Yin Zi Messed with Lao Zhou
Translate: Nancy | Edit: Sae | Proofread: anasofi
By the time the troops arrived at the secluded training ground, it was already past midnight. Many of the soldiers had fallen asleep at the back of the vehicle while Bai Luo Yin, on the other hand, sat behind the driver’s seat. As soon as the vehicle came to a complete stop at the station, he immediately turned his head back toward the dozen soldiers, whose heads were wobbling from side to side in their sleep and shouted an order. “We have arrived. Wake up, all of you. Stop sleeping!”
That sonorous reminder caused the driver in the front to jump in fright. It’s already this late at night, and he sat for such a long ride, how come he’s still so energetic?
Bai Luo Yin stood outside of the vehicle and watched as the soldiers got off, one by one.
Liu Chong was one of the last few to get off. When he caught sight of Bai Luo Yin standing with that awe-inspiring presence in front of the vehicle door, he consciously walked faster. But once he was actually off, he quickly turned around and ran after the larger group of soldiers ahead.
With one stretch of his arm, Bai Luo Yin firmly dragged him back.
Ever since Gu Hai punished him last time, this little officer had always kept at least three meters away from Bai Luo Yin.
“Are you holding a grudge against me?” Bai Luo Yin’s voice was soft and gentle for once, which was rare to come by.
Liu Chong smiled reservedly, “I’ve never held any grudges against you. When I had just enlisted in the military, my life would have been extremely difficult that year if it wasn’t for your additional care. I thought about a lot of things recently and felt that I have been a bit selfish. I had always believed that I was expressing my concerns for you, but contrary to my expectations… I was actually creating unnecessary problems for you.”
Bai Luo Yin narrowed his eyes slightly as he scrutinized Liu Chong. “So, you haven’t shown your face lately because you were busy thinking about all those useless things?”
“No, it’s not…” Liu Chong awkwardly scratched his head, “I have been training hard to make up for all the sessions that I missed before. If I didn’t make the most of it, I might not have been able to take part in this flight mission.”
Bai Luo Yin nodded, “That’s good, being ambitious is always great!”
Although Bai Luo Yin said that, Liu Chong noticed that he was more unusual than other days. His eyes were glistening with enthusiasm—emitting a ray of resplendent light in the dark night. It was as if he wasn’t affected by the exhaustion of this journey even the slightest, and his whole body was exuding vibrancy and an endless stream of life force.
“Xiao Bai, are all your men here?” asked an urgent voice from afar.
Bai Luo Yin patted Liu Chong’s shoulder, “It’s good that you’re not holding a grudge against me. Let’s chat again when we have some time. Now, go and have a good rest!”
With that said, he ran toward the few people standing a short distance away.
Just a little after 2AM in the morning, when all the soldiers went to sleep in their pre-arranged living quarters, a lone figure stood tall and straight in the flight control tower. Zhou Ling Yun’s honest gaze stared fixedly into the endless night at the base that stretched out as far as he could see—a majestic beauty transpired beneath the gathering dusk and boundless starry sky, bringing forth a gust of comforting wind that penetrated the field. Not too far off, dozens of fighter jets lined up in formation with their fuselages151 displaying a powerful aura, looking as though they had accumulated enough energy and were waiting to take off at the command of the pilots.
With just a glance, excitement indistinctively permeated Zhou Ling Yun’s heart.
Suddenly, firm footsteps sounded from behind him; the sonorous and rhythmic steps clearly exposed its owner impassioned emotion.
Zhou Ling Yun was secretly flabbergasted. Aside from a mental case like him, who else was not asleep at this time of the night and purposely ran here to admire the training ground? Since anyone could remember, Zhou Ling Yun’s madness for aviation was the basis of his existence. That being the case, very few people actually understood that passion of his.
“It’s beautiful!” The person behind him exclaimed in admiration.
Hearing that startled Zhou Ling Yun, and a cold shiver ran up his spine. How come that voice sounded so familiar? When he turned around to look, it was unexpectedly Bai Luo Yin! Zhou Ling Yun was extremely surprised. How can it be Bai Luo Yin? Usually, no matter what the mission is or where it is located, as soon as we arrive at the destination, Bai Luo Yin would definitely be the first to sleep. What is wrong with him today?
A certain Xiao Bai walked toward Zhou Ling Yun, each of the footsteps he landed on the ground were vigorous and awe-inspiring.
“You’re also here! What a coincidence!”
A moment of silence turned up; it was the first time that Zhou Ling Yun had ever seen Bai Luo Yin encased with such a lively and enthusiastic appearance during the night time. It looked as though he had been injected with 5000cc of chicken blood,152 standing there with his head held high, nearly crowing away.
“Why aren’t you sleeping yet?” Zhou Ling Yun examined Bai Luo Yin with uncertainty.
Bai Luo Yin’s voice sounded rather bold, “I’m too excited, I can’t sleep!”
In comparison to Bai Luo Yin, Zhou Ling Yun appeared to be very dispirited instead; he even revealed an incomprehensible expression.
“Excited? What’s there to be excited about?”
As if he was taking an oath, Bai Luo Yin declared loudly: “The thirty days or more of training will be commencing soon. During that time, we are going to soar through the blue sky, overlooking mother earth, while moving toward our new objectives. Is that alone not worthy enough for us to be excited about? Many Air Force soldiers are set to advance into the battlefield under our command. They have come fully prepared and will certainly return with an abundance of experiences from this rewarding journey!!”
Zhou Ling Yun, “…”
When Bai Luo Yin did not get a response after waiting for quite some time, he turned to look at Zhou Ling Yun with an aghast expression.
“How come you’re not that enthusiastic today?”
Zhou Ling Yun’s Adam’s apple shifted, “Maybe you’re just overly enthusiastic?”
Bai Luo Yin patted Zhou Ling Yun’s shoulder with a sturdy and resolute palm—that amount of strength was astonishingly powerful, enough to render anyone temporarily immobile.
“Let’s strive together!! Hahaha…”
As Zhou Ling Yun watched Bai Luo Yin’s silhouette gradually fade, his heart was suddenly attacked by a vicious chill. What demonic entity took possession of that kid?
After sleeping for less than an hour, Zhou Ling Yun got out of bed. Unsurprising, he was always the first one to get up in the morning (in the entire military). No matter what season it was or how late he slept, he would still wake up at 4AM. The biological clock constructed in his brain was so precise that anyone would be frightened.
Once he was done washing his face and rinsing his mouth, Zhou Ling Yun went to the training ground to exercise. Although the sky was still kissed with darkness and the moon was bright with scanted stars, there were a few lonely silhouettes within his line of sight—if it wasn’t the cleaning crew, then it had to be the soldiers standing guard.
When he recalled Bai Luo Yin’s unusual flare of enthusiasm last night, Zhou Jing Yun snorted to himself. That kid will definitely arrive late today.
“Commander, you’re really lazy. Are you just getting up now?!”
Zhou Jing Yun was taken by surprise as he followed the source of the sound only to see that a figure was running on the track to their heart’s content. Not only that, the figure looked more and more familiar, and when he went over for a look, it was actually Bai Luo Yin.
“You didn’t sleep?” Zhou Ling Yun asked.
The fringe on Bai Luo Yin’s forehead was already drenched with sweat, and the rhythm of his footsteps was tapping along with Zhou Ling Yun’s heartbeat.
“I did. I slept for ten minutes.”
Just as those words dropped, he suddenly sped up and galloped away like a mighty steed, pressing toward a raging battleground, right in front of Zhou Ling Yun’s eyes.
Stopping in track, Zhou Ling Yun turned to look at the soldier standing guard and asked, “When did he get here?”
The stiffened muscles on the soldier’s face moved as he responded with difficulty, “I’ve already seen him run for more than twenty laps around the track.”
Zhou Ling Yun, “…”
That morning, the curtain was finally lifted to officially begin the highly difficult and challenging flight training as dozens of fighter jets slipped out of the hangar153 onto the start of the runway—waiting for some action after resting all night. They glided, sped up with a forbidding power and took off… two silver F-15E Strike Eagles154 rose high into the sky and gradually whizzed off into the distance. As they whistled and spiraled over the largest slope, flew invertedly at low altitude through the field, and turned to land at the sharpest angle… those series of soul-stirring and thrilling maneuvers incessantly unfolded before Zhou Ling Yun’s eyes.
Although Zhou Ling Yun was usually at the control tower giving orders, he would occasionally enter a fighter jet and demonstrate flying techniques in person. Those types of techniques were completely different in comparison to the ones employed on a regular basis. Such exceedingly difficult maneuvers were the ultimate challenge to anyone’s physical limitations. With a training regime of three to four hours of uninterrupted flight time, only Zhou Ling Yun would dare to command such an intense training mission, and only his soldiers could withstand that type of torment.
After some time, Zhou Ling Yun finally drew the horn to end the training.
One by one, all the Air Force pilots emerged from within the cockpits of the fighter jets—some were dripping with sweat, some were feeling unstable when they walked; it was as if they were floating, and there were even a few who were showing signs of nausea and dizziness, when they normally had a pretty good physical endurance.
With a slight hint in his eyes to send them off, Zhou Ling Yun watched as the soldiers exited the training ground.
Just as he was about to leave, three fighter jets suddenly soared into the sky again—one of which was Bai Luo Yin’s and the other two that immediately followed after were his soldiers’. The three fighter jets began to perform those highly difficult maneuvers again. Weighing more than ten tons, those fearless machines were as light and quick as a bird under their skillful control.
As Zhou Ling Yun narrowed his eyes slightly, there was a bit of surprise dwelling in them.
Bai Luo Yin seemed to have truly changed for this training mission.
To have the courage to continue in a state of combat after Zhou Ling Yun had given the command to stop, to simply sum it up, that person was indubitably courting death.
That kind of energy and enthusiasm could be awarded, but the strategy was inappropriate.
Without hesitation, Zhou Ling Yun walked toward that area. After the three fighter jets landed, aside from Bai Luo Yin, the two remaining soldiers had already lost all the blood from their faces, leaving their complexion as white as a ghost.
“All right, go rest,” Zhou Ling Yun said with a rarely heard tone, relenting for once. “Save some energy for later. There are still more than thirty days left.”
Unexpectedly, Bai Luo Yin declined on the spot. “That won’t do. Today’s training was not up to standard—don’t even think about resting for a second.”
In the past, Zhou Ling Yun was the one who created all kinds of difficulties while Bai Luo Yin shielded them from the side. But today, it was the opposite.
“If you’re going to train that way, it’s better not to train at all.”
Bai Luo Yin did not concede even the slightest, “The ability to train is forced out purely by willpower, and a person’s potential is unlimited! Get back in!”
In front of Zhou Ling Yun’s stunned gaze, the three fighter jets once again charged into the clouds.
With that event in mind, Zhou Ling Yun decided to take advantage of dinner time to have a good chat with Bai Luo Yin.
Bai Luo Yin walked straight into the mess hall155 with his anti-g suit156 still on, as if he had just got out of his fighter jet. He took off his helmet only to reveal his head, completely covered in sweat while his hair was dripping wet.
“What do you want to say to me?” Bai Luo Yin asked, breathing heavily.
Zhou Ling Yun signaled for him to sit down, “Let’s sit down and have a chat.”
A moment later, an armed force chef came to serve their food and brought an additional plate prepared especially for Bai Luo Yin. Having personally witnessed how Bai Luo Yin had not rested properly since last night and had then trained so arduously throughout the day, Zhou Ling Yun wanted to let him have a good meal in order to restore his body.
As a result, Bai Luo Yin merely took a glance and berated the chef. “Who allowed you to make these additional plates for us to eat? Are you trying to curry favors through such a dishonorable behavior? Or, are trying to set us and the soldiers against each other?”
“No, it’s not…” The chef glanced nervously at Zhou Ling Yun, “Yes…”
“What are you blathering on about by saying yes, then no? Hurry up and take it away!! Just bring out whatever is left and take these foods to the soldiers that aren’t feeling well!”
Once again, Zhou Ling Yun was taken aback by Bai Luo Yin’s unusual behavior. He had heard long ago that Bai Luo Yin’s appetite was particularly difficult to please, and he hardly ate the food from the mess hall. Not only that, but someone also delivered food for him to eat every day. What’s wrong with him today?
Since Bai Luo Yin was determined to lead a plain and hard-working life, as a leader, Zhou Ling Yun could not say much to oppose to it. He had no other choice but to accompany him to eat the steamed buns and leftovers.
Bai Luo Yin took big mouthfuls of the buns—practically consuming one with just three bites. Then, before Zhou Ling Yun picked up his chopsticks, five buns had already been devoured into Bai Luo Yin’s stomach. Just as Zhou Ling Yun took a bite of a bun, the vegetable soup had already been completely emptied… down to the very last drop.
After letting out a burp, Bai Luo Yin turned to ask Zhou Ling Yun, “Commander, what did you want to talk to me about?”
Zhou Ling Yun choked on the piece of bun in his mouth as he stared attentively at Bai Luo Yin for a moment. Then for some reason, he shook his head rather robotically as a response.
Seeing that, Bai Luo Yin quickly grabbed his flight helmet and said excitedly, “Then, I’m going back to train.”
Later that night, Zhou Ling Yun only returned to his own room to rest once he was certain that the lights in Bai Luo Yin’s dormitory were turned off.
Just when he was in a daze and was about to fall asleep, he was suddenly awakened by an intense burst of rumbling noise. Since Zhou Ling Yun had served as a pilot for many years, he could easily tell where that sound came from. It’s already this late, who is secretly training out there?
He quickly draped a jacket over his shoulders and walked out. When his gaze swept over to look at the fighter jet that had just taken off, his complexion immediately turned green.
It was actually Bai Luo Yin again!!
If that had happened once or twice, Zhou Ling Yun could still feel a bit of happiness rush through his heart, but it was an entirely different story if it occurred repeatedly.
Once he was properly dressed and walked out yet again, Zhou Ling Yun forcefully ordered Bai Luo Yin to land without delay. Then, he trussed157 him up, dragged him back to the dorm and threw him on the bed before helping him take off his anti-g suit and covering him up with a blanket. With those done, he finally turned off the lights, feeling a sense of relief as he left.
To Zhou Ling Yun’s surprise, his bed had just warmed up when a loud rumbling noise burst through his door again— with a blackened face, he rushed back outside.
This time, not only did he shepherded Bai Luo Yin back to the dorm, but he also locked the door from the outside.
In the end, being a master of lockpicking, Bai Luo Yin was able to easily pick the door open in less than three minutes.
Zhou Ling Yun had just sat down on his bed when the rumbling noise pierced his eardrums yet again. Then, he was completely enraged.
As a result of that, he dragged Bai Luo Yin back to his own room, pushed him down next to his pillow and watched him sleep.
At long last, the night became silent.
Zhou Ling Yun had also sunk into dreamland. He dreamt that he was flying a fighter jet, charging into a formidable battlefield. But just as he engaged in a gallant fight with the enemies, his fighter jet suddenly started to shake uncontrollably—no matter how hard he tried to stabilize it, it was all in vain. That, inadvertently, caused his body to also shake along with the jet.
When he suddenly woke up with a start, he realized that there was actually someone shaking him. A face was hovering above his, staring at him with a pair of widened and wintry eyes that were seemingly doused with a sprinkle of happiness and balefulness.
“Arrange a training mission just for me,” Bai Luo Yin faintly stated with a matter-of-fact tone.
Zhou Ling Yun stretched his hand toward Bai Luo Yin’s forehead.
However, Bai Luo Yin single-handedly gripped his wrist and shook it vigorously, to the point that Zhou Ling Yun nearly fell to the ground.
A second later, Bai Luo Yin’s thunderous voice directly struck Zhou Ling Yun’s now fragile ears. “Why won’t you let me train? Why won’t you let me train? I want to train!!!”
Zhou Ling Yun, “…”
151 fuselage – the main body of an aircraft.
152 (打)雞血: lit. to inject chicken blood; (coll.) extremely excited or energetic (often used mockingly).
153 hangar – is a closed building structure to hold an aircraft, or spacecraft. Hangars are used for protection from the weather, direct sunlight, maintenance, repair, manufacture, assembly, and storage of aircraft on airfields, aircraft carriers and ships.
154 F-15E Strike Eagle – (now Boeing) is an American all-weather multirole strike fighterderived from the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. The F-15E was designed in the 1980s for long-range, high speed interdiction without relying on escort or electronic-warfare aircraft. The Strike Eagle is intended to fulfill both roles of air-to-air superiority and ground strike with the capability to operate in all weather, low altitude and day/night sorties thanks to a battery of improved internal systems. Maintaining the same qualities that have made the original F-15 Eagle before it such a success, the F-15E Strike Eagle incorporates enough new elements to make it stand apart from the preceding designs. As a whole, the Strike Eagle provides the USAF with a system that can fight its way into enemy territory, destroy its assigned ground targets, and then fight its way back out all on its own without the need for dedicated air support elements. United States Air Force (USAF) F-15E Strike Eagles can be distinguished from other U.S. Eagle variants by darker aircraft camouflage and conformal fuel tanks mounted along the engine intake ramps (although CFTs can also be mounted on earlier F-15 variants)… is a dual-role version of the highly successful base F-15 air superiority fighter.
TAKE NOTE: The Chinese counterpart of the novel does not clarify what fighter jet was used, but based on the description, it MAY BE the F-15E Strike Eagle or its predecessor, the F-15 Strike. The Operators that the unit has been assigned, and the bases it has been stationed are: Israel, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and the United State. Although China was not mentioned, since this is a fiction novel we will pretend that China is one of the operators of this unit.
155 mess hall – is an area where military personnel socialize, eat, and (in some cases) live. The term is also used to indicate the groups of military personnel who belong to separate messes, such as the Officers’ mess, the CPOs’ mess, the Enlisted mess. The root of messis the Old French mes, “portion of food” (cf. modern French mets), drawn from the Latin verb mittere, meaning “to send” and “to put” (cf. modern French mettre), the original sense being “a course of a meal put on the table”; cfr. also the modern Italian portata with the same meaning, past participle of portare, to bring.
156 Anti-g(ravity) suit – is a flight suit worn by aviators and astronauts who are subject to high levels of acceleration force. It is designed to prevent a blackout and g-LOC (g-induced loss of consciousness) caused by the blood pooling in the lower part of the body when under acceleration, thus depriving the brain of blood. Black-out and g-LOC have caused a number of fatal aircraft accidents.
157 五花大绑 wǔhuādàbǎng (idiom) – to bind a person’s upper body, with arms tied behind the back and rope looped around the neck / to truss up.