Chapter 39 – Frail, Sickly, and Poor
When Nie Yan exited the game, he immediately began an intense and rhythmic exercise regimen consisting of resistance training, squats, boxing, martial arts, and reflex training. He completed each set of exercises ten times, only stopping once every five minutes to rest and replenish his stamina with nutritional supplements.
Besides punching force, strong kicking power was also an important requirement in martial arts as well.
Nie Yan was prepared to do weighted squats. His two legs immediately felt strained when he attached thirty kilograms of weight to his body.
He placed both hands behind his head and began lowering his body from a standing position. He stopped when his knees bent at a near ninety degree angle, and then he began returning to his original position. One repetition… Two repetitions… After three repetitions not much time had passed, yet his back had already began to sweat. When he completed twenty repetitions, he felt his entire body was on the verge of collapse. However, after drinking some nutrition tonic and resting for two minutes, he continued onward with his second set of squats.
Within his moment of rest, his stamina progressively recovered while his exhaustion was swept away.
After going back in time, my current body’s recovery ability is rather decent. With such a good aptitude, I definitely can’t let it go to waste, Nie Yan couldn’t help but think.
When his body began gradually adapting to the additional weights, he added another five kilograms. He then picked up his machine dynamics textbook and began studying while doing squats.
His body was pushed to its physical limits, yet he clenched his teeth and continued to persevere.
“The combined application of the lever arm and torque inside the machine… The calculation of current strength… The problems I had so much trouble with in the past were actually this easy.“ Nie Yan began writing and drawing on his notebook. His writing speed was fairly quick. In but a brief moment, he had solved a highly difficult problem regarding current strength.
His body was exhausted at this moment. However, his mind was exceptionally active.
Even if he returned to the past, he had still experienced a lifetime’s worth of bitterness and solitude. Therefore, Nie Yan knew it was not easy to come by his current happy life. He wanted everyone in his life to be happy. He wanted himself to become stronger. No matter if it was in game or real life, economical ability or personal fighting accomplishments, he had to be strong in all those areas. Only then could he have the power to protect all that he held dear.
Cao Xu, if you’re unwilling to let my family go in this life as well, I’ll definitely kill you! Nie Yan’s expression flickered with murderous intent. He then added another five-kilogram weight and quickened his pace.
One, two, three, four, five…
The sound of his heavy breathing echoed out of the room.
The affection for his loved ones and the hatred for his enemies, these were two emotions were at extremes. However, either one of them could cause a person to burst with endless potential and ability. And, at this moment, both were propelling him to move forward.
“Ninety-seven… ninety-eight… ninety-nine…” Nie Yan had reached his limit long ago. He was persevering solely through willpower alone. The weights were pushing down on his body; he was unable to breathe. However, at that moment, he explosively roared, “One hundred!”
Nie Yan put every single muscle fibre within his being to use. Bearing the forty kilogram weights which weighed down on his body, he shakily pushed himself upright. In the instant he straightened out his body, he felt he had drained every last ounce of strength he had. An intense fatigue rushed forth as he collapsed on the floor.
“Hah… I reached my limit.” Nie Yan lay on his back while repeatedly gasping for breath, every muscle aching with pain.
Even under this extreme fatigue, he could still feel the exhaustion gradually lightening in the same way as before.
Nie Yan crawled back up after resting on the floor for five minutes. He felt his fatigue had significantly lessened as he stretched his four limbs.
Perhaps, I should go out and test my strength, Nie Yan thought.
This was an era where everyone engaged in some form of physical tempering. Nearly every citizen practiced taekwondo, kickboxing, or some other form of martial arts. There were martial arts facilities littered everywhere along any street. Usually, these martial arts facilities had several experts hired as instructors to teach patrons. Fitness equipment and exercise machines were incorporated into these facilities much like a regular gym. These facilities charged a fixed fee every hour for patrons who wished to use the equipment and machines. The working hours for the average person were quite brief, so most people liked to spend their spare time exercising at these facilities. People who didn’t exercise were looked down upon by the rest of society. Even when it came to picking up girls, men who knew martial arts would have a much easier time. Furthermore, there were frequent appearances of beautiful women with fantastic figures at these martial arts facilities.
Nie Yan had been through it all in his past life. He had gone mad from grief, insane from hopelessness, and debaucherous as well. He became even more of a silkpants when his father gained success. He had loitered around at all types of locations, and he especially never forgot or neglected those facilities where all the beautiful women frequented. Occasionally, he would even play around all through the night. At that time, he truly had the type of disgusting personality people could not bear. Xie Yao was the only thing that acted as a restraint in his mind and prevented him from crossing the line. Only when his father had suffered under Cao Xu’s attacks did he finally return to being studious and well behaved. However, by then it was already too late.
When he was well-off in his previous life, he had never gone to the martial arts facilities to actually train, but to chase girls instead. This time around, his mentality and experiences were widely different.
Nie Yan walked over to the nearest martial arts facility in his area, Lin Family Martial Arts Facility. It was a facility run by the father of one of his classmates. However, this classmate wasn’t someone he could particularly stand, so he hoped he wouldn’t encounter her when he entered the facility.
The Lin Family Martial Arts Facility couldn’t be counted as particularly large, but it was still of a decent size. The interior decorations weren’t bad either, and the various kinds of equipment and exercise machines were all available. In other words, within the local area, it could still be considered well-known.
Nie Yan stepped into the facility. As he lowered his head and looked at the reception counter, a familiar figure entered his eyes. Dammit! Why is she at the desk today?
The one receiving customers at the desk was Lin Jia. Truthfully, he and Lin Jia could be said to have a slight connection. They both lived near each other and were classmates in elementary school, middle school and high school. Her looks weren’t bad either—she was one of the prettiest girls in middle school. Though, when they reached high school, her looks became sorely outclassed compared to the other girls he met. In Nie Yan’s eyes, there was no need for comparison when it came to her and Xie Yao. It was debatable if you tried to pass the one off as good looking, while the other was undoubtedly a beauty that moved many hearts. Despite this, during middle school, he did indeed have a crush on this girl. He had even written her a love letter, which was promptly rejected when it was received. Some time after the event, she began proclaiming publicly that Nie Yan was secretly in love with her, which left him with basically no face. This event left him with a shadow in his heart that he wasn’t able to break free from until he transferred schools to the city.
As he gradually grew older, he came to understand that Lin Jia was a very vain type of person. How could someone like her ever be together with an impoverished person like him? Later on, after Nie Yan turned from a poor boy into a silkpants, she and Nie Yan crossed paths again during a gathering at his place one night. That night Nie Yan threw three hundred thousand dollars worth of banknotes at her. During the whole ordeal she remained surprisingly tactful. After taking the money, she left and never tried to tangle with or get close to Nie Yan again.
As he recalled this annoying memory, Nie Yan became unwilling to think of it any further.
Nie Yan turned to leave. However, after pausing for a moment, he had a change of heart. Mentally, he was already a twenty-something-year-old man. There was no need for him to be bothered because of this little girl. In any case, he was going to transfer schools in the future. By then, he would have no relation to her at all, why would he have to hide?
“Boss, give me a card for two hours.” Nie Yan placed fifty dollars on the desk counter.
The voice could still be regarded as somewhat familiar to her. She lifted her head to look at the person who spoke and discovered it was Nie Yan. Waving him away, she revealed a disdainful expression and said, “You came here to find me, right? Well, I don’t have any free time, so leave.” In her heart, there was no difference between Nie Yan and a loudly buzzing housefly.
Lin Jia was indeed a little pretty. She wore a silk dress with a neckline that exposed a large area of white skin. Her cheeks were smooth and clean. Her eyebrows were drawn in a curve with eyeliner. Paired with her bright eyes, it did indeed make her seem somewhat coquettish.
However, before Nie Yan’s current gaze, Lin Jia was nothing more than a little girl who knew how to dress up slightly, that’s all. During middle school, his eyes must have truly been covered with shit to have been infatuated with a girl like her. Later on, during several student gatherings, he had found girls more beautiful than her everywhere. At that time he realized, she was only considered more beautiful because she was slightly better than her peers at dressing up, and putting on makeup. This was the sole reason she was able to stay popular during their time together in middle school and high school.
“I want a two-hour card to use the gym.” Nie Yan indifferently glanced at Lin Jia.
“Nie Yan, I already told you. Stop coming around to pester me. With a scrawny matchstick appearance like yours, you still want to come here and exercise?” Lin Jia replied with a sneer on her face. She then waved her hand and threw a card at Nie Yan.
This girl has been watching too many television dramas… Nie Yan was too lazy to bother with this girl. He picked up the exercise card and headed farther into the facility.
Lin Jia still wanted to say a few more words, but Nie Yan had already turned around. Thus, what was left facing her was only his back. The few words she had left to say were swallowed back down her throat. However, she then followed with a sneer and said, “Your family owes five, six hundred thousand dollars in debt, making you a penniless bum. Your group of relatives drop by every day demanding repayment, and your parents are nowhere to be found. You still have the whim to come here and exercise?”
When her harsh words reached Nie Yan’s ears, his heart rose with a slight anger. If this were the previous him, perhaps he would have already rushed up in a rage. However now, as twenty-eight-year-old man, it just wasn’t worth his time arguing with a snobbish brat who had barely reached adulthood.
Lin Jia gazed at the receding figure of Nie Yan’s back. She stared absentmindedly as if she were looking at an illusion. From when she last recalled, Nie Yan didn’t seem this muscular or robust.
“Peh, how is that possible? This guy is a famous matchstick known for always being frail and sickly. Even if he didn’t move, he’d get sick and ask for a leave of absence.” The tone of her voice contained a trace of mockery.
“Lin Jia, who was that person just now?” asked a young man who went over to Lin Jia’s side. His hair was dyed blonde and he appeared to be in his early twenties.
“That was one of my classmates. One of our ‘honour students’ who ranked third in literature!” Lin Jia replied. Her expression immediately revealed a charming smile when she saw this young man coming over.