“Senior Zhang Qing?”

“That is correct!” Zhang Qing nodded. Just like Li Xunhuan, Zhang Qing looked Su Jin up and down. The look in Zhang Qing’s eyes made Su Jin a little antsy. Was Zhang Qing going to reject him too?

“The structure and proportion of your body is good and you have much internal and external energy as well. You are very suitable to learn martial arts.” Thankfully, Zhang Qing eventually nodded and seemed very pleased with Su Jin.

Su Jin let out a long sigh of relief. Zhang Qing turned his palm and an ordinary stone appeared in his hand. “My technique doesn’t depend on the choice of weapon, but the more you have on hand, the better. I’ve chosen to use ordinary stones like these because you can get them anywhere and they are easily hidden.”

After saying that, Zhang Qing stomped his foot once and several figures appeared in the arena. None of these figures had facial features and they came in all shapes and sizes. Once they appeared, they started jumping and running in all directions.

Zhang Qing flicked his wrist and one of the figures immediately collapsed to the ground. He continued to flick his wrist in various directions and he was so fast that Su Jin didn’t even notice that a stone had flown out at all. But every time Zhang Qing flicked his wrist, a figure would collapse and become unable to get up. Before long, every figure in the arena had fallen to the ground.

“That’s amazing!” Su Jin couldn’t help but exclaim in admiration. Anybody would be able to hit a fixed target with enough practice, but Zhang Qing had managed to not only hit moving targets, but he had also hit the head of all the targets.

“Now, it’s your turn. You have a good body constitution, so you should be able to pick this up faster than the average person. However, you must still start from the basics.” Zhang Qing stomped his foot again and fixed target boards appeared in the arena. A pile of stones also appeared next to Zhang Qing’s feet from nowhere.

Kano Mai felt a strange feeling in her heart. This odd sensation had been bugging her ever since she left her Personal Hell Domain. She would feel it for just a few moments, then it would suddenly disappear. This really puzzled her.

“What’s going on? I’ve never had this feeling before.” She shook her head and was still thinking about it when she felt the couch suddenly sink a little, as if someone had plonked down next to her. But she wasn’t shocked by this. A bright smile spread across her face instead.

Su Jin appeared next to her and his eyes were unfocused, as if he had gone into a daze. She immediately retrieved a bottle from her Handbook, poured a little of the lotion it contained onto her hand and dabbed it on his face.

“Phew!” Su Jin exhaled deeply and his eyes looked a little more alert now. He leaned back weakly and shut his eyes. He was clearly extremely exhausted.

“You really overworked yourself! Time passes differently in your Hell Domain, but intensive training over a long period of time is still going to drain you of all your energy.” She moved to sit across from him and placed a cup of hot tea in front of him.

He massaged his face with his hands and laughed bitterly. “You’re right. But after suffering a little now, I’d have a higher chance of surviving the next Challenge, right?”

“I know you’re the type who can really withstand pain and tough situations, but you’ve got to stop once you realize your training is no longer producing better results,” she said out of concern. After working together on a Challenge, they trusted each other a lot more now and were on much closer terms now.

He nodded, then asked, “I was training in there for two years, which means only half a day has passed in the real world, right? So it’s around noon now?”

“Yup! I’ve made lunch, so let’s eat first!”

“All right! I didn’t feel hungry during training, so I didn’t have to eat. Gosh, that means I haven’t eaten anything in two years? Oh, how I miss eating!” Su Jin chuckled. He had spent the equivalent of two years in the real world training in there and he had hoped to stay longer, but he had reached the limit of his physical and mental energy. For an ordinary person, practicing the same thing day and night would wear a person out in a matter of hours, but Su Jin spent two years practicing. If he had continued to stay inside there, he might have gone insane first.

“The first time I went for training, I stayed in there for three months and it took me three days to recover from it. You’re really a lot more amazing than I was,” said Kano Mai very seriously.

But Su Jin shook his head. “You were right about stopping when my practice no longer yields results. I don’t think I’d choose to stay in there for so long next time.”

After nearly collapsing from exhaustion, Su Jin couldn’t imagine making himself go through this all over again.

Kano Mai brought the food she had prepared out and laid them on the table. It was simple Japanese home cooked food and wasn’t very sumptuous, but much effort had been put into each dish.

Su Jin nodded in approval each time he took a bite. Firstly, Kano Mai was a pretty good cook, but secondly, he hadn’t eaten in two years and anything edible tasted fantastic to him now.

He finally felt well again after he finished eating. But it was mostly thanks to that lotion that Kano Mai dabbed on his face earlier. That was a special lotion she had exchanged points for that could relieve one of exhaustion.

After lunch, Su Jin bade farewell to Kano Mai, since he was perfectly fine with leaving the house with her. This time, they exchanged phone numbers and became proper friends.

“We’ll talk about the shooting training in a few days, okay? I need some time to recuperate.”

She nodded in agreement. “Sure, just give me a call when you’re ready for it. I don’t have anything else to do here anyway.”

Su Jin then headed back to Ye Yun’s house and returned in time to see Ye Yun and Tang Ning having a chat. When Tang Ning spotted him, she immediately said, “You’re finally back! How could you go gallivanting all night and leave my cousin all alone at home!”

“AHEM! Miss Tang, please, don’t put it like that. Others might misunderstand,” complained Su Jin.

Ye Yun grinned and didn’t look like she cared at all. She said to Su Jin, “My cousin said she needs your support to meet some people. I want to go too and I’ve been begging her for hours now. Why don’t you put in a good word for me?”

“My support to meet some people? Who?”

“The company is preparing to expand into the security business and we’re hoping to become the best security company in the country. We’ve signed an agreement with a security company from the US and they’re sending some people over to train our folks. Their flight arrives today and since we’re going into this line, we shouldn’t look too shabby when we receive them at the airport. Yun says that you’ve improved quite a bit recently, so I wanted you to come along and beef up our image,” explained Tang Ning.

Su Jin scratched his head. “Miss Tang, this isn’t within my job scope, right? Besides, we’re all civilized people, right? It’s not very good for us to engage in fighting and killing, don’t you think?”

Tang Ning rolled her eyes. “And why didn’t you say something like that when you knocked out that poor guy at the taekwondo school? I don’t care, you’re an employee of the company and I’m your superior, so I have the right to delegate the work accordingly.” Tang Ning wasn’t here to negotiate or plead with Su Jin, so she quickly put him in his place.

“What about me?” Ye Yun hooked her arm around Tang Ning’s and looked at her cousin with hopeful eyes.

Tang Ning wasn’t giving in. She pressed a hand against Ye Yun’s head and said, “And how do you expect me to bring you along? What if you suddenly feel the urge to hit someone and end up in some fight to the death with the trainers? I’d like to keep my job, thank you very much!”

“Hey! I’ve turned over a new leaf!” Ye Yun puffed her cheeks angrily, which only made her look like a greedy little hamster to Su Jin. Ye Yun looked at Su Jin and used her eyes to signal to him to convince Tang Ning.

Su Jin couldn’t bear to disappoint Ye Yun, so he said to Tang Ning, “Why don’t we just bring her along? Uncle Yu can’t possibly watch her by himself and if she suddenly does feel the urge to bash someone up, I don’t think it’s a good idea to leave her at home either. It’ll be better if she’s constantly under our watch.”

“Hey, don’t make me sound like I’m some terrorist, will you?” Ye Yun was clearly displeased by Su Jin’s method of convincing her cousin, but both Tang Ning and Su Jin chose to ignore her displeasure.

“Fine, we’ll go with that then. But if she makes any trouble, you’re in charge of cleaning it up.” Tang Ning felt that what Su Jin said made sense too, so she agreed to it. After all, if she brought Su Jin along and Ye Yun got into trouble as a result, it would be her fault.

Su Jin eyed the overly excited Ye Yun and suddenly felt like he had made the wrong decision to help her convince Tang Ning. This girl definitely had some tricks up her sleeve!

Tang Ning eventually drove them to the airport. Their other colleagues were already there, but Tang Ning was in charge of this part of the business and had to be there too.

After they arrived at the airport, Su Jin saw a number of familiar faces among the welcome team. Li Zhikai was here, and even Li Man, the female colleague he helped at the gathering the last time, was here too.

“Is everything in place? Their flight is about to arrive, right? No delay?” Tang Ning asked Li Zhikai.

“There’s no delay announcement so far, so their flight should be on time. I heard that these trainers are all special forces soldiers who have retired from the US army. They’re all real experts who have actual battle experience!” Li Zhikai seemed especially excited.

“Well, we did ask the US side to send their best, so I’m not surprised that they have actual battle experience. Everyone, put on your best behavior, I want to give our guests a good impression,” Tang Ning said to everyone.

“Their flight has landed! You over there, get the welcome sign out!” yelled Li Zhikai to his colleagues after checking the flight status on his phone.

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