Chapter 57: A chance of being crippled or killed
“I’ll give you two days to think it over carefully.”
After Cao Yi had spoken, he left Wang Chao behind in the private tea room.
“Being the government’s running dog…” After Cao Yi had divulged his plans to Wang Chao, his very first reaction was to think of those five words.
A martial artist that relied on the government had been given an unflattering name in the past. To sum things up, they were called the “Running dogs.”
The most famous running dog in the Qing Dynasty was Huang Tianba who was under the thumb of Emperor Qianlong. From the ancient past, all martial artists had one single rule: not to be an official of the government.
That was not to say being an official was pretend being noble. But being an official had meant many tasks to do and less time to practice one’s martial art.
The second reason was that it was easy to use one’s power to bully others. This in turn would cause a bad name for themselves. Even if they didn’t, many others would still criticize them behind their backs.
Naturally, the Guoshu institutes created with the government during the Republic of China had not been called this.
A martial artist was taught to be open minded and tolerant. However, there were somethings that could not be tolerated, such as for one’s honor being disgraced.
To each person, a disgrace could be one’s enemy killing one’s relative, or taking their wife. There was another disgrace that was well above the rest: one’s own country starving or even the total destruction of it.
When it came to one’s own country on the brink of destruction, it didn’t matter who, everyone would stand up for this. It was a righteous cause and had no connection with being a running dog for the government.
In short, during the chaotic times, those who practiced martial arts were heroes. During the peaceful time where the government was powerful, they were running dogs.
In truth, Wang Chao was fed up with this road Cao Yi had set up for him and was disgusted by the term ‘Running Dog’.
This didn’t mean that he was a part of the anti-government party.
It was just that his sole pleasure in life was being free and not being restricted.
If he were to join with the government, then it would be hard to avoid the shackles that came from the position. Furthermore, Cao Yi and the government’s plan was to use Wang Chao as a puppet after seeing how he could fight. This didn’t suit well with him.
Being controlled by someone else wouldn’t make anyone happy.
The second reason was that he had his mind opened when he went to the military district.
If the rulers of the current state of China were filled with revolutionaries such as grandfather Li, then it would be fine. But now, for the sake of the country, they would be treated as puppets or suicided without consideration.
It was a shame that the successors of these people were for the most part corrupted to the point where even the elders shed tears in shame and grief. Wang Chao himself had no desire to work with such people.
But the situation right now was quite dire. Despite Cao Yi giving him two days to think it over, there was actually very little time to do so.
“I am still quite weak, and with my current power and status, I’ve only several ten million to my name. Compared to the hedonistic Zhao Jun, I am nothing more than a fly to be swatted. Cao Yi’s organization is incomparable to the both of us however. With a single movement of a finger, they could order the death of a thousand of me.”
Understanding the situation he was in, Wang Chao felt as if he was staring in a mirror.
On that year’s journey, Wang Chao’s mind and will had already been polished to the point of being unmoved by anything.
His mind and will was like a deep pool of water with no ripples and a reflection of a mirror.
His mind and will was like a raging ocean with the divine dragon ascending away from a perilous situation.
It was only like this that he could control his emotions in order to break out with the Hidden Jin efficiently.
To be hard and to be soft, to bow and submit or to stand tall. This was an example of Yin and Yang, this was the science of martial arts.
“I’ll borrow their power first. When I finish this problem, then I’ll find a way to distance myself away from them.” Wang Chao thought. If he were to join Cao Yi’s organization, then he would lose the ability to move autonomously so this invite was neither a challenge or an opportunity.
On the second day, Cao Yi had received a phone call from Wang Chao. “There’s no need to think about it, what will you have me do.”
Cao Yi had long since anticipated this result since he knew Wang Chao had no other choice.
“Good, come to the provincial public safety bureau. I’ll have a car bring you here!” Cao Yi put down the phone and rubbed his forehead. “This Wang Chao, despite his life experiences being miniscule, just who in the world taught him martial arts to such a degree? That villa of his is also very suspicious as well.”
When it came to Wang Chao’s family, Cao Yi had investigated it intensely. The only suspicious thing he had found was Wang Chao’s villa and his mysterious teacher. Cao Yi had tried to research the previous owner of the villa, but the only thing he had found was that it was under the name of an European company.
No matter how much Cao Yi had tried, even he had no way of trying to investigate another country’s company.
“Forget it, I’ve already looked into him for three years, he has no special identity. He is also nobody important. Spending a large sum of money to really investigate his background wouldn’t be accepted by the organization, and even then, it’d be hard to say the results would justify the costs. However, Zhao Jun is someone the organization wants me to look closely after, this could be a big catch.”
In half an hour, Wang Chao was sitting in Cao Yi’s car.
Cao Yi’s car continued to drive out of the city for three or four hours to the mountainside. Gradually, a border sentry post and the military barracks could be seen.
“This must be one of the stations where the army is stationed at.” Wang Chao looked around and made an observation. Although there were sentry posts every so often, Cao Yi’s car had managed to make it through unobstructed.
Finally, the car came to a stop right in front of one of the larger barracks. From there, a squadron with machine guns could be seen patrolling or practicing their target shooting.
Walking for a moment with Cao Yi, Wang Chao noticed that they were standing in front of the commander’s room. Right in front of the door, two sentinels with rifles stood stony face.
“Cao Yi? You said you’d get here by nightfall on the phone, but you’re here already!” Upon entering the commander’s office, Wang Chao saw a military uniformed man stand up to greet them.
This middle aged man had a single gold star on the green patch near his shoulder, marking his rank as a major general.
“This man is at the very least a division level commander.” Wang Chao thought to himself.
“Elder Zhou, has my proposal gone through yet?” Cao Yi seemed quite familiar with the major general and had foregone any greetings.
“It has, your plan has already some experts transferred to under your control.”
“And the quality?” Cao Yi spoke with glinting eyes.
“That much I don’t know. Probably some several belligerent people.” Major general Zhou laughed before glancing to Wang Chao, “Cao Yi, you’ve may have added onto my troubles. The last time you brought soldiers here half a month ago, all they did was to fight and compete with each other. Their arms and legs just don’t stop moving, and locking them in solitary confinement does nothing.”
“Haha, youngsters. Not any of them have any professionalism as soldiers. When I was a soldier, it wasn’t the same as it is now with all the fights. When punished we would be sent to the water cell and stay there until we were disciplined thoroughly.” Cao Yi laughed.
“That’s true, it’s all youngsters. I have never yet disciplined such a squadron so much until now. So, Cao Yi, is this the person you brought? Are you sure he can control them?”
After a brief conversation, the topic had finally shifted to Wang Chao.
Wang Chao had only smiled without saying another word. It wasn’t because he didn’t want to, but it was because he didn’t know what to say.
“Old friend, don’t waste your breath asking. Come with us and you’ll see in a moment. Where is that squadron allocated to me? There’s not much time before so I need to hurry things along a bit.” Cao Yi waved his hand.
“They should be at the eastern barracks training rooms. Come, I’ll take you there. Let’s see if this old general can attempt once more to control them.”
After he spoke, he rapped a finger for the officer standing nearby. Leaping into action, the officer opened the door for the group and led them out.
On the road, Cao Yi and general Zhou had talked to each other joyously while Wang Chao stayed by the sidelines without another word.
Ha! Ha! Ha!
A large roar could be heard coming from within the barracks. It wasn’t until Wang Chao had entered the barracks with Cao Yi that he had truly understood what was happening.
The interior of the barracks were at least the size of three basketball courts. There was a green carpet that covered the entire place, and on the left side there was the horizontal bar, the parallel bars, the balance beam, and several other training machines.
The most eye-catching thing over there was the steel plate on the right side of the barracks.
Behind the steel plate was a spring mechanism and a measuring apparatus right above the plate.
Five camo wearing youngsters with bulging muscles and cocky faces could be seen brandishing their fists at it.
By the side, there were still a dozen other men watching.
Bang bang! Bang bang bang! The five men let out a torrential barrage of punches towards the steel plate, causing it to shake and aecho.
With each blow, the counting apparatus above the steel plate could be seen rapidly fluctuating in number value.
After 10 seconds, the five youngsters calmed down.
“Tsk tsk tsk. Hammer, your fist power and strength has gotten worse. In half a minute, you’ve struck out 20 times. In those 20 fists, your highest was about 600 and your lowest was 300!”
“Hmph! I’ve been here for half a month, but I still can’t find anyone that can beat me. With no one here to challenge me, of course I’d get worse.”
The twelve men began to cry out in a rambunctious laughter when all of a sudden, they felt someone at the door and immediately grew quiet. Turning around, each one turned to look at Cao Yi and wang Chao.
“These soldiers are even gutsier than I thought. With how rowdy they are, a show of strength is needed.” Cao Yi was a sly person, and so the moment he saw the twelve bossy looking men, he had begun to plan how to make them submit.
“What do you think?” Cao Yi whispered to Wang Chao.
“They can fight!’ Wang Chao replied.
“These men will be your future subordinates, so today you need to show your superiority or else the future missions will be harder to accomplish.
“My subordinates? Perhaps half of them will be monitoring me.” Wang Chao thought.
Cao Yi’s voice grew even more quiet as he spoke, “The organization has a chance of being crippled or killed while being a part of it. The next step will be up to you to deal with.”