Translator: Zen Translations Editor: Zen Translations
“Practicing at the last minute, are you sure you can do it?” Shangguan Bing’er looked at him with her face full of doubt. However, though she said that, she actually removed the Purple Dawn Bow from her back and handed it to him.
“Whether or not I can, you will know after you see the result.” Zhou Weiqing took the Purple Dawn Bow and ran off in high spirits. Although he did not know what the exactly the Fresh Recruit Tournament entailed, but his father had been training him like a soldier since he was seven years old. Before he actually enlisted in the army, the thing he lacked most was physical strength, but now that he had become a Heavenly Jewel Master, even without using his Physical Jewel, his physique was already improved beyond that of any average person, which definitely granted him much more self-confidence.
Three days later.
In the military camp outside the Heavenly Bow City, the morning bugle sounded out loud early in the morning. Squads of soldiers quickly streamed out of their tents, and lined up in their formations outside the camp.
There were more than 2000 soldiers in total, of which more than 1000 were the Fifth Regiment’s various Battalions’ manpower who were responsible for recruiting soldiers, while the other 1000 were this time’s fresh recruits.
The Fifth Regiment’s 10 Battalions had each recruited a Company of soldiers to supplement their front line and non-combatant personnel which they had lost.
After three months of new recruit training, the recruits did have the appearance of a soldier, at least they were standing there smartly with their backs straightened, their brand-new military uniforms made them seem rather valiant and spirited.
At this moment, Zhou Weiqing was standing amongst the 3rd Battalion’s new recruit Company, but in a rather unnoticable corner. However, he was carrying Shangguan Bing’er’s Purple Dawn Bow on his back.
In front of the formation of 2000 soldiers stood several military officers, and the one in front was Shangguan Bing’er who was dressed in her Battalion Commander uniform. She was the only Battalion Commander from the Fifth Regiment who was attending this round of recruitment in the Heavenly Bow City, the other Battalions had sent Company Leaders.
Shangguan Bing’er stood beautiful and valiant in the front, surrounded by Company Leaders. She was at this moment a lot more dignified and imposing as compared to her usual look, and as her gaze swept across the 2000 soldiers present, she said in a solemn voice: “I am very honored to be assigned the task of recruiting soldiers by the Fifth Regiment headquarters. My name is Shangguan Bing’er, and I am the Fifth Regiment’s Third Archery Battalion Commander.”
The veterans were still alright, as they had mostly seen this beautiful female Battalion Commander before, but most of the recruits had not, and the originally orderly formation immediately had some disturbances.
“Wow, the top beauty of the Empire! She is actually our Fifth Regiment 3rd Battalion’s Battalion Commander?”
“Heh heh, you’ve just found out now? We, the recruits of the 3rd Battalion, actually personally received our equipment from the Battalion Commander and saw her then.”
On hearing the discussions of the soldiers around him, Zhou Weiqing felt very proud in his heart,secretly thinking to himself: That is my wife. Of course, he certainly did not proclaim that out loud.
As the sounds of discussion resounded continuously, the recruits were obviously turning sloppy. The Company Leader who was responsible for the recruit training gave a loud shout: “Silence!”
The new recruits quickly quietened down. Although they had been recruited for the respective Battalions, but the recruit training was done together in the new barracks, and now that the recruit training had ended, once the Fresh Recruit Tournament ends, they would return to their respective Battalions.
Xiao Se stood at Shangguan Bing’er’s side, and looking at the rather chaotic scene in front of them, curled her lip in disdain. The battlefield is ruled by Man, yet Shangguan Bing’er has not understood this. How could such a person snatch my position of Battalion Commander. Isn’t she just a Heavenly Jewel Master? What’s so great about that.
The next step was basic routine administrative business, and under the various Fifth Regiment’s Company Leaders leadership, the new recruits were dismissed, and the various recruits returned to their respective Battalion headquarters. After all of that was completed, Shangguan Bing’er once more entered the stage.
“Good, starting from today, the 1000 new recruit brothers now officially belong to our Fifth Regiment. Next, we will be examining the results of your three months of rigorous training. The recruits who shows outstanding displays in the upcoming Fresh Recruit Tournament, will be directly promoted to the rank of Squad Leader. Alright, all the various Battalions, your preparation starts now.”
“Yes.” All the Company Leaders said in compliance, rapidly leading their respective troops to start their formation.
The Fifth Regiment was an Infantry Regiment, and amongst the ten Battalions, four of them were archery Battalions, and of the other six, four were Light Infantry Battalions and two Heavy Infantry Battalions. Without a doubt, the two Heavy Infantry Battalions were the trump card Battalions of the Fifth Regiment. The Battalion Commanders responsible for these two Battalions also held the duty of the Fifth Regiment’s Vice Regimental Commander. Of course, they were currently not here, but were at the front lines.
Due to the difference in the type of soldiers, therefore, the so-called Fresh Recruit Tournament was actually not with all ten Battalions competing against each other, but being carried out according to their service arm. If not, if we were to let the Light Infantry and Heavy Infantry to fight against each other, what would be the point?
The three main main service branches were quickly divided into their respective tournament areas. For the Heavy Infantry Recruits consisting of only 2 Battalions, it was very simple, they just need to face off straightforwardly, and charge against each other without weapons, purely a competition of strength. The soldiers which were overwhelmed would be eliminated immediately, and this will carry on till a single winner arose; this final winner would also be directly awarded with rank of Squad Leader. In the Fifth Regiment, it must be known that a Squad Leader of the elite Heavy Infantry Battalions were sometimes given even more authority than a normal Company Leader of the ordinary Battalions. As such, this reward was one of the best of the whole tournament.
As for the Light Infantry, their Fresh Recruit Tournament was actually split into two portions, one was similar to the Heavy Infantry competition with a direct charging clash, while the other was the individual operational prowess of soldiers, without needing to draw lots, the four Battalions would be in their own formations and it would be a 500 vs 500 free for all, with anyone who was overwhelmed and beaten would be eliminated. The next round would then begin, after a fifteen minute rest, until a final winner was left.*
To be honest, the Fresh Recruit Tournament was actually not of any big significance to most ordinary recruits, and it was just a formality for them. However, for those skilled recruits who had ambitions, it was truly the perfect opportunity. With this, they had the opportunity to prove themselves amongst the huge amount of recruits, it was not just simply the quick promotion to Squad Leader, but also the opportunity to leave behind a mark in their service history, which would allow easier future promotions, for example Xiao Se.
As for the archery Battalions, their Fresh Recruit Tournament was the most unusual. For the four Battalions, they would be split into two sides, each with 200 recruits. There would be a 200 yard middle spacing between the two sides, and both sides would be shooting arrows against each other. All the arrows were blunted and stained with lime, thus as long as any hit, it would leave an obvious trace, and the target which was hit would immediately withdraw from the battlefield, it could also be said to be the simplest fight of the Tournament.
However, although this method of competition was relatively simpler, but it also also had its intrinsic meaning. How many recruits could actually shoot accurately at a distance of 200 yards? Those who could even shoot that far would already be considered pretty good. Therefore, for the Archery Battalions, this was actually a very direct and effective way to select talented soldiers. Several Company Leaders, even Shangguan Bing’er as a Battalion Commander, was paying most attention there. Also, they were responsible for directing the recruits of their own Battalion. Of course, being a wide open, spacious location, it would not be easy to dodge the opponents’ arrows.
At this time, the Battalions were arranged in their respective formations, on the left was the first and second Battalions, and on the right were the third and fourth Battalions. This Fresh Recruit Tournament was not just a competition between recruits, but was also a competition between the various Battalions, if one side totally overwhelmed the other side, that was a manifestation of their overall strength.
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