Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 92
There was a total of ten events in the competition of the twenty-six guards in the capital, such as running, climbing, archery, hand-to-hand combat, horse fighting, formations, etc., but only three were competed every year. On the day of the competition, Emperor Jingshun would personally select it, so as to prevent the test event from being leaked in advance, causing some guard station officials to be prepared, which hindered fairness.
Eunuch Ma held a bamboo tube containing ten bamboo sticks and walked past the civil and military ministers, the concubines and the womenfolk one by one, letting everyone see clearly that there were no marks on the exposed parts of the bamboo sticks.
Then, Eunuch Ma stood in front of Emperor Jingshun again.
Emperor Jingshun glanced at the sky.
He obviously wanted to take care of his son-in-law, but ended up choosing that “Gao Dazhuang” guy. Obviously, in this competition, his luck was against his son-in-law.
Some of those ten events focus more on skills. If you choose these, Gao Dazhuang’s disadvantage would not be so obvious.
“Zhen always done it year after year. Let’s ask the Crown Prince to come this year.” Emperor Jingshun still wanted to take care of his son-in-law. Since he was unlucky, maybe the crown prince would be better.
The crown prince’s eyes lit up.
Eunuch Ma came over with a smile.
The crown prince thanked his father emperor and then took a draw.
This year’s three events were quickly announced, namely running, archery, and hand-to-hand combat!
The three events have different scoring methods, and the final ranking was based on the total score of each guard station in those three events.
Emperor Jingshun sighed secretly, forget it, at least your eyesight is more important in archery, let the other two games be left to fate.
Eunuch Ma loudly announced the first competition, the running race!
The so-called running race referred to a ten-man relay race. Each soldier had to run around the martial arts field from east to west, and then turn back. They would then rank according to the performance of the last soldier in each guard station to finish.
Running was the most basic ability of a soldier and did not require any complicated skills. The scoring was also very simple. The first guard station who finished first get “twenty-six points” and the last guard station get “one point”.
Twenty-six commanders quickly brought their ten-man teams to the starting point.
After getting into their position, the commander had a half-quarter of an hour to boost morale or formulate tactics.
But what tactics were needed for relay running? Everyone just needed to go all out!
Because the other commanders didn’t move much, when Chen Jingzong called Gao Dazhuang out alone, the spectators immediately noticed it.
Princess Nan Kang shook her head regretfully and said in a voice that could not be heard by Emperor Jingshun: “This Gao Dazhuang is so thin. Even if my brother-in-law has a clever trick, he may not be able to use it.”
Wan Yi sat upright and didn’t look at Princess Nan Kang. She just pursed her lips.
Hua Yang held the exquisite small hand stove with an indifferent expression.
When Gao Dazhuang returned to the team, he stood at the front of their team.
The palace man waving the flag saw the time, and when the half-quarter hour came, he waved the flag down suddenly, and the drums on the side of the honor guard sounded like thunder.
The twenty-six soldiers at the front immediately set off!
Almost everyone stared at Gao Dazhuang.
Only a strong body could run fast, and Gao Dazhuang was so thin. Even though he cleverly tightened the loose clothes around his waist to reduce the resistance of the wind, at the moment of starting, he was still left behind by the others. Then the distance became farther and farther. So far that some soft-hearted spectators felt sorry for him.
Most of the other soldiers who stayed behind laughed at Gao Dazhuang.
Qin Wei and the others gritted their teeth and clenched their hands, wishing they could rush up to help Gao Dazhuang run, but they could only watch helplessly.
The length of race was fifty zhang (equivalent to 3.3 m), and when Gao Dazhuang reached about thirty zhang, the soldiers from Jinyiwei and Jinwu Vanguard had already reached the opposite side and started running back.
On the way back, Gao Dazhuang obviously ran slower due to lack of physical strength. When he finally ran back and fell to the ground in embarrassment, the second person of several guard stations had almost finished their turn.
The moment Gao Dazhuang fell to the ground, and the moment the laughter and mocking erupted, Qin Wei gritted his teeth and rushed out.
He was like a gust of wind, rushing forward as if there was no one around. All he could see was Gao Dazhuang’s figure, and the blood spurting out before Gao Dazhuang fell to the ground.
Figures of people intertwined, and the emperor, empress, and others on the viewing platform could still tell which guard station they belonged to base on the patches on the chest and back of each soldier. However, the soldiers who were actually running had no mind to distinguish this. They only knew that there were people running forward behind them, and there were people coming back in front of them. They only remembered their placement in their own guard station, and based on the results of their previous teammates, they judged the approximate ranking of their own guard station.
Among the twenty-six guard stations, except for a few commanders, most of them were not very motivated. Why fight? The emperor valued Jinyiwei the most. The first place would always belong to Jinyiwei. The last one was either Daxing Left Guard or the other that ranked at the bottom previously. They just need to maintain their previous rankings and not fall too far. Anyway, the really important generals were all at the border, and the cabinet did not take these commanders seriously.
These commanders have no ambition to compete for the top three, and they usually trained the soldiers half-heartedly. How could the soldiers below do their best?
You couldn’t be lazy when fighting alone. But if ten people ran together, even if they lose, they shared the responsibility as a team. There was nothing to be afraid of. At most, they would get a few scoldings.
The few guards who were far ahead were still working hard, but Daxing Left Guard, who was in the last place, was working harder than them!
Just because each of them heard the ridicule of other guards when Gao Dazhuang ran, because each of them saw Gao Dazhuang sitting on the ground wiping tears.
They may not have known Gao Dazhuang before, but after three nights of getting along, they all knew how simple Gao Dazhuang was and how guilty Gao Dazhuang felt in his heart!
If they could get their points back, Gao Dazhuang would feel a lot better!
Lei Qiang was the last one to set off from the Daxing Left Guard. At this time, the last of ten guard stations were still waiting for the previous teammate to return, and the last of nine guard stations had also just set off.
Gao Dazhuang had already stood up, and along with Qin Wei and others, he roared to cheer for Lei Qiang!
Lei Qiang was the most impatient among the ten people, and he could hold his breath for the longest time. He was anxious when their guard station was destined to lose, but now that guard station had a chance to compete for the top ten, he was even more anxious!
With a loud shout, Lei Qiang rushed out like a wild horse!
Emperor Jingshun secretly clenched his fists. At this moment, he looked at every soldier in Daxing Left Guard as if he was looking at his own son-in-law!
When Lei Qiang arrived at the west side, he had already surpassed the seven people at the front!
There were two more in front of him when he returned. As long as he surpassed these two, Daxing Left Guard would be able to get seventh place in the running race and win “twenty points” for their guard station!
Wan Yi’s whole body was shaking nervously.
Hua Yang smiled and held the little girl’s hand.
With the sound of drums thundering in the sky, and with only about ten feet left from the finish line, Lei Qiang struggled to pass the last one in front of him, ran over with a loud shout, and threw himself into the encirclement of Qin Wei and the others!
Ten people hugged each other, shouting and jumping!
Emperor Jingshun looked them with a smile for a long time. When the ten people were no longer so excited, he stroked his beard, looked past the crown prince, and said to Chen Tingjian: “Prince Consort is very good. Cabinet Elder is also a role model for fathers in the world. The sons you taught are master of pen and sword!”
Chen Tingjian stood up and said with humility: “Your Majesty praised too much. This minister may have some advice for the eldest son and third son. As for Prince Consort, this minister has far less together than apart, so this minister is too ashamed to take the credit. In the past three years, it’s all thanks to the Princess’s encouragement and advice that he’s able achieve some success in military training.”
Although he knew it was flattery, Emperor Jingshun was still very pleased and went to look at his daughter again.
Hua Yang said with a smile: “Father Emperor, please don’t listen to Cabinet Elder, where does Daughter know how to train soldiers. This is all Prince Consort’s own credit. Moreover, this is the first round. We don’t know what will happen next.”
Emperor Jingshun: “Based on this first performance, Prince Consort and Daxing Left Guard both deserve Zhen’s commendation.”
On the martial arts field, after Qin Wei, Lei Qiang and others finished with their celebration, they all came to care about Gao Dazhuang’s injury.
Gao Dazhuang said with a smile: “I’m fine, just tired after running.”
Qin Wei: “You vomited blood and you still said you’re fine?”
Gao Dazhuang looked at the prince consort who was talking to other commanders not far away, and said with a low smile: “Sir said that an army burning with righteous indignation is bound to win. He asked me to deliberately show weakness, and the blood is also a chicken blood he prepared in advance.”
Qin Wei and the others:…
In front of the emperor, prince consort dared to give chicken blood, and Gao Dazhuang really dared to vomit!
However, even if they knew that they were all deceived by Prince Consort and Gao Dazhuang, winning was still winning!
On the commanders’ side, Jinyiwei commander Liu Shou and Jinwu Vanguard commander Qi Jin walked towards Chen Jingzong together.
Of these two, one was Chen Jingzong’s former superior, and the other was related to him by marriage.
“Prince Consort is very capable. Daxing Left Guard is expected to be among the top five this year.” Liu Shou said with a smile. He was over forty years old and had a capable face.
Qi Jin smiled and said: “Not only the top five, if there is not Gao Dazhuang, Daxing Zuowei will also have a chance to come in second place.”
Chen Jingzong’s voice was hearty: “The two Sirs are joking. I don’t dare to think about the top five. As long as I am not the last one, I will treat everyone to a drink!”
The Yanshan Rear Guard commander, who previously came second to last, was also standing on the side. Hearing this sentence, his heart trembled.
It’s over. Wouldn’t they come in last place this year?
After the first round was scored, all soldiers have half an hour to rest.
The nobles and ministers on the viewing platform could also move around, otherwise they would be tired from sitting all the time.
Wan Yi wanted to talk to her fourth uncle.
Hua Yang led Wan Yi to the east side of the viewing platform.
She was wearing a gorgeous red dress, with the hem embroidered with peonies fluttering in the wind. It was not obvious when sitting among everyone before, but when she led Wan Yi to appear on the side of the high platform that was more than one person tall, almost all the resting soldier glanced over, simultaneously looked at the graceful figure standing in the wind.
They were far away, and they couldn’t actually see the princess’s facial features clearly. They could only see a face as white as jade. But the more hazy it was, the more the beauty seemed like a fairy descending to earth.
Qi Jin was originally talking to Liu Shou, but his eyes suddenly focused in that direction.
Liu Shou looked over in confusion. When he looked at Qi Jin again, Qi Jin had already return to normal.
At the same time, a figure ran out from over here.
A low and hearty laughter erupted among the group of soldiers. A bunch of robust men, if it weren’t for the presence of the princess and the empress on the side, they would dare to lift the sky with their laughter.
Chen Jingzong didn’t take it seriously, and came to the foot of the high platform with a vigorous and calm posture.
He looked up.
Hua Yang smiled and pushed Wan Yi forward.
Only then did Chen Jingzong look at his niece.
Wan Yi said with sincere admiration: “Fourth uncle, you are so awesome, even better than my father and Third Uncle!”
Chen Jingzong smiled and moved his eyes to Hua Yang’s face again.
The wind was cold, but his eyes were burning, Hua Yang said with her eyes on the martial arts arena: “There are two more rounds, don’t be too proud yet.”
Chen Jingzong: “Don’t dare. I’m not sure about those two rounds. Don’t expect me to win.”
There was no serious moment with him. Hua Yang glared at him and walked away with Wan Yi in hand.
TN: Let me say happy lunar new year in advance. May the dragon year be the prosperous year for you 🥳🐉