Chapter 1 – I Will Be Back!
– Military Region Hospital –
In the emergency room, five of the most elite doctors in the region were working together to operate on a young man covered in blood. His body was covered in tubes and needles. Other than the data on the electrocardiogram showing that he was still alive, the guy looked as good as dead.
Outside of the emergency room, two blood-stained miserable soldiers in rugged clothing were waiting like ants on a hot pan, finding it impossible to calm down.
Seeing how long the operation was dragging on, they could tell that the situation was becoming increasingly difficult.
After enduring through at least two hours of torment, the operation room’s door finally opened. The two soldiers, the instructor, and the superior, all rushed over and surrounded the doctors.
“How about it?”
Amongst the five doctors, four of them sighed and left, leaving one behind to inform the group of the outcome. “We saved him.”
The two soldiers and the superior all let out a sigh of relief, but from the doctor’s face, the instructor knew that he wasn’t done talking.
“What are the aftereffects? What is the expected extent of recovery?”
The doctor sighed, “The external and internal injuries aren’t concerning, but what’s most serious was that a genetic serum was injected into him during the battle that even we only saw for the first time. Strictly speaking, this genetic fluid belongs to the defective chemical category. Due to the late rescue, the serum had merged into his bloodstream, completely forcing the decline of his various physical capabilities.”
“This…” The instructor and the two comrades both had a bad feeling.
“What do you mean by a decline in physical capabilities? You mean, it will affect his overall strength and performance?”
The doctor nodded. “And the effect isn’t small. Later on, you can assess it. I’m very sorry, and it’s a pity for such a great soldier!”
The two soldiers and the officers at the scene all didn’t look too well after dismissing the doctor.
The soldiers covered their faces in grief. One of them couldn’t hold back his guilt and punched the wall, cutting his knuckles and bloodying his gloves.
“It was all my fault!” he said with bloodshot eyes. “Brother Cheng told me to retreat, it was me who…”
It was fine if he didn’t say anything, but the moment he started, the instructor grabbed onto his collar and said, “I’ve told you before every mission to completely follow Xu Cheng’s orders, especially during big operations like this. Did the two words ‘follow orders’ go down your stomach?”
“I… I just wanted to grab a souvenir to commemorate the success of this operation, who knew there would still be a survivor!”
Just then, the superior in the chair across from them finally opened his mouth. “What really happened?”
The other comrade squatted against the wall and slowly said, “Brother Cheng told us to retreat, and when Luo Yi went back wanting to grab something symbolic, an old biochemistry researcher attacked him from behind. Brother Cheng pushed down Luo Yi but was injected by that old man with a large dose of unknown genetic fluid.”
Hearing what happened, the superior looked at Luo Yi. “You can’t absolve yourself from the blame.”
Luo Yi replied, “I only feel sorry towards Brother Cheng.”
The instructor harshly interrupted, “It’s useless to say this nonsense, go in and look to see if he’s fine.”
The two comrades finally got up and entered the ward.
Staying behind, the instructor asked the superior, “Can he still join the Dragon Division like this?”
The superior answered a bit unwillingly, “The assessment mission was perfectly executed, and they did demolish the research base. However, many of Xu Cheng’s physical capabilities decline, and you also know that the Dragon Division only takes the elites. We will still have to wait for the assessment team to finish testing out his overall strength, but you should prepare for the worst. Of course, you shouldn’t be discouraged. You recommended the three of them to Dragon, don’t you still have the other two? They also finished this mission so that they can join Dragon now.”
The instructor didn’t look too well, and he just leaned against the wall and smoked a cigarette.
Luo Yi who was leaning against the ward’s door on the other side heard the whole conversation, tears rolling out from his bloodshot eyes.
The other good buddy of theirs sat quietly by the bed, already having guessed the result. He didn’t say anything, but just quietly tucked a quiver under Xu Cheng’s body. There was nothing else he wanted to say, and he had already beaten Luo Yi up in the corridor of the hospital earlier.
– On the next day –
Xu Cheng waited outside of the physical examination room, waiting for the assessment result. He waited quietly in the corridor, wiping the sweat off his body with a towel, while Luo Yi sat on the side with bloodshot eyes, not saying a word. He didn’t dare to listen to the announcement of the result. What would happen if it declared the separation of the group? As the buddy team of three since day one of enlistment, it would never be the same anymore with the absence of Xu Cheng. Xu Cheng also didn’t say a word as he took a seat.
The person in charge of the examination came out with a folder and said to Xu Cheng in the corridor, “The results are not ideal, do you still want to hear it?”
Xu Cheng nodded, smiling bitterly and saying, “Go ahead.”
“Your explosiveness power, speed, strength, and other stats all exhibited drastic decline, dropping from grade A to C.”
The physical stats and explosive strengths of ordinary people started from the E+ level to D for some of the more powerful ones, and professional athletes could usually reach the D+ level. Above that, there was C and C+, and then B, B+, A, A+, S…
But right now, Xu Cheng’s current ‘C’ level basically indicated that he was only slightly above ordinary people, but it was far too big of a gap with the minimum entrance requirement of B to enter the Dragon Division. It was no wonder that the staff didn’t have the heart to tell him.
Xu Cheng still had a smile on his face, but his heart was full of bitterness.
After the staff left, Luo Yi bent down and sat there crying.
Xu Cheng went over, tapped on his shoulder and sighed, “Learn how to take care of yourself once you get to the Dragon Division and remember to follow orders. Don’t fool around anymore.”
“Brother Cheng…” Luo Yi wept and gave Xu Cheng a big hug, “It was all my fault! I’m sorry…”
Xu Cheng patted him on the back and got out of the hug, proceeding to walk down the stairs. The bitter and sour feeling inside of Luo Yi surged as he watched Xu Cheng’s back as he left. Xu Cheng saw the third member of their little group when he got to the front gate. He smiled, “Work hard and make me proud.”
Li Wei nodded. “I will wait for you at Dragon Division.”
More words would sound melodramatic; only a short sentence was enough to express his trust in Xu Cheng.
Xu Cheng smiled, he then went back to his dorm and packed up. He wasn’t that kind of guy. Not meeting standards meant not meeting standards, and that meant disqualification. He wouldn’t stay here anymore to be a burden or have his friends appeal to the emotions of their superior.
After packing, Xu Cheng looked at the framed picture of the three of them. Finally, he placed the photo into his suitcase and left the dorm.
– Inside the instructor’s office –
“Xu Cheng, can I dismiss your request to leave? Although your stats went down, you can still stay behind as an instructor and help manage the recruits.”
“Sir, I just want to enjoy some peace and take a break, you don’t have to try to convince me.” Xu Cheng bitterly smiled. “You know me, I only wanted to leave my best side at the military camp.”
“But you are still an outstanding soldier!”
“But far from being enough!”
The instructor sighed helplessly. Then, he took out a reference letter and said, “I believe that you can overcome this obstacle and come back again. This is a position I’ve arranged for you with a friend of mine at the public security bureau in your home city Shangcheng. If you want a stable job, you need to go there with this letter and report in.
“Thanks.” Xu Cheng saluted to his instructor. Then, he took the letter and left.
He left because he didn’t want Luo Yi and the others to feel guilty. To get into the Dragon Division, all of them had trained very hard for the past few years. He didn’t want them to decline the call of the Dragon just for him.
When he arrived at the military camp’s gate, he took one last look at this basecamp he spent the past five years in. This didn’t mean the end. He will be back and make it into the Dragon Division because becoming a part of it was his biggest dream as a soldier! If he were to give up now because of such an incident, he wouldn’t be Xu Cheng anymore, nor would he deserve to be Xu Ren’s son! His father had been his pride for his whole life, and his dream was to one day make it into the Dragon Division, fulfilling his dad’s ambition in his place.
He grinned at the instructor and the others, “I will be back!”
Behind him, all the soldiers and instructors in the camp all saluted to show respect for all the glory he had brought to the 5th Military Region.