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TDRA Chapter 52

New Training Program

After leaving the neighbourhood, Gu Ning turned into a side street and dialled the mobile number which she had memorized in her head when she reached the phone booth.

After a burst of melodious music, a still slightly sleepy, lazy, and slightly impatient voice sounded at the opposite end of the receiver: “Hello?”

Gu Ning replied: “Hello, Good morning, Fang Fa, it’s me.”

Fang Fa on the other end of the phone seemed to come to his senses all of a sudden: “Gu Ning?”

“Hmm. It’s me.” Gu Ning paused then asked: “That, I want to ask about the favour that I had asked your help yesterday……”

Without waiting for Gu Ning to finish, Fang Fa interrupted her: “It’s already done, come and collect the money.”

After saying that, he hung up the phone.

Gu Ning stared at the phone in her hand, it felt as if Fang Fa was angry?

“What’s wrong with you? What’s with the stinky face this early in the morning? Who has offended you?” Lao Li asked slowly as he sat down opposite Fang Fa after fetching some water.

“Urgh……” Fang Fa sighed, but uncharacteristically didn’t argue with Lao Li, instead of lying on the table and frowning sadly: “I feel like a fool.”

Lao Li was happy to hear this and jeered with a smile: “Hey! Looks like something big has appeared!”

“Ugh——“ Fang Fa sighed again.

When Fang Fa received the call to go out, he had already made up his mind to make it clear to Gu Ning that he would not do such things for her in the future. He felt like an errand boy. If she still asked for help this time, he must firmly refuse her, to let her know that he was not someone who could just come and go, he was also very busy, okay?

Fang Fa was replaying his speech in his mind before he walked towards Gu Ning who was standing in the courtyard.

Before he had the time to hand over the plastic bag, Gu Ning snatched a step ahead and handed him a very delicately wrapped paper box.

“What is it?” Fang Fa stared at the paper box that Gu Ning handed over and subconsciously took it before asking: “It’s for me?”

Gu Ning nodded: “Mm. I bought it when I was passing by the cake shop, I don’t know if you will like it.”

Faced with Gu Ning’s vaguely expectant gaze, Fang Fa had forgotten that his least favourite food was this creamy and sweet dessert, but he subconsciously replied: “Like the food……”

Gu Ning revealed with a light-hearted smile: “That’s good then.”

Fang Fa paused and handed over the black plastic bag in his hand: “Because you wanted the money urgently, the other party had lowered the price a little, so I guess it will be a little less than the market price. Here is 17,000 yuan. Also, the remaining 20,000 yuan, give me your account number and he will transfer it to you.”

Gu Ning took it, holding a thick pile of banknotes, and couldn’t help but sigh with relief. She revealed a smile before pulling out ten of the seventeen thousand dollars and returning them to Fang Fa: “This is the money to pay you back.”

Fang Fa took the money and put it directly into his pocket, then glanced at the black plastic bag that was clutched in Gu Ning’s hand half-jokingly and said: “You’re not going to count it? I’m not responsible for anything less when it’s out of my sight.”

Gu Ning smiled, then looked at Fang Fa and answered: “Fang Fa, I don’t have many friends, and I’m glad to have a friend like you.”

Fang Fa froze for a moment, struck by the sincerity in Gu Ning’s eyes, he sighed in his heart and replied: “I’m quite happy too.”

Gu Ning smiled and continued: “I’ll be busy lately. When I have time, I’ll treat you to dinner.”

Fang Fa said: “You should buy yourself a mobile phone first…… It’s not even convenient to contact you.”

“Hmm. Okay. I’ll call you when I get a phone. I’ll go first then.”Gu Ning replied and waved at him, grabbed the plastic bag, and strolled away.

Fang Fa watched Gu Ning walk out the gate, then lifted the paper box and stared at it. Scratching his head, as in the end he didn’t get to say the speech which he had rehearsed in his mind.

“Hey? Goldie’s cake! I just saw that the little girl is Gu Ning, right? Looks like you’re getting along with her well, and she actually went all the way to bring you a cake.” Lao Li started gossiping.

Another policeman chimed in: “Li, are you talking about the little girl with blonde hair who came yesterday? The one who’s been missing for three months? Fang Fa is dating her? That’s quick ah Fang Fa, well done!”

Fang Fa replied: “What’s all this nonsense! I just helped her with favour and she just bought me a piece of cake to thank me okay?”

Another policeman interjected while smiling: “Hey Fang Fa, I remember that you don’t like sweets stuff. I’m in a hurry and haven’t had breakfast yet, so you can give me the cake.”

“Get lost, shoo shoo shoo!”

“Haha, you see, you don’t bear to give him huh. Last time another little girl gave you a cake yet you share it with us, so it all depends on who gave it to you, right Lao Li?”

“That’s right.”

 

Gu Ning didn’t delay any longer, hailed a taxi, and headed straight for the army.

Putting the plastic bag into her backpack, Gu Ning felt slightly relaxed in her heart. If she had the chance in the future, she could get more things over and sell them here to get rid of poverty.

It was already slightly past nine o’clock when she arrived at the army.

Brother San stood at the front door glancing around, his eyes lit up when he saw Gu Ning getting out of the taxi, then whined: “Gu Ning, why are you so slow?”

“My home is far away from here, it takes two hours to travel and I already left home at seven.” Gu Ning explained as she handed over the money she owed Brother San: “This is the money which I had borrowed.”

Brother San took the money while rushing her: “Don’t drag any longer, we will be starting a new training program today.”

Gu Ning asked curiously: “What’s the new program?”

Brother San replied mysteriously: “You’ll know when we get to the firing range.”

When they arrive at the firing range, Zhang XiaoBai and the others all enthusiastically came over to greet Gu Ning and again complained that Gu Ning had come too late.

“We’ve all shot around, it’s too hard to beat.” Zhang XiaoBai reported.

Gu Ning’s curiosity was getting stronger.

Brother San took the binoculars from Zhang XiaoBai and handed them to Gu Ning and explained: “Wait a minute it’s Zhai Jun turn, pay attention and estimate the gap between the two of you.”

Gu Ning took the binoculars and nodded, then looked at Zhai Jun who was standing at attention with his gun.

Gu Ning’s silent arrival added a lot of pressure to the Second Company.

A soldier gestured to Zhai Jun to look in that direction.

Zhai Jun glanced over and his face turned slightly gloomy.

The Second Company Commander Zhang YueGuo’s face was also seemingly grim.

The soldiers of the First Company had never seen Gu Ning before, but apparently, they had all been introduced by Zhou ZiLai and were all curious and checking her out for the first time.

A short while later, one by one, colourful hydrogen balloons rose from a hundred metres away and all eyes gathered.

Gu Ning looked at the hydrogen balloons in amazement, at first she thought they were using a gun to shoot the hydrogen balloons but when she looked at it closely, she could see the fist-sized round cardboard dangling below the hydrogen balloons. The round cardboard was like a target board with a circle drawn on it, it was nearly impossible to see it clearly with the naked eye and only Gu Ning’s mutated eyesight could make out the red dot on it.

Brother San explained: “That’s what the group of Five Stars Brigade guys was testing last year and make us hit it. Twenty bullets, three of our companies, and the best we hit were six out of ten targets, with only one hit on the bull’s eye.”

Zou Ming said in shame: “Last year I hit four. Now the best score is six.”

Zhong Xu reported too: “Last year I shot five, this year the best I got was eight and the worst I got was one or two of them.”

Zhang XiaoBai smiled cheekily: “I wasn’t here last year. My best score so far was eight and just two shots hit the bullseye but it was also just luck. I couldn’t even see where the bullseye was, the balloon flew too fast.”

When a few of them reported that, Gu Ning immediately felt an invisible pressure.

As they were chatting, Zhai Jun had already fired several shots.

The process was to hit the piece of cardboard first and then shoot the balloon down. If the cardboard was hit but the balloon flies away, the score won’t be counted in.

Twenty bullets, ten for the balloon and ten for the cardboard.

It’s a must to hit the cardboard first, otherwise, even if the balloon was shot down and missed the cardboard, it won’t be counted in too.

All that could be heard were several shots in quick succession, with a pause of about three to five seconds between each shot. The balloons were rising, in about ten seconds they would reach a height of over ten metres. Any higher and further away and they won’t be able to see the cardboard at all. They could only judge and estimate by feeling while looking at the balloons, yet the bullets were limited. One hit was one less, so a balance had to be found between the two. Looking through the binoculars, Gu Ning saw the cardboard dangling in the air and occasionally spinning, making it very difficult to aim indeed.

It didn’t take long for Zhai Jun’s twenty bullets to finish, and the balloons that had been burst wobbled and crashed down from the air, with only one balloon wobbling and floating further away. A soldier picked up all the balloons that had been shot down by Zhai Jun and sent them over.

The soldiers of the three companies who were eligible for this Five Stars Brigade selection all gathered around and began to examine the marks on the cardboard.

Nine cardboards in total, eight shots hit the cardboard, one empty, one narrowly grazed by a bullet and two shots hit the bullseye.

This was considered a very good result but obviously didn’t meet the expectations of the Second Company. This was evident by looking at the expression of Zhang YueGuo and Zhai Jun.

Brother San asked: “Gu Ning, what about it? Shall we try it now or watch two more rounds?”

Gu Ning replied: “I probably know what’s going on, let’s practice first.”

Zhang XiaoBai then excitedly handed over a gun and explained: “I don’t think you’ve ever tried this before. Don’t be nervous, relax, it’s not an official test yet.”

Gu Ning took his gun and answered with a smile: “Um, okay.”

Then she stood at the yellow line.

She tried to aim first, adjusted the feel of it before nodding to the soldier who was holding a small flag.

The soldier then raised the flag and swing it down.

A hundred metres away a red hydrogen balloon flew straight up and everyone waited with breathless anticipation for Gu Ning’s first shot.

The yellow piece of cardboard was reflected incomparably clearly in Gu Ning’s pupils, and she aimed at the red dot in the very centre before pulling the trigger without the slightest hesitation.

“Bang!” Gu Ning’s first shot rang out.

Brother San held up his binoculars and clearly saw the piece of yellow cardboard being blown by the strong wind brought up by the bullet, which brushed against the piece of yellow cardboard and missed the hit.

Brother San couldn’t help but exclaimed with regret: “It was so close!”

When Zhang YueGuo, the Second Company Commander, saw Gu Ning’s first shot fall short, his expression eased a little and he sneered: “Not even a close one Lao Xie.”

Gu Ning had already isolated herself from the outside world, she was fully concentrated on the shooting. From the moment the shot fell short, a lot more information came into her mind, she adjusted her state according to the information and aimed at the piece of yellow cardboard again. This time, the second balloon had already flown up.

Zhang XiaoBai couldn’t help but shout: “Leave the first one alone! The second one has risen!”

Although everyone was dissatisfied with Zhang XiaoBai for speaking out and interrupting, everyone including Brother San thought that this was the time to give up on the first balloon, which had floated too high.

On the contrary, Gu Ning wasn’t affected by Zhang XiaoBai’s shout and just focused on her aim. The gun moved slowly with the rising balloon and then pulled the trigger——

Bang! Bang! Two gunshots rang out in quick succession, no more than a second apart.

Afterward, the burst balloon came crashing down from the sky with its cardboard.

No one bothered to look at the burst balloon, all eyes were locked at the second balloon. By this time, the third had also taken flight and the soldier was preparing to release the fourth.

One in front of the other was just a metre apart.

The crowd held their breath.

Gu Ning focused.

“Bang!” “Bang!” “Bang!” ——

Successive shots rang out, accompanied by the bursting and falling of a balloon after another. Apart from the first balloon, none of it soared more than ten metres and the time between each shot didn’t exceed two seconds.

This speed was considered fast even for normal target shooting, let alone such a difficult moving target shot. Until the last balloon crashed to the ground, the soldiers were still a bit overwhelmed by the reaction.

The soldier in charge of picking up the balloons picked up all ten of them and ran from a distance under the stressful gaze of more than twenty people who were glaring at him.

Then one by one, they began to check them.

Every time they counted, everyone was getting quieter each minute. One after another, some left half of the cardboard which was being shot away, while some of it only left the part where the string was attached to. Although not every bullet hit the bullseye, compared to the soldiers who had been trained many times, this was Gu Ning’s first time to participate in such a program! She had even achieved such a result!”

The soldiers were already too shocked to speak, to be precise, they didn’t know what to say now to express their shock and disbelief at this moment.

It was only later on when Zhang XiaoBai shifted his gaze from the pile of burst balloons to stare at Gu Ning and said in shock: “Gu Ning, you are simply a god!”

Zhong Xu added: “How divine.”

Zou Ming said bitterly to Brother San: “Company Commander, why don’t I return to my training tomorrow, I don’t feel like I have anything to do over here anymore.”

===============================================================
(T/N: Wooots chapter for this week. Fang Fa is just too cute and poor Zou Ming XD Thank you for reading, stay tune for next week~)

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Comment

  1. Avatar Yuhua says:

    …. BROTHER GU! TAKE ME IN.

  2. Avatar anazu says:

    If Gu Ning dont want Fang Fa, i will.. ಡ ͜ ʖ ಡ

    1. Avatar Runicle says:

      Right? Fang Fa is just too cute! haha

      Thank you for reading! <3

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