Chapter 5: Day and Night (Light and Darkness)
Qian Ye, from body to spirit, was completely exhausted. He fell asleep the second he laid down again.
But after three hours, he was awakened by a shrill bell ring. For an instant, the command of Long Hai pierced into mind. He immediately got up, rushed over and grabbed the clothes he had tossed to the end of his bunk last night, wore it on with the fastest speed. This action, of course, inevitably touched the wound on his back. It was so painful that he had to deeply inhale the cold air.
These kids only had five minutes in total to get ready from the bunk to the assembly point, and the last three that arrived, would have gotten three whips as punishment.
Qian Ye was numbly standing in the queue, numbly followed the command, and ran along the narrow path for five kilometers. Finally, he returned to the base camp, completely paralyzed.
Thanks to the survival experiences in the Landfill, Qian Ye’s performance was rather good, he was the tenth, in coming back at the end of the run.
The next hour was physical training. Whoever that did not complete the required amount of training tasks would have gotten thrashed. Skinny Qian Ye, unfortunately, suffered one.
This was just the beginning. Throughout the training, the leather whip was the most memorable object in these children’s mind.
The physical training ended, and it was breakfast time.
Breakfast was the only commendable thing in the camp, not only because of its diverse variety, but also the unlimited amount of all-you-can-eat food. There weren’t any restrictions, except for the time. Breakfast time was thirty minutes. Apparently luxurious enough so that no one got any overtime.
The experience yesterday was enough for these children to understand that any actions beyond the time limit would have resulted in whipping.
There were kids from the Noble Families, but the vast majority were civilians who had been chosen from all over the continents. There were also a few orphans who had experienced the same life as Qian Ye. After all those years suffering severe starvation, they had lost control the first time, after seeing the many variety of foods in front of their eyes. They desperately stuffed the food in their mouths, afraid that they wouldn’t have had such a chance the next time.
Qian Ye cautiously ate just a bit more than normal and stopped. Back at the Landfill, he had seen someone that was lucky in picking up a large bag of food, and ended up killing himself by overeating.
At the end of the breakfast came the piercing bell ring. The children rushed to the door like a tide. That was when the accident happened. A little girl suddenly fell to the ground and stumbled around in agony, shrieking non-stop. Finally, she stopped moving.
She had eaten too much and had paid for it with her own life.
That breakfast and that little girl had taught the kids self-control in the survival camp.
After breakfast, they went back to training. There was a variety of training courses throughout the day, all were about strength and conditioning.
Every half of each section, Qian Ye felt like giving up, but his stubbornness and perseverance allowed his small body to perform each set of tasks, finally completing the training. Life had taught him, even if it was at the most desperate times, as long as he clenched his teeth and stuck to it, there would always be a tomorrow.
When finally lying down on the bed again, Qian Ye still wondered how he could have managed the entire process. This time he was careful not to hurt himself, so he layed down on his stomach. On the soft skin of his back, there were three whip marks.
As soon as he got into his bunk, Qian Ye was immediately deep within his dreams. His nightmare was full of a whipping sound like a blade that was cutting through the wind.
At six o’clock in the morning, the shrill bell woke him up. He immediately jumped off of his bed and then threw on all sorts of clothes, and rushed out to the barracks. His eyes were not even fully open.
The moment he reached the barracks, the sunlight had blinded Qian Ye temporarily, and he squinted. He surprisingly noticed that it had recently been the dark season, how could there have been sunlight at 6 a.m.?
The next moment, Qian Ye realized that he was no longer in the Landfill, but here at the Empire’s middle continent: Qin. The sun rarely got blocked by the other upper continents. Naturally, there was sunlight at six o’clock.
Qian Ye only wondered for a few seconds. Then, he rushed to his position, standing as straight as a javelin.
A new day had begun.
Till this day, the most profound memories of Qian Ye was still of the whips in the men’s hands. He had gotten one since he was unable to complete a task in the given time.
The other children’s experience wasn’t that much different from Qian Ye’s. Only the strongest ones weren’t punished, and the weakest ones had already gotten five whips. If they fell on the ground and were unable to stand back up, they would immediately be dragged away from the training yard. Qian Ye never saw those children again after that.
On the third night, the instructors brought a vat full of black gel, so the children could apply it on the wounds that were caused by the whips. The gel stung badly, even more so than of the leather whip. But when the agonizing night had passed, the next morning, their bodies were mostly recovered.
Every day had passed the same way, Qian Ye only dreamt about being whipped.
After a month, Qian Ye had welcomed his first day without being whipped as a punishment. And that night, it dawned on Qian Ye that there were only seventy-six of his peers left. There were more than a hundred kids at the beginning, a single month had already lessened the amount by thirty people.
Then came the endless strength and endurance training, as well as the nonstop whipping.
Since the second day, Long Hai had no longer used any minute excuse to directly execute any child. Only whom whose behaviors broke the prohibition were killed. However, Qian Ye had been in the training camp for about 3 months, when his fellows had dropped down to sixty people, almost half of the initial arrivals were gone. Only half of them was able to endure through the brutal training.
Though, in the past three months, Qian Ye had gotten a lot stronger. He had physically transformed so much since he first got to the camp, it was as if he had become a different person
The first day after three months, Qian Ye and the other students were brought to a building for a special course.
Teaching this class was a slender and gorgeous teacher. She was in her twenties. Her clothes stretched from binding her ample bosom.
She strode to the podium, and wrote on the blackboard five letters, “The Essence of the Universe,” read it, and then said, “I know most of you don’t understand these words, but it doesn’t matter, you have a month to learn. I will distribute the textbook, and you will read it carefully after my first class. Now I will talk about the essence of the universe.”
The Essence of the Universe was the Original Force.
According to the charming teacher Zhang Jing’s lecture, supporting the roots of the whole universe was the Force.
Force had different forms of existences. It was also divided into two opposing types: one had tendency for light, fully known as the Light Original Force; while the other leaned towards the dark, which was the Dark Original Force.
All living creatures had depended on the Force to survive and was naturally categorized as shown above. However, even of the same type, different races had their own typical way of practicing the Force.
Humanity belonged to the Light division. Whereas our enslavement lived upon the Dark. Their strength, and even their living, relied on the Dark Forces. The existence of these Dark Races was extremely powerful. There were different internal branches, of which the Vampire, Werewolves, Dark Magic Creatures and Half-Man-Spider were notoriously known as the most tyrannical races.
The humans were an eccentric race, although most people were inclined towards the Light. Nevertheless, there were those that focused on the Dark Forces. Even though some had their Light Forces awakened, yet they were ultimately devoted to the Dark.
Some said that between the Light and Dark, there was also one purest form of Force, the Primitive Force. However, it was extremely rare for a person to feel his Primitive Force, not to mention of practicing it in this world. So far, there were no studies that were done in this field of Force.
Force and Practice.
Qian Ye couldn’t help but clenched his right hand as if to cling onto the invisible remnant warmth from that restless night. The only powerful hands! For him, it was the only bright light that had saved his miserable life from the shadows of darkness.
Zhang Jing tapped the podium, the metal desk cracked open, sounded a miniature mechanical rotation, an ‘object’ that contained countless metal wires, branches, gears, and some irregular components rose in the air one by one. This three-dimensional model was a world map .
The whole world was dynamic! The gears were spinning on their teeth. The metal wire was acting as a conductor. The delicate components represented the continents. They were slowly following different orbits.
Zhang Jing spoke of several unfamiliar nouns. Humanity had explored twenty-seven planets, they weren’t static but slowly orbiting in the mysterious trajectory of time. On top of these continents, there were two ‘Suns,’ surrounded by several different stars, which were regarded as the ‘Moons’ which was observable at night. Because of the divergence of orbits, The ‘Moonlight’ that shined on the same continent might not have been from the same moon.
Including Qian Ye, most of the children couldn’t make sense of the teachings. They could only repeat the words like parrots. It was hard to write down everything that she said. They were gluing their eyes to the rich and complex model, hoping that they could have memorized them within the shortest time possible.
The Noble Family kids seemed to have learned this already, so they didn’t look as panicked as the others.
“The sunlight blocked by the Upper continent. Therefore, the lower a continent was, the shorter the duration of sunlight it had. Every continent’s Original Forces possessed opposing characteristics, thus there was always Light on one side, while the other was covered in the Dark. The Force inclination was the deciding factor of the living location of a race. Some mainland possessed ambiguous characteristics, hence becoming the battle field between two races.” Zhang Jing’s voice was like music to the ears. Her explanation was easy to understand. Otherwise, the students wouldn’t have been able to have grasped it.
She pointed at the bottom of the mainland group, and said, “For example, this continent suffers the longest night of all. Although there are four seasons, most divide the seasons that are based on the time of sunshine: the Light season and the Dark season. Three months of the year is the Light season, the rest belongs to the Dark season. Therefore, this continent’s living condition is dreadful. However, it is the origin of all the continents. The Empire had also started from there. Although it is now forgotten, we call it the Yong Ye continent, also known as the Abandoned Land.”
Qian Ye’s body suddenly convulsed, he felt like all the warmth had drained. This piece of land was where he had survived since the beginning of his awareness. In fact, in his memories, there seemed to be someone else who had lived with him at first, but at one point in time, which he couldn’t remember, the person never came back.
While he was daydreaming, the lesson had come to an end.
Zhang Jing retrieved the model back into the podium, and said, “I’ll see you again after a month, the next lesson is on the War Against Darkness, which was the rise of the Human war, the Fated war, and also the birth of the Empire.”
 It made me think of the anime Hand Shakers when the main characters summon their weapons