Interstellar Power Couple
Quality Check: Linn
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 45: Inhuman
Even though they were the mecha corps, and most of their battles were fought with mechas, as an elite team, their requirements for soldiers’ physical fitness were high as well. That was why most members within the corps had either C or C-plus rank physiques. The lowest was D-rank. These people were in charge of handling food and secretarial duties, so it was an unbelievably rare occurrence for someone with an E-rank physique like Lei Jue to make an appearance here.
At first, he was still curious about Bai Chenghe’s intentions. He didn’t understand it, because with people like Lu Xian and Si Qing, although they didn’t have S-rank physiques, they were still A- or B-rank at least. In addition to that, they were all either animal or plant type ability users. Wouldn’t it be child’s play for them to run 20 kilometres while carrying weights? Or should he say that this was practically targeting him instead?
However, so long as it wasn’t an enemy or a braindead idiot, they couldn’t possibly be targeting Lei Jue. Those with half a brain definitely wouldn’t be here as one of the highest commanding officers.
Lei Jue’s heart was filled with questions. He ran for about a minute before finally arriving at the center’s training grounds, where Company D was.
The Holy Eagles Mecha Corps had over 2100 people in total, divided into seven companies. Their night training schedule differed every day. Company D’s training today consisted of running and target practice. Like the other companies, Company D had around 300 people in it.
While those 300 people had excitement in their eyes as Lei Jue and Xiao Lingyu emerged, none of them made a sound at their appearance.
The leader of Company D, Ka Nuo, said, “I believe that you know these guys here even without me introducing them. From today onward, they will be joining our company. In the future, everyone should look out for each other, understood?”
“Alright, start measuring your weight-bearing rucksacks. Head out in two minutes in groups of ten!” With his words finished, the company leader glanced at the time.
Lei Jue watched as everyone pressed a button on their weight-bearing rucksacks. Then they lifted the rucksacks before setting them down again. It was only after the screens on their rucksacks began displaying various numbers that they hefted them onto their shoulders.
Xiao Lingyu knew that Lei Jue had no concept of this mechanism, so he explained, “These rucksacks have the same actual weight, but since each person’s physique is different, they will automatically adjust how heavy it feels based on each person’s limit.”
“Then what’s its actual weight?” Lei Jue asked.
“1000 kilograms,” Qi Yu said.
Thus, Lei Jue imitated the others and pressed the button on the side, then lifted the rucksack and put it down again. He realized that his rucksack displayed the number ‘15.5’. The others, on the other hand, had a starting number of at least 100.
This was just asking for him to be displeased!
A snicker suddenly drifted from behind him—he wasn’t sure who wasn’t able to contain himself—and the sound of low laughter rose around him.
Xiao Lingyu had actually wanted to laugh too, because he thought this ‘15.5’ was especially adorable. This was, after all, the lowest number he had ever seen in his military life.
However, he didn’t dare laugh at this moment.
“What are you laughing for! Are you all confident that none of you will be injured in the future?!” Company Leader Ka Nuo roared out. “Also, whoever still hasn’t finished their rucksack calibrations, hurry it up!”
Everyone turned their gazes to Xiao Lingyu, because he was the only one who hadn’t done his weight calibration.
Xiao Lingyu’s expression was unchanging as he simply hefted the rucksack straight up, without touching the calibration button at all. He spoke to Lei Jue as if it were just the two of them there.
“Tell me when you’re tired.”
Lei Jue held back the urge to strangle his husband to death. “Sure.”
The company was eerily silent. Most of them thought holy crap! at this.
This was an anomaly. Ever since the founding of the mecha corps, there had been no one who didn’t calibrate their weight-bearing rucksacks!
The corners of Company Leader Ka Nuo’s mouth twitched. “What are you standing around for! Move!”
“It’s 20 kilometers, man…” Qi Yu already felt like he was dying with the rucksack on his back, which only displayed ‘292’.
“Aren’t you supposed to run 40 kilometers?” Lu Xian snickered as he rubbed salt in Qi Yu’s wound. With his rucksack on his back—‘344’ being the number on its display—he followed the rest of the company and ran.
“Lu Xian, I’m telling you that no one will think you’re mute if you keep your mouth shut!” Qi Yu ran after him in anger.
Si Qing and Che Heng too raced after them. Si Qing’s rucksack weight was 321, while Che Heng’s was 305.
The emotion that Lei Jue was feeling now was one of despondency as he watched the others, whose rucksack numbers were in the hundreds. This was like when others got thousands, or even tens of thousands for their annual bonus, while he was stuck with a few measly bucks.
He had to calm himself down.
You got it, Lei Jue? Calm down!
Lei Jue shouted, “Xiao Lei!”
Xiao Lei shot out of the darkness like a lightning bolt. With a low roar, the lion ran up to Lei Jue. In its pockets were Loquat and Curly, who were still unused to the massive Xiao Lei.
This was one of the special allowances: Lei Jue was allowed to bring any animal he wanted, and no one was allowed to stop him from doing so.
The laughter came to a complete halt. Only the sound of the wind and footsteps were left.
“My good child, run in front of me,” said Lei Jue. “Help me block this.”
He primarily wanted those blasted numbers obscured from others’ sight!
“You cold?” Xiao Lingyu asked as he ran. He thought Lei Jue was getting Xiao Lei to block the wind for him.
“I’m not cold, it’s just that my hands itch.” Lei Jue turned his head around to take a look, then quietly asked, “Little Odd Flower should be okay, right?”
“When no one’s around, you can use your comm to see Little Odd Flower, and if something were to happen to it, Carrera will immediately report it.” Xiao Lingyu knew that Lei Jue would worry about this; it wasn’t like he had forgotten. “Anyway, there won’t be a problem. Right now, the important thing is to take good care of yourself.”
Lei Jue smiled and continued running without another word. They were the last to join the run, and were at the tail of the company. They had no plans to pick up their speed any more; as they were, they could continue conversing without being discovered.
At that moment, the trainer, who had watched as they disappeared into the distance, said with a trace of worry, “Can Lei Jue really run 20 kilometres? He only has an E-rank physique.”
Cheng He shot a look at the trainer. “And this is why there’s no time limit for this. Besides, I want to see if the marshal’s words are right.”
“What did the marshal say?”
“The marshal said to give out the training objectives as usual. After all, there’s a certain person who won’t allow Lei Jue to suffer.”
The trainer, Shan Yang, had no response to that.
Cheng He squatted down to check his tracking app to see if any of his ‘lambs’ had fallen behind, and saw that Xiao Lingyu and the others were running. Lei Jue hadn’t fallen behind, either. Although his legs weren’t as long as the others, due to his height, his strides didn’t fail to match theirs. That was why he was able to consistently keep up with the crowd.
It was mildly fascinating.
Cheng He didn’t know how much further they would run before Xiao Lingyu would carry this child on his back.
Through his tracking app, he could see a large group of white ‘lambs’ moving forward, like a white snake that was slowly slithering ahead.
Qi Yu said in a small voice, “Why don’t we run ahead a bit?”
Otherwise, when would he finish his 40 kilometers?
“If you want to run ahead, then go. I’ll run slowly with Little Jue,” said Xiao Lingyu.
Otherwise, Lei Jue would erupt with the number of people behind him, what with the ‘15.5’ on his rucksack.
Qi Yu yanked Lu Xian and charged forward. Si Qing and Che Heng soon followed. From the looks of it, they didn’t just want to stop third-wheeling those two, but also wanted to show the rest that they weren’t like others thought of them, and that they weren’t lazy good-for-nothings.
When the rest of the company, who were running at regular speeds, saw that they were being overtaken by those people, how could they take it? Since they were at the age when they were still competitive, they ramped up their speed when they saw the newcomers overtaking them.
Thus, the leisurely jogging herd of sheep became a herd of assault sheep charging madly!
Cheng He watched the display on his communicator, the corners of his lips quirking up. However, he soon rescinded that movement after looking at his display again. On his communicator, he could see that the lamb representing Lei Jue and the lamb which stood for Xiao Lingyu also began speeding up, to the point that they actually caught up with the group ahead of them.
Since the others were running at this speed, the rest of them would soon be a lap ahead of the two of them. When the time came, the other recruits would be able to see the ‘15.5’ on his back, so he might as well just let them see his number. After all, wasn’t this just a running exercise? He would cast a speed buff on himself and run with them!
That was what Lei Jue thought.
Xiao Lingyu knew that when Lei Jue lived at home, he would go out for a run every day. However, he hadn’t imagined that Lei Jue could actually run this fast.
In a flash, Lei Jue had run so fast that he was caught up with the rest of the company. Naturally, Xiao Lingyu followed him. So, before they had finished half of the run, a shocking situation had arisen: everyone realized that they had unwittingly been shown up by a ‘15.5’ guy!
An E-rank, ‘15.5’ guy!
The people behind were displeased, so they began chasing after them. At that moment, Lei Jue said without missing a beat, “You run ahead, I’ll follow you.”
Xiao Lingyu adjusted his running speed to match Lei Jue’s request, while Lei Jue closely followed by his side. Lei Jue didn’t look at anyone else—his goal was to keep up with Xiao Lingyu, because he firmly believed that Xiao Lingyu would be the first to finish.
At first, Xiao Lingyu was very concerned. He was worried that Lei Jue wouldn’t be able to keep running like that. However, they had already run 5 kilometers and Lei Jue’s expression was still unruffled. He also wasn’t panting the slightest bit.
This was enough to make him delighted.
Xiao Lingyu increased his speed yet again. And so, as the two of them ran, the people behind them raced to catch up like a bunch of crazies.
However, while everyone could only make those bursts of speed in little increments, Lei Jue’s own regeneration had no limits. While everyone else felt tired during their run, Lei Jue wouldn’t feel an ounce of tiredness at all, which was why he could maintain such an intense speed while running.
About fifty minutes later, Cheng He saw that the two ’head sheep’ in his tracking app had already run two laps more than the others. They had already achieved their training objective when they slowed down and returned to Qi Yu’s side.
Qi Yu was both touched and at a loss for words at this gesture. He panted as he asked, “Are… you sure… you two… are… human?”
No one dared to laugh at the guy with the ‘15.5’ anymore. It was practically ridiculous—ludicrous even—for a ‘15.5’, E-rank physique guy to run 20 kilometers like it was nothing!
Lei Jue peeled off his jacket and tossed it to Xiao Lei, who caught it with his mouth and continued following him.
“Are you tired?” Lei Jue asked Xiao Lingyu.
Sweat had begun gathering on Xiao Lingyu’s head. He chuckled. “I’m still fine. I used to carry 1700 kilos to run 30 kilometers. However, I got bored with that so I stopped. Now that you’re here running with me, even if I had to run another 30 kilometers, I’ll be alright.”
Just as those words fell from his lips, Lei Jue suddenly grabbed Xiao Lingyu and shot forward while dragging him.
Bewilderment was written all over Xiao Lingyu’s face. Once they had made it past the crowd of people, he asked, “What was that for?”
Lei Jue heaved a sigh. “The others are already tired from running. If you keep being a smitten lovesick idiot in front of them, aren’t you just asking for a beating?”
Just as Lei Jue had said, when Xiao Lingyu turned to look behind him, he saw some of the other recruits were flipping him off, their faces expressing their thoughts: you’re lucky you can run that fast!
Xiao Lingyu ran at the forefront of the crowd with Lei Jue. Shortly after, one by one, the people who had finished their allotted number of laps began stopping at the finish line. The number of people still running also began gradually dwindling to single digits. However, when Xiao Lingyu and Lei Jue wanted to continue congregating with Qi Yu and the others, Team Leader Ka Nuo gave the order for them to return to the rest of the company and begin the final leg of their training for the day. Lu Xian and Si Qing were also ordered to return. Only Qi Yu was left to continue running on his own.
The final training for the day was target practice. They were to shoot three times, and those who managed to score a bullseye on all three shots would be allowed to go back and take a break.
According to what he had heard, there was always target practice after a weighted run. As long as even a single shot didn’t hit the mark, then the shooter would not be allowed to rest; they would have to stand with their rifle above their head for half an hour.
Cheng He walked over with confident strides, Shan Yang following him. While he couldn’t help but feel a tad disappointed that Xiao Lingyu didn’t give Lei Jue a piggyback ride, he had to grudgingly admit that he now had a newfound understanding of the two of them.
“Since you’ve never undergone official training and the target for today’s practice is 3000 meters away, you two only need to watch and practice.” After all, when compared to running, shooting was a discipline that demanded high skill and technique, especially long-range shooting. That was why Cheng He didn’t hassle Xiao Lingyu and Lei Jue over this. He figured that Lei Jue had never so much as touched a gun before.
“Is there a reward if we can hit the target?” asked Xiao Lingyu.
“What reward do you want?” Cheng He asked.
“That you’ll agree to a reasonable condition,” said Lei Jue.
”You want Qi Yu’s extra training to be called off, is that right?” Cheng He looked at Qi Yu, who was still in the middle of running, then looked at Xiao Lingyu again. “How about this? If you can hit the bullseye with all three shots on that 3000-meter target, I’ll reduce his run by five kilometers.”
“Deal.” With that, Xiao Lingyu waved a hand and someone handed him a sniper rifle.
The electronic target rose 3000 meters away. Xiao Lingyu took a solid shooting stance, then shot the target’s bullseye thrice under the watchful gaze of all his company members.
Applause rang out around him.
Cheng He nodded. “I’ll reduce it by five kilometers.”
“I’m not done yet,” said Xiao Lingyu.
“Then what will you do? Each person only gets 3 bullets.” After Cheng He said this, he clenched his jaw and ordered someone to take back the rifle.
“Company Leader, I still haven’t had my turn,” Lei Jue said, smiling. “Five kilometers off if we hit bullseye with all three shots on that target 3000 meters away—that’s what you said, right?”
“That’s right, I did say that. You want to try your hand too?”
“Yep, but I won’t be aiming for 3000 meters. How far is the furthest target?” Lei Jue asked.
“8000 meters,” said Cheng He. “You want to try?”
“If you give me one extra bullet.”
“No problem.” Cheng He had a decent impression of Lei Jue, so he allowed Shan Yang to give Lei Jue an extra bullet. As for whether or not Lei Jue could hit that 8000-meter target, he hadn’t given it a thought at all. With current advancements in technology, any specially-made firearm could hit targets 8000 metres away, or even farther. However, the best record that they had in the corps with a normal rifle and normal bullets, like they were using, was only 7200 meters.
The 8000-meter target rose up. Uncertainty washed over Xiao Lingyu. Lei Jue could always give him surprises, but 8000 meters?
It was then that Lei Jue took the extra bullet and let Carrera scan it. After that was done, he placed the bullet in the chamber. Once he had aimed properly, he pulled the trigger and let the bullet fly.
Bang! The target was as pristine as ever.
The audience was disappointed. Despite the fact that they thought that this feat was impossible, they still had a faint hint of anticipation when Lei Jue wanted to try hitting the target. After all, if he were to actually hit it, he would become a legend. However, while Lei Jue didn’t hit the target, he had fired his shot into a tree trunk.
Despite that, Lei Jue didn’t stop, nor was he discouraged. He took off his comm and said, “Carrera, search for the target that I hit. Provide a display of the area within 1 square meter of the bullet, with the bullet that you scanned as the centre of the display. Use double-layered light to pinpoint it.”
Since it was a bullet meant for regular practice, it had no extra features, so it had lodged itself just as it was in the tree trunk after it had been fired. The communicator flew swiftly through the air for a short while before Carrera found the bullet that Lei Jue had fired and proceeded to light up the spot just as he had requested.
All of the gazes fixed upon Lei Jue were filled with curiosity, but when some of the people there figured out what he was doing, their curious gazes immediately morphed into skepticism. However, they all just put on their multi-function night vision goggles and switched on the zoom function. They could see the bullet that Lei Jue had shot lodged within the trunk of a tree that was even further away than the target.
Lei Jue was still as calm and collected as before as he called for Curly. Once he had seen Curly and his wind-ruffled fur, he adjusted his stance and held up the gun. The gun he was using now was capable of shooting even farther than the one he had used before. Despite that, the calculations needed were still the same.
Just as everyone was thinking ‘this is impossible’, Lei Jue fired his second shot.
Bang! The original bullet, which had been lit up by the communicator, was replaced by the bullet that was just fired!
Bang! The second bullet, which had been lit up by the communicator, was successfully replaced by the third bullet that was just fired!
The people watching were utterly silent.
Cheng He squinted a little, then spoke into his communicator, “Measure the distance from this point to the target.”
A beam of blue light shot out of Cheng He’s communicator. He then adjusted the beam’s position, shining it on the bullets that Lei Jue had fired.
“How far is it?” was all the others could hear him ask.
“ 9013.4 meters,” came the communicator’s answer.
Lei Jue got up and patted down his clothes, then looked at Cheng He. “Over 9000 meters, and three shots. Five kilometers shaved off if all three bullets hit their mark. So, what do you say?”