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Legend of the Supreme Soldier

Chapter 8 - Rehabilitation

Chapter 8: Rehabilitation

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Ye Chong had just gotten himself into a sticky situation. He crawled out of his cabin, as if he just swam back to the shore, all drenched, drained of energy and fatigued. Something went wrong with him!

His hands looked fine but his fingers were squirming - Ughh! Ughhhh! - An ache that felt like it was seizing his bone marrows, rushing through his spines, and bombarding his brain one wave after another. If it wasn"t for his great endurance, he might have passed out right away. He wheezed, barely catching his breath while his face turned pale from immense pain.

Despite the excruciating pain, both of his hands appeared alright to him. They were not swelling and there were no cramps. They seemed perfectly fine that not even a strand of hair was lost. Not a single one!

Mu Shang performed a thorough inspection of his body and expressionlessly diagnosed, “A symptom from overusing the senses, the neurological network connecting both your spinal cord and your hands had undergone abusive utilization that surpassed its capacity, thus causing the pain. The symptom will be temporary and will not cause permanent damage to your body. Resting adequately would be sufficient.”

The diagnosis received comments from Ye Chong packed with sarcasm, “Resting adequately? How the hell would I be able to rest adequately with such injuries? I can’t even rest in peace!”

“There’s a way to minimize the pain.” stated Mu Shang. That caught Ye Chong’s attention, “Are you sure?” A pain that felt endless would torture him till death before he could overcome it, but if there’s a way… The statement sparked hope in Ye Chong.

Mu Shang continued elaborating, “This method requires neither medication nor any form of injection, it is safe and effective. You can feel its effects immediately…” Excited, Ye Chong interrupted the explanation, “Then, let’s proceed with it!”

“Are you sure about this?” Mu Shang halted and lowered his head, as he asked.

For some reason, the question suddenly sent chills down his spine. This doesn’t seem right… that face of Mu… I shoul- Ouch!

Nonetheless the pain forced him acquiesce, “Yes, I’m sure!”

Bam! A blow slammed right into the artery of his neck! He blacked out and the only thought that surged through his mind was man… it… it worked!

The voice of Mu Shang ran through the room, calm and still, “Execution completed.” As he sat before the fainted Ye Chong.

After waking up, Ye Chong could sense the transformation in his body clearly, especially in his hands. Everything felt incoherent. His body responded slower than his mind, his coordination was literally out of sync, no longer as compatible as it used to be.

Mu Shang added, “That is because your coordination has been disrupted. Your senses did improve tremendously beyond the limits you used to have, however your physical body remained the same as before and faced problems in coping with the processing speed of your mind. Consequently, you will feel sluggishness in your physical body but in actuality it is just your mind speeding up.”

Ye Chong understood the side effects described by Mu Shang and stopped entering the virtual web for the next few days. Instead, he performed physical training, especially dedicated to his hands.

On a platform about half a square meter in size, he concentrated on controlling six marbles and rolled them between his hands back and forth, netting all marbles in his hand and moving them at high velocity and rate of collision, in an ever-changing orbit. The velocity increased over time and beads of sweat could be discerned on Ye Chong’s forehead as his hands caught up with the speedy movement. Gradually the beads of sweat came falling down like droplets of rain on his forehead. His hands rushed like shadows overlapping till afterimages began to form. It’s coming back!

In the end, he lost control and the marbles were scattered all over the place. He breathed heavily and ditched the marbles on the floor. Man this was too tiring! Mu Shang at the side evaluated Ye Chong, “It was still not satisfactory, but well, you passed!”

After finally ending his boring marble rolling days, Ye Chong started wondering if those marbles were purposely made by Mu Shang to torture people, both body and soul. Deep in his heart, he still adored Mu Shang. At least, thanks to Mu Shang, his hands felt like his own again and moved with better dexterity too.

Oh Winnie. Getting back to Winnie again was wonderful. It was heartwarming to see his broken partner again after taking a break from mech driving for so long. All this while, Ye Chong had been busy with the marble training and so his usual daily hunting was taken over by Mu Shang ever since his injury. Ye Chong was astounded by the fact that he couldn’t find any other form of wounds on the prey Mu Shang hunted other than the small hole on the neck.

He frenzied in the field with Winnie, one mountain of dump after another while Mu Shang tailed behind at a fixed distance. That was the moment he could actually distinguish the changes in his hands before and after, more specifically the increased agility in his hands. As joyful as he was, he then remembered the steps Mu Shang taught him before. That Non-Orderly Wavy Leap which allowed him to taste the fruit of victory the very first time kindled the eagerness in him. He switched to the highest gear and chained with a variety of calculations, performed a live performance on the spot, with that great leap he adored.

Winnie at her age clumsily made a few disoriented orbits of different kinds under his control. Sometimes large and sometimes small. Sometimes it was a straight curve and sometimes it was a zigzag. And that wasn’t all from Ye Chong!

Being absolutely worked up, he continued making wavy leaps that were more condensed. In a brief period of time, Winnie began moving in tiny wavy steps at full speed. Unlike the disoriented curves before, they were all constant and orderly, while Ye Chong was still in the mood of making even smaller curves.

Ye Chong had grand plans of his own. Right when he was on his attempt to further downsize his steps, a loud noise drummed his ears. Winnie was finally unable to withstand the complexity and had broken into half.

Wham! Right at her waist!

Ye Chong’s joy became fear. He did not manage to call Mu Shang for help as he had been thrown like a meteorite, all the way to the huge pile of dumps nearby along with the upper half of Winnie. Ye Chong had a concussion and was buried by the pile he crashed into.

Darkness blinded Ye Chong.

When Ye Chong… wait, technically it was Winnie, not me. Again. When Winnie got pulled out from the deep piles of trash by Mu Shang, Ye Chong saw the teasing expression of Mu Shang’s contrary to the usual expressionless face he put up, and it was extremely frustrating. The frustration intensified when Ye Chong was on his way home - he waws being carried by Mu Shang like a disabled person. The helplessness! And the teasing from Mu Shang he anticipated!

He was frustrated, yet he was truly helpless without Winnie. Mu would never allow Ye Chong to pilot him either. Moreover, a rookie riding on a beginner? That felt too absurd.

Can’t help it. I am too weak in contrast!

The foremost issue was still losing his mech. No matter how old Winnie was, she was still significant to Ye Chong’s life, if there was no replacement that is. By then he could only plead Mu to bring Winnie’s lower part of her body back. Regretting the consequences of his excitement, his heart turned cold. He should have known how aged Winnie already was and should’ve been aware of how long she had served him over the ages. It was a miracle for her to last this long and now she was damaged in a way that is fatal even for ordinary mechs. It would be hopeless to get her fixed, especially when it happened in a place where there was nothing else other than piles and piles of trash.

Never forgetting to spice up the situation with sarcasm Mu said, “Ye, I can’t stop myself but to tell you the ultimate truth of cruelty. The possibility to get Winnie fully repaired would be 1% and below! So stop gambling with a chance this low! It is against the value theory! In layman’s terms, it’s not worth it!”

Sorrow could be seen in Ye Chong when the realization of his helplessness struck him. He went into Mu Shang’s cabin and then, into the virtual web.

Mu Shang didn’t seem to feel like behaving empatheticcally as his words echoed, “According to statistics, you have yet to master the 68 kinds of basic courses. This is the list!” Stuffed right in his face was the absurdly long list to which he responded with ignorance as drove on. The robot went silent for a bit and spat out, “Ye, if one day your skills surpasses me, I would let you ride me.”

He halted, got out and walked away, without making a sound or throwing a tantrum.

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