Chapter 4: Welcome to Hell
Time flew like an arrow. A month had already passed.
Outside a valley, a deafening noise abruptly sounded. A giant military truck was approaching from the distance. From its pipes emitting a thick, black smoke. There was no road outside of the valley. The endless plain was just a natural military trench. Though, to that enormous truck with its massive tires the size of two adult’s height, the trench had no longer been an obstacle.
The truck rushed full speed towards the valley’s entrance. After a sharp stop, that giant body rattled, and swerved to one side. It deeply plowed a curved track and finally stopped. Its engine clanging under the bonnet. The tailgate with several large pipes that was spewing out black smoke, but then, from one of the tubes spurted out clusters of steam.
The van’s door opened. A thirty-year-old soldier walked out with a boy in his arms. He jumped down from a two-meter-high driver’s hatch, and then put the boy on the ground.
The boy seemed delicate. His soft-black-hair cut short at about his forehead had been soaked with sweat. His little face was pale, desperately trying to hold back the nausea. He had been stunned the entire time during the drive to the valley. Shaking his head, he tried to wrap the black cloak around his body tighter to resist the cold wind that was whistling around him.
At the valley entrance, there was a one-eyed man standing
The piercing wind was like a blade that was swiping all over the place. However, the man was half naked. His hands interlocked behind his back, and his feet were apart at his shoulders width. That was definitely a military stand at ease, yet he still looked strong and mighty.
He blocked the entrance to the valley.
The soldier carried Qian Ye a few meters away from the one eyed man. He greeted, “Long Hai, you haven’t changed.”
Long Hai bared his teeth, revealing a golden molar. He said, “Shi Yan, you are three minutes late.”
Shi Yan said, “We met a small Dark Unit on our way here. It took me a while to kill them all.”
Long Hair sneered, “Only a small unit could have slowed you down now. It seems like your Powers had retrograded! Haven’t you been a dog for the Lin family for so long that you have thrown away all of your fighting spirit!”
Shi Yan wasn’t angry. He replied coldly, “Lin Shuai is the pillar of the Empire, it is a great honor for me to serve him. You would never understand.”
Long Hai snorted, and didn’t argue anymore with Shi Yan. His gaze was felt on Qian Ye, “Is this the child our commander had mentioned? Look at him! Just like a girl! Useless!”
Shi Yan smiled, “Anyway, he’s under your training now. If he doesn’t meet the standards, it’s all up to you as of what to do with him. Nobody would care.”
Long Hai grunted, “You should have known about this place better than anybody else. No matter who or what their background is, we treat them all the same.”
“Of course I know it.”
“Then don’t waste my time, let him come here!”
Shi Yan squatted down in front of Qian Ye. On his stone-faced appeared a faint smile. He patted Qian Ye on the head, “Go, follow him! Remember, doesn’t matter what he makes you do, do it immediately! Secondly, a few years later at this very place, I hope to see you get out alive.”
Qian Ye was still a little dazed. However, he still sensed the seriousness in Shi Yan’s words and nodded his head profoundly.
Shi Yan cracked a smile. On the way here together, he actually grew fond of this little guy.
Qian Ye undoubtedly was the most silent among those of his age. However, he was stubborn and intolerant. Once promised something, he would have definitely kept his word.
Long Hai was surprised, “Knowing you for two decades, I had never seen you laugh this much.”
Once stood up, Shi Yan’s expression was back to his original rigid one, “How can I smile after looking at your face?”
The green veins on Long Hai’s temple suddenly throbbed for a few times.
After a few seconds, the truck roared away. Qian Ye followed Long Hai into the valley. The road was rugged and narrow. It had been two hours, and there was still no sign of the end.
Qian Ye looked around, and suddenly saw some words that were written in blood on the side of the mountain’s wall: Welcome to Hell!
He couldn’t recognize all these letters. However, his eyes were like being sucked, he couldn’t move away from it! He kept moving forward while still glaring at the words until it had completely disappeared. They were gone! Yet the letters were deeply engraved in his young heart. Every stroke was bleeding!
As dusk was falling, the valley was like a monster’s wide enormous mouth opened, awaiting for Qian Ye.
Later that night, Qian Ye found out that he had entered a place that even Hell couldn’t have been compared to – Golden Spring Training Camp! 
The moment that the clock had pointed at exactly midnight and where most people should have been dreaming peacefully, the children at this camp were about to begin a new day in Hell.
In an icy hall, Qian Ye and hundreds of other kids were squeezed in there altogether and listened to Long Hai’s speech.
He walked back and forth in front of them, but occasionally stopped. His gloomy one eye swept through the crowd once or twice, “In this place, only remember three things. First, obedience! Second, total obedience! Third, absolute obedience! Here, the order is said only once, same for your chance! Now, everyone leans against the wall. Nobody moves or talks till my next order!”
The children were in chaos. They pushed each other against the wall and stuck straight into it. They didn’t delay, even for a second.
Long Hai, with his hands interlocking behind his back, walked out from the room. He banged the door close behind him.
The first ten minutes, the whole hall fell in silence. However, after ten minutes had passed, some of the kids couldn’t control their restlessness.
A small boy to the right of Qian Ye looked at him, and suddenly whispered, “I’m Liu Kai, my family owns a business in Jian Zhang Province. I heard that this place is frightening. Let’s be friends! My father had said that two are better than one.”
At that moment, Shi Yan’s words had been repeated inside of Qian Ye’s head ‘Must listen to Long Hai.’
Long Hai had just said to neither move nor speak.
Qian Ye didn’t reply, but Liu Kai hadn’t given up, “Hey! No one is watching us! Tell me your name at least!”
After seeing Qian Ye remain still like a statue, not even moving a fingertip, Liu Kai helplessly mumbled a few words and gave up.
Half an hour later, the wall started to be filled up with people gossiping. Some shook their body, and others moved their sore legs.
A corner of the hall was suddenly filled with noise. A few kids had started a quarrel for some reason. They quickly scuffled together, rolling over for an endless fight.
The noise was loud, but no teacher had showed up to stop it. It made the kids feel much more comfortable. After the fight, they went back into their positions. At this moment, many kids started chatting around; the hall gradually became noisy.
The clock pointed at one. The iron door suddenly opened, Long Hai came back, behind him also followed a group of burly and ferocious men, each of them was carrying a leather whip.
The temperature seemed to drop suddenly. All the hustle and bustle was replaced by a scene of trembling kids, with the color being drained off of their faces. One-eyed Long Hai stared at the crowd, and nodded his head, “Good, very good! Not only fighting but also talking! I was worried if my first impression wasn’t accurate, but now I see, my worries weren’t needed!”
His expression darkened, he pointed at some of the kids that were fighting earlier, “Separate them out, bring them to me. Let’s show the other people what the consequence of not following orders are!”
This sentence sounded a bit odd. Many children looked lost. However, some of the smart kids quickly grasped what was about to happen. They were so frightened and curled up closer to the ground.
Six kids were dragged like chickens to the center of the hall, standing in a row.
Long Hai suddenly exposed a hideous smirk, “There is only one punishment here, death!”
One of the men brought in a bizarre-looking firearm, aimed it at one of the kids. Its thick muzzle could have fit a child’s arm!
The muzzle unexpectedly splashed out a red beam with deafening noise. A massive gunfire sound echoed continually. It could have caused some people to be deaf!
The red light streaked! The little boy’s upper body had disappeared, leaving only his legs behind! Blood splattered more than ten meters to the opposite wall.
The man flaunted a gruesome, bloodthirsty smile, and aimed at the next child.
That little boy used to look arrogant, and now he shuddered with fear and shouted, “No! I don’t want to die, my uncle is the Empire’s General. He…”
The gunfire roared again and interrupted his last sentence.
“Empire General? Haha! Even the son of the King, so long as he is still here, ignoring the order will bring him the same end.”
Four guns grunted non-stop, six rounds in total. The center of the hall was covered in blood and pieces of flesh.
Long Hai then said, “Now, the people who had just talked! Stand out, take off your clothes, and lie down on the floor! You brats are lucky, and only get three whips. But if anyone lies to me, those six people’s fate are waiting for you little bastards!”
The children glanced at each other and trembled, wobbling to the center. They stripped their clothes off, then lied down. There were only less than twenty people left standing by the wall.
“Really! No one else?” Long Hai asked again.
Two more fearfully headed out.
Long Hai nodded, “You two, five whips each!”
Their faces turned pale, but it was too late to regret.
Long Hai suddenly reached out to the four kids standing against the wall, his tone was blood-frozen cold, “How dare you to lie to me, die.”
Four children were hauled to the center of the hall bawling their eyes out, then four more ear-splitting gunshots rang out.
That way, after the first night at the Golden Spring base camp, Qian Ye learned that disobeying orders would have been the quickest way to die. It that same night, the group had lessened a tenth.
Three o’clock the next morning, Qian Ye and the other kids were gathered, then driven into a large room.
There were rows of bunk beds. Each child silently chose one, then laid down. No one spoke, no one cried.
Qian Ye habitually laid down on his back, but suddenly sprung up by an unexpected stabbing pain at his back.
In the dark, the children continued to groan in agony but obviously tried to suppress the sounds.
Qian Ye turned over, carefully laying on the bed, he didn’t want to worsen the wound on his back.
He had also suffered a whip.
Even though he had earnestly followed the command, the same as the other fourteen kids, they still got the special treatment as a reward: One whip.
 Golden Spring, Yellow Spring or Styx River (in Greek myth): one of the rivers in the Underworld. In Chinese legend, there were nine rivers on the way to the Underworld. Its name meant the river of vows.