Za… Zar- General who?
Za… Zar- General who? A question mark was written across the faces of all members of Yunbao Branch. They looked at the assessment team who seemed to be just as ignorant as them and reluctantly filled in the blanks in their hearts.
Oh, General Zarad.
The atmosphere suddenly became strangely quiet. It was complete silence. At this time, a needle dropping to the ground would sound like a lightning bolt in the middle of the night. The expressions on both sides’ faces were still frozen.
The focus of everyone’s attention, Zarad, who had finally shaved off his beard after days of persuasion, did not respond. His eyes kept shifting around and he felt a bit stupefied, he did not meet the gazes of anyone present.
In fact, Zarad wanted nothing more than to leave… No, actually, he hadn’t wanted to appear in the first place. Why was he even here?? Fretting over these trivial matters, Zarad still stood in place with a serious expression on his face. His stance was the standard military posture for soldiers. In the eyes of the assessment team, he had the air of a Star Alliance general.
But to everyone at Yunbao Branch, seeing this appearance made them faintly understand.
It hit Xia Qi especially hard. Her face was a disillusioned mess, the whole person did not seem well.
As for Xia Qi’s reaction, Xie Tao could actually understand it.
He distinctly remembered that he once heard the other say that she was a fan of General Zarad and that the General was a great hero she particularly adored… Recalling the bearded and unkempt sloppy appearance the other had when he first came to Yunbao Branch, Xie Tao’s mood was also a little complex at this time. He felt it a bit unreal.
A Star Alliance General worked.. worked as a gatekeeper at their club— No, as a combat instructor?? The other people’s reaction was a bit better than Xia Qi’s, but at this time they also had an expression of being struck by lightning. They looked at each other in dismay and saw the same blank look on the surrounding faces.
It was not clear which side was more ignorant. The first to break the abnormal silence was the head assessor. The former straightened her back and walked up to the middle-aged man standing in front of her, she then saluted him and carefully asked, “General, you are the combat instructor of this nursing club?” What was the origin of this club?! This was the only thought that was on the assessors’ minds at this time.
They did not know what to think anymore. How could such a big shot who used to make the whole Star Alliance military tremble with a mere stamp of his foot, appear at this far from well-known nursing club? The assessment team could not understand it at all.
“En.” Zarad put on airs and curtly answered.
As he did this, Zarad sensed the subtle gaze from his colleagues and immediately felt a little guilty, but he still tried his hardest to maintain his stern appearance.
Getting a definite answer, the way the assessment team looked at the staff of Yunbao Branch suddenly changed.
From the start, they had never looked down on this club. They always used a formal attitude when conducting field assessments, there was nothing wrong with the way they had behaved.
However, now they had to give face to this big shot and could not have the same kind of aloof manner. After all, what if after seeing them off, the other contacted his close friends in the Star Alliance military or his former subordinates? At that time they would not get any food and would not be able to walk away from the matter… Moreover, it was still not certain if the General would resume his post at the Star Alliance one day.
How the higher-ups of the Star Alliance treated this General who had accomplished outstanding achievements— they were long since aware of it. In fact, everyone with ears in the Star Alliance knew that the higher-ups had tried their best to stop him when the other had chosen to retire. It had already spread throughout the Star Alliance.
Their attitude became more humble and the assessment team also seemed relatively eager to please. They currently did not know what kind of temper the former General of the Star Alliance had. Naturally, they should be careful when speaking.
“According to the regulations, the combat instructor also needs to be assessed. I will have to bother you to cooperate with us…” At the end of this sentence, the assessor who had spoken out quickly clarified, “Of course, we absolutely believe in your ability as a combat instructor. It can undoubtedly become a bonus.”
Seeing the assessment team sent by the Star Alliance behaving so politely and even having an appearance of being close to trembling with fear as they spoke, the faces of basically every single member of Yunbao Branch turned into wood. They had already suffered enough attacks.
“How much can I add?” Zarad very bluntly asked.
He had considered staying at Yunbao and live as an old official in the future. Now that he heard about the bonus points, which was obviously of great concern to the club, Zarad felt that he must do his best.
Assessment team: “…” The assessor who had said that sentence choked completely and a drop of sweat ran down his temple.
How could he answer this question ah? Choking on his words for quite a while, the assessor finally came up with a reply that would not offend the other, “The highest bonus ever recorded was 137 points. Your contribution can of course be higher than this record.”
A former General of the Star Alliance was their combat instructor. Moreover, this was the very General who had been bestowed the highest military medal of the Star Alliance. It did not feel excessive to say that it was enough to break the bonus record. Anyone would be convinced in heart and by word. 
Although they knew that it was like this, everyone at Yunbao Branch still felt like they had gone through the back door.  The whole ordeal had been like riding a roller coaster, and right now their motion sickness was especially bad. The sour feeling made it hard to speak.
Zarad was completely unaware that his question had put the assessment team in a tight spot just now. Hearing their response, he lightly nodded and thought to himself that this would be his contribution to the club.
If there were rules, you had to follow them. As a soldier, Zarad… Although he was currently not a soldier, he still did not like to violate rules. So he completed the requests put forward by the assessment team one by one.
Actually, he just had to teach the club’s cubs like he normally did. Bringing them out to the courtyard, Zarad taught the cubs basic combat in front of these assessors.
At present, only the mermaid cub in the club had developed an ability. In order to meet the requirements of the assessment, Xie Tao picked up the little mermaid from the indoor pool and also carried him out to the outer courtyard. Zarad then demonstrated step by step for the assessment team how he guided the cub to use his ability.
All members of the assessment team seriously noted down and graded his performance. In any case, this was a matter of evaluating an S-level combat instructor.
This part was definitely full marks. As for how many bonus points would be added specifically, they would need to carefully consider it later.
Having finished this part and thereby completed the field assessment, the esteemed people of the assessment team departed in a polite manner.
During the whole process, their attitude could not have been any better. It was as if they were not the assessors, but rather the ones being assessed.
Once the outsiders had left, the people at the Yunbao club began to solve their internal problems. Apart from Zarad, everyone stood together on the same side, silently watching the former.
“You… You are really General Zarad? The one who retired from the Star Alliance military… The great hero?” From her facial expression, you could see that Xia Qi still hadn’t recovered, she was still stunned. But who could blame her? She had just experienced a round of feelings similar to having one’s dreams shattered, now she couldn’t help but confirming this matter with the other in person.
The General Zarad in her mind was a great hero who had made outstanding contributions to the peace in the interstellar. To her, such a great hero had to be a dignified man with an extraordinary appearance.
But reality was a little cruel.
An appearance out of the ordinary indeed— A very dignified beard— Thinking of that unkempt beard that he had finally shaved off after she had urged him to for several days, Xia Qi felt her once beautiful fantasy being smashed into pieces.
Meeting the other’s gaze, Zarad for some reason felt a little more guilty. But he still lowered his head, confirming it.
There was a Star Alliance General in their club! Although the other people in the club did not worship Zarad as much as Xia Qi, when suddenly discovering that the other was a bigwig, their behavior could not help but change.
Still, for them to be polite and respectful all of a sudden… They had been colleagues for so long, they did not feel like they were facing a bigwig right now.
But to continue to interact with each other as before, it also seemed a bit awkward…
“We are all colleagues at this club, status and rank are irrelevant. We will be together for a long time in the future.”
Following Xia Qi, Xia Tao at this time said this in an attempt to mediate the situation.
Even though they had still to completely recover from the shock and currently had barely just half-processed this astonishing fact, they were slowly beginning to accept this huge piece of information.
As it was true, Xia Qi also started to persuade herself. Actually, the image the other had when he first arrived had been sloppy and depressing. But once he became an official employee of their club, his images had not been like that since.
It was just that he was a little lazy and did not shave often. It was not like he was not that great hero. If you looked closely, the other still had the air of a General, he was still very dignified and his posture straight. After convincing herself in this way, Xia Qi felt that her crushed dream had at last been somewhat pieced together.
“How many points can we get in this assessment?” Recalling the bonus points they got for the combat instructor, Zheng Zhou could not help asking this question.
According to what the assessors said earlier, at least 137 points could be added to that part… If they were really added, was it possible for their club to get into the top three thousand?
It is out! \(^^)/
I guess it’s Zarad’s turn to traumatize Xia Qi. I really feel for her, but at least she seems to have somewhat come to terms with it.
On another note, here is a drawing I made of the assessors’ reactions. ^^
 – 心服口服 xīn fú kǒu fú, “convinced in heart and by word” is an idiom, it means to be sincerely convinced and ready to concede
 – 走后门 zǒu hòu mén, “to enter by the back door” means to gain influence by pull or unofficial channels.